BLOGGERS: “Gird Your Loins” and Guard Your Data. Change.gov Scrubbing is a Red Flag

The Washington Timesstory yesterday regarding how the Change.gov website was “scrubbed” sometime over the weekend is a red flag to all those who wish to see truth preserved.

The Times reported that the Obama agenda previously listed there, largely copied over from the Obama campaign site, has been replaced with vague statements.

As many bloggers, and even some reporters know; this is not the first time information has evaporated from the internet regarding Barack Obama. In fact, the scrubbing of unflattering and questionable data intensified in the last months of the campaign. Any question regarding whether this practice would be routine during an Obama Presidency, have now been answered.

Bloggers need to be cognizant of this fact and act accordingly since there are few news outlets who will not plead amnesia in the future should an issue arise referencing documented information that has disappeared.

Further, it’s obvious that President-elect Barack Obama’s penchant for saying, “I’ve consistently said….” or “this has always been my position…” or “I’ve always said….” or “I have said so repeatedly….” would be a lot easier to back up if there is no proof of prior statements or contrary information available.

The Obama campaign, transition team staff, and coming administration have had a great deal of help in “protecting” information. Besides things disappearing off the ‘net, there have been things that have “disappeared”, difficult to access, withheld, or even altered in the “terrestrial” world. There are several incidents of which bloggers are likely aware that include the removal of the “Obama Youth” video from Youtube which was only re-posted because some shrewd blogger had permanently downloaded it and put it back up on the site. Besides that video on Youtube, there have been reports of disappearing Jeremiah Wright videos and NBC’s aggressively monitoring and immediately demanding videos including any NBC footage be pulled, such as Barney Frank’s appearance on CNBC in July of this year when he stated that Fannie Mae was a sound investment. This video was the basis for the Bill O’Reilly ambush of Frank in October.

Besides the video pulls, there are a number of people who were disturbed by a trend on the Real Clear Politics site, wherein negative Obama reader articles would mysteriously disappear and the user accounts deleted. It’s unclear at this date whether that issue was ever resolved. All inquiries to the webmaster, even by prominent blogger Roger Gardner of Radarsite, went unanswered.

There are some scrubbing incidents which I personally discovered in the last six to eight weeks of the campaign, primarily involving ACORN. On October 10, I had a post regarding Barack Obama having been a member of the legal team that sued Citibank in Chicago for allegedly “red-lining“. I assert that this is yet another Obama connection to ACORN. The two plaintiffs were likely referred to Obama’s firm by that group. These kinds of suits, which bullied banks to grant unprofitable and non-viable mortgages to people in areas with historically high rates of default, contributed to the “Sub-prime mortgage meltdown”. Citibank ultimately settled that suit.

In researching ACORN, I found a site called Tax Exempt World, where a large amount of data on tax exempt entities is available to the public. Some of the information is available for free, some for a fee. On October 9 amd 10, when I was doing this research, I pulled up an ACORN detail page on Tax Exempt World, using this link:


Trouble is, the page didn’t look exactly like it does now. There was further detail below the the Google ads, stating where ACORN’s funds were held, which was an account in the British Virgin Islands. Below is an image I prepared showing where the information existed on the page as of October 10, but disappeared within about a week, when I went back to look more carefully:


Certainly it’s easy to make an assertion like I’ve just done without any back up. Besides the fact that I had no real reason for doing so, I referenced the fact in my article, intending to go back and do further research:

“Further, the tax-exempt database I linked for the ACORN address above displays that ACORN keeps its money in an offshore bank account in the Virgin Islands, which I find just plain odd.”

Perhaps the Tax Exempt site had a glitch and was displaying information that was meant for the paid part of their service only. Of course that is a possibility, but considering that it was not the only web page that disappeared, was scrubbed, or was significantly edited that I used when researching for my post, I find it awfully suspicious.

It doesn’t look like I linked to the ACORN home page within the article, but I quoted from it. Several days later, when I went back to do some more research on their site, I kept getting the following result:


This went on for several days, and then mysteriously, the site reappeared and had clearly been scrubbed and edited. The edits included a rabid defense of the organization. In visiting the site today, one can find the full-fledged effort continues the self-defense measures. Today’s front page has a big button featured entitled “Fight Back: The Truth About ACORN”.

