Visit this anti-Trump site? 1.3 million people did. Now, the US government wants your IP address

❝ In an unprecedented and dangerous move, Donald Trump’s justice department is threatening to violate the first and fourth amendment rights of over a million people by issuing an overboard surveillance request aimed at identifying alleged anti-Trump protesters.

The justice department is demanding that web hosting provider DreamHost hand over, among many other things, 1.3m IP addresses – essentially everyone who has ever visited an anti-Trump protest site called disruptj20.org that was organizing protests surrounding Trump inauguration in January.

❝ Dream Host revealed the surveillance demand on Monday on their blog, also saying they were going to court to challenge the order. Dream Host called it “a strong example of investigatory overreach and a clear abuse of government authority” and explained that the “information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution”.

Looks like our fake president admires Nazi tactics as well as some “very fine people” who chose to stand with Nazis and other white supremacists while they rioted in Charlottesville.

Stonewall Jackson’s grandsons say, “The monuments must go.”

An open letter from the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson.

❝ Dear Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and members of the Monument Avenue Commission,

We are native Richmonders and also the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson. As two of the closest living relatives to Stonewall, we are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the removal of all Confederate statues from Monument Avenue. They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display. Overnight, Baltimore has seen fit to take this action. Richmond should, too.

In making this request, we wish to express our respect and admiration for Mayor Stoney’s leadership while also strongly disagreeing with his claim that “removal of symbols does [nothing] for telling the actual truth [nor] changes the state and culture of racism in this country today.” In our view, the removal of the Jackson statue and others will necessarily further difficult conversations about racial justice. It will begin to tell the truth of us all coming to our senses…

RTFA for the rest of the letter. Unlike our fake president, they know American history. They know the role their kin played in trying to destroy this young nation. They know what needs to be fought for – not denied and decried by bigots and racists.

Thanks, Danny Blanchflower

No Grandstanding — Confederate monuments removed from Baltimore overnight

❝ Confederate statues in Baltimore were removed from their bases overnight by city contractors, who used heavy machinery to load them onto flat bed trucks and haul them away — an abrupt end to more than a year of indecision on what to do with the memorials.

Mayor Catherine Pugh, who made the decision Tuesday morning to remove the monuments overnight, watched in person as the four statues linked to the Confederacy were torn from their pedestals.

…The mayor said. “There was enough grandstanding, enough speeches being made. Get it done.”

❝ The Baltimore City Council had unanimously passed a resolution this week calling for their removal amid a renewed national conversation following a deadly terrorist attack by a white supremacist at a rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday…

❝ Protesters, who held a rally at the Robert E. Lee-“Stonewall” Jackson Monument at Wyman Park Dell near Johns Hopkins University Sunday, had pledged to tear down that statue themselves Wednesday night if the city didn’t…

“It’s done,” Pugh said Wednesday morning. “They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could…I did not want to endanger people in my own city.”

❝ The city is still deciding what to do with the removed statues, Pugh said, and she did not reveal where they had been taken in the meantime.

The only “polite” suggestion I can come up with is to melt them down, roll the lumps into sheet metal, stamp out commemorative coins for everyone from the brave soldiers who fought against Confederate separatists – and the traitors who led them – to modern-day civil rights leaders and activists.

Solving the Mystery of the White Box That Fell From the Sky

❝ Fifty-five years ago, in the woods outside Moncton, New Brunswick, around 160 miles east of the Maine border, David McPherson Sr. found a very large white box adorned with some very large lenses. It was attached to a parachute, so McPherson thought it might be an American spy camera, possibly launched by the Central Intelligence Agency. The fact that Canadian military tried to take the box from him — before McPherson and his family voluntarily relinquished it in exchange for answers that never came — only added to his suspicions.

McPherson died 18 months ago, never having gotten to the bottom of the mystery. But this week his son, David McPherson Jr., said that his father had been right all along. Declassified CIA documents reveal that the white box was part of a CIA program to send cameras into the sky with balloons to spy on the Soviets. The McPhersons’ box likely hit some wind and went astray…

❝ The CBC helped the McPhersons crack the mystery after running a story Monday about the “thing in the woods.” A rush of tips soon came in, leading the family to some declassified documents on the CIA website, in addition to the Military Communications and Electronics Museum in Kingston, Ontario, both of which had photos of apparatuses that looked like the one they had found. Documents also reveal that the box was likely part of Project Genetrix, a program started under President Dwight D. Eisenhower that used balloons to conduct surveillance over Russia and China, according to the CBC.

