Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

RIP Ben Bradlee

RIP Ben Bradlee
One of our nation's best.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

HOW REAGAN AND SUPPLY SIDE ECONOMICS WRECKED AMERICA'

As we listen to the loud-mouthed pundits on the Right blame Mr. Obama and the Democrats for America's sluggish economy, the deficit, and the debt, we need to arm ourselves with facts.  And the facts point to Reagan's presidency as the beginning of the great increase in our national debt, with a dip in the nation debt as a % of the GDP coming from the Democratic president, Bill Clinton.

We cannot lump the Obama administration in with other past administrations, since he came into office facing a dire economic situation and had to act immediately to staunch the bleeding of jobs as well as stimulate the economy.  We've all seen the chart that shows the improvement in job recovery, but it is more difficult to understand how Mr. Obama's policies averted a national economic catastrophe, since  we can't create a chart on what might have happened, only on what has happened.

Unfortunately, it takes time and attention to read and digest this information, and most voters won't invest in either.  They'd rather listen to charlatans and ignoramuses like Beck and Limbaugh, who contribute nothing to our national discourse, than educate themselves on these important issues:



 
"So how did Reagan, the great debt-slasher, go so far wrong? Partly it was his belief in supply-side 'economics.' This 'theory' claims that when the government cuts taxes, especially taxes on corporations and the rich, it makes them so happy to keep more of their money that they work much harder, get richer, and pay even more taxes than before the tax cut. So the lower the tax rate, the more money the government collects to pay down the debt! Believe that happy talk, and you can run up quite debt.


Of course the rich loved this 'theory' and fed the press many stories about the wonders of the new supply-side 'economics' (cooked up by Laffer, as a graduate student). Money talks, and a lot of people listened. It's time to rethink what radical conservatives have done and are doing to our country. The Reagan-Bushes National Debt now totals $9.2 trillion. That's the lions share of our present debt.

 


The green line in the graph shows what would have happened if Reagan had proposed budgets that let the debt increase in step with inflation and the economy—if he had kept it at a constant fraction of GDP. That's not much to ask of a president who said he'd do far better than those before him, since every previous post-war president had actually reduced the debt as a fraction of GDP.


By the end of the Reagan-Bush 12-year 'revolution,' the extra debt they had piled on the country was costing the country an extra 2.6% of GDP in interest—$300 million a day. Without that interest working against him, Clinton would have paid down the debt a bit faster. That helps the green-line goes down in the Clinton years. That's what would have happened without the Reagan-Bush interest burden.

Now if W. Bush had held the line as all non-supply side presidents had done, the national debt would have been only 21% of GDP, and the country would have been ready to pull itself out of the Great Recession with ease. In fact when W. Bush's last budget year ended we would have had $9 Trillion less in debt.

So how did Reagan, the great debt-slasher, go so far wrong? Partly it was his belief in supply-side 'economics.' This 'theory' claims that when the government cuts taxes, especially taxes on corporations and the rich, it makes them so happy to keep more of their money that they work much harder, get richer, and pay even more taxes than before the tax cut. So the lower the tax rate, the more money the government collects to pay down the debt! Believe that happy talk, and you can run up quite debt.

Of course the rich loved this 'theory' and fed the press many stories about the wonders of the new supply-side 'economics' (cooked up by Laffer, as a graduate student). Money talks, and a lot of people listened. It's time to rethink what radical conservatives have done and are doing to our country. The Reagan-Bushes National Debt now totals $9.2 trillion. That's the lions share of our present debt."

MORE HERE.

Just Say No to Supply‐Side Revolutionaries


The supply siders:

  • Lied their way to power in 1981: said debt was “out of control.”
  • Spiked the debt 20 out of 20 years.
  • Ran up $9.2 Trillion of debt that we’re paying interest on.
  • Take care of the rich but not the country.

Now they want to:

  • Cut taxes for the rich―that means more debt.
  • Block all spending that would benefit future generations.
  • Stick future generations with a bigger bill and nothing to show for it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GLENN BECK: LIBERAL AND PROGRESSIVE KILLERS ARE COMING FOR YOU!

Sue of "Hellooooo...Mr. President Are You Listening? has this video up.  In it you will hear Glenn Beck warn his listeners that "...violence is coming from the left..." and:  These are the "...most dangerous two years of our Republic.  In revolutions, the real dangerous killers show up when things fall apart, when nudge moves to shove, and shove doesn't work, the killers show up."




Beck has, no doubt, lost whatever mote of a mind he originally possessed.  And I remind anyone who watches this video to remember what Beck has said about himself:

''I'm a rodeo clown. It takes great skill.''

—Glenn Beck, New York Times interview, March 29, 2009

''I say on the air all time, 'if you take what I say as gospel, you're an idiot.''
—Glenn Beck, New York Times, March 29, 2009

''I could give a flying crap about the political process ... We're an entertainment company.''
—Glenn Beck, Forbes interview; April, 2010

And as I said over at Sue's blog, I would ask Beck's followers these questions:

Is he speaking the truth when he makes those statements? If so, why do you believe anything he says?

If he's NOT speaking the truth when he makes those statements, then why do you believe anything he says?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

COULTER SPEAKS: Like a True "Trou du Cul"

Coulter To Gay Conservatives:


'Marriage Is Not A Civil Right. You're Not Black.'
 
I am so glad she's not one of ours.
 
How embarrassing for them!
 
"...in a more serious note, she parroted the losing arguments of the lawyers supporting California's Prop 8 and told the crowd that the reason she opposes (and they should oppose) same sex marriage is that it is strictly for procreation."
 
Sure Coulter, tell that to post-menopausal women who marry, and to couples who are sterile.  You are not only cruel, but wrong AND stupid.



