True: FBI Redacts Names of Superman and Clark Kent to Protect Their Privacy

Just when you thought the FBI couldn’t embarrass itself any more, they come up with this topper:

The FBI redacted Clark Kent’s name from the script of a play written by the Church of Scientology in order to protect his privacy.

The FBI included the script in a batch of records on the [Church of Scientology] they released to journalist Emma Best of MuckRock in response to her 2017 FOIA lawsuit but evidently redacted the name of character Clark Kent under the impression both The Daily Planet and Kent were real.  –Daily Caller (link here)

Now that Clark can’t find a phone booth to change into his Superman outfit, the FBI has come to his rescue. Wait til they discover the truth about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. That could rock the Bureau to its foundations.

Kudos to Joshua Gill, the Daily Caller, MuckRock, and Emma Best for uncovering this gem.

Some redactions are reasonable–and necessary–to protect national security, personal privacy, or ongoing criminal investigations.

Most redactions , however, are simply governmental stupidity (see above and below) or “cover your arse” to protect the country from seeing your previous stupidity.

SUGGESTION: My strong suggestion to the House Committees that cannot get unredacted documents is that, after they finally get the redactions removed (by threats of subpoenas and impeachment) to release the updated documents highlighting exactly what had been redacted previously and naming the highest official at DOJ responsible for the unnecessary redactions.

Here is the actual FBI redaction of play mentioning Superman and Clark Kent:





How Israel’s Mossad Stole Iran’s Nuclear Files and Got Them Out of the Country . . . “with Iranian agents on their tail”

The Times of Israel reports the story (link here).

The article says the Mossad had known about the files for several years and knew Iran kept moving them around, hoping to keep them hidden.

Still, the Israelis kept track of them, knew the location, broke in, stole them, and got them to Israel the same night, apparently using an extensive on-the-ground infrastructure.

Of course, the Mullahs are arrested huge numbers of “suspects.”

Also, they called Netanyahu the “boy who cried wolf.” Perhaps their top insult-designers have been arrested. Normally, Aesop’s fables are not your go-to source.

Great scholarly surnames (in my current chapter). Your additions are most welcome

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I relied on these scholars work in the chapter I am now writing. They are in the citations.

David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye.

Mind you, “Schimmelpenninck van der Oye” is the last name. The “van der Oye” is a nice touch, lest you confuse his family with any other Schimmelpennincks.

He teaches at Brock University in Canada and is a much-published expert on Russian history.

And then, later in the chapter, I had occasion to cite another name.

Not as good as David Schimmelpenninck van der Oye–a very high standard, of course–but still worthy of the silver medal.

I give you “Reinhold August Dorwart,” who taught at the Univ. of Connecticut.

When I hear that name, I keep thinking, “There’s gotta be a cream to cure that.”



Bret Baier’s interview with James Comey: Sharper, clearer, faster, better than the others by orders of magnitude

Baier’s evening newscast is, I think, the best on TV.

Even if you don’t like the discussion panel for the last 15 minutes (and those who are center-left may not), the hard-news portion is superb.

Indeed, I think it is easily the best straight-news show in the business. And I, for one, like the back-and-forth on the panel.

Tonight, Baier’s interview with Comey showed why he stands head-and-shoulders above the rest.

It was fast, crisp, and tough without being tendentious (except for one moment where Baier reflexively and accurately said Comey had made a factually incorrect statement).

It was also newsworthy.

Here it is, in case you missed it.


New surgical goggles to see hidden cancer . . . based on a butterfly’s eye

love these kinds of science/tech/medical stories, where an innovation makes life better.

A new infrared goggle for cancer surgeons helps them see all the cancerous cells. It is based on a butterfly’s eye! (link) Cool short video with it.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Washington University in St. Louis have developed a surgical camera inspired by the eye of the morpho butterfly. The tiny camera, connected to the goggles a surgeon wears, sees infrared signals given off by tumor-binding dyes so that the surgeon can find and remove all of the cancerous tissue.

The camera was tested in mice and in human patients with breast cancer. The study was published in the journal Optica.

Eureka Alert

There’s another report on this news at CNET (link).

Ratings are up: Media companies benefit from Trump’s fight with them. But this fight is NOT good for democracy

Drudge features this article from CNBC:

Trump’s ‘fake news’ fight has helped media ratings and readership

President Donald Trump’s fight against the media has led to higher than usual ratings even after the election.

Surprise firings, criminal investigations and vague statements that have world leaders scratching their heads has turned President Donald Trump’s administration into political theater.

And the media – one of Trump’s favorite go-to targets- is reaping the benefits. Experts expected media ratings to normalize after the election when the NFL and other popular TV shows started to air. That’s clearly not the case.


The article goes on to cite major increases in readership in some of Trump’s frequent targets, such as the New York Times and Washington Post.

The readership and viewership may be up, but the damage to our trust in an unbiased media is down.

That’s a terrible thing for democracy.

Whether you think the responsibility for that is the media’s bias, Trump’s unfair attacks, or some mix of the two, the damage itself is serious.

Yep, it’s the 9th circuit says monkeys can sue. Just get a lawyer. Says whales, dolphins, and porpoises should lawyer up, too

Here’s the story (link) and here’s the decision (pdf link).

What could possibly go wrong????

On the other hand, I’m looking forward to some late-night lawyer commercials. “If you are a goldfish and you are being kept in a small bowl with crumbs for food, we’ll fight for your rights!! And you won’t pay a cent unless we recover.”

And here, submitted for your approval, are some gems from the actual appeals-court decision.

Yep, the whales, dolphins and porpoises ought to lawyer up and go after the US Navy.