CSS 101

Maybe everyone already knows this. Or maybe nobody cares about this. But apparently Cathy Harris is trying to spin the fake rape story by accusing me of faking the screen shots.

Let me explain something about type fonts and web sites.

When you set type for a newspaper, it’s easy. Pick a style and you’re good to go. Every copy will come out looking exactly the same.

Computers are very different. A browser (Firefox, for example) displays the type font that the code for the web site tells it to display. Let me give you an example:

This is the CSS code for the Romancing web site. I wrote it. It’s telling the browser how to display stuff in the body of the page. The background color is coded (e1cd8a) which is that gold/yellowish color. There is no margin, and no padding (don’t worry about what they are). The color of the type, the color of the letters is 2f2d27, which is the extremely dark brown color that makes the border around that image.

But the important thing for this little lesson is the font. The first thing you see is the size. I’ve set the size to 100% of the normal size that the browser displays type. What is that?  Whatever you have your browser set to display. People set them differently.  The 1.4 is talking about size again and is not important.

The four type fonts in red are what is important.

If I only put one type font there, say, Verdana, and your computer didn’t have Verdana installed, your browser wouldn’t know what to do. It would make a huge guess and display something, but it might be something I don’t like and I’m the designer.  Worst case scenario is that it wouldn’t display anything at all.

So, what I’m telling the browser is: Display the type in Verdana. If that’s not available, use Arial. If that’s not available use Helvetica. And if none of those are on the computer or device, use a generic sans-serif font. In that order.

Look at this:

These are samples, taken from this web site, of those first three type fonts. Notice the extreme difference between the first two – Verdana and Arial. They are set to the exact same size, yet they occupy very different amounts of space. Now notice the second two – Arial and Helvetica. They are not absolutely the same, but very close. Why did I include two fonts so close to being the same?  Because Helvetica is pretty much universally installed on Macs. Arial is almost always available on a PC. By using those two, the web site will look very much the same no matter which sort of computer the user has.

Phones are another matter. The same issues are involved. At that point, the “sans-serif” command often takes over and it’s very generic. It can get very weird indeed.

That’s why you can look at the Romancing site on your home computer and it looks somewhat different from the way it looks on your phone or other mobile device, or your laptop.

And Facebook is not different from this. It’s coded the same way. It’s probably way more complicated, but when it comes to type fonts – this is how it’s done. I don’t know what choices the coding folks at Facebook made when they developed the site – they’re almost certainly not the same as my choices, but it shows up differently on different computers or devices.

Sometimes the difference is slight – like that between Arial and Helvetica above. And sometimes the difference can be quite profound. I am typing this on the screen that WordPress displays for me to compose a new post. The type font is a serif font (like Times New Roman). However, when I “publish” the post, it will be displayed as you’ll see it, with a sans-serif font. Same words, different display.

See what I mean?

In the Fake Rape account, the top screen shot came from one device. The next two came from a different device. There was a reason for that which has to do with my sources. The screen shots are fairly old. Cathy didn’t fabricate that story last week.

The last little shot comes from a phone notification, which is why the coding got garbled. It was the only copy the source had.

I don’t have to fake anything to prove that Cathy lies.


Freedom of Speech

Most people do not really want others to have freedom of speech, they just want others to be given the freedom to say want they want to hear. – Mokokoma Mokhonoana


On that terrible day in November of 1963, I was a tenth-grade student at Bob Jones Academy. My mother was employed at the school in the business office. Somebody came into whatever class I was in and interrupted to tell us the news that JFK had been shot. The teacher halted the class and we had prayer, which was interrupted shortly afterward to give us the news that the president was dead.

Forever afterward, most people can tell you exactly where they were and how they heard the news. At home later that day, my mother told us what had happened in the Administration Building when the news broke there. Someone ran upstairs to tell Dr. Bob, Jr. while conversation buzzed everywhere. Then came the news that President Kennedy had died.

Mom described the scene which she could see from wherever she was on the ground floor. Dr. Bob, Jr. came down the stairs and somebody called to him, “The President has died.”


Dr. Bob’s response was immediate and visceral.

“Thank God,” he said.

Even for a woman who was totally fundamentalist and rabidly politically conservative, who despised that “liberal” President Kennedy, this was really too much.

She expressed her horror at Dr. Bob’s remark to a co-worker who warned her not to let anyone hear her criticizing him, ever.

The moment marked what was probably the beginning of our family’s exit from the Bob Jones University community. She would never see the place through rose-colored glasses again.