"In one of a series of racially insensitive remarks that pervaded her speech, Coulter added, "Marriage is not a civil right. You're not black." It was part of a larger argument on which she later elaborated, telling the crowd that the 14th Amendment only applies to African-Americans and that it does not, in fact, apply to women, LGBT people people or other minorities.


Despite the laugh lines, Coulter's arguments against same sex marriage were not well-received by much of the crowd: for instance, the question and answer session after the speech was dominated by Homocon attendees grilling her on her position on a range of issues, including whether opposition to same sex marriage was really in line with the conservative principles of limited government and whether she personally believes that homosexuality is a choice -- a question she declined to answer. "

Coulter, you are on the wrong side of history on this issue.  And just because there are people in the media who continue to cover your idiotic, self-aggrandizing statements on this subject, it doesn't mean you have any credibility on it.  You don't.  You are mean-spirited and vicious.  At some point in your wasted life, you will regret the pitiable inanities that dribble from that vulgar maw,  and perhaps you'll come to your senses and beg forgiveness from those who are most assuredly your betters.
 
But I'm not holding my breath.

Oliver Willis blogged this as well.

FROM ANDREW SULLIVAN'S BLOG:

"In her speech on Saturday, Coulter says that "not only can gays be conservative, you pretty much have to be," because they are the "highest income demographic," because "gays are too stylish to work for the federal government," because radical Muslims want to execute them, and because "once [scientists] find the gay gene, guess who's getting aborted?"


This is the same Coulter, of course, who is comfortable with the word "faggot," wrote that Rick Santorum's comparison of gay sex to bestiality is an "indisputably true point," told an interviewer that sexually active gay men should "feel guilty about it," and mocked the "irritating lesbian" teenager in Tennessee who wanted to bring her girlfriend to senior prom."

Friday, September 24, 2010

STEPHEN COLBERT IS A COMIC GENIUS

The best Congressional testimony I've ever heard.




“Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.”--Aristotle

PS. In the past, Republicans invited Clint Eastwood, Hotlips Hoolihan, and Elmo to testify.

Is the GOP really this clueless?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

MIKE HUCKABEE TO AMERICANS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: JUST GO SOMEWHERE AND DIE!

William Rivers Pitt of TRUTHOUT.org wrote this piece that provides more information on the pre-existing conditions issue.  This time the argument is made by a Christian pastor and politician and concerns adult Americans.  Read what Mike Huckabee thinks about Americans with pre-existing conditions.  BTW, what Huckabee says is personal to me as well as to Pitt.  I am among the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. 

WILLIAM RIVERS PITT:

Huckabee took the podium at the Values Voters Summit to attack and denounce the Obama administration's health care reform legislation, which was par for the course as far as the event went. But Huckabee was not content merely to repeat the "It's a government takeover, let's repeal it" rhetoric, choosing instead to carve a bold new path into the annals of infamy:


When Republicans attack health care reform, Democrats like to counter by accusing Republicans of wanting to repeal a law that requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions. According to Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, that's exactly right. People with pre-existing conditions, he explains, are like houses that have already burned down.



"It sounds so good, and it's such a warm message to say we're not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition," Huckabee explained at the Value Voters Summit today. "Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, "I'd like to buy some insurance for my house." He'd say, "Tell me about your house." "Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I'd like to insure it today." And he'll say, "I'm sorry, but we can't insure it after it's already burned." Well, no pre-existing conditions."

Let's look at some numbers, shall we?


According to the American Heart Association, more than 81,000,000 Americans suffer from one or more forms of cardiovascular disease. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 11,000,000 people in America currently suffer from some form of cancer. According to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million Americans currently suffer from diabetes, and the Center for Disease Control has estimated as many as half of all Americans will suffer from the disease by the year 2050, thanks to our deplorable dietary habits. According to the National Parkinson's Foundation, between 50,000 and 60,000 new cases of Parkinson's Disease are diagnosed in America each year. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, some 400,000 Americans currently suffer from MS.

That's a pretty substantial portion of the population, with more being diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson's and MS every day.

All of them, every single one of them, are like a house that has already burned down, according to Mike Huckabee and the sick bastards who cheered his comments. All of them, every single one of them, are not worthy of health insurance because they had the misfortune of getting sick before they got insurance. All of them, every single one of them, therefore, are not worthy of health care in any real form, unless, of course, they are wealthy and able to afford the staggering cost of ill health in America.


All of them, in short, every single one of them, can basically just go die in Mike Huckabee's world. They are not worthy of coverage, treatment or consideration. The five diseases I listed account for well over a third of the American population, and if Mike Huckabee or someone who agrees with him somehow becomes president someday, those millions of people should just dig their own graves and lie down in them.

Yeah, that's why I'm not polite to these people. My wife has multiple sclerosis, and Mr. Huckabee this weekend compared her to a burned-down house. My wife is a vibrant, active woman who deals with a terrible, terrifying disease that costs upwards of $50,000 a year to treat. Thankfully, my wife was already insured through work when she was diagnosed, but there are many thousands of people out there with MS who have no insurance, or who won't have insurance when they get diagnosed. If Huckabee has his way, people with pre-existing conditions will be treated as burned-down houses and essentially left to die."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

INSURANCE COMPANIES WILL DROP SICK CHILDREN BEFORE OBAMACARE LAW BECOMES EFFECTIVE ON SEPTEMBER 23

Here is an example of real "death panels" by private insurance companies.  I wonder where the half-governor and full time tweeter "Mamma Grizzley" is on this issue? 

