Ebola is the New Black

October 20, 2014

There is a 75% chance that this man has Ebola.  He is wearing sunglasses for your protection, because making eye contact with black people is scary as fuck, and will kill you because Ebola.

There is a 75% chance that this man has Ebola. He is wearing sunglasses for your protection, because making eye contact with black people is scary as fuck, and will kill you because Ebola.

Ok, not really, but I figured it was a catchier title than “Ebola is the new paranoia for the stupid genetic refuse that proves that Idiocracy was not just a movie, but a prophecy.”

That would just not do as a headline. But, I suppose it is a clumsy, but effective lede.

Remember “give up ANY rights, as long as it keeps us safe from Beardsley McTurbanhead, who is going to kill us all if he can?”

How could you forget? That fad isn’t over yet.

But, just in time for the new fall idiot fashion season, we have Ebola!

And, while there’s been plenty of stupidity surrounding ebola so far, I think that the stupidity has finally become self-aware, and is now firmly in control of SkyNet.

A nurse at the Howard Yocum School in Maple Shade Township, New Jersey sent a letter to staff members informing them that two new students from Rwanda, Africa would be arriving at the school on Monday.
“This is not an area identified as a country with an Ebola outbreak, however l am taking precautions as per the health guidelines of the Burlington County Health Department,” the nurse wrote.  “I will be taking the students’ temperature three times a day for 21 days.” (source)

I’d like to introduce people to this new thing called A FUCKING MAP. Its like a picture with just a few words, so you don’t even need to read too good to understand it.

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 7.57.01 AM

Getting from Monrovia to Kigali is pretty easy. You can either drive for about 90 hours, or take two planes and 17 hours to get there. Then, its just a hop, skip, and a jump into The Homeland.



But, you can never be too safe.

We need one of those “Real Men of Genius” ads for the Howard Yocum School Nurse.

Thank you for making us all a little dumber, while protecting us from the same disease that killed less than 3,000 people worldwide until the most recent outbreak. But, lets not discount the danger. This one looks like its gonna be pretty bad — with about 5,000 dead so far. The vast majority of those deaths in places like Liberia and Sierra Leone. You know, unsanitary shit holes where lots of diseases fester, and kill people who would just shrug it off in a cleaner country with a decent medical infrastructure.

But, you know. Africa. Ebola. Same thing. Africa might as well be The United States of Ebola.

Ebola carrier using secret jungle-disease-gun to try and kill an unidentified random innocent caucasian woman, presumed to be Natalee Holloway.  He is assisted by an apparent Muslim.

Ebola carrier using secret jungle-disease-gun to try and kill an unidentified random innocent caucasian woman, presumed to be Natalee Holloway. He is assisted by an apparent Muslim.

You see, when you have a disease that is transmitted through bodily fluids, and those bodily fluids tend to be dumped in public places, and you have a virtually nonexistent public health system, then you have a good breeding ground for communicable diseases.

But why let facts get in the way of a good ghost story? We have a communicable disease with a 50% fatality rate. That’s good fodder for TV news that gives you all the information you need to make informed decisions in all of a 120 second spot. Right? Ok, but how can we really make this spooky? Hmmm…

The Super Secret Project officially declared that Ice Cube is no longer scary. (source) Despite that scientific finding, Americans are still scared shitless of black people.

And, fear is what brings the eyeballs.

But fear is also why America sucks.

If you haven’t seen this clip yet, watch it. (Direct link here)

I can’t think of any more brilliant writing. I am not even going to try and match it.

But, that video, fictional as it is, tells you that we are not the greatest country in the world anymore, and why. Because when we were, “we aspired to intelligence,” and “we didn’t scare so easy.”

And we don’t do that anymore. And scare easily is exactly what we do. We are a bunch of superstitious idiots, scared to death, of any simple narrative. (And I recognize that I am illustrating that that with a 4 minute video clip).

Beardy McTurbanhead is coming to blow you up, scary negroes who you can only see in the night with bloodshot eyes and white teeth gleaming at you, as they spit ebola in your face. We can’t be too tough on crime. It would be easy to blame this on simple old fashioned racism, but I won’t. More planes and bombers, please!

Racism is not a disease. It is a symptom. It is a symptom of our national commitment to ignorance and stupidity (which replaced our profound national commitment to wide open and robust debate).

