Monday, September 1, 275760

Random Disclaimer: This blog is GRIMDARK AS FUCK.

Everyone, please sign this petition if you value Internet freedom. Congress claims to have vetoed SOPA due to political pressure, but the Trans-Pacific Partnership is more than willing to take up its mantle and pass it and various SOPA-like legislations (or even worse in many cases) that would utterly change the Internet as we know it. So, if you value the Internet, please, sign this bill and make your voice heard NOW. https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/stop-sopa-policies-trans-pacific-partnership-notice-and-staydown-efforts-and-other-policies/dXMRvNh8


5/29/12 EDIT: I've just created a new blog exclusively for ponies and pony-related news, WITHOUT the stressful news articles on this blog.  It's no Equestria Daily, nor will it ever be, but it's still a pony blog. Feel free to check it out if you please... http://brony-montana.blogspot.com

If you're a brony and a Final Fantasy fan, and you want to play a game that combines ponies with Final Fantasy, I just thought you might like to know that an excellent fan game called Pony Fantasy 6 was released a few days ago.

If you are interested in this game, and would like to give it a try, please follow this link... http://www.pony-fantasy-6.com/

This blog contains some controversial posts concerning certain political issues and depressing news stories. If you find some of the content on my blog too controversial for your liking, or you're simply interested in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, go to http://www.dailymotion.com/MLPFiMVideos... That is my DailyMotion channel that is filled with every episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic so far. If a new epsisode of MLP:FiM comes on, expect to see it on there within a few hours. It might help to take the edge off from hearing or seeing too much stressful stuff (i.e. some of the posts on my blog), and you may walk away with the realization that not ALL things pertaining to My Little Pony suck. In fact, in the case of FiM, it's AWESOME.

BTW, since DailyMotion absolutely ADORES putting ads all over the place, often ruining perfectly good videos by placing ads at the beginning, end, and occasionally, even the MIDDLE of many videos, please consider installing Adblock Plus for maximum pony enjoyment. DailyMotion can be a great deal better and more enjoyable than YouTube, but only if you use Adblock to get around the horribly annoying ads.

If you're interested in MLP:FiM, but you don't want to go to DailyMotion, either because of the annoying random ads or because the videos play slower there than on other sites, there are dozens, if not hundreds of channels on YouTube that have the entire first and second seasons uploaded to their channels, and they're all ad-free, too. I was planning on creating another YouTube channel to upload pony videos to, but it wouldn't allow me to upload videos past 15 minutes unless I gave a mobile phone number, and I don't have a mobile phone, and I'm NOT breaking these videos into parts.

If ponies aren't your thing, I understand. At any rate, I cannot stress enough that there are PLENTY of depressing pieces of news and controversial opinions about certain subjects on here. But if you can get past this disclaimer, you might find that this blog is fairly interesting and informative. I do my best to post interesting articles from various news sources, many of which provide a glimpse into the harsh realities of the world. Some of them may be easily accessed by searching your favorite news site or clicking on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, etc, whereas some other news stories are less known for various reasons.

Just know what you're getting yourself into before you traverse my blog. There is some HIGHLY depressing stuff on this blog, and I do use plenty of profanity in some of my posts. I am NOT kidding when I say this blog is grimdark as fuck.


BTW, I've noticed a few people have been searching for "Rainbow Dash Attack", basically a ponified version of the popular Adult Swim Flash game "Robot Unicorn Attack". If you want to play "Rainbow Dash Attack", follow the link below.
http://www.comdotgame.com/play/rainbow-dash-attack

If you just want to play the original version, Robot Unicorn Attack, feel free to follow this link...
http://games.adultswim.com/robot-unicorn-attack-twitchy-online-game.html




Friday, December 31, 275666

Spectacular Neon Blue Lava Pours From Indonesia's Kawah Ijen Volcano At Night (PHOTOS

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/16/blue-lava-volcano-photos-kawah-ijen-indonesia-_n_4610337.html


You've heard of "red hot" and "white hot" to describe searing temperatures. But what about "blue hot"?
That's the surreal hue of Indonesia's Kawah Ijen Volcano, which glows with an otherworldly "blue lava" at night. The mountain contains large amounts of pure sulfur, which emits an icy violet color as it burns, turning the rocky slopes into a hot (at least 239 degrees Fahrenheit),highly toxic environment.
Despite the dangers, photographer Olivier Grunewald captured the scene, along with a group of men who toil on the volcano at night, battling noxious gases to mine sulfur from the crater and carry it out by hand.
Miners carry between 176 and 220 pounds of sulfur chunks per trip and sell the pieces for around 2.5 cents per pound. Yahoo reports theyaverage two loads every 24 hours, thereby doubling their salaries amid sulfurous flames that can reach 16 feet high.
The volcano is the subject of a new documentary -- produced by Grunewald and Régis Etienne, the president of Geneva's Society of Volcanology -- released earlier this month. (See the trailer, in French, below)
PHOTOS of Kawah Ijen's blue lava after the break:

Saturday, December 31, 275555

A veritable encyclopedia of important links, including search engines, Pastebins, proxies, alternative news sources, etc.

