Pharyngula

I get mail

I’m still experiencing fallout from the cracker incident, like the slow drift of dandruff from the flaking scalp of a gyrating televangelist. The latest is a letter from Mr. E.P. Bruk, who I suspect believes he is making a sarcastic point, but is actually making my point for me…that it is absurd to equate the value of a silly little cracker to a human life, or in this case, an entire ethnic group.

i-dc036a22bfa800c2c4b552c031219c42-bruk_letter.jpg

To double the irony, he also included a cover letter he sent to the chancellor and president of the university, decrying my loose use of the “F” word and toilet humor.

Comments

  1. #1 cervantes
    October 30, 2008

    Well, you see, the cracker is human because it has human DNA. Right?

  2. #2 Lago
    October 30, 2008

    Ah,..I see…he thinks he be clever!!

  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 30, 2008

    bust most of all

    Of course that’s most of all.

  4. #4 Fred Mounts
    October 30, 2008

    Huh. I guess I’ll go wash my brain out with soap now. Teh stupid, it burns.

  5. #5 Capital Dan
    October 30, 2008

    Dude lives in Wisconsin, and he can’t spell Minnesota?

  6. #6 oldtree
    October 30, 2008

    the cracker can’t die. it never existed, so it can’t move on to the next plane. Thats flight 15 and it is leaving now.

  7. #7 Randy
    October 30, 2008

    Excellent! Sensible policies for a happier America.

  8. #8 Celtic_Evolution
    October 30, 2008

    Wow… the funny thing, as you already pointed out, PZ… is that this batshit crazy ignorant pustule doesn’t quite get the fact that while most of us here will look at this letter and see that it is revealing about the person writing it, we also respect his right to be that batshit crazy and ignorant, and even write about it.

    He didn’t threaten anyone with bodily harm, didn’t hurt anyone (but himself I’m afraid), and really just exposed himself.

    Good on ya, mate… write some more… those of us who would be offended by it can choose to ignore it. Those who’d threaten to wait outside your home and beat you within an inch of your life with a lead pipe because what you wrote was offensive don’t get the point anyhow, and don’t represent what this issue is about for PZ, myself and others here.

    Nice try… but epic FAIL.

  9. #9 Greg Esres
    October 30, 2008

    Am I giving the guy too much credit by thinking he’s trying to make a point by congratulating you on offending the Catholics while saying things he know will offend you?

  10. #10 NoAstronomer
    October 30, 2008

    [blockquote]Dude lives in Wisconsin, and he can’t spell Minnesota?[/blockquote]

    What did you expect, he can’t spell Wisconsin either.

  11. #11 Anna
    October 30, 2008

    I’m trying to figure out what he thinks you’d find so morally abhorrent about feeding aborted fetuses to your pet. I mean, it’s medical waste and probably horribly unhealthy, why do you need a moral reason to just toss the stuff out?

  12. #12 Guy G
    October 30, 2008

    Paragraph 1: Attempt at sarcasm
    Paragraph 2: Attempt at sarcasm
    Paragraph 3: Random topical racism, written in the style of sarcasm but seeming consistent with the author’s views when treated as not sarcastic
    Paragraph 4: Attempt at sarcasm
    Paragraph 5: Attempt at sarcasm
    Paragraph 6: Attempt at sarcasm

    Bizarre.

    Guy

  13. #13 zaardvark
    October 30, 2008

    Stay classy, E. P. Bruk; stay classy.

  14. #14 Matt Heath
    October 30, 2008

    I’m honestly not sure what is sincere and what is meant as ironic mocking of the claim “nothing is sacred”. Fortunately however you partition into sincere and sarcastic subsets it is still stupid, so I don’t have to worry.

  15. #15 Sastra
    October 30, 2008

    Right — because criticizing religious beliefs is exactly like being a racist. And desecrating a sacred object is exactly like committing an act of violence.

    All you have to do to become a Catholic is change your mind. All a Catholic has to do to stop being a Catholic is change his mind. This means that religious belief is not some fixed, protected, and morally neutral classification, like race, sex, or national origin. It’s a matter of reason. It is a rational viewpoint. It’s an opinion.

    So there is nothing bigoted about pointing out the irrational flaws in what purports to be a rational viewpoint. And one of the irrational flaws is equating blasphemy with violence — and thinking this not only makes sense, but deserves respect.

    The magic spell our culture has cast over religious belief is breaking, along with the magic beliefs themselves.

  16. #16 SiMPel MYnd
    October 30, 2008

    Wow… the funny thing, as you already pointed out, PZ… is that this batshit crazy ignorant pustule doesn’t quite get the fact that while most of us here will look at this letter and see that it is revealing about the person writing it, we also respect his right to be that batshit crazy and ignorant, and even write about it.

    I certainly don’t respect his “batshit craziness”. I understand it. And I’m thankful I live in a country where we have free speech (mostly–that’s certainly been chilled by the Republicans under the moronic rule of George W and Co.). But “respect” isn’t quite the word I would use. I understand that people like that are out there. I pity him for his ignorance. And I wish him the best treatment that John McCain’s health plan will provide. Oh, wait a minute…

  17. #17 Nerd of Redhead
    October 30, 2008

    The only things missing were gratuitous capitals and Comic Sans font.

  18. #18 Bryan
    October 30, 2008

    Wow. I’m appalled.

  19. #19 Celtic_Evolution
    October 30, 2008

    …the Koran reads like it was written by an absolute moron stoned on hashish…

    As opposed to the christian bible, which of course is a beacon of logic, reason and consistency.

  20. #20 Capital Dan
    October 30, 2008

    I almost want to print out some nice, big copies of this and staple them up all over his neighborhood. Thankfully, this guy’s not really worth the paper. Or staples. Or gas I’d have to burn getting to Brookfield.

  21. #21 sjburnt
    October 30, 2008

    Now That’s a Cracker!

