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Archive | September, 2016

Fogbow hacked!

Doesn’t that just spoil an otherwise nice day? Earlier today Bill Bryan, aka Fogbow Foggy, tweeted that the popular The Fogbow forum had been hacked.

The individual taking responsibility calls themself “AnoaGhost.” It looks like AnoaGhost is/was a member of the AnonGhost hacking team, a group pro-Palestinian cyber terrorists. AnoaGhost has defaced thousands of web sites such as The Fogbow.



As of 1:33 PM today the Fogbow home page consists of the message “I’m working on it, folks.”

As for me, I just made a backup 😉

The Fogbow is back up as of 8 am, October 3, and back down again. Bryan says that his WordPress sites on the same virtual private server were infected by malware, leading to the compromise of the entire server. While he was able to restore The Fogbow, that malware still needed cleaning.

Update 2

The Fogbow is down again as of the evening of October 15. This time Google is reporting that Fogbow is hosting malware that may affect a visitor’s computer and throws up the big red screen that blocks access through certain browsers.


Do you know what a birther is? 84 million do now

imageThere was a time when if someone asked me about my blogging, I would start by saying, “Do you know what a birther is?” I don’t do that anymore. Everybody seems to know by now, and if they didn’t, an estimated 84 million people who watched the Clinton – Trump debate Monday night heard about it. And those who didn’t watch the debate heard about it the next morning on morning news such as NPR’s Morning Edition:

LIASSON: When the debate turned to racial healing, Trump was asked by moderator Lester Holt about birtherism, the false accusation that President Obama was not born in the United States that launched Trump into the presidential race.


HOLT: The birth certificate was produced in 2011. You continued to tell the story and questioned the president’s legitimacy in 2012, ’13, ’14, ’15…

TRUMP: Yeah.

HOLT: …As recently as January. So the question is what changed your mind?

TRUMP: Well, nobody was pressing it. Nobody was caring much about it. I figured you’d asked the question tonight of course, but nobody was caring much about it. But I was the one that got him to produce the birth certificate, and I think I did a good job. Secretary Clinton also fought it. I mean, you know, now everybody in mainstream’s going to say, oh, that’s not true. Look, it’s true. Sidney Blumenthal sent the reporter. You just have to take a look at CNN the last week the interview with your former campaign manager, and she was involved. But just like she can’t bring back jobs, she can’t produce.

HOLT: I’m sorry. I’m just going to follow up and I will let you respond to that because there’s a lot there, but we’re talking about racial healing in this segment. What do you say to Americans…

TRUMP: Well, it was very – I say nothing. I say nothing because I was able to get him to produce it. He should have produced it a long time before. I say nothing.

It pains me that this tawdry little conspiracy theory that I write about has grown into a factor in the presidential election, but Birtherism’s importance today stems not from the merits of the theories themselves, rejected by every mainstream organization and court, but rather from the underlying biases, including the racial divide, that leads some Americans to embrace these rumors and to use them to internally validate their own prejudices.


Zullo: Kapi’olani official denies Obama born there

In a surprise statement, reported by the Arizona Republic newspaper, Mike Zullo stated that a high-ranking official at the Kapi-olani Medical Center for Women and Children confirmed that Barack Obama was not born there.

Mike Zullo further stated that the details will be made public right after the March Reveal, the release of the Reed Hayes Report and the universe shattering information of 2014.

Zullo described Donald Trump’s recent disavowal of conspiracy theories that Obama was born in Kenya as “strategic.” I think perhaps Zullo’s announcement was strategic too.



Birther Wikipedia article a battleground

Birther Michael Shrimpton, once again has a Wikipedia article. While not a suitable source for the Wikipedia, the Post & Email blog reported in 2014 that Michael Shrimpton’s Wikipedia article had been deleted. (I reported it too.) Now, as of June 22 of this year, it’s back (created by Wikipedia editor Psychonaut).

The Wikipedia tries to enforce particularly stringent standards on the biographies of living persons (BLP), insisting that they use high-quality sources. The Wikipedia adds:

Biographies of living persons ("BLPs") must be written conservatively and with regard for the subject’s privacy.

The Shrimpton article as it now stands, says that Shrimpton is primarily noted for his conspiracy theories, and covers his criminal conviction for making a false report—a bomb scare. At one point the article states that police forces know Shrimpton as “an intelligence nuisance.”

That would hardly be newsworthy except that Shrimpton himself joined the discussion on the article’s Talk page. There is a report, which I hope I can follow up, that Shrimpton threatened to sue the Wikipedia for Libel. Christopher Earl Strunk weighed in with a long suggested insertion favorable to Shrimpton yesterday, partly taken from Shrimpton’s affidavit in Stunk’s lawsuit. It is also reported that Shrimpton’s editing privileges have been suspended at Wikipedia. There is a request pending to protect the article due to persistent disruptive editing.


Media questions its role in birther controversy

I have expressed concern over Donald Trump’s facile transmogrification of the criticism against his birtherism into a controversy about Hillary Clinton, an innocent bystander in the business. Instead of a flood of articles reminding the public of Trump’s execrable birther smear campaign, we see a flood of articles on whether Hillary Clinton started the birther movement, a patently absurd proposition.

Ron Elving of National Public Radio published a commentary on this subject in the aftermath Trump’s sudden reversal on his signature birther conspiracy theory. He is calling for the media to go beyond simply reporting what a candidate says, to include more rigorous fact checking.

… In addition to stories labeled "fact checking" — something that had been between a cottage industry and a sub-genre of journalism — reporters have moved to fact check in real time on air and online.

Elving advocates journalists reporting that something is a lie when they know it is. He says that Donald Trump has crossed a red line. I think that happened years ago.