This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nuclear Catastrophe In Japan And Are Astroturfers All Over Yahoo?

Japan nuclear crisis escalates

Yahoo has implemented a new moderator tool to hide anti-social posts, but it now appears that sytem is being gamed by internet fakes.

Here's one article with a few brief excerpts.

U.S. shows growing alarm over Japan nuclear crisis By Jeff Mason and Tom Doggett
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States showed increasing alarm about Japan's nuclear crisis on Wednesday and urged its citizens to stay clear of an earthquake-crippled power plant, going further in its warnings than Japan itself....

A United Nations forecast projects the radioactive plume from the Fukushima facility would reach the Aleutian Islands on Thursday and hit Southern California late on Friday, The New York Times reported.
This is how the new yahoo system works for public comments. Those which get the most thumbs up are shown first. In theory, this is a splendid idea. However, like with the Daily Kos' similar approach, it is clearly opened to the prospect of being manipulated. What some may assume is community moderating could actually be a rigged platform. I'm not saying Yahoo is doing the rigging. I think they have nothing to do with the voting.

Here are the first ten results, all sounding the same and very pro-nuclear power. What are the odds? I'd say beyond the laws of probability.

William Randolph Hearst: One of the big problems in the US today is that there is too much media with too much air time to fill. These"reporters" are always talking about things they know nothing about. Sensational headlines are the norm.

George: Jackass! Retire already!

Scott B: Why do we always have to have knee jerk reactions to everything that happens these days?

John: We should be full steam ahead. No waiting on Nuclear, we should have been here years ago. We know they will be located on land bought and sold by congressman, but we should still be proceeding.

Dicky: Well mr LIEberman which is it, CO2 free nuclear power, or CO2 petroleum which you say is causing global warming and that a cap and tax on the US and Europe, (not China, or India) will not only line carbon gangsters pockets, but will start the global cooling cycle and cool and heal the plane

TexasRebel: Lieberman needs to shut his big yappy muzzle and do some research on Integral Fast Reactors and then do all he can to get some of them built. IFRs are a much safer reactor design and their waste is about 1/20 (or less) as radioactive as the current reactors. Reagan funded a prototype unit in '84, but Clinton shut it down in 1994 when it was almost completed. It cost more to end the project than it would have to finish it.

W.: Since 1979 here, so much has changed! Maybe time to retire... How much can we afford to pay for Electric,Gas Food? Wind is good as long as wind BLOWS!Ask any sailor...WE NEED FUEL NOW! Not 20,30 years! Get yor your @#$% together! NOW, NOW ,NOW!! Just don't build them along major fault lines! Duh...

Ted: This idiot is what's wrong with washington! We have never had a death from nuclear power in the USA including our nuclear powered navy our guy's have lived in submarines with a nuclear power plant for 50 yrs. We don't have to put ours on the ocean shoreline or in a earthquake prone area.

dave1971: Wow, another politician with a knee-jerk reaction, go figure....Thank god we have such "leaders"...Go back to sleep joe, we'll wake you up for your next fundraiser.

barry: Yup and the next time somebody has a car accident, everybody stop driving. He needs to go. If you aren't part of the solution you are part of the problem.

Another drawback to this new Yahoo system is that replies made to each of those from the top ten list aren't seen unless someone clicks on them. Those might be getting gamed also but it would take further time to confirm. If someone has the time, they might want to compare replies to the top rated posts with those much further below. If a tree falls in the forest, do astroturfers care if it's heard by merely a few?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What Happened To Larisa Alexandrovna?

Larisa Alexandrovna

A week ago I noticed Larisa's blog wasn't loading. I figured let's wait some days and see if it returns. It hasn't. The last article I see is from March 3rd. It pertained to allegations Bradley Manning was stripped naked for seven hours. The authorities say he is being protected from himself attempting suicide. I don't know.

Anyway, looking at atlargely's whois record, I noticed two things. Her registration doesn't expire until November 19th, 2011. There was also a change made on March 2nd. What that was, I don't know. However, the timing of that with the appearance she made her last post the next day seems highly unlikely of being a coincidence.

Maybe she has deleted her website for good? Maybe she is just cleaning it up or giving it a new look? I honestly don't know. I look around for any information on what's up with her of late, and there is no available information from what I've seen. It could be she doesn't want her stories on Michael Connell to be easily read.

