Monday, May 21, 2012

Was Heartland's Climate Strategy Memo Written on Joe Bast's Laptop?

“A review has cleared the scientist Peter Gleick of forging any documents in his expose of the rightwing Heartland Institute’s strategy and finances, the Guardian has learned.”---The Guardian (5-21-12)

The Guardian (5-21-12) is reporting that the famous water expert Dr. Peter Gleick has been cleared of the charge that he forged a controversial Climate Strategy memo and falsely attributed it to a Chicago-based climate change denialist think tank called the Heartland Institute.

Heartland's Joe Bast claims:

Heartland released a computer forensics report, conducted by Protek International, which states: “We conclude that the Memo did not originate on the Heartland System. It was not created on the Heartland System and was never present there prior to its February 14 posting online.”
Technically, Protek's claim is probably true; however, DeSmogBlog's Richard Littlemore (2-16-12) never said the Climate Strategy memo was on the "Heartland System." He hinted that it was "written on Joe Bast’s laptop":
The DeSmogBlog is committed to accuracy. Joe Bast says the document is a fake, a statement we take with a grain of salt given the Heartland Institute’s previous dissembling on the subject of climate change and its discredited position on the safety of second hand smoke. In the circumstances, if the Heartland Institute can offer any specific criticism of the Climate Strategy or any evidence that it was faked and not, actually, written on Joe Bast’s laptop, printed out and scanned, we would be pleased to consider that evidence.
I thought that point about the Climate Strategy memo being written on Joe Bast’s laptop was pretty interesting. Mr. Littlemore seemed very sure of himself. Perhaps someone should ask Mr. Bast if the controversial strategy memo was on his laptop. It would also be interesting to know why Richard Littlemore seemed to think that the Climate Strategy memo was "written on Joe Bast's laptop."

I wrote to the Chicago FBI spokesman Royden “Ross” Rice, to ask about Dr. Gleick's situation, and Agent Rice said: “No arrests have been made and no charges filed in connection with the Heartland Institute incident” (5-14-12). Of couse, something might happen later, but probably the federal government will not charge Dr. Gleick with any crime. I doubt that the Heartland Institute will sue Dr. Gleick, because a trial might reveal that the climate strategy memo is on Joe Bast's laptop. Hopefully, Dr. Gleick has dodged the bullet, but tricking the Heartland Institute into mailing him their internal documents made scientists look dishonest, which is what denialists are always saying. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Black Bloc Anarchists Arrested in Chicago on Terrorism Charges

"Lawyers for Brian Church, 20, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Jared Chase, 24, of Keene, New Hampshire; and Brent Vincent Betterly, 24, of Oakland Park, Fla., insist the only thing inside that apartment was beer-making equipment. Authorities said four completed Molotov cocktails were seized by police along with other weapons and instructions on how to make pipe bombs."---CBS Chicago (5-19-12)

On Wednesday night, police officers and F.B.I. agents in Chicago arrested three young "Black Bloc" anarchists on criminal and terrorism charges. The three were planning to disrupt the NATO summit in Chicago with Molotov Cocktails. The arrests were reported in The New York Times (5-19-12) and The Washington Post (5-18/19-12). Prosecutors claim that the trio was planning to attack the campaign headquarters of President Obama, the home of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, police stations, and financial institutions in the city.

The Washington Post (5-18/19-12) reports:

Prosecutors said the men were self-described anarchists who boasted weeks earlier about the damage they would do in Chicago, including one who declared, “After NATO, the city will never be the same.”
At one point, one of the suspects asked the others if they had ever seen a “cop on fire.”

The Chicago Tribune (5-17-12) reports that on Thursday, the day after the arrests, that Chicago FBI spokesman Ross Rice reportedly said that there was "absolutely no indication" of a terrorist attack threat in Chicago. It is hard to know what to make of this statement in light of the fact that alleged terrorists were arrested the day before by the police and F.B. I. So far, the Chicago FBI spokesman Royden "Ross Rice" has not announced the arrest of these anarchists on the Chicago FBI's Press Room site.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Unabomber Thinks the Sky Is Blue? Do You?

