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February 2, 2002

Apology (2/2/2002)
Due to some technical problems at the hosting ISP, this site was unavailable intermittently on January 30 and 31. It was an addressing problem which has now (hopefully) been fixed. In one of those wonders of the Internet, for a short time people trying to look at anything in the ratbags.com domain were treated to ultrasound pictures of someone's baby! The usual claims about the site being closed down were made, but, as you can see, such claims were premature.


Lawyers ahoy, again. Oh, my ... (2/2/2002)
A law-talking guy
Almost immediately after George Harrison died last November, a sleazy promoter of a fraudulent cancer "cure" started exploiting George's death. I commented at the time about how these vermin who prey on the desperate keep surprising me by the depths to which they will go to peddle their snake oil. The "curer" was not pleased with what I wrote and had this to say:

Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 17:27:55 EST
Subject: Geo. Harrison
To: rsoles@ratbags.com

In California, death records are public, Paul Kangas, private investigator. Do you know how to spell liable? You will be hearing from my lawyers.

I certainly know how to spell "liable", and I would spell it correctly if that were the word I was trying to use. Death records may very well be public in California, but only a liar would claim that a death certificate that gave the cause of death as "metastatic non-small lung cancer" could be called an autopsy report that showed someone "died of radiation poisoning, not the cancer". See my original comments here.


Harassment Hoopla! (2/2/2002)
It was a quiet week, considering that it started with a full moon. Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group continued on his merry way pretending to be my daughter and, of course, had something to say when this site had some technical problems (what he said was that the hosting ISP had been shut down by someone - reality is demonstrated by the visibility of the page you are looking at). Someone with a familiar style subscribed me to a couple of MSN communities and posted messages pretending to be me, but no real damage was done. Apart from that, the big news of the week was that the Gutless Anonymous Liar has challenged me to meet it.

No truth! No courage! No value!The Gutless Anonymous Liar sent me this message:

Date: 30 Jan 2002 00:55:25 -0000
To: rsoles@ratbags.com
From: dev-null@no-id.com
Subject: let's meet!

hey motherfucker!

post on your site a date and time where we can't meet!

we know you're not a coward, so you will post and you will be there, Right?

6pm, Roseville Services Club, Wednesday 6 February, 2002. Oh, sorry, GAL wanted a place where we can't meet. Then again, it won't be there (but I will) so I guess it is a place where we can't meet.

February 9, 2002
In Memoriam (9/2/2002)
The 2002 Winter Olympics Games start today, but one person who won't be there to defend her gold medal from Nagano is Sandra Schmirler, captain of the winning curling team in 1998. It is almost two years to the day since Ms Schmirler held a press conference to announce that she had given up conventional medical treatment for her cancer and was pursuing an alternative cure which, she hoped, would allow her to become involved again with the sport she loved. Three weeks later she died, leaving behind a husband, two small children, and a legion of sports fans who mourned the loss of a hero. It is cases like this which make me so irresolutely opposed to the charlatans who offer false hope to desperate people by pretending to have a cure for cancer based not on science but on voodoo and greed.

Strange email of the week (9/2/2002)
SCUM ManifestoIn 1999 I gave a Highly Commended Award to a site about a book called written by a lunatic and wannabe murderer named Valerie Solanas. ("SCUM" stands for "Society for Cutting Up Men".) I was rather surprised to receive the following email:

Subject: Tate Modern special invite
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 22:03:01 -0000

--- HARAM Launch @ Tate Modern ---HARAM Launch Tate Modern

We take much pleasure and pain in inviting you to the world-wide launch of H.A.R.A.M., the Arabic translation of the SCUM manifesto by Valerie Solanis; at the TATE MODERN's new Andy Warhol exhibition. Many suprises to be announced on the night! Info: deadpoets_uk@yahoo.com

come to the Private View on Wednesday 6th Feb, 18:00
and the Public Opening all day Thursday 7th Feb 2002

FREE ENTRY with print out of this invite!

Much as I would have loved to spend an evening sipping champagne with the glitterati at the Tate, there just wasn't enough time to get from Sydney to London. Maybe next time they will send the invitations out more than one day in advance.


Speaking of mad people and email ... (9/2/2002)
Someone Herc at workcalling himself "Herc" has apparently adopted me as some sort of project and has been sending me incoherent emails and addressing me in Usenet newsgroups that I never look at. The really unfortunate thing is that Herc seems to be suffering from some form of severe mental disorder which makes it morally impossible to respond without appearing to be spiteful. While it is easily possible to laugh at fools like the Gutless Anonymous Liar (because it is just stupid), ridiculing Herc would be like laughing at someone in a wheelchair. I rarely killfile anyone but I won't be looking at anything more from Herc. Here are the first few lines of the latest message to give you a feel for the problem:

From: "Herc"
Subject: i'm posting this in the immortal group $$$$$$
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 18:49:11 +1000

primary directive : sux sh*t
directive2 : fan
ternary directive : health
primary directive of the LORD deathday9793
man : [()]
woman : ()
michelle :(())
lord : {((((((((((((((((())))))))))))))))}
mutation : {{(([8&((3(()]
atleast gentle skizzophrenics have a role model now

remember when we went to the rifle range?
that scope nearly took out my eye!

<snip much more of the same>


Getting rich quickly (9/2/2002)
I was interviewed during the week by someone producing a radio documentary about "get rich quick" schemes. As part of my preparation I saved some spam emails offering me great wealth. So far this month (it's only the 9th) I have received 64 messages! Initial examination suggests that these things fall broadly into three categories - offers to be an insider for stock listings, chain letters/MLM, and variations of the infamous Nigerian Letter. I will collect everything that comes in during the month and publish the collection and an analysis to go with the existing spam collections for multi-level marketing and penis enlargement.