 *crickets*

Ms. Palin made headlines last winter when she cynically lied about "death panels" and the health care bill, but she is nowhere to be found on facebook or Twitter today about the venal insurance companies who put profit over children's lives.  Private insurance companies:  The Real Keepers of the Death Panels.  

Where are all the snowflake advocates?  Where are the screamers who call Mr. Obama a "baby killer" because as the president of the USA, he is constitutionally bound to uphold the law of the land, and a woman's right to an abortion is the law of the land.  Where is the "Mamma Grizzley" on this threat to living children's health?  In fact, it impacts special needs children, for example, Downs Syndrome children.  Palin, of course, has no need to worry about her special needs child, since she has made it into the millionnaires club and doesn't have to worry about Trig's healthcare costs.

But what about other parents who don't make millions of dollars by calling Mr. Obama's healthcare plan a plan for death panels?  What are they to do when the private insurance companies throw their chronically sick children off their rolls before Obama Care kicks in tomorrow?

Where are all the big voices that claim there is nothing more precious than a life? I haven't read anything by any of the loudest mouths on the Right on the issue of protecting these lives.  Here are real live children facing, in some cases--for sure--death.  If a family can't afford coverage for their babies and children, there will be fatalities.

Calling Sarah Palin! 

Where is your loud mouth on this issue?  Where is your tweet about a Mamma Grizzley saving her baby bears' lives?

Key Health Care Laws begin this Thursday, Ins. Co's drop kids

 
"Some of the new health care laws that are in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which was signed into Law on March 23, 2010, will go into effect this Thursday, September 23, 2010.


Some of the key components that start this Thursday include:


•Young people will be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plans up to age 26



•Insurance companies can no longer drop people from coverage when they become sick and need it most


•No discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions


Four of the bigger insurance companies have decided that insuring children with pre-existing problems is not profitable, so they have chosen to drop children from their insurance rolls ahead of the Laws that will take affect on Thursday. Insurers including WellPoint and CoventryOne have announced in recent days that they're dropping children's coverage in California, Colorado, Ohio and Missouri, according to Health Care for America Now (HCAN).

"We’re just days away from a new era when insurance companies must stop denying coverage to kids just because they are sick, and now some of the biggest changed their minds and decided to refuse to sell child-only coverage," HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome said in a statement. "The latest announcement by the insurance companies that they won't cover kids is immoral, and to blame their appalling behavior on the new law is patently dishonest.

"Instead, they should reverse their actions immediately and simply follow the law. If the insurance companies can casually turn their backs on sick children now, who will they abandon next? This offensive behavior by the insurance companies is yet another reminder of why the new law is so important and why the Republicans’ call for repeal is so misguided."

Because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act did not provide a public health care option to compete with these, for profit and greed health insurance companies that really do have “Death Panels“, taxpayers will end up paying even more for those that are sick through higher premiums and tax payer subsidies.

But that is how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was designed, no competition, and billions in subsidies to the for profit health insurance companies.

The anti-health care reform people can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that all the hate and hysteria they created last summer over health care reforms worked, the shareholders that they fought for, without even knowing it, will make more money. They are true patriots willing to sacrifice their children, their grandparents and even themselves when the time comes that they can no longer get health insurance.

These Tea Party anti Obamacare “folk” who did the bidding of the, for profit health insurance companies, are willing to allow people who are sick, to lose their insurance, or those that are already sick, to go without any health care coverage altogether. Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and everyone at Fox News are also willing to see people go without coverage.

The health insurance companies have been pushing to end Medicare for decades, and with several of the Tea Party backed candidates such as Sharron Angle (R-NV), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Christine O’Donnell (R-DE) already on record saying that they want to end Medicare, maybe in the very near future, the younger Tea Party Folk, will see their parents and grandparents without any health care. True patriots.

Someday the only people that the for profit insurance companies will want to insure, will be male, between 25-35, and with no pre-existing problems, and the Tea Party Folk or some other clueless group of people, will continue to fight to protect the profits of shareholders if anyone dares to try and get a public health care option going that would compete. After all, the last thing you want in a “free market” is competition.

This Thursday, key components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act kick in. But remember, the United States has the BEST health care money can buy, just ask Rush Limbaugh, he’ll tell ya.

Where is Palin?  Where is Beck? And Hannity? And Coulter?  And all the other rightwing BS artists?  They're awfully quick to throw crap at lefties and accuse them of being anti-life, so where are they now to shame the private insurance companies that threaten the lives of living children.  I think we all know why the loud mouths on the right are silent to this real threat to the lives of children:

                               H   Y   P    O   C   R   I   T   E   S

Friday, September 17, 2010

YOU'RE NOTHING BUT A PACK OF CARDS!






W A R N I N G!!!  See the end of this post!

Pamela D. Hart and I have been investigating dozens more of what we've come to believe are astroturf blogs-- phoney sites that have been set up and most of which are abandoned soon after their appearance in the blogsphere.  What is curious is that many of these blogs crop up like crabgrass and immediately have dozens of  followers.  I remember when I started blogging how I waited months before anyone commented on my blog, and I believe that is the normal experience.  It is awfully suspicious to see these new blogs get an immediate following, especially by the same group of people we have found on other astroturf blogs.  One blogger who shows up consistently as a follower on almost all of these blogs is someone who calls himself "Nickie Goomba,"  who, according to his blog has over 1100 followers.  [Notice the title of NG's blog, then look at the title of this one--and its followers--does this make sense?] NG is a follower on the majority of these astroturf blogs but seldom if ever leaves a comment on them. When I follow a blog, I actually visit it, read its posts, and comment.  Not NG.  But that phenomenon is for another post.

