Someone is Saddam's Girlfriend (Was Re: The Art of Unix Programming)

T.B. van der Molen tbm at
Mon Feb 10 18:27:17 PST 2003

Eric Miller wrote:
> I am offended that:
> - It is clearly a pointed political statement against
> my country, in a situation that *nobody* is happy
> with, not even those who favor war.

Since when are you entitled to speak for others?

That clearly a political statement against your country I do not find 
it. You give an interpretation of insult. Fair enough. But I, on the 
other hand, could give another interpretation which supports the sig.

It is all a matter of interpretation. Don't force your interpretation to 

> - It is not factual.  A post of that nature should be
> based on irrefutable facts to avoid being questioned
> by the people who it is directed at.

First, I do not know of any common rule stating sigs should be factual. 
This sig - and any sig in general for that matter - could be 
exaggerative, ironic, inversive, funny, impossible et cetera.
Second, I fail to see to whom the sig is directed.

> - I just wanna screw around with Linux here and not
> worry that I am going to see something that is gonna
> make my blood boil.  I don't *want* to have to keep a
> matrix of whose emails to read and whose not to read
> based on what off-topic (meaning extreme, not just
> quirky old sigs) statements that someone insists on
> making.

Well, if it boils your blood, then - with all respect - it is your 
problem, isn't it? You have politely (let's assume you did) asked Bjorn 
to remove his sig which he refuses. And so, that leaves the problem with 
you. People even make suggestions how *you* could deal with the sig. You 
could filter your e-mail, for example. Oh, you *don't want* to filter 
your mail on insults? Then you will find yourself with two options: 
either you accept that possibly insultive comments are being made or you 

I'm sorry but here I see IMO a similarity with the behaviour of the 
United States in foreign politics: the US wants or wants not something 
and then demands from other nations to adapt themselves to their will.

> In short, if Bjorns post said "No War for Oil" or
> "Give Peace a Chance" or some other anti-war
> statement, I would keep my trap shut.

And that would not offend you? I could imagine that would be a political 
statement against the US, too.
Once again, it is all a matter of interpretation.

When someone has an interpretation of a sig or whatever comment, would 
that have to result in obeying to the will of that offended person?

I found it very unthoughtful to speak of "Linux". It should be more 
appropriately called "GNU/Linux" as most software of a standard Linux 
distro is developed by the GNU. Eric, I would like to politely ask you 
to speak of "GNU/Linux" in the future. Otherwise I, as being GNU's most 
enthousiastic and loyal fan, am offended.

> But, his sig implies that the United States is
> prepared to kill half a million innocent civilans in
> this war, and that makes us out to be murderous
> villians, which we are not.  

Does it imply that? I'm not sure. Perhaps it implies that in most wars 
there are many civilian casualties as a "logical consequence" and this 
upcoming war will probably be one of them. What if, for example, this 
war would make Iraq to kill its own citizens. Then Iraq would be the one 
to blame, not the US. But does it matter? Citizens are killed anyhow. 
But if the war had not been started in the first place, then Iraq would 
not kill its own citizens. Interpretation, interpretation...

> Saddam is the murderous villian, and that is
> irrefutable.  If he would comply honestly with the UN
> sanctions that he agreed to, he would not bring this
> on his people.

Oh please... As if the US are so much obeying to UN and other 
international approved rules and stuff.

And might you not be offending Saddam's family and close friends when 
you say that he is a murderous villian?

Look on it from other point of views as well! Once, more: intepretation 
for heaven's sake. And once more: don't force your interpretation to others.


Certum est quia impossible est.

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