Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Day I Met Peter Porcupine

The day I met Peter Porcupine, I had no idea who (s)he was. Not only did I not know who Peter was in person, but I didn't really read Peter's blogs or know that (s)he paid that much attention to my own. Sure, Peter left a few comments, but as far as I was concerned, Peter was the homophobic, Republican talking-head everyone kept saying (s)he was - and why shouldn't I believe it?


*****

It was about 8pm and I was going to one of Deval Patrick's civil engagement meetings he held across the state, just after being elected. This one was at UMASS Dartmouth, in the Foster Administration Building. Picture unwelcoming, cold concrete with a small room and about fifty people packed in it. All of a sudden, a stranger went to shake my hand and said hello. "You know me as Peter Porcupine," the person said.

Peter was very friendly for someone I was told was so, well, not.

I've never been the type to be hoodwinked by people who are fakely nice. It's something I can usually spot from a mile away. I'm sure there are people who are more skilled in asshat detection than I am, but there's been nothing Peter Porcupine has ever done to indicate (s)he was as closed-minded and homophobic as is often portrayed in the blogosphere. (S)he didn't have to introduce herself to me; (s)he did that of her own volition.

I'll readily admit there are a whole host of issues where (s)he sees night and I see day, but that doesn't mean I'm going to join in the circus of outing Peter. It's one thing to out the real homophobic people - a la Mark Foley - but (s)he's not Mark Foley. While (s)he does support an up-or-down vote, (s)he would vote against a ban. Furthermore, (s)he's exactly the kind of person who could actually convince others of that ilk to vote against any ban if we can't bridge the current four-vote gap - something I'll publicly call for her to do if it gets to that point.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have tea with this person. I don't support blanket anonymity. There may even be legitimate conflicts of interest in Peter having a pseudonym. However, I don't see these recent posts about the real identity of Peter being about any of those potential conflicts. Indeed, QueerToday went so far as to suggest she may be getting ready to stalk queer youth - a serious assertion with absolutely no basis in fact. We're being just as bitter towards her as so many right-wingers are toward us - and that bitterness seems just as utterly pointless as Pat Robertson's drivel or Ann Coulter's existence. It seems to me that some people are revealing Peter's identity for merely for the sake of revealing Peter's identity, as if it were the best weapon to use against Peter.

However, this weapon being wielded against Peter Porcupine seems to me like a double-edged sword. Peter Porcupine should come out of the alias closet - when QueerToday's FireCrotch, Pryncess Shaniqua, Becca D'Bus, Madam V, Queer Jay and everyone from Mass Left blogs who don't use their whole names start the trend. Otherwise, Team Equality is being awfully hypocritical - and that's coming from one of its charter members.

10 comments:

eddie said...

Ryan, this argument is ridiculous. I don't believe in outing anyone, but PP HAS ALREADY BEEN OUTED. A LONG TIME AGO. Unless you can do a jedi mind trick, that information is out there and most people already know it or can easily find it. I don't really see any point in not letting people know, since mostly everyone already does know, What are people supposed to do if anyone asks who this character is, lie?

Second, in many people's opinion, PP is a sleazy, mean spirited passive aggressive party hack who shamelessly sucks up to Democratic bloggers so she can use them for her own agenda and then laugh at them. If you think she came up to you because she loves you and wants to bake you cookies, I can't stop you, it's your business. But if you think that the diehard Republican activist who gets the talking points and logs on to disseminate them is going to "help us close the gap," then you don't have a big future in political consulting. Here's a hint: what does PP spend more time blogging about even here, by a factor of 100 trilion to 1, her personal love of teh gay, or her personal belief that failing to do everything in the world to pass the hate amendment would be the end of civilization as we know it? Hmm. Now what is Tony Snow doing when he gets up there, sharing his own personal beliefs or being a PR hack and a party man who says what he's told and will fall on his sword? What's more important, how he feels or how his pary feels when he decides what to address? (Yeah, don't think TS is going to be available to help us close the gap, either, but I'm sure he'll vote the right way no matter how much his team needs his support, he's like that. After PP, then TS, then Mary matalin, then the world. Forget the rank and file, let's go after their elected officials and political professionals, the ones who do this for a living, the activists, they're our most likely supporters).

