Everybody Knows You’re a Douchebag

A dozen years ago, during one of our many Past Lives, we wrote a column for the local alt-weekly explaining how while nobody on the Internet may know you’re a dog, it’s very easy to find out where your paws are coming from.

The secret sauce is your computer’s Internet Protocol address, or IP. If the Internet is going to send something from Point A to Point B, it kinda helps to know where those points are. The IP address is roughly equivalent to your computer’s phone number — no number, no connection.

(In the interest of not frying your brain, we’ll skip the nuances and complications introduced since 1998, especially regarding wifi and mobile networks. Oh, and IPv6. That too.)

The existence and purpose of IP addresses may not quite be popular knowledge (as defined by “Does Mom Know About This?”), but they are Internet 101, the kind of thing anybody even tangentially involved in a field like — oh, let’s pick something at random — national security might be expected to know about.

Then again, we don’t recall anybody ever accusing the TSA of knowing from security:

I was about to delete an offensive comment on this blog — one of the very few we get — and thought, hmm, I wonder where this guy is posting from? Because, really, it is quite unusual for us to get nasty comments. Lo and behold, the troll posted to our website from an IP address controlled by the federal government’s Department of Homeland Security!

Before we grace you with the pearls of wisdom from Our Nation’s Mistakenly Anonymous Civil Servant, you should know that the excited geek is one George Donnelly of WeWontFly.com (knocked offline Wednesday night because of the post’s popularity), a weblog devoted to avoiding our Formerly Friendly Skies, or at least the increasingly titillating public entrances. You can understand why discovering a TSA troll on their premises would be news.

Especially when the troll says this:

Fuck you, Fuck all you cocksuckers, you wont change anything. ride the bus, TSA is here to stay there doing a great job keeping americia safe.

God Bless Americia. Long may she thrive, even if her government can’t afford spellcheck software for its employees.

But wait! There’s more! Our Heroic Geek checked his WordPress database, and discovered that Mr. is a frequent flyer on his website. Here are just a few of the nineteen Greatest Hits:

  • “Funny site you have going on here, looking forward to the guest comic postings.. what a bunch of rubes you all are.. BTW TSA officers make on avg $14.50 per hour to start. Much more than your bottle collecting jobs you have.”
  • “You people are really messed up. That you sit around and put forth the hatred that you spew. If any of you are parents who have children, I feel sorry for the kids because you will raise them to be cynical, skeptical and totally paranoid.”
  • “Everyone hates the IRS but no one complains when a Police officer comes to assist you when your being assaulted. Sounds funny because the tax laws the IRS enforces pays all civil service salaries.”

The IRS pays for Sandy Eggo’s Finest? Good to know.

But back to an IP nuance we skipped past: Given the different writing styles (and spelling abilities), we’re guessing that is actually a “gateway” address for a fleet of Homeland Security computers — that’s the IP address reported to the web server and where the data is sent, but it’s actually the public address for an internal network.

Still, there’s no doubt that when you use a Homeland Security computer, any website you visit will know. Which is how we were able to Google “” and discover that a DHS employee has been enjoying himself at wikiHow:

Chris Hadley said:
Thanks for your edits on Free a Frozen Parking Brake. However, I rolled them back because they were more funny than helpful. said:
Just trying to brighten peoples days. I know what im doing is not relavant to the topics, I mean no harm, but when you read an artical, and Drink beer is there, and it completly out of the ordinary, its funny. laugh, revert back, its that easy. and don’t forget to Drink Beer

We can certainly second the advice. But if that’s what you were doing in the DHS office when you submitted the comment at 4:03 pm on April 8, 2009, well, we take back the spellcheck comment. You’re beyond help.


Not really surprising. No more than they get paid we can expect the quality of personnel to be somewhat less than stellar, and seeing that DHS is running legacy Microsoft software, the failure to spellcheck is also unsurprising.

Funny though, if you spent any time tracking that IP address I’m sure you found some “stalking” of right wing sites too (that is what one wingnut blogger called it). I was, however, unable to find any comments on those sites, so maybe our friendly fellow was simply seeking Glenn Beck’s advice on buying gold.

There are several TSA folks over on the Flyer Talk forum on safety and security who are out about their job and offer useful comments and insight (always emphasizing they don’t speak for the agency), and then there are a few more who aren’t admitting where they work but it’s pretty obvious when they spew shit like this guy.

