Morality Police: Who will prosecute the prosecutors?

Oh, this is odious yet delicious.

In 2022, Iran’s “morality police” (who could give the Shah’s SAVAK a run for their money in the brutality olympics) arrested and murdered Mahsa Amini, a 22 year old Kurdish woman, for how she covered (or didn’t cover) her hair.  Her murder led to nearly a year of protests in Iran that still continue.  Just yesterday, the Iranian regime arrested Behrooz Behzadi, editor-in-chief of Etemad, for factually reporting on the censorship of journalists, artists and others during the protests.

The head of the “morality police” is Reza Tsaghati, a strict hardliner.  Well, if by hardliner you’re referring to his penetration….

On Wednesday, a video was posted to Telegram showing a man, reported to be Tsaghati, engaging in sexual acts with another man.  The Iranian regime has “temporarily suspended” him from his position.

If this turns out to be true, we’re in for some interesting events.  In the past, the regime has given its hypocritical and patriarchal “religious leaders” a slap on the wrist for things they do.  Iran is a fascist theist state which murders (“executes”) LGBTQIA people for consensual sex acts.  Will they protect one of their own (likely only persecuting the partner in the video), or “enact justice” the way they would against powerless citizens?

From QNews Australia, an LGBTQIA site:

Iran suspends morality enforcer over gay sex vid

The Iranian regime suspended senior morality enforcer Reza Tsaghati over a gay sex vid on Wednesday.

Reza Tsaghati was the head of culture and Islamic guidance in Gilan province. He previously founded a cultural centre focused on piety and the hijab. As Gilan province’s chief morality enforcer, he was known for his strict enforcement of mandatory hijab-wearing by women.

Iranian hardliners are still trying to make up ground over missteps following the death of Mahsa Amini last year. The young Kurdish woman died in police custody. She endured a severe beating by Guidance Patrol officers who arrested her for wearing her hijab ‘improperly’.

Mahsa Amini’s death triggered ongoing nationwide protests.

The gay sex vid posted to a Telegram channel allegedly shows Reza Tsaghati having sex with a young man.

The authenticity of the gay sex vid remains unverified with neither man positively identified. Nevertheless, on Wednesday, authorities removed Tsaghati from his position during their investigations.

Consensual adult gay sex remains illegal in Iran and punishable by death.

Ain’t it funny how the rabid, racist, and rightwing media like the BBC can cover a story well when it aligns with their agenda?

Iran sex tape scandal: Government says no prior knowledge of alleged behaviour

A sex tape in Iran has led to the suspension of an official in charge of promoting Islamic values – and prompted authorities to deny any prior knowledge of his alleged behaviour.

A video posted online allegedly shows the head of culture and Islamic guidance in Gilan province, Reza Tsaghati, having sex with another man.

Their identities and the video’s authenticity have not been verified.

Mr Tsaghati has been removed from his post while authorities investigate.

Homosexuality is illegal in Iran, with LGBT+ people at risk of harassment, abuse and violence.

The video – which has been widely shared on social media – has caused furore online. Mr Tsaghati is the founder of a cultural centre focused on piety and the hijab.

On Saturday, Iran’s culture minister Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili said no negative reports relating to Mr Tsaghati had existed prior to the video’s publication.

Some have said the removal of Mr Tsaghati from his post highlighted the difference in how Iranian officials are treated when accused of a crime compared to the LGBT+ community, or women who do not adhere to Islamic rules.

“Highlighted the difference”, the same difference in the arrests of Cheetolini versus Jack Teixeira.

Exiled Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani published this on twixter (*):

(* “It is an ex-bluebird.  It has ceased to tweet.” – Montelon Pythmusk)



Book Ends: Houston’s final solution to school discipline

This is one of those news stories that leave you thinking, “Either they are this stupid, or this intent on destroying public education.”

