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David Brooks of the New York Times and the Occupy Wall Street movement

David Brooks of the New York Times and the Occupy Wall Street movement

Mr. Brooks, in “The Milquetoast Radicals” errs in describing the “core theme” of the Occupy Wall Street protests as “If there is a core theme to the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is that the virtuous 99 percent of society is being cheated by the richest and greediest 1 percent.”

As proof, he offers a link to a pdf file allegedly from a 2004 issue of a Canadian left-wing magazine.

This is a straw man argument. It is so shallow because only Mr. Brooks is making this argument, falsely attributing it to Occupy Wall Street by guilt by association in order to make a facile refutation.

Then Mr. Brooks goes on to make a very deceptive and misleading analysis of proposals to tax the rich by considering only those individuals making one to ten million dollars per year and downplaying the supposed impact of increasing taxes on these individuals by ignoring all individuals making more than ten million dollars per year and by comparing the revenue gained not to the balancing effect on the yearly budget but rather to the total, historic, US debt. Mr. Brooks also ignores any discussion of the desirability and effectiveness of increasing corporate taxes and closing corporate loopholes.

Then while castigating the protestors as too extreme, he also attacks them as a “milquetoast” group whose “members’ ideas are less radical than those you might hear at your average Rotary Club”

Mr. Brooks apparently has an axe to grind with the protesters; well and good. His dissent is welcome. But he should not engage in guilt by association or what appear to be outright falsehoods in making his case.

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

12 October, 2011 Posted by | David Brooks, demonstration, media, news, non-violence, Occupy Wall Street, protest, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Regarding the Wall Street protests

Dear Ms. Bellafante,

I read your article in the Sunday New York Times website with great interest:

Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim

It is a remarkable piece of right-wing propaganda masquerading as a news story.

You pretend to have had difficulty discerning what the message of the groups involved is.

Please allow me to summarize for you.

The message is that the USA is becoming more and more a plutocracy.

They decry that this growing economic inequality is accompanied by growing political inequality, the destruction of the middle class, and social and economic disenfranchisement of the poor.

They criticize, as you pointed out in a backhanded way, the doctrine of corporate citizenship, wherein corporations are given “rights” covalent with, and contrary to, the rights of citizens.

They point out the injustice of a legal system which mandates the judicial killing of a poor black man in the name of justice even though the evidence against him is largely now discredited.

If you were having trouble taking seriously the criticism of corporatism as antithetical to popular democracy, I suggest you read Prof. Joel Bakan’s “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power“.

As Robert Reich pointed out in his piece, “The Limping Middle Class” in the New York Times on September 3, 2011, the 5 percent of Americans with the highest incomes now account for 37 percent of all consumer purchases, according to research from Moody’s Analytics. As Reich noted,

“When so much income goes to the top, the middle class doesn’t have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going without sinking ever more deeply into debt — which, as we’ve seen, ends badly… The economy won’t really bounce back until America’s surge toward inequality is reversed.”

Your article was not objective coverage. You made your lede not the “5 w’s and h” of a real news story. Instead you chose to focus on the most freakish and unbalanced participant, from the perspective of normative values, that you could find. Your entire piece was belittling and apparently intended to “otherize” and isolate the participants.

You seem to have the opposite idea of the duty of the news media from that articulated by former CBS News President and Edward R. Murrow producer Fred Friendly, “Our job is not to make up anyone’s mind, but to open minds — to make the agony of decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking.”

Your article seems to have been deliberately constructed to belittle, to obscure the message, and to give people reasons not to think, and not to question authoritarianism and greed as organizing principles of society.

You made no mention of the shocking and illegal police-state tactics being used against these brave and principled, nonviolent protestors.

Shame on you, Ginia Bellafante. Shame, shame, shame.


Henry Edward Hardy
Somerville, MA, USA

PS This letter and your entire unedited response may be posted on my social media platforms and on my blog,

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

25 September, 2011 Posted by | media, news, politics, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Letter on “Egypt’s Autocrats Exploited Internet’s Weaknesses”

Letter on “Egypt’s Autocrats Exploited Internet’s Weaknesses

Regarding “Egypt Leaders Found ‘Off’ Switch for Internet“:

Dear James and John,

Interesting article. However, the following paragraph and much of what follows is incomplete or inaccurate.

Because the Internet’s legendary robustness and ability to route around blockages are part of its basic design, even the world’s most renowned network and telecommunications engineers have been perplexed that the Mubarak government succeeded in pulling the maneuver off.

The fundamental “building block” of the Internet is the Autonomous System (AS). Each AS is uniquely identified by an Autonomous System Number (ASN). In short, the internet is comprised of independent networks which voluntarily connect to each other by following the internet standards documents, known as RFC’s (“Request for Comments”).

How do systems know how to route traffic to other systems?

Today this is accomplished via BGP (Border Gateway Protocol).

Generally speaking, each AS broadcast routes via BGP over port 179.

What happened in Egypt is that, on January 28, most Egyptian AS stopped broadcasting routes via BGP, and thus became suddenly unreachable by almost all other internet AS. This was not a mystery to experts or even run-of-the-mill system engineers. It was immediately understood and documented.

How is it you did not talk to a single person with a clue as to what they were talking about? Or, did they know and simply not want to tell you so other governments would not exploit the same technique? In any event, had you googled “Egypt BGP” the answer would have become blindingly obvious to you instead of a “mystery.” The BGPmon post was referenced by at least 105 other blogs in the days following Jan 28, so the information was, and is, widely known and available.


best regards,


Note: Article was being revised, and retitled, by nytimes as I wrote this letter.

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

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16 February, 2011 Posted by | scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US using illegal mercenary forces in Pakistan?

US using illegal mercenary forces in Pakistan?

The use of mercenaries or mercenary-like private armed forces by the US is forbidden by Anti-Pinkerton Act of 1893 (5 U.S.C. § 3108). See Weinberger v. Equifax, 557 F.2d 456, 462 (5th Cir. 1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1035 (1978). The use of mercenaries is forbidden under international law by the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.

However, the New York Times reports today that the US is making use of mercenary forces in Pakistan, including a group allegedly under the control of Duane “Dewey” Claridge, notorious for his alleged role in the Iran-Contra scandal: “One of the companies employs a network of Americans, Afghans and Pakistanis run by Duane Clarridge, a C.I.A. veteran who became famous for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Mr. Clarridge declined to be interviewed. ”

International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries
U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts

Copyright © 2010 Henry Edward Hardy

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16 May, 2010 Posted by | Anti-Pinkerton Act, Duane Clarridge, Equifax, illegal, mercenaries, mercenary, Pinkerton, scanlyze, UN | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment