International Cat Speculators Since 2006

Posts tagged ‘Patterico’

“Hacking a Troll”

Readers may be interested in this story of how one man tracked down an online (and real life) harasser.

I didn’t mention it to my wife. Didn’t see the point of worrying her. But then she joined Twitter to see what it was like and grew to enjoy it. It wouldn’t have been immediately obvious to outsiders that we were man and wife. She made the mistake though of changing her profile to state that she was ‘The long suffering wife of @LeoTraynor’. Not a good idea. She received a DM stating ‘Your husband is scum. A rotten b*stard and you’re a wh*re.‘ She laughed it off. Blocked and reported and then the pattern started again. We got to the point of not accepting new followers at all and then one day my wife received a torrent of abuse via DM and on the timeline that was so vile she’s never been on Twitter since – which is a real shame as she has so much to share and is far more interesting than I am.

People kept asking me ‘Why you? Why would these guys want to have a go at you?’ I couldn’t answer them other than it was a couple of random nutters who didn’t appreciate my political views or ethnic origins. Or even someone who couldn’t solve my cryptic crosswords!

The whole thing escalated in June, July and August this year. I received more and more abuse on the timeline and via DMs. A crossword clue account I’d started (@Leo’sClue) was inundated with abuse too.
Then one day something happened that truly frightened me. I don’t scare easily but this was vile.

I received a parcel at my home address. Nothing unusual there – I get a lots of post. I ripped it open and there was a tupperware lunchbox inside full of ashes. There was a note included ‘Say hello to your relatives from Auschwitz‘ I was physically sick.

I was petrified.
They had my address.
I reported it to the authorities and hoped for the best.
Two days later I opened my front door and there was a bunch of dead flowers with my wife’s old Twitter username on it. Then that night I recieved a DM. ‘You’ll get home some day & ur b**ches throat will be cut & ur son will be gone.
I got on to the authorities again but, polite and sympathetic as they were, there didn’t seem much that could be done.

Eventually he did discover who his stalker was.

The thing that concerns me is how often the police are completely unwilling to act in these cases. This guy (who seems to be in Ireland) got a friend to track down the kid – using legal means. Why could the police not use those means? What is it about law enforcement that means they can only track down someone who is acting in the real world?

The other disturbing thing is how people don’t seem to care how they act online. I can understand being a little more free in one’s criticism, or calling a public figure (politicians especially!) stupid, but why do so many people see fit to be so abusive towards random strangers you know are real people?

Hat Tip: Patterico.

Wikileaks blows some credibility

Apparently you shouldn’t trust something posted on a website that specialises in stolen information.

The phony column was posted on a website that looks exactly like the online version of the New York Times Opinion Page — the pranksters even loaded the site with similar-looking ads and links to other (legitimate) Times webpages. But that wasn’t all. …

Shortly after the column went up, Keller’s seeming about-face on WikiLeaks made waves through the social media sphere. Web users quickly clamored to read and share it, not realizing the trickery involved. The article and its display was so convincing, in fact, that it even fooled one of Keller’s colleagues, the Times‘ lead technology writer.

Who knew?

As Patterico points out

It is reminiscent of Justice Scalia’s views on stories about Supreme Court deliberations, as expressed in the video I linked last night. Justice Scalia says that one should not credit stories about internal deliberations, because if they are not a lie, they are based on the word of people who are unreliable — because they have promised not to reveal those deliberations, and then turned around and did it anyway.

Of course, it’s only a suprise if you missed his plea for asylum in a country where the president successfully sued two journalists for exposing the fact he was giving his brother government contracts.

LA Times in 2008

Patterico has compiled his annual review of the biases and misdoings of the LA times. Set aside 20 min or so and have a look –  it’s a good read. Really, it’s hard to believe some things they’ve done over just this year alone.

The paper spent considerable effort spinning for Obama.

On Ayers, the paper asserted: “McCain alleged that Obama launched his political career in the former Weatherman’s living room, an assertion for which there is no recorded basis.” I proved that this was not true, with a link to a blog entry written by someone who was there who had claimed exactly that. (Shortly after my post, that blog post disappeared down the memory hole, but I had, of course, saved the evidence.) Evidently the blogger thought that the post had showed the critical Obama-Ayers tie for which the paper claimed there was no evidence. But the paper refused to issue a correction.

The paper also covered for Obama when it emerged that the newspaper possessed a tape of Obama at a dinner honoring Palestinian radical Rashid Khalidi. The paper said it had made a promise to a source not to release the tape, which made some sense, but it made no sense that the paper wouldn’t release any additional information. Former L.A. Times reporter Evan Maxwell wrote me to argue that the paper should release the tape, but that never happened.

