Andrew Auernheimer - mug shot, Fayetteville Police
built an exceptional career in technology developing video games, teaching Java programming for Sun Microsystems Masterclasses and writing books. A female success story in an otherwise male dominated field. That is, up until 2007 when she abruptly left public life, cancelled her career, and even fled her home.
She did that because a sustained harassment campaign comprised of death and rape threats, threats against her family, fabricated claims of prostitution, and a false claim that she had issued a DMCA takedown to stifle the free speech of critics. In the face of this organized onslaught she tried to hold on, to take a stand and fight the good fight. But when the harassment culminated in the public release of her private address and Social Security Number, a technique known as Doxxing, she bolted in fear for her and her family's lives.
It turned out a man named Andrew Auernheimer had been responsible for having harassed Sierra. Known as 'Weev' online, he admitted it in a 2008 New York Times story on Internet Trolls. There, he spoke to the lengths at which he and his cohorts went to discredit and destroy Sierra.
Over a candlelit dinner of tuna sashimi, Weev asked if I would attribute his comments to Memphis Two, the handle he used to troll Kathy Sierra, a blogger. Inspired by her touchy response to online commenters, Weev said he “dropped docs” on Sierra, posting a fabricated narrative of her career alongside her real Social Security number and address. This was part of a larger trolling campaign against Sierra, one that culminated in death threats.
Now, seven years later, Kathy Sierra's returned with a long form essay titled, Why the Trolls Will Always Win.
Part explanation for why she'd left and part call-to action against the danger of online harassment against women
, she argues decent people must organize. Because the situation has grown much more serious since she went into hiding all those years ago. Trolls have stepped up their game.
This afternoon, the moderation team for the popular /r/politics subreddit announced a blacklist, banning such publications as Alternet, Drudgereport, Heritage Foundation, Huffington Post, Motherjones, National Review, Reason Magazine, Salon Magazine, Thinkprogress, Twitter, Vice.com, and many many more. Including, Dailykos.
With over three million members, the Reddit Politics forum has significant audience share. To block an entire domain and publisher from submission access will have major economic repercussions for any publication on that list. It will also diminish public recognition of any news published at those sites, now denied access. And thus, the free flow of information is diminished.
For nearly a week so-called nonessential services in the US government has shut down due to a budget impasse over a House demands that link deferral of Obama's signature legislation The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to a new budgetary continuing resolution. Much discussion in the media has focused on this as a partisan fight over that one issue. But that's merely a short term rationale for this fight. The House GOP wants much more come October 17th, when if this impasse is not resolved the United States will lack funds necessary to pay interest on Treasury debt. In short, the US government will go into default, an outcome that Yalman Onaran of Business Week argued would be worse than the failure of Lehman Brothers in 2007. And that ultimately led to a worldwide financial crash and economic crisis not seen since the US Great Depression that has been ongoing for years.
Failure by the world’s largest borrower to pay its debt -- unprecedented in modern history -- will devastate stock markets from Brazil to Zurich, halt a $5 trillion lending mechanism for investors who rely on Treasuries, blow up borrowing costs for billions of people and companies, ravage the dollar and throw the U.S. and world economies into a recession that probably would become a depression. Among the dozens of money managers, economists, bankers, traders and former government officials interviewed for this story, few view a U.S. default as anything but a financial apocalypse.
But even worse, should the House succeed in this brinkmanship the long-term effect is far more serious to ongoing constitutional functioning of the US democratic-republic. For if the House succeeds in setting a precedent where threatening default on US debt is the norm in achieving nonbudgetary policy goals, then the House will have extra-constitutionally usurped authority from the Senate, Executive, and Judicial in deciding core policy beyond even mere budgetary matters. This is why the brinkmanship represents a constitutional crisis in the making.
As has been reported in numerous press publications, Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin recently claimed on camera that the Vice President is "...in charge of the Senate" and at least implied that the position held power above and beyond any other member of the Senate. She was roundly criticized in the general news media on the grounds that Article I, Section III of the U.S. Constitution says nothing remotely like what she claimed. Many seem to think that this statement was just yet more ignorance on display by Ms. Palin. But I don't think so, for Gov. Sarah Palin is not the only one making these arguments.
Over at RedState, Moe has front paged a diary with embedded youtube video purporting to be of a House committee or subcommittee hearing, videotaped by C-SPAN in "Late 2004", and which they claim shows Democrats subverting the goal of regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. There is no specific date, no reference to the committee or subcommittee in question, and it consists of several quotes by members apparently taken out of context. But since there is no specific reference to the Hearing in question, there's no way to check the Congressional Record to verify context. Included below the fold is the video.
This will be a short and simple diary. Because the idea involved is so obvious, it won't take more than a few sentences to explain.
Throughout the last two weeks television news reporters and pundits have continued to repeat and air blatantly false claims by the McCain campaign without any critical verification of the factual veracity of their claims. There are far too many examples, of which that list is by no means exhaustive. And let's be clear, that's the freak'n job - that's what journalists are supposed to do. They have violated their trust with the viewers in ways that deserve audience reprimand.
It's time we got medieval on their asses.
This afternoon I wrote a comment about how Senator McCain misrepresented Barack Obama's position on the use of nuclear power during the GOP acceptance speech. A nice dkosser responded, suggesting that someone try to point out these misstatements side by side. And that got me thinking...
This evening, PBS's News Hour with Jim Lehrer held their weekly political discussion forum, this week with Ruth Marcus and Rich Lowry ... pontificating. During their seven minute or so discussion, at least half was spent discussing Russia's invasion Georgian territory and Secretary of State Rice's subsequent visit to negotiate a cease-fire. A ridiculous discussion went forth thusly:
He supports the FISA abomination:
Text of Obama's quote after the fold.
Yes, I am aware that Obama has said that he opposes the retroactive immunity portion of the bill. Lets see if he's willing to take a real stand and do more than simply issue a press release. Will he stand with Reid and fillibuster this abomination?
With Barack Obama having secured the Democratic nomination, speculation has abounded about whether Obama should offer Hillary the VP slot, as well as whether it is appropriate for Hillary to discuss in public this negotiation. I think Hillary should be offered the Vice Presidency, and further it would be supremely to Obama's advantage for him if she accepts. But I have Machiavellian reasons for arguing this position.
In positive news, a helicopter co-pilot stood outside on the wing of his Apache helicopter to give room for a severely wounded soldier, who had been waiting 40 minutes for a medivac. This daring decision during a firefight saved the soldier's life. A few choice quotes below the fold: