Daily Archives: August 30, 2017

Convicted felon Martin Shkreli finds novel way to be a jerk online

Martin Shkreli, the so-called “pharma bro” and former CEO who was recently convicted on securities fraud and wire fraud, has been recently buying up domain names of journalists that appear to have written critically about him.The list includes Rob Beschizza of Boing Boing, Meg Tirrell of CNBC, Maxwell Tani of Business Insider (who reported Tuesday about the domain buys), and our personal favorite: trashythecat.com.

In at least two cases, he has used those domain names to create websites that mock those reporters.

For instance, MayaKosoff.com, named for a reporter at Vanity Fair, simply reads: “Here we honor one of the most vibrant Social Justice advocates today.”

Source: Convicted felon Martin Shkreli finds novel way to be a jerk online | Ars Technica

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Big brands shun straight, white Britain in their adverts

Advertisers are so worried about being accused of racism or homophobia they are shying away from using images of white people and straight couples.Marketing departments are even putting diversity above relevance to their target audience to avoid accusations of bigotry, a survey of 500 companies has found.A third of advertisers questioned said they had used fewer white models and heterosexual couples over the past year. More than a third of these said they were taking this approach to “prevent perceived discrimination”.

Source: Big brands shun straight, white Britain in their adverts | News | The Times & The Sunday Times

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The Quiet Exodus From Mass Schooling

Parents are fed up. As mass schooling becomes more restrictive, more standardized and more far-reaching into a child’s young life, many parents are choosing alternatives. Increasingly, these parents are reclaiming their child’s education and are refocusing learning around children, family, and community in several different ways.With back-to-school time upon us, more than two million U.S. children will be avoiding the school bus altogether in favor of homeschooling, an educational choice that has accelerated in recent years among both liberal and conservative families. While homeschooling for religious freedom remains an important driver for many families, 2012 data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reveal that a main reason for homeschooling is “concern about the environment of other schools.”Beyond homeschooling, an additional two million children will be educated this fall in charter schools. According to recent U.S. Department of Education data, the number of students currently enrolled in charter schools increased from 0.9 million in 2004 to 2.7 million in 2014, while the number of children enrolled in traditional public schools declined by 0.4 million during that same period. Taxpayer-funded but administered by predominantly private educational organizations, charter schools allow parents flexibility in choosing a school that is better aligned with their expectations and their child’s needs. Charter schools are often exempt from district policies and collective bargaining agreements that can halt innovation and experimentation, allowing them more instructional and organizational freedom. Demand for charter schools often outweighs current supply, with statewide charter caps, admissions lotteries, and long waiting lists leaving many parents discouraged and angry.

Source: The Quiet Exodus From Mass Schooling | Intellectual Takeout

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NSA ramps up PR campaign to keep its mass spying powers 

The NSA has begun what is likely to be a determined PR campaign to retain mass spying laws as they head toward expiration at the end of the year.In a post on its website titled “Section 702 Saves Lives, Protects the Nation and Allies,” America’s surveillance nerve center argues it “relies” on the controversial part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to “uncover the identities or plans of terrorists.”The law has “played both a unique and decisive role in national defense,” it goes on, adding that it also “informs” the intelligence community’s “cybersecurity efforts.”The post then goes on to claim that the NSA’s interpretation of Section 702 enabled it to reveal the identities of “overseas terrorists” responsible for an unspecified attack that resulting in the death of more than 20 people last year and claims it enabled them to “refute the terrorist organization’s denial of any involvement.”

Source: NSA ramps up PR campaign to keep its mass spying powers • The Register

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12,000 Child Porn Sites Identified in Mexico – American Renaissance

Mexico has been the world’s largest distributor and the second-largest producer of child pornography for at least half a decade, and a new report on the situation suggests nothing has changed.The federal Congress called on state governments to strengthen their efforts against it after a report by the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) revealed it had detected over 12,300 Mexican internet accounts that distribute photographs and videos of children being sexually abused.According to data gathered by the Federal Police’s Center of Cybercrime against Minors, Veracruz is one of the states where the crime has noticeably increased in recent years, targeting girls aged between 11 and 15.The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has estimated that there are 16,700 websites worldwide dedicated to distributing child pornography, and that 73% of the victims appear to be younger than 10 “in pictures that are increasingly graphic and violent.”Congress has also asked the Veracruz government for a detailed report on the measures it has set in place to combat child pornography.