And the school nurse at Howard Yocum probably had no idea when she made this asinine pronouncement that she was putting another nail in the coffin of what this country used to be, and likely never will be again. Nevertheless, there she was, hammer in hand, pounding on the lid.

But she can’t do it alone.

Her stupidity flows down a river of it, that emanates from every American household (statistically speaking anyhow). Like an open sewer in West Point (Liberia, look it up), it shits out of every one of us. And if you just decline to shit in the river, you’re still part of the problem. If you’re not actively part of the clean up, then you’re part of the filth.

So, we have to pelt this “well-meaning” person with rotten tomatoes. Why? Because she is why this is no longer the greatest country in the world. Fear is a parasite that can only live in the sweaty fat rolls of ignorance. And that parasite is now in control of the entire host body.

You want to “cure ebola?” Cure your own, and everyone else’s stupidity about it. Or about anything. Today. Now.

I am Sarkeesian

October 15, 2014

I don’t imagine that I would agree with much Anita Sarkeesian has to say.

I admit that don’t know much of what she has to say, because I don’t give a shit. The Guardian describes her as “best known for her YouTube series ‘Tropes v Women in Video Games’, assessing various anti-feminist trends in gaming.”

In other words, she’s a perfect storm of subjects that I give no fucks about. Video games and post-modern academic feminism. Both seem like a complete waste of time to me. I got bored with video games back when “Missile Command” was still a thing. And, I think that post-modern academic feminism is a bigger waste of time than playing Missile Command every day for 10 years. But, hey, if either one is your thing – enjoy it.

I watched one of Sarkeesian’s videos. As soon as she used the term “weaponized pornography,” I realized that there wasn’t much that could follow that statement, which could be of any real value to my day. Click.

Despite all that, consider me to be an Anita Skarkeesian-ista. If for no other reason than NOW I want to hear what she has to say. NOW, I want everyone to hear what she has to say.

Y’see, she was supposed to speak at Utah State University. But, someone didn’t like her perspective, so they wrote this:

“I have at my disposal a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs,” the letter said. “This will be the deadliest school shooting in American history and I’m giving you a chance to stop it.”

“You have 24 hours to cancel Sarkeesian’s talk … Anita Sarkeesian is everything wrong with the feminist woman, and she is going to die screaming like the craven little whore that she is if you let her come to USU. I will write my manifesto in her spilled blood, and you will all bear witness to what feminist lies and poison have done to the men of America.”

Sarkeesian initially didn’t let it bother her, but after she figured out that USU would not ban guns at the event, she cancelled her speech. (source) I don’t necessarily applaud this. She seems to be blaming the venue for its unwillingness to violate the Second Amendment. But, I’m not the one getting death threats, so I won’t pretend to be an authority on what she should do.

You know what I am an authority on? Fucking asshats.

Fucking asshats who think that silencing the other side through intimidation or interruption is how you debate.

I want to stand next to her and yell “I AM SPARTACUS!” I’m sure that she would think that is totally weird. I’m also sure that she wouldn’t really care if “the likes of me” wanted to support her. But I don’t need to agree with her to want to stand with her — because she has a RIGHT to speak. And some cowardly little nitwit made an anonymous threat, and now MY marketplace of ideas loses Sarkeesian’s wares?

Some little douchebag was so threatened by feminist theory in the context of video games that he threatened to kill people if she got to speak?

First of all, dude, if you’re gonna commit – commit over something that actually matters.

Second of all, you now turned it into something that actually matters.

Sarkeesian has a right to participate in the marketplace of ideas, and the marketplace has a right to have her.

And lest anyone start with the trope “this is what happens when women speak out,” go fuck yourself in advance. This is not a feminist issue. A men’s rights conference in Detroit suffered the same kind of threats. (source). You know how many feminists spoke up against that?


Why is that a problem?

Because we need to realize that no matter whose ox is being gored, all of our oxes are being ass-raped when someone gets to shut down debate.

The more you disagree with Sarkeesian, the more you should stand up to support her today. Maybe, just maybe, that will start a cycle of respect for expression, even expression that you disagree with.

And before any idiot says “well, what about the free speech of the guy who threatened her” … threats and extortion are not free speech. Look it up.

