Tuesday, January 27, 2015

RIP Society: Cops want Google to remove cop reporting software on Waze for phony reasons

NEW YORK CITY — Cops are now using the dumbest excuse in the world to force Google to censor something on their version of the Waze app.

Cops are making phony accusations that cop reporting software are a tool for stalkers who want to kill cops.

Of course, independent media outlets crushed that claim quick-like by noting that no cops have ever been attacked using the software.

The cop reporting software is frequently used by those who actually do not want to engage with police under any circumstances.  The software is also very commonly used by drivers aged 18-20 who consume energy drinks and are afraid of being arrested for underage drinking.

Nuala O'Connor, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology said, "I do not think it is legitimate to ask a person-to-person communication to cease simply because it reports on publicly visible law enforcement."  Ms. O'Connor also pointed out that the privacy violation goes both ways: because the app reveals the location of all users, Waze drivers are conversely sharing their own information with police.

Amen to that, Ms. O'Connor.  If the cops want the software disabled, then Google is gonna have to disable the geolocation of all of its users as well.  Fair is fair, and no one should be given preferential treatment due to their occupation.  And especially not corrupt police unions.

If Google gives into the demands of these cops, then they truly would ensure that more people dump Androids.

The Verge

BREAKING NEWS: Train derails in Allendale County

MILLETT — Hazmat crews are working a train derailmen in Allendale County.

Four hours ago, a train carrying hazardous materials collided with a car near the Clairiant Chemical Plant.  Two people were injured.

Allendale County Sheriff's Department officers were called to the scene and they have closed off AUGUSTA HWY (SC 125) and all roads connecting to AUGUSTA HWY.

This story will be updated if more information comes out.

WLTX News 19

12 Jeff Gordon career moments (6 best and 6 worst)

As you may well know, the curtain is coming down on Jeff Gordon, 43, on November 22 – which is the second-latest date for a NASCAR season to end (the latest was November 23, 2001, due to the Attack on America).

So, with that in mind, we decided to take a look back at twelve moments in Jeff Gordon's career.  Below the fold will be both the six best moments and the six worst.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Man stabbed woman clerk over Cheddar Jalapeño Crunchy Cheetos!

Man charged with stabbing in one of the most ridiculous of crimes

RALEIGH — A man was arrested for one of the most ridiculous of reasons.

Stabbing a woman clerk over Cheetos!

It happened around 3:00 Sunday at a convenience store on WILMINGTON ST.

The suspect was confronted by the clerk after he took one mid-sized bag of the Cheddar Jalapeño Crunchy Cheetos without paying the $1.50 for them.

During the confrontation, the suspect produced a folding knife and stabbed her.  He then fled, without paying for the item.

The young victim, 22, remained at the hospital for the day.  Her injury was not life-threatening.

Thomas Earl Mercer, 33, of Raleigh, was arrested and charged with assault on a female with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and robbery with a dangerous weapon.  Both of the charges are felonies.

Bond was set at a quarter-million dollars.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Wikipedia, Wiktionary cave to GamerGate misogynists

Online encyclopedia, dictionary rid feminist contributors from sites as GamerGate held donations hostage to demands

Wikipedia, a formerly respected online encyclopedia, and its sister site, Wiktionary, the formerly respected online dictionary, has permanently banned five excellent contributors from their sites because their crime was peeling back the façade Gamergate was about ethics in journalism and exposing the group's true colors: one as a violent misogynistic regime.

The editors, who were all actively attempting to prevent the article from being rewritten with a pro-Gamergate slant, were sanctioned by “arbcom” in its preliminary decision. While that may change as it is finalised, the body, known as Wikipedia’s supreme court, rarely reverses its decisions.

The sanction bars the five editors from having anything to do with any articles covering Gamergate, but also from any other article on the entire site, as well as defining new words gender-wise on its sister site, Wiktionary.

“No sanctions at all were proposed against any of Gamergate’s warriors, save for a few disposable accounts created specifically for the purpose of being sanctioned,”said Mark Bernstein, a writer and Wikipedia editor.

In contrast, he says, “by my informal count, every feminist active in the area is to be sanctioned. This takes care of social justice warriors with a vengeance — not only do the Gamergaters get to rewrite their own page (and Zoe Quinn’s, Brianna Wu’s, Anita Sarkeesian’s, etc); feminists are to be purged en bloc from the encyclopedia.”

