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Do conspiracy theorists ever get anything right? If they don’t, does that prove that conspiracies never happen?

One way to examine these questions is to consider a giant conspiracy that actually happened: by the end of WWII, about 9,000 people were working on Ultra — the deciphering of German Enigma machine codes — at Bletchley Park in the middle of England, on the route between Oxford and Cambridge.

Yet, Ultra remained an official secret in Britain for about a third of a century — only in 1974 did the floodgates open.

Today, Ultra is one of the more famous parts of the British war effort. Yet, it remained remarkably obscure for 29 years after the war ended. This history tends to undermine the often used anti-conspiracy talking point that no effort involving large numbers of people could stay secret for long.

Yet, many thousands of people moved to Bletchley to work at a vast decryption factory. The male workers tended to come from the nation’s intellectual elite (e.g., codebreaker Dilly Knox was one of four famous brothers) and the female workers from the nation’s social elite. So it’s not as if those 9,000 workers were remote, inarticulate obscurities. And yet, the public as a whole didn’t know anything about this vast enterprise until 1974.

Historian David Irving stumbled upon the Enigma secret in the 1960s, according to Professor R.V. Jones, CBE, but kept this huge scoop out of his books even though the government couldn’t prosecute him for violating the Official Secrets Act without letting slip that there was a Secret. In return for playing ball, he was later given a copy of a secret document about Rommel.

So, here’s a question: did conspiracy theorists ever theorize about Ultra before 1974?

If not, why not?

Update: I poked around to see if anybody had discussed Ultra in the context of conspiracy theorizing and found a 2009 post on DailyKos from somebody named NCrissieB who has some sensible things to say about Bletchley as a conspiracy:

Conspirators of commonality need to control events, so these conspiracies tend to be either very small – a few people working to cause an isolated event such as a bank robbery – or very big indeed. Once you get past things that three or four people can do, perhaps with assistance from a handful of others, the complexity quickly escalates to a point that you need a lot of people. The more people you need, the more compelling the shared interest must be to motivate both their participation and their silence. So you rarely see medium-sized conspiracies of commonality. They’re either very small and acting on a mundane interest, or very big and acting on a compelling interest. … A big conspiracy also often has enough clout to conceal documents and/or plausibly spread disinformation.

The author goes on to suggest a theory that I came around to believing in the early 2000s as well:

These ‘open’ conspiracies can rarely act in complete secrecy, or at least not for very long. They’re known and often prominent actors, so their actions usually get at least some attention. Some of their actions are impossible to hide by the nature of the action itself. For example, you can’t test a new military jet in an underground hangar. So while these ‘open’ conspiracies do employ secrecy, they often also use something even more dangerous: disinformation. …

And often the conspirator need only kick-start the disinformation, then stand back and let the public continue it. The UFO controversy is a case in point. There is now good evidence that some in our government thought attributing unusual aerial events to extra-terrestrials would be a good way to keep new technologies secret. The early ‘leaks’ that aliens might be visiting earth sparked a spate of science fiction movies, but also a plethora of concerned citizen groups determined to discover the truth. The government then issued official denials, and seeded ‘skeptic’ groups to debunk claims of UFOs, including some “explanations” as transparently absurd as the claims themselves.

Once both ‘believers’ and ‘skeptics’ had reached critical mass, those who had begun the disinformation campaign could sit back and watch as unprovable claims were met by often equally unprovable denials, all of it deflecting attention from the legitimate question: “What flew over my house last night?” The real answer – when it wasn’t an ordinary event – was probably a classified military project. But so long as the witnesses and skeptics were arguing about little grey visitors from Zeta Reticuli, the military could test almost anything, almost anywhere, and no one would be the wiser.

This strikes me as plausible, and I’ve made this argument myself several times. But I have to confess that I don’t have much smoking gun evidence that anybody in the U.S. government ever actually stoked UFO rumors as a distraction from military testing.

The late Jerry Pournelle told me the KGB did this to cover up a Soviet semi-orbital weapon that came down spectacularly over Latin America: have local Communists call up newspapers and rant about flying saucers and little green men to confuse and discredit the accurate eyewitnesses. Of course, maybe Jerry was projecting?

Elements within the U.S. government sometimes used sci-fi authors at times for various purposes, much as the British government used detective fiction authors to outsmart the Germans in WWII cloak and dagger episodes.

For example, in 1945-47, Robert Heinlein got help from the US Navy in learning about rockets, such as being invited to see the test launch of a captured German V2 missile in New Mexico, which he used in his classic juvenile novels from Rocket Ship Galileo onward. What the Navy wanted from Heinlein was for him to portray space travel as something that naturally should be under the control of the Navy — e.g., space ships, Space Marines, etc. But this wasn’t exactly a vast top-down conspiracy either: it was one Navy pal of Heinlein’s who was a player in the Pentagon.

In terms of hiding classified technology that can only be tested out in plain sight, it was a great success. But that success comes at a steep price: an entirely justified distrust of government and our media. Every time our government spreads disinformation and the media obligingly repeat it – as happened in the run-up to the Iraq War – the distrust only deepens. It becomes ever more difficult to know what sources to trust and what claims to believe, and more difficult to make informed decisions as citizens in a democracy.

Commenter Last Real Calvinist writes:

I’ve watched a number of TV shows and movies in the past few years that have featured Ultra/Bletchley, e.g. The Bletchley Circle, The Imitation Game, etc. A theme common to all of them was the absolute need for total secrecy. No one could talk about the Ultra ‘conspiracy’ at all, full stop, the end.

But if there were 9K people involved with Ultra in one way or another, did they all really keep it secret, not just during the war, but thereafter?

And, assuming some of them did not, especially after the war (human nature being what it is), how many leakers can a conspiracy of that size tolerate before course of The Narrative is altered? If just one person starting talking about this super-secret code-breaking project that went on for years, who (other than those involved) would believe him? What if 10 started talking? 100? 1000? It seems Ultra really did remain pretty much a secret. How many people talked about it, and were disbelieved/brushed off?

While researching his 1964 book Mare’s Nest about the V-1 and V-2 programs, David Irving found out about Ultra. From Wikipedia:

Irving nonetheless worked the secret material into his book, writing an entire chapter about Enigma in the first draft of The Mare’s Nest. When it came to the attention of the authorities, “one night I was visited at my flat by men in belted raincoats who came and physically seized the chapter. I was summoned to the Cabinet Office, twelve men sitting around a polished table, where it was explained to me why [the information] was not being released and we appeal to you as an English gentleman not to release [it].” Irving cooperated and withdrew the chapter, but by this time he had copied enough material from Cherwell’s archive to furnish several more books.[2] ULTRA remained secret for another decade.

Back to Last Real Calvinist:

Another way of putting this: there have been waves of conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination (BTW, I don’t want to talk about any of these — please! — I just want to point out their existence). Yet the Warren Report Narrative, I would argue, still largely holds. The great beast that is The Narrative has been able to absorb the countless nips and stings of the conspiracy theorists, and on it lumbers.

This question is extremely pertinent in the context of current political campaigns, ‘fake news’, etc. When The Narrative assures us that, for example, Barack Obama’s presidency was the most ‘scandal-free’ in history, how many ‘conspiracy theorists’ — with their blogs, their alternative news sites, their tweets — does it take to wound and even bring down that narrative beast?

From 1978 to 1999, there was a law mandating a Special Prosecutor to persecute the Executive Branch so there were lots and lots of easily reported scandals. But then everybody in DC got sick of this and let the law expire, so there haven’t been many Executive Branch scandals until, voila, Mueller got appointed as Special Prosecutor of this that and just about anything.

As I’ve said over and over, reporters love government reports. The only reason anybody ever paid attention to the plague of Pakistani pimps in England, for example, is because the city of Rotherham commissioned an official government report. Disreputables like me had been writing about these scandals before the official government report came out, but when the official government report came out in 2014, it became a Thing in the news, at least in Rotherham.

So there were no Special Prosecutors during Obama’s terms and therefore there were No Scandals.

Now you might think that Black Chicago Democrat ~ Scandal, but that’s because you are not a good person. You might think that Valerie Jarrett, slumlord in chief of Chicago, might have some scandals about her. You might think that the fact that Obama’s first two chiefs of staff were Rahm Emanuel and William Daley might suggest something. But nobody wanted to hear about it. You might think that Tony Rezko had kind of a colorful past: he had been the Black Muslims’ business manager including managing their most famous convert Muhammad Ali. But you are wrong: there’s nothing more boring in this world than a man at the intersection of Muhammad Ali, the Nation of Islam, and the President of the United States.

Boring, boring, boring.

In other words, what’s the critical mass needed for a story (whether it’s the truth, or a conspiracy theory, or the exposing of a conspiracy, or whatever) to break through The Narrative’s powerful defenses, and enter the popular consciousness?

There is a lot of Information out there, and what people notice depends a lot upon the zeitgeist.

For example, Bletchley Park is vastly famous today in part because the great Alan Turing, a major contributor to modern information technology, was gay and died tragically after being legally punished for his taste for young rough trade (it’s never phrased in those terms). And he fought Nazis.

In contrast, the great American who is a near exact counterpart in terms of his contribution to information technology, Claude Shannon, is highly obscure.

Shannon, as 21-year-old at MIT in 1937, had just about the greatest idea anybody ever had. He was working on Vannevar Bush’s mechanical computer when he pointed out in his M.S. thesis that the problem with computing engines (going back to Babbage) is that each one was designed as tour de force of cleverness and originality. Babbage had been stumped, in part, by the cost of manufacturing gears with ten teeth to work with the decimal system.

Yet, there was an already existing body of thought going back to George Boole’s binary logic in the mid-19th Century that could be applied en masse to electrical engineering to make computing vastly more straightforward. Everything should be binary because we can compute anything we want to do with Boolean logic. This enabled Moore’s Law, which has been the biggest single driver of prosperity for decades.

And then Shannon came back a decade later by inventing Information Theory.

Now, I’m not going to get into trying to adjudicate a Turing vs. Shannon contest. They are both way above my level. They both deserve to be heroes. But each age gets not the hero-worship it needs, but the hero-worship it wants, and our age wants Turing hero-worship.

 
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  1. the first rule of MAGIC is that you do NOT talk about MAGIC

    the second rule of magic is that you stop people who do ^_^

    Read More
    • Replies: @AndrewR
    Hi hbd chick!
    , @Peasant
    Very clever. Took me a moment to get it. The U.S codebreakers were very important too.
    , @ben tillman
    Very good.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    the first rule of MAGIC is that you do NOT talk about MAGIC

    the second rule of magic is that you stop people who do ^_^


     

    Leave the NBA out of this.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbdOQUARrEU


    https://usathoopshype.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/orlando-magic.jpg?w=1000&h=600&crop=1
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  2. LondonBob says:

    If you whistle blow who will you go to is the biggest factor, you are just ignored. Someone would’ve talked, well they probably did but you just never heard. So why pay the heavy price for whistle blowing when no one will ever know anyway.

    I still think JFK assassination whistle blower Chauncey Holt tells a fascinating story, Meyer Lansky, the killing of Bugsy Siegel, CIA executive action, JFK but you won’t find his story told, despite the public appetite for mafia and spy yarns.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Detective Club
    The cover-up of CIA involvement in the Kennedy killing on Nov. 22, 1963 worked for a given period of time, thanks to CBS, NY Times, etc.
    https://youtu.be/6oQAjGohwbU
    By 1975, American opinion polls showed that about 70% of the American people believed that Oswald was but a minor participant in a wide conspiracy. What broke the dam of lies was the showing of the Zapruder film on American TV. Showing that piece of evidence destroyed the Warren Commission conclusion that Kennedy had the front of his head blown open by a lone gunman, shooting from behind. Finally seeing is disbelieving, after you've been fed a steady diet of lies for more than 10 years.
    , @Anonymous
    People with access to records at the National Archives (NARA), i.e., archivists, need top secret security clearances. To work at the JFK Library (on UMass Boston campus), as an archivist/librarian who has access to the sensitive documents there, you need a top secret clearance. I know a few people who work there and know for a fact they had to get top secret clearance investigations and their friends and neighbors were interviewed. What after 50 years, save for some nuclear secrets, needs to be kept secret??
    , @Prester John
    From the very beginning I never bought into that bit about Oswald having gone solo. As to who actually gave the order to waste Kennedy, as Wittgenstein said "I pass in silence."
    , @Londonbob
    I should add in Holt's case he kept his mouth shut for thirty years as he knew he would be killed if he did speak out. It was the publicity of Stone's film and old age that encouraged him to come forward. He was promptly ignored and an effort made to discredit him.

    Don't forget the importance of compartmentalisation, you only know so much anyway.
    , @syonredux
    Obligatory:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002GKGBM8/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    Anyone who has not read Bugliosi's Reclaiming History is a dilettante
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  3. I’ve watched a number of TV shows and movies in the past few years that have featured Ultra/Bletchley, e.g. The Bletchley Circle, The Imitation Game, etc. A theme common to all of them was the absolute need for total secrecy. No one could talk about the Ultra ‘conspiracy’ at all, full stop, the end.

    But if there were 9K people involved with Ultra in one way or another, did they all really keep it secret, not just during the war, but thereafter?

    And, assuming some of them did not, especially after the war (human nature being what it is), how many leakers can a conspiracy of that size tolerate before course of The Narrative is altered? If just one person starting talking about this super-secret code-breaking project that went on for years, who (other than those involved) would believe him? What if 10 started talking? 100? 1000? It seems Ultra really did remain pretty much a secret. How many people talked about it, and were disbelieved/brushed off?

    Another way of putting this: there have been waves of conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination (BTW, I don’t want to talk about any of these — please! — I just want to point out their existence). Yet the Warren Report Narrative, I would argue, still largely holds. The great beast that is The Narrative has been able to absorb the countless nips and stings of the conspiracy theorists, and on it lumbers.

    This question is extremely pertinent in the context of current political campaigns, ‘fake news’, etc. When The Narrative assures us that, for example, Barack Obama’s presidency was the most ‘scandal-free’ in history, how many ‘conspiracy theorists’ — with their blogs, their alternative news sites, their tweets — does it take to wound and even bring down that narrative beast?

    In other words, what’s the critical mass needed for a story (whether it’s the truth, or a conspiracy theory, or the exposing of a conspiracy, or whatever) to break through The Narrative’s powerful defenses, and enter the popular consciousness?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Rotherham is a good example:

    People had been telling me for years about what was going on in Northern English towns for years, and in 2013 I finally did the research and wrote a Taki's column about it.

    http://takimag.com/article/the_real_threat_to_british_elites_steve_sailer/#axzz5R1R86Ld2

    There was a huge amount of information available, but it was all here and there, in bits and pieces, with only disreputable sorts like me trying to pull it together.

    And, in all my research, I'd never heard of Rotherham.

    Then in 2014 an official government report came out about the goings-on in Rotherham.

    That opened the floodgate because it was an Official Government Report. So reporters could quote it without a lot of tedious he said she said equivocating.

    Official Documents can be very useful. The Trump Administration should think hard about which ones they ought to be generating.

    , @Almost Missouri
    To be sure, most of the 9000 people at Bletchley Park were probably not aware that they were working at a code-breaking factory. Most of them probably thought of their work as relating to "news", "communications", "information", or "intelligence" rather than "Axis codes". They still understood that their work was classified and not to be discussed outside of the office, but even should they transgress and blab, they probably wouldn't have had much enlightening to say anyway since they weren't aware of the bigger picture. Nevertheless, 900 or even 90 big picture seers is still a pretty big conspiracy, so its long concealment in a relatively free society ought to rate as an achievement of some kind. But let us recall that besides the conspiracy being comprised of elites, this was also the period of peak British stiff upper lippedness, so if there was an era to accomplish this, the early 20th century was it. That former asabiya is now badly dissipated, of course.
    , @pyrrhus
    OK, I give up...What "compelling" interest made it important not to disclose the highly obsolete codebreaking activities of the Bletchley Park gang for decades after they occurred? I don't see any Government interest here, just a compulsive desire to keep secrets forever.And I'm pretty sure the Germans stopped using the Enigma machines for coded messages....Typical of a bureaucracy that is obsolete itself.
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  4. Dog bites man?

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  5. @The Last Real Calvinist
    I've watched a number of TV shows and movies in the past few years that have featured Ultra/Bletchley, e.g. The Bletchley Circle, The Imitation Game, etc. A theme common to all of them was the absolute need for total secrecy. No one could talk about the Ultra 'conspiracy' at all, full stop, the end.

    But if there were 9K people involved with Ultra in one way or another, did they all really keep it secret, not just during the war, but thereafter?

    And, assuming some of them did not, especially after the war (human nature being what it is), how many leakers can a conspiracy of that size tolerate before course of The Narrative is altered? If just one person starting talking about this super-secret code-breaking project that went on for years, who (other than those involved) would believe him? What if 10 started talking? 100? 1000? It seems Ultra really did remain pretty much a secret. How many people talked about it, and were disbelieved/brushed off?

    Another way of putting this: there have been waves of conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination (BTW, I don't want to talk about any of these -- please! -- I just want to point out their existence). Yet the Warren Report Narrative, I would argue, still largely holds. The great beast that is The Narrative has been able to absorb the countless nips and stings of the conspiracy theorists, and on it lumbers.

    This question is extremely pertinent in the context of current political campaigns, 'fake news', etc. When The Narrative assures us that, for example, Barack Obama's presidency was the most 'scandal-free' in history, how many 'conspiracy theorists' -- with their blogs, their alternative news sites, their tweets -- does it take to wound and even bring down that narrative beast?

    In other words, what's the critical mass needed for a story (whether it's the truth, or a conspiracy theory, or the exposing of a conspiracy, or whatever) to break through The Narrative's powerful defenses, and enter the popular consciousness?

    Rotherham is a good example:

    People had been telling me for years about what was going on in Northern English towns for years, and in 2013 I finally did the research and wrote a Taki’s column about it.

    http://takimag.com/article/the_real_threat_to_british_elites_steve_sailer/#axzz5R1R86Ld2

    There was a huge amount of information available, but it was all here and there, in bits and pieces, with only disreputable sorts like me trying to pull it together.

    And, in all my research, I’d never heard of Rotherham.

    Then in 2014 an official government report came out about the goings-on in Rotherham.

    That opened the floodgate because it was an Official Government Report. So reporters could quote it without a lot of tedious he said she said equivocating.

    Official Documents can be very useful. The Trump Administration should think hard about which ones they ought to be generating.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    Yes, Rotherham is an excellent example. It wasn't even 'kept secret'; as you say, there were lots of news stories about it. Rather, its impact was -- and frankly still is -- diluted by news reports being downplayed and disguised (lots of the stories about it have been of the classic '47 British Men Detained on Allegations They Were Not Nice' genre).

    You're right that the government report made a big difference. It gave the British media at least a hesitant imprimatur to print some true information without fear of automatic hounding for racism.

    , @Harry Baldwin
    The Trump Administration should think hard about which ones they ought to be generating.

    If the Trump administration releases sufficient evidence to prove that the Obama administration used the IRS to discourage conservative political groups, the FBI to make sure Hillary was exonerated for her email scandal, and the FBI and CIA to subvert the 2016 election, how will the MSM deal with it? I don't see how it can. Suddenly Obama, the most saintly of all presidents, would be revealed as a far greater enemy of the Constitution than Richard Nixon. It would turn the SJW worldview upside down. I see it as more explosive than Khrushchev's speech acknowledging the crimes of Stalin.

    Would they just follow Vox Day's Second Law of SJWs and double down? The fact that the NY Times printed the lunatic rantings of ex-CIA chief John Brennan last month indicates that they are going to maintain their commitment to the Narrative at all costs, no matter how ridiculous it becomes.

    , @Autochthon
    A similar phenomenon to the one you mention vis-a-vis journalist's now needing a governmental report to cite has occurred in academia in the past, say, twenty or fifty years, to its detriment. It's all obsession with citations all the way down, so that the true geniuses increasingly flee to the private sector to work for large corporations or at least think-tanks, because a body can hardly put forth an original insight account of there is not adequate support for it to be cited. (Well, of course there isnt, else it would be a glorified review of the literature, which most academic papers increasingly are!)

    This phenomenon has ramifications for why nowadays true advances in technology and even the humanities have stagnated. We get Instagram instead of code-division multiple access* and Coates instead of Tolkien.

    *This technology was universally scoffed at as a violation of the laws of physics and mathematics when it was posited, so Viterbi, Jacobs et al. had to work it up in their garages and test and prove it worked for themselves before it became the foundation of modern cellular communications, an excellent example of my point.

    , @Anon
    I’ve been reading about Rotherham since maybe 2009. I probably found it on gates of Vienna, migration watch UK perhaps something of Mad Pam Geller’s
    Storm front cofcc occidental observer, somewhere in pro White sites.
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  6. Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I’ve been seeing in recent months is the ‘Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!’ article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she’s going to live to be 115 — because we all know she’s gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
    The Notorious RBG:

    "I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it go back to the way it was."
     
    So do a lot of us, Ruth, so do a lot of us.

    Who knew RGB was such a closet conservative?

    If only we knew what had changed since then, and who had wrought this change, then maybe we could do something about it...
    , @Realist
    She has remained on the SC long past her mental faculties.
    , @AndrewR
    Wow. How can anyone think this senile fossil belongs as a judge at all, let alone a US Supreme Court Justice?
    , @AndrewR
    Honestly, most people in nursing homes are in better shape than she is. We live in clown world. People say Trump makes a mockery of the presidency, but that mockery is infinitely dwarfed by the mockery thathatG makes of the US Supreme Court.
    , @AndrewR
    Honestly, most people in nursing homes are in better shape than she is. We live in clown world. People say Trump makes a mockery of the presidency, and I don't disagree (although the same could be said of all his predecessors since at least Reagan) but that mockery is infinitely dwarfed by the mockery that RBG makes of the US Supreme Court.
    , @Big Bill
    Hillary and Nancy really need to hire RBG's public relations team.
    , @candid_observer
    The video of Ginsburg is pretty shocking. A fully healthy 85 year old looks nothing like her. She can't seem to hold up her head (granted, it's a HUGE head for her body). Worse, she seems to have a good deal of difficulty enunciating her words properly, a fair amount of word finding hesitation, though word for word she seems quite coherent.

    Her bent head might be due in part to osteoporosis (she may have had a good deal of radiation because of her previous cancers, which would aggravate this). But from the other issues in her speech I would guess she has some significant neurological issue, maybe a mild stroke, maybe Parkinson's disease. (It would be good to see her walk -- gait is a very reliable tell for Parkinson's)

    And I wouldn't feel sorry for her as far as pressure on her not to retire goes. She had every good reason to retire back in say 2014 or 2015, at age 81 or os. But obviously she so loved the diva prestige the left accorded her that she refused to give it up.

    , @pyrrhus
    RBG has outlived the American Left...
    , @pyrrhus
    Steven Hawking, is that you?
    , @Lot
    Here she is 7 months ago looking fairly good for her age.

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2018/02/12/ruth-bader-ginsburg-interview-entire-poppy-harlow-intv.cnn/video/playlists/supreme-court-justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg/
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  7. Anonymous[367] • Disclaimer says:

    Good question.

    More interestingly, the efforts of the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory were kept secret far longer-until sometime after the late 90s and 2004, when the book, The Secret in Building 26 , was published. This was the American counterpart to the British Ultra project.

    The American project was longer, bigger, and more successful than the British one, yet even after the release of the British project the Americans maintained secrecy for almost another 30 years-and despite the obvious lack of real purpose in keeping it secret after the British revelations, no one talked.

    This was, incidentally, almost certainly the project to which Revilo Oliver referred to when he stated that :

    During World War II, he was Director of Research in a highly secret cryptographic agency of the War Department in Washington, DC, and was cited for outstanding service to his country.

    A most interesting question then becomes: What, if any, other interesting efforts involving considerable use of money, time and (wo)manpower during WWII (for the day to day work at the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory in Dayton was carried out mostly by female Navy personnel, or WAVES as then they were called) are still secret, and if so, to any purpose? Either by our side or the Axis powers?

    My guess, and more than that, but by no means certainty: the answer is yes. And the reasons may be surprising.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ic1000
    > More interestingly, the efforts of the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory were kept secret far longer-until sometime after the late 90s and 2004, when the book, The Secret in Building 26 , was published...

    Interesting and relevant, thanks!
    , @BB753
    To some, winning a war by cracking a code might sound like cheating. It undermines the ideal of a fair fight on the battlefield and generally martial prowess.
    US global dominance and the mighty dollar rely in large part on the belief of American military superiority.
    , @Jack D
    The Brits (and before them the Poles - pre-war Poland had some formidable mathematicians (and they were actual ethnic Poles, unlike the "Hungarian" geniuses who were almost invariably Jewish) did most of the intellectual work to break Enigma and the American contribution (as usual) was to make it bigger and faster and in larger quantities. The US Navy "bombes" ran at 34 times the speed of the early British bombes and they made hundreds of them.

    The idea of the "bombe" was try rapidly try thousands of different dial combinations one after the other until you hit a combination that decoded the message. The original German Enigma machines had 4 dials that you would turn by hand with 26 letters on each (plus it had further complications that increased the number of possible combinations even more), so you might only be able to try one or two combinations per minute and it would take years to break a single message. So instead they motorized the dials to spin at thousands of RPM and they used more than 1 set of dials. Even this brute force approach would not have worked due to the billions of possible combinations but the Enigma had certain quirks or weaknesses such as the fact that it would never encrypt a letter to itself which they were able to exploit.

    Of course today we have computers that do millions (or billions or trillions) of calculations per second electronically instead of physically rotating dials so you could solve Enigma on your phone, but in those days the bombe was an achievement.

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  8. anon[768] • Disclaimer says:

    One aspect of code breaking is ‘preserving’ the secret that the code is in fact broken. Somewhere, I was reading that they had all sorts of actionable information they ignored in order to preserve the secret they broke it. So what if there are lives sacrificed? Maybe I’m imagining it. Or from TV.

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    • Replies: @Alec Leamas

    One aspect of code breaking is ‘preserving’ the secret that the code is in fact broken. Somewhere, I was reading that they had all sorts of actionable information they ignored in order to preserve the secret they broke it. So what if there are lives sacrificed? Maybe I’m imagining it. Or from TV.
     
    IIRC I think that was a dramatized part of The Imitation Game, where one of the codebreakers' brothers was on a ship in the Atlantic and Bletchley gang intercepted a message about a pending German attack on the fleet.

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you've broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma. You need to prioritize the information you're intercepting so that you're still receiving it when the Germans set their big plans into motion.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    Churchill knew that Coventry was going to be bombed by the Germans, but decided that he couldn't increase its air defenses without tipping the Germans to the fact that the British had broken their code. A very hard decision to live with.
    , @Paul Jolliffe
    The infamous January, 1917 Zimmermann Telegram from the German Foreign Secretary (Arthur Zimmermann) to the German Ambassador to Mexico (Heinrich von Eckhardt) was broken by the British in WWI and subsequently given to the USA (Germany promised to aid Mexico in reclaiming Texas, New Mexico and Arizona if Mexico declared war on America).

    OK.

    When President Wilson presented it to Germany as proof of their mendacity (though virtually no one in America seriously thought that it by itself was a legitimate casus belli), many in the USA suspected that it was a British forgery, designed to suck us into a was with Germany.

    Instead, the Germans actually 'fessed up and admitted its authenticity.

    Times have changed.
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  9. I studied the strategic bombing campaign of WW2 in some depth at university in the early 70s without hearing a whisper of Ultra, or even curiosity about where Britain got its targeting information from.

    Just reading the story of British double agent (and professional criminal) Eddie Chapman. It would be interesting to know (author Ben McIntyre doesn’t lay much stress on it) how many people knew about Most Secret Sources outside of the Bletchley/MI6/ General Staff nexus. The relevant information from MSS was available to MI5 (for catching/turning German agents) and to the military, but there must have been people who decided whether the risk of acting on the MSS might betray Ultra – and those people must have known that the German codes were being cracked.

    Did, say, Victor Rothschild, head of the “explosives and sabotage section” of MI5, know? I tend to think not.

    And did the Soviets know? If they didn’t (and they had a lot of high level agents) then the operational security must have been very good.

    OT, the Guardian rediscovers supply and demand.

    “UK wages rise faster than expected amid lowest jobless rate in 40 years – Falling number of EU workers in Britain compounds businesses’ recruitment woes”

    “The latest snapshot from the jobs market could suggest workers’ bargaining power is gradually rising on the back of the lowest levels of unemployment for four decades, with the jobless rate of 4% the lowest since the winter of 1974-75. Fewer people for companies to hire can help drive up demands for better pay and working conditions.

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  10. El Dato says:

    This strikes me as plausible, and I’ve made this argument myself several times. But I have to confess that I don’t have much smoking gun evidence that anybody in the U.S. government ever actually stoked UFO rumors as a distraction from military testing.

    UFOs (at 01:06:09)

    The late Jerry Pournelle told me the KGB did this to cover up a Soviet semi-orbital weapon that came down spectacularly over Latin America: have local Communists call up newspapers and rant about flying saucers and little green men to confuse and discredit the accurate eyewitnesses. Of course, maybe Jerry was projecting?

    Actually, the south-american Beings were not little and green, but smallish, black, hairy, with claws made for knife fights (it’s South America), and a perfectly spherical head. And very aggressive to anyone who spotted them. I know because I used to be big in UFO lore when young.

    Talking of which:

    Plausible indications of interference of a massive sort to ensure a 9/11 success:

    I remember reading in the early 00s (in the Economist?) that “the hijackers” wanted to do their stuff a few days before 9/11 but got delayed. Has anyone ever looked into “why precisely 9/11″?

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    "Has anyone ever looked into “why precisely 9/11″?"

    Mythical power of the Porsche 911?
    , @Alec Leamas

    I remember reading in the early 00s (in the Economist?) that “the hijackers” wanted to do their stuff a few days before 9/11 but got delayed. Has anyone ever looked into “why precisely 9/11″?
     
    I was wondering this myself the other day. I was roughly 90 miles South of Manhattan on 09.11.2001 and it was a remarkable day. I was walking my GSD puppy before leaving for class and remarked to myself what a clear, crisp, early fall day it was. The sky was blue without many clouds, and it had a certain low pressure feeling. I'm not someone who really notices weather, so it sticks out in my mind as something remarkable.

    It was when I got in from walking my puppy that the news broke to reports of a plane hitting the first tower. It was presumed by the on-air commentators that it was a small prop plane for some reason, though they related reports that some people said they saw a missile hit the tower. Of course most of us then saw the second plane hit the second tower.

    The day, weather wise, (me being roughly equidistant between the intended targets in NYC and DC) was all but perfect to pull off this plan. At least at the "turning the loaded passenger plane into a suicide missile" part, the pilots had to have some visibility to drive the planes into the towers at low altitude. And they had it. So I always assumed that the go order was given at least in part as a consequence of the weather on that day.

    So I was wondering whether the
    , @Logan
    Well, one theory is that it was in commemoration of the breaking of the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Supposedly this was the revenge of the Muslims for their greatest defeat.

    Couple problems with this one.

    I've never seen the slightest evidence the hijackers even knew about the date coincidence.

    The battle in question actually took place on the 12th.

    Neither of which stops the repeating of this story.
    , @Yngvar
    Egyptian Mohammed Atta chose the date 9/11 because he knew it was Coptic New Year. The islamist idiot thought he was striking a blow against Christendom.

    It wasn't delayed. The General Manager had been informed some time beforehand.
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  11. @The Last Real Calvinist
    I've watched a number of TV shows and movies in the past few years that have featured Ultra/Bletchley, e.g. The Bletchley Circle, The Imitation Game, etc. A theme common to all of them was the absolute need for total secrecy. No one could talk about the Ultra 'conspiracy' at all, full stop, the end.

    But if there were 9K people involved with Ultra in one way or another, did they all really keep it secret, not just during the war, but thereafter?

    And, assuming some of them did not, especially after the war (human nature being what it is), how many leakers can a conspiracy of that size tolerate before course of The Narrative is altered? If just one person starting talking about this super-secret code-breaking project that went on for years, who (other than those involved) would believe him? What if 10 started talking? 100? 1000? It seems Ultra really did remain pretty much a secret. How many people talked about it, and were disbelieved/brushed off?

    Another way of putting this: there have been waves of conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination (BTW, I don't want to talk about any of these -- please! -- I just want to point out their existence). Yet the Warren Report Narrative, I would argue, still largely holds. The great beast that is The Narrative has been able to absorb the countless nips and stings of the conspiracy theorists, and on it lumbers.

    This question is extremely pertinent in the context of current political campaigns, 'fake news', etc. When The Narrative assures us that, for example, Barack Obama's presidency was the most 'scandal-free' in history, how many 'conspiracy theorists' -- with their blogs, their alternative news sites, their tweets -- does it take to wound and even bring down that narrative beast?

    In other words, what's the critical mass needed for a story (whether it's the truth, or a conspiracy theory, or the exposing of a conspiracy, or whatever) to break through The Narrative's powerful defenses, and enter the popular consciousness?

    To be sure, most of the 9000 people at Bletchley Park were probably not aware that they were working at a code-breaking factory. Most of them probably thought of their work as relating to “news”, “communications”, “information”, or “intelligence” rather than “Axis codes”. They still understood that their work was classified and not to be discussed outside of the office, but even should they transgress and blab, they probably wouldn’t have had much enlightening to say anyway since they weren’t aware of the bigger picture. Nevertheless, 900 or even 90 big picture seers is still a pretty big conspiracy, so its long concealment in a relatively free society ought to rate as an achievement of some kind. But let us recall that besides the conspiracy being comprised of elites, this was also the period of peak British stiff upper lippedness, so if there was an era to accomplish this, the early 20th century was it. That former asabiya is now badly dissipated, of course.

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    • Replies: @Marat
    Compartmentalization is suggested it may play a role here too:

    https://theintercept.com/2018/09/13/google-china-search-engine-employee-resigns/
    , @jimbo
    I think people way overestimate how many people involved in a large scale project like that really know what it going on.

    Richard Feynman tells in his memoirs about making an inspection visit to Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project and finding that they were taking the highly enriched uranium and putting it in boxes and stacking along a wall. He did a quick metal calculation and figured out that they were a few boxes away from a critical mass.

    Even the engineers and technicians who were working on enriching the uranium didn't really know what it was for, or even what it's properties were. They kept everybody who actually knew what they were working on hidden away in a town that didn't exist in New Mexico.

    (Of course, the Soviets knew what was going on, but that was because they were practically running the FDR administration...)

    , @Chrisnonymous
    Yes, and of course the Internet amplifies everything. Even if the Brits had had their Snowdon and Greenwald, the story could have been killed easily enough in the course of the time it took to arrange and have meetings, send correspondence, publish articles, etc
    , @Anon
    Even delivery men gardeners and mailmen had to sign The Official Secrets act and were strictly vetted.

    The Official Secrets Act makes our Homeland Security Patriot Act look mild in comparison.

    Violators are arrested by officers from secret units and just hidden away, not in regular prisons but in top secret detention establishments. Habeas corpus? Probable cause? Warrants? Credible evidence? Prima facie hearings don’t exist under the official secrets act.
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  12. @Steve Sailer
    Rotherham is a good example:

    People had been telling me for years about what was going on in Northern English towns for years, and in 2013 I finally did the research and wrote a Taki's column about it.

    http://takimag.com/article/the_real_threat_to_british_elites_steve_sailer/#axzz5R1R86Ld2

    There was a huge amount of information available, but it was all here and there, in bits and pieces, with only disreputable sorts like me trying to pull it together.

    And, in all my research, I'd never heard of Rotherham.

    Then in 2014 an official government report came out about the goings-on in Rotherham.

    That opened the floodgate because it was an Official Government Report. So reporters could quote it without a lot of tedious he said she said equivocating.

    Official Documents can be very useful. The Trump Administration should think hard about which ones they ought to be generating.

    Yes, Rotherham is an excellent example. It wasn’t even ‘kept secret’; as you say, there were lots of news stories about it. Rather, its impact was — and frankly still is — diluted by news reports being downplayed and disguised (lots of the stories about it have been of the classic ’47 British Men Detained on Allegations They Were Not Nice’ genre).

    You’re right that the government report made a big difference. It gave the British media at least a hesitant imprimatur to print some true information without fear of automatic hounding for racism.

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    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Think of all the spectacular black-on-white murders that aren't regularly brought up on the news the way Emmett Till's murder is. How many people have heard of the Zebra killings, the Jahweh Ben Jahweh cult, the Knoxville horror, the Pearcy massacre, the Wichita massacre, serial killer Frederick Demond Scott, etc? That these horrific crimes remain so obscure is due to a conspiracy among the media to support the Narrative.
    , @22pp22
    I grew up in the twee Cotswolds and went to school in grooming gang central, aka Oxford, which is divided into the posh areas in the north and around the university and the rough areas around Cowley and Barton.

    The liberals who live in the north of the city neither know nor care what goes on on the other side of the River Cherwell.

    This has been going on since I was a kid and I lose faith in human nature a little bit more with every new revelation. I read this just today.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6169489/Sarah-repeatedly-raped-twice-forced-marriage-EIGHT-abortions.html

    This will produce the same reaction it always produces, a giant national shoulder shrug.
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  13. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    The Notorious RBG:

    “I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it go back to the way it was.”

    So do a lot of us, Ruth, so do a lot of us.

    Who knew RGB was such a closet conservative?

    If only we knew what had changed since then, and who had wrought this change, then maybe we could do something about it…

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    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist
    I almost feel sorry for RBG.

    God forgive me, but when I watched that video, the first thing I thought of was Miss Trixie from A Confederacy of Dunces -- she's ancient beyond the count of days, and wants nothing more than to retire, but is convinced that her colleagues won't allow her to do so.
    , @jack daniels
    I'm sorry we can't go back to the 1950s (which lasted until 1964 or so.) It was as good as its defenders say it was. The main deficit would be missing out on sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but we have learned in the interim that there is a high price to pay for all that instant gratification. Besides, the 1950s had great jazz, which faded away as soon as rock became respectable.
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  14. Do conspiracy theorists ever get anything right?

    Projects Echelon and Carnivore are two that come immediately to mind.

    Both were considered the dribblings of raving late night maniacs now we all just accept NSA and move along.

    Sydney radio 2GB late night DJ Brian Wilshire had been talking about it for yonks before it became public knowledge.

    Pretty sure the euros got pretty pissed off about it too at one stage before the projects became public.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The President of France, that lunatic, was always complaining about the Anglo-Saxon Powers and their Project Echelon. The EU did a big report on the Five Eyes about 2000.

    What a bunch of conspiracy nuts!

    , @Wade
    How about conspiracy theories involving the existence of a "Mafia"? Before RFK actually starting bringing them to trial, J. Edgar Hoover famously declared "There's no mafia"..

    I suppose with the US's foremost law enforcement chief denying the existence of a clandestine crime organization, those claiming the opposite might as well have been considered conspiracy theorists of their time.

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  15. @Almost Missouri
    The Notorious RBG:

    "I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it go back to the way it was."
     
    So do a lot of us, Ruth, so do a lot of us.

    Who knew RGB was such a closet conservative?

    If only we knew what had changed since then, and who had wrought this change, then maybe we could do something about it...

    I almost feel sorry for RBG.

    God forgive me, but when I watched that video, the first thing I thought of was Miss Trixie from A Confederacy of Dunces — she’s ancient beyond the count of days, and wants nothing more than to retire, but is convinced that her colleagues won’t allow her to do so.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Miss Trixie!

    Hollywood has been thinking about making A Confederacy of Dunces into a movie since the late 1970s, before the book was even published. And it still hasn't been able to pull the trigger.

    I wonder what the problem has been? Perhaps it's the assumption that Ignatius J. Reilly must be naturally fat, which then reduces the field of potential stars to the rare fat comic leading man from John Belushi onward.

    But maybe DiCaprio or somebody bankable like that would love to put on 40 pounds for the role.
    , @PhysicistDave
    TLRC wrote:

    I almost feel sorry for RBG.
     
    I do feel sorry for her, though I have never been a fan. It seems to me that her mind is still there, but that her body is fading fast.

    I can now see how Scalia and RBG were pals, despite their ideological disagreements.
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  16. Oh, and of course, the Nazis had been saying that the Russians did The Katyn massacre which Churchill connived to cover up and ensure the Germans got the blame.

    That was a secret for a long time too.

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  17. Anybody else here READ “Pandora’s Clock”? In it, the chief conspirator goes around telling everyone the heroes “have been under a lot of stress at work lately, and not their usual selves”.
    Also, the average conspiracy theorist tends to go all Alex Jones on you, undermining the facts of their story.

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  18. “Latin America … local Communists … flying saucers”

    The Argentine Trotskyist “Juan Posadas” founded a political cult of personality which later turned to ufology. But I haven’t seen anyone say that this enthusiasm was employed in Area-51-style coverups of Russian aerospace activities.

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  19. “I don’t have much smoking gun evidence that anybody in the U.S. government ever actually stoked UFO rumors as a distraction from military testing.”

    In his entertaining memoir of Lockheed’s Skunk Works, Ben R. Rich recounts that back in the late-1950s/early-1960s(?) a Taiwanese pilot training on the then secret U-2 spy plane had to make an emergency landing at a civilian airport. Knowing the highly classified nature of the bizarre-looking aircraft he had just landed in, the pilot, who was swathed head to toe in a highly reflective silver space suit, ran to the terminal shouting at everyone in broken, alien English not to notice he and his strange aircraft were there. As this was at the height of the UFO hysteria, the author could only speculate how much this almond-eyed apparition from a strange black aircraft stirred the conspiracy pot.

    Of course this wasn’t intentional stoking…

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    There are a couple of stories involving the SR-71 2000 mph superplane and the CIA.

    First, before it flew, they had to truck the first once in the wee hours of the morning from Lockheed Skunk Works to either Edwards AFB or Area 51 (I forget -- Area 51 is a clone of Edwards that the CIA and Lockheed picked out in 1955). The driver hit a bus out around Palmdale. The CIA, who were guarding the transit with submachine guns, immediately gave the bus driver something like $5,700 in cash to get his bus fixed on the QT. Or else.

    Then in 1963 an SR-71 crashed in Utah in front of a family driving by. The CIA arrived and gave the family $25,000 in cash to forget what they'd just seen.

    As I've mentioned, my mom was good friends with the wife of the main designer of the SR-71, Henry Combs, from when they were secretaries at Lockheed during WWII. Henry recently died at 98. I only learned that Mr. Combs was the designer of the double delta shape of the SR-71 from one sentence in Ben Rich's wonderful book "Skunk Works."

    Rich, Kelly Johnson's successor running Lockheed's Skunk Works, was a super-entertaining Jewish guy whose brother was a sit-com writer in Burbank. So his book, ghosted by Leo Janos, is tremendous. But, he dropped dead of cancer just as his book was being published, so he couldn't do a book tour of talk shows (with his brother crafting one-liners), which would likely have made it a bestseller. So the book is only half-known. (I give it to old friends and they love it.)

    If Rich's cancer had killed him a year earlier, I'd have never known that the Mr. Combs whose kids I grew up playing with was the main man behind the SR-71.