Here’s a short list of words that I can think of off the top of my head that I wish people would stop using because I am fucking sick to death of seeing them:

spew (which is what made me think of all the rest — sorry, Lefty)
ad hominem

I know there are others that make me want to punch my monitor that I can’t think of at the moment. Anyone else have words they react to like fingers on a chalkboard?

@karen marie doesn’t want to know: Grow, as in “extending the Bush tax cuts will help grow the economy.” You grow a plant or a moustache; you do not grow the economy.

@mellbell: “Pivot” used outside of the context of basketball.

@karen marie doesn’t want to know: Sorry about the “spew” – I’m sick of people who oppose a policy, rule, law, idea, etc. by saying that it’s “being shoved down our throats.”

Corpspeak is on my list. “Going forward”, “Recco”, “Drop Dead Date”, and “Team”, and “challenge” (particlarly when what you mean is “absolute unsolvable clusterfuck”).

And the use of “hot” for too much magenta.

I blame Benedick for all this, by the way.

@mulebreath: It hard to troll the wingers. They don’t get irony, and have replaced “fag” for “Nazi” in Godwin’s Law.

Just not much fun overall.

@karen marie doesn’t want to know: Ooooh, the airing of grievances! Happy Festivus, everyone.
Mine are:
“paradigm” (usually used by someone who doesn’t know a paradigm from a pair of dimes).
“Main Street”

May we include spelling? Because the appearance of “Ceasar” salad on a menu will kill my appetite and send me into a frothing rage.

@Mistress Cynica: How about defiantly for definitely? It’s a word, just not the intended one.

Hey — thought I’d get my votes in for the awards before radio silence for Solstice.

Technical Awards for Nice People

RUSS FEINGOLD. Of all the people to get bounced by the Tea Party, this was the most inexplicable. Even the Ancient Mariner was taken aback. (More on him later.)

Le Prix Trudeau for Best Un-American Activity

BRIAN COWEN. Somebody forgot to feed to Celtic Tiger. Now the tiger’s dead. Irish PM takes the collar for driving Ireland into receivership.

Velveteen Vuvuzela for Obnoxiousness in Sport

VANOC, for building a demonstrably unsafe luge track that led to a guy getting killed, and then trying to hush it all up. French soccerball team of whiners up for disrespectable second.

Feathered Fawlty for Most Obsequious Pundit

FOX AND FRIENDS CREW. Especially Doocey. God, that dude annoys me to no end.

Platinum Passport for State Most Welcome to Secede

ARIZONA in a squeaker. I’m not gonna miss Spring Training in Phoenix that much — Sheriff Joe can have it. SOUTH CAROLINA really, really close second.

Silver Slinky for Most Spineless Democrat

HARRY REID in a runaway.

Teflon Teabag for Best Wingnut

A crowded field, but CHRISTINE O’DONNELL has it in hand. Along with her broom.

Golden Anal Pear for Asshole of the Year

SARAH PALIN. Faith, Family, Flag, and Fucking Morons. Only on TLC!

Crystal Douchebag for Lifetime Achievement

JOHN MCCAIN. The circle is complete. Ten years ago, he ditched Falwell. Last week, he would have made him proud. And elevating Sarah Plain and Dumb to supernova status didn’t do the Republic any favors, either.

@chicago bureau: Stewart and Colbert have been having a lot of fun with Gretchen Carlson lately.

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: “If you have any questions, feel free to contact [other douchebag] or myself.”

Can’t believe “irregardless” hasn’t come up.

“Utilize” for use. Makes me shudder.


Gah! I’d rather work alone than hear that fucking word again.

/airing grievances

@SanFranLefty: “I have a hard stop at 1 PM” meaning “I gotta leave then.”

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One: Good point.

Effect for affect, and vice versa
Insure for ensure, and vice versa

@texrednface: YES!

@Tommmcatt: “to that end…”

@SanFranLefty: “Collaborate” = “you do the work, and I’ll take the credit.”

@Dodgerblue: All yours are Sport related. How about “move the goal posts”?

@nojo: What the hell is “efforting”?

@Tommmcatt is with Karin Marie on This One:

Please advise





Touch base

ETA: Thought Leader

oooh irregardless. that’s mine.
and the improper pronunciation of “heinous”

@karen marie doesn’t want to know:
and “effect” for “affect”

i know my grammer and spelling suck when i’m scribbling here, but Surprise! i do SPEAK english.
so why don’t i spell check? because irregardless is stupidly unflagged.

i’ve been trying to reach you! or maybe the whole class wants to hear about my new shrink?
i hear a thunderous “NO!!!!” in unison…

@baked: Sandbox.

