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Unity08: the Ethically Clouded Fix is in, Joseph

After I noted the first appearance of a letter to the editor with every word written by a Unity08 PR hack and with the authorship falsely claimed by a person from California, someone who called himself “Joseph” posted the following comment:

I don’t get it: what is it about having people vote online for candidates they like that you’re opposed to? Sure, you may not be opposed to the voting part, but you seem to be against them doing anything to increase PR. Really, it’s bad that they are providing a form letter to send to media outlets? By extention, the only people you want to support Unity08 are people who will take the time to write their own letters? Everyone else be damned? I sure as hell would rather have the Americans being screwed over by the current policies to have a voice than just the people who have enough time to sit in their ivory towers and come up with political dissertations. Sure, Unity08 might be run by a bunch of lobbyists, but what the hell does it matter?

Instead of constantly bashing Unity08, why not get all the people like us, and all the other progressives to sign-up and ensure that the REAL issues that matter to America are debated and that a REAL progressive candidate gets on the ballot, and not some Bush/Kerry redux?

Um, ok, “Joseph.” You’re using an Anonymouse service to mask your IP Address, so I think it’s pretty safe to say that you aren’t who you say you are.

Any guesses, peanut gallery? My personal favorite is a name that begins with “B”, although a name beginning with “A” is also a definite possibility. But who knows? Your name might even begin with an “S” or a “D.” I’m pretty certain that it doesn’t begin with “J,” though.

So let’s cut the crap, “Joseph,” and get right down to it.

1. Yes, the only people who should have letters to the editor with their name signed as author should be people who are actually the author. Any other practice is deceptive. You’d have to be a PR professional to not understand the basic ethical premise that fraudulent plagiarism is a bad thing.

2. It matters that Unity08 is run by a bunch of lobbyists if one of Unity08’s main platform planks is that going to get all the lobbyists out of positions of power.

3. You’re not a progressive, Joseph. That’s clear from your writing. Your a “whatever it takes” Machiavellian. So cut the “people like us” baloney. Why is it a bad idea for progressives (people “not like you”) to just ditch all the concerns they have and jump on board Unity08? Because Unity08 corporate leadership has been rigging the process by pretending to let its members “vote” on what the crucial issues are while already having identified them, by asking loaded questions in its “votes,” by shoving members’ voice further and further into a corner on its own website, and by having back-door talks with the people it wants to run for president while ignoring the contact requests of actual everyday people who want to run through Unity08.

Unity08 is going to get exactly what it wants, and we little people will be herded like sheep by people whose moral compasses are so twisted that they can’t recognize that letter fraud is a problem. Sorry, B…, er, “Joseph,” but that’s exactly the kind of enterprise I don’t want to jump on board with.

12 thoughts on “Unity08: the Ethically Clouded Fix is in, Joseph”

  1. Joseph says:

    It’s a shame that you dismiss someone as “not progressive” because they disagree with your views, and you have tried to trace me through my IP address…both things that a certain leader of our nation is often accused of doing to many of our citizens. I guess the speed loss is worth the use of Anonymouse.

    1. It’s not plagarism or letter fraud if it’s public domain. Check out and

    2. How does it matter if Unity08 is run by a bunch of lobbyists? As I said, I’ve signed up and support Unity08 even though I’ve read your posts, and I fail to see how them being run by lobbyists stops me from signing up my friends who agree with my views to vote online to get good issues discussed and good candidates for Unity08. It just seems illogical to me to say “oh, they are run by lobbyists, so don’t pick a Presidential candidate with the tool they make…instead, just use the *other lobbyist run parties*, because they are better at selling out”.

    3. What do you propose people do? Even if Unity08’s run by horrible people, how do you expect *OUR* progressive goals to be accomplished? Electing Clinton? Or would you prefer Romney? After all, it’s not like either of them are so detached from the American people and so tied up in an elitist power structure that they are going to sell out as soon as they enter the White House….no way.