Why these blogs have been established and then abandoned is anyone's guess.  I think that the people who set them up are paid hacks and have been instructed to make their particular political-leaning area of the blogsphere appear to be larger than it actually is.

Last winter I began to track many of these astroturf blogs and found dozens of them with URLs that contain 101 and 113 in their addresses.  It doesn't take a Miss Marple to realize that THAT is very strange, and would suggest that perhaps these blogs are not being randomly generated, but are set up by one or two paid hacks who keep track of them through a numbering system.

The other phenomenon Pam and others have observed is that the style, voice, and tone of the author of the posts are the same on many of these blogs. "Style, voice, and tone in writing express the attitude of a writer at that moment and in relation to a particular subject and audience...style is a technical term for the effect a writer can create through attitude and language.  Voice and tone reflect your attitude about your subject and your readers."* 

We've also noticed a certain consistency in work that is plagiarized on many of these blogs.  Text is often lifted from news sites on the web and/or comment sections of those news sites and passed off as the blogger's own.  A perfect example that Pam found is here.  This blog was set up in February of this year with only one post--which was plagiarized--and with material on its sidebar plagiarized as well.   


The worst of these astroturf blogs are the ones that steal people's photo identity, make-up lies about the person in the photo and allow the blog to be associated with that image, without the person who belongs to the image having any knowledge of his/her photo identity theft.  This is rampant on these astroturf blogs.  I've found photos of famous and near famous people from this country and abroad used as the astroturf bloggers' photo IDs.  As I stated previously, no one really believes the celebrity is actually the owner of that blog.  But some of these blogs attach private citizens' photos they found on the internet to the profile section of the fake blogs.  

The most egregious example of this was the photo Pam and I found on the blog "The Thin Blue Line."  The hack who set that blog up stole a photo of a police officer from Oakland, California, who was killed in the line of duty.  The officer's photo was placed on the blog in the profile section, stating that the blogger was from New York, and that he had a son who was serving in Iraq. (The deceased officer's oldest child, a son, was 15 years old at the time of his tragic death.)  Unlike many of the blogs Pam and I have discovered, this shameful blog is still up and running as of 9:00 AM, Sept. 17, and, curiously, this blog has a 113 in its URL address.

As Pam and I expose these astroturf blogs, many of them have started to collapse and fold, like a house of cards.  Pam is doing a terrific job of tracking this activity.  Please go here and read her comments in the post below this one to learn more.  Also I appreciate the help from another blogger, The JMopper, whose suggestions have been quite useful.

So what does this all mean?  Setting up astroturf blogs is not illegal, and pretending to be someone on a blog isn't either.  But in the case of the fallen police officer, it certainly is unethical, dishonorable, and heartless.  Why did the hacks who set up these blogs do it? Only those who have engaged in this chicanery and deceitful practice know the real reason.

What we've learned is that the astroturf blogs we've uncovered are, for the most part, all trumpery, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.  What is written on them is either plagiarized or so full of mindless, repetitive invective and vitriol--stuff and nonsense--that it is a waste of one's time to read them.  Therefore they're useless as a means of spreading any sort of message--if that was the original purpose in the first place.

And who would give any credence to any operation that uses deceit and stolen material to make a point? 

In the end, I thought of what Alice said as she was being pursued by the Red Queen's minions:  

"Who cares for you?' said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) `You're nothing but a pack of cards!'

NOTE TO READERS:  The hack who set up the "Just Sue" astroturf blog shut it down to "invited readers only" just after I posted about the fraud.  The blog has, as of today, been completely deleted. 



*SOURCE

A few liberal bloggers have noticed a new follower on their blog "fearthedragon."  This persona showed up last week when I began research on astroturf blogs.  TheJMopper is being followed by this persona as well and discovered this:

"The J Mopper said...



Fearthedragon is following me too and I haven't posted anything in months.

I clicked on the blank photo and was warned by FireFox's NoScript that this was a potential hijacking!!!

DO NOT click on this photo!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

HEARTLESS: FAKE BLOGGER USING IMAGE OF MURDERED POLICEMAN AS BLOG PROFILE

UPDATE II:  THE "MATT ROSE" FAKE BLOGGER IN THE POST BELOW THIS ONE HAS DELETED THE BLOG  WHICH HAD THE STOLEN IMAGE OF MATT HOYLE IN ITS PROFILE.


ALSO THE "WE THE PEOPLE/TREXPRESS"  BLOGGER HAS DELETED ITS BLOG THAT FEATURED A STOLEN PHOTO OF TIM COLLINS OF THE ROYAL IRISH REGIMENT AND PASSED HIM OFF AS A US MILITARY PERSONNEL.  


THAT BRINGS THE TOTAL TO 5 BLOGS THAT HAVE BEEN DELETED THIS WEEK AFTER BEING EXPOSED AS PHOTO ID THIEVES.

UPDATE I:  Deceased policemen aren't the only victims of photo ID stealing.   Here's a blog, "We The People/TREXPRESS" that uses a UK soldier's photo [Colonel Tim Collins of the Royal Irish Regiment] and attaches a litaney of lies to it.

Uncovering the deceptions continues as demonstrated in Pamela D. Hart's comments in the post below and, sadly, this new one. 

This particular blog I found, The Thin Blue Line, is especially heartless. 

The person who set it up stole a photo of an Oakland, California, police sergeant, Mark Thomas Dunakin, who was tragically killed in the line of duty on March 21, 2009. 

According to the profile, this blogger started blogging in July of 2009, 4 months after Sergeant Mark Thomas Dunakin was murdered, and this is what the profile on the fradulent blogger says about himself, using Sgt. Dunakin's stolen photo:

"The Thin Blue Line



After spending 4 years serving Our country in the US Army, and then I attended Cornell University where I earned my degree, in Finance.... Finding that useless I became a member of the New York City Police force and hold the rank of sergeant. Also I'm the proud father of a Son who was recently deployed to Iraq, serving our country."