  22. #22 Christopher
    October 30, 2008

    This is the guy George W. Bush would most like to have a beer with. Cheers!

  23. #23 Sastra
    October 30, 2008

    By the way, it’s cute how he managed to work in some fatwa envy. I suspect he doesn’t know you desecrated the Quran.

  24. #24 Steve
    October 30, 2008

    Did anyone check that Address… As expected, it’s not even a home. It’s a suite of medical offices:

    Google Map of address

  25. #25 Celtic_Evolution
    October 30, 2008

    Simpel Mynd –

    But “respect” isn’t quite the word I would use.

    No, no… I don’t respect him, the asshole… I respect his right to be an asshole, and even write about it.

    Similarly, the argument can be made that PZ acted like an asshole in the crackergate issue at times… but that’s not the point. The point is that if the catholic league and the other catholic minions had simply left things at “you’re an asshole, PZ”, there’d be no problem. But they didn’t, they threatened his life, called for his firing, and demanded that the rest of the world respect their goofy cannibalistic ritual. Which is, of course, preposterous.

  26. #26 tsg
    October 30, 2008

    No, no… I don’t respect him, the asshole… I respect his right to be an asshole, and even write about it.

    Exactly. It’s the difference between “shouldn’t” and “shouldn’t be allowed to”.

  27. #27 SiMPel MYnd
    October 30, 2008

    Celtic:

    Peace. I read and reacted too fast. Too many cups of coffee this morning…

  28. #28 Theresa
    October 30, 2008

    I’m sad that this idiot hails from Wisconsin :(

  29. #29 Zifnab
    October 30, 2008

    It’s a suite of medical offices:

    I’ll take “Doctors I wouldn’t visit if I was on death’s door” for $100 Alex.

    But seriously, what point is he making except that he feels the same way about black people running for President, Jewish Academics, and Pro-Choicer folks that you – allegedly – feel about an ounce of processed wheat seeds. Is Host desecration comparable to bigotry now?

    At the least, I can begin to see the comparison between feeding fetus remains to your pets and roasting a cracker. They’re both “Bodies” by the Catholic interpretation, right?

    *sigh* What really gets me is that he’s got to make such liberal use of the word “shit”. Maybe the poor guy has Turrets.

  30. #30 MH
    October 30, 2008

    “Stay classy, E. P. Bruk; stay classy.”

    If that letter was indeed written by an E.P.Bruk of that address. I do worry that some of the letters PZ is getting could be penned by people wanting to destroy the reputation of the signatory.

    Don’t like someone? Write some shit in their name, get it published on-line, wait until Google indexes it, and then whenever that person’s name is Googled (by a prospective employer, perhaps), they are revealed to be an racist, violent, idiot. They can’t prove that they didn’t write it, and search results can linger indefinitely.

    I’m not saying that PZ shouldn’t post the letters, just that it may be best to check their authenticity before publishing them.

  31. #31 Pete Rooke
    October 30, 2008

    The words of Samuel Coleridge spring to mind: “I have seen gross intolerance shown in support of tolerance.”

    And I think we can all agree that there are fanatics on both sides of the debate. Who among us has not sent off a letter we later came to regret or made a phone call that later proved to be ill-advised. It moves the debate precisely nowhere to remain fixated on fringe characters. What about the hundred of letters you receive that kindly, desperately and politely implore you to stop your antagonistic behaviour for the sake of community cohesion.

    You alone have the power to put an end to this nonsense and vile correspondence, of which you play no small role, and instead use your position as an educator to better shape your community.

    Pete Rooke

  32. #32 Celtic_Evolution
    October 30, 2008

    Dammit dammit dammit…

    I kid you not, my very next post was going to be:

    “cue Pete Rooke in 4… 3… 2… ”

  33. #33 Anon
    October 30, 2008

    Prediction: The medical office includes an abortion clinic; this genius figures the place will be swamped with magazine subscriptions, letters, and the like.

  34. #34 ggab
    October 30, 2008

    Some anger issues?
    He’s probably just having a bad day.
    Maybe he just realized that his priest was lying to him when he said that taking a pious prick in the pink pucker was going to earn him salvation.
    Good little boys who keep their mouths shut may not get that seat next to jesus after all.
    Y’know, I heard that they may even let colored folks into heaven.
    Buck up E.P. maybe they make them sit in the back.
    That’s something to pray for eh?

  35. #35 Capital Dan
    October 30, 2008

    Pete Rooke | October 30, 2008 1:38 PM

    You alone have the power to put an end to this nonsense and vile correspondence, of which you play no small role, and instead use your position as an educator to better shape your community.

    Appeaser.

  36. #36 SiMPel MYnd
    October 30, 2008

    Steve @24

    Did anyone check that Address… As expected, it’s not even a home. It’s a suite of medical offices

    Did a little more investigating. According to AnyWho.com, There’s a “Burke, Eugene P Md” listed as having an office at that address. My guess is someone who works there (or someone who goes to the behavioral health clinic at the same address) appropriated this doctor’s name. Either that, or Doctor Mengele…I mean Burke…is a real moronic nutjob who figured no one would think to reverse a few letters in his name.

  37. #37 Celtic_Evolution
    October 30, 2008

    Petey @ #31

    And I think we can all agree that there are fanatics on both sides of the debate… blah blah fucking blah…

    Right… nice attempt at apologetics, asshole. Don’t even try to act like this is a simple case of “both sides are nuts”.

    What about the hundred of letters you receive that kindly, desperately and politely implore you to stop your antagonistic behaviour for the sake of community cohesion.

    Because those letters are equally inane, just more polite about saying the same thing: “Respect our beliefs!”

    You alone have the power to put an end to this nonsense and vile correspondence

    Horseshit. More apologetics. PZ is making these rejects write these letters by not capitulating to their nonsensical demands for respect.

    use your position as an educator to better shape your community.

