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Karl Rove's IT Guru Dies In Small Plane Crash 377

Posted by kdawson
from the discuss-among-yourselves dept.
A dozen readers have submitted the story of the death in a plane crash of Mike Connell, Karl Rove's IT adviser, the man who set up and ran the gwb43.com mail server, and an important figure in GOP tech circles since 1997. The closest thing to straight reporting to be found in a mainstream media outlet is a piece from KDKA in Pittsburgh giving a detailed backgrounder on Connell's work for Rove, two generations of the Bush family, and many GOP congressmen and committees. CBSNews.com is now mirroring the KDKA reporting. Almost all the early media coverage comes from the left and some of it is frankly conspiratorial. Among the milder pieces (although it could not be called balanced) is this interview with Mark Crispin Miller, NYU professor and author of two books about the 2004 election in Ohio. Connell was compelled to testify on the day before the US election in a lawsuit involving Ohio election irregularities in 2004. Connell, an experienced pilot, died on Sunday when his plane crashed two miles short of the runway of Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio.
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Karl Rove's IT Guru Dies In Small Plane Crash

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  • Accident? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gbulmash (688770) * <semi_famous@y[ ]o.com ['aho' in gap]> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @05:37PM (#26217053) Homepage Journal
    <tinfoil-hat>Does anyone really think this was an accident?</tinfoil-hat>

    But seriously, if anyone knew "too much," this guy could qualify.
    • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @05:42PM (#26217117) Homepage

      Yes, and a guy associated with the billion-dollar ponzi scheme also committed suicide... or, well... he was found with his wrists cut and had bled to death... the cause and nature of death has yet to be determined precisely.

      As the Republican dynasty comes to an end, I think we will see more of this. Not to say that Democrats are clean and clear -- there were a number of "interesting deaths" surrounding the Clintons as well. I believe there is a lot of ugly truth associated with the rule of the U.S.A... we will never ever know the truth. Depresses me sometimes.

      • by rwven (663186)

        afa clintons are concerned, the term coined was "arkancide" if I recall.

        • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <.bassbeast1968. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @11:39PM (#26219775) Journal

          As someone who lives in Ar I can tell you that "arkancide" is something we seem to have every couple of years. Of course pulling that is quite easy when he have state medical examiners like the one we had in the 90's that were willing to testify that a guy who was shot,stabbed,choked,had his genitals mutilated,and finally thrown off a bridge committed suicide, or my personal favorite, a couple of teens that went hunting in the most corrupt county in AR(and I am guessing stumbled upon something they weren't supposed to see) who supposed died of "marijuana intoxication" by passing out conveniently side by side on a train track. Of course they said the train engineer must have been "hallucinating" when he said that the boys not only didn't move despite the train shaking the tracks and the horn blaring, but that the boys were covered in a bloody police tarp BEFORE they were hit.

          So while I personally thought Clinton was a great president and didn't give a shit if he screwed college babes on the white house lawn as long as he kept the economy rolling, trying to blame him for a few "arkancides" when he have so much police corruption here is kinda unlikely. The cops here have a hell of a lot more to hide than old Slick Willie did and are a hell of a lot nastier when they feel threatened. So if someone pulled an "arkancide" while Clinton was prez I'd have to cast my suspicion on the ones that still pull that trick,the cops.

          And as for this guy, is it really so hard to believe someone would shut up the snitch? Hell if I had 1/20th of the money this guy was dealing with and you were threatening to snitch me out I wouldn't have any problem jury rigging your plane. Is it so hard to believe that someone with potentially 100s of millions wouldn't do the same? While I am not saying he was hit, I would be looking hard at that crash and especially at anyone who had access to it before the flight. Because I just can't picture a pilot with that much flight experience making such a rookie mistake as running out of gas. I know a light pilot and have hung out with him and his friends and if anything they go the other way and figure in too much fuel, figuring it is always better to have fuel left over than come up short.

      • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hachete (473378) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:01PM (#26217319) Homepage Journal

        umm, the ponzi guy was an INVESTOR in the scheme. A scammee not a scammer.

        I know of at least 3 bankers who have committed suicide recently, mostly from those banks whose funds have tanked. It's almost like the twenties.

        The only "interesting deaths" surrounding the Clintons were those which their opponents tried to tar them with.

        Not everything has to be a conspiracy. Aircraft do crash.

        • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Informative)

          by rufus t firefly (35399) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:13PM (#26217431) Homepage

          umm, the ponzi guy was an INVESTOR in the scheme. A scammee not a scammer.

          I know of at least 3 bankers who have committed suicide recently, mostly from those banks whose funds have tanked. It's almost like the twenties.

          There's an interesting post [frontierps...rist.co.uk] about that, which also points out that there wasn't a lot of bankers who committed suicide after the crash in 1929. Looks like that's a bit of an urban legend [straightdope.com].

          • by VValdo (10446)

            there wasn't a lot of bankers who committed suicide after the crash in 1929. Looks like that's a bit of an urban legend.

