Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Manhattan Project

You know, with all the newspapers going out of business, there should be stables of investigative reporters around, and journalistic ventures that understand how much money they would make by sending folks after real stories.

Instead, we have to hear about some family getting a new dog.

Meanwhile, stories like this are left to citizen-bloggers who try to unravel civic mysteries because no one else will.

Keep on keepin' on, American Zombie. Real tea parties will happen soon enough.

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19 comments:

patsbrother said...

For what it's worth, my experience with federal law enforcement suggests to me that the following scenario is simply not within the realm of the possible:

Around election time, a federal agent conducts an audit of NOLA election corruption...from his own home. NOLA law enforcement agents then stage an armed invasion of the federal agent's home to seize the Maltese Falcon of incriminating evidence. The federal government then asks for its return. More than five months pass and the federal government does not make another stir.

Honestly, only a blogger could believe that an investigation into election fraud was manned by one federal "forensic computer expert" with his own computers at his own home. Was the man's "family" just his mother?

Dante said...

Mr. Matthews, what you posted back in 2007 is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Dambala said...

Patsbrother,

Thats not the scenario. not by any stretch of the imagination. I never said a guy was sitting in his house conducting an investigation...that's ridiculous. I said he had the data backed up at his house...and he was a contractor.

Dante,

Matthews didn't write that...that was a commenter on his blog who wrote it (poorly, I will admit).

And just an observation from personal experience...just because someone isn't articulate it doesn't mean they are insane or irrational.

The information Matthews provided on his blog has a very real litmus test in that we have established that multiple campaign contributions did in fact come in to Nagin from Churchwell and his associates. The story is...so far...checking out.

What also adds gravity to the story is Nagin's dealing with Scott Sewell and Aaron Bennett/HSOA...the company who got the contract to remove the flooded cars from the city.

Just because someone hasn't been priveleged enough to receive the level of education you have, doesn't mean their information isn't valid.

It must be a lonely world in which you live.

Dante said...

"Just because someone hasn't been priveleged enough to receive the level of education you have, doesn't mean their information isn't valid."

You've got to be kidding me, right? By the time a child is allowed to withdraw from school in this great nation, they've gone through about 4-6 years of training on how to form complete sentences and at least 2-3 years of training on forming paragraphs. You don't have to be Hemmingway to be taken seriously but you do have to at least let us know when one sentence stops and the other begins. It's not a matter of being privileged enough to receive education. It's a matter of not taking advantage of the education received. I feel bad for kids out there in developing nations who will never get to go to school because their family can't afford it. I don't feel sorry at all for some jackass who has wasted such an opportunity.

Even if everything could add up, I'm not sure I'd buy it. How much can Nagin make selling cars that can't even be titled? I'd wager William Jefferson has more money than that sitting in a freezer somewhere. The mayor of New Orleans could score a lot bigger given the same amount of illegal activity.

Dambala said...

- You've got to be kidding me, right?

there are a lot of failing schools in this country and the results of that are prevalent everywhere...but regardless, that wasn't my point. Just because the guy can't formulate a sentence, doesn't mean his information is false.

- How much can Nagin make selling cars that can't even be titled?

a lot.

- I'd wager William Jefferson has more money than that sitting in a freezer somewhere.

90k...that was what Jefferson had in his freezer.

- Even if everything could add up, I'm not sure I'd buy it.

Ok don't.

patsbrother said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
patsbrother said...

In response to my previous comment, Dambala pointed out that I completely misread everything he wrote.

For instance, "I [Dambala] said [the forensic computer expert] had the data backed up at his house...and he was a contractor."

Please point out where in your post you made either of these assertions.

Also, please explain to me how the Matthews post about the license tags "verifies the rumor" of the raid on the federal "contractor"? Even assuming one rumor could conceivably "verify" another, to "verify" the raid rumor, wouldn't the tag rumor at least have to mention a raid?