    Mission most excellently accomplished!

  38. #38 Dahan
    October 30, 2008

    Why are some of you assuming he’s a doctor at one of these medical offices? Wouldn’t it make more sense that he was a patient in a psych ward? I notice there’s a behavioral studies section there. Sure seems more likely.

  39. #39 Joe S
    October 30, 2008

    Ya know, the more of these letters PZ posts, the less sure I become about evolution, because these samples are making no forward progress at all and may be sliding back towards that common ancestor. Maybe they will become the transitional forms they’re always looking for.

  40. #40 blueelm
    October 30, 2008

    They can’t prove that they didn’t write it, and search results can linger indefinitely.

    This would fall under libel laws though, correct?

  41. #41 Pete Rooke
    October 30, 2008

    Appeaser:spat at me as if it were a racial epithet. I am too strong though.

    Talking with people you don’t like is not appeasement. It’s how you deliver a tough message.

  42. #42 tsg
    October 30, 2008

    This would fall under libel laws though, correct?

    Is it still libel if someone else publishes it?

  43. #43 Celtic_Evolution
    October 30, 2008

    Pete –

    Ummm… the issue isn’t the talking part…

    It’s the insistence on reading only from the script that’s acceptable to the other party in the conversation that’s the nauseating part…

    So yeah… the shoe fits… appeaser.

  44. #44 Rev. BigDumbChimp, KoT, OM
    October 30, 2008

    You alone have the power to put an end to this nonsense and vile correspondence, of which you play no small role, and instead use your position as an educator to better shape your community.

    Yes PZ has the ability to reach out and smack the hands of catholics around the would when they reach for their keyboards to type yet another letter of condensed stupidity.

  45. #45 J.J.
    October 30, 2008

    @33: Prediction: The medical office includes an abortion clinic; this genius figures the place will be swamped with magazine subscriptions, letters, and the like.

    @30: If that letter was indeed written by an E.P.Bruk of that address. I do worry that some of the letters PZ is getting could be penned by people wanting to destroy the reputation of the signatory.

    Indeed, there appears to be an physician specializing in internal medicine named “Eugene P. Burke” at that address, and the address appears to be associated at least peripherally with a Women’s Health clinic (1st hit).

    Seems “E.P. Bruk” is not only a racist, but also cannot spell “his own name”.

    Thankfully, his weak attempt at subterfuge is fairly transparent.

  46. #46 druidbros
    October 30, 2008

    Well first… I’m offended that he didn’t come out against the ‘dam liberils’ or the Druid religion. He/she/it obviously has some more fine work on his oxygen starved brain.

    Secondly…”stop your antagonistic behaviour for the sake of community cohesion.” …Petey @ 31

    COMMUNIST, COMMUNIST !!!

  47. #47 druidbros
    October 30, 2008

    OOPS…..Correction

    He/she/it obviously has some more fine work TO DO on his oxygen starved brain.

  48. #48 Nerd of Redhead
    October 30, 2008

    You alone have the power to put an end to this nonsense and vile correspondence, of which you play no small role, and instead use your position as an educator to better shape your community.

    Pete the Rookey, as usual you get things backwards. This will end when the catolicks let it end. As long as the folks in your church act like petulant two year olds, we will continue to mock them. Time to grow up and chastise people like the above idiot who send these inane letters instead of bothering us. Get your priorities straight.

  49. #49 Epistaxis
    October 30, 2008

    PZ, your warning message only covers threatening e-mail, not racist snail mail.

  50. #50 MH
    October 30, 2008

    “Indeed, there appears to be an physician specializing in internal medicine named “Eugene P. Burke” at that address…”

    I really hope PZ contacts him to verify the authenticity of the letter.

  51. #51 Hap
    October 30, 2008

    Shorter Pete: Stop telling my friends they’re wrong, and they’ll stop threatening to beat your brains out.

    Sorry Pete, if your opinions (or those of others) can’t defended reasonably (cannot ever bear to be questioned in public), then perhaps there is a problem with your opinions rather than your opposition. Alternatively, maybe a subset of those who believe as you do are raging morons – perhaps (since they are tainting the organizations that represent your beliefs) they might be better targets for correction. If they had wanted not to be criticized, they should not have attempted to enforce their beliefs by threat.

    It is not the duty of others to pretend for your sake or for those of people who have similar beliefs. If those who believe as you do cannot argue their points without resort to violence, it is not the fault of those with whom they disagree.

  52. #52 Qwerty
    October 30, 2008

    EP Bruk wants crackers to be respected because all good Wisconites know that’s where the cheese goes.

  53. #53 crazyfitter
    October 30, 2008

    CE@8 ‘and really just exposed himself’
    I’m looking for the picture but all I see is words.

  54. #54 David Marjanovi?, OM
    October 30, 2008

    Who among us has not sent off a letter we later came to regret or made a phone call that later proved to be ill-advised.

    Uh…

    Me, for example, and everyone I know except perhaps my grandaunt.

    I think you are telling us more about yourself than about us.

  55. #55 WRMartin
    October 30, 2008

    Not just any medical office – a women’s health facility. And the address appears to be one of their AODA (Alcohol, & Other Drug Abuse) treatment centers:
    Center for Behavioral Health Brookfield

    Others have located a doctor at that location with a name matching that of the suspected letter writer. Moonlighting as a patient, maybe? Or a patient using a doctor’s name? Maybe they just need a drink.

    druidbros – you might get a giggle out of this. Try a google search for AODA and check the first result! ;)

    Pete Rooke – PZM is using his position as an educator. Mockery and derision is a learning tool for those doing the mocking and for the targets of said mockery and derision. If they choose to not learn anything then that’s their problem not ours. For us it’s entertaining.

  56. #56 Russell
    October 30, 2008

    It would be funnier if he signed it Lazlo Toth.