            I suspect this be too. Who are these three bankers? Banks don't really seem to be held accountable to anyone [google.com] these days.

            W

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by jcnnghm (538570)

          Not everything has to be a conspiracy. Aircraft do crash.

          I'm glad somebody is being reasonable here.

          • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by gbulmash (688770) * <semi_famous@y[ ]o.com ['aho' in gap]> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:36PM (#26217653) Homepage Journal

            Not everything has to be a conspiracy. Aircraft do crash.

            I'm glad somebody is being reasonable here.

            Yes, but when there's someone on them who has information that could expose a lot of fraud by powerful people, you have to entertain the possibility that it wasn't merely coincidence that this particular person died.

            Airplanes crash, people have heart attacks, and good samaritans really do pick up hitchhiking transvetite prostitutes out of the goodness of their hearts. Doesn't mean that the version of the story you're told is how it really happened.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by jcnnghm (538570)

              When Steve Fossett's plane crashed, nobody speculated that he was killed so he would be unable to break any more world records. Granted, that while suicides and accidents surrounding those in power are always suspicious, some of the conspiracy theorists are little better than the 9/11 truthers.

              • by MarkusQ (450076) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:47PM (#26218707) Journal

                When Steve Fossett's plane crashed, nobody speculated that he was killed so he would be unable to break any more world records.

                The reason for the Witness Protection Program is that people who have testified or are about to testify against powerful people often unexpectedly die under suspicious circumstances. This is a well documented phenomenon. The reason there isn't a World Record Setter Protection Program is that there are, AFAIK, no incidents of potential world record setters dying under suspicious circumstances.

                Just last month Connell testified against some of the most powerful people on the planet, after years of their trying to prevent it, and he had just been called to testify again. The local news channel is also reporting that he recently told people that he thought his plane had been tampered with, and had refused to fly it twice since testifying.

                -- MarkusQ

        • by SinGunner (911891) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:34PM (#26217627)

          Not everything has to be a conspiracy. Aircraft do crash.

          Is that a threat?

        • I know of at least 3 bankers who have committed suicide recently, mostly from those banks whose funds have tanked.

          I know a frequent mantra on Slashdot is, "Correlation does not mean causality." But, being that a butt-load of bankers are getting off free for the mess that they have created, and that they are now collecting millions in bonuses from taxpayer money, you might have a needed talent. Can I ask you a favor?

          Can you please get to know more bankers?

          On the serious side, Credit Suisse announced that their bonuses would be paid out in . . . toxic securities.

        • by NewbieV (568310) <victor.abrahamse ... @gm a i l . c om> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @07:39PM (#26218235)

          Not everything has to be a conspiracy. Aircraft do crash.

          <whisper mode="conspiratorial">
          That's exactly what they want you to think...
          </whisper>

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Miseph (979059)

            Yeah man, it's all a lie man. The government [i]says[/i] that planes crash, but have [i]you[/i] ever been in airplane crash, or ever seen one? I bet you haven't, not first hand man, just on video and shit that can be faked, cuz' that's all it is man, it's [i]faked[/i]. Modern aircraft are incapable of landing, they can't even touch the ground, they just hover cuz' of all the alien technology from Area 51... they're really [i]flying saucers[/i].

            they're running our government, you know. The Greys. They're out

        • Re:Accident? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by hey! (33014) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @11:57AM (#26224007) Homepage Journal

          Not everything has to be a conspiracy. Aircraft do crash.

          True. And people do conspire, and some conspiracies entail assassination.

          People misuse the term "conspiracy theory". A "conspiracy theory" isn't just any theory that entails a conspiracy. It's a theory that entails an impractical conspiracy, e.g., one that involves people cooperating who have good reason to distrust each other, or in which impractically large, or which involves people ignoring obvious opportunity costs.

          M. de la Villehuchet invested a billion dollars in Mr. Madoff's fund ... but not of his own money. It is most likely the M. de la Villehuchet killed himself because of shame. However, his position with respect to Mr. Madoff's fund was similar to that of Mr. Madoff himself -- as long as the fund was making money, he was doing well. When it stopped making money, most of the losses wouldn't have been his. So, it is not at all illogical for him to have been a conspirator.

          What is lacking is any specific evidence. If I were investigating, I'd certainly look for evidence. That doesn't mean the evidence exists, only that it might exist. That's the other feature of true conspiracy theories: the confusion of consistency with evidence.

          With respect to Mr. Connell, it is most likely that this is just another aviation accident. There are many simpler means of getting rid of people, ones that don't involve teams of trained investigators going over the death site. The simplest of course is just to disappear somebody. Of course, that pretty much tips your hand. A staged suicide, or a fall down a flight of stairs would be simpler. That's yet another aspect of the conspiracy theory: it posits people doing things in complicated ways when simpler, more reliable ones are readily available.

