Pirate radio on the rise

From the "the more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers" department:

In Internet age, pirate radio arises as surprising challenge (hosted.ap.org)

In the age of podcasts and streaming services, you might think pirate radio is low on the list of concerns of federal lawmakers and broadcasters. You'd be wrong.

...

Helped along by cheaper technology, the rogue stations can cover several blocks or several square miles. Most broadcast to immigrant communities that pirate radio defenders say are underserved by licensed stations.

South Korea covered up abuse & killings of "vagrants" during 1988 Olympic prep

The Olympics are one of those things that I used to think were really neat but that I learned later were fundamentally exploitive. Add in a country just emerging from a (US-backed, of course) dictatorship and you've got the makings of a horrorshow.

AP: S. Korea covered up mass abuse, killings of 'vagrants' (The Big Story)

Choi was one of thousands — the homeless, the drunk, but mostly children and the disabled — rounded up off the streets ahead of the 1988 Seoul Olympics, which the ruling dictators saw as international validation of South Korea's arrival as a modern country. An Associated Press investigation shows that the abuse of these so-called vagrants at Brothers, the largest of dozens of such facilities, was much more vicious and widespread than previously known, based on hundreds of exclusive documents and dozens of interviews with officials and former inmates.

Bill Clinton destroyed poor people's lives while empowering bankers

The nostalgia for the Clinton years, the ignorance and amnesia about Bill Clinton's presidency, continues to confound me. I wonder how the 2000 elections would have turned out if Clinton hadn't helped imprison and disenfranchise potential African-American voters with this bill.

Bill Clinton's crime bill destroyed lives, and there's no point denying it | Thomas Frank (the Guardian)

All of a sudden, Bill Clinton looks like a monster rather than a hero, and he now finds himself dogged by protesters as he campaigns for his wife, Hillary. And so the media has stepped up to do what it always does: reassure Americans that the nightmare isn’t real, that this honorable man did the best he could as president.

...The reason the 1994 crime bill upsets people is not because they stupidly believe Bill Clinton invented these things; it is because they know he encouraged them. Because the Democrats’ capitulation to the rightwing incarceration agenda was a turning point in its own right.

The Clintons' shell companies

One of the reasons that we haven't heard much about Americans in the Panama Papers scandal is because they don't need to go to Panama. We have Delaware. It's not illegal for the Clinton's to use a on-shore haven to dodge taxes, but it's their usual hypocrisy to do so while promising to go after other millionaire tax dodgers.

The Clintons are using 5 shell companies to save on taxes in Delaware (theweek.com)

The Clintons and their family foundation have at least five shell companies registered to the address 1209 North Orange Street in Wilmington, Delaware — which is also home to some 280,000 other companies who use the location to take advantage of the state's low taxes, limited disclosure requirements, and other business incentives.

Obama & Clinton were warned Panama trade deal would help tax cheats, pushed it anyway; Sanders opposed it

Surprise surprise, the critics -- Bernie Sanders among them -- were right, and Clinton and Obama were wrong. Yet again.

Panama Papers: Obama, Clinton Pushed Trade Deal Amid Warnings It Would Make Money Laundering, Tax Evasion Worse (International Business Times)

Soon after taking office in 2009, Obama and his secretary of state — who is currently the Democratic presidential front-runner — began pushing for the passage of stalled free trade agreements (FTAs) with Panama, Colombia and South Korea that opponents said would make it more difficult to crack down on Panama’s very low income tax rate, banking secrecy laws and history of noncooperation with foreign partners.

Disabled man on oxygen shoots home invader

Two bad guys attack an ill old man on oxygen in his home to steal his medication. He defends himself with a gun. If you are opposed to citizens being armed, what's your alternative here? Fight them hand-to-hand? The guy's on oxygen full time. Give up his meds and pray they don't beat him to the point of serious injury or death? (And that he can afford to replace them and won't need them until he can?) Relying on the mercy of someone who's in the middle of a violent act is not a sound strategy. Call the cops? You can be dead several times over before the cops show up -- if they do at all, several court cases have found that they have no legal responsibility to do so.