Alternative Search Engines
 
001 http://www.mamma.com
002 https://blekko.com/
003 https://startpage.com/
004 https://ixquick.com
005 https://duckduckgo.com/
006 http://www.alltheweb.com
007 http://www.gigablast.com/
008 http://www.proxysearchengine.tk
009 http://74.125.47.132  (google)
010 http://gibiru.com/
011 http://filetram.com/  (file search)
012 http://www.worldcat.org/  (library search engine)
013 http://www.monstercrawler.com
014 http://searchalot.com
015 http://www.searchcanvas.com/
016 http://web.search.ch
017 http://mamma75.mamma.com
018 http://search.freecause.com/
019 http://www.general-files.com/  (file search)
020 http://www.ebook3000.com/ (free books)
021 http://www.sqfile.com  (file search)
022 http://www.zoozle.org/ (file search)
023 http://translate.google.com/
024 http://www.robtex.com/
025 http://95.154.230.253 (hide my ass)

Thursday, December 30, 99999

Saturday, March 6, 99999

A wealth of information about the Deep Web Part 2 (More information, slightly less disturbing shit, 56K WARNING)

http://www.businessinsider.com/tor-silk-road-deep-web-2013-3?op=1

The average person is only aware of a fraction of the Internet.

There is more content out there than any conventional browser can access. These sites are termed
"Deep Web" or "Undernet." They exist outside the scope of Google, Facebook, and your RSS reader. It's the digital equivalent of a thriving city that's been domed over and cordoned off.



These sites are locked down so tightly that you need a special browser to access them. It's called the Tor browser, and it offers you an entirely new way of connecting to the Internet.

Where conventional web browsers like Chrome and Firefox make no effort to conceal your location
or identity, Tor is built upon the idea of preserving anonymity as aggressively as possible.

What is Tor?

Tor, originally an acronym for "The Onion Router," is an anonymity network designed to keep your identity and location completely secure as you browse the web. When you use the Tor browser (a free download), volunteer servers around the world route your internet traffic from server to server before finally delivering you your content. On top of this evasive routing, data is encrypted a number of times as it travels to you.

Exploring the Deep Web

Michael Bergman of BrightPlanet puts it succinctly: "Searching on the Internet today can be compared to dragging a net across the surface of the ocean. While a great deal may be caught in the net, there is still a wealth of information that is deep, and therefore, missed."

Using the Tor browser unlocks the door to a whole weird and wild world you never would have guessed existed online. Where Google helps you find the needle, Tor lets you "explore the haystack."

There is lots of promise in Tor's value – people use it to protect their communications, to research
sensitive topics, and to access information they might otherwise not have access to (if a country is behind a firewall, for example). By guaranteeing such a high level of anonymity, Tor lends itself well to information freedom activists, libertarians, and those who simply want to take their Internet safety to the extreme.

But with such anonymizing power made available for free, some less-than-legal (and even downright malicious) operations claim to operate successfully.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Conservatives begin backing away after Cliven Bundy’s remarks disparaging ‘the Negro’

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/04/24/conservatives-begin-backing-away-after-cliven-bundys-remarks-disparaging-the-negro/#.U1jlo27loxA.facebook

Republican politicians began backtracking on their support of Nevada anti-government rancher Cliven Bundy after the New York Times caught Bundy making racially-inflammatory remarks blaming African-Americans for willingly submiting to dependency on federal assistance.
“They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton,” Bundy was quoted as saying to a group of supporters last Saturday. “And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Bundy’s statements about “the Negro,” published on Wednesday, were made during his daily speech to supporters outside Bunkerville, Nevada, where a crowd gathered to support him in defiance of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) during an attempted round up of his cattle. The confrontation was the result of Bundy’s refusal to pay grazing fees on federally-owned land for more than 20 years, in spite of multiple court rulings against him. Bundy has stated on several occasions that he does not recognize the existence of the federal government.
During the speech, Bundy said he remembered driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, which he called a “government house” with “always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch” with nothing to do.
The remarks brought about a quick rebuke from Chandler Smith, a spokesperson for Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV). Heller had previously called Bundy and his supporters “patriots” for their actions and challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) description of them as “domestic terrorists.”
Smith told the Times that Heller “completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.”
Bundy’s speech also seemingly derailed Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s (R) apparent attempt to link his gubernatorial campaign to the Bunkerville camp; Abbott had allegedly written a letter to the BLM accusing it of “threatening” to seize land along the Red River in northern Texas.
But after being contacted regarding the rancher’s “Negro” remarks, a spokesperson for Abbott was quoted as saying that Abbott’s letter “was regarding a dispute in Texas and is in no way related to the dispute in Nevada.”

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Norwich, Connecticut - Man rejects offer in stray bullet murder case

http://theday.com/article/20140422/NWS02/140429902/1047

David J. Grant, accused of fatally shooting a Norwich woman and wounding her niece at the Mai Thai Restaurant and Bar in Norwich in June 2012, has rejected an offer from the state to plead guilty in exchange for a 40-year prison sentence. 

"He'd like to go to trial," said his attorney, Sebastian O. DeSantis, during Grant's appearance this morning in New London Superior Court. 

Grant, 34, has been held in lieu of $2.5 million since he was arrested in Baltimore about six months after the shooting. He is charged with murder, first-degree assault, first-degree reckless endangerment and illegal possession of a pistol. 

A one-time Norwich resident, Grant, who is known as "D," has an artificial eye as a result of being shot in the face on Talman Street in November 2010. According to Norwich police, he was attempting to shoot a man who had shot at a friend of his when he fatally shot Richardson, 45, and shot her niece, Crystal Roderick, in the thigh. 

Richardon's family members had gathered at the Mai Thai for a birthday party that night. The niece and other survivors, including Richardson's long-time partner, Steven Roderick, have been attending Grant's court appearances and following the case. 

Judge Hillary B. Strackbein told Grant this morning that in rejecting the plea offer extended by Senior Assistant State's Attorney Stephen M. Carney, Grant is exposing himself to a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison if he is convicted. 