Houston’s “independent school district” has come up with a new plan for students who don’t learn in classrooms that aren’t conducive to learning.  They are going to create “discipline centres” for students who don’t or can’t blindly and immediately obey in the classroom (whether because of racist teachers, bullying, autism, hungry and can’t focus, difficulties at home, or other reasons why students have problems).

Their solution?  Close the school libraries and turn those spaces into the “discipline centres”.

This is beyond obscene, and a good argument for federal takeover of education at all levels.  What do they plan to do with the books, burn them?

Houston school district to turn libraries into disciplinary centers

Critics condemn superintendent Mike Miles’s ‘new education system’ that removes students’ access to books

The largest school district in Texas announced its libraries will be eliminated and replaced with discipline centers in the new school year.

Houston independent school district announced earlier this summer that librarian and media-specialist positions in 28 schools will be eliminated as part of superintendent Mike Miles’s “new education system” initiative.

Teachers at these schools will soon have the option to send misbehaving students to these discipline centers, or “team centers’” – designated areas where they will continue to learn remotely.

News of the library removals comes after the state announced it would be taking over the district, effective in the 2023-24 school year, due to poor academic performance. Miles was appointed by the the Texas Education Agency in June.

Libraries are often the one place of sanctuary in schools for kids who can’t handle “structured learning”, where kids start digging through books and find their own interests, inspiration, and reasons to work hard and learn.  Turning libraries into “discipline centres” will kill off any remaining interest in education and access to books that some of those kids ever had.

My first two thoughts on this latest rightwing war on education:

(1) Is this how they plan to eliminate LGBTQIA books and sex education books from schools, by eliminating books, period?  It reeks of what Utah and other places did about student groups: They couldn’t ban LGBTQIA student groups without being called biased, so they eliminated ALL student groups.  They’re eliminating books for the same reason.

(2) Poor neighborhoods aren’t just food deserts, they’re book deserts, too. How many kids and families live in areas without public libraries?  And since they’re poor, they can’t exactly afford to go out and BUY books.  Their money is usually reserved for other things (e.g. racist cops targeting the poor and non-white people with tickets and fines).

Just when you think rightwingnuts can’t sink any lower morally, they dig a mineshaft straight down to hell.  I’d bet if someone created Little Free Libraries in poor neighborhoods, then politicians, cops and other white supremacist organizations would try to criminalize and destroy them.


Arbitrarily Applied: Another Covid-19 scam, this time on scientists

A scammer, likely based in Poland, is trying to extort significant sums of money from scientists tricked into participating in a Covid-19 “webinar” in early 2020.  This was after lockdowns had begun, and the scientists in question (doctors, epidemiologists, mathematicians, etc.) jumped at the chance to participate, thinking their work could help deal with the pandemic.

What they innocently signed were not standard releases or contracts.  These contained “clauses” demanding payment for pariticipation, payment for editing of the video which was never released.  And now the fraudster is attempting to extort payments.

Costly invite? Scientists hit with massive bills after speaking at COVID-19 ‘webinars’

Researchers are fighting back against a mysterious conference organizer and an arbitration court that may not exist

When Björn Johansson received an email in July 2020 inviting him to speak at an online debate on COVID-19 modeling, he didn’t think twice. “I was interested in the topic and I agreed to participate,” says Johansson, a medical doctor and researcher at the Karolinska Institute. “I thought it was going to be an ordinary academic seminar. It was an easy decision for me.”

Three years later, Johansson has come to regret that decision. The Polish company behind the conference, Villa Europa, claims he still owes them fees for taking part, and is seeking payment through a Swedish court. After adding legal costs and interest to the bill, the company is demanding a whopping €80,000.

Johansson isn’t alone. Dozens of researchers participated in the same series of online conferences on COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021 and many have received demands for payment from Villa Europa. At least five are being pursued through courts in their own countries for fees of tens of thousands of euros, although several researchers are fighting back.

But the case is peppered with puzzling circumstances. In court filings and interviews, the researchers say the demands are illegitimate and based on deceptive license agreements. Little is known about the individuals who organized the conferences. And many of the demands hinge on the ruling of a Polish arbitration court whose very existence has been questioned by experts in the country.