    So yeah, what do you propose people do? I see Unity08 as a chance to try SOMETHING to fix the problem and actually get a good candidate in the White House. What do you think is going to fix it? Who exactly do you want to win the election? Because bashing something new, that should work regardless of the motiviations of its leaders, doesn’t seem like it’s going to fix the problems in our government.

  2. Jim says:

    I checked your IP because you wrote using the Unity08 corporate vocabulary. That’s why.

    I dismiss someone as “not progressive” when they say that ethics don’t matter, process doesn’t matter, faking authorship doesn’t matter, and the corruption of politics by moneyed lobbyists doesn’t matter. That’s professional PR talk, not “progressive.”

    It’s fraudulent for someone to claim they wrote something when they didn’t.
    It’s downright Machiavellian for a political organization to ask its followers to commit a fraudulent act.

    Your baloney has a first name. It’s “U-N-I-T-Y.” What’s your baloney’s second name?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well, “Joseph”, it looks like you have gotten your definition of “plagiarism” from some copyright lawyers. You’re saying lies and deception are just fine as long as no one sues you.

    My Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary says plagiarism is:

    vt: to steal and pass off as one’s own (the ideas or words of another) ~vi: to present as one’s own an idea or product derived from an existing source.

    My Lester’s Ninth Edition of Writing Research Papers says:

    Plagiarism is purposely using another person’s writing as your own. It is a serious breach of ethics. Knowledgeable, ethical behavior is necessary whenever you handle sources and cite the words of other people.

    If you’re going to talk to “Joseph” and his Unity08 friends, you’d better have your attorney with you.

  4. Ralph says:

    Uh, “Joseph,” here’s how that very site you link to defines plagiarism:

    1. a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work
    2. the act of plagiarizing; taking someone’s words or ideas as if they were your own”

    WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

    That is EXACTLY what Unity 08 is instructing people to do–take a piece of someone else’s writing and present it as their own.

    And please, “friends who agree with my views?”

    What views? On what issues? About what policies? Does Unity 08 HAVE a single substantial policy position on anything except that a nebulous, undefined “unity” would be nice?

    If Unity 08 doesn’t have any positions on any policies, how are we supposed to know if it’s “progressive” or not? Unless we kind of like the sound of the word “progressive,” and decide to call it that…

    THAT’s the problem with having an organization run by lobbyists and PR professionals depicting itself as grassroots and anti-lobbyist. Just another deceptive PR machine run out of Washington, not an alternative at all.

  5. Jim says:

    Actually, “Joseph” the sock puppet who is definitely, oh definitely not a Unity08 staffer, no, no, “Joseph” links to the following definition of “plagiarism”:

    the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work

    The only feature that is missing here is “unauthorized”, and there’s an “or,” Joseph.

    This is, precisely, the “close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

    How sad for Unity08 that it trashes lobbyists while bringing them into its leadership, talks up the evil of big-money donors while hustling big-money donors in the back door, and insists that its fraudulent plagiarism scheme is just what America’s newspapers need — because the American people really are too stupid to think and write for themselves.

  6. Jim says:

    Right on, Ralph.

  7. Joseph says:

    I’m disappointed that actually supporting Unity08 instead of nihilistic bitching qualifies me as using the “Unity08 corporate vocabulary”. I *never* stated that those issues don’t matter. My intent was to communicate that instead of just *bitching* about them running the organization, why don’t you advocate getting all of your readers to join the organization and take it over so that YOUR goals instead of THEIRS are achieved through the voting. Cause no matter how biased the leadership may be, they aren’t going to be able to hold a rigged vote with multiple news outlets watching them.

    I apologize that I actually attended over 16 years of schooling and never once, in the discussions on plagarism, was it brought up that writing or submitting form letters when requested to government officials, friends, or even publications was considered plagarism. I guess the whole world has it wrong in ever coming up with such letters, including such form e-mails on sites such as Moveon, and many others:

  8. Jim says:

    1. Oh, Joseph, “multiple news outlets” have been “watching” Unity08 since May 2006, and they haven’t uncovered Jack shit. They don’t go beyond asking, “So… are you gonna ask Mike Bloomberg? Are you gonna ask Sam Nunn?” Never depend on news outlets to do anything for you.

