Friday, September 07, 2007

Looking for a good business-related affiliate program?

Sponsored Post:

Hey, know anyone who should become a website design affiliate? Do them a favor and email them this page - or maybe better yet, keep it to your own self.

I've looked at all kinds of affiliate programs over the years, and every once in a while, I run across one like this that looks great - for someone else entirely. I find it difficult to imagine that people who read Graphictruth have website design services in the forefront of their minds - and that, of course, is the real key to affiliate marketing.

It is also a principle I violate every day trying to sell my own stuff, but what the hell, it's MY sidebar.

But if you do have a site that is about design, marketing, industry or business, the first thing you should tell everyone is - both by direct example AND by your choice of affiliates, by word and deed is that Presentation is Everything.

Yeah, another rule I violate nearly every day. I am, in every aspect of my life, an unmade bed. But then, I am not a business.

I've often said that the advertising you place on your site is as critical as any other element of it's design. It directly speaks to what you believe in and what you believe is worth putting your good name behind.

And having said that, I will say that this opportunity seems well worth your "due diligence," if you have the sort of traffic that makes any such company directly relevant to your blog or website.

Seriously - if you are bright enough to buy the good paper for your letterhead and have it printed at Kinkos instead of on your tired old photocopier, you are bright enough to know this - that your presentation affects your success.

And yet, the Internet is filled with crappy-looking, brash and unprofessional sites representing products and ideas that may possibly deserve serious consideration - but are not going to get it with their current representation, no matter how much SEO they do, no matter how many keywords they buy, no matter how they get the people to the site - it's the site that keeps them, or as many blinking, flashing monstrosities have done to me - driven me away screaming.

Now, this was a paid post, brought to you by virtue of a tempting sum of money - but I'm not saying anything that I haven't said before or will say again. If you cannot create a good site your self, do not make a bad site in the expectation that it's just as good. It's not. You shouldn't. It won't work. If you plan on doing a professional job, if you wish to be respected AS a professional, use professional grade services and associate with fellow professionals.

Republican Spin Machine Wobbles About Ron Paul."

The more attention Ron Paul gets, the more desperately spinners like Hannedy try discredit him, and the more people of all political affiliations who can read, spell and do the math sign up for the Ron Paul bandwagon. He won the latest Fox debate with 33 percent (their count) despite the best efforts of those merchants of sleaze on fox to slant, discredit and throw spitballs. Paul took a true hazing, effortlessly, yet passionately providing intelligent answers to loaded questions, while his lightweight competition was being tossed big wet kisses underhand. The response was overwhelming - over a third of the responses were for Paul and the best response to that result by the other candidates was that their supporters "didn't know how to send text messages."

Much less read, spell, or do the math.

Here's some fun math, cited by a really powerfully interesting source.

Currently maintaining the top three positions are Barack Obama, 20.65 percent, Hillary Clinton, 11.71 percent and Ron Paul with 11.36 percent.
The largest decliner this week was Rudy Giuliani, down 0.60 percent.
The largest gainers included Chris Dodd up 0.28 percent, John McCain up
0.30 percent and Fred Thompson up 0.22 percent. For full results, see

The Spartan Internet Political Performance (SIPP) Index
is the first quantitative measure of the Internet-wide performance of
each presidential candidate
( for the 2008
election. The index gauges the level of support and how well each
candidate is connecting with individuals across the Internet.
At this early stage, results like that are surprising, considering that of all the candidates, Paul is the only one being actively discredited by MSM interests, at least, that I'm aware of. Most of the other "second tier" candidates are simply ignored.

Placing third overall is, as I said, surprising at this early stage, especially considering how totally obscure Ron Paul was just a few months ago. But clearly he has his fellow Republicans running scared. One only has to look at the "reaction shots" in debate videos to see the funk sweat. The fact is, Paul is the only one on utterly unassailable ground from a constitutional and traditional, Conservative Republican perspective

Meanwhile, he has even more dramatic numbers from other sources, as reported by a disgruntled viewer of ABC's This Week comments.

Rep. Ron Paul was the most impressive candidate in the recent
Republican debate.Rep. Ron Paul was the most impressive candidate in the recent
Republican debate. He is the dramatic winner in the latest CSPAN
Capital News poll, where 73% believe he won, compare to 8% for Romney,
his nearest rival ( 
Huckabee, who garnered so much attention on This Week, was at 2% on
this poll! Ron Paul also leads MSMBC's poll by a clear margin (

I think Ron Paul has an excellent shot at winning both the Republican nomination and the presidency if the votes are honest. That is, of course, one gigantic "if."

