Monday, July 25, 2011

Sources: Google+ bans then reinstates Mayor Claar

Sources with relatives with connections to village hall confirm that Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar was banned from Google+ for 35 minutes.

All agree that they heard Claar yelling while in his office. One source goes a bit further.

“Roger came out of his office, and said, ‘Quick, how do I ban Google in Bolingbrook?’ I told him it was impossible. He replied, ‘Nothing is impossible if you have enough lawyers.’ Then he went back to his office.”

The source added that forty minutes later, Claar stepped out of his office, and said that everything was fine, and that Google could ‘remain on my Internet.’”

Google+ is Google’s entry into Social Networking. Supporters say that it is easier to use than Facebook and has better privacy controls. Critics say it has flaws, and disagree with its ban on anonymous users.

The sources say Claar was given an invitation to the Google+ beta test, and at first, seemed happy with the service.

According to a friend of Joan, who asked that we didn’t use her last name, Claar said, “You mean I can follow Bonnie’s comments about me, without being her ‘friend?’ I like it!”

Steve, a source close to Claar, said that a few days ago, Claar tried to show him Google+. To Claar’s horror, all of his Google accounts were suspended.

“At first he thought he was hacked, but then he got an e-mail explaining his ban from Google.” Said Steve. “I should know to bring earplugs whenever I meet Roger.”

While most people would have complained on the Internet about being banned, Claar, according to Steve, called Google. After several minutes of dropping the name of every elected Republican in Illinois, and mentioning how it would be too bad if he couldn’t approve Google’s request to build an office in Bolingbrook, Claar was finally connected to a Google+ team member.

The team member explained that Google thought Claar was a fictional character, and banned his account.

“We already banned Darth Vader.” Said the team member.

“The last time I checked, I was real!” Yelled Claar. “If you don’t explain yourself, you’ll be in real trouble. I still have influence in this state!”

The team member explained that Google became suspicious because Bolingbrook is spelled slightly different than “Bolingbroke.” Henry Bolingbroke is a fictional character in Shakespeare’s plays. After Googling his name, they found The Babbler’s articles describing Claar’s encounters with aliens. Google then decided Claar was a fictional character, and in violation of Google’s policies.

Claar, according to Steve, exploded in anger.

“Just because The Babbler writes fictional (expletive deleted) about me doesn’t mean I’m (expletive deleted) fictional! I’m flesh and blood and I have something to say about my village!”

Claar then accused Google of hypocrisy.

“Why is it OK for anonymous people to use Blogger to trash my name, yet you’d ban me because of the mere possibility I might not be real.”

Claar then threatened to use his campaign fund, “to publicize my plight! Because I am Bolingbrook and you can’t ban Bolingbrook.”

When team member argued that he could, in theory, ban Bolingbrook, Claar snapped, “Don’t even try it!”

After the conversation, Claar’s account was reactivated, and given a new “super private” setting. Claar is free to look at other Google+ accounts but only Google and his personal friends can see his account.

“Now Bonnie and her people can’t spy on me!” Claar allegedly said.

When asked to comment Claar laughed, and said, “No more social networks for me. I can’t keep up with all the Farmville requests Facebook sends me.”

Also in The Babbler:


Psychic unleashes bad vibes on TAM 9 attendees
Skeptics from around the world gathering in Chicago
Bolingbrook prepares for global economic meltdown
God to Smite Bolingbrook on 7/30/11

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Web Exclusive: Canadians defy Tim Farley's Internet ban


 Note: This article was originally in our TAM 9 Special Edition of The Babbler.  It has been posted online due to popular demand.

Three Canadians started a podcast in defiance of Tim Farley’s edict against new skeptical podcasts, blogs or web sites.

Sources close to the situation say Farley, webmaster of whatstheharm.net, blogger at Skeptical Software Tools (skeptools.wordpress.com) and a contributor to the Skepticality podcast, is very upset about the situation.

“He said that was going to give them a piece of their mind at TAM 9.” Said one source. “I hope the organizers warned hotel security. It could get ugly.”

Another source provided a transcript of an e-mail exchange between Farley and one of the rouge podcasters.

Podcaster: We just started a new podcast, Inside Belief at http://insidebelief.libsyn.com/. We hope you like it as much as we had fun making it. Maybe you’ll be kind enough to post the link to it, eh? 
Farley: How dare you defy me! Are you trying to undermine my control of all things skeptical on the Internet. Don’t you know that too many skeptical sites will destroy skepticism? Pull it down before it’s too late! 
Podcaster: Eh? What do you mean? We’re pretty unique. We interview believers of the paranormal, let them present their side, then talk about why they believe. There is room for that on the Internet, don’t you think? Eh? 
Farley: I have judged you to be not specific enough! Point of Inquiry also interviews believers sometimes. I see that your podcast is still up. Why are you defying me? Do you hate America? Bring it on! 
Podcaster: You know that Canada is a part of America too, eh? Even if it weren’t, that doesn’t give you the right to control the Internet, does it? Eh? People should have a choice of what podcasts they want to listen to. Just like Harper is going to give us a choice of insurance companies instead of single payer. You wouldn’t like it if someone told you to stop posting on the Internet, would you? Eh? 
Farley: What’s the harm in giving people a choice of skeptical podcasts? They might choose not to listen to Skeptcality! They might listen to a bad podcast. There are too many podcasts right now. You’re making it worse. Want to take me on? Fine! But think of the harm you’ll be doing to Derek. He’s so weak that he can’t even say, “Science.” You’re evil. Shut down your podcast now! 
Podcaster: Eh? Are you going to TAM? Maybe we can get share a Labatt Blue at the Del Mar and talk, eh? We’re both skeptical Americans, right? Eh? Let’s work together and not turn this into a war. Eh!”
A spokesperson for Farley denied that he was trying to shutdown skeptical Internet outlets.

“Tim was just trying to get attention. Kind of like when Phil Plait said, ‘Don’t be a dick.’ Tim just wants skeptics to know that there’s more to do on the Internet than bloging or podcasting.”

Farley then got on the phone, and said, “What’s the harm in The Bolingbrook Babbler? People might believe I’m really trying to take over the Internet! That’s why I’m working on a special app that will defeat your web site!”

A woman from the Edmonton Skeptics denied there was a conflict with Farley, and quested the authenticity of the e-mail transcript.

“Canadians do not say. ‘eh’ all the time! Just like you don’t always chant, ‘USA’ every time you get together. Do you? Eh--Achoo! Thought you caught me didn’t you!”

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Babbler escapes The Amazing Meeting 9

Editor's note: This year, our team of reporters bravely escaped The Amazing Meeting without being detected. Here are our reports from TAM 9, an international gathering of skeptics trying to cover up the truth about the supernatural.

JREF president: Stopping The Babbler is our top priority!

Sources say James Randi Educational Foundation president DJ Grothe told 1600 skeptics that stopping The Babbler is the JREF's top priority.

"We cannot afford mission drift." Said Grothe, according to the sources. "I want to focus on how the drug war doesn't work. I'd love to say how abstinence only eduction doesn't work. But we have to bring down the peddlers of Woo first, starting with The Bolingbrook Babbler!"

After the other panelists explained that expanding the issues the JREF covers could bring in new members, Grothe replied why The Babbler should be a top priority.

"They are spreading woo in the heartland of America. If we don't stop them there, the peddlers of woo will control the middle of the country, and the West coast! If, however, we control the midwest. Then ratings for all the ghost hunter shows will plummet. Hollywood will have to turn to us for programing ideas. Then we'll win."

Some in the audience of skeptics, were skeptical.

"We can only debunk Bigfoot so many times." Said one blogger who asked not to be identified. "I want the JREF to debunk the Democrats and Republicans and support the Libertarian party! That would be awesome and make us look cool!"

Monday, July 11, 2011

Letters to the Editor: 7/11/11

Reader’s Editor, Doug Fields here. It’s quiet here in the office as most staff is off to infiltrate The Amazing Meeting 9. So it means that I’m minding the office, and it’s your turn to fill the our weekly blog post with your letters.

Let me say that I most disappointed in our readers this week. Most of them wanted to talk about elevator guy. Why Bolingbrook’s residents want to talk about a socially awkward atheist in Dublin, Ireland is beyond me. Maybe this is PZ Myers’s idea of a joke?

We did get a couple letters of interest regarding elevators though.

To the Editor: 
Did you know that women are more likely to be hit on by a skeptic in a pub than they are to be hit upon by a skeptic in an elevator? It’s true. Yet followers of Rebecca Watson are frightening women from taking elevators. If they had their way, it will soon be illegal to make buildings that are over three stories tall.
The elevator industry employes over 20,000 people, who contribute to our economy. Many of these elevators have video cameras, adding an extra degree of safety to an already safe form of transportation. Plus elevators reduce the amount of stress women put on their legs, adding years of mobility to their lives.
Do you want to go back to the days of dark, dangerous stairwells? Rebecca may want to, but we don’t. 
Tell your Congressperson that you oppose any effort to ban elevators. Elevators don’t creep out women. Creepy men do! 
Don X. Paulson
Spokesperson for the National Elevator Association
Chicago, IL

Then we got this letter:

To the Editor: 
It’s only a matter of time before Mayor Roger Claar gets a space elevator built in Bolingbrook. After what happened to Rebecca Watson, will the village do anything to protect women who are stuck with a creepy guy 12 miles above the Earth? 
I recently filed a FOIA request to find out, and so far the village hasn’t replied. What is Roger hiding? Does he not care about the safety of women trapped in space elevators? 
I hope Bonnie and her friends at the Watch Dogs of Bolingbrook will look into this as well. I think this is just as important as how Valley View treats its students! 
I want Bolingbrook to be a leader in space elevator safety before something terrible happens! 
Paula D. Fredrick
Bolingbrook, IL

Finally, we got this letter:

To the Editor: 
Enough of the $5 Dollar Challenge! The SGU doesn’t want to hear about it. My life was so much better before I saw your video. Leave Steve alone! Skeptics are awesome! Why do you doubt them? I hope you die while taking a homeopathic high blood pressure sugar pill! 
Name Withheld
The Internet

If you life depends on five East Coast skeptics telling you what to think, then don’t let us stop you.

As for the rest of Bolingbrook, we stand by our stories, and the fact that The Skeptics Guide to the Universe won’t challenge us is proof that we can’t be debunked.

On that note, don’t forget to check out our web page this week for updates from TAM 9. You can also get Anti-psychic Kitty’s running commentary on Twitter @bolingbrookbabb. It will be the only place on the Internet where you can get the unbelievable truth about this event!

Also in The Babbler:


Illinois rejects per minute tax on Internet usage
Chicago ghost union votes to accept city contract
Claar orders crackdown on time travelers
God to smite Bolingbrook on 7/15/11

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Web Exclusive: Richard Dawkins to unveil new book at TAM 9

Sources with friends of relatives close to The JREF say that Richard Dawkins will officially unveil the title of his next book at The Amazing Meeting 9 next week.

The sources say that the new book will be called, “The Lucifer Lunacy” and will argue against the existence of the devil.

“It is true that more people have been killed in the name of God, than in the name of Satan.” Reads an alleged excerpt of Dawkins’s keynote speech. “However given the number of so-called atheists who call themselves Satanists, I have to take time away from warning the world about Islam to address this nonsense. Some of these so-called atheists even practice so called left-hand path magic. Well we all know what the left hand is good for, and there’s no time for that while Islam is still a viable religion. Satanism is a lunacy and we must purge it from our ranks!”

Paul X. Crowen of the Temple of Set denounced Dawkins’s upcoming book.

“Isn’t the Kennedy Expressway proof enough of his infernal design?” Ask Crowen. Crowen then threatened to use magic on Dawkins.

“If anything bad happens to Richard, he will know that it was by my will that it happened!”

When asked to comment, Dawkin’s replied, “I will use this time to make a point. You are the most annoying reporter I have ever met. It is people like you that give the media a bad name. Yet even I do not wish to see you burn forever in hell. Remember that the next time someone says atheists are intolerant. Now if you will excuse me, I have to convince the world that Islam is one of the greatest evils! I have no time for you or for two whining white female bloggers!”

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

Web Exclusive: $5 Dollar Challenge goes to TAM 9

Representatives from The Babbler will go to The Amazing Meeting to challenge the James Randi Educational Foundation and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe to debunk any Babbler article. If they succeed, they will get $5.

