I have no idea how reliable Media Equalizer is, but these are interesting stories: Facebook deletes comments from Bernie Sanders supporters, and MSNBC cancels interview with anti-Clinton author Roger Stone 45 minutes before air time.
The European Court of Human Rights has effectively banned website comments by making site owners liable for anything that users post, even if they remove it. And people wonder why the right-wing anti-EU parties are gaining strength.
Someone calling themselves "BillCaseyHoneyPot" and "the rodeo clown" made some comments to the Washington Post about alleged past covert operations, the Washington Post scrubbed the comments, Cryptome republished them, and Network Solutions blocked access to Cryptome (likely a coincidence -- see note at bottom of this post). Copies of the comments are held at SkidPaste and Archive.today. The comments look like the ramblings of a total crank and touch on several subjects:
- A DARPA data harvesting project called GROVER that was capable of recreating the Washington Post's internal database in 2005
- A satellite called Big Bird that could read the label off a golf ball from orbit
- A satellite called SK-91 that orbits three times a day
- A key: E4A966FF04DD296A41F5AAD497C64494 that should "scare the hell out of the CIA"
- A 3/4 inch "Helms tape" that, if it were released publicly, would put Henry Kissinger and Porter Goss on death row, implicate Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney, and collapse the US dollar and make everyone go over to LlamaCoin, a cryptocurrency for people who don't think Dogecoin sounds dorky enough
- Porter Goss "should be very grateful" that someone named Roman "is controlled"
- Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who he claims the NSA is making no effort to track
- "Kabul - Kazakhstan - Unocal - Bearden - NORTH"
- "16 people shot" in Balochistan after Timothy L. Towell is dispatched there by Hillary Clinton, possibly a reference to an incident in 2010
- Towell drugging a man and tying him to a bed in Uruguay.
There is no evidence online that this ever happened.[Edit Mar 2] The location was Paraguay, and Towell was charged with rape.
- The assassination of Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Massoud. He claims the CIA did it and that he has a full trail of documentation.
About the author:
- He claims to have participated in talks by the Helmand Valley with North (Oliver?), Casey (Bill?), and Bush (George Sr?).
- He claims to have enrolled at a university in Pennsylvania at 12 years old in 1973, which should make it easy to identify him.
- He he claims to have taken the Helms tape in his first year at university.
- He doesn't know how to use Youtube or else that tape would be online already.
- He claims to have "taken everything from Loftus's computer", a possible reference to CIA historian John Loftus [Edit March 4] whose book he recommends. He is also a fan of Bodansky and avacados.
- He claims that the Department of Justice is tracking him for talking to Edward Snowden.
It's possible that this is a real spook going senile or drunkposting, but it has a very crankish feeling to it.
Llamacoin is a nearly blank webpage with the text "You may also know Llamacoin by the name of TurtleCalabrese Coin." About which no, you may not have because no one else on the web has ever mentioned TurtleCalabrese Coin or any variation of Turtle Calabrese. There is another Llamacoin related to an Andres Abad in South America, but this seems to be a different person.
The takedown of Cryptome may be a coincidence. Reading between the lines of their twitter account, it looks like they were hosting the full-length movie Citizen Four and ate too much bandwidth for their shared hosting plan. The Internet Archive has also deleted a copy of the movie that they were hosting.
( Updates cut for space )
Authorities in Osceola County, Florida put muckraking journalist Charlie Grapski in a mental institution to prevent him from covering the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. After calling him into the county office to finish some paperwork, they sent a SWAT team to arrest him while he was on the phone with his lawyer.
Whatever was in this post, the submitter was banned from Reddit for saying it. As-yet-uncensored conversation suggests that it was about "Admins being corrupt including interview with moderator whistleblower". The interview is an hour long and I haven't heard anything outrageous in a few minutes of listening. [Edit] Somewhere near the end the interviewee says that Reddit admins use "vote manipulation" as an excuse to ban people they don't like. Also, one of the moderators suspected of banning people for no good reason is Reddit's PR person.
