Having a Wonderful Adventure from Somewhere on the Road

September 7, 2014

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Good morning:

Crane-Station and I were hacked rendering our computers inoperable. Our place was burglarized, our property vandalized and stolen. Our bank account was breached and money stolen.

Our lives were threatened.

We left Kentucky in a hurry to avoid a worse fate.

This problem began when someone burglarized our home and obtained the access code to our AT&T router, which wasn’t difficult to do since it was printed on the side.

Our apartment was trashed.

Then both of our computers were hacked. Our administrator privileges were usurped, our passwords were altered, and we could no longer log-in to our computers.

I was able to reset and restore my computer to the state it was in when I purchased it, but Crane ended up in the same place unable to log-in after she reset hers.

My computer now appears to be operating normally with assistance from HP Tech Support.

Looks like we offended some people.


Amnesty International documents human rights violations by Ferguson police

October 24, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Good morning:

76 days ago Darren Wilson, a police officer with the Ferguson Police Department, shot and killed an unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown who was running away from him following a tussle with Wilson at Wilson’s police vehicle that ended with Wilson shooting Brown in the arm. Six independent eyewitnesses to the shooting said he had stopped running away from Wilson, turned around and raised his hands in the universally understood signal of surrender. Instead of arresting him, which he has been trained to do, he executed him with his gun.

I believe Wilson should have been arrested, charged with murder and tried in a court of law.

Instead, he is a free man today and likely to remain so.

A grand jury is investigating the shooting, but an avalanche of selected leaks from unidentified officials beginning last Saturday and media reports spinning the information in a manner that is uniquely favorable to Wilson suggests that the grand jury is being manipulated into not indicting Wilson and the public is being groomed to accept that decision without complaint.

I believe the unidentified officials in the St.Louis County prosecutor’s office, under the direction of Bob McCulloch, and the Ferguson Police Department who are engaged in a conspiracy to literally ‘whitewash’ Darren Wilson’s criminal conduct by intentionally misleading and corrupting the grand jury investigation.

The people of Ferguson were and continue to be incensed by the failure of the police to arrest, charge and prosecute Wilson for murder.

Since the shooting, they have engaged in a series of mostly peaceful public protests.

Instead of respecting their constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and protest, the police responded wearing full military gear with tear gas, rubber bullets and mass arrests.

Amnesty International has released a 23-page report today documenting human rights abuses by the Ferguson Police Department. The report was compiled by Amnesty International observers who monitored the mostly peaceful demonstrations.

As awful and frustrating as matters are today, we are headed toward an uncertain future that could get much worse.

Please take a few minutes today to read this important document and tell us what you think in the comments below.


The Grand Jury investigation of the Michael Brown shooting has been hopelessly corrupted

October 23, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Good morning:

The Los Angeles Times is reporting this morning that the United States Department of Justice has condemned the selective leaking by “unnamed officials” of information provided to the grand jury investigating the Michael Brown shooting as an attempt to improperly influence public opinion. According to Andrew Hart at the Huffington Post, Attorney General Eric Holder is ‘exasperated’ by the selective leaking.

I am more than exasperated. I am disgusted because I have never seen anything this blatant.

Yesterday, I asked who is responsible for this over-the-top effort to influence public opinion.

Only one answer makes any sense.

I accuse Bob McCulloch, the St.Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, the office that he directs and supervises and for which he is accountable, and the Ferguson Police Department and Officer Darren Wilson of conspiring to selectively leak information that is exclusively within their possession, custody and control in order to influence public opinion in favor of Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown.

The grand jury should have indicted Wilson for second degree murder two months ago because no one can credibly deny that probable cause (i.e., reasonable grounds) existed to believe that Wilson murdered Michael Brown.

Wilson’s self-defense claim revealed for the first time by the leakers is a laughable self-serving tangle of scripted nonsense designed to fit the known facts.

We have a name for that. We call it subornation of perjury and it is a felony.

Today, we need to ask the next question.

Is there any reason to believe that the blatant and shocking effort to improperly influence public opinion in favor of Darren Wilson by selectively leaking information to the print media and spinning it in his favor is not also being used to influence the grand jury not to indict him for second degree murder?

Is the nation not being groomed and conditioned to passively accept a grand jury decision not to charge Wilson?

We are witnessing such massive corruption and abuse of the grand jury that its decision next month not to indict Wilson will have no legitimacy.

The people responsible for corrupting the grand jury need to be identified, prosecuted, sentenced to prison and disbarred.

