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Rich Rostrom
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Swartz downloaded many gigabytes of documents from the scholarly publication system JSTOR, using MIT's network. His intent was to publish them on the Web, because "information should be free". He was detected by MIT's IT staff, which blocked his downloads. He evaded these countermeasures, and finally went into a network equipment closet on the campus, and plugged his laptop directly into MIT's network backbone, for higher speed transfers. There's no doubt about these fact: they were admitted by everyone, including Swartz and his lawyer. Swartz knew he was breaking JSTOR's rules and MIT's, and thus the law. But like many of his age and political sentiments, he thought "civil disobedience" and "idealism" was a get-out-of-jail-free card. He was caught and charged, much to his astonishment. The prosecutors offered him a deal - plead guilty and get six to eight months. They threatened him with seven to eight years, if he was tried and convicted. His suicide is a tragedy - but it is a result of a fragile personality who had been taught to think he was privileged, and discovered, too late, that he was not.
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These scam sites are run by CAPE PAC. Everyone associated with CAPE PAC is a Republican, at least in name. CAPE PAC's business model has been to solicit donations aggressively, spend some of the money in a Republican campaign somewhere, then brag real hard about what they did to get more donations. Their solicitations piggyback on a candidate or race that is getting national attention, and preferably one that is a focus for conservative passion. The special Congressional election in upstate NY in 2009, and Scott Brown in the Senate special election in MA in 2012, have been two of their big shows. It's not surprising that they tried to piggyback on Allen West. They spend most of the money they get on advertising for more donations - and salaries for the bosses, often laundered through third-party contract arrangements. But they do spend some money on conservative Republican campaigns. Some of the staff may even believe that this is a legitimate operation. This latest scam has proven to be too much though. Their fake websites have all been taken down. Like cockroaches, they run and hide from light. Though the sites may have been down because of the hacking of site-hosting company GoDaddy, which took down thousands of sites. They have definitely pulled their Google ads.
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Testing for moderated comments...
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I saw the letter Mr. Fotopoulos issued on behalf of Mr. Morrison. It is a disgraceful piece of attempted legal thuggery and intimidation. Until then, I had not even heard of Mr. Morrison, and only vaguely of Mr. Patlak. I am now determined to vote for Mr. Patlak, and to encourage all Cook County Republicans I know to do so. Mr. Morrison is clearly unfit for any public office, nor would I ever do business with him. Furthermore, I regard Mr. Fotopoulos as unfit to practice law, both in moral character and competence. An honest attorney would not attempt such thuggery; a competent attorney would know (and inform his client) that it is almost certain to backfire, bringing his client's bad character to the attention of far more people than ever saw any of the criticism he complains of. I intend to repeat these opinions whenever either Mr. Morrison or Mr. Fotopoulos come to my attention. Either or both may sue me if they like; I have no assets to speak of. They will get nothing except as much bad publicity as I can generate.
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The link to The Burnpit (http://www.blackfive.net/main/2011/07/www.burnpit.us) is broken.
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2011 on Law School Breaks Law...Say What? at BlackFive
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Following on: I am not a veteran; I am a conservative who would prefer that VFW-PAC not endorse, for instance, Jan Schakowsky. But I can't ask that VFW-PAC put conservative issues ahead of veterans' concerns. And I question whether even conservative veterans can ask that. One last point: AFAICT VFW-PAC has endorsed only incumbents seeking re-election or incumbent Representatives running for the Senate. This is a very limiting posture. However, they have not endorsed all incumbents. Perhaps it would be better if they issued only a "hit list" of Representatives and Senators with bad records on veterans' issues. The present list of "endorsements" appears to be only a list of non-bad incumbents.
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Anger is entirely appropriate. But so is inquiry. It is necessary to find out who made these decisions, and what their reasons were. It is possible that VFW-PAC blindly endorsed anyone who voted for veterans benefits. The comment by the VFW National Commamder suggests this. Their Revised Endorsement List appears to confirm it. (Among their more offensive endorsements is Rep. Debbie Halvorson (IL), opposed by Capt. Adam Kinzinger USAF. They also failed to endorse Joe Miller (AK).) This would put them in a similar position to the NRA, which has endorsed all candidates with good voting records on gun rights, including some certain liberal Democrats. It's a valid position, though not one all the members are happy with. A key question is whether VFW-PAC should endorse based on its members' perceived interests or their prevalent sentiments. If a very liberal non-veteran Democrat is a strong advocate for veterans' concerns as veterans, should that outweigh his views in other areas which offend many veterans as conservative citizens? It is also possible that VFW-PAC routinely gives its endorsements for favorable votes on matters of private concern to members of its leadership and endorsement committee. That would be a Code Red problem. Another point: Mr. Pantano stated that VFW-PAC "has not endorsed one single veteran candidate for elected office." However, that is not true. The list above includes at least six veterans that I know of: Sen. John McCain (AZ), Sen. Dan Inouye (HI), Rep. Duncan Hunter (CA), Rep. John Dingell (MI), Rep. Mark Kirk (IL for Senate), and Rep. Joe Sestak (PA for Senate). It may be that VFW-PAC has not endorsed any non-incumbent veteran, or any veteran challenger to an incumbent - but that's a different statement. Sestak, incidentally, is running against non-veteran Pat Toomey; Dingell against non-veteran Dr. Rob Steele. Tammy Duckworth, mentioned above (btw she lost both legs), was opposed by non-veteran Peter Roskam in 2006. Should VFW-PAC have automatically endorsed them?
