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July 11, 2008

Ex-diplomat asserts that sex with 14-year-olds is fine if you do it in another country

The Associated Press: Ex-diplomat: Sex with teens OK in foreign cultures

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — An ex-diplomat convicted of having sex with teenage girls in the Congo and Brazil and taping the encounters is asking a judge for leniency, claiming that cultural differences in those countries make sex with girls more acceptable.

Gons G. Nachman, 42, pleaded guilty in April to possessing child pornography after admitting that he had sex with 14- to 17-year-old girls while serving as a consular officer in Brazil and Congo and documenting the encounters in pictures and videos.

The judge has agreed to delay Nachman's sentencing until Aug. 22 so that he can be examined by noted forensic psychologist Stanton Samenow. Defense attorney Stephen Stine said in court papers that a psychological examination might show that cultural differences led Nachman to believe that sexual contact with teenage girls was acceptable, and that should have an impact on what kind of sentence he receives.

Prosecutors rejected the notion that Nachman's victims somehow deserve less protection because they were not born or raised in America.

Flint Chief Dicks is busy watching bottoms

Flint cops crack down on sagging pants | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press

Flint residents now have to watch their butts because Police Chief David Dicks is on the lookout.

Dicks, who took over the department last month on an interim basis, announced that his officers would start arresting people wearing saggy pants that expose skivvies, boxer shorts or bare bottoms.

"Some people call it a fad," Dicks told the Free Press this week while patrolling the streets of Flint. "But I believe it's a national nuisance. It is indecent and thus it is indecent exposure, which has been on the books for years."

On June 27, the chief issued a departmental memorandum telling officers: "This immoral self expression goes beyond freedom of expression."

The crime, he says, is disorderly conduct or indecent exposure, both misdemeanors punishable by 93 days to a year in jail and/or fines up to $500.

July 10, 2008

4chan's meme factory makes WSJ

bankercat.jpgThis is your dad describing Web culture to your grandfather. via | WSJ | Modest Web Site Is Behind a Bevy of Memes
Over the last few years, 4chan.org has become one of the most talked-about sites when it comes to launching new memes. After appearing on the site, "LOLcats," humorous images of cats with loud text beneath them in a fake language called "LOLspeak", stormed the Web last year. (For example, instead of saying "hello," the cats would say "oh hai.") Another phrase "So I herd u like mudkips," a reference to a sea creature from the popular animated show "Pokémon," spawned thousands of tribute videos on YouTube. 4chan.org began as a simple message board with pictures and text. It was started by Christopher Poole in his Long Island bedroom in 2003 when he was 15 years old. Since then it has grown to more than 3 million monthly users, according to Mr. Poole. One of the site's most popular memes is an online bait-and-switch known as the "Rick Roll." Here's how it works: A friend sends an email suggesting you take a peek at an "amazing" online video and passes along the link. You follow the link, but instead of the video you expect, you've been sent to the music video of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," a hit song from 1988. Over the past year, Rick Rolling has become an online sensation, pushing Mr. Astley's video past 16 million views on YouTube.
YTMND also explained.

The Golden Shield of China and the Black Iron Future

grinding.be -- Building the Black Iron Future

We've slowly become the society of the panopticon.

Chinese officials call it call it “The Golden Shield” and while it’s ostensibly a project of the Chinese Government, it’s being developed by familiar companies like IBM, AT&T, Nortel, Cisco, General Electric, Yahoo, Honeywell, and according to some reports, Google. What the Golden shield comprises is the largest integrated surveillance network in existence. It combines the existing “Great Firewall” which filters almost all net content into China with the “Safe Cities” initiative which includes cameras in all internet cafes, many entertainment venues, and in many cities (2 million cameras in Shenzhen alone by 2010) and a massive photo and biometric information database of all of China’s 1.3 billion citizens.

It’s a massive and lucrative project which is why Western companies are flocking to build a better democracy-free future for China, while here in the US they continue to sell a “freedom friendly” image. Meanwhile the “Golden Shield” has already been tested on examples like the Lhasa riots which recently left anywhere from 16 to 100 people dead as monks clashed with police. The Shield allowed CCTV footage to yield become identities and then locations of many monks and passersby involved in the rioting allowing Chinese police to quickly round up hundreds of people allegedly involved. The same security system is being used, of course, to protect the upcoming 2008 Olympics as well.