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Did the Government Shut Down 73,000 Blogs?

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July 19, 2010 – Comments (33)

When I wrote about the new CyberSecurity bill a couple weeks ago, I didn't expect the kleptocracy to move this quickly.  However, it seems they already had a plan in place to silence dissenting speech and assert control over the Internet, a place the government absolutely does not belong.

73.000 blogs shut down with no eplanation

How much longer are you willing to put up with this garbage? 

End the Fed to End the Tyranny

David in Qatar

33 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 19, 2010 at 11:49 PM, guiron (22.13) wrote:

The best comment on that article contains this:

Given the swiftness and thoroughness of the takedown, I would bet that it probably has nothing to do with the content of ANY of the blogs--nothing to do with file sharing, nothing to do with anti-government blogs, nothing to do with copyright. Given that it was running WordPress, and given some of the security problems with older WordPress versions, it's possible that someone totally commandeered the entire server and was using the server for some illegal and potentially immediately destructive purpose, which could be anything from running DDoS attacks to hosting kiddie porn to running a clearinghouse for stolen credit cards. All of those would be more likely justifications for an immediate and serverwide takedown.

 

Turns out the number of blogs is an exaggeration. The vast majority are just automatic redirectors that point to advertisers, trying to generate advertising revenue through scammy means. You can check for yourself with Google cache. This isn't so much a blog site as a SEO site. In any event, the actual server that was taken down wasn't actually hosting the blog site:

It appears on further research that the server which was shut down was not actually blogetery.com, but rather bn.affiliateplex.com, an affiliate revenue sharing site which contained a very large number of links to blogetery. (The site at www.affiliateplex.com is still up, and it sells, among other things, software for getting banned ads past Facebook's security.)

 

Anyway, I guess it's easier to invent a story that suits your point of view than to verify the facts of a story you spread around.

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#2) On July 20, 2010 at 12:55 AM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

guiron,

Your comment opens up more questions than it answers. If that is true, since when does the government have a reason or the authority to waste taxpayer resources by preventing banned ads from appearing on Facebook?   The quotes are also speculation, hence the phrases "it's possible" and "it appears."  It's also possible that eveything you have quoted is completely wrong. 

The point of the post is that several thousand, perhaps as many as 73,000 blogs may have been shut down with no explanation.  And there is absolutely no reason for the government to shut down blogs, ever. 

David in Qatar

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#3) On July 20, 2010 at 1:47 AM, 1315623493 wrote:

How is the Federal Reserve responsible for this? 

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#4) On July 20, 2010 at 2:15 AM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

BetapegLLC,

Great question and I'm glad you asked.

The Federal Reserve makes the exponential growth of government possible.  WIthout the ability to create money out of thin air, the government could not possibly continue its assualt into every aspect of Americans' private lives.  Every totalitarian government since the Egyptians has used currency debasement as the primary source of revenue when govenrment growth outsripped its ability to collect revenues from citizens and borrowing.  

If the people cannot control the government's purse, it will eventually contain every penny available.  This has been repeated over and over throughout history.

If the government did not have an unlimited ability to borrow and debase, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - not to mention the 700 bases in 130 countries - would be impossible to maintain.  Same goes for the war on drugs. 

And if we were to guess what services would be deemed important enough that the government might have a reason to continue operating them, I highly doubt that making sure banned Facebook ads are blocked would be high on that list.

So yes, the Federal Reserve is responsible, because funny money makes tyranny possible.

"They pretend they're paying us and we pretend to be working." - classic Russian quote

David in Qatar 

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#5) On July 20, 2010 at 2:57 AM, 1315623493 wrote:

Interesting view, though not surprised. 

If the government did not have an unlimited ability to borrow and debase, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - not to mention the 700 bases in 130 countries - would be impossible to maintain.  Same goes for the war on drugs.  

The government really doesn't have an unlimited ability to borrow and debase because if they did, the bond market would soundly punish government bonds, and inflation would be sky high. Theoretically, yes, the government can create unlimited quantities of currency. But in reality, they can't do that.

