Scam Takes Down Blogs on Google

A Stupid Mistake,” by Rob, Say Anything, http://sayanythingblog.com/2005/03/25/a-stupid-mistake/ (from Dawn’s Early Light).

DEL alerts the world to a scam. From one victim:

Recently you may have noticed the appearance of a new link on the left sidebar here at Say Anything. The link read “Sponsors” and was located near the top of the sidebar just under the chat room link.

The link was the result of an email sent to me by Business Barn LLC. The company offered to pay me $300/month for the use of a subdomain off of my “sayanythingblog.com” domain. I would point the subdomain to a page of advertising hosted on their servers and they’d send me the money via Pay Pal. I checked out the advertising and there was no porn or anything involved so I agreed. Seemed like a good deal to me and with hosting costs rising as this page gets more and more popular I’m not much inclined to turn down opportunities to make money from this page.

Turns out this was a mistake. This company is involved in something called link farming, a practice Google frowns upon. They frown upon it so much, in fact, that Say Anything has now been removed from that search engine’s indexes.

Coinciding almost exactly with this removal from Google was an email from Business Barn stating that they were ending our arrangement together. Which makes perfect sense. They were after my Google page rank. Now that I have no Google page rank I’m of no use to them.

Looking back on it all I believe I’ve been more than a little naive. I should have known better than to trust in an unsolicited offer, but the money was enticing and I honestly didn’t think that their methods were anything to be worried about.

I’ve removed the link and am in the process of killing the subdomain. Once that is done I’ll be sending an email to Google begging for mercy. Hopefully they’ll take pity on me.

So take heed, fellow bloggers. Before you accept any offers similar to the one I accepted be sure to check out the practices the company will be engaging in lest you face the same consequences I am now facing.

Captain’s Quarters was also hit. Power Pundit was also targeted.

Update: The sites are back up. As you can see, the traffic hit was pretty serious


Captain’s Quarters Blog Traffc

People Power Coming to Zimbabwe?

Oust Mugabe peacefully: Archbishop,” Herald Sun, 29 March 2005, http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5478,12683192%255E663,00.html.

Democracy may be coming to Zimbabwe (old South Rhodesia), if Archbishop Ncube has his way

A Zimbabwean church leader has called for a Ukranian-style, peaceful, popular uprising against President Robert Mugabe.

Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube made his call less than a week from the national poll.

medium_archbishop_ncube.jpg
The Archbishop

Archbishop Ncube told The Sunday Independent he hoped for a mass uprising against Mugabe, his country’s controversial long-time leader who seems set to romp to victory in Thursday’s poll.

I hope that people get so disillusioned that they really organise against the government and kick him (Mugabe) out by a non-violent, popular, mass uprising,” the archbishop said.

Zimbabwe has a history of positive Church involvement in liberation. Bishop Muzorewa was a vital bridge between colonialism and local control. It looks like Archbishop Ncube is just as good.

Will the Big Bang echo in Harare? Let’s hope!

No to Balkanized Republics

Reductio ad Hitlerum,” by Ken Blanchard, South Dakota Politics, 27 March 2005, http://southdakotapolitics.blogs.com/south_dakota_politics/2005/week12/index.html#a0004101402.

SDP was kind enough to link to me a few days ago, which I guess is why I have to disagree with them today…

It is obviously a serious concern that free elections in Arabia might bring to power the worst sort, though it is equally obvious that the lack of elections keeps a lot of very nasty sorts in power. But I think that a little more analysis is in order.

Hitler seized power with this small plurality because there was no part of society that had the will to resist him. For precisely this reason, places like Iraq are better off for being ethnically and religiously diverse. One thing the Sunnis and Kurds and Shiites can agree on is that they don’t want to be ruled by an autocrat of a different color. This can be a bulwark against a new tyranny.

Another lesson that 1932 teaches is that outside influences matter. The world should put every pressure it can bring to bear in order to ensure that the governments develop along liberal and constitutional lines. It is a pipe dream to believe that autocrats in the Middle East can create the conditions for future democracy. Its better to try to help them emerge now.

Ken draws the wrong lessons from Hitler’s Rise to Power. The most important brake on a Hilterian direction for Iraq is the Basic Law’s weak executive. Iraq’s purposefully unstable National Assembly could not have given Hitler his powers. But more to Mr. Blanchard’s point…

True ethnic diversity may be a good thing. But ethnic balkanization is not. You do not have an even mix of Shia, Sunnis, and Kurds throughout Iraq. You have a riven, trifurcating state where each ethnic group has a substantial majority in its own area. This leads to the worst sort of nationalism.

Nationalists are always the most virulent when other nations have a majority nearby. Hitler grew up on the borders of the German nation, Napoleon grew up on the borders of the French nation, etc. Iraq is a made-up state that contains the frontiers of three nations (Sunni Arab, Shia Arab, Kurdish). As long as it exists, it is a call to violence.