    So there is vast contingency in terms of who knows what.
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  20. Anon[622] • Disclaimer says:

    Post:

    “So while these ‘open’ conspiracies do employ secrecy, they often also use something even more dangerous: disinformation. …And often the conspirator need only kick-start the disinformation, then stand back and let the public continue it. The UFO controversy is a case in point.”

    Steve Sailer:

    “This strikes me as plausible, and I’ve made this argument myself several times. But I have to confess that I don’t have much smoking gun evidence that anybody in the U.S. government ever actually stoked UFO rumors as a distraction from military testing.”

    Example that you are looking for (well, close; stoking UFO rumors as an excuse to funnel money to constituents and donors):

    “The U.F.O. investigation project funding began in 2007 and tax dollars went mostly to an aerospace research company operated by Sen. Reid’s friend.” [Reid suggested the program]

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/timothymeads/2017/12/16/harry-reids-ufo-pet-project-n2423497

    One of the UFOs investigated by this $22 million dollar waste of money involved a supposed UFO over the Pacific Ocean that did not show up on radar but did show up on an IR camera. CNN even reported on it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1THwiaXZfzA

    What isn’t mentioned by the CNN anchors here is that the “UFO” depicted is almost certainly just a camera defect, specifically something called an IR hotspot, caused by leaking gases (UFO appears in the center of the image and never moves from the center even as the pilot turns, it rotates with the camera gimble, it is surrounded by a lighter aura indicative of this defect, it is indefinite in shape, and there is no confirming radar data – it was just a spot on the camera, duh). Likely what happened here is that either the camera company or well-connected individual did not want to admit to making a defective, expensive camera and selling it to the government, so they peddled nonsense about undetectable UFOs, instead. The salient point here is just how stupid American journalists are to have been taken by this…and how dumb the public was to buy it. It was reported widely, even on Fox News.

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  21. Reminds me of Peter Sutherland telling that the EU needs to “undermine the national homogeneity” of its member states. He said so openly, yet its not part of the narrative that he did, so you can’t argue with it, at least it won’t help you. Lately I brought it up talking to a junior politocrat, he brushed it aside as if I were peddling a conspiracy theory (“I won’t even look at this article, this is crazy, why would I care?!”) Some others might listen to the story, but their eyes and minds glaze over, they forget it as soon as I’m out of the room and the best I can get is that they shut up for a while, so at least I don’t get yelled at.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-18519395

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    • Replies: @Laugh Track

    Reminds me of Peter Sutherland telling that the EU needs to “undermine the national homogeneity” of its member states.
     
    Thanks for the link. Very telling piece. I'm a little surprised that it is still up at the BBC.
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  22. Abe says: • Website

    Isn’t MeToo a conspiracy? (just this week Leslie Moonves and the guy at CBS who ran 60 MINUTES were sacked). In addition to major executives and media personalities losing their jobs, there was also a couple untouchables, like a Senator and Federal judge who could not have been removed except by extraordinary political action. Yet they meekly complied with their own liquidation, despite gaining absolutely no advantage from it, suggesting there was some behind-the-scenes pressure going on.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    The thing about MeToo is that touching between the shoulders and knees, the breast thighs and buttocks has always been illegal . So has rubbing a penis against a woman without consent and indecent exposure.

    It’s just enforcing laws that have been on the books since forever.

    I saw a video of Weinstein going after a young woman. It was in his NYC offices and recorded for some reason not by the woman but as part of Weinstein’s office system.

    She was a low level gal supposed to meet with several low level Weinstein people about a project she was pitching.

    The door opens and in comes Weinstein who immediately locks the door.. he’s wearing a White undershirt. Given his blubber, thank god it has sleeves.

    He gets as close to her as possible given the pot belly in his way. The second sentence is “ Am I allowed to flirt with you?” She replies “ Um I guess maybe a little bit”. They don’t talk about the project. It’s just his advancing his 350 pd self as she backs away and keeps moving around the room. Good thing he has that pot belly as it makes it impossible for him to frottage her

    Finally he grabs her and hugs her. It’s funny and basic lechery. He tries to push his pelvis into hers. She keeps pulling her pelvis back away from him.
    He has her around the shoulders and lower back. She has her hips pulled back as far as possible and sticking out.

    At that point the video cut to her taking to an interviewer. I got bored and cut it off.

    And for all you oh so sexually virtuous epitome of the highest morality, old codgers ; she was dressed in a modest standard business dress and no, she had no idea she’d be alone in a locked room with blubber boy in his undershirt.

    That huge belly really puts him at a disadvantage in his rubbing and frottage thing. Thanks be to God.
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  23. Vinnie O says:

    Having seldom met a conspiracy I didn’t like, I recently concluded that any REAL conspiracy has an Odd Fact that cannot be explained by any of the counter arguments.

    And so in the case of Roswell, hundreds if not thousands of weather balloons crash back to Earth every day, 7 days a week. Even the alleged Project Mogul balloons ALL crashed back to Earth. That’s how weather balloons work.

    But the crash near Roswell, whatever it was for there is NO disagreement that SOMETHING crashed there, is the ONLY “weather balloon” crash that became the subject of a secret briefing to the President and the Joints Chiefs of Staff (who were not yet the JCS in 1947.

    In “To War in a Stringbag”, Charles Lamb notes that one of the oddest missions he flew while stationed in Malta was to fly to a very specific spot over the Mediterranean and make sure that he was SEEN by the Italian convoy he would find there. English attacks on that convoy would then be credited to his “reconnaissance”. Lamb never learned how the guys on Malta already knew the Italian convoy’s location. It’s now obvious that ULTRA was the reason.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    In “To War in a Stringbag”, Charles Lamb notes that one of the oddest missions he flew while stationed in Malta was to fly to a very specific spot over the Mediterranean and make sure that he was SEEN by the Italian convoy he would find there. English attacks on that convoy would then be credited to his “reconnaissance”. Lamb never learned how the guys on Malta already knew the Italian convoy’s location. It’s now obvious that ULTRA was the reason.
     
    Conversely, at some point a body was procured, stuffed with documents and let to drift ashore for bogus data injection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mincemeat - this kind of thing seems to have been honed to perfection by our TLAs.

    For humorous takes on such matter, Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon", an account of WWII cryptographic exploits from a somewhat alternate reality, is very readable.
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  24. @The Last Real Calvinist
    I almost feel sorry for RBG.

    God forgive me, but when I watched that video, the first thing I thought of was Miss Trixie from A Confederacy of Dunces -- she's ancient beyond the count of days, and wants nothing more than to retire, but is convinced that her colleagues won't allow her to do so.

    Miss Trixie!

    Hollywood has been thinking about making A Confederacy of Dunces into a movie since the late 1970s, before the book was even published. And it still hasn’t been able to pull the trigger.

    I wonder what the problem has been? Perhaps it’s the assumption that Ignatius J. Reilly must be naturally fat, which then reduces the field of potential stars to the rare fat comic leading man from John Belushi onward.

    But maybe DiCaprio or somebody bankable like that would love to put on 40 pounds for the role.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rapparee
    Another (probably valid) assumption is that it would need to be filmed in real New Orleans locations- but New Orleans is so corrupt and dysfunctional that organizing a project of that scale is extraordinarily difficult.
    , @jack daniels
    I first saw a story about Echelon in a seedy-looking right-wing broadsheet that someone had left lying around somewhere. I believe the story was by Texe Marr, and it might have been his newsletter or The Spotlight, free copies of which used to show up at Barnes and Noble for a time (they were always quickly removed.) Though I have always been right-wing and disposed to believe paranoid conspiracy theories, I thought the Echelon story was far-fetched. Surely the government would never go THAT far. But when we found out the NSA was grabbing all our emails full-text and phone calls, nobody seemed to mind. After all, if you have nothing to hide, why worry? And it's a dangerous world out there with pissed-off Arabs bent on driving Israel into the sea and NRA nuts bent on driving the ADL into the sea.
    , @Anon
    How about Kevin James as Ignatius Reilly?
    , @Desiderius
    John C. Reilly would be the obvious choice, but maybe too obvious. Not sure DeCaprio would be up for a Monster-type role.

    A little too close to home these days. He’s the head of his own confederacy of dunces.
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  25. guibus says:

    IMO there is no conspiracy if we look at the definition of the term. To conspire means to secretely meet in order to overthrow some people in power. But they have power and wealth and possess almost everything. What they do is trying to consolidate even more their power , and block any person or group to do anything against them, by lie and deceit.

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  26. @LondonBob
    If you whistle blow who will you go to is the biggest factor, you are just ignored. Someone would've talked, well they probably did but you just never heard. So why pay the heavy price for whistle blowing when no one will ever know anyway.

    I still think JFK assassination whistle blower Chauncey Holt tells a fascinating story, Meyer Lansky, the killing of Bugsy Siegel, CIA executive action, JFK but you won't find his story told, despite the public appetite for mafia and spy yarns.

    The cover-up of CIA involvement in the Kennedy killing on Nov. 22, 1963 worked for a given period of time, thanks to CBS, NY Times, etc.

    By 1975, American opinion polls showed that about 70% of the American people believed that Oswald was but a minor participant in a wide conspiracy. What broke the dam of lies was the showing of the Zapruder film on American TV. Showing that piece of evidence destroyed the Warren Commission conclusion that Kennedy had the front of his head blown open by a lone gunman, shooting from behind. Finally seeing is disbelieving, after you’ve been fed a steady diet of lies for more than 10 years.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    What broke the dam of lies was the showing of the Zapruder film on American TV. Showing that piece of evidence destroyed the Warren Commission conclusion that Kennedy had the front of his head blown open by a lone gunman, shooting from behind.
     
    Full goon. Exit wounds are bigger than entrance wounds. The front of JFK's head being blown off is evidence for Oswald being the shooter, not against.
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  27. kihowi says:

    I think it’s not so much a question of keeping things a secret, but of getting people to a place where they do their own censoring. If you manage to position whatever issue you don’t want to be known as on the wrong side of tribalism/morality, no amount of evidence evidence would make a difference except to a few very unfashionable nerds. At that point, the only thing needed to keep the story alive is an explanation that’s plausible enough and people would gratefully grab hold of it and not let go ever.

    For example, if Obama really had not been born in America, things would be exactly the same as if he had.

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    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Agree, and people on the left are going to keep believing the "Trump colluded with Russia" narrative even though they can't explain the nature of that collusion or how it possibly could have affected the election.
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  28. Adrian E. says:

    Is the deciphering of German Enigma machine codes a good counter-argument against the argument that large conspiracies would be difficult because the secret would get out?

    I doubt it, and I think the argument against the possibility of large conspiracies – if it is formulated well – should take into account two factors: a) how many people are involved and b) how outrageous the conspiracy is.

    Certainly, lots of people were involved at Bletchley Park, but deciphering codes of Nazi Germany was hardly controversial. So, the example is certainly interesting because it shows that one factor, the number of people who were involved, can be quite large and the secret can still be kept for a long time. But usually, conspiracy theories are not about secret projects the majority would agree with or even strongly support if they became known, but about things that would cause a scandal if they became known, e.g. a government plotting against its own citizens. Then, it is assumed that if too many people are involved, the likelihood that there would be a whistleblower sooner or later would be very high.

    It could be assumed that there is a rule that the more outrage the discovery of a conspiracy would cause in the public, the smaller the number of people involved must be. Since deciphering enigma as a part of the British war against Nazi Germany is considered legitimate by almost everyone, the number of people who were involved without the secret getting out can be very large, in the case of conspiracies that would cause a scandal if they became known, the number of conspirators must be small – the bigger the public outrage would be if the secret became known the smaller the number of participants must be.

    I think this argument still stands to a large degree. However, I am not so sure any more whether many people would necessarily pay attention to such a whistleblower, possibly, there would be some blogs writing about the discovery, but the mainstream would say that this is just a conspiracy theory invented by XY apologists (or perhaps “Russian disinformation” if RT also reports about it).

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Bletchley Park is the origin of the Five Eyes (UK, US, Canada, Australia, NZ) sigint spying project. I can recall listening to NPR around 2000 reporting, slightly scoffingly, that the President of France was complaining about "le Anglo-Saxon powers" wiretapping his phone calls.

    Those paranoid Frogs!

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  29. “Do conspiracy theorists ever get anything right? If they don’t, does that prove that conspiracies never happen?”

    The charm of conspiracy theorizing is untethering oneself from mental discipline like the Red Queen who believed up to half a dozen impossible things before breakfast. The first and only 9/11 truther I ever met was when I was in a barber’s chair. He urged me to check out such and such website which I did. Aside the psychic pathology of needing to believe in conspiracies, it seems overwhelmingly likely that collective projects in the course of history have succeeded in doing something or other and at the same time succeeded in concealing the identity of the doers. What was done may have been ill or useful or neither one or the other.

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  30. Tyrion 2 says:

    The key difference between Bletchley Park and popular conspiracy theories like JFK is that it is hard to imagine how anyone involved with Bletchley would have an issue of conscience about it while it is equally hard to imagine how anyone involved in the murder of JFK would not have an issue of confidence with that.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Okay, but what about boasting?

    Your brother in law, say, is always boasting about what he did in the RAF in 1940, and all you've got is the cover story that you worked in "government communications" during the War.

    How often do you want to tell him, "I worked in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing in March 1943 when we pulled four allnighters in a row and broke the German U-boat and won the Battle of the Atlantic so Britain didn't get starved into surrendering to Hitler"?

    Personally, I'd want to blurt that out.

    Or maybe you don't tell your brother-in-law, but after a family get-together you tell your wife, who tells her sister, who tells her husband, the Battle of Britain ace, who actually is a pretty good guy who really is impressed with what you did during the war, and tells his friend from the RAF at the Daily Telegraph, who says this would be a good story to his editor, who asks his friend from Eton in the Cabinet if this would be all right to run as a feature story next Friday, who comes back to say: No.

    I presume variations on this happened several times before 1974.
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  31. @Almost Missouri

    "I don’t have much smoking gun evidence that anybody in the U.S. government ever actually stoked UFO rumors as a distraction from military testing."
     
    In his entertaining memoir of Lockheed's Skunk Works, Ben R. Rich recounts that back in the late-1950s/early-1960s(?) a Taiwanese pilot training on the then secret U-2 spy plane had to make an emergency landing at a civilian airport. Knowing the highly classified nature of the bizarre-looking aircraft he had just landed in, the pilot, who was swathed head to toe in a highly reflective silver space suit, ran to the terminal shouting at everyone in broken, alien English not to notice he and his strange aircraft were there. As this was at the height of the UFO hysteria, the author could only speculate how much this almond-eyed apparition from a strange black aircraft stirred the conspiracy pot.

    Of course this wasn't intentional stoking...

    There are a couple of stories involving the SR-71 2000 mph superplane and the CIA.

    First, before it flew, they had to truck the first once in the wee hours of the morning from Lockheed Skunk Works to either Edwards AFB or Area 51 (I forget — Area 51 is a clone of Edwards that the CIA and Lockheed picked out in 1955). The driver hit a bus out around Palmdale. The CIA, who were guarding the transit with submachine guns, immediately gave the bus driver something like $5,700 in cash to get his bus fixed on the QT. Or else.

    Then in 1963 an SR-71 crashed in Utah in front of a family driving by. The CIA arrived and gave the family $25,000 in cash to forget what they’d just seen.

    As I’ve mentioned, my mom was good friends with the wife of the main designer of the SR-71, Henry Combs, from when they were secretaries at Lockheed during WWII. Henry recently died at 98. I only learned that Mr. Combs was the designer of the double delta shape of the SR-71 from one sentence in Ben Rich’s wonderful book “Skunk Works.”

    Rich, Kelly Johnson’s successor running Lockheed’s Skunk Works, was a super-entertaining Jewish guy whose brother was a sit-com writer in Burbank. So his book, ghosted by Leo Janos, is tremendous. But, he dropped dead of cancer just as his book was being published, so he couldn’t do a book tour of talk shows (with his brother crafting one-liners), which would likely have made it a bestseller. So the book is only half-known. (I give it to old friends and they love it.)

    If Rich’s cancer had killed him a year earlier, I’d have never known that the Mr. Combs whose kids I grew up playing with was the main man behind the SR-71.

    So there is vast contingency in terms of who knows what.

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    • Replies: @utu
    Conspiracies involving Skunk Works are on different scale than conspiracies involving Wet Works.
    , @Almost Missouri
    Agreed about Rich's book. It is one of the few I've bothered reading twice. I didn't know about his untimely death though. I thought it was very big of him to include Leo Janis as a co-author and not just an embarrassing ghost writer somewhere in the acknowledgements.

    Despite it's age, the SR-71 is still one of the best looking aircraft ever designed: where form and function mutually transcend each other.
    , @Anonymous
    Despite having 61, 62 or 63 buzz numbers, the first actual SR-71 did not fly until 1964, Gilliland was the test pilot. The crash you are referring to was of the A-12, a single seat variant. These were operational until 1968 or ‘69. The SR went operational around then.

    The SR was more versatile operational but required a two man crew and required them to wear the Gemini suit on all flights, even test hops. The A-12 camera also had better resolution in some modes.

    Both were very expensive to operate because all missions required one and usually more tanker refuelings, and they had to be specially modified ones with special fuels. Almost nothing on these aircraft was off the shelf.
    , @Pat Casey
    There's a rumor on the internet about a UCLA alumni speech Rich gave in 1993. He reportedly said we have the technology to "take E.T. home" and supposedly explained to someone afterward that the technology works "like ESP."
    , @Benjaminl
    Brian Shul's story of getting a ground speed check while flying his SR-71 at 1842 knots is an outstanding example of males establishing a dominance hierarchy.

    https://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/blackbird-diaries-180953373/


    The predominant radio chatter was from Los Angeles Center, controlling daily traffic in their sector. While they had us on their scope (albeit briefly), we were in uncontrolled airspace and normally would not talk to them unless we needed to descend into their airspace.

    We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot asked Center for a readout of his ground speed. Center replied: “November Charlie 175, I’m showing you at 90 knots on the ground.”

    Now the thing to understand about Center controllers was that whether they were talking to a rookie pilot in a Cessna or to Air Force One, they always spoke in the exact same, calm, deep, professional, tone that made one feel important. I referred to it as the “Houston Center voice.” Conversely, over the years, pilots always wanted to ensure that, when transmitting, they sounded like Chuck Yeager, or at least like John Wayne. Better to die than sound bad on the radios.

    Just moments after the Cessna’s inquiry, a Twin Beech piped up on frequency, in a rather superior tone, asking for his ground speed. “I have you at 125 knots of ground speed.” Boy, I thought, the Beechcraft really must think he is dazzling his Cessna brethren. Then out of the blue, a Navy F/A-18 pilot out of Naval Air Station Lemoore came up on frequency. You knew right away it was a Navy jock because he sounded very cool on the radios. “Center, Dusty 52 ground speed check.” Before Center could reply, I’m thinking to myself, “Hey, Dusty 52 has a ground speed indicator in that million-dollar cockpit, so why is he asking Center for a readout?” Then I got it. Ol’ Dusty here is making sure that every bug smasher from Mount Whitney to the Mojave knows what true speed is. He’s the fastest dude in the valley today, and he just wants everyone to know how much fun he is having in his new Hornet. And the reply, always with that same calm voice, with more distinct alliteration than emotion: “Dusty 52, Center, we have you at 620 on the ground.”

    And I thought to myself: Is this a ripe situation, or what? As my hand instinctively reached for the mic button, I had to remind myself that Walt was in control of the radios. Still, I thought, it must be done. That Hornet must die, and die now.

    Then I heard it. The click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the very moment that I knew Walter and I had become a crew. Very professionally, Walter spoke: “Los Angeles Center, Aspen 20, can you give us a ground speed check?” There was no hesitation: “Aspen 20, I show you at 1,842 knots, across the ground.”

    I think it was the “42 knots” that I liked the best, so accurate and proud was Center to deliver that information without hesitation, and you just knew he was smiling. Walt keyed the mic once again to say, in his most fighter-pilot-like voice: “Ah, Center, much thanks, we’re showing closer to nineteen hundred on the money.”

    For a moment, Walter was a god. And we finally heard a little crack in the armor of the Houston Center voice, when L.A. came back with “Roger that Aspen. Your equipment is probably more accurate than ours. You boys have a good one.”

    It all had lasted for just moments, but in that short, memorable sprint across the southwest, the Navy had been flamed, all mortal airplanes on frequency were forced to bow before the King of Speed, and more importantly, Walter and I had crossed the threshold of being a crew. A fine day’s work. We never heard another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast.
     
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  32. “This history tends to undermine the often used anti-conspiracy talking point that no effort involving large numbers of people could stay secret for long.”

    A reason it was easier back then to keep secrets was because the Internet didn’t exist. Something on the scale of Enigma today, all it would take is one tweet, one Facebook post, one Google recorded (into the wayback machine), and the floodgates would open.

    If anything, it’s much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world as millions upon millions use and rely upon the Internet in their daily lives. Something such as Social Media would instantly expose those kinds of secrets to the world, all with the touch of a keyboard within a matter of seconds.

    One inconsequential tweet, followed up by a few others, and….millions of people would find out and know before noon. And there’d be nothing the government could do, once millions of people found out.

    Example: the #MeToo, is largely an internet driven thing. Brought down a head hollywood honcho. Before the internet, this was very near impossible to achieve, especially on this level, and so fairly quickly.

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    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    "If anything, it’s much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world as millions upon millions use and rely upon the Internet in their daily lives. "

    Not so.

    During the 2011 riots in the UK, a white guy and an overweight white woman were robbed and stripped of all their clothes by black rioters in two separate incidents. I presume racially-motivated humiliation was the idea.

    Pictures appeared on the internet of both these unfortunates. They seem to have vanished.

    By contrast, "everyone knows" that "No Blacks, dogs or Irish" signs were common in the UK in the 1950s, yet only one photograph exists, and that's of highly uncertain provenance - it came to light in the 1980s.


    "A much-reproduced photograph is held by the Irish Studies Centre of London Metropolitan University. It depicts a front window with handwritten signs saying “Bed & breakfast” and “No Irish, no blacks, no dogs”. The photograph emerged only in the late 1980s, and the university has conceded to me that it is of “somewhat uncertain” provenance. They have been unable to discover who took the picture, where or when. An old news clipping which I have presented to the university points to the image having been mocked up for an exhibition called “An Irish Experience” mounted at the now-defunct Roger Casement Irish Centre in Islington, London.

    This dubious picture has long been cited by politicians, academics, even the Equality and Human Rights Commission, all of whom no doubt believe it is genuine. Many even claim to have seen such signs in the past, though what they may actually remember is the London Met picture endlessly recirculated, nowadays on the internet.

    John Draper

    London"
     

    , @Hail

    it’s much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world
     
    I understand your argument but I would dispute it on several points: [1] Despite the Internet's existence, the 'Narrative' or 'Megaphone' appears as strong as ever in many ways. [2] Many believe wacky things that are in theory easily disproven (like ICE running elaborate torture facilities at the border). [3] In recent examples of 'secrets' coming out, they came from the top and not from some Twitter account or the equivalent, as you imply.

    Although this was pre-Internet and maybe a trivial example:) How long did it take from [1] planning for the Stealth Fighter (the ones that saw first service in the Gulf War of 1991, racking up thousands of kills, receiving not a scratch), [2] first production of the Stealth Fighter, [3] admission by the USGov that they had a fully-stealth attack aircraft?

    A glance at its wiki suggests there was a long delay between planning (1975) and first prototype construction (1977) and admission/confirmation of its existence (late 1988 to early 1990).

    [The stealth fighter] was a black project, an ultra-secret program for much of its life: very few people in the Pentagon knew the program even existed, until the F-117s were revealed to the public in 1988
     

    The project began in 1975
     

    The maiden flight of the demonstrators occurred on 1 December 1977
     

    The decision to produce the F-117A was made on 1 November 1978
     

    The Air Force denied the existence of the aircraft until 10 November 1988, when Assistant Secretary of Defense J. Daniel Howard displayed a grainy photograph at a Pentagon press conference
     

    In April 1990, two F-117 aircraft were flown into Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, arriving during daylight and publicly displayed to a crowd of tens of thousands
     

    During the Gulf War in [Jan.-Feb.] 1991, the F-117 flew approximately 1,300 sorties and scored direct hits on 1,600 high-value targets in Iraq
     
    Notice that the conspiracy was first lifted from the top, at a press conference in late 1988, and demystified by 1990; a fifteen-year conspiracy involving how many hundreds of thousands of people?
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  33. @The Last Real Calvinist
    I almost feel sorry for RBG.

    God forgive me, but when I watched that video, the first thing I thought of was Miss Trixie from A Confederacy of Dunces -- she's ancient beyond the count of days, and wants nothing more than to retire, but is convinced that her colleagues won't allow her to do so.

    TLRC wrote:

    I almost feel sorry for RBG.

    I do feel sorry for her, though I have never been a fan. It seems to me that her mind is still there, but that her body is fading fast.

    I can now see how Scalia and RBG were pals, despite their ideological disagreements.

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  34. Realist says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    She has remained on the SC long past her mental faculties.

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    • Replies: @Detective Club
    She wants Trump impeached. That means she is about as senile as Maxine Waters and old Maxine still has her wig tied on straight!
    , @Jack D
    Her mind is fine. Listen to what she is saying - she is perfectly coherent. She has perfect recall of the circumstances of her confirmation and is able to contrast it with the present situation. Regardless of whether you agree with her politics, in her prime Ruth Ginsburg was a formidable intellect (1st in her class at Columbia Law School) so even if she has lost a little bit of her edge, she still has more left than the average person ever will. It is clear that her body is old and worn out but unless she has some fatal disease she could live in this physically worn out condition for many years, being wheeled from place to place.

    That being said, the stuff about her workout prowess is nonsense - for some reason (the lack of a real God to worship, I suppose), leftists always want to make their leaders into superhuman heroes, not just political leaders but champion athletes, scientists, etc. who are marvelous at whatever they put their hand to.

    Now in any sane society, someone with this much mileage on the clock would be comfortably retired to live out her final years in peace instead of having one of the most important jobs in the land, but our system is such that the decision is completely in her hands.
    , @Anon
    Darth Vader Ginsburg still has her facilities. She’s perfectly capable of just making anti White laws as she goes along. That’s the purpose of the Supreme Court , unelected lifelong minions of Satan creating laws they want to create and getting rid of laws they don’t like.

    Our Aristocrat founders established judicial supremacy as early as possible with Marbury vs Madison 1804.
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  35. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    The Air Force did a remarkably thorough and candid report on Roswell, at the behest of a congressman whose crazy wife believed in UFOs. There is nothing about any conspiracies in it. The wreckage was a high altitude balloon that monitored Russian hydrogen bomb tracers, so they couldn’t reveal that at the time, but they didn’t encourage rumors, and the rumors only took off decades later.

    The report, however is a remarkable study in how memory works and gets distorted and changed over time. They interviewed a lot of people and tied their memories to identifiable events, and boy can memory be unreliable over time.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Right. Roswell in 1947 was a high-tech strategic reconnaissance balloon made out of brand new synthetic fibers that crashed that the government explained away as a simple weather balloon.

    But, oddly, it didn't get incorporated into UFO lore into many years later.

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  36. @Tyrion 2
    The key difference between Bletchley Park and popular conspiracy theories like JFK is that it is hard to imagine how anyone involved with Bletchley would have an issue of conscience about it while it is equally hard to imagine how anyone involved in the murder of JFK would not have an issue of confidence with that.

    Okay, but what about boasting?

    Your brother in law, say, is always boasting about what he did in the RAF in 1940, and all you’ve got is the cover story that you worked in “government communications” during the War.

    How often do you want to tell him, “I worked in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing in March 1943 when we pulled four allnighters in a row and broke the German U-boat and won the Battle of the Atlantic so Britain didn’t get starved into surrendering to Hitler”?

    Personally, I’d want to blurt that out.

    Or maybe you don’t tell your brother-in-law, but after a family get-together you tell your wife, who tells her sister, who tells her husband, the Battle of Britain ace, who actually is a pretty good guy who really is impressed with what you did during the war, and tells his friend from the RAF at the Daily Telegraph, who says this would be a good story to his editor, who asks his friend from Eton in the Cabinet if this would be all right to run as a feature story next Friday, who comes back to say: No.

    I presume variations on this happened several times before 1974.

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    • Replies: @Jake
    Yes, many variations of that occurred. The key is the people involved. Germanics rightly are known as very tight lipped folks who follow orders very well. And they know to use for such things only people from the classes that are most tight lipped and rightly expected to follow orders.

    Anybody who thinks the US has not always had people who would have done all kinds of secret stuff and kept it hidden into the graver does not understand the Anglo-Saxon.
    , @Jim Don Bob
    Britain also has the Official Secrets Act which they have used even against newspapers.
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  37. @Anonymous
    The Air Force did a remarkably thorough and candid report on Roswell, at the behest of a congressman whose crazy wife believed in UFOs. There is nothing about any conspiracies in it. The wreckage was a high altitude balloon that monitored Russian hydrogen bomb tracers, so they couldn't reveal that at the time, but they didn't encourage rumors, and the rumors only took off decades later.

    The report, however is a remarkable study in how memory works and gets distorted and changed over time. They interviewed a lot of people and tied their memories to identifiable events, and boy can memory be unreliable over time.

    Right. Roswell in 1947 was a high-tech strategic reconnaissance balloon made out of brand new synthetic fibers that crashed that the government explained away as a simple weather balloon.

    But, oddly, it didn’t get incorporated into UFO lore into many years later.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Haha ... right?

    I recommend UFO crash at Roswell: The Genesis of a Modern Myth, Bennson Saler, et al., Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997. Two of the authors are folklore anthropologists, and they use the technique of timelining, nailing down what the claims were, made by whom, when. The third author is Charles B. Moore, who worked on the balloons for the Signal Corps. He identifies the specific balloon from the records, lists up its materials, and shows the weather wind-altitude charts that led it to Roswell.

    The material that was so puzzling was simply mylar sheeting. Remember, this was 1947 on a ranch in New Mexico. The stuff they make potato chip bags out of now was pretty exotic. A material that you could roll into a ball and it would unroll itself was super high tech in the days when the closest thing to plastic was bakelite telephone receivers. Today it's simply a nuisance that makes it hard to stuff in the trash. You may think you remember all kinds of other claims, but those were sensationalized television documentaries. Look at the photo of the crash materials, then read the book above. That was all that the primary informant had. The rest developed in a standard urban legend folklore manner.

    The specific claims came in the form of six books (some repeated authors), which the folklorists dissect. The "witnesses" grew from 1 to 80 to 300 by the end of the Roswell mania. An intrepid journalist interviewed them all for a book that I unfortunately sold, so I don't the title at hand. but he managed to categorize them into various classes, from trustworthy people who reframed memories years later after the books appeared, to complete nut cases, to charlatans who were riding a publicity bandwagon.

    , @Rapparee
    Roswell's popularity in UFO lore is a great example of how conspiracy theorists tend to latch on to the least plausible incidents, even when genuine oddities are right before their eyes. Another New Mexico UFO sighting, the 1964 Lonnie Zamora incident in Socorro, is far harder to explain and much stranger than the Roswell crash, but Roswell is more famous by an order of magnitude. Of course, the government (as far as we know) didn't try to hide anything related to the Lonnie Zamora incident- authorities more-or-less threw up their hands and candidly admitted that they were just as stumped as everyone else. Since nobody thought that anything was being deliberately hidden from the public, interest fizzled.
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  38. even mentioning Irving as anything but an anti-semite can get you un-personed these days…

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  39. Jake says:

    “As I’ve said over and over, reporters love government reports. The only reason anybody ever paid attention to the plague of Pakistani pimps in England, for example, is because the city of Rotherham commissioned an official government report. Disreputables like me had been writing about these scandals before the official government report came out, but when the official government report came out in 2014, it became a Thing in the news, at least in Rotherham.”

    The Emperor’s New Clothes is true. When Government and/or Elites behind Government say it, and especially repeat it, all the ‘normal’ and ‘good citizen’ types believe it. Even when it is absurd. Even when it will destroy them and their descendants.

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  40. @Adrian E.
    Is the deciphering of German Enigma machine codes a good counter-argument against the argument that large conspiracies would be difficult because the secret would get out?

    I doubt it, and I think the argument against the possibility of large conspiracies - if it is formulated well - should take into account two factors: a) how many people are involved and b) how outrageous the conspiracy is.

    Certainly, lots of people were involved at Bletchley Park, but deciphering codes of Nazi Germany was hardly controversial. So, the example is certainly interesting because it shows that one factor, the number of people who were involved, can be quite large and the secret can still be kept for a long time. But usually, conspiracy theories are not about secret projects the majority would agree with or even strongly support if they became known, but about things that would cause a scandal if they became known, e.g. a government plotting against its own citizens. Then, it is assumed that if too many people are involved, the likelihood that there would be a whistleblower sooner or later would be very high.

    It could be assumed that there is a rule that the more outrage the discovery of a conspiracy would cause in the public, the smaller the number of people involved must be. Since deciphering enigma as a part of the British war against Nazi Germany is considered legitimate by almost everyone, the number of people who were involved without the secret getting out can be very large, in the case of conspiracies that would cause a scandal if they became known, the number of conspirators must be small - the bigger the public outrage would be if the secret became known the smaller the number of participants must be.

    I think this argument still stands to a large degree. However, I am not so sure any more whether many people would necessarily pay attention to such a whistleblower, possibly, there would be some blogs writing about the discovery, but the mainstream would say that this is just a conspiracy theory invented by XY apologists (or perhaps "Russian disinformation" if RT also reports about it).

    Bletchley Park is the origin of the Five Eyes (UK, US, Canada, Australia, NZ) sigint spying project. I can recall listening to NPR around 2000 reporting, slightly scoffingly, that the President of France was complaining about “le Anglo-Saxon powers” wiretapping his phone calls.

    Those paranoid Frogs!

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  41. @Realist
    She has remained on the SC long past her mental faculties.

    She wants Trump impeached. That means she is about as senile as Maxine Waters and old Maxine still has her wig tied on straight!

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    • Replies: @Realist

    That means she is about as senile as Maxine Waters and old Maxine still has her wig tied on straight!
     
    Maxine has her wig tied on too tight.
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  42. Steve,

    I recently re-read Shannon’s original paper on information theory: I am co-inventor on some patents on error-correction coding, and I wanted to review some of the foundations of the field.

    In the couorse of looking into this, I found out that the invention of information theory was a bit of a group effort: Shannon at the center but inmportant contributions from other people at Bell Labs such as Ralph Hartley and Richard Hamming (both of whom have their names on important concepts in the field).

    And, Shannon’s original paper was… well, suggestive. It by no means proved his results at a level satisfactory to mathematicians, and it took years before mathematicians had re-worked it all to their satisfaction. Shannon’s key result on how much information can be pushed throuogh a continuous but band-limited channel with random noise requires a huge leap that, I think, is still not really grasped by most of those who write textbooks on information theory (it works, but the required signals have a fixed average power but get really, really loud now and then!).

    By the way, where did you read about Shannon’s work on integrating Boolean algebra into digital design? I had never heard of that before but only of his work on information theory.

    In terms of real-world impact, I would say that Shannon dwarfs Turing: cell phones, CDs/DVDs, digital fiber optics, satellite communications, hard-disk drives — anything digital is now based on the work by Shannon, Hartley, Hamming, et al..

    But, in terms of the pure mathematical theory of computation, Turing is more significant.

    Dave

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    By the way, where did you read about Shannon’s work on integrating Boolean algebra into digital design? I had never heard of that before but only of his work on information theory.
     
    I’m guessing Steve read this biography on Shannon.

    Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman. A Mind at Play. Simon & Schuster), 2017.

    (pp. 70-72):

    “Crucially, it was around this time that he first put pen to paper and began tying together the commonalities he sensed in Bush’s analyzer, Bell’s network, and Boole’s logic. Half a century later, Shannon tried to recall his moment of insight, and tried to explain how he could have been the first to understand what the switches meant. He told a journalist,

    It’s not so much that a thing is ‘open’ or ‘closed,’ the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ that you mentioned. The real point is that two things in series are described by the word ‘and’ in logic, so you would say this ‘and’ this, while two things in parallel are described by the word ‘or.’ . . . There are contacts which close when you operate the relay, and there are other contacts which open, so the word ‘not’ is related to that aspect of relays. . . . The people who had worked with relay circuits were, of course, aware of how to make these things. But they didn’t have the mathematical apparatus of the Boolean algebra.

    Every single concept from Boole’s algebra had its physical counterpart in an electric circuit. An on switch could stand for ‘true’ and an off switch for ‘false’ and the whole thing could be represented in 1’s and 0’s. More important, as Shannon pointed out, the logical operators of Boole’s system—AND, OR, NOT—could be replicated exactly as circuits. A connection in series becomes AND, because the current must flow through two switches successively and fails to reach its destination unless both allow it passage. A connection in parallel becomes OR, because the current can flow through either switch, or both. The current flows through two closed switches in parallel and lights a light; 1 + 1 = 1.”

    ...

    (pp. 122-123):

    “Shannon’s second effort, ‘The Use of the Lakatos-Hickman Relay in a Subscriber-Sender Case,’ was an attempt to simplify and economize the relays Bell used to connect phone calls. It was the kind of work that called into question whether the Bell network’s system of relays, as currently constituted, was optimal, and whether there wasn’t a better way to make it operate. In other words, it was a kind of tinkering on the very largest scale, on the beating heart of the phone system. It led Shannon to think up two new options for circuits that drew on his master’s thesis work—‘designed by a combination of common sense and Boolean algebra methods’—and though he was quick to acknowledge that each of his designs had its own flaws, he also defended them as superior to what was on offer. When he first arrived at the Labs, Shannon had his doubts: Would an industrial laboratory constrain his ability to think big thoughts and dream up new ideas? After this summer’s work, those concerns were put to bed. The Labs had given him as broad a scope as he might have hoped for in a professional setting.

    ‘I got quite a kick,’ Shannon wrote to Vannevar Bush, ‘when I found out that the Labs are actually using [my] relay algebra in design work and attribute a couple new circuit designs to it.’ As with a tinkerer who successfully flips the switch on his latest creation, it isn’t difficult to imagine Bush reading that sentence, sitting back, and smiling with satisfaction.”

     

    , @Unladen Swallow
    It was Shannon's master's thesis at MIT, published in 1937. He had remembered George Boole from an undergraduate course he took at the U of Michigan as an undergraduate.
    , @El Dato
    Agree.button
    , @Karl
    42 PhysicistDave > "Shannon was Joe Cool"


    well, he was. But folks had been worrying about information theory ever since the first (yes, the one that lasted only a week) trans_atlantic cable was only able to attain 3-4 words per minute of speed

    Check my memory, but wasn't it Oliver Lodge the guy who figured out why? (they were drowning in "incidental capacitance")

    You want to see Bizarro Brit ? Go read the bio of Oliver Lodge

    , @Steve Sailer
    Claude Shannon's 1937 masters thesis:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Symbolic_Analysis_of_Relay_and_Switching_Circuits

    He'd learned about Boolean logic in an undergrad philosophy course. By then Boolean logic was a field that mathematicians had worked on for quite a few decades, so electrical engineers could move rapidly beyond the kind of ad hoc designing they were doing at present and just incorporate 80 years of Booleanism.

    , @PhysicistDave
    I somehow forgot to mention the fourth big name out of Bell Labs who was involved in the birth of information theory: Harry Nyquist (apologies to all EEs, who can go on and on about Nyquist's importnace in communication and signal processing theory).

    If anyone wants to explore the basic ideas of information theory, I recommend the second edition of Hamming's Coding and Information Theory: much of the book (though not the sections on mutual information, etc.) should be comprehensible to any STEM undergrad.

    The only place I have found a detailed discussion of how to do Shannon's theorem right is in Kelbert and Suhov's Information Theory and Coding by Example : this is graduate level, not for the faint of heart. Shannon's original paper is not as hard as one might expect, although he hides some real subtleties.

    Given the digital world we all now live in, Shannon, Nyqust, Hartley, and Hamming deserve to be as well known as Morse, Edison, Bell, Fulton, etc. But, I doubt most people have heard of any of them.
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  43. Turing could not have existed without Shannon, thus Shannon’s achievements are superior.

    Incidental to the posts above, Shannon and Kelley ‘Skunk Works’ Johnson both held Michigan degrees.

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    • Replies: @El Dato

    Turing could not have existed without Shannon, thus Shannon’s achievements are superior.
     
    That is very wrong.

    In 1932, Shannon entered the University of Michigan, where he was introduced to the work of George Boole. He graduated in 1936 with two bachelor's degrees: one in electrical engineering and the other in mathematics.
     
    By that time, Turing had already formulated his take on the Theory of Computation, which is equivalent to Church's Lambda Calculus and Gödels Theory of Recursive functions, yet was recognized as the intuitively correct description of what a "mechanical process of computation" is about - by Gödel himself.

    After the war, the engineering strands of Turing and Shannon will meet again when first general purpose computers were being constructed.
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  44. Tyrion 2 says:

    “I worked in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing in March 1943 when we pulled four allnighters in a row and broke the German U-boat and won the Battle of the Atlantic so Britain didn’t get starved into surrendering to Hitler”?

    Personally, I’d want to blurt that out

    Even in response to your brother-in-law recounting how he’d single-handedly stormed a machine gun nest and captured three German prisoners?

    Sometimes, I guess.

    Or maybe you don’t tell your brother-in-law, but after a family get-together you tell your wife, who tells her sister, who tells her husband, the Battle of Britain ace, who actually is a pretty good guy who really is impressed with what you did during the war, and tells his friend from the RAF at the Daily Telegraph, who says this would be a good story to his editor, who asks his friend from Eton in the Cabinet if this would be all right to run as a feature story next Friday, who comes back to say: No.

    I presume variations on this happened several times before 1974.

    Yes, I am sure it did. Nonetheless publishing or leaking such information would only reveal some of the technical details of the war, not completely change the narrative and reveal a huge, nefarious conspiracy.

    Naturally secrets can be kept, but the common denominator among what are popularly termed “conspiracy theories” is how their revealing would change everything, normally in a way which the theorist would like.

    That is qualitatively different from common official secrets.

    Number of people involved × level of scandal if revealed = difficulty of keeping secret.

    Bletchley Park = 0 scandal if revealed, so it was 0 difficulty to keep quiet.

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    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    Where do the recent Catholic Church revelations fit into this picture?

    For years, we heard accounts of misconduct by priests preying on altar boys being kept secret by their bishops, but now it is claimed that misconduct by an archbishop preying on seminarians was covered up by two successive popes?

    OK, this story "got out", but this took years and it is still not certain what actually happened and what is still kept under wraps?
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  45. utu says:
    @Steve Sailer
    There are a couple of stories involving the SR-71 2000 mph superplane and the CIA.

    First, before it flew, they had to truck the first once in the wee hours of the morning from Lockheed Skunk Works to either Edwards AFB or Area 51 (I forget -- Area 51 is a clone of Edwards that the CIA and Lockheed picked out in 1955). The driver hit a bus out around Palmdale. The CIA, who were guarding the transit with submachine guns, immediately gave the bus driver something like $5,700 in cash to get his bus fixed on the QT. Or else.

