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A few days ago m16eib wrote a diary about the Minutemen American Defense organization, and how some of the fascist/racist members of that fascist/racist group had turned to cold-blooded murder. Like, I'm sure, many others did, I went to their website to check them out. But along with all the slimy stuff on that site, I noticed they had a Led Zeppelin song playing on their front page.

Being a fan since the early 70s, I had to take action...

I have NEVER before reported anyone for copyright infringement. And I'll admit that I've been guilty of it a few times myself. But as I wrote in my email to Atlantic Records, I felt this was different.


I looked for email addresses for any of the guys in the group, but as I'm sure you know that's pretty hard to find. So I'm writing to you, assuming you know how to get hold of them, or take care of this yourself. I normally don't like to do anything that smells of "narcing" on someone, but this is different:

There's an organization called "Minutemen American Defense", and on the front page of their website they're playing "Since I've Been Loving You." Not a remake, and not just a sample... the whole thing. I know you can't track down every one of these copyright violations, and I'm sure not all of them are necessarilly harmful to the Led Zep brand. But I have a feeling you may agree with me that THIS case is not normal.

Anyway, back to the "MAD" organization; here's their Mission Statement:

"To secure the U.S. Borders, Coastal boundaries and constitution against unlawful and unauthorized entry by all individuals, contraband and foreign military. To also increase the awareness of the devastation caused by illegal immigration to our state and country."

I'm sure you're aware that pretty much all of these kinds of organizations are founded largely on racism toward Hispanics (by the way, I'm white). But this particular org. is worse than most. Their executive director is a woman named Shawna Forde. Until today, I knew nothing much about her, other than what you can read on the site. But here's a news story today out of Tucson, Arizona:

TUCSON, AZ - Three people have been arrested in connection with last months deadly double homicide in Arivaca that left a nine-year-old and her father dead. One of the people arrested for the homicide is the National Executive Director of the Minuteman American Defense group (M.A.D.), a group known for patrolling the border, and is dedicated to "Defending America's Borders" according to their website -

Jason Eugene Bush, 38, Shawna Forde, 42 and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 43, were all taken into custody and charged in connection with the murders of 29-year-old Raul Flores and 8-year-old Brisenia Flores. Both were killed during an alleged home invasion.

According to authorities, Bush, Forde, and Gaxiola broke into the home of the Flores family just after midnight on May 30th. At the time, the mother, father and daughter were home. The invaders reportedly shot the three members of the Flores family, killing the father, Raul, and the daughter, Brisenia. The invaders then left the scene.

The mother survived the shooting, called police, and found a gun. Sheriff Dupnik says the three returned moments later to make sure everyone was dead. At that point, the mother shot and injured Bush, and the three fled the scene.

The trio has been charged with two counts of First Degree Murder, one count of First Degree Burglary, and one count of Aggravated Assault.

According to the M.A.D. website registered in the name of Shawna Forde (linked above) she is listed as the National Executive Director of the the Minuteman American Defense. Investigators believe Bush and Gaxiola are associates of Forde. Their website lists Bush as the Operations Director, but that information has not yet been confirmed by authorities.

That's right. The head person in this group literally murdered a father and his kid!! Just wanted to let you know what was going on, so you can get these scumbags to take down the song before anyone gets the idea that you and the guys in the band have ANY connection to these scumbags.

I hadn't heard anything since then, so I kinda figured Atlantic was just gonna ignore it, or even if not, that they wouldn't let me know what was up. But just tonight I got a reply.

Hi D.......,

Thanks for letting us know about this. It's a very sad and tragic story. I went to their site and it looks like they took the whole thing down. We wouldn't license our material for an organization like this. I'll dig around myself, but please forward me any link to a site associated with this group that plays any Led Zeppelin master recording.

Best regards,

Michael Serena

I hadn't realized the "MAD" site had been totally reworked till I got this email. Looks like some people involved with that site are more than a little scared right now. Or maybe they've just seen the light and they're gonna be nice, upstanding citizens from now on... HAAAA!!!

As for the reaction from the Atlantic rep., I think it's great. I didn't ask him if it's OK to post his email, but I can't imagine that he'd mind seeing that this can't be anything but good P.R.

And I would LOVE to see what the idiots at "MAD" would think about this. They obviously are fans of Led Zeppelin, seeing they used one of their more little-known songs on their page. So I can only imagine how they'll feel if they wind up getting some kind of cease and desist order. And the line in the email --  "We wouldn't license our material for an organization like this." -- is perfect. Imagine you were a fan of a certain group, and got a slapdown like this. The only thing better is if one of the guys in the group could PERSONALLY say, "Don't smear our names by claiming to be fans of ours... you are scum!"

