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Ancient, unusual & insanely gorgeous – Proteaceae

A variety of Protea blooms Protea – Symbolizes diversity & courage. Signifies daring and resourcefulness and can stand for change and transformation. The amazing variety in the size and habit of the plants, and in the size, colour and shape of the flowers of the genus Protea was the reason it was named after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his shape at will. The Proteaceae are an ancient family, probably one of the oldest groups of flowering plants. Scientific probes into ...

Inspiration: It Only Takes One Smile…

Our Knowledge is the amassed thought and experience of innumerable minds.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Inspiration: It Only Takes One Smile...... Happy Father's Day! Be Happy... There are 43 muscles in the face and the jury is still out on how many muscles it takes to smile or frown… However, what we do know is that smiling lightens up the face while frowning does the opposite. It only takes one smile to shift the energy in a room… So, go ahead, SMILE!  On ...

Musings: Memories Of May…

“Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives.” William Shakespeare Musings: Memories Of May… The Iris is May’s flower Musings: Memories Of May…  The Iris is May’s flower.  White Japanese Iris 1 May Day 5 Cinco de Mayo 8 Iris Day 9 Lost Sock Memorial Day May swept in on a cloudy Tuesday announcing its arrival on the eponymous May Day, during a New York Severe Weather Awareness Week. For the next 30 days, it offered plenty to do and celebrate during what ...

Building Community: Superbowl Style…

“The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.” William James Building Community: Superbowl Style... Football is a favorite American past-time and a rallying cry for fans and observers to gather and celebrate the best teams in football sports as they battle each other for a championship ring. Tomorrow, February 6, 2011, will mark the 45th National Football League’s (NFL) championship game aka  Superbowl XLV; pitting AFC champions, the Pittsburgh Steelers, against ...

Reflections: Conversations With Strangers…

“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.” Fydor Dostoevsky Reflections: Conversations With Strangers... On a Supermarket checkout line Me: You’ve got quite the selection of cat food there. She: Yeah… they’re on sale (laughs) Me: My cat loves Fancy Feast. Does yours have a preference? She: That’s good; I like to buy a few cans of the different brands… Me: I see that. What type of cat do ...

New Controversy Coming Out of Washington DC

Holy Moly...we have another HUGE controversy taking over Washington!!!! You know, I typically try to avoid jumping into any topic relating to politics.  I have found there are a  few subjects just too volatile for my blog.  But for the purposes of today's post, I am jumping into the fray of a political firestorm. Which storm, you ask?  There are several to pick from. NO, not the Fiscal Cliff fiasco.  There were a some concessions reducing it's elevation a bit. Now it appears ...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Through…

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” Maya Angelou Weekly Photo Challenge: Through... a Church passageway in France Weekly Photo Challenge: Through... A gateway in Cambridge Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the ...

Women Speak More Goodly Than Guys

The headline of this blog post shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone, in fact the best communicators I’ve known in my professional and personal live have all been the fairer sex – just ask my wife. In fact, the past 14 or so years that I’ve been in corporate communications all of my bosses have been women – and they’ve typically been some of  the best communicators within the various organizations. That fact comes to bear in two studies ...

Fabulous Finds: Stocking Stuffers

Santa Claus is coming to town! Are you ready? Even if all the presents are wrapped and under the tree, chances are you’re still missing a few stocking stuffers. But there’s no reason to pout or cry, because we’ve got you covered! Here are some fabulous finds to help with your holiday shopping and put the “merry” into Christmas. What can we say? We’re on the nice list! Glass Horn Magnifying Glass. Priced at $14.99; www.worldmarket.com.  Midas Coaster, set of 4. Priced from $19.80; www.zgallerie.com. En ...

Fighting the Good Fight – Against Myself

Boxing Glove Cake – Not the “Fight” I Need to Make I recently shared about a sobering emergency room visit involving a cardiac issue I had. As a result of that visit, I’ve made some lifestyle changes  regarding how I eat and how I exercise to ensure healthier outcomes going forward. I’ve been on WeightWatchers for three weeks now and went to weigh-in this morning. As of today I’ve lost another -2.6 lbs for a total loss of -9.2 lbs. So far so good. Additionally, ...

BGI Selected an HGTV Pro Network Designer

We are excited and honored to announce Barbara Gilbert Interiors has been selected as an HGTV Pro Network Designer! As an HGTV-featured designer, our work will be highlighted in the new Designers Showcase section on HGTV and through Pro Galleries on HGTVRemodels. Here’s just a glimpse at some of our designs shown to date! Cozy Classic Kitchen boasts a show-stopping island, timeless cabinetry, deep granite countertops and a butler’s pantry equipped with a coffee station. Glamorous Transitional Bathroom features slate tile with ...

