Monday, August 28, 2006

Byrne's Dilemma: Dealing With Treason

After a blissful summer hiatus, Overstock.com chief executive/conspiracy theorist/journalist-taunter/short-and-analyst-suer/"miscreant"-blamer Patrick Byrne resumed posting his thoughts on an Internet message board last night.

Byrne immediately found himself tackling a grave dilemma: How does one deal with traitors to the Cause?

Seems that one message-board poster, though otherwise sympathetic to the Cause, had dared to question "stock counterfeiting" conspiracymeister "Bob O'Brien's" (nom de smear of used medical equipment salesman Phil Saunders). Saunders was yammering that a crummy little company called Global Links is the victim of "massive fraud" -- and not the shortcomings of its management. This skeptic suggested that the evidence of fraud was a little thin. She also noted the absence of actual victims. That was clearly the last straw.

"Basher!" the baloney-chompers cried on "O'Brien's" wacky board and elsewhere. ("Basher" is the "stock counterfeiting" cultists' term for "skeptic." One either drinks from the kool-aid basin or is the enemy -- there is no middle ground in the cult.)

Byrne counseled patience with the hated freethinker -- up to a point. Responding to complaints that the dissenter, "Selene," was actually a "basher" in disguise, Byrne said soothingly, "I have no reason not to believe Selene. Nothing in her story sounds implausible."

Byrne went on to note that his patience had limits: "if Selene is in fact a basher, but one who is trying a new approach of sounding reasonable, then I say it is a nice change, and we should not bang on her/him. (Until she starts jabbering nonsense, as she has on the Bunny's ["Bob O'Brien's" wacko "counterfeit stock"-conspiracy] board.)"

"Jabbering nonsense" means, in plain English, "questioning loony conspiracy theories promulgated by anonymous crackpots."

Got to watch that nonsense-jabbering! I am sure that Byrne will stay on patrol for that, as his money-losing company limps along. Stay tuned. I sure will -- so you don't have to.

© 2006 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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Wall Street Versus America was published by Penguin USA on April 6.
Click here for its Amazon.com listing and here for more information on the book, from my web site.

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