The conflict on the site began almost alongside Gamergate, a grassroots campaign broadly targeting alleged corruption in games journalism and perceived feminist influence in the videogame industry. Even the title of the article was fought over: Gamergate itself is taken by an article about a type of ant, leaving the article about video games to move to “Gamergate Controversy”.

At one point, Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, was drawn into the debate, telling a student who had emailed him over perceived bias in the article that “Gamergate has been permanently tarnished and hijacked by a handful of people who are not what you would hope.”

And the anger over the decision by the two sites that are overwhelmingly male is very raw.

Twitter user JennyBenni is now among tens of millions worldwide, including everyone from this very site, vowing to blacklist Wikipedia and all of its sister sites over the unjust bans.

In case you're wondering, neither OpenStreetMap nor Bulbapedia is part of the Wikimedia Project.  Here is the list of the Wikimedia Projects if you're looking to blacklist them for their bans.


Best Letter to the Editor: Rolf Zenker of Hilton Head Island

HILTON HEAD ISLAND — Like yours truly, Rolf Zenker of the Lowcountry has had more than enough of the sick gun culture that South Carolina wants to brainwash your kid into accepting and conforming to.

He penned a letter today slamming the proposal and ripping his tone-deaf representative for being a co-sponsor of ALEC Chair Alan Clemmons's bill, which we wrote about on December 23, 2014.

Reading the front page article in last Sunday's paper on "Reading, Writing, and ... Rifles" made me sick. I am deeply disappointed by our state legislators who are proposing a bill on gun rights and safety for children in our public schools. I find it inexcusable and shameful for our state Rep. Bill Herbkersman, R-Bluffton, to favor such a course, sponsored (and perhaps even paid for) by the National Rifle Association. Who otherwise has the money to pay for the weapons required by every S.C. public school, the ammunition and instructors?

Busing students to off-campus gun ranges and putting a loaded gun in the hands of a child or adolescent borders on insanity! Physical exposure to and handling of any weapon that could be used to kill people might legally be questionable as long as minors are involved. Experience has shown that even the best supervision cannot prevent accidents. Would Herbkersman's advocacy of children's early gun training not damage their ability to thrive in their learning and maturing process?

Considering that the average American only reads at an eighth-grade level or below, would it not be more beneficial to our students to remain in the classroom and learn something more valuable to their future?

Over 50 percent of public school students today come from homes which cannot afford to even provide a packed lunch. Is it a wise idea to get these same students interested in and familiar with guns?

It is absolute insanity, Mr. Zenker!  That is why before I go to bed tonight, I will be writing in opposition to this proposal and calling on my local leaders, Lonnie Hosey and whoever is the official in the state Senate's 40th District, to vote no on this.  Even before the Idaho incident happened (at a Wal-Mart), there was incident in which a nine-year-old Arizona girl killed her instructor with a ZMG (9mm).

This bill is a prime example of an old axiom I learned: nothing good ever comes from a proposal that is written by a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council or any of their worshipers.

Island Packet/Beaufort Gazette

Conservative Hypocrites of the Week: Joni Ernst, Holly Fisher and Nikki Haley

Hypocrites, from left to right: Holly Fisher, Joni Ernst and Nikki Haley

Anyone who knows me well knows that I absolutely loathe good ol' girls.

This past week is a prime example of why I loathe good ol' girls: we have three good ol' girls for the price of one on our hypocrisy list.

We'll start chronologically, meaning that misogynist hardcore gun enthusiast Holly Fisher is Conservative Hypocrite of the Week lucky number 1.

Mrs. Fisher, who was the target of scorn from moderates and liberals – and was gained heavy sympathy from Fox News, cheated on her combat veteran husband repeatedly & then lied about it, according to Gotnews.com.

“I find it very disgusting that this is what you're writing about, with all of the important stuff happening,” she told Gotnews.com.  “I did not have an affair.”

“Look, I have multiple people saying this and I have the messages your husband wrote,” said Gotnews.com's chief editor, Charles 'Chuck' Johnson.  “Do you want to stop lying?”

That is when she then crumbled and admitted to her followers about the affair.

“In the overwhelming mess of the political spotlight and trying to find myself and where I belong, I actually completely lost myself,” she said in the post. “I lost my faith in my marriage, I lost my faith in this life that not only I’ve chosen for myself, but a life that I promote. Happy military wife with kids and church and happy, happy, happy. False. My life crumbled. My marriage crumbled. I lost my faith in God.”

Many of them, just like their moderate and liberal political opponents, were enraged at Mrs. Fisher's infidelity and subsequent hypocrisy.