          That said, if I were investigating the accident, I'd certainly look for foul play. It's unlikely, but clever people do sometimes do things in a way so clever its stupid.

          I'm not a conspiracy theorist. The simplest theory that fits the facts in hand is the most likely. However, it is important to collect more than the facts in hand, because people do conspire to do bad things and do cover them up. It is on that general principle, rather than the specific circumstances, that the possibility of conspiracy has to be entertained.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by StormyWeather (543593)

          This is why I believe that fraud should be treated as one of the worst offenses in our society. Why is it if I put on a mask and grab a gun and rob a bank without killing anyone is it punished more than someone who steals magnitudes more money, leading to suicides, bankruptcies, and a lack of trust in the markets.

          I'm pretty conservative when it comes to business, and I'd like to see SarbOx repealed or at least have a ton of fixup done to it to reduce the huge burden it imposes, and would generally like to

      • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Schemat1c (464768) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @07:54PM (#26218351) Homepage

        ...there were a number of "interesting deaths" surrounding the Clintons as well.

        Snopes [snopes.com] disputes that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JeanBaptiste (537955)

      I've had access to all kinds of confidential stuff, stuff that would probably be important to all kinds of different people. From sealed court records to nuclear power plant documents to (currently) all the inside numbers of a major insurance something-or-other. (I have no idea what my company does, just that they're a big player in insurance and have lots of numbers that need taking care of, which is what I do)

      Anyways, I can't make heads or tails of 99% of any of the confidential stuff I have or have had

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by JeanBaptiste (537955)

        I forgot to add the point of all that - is that I really doubt he 'knew too much'.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        Do you have an eBay account? ;)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        even if he was reading a 'smoking gun' regarding some sort of conspiracy he may have never known it.

        I don't see any reason to believe there's a conspiracy here, but there's a point here you're missing. If there were a conspiracy, any incriminating emails, faxes or other documents would be extremely obvious to them. And, of course, it would only be natural for them to expect that anybody else who saw them would realize how important they were. Add to that the lack of understanding of what IT people real

        • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Bourbonium (454366) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @07:26PM (#26218103)

          RTFA. His friends were warning him that his plane could be sabotaged, and he'd already cancelled some flights for fear that this might happen. He DID know too much, and had access to the missing emails that Rove desparately wanted to remain lost forever. And Connell is likely one of the only IT staff with the knowledge and ability to recover that mailstore. Not saying that this couldn't possibly be an accident, just that it's pretty damned suspicious, that's all.

      • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jackbird (721605) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @07:01PM (#26217901)
        The guy set up and ran the illegal mail server that Bush, Cheney, Rove and others used to evade the Presidential Records Act (remember the "missing emails"?). I imagine the email going through that thing was anything but boring, quite a bit easier to decipher than a bunch of numbers.
    • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by VValdo (10446) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:17PM (#26217479)

      Does anyone really think this was an accident?

      Not to go all Paul Wellstone [wikipedia.org] on everyone, but rawstory is reporting [rawstory.com] that "45-year-old Republican operative and experienced pilot had been warned not to fly his plane in the days before the crash."

      "Connell...was apparently told by a close friend not to fly his plane because his plane might be sabotaged," Renault said. "And twice in the last two months Connell, who is an experienced pilot, cancelled two flights because of suspicious problems with his plane."

      From PRNewsWire [prnewswire.com]:

      A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell's life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR's attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General , Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell's not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.

      Alternet reports [alternet.org] the following exchange on Amy Goodman's program Democracy Now:

      Amy Goodman: Velvet Revolution, a non-profit investigating Connell's activities, revealed this weekend that Connell had recently said he was afraid George Bush and Dick Cheney would "throw [him] under the bus." Cliff Arnebeck had also previously alerted Attorney General Michael Mukasey to alleged threats from Karl Rove to Connell if he refused to "take the fall." Well, Mark Crispin Miller joins us now, a professor of media culture and communication at New York University

      [snip]

      Marc Crispin Miller: Well, I cannot assert with perfect confidence that this was no accident, but I will say that the circumstances are so suspicious and so convenient for Rove and the White House that I think we're obliged to investigate this thing very, very thoroughly. And that means, first of all, taking a close look at some of the stories that were immediately circulated to account for what happened, that it was bad weather. That was the line they used when Wellstone's plane went down. There had been bad weather, but it had passed two hours before. And this comes from a woman at the airport information desk in Akron. We're told that his plane was running out of gas, which is a little bit odd for a highly experienced pilot like Connell, but apparently, when the plane went down, there was an explosion, a fireball that actually charred and pocked some of the house fronts in the neighborhood. People can go online and see the footage that news crews took. But beyond the, you know, dubiousness of the official story, we have to take a close look at -- and a serious look at all the charges that Connell was set to make.

      AG: Now, he had asked the Attorney General Mukasey for protective custody, because of threats to him and his wife?

