22 June 2009

Associated Content Takes Down SOTT Server

SOTT has been shut down due to a legal demand by a gang called "Associated Content". It was sent to the hotmail account of one of the editors on June 20, which obviously we didn't get since sott email is received at sott(at)sott.net. Anyway, this morning we received the following from our server people:

Due to the below email, their is an abuse issue with your server. You have 24hrs to respond on how you will correct this issue before we null route the ip. Further complaints, without action may result in deactivation of your server.

Thanks for your cooperation.

To Whom It May Concern:

We would like to report the following violation of your Terms of Service outlined on your web site for "sott.net/", a web site that your company hosts. Please view our DMCA complaint below regarding http://www.sott.net/articles/show/186797-Feminist-Perspectives-on-Natural-Childbirth.

Please respond to the undersigned with your decision.

DMCA: 1. The copyrighted work at issue is the text that appears on _http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1375139/feminist_perspectives_on_natural_childbirth.html?cat=7

2. It appears on http://www.sott.net/articles/show/186797-Feminist-Perspectives-on-Natural-Childbirth

3. Please contact us at designated_agent@associatedcontent.com

We are: Associated Content, Inc. 88 Steele St. Suite 400 Denver, CO 80209 F: 720-214-0293

4. I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted material described above on the allegedly infringing web pages is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

5. I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

6. Tori Hyman, On behalf of Designated Agent, Associated Content


Tori E. Hyman 88 Steele Street, Suite 400 Denver, Colorado 80206 P: 720-214-1000 | F: 720-214-0293 associatedcontent.com

The question is, of course, what is "Associated Content"? I decided to do a little investigating. According to their site:

Associated Content is an Open Content Network. AC's platform enables anyone to participate in the new content economy by publishing content on any topic, in any format (text, video, audio and images), and connects that content to consumers, partners and advertisers.

* Sources benefit in three major ways beyond the opportunity to publish: fair payment compensation, online discoverability and distribution through our partner sites. Anyone can become a Source. Click here to learn more and sign up.

* Associated Content publishes authentic, useful and informative content on nearly every conceivable topic, produced by real people sharing real-world expertise from diverse perspectives. Search our library to see what we have, or create an RSS feed of content that interests you.

* The depth and breadth of our library is the perfect match for our partners who desire authentic content for their own websites or to advertise against at AssociatedContent.com. If we don't have the content you need, our Sources can quickly and affordably generate credible, engaging content on any topic. Click here to learn more about what we offer our partners.

Corporate History

Associated Content was founded by Luke Beatty in Denver, Colorado, in 2005. Luke, who developed search advertising and taxonomy solutions at WAND, Inc. before founding AC, envisioned a business that would open the content economy to the world by allowing anybody to publish content in any form. Today, with its vast library of unique multimedia content, diverse community of Sources and scalable platform, Associated Content provides consumers, brands, and publishers with a wide range of quality content.

Obviously, the sott editor who selected this article should have checked out this site a bit better and, having done so, would have determined that it is not a reliable source for information. (Do some research into "WAND, Inc." too, just for fun. Their legal disclaimer page is a gas!)

But, even more curious is that this "take down" notice came as it did, without warning. I have never been able to get a server to take down my own material that has been pirated with such a letter... so it is curious that others are able to do so so easily, without even demonstrating that they have taken the necessary steps to notify the object of their nefarious intentions. One wonders about the "connections" that Associated Content may have?

Looking a bit further, it seems that this person - Juniper M Russo Tarascio, the author of the article in question - is rather militant about his/her "rights" in the financial sense. See this Link and this one.

I think that what SOTT.net will do from here on out is to remove the text (and link) of any article we have received a complaint about, and replace it with the take-down notice so that our readers can know which sites to visit and which to avoid. With SOTT's growing readership, that should make some waves. But then, maybe it is SOTT's growing readership that is worrying somebody? Or am I being too conspiratorial?

It is, indeed, a "sign of the times."

UPDATE!SOTT.net has received an email from Juniper as follows:

Subject: DMCA Nazis and Other Stuff Date: Tue, 23 Jun 2009 00:05:46 -0500 From: Juniper **** To: sott(at)sott.net

Hi There,

I'm a SOTT reader and the author of the article "Feminist Perspectives on Natural Childbirth" that caused the recent brouhaha. I wanted to write to you guys and let you know that I was actually very happy when I saw that SOTT had published one of my articles. I was a little embarrassed since it wasn't one of my best (it was written at 2:00 am with a teething baby in my lap) but I actually had no problem whatsoever with SOTT reprinting the material.

