Those words spoken many decades ago by Martin Luther King are words that President Obama has used two days ago to describe the change taking place in Egypt.
Obama’s quote of Martin Luther King’s powerful words gave me goose bumps. The last few days have been very emotional for me; I have been to Egypt and met with Egyptians on both sides of the fence; the soulless money hungry greedy corrupt type, and the friendly warm kind who just tried to survive and to put food on their table.
I remember driving along the coast of the Red Sea, to one side houses between the dark blue ocean and the sizzling highway, to the other the endless sand dunes meeting the blue sky at the horizon.
Hosni Mubarak, as we learn now, had a secret police who tortured his critics; he slowly changed the laws so he could stay in power as long as he wanted; he accumulated a wealth that amounts by some estimates to $70 billion by depriving the Egyptian People.
Those who know the basic recent history of Egypt know that Mubarak senior prepared the way for Mubarak junior (Gamal) to “democratically” inherit the senior’s presidency once senior Mubarak would not be able to run for another term.
But Mubarak’s plan did not come to fruition; Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook offered a meeting place in cyberspace were the revolution was born.
The internet is changing society in a profound way. No longer have rulers the monopoly on disseminating information. Monopolies bear the inherent danger of being abused. Anchors and correspondents at the state run TV and radio stations in Egypt were forced to lie to the people to “foster” the status quo and this for the past 30 years!
Hosni Mubarak and Earl Johnson have many things in common, and they both became victims of the internet.
Most people today know about the many self-serving blunders of the Johnson’s; the Johnson LandGate is just one example.
The internet made not only Facebook possible, it also accomodates the Holland Blog. At a cost of around $100 a year, I can inform the community about what is going on in town. NO expensive printing press, distribution network, and much more is nessessary. Unlike printed information, the Holland Blog is interactive and readers can voice their opinion too.
The Holland Blog is strictly a local blog; I just had to mention Egypt as corrupt governments seem to work the same on all levels all around the world.
Even so James Wettlaufer, Earl Johnson and his son Brian, and others, are and have been rulers and officials on a much smaller scale; the tools to usurp power and act out corruption are and have been the same.
The past showed that our "public servants" Earl Johnson and James Wettlaufer are serving themselves and their cronies instead of the community. With Kevin Gleason they appointed a corrupt Chief of police to help carry out their sinister scheme; Gleason was just a puppet at which end of the strings Earl Johnson and James Wettlaufer sat. (The new Holland Police Department under Acting Chief Bryan Haughey seems to do its job and I do not have any complaints; to the contrary, especially Acting Chief Haughey and Sergeant Forcier surprised positive with their professional conduct.)
James Wettlaufer and the Johnsons, repeatedly lied to the press, the police, and/or during televised selectboard meetings to misinform our community. Their disrespect of the rule of law is well documented on this blog and there is much more to come!
No one was tortured here in Holland, attempts were made to have individuals — including myself — deprived of the most significant right of any man, the right of freedom and the right to own property. In some instances individuals were arrested for non arrestable offenses by Gleason, in other instances attempts failed.
With a de facto none existing press and almost unlimited funds to file frivolous lawsuits and to frivolously defend against legitimate suits, the members of our Board of Selectmen acted in the past with impunity.
The internet constitutes a new danger to the corrupt powers that be. Mubarak shut down the internet and cell phone service at times in a last ditch effort to prevent the inevitable but failed.
With its increasing popularity, the Holland Blog’s information is an ever growing danger to the corrupt leaders of our town.
It should not come as a surprise that our rulers attempt to shut down the Holland Blog. While the workings of this effort is not clear, its signs can hardly be missed.
On Thursday February 3, 2011, at 18:24 hours, three police officers made an attempt to serve me a subpoena. Despite the fact that one could hardly walk through the snow to my house without snow-shoes, three officers fought their way in the dark through 3 foot of snow all the way to my house which is about 600 feet away from the road! I personally had to use snow shoes over the past two weeks to get to my house.
All three police officers were friendly and professional and only did their job. I assume that the subpoena was issued by the DA’s office. I never got to see the subpoena as I did not have the requested information. The three officers requested certain IP addresses of computers/mobile devices that were used to leave certain comments.
An IP addresses of a computer/mobile devise is kind of the same as your license plate on your car; they identify the particular owner for authorities without violating privacy as the public at large can not retrieve the name of the owner based on the IP or license plate.
I informed the three officers that I would not keep track of IP addresses and gave them the contact information of the Host Company of the Holland Blog.
The officers were: Sergeant Jeffrey Forcier HPD, Trooper Michael Blanchette of the Detective Unit of the State Police working for the Hampden District Attorney’s Office, and a third officer. Only Sergeant Forcier was wearing a uniform.
When I pulled up the overview for the past 30 days the three officers were in disbelief; Sergeant Forcier stated looking at the numbers of unique visitors to the Holland Blog, “that’s half the town..”
