Saturday, January 09, 2010

You can find the strangest stuff on the 'net.

Kinda odd, but still very cool.

Very cool.

Phenomenal body control.

Tiki Jeep = Total Win.

NAIAS Preview: 2010 Jeep Wrangler Islander - autoevolution:
"Jeep is bringing classics back to the road, as the Islander name returns after 20 years. The car uses a special Surf Blue Pearl Coat...

The edition is based on the Wrangler Sport model, so it offers its passengers the opportunity to enjoy the open-air experience.

The vehicle is equipped with Moab 17-inch wheels and 32-inch tires. To further emphasize the edition’s theme, the hood features an Islander “Tiki Bob” decal, with actual latitude and longitude coordinates for a real location. Kind of a treasure map from Jeep...

The Islander’s interior features Mopar rubber floor mats and leather wrapped steering wheel with blue stitching. A special attention has been paid to the seats, which are Dark Gray with Surf Blue inserts, blue stitching and have an embroidered Islander “Tiki Bob” logo on the back...

Holy. Jesus.

Rudy Giuliani: "We have always been at war with Eastasia" Boing Boing:
"We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we've had one under Obama," said the man who was mayor of New York City on September 11, 2001."

Yes. This.

Truthier than the original.

And that explains FoxNews.

Rick Steves: Blog Gone Europe - Shirelles Fight Fear:
"Older people seem most vulnerable to the 24/7 news fear-mongering. A week ago, a loved one called me up. He was almost breathless, saying that 283 Americans were nearly blown up by a terrorist. I pointed out that, while the thwarted attack could have been tragic, on that same day, 20,000 children around the world actually died because of bad water and no immunizations.
With the failed attempt to blow up a plane last week, blankets on laps and trips to the toilet are now suspect on flights. Egged on by our hysterical media, we're fixated on a risk we can never completely rid ourselves of. But that's not news: The Department of Homeland Security has kept our airports at code orange ('high risk') for the last three years straight.
The irony is that those most obsessed with the risk of terrorism are the ones empowering the terrorists... whose purpose, after all, is to frighten us. The people who need to travel the most are the ones whose worldview is shaped not by actually going places, but by 24/7 news coverage. And those news stations are peddling fear for profit. If it bleeds, it leads...and a thwarted terrorist attack at Christmas, if properly stoked and prodded, can turn into several days of huge ratings."

Kind of true.

texts from last night:
"(817): The worst mistakes make the best memories. Write that down."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Advice from a cop for dealing with cops.

"Never explain to the Police

If the Police arrive to lock you up, say nothing. You are a decent person and you may think that reasoning with the Police will help. “If I can only explain, they will realise it is all a horrible mistake and go away”. Wrong. We do want to talk to you on tape in an interview room but that comes later. All you are doing by trying to explain is digging yourself further in. We call that stuff a significant statement and we love it. Decent folk can’t help themselves, they think that they can talk their way out. Wrong.

Admit Nothing

To do anything more than lock you up for a few hours we need to prove a case. The easiest route to that is your admission. Without it, our case may be a lot weaker, maybe not enough to charge you with. In any case, it is always worth finding out exactly how damning the evidence is before you fall on your sword. So don’t do the decent and honourable thing and admit what you have done. Don’t even deny it or try to give your side of the story. Just say nothing. No confession and CPS are on the back foot already. They forsee a trial. They fear a trial. They are looking for any excuse to send you home free.

Keep your mouth shut

Say as little as possible to us. At the custody office desk a Sergeant will ask you some questions. It is safe to answer these. For the rest of the time, say nothing...

Always always always have a solicitor

Duh. No brainer this one. Unless you know 100% for sure that your mate the solicitor does criminal law and is good at it, ask for the Duty Solicitor. They certainly do criminal law and they are good at it. Then listen to what the solicitor says and do it. Their job is to get you off without the Cops or CPS laying a glove on you if at all possible. It is what they get paid for. They are free to you. There is no down side. Now decent folks think it makes them look like they have something to hide if they ask for a solicitor. Irrelevant. Going into an interview without a solicitor is like taking a walk in Tottenham with a big gold Rolex. Bad things are very likely to happen to you. I wouldn’t do it and I interview people for a living.

Actively complain about every officer and everything they do

Did they cuff you when they brought you in? Were they rude to you? Did they racially or homophobically abuse you? Didn’t get fed? Cell too cold? You are decent folk who don’t want to make a fuss but trust me, it pays to whinge and no matter how trivial and / or poorly founded your complaint there are people who will uncritically listen to you and try and prove the complaint on your behalf. Some of them are even police officers. Nothing like a complaint to muddy the waters and suggest that you are only in court because the vindictive Cops have a grudge against you. Far fetched? Wait until your solicitor spins it in court and you come over as Ghandi.