A phalanx of lawyers (9/2/2002)
It's time again for an update of the promised, threatened and supposedly ongoing legal action being taken against web sites in the RatbagsDotCom Empire.


So, where was it?
No truth! No courage! No value!The Gutless Anonymous Liar was supposed to meet me at the Roseville Services Club at 6pm on February 6. To nobody's surprise, it didn't turn up, even after sending me an email that said:

i really hope you're up to it....'cause it's payback time!

it's kinda of interesting that you're such a brave man when hiding behind your keyboard.....we'll see how fucking brave you are!


The GALless club entrance at 6:00pm

The GALless reception area at 6:01pm

The ticket I got when I signed in.
February 16, 2002

Half-hearted, half-witted harassment (16/2/2002)
Things have been pretty quiet on the harassment front recently, with the only serious activity being a couple of pathetic tribute sites from Mr William P O'Neill. A new candidate has appeared calling itself "Dr Robert Underhill". It appeared ex nihilo in an MSN community and, in a familiar writing style, said of me:

Mr. Bowditch's opinions and his means of expression are nothing less than an expression of ignorance from a bigot. Further, his delivery reads and sounds more like the ravings of a lunatic. However, we can learn from Mr. Bowditch. His stupidity and buffoonery remind us to persevere. His lies and dececeptions remind us of truth.

"Dr Underhill" has now made the following demand:

Mr. Bowditch: Be assured that in the event my name appears on your website, I will sue your demented ass.

This threat has caused the name
Dr Robert Underhill
to appear here in large letters. The donkey is a bit confused about why
Dr Robert Underhill
should want to sue him, but he is waiting by the stall door even as we speak in anticipation of the receipt of legal papers, which he will pass on to his solicitor, Mr Goat, for eating.
A picture of William, my foolish but not quite demented donkey

But somebody likes me ... (16/2/2002)
This site was mentioned in the September 2001 edition of the magazine Medical Tribune. With a complete lack of modesty I will say that you can go here to read about it.


The reaction (16/2/2002)
When I published the "In Memoriam" message above on February 9, 2002, I expected a backlash from the supporters of "alternative medicine" as they defended the indefensible. Here are three examples:

From a chiropractor:

What a sad day it is when an anti-alt-health whacko (Bowditch) would use the magnificent event that is the Olympics - as a plug for his rabid campaign.

And for those readers who aren't as ethically crippled as is Mr. Bowditch, I'd like to ask a question: Why do you feel that this person gave up on the traditional medical therapy? Is it remotely possible that she did this because it wasn't working?

Bowditch's last comment struck me as being particularly......"interesting". He presumes that the anti-health people are motivated by greed.

Do we then infer that the allopaths and Big Pharma are motivated by altruism? Give me a break.


From someone who believes that "Organized medicine is evil":

That is always your point. To bash alt. medicine when you have NO idea what caused her death. Yet in the case of Ben Kolb, we know exactly what killed him,,,,,,,,,,,,and we know conv. medicine is STILL using this *procedure*, we also know all the LIES you told in discussing the issue. Have you put up your Ben Kolb page yet?

[Ben Kolb has nothing to do with this, but he gets mentioned a lot to divert conversations. My comments about Ben can be found here.]


And, best of all, Mr William P O'Neill of the Canadian Cancer Research Group pretended to be Ms Schmirler's husband:

Mr. Bowditch:

I will ask you once and only once: remove the materials on your web site concerning my deceased wife.

Shannon England


Too bad about my trip to the Tate (16/2/2002)
Last week I mentioned that I had been invited to a party at the Tate gallery to launch the Arabic version of written by fruitcake and wannabe murderer Valerie Solanas. I have since received a report of the function, and perhaps I should have made the effort to get there. The email, which you could politely describe as "incoherent", was too long for the front page but you can read it here.

February 23, 2002

Creationists recant? (23/2/2002)
What's going on over at Answers in Genesis? They have issued a list of things that creationists should not say any more in support of their religion-pretending-to-be-science. The problem is that the list seems to include all the things they have been telling us for years were proof of their view of history. I'm confused.


The power of coincidence (23/2/2002)
I had never seen that picture above of a donkey until a week ago when I scanned it off a card my daughter had and loaded it up to this site. Three nights later I attended a business dinner, and when I went back to my seat to collect my coat at the end of the night a copy of the picture was lying on the table near where I had been sitting. I asked about it and found that one of the people who had been seated at the same table as me was the photographer who had taken the picture. It is coincidences like this that convince people that they have psychic powers, like the times that someone rings up just when you are talking about them. The mundane truth is that you only remember the hits and not the misses. The people who ring you up are often people who know you and are just the sort of people you talk about, and a lot of the mystery goes away when you know that both my employer and the public relations company that the photographer works for are members of the business promotion organisation that hosted the dinner. Still, if it happens again I might have to ask James Randi for a million dollars.


Speaking of coincidences ... (23/2/2002)
I am one of the handful of people who have not yet seen The Lord of the Rings and it is a long time since I read any Tolkein so I didn't make the connection, but someone has reminded me that "Underhill" was the name that Frodo Baggins used when he travelled to Rivendell. Maybe this is not a coincidence and I am being stalked by a Hobbit! That requires more exclamation marks!!!



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