Monday, March 19, 2018


Parole Of Cop Killer Raises Outcry

CBS New York
March 15, 2018

NEW YORK — A former member of a black radical group who was convicted in the 1971 killings of two police officers has been granted parole after 44 years behind bars for a crime that crystalized an era when militant groups declared war on authorities.

Herman Bell’s supporters, including relatives of one of the slain officers, said the 70-year-old was a model inmate who deserved freedom. But the other officer’s family, the New York police union and some lawmakers called Bell’s parole an affront to police who sacrificed their lives for public safety.

“We’ve been betrayed,” said Diane Piagentini, Officer Joe Piagentini’s widow. “Letting a cop killer out of prison is a betrayal to police officers who are putting their lives on the line now. It is a betrayal to the citizens of the United States to let killers out among us to kill again. I believe Herman Bell hasn’t changed. None of what he said or did back in the 70s has left him: He is an assassin.”

“The parole board has chosen to release one of the most dangerous criminals of our time, Herman Bell,” she added.

NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill tweeted his response to the news, saying the decision to release Bell is “indefensible.”

During an unrelated event on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio was asked about the decision to parole Bell.

“I’m very troubled by it. This was a premeditated killing of a police officer,” said de Blasio. “That should be life in prison, period. There’s nothing else to discuss. I don’t understand how there possibly was parole in that situation.”

The mayor added he would intervene against the parole decision if he could.

“It’s not just about the personal impact it has on the city and the officers,” said NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Ben Tucker. “It speaks volumes about our system and the way it’s supposed to work. And when you start to shoot police officers, who represent those who protect the rest of us – everyone – then you run into some serious concerns. So it’s just pretty clear that if you’re in then you should stay in and serve the time.”

Bell had been denied parole seven times before. But in a decision released Wednesday, a parole board said Bell’s “debt has been paid to society” after he admitted his crime, was productive in prison and amassed supporters including relatives of one of the slain officers.

“Your crime represents one of the most supreme assaults on society,” the panel wrote, but his release will “denote rehabilitation as core to our system of criminal justice.”

“To say that you should let this animal onto the streets is disgraceful,” said Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch. “Even in this progressive world we live now, the law says life without the possibility of parole. Was Officer Piagentini’s life less important than a police officer’s life now?”

Lynch called for the removal of the parole board members who voted in favor of release.

“These commissioners need to be canned,” Lynch said. “They need to be gone. They’ve lost the vision of what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Bell remains behind bars at an upstate prison until at least April 17. His lawyer, Robert J. Boyle, said he had satisfied all the criteria for parole and “in our view, justice was served.”

“The issue before the parole board was whether, given certain criteria, it is reasonably probably whether Mr. Bell would lead a crime-free life if released,” Boyle told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner. “In making the decision to release Mr. Bell to parole supervision, the board simply applied those criteria. They applied the law.

“Mr. Bell has expressed remorse for his role in the deaths of Officer Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini,” Boyle added. “While in prison, he has maintained an unblemished disciplinary record and become a mentor to younger prisoners, counseling them on leading a crime-free life.”

Officers Jones and Piagentini were shot multiple times after responding to a report of a domestic dispute at a Harlem public housing complex on May 21, 1971. Prosecutors said it was a trap set by Bell and co-defendant Anthony Bottom, who also was convicted and is serving 25 years to life but is due for a parole hearing in June.

Bell and Bottom were members of a violent offshoot of the Black Panther Party called the Black Liberation Army. The group sanctioned symbolic killings of police officers, regardless of their race, in New York and California and robbed banks to finance its activities, authorities have said.

For years, Bell, Bottom and a co-defendant who has since died in prison claimed they were innocent and had been framed by the FBI. Declassified documents show the federal agency had initiated a covert campaign to infiltrate and disrupt the Black Liberation Army and other violent radical movements.

In 2007, Bell and Bottom accepted plea deals and got probation sentences for their roles in the killing of San Francisco police Sgt. John Young inside a stationhouse in his city in 1971.

Then, in 2012 New York parole board interviews, both men admitted their roles in killing Piagentini and Jones.

In a parole board interview this month, Bell said “there was nothing political about the act, as much as I thought at the time.”

“It was murder and horribly wrong,” he said, according to the parole board decision. “It was horrible, something that I did and feel great remorse for having done it.”

That didn’t change Diane Piagentini’s opinion of his release, which she said “devalues the life of my brave husband.”

“How can we ask our police officers to risk their lives to protect society when society fails to appropriately punish their animalistic killers?” she said in a statement released by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, a city police union.

Lynch said members “are disgusted, offended and extremely angry with this parole board’s decision.”

Some state Republican lawmakers held a press conference in January exhorting New Yorkers to sign a petition opposing Bell’s release. Republican U.S. Rep. Pete King, whose father was a police lieutenant who attended the officers’ funerals in 1971, on Wednesday called Bell’s parole “a shameful insult” to their memory.

But Jones’ family backed Bell’s release. The slain officer’s son, Waverly Jones Jr., told the Daily News in 2014 that keeping Bell incarcerated “would only be for revenge.”

“We have forgiven him,” his daughter, Wanda Jones, told CBS2 by phone Thursday.

The parole board cited a letter from the family, saying it played a role in their decision.

But former chairman and commissioner of the parole board Robert Dennison told CBS2’s Lisa Rozner this would not have happened under his watch.

“I was very disappointed in the parole board,” he told Rozner. “From what I understand now, there are new guidelines, which say the most important factor is the propensity to recidivate.”

In prison, Bell has earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees, counseled other prisoners and been a pen pal for homeless children. He has a number of offers for work, according to the parole board’s decision and his lawyer.

