Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The van's a-rockin', Miss L's a-knockin'

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I'm deeply in lust with the delivery man to our warehouse. The last two months, I go outside with him to "help" with orders and we often get into it in the van. We never go all the way but we are like teenagers necking and petting in the back of the van. OK, we're both married, I might as well tell you. The funny thing is it's sparking up our marriages on both sides because we go home primed for passion. Is it so wrong when it's doing so much good to our marriages? -- Crazy Woman, XXX Industrial Park

Dear XXX: Pull-ease. It just feels so good, you're trying to justify it in your mind. You're better off to be truthful and say, "I'm doing something wrong and I'm enjoying it." What you don't notice is the widening emotional abyss between you and your mate. You're deceiving your beloved, and that makes it hard to stay close. People tend to turn away from the person they're cheating on, by limiting the time when they might slip up in conversation or call out the wrong name in bed. Nothing I say is going to make you stop jumping in the van with this hottie delivery man. But, if someone rats you out at work, you'll pay a big price in a hurry. Think no one notices? Think again.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: Bullying websites online must be taken down! I'm so disgusted. As more is said about these horrible cyber-bullying sites, the more people tend to flock to see what all the fuss is about. What seems like harmful fun for some anonymous jerk or a passer by tends to take a turn for the worst on the most innocent of people. Often these people's full names, places of work and sometimes even personal health information, is leaked for all to read. The website owner occasionally will remove contact info, but the damage has already been done. It also takes a toll on a person to see, read or even hear about this stuff. There are not as many of us that can handle the emotional backlash that these sites cause to a person. With so many people dealing with depression, stress and family issues bullying like this can send people over edge. How can we stop this sort of garbage? -- Unbelievably Frustrated, Winnipeg

Dear Surprised: It's surprising the Robin Hoods of the hacking world haven't gone after this site. They'd be true heroes to thousands of injured people. Free speech is an important value in North American society, and laws defend it for good reason. There are also laws for the negative side -- to protect people against liable and slander. Editors at the Free Press vet the nasty online comments that come in under stories, while attempting to give space to people who make legitimate points on both sides of an issue. People who are totally malicious, can't be given a soapbox to slice other people up, with their faces hidden by the anonymity of a computer name. You'll note Letters to the Editor in print require the writer's full name to stand behind their words and take responsibility. Those names are verified by the paper. An effective line has yet to be drawn with any vigour in cyberspace. There's a great deal of harm -- physical, mental and emotional, done by verbal violence, and it's true words written on bullying sites can slice people up to the point of killing themselves. What can you do? First, when you write to complain about these sites to media, don't; repeat the site name address. (I took it out.) Second, research to find out who has the powers to make new laws and get everybody you can find to lobby them. Third, do not go back repeatedly to give them hits on their site and boost popularity for possible supporters and advertisers.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 20, 2011 D8

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