Originally posted to ratmach on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:19 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Hey! How'd that tip jar get there?... Oh, oh yeah (11+ / 0-)

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:20:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  yo everyone: please don't do this because... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Causing an extremist group's website to get shut down can interfere with the collection of information that is needed in the prosecution of a group for a specific violent act.  

      I know more about this subject than I can discuss in public.  It's for real, it's is critical, and it is a matter of saving lives and prosecuting extremist violence.  

      This is a perfect example of why people should not engage in "grassroots cyberwar."  This is like grabbing your rifle and hopping a flight to Afghanistan to hunt Al Qaedas.  For all you know, the guy in the cave you're about to take out is actually an informant working for our side, or is being tracked by intel for other reasons.  And in any case you're one more thing the Army has to take account of, which costs people time that should be spent on task.

      Ratmach, I know you meant well and I am not dumping on you here, because you didn't know.  But if you had known just a little more, or you'd used the information just a little differently, it could have been done in a manner that enhances the quality of the outcome in a number of ways.  

      If you want to go after extremists and you're serious about it, point me to your email address and we'll talk further.  But please no more uncoordinted action, it really does make our work more difficult.

      •  Ummm... I see your point, but... (5+ / 0-)

        ... I don't think my email to Atlantic had ANYTHING at all to do with this site going down. In fact, Atlantic hadn't even contacted them (and STILL hasn't as far as I know) before it went down. Now, had I contacted the website's server admin. or whoever, then maybe that would have had an impact. But I didn't (and, for the reasons you said, I wouldn't). But as I noted, here's all I said to Atlantic.

        "Just wanted to let you know what was going on, so you can get these scumbags to take down the song before anyone gets the idea that you and the guys in the band have ANY connection to these scumbags."

        And my comment about the people at "MAD" being "a little scared right now" was, of course re. ties with the killers, NOT with something as minor as copyright infringment.

        "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

        by ratmach on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:11:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Led Zep is real picky about using their material (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          No one rides for free.

          •  Yeah, but they (and many other groups)... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ... are usually happy to let you use their stuff "for a price." Which is why I so liked this part of the email I got from Atlantic:

            "We wouldn't license our material for an organization like this."

            Pretty cool.

            But your comment reminded me of the scene in "Song Remains the Same" where Peter Grant (their manager) was going insane and threatening some guy for selling bootleg stuff at a concert. Zeppelin making hundreds of millions of $$$ and Grant was all whiny about "You're stealing from us!" Maybe technically he was right, but still it kinda turned me off on the group for awhile.

            "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

            by ratmach on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:36:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  thing is, if you posted the story... (0+ / 0-)

          ...then, whether you intend it or not, the result is to encourage others to try to do solo takedowns of extremist websites this way.

          The other day someone was on here promoting DIY DOS attacks against Iranian .gov sites.  

          Problem is, those kinds of activities really do make it harder to achieve the objectives of locking up baddies, overthrowing dictators, and so on.  

          If people want to confront extremist groups, most effective way to do it is by mobilizing public opinion against them.  That helps dry up their support and their potential recruitment pool and their audience.  It's truly helpful and ultimately it prevents more violent acts.  And as in public health in a pandemic, the best measure of success isn't the number of cases that get their lives saved through heroic medicine, it's the number of cases that get prevented altogether.

      •  This is ridiculous BS (5+ / 0-)

        Comparing someone who contacts a company about copyright infringement as "This is like grabbing your rifle and hopping a flight to Afghanistan to hunt Al Qaedas." is just disgusting.

        •  just disgusting? do tell. (0+ / 0-)

          A bunch of people shot dead in a Unitarian church... three cops murdered in Philly... two soldiers murdered in the Southeast... a gynecologist assassinated in the Midwest... this double-murder in Arizona... and at least two assassination threats against Obama, one of which turned out to be a harmless nut but you can never tell for sure...  

          What do you want to call that?  

          Did you know that evidence that gets messed with or altered in some way by an uninvolved party, is more difficult to use in court?  

          Do you have any idea how fragile some of the information is, that's used to catch and convict these people?

          When people go poking at those extremist groups in an uncoordinated way, there is serious potential to interfere with an investigation in progress, or to unknowingly disrupt evidence.  

          The thing to do about those groups is to either confront them peacefully when they appear in public, or leave them alone.  

          And if you don't like my AQ analogy, take your choice:  Running through the woods with your dog on the day the Audubon society is out there trying to watch the birds.   Opening the oven door while the cake is baking, causing it to go just a bit flat.  Stepping on the new sidewalk while the concrete is still wet.  

          If you want to get disgusted over a choice of analogies, you're barking up the wrong tree.

          Meanwhile I have to get back to work here.  

      •  Oh please. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What a load of self-important hyperbole.

  •  I love Led Zeppelin (6+ / 0-)

    So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
    For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing

  •  One of the all-time greatest Jimmy Page solos (4+ / 0-)

    The first solo I ever taught myself on guitar.