Stupid Men Of The Sea

Time was running out and I realized I was going to die, just another amateur fishermen lost at sea. I blamed myself; I was too stupid to live. It was the late 70s and I was employed by Mervyn’s in Oxnard, forty miles north of Los Angeles. I designed windows and dressed mannequins, often chatting with friendly Frank Diaz, the company’s youngest store manager. Frank was only a few years older than me and his passion was fishing. He’d recently purchased ...

If You’ve Ever Been Afraid to Try…

Last evening I was trolling around the web when I came across this incredible compilation video that I’ve embedded below. It is an amalgamation of snippets of people doing some incredible tricks, stunts and skills. As goofy as it sounds, this montage inspired me to take action on a couple of projects that I had been avoiding – because of fear. I hope you find this “fearless” collection of clips as inspiring and entertaining as I did. The little girl slide-parking her bike with ...

Peculiar Picture #11

As many of you know, I’m a retired illustrator. I have a Peculiar Picture Portfolio of images that, for one reason or another, have never seen the light of day. This illustration sprang forth from a doodle I was toying with a few years back. Unlike most of my work, this picture never found a home in a book or magazine. I think it says something about relationships, but I’m not certain what. These two people appear to have quite different agendas. What ...

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John Liming - The Liming Liberal Democrat

The Curiously Amazing Habits Of The Internet Troll!

Who remembers the story from childhood of “Billy Goat’s Gruff” where there is a nasty-tempered troll living underneath a bridge waiting for some unfortunate little goat to happen by so the Troll can entice it and finally eat it?

That was an interesting story and I am pleased that it was childhood fiction because for a long time after reading it, I always wondered if it was safe to cross bridges on foot—especially alone—especially after dark—you know how it is with a kid if you’ve ever been one.

But there are real Troll-Types and they are not fictional and they are alive today and they may be waiting for you on, of all places, the Internet—especially if you are an online writer, journalist or blogger.

The Trolls I am speaking of here are probably not those green, hair-covered mythical creatures—the stuff that Fairy Tales are made of—(Even though some of them might look like that…who knows?)—but today’s “Trolls” seem to share certain basic personality traits with those beings…at least in my personal opinion which is just that and nothing more…an opinion!

Other places Trolls love to lurk are on those popular “Forum” sites where people go to express their opinions about various subjects. If you have ever visited a public “Forum” Internet Site, chances are you have encountered Trolls plying their skills to inflame conversations.

You can usually spot an Internet Troll because they sometimes like to “Attach” themselves to virtually everything you write and, most likely, will make it their business to visit almost every single item you publish and leave long, argumentative rebuttals to everything you have to say in what you have written.

The Troll loves to use inflammatory and disruptive language and often seems to be insanely overcome with joy whenever someone tries to argue back.  The Troll likes to pick a verbal fight and seems always to be filled with some kind of nasty childish delight when someone responds to one of it’s sometimes really lengthy diatribes.  Trolls love to leave long comments on your articles—really long comments that might tend to absolutely tire or wear out those unlucky enough to try to read them and make any sense out of them.

I remember this one persistent Troll that attached to “The Liming Liberal Democrat” blog—this Troll would come on with a standard greeting, “Well, Mr. Liming…once again your ignorance is breathtaking to behold…”

After this, the Troll would spend about 5 or ten lengthy paragraphs explaining to me how that if only I would listen to what he, she or it (As the case may have been)  had to teach the world about whatever the subject being responded to was, I “Might” learn something.  The Troll presupposed, I guess, that everyone was less learned than itself or was totally “Ignorant” without whatever “Light the Troll had to share.

This Troll worked very hard to convince me how that whatever I was writing was nothing but drivel or “Garbage” and how uninformed I was on almost everything and that I was an embarrassment to really “Hip,” In-Tune and Intellectual people like whoever this Troll was…and after awhile, it became the same old song and dance whenever this individual would make an appearance—which was on almost everything I would publish to The Web.

And this approach that I am describing here is not unique to myself or to Trolls in general.  They all seem to act pretty much in the same manner and fashion and there are numerous articles all over The Internet describing them and telling people how to deal with them.

I just thought I would share a little this morning because this is a fascinating subject with me and I just know, in my heart, that there are others out there who share my interest in such things.

The impression Trolls try to leave with their victims is “Reasonableness” as far as I can tell.  It seems to me sometimes like their entire plea is “Please…be reasonable and see things my way because your way absolutely is wrong on every count…I am the expert…I am the brain…I have all the answers…listen to me!”

I have discovered Trolls seem to take great pleasure in proving to you, themselves and anyone who will listen that whatever you write is total and absolute nonsense and worthy of completely ignoring while everything they present is to be accepted as Gospel Truth.

Troll responses to articles can sometimes contain almost as many (And often more) words than the article they are responding to. Troll responses sometimes try to look authoritative and extremely Academic as if they might have been composed by some really astute intellectuals or something, but it doesn’t take many people—myself included—very long to see through the static and realize that words by themselves do not an intellectual argument make! I call this Trollish tendency “Faux Intellectualism.”

