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.

Faisal Gill, the director of intelligence policy policy director of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection unit at the Department of Homeland Security, had previously worked for al-Qaeda frontman Abdurahman Alamoudi. That does not make him a bad guy; he could have been one of ours spying on Alamoudi's people. It does make one wonder just what the hell was going on over there.


This came to my attention now because Glenn Greenwald published a list of people under investigation by the NSA, Gill was the first name on the list, and I Googled him. This investigation is being framed by Greenwald as an injury to liberty; it is supposed to somehow be wrong that the government got a warrant to eavesdrop on the communications of a guy with a known direct connection to al-Qaeda. The position of Greenwald and his echo chamber is that these people should be immune from investigation for their connections to al-Qaeda because they happen to be Muslim. What the hell is going on over there?


Edit Aug. 12: On rereading the article, Gill was policy director of the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection division.

There is a form of rhetoric wherein a speaker uses a word that implies several subsequent facts are true, when these subsequent facts are not true for the situation where the word is used.

  1. If A, then (B,C,D,E,F...) by previous definition.
  2. It is proposed, but not proven, that A is true.
  3. Therefore (B,C,D...) are true.

The logic is sound but the data is crap. This form is not a logical fallacy but a type of lie by implication.

The logical fallacy is in deriving the word from an incomplete set.

  1. If (B, C, D, ...) are all true, then A.
  2. B is true.
  3. Therefore A.

This may be a form of affirming the consequent.

Example 1

A Contract requires the set of (Offer, Acceptance, Consideration, Mental Capacity, Lawful Purpose)

An agreement in dispute contains only (Offer, Acceptance). Maybe the accepter had a gun to his head.

One of the parties says "We have a Contract!" Not true.

Example 2

Countless reports from 2000-2004 of Israel killing "civilians" who were firing AK47s at Israeli soldiers, with that word used because these "civilians" were not openly enlisted in the official army of a state recognized by the US State Department.

Example 3

Wikileaks's phrase "Collateral Murder" where the required implications of each word contradict the truthfulness of the other word.

60 Minutes had an interesting piece on the stock market. Apparently all the talk about "high frequency trading" has little to do with algorithms anymore and is more about the HFT companies running MITM attacks on other traders, intercepting their trade orders, and using their own fiber lines to put in new trade orders quickly enough to raise the price before the original trade order gets in.

What's also interesting is that "anymore" was two years ago. 60 Minutes seems to have held back the story until someone had a book to sell, and they spent the end of the segment hawking the new company of one of the guys who identified the problem. Recall that the Benghazi report was based on someone who had a book to sell, which turned out to be a problem when CBS repeated some of the bullshit he had put in the book to make it more exciting. At least this latest book is not being published by a CBS subsidiary.

Stuff

Mar. 29th, 2014 05:46 pm

California State Senator Leland Yee was arming the al-Qaeda-allied Moro Island Liberation Front with heavy weapons. Those would be the mofos responsible for this notorious headline:

Also accused is political consultant Keith Jackson of public relations firm Singer Associates, the former school-board president whose page Singer deleted.

One of the Chinese gang members is a person from Thailand, Kongphet Chanthavong, named with the curious note: "Chanthavong has an outstanding warrant of deportation; however, country conditions preclude deportation." Thailand is a generic monarchy and US ally / client state. What "country conditions" could he have cited to stay a deportation order?


Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane shut down a sting operation that had already caught three state House members accepting bribes on tape on the grounds that the only three House members who accepted bribes were members of the Black Caucus, therefore the investigation must have been racist.


Pakistan censored the New York Times article "What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden".


Gawker Media called for the jailing of global-warming deniers on the grounds that:

Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It's going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people's deaths.

Let's start with Noam Chomsky.


Jawa Report found a one-paragraph final paper that earned an A- (from a second-semester African American Studies course at Chapel Hill that is said to be a grade-inflation course for athletes) and an incomprehensible Common Core kindergarten math assignment. The news is that a conservative criticism of Common Core is actually based on a Common Core product.


In a case of dueling political propagandists, AssEngine catches the Washington Post printing political propaganda. The real problem is that one of these two sides of political propagandists works for the Washington Post.


Washington Post writer Max Ehrenfreund describes counterfeiting as a "victimless crime" and "a service to society", using a variant of the broken windows fallacy as justification. This does not appear to be intentional satire.


The US budget will eliminate the current generation of Tomahawk cruise missiles and Hellfire helicopter-fired anti-tank missiles by 2016 in favor of weapons that are still on the drawing board. In short, top brass says "we're ordering you to replace weapons that work with ones that don't" or that don't even exist. In related news, the F-35 is still being worked on but at least we didn't ground every plane and order them all replaced with F-35s in 2005.


