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Archive | June, 2013

Blacklisted

The IP address of this site has been listed by the Composite Blocking List. The result of this is that you may not be able to receive emails from the site, such as you normally would if you had subscribed to comments. It appears that infected emails are coming from the address. It’s not a report of infection from browsing any site.

This site’s IP address is shared by multiple web sites, so the cause of the problem could be (and I think probably is) someone else sharing the IP address. Nevertheless, mail blocking works by IP address alone.

Update: I received the following reply from the hosting company:

We need several days to solve this issue.

I can understand that. Finding the infection, eliminating it, and preventing re-infection is a big deal. They will probably have to work with another account holder and have them change their password. While not an immediate solution, I like this kind of an answer. They understood the problem right away and didn’t make me jump through hoops to prove that it wasn’t my problem.

Update 2:

It appears that my IP address is no longer in the CBL.

Stalin and the birthers

Several things, connected only the thread of “Russian history,” have been on my mind of late. I’m not sure how to tie this all together, but I’ll try. First off is this poem called “October” (named after the October 1917 revolution) by Anatoly Marienhof, translated by Babette Deutsch. Note the euphoric and optimistic language of the repressed minority getting control.

OCTOBER

We trample filial obedience,
We have gone and sat down saucily,
Keeping our hats on,
Our feet on the table

You don’t like us, since we guffaw with blood,
Since we don’t wash rags washed millions of times,
Since we suddenly dared,
Ear-splittingly, to bark: Wow!

Yes, sir, the spine
Is as straight as a telephone pole,
Not my spine only, but the spines of all Russians,
For centuries hunched.

Who makes a louder noise on earth now than we?
You say: Bedlam–
No milestones—no stakes–
Straight to the devil____. On the church porch our red cancan is glorious.

What, you don’t believe? Here are hordes,
Droves of clouds at men’s beck and call,
And the sky like a woman’s cloak,
And no eyelash of sun.

Jesus is on the cross again, and Barabbas
We escort, mealy-mouthed, down the Tverskoi Prospekt. . . .
Who will interrupt, who? The gallop of Scythian horses?
Violins bowing the Marseillaise?

Has it ever before been heard of, that the forger
Of steel bracelets for the globe
Should smoke his rotten tobacco as importantly
As the officer used to clink his stirrups?

You ask—And then?
And then dancing centuries.
We shall knock at all doors.
And no one will say: Goddamyou, get out!

We! We! We are everywhere:
Before the footlights, in the center of the state,
Not softy lyricists,
But flaming buffoons.

Pile rubbish, all the rubbish in a heap,
And like Savonarola, to the sound of hymns,
Into the fire with it. . . . Whom should we fear?
When the mundiculi of puny souls have become—worlds.

Every day of ours is a new chapter in the Bible.
Every page will be great to thousands of generations.
We are those about whom then will say:
The lucky ones lived in 1917.
And you are still shouting: They perish!
You are still whimpering lavishly.
Dunderheads!
Isn’t yesterday crushed, like a dove
By a motor
Emerging madly from the garage?

imageI can just imagine the attitude of released pent-up repression expressed in that poem in a birther’s reverie, imagining the final overthrow of the usurper, their final vindication, and assumption of power that no one can take away from them. “Yes! We were right! No more saying ‘get the hell out you stupid birther.’” Of course, the October Revolution did not work out the way this poem anticipated. Rather than a breath of freedom lasting for centuries, repression on an almost unimaginable scale resulted with literally millions killed and millions sent to forced labor camps, what became known as “the terror” under Stalin.

Revolution is a strange animal. Sometimes it leads to freedom, as in the United States, but most of the time it leads to the dictatorship of the thugs. I think it has to do with who’s running the revolution.

There were many causes of privation in the Soviet Union under Stalin, not the least of which was the failure of Soviet agriculture. Two of the causes1 of this failure can be laid, I think, at the feet of the Dunning-Kruger effect (a biased view of ones own competence). The Soviet bosses2 thought they knew more than they did, and they ignored educated advice, substituting political theory, in the forced collectivization of the farms, leading to plummeting crop yields. A second cause was ignoring the science of genetics in favor of the crank ideas of Lysenko. Stalin himself decreed genetics at odds with Marxist theory, and supported Lysenko in suppressing the science that led to the green revolution in the West. In the same way, birthers elevate cranks because they like their conclusions for political reasons.

Communism under Stalin is a window on what the United States would be like if the birthers ruled.


1Also mass migration to the cities, bad weather, and the devastation following World War II, much of which was fought on Russian soil.

2While I talk about Stalin in this article, he is by means not the only Soviet leader who I think fell prey to Dunning-Kruger.

Mumble

A while back, I read and used a writing style in which private information was redacted by inserting the word “mumble” in the text, such as “according to my sources [mumble] is a CIA field agent.”