I'm a freelance writer and I write for a number of "credible" sources, but I use AC for Op/Ed pieces, newsy bloggy stuff, and topics that are too political for other sources to publish. Writing for Associated Content is a labor of love-- I get paid all of about $3 per article on average. I really don't care if other sites want to republish my work, especially when they're sites that I support, like SOTT.

I have only had ONE article removed in over a year working as a freelance writer. SOTT links to Ning's removal notification, and to a forum where the members of the site defame me (without having the slightest clue who I am or how much money I don't make). Though SOTT cites that as evidence that I'm "militant" about copyright law, I'm actually not. I had the swine flu article removed from Ning only because it was a very hot topic and the reprint had surpassed my original copy on Google-- costing me about 10,000 pageviews. I get paid by pageviews, not by article, and I'm raising a family of three at well below the poverty line. I only bothered to have that ONE article removed because it was affecting my ability to earn a living.

SOTT's republication of my Natural Childbirth article didn't cost me a dime, because it was never a particularly popular article to begin with -- and because I never expected to make any "real" money on an op/ed piece like that. I really didn't care that it was republished, so please don't make me out to be a DCMA Nazi.

I'm really upset about the fact that SOTT- a website that I visit daily-- would be defaming me just because AC was bullying you guys with copyright law. For the record, I'm actually a fan and frequent reader of SOTT, and I was personally very happy to see that I was republished there.

This has been a lot of mess over an article that I was never even particularly fond of.

Before you defame or attack a writer, please make sure you ACTUALLY know who's looking at the other monitor. It hurts a lot to see a site that I respect call me "militant" about my financial rights, when I am neither militant nor financially well-off. I'm also cringing at the fact that anyone took the people at Ning seriously when they accused me of "profiting enormously" and being a money-grubber because I wasn't happy about losing pay to plagiarism. I've got rent to pay and a family to feed, but I'm by no means militant about DCMA.

You're welcome to republish this email, if you want. I don't want any other SOTT readers to think that I'm opposed to the SOTT's cause.

Cheers, Juniper Russo Tarascio

This information puts additional light on the situation and SOTT sincerely apologizes for any upset we may have caused Ms. Tarascio. What is important to note is the fact that Ms. Tarascio has informed us of the following curious fact:

SOTT's republication of my Natural Childbirth article didn't cost me a dime, because it was never a particularly popular article to begin with

In other words, it was Associated Content's sole decision to take this action in consideration of an article that was not even popular and had been receiving exposure on SOTT since January of 2009. How curious is that?

12 May 2008

US: At least 245 cases of taser deaths between June 2001 and June 2007, but don't talk about it!

SOTT Editors
12 May 2008

Well, it looks like something fishy is going on with a topic that has been in the news for quite awhile now: deaths due to Tasers.

We begin our little story with an article from NorthCountryGazette.org:

Pinellas County Taser Deaths - Excusable Or Not?

June Maxam
North Country Gazette
7 May 2008

Between June 2001 and June 2007, there were at least 245 cases of deaths of subjects soon after having been shocked using Tasers. Of these cases, in seven cases, medical examiners said tasers were a cause or a contributing factor or could not be ruled out as a cause of death.

In 16 cases, coroners and other officials stated that a taser was a secondary or contributory factor of death.

In dozens of cases, coroners cited excited delirium as cause of death. Excited delirium has been questioned as a medical diagnosis.

Several deaths occurred as a result of injuries sustained in struggles. In a few of these cases, head injury due to falling after being shocked contributed to later death.

In 2005, a medical examiner ruled for the first time that a taser was the primary factor in a death. [...]

Fabulous. So what's the big deal? The day after we posted this article under our Fair Use Policy, we received an e-mail as follows:

From: Sasha (at) acegm2.com
Date: 11-May-08

As a first time reader at SOT [sic], I found a story about my county in the headlines.

I was appalled. Your headline: Florida, US: At least 245 cases of tase deaths in Pinellas County

Then I went and looked at the original story from the North Country Gazette which states:

"Between June 2001 and June 2007, nationwide there were at least 245 cases of deaths of subjects soon after having been shocked using Tasers. Of these cases, in seven cases, medical examiners said Tasers were a cause or a contributing factor or could not be ruled out as a cause of death." [emphasis ours]

which is a FAR CRY from there being 245 cases of taser deaths in Pinellas County.

So now I doubt the integrity of your entire site...