Early last week the school board was alerted that one of its eighth grade language arts teachers at Mace's Lane Middle School had several aliases. Police said that under those names, he wrote two fictional books about the largest school shooting in the country's history set in the future ... Phillips said McLaw was taken in for an emergency medical evaluation. The sheriff would not disclose where McLaw is now, but he did say that he is not on the Eastern Shore. The same day that McLaw was taken in for an evaluation, police swept Mace's Lane Middle School for bombs and guns, coming up empty.
The book is mentioned on Google Books but otherwise the book and its author have no web presence outside of this news article.
There is a category 4 shitstorm over the Internet today as Reddit administrators have been shadowbanning users for discussing the Zoe Quinn controversy (more) (more) (more+nsfw), for discussing the censorship of the discussion, and for notifying other users that they have been shadowbanned. Rumours suggest that several other prominent websites have been deleting non-intrusive, non-offensive commentary on the subject. Encyclopedia Dramatica has a long list of websites allegedly censoring discussion of the issue, but no evidence.
In one of the more notable examples, IndieGogo's administrators shut down a fundraiser that had raised $25,000 for a feminist gamer group and embedded the video "You Are An Idiot" on the fundraising page because this group landed in the anti-Quinn camp when Quinn accused them of being anti-transsexual on the grounds of requiring that applicants be "a self identified woman". There may also be a monetary angle involved.
Both pro-Quinn and anti-Quinn factions also claim the other side has hackers breaking into their websites and stealing their identities. Cover your popcorn because this might get messier than a Gallagher show.
[Edit] Fixed the KYM link. Added another summary timeline.
This one is fun. Walid Shoebat alleges that the Obama administration created the "Innocence of Muslims" video to incite riots that could be cited to justify new laws against criticizing Islam. What makes this worth mentioning is that Shoebat does have evidence of...something. A summary of his findings:
- Ahmed Abu Khattala, the alleged planner of the attack who was recently captured by US forces, was a leader of the February 17 Brigades which the State Department had hired to secure the consulate.
- Government service agency Stanley Associates gave the film some promotional support, including the new name of the movie which had previously been The Real Life of Muhammad. In one of those twists that means absolutely nothing, Stanley Associates is a subsidiary of CGI Federal which built the broken Obamacare website.
- One of the film's actresses says that Nakoula Basseley aka Sam Bacile aka that guy that made the video told her he was a Muslim.
- Nakoula's Youtube account includes signs of support for Nader Bakkar and Wisam Abdul Waris, two of the leaders of the Sep11 Cairo embassy attack.
- Nakoula became a federal informant allegedly after giving evidence against Eiad Salameh, but the US refused to accept Canada's offer to extradite Salameh for prosecution.
- Shoebat personally knows Eiad Salameh to be so right-wing that he would not go into business with a Copt.
- Within the span of one month, Eiad Salameh was released from prison; Nakoula began the first steps of producing his movie; and Hillary Clinton and Turkey's foreign minister co-chaired a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Conference at which the organization called for laws to ban criticism of Islam.
So, that's it. It's not very convincing of anything, but it is interesting.
Shoebat's conspiracy theory fits into the conspiracy theory that the Obama Administration planned the Benghazi attack to kidnap Ambassador Stevens in order to justify releasing Omar Abdul Rahman in a prisoner swap.
If any of these rumours were true, I would assume that somebody could leak some evidence: NSA tapes, a list of everyone present when these decisions were made with a time and place that could be verified, or something that could potentially be trusted and validated.
Shoebat does not help his credibility by having a sidebar headline blaming Muslims for the MERS virus.
There used to be something at http://ftrsupplemental.blogspot.com/. There was the URL in my notes, and a web search shows people referencing the antiterrorism articles and conspiracy theories that used to be there. Now it's an autogenerated page controlled by a bot. I would have imagined that blogs under a major business domain might last until the business dies.