  57. #57 Chiroptera
    October 30, 2008

    Pete Rooke, #31: And I think we can all agree that there are fanatics on both sides of the debate.

    What debate? Some people believe that a piece of bread becomes the flesh of their invisible, magical friend who lives in the sky. There really is no room here for a “debate”.

    I’m not sure that “fanatic” is really the right word to describe someone who points out that some people really are nutty. Maybe “insensitive” might be a better word, depending on how the nuttiness is pointed out.

  58. #58 Interrobang
    October 30, 2008

    The stupid it burns. Quick fact check: He wants you to call Planned Parenthood and get what? The usual abortion doesn’t have “pieces of fetus”; we’re talking “heavy menstrual period with a larger-than-average clot in the middle of it.” It’s nothing the “overnight” pad models can’t handle, at any rate. (My iron levels are whimpering, just thinking about it, though.)

    ‘Course, it’d be too much to ask for a pro-forced-birth man (and I’m damn sure the writer is male) to know anything whatsoever about female biology — wimmenz is icky and not real like men are, after all.

    Oh, and any time you want to piss on a kippah, PZ, I have a Jewish friend who has a revolting green one left over from his Bar Mitzvah many years ago. He hated the colour originally, but his parents made him wear it, and think he’d be glad to see it go. :)

  59. #59 Calladus
    October 30, 2008

    This is appalling!

    He should have addressed it as “Dear Dr. Myers.

  60. #60 Susan
    October 30, 2008

    And I think we can all agree

    I always know I’m going to vehemently disagree with whatever follows that phrase whenever I see it. 92.6% of the time (exactly) it is used by complete tools.

    As for the possiblity that someone’s name has been appropriated for nefarious purposes, wouldn’t you want to know if a complete idiot was going around using your name to send stupid letters? Expose it to the light of day; this is probably not the first time he’s done it and, with this guy, I certainly wouldn’t want the next to be a missive to President Obama.

  61. #61 The Petey
    October 30, 2008

    Ya know, the more of these letters PZ posts, the less sure I become about evolution, because these samples are making no forward progress at all …

    I didn’t think evolution was about forward progress; I thought it was about survival. Some times stupid survives if they gather together in large enough numbers, like, say, in churches.

  62. #62 Mark Mattern
    October 30, 2008

    I SEE WHAT HE DID THERE.

  63. #63 Leon
    October 30, 2008

    the Koran reads like it was written by an absolute moron stoned on hashish

    Nice one, E.P., but you’re mistaken. The Qu’ran reads instead like someone who knew exactly what he was doing and saying, and whose purpose was very clear: to control his followers. Much like the Old Testament, in fact, but more focused.

  64. #64 E.V.
    October 30, 2008

    *harbinger of doom voice*You alone have the power to put an end to this nonsense and vile correspondence…What about the hundred of letters you receive that kindly, desperately and politely implore you to stop your antagonistic behaviour for the sake of community cohesion.

    Petey: Why do you care?
    I know, don’t dis religions, especially those who believe the Eucharist is the literal body of Christ. It’s a stupid belief and provably false assertion -oh wait, there there’s that transubstantiation/accident weasel bullshit.
    For those who can’t or aren’t willing to believe in magic and supernatural explanations, those of us who realized that “gods” are a human contruct, those who are apostate to Catholicism and have been denounced, slandered, threatened, ostracized and brutalized, those who have endured watching the zealous get free passes when it comes to egregious behavior: we no longer feel we have to back down and appease credulous superstitious cretins who show no respect to anything but their own dogma (especially when you say a piece of wheat product used in an archaic ritual is more important than actual people). It’s the 21st century – grow the fuck up.

    (I would love to conduct an experiment with webcams and tally the percentage of Pharyngula readers who spontaneously roll their eyes when they see Peter Rooke’s posts.)

  65. #65 Alligator
    October 30, 2008

    This would fall under libel laws though, correct?

    Depends on whom you’re suggesting would be liable. There’s a slim, slim chance that PZ could be liable down the road if he learned that the person who lives at that address absolutely did not write the letter and didn’t update this post accordingly. But that kind of absolute certainty is rare.

    Could you clarify how you think libel laws would help? I’m having trouble seeing how they would, but that could easily be my fault.

  66. #66 Jello
    October 30, 2008

    @ 61

    I had a thought about that and that thought was whether or not atheism can win out over faith in terms of evolutionary competition. Of course atheists have the advantage of adhering to reason to seek solutions to survival problems but the advantage that the faithful have in sheer numbers suggest that only a cataclysm of monumental proportions could wipe them all out before they could reproduce. This as opposed to the rationalists whose smaller population size makes them more vulnerable to extermination, particularly at the hands of the faithful. Now this scenario is a bit polarizing and simplistic and I’m not any kind of biologist so I may be making huge mistakes its just something that’s been rattling around in my head.

  67. #67 tsg
    October 30, 2008

    (I would love to conduct an experiment with webcams and tally the percentage of Pharyngula readers who spontaneously roll their eyes when they see Peter Rooke’s posts.)

    I don’t even get as far as reading them. As soon as I see his name they start rolling. At this point, it’s a Pavlovian response that extends so far as to manifest whenever my son castles playing chess.

  68. #68 E.V.
    October 30, 2008

    I think a Proctology Clinic is more apropos for Mr Bruk(sic).

  69. #69 The Petey
    October 30, 2008

    Calling Pete Rooke “Petey” is confusing me.

    People don’t like their faith questions because it causes them to enter into self-examination. The only way NOT to enter into it is to lash out. I think if your faith can’t stand having someone disagree with you – its pretty damned fucking weak and you SHOULD self examine. If you come out with your faith in tact it is just the stronger. If not – it just opens the door to many more questions – and that makes peoples brains go owie.