Lies, lies, damnable lies.  Sgt. Dunakin does NOT have a son deployed in Iraq.  Here is what the Oakland Tribune wrote about him after he died in the line of duty:


Traffic Sgt. Mark Dunakin succeeded at balancing family life, job



By Cecily Burt
Oakland Tribune

Friends and colleagues say Dunakin was a man devoted to his wife, Angela, and children, Anthony, 15, Sienna, 13, and Patrick, 8, and equally dedicated to making Oakland a safer place.
Among the followers of this fradulent blog is our friend, the fake "Matt Rose" noted in the post below.  Note the fake "Matt Rose" and the others who follow this blog and were taken in by the deceit of the sleazebag who set it up and desecrated the image and memory of a valiant police officer. 


I suggest you visit the blog before the despicable person who set it up comes to his/her senses and deletes it forever.

Also among those who thought this blog was "great:"

"The Wordsmith said...



You have a great blog her TBL, please keep it going, we need people like you around here.

July 30, 2009 7:48 AM "

Decent bloggers need to join with us and run these worthless imposters off of the internet.

Imagine the family of this fallen hero finding this unimaginable insult to Sgt. Dunakin's memory on the internet, adding to their pain and sorrow.

To the conservative bloggers who are honest and forthright:  This sort of deceit reflects on all of you.  You must shame the unconscionable rats who continue to infect conservative  blogging with this shameful duplicity.

Monday, September 13, 2010

MORE INFORMATION ON FRAUDULENT BLOGS

UPDATE, 9/15/2010:

BLOGGERS PAMELA D. HART OF "THE ORACULAR OPINION" AND LES CARPENTER, III OF "RATIONAL NATION USA," HAVE JOINED ME AWELL AS INFIDEL753 AND (O)CT(O)PUS OF THE SWASH ZONE IN BRINGING THIS UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR TO THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY'S ATTENTION. 

Thanks, Pam, Les, Infidel753, and (O)CT(O)PUS. 


UPDATE II:

ANOTHER CASE OF PHOTO ID THEFT.  THIS TIME THE BLOGGER, "MATT ROSE" WHO CLAIMS HIS INDUSTRY IS "THE LAW" STOLE THE PHOTO OF A FORMER ROLLING STONE CONTRIBUTOR, MATT HOYLE, A PHOTOGRAPHER, AND PLACED IT ON HIS/HER BLOG, MAKING UP LIES ABOUT THE REAL MATT HOYLE IMAGE.

I will try to contact Mr. Hoyle and let him know about this unauthorized use of his image on a blog.


I have more to report on photo ID stealing by bloggers, but first I want to state very clearly:


This is not about censorship, bullying, or any other label some would place on what I've found out. 


This is about DECEIT. 


This is about taking someone's photo from the internet, pretending to be that person, and inventing a background for that stolen photo.  I have found many blogs that have put up famous and almost famous film, teevee, and musician celebrity photos as their avatars. [Examples of this below.]*  That's not as offensive, since most intelligent people would recognize that someone in the entertainment industry wouldn't be wasting his or her time ranting on a blog--IOW, no one who recognizes the celeb's photo would believe that person is behind the blogging.  It's still a dishonest thing to do, for even a celeb is entitled to not have someone hijack his/her image and place it on a blog he or she would find offensive.


When a blogger steals a photo from the internet:--facebook, sodahead, or other social networking sites, that's more insidious.  Because that person is not a celebrity, his or her photo will be identified with the blog to which it is attached, whether or not the blog agrees with his or her political philosophy.


Think of your own photo, say, being copied and stuck onto someone's blog and YOU are identified as the writer of vitriol and hate-speech, not to mention atrocious spelling and grammar.  Now imagine your photo being pasted onto other like-minded political blogs with your image announcing to the blogsphere that you are a follower of all those other blogs--blogs that are the polar opposite of your political views.


That's exactly what happened to two of the people whose photos have been stolen and whom I've written about in two blog posts, HERE and HERE.  I've found a third and notified her.  Here's the blog that stole her image.  And here is the woman's bio on a site that explains who she is and what her interests are--they do not match one thing that is listed in the profile of the blog that stole her image.


We have a pretty good idea of who is behind this petty larceny, and we've asked that the stolen photos be taken down.  So far, we've been ignored.


Will the decent bloggers out there stand with us against this shameful deceit?


*Examples of stolen celeb photos on blogs:


)O(  is a blog with the image of rocker Karen O as the "profile" of the blog. Does anyone believe that the rocker, Karen O, gave her permission for the blog  ")O(" to use her image for this highly political blog?


Imagine The Impossibilities is a new blog, started this month with a photo of an actor, Sebastian Spencer as the profile of the blog owner.  Again, is it fair to place Spencer's photo on a highly political blog with a post on President Obama backing the "masque?"


Frank the Thinking Man's blog is also known as "Is Your Glass Half Empty or Half Full" and his profile photo is actually a photo of Dana Delaney's husband.  Who is Dana Delaney? Oh wait.  Here she is.  And does she know that her husband's image has been pasted into a rightwinger's blog?

That's just a sampling of photo ID stealing rampant on these blogs.  Sadly, there is more--plagiarizing articles from news sources and comments on websites--and that, in addition to stealing photos, is a common practice on these fake blogs.

I think we bloggers need to stop supporting blogging dupery and chicanery.  Debating issues and strongly expressing our opinions are what blogging is about.

Stealing other people's photos and plagiarizing other people's material is not.