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The price of privacy: US $15/Month

Thanks be to PayPerPost! I have found out that There is a free market solution to the growing issue of government intrusion into private affairs, both personal and economic. It's called "VPN" or, Virtual Private Network, and this is what one provider says about VPN and Anonymous Surfing.

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Anonymous VPN Service
If you are tired of nonworking and slow proxies it`s time to start using VPN (Virtual Private Network) service.
Key Benefits of anonymous VPN:

* Fast speed.
* No need to check regularly (as proxy).VPN servers are available all the time.
* Absolute anonymity.
* No provider logs.
* 100% content encryption.

For all customers at the moment we offer unlimited traffic.
Anonymous Virtual Private Network gives you the best shield for you daily surfing and work in World Wide Web.VPN is the most secure kind of
protection that provides you extreme anonymity.

I should add that it's not about the access to porn or whether you log onto Second Life as the opposite gender that you really wish to keep secret. It's your economic life and career future that can be protected with this one simple step. A VPN account will keep your public identity and your online life separate - and that online life will be untracable to you. And if you think surfing for porn is a bad idea, even from home, consider what happens when your boss knows your home IP address and does a search for your online postings and activities by IP.

Or worse yet, your boss's competetitor. Or your competitor. Yeah, owning your own business means you are a primary target for industrial espionage - and most small businesses never think twice about their communications security.

And yet, the vast majority of espionage, worldwide, is for economic and business data; trade secrets, buying patterns, economic and financial patterns. One ill-advised email that can be traced back to you could sink your company.

So a little insurance seems like a good idea, and the happy side effect is that you can surf for porn with a good deal more security. That would be worth fifteen bucks to quite a few people ... but aside from being it's own reward, there is nothing like a large, predictable flow of questionable materials to conceal your real worries. The best place to hide a needle is not in a haystack - it's in a pile of needles. So the best place to hide something you are concerned about being discovered having seen or written is within a pile of plausibly embarrassing materials.

Peace and the power of Intent.

I just got a note from my good friend, Jim Wallis, and I'd like to share it with you. It touches me that we seem to be on a first-name basis.

Ok, it's a mass mailing, but he has a point and I'd like to share it with you.

Dear Bob,

Jesus said to them, "This kind can come out only through prayer." (Mark 9:29)

Let Congress know you're praying for them to end the war in Iraq.

Next week, Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, will report to Congress on the troop "surge," in which the Bush administration has escalated the war in Iraq by sending an additional 20,000 American combat troops.

As people of faith, we believe in the power of prayer to soften the hardest of hearts and open the way to peace and reconciliation. So, as General Petraeus testifies, we're planning to match his surge with one of our own–20,000 prayers for Congress to bring an end to this war.

Click here to share your prayer with Congress–let them know that you're praying for their courage and wisdom to end this war.

We are at a critical moment, as the House and Senate decide on our nation's continued involvement in Iraq amidst a frenzy of swirling accusations and partisan rhetoric.

But while the Bush administration has frequently abused the language of scripture to justify this disastrous war, a growing number of Christians from across the theological and political spectrum are coming together to oppose it.

And our nation's political leaders are listening–in fact, we've spoken to several members of Congress who are considering reading a selection of your prayers for peace into the Congressional Record.

Like many of you, I've opposed this war from the start, and together we've raised a prophetic voice against it–marching in the streets, writing letters, and much more.

We'll continue to do all of that, but I believe it will also take faith to end this war. It will take prayer to end it. It will take a revolution of love to end it, because this endless war in Iraq is based ultimately on fear, and the Bible tells us that only perfect love will cast out fear.

Will you be a part of this surge of prayer for peace? Click here to let your Senators and Representative know that you're praying for them.

In times such as these, we ought to remember the words of the Apostle Paul:

Do not worry about anything, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)


Jim Wallis and the rest of the team at Sojourners/Call to Renewal

P.S. To reach 20,000 prayers by next week, we'll need your help. Can you share this message with 10 of your friends, family, and congregation members, asking them to join us in this campaign?

Jim is speaking to fellow Evangelical Christians, and so in a way, he's "speaking in tongues." But it's not that hard to translate, so let me just say that it matters little what, if any religion or faith you follow. What matters in efforts like this is intent.