    Then in 1963 an SR-71 crashed in Utah in front of a family driving by. The CIA arrived and gave the family $25,000 in cash to forget what they'd just seen.

    As I've mentioned, my mom was good friends with the wife of the main designer of the SR-71, Henry Combs, from when they were secretaries at Lockheed during WWII. Henry recently died at 98. I only learned that Mr. Combs was the designer of the double delta shape of the SR-71 from one sentence in Ben Rich's wonderful book "Skunk Works."

    Rich, Kelly Johnson's successor running Lockheed's Skunk Works, was a super-entertaining Jewish guy whose brother was a sit-com writer in Burbank. So his book, ghosted by Leo Janos, is tremendous. But, he dropped dead of cancer just as his book was being published, so he couldn't do a book tour of talk shows (with his brother crafting one-liners), which would likely have made it a bestseller. So the book is only half-known. (I give it to old friends and they love it.)

    If Rich's cancer had killed him a year earlier, I'd have never known that the Mr. Combs whose kids I grew up playing with was the main man behind the SR-71.

    So there is vast contingency in terms of who knows what.

    Conspiracies involving Skunk Works are on different scale than conspiracies involving Wet Works.

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  46. Jake says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Okay, but what about boasting?

    Your brother in law, say, is always boasting about what he did in the RAF in 1940, and all you've got is the cover story that you worked in "government communications" during the War.

    How often do you want to tell him, "I worked in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing in March 1943 when we pulled four allnighters in a row and broke the German U-boat and won the Battle of the Atlantic so Britain didn't get starved into surrendering to Hitler"?

    Personally, I'd want to blurt that out.

    Or maybe you don't tell your brother-in-law, but after a family get-together you tell your wife, who tells her sister, who tells her husband, the Battle of Britain ace, who actually is a pretty good guy who really is impressed with what you did during the war, and tells his friend from the RAF at the Daily Telegraph, who says this would be a good story to his editor, who asks his friend from Eton in the Cabinet if this would be all right to run as a feature story next Friday, who comes back to say: No.

    I presume variations on this happened several times before 1974.

    Yes, many variations of that occurred. The key is the people involved. Germanics rightly are known as very tight lipped folks who follow orders very well. And they know to use for such things only people from the classes that are most tight lipped and rightly expected to follow orders.

    Anybody who thinks the US has not always had people who would have done all kinds of secret stuff and kept it hidden into the graver does not understand the Anglo-Saxon.

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  47. @Steve Sailer
    There are a couple of stories involving the SR-71 2000 mph superplane and the CIA.

    First, before it flew, they had to truck the first once in the wee hours of the morning from Lockheed Skunk Works to either Edwards AFB or Area 51 (I forget -- Area 51 is a clone of Edwards that the CIA and Lockheed picked out in 1955). The driver hit a bus out around Palmdale. The CIA, who were guarding the transit with submachine guns, immediately gave the bus driver something like $5,700 in cash to get his bus fixed on the QT. Or else.

    Then in 1963 an SR-71 crashed in Utah in front of a family driving by. The CIA arrived and gave the family $25,000 in cash to forget what they'd just seen.

    As I've mentioned, my mom was good friends with the wife of the main designer of the SR-71, Henry Combs, from when they were secretaries at Lockheed during WWII. Henry recently died at 98. I only learned that Mr. Combs was the designer of the double delta shape of the SR-71 from one sentence in Ben Rich's wonderful book "Skunk Works."

    Rich, Kelly Johnson's successor running Lockheed's Skunk Works, was a super-entertaining Jewish guy whose brother was a sit-com writer in Burbank. So his book, ghosted by Leo Janos, is tremendous. But, he dropped dead of cancer just as his book was being published, so he couldn't do a book tour of talk shows (with his brother crafting one-liners), which would likely have made it a bestseller. So the book is only half-known. (I give it to old friends and they love it.)

    If Rich's cancer had killed him a year earlier, I'd have never known that the Mr. Combs whose kids I grew up playing with was the main man behind the SR-71.

    So there is vast contingency in terms of who knows what.

    Agreed about Rich’s book. It is one of the few I’ve bothered reading twice. I didn’t know about his untimely death though. I thought it was very big of him to include Leo Janis as a co-author and not just an embarrassing ghost writer somewhere in the acknowledgements.

    Despite it’s age, the SR-71 is still one of the best looking aircraft ever designed: where form and function mutually transcend each other.

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  48. ULTRA (British secret conspiracy) vs MAGIC (American secret conspiracy) has instructive differences despite both being WWII code breaking operations. The lid almost came off our code breaking operation numerous times because some people couldn’t keep their mouths shut, most notably after Midway in 1942. The Chicago Tribune was openly speculating that the Navy had cracked Japanese naval codes based off a reporter passing on the things he overheard from the captain of the Yorktown after his ship was sunk, on the way back to Hawaii. The FBI paid a visit and the damage contained. This redoubled secrecy also fed Pearl Harbor conspiracy theories when it was released postwar that the US has cracked the Japanese diplomatic code, PURPLE, prior to December 7 without disclosing that the Imperial Japanese Navy code, JN-25, was not cracked until six months later.

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  49. Realist says:
    @Detective Club
    She wants Trump impeached. That means she is about as senile as Maxine Waters and old Maxine still has her wig tied on straight!

    That means she is about as senile as Maxine Waters and old Maxine still has her wig tied on straight!

    Maxine has her wig tied on too tight.

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  50. @Pat Hannagan
    Do conspiracy theorists ever get anything right?

    Projects Echelon and Carnivore are two that come immediately to mind.

    Both were considered the dribblings of raving late night maniacs now we all just accept NSA and move along.

    Sydney radio 2GB late night DJ Brian Wilshire had been talking about it for yonks before it became public knowledge.

    Pretty sure the euros got pretty pissed off about it too at one stage before the projects became public.

    The President of France, that lunatic, was always complaining about the Anglo-Saxon Powers and their Project Echelon. The EU did a big report on the Five Eyes about 2000.

    What a bunch of conspiracy nuts!

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    • Replies: @Charles Pewitt

    The President of France, that lunatic, was always complaining about the Anglo-Saxon Powers and their Project Echelon. The EU did a big report on the Five Eyes about 2000.

     

    Climbing up on Menwith Hill

    I could see the city light

    Eagle flew out of the night

    He was something to observe
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  51. Polynikes says:

    My go to example is MKUltra. The CIA’s attempt at creating a mind control agent, through the use of psychedelics like LSD, was and is highly controversial. It involved dozens of N. American institutions.

    Congress held hearings when word got out, but the CIA destroyed their evidence and lied. One family’s instance that their CIA father’s death was the result of this program kept it in the public’s eye a little. But it wasn’t until a 1990s FOI on the Kennedy assassination (of all things) inadvertently released some old accounting documents that apparently proved the existence of the program and reignited interest.

    The Tuskegee airman syphilis experiment and the Cia running coke into S. California (Dark Alliance) are two others that involved a fair amount of people and preyed on the public.

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    • Replies: @Gene Berman
    Steve:

    "Tuskegee airman syphilis report"

    In my memory, there was certainly interest in a story (or stories) regarding the Tuskegee fliers and certainly others that involved a number of syphilitic (black) men treated by Tuskegee doctors BUT (to the best of my memory) there existed no connection whatever (other than the name, Tuskegee) between them.

    , @Anon
    The Tuskegee Airmen were not involved in the sphyilis medical experiments.

    The subjects were incarcerated black criminals who already had sphyilis and volunteered to be subjects for money. Almost all medical research subjects are volunteers who are paid.

    The federal government was funding medical research for thousands of conditions and still is. So are the pharmacy companies.

    Tuskegee Institue was lobbying for medical research grants. It began claiming racism was why it wasn’t given grants. After some lobbying, Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR’a liaison to blacks and communists persuaded the feds to five Tuskegee money to do the sphyilis research.

    Tuskegee was a totally segregated college. Every person who worked there in every capacity including the medical researchers was black. The Tuskegee researchers selected the black subjects. The black Tuskegee researchers were reaping subtle for everything that was done.

    The Tuskegee researchers did what all other researchers did then and did now. Some subjects were given medicine, others placebos.

    That’s the truth and the crap about evil
    Whites-infecting innocent blacks with syphilis is just another liberal lie such as blacks don’t have the highest crime rate and lowest IQ.

    The black airman, like hundreds of thousands of other blacks were trained at Tuskegee. They had nothing to do with any medical experiments

    Black Tuskegee Drs and medical researchers designed and carried out the experiment. Whites had nothing to do with how the research was done

    Hundreds of similar syphilis medical research organizations did exactly the same experiment on Whites. And nobody lies about it to contribute to the grievance industry

    One of the points the Tusgekee lobbyists made to get the money was that blacks have a much much bigger rate of syphyilis at much younger ages than Whites. Which is true, and why do blacks including 12 year old kids have such high rates of syphilis? Because they give it to each other.

    Don’t believe anything you were told in black history month Wikipedia the MSN or anything else about black mistreatment by Whites.
    Tusgekee syphilis all black medical researchers all black subjects

    That’s all.
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  52. Anonymous[394] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Right. Roswell in 1947 was a high-tech strategic reconnaissance balloon made out of brand new synthetic fibers that crashed that the government explained away as a simple weather balloon.

    But, oddly, it didn't get incorporated into UFO lore into many years later.

    Haha … right?

    I recommend UFO crash at Roswell: The Genesis of a Modern Myth, Bennson Saler, et al., Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997. Two of the authors are folklore anthropologists, and they use the technique of timelining, nailing down what the claims were, made by whom, when. The third author is Charles B. Moore, who worked on the balloons for the Signal Corps. He identifies the specific balloon from the records, lists up its materials, and shows the weather wind-altitude charts that led it to Roswell.

    The material that was so puzzling was simply mylar sheeting. Remember, this was 1947 on a ranch in New Mexico. The stuff they make potato chip bags out of now was pretty exotic. A material that you could roll into a ball and it would unroll itself was super high tech in the days when the closest thing to plastic was bakelite telephone receivers. Today it’s simply a nuisance that makes it hard to stuff in the trash. You may think you remember all kinds of other claims, but those were sensationalized television documentaries. Look at the photo of the crash materials, then read the book above. That was all that the primary informant had. The rest developed in a standard urban legend folklore manner.

    The specific claims came in the form of six books (some repeated authors), which the folklorists dissect. The “witnesses” grew from 1 to 80 to 300 by the end of the Roswell mania. An intrepid journalist interviewed them all for a book that I unfortunately sold, so I don’t the title at hand. but he managed to categorize them into various classes, from trustworthy people who reframed memories years later after the books appeared, to complete nut cases, to charlatans who were riding a publicity bandwagon.

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  53. Numinous says:

    As a computer scientist, let me assure you that Shannon has at least as high a profile as Turing in the field. All CS undergraduates learn about both men, and probably hold the former in higher esteem as he made an impact in both computing and communication.

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  54. ic1000 says:
    @Anonymous
    Good question.

    More interestingly, the efforts of the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory were kept secret far longer-until sometime after the late 90s and 2004, when the book, The Secret in Building 26 , was published. This was the American counterpart to the British Ultra project.

    The American project was longer, bigger, and more successful than the British one, yet even after the release of the British project the Americans maintained secrecy for almost another 30 years-and despite the obvious lack of real purpose in keeping it secret after the British revelations, no one talked.

    This was, incidentally, almost certainly the project to which Revilo Oliver referred to when he stated that :


    During World War II, he was Director of Research in a highly secret cryptographic agency of the War Department in Washington, DC, and was cited for outstanding service to his country.

     

    A most interesting question then becomes: What, if any, other interesting efforts involving considerable use of money, time and (wo)manpower during WWII (for the day to day work at the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory in Dayton was carried out mostly by female Navy personnel, or WAVES as then they were called) are still secret, and if so, to any purpose? Either by our side or the Axis powers?

    My guess, and more than that, but by no means certainty: the answer is yes. And the reasons may be surprising.

    > More interestingly, the efforts of the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory were kept secret far longer-until sometime after the late 90s and 2004, when the book, The Secret in Building 26 , was published…

    Interesting and relevant, thanks!

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  55. There’s a world of interest just in the notion that Britain’s major reason for desiring an extra 28 years of Ultra secrecy after 1945 was presumably this: large parts of the world would consider it a sneaky way to have won the war.

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  56. AndrewR says:
    @raven lunatic
    the first rule of MAGIC is that you do NOT talk about MAGIC

    the second rule of magic is that you stop people who do ^_^

    Hi hbd chick!

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  57. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
    @LondonBob
    If you whistle blow who will you go to is the biggest factor, you are just ignored. Someone would've talked, well they probably did but you just never heard. So why pay the heavy price for whistle blowing when no one will ever know anyway.

    I still think JFK assassination whistle blower Chauncey Holt tells a fascinating story, Meyer Lansky, the killing of Bugsy Siegel, CIA executive action, JFK but you won't find his story told, despite the public appetite for mafia and spy yarns.

    People with access to records at the National Archives (NARA), i.e., archivists, need top secret security clearances. To work at the JFK Library (on UMass Boston campus), as an archivist/librarian who has access to the sensitive documents there, you need a top secret clearance. I know a few people who work there and know for a fact they had to get top secret clearance investigations and their friends and neighbors were interviewed. What after 50 years, save for some nuclear secrets, needs to be kept secret??

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    • Replies: @Sandy Berger's Socks
    Truman and Eisenhower Libraries also have classified vaults.
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  58. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "This history tends to undermine the often used anti-conspiracy talking point that no effort involving large numbers of people could stay secret for long."

    A reason it was easier back then to keep secrets was because the Internet didn't exist. Something on the scale of Enigma today, all it would take is one tweet, one Facebook post, one Google recorded (into the wayback machine), and the floodgates would open.

    If anything, it's much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world as millions upon millions use and rely upon the Internet in their daily lives. Something such as Social Media would instantly expose those kinds of secrets to the world, all with the touch of a keyboard within a matter of seconds.

    One inconsequential tweet, followed up by a few others, and....millions of people would find out and know before noon. And there'd be nothing the government could do, once millions of people found out.

    Example: the #MeToo, is largely an internet driven thing. Brought down a head hollywood honcho. Before the internet, this was very near impossible to achieve, especially on this level, and so fairly quickly.

    “If anything, it’s much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world as millions upon millions use and rely upon the Internet in their daily lives. “

    Not so.

    During the 2011 riots in the UK, a white guy and an overweight white woman were robbed and stripped of all their clothes by black rioters in two separate incidents. I presume racially-motivated humiliation was the idea.

    Pictures appeared on the internet of both these unfortunates. They seem to have vanished.

    By contrast, “everyone knows” that “No Blacks, dogs or Irish” signs were common in the UK in the 1950s, yet only one photograph exists, and that’s of highly uncertain provenance – it came to light in the 1980s.

    “A much-reproduced photograph is held by the Irish Studies Centre of London Metropolitan University. It depicts a front window with handwritten signs saying “Bed & breakfast” and “No Irish, no blacks, no dogs”. The photograph emerged only in the late 1980s, and the university has conceded to me that it is of “somewhat uncertain” provenance. They have been unable to discover who took the picture, where or when. An old news clipping which I have presented to the university points to the image having been mocked up for an exhibition called “An Irish Experience” mounted at the now-defunct Roger Casement Irish Centre in Islington, London.

    This dubious picture has long been cited by politicians, academics, even the Equality and Human Rights Commission, all of whom no doubt believe it is genuine. Many even claim to have seen such signs in the past, though what they may actually remember is the London Met picture endlessly recirculated, nowadays on the internet.

    John Draper

    London”

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    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    More on - "No blacks, no dogs, no Irish"

    https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/british-doubts-no-irish-no-blacks-no-dogs-signs-existed

    And in response to John Draper’s letter in The Guardian, Dr Tony Murray, director of the Irish Studies Centre at London Metropolitan University, wrote that although the “No Irish…” photo was donated to his university in 1989 there is “no reason to doubt” its authenticity.

    Dr Murray explained: “With community ventures of this kind, such items are not always formally acquisitioned and their provenance not always recorded.

    “We had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the image and that the archive had received it in good faith.

    “Mr Draper appears to be confusing authenticity with provenance. Numerous artefacts with minimal provenance are held in archives but this does not necessarily mean they are not genuine.

    “[Draper] claims the photograph was ‘mocked up’ for the exhibition An Irish Experience. But this took place in the mid-90s, a decade after the original photograph was donated."

    He added: “I’m puzzled by what exactly Mr Draper is trying to prove. Ample evidence exists in numerous oral history interviews with both Caribbean and Irish migrants that such signs existed well into the 60s.

    “Further proof can be found in the report Discrimination and the Irish Community in Britain published by the Commission for Racial Equality in 1997.

    “It seems mischievous at best and malicious at worst on John Draper’s part to suggest that this photograph is a fraud and by implication that Irish people in Britain were not discriminated against in the post-war era.”

    Lonergan writes in The Irish Post: “And discriminated against, they certainly were. That is not up for debate – especially not for the many thousands of Irish men and women who crossed the sea to Britain in the aftermath of the Second World War.”

    He concludes: “So there you have it – the infamous ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’ signs almost certainly existed.

    “But even if – for argument’s sake – it was all a myth, those menacing six words encapsulated the lived experiences of an entire generation of outsiders who made Britain their home. And that perseverance meant something.”
     
    Dr Tony Murray goes straight for the ad-hominem, I see. No shocks there.

    I wonder what 'proof'' a 1997 report could contain about something alleged to have happened in the 1950s/60s,? Dr Murray could have let us know what it was. Were those numerous oral history interviews done in the 1960s, by the way, or later?
    , @DuanDiRen
    I have a fun test for people who think you can't censor information on the internet: Please post a picture below of Pincus Green. He was a commodities trader, partner of Marc Rich, has been a prominent businessman in two countries for 50 odd years. Now see if you can find a photo of him.
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  59. AndrewR says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    Wow. How can anyone think this senile fossil belongs as a judge at all, let alone a US Supreme Court Justice?

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  60. Marat says:
    @Almost Missouri
    To be sure, most of the 9000 people at Bletchley Park were probably not aware that they were working at a code-breaking factory. Most of them probably thought of their work as relating to "news", "communications", "information", or "intelligence" rather than "Axis codes". They still understood that their work was classified and not to be discussed outside of the office, but even should they transgress and blab, they probably wouldn't have had much enlightening to say anyway since they weren't aware of the bigger picture. Nevertheless, 900 or even 90 big picture seers is still a pretty big conspiracy, so its long concealment in a relatively free society ought to rate as an achievement of some kind. But let us recall that besides the conspiracy being comprised of elites, this was also the period of peak British stiff upper lippedness, so if there was an era to accomplish this, the early 20th century was it. That former asabiya is now badly dissipated, of course.

    Compartmentalization is suggested it may play a role here too:

    https://theintercept.com/2018/09/13/google-china-search-engine-employee-resigns/

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    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
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  61. AndrewR says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    Honestly, most people in nursing homes are in better shape than she is. We live in clown world. People say Trump makes a mockery of the presidency, but that mockery is infinitely dwarfed by the mockery thathatG makes of the US Supreme Court.

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  62. AndrewR says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    Honestly, most people in nursing homes are in better shape than she is. We live in clown world. People say Trump makes a mockery of the presidency, and I don’t disagree (although the same could be said of all his predecessors since at least Reagan) but that mockery is infinitely dwarfed by the mockery that RBG makes of the US Supreme Court.

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    • Replies: @Hail

    Honestly, most people in nursing homes are in better shape than she is. We live in clown world
     
    How about term limits for Supreme Court justices?
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  63. Rapparee says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Miss Trixie!

    Hollywood has been thinking about making A Confederacy of Dunces into a movie since the late 1970s, before the book was even published. And it still hasn't been able to pull the trigger.

    I wonder what the problem has been? Perhaps it's the assumption that Ignatius J. Reilly must be naturally fat, which then reduces the field of potential stars to the rare fat comic leading man from John Belushi onward.

    But maybe DiCaprio or somebody bankable like that would love to put on 40 pounds for the role.

    Another (probably valid) assumption is that it would need to be filmed in real New Orleans locations- but New Orleans is so corrupt and dysfunctional that organizing a project of that scale is extraordinarily difficult.

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    • Replies: @gregor
    TONS of stuff gets filmed in New Orleans. Louisiana actually offers a tax credit to entice the industry to film there.
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  64. Anonymous[242] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    There are a couple of stories involving the SR-71 2000 mph superplane and the CIA.

    First, before it flew, they had to truck the first once in the wee hours of the morning from Lockheed Skunk Works to either Edwards AFB or Area 51 (I forget -- Area 51 is a clone of Edwards that the CIA and Lockheed picked out in 1955). The driver hit a bus out around Palmdale. The CIA, who were guarding the transit with submachine guns, immediately gave the bus driver something like $5,700 in cash to get his bus fixed on the QT. Or else.

    Then in 1963 an SR-71 crashed in Utah in front of a family driving by. The CIA arrived and gave the family $25,000 in cash to forget what they'd just seen.

    As I've mentioned, my mom was good friends with the wife of the main designer of the SR-71, Henry Combs, from when they were secretaries at Lockheed during WWII. Henry recently died at 98. I only learned that Mr. Combs was the designer of the double delta shape of the SR-71 from one sentence in Ben Rich's wonderful book "Skunk Works."

    Rich, Kelly Johnson's successor running Lockheed's Skunk Works, was a super-entertaining Jewish guy whose brother was a sit-com writer in Burbank. So his book, ghosted by Leo Janos, is tremendous. But, he dropped dead of cancer just as his book was being published, so he couldn't do a book tour of talk shows (with his brother crafting one-liners), which would likely have made it a bestseller. So the book is only half-known. (I give it to old friends and they love it.)

    If Rich's cancer had killed him a year earlier, I'd have never known that the Mr. Combs whose kids I grew up playing with was the main man behind the SR-71.

    So there is vast contingency in terms of who knows what.

    Despite having 61, 62 or 63 buzz numbers, the first actual SR-71 did not fly until 1964, Gilliland was the test pilot. The crash you are referring to was of the A-12, a single seat variant. These were operational until 1968 or ‘69. The SR went operational around then.

    The SR was more versatile operational but required a two man crew and required them to wear the Gemini suit on all flights, even test hops. The A-12 camera also had better resolution in some modes.

    Both were very expensive to operate because all missions required one and usually more tanker refuelings, and they had to be specially modified ones with special fuels. Almost nothing on these aircraft was off the shelf.

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  65. Big Bill says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    Hillary and Nancy really need to hire RBG’s public relations team.

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  66. @El Dato

    This strikes me as plausible, and I’ve made this argument myself several times. But I have to confess that I don’t have much smoking gun evidence that anybody in the U.S. government ever actually stoked UFO rumors as a distraction from military testing.
     
    UFOs (at 01:06:09)

    https://youtu.be/fh2cDKyFdyU?t=3969

    The late Jerry Pournelle told me the KGB did this to cover up a Soviet semi-orbital weapon that came down spectacularly over Latin America: have local Communists call up newspapers and rant about flying saucers and little green men to confuse and discredit the accurate eyewitnesses. Of course, maybe Jerry was projecting?
     

    Actually, the south-american Beings were not little and green, but smallish, black, hairy, with claws made for knife fights (it's South America), and a perfectly spherical head. And very aggressive to anyone who spotted them. I know because I used to be big in UFO lore when young.

    Talking of which:

    Plausible indications of interference of a massive sort to ensure a 9/11 success:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3noExmsCRyg

    I remember reading in the early 00s (in the Economist?) that "the hijackers" wanted to do their stuff a few days before 9/11 but got delayed. Has anyone ever looked into "why precisely 9/11"?

    “Has anyone ever looked into “why precisely 9/11″?”

    Mythical power of the Porsche 911?

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    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    Speaking soley to the myth-making/psychological perspective, isn't it interesting how that date matches the US' national emergency phone number?

    I'm sure that's totally coincidental.

    Totally.
    , @Charles Pewitt
    Antes, Rader and Reinhard are my Kraut ancestors. Antes is possibly Greek people who entered Germany 800 years or so ago. Who knows? Maryland landed a lot of Krauts into the New World by way of wooden sail boats.

    I have gone out of my way to fully write out -- SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 -- whenever possible.

    For instance, I wrote this in June of 2018:

    Baby boomer Bill Clinton pushed for a borderless world on September 10, 2001.

    Baby boomer George W Bush — who was president at the time — was calling for an AMNESTY for illegal aliens and a massive increase in legal immigration the week before the September 11, 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks.

    George W Bush was applauding his good buddy Vicente Fox at a White House meeting on September 5, 2001.

    Vicente Fox, president of Mexico at the time, met with George W Bush to plot the erasure of borders between the United States and Mexico.

    https://twitter.com/Steve_Sailer/status/788239984385941505

    , @Alfa158
    Some think it is tied to the Christian victory at the siege of Vienna in 1683 which marked the end of the Muslim attempts to conquer Europe by military force. Jihadists hold long grudges and, for example, Bin Laden used to bemoan the “tragedy of Al Andalus” the final liberation of Spain from Muslim rule in 1492.
    However in the case of the siege of Vienna, Jan Sobieski’s Polish army arrived on September 11 and relieved Vienna, but the battle that crushed the Turks was fought the next day on September 12. I presume they could have just as easily done it on September 12. Maybe their frequent flier miles were expiring on the 11th?
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  67. Anonymous[266] • Disclaimer says:
    @PhysicistDave
    Steve,

    I recently re-read Shannon's original paper on information theory: I am co-inventor on some patents on error-correction coding, and I wanted to review some of the foundations of the field.

    In the couorse of looking into this, I found out that the invention of information theory was a bit of a group effort: Shannon at the center but inmportant contributions from other people at Bell Labs such as Ralph Hartley and Richard Hamming (both of whom have their names on important concepts in the field).

    And, Shannon's original paper was... well, suggestive. It by no means proved his results at a level satisfactory to mathematicians, and it took years before mathematicians had re-worked it all to their satisfaction. Shannon's key result on how much information can be pushed throuogh a continuous but band-limited channel with random noise requires a huge leap that, I think, is still not really grasped by most of those who write textbooks on information theory (it works, but the required signals have a fixed average power but get really, really loud now and then!).

    By the way, where did you read about Shannon's work on integrating Boolean algebra into digital design? I had never heard of that before but only of his work on information theory.

    In terms of real-world impact, I would say that Shannon dwarfs Turing: cell phones, CDs/DVDs, digital fiber optics, satellite communications, hard-disk drives -- anything digital is now based on the work by Shannon, Hartley, Hamming, et al..

    But, in terms of the pure mathematical theory of computation, Turing is more significant.

    Dave

    By the way, where did you read about Shannon’s work on integrating Boolean algebra into digital design? I had never heard of that before but only of his work on information theory.

    I’m guessing Steve read this biography on Shannon.

    Jimmy Soni and Rob Goodman. A Mind at Play. Simon & Schuster), 2017.

    (pp. 70-72):

    “Crucially, it was around this time that he first put pen to paper and began tying together the commonalities he sensed in Bush’s analyzer, Bell’s network, and Boole’s logic. Half a century later, Shannon tried to recall his moment of insight, and tried to explain how he could have been the first to understand what the switches meant. He told a journalist,

    It’s not so much that a thing is ‘open’ or ‘closed,’ the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ that you mentioned. The real point is that two things in series are described by the word ‘and’ in logic, so you would say this ‘and’ this, while two things in parallel are described by the word ‘or.’ . . . There are contacts which close when you operate the relay, and there are other contacts which open, so the word ‘not’ is related to that aspect of relays. . . . The people who had worked with relay circuits were, of course, aware of how to make these things. But they didn’t have the mathematical apparatus of the Boolean algebra.

    Every single concept from Boole’s algebra had its physical counterpart in an electric circuit. An on switch could stand for ‘true’ and an off switch for ‘false’ and the whole thing could be represented in 1’s and 0’s. More important, as Shannon pointed out, the logical operators of Boole’s system—AND, OR, NOT—could be replicated exactly as circuits. A connection in series becomes AND, because the current must flow through two switches successively and fails to reach its destination unless both allow it passage. A connection in parallel becomes OR, because the current can flow through either switch, or both. The current flows through two closed switches in parallel and lights a light; 1 + 1 = 1.”

    (pp. 122-123):

    “Shannon’s second effort, ‘The Use of the Lakatos-Hickman Relay in a Subscriber-Sender Case,’ was an attempt to simplify and economize the relays Bell used to connect phone calls. It was the kind of work that called into question whether the Bell network’s system of relays, as currently constituted, was optimal, and whether there wasn’t a better way to make it operate. In other words, it was a kind of tinkering on the very largest scale, on the beating heart of the phone system. It led Shannon to think up two new options for circuits that drew on his master’s thesis work—‘designed by a combination of common sense and Boolean algebra methods’—and though he was quick to acknowledge that each of his designs had its own flaws, he also defended them as superior to what was on offer. When he first arrived at the Labs, Shannon had his doubts: Would an industrial laboratory constrain his ability to think big thoughts and dream up new ideas? After this summer’s work, those concerns were put to bed. The Labs had given him as broad a scope as he might have hoped for in a professional setting.

    ‘I got quite a kick,’ Shannon wrote to Vannevar Bush, ‘when I found out that the Labs are actually using [my] relay algebra in design work and attribute a couple new circuit designs to it.’ As with a tinkerer who successfully flips the switch on his latest creation, it isn’t difficult to imagine Bush reading that sentence, sitting back, and smiling with satisfaction.”

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  68. Anonymous[169] • Disclaimer says:

    Well Steve,
    There’s a pretty big fat obvious epochal conspiracy going on right now which has hard to miss, though outside the alt.right is hardly discussed, although it beats so called ‘climate change’, the ‘rise of China’ and even ‘the world’s most important graph’ into a cocked hat. It’s far far bigger than all of them put together. And as the late Bill Shankly might have put it, ‘it’s not a matter of life and death…..it’s far more important than that’.

    I am, of course, speaking of the Soros/Economist/Davos/Ruling Class/EU/lefty *INSISTENCE*that the white race fades away into oblivion and that their homelands are gifted to the black/brown third world.

    A matter, one would have thought if no small import to whites, yet, curiously, of little consequence.

    Oh, and don’t think I’m joking or I am deluded.
    It’s beyond a joke.

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  69. BB753 says:
    @Anonymous
    Good question.

    More interestingly, the efforts of the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory were kept secret far longer-until sometime after the late 90s and 2004, when the book, The Secret in Building 26 , was published. This was the American counterpart to the British Ultra project.

    The American project was longer, bigger, and more successful than the British one, yet even after the release of the British project the Americans maintained secrecy for almost another 30 years-and despite the obvious lack of real purpose in keeping it secret after the British revelations, no one talked.

    This was, incidentally, almost certainly the project to which Revilo Oliver referred to when he stated that :


    During World War II, he was Director of Research in a highly secret cryptographic agency of the War Department in Washington, DC, and was cited for outstanding service to his country.

     

    A most interesting question then becomes: What, if any, other interesting efforts involving considerable use of money, time and (wo)manpower during WWII (for the day to day work at the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory in Dayton was carried out mostly by female Navy personnel, or WAVES as then they were called) are still secret, and if so, to any purpose? Either by our side or the Axis powers?

    My guess, and more than that, but by no means certainty: the answer is yes. And the reasons may be surprising.

    To some, winning a war by cracking a code might sound like cheating. It undermines the ideal of a fair fight on the battlefield and generally martial prowess.
    US global dominance and the mighty dollar rely in large part on the belief of American military superiority.

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  70. Rapparee says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Right. Roswell in 1947 was a high-tech strategic reconnaissance balloon made out of brand new synthetic fibers that crashed that the government explained away as a simple weather balloon.

    But, oddly, it didn't get incorporated into UFO lore into many years later.

    Roswell’s popularity in UFO lore is a great example of how conspiracy theorists tend to latch on to the least plausible incidents, even when genuine oddities are right before their eyes. Another New Mexico UFO sighting, the 1964 Lonnie Zamora incident in Socorro, is far harder to explain and much stranger than the Roswell crash, but Roswell is more famous by an order of magnitude. Of course, the government (as far as we know) didn’t try to hide anything related to the Lonnie Zamora incident- authorities more-or-less threw up their hands and candidly admitted that they were just as stumped as everyone else. Since nobody thought that anything was being deliberately hidden from the public, interest fizzled.

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  71. Anonymous[169] • Disclaimer says:

    The late great Enoch Powell always said, ( and knew, such was his governmental experience), that the EU was an embryonic federalist European superstate, despite the constant lies, deceit and evasions from mainstream UK politicians.

    Listening to Juncker’s speech the other day only confirms Powell’s warning.

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  72. @Steve Sailer
    Okay, but what about boasting?

    Your brother in law, say, is always boasting about what he did in the RAF in 1940, and all you've got is the cover story that you worked in "government communications" during the War.

    How often do you want to tell him, "I worked in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing in March 1943 when we pulled four allnighters in a row and broke the German U-boat and won the Battle of the Atlantic so Britain didn't get starved into surrendering to Hitler"?

    Personally, I'd want to blurt that out.

    Or maybe you don't tell your brother-in-law, but after a family get-together you tell your wife, who tells her sister, who tells her husband, the Battle of Britain ace, who actually is a pretty good guy who really is impressed with what you did during the war, and tells his friend from the RAF at the Daily Telegraph, who says this would be a good story to his editor, who asks his friend from Eton in the Cabinet if this would be all right to run as a feature story next Friday, who comes back to say: No.

    I presume variations on this happened several times before 1974.

    Britain also has the Official Secrets Act which they have used even against newspapers.

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  73. Pat Casey says:
    @Steve Sailer
    There are a couple of stories involving the SR-71 2000 mph superplane and the CIA.

    First, before it flew, they had to truck the first once in the wee hours of the morning from Lockheed Skunk Works to either Edwards AFB or Area 51 (I forget -- Area 51 is a clone of Edwards that the CIA and Lockheed picked out in 1955). The driver hit a bus out around Palmdale. The CIA, who were guarding the transit with submachine guns, immediately gave the bus driver something like $5,700 in cash to get his bus fixed on the QT. Or else.

    Then in 1963 an SR-71 crashed in Utah in front of a family driving by. The CIA arrived and gave the family $25,000 in cash to forget what they'd just seen.

    As I've mentioned, my mom was good friends with the wife of the main designer of the SR-71, Henry Combs, from when they were secretaries at Lockheed during WWII. Henry recently died at 98. I only learned that Mr. Combs was the designer of the double delta shape of the SR-71 from one sentence in Ben Rich's wonderful book "Skunk Works."

    Rich, Kelly Johnson's successor running Lockheed's Skunk Works, was a super-entertaining Jewish guy whose brother was a sit-com writer in Burbank. So his book, ghosted by Leo Janos, is tremendous. But, he dropped dead of cancer just as his book was being published, so he couldn't do a book tour of talk shows (with his brother crafting one-liners), which would likely have made it a bestseller. So the book is only half-known. (I give it to old friends and they love it.)

    If Rich's cancer had killed him a year earlier, I'd have never known that the Mr. Combs whose kids I grew up playing with was the main man behind the SR-71.

    So there is vast contingency in terms of who knows what.

    There’s a rumor on the internet about a UCLA alumni speech Rich gave in 1993. He reportedly said we have the technology to “take E.T. home” and supposedly explained to someone afterward that the technology works “like ESP.”

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  74. Re: Turing

    I read The Ultra Secret in the 1970s, and it might have mentioned Turing, but I don’t remember. The whole code-breaking project was a group effort conducted by many people.

    It was only years later after Turing had become the patron saint of Computer Science that the narrative started changing to place him as the main guy – the most important person – in the Enigma effort.

    Now it is routine to say that Turing shortened the European war by a year with his brilliance. We don’t talk of the thousands of others who worked on it, because we want a narrative with individual heroes.

    You can see this desire for heroes with popular conceptions of other movements. Ragtime music – a major genre – is now mostly about one person: Scott Joplin. The Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s – thousands of people – is now thought of as a project of one man, Martin Luther King.

    In this retro narrative, without Scott Joplin we wouldn’t have Ragtime, without MLK, we’d still have Jim Crow, and without Alan Turing, WWII would have continued to 1946.

    People want heroes, and they want singular individuals, not groups engaged in pursuit of squad goals. I think popular conception of the Space Program of the 60s would rise if we could agree on one brilliant person who made it happen, instead of thousands of engineers. The NASA publicity machine tried to make astronauts heroes, but people suspected they were mostly along for the ride. If we could identify one singular intellect behind the Space Program, a lot of people would he happier.

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    • Replies: @Je Suis Omar Mateen
    "Ragtime music – a major genre – is now mostly about one person: Scott Joplin."

    Beethoven invented ragtime in 1823 with the third variation of his last piano sonata's finale (Opus 111) and with eight puzzling bars of Opus 126, No. 4 (also piano solo). Nobody much noticed at the time because the consensus was in and Beethoven's late music was universally derided as the demented scribblings of a deaf has-been.
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  75. After the advent of mass media and mass voting, all governments out of necessity became Orwellian. Per Moldbug, an Orwellian government is one that “cares what you think.” While democracy and a free press sound good in theory, in practice a government and mass media that cares what you think will care what you think.

    This is why you are governed by a theocratic bureaucracy or Deep State or Cathedral. It’s not enough for the government that you obey the laws; they want a lot more from you than ‘law-abiding’, they care what you think.

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  76. @Dieter Kief
    "Has anyone ever looked into “why precisely 9/11″?"

    Mythical power of the Porsche 911?

    Speaking soley to the myth-making/psychological perspective, isn’t it interesting how that date matches the US’ national emergency phone number?

    I’m sure that’s totally coincidental.

    Totally.

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  77. kihowi says:

    Did Irving really uncover Enigma? He says so in the modern edition of that book he wrote about the v1 and v2 that I just read. But how do we know?

    Thing is, Irving is an extraordinary historian because he seems to be obsessed with physical evidence as opposed to dogma, but he also loves to boast. The man bought a Rolls Royce with the proceeds from his first book ffs. His lectures which are still, miraculous to say, on YouTube, are one long “I knew this before everybody else” session.

    He’s not mentioned once in the Wikipedia article about Enigma, although that doesn’t say much.

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  78. A135 says:

    ULTRA was hinted at in several books (even British ones) before the story blew wide open in 1974 with the publication of “The ULTRA Secret” — but, before that, UK authors who didn’t want problems c/o the Official Secrets Act didn’t state things explicitly in print.

    Something like 10K people worked at Bletchley during the war. Only some of them were directly involved in the production and dissemination of Top Secret intelligence. But everybody who got near ULTRA took the same lifetime secrecy oath. It was a different age and those under oath (many of them women) kept it — at least around the media.

    Talking about “conspiracy theories” regarding ULTRA is the wrong approach. Conspiracists spend a lot of time worrying about cults, (((cabals))), UFOs, and whatnot. They seldom ponder the actual conspiracies around us. It’s a lot more fun to pontificate about JFK’s assassination, spending years staring at blurry photos, than thinking seriously about the vast, Top Secret industrial-scale operation that Bletchley represented. ULTRA was complicated, which deters almost all conspiracy-mongers. All intelligence work is a conspiracy of some sort, to the civilian mind.

    Note that the author of “The ULTRA Secret,” which gave the public the Bletchley story for the first time (with a lot of errors), was F. W. Winterbotham, an RAF officer who was at Bletchley during the war. He was in security and his job — no joke — was administering the lifetime secrecy oath to new staffers. By 1974, when he published his book, the British government decided that after three decades, it was time to let the ULTRA story out. Winterbotham was not popular with fellow Bletchley vets.

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  79. Dick Cheney Accused Charles Pewitt Of Engaging In A “Conspiracy Theory”

    Deep State Dirtbag Dick Cheney Dragged The American Empire Into The Iraq War Debacle

    Dick Cheney And His Corporation Profited From The American Empire’s Intervention Into The Balkans

    Once More Unto The Accusations Of “Conspiracy Theorizing” From Dickweed Neo-Con Whoreboy Cheney

    In April of 2001, the treasonous scoundrel Dick Cheney suggested that I was engaging in a “conspiracy theory” when I talked about how the American Empire’s military involvement in the Balkans financially benefited his former company Brown and Root(Halliburton) and Cheney himself.

    The American Empire had no damn business getting involved in the Balkans except for the business of provisioning the American Empire. Provisioning the overseas antics of the American Empire is a good damn business for some people, Cheney included.

    Cheney accuses me of reading one too many “conspiracy theories.” The relevant part starts at 27:45:

    https://dianerehm.org/audio/#/shows/2001-04-11/vice-president-dick-cheney/103859/@00:00

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  80. The only reason anybody ever paid attention to the plague of Pakistani pimps in England, for example, is because the city of Rotherham commissioned an official government report. Disreputables like me had been writing about these scandals before the official government report came out, but when the official government report came out in 2014, it became a Thing in the news, at least in Rotherham.

    This is not really true. There were a number of earlier reports on Rotherham before the Alexis Jay report which made some alarming and sensational claims. In 1997 Rotherham Council created a local youth project, Risky Business, to work with girls and women aged 11–25 thought to be at risk of sexual exploitation on the streets and one of its discoveries was that while previously young prostitutes in the area had originated in the red light area of the nearby (large) city of Sheffield, there was a now a much larger number of local Rotherham girls involved.

    The emphasis was on these girls being white and the perpetrators Pakistanis, which was true, but later evidence showed that Asian girls were also victims, but also kept quiet about it for the most part.

    Three Asian girls revealed abuse they had suffered in Rotherham a week after the Jay Report came to light, “Men are waiting outside schools for girls and giving them gifts and then demanding sexual favours,” she says. “One girl said she slept with a young man, but then he took her to a party where there were five other men, and two of them raped her.” She continued, “He told her that because he had spent all that money on her, she shouldn’t complain. He took videos of the men raping her and said if she didn’t sleep with his older friends, he would take the material to her father. These girls don’t think they will be protected”.[ [Wikipedia]

    The Alexis Jay report, was, of course, Britain’s answer to the John Jay Report of 2004 in the US, which laid out the case for child exploitation against the Catholic church in the US.

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

    The elephant in the room was that this religious organization demanded, based on historical reasons, supposedly, that all its officials should be single men who were responsible for “converting” and “confirming” adolescents. Prepubertal boys were specially prized for their ability to sing high notes in church music.

    What could possibly go wrong?

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    • Replies: @Alfa158
    Some think it is tied to the Christian victory at the siege of Vienna in 1683 which marked the end of the Muslim attempts to conquer Europe by military force. Jihadists hold long grudges and, for example, Bin Laden used to bemoan the “tragedy of Al Andalus” the final liberation of Spain from Muslim rule in 1492.
    However in the case of the siege of Vienna, Jan Sobieski’s Polish army arrived on September 11 and relieved Vienna, but the battle that crushed the Turks was fought the next day on September 12. I presume they could have just as easily done it on September 12. Maybe their frequent flier miles were expiring on the 11th?
    , @Alfa158
    Some think it is tied to the Christian victory at the siege of Vienna in 1683 which marked the end of the Muslim attempts to conquer Europe by military force. Jihadists hold long grudges and, for example, Bin Laden used to bemoan the “tragedy of Al Andalus” the final liberation of Spain from Muslim rule in 1492.
    However in the case of the siege of Vienna, Jan Sobieski’s Polish army arrived on September 11 and relieved Vienna, but the battle that crushed the Turks was fought the next day on September 12. I presume they could have just as easily done it on September 12. Maybe their frequent flier miles were expiring on the 11th?
    , @Alfa158
    Sorry my last comment was meant for a different post.
    Regarding this one, you are right, the official report only made it impossible for our rulers to continue ignoring Rotherham.
    I don’t have a link, but I first heard of Rotherham years before the report when the father of one of the victims went to the police to file a complaint about the rape and pimping of his underage daughter, and was threatened with arrest for racism.
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  81. @anon
    One aspect of code breaking is 'preserving' the secret that the code is in fact broken. Somewhere, I was reading that they had all sorts of actionable information they ignored in order to preserve the secret they broke it. So what if there are lives sacrificed? Maybe I'm imagining it. Or from TV.

