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Archive for the ‘Freedom(tm)’ Category

There is apparently a new law, Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), which allows the FBI to seize and prosecute the owners of any site that has posts on it where people advertise sex for money. The infamous classifieds web site Backpage.com was removed from the Internet and its owner charged with crimes after passage of this law.

Now, about Backpage.com, they knew what was going on, especially when underage children were being peddled on it, and they did nothing about it, so I’m not particularly concerned that they’re gone. But here’s the problem. Want to get your favorite sites shut down? Just rent yourself a botnet on the darknet (it’s easy, requires nothing but some bitcoin and a bit of trawling through the darknet), create thousands of fake ID’s, flood the site with advertising offering sex in exchange for money, and call the FBI. Voila. You’re done. Site gone.

Congress tailored the law specifically to take out Backpage. The problem is that since the Constitution doesn’t allow laws that apply only to a specific listed individual or company, they had to write a general law. Which can basically be applied to *anybody* who allows users to post comments. Heck, even Facebook could end up in trouble.

Just chalk it up to the law of unintended consequences…

— Badtux the Law Penguin

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Her name was Nasim Najafi Aghdam. She claimed to be a vegan body builder, though with her tall thin physique you couldn’t really tell it unless she was actually flexing, like in this photo from her now-disappeared web site:

And on Tuesday she snapped and took a California-legal handgun (i.e. 10 round limit) onto the YouTube campus, managed to injure four people (consider what she would have done with an AR-15 with a 30 round magazine! But those are illegal in California), and then committed suicide.

All of her social media accounts have been disappeared down the Orwellian memory hole. All of her writings on the Internet have been disappeared down the Orwellian memory hole. Only fragments can be found in various caches and archives on the Internet.

What is interesting is that, in the few writings that I can find, she claims that there is no freedom on the Internet and that the big Internet media companies dictate what you will see or not see. It is interesting that then the big Internet media companies immediately validate her thesis by disappearing her social media presence Orwellian fashion after she snaps. It’s almost as if they don’t want you to see what she was saying. Interesting how they prove her thesis. Too bad about Nasim though, she committed suicide for no real reason, since virtually nobody actually decided to go look for what she was actually saying as versus what the big media companies claim she said. Not that it’s easy to do so — I expect even those various caches and archives to be cleaned out shortly to finish “disappearing” her down the Orwellian memory hole, leaving us only with the prefabricated image of her generated by the big media companies rather than her own words.

2018. It’s 1984+34. War is peace. Tyranny is freedom. Censorship is patriotic. I love Big Brother, he wants only the best for me. Don’t you love Big Brother too?

– Badtux the “Hmmmm…..” Penguin

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Where white folk celebrate the kindly Uncle Tom caricature that they’ve made of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was a nice negro (in their caricature version of him, not in real life, where he was righteous and fiery and said tons of things that white people wouldn’t like to be reminded of today).

So fuck that. I’m more sad about the death of Dolores O’Riordan, whose Irish lilt and clear enunciation made for a distinctive and refreshing voice on a radio filled with sloppy slurred drugged-out singers in the early 90’s. She was only 46, and still in fine voice just a few months ago…

Fuck reality. Donald fucking Trump is still alive despite consuming more Big Macs than the entire city of Detroit, and someone who actually contributed beauty to this world dies young? That’s why I know if there is a God, he’s a vicious and vindictive son of a bitch and I want nothing to do with him. Besides, Hell would have better company.

– Badtux the Sad Penguin

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Apparently he wants to get on that $100K/speech wingnut welfare rubber chicken circuit, showing up at Young Republicans conkkklaves at universities and public rallies calling for white pride and giving speeches about how the white man is oppressed, oppressed I say, oppressed by The Man. But to do that, he has to raise his profile. Like, for example, by actually filing a lawsuit against Google:

<blockquoteMore specifically, it accuses Google of singling out, mistreating and systematically punishing and terminating employees who “expressed views deviating from the majority view at Google on political subjects raised in the workplace and relevant to Google’s employment policies and its business, such as ‘diversity’ hiring policies, ‘bias sensitivity’ or ‘social justice’…”

There’s one problem with this: California is an “at will” employment state. You have no right to a job in California. You can be fired for any reason in California other than for membership in a protected class enumerated in law. And “conservative asshole” isn’t a protected class in any law of the country.

In short, Google would have been in the right for firing him because they didn’t like his hairstyle or his shoes, because California requires no cause for firing — you can be fired for any reason, no matter how stupid, as long as it’s not because of your sexual orientation, sex, race, or religion, or the special case of “whistleblower” (which requires reporting illegal conduct to the government). Damore claims he was fired for being white or male, but chances of him proving that via discovery are virtually nil. There will be no smoking gun saying “let’s fire this guy because he’s white!”. No, the only smoking gun they’ll find is “let’s fire this guy because his opinions are an embarrassment to our company!”. Which is an entirely legal thing to do in the state of California, because employment here is a private contractual relationship between employer and employee that can be terminated by either side. The Governor Reagan era employment laws in California were written in an era where having Big Government telling a private company who they must employ or not employ would have been considered Communism and thus evil, thus basically your only remedy if you’re fired is to get another job.