      MCM: He reported threats to his lawyer, Cliff Arnebeck, and Arnebeck -- also, Velvet Revolution heard from tipsters, as well, tipsters who also claimed that Connell's life was at risk. Stephen Spoonamore, the whistleblower who was the first -- who was the one to name Connell in the first place, also had an ear to the inside. He's also very connected. And all these people were

      • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:39PM (#26217675)

        From PRNewsWire:

        FYI PRNewsWire is exactly what it sounds like - a clearing house for press releases. Anyone get an "article" published on PRNewsWire by simply paying the appropriate fee. I think there was even an exploit of that fact a few years back when someone paid for a forged press release from a big-name company in order to manipulate the stock market.

      • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:09PM (#26218481)

        I live near Akron Canton airport. This happened maybe 15 miles from my house.

        Most of the land around Akron and North Canton is farmland. There is a sizable Amish and Mennonite population in that area. It's a lot of cleared land and cornfields around AC.

        If you were to run out of gas on approach there are dozens of places to set down a single engine airplane. It's mostly cornfields.

        That was the part that first struck me about this story. If you knew you wouldn't make the airport...you'd have to be pretty damn unlucky to not find a decent place to set down. With any luck you might even manage an old county access road and salvage the plane.

        • by Troy (3118) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @09:49PM (#26219143)

          I think you're mistaken. I also live in this area, and work nearby.

          While I'm sure there may be a few Amish/Mennonites, they certainly aren't there in any large number. The area around is airport has some farming, but has just as many housing developments and undeveloped land (with trees). It is also isn't flat. Map here http://tinyurl.com/8otcxn [tinyurl.com]

          Let's not try to play armchair quarterback too much. He obviously had an incentive to not crash. He lived in Bath, so he flew into the airport a lot and was probably familiar with the area. If safely landing in a field was available to him, I'm sure he would have taken advantage of the opportunity instead of crashing into a residential neighborhood like he did (he hit a vacant house). It was night, so he probably would have had a hard time spotting a field.

      • by lenski (96498) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:22PM (#26218579)

        When I talked with Cliff and Bob the day after the first deposition a few months ago, they reported that Mike Connell tried to avoid answering their questions.

        They were looking forward to subsequent depositions in order to get better information.

        We all had similar observations about Connell's situation: It seemed very very dangerous to him, and we were concerned for his safety. We were hoping to get better information more quickly in order to limit the amount of time during which Mr. Connell would be under threat.

        This plane crash comes as no surprise to any of us.

        Living in Columbus, we in the election protection community have witnessed several activities firsthand that give us pause.

        We have, for instance, photographic records of some of the punchcard ballots in the 2004 election, before they were destroyed in direct violation of a court order as well as the orders of the new secretary of state.

      • Re:Accident? (Score:5, Informative)

        by BarefootClown (267581) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @12:38AM (#26220067) Homepage

        [snip] We're told that his plane was running out of gas, which is a little bit odd for a highly experienced pilot like Connell

        Not even remotely odd. Fuel starvation is probably the single most common cause of "unplanned landings." And I use the term "starvation" because...

        when the plane went down, there was an explosion, a fireball that actually charred and pocked some of the house fronts in the neighborhood

        "Starvation" means "not getting gas to the engine." It doesn't mean "out of gas," just that no fuel is being delivered. Frequently, starvation occurs when the pilot fails to switch from an empty fuel tank to a full tank.

        The Piper Saratoga Mr. Connell was flying would have a tank in each wing, but would be fed from one or the other at any given time. Run one tank dry, and he'd have to manually switch to the other. If he were distracted (say, by the engine stopping), he might not have realized that he had fuel in the other tank.

        According to the FAA registry, Michael Louis Connell held a Private Pilot--Airplane Single-Engine Land certificate with an Instrument Airplane rating. He was required to wear corrective lenses to exercise the privileges of his pilot certificate.

        I don't have a weather report for the Akron-Canton airport at the time of the crash, but I don't think it matters. I'm willing to bet that the NTSB reports that the fuel selector valve was set to an empty tank. Just poor fuel management.

    • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @07:20PM (#26218063)

      This was definitely an accident. You see, Connell was involved in Rove's secret plot to cut the underwater cables in the Mediterranean, and was flying out to intercept the repair crew when he crashed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by letchhausen (95030)
      Do you really think that was his body on the ground? "Last month, U.S. Judge Soloman Oliver refused Connell's request to quash a subpoena connected to the lawsuit, King Lincoln Bronzeville Neighborhood Association v. Blackwell, and demanded his testimony relating to his IT work."

      Connell: "Karl help me out!

      Rove: "Done and done. Now here's your new papers and just stay out of sight...."

  • men. Sorry - Had to! ;)

    • **sarcasm** No no no nOoooo. It was Global WARMING! Take that you evil republicans! **sarcasm**

  • Screw Balance. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tuba_dude (584287) <tuba.terry@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @05:48PM (#26217183) Homepage Journal
    (although it could not be called balanced)

    Seriously. Screw Balance. Don't kowtow to some asshole who disagrees with you just because he says you're not reporting fairly. Know your biases, know them well, and know how to counteract them. As for the readers, know your biases and know or at least anticipate the author's biases.