    One aspect of code breaking is ‘preserving’ the secret that the code is in fact broken. Somewhere, I was reading that they had all sorts of actionable information they ignored in order to preserve the secret they broke it. So what if there are lives sacrificed? Maybe I’m imagining it. Or from TV.

    IIRC I think that was a dramatized part of The Imitation Game, where one of the codebreakers’ brothers was on a ship in the Atlantic and Bletchley gang intercepted a message about a pending German attack on the fleet.

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you’ve broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma. You need to prioritize the information you’re intercepting so that you’re still receiving it when the Germans set their big plans into motion.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you’ve broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma.
     
    It may well be that Admiral Canaris had had it with the whole freakshow and just let the coincidences pass.

    Note that cracking Naval Enigma and automating it via The Bombe was nice (Alan Turing worked on this), being a continuation of the Polish cryptanalysts who worked on the commercial Enigma, but the real deal was breaking Lorenz, the top-level crypto for Oberkommando exchange. That was the task of Colossus (Book Review Here). Turning was not involved in that - ironically, Colossus was a General Computer the abstraction of which Turing had so well described in his '36 paper On Computable Numbers (N.B. with absolutely no link to practical engineering of Computers at all)

    After the War, several governments continued to use Enigma for secure comms, LULZ were had. It pays to not tell all. Most of the Colossus machinery ended up in deep mineshafts.

    , @Mr. Anon

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you’ve broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma. You need to prioritize the information you’re intercepting so that you’re still receiving it when the Germans set their big plans into motion.
     
    That's an important point. Though by the time Enigma was pretty thoroughly broken, the Germans didn't have that many big plans. They were losing the war and mostly acting in reaction to what the Allies did. One big plan they did have was the Ardennes offensive in December of 1944, which led to the Battle of the Bulge. From everything I have ever read or heard about that offensive, it truly came as a surprise to the americans and british.

    in 1941, Russia had received voluminous and detailed intelligence (which was true) about the impending german invasion from two spies, Leiba Dom and Richard Sorge, both of whom were dedicated communists. Stalin discounted it all as british disinformation and failed to act on it.
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  82. O. Zerk says:

    Well, yeah, since the entire nation had an interest in not publicizing Ultra, knowledge of it may have leaked from person to person, but not from person to press or from press to public.

    That is not at all comparable to a criminal conspiracy that everyone outside of would want known, and which a significant number of insiders, provided the conspiracy is large enough, would have a moral motive to make public.

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  83. Anonymous[402] • Disclaimer says:
    @Vinnie O
    Having seldom met a conspiracy I didn't like, I recently concluded that any REAL conspiracy has an Odd Fact that cannot be explained by any of the counter arguments.

    And so in the case of Roswell, hundreds if not thousands of weather balloons crash back to Earth every day, 7 days a week. Even the alleged Project Mogul balloons ALL crashed back to Earth. That's how weather balloons work.

    But the crash near Roswell, whatever it was for there is NO disagreement that SOMETHING crashed there, is the ONLY "weather balloon" crash that became the subject of a secret briefing to the President and the Joints Chiefs of Staff (who were not yet the JCS in 1947.

    In "To War in a Stringbag", Charles Lamb notes that one of the oddest missions he flew while stationed in Malta was to fly to a very specific spot over the Mediterranean and make sure that he was SEEN by the Italian convoy he would find there. English attacks on that convoy would then be credited to his "reconnaissance". Lamb never learned how the guys on Malta already knew the Italian convoy's location. It's now obvious that ULTRA was the reason.

    In “To War in a Stringbag”, Charles Lamb notes that one of the oddest missions he flew while stationed in Malta was to fly to a very specific spot over the Mediterranean and make sure that he was SEEN by the Italian convoy he would find there. English attacks on that convoy would then be credited to his “reconnaissance”. Lamb never learned how the guys on Malta already knew the Italian convoy’s location. It’s now obvious that ULTRA was the reason.

    Conversely, at some point a body was procured, stuffed with documents and let to drift ashore for bogus data injection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mincemeat – this kind of thing seems to have been honed to perfection by our TLAs.

    For humorous takes on such matter, Neal Stephenson’s “Cryptonomicon”, an account of WWII cryptographic exploits from a somewhat alternate reality, is very readable.

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  84. @Steve Sailer
    Miss Trixie!

    Hollywood has been thinking about making A Confederacy of Dunces into a movie since the late 1970s, before the book was even published. And it still hasn't been able to pull the trigger.

    I wonder what the problem has been? Perhaps it's the assumption that Ignatius J. Reilly must be naturally fat, which then reduces the field of potential stars to the rare fat comic leading man from John Belushi onward.

    But maybe DiCaprio or somebody bankable like that would love to put on 40 pounds for the role.

    I first saw a story about Echelon in a seedy-looking right-wing broadsheet that someone had left lying around somewhere. I believe the story was by Texe Marr, and it might have been his newsletter or The Spotlight, free copies of which used to show up at Barnes and Noble for a time (they were always quickly removed.) Though I have always been right-wing and disposed to believe paranoid conspiracy theories, I thought the Echelon story was far-fetched. Surely the government would never go THAT far. But when we found out the NSA was grabbing all our emails full-text and phone calls, nobody seemed to mind. After all, if you have nothing to hide, why worry? And it’s a dangerous world out there with pissed-off Arabs bent on driving Israel into the sea and NRA nuts bent on driving the ADL into the sea.

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  85. @Dieter Kief
    "Has anyone ever looked into “why precisely 9/11″?"

    Mythical power of the Porsche 911?

    Antes, Rader and Reinhard are my Kraut ancestors. Antes is possibly Greek people who entered Germany 800 years or so ago. Who knows? Maryland landed a lot of Krauts into the New World by way of wooden sail boats.

    I have gone out of my way to fully write out — SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 — whenever possible.

    For instance, I wrote this in June of 2018:

    Baby boomer Bill Clinton pushed for a borderless world on September 10, 2001.

    Baby boomer George W Bush — who was president at the time — was calling for an AMNESTY for illegal aliens and a massive increase in legal immigration the week before the September 11, 2001 Islamic terrorist attacks.

    George W Bush was applauding his good buddy Vicente Fox at a White House meeting on September 5, 2001.

    Vicente Fox, president of Mexico at the time, met with George W Bush to plot the erasure of borders between the United States and Mexico.

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  86. Lugash says:

    Conspiracy by Apathy: No one cares, e.g. Hilary was running guns to Mexico, but only one obscure gun blogger and Darrel Issa made any noise.

    Conspiracy by Obscurity: When a large program like AFFH is being pushed through, but only a few people on the outside ever deal with the topic.

    Conspiracy by Gold and Lead: David Irving got this choice. Issa as well.

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  87. @Almost Missouri
    The Notorious RBG:

    "I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it go back to the way it was."
     
    So do a lot of us, Ruth, so do a lot of us.

    Who knew RGB was such a closet conservative?

    If only we knew what had changed since then, and who had wrought this change, then maybe we could do something about it...

    I’m sorry we can’t go back to the 1950s (which lasted until 1964 or so.) It was as good as its defenders say it was. The main deficit would be missing out on sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but we have learned in the interim that there is a high price to pay for all that instant gratification. Besides, the 1950s had great jazz, which faded away as soon as rock became respectable.

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  88. @El Dato

    This strikes me as plausible, and I’ve made this argument myself several times. But I have to confess that I don’t have much smoking gun evidence that anybody in the U.S. government ever actually stoked UFO rumors as a distraction from military testing.
     
    UFOs (at 01:06:09)

    https://youtu.be/fh2cDKyFdyU?t=3969

    The late Jerry Pournelle told me the KGB did this to cover up a Soviet semi-orbital weapon that came down spectacularly over Latin America: have local Communists call up newspapers and rant about flying saucers and little green men to confuse and discredit the accurate eyewitnesses. Of course, maybe Jerry was projecting?
     

    Actually, the south-american Beings were not little and green, but smallish, black, hairy, with claws made for knife fights (it's South America), and a perfectly spherical head. And very aggressive to anyone who spotted them. I know because I used to be big in UFO lore when young.

    Talking of which:

    Plausible indications of interference of a massive sort to ensure a 9/11 success:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3noExmsCRyg

    I remember reading in the early 00s (in the Economist?) that "the hijackers" wanted to do their stuff a few days before 9/11 but got delayed. Has anyone ever looked into "why precisely 9/11"?

    I remember reading in the early 00s (in the Economist?) that “the hijackers” wanted to do their stuff a few days before 9/11 but got delayed. Has anyone ever looked into “why precisely 9/11″?

    I was wondering this myself the other day. I was roughly 90 miles South of Manhattan on 09.11.2001 and it was a remarkable day. I was walking my GSD puppy before leaving for class and remarked to myself what a clear, crisp, early fall day it was. The sky was blue without many clouds, and it had a certain low pressure feeling. I’m not someone who really notices weather, so it sticks out in my mind as something remarkable.

    It was when I got in from walking my puppy that the news broke to reports of a plane hitting the first tower. It was presumed by the on-air commentators that it was a small prop plane for some reason, though they related reports that some people said they saw a missile hit the tower. Of course most of us then saw the second plane hit the second tower.

    The day, weather wise, (me being roughly equidistant between the intended targets in NYC and DC) was all but perfect to pull off this plan. At least at the “turning the loaded passenger plane into a suicide missile” part, the pilots had to have some visibility to drive the planes into the towers at low altitude. And they had it. So I always assumed that the go order was given at least in part as a consequence of the weather on that day.

    So I was wondering whether the

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  89. Anonymous[402] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alec Leamas

    One aspect of code breaking is ‘preserving’ the secret that the code is in fact broken. Somewhere, I was reading that they had all sorts of actionable information they ignored in order to preserve the secret they broke it. So what if there are lives sacrificed? Maybe I’m imagining it. Or from TV.
     
    IIRC I think that was a dramatized part of The Imitation Game, where one of the codebreakers' brothers was on a ship in the Atlantic and Bletchley gang intercepted a message about a pending German attack on the fleet.

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you've broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma. You need to prioritize the information you're intercepting so that you're still receiving it when the Germans set their big plans into motion.

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you’ve broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma.

    It may well be that Admiral Canaris had had it with the whole freakshow and just let the coincidences pass.

    Note that cracking Naval Enigma and automating it via The Bombe was nice (Alan Turing worked on this), being a continuation of the Polish cryptanalysts who worked on the commercial Enigma, but the real deal was breaking Lorenz, the top-level crypto for Oberkommando exchange. That was the task of Colossus (Book Review Here). Turning was not involved in that – ironically, Colossus was a General Computer the abstraction of which Turing had so well described in his ’36 paper On Computable Numbers (N.B. with absolutely no link to practical engineering of Computers at all)

    After the War, several governments continued to use Enigma for secure comms, LULZ were had. It pays to not tell all. Most of the Colossus machinery ended up in deep mineshafts.

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    • Replies: @HunInTheSun
    Canaris did a lot more then "just let the coincidences pass" he was actively engaged in the betrayal of his country’s secrets by means of direct contacts with MI6, and for which he was executed in April 1945. What exactly was revealed remains a secret because the relevant files have not been declassified and there has long been speculation that Enigma was involved.
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  90. I don’t have much smoking gun evidence that anybody in the U.S. government ever actually stoked UFO rumors as a distraction from military testing.

    Here you go.

    In 1978, Paul Bennewitz, an electrical physicist living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, engaged in some aggressive radio monitoring of the nearby Sandia Labs, then managed by the Department of Defense. When he became convinced that the strange lights hovering over the labs and Kirtland Air Force Base signaled the vanguard of an extraterrestrial alien invasion, he began writing TV stations, newspapers, senators — and even President Reagan — to alert them.

    For the most part Bennewitz received form-letter replies, but Air Force investigators paid him a visit, as did Bill Moore, author of the first book on the Roswell incident. Before long Moore — then a new force in civilian UFO research — was tapped by a group of intelligence agents and a deal was struck: Moore was to keep tabs on Bennewitz while the Air Force ran a psychological profile and disinformation campaign on the unsuspecting physicist. In return, Air Force Intelligence would let Moore in on classified UFO material.

    https://www.amazon.com/Project-Beta-Bennewitz-National-Security/dp/0743470923

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  91. George says:

    What was the Bletchley park conspiracy? The JFK conspiracy was to assassinate the president and then cover up the nature of the assassination.

    What was the Bletchley Park conspiracy? A conspiracy to sink U-Boats? The Allies already admitted that was their aim. So I don’t see a proper conspiracy. Most of the 9000 workers probably did not know exactly who they were reporting to and why. They might have been mostly ordinary office workers in an age of typewriters and no copy machines. So I don’t see a cover up.

    Bletchley Park might be a post war invention by historians to organize the a more diffuse code breaking effort into something more hierarchical than it really was to make it more organized, grander, and interesting to readers than it really was. Historians tend to write the histories the government wants, and governments like to seem big and powerful.

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  92. jimbo says:
    @Almost Missouri
    To be sure, most of the 9000 people at Bletchley Park were probably not aware that they were working at a code-breaking factory. Most of them probably thought of their work as relating to "news", "communications", "information", or "intelligence" rather than "Axis codes". They still understood that their work was classified and not to be discussed outside of the office, but even should they transgress and blab, they probably wouldn't have had much enlightening to say anyway since they weren't aware of the bigger picture. Nevertheless, 900 or even 90 big picture seers is still a pretty big conspiracy, so its long concealment in a relatively free society ought to rate as an achievement of some kind. But let us recall that besides the conspiracy being comprised of elites, this was also the period of peak British stiff upper lippedness, so if there was an era to accomplish this, the early 20th century was it. That former asabiya is now badly dissipated, of course.

    I think people way overestimate how many people involved in a large scale project like that really know what it going on.

    Richard Feynman tells in his memoirs about making an inspection visit to Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project and finding that they were taking the highly enriched uranium and putting it in boxes and stacking along a wall. He did a quick metal calculation and figured out that they were a few boxes away from a critical mass.

    Even the engineers and technicians who were working on enriching the uranium didn’t really know what it was for, or even what it’s properties were. They kept everybody who actually knew what they were working on hidden away in a town that didn’t exist in New Mexico.

    (Of course, the Soviets knew what was going on, but that was because they were practically running the FDR administration…)

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  93. Conspiracy theories take hold because people have suffered psychological harm and find it hard to face up to reality, or are scared of what others will think of them.

    The followers of Jesus could not believe he was dead, and when there were reports that he had been was spotted strolling around the market place a foot off the ground after the crucifixation, the only logical belief was that he had risen from the dead.

    Family members find it hard to accept that their loved one who disappeared in battle was blown into a million pieces or burned to a cinder, so they form a belief in secret concentration camps for missing POWs. Years later a military deserter who married a local girl and went to live in the campo claims that he was kidnapped and kept in a chicken shack with other men who disappeared one day, and so the only rational response is to demand that Uncle Sam bring back the boys.

    Top level White House officials receive reports that Saddam Hussein has intercontinental ballistic missiles topped with anthrax warheads disguised as nodding donkeys and ready to launch at any moment. Satellite surveillance pictures show a boy and a donkey near Baghdad. The only rational response is to make a preemptive strike and kill a few million people as a harm prevention strategy, plus risking a global anthrax pandemic carried into the atmosphere by a nuclear explosion.

    Real conspiracies are much more mundane, like 9/11 and cannot be kept secret for very long.

    Now my time is up, and I have an appointment for an interview with Elvis.

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    • Replies: @James Kabala
    "The followers of Jesus could not believe he was dead, and when there were reports that he had been was spotted strolling around the market place a foot off the ground after the crucifixion, the only logical belief was that he had risen from the dead."

    This is a pretty terrible description of the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection - it is backwards in almost every way.
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  94. Wade says:
    @Pat Hannagan
    Do conspiracy theorists ever get anything right?

    Projects Echelon and Carnivore are two that come immediately to mind.

    Both were considered the dribblings of raving late night maniacs now we all just accept NSA and move along.

    Sydney radio 2GB late night DJ Brian Wilshire had been talking about it for yonks before it became public knowledge.

    Pretty sure the euros got pretty pissed off about it too at one stage before the projects became public.

    How about conspiracy theories involving the existence of a “Mafia”? Before RFK actually starting bringing them to trial, J. Edgar Hoover famously declared “There’s no mafia”..

    I suppose with the US’s foremost law enforcement chief denying the existence of a clandestine crime organization, those claiming the opposite might as well have been considered conspiracy theorists of their time.

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    • Replies: @Pat Hannagan
    Good point.

    Conspiracies don't have to be flamboyantly complicated, the vast majority of them are just regular run of the mill attempts to pervert justice in one's favour or simply bump off some bloke who done you wrong.

    Every state in Australia now has specialised task forces dedicated to weeding out corruption in government like NSW's ICAC and Queensland's version http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/. What these are are actually institutions designed to investigate and uncover conspiracies within bureaucracy.

    They were instituted as a response to the general citizenry claiming that the government, and certain politicians, were and are corrupt. The people have been proven correct.
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  95. Shark Swimming Down Freeway Is Best All Time Conspiracy Theory

    Who Is The Shark Conspiring With? It’s Best Not To Ask

    What If It’s True And Not A Doctored Photo?

    Will The Freeway Sharks Eat The Flooded Out Hogs Soon To Be Floating Towards The Ocean?

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  96. @PhysicistDave
    Steve,

    I recently re-read Shannon's original paper on information theory: I am co-inventor on some patents on error-correction coding, and I wanted to review some of the foundations of the field.

    In the couorse of looking into this, I found out that the invention of information theory was a bit of a group effort: Shannon at the center but inmportant contributions from other people at Bell Labs such as Ralph Hartley and Richard Hamming (both of whom have their names on important concepts in the field).

    And, Shannon's original paper was... well, suggestive. It by no means proved his results at a level satisfactory to mathematicians, and it took years before mathematicians had re-worked it all to their satisfaction. Shannon's key result on how much information can be pushed throuogh a continuous but band-limited channel with random noise requires a huge leap that, I think, is still not really grasped by most of those who write textbooks on information theory (it works, but the required signals have a fixed average power but get really, really loud now and then!).

    By the way, where did you read about Shannon's work on integrating Boolean algebra into digital design? I had never heard of that before but only of his work on information theory.

    In terms of real-world impact, I would say that Shannon dwarfs Turing: cell phones, CDs/DVDs, digital fiber optics, satellite communications, hard-disk drives -- anything digital is now based on the work by Shannon, Hartley, Hamming, et al..

    But, in terms of the pure mathematical theory of computation, Turing is more significant.

    Dave

    It was Shannon’s master’s thesis at MIT, published in 1937. He had remembered George Boole from an undergraduate course he took at the U of Michigan as an undergraduate.

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    • Replies: @Karl
    56 Unladen Swallow > It was Shannon’s master’s thesis at MIT, published in 1937



    unlikely to have been seen by Turing, methinks

    Especially because Turing's ==academic== schtick was: theory of computability


    Am I the only one who remembers that the Poland Cipher Bureau cracked the Enigma machine when it was still just a commercial product?

    The Pole gave the Brits their "training wheels" in the crypto business

    It was the Poles who first figured out that mathematicians should be running crypto efforts
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  97. @YetAnotherAnon
    "If anything, it’s much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world as millions upon millions use and rely upon the Internet in their daily lives. "

    Not so.

    During the 2011 riots in the UK, a white guy and an overweight white woman were robbed and stripped of all their clothes by black rioters in two separate incidents. I presume racially-motivated humiliation was the idea.

    Pictures appeared on the internet of both these unfortunates. They seem to have vanished.

    By contrast, "everyone knows" that "No Blacks, dogs or Irish" signs were common in the UK in the 1950s, yet only one photograph exists, and that's of highly uncertain provenance - it came to light in the 1980s.


    "A much-reproduced photograph is held by the Irish Studies Centre of London Metropolitan University. It depicts a front window with handwritten signs saying “Bed & breakfast” and “No Irish, no blacks, no dogs”. The photograph emerged only in the late 1980s, and the university has conceded to me that it is of “somewhat uncertain” provenance. They have been unable to discover who took the picture, where or when. An old news clipping which I have presented to the university points to the image having been mocked up for an exhibition called “An Irish Experience” mounted at the now-defunct Roger Casement Irish Centre in Islington, London.

    This dubious picture has long been cited by politicians, academics, even the Equality and Human Rights Commission, all of whom no doubt believe it is genuine. Many even claim to have seen such signs in the past, though what they may actually remember is the London Met picture endlessly recirculated, nowadays on the internet.

    John Draper

    London"
     

    More on – “No blacks, no dogs, no Irish”

    https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/british-doubts-no-irish-no-blacks-no-dogs-signs-existed

    And in response to John Draper’s letter in The Guardian, Dr Tony Murray, director of the Irish Studies Centre at London Metropolitan University, wrote that although the “No Irish…” photo was donated to his university in 1989 there is “no reason to doubt” its authenticity.

    Dr Murray explained: “With community ventures of this kind, such items are not always formally acquisitioned and their provenance not always recorded.

    “We had no reason to doubt the authenticity of the image and that the archive had received it in good faith.

    “Mr Draper appears to be confusing authenticity with provenance. Numerous artefacts with minimal provenance are held in archives but this does not necessarily mean they are not genuine.

    “[Draper] claims the photograph was ‘mocked up’ for the exhibition An Irish Experience. But this took place in the mid-90s, a decade after the original photograph was donated.”

    He added: “I’m puzzled by what exactly Mr Draper is trying to prove. Ample evidence exists in numerous oral history interviews with both Caribbean and Irish migrants that such signs existed well into the 60s.

    “Further proof can be found in the report Discrimination and the Irish Community in Britain published by the Commission for Racial Equality in 1997.

    “It seems mischievous at best and malicious at worst on John Draper’s part to suggest that this photograph is a fraud and by implication that Irish people in Britain were not discriminated against in the post-war era.”

    Lonergan writes in The Irish Post: “And discriminated against, they certainly were. That is not up for debate – especially not for the many thousands of Irish men and women who crossed the sea to Britain in the aftermath of the Second World War.”

    He concludes: “So there you have it – the infamous ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’ signs almost certainly existed.

    “But even if – for argument’s sake – it was all a myth, those menacing six words encapsulated the lived experiences of an entire generation of outsiders who made Britain their home. And that perseverance meant something.”

    Dr Tony Murray goes straight for the ad-hominem, I see. No shocks there.

    I wonder what ‘proof” a 1997 report could contain about something alleged to have happened in the 1950s/60s,? Dr Murray could have let us know what it was. Were those numerous oral history interviews done in the 1960s, by the way, or later?

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  98. paul747 says:

    the USS Liberty incident — Israel hitting a US ship, was also kept a secret for an absurdly long time.

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    • Replies: @40 Acres and A Kardashian

    the USS Liberty incident — Israel hitting a US ship, was also kept a secret for an absurdly long time.
     
    And for all practical purposes, it might as well still be a secret. I've never heard anyone in the mainstream media mention it.
    , @Art Deco
    No, it was in the papers at the time. Over time, documents relating to the matter have been declassified per standing policies.
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  99. The Oroville Dam Is One Big Conspiracy Theory

    The only conspiracy theory bigger than the Oroville Dam conspiracy theory is the Jerry Brown Bond Broker’s Delight Bullet Train Boondoggle

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  100. @Steve Sailer
    Rotherham is a good example:

    People had been telling me for years about what was going on in Northern English towns for years, and in 2013 I finally did the research and wrote a Taki's column about it.

    http://takimag.com/article/the_real_threat_to_british_elites_steve_sailer/#axzz5R1R86Ld2

    There was a huge amount of information available, but it was all here and there, in bits and pieces, with only disreputable sorts like me trying to pull it together.

    And, in all my research, I'd never heard of Rotherham.

    Then in 2014 an official government report came out about the goings-on in Rotherham.

    That opened the floodgate because it was an Official Government Report. So reporters could quote it without a lot of tedious he said she said equivocating.

    Official Documents can be very useful. The Trump Administration should think hard about which ones they ought to be generating.

    The Trump Administration should think hard about which ones they ought to be generating.

    If the Trump administration releases sufficient evidence to prove that the Obama administration used the IRS to discourage conservative political groups, the FBI to make sure Hillary was exonerated for her email scandal, and the FBI and CIA to subvert the 2016 election, how will the MSM deal with it? I don’t see how it can. Suddenly Obama, the most saintly of all presidents, would be revealed as a far greater enemy of the Constitution than Richard Nixon. It would turn the SJW worldview upside down. I see it as more explosive than Khrushchev’s speech acknowledging the crimes of Stalin.

    Would they just follow Vox Day’s Second Law of SJWs and double down? The fact that the NY Times printed the lunatic rantings of ex-CIA chief John Brennan last month indicates that they are going to maintain their commitment to the Narrative at all costs, no matter how ridiculous it becomes.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Would they just follow Vox Day’s Second Law of SJWs and double down? The fact that the NY Times printed the lunatic rantings of ex-CIA chief John Brennan last month indicates that they are going to maintain their commitment to the Narrative at all costs, no matter how ridiculous it becomes.
     
    They've already done this to some extent.

    1) The purpose of the TEA Party affiliated Groups was to advocate for a reduction in taxation, which means that THEY DON"T LIKE TO PAY TAXES! Of course the IRS should scrutinize these deadbeats and evaders in the planning - the IRS was just DOING ITS JOB! (really, this was the take on lefty blogs and media at the time).

    2) Hillary's emails weren't classified when sent or didn't have the classified heading, so they weren't classified. They were yoga routines and wedding plans and other purely personal matters that of course anyone would want to keep from the prying eyes and prurient interests of these creepy Republicans in Congress.

    3) We needed to surveil the Trump Campaign because it was crawling with guys who knew guys who knew guys who knew Russians, and of course all Eastern Europeans have "connections" to Putin and the Kremlin. It was an act of Patriotism, really, we swear. Not politically motivated in the least.

    What people don't seem to express is that the media isn't just biased (ideologically and partisan) with all that entails, they lawyer the "facts" and mis-state the law as well for these ends. If you could imagine a sleazy mob lawyer saying it in a "believe me or your lying eyes" way, you can imagine Don Lemmon or Anderson Vanderbilt repeating it authoritatively.
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  101. Logan says:
    @El Dato

    This strikes me as plausible, and I’ve made this argument myself several times. But I have to confess that I don’t have much smoking gun evidence that anybody in the U.S. government ever actually stoked UFO rumors as a distraction from military testing.
     
    UFOs (at 01:06:09)

    https://youtu.be/fh2cDKyFdyU?t=3969

    The late Jerry Pournelle told me the KGB did this to cover up a Soviet semi-orbital weapon that came down spectacularly over Latin America: have local Communists call up newspapers and rant about flying saucers and little green men to confuse and discredit the accurate eyewitnesses. Of course, maybe Jerry was projecting?
     

    Actually, the south-american Beings were not little and green, but smallish, black, hairy, with claws made for knife fights (it's South America), and a perfectly spherical head. And very aggressive to anyone who spotted them. I know because I used to be big in UFO lore when young.

    Talking of which:

    Plausible indications of interference of a massive sort to ensure a 9/11 success:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3noExmsCRyg

    I remember reading in the early 00s (in the Economist?) that "the hijackers" wanted to do their stuff a few days before 9/11 but got delayed. Has anyone ever looked into "why precisely 9/11"?

    Well, one theory is that it was in commemoration of the breaking of the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Supposedly this was the revenge of the Muslims for their greatest defeat.

    Couple problems with this one.

    I’ve never seen the slightest evidence the hijackers even knew about the date coincidence.

    The battle in question actually took place on the 12th.

    Neither of which stops the repeating of this story.

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    • Replies: @Karl
    60 Logan > The battle in question actually took place on the 12th


    On whose calendar? not the one in which Ramadan is denoted, methinks


    You know why the effort to to silence Galileo went so well?

    Because it was lead by the mathematician who had invented the Gregorian Calendar, probably THE record-achieving attainment of Papal supremacy throughout the globe. That mathematician had a LOT of street-cred in Rome.

    the Greek government didn't switch over until 1923
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  102. El Dato says:
    @PhysicistDave
    Steve,

    I recently re-read Shannon's original paper on information theory: I am co-inventor on some patents on error-correction coding, and I wanted to review some of the foundations of the field.

    In the couorse of looking into this, I found out that the invention of information theory was a bit of a group effort: Shannon at the center but inmportant contributions from other people at Bell Labs such as Ralph Hartley and Richard Hamming (both of whom have their names on important concepts in the field).

    And, Shannon's original paper was... well, suggestive. It by no means proved his results at a level satisfactory to mathematicians, and it took years before mathematicians had re-worked it all to their satisfaction. Shannon's key result on how much information can be pushed throuogh a continuous but band-limited channel with random noise requires a huge leap that, I think, is still not really grasped by most of those who write textbooks on information theory (it works, but the required signals have a fixed average power but get really, really loud now and then!).

    By the way, where did you read about Shannon's work on integrating Boolean algebra into digital design? I had never heard of that before but only of his work on information theory.

    In terms of real-world impact, I would say that Shannon dwarfs Turing: cell phones, CDs/DVDs, digital fiber optics, satellite communications, hard-disk drives -- anything digital is now based on the work by Shannon, Hartley, Hamming, et al..

    But, in terms of the pure mathematical theory of computation, Turing is more significant.

    Dave

    Agree.button

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  103. El Dato says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard
    Turing could not have existed without Shannon, thus Shannon's achievements are superior.

    Incidental to the posts above, Shannon and Kelley 'Skunk Works' Johnson both held Michigan degrees.

    Turing could not have existed without Shannon, thus Shannon’s achievements are superior.

    That is very wrong.

    In 1932, Shannon entered the University of Michigan, where he was introduced to the work of George Boole. He graduated in 1936 with two bachelor’s degrees: one in electrical engineering and the other in mathematics.

    By that time, Turing had already formulated his take on the Theory of Computation, which is equivalent to Church’s Lambda Calculus and Gödels Theory of Recursive functions, yet was recognized as the intuitively correct description of what a “mechanical process of computation” is about – by Gödel himself.

    After the war, the engineering strands of Turing and Shannon will meet again when first general purpose computers were being constructed.

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  104. @anon
    One aspect of code breaking is 'preserving' the secret that the code is in fact broken. Somewhere, I was reading that they had all sorts of actionable information they ignored in order to preserve the secret they broke it. So what if there are lives sacrificed? Maybe I'm imagining it. Or from TV.

    Churchill knew that Coventry was going to be bombed by the Germans, but decided that he couldn’t increase its air defenses without tipping the Germans to the fact that the British had broken their code. A very hard decision to live with.

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    • Replies: @El Dato
    Apparently an Urban Legend. Who knows.

    https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/myths/coventry-what-really-happened/

    The truth about the bombing of Coventry is very different. On 12 November 1940, Enigma decrypts made it clear that a major German bombing raid was imminent. Its code name, Moonlight Sonata, had been read in the decrypts. But the decrypts gave no clue as to the destination of the German bombers.

    The Air Intelligence report that Churchill received on 12 November gave, on the basis of the latest intelligence, five possible targets: Central London, Greater London, the Thames Valley, or the Kent or Essex coasts.

    A German pilot who had been shot down on November 9th had, under interrogation, suggested that two cities—Coventry and Birmingham—would both be attacked in a “colossal raid” between 15 and 20 November; but the senior Air Intelligence Liaison officer at Bletchley, Squadron Leader Humphreys, noted, in contrast to this, that there was “pretty definite information that the attack is to be against London and the Home Counties.”
     
    And:

    Early that evening Churchill waited at Downing Street for the expected attack on London, sending the two duty private secretaries that evening, John Colville and John Peck, to the underground shelter at the disused Down Street underground railway station on the Piccadilly Line, telling them: “You are too young to die.”[8] He also gave instructions for the “Garden Room Girls”—the typists at 10 Downing Street—to be sent home.

    Churchill then went to the underground Central War Rooms (now known as the Churchill War Rooms), but, as Colville noted in his diary that night, “became so impatient that he spent most of the time on the Air Ministry roof waiting for Moonlight Sonata to begin.” Over London, it never did begin.

    The moment that German radio beams made it clear that Coventry was the target, the Air Ministry ordered eight British bombers to bomb the aerodromes—south of Cherbourg—from which the attackers were expected to take off. A continuous fighter patrol was maintained over Coventry itself, and the “Cold Water” defence preparations were activated. These brought fire engines and civil defence personnel unto Coventry from a wide area around.
     
    At least it's not as bad as Pearl Harbor where you sit around playing with stamps or go out riding so as to be not reachable while perfectly aware that the Japs are going to hit in a couple of hours.
    , @Fred Boynton
    Very hard indeed. He could hardly eat or drink and soon withered away to almost nothing as we've all seen in the pictures of him during and after the war. He also couldn't yuck it up with his buddies FDR and Stalin either as we see in the pictures of them during the war.
    , @JMcG
    The more I read about Churchill, the more I believe that he never had a hard time living with any decision that didn’t affect his personal prestige. And I started out as an admirer of the man.
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  105. El Dato says:
    @Harry Baldwin
    Churchill knew that Coventry was going to be bombed by the Germans, but decided that he couldn't increase its air defenses without tipping the Germans to the fact that the British had broken their code. A very hard decision to live with.

    Apparently an Urban Legend. Who knows.

    https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/myths/coventry-what-really-happened/

    The truth about the bombing of Coventry is very different. On 12 November 1940, Enigma decrypts made it clear that a major German bombing raid was imminent. Its code name, Moonlight Sonata, had been read in the decrypts. But the decrypts gave no clue as to the destination of the German bombers.

    The Air Intelligence report that Churchill received on 12 November gave, on the basis of the latest intelligence, five possible targets: Central London, Greater London, the Thames Valley, or the Kent or Essex coasts.

    A German pilot who had been shot down on November 9th had, under interrogation, suggested that two cities—Coventry and Birmingham—would both be attacked in a “colossal raid” between 15 and 20 November; but the senior Air Intelligence Liaison officer at Bletchley, Squadron Leader Humphreys, noted, in contrast to this, that there was “pretty definite information that the attack is to be against London and the Home Counties.”

    And:

    Early that evening Churchill waited at Downing Street for the expected attack on London, sending the two duty private secretaries that evening, John Colville and John Peck, to the underground shelter at the disused Down Street underground railway station on the Piccadilly Line, telling them: “You are too young to die.”[8] He also gave instructions for the “Garden Room Girls”—the typists at 10 Downing Street—to be sent home.

    Churchill then went to the underground Central War Rooms (now known as the Churchill War Rooms), but, as Colville noted in his diary that night, “became so impatient that he spent most of the time on the Air Ministry roof waiting for Moonlight Sonata to begin.” Over London, it never did begin.

    The moment that German radio beams made it clear that Coventry was the target, the Air Ministry ordered eight British bombers to bomb the aerodromes—south of Cherbourg—from which the attackers were expected to take off. A continuous fighter patrol was maintained over Coventry itself, and the “Cold Water” defence preparations were activated. These brought fire engines and civil defence personnel unto Coventry from a wide area around.

    At least it’s not as bad as Pearl Harbor where you sit around playing with stamps or go out riding so as to be not reachable while perfectly aware that the Japs are going to hit in a couple of hours.

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  106. Mr. Anon says:
    @Alec Leamas

    One aspect of code breaking is ‘preserving’ the secret that the code is in fact broken. Somewhere, I was reading that they had all sorts of actionable information they ignored in order to preserve the secret they broke it. So what if there are lives sacrificed? Maybe I’m imagining it. Or from TV.
     
    IIRC I think that was a dramatized part of The Imitation Game, where one of the codebreakers' brothers was on a ship in the Atlantic and Bletchley gang intercepted a message about a pending German attack on the fleet.

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you've broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma. You need to prioritize the information you're intercepting so that you're still receiving it when the Germans set their big plans into motion.

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you’ve broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma. You need to prioritize the information you’re intercepting so that you’re still receiving it when the Germans set their big plans into motion.

    That’s an important point. Though by the time Enigma was pretty thoroughly broken, the Germans didn’t have that many big plans. They were losing the war and mostly acting in reaction to what the Allies did. One big plan they did have was the Ardennes offensive in December of 1944, which led to the Battle of the Bulge. From everything I have ever read or heard about that offensive, it truly came as a surprise to the americans and british.

    in 1941, Russia had received voluminous and detailed intelligence (which was true) about the impending german invasion from two spies, Leiba Dom and Richard Sorge, both of whom were dedicated communists. Stalin discounted it all as british disinformation and failed to act on it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    As Greg Cochran recently pointed out, Hitler had smelled a rat and the German High Command was only using land lines before the Ardennes offensive, so it was a real surprise...
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  107. Ben H says:

    The best conspiracy stuff works because it is analogous to noticing “hatefacts.” The best conspiracy researchers are the ones who notice facts that counter the official narrative and who dig deeper into who people who might be involved in the conspiracy actually are.

    The worst conspiracy stuff tries to counter the official narrative with an unofficial narrative.

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  108. From Simon Singh’s The Code Book:

    However, cryptanalysis is a clandestine activity, so Bletchley’s accomplishments remained a closely guarded secret even after 1945. Having successfully deciphered messages during the war, Britain wanted to continue its intelligence operations and was reluctant to divulge its capabilities. In fact, Britain had captured thousands of Enigma machines and distributed them among its former colonies, who believed that the cipher was as secure as it had seemed to the Germans.The British did nothing to disabuse them of this belief, and routinely deciphered their secret communications in the years that followed.

    Consequently, the thousands of men and women who had contributed to the creation of Ultra received no recognition for their achievements. Most of the codebreakers returned to their civilian lives, sworn to secrecy, unable to reveal their pivotal role in the Allied war effort.While those who had fought conventional battles could talk of their heroic achievements, those who had fought intellectual battles of no less significance had to endure the embarrassment of having to evade questions about their wartime activities. According to Gordon Welchman, one of the young cryptanalysts working with him at Bletchley received a scathing letter from his old headmaster, accusing him of being a disgrace to his school for not being at the front. Derek Taunt, another cryptanalyst, summed up the true contribution of his colleagues: “Our happy band may not have been with King Harry on St. Crispin’s Day, but we had certainly not been abed and have no reason to think ourselves accurs’t for having been where we were.”

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    This may have contributed to Turing's downfall. If, after the war he had been known as a national hero as he deserved, the authorities might have gone easy on him, even in the climate of the time, but as it was, his contribution was unknown and no one from the security establishment lifted a finger to help him out when he got into trouble because this would have endangered the secret.

    As encounters with "rough trade" go, Turing got off easy - the rough trade's friends later returned and burglarized his house when he was not home (which he naively reported to the police and opened the gates of hell upon himself). It is not unusual for rough trade to beat and rob or even kill their johns - a number of famous homos met their end this way.

    Most people connect Turing's suicide (and it's not 100% clear that it was even suicide) to his conviction and court mandated hormone treatment to reduce libido but both had been over for some time when he killed himself. Although the conviction limited his ability to consult for the UK security establishment and to travel to the US, he had kept his academic position and was free to travel to Europe, so his life was not utterly ruined. In any case, as we see with Bourdain, even people at the height of their success can commit suicide - the link between his conviction and his death is not clear.
    , @anon

    While those who had fought conventional battles could talk of their heroic achievements...
     
    "Could". Ask any old duffer from the period, and he'll tell you that people generally kept their mouths shut back then, even if it weren't classified. It wasn't considered polite to ask, and it certainly wasn't considered polite to talk of one's "heroic achievements".

    Singh betrays here a certain hostility to old-timey England, framing almost in terms of jocks bullying nerds. I think it says more about him than it does about England.

    (For instance: there were plenty of front-line soldiers sworn to secrecy too. No doubt we can find one who received a nasty letter from somebody. What does it prove?)
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  109. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Yes, Rotherham is an excellent example. It wasn't even 'kept secret'; as you say, there were lots of news stories about it. Rather, its impact was -- and frankly still is -- diluted by news reports being downplayed and disguised (lots of the stories about it have been of the classic '47 British Men Detained on Allegations They Were Not Nice' genre).

    You're right that the government report made a big difference. It gave the British media at least a hesitant imprimatur to print some true information without fear of automatic hounding for racism.

    Think of all the spectacular black-on-white murders that aren’t regularly brought up on the news the way Emmett Till’s murder is. How many people have heard of the Zebra killings, the Jahweh Ben Jahweh cult, the Knoxville horror, the Pearcy massacre, the Wichita massacre, serial killer Frederick Demond Scott, etc? That these horrific crimes remain so obscure is due to a conspiracy among the media to support the Narrative.

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  110. Mr. Anon says:

    Much has been said about governments attacking and deflating conspiracy theories, through their various fronts and agents of influence. But I wonder to what degree they deliberately promote conspiracy theories. In such theories, the government is always ruthless, hyper-competent, and almost completely successful. False-flag narratives are a good example. I can hardly imagine a narrative more favorable to the interests of the “powers-that-be” – the government is capable of carrying out monstrous crimes, mass-murdering its own citizens in broad daylight with complete impunity……………………so you better not step out of line if you know what’s good for you. What if most of the false-flag conspiracy theories are themselves false-flags?

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  111. Jack D says:
    @Realist
    She has remained on the SC long past her mental faculties.

    Her mind is fine. Listen to what she is saying – she is perfectly coherent. She has perfect recall of the circumstances of her confirmation and is able to contrast it with the present situation. Regardless of whether you agree with her politics, in her prime Ruth Ginsburg was a formidable intellect (1st in her class at Columbia Law School) so even if she has lost a little bit of her edge, she still has more left than the average person ever will. It is clear that her body is old and worn out but unless she has some fatal disease she could live in this physically worn out condition for many years, being wheeled from place to place.

    That being said, the stuff about her workout prowess is nonsense – for some reason (the lack of a real God to worship, I suppose), leftists always want to make their leaders into superhuman heroes, not just political leaders but champion athletes, scientists, etc. who are marvelous at whatever they put their hand to.

    Now in any sane society, someone with this much mileage on the clock would be comfortably retired to live out her final years in peace instead of having one of the most important jobs in the land, but our system is such that the decision is completely in her hands.

    Read More
    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    It is clear that her body is old and worn out but unless she has some fatal disease she could live in this physically worn out condition for many years, being wheeled from place to place.
     
    She's a bad flu season away from a nice, cozy retirement in a burning lake of fire. Some Clerk sneezes on a Brief and hands it to her - kaputt.