But they sure do have a lot of room to move when it comes to inflating the currency, given the deflationary pressures we're facing. I say bring inflation back. I wish we could worry about inflation and not deflation.

Well actually, do I? I'm net short the market :-P

=================================

The key to government spending is the bond market. They decide whether the government's debt is too high, and whether the risk of default is elevated. The bond market makes or breaks wars, governments, and entire countries (Greece). The government only does what the bond market allows it to. So I say, bring awareness of the negativity of too much government debt, but place the blame of excessive government debt/deficits on the bond market that allows the government to do so. They are the benefactor. The Federal Reserve can't buy bonds all by themselves and not have bond yields shoot through the roof, given a massive hypothetical sell off in US bonds. 

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#6) On July 20, 2010 at 3:22 AM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

BetapegLLC,

The government bond market is not some market-driven collection of private investment watchdogs that keep governments in check.  And with interbank lending rates at near zero, it should be a serious warning sign that 10yr rates in the U.S. are back above 4% and rising.

Besides all that, there is no example in history where the bond market stopped the growth of government.  Nor does it follow from a theoretical perspective.  The Greeks will see a few superficial and temporary measures put in place that appear to slow the growth of the Greek government.  But their debt is already being restructured and extended and the encroachment on the Greek people will continue as before.

David in Qatar

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#7) On July 20, 2010 at 12:01 PM, nzsvz9 (< 20) wrote:

David,

So is this why DaretothREdux has gone silent? Is he locked up in Fort Knox yet? ;-)

If challenged, in my opinion, the government would come up and say regulating the internet falls under the interstate portion of the commerce clause. The intent of the commerce clause was to prohibit states from setting up duties and tariffs for goods and services which went from state to state - and this is how it was interpreted for the first hundred years or so - to regulate imports and exports and the free-flow of traffic among the states. It was not to regulate business - but to hold the states in check to not put up trade barriers within the USA.

All the expansion of the commerce clause in the last 130 years to regulate business comes from those with a desire to rule over others through control of the means of production. Federalists. Progressives. Socialists. Communists. The Fed. Take your pick.

Known as wanting to turn back to the Constitution or just nzsvz9

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#8) On July 20, 2010 at 12:57 PM, tobernator1000 (< 20) wrote:

@nzsvz9 I'm curious to know what the Constitution has to say about internet regulation. I'm sure the founding fathers were very well versed in cyber security, and had many insightful comments. If you could list them here I'm sure we could all learn a lot.

@whereaminow As for putting up with "this garbage", I'm honestly getting kind of tired of it. The number of conspiracy theories floating around this site is quite frankly astounding. Even more so the hubris of thinking any of those 73,000 blogs had anything so damning to say that The Government had to take down the entire server to preserve itself. If Obama (or Bush or anyone in the government) really had the will AND ability to silence that many people without leaving a trace other than the word of the guy whose 70,000 spam-bots "got shut down", do you really think the Tea Parties, or any internet based grass-roots movements would still exist? Why don't you leave your anti-government rants to your right-wing blogs (which will be shut down by government black ops), and I'll leave my anti-business rants to my left-wing blog (which will get shut down by fat-cat ISP gatekeepers), and leave the Fool for reasonable discussions about stocks, markets, and the economy.

PS I'm sorry if I'm unreasonably harsh, but it really does get irritating to have to sift through rants disguised as real news, and I would really like it to stop.

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#9) On July 20, 2010 at 3:02 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

tobernator1000,

Do you have any Information Technology credentials?  Info sec credentials?  Ever worked for the government?    Done business with the government?  Do you have 5,000+ recs at Motley Fool?

I can answer yes to all of the above.   Can you?  

A guy with no picks, no comments, and no cred is gonna call me out?  

Go away troll.  

I'm not sorry for being overly harsh.  You're a loser with nothing better to do.

David in Qatar

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#10) On July 20, 2010 at 3:19 PM, nzsvz9 (< 20) wrote:

tobernator1000,

Do you dispute the above stated view of the commerce clause? Is my opinion on its probable application by excuse-seeking socialists inaacurate? You don't seem to present any argument other than to disparage the founding fathers for not forseeing the internet. Please tell me what will happen in 230 years and write a legal framework to govern it - like the FF did. They did a very good job.