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One point, in the interest of fairness: in 2003, Erdogan and the AK Party supported allowing 4th ID to transit Turkey. Transit approval failed in the Turkish parliament; the vote was 264-250 with 19 abstains and 17 absent, so it was 5 votes short of a majority. 97 AK members voted no, so at least 230 voted yes. It was the opposition which voted overwhelmingly against transit - at the urging of France, which lobbied the vote very hard.
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2010 on ITC- Is Turkey still an ally? at BlackFive
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"the blast ruptured a previously undetected cyst in her brain, causing temporary blindness." Interesting side note. It might explain what happened to this man: World War II veteran William Foley, a very talented artist who recorded his service with the 94th Division in dozens of sketches and paintings. (His buddies scavenged art supplies from abandoned German houses for him.) Foley's work during WW II was all in black and white, because in one of his first actions, a nearby mortar burst that stunned him also knocked out his color vision. It returned several years later, somewhat like Corporal Ruhl. (At the link above, you can view Foley's talk last March at the Pritzker Military Library. Hell of a story.)
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The explosion which destroyed the Maine was almost certainly a spontaneous powder explosion in the magazines. This was the conclusion of a special investigation conducted by Admiral Hyman Rickover in 1976. Rickover and a team of scientists reviewed the data collected by the two official Courts of Inquiry. The first Court, meeting in 1898, came to the obvious conclusion. The second Court, in 1911, had the advantage of cooler heads, and also was able to examine the entire wreck, which had been coffer-dammed and pumped dry prior to removal. According to Rickover, they were confused by the fact that part of the keel had been forced up out of the water. This was not actually caused by the explosion, but happened when the hull and deck above were were sheared and the bow nosed down, bending the keel up. Just so you know. Other items for This Week: 2/15/1942 USS Duncan (DD485) launched 2/15/1942 USS Lansdowne (DD486) launched 2/15/1942 USS Meade (DD602) launched 2/15/1944 USS Gentry (DE349) launched 2/15/1944 USS Holt (DE706) launched 2/15/1944 USS Myers (DE595) launched 2/15/1944 USS William J. Pattison (DE594) launched 2/15/1945 USS Badoeng Strait (CVE116) launched 2/15/1945 USS Gurke (DD783) launched 2/16/1942 USS Alabama (BB60) launched 2/16/1943 USS Charles Lawrence (DE53) launched 2/17/1943 USS Abbot (DD629) launched 2/17/1945 USS Weiss (DE719) launched 2/18/1943 USS Wintle (DE25) launched 2/18/1944 USS Tabberer (DE418) launched 2/18/1945 USS Gearing (DD710) launched 2/19/1942 USS Nicholas (DD449) launched 2/19/1943 USS Dempsey (DE26) launched 2/19/1943 USS Snowden (DE246) launched 2/19/1944 USS Arthur L. Bristol (DE281) launched 2/19/1944 USS Maurice J. Manuel (DE351) launched 2/19/1944 USS Ray K. Edwards (DE237) launched 2/19/1944 USS Robert F. Keller (DE419) launched 2/19/1945 USS Don O. Woods (DE721) launched 2/20/1942 USS Duncan (DD485) launched 2/20/1942 USS Guest (DD472) launched 2/20/1942 USS Hutchins (DD476) launched 2/20/1942 USS Lansdowne (DD486) launched 2/20/1943 USS Delgado (CVE40) launched 2/20/1944 USS Oklahoma City (CL92) launched (1 BB, 1 CL, 2 CVEs, 11 DDs, 15 DEs.) This has been a completely pointless wallow in raw American productivity.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2010 on This Week in American Military History at BlackFive
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The real problem is western intellectuals who are obsessed with criticizing us (that is, the U.S., its allies, Christianity, white people, Israel) and won't talk about these evils. They listen respectfully to the lying front-men for the jihadis, but are righteously skeptical toward anyone on our side. Hollywood has made several movies about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. All but one have portrayed the U.S. as agggressors or war criminals - the troops are at best the victims of the evil U.S. government, while the enemy gets a pass. (The Hurt Locker is the one exception, and even there the war is depicted as a senseless horror, with no identifiable villains.) Not one movie about American heroes defeating Bad Guys. Not one. That would be simple-minded cliché. Never mind that it's true. Other nations are as bad. Note the recent attempt by left-wing Brits to crucify Tony Blair. I don't like Blair in general: a corrupt semi-left-winger whose one good policy was supporting Bush in taking out Saddam Hussein. And it's for that they want to hang him. But they can't be bothered to denounce Khamenei and Ahmedinejad, or the Taliban. Prof. Richard Landes at The Second Draft has some deep essays on this: Demopaths & Dupes, Liberal Cognitive Egocentrism, PC Paradigms . Landes is mainly focused on Israel, but the same BS goes on there - including human shields, children turned into suicide bombs, and bogus atrocity stories. The slanders against Israel tie into the Iraq and Afghanistan wars - millions of Moslems are taught that Israel murders Moslems and the U.S. supports Israel, therefore Moslems must fight the U.S. And western intellectuals repeat the slanders. See Landes' coverage of the Mohammed Al-Durah story and the Goldstone Report. In the long term, there's only one way to defeat these monsters, and that is to meet them in "mindspace": a massive effort to publish and broadcast a narrative clearly establishing them as villains in the minds of the Moslem (and other) public. Alas, the U.S. doesn't do "propaganda".