@nojo: iPad question. Not having a mouse, how can I see the witty alt-text associated with graphics on this site?

@Dodgerblue: You can’t.

And, since I haven’t figured out an elegant way to do audio in HTML5, you don’t get the Rimshot Button, either.

@baked: Yo. I’ve had my phone off for days. I’m sorry. Need to charge it, and I’ll turn it on.

@baked: Indeed. We have a problem with “Hs” in this area. People drop ’em like they’re Franch. “I’m a u-man bean!” People fuck up “radiator” all the time, but “Wudr comes outta da fawsit” dammit!


I’ve been on record against that abomination almost thirty years, from the moment it was uttered. Leave it to the Boomers to make being parents all about themselves.

@nojo: I take it you haven’t heard “Grand-parenting” uttered yet? Because it’s a verb and a gerund at this point…

As Flying Spaghetti Monster as my witness, there are some of you born between 1940 and 1965 who I love, but really, the 99.9% of narcissistic Boomers need to go fuck yourselves already. It’d help solve our state pension issues too.

@baked: Tell us about the shrink in the sandbox. Is s/he smart? hot? How many shrinks are there to choose from in the islands? Should I move to the islands and become a shrink?

@SanFranLefty: Oh.My.God.

But hey, makes sense. The thirty-year-olds who desecrated the language in 1982 are going on sixty now.

(Ducks dreidel missile from L.A.)

nojo had a good one: parenting…ugh. you’ll never hear grand-parenting from me either. i exist to adore him. can you believe he’ll be 2 in a few weeks? as prommie says, “the cutest baby born ever” no argument here.
we web chat every day, he calls me “the BUB” makes me dizzy with glee just to hear him address me.

shrink is such a depressing job. who wants to listen to neurotics like me all day? he’s WEIRD. though you ARE already my shrink, and a good one. he is the only one on the island….how many does fantasy island need? leave it to me to find reasons.
…to the sandbox.

also the use of the word “parent” as a verb.
and “nucular” makes my ears bleed.

your accent sounds like a warm hug from home to me :-)
never lose it, i’m holding on to mine. phillyspeak is unique!
nail i havta wook da dawg.
did i say i speak english? i can when i have to.
fun fact: you know who has the thickest philly accent that he can’t entirely lose? kevin bacon.

I read a good one yesterday in a Tory history of Britain (read England. Actually read Home Counties) Priested. As in ‘He was priested…’ meaning took orders, I suppose. I will sometimes use irregardless and suspect it’s a Limey thing. Like the Fish Hall at Harrods. Of course it could just be a dumb thing. The only usage I truly abominate is ‘absent’ for ‘without’. Feh!

@baked: You have trick cyclists in the islands?

Well, the dawn is coming up like thunder so I better go get something done.

it’s irritatingly redundant!!! “if it were written, i would tear the word.”
(btw, got the funniest letter from my daughter yesterday who is spending the holidays with her inlaws. she requests i stop speaking shakespeare to her “sharper than the serpents tooth…..” hey, it fit.)
i’ve been waiting for you to tell us none of us speaks english, henry higgins.

@baked: MWAH!

I’ve got some good news for a change…sandbox.

i’m trying to lessen the stress i put on the pains in my ass grammarians, so please remove the “s” from speaks above. word press said no, as usual.

@baked: I love new usages and slang. Love, ‘efforting’. Jargonese, which is what most of us here seem to be hating on, is merely an attempt to give an authoritative or insidery sound to what one writes.

The words I’m currently hating on are ‘homosexual agenda,’ ‘homosexual activist,’ and Spiderman, the Musical.

@Benedick: Did Spiderman reopen yesterday? Irregardless of the dangers?

@baked: Kevin Bacon! Hahaha! I hate his dad for fucking over Louis Kahn and the city.

@JNOV: No idea. I mind less about the production antics than I do about the initial awfulness of the idea itself multiplied by the terrible cost and what that’s going to do to the future of musicals written by grown ups for grown ups to go see.

Gerunds are taking over the world.

@Benedick: You would think when actors were being hurt by the Lion King costumes that Taymor would’ve bought a clue.

And yes, it went on last night without a hitch. Rather, everyone was hitched correctly.

@JNOV: Pushback is how you know they are really gay deep down inside. :)

@CheapBoy: Ha! Where the hell have you been, Lovely?

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