No subject

From: <>
Date: Sun Feb 27 13:22:22 2005

stances I have taken or words I have spoken. Some of it may have been
warranted, and in those instances I have apologized, but many times it
just seems to me to be insecure folks taking pot shots. In this case, I
will consolidate my responses to several recent messages into one, and
leave it at that.

First of all, if you haven't realized it, I have an extremely healthy
capacity for sarcasm. Some people are simply ill-equipped to handle
sarcasm. Yet others are perhaps too, shall we say "dense", to be able to
discern between sarcasm and genuine commentary. In most cases I am
attempting to be humorously sarcastic. In many cases I try to add
smiley's as an aid for those not well versed in the art of sarcasm. I
use to hate smiley's, but found them to be a necessity. Now I use them in
excess. Unfortunately, sometimes those don't even work. Sigh.

The bottom line is this: if you take offense to something that is said,
please remember this is written communication, and many of the nuances
that are available to us in face to face spoken communication are lost.
If you come across a comment that causes you discomfort, please first
consider that perhaps you are taking it the wrong way. In the very least,
why not send off a private message to the responsible party and ask
for a clarification?

I will be the first to admit that I am very quirky, and sometimes what I
say does not come across as intended. But for the most part I am very
good-humored and easy going, as many people who have met me will attest

There are, however, certain things that set me off. On the list, such
things are:

- People trying to make a buck in a less than honorable manner (i.e. one
that takes advantage of someone else)
- People attempting to pass on erroneous information (this is an archived
mailing list...I don't want bogus info making it into the record for
posterity to stumble over in the future)
- People singling me out for "off-topic" banter.

For an example of the latter, Doc objected to my message about copyrights
which was specifically intended to point out the ludicrousity of copyright
with regards to PC software from the 1980s:

On Sat, 18 Jan 2003, Doc Shipley wrote:

> It was an objection to the fact that there was no content to the
> original post, simply spew;

Excuse me, but here's my original message:

On Thursday, January 16, I wrote:

So the whores that are beholden to corporate, I mean the
United States Congress has decided that copyrights in the US should be
extended another 20 years beyond the limits they were set at, and those
mental miscreants that put an ex-Coke junkie in the White, I
mean the US Supreme Court has upheld these extensions, saying it is
Congress' duty to determine copyright lengths.

So this means that, for instance, the software for Apple ][, Commodore
64, Atari 800, and TRS-80 (to name but a few platforms) will not be public
domain until something like 2075, when computers as we know them today
will not even exist.

This makes so much sense that I just had an aneurysm.