Perhaps this disappearance and re-emergence of a site is just another coincidence, but I don’t think so.

More recently, I was researching the issue of Barack Obama’s connection to Sal Alinksy’s theories and the book Rules for Radicals. I discovered the following page:


This was apparently from an online version of the book After Alinksy: Community Organizing in Illinois, which had been published by the University of Illinois at Springfield. Obama had written an essay entitled “Why Organize? Problems and Progress in the Inner City” at an earlier time. This essay was later included as a chapter in After Alinksy. Some enterprising person had the foresight to apparently copy the page source code and loaded the page back up to the web. It’s a good thing, because if one clicks on the link “The Complete book After Alinksy home page” on the above page, this is what comes up:


Since all of the other links on the reloaded page are connected to the University’s site and those work, it is hard to believe that this, too is another coincidence or something created out of whole cloth. One thing is definitely true, the book does exist. The ISBN number is valid. The book is listed for sale on Amazon, although it is obviously in very short supply; the current price is $150+.

Some may ask, “what’s the big deal about the removal of the book from the University site”? In some respects, it’s not that big of a deal. While the article may make my skin crawl because I understand the subtext and it’s implications, it is not particularly radical, per se. But apparently someone was bothered by the notion that the information existed on the University’s site. It would not be flattering to have any clear connections between Alinksy doctrine and Barack Obama. Despite many radical leftist’s denials, Alinksy is nothing but a Marxist radical, his tactics were not “peaceful” as some leftist pinheads on TV have said or many radical “community organizing groups” worshipping at Alinksy’s feet state in their “About Us” pages. His goal was revolution of American society; revolution to a Marxist state.

Despite the obvious implications of Obama granting permission to include his essay in a book about Alinksy, his other connections to the Alinksy philosophy, and what all of it means for an Obama, there is something more bothersome about the information being pulled off the Univeristy site.

It’s the Orwellian aspect of it all, of course. How can history be so easily re-written in what is supposed to be an open society? Who is doing all of this scrubbing, editing, and pulling? One could obviously make suppositions all day long about how the University of Illinois fits into all of this, considering the many tentacles of connections to Barack Obama there. At the very least, there are apparently a lot of people and organizations in our country who are very protective of President-elect Obama and whose ethics are questionable, to say the least.

Regardless of who is “scrubbing”, editing, and pulling, and why, the moral of the story is obvious: bloggers and others doing research need to protect the information they discover and they need to do so NOW. How many among us have had fleeting thoughts of going back over links, etc., discovered throughout the election, and doing something about downloading or taking a screenshot, but have as of yet to do so? I know for a while now, I’ve been intermittently capturing and downloading, but I haven’t done it consistently or gone back over things I’d found in the past.

It seems important going forward that we all adopt these practices as a normal part of the way we do things.

In pondering the best ways to preserve information, I recall the controversy that occurred over the ages of the members of the Chinese Women’s Gymnastics team. I recall a blog post by an author who is also an investigator. He employed the use of a cache search and turned up a Chinese government report that revealed discrepancies about the girls’ ages. The government had pulled the report off the net, leaving its discovery open only to those skilled in cache searches.

Certainly there are many others out there much savvier than myself. I’ve got some learning to do about this; I briefly tried this out on some of the links for pages I mentioned having disappeared, but clearly, I don’t know what I’m doing yet, or they are just gone. For those who might be reading this who are good at cache searching, I would ask you to leave comments to instruct the rest of us how it is best done.

For now, I can share what I’m going to be looking at myself:

Google Guide about Cached Pages
(the Google guide itself, which I’ve not “stumbled upon” before looks like it might have some handy information to generally improve searching techniques)

Search Engine Showdown
Includes a listing of many free services that archive pages from the web. Google is there, of course, but many others that may include information that Google doesn’t have.