I’ll give editors credit for this: they did run an article in July saying that Obama can’t pay for everything he promised to do when elected.

But for the most part, we learned about Obama’s shortcomings only after he was safely elected. Only then did editors fully reveal some issues that the paper had previously downplayed or completely failed to disclose — like the fact that Obama oversimplified the foreign policy challenges he faced, or the fact that his economic policies are terribly worrying to some investors, or the fact that he is unlikely to chart a centrist course. After the election, a blog at the paper’s web site also revealed that Obama’s small donor base image is a myth — shocking news, except that I had revealed it before the election.

It’s not always spin either – some outright lies were spotted.

When computers were seized from FARC terrorists, and their content showed Venezuelan assistance to the terrorists, the paper reported: “No independent confirmation of the laptops’ content has been made . . .” — even though the AP had independently confirmed the laptops’ content. What’s more, information found on the laptops had been successfully used in a raid on a FARC safe house.

The paper’s headlines screamed about Palestinian civilian casualties from an Israeli attack, but saved the context for the 14th paragraph: that civilian casualties were reportedly caused by Hamas’s placement of targets inside civilian areas.

Why do they hate Palin?

DRJ (who is female) at Patterico, pontificates on why some women hate Sarah Palin.

In other words, Palin has what many women want.

That alone might make some women jealous but I suspect what is most galling is that Palin has accomplished all this without embracing the politically correct, feminist pro-choice/nanny/single woman lifestyle. Palin is living proof that there is more than one path to marriage, motherhood, and a successful career. That must be a disheartening concept to those who view liberal feminism as the best path for women to achieve success.

Fact Check Gone to the Dogs

Fact Check gained a reputation over the years of being a tough but fair, a reliable source of information on politicans. Looks like they’re doing their best to destroy that by giving Obama a free pass.


1) declares “false” the NRA’s claim that Obama plans to ban the possession, manufacture, and sale of handguns. But it emerges that this claim is directly based on Obama’s “yes” answer to a the following question in a questionnaire: “Do you support legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?” simply faults the NRA for not noting Obama’s later attempts to explain away this answer. But doesn’t address the fact that Obama falsely denied even seeing the questionnaire, only to have it later emerge that an amended version had his handwriting on it.

2) calls “supported” the NRA’s claim that Obama would appoint judges who share his views on the Second Amendment. As part of their evidence, tells us that Obama didn’t contest the Heller decision, which upheld an individual right to bear arms. But doesn’t mention that Obama’s campaign had initially said of the D.C.’s total ban on handguns in the home: “Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.” (Obama later tried to back away from that statement, but it is part of his record, just like his answers to the questionnaire that he had claimed he had never seen, but that turned out to bear his handwriting.)

The piece is garbage. Details in the extended entry. does not mention the fact that Obama was directly questioned in a debate about his answer on the gun rights questionnaire, and denied that his handwriting was on that particular document. In fact, it was. You can learn this if you click through to one of the links. But if we’re talking about taking his rhetoric at face value, doesn’t it matter that he publicly claiming something directly relevant to the issue that turned out to be false? Shouldn’t this be in the body of the analysis? Apparently they don’t consider it to be important.

Why would anyone post this?

Why would anyone post this?

“I offer no apologies or regrets for persistence” — Andrew Sullivan (link is not work-safe).

I don’t know if Google-bombing works any more. But it would be interesting if, when people search for Andrew Sullivan (link is not work-safe), the first link to pop up would be this link about Andrew Sullivan (link is not work-safe).

The quote comes from this post. Bonding with me in determination to consistently remind readers about this is Ace, and God bless him for it.

The relevance and authenticity of the link is discussed at this link. We’re talking hypocrisy on several levels.

You want self-righteousness, Andrew Sullivan (link is not work-safe)? I got your self-righteousness.

I once said: “If he is going to make constant disparaging references to the people surrounding Sarah Palin, I am going to keep linking the personal ad where he hypocritically seeks out men for promiscuous sex. I’ll do my best to make sure nobody ever forgets it.”

The guy I was talking about was Andrew Sullivan (link is not work-safe).

There’s a further explanation at Patterico’s if you wish to read it.

Why it’s not a good idea to overhype someones percieved downsides

Patterico makes a point that I like to make every so often – that pretending your opponents are ignorant backwater hicks (or dishonest, or corrupt, or…) when they’re not isn’t a good long term strategy.

Guess what, Glute-boy? You’re right. The speech will indeed cause her image to soar — even though anyone can read a speech, and it doesn’t really mean anything.

