So, Julian Assange has been arrested and turned over to the U.S. government on a now-unsealed indictment. Julian Assange is a legend in his own mind who is fundamentally an agent of the Russian government. His participation in the election of the Giant Orange Rage Toddler is just one of the things he did that I detest. His participation on the Russian operation against Hillary Clinton is now incontrovertible. He is a tool.

The thing is, it’s not illegal to be an agent of the Russian government. I’ve read the indictment now, and it’s all nonsense. It accuses him of encouraging Chelsea Manning to hack U.S. government computers, and it claims Assange received an encrypted password hash from Manning (but not that he sent a decrypted password back). Thing is, encouraging someone to give you information is a fundamental part of investigative journalism, if that’s illegal, then investigative journalism as a whole is illegal. Furthermore, Assange is not a U.S. citizen and was not doing this under U.S. jurisdiction. So reading the indictment I was utterly baffled, until suddenly it clicked. This isn’t about Assange. This is about the Mueller Report and criminalizing publication of the entire uncensored report if it ever does leak out.

The one thing Assange is *not* accused of doing is receiving and publishing classified information. That’s because it’s not illegal to receive and publish classified information. It’s only illegal for government employees and contractors to transmit classified information to unauthorized parties. And there is one big reason why Assange could not be indicted for receiving and publishing classified information: New York Times v. United States, 1971. Otherwise known as the “Pentagon Papers” case before the U.S. Supreme Court, where the NYT and Washington Post published the classified Pentagon Papers and the precedent was set — you can’t be prosecuted for publishing classified information. Most recently tested when Judith Miller outed a CIA employee with the result that an entire anti-nuclear-proliferation network was rounded up and executed by various nasty state actors. So if you can’t prosecute a newspaper for publishing classified information, maybe you can make an end-around by prosecuting them for encouraging someone to send them the classified information? If so, then the fact that the New York Times has set up an encrypted network to receive classified information from whistleblowers and encourages whistleblowers to use that network is enough to convict their publisher if they do publish classified information.

In other words, it’s not about Assange. It’s about the New York Times and Washington Post. If Assange can be successfully prosecuted for encouraging people to leak classified information, so can the NYT and Washington Post — and for a certain Giant Orange Rage Toddler, that’s a great reason to do it.

– Badtux the Press Penguin

San Franciscans raise $46,000 to stop homeless shelter in wealthy area. Apparently they prefer the homeless to be sleeping in the streets in their area (which is close to transit and services, thus why the homeless hang out there) rather than being in a shelter receiving services.

There’s something about being wealthy that seems to suck the soul out of people. They lose all empathy, all willingness to interact with people not exactly like them, and become Smaug the Dragon huddled miserably on top of their pile of treasure glaring gimlet-eyed around them viewing anybody not them as a threat to be driven away with fire if at all possible, or at least with lawyers, pretty much the same thing actually when you think about it. I don’t know if it’s just that you have to be a vicious sociopath to become rich in the first place, or if it’s the wealth that makes you an ass, but there seems to be very few rich people who are actually good people, and if you look at their background, usually they are the few rich people who came from lower class or diverse backgrounds. The rest… are asses. Asses who worship a bad science fiction writer who wrote crappy books about the power of individual achievement while she collected social security and started some pseudo-philosophy called “objectivism”, which can be summed up in five words: I got mine, fuck you.

And sadly those asses, these small minds huddled atop their piles of hoarded treasure, run the world.

— Badtux the Hobbit Penguin

Julia Isabel Amparo Medina was 9 years old, presented a valid U.S. passport card to cross the border to go to school, and was detained by the Child Border Perverts because she gave “inconsistent information” when interrogated. She was detained for 36 hours as she was interrogated by multiple strangers who threatened her and lied to her. She had to be rescued by the Mexican embassy after CBP refused to release her to her mother. That’s right, an American had to be rescued from the Child Border Perverts by the Mexicans.

WTF? Apparently none of these Border Patrol agents ever had a sister or a 9 year old daughter of their own. Expecting a 9 year old to give consistent answers when being subjected to deliberately manipulative questioning and false statements from investigators is idiotic and indefensible. A 9 year old girl simply isn’t developmentally capable of handling that situation, period, and shouldn’t be saying *anything* to law enforcement — only their parent should be talking to law enforcement. This is disgusting, racist, and perverted. Great job, child abusers at the CBP, I bet you were stroking yourself in the bathroom afterwards too at that hot 9 year old action.

But hey, she’s *brown*, so that makes it okay. Right? Right?! GRR.

— Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

Devin Nunes sues Twitter over mean tweets from parody accounts.

You can’t get more ridiculous than this. Simultaneously complaining that Twitter silences its critics while asking Twitter to silence his critics is a curious legal strategy, but that’s Devin Nunes for you. He’s always been a twit, the kind of kid who probably wore bow ties and carried a briefcase when he was in high school, and being so far up Mango Mussolini’s ass that he can see the back of Mango’s teeth hasn’t made him any less a whiny asshole.

Such a pathetic special little snowflake, wah, parody accounts was *mean* to you! Wah! What a whiny baby!