The problem here is that the word "nationwide" (bolded red text above) was not in the original article. So, was the article changed after we posted it, and then changed again to remove the word "nationwide"?

No. As it turns out, there are TWO articles. The first one is Death In Pinellas County - Excited Delirium Or Murder? This article, does, indeed, say:

Between June 2001 and June 2007, nationwide there were at least 245 cases of deaths of subjects soon after having been shocked using Tasers. Of these cases, in seven cases, medical examiners said Tasers were a cause or a contributing factor or could not be ruled out as a cause of death.

The second article, entitled Pinellas County Taser Deaths - Excusable Or Not? nowhere includes the word "nationwide." (We have taken a screenshot of it just in case it morphs!)

A bit of digging reveals that, according to Amnesty International, the 245 taser deaths were for the entire US, not just Pinellas County, Florida.

However, SOTT.net did not catch this error until after it was brought to our attention by Sasha. After all, the article we used was copy/pasted in toto, as it was and we were relying on the journalist who wrote it to at least have checked out the basic facts! In this case, not only did she not check out the basic facts, she did not even quote the article she was commenting on accurately! So, we must thank Sasha for bringing this to our attention. The end result was, of course, that the title of the article on the North Country Gazette site which is "Pinellas County Taser Deaths - Excusable Or Not?", and the content certainly does make it seem like the 245 deaths occurred in Pinellas County only.

After responding to Sasha and pointing out that the word "nationwide" is no longer (or perhaps never was) in the article text, we received another e-mail:

From: news(at)northcountrygazette.org
Date: 12-May-08

Please remove my copyrighted work from your website. You do not have permission to reprint my entire original work.


June Maxam, Publisher
North Country Gazette

Obviously, it seems highly likely that June Maxam didn't even bother to go to our web site to check out the placement and context or even the Fair Use notice (that sott.net is a research database). How do we know? Well, she included the SOTT link with the old title. After having the error pointed out to us by Sasha, we had changed the title to "US: At least 245 cases of taser deaths between June 2001 and June 2007". This suggests to us that someone alerted her to the fact that her work was being quoted, that it was wrong, and Ms. Maxam decided to do damage control.

Normally, we would simply point correspondents such as Ms. Maxam to our Fair Use Policy. In this case, however, we now think it's pretty safe to say that the article on the North Country Gazette is really not up to SOTT.net standards anyway, so we are happy to remove it. Again, we have to thank Sasha for that, though Sasha does not seem to be a happy camper. She wrote again today as follows:

Subject:Re: Not very happy with your site - MAJOR ERROR
Date: Mon, 12 May 2008 09:22:26 -0400
From: sasha2

First of all, ANY "articles" from the North Country Gazette seem to be "commentaries" which means no one is reporting the facts. YOUR headline read that 245 deaths from tasers were in PINELLAS COUNTY - the other article says there are 245 deaths NATIONWIDE. LINK- who or what are they "commenting" on?

Since we have already dealt with this above, noting that there are TWO articles on the North Country Gazette website, Sasha is beating a dead horse here. But, she continues:

So who's irresponsible here? If you are "reporting the news" you need to report the news - not just quote some commentary or change the original content.

Again, we note that there are two articles as indicated above, so Sasha's charge that we changed the content is in error. She has not investigated very thoroughly before charging SOTT with malfeasance. She continues:

There is an article in the SP Times in August 2005 that reported ONE death IN PINELLAS and NO deaths in HILLSBOROUGH at that time from tasers. That article I consider to be accurate. So would that then mean that those 245 deaths occurred between 2005 and June 2007 (which I seriously doubt)? There would be an UPROAR in the SP Times had this been occurring. LINK

****Here is an Amnesty International article dated March 28, 2006 stating that there had been only 152 taser deaths IN THE UNITED STATES from June 2001 through Feb 2006. LINK

It seems that they are the agency diligently tracking these deaths. In fact, they report 290 deaths in the UNITED STATES as of late 2007. LINK

What I am saying here is that on a first visit to your site, I have found a "sensational" headline that would cause any sane, logical person to question the credibility of ANY of the content in your site(s). All COMMENTARIES from North Country are suspect and need to be investigated unless they take one to an original report done by a credible entity.

There is certainly enough bad crap going on the world without you having to make it appear to be worse.


Sasha is certainly entitled to her opinion about SOTT, however, as we have noted above, there is a quite simple explanation for the problem: there are two items on the referenced website, Sasha was reading one, and we had included the other on SOTT. And, for the record, as our regular readers already note, we do not just report news, we also carry a great deal of commentary.