Joe Bast of the climate change denialist organization called the Heartland Institute must be dumber than a bag of rocks. He put up this picture of the Unabomber on an electronic bulletin board in Chicago, and he characterizes people who accept climate change as terrorists. Perhaps Bast was hoping to link incidents of violence during the NATO summit with the belief in climate change. According to Heartland:

The most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.…what these murderers and madmen have said differs very little from what spokespersons for the United Nations, journalists for the ‘mainstream’ media, and liberal politicians say about global warming.

Well, the FBI is a member of the National Intelligence Council, and the NIC writes about climate change. According to the Heartland’s logic, this makes the FBI and 15 other U.S. intelligence organizations terrorists. 

Maybe the FBI should put up a billboard on the freeway telling people that the FBI are members of the NIC and showing them the NIC links to information about national security and climate change. The NIC is made up of 16 U.S. Intelligence agencies. Does Joe Bast think the NIC organizations are terrorists?

Joe Bast has been trying to get the water expert Dr. Peter Gleick arrested by the FBI. So far, "no arrests have been made nor have any criminal charges been filed in the Northern District of Illinois against Peter Gleick," Chicago FBI Special Agent Ross Rice reportedly told Big City Lib (5-10-12). I also emailed Special Agent Rice, and he responded, "No arrests have been made and no charges filed in connection with the Heartland Institute incident" (5-14-12).

Dr. Gleick actually does research on the vulnerability of our water supply to terrorism, and so does the NIC. Probably the FBI doesn't think that famous scientists like Dr. Gleick and the majority of ordinary citizens are terrorists like the evil Unabomber. The Unibomber probably thinks the sky is blue. So does the FBI. Does that make the FBI terrorists?

Joe Bast does not disclose on his website that he even graduated from college, yet he thinks that we should believe him instead of our schoolbooks, our teachers, and our country's most renowned scientists.

Heartland will be having the Czech President Vaclav Klaus speak at their upcoming conference. Klaus is a global warming denier whose anti-global-warming manifesto Blue Planet in Green Shackles was translated into various languages by the Russian LUKoil.  

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Little Learning Is a Dangerous Thing

The U.S. Military has been spreading ignorant, stereotyped information about Islam, according to information in Wired (5-10-12).

General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has condemned Department of Defense educational materials used in a course at the Joint Forces Staff College, according to Wired (5-10-12).

The FBI has also been spreading prejudice about Islam disguised as educational information. See the links here. (The FBI also spreads disinformation about climate scientists who study nuclear winter. Sooner or later, someone will call them on this, too.  Maybe the FBI should check with an American climate scientist who studies nuclear winter instead of  some KGB blowhard and an ignorant journalist.)

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (5-11-12) also carries the story as does The Guardian (5-11-12).

The suspended teacher at the Joint Forces Staff College told his students that Muslim holy cities might need to be bombed and Saudi Arabians starved. He has been advocating the indiscriminate killing of Muslim civilians. Isn't that what Al Qaeda does? Isn't this the same "school" of thought that claimed that "the only good Indian is a dead Indian"? Perhaps these "experts" are believing all that Al Qaeda propaganda they read, just as the FBI believes the ignorant views of a former KGB official on nuclear winter.

It seems to me that when the government spreads inflammatory stereotypes about Islam that they play right into the hands of extremists like Al Qaeda. Some Muslims are terrorists who use Islam to justify terrorism, but many Muslims are actually helping the U.S. defeat Al Qaeda. Most Muslims do not agree with Al Qaeda's terrorism. Mostly, Al Qaeda murders Muslims.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Roanoke Times: "Why Did Bobby Thompson Give Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli 55,000 Dollars?

Dan Casey, the Metro Columnist for the Roanoke Times, is asking why the con-artist Bobby Thompson gave Virginia's Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli 55,000 dollars. He notes that federal law enforcement authorities investigating Thompson may be asking that question, too. See his article "Metro columnist Dan Casey: Navy Vets donations were placed well" (5-6-12).  Check out the fine series of articles about Bobby Thompson at "Under the Radar."

Bobby Thompson seems to have given money to Virginia politicians who voted to end registration requirements for military charities. Dan Casey asks (5-6-12):

What, if anything, did Thompson tell Cuccinelli he wanted during the phone call that resulted in the $50,000 donation?

Did a Richmond insider give Thompson specific advice on where to pass his money around so he could get his bill through the General Assembly?...

I...put the question to Cuccinelli. "Attorney General Cuccinelli never advised or recommended 'Bobby Thompson' to do anything to try to get any law passed," said his spokesman Brian Gottstein.