One of those listed, “Way Back Machine”, doesn’t carry the archives for at least six months after the fact. However, since none of the others have worked for me so far and may not ever, I will wait patiently and try Way Back Machine for some of these pages.

Very likely many have already thought out how to archive data and have the tools handy to do so. Maybe you’ve done it or are doing it already. Although I’m admittedly new to blogging, I’m not new to the internet. Of course, I’ve experienced some dead links here and there over the years when going back to an old bookmark, but the number of things vanishing lately seems to have a creepy Orwellian bent. I wonder if that’s true for many others. Am I just naive?

In any case, in the event that anyone coming across this post is either also new to blogging or new to preserving the information they’ve found, I’m going to go list the steps I plan to use. If you have suggestions for improving upon my list, I invite any and all suggestions. (Unless, of course, your suggestion is for me to go suck an egg because I’m archiving information on Barack Obama. If so, please don’t bother. It will just be deleted, anyway.)

So, here are the steps I’m personally going to take:
1) Spend some time everyday for the next few days reviewing past posts for web page references and video files that are only linked at this point. If they seem likely candidates for removal, I’m going to archive them using steps I’ll go through below.

Youtube videos:
Download permanently using Youtube Downloader. In addition to handy downloading, this program also converts videos for use on multiple platforms like Ipods, Windows Media Player, etc.

Web pages and graphics:
Take screenshots of sites using MWSnap. This is much more flexible than simply using the “print screen” function in Windows.
Depending upon the perceived importance of the website or page, save the page source by going to the “View” menu at the top of the browser and pasting into notepad, saving as html.

Of course, this data could really rack up in size fairly quickly. So there are storage needs to consider. Maybe it’s time to invest in another external hard drive or a big pack of CDs.

2) I will be noting the importance of information I find going forward and take the above steps on ongoing basis as necessary.

Like I said, others more experienced in these matters than myself are very welcome to leave suggested improvements.

Advertisements

Two Omaha, Nebraska Students Suspended for “Inappropriate Remarks” About Barack Obama & Secret Service Investigates Another for a “Threat”

Apparently, the efforts to silence dissent against President-elect Barack Obama have already begun. And it looks like he can count on the youth, if not so much as he would have liked, at the ballot box, in policing their peers.

Lincoln, Nebraska, radio station 1400 KLIN reported this morning that two Omaha high school students have been suspended for making “inappropriate remarks” about Mr. Obama that “had racial and religious ‘undertones'”.

A search for a more in-depth report on the incident finds an Omaha World Herald story which reveals that the incident that occurred Wednesday is not the only one in which action was taken against an area high schooler.

In Bellevue, Nebraska, police and the Secret Service were called by a high school student who had received a text message from a fellow student that the recipient deemed “threatening”. Apparently, the two students were arguing about the outcome of the election. No action was taken, as the threat was not deemed “credible”, although it was labeled as “inappropriate”.

These incidents should disturb us all. Of course, racial epithets and threatening language should not be tolerated in a civilized society. But, in the case of the suspended students, the words “inappropriate” and “undertones” were used. I find that, unfortunately, not surprising, but very outrageous. How many people, for the last eight years, made more than “inappropriate” remarks with actually violent “overtones” against President George W. Bush? How many calls were made to the Secret Service, how many students suspended? Apparently it’s ok to disapparage, ridicule, and slander a white Christian guy, and that’s about it.

What I find most disconcerting is that the first incident, which resulted in the suspensions, was not reported by the classroom teacher, it was reported by students who left the class and contacted the administration. And the administration took it seriously.

Perhaps the reporting students will be the first to sign up for President-elect Obama’s National Civilian “Security” force.

Homeschooling, anyone?

The Left Sets its Cross-Hairs on Rep. Michelle Bachmann

Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann appeared on Chris Matthews’ Hardball on MSNBC on October 17.

That puts Rep. Bachmann at the top of the list of the extremely brave or the extremely unaware. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews? As if you’re going to get anything like a fair shake from the guy who feels a tingle going up his leg when he hears Barack Obama speak.

In any case, I haven’t seen such a good case of telling it like it is as I observed here, in a very long time. Bravo, Michelle.