And it was Catholics that forced TV skeptic Sanal Edamaruku to flee India. Not the jamaatis. Not the Hindu extremists. Catholics.
And Thailand is cracking down on dissent, which the Western press only cares about because the dissenters are using the salute from the Hunger Games movies.
The Internet Archive saved a report on suspicious Bitcoin trading at MtGOX. Key allegations in the report:
- A bot named Willy by redditors was repeatedly dropping $2.5 million on Bitcoins, never selling, and opening a new account to repeat the process after spending the pre-set amount.
- Willy was able to make trades when MtGOX was disconnected from the Internet, suggesting that it ran from inside the MtGOX network or that it was able to backdate its trades.
- Willy's user IDs were significantly higher than the highest user IDs of normal users.
- A user nicknamed Markus by the report's author also had higher user IDs than those of normal users, and Markus stopped trading 7 hours before the first Willy user ID was created, suggesting that Markus may have been an earlier bot or the user that created Willy.
- Markus's purchases show the exact same currency value as the previous user's trade even when the bitcoin value is different, suggesting that the trade records were created from dirty memory either when the trades were recorded or when the report was generated, in either case without money changing hands.
- When MtGOX released an anonymized version of their trading logs, the new logs changed the currency values of Markus's trades to the market price and changed Markus's user ID to that of a user named MagicalTux, a name used by MtGOX CEO Mark Karpeles.
As of two days after this report was published, it has been taken down by Wordpress.
This blog has been archived or suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service.
The report ends by openly accusing MtGOX of fraud, which probably attracted the attention of lawyers. The author should have kept to the data and let it explain itself.
[Edit June 05] Wordpress has restored the Willy Report blog.
Interesting reading: The CIA reviews several instances of Russia planting stories in the media from 1957-1959. Anyone who thinks this sort of thing stopped happening in the 1950s is an idiot.
Raymond Ibrahim alleges that American universities have rewritten history to portray Mohammed's warriors as a leftist liberation force. Where I will agree with him is in seeing a general pattern in society of reliance on recently published secondary sources combined with ignorance of both primary sources and older secondary sources that may be better informed by being less distantly removed from events than a modern publication. I place the majority of the blame on the fact that old books do not have marketing agencies.
Times change: Rhode Island's Brown University, which in 1966 reluctantly allowed a speech by Nazi Party leader George Rockwell in the name of free speech, has now forbidden a speech by New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
A quick note on US politics: If Americans want less extremist Republicans, Americans will need to elect less extremist Republicans. What would happen if the Republicans ran a pro-choice, pro-marijuana liberal who speaks out against the Tea Party and the other extremists on his side? This is not a hypothetical scenario. It is the NYC mayoral race. The last time I looked at the polls, the liberal Republican was down by more than 50 points.
Another quick note on US politics: Obamacare is looking bad, and I'm not talking about the website. The website is a distraction. A website can be fixed. The system itself seems to be resulting in higher costs for everyone for exactly the reasons Republicans have been claiming it would, but everyone treated their talk about the wonders of market economics with a Reaganesque dismissal of "there you go again". Horror stories include people seeing their insurance costs doubling when they are allowed to keep their insurance, their work hours cut to save their employers the cost of insuring them, and deductables so high they get literally no benefit from being insured. Whether the Republicans will see any political benefit from correctly predicting this mess will depend on who the public blames for these features: the newly enacted legal system or the "it's the system, man!" of all rich corporations except for the Democratic-donor insurance companies who are going to be making a bigger fortune from this. From my perspective, the right-wingers who tried to stop it by blocking the budget are starting to look like heroes.
That's not even getting into my concerns about the "health care markets" where I've been predicting that the finance capitalists are going to do to your insurance costs what they did to California's energy costs twelve years ago when we had an energy market that was supposed to lower our energy costs.