Ok, so maybe there was some superfluous government bashing in there.  But
Doc's characterization that there was "no content to the original post" is
completely baseless, and I suspect there was something else behind his
> Add to that Sellam's consistent slander of Texas and Texans, ever since
> George Dubbya took office. I despise Bush, but I *am* a native Texan,
> and am proud of that.
Doc, honestly, nothing against you...BUT, I have worked with Texans
before, and found them to be some of the most obnoxious people.  The
company that I poured my life into was acquired by a bunch of idiots that
happened to be headquartered in Texas, and they ran it into the ground.
Add to that the fact that the last two U.S. Presidents that Texas has
produced were people who dragged this country down, and it doesn't give me
a very good impression of y'all.
Of course, this is stereotyping.  I may make references to stereotypes,
but you completely dishonor me by assuming I actually put faith into such
things.  Of course, its not your fault because you really don't know me
I know a lot of people from Texas who are really super cool.  I don't
think all Texans are loud-mouthed idiots, just certain ones who destroyed
six years of my hard work or are President of the US.
> Sellam's comments to me, in private email, are even more culturally
> oriented.
> <quote>
> Maybe it's because I've taken shots at Texas because you guys produced
> the biggest idiot to ever run the country.
> </quote>
Well, the "Biggest Idiot to Ever Run the Country" title is a pretty
subjective anointment, but I think more than a few people can agree that
in this case it is pretty much well-deserved ;) <-- SMILEY
Heck, even W. himself freely admits he isn't the brightest bulb in the
chandalier.  Sure it's only self-effacing humor, but there's always a
kernel of truth in these things.
>   It is not the first time on this list, and Texans have not been his
> only target for cultural slurs and epithets.  As this is a decidedly
> multi-national and multi-cultural forum, it's always surprised me that
> the list-members in general put up with it.
What "cultural slurs and epithets" are you referring to?  This is a pretty
serious charge, one that I am completely annoyed by.  I would ask you to
point them out specifically, within context, including a date, time and
copy of the original message in which such comments appear (privately
>   "Sellam Ismail" has a distinctly ethnic ring to it.  The phrase "glass
> houses" comes to mind.  Should I put myself on his level, and go there?
> Of course not!  Mr Ismail enjoys a degree of respect on this list that
> he seems not to extend to anyone else.
Sellam Ismail is indeed "ethnic".  It's Arabic.  I am a first generation
born and bred American citizen of Syrian decent.  I am extremely proud of
my heritage and have no issues with it.  No one else should either.
>   Further, the attitude about replying in private only is bullshit.
> "I'm going to insult you in public, but I *insist* that any embarassing
> consequences be kept private."  Not happening.
Well, it wasn't my intent to administer my rather brusque retort in
public, but it certainly was your intent to admonish me rather tactlessly
in public.  What's done is done, and I offered my apologies to the list
for it.  You haven't.
>   Having said all that, I'm done.  I do wish that more of the members
> who privately indicated agreement would do so on-list.  The one's that
> have, thank you.
No, actually, I'd prefer they do it off-list, in private, directly to me.
If someone has issue with who I am or what I say, I would rather they come
right out and express this to me rather than holding some irrational
This is not the first time someone has lashed out at me publicly of
course.  As I said before, I am not afraid to express my opinions,
epsecially when I see something completely out of line being proffered.
Maybe it's just me, but sometimes it seems like my high profile makes me
an easy target for criticism.  Perhaps it's a bit of professional
jealousy?  As foreign a sentiment as that is to me, I sometimes wonder if
the success I have enjoyed as a spokesperson for this hobby has made other
people uncomfortable, even envious.
I don't even want to broach the ethnic issue, as I'd hate to imagine
anyone on this list being so close-minded as to harbor such sentiments.
Especially in this day and age when people of my ethnic ilk are caught up
in hysteria and are under undue scrutiny.  And one wonders why, in this
age of declining civil rights and increasing surveillance, that I am so
critical of our current administration.  I may be an Arab, but I'm also
an American, and I am one of the staunchest believers in the ideals of the
Constitution and in the founding notions of this country.  I share the
opinion that the form of government that we have in the United States
today is a complete perversion of the intent of the Founding Fathers.
This country has been overrun by corruption and graft in the highest
places in both government and business.  I also believe we have
fundamental and fatal flaws with regards to race and religion.  But, lest
I be accused of being "off-topic" (on CCTALK no less, in which the
charter states that pretty much anything goes) I will end this particular
line of ranting.
Lastly, the issue of "foul" language has arisen once again.  Oh, bother.
David Greelish says:
"I feel a need to saythat your language and personal attacks to people on
list has really gotten out of hand."
I reply: I disagree.  Particularly regarding "personal attacks to people
on list".  Again, I would ask for specific cites and occurences.
"This forum is public, and there are probably some minors who subscribe or
peruse the archives later."
I reply: appealing to the fact that minors may be reading this is no
reason for me to self-censor.  I am a firm opponent of censorship of
any kind.  This is not to be taken as extending to mailing lists such as
this one, where we all joined under the premise of discussing classic
computers.  When we joined, we all hopefully understood that any topics of
discussion other than this subject would be off-limits and would be
avoided as a general courtesy to each other.  Since this was a recurring
problem on the list, we split it into two: CCTALK and CCTECH.  As per the
restructuring, here on CCTALK anything goes.  I have curtailed my bitching
and simply delete the messages that are off-topic, because by my
continuing participation in the list (specifically CCTALK) I have
implicitly agreed to the solution that was settled upon.  And that means
that anything can be posted to CCTALK.  I don't take it as an invitation
to go off-topic, and I hope others do not either.  When I do find the need
or urge to go off-topic, I always try to put an "OT" warning as a prefix
to my message subject line.  Other folks do this as well, and it is
As for the words "shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and
tits", if you are offended by such vocabulary, you really need to get a
content filter.  The world does not revolve around your own particular
tastes, taboos, likes and dislikes.  If you would censor the world rather
than hearing or reading those words and others that are apparently so
vile that they can't ever be spoken or heard and are in a category all
their own, then you have a control problem.  There is software out there
to help you.  Find it and use it.
"You have a social responsibility to keep any and all antisocial, uncivil
behavior off-line."
I reply: I agree.
"All of this out-of-line behavior that has been allowed to carry on this
list is out of control regularly now."
I reply: Again, your characterization that this is "out of control
regularly" is unwarranted.
"I voted for and overall like President Bush. Sellam, Doc . . . oh, am I
a big jerk or stupid now?!"
I reply: Of course not.
"None of us are here to listen to anyone's political agenda. Or their
viewpoint on business ethics and copyright law, etc. Unless these
concepts are discussed in regard to a historical, classic computer
system(s) or related."
I reply: Exactly.  And as I stated above, my comments regarding the
coyright issue were explicitly intended to draw discussion regarding
software from the 1980s.  It did not take that course however.  And at any
rate, there should not have been any cause for objection.
So anyway, I will bring this to a close.  What I want to impart is:
a) I am not out to offend or ruffle the sensibilities of anyone.  But if
someone has their head up their ass, I am not afraid to point it out, and
will do so.
b) If you have a problem with me, bring it to my attention rather than
fuming over it.  You may be surprised to find out that you got your
panties all up in a bunch over nothing.
c) Don't take me that seriously.  I certainly don't.
d) Have a nice day.
e) Come to the next Vintage Computer Festival!
f) :)
Sellam Ismail                                        Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger      
 * Old computing resources for business and academia at *
Received on Sun Feb 27 2005 - 13:22:22 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:37:34 BST