— Badtux the Soon to be sued by Nunes like rest of Twitterverse Penguin

Dick Dale, May 4, 1937 – March 16, 2019. He was 81 years old, and still had concerts scheduled for the remainder of this year in order to pay his medical bills.

Goodbye, Dick. You were a warrior. And, alas, a perfect example of the problems of our healthcare system here in America.

– Badtux the Obituaries Penguin

Yet another “responsible gun owner” shoots his nuts off. A headline that repeats on a regular basis.

This dude’s first mistake was in buying a Hi-Point 9mm pistol. From a review, talking about its accuracy: “Should you try to fire toward your opponent and hope the round doesn’t stray into a crowd, and that the loud noise scares away your attacker? Or do you just drop the magazine and throw the thing at them? If you have a pretty good arm, I wouldn’t discount the second option. It might be your best bet.”

Accompanied by a bench test sheet showing that if you shoot for his head, you’re more likely to hit his testacles. I have never seen a bench test so terrible as what this reviewer got from the Hi-Point 9mm. This wasn’t a pattern. This was random chance that he hit the target at all — at nearly point blank range, with a pistol sighted in on the target in a bench vise!

Makes you wonder if this dude was trying to commit suicide, and managed to hit his balls instead :).

– Badtux the Snarky Gun Penguin

Republicans have a new strategy. Same as the old one. Take a word, any word. Say it sneeringly, and say that Democrats support it, and thus Democrats are bad and you should vote for Republicans because they’re not bad.

So let’s see what the new word is. The old words were “Communist” and then “Liberal”. The new word is… “socialist.”

Hmm. Let’s try that on a millennial:

Republican: “Democrats are for socialist things like a government takeover of healthcare and free college tuition! Democrats want to turn the United States into a socialist nation!”

Millennial: “Wait, healthcare for all is bad? Free college tuition is bad?”

Republican: “Socialism doesn’t work!”

Millennial: “But every other advanced nation has universal healthcare, and most of them have better healthcare outcomes than we do.”

Republican: “It’s socialist! It can’t work!”

Millennial: “But… France? Taiwan? Scandinavia? Germany? Japan?”

Republican: “Those are all failed nations! U S A! U S A! U S A!”

Millennial: “Whatevah. Have a nice day.” Walks off, rolling his/her eyes.

Okay, so that didn’t work out so well, so now let’s try this again. Mr. Republican walks up to another millennial

Republican: “Free college is socialism!”

Millennial: “Okay. And?”

Republican: “Socialism doesn’t work!”

Millennial: “Uhm, most colleges are already public colleges, how can you say they’re not working?”

Republican: “Because socialism!”

Millennial: “Socialism is free tuition for public colleges rather than having to pay tuition to attend them? And that’s going to make them stop working, somehow?”

Republican: “Yes! Because socialism!”

Millennial (rolling eyes). “So how will free tuition versus paid tuition suddenly make public colleges stop working?”

Republican: “Because it’s socialism!”

Millennial: “Whatevah. Have a nice day.” Walks off, rolling his/her eyes.

Hmm. Methinks that labeling free health care and free college tuition as “socialism” isn’t working too well with millennials. They seem to not respond to the same scare words that earlier generations did. So let’s try this again, except throw more scare tactics in:

Republican: “Free health care and free college tuition and a Green New Deal are part of a secret plan to turn the United States into a socialist nation!”

Millennial (rolling eyes): “And?”

Republican: “Socialism doesn’t work! Venezuela! Cuba! North Korea! Booga ooga!”

Millennial: “If socialism gets me health care and college tuition, why should I be scared of it?”

Republican: “Because it’ll turn the United States into Venezuela!”

Millennial: “How?”

Republican: “Because socialism!”

Millennial: “Actually, as a Bernie supporter, I support democratic socialism like practiced in most European countries, not the Communist kind of socialism practiced in the countries you listed…”

Republican: “But socialism doesn’t work!”

Millennial: “It seems to work pretty well for the Scandinavians.”

Republican: “But Americans aren’t Scandinavians!”

Millennial: “You’re saying Americans can’t do democratic socialism as well as the Scandinavians do? You think so badly about your fellow Americans? Man.” Walks away, rolling eyes.

Republican: “Goddamn millennials have no sense. Socialism! Oooga booga! Socialism make hair fall out and feet be hairy! Cuba! North Korea! Venezuela! Ooga booga!”

Millennial, walking away, just shakes head and twirls finger around ear in classic “crazy person over there” symbol.

Hmm… maybe this cunning plan of the Republicans isn’t working so well on a generation that was raised on the Internet and knows how to look up things for themselves? Naw, surely they just need to double down on what’s already not working, and gosh darn it, then it’ll work!

Yeah, it worked so well that there isn’t a single Republican state-wide office holder in the state of California, and Democrats are 2/3rds of the state legislature. Sounds like they “socialism!”‘ed themselves right out of office, at least in California with its young and highly educated population. Go figure.

– Badtux the Snarky “If it doesn’t work the first 1,000 times, do it 1,000 times more!” Penguin