Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Forward thinking people

Or should I say, people who forward cheese-ball emails...they make me laugh.

This, today, from my former boss:



It is already impossible to live on Social Security alone. If  they give
 benefits to "illegal" aliens who have never contributed, where  does that
 leave us that have paid into Social Security all our working  lives?
 The Senate voted this week to allow "illegal" aliens access
 to Social Security benefits. Attached is an opportunity to sign a petition
 that requires citizenship for eligibility to receive social  services.
 If  you do not wish to sign the petition yourself, please forward on  to
 anyone you think might be interested.
 PETITION FOR: President Bush
 Mr. President:
 The petition below is a protest against the recent vote of
 the  senate which was to allow illegal aliens access to our social
 We demand that you and all congressional representatives require
 citizenship for anyone to be eligible for social services in the  United
Instructions to sign are at the bottom.

[Followed by 321 signatures]

I don't know of the alleged vote mentioned in the "petition" above.  I read this and couldn't help but laugh.  How can anyone truly believe A) that this is accurate B) that this would work. 

Let's set aside the hilarity of this forward, and just think about the way these email petitions work in general.  Somebody, somewhere, for some reason decides, "Oh, I think I'll start an email petition to change something."  And so they write out the 'petition' on their email client and send it to a bunch of people to forward.  And this is where it loses the sliver of validity it had to begin with. 

So let's say Joan is of the opinion that "they" should change the color of peanut butter from brownish to green, and so she starts a petition.  So she forwards it to Tim, John, Judy and Sara.  John and Sara agree with the petition also, so they add their name to the list.  So that's three on the list, right?  Wrong.  If both John and Sara sign the petition they receive, there are only two signatures total on two separate forwards.  So Joan and John are on one, while Joan and Sara are on the other.  The same email does NOT get forwarded to everyone.  Am I getting through?  Am I making sense?  I think so.

Aside from that, I love the "they" that is invariably in every forwarded petition.  They ought to change the color of peanut butter.  They have to stop illegal immigration.  They should ban smoking.  Who is they anyway?

After the list of 321 signatures, the original writer included instructions for completing the petition:

If you don't forward the petition and just stop it, we will  lose  all
these names. If you do not want to sign it, please just  forward  it  to
anyone who might want a voice.
Thank you!!! To add your name, either click on
"forward" or cut and paste the whole thing into a new e-mail. 

You will be able to add your name at the bottom of the  list
and then forward it to your friends.

THANKS!  Good grief.  How original is that? A quick Google search reveals that is the address listed at the official homepage of the White House as the "best way to contact Mr. President." 

These things are just silly.

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