Patterico's Pontifications


Maker of Anti-Muslim Movie Arrested

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:27 pm

Yes, this time it’s not a voluntary interview but an arrest:

A man believed to be behind an anti-Muslim video that spawned international protests was held without bail in Los Angeles on Thursday, after federal authorities arrested him earlier in the day for allegedly violating the terms of probation on a prior conviction.

Magistrate Judge Suzanne Segal said Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the 55-year-old alleged filmmaker, had a history of misrepresenting himself and posed a flight risk in denying a request for bail. “The court has a lack of trust in this defendant at this time,” the judge said.

Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have accused Mr. Nakoula of eight violations of the terms of his probation for a 2010 bank-fraud conviction.

I think it’s worth keeping in mind the words Ken from Popehat had when Nakoula was questioned:

Based on 6 years as a federal prosecutor and 12 as a federal defense lawyer, let me say this: minor use of a computer — like uploading a video to YouTube — is not something that I would usually expect to result in arrest and a revocation proceeding; I think a warning would be more likely unless the defendant had already had warnings or the probation officer was a hardass. But if I had a client with a serious fraud conviction, and his fraud involved aliases, and he had the standard term forbidding him from using aliases during supervised release, and his probation officer found out that he was running a business, producing a movie, soliciting money, and interacting with others using an alias, I would absolutely expect him to be arrested immediately, whatever the content of the movie. Seriously. Nakoula pled guilty to using alias to scam money. Now he’s apparently been producing a film under an alias, dealing with the finances of the film under the alias, and (if his “Sam Bacile” persona is to be believed) soliciting financing under an alias. I would expect him to run into a world of hurt for that even if he were producing a “Coexist” video involving kittens.

The problem we have here is that the head of the federal executive has criticized this guy repeatedly. His administration pressured Google to take down his movie; his Cairo embassy called it an “abuse” of free speech; and his State Department apologized for it in a country (Pakistan) where a public official offered money for the filmmaker to be killed.

So even if the line guys are doing their jobs the way they would otherwise, the President has made them look like political hacks. Which is unfortunate on several levels.

Thanks to Aaron Walker.

Just a Reminder

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:00 am

Our economy still sucks.

A key measure of the economy, especially in manufacturing, just had the bottom fall out. Orders for durable goods dropped 13.2% in August, the worst decrease in almost four years, and a large signal that the American economy is diving into a recession.

Miserable failure.

Refs Back Tonight

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

I had dinner with a friend last night who predicted exactly this result: the refs are getting more cash to acquiesce to the change to a 401(k)-like contribution-based plan. This allows the league to maintain such plans for their full-time employees who aren’t refs, but gives the refs extra dough to sock away, to deal with the change.

This is good news, as we can now go back to complaining about Obama.

Four Pinocchios for Obama

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

Obama: lying again.

Obama is getting four PInocchios for his comments blaming the deficit on Bush. And this is from Glenn Kessler, hack extraordinaire who falsely accused Romney of taking those redistribution comments out of context. But even Kessler can’t stand by and watch as Obama blames 90% of the deficit on Bush:

Obama certainly inherited an economic mess, and that accounts for a large part of the deficit. But Obama pushed for spending increases and tax cuts that also have contributed in important ways to the nation’s fiscal deterioration. He certainly could argue that these were necessary and important steps to take, but he can’t blithely suggest that 90 percent of the current deficit “is as a consequence” of his predecessor’s policies — and not his own.

As for the citing of the discredited MarketWatch column, we have repeatedly urged the administration to rely on estimates from official government agencies, such as the White House budget office. It is astonishing to see the president repeat this faulty claim once again, as if it were an established fact.

Astonishing, I tell you!

In shocking news, Kessler has done nothing to correct his misleading post on the redistribution comment.


Meeting a Troll

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:30 am

An excellent post about the effects of Internet trolling:

It started in July 2009. I’d been on Twitter for over 2 years at that point having joined in May 2007, and I’d never had a problem. My account was followed by a fairly innocuous looking one which I followed back and within 10 minutes I had received a Direct Message (DM) calling me a ‘Dirty f*cking Jewish scumbag’. I blocked the account and reported it as spam. The following week it happened again in an identical manner. A new follower, I followed back, received a string of abusive DM’s, blocked and reported for spam. Two or three times a week. Sometimes two or three times a day. An almost daily cycle of blocking and reporting and intense verbal abuse. So I made my account private and the problem went away for a short while. There were no problems on Twitter but my Facebook account was hacked, my blog was spammed and my email address was flooded with foulmouthed and disgusting comments & images. Images of corpses and concentration camps and dismembered bodies.

Again, it eased off for a couple of weeks. I relaxed. Thought they’d finally tired of failing to get a reaction from me. Boy, was I wrong.

It got far worse:

Then one day something happened that truly frightened me. I don’t scare easily but this was vile.

I received a parcel at my home address.

Nothing unusual there – I get a lots of post.

I ripped it open and there was a tupperware lunchbox inside full of ashes. There was a note included ‘Say hello to your relatives from Auschwitz’ I was physically sick.

I was petrified.

They had my address.

I reported it to the authorities and hoped for the best.

Two days later I opened my front door and there was a bunch of dead flowers with my wife’s old Twitter username on it. Then that night I recieved a DM. ‘You’ll get home some day & ur b**ches throat will be cut & ur son will be gone.’

I got on to the authorities again but, polite and sympathetic as they were, there didn’t seem much that could be done.

Every night for weeks I lost sleep over it.

Listening for noises. Opening the door everday with trepidation. Trying to maintain a semblance of normality and not let my wife or son see that I was dying on the inside. Mortified that they might be in danger because of my big mouth or ancestry.

Then the last straw. I received another tweet, on the public timeline this time ‘I hope you die screaming but not until you see me p*ss on ur wife’

A lot of the post rang true for me. Things like having my address and pictures of my house published.

(The redaction is mine, not theirs.)

Or having someone threaten to do violence to me and do something vile to my wife:

Read the whole post, because the reactions of the man who wrote it are vivid and help you understand what Internet trolling can do to people. The stuff about wandering the house looking for strangers? Yup. Not knowing who to trust? Yup. Worrying about the safety of the family? Yup.

This fellow got to meet the troll, and the troll turned out to be someone not so menacing in real life. I won’t spoil the surprise.

But imagine a situation instead where the troll is an actual psychopath — or, better yet, more than one, joining forces.

Some of us don’t have to imagine it.

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