It’s unclear where the box is now — maybe in a government warehouse somewhere — but the McPhersons still have some two-dozen photos from its discovery. They also now have closure.

Of course it would have been beyond stupid to think this thing was a weather balloon. Anymore than the replacement – shot down over the Society Union, the U2 spy plane – was doing weather research. The sad bit is that our government simply never feels there is an appropriate time to tell the truth to taxpayers picking up the tab.

Wonder what’s on the shelf labeled ROSWELL?

Future economics: This is how Big Oil will die

❝ It’s 2025, and 800,000 tons of used high strength steel is coming up for auction.

❝ The steel made up the Keystone XL pipeline, finally completed in 2019, two years after the project launched with great fanfare after approval by the Trump administration. The pipeline was built at a cost of about $7 billion, bringing oil from the Canadian tar sands to the US, with a pit stop in the town of Baker, Montana, to pick up US crude from the Bakken formation. At its peak, it carried over 500,000 barrels a day for processing at refineries in Texas and Louisiana.

But in 2025, no one wants the oil.

Thanks, @Smartalix

There is a Long History of Self-Defense on the Left

❝ The Trump era has, so far, been a violent one. Since Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign in the summer of 2015, assaults of pro-Trump and anti-Trump protesters, as well as journalists covering the 2016 campaign, have made headlines. Meanwhile, Federal Bureau of Investigation data has found that hate crimes against Muslims increased by 67 percent in 2015, while the Council on American-Islamic Relations reports that those same crimes increased by 44 percent in 2016. In response, leftist activists and minority groups have turned to a form of activism that some might not typically expect from liberals: to counter and prevent violence, they are heading to the gym to learn self-defense.

The list of these new self-defense initiatives is long…the company Trigger Happy Firearms Instruction holds firearms lessons for women in several cities across the United States with the ultimate aim of teaching a million to shoot. And in April, the Chicago-based group Haymaker Collective formed—and is currently raising funds—to open a sliding-scale fee gym where anyone (except politicians and police officers, who the collective does not trust to keep them safe) can take self-defense classes and work out regardless of income, gender, sexuality, race, ability, or religion. Their end goal is to help people “learn the skills they need to stay safe in Trump’s America,” …

❝ In American culture, self-defense is usually associated with conservative policies that aim to preserve (and/or broadly interpret) the Fourth Amendment and national security. Consider Stand Your Ground laws, which allow residents of some states to use lethal force in self-defense against intruders without first attempting to flee; or the language of protection that Trump and members of his administration have used to promote the administration’s travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries. Nevertheless, leftists have long prepared for violent, politically divided times too — albeit with a very different approach. While conservatives have often organized measures that ostensibly help keep everyone safe but ultimately serve to preserve a status quo, leftists have historically practiced and taught self-defense techniques to empower marginalized communities.

Interested read, worthwhile for folks who haven’t grown up around guns or hunting or – for that matter – armed self-defense. Various times, I’ve been around all three, individually or collectively. Growing up in the “Arsenal of America” mine was the first generation in my family that didn’t spend time working for one or another firearms manufacturer in Connecticut.

Still armed. Still a good shot.

Ancient Sport of Horseback Archery


Click to enlargeBrice Portolano photos

❝ It’s almost hard to believe Brice Portolano’s photographs that look straight out of a medieval era only came about because of social media.

Portolano, a photographer from Paris, first discovered horseback archery when he saw pictures on Facebook that his friend Anna Minkkinen had posted of Iranian world champion Ali Ghoorchian.

❝ Minkkinen, a Finnish student who had been practicing martial arts, sent Ghoorchian a message asking if she could come to Iran and learn more about horseback archery. Ghoorchian said yes, and Portolano tagged along on assignment for a Finnish magazine.

Portolano stayed for 12 days to photograph Minkkinen and Ghoorchian and the intricacies of the ancient sport, which is on UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Fascinating article. History, art-form, martial arts and sport – all come together in this National Geographic article.