Science has talked with 10 of the speakers, all of whom tell similar stories. In early 2020, somebody calling himself Matteo Ferensby, whose email signature mentioned the University of Warsaw, invited them to speak at online webinars on the mathematical and computational modeling of COVID-19.

The University of Warsaw has no employee by that name, according to the institution’s press office. And there is no track record of scientific publications from a Matteo Ferensby.

The story goes on from there.

Steve Lehto is an attorney from Michigan, specializing in Lemon Law and Consumer Protection, who discusses news stories about the law that viewers submit.  He is a bit obnoxious at times and (based on his words) I doubt he would be a progressive, especially his obsession with expensive and fast gas-guzzling cars.  Having said that, you wouldn’t be able to gauge his politicial affiliation based on his videos, and keeps his personal opinions out of them.

Lehto delves thoroughly into this one, pointing out the flaws in the attempted scam (e.g. “arbitration” requires the involvement of all parties, not in absentia and without notice).  The scammer is probably hoping the victims will just give in and pay, because good luck getting any court to uphold the fraudlent “arbitration ruling”.

The Only Ever Suspect Has Died: James Lewis, dead at 76

In September and October 1982, seven people died in Chicago after taking Tylenol caplets laced with cyanide.  The murderer purchased packages, poisoned them, then placed them back on store shelves where unwitting victims purchased them.  No one was ever arrested for the crime.

James Lewis died on July 9, 2023.  He was the only suspect for the seven murders.  He was convicted and sentenced to prison for extortion, after sending a letter to Johnson & Johnson demanding money (which was never paid).  Suspicion of Lewis’s guilt increased when, in a conversation recorded by the FBI years later, he admitted to details that were only known to authorities.  He was never arrested, likely because prosecutors felt they had insufficient evidence to convict him, wanting to avoid double jeopardy.

James Lewis, suspect in the 1982 Tylenol murders, dies at 76

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — The suspect in the 1982 Tylenol poisonings that killed seven people in the Chicago area and triggered a nationwide scare has died, police confirmed on Monday.

Officers, firefighters and EMTs responding to a report of unresponsive person about 4 p.m. Sunday found James Lewis dead in his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home, Cambridge Police Superintendent Frederick Cabral said in a statement. He was 76, police said.

“Following an investigation, Lewis’ death was determined to be not suspicious,” the statement said.

No one was ever charged in the deaths of seven people who took drugs laced with cyanide. Lewis served more than 12 years in prison for sending an extortion note to Johnson & Johnson, demanding $1 million to “stop the killing.”

When he was arrested in 1982 after a nationwide manhunt, he gave investigators a detailed account of how the killer might have operated. Lewis later admitted sending the letter and demanding the money, but he said he never intended to collect it.

This obituary/news item on Lewis gave his suspected motive: revenge against Johnson & Johnson for a medical product that failed and killed his five year old daughter.  There’s a little more below the fold.

[Read more…]

An Isolated Case: The exposure is the exception, not the academic fraud

PZ Myers recently reported on Marc Tessier-Lavigne and his questionable acts (*) and his exposure, leading to his resignation.  An interesting part of the story is who let to his downfall: Theo Baker, an 18 year old student writing for The Stanford Daily, the university’s student-run newspaper.  Now there’s someone who will never be hired by the commercial and corporate media, despite winning the Polk Award for journalism.  He committed the sin of questioning the powerful and thoroughly checking facts.

(* Limited wording because the guilty are always the first to be litigious and claim “slander” and “libel”.)

Whenever there’s a white mass shooter, the media, the ammosexuals, and the rightwingnuts immediately get defensive and repeat the fiction about a “lone wolf shooter”, as if violent political shootings or violent incels somehow aren’t indicative of a greater problem.  There’s a deliberate intent and action to prevent examination in similar cases and impede the prevention of others.

