BroadSnark

Thoughts on politics, religion, violence, inequality, social control, change, and random other things from an autonomous, analytical, adopted, abolitionist, anarchist who likes the letter A
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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’

That Time the State Got a Little Date Rapey

October 07, 2014 By: Mel Category: Uncategorized

On Monday, the Guardian posted a piece about how Keith Bristow, director general of the National Crime Agency, thinks that citizens in the UK must give up more of their freedom for safety. Bristow says; however, that consent is important and that “consent is expressed through legislation.”

Back on the home front. New York officials allowed a company to put beacons in hundreds of phone booths around the city. New Yorkers were not told that these tracking/ad devices were being placed all over and had no opportunity to object.

If that isn’t infuriating enough. How about this.

Cops downloaded photos from a woman’s phone and then used them to set up a fake Facebook account without her knowledge. The account was used to communicate with suspected drug dealers that knew her. The pictures included one of her in her bra and underwear. They also included pictures of two small children – her son and niece. The government thinks it was totally entitled to do this, saying:

Defendants admit that Plaintiff did not give express permission for the use of photographs contained on her phone on an undercover Facebook page, but state the Plaintiff implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cell phone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in an ongoing criminal investigations [sic].

You see, the woman in question had been prosecuted for playing a minor role in some drug dealing (allowing her friends to keep things at her house). She cooperated in exchange for a light sentence. Much like the scum that thinks if you say yes to a date then you are saying yes to everything, the cops did what they wanted.

As I was talking about all this with @bcduggan, I started thinking about that affirmative consent law that they passed in California. And I started thinking about what that Bristow character said about consent. He is right. In the totally non-functioning “representative democracy” that we have, we are told that consent is expressed through legislation. If you want to change something, spend 10 or 20 years trying to get legislation passed.

In the meantime, whatever inconceivable violations people can think of that you have not managed to specifically legislate against will continue. Just don’t think about how, by the time you get that legislation passed, they will find more ways to abuse you. And if there is a power imbalance that puts the consent equation in the abusers favor – say the power of a cop or prosecutor or maybe a little roofie?

Well, she didn’t say no.

Things You Might Have Missed

September 26, 2014 By: Mel Category: Uncategorized

Man removing graffiti. Graffiti of man removing graffiti.What do you do when somebody removes your street art? You take a picture of him and then put him up on the very same wall. So meta. So hilarious.

DC PD will soon be experimenting with body cameras, but are police body cameras really such a good idea?

LAPD killed almost 600 people between 2000 and 2014.

A Texas cop thinks Copwatch and Peaceful Streets are domestic terrorist organizations. He also thinks they are starting a revolution. Let’s hope so.

Thirty two people have lost their jobs at Florida Dept of Corrections for prison deaths, including the guy who had his skin burned off in a shower. But some say the ones truly responsible were promoted while little people were scapegoated.

Don’t get too excited about prison reform or the end of mass incarceration. Evidence for change is slim.

There is a whole dirt bike and ATV culture in DC. It isn’t legal. Police run over riders. Riders run over pedestrians. Like one woman said in that first article, “If the city can build skate parks and traffic lanes for bicyclists, why can’t it find a solution for these riders?” I mean you wouldn’t believe the bike lanes and million dollar dog parks around here.

According to CDC “Between 2006 and 2010, condom use decreased by 4% overall; among teens, the drop was nearly 50%.” Holy shit, kids. I hope to hell this isn’t true for DC also. Our rates of HIV/Aids are epidemic. Like officially epidemic.

Speaking of epidemics. What would you say to 1.4 million cases of ebola by January?

At first I thought that people rifling through your garbage and then fining you for throwing away too many banana peels was going to be the most invasive thing I read about this month. Then I thought, no, it is the kids who have to get fingerprinted and their biometric data collected to get their school lunch. But then I watched this video of cops forcibly taking blood from drivers who refused breathalyzer tests.

Conservative Republican Kentucky town opens public gas station…and loves it.

A long but fascinating report from GRAIN on the rise of supermarkets in Asia and the effect on small farmers and open markets.

Quite happy that I haven’t had to put up with much abuse on the internets. I like my tiny corner and thoughtful commenters. But I have seen what goes on in other spaces though. And it surprises me not at all that trolls are sadists and psychopaths in the rest of their lives too.

Another good piece against the “sharing” businesses in Jacobin.

Hitting kids is a bad idea. Adults on the other hand…. (I’m a little cranky this week.)

In Hong Kong, students are protesting elite colonization of their city.