Mrs. Fisher cheated on her military combat husband, whose identity will be withheld on Aiken Area Progressive, thrice, with the most recent affair with Tea Party News Network video editor Joel Frewa happening on January 17, the day of the Restore the Dream rally.

The previous affairs happened on November 4, 2014, just minutes after Mrs. Fisher's party officially stole the US Senate from the Democrats, and at a 2014 Faith and Freedom Conference.

Here is her message in full:

In a follow-up post, she admits that she is a hypocrite (the reason why she's on this list, being called out):

Now, moving on to Joni Ernst.

During her nonsensical blather (I'm not gonna even bother calling it a GOP response), she claimed that she grew up poor and got to where she is now without help.

Turns out, for a decade and a half period from 1994 to 2009, Sen. Ernst's family received nearly a half million dollars in federal government welfare.

Farm subsidy records indicate that the freshman senator’s father, Richard Culver, has received $38395.00 in commodity subsidies and conservation payments, with all but $12.00 of the money being used for support of his corn crops.  Sen. Ernst’s uncle, Dallas Culver, has reportedly received $250,000.00 in federal corn subsidies and $117,141.00 in additional aid.  And her paternal grandfather, Harold Culver, got an additional $57479.00 in aid between 1995 and 2001.

“I had only one good pair of shoes.  So on rainy school days, my mom would slip plastic bread bags over them to keep them dry,” she said.  “But I was never embarrassed.  Because the school bus would be filled with rows and rows of young Iowans with bread bags slipped over their feet.  Our parents may not have had much, but they worked hard for what they did have.”

Sen. Ernst did not mention her family’s use of federal programs during her response to the State of the Union.  Instead, she said she was raised “simply” and taught to live within her means.  Yeah, right.

Now, to the final hypocrite, we head back home.

To Nikki Haley.

In October, while people gave her sympathy votes over Vincent Sheheen's ‘escort whore out the door’ comment, Haley vowed to veto a gas tax increase.

On Wednesday, the day after President Obama's State of the Union speech, Haley gave her State of the State speech and dropped a scud bomb on South Carolininas.

She betrayed all who actually voted in November by proposing a 60% gas tax increase.

This year, Nikki Haley’s plan to fix the state’s crumbling infrastructure includes a 59.7 percent increase in the gas tax over three years.

Haley wants to increase the state gas tax by 10 cents to 26.75 cents per gallon over the next three years, in conjunction with cutting the already unacceptably-low state income taxes from 7 percent to 5 percent and gutting the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT).

All of this are nothing more than the Path to Permanent Insolvency and a fast track to bankrupting South Carolina much in the same way Kansas has gone bankrupt during Sam Brownback's reign of terror.

Remember what she said before, folks, about gas taxes.

“We don’t have to raise taxes to do it,” she said to the First Monday Club in Anderson in June 2014.  “The money is there.”

In her 2013 State of the State address, Haley said the roads and bridges were vital to the state’s economy, “But I will not – not now, not ever – support raising the gas tax,” she said.  “The answer to our infrastructure problems is not to tax our people more, it’s to spend their money smarter.”

The next paragraph is what she now claims.

“We have a very real problem with the way our transportation dollars are spent.  Our system screams out for reform and restructuring,” she said in the State of the State address Wednesday night.  “We have studied every option.”

Only one problem, Haley never bothered studying every option.  If she did, she'd realize that SCDOT workers need an increase in pay, not a restructuring.  Anyone who knows how SCDOT works – and it is plainly obvious that Nikki Haley does not have one iota of an idea of how SCDOT works – know that 12 years of budget cuts to the agency got our state's highways to this predicament.

And not surprisingly, the lashing of this hypocrite from Bamberg is now bipartisan.

Conservative groups like Palmetto Liberty have already taken out ads attacking Haley and calling on the people to stop her massive 60% gas tax hike.

And Columbia Democrat Joel Laurie literally calls Haley out for not being serious about addressing our crumbling highways.

“My friends, the money is not going to fall from the sky. If we want better roads, we are going to have to pay for them,” he said.  “Anyone that tells you we can do this without new revenue is not serious about addressing the problem.”

So, as a result of their actions, lies and betrayal: Holly Fisher, Joni Ernst and Nikki Haley are the Conservative Hypocrites of the Week.