There is still only one news story on TV: that plane that was missing a week ago is still missing! Apparently every single reporter for every single news network has been on spring break. The silent war in the Ukraine has gone into the memory hole, and nothing else has happened all week. The best explanation of the missing plane so far is that the pilot thought he was working for British Airways.

Summary of 60 Minutes interviews on Benghazi:

  • from "Morgan Jones", commander of the guards at the Benghazi consulate:
    • Al-Qaeda was openly flying its flag in the city.
    • The guards at the consulate were incompetent.
    • The guards were unarmed.
    • Repeated requests to get new guards were denied.
  • from Lt. Col. Andy Wood, chief of security at the Benghazi consulate:
    • Al-Qaeda had published their intent to attack the Benghazi consulate months earlier, and had followed this up with additional planning intercepted by US intelligence.
    • State and DoD were informed, repeatedly, with increasing urgency, that al-Qaeda's plans to attack the consulate in Benghazi were in the final stages of preparation.
    • In desperation, Wood had called for abandoning the city.
    • Wood personally left Benghazi three months before the attack.
  • from Greg Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya:
    • Hicks had made two official requests for more security forces and was denied.
    • During the attack, Hicks asked the defense attache what military help could be expected and was told that none was coming.
    • (Note: Hicks was demoted for previously speaking to the press, making him one of the few people punished after the Benghazi attack)
  • from unidentified sources:
    • Diplomatic staff had sent numerous "detailed cables" to Washington requesting more security, with one mentioning that "the al Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings".
    • A CIA "quick reaction force" was ordered to stand down and allow the attack to proceed. They ignored the orders and are credited with saving five lives.

[Edit Nov 8:] The Washington Post found differences between the report "Morgan" gave to CBS and the one he gave to the Blue Mountain mercenary group. The Post also revealed his real name, Dylan Davies. A "State Department" employee using a fake name means he's a covert agent, or at least that it would be harmful to US interests for his real name to be released. This could be another Plame Affair. Davies denied having written the Blue Mountain report. CBS has apologised for the 60 Minutes report after the NYT reported that Davies's report to the FBI corresponded more closely to the Blue Mountain report than to what he had said in the CBS interview. It is well worth noting that Davies is was selling a book that is was being published by CBS's subsidiary Simon and Schuster. [Edit #2:] The book has been recalled.

The Telegraph has reported that "Darryl Davies" flew out of Libya "hours before the attack was launched".

The reporting on the controversy seems driven to make us look at anything other than the fact that this was an al-Qaeda attack and the allegations by everyone else that the leadership in Washington ignored requests for more security from its people in Libya. [Edit #2: Here's an example, and note also the disruption and redirection by user 'djchefron' of any attempt to raise the relevant issues.] 60 Minutes had two other witnesses and they are all the top officials there after Ambassador Stevens, but all of their testimony is being dismissed because one of them seems to have made up a story about sneaking back into the compound and killing a terrorist to sell his book. Breitbart may have solved this last year: The State Department had issued "Rules of Engagement for Libya" that forbid the standard use of Marines, necessitating the hiring of mercenaries, and also forbid the guards from carrying arms. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed off on the plan, so admitting that it did not work would be politically damaging to her. This explains the freakout from the partisan Democratic blogs whenever anyone suggests that the State Department should have known that the place was vulnerable to attack. They are planning to run her in 2016.

In a side note, Clare Lopez notes a discrepancy in the timeline: the State Department claims "everything is calm at 8:30PM", while five witnesses told the Associated Press that al-Qaeda had begun setting up roadblocks at 8:00 PM, an hour and forty minutes before the attack began. The Turkish diplomat who left the compound at 8:30 would probably have noticed something and failed to notify the Americans. Then again, according to the 60 Minutes interviews, the presence of al-Qaeda in Benghazi would not have been unusual.

[end of Nov 8 edit.]


Other Benghazi-related information:

One of the 24-hour TV news channels has a BREAKING NEWS banner because South Korea is going to begin its planned military drills in a few hours. So the media's definition of BREAKING NEWS now includes an intermittent reminder that an event that was planned days ahead of time is going to happen on schedule. By the same standard, it's BREAKING NEWS to tell you today that there is going to be a football game on Monday night.

So did the Democrats manage to repeal the ban on homosexuals in the military, or were they stupid enough to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" measure which prevents the military from actively persecuting homosexuals? Everyone says they repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" which would leave the ban in place and authorize inquisitions, and I don't put such incompetence past the Democrats; see the Yes You Can Spam act for precedent.

Via Weakipedia: If S.4023 is the bill, Congress left it to Obama, Gates, and the Joint Chiefs to decide whether to repeal the ban or not.

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