Show no respect to the legal system or anybody working in it

You think that if you are a difficult, unpleasant, sneering, unco-operative and rude things will go badly for you and you will be in more trouble. No sirree Bob. It seems that in fact the worse you are, the easier things will go for you if, horror of horrors, you do end up convicted. Remember to fake a drink problem if you haven’t developed one as a result of dealing with us already. Magistrates and Judges do seem to like the idea that you are basically good but the naughty alcohol made you do it. They treat you better. Crazy I know but true.

So there you go, basically anything you try and do because you are decent and staightforward hurts you badly. Act like an habitual, professional, lifestyle criminal and chances are you will walk away relatively unscathed. Copy the bad guys, its what they do for a living."

Science is tricksy.

"Case 1: Sean Hollingsworth and Donald Robinson Hollingsworth are legally married in California and are registered as civil union partners in New Jersey. The two husbands arranged for Donald's sister, Angelia Robinson, to serve as a gestational surrogate carrying embryos produced using sperm from Sean Hollingsworth and donor eggs. In October 2006, Ms. Robinson bore twin girls whom she turned over to their two fathers. In March 2007, Ms. Robinson sued for custody alleging that she had been coerced into being a surrogate. A New Jersey court ruled last week that Ms. Robinson, who has no genetic tie to the twins, is their legal mother and can sue for primary custody later this year.

Case 2: A November 17, 2009 New York Times magazine cover article described the case of a man identified as Mike L in Pennsylvania who discovered through genetic testing that the 5-year-old girl he thought was his daughter was in fact the child of his wife’s co-worker Rob. Their marriage dissolved immediately but the cuckolded husband Mike L testified that he agreed to child support when his cheating former wife said that the girl’s genetic father Rob would not support the girl. Two years later, his former wife married Rob, but continues to receive child support for her daughter from her former husband.

Case 3: Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins were joined in a civil union in Vermont in 2000. In 2002, Miller bore a daughter, Isabella, by means of artificial insemination. The couple broke up in 2003. Now Miller, the biological mother of their child, has become an evangelical Christian, and refuses to allow Jenkins visitation rights with their daughter, claiming that such visits violate her new Christian principles."

Total Win.

texts from last night:
"(403): Omg. The strippers are having a batman vs spiderman showdown. Both on stage. Genius."

They lie as a matter of course and are not on your side.

The D.C. Snow Job - Reason Magazine:
"...The more interesting part of this story, however, is the initial reaction from Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department (MPDC) and the traditional D.C. media. Despite the fact that video and photographic evidence of Det. Baylor drawing his gun were already widely available on the web, MPDC Assistant Chief Pete Newsham initially issued a series of what can only be called bold-faced lies. Newsham first told the Washington City Paper, "There was no police pulling guns on snowball people." In fact, there were two.

The Washington Post then reported:

Assistant Chief Pete Newsham, who leads the department’s investigative services bureau, said it appears the patrol officer acted appropriately, and the worst the detective might have done is use inappropriate language in dealing with the snowball fighters...

At some point, Newsham said, the detective approached the group of snowball fighters and had “some kind of interaction” with them. He said the detective holstered a cellphone, and someone from the crowd called to report a man with a gun.

“He was armed but never pulls his weapon,” Newsham said of the detective. “I think what probably happens is somebody probably saw his gun and called the police.”

...Forget the gun-waving Baylor. This is the real scandal. You'd be awfully naive to think the only time Newsham has publicly lied to defend a MPDC officer accused of misconduct was coincidentally the one time the officer's accusers were tech-savvy hipsters armed with cell phones and video cameras. D.C. Police Chief Kathy Lanier's investigation into the incident ought to go well beyond Baylor. From where did the false information Newsham perpetuated originate? Why was Newsham, whose position is that of a trusted liason between the department and the public, so quick to use bad information to defend a fellow officer? Shouldn't this incident call his judgment into question in other cases? Is he still fit for the job?

Perhaps he was never fit for it in the first place. Civil rights attorney Jonathan Turley noted on his blog that Newsham is one of the defendants in a lawsuit against Washington, D.C. by several students arrested without cause during the 2001 World Bank protests. According to Turley, the students—who say they were observing or covering the protests, not protesting—were arrested, hogtied, and left unattended for as long as 19 hours. Most were never charged. Newsham himself gave the order for the arrests. The city has since spent more than $15 million settling the resulting lawsuits. Newsham was then promoted to his current position—heading up investigations of misconduct by other MPDC officials.

Don't count on the traditional media to look into any of this..."

Monday, January 04, 2010

Perhaps the Gayest thing I've ever watched.*

But hilarious. I couldn't stop watching.

*And I used to watch Queer As Folk with the Mrs.

Understanding the Sensitivity of Christian Discourse.

Best Superman Ever?

"It's called a 3 strikes law... 3 strikes and Superman f&*ks you to death."

Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first?" for the 21st century.

"Date Wars" - Hilarious.

Best doormat ever. [From Target, of all places.]

Come Back With a Warrant doormat Boing Boing:
check out this nifty doormat, available at Target for 18 bucks and some change.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Good taser news for a change.