Let's stand for something instead of accepting this sorry subterfuge.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Photo Identity Theft on the Blog "My Voice/The Voice of Hope?" WE REPORT; YOU DECIDE

It appears a certain blogger's been quite busy this summer. 

First check out this blog that was once titled "The Skeptic," but now has no title, except the URL still carries the original address "theskepdickone."  On the blogger's profile page, we see listed under "My Blogs" a blog called "My Voice."

His profile reveals still another blog title, "The Voice of Hope:" 

"About Me

I live in the great state of New York. I'm honest, a part time musician, artistic, and I try to be funny when ever I can."

Here's the title from the August 18, 2010  post on "My Voice/The Voice of Hope:"

"Nancy Pelosi want to investigate the people that oppose the Masque"


Now return to the profile page and take a good look at the photo.  [Also, note the end of the URL address where it says "...greg.jpg."]

Kind of looks like...WOW!  It is EXACTLY this one:

And the man in that photo has several blogs, among which is this one

The blog I've linked to has an updated photo, but one can see that it is the same man whose photo was placed on the "My Voice/The Voice of Hope" blog--just a more recent one.

One other glaring inconsistency:   the blogger who set up "My Voice/The Voice of Hope," states he lives in New York [and he's HONEST!]

But the man who belongs to the photo, Greg Stein, says on his blog that he lives in Virginia!

You'll also note that Mr. Stein does not mention politics or conservatism or anything else listed on the "My Voice/The Voice of Hope" blog.  You know, the one run by the guy who's HONEST.

Also, the posts from December of 2009 through January, February, March of 2010 were mostly plagiarized from other news sources and no attribution given.

So this HONEST blogger stole a man's photo, placed it on his blog and used other people's articles to fill it.

I've contacted Mr. Stein to let him know about his identity theft

I'll keep you informed.

BTW:  "Just Sue" and "the malcontent" have been strangely quiet since last Thursday.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

SEPTEMBER 11th and WH AUDEN

SEPTEMBER 1, 1939

by W.H. Auden


I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade:
Waves of anger and fear
Circulate over the bright
And darkened lands of the earth,
Obsessing our private lives;
The unmentionable odour of death
Offends the September night.


Accurate scholarship can
Unearth the whole offence
From Luther until now
That has driven a culture mad,
Find what occurred at Linz,
What huge imago made
A psychopathic god:
I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again

Into this neutral air
Where blind skyscrapers use
Their full height to proclaim
The strength of Collective Man,
Each language pours its vain
Competitive excuse:
But who can live for long
In an euphoric dream;
Out of the mirror they stare,
Imperialism's face
And the international wrong

Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart;
For the error bred in the bone
Of each woman and each man
Craves what it cannot have,
Not universal love
But to be loved alone.


From the conservative dark
Into the ethical life
The dense commuters come,
Repeating their morning vow;
'I will be true to the wife,
I'll concentrate more on my work,'
And helpless governors wake
To resume their compulsory game:
Who can release them now,
Who can reach the dead,
Who can speak for the dumb?


All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.


Defenseless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

Remembering Kevin McCarthy and his family today. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"JUST SUE" IS JUST A FRAUD

UPDATE: 

The woman whose photo was stolen and used on "Just Sue" blog left a comment there.  She directs part of it to the blogging community:


"Sue said...


This is the real Sue whose identity has been stolen. I don't know who you are but your actions are fraudulent, as well as extremely damaging and dangerous. Be assured I'll find out who you are. To others - don't give this imposter the attention he/she is seeking. It is a complete and total fraud. "


A brand new blog "Just Sue" was set up at the end of July, early August.  The owner of the blog calls him/herself "Just Sue."  When I read Just Sue's comments on other rightwing blogs and when I read the blog posts on "Just Sue," the writing sounded very familiar--in fact the "voice" of the writer matches exactly that of another blogger, "the malcontent."  One really salient give-away was the misspelling of the word "mosque" in "Just Sue's" posts:  it was misspelled exactly the same way in "the malcontent's" blog posting as "masque."

After a little searching on the internet, I discovered that the photo used on "Just Sue" belongs to a woman named Sue Xxxxxxx who is on facebook.  (I've been in  contact with this woman and told her I would protect her privacy by not using her last name, even though I found it on the "Just Sue" blog.)

On further investigation, the woman whose photo was stolen--WHOSE IDENTITY WAS STOLEN AND USED TO SET UP THE BLOG "JUST SUE,"  I discovered her interests  are not in agreement with the person who stole her identity.   In fact, the REAL Sue told me that what the "Just Sue" blog represents is completely opposite to her beliefs. 

On her facebook page, the real Sue lists NPR as an "interest."  PLEASE REMEMBER THIS.  I'll comment on it below.

That finally convinced me that someone--and I do believe it is "the malcontent"--stole Sue X.'s photo and made up a false identity for the photo's image that had nothing in common with her.

Here's a comment exchange on another blog that convinced me:

Shaw Kenawe said...



Dear malcontent...I mean "Just Sue." Thank you so much for copying and pasting your spittle-flecked, vein-popping screeds all over the conservative blogsphere.
You've made me famous!
You seem not to be able to stop yourself from talking about moi. And you know what psychiatrists say about that sort of compulsion, don't you "Just Sue/mal?"
I must have touched a very publicly exposed nerve.
BTW, stop lying about what I said, and I'll stop telling the truth about you.
9/2/10 2:49 PM

THIS IS WHO ANSWERED THAT COMMENT:

tha malcontent said...



"I must have touched a very publicly exposed nerve."
You have fun with that one! But you can be sure that I wouldn't get near enough to YOU to exposed a nerve or anything else!~
I have an intense fear of Snakes.
/2/10 3:58 PM



I eventually contacted the real Sue whose photo was stolen by the fraudulent blogger.