Will those who disagree with Sarkeesian see that there is something greater at stake here? Is what Sarkeesian has to say so threatening to anyone that everyone won’t stand up to support her? You can criticize her in the next breath. Call her the dumbest waste of space and breath since Jack Thompson, if you like.

But not today.

Today, I want to speak directly to her detractors. The greater principle here is that she has a right to speak, and some asshole took that away from her. Further, we have a right to hear her, and that asshole took that away from us.

I don’t care if you despise her. What happened here is wrong. Even if you disagree with her, stand up and say “I am Sarkeesian.”

And to the little shit who issued the threat: If you want to threaten her, you threaten all of us. And I guarantee you, she could probably kick your ass just fine, as the rest of us stand around and laugh. But, if she’d rather not get her hands dirty, I’ll volunteer to do it for her. (Although, I’d rather have a girl beat you up).

And if Sarkeesian wants to give her speech in Las Vegas, I will personally pay for a security detail to ensure her safety.

I am Sarkeesian.

I’ve never tried to coin a hashtag, but I’m going to today. Show Sarkeesian and those who would try to silence her that there are more of us than they could have imagined. #iamsarkeesian

Stay away from the fat kid!

October 14, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 10.58.57 AM

Wow…. seriously?

I only have five and a half years of experience as a parent, but I can honestly say that I’ve never considered the body mass index of another kid as a metric of, well, anything. I most certainly would not bring it up when trying to decide who my kids should play with.

On the other hand, I might avoid having my kids hang out with kids whose parents are vapid, vacuous, total fucking assholes.

The Ellora’s Cave case

October 12, 2014

I don’t want to write a blog post about this case (yet), since I’m counsel for the defendant. But, here’s a pretty good article on it that someone else wrote.

And another good one here, from Techdirt.

Pedo Privacy is Important Too

October 9, 2014

No, no, no, you smartass... that's not it at all.  Oh, why do I bother?

No, no, no, you smartass… that’s not it at all. Oh, why do I bother?

by MJR

Stephen Collins, the actor best known for playing dad/pastor in the long-running TV series, “7th Heaven,” finds himself the latest tabloid whipping boy over allegations that he diddled underage girls. It sorta figures that he played a pastor, eh?

With all the rotten eggs being metaphorically hurled at him, it seems like nobody is at all uneasy about how the story came to light in the fist place.

Pedophiles are bad. Exposing them is good. End of story. Because fuck him, that’s why. Right?

No. Wrong.

While the tabloid-consuming dipshits are crowing about the salacious accusations, can I please get one person to put down the Brawndo® and think about the one serious issue here? What about Collins’ privacy?

The whole sordid affair came to light because someone recorded Collins during a therapy session in 2012 while he talked about screwing around with little girls. Yeah. Its pretty goddamned creepy. TMZ got ahold of the tape and published it. Let the games begin.

At this point, we don’t know for sure who made the recording. Collins’s lawyer says that his client’s estranged wife, Faye Grant, leaked it to TMZ. That’s probably what happened, but I really don’t think it matters (at least not for the purposes of this column). When we look at the legal issues, who leaked it is really secondary to who made the recording.

Given the context, the recording could have been made by Grant, the therapist, or some other person who bugged the therapist’s office. It seems pretty obvious that it was Grant, but what the hell, lets walk through the possibilities. It beats talking about dirty old men putting 10 year old girls’ hands on their dicks. I don’t like talking about that at all. Yes, dear readers, something creeps me out.

Under California Penal Code 632, it is illegal to record a conversation without the consent of all parties. So, unless Collins, the therapist, and Grant all consented, someone broke the law.

But wait, there’s more! There is an exception to §632 in California Penal Code § 633.5. Under that provision, a party to a conversation may secretly record it if the recording is made for the purpose of “obtaining evidence reasonably believed to relate to the commission by another party to the communication of the crime of extortion, kidnapping, bribery, or any felony involving violence against the person.” “Violence against the person” can mean a lewd or lascivious act with a kid under the age of 14. See Cal Pen Code § 288; (§ 667.5, subd. (b)(6)). In fact, there is a California attorney general opinion right on point.

