June 19, 2010

Wisconsin conservatives go following the logic

Reasons top Wisconsin conservative blogger Owen Robinson:
The thing is ... an analysis of time stamps is pretty stupid. I can put whatever time I want on a post. I think the time stamps perhaps give enough probable cause to investigate whether or not a crime (or at least a work ruled violation) has occurred, but it’s certainly not evidence.
The ellipsis is his.

So let me see if I have this straight.

1) A gang of initially non-credible right-wing mischief makers with a political axe to grind — together with the kind assistance of Journal Broadcast Group howler/blogger Charlie Sykes — threw this scam against the wall based on nothing but "an analysis of time stamps."

2) "An analysis of time stamps is pretty stupid."

3) This particular "analysis of time stamps" is so "pretty stupid" that even casual observers were able to blow its phony implications out of the water without the help of the district attorney's office.

4) Nevertheless, anything even this "pretty stupid" is representative of "enough probable cause" to launch a criminal investigation.

That's right, a criminal investigation.

No wonder Owen Robinson is a frequent guest on Charlie Sykes's dreary teevee show, Sunday INCITE! These are the same folks in constant outrage-mode on the subject of unchecked state power.

Yet here is Owen Robinson essentially justifying a police state.

Furthermore, according to Robinson's "logic," even Liebenthal's blog posts time-stamped in the late evening hours and on weekends (which is practically all of them*) may also be grounds for a criminal investigation because "I can put whatever time I want on a post."

Think that's stretching an inference? Read on.

Another of Robinson's fellow travelers claims it's "fairly obvious" Chris Liebenthal was posting to his blog on county time. His own "probable cause" for this claim? That Liebenthal is so prolific, he couldn't possibly have composed his blog posts on his own time: Yes, an "impossible feat," he says, unless Liebenthal didn't have a job at all.

Ergo, he must have been committing a crime, and not just a State crime, but a federal crime. (His "wet dream" is projected here.)

Jeremy "Rhymes With Clown" Shown, one of the few coherently thoughtful local conservative bloggers, asks:
[Liebenthal's] got an anti-Walker fixation that comes perilously close to "he doth protest too much," and the best the Walker supporters can muster is sending the DA to confiscate the computer from his workplace at the county to make sure he wasn't blogging on county time? ...

Can't the Walker camp come up with some smart folks to simply counter the pronouncements that [Liebenthal] makes on his blog?
Certainly not if Owen Robinson is its leading light.

Robinson's blog, incidentally, served as the host to an especially scurrilous libel masquerading as a "leak" from the DA's office that elicited** correspondence from the defamed party's counsel.

And by the way, don't miss visiting the recently updated "Boots & Kittens," John Foust's dryly whimsical Owen Robinson parody.

Foust has been banned from commenting at Robinson's website, yet Robinson's comments policy allows for publishing the most revolting of falsehoods directed at Chris Liebenthal. Figure that one out.

* Chris occasionally comments at this here blog, invariably in the late evening hours and on weekends, all compelling confirmations of when he's active updating his own blogs. I have all the comments, along with the separate Gmail notifications of the comments, numerous instances where it seems to me time stamps are not "pretty stupid," nor would I have the faintest idea how to manipulate them.

** Or "illicited," if one is thus inclined (read BCB's header).


Cindy Kilkenny said...

I tossed Foust off my blog, too, unless he's trading recipes. Everyone has a limit. Foust found mine darn fast.

Now, about this police state you argue exists: The DA had a complaint from a real human being. (Well, he's breathing, so that has to count this time.) The DA is obligated to follow it up if it might, indeed, be a violation. He doesn't know that an option exists to set postings at different times. He probably doesn't even understand the importance of identifying an IP. All he knows is that one person accused another of breaking a law in which he is entrusted to protect. The villain is not the DA - aka the police state.

Now, I can't for the life of me understand why one of you hasn't asked Capper if there was an internet use document signed for his employment. He may well be within his rights even if he posted from the county workplace. If he doesn't have an internet use agreement? (Oh, Walker lovers, I know. You already don't like me so might as well...) I'd say there's an executive somewhere that's been derelict in his duties.

This takes time. It's a shame Capper has had to pony up and hire an attorney, but that could happen to any of us. ;)

The whole mess is a very tall tree to be barking up. One might think someone wanted to silence Capper and made this move at such a time so Capper would stay quiet until after the primary - about the length of time I suspect it will take to untangle everything.

Ask someone who knows all about getting SLAPPed.

thoughtfulconservative said...

Well, let's try this again.

Gmail time stamps, I would think, would give a clearer view of things. I don't have computer savvy enough to say that for sure.

In the same way, the editing of the posts might speak to when the post was actually written. Not sure about Blogger anymore, but I know WordPress does.

Thanks for linking to Rhymes with Clowns. I had missed that one.

illusory tenant said...

Cindy, I'm not saying a police state exists. I'm saying that a police state is conjured up where even "pretty stupid" allegations warrant a criminal investigation. That's Robinson's claim, not mine.

Certainly the DA is not obligated to bring a criminal investigation where allegations are -- in fact, admitted to be, by the very person claiming they merit a criminal investigation -- "pretty stupid," which I take to mean "baseless."

(And I would go much further than simply "pretty stupid" but I'll accept "pretty stupid" as the minimum adjectival baseline for characterizing CRG's laughably inadequate demonstrations.)

As for Chris remaining mum, that's his right, and he's wise to exercise it, under the circumstances. I can't speak for anybody else but I'm not going to ask -- and haven't asked -- Chris any questions pertaining to this matter.

Like I said, my experience has been that Chris is up writing and posting in the late evenings.

I don't quite see this is an effort to silence Chris so much as a cheap opportunity to cause him some grief and give the so-called "blogfather" and his brood of trolls a chance to chortle among themselves and publicly air their disturbed and disturbing fantasies.

John Foust said...

Yes, Cindy, CRG could've done all sorts of things to make their complaint make more sense. I'd love to see CRG's complete complaint to the District Attorney. I think any group who promotes openness and accountability should let everyone see what this is about. So far, all we have is a press release. Scan the complaint and let the world judge.

Entirely apropos, at least one of the reasons I was booted from B&S was that Wendy was confused by the way I pointed out that she wasn't quite right about the issues of identity on teh Interwebs. Either that or it was the creation of Boots and Kittens, which happened just a few hours before that. Entirely a coincidence, I'm sure.