In the end, what we can say with a high degree of certainty is that taser deaths are a serious problem in our pathocratic world, and we'll continue to bring you any news and commentary we find on the topic.

For all our readers concerned with any potential decrease in accuracy here on SOTT.net, rest assured that the editor who posted this article has agreed to exile in Siberia.

For the time being, just type "taser" in the Search box above, and you'll get plenty of food for thought! SOTT doesn't need to try to make things appear to be worse than they really are. We might also mention that it is knee-jerk reactions like Sasha's that create many of those problems. Sorry SOTT.net doesn't suit you - don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Also see: Man Files Patent For Taser-Proof Clothing

Via Golden Nuggets - Sexing Up An Iranian War

10 May 2008

A Thousand Words

A couple of pictures via Dave Neiwert's Orcinus blog:
Pro-War Moron
Official Language

19 April 2008

Impact Hazards on a Populated Earth?

Laura Knight-Jadczyk

Somehow, I think it is highly probable that we have a new event to add to our list of Meteorites, Asteroids, and Comets: Damages, Disasters, Injuries, Deaths, and Very Close Calls Have a look at the excerpts from the following two news items from this past week and see if something doesn't seem off about the glib and facile "explanations" for a series of extremely bizarre events. Every element of the stories is explainable in the terms presented by Clube and Napier, Mike Baillie and John S. Lewis and which have been the topic of the present series of articles on Comet hazards. At the same time, the explanations given by the "official sources" simply do not sound plausible.

Read and judge for yourself.

2008 - 15, 16, 18 April - Illinois - Maybe we had a comet fragment impact or two or three over a period of several nights? Perhaps a couple of overhead explosions and then, later, a ground impact. Read the following stories and judge for yourself:

That would explain booms and earthquake and lights in the sky spread out over three days. Damage Control: Mysterious booms, lights over Indiana were just F-16s

A sonic boom and fireballs and flaming debris that Kokomo-area residents reported seeing in the sky Wednesday night prompted Howard County's police agencies to conduct a two-hour search for what many residents thought was a crashed aircraft.

As it turned out, the fireballs were flares fired by F-16s that are part of the 122nd Fighter Wing, an Indiana Air National Guard unit based at Fort Wayne International Airport. ...

Staff Sgt. Jeff Lowry with Indiana National Guard's headquarters in Indianapolis said the jets taking part in the training are not supposed to exceed the speed of sound, which is about 760 mph, because supersonic speeds produce sonic booms.

He said the 122nd's commander, Col. Jeff Soldner, will investigate why at least one jet reached supersonic speeds Wednesday night over Howard and Tipton counties, and also on Tuesday night over the Logansport area, shaking the ground below. ...

He said F-16 training often involves the aircraft dropping flares from more than 10,000 feet above the ground, a technique that can allow the jets to evade heat-seeking missiles in combat. ...

Logansport Police Chief A.J. Rozzi said he heard a loud sonic boom on Tuesday night, and then heard the sound of a jet high overheard. He said residents also reported seeing fire streaks in the sky.

He said it is common for the 122nd to conduct missions in the area and believes F-16 training almost certainly explains the sights and sounds.

"They've been doing that training for quite a while. I don't know what maneuvers they're actually doing, but they do shoot out streaks of light," he said.

5.4 earthquake rocks Illinois; felt 350 miles away

A 5.4 earthquake that appeared to rival the strongest recorded in the region rocked people awake up to 350 miles away early Friday, surprising residents unaccustomed to such a powerful Midwest temblor.

The quake just before 4:37 a.m. was centered 6 miles from West Salem, Ill., and 66 miles from Evansville, Ind. It was felt in such distant cities as Chicago, Cincinnati and Milwaukee, 350 miles north of the epicenter, but there were no early reports of injuries or significant damage. ....

"You could hear a roaring sound and the whole motel shook, waking up the guests,'' Vibha Ambelal, manager of the Super 8 Motel in Mount Carmel, Illinois, near the epicenter, said in a telephone interview."

Now, add the above to what happened just a little over a week earlier:

2008 - 6 April - Argentina - The space rock reportedly crashed late Sunday somewhere in Entre Rios Province, some 260 miles northwest of Buenos Aires, reports the daily Clarin, which quoted a witness, Milton Blumhagen, a student and astronomy buff: "For three or four seconds I saw an object in flames, changing color until it turned blue when it approached the ground.'' A fire department source said the impact was felt for miles around. No damage was reported.

Keep your eyes and ears open!