Here is the real Sue X.'s emails to me.



Clear flagBlogTuesday, September 7, 2010 9:36 PMFrom: "Sue Xxxxxxx" Add sender to ContactsTo: xxxxxxxxx@yahoo.com

Joanne,

Thank you for notifying me about the person using my photo on their blog. This is to advise you that this is an unauthorized use of my photo and identity. I have reported this abuse to the website and will pursue further action demanding that this situation be resolved. I appreciate your assistance - please confirm that you have received this message.


Sincerely,
Sue Xxxxxxx




AND THIS:

From: Sue Xxxxxxx

Subject: Re: Blog
To: "Joanne"
Date: Wednesday, September 8, 2010, 2:01 PM


Joanne,


No, none of this is true. And everything in that blog is so anti-everything I believe in. This is really upsetting. Does this come from facebook? I'm thinking about shutting down my page.


Sue

 I have the original emails to prove they are not made up. 

The REAL Sue has been forced to shut down her facebook page as a result of discovering that the person who set up the "Just Sue" blog not only STOLE HER PHOTO IDENTITY, but has, on further investigation, taken it and placed it on dozens of other rightwing blogs a a "follower" of those blogs.

The real Sue, whose photo identity was stolen, has her image all over the internet on rightwing blogs as a follower of blogs whose philosophies and opinions SHE DOES NOT AGREE WITH.

HERE ARE EXAMPLES OF WHAT THE FRAUD WHO USED THE REAL SUE'S PHOTO HAS DONE:

Activities suethedumper joined *Me and Mine in a Small Town-
on *Me and Mine in a Small Town 8/30/10
Activities suethedumper joined Adrienne's Corner-
Activities suethedumper joined America! Oh How We'll Miss You!-
Activities suethedumper joined Can we keep our Republic?-
on Can we keep our Republic? 8/30/10
Activities suethedumper joined Common Sense-
on Common Sense 9/1/10

And finally, another blogger who suspected what I did, left a comment on "Just Sue" the other day:

The J Mopper said...

Sue - I was just wondering how you got into blogging and am curious how can you like NPR but yet be so far right in your posts?



JUST SUE ANWERED IN A BLOG POST:

1. Who is NPR?


2. Maybe because I'm so fed up and disgusted at the way the FAR LEFT is running and ruining this country. And how their policies are destroying our country! And maybe because while I see while the country going to hell in a hand basket, Obama is out playing Golf and Michell is out spending money like it's going out of style, and maybe it's because I see the the people currently running Congress are the biggest thugs in the country. I hope that answers you question..
 
******************************************************
 
Fellow bloggers and other interested parties, this is an example of how certain fanatics on the Right operate. Not all, of course, but there is a cabal of bloggers who are dishonest, deceitful, and, IMHO deranged--so deranged that one stole a woman's photo identity, blogged under it, and spread it around the internet.  This has caused the REAL Sue distress, and forced her to shut down her facebook page.
 
I'll let my fellow bloggers decide what they think should be down about someone so craven that they would use an unsuspecting, innocent woman as cover for their hateful bile against liberals and President Obama.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

WHERE THE HELL ARE THEY?

rockync over at The Swash Zone posted this today.  I want as many people as possible to read it, and do what can be done to stop this madness.  I have a nephew who is an army ranger, in Afghanistan.  This group of Christians will put him and all our military in terrible danger if they carry out their insane plan:

"Once again a pseudo-Christian group is about to engage in an act of terrifying idiocy that will needlessly endanger the lives of thousands of our service men and women. Story HERE.


I am talking about the plans by the Dove World Outreach Center to burn the Quran. The book considered by Muslims to be the holy word of God. They want to do this to commemorate the Sept 11th terrorist attacks. 19 al-Qaeda terrorists committed heinous acts on American soil but this group of mental midgets believe they should insult millions of people over the acts of a few extremists. As much as I am sickened and angered by the attacks that day, I certainly don’t accept the premise that a religion and all its followers should be held accountable for the acts of a few.



The Dove World Outreach Center has been denied a permit for a bonfire but they intend to break the law and proceed. Just the rumor that they are intending on burning the Quran has sparked violent protests in Indonesia and Afghanistan but they intend to proceed.

Gen. Patraeus has warned, "Images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence." But they STILL intend to proceed.


Like that moron from wikileaks, it appears that no amount of human lives is too much to pay so they can have their publicity and notoriety. Many of us have had or still have son, daughters, nieces and nephews overseas in harm’s way. And the Dove World Outreach Center wants them to pay with their lives for their actions – for which they will then take no responsibility, citing their right to freedom of speech.
I am so sick of people right now…"

FROM THINK PROGRESS:

Hate Pastor Behind ‘Burn A Quran Day’ Responds To Petraeus: ‘We Have Firmly Made Up Our Mind’


As ThinkProgress has reported, the Dove World Church based out of Gainesville, FL, is organizing an “International Burn a Quran Day” on September 11. Gen. David Petraeus warned yesterday that the hate campaign “could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort.” Gen. William Caldwell — the commander of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan — echoed Petraeus’ admonition on CNN yesterday afternoon:


CALDWELL: What I will tell you is that their very actions will in fact jeopardize the safety of the young men and women who are serving in uniform over here and also undermine the very mission that we’re trying to accomplish.

I would hope they would understand that there are second- and third-order — second-, really, and third-order effects that will occur that will affect that young man and woman who’s out there on point for America, serving their nation today, because of their actions back in the United States.