The same goes here with the exposure of Tessier-Lavigne.  Thus far I see a complete unwillingness by the media to question how many other pedastal climbing careerists in universities have done the same things.  The majority of those in positions of influence (read: in positions where they can intimidate) are white or male, and usually both.  How many others have used their positions improperly for career advancement, putting their names on papers they weren’t involved with, pressuring grad students with implied threats of ruining their careers if they don’t play ball or have sex?

Calling Stanford an isolated case is not naïveté, it’s complicity.


People To Remember: Two giants in STEM recently passed away

And both women had the same personal name: Evelyn Boyd Granville (May 1, 1924 – June 27, 2023, age 99) and Evelyn Witkin (née Maisel; March 9, 1921 – July 8, 2023, age 102).

Evelyn Boyd Granville was a graduate from Smith College and then Yale University, earning Masters degrees in both mathematics and physics within one year, later earning a Doctorate.  She was only the second African American woman to receive a Ph. D. in Mathematics (1949).  During her career, she worked at IBM and at NASA where she calculated trajectories for space missions.  Later in her career, she taught mathematics at Texas College and the University of Texas.  Below are some biographies of Granville:

State University of New York at Buffalo

University of St. Andrews, Scotland

US Department of Energy

Evelyn M. Witkin entered college at 16, and was a graduate of Columbia University, studying bacterial genetics. In 1944, Witkin isolated a UV radiation-resistant mutant of the E. coli bacteria, the first time a mutation transmitting UV radiation-resistance was isolated (that statement credited to the first link below).  In 2003, she was awarded the National Medal of Science for her work on DNA mutagenesis and DNA repair.

National Science and Technology Medals Foundation

Rutgers University, on Witkins’ 100th birthday

Witkin’s article from The Atlantic, 1957

An Ammosexual Misfires: Shooting his mouth off

Jason Aldean is a third rate “musician”.  He recently recorded a load of noise (“Try That in a Small Town”) which advocates gun violence towards anyone who disagrees with his ignorant rightwing opinions.

Like most ammosexuals that are all talk and no action, Aldean’s history is one of cowering and running.

CNN: Jason Aldean runs off stage as shooting erupts

Country music singer Jason Aldean runs off stage when rapid-fire gun shots begin to erupt at a Las Vegas music festival.

He ran off stage this week, allegedly from heat stroke.  A day after playing golf in the sun.  Genius.

Jason Aldean Suffers Heat Stroke, Rushes Off Stage

Compare that with a person present at the Las Vegas mass shooting who woke up, grew up, and changed his attitude:

Country Guitarist Who Witnessed Las Vegas Shooting Changes His Opinion on Gun Control: ‘Enough Is Enough’

A country guitarist who performed at the Las Vegas music festival where a gunman killed 58 people on Sunday said he has changed his mind about gun control in the wake of the massacre.

“I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night,” Caleb Keeter, a guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band, wrote in a message on Twitter on Monday. “I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with [concealed handgun licenses], and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless. We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us.”

The backlash against his tripe has been immediate by many – gun control activists, by actual musicians (e.g. Sheryl Crow) and the mayor of the town where Aldean filmed his terrorism advocacy:

I got Jason Aldean’s ‘Small Town’ canceled by CMT: gun-control activist

A prominent gun-control activist is taking credit for getting Jason Aldean’s controversial song pulled from Country Music Television for being “racist and violent.”

Aldean, 46, has been accused of promoting violence with his latest song “Try That in a Small Town,” which includes the inflammatory lyrics: “Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they’re gonna round up / Well, that s–t might fly in the city, good luck / Try that in a small town.”

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, brought attention to the lyrics in a tweet posted Sunday night, in which she said the song is “about how [Aldean] and his friends will shoot you if you try to take their guns.”

Watts also pointed out that Aldean “was onstage during the mass shooting at a Las Vegas concert in 2017 that killed 60 people and wounded over 400 more.”

