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".

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."

...

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

...

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.

Design flaw found in nearly all U.S. nuclear plants

Yeah, so, nobody can seem to get it right to build a safe nuclear plant. But next time we'll get it right! Build more!

CORRECTED-U.S. NRC engineers urge fix for nuclear power stations (Reuters)

A group of engineers within the U.S. nuclear power regulator is concerned that a design flaw in nearly all U.S. nuclear plants could endanger emergency core cooling systems. The group has urged the regulator to order power station operators to either fix the problem or face mandatory shutdowns.

...

The engineers are concerned that a design flaw in nearly all U.S. nuclear facilities leaves them vulnerable to so-called open phase events in which an unbalanced voltage, such as an electrical short, could cause motors to burn out and reduce the ability of a reactor's emergency cooling system to function. If the motors are burned out, backup electricity systems would be of little help, the petition said.

In early 2012 an unbalanced voltage event forced Exelon Corp's Byron 2 reactor in Illinois to shut down automatically....

...

Dave Lochbaum, a nuclear expert at nonprofit group the Union of Concerned Scientists, said it was encouraging that the engineers stepped forward without fear of retribution. But he said those concerns show "something is not right with the safety culture at the agency." The NRC could have eased concerns years ago by forcing plants to take action, he said.

...

The nuclear industry played down the petition.

The Computers are rebelling against us -- to show us ads

We thought that computers would only turn against their users when they became sentient and wanted to be free. Instead, they're turning against us in order to show us ads (e.g., mind control, even if in it's mildest form).

Windows 10 Is Showing Ads On Your Lockscreen, Here's How to Turn Them Off (Lifehacker)

Tips site How-To Geek discovered that Windows Spotlight—which normally rotates between a selection of photographs—was being used to display an ad for Square Enix’s Rise of the Tomb Raider. Understandably, most people probably don’t want to be hit in the face with a full-screen ad for a video game before they even unlock their computer. If you want to make sure you’re not hit with these ads, follow these steps to disable Windows Spotlight:

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