The whole world is watching this wretched perversion and it’s time to end it.

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Thank you.


Who is selectively leaking information to help Officer Darren Wilson UPDATED BELOW

October 22, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Good morning:

We are witnessing a massive coordinated effort by unnamed officials to unlawfully influence public opinion and the members of a grand jury regarding the Michael Brown shooting by selectively leaking and spinning information in the police investigation file. The purpose of this massive propaganda effort is to discredit eyewitness accounts of the shooting, persuade the public that Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in self-defense and condition the public to accept a decision by the grand jury next month to not charge the officer with a crime.

The St.Louis Post Dispatch reported today,

The official autopsy on Michael Brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range, according to an analysis of the findings by two experts not involved directly in the case.

The accompanying toxicology report shows he had been using marijuana.

/snip/

A source with knowledge of Wilson’s statements said the officer had told investigators that Brown had struggled for Wilson’s pistol inside a police SUV and that Wilson had fired the gun twice, hitting Brown once in the hand. Later, Wilson fired additional shots that killed Brown and ignited a national controversy.

Now comes the spin.

Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

Sources told the Post-Dispatch that Brown’s blood had been found on Wilson’s gun.

Melinek also said the autopsy did not support witnesses who have claimed Brown was shot while running away from Wilson, or with his hands up.

She said Brown was facing Wilson when Brown took a shot to the forehead, two shots to the chest and a shot to the upper right arm. The wound to the top of Brown’s head would indicate he was falling forward or in a lunging position toward the shooter; the shot was instantly fatal.

A sixth shot that hit the forearm traveled from the back of the arm to the inner arm, which means Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson, as some witnesses have said, Melinek said. That trajectory shows Brown probably was not taking a standard surrender position with arms above the shoulders and palms out when he was hit, she said.

Let’s take it one step at a time.

1) [T]he autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

Dorian Johnson said the officer backed up suddenly, blocking their way. The vehicle was so close that the door hit them when he opened it and attempted to get out. Mike pushed the door back and the officer reached through the open window, grabbed his arm and started pulling him. Mike resisted attempting to get away but the gun came out, a struggle ensued and a shot was fired inside the vehicle wounding him. Johnson saw blood on his arm. They turned and ran.

“If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

This is an overbroad, unprofessional and irresponsible conclusion to draw from merely reviewing an autopsy report and I do not believe any responsible and qualified pathologist would make such a statement. She cannot divine his intent from the autopsy report or recreate exactly what happened. The most that any responsible pathologist can say is that the injury as described in the report is consistent with or inconsistent with Dorian Johnson’s description of what happened.

Even if what he said is not true, and I believe it is, his statement is consistent with the injury described in the report.

Wilson is right handed and wears his gun in a holster against his right hip. I doubt Brown could have reached across Wilson’s body and seized the gun. Instead, I believe it’s more likely that Wilson grabbed the gun with his free hand as he held on to Brown and Brown struggled to avoid being shot and get away.

2) “She said Brown was facing Wilson when Brown took a shot to the forehead, two shots to the chest and a shot to the upper right arm. The wound to the top of Brown’s head would indicate he was falling forward or in a lunging position toward the shooter; the shot was instantly fatal.”

We know that Brown was at least 95 feet from Wilson’s vehicle when he was hit with the fatal shot and not 35 feet as claimed by the Ferguson police chief. ‘Lunge’ implies they were close together when Wilson fired the fatal shot, but none of the eyewitnesses, who, by the way did not know Brown or each other, said they were close together or that Brown was bull-rushing Wilson or that Wilson appeared to be in imminent danger of being killed or suffering a serious injury. No, they described an execution and two of them were white guys from another neighborhood. None of the witnesses had any motive to lie and every one of them was traumatized by what they saw.

‘Falling forward’ is a better choice of words.

Note that Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Shawn Parcells, who performed the autopsy for Brown’s family, were unwilling to speculate on this point and their credentials are considerably more impressive than Dr. Melinek’s.

3) ” A sixth shot that hit the forearm traveled from the back of the arm to the inner arm, which means Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson, as some witnesses have said, Melinek said. That trajectory shows Brown probably was not taking a standard surrender position with arms above the shoulders and palms out when he was hit, she said.”

So, what? That does not mean his hands were not up before he was shot. Again, Dr. Baden and Dr. Parcells refused to speculate about what was happening or the order in which events occurred. Dr. Parcells warned that one cannot specifically say in what order the shots were fired or what Brown was doing when he received the shot to the arm because the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints permit considerable movement. One possibility he mentioned was that it might be a defensive wound to ward off a shot to the head, but he added, he could not be certain.