And it’s the fault of dimbulbs like you. Half-wits who have artificially depressed expectations, by taking a bright and capable woman and making it seem like she’s nothing more than an unqualified former beauty queen hick. Tonight, when the country sees otherwise, they’ll be shocked. Shocked to learn that tools like you had misled them so badly.

So, yeah. What would have been an impressive rollout will now be a blockbuster. You just realized that today, and so now you’re trying to raise the same expectations you’ve been dampening for days.

We, the newly excited members of the Republican Party, thank you for your utter idiocy.

Does this story have the potential to sink Obama?

WLS at Patterico thinks this could sink Obama. It’s no idle claim in my opnion.

Keep in mind that when Obama was made Chairman of the Board in 1995, he was three years out of Harvard, was an associate at a small Chicago civil rights law firm, and had no great political contacts to speak of. Nevertheless, he was appointed to the position of Chairman of a non-profit educational foundation with a $50 million grant — which came with the obligation to raise matching funds from gov’t or other charitable sources (the Board eventually raised another $60 million). Other members of the Board were such Chicago luminaries as former University Presidents and Presidents of other charitable foundations. Yet they were led by a 3rd year associate from a small Chicago law firm.

The unreported fact of this episode is that Obama as Board Chairman, and Ayers as Collaborative Co-Chair, worked hand-in-hand in the process of reviewing and approving grant proposals that came to the CAC. One of Ayers’ roles at the Collaborative was to write “Requests for Proposals”, and then to assist potential grantees in fashioning their Application Proposals to match. It is inconceivable that during the period from 1995 to 1999, Obama and Ayers did not have a close working relationship as they went about parceling out tens of millions of dollars to applicants for funds from the CAC.

This connection through the CAC casts great doubt on the well-rehearsed story that Obama first got to know Ayers only when he was introduced to him and his wife while contemplating his first run for the Illinois State Senate, and has since remained only a casual friend “from the neighborhood.” Frankly, if the records being withheld show what I suspect they show, as outlined above, they’ll represent the spark that caused the immolation of the Obama campaign.

For those that haven’t been following, Ayers is a terrorist who got off on a technicality, who is on record as suggesting he regrets he didn’t plant enough bombs. This is the sort of person who was instrumental in getting Obama into politics, and Obama has good reason to pretend that he never had anything to do with him.

Read it all and decide for yourself.

Obama gets the best endorsements!

Obama: endorsed by executed criminal.

Before he died Wednesday evening, death row inmate Dale Leo Bishop apologized to his victim’s family, thanked America and urged people to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

You’ve got to wonder what the guy was thinking, maybe he’s a McCain fan? Either way, I guess he doesn’t care now.

In other Obama news, the guy committed a major faux pas when he decided not to visit the troops in hospital while in Germany. Apparently the cameras weren’t allowed so he decided not to go at the last minute.

I think the worst thing is that Obama actually used foreign countries to campaign, even giving a speech after a free concert (you didn’t really think all those people turned up just to see him did you?) in Germany.

I heard some sound bites from his speech this morning, and I though it was ghastly – all hot air and platitutes aimed to please the ear of his listeners.

Anyho, can you imagine what people would have said had Bush gone to Germany during the campaign? He’d have been crucified. I don’t think being popular with Europe is going to cut much ice either back home, it certainly didn’t make the slightest difference last time.

Left vs. Right on Wright

One of the things I’ve not done on this blog that I intended to was to look at the nature of political dicussion itself – how each side tends to talk past each other, talking about different issues as though they were opposed.

Classic case in point: Smacking. One side talks about child abuse, the other side talks about parents – but is also worried about child abuse. So one side isn’t even really discussing the issue at hand.

But there’s a debate at Patterico’s blog which is a true debate. Two commenters agreed to terms to argue the role of Rev. Wright on Obama’s campaign. Interesting stuff.

Well, it would be interesting if the left had showed up with something useful to say.

DRJ and Levi: “We each agree to provide 10 substantive comments, each with a link to facts.”


Levi, here is my well thought out position. Here is a link to prove what I am saying. And here is another link. Finally, here is more persuasive argumentation with even more links.


Says you.

So, it’s not really worth reading, and DRJ, I’m sorry you wasted your time. Except that you didn’t, in two meaningful ways: 1) you demonstrated that the concerns about Barack Obama’s ties to Rev. Wright are genuine, and 2) you saved me twenty bucks, which is what I would have had to pay Levi if he had followed the rules.

Having read the whole thing, I reverse my initial impression and agree Patterico – Levi doesn’t bother to argue the case, while DRJ takes the time to put together some very convincing arguments and tries to counter the meager fare put up by her opposition.

You can read the discussion here and tell me what you think.

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