  70. #70 E.V.
    October 30, 2008

    #69:
    Sorry “The”. I’ve always enjoyed referring to Rooke as “Petey” since it sounds so pal-sy wal-sy. Oops, I forgot to remind Petey (not you, The Petey) to blow me.

  71. #71 blueelm
    October 30, 2008

    The address listed (where the medical offices show up) seems to be in zip code 53005 not 53122 as stated.

    Does anyone find that interesting? Is google wrong or is this person incorrect about their own zip code?

    Rather, is this person incorrect about the zip code of the address they are using?

  72. #72 Rey Fox
    October 30, 2008

    It seems as though Pete Rooke still thinks he can shame us. I don’t get it.

  73. #73 Hap
    October 30, 2008

    #60: “I think we can agree…” = “You are being an a%^hole if you don’t agree with me.”

    This usually means a bad and disagreeable proposition in what is likely to be an unpleasant and worthless argument. With PR, however, conceding the point isn’t likely to hurt you (unless you throw up) because he will make plenty more errors before the argument is done, so it’s not like you’re conceding the argument by conceding the initial position.

  74. #74 Nerd of Redhead
    October 30, 2008

    The Petey

    Calling Pete Rooke “Petey” is confusing me.

    You are correct sir, it confuses most people. Janine pointed it out to me as I was using “Petey” on a thread to irk PR. I have since taken to calling him “Pete the Rookey” to avoid confusion. My apologies for any confusion I caused prior to the change. The last word of the new name reminds of Wookie, so there is a little amusement value there, as his posts are as comprehensible as Wookie speech most of the time.

  75. #75 Kieran
    October 30, 2008

    -1 mark for double indentation.

  76. #76 druidbros
    October 30, 2008

    WRMartin…..thanks for the laugh. I particularly enjoy the links to the wooded retreats.

  77. #77 blueelm
    October 30, 2008

    Could you clarify how you think libel laws would help? I’m having trouble seeing how they would, but that could easily be my fault.

    Unfortunately I was asking as well.

  78. #78 Celtic_Evolution
    October 30, 2008

    Calling Pete Rooke “Petey” is confusing me.

    Yeeks… looks like I did the same thing… apologies, the one and only Petey…

    I will henceforth refer to the aforementioned Pete Rooke as “re-Pete”… appropriately…

  79. #79 Karl Withakay
    October 30, 2008

    I am glad we live in a country where an individual has the right to speak out freely and show everyone how big a moron they are. I am sad we live in the same country where said moron speaks out and a bunch of other morons say, “me too” instead of “hey, you’re a moron”.

    I really had a hard time reading past that third paragraph; I kept stopping and reading it again to try and determine how much was sarcasm and much was the actual opinion of the writer. There are some things I just can’t or won’t be that effectively sarcastic about, especially in print where your tone and facial expressions are unreadable. I’d have to guess there’s more than a little honest racism there.

    A. Whitney Brown once said he believed a country that respected your freedom of speech enough to let you burn its flag was like having a god that loved you enough to let you nail his son to a cross. That line has less personal meaning for me these days than it once did (since I’m a fan of this site, the reasons for that should be obvious), but it still highlights for me the irony in many so-called Christians’ attitudes towards others.

  80. #80 The Petey
    October 30, 2008

    You are correct sir, it confuses most people. Janine pointed it out to me as I was using “Petey” on a thread to irk PR

    Yeeks… looks like I did the same thing… apologies, the one and only Petey…
    I will henceforth refer to the aforementioned Pete Rooke as “re-Pete”… appropriately…

    Sorry “The”. I’ve always enjoyed referring to Rooke as “Petey” since it sounds so pal-sy wal-sy. Oops, I forgot to remind Petey (not you, The Petey) to blow me.

    oh, i don’t care, it just confused me at first. Context usually clears it, except for those times i play devil’s advocate.

  81. #81 Zadius
    October 30, 2008

    @blueelm

    The stated zip code 53122 is for Elm Grove, WI which according to this page is Eugene P. Burke’s home city.

  82. #83 Craig
    October 30, 2008

    Idiots like that give Wisconsinites a bad rap. This election is bringing the worst out in people and you could see it coming once Obama beat Hilary. I can’t say that sending mail is like wearing your racism on your sleeve, but these kind of statements are a last ditch effort. There is no information on that paper, just raw emotion and anger. This isn’t even about John McCain anymore, it’s about proud ignorance and rage against a straw man of liberalism/socialism set up by a mix of religion, media, and politics.
    What values are these that this way of thinking stems from, and does it not reveal a hyprocrisy of the very thing the writer claims to champion?

  83. #84 Sili
    October 30, 2008

    Mmmmmh – minnisotta …

    What? It isn’t an Italian dairy dessert?!

    Speaking of which, aren’t there better uses for aborted fetuses (feti? fetes?) than eating them?

  84. #85 Dancaban
    October 30, 2008

    It’s not fallout, it’s crumbs!

  85. #86 Allt
    October 30, 2008

    Man, that guy is so witty.

  86. #87 Gary Bohn
    October 30, 2008

    I’ve come to the conclusion CrIDers just can’t do sarcasm.

    Their sarcasm gene must be nonfunctional. Or a least inhibited by a refusal to think.

  87. #88 AJ Milne
    October 30, 2008

    Someone please call Merriam-Webster. We have a new definition for ‘fail’.

  88. #89 Saddlebred
    October 30, 2008

    Brookfield I’m embarrassed for you. Bet ya $10 this guy attends
    Elmbrook Church

    <3 Mequon

  89. #90 Jonathan Swift
    October 30, 2008

    Methinks you’ve been suckered by another modest proposal.

  90. #91 Lord Zero
    October 30, 2008

    This letter its not remarkable at all, even so the racism on its way revolting.
    I wonder why this zealotry its always paired with such stupidity. Maybe in fact there is a pleitropic gene related with low iq and tendency to credulity…

  91. #92 E.V.
    October 30, 2008

    … because of all the Jew pigs working in academia…. Be sure to test them by pulling the skull cap off one of those pious hebrew idiots – then piss on it for your blog fans.

