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The 1999 Awards were so successful that some people even tried to get on the list this year by harassing me or lying about me on newsgroups or mailing lists. These people didn't understand the rules of the contest, and the first rule is that I make the rules. The second rule is that lobbying won't get you a prize. Nobody offered money, so I haven't made up a rule about that yet.
First Place - The Anus Maximus Award
The top award this year goes to the acolytes of Dr Stanislaw Burzynski who have created an advertising site at www.cancerbusters.com using a five-year-old boy named Thomas Navarro. Thomas is dying of cancer and this site exploits that tragedy to try and get the law changed so that quacks can have the untrammelled right to deceive desperate, sick people by promising them magic cures for cancer, AIDS and other diseases for which no cure is yet available. While this site is specifically a Burzynski promotion, his competitors support the site and mention it because if the campaign is successful it will dramatically increase the size of the market for quackery and therefore their opportunities to make money.
(Another Burzynski advertising site, www.ouralexander.org, came a close second for this award but missed out because it had no outright request to send money.)
Quote of the Year
The quote of the year came from someone on an anti-vaccination mailing list. The article referred to was about how a child had died of whooping cough. To sane people this would be a tragedy, but dead children are "invaluable" in the propaganda war waged by the liars who oppose vaccination. You can see the quote in context here.
Wow, thanks so much for posting this! It's an invaluable article for our anti-vaccinations cause
It doesn't seem to matter how many times the stories of co-existing dinosaur and human tracks are exposed as the lies they are, the nonsense still sticks around. I say "lies" because the people running this site cannot be unaware that when they say "Dinosaur & Human Footprints Together" they are not telling the truth. They claim to be Christians and even name their web site after the Bible, but either they haven't read the Bible or they missed the parts where God told them not to tell lies.
Following on from last year's winner, the execrable NAMBLA, here is the BoyLove Forum. It really strains the concept of freedom of speech to allow vermin like this to have a public voice. Unfortunately one of the prices of freedom is that rights extend to people whose views are absolutely worthless or, as in this case, worth less than nothing. Luckily, sensible legislatures around the world make a distinction between words and actions and throw people who do what is suggested here into prison where, with any luck, the perverts get just what we all want them to get. One of life's great pleasures is imagining a rock spider's first day in the exercise yard.
It is hard to imagine more stupid advice that telling people to stop eating food. It is equally hard to imagine how anyone could think that they could give this advice and get paid to give it. Not only that, but they then expect people to believe that they live without food themselves. The owner of Jasmuheen's Cosmic Internet Academy proved on Australian television during 2000 that she could not go even five days without food, but that has not stopped her touring around the world lying to people and stealing their money. I don't suppose any of the money will go to Verity Lynn or Lani Morris, but, being dead, they probably don't need it as much as Ellen Greve does.
One idea that won't seem to go away is that there are powerful forces combining to preserve their profits and make us all pay more for things. As the most expensive machine most of us will ever own is a car, it is no surprise that magic methods of making cars cheaper to run and more powerful have been turning up ever since Gottlieb Daimler fitted the first engine to a cart. Here is the Gasatomic fuel saving device which is guaranteed to reduce fuel consumption and make our cars less polluting. NASA probably use it on the space shuttle to reduce the fuel load. I have one question, though. If these things are so good, why are they not banned in Formula One racing and, as they are not banned, why don't the F1 teams use them. Ferrari must be stupid and have more money than sense.
If you wanted to find the antithesis of The Millenium Project, it would probably be Nexus Magazine. Not only is this rag full of advertisements for quack medical devices but the editorial pages only contain facts when a production or editing mistake occurs. Some of the stuff published there is relatively harmless, like the articles about UFOs and world conspiracies, but Nexus is one of the major outlets for the insanity of the anti-vaccination liars, electronic-healing-device purveyors, faith healers and any other sort of nonsense you can think of (and some you can't). I cannot imagine anything that would not get printed in Nexus (except for articles containing some truth). This award is to encourage them to improve the standard of the web site and bring it up to the level of the printed version. It will never be as useful as the paper copy, however, as it is impossible to punch a hole in the corner of a web page and hang it on a nail in the privy. (Note: The editor of Nexus Magazine told me that I am bad mannered and a fascist. This did not influence my choice for this award as my opinion of Nexus had been formed long before Mr Roads had ever heard of me.)
I have decided to give a general Encouragement Award to all those fools who keep emailing me with offers of fabulous wealth through pyramid schemes. I know they are called "network marketing" or "multi-level marketing" or some such euphemism to get around the law, but calling a duck "a dog" doesn't make it bark. Many of these people have web sites (some of which are listed here), and some even have pyramids of web sites. The reason they need encouragement is that if everything works out as it should and they sign up five people in the first month and each of them repeats the performance, and then the next level does it and so on (at least two Amway salesmen have told me that five per month easy to achieve), then they will be looking for only 244 million people to join their downline next December. Easy, isn't it?
Another Encouragement Award goes to one of last year's Highly Commended sites, the Army of God. Last year they were telling us how to murder doctors and do other Christian things to stop abortion. Their site disappeared for a while and has now returned as a very pale shadow of its former self, with just some pictures of aborted foetuses with cute names. So, come on, soldiers. Get into line, suck in those guts, and charge that hill. Tell us again how killing people is right because killing is wrong. Tell us again how Exodus 20:13 applies to them but not to you.
I don't think Sabine Baring-Gould and Arthur Sullivan were thinking of this army when they wrote Onward Christian Soldiers.