Raw Story (Fisher)
Raw Story (Ernst)
Crooks & Liars
Upstate Business Journal

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Captured fugitive Dalton Hayes charged with raping accomplice

Kentucky man who went on regional crime spree has charge added

LEITCHFIELD, Ky. — Dalton Hayes, the 18-year-old man who went on a crime spree with an underaged girl stretching from Kentucky to Florida now faces two additional charges: felonious kidnapping and felonious rape.

Prosecutors in Grayson County filed the charges on Friday.  Mr. Hayes also has two warrants outstanding in Breckenridge County, which is located in West Central Kentucky, with Hardinsburg as the county seat.

He was appointed a public defender, and the judge set his cash bond at $250,000. His next court appearance is Thursday, January 29.  Prosecutors will then attempt to declare him a flight-risk.

At about 8:45 CDT Friday, Phil McGraw, whose syndicated TV advice show Dr. Phil has been on the air for more than a dozen years, visited the Grayson County Detention Center here to interview Hayes. Judge Harold Goff of Kentucky's 46th District Court immediately issued a verbal gag order in the case and issued it in writing a little before noon.

It was unclear whether Mr. McGraw was able to speak to Hayes on camera.

Town Council takes away Branchville mayor’s powers as allegations of disrespect fly

BRANCHVILLE — Hard to believe 13 months later that Branchville is in disarray.

Yet, that is exactly what the town is in.

After days of explosive allegations against Mayor Glenn Miller, the town council voted to strip him of some important powers, including the hiring and firing power, which is critical given the continuing search for a permanent new fire chief to succeed the late Alan Oakley, who was assassinated by his wife, Melody, and her lesbian lover, Ann Anderson on December 28, 2013.  Both women are serving 30-year jail terms for the slaying.

Removing the mayor as presiding officer is not without precedent in South Carolina, and attorney general rulings support the legality of such moves by “strong council” forms of government like Windsor’s and Branchville’s.

Other municipalities in South Carolina that have resorted to these measures include the city of Florence and the towns of Mullins and Latta, the latter of whom passed a referendum on June 24, 2014 after the uproar over Mayor Earl Bullard’s homophobic attacks and wrongful termination of Police Chief Crystal Moore, simply because she is a lesbian.

A motion made by Water and Sewage Department manager Sam Whisenhunt asking Mayor Miller to resign outright died for lack of a second during the special meeting.

Bill Taylor, the Municipal Association of South Carolina field service manager who serves Branchville, was at the meeting to clarify the roles and responsibilities of elected officials in a council-led form of government.

Taylor said the administrative and legislative responsibilities and activities fall on council, but council(s) can delegate duties to mayors.

Mayor Miller has maintained that an ordinance passed by council a number of years ago delegated day-to-day duties to the mayor.  However, a copy of that language in the ordinance has never been produced.

Concerns about Mayor Miller’s conduct were raised by maintenance worker Brian Delk.

“I got cussed out,” Mr. Delk told council during the meeting.  “When you start cussing at me, I’ve got a problem with that.  It’s a hornet’s nest right now.”

Employees conveyed to council the needed to have one person to report to, without fearing retaliation.

The meeting ended with Councilman Michael Blankenship referring back to the January 12 meeting and asking Mayor Miller again if he expressly told employees not to talk to council members.

“You’re talking in riddles.  Man, that’s a stupid question.  What sense would it make for me to do that?” shouted Mayor Miller.

Councilman Blankenship characterized the January 12 meeting as a sideshow, saying he was embarrassed for the town and for himself.

The vote passed 4-3, with Mayor Miller voting against the measure (duh).

The (Orangeburg) Times and Democrat [paywall]

Friday, January 23, 2015

As if requiring kids to be brainwashed by Goebbels-style gun lobby propaganda isn't enough…

…South Carolina requires kids to be brainwashed with deathly-biased homophobic propaganda in sex education classes

COLUMBIA — While the state tries to require kids to be brainwashed with biased, Goebbels-style propaganda from the NRA and other gun lobbyists, South Carolina already requires our kids to be brainwashed with propaganda so destructive, many believe such a law is killing LGBT people (and causing others to kill LGBT people) around the state.

Mother Jones decided to revisit an investigation they unearthed a few years back in light of the mass legalization of LGBT marriages in states around the nation.

In South Carolina, where same-sex couples have been able to marry since last year, students are forbidden from learning about homosexuality "except in the context of instruction concerning sexually transmitted diseases."

See that?  That is precisely the kind of propaganda that kills LGBT people, either becoming a victim of homicide or via suicide.  Such a law is exactly why bigoted young people thought it was cute killing a 20-year-old gay man in Greenville a few years ago – and the most the killers got was just three years.  Each of the defendants in that case cited the aforementioned state law requiring homophobic propaganda to be taught in schools as a defense.