Now, while I have watched PP spew a lot of vicious garbage at a lot of people, have I ever personally seen her make homophobic statements? No. But then, I don't go to BMG much, and she spends most of her time there, I think. I don't see any reason to assume that people who really seem to think pretty strongly that she's close minded and homophobic are crazy or paranoid. I'm assuming that she did or said something, maybe a lot of somethings, to make them believe that.

If you're accusing people of being like Coulter or Robertson, read some of your girl's newspaper columns and tell us who they sound like. A fair minded, apolitical and sincere sort? As for "best weapons to use against Peter," okay here's the thing. Nobody's afraid of Peter. Nobody wnats to fight Peter. Peter's not relevant. They're just annoyed by Peter and her head games. People who have a problem with her aren't motivated by pointlessness, fear, or wanting to take away anyone's cookies, they're just tired of seeing her get away with all the crap that she gets away with and how she says very different things depending on where she is and who she's talking to. They don't think she's sincere or open to persuasion and don't see a whole lot of point in bothering to engage her bs. What you call "outing," I think to many people is more a declaration of "okay, yeah, I'm not fooled, and I'm not playing, I know who you are and why you're here, cut the crap." When PP told a Democratic veteran that Democrats attack and don't support the troops, who got banned, PP or the vet? Who had the support of the guys who run the place, PP or the vet? Who whines about how inexplicable and unfair it is that people are so damn intolerant and don't seem to like her, PP? or the vet? Yeah. She wouldn't be nearly as annoying if she were just some random internet person who's bored and likes to screw around, because who cares, many annoying/immature people screw around on the internet. The fact that she's a state party official, though, and that she really seems to think she's pulling the wool over everybody's eyes, makes the whole thing at once more annoying and more tiresome, somehow.

I agree with you, too, that if the anonymous members of QueerToday are Democratic Party officials who represent the Democratic Party and are blogging on the party's behalf without disclosing it but are just trying to pass themselves off as average citizens, they should consider disclosing that. If they write political columns or editorials in the newspaper, they should consider disclosing that, too. It's the right thing to do. Professional politicians, professional political writers, political professionals and elected officials of all sorts should probably not blog under pseudonyms, of ot comes out it makes it look like they have some kind of weird agenda. You put your name on the ballot, and in the newspaper, so it seems like it's not a provacy issue, why not put it on the internet, why don't you want your already well known name attached to your already known beliefs as a public figure who speaks out publicly and is often quoted by others. If FireCrotch is my state rep or the Register of Deeds or Kerry Healey or Grace Ross or a member of the Democratic State Committee, or someone who comes before the voters for approval, I'd like to know about it, but outing is still wrong. However, if, say, FireCrotch or Madam V's identities have already been disclosed and are well known to everybody, as unfortunate as it is that it happened, then getting hysterical about how they're being outed and are being persecuted everytime someone mentions this fact might seem slightly, I dunno, bizarre.

eddie said...

And for goodness sakes, you should apologize to QueerToday for this nonsense: "Indeed, QueerToday went so far as to suggest she may be getting ready to stalk queer youth - a serious assertion with absolutely no basis in fact"

Yeah, it would be a serious assertion if it were an assertion at all, however anyone can see that it's a joke, a bit of crystal clear hyperbole based on viewing her over-the-top wacko rantings at her website (her actual candidate website). If were're going to indict people for bad jokes--have you ever BEEN to PP's website? Your anti really lame joke/bad analogy/obviously overstatement for effect stance needs some rethinking, it seriously conflicts with your love for PP. Seriously, is she using mind control? PP would even be laughing if her lips weren't busy with a part of Parente's anatomy (that's also a hyperbolic joke, so please don't flip out, and I'm not comparing PP to Foley but I can't spell Paleogosus or whatever his name is). Jesus, Ryan, PP gets paid to shamelessly spin for loonies, you're doing it for free! And please promise me that when you start getting deluged with cookies and cakes from the Vote on Marriage crowd, you'll throw them away without reading the card. Now that we know all it takes to win your eternal love and devotion is a kind word and a gentle smile, we need to keep a close eye on you. Eat the cookies, but toss the card! And don't feel hurt that in her heart PP doesn't think you're "a more sensible Blue" like Steve Lynch, that's actually a compliment.

As Live, Love, Learn put it, "How can you blog anonymously when you go around letting everyone know you are that person? At the last Republican Committee meeting it was a well talked about point that PP was their most important blogger. Is this supposed to be a secret?"