18 April 2008

Merkel blames the victim

Speechless. Stunned. We've heard some incredible statements in the last few years, since the coup d'etat of 911, but this one is unbelievable even by the standards of GW. Listen to Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, explain why there is a food shortage:

Bad policy, not biofuel, drive food prices - Merkel

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bad agricultural policies and changing eating habits in developing nations are primarily to blame for rising food prices, not biofuel production as some critics claim, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday...

But Merkel, whose country is Europe's largest biofuel producer, said the rise in food prices was not mainly due to biofuels but to "inadequate agricultural policies in developing countries" as well as "insufficient forecasts of changes in nutritional habits" in emerging markets.

"If you travel to India these days, then a main part of the debate is about the 'second meal'," Merkel said.

"People are eating twice a day, and if a third of one billion people in India do that, it adds up to 300 million people. That's a large part of the European Union," she said.

"And if they suddenly consume twice as much food as before and if 100 million Chinese start drinking milk too, then of course our milk quotas become skewed, and much else too," she said referring to EU limits on dairy production....

Merkel is blaming the food crisis on the poorest people, the ones who are the victims. They are eating two meals a day instead of one. And, gosh, if those Chinese start drinking milk, then we'll really be in trouble!

I'm sorry, but how can this be reported on a major news service and not provoke an outcry from anyone with a conscience! Could there be any clearer expression of disdain and contempt? Any more gut-wrenching glimpse into the psyche of the deviant?

What about the headline: "Bad policy, not biofuel, drive food prices - Merkel". Bad policy? It is bad policy when people start eating two meals a day? How many meals does Merkel eat?

And all of this is going on in public, in front of our noses!


05 March 2008


Remember my post back on February 13 about Barack the Terrible? Remember the question at the conclusion: "In the end, you just have to wonder what the "Sorcha Faal" psy-op is trying to do here." As I mentioned, I was pretty certain that the source calling itself "Sorcha Faal" with its hokey background story was a psy-op, but I couldn't quite figure out what they were up to an who might be backing them. For all I knew, they were backed by Russians or French or god-knows-who just to keep the noise factor high. And item that caught my eye today may, however, gives us the solution to this problem. Have a look at this:
Why the War on Obama While some cynics still view Barack Obama’s appeal for “change” as empty rhetoric, it’s starting to dawn on Washington insiders that his ability to raise vast sums of money from nearly one million mostly small donors could shake the grip that special-interest money has long held over the U.S. government.

This spreading realization that Obama’s political movement might represent a more revolutionary change than previously understood is sparking a deepening resistance among defenders of the status quo – and prompting harsher attacks on Obama.

Right now, the front line for the Washington Establishment is Hillary Clinton’s struggling presidential campaign, which has been stunned by Obama’s political skills as well as his extraordinary ability to raise money over the Internet. Obama’s grassroots donations have negated Clinton’s prodigious fundraising advantage with big donors.

Powerful lobbies – from AIPAC to representatives of military and other industries – also are recognizing the value of keeping their dominance over campaign cash from getting diluted by Obama’s deep reservoir of small donors. It’s in their direct interest to dent Obama’s momentum and demoralize his rank-and-file supporters as soon as possible.

So, neoconservatives and other ideological movements – heavily dependent on grants from the same special interests – are now joining with the Clinton campaign to tear down Obama by depicting him as unpatriotic, un-vetted, possibly a “closet Muslim.”

On Feb. 25, the New York Times’ new neocon columnist William Kristol attacked Obama’s patriotism by citing the Illinois senator decision to stop wearing an American flag lapel pin because, Obama said, he saw how George W. Bush was exploiting the flag to stampede the nation toward war with Iraq.

Well, well, well. I guess now we know something about Sorcha Faal - a pretended opponent of the pathocrats that does their dirty work from the alleged "other side." Maybe some of those billions of dollars the U.S. gives to Israel each year as "foreign aid" ends up in the pockets of groups like whoever is behind "Sorcha Faal". Can we say COINTELPRO? How about Protocol 12?

24 February 2008

The essence of war in an image

I saw this picture on the web today and I thought I would share it with you. It made a great impression on me as it reflects what war is really all about: the destruction of the human spirit and of anything that is good and creative about us. Children in uniform who are ordered to murder strangers and get exposed to being murdered; all for the sake of some concepts invented by schizoids and psychopaths in power who care not for those concepts, nor for the well being of anyone except their own. Even if these children survive they will have to face the desolation of trauma for the rest of their lives. Each and every human story becomes a tragedy - and war is nothing but millions of personal tragedies.