This is precisely why the Obama Administration needs to issue an executive order forbidding states from brainwashing our kids with biased propaganda, no matter if its on the issue of guns or sex.  Better yet, President Obama needs to use the federal purse strings to get the states to not only mandate sex education, but to also get rid of these bigoted laws, even if the state one lives in currently does not allow for LGBT marriage.

Mother Jones

They're coming for your mobile phones: cyberterrorists are using text messages to scam you

BELLEVUE, Wash. — They're coming for your mobile phones!

In the past month, customers of the GSM rivals AT&T and T-Mobile both reported receiving a series of text messages from short code numbers.

This does not take much in the way of effort before cyberterrorists can wreak havoc on your mobile phone.

Click on a link and the cyberterrorist will grab your login credentials — or fool you into giving up your credit/debit/gift card too.

It’s yet another phishing scheme.  But instead of email, cyberterrorists can target you with texts.

The problem stems from AT&T and T-Mobile not making its real alerts look legitimate enough, said Dani Grant, the computer programmer who noticed the flaw.

“If the official texts look like phishing, it’s impossible for the customer to distinguish between what’s phishing and what’s not,” she said.

First, the the GSM carriers' alerts come from a weird, four-digit “short code” number.  Anyone can buy a short code for a nominal fee (charities do it all the time).  And even more confusing, different AT&T and T-Mobile customers see different short codes.

Second, some of AT&T and T-Mobile's real links are funky.  For example, some of AT&T's links point to att.com while others take you to dl.mymobilelocate.com.

Third, the text messages don’t even have a consistent format. Sometimes they start in all capital letters: “AT&T FREE MSG.” At other times they’re lowercase: “AT&T Free Msg.”

To test her theory, Ms. Grant set up her own short code, bought a legitimate-looking website address and sent a message.  Can you tell the difference?

AT&T declined to comment on this topic, but T-Mobile vowed to permanently fix the issue when TmoNews reported on it two weeks ago today.  Ms. Grant said she reported it to AT&T as a security flaw but hasn’t heard back.

“Our teams have now identified and blocked the sources of the unwanted text messages.  We apologize to any customers who may have been inconvenienced,” said an unidentified T-Mobile spokesperson.

T-Mobile sends alerts from a three-digit short code (also different for every user) and links to t-mo.co.

To be fair, though, AT&T and T-Mobile aren’t the only ones.  Verizon sends out text messages from a 12-digit number that changes depending on the customer, and it sends links to vzwmobile.com or vzw.com.

SMS text messages are convenient, because they’re reliable.  You can get them anywhere, anytime on all phones, no matter if they are Windows Phones or basic flip phones.

However, Ms. Grant thinks the Big Four carriers should opt for email instead, or communicate through a dedicated app.


This is not sarcasm: N.Y. man flattens home with backhoe

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. — A woman was on an errand run when she came back to an empty lot.


She thought that her husband was being sarcastic when he threatened to literally destroy their residence.

While she was gone, James Rhein, her husband, got a backhoe and proceeded to use it as a bulldozer.

"None of my belongings were taken out. Everything was in the house.  I'm in shock, still I'm in shock," she said.

The single-family home spanned 840-square feet with three bedrooms and a single bathroom, according to Zillow.com. Property records show it last sold in November 2005 for $160,000.00.  It was built in 1956.

"I don't know what happened. I don't know anything. I know that when I got here he was already down at the police station. "We were not fighting, we were not arguing," said the woman.

The couple was renovating the home, and Mr. Rhein allegedly told investigators that the house was in a state of disarray and couldn't be repaired.

"I asked him just kidding around if he was going to knock down the house with a bulldozer, and he said, 'Yeah.' I thought he was kidding. So I went to work and when I came back this is what we found," said neighbor Steve Belfiglio.

Well, now the couple is homeless.

"I have family and friends, right now I'm staying with a friend," said the woman. "I don't have any answers for you, I don't have any answers for you whatsoever."

The couple could not be reached by media.

Mr. Rhein was charged with criminal mischief.  He was released after paying $30.00 of the $300.00 bond.  The amount he paid amounts to 0.01875% of the cost of the home, with the amount in bond amounting to 0.1875% of the cost.

Ladies, let this be a lesson: men do not do sarcasm.

And gentlemen, let this be a lesson to you: don't do shit like this unless you want a lenghty jail term.

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