During the 30 day period preceding February 3, 2011, 594 pages were viewed a total of 22,122 times during 6,976 visits by a total of 1,605 unique visitors. If a reader uses two different computers or a computer and a mobile device, he is counted as two unique visitors; if more than one reader is using the same computer, they are counted as one unique visitor.
Readers of the Holland Blog spent a combined 463 hours and 13 minutes reading the Holland Blog during the 30 day period!
As an example, the piece Brian Johnson Hires Neighbor who doesn’t have a License, to Operate the Town’s Heavy Front Loader, was read 432 times (line 9) and the comments to the piece 2,650 times (line 2 and line 4, there are two lines as it matters how a visitor got to the page).
The three officers left without telling me what they wanted.
The next day, Friday February 4, 2011, I received the following email from the company which hosts the Holland Blog:
Mr. Peter Frei,The comments left by the author “No1cares” at the time referenced in the email (three hours difference as the server is located on the west coast) is the same comment left twice and reads:
The following information you have requested was excerpted from our logs. This information is correct and reliable to the best of our knowledge.
Lanset America Corp./Hostik
10321 Placer Lane
Sacramento, CA 95827
username: "No1cares" 184.108.40.206 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:16:48 -0800] "POST /?viewDetailed=00413 HTTP/1.1" 200 17148 "http://www.01521.com/?viewDetailed=00413" "Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8C148a"
220.127.116.11 - - [02/Feb/2011:05:17:05 -0800] "POST /?viewDetailed=00413 HTTP/1.1" 200 17014 "http://www.01521.com/?viewDetailed=00413" "Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8C148a"
username: Brian Johnson 18.104.22.168 - - [29/Jan/2011:14:13:57 -0800] "POST /cgi-bin/pplog.pl?viewDetailed=00413 HTTP/1.1" 200 17165 "http://www.01521.com/cgi-bin/pplog.pl?viewDetailed=00413" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; GTB6.6; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; CMDTDF; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET4.0C; .NET4.0E)"
First, It seemed to me that the DA’s office sent the detectives to investigate whether the person responsible for the comments constitutes a treat to town officials here in Holland.
I started investigating the traffic to the Holland Blog originating from the IP address of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth made a total of 2,639 visits to the Holland Blog over the last two years, spending 118 hours and 2 minutes reading the blog.
However, the dates the Commonwealth spent the most time on the Holland blog were January 24, 2011, and January 29, 2011; the comments with the “Arizona” reference were posted four days later!
On January 24, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts visited 29 times and looked at 19 pages on average during each visit. This is a total of 551 hits or page views in one day and the total time was 8:39 hours.
On January 29, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts visited 5 times and looked at 84 pages on average during each visit. This is a total of 420 hits or page views and the total time was 5:48 hours. The visits were ongoing past office hours and I noticed the IP 22.214.171.124 even past midnight.
The fact that the interest by the DA’s office peaked four days before the “Arizona” comments were posted, is indicative that the DA’s office is on a fishing expedition. The “Arizona” comments could not have triggered the DA’s office interest; there was nothing else inappropriate on the Blog, otherwise the DA’s office would have requested that information as well.
But there is a more puzzling side to the story. The third comment the DA’s office was interested, the comment posted with the name “Brian Johnson” on January 29, 2011 at 17:13 hours ( email shows Pacific Time, 14:13 hours) was left by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ( IP 126.96.36.199), and this according to the email from Hostik. Go figure!
Why would the Commonwealth leave a comment impersonating Brian Johnson??
But the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is not the only official entity which is visiting the Holland Blog on a regular basis; the Massachusetts District Attorney’s Association visited 213 times and spent a total of 24:51 hours on the blog, the U.S. Army Information Systems Command (USAISC) with 514 visits and the total time of 29:25 hours. Other Departments are, the Department of Veterans affairs, the US Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. These times are totals since the launch of the Holland Blog two years ago.
On February 3, 2011, the day after the two “Arizona” comments were left, the DA’s office spent 1:16 hours on the Holland blog.
Watching the news and hearing about the violance that rules the streets of Springfield I do wonder whether unsolved murders would not deserve the attention of the Detectives Unit of the SP and the DA’s office more then this Blog. Click here, to see some of the unsolved murders that took place in Hampden County.
I don’t know what to make of the attention “Big Brother” is giving the Holland Blog. I can’t help it, but it does not seem to me that the DA’s office is very fond of the Holland Blog. No surprise, I wrote critical pieces about the Judiciary branch on several occasions, an activity that could trigger self examination by the criticized officials.
Instead, the exercising of our first amendment rights are more and more perceived as a nuisance that needs to be oppressed in order to accommodate corruption. I’m absolutely amazed how much members of our community are in fear of retaliation. I get emails with comments of people who do not dare to post on this Blog out of fear of retaliation; others call me or talk to me in person because they don’t dare to comment on the Blog.
February 14, 2011, Peter Frei