The music video for “Try That in a Small Town” — which sees Aldean performing in front of a courthouse known for lynchings — was pulled from CMT programming following the backlash.

[. . .]

Meanwhile, the mayor of the “small town” where Aldean’s music video was filmed, additionally responded to the controversy, saying that he hopes the next video the singer films in Columbia, Tennessee, will “highlight peace.”

“Like many small towns across America, Columbia, Tennessee, is focused on bringing people together,” Mayor Chaz Molder told local news station Fox 17. “I hadn’t listened to the song prior to today, but I’ve now seen the video.

“I respect the artist’s freedom of his own lyrics and the fans who support him, but I’m hopeful that the next music video that uses our historic downtown as a backdrop will seek a more positive message.”

To quote a commenter in the farcebook group where I saw this picture:

He really should have just titled it “Try That in a Sundown Town” and called it a day… because this shit REALLY is giving Key and Peele “Country Music” vibes. Fuck.

Adeem the Artist has recorded a parody of Aldean, called “Sundown Town”.  It’s brilliant.

I hope that image upsets him.

If he believes what he says so much, he can meet me in an open field without a gun or other weapon in his hand.  I’ll bring a US flag, a match, and some lighter fluid.

He Was Screwed, Blued, And Tattooed: Religious fanatics commit murder again

I did not know July 17 is “National Tattoo Day” (“National” because there is “only one country in the world…”) nor that  World Tattoo Day is March 21.  I only learnt of this because of a religious motivated murder in the news.

Joshua Davies was reportedly a very popular and friendly man in his Milwaukee community. On June 17, 2023, he was out with friends at a wine bar where an ageing religious fanatic, Kevin Sehmer, began to harass Davies, “screaming about god and tattoos”.  Davies attempted to avoid the confrontation, but Sehmer followed Davies and assaulted the latter man.

Davies suffered severe brain injuries when he fell and hit the concrete ground.  He died on July 12, turning a battery charge into murder.  For absolutely no good or justifiable reason.  You have to wonder if Sehmer was a trumpkin, motivated by the same ideology and violence.  If he believed in leviticus, why was he drinking alcohol?

Father dies following brutal attack over his tattoos, Wisconsin family says

Loved ones are mourning the loss of a Wisconsin man — a “son, brother, husband, father, relative & friend to so many” — after he spent weeks in the hospital following a brutal attack.

Joshua Davies, 39, was attacked over his tattoos outside of Tabi’s Lake Country Wine & Bar on June 17, WISN reported. Friends told officers he had been trying to leave the bar to get away from someone who confronted him.

But Kevin Sehmer, 64, followed Davies outside while “screaming about God and tattoos,” according to WISN. The witnesses said he then punched Davies to the ground, leaving him unconscious after his head hit concrete.

A group of people flagged a Hartland police officer down at about 11 p.m. that night, according to a July 13 news release from the department.

The officer found Davies “lying on the sidewalk going in and out of consciousness,” police said. He was rushed to a hospital with critical injuries.

Sehmer was arrested the next day, police said, then charged with a felony count of aggravated battery.

Over the next several weeks, Davies was treated for a traumatic brain injury, his mother Patti Pearson said on Facebook.

“The suffering and pain my brother endured for the last 26 days was not his fault,” sister Jamie Davies told FOX6.

He died of his injuries at 2:19 a.m. Wednesday, July 12, police said.

Do I have any advice on tattoos, since I have eight of my own?  Of course.

Get your design done in henna first.  This will last a few weeks before wearing off.  If you can’t live with a pain-free colouring that long or realize it will be embarrassing, don’t get a tattoo of it. Don’t follow trends.  The least regrettable will be those that have personal meaning.

Never get a text tattoo in a language you don’t speak. You don’t want to end up like Ariana Grande did, repeatedly getting redone in a VERY painful place to cover a mistake. Famous Latin or Classical Greek phrases might be the exception because there are long lists and books of them.  You can check the spelling and meaning to get it right (e.g. “Alea Iacta Est”, ” Ἀεὶ κολοιὸς παρὰ κολοιῷ ἱζάνει”).