But hey, this isn’t actually a real lawsuit anyhow, it’s just to raise Damore’s profile on the wingnut welfare circuit, so it doesn’t matter that a judge will take one look at that and bang “Dismissed” upon receiving Google’s “motion to dismiss for lack of cause”. That’ll give Damore just one more talking point about how he’s being oppressed, oppressed I say, by Big Liberal Meanies. I just find it amusing that Damore is whining about being fired for his opinions, when it’s perfectly legal to do so outside of a union contract or a socialist country. Amazing how Damore hates unions and socialism — both of which probably would have kept him in his cushy job at Google. Talk about reaping what you sow!

Once again, James Damore: Right wing asshole is not a protected class under California law, thus Google can decide they don’t like you so they won’t employ you. It’s called FREEDOM. Google has it. Why do you hate FREEDOM, James Damore? Oh wait, because hating FREEDOM gets you those cushy wingnut welfare speaking gigs. Alrighty, then!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

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The most dangerous place for a reporter to be in America today is at a protest. Not because they’re attacked by protesters. Rather, because police officers regularly attack the press at protests and regularly destroy their equipment. 1st Amendment guarantee of a free press? The Constitution is just a piece of paper, right?

Meanwhile, even when reporters do get the story, media outlets are afraid to print investigative reporting about oligarchs because the oligarchs own the courts and can put them out of business.

Indiana proposes licensing only “responsible” people to be reporters. Presumably any reporter who dares report on a protest or reports things the oligarchs don’t want reported is “irresponsible”.

And of course the Orange Racist Russian Stooge keeps trumpeting that any media critical of him is “fake” and his deplorable followers regularly threaten reporters.

Combined with the fact that most reporters now aren’t full-time staffers of newspapers, they’re part-time stringers for wire services who don’t have access to the legal resources of a major media outlet, and you get a serious issue where proper reporting is being suppressed by the government and the government’s supporters.

One of the first things that fascist regimes try to do is shut down any media that’s critical of them. Erdogan has done that in Turkey, and it appears the deplorables and their God-Emperor Donald the Trump are bound and determined to see that happen here too. Because remember, people. The Constitution, and the 1st Amendment that it contains, is just a piece of paper.

Or is it that the Constitution just has one paragraph, the 2nd Amendment?

So confusing!

– Badtux the Press Penguin

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Says that the statute of limitations for false imprisonment starts when you’re initially falsely imprisoned, not when you’re released.

In this case, a U.S. citizen was falsely imprisoned for 3 years by ICE, which accused him of being a non-citizen despite his repeated assertions to the contrary including copies of his father’s naturalization certificate and his birth certificate showing otherwise. A Federal court ordered that he be paid damages for his false imprisonment. The court of appeals overturned that order, stating that the clock on the statute of limitations started ticking when he was imprisoned, not when he was released. Even though it took three years for him to prove false imprisonment in the first place so that he could be released.

So it appears that if the U.S. government wishes to avoid paying damages for false imprisonment, all they have to do is drag the case out for more than two years, and any award granted will be overturned because the statute of limitations has run out.

Yeesh.

If California courts followed that reasoning, that the statute of limitations starts ticking when the crime starts, not when the crime ends, all I’d have to do is kidnap a kid, hold her for 10 years and 1 day, and then I’d be home free because the statute of limitations in California is 10 years so I couldn’t be prosecuted for kidnapping. If that seems fair or right to you, you’re a loon.

– Badtux the Disgusted Penguin

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Not even controversial amongst scholars. Criminalizing black people with discriminatory “black codes” enforced only against black people was one of the primary tools used to re-enslave black people in much of the USA after they were officially freed by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

In fact, the whole reason felons can’t vote in much of the US is exactly because of that — because it allowed the white power structure in much of America to remove the right to vote from wide swathes of black and brown people by simply arresting them and convicting them of crimes that would not have resulted in arrests and convictions if it had been white people. This is why Texas is a solid Republican state with a virtually all-white state government and congressional delegation right now, even though white non-Hispanic people are only 42.6% of the population in Texas (Hispanics are 39.1%, blacks are 12.6%, “other” for the rest). If you disenfranchise black and brown people, you can stay in charge even though you’re only 42.6% of the population. Yay.

But hey, we have Freedom(tm) here in America. U S A! U S A! U S A! Fuck yeah, land of the Free(*) and home of the Brave(**)!!!!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin
(*) Offer void upon having wrong skin complexion.
(**) For definitions of the word “brave” that only include being terrified by people of color.

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