In the days that followed, Dr. Bob let the whole world know of his contempt for John F. Kennedy by refusing to lower the flag on the campus to half-mast. [He would do so again several years later when Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, but this was worse. This was the President of the United States.] I remember my mother explaining to us that it didn’t matter what you thought of the man, John F. Kennedy. You lower the flag to respect the office.

My mother wasn’t the only person on campus who was a bit taken aback. There were some students who were too. A whole group of them, in fact. I remember the number as twelve, but that’s sort of fuzzy. It could have been eight, or eleven, but it was more than five. All male. All University upper-classmen.


This clip is from the current student handbook at BJU. In my day, the handbook said something like this: “Constructive criticism is welcome, but griping will not be tolerated.” Everyone who has ever been on campus for any length of time knows the phrase well.

These young men knew it too.

So they made an appointment to see Dr. Bob, Jr., and expressed their concerns to him in person. Respecting the offices, both Jones’ and the US President’s. And they each received 75 demerits for their trouble, thus sending a message to the entire student body that not only will griping not be tolerated, what constitutes “constructive criticism” is highly subjective and pretty much unknowable.

At just about the same time that these BJU students were being slapped down for daring to disagree even slightly with Dr. Bob, Jr., there was this.

It’s a very silly little song about monkeys. It was written by Dave Hendricks as a rebuttal to evolution, which fundamentalists of course completely reject. I know about this song. I know about it because I sang it in church once, on a Sunday morning (which was sort of daring, because Sunday morning music tended to be sort of high-brow – and anything is more high-brow than this little piece).


The song, I repeat, is silly. The most interesting thing about the song is how many times the lyrics repeat “I don’t know much…” Yeah, Dave Hendricks certainly didn’t.

But it’s a song about creationism. The references to monkeys in the song are about real monkeys, the kind that hang out in trees.

Yes, I know that the photo is a chimp facepalming and not a monkey, but he’s cute so I used it.


I’m using here comments that Camille made on Stuff Fundies Like, instead of the actual conversation I had with her about this subject. I have to do that because I don’t have any record of that conversation. That’s because I’m not in the habit of grabbing screen shots of everything anyone says who disagrees with me and keeping them for years. However, the basic ideas she espouses here are identical to those she expressed to me.

In the first place, when Darwin’s theory of evolution was first publicly discussed, there weren’t really any ideas that “evolution concluded that the black man and the white man were the same.” Darwin, knowing that the subject was probably going to be volatile, kept his writings pretty much about plants and animals, at least at first. It was his distant cousin, Francis Galton, who latched onto what he thought were the implications of the theory, and came up with eugenics, resulting in the idea that black men were not as “highly evolved” as white men.


Somebody calling herself “pastor’s wife” argues that exact thing. Camille sets her straight, though. It’s creationism that is racist. Evolution is egalitarian.

In a sort of stretch-it-to-make-it-fit way, that’s right. Only racism has existed on both sides, using both science and the Bible to support bigotry. It’s not a “they are bad and wrong,” and “we have always had it right” thing. Creationism does, in fact, lend itself to racist ideas, because of the whole Ham-sinned-and-black-people-are-cursed story. And science has dipped into eugenics to its shame and disgrace.

The Klan, being opportunistic, just went with whatever fit. They were (are) first and foremost racists. What argument is used to support that racism doesn’t really matter.


And so, because Camille has the Klan on the brain, and is seeing Klansmen in everything, everywhere, this little anti-evolution ditty is “Klan Kode.” We know that because Camille has declared it to be so.

When I had this same conversation with her, she was much less polite, and pretty much dismissed everything I said as the commentary of a stupid woman who doesn’t know nearly as much as the great Camille Lewis, Ph.D., super historian and researcher extraordinaire. I gave up after a brief exchange when I could not convince her that the lines in the song, “The teachers who came from a monkey would be better off in a zoo” were not about black teachers, or black people. When this song was so popular and I was in high school, I was a white student at Wade Hampton High School in Greenville, SC. There were no black students there. Even though Brown vs. the Board of Education had been decided when I was five years old, I never attended school with a black person in my life, and that included nursing school. I did my bachelor’s degree entirely via distance learning, so I had no “classmates.” And I never had a black teacher.

The “teachers who came from a monkey” is a reference to teachers who taught evolution. It is not a racial statement.