"You need to know that, so later, if you're convicted...you can't say, 'I'll take the 40 (years),''' Strackbein told Grant. 

The state withdrew the offer and the case was added to the trial list. 

Richardson's family members left the courtroom saying, "He's going to get 80 years."

Norwich, Connecticut woman gets suspended sentence in liquid burn case

http://theday.com/article/20140422/NWS02/140429901/1047

A 34-year-old woman received a suspended prison sentence and two years of probation after pleading guilty to throwing a cup of caustic liquid at a rival at a Norwich party last year, causing burn injuries that required medical treatment.
Cadrine Reveil of Norwich pleaded guilty in New London Superior Court to third-degree assault. She pleaded under the Alford Doctrine, which indicates she does not agree with the state's version of the case but concedes there is enough evidence to convict her at trial.
The incident occurred at a Prospect Street address on May 7, 2013 when police were called for a report of a large fight in progress. They arrived to find a woman who had to be taken to the hospital for burn injuries. According to the state, people at the scene said Reveil threw a cup of liquid at the victim, causing injury to an eye. The police seized a moist paper towel that smelled of chlorine bleach.
Reveil contends she threw an alcoholic drink at the victim, according to her attorney, M. Fred DiCaprio.
Judge Hillary B. Strackbein ordered Reveil to have no contact with the victim and to pay for the woman’s unreimbursed medical expenses.

KKK Forms Neighborhood Watch Group In Pennsylvania

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/21/kkk-neighborhood-watch-group_n_5186525.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
In response to a string of recent break-ins, the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan has given a local Pennsylvania chapter the go-ahead to form a neighborhood watch group.
“You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!” read fliers promoting the neighborhood watch group in Fairview Township. The leaflets appeared on the doorsteps of homes along Ridge Road on April 18, PennLive reports.
(Story continues below.)
kkk neighborhood watch
The KKK's neighborhood watch flier for Fairview Township.
“It’s just like any neighborhood watch program. It’s not targeting any specific ethnicity. We would report anything we see to law enforcement,” Frank Ancona, the organization’s imperial wizard and president, told PennLive. “We don’t hate people. We are an organization who looks out for our race. We believe in racial separation. God created each species after its kind and saw that it was good.”
According to its website, the organization -- headquartered in Park Hills, Mo., with local chapters in every state but Hawaii -- is a "non-violent" and "law abiding group" composed entirely of white Christians. The group claims to have “been misunderstood for years.”
From the website's Who We Are section:
The Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is a White Patriotic Christian organization that bases its roots back to the Ku Klux Klan of the early 20th century. We are a non-violent organization that believes in the preservation of the White race and the United States Constitution as it was originally written and will stand to protect those rights against all foreign invaders. We believe in the right to bear arms against all that threaten our home and family.
A call to the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was not immediately returned.
Similar fliers promoting KKK neighborhood watch programs appeared in other states across the country this past year year. In July 2013, recruitment fliers with the same slogan as the Pennsylvania leaflets appeared on doorsteps in Springfield, Mo. In January 2014, the same flyer was spotted in driveways in Virginia.
"We picked ours up out of our driveway and threw it in the trash," Virginia resident Sarah Peachee told NBC 12. "We weren't interested in even reading about it."

Muslim Teens Allegedly Beaten By NYPD In Bronx Park; Claims Made That Hijabs Were Ripped Off

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/31/muslim-teens-beaten-nypd-bronx_n_3844021.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

A disturbing story emerged out of the Bronx on Thursday. Two Muslim sisters, Lamis Chapman and Khalia Wilson, aged 12 and 14 respectively, told the New York Daily News that they were thrown to the ground, put in chokeholds, and had their hijabs violently torn off by members of the NYPD, for a reason that remains unclear.
Chapman and Wilson said they were playing handball around 9:30 pm in the park near their home in the Lester Patterson Houses in Mott Haven, the Bronx, when police approached them and asked them to leave, as the park was closed.
The girls recounted that the cops followed them out of the park, and one grabbed Wilson from behind, putting her in a chokehold and wrestling her to the ground. "They said they asked for ID. I didn't hear them," reported Wilson. When her sister protested, she was also thrown to the ground, and both sisters' headscarves were ripped off.
"I kept saying, 'I'm 14! What are you doing? We're not bad kids,'" explained Wilson.
When their 15-year-old brother, Shytike Wilson, saw the police assaulting his younger sisters from a window, he ran to their aid. "I asked them why my sisters were in handcuffs," he said, when the police, "charged me, picked me up, and slammed me on the floor."
An 18-year-old college student, Jonathan Harris, became involved when he heard the girls screaming and ran to the park to help. He told the cops to leave the teens alone and took out his cell phone to record the incident, but was also subjected to police abuse.
According to Harris, the officer told him, "Come here, you little motherf--er. You like recording?" He says he tried to run away, but was caught and thrown to the ground, getting pepper-sprayed and punched in the face during the struggle.
A police source painted a wholly different picture, reports the New York Daily News. "The officers told the kids to leave (the park) when they began acting disorderly," said the source, who added that the police were escorting the teens out of the park when Harris grabbed one of the girls away from the cops.
Harris was charged with "disorderly conduct and obstructing governmental function," and the police reported that two officers were hospitalized with "scrapes, bruises, and sprains." The NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau is reportedly looking into the incident.
The incident comes in the wake of a stream of bad publicity for the NYPD, as they face criticism for controversial stop-and-frisk policies and widespread surveillance of Muslims in their religious communities.