The good Capt. asked a very excellent question: 
 
"And where are the Christians in their millions and hundreds of millions who should be standing up for decency and sanity and anything that could pass for "christian morality?"


Where the hell are they?"

The Metaphysics of Quantum Physics, h/t The Daily Dish

I had the privilege of attending a lecture given by Nobel Laureate, Frank Wilczek at MIT this past spring. 

Andrew Sullivan had this up at his blog. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

GLENN BECK: RESTORING HONOR TO AMERICA BY LYING



A week ago thousands of Americans traveled to the National Mall to take part in a Beckapalooza that the FAUX News personality and self-identified rodeo clown said would restore honor to America.   Beck still hasn't explained exactly when America lost her honor, but no matter--that's just a detail in his overweening ambition to become the 21st century's Aimee Semple McPherson.  All that's missing from Beck's schtick is the "Knock Out The Devil" sign and "The Gospel Car."

But in his fervor to restore America's honor, we discover something quite curious:  He lied to his adoring congregation. 

No! you say?  Yes, we answer.  He also delivered a pile of misinformation about the Washington Monument and took a common every day occurence [a flyover of Canada geese] and labeled it A Miracle!  I guess he doesn't know the meaning of miracle either.

Here is Glenn Beck's lie:


"Beck had claimed that he held George Washington's handwritten first Inaugural Address in his hands at the National Archives, but a spokeswoman at the institution said he did no such thing. Keith Olbermann, Ed Schultz and others called him out for the fabrication.

Thursday on his radio show, Beck copped to the lie.


"I thought it would be a little easier in the speech," Beck said, than to go into the following elaborate explanation."

Of course it would be easier to lie in the serive of restoring America's honor!  Because apparently he didn't think his audience would have the attention span to follow a simple explanation.  Does he know something about his fans that they don't?  Here's what he said actually happened:

Yesterday I went to the National Archives, and they opened up the vault, and they put on their gloves and then they put it on a tray. They wheeled it over and it's all in this hard plastic and you're sitting down at a table and you can't, because of Sandy Berger, I had a long conversation with him about this, you can't actually touch any of the documents, these are very very rare. So what they do, they have it in this plastic thing and they hold them right in front of you, you can't touch them but then you can say 'can you turn it over,' and then they turn it over for you and then you look at it. I thought it was a little clumsy to explain it that way."

Excuse us, Glenn, but didn't you bellow this once?: 

'‘Tell the truth! America is crying out for the truth!’'

His fans don't understand that this unctuously duplicitous huckster sees the "truth" as a fungible commodity to be revealed or hidden whenever it suits Beck's ambition.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Another chance to restore honor to America occurred when Beck completely misrepresented and actually made-up a touching story about the Washington Monument:

Here's what Beck, told the crowds:

BECK: “We have a choice today .... We can either look at our scars, look at the scars of the nation...we concentrate on the bad instead of learning from the bad and repairing the bad, and then looking to the good...


“We have a choice today, to either let those scars crush us, or redeem us. We are gathered here today, in a hallowed spot. Here, Abraham Lincoln, a giant of an American, casting a shadow on all of us. We look, to a giant for answers.

“Behind you, in front of me, the Washington—alone, tall, straight—if you look at the Washington Monument, you might notice its scars. But nobody talks about that...but a quarter of the way up it changes color. Did you know that it did? Look at it. Look at its scars.

“How did the scar get there? They stopped building it in the Civil War. And when the war was over, they began again. No one sees the scars of the Washington memorial, the Washington Monument. We see what it stands for. No one also talks about what's on top, facing east. Just two words, ‘Laus Deo,’ ‘Praise be to God.’"

Jonathan Swartz of Consortiumblog explains Becks misinformed mangled history:
"Beck is also wrong about the Washington Monument's history — which I learned about on one of those elementary school field trips.


The construction didn't stop because of the Civil War. As the National Park Service's website will tell you, it had already stopped years earlier:

“Why does the color change on the outside of the monument?

“When the monument was under construction in 1854, the Washington National Monument Society ran out of money and the project ground to a halt. Twenty-five years later, the U.S. Government took over and completed the upper two-thirds of the structure by 1884 using marble from a different quarry.”

[skip]

One interesting part is that after the original, private organization running things ran out of money in 1854, it was taken over by the anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant Know Nothing Party. They were particularly outraged by the fact the Vatican, like many other organizations, had donated a stone. So they destroyed it.

Then they screwed around for two more years but finally gave up too.

So...I guess you could argue that Beck is within shouting distance of reality. I mean, it probably was harder to raise money as the war approached. And construction probably would have stopped during the Civil War...if it had been going on when the Civil War started. Which it, uh, wasn't.

Finally, the actual history is bad news for Beck's ideology: the private effort to build the monument puttered out, and then was derailed for a long time by cranks with a worldview strikingly similar to Beck & Co.

(Don't you hate immigrants with weird foreign religions? Did you know Abraham Lincoln is a secret apostate Catholic?!?)

It was only the government's money and organization that finally made it happen."

And lastly we come to Beck's silly claim that a V-formation of Canada geese flying over the Mall was a miracle.  The definition of a miracle is this: 
 "...an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause. "

What occurred at Beck's gathering was a common, everyday occurrence--Canada geese fly over National Malls, golf courses, and sanitary land fills every day, all day long. 

So the guy who urges America to come back to God and restore her honor uses a falsehood, a made-up story, and a commonplace event to somehow bring honor to his bank account country that he loves so well that any lie, misinformation, or exaggeration is okay, so long as they are HIS lies, misinformation and exaggerations.

The folks who think highly of this guy would have crucified Mr. Obama if he had engaged in just one tenth of Beck's deliberate mendacity.