Source: 12,000 Child Porn Sites Identified in Mexico – American Renaissance

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‘Demon Goat’ With Human-Like Face Terrifies Indian Village [Video]

A strange mutant goat has terrified an Indian village and taken the internet by storm with its odd, human-like face.Images of the goat first made their way online earlier this month when they were posted to Facebook by Samiraa Aissa, a curator of viral internet content relating to animals. The video and images of the goat that Aissa shared have since racked up more than 60 million views.Aissa’s photos and videos show that the goat has numerous features on its face that make it look oddly human. The animal’s nose is bent inwards and its lips face upwards. This strange rearrangement of the snout makes it appear as though the goat’s face is somewhat human-like.

Source: ‘Demon Goat’ With Human-Like Face Terrifies Indian Village [Video]

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The Media’s Revisionist History of Nazis

How gullible is the mainstream media? Very. Surely it could not be deliberate. (!)That so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville was about neither uniting nor “the Right.” Whatever its sponsors may pretend to, there is nothing — zero — that is “Right,” “conservative,” much less “Republican” about Nazis, Neo-Nazis, and white supremacists.

Edmund Burke enthusiasts these are not.Yet the historical revisionism that places Nazis on the Right is so rampant that it is used as an assumed truth simply because the mainstream media constantly repeats it, whether out of sheer laziness or — could it be? — incredible ideological bias. So let’s start here to put a halt to this game by going back, back, back to the origins of Nazis.Let’s turn to economist Ludwig von Mises and his classic text from the Austrian School of Economics: Socialism.

The first edition of the book refuting “virtually every form of socialism ever devised” appeared in 1922, and as another famed economist, F.A. Hayek, would write in his foreword to the book: “When Socialism first appeared in 1922, its impact was profound. It gradually but fundamentally altered the outlook of many of the young idealists returning to their university studies after World War I. I know, for I was one of them.”Twenty-five years later von Mises updated the book with an epilogue, which took on Nazis, Fascists and Communists in the aftermath of World War II. Here, in part, are his words:

Source: The Media’s Revisionist History of Nazis | The American Spectator

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Money Isn’t a Gift from the State – Foundation for Economic Education

I’ve begun working on a new book on the gold standard. In the first chapter I plan to discuss the origin of money, as a preliminary to discussing how silver and gold became the world’s dominant commodity monies.

The topic of the origin of money has become controversial in recent years. The dominant view among economists (for good reason), suggested by Adam Smith in the eighteenth century and fleshed out by Carl Menger in the nineteenth, is that money is a market-born institution.

Convergence on one or two commodities as the common media of payment emerged from the actions of barterers seeking more effective trading strategies, without anyone aiming at the final result. But this view has lately been challenged by a resurgence of the “state theory of money,” also known as Cartalism, which argues that governments played an essential role in the establishment of money.

Source: Money Isn’t a Gift from the State – Foundation for Economic Education – Working for a free and prosperous world

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Court Calls Out Government For The ‘General Warrant’ It Served To Facebook

In a disturbing case involving the sex trafficking of minors, the 11th Circuit Appeals Court has reached a few interesting conclusions involving digital searches and the Fourth Amendment. Included in the court’s findings are rulings on the use of the All Writs Act to force Apple to unlock a device, an email warrant served to Microsoft, and warrants used to obtain a vast amount of information from Facebook. [h/t Orin Kerr]The All Writs Act received a ton of free publicity thanks to Apple’s fight with the DOJ over the (forced) unlocking of the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone. Ultimately, the DOJ hired outside help to crack open the phone, abandoning its search for helpful precedent. (And, ultimately, the phone — the shooter’s work-issued phone — contained nothing of interest.)

Here, the Appeals Court finds [PDF] there’s nothing wrong with using the 1789 All Writs Act to paper over holes in the 200+ years of legislation.The authority granted by the All Writs Act is broad but not boundless. The Act “is a residual source of authority” that permits issuing writs only if they “are not otherwise covered by statute.” Penn. Bureau of Corr. v. U.S. Marshals Serv., 474 U.S. 34, 43, 106 S. Ct. 355, 361 (1985). It is a gap filler. “Where a statute specifically addresses the particular issue at hand, it is that authority, and not the All Writs Act, that is controlling.” Id. And where Congress has proscribed a certain type of judicial action, the Act cannot overcome that proscription. See id. The bypass order meets this requirement because no statute expressly permits or prohibits it.

Source: Court Calls Out Government For The ‘General Warrant’ It Served To Facebook | Techdirt

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