    Goy-friend, please. A shaynem dank dir im pupik, Farshtinkener.
    Such a good catholic boy. I think the Jewish ADL would love to talk to this yutz.

  92. #93 CP
    October 30, 2008

    Granted that the guy is kind of a dipshit, I think you should have redacted his address.

    Years of experience on the political blogs suggests that very little good ever comes of publishing people’s contact information — either inadvertently or in an “outing.” The right-wing blogs are major practitioners of this sort of thing — publish someone’s contact info and let the worst element have at them — but it sometimes happens on the left as well. Even jackasses sometimes live with people who have nothing to do with their jackassery — like spouses and children — and the risk of some “lone wolf” deciding to have a little fun with a roll of toilet paper outweighs the [insert whatever advantage one reaps by publishing someone's address, because I can't think of one].

    I’m not at all suggesting anything nefarious is afoot — obviously it’s easier to just scan the damn thing and publish it as it is. I just wanted to suggest that you redact the address information from the published version of the letter. I think it’s what the proverbial “bigger person” would do.

  93. #94 notedscholar
    October 30, 2008

    I think that letter is probably satire, albeit a very harsh form of it. But I’m not literary expert……like you apparently.

  94. #95 Sili
    October 30, 2008

    Ooooh! Yiddish! Sexy!

    Does anyone know a good site for lessons?

  95. #96 PZ Myers
    October 30, 2008

    You mean like in the second sentence, where I mention that the author “believes he is making a sarcastic point”?

    OK, if that makes me a literary expert, I’ll have to accept it. I just thought it was obvious.

  96. #97 WRMartin
    October 30, 2008

    Just discovered (I haven’t read the thing to be honest): a bible quote for why we need to mock the idjuts:

    Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
    – Proverbs, 26:5

    Petard, hoist upon, 1 ea.

  97. #98 tsg
    October 30, 2008

    But I’m not literary expert

    Or, indeed, literate.

  98. #99 Al Sweigart
    October 30, 2008

    I would blur out his address and full name until you can confirm he is the author. It would be far too easy for the writer to fill in someone else’s name and send it knowing it would attract negative attention to that person.

  99. #100 E.V.
    October 30, 2008

    I think that letter is probably satire, albeit a very harsh form of it. But I’m not literary expert……like you apparently.

    Captain Obvious makes an attempt at sarcasm and fails. Can you say “schmuck”?

    Psst, One Note Scholar: The obvious hatred this guy feels for our Jewish friends leaps out from his muddled attempt at parody. He’s not kidding about the “academic jew pig hebrew idiots”, although pissing in a yamulke wouldn’t offend anyone for religious reasons.

  100. #101 cousinavi
    October 30, 2008

    Look. I don’t want to cause an uproar here…and if you must know I’m an atheist. But I am descended, at least culturally, from Ashekenazi Jews. And, really…I don’t wanna put too fine a point on it – might be best if we kept this on the down low – but if you’re gonna be grinding up some goyim fetuses, you know, anyway….I ‘m just now making some matzoh….

  101. #102 E.V.
    October 30, 2008

    Ooooh! Yiddish! Sexy!
    Does anyone know a good site for lessons?

    There’s a Rabbi next door, but he hates email. You haven’t lived till you’ve been wished shalom and mazel tov with a Texas drawl.

  102. #103 E.V.
    October 30, 2008

    Seems “E.P. Bruk” is not only a racist, but also cannot spell “his own name”.
    Thankfully, his weak attempt at subterfuge is fairly transparent.

    It’s hard to type with any precision with only one hand on the keyboard…

  103. #104 ice9
    October 30, 2008

    To be libelous the letter would have to be false or falsely attributed–in this case, to Mr. Bruk, or Burke, or whoever. It it’s Bruk (there are Bruks in Brookfield) and the letter is his real work, then publishing it can’t be libelous because there is no false attribution (and, by the way, PZ’s disclaimer, though polite and legally careful, wouldn’t be necessary to protect PZ from any fallout from the publication. Sending someone a letter is giving it to them.) If the letter is false, an attempt to defame another person by misdirection, then it could only be a libel if PZ knowingly presents it as Mr. Bruk’s work after he’s been informed that it isn’t, or if he can be shown to know that it isn’t. If another party cleverly directs people (ie us, with our Googlers) to conclude that the letter was written by Burke, not Bruk, then it becomes uncertain to me whether the letter meets the test of identifiability. My guess is that it doesn’t and therefore isn’t a libel, because the address is disguised and there is nothing in the text of the letter that might lead us to suspect that EP Bruk is a pseudonym. If the text included references to “My medical practice” and so on it might be enough. But I’m not a judge, or a jury. Just executioner, but that’s a coincidence.

    ice

  104. #105 'Tis Himself
    October 30, 2008

    Mr. Bruk thinks he’s a wit. He’s half-right.

  105. #106 Nick Gotts
    October 30, 2008

    Who among us has not sent off a letter we later came to regret

    Well I’m sure you have Pete. That one you wrote on human skin about how miniskirts are responsible for rape, for example…

  106. #107 Ichthyic
    October 30, 2008

    that may be the singular best piece of crank mail I’ve ever seen posted here.

    really got a laugh out of it.

    Mr. Bruk thinks he’s a wit. He’s half-right.

    which is exactly why it was so damn funny.

  107. #108 Michelle
    October 30, 2008

    I can’t disagree on the koran’s author being probably stoned. That said, the authors of the Bible were just as stoned. Did you see that thing? It makes no sense at all!

  108. #109 Tony Sidaway
    October 30, 2008

    I got as far as the phrase “that nigger Obama”.

    This looks like a POE.