CONCLUSION

Some person or persons unknown is attempting to persuade the public and probably the grand jury not to indict Darren Wilson for murder by selectively leaking information and spinning it. This is criminal activity.

This article in the St.Louis Post Dispatch spin doctors the official autopsy report (that was not provided to Dr. Baden or Dr. Parcells) and a portion of Darren Wilson’s statement, which he initially refused to provide and now appears to have been molded to fit the known facts) to convince the public that Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in self-defense, notwithstanding what all of the eyewitnesses said.

But it’s not limited to the St.Louis Dispatch.

Washington Post, Report: Autopsy analysis shows Michael Brown may have gone for Darren Wilson’s gun

New York Daily News, Michael Brown autopsy, officer’s account indicate teen went for Ferguson cop’s gun, had marijuana in his system: report
‘Hands up, don’t shoot’ protesters have it wrong, an independent review of Michael Brown’s autopsy reportedly shows. Nearly three months after unrest began in Ferguson, Mo., medical results point to a close-range struggle between the black teen and Officer Darren Wilson.

I already wrote about the dissembling on Sunday by the New York Times here.

UPDATED

The leaker is busy. Add Darren Wilson’s self-serving grand jury transcript to the flood.

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Thank you.


WA Supreme Court Hears Arguments in Backpage.com Online Child Sex Trade Case

October 22, 2014

by Crane-Station

In March 2012, 15-year-old “S” was sold in the metro D.C. area as a 19-year-old “Judy.” In June 2012, a 16-year-old from Maryland, was trafficked by a pimp who posted her on Backpage.com for a series of days with the subject line “My hour glass body is waiting for you. Apple booty a?? ..” These are examples of underage girls being advertised on Backpage. Three victims have sued, in Washington state. Is Backpage immune from liability for ads placed on its website advertising sex with minors? Yesterday, the WA Supreme Court heard oral arguments on this question.

When Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, they intended to encourage freedom of expression on the internet rather than limit it. Toward that end, they passed the law to shield from liability providers and users of an “interactive computer service” who publish information provided by others:

In analyzing the availability of the immunity offered by this provision, courts generally apply a three-prong test. A defendant must satisfy each of the three prongs to gain the benefit of the immunity:

1. The defendant must be a “provider or user” of an “interactive computer service.”

2. The cause of action asserted by the plaintiff must “treat” the defendant “as the publisher or speaker” of the harmful information at issue.

3. The information must be “provided by another information content provider,” i.e., the defendant must not be the “information content provider” of the harmful information at issue.

If people could sue a site owner every time they felt like they were mischaracterized, it would create a chilling effect on the free-flow of information on the internet. That makes sense as long as everybody is acting in good faith. The problem is that the owners of Backpage, while they may not have penned the ads themselves, know what is going on, and they are encouraging it, by promoting their “escort” ads. They are the online go-to for prostitution. President and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, John D. Ryan writes:

 

Backpage’s business model makes it easy to sell children for sex on the Internet, enabling traffickers to remain anonymous. They can buy an ad with prepaid credit cards or even bitcoin. They don’t have to provide a phone number. Backpage doesn’t verify identities or ages of customers buying ads or children depicted in ads. Traffickers buy ads to sell children, and Backpage pulls in millions in ad revenue each month. No one has been able to stop it.

Now the stage is set for a classic David-and-Goliath conflict at the state Supreme Court. Three children who were sold for sex on Backpage have sued for damages.

Backpage argues that the federal law shields them from liability. Because they did not write the ads on the site, they have asked the high court to throw out the lawsuit.

Procedurally, the victims filed a lawsuit alleging that Backpage is in the business of promoting not just prostitution but prostitution of children. They claim that the immunity in Section 230 does not apply to Backpage because the site is not an innocent bystander. Rather, it knowingly promotes the exploitation of children for sexual purposes through its escort ads, doing little to report suspected offenders.

Rules of civil procedure have a provision under civil rule 12(b)(6) where a defendant can move to dismiss on the ground that even if every allegation the plaintiff made is true they would not be entitled to favorable judgment. This is a screening tool, prior to discovery, that weeds out frivolous suits. Backpage moved to dismiss under 12(b)(6) in the trial court, but the judge denied the motion, agreeing with the plaintiff that Section 230 was not enacted by Congress to pimp out underage girls for sex. Backpage appealed. Oral arguments were presented in the WA Supreme Court yesterday.