Now, trouble of it is, there’s been just a wee bit of fall out from this appearance. She was invited onto The O’Reilly Factor Thursday, October 23 to talk about the appearance. She explained to Bill that she isn’t backing off of her statements about the fact that Barack Obama’s past associations are very, very troubling. She again cited Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers. She told Bill the only thing she regrets is that Chris Matthews kept repeating the phrase “Anti-American”, laying a trap of sorts, and she rather fell into it by repeating the phrase back to him.

I don’t think she should back up or off one inch, because Obama has many very troubling associations many of whom are clearly Anti-American. What else do you call it when a man is involved with a terrorist group whose goal is to overthrow the government? That same man, as recently as 2003, label himself as a small “c” communist, and a Marxist. Is that American? He used funding for an education program to set up a U.N. school, a school based on the premises of the U.N., not the United States. How pro-American is any of that. Further, Rev. Jeremiah rate said God%$#@ America, claims that the U.S. purposely infected African Americans witht he AIDS virus. Now, if that’s not anti-American, I don’t know what is. That’s just two of Barack Obama’s associations. When someone has those kinds of associations, and refuses to explain them, that is troubling. It does cause anyone with common sense wonder; just how pro-American is Mr. Obama?

Michelle Bachmann does a better job of articulating why Sen. Obama’s past associations are so troubling and why his becoming President along with a Democratic majority in Congress is dangerous for the country better than the McCain campaign is doing.

On Tuesday, October 21, Bachmann appeared on Mike Gallagher’s radio show. The audio is available from Gallagher’s website if you prefer to listen and a transcript of the conversation is below:

Rep. Bachmann: Mike Gallagher, I am so proud of you and so honored to be on your show, I can’t tell you.

Mike Gallagher: Well, after the beating you took on the Today Show it’s nice for you to have a friendly environment for a few minutes. Even though you weren’t on there in person, they acted like you were Jack the Ripper for what you said. And of course, we played the audio clip of what you said originally, which I think what you said was a pretty reasonable thing to say.

Rep. Bachmann: And I have so much respect for you Mike, because when a Republican is attacked, this is what the Left do, they cow Republicans into silence because no one wants to go through what I am going through right now. When you question the radical policies of the next potential president of the United States may have, the Left just goes crazy. They have tried to define subjects that are on-limits and off-limits for this election. And I touched something that is off limits. I called Chris Matthews on the carpet, and I said, Chris, Look, if John McCain had named as two of his three life mentors, Jeremiah Wright and Father Flagger, you would have been all over him. You have failed to do your due diligence as the national media to check out Barack Obama, and they can’t take it, because the point is, what are Barack Obama’s policies? Will they be for America or will they be against traditional American ideals and values? And I’ll tell you what, punishing tax rates, redistribution of wealth, socialized medicine, inputting censorship in the form of the UnFairness Doctrine, and taking away the secret ballot from the worker has nothing to do with traditional American values. And that’s why your listeners need to know. Otherwise, the United States may be literally changed forever if Barack Obama becomes the next President, Nancy Pelosi the Speaker of the House, Harry We Lost the War Reid the head of the Senate, and then they have the power to appoint three more Ruth Bader Ginsbergs to the Supreme Court, what are we going to do then?

Mike Gallagher: That’s precisely what’s in play here. I mean, you know, I was watching CNN, Willie Brown, from San Francisco, talking about all the agenda of pushing forth the agenda of gay marriage, and you know, under a liberal democrat president and Democrats in the Congress I mean, as San Francisco goes, so goes the rest of the country. You know, we’ll see a different country than the one we recognize. And yet, your comments were so… mainstream. And that’s what’s fascinating, there’s nothing you’ve said, even on the show, and I know that people have tried to corner you about your comments on the show, you didn’t say anything that isn’t what ordinary Americans are wondering about. a presidential candidate who talks about spreading around the wealth, and cavorting with a guy like Bill Ayers and a woman like Bernadine Dorn, who wants to overthrow capitalism. How is it not reasonable to wonder if that’s anti-American?