How much is a human life worth? Among the many problems of the United States is the escalating value of damages in civil cases for death, injury, and emotional distress. I don't know of any study on the issue, but judging from headlines the change in jury valuation of these woes far exceeds the rate of inflation. Some headlines report claims as much as ten times what the average man will make in a lifetime. People are beginning to perceive lawsuits as a combination winning the lottery, a rare opportunity to bring sudden wealth to someone in your social class, and a form of punishment rather than a means of rebalancing society after a harm has been committed. A small city or business can be bankrupted by an accidental death claim if it is not insured, resulting in the cost of insurance going up and public services going down. Individuals used to be safe from these lawsuits until the second OJ trial. Now, the only reason they are not being sued is that they don't have enough money to go after. A related issue is that the lives of some people are valued more than others in awarding damages for lost wages, as if it were known for certain that the victim would not have been downsized or hit by a bus the next day.
One of the most celebrated foundations of civilization is the Code of Hammurabi which was largely a table of damages for claims for death and injury, literally written in stone. Medieval Germany had the concept of Weregild, literally Man-Gold, the value of a life. Anybody who took a life could make amends by paying a value of gold equivalent to about $50,000 USD. Is this something our modern civilization needs? If we were to set a limit on claims for wrongful death or injury, it would benefit most the rich who would be less harmed by a fine than the poor. Most importantly, would it work? I believe that California does have a liability limit on medical claims, but it has not had a significant effect on medical insurance costs. There is some evidence against, from experience.
"Legal Schnauzer" Roger Shuler has been arrested for writing about Robert Riley in contempt of a court order written by Robert Riley.
Riley [Edit: hell of a mistake there] Shuler was the most prominent writer on the prosecution of Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, which cost him and his wife their jobs.
[Edit 10/27] Aaron Walker comments on the similarity to his case. [Edit #2] And, Robert Stacy McCain suggests that Shuler may be part of the gang involved in getting the court ruling forbidding Walker from blogging about Brett Kimberlin and harassing other bloggers writing about the subject. McCain's evidence is that Shuler has written (allegedly) defamatory things about Ali Akbar who is notable only for forming a legal defense group for the bloggers being sued by Brett Kimberlin, and that someone calling himself RogerS showed up on one of Kimberlin's blogs to praise Kimberlin's RICO lawsuit against Walker and other bloggers who have written about him.
[Edit 10/29] Ken White at Popehat gives his take on the story.
The Gatestone Institute fired Clare Lopez for mentioning Diana West's new book. Not that most people would know who any of them are or care, but it is nice to know who the censorious fascists are. See also earlier.
Whatever is going on, this is bigger than a personal dispute with David Horowitz or Robert Spencer. Somebody very powerful is very angry at West. Reputations are being aimed and detonated like mortar shells, in a business where reputation is very valuable, and no one is saying what the real reason is.
On the subject of ongoing soap operas involving censorship of people on the right who you've never heard of, Brett Kimberlin sued a bunch of bloggers who called him a pedophile after his wife said they had premarital sex when she was underage. This story had mattered at one time when a Maryland judge overturned the Supreme Court's precedent of Brandenburg v. Ohio to order a blogger to stop writing about Kimberlin because the blogger had accurately reported on Kimberlin's past as the Speedway Bomber of 1978 Indiana. You didn't think a low-level judge could overturn Supreme Court precedent? He did. You hadn't heard that a US court ordered a blogger to stop blogging when the blogger was doing nothing more than documenting the past of a public figure? Wouldn't that get the free speech activists on the net riled up? Wouldn't it be on the front page of the tech blogs? Wouldn't the EFF get involved or at least mention it as a news item? No, it happened to a conservative so they refused to mention it.
Edit Oct 11: Russian turncoats Vladimir Bukovsky and Pavel Stroilov write in support of Diana West. For another appeal to authority, the usually nonpolitical Michael Totten endorsed Radosh and said people "need to know just how troublesome a figure West really is". M. Stanton Evans has written two books that come to similar conclusions as West, the pro-McCarthy Blacklisted by History and Stalin’s Secret Agents. Evans and West both claim their arguments are supported by newly declassified evidence that previous historians have not had access to.