The victims’ lawyer said that Backpage is the largest website linked to human trafficking in history, and that it’s easy for pimps to post their victims on the site, to which one Justice said, “Your whole case rises and falls on whether Backpage is responsible for development of content.”

Is ‘encouragement’ enough to qualify for “development of content,” or is development of content strictly limited to the people who writes the ads? Backpage knowingly makes money from its escort section, which isn’t interpreted as something else, most of the time. As the victims’ lawyer pointed out, it isn’t taken to mean “having an interesting conversation with a seventh grader in her underwear.” Is it enough remedy to tell victims to sue their pimps, and shield the site from liability under the free speech assured by Section 230, when it comes to exploitation of children? The court may rule in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, a similar suit has been filed in Massachusetts.

<a href=”http://www.tvw.org/index.php?option=com_tvwplayer&amp;eventID=2014100011″>Oral arguments</a>: J.S., S.L., &amp; L.C. v. Village Voice Media Holdings, LLC, et al.

<a href=”http://www.courts.wa.gov/appellate_trial_courts/coaBriefs/index.cfm?fa=coabriefs.briefsByCase&amp;courtId=A08″>WA Supreme Court briefs</a>

<a href=”http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024836124_backpagesuitxml.html”>Backpage.com asks high court to throw out lawsuit</a>

Washington Backpage Lawsuit from NCMEC on Vimeo.


Oscar Pistorius to be sentenced today

October 21, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Good morning:

Judge Masipa will sentence Oscar Pistorius in about 30 minutes.

Will she sentence him to three years home confinement in a mansion with a pool because he has a disability and is wealthy according to the recommendation of his lawyer, Barry Roux, or will she sentence him to prison.

Watch and comment.


Was the story about Mike Brown’s blood in Darren Wilson’s vehicle selectively leaked

October 20, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014

Good morning:

Questions surfaced yesterday regarding the sources of the New York Times article on Saturday that has been used to portray Mike Brown as the aggressor in his encounter with Officer Darren Wilson of the Ferguson Police Department. I wrote about the article, Michael Brown’s blood found on officer’s gun, uniform and interior panel of driver’s door.

I suspect the tip about Mike Brown’s blood may be true, however, I think it is a good example of selective leaking motivated by a desire to portray Mike Brown as the aggressor and discredit Dorian Johnson’s statement about the shooting.

As I pointed out yesterday, even if this information is true, it is consistent with Dorian Johnson’s statement that Wilson grabbed Mike Brown’s arm through the open window, pulled him to pin him against the door, drew his gun and shot him in the arm during the ensuing struggle.

Not only is the forensic evidence consistent with Dorian Johnson’s statement, it does not address the fundamental issue in the case; namely, did Darren Wilson shoot and kill Mike Brown after he stopped fleeing, turned around and raised his hands in the universally understood gesture of surrender?

Nevertheless, that did not stop the right-wing-message-machine from claiming that the forensic evidence proves Mike Brown was the aggressor and exculpates Darren Wilson.

The sources of information referenced in the article are not identified, except for this statement in the first paragraph, “according to government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the matter.”

The second paragraph refers to “forensic tests conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

The eighth paragraph states that, “the account of Officer Wilson’s version of events did not come from the Ferguson Police Department or from officials whose activities are being investigated as part of the civil rights inquiry.”

Sometimes, you have to look at what is not said in order to discern the truth.

What was not said is whether the unnamed officials may be biased by virtue of relationship or continued employment by the “officials whose activities are being investigated as part of the civil rights inquiry.”

Given the absence of awareness that the forensic evidence is consistent with Dorian Johnson’s statement, I think we are seeing an example of selective leaking motivated by a desire to influence public opinion by portraying Darren Wilson as the victim.

I suspect the leak was planned and is a good example of what the grand jury is being told and how it will be manipulated to conclude that Darren Wilson should not be charged with a crime.

No indictment would be a crime because none of the eyewitness statements can be reasonably interpreted to support a conclusion that Officer Darren Wilson was in imminent danger of death or serious injury when he fired the fatal shots.

We continue to wait for justice in Ferguson and we are losing patience.

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Police Gone Wild: Domestic Terrorist Edition [2014 Full Documentary]

October 19, 2014

hat tip bettykath. This video contains graphic material. posted by Crane-Station

 


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