It sometimes seems like the Trolls are always there because it seems like they make sure they never miss a chance to come onto some one’s written pieces and start running their mouths.  I don’t know whether it is a game they like to play or a sickness that plagues them. The fact is they are real, they seem to be everywhere waiting to pounce and they are generally well-recognized and described by the Internet Community.

Trolls seem to never get done blasting  away at some point of criticism they want to get across.  They cannot be reasoned with, they are never conciliatory and they sometimes love to engage in insulting comments about authors.  I have had them come onto my blogs and call me names, tell me to make sure I remember not to mix my medications with alcohol, to inform me how sorry they are because I am stupid and all kinds of things that are apparently meant to insult, demean, degrade and embarrass me in front of whoever might want to read what I have written.

When they are not being insulting, many of them are engaged in endless challenges to the veracity of whatever you have written. They seem to constantly demand “More Proof” or “Substantiated” evidence to back up anything that you have written that they want to make an issue about and if you make the mistake of trying to give them the “Evidence” they demanded, it is never good enough or from an appropriate source or it has been “Revised” or “Tampered” with—no amount of effort you put forth to try and satisfy a Troll with “Facts” or “Evidence” is ever going to get the job done…they love to cause people to waste time…whatever is presented to them is fertile ground for attack.  Trying to deal with a Troll as if one would deal with a normal individual is a total waste of time and effort.

Trolls have been known to be so intrusive and downright unkind and nasty that they have caused some Internet Bloggers and other Journal Writers to lock the comments out of their work entirely.

If you make the mistake of calling a Troll out, they sometimes suddenly become all innocent and defensive and inform you that all they are doing is expressing an opposing opinion that is contrary to your own (To which they are entitled)  and that you do not possess the appropriate degree of “Character”  to handle what they might try to describe as their “Constructive Criticism” or their opposing viewpoint.

Of course, the truth is that they could care less about opposing points of view or any one’s rights to express an opinion—they get off on causing trouble, irritating sensibilities, being insulting and persisting in their trouble making and pot stirring.  That is what drives them and that is the essence of the blood that runs through their veins according to most authorities I have read about the subject of Trolls.

Troll experts often refer to these irritants such appropriate titles as “Provocateurs” and “Malicious Mal factors” and in my opinion any such term is highly accurate because of the Troll’s generally accusatory and extremely and persistently hostile way of presenting things in written form.

I have had Internet Trolls call me everything from an idiot, to a “Sad Case” to an outright “Commie.” I have made substantial and most satisfactory use of the delete key in many instances and am most pleased to have done so because the Troll never presents anything that informs, educates or inspires.  Troll talk is trash talk as far as I am concerned and a lot of people seem to agree with that assessment.

So what can be done to defend against Internet Trolls?

Nothing can be done that I am aware of  to defend against Internet Trolls because nothing seems to insult them enough or discourage them enough to ever make them go away.  The best that can be done, as far as I am concerned,  is to totally ignore their ramblings and to refuse to respond to them.

Of course even this can be regarded by some Trolls as some sort of victory that they feel they have achieved over their victims.  If you ignore them long enough and if you make it a habit to refuse to respond to their promptings and prodding, they will most likely assume (And might even publicly declare) that they have won their point  and they will go their way probably with their heads all swelled and completely satisfied with themselves for what they imagine they have accomplished.

But I have also discovered that once they take their leave of a victim, it may not always be forever.  In other words, there is a good chance that even if they decide to go somewhere else for awhile, they may always return to take up where they left off.

I cannot say this for sure about Trolls, but it seems to be the general consensus among others who I have read who have written about these nuisances.

So, the next time you visit a site where you want to read something, (Especially if the subject matter is in any way controversial)  pay close attention to some of the comments that are left on articles that interest you.  If you remember what I have written here, chances are very good that you too will be able to spot the Trolls at work.

You might find the following interesting:


More interesting stuff on Internet Trolls:


Can Internet Trolls be considered as “Stalkers” and can their harassment be criminalized under The First Amendment? See the following for information about some who think so:


Posted by John Liming (Political Opinions)

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John Liming - The Liming Liberal Democrat

John Liming - The Liming Liberal Democrat

An American Man, born in 1938 and a Veteran of The U.S. Military. I served honorably in The United States Army (National Guard) and The United States Air Force for a total of seven years and three months active duty during what is now known as The Vietnam Era. My passion is political observation and commentary. My intention is to discuss and debate the extreme conservative ideology that is hurting The People of this Great Country. I will examine the reasons why our beloved America has become so politically divided over the past few years and provide illuminating insight into why I believe this is exactly the agenda of The "Christian" Conservative Right. Written in my own words of course, and strictly my opinion...

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