    The gloves she's seen wearing in public are a prophylactic against communicable diseases, which she started wearing during her chemotherapy treatments.
    , @AnotherDad

    Her mind is fine. Listen to what she is saying – she is perfectly coherent. She has perfect recall of the circumstances of her confirmation and is able to contrast it with the present situation.
     
    Disagree on Ginsburg. She's not senile, but she is significantly mentally impaired. Yes, what she says is "coherent" but it's at the level of geezer "back in the war …" regurgitation. And comes out haltingly--very haltingly. I contrast with my dad who is in his 90s. He'll drive over here this evening for dinner. He'll be slow ambling around with his walkin stick, but will hold a normal conversation about stuff--maybe messing up or struggling to remember a particular name occasionally. Yet he's not the least bit painful to listen to like Ginsburg is. (And, of course, he'd have absolutely no business on the Supreme Court even if he'd started out with Ginsburg's intellect.)

    That's about all i can get from the video--maybe the impairment is mostly brain to mouth, but i doubt it. She comes across as significantly impaired across the board. I doubt she figures anything out legally. Well beyond who she wants to win.

    And her situation is her own damn fault. Like someone else said--"diva". She could have bailed out in 2010, 11, 12 … and let Obama appoint a successor. Sandra Day O'Connor is still alive and kicking and bailed out a dozen years ago. Ginsburg is yet another pompous progressive who thinks the world needs her insights so damn much. It's the fundamental nature of progressivism--the people are too stupid to take care of themselves.

    ~~

    Agree on the general comments on the court.

    I think the founders did an incredible job on the constitution. But the judicial system--and the Supreme Court--is poorly spec'd. It was a hole through which in the modern era, anti-republican sentiment has run riot.

    Quicky redesign:
    -- bring it up to say 15 judges
    -- 15 year fixed terms
    -- pres appoints one every year; so not till the end of his 2nd term are the majority his people
    -- to take an appointment judges have to agree to step down to a lower-court; i.e. they have to live as inferiors again, no pretensions of royalty (and no private practice)
    -- maybe an oath specifically to uphold constituion and law--as written--that they will not "make new law" and if they want different laws they must resign and run for public office

    Basically the whole joint needs to be taken down a peg--several pegs. Making law in a republic is the job of the people's elected representatives.

    , @Capn Mike
    I agree completely!
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  112. Iberiano says:

    I remember years and years ago when Alex Jones was talking about FEMA camps and FEMA caskets and stuff. I always thought it was tin-foil hattery, then one day I was on the freeway and I saw a truck going by that had stacks of caskets as the load and they all said very clearly on the side, “FEMA caskets for dissenting Americans’ corpses” but what surprised me the most wasn’t that they existed necessarily, I could handle that, but the fact that the government could fit all that on the side of the box.

    PS They even had little baby boxes, and you guessed it, they fit all that wording on the side as well!

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    • Replies: @Thim
    I am a truck driver and deliver to FEMA sites around the country from time to time. The amount of toilet paper, soap, first aid supplies, canned food and a hundred other things they store up beggars belief. Thousands upon thousands of trailers unloaded into massive warehouses. I tend to believe they are just preparing for the big one, world war 3, but darker explanations do exist.
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  113. @Harry Baldwin
    Churchill knew that Coventry was going to be bombed by the Germans, but decided that he couldn't increase its air defenses without tipping the Germans to the fact that the British had broken their code. A very hard decision to live with.

    Very hard indeed. He could hardly eat or drink and soon withered away to almost nothing as we’ve all seen in the pictures of him during and after the war. He also couldn’t yuck it up with his buddies FDR and Stalin either as we see in the pictures of them during the war.

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  114. @kihowi
    I think it's not so much a question of keeping things a secret, but of getting people to a place where they do their own censoring. If you manage to position whatever issue you don't want to be known as on the wrong side of tribalism/morality, no amount of evidence evidence would make a difference except to a few very unfashionable nerds. At that point, the only thing needed to keep the story alive is an explanation that's plausible enough and people would gratefully grab hold of it and not let go ever.

    For example, if Obama really had not been born in America, things would be exactly the same as if he had.

    Agree, and people on the left are going to keep believing the “Trump colluded with Russia” narrative even though they can’t explain the nature of that collusion or how it possibly could have affected the election.

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  115. Tyrion 2 says:

    I’ve met a number of conspiracy theory minded people IRL. They did not impress. Even on other topics. Low quality types. This is impossible not to notice.

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  116. Peasant says:
    @raven lunatic
    the first rule of MAGIC is that you do NOT talk about MAGIC

    the second rule of magic is that you stop people who do ^_^

    Very clever. Took me a moment to get it. The U.S codebreakers were very important too.

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  117. Alfa158 says:
    @Dieter Kief
    "Has anyone ever looked into “why precisely 9/11″?"

    Mythical power of the Porsche 911?

    Some think it is tied to the Christian victory at the siege of Vienna in 1683 which marked the end of the Muslim attempts to conquer Europe by military force. Jihadists hold long grudges and, for example, Bin Laden used to bemoan the “tragedy of Al Andalus” the final liberation of Spain from Muslim rule in 1492.
    However in the case of the siege of Vienna, Jan Sobieski’s Polish army arrived on September 11 and relieved Vienna, but the battle that crushed the Turks was fought the next day on September 12. I presume they could have just as easily done it on September 12. Maybe their frequent flier miles were expiring on the 11th?

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    • Replies: @John Cunningham
    I always thought that 9.11 was picked because Sept. 11, 1683, was the decisive day in the. Ottoman siege of Vienna. King Jan Sobieski's Polish cavalry saved Christendom by crushing the Turk.
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  118. Ganderson says:

    So my theory about the NFL being fixed might be true…

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    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    So my theory about the NFL being fixed might be true…
     
    There is a ton of manipulation in all pro sports.

    There is far too much money at stake for those contests to be left to pure chance!
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  119. Alfa158 says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    The only reason anybody ever paid attention to the plague of Pakistani pimps in England, for example, is because the city of Rotherham commissioned an official government report. Disreputables like me had been writing about these scandals before the official government report came out, but when the official government report came out in 2014, it became a Thing in the news, at least in Rotherham.
     
    This is not really true. There were a number of earlier reports on Rotherham before the Alexis Jay report which made some alarming and sensational claims. In 1997 Rotherham Council created a local youth project, Risky Business, to work with girls and women aged 11–25 thought to be at risk of sexual exploitation on the streets and one of its discoveries was that while previously young prostitutes in the area had originated in the red light area of the nearby (large) city of Sheffield, there was a now a much larger number of local Rotherham girls involved.

    The emphasis was on these girls being white and the perpetrators Pakistanis, which was true, but later evidence showed that Asian girls were also victims, but also kept quiet about it for the most part.

    Three Asian girls revealed abuse they had suffered in Rotherham a week after the Jay Report came to light, "Men are waiting outside schools for girls and giving them gifts and then demanding sexual favours," she says. "One girl said she slept with a young man, but then he took her to a party where there were five other men, and two of them raped her." She continued, “He told her that because he had spent all that money on her, she shouldn’t complain. He took videos of the men raping her and said if she didn’t sleep with his older friends, he would take the material to her father. These girls don’t think they will be protected".[ [Wikipedia]

    The Alexis Jay report, was, of course, Britain's answer to the John Jay Report of 2004 in the US, which laid out the case for child exploitation against the Catholic church in the US.

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

    The elephant in the room was that this religious organization demanded, based on historical reasons, supposedly, that all its officials should be single men who were responsible for "converting" and "confirming" adolescents. Prepubertal boys were specially prized for their ability to sing high notes in church music.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Some think it is tied to the Christian victory at the siege of Vienna in 1683 which marked the end of the Muslim attempts to conquer Europe by military force. Jihadists hold long grudges and, for example, Bin Laden used to bemoan the “tragedy of Al Andalus” the final liberation of Spain from Muslim rule in 1492.
    However in the case of the siege of Vienna, Jan Sobieski’s Polish army arrived on September 11 and relieved Vienna, but the battle that crushed the Turks was fought the next day on September 12. I presume they could have just as easily done it on September 12. Maybe their frequent flier miles were expiring on the 11th?

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  120. My father was in US Army intelligence and was trained to use the Segaba encoding machine in North Africa in WWII, but I can’t remember when he told us about it. All through my childhood he kept a dagger in a desk drawer that he claimed to have made himself in the desert from a crashed German plane. I would often play with it when nobody was looking. It was stolen in 1975, but years later I got a random catalogue in the mail for WWII weapons and realized it was a field made OSS assassin’s dagger. Years later, after his lifelong best friend died, Dad told me that his buddy had been an assassin in NA — with a lot of detail I won’t go into. He also told me that his buddy had been on the CIA payroll his whole life after the war. Finally, right before he died, I put two and two together and asked him what he had been up to in the desert himself with that assassin’s dagger. At that point he shut down and said, ” I can’t talk about it.”

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  121. Alfa158 says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    The only reason anybody ever paid attention to the plague of Pakistani pimps in England, for example, is because the city of Rotherham commissioned an official government report. Disreputables like me had been writing about these scandals before the official government report came out, but when the official government report came out in 2014, it became a Thing in the news, at least in Rotherham.
     
    This is not really true. There were a number of earlier reports on Rotherham before the Alexis Jay report which made some alarming and sensational claims. In 1997 Rotherham Council created a local youth project, Risky Business, to work with girls and women aged 11–25 thought to be at risk of sexual exploitation on the streets and one of its discoveries was that while previously young prostitutes in the area had originated in the red light area of the nearby (large) city of Sheffield, there was a now a much larger number of local Rotherham girls involved.

    The emphasis was on these girls being white and the perpetrators Pakistanis, which was true, but later evidence showed that Asian girls were also victims, but also kept quiet about it for the most part.

    Three Asian girls revealed abuse they had suffered in Rotherham a week after the Jay Report came to light, "Men are waiting outside schools for girls and giving them gifts and then demanding sexual favours," she says. "One girl said she slept with a young man, but then he took her to a party where there were five other men, and two of them raped her." She continued, “He told her that because he had spent all that money on her, she shouldn’t complain. He took videos of the men raping her and said if she didn’t sleep with his older friends, he would take the material to her father. These girls don’t think they will be protected".[ [Wikipedia]

    The Alexis Jay report, was, of course, Britain's answer to the John Jay Report of 2004 in the US, which laid out the case for child exploitation against the Catholic church in the US.

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

    The elephant in the room was that this religious organization demanded, based on historical reasons, supposedly, that all its officials should be single men who were responsible for "converting" and "confirming" adolescents. Prepubertal boys were specially prized for their ability to sing high notes in church music.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Some think it is tied to the Christian victory at the siege of Vienna in 1683 which marked the end of the Muslim attempts to conquer Europe by military force. Jihadists hold long grudges and, for example, Bin Laden used to bemoan the “tragedy of Al Andalus” the final liberation of Spain from Muslim rule in 1492.
    However in the case of the siege of Vienna, Jan Sobieski’s Polish army arrived on September 11 and relieved Vienna, but the battle that crushed the Turks was fought the next day on September 12. I presume they could have just as easily done it on September 12. Maybe their frequent flier miles were expiring on the 11th?

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  122. Jack D says:
    @Anonymous
    Good question.

    More interestingly, the efforts of the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory were kept secret far longer-until sometime after the late 90s and 2004, when the book, The Secret in Building 26 , was published. This was the American counterpart to the British Ultra project.

    The American project was longer, bigger, and more successful than the British one, yet even after the release of the British project the Americans maintained secrecy for almost another 30 years-and despite the obvious lack of real purpose in keeping it secret after the British revelations, no one talked.

    This was, incidentally, almost certainly the project to which Revilo Oliver referred to when he stated that :


    During World War II, he was Director of Research in a highly secret cryptographic agency of the War Department in Washington, DC, and was cited for outstanding service to his country.

     

    A most interesting question then becomes: What, if any, other interesting efforts involving considerable use of money, time and (wo)manpower during WWII (for the day to day work at the United States Naval Computing Machine Laboratory in Dayton was carried out mostly by female Navy personnel, or WAVES as then they were called) are still secret, and if so, to any purpose? Either by our side or the Axis powers?

    My guess, and more than that, but by no means certainty: the answer is yes. And the reasons may be surprising.

    The Brits (and before them the Poles – pre-war Poland had some formidable mathematicians (and they were actual ethnic Poles, unlike the “Hungarian” geniuses who were almost invariably Jewish) did most of the intellectual work to break Enigma and the American contribution (as usual) was to make it bigger and faster and in larger quantities. The US Navy “bombes” ran at 34 times the speed of the early British bombes and they made hundreds of them.

    The idea of the “bombe” was try rapidly try thousands of different dial combinations one after the other until you hit a combination that decoded the message. The original German Enigma machines had 4 dials that you would turn by hand with 26 letters on each (plus it had further complications that increased the number of possible combinations even more), so you might only be able to try one or two combinations per minute and it would take years to break a single message. So instead they motorized the dials to spin at thousands of RPM and they used more than 1 set of dials. Even this brute force approach would not have worked due to the billions of possible combinations but the Enigma had certain quirks or weaknesses such as the fact that it would never encrypt a letter to itself which they were able to exploit.

    Of course today we have computers that do millions (or billions or trillions) of calculations per second electronically instead of physically rotating dials so you could solve Enigma on your phone, but in those days the bombe was an achievement.

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    • Replies: @JMcG
    “Hungarian”? Does this mean that American Jews are actually “American”?
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  123. @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    The video of Ginsburg is pretty shocking. A fully healthy 85 year old looks nothing like her. She can’t seem to hold up her head (granted, it’s a HUGE head for her body). Worse, she seems to have a good deal of difficulty enunciating her words properly, a fair amount of word finding hesitation, though word for word she seems quite coherent.

    Her bent head might be due in part to osteoporosis (she may have had a good deal of radiation because of her previous cancers, which would aggravate this). But from the other issues in her speech I would guess she has some significant neurological issue, maybe a mild stroke, maybe Parkinson’s disease. (It would be good to see her walk — gait is a very reliable tell for Parkinson’s)

    And I wouldn’t feel sorry for her as far as pressure on her not to retire goes. She had every good reason to retire back in say 2014 or 2015, at age 81 or os. But obviously she so loved the diva prestige the left accorded her that she refused to give it up.

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    • Agree: Tyrion 2
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Like everyone else, she assumed Hillary would win and was holding out for her.
    , @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    And I wouldn’t feel sorry for her as far as pressure on her not to retire goes. She had every good reason to retire back in say 2014 or 2015, at age 81 or os. But obviously she so loved the diva prestige the left accorded her that she refused to give it up.
     
    Yup. She thought HRC was going to win in a landslide and bring a few more Senate seats with her. Her successor was going to be some firebrand young harpy in her mold, maybe an out-and-proud lesbian. With the GOP holding the Senate for the last two years of Obama's Presidency she figured an acceptable substitute wouldn't get through.

    Now she has to live with the realization that her successor could well be Amy Coney Barrett.
    , @ChrisZ
    Candid, although I can't help but feel sympathy for an elderly person, especially one feeling the decline of a once-formidable talent, your judgment about such a person holding onto a position of authority well into old age is absolutely warranted.

    You're quite right that Justice Ginsburg's 80th year--her 20th on the Court, arriving in the midst of a sympathetic administration--should have been a natural time to announce her retirement, if only to unburden herself and enjoy her final years on this earth. At what point does holding on become a form of mere vanity, a delusion of one's indispensibility, that no longer deserves our sympathy, but rather our impatience?

    I feel the same way about public figures like Arlen Specter and John McCain, who fight tooth and nail to hold onto their offices despite being diagnosed with some horrible illness. We're supposed to genuflect at their bravery--and certainly it would be brave enough merely to carry on with life under such circumstances. But I suspect there's also a high degree of selfishness and delusion involved in the unwillingness to let go of life in the public eye; and also, perhaps, an unsettling comment on the quality of private life they would be left with.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    candid, My mother is 101 years old as of August, so as she likes to say, she is in her 102nd year. I would pray for a loving angel to take my mom if she looked or sounded like RBG. Oh, and she reads at least two books a month. The MSM does RBG's cheerleaders no favors when they drag her out for an interview. I would have liked to see how she moved across the stage to that chair, or does the chair have wheels. Next most disgusting funeral service on tap, Mc Cain level, will be RBG's send off.
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  124. Alfa158 says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    The only reason anybody ever paid attention to the plague of Pakistani pimps in England, for example, is because the city of Rotherham commissioned an official government report. Disreputables like me had been writing about these scandals before the official government report came out, but when the official government report came out in 2014, it became a Thing in the news, at least in Rotherham.
     
    This is not really true. There were a number of earlier reports on Rotherham before the Alexis Jay report which made some alarming and sensational claims. In 1997 Rotherham Council created a local youth project, Risky Business, to work with girls and women aged 11–25 thought to be at risk of sexual exploitation on the streets and one of its discoveries was that while previously young prostitutes in the area had originated in the red light area of the nearby (large) city of Sheffield, there was a now a much larger number of local Rotherham girls involved.

    The emphasis was on these girls being white and the perpetrators Pakistanis, which was true, but later evidence showed that Asian girls were also victims, but also kept quiet about it for the most part.

    Three Asian girls revealed abuse they had suffered in Rotherham a week after the Jay Report came to light, "Men are waiting outside schools for girls and giving them gifts and then demanding sexual favours," she says. "One girl said she slept with a young man, but then he took her to a party where there were five other men, and two of them raped her." She continued, “He told her that because he had spent all that money on her, she shouldn’t complain. He took videos of the men raping her and said if she didn’t sleep with his older friends, he would take the material to her father. These girls don’t think they will be protected".[ [Wikipedia]

    The Alexis Jay report, was, of course, Britain's answer to the John Jay Report of 2004 in the US, which laid out the case for child exploitation against the Catholic church in the US.

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/The-Nature-and-Scope-of-Sexual-Abuse-of-Minors-by-Catholic-Priests-and-Deacons-in-the-United-States-1950-2002.pdf

    The elephant in the room was that this religious organization demanded, based on historical reasons, supposedly, that all its officials should be single men who were responsible for "converting" and "confirming" adolescents. Prepubertal boys were specially prized for their ability to sing high notes in church music.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Sorry my last comment was meant for a different post.
    Regarding this one, you are right, the official report only made it impossible for our rulers to continue ignoring Rotherham.
    I don’t have a link, but I first heard of Rotherham years before the report when the father of one of the victims went to the police to file a complaint about the rape and pimping of his underage daughter, and was threatened with arrest for racism.

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  125. Benjaminl says:
    @Steve Sailer
    There are a couple of stories involving the SR-71 2000 mph superplane and the CIA.

    First, before it flew, they had to truck the first once in the wee hours of the morning from Lockheed Skunk Works to either Edwards AFB or Area 51 (I forget -- Area 51 is a clone of Edwards that the CIA and Lockheed picked out in 1955). The driver hit a bus out around Palmdale. The CIA, who were guarding the transit with submachine guns, immediately gave the bus driver something like $5,700 in cash to get his bus fixed on the QT. Or else.

    Then in 1963 an SR-71 crashed in Utah in front of a family driving by. The CIA arrived and gave the family $25,000 in cash to forget what they'd just seen.

    As I've mentioned, my mom was good friends with the wife of the main designer of the SR-71, Henry Combs, from when they were secretaries at Lockheed during WWII. Henry recently died at 98. I only learned that Mr. Combs was the designer of the double delta shape of the SR-71 from one sentence in Ben Rich's wonderful book "Skunk Works."

    Rich, Kelly Johnson's successor running Lockheed's Skunk Works, was a super-entertaining Jewish guy whose brother was a sit-com writer in Burbank. So his book, ghosted by Leo Janos, is tremendous. But, he dropped dead of cancer just as his book was being published, so he couldn't do a book tour of talk shows (with his brother crafting one-liners), which would likely have made it a bestseller. So the book is only half-known. (I give it to old friends and they love it.)

    If Rich's cancer had killed him a year earlier, I'd have never known that the Mr. Combs whose kids I grew up playing with was the main man behind the SR-71.

    So there is vast contingency in terms of who knows what.

    Brian Shul’s story of getting a ground speed check while flying his SR-71 at 1842 knots is an outstanding example of males establishing a dominance hierarchy.

    https://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/blackbird-diaries-180953373/

    [MORE]

    The predominant radio chatter was from Los Angeles Center, controlling daily traffic in their sector. While they had us on their scope (albeit briefly), we were in uncontrolled airspace and normally would not talk to them unless we needed to descend into their airspace.

    We listened as the shaky voice of a lone Cessna pilot asked Center for a readout of his ground speed. Center replied: “November Charlie 175, I’m showing you at 90 knots on the ground.”

    Now the thing to understand about Center controllers was that whether they were talking to a rookie pilot in a Cessna or to Air Force One, they always spoke in the exact same, calm, deep, professional, tone that made one feel important. I referred to it as the “Houston Center voice.” Conversely, over the years, pilots always wanted to ensure that, when transmitting, they sounded like Chuck Yeager, or at least like John Wayne. Better to die than sound bad on the radios.

    Just moments after the Cessna’s inquiry, a Twin Beech piped up on frequency, in a rather superior tone, asking for his ground speed. “I have you at 125 knots of ground speed.” Boy, I thought, the Beechcraft really must think he is dazzling his Cessna brethren. Then out of the blue, a Navy F/A-18 pilot out of Naval Air Station Lemoore came up on frequency. You knew right away it was a Navy jock because he sounded very cool on the radios. “Center, Dusty 52 ground speed check.” Before Center could reply, I’m thinking to myself, “Hey, Dusty 52 has a ground speed indicator in that million-dollar cockpit, so why is he asking Center for a readout?” Then I got it. Ol’ Dusty here is making sure that every bug smasher from Mount Whitney to the Mojave knows what true speed is. He’s the fastest dude in the valley today, and he just wants everyone to know how much fun he is having in his new Hornet. And the reply, always with that same calm voice, with more distinct alliteration than emotion: “Dusty 52, Center, we have you at 620 on the ground.”

    And I thought to myself: Is this a ripe situation, or what? As my hand instinctively reached for the mic button, I had to remind myself that Walt was in control of the radios. Still, I thought, it must be done. That Hornet must die, and die now.

    Then I heard it. The click of the mic button from the back seat. That was the very moment that I knew Walter and I had become a crew. Very professionally, Walter spoke: “Los Angeles Center, Aspen 20, can you give us a ground speed check?” There was no hesitation: “Aspen 20, I show you at 1,842 knots, across the ground.”

    I think it was the “42 knots” that I liked the best, so accurate and proud was Center to deliver that information without hesitation, and you just knew he was smiling. Walt keyed the mic once again to say, in his most fighter-pilot-like voice: “Ah, Center, much thanks, we’re showing closer to nineteen hundred on the money.”

    For a moment, Walter was a god. And we finally heard a little crack in the armor of the Houston Center voice, when L.A. came back with “Roger that Aspen. Your equipment is probably more accurate than ours. You boys have a good one.”

    It all had lasted for just moments, but in that short, memorable sprint across the southwest, the Navy had been flamed, all mortal airplanes on frequency were forced to bow before the King of Speed, and more importantly, Walter and I had crossed the threshold of being a crew. A fine day’s work. We never heard another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast.

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  126. I left out the stories my dad told about “getting lost” in the desert for days at a time, alone, away from his unit. They always ended with a funny punchline so they made sense at the time. But those stories were the final straw that made me think he was using that assassin’s dagger for something other than opening rations. But he took that to his grave.

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  127. Anon[270] • Disclaimer says:

    OT

    Right after Bill Gates shuttered his flop education reform project because it wasn’t working, Jeff Bezos has announced a billion dollar chain of ghetto preschools to raise the IQs of black kids before the achievement gap gets a foothold. Amazon is very data driven, but I guess it would be too much to hope that he tests the kids longitudinally and releases the results to researchers.

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    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    Bezos needs the tax deductions...
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  128. Lot says:

    Was this guy the first modern-model conspiracy theorist?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Sherwood_Spencer

    He was crazy enough he was expelled from the Navy during WWI at the same time the English were shooting deserters and had univeral conscription. And prominent enough Churchill sued him for libel rather than ignored him.

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  129. JMcG says:
    @Harry Baldwin
    Churchill knew that Coventry was going to be bombed by the Germans, but decided that he couldn't increase its air defenses without tipping the Germans to the fact that the British had broken their code. A very hard decision to live with.

    The more I read about Churchill, the more I believe that he never had a hard time living with any decision that didn’t affect his personal prestige. And I started out as an admirer of the man.

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  130. Anon[385] • Disclaimer says:
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  131. Mike1 says:

    This article itself is a fantastic example of people believing things when they are ready to believe them. A comment I made on an article within the last year that a very high amount of conspiracy theories turn out to be true but inconvenient was met by close to hysterical responses. The comments here, led by Steve’s evolving views on conspiracy theories, are essentially all positive.
    I pointed out in the same comment that large numbers of people can and do maintain secrets if they believe the secrets benefit them and they believe their tribal affiliation requires their silence.
    There are two massive “conspiracy theories” (mostly believed by nutty people) that have no sensible counter arguments:
    - The Rothschilds control vast wealth. According to their official family biography they owned virtually everything that mattered in the early 1900′s. No one has a sane theory of how they lost all this wealth and became simply a well off family.
    - 9/11. There are far too many ridiculous things that are part of the official narrative surrounding this event. It is a classic “lying eyes” event. The crash site in PA is just comical – the only airplane crash in world history that left a big round hole in the ground and no airplane debris.
    Like it or not, these two examples are both “noticing” in Steve’s language. I’m happy to be wrong on both but they need counters that add up. No one ever has one that is not “conspiracy theory!!”.

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    • Replies: @Fred Boynton
    I pointed out in the same comment that large numbers of people can and do maintain secrets if they believe the secrets benefit them and they believe their tribal affiliation requires their silence.

    Very good point.

    - The Rothschilds control vast wealth. According to their official family biography they owned virtually everything that mattered in the early 1900′s. No one has a sane theory of how they lost all this wealth and became simply a well off family.

    Oy vey! Why are you questioning official doctrine goy?

    - 9/11. There are far too many ridiculous things that are part of the official narrative surrounding this event. It is a classic “lying eyes” event. The crash site in PA is just comical – the only airplane crash in world history that left a big round hole in the ground and no airplane debris.

    Wait, you don't think Arabs/Egyptians/Afghans/Muslim-something-or-others armed with box-cutters hijacked four large passenger jets and flew them into buildings on the NYC skyline causing the buildings to collapse on themselves? Buildings that were leased by and insured by a beneficiary named Larry Silverstein. An event that would provide a cover to go to war in the ME with popular support. You are a communist young man, I repeat, a communist!
    , @SporadicMyrmidon
    I suspect your point about tribalism is quite relevant.
    I used to believe that most major "conspiracy theories" were surely false since stuff would leak. This is still a pretty good point, I think, but there are many things that can defeat it, and tribalism is one, I think.
    Consider the fairly well-known fact that police officers often conceal wrongdoing by other officers. This is so despite the fact that I presume most police officers have some sort of real desire to do good and make an effort to do so. And yet I think that even "good cops" often conceal what I might call "real crimes" by "bad cops". Take a cop who legitimately rapes an informant, for instance. Why would a "good cop" conceal this? For one thing, they suspect that a cop convicted of a "real crime" is going to be treated much more harshly than a standard criminal, and they reasonably see this as unjust. Why should a cop be punished harshly when cops know others routinely escape justice? Also, even a "bad cop" can objectively benefit justice, it might seem, since criminals are bad too, and sometimes need to be dealt with in ways that the law forbids, and "bad cops" can do that. This might all seem "rationalizing" and probably is, since perhaps the basic fact is that "bad cops" signed on to the "good team" and must not be thrown to the enemy.
    Or consider the recent revelations regarding the Catholic Church (the PA report and the Vigano statements). I take it that the vast majority of those who enter a Catholic seminary do so with some degree of moral earnestness, and actually want to do good. And yet it seems that the Catholic hierarchy has systematically enabled moral corruption of young men (and this does seem to be the bulk of the wrongdoing that exists, regardless of how it gets reported). An ordained priest is liable to realize, accurately, that any public reports of wrongdoing by priests are going to be exploited by forces hostile to the Catholic church, and to Christianity and religion in general. A priest is liable to recognize, again fairly accurately in my view, that the Church offers better options for the redemption of wrongdoers than does the criminal justice system, and will be inclined to try to deal with wrongdoing "in house". But again these might seem like rationalizations, and the truth might come down to the fact that even a very bad priest, engaging in outright molestation of children, might seem to be otherwise promoting the good, and should not be turned over to institutions that are seemingly known to have little concern for the good.
    I suspect tribalism is also at work in concealing "conspiracies" often attributed to other groups, such as the CIA, the Ivy League, Jews, etc.
    If you are quite confident that you are on the right team, then the rule that you should not surrender your compatriot to the enemy might be a strong one.
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  132. @candid_observer
    The video of Ginsburg is pretty shocking. A fully healthy 85 year old looks nothing like her. She can't seem to hold up her head (granted, it's a HUGE head for her body). Worse, she seems to have a good deal of difficulty enunciating her words properly, a fair amount of word finding hesitation, though word for word she seems quite coherent.

    Her bent head might be due in part to osteoporosis (she may have had a good deal of radiation because of her previous cancers, which would aggravate this). But from the other issues in her speech I would guess she has some significant neurological issue, maybe a mild stroke, maybe Parkinson's disease. (It would be good to see her walk -- gait is a very reliable tell for Parkinson's)

    And I wouldn't feel sorry for her as far as pressure on her not to retire goes. She had every good reason to retire back in say 2014 or 2015, at age 81 or os. But obviously she so loved the diva prestige the left accorded her that she refused to give it up.

    Like everyone else, she assumed Hillary would win and was holding out for her.

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    • Replies: @candid_observer
    At some point it might have been reasonable for her to assume Hillary would win, given the media narrative -- namely, after Trump became the nominee, and all the pollsters and pundits declared Trump a political catastrophe for the Republicans.

    But I don't see how she or anyone could have reasonably believed this before Trump became the nominee. That's why I refer back to 2014 and 2015 as the time she should have retired. Again, she was already into her 80s, and had no good reason to believe that for the next 10 years or so the President would be a Democrat. Moreover, by the time it was clear that Trump would become the nominee, it was too late for her to expect that if she retired she would be replaced by Obama rather than the next President (see Garland). She deliberately missed her window for retiring, taking the huge risk that the next President would be a Democrat.

    But how could she, given her age and health history, think she would last out such a length of time if necessary?

    Narcissism takes more than one form. This rather bizarre looking woman loves being a diva -- even her tee shirt boasts of it.

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  133. @Steve Sailer
    The President of France, that lunatic, was always complaining about the Anglo-Saxon Powers and their Project Echelon. The EU did a big report on the Five Eyes about 2000.

    What a bunch of conspiracy nuts!

    The President of France, that lunatic, was always complaining about the Anglo-Saxon Powers and their Project Echelon. The EU did a big report on the Five Eyes about 2000.

    Climbing up on Menwith Hill

    I could see the city light

    Eagle flew out of the night

    He was something to observe

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    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    Climbing up on Menwith Hill

    I could see the city light
     

    Menwith Hill is not actually a hill, it is a flat area of moorland above the treeline, and it is not within line of sight of the nearest city (Harrogate) 8 miles away due to said flattish terrain.

    https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/imagenes/echelon07_02.jpg

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  134. peterike says:

    So there were no Special Prosecutors during Obama’s terms and therefore there were No Scandals.

    That, in itself, strongly suggests a conspiracy.

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  135. @Jack D
    Her mind is fine. Listen to what she is saying - she is perfectly coherent. She has perfect recall of the circumstances of her confirmation and is able to contrast it with the present situation. Regardless of whether you agree with her politics, in her prime Ruth Ginsburg was a formidable intellect (1st in her class at Columbia Law School) so even if she has lost a little bit of her edge, she still has more left than the average person ever will. It is clear that her body is old and worn out but unless she has some fatal disease she could live in this physically worn out condition for many years, being wheeled from place to place.

    That being said, the stuff about her workout prowess is nonsense - for some reason (the lack of a real God to worship, I suppose), leftists always want to make their leaders into superhuman heroes, not just political leaders but champion athletes, scientists, etc. who are marvelous at whatever they put their hand to.

    Now in any sane society, someone with this much mileage on the clock would be comfortably retired to live out her final years in peace instead of having one of the most important jobs in the land, but our system is such that the decision is completely in her hands.

    It is clear that her body is old and worn out but unless she has some fatal disease she could live in this physically worn out condition for many years, being wheeled from place to place.

    She’s a bad flu season away from a nice, cozy retirement in a burning lake of fire. Some Clerk sneezes on a Brief and hands it to her – kaputt.

    The gloves she’s seen wearing in public are a prophylactic against communicable diseases, which she started wearing during her chemotherapy treatments.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    She has set as her goal recently as lasting 5 more flu seasons (until age 90, which BTW would put retirement inside a 2nd Trump term) which according to the mortality tables is a roughly even bet. Of course at that age (and given her health history) there are no guarantees - she should not be investing in green bananas and should be buying her mayo in the PINT jar, not the quart.
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  136. @candid_observer
    The video of Ginsburg is pretty shocking. A fully healthy 85 year old looks nothing like her. She can't seem to hold up her head (granted, it's a HUGE head for her body). Worse, she seems to have a good deal of difficulty enunciating her words properly, a fair amount of word finding hesitation, though word for word she seems quite coherent.

    Her bent head might be due in part to osteoporosis (she may have had a good deal of radiation because of her previous cancers, which would aggravate this). But from the other issues in her speech I would guess she has some significant neurological issue, maybe a mild stroke, maybe Parkinson's disease. (It would be good to see her walk -- gait is a very reliable tell for Parkinson's)

    And I wouldn't feel sorry for her as far as pressure on her not to retire goes. She had every good reason to retire back in say 2014 or 2015, at age 81 or os. But obviously she so loved the diva prestige the left accorded her that she refused to give it up.

    And I wouldn’t feel sorry for her as far as pressure on her not to retire goes. She had every good reason to retire back in say 2014 or 2015, at age 81 or os. But obviously she so loved the diva prestige the left accorded her that she refused to give it up.

    Yup. She thought HRC was going to win in a landslide and bring a few more Senate seats with her. Her successor was going to be some firebrand young harpy in her mold, maybe an out-and-proud lesbian. With the GOP holding the Senate for the last two years of Obama’s Presidency she figured an acceptable substitute wouldn’t get through.

    Now she has to live with the realization that her successor could well be Amy Coney Barrett.

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  137. @Harry Baldwin
    Like everyone else, she assumed Hillary would win and was holding out for her.

    At some point it might have been reasonable for her to assume Hillary would win, given the media narrative — namely, after Trump became the nominee, and all the pollsters and pundits declared Trump a political catastrophe for the Republicans.

    But I don’t see how she or anyone could have reasonably believed this before Trump became the nominee. That’s why I refer back to 2014 and 2015 as the time she should have retired. Again, she was already into her 80s, and had no good reason to believe that for the next 10 years or so the President would be a Democrat. Moreover, by the time it was clear that Trump would become the nominee, it was too late for her to expect that if she retired she would be replaced by Obama rather than the next President (see Garland). She deliberately missed her window for retiring, taking the huge risk that the next President would be a Democrat.

    But how could she, given her age and health history, think she would last out such a length of time if necessary?

    Narcissism takes more than one form. This rather bizarre looking woman loves being a diva — even her tee shirt boasts of it.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    It's not really fair to criticize an 85 year old woman on looks. In her younger days she was at least average looking for a Jewish female:

    https://hips.hearstapps.com/ell.h-cdn.co/assets/15/45/4000x4955/gallery-1446753185-ginsburg-at-rutgers.jpg
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  138. Jack D says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    From Simon Singh’s The Code Book:

    However, cryptanalysis is a clandestine activity, so Bletchley’s accomplishments remained a closely guarded secret even after 1945. Having successfully deciphered messages during the war, Britain wanted to continue its intelligence operations and was reluctant to divulge its capabilities. In fact, Britain had captured thousands of Enigma machines and distributed them among its former colonies, who believed that the cipher was as secure as it had seemed to the Germans.The British did nothing to disabuse them of this belief, and routinely deciphered their secret communications in the years that followed.

    Consequently, the thousands of men and women who had contributed to the creation of Ultra received no recognition for their achievements. Most of the codebreakers returned to their civilian lives, sworn to secrecy, unable to reveal their pivotal role in the Allied war effort.While those who had fought conventional battles could talk of their heroic achievements, those who had fought intellectual battles of no less significance had to endure the embarrassment of having to evade questions about their wartime activities. According to Gordon Welchman, one of the young cryptanalysts working with him at Bletchley received a scathing letter from his old headmaster, accusing him of being a disgrace to his school for not being at the front. Derek Taunt, another cryptanalyst, summed up the true contribution of his colleagues: “Our happy band may not have been with King Harry on St. Crispin’s Day, but we had certainly not been abed and have no reason to think ourselves accurs’t for having been where we were.”
     

    This may have contributed to Turing’s downfall. If, after the war he had been known as a national hero as he deserved, the authorities might have gone easy on him, even in the climate of the time, but as it was, his contribution was unknown and no one from the security establishment lifted a finger to help him out when he got into trouble because this would have endangered the secret.

    As encounters with “rough trade” go, Turing got off easy – the rough trade’s friends later returned and burglarized his house when he was not home (which he naively reported to the police and opened the gates of hell upon himself). It is not unusual for rough trade to beat and rob or even kill their johns – a number of famous homos met their end this way.

    Most people connect Turing’s suicide (and it’s not 100% clear that it was even suicide) to his conviction and court mandated hormone treatment to reduce libido but both had been over for some time when he killed himself. Although the conviction limited his ability to consult for the UK security establishment and to travel to the US, he had kept his academic position and was free to travel to Europe, so his life was not utterly ruined. In any case, as we see with Bourdain, even people at the height of their success can commit suicide – the link between his conviction and his death is not clear.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    It seems like there ought to be conspiracy theories about Alan Turing's death. I came up with several off the top of my head, but I never heard any.

    If anybody out there writes detective stories, I bet a complicated Alan Turing's death conspiracy theory thriller could sell.

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  139. JMcG says:
    @Jack D
    The Brits (and before them the Poles - pre-war Poland had some formidable mathematicians (and they were actual ethnic Poles, unlike the "Hungarian" geniuses who were almost invariably Jewish) did most of the intellectual work to break Enigma and the American contribution (as usual) was to make it bigger and faster and in larger quantities. The US Navy "bombes" ran at 34 times the speed of the early British bombes and they made hundreds of them.

    The idea of the "bombe" was try rapidly try thousands of different dial combinations one after the other until you hit a combination that decoded the message. The original German Enigma machines had 4 dials that you would turn by hand with 26 letters on each (plus it had further complications that increased the number of possible combinations even more), so you might only be able to try one or two combinations per minute and it would take years to break a single message. So instead they motorized the dials to spin at thousands of RPM and they used more than 1 set of dials. Even this brute force approach would not have worked due to the billions of possible combinations but the Enigma had certain quirks or weaknesses such as the fact that it would never encrypt a letter to itself which they were able to exploit.

    Of course today we have computers that do millions (or billions or trillions) of calculations per second electronically instead of physically rotating dials so you could solve Enigma on your phone, but in those days the bombe was an achievement.

    “Hungarian”? Does this mean that American Jews are actually “American”?

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Einstein understood that labeling is not absolute but always "relative" to the circumstances. In 1921, before his theory was proven (and before all that Nazi stuff got going), he presented a paper on the Theory of Relativity at the Sorbonne.

    “If I am proved correct,” he said, “the Germans will call me a German, the Swiss will call me a Swiss citizen, and the French will call me a great scientist. If relativity is proved wrong, the French will call me a Swiss, the Swiss will call me a German, and the Germans will call me a Jew.
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  140. @Harry Baldwin
    The Trump Administration should think hard about which ones they ought to be generating.

    If the Trump administration releases sufficient evidence to prove that the Obama administration used the IRS to discourage conservative political groups, the FBI to make sure Hillary was exonerated for her email scandal, and the FBI and CIA to subvert the 2016 election, how will the MSM deal with it? I don't see how it can. Suddenly Obama, the most saintly of all presidents, would be revealed as a far greater enemy of the Constitution than Richard Nixon. It would turn the SJW worldview upside down. I see it as more explosive than Khrushchev's speech acknowledging the crimes of Stalin.

    Would they just follow Vox Day's Second Law of SJWs and double down? The fact that the NY Times printed the lunatic rantings of ex-CIA chief John Brennan last month indicates that they are going to maintain their commitment to the Narrative at all costs, no matter how ridiculous it becomes.

    Would they just follow Vox Day’s Second Law of SJWs and double down? The fact that the NY Times printed the lunatic rantings of ex-CIA chief John Brennan last month indicates that they are going to maintain their commitment to the Narrative at all costs, no matter how ridiculous it becomes.

    They’ve already done this to some extent.

    1) The purpose of the TEA Party affiliated Groups was to advocate for a reduction in taxation, which means that THEY DON”T LIKE TO PAY TAXES! Of course the IRS should scrutinize these deadbeats and evaders in the planning – the IRS was just DOING ITS JOB! (really, this was the take on lefty blogs and media at the time).

    2) Hillary’s emails weren’t classified when sent or didn’t have the classified heading, so they weren’t classified. They were yoga routines and wedding plans and other purely personal matters that of course anyone would want to keep from the prying eyes and prurient interests of these creepy Republicans in Congress.

    3) We needed to surveil the Trump Campaign because it was crawling with guys who knew guys who knew guys who knew Russians, and of course all Eastern Europeans have “connections” to Putin and the Kremlin. It was an act of Patriotism, really, we swear. Not politically motivated in the least.

    What people don’t seem to express is that the media isn’t just biased (ideologically and partisan) with all that entails, they lawyer the “facts” and mis-state the law as well for these ends. If you could imagine a sleazy mob lawyer saying it in a “believe me or your lying eyes” way, you can imagine Don Lemmon or Anderson Vanderbilt repeating it authoritatively.

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    • Replies: @Jack D

    What people don’t seem to express is that the media isn’t just biased (ideologically and partisan) with all that entails, they lawyer the “facts” and mis-state the law as well for these ends.
     
    Well, this has been true for a very long time (at least since the NY Times reported that there was no famine in the Ukraine in the '30s) what is new now is that they editorialize right in the news stories. So yesterday the story in the NY Times was that Trump FALSELY (and this is the word that they used) misrepresented the # of people who died in the Puerto Rico hurricane (ever since it worked on Bush, all natural disasters are now caused by Republicans or at the very least it is the Republican President's fault that the local Democrat government is corrupt and incompetent and that the locals are too dumb to take care of themselves). In the old days, they might have just said that the (Republican) President said X and that "noted experts" say Y and let you draw your own conclusions but now they just outright accuse the President of lying every day right in the news stories. And of course (and this is old) the idea that the death toll (which magically increased from a couple of dozen to thousands) is not a fixed constant of the universe like pi but something that is highly subject to interpretation and spin by leftist academics who have a vested interest in coming up with a really high number, is not mentioned. If the President contradicts "science" then he is "lying".
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  141. Jack D says:
    @candid_observer
    At some point it might have been reasonable for her to assume Hillary would win, given the media narrative -- namely, after Trump became the nominee, and all the pollsters and pundits declared Trump a political catastrophe for the Republicans.

