Would you get into a van with this man?

What if he offered you candy, or had a puppy you could play with?

That’s Josh Duggar, the man who became famous for being on a reality TV show about a religious family popping out a train of babies. Then he became more famous for the fact that he had been molesting his little sisters. And now he’s hooked on the prestige and has been caught in another glamorous crime.

Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Gerald Faulkner, testifying for the prosecution, alleged Duggar downloaded computer files depicting child sex abuse on May 14, 15 and 16 of 2019.

The files were initially flagged by a police detective in Little Rock, Ark., and then allegedly traced to Duggar’s IP address on a computer at his workplace at the time, the Wholesale Motorcars dealership.

One file, according to Faulkner, depicted child sex abuse involving children ranging from 18 months to 12 years of age. Faulkner described the images as “in the top five of the worst of the worst that I’ve ever had to examine.”

According to Faulkner, when homeland security officials raided Duggar’s car dealership and asked to speak with him, without informing him they were investigating child pornography, Duggar “spontaneously” responded, “What is this about? Has someone been downloading child pornography?”

So that’s what used car salesmen do in their free time.

Anyway, now he’s begging to be released on bail with a novel excuse.

The motion further argued that because Duggar is a public figure, it is unreasonable to view him as a flight risk: “Duggar has a widely-recognizable face and has spent the majority of his life in the public spotlight—making any concern that he is a risk of flight all the more unwarranted.”

Widely recognizable? Gosh, if he’s released am I going to have to call the police on every pudgy, balding white guy I see on the street? Never underestimate the ego of a white man.

The first responsibility of a university should be to provide a safe space for learning

Should I be envious? Look at these scores that Bruce Conforth of the University of Michigan got on RateMyProfessor. This may be the first time in years that I’ve so much as glanced at that hellsite (no, don’t tell me what my score is, I don’t want to know), but I heard all the news about what an inspiring, award-winning instructor he was, so I had to check.

Yeah, “all the news”. You know something awful has happened, because you don’t get national attention for being really good at your job. So let’s get the whole story.

Several sexual assault allegations surfaced Friday against former University of Michigan American Culture lecturer Bruce Conforth, who won the 2012 Golden Apple Award for most outstanding U-M instructor, according to the New York Times.

Conforth, a musician and founding curator of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, retired in early 2017. His retirement came after three women reported to the University in 2008 and 2016 that Conforth had attempted to engage in sexual relationships with them as students, according to the Times.

Now, six former students have filed legal papers with the intent of suing both Conforth for sexual misconduct and the University of Michigan for failing to provide Conforth with consequences or protect the victims with further investigation and action.

Conforth’s allegations of sexual harassment include unsolicited messages and rape.

Warning: the article gives more detailed accounts of his behavior. It was hard to read through to the end, where you discover that six other professors and administrators at the University of Michigan have been committing unrelated sex crimes in recent years, and the university has only reluctantly acted on them. I guess it’s easier to hand out awards.

We get an idea of the university’s policies from the timeline.

The University claimed to have taken action against Conforth by setting restrictions on him after the first report of sexual assault in 2008, and planned to conduct an investigation after the second two reports in 2016, if Conforth did not agree to retire in 2017.

So…you rape one student, and the U wags a finger at you and gives you a major teaching award a few years later; you have to rape three students before you’re asked to quietly retire and collect your pension. No wonder they’ve accumulated an impressive collection of sex offenders on their faculty.

But he was so popular and enthusiastic in his lectures, you know…

George Floyd’s murderer: GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY

For once, maybe justice has been served. The jury found Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts.

I was prepared for the worst, because all day the news has been full of stories about Minneapolis bracing for the verdict, windows being boarded up, new concrete barriers being installed, etc. Now all we have to be ready for is grateful crowds of citizens solemnly appreciating a righteous decision…oh, and roving gangs of cops looking for any excuse to bash heads in revenge.

Maybe they mistook him for Thor

Luke Alvin Oeltjenbruns, a Minnesota man, got very upset when a Menards employee told him he had to wear a mask in the store, so Luke Alvin Oeltjenbruns smacked him with a piece of lumber and then fled the store.

He was not shot.

A policeman stopped Luke Alvin Oeltjenbruns and was talking, not shooting him, through the driver’s side window, so Luke Alvin Oeltjenbruns grabbed his arm, rolled up the window, and dragged him down the road.

He was not shot.

Luke Alvin Oeltjenbruns then took a hammer and hit the policeman in the head.

He was not shot.

The police eventually stopped Luke Alvin Oeltjenbruns and dragged his sorry ass off to jail. He wasn’t even tased!