    "Balance" is for people who want to be heard, even when they know they're lying. It's for people with persecution complexes who have no business having them. "Balance" is reporting that Wall Street needs $700 billion, but auto workers are paid too much. "Balance" is promoting two sides as equal when they're not, or promoting two sides when an issue is more complex than that.

    How many times have we IT people complained about unfair, ill-informed, hyped, or spun news articles about us? Why is this exact same tactic on the front page here? "Almost all the media coverage comes from the left and some of it is frankly conspiratorial." Marginalization and a thinly veiled ad-hominem attack? When did slashdot start culling from the mainstream?

    "Balance" is bullshit, truth is paramount.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by all5n (1239664)

      "Balance is bullshit, truth is paramount."

      To whose truth, then, should i subscribe?

      All I have to go on is what is reported in the media, and what I can see with my own eyes.

      How can you EVER know that what is being reported is the truth?

      • Re:Screw Balance. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jdigriz (676802) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:12PM (#26217429)
        Learn as much as you can, check other independent sources, compare them. That's how historians do it. And be alert to freshly uncovered evidence that may contradict your previous conclusions. It doesn't guarantee that it's the truth, but it's the best methodology any of us have, so it greatly increases the odds.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sycodon (149926)

      Balance is when you get the facts without a ration of sanctimonious bullshit opinion.

    • "Balance" is bullshit, truth is paramount.

      Without balance, there is no truth. Balance is telling all sides of the story fairly, so that the audience can learn all about the story, rather than just the part of it that fits your political agenda. As a rather extreme example, a far left wing reporter might put out a story that President Bush has been communicating with members of the armed forces without going through the DoD, and make it sound like he's planning a coup to stay in office. A balanced repor

      • Re:Screw Balance. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DynamiteNeon (623949) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:56PM (#26217849)

        Actually, balance is about weight, so the point is to give the various sides of the arguments the weights they actually deserve and not treating them all as equal, which happens far too much when people claim to be "balanced."

        The perfect example is the Intelligent Design vs. Evolution debate. The fact that some outlets try to put them on the same level and treat them as equal, but opposite opinions is not balanced reporting.

        • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:53PM (#26218767) Journal
          FWIW... if something is "balanced", that would mean the two sides[1] of the debate are assigned equal weights. That's how a balance works.

          *Fair* is a different story. A *fair* assessment would assign accurate weights to the two sides, which would (gasp) leave an unbalanced situation[2]. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

          [1] Assuming any issue is simple enough for a two-sided debate, which would be plane wrong.

          [2] As shown by the Evolutionary Theory (ET) vs. Intelligent Design (ID) debate, as follows logically:

          1. According to evolutionists, birds evolved from dinosaurs.
          2. According to established truth (even ID'ers don't deny it), ducks are birds.
          3. Logically then, it follows that ET can be represented by a duck.
          4. Some "news" outlets claim to be fair and balanced, by assigning equal weight to ET and ID.
          5. Picture a large scale, with ET and ID balanced equally.
          6. Now visualize the same scale, with ET represented by a duck.
          6. Obviously, since ID weighs the same or more than the duck, it is a witch. Burn it!

          Now, Sir Gore, tell me again how sheep's bladders can be used to prevent global warming?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cdrguru (88047)

        The problem is when you tell all sides equally you give equal credence to the lies.

        After enough lies are told, nobody can tell what is the truth anymore. Then you have true balance, because everything sounds the same whether it is true or not. And nobody can tell the difference.

        This is pretty much where we are today.

    • Re:Screw Balance. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by argStyopa (232550) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @08:29AM (#26222387) Journal

      You're awesome, thank you.

      Only on slashdot would pointing out grossly obvious tinfoil-hattery be considered an 'ad hominem' attack.

      - fact: plane crashed
      - fact: cause for the crash is undetermined.
      - everything else: guesses

      Didn't one of the guys who flew around the world also just die in a light plane crash? That was presumably sabotage too?

      New slogan:

      Slashdot "The closest thing to straight reporting..." - why would we care? And if you suggest we care, I'm going to take it as a personal insult.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @05:48PM (#26217185)

    Because it's always just a conspiracy theory.

    No need to investigate anything. Nobody has a reason to want this guy dead or anything. And lordy lordy the government would NEVER do anything unethical or illegal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by robertjw (728654)
      I think if I ever want to get rid of someone I'll do it in a diabolical Batman (the TV Show) villain method. Nobody will believe it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dhalka226 (559740)

      I don't mind conspiracy theories, but there needs to be something more than allegations, accusations and somebody's suspicion. Unfortunately, most conspiracy theorists tend to simply discount any evidence that goes against the beliefs they entrenched themselves in long before any evidence existed. Their conspiracies only grow as time goes on to encompass anything that doesn't fit in their theory. This means that even if they happen to hit on the truth--and I don't doubt that somewhere in the pantheon of

  • Occam's Razor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Prysorra (1040518) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @05:51PM (#26217229)

    When a mouse in a house full of cats dies, the simpler explanation isn't that he suddenly lost the will to live.