Sorry if this sounds insulting, but I honestly couldn't believe it when I googled QueerToday and saw what they'd written after how you described it.

shawn said...

Laurel is right, stop drinking the kool-aid.

There is no circus or cabal out to get Peter. he has been outed repeatedly by many people over many years, including many Repubs.

What about the state rep who outed him because he thought it was outrageous for a newspaper columnist to attack someone pseudonymously instead of publicly in the column?

You don't think Jeff Jacoby or Ellen Goodman would get fired if they were posting pseudonymous attacks and political items?

That's not an ethical violation for a columnist? Tell that to Lee Siegal. I don't recall too much outrage on outing there, did you write about it?

It's kind of outrageous that you're impuning the motives and character of everyone who dislikes Peter or thinks there are legitimate issues here, while acting like her motives and character are beyond reproach.

It's nice that she's such a sweet lady, but you remember those NJ GOP staffers who got in trouble for posting at the Democratic boards without disclosure?

Peter works (or did work) for the state. You don't think it would be an issue if paid Democratic staffers were potentially using state computers/state time to blog without disclosing their identities?

Why, because Republicans would line up to say how great it is that their tax money is going to pay someone to post items impuning their patriotism from work?

No questions, no investigations, no media outrage?

How about if someone, a well known Dem, a strategist, someone on the state committee or a town committee, someone who works for the party, any elected official at any level, was blogging under a pseudonym and got found out?

I'm sorry, but I don't see how that's not a story. And not a story about how wrong it is to out, either. We get 4 months on an investigation of drapes, but nobody has a problem with that? No way. Why, because that person is super nice?

Mmm hmmm. You can't out Doogie, you can't out barney Frank, you can't out Peter. He's out already and there are legitimate questions about his pseudonymity because he's not you, he's not me, he's not some schlub who works at the ice cream store. He's a public figure who works in journalism and politics where the ethical standards and media scrutiny are higher.

I'll trust John Hosty's motives over Peter's, thanks. What you do is up to you.

And sorry, but I've disliked Peter long before I knew who he was (which, sorry to tell you I found out here). I didn't dislike him because I'm a sheeplike lemming who was brainwashed into the Evil International Witchhunt/Let's Get Peter Cabal, I disliked him because he seems like a disingenous person who outrageously mischaracterizes everyone's arguments even though most people bend over backwards to be polite to him and give him the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe if we all met him we'd stop caring about how he behaves to others as long as he's nice to us, maybe not.

Ryan Adams said...

Eddie, while PP's identity was out there for anyone closely looking for it, there's a very large difference from being able to dig up someone's identity and not being anonymous.

And, no, I'm not accusing QueerToday of being like a Coulter - I just think they made a joke that was way out of line. Coulter makes a living out of those jokes. There are a few things I don't think are appropriate to joke about - stuff like rape, stalking kids, etc. make that list for me. So, I'm sorry if you didn't like the fact that I found it offensive, but I did and I still do.

Shawn,

While Jeff Jacoby couldn't write anonymously, he's also a paid member of the Boston Globe. Peter Porcupine does have a newspaper column too, but it's under Peter's real name and isn't exactly a big money maker. I'd guess she makes a hundred for each column, which runs every other week.

Furthermore, as far as Peter's commenting, I would have zero such problems if Peter is replying during breaks/lunch/etc. Undoubtedly, Peter has some sort of a boss who is responsible to make sure Peter is actually doing his or her job. I'm no more going to ask for there to be an investigation over the issue than I would to any of the readers I have from dozens of private companies in Boston. I get pissed off when the right wing brings up the "tax payer" argument - it's caused a lot of harm over the last few years, slashing budgets and causing massive debt.

Anonymous said...

Ryan,

It's not just liberals who have issues with her. Aaron Malloy outed her back in March:

http://www.capecodtoday.com/blogs/index.php/Maloy/2007/03/11/cynthia_stead_s_rampage

I still don't understand her relationship with BMG. I do know that her writing on homosexuality and gay marriage is not exactly positive.

For example:
http://capecodporcupine.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html

Porcupine thinks that we should declare a moratorium on all social and sexual issues for a while. The estimated 10% of the population who are gay have cannibalized 90% of the legislative agenda for the last few years. They and their supporters are entitled to their views, but enough is enough. No more sex for a while -let's talk about GOVERNMENT.