“Last year, the SGU pretended not to know about us.” Said Babbler publisher Chris Olson. “This year they don’t have an excuse. The JREF has publicly acknowledged our challenge but refused to submit an application. Now both groups know about the challenge, and will have to give us an answer at TAM!”

Initial interviews by this reporter suggest that they will not accept the challenge.

“We have more pressing concerns right now.” Said JREF spokesperson Sadie Crabtree. “Like trying to make sure there isn’t a riot between Rebecca Watson supporters and Stef McGraw supporters. Maybe after someone passes the $1 Million challenge we’ll look at your challenge.”

Watson explained her reasons for opposing the challenge.

“Guys.” Said Watson. “You should know that your stories are so illogical that they're almost impossible to disprove. The burden of proof is on The Babbler to prove its crazy stories.”

When this reporter called the Novella home, a man replied, “Dude, I’ll give you $10 if you’ll tell which Novella brother I am.”

Before this reporter could guess, a man in the background said, “Jay, what are you doing?”

“God damn it Steve, you (expletive deleted).” Said Jay. “I was about to win $10 from The Babbler.”

“What the (expletive deleted) are you doing Jay? You know we’re supposed to ignore The Babbler.”

“That doesn’t make any (expletive deleted) sense, you (expletive deleted)! You get to go on Dr. Oz’s show, but I can’t talk to the Bolingbrook (expletive deleted) Babbler?”

“Are they on the phone now?”

“Yeah. I was about to get $10 dollars from them.”

“(Expletive deleted)! They’re going to post this entire conversation, and I can’t edit out my obscenities like I do on the podcast.”

As the two Novella brothers argued, Bob Novella took the phone and said, “Why don’t you guys ever bother Evan Bernstein?” He then hung up.

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.

The Babbler returns to The Amazing Meeting

By Chris Olson, Publisher of The Babbler

This year, the James Randi Educational Foundation is holding their Amazing Meeting meeting in Las Vegas. Rumor has it that they were so afraid of our reporters showing up that they closed registration. True or not, our reporters will be at TAM exposing their coverup of the supernatural.

Why should Bolingbrook care? Because the JREF wants to cover up the truth! They want you to think that Bolingbrook is an insignificant Southwest Suburb of Chicago run by an unchecked mayor. They want you to believe that there is nothing more to Bolingbrook than you read in the Bugle, The Bolingbrook Report, and The Number Crunchers.

We’re not going to let the JREF get away with it! Our readers know that Bolingbrook is the home of the world’s largest urban UFO base! Weredeer live among us! Swamp monsters occasionally make there way up here, and Lake Michigan is home to a “lame lake monster.”

The JREF trying to debunk us and they are failing. Now we’re taking the fight to them! Not only will our reporters be there, but we’re going to distribute a limited print TAM only edition of The Babbler. They say they’re open minded. Now we’re going to find out just how open minded they really are. Will they read our publication and think about what we write? Will they try to purge our reporters? We’ll find out next week!

Even if they kick out our reporters, that won’t stop our twitter feed. Anti-psychic Kitty has agreed to live tweet the event for us! APK is the most skeptical creature on Earth! With his over 10,000 points of anti-psychic energy, any psychic who tried to use their powers around him will die! Will TAM stand up to his scrutiny? Find out by following @bolingbrookbabb.

To all of our so-called skeptical readers out there, we have this message. Before you doubt any of our stories, remember that to date, the JREF and the Skeptics Guide to the Universe haven’t accepted our $5 challenge. If they can’t debunk us, why do you think you can?

While you’re pondering this question, our reporters are already making their way to Las Vegas. If they survive, or escape arrest, or aren’t brainwashed, they will post amazing stories from this amazing meeting of skeptics and their extraterrestrial allies. I can’t wait and neither should you, residents of the Brook. Because the truth is unbelievable, and you’ll only read it in The Babbler!

Also in The Babbler:


UFO lands safely following fireworks accident
Indiana: We sell Illinois fireworks because we hate them!
Elevator dude: I proudly ruined skepticism
God to smite Bolingbrook on 7/6/11

Please note: All articles on this site are works of fiction.