    The Razor is for simplicity. Your need to reaffirm your faith in the humanity of those in power is irrelevant.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DCheesi (150068)

      Which is simpler? One man having an accident, or several, perhaps dozens of people conspiring to fake said accident? Strictly speaking, an accident is still the 'simpler' theory by Occam's definition.

      • Assumptions. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Prysorra (1040518) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:19PM (#26217499)

        One man having an accident, or several, perhaps dozens of people conspiring to fake said accident?

        False dichotomy.

        What is it with people and the assumption that sabotage requires an elaborate chess game complete with blueprints, secret agents, wiretapping, and van full of CIA listening equipment?

        It takes one man with a fucking match to burn down a house.

        It takes only one mechanic with a desperate need to pay his family's medical bills to snip an important wire.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Faluzeer (583626)

          "t takes one man with a fucking match to burn down a house.

          It takes only one mechanic with a desperate need to pay his family's medical bills to snip an important wire."

          Hmmm

          And how many people does it take to find the mechanic?

          • Only One (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Prysorra (1040518) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:46PM (#26217729)

            Karl Rove. Come on, give the guy some credit.

            The guy ran oppo [wikipedia.org] for the Republican party. They guy know who to talk to, and how to get information. He has is own databases of personal information on people - check his website and his own polling data.

            He is fully capable of doing his own leg work with his own resources.

            If *I* know what I would need to do to get the info needed to manipulate only one guy, Karl Rove better know, or the Republican party is overpaying him!

          • Re:Assumptions. (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:41PM (#26218683)

            And how many people does it take to find the mechanic?

            Depends how big your HR department is when hiring secret agents.

            Secret agents exist. We know this. It's not a theory. It's a career path.

            Their job is to conspire and execute conspiracies.

            And another of their jobs, incidentally, is to perform psyops on the public. --To make people believe convenient things. Things like, "Occam can be used to justify ignorance, despite the fact that he was a 13th century monk who invented his razor to prove the existence of God." And, "People who think about conspiracy theories must be excluded from society and punished with ridicule."

            Stuff like that. Only retards and suckers don't grasp this basic notion, which is pretty much everybody.

            If you find this hard to understand, then you are a retard or a sucker. I'm not trying to be mean. I'm pointing out the obvious which has been hidden through a clever manipulation of your herd-instincts. Psyops 101. People need to engage that shiny and modern, neo-cortex and stop acting like dumb apes.

            -FL

        • by Adambomb (118938)

          Really when it comes down to it, i'd say the set of possible accidents has a greater probability of one of them occuring than the set of possible conspiracies. Many accidents can be single instance probabilities where any conspiracy would have to involve compounded probabilities to actually BE a conspiracy (IE the [minimum two] conspiring parties have to pull off their own ends for the whole of the conspiracy to be considered successful). In the end this is meaningless though as for all the probability in t

      • Occam was a goon (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @08:18PM (#26218553)

        Which is simpler? One man having an accident, or several, perhaps dozens of people conspiring to fake said accident? Strictly speaking, an accident is still the 'simpler' theory by Occam's definition.

        Compartmentalization is the key to managing a massive secret endeavor without anybody knowing enough to even realize they're part of a conspiracy. You only need a couple of guys at the top to know anything real. Anybody else who learns too much, you can always send on trip in a small plane. . .

        Anyway, Occam's razor is flawed. --It was an argument designed by a 13th century monk to logically prove the existence of God. In short: Every explanation for anything which ever happens is more complicated and contains more steps than simply saying, "God". Thus, according to Occam's razor, God exists. It's a broken argument and the fact that people in the science community use it is embarrassing enough, but thanks to Jodi Foster, people in the much more densely populated, "Church of Science" use it all the time and actually think it means something other than, "I'm right because I allow the world of possibilities to end where my ignorance begins." AKA, "Bullshit".

        Here's another way of looking at it. . .

        When you measure the various likelihoods of an event happening via Occam, you are limited to your present data set and knowledge of the world. People have the bloody conceit to assume that things which they do not know about are less likely to exist than things they do know about; which is of course, ego-driven nonsense. A three year-old who doesn't know about electron guns and phosphorus but who does know about puppet theaters could use Occam's Razor to deduce some fairly laughable things about television sets.

        Just because you can't imagine a thing doesn't mean that thing isn't a possibility, or indeed, a likelihood. Occam's razor is simply a clever way of justifying self-satisfied ignorance.

        And THAT is my axe now well-ground to it's own razor's edge. Thank-you for indulging me and Merry Christmas! Jesus died for you! Occam said so.