Then there's her blog entry called "When did the ‘Love That Dare Not Speak It’s Name’ become the Love that cannot shut up about itself?"

http://capecodporcupine.blogspot.com/2005_07_01_archive.html

If you read it, you'll find she's uncomfortable with gays in the public arena, pure and simple. She does support civil unions, but is on record as opposing "special rights" for gay people.

So, maybe not a raging homophobe, but absolutely not a friend to gay people. It's good that she was friendly to you, but that doesn't change what she writes. As Eddie notes, my real problem with her is the amount of time she spends snarking at people who dare disagree with her.

It's worth noting that the real Peter Porcupine was a notorious racist and supporter of slavery. Interesting choice of handles:

http://muse.jhu.edu/demo/american_periodicals/v013/13.1scherr.html

shawn said...

No offense, but that is ludicrous.

Ellen Goodman's salary doesn't have a damn thing to do with it. She'd be fired for posting pseudonymous attacks because *she's a newapaper columnist* and it's a *violation of ethics,* not because she's rich and famous.

Unless Peter's newspaper is actually a pamphlet she publishes herself in her backyard, the same standards apply to her as well as to everyone else. I don't think there's a J school class called "Unless it's your main source of income, ethics schmethics, basic rules of propriety are for other people."

That is why this argument is so ludicrous, because it all boils down to Peter is SPECIAL. Sure, there need to be standards for everyone else in her position, and yes if any other newspaper columnist did it it would be wrong, but oh, she can just do whatever she wants because we love her so.

Yes, OF COURSE she publishes her newspaper column under her own name. That's kind of the point.

See, anyone can write whatever they want on the internet. But very, very few people, say .000000006% of the population are given a forum in any newspaper of whatever size, where they can disseminate their views to an entire town or region. That's a public trust. Not all columnists are smart or good writers, but they all have to adhere to some basic standards.

Now, if Peter were publishing an anonymous newspaper column under "Peter Porcupine" and "Peter Porcupine" started making pseudonymous attacks on the Republican state rep in the paper, there would be outrage. A newspaper wouldn't print attacks on a public figure from a regular columnist who refused to disclose his identity. (Hell, even letters-to-the-editor can't be anonymous and they're just written by random prvate citizens, mostly).

Likewise, Peter Porcupine has a newspaper column. It's published in her own name. That makes her a public figure who has access to a public forum in a way most people don't. If she attacked the state rep, another public figure, publicly in her column that would be a fair fight. But that's not really what happened. Because then people would know that it's her making the attacks. There could be consequences. People would get mad at her. They know who she is and it would affect how she's perceived publicly. He'd be given space to respond. One well known Republican public figure and office holder attacking another, that might be a story. Might make the Globe. So she hides behind a pseudonym and attacks him on the internet instead of in the column to avoid the consequences.

That's fine because it's Peter, but it's not even a question. Anybody else, Ellen Goodman or the guest columnist for the Podunk Gazette who goes on the internet and pseudononymously attacks Kerry Healey or Theresa Murray or anybody else, saying things she doesn't have the guts to say in her own big bunch of column inches under her own name, without divulging her identity would be so gone. Gone. No hesitation, just out. Whether they make a million dollars or 10 cents, it doesn't make any difference. Newspaper columnists can't attack people without disclosing who they are.

And who would be leading the charge against Ellen Goodman if she'd been caught doing something so outrageous? One guess.

As far as tax payer money goes, Ryan, Peter doesn't just work for the state. She works for the *state government*. She is or was an aide to a state rep.

Sorry if you don't like it, but for good reason there are strict ethics requirements about what kinds of political activities state gov employees can engage in at work.

Peter Porcupine is SPECIAL, but all of the laws that apply to people in her position also apply to her. It's awful that some staranger could hand you or I a big wad of cash and that'd be fine, while she can't take big wads of cash from strangers because she works for a politician and is an office holder herself, but until she gets exempted, well people are gonna believe that even Peter should be held to the ethical standards of a position because she happens to hold that position.

Look, if you or I or someone who works at Bain Capital, Radio Shack, or UMASS goofs off at work, we can get in trouble for goofing off at work. But it doesn't really make any difference if we're goofing off by posting political material here or playing Grand Theft Auto, because there's no specialized legal or ethical prohibition on us visiting political opinions at work, we're just supposed to not goof off in general.