I did not comment on the blog removal and/or the reported government involvement in such. What I did do was describe what I believe to be a common root cause for such actions based on a Progressive interpretation of the Constituion, whereby there is no legal authority for the government to shut down a business in this manner - which was David's point, I believe.

If you would like to discuss this - then please continue to read and post. Otherwise please consider reading other bloggers.

Known as non-agitator nzsvz9

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#11) On July 20, 2010 at 3:22 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

nzsvz9,

You have such better manners than I do :)

David in Qatar

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#12) On July 20, 2010 at 4:28 PM, Jbay76 (< 20) wrote:

rec +1

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#13) On July 20, 2010 at 5:55 PM, leohaas (32.65) wrote:

This is getting funny: David in Qatar asking for credentials. Isn't he the one who constantly posts opinions from people without credentials?

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#14) On July 20, 2010 at 9:07 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

leohaas,

Wow, That's from left field.  I'm not asking for credentials.  I'm pointing out the hypocrisy of a person with no picks, comments, blogs, or MF history criticizing me for not adding enough value to CAPS.  On top of that, I'm responding to his off base criticism that I have no idea what I'm talking about by pointing out that I probably know far more about infosec than he/she does,  

And, look, I know you're an Obama supporter.  I'm sorry he's a puppet, exactly as libertarians predicted.  Watch The Obama Deception on YouTube.  But whet people's opinions have I posted that you have felt had no merit.  I would love to discuss them with you.

David in Qatar

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#15) On July 20, 2010 at 10:06 PM, ralphmachio (26.24) wrote:

I agree with David, as anyone would once that elephant most of you keep ignoring steps on your nuts. In the meantime, keep making excuses for it, and talking around in circles to protect yourselves from the truth. 

Ignorance is merely a lack of information, and most, when it comes to their government, are ignorant. They believed what they were told in school, and then the news, and have had to go out of their way to not observe the inconsistencies with what they 'believe' and what is taking place. 

It is far more rare to be one who is willing to investigate the inconsistencies, and analyze the veneer for what it is, because it is not a happy rainbows and ponies reality that most try to pretend they are in. 

Without the former faction, things could NEVER get this messed up in the first place. They ignore the cancer until they become more cancer than human.

The second faction have become known as 'conspiracy theorists', by the former, and are seen as trying to ruin their day with bad news and paranoia. The very words, "conspiracy theorist" has taken on a negative connotation, which is actually evidence of the degree to which some would like to remain in denial.  

Just go on thinking things are going to get better with what remains of the democratic process and more stimulus.  

 

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#16) On July 20, 2010 at 10:30 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

ralphmachio,

Well said, danielson!  On a level playing field of ideas, liberty always crushes its enemies.

David in Qatar

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#17) On July 20, 2010 at 10:40 PM, 1315623493 wrote:

whereaminow,

But don't you know it's the bond market that finances the government's debt and that the bond market is essentially, a free market, that values a government bond just the way I assume you want bonds valued. By a free market. And as such, the bond market does not view the US debt level with much trepidation. In fact, bonds are selling like hot cakes, with 10 year yields below 3% (I don't know how you came up with 10 year yields being above 4%). In fact, I see such low yields as the bond market subconsciously telling the government to spend more! I mean, that's what happens when yields are low for any form of debt. Low mortgage rates usually lead to more mortgage applications, etc. 

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#18) On July 20, 2010 at 10:52 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

BetapegLLC,

I apologize for saying rates were over 4%.  They have fallen back to 3% and I had info from ealier this summer.  But as I said above, with interbank spreads at near zero, that's nothing to be cheering about. 

Where do you get that the bond market is a free market?  Who buys bonds?

75% are financial institutions
12.5% are foreign central banks
6.5% are investment funds

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1998109

How is that "free market" bond vigilantes?

David in Qatar

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#19) On July 20, 2010 at 10:58 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

Beta,

Let me put it another way, just so the distinction between laissez faire capitalism or free market capitalism and today's open market monetary system is more clear.

