Context matters

When I received the below solicitation, I really couldn’t believe what I was reading.

Dear Kenneth

I hope you are safe & well during this extraordinary moment in history.

I see that you cite on Observations… here.

I’m writing because we’ve a launched a tool at [REDACTED] dot com which I think your users may find useful.

It’s an animated world debt clock, covering 40+ of the world’s biggest economies (from the US to Australia). Unlike the page you currently cite, our debt clock is visual, fully responsive & looks great on mobile (as used by 40-50% of your users in 2020!)

You can take a look here:-


Do you think the link would make a useful addition to your page on, perhaps?

Thank you for your time, Kenneth.

Best wishes,


PS. Our site has been cited by CNBC & The Huffington Post, and I’d be thrilled if we’d be able to add Observations… to that list, too 😉

And I can’t care that you’ve been cited by CNBC and HuffPo. I’ve been quoted by the BBC. It doesn’t really mean all that much.

So some context…

The article they link is my refutation to a 7-point list of Obama’s “accomplishments”. On my refutation to point 4, I link to to show the per-year Federal budget deficits for FY 2005-2015. The site has all kinds of other information about Federal government spending, so check it out if you’re interested and don’t get easily overwhelmed by a lot of numbers and charts. I think I’ve linked to them several times on this site.

So Joel comes around and sees that I link to on that article, ignores the context for that link, and asks me to link to his “debt clock”. He doesn’t even properly represent the context of how or why I’m linking to He just says “link to my site”. Which the specific resource in his link (redacted for obvious reasons) was a debt clock for… get this… the UK national debt. Wow…

As someone with a business degree who also studied marketing… this is really sad. Beyond sad actually.

If he’d actually read the article to get the full context around why I linked to, he would’ve seen quite clearly that his request was nonsensical. Again it’s a link to the per-year Federal government budget deficits and the article doesn’t even mention the total accumulated national debt. It would’ve shown him that his e-mail was a complete waste of time, which is why I largely ignored it and his follow-up till now. And I’m only bringing it up so I actually post something while finishing up a few things I still have in draft.

Beyond that…

I’ve mentioned before this site barely hits the triple-digits in views in a single day. There really is no reason anyone should be sending me these kind of solicitations, as they’ll just end up as another article on my blog showcasing how lazy some people can be. It was Joel’s solicitation that led me to add the blurb at right: that if anyone wants me to actually consider any of the ideas that get sent my way for this site, include it as the message to a non-refundable payment to my PayPal, and then I just might give it the light of day.

But at least I can say that Joel’s request isn’t the most… lazy or stupid I’ve received. That one came back in 2017. I’ll post that one at a later time.