If I missed a discussion on the police raid contained within the Matthews's post, please point it out to me.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

@ Sprout: You sure like picking on semantics a lot, and offering critiques about specifics. Let us look at some of the items you missed (besides the -overall point- of the post):

First of all, there were the following disclaimers: "NONE of the following statements are verified and they should be viewed as speculation:" and "Now once again...this is not verified" and "IT COULD ALL BE BULLSHIT." Apparently you missed those rather important items.

Second: the post made no mention of federal law enforcement or a federal law enforcement agent, the post refrenced a forensic audit by a "federal entity" and a "forensic computer expert."

While your experience tells you that such scenarios are simply not within the realm of possiblity, my experience tells me that there are plenty of folks who think federal entities may not be the best at conducting audits or even investigations into how their own money is spent and how their own people work, much less audits about elections in "this part of the world."

And, in New Orleans semantics, the feds and "contractors" are almost interchangeable in areas outside law enforcement. You should be able to excuse this vernacular oversight, because in your semantics "federal entitiy" is apparently interchangable with "law enforcement."

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

@ Dante: You really think that, by the time a kid can drop out of school, they've had years of experience completing sentences, writing in paragraphs and punctuating?

Wow. Things in north Georgia must be waay better than I thought.

As I grew up in South Georgia and some of the graduates wouldn't know complete sentences in any reference outside the criminal justice system. I shouldn't even have to mention the extra complications that come from typing.

But we can talk about educational policy in other posts.

Dambala said...

- Also, please explain to me how the Matthews post about the license tags "verifies the rumor" of the raid on the federal "contractor"?

yeah..see...you just need to read more carefully. I said the Matthews post..if you actually read it...I mean if you actualy went to Matthews site...which I know you didn't...said that Churchwell bragged that he had donated over 100k to Nagin's campaign by using family members and satellite businesses. We just tracked down 82k in donations from the same source. We connected the dots.

Do you even know who Churchwell is? Did you even read the posts? The Churchwell connection and the raid are entirely separate matters. I never said the Matthews post "verified" the raid. We verified the campaign contributions on the blog.

I very clearly...very, very, very clearly stated that the Raid rumor was not verified and speculation.

Are you actually reading, or are you just arguing?

Dambala said...

- And, in New Orleans semantics, the feds and "contractors" are almost interchangeable in areas outside law enforcement. You should be able to excuse this vernacular oversight, because in your semantics "federal entitiy" is apparently interchangable with "law enforcement."

Thanks for that distinction. That is the salient point. The M.O. here is unique...I guess I should have broached that. I am just assuming people know things roll here.

Dambala said...

- For instance, "I [Dambala] said [the forensic computer expert] had the data backed up at his house...and he was a contractor."

Please point out where in your post you made either of these assertions.

yes..you're right...I didn't make that clear. But i certainly didn't say this:

- Honestly, only a blogger could believe that an investigation into election fraud was manned by one federal "forensic computer expert" with his own computers at his own home. Was the man's "family" just his mother

I am guilty of a lack of description...I admit. I never said the investigation was about election fraud...i never said the contractor was working out of his own house. you drew those conclusions yourself.

patsbrother said...

Patrick, you're right, the post makes no mention of federal law enforcement. And that was exactly my point. For experience tells me that a scenario in which a State conducts an illegal raid and the federal government does not swoop down, kick ass, and take names...my experience tells my that scenario is bullshit.

And while I admit I assumed that old boy was a federal agent, let me explain why. Forensic experts, by definition, use some science to investigate, with an eye toward the legal system. The natural import of an investigation into "voting fraud" is a criminal investigation. Unless there is a spceial prosecutor appointed, I am unaware of a situation in which the federal government outsources its criminial investigations.

Dambala, rumor A does not support rumor B. If rumor A mentioned something, anything, about a raid, then cool. In your world, a rumor "verifies" another. But rumor A doesn't mention a raid. They both merely involve election fraud. At best, rumor A "verifies" there might have been election fraud, but it does not "verify" a raid based on that fraud.