    2. No matter how many people join the organization as delegates, the Unity08 corporate leadership will be in control of the process, and if you pay attention the procedure is controlled at key points from the top down. Unity08 visitors get to “rank” issues from a set chosen for them. Whoop-dee-doo. The set to rank from is limited and has already been chosen by Unity08 staff, as their own communications (including the plagiarize-me-now-baby letter itself) make clear. Members join Unity08 to be controlled. I’ll visit a dominatrix if I ever need that trip, thank you very much.

    Thanks for the tip on That link is to write falsely to your friends, which is more a personal betrayal than a civic one. The better link to shenangians is here: where enables plagiarists. They don’t out-and-out ask people to cut and paste, which puts them lower on the totem pole of dirty tricksters than Unity08, which out-and-out does. But now I will be tracking this, too. Look up GOP Astroturf plagiarism on google and you’ll see that I’ve been hounding the RNC plagiarism machine, too. The Democratic Party tried to roll out its own sorry-ass plagiarism machine, but I’ve been able to find very, very few instances of people actually using it, which is interesting.

    I’m not a nihilistic bitch. I’m a bitch with beliefs, Joseph, and I’d rather be a bitch than a tool.

  9. Ralph says:

    Scroll down the site Joseph linked to a bit, Jim, and you’ll see EXACTLY the words I copied above. That’s what’s so amusing–Joseph sent us to a site he didn’t even read carefully.

    But you know, Jim. You ARE a bitch. An uppity, uppity bitch. Who the hell do you think you are CHECKING to make sure that what political organizations say is TRUE or not? You think that’s your role as a rank and file baaa baaaa supporter? Shut up, sit down, behave, and defer to those in power–you know, “Unity.”

    Oh, and your concern for the truth is so “nihilistic!” That’s what “nihilistic” means. Yup.

    Gosh Jim, why didn’t you join Unity 08, encourage your readers to join too, then try to change Unity 08 from the inside out when you saw problems in the organization? Oh, wait, you DID!

    Wasn’t that an old Simon and Garfunkel song:
    “I’d rather be a bitch than a tool,
    “If I could, if I could..”

  10. Jim says:

    Now Simon, he was a bitch, but Garfunkel was a complete tool.

    You know, “bitch” is such a stupid word for so many reasons, but one of them is that it means both that you’re uberdominant and that you’re ubersubmissive, dependent upon context, which could lead to so many hilarious sitcom misunderstandings, except that thankfully we have hankies in the pocket to clarify.

    Aw, but what do I know? I’m just a bitch! Tee hee, tra la!

  11. Ralph says:

    It’s simple, Jim.

    When preceded by an indefinite pronoun, “bitch” means uberdominant, as in:

    “Jim isn’t towing the Unity 08 line like a sheep, what a bitch!”

    When preceded by a possessive, “bitch” means ubersubmissive, as in:

    “Amanda Vitale is Unity 08’s bitch.”

  12. Joseph says:

    From what I understand of Unity08, they aren’t going to pick “views” on issues, but they will have people vote on what issues are important, and then the candidates (who will have to take positions on issues) will be voted on.

    From the way i’ve been approaching it, I don’t have to care about anything Unity08 says or does until I vote on whatever candidates I want for President/VP with Unity08, and that’s the way I like it.

    I do agree that the predetermined list that has been voted on has to stop for there to be any credibility with voting on “issues”. I apologize if you feel I was calling you a “nihilistic bitch”, I thought I had criticized “nihilistic bitching” which, what I was meaning to get at, is the idea that even though you may be right about flaws with Unity08, you don’t present any even semi-realistic way to actually fix the problems in our society. At least with Unity08 there’s a chance (hell, and maybe if you’re right about them being well-financed helps) that some problems might get fixed, or more people might get engaged with politics.

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