Some Good Taser News: Federal Appeals Court Restricts Its Use - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine:
"...the L.A. Times reports on some rare good Taser news that could keep the bad Taser news on the run in the future:

A federal appeals court this week ruled that a California police officer can be held liable for injuries suffered by an unarmed man he Tasered during a traffic stop. The decision, if allowed to stand, would set a rigorous legal precedent for when police are permitted to use the weapons and would force some law enforcement agencies throughout the state -- and presumably the nation -- to tighten their policies governing Taser use, experts said.

"This decision talks about the need for an immediate threat. . . . Some departments allow Tasers in cases of passive resistance, such as protesters who won't move," [the L.A. County Sheriffs Department's Michael Gennaco] said. Tasering for "passive resistance is out the door now with this decision. Even resistance by tensing or bracing may not qualify..."

"The Criminalization of Protest" by Radley Balko.

Outstanding article. More at the link.

The Criminalization of Protest - Reason Magazine:
"...when cops clashed with anti-globalization demonstrators at the Pittsburgh G-20 summit in September, it was easy to assume that most of the altercations represented justified police responses to overzealous protesters.

But a number of disturbing photographs, videos, and witness accounts told a different story. Along with similar evidence from other recent high-stakes political events, they reveal an increasing, disquieting willingness to smother even peaceful dissent.

On the Friday afternoon before the G-20 meeting kicked into high gear, a student at the University of Pittsburgh snapped a photo showing a University of Pittsburgh police officer directing traffic at a roadblock. What’s troubling is what he’s wearing: camouflage military fatigues. It’s difficult to discern a practical reason why a man working for an urban police department would need to wear camouflage, especially while patrolling an economic summit. He’s a civilian dressed like a soldier. The symbolism is clear, and it affects the attitudes of both the cops wearing the clothes and the people they’re policing.

The campus cop wasn’t alone. Members of police departments from across the country came to Pittsburgh to help during the summit, most of them dressed in paramilitary garb. In one widely circulated video, several officers dressed entirely in camouflage emerge from an unmarked car, apprehend a young backpack-wearing protester, stuff him into the car, and drive off. The sequence evoked the “disappearances” associated with Latin American dictatorships or Soviet Bloc countries. When Matt Drudge linked to the video, he described the officers in it as members of the military. They weren’t, but it’s easy to understand how someone might make that mistake.

In another video, members of a police unit from Chicago who took vacation time to work at the summit prop up a handcuffed protester and gather behind him. Another officer then snaps what appears to be a trophy photo. Two men in faraway Queens were arrested for posting the locations of riot police on Twitter, as though they were revealing the location of troops on a battlefield. Another video shows dozens of police in full body armor confronting and eventually macing onlookers (who weren’t even protesters) in the neighborhood of Oakland, far from the site of the summit, as a recorded voice orders any and all to disperse. Students at the University of Pittsburgh claim cops fired tear gas canisters into dorm rooms, used sound cannons, and shot bean bags and rubber bullets.

The most egregious actions took place on September 25, when police began ordering students who were in public spaces to disperse despite the fact that they had broken no laws. Those who moved too slowly, even from public spaces on their own campus or in front of their dorms, were arrested. A university spokesman said the aim was to break up crowds that “had the potential of disrupting normal activities.” Apparently a group of people needn’t actually break any laws to be put in jail. They must only possess the “potential” to do so, at which point not moving quickly enough for the cops’ liking could result in an arrest. That standard is a license for the police to arrest anyone anywhere in the city at any time, regardless of whether they’ve done anything wrong. In all, 190 people were arrested during the summit, including at least two journalists.

It can’t be easy to both keep order and protect civil liberties at such events. But that doesn’t mean police and city officials shouldn’t be expected to try. Yes, some protesters damaged some property at the G-20 summit, although there wasn’t much of that this time around. But the presence of a few unruly demonstrators doesn’t give the police carte blanche to crack down on every young person in the general vicinity, nor should it give the city free rein to suppress all public protest. It’s unfortunate that when the global press and the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies came to Pittsburgh, the images that emerged were not of a society that values free expression and constitutional rights but of one willing to grant police powers normally seen in authoritarian states..."

I used to love PostSecret... now I find it mostly populated by whiny, whingy fucks

Still, these weren't half bad. Via PostSecret: Sunday Secrets

Where Glenn Beck learned everything he knows.

Via Best Performance Art Ever | The Agitator

"Does this stuff really matter? ...Does God really give a fuck about details like this? ...there's no such thing as rights..." - George Carlin

"...Let's get back to the Bible, America's favorite national theatrical prop... Suppose they hand you an upside down backwards Chinese braille bible with half the pages missing... at what point does all this stuff just break down and become a lot of stupid shit that someone just made up? ...if it suits their purposes, people are gonna lie in court. The police do it all the time... Yes, they do. It's part of their job. To protect, to serve, and to commit perjury whenever it supports the state's case. Swearing on the bible is just one more way of controlling people and keeping them in line and it's one more thing that holds us back as a species..."