Links 9/25/10

Why lions roar and wildcats miaow BBC (hat tip reader John M)

CIA used ‘illegal, inaccurate code to target kill drones‘ The Register (hat tip reader John M)

Liberal blogger directly confronts David Axelrod, accuses White House of “hippie punching” Washington Post (hat tip reader John D)

Credit Union Fix May Be $9.2 Billion, Regulator Says Bloomberg

Bond holders on collision course with QE2 Financial Times

“So How Did the Bush Tax Cuts Work Out for the Economy?” Mark Thoma

GMAC’s Errors Leave Foreclosures in Question New York Times

money volatility — beggar-thy-neighbor Joe Costello

A Billionaire Army of One vs. a Bank New York Times. Blavatnik was a client of mine over 15 years ago (he rarely engages people in the US, the locus of his operations is Russia, but he’d made a screwy small investment in a distressed business and wanted some input).

Lewis Lapham on “the end of capitalism” Lynn Parramore, Salon (hat tip reader Crocodile Chuck)

I want to thank readers who acted on my suggestion about Amazon reviews of ECONNED (as in if you liked it enough to say something nice about it to me via e-mail or in comments, it would be helpful to leave a short review at Amazon). Reader Angus did note plaintively that there were hardly any reviews at (he had provided one of them). I’ve gotten good media in the UK, but perhaps British readers aren’t as keen about the whole Amazon review drill as Americans are.

I hope readers do not mind a new bleg. I’ve been aware for some time of a horrid site called Gulag Blog which is scraping the content of Naked Capitalism and other sites (as in it republishes posts in their entirety without permission or attribution). I am deliberately NOT putting a link to them here and I do NOT want readers going to have a look unless you think you can help me make their life miserable. There is no contact info, and the site does not take comments, so don’t bother looking (I do not want to do anything to boost their traffic). The way to go after a site like that is to write a cease and desist letter to their ISP. If anyone can figure out who that is and get me their contact info, I’d very much appreciate it. Ping me if you have any success at

Update: Thanks SO much for the many messages with useful information. If you read comments, you will see the site owner showed up and said he would take the pages down. A revealing discussion ensues.

Antidote du jour:

Picture 10

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  1. attempter

    The cat article is odd. It starts out saying deep roars are associated with cats who live in open areas, but alongside lions (from the savannah) it lists the deep-roaring jaguars and tigers who mostly live in wooded areas (as do Asian lions for that matter).

    Then it gives an improved list, lions, servals, and cheetahs. But my recollection of all the nature shows I watched when I was younger is that cheetahs didn’t have a deep call. The most common sound is a birdlike chirp. (Indeed, what utility would a roar have for a cheetah? They’re not going to intimidate anyone, and their best bet is to remain inconspicuous. Thus the camouflage of the bird call.) And I never heard a serval say anything.

    Oh well, maybe I’m missing something.

  2. DownSouth

    Re: “GMAC’s Errors Leave Foreclosures in Question”


    These were not errors. They were deliberate, calculated actions with malicious intent. They were actions carried out in bad faith.

    The people who wrote the article were thankfully more competent than the headline writers. This from the article pretty much encapsulate the banksters’ bottom line calculation:

    In many cases, the defaulting homeowners do not hire lawyers, making problems generated by the lenders hard to detect.

  3. LeeAnne

    darling ducklings and conspicuous consumption competition.

    That’s gotta be the extra bathroom in the classic 6.

  4. Agent Vanilla

    Bit of a catch 22 regarding Gulag Blog. Without the URL for the blog, can’t reverse lookup the registration details to find the ISP. Searching for the URL likely drives up traffic to the site. You should ask a technically inclined colleague to privately assist with reverse lookup.

  5. Alex Coventry

    According to my local DNS, IP addresses for are and First reverse-resolves to a hostname in the domain, second to So you probably want or

  6. Jay

    nwinet looks like the one you want to complain to.

    the gulag blog is owned by xombo, and the same contact info is listed for both, so I’d skip over their head.

