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April 18, 2008

Oklahoma sheriff caught running sex slave operation out of his jail

Sex Charges Against a Sheriff in Oklahoma - New York Times

The authorities have charged a western Oklahoma sheriff with coercing and bribing female inmates so he could use them in a sex-slave operation run out of his jail. The sheriff, Mike Burgess of Custer County, resigned, just as state prosecutors filed 35 felony charges against him, including 14 counts of second-degree rape, seven counts of forcible oral sodomy and five counts of bribery by a public official. Mr. Burgess, the top officer in the county of 26,000 people since 1994, appeared in court and was released after posting $50,000 bail. Among other things, he is accused of having sex with a female drug court participant who was in his custody. The crimes are said to have occurred between October 2005 and April 2007. Mr. Burgess also faces two counts each of sexual battery, rape by instrumentation and subornation of perjury, and engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses, indecent exposure and kidnapping.

Woman sues Blockbuster and Facebook for revealing federally-protected data

Beacon: Woman Sues Blockbuster For Telling All Her Facebook Friends What She Was Renting

Facebook's Beacon has finally resulted in a lawsuit. A Texas woman has sued Blockbuster for participating in Beacon, claiming that "Blockbuster violated the federal Videotape Privacy Protection Act by sharing information about her movie rentals and sales with Facebook without first obtaining her written consent," says MediaPost.

She's seeking class action status, with $2,500 for each violation of the statute. MediaPost says the law was passed in 1988 when a newspaper obtained the rental history of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork.

Bus driver chooses to believe GPS over his own eyes, tragedy ensues

Bus driver chooses GPS over gigantic warning sign, plows into overpass - Engadget

Reportedly, the driver of a charter bus carrying a high school girls' softball team decided to casually follow the soothing turn-by-turn directions that were being emitted from the nearby GPS unit rather than actually noticing the enormous clearance sign on the overpass ahead. As you can likely guess, the 11-foot, 8-inch-high vehicle plowed right into the 9-foot bridge -- which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 -- though somehow everyone on board escaped without any major injuries. Oddly enough, the driver apparently isn't alone in chipping away at the landmark, as a local even mentioned that "large trucks hit the bridge every two weeks or so," but couldn't resist noting that "this [instance was] by far the worst."

One man's desertion is another man's hard-earned vacation

Desertion or a Break? An Iraqi Gives His Side - New York Times

BAGHDAD — He was not deserting his men, the Iraqi Army captain insisted Wednesday. He had left his 70 soldiers in the midst of a battle in Sadr City the day before to take his long-overdue three-day break.

The captain, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said he intended to extend the break to five days, maybe longer. He had not been paid in two months and was overwhelmed by the problems of commanding his company, part of the 1st Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division. He was considering not going back to the fight in Sadr City.

Desertion by Iraqi soldiers has been a problem during the recent battles in Basra and Sadr City. The government dismissed 1,300 soldiers and police officers who deserted last month during fighting in Basra. On Tuesday, another company walked away from a crucial part of the front line in Sadr City, contending that they did not have adequate support.

Warren Ellis on the abortion art fiasco

Warren Ellis -- The Aliza Shvarts Thing

I’m surprised at how many of you are freaking out over this thing. (And a little disturbed at the tenor of some of the responses, too.)

Seriously: you believe this is real? My money says the physical “art” doesn’t exist, not as described. I mean, I’m open to being wrong. But right now, I think the press release itself is the art piece. In fact, I would imagine any final presentation would be a collation of the media responses to the press release, broadcast as it was during a visit from the Pope to her country of residence. She’s going to be hoping someone sticks the PR in front of scary old Ratzinger.

(And if there is a physical piece, I bet you it turns out to be food colouring, latex and bits of chicken. I mean, use your heads.)

You may not like that a press release can fulfil the terms of art. (And if you don’t know what defines art, go back to your old school and tell them to finish the fucking job.) But, as a conceptual piece, it’s quite incredible. As Charlie Stross said, it’s the “most inspired publicity-stunt debut in the art world since Damien Hirst.” And that was twenty years ago. If she’s doing what I think she’s doing, Aliza Shvarts might be the first “great” conceptual artist of the internet age.

April 16, 2008

But the Idea is Absolutely WITHOUT FLAWS!

Vegan strip club: FAIL - Green Daily Up until recently,...