Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, June 1, 2015 7:38 pm

Odds and ends for June 1


So the Orange County (CA) DA’s office handled a slam-dunk murder case so corruptly that all 250 prosecutors in the office have been barred by a judge from having any further to do with the case. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, which is a big ol’ ugly ball of law-enforcement and prosecutor malfeasance so big that all sorts of very bad types may be set free before they should’ve been, or may never face trial, because of it. Coda: If you think that’s the only place this kind of cheating is going on, you’re kidding yourself.

Quasi-relatedly, we don’t just have cops killing unarmed African Americans, we now have repeat offenders.

Some of the most intrusive parts of the Patriot Act expired at midnight last night and ZOMG SHARIA LAW OH NOES!!11!!1!!ELEVENTY!!1! Wait, what? That didn’t happen? Oh. (pause) OK. But this could.

Presented, without snark, some seriously hopeful news about treating cancer.

Microsoft will release Windows 10 — for free — July 29. But you’ll take away my Windows 7 Pro when you pry my cold dead hands from it stop offering security upgrades for it like you stopped for Windows XP, I guess.

Airlines aren’t just greedy, they’re also stupid. Exhibit A: United Airlines.

Gosh, an elected official in North Carolina can’t even engage in a little public bigotry anymore without people complaining about it.

The mayor of Belhaven, N.C., Adam O’Neal, is walking almost 300 miles to Washington, D.C. — again — to — again — try to draw attention to lack of health care in rural areas.

An American tourist visiting a lion preserve in South Africa rolled down her car window just like she’d been told not to do and got mauled to death. Commenters on the article are overwhelmingly in favor of the lion, and I’ve got to say, so am I. Lady, what part of “nature, red in tooth and claw” didn’t you understand?

The News & Record unveiled its newly redesigned website today. It’s still butt-ugly and it still doesn’t have RSS feeds. Bright side: They resurrected the URL Greensboro.com, which they never should have stopped using in the first place.

92-year-old Harriette Thompson of Charlotte finished a marathon Sunday, so I really don’t want to hear about your bad back or your sore feet.

 

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3 Comments »

  1. This could happen ? “Fears NSA will seek to undermine surveillance reform” Oh yeah ? Well over at DOJ the thought police are handing out grants to study ( target ) conservative (far right ) social media

    Justice Department Studying ‘Far-Right’ Social Media Use

    The Department of Justice is concentrating on “far-right” groups in a new study of social media usage aimed at combatting violent extremism.

    The Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice (NIJ) awarded Michigan State University $585,719 for the study, which was praised by Eric Holder, the former attorney general, earlier this year.

    “There is currently limited knowledge of the role of technology and computer mediated communications (CMCs), such as Facebook and Twitter, in the dissemination of messages that promote extremist agendas and radicalize individuals to violence,” according to the NIJ grant. “The proposed study will address this gap through a series of qualitative and quantitative analyses of posts from various forms of CMC used by members of both the far-right and Islamic extremist movements.”

    The study draws more upon right-wing forums than upon the corners of the web inhabited by Islamist extremists.

    “We will collect posts made in four active forums used by members of the far-right and three from the Islamic Extremist community, as well as posts made in Facebook, LiveJournal, Twitter, YouTube, and Pastebin accounts used by members of each movement,” the grant said.

    “The findings will be used to document both the prevalence and variation in the ideological content of posts from members of each movement,” the grant continued. “In addition, we will assess the value of these messages in the social status of the individual posting the message and the function of radical messages in the larger on-line identity of participants in extremist communities generally.”

    The project will also “identify the hidden networks of individuals who engage in extremist movements based on geographic location and ideological similarities.”

    The results will be used for a public webinar, and for presentations for counterterrorism experts in the United States.

    Holder highlighted the study in remarks this February at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, as an example of the new methods the Justice Department is using to combat terrorist threats.

    Holder said the study will “help us develop more effective techniques and partnerships for counter-messaging.”

    While the grant does not name the “far-right” groups that would be examined, other federal agencies have devoted their energy to the sovereign citizen movement.

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report on the movement, whose members believe that U.S. laws do not apply to them, just as the White House held its summit on violent extremism. The administration did not use the phrase “Islamist extremism” at the summit.

    DHS stirred controversy in 2009 when it issued a report on right-wing extremism, which included veterans returning from combat as a potential terrorist threat.

    The Justice Department and Michigan State University did not return requests for comment by press time.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Monday, June 1, 2015 8:27 pm @ 8:27 pm | Reply

  2. And why is that? Oh, right, because far-right extremists are the clearest and most present terrorism danger in this country today. Yeah. That.

    Comment by Lex — Monday, June 1, 2015 9:53 pm @ 9:53 pm | Reply

  3. We know that because the IRS targeted conservative organizations . Right ?

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, June 2, 2015 1:25 pm @ 1:25 pm | Reply


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