The interesting thing about all this to me is not the minutia of the lyrics of a silly old song. It’s more about how, when I disagreed with Camille about this, and explained that I, as a teenager, performed this song, didn’t think of it as racist, and didn’t know anyone who did – I was dismissed as not knowing what the hell I was talking about it. It’s not like she said, “Gee, I hadn’t spoken with anyone who actually sang that song as a kid. Maybe I’m reading something into it that isn’t there.” No. She did the whole “Yes. It is racist. It is. No doubt about it. It’s code. They called black people ‘porch monkeys.’ ::shrug::” She actually said that about the porch monkey thing, so I asked my husband, who grew up in Greenville, born in 1939. He never heard the expression in his life, nor had I. That doesn’t mean it didn’t exist, but it absolutely didn’t exist among the people in Greenville, SC we knew.

But when, around the same time, I told Camille a story that she wanted to hear, with the conclusions that she wanted to be true, oh, well, then it’s different. Then I’m a genius and perfectly reliable source.

This conversation, about a silly song,  occurred during the period when I began to wonder about how objective Camille is, and I decided that I probably wasn’t going to listen to her very much, as she didn’t seem to want to know anything except stuff that supported the conclusions she’d already reached. She’s not listening to people who lived through the era she’s “researching.” She’s deciding what happened and then looking for evidence to support that narrative.


All this leads me right here. This is from Camille’s Storify page, discussed here.

I thought this was odd. I couldn’t figure it out at first. Here’s a guy whose annual photo is lined up right along with all the Really Bad People, with Camille’s handful of criminals, and Jim Berg, and other nefarious characters, and it seems that his only crime is…

that he disagreed with Camille.

I had to ask around to find out what in the world a “Calvinista” is. I never heard the expression before. And Camille herself pretty much embraces Calvinist philosophy/theology, so why the mocking name? It seems, my sources tell me, that it’s a name for those thought of as “hyper-Calvinists.” So it’s basically one group of people taking pot shots at another group of people, arguing over the exact shade of brown of their excrement.

Apparently Jonathan Hagen tried to get somebody to influence Camille enough to get her to remove some name from her terribly influential Storify page. He simply has a difference of opinion with her and expressed it.

Camille doesn’t take well to differences of opinion.


This disagreeing so disagreed with her that she took to Twitter to rant about it. If you don’t agree with her, well, just tell her, and she’ll add you to the list. How nice. But you need to be a BJU alumnus. I’m not, so I suppose I don’t qualify. I hate that.


All this is the real reason why all comments over on Truth Seeking Graduates must be approved before they appear. That doesn’t mean that no disagreement is allowed. Occasionally, a comment is posted that starkly disagrees with Camille. But only, and I mean only, if she feels that she can chew that person up and spit them out. Otherwise, forget it. If you don’t believe me, just try it.

The reason given out is that they have to approve comments because of “drive-by hiders” or because of people who somehow try to sabotage their lofty aims and goals. After all, Camille is so important and her little Facebook page so influential that people are clamoring to stop her any way they can. She’s the Edward Snowden of Bob Jones University.

This clip is from a few years ago. I included it just because I thought it was delightful that they were so protective of Beth then. Times, of course, have changed.


Only I have a few Facebook pages, just like Truth Seeking Graduates. I have tried to replicate the whole “drive-by hider” thing and I can’t do it. Maybe that’s because I’m just a stupid woman and can’t figure it out, but neither can anyone I know.

Yes, there is a “hide” button beside comments made on Facebook “like” pages. But that only hides the comment from the person who clicks on it. The comment remains visible to everyone else.

This first one is what you get when you click on the upper right of a post made by an administrator. You can tell Facebook you don’t like the post. Facebook will then ask you why you don’t like it and you’ll be able to click on a reason. You’re basically given the opportunity to report the post.


I cannot actually get a screen shot of the “hide” button because it’s a mouseover which disappears when you remove the mouse from it. Here’s a typical snarky remark from Camille over on TSGoBJ. It’s a comment made under a post which she also made. The “hide” button is located where I have the yellow box.

If you click on that, the comment will be hidden – from you. From your eyes. On your screen. Not on anyone else’s and that includes the admins. I know because I experimented with this. Furthermore, if you leave the page, and come back in a little bit, the comment will be visible to you again. Nobody else can tell that you even clicked it.


This shot is from a different page. I had to use it because it’s from a posting made by someone other than an administrator. On most pages, these show up over to the left under “Posts By Others”. Only you won’t see that on TSGoBJ. That’s because they don’t allow anyone to post anything except administrators. Camille and Cathy control the conversation there. The subject matter is chosen by them and no one else.

Note that you have the option of “hiding” again. And again, if you choose it, the post will disappear – from your screen. It will not disappear from anyone else’s.