In a laissez faire system, savers set the interest rate by determining the amount of loanable funds.  In the modern open market system, central banks and their member banks, who are most definitely NOT savers, set the interest rate by determining the amount of loanable funds.

So, saying that the bond market, which is predominantly made up of local and foreign bankers, want the government to spend money is a "duh" moment to me.  Of course they do.  That's how bankers get insanely rich.

David in Qatar

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#20) On July 21, 2010 at 1:19 AM, rickdoom (98.39) wrote:

tobernator1000,

Sorry, but you're hopelessly ignorant if you really think this is all just about one guy with 70,000 "spam bots."  Thousands of regular people were adversely affected by this sudden government take-down, and are rightfully outraged.  Just because it didn't happen to affect you personally, doesn't mean that it's not a serious issue.

Regardless, the government's increasingly heavy-handed approach to censorship and surveillance of the internet is definitely a cause for concern, and you wouldn't be taking it lightly if you actually cared about your own freedom and civil liberties.

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#21) On July 21, 2010 at 2:17 AM, 1315623493 wrote:

75% are financial institutions
12.5% are foreign central banks
6.5% are investment funds

All of these are looking out for themselves, are they not? Isn't that capitalism? No financial institution or even a central bank, is going to buy a bond if they fear not being paid back, or, that inflation would eat any interest they might have earned. Looking at the Greece situation, their bond yields shot through the roof. I just think the bond market is totally free and a great arbiter of a capitalistic system. And I think that as a free market, it is the best entity with which to value a bond, through the yields. Given that, looking at the US fiscal policy, namely treasury bonds. They still look good. The USA has never defaulted once in 200 years, while a country like Spain has done so several times. Not the mention, the most liquid type of bond, practically in the entire world. I do agree that our fiscal policy is unsustainable in the long run, but our credit-worthiness is still, bar none. Yes, there was way too much leverage, and the deflationary pressures definitely are accounting for that, as we unwind our debt. That's a good thing no? We just can't let the deflation get out of control, which is why I support the Fed's inflationary policies.

I have no problem disagreeing though. 

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#22) On July 21, 2010 at 2:51 AM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

Beta,

What makes a banker fear getting paid back on his public credit?  I don't see why any banker would ever feel fearful of his investment in public credit when every currency is created and controlled by central banks, and every government has the desire to grow.   I really can't see any situation outside of total collapse and hyperinflation that a banker would become fearful.  And since all these guys feel like they have the magic formulas that prevent hyperinflation, from their perspective, what do they have to worry about?  Aftar all, they're buying bonds with everybody else's money but their own.  It's risk-free... for them.   So I don't see why they would get fearful until it's too late.

Clearly we need a new post and more thorough discussion.  I'm preparing a full write-up for later this week.

David in Qatar

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#23) On July 21, 2010 at 12:48 PM, leohaas (32.65) wrote:

David,

We finally seem to agree on something: that writing about an issue should be done by people with credentials. I find that ironic since you have a tendency to quote people who lack credentials, in particular when it comes to global warming.

By the way, I don't see what that has to do with me being an Obama supporter.

Leo.

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#24) On July 21, 2010 at 1:45 PM, nzsvz9 (< 20) wrote:

David,

Credentials do not make the man - nor do clothes, but you could look really good clad in either. Do your credentials speak for you, or does your application of what you learned and the approaches and thinking you put into the discussion speak for you instead?

Mated with credentials would be a nice alignment but one does not mean the other exists.

And I would disagree with you David, banks make insanely large profits through the Mandrake Mechanism of fractional reserve banking, with all these other things being games to play to take over or control businesses with the large sums of fake money.

That's just how I see it.

Known as fractionally credentialed nzsvz9

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#25) On July 21, 2010 at 1:47 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

leohaas,

1. If you feel like the people I quote about global warming lack credentials, speak up.  List them below and show how they lack credentials.  Try to be sporting and see if you can do it without using the magic words "denialist" "creationism" "peer-review" or "coal."