In December 2008 she wrote, "One Of My Sources Died In A Plane Crash Last Night." Looking at the cache of her articles with the tag of Michael Connell, I don't see it. A copy of it can be read here.

If you follow the first link above, it takes you to an interview she did with Heyoka Magazine. They wrote:
Larisa Alexandrovna was the first to report that the US-UK began an illegal pre-war bombing campaign of Iraq, that former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson was working on WMD proliferation in Iran at the time her cover was blown, that the US Department of Defense was working with a terrorist organization - the MEK - in order to de-stabilize Iran, and that US forces had detained roughly seventy thousand Iraqi and Afghan nationals since the beginning of military operations post-911.
It would be nice to see some proof of those claims.

If this website gets deleted, it won't be because I pulled the switch. It will be because the Speedway Bomber might succeed in getting it whitewalled or at least my entries that reference him.

Unfortunately for him, the truth cannot be deleted.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I am the Luckiest Man on the Planet (Part 2)

(image found through cashunclaimed)

Part one can be found here.

I received this letter from Canada without a return address. I'm thinking what the fricken sassa frassa but decided to open it. The first thing I see is a check. What? It looked legit. It was from Bank of America for $3,875.

Here's some of what the letter with the check said. It's times like this I wish I had a scanner.
Promotions Manager
Prize and Award Presentation
Dominion Investment Securities Inc.
77 King St. W Toronto Ont. M5W 1P9 Canada



We are pleased to inform you that you are one of the declared winners of the SHOPPERS SWEEPSTAKE LOTTERY conducted in North America....

We have made many unsuccessful attempts to contact you regarding this winning. You are therefore entitled to the sum of $125,000.00 US DOLLARS. This is from total prize money of $3 MILLION US DOLLARS that was shared and presented among the other 24 declared winners. Please note that all the participants were selected through a random computer ballot system drawn from over 50,000 names in [the] UNITED STATES, CANADA AND UNITED KINGDOM....

To expediate the processing enclosed is the check of $3,875.00 US dollars which has been deducted from your winning. The sole purpose of this check is for the payment of applicable Government taxes on your big winnings. Government taxes cannot be deducted from the winning amount because of the insurance policy coverage. The tax amount is $2,875.00 US DOLLARS... to be paid directly to the tax agent.

Please do not attempt to use this check until you call. We urge you to keep this winning CONFIDENTIAL until your claim has been processed and your cash remitted to you as this is part of our security protocol and to avoid double claiming or unscrupulous acts by non participants taking advantage of this program....

(Claim Agent) MR. GEORGE ATWELL, 1-905-781-8865


Yours Truly

Bryan Mcloud (Promotion Manager)
I could have used that money. I definitely got a few goose bumps when I first saw the check. Then after reading the letter, I was like ugh, this can't be legit. Why is the tax amount so low? Why don't I remember entering this sweepstake? I've never bought anything through the internet. Why can't they pay the taxes? Because of an insurance policy coverage? That doesn't make any sense. Who is this tax agent they speak of? That wouldn't be someone on their own payroll, would it? They want this to be kept hushed due to their security protocol? I think they don't want people discussing this with family and friends who will splash cold water on their faces and say, "Snap out of it!"

(image found through Celluloid Soul Mates)

Then I went to the googler and found people saying this is a scam. Apparently if you try to cash the check, you won't get any funds from it. They probably finish the job over the phone by imploring folks there is a time deadline to get the rest of the prize. They are probably looking for folks with well over the money they are asking for who will send them the $2,875 while expecting the check to eventually clear, which it never does.

I also see that others have the same claim number I was given. Thus, I conclude they are targeting folks who will be so taken in with the idea of receiving big money, that they won't look into seeing whether this is legit or not. It was pretty crafty of them to come up with a name that sounds like a real banking institution.

What I don't understand is that this has been going on for a while. Why are these people still able to do this? Why haven't they been charged with fraud? Sure, I'll feel like a loser if this turns out to be legit, and I just threw away 125 grand because I didn't believe it. Yet I doubt that will happen. Such fraud is despicable. Why aren't the Canadian authorities putting an end to this? I feel sorry for anyone who has thrown away over two thousand dollars to these confidence men. Many could be elderly folks looking for funds to help with health care or to make the last chapters of their lives easier. Someone needs to put a stop to this.