    But I don't see how she or anyone could have reasonably believed this before Trump became the nominee. That's why I refer back to 2014 and 2015 as the time she should have retired. Again, she was already into her 80s, and had no good reason to believe that for the next 10 years or so the President would be a Democrat. Moreover, by the time it was clear that Trump would become the nominee, it was too late for her to expect that if she retired she would be replaced by Obama rather than the next President (see Garland). She deliberately missed her window for retiring, taking the huge risk that the next President would be a Democrat.

    But how could she, given her age and health history, think she would last out such a length of time if necessary?

    Narcissism takes more than one form. This rather bizarre looking woman loves being a diva -- even her tee shirt boasts of it.

    It’s not really fair to criticize an 85 year old woman on looks. In her younger days she was at least average looking for a Jewish female:

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    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    We merely await Average Dad ruling her worthless on the grounds of her "dried up womb". He mentions that so often he manages to stir up some chivalry even in me, a reluctant misogynist.
    , @candid_observer
    She hasn't aged well.
    , @Autochthon
    https://goo.gl/images/ynSE2X
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  142. Read More
    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    Truth hurts.

    I'm surprised the most liked comments are quite based. Also surprised that nj.com left the comments section open.
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  143. Regret says:

    The late Jerry Pournelle told me the KGB did this to cover up a Soviet semi-orbital weapon that came down spectacularly over Latin America: have local Communists call up newspapers and rant about flying saucers and little green men to confuse and discredit the accurate eyewitnesses. Of course, maybe Jerry was projecting?

    There is a strain of Communism in Latin America that believes that Earth has been visited by Marxist extraterrestrials who clandestinely aid the revolution. The common wisdom is that their leader went a little screwy during his time being tortured in government custody and dreamt up the idea hinself, but maybe he got it from somewhere else.

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  144. Londonbob says:

    Of course a majority never believed the official narrative on JFK but then they never had the megaphone. It took Oliver Stone’s film to give voice to this, since then the official narrative has been re-established regardless, even if a majority still have contrary opinions.

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  145. The most significant results attributed to Turing were already proved effectively by Alonzo Church using lambda calculus. Granted, lambda calculus is ugly beyond belief, but it’s just one of number of correct models for computability, which the Turing machine was as well. Turing built heavily on pre-existing work, including Godel’s. (The mechanism of constructing a proof, as described by Godel, is another equivalent model of computation. All the theorems of, say, Peano Arithmetic, are recursively enumerable, as are the products of Universal Turing machines).

    But Shannon’s work on foundations of information theory, with its remarkable combination of abstraction and real world application, really came out of pretty much nowhere.

    Shannon wins the cage match.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Alonzo Church

    was teaching at UCLA when I was there. But I never heard of him until recently.

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  146. @Jack D
    It's not really fair to criticize an 85 year old woman on looks. In her younger days she was at least average looking for a Jewish female:

    https://hips.hearstapps.com/ell.h-cdn.co/assets/15/45/4000x4955/gallery-1446753185-ginsburg-at-rutgers.jpg

    We merely await Average Dad ruling her worthless on the grounds of her “dried up womb”. He mentions that so often he manages to stir up some chivalry even in me, a reluctant misogynist.

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  147. @Jack D
    It's not really fair to criticize an 85 year old woman on looks. In her younger days she was at least average looking for a Jewish female:

    https://hips.hearstapps.com/ell.h-cdn.co/assets/15/45/4000x4955/gallery-1446753185-ginsburg-at-rutgers.jpg

    She hasn’t aged well.

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  148. Jack D says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    It is clear that her body is old and worn out but unless she has some fatal disease she could live in this physically worn out condition for many years, being wheeled from place to place.
     
    She's a bad flu season away from a nice, cozy retirement in a burning lake of fire. Some Clerk sneezes on a Brief and hands it to her - kaputt.

    The gloves she's seen wearing in public are a prophylactic against communicable diseases, which she started wearing during her chemotherapy treatments.

    She has set as her goal recently as lasting 5 more flu seasons (until age 90, which BTW would put retirement inside a 2nd Trump term) which according to the mortality tables is a roughly even bet. Of course at that age (and given her health history) there are no guarantees – she should not be investing in green bananas and should be buying her mayo in the PINT jar, not the quart.

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  149. ChrisZ says:
    @candid_observer
    The video of Ginsburg is pretty shocking. A fully healthy 85 year old looks nothing like her. She can't seem to hold up her head (granted, it's a HUGE head for her body). Worse, she seems to have a good deal of difficulty enunciating her words properly, a fair amount of word finding hesitation, though word for word she seems quite coherent.

    Her bent head might be due in part to osteoporosis (she may have had a good deal of radiation because of her previous cancers, which would aggravate this). But from the other issues in her speech I would guess she has some significant neurological issue, maybe a mild stroke, maybe Parkinson's disease. (It would be good to see her walk -- gait is a very reliable tell for Parkinson's)

    And I wouldn't feel sorry for her as far as pressure on her not to retire goes. She had every good reason to retire back in say 2014 or 2015, at age 81 or os. But obviously she so loved the diva prestige the left accorded her that she refused to give it up.

    Candid, although I can’t help but feel sympathy for an elderly person, especially one feeling the decline of a once-formidable talent, your judgment about such a person holding onto a position of authority well into old age is absolutely warranted.

    You’re quite right that Justice Ginsburg’s 80th year–her 20th on the Court, arriving in the midst of a sympathetic administration–should have been a natural time to announce her retirement, if only to unburden herself and enjoy her final years on this earth. At what point does holding on become a form of mere vanity, a delusion of one’s indispensibility, that no longer deserves our sympathy, but rather our impatience?

    I feel the same way about public figures like Arlen Specter and John McCain, who fight tooth and nail to hold onto their offices despite being diagnosed with some horrible illness. We’re supposed to genuflect at their bravery–and certainly it would be brave enough merely to carry on with life under such circumstances. But I suspect there’s also a high degree of selfishness and delusion involved in the unwillingness to let go of life in the public eye; and also, perhaps, an unsettling comment on the quality of private life they would be left with.

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    • Agree: 3g4me
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  150. Karl says:
    @PhysicistDave
    Steve,

    I recently re-read Shannon's original paper on information theory: I am co-inventor on some patents on error-correction coding, and I wanted to review some of the foundations of the field.

    In the couorse of looking into this, I found out that the invention of information theory was a bit of a group effort: Shannon at the center but inmportant contributions from other people at Bell Labs such as Ralph Hartley and Richard Hamming (both of whom have their names on important concepts in the field).

    And, Shannon's original paper was... well, suggestive. It by no means proved his results at a level satisfactory to mathematicians, and it took years before mathematicians had re-worked it all to their satisfaction. Shannon's key result on how much information can be pushed throuogh a continuous but band-limited channel with random noise requires a huge leap that, I think, is still not really grasped by most of those who write textbooks on information theory (it works, but the required signals have a fixed average power but get really, really loud now and then!).

    By the way, where did you read about Shannon's work on integrating Boolean algebra into digital design? I had never heard of that before but only of his work on information theory.

    In terms of real-world impact, I would say that Shannon dwarfs Turing: cell phones, CDs/DVDs, digital fiber optics, satellite communications, hard-disk drives -- anything digital is now based on the work by Shannon, Hartley, Hamming, et al..

    But, in terms of the pure mathematical theory of computation, Turing is more significant.

    Dave

    42 PhysicistDave > “Shannon was Joe Cool”

    well, he was. But folks had been worrying about information theory ever since the first (yes, the one that lasted only a week) trans_atlantic cable was only able to attain 3-4 words per minute of speed

    Check my memory, but wasn’t it Oliver Lodge the guy who figured out why? (they were drowning in “incidental capacitance”)

    You want to see Bizarro Brit ? Go read the bio of Oliver Lodge

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    There was so much low hanging fruit in those early days that Lodge was able to pick - the spark plug, the speaker coil. These were heralded inventions that any child could understand and that you could demonstrate at home with a battery and a few meters of copper wire. Good luck explaining quantum computation to a child today or building a fusion reactor in your basement.
    , @Jack D
    I think that William Thomson (aka Lord Kelvin) was the one who was instrumental (no pun intended) in figuring out the theoretical basis and implementing the instruments and methods needed to make it work (the reason BTW that the 1st cable only lasted a short time is that the idiot in charge, on the "more is better" theory, sent 2,000 volts down the line, frying the cable). By use of Thomson's sensitive instruments, very slight signals could be detected so the cable could operate on as little as 60 volts. His other insight was that you could separate each pulse more clearly by "curbing" (reversing the polarity) of the cable.
    , @PhysicistDave
    Karl wrote to me:

    But folks had been worrying about information theory ever since the first (yes, the one that lasted only a week) trans_atlantic cable was only able to attain 3-4 words per minute of speed
     
    Well... that is sort of not information theory!

    The amazing thing about inforomation theory is that no matter what the noise source on your channel is, there is a rate of information you can push through the channel (with fixed average power) such that you can get arbitrarily low error rate (that is, effectively, zero error rate). That was a big surprise.

    A bit of thought shows that you can get the error rate lower and lower by slowing the information rate (you can just use a "repetition code" with "majoirty decoding"), but you don't have to do that. There is a fixed data rate, such that the data can be guaranteed to be (arbitrarily close to) error-free without having to push the data rate lower and lower.

    The rub is that you have to use error-correction coding. Shannon proved that arbitrarily good error-correction codes exist, but he did not show how to produce practically realizable, arbitrarily good error-correction codes.

    Which is why some of us who are experts on error-correction codes can actually make money off of all this.

    All this was a big transformation from how people thought about communication before Shannon. Sort of like before and after the double helix.
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  151. Ron Unz says:

    Historian David Irving stumbled upon the Enigma secret in the 1960s…While researching his 1964 book Mare’s Nest about the V-1 and V-2 programs, David Irving found out about Ultra.

    Hmm… Is that the same David Irving whom Dr. Gregory Cochran recently described as “a lying sack of Nazi shit”?

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/she-has-her-mothers-laugh/#comment-108832

    Personally, I don’t have a very high regard for most of Cochran’s opinions. But if I did, I’d certainly be very cautious about favorably quoting a “Nazi” and his historical writings, let alone one known to be such a pathological liar…

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    • Replies: @pyrrhus
    Greg Cochran seems to be on a crusade to obtain respectability by being conventional on historical matters, to protect his largely correct, but un-pc, scientific ideas....I don't think he will succeed. Academic cultural marxists don't tolerate dissent of any kind.
    BTW, David Irving's book on Rommel is excellent!
    , @Cagey Beast
    The irony is that the mistreatment of people like David Irving since the 1980s makes it far less likely that a White guy would play along with the Establishment the way a younger David Irving did back then. How could the powers that be appeal to someone "as an English gentleman" not to reveal a state secret when those in power spit on the concept of the gentleman and want to abolish England?
    , @gcochran
    Good luck, Ron.
    , @Lot
    Inferring that Steve's mid-60s David Irving anecdote is an implied endorsement of his later malicious buffoonery is not something Cochran would do.
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  152. @LondonBob
    If you whistle blow who will you go to is the biggest factor, you are just ignored. Someone would've talked, well they probably did but you just never heard. So why pay the heavy price for whistle blowing when no one will ever know anyway.

    I still think JFK assassination whistle blower Chauncey Holt tells a fascinating story, Meyer Lansky, the killing of Bugsy Siegel, CIA executive action, JFK but you won't find his story told, despite the public appetite for mafia and spy yarns.

    From the very beginning I never bought into that bit about Oswald having gone solo. As to who actually gave the order to waste Kennedy, as Wittgenstein said “I pass in silence.”

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  153. pyrrhus says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    I've watched a number of TV shows and movies in the past few years that have featured Ultra/Bletchley, e.g. The Bletchley Circle, The Imitation Game, etc. A theme common to all of them was the absolute need for total secrecy. No one could talk about the Ultra 'conspiracy' at all, full stop, the end.

    But if there were 9K people involved with Ultra in one way or another, did they all really keep it secret, not just during the war, but thereafter?

    And, assuming some of them did not, especially after the war (human nature being what it is), how many leakers can a conspiracy of that size tolerate before course of The Narrative is altered? If just one person starting talking about this super-secret code-breaking project that went on for years, who (other than those involved) would believe him? What if 10 started talking? 100? 1000? It seems Ultra really did remain pretty much a secret. How many people talked about it, and were disbelieved/brushed off?

    Another way of putting this: there have been waves of conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination (BTW, I don't want to talk about any of these -- please! -- I just want to point out their existence). Yet the Warren Report Narrative, I would argue, still largely holds. The great beast that is The Narrative has been able to absorb the countless nips and stings of the conspiracy theorists, and on it lumbers.

    This question is extremely pertinent in the context of current political campaigns, 'fake news', etc. When The Narrative assures us that, for example, Barack Obama's presidency was the most 'scandal-free' in history, how many 'conspiracy theorists' -- with their blogs, their alternative news sites, their tweets -- does it take to wound and even bring down that narrative beast?

    In other words, what's the critical mass needed for a story (whether it's the truth, or a conspiracy theory, or the exposing of a conspiracy, or whatever) to break through The Narrative's powerful defenses, and enter the popular consciousness?

    OK, I give up…What “compelling” interest made it important not to disclose the highly obsolete codebreaking activities of the Bletchley Park gang for decades after they occurred? I don’t see any Government interest here, just a compulsive desire to keep secrets forever.And I’m pretty sure the Germans stopped using the Enigma machines for coded messages….Typical of a bureaucracy that is obsolete itself.

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  154. Some say there’s a conspiracy to bring down the white birth rate. Utter nonsense. This poster is obviously aimed equally at white and Muslim girls.

    https://www.walsallhealthcare.nhs.uk/a-safe-summer-for-walsall-young-people.aspx

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  155. Karl says:
    @Unladen Swallow
    It was Shannon's master's thesis at MIT, published in 1937. He had remembered George Boole from an undergraduate course he took at the U of Michigan as an undergraduate.

    56 Unladen Swallow > It was Shannon’s master’s thesis at MIT, published in 1937

    unlikely to have been seen by Turing, methinks

    Especially because Turing’s ==academic== schtick was: theory of computability

    Am I the only one who remembers that the Poland Cipher Bureau cracked the Enigma machine when it was still just a commercial product?

    The Pole gave the Brits their “training wheels” in the crypto business

    It was the Poles who first figured out that mathematicians should be running crypto efforts

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    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
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  156. pyrrhus says:
    @Ron Unz

    Historian David Irving stumbled upon the Enigma secret in the 1960s...While researching his 1964 book Mare’s Nest about the V-1 and V-2 programs, David Irving found out about Ultra.
     
    Hmm... Is that the same David Irving whom Dr. Gregory Cochran recently described as "a lying sack of Nazi shit"?

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/she-has-her-mothers-laugh/#comment-108832

    Personally, I don't have a very high regard for most of Cochran's opinions. But if I did, I'd certainly be very cautious about favorably quoting a "Nazi" and his historical writings, let alone one known to be such a pathological liar...

    Greg Cochran seems to be on a crusade to obtain respectability by being conventional on historical matters, to protect his largely correct, but un-pc, scientific ideas….I don’t think he will succeed. Academic cultural marxists don’t tolerate dissent of any kind.
    BTW, David Irving’s book on Rommel is excellent!

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    • Replies: @gcochran
    I call 'em as I see 'em.
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  157. Jack D says:
    @Alec Leamas (hard at work)

    Would they just follow Vox Day’s Second Law of SJWs and double down? The fact that the NY Times printed the lunatic rantings of ex-CIA chief John Brennan last month indicates that they are going to maintain their commitment to the Narrative at all costs, no matter how ridiculous it becomes.
     
    They've already done this to some extent.

    1) The purpose of the TEA Party affiliated Groups was to advocate for a reduction in taxation, which means that THEY DON"T LIKE TO PAY TAXES! Of course the IRS should scrutinize these deadbeats and evaders in the planning - the IRS was just DOING ITS JOB! (really, this was the take on lefty blogs and media at the time).

    2) Hillary's emails weren't classified when sent or didn't have the classified heading, so they weren't classified. They were yoga routines and wedding plans and other purely personal matters that of course anyone would want to keep from the prying eyes and prurient interests of these creepy Republicans in Congress.

    3) We needed to surveil the Trump Campaign because it was crawling with guys who knew guys who knew guys who knew Russians, and of course all Eastern Europeans have "connections" to Putin and the Kremlin. It was an act of Patriotism, really, we swear. Not politically motivated in the least.

    What people don't seem to express is that the media isn't just biased (ideologically and partisan) with all that entails, they lawyer the "facts" and mis-state the law as well for these ends. If you could imagine a sleazy mob lawyer saying it in a "believe me or your lying eyes" way, you can imagine Don Lemmon or Anderson Vanderbilt repeating it authoritatively.

    What people don’t seem to express is that the media isn’t just biased (ideologically and partisan) with all that entails, they lawyer the “facts” and mis-state the law as well for these ends.

    Well, this has been true for a very long time (at least since the NY Times reported that there was no famine in the Ukraine in the ’30s) what is new now is that they editorialize right in the news stories. So yesterday the story in the NY Times was that Trump FALSELY (and this is the word that they used) misrepresented the # of people who died in the Puerto Rico hurricane (ever since it worked on Bush, all natural disasters are now caused by Republicans or at the very least it is the Republican President’s fault that the local Democrat government is corrupt and incompetent and that the locals are too dumb to take care of themselves). In the old days, they might have just said that the (Republican) President said X and that “noted experts” say Y and let you draw your own conclusions but now they just outright accuse the President of lying every day right in the news stories. And of course (and this is old) the idea that the death toll (which magically increased from a couple of dozen to thousands) is not a fixed constant of the universe like pi but something that is highly subject to interpretation and spin by leftist academics who have a vested interest in coming up with a really high number, is not mentioned. If the President contradicts “science” then he is “lying”.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    The WaPo said DJT is "complicit" in the hurricane because he does not believe in climate change. It also said Serena's defeat has lessons for the US criminal justice system.

    Must be great drugs they're taking.
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  158. @Ron Unz

    Historian David Irving stumbled upon the Enigma secret in the 1960s...While researching his 1964 book Mare’s Nest about the V-1 and V-2 programs, David Irving found out about Ultra.
     
    Hmm... Is that the same David Irving whom Dr. Gregory Cochran recently described as "a lying sack of Nazi shit"?

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/she-has-her-mothers-laugh/#comment-108832

    Personally, I don't have a very high regard for most of Cochran's opinions. But if I did, I'd certainly be very cautious about favorably quoting a "Nazi" and his historical writings, let alone one known to be such a pathological liar...

    The irony is that the mistreatment of people like David Irving since the 1980s makes it far less likely that a White guy would play along with the Establishment the way a younger David Irving did back then. How could the powers that be appeal to someone “as an English gentleman” not to reveal a state secret when those in power spit on the concept of the gentleman and want to abolish England?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    IIRC, the British wanted to keep the secrecy going forever, but were forced to go public when they learned a book about Ultra was about to be published in the U.S.
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  159. Karl says:
    @Logan
    Well, one theory is that it was in commemoration of the breaking of the Battle of Vienna in 1683. Supposedly this was the revenge of the Muslims for their greatest defeat.

    Couple problems with this one.

    I've never seen the slightest evidence the hijackers even knew about the date coincidence.

    The battle in question actually took place on the 12th.

    Neither of which stops the repeating of this story.

    60 Logan > The battle in question actually took place on the 12th

    On whose calendar? not the one in which Ramadan is denoted, methinks

    You know why the effort to to silence Galileo went so well?

    Because it was lead by the mathematician who had invented the Gregorian Calendar, probably THE record-achieving attainment of Papal supremacy throughout the globe. That mathematician had a LOT of street-cred in Rome.

    the Greek government didn’t switch over until 1923

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  160. Jack D says:
    @Karl
    42 PhysicistDave > "Shannon was Joe Cool"


    well, he was. But folks had been worrying about information theory ever since the first (yes, the one that lasted only a week) trans_atlantic cable was only able to attain 3-4 words per minute of speed

    Check my memory, but wasn't it Oliver Lodge the guy who figured out why? (they were drowning in "incidental capacitance")

    You want to see Bizarro Brit ? Go read the bio of Oliver Lodge

    There was so much low hanging fruit in those early days that Lodge was able to pick – the spark plug, the speaker coil. These were heralded inventions that any child could understand and that you could demonstrate at home with a battery and a few meters of copper wire. Good luck explaining quantum computation to a child today or building a fusion reactor in your basement.

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    • Replies: @keuril

    Good luck explaining quantum computation to a child today or building a fusion reactor in your basement.
     
    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150726-nuclear-reactor-fusion-science-kid-ngbooktalk/
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  161. pyrrhus says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    RBG has outlived the American Left…

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  162. syonredux says:
    @Detective Club
    The cover-up of CIA involvement in the Kennedy killing on Nov. 22, 1963 worked for a given period of time, thanks to CBS, NY Times, etc.
    https://youtu.be/6oQAjGohwbU
    By 1975, American opinion polls showed that about 70% of the American people believed that Oswald was but a minor participant in a wide conspiracy. What broke the dam of lies was the showing of the Zapruder film on American TV. Showing that piece of evidence destroyed the Warren Commission conclusion that Kennedy had the front of his head blown open by a lone gunman, shooting from behind. Finally seeing is disbelieving, after you've been fed a steady diet of lies for more than 10 years.

    What broke the dam of lies was the showing of the Zapruder film on American TV. Showing that piece of evidence destroyed the Warren Commission conclusion that Kennedy had the front of his head blown open by a lone gunman, shooting from behind.

    Full goon. Exit wounds are bigger than entrance wounds. The front of JFK’s head being blown off is evidence for Oswald being the shooter, not against.

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    • Agree: NickG
    • Replies: @Detective Club
    A sizable chunk of Kennedy's skull was found in the grass, behind the presidential target car (Z-Frame 313 of the head shot). Brain matter was all over the out-riding motorcycle cops from the head-shot exit wound. 2/3 of the witnesses said the fatal shot came from the Grassy Knoll. Initial media reports, between 12:30PM-1:00PM, cited the Grassy Knoll as being the place were the head shot originated. On that day in Dallas, there were shooters from behind and from the front. The Grassy Knoll shot was the kill shot.
    , @Jack D
    I think the best cure for Kennedy assassination skepticism (for those who are amenable to evidence - like Holocaust deniers, there are those who are so wedded to their pet theory that no amount of evidence could change their mind) is to visit Dealey Plaza and the Texas Book Depository. It all pretty much looks today the same way as it did in 1963. In my mind at least, before I saw it Dealey Plaza was a vast plain and the "grassy knoll" was akin to the Sheep Meadow of Central Park. In reality it's just one turn off of the downtown Dallas street grid and shooting Kennedy from Oswald's vantage point as his limo made a slow hairpin turn off the intersecting street was like shooting fish in a barrel.
    , @Anonymous
    Yes he's clearly shot from behind not the front, which immediately rules out the 'grassy knoll' theory.

    He does not fall forwards though, as you would expect of someone shot from behind. He remains bolt upright and eventually falls sideways. Apparently this was due to the back brace he was wearing.

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  163. Londonbob says:
    @LondonBob
    If you whistle blow who will you go to is the biggest factor, you are just ignored. Someone would've talked, well they probably did but you just never heard. So why pay the heavy price for whistle blowing when no one will ever know anyway.

    I still think JFK assassination whistle blower Chauncey Holt tells a fascinating story, Meyer Lansky, the killing of Bugsy Siegel, CIA executive action, JFK but you won't find his story told, despite the public appetite for mafia and spy yarns.

    I should add in Holt’s case he kept his mouth shut for thirty years as he knew he would be killed if he did speak out. It was the publicity of Stone’s film and old age that encouraged him to come forward. He was promptly ignored and an effort made to discredit him.

    Don’t forget the importance of compartmentalisation, you only know so much anyway.

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  164. syonredux says:
    @LondonBob
    If you whistle blow who will you go to is the biggest factor, you are just ignored. Someone would've talked, well they probably did but you just never heard. So why pay the heavy price for whistle blowing when no one will ever know anyway.

    I still think JFK assassination whistle blower Chauncey Holt tells a fascinating story, Meyer Lansky, the killing of Bugsy Siegel, CIA executive action, JFK but you won't find his story told, despite the public appetite for mafia and spy yarns.

    Obligatory:

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002GKGBM8/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

    Anyone who has not read Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History is a dilettante

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  165. Perhaps “Ultra” remained a secret for so long because that project didn’t have
    neither direct nor potential ability to hurt people (at least in England).
    Had it been some hazardous bio-laboratory, a nuclear research facility, etc., the secret
    wouldn’t have lasted for decades.
    Besides, most conspiracy theories emerge as a reaction to something (mostly of
    a negative nature) that has already happened.

    As for conspiracy theorists ever getting something right, the answer depends on how
    deep they’re trying to go with details. The more deeper they try, the less chances they’re
    going to get it right.
    But for the overall conclusions based on undeniable facts they’re often correct.
    For example, in many cases proving what didn’t happen (instead of trying to prove what
    exactly happened) is already enough to ruin the official story.

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  166. anon[133] • Disclaimer says:

    Thoughts:

    1. Alan Turing is also more popular because he’s British, and British film producers needed a hero they could make a relatively inexpensive film about. Dunkirk is by far the more well-known bit of British WW2 heroism, but it costs $100 million to make a film about that, so only Christopher Nolan could do it. Similarly, for years they’ve been trying unsuccessfully to get a remake of The Dambusters off the ground. (Pun intended.)

    2. I think someone wrote a book once about how reports, press releases, etc, were actually a way of creating news out of nothing. The implication was that the press needed something to write about on slow news days; a corollary was that they at least devoted some manpower to investigating things themselves. It appears that the latter half of their operation has withered away almost entirely.

    3. Asking conspiracy theorists a sensible question, like Steve’s about Ultra, is a largely fruitless endeavour. That is not to say that conspiracies, even very large ones, don’t happen; nor is it to say that every one who believes in one or more of them is a cretin. But most of them are. I’ve gotten into arguments with conspiracy theory types before, and the striking things are (a) how resistant they are to anything you have to say if they think you’re not totally on board, and (b) how enthusiastic they are about anything you have to say if they think you are.

    So you can suggest the most absolute nonsense to a conspiracy theorist, and provided you’ve agreed with his pet theory, he will lap it up without question. Meanwhile, if you express even the slightest, most heavily-qualified skepticism – “I agree that the official story is wrong, I just have such-and-such a problem with this theory” – then he will call you a shill and a government stooge and plenty of other things besides.

    For the overwhelming majority of conspiracy theorists, conspiracy theory is a tribe that they belong to, and they’re more interested in policing its membership than actually getting to the truth about any particular issue. I guarantee that very few of them have thought about Steve’s Ultra question or similar, and any of them who brought it up would be set upon like ants that have found a termite in the nest.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    I don't think that conspiracy buffs are cretins. I think they are the type of people who easily get lost in details and have a hard time pulling back for the 50,000 foot overall gestalt view. An extreme version of this is schizophrenia, which afflicts more men than women. You don't need thousands of details so much as you need more common sense and an ability to holistically integrate information taking into account weight factors. You can think too much. At some point you need to stop collecting data and start putting it together, which involves strategically rejecting pieces that don't fit.

    In particular, in reference to past events, the facts may not be facts. Memories may be distorted. Things may become exagerated in a Chinese telephone manner as they pass from person to person. The person who originally reported the facts may not have anticipated every way in which they could be misinterpreted. So if a fact doesn't fit the official narrative, consider that it may not be a fact in the first place.
    , @AB_Anonymous
    The problem with “conspiracy theorists” title is that anyone who attacks official
    version of events receives such title (label), regardless of how sane or insane his/her
    objections look. So the more insane or logically weak these objections are - and for
    majority of such that’s a given (even without naturally generous help from those under
    scrutiny), the better for the opponents of “conspiracy theories”.

    Not everything is smooth and even with the picture of well-established titles as well,
    and the amount of nonsense or dead silence produced by variety of “recognized experts”
    in their attempt to oblige officials is huge too.

    Meanwhile, overly or intentional attention to the title is not where the proof of
    something comes from. It comes from the facts and logic that are impossible to refute.
    The rest is really not important.

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  167. @syonredux

    What broke the dam of lies was the showing of the Zapruder film on American TV. Showing that piece of evidence destroyed the Warren Commission conclusion that Kennedy had the front of his head blown open by a lone gunman, shooting from behind.
     
    Full goon. Exit wounds are bigger than entrance wounds. The front of JFK's head being blown off is evidence for Oswald being the shooter, not against.

    A sizable chunk of Kennedy’s skull was found in the grass, behind the presidential target car (Z-Frame 313 of the head shot). Brain matter was all over the out-riding motorcycle cops from the head-shot exit wound. 2/3 of the witnesses said the fatal shot came from the Grassy Knoll. Initial media reports, between 12:30PM-1:00PM, cited the Grassy Knoll as being the place were the head shot originated. On that day in Dallas, there were shooters from behind and from the front. The Grassy Knoll shot was the kill shot.

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    • Replies: @James Speaks
    Agreed. One must visit Dealey Plaza to understand. the grassy knoll is not a grassy knoll. It is the embankment directly overlooking the path JFK's limousine took. Best place to kill from.

    There is no doubt in my mind there were multiple shooters.
    , @syonredux

    A sizable chunk of Kennedy’s skull was found in the grass, behind the presidential target car (Z-Frame 313 of the head shot). Brain matter was all over the out-riding motorcycle cops from the head-shot exit wound.
     
    MMM, can't help but notice that you have no answer to the exit-wound-is-bigger-than-the-entrance-wound business....

    Initial media reports, between 12:30PM-1:00PM, cited the Grassy Knoll as being the place were the head shot originated.
     
    Initial media reports are frequently wrong.....

    2/3 of the witnesses said the fatal shot came from the Grassy Knoll.
     
    Of the 178 witnesses questioned by the House Select Committee On Assassinations, 44% could not determine where the shots came from.28% thought that the shots came from the Book Depository.17% said that neither the Grassy Knoll nor the Book Depository were the origin of the shots. Only 12% said that the shots came from the Grassy Knoll....Even more tellingly, only 2% of the witnesses said that the shots came from more than one location (Posner, Case Closed, 236)


    God help me.....I actually responded to a Kennedy Assassination goon.....
    , @syonredux
    "A sizable chunk of Kennedy’s skull was found in the grass, behind the presidential target car (Z-Frame 313 of the head shot). Brain matter was all over the out-riding motorcycle cops from the head-shot exit wound."

    MMM, can’t help but notice that you have no answer to the exit-wound-is-bigger-than-the-entrance-wound business….

    "Initial media reports, between 12:30PM-1:00PM, cited the Grassy Knoll as being the place were the head shot originated."

    Initial media reports are frequently wrong…..

    "2/3 of the witnesses said the fatal shot came from the Grassy Knoll."

    Of the 178 witnesses questioned by the House Select Committee On Assassinations, 44% could not determine where the shots came from.28% thought that the shots came from the Book Depository.17% said that neither the Grassy Knoll nor the Book Depository were the origin of the shots. Only 12% said that the shots came from the Grassy Knoll….Even more tellingly, only 2% of the witnesses said that the shots came from more than one location (Posner, Case Closed, 236)*.

    God help me…..I actually responded to a Kennedy Assassination goon…..


    *Percentages are rounded in Posner's book, making the total more than 100

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  168. Jack D says:
    @Karl
    42 PhysicistDave > "Shannon was Joe Cool"


    well, he was. But folks had been worrying about information theory ever since the first (yes, the one that lasted only a week) trans_atlantic cable was only able to attain 3-4 words per minute of speed

    Check my memory, but wasn't it Oliver Lodge the guy who figured out why? (they were drowning in "incidental capacitance")

    You want to see Bizarro Brit ? Go read the bio of Oliver Lodge

    I think that William Thomson (aka Lord Kelvin) was the one who was instrumental (no pun intended) in figuring out the theoretical basis and implementing the instruments and methods needed to make it work (the reason BTW that the 1st cable only lasted a short time is that the idiot in charge, on the “more is better” theory, sent 2,000 volts down the line, frying the cable). By use of Thomson’s sensitive instruments, very slight signals could be detected so the cable could operate on as little as 60 volts. His other insight was that you could separate each pulse more clearly by “curbing” (reversing the polarity) of the cable.

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  169. @Charles Pewitt

    The President of France, that lunatic, was always complaining about the Anglo-Saxon Powers and their Project Echelon. The EU did a big report on the Five Eyes about 2000.

     

    Climbing up on Menwith Hill

    I could see the city light

    Eagle flew out of the night

    He was something to observe

    Climbing up on Menwith Hill

    I could see the city light

    Menwith Hill is not actually a hill, it is a flat area of moorland above the treeline, and it is not within line of sight of the nearest city (Harrogate) 8 miles away due to said flattish terrain.

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    • Replies: @Charles Pewitt

    Menwith Hill is not actually a hill, it is a flat area of moorland above the treeline, and it is not within line of sight of the nearest city (Harrogate) 8 miles away due to said flattish terrain.

     

    I just put Menwith Hill in some pop song lyrics from Peter Gabriel.

    People familiar with the song will read my replacement of Solsbury Hill with Menwith Hill and remember the connections.

    Peter Gabriel was perhaps one of the more insidiously gifted globalizer propagandists of the last few decades. I'm jealous of his talents, but aware of what he was doing with them.

    Pretentious of me? MEA CULPA

    But the globalizer propaganda whores of the last 50 years or so have been some pretentious buggers too.
    , @Cagey Beast
    You should check out C.S. Lewis' "Men Without Chests". He discusses this sort of literalism. In retrospect, he predicted our degenerate nerd culture. He didn't predict Google, he predicted the kind of people who work at Google.
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  170. @Jack D

    What people don’t seem to express is that the media isn’t just biased (ideologically and partisan) with all that entails, they lawyer the “facts” and mis-state the law as well for these ends.
     
    Well, this has been true for a very long time (at least since the NY Times reported that there was no famine in the Ukraine in the '30s) what is new now is that they editorialize right in the news stories. So yesterday the story in the NY Times was that Trump FALSELY (and this is the word that they used) misrepresented the # of people who died in the Puerto Rico hurricane (ever since it worked on Bush, all natural disasters are now caused by Republicans or at the very least it is the Republican President's fault that the local Democrat government is corrupt and incompetent and that the locals are too dumb to take care of themselves). In the old days, they might have just said that the (Republican) President said X and that "noted experts" say Y and let you draw your own conclusions but now they just outright accuse the President of lying every day right in the news stories. And of course (and this is old) the idea that the death toll (which magically increased from a couple of dozen to thousands) is not a fixed constant of the universe like pi but something that is highly subject to interpretation and spin by leftist academics who have a vested interest in coming up with a really high number, is not mentioned. If the President contradicts "science" then he is "lying".

    The WaPo said DJT is “complicit” in the hurricane because he does not believe in climate change. It also said Serena’s defeat has lessons for the US criminal justice system.

    Must be great drugs they’re taking.

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  171. @Mike1
    This article itself is a fantastic example of people believing things when they are ready to believe them. A comment I made on an article within the last year that a very high amount of conspiracy theories turn out to be true but inconvenient was met by close to hysterical responses. The comments here, led by Steve's evolving views on conspiracy theories, are essentially all positive.
    I pointed out in the same comment that large numbers of people can and do maintain secrets if they believe the secrets benefit them and they believe their tribal affiliation requires their silence.
    There are two massive "conspiracy theories" (mostly believed by nutty people) that have no sensible counter arguments:
    - The Rothschilds control vast wealth. According to their official family biography they owned virtually everything that mattered in the early 1900's. No one has a sane theory of how they lost all this wealth and became simply a well off family.
    - 9/11. There are far too many ridiculous things that are part of the official narrative surrounding this event. It is a classic "lying eyes" event. The crash site in PA is just comical - the only airplane crash in world history that left a big round hole in the ground and no airplane debris.
    Like it or not, these two examples are both "noticing" in Steve's language. I'm happy to be wrong on both but they need counters that add up. No one ever has one that is not "conspiracy theory!!".

    I pointed out in the same comment that large numbers of people can and do maintain secrets if they believe the secrets benefit them and they believe their tribal affiliation requires their silence.

    Very good point.

    - The Rothschilds control vast wealth. According to their official family biography they owned virtually everything that mattered in the early 1900′s. No one has a sane theory of how they lost all this wealth and became simply a well off family.

    Oy vey! Why are you questioning official doctrine goy?

    - 9/11. There are far too many ridiculous things that are part of the official narrative surrounding this event. It is a classic “lying eyes” event. The crash site in PA is just comical – the only airplane crash in world history that left a big round hole in the ground and no airplane debris.

    Wait, you don’t think Arabs/Egyptians/Afghans/Muslim-something-or-others armed with box-cutters hijacked four large passenger jets and flew them into buildings on the NYC skyline causing the buildings to collapse on themselves? Buildings that were leased by and insured by a beneficiary named Larry Silverstein. An event that would provide a cover to go to war in the ME with popular support. You are a communist young man, I repeat, a communist!

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  172. @theo the kraut
    Reminds me of Peter Sutherland telling that the EU needs to "undermine the national homogeneity" of its member states. He said so openly, yet its not part of the narrative that he did, so you can't argue with it, at least it won't help you. Lately I brought it up talking to a junior politocrat, he brushed it aside as if I were peddling a conspiracy theory ("I won't even look at this article, this is crazy, why would I care?!") Some others might listen to the story, but their eyes and minds glaze over, they forget it as soon as I'm out of the room and the best I can get is that they shut up for a while, so at least I don't get yelled at.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-18519395

    Reminds me of Peter Sutherland telling that the EU needs to “undermine the national homogeneity” of its member states.

    Thanks for the link. Very telling piece. I’m a little surprised that it is still up at the BBC.

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  173. syonredux says:

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  174. Jack D says:
    @JMcG
    “Hungarian”? Does this mean that American Jews are actually “American”?

    Einstein understood that labeling is not absolute but always “relative” to the circumstances. In 1921, before his theory was proven (and before all that Nazi stuff got going), he presented a paper on the Theory of Relativity at the Sorbonne.

    “If I am proved correct,” he said, “the Germans will call me a German, the Swiss will call me a Swiss citizen, and the French will call me a great scientist. If relativity is proved wrong, the French will call me a Swiss, the Swiss will call me a German, and the Germans will call me a Jew.

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  175. @Polynikes
    My go to example is MKUltra. The CIA's attempt at creating a mind control agent, through the use of psychedelics like LSD, was and is highly controversial. It involved dozens of N. American institutions.

    Congress held hearings when word got out, but the CIA destroyed their evidence and lied. One family's instance that their CIA father's death was the result of this program kept it in the public's eye a little. But it wasn't until a 1990s FOI on the Kennedy assassination (of all things) inadvertently released some old accounting documents that apparently proved the existence of the program and reignited interest.



    The Tuskegee airman syphilis experiment and the Cia running coke into S. California (Dark Alliance) are two others that involved a fair amount of people and preyed on the public.

    Steve:

    “Tuskegee airman syphilis report”

    In my memory, there was certainly interest in a story (or stories) regarding the Tuskegee fliers and certainly others that involved a number of syphilitic (black) men treated by Tuskegee doctors BUT (to the best of my memory) there existed no connection whatever (other than the name, Tuskegee) between them.

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  176. Steve, this is OT, but you should consider doing a post about it:

    Don’t speak Spanish? No tacos for you, deplorable Anglo!

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/hialeah/article218395910.html

    This happens all the time down here.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    I don't understand - how can you order in a Taco Bell EXCEPT in Spanish. You say "taco" - you are already speaking Spanish. A burrito - you're still speaking Spanish. Quesadilla, nachos, gordita - the whole menu is in Spanish already.

    Seriously, how stupid are the folks involved? I've been in countries where I don't speak the language and I've always managed to order - absolute worst case you can point at things and show fingers for quantity. You can look at the digits on the cash register or the receipt and see how much you owe. And how can you live in South Florida nowadays without learning at least rudimentary Spanish?
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  177. gcochran says:
    @pyrrhus
    Greg Cochran seems to be on a crusade to obtain respectability by being conventional on historical matters, to protect his largely correct, but un-pc, scientific ideas....I don't think he will succeed. Academic cultural marxists don't tolerate dissent of any kind.
    BTW, David Irving's book on Rommel is excellent!

    I call ‘em as I see ‘em.

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    • Replies: @tanabear
    "I call ‘em as I see ‘em."

    Except when it comes to the collapse of World Trade Towers 1,2 and 7 on 9/11. Then it is a Rube Goldberg explanation all the way down. Preen :)
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  178. Einstein understood that labeling is not absolute but always “relative” to the circumstances.

    Indeed, and one of the important factors about the UK Jay Report on Rotherham was that behaviors that were alreadt known were labeled from a different perspective. Teenage prostitution became child sexual abuse.

    Allegations that girls were unwilling to testify because the gangs were threatening to torture family members if they squealed were taken seriously, rather than dismissed as fantasy products of the disturbed minds of young delinquents.

    And yet you never can be sure what is truth and what is fantasy. Not so long ago a long-term actor in a famous soap opera set in northern England was charged with raping his daughter when she was six years old. At the time of the trial the daughter was in her late teens, and on medical examination that was reported at the trial, she was still an intact virgin.

    The judge directed the jury that they should not necessarily assume that because the girl was a virgin, she could not have been raped at age six. (Whatever.) However, for some reason (I assume they thought the girl was lying) the jury found the father not guilty.

    My guess is that with the Rotherham torture allegations, the social workers did not totally trust the credibility of the plaintiffs.

    Just yesterday I picked up my two daughters from the school bus stop, along with a neighbor boy who is a 4th grader. It is 10 minutes walk from the school bus stop to the house. The neighbor boy said that he had left his brother (first grade) asleep on the bus, having forgotten to wake him. He repeated this several times on questioning. We all went down to the school bus depot where, after phone calls were made, it was established that the younger boy was never on the bus, because his father had been called from his work as a truck driver to fetch him to due some childish misdemeanor. (The neighbors’ grandmother was at home, but she does not speak English and has dementia.)

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    You never know what you will learn. All these years everyone thought that Kavanaugh was a good family man, repeatedly vetted by the FBI, and yet now, relative to his almost sure thing Supreme Ct. appointment by Trump, we suddenly learn that he was a secret high school gang rapist. How shocking to learn this at the 11th hour.
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  179. @Jonathan Mason

    Climbing up on Menwith Hill

    I could see the city light
     

    Menwith Hill is not actually a hill, it is a flat area of moorland above the treeline, and it is not within line of sight of the nearest city (Harrogate) 8 miles away due to said flattish terrain.

    https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/imagenes/echelon07_02.jpg

    Menwith Hill is not actually a hill, it is a flat area of moorland above the treeline, and it is not within line of sight of the nearest city (Harrogate) 8 miles away due to said flattish terrain.

    I just put Menwith Hill in some pop song lyrics from Peter Gabriel.

    People familiar with the song will read my replacement of Solsbury Hill with Menwith Hill and remember the connections.

    Peter Gabriel was perhaps one of the more insidiously gifted globalizer propagandists of the last few decades. I’m jealous of his talents, but aware of what he was doing with them.

