teen arrested for writing story about shooting dinosaur

Posted on: Sat, 08/23/2014 - 22:03 By: Tom Swiss

Just when you though the hoplophobia couldn't get more ridiculous...

High school student arrested for writing story about shooting dinosaur (The Mommy Files)

When a South Carolina student was given an assignment by his teacher to create a Facebook-type status report telling something interesting about himself, he allegedly wrote “I killed my neighbor’s pet dinosaur. I bought the gun to take care of the business.”

School officials were alarmed by 16-year-old Alex Stone’s words and called police. ...

Police told My Fox Chicago that Stone was difficult during questioning and they arrested him and charged him with disturbing the school. Stone was also suspended from Summerville High School for a week.

did cop who shot Michael Brown have skull fracture? apparently not

Posted on: Fri, 08/22/2014 - 12:41 By: Tom Swiss

I've seen some sources claiming that Wilson had a serious orbital fracture, and that this somehow justified his shooting of Brown. The second part of that allegation is clearly false, and it seems so is the first.

Did Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson Suffer Broken Eye Socket in Struggle With Michael Brown? Apparently No. (Reason.com)

Two days ago, FoxNews ran an anonymously sourced story claiming that Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer identified as the shooter of Michael Brown, suffered "severe facial injuries" including a broken eye socket during the altercations.

Now, CNN is saying that story is false.

Ferguson "free speech zone" non-existent

Posted on: Thu, 08/21/2014 - 12:39 By: Tom Swiss

There is one "Free Speech Zone" in the United States. It is contiguous with the geographical borders of the United States.

Ferguson's "free speech zone" is a padlocked no-man's-land (Boing Boing)

“When inquiries were made to law enforcement officers regarding which law prohibits gathering or standing for more than five seconds on public sidewalks,” the ACLU of Missouri wrote in its emergency federal court filing to block the apparent policy, “the officers indicated that they did not know and that it did not matter. The officers further indicated that they were following the orders of their supervisors, whom they refused to name.”


So where and what was that free speech zone? “It’s supposed to be at the intersection of Ferguson and Florissant,” Rothert said. “There is a field there, but it is padlocked and no one can get in.”

charter schools: the long con

Posted on: Wed, 08/20/2014 - 13:04 By: Tom Swiss

Here's another way I could make lots of money if I didn't have this pesky sense of ethics: start myself a charter school, take money from the educational system, hire unqualified teachers, and pay myself a handsome salary to run it all. And when the whole thing falls apart just declare the corporation bankrupt and move on.

The Con Artistry of Charter Schools

Charter schools are such a racket, across the nation they are attracting special attention from the FBI, which is working with the Department of Education’s inspector general to look into allegations of charter-school fraud.


“Originally, charter schools were conceived as a way to improve public education,” Buras says. “Over time, however, the charter school movement has developed into a money-making venture.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on class war and Ferguson

Posted on: Wed, 08/20/2014 - 09:06 By: Tom Swiss

The unspeakable topic in American politics is the rot at the heart of the system: class inequity.

The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race (TIME.com)

And, unless we want the Ferguson atrocity to also be swallowed and become nothing more than an intestinal irritant to history, we have to address the situation not just as another act of systemic racism, but as what else it is: class warfare.


The U.S. Census Report finds that 50 million Americans are poor. Fifty million voters is a powerful block if they ever organized in an effort to pursue their common economic goals. So, it’s crucial that those in the wealthiest One Percent keep the poor fractured...

One way to keep these 50 million fractured is through disinformation. PunditFact’s recent scorecard on network news concluded that at Fox and Fox News Channel, 60 percent of claims are false. At NBC and MSNBC, 46 percent of claims were deemed false. That’s the “news,” folks!...


With each of these shootings/chokehold deaths/stand-your-ground atrocities, police and the judicial system are seen as enforcers of an unjust status quo. Our anger rises, and riots demanding justice ensue. The news channels interview everyone and pundits assign blame.

Then what?

MD judge orders torture of defendant

Posted on: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 09:50 By: Tom Swiss

The normalization of electric-shock torture continues. It's so convenient, it rarely leaves marks, and its technological nature makes it feel so much more civilized than whips.