Also, you have a problem with saying you said something you never said. In addition to the two things you said you said, but which, when called on it, you admitted you didn't say, you say "I never said the investigation was about election fraud."

"I was informed that there is solid evidence out there of VOTING FRAUD...in the form of electronic data...discovered during a forensic audit...reportedly conducted by a federal entity."

You're right. You didn't say that.

And yes, although your petulance wants to believe I didn't read a thing and that my ignorance is why I'm "just arguing," I did in fact read all of this tripe, and that is my problem. That is why I asked you specific questions.

Dambala said...

Jesus christ man...

-Dambala, rumor A does not support rumor B. If rumor A mentioned something, anything, about a raid, then cool. In your world, a rumor "verifies" another. But rumor A doesn't mention a raid. They both merely involve election fraud. At best, rumor A "verifies" there might have been election fraud, but it does not "verify" a raid based on that fraud.

what the fuck....did I not just clearly explain it to you? IF you actually did read Matthews post, then can you not see the mention of over 100k in campaign contributions....do you not see where we actually posted the contributions which constitute majority of that sum?

A does not = B....give me a fucking break...are you on meth or something?

I admitted that I didn't explain myself well enough...I also admitted that I didn't make it clear that he was a contractor and had the data backed up at his own house.

Petulant? Ok...I'll accept that. Will you accept neurotic or OCD?

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Sprout wrote: "Patrick, you're right, the post makes no mention of federal law enforcement. And that was exactly my point. For experience tells me that a scenario in which a State conducts an illegal raid and the federal government does not swoop down, kick ass, and take names...my experience tells my that scenario is bullshit."WHAT???After all these comments, this makes so little sense that I think you're just playing a joke on me.

These posts have never been about federal law enforcement, and yet you are still arguing that the scenarios would be impossible if they involved federal law enforcement.

I feel my brain melting, just a little.

Please, stop your internal dialouge, take a deep breath, and get the hell out of Albany this weekend, to a destination not populated by our parents. Please.

patsbrother said...

- Now once again...this is not verified. I have tried like hell to verify it from the source...the forensic computer expert himself...but I have been unsuccessful. IT COULD ALL BE BULLSHIT....but for the record, I don't believe it is. The fraud supposedly took place at the satellite voting booths which were set up in other cities during Katrina. Matthews' post immediately set off bells and whistles when I read it, as it somewhat verifies the rumor.

Dambala, are you really going to tell me that you did not include the last two sentences of the above paragraph as reasons why you don't believe the raid rumor is bullshit? Are you really so ADHD that you randomly switched gears near the end of a paragraph?

Further, it is not OCD to point out that someone said something they later say "I never said...," or didn't say something they later say "I said..."

Patrick - I am not saying that this scenario would be impossible if federal law enforcement was involved. I'm saying the opposite. Again, it is the LACK of reprisal by federal law enforcement that makes the raid scenario implausible.

If anyone holds a federal employee at gunpoint and illegally confiscates evidence obtained pursuant to a federal investigation, then I expect the federal government to arrest those who conducted and those who authorized the illegal raid and held the federal employee at gunpoint. It does not matter which agency the federal employee works for. Such action is evidence of a conspiracy to obstruct a federal investigation. The feds do not merely look the other way when something like that happens. They go before a grand jury, they get indictments, and they make arrests. Swiftly. They do not merely ask for the return of the evidence and then go on their merry way.

Dambala said...

- Are you really so ADHD that you randomly switched gears near the end of a paragraph?

If I just say yes to that, will you chill out? I'm seriously trying to reason with you, not argue, but you seem intent on proving....well...I really don't know what you're trying to prove.

I will explain myself further...Matthews' blog tipped us off to the fact that Churchwell bragged that he donated over 100k in campaign contributions to Nagin in the 06 election, by using family members and shell businesses to donate well over the maximum amount. We backed that up by tracking those campaign contributions down. The source on Matthews' blog said Churchwell was bragging that he fixed the election (Doesn't say how). I have had multiple sources (some of them very credible) hounding me for the past two years that the election was fixed and this is the second time I've been told that Churchwell was in some way involved.