Toggle Commented Feb 6, 2010 on Just how evil is the Taliban? at BlackFive
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This is yet another case of the contradictions in voting. The bad may be the indirect ally of the good. For instance, consider the French election where Chirac was re-elected. He won the second round with 80% because his opponent was Le Pen, who had edged out all the left candidates in the first round. A Chirac supporter might have voted for Le Pen in the first round just to create that situation. Contrariwise, the good may be the enemy of the better. Suppose there is a "party primary", where a 90% conservative and a 70% conservative compete to meet a 90% liberal, in a district that leans conservative. The 70% conservative would when the general election easily; but the 90%er would win too, and be a more reliable conservative representative. Hard conservatives would therefore go all-out against Mr. 70%
Flenser: "...blacks outside the South were voting Democrat from the late 1920's on." No, black voters switched to the Democrats in the 1930s and 1940s, not the 1920s. Blacks in Chicago elected Republican Oscar De Priest to the U.S. House in 1928 (the first black Representative outside the South). De Priest was re-elected in 1930 and 1932, and lost narrowly in 1934. The 1st District remained competitive as late as 1946. "...it's not obvious why blacks settled on the Democrats as the big government party to back." In 1948-1964, the liberal wing of the Democratic party aggressively championed civil rights. Most Republicans were supportive, but Democrats like Hubert Humphrey led the charge. In the late 1960s, blacks in the South organized "national Democrat" parties in opposition to the existing Dixiecrat organizations, and competed for the national party's recognition. NationalGuard: 1) The switch of black voters to the Democrats was largely complete before Nixon. 2) "Affirmative action" as we know it (including racial quotas) was largely created during the Nixon administration. 3) However, Goldwater's ostentatious vote against the 1964 Civil Rights Act was a big factor. (Goldwater himself was a lifelong NAACP member, but he pandered to the racists there.)
Some years ago, I worked for Extant, Inc. Really. My division was called Mantiss, and the receptionist answered the phone "Mantiss, an Extant company." I thought that this was remarkably silly, given what "extant" means.
Toggle Commented Jul 30, 2008 on Some details about Senior Visits... at BlackFive
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I see no one has mentioned the Annenberg Challenge, a $50M grant program for school reform. Bill Ayers helped set it up, partly through his father's connections. Obama was picked to serve as Chairman, while Ayers ran a parallel operation to generate grant proposals. This guy has a lot more details. He is, BTW, a labor lawyer and law professor, and a professed leftist. For instance, Mike Klonsky, sometime Maoist, long-time Ayers protege, and recipient of an $175K Annenberg grant, blogged for four months about education at Obama's campaign site. Then someone pointed out his history, and suddenly his blog disappeared, and he never was an advisor of any kind...
Toggle Commented Jul 4, 2008 on Why McCain's captivity matters at BlackFive
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Well. of course it was Thatcherism. When there was 40% unemployment and millions of people starving to death in the streets, what could happen but an increase in bastardy? Didn't exactly the same thing happen in the 1930s? And look at the U.S. Out-of-wedlock births increased from 5.3% in 1960 to 18.4% in 1980. The imminent horrors of Reaganism are the obvious cause. Or consider the condition of Americans Blacks. American Non-Whites had a 21.6% illegitimacy rate in 1960, which by 1975 climbed to 44.2%. Obviously the result of the increased racial oppression and economic hardships of the intervening years.
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"Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." This works, mostly, but not when the governed demand a form of government that is dangerous to others. As when, for instance, they choose governments which launch wars of aggression, or sponsor terrorism, or which cannot restrain cross-border criminals. There are areas of the world where the very idea of civil government is not believed in; where people trust only their immediate kin, steal anything they can (for survival, and because if they don't, someone else will), and rely on private force for security. Most of the Arab world is like that to some degree, including Iraq. Professor Richard Landes has written a lot about this. Responsible self-government is impossible without general commitment to the idea of the general good. That requires a huge effort to overcome ingrained mistrust. I'm not sure that it can arise spontaneously in a badly poisoned culture. Those who step forward to be good citizens often lose badly. America has done a huge amount to revive civil order in Iraq. One reason that so many Iraqis want the U.S. forces to stay is that Americans can be trusted where they can't trust each other. With Americans around to enforce the deal, civil behavior becomes much more practical.
Toggle Commented Apr 14, 2008 on Ideology in COIN at BlackFive
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