There does appear to be a situation where, if a comment or post is reported, and Facebook deems it necessary, it will be “hidden” until the admin deals with it. I’m not sure what it takes to get Facebook to do that, since I was unwilling to test it out by reporting my own pages for violations.

I do know that in order to get the Manhater page’s godawful commentary removed, it took dozens of people simultaneously complaining repeatedly. When only one person complained, it resulted in no action at all.


Ever hear about Busta Troll?

He’s a politically liberal Facebook user who spent a whole lot of time and effort infiltrating very offensive right-wing Facebook pages and gaining admin status, at which point he removed all the other admins and began posting goat memes everywhere. Whether you think this was a good activity to engage in or not, he was wildly successful until Facebook finally banned him.


Here’s an example of one of the milder goat memes. Most of them are hilarious.

Do you think that Busta Troll would have gone to all the trouble he did to create elaborate fake identities and nurture them over many months, quietly infiltrating these pages, gaining the trust of the administrators until they let him have admin status – if he could simply have gotten his accomplices (and he had many of them) to go to the pages and “hide” comments?


Remember when Beth Murschell had her Facebook page up, the one called “Truth Seeking,” that had the Queen and St. Catherine and Maytag all outraged? They were livid about almost everything posted over there.

They collectively complained bitterly, demanded that stuff be removed, and finally went and started their own pages (by the dozen, it seemed) to counteract it all.

Why didn’t they just “hide” the comments they didn’t like?

Not a single comment or post was ever “hidden” by anyone. There were a few removed by the admin (Beth), but that’s all. That’s because it cannot be done. (If somebody can show me how it’s possible to do this, I’d be happy to correct this. But don’t just write me and say, “I know it can be done.” Show me how.) If Camille and Cathy could have done so, there is no doubt they would have.

And that brings us full circle back to Bob Jones University, John F. Kennedy and “constructive criticism.” Just like BJU, Camille wants to control the conversation. The only criticism permitted is that which she believes she can adequately squash. There really isn’t any discussion, except that which she allows to occur and leads. And that is what “Truth Seeking Graduates of Bob Jones” is all about.



The Calling

I remember once, many years ago, my brother-in-law wanted a new truck. He didn’t need a new truck. He didn’t need a truck at all. He never carried anything in the bed of a truck. I’m not sure they really could afford a new truck.

But he wanted one.

So he said that “God” wanted him to have a new truck.  Why? So he could haul around young people.  I’m not kidding. It’s not really safe, you know, to haul kids around in the bed of a pickup truck, and I really think that a better choice would have been a van, but he didn’t want a van.

He wanted a pickup truck.

And in the religious world, the best way to convince somebody that what you’re doing is a good thing is to blame it on “God.”

When I was faced with higher education choices (there weren’t many in my world), I told my mother that “God” wanted me to be a nurse.  I had been “called.”

It was the only thing I could think of  (at the time) that Bob Jones University didn’t offer, and I wasn’t going to go to BJU come hell or high water. So I became a nurse. There was no other reason.

Everyone did this. I used to think about how disingenuous this was, and rationalize it by arguing that “God” placed the desire in your heart for the thing he actually wanted you to do/buy/be, and therefore it was all good.

Really what people were doing – what I was doing – was just making up a lofty-sounding reason for what they were doing or wanted to do.

But I repeat: everyone did this.  I suppose they still do. And that brings me to this:

Way back in the spring, when this little “war” was in the skirmish stage, Karen Nelson Lee took a private message between her and Beth Murschell and went public with it on the now-defunct Facebook page called “Truth Seeking 2nd Edition.”  I think everyone knows what I think about people who do that sort of thing, so I won’t elaborate on what a slimy person she has to be to do that.

But in the message, Beth mentioned that she felt “compelled by God” to speak out.

And they howled. They shrieked. They mocked her endlessly. This literally went on for months. In fact, Dan hasn’t shut up about it yet, and Beth hasn’t even been on Facebook for a very long time.

They were horribly offended.

This comes from Camille’s blog.  From a little piece she wrote in August, 2009 about her (presumably self-diagnosed and alleged) Asperger’s syndrome, which she uses regularly to excuse every shitty thing she does.

It seems that “God” has “neurologically wired” Camille “to be a whistleblower.”

It’s true, she says. She knows this because some dude says so – he “surmised” it. [Bear with me. This is how Camille does “research.”]

Nobody was offended.  Nobody shrieked. Nobody howled.

Nobody dared.