This lead me to make the statement that "Matthews' post immediately set off bells and whistles when I read it, as it somewhat verifies the rumor." I meant that....there are a lot of things in the Matthews post which check out and verify the rumor that VOTING FRAUD may have taken place. NOT that the raid took place...that VOTING FRAUD took place.

So yes...I am that ADHD. I also smoke weed on occasion. And I drink beer. And I eat live puppies.

If you're done with the algebra lessons, the grammer lessons, the journalism ethics lessons, and whatever the heck else you want to crucify me with....I'll get back to spreading more rumors. And guess what....you don't have to read any of it.

But if you would like to read it....you can go back through the past 3 years of posts and notice that I have done a pretty good job of being accurate in my rumor mill and that I actually broke more than one story which is currently in the headlines of our local paper. I'm getting over 20 to 30 emails daily right now claiming different things....and by the way I have a real job to boot. I'm doing my best to filter that information and separate the wheat from the chaff....but I'm just one guy....with a job, did I mention that?

Having said that...I truly believe that the raid took place. And I truly believe that SOMETHING fishy went on during the 06 mayoral election. They are two entirely separate issues, linked only by the fact that the forensic auditor was claiming he had proof of election fraud. In my mind it made sense to post the issues together....shame on me....I guess....for not being more definitive.

So that's it man...I've bent every which way I can to explain myself. If that's not good enough for you....then fuckin' eh. Best of luck.

patsbrother said...

Dimbala, I have not tried to crucify you.

First, I gave my impression of a link my brother posted on his blog. I included a scenario of the facts as they appeared on that link to me.

You then told me I completely misrepresented what you wrote. You did this by misrepresenting what you wrote. You then went off on how elitist Dante was for calling a long comment that lacked any punctuation incoherent. You then belittled Dante for attacking an education level you yourself presumed.

I then wrote you a nasty reply.

I then went out jogging and thought better of it. I came back, and deleted it. But since you'd felt it was important to come to this blog to explain why our impressions were wrong, I then asked you specific questions about the blog, questions that I had about your blog post, the contained link, and the comments you left here.

You then belittled me, because how could I possibly not have understood what you wrote if I had actually read it or Matthews's post?

You then posted another comment responding to my questions, and again directly misrepresented what you had written in your post.

I then answered Pat and pointed out that newer misrepresentation. And your general petulance.

You then asked if I was on meth, and decided to drop the f-bomb. (FYI, normally Cousin Pat deletes such comments made on his blog.)

Now you're acting like I've been hounding you all day and like I'm putting you through a crucible.

Granted, our exchanges began when I poked fun at what Cousin Pat posted. That's what we do on this blog. But then you came and called me crazy (and Dante elitist or classist or what have you) for presenting opinions based on our natural readings of your post and the attached link. You basically called us idiots for the information we gleaned from your writings.

That is what this conversation has been about. You calling me an idiot for believing your post meant what it appeared to mean, and me calling you petulant and explaining why I said the things I said that you treated as idiotic.

Sorry, dude. Keep on keeping on breaking the news in New Orleans. But either learn to explain yourself better, or don't get offended when people read your posts exactly as they would read anything else.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Only Sprout could turn a thread away from institutionalized government corruption and voting fraud into a thread about meta-semantics, syntax and a flow chart of "you-said-then-I-said."

This isn't a treatise to be published in the Law Journal, nor is it a tit-for-tat family conversation where you learned to communicate like this. A simple "I don't believe this" and "I don't appreciate your tone" would have been enough.

Why do all the long threads turn into this? We haven't talked about anything of substance for at least half the thread. No one has learned anything new aside from "this is how patsbrother argues."

And since that is where the comment thread has ended up, and stayed for a while, I'm closing future comments as of now.