Not only do lewd acts on a child (§ 288) constitute a “violent felony” under section 667.5, so also do continuous sexual abuse of a child (§ 288.5) and penetration by a foreign or unknown object (§ 289) by force, violence, duress, menace, or fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person. (§ 667.5, subd. (c)(11), (16).) Based upon Hetherington and Stephenson, we believe that each of these forms of child molestation qualify as “any felony involving violence against the person” (§ 633.5) as defined by the Legislature. (82 Ops. Cal. Atty. Gen. 148)

So, right there, it seems like it was legally permissible to make the recording if the wife made it, and she did it to gather evidence about Collins getting a little grabby with little kids.

It doesn’t appear so, but it’s at least possible that the therapist made the recording. But then the therapist would not have had a right to disclose it unless he or she had permission or did so in order to prevent an imminent lawless act.

If a fourth party made the tape – that is, someone who was not a party to the conversation – then even the exception in Section 633.5 would not apply. The exception does not give every person in California a warrantless wiretap free pass.

So where are we legally? Maybe the therapist violated his professional responsibilities, maybe someone bugged the office. Maybe Grant made the tape to prevent a crime or solve a crime, or maybe she did so to create an advantage in her divorce proceedings. Or, maybe this was some fourth party who clearly broke the law. Most likely, this was a legal, but shitty, maneuver by the wife.

Now lets stop giving a shit if it was legal or not, and start asking some more philosophical questions. Did someone piss on Collins’ expectation of privacy? I think that the response is a resounding “hell yeah!”

Even if it were legal, there is something really twisted about all of this. Collins had an expectation of privacy in that conversation. He was in fucking therapy for chrissakes. Yeah, yeah, I’m sure that the dumpy fucking Fox-News lovers out there are screeching “so what, this is a pedophile, THIS IS ARE COUNTRY! SEPTEMBER 11, NEVAR FORGET!

And ok, even the dumbest of the dumbfucks are sort of right here, aren’t they? Does privacy matter when we are setting out the snare for child molesters?

I say it does. Before we cheer the loss of an accused pedophile’s rights, we should remember that those rights matter. They matter even for child molesters, because if they actually matter for a guy who might have been trying to get a handy from an 11 year old, then they matter for all of us. So yeah, I’m ok giving epic creepy guy some privacy – because I want it.

Now of course, we have varying expectations of privacy depending on where we are. If you’re in the middle of the street, wearing a leather codpiece and blowing a vuvuzela, you have no expectation of privacy in that act. Welcome to the front page and social media fame, weird-leather-clad-vuvuzela guy.

On the other hand, if you pose for an intimate picture for your girlfriend (with a vuvuzela), it is reasonable to expect that the photo will not turn into “revenge porn.” And when you’re at the therapist’s office, you should expect that you can speak freely and frankly without fear that your problems will be divulged to the world. Otherwise, what is the fucking point of therapy? Where else do you have an expectation of privacy than when you’re on the damned divan talking about what a fucking weirdo you are?

When someone pisses on a child molester’s rights, few want to speak up for him. And, I really don’t give two shits about Collins. But, I want to speak up for his rights, again, because I want those rights – and not for any lewd or screwy reason. I want them because I’m a goddamned human being. If that makes me an apologist for a child diddler, while someone crows “what about the children” then so be it.

I will stick up for the diddling creep — because privacy matters. And public approval of privacy violations (or just silence about it) in cases like this just normalizes privacy violations in general. That affects us all. First they come for the diddling creep’s rights, but once you break the seal, do you think that it will ever get re-sealed? No way. That’s not how the cops or google think.

But, you know what? Even if you don’t accept privacy as a fundamental good that we should protect for its own sake, then simply follow me down logic lane. Down at the end of the road, you’ll find that we still need to protect accused pedophiles’ privacy – no matter how much we may despise them.

Consider this: There is such a thing as a “non-practicing pedophile.” Some people feel sexual attraction for children, but they refuse to act upon it. (source) Many of them lack that self-control on their own, so they seek treatment so that they can avoid acting upon their unacceptable desires. (source). Don’t we want them to seek out treatment? If every therapy session is potentially bugged, how many of these creepy characters will simply forego treatment?

Do we want them to do that, or do we want them lying on the sofa, talking it out with the therapist?

Without privacy, therapy becomes something to fear. Patients clam up or avoid seeking help altogether. Where are we safe, if not when speaking to our spouses or our therapists? Is every conversation just so much data for tabloids and search engines to mill into grist for click bait? If that is the case, we’re going to have a lot of untreated pedos. We will drive them into “solitary secrecy,” where they may do the most harm. (source) If you’re a “what about the children” type, then you should realize that this privacy violation just made children less safe.