I would like to commend the Hutchinson police department for their proper forbearance in the face of extreme provocation. That’s how it should always be done, even for people who don’t act like they’re the god of thunder. Yes, he’s white.

I wonder what would have happened if he’d looked like Heimdall?

The greatest Republican of all time

I am kind of impressed. Joel Greenberg totally filled out the Republican bingo card: cronyism, graft, gun fondling, sex trafficking, misogyny, pedophilia…oh, wait, he’s missing racism, so far. I’m sure there’s something in his history that will ooze out.

Rachel Maddow explains it all.

He does have an edge, though, being from Florida, and also being best buddies with Matt Gaetz. It’s nice to live in a country that is finally getting around to prosecuting these guys, rather than enabling them.

You call that a defense?

Here’s a good summary of the first day in the trial of George Floyd’s murderer.

To summarize the summary, the defense has two key arguments. They are fundamentally racist arguments.

First, they want to claim that choking by kneeling on Floyd’s neck was not the cause of death. What killed him was poor health, specifically hypertension, and drugs. Don’t you know that all black people have high blood pressure and are jacked up on drugs? You can’t blame that poor white cop who was just doing his job in a perfectly normal way when Floyd up and died in custody! They claim that the killer was just following his training, which if true, means the entire Minneapolis police department ought to be fired and indicted.

Their second defense is even worse: that the killer didn’t mean to murder George Floyd, he was just so distracted by what the unruly mob of citizens, who were on the verge of erupting into savage violence, that he forgot how long he was crushing the throat of his victim. We’ve all seen the videos, the jurors have all seen them multiple times now, and there’s nothing accurate in that representation. It was a small group of citizens who are mostly begging and pleading with the cop to let him breathe. They are mostly black, though, so I guess this is an appeal to the prejudices of the kind of juror who sees a gang if they spot two black people in conversation.

These are bad arguments that rely entirely on biases, not facts.

They might just work.

I guess that’s one method of wealth redistribution

I guess we could impose a stupidity tax.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $14,500 civil penalty against an airline passenger for allegedly interfering with flight attendants who instructed him to wear a face mask and stop consuming alcohol he had brought on board the aircraft.

On a Dec. 23, 2020 jetBlue Airlines flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York to the Dominican Republic, the passenger crowded the traveler sitting next to him, spoke loudly, and refused to wear his face mask, the FAA alleges. Flight attendants moved the other passenger to a different seat after they complained about the man’s behavior.

A flight attendant warned the man that jetBlue’s policies required him to wear a face mask, and twice warned him that FAA regulations prohibit passengers from drinking alcohol they bring on board an aircraft. Despite these warnings, the passenger continued to remove his face mask and drink his own alcohol, the FAA alleges.

A flight attendant issued the passenger a “Notice to Cease Illegal and Objectionable Behavior,” and the cabin crew notified the captain about his actions two separate times. As a result of the passenger’s actions, the captain declared an emergency and returned to JFK, where the plane landed 4,000 pounds overweight due to the amount of fuel on board.

I have no sympathy for this fellow, but I generally feel he’s going to be paying the price for his own idiocy for most of his life, and the main purpose of such a fine is to dissuade him from harming others.

Maybe first class is a more useful wealth tax? Charge the rich extravagantly for privilege of a few inches of space in a tin can, with freely available Airplane Wine.

You will know they are Christians by their flexible morality

A wealthy, well-connected real estate agent in the Ozarks decided to have her mother-in-law murdered. So far, so tawdry — it sounds like a True Crime melodrama that will one day appear on Netflix (something like it may have, already. I think there’s a show called Ozarks about a family’s descent into criminality).

What’s interesting about it is the woman’s justification.

According to a probable cause statement, it all began when Bauman became convinced that her 74-year-old former mother-in-law was causing a strain in her relationship with her daughters. She and her ex had divorced in 2018, and she worried he and his mother might try to get full custody of the girls.

On March 1, she confided in an unidentified woman and asked for help finding “somebody to get rid of her.” Pressed about whether she was serious, Bauman said she “knew it was wrong as a Christian, but she would go to church and ask for forgiveness after it was done.”

Then, authorities say, she wrote the 74-year-old target’s address on the back of a business card.

The alleged scheme unraveled when the woman Bauman solicited for help finding a hit man went to law enforcement instead. Because of Bauman’s political connections, the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control handled the case “to avoid any hint of impropriety,” Camden County Prosecutor Caleb Cunningham told local station KY3 News.

Christian morality: the world’s greatest get-out-of-jail-free card. Everything is permissible as long as you ask Jesus to forgive you after the vile deed is done.

