The TSA as Milgram Experiment

I have had it in mind to write up an article about the TSA as an implementation of the Milgram experiment, but it’s apparently old ground already covered:

(Posted from inside Newark Airport, at which security was pleasantly civilized: no taking-off of shoes, a metal detector instead of a body scan, and of course a bag scan.)

Grandpa With A Gun Defends 19-Year-Old From Gang Rape

Two of the suspects reportedly knocked on the grandfather’s door at around 10 p.m. Monday and then stormed in and demanded money when he answered. All three of the men were armed and wearing black cloths, ski masks and gloves, according to police.

The 67-year-old grandfather and his wife were reportedly taken to the back of the house and ordered to open a safe. But the trio of thugs crossed the line when they attempted to gang rape the man’s granddaughter, officials said.

It wasn’t clear if the grandpa kept a gun in the safe or how exactly he got his hands on his firearm — but he did. He reportedly shot all three of the suspects, though he was also shot while rescuing his granddaughter.

The suspects eventually fled and drove away in the grandfather’s Cadillac.

The world needs more dangerous old men. Via Police Say Three Armed Men Invaded Home and Attempted to Gang Rape 19-Year-Old — but They Didn’t Come Prepared for Grandpa |

Judge, prosecutor who let Ray Rice walk toss book at single mom

A 27-year-old Philadelphia mother who says she mistakenly entered New Jersey with a handgun legally registered in her state, was not accepted into a pre-trial intervention program, unlike the former Baltimore Ravens running back who was caught on an elevator surveillance camera punching his then-fiancée and current wife. The disparate decisions, made by the same prosecutor and approved by the same judge, leave Allen facing more than three years in prison and Rice free, though disgraced.

via Uneven playing field? Judge, prosecutor who let Ray Rice walk toss book at single mom.

Rape Culture Does Exist

Except it’s not white misogynist Christian Western men attacking college-educated Strong Independent Western women, it’s Pakistani Muslim immigrants in Britain attacking children:

At least 1,400 children were subjected to appalling sexual exploitation in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013, a report has found.

Children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities in England, beaten and intimidated, it said.

The report, commissioned by Rotherham Borough Council, revealed there had been three previous inquiries.

Council leader Roger Stone said he would step down with immediate effect.

Mr Stone, who has been the leader since 2003, said: "I believe it is only right that as leader I take responsibility for the historic failings described so clearly."

The inquiry team noted fears among council staff of being labelled "racist" if they focused on victims’ descriptions of the majority of abusers as "Asian" men.

(“Asian” is apparently a euphemism for “Pakistani Muslim” in this case.) Via BBC News – Rotherham child abuse scandal: 1,400 children exploited, report finds.

There’s so much wrong here I don’t know where to start, not least of which is that the police and legal systems turned a blind eye to this horrible activity, thereby enabling the perpetrators. At this time, none of the usual rape culture reporters find it interesting enough to report on. One wonders why.

A Preventative, Militarized Police Force Is a Threat to Free Speech

Under what circumstances, if at all, should the capacity for force and intimidation be deployed against the public by the state? This becomes controversial when one wants to answer that the capacity should be preventative rather than responsive.

Responsive force entails responding to a situation where public safety is being threatened.

On the other hand, preventative force and intimidation is far more problematic from a civil liberties perspective because it is the police force itself introducing the element of disruption into the civil equation. When a massive force rolls into Ferguson during a peaceful rally in the middle of the day, can we really say this doesn’t result in intimidation, at the least, and antagonism, at the worst? Does the presence of intimidating MRAPs, military-esque rifles, and costumed-up police force have no effect on the public to which it is directed?

And for those inclined to say “yes” there is no effect, I respond: standard gun safety rules dictate that you DO NOT point your gun at something you are not prepared to shoot. Do you really think you have the right to free speech or free assembly when you are, literally, in the state’s crosshairs?

All emphasis mine. Via The PJ Tatler » A Preventative, Militarized Police Force Is a Threat to Free Speech.

Demilitarize the police – and stop flinging false racism charges

I join my voice to those of Rand Paul and other prominent libertarians who are reacting to the violence in Ferguson, Mo. by calling for the demilitarization of the U.S.’s police. Beyond question, the local civil police in the U.S. are too heavily armed and in many places have developed an adversarial attitude towards the civilians they serve, one that makes police overreactions and civil violence almost inevitable.