If you look at this from a simple utilitarian perspective, and not (as I do) from a fundamental belief in a right to privacy, you still should wind up on the same square — this violation of Collins’ privacy is a bad thing for us all. Don’t applaud it.

Criminal Heterosexual Speech

September 10, 2014

Though the title of this post sounds like SEO keyword trolling, it is not. Yesterday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court released its opinion in Commonwealth v. Sullivan (can be found here).

Mr. Sullivan was found guilty of violating G.L. c. 272, sec. 53, which sets forth the statutory penalty for prostitution as well as “persons who with offensive and disorderly acts or language accost or annoy persons of the opposite sex”. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this.

Here is the entire fact pattern laid out by the SJC:

At approximately 9:30 p.m. on September 28, 2007, R.M. was walking alone on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. She was returning to her dormitory on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus after a Tae Kwon Do class. The operator of a motor vehicle traveling on Massachusetts Avenue, whom R.M. later identified from a photographic array as the defendant, swerved toward her and stopped on the side of the road. R.M. thought that he was going to ask for directions, so she took a step toward the vehicle. The defendant rolled down the window and said, “Hey little girl, you look so tired. Come on over. Talk to me. Let’s, you know, let’s talk.” R.M. described the pitch of his voice as “much higher than his normal tone of [*5] voice, more like, well, what you use to bribe someone.” She stepped back from the vehicle and started walking away because she “didn’t want to have anything to do with that situation.” The defendant then got out of his vehicle while the engine was still running, and he walked toward R.M., asking her to come over and speak with him. R.M. declined to engage him in conversation and attempted to move away. The defendant came closer, causing R.M. to angle her body to avoid touching him. Eventually, R.M. managed to continue on her way, the defendant returned to his vehicle, and he drove away. The encounter, however, did not end there.

Apparently changing his mind about heading toward Boston, the defendant suddenly reversed his direction and followed R.M. in his vehicle as she turned onto Landsdowne Street, which at the time was dimly lit and devoid of other pedestrians. When he caught up to her, the defendant stopped abruptly and got out of his vehicle a second time. With the engine running and the car door open, he approached so closely that R.M. was aware of an unpleasant odor emanating from his body. The defendant sounded angry, and he demanded that R.M. “get in his car.” Although he did [*6] not touch R.M., the defendant made a gesture like he wanted to put his arm around her shoulder and guide her toward his car. At this point, R.M. was “very scared.” She moved away from the defendant, turning sideways on the sidewalk so she could “scootch” between the defendant and a wall that was behind her without touching him. As R.M. walked past the defendant, he started to follow her. R.M. then began reciting to herself the license plate number of the defendant’s vehicle. At that point, the defendant “stormed off,” got into his car, and left the scene. R.M. ran straight to her dormitory feeling “really, really, really scared,” and the police were called.

Mr. Sullivan, properly, was convicted of attempted kidnapping. The only other charge, however, was for accosting or annoying a person of the opposite sex. In short–if R.M. was a man, Mr. Sullivan would not have been guilty of this crime. Given that the facts giving rise to a violation of the statute would generally occur in a sexual harassment situation, homosexual men and women likely would not find themselves in violation.

I’m not a fan of the “accost or annoy” language, as I feel it is too vague for first amendment principles. But, assuming otherwise constitutionally applied, the statute needs amendment. If the people of Massachusetts feel it warrants criminal punishment, then it should mirror other statutes and eliminate the “opposite sex” language or modify to “on account of sex” or some such. It likely could not survive review under Goodridge v. DPH (the marriage case). I must say, I am surprised Mr. Sullivan’s attorney did not argue this issue; a quick review of earlier proceedings did not seem to demonstrate such. Given the attempted kidnapping conviction, I’m not sure Mr. Sullivan could or would raise the argument in the future. Either way, this should be legislatively corrected.

That’s one way to do it

August 12, 2014

It is a pretty common story — “christians” protest other people having fun. In this case, a church in Ohio decided that it is their business to protest a strip club and to harass its patrons.

What makes the story uncommon — the strippers decided to protest the church.


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