People who work at the State House, though, have to be really careful, because elected officials and paid political staff are restricted from using the state telephones or computers to engage in campaign work or various forms of political activism. There's no comparison between them and us, it's called higher ethical standards, there are a lot of really specific and specialized restrictions, and they're taken seriously. Now, I don't know exactly what Peter did or if she broke any rules or laws, but how is that not a legitimate question? Besides the "Special Peter Exemption"?

You can damn well bet that if there was even a hint that any Democratic staffer or office holder or even an unpaid intern or volunteer were doing anything improper at work, there'd be a rager of a scandal, and again, who'd be writing outraged diary after diary at BMG? Shameless, she is.

And yes Ryan, Republicans whine about tax money a lot, but just because I'm happy to have mine used for public housing and health care and schools doesn't mean I have to think that it's okay to spend it on just anything that might not be legal and reallly doesn't seem ethical, like for example handing the entire treasury over to Peter as a sign of love or running illegal partisan advocacy out of state offices. I don't know if she did, but don't use the office computers to attack the state rep, I don't like him either but it's not allowed. Not thinking things like that are okay to spend public money on doesn't make me more of a Republican than Peter.

I am in favor of public financing of campaigns, but that doesn't mean that because it might be a good idea we can just forget that that's not what we have right now and break all the rules.

Also, it needs to be pointed out that even by your standards that someone whose identity has been in the public domain for several years and has been published in the newspaper, a magazine, and on the official blog of a Republican state rep can be "outed," Peter wasn't outed on BMG.

Her name was published, yes, but there was no connection drawn between her actual name and the fact that she calls herself Peter Porcupine.

If it's inappropriate to quote or mention the name of any public figure or office holder, I sure hope Peter never sprinkles her magic fairy dust on Mitt or Kerry or Card--never being able to mention the names of public figures would be inconvenient, no?

What happened was, even though the context in which Peter's actual name was mentioned was not inappropriate, the BMG monitors realize that 95% of the people at BMG know that Peter's real name is actually Peter.

So basically they pulled a post that didn't identify Peter's name as Peter, out of sheer terror that somehow it might come up in discussion and this state secret might be revealed to the other 5%.

Does that strike you as slightly crazy? I really hope Peter never makes news in either her newspaper column, all the times she's quoted in the paper, or her official capacity, because even if she's being talked about under her real name on every network she can never be allowed to be mentioned for any reason at BMG, apparently.

Please don't ever run for Governor, Peter, because it will be hard to pimp your campaign when you can never be mentioned by name in any context, even without it being mentioned that you're Peter. Peter, the No-Name candidate.

And Ryan, you have *got* to be kidding when you say that Peter's identity was out there for anyone closely looking for it. I have never looked for it, closely or loosely. I couldn't have cared less who Peter was. I didn't lift a finger to find out who she is. I found out who she was completely randomly and by accident because someone happened to mention it. Probably the same way most everyone found out.

Same way I found out who Atrios is. I never cared and I never sought that information out, but I know. Once information is out there and has been published in the newspaper and official blogs, it tends to get around and you tend to get exposed to it whether you seek it out or not.

So please stop acting like everyone who knows went on this big fishing expedition to dig this up. We didn't. BTW, once in a great while I read her blog, and I google it to find it--and guess what usually comes right up on the search page? Is that some kind of big hunt?

Look, outing someone is wrong. Had I been the first person to find out her identity, I wouldn't have disclosed it, no matter how many questions I have about her behavior and ethics considering her position as a public figure. It doesn't matter if a person is anonymous on the internet or out on the internet, that doesn't give them the right to out anyone else except in really rare circumstances (like the state rep finding out she was violating newspaper ethics).

But QueerToday didn't out Peter. John Hosty didn't out Peter. I didn't out Peter. Peter was outed years ago. She wasn't outed by us. We didn't break in to her house and steal her identity off her computer. We didn't stalk her. We didn't catch her out in a sting operation. She was outed becaause she was careless and arrogant and disclosed her identity to many Republicans, somehow thinking it would never go beyond them.

But the fact that her own stupidity contributed to her problem--if you want to stay anonymous, don't go around telling people who you are, don't post your name, address, social security number, employer, birth certificate, passport, and photo, as all of that will tend to undermine your goal--doesn't excuse the actions of the outer.

The person who outed her, that one person way back through the mists of time, did something wrong to her and she has a legitimate beef with him, unless it was someone like the state rep who did it for a valid reason, because he found impropriety that outweighed the impropriety involved in outing her as a public figure.