Being tattooed hurts about as much as being cut or a deep bruise.  It’s not as painful as tooth pain, but more painful than a bumped toe.  The difference is, you’re experiencing the pain constantly for an hour or two.

If you can’t endure pain for that long, consider temporary tattoos applied with water.  To remove them, rub baby oil slowly with your hand or a loofah sponge.  Expect to take 30 minutes to remove a 100 sq. cm. temporary tattoo.  Give the skin a day to rest if it’s difficult to remove, don’t make yourself bleed or bruised.

Everybody Knew Already: The Supreme Corrupt’s “decision” and its consequences

This was utterly predictable and preventable.

After the US’s Supreme Corrupt (containing male two rapists, one incompentent woman, and one cisgender heterosexual male that wants to legalize rape) “overturned Roe”, the inevitable has happened.  The rates of violence by cisgender heterosexual male partners of women have literally doubled, whether controlling abuse (destroying women’s means of birth control), rape, assault, murder, or other crimes.

Domestic Violence Hotline Reports 99% Increase in Calls Post-Roe

The hotline told Jezebel how abortion bans are now in the “toolbox of abusive partners.”

Crystal Justice, chief external affairs officer for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, has heard a lot of gutting cases of domestic violence from hotline callers over the years. But since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June, Justice told Jezebel that a few calls, in particular, have stood out to her—namely one woman who said her partner was intercepting her birth control pills after learning she was having them mailed to her. She eventually became pregnant but lived in a state where abortion is banned, and called the hotline desperate to learn her options.

Justice also heard from callers, post-Roe, whose abusive partners have weaponized their states’ abortion laws, as well as the widespread confusion around the laws’ particularities, to confuse and control them. “We’ve seen abusive partners weaponize the possible criminality of accessing abortion, or wrongfully tell a victim that if they do access abortion, they themselves could go to jail, or they’ll report them to the police,” Justice said. (Pregnancy outcomes and self-managed abortion are heavily policed and can lead to criminal charges—but no abortion bans currently in effect criminalize the abortion patient.)

Overall, the National Domestic Violence Hotline said they’ve seen a 99% increase in calls from people saying their partners are trying to control their reproductive choices (which domestic violence experts call reproductive coercion) since Roe was overturned. The hotline told Vice News that the year before Roe, they received 1,230 calls; in the year since, the hotline’s received 2,442

[. . .]

In May, a Texas woman was killed by her partner—who had a prior record of domestic violence—for getting an abortion, according to police. (A leading cause of death for pregnant people is homicide, often by intimate partners.) And last summer, a Missouri man was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife in 2019; before she went missing, she’d searched on her cell phone: “what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant.”

There are plenty of news sources reporting the same things: pregnancy through rape, pregnancy coercion, threats and violence by males trying to control women bodily and mentally.  From PBS:

Why post-Roe abortion restrictions worry domestic violence experts

Elizabeth Holmes knew she was in trouble. After rekindling a relationship with her ex-boyfriend, she became pregnant a month later. And then, she said, his old patterns of abuse resurfaced, despite his promises that he had undergone therapy to change his possessive, controlling and violent behavior. He would deny being the father of their child one day, only to wake up the next with plans to buy a house for their family, Holmes said, in addition to other verbal, emotional and physical abuse.

She often regretted telling him that she was pregnant, but had also worried about what would happen if she had hid it from him.

At the time, she lived in Massachusetts, where a pregnant person is legally bound to inform the other parent before putting a child up for adoption. Holmes said she was afraid that she would be arrested and jailed if she lied about the pregnancy – both its existence and its end – and her partner found out. He had told her she could get an abortion, but refused to pay for it. Holmes could not afford the procedure on her own and did not know where else to turn.

And from Vice News.  Women who were raped by partners and dates are now being raped by the “legal system”.