        -FL

        • by TapeCutter (624760) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @09:57PM (#26219193) Journal
          "Occam's razor is simply a clever way of justifying self-satisfied ignorance."

          Poppycock, you're simply justifying your own self-satisfied ignorance.

          Occams razor it's a tool for logical thinking. Like any such tool it's usefullness depends on the accuracy and breadth of the users assumptions. In the 11th century religion and science were the same thing so it's no surprise an 11th century Monk would assume God exists, and that "God did it" is the simplest answer.

          Even if Occam were as mad as the March hare it still does not invalidate his tool. Do you dismiss Newton's "Prinipa Mathematica" because he stuck pins in his eyes, had alchemic visions, and wrote over a million words on the meaning of the number 666?

          Personally I like Einstein's version of the razor, "as simple as possible but no simpler", but I suppose you think he is just another religious nutcase because of his well know desire to "know the mind of God".
          • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @01:05AM (#26220225)

            Poppycock, you're simply justifying your own self-satisfied ignorance.

            So you disagree with me then? Fair enough.

            Like any such tool it's usefullness depends on the accuracy and breadth of the users assumptions. In the 11th century religion and science were the same thing so it's no surprise an 11th century Monk would assume God exists, and that "God did it" is the simplest answer.

            Yes, and that was exactly my point. --Which makes me wonder what part of my comment you found objectionable? Was it my tone?

            Occam's Razor is a logical tool which is only exacting when used within a closed system of fully known, understood and controlled facts. But the world is not fully known or controlled, rendering it little more than a somewhat helpful rule of thumb for serious researchers feeling their way through difficult problems and who need any kind of help they can grasp. My objection, however, is that it is most often misused (around these parts anyway), as though it were a veritable Wand of Truth to dispense with any ideas which create discomfort in the layman thinker, hence my comment about ignorance. I don't see what you have to disagree with other than my tone, which I admit, was a bit snarly. I apologize for that.

            -FL

  • by georgewad (154339) <georgewad@mac. c o m> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @05:55PM (#26217267) Homepage

    >It was later learned that
    >Ohio Secretary of State
    >Kenneth Blackwell's office
    >had routed Internet traffic
    >from county election offices
    >through out-of-state servers
    >based at SMARTech in
    >Chattanooga, Tenn.
    >SMARTech hosts dozens of GOP Web domains.

    I can't see any positive way to spin this.

  • Condolences (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slapout (93640) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @05:56PM (#26217273)

    Condolences to his family and friends. No matter what you think of someone's politics, its always sad when someone dies.

    • Re:Condolences (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sedmonds (94908) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:07PM (#26217377) Homepage
      While I'm sure it's sad for his family, it's NOT always sad when someone dies. People who exploit the public and abuse its institutions, whatever their politics, are not owed sympathy or some rose-tinted remembrance. I'm not saying whether this particular person did or didn't, this is a general statement.
  • by Allen Varney (449382) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:04PM (#26217351) Homepage

    The newest article posted on Ninjalistics (your leading supplier of ISO 9000-compliant corporate espionage and assassination services) is, "Six additional political operatives die in separate accidents unrelated to Karl Rove [ninjalistics.com]."

    • Damn that's a good read. :) reminds me of hinckley, you know the guy that shot reagan and got bush senior in the white house, funny how everyone says they're a "Reagan" republican nowadays.
  • I was cheering so hard when I saw "Karl Rove" and "Dies" - then the words in between just ruined my Christmas.
  • by techsoldaten (309296) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:25PM (#26217545) Journal

    Dunno why this made it on the front page of Slashdot.

    First off, it's old news. Mike Connell died a few days ago, at least someone could have reported it in a timely manner.

    Secondly, there's really only two reasons people take much of an interest in Mike Connell. The first is that he developed technology for use in politics. Second is the whole 2004 mess, where he has been accused of voter fraud in Ohio (and allegedly in Florida).

    Too much importance is given to Mike Connell and his 'role' in various things. He was a web designer, he ran a technology company, just like me and a lot of people who read Slashdot. The fact that he worked in politics is just another detail about his life (his relationship with teh turdblossom aside). He was also a board member of the American Association of Political Consultants. While listening to him speak could be entertaining, his ideas about ways to use the Internet never really struck me as anything new that hadn't already been done better by someone else.

    It just makes me sad that people want to remember him for all these 'scandals' and that his notability is based on innunendo and rumor instead of the actual accomplishments in his life. I mean, I am a Dem and have no love for the man, but it is just rotten to think this is how people choose to remember him. Reducing him to a rumor of some wrongdoing and despising him over his dealings is just another way of dehumanizing the man, and people should be above that.

    M

    • by greg_barton (5551)

      First off, it's old news. Mike Connell died a few days ago...

      Seriously? The man probably isn't in the rgound yet and his death is "old news"?