2. We don't agree on who can write in the first place. Anyone can write about anything they want.  The marketplace of ideas has a funny way of sorting these things out.  And on a level playing field, the Internet, environmentalism and every other form of collectivism loses. 

3.  As far as my quoting of credentials above, you're wrong.  They don't matter.  If someone has studied information security for years without holding the credentials that I do, they may be more trustworthy on a certain topic.  All that said, my response was to a troll.  I don't feed or ignore trolls.  I insult them.  That is my right and I enjoy it.

4.  Do you have an open mind about Obama?  If so, I request that you watch The Obama Deception on YouTube.  If you can debunk any part of that movie, I would be happy to hear it.

David in Qatar

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#26) On July 21, 2010 at 1:58 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

nzsvz9,

We are in agreement, as usual, as I was pointing out in my reply to leohaas as you were typing lol.

In relation to frb's, I wasn't trying to say that fractional reserves isn't the key to wealth.  I was merely pointing that encouraging public debt also makes bankers insanely rich, and gives them tremendous power over the government (and by extension, the citizens) to rig the game even further.  The Bank of England, for example, started its enslavement of the British people by offering to finance the King's war expenditures.  Ever since then, bankers have been the great financiers of death (every major war is financed bankers) and growing public debt (enslavement).

"Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws". —Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild.

David in Qatar

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#27) On July 21, 2010 at 4:27 PM, tobernator1000 (< 20) wrote:

So, there's a lot of stuff going on since I last posted, I'm going to ignore most of it.

@nzsvz9 My comment was snarky and essentially worthless, and I apologize for that. To be more precise, I was not criticizing the founding fathers, but rather people who seem to believe or even suggest (as you seem to from your post) that all wisdom needed to run a country is contained in documents written by them. The world is a much more complicated place than it was when they created their documents, and I think the best thing they ever did was to make those documents very broad and include the mechanisms for the modification of those same documents because they recognized that they could never account for everything, and just hoped to provide direction to they country as it adapted to new circumstances.

@whereaminow I am not a troll, just posting negative things about other people for the fun of it. I am a person who is very tired of wasting time reading conspiracy theories masquerading as news. 90-95% of things on the Motley Fool website are interesting and insightful, and I don't mind spending 30-60 minutes reading an article and following up on it to discover something new about the world. 5-10% of things, after reading and following up on them, turn out to be poorly researched, easily debunkable, left or right-wing rants, and I feel I have wasted a small part of my life that I will never get back for having read them. If you have a complaint about some policy, or an interesting news event, or a comment about a business and would like to share your informed and/or expert opinion I would be glad to read it and discuss it with you. I'm confident that at least some of your blog posts are worth reading, and I have probably even read and enjoyed some. I would be very interested in hearing an expert opinion about what the CyberSecurity bill (which actually includes a limitation on existing powers the President already has to shut down the internet, as you pointed out yourself, as well as the creation of an agency who is tasked with bringing some of the expertise of the private sector into the public sector to aid in national security) means for the nation and/or the private sector. What I am not interested in reading is an anti-government rant citing a case that had nothing to do with the government (according to the New York Times, who interviewed BurstNet’s chief technology officer about the incident. Link and relevant quote below. It took about 30 seconds to find this article), or one misrepresenting a bill that, as far as I can tell, does not mandate anything about how the private sector runs or develops its cyber security (if you know differently, please cite your sources, and maybe even read the bill itself, rather than just the summary. I'd be very interested to learn if that's actually the case).

And now for some snark. Feel free to stop reading if you're already insulted enough by my attempt to be reasonable. As for my qualifications, I do have Information Technology credentials. It's called a degree in computer science, which means I can do everything an IT person can do, but I am too valuable to be paid to do such menial labor. I do not have any info sec credentials other than setting up and maintaining a home network for the past 7 years without ever getting a virus detectable by any of the major anti-virus software. I have never worked for the government, but I have worked with them, and have not found them to be significantly more incompetent or inefficient, relative to their size, than any corporation I have worked with or at, if you acknowledge that the bigger something gets the more bureaucracy they will require. As for your 5000+ recs, Fox News has more than 1 million viewers daily, but that doesn't make them any more correct, just more willing to pander to their right-wing, primarily not college educated base. As soon as popularity is the same thing as correctness, I will place flowers on the grave of science, and humanity will cease to progress, because the only way to discover something new is to challenge the status quo.

