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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.

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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".

Arizona primary a disaster, allegations of voter suppression

A certain amount of dissatisfaction has, sadly, become par for the course. And with the voting process become more and more partisan and opaque, distrust has naturally grown. But this seems to go beyond the usual grumbling.

'Nuts, nuts, nuts': Anger in Arizona builds over long voter waits (azcentral)

Gov. Doug Ducey ripped election officials for their handling of hours-long lines during Tuesday's presidential preference election, saying the problems were "unacceptable."

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Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton asked U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to launch an investigation into what he called "a fiasco."

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U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., urged people to contact his office with their complaints, which he said he will use to propose legislation to fix voting irregularities.

The chairman of the state House Elections Committee has set a 10 a.m. hearing for Monday to explore why Maricopa County provided only 60 polling places, leading to such long lines.

...

Barnett Lotstein, now retired from the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, called the whole episode voter suppression. Count him and wife among the suppressed: They gave up on voting after driving to two polling places in Phoenix in late afternoon, where they were told to expect a three-hour wait.

Antonin Scalia dies; SCOTUS nomination is going to be interesting

Scalia was a horrible judge who operated under the influence of a legal theory so insane that under it women were not people under the meaning of the 14th Amendment. That had negative consequences for the whole nation. Yet I suppose we should avoid hating a person for being in the grip of bad ideas. "Equally empty, equally to be loved, equally a coming Buddha."

And now, fasten your seatbelts for a SCOTUS nomination during an election campaign. Gonna be interesting.

Supreme court justice Antonin Scalia dies at 79 (the Guardian)

The supreme court justice Antonin Scalia has died. He was 79.

The Republican Texas governor Greg Abbott issued a statement confirming the news and paying tribute to Scalia, a noted and staunch conservative.

The Clinton record on race is horrible

So far, Hillary Clinton has been able to count on the support of African-American voters. But that support is founded on inaccurate perceptions of Bill Clinton's record. If Sanders supporters are able to get the facts out, her support there will crumble and the Dems will nominate Sanders; if not, she may take the nomination and remove any reason for progressives to stay in the party, hastening its well-overdue collapse. Going to be interesting either way. Get your marshmallows ready to roast over the flaming wreckage of the American political system as we know it...

Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote (The Nation)

What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization, and the disappearance of work?

No. Quite the opposite.

The moral panic over PUA doofus Roosh V

I stumbled across the vile and ridiculous "pick up artist" or "neomasculinity" site Return of Kings some years ago. It's pathetic and stupid, and its denizens and it's host deserve to be ridiculed. But the recent moral panic about Roosh's planned meetups, the misrepresentation and the gleeful threats of violence, and the calls for him to be banned from even entering some nations, are troubling. Elizabeth Nolan Brown has a good take over at Reason.

How Maryland 'Neomasculinity' Blogger Roosh V Became an International 'Pro-Rape' Villain (Reason.com)

The story has been magnified out of all proportion because for a lot of traffic-thirsty web writers or editors, putting "pro-rape activists" in headlines or tweets is too good to pass up—even if it may not technically be true and props up a man and movement they claim to abhor. But while it's likely to have limited reach and flash-in-the-pan stickiness for most, the Roosh situation is still interesting as a case study of collective catharsis through call-out culture and moral panic as meme.

Sanders closes to statistical tie with Clinton in nationwide poll.

A new nationwise Quinnipiac poll puts Sanders two points behind Clinton -- in a poll with a margin of error of 4.5 points. In other words, since December he's gone from being 30 points behind to a statistical tie.

New Poll Shows Sanders Obliterating Clinton's 31-Point National Lead (Talking Points Memo)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) lags behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by just two points, nearly wiping out Clinton's previous 31-point lead, according to a nationwide Quinnipiac poll released Friday.

The poll showed support for Clinton at 44 percent, with Sanders close behind at 42 percent. This represents an enormous change since the previous national Quinnipiac poll in December, which showed Clinton beating Sanders 61 percent to 30 percent.

The poll also shows Sanders doing better than Clinton in hypothetical match-ups with Rubio, Cruz, or Trump. So maybe the Dems are wising up about voter's rejection of Hillary Clinton.

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