So today I got an email notifying me that I had a private message over at [mumble] and what I found there was rather interesting, a continuation of a private conversation that has been going on for a while. [Mumble] wrote that he had received confirmation of his formal [mumble] about [mumble]. I read the thing back when it was filed, and it was wonderfully detailed, legally sound, and totally devastating, pointing out egregious misconduct on the part of [mumble] and arguing convincingly that such conduct was worthy of [mumble].

I’ll be the first to say that an anonymous report is worthless (unless you trust the source), but I think that there is a real chance that [mumble] and his [mumble] will get their comeuppance in a very public way, although probably not very soon since the wheels of [mumble] turn slowly.

I trust that I have been sufficiently vague that no one will have the slightest idea what I’m talking about (and if you made a guess, it’s probably wrong). What I actually wanted to share in this article is that one of the perks of this job is a little inside information now and again, and to say that sometimes things are a little better than they seem.

Be careful what you pray for

Orly Taitz is thanking God [link to Taitz web site] for a ruling by DC Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth that allows her to file 74 pages of motions and exhibits in the 2011 case, Taitz v. Astrue. I thought this case, a FOIA lawsuit to get at Obama’s Social Security records, was long-gone in October 2011 when Judge Lamberth denied Taitz’ motion for reconsideration of its summary judgment in defendant’s favor.

When the Court considers a motion for reconsideration, a party must show that there has been an intervening change of controlling law, that new evidence is available, or that granting the motion is necessary to correct a clear error or to prevent manifest injustice. Taitz is going for “new evidence” here, arguing speciously that she has proof that Obama is using the social-security number of one Harrison J. Bounel, born in 1890, and who has never been shown to even have a social-security number in the first place.

In his June 7 2013 order, Judge Lamberth notes:

Taitz has now, for at least the sixth time, failed to comply with her obligation in violation of Rule 5.2 [in regards to redaction of social-security numbers].

According to Taitz, she has now worked out a procedure for redacting the SSN, and has re-filed her motion for reconsideration. She didn’t get it 100%, but the judge must have given her points for effort (or more likely attempted to conserve judicial resources), saying in his June 17 Minute Order:

MINUTE ORDER. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.2, the Court made minor additional redactions to plaintiff’s Motion [45]. Only the last four digits of the taxpayer-identification number and the year of an individual’s birth may be included in court filings. Signed by Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth on 06/14/2013. (lcrcl3)

Without going back through all the paperwork in the case, at least in Taitz’ mind the issue today is whether or not SSA will release the Social Security application of Harrison J. Bounel. What Taitz and other birthers did was to ask for his name, a birth date of 1890, and Obama’s social-security number. That was rejected, of course, because their policies don’t allow the release of Obama’s records, records pointed to by his SSN. However, there is a slim chance that this suit will elicit Bounel’s records, since he is past the 120 years of age criteria for release of the records. The smart money says that if she gets the record (or a statement that no number was ever issued to Bounel) it will show conclusively that President Obama never used a social-security number belonging to Bounel, making Orly Taitz look like a fool

Be careful what you pray for.

How 2 make a long form PDF

Given the independent verifications that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, there has never been any sense to the birther claims that Obama’s long form birth certificate PDF was the creation of a human forger. What they did was to dig deeper and deeper  into bits of the file until they went beyond their competence, found something they didn’t understand, and then claimed that it was an anomaly that proved forgery.

The infamous Maricopa County Cold Case Posse published analyses from unqualified amateurs who argued that the Obama form was a fake because the hardware and software they tried didn’t give the same results. They basically said that because the Obots couldn’t match, detail for detail, the White House PDF, that it must be a fake (never mind the proof of the external proofs that it was authentic).

My own opinion, based simply on how normal offices process documents, led me to speculate that the White House PDF came from a high-end copy/print/scanner office machine. Comments on this blog over a year ago suggested Xerox WorkCentre equipment. I made a half-hearted attempt at locating other similar PDF files from scanned documents on the White House web site, but didn’t come up with anything (and indeed I was looking for the wrong signature).

Now, in a new report, anti-birther blogger NBC has published a tentative identification of the specific equipment used to create the White House Certificate of Live Birth PDF file. We’ve also known for a very long time that the PDF, after original creation was opened and saved by the Preview program on a Mac. Anyhow, read the story at NBC’s blog.

The investigation might be pushed a little farther, but since neither birthers nor Obots have an actual paper copy of Obama’s long form birth certificate to test with, there’s probably not much more to be said.

I will say that I find it very hard to believe that any proof or reproduction of the White House PDF is likely to make any impression on the birthers. They only look for confirmation, not truth.

Update:

NBC has now published a new article titled: The Proof – Forgery done by Xerox Workcentre 7655.

Listen to RC Radio interview with NBC, a very informative look into his work with the White House PDF that lead to the answer to how it was made.

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