Rep. Bachmann: And what I did is touch a nerve, just like Joe the Plumber touched a nerve, by questioning Barack Obama punishing high tax rates and then Barack Obama saying he wants to spread the wealth around. That’s exactly what happened to me on Chris Matthews’ I touched a nerve, which shows how ultra-hypersensative Leftists are right now in this country. They know America is a center-right country. They know Americans would shrink back if they truly came to understand how radically Obama would change this country. I mean, they’re so afraid. Nancy Pelosi came here to Minnesota and she went in front of the media and she said to the Minnesota media, that me, Michelle Bachmann, has dishonored the position that I hold in Congress, and that my statements, that my statements discredit me as a person. Then she got back on the plane and left. I’ll tell you, right now…

Mike Gallagher: By the way, she got a bigger plane. She didn’t like the plane she had. She got a bigger plane so she could fly around the country and discredit people like Michelle Bachmann.

Rep. Bachmann: Well, and that’s why shows like the Today show are banding together with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews to get my scalp on a platter. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews alone have raised $1 million dollars for my opponent, just this last Friday.

Mike Gallagher: You’re kidding me.

Rep. Bachmann: No, no, over a million dollars in online contributions in that amount of time to take out my scalp. they’re serious about it cause they can’t stand the fact that I’m fighting them. Nancy Pelosi also pledged to donate $1 million toward my opponent. So $2 million have come in, Friday, to make sure that I lose this election. That’s why I need, I’m desperate for help right now, or else I lose.

Mike Gallagher: Give me your website address so people can donate from everywhere.

Rep. Bachmann: It’s michellebachmann.com. Michelle with one “l”, Bachmann, with two “n’s”. michellebachmann.com, and I’ll tell you what, the listeners on the left, they can’t give enough money to silence me. Oh you’re an extraordinary man, I just can’t thank you enough for your support, Mike. It’s humbling.

Mike Gallagher: We’re just so honored to be able to fight on behalf of somebody like you, who your story is so amazing. Alot of the people around the country don’t know your story. They don’t know about all of the foster children that you’ve brought into your home and changed their lives, they don’t know about your solid conservative values and your, you’re just such a terrific representative of what’s right about America, to see what you’re going through, because you basically said on a national tv show, hey you know, Barack Obama, I wonder about some of his pro-America positions when he talks about spreading around the wealth. I think the media oughtta investigate and do an exposee about whether or not some of these members of Congress are either pro or Anti-American. That’s what gets you in so-called hot water? I mean. Congresswoman, are the reports true, that the National Republican Campaign Committee has pulled out of funding your tv ads in the last few days here?

Rep. Bachmann: Yes, it’s true.

Mike Gallagher: Why?

Rep. Bachmann: Well, I don’t know. One thing, I give the Left a lot of credit. One thing they do, is they really hang tough with eachother. And I think there’s a lot we can learn from that. They support each other through thick and thin. And that’s why I have just so much respect and appreciation for you, Mike, you’re there, hanging in there through thick and thin. And um, I agree that I choose my words badly, and I’m sorry for that, but, um, I didn’t commit a crime here, worthy of death. That’s kind of what’s happening in the media right.

Mike Gallagher: It’s certainly not worthy of losing your job, I mean it’s outrageous, that, as you said, the Left has managed to raise over a $1 million.

Rep. Bachmann: It’s over $2 million.

Mike Gallagher: Oh, it’s $2 million now. I gotta tell you, all of the emails that are flooding into us, when I just, about an hour ago, gave a $500 contribution to your campaign.

Rep. Bachmann: Oh, Mike.

Mike Gallagher: But listen to this, yesterday, I got a call from a guy in Beverly Hills, California, listening to me, he was so touched by what your up against, he made the maximum donation to your campaign of $2,300. I’ve got people, I’ve got a lady in Atlanta, she says, I’m broke, I gave Michelle Bachmann $10. I mean it’s incredible, I mean people are rallying around you because now’s the time to fight for what we believe, Congresswoman. We can’t let these bullies win.