    Pretentious of me? MEA CULPA

    But the globalizer propaganda whores of the last 50 years or so have been some pretentious buggers too.

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  180. theorist says:

    Conspiracies are real, they happen frequently, they work and they change the course of world history. In the case of ULTRA, I believe that the main reason it was not disclosed for 30 years was that the Allies couldn’t give the Germans any hint that they had cracked their codes so a large number of Allied troops were sacrificed rather than warn them and risk alerting the Germans to the fact that their military traffic was being read. The 30 year gap meant that a lot of the bereaved wives, mothers, relatives, friends and comrades who would have demanded justice for the unnecessarily slaughtered would have died, come to terms with their loss, “moved on” or simply forgotten about the individuals concerned.

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  181. Jack D says:
    @syonredux

    What broke the dam of lies was the showing of the Zapruder film on American TV. Showing that piece of evidence destroyed the Warren Commission conclusion that Kennedy had the front of his head blown open by a lone gunman, shooting from behind.
     
    Full goon. Exit wounds are bigger than entrance wounds. The front of JFK's head being blown off is evidence for Oswald being the shooter, not against.

    I think the best cure for Kennedy assassination skepticism (for those who are amenable to evidence – like Holocaust deniers, there are those who are so wedded to their pet theory that no amount of evidence could change their mind) is to visit Dealey Plaza and the Texas Book Depository. It all pretty much looks today the same way as it did in 1963. In my mind at least, before I saw it Dealey Plaza was a vast plain and the “grassy knoll” was akin to the Sheep Meadow of Central Park. In reality it’s just one turn off of the downtown Dallas street grid and shooting Kennedy from Oswald’s vantage point as his limo made a slow hairpin turn off the intersecting street was like shooting fish in a barrel.

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    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    I've been there, looked out the window, and agree with you. Three shots at all under 100 yards.

    Interestingly, the Book Depository Museum has a display outlining the various alternate assassination theories.
    , @Detective Club
    According to the Warren Commission, Oswald, the supposed lone gunman, winged Kennedy's moving head, going away from the lone gunman, at a distance of 265 feet. The Warren Commission discounted any Grassy Knoll shooter, who would have had a closer shot of between 80 and 90 feet at an advancing moving target. The target car, for the closer Grassy Knoll shooter, was coming towards the line of fire, while target car for the lone gunman was moving away from the Book Depository at a far greater distance. The Grassy Knoll shooter was a pro's pro, who succeeded in making an extremely difficult shot upon a moving target. Oswald was just a Patsy who was more than 3 times removed from the target car and the fatal kill shot.
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  182. @Jonathan Mason

    Climbing up on Menwith Hill

    I could see the city light
     

    Menwith Hill is not actually a hill, it is a flat area of moorland above the treeline, and it is not within line of sight of the nearest city (Harrogate) 8 miles away due to said flattish terrain.

    https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/imagenes/echelon07_02.jpg

    You should check out C.S. Lewis’ “Men Without Chests”. He discusses this sort of literalism. In retrospect, he predicted our degenerate nerd culture. He didn’t predict Google, he predicted the kind of people who work at Google.

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  183. The Z Blog says: • Website

    This is the ten year anniversary of the mortgage meltdown. Was that a conspiracy? A frenzy? The dynamics of group-think?

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  184. @raven lunatic
    the first rule of MAGIC is that you do NOT talk about MAGIC

    the second rule of magic is that you stop people who do ^_^

    Very good.

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  185. Jack D says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Einstein understood that labeling is not absolute but always “relative” to the circumstances.
     
    Indeed, and one of the important factors about the UK Jay Report on Rotherham was that behaviors that were alreadt known were labeled from a different perspective. Teenage prostitution became child sexual abuse.

    Allegations that girls were unwilling to testify because the gangs were threatening to torture family members if they squealed were taken seriously, rather than dismissed as fantasy products of the disturbed minds of young delinquents.

    And yet you never can be sure what is truth and what is fantasy. Not so long ago a long-term actor in a famous soap opera set in northern England was charged with raping his daughter when she was six years old. At the time of the trial the daughter was in her late teens, and on medical examination that was reported at the trial, she was still an intact virgin.

    The judge directed the jury that they should not necessarily assume that because the girl was a virgin, she could not have been raped at age six. (Whatever.) However, for some reason (I assume they thought the girl was lying) the jury found the father not guilty.

    My guess is that with the Rotherham torture allegations, the social workers did not totally trust the credibility of the plaintiffs.

    Just yesterday I picked up my two daughters from the school bus stop, along with a neighbor boy who is a 4th grader. It is 10 minutes walk from the school bus stop to the house. The neighbor boy said that he had left his brother (first grade) asleep on the bus, having forgotten to wake him. He repeated this several times on questioning. We all went down to the school bus depot where, after phone calls were made, it was established that the younger boy was never on the bus, because his father had been called from his work as a truck driver to fetch him to due some childish misdemeanor. (The neighbors' grandmother was at home, but she does not speak English and has dementia.)

    You never know what you will learn. All these years everyone thought that Kavanaugh was a good family man, repeatedly vetted by the FBI, and yet now, relative to his almost sure thing Supreme Ct. appointment by Trump, we suddenly learn that he was a secret high school gang rapist. How shocking to learn this at the 11th hour.

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    • LOL: Johann Ricke
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  186. It’s why Sensitive Information is Compartmentalized and only disclosed to people who have a Need to Know. It also helps for those in the know to have a sense of common purpose, a fight for what’s good and right, which they surely had in the case for Ultra. The Kennedy case was more likely senior officials fighting the good fight by preventing a loss of confidence of the populace by obscuring by misdirection the misdeeds of rogues among our own officials and those of our so-called allies.

    More recent misdeeds are simply being whitewashed by a willing failure to prosecute, and the loss of confidence among the general populace is far more widespread. The Deep State may find itself regretting not having served up a couple sacrificial lambs.

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  187. Not Raul says:

    Turing gets a lot of the credit that should have gone to the Polish Bomba crew

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bomba_(cryptography)

    But they were a bunch of dumb Polak papists (there’s no other type, according to Borscht Belt comedians, and they never have an agenda) so who cares.

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  188. @Jack D
    I think the best cure for Kennedy assassination skepticism (for those who are amenable to evidence - like Holocaust deniers, there are those who are so wedded to their pet theory that no amount of evidence could change their mind) is to visit Dealey Plaza and the Texas Book Depository. It all pretty much looks today the same way as it did in 1963. In my mind at least, before I saw it Dealey Plaza was a vast plain and the "grassy knoll" was akin to the Sheep Meadow of Central Park. In reality it's just one turn off of the downtown Dallas street grid and shooting Kennedy from Oswald's vantage point as his limo made a slow hairpin turn off the intersecting street was like shooting fish in a barrel.

    I’ve been there, looked out the window, and agree with you. Three shots at all under 100 yards.

    Interestingly, the Book Depository Museum has a display outlining the various alternate assassination theories.

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    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason

    I’ve been there, looked out the window, and agree with you. Three shots at all under 100 yards
     
    Years ago I read Norman Mailer's book Oswald's Tale and I was totally convinced. I mean, how many young white Americans emigrated to Russia in that era that time, then came back to the US with his Russian wife, soon became disgruntled with the wife and the US, was refused a reentry visa to Russia and had to do something desperate to impress Castro and prove his bona fides all over again? Not too many, I should think.
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  189. Lefty says:

    I honestly don’t know what the point of this post was. Sorry Steve, I like most of your writing, but you lost me a bit on this.

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    • Replies: @Anonym

    I honestly don’t know what the point of this post was. Sorry Steve, I like most of your writing, but you lost me a bit on this.
     
    Maybe Steve has comment envy over Ron and has now decided that the easiest way to thousand comment threads is to go the conspiracy route, name dropping David Irving to troll Lot and others. Consider it a toe in the water. ;)

    I would love to know the extent to which the comments Ron gets are due to being the founder of Unz, or to the intrinsic excellence of the articles. I think his articles are awesome btw. Just because the truth is nasty doesn't make me want to organize, encourage or partake in a pogrom, which I think is the main fear and reason for the opprobium he is getting.
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  190. Thurston says:

    Project Azorian, the $4B (2017 dollars) project to recover a sunken Soviet submarine in 1974, is an example of a large, unhidable secret project whose cover-story —Howard Hughes wants to mine the ocean bottom— held-up just long enough to accomplish the mission but no longer.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Azorian

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    • Replies: @Clyde

    Project Azorian, the $4B (2017 dollars) project to recover a sunken Soviet submarine in 1974, is an example of a large, unhidable secret project whose cover-story —Howard Hughes wants to mine the ocean bottom— held-up just long enough to accomplish the mission but no longer.
     
    Hughes mining the sea bottom in 1974 was the equivalent of a UFO cover story. Like the UFO cover stories to mislead and divert from the flying of strangely shaped experimental stealths over Area 51.
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  191. All these years everyone thought that Kavanaugh was a good family man, and yet now, …we suddenly learn that he was a secret high school gang rapist.

    In the interest of diversity, we need a rapist on the Supreme Court. He can sit right next to Clarence Thomas who used his confirmation hearings to act as a pitchman for Coke.

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  192. @Harry Baldwin
    I've been there, looked out the window, and agree with you. Three shots at all under 100 yards.

    Interestingly, the Book Depository Museum has a display outlining the various alternate assassination theories.

    I’ve been there, looked out the window, and agree with you. Three shots at all under 100 yards

    Years ago I read Norman Mailer’s book Oswald’s Tale and I was totally convinced. I mean, how many young white Americans emigrated to Russia in that era that time, then came back to the US with his Russian wife, soon became disgruntled with the wife and the US, was refused a reentry visa to Russia and had to do something desperate to impress Castro and prove his bona fides all over again? Not too many, I should think.

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    • Replies: @syonredux
    Well, here's one example:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Edward_Webster
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  193. gcochran says:
    @Ron Unz

    Historian David Irving stumbled upon the Enigma secret in the 1960s...While researching his 1964 book Mare’s Nest about the V-1 and V-2 programs, David Irving found out about Ultra.
     
    Hmm... Is that the same David Irving whom Dr. Gregory Cochran recently described as "a lying sack of Nazi shit"?

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/she-has-her-mothers-laugh/#comment-108832

    Personally, I don't have a very high regard for most of Cochran's opinions. But if I did, I'd certainly be very cautious about favorably quoting a "Nazi" and his historical writings, let alone one known to be such a pathological liar...

    Good luck, Ron.

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  194. pyrrhus says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.

    Steven Hawking, is that you?

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  195. @Jonathan Mason
    Conspiracy theories take hold because people have suffered psychological harm and find it hard to face up to reality, or are scared of what others will think of them.

    The followers of Jesus could not believe he was dead, and when there were reports that he had been was spotted strolling around the market place a foot off the ground after the crucifixation, the only logical belief was that he had risen from the dead.

    Family members find it hard to accept that their loved one who disappeared in battle was blown into a million pieces or burned to a cinder, so they form a belief in secret concentration camps for missing POWs. Years later a military deserter who married a local girl and went to live in the campo claims that he was kidnapped and kept in a chicken shack with other men who disappeared one day, and so the only rational response is to demand that Uncle Sam bring back the boys.

    Top level White House officials receive reports that Saddam Hussein has intercontinental ballistic missiles topped with anthrax warheads disguised as nodding donkeys and ready to launch at any moment. Satellite surveillance pictures show a boy and a donkey near Baghdad. The only rational response is to make a preemptive strike and kill a few million people as a harm prevention strategy, plus risking a global anthrax pandemic carried into the atmosphere by a nuclear explosion.

    Real conspiracies are much more mundane, like 9/11 and cannot be kept secret for very long.

    Now my time is up, and I have an appointment for an interview with Elvis.

    “The followers of Jesus could not believe he was dead, and when there were reports that he had been was spotted strolling around the market place a foot off the ground after the crucifixion, the only logical belief was that he had risen from the dead.”

    This is a pretty terrible description of the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection – it is backwards in almost every way.

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  196. Rob McX says:

    If you have a big conspiracy to cover up, there are two useful things you could do. First, start spreading rumours about it immediately, the more implausible the better. You don’t have to work hard at this, as the dedicated conspiracy theorists will pick up on it and do all the work for you. Second, gather (or make up) as much compromising information as possible about everyone who is privy to the information on it.

    If the truth ever comes out, you can say, “oh, just another one of hundreds of ridiculous conspiracy theories about this event”, and “source X is unreliable – did you know that he once [insert guilty secret/libel here]?”

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    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    If you have a big conspiracy to cover up, there are two useful things you could do.

    If you can get the New York Times, NPR, and the New Yorker to declare that something isn't true, no matter what the evidence for it around half the US population will give it no further thought. Those people's sole concern is making sure their views are aligned with elite opinion.

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  197. Lot says:
    @Ron Unz

    Historian David Irving stumbled upon the Enigma secret in the 1960s...While researching his 1964 book Mare’s Nest about the V-1 and V-2 programs, David Irving found out about Ultra.
     
    Hmm... Is that the same David Irving whom Dr. Gregory Cochran recently described as "a lying sack of Nazi shit"?

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2018/06/06/she-has-her-mothers-laugh/#comment-108832

    Personally, I don't have a very high regard for most of Cochran's opinions. But if I did, I'd certainly be very cautious about favorably quoting a "Nazi" and his historical writings, let alone one known to be such a pathological liar...

    Inferring that Steve’s mid-60s David Irving anecdote is an implied endorsement of his later malicious buffoonery is not something Cochran would do.

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  198. pyrrhus says:
    @Anon
    OT

    Right after Bill Gates shuttered his flop education reform project because it wasn't working, Jeff Bezos has announced a billion dollar chain of ghetto preschools to raise the IQs of black kids before the achievement gap gets a foothold. Amazon is very data driven, but I guess it would be too much to hope that he tests the kids longitudinally and releases the results to researchers.

    Bezos needs the tax deductions…

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  199. Anyone who thinks this was motivated by anti-globohomo White guys is a conspiracy theorist:

    Nike alerts retailers after bogus Kaepernick coupons offer discount to ‘people of color’ – report
    Published time: 14 Sep, 2018 15:25

    https://www.rt.com/sport/438471-nike-fake-kaepernick-coupons/

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  200. pyrrhus says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you’ve broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma. You need to prioritize the information you’re intercepting so that you’re still receiving it when the Germans set their big plans into motion.
     
    That's an important point. Though by the time Enigma was pretty thoroughly broken, the Germans didn't have that many big plans. They were losing the war and mostly acting in reaction to what the Allies did. One big plan they did have was the Ardennes offensive in December of 1944, which led to the Battle of the Bulge. From everything I have ever read or heard about that offensive, it truly came as a surprise to the americans and british.

    in 1941, Russia had received voluminous and detailed intelligence (which was true) about the impending german invasion from two spies, Leiba Dom and Richard Sorge, both of whom were dedicated communists. Stalin discounted it all as british disinformation and failed to act on it.

    As Greg Cochran recently pointed out, Hitler had smelled a rat and the German High Command was only using land lines before the Ardennes offensive, so it was a real surprise…

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  201. @Anonymous

    Obviously, if you intercept every message transmitted via Enigma and act on your knowledge, the Germans are going to figure out that you’ve broken their code and are intercepting their communications and stop using Enigma.
     
    It may well be that Admiral Canaris had had it with the whole freakshow and just let the coincidences pass.

    Note that cracking Naval Enigma and automating it via The Bombe was nice (Alan Turing worked on this), being a continuation of the Polish cryptanalysts who worked on the commercial Enigma, but the real deal was breaking Lorenz, the top-level crypto for Oberkommando exchange. That was the task of Colossus (Book Review Here). Turning was not involved in that - ironically, Colossus was a General Computer the abstraction of which Turing had so well described in his '36 paper On Computable Numbers (N.B. with absolutely no link to practical engineering of Computers at all)

    After the War, several governments continued to use Enigma for secure comms, LULZ were had. It pays to not tell all. Most of the Colossus machinery ended up in deep mineshafts.

    Canaris did a lot more then “just let the coincidences pass” he was actively engaged in the betrayal of his country’s secrets by means of direct contacts with MI6, and for which he was executed in April 1945. What exactly was revealed remains a secret because the relevant files have not been declassified and there has long been speculation that Enigma was involved.

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  202. Anon7 says:

    Just FYI about Robert Heinlein: He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1929 and served as an officer in the Navy. He worked in radio communications on the new aircraft carrier USS Lexington in 1931. The captain of this carrier was Ernest J. King, who served as the Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet during World War II. Heinlein also served aboard the destroyer USS Roper in 1933 and 1934, reaching the rank of lieutenant. He was discharged in 1934 after he contracted TB.

    I don’t think Heinlein needed much persuading regarding the Navy.

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  203. Clyde says:
    @Thurston
    Project Azorian, the $4B (2017 dollars) project to recover a sunken Soviet submarine in 1974, is an example of a large, unhidable secret project whose cover-story —Howard Hughes wants to mine the ocean bottom— held-up just long enough to accomplish the mission but no longer.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Azorian

    Project Azorian, the $4B (2017 dollars) project to recover a sunken Soviet submarine in 1974, is an example of a large, unhidable secret project whose cover-story —Howard Hughes wants to mine the ocean bottom— held-up just long enough to accomplish the mission but no longer.

    Hughes mining the sea bottom in 1974 was the equivalent of a UFO cover story. Like the UFO cover stories to mislead and divert from the flying of strangely shaped experimental stealths over Area 51.

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  204. @Anonymous
    People with access to records at the National Archives (NARA), i.e., archivists, need top secret security clearances. To work at the JFK Library (on UMass Boston campus), as an archivist/librarian who has access to the sensitive documents there, you need a top secret clearance. I know a few people who work there and know for a fact they had to get top secret clearance investigations and their friends and neighbors were interviewed. What after 50 years, save for some nuclear secrets, needs to be kept secret??

    Truman and Eisenhower Libraries also have classified vaults.

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  205. Hail says: • Website
    @AndrewR
    Honestly, most people in nursing homes are in better shape than she is. We live in clown world. People say Trump makes a mockery of the presidency, and I don't disagree (although the same could be said of all his predecessors since at least Reagan) but that mockery is infinitely dwarfed by the mockery that RBG makes of the US Supreme Court.

    Honestly, most people in nursing homes are in better shape than she is. We live in clown world

    How about term limits for Supreme Court justices?

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  206. Anon[314] • Disclaimer says:

    I enjoyed this article, it showed original thinking.

    Another example of a conspiracy kept secret for many years is the backing by the CIA of Abstract Art.
    Here is an article from 1995 revealing this:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html

    This CIA influence of American culture was secret for over 25 years.

    Sailer’s article makes a hypothesis that conspiracies that are secret for a while, are either small, or very big.

    The CIA support of Abstract Art is another example of a very big conspiracy. The Bletchy Park example given in Sailer’s article is a very big conspiracy. Both were conducted by intelligence agencies.

    I submit an additional hypothesis: a big conspiracy that is a well kept secret usually is conducted by an intelligence agency.

    As an aside, I dislike Abstract Art. I find it interesting that around the time when Abstract Art was secretly funded by the State, the Pop Art style emerged naturally. Also, Pop Art used consumer culture, such as comic books and soup cans. The CIA wanted to show that the American way of life was superior to Communism. But I wonder why the CIA didn’t support Pop Art, which utilized American consumer culture.

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  207. Peasant says:

    The British did not disclose the cracking of the enigma code because it was seen as unbreakeable and they wanted to spy on commercial businesses that still used it (enigma started life as a commercial encryption machine particularly in America). As regards what happened to Irving D notices (now called something else) operate in the same way. There is an informal list of projects/installations the press should never mention and a voluntary self censorship is maintained. A list is given to editors and regularly updated. If yo u violate a D notice (it is not official so there is no legal punishment) as a journalist the next time you need an emergency passport-in a war zone for example- there will be unexpected delays etc. If you play ball you may well be given sensitive leaks to further your career. By this discreet method of carrot and stick censorship essential to national security is maintained.

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  208. @candid_observer
    The video of Ginsburg is pretty shocking. A fully healthy 85 year old looks nothing like her. She can't seem to hold up her head (granted, it's a HUGE head for her body). Worse, she seems to have a good deal of difficulty enunciating her words properly, a fair amount of word finding hesitation, though word for word she seems quite coherent.

    Her bent head might be due in part to osteoporosis (she may have had a good deal of radiation because of her previous cancers, which would aggravate this). But from the other issues in her speech I would guess she has some significant neurological issue, maybe a mild stroke, maybe Parkinson's disease. (It would be good to see her walk -- gait is a very reliable tell for Parkinson's)

    And I wouldn't feel sorry for her as far as pressure on her not to retire goes. She had every good reason to retire back in say 2014 or 2015, at age 81 or os. But obviously she so loved the diva prestige the left accorded her that she refused to give it up.

    candid, My mother is 101 years old as of August, so as she likes to say, she is in her 102nd year. I would pray for a loving angel to take my mom if she looked or sounded like RBG. Oh, and she reads at least two books a month. The MSM does RBG’s cheerleaders no favors when they drag her out for an interview. I would have liked to see how she moved across the stage to that chair, or does the chair have wheels. Next most disgusting funeral service on tap, Mc Cain level, will be RBG’s send off.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    My MIL is 96 and, God bless her, she too looks nothing like RBG. If you had to guess which one was 11 years older than the other, you would guess the other way. There is no doubt that RBG is not in tip-top shape. That being said, there are some people for whom the deterioration is more physical than mental and I think RBG is one of those, so you have to listen to what she says while closing your eyes to the physical wreck that is before you.
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  209. Hail says: • Website
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "This history tends to undermine the often used anti-conspiracy talking point that no effort involving large numbers of people could stay secret for long."

    A reason it was easier back then to keep secrets was because the Internet didn't exist. Something on the scale of Enigma today, all it would take is one tweet, one Facebook post, one Google recorded (into the wayback machine), and the floodgates would open.

    If anything, it's much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world as millions upon millions use and rely upon the Internet in their daily lives. Something such as Social Media would instantly expose those kinds of secrets to the world, all with the touch of a keyboard within a matter of seconds.

    One inconsequential tweet, followed up by a few others, and....millions of people would find out and know before noon. And there'd be nothing the government could do, once millions of people found out.

    Example: the #MeToo, is largely an internet driven thing. Brought down a head hollywood honcho. Before the internet, this was very near impossible to achieve, especially on this level, and so fairly quickly.

    it’s much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world

    I understand your argument but I would dispute it on several points: [1] Despite the Internet’s existence, the ‘Narrative’ or ‘Megaphone’ appears as strong as ever in many ways. [2] Many believe wacky things that are in theory easily disproven (like ICE running elaborate torture facilities at the border). [3] In recent examples of ‘secrets’ coming out, they came from the top and not from some Twitter account or the equivalent, as you imply.

    Although this was pre-Internet and maybe a trivial example:) How long did it take from [1] planning for the Stealth Fighter (the ones that saw first service in the Gulf War of 1991, racking up thousands of kills, receiving not a scratch), [2] first production of the Stealth Fighter, [3] admission by the USGov that they had a fully-stealth attack aircraft?

    A glance at its wiki suggests there was a long delay between planning (1975) and first prototype construction (1977) and admission/confirmation of its existence (late 1988 to early 1990).

    [The stealth fighter] was a black project, an ultra-secret program for much of its life: very few people in the Pentagon knew the program even existed, until the F-117s were revealed to the public in 1988

    The project began in 1975

    The maiden flight of the demonstrators occurred on 1 December 1977

    The decision to produce the F-117A was made on 1 November 1978

    The Air Force denied the existence of the aircraft until 10 November 1988, when Assistant Secretary of Defense J. Daniel Howard displayed a grainy photograph at a Pentagon press conference

    In April 1990, two F-117 aircraft were flown into Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, arriving during daylight and publicly displayed to a crowd of tens of thousands

    During the Gulf War in [Jan.-Feb.] 1991, the F-117 flew approximately 1,300 sorties and scored direct hits on 1,600 high-value targets in Iraq

    Notice that the conspiracy was first lifted from the top, at a press conference in late 1988, and demystified by 1990; a fifteen-year conspiracy involving how many hundreds of thousands of people?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    An enormous amount of speculation on stealth fighters was published during that time, but there were no authentic pictures published in the press. There were model kits of imaginary "stealth fighters" that got everything wrong but the color. When the airplane debuted in the press, people were surprised by how angular and faceted it was, but not in any way surprised by its existence, which was an open secret by then.

    Interestingly enough, some time in the 90s, a homebuilder named Barnaby Wainfan built a small aircraft with flat faceted surfaces, without any effort to build a stealthy aircraft. As it turned out, it 'painted' very poorly indeed, although it did not match the low RCS of the actual stealth aircraft, and pointed out that building a quite stealthy airplane wasn't necessarily as challenging as it seemed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wainfan_Facetmobile

    Indeed, Lockheed had rebuilt an old Vega wooden airplane in the 1960s as a stealth experiment and although the data is still classified it turned out that when fitted with some absorbing materials and a wooden unpainted propeller, it was very stealthy. So the concept of stealth far predated Have Blue.
    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    1] Despite the Internet’s existence, the ‘Narrative’ or ‘Megaphone’ appears as strong as ever in many ways.

    And appearances, as always, are deceptive (e.g. house of cards). The Drudge Report (internet), which wasn't near the followers 20 yrs ago, first broke the story of Clinton/Lewinsky. That's not top down. That was one person in front of his computer. Within the year, a President was impeached.



    [3] In recent examples of ‘secrets’ coming out, they came from the top and not from some Twitter account or the equivalent, as you imply.

    #MeToo was largely internet driven. Rumors re: Weinstein and others in Hollywood have existed for over a century, but its much harder now to keep the lid on as it was back then. Personal scandals, a la Bill Cosby, for example, were also internet driven.

    Also, let's not forget the Assange, Wikileaks, the Democrats leaked emails. These are all not from the top down, per se, but are in fact largely internet driven. One click. One post. And millions will see it within a few hrs. Julian Assange was a majority of one. He isn't the head of a government department.

    One smart phone short vid of Hillary fainting was posted online. Within a few hrs millions upon millions had viewed it.

    Put it this way: The internet (social media is of course only one faction of the world wide web) now makes information more immediate than ever before, including scandals and take downs of the powerful. Granted, the well connected can effectively use the internet to their advantage, but so can ordinary folks as well, if they know where to post and place their information online. But the point remains: The internet has changed the world in how we use, perceive, and view information

    Political movements such as BLM and Antifa, for example, wouldn't be nearly half their modern strength or influence without the internet.

    Example: If an ordinary person tweeted "I just saw the President doing [fill in the blank] regarding something that could effect a major government policy and....millions upon millions would know about it before the networks decided to go forward with it.

    All it takes is one website, post, tweet, etc. Its a total game changer on how society views information.
    , @Steve Sailer
    Jimmy Carter's Defense Secretary announced the existence of a stealth fighter in the fall of 1980.
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  210. Jack D says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    candid, My mother is 101 years old as of August, so as she likes to say, she is in her 102nd year. I would pray for a loving angel to take my mom if she looked or sounded like RBG. Oh, and she reads at least two books a month. The MSM does RBG's cheerleaders no favors when they drag her out for an interview. I would have liked to see how she moved across the stage to that chair, or does the chair have wheels. Next most disgusting funeral service on tap, Mc Cain level, will be RBG's send off.

    My MIL is 96 and, God bless her, she too looks nothing like RBG. If you had to guess which one was 11 years older than the other, you would guess the other way. There is no doubt that RBG is not in tip-top shape. That being said, there are some people for whom the deterioration is more physical than mental and I think RBG is one of those, so you have to listen to what she says while closing your eyes to the physical wreck that is before you.

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    • Replies: @candid_observer
    The problem isn't so much RBG's current cognitive status, which seems OK (for her age). The real problem is that whatever her physical ailment may be (Parkinson's? A bunch of TIAs?), it's likely to get a lot worse, maybe fast.

    The last time I recall seeing a video of her, I didn't much notice any of these serious physical/neurological problems. Now they're grossly obvious.

    The rate of physical deterioration seems pretty great.
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  211. @Wade
    How about conspiracy theories involving the existence of a "Mafia"? Before RFK actually starting bringing them to trial, J. Edgar Hoover famously declared "There's no mafia"..

    I suppose with the US's foremost law enforcement chief denying the existence of a clandestine crime organization, those claiming the opposite might as well have been considered conspiracy theorists of their time.

    Good point.

    Conspiracies don’t have to be flamboyantly complicated, the vast majority of them are just regular run of the mill attempts to pervert justice in one’s favour or simply bump off some bloke who done you wrong.

    Every state in Australia now has specialised task forces dedicated to weeding out corruption in government like NSW’s ICAC and Queensland’s version http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/. What these are are actually institutions designed to investigate and uncover conspiracies within bureaucracy.

    They were instituted as a response to the general citizenry claiming that the government, and certain politicians, were and are corrupt. The people have been proven correct.

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  212. @Jack D
    Her mind is fine. Listen to what she is saying - she is perfectly coherent. She has perfect recall of the circumstances of her confirmation and is able to contrast it with the present situation. Regardless of whether you agree with her politics, in her prime Ruth Ginsburg was a formidable intellect (1st in her class at Columbia Law School) so even if she has lost a little bit of her edge, she still has more left than the average person ever will. It is clear that her body is old and worn out but unless she has some fatal disease she could live in this physically worn out condition for many years, being wheeled from place to place.

    That being said, the stuff about her workout prowess is nonsense - for some reason (the lack of a real God to worship, I suppose), leftists always want to make their leaders into superhuman heroes, not just political leaders but champion athletes, scientists, etc. who are marvelous at whatever they put their hand to.

    Now in any sane society, someone with this much mileage on the clock would be comfortably retired to live out her final years in peace instead of having one of the most important jobs in the land, but our system is such that the decision is completely in her hands.

    Her mind is fine. Listen to what she is saying – she is perfectly coherent. She has perfect recall of the circumstances of her confirmation and is able to contrast it with the present situation.

    Disagree on Ginsburg. She’s not senile, but she is significantly mentally impaired. Yes, what she says is “coherent” but it’s at the level of geezer “back in the war …” regurgitation. And comes out haltingly–very haltingly. I contrast with my dad who is in his 90s. He’ll drive over here this evening for dinner. He’ll be slow ambling around with his walkin stick, but will hold a normal conversation about stuff–maybe messing up or struggling to remember a particular name occasionally. Yet he’s not the least bit painful to listen to like Ginsburg is. (And, of course, he’d have absolutely no business on the Supreme Court even if he’d started out with Ginsburg’s intellect.)

    That’s about all i can get from the video–maybe the impairment is mostly brain to mouth, but i doubt it. She comes across as significantly impaired across the board. I doubt she figures anything out legally. Well beyond who she wants to win.

    And her situation is her own damn fault. Like someone else said–”diva”. She could have bailed out in 2010, 11, 12 … and let Obama appoint a successor. Sandra Day O’Connor is still alive and kicking and bailed out a dozen years ago. Ginsburg is yet another pompous progressive who thinks the world needs her insights so damn much. It’s the fundamental nature of progressivism–the people are too stupid to take care of themselves.

    ~~

    Agree on the general comments on the court.

    I think the founders did an incredible job on the constitution. But the judicial system–and the Supreme Court–is poorly spec’d. It was a hole through which in the modern era, anti-republican sentiment has run riot.

    Quicky redesign:
    – bring it up to say 15 judges
    – 15 year fixed terms
    – pres appoints one every year; so not till the end of his 2nd term are the majority his people
    – to take an appointment judges have to agree to step down to a lower-court; i.e. they have to live as inferiors again, no pretensions of royalty (and no private practice)
    – maybe an oath specifically to uphold constituion and law–as written–that they will not “make new law” and if they want different laws they must resign and run for public office

    Basically the whole joint needs to be taken down a peg–several pegs. Making law in a republic is the job of the people’s elected representatives.

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    • Agree: Jim Don Bob, Kylie
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  213. Most Brits to this day think Churchill was a good guy and savior of democracy. There’s a need not to know among Brits that is remarkable. If it goes against the state narrative, they swat it away like an annoying fly.

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    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
    Wasn't Churchill a good guy and the savior of democracy? "History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." W. S. Churchill
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  214. I think the founders did an incredible job on the constitution. But the judicial system–and the Supreme Court–is poorly spec’d. It was a hole through which in the modern era, anti-republican sentiment has run riot.

    People didn’t live as long in those days, so there was no expectation of centurions on the Supreme Court.

    But why don’t they retire? I can’t believe they care that much about abortion rights. Is there no pension, or is the work so easy that they cannot turn down the money? If I had been on the SC in my forties, I would have retired by my late fifties and taken a part-time position on the board of one of the corporations I had helped.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Lesser federal judges (below SC) can take Senior Judge Status at 65. They get full pay and a reduced case load.

    My teenage Sunday School teacher just gave it up at age 83.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senior_status

    , @Anon
    John Marshall served on the court for 34 years, and lived to 79. He was arguably the original "activist judge" as he led an adversarial court towards the other branches.

    The problem isn't so much the court, as even a limited term body like the Federal Reserve often operates in partisan fashion despite its legally mandated 'neutrality'.

    We have a Constitution that requires 2/3rds of Congress and 3/4ths of the states to amend, and its only been done 27 times (10 being the Bill of Rights, 2 being Prohibition/repeal, and 1 as the delayed ratification of an 18th century amendment).

    The presumption of the Constitution is that most power will be at the state level, but the Civil War, New Deal and Cold War have rendered that meaningless. Since an amendment is so difficult, the courts are a shortcut, as a pratical change doesn't even need 5 justices, just 2 out of 3 judges on an appeals court panel.

    The easiest way to make the courts less partisan and imperialist would be to make the Constitution amendable with a 3/5ths majority; or else devolve power back to the states or even 10 "regions" "commonwealths" or "provinces" of 5 states each with their own sub-national Constitution that would leave only defense/foreign affairs to the federal level.

    All that is unlikely, because demographic triumphalism presumes the left will soon have the power to amend the Constitution without the Right's consent. Remember that Evan Williams of Twitter promoted the article about how we will be annihilated like we were in California. You simply can't "agree to disagree" with people who's religion tells them that the argument was settled in either 1865 or 1945.
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  215. @Ganderson
    So my theory about the NFL being fixed might be true...

    So my theory about the NFL being fixed might be true…

    There is a ton of manipulation in all pro sports.

    There is far too much money at stake for those contests to be left to pure chance!

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  216. @Jack D
    My MIL is 96 and, God bless her, she too looks nothing like RBG. If you had to guess which one was 11 years older than the other, you would guess the other way. There is no doubt that RBG is not in tip-top shape. That being said, there are some people for whom the deterioration is more physical than mental and I think RBG is one of those, so you have to listen to what she says while closing your eyes to the physical wreck that is before you.

    The problem isn’t so much RBG’s current cognitive status, which seems OK (for her age). The real problem is that whatever her physical ailment may be (Parkinson’s? A bunch of TIAs?), it’s likely to get a lot worse, maybe fast.

    The last time I recall seeing a video of her, I didn’t much notice any of these serious physical/neurological problems. Now they’re grossly obvious.

    The rate of physical deterioration seems pretty great.

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  217. @Milo Minderbinder
    OT - South Asian CEO blasts lazy, drug-addicted (black) workers.

    https://www.nj.com/camden/index.ssf/2018/09/ceo_of_nj_firm_given_260m_in_tax_breaks_trashes_local_workers_as_lazy_drug-users.html

    Truth hurts.

    I’m surprised the most liked comments are quite based. Also surprised that nj.com left the comments section open.

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  218. prosa123 says: • Website

    “One aspect of code breaking is ‘preserving’ the secret that the code is in fact broken.”

    During the espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the early 1950′s the government knew from broken Soviet codes that they were completely guilty and that Julius had been the mastermind of the whole spy ring (Ethel definitely had participated but the extent of her involvement was uncertain). As the US was still intercepting the broken codes, however, it couldn’t use that information against the defendants, as otherwise the Soviets would have immediately changed their codes and deprived the US of vital intelligence information. As a result, the prosecution had to base its case primarily on the testimony of David Greenglass, Ethel’s much younger brother and one of the co-conspirators. Greenglass, who died just a few years ago in his 90′s, was not a good witness, but the government had no choice but to take its chances on an acquittal.

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  219. @Steve Sailer
    Rotherham is a good example:

    People had been telling me for years about what was going on in Northern English towns for years, and in 2013 I finally did the research and wrote a Taki's column about it.

    http://takimag.com/article/the_real_threat_to_british_elites_steve_sailer/#axzz5R1R86Ld2

    There was a huge amount of information available, but it was all here and there, in bits and pieces, with only disreputable sorts like me trying to pull it together.

    And, in all my research, I'd never heard of Rotherham.

    Then in 2014 an official government report came out about the goings-on in Rotherham.

    That opened the floodgate because it was an Official Government Report. So reporters could quote it without a lot of tedious he said she said equivocating.

    Official Documents can be very useful. The Trump Administration should think hard about which ones they ought to be generating.

    A similar phenomenon to the one you mention vis-a-vis journalist’s now needing a governmental report to cite has occurred in academia in the past, say, twenty or fifty years, to its detriment. It’s all obsession with citations all the way down, so that the true geniuses increasingly flee to the private sector to work for large corporations or at least think-tanks, because a body can hardly put forth an original insight account of there is not adequate support for it to be cited. (Well, of course there isnt, else it would be a glorified review of the literature, which most academic papers increasingly are!)

    This phenomenon has ramifications for why nowadays true advances in technology and even the humanities have stagnated. We get Instagram instead of code-division multiple access* and Coates instead of Tolkien.

    *This technology was universally scoffed at as a violation of the laws of physics and mathematics when it was posited, so Viterbi, Jacobs et al. had to work it up in their garages and test and prove it worked for themselves before it became the foundation of modern cellular communications, an excellent example of my point.

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  220. Lot says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist
    Speaking of The Narrative, one recurring news story I've been seeing in recent months is the 'Notorious RBG Workout Warrior!' article, i.e. fluff pieces highlighting what great shape Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is in, how she does planks all day, how she's going to live to be 115 -- because we all know she's gotta hang on until Trump is out of the White House.

    Well, the following video [which I found at Conservative Treehouse] tells a different story:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=AriOjUfbBrw

    If the Notorious One were to go to the great courtroom in the sky, the Disturbance in The Narrative is going to dwarf the current Kavanaugh Konniptions.
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  221. @raven lunatic
    the first rule of MAGIC is that you do NOT talk about MAGIC

    the second rule of magic is that you stop people who do ^_^

    the first rule of MAGIC is that you do NOT talk about MAGIC

    the second rule of magic is that you stop people who do ^_^

    Leave the NBA out of this.

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    • Replies: @Paul Jolliffe
    As a kid, I watched on Detroit's Channel 50 the 1977 MHSAA Class A final between Ervin "Magic" Johnson's Lansing Everett and Kevin Smith's Birmingham Brother Rice.

    Great game. Everett in OT after Smith hit a 50-footer to force overtime.

    (Smith later played at MSU.)

    I saw Smith play in person, but I didn't see Magic play in person until he was with the Lakers.

    Magic's basketball IQ was insane - Isiah Thomas said that Magic and the Lakers could get into your head before the game because everyone knew that they had already figured out how to beat you.

    In 1988, Isiah was right, but by 1989, the Pistons had figured out the Lakers.

    https://youtu.be/8yiPi_Rgdxw
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  222. Wouldn’t Claude Shannon get diversity points for marrying a Jewish woman?

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  223. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Rotherham is a good example:

    People had been telling me for years about what was going on in Northern English towns for years, and in 2013 I finally did the research and wrote a Taki's column about it.

    http://takimag.com/article/the_real_threat_to_british_elites_steve_sailer/#axzz5R1R86Ld2

    There was a huge amount of information available, but it was all here and there, in bits and pieces, with only disreputable sorts like me trying to pull it together.

    And, in all my research, I'd never heard of Rotherham.

    Then in 2014 an official government report came out about the goings-on in Rotherham.

    That opened the floodgate because it was an Official Government Report. So reporters could quote it without a lot of tedious he said she said equivocating.

    Official Documents can be very useful. The Trump Administration should think hard about which ones they ought to be generating.

    I’ve been reading about Rotherham since maybe 2009. I probably found it on gates of Vienna, migration watch UK perhaps something of Mad Pam Geller’s
    Storm front cofcc occidental observer, somewhere in pro White sites.

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  224. @FruitDestroyer
    Re: Turing

    I read The Ultra Secret in the 1970s, and it might have mentioned Turing, but I don't remember. The whole code-breaking project was a group effort conducted by many people.

    It was only years later after Turing had become the patron saint of Computer Science that the narrative started changing to place him as the main guy - the most important person - in the Enigma effort.

    Now it is routine to say that Turing shortened the European war by a year with his brilliance. We don't talk of the thousands of others who worked on it, because we want a narrative with individual heroes.

    You can see this desire for heroes with popular conceptions of other movements. Ragtime music - a major genre - is now mostly about one person: Scott Joplin. The Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s - thousands of people - is now thought of as a project of one man, Martin Luther King.

    In this retro narrative, without Scott Joplin we wouldn't have Ragtime, without MLK, we'd still have Jim Crow, and without Alan Turing, WWII would have continued to 1946.

    People want heroes, and they want singular individuals, not groups engaged in pursuit of squad goals. I think popular conception of the Space Program of the 60s would rise if we could agree on one brilliant person who made it happen, instead of thousands of engineers. The NASA publicity machine tried to make astronauts heroes, but people suspected they were mostly along for the ride. If we could identify one singular intellect behind the Space Program, a lot of people would he happier.

    “Ragtime music – a major genre – is now mostly about one person: Scott Joplin.”

    Beethoven invented ragtime in 1823 with the third variation of his last piano sonata’s finale (Opus 111) and with eight puzzling bars of Opus 126, No. 4 (also piano solo). Nobody much noticed at the time because the consensus was in and Beethoven’s late music was universally derided as the demented scribblings of a deaf has-been.

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  225. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Miss Trixie!

    Hollywood has been thinking about making A Confederacy of Dunces into a movie since the late 1970s, before the book was even published. And it still hasn't been able to pull the trigger.

    I wonder what the problem has been? Perhaps it's the assumption that Ignatius J. Reilly must be naturally fat, which then reduces the field of potential stars to the rare fat comic leading man from John Belushi onward.

    But maybe DiCaprio or somebody bankable like that would love to put on 40 pounds for the role.

    How about Kevin James as Ignatius Reilly?

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    • Replies: @Rob McX
    Bad choice - he'd remind too many viewers of Elena Kagan.
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  226. tanabear says:
    @gcochran
    I call 'em as I see 'em.

    “I call ‘em as I see ‘em.”

    Except when it comes to the collapse of World Trade Towers 1,2 and 7 on 9/11. Then it is a Rube Goldberg explanation all the way down. Preen :)

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  227. @Tyrion 2

    “I worked in Hut 8 at Bletchley Park with Alan Turing in March 1943 when we pulled four allnighters in a row and broke the German U-boat and won the Battle of the Atlantic so Britain didn’t get starved into surrendering to Hitler”?

    Personally, I’d want to blurt that out
     
    Even in response to your brother-in-law recounting how he'd single-handedly stormed a machine gun nest and captured three German prisoners?