Also, isn’t this the most denouement ever? How often does it happen that trying to hire a hit man goes bad because the process requires revealing your intent to commit a crime to multiple people?

His bedside manner left much to be desired

Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and the cannibal castrators lop off testicles in their backwoods chop shops…would you believe this cute couple belong in a horror movie?

Two men were accused Wednesday in a criminal charge of performing an illegal gender reassignment surgery on a volunteer at their cabin in the woods and then keeping the body parts in a freezer, possibly to eat later.

Bob Lee Allen, 53, and Thomas Evans Gates, 42, were arrested Oct. 15 after going to the hospital in McAlester to try to visit the victim, Le Flore County Sheriff Rodney Derryberry said Tuesday.

That’s not “gender reassignment surgery”: it’s crudely chopping off body parts while lying about what they’re doing. It’s just castration, carried out by a couple of yokels. They’ve been getting away with it for years!

The victim reported Allen claimed to have 15 years of experience and that he “videos the procedures for personal use,” according to the affidavit. The victim also reported “Allen told him that the surgery wouldn’t cost him anything.”

The victim told investigators that Allen performed the removal Oct. 12 on a covered makeshift table at the residence and that Gates helped by handing over the surgical equipment, according to the affidavit. The victim said he was awake for the two-hour surgery after being injected “in the needed areas.”

The victim “stated that after the surgery was over that Allen said that he was going to consume the parts and laughed and said that he was a cannibal,” according to the affidavit. The victim also said that Allen then talked about “the time he worked on someone that he described to be crazy and that he left the male opened up to die overnight.”

I wonder how many people they actually maimed in their 15 years of butchery?


I despair. There is no hope. The United States is too deeply broken, burdened with flawed ideas of justice, too hateful of equality. Even the most obvious, easy ethical principles are discarded by the people in power. Kenosha is just the latest example. There will be others tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Kenosha exposes the inexcusable nature of policing in this country. You would think that it would be apparent to anyone that a gun is not a universal solution to every problem, and that you don’t use deadly force in response to offenses that do not threaten others. Not to the cops! They responded to a “domestic incident”, witnessed an unarmed man, Jacob Blake, walking away, and shot him in the back. It ought to be a strongly enforced rule in the police that you do not react to a non-death penalty offense, one in which no one is under threat of harm, with an extrajudicial execution. If someone is rampaging with a long gun and murdering people, you can make a case for stopping them with a firearm; if someone is walking away from a disturbance, even if they were responsible for it, and doing nothing but getting into a car with their kids, you do not have cause to shoot them. It’s really that simple. Go ahead, let them drive away. You’ve got their license plate number, you’ve seen and can ID the individual, you have body cam photos of the guy. It’s OK. Getting into a car, even getting into a car while black, is not a crime, and is not a threat.

But our cops are trigger-happy, and think that disrespecting them by disobeying a shouted command is grounds for immediate execution. That has to stop. It is unconscionable. The entire squad of police who committed this atrocity need to be immediately fired and charged with a violent crime. Instead, the police are defending this attempted murder. As usual, they’re raking through Jacob Blake’s history to find anything that makes him less than a divine angel, smearing him to justify their actions.

More than defunding the police, we need to disarm the police, simply to short-circuit their knee-jerk tendency to solve every difficulty with a bullet. No more guns. Have a small force trained to use guns that are only deployed when the circumstances warrant…and 99% of the circumstances police deal with do not warrant firearms.

Kenosha adds another twist. I said that maybe the police could justify using firearms if someone is rampaging with a long gun and murdering people? They had exactly that situation. Two people are dead and another is maimed because a punk kid saw the protests as an excuse to gun down people in the street. The police aided him. They praised him for showing up at protest with a long gun, which is already insane — this is a situation that desperately requires de-escalation, and they encourage random civilians to intrude with a display of weaponry?

The cops are guilty, guilty, guilty of enabling and provoking the violence in Kenosha.

But further, the actual murderer is a product of a culture that rewards obsession with guns. That’s not changing. Right now I’m seeing people treating the murderer as a hero, while Jacob Blake deserved it. The rot is threaded throughout the core of American society. As usual in this country, it’s also an infection erupting around skin color.

The murderer has been arrested driving away from Kenosha — I don’t know how that happened, shouldn’t he have been shot in his car? — and has been charged with first-degree murder. Anyone want to take any bets on whether that charge sticks? I’m going to guess he’ll pull a George Zimmerman.

The protests are still going on in Minneapolis, by the way. This is a fire that is spreading, and it’s not going out as long as police- and gun-culture are not torn down.