  109. #110 spgreenlaw
    October 30, 2008

    GO PACKERS! WOOO!

    Sigh.

  110. #111 DCN
    October 30, 2008

    Actually, I’d say paragraph five was right on the mark.

  111. #112 GW aka GordonYKWong
    October 30, 2008

    He has no problem calling a US Senator a “nigger” but has problem with PZ using “Fuck” one too many times.

    How about a teaspoon of perspective with a dollop of reality with that tea, sir?

  112. #113 SimonC
    October 30, 2008

    Who among us has not sent off a letter we later came to regret or made a phone call that later proved to be ill-advised.

    I’d have to echo David Marjanovic on this: none of us, except for reflexive idiots like Pete Rooke, the kind of person who DOESN’T THINK THROUGH THEIR ACTIONS. It isn’t a given that everyone behaves in this manner, and suggesting it is reeks of begging for a pass on unacceptable behaviour. Sorry, Pete. No free pass for you.

  113. #114 Lee Picton
    October 30, 2008

    Ahem. For those of you reporting that all you have to do is see Pete Rooke at the TOP of the posts to blow by them, I take satisfaction in affirming that I begged PZ ever so prettily to move the tags from the bottom to the top so that I (being technologically challenged) could do so without having to activate something called a killfile (you’re kidding, right? – I’m an old lady and I have to choose carefully how I allocate my remaining neurons). That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Ahhhh, it feels good.

  114. #115 clinteas
    October 30, 2008

    I can safely say that I have never,in my entire life,met in person anyone who even resembles the level of sheer utter stupidity that this fellow exhibits,or the other illiterate deluded hating fools that we get to look at occasionally when PZ posts their letters.

    Its like some legendary figure from an ancient myth,youre told theyre real,but you have never actually seen one.I guess Im just lucky.

    Liked the “transitional forms” thing @39.

    Interrobang @ 58,

    we’re talking “heavy menstrual period with a larger-than-average clot in the middle of it.” It’s nothing the “overnight” pad models can’t handle, at any rate.

    Good point,esp about the males being clueless about female biology.

    But while thats true for most abortions,which occur up to week 12/13,second trimester miscarriages will have identifiable features tho,and at week 16 and above there will be fetal movements,i.e.arms and legs moving,which is rather unpleasant for everyone involved.

  115. #116 abusedbypenguins
    October 30, 2008

    Please. More. This is the kind of stuff that Jon Stewart can’t use. Can you imagine what E.P. Bruk can write when his medication is adjusted. Or, maybe his day job has him wearing very large shoes and a big red nose.

  116. #117 abusedbypenguins
    October 30, 2008

    Please. More. This is the kind of stuff that Jon Stewart can’t use. Can you imagine what E.P. Bruk can write when his medication is adjusted. Or, maybe his day job has him wearing very large shoes and a big red nose.

  117. #118 Cath the Canberra Cook
    October 30, 2008

    I’m concerned that our letter writer may be using an alias of someone he dislikes. Women’s health clinic? As John McCain pointed out, women’s “health” is code for abortion. Perhaps our correspondent thinks to smear the abortion doc?

    Or am I paranoid, and he is too stupid to consider his missive a smear on its author?

  118. #119 Monado
    October 30, 2008

    What a spew of hatred! The writer proves that he isn’t worth listening to.

    Who among us has not sent off a letter we later came to regret or made a phone call that later proved to be ill-advised.

    Translation: I think everyone is as stupid as I am.

    I think we can all agree that….

    Translation: I’m about to slip an unwarranted assumption past you.

    About that letter. If you’re going to call, don’t ask if he wrote the hate mail. Ask if he’s voting Democrat etc. Maybe the truth will out.

    I wonder if he has an employer? Customers?

  119. #120 Nerd of Redhead
    October 30, 2008

    I’ve been looking at this all day. My gut is sending me the feeling that the text of the letter is real, but the address isn’t. There may be a reason why a racist catolick might want a good doctor smeared. I don’t know enough to go any further.

  120. #121 moother
    October 30, 2008

    yay!

  121. #123 E.V.
    October 30, 2008

    Looks like the Pharyngulites on the other side of both ponds didn’t read the posts at the beginning of the thread.

  122. #124 Drake33
    October 30, 2008

    Well, Eugene P. Burke looks like he’s an allergist. I found a picture on one of the insurance/hospital sites. I agree with above, this screams out of someone being actually a little sneaky and signing this letter as someone else. Either a doctor he/she doesn’t like, or possibly a complete stranger just to see how WE overreact.

  123. #125 freelunch
    October 30, 2008

    I’m quite confident that the apparent writer was not the writer of this missive. There are a number of Bruks in Elm Grove/Brookfield, but none at the above address. There is also the interesting problem that Waukesha County would be happy to elect Michele Bachmann as their congress critter if Minnesota’s Sixth fires her (James Sensenbrenner might object, being that he is their current congressman and is roughly as vile as Ms. Bachmann). Of course, the illiteracy is not exactly a hallmark of suburban insanity, but maybe the suburbanite who wrote this thinks that everyone who isn’t a fan of bigotry and hatred is unable to read.

  124. #126 Austin
    October 30, 2008

    Holy crap that’s my old neighbor. I’m soooooooo sorry that scares me I’m showing this to me family and every one in brookfield I still know.

  125. #127 melior
    October 30, 2008

    Is nothing sacred?

    Zen Buddhists believe that nothing(ness) is indeed sacred.

    I’m inclined to agree with Salman Rushdie:

    Ideas, texts, even people can be made sacred – the word is from the Latin sacrare, “to set apart as holy” – but even though such entities, once their sacredness is established, seek to proclaim and to preserve their own absoluteness, their inviolability, the act of making sacred is in truth an event in history. It is the product of the many and complex pressures of the time in which the act occurs. And events in history must always be subject to questioning, deconstruction, even to declarations of their obsolescence. To revere the sacred unquestioningly is to be paralyzed by it. The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas Uncertainty, Progress, Change – into crimes.