    Sometimes, I guess.

    Or maybe you don’t tell your brother-in-law, but after a family get-together you tell your wife, who tells her sister, who tells her husband, the Battle of Britain ace, who actually is a pretty good guy who really is impressed with what you did during the war, and tells his friend from the RAF at the Daily Telegraph, who says this would be a good story to his editor, who asks his friend from Eton in the Cabinet if this would be all right to run as a feature story next Friday, who comes back to say: No.

    I presume variations on this happened several times before 1974.
     
    Yes, I am sure it did. Nonetheless publishing or leaking such information would only reveal some of the technical details of the war, not completely change the narrative and reveal a huge, nefarious conspiracy.

    Naturally secrets can be kept, but the common denominator among what are popularly termed "conspiracy theories" is how their revealing would change everything, normally in a way which the theorist would like.

    That is qualitatively different from common official secrets.

    Number of people involved × level of scandal if revealed = difficulty of keeping secret.

    Bletchley Park = 0 scandal if revealed, so it was 0 difficulty to keep quiet.

    Where do the recent Catholic Church revelations fit into this picture?

    For years, we heard accounts of misconduct by priests preying on altar boys being kept secret by their bishops, but now it is claimed that misconduct by an archbishop preying on seminarians was covered up by two successive popes?

    OK, this story “got out”, but this took years and it is still not certain what actually happened and what is still kept under wraps?

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    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    It isn't one story. It seems to be a million different crimes by a million different people that have slowly been exposed thtoughout my lifetime. Not a conspiracy but merely the result of having a caste that is banned from marriage being in charge of childcare. What is the one central secret planned endeavour?
    , @SporadicMyrmidon
    By far the best discussion of these issues has come from Rod Dreher, so far as I know. He is a former Catholic, now Orthodox, and he is sometimes criticized by those with more "right wing" views, but he is really doing an excellent job of trying to actively investigate and report this whole issue. That is my view at least. I have found his posts in recent times to be extremely illuminating. It seems there really is a conspiracy, and it is somewhat complex.
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/author/rod-dreher
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  228. Tomalak says:

    In an old job back in 2014, my then boss’s wife introduced me to her grandmother. She was very proud of her grandmother spending years codebreaking in Bletchley Park. But she told me there was absolutely no point in me or anyone else, family included, even asking her about it as she wouldn’t say a word. She’d signed the Official Secrets Act in either 1941 or 1942 (I forget which) and takes that very seriously…

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  229. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Hail

    it’s much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world
     
    I understand your argument but I would dispute it on several points: [1] Despite the Internet's existence, the 'Narrative' or 'Megaphone' appears as strong as ever in many ways. [2] Many believe wacky things that are in theory easily disproven (like ICE running elaborate torture facilities at the border). [3] In recent examples of 'secrets' coming out, they came from the top and not from some Twitter account or the equivalent, as you imply.

    Although this was pre-Internet and maybe a trivial example:) How long did it take from [1] planning for the Stealth Fighter (the ones that saw first service in the Gulf War of 1991, racking up thousands of kills, receiving not a scratch), [2] first production of the Stealth Fighter, [3] admission by the USGov that they had a fully-stealth attack aircraft?

    A glance at its wiki suggests there was a long delay between planning (1975) and first prototype construction (1977) and admission/confirmation of its existence (late 1988 to early 1990).

    [The stealth fighter] was a black project, an ultra-secret program for much of its life: very few people in the Pentagon knew the program even existed, until the F-117s were revealed to the public in 1988
     

    The project began in 1975
     

    The maiden flight of the demonstrators occurred on 1 December 1977
     

    The decision to produce the F-117A was made on 1 November 1978
     

    The Air Force denied the existence of the aircraft until 10 November 1988, when Assistant Secretary of Defense J. Daniel Howard displayed a grainy photograph at a Pentagon press conference
     

    In April 1990, two F-117 aircraft were flown into Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, arriving during daylight and publicly displayed to a crowd of tens of thousands
     

    During the Gulf War in [Jan.-Feb.] 1991, the F-117 flew approximately 1,300 sorties and scored direct hits on 1,600 high-value targets in Iraq
     
    Notice that the conspiracy was first lifted from the top, at a press conference in late 1988, and demystified by 1990; a fifteen-year conspiracy involving how many hundreds of thousands of people?

    An enormous amount of speculation on stealth fighters was published during that time, but there were no authentic pictures published in the press. There were model kits of imaginary “stealth fighters” that got everything wrong but the color. When the airplane debuted in the press, people were surprised by how angular and faceted it was, but not in any way surprised by its existence, which was an open secret by then.

    Interestingly enough, some time in the 90s, a homebuilder named Barnaby Wainfan built a small aircraft with flat faceted surfaces, without any effort to build a stealthy aircraft. As it turned out, it ‘painted’ very poorly indeed, although it did not match the low RCS of the actual stealth aircraft, and pointed out that building a quite stealthy airplane wasn’t necessarily as challenging as it seemed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wainfan_Facetmobile

    Indeed, Lockheed had rebuilt an old Vega wooden airplane in the 1960s as a stealth experiment and although the data is still classified it turned out that when fitted with some absorbing materials and a wooden unpainted propeller, it was very stealthy. So the concept of stealth far predated Have Blue.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    This Russian mathematical physicist figured out some equations that could be used to predict stealthiness, and when the Americans translated his article they figured that out and that they could program computers to simulate the stealthiness of various shapes beforehand. Before that, you could try different shapes and see how radar they bounced back, but it was hit or miss. Before the Russian, it was like building a computing machine before Claude Shannon's idea of using Boolean logic.

    Then the problems were figuring out how to make stealth shapes flyable.

    , @cthulhu
    Uh, in addition to being an aircraft home builder, Barnaby Wainfan is a world-class aerodynamicist (just ask him :-) ) whose day job is as an aerodynamics “tech fellow” with Northrop Grumman.
    , @Hail

    When the airplane debuted in the press, people were surprised by how angular and faceted it was, but not in any way surprised by its existence, which was an open secret by then
     
    As I was not around at this time, I'll ask:

    Was it really an open secret? In what sense? Is this based your own personal recollection (if so, where did you hear it), or is it something you've read? Is it provable that it was an open secret that the U.S. government had such a plane -- i.e., not speculative, not borderline-'sci-fi' or in the well-trodden territory of guests on Art Bell?
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  230. @anon
    One aspect of code breaking is 'preserving' the secret that the code is in fact broken. Somewhere, I was reading that they had all sorts of actionable information they ignored in order to preserve the secret they broke it. So what if there are lives sacrificed? Maybe I'm imagining it. Or from TV.

    The infamous January, 1917 Zimmermann Telegram from the German Foreign Secretary (Arthur Zimmermann) to the German Ambassador to Mexico (Heinrich von Eckhardt) was broken by the British in WWI and subsequently given to the USA (Germany promised to aid Mexico in reclaiming Texas, New Mexico and Arizona if Mexico declared war on America).

    OK.

    When President Wilson presented it to Germany as proof of their mendacity (though virtually no one in America seriously thought that it by itself was a legitimate casus belli), many in the USA suspected that it was a British forgery, designed to suck us into a was with Germany.

    Instead, the Germans actually ‘fessed up and admitted its authenticity.

    Times have changed.

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    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    (Germany promised to aid Mexico in reclaiming Texas, New Mexico and Arizona if Mexico declared war on America).

    Instead, Mexico is getting all that plus California without declaring war on America.
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  231. but…

    Trying to decipher codes is pretty routine in war time, and so is breaking codes. The British and the Germans went back and forth with the Germans breaking the British naval codes, and then being flommoxed for a while when the British changed codes, and so on. You’ve got America and the Japanese diplomatic codes, Rommel’s ‘little Fellers’ and no doubt many other examples.

    There wasn’t anything especially unusual about Bletchley Park — except how successful it was.

    It’s like if I tell you I’m trying to pick stock market winners. And? You’re going to run around letting everyone in on this incredible revelation?

    It’s not a big deal. The detail might be just how good I really am at it (I’m not, incidentally)– but to realize that, you’d need a pretty full and frank disclosure.

    Now, blowing up three skyscrapers and a chunk of the Pentagon and staging the hijacking of four airliners by Muslim extremists — that would be a different matter.

    You can argue that one all you like — but I don’t think Bletchley Park provides much of an analog.

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  232. @Rob McX
    If you have a big conspiracy to cover up, there are two useful things you could do. First, start spreading rumours about it immediately, the more implausible the better. You don't have to work hard at this, as the dedicated conspiracy theorists will pick up on it and do all the work for you. Second, gather (or make up) as much compromising information as possible about everyone who is privy to the information on it.

    If the truth ever comes out, you can say, "oh, just another one of hundreds of ridiculous conspiracy theories about this event", and "source X is unreliable - did you know that he once [insert guilty secret/libel here]?"

    If you have a big conspiracy to cover up, there are two useful things you could do.

    If you can get the New York Times, NPR, and the New Yorker to declare that something isn’t true, no matter what the evidence for it around half the US population will give it no further thought. Those people’s sole concern is making sure their views are aligned with elite opinion.

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  233. Anonym says:
    @Lefty
    I honestly don't know what the point of this post was. Sorry Steve, I like most of your writing, but you lost me a bit on this.

    I honestly don’t know what the point of this post was. Sorry Steve, I like most of your writing, but you lost me a bit on this.

    Maybe Steve has comment envy over Ron and has now decided that the easiest way to thousand comment threads is to go the conspiracy route, name dropping David Irving to troll Lot and others. Consider it a toe in the water. ;)

    I would love to know the extent to which the comments Ron gets are due to being the founder of Unz, or to the intrinsic excellence of the articles. I think his articles are awesome btw. Just because the truth is nasty doesn’t make me want to organize, encourage or partake in a pogrom, which I think is the main fear and reason for the opprobium he is getting.

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    Maybe a little of this:

    https://youtu.be/WO23WBji_Z0
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  234. Anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @Polynikes
    My go to example is MKUltra. The CIA's attempt at creating a mind control agent, through the use of psychedelics like LSD, was and is highly controversial. It involved dozens of N. American institutions.

    Congress held hearings when word got out, but the CIA destroyed their evidence and lied. One family's instance that their CIA father's death was the result of this program kept it in the public's eye a little. But it wasn't until a 1990s FOI on the Kennedy assassination (of all things) inadvertently released some old accounting documents that apparently proved the existence of the program and reignited interest.



    The Tuskegee airman syphilis experiment and the Cia running coke into S. California (Dark Alliance) are two others that involved a fair amount of people and preyed on the public.

    The Tuskegee Airmen were not involved in the sphyilis medical experiments.

    The subjects were incarcerated black criminals who already had sphyilis and volunteered to be subjects for money. Almost all medical research subjects are volunteers who are paid.

    The federal government was funding medical research for thousands of conditions and still is. So are the pharmacy companies.

    Tuskegee Institue was lobbying for medical research grants. It began claiming racism was why it wasn’t given grants. After some lobbying, Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR’a liaison to blacks and communists persuaded the feds to five Tuskegee money to do the sphyilis research.

    Tuskegee was a totally segregated college. Every person who worked there in every capacity including the medical researchers was black. The Tuskegee researchers selected the black subjects. The black Tuskegee researchers were reaping subtle for everything that was done.

    The Tuskegee researchers did what all other researchers did then and did now. Some subjects were given medicine, others placebos.

    That’s the truth and the crap about evil
    Whites-infecting innocent blacks with syphilis is just another liberal lie such as blacks don’t have the highest crime rate and lowest IQ.

    The black airman, like hundreds of thousands of other blacks were trained at Tuskegee. They had nothing to do with any medical experiments

    Black Tuskegee Drs and medical researchers designed and carried out the experiment. Whites had nothing to do with how the research was done

    Hundreds of similar syphilis medical research organizations did exactly the same experiment on Whites. And nobody lies about it to contribute to the grievance industry

    One of the points the Tusgekee lobbyists made to get the money was that blacks have a much much bigger rate of syphyilis at much younger ages than Whites. Which is true, and why do blacks including 12 year old kids have such high rates of syphilis? Because they give it to each other.

    Don’t believe anything you were told in black history month Wikipedia the MSN or anything else about black mistreatment by Whites.
    Tusgekee syphilis all black medical researchers all black subjects

    That’s all.

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    • Replies: @anon
    The incredible thing was that the survivors when Clinton made the apology in 1998 were the blokes who got the placebo.
    Those who got the treatment, which may have been mercury or arsenic based, were long dead.
    One old bloke standing on the stage with Clinton was 98, he didn't speak, but he looked in way better shape than RBG does in that video, that's for sure.
    , @anon

    The subjects were incarcerated black criminals who already had sphyilis and volunteered to be subjects for money. Almost all medical research subjects are volunteers who are paid.
     
    None of the participants were incarcerated, none were paid although there were incentives offered and given.

    The Tuskegee researchers did what all other researchers did then and did now. Some subjects were given medicine, others placebos.
     
    No. None of the subjects were given medicine. It was a study of untreated syphilis. Here’s a brief summary from the CDC:

    In 1932, the Public Health Service, working with the Tuskegee Institute, began a study to record the natural history of syphilis in hopes of justifying treatment programs for blacks. It was called the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male.”

    The study initially involved 600 black men – 399 with syphilis, 201 who did not have the disease. The study was conducted without the benefit of patients’ informed consent. Researchers told the men they were being treated for “bad blood,” a local term used to describe several ailments, including syphilis, anemia, and fatigue. In truth, they did not receive the proper treatment needed to cure their illness. In exchange for taking part in the study, the men received free medical exams, free meals, and burial insurance. Although originally projected to last 6 months, the study actually went on for 40 years.
     
    It is important to note that this was not a secret or clandestine project. The Tuskegee Study published its first clinical data in 1934 and issued its first major report in 1936. Reports and data sets were published throughout the study’s duration. The project’s title would seem to inform even a casual reader of what was taking place. As usual, a Pulitzer was given to a “journalist” for exposing public reports to the public.
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  235. @Reg Cæsar

    the first rule of MAGIC is that you do NOT talk about MAGIC

    the second rule of magic is that you stop people who do ^_^


     

    Leave the NBA out of this.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbdOQUARrEU


    https://usathoopshype.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/orlando-magic.jpg?w=1000&h=600&crop=1

    As a kid, I watched on Detroit’s Channel 50 the 1977 MHSAA Class A final between Ervin “Magic” Johnson’s Lansing Everett and Kevin Smith’s Birmingham Brother Rice.

    Great game. Everett in OT after Smith hit a 50-footer to force overtime.

    (Smith later played at MSU.)

    I saw Smith play in person, but I didn’t see Magic play in person until he was with the Lakers.

    Magic’s basketball IQ was insane – Isiah Thomas said that Magic and the Lakers could get into your head before the game because everyone knew that they had already figured out how to beat you.

    In 1988, Isiah was right, but by 1989, the Pistons had figured out the Lakers.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    I lived near Lansing in '80-81, and remember Johnson's commercials for Quality Dairy.

    Quality Dairy is not Whole Foods, and you can imagine the average BMI of their clientele in 1980. Now imagine it in 2019, after you don't even have to walk or drive to their stores:

    https://csnews.com/quality-dairy-chain-begin-home-delivery-2000-plus-products

    Whole neighborhoods of Walter Hudsons. Ain't that America...
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  236. Anon[395] • Disclaimer says:

    The Atlantic (owned by Laurene Powell Jobs, w.Steve Jobs)

    Blame Whitey

    The prediction had been that after years of an intense drought, Cape Town’s dams would be so depleted and local reservoirs so bone-dry that one day in the autumn of 2018—between March and May in the Southern Hemisphere—the city would cut off the water flowing to taps. That date, the “Day Zero” in question, captured the attention of Western press. Photographs of the brown, cracked mud flats where drinking water once flowed abounded. Papers wrote breathlessly about the doomsday scenario of mobilizing military assets to secure water distribution points, fearing the possibility of violent clashes over resources.
    Day Zero didn’t happen—and as Wolski told me, it may have never been in the cards. But, over the course of a year, the idea really did deeply change the city all the same. Water scarcity, and the potential for a catastrophe, spurred upheaval and anxiety. During that time, a local government pushed a water-conservation agenda more ambitious than just about anything the world had seen. Cape Town faced political fallout and experienced widespread protests. Divisions between the haves and the have-nots in one of the most unequal cities on Earth became the center of discourse. The racial wounds of a post-apartheid country opened once more.

    “Diversity is our strength, our greatest strength, Cape Town (15% white) is too white.”

    Multikult doesn’t work, self-determination does.

    https://www.msn.com/en-za/news/editorpicks/cape-town-is-an-omen/ar-BBNjcmk

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  237. @Anonymous
    An enormous amount of speculation on stealth fighters was published during that time, but there were no authentic pictures published in the press. There were model kits of imaginary "stealth fighters" that got everything wrong but the color. When the airplane debuted in the press, people were surprised by how angular and faceted it was, but not in any way surprised by its existence, which was an open secret by then.

    Interestingly enough, some time in the 90s, a homebuilder named Barnaby Wainfan built a small aircraft with flat faceted surfaces, without any effort to build a stealthy aircraft. As it turned out, it 'painted' very poorly indeed, although it did not match the low RCS of the actual stealth aircraft, and pointed out that building a quite stealthy airplane wasn't necessarily as challenging as it seemed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wainfan_Facetmobile

    Indeed, Lockheed had rebuilt an old Vega wooden airplane in the 1960s as a stealth experiment and although the data is still classified it turned out that when fitted with some absorbing materials and a wooden unpainted propeller, it was very stealthy. So the concept of stealth far predated Have Blue.

    This Russian mathematical physicist figured out some equations that could be used to predict stealthiness, and when the Americans translated his article they figured that out and that they could program computers to simulate the stealthiness of various shapes beforehand. Before that, you could try different shapes and see how radar they bounced back, but it was hit or miss. Before the Russian, it was like building a computing machine before Claude Shannon’s idea of using Boolean logic.

    Then the problems were figuring out how to make stealth shapes flyable.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It was widely held that stealth shapes would be aerodynamically unstable, but the Facetmobile has entirely conventional cable controlled surfaces and was flown for quite awhile.

    Stealth won't last forever as the technology to detect them is making good progress. I'll be happy when stealth dies because we will have to go back to higher/faster/farther, which was killed off by that no-goodnik Mcnamara in the JFK/MM era.
    , @Anon
    From Ben Rich's autobiography Skunk Works, righ? Great book!

    Speaking of how to keep thing secret, the description of the Air Forces rules in that book were interesting. Lockheed did not just have to promise to keep things secret, they had to do it in very specific ways. How the rooms were designed, what sort of locks. Where you could locate a fax machine, etc. Who could be where, when.
    , @utu
    I do not buy that the Russian whose book was translated into English in 1972 had such a great impact. The equations of the theory of diffraction were known to everyone and various methods of solutions were used for different levels of approximation. There are no useful analytic close form solutions so it all comes down to numerical computations anyway. And when it comes to numerical computation of integral equations in diffraction theory one should look at impact of Cooley and Tukey FFT algorithm that was re-invenetd in 1965. In late 1970's Kennaugh at Ohio State worked on the kill pulse radar technology for aircraft identification where a complex diffraction scattering pattern had to be calculated/generated.
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  238. @Jonathan Mason

    I think the founders did an incredible job on the constitution. But the judicial system–and the Supreme Court–is poorly spec’d. It was a hole through which in the modern era, anti-republican sentiment has run riot.
     
    People didn't live as long in those days, so there was no expectation of centurions on the Supreme Court.

    But why don't they retire? I can't believe they care that much about abortion rights. Is there no pension, or is the work so easy that they cannot turn down the money? If I had been on the SC in my forties, I would have retired by my late fifties and taken a part-time position on the board of one of the corporations I had helped.

    Lesser federal judges (below SC) can take Senior Judge Status at 65. They get full pay and a reduced case load.

    My teenage Sunday School teacher just gave it up at age 83.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senior_status

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  239. There’s also the point that while pretty much everyone recruited for Bletchley Park could presumably agree that it would be a mighty fine thing to read intercepted coded German messages — and buy into the argument that the ability should be kept secret even after the war. — presumably people would feel differently about blowing up skyscrapers in one’s own country in peacetime and killing thousands of innocent people. Wouldn’t more people be inclined to spill the beans in the latter case?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Sure, everybody at Bletchley agreed that reading Hitler's mail was a good thing on the whole, but no doubt there were subsidiary controversies:

    Higher ups in the British war effort had to make hard decisions about when to use Ultra information to save British and American lives and when not to use it to keep the Germans in the dark. Surely there must have been controversies over that?

    , @Cagey Beast
    This is a critically important point. It's far easier to keep a conspiracy secret if the people involved feel certain the conspiracy was worthwhile, even years later. If Britain had lost the war, the alumni of Bletchley Park and the Imperial General Staff who made it to safety in North America may have turned on one another and spilled the beans as the finger-pointing escalated.

    Under those circumstances, Churchill would have been forced to defend himself and then knowledge of the Engima codes would have come out. On a side note, Governor-General Alanbrooke may have been able to finally tell Churchill what a drunken buffoon he was and bar him from Rideau Hall.

    , @The Wild Geese Howard
    Perhaps these (((people))) hold dual citizenship?

    Just a thought, nothing more.
    , @Lurker

    and buy into the argument that the ability should be kept secret even after the war
     
    I've read that was because several countries adopted Enigma machines for encryption after the war. We were in no hurry to let them know their communications were heavily compromised.
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  240. Rob McX says:
    @Anon
    How about Kevin James as Ignatius Reilly?

    Bad choice – he’d remind too many viewers of Elena Kagan.

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  241. @Colin Wright
    There's also the point that while pretty much everyone recruited for Bletchley Park could presumably agree that it would be a mighty fine thing to read intercepted coded German messages -- and buy into the argument that the ability should be kept secret even after the war. -- presumably people would feel differently about blowing up skyscrapers in one's own country in peacetime and killing thousands of innocent people. Wouldn't more people be inclined to spill the beans in the latter case?

    Sure, everybody at Bletchley agreed that reading Hitler’s mail was a good thing on the whole, but no doubt there were subsidiary controversies:

    Higher ups in the British war effort had to make hard decisions about when to use Ultra information to save British and American lives and when not to use it to keep the Germans in the dark. Surely there must have been controversies over that?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Warfare has so many variables and uncontrollable elements that there would be enough plausible deniability to explain why a certain decrypted message didn't seem to have been acted upon.
    , @Colin Wright
    '...Higher ups in the British war effort had to make hard decisions about when to use Ultra information to save British and American lives and when not to use it to keep the Germans in the dark. Surely there must have been controversies over that?'

    No doubt -- but in the case of Ultra, what would the controversy be that would motivate anyone to intentionally disclose the operation itself?
    , @JMcG
    How did the Soviets have spies riddling the Manhattan project, but not Ultra? It doesn’t pass the smell test.
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  242. Finally, there’s necessary complexity; how many people are involved in how many places.

    Bletchley Park didn’t farm out work to bored Irish housewives and hope they wouldn’t visit the German embassy with their interesting discovery; they rigorously minimized how many knew, and what they knew.

    So — assuming we’re talking about 9/11 — why introduce Arabs hijacking airplanes, with all the potential for something going amiss, or someone letting the cat out of the bag? Why not allege it was a repeat of 1993? Why have airplanes at all? The hijackers’ cover might fall apart, or the hijackings might not go off, or the planes might crash and never reach the target. It’s an absurdly risky and unnecessary additional complexity.

    On the one hand, the ‘five dancing Israelis’ et al makes it clear that the official story definitely leaves some relevant facets of 9/11 out. On the other hand, for the reason outlined above, I simply don’t buy that this was a set up in all respects. There really were planes, they really were hijacked by al-Qaeda, and they really were flown into their targets.

    Both extremes — both the official narrative and the ‘it was all a plot’ line — are almost certainly false. The truth lies somewhere in between — where, I don’t know.

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    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard

    So — assuming we’re talking about 9/11 — why introduce Arabs hijacking airplanes, with all the potential for something going amiss, or someone letting the cat out of the bag?
     
    *Sigh*

    Patsies who thought they were flying to Paradise on behalf of Allah.

    On the one hand, the ‘five dancing Israelis’ et al makes it clear that the official story definitely leaves some relevant facets of 9/11 out.
     
    Cui bono?
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  243. keuril says:
    @Jack D
    There was so much low hanging fruit in those early days that Lodge was able to pick - the spark plug, the speaker coil. These were heralded inventions that any child could understand and that you could demonstrate at home with a battery and a few meters of copper wire. Good luck explaining quantum computation to a child today or building a fusion reactor in your basement.

    Good luck explaining quantum computation to a child today or building a fusion reactor in your basement.

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150726-nuclear-reactor-fusion-science-kid-ngbooktalk/

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  244. Steve is asking about “real” conspiracy theories in a world where, in the past few years, the NSA has been revealed to monitor your phone calls, the Deep State is a real thing, and yes, they’re turning the frogs freaking gay.

    Sailer’s Butterknife!

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  245. Anon[395] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    I think the founders did an incredible job on the constitution. But the judicial system–and the Supreme Court–is poorly spec’d. It was a hole through which in the modern era, anti-republican sentiment has run riot.
     
    People didn't live as long in those days, so there was no expectation of centurions on the Supreme Court.

    But why don't they retire? I can't believe they care that much about abortion rights. Is there no pension, or is the work so easy that they cannot turn down the money? If I had been on the SC in my forties, I would have retired by my late fifties and taken a part-time position on the board of one of the corporations I had helped.

    John Marshall served on the court for 34 years, and lived to 79. He was arguably the original “activist judge” as he led an adversarial court towards the other branches.

    The problem isn’t so much the court, as even a limited term body like the Federal Reserve often operates in partisan fashion despite its legally mandated ‘neutrality’.

    We have a Constitution that requires 2/3rds of Congress and 3/4ths of the states to amend, and its only been done 27 times (10 being the Bill of Rights, 2 being Prohibition/repeal, and 1 as the delayed ratification of an 18th century amendment).

    The presumption of the Constitution is that most power will be at the state level, but the Civil War, New Deal and Cold War have rendered that meaningless. Since an amendment is so difficult, the courts are a shortcut, as a pratical change doesn’t even need 5 justices, just 2 out of 3 judges on an appeals court panel.

    The easiest way to make the courts less partisan and imperialist would be to make the Constitution amendable with a 3/5ths majority; or else devolve power back to the states or even 10 “regions” “commonwealths” or “provinces” of 5 states each with their own sub-national Constitution that would leave only defense/foreign affairs to the federal level.

    All that is unlikely, because demographic triumphalism presumes the left will soon have the power to amend the Constitution without the Right’s consent. Remember that Evan Williams of Twitter promoted the article about how we will be annihilated like we were in California. You simply can’t “agree to disagree” with people who’s religion tells them that the argument was settled in either 1865 or 1945.

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  246. @Paul Jolliffe
    As a kid, I watched on Detroit's Channel 50 the 1977 MHSAA Class A final between Ervin "Magic" Johnson's Lansing Everett and Kevin Smith's Birmingham Brother Rice.

    Great game. Everett in OT after Smith hit a 50-footer to force overtime.

    (Smith later played at MSU.)

    I saw Smith play in person, but I didn't see Magic play in person until he was with the Lakers.

    Magic's basketball IQ was insane - Isiah Thomas said that Magic and the Lakers could get into your head before the game because everyone knew that they had already figured out how to beat you.

    In 1988, Isiah was right, but by 1989, the Pistons had figured out the Lakers.

    https://youtu.be/8yiPi_Rgdxw

    I lived near Lansing in ’80-81, and remember Johnson’s commercials for Quality Dairy.

    Quality Dairy is not Whole Foods, and you can imagine the average BMI of their clientele in 1980. Now imagine it in 2019, after you don’t even have to walk or drive to their stores:

    https://csnews.com/quality-dairy-chain-begin-home-delivery-2000-plus-products

    Whole neighborhoods of Walter Hudsons. Ain’t that America…

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  247. @paul747
    the USS Liberty incident -- Israel hitting a US ship, was also kept a secret for an absurdly long time.

    the USS Liberty incident — Israel hitting a US ship, was also kept a secret for an absurdly long time.

    And for all practical purposes, it might as well still be a secret. I’ve never heard anyone in the mainstream media mention it.

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    • Replies: @Lot
    Large numbers of people have access to USS Liberty truther writers. If intelligent people found it convincing, they'd share and expand.
    , @Anonymous
    That infamous swastika-shaped building in San Diego was built by the U.S. Navy shortly after these events.
    , @Jack D
    Google USS Liberty - "About 9,880,000 results".

    Now THERE's a secret if I ever saw one.
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  248. Anonym says:
    @Anonym

    I honestly don’t know what the point of this post was. Sorry Steve, I like most of your writing, but you lost me a bit on this.
     
    Maybe Steve has comment envy over Ron and has now decided that the easiest way to thousand comment threads is to go the conspiracy route, name dropping David Irving to troll Lot and others. Consider it a toe in the water. ;)

    I would love to know the extent to which the comments Ron gets are due to being the founder of Unz, or to the intrinsic excellence of the articles. I think his articles are awesome btw. Just because the truth is nasty doesn't make me want to organize, encourage or partake in a pogrom, which I think is the main fear and reason for the opprobium he is getting.

    Maybe a little of this:

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  249. Hank Yobo says:
    @Bragadocious
    Most Brits to this day think Churchill was a good guy and savior of democracy. There's a need not to know among Brits that is remarkable. If it goes against the state narrative, they swat it away like an annoying fly.

    Wasn’t Churchill a good guy and the savior of democracy? “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” W. S. Churchill

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  250. @Colin Wright
    There's also the point that while pretty much everyone recruited for Bletchley Park could presumably agree that it would be a mighty fine thing to read intercepted coded German messages -- and buy into the argument that the ability should be kept secret even after the war. -- presumably people would feel differently about blowing up skyscrapers in one's own country in peacetime and killing thousands of innocent people. Wouldn't more people be inclined to spill the beans in the latter case?

    This is a critically important point. It’s far easier to keep a conspiracy secret if the people involved feel certain the conspiracy was worthwhile, even years later. If Britain had lost the war, the alumni of Bletchley Park and the Imperial General Staff who made it to safety in North America may have turned on one another and spilled the beans as the finger-pointing escalated.

    Under those circumstances, Churchill would have been forced to defend himself and then knowledge of the Engima codes would have come out. On a side note, Governor-General Alanbrooke may have been able to finally tell Churchill what a drunken buffoon he was and bar him from Rideau Hall.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hank Yobo
    Churchill was pretty-well received by those in the Gothic buildings just to the west of Rideau Hall during his infrequent visits to Ottawa during the war years.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jtOGDjlM10

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6JxSHmVB5g
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  251. @Hail

    it’s much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world
     
    I understand your argument but I would dispute it on several points: [1] Despite the Internet's existence, the 'Narrative' or 'Megaphone' appears as strong as ever in many ways. [2] Many believe wacky things that are in theory easily disproven (like ICE running elaborate torture facilities at the border). [3] In recent examples of 'secrets' coming out, they came from the top and not from some Twitter account or the equivalent, as you imply.

    Although this was pre-Internet and maybe a trivial example:) How long did it take from [1] planning for the Stealth Fighter (the ones that saw first service in the Gulf War of 1991, racking up thousands of kills, receiving not a scratch), [2] first production of the Stealth Fighter, [3] admission by the USGov that they had a fully-stealth attack aircraft?

    A glance at its wiki suggests there was a long delay between planning (1975) and first prototype construction (1977) and admission/confirmation of its existence (late 1988 to early 1990).

    [The stealth fighter] was a black project, an ultra-secret program for much of its life: very few people in the Pentagon knew the program even existed, until the F-117s were revealed to the public in 1988
     

    The project began in 1975
     

    The maiden flight of the demonstrators occurred on 1 December 1977
     

    The decision to produce the F-117A was made on 1 November 1978
     

    The Air Force denied the existence of the aircraft until 10 November 1988, when Assistant Secretary of Defense J. Daniel Howard displayed a grainy photograph at a Pentagon press conference
     

    In April 1990, two F-117 aircraft were flown into Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, arriving during daylight and publicly displayed to a crowd of tens of thousands
     

    During the Gulf War in [Jan.-Feb.] 1991, the F-117 flew approximately 1,300 sorties and scored direct hits on 1,600 high-value targets in Iraq
     
    Notice that the conspiracy was first lifted from the top, at a press conference in late 1988, and demystified by 1990; a fifteen-year conspiracy involving how many hundreds of thousands of people?

    1] Despite the Internet’s existence, the ‘Narrative’ or ‘Megaphone’ appears as strong as ever in many ways.

    And appearances, as always, are deceptive (e.g. house of cards). The Drudge Report (internet), which wasn’t near the followers 20 yrs ago, first broke the story of Clinton/Lewinsky. That’s not top down. That was one person in front of his computer. Within the year, a President was impeached.

    [3] In recent examples of ‘secrets’ coming out, they came from the top and not from some Twitter account or the equivalent, as you imply.

    #MeToo was largely internet driven. Rumors re: Weinstein and others in Hollywood have existed for over a century, but its much harder now to keep the lid on as it was back then. Personal scandals, a la Bill Cosby, for example, were also internet driven.

    Also, let’s not forget the Assange, Wikileaks, the Democrats leaked emails. These are all not from the top down, per se, but are in fact largely internet driven. One click. One post. And millions will see it within a few hrs. Julian Assange was a majority of one. He isn’t the head of a government department.

    One smart phone short vid of Hillary fainting was posted online. Within a few hrs millions upon millions had viewed it.

    Put it this way: The internet (social media is of course only one faction of the world wide web) now makes information more immediate than ever before, including scandals and take downs of the powerful. Granted, the well connected can effectively use the internet to their advantage, but so can ordinary folks as well, if they know where to post and place their information online. But the point remains: The internet has changed the world in how we use, perceive, and view information

    Political movements such as BLM and Antifa, for example, wouldn’t be nearly half their modern strength or influence without the internet.

    Example: If an ordinary person tweeted “I just saw the President doing [fill in the blank] regarding something that could effect a major government policy and….millions upon millions would know about it before the networks decided to go forward with it.

    All it takes is one website, post, tweet, etc. Its a total game changer on how society views information.

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    • Replies: @Hail
    Good points. You are certainly right that things like a single incendiary video, or a cache of ten thousand hacked emails which contain politically harmful information, cannot now so easily be suppressed.

    But does that prove this:

    it’s much harder than ever in human history to keep secrets in the Western world
     
    It may depend on what "secrets" means.

    Plenty of information is still digitally suppressed or socially suppressed by taboo. An example of both acting at the same time is The Tienanmen Square massacre as viewed in today's PRC. It a kind of well-kept-secret in that young people are either unaware or vaguely aware at most, and no one talks about it.

    In the USA, one political "secret" that was, it appears to me, well kept: John McCain. A politically terrible figure, a fraud, a phony patriot, a frankly dangerous war-nut, to name just a few negatives. That was John McCain. Too few ever knew it. Isn't this a form of secret keeping?

    There were specific McCain secrets that were only known by a tiny few -- from his collaboration with the NVA and radio broadcasts for them (as highlighted often by our host Ron Unz) to his many, many lies justifying endless U.S. interventions. More generally, the whole Cult of 'Maverick' McCain was based on deception, a kind of giant political fraud (a form of keeping secrets, as I see it), the very kind that should not be possible in an era of free-flowing information that sets us all free, the Internet Age,.

    Was McCain, a pre-Internet figure, 'grandfathered' in? As long as the present social order lasts, will there be no more McCain-style political cults of personality in the West in which 'society' kind of suppresses an awful figure's awfulness?
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  252. @Steve Sailer
    Sure, everybody at Bletchley agreed that reading Hitler's mail was a good thing on the whole, but no doubt there were subsidiary controversies:

    Higher ups in the British war effort had to make hard decisions about when to use Ultra information to save British and American lives and when not to use it to keep the Germans in the dark. Surely there must have been controversies over that?

    Warfare has so many variables and uncontrollable elements that there would be enough plausible deniability to explain why a certain decrypted message didn’t seem to have been acted upon.

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  253. Anon[395] • Disclaimer says:

    Leftists are into HBD now

    (Author is a South African Communist)

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    • Replies: @Rob McX

    Leftists are into HBD now
     
    And they're clearly stating some hominids are inferior to others. It seems the new N-word is Neanderthal.
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  254. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    This Russian mathematical physicist figured out some equations that could be used to predict stealthiness, and when the Americans translated his article they figured that out and that they could program computers to simulate the stealthiness of various shapes beforehand. Before that, you could try different shapes and see how radar they bounced back, but it was hit or miss. Before the Russian, it was like building a computing machine before Claude Shannon's idea of using Boolean logic.

    Then the problems were figuring out how to make stealth shapes flyable.

    It was widely held that stealth shapes would be aerodynamically unstable, but the Facetmobile has entirely conventional cable controlled surfaces and was flown for quite awhile.

    Stealth won’t last forever as the technology to detect them is making good progress. I’ll be happy when stealth dies because we will have to go back to higher/faster/farther, which was killed off by that no-goodnik Mcnamara in the JFK/MM era.

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  255. Sean says:

    Codebreaking was an official secret.

    https://westhunt.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/war-in-the-east/
    Ken Alibek was a bioweapons scientist back in the USSR. In his book, Biohazard, he tells how, as a student, he was given the assignment of explaining a mysterious pattern of tularemia epidemics back in the war. To him, it looked artificial, whereupon his instructor said something to the effect of “you never thought that, you never said that.

    Shared secret knowledge is often implicit because it is too dangerous to be alluded to.

    Do conspiracy theorists ever get anything right? If they don’t, does that prove that conspiracies never happen?

    Conspiracies happen, but usually they are of silence. One’s sacred quest is to get on in life which requires doing good deeds explicitly, while looking to one’s own interests. Self-interested individuals who think they are better off not raising an issue not only with superiors but anyone else and don’t are the rule. One will never know what a wise man knows of such things unless he has very good reason to mention it. For example one Einsatzgruppe commander who reported back to SD headquarter about just how many thousand Jews his unit had shot that week was, although he had used the Enigma code, told by his superior (being implicated in war crimes) not to send such messages as the enemy might be listening.

    Allied deception of Germany about where the D Day landings would be was aided by the German reconnaissance pilots failing to wager against the odds of surviving a flight over the English South Coast, which would have been done if enough pilots been willing to betray the tacit conspiracy to not really try. The first people knew of what had been going on for decades in Rotherham and many other places, was because a 2004 TV documentary called Edge Of the City about social workers had briefly shown one case. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2004/may/20/channel4.broadcasting1
    The police had it pulled, and they all collected their fat pensions and a slow mo investigation had found no evidence of police misconduct last I heard. Like Sergeant Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes they knew nothing, and did not get sent to the Russian Front. Certain people will tell you that “the Germans” never realised their code was broken.

    But nobody wanted to hear about it.

    That is always the way. Israel lobby prestige permeating the American armed forces, FBI, CIA, NASA and State Department made and still make it career suicide for anyone in those institutions to wonder what Israeli agents in the US were up to prior to 9/11. Subservience to a benign-Israel paradigm means there is no certainty about what happened. If suspicions cannot be disproved, that is the price they pay for being officially above suspicion.

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  256. @Detective Club
    A sizable chunk of Kennedy's skull was found in the grass, behind the presidential target car (Z-Frame 313 of the head shot). Brain matter was all over the out-riding motorcycle cops from the head-shot exit wound. 2/3 of the witnesses said the fatal shot came from the Grassy Knoll. Initial media reports, between 12:30PM-1:00PM, cited the Grassy Knoll as being the place were the head shot originated. On that day in Dallas, there were shooters from behind and from the front. The Grassy Knoll shot was the kill shot.

    Agreed. One must visit Dealey Plaza to understand. the grassy knoll is not a grassy knoll. It is the embankment directly overlooking the path JFK’s limousine took. Best place to kill from.

    There is no doubt in my mind there were multiple shooters.

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  257. Art Deco says:
    @paul747
    the USS Liberty incident -- Israel hitting a US ship, was also kept a secret for an absurdly long time.

    No, it was in the papers at the time. Over time, documents relating to the matter have been declassified per standing policies.

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  258. @Almost Missouri
    To be sure, most of the 9000 people at Bletchley Park were probably not aware that they were working at a code-breaking factory. Most of them probably thought of their work as relating to "news", "communications", "information", or "intelligence" rather than "Axis codes". They still understood that their work was classified and not to be discussed outside of the office, but even should they transgress and blab, they probably wouldn't have had much enlightening to say anyway since they weren't aware of the bigger picture. Nevertheless, 900 or even 90 big picture seers is still a pretty big conspiracy, so its long concealment in a relatively free society ought to rate as an achievement of some kind. But let us recall that besides the conspiracy being comprised of elites, this was also the period of peak British stiff upper lippedness, so if there was an era to accomplish this, the early 20th century was it. That former asabiya is now badly dissipated, of course.

    Yes, and of course the Internet amplifies everything. Even if the Brits had had their Snowdon and Greenwald, the story could have been killed easily enough in the course of the time it took to arrange and have meetings, send correspondence, publish articles, etc

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  259. cthulhu says:
    @Anonymous
    An enormous amount of speculation on stealth fighters was published during that time, but there were no authentic pictures published in the press. There were model kits of imaginary "stealth fighters" that got everything wrong but the color. When the airplane debuted in the press, people were surprised by how angular and faceted it was, but not in any way surprised by its existence, which was an open secret by then.

    Interestingly enough, some time in the 90s, a homebuilder named Barnaby Wainfan built a small aircraft with flat faceted surfaces, without any effort to build a stealthy aircraft. As it turned out, it 'painted' very poorly indeed, although it did not match the low RCS of the actual stealth aircraft, and pointed out that building a quite stealthy airplane wasn't necessarily as challenging as it seemed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wainfan_Facetmobile

    Indeed, Lockheed had rebuilt an old Vega wooden airplane in the 1960s as a stealth experiment and although the data is still classified it turned out that when fitted with some absorbing materials and a wooden unpainted propeller, it was very stealthy. So the concept of stealth far predated Have Blue.

    Uh, in addition to being an aircraft home builder, Barnaby Wainfan is a world-class aerodynamicist (just ask him :-) ) whose day job is as an aerodynamics “tech fellow” with Northrop Grumman.

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  260. syonredux says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    I’ve been there, looked out the window, and agree with you. Three shots at all under 100 yards
     
    Years ago I read Norman Mailer's book Oswald's Tale and I was totally convinced. I mean, how many young white Americans emigrated to Russia in that era that time, then came back to the US with his Russian wife, soon became disgruntled with the wife and the US, was refused a reentry visa to Russia and had to do something desperate to impress Castro and prove his bona fides all over again? Not too many, I should think.
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  261. @Colin Wright
    There's also the point that while pretty much everyone recruited for Bletchley Park could presumably agree that it would be a mighty fine thing to read intercepted coded German messages -- and buy into the argument that the ability should be kept secret even after the war. -- presumably people would feel differently about blowing up skyscrapers in one's own country in peacetime and killing thousands of innocent people. Wouldn't more people be inclined to spill the beans in the latter case?

    Perhaps these (((people))) hold dual citizenship?

    Just a thought, nothing more.

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