Domestic Abusers Are Using Abortion Bans to Control Their Victims

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, people warned abortion bans would become another tool for people to abuse their partners. A year later, early data indicates those warnings were right.

In the year before Roe fell, roughly 1,230 people told the National Domestic Violence Hotline that they had endured some kind of what anti-domestic abuse activists call “reproductive coercion,” including being denied an abortion or being forced into one. In the year since it was overturned, 2,442 people said the same. That’s a 99-percent increase.

“When you have laws that come along that are now stripping survivors of their bodily autonomy and right to control their own lives and health—which is exactly what abusive partners are trying to do—it is taking the harm even further,” said Crystal Justice, chief external affairs officer for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. Abusive partners, Justice said, now feel “emboldened and justified in their use of reproductive coercion to control the survivor, which in many cases includes survivors being forced to become pregnant.”

There’s more below the fold about increasing rates of Intimate Partner Violence not related to the Supreme Corrupt.   These are worldwide problems, not just the US, and not just about pregnancy.

[Read more…]

Some More News To See: Another excellent video destroying false arguments

Another day, another well made and damning video about rightwingnut hypocrisy and hate propaganda.

Below the fold are three news items from the last seven days, three cisgender heterosexual males (two accused and arrested, one convicted and sentenced to prison) involved in the sexual assault and rape of teenage girls.

Where’s the rightwing outrage about the countless number of cis hetero (and mostly christian) males that do this?  Or are they pointing fingers to help protect their own, because they don’t care about who the actual groomers are?

[Read more…]

An Expose On Nosey Parker Exposes: Just what sort of sewer the bigotry comes from

Shaun is a youtuber who produces infrequent but excellent content about the dregs of society: rightwingnuts, religious fanatics, racists, TERFs, and other … less than stellar individuals (just so I’m not accused of insults).

His latest video is a thoroughly researched two hour documentary on Nosey Parker, aka Kellie Jay Keen Minshull.  Given that individual’s willingness to sign up with neonazis and white supremacists, Kellie Kay Keen (KKK) would be a more apt name.

Nosey isn’t just a TERF, but an anti-abortionist, anti-women’s rights, pro-eugenics, conspiracy “theorist”, and advocate for violence and murder of those that the TERF doesn’t like.  KKK openly associates, welcomes and encourages those willing and desiring to commit violence, and uses dogwhistles to other and incite attacks.  Mocking and celebrating murders and suicides is not the view or action of anyone who belongs in civilized society.

KKK pretends to be “working class” and “educated”, which Shaun’s video debunks on both counts.  Where I disagree with him is on TERFs and their association with neonazism and other hate groups.  He says that TERFs “worry about being associated with the extreme right, hurting the gender HYPOcritical movement”.  In reality, the only thing that bothers the entirety of TERFs is that KKK says the quiet part out loud.

KKK is akin to Randall Terry and Neil Horsley among anti-abortionists: they openly advocate(d) for violence.  The others in the movements say the same things, but only behind closed doors.  And they say it with their money, who they fund.

A Lawyer Jokes: It’s the 30th anniversary of the most infamous Darwin Award

The origin of the “Darwin Awards” dates back to 1985 on a Usenet newsgroup.  It was in 1993 that Wendy Northcutt (who holds a Cal-Berkeley degree in molecular biology) created the Darwin Award website and domain, and began cataloguing “dumb ways to die” (or to make oneself sterile, the other means of earning a DA).  The death that may or may not be the impetus for the founding of the Darwin Awards has its 30th anniversary on Sunday.

On Friday, July 9, 1993, Garry Hoy was meeting a group of students in his law office, where he worked for the firm of Holden Day Wilson.  A trick he used to perform was to jump against the pane of glass in his office.  He was told the glass was unbreakable, and despite the numerous times he threw his body against the glass, it never broke.

And the glass never did break . . . while in its frame.

Due to Hoy’s repeated abuse of the window, the frame finally gave way on that fateful morning.  Both Hoy and the pane of glass fell from his 24th floor office to the concrete sidewalk below the Toronto Dominion Building.