You can bet that federal agents on this case will be asking Thompson if anyone did give him such advice, just for starters....

[A]n out-of-state grifter bought himself a Virginia law so he could continue cheating Virginians out of their own hard-earned money. And he did it by passing $67,500 around Richmond in some amazingly well-targeted campaign contributions, in a pattern that seems to defy coincidence.

Because of all the questions that remain, this thing still stinks like a dead cat rotting under the couch.

Thompson has some answers, and now that he's been caught, chances are much higher they'll come out.

Stay tuned. [Read the whole article.]

Cuccinelli's opponent for the position of Virginia's Attorney General, Steve Shannon, believes he knows why Bobby Thompson gave Cuccinelli 55,500 dollars. See this excerpt from his letter in "The Richmonder" (6-23-10):

The Office of Consumer Affairs is part of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This department falls under the jurisdiction of the secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, who reports directly to the governor. The Office of Consumer Affairs is not part of the Office of the Attorney General.

Four days after Thompson gave Cuccinelli's campaign for attorney general $5,000, Cuccinelli publicly announced he would attempt to consolidate the responsibilities of the Office of Consumer Affairs under the Office of the Attorney General should he be elected. He later held a news conference to make the same pronouncement, less than three weeks after accepting another $50,000 from Thompson.

Earlier this year, two Republican legislators introduced bills to do just that - to give the attorney general primary authority for investigating and resolving consumer complaints related to the Virginia Solicitation of Contributions Law, which includes the reporting requirements and exemptions for charitable organizations soliciting in the state. One legislator served on Cuccinelli's transition team, and the other legislator - ironically - was recently appointed the state's new commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs. 

The Richmonder (6-23-10) observes:

Shannon's letter was picked up by Ben Tribbett of Not Larry Sabato. Tribbett has constructed a timeline of Cuccinelli's actions during the period covered by Shannon's allegations. The correlations between the payments received by Cuccinelli's campaign and the actions undertaken by Cuccinelli and his allies on behalf of the donor are striking: Thompson makes donations to Cuccinelli, and on each occasion, within days of the payments, Cuccinelli takes actions or advocates policy positions that directly benefit Thompson's fraudulent scheme. [Read the whole article as well as this timeline.] 

Saturday, May 05, 2012

U.S. Marshals Capture Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli's Sugar Daddy "Bobby Thompson"

Four of "Bobby Thompson's" aliases were stolen from people who lived or worked on Indian reservations. Three others were men who had served in the military.---Tampa Bay Times (2-19-12)

The U.S. Marshals and media are reporting that the infamous con-artist "Bobby Thompson" has been apprehended in Portland, Oregon. Check out the U.S. Marshals press release (5-1-12), the excellent Tampa Bay Times series called "Under the Radar" and their May 2, 2012 story "U.S. marshals still don't know Bobby Thompson's true identity." Of his seven known aliases, four were stolen from people who lived or worked on Indian reservations.

Thompson ran a fake Navy Veterans' charity that bilked unsuspecting people out of millions of dollars. For some reason, "Bobby Thompson" gave $55,000 dollars to Virginia's meretricious Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who persecutes climate scientists under the color of the law. Probably Cuccinelli's hounds climate scientists because he lines his pockets with contributions from the fossil-fuel industry and from his father's corporation. The elder Cuccinelli is a career lobbyist for the gas industry.

According to the Chicago Tribune and Roanoke Times (5-4-12), Thompson also contributed to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's campaign and lesser amounts to the campaigns of four state legislators. On state senator sponsored a bill to exempt military charities from registering with the state.

Authorities still have not unravelled the mysterious Thompson's real identity, and his fingerprints are not on file. According to the U.S. Marshals, Thompson had "intimate knowledge" of the Albuquerque area, but another article says he used poorly-forged documents: Albuquerque was misspelled on a fake I.D.

Authorities believe that Thompson bilked unsuspecting people out of 100 million dollars; and although he had almost one million dollars cash hidden in storage, he appears to have lived a miserly life. He took public transportation, ate free meals at a homeless shelter, and lived in poor neighborhoods. Strangely, he didn't use his millions to escape to another country and start a new life. So what happened to all that money?  Check out the series of articles called "Under the Radar."