Maryland Judge Robert Nalley ordered officer to shock defendant in court

On Nalley’s order, the Charles County Sheriff’s Department officer pushed a button that administered an electric shock to Delvon L. King, 25, of Waldorf. King, who is not a lawyer, represented himself against gun charges.


In the moments before Nalley ordered King to be shocked, the defendant did not threaten Nalley or anyone else, according to the court transcript. King did not make any threatening physical moves toward Nalley or anyone else, and did not attempt to flee, according to the defendant and his parents, Alexander and Doris King who were in the courtroom and witnessed the attack.


Making a pro se defendant continue with jury selection and his trial the same day a court officer shocked him at the direction of a judge could affect the defendant’s right to a fair trial, said Rocah, of the ACLU.


Even if the defendant had recovered physically, he might be affected psychologically, Rocah said. For instance, such a defendant might feel intimidated by the judge, the civil rights lawyer said.

Orwell on Hilter

Posted on: Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:15 By: Tom Swiss

George Orwell reviewed Mein Kampf:

Orwell's review of Mein Kampf (Boing Boing)

From March, 1940, a fascinating look at the development of Hitler's reputation in Germany and the UK, and the way that his publishers were forced to change the way they marketed his book.

"Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all “progressive” thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond
ease, security and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers; tin pacifists somehow won’t do. Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength,
knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flags and loyalty-parades. However they may be as economic theories, Fascism and Nazism are psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life. The same is probably true of Stalin’s militarised version of Socialism. All three of the great dictators have enhanced their power by imposing intolerable burdens on their peoples. Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,’’ Hitler has said to them “I offer you struggle, danger and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet. Perhaps later on they will get sick of it and change their minds, as at the end of the last war. After a few years of slaughter and starvation “Greatest happiness of the greatest number” is a good slogan, but at this moment “Better an end with horror than a horror without end” is a winner.

Ferguson, filtering, and net neutrality

Posted on: Mon, 08/18/2014 - 19:02 By: Tom Swiss

Interesting point. When Facebook filters your feed, what news are you missing?

What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson: — The Message — Medium (Medium)

But I’m not quite sure that without the neutral side of the Internet—the livestreams whose “packets” were fast as commercial, corporate and moneyed speech that travels on our networks, Twitter feeds which are not determined by an opaque corporate algorithms but my own choices,—we’d be having this conversation.


But keep in mind, Ferguson is also a net neutrality issue. It’s also an algorithmic filtering issue. How the internet is run, governed and filtered is a human rights issue.

cops threaten reporters in Ferguson

Posted on: Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:20 By: Tom Swiss

Authoritarians can't stand to be watched.

Cops in Ferguson Threaten to Shoot Reporter, Mace Chris Hayes (Gawker)

Police in Ferguson were caught on camera Sunday night threatening to mace one reporter and shoot another. At least two other journalists also claim they were arrested while following police orders.


In a confrontation caught on the KARG Arugus Radio livestream, a cop noticed Mustafa Hussein filming with his camera lights on—which police claim makes it hard for them to see—and confronted him, allegedly pointing a gun at him.

"Get down, get the fuck out of here and get that light off, or you're getting shot with this," the officer yells at Hussein.

Another journalist was reportedly shot with a beanbag.

Also threatened by police Sunday night was MSNBC's Chris Hayes, who was filming when police told him, "Media do not pass us, you're getting maced next time you pass us."

Missouri sends National Guard to Ferguson

Posted on: Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:15 By: Tom Swiss

And the clusterfuck continues. Imposition of Order = Escalation of Chaos.

Missouri governor sends National Guard to Ferguson (Yahoo News)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to Ferguson early Monday, hours after police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets following a week of demonstrations against the fatal police shooting of a black Missouri teenager.


As night fell in Ferguson, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated after marchers pushed toward one end of a street and authorities — who said they were responding to reports of gunfire, looting, vandalism and protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails — pushed them back by repeatedly firing tear gas. The streets were empty well before a state-imposed curfew took effect at midnight.

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