NYC says cops had no duty to protect subway hero who subdued killer

http://nypost.com/2013/01/27/city-says-cops-had-no-duty-to-protect-subway-hero-who-subdued-killer/

He says he put his life on the line to stop a killer — and claims cops sat back and watched.
But city lawyers are arguing that the police had no legal duty to protect Joseph Lozito, the Long Island dad stabbed seven times trying to subdue madman Maksim Gelman — a courtroom maneuver the subway hero calls “disgraceful.”
A judge is currently deciding whether Lozito, who sued the city last year for failing to prevent the attack, will get his day in court.
The drug-fueled Gelman had fatally stabbed three people in Brooklyn and killed another with a car during a 28-hour rampage when he entered an uptown No. 3 train on Feb. 12, 2011.
Police officers Terrance Howell and Tamara Taylor were part of a massive NYPD manhunt. They were in the operator’s cab, watching the tracks between Penn Station and 42nd Street for any sign of the fugitive. Lozito was seated next to the cab.
In the official NYPD account and Howell’s own affidavit, Howell heroically tackled and subdued the killer. But Lozito tells a different story.
The 42-year-old mixed-martial-arts fan says he watched Gelman approach the cab window, barking: “Let me in!” Gelman even claimed to be a cop, but a dismissive Howell turned away, he says.
Gelman walked off. A straphanger recognizing Gelman tried to alert the cops, but was also rebuffed. A minute later, Gelman returned and set his sights on the 6-foot-2, 270-pound Lozito.
“You’re going to die,” Gelman announced — then stabbed him in the face.
Lozito leapt from his seat and lunged at the 23-year-old Gelman as the psycho sliced at him.
“Most of my wounds are in the back of my head,” Lozito said. “He got to the back of my head because my left shoulder [was] in his waist.”
In his account, Lozito pinned Gelman to the floor, disarming him. Howell then emerged from the booth, tapping Lozito’s shoulder: “You can get up now,” he said.
“By the time he got there, the dirty work was already done,” Lozito said.
Gelman was convicted in the spree — which left his girlfriend, her mother, his stepfather and a pedestrian dead, and five others injured.
Lozito says a grand-jury member later told him Howell admitted on the stand that he hid during the attack because he thought Gelman had a gun.
An angry Lozito decided to sue the city for negligence, arguing the cops should have recognized Gelman and prevented, or reacted more quickly to, the assault.
The city routinely settles such litigation but is playing hardball with Lozito, insisting his demand for unspecified money damages be tossed because the police had no “special duty” to protect him or any individual on the train that day.
“Under well-established law, the police are not liable for such incidents,” said city lawyer David Santoro. “That doesn’t detract from the Police Department’s public safety mission — or the fact that New York is the safest big city in America.”
Experts say it’s a long-standing legal precedent requiring police to put the public safety of all ahead of any one individual’s rights.
Lozito says his case is different.
“If the cop is on the train, and I get robbed by a stranger, of course, the cop can’t be clairvoyant,” Lozito told The Post. “But when they’re looking for Maksim Gelman, and Maksim Gelman bangs on the door and says, ‘Let me in, I’m a cop’ and all you say is: ‘No, you’re not?’ ”
1. Joseph Lozito enters the uptown No. 3 train, sitting behind the train operator. Officers Terrance Howell and Tamara Taylor enter the operator’s booth; a few minutes later, the train slowly pulls out of Penn Station.
2. Maksim Gelman walks up to the booth and says: “Let me in!” Howell allegedly dismisses him and Gelman walks away.
3. Minutes later, Gelman walks back up to the booth, looks at Lozito, says “You’re going to die,” and stabs him.
4. Lozito fights back, getting seven stab wounds during the 60-second struggle with Gelman, eventually pinning him and knocking the knife away.
5. Howell allegedly emerges from the booth, taps Lozito on the shoulder and says: “You can get up now.”

Stopped-and-Frisked: ‘For Being a Fucking Mutt’ [VIDEO]

http://www.thenation.com/article/170413/stopped-and-frisked-being-fking-mutt-video

Editor's note: The day after The Nation published this video, it sparked a heated debate during a meeting of the City Council's public safety committee. Since then, the New York Police Department's stop, question and frisk tactic gained national notoriety and became a major factor in the city's 2013 mayoral race. Footage and audio from this video were incorporated into a PSA video by the artist Yasiin Bey, and, perhaps most significantly, and the video was mentioned in the August 2013 decision of the landmark federal case Floyd v. City of New York, which found stop and frisk to be unconstitutional and racially discriminatory.
Exclusive audio obtained by The Nation of a stop-and-frisk carried out by the New York Police Department freshly reveals the discriminatory and unprofessional way in which this controversial policy is being implemented on the city’s streets.
On June 3, 2011, three plainclothes New York City Police officers stopped a Harlem teenager named Alvin and two of the officers questioned and frisked him while the third remained in their unmarked car. Alvin secretly captured the interaction on his cell phone, and the resulting audio is one of the only known recordings of stop-and-frisk in action.
In the course of the two-minute recording, the officers give no legally valid reason for the stop, use racially charged language and threaten Alvin with violence. Early in the stop, one of the officers asks, “You want me to smack you?” When Alvin asks why he is being threatened with arrest, the other officer responds, “For being a fucking mutt.” Later in the stop, while holding Alvin’s arm behind his back, the first officer says, “Dude, I’m gonna break your fuckin’ arm, then I’m gonna punch you in the fuckin’ face.”  
Listen to the full audio of the stop:
It looks like you don’t have Adobe Flash Player installed. Get it now.

“He grabbed me by my bookbag and he started pushing me down. So I’m going backwards like down the hill and he just kept pushing me, pushing me, it looked like he we was going to hit me,” Alvin recounts. “I felt like they was trying to make me resist or fight back.”
Alvin’s treatment at the hands of the officers may be disturbing but it is not uncommon. According to their own stop-and-frisk data, the NYPD stops more than 1,800 New Yorkers a day. A New York Times analysis recently determined that more than 20 percent of those stops involve the use of force. And these are only the numbers that the Department records.  Anecdotal evidence suggests both figures are much higher.
In this video, exclusive to TheNation.com, Alvin describes his experience of the stop, and working NYPD officers come forward to explain the damage stop-and-frisk has done to their profession and their relationship to the communities they serve. The emphasis on racking up stops has also hindered what many officers consider to be the real work they should be doing on the streets. The video sheds unprecedented light on a practice, cheered on by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, that has put the city’s young people of color in the department’s crosshairs.
Those who haven’t experienced the policy first-hand “have likened Stops to being stuck in an elevator, or in traffic,” says Darius Charney, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “This is not merely an inconvenience, as the Department likes to describe it. This is men with guns surrounding you in the street late at night when you’re by yourself. You ask why and they curse you out and rough you up.”
“The tape brings to light what so many New Yorkers have experienced in the shadows at the hands of the NYPD,” says Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP. “It is time for Mayor Bloomberg to come to grips with the scale of the damage his policies have inflicted on our children and their families. No child should have to grow up fearing both the cops and the robbers.”
“This audio confirms what we’ve been hearing from communities of color, again and again,” says Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU. “They are repeatedly subjected to abusive and disrespectful treatment at the hands of the NYPD. This explains why so many young people don’t trust the police and won’t help the police,” she adds. “It’s not good for law enforcement and not good for the individuals who face this harassment.”
The audio also betrays the seeming arbitrariness of stops and the failure of some police officers to fully comprehend or be able to articulate a clear motivation for carrying out a practice they’re asked to repeat on a regular basis.
And, according to Charney, the only thing the police officers do with clarity during this stop is announce its unconstitutionality.
“We’ve long been claiming that, under this department’s administration, if you’re a young black or Latino kid, walking the street at night you’re automatically a suspicious person,” says Charney, who is leading a class-action lawsuit challenging the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practices. “The police deny those claims, when asked. ‘No, that’s not the reason we’re stopping them.’ But they’re actually admitting it here [on the audio recording]. The only reason they give is: ‘You were looking back at us…’ That does not rise to the level of reasonable suspicion, and there’s a clear racial animus when they call him a ‘mutt.’”
The audio was recently played at a meeting of The Morris Justice Project, a group of Bronx residents who have organized around the issue of stop-and-frisk and have been compiling data on people’s interactions with police. Jackie Robinson, mother of two boys, expected not to be surprised when told about the contents of the recording. “It’s stuff we’ve all heard before,” she said at the gathering. Yet Robinson visibly shuddered at one of the audio’s most violent passages. She had heard plenty about these encounters, but had never actually listened to one in action.
“As a mother, it bothers you,” says Robinson. “The police are the ones we’re supposed to turn to when something bad happens. Of all the things I have to worry about when my kids walk out the door, I don’t want to have to worry about them being harmed by the police. It makes you feel like you can’t protect your children. Something has to be done.”
Officers who carry out such belligerent stops face little accountability under the NYPD’s current structure. The department is one of New York City’s last agencies to operate without independent oversight, leaving officers with no safe place to file complaints about police practice and systemic problems.
“An independent inspector general would be in a position to review NYPD policies and practices—like the recorded stop-and-frisk shown here—to see whether the police are violating New Yorkers’ rights and whether the program is in fact yielding benefits,” says the Brennan Center’s Faiza Patel. “An inspector general would not hinder the NYPD’s ability to fight crime, but would help build a stronger, more effective force.”
NYPD spokespeople have said that stop-and-frisk is necessary to keep crime down and guns off the street. But those assertions are increasingly being contradicted by the department’s own officers, who are beginning to speak out about a pervasive culture of number-chasing.
Two officers from two different precincts in two separate boroughs spoke to The Nation about the same types of pressures put on officers to meet numerical goals or face disciplinary action and retaliation. Most chillingly, both officers use the word “hunt” when describing the relentless quest for summonses, stops and arrests.
“The civilian population, they’re being hunted by us,” says an officer with more than ten years on the job. “Instead of being protected by us, they’re being hunted and we’re being hated.”
The focus on numbers, and the rewards for those who meet quotas has created an atmosphere, another veteran officer says, in which cops compete to see who can get the highest numbers, and it can lead to the kind of arbitrary stop that quickly became violent in this recording.
“It’s really bad,” says the officer after listening to the audio recording. “It’s not a good thing at all. But it’s really common, I’m sorry to say. It doesn’t have to be like that.”
Lieberman from the NYCLU agrees: “It’s time for the Mayor and the Police Commissioner to stop trying to scare New Yorkers into accepting this kind of abuse, and to recognize that there is a problem.” 
The day after this video was first released, the New York City Council met to debate the Community Safety Act, a package of bills that would curb some of the abuses associated with stop-and-frisk. Click here to read a full report from that meeting.

NYPD twitter campaign implodes, flooded with photos of police abuse

http://rt.com/usa/154120-nypd-hashtag-twitter-police/#.U1bobwHPKCs.twitter

Just before 2 pm EDT, the New York City Police Department called via Twitter for photos of citizens with its officers. Almost immediately the campaign #myNYPD seemed to backfire, as users flooded the hashtag with photos decrying alleged police brutality.

The #myNYPD hashtag trended nationwide not long after the above NYPD tweet.

Police File On Student 'Bullied Into Committing Suicide' Strangely Lacking In Evidence Of Bullying

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140419/19383026969/police-file-student-bullied-into-committing-suicide-strangely-lacking-evidence-bullying.shtml

CNN recently published a follow up story dealing with the circumstances surrounding the suicide of Rebecca Sedwick, a 12-year-old who leapt to her death reportedly due to intense bullying -- and it appears the whole "bullying" part is almost entirely absent.

One of the more unexpected outcomes of Sedwick's suicide was the arrest of two students in connection with her death. (Though not wholly without precedent...) According to Sheriff Grady Judd, the two suspects posted messages both before and after Sedwick's death that indicated they were involved in her bullying. The older of the two suspects (one was 14 and the other 12) posted the following on Facebook after Sedwick took her own life.

Yes ik [I know] I bullied Rebecca nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don't give a (expletive)].
Sheriff Judd took it upon himself to have these two arrested, setting a somewhat dangerous precedent in his county that people could be held criminally responsible for someone else's voluntary action. He seemed to approach this as a crusade against the cruelty of youth, one in which laws and common sense could be overturned in order to right wrongs.

Judd, as it turns out, has had plenty of crusades in his past. One of his more notable efforts involved sending deputies 1,900 miles away to arrest a suspected pedophile. Judd's moral compass, however, skews a bit further north than most, which makes his stance on issues like pornography and bullying somewhat suspect.
In 2007, commenting on a case in which he had arrested a man who was running a porn site out of his home in Polk, [Judd] said: "No normal person could even imagine what's depicted in those videos and in those photographs." A sexual behavior expert from the University of Central Florida said in a motion in the man's court file that it was run-of-the-mill erotica available anywhere on the Internet to anyone.
Judd also seldom performs his work without an audience. One colleague of his memorably stated that the most dangerous place to be is "between Judd and a camera." This calls into question Judd's judgement as well, which seems to be at least as populist-oriented as it is crime-oriented.

Not long after Judd's high-profile arrest of two students, the charges were dropped by the State District Attorney. Judd applied spin to his prized arrests being cut loose, claiming all he wanted to do was, "bring this conduct to the proper authorities." Considering Judd is one of the "proper authorities," one wonders what endgame he envisioned. It certainly couldn't have been his righteous crusade being found legally untenable by the state.

Another crusader, this time a lawyer, decided Sedwick's death called for a new law -- one that targeted parents for not policing their children's online behavior. According to his extrapolations, the parents should be held responsible for an unrelated person's suicide, something even further removed than Judd's assertion that the two students should be held criminally responsible for Sedwick's suicide. (Of course, Judd also thought the parents should be punished somehow, and even hauled in one of the parents for unrelated abuse/neglect charges.)

By the time this had all been sorted out, rumors were beginning to surface that Sedwick's home life wasn't quite the placid safehouse her grieving mother had portrayed it as.
More than a year before her death, Sedwick had been battling depression resulting from her deteriorating relationship with her father, according to intake reports from a counselor that are included in the police file. She also complained about fights between her mother and stepfather. The file, which has been reviewed by CNN, says she cut herself on a few occasions, had suicidal ideations and had been committed for psychiatric evaluation for two days.
In November 2012, she accused her mother of abusing her and then took back the accusation, saying she was pushed to lie by classmates who forced her off campus and told her they wouldn't let her return home unless she lied to an officer. Her mother denied abusing Sedwick but said she slapped the girl's face once during an argument about Sedwick being too young to date.
Sometime before her death, Sedwick's relationship with an online boyfriend came to an end, according to the documents. Family conflict, in addition to bullying from girls at school, weighed on her.
What wasn't found in the files, however, was much evidence that Sedwick was unrelentingly bullied.
"I don't think I was prepared for the abysmal lack ... of any evidence of bullying for the seven months prior to her suicide," said Nancy Willard, director of Embrace Civility in the Digital Age, a group that focuses on combating cyberbullying, and author of a handful of books including "Positive Relations @ School (& Elsewhere)."
Willard says this case is like many others: parents and authorities leaping to the wrong conclusions in the aftermath of a tragedy. The haste to pin a suicide on bullying buried the rest of Sedwick's background. This is somewhat understandable, given the circumstances. In the wake of a tragedy, no one wants to point the finger at the parents as possibly being partially responsible for their own child's death.

But if these teens were somehow responsible for Sedwick's suicide, then why wouldn't anyone go after the other factors, all of which were included in the police file? Why didn't someone haul in the ex-boyfriend? Surely he's as "culpable" as anyone.

No one would think to haul in anyone else (parents, ex-boyfriend) who contributed to Sedwick's unhappiness, but it was considered perfectly OK to haul in two teens and attempt to press criminal charges, even when faced with a dearth of evidence. But that's exactly how ridiculous Judd's efforts were.

Now that Judd has apparently seen this lack of evidence for the first time, he's backpedaling quickly.
"We never said that bullying was the only reason Rebecca committed suicide," Judd told The Associated Press. "But what the bullies did is that they continued to stack bricks on an already overloaded wagon till finally, it broke."
But these "bricks" could have been "stacked" in any order. Judd simply made the most popular move, one that brought in the most unsympathetic suspects. And then he rode his hobby horse hard, until it collapsed under the weight of his misguided convictions.

But there are still those who want to make someone pay. The lawyer for Sedwick's mother is planning to sue the school district as well as at least one of the two girls Judd arrested. He claims to have evidence that the teens bullied Sedwick and that the school not only knew, but did nothing to stop it.

There is evidence that indicates Sedwick was bullied in the months leading up to her death, but that evidence is scattershot at best. The lack of evidence doesn't necessarily mean it didn't happen, but it does suggest that, coupled with other information coming to light, it was hardly the only factor in Sedwick's decision to end her life.

The point here isn't to excuse the bullies for their actions. The point is that far too often the instantaneous reaction to tragedies is misguided and myopic, focusing on the least sympathetic protagonists and ignoring anything else that doesn't fit the narrative that's easiest to accept. The larger problem is that law enforcement and legislators are especially prone to act on this limited (or willfully ignored) information, and that results in all sorts of questionable actions and terrible laws -- things that negatively affect the general public.

Turkey's Prime Minister Sues His Own Country Over Twitter

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140422/02381526985/turkeys-prime-minister-sues-his-own-country-over-twitter.shtml

As we've been reporting for nearly a year now, the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, really hates Twitter. Indeed, it is arguably becoming something of an obsession for him, to the point where he has now taken the unprecedented step of suing his own country over it, as Hurriyet Daily News reports:
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made an application to the Constitutional Court on April 18 over the failure to implement court rulings requesting the removal of content violating his rights, according to a senior official from his office. Erdoğan is seeking 50,000 Turkish Liras in compensation, Reuters reported.

The move has been described as a "first of its kind" by the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) head Metin Feyzioğlu, who said the prime minister of Turkey had never before filed a lawsuit against the state.

"There is no precedent for the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic to sue the Turkish Republic and demand compensation. This is happening for the first time," said Feyzioğlu.

He also described Erdoğan's application to the Constitutional Court as "unlawful," on the grounds that domestic remedies had not yet been exhausted.
Those domestic remedies include filing a lawsuit against Twitter, which naturally seems to be trying to avoid that: on April 14, its head of global public policy held talks with officials from the prime minister's office, the Communications Ministry and telecom authorities. The company has already made concessions, as this story from Agence France-Press indicates:
Twitter blocked two accounts on Sunday that had been used to spread corruption allegations against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his government and his inner circle.

The move came after high-level meetings between the government and executives from the company last week, and after the Turkish government provoked a storm in March by trying to ban the network entirely.

The two accounts blocked on Sunday -- @Haramzadeler333 and @Bascalan -- leaked large amounts of secret documents and recorded phone conversations implicating Erdogan, his family and associates in a wide-ranging corruption scandal.
It seems unlikely that blocking a couple of accounts will satisfy the Turkish prime minister -- it may even embolden him. Expect to see further interesting developments in this long-running struggle pitting a popular but increasingly-autocratic Erdoğan against his political opponents and supporters of freedom of speech.

Copyright Maximalists' Incredible Sense Of Entitlement: If It Challenges The Biz Model We Chose, It Must Be Illegal

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140422/05394826987/copyright-maximalists-incredible-sense-entitlement-if-it-challenges-biz-model-we-chose-it-must-be-illegal.shtml

Having followed the copyright industry for so long, I'm often shocked at the incredible sense of entitlement of those who argue strictly for greater and greater copyright powers. One thing we've discussed in the past is that the gatekeepers (and it always is the gatekeepers) have an issue of constantly overvaluing the content and undervaluing the service. That is, any time they see a new service come along that the public really likes, they insist that all or nearly all of the value must be attributable to the content and not the service. Thus, they will always argue that "the service" is somehow ripping them off. We've seen it over and over again, from ringtone royalties to Guitar Hero to Pandora and others. Every time the story is the same: these other companies are making some money (even if they already pay us) and therefore we're getting screwed. If anyone else is making any money, then the copyright holders start screaming about how it's completely and totally unfair.

In their minds, the value of the service is meaningless. The fact that they were unable to provide such services directly themselves gets totally ignored. They just insist that 100% of the value is the content, and thus they need to get more money. Nevermind the fact that companies like Pandora already pay nearly all of their revenue to the copyright holders. There's always more blood to be squeezed from that stone, even if it means killing the golden goose (to mix a few parables).

Two recent stories illustrate this extreme entitlement, and total dismissal of the value of anyone else, perfectly. Let's start with the Aereo case, which was heard today at the Supreme Court. It will be some time before the court rules, but check out this quote from Gordon Smith, the president of the National Association of Broadcasters on why he believes Aereo is breaking the law:

“Quite simply, Aereo takes copyrighted material, profits from it and does so without compensating copyright holders,” said Gordon Smith, the president of the National Association of Broadcasters.
Of course, that's misleading in the extreme for a variety of reasons. First of all, there are lots of areas where it's perfectly legal to profit from copyrighted materials without compensating copyright holders. Used book stores and used record stores (back when such things existed) are a perfect example. Fair use is another. The point is: just because someone is making a profit does not mean that the copyright holders have to get paid. That's never been the case. In fact, it's the same fallacy described above. People are flocking to Aereo because it provides a better service than the cable companies. But the broadcasters ignore all of that and insist all of the value must come from the content itself.

That brings us to the second story highlighting this, which involves comments over in the EU concerning the legality of reselling digital media. Not surprisingly, the record labels, represented by the IFPI and BPI, are 100% against this sort of thing for no logical reason, other than that consumers might actually prefer such a system. They specifically highlight that the quality and convenience of digital resales are too good, and that might upset the business model the record labels have chosen. The argument echoes the labels' argument against ReDigi in the US, a service that allows people to resell digital content that has been shut down in the US.

Again, the focus here has nothing to do with what's right or what's best for the public. In fact, the entire argument appears to be "fuck the public, we need more money." It completely ignores multiple studies that have shown that a thriving used goods market increases the value of the original market. It ignores the idea that making things easier and better for consumers is a good thing. Instead, it's all about overvaluing the content and undervaluing everything else.