In Chile, three people who are “accused of being members of an anarchist cell” will be charged in the recent bombing.

Also in Chile, three ex army officials will be charged for Victor Jara’s murder.

 

Things You Might Have Missed

July 25, 2014 By: Mel Category: Uncategorized

DC GraffitiRadley Balko has another stellar piece on Shaneen Allen, Race and Gun Control. Please read it, especially if you are a proponent of gun control.

Meanwhile, The Wingnut Collective in Richmond has a post about a new group called Anarcho-Rednecks Against Oppression (ARAO). They plan to go to gun shows and bring information about Copwatch, security culture, anti-racism, queerness, and other stuff. I’m looking forward to hearing the results.

ProPublica is doing a series of interviews for the anniversary of Freedom Summer. This one is of Rita Bender who was the wife of Michael Schwerner, one of the three civil rights workers killed working on a voting drive. Worth a read, if only because it isn’t all nostalgia and glory.

ProPublica is also starting an investigation into collection practices. If you have ever been sued over a debt, they want to talk to you.

You have probably all seen articles on those leaked documents that The Intercept got its hands on regarding the casual way our government has been labeling people terrorists. They aren’t just going after Muslims. You may have noted that property destruction is a terrorist act. However you feel about radical animal rights or environmental groups, do you really think kids who freed some minks are terrorists?

Accused terrorists in Bagram, that torture prison we have all forgotten about, have held numerous hunger strikes. And, over at Guantanamo, one mystery nurse with a bit of a conscience has refused to force feed hunger strikers.

Nobody at the Newark PD seems to be battling a conscience. The Justice Department report about the corruption, violence, racism, and theft in Newark is damning. Of course, nothing will actually change.

Much like nothing will happen to the prison guards at Rikers who beat on the mentally ill.

Here in DC, possession of a small amount of weed will just get you a fine. There was a lot of celebratory weed smoke in the air on the night that took effect. Of course, DC PD would like to remind you that they will still be arresting your ass.

Finally, on a positive note, this little video about the Emergence Community Arts Collective is great. That place is a treasure. Sylvia is great. If you live in DC you should support them. We need to keep this stuff from being killed by the gentrification. If you don’t live in DC, and you think it’s all military and political douchebags that live here, this is a short peek into what the actual city can be like.

Finding My Mouth In Mexico

March 10, 2011 By: Mel Category: Uncategorized

Not a lot of time to write this week, so instead I am going to link to an old piece I put up on Matador.

There are no signs in Mexico, at least none that aren’t out of date or unintentionally funny. My personal favorite was the sign on Chacala beach that said no mascots were allowed. (Mascota is the word for pet in Spanish.)…

Read the rest here.

Things You Might Have Missed

October 19, 2010 By: Mel Category: Uncategorized

This is going to be a short one, as I just got back from New Orleans and haven’t been reading much the last few days.  Also, tonight is my fourteenth anniversary and I have to get back to the bfriend.

While I was in NoLa, I ran into some people who had just visited DC and thought that DC didn’t have a clue what was going on in the rest of the country.  I knew what they meant.  Clearly, congress doesn’t have a clue.  And the federal employees and international nonprofit peeps aren’t feeling the hard times like other people.  But DC isn’t just government.  Other people live here.  And unemployment in some neighborhoods is the worst it has been in 30 years.  Really bugs me when people talk about DC in a way that erases most of the people who live here.

This post on police brutality in Florida and how cops use the baker act is really disturbing.

Haiti is still waiting on promised aid.

And Selling pot to fund nonprofits is brilliant.

That’s it for now.  Much more next time.

Carnival of the Godless

March 30, 2010 By: Mel Category: Uncategorized

There is a new Carnival of the Godless up at Arizona Atheist.  Enjoy.

Krispy Creme and Plastic Surgery Save the World

December 27, 2008 By: Mel Category: Uncategorized

If you have not yet heard, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon may have just solved our energy crisis.

According to this report from Fox/Faux news, Dr. Craig Alan Bittner “claimed on a Web site that he created ‘lipodiesel‘ from his patients’ fat and used it to power his Ford SUV and his girlfriend’s Lincoln Navigator.”

Brilliant.

We may not have much fossil fuel left in the United States, but our fat deposits are legendary. We could power the country for decades. I may even start a business. We could hire people to sit around and eat Krispy Cremes until they reach the proper mass and then suck it all out and sell it for fuel.

You know what the best part of the story is? “California law apparently forbids the use of human medical waste to power vehicles.”