As it happens, I grew up in the usual way in these United States - Sort of Christian.
Between my mother's religious quest for simple answers and my father's dedication to the path of personal selfishness, I was exposed to both credulity and cynicism about spirituality. Naturally, I rejected both and made my own explorations, finding that when examined, there is a great deal to be said for Christian faith - if you ignore most of those most willing to provide ready reference cards to make it "easier to understand."

It's really not that complicated. Indeed, it's taken over 2000 years and the lives of thousands of dedicated theologians to obscure the Bible's ethos to the extent we see to day, where it's a matter of faith that God approves of blowing up random brown people in His Or Her Name. But this is not so much about faith or ethics as it is about ritual and intent - and for ritual and intent, there are no good Protestant sources, other than the Episcopal Church - and even there, the idea that there is a point and intent to the ritual has largely been lost. This is true for many Catholics as well. The reform of the Catholic liturgy was... well, it needed reformation. But it was apparently reformed by people who didn't really understand why you do rituals in the first place.

But when you wish to gather people together in a shared intent to effect a change in the course of things through pure intent, that is done by means of a ritual that defines and focuses that intent. By the by, we now have a scientific understanding that such focused intents can effect probability and appearently causation on a subatomic level. It really does change reality. (in wikispeak, citation needed.)

But in order to do that, the ritual must be precise. It's best to fit the current intent into an existing, well-practiced formula, which is why ditching liturgies wholesale is a bad idea.

But there are few books of ritual more familiar and well-worn than The Book of Common Prayer, and it would be profitable to study it's composition, and the way it can be used to build a full ritual from various paragraphs.

Now, I know Evangelicals are suspicious of ritual and it's trappings - although I've been to enough Evangelical, "spirit filled" events to wish they respected it more. Spiritually speaking, certain rituals are sensible - much like reflexively "safeing" your gun before putting it away. If you believe - as do I, and apparently as Jim Wallis does, that prayerful intent can have a real-world effect, it should be intuitively obvious that it can have a less than ideal result if you do not consider and carefully state the intent so that everyone shares the exact SAME intent.

Otherwise, the very best result is that nothing much happens. And indeed, if the only intent is political - simply getting a large number of people to send a message, that intent will be met simply by doing as Jim suggests. However, what Jim does NOT do is exclude the other intents that individuals may have, and therein lies the rub. There are potential pitfalls involved in simply "praying for peace," and praying at people to "make the right decision." Coercion is Unchristian - and unethical. Aside from that, it leads to most unpredictable outcomes.

Of course, the reason for formulaic prayers is to create templates for such occasions, so that potential pitfalls are avoided automatically. The risk is that the existence of those pitfalls will be forgotten as the price of having avoided them for so long.

I had thought to include an example within this post - but it seems that it's not so easy as it might appear; I'm sure there are suitable rituals - but most likely one would have to seek out Pagan and Wiccan sources and work from that point. Wiccans and other Pagans are on the forefront of ritual design these days because it's an article of their faiths - whatever else they may not agree upon - that ritual is the key to the expression of what they believe and what they wish to accomplish. This has been generally discounted within the greater Church - even the Anglican and Catholic branches have de-emphasized the importance of proper ritual.

And now we reach MY point: There can be no real or lasting peace without justice.
I am unwilling to return to a state where we accept the largely nonviolent exploitation and oppression of people, with only isolated tragedies here and there as a consequence of brutal economic and class warfare as "peace."

Peace is not a general absence of outright warfare. It is not just the cessation of military adventures - it is also the abandonment of the intent behind them, to unjustly control the destenies of other persons, while holding them accountable for the costs of their own compliance.

Peace is just that; it is peace. It is the absence of the will to impose one's will on others - by whatever means.

And THAT is what you must seek - or you will simply be agitating for war by more comfortable means, with fewer disturbing images on television and casuaties measured only in relative standards of living.

So long as you are praying, in part, to maintain "our American Way of Life" as it has been within living memory, you are praying for what has been a state of constantly smoldering potential violence that occasionally breaks out into open aggression. And that is what I refer to above as an "unexpected outcome."

You see, in order to properly craft an intent, you must be brutally honest with yourself about what it is you seek, and what it will cost others should the result be "positive" from your point of view. Otherwise, while there may be a short-term shift in direction, the fundamental change many of us feel long overdue will come, not with hosannas, but with cries of outrage as the world re-aligns against OUR will and our interests.

Because, well, that's Karma, baby.


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