But nobody else did anything wrong. To reiterate this for the 3rd time, as soon as that information was out it was out. It's not still a secret after it's been published by the newspaper, a magazine, and official blogs. At that point, it's part of the public domain.

QueerToday doesn't owe Peter to pretend something is still a secret 4 years later when everyone already knows it just because she doesn't like it when Democrats find out, she's only comfortable with Republicans knowing. John Hosty doesn't owe it to Peter to break into the newspaper office and tear out every page that connects her identity to her pseudonym so can can keep up this pretense. I'm not evil because I failed to take the paper and jump into the fire with it to keep someone else from reading it, or because when someone asked me what was in it I read that item to them.

They're not evil because they mentioned something that is already in the freaking public domain. To equate this with actual outing is just insane.

If I make the mistake of telling someone a secret and they don't respect my privacy, I'd be mad at them. But if that secret finds its way into sll kinds of places, like say the restroom at 711 and the town website and the local newspaper and is read by someone who hates me and they start telling even more people, who am I mad at? Yeah, still the original person. I trusted them, and they screwed me, but while I wish the person who hates me would chill out, I can recognize that they're not doing anything wrong to me. That information is out there, people are going to find out anyway, and someone who has a problem with me doesn't really owe it to me to always have my best interests at heart and put my feelings first long after the fact, especially if there's a legitimate reason why other people might need to know my secret that's not even a secret anymore. Not their problem, not their fault, not their responsibility.

The same thing happened to Atrios, his identity was printed in the paper and his cover was blown. It sucked, but you can't undo what has already happened, so at that point, he had several options.

He could decide that pseudnymity was important enough to him that he needed to quit blogging once his identity was disclosed. He could have decided that pseudonymity was important enough to him that he needed to take down his page, find a new one, come up with a new pseudonym, try to be more careful and hope that nobody would figure out his identity again.

He could do what he did, just deal with the fact that once that information is out there everyone is going to find out about it and there's nothing he can do about it and it's only the fault of the one original outer.

Or, I guess he could have decided that while he wants to tell all the Democrats, he really doesn't like the idea of the Republicans knowing, so everytime a Republican called him "Duncan," even years after the fact, he could have freaked out and screamed and acted like every person who'd ever found out and not realized they were supposed to have pretended otherwise, including the 9 millionth person, had outed him, accused each person of committing great crimes and being out to get him and running some cabal to persecute him and threatening to sic the FBI on everyone who ever mentioned his name in any context, even without connecting his real name to Atrios.

But that would make him look slightly insane. And he might tend to get made fun of a bit.

Look, Peter knows that everyone knows who she is. She's entitled to keep up the pretense that it's a big secret still if she wants. If someone calls her name, she doesn't have to answer to it. But nobody else has to go along with it if they don't want to, because it does all seem a bit ridiculous.

There's no real moral imperative and actually no real reason for anyone to be forced to pretend that they don't know something or that they must never ever tell anyone else on pain of being a horrible evil person, something that they found out through perfectly legitimate means, that's in the public domain, that's very well known, and that's a legitimate matter or public interest due to the fact that Peter is not just some random private citizen but is a public figure who writes a newspaper column, gets quoted in the paper frequently, works in state government, and is an elected party official.

And if it were anyone else but Peter who is so SPECIAL, whether it's a Democrat or Republican, it would be a no brainer.

Anonymous said...

Cynthia Stead is a freelancer for the Cape Cod Times. She was first outed as Peter Porcupine for posts in the Cape Cod Times' blogs. Not exactly ethical, dontcha think?

joe said...

Not to sure what "ethical" means huh?

Anonymous said...

You know, Ryan's liking for Joe is possibly the only thing in the world more baffling than his love for PP.

John Hosty said...

"Furthermore, as far as Peter's commenting, I would have zero such problems if Peter is replying during breaks/lunch/etc. Undoubtedly, Peter has some sort of a boss who is responsible to make sure Peter is actually doing his or her job."

One can easily see on BMG when these posts are made, and they happen throughout the business day. I would not protest even still, but the amount of comments she makes on BMG alone truly makes me wonder if she can get her job done. 1200 just this year alone?! This does not take into account her articles, and her posts elsewhere, like her own blog.

If this is how my tax money is being spent, I want it addressed, and judging by your readers it looks like I'm not alone.

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