  7. hermanas

    As a S.S. receipient on $500/mo., I wish I could help you but with two of three kids in bankruptcy (one from a cancer death the other real-estate and the third being sued for furniture payment problems), I can’t. I’m aggreived that the smart monsters that initiated this mess got bonuses rather than gallows.

  8. Chris

    Best antidote du jour yet! I had no idea that baby ducks were so cute. I’m not even going to read the links, I’m just going to pretend that everything is right in the world… just for today.

  9. KT

    This should be all the info you need for


    1251 Nevada #5
    Bellingham, Washington 98229
    United States

    Registered through:, Inc. (
    Domain Name: GULAGBLOG.COM
    Created on: 18-Nov-07
    Expires on: 18-Nov-10
    Last Updated on: 07-Oct-09

    Administrative Contact:
    Burke, Nolte
    1251 Nevada #5
    Bellingham, Washington 98229
    United States

    Technical Contact:
    Burke, Nolte
    1251 Nevada #5
    Bellingham, Washington 98229
    United States

    Domain servers in listed order:

    1. KFritz

      E una sorpresa!! Go Daddy is known for its tony clientele. Wonder how GulagBlog slipped thru their filtering process?

  10. Nolte

    Hey Yall.
    Deleting all the offending pages, now. Could take a while for wordpress to kill all the entries, though.

    1. Steve Hamlin

      How about Edward Harrion’s blog (Credit Writedowns), or the stories lifted straight from the New York Times?

      “Could take a while for wordpress to kill all the entries, though.” How long would it take to kill the entire site, scammer?

      1. Nolte

        I’ve deleted the content in question syndicated from this site.

        I don’t see syndication enabled in WordPress from the site you mentioned. It may be grabbing content from a feed that’s, in turn, pulling from the site you’re talking about.

        We’ll continue to comply with any reasonable requests to remove offending content, as per the DMCA, from the copyright holder. I’m happy to answer any further questions by e-mail and wish to resolve this, amicably.

        1. Surfing USA

          Nolte, DMCA safe harbor only protects you from content posted to your site by others, without your knowledge.

          If you post copyrighted content yourself (via a scraping program for example), or have knowledge that this is done from a known source on an ongoing basis, then you are violating federal law, regardless of whether someone requests removal. DMCA section 512 is pretty clear on this.

          Also, public records say Xombo is incorporated as a nonprofit, yet your websites run PPC ads and solicit consulting and web service sales. If the sites belong to the nonprofit, the IRS and Washington tax authorities are not going to take it lightly, unless you have a strong argument to the contrary.

          The above comments are hypothetical, and may be based on misunderstanding or misinterpretation, so this is not an accusation.

          1. Nolte

            I’m a college student, 23. I’m developing open-source software. Nothing is actually for sale at the moment. The open-source project is the non-profit. I’m (technically) unemployed.

            I’ve done small, piecemeal work from time to time for people (mostly family) to the extent that I need to build a portfolio and base some projects on the software. Washington State got mad at me for not having profits to report, so they removed the DBA registration I had with the Secretary of State at the end of last year. My business account still has $0.04…. the same balance it’s been at for YEARS.

            Yes, the website is elaborate. But, it represents a lot of sweat equity on my part. If you have to judge me, call me crazy or idealistic. Malicious isn’t the theme I was hoping for.

          2. Surfing USA

            I get that. No one is judging. But the NY Times legal dept will not care that your motives are pure.

            Your nonprofit corp doesn’t make sense to me. So much effort, compared to remaining a sole prop as you were until last October. It’s two extra tax returns, and a higher aggregate audit risk, for seemingly no payoff.

            As an aside, this gives me an brilliant idea for a tax evasion. My high-income parents could have me set up a nonprofit corp, and then pay my college expenses through it, deducting them all as charitable contributions. Much like a time bomb, this idea would be ingenious, highly illegal, and prone to blow up in all our faces.

            But back to your situation, if nothing else, consider the personal risks in finessing federal law. I have met 3 people in finance for whom a top-3 Google result on their name is as defendant in a civil or criminal court case (yes, I should keep better company). For one of them, 5 of the top 10 results still refer to her criminal case, seven years after it was resolved. Talk about a resume-killer. No one cares whether she was malicious, crazy or idealistic — they never get that far.