This all goes back to a point we made years ago: industries that have embraced copyright for the entirety of their business model have set copyright up as a crutch on which they lean. Rather than exercising the rest of their body, finding all sorts of other good business models that allow them to improve the experience for customers, they just keep leaning on that crutch and insist it's entirely necessary for them to live. And thus, those other muscles atrophy and wither away. So now that the world is changing and innovating, and others are demonstrating lots of great ways to better serve the public, the copyright maximalists are insisting it's all impossible. They need that damn crutch, and anything else is "piracy." They only have themselves to blame, of course. For decades, people have been explaining to them and showing them how to build better services, how to offer better experiences for everyone, while still making money. And, all they do is lean more on that old crutch and insist it's the only possible way to walk.

It's a massive sense of entitlement, in which they appear to have no self-awareness that they're actively advocating for a world in which the public is worse off.

Revolving Door: MPAA Hires Chief USTR Negotiator Behind ACTA And TPP's IP Chapter

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140422/06011926988/revolving-door-mpaa-hires-chief-ustr-negotiator-behind-acta-tpps-ip-chapter.shtml

For the past five years or so, the USTR's chief intellectual property negotiator has been Stan McCoy. McCoy has long positioned himself as an intellectual property maximalist, repeating talking points from lobbyists regularly, while condescending to anyone who questions the legitimacy of those claims. McCoy famously was the chief negotiator behind the US's disastrous (and mostly failed) attempt to push ACTA through, as well as the lead on the TPP's intellectual property chapter -- a chapter so bad it may help sink the TPP agreement. In fact, previous reports have noted that McCoy's bullying and aggression in trying to push through the TPP were angering others in the negotiations. McCoy also has a long history of mocking public interest advocates, while praising maximalists for similar tactics. From a report a few years ago concerning a hearing that McCoy chaired:
The burden of proof was very obviously on the public interest, civil society groups. Stan McCoy of the USTR, who was presiding over the hearing, joked about the two-phonebook-sized submission by the International Intellectual Property Alliance. (Lol?) Sadly, there is no independent verification of these industry reports and there were no tough questions for industry regarding their testimony. Several times, McCoy interrupted civil society groups’ testimony to chide them on speaking too generally about IP policy, but refrained when industry witnesses did the same.
Given all that, it should be no surprise at all that McCoy, the failed strategist behind ACTA and the TPP's IP provisions... has received his reward and pat on the back from the industry: a shiny new job at the MPAA. As Tim Lee notes in that link, this is just the latest in the never-ending revolving door between maximalist lobbying groups and the USTR:
Last year I wrote that at least a dozen former senior USTR officials have moved to industry groups that favor stronger protections. McCoy's hire makes it a baker's dozen. Previous hires include including Greg Frazier, who (according to his LinkedIn page) spent 8 years as the executive vice president of the Motion Picture Association of America after a stint at USTR. Other former USTR officials took jobs at drug and medical device companies.

McCoy's old job, assistant USTR for intellectual property and innovation, made him the Obama administration's highest-ranking trade negotiator on patent and copyright issues. Jamie Love, director of the public interest organization Knowledge Ecology International, notes that this isn't the first time USTR's top intellectual property official has gone on to take a lobbying job. McCoy's predecessor, Victoria Espinel, is now the head of the software industry group BSA.

Espinel's predecessor at BSA was Robert Holleyman, the man Obama just nominated to a senior post at USTR. While at BSA, Holleyman supported the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, which would have created an official internet blacklist to aid in anti-piracy efforts. (He backtracked a few weeks later after an uproar in the technology community.

Another of McCoy's predecessors as USTR's top IP official is Joe Papovich, who later spent seven years as a lobbyist for the recording industry.
As Lee notes, the revolving door between maximalist lobbying organizations and the USTR goes round and round, with USTR officials joining the lobbyist organizations and then going back to the USTR. It's a clear case of regulatory capture by the industry. None of those folks go on to public interest or civil society groups, nor does the USTR ever seem interested in hiring those people. It's entirely a one-sided effort to help out the biggest lobbying interests. Work for a few years pushing through policies that favor those companies, and then get "rewarded" with a nice, high-paying job for those very same lobbyists, and no one ever seems to point out the obvious corruption in the entire process.

As Lee notes, as easy as it is to ascribe comic-book levels of ill-intent here, that's unlikely. McCoy and others genuinely believe what they're doing is the right thing. But the end results are clear:
I doubt public servants like McCoy consciously pursue dubious policies in an effort to curry favor with future employers. McCoy's press representative hasn't responded to my interview request, but I assume McCoy sincerely believes the Hollywood-friendly policies he advocated at USTR were in the interests of the nation.

But the revolving door between USTR and industry groups creates a strong but subtle pressure on USTR's culture. Like many government agencies, USTR regularly turns to outside experts to help it sort through complex trade issues. Naturally, they turn to people they trust: their former colleagues — or even former bosses — who now work at trade organizations with plenty of resources to devote to understanding the minutia of trade policy.
And it's even worse than that, frankly. Because, when you combine that revolving door, with the proposals seen in ACTA, TPP and elsewhere, it undermines the public trust in all of this. People see it and naturally assume corruption, even if the intent is pure. In other words, even if we give McCoy and others the benefit of the doubt, the very fact that he spent 5 years pushing entirely for the MPAA's policies, while brushing off any and all claims from the MPAA's critics, and then took a job at the MPAA, confirms in the minds of many people that the USTR has no interest in representing the public good. And that perception (regardless if the underlying intent is real or not) corrodes public trust in the federal government, and the USTR in particular.