  126. #128 JPS, FCD
    October 30, 2008

    Sili @ 95,

    IMHO this blog is an excellent site for learning Yiddish ;-) — and you might enjoy Leo Rosten’s The Joys of Yiddish.

  127. #129 Leigh Williams
    October 30, 2008

    Austin, are you saying that you KNOW an E.P. Bruk in Brookfield? Is he or is he not a doctor? Please spill.

    Clinteas, according to Guttmacher’s latest data (2008), “For a long time, nearly 90% of abortions in the U.S. have taken place in the first trimester, but in recent years, women having an abortion have been able to do so earlier and earlier in the first trimester. Currently, more than six in 10 abortions occur within the first eight weeks of pregnancy, and almost three in 10 take place at six weeks or earlier.” “Small blob of tissue” is the most objective description, in my opinion.

  128. #130 Alan Kellogg
    October 30, 2008

    I rather doubt Mr. Bruk is even Roman Catholic. For one is not a member of the Catholic Religion, but a Christian of the Roman Catholic Church. The way our Mr. Bruk reasons, composes sentences, uses grammar and spelling I have doubts about his being a doctor. It’s the handwriting that’s supposed to suck, not the vocabulary.

  129. #131 FlameDuck
    October 31, 2008

    Borderline Personality Disorder. You has it!

  130. #132 lotl
    October 31, 2008

    Small world – I went to the high school next door to that address and work about a mile away. And yes Saddlebred, Elmbrook church has some interesting cult members IMHO….

  131. #133 Skepacabra
    October 31, 2008

    And apparently though professing to know what it is that you did, he somehow missed the part about you also throwing the Koran in the trash.

  132. #134 shonny
    October 31, 2008

    Pete Rooke | October 30, 2008 1:38 PM
    You alone have the power to put an end to this nonsense and vile correspondence, of which you play no small role, and instead use your position as an educator to better shape your community.

    There are times when one would consider a calm, measured response to this, but now, – for expedience: RAM IT UP YOUR ASS!!

  133. #135 The Cheerful Nihilist
    October 31, 2008

    And with THAT perfunctory ALL CAPS and SCREAMER (also known as the exclamation point), we will put this thread to bed. As the denizens of the interntez exhale their mighty breathes, let us hope that this is the last sally of this thread.

    Move on, people. Nothing to see here.

  134. #136 Katkinkate
    October 31, 2008

    Posted by: Jello @ 66 “… Of course atheists have the advantage of adhering to reason to seek solutions to survival problems but the advantage that the faithful have in sheer numbers suggest that only a cataclysm of monumental proportions could wipe them all out before they could reproduce. This as opposed to the rationalists whose smaller population size makes them more vulnerable to extermination, particularly at the hands of the faithful.”

    But the rationalists tend to be more spread out in the population. It would take a honkin’ great big catastophe to get us all. You’d have to practically wipe out the population.

  135. #137 Katkinkate
    October 31, 2008

    “Yep”, Kate wispers to herself, “Yer timing sucs, love.”

  136. #138 Owen
    October 31, 2008

    It’s all about the… wait for it… timing. Thank you, I’ll be here all week, not that anyone will notice.

  137. #139 Saddlebred
    October 31, 2008

    With so many Pharyngulites in Greater Milwaukee, we r can haz gathering?

  138. #140 Lettuce
    October 31, 2008

    Calhoun Road in Brookfield?

    That’s a good 2 miles from the house, it’s amazing they’re here. (Well, not so much really) I should go by his place and see if he’s voting for Jim.

  139. #141 Blue Kansas
    October 31, 2008

    I submit the the author of the letter is also a cracker…

  140. #142 Spidergrackle
    October 31, 2008

    Saddlebred wrote:

    Brookfield I’m embarrassed for you. Bet ya $10 this guy attends Elmbrook Church

    More likely St Mary’s off of Juneau: hardcore conservative Catholic congregation. Elmbrook is non-denominational.

  141. #143 Saddlebred
    October 31, 2008

    I dunno. For batshit crazy fundie lunacy, those xxxxxbrook churches we have around here are pretty hard to beat. Non-denoms are quite possibly the scariest churches I have ever seen in my life.

    He didn’t seem particularly focused on the cracker like most of the Catholic hate mail we have seen posted on here. I guessed Elmbrook for those reasons =).

  142. #144 JosÚ
    October 31, 2008

    I’m just glad he wrote a letter instead of getting his wife fired.

  143. #145 Hap
    October 31, 2008

    Depends on if it’s unintentional stupidity (mixed with evil) or alloyed evil (alloyed with a different evil, though) – it’s not clear if this is an idiot speaking for himself (and at least not hosing anyone else in the process) or an evil idiot trying to slander someone else (I don’t know if slander’s right, but it’s in the ballpark, I think).

    It’s the difference between watching a moron say, “Hey watch this!” and an evil moron throwing chum into the water near divers.

  144. #146 Sili
    November 1, 2008

    Thanks, JPS.

    That’s gone to my wishlist now.

  145. #147 David Marjanovi?, OM
    November 1, 2008

    I had a thought about that and that thought was whether or not atheism can win out over faith in terms of evolutionary competition. Of course atheists have the advantage of adhering to reason to seek solutions to survival problems but the advantage that the faithful have in sheer numbers suggest that only a cataclysm of monumental proportions could wipe them all out before they could reproduce. This as opposed to the rationalists whose smaller population size makes them more vulnerable to extermination

    You act as if nobody had ever deconverted. Please.

    It’s the handwriting that’s supposed to suck, not the vocabulary.

    Very good point!

  146. #148 hery
    January 26, 2010

    Maybe he just realized that his priest was lying to him when he said that taking a pious prick in the pink pucker was going to earn him salvation

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