NY Times article on the shutdown of Blogetery:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/shutdown-of-blogging-site-sparks-dispute/

BurstNet’s chief technology officer, Joe Marr, said in an interview on Tuesday that the Blogetery site had received five previous notifications in the last six months of improper material on its blogs. The previous ones were for links to copyrighted music, movies and software. Standard practice for BurstNet, he said, is to notify a site about illegal content, send a second warning after 24 hours, and disconnect the servers after 48 hours. Nearly all such issues are resolved within 24 hours, he said.

But not for Blogetery, Mr. Marr said. Last April, the blogging site was down for more than four days after it failed to address warnings.

The F.B.I., he said, did not order BurstNet to shut down the site. It did so, Mr. Marr said, because of this incident and Mr. Yusupov’s past troubles. “This isn’t the first time for him,” he said.

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#28) On July 22, 2010 at 1:33 PM, nzsvz9 (< 20) wrote:

From the same NYT article ...

BurstNet said in a statement on Monday that it had shut down Blogetery after the F.B.I informed it that the site included “a link to terrorist material,” including bomb-making instructions and an Al Qaeda list of Americans targeted for assassination. CNet News reported Monday that the material was connected to a new Al Qaeda recruitment magazine.

I read in the article that BurstNet shut down the Blogetery site based on FBI input, and that BurstNet had issued warnings about content in the past.

Is that an incorrect read?

Under what authority was this shutdown permitted?

After all, this is a NYT article, and they have a history of just making sh!t up.

Known as the simply confused nzsvz9

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#29) On July 22, 2010 at 2:00 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

I always thought there was a thing called due process and freedom of speech. Appearantly I am supposed to be happy that the government can dictate what Internet sites are allowed to be up.  

Some people just don't get it and probably never will.  The State is not your friend.

David in Qatar

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#30) On July 22, 2010 at 8:33 PM, tobernator1000 (< 20) wrote:

BurstNet shut down Blogetery, not the FBI. BurstNet was the host of Blogetery, and almost certainly had the authority to shut them down based on the contract they had with Blogetery when it signed up to use their service. If they didn't, Blogetery can take legal action regarding a breach of contract by BurstNet. Due process and freedom of speech have nothing to do with this case (yet), it's a purely private matter between two private companies (to use the word loosely).

The State has not infringed upon anyone's rights (in this case), and when they do I'm just as outraged as you are. I can just be reasonable about when it's actually happening. The State is your friend when they're doing things like keeping up an army to protect you, and making sure your children's toys don't have lead in them, and maintaining roads for you to drive on. They're not always perfect, and I don't agree with everything they do, but to throw the baby out with the bathwater because of some knee-jerk hatred is ridiculous, and I just think it would be nice for people to think and do some research before they post.

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#31) On July 23, 2010 at 11:45 AM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

I just think it would be nice for people to think and do some research before they post.

I think it would be nice if you noticed that the title of the post included a question mark.  I don't know why you chose this three sentence post to rant about conspiracy theories, but thanks for stopping by and wasting a lot of your time.

David in Qatar

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#32) On July 23, 2010 at 1:27 PM, tobernator1000 (< 20) wrote:

Your title had a question mark (which is why I clicked on it in the first place), but your text clearly said "Yes, it did." As for why, this just happened to be the straw the broke the camel's back, and I suppose asking zealots to be reasonable will always be a waste of my time. There's no further point in continuing this conversation, which is clearly just a waste of both of our time.

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#33) On July 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM, whereaminow (30.26) wrote:

Well, I think you are a bit psychotic, so yes, it's probably good that you move on.  My text clearly linked to a story that first broke the news of the blog shut down.  It did not paint any conspiracy theories.  You projected them onto me, because, well you are psychotic.

David in Qatar

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