Revenge porn doesn’t pay

justice

Kevin Bollaert is one of these sleazy, cowardly types who saw a market in getting other sleazy, cowardly types to send in naked pictures of their ex-girlfriends, and then he made money both in running the porn site and in demanding that his victims pay him money to remove the pictures. It’s a brilliant racket if you’ve got no sense of decency at all. He was convicted of the crimes, and has now been sentenced: 18 years in jail.

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Who is the barbarian?

Pressbild - GlobalChallenges.org

Nick Cohen gets it exactly right.

A few weeks ago Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister, denounced the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. As the theocratic kingdom prevents women from travelling, conducting official business or marrying without the permission of male guardians, and as girls can be forced into child marriages where they are effectively raped by old men, she was telling no more than the truth. Wallström went on to condemn the Saudi courts for ordering that Raif Badawi receive ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website that championed secularism and free speech. These were ‘mediaeval methods’, she said, and a ‘cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression’. And once again, who can argue with that?

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It’s money vs. principles

Museums (good museums, that is, not trashy sideshows like Ken Ham’s rubbish in Kentucky) have a real problem: they’re expensive to maintain. They aren’t dead piles of old bones, but are sites of active research, and they have to employ knowledgeable people to do the science that goes on there. It takes lots of money to keep one going.

But along comes a dilemma. Who has great big piles of money? Unfortunately, money tends to concentrate in the hands of assholes. And one thing many assholes would like to do is buy respectability and influence from more prestigious institutions…like museums. Some of the biggest, most assholish, ignorantest rich people are the Koch brothers, and the Koch brothers have been very generous in promoting their agenda by throwing money at museums.

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Nerds are big business

This little fact surprised me.

Gen Con is currently Indianapolis Convention Center’s largest annual convention, bringing the city tens of millions of dollars in revenue. It was originally held in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin in the late 1960s and organized by none other than Gary Gygax, the father of modern role-playing games. Since then the event has morphed into a four-day event combining tabletop miniatures, board games, video games and live-action role-playing games. It regularly creates in excess of $50 million in revenue for the city of Indianapolis.

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Ted Cruz is running for president

Of course he is, because this is America, and anyone can become president here, as long as they curry enough favor with enough billionaires…and America also has plenty of crazy billionaires. Cruz is just the first to officially announce his candidacy, and pretty soon Huckabee and Rand Paul and Rick Santorum will come along and we’ll have enough clowns to start a circus.

But as for Cruz…I’ll just let Charles Pierce tell you about him.

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The Ferguson law enforcement system was worse than I ever imagined

I’ve been reading the Ferguson report. It’s a horror. Every page documents an appalling violation of the whole purpose of having a police force: these people weren’t there to serve and protect, they were there to skim off as much cream from the community as they could. This wasn’t a police department, it was a racist extortion racket, oozing corruption.

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