But also note an uncomfortable truth:

… a young black or “mixed” male is roughly 26 times more likely to be a homicidal threat than a random person outside that category – older or younger blacks, whites, hispanics, females, whatever. If the young male is unambiguously black that figure goes up, about doubling.

26 times more likely. That’s a lot. It means that even given very forgiving assumptions about differential rates of conviction and other factors we probably still have a difference in propensity to homicide (and other violent crimes for which its rates are an index, including rape, armed robbery, and hot burglary) of around 20:1. That’s being very generous, assuming that cumulative errors have thrown my calculations are off by up to a factor of 6 in the direction unfavorable to my argument.

via Demilitarize the police – and stop flinging false racism charges.

Your Right to Swing Your Fist, and Pinocchio’s Nose

Your right to swing your fist ends at the other’s guy’s nose. But what if the other guy is Pinocchio, and his nose is growing? Your freedom is being restricted by his expanding sense of harm.

Some ideas of “harm” are unreasonable. Via Dan Carlin, Common Sense #269, “The Challenges Of Living Dangerously” at about the 38:00 mark.

Supreme Court bans warrantless cell phone searches

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police cannot go snooping through people’s cell phones without a warrant, in a unanimous decision that amounts to a major statement in favor of privacy rights.

Police agencies had argued that searching through the data on cell phones was no different than asking someone to turn out his pockets, but the justices rejected that, saying a cell phone is more fundamental.

This is a blow in favor of liberty. Now you need to remember to uphold your rights. When the officer asks to see your cellphone, you reply in a polite and deferential tone: “Officer, with great respect, I do not consent to searches. May I be on my way now?” Via Supreme Court bans warrantless cell phone searches – Washington Times.

Towards Reproductive Rights For Men

The most common argument against men having reproductive rights is the old “keep it in your pants” one, which we would never accept as an argument for why women should be forced into parenthood. Having sex is not consent to parenthood for women, so why should it be for men?

What would reproductive rights look like for men? Well, rather similar to what they look like for women. When an unplanned, unwanted pregnancy occurs, the woman, and only the woman will decide if her body will host that pregnancy to term. But even after the child is born, she may opt out of parenting that child by surrendering it for adoption. If men had the same rights, they too would be able to legally surrender their rights and allow the mother or any other individual to assume legal responsibility for the child.

via Let’s Talk About Reproductive Rights And Why Men Should Have Them Too | Thought Catalog.

Federal magistrate orders arrestee to apologize and recant, as a condition of bail

The arrestee alleges she was assaulted and beaten by a Federal agent; the magistrate, before he will let her post bail, wants her to recant her allegations as a condition of bail.

This seems to me clearly unconstitutional: It’s an order compelling speech, on threat of imprisonment, which would itself normally be a First Amendment violation; but on top of that, it was issued without a trial, and thus without any final factual findings supporting its validity.

I’m aware that, once someone is convicted, courts have considerable latitude to impose speech restrictions as a condition of parole or probation, and might even be able to impose speech compulsions. But that is after someone’s guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a criminal trial. The defendant here hasn’t been convicted of anything; she continues to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

via Arrestee alleges government misconduct; federal magistrate orders arrestee to apologize and recant, as a condition of bail.

Here’s a little more, from a different article:

One agent, realizing they did not have a warrant for that address, directed other agents to leave the premises. Then, according to Branson, another agent, the one who allegedly choked Arielle Lipsen, told Branson he had to leave. At that point, Branson asked to see a warrant.

“He said, ’I don’t need to show you a F—–g warrant.’”

Branson said, “I need to see a warrant, based on the fourth amendment…”

“The agent answered ‘Oh you’re a F—–g lawyer now. We can do this the easy way or the hard way and put his finger on the trigger of his M16. That’s when I just backed up,” Branson said.

According to Branson the alleged assault to Lipsen happened in plain view, on the sidewalk in front of a residence.

“It happened outside on the sidewalk, ” stated Branson, “She wasn’t even on the property. She was standing on the sidewalk.”

It only gets worse from there. Via Bold witness to alleged abuse by federal agents comes forward.