    •  I hear ya! (0+ / 0-)

      I'm a bassist, and am starting to sort of teach myself guitar (should've done it years ago). SIBLY will be one of those that I study closely. I'm not a huge fan of the blues, but there's something magical about Page's take on it. Of course, JPJ's fantastic organ work is another plus on that one.

      "...I'm hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway."

      by soundchaser on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:31:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bass huh? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If you ever want a challenge, I suggest you try some Claypool or Wooten stuff. I still can't decide which of those two are best.

        "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

        by ratmach on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:38:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, I agree about Claypool & Wooten... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          being a helluva challenge. Can't recall which tune it was (might've been Tommy The Cat), but I did attempt one long ago. Did alright, but it definitely wasn't easy...not by a long shot.

          As far as Wooten - haven't tried anything of his, but I have attempted an Alain Caron tune, and his approach is very, very similar, particularly with the multifinger slapping. This was the tune (I ended up copping out and doing it fingerstyle):

          BTW, it was just the head of the tune that I tried - I ran out of patience after that. :)

          "...I'm hovering like a fly, waiting for the windshield on the freeway."

          by soundchaser on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:49:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I didn't realize that the killing happened in (5+ / 0-)

    Arivaca.  I have a fond memory of the place from stopping to bird there on the way to California Bulch (now that's a border crossing hotspot).  It was a lovely little collection of houses, with a nice creek and pond.  This story is horrible no matter how you look at it, but I hate that it happened in this place...

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 09:46:26 PM PDT

    •  Sometimes Robert didn't know when to... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flaky draky, debbieleft

      ... back off, eh? I loved LedZep as much as anyone, but I gotta admit that Plant's vocals (live at least) sometimes grated. Even back then, when I was a teenager, I'd be like, "Cut the improv!" To be honest, back then I sometimes got aggravated that LedZep was the biggest band on earth, when (as far as I was concerned) NOBODY came close to the overall talent of Jethro Tull. I still rate them #1 or #2 (w/ Pink Floyd) greatest ever.

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 11:14:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd were (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the best. But I also loved keyboards and YES is a long forgotten front runner for best band as well. At least IMHO.

        •  Very cool. I almost mentioned Yes. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If I was forced to make a list, mine would probably be:

          1. Jethro Tull
          1. Pink Floyd
          1. Yes
          1. Beatles (post 1966 at least)

          Led Zeppelin would be somewhere in the top 10, but not right at the top as many would put them. And sorry, but even though I like a lot of their stuff, I wouldn't put the Stones even in the top 10.

          Some of the other ones I'd put way up there: Queen (at least when they didn't do their stupid pop stuff, i.e., "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"), Simon & Garfunkel, CSN&Y, REM; among "solo" artists (really no such thing) Cat Stevens, and Elton John (but pretty much stopping after "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"), and Harry Chapin. There are also a handful of more recent groups I'd rank way up there, though it sounds funny when you compare them to my older ones: like Primus and Tool.

          "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

          by ratmach on Fri Jun 19, 2009 at 03:37:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Heh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Good thing I got a ton of screenshots. Just in case.

    Especially of the Tea Party stuff.

  •  L.Z trivia: (0+ / 0-)

    Jimmy page's solo in "Dazed and Confused" was cut and pasted from his solo in the Yardbirds' "Think About It."

    Lonely as a five-hundred-pound barbell in a steroid-free fitness center.

    by dov12348 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:05:48 PM PDT

  •  I have a cached version of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, ratmach

    "Shawna's Corner" Excerpt:

    I will share the pictures and after action report of when I go in with my border security jacket, I am exposing myself will
    stand in lot take down all plates and photo the dealers.
    See there is a new white girl in town this one is not afraid and will not tolerate this not while I'm on post. We can all live in
    fear or we stand strong and tall and look the criminals in the eye and say "No more" that is what I choose to do I did not get involved in this movement to be a wall flower and as most of you know me you know I'm a hands on kind of gal.
    We have to do this so if you have area's that are known to be traffic area's and full of illegal's make a stand start with local law enforcement, take pictures and build a case file. It is better to have as much Intel when you go to the officials. It is taken more seriously.
    I will also keep you posted on if I do decide to enlist with the Army.
    God Bless America
    Shawna Forde

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:13:40 PM PDT

    •  I just checked the Wayback Machine... (0+ / 0-)

      ... and there's nothing for their ".org" site. Maybe it's been archived and just not put online yet, or maybe it's just gone. But I DID find 3 of their pages from earlier... apparently they used to have a ".com" before they switched to ".org". I just now downloaded copies, so at least that's something.

      "Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media." -- Noam Chomsky

      by ratmach on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 10:43:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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