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Crimethink must be punished
Feb 29th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Child Faces Crim­i­nal Charges After Using Weapon Emo­jis on Insta­gram. A Vir­ginia 12-year-old faces crim­i­nal harass­ment charges after post­ing an Insta­gram mes­sage that said “meet me in the library Tues­day” fol­lowed by gun, knife, and bomb emo­jis. [Hit & Run]

The charges are a smoke­screen. What this girl is real­ly being per­se­cut­ed for is thought­crime, for using an emo­ji of a gun. They don’t have to actu­al­ly get a con­vic­tion, just send a mes­sage to show the oth­er peas­ants what will hap­pen to them. If they didn’t, peo­ple might esca­late to more seri­ous thoughctrimes like draw­ing pic­tures of guns with their crayons, or even some­thing tru­ly unfor­giv­able like point­ing their fin­gers and say­ing “bang.” By going after one girl, no mat­ter the out­come, they’ve giv­en the oth­er inmates of their gov­ern­ment school a pow­er­ful les­son on why they should “exer­cise [them­selves] in crimestop.”

More hypocrisy by the Evil Empire
Feb 27th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

US con­demns Chi­na lawyer ‘con­fes­sion’. The US says a pur­port­ed con­fes­sion from a promi­nent Chi­nese lawyer on state tele­vi­sion runs counter to the rule of law. [BBC News]

Since the Evil Empire coerces con­fes­sions from peo­ple hun­dreds if not thou­sands of times per day, per­haps they meant that doing it rarely enough that it’s a news­wor­thy event is counter to the rule of their law?

Quote of the Day
Feb 19th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Much of what pass­es for polit­i­cal argu­ment is not mere­ly fal­la­cious and uncon­vinc­ing, but not even intend­ed to be con­vinc­ing. It’s only a fig leaf so peo­ple can pre­tend to have a rea­son oth­er than their real rea­son for vot­ing as they do. It’s not intend to be ana­lyzed, it’s mere­ly to be point­ed at.

Joe Ship­man

Your tax dollars at work
Feb 15th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Radar blimp went rogue because auto-deflation sys­tem had no bat­ter­ies.Last Octo­ber, a Defense Depart­ment teth­ered radar blimp broke loose of its moor­ings near Bal­ti­more and drift­ed across two states—taking out pow­er lines as it dragged its teth­er cable behind it in a 13-hour, unguid­ed flight.

[…]

The JLENS pro­gram, which uses two high-flying aerostats with radar domes (one a search radar sys­tem and the oth­er a tar­get­ing radar to lock onto low-flying cruise mis­siles and oth­er poten­tial threats), has cost over $2.7 bil­lion since the pro­gram began in 1998.

[…]

When it final­ly came down 160 miles north in More­land Town­ship, Penn­syl­va­nia, the Army had state police bring it down the rest of the way with approx­i­mate­ly 100 shot­gun blasts. [Ars Tech­ni­ca]

So, the cost of this fool­ish­ness is $2.7 bil­lion dol­lars, plus the cost to repair var­i­ous pow­er lines and buy 100 shot­gun shells. The num­ber of cruise mis­siles that were fired at the US since 1998 (or, for that mat­ter, that could have been fired) is zero. Still, this absurd boon­dog­gle isn’t the worst use of stolen mon­ey. At least they didn’t use it to tor­ture or mur­der any­one.

Amusing service terms
Feb 9th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

Some­body who actu­al­ly reads the terms of use on web­sites spot­ted this one, from Ama­zon:

57.10 Accept­able Use; Safety-Critical Sys­tems. Your use of the Lum­ber­yard Mate­ri­als must com­ply with the AWS Accept­able Use Pol­i­cy. The Lum­ber­yard Mate­ri­als are not intend­ed for use with life-critical or safety-critical sys­tems, such as use in oper­a­tion of med­ical equip­ment, auto­mat­ed trans­porta­tion sys­tems, autonomous vehi­cles, air­craft or air traf­fic con­trol, nuclear facil­i­ties, manned space­craft, or mil­i­tary use in con­nec­tion with live com­bat. How­ev­er, this restric­tion will not apply in the event of the occur­rence (cer­ti­fied by the Unit­ed States Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol or suc­ces­sor body) of a wide­spread viral infec­tion trans­mit­ted via bites or con­tact with bod­i­ly flu­ids that caus­es human corpses to rean­i­mate and seek to con­sume liv­ing human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tis­sue and is like­ly to result in the fall of orga­nized civ­i­liza­tion.

Another good cop
Feb 2nd, 2016 by Ken Hagler

The one thing that will get a cop fired. So Park knew the law. His super­vi­sor didn’t. But Park’s super­vi­sor ordered him to make an ille­gal arrest. Park refused. You can prob­a­bly guess who got fired.

[…]

I guess the les­son for Geor­gia police offi­cers here is that you can shoot unarmed sus­pects in the back. You can gun down an inno­cent pas­tor. You can kill an inno­cent man in his own home dur­ing a botched drug raid. You can blow a hole in a baby’s chest dur­ing anoth­er botched drug raid. You can repeat­ed­ly abuse inmates after strap­ping them into a restraint chair. You can go to the wrong house, then shoot an inno­cent man and kill his dog.

But nev­er, ever embar­rass your fel­low police offi­cers. [The Wash­ing­ton Post]

Occa­sion­al­ly I find a sto­ry about a good cop. Sad­ly, those sto­ries invari­ably include the fact that the good cop is no longer a cop, pre­cise­ly because he or she was a good cop.

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