Rep. Bachmann: And, you’ve just hit the point, Mike. This isn’t about Michelle Bachmann. Because I didn’t go to Washington, D. C. for a job or for a career. I was a Federal tax lawyer and I have five biological kids, and like you mentioned, my husband Marcus and I have raised over twenty-three foster kids. We just have a heart for kids who are at risk in our communityat risk. I had a full plate of things I had to do, but I was very concerned about the direction of our country. And that’s why I was willing to go on Chris Matthews’ show last Friday. I didn’t go on to get votes for myself. I didn’t go on to help myself. I went on because I was so concerned, like yourself, Mike, about what will happen to our country if we have Nancy Pelosi in the House, the values of Harry Reid in the Senate, and the ideas and the power of Barack Obama sitting in the Presidency, with the ability to appoint three more Ruth Bader Ginsbergs to the Supreme Court. Because we will see punishing-high tax rates. They aren’t shy about this. Two days ago, Barney Frank, the Chair of the Financial Services Committee that I sit on, said we need to have massive spending increases, not worry about deficits and then raise taxes. They aren’t shy about it. This is what theyre planning to do. They will punish success, like the Joe the Plumbers of this world who want to succeed, that American dream will go away. That is why my race is so crucial. Because I’m a fighter, and I take it to them. I take it to them everday on the floor of the United States Senate. And I took it to ’em on Hardball with Chris Matthews. And I walked into a trap and I got tripped up because Chris Matthews was used the word over and over and over again. He was driving home the word “anti-Amerian”. Foolishly, I repeated back to him, in my response, the word “anti-American”. I wish I wouldn’t have done that. But that being the case, I don’t back away at all from my concern for my country.

Mike Gallagher: Please don’t. Please don’t. And let me tell you what we’re trying to do here. Just so you know, because millions of Americans, I think, are touched by your passion. We’ve linked your website to mine, so we’re inviting listeners to go to mikeonline.com to make any kind of contribution they can. And, furthermore, we’re now in touch with our station in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, the Twin Cities, the Patriot, and I’m trying to figure out a way to get there Wednesday night, and bring my buddy, Jackie Mason, whose the great comedian.

Rep. Bachmann: Oh, he’s so talented.

Mike Gallagher: Well, he’s funny and he supports you, Mi-. He wants to either deliver in person or by video, a stand-up message for you and we might be able to pull off a fundraiser Wednesday night in the Twin Cities on your behalf, so we’ll keep everybody posted on that. Stay up, Congresswoman, don’t get down on us, we need you to keep fighting.

Rep. Bachmann: What a doll you are, I appreciate it. You know, this has really unhinged a lot of people. Yesterday, my home was vandalized. WE have a white painted house – [Mike Gallagher:] What?! [Rep. Bachmannsomeone took black spray paint yesterday, came to my home and sprayed black paint on my house, that said the word “scum”, spray painted my driveway.

Mike Gallagher: Are you kidding me?

Rep. Bachmann: This has gotten people completely unglued. It’s the front page of all our big newspapers. Big photos of me and essentially putting a hairshirt on me, telling the world here in Minnesota that I’ve committed the most offensive crime known to man. It is unbelievable, huge photos, above the fold, banner headlines on every night on the local news, on all of our radio stations. You haven’t seen anything like this.

Mike Gallagher: Wow.

Rep. Bachmann: They see, they smell blood. They want a scalp, because they want to silence someone whose been willing to touch the nerve of what Barack Obama could do to change our country forever –

Mike Gallagher: Not to mention your Democrat opponent in Congress. We’re going to keep fighting for you. We hope we’ll see you Wednesday night in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Michelle Bachmann, God Bless You, hang in there, don’t get down.

Rep. Bachmann: Thank you.

So, the thanks that Michelle Bachmann has gotten for standing up to the ubber-left media and just calling a spade a spade, is to now have a bullseye placed right on her forehead.

Whatever can be done to help her, needs to be done. Not only is she willing to stand up and say what most politicians are not saying about Barack Obama, she was out front on the energy issue, she voted against the bailout bill, twice. This woman needs to be sent back to Congress, there are so few politicians like her.

To donate to her campaign, visit this website.