  • by TechForensics (944258) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:35PM (#26217637) Homepage Journal

    I now believe that assassination is a frequent political tool in America. I thought for years that Castro ordered the death of JFK until I saw the video (possibly now on YouTube) of the film interview with Lyndon Johnson's mistress. I now believe Kennedy was killed by the Rockefellers and Lyndon Johnson. There is much more in the interview, which everyone should see. For some reason it is not being talked about-- probably because years of crackpot "conspiracy theorists" have made even supportable theories about conspiracy suspect.

    What Lyndon's mistress has to say is jaw-dropping and highly credible. Of course, for interested parties to deny or combat it would be to promote it, so that's not happening.

    This interview gives a picture of American politics I never believed until I heard this straightforward, plain-talking woman. Political murder CAN happen and DOES happen-- often-- in the US. Now I am deeply questioning the official stories about Vince Foster, JFK, and now Mike Connell. Does anyone believe Karl Rove would not stoop to murder? The movie Bush's Brain makes it clear his ruining of opponents caused one or more suicides, yet in threatening to prosecute Connell's wife (for illegal lobbying !!!!!!!!!) (and as much as admitting he can give or withhold presidential pardons) he shows his tactics haven't changed a bit. I now believe Scooter Libby was persuaded to "take the fall" by threats of being ruined and by promises of a pardon if he bit the bullet.

    We, the American people, have to wonder about the inadequacies of our political system (or the easy-to-abuse mighty power of the Presidency) that allow these corruptions to happen. I believe that Rove and Cheney are despicable murderers. This "accident" with Connell just proves it. This is what happens when you aren't a good boy like Scooter Libby.

    America, we need to look at the issue of political murder and the frequency of its use for advantage.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      I now believe orcs and elves are realities in our world. I thought for years that they had died out until I saw the movie (possibly now on YouTube) directed by Peter Jackson based on the notes of J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien went in to excellent detail outlining the lives of these people and their history. There is much more on the subject than Jackson was able to film, which everyone should read for themselves.

      Sometimes people tell really good stories. And sometimes people really want to believe those stori

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vaporland (713337)
      My father's best friend was a big shot technical manager with AT&T Long Lines in the 60s. He was working on November 22nd, 1963 when major portions of the national phone system were "locked down".

      This person was present in the long lines operation center when Johnson's first call came through from Air Force One immediately after he was sworn in.

      The operator motioned for him to listen in. Johnson was giving his first executive order after becoming president. He was asking to be patched through.

      What
  • Figures: the guy who actually KNOWS and can DO stuff gets his ticket punched, and the one who knows NOTHING except how to expertly manipulate people gets a pass.

    Atavism: 1
    Evolution: 0

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anyone who says this is NOT a conspiracy needs their heads examined.

  • by s_p_oneil (795792) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:40PM (#26217687) Homepage
    They're going to have a hard time finding replacements. I don't think I'd want to work in that capacity for the Republican party (just in case).
  • by Plekto (1018050) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @06:52PM (#26217797)

    The most obvious thing that points to it being a "convenient accident" is that the guy himself was afraid for his life and his lawyer was trying to get him into witness protection at the time.

    Sad but true. It's unfortunately all too easy to make bad things happen with aircraft, cars, and other potentially dangerous machinery(WHY he was even flying in the first place...) Selling your soul and playing with fire... well, these sorts of things do happen. I'd feel sorry for him, but I think he should have known what was going to likely happen to him when he started down this path back then.

  • by bugi (8479) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @07:00PM (#26217895)

    Just because lefties think [asinine action of the week] is a righty conspiracy doesn't imply that it's not a conspiracy. And vice versa.

    Just because righties deny that [convenient coincidence of the week] is a conspiracy doesn't imply that it is a conspiracy. And vice versa.

    And vice versa.

    Applying critical thought to what each side says is not unbalanced reporting. Reporters, in general, are in a much better position to connect the dots than is the general public.

    Not giving the other side a chance to rebut, on the other hand, is unbalanced reporting. However, the rebuttal does not have to be in the same article. Ideally, there would be N+1 articles, one for each side and one where critical thought is applied.

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @07:37PM (#26218213)
    Tinfoil hat and all, it seems like too big a coincidence. Seems like there is other work out there no matter what the GOP is paying, and most importantly most people do not like being dead.
  • by LKM (227954) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @07:38PM (#26218223) Homepage

    Among the milder pieces (although it could not be called balanced)

    Balanced reporting is bullshit, because reality is not balanced. For example, the fact that some people think the earth is 6000 years old doesn't imply that the media has to mention this every time they report on some archeological dig. The mere fact that an opinion exists doesn't mean that it's worth reporting.

  • by spasm (79260) on Wednesday December 24, 2008 @02:15PM (#26225237) Homepage

    If he knew he was sitting on secrets; knew (or suspected) people were out to get him; and was a geek:

    Where's the killswitch server? You know, the server sitting quietly somewhere that needs you to login once a week or so or it automatically dumps all that incriminating material onto a website and emails a few news outlets.

Old programmers never die, they just hit account block limit.

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