          3. Nolte

            Long story as to why I registered the sole-prop in the state. It was easier to just fill out the form they sent me once a year and return it as no income. They finally decided that the added paperwork wasn’t worth it to them. I cleared this up over the phone with them, as you saw, some time late last year. I must have been like 19 or 20 at the time and wanted a friend of mine, about the same age, to help me with some stuff. I offered him a little cash in exchange and his dad flipped out and had an absolute conniption fit because I guess he is the one that handles the family taxes. So, I got pressured into signing up for all kinds of paperwork and headaches from the federal government that literally took months to discharge properly. The whole exercise taught me a lot about the whole process and I can’t say it was a bad experience. It’s taught me that the U.S. is not friendly to small business owners and probably scares off a lot of potential innovators. It’s also no wonder small businesses are reticent to hire people… it’s an absolute pain.

            The following are all based on information I’ve gleaned and observed in the OSS community and in the software business at-large. I can’t vouch for its accuracy…

            The non-profit model for open source software projects is common. PostgreSQL USA, MySQL AB, Apache Foundation, and more are all non-profit 501(c)3 corporations that actually bring in decent amounts of cash. No one in the government has a problem with this, it’s legal. Mozilla Firefox makes money from PPC every time you use their search bar and click an ad on the Google results, the source of a good chunk of Mozilla’s funding. The Mozilla Foundation is also a non-profit. And yes, salaries to employees of non-profits are also quite common.

            A popular commercial operating system company actually has their intellectual property housed over in Ireland (so I hear). They purchase the rights to those licenses from the Ireland entity as an expense to wash out the profits from the sales of such licenses in high-tax jurisdictions. This is also, apparently, legal.

            Finally, you gave an example where you described the establishment of a non-profit to funnel money from your rich parents. This would not be necessary at all. Loans are not considered income. If your family gives you a loan with loose repayment terms or lax enforcement, it’s a much cleaner way of doing what you’ve described and is far less likely to cause unwarranted suspicion. One candidate caught a lot of flack during the 2008 primaries because of allegedly using this method.

            Please consult with a tax advisor before acting upon anything I’ve said here. I am not a tax person nor a lawyer. I just do a lot of reading!

            Anyway, you’ve all been surprisingly cordial about this whole thing and have extended a warm, albeit uncomfortable, welcome to a long-time reader–far from “making [my] life miserable”, as this site’s author seemed to intent for you all to do.

            Thanks again, as I extend a final apology and hope to bring this sordid affair to an end.

        2. Steve Hamlin

          When you copy an entire article, with pictures, charts and graphs, to your ad-laden website, you do not excuse that copyright infringement with one URL link to the original story.

          It is still copyright infringement, and you would not even come close to a fair use defense.

          And, since you know of the infringing content (you posted it yourself), and receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity, you do not qualify for DMCA safe harbor provisions, which mean you do not have a defense to copyright infringement claims. DMCA isn’t a defense for you.

 – the ENTIRE long article from the NYTimes, reposted, along with their picture. One link.

 – an entire long article from Karl Denninger, with NO link to the original source I could find.

          And that’s just a quick look – there appears to be lots more – full content with one or no links.

          There are differences between excerpting, curation, aggregation, and outright copyright infringement – learn them.

          1. Nolte

            I’ve deleted the links in question. However, it’s important to note that Denninger’s site terms allow for reproduction of his content online in-full. He doesn’t have link-backs in the RSS’s article content, which is why it doesn’t have the link back, as dictated in his copy terms–which is an oversight.

            I don’t filter these or anything when they come in, so that would have to be added manually if no link exists. I’ll try and come up with a better way of handling for link-backs. But, the plug-in on that site doesn’t have a lot of options.

            Thanks for your legal opinions. This is helpful.

    1. craazyman

      I’m a Professor of Contemporary Analysis at the University of Magonia. Where are you and what’s your topic?

      Professor Delerious Tremens, MA, PhD, GED,

      PS I’m not surprised by the British. They spell lots of things weird.

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