It was there that the pane of glass did finally break.  Along with Hoy’s body.

The Darwin Awards’ entry on Garry Hoy can be read here, with mid-1990s web design on full display.

The ultimate irony of Hoy’s death is his level of “education”.  From Unilad, June 2023:

Lawyer fell out of skyscraper window to his death while trying to prove it was unbreakable

In the grand scheme of embarrassing ways to die, Garry Hoy might just take the crown after he fell to his death out of a window while trying to demonstrate how strong it was.

Hoy, 38, was a highly-regarded employee at Toronto law firm Holden Day Wilson.

Having also earned a degree in engineering, his natural career progression was to specialise in building safety and compliance.

I should feel absolutely horrible in typing this story instead of laughing with each new detail.

The Thing Doesn’t Even Speak: Another fascinating youtube channel

Mathematical Visual Proofs is exactly what it says on the tin, a collection of videos (either with spoken voice or wordlessly with animation) explaining mathematical concepts from the basic to the complex.  They are incredibly clear and easy to follow.

A few samples worth watching:

Top Ten Epic Pythagorean Proofs Without Words

Factor a Sum of Two Cubes (visual proof without words)

Beautiful Geometry behind Geometric Series (8 dissection visual proofs without words)

But this is my current favourite:

Dividing a Circle into Seven Equal Areas (visual proof)

But Was Amnesty Allowed: A 120 year old book was returned to a library

Somehow, I doubt the borrower was the one who returned it.

Library book that was nearly 120 years overdue finally returned in Massachusetts

NEW BEDFORD – A library book from New Bedford that was checked out nearly 120 years ago was found in West Virginia and returned.

The rare books curator at West Virginia University recently found a book about electricity in their donations. It’s called “An Elementary Treatise on Electricity” by James Clerk Maxwell. The slip inside showed it was checked out from the New Bedford Library and due back in December 1903.

“It’s never too late to return an overdue library book!” the library posted to Facebook.

As for a late fee, it was capped at just $2.

Good thing libraries don’t behave like banks, credit companies or HMOs.  It would have been a bigger fine than the book is worth on the collectors’ market.  Joking aside, it makes you wonder if the book does have value to collectors, whether it’s in good condition.

History Rhymes: Comparing bad apples and annoying oranges

I’m going with Beau of the Fifth Column on that title: “History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes.”

Throughout Donald Trump’s political campaigns, failed presidency, and countless crimes of various sordid types, many (including myself) made comparisons of him to Mussolini.  Some even compared him to Hitler.  But of all the infamous 20th century figures he has been compared to, there’s one that is far more apt and accurate: DC Stephenson.

It was 1923, a century ago, when DC Stephenson was named “grand wizard” of the kook klux klowns, their national leader.  He used his influence to place or support similar reprobates for political office, misusing them for favours and buying influence.  Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

It was 1925 when it began to fell apart for Stephenson.  He raped and mutilated Madge Oberholtzer, causing her death a month later.  Stephenson was then tried and convicted for her death.  His imprisonment ended not only his own political power, it also ended the influence of the KKK in Indiana, and led to massive reduction and influence nationally as well, influence that it wouldn’t regain until the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s.

As it turned out, the KKK was as much a financial scam as it was a hate group, sucking in and suckering its adherents.  Membership fees, robes, worthless junk trinkets, etc. were sold to the racists rubes who willingly threw their money at the klan.  The “grand dragons” were among the highest paid men in the US during the 1920s, pocketing huge amongs of membership donations into their own pockets.  All because racist whites believed the promise to “make america white again”.  Again, how is that any different?

One big difference: Stephenson spent 25 years in Indiana State Prison, then five more after violating parole.  Trump hasn’t yet been convicted of that, though he has been found guilty of sexually assaulting E. Jean Carroll.  I certainly hope that history rhymes again.

Three interesting excerpts from links are below the fold.

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