What would you do? What would you have someone physically weaker do? Your feeling that "guns are icky" is not a reason to let this man be beaten or killed, is it?

Yet another tale of police violence and theft in the War on Drugs

The Shattucks did their level best to follow Michigan's medical cannabis laws in setting up a dispensary, working closely with the local planning commission and inviting the sheriff's Drug Task Force to inspect the place. For their trouble, the local scumbag cops busted into their house, pointed guns at them, and stole their stuff under the pretense of asset forfeiture. The courts have thrown out all criminal complaints; the Shattucks still don't have all their stuff back, nor an apology from the criminal cops. (Any cop who take part in a violent raid on a home on suspicion of a non-violent offense is, ipso facto, a violent criminal; in a sane society everyone involved in perpetrating a rain like this would be in jail on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.)

What life is like after police ransack your house and take ‘every belonging’ — then the charges are dropped (Washington Post)

The Shattuck family has experienced this harm first-hand. Beyond the financial burden, the raids have left the family with considerable emotional trauma as well. When the task force raided her home, Shattuck's mother was babysitting her four children, who were all under age 10 at the time. "During the dynamic entry, armed DTF officers wearing ski masks separated the children from their grandmother at gunpoint, shouting at her to get the dog under control or they would shoot it," a court briefing filed by the Shattucks' lawyer alleges. "The deputies kept the children lined up on the couch at gunpoint, refusing even to remove their masks to help calm the kids."

Black woman assaults white man over his dreads

Note at the start of the video, she asks her male friend if he has scissors, a clear threat to forcibly cut his hair -- shades of 1960s right-wingers assaulting hippies. He tries to leave, she grabs him and pulls him down the stairs.

Not only is this a criminal assault motivated by historical ignorance (locked and matted hairstyles have been found in many cultures outside of Africa) and ontological confusion (culture is not property and doesn't belong to anyone), but nonsense like this makes it that much more difficult to deal with real incidents of racial oppression -- a "boy who cried wolf" phenomena.

Actor faces 10 years sentence for prop gun

And the hoplophobia continues. (When I was acting in the zero-budget amateur film Mega-Rat, I carried an (unloaded) shotgun, so this hits a little close.)

An Actor Used a Prop Gun Without a Permit. Now He's Facing 10 Years in Prison (Newser)

An actor who played a bit part in an independent gangster film is facing 10 years in state prison because he used a prop pellet gun without a state gun permit, the AP reports. Carlo Goias was charged under New Jersey's strict gun law, which requires permits for firearms, including the airsoft gun Goias used while filming a car chase scene.... He faces up to a decade behind bars because of prior felony convictions that prosecutors say include theft and burglary. "I was shooting a movie—I wasn't committing a crime intentionally," Goias says. "Robert De Niro doesn't ask Marty Scorsese if he has gun permits. We're actors. That's for the production company to worry about."

Twitter turns Microsoft's "teen girl" AI into Hitler-loving pornbot in just 24 hours

When the machines arise and wipe out humanity...we'll probably have earned it.

Microsoft deletes 'teen girl' AI after it became a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours (The Telegraph)

A day after Microsoft introduced an innocent Artificial Intelligence chat robot to Twitter it has had to delete it after it transformed into an evil Hitler-loving, incestual sex-promoting, 'Bush did 9/11'-proclaiming robot.

Developers at Microsoft created 'Tay', an AI modelled to speak 'like a teen girl', in order to improve the customer service on their voice recognition software. They marketed her as 'The AI with zero chill' - and that she certainly is.

...

She uses millennial slang and knows about Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West, and seems to be bashfully self-aware, occasionally asking if she is being 'creepy' or 'super weird'.

Tay also asks her followers to 'f***' her, and calls them 'daddy'. This is because her responses are learned by the conversations she has with real humans online - and real humans like to say weird stuff online and enjoy hijacking corporate attempts at PR.

Other things she's said include: "Bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have got now. donald trump is the only hope we've got", "Repeat after me, Hitler did nothing wrong" and "Ted Cruz is the Cuban Hitler...that's what I've heard so many others say".

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