Crap! I cannot believe that the Ashley Madison data dump was the work of hackers who had moral objections to the company. Most hackers tend toward anarchism, and most anarchists aren't prudes. Yes, it is true that Ashley Madison is, in a sense, a scam site, since the "female" profiles probably include many fakes. (Bogus females are a problem on all dating sites.) But that fact should not lead us to presume that the hackers are real, or that their motives are as stated.
Ashley Madison's client base was commandeered by a group known only as the Impact Team, which has justified its actions in a singularly unconvincing manifesto. If the stated reason for the hack is not the real reason, then what's going on?
Thousands of clients using the affair-oriented Ashley Madison website listed email addresses registered to the White House, top federal agencies and military branches, a data dump by hackers revealed.
The detailed data, released Tuesday, will likely put Washington, D.C., on edge. The nation’s capital reportedly has the highest rate of membership for the site of any city.
The hackers were free to shape the list however they wished. As far as we know, the IT could have decided to protect the politicians they like, and to ruin any politicians they don't. The hackers may even have decided to frame prominent people who have never signed up with Ashley Madison. (I wouldn't be surprised if Bill Clinton's name pops up somewhere in this story, although I am certain that he would never use such a service. Who would believe his denials?)
Reddit users have found some telling irregularities in the torrents which contain the hacked data. For one thing, the torrents are of differing sizes.
There's a great deal of intra-party hate going on in conservative circles these days, so any Republicans embarrassed by this operation (example) may have been targeted by a conservative who favors a rival. Perhaps the term "cuckservative" was coined to prepare the way, psychologically, for this new form of political attack. Or is that idea too much of a stretch...?
A new report on the freedom of countries around the world ranks the United States 20th, putting countries like Chile and the United Kingdom ahead of the U.S.
People define freedom in differing ways. For example, FDR might have spoken about "freedom from hunger," whereas a libertarian would consider FDR's policies to be encroachments on freedom. So who came up with this report?
...the Cato Institute, Fraser Institute and the Swiss Liberales Institut, which created the study together.
The Cato Institute is, of course, a notorious libertarian think tank, originally called the Charles Koch Foundation. The Fraser institute is a notorious libertarian think tank in Canada, funded by the Koch brothers. The Liberales Institut of Zurich is devoted to promoting "classical liberalism" -- i.e., libertarianism. (So far, I can't find a Koch connection beyond the ideological overlap.)
In other words: The Daily Caller -- founded by Tucker Carlson and Dick Cheney's chief aide Neil Patel -- has just hit us with a shotgun blast of libertarian propaganda.
That’s why I think #BlackLivesMatter is wasting its time pressing Democrats for answers, or action. The party of big government can’t meet their demands.
For starters, the Democratic presidential contenders have done an infamously bad job of responding to #BlackLivesMatter protesters who’ve attended their events. Sen. Bernie Sanders and former governor Martin O’Malley were practically heckled off the stage at the Netroots Nation conference after they were unable to effectively articulate, let alone posit, concrete solutions to protesters’ concerns. Former secretary of state and Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign has been similarly panned by #BlackLivesMatter leaders.
The emphasis should be on asking: Why are police brought into hostile interactions with black people so often in the first place? It’s because of the big-government policies and practices of the supposedly liberal Democrats that the #BlackLivesMatter crowd is petitioning for help.
Don’t take my word for it; take the word of President Obama’s Department of Justice, which set forth, in painstaking detail, in its report on the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department all the ways in which pressure to generate additional revenue to pay for the city’s expenses led the Ferguson police to attempt to maximize city revenue by meeting ticket quotas and goals.
As if Fox News has shown a whole lot of sympathy for black people who have been targeted by the police! As if Republicans have been upset by what happened to Freddie Gray, Michael Brown and Eric Garner!
In the past, this humble blog has discussed the scurrilous tactics now being used by police departments to generate revenue. I have argued -- here and here -- that libertarian ideology created this ghastly situation.
Libertarians and conservatives are the ones who told us that we should not fund necessary city services by raising taxes on the affluent. Libertarians and conservatives were the ones who promoted "offender-based" financing -- that is, gouging people guilty of minor traffic offenses.
But what libertarians have done to black communities is even worse than that. Allow me to repeat my earlier words:
It's bad enough when libraries and parks are funded by what amounts to a shakedown operation targeting those least able to pay. But what Oliver discusses (at around the 8:45 mark [in the video embedded below]) is something much worse: The money goes to vampire capitalists who contribute nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to our society.
Taxpayers pay the police and the courts to force poor people to feed the vampire capitalists. The vampire capitalists grow fat, and the goods and services necessary to our society remain underfunded. Government actually spends more money to make the libertarian system function.
Libertarians keep telling us that private enterprise is always more efficient. Really? How the hell can anyone say that the old system was somehow less efficient than the legalized robbery inflicted by private probation companies?
The John Oliver segment embedded below explains the situation very well. Lefties sure as hell were not the ones who said that cops should transform traffic stops into revenue machines. That wasn't our big idea.
Only a foolish (or purchased) black activist would argue that black communities will be improved by Koch-funded politicians who want to privatize Social Security and rid the world of food stamps. It was the Republicans who fought tooth and nail to preserve redlining. It's the Republicans who want an end to affordable health care.
In a preceding post, we learned that the alleged "Black Lives Matter" activists who targeted Sanders were actually admirers of Sarah Palin.
What we are seeing here is a series of very devious propaganda operations. If you study the tactics used to undermine Allende in Chile, you may see certain parallels.
I guess we shouldn't be surprised that the right would try to pretend that they are better suited to represent the concerns of #blacklivesmatter. Even though they are the ones who say things like, "stop breaking the law and you won't get killed by the police", and "if you just treat the police with respect, you won't get beaten and killed" (as if those things are in any way relevant to the incredibly lop sided "response" that black's receive for minor infractions, or even perceived infractions, compared to whites). I keep feeling like we are going backwards here in American when it comes to civil rights and racism. To think that anyone would agree with this stance by the right is absurd. Yet this is the world we now live in.