“I hope he can be free to continue doing the work that he’s doing. I think he can make a positive contribution,” said Brooklyn Rev. Herbert Daughtry, who had visited Bell in jail.

Through his lawyer, Bell said he would not comment “out of respect to the victims’ families.” He plans to return to his wife, children and grandchildren in California.

The decision comes about a year after a New York parole board denied release to former Weather Underground radical Judith Clark, who drove a getaway car in a bungled 1981 armored-car robbery that led to the deaths of two Nyack police officers and a security guard. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, had commuted Clark’s sentence to make her eligible for parole.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This worthless piece of shit and his two cop killing crime partners are poster boys for the death penalty.

Bell, a mentor to younger prisoners, counseling them on leading a crime-free life. Yeah right, he’s an expert.


Prince Harry ‘blew the Taliban to bits’ in 2012 to help rescue ambushed U.S. soldier in Afghanistan, it is revealed

By James Beal

The Sun
March 18, 2018

Prince Harry’s role in an Afghanistan rescue mission where he “blew the enemy to pieces” has been revealed.

The Apache helicopter co-pilot saved US soldiers who were ambushed in 2012.

He is said to have strafed the Taliban with bullets so the Americans could escape and airlift injured troops to safety.

John Zanetis, 73, from Indiana, whose son Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis was one of those saved, said: “Prince Harry came in with his protection squadron and blew the enemy to pieces.”

Mum Sarah, 63, said: “They provided enough cover for Tripp to get his men loaded on the helicopter. I believe there were Taliban members killed.”

Harry, stationed at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province told the US soldiers afterwards: “See you at New Year’s.”

They are said to have had dinner, with Tripp and Harry having their picture taken.

Tripp, 37, was among seven killed on Thursday when their military helicopter struck a power line and crashed along the Iraqi border with Syria.

Sarah said: “He was a remarkable man.

"He never talked a lot about incidents he had but he did talk about the one with Prince Harry.”

Harry, 33 — known as Captain Harry Wales in the Army — served two tours of Afghanistan from 2007 to 2008 and 2012 to 2013.

He has previously revealed he killed Taliban fighters during his second stint.


The Senate Candidate Who Wants to Arm the Homeless Explains Himself

By Jules Suzdaltsev

March 16, 2018

For years, the gun lobby, led by the NRA, has pushed the idea that more guns make the world safer. Most recently this has manifested in the argument (endorsed by Donald Trump) that the answer to school shootings is armed teachers. But Brian Ellison is taking it one step further. Ellison is a Libertarian running for US Senate in Michigan, and though his third-party run is obviously hopeless, he drew some media attention this week for his plan to, uh, hand out pump-action shotguns to Michigan’s homeless population.

To be fair, Ellison isn’t the first person to come up with this idea—19th-century revolutionary anarchist Lucy Parsons implored “tramps” to “learn the use of explosives” and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine famously wrote “Arm the Homeless” on his guitar. But Ellison (who has not yet gotten enough signatures to qualify for ballot access) seems to have thought very thoroughly about his idea. He even started a GoFundMe campaign to buy 20 shotguns for homeless people, though the platform shut down his campaign for violating the terms of service.

When I talked to him about it, the genesis of the idea seemed to have more to do with drawing attention to the plight of homeless people rather than a exaggerated version of an NRA talking point—though he is also a Second Amendment absolutist who had extremely harsh words for the Parkland shooting survivors. Here’s an edited and condensed version of our interview:

VICE: Let’s jump right into the idea of arming homeless people with pump-action shotguns. Why do that?

Brian Ellison: Sure! So, obviously gun control has become a big topic as of late. We have groups like the NRA who have convinced a significant portion of the population that they support gun rights. Some of us know better, that they're just aligning with the Republican Party. But we wanted to bring attention to the fact that the homeless are so disenfranchised and victimized and exploited. Not only are they the victims of violent criminals, they are victims of the state. It’s a shame when the state makes it a crime to ask for a handout or makes it illegal to occupy an unoccupied “public space.” There’s been a war on the homeless for a long time.

How does arming them come into play?

Well, the other side of it is the gun control debate. Personally, I don't support any restrictions on gun ownership. When people say, “We support the Second Amendment and we believe in gun ownership rights,” they want to turn around and say, “except for…” They want to pretend that the fundamental responsibility to protect yourself only applies to people that they want it to apply to. That’s hypocrisy that deserves to be exposed.

So do you have an actual plan?

Actually, it's unfortunate that we’re so restricted in what we're allowed to do. We’ve already had our GoFundMe campaign shut down and we had to start it back up again. (Note: As of now, it’s down again.) If we want to do this legally, these people need ID. And how many homeless people have IDs in the state of Michigan? You can't even get a driver's license unless you have an address. So the idea is to go around and pre-qualify people who we think will meet the criteria by simply having a conversation with them and trying to get a feeling of who they are, whether or not they seem like they’re stable, seeing if they have an ID and if they’d pass a background check.

Then, once we pre-qualify enough people, I will coordinate an event day where we will go get like a limo or a party bus and we'll take them to an outdoor range. We'll go through some basic fundamental safety training with some actual trainers. Then we’ll work through a firearms dealer and get the background checks done and get them outfitted with an inexpensive shotgun and a handful of shells.

Why shotguns?

Well, a handgun creates a lot more difficulties with the law. And in the context of defense, a shotgun with some buckshot is certainly not a very good offensive weapon. Plus, everybody knows the universal sign of “don't move” when you hear the racking of a pump-action shotgun. And if they can't get through the background check, the backup plan is to just outfit them with some pepper spray if they want it. Hopefully that'll help them from being a victim in the future.

How do you address the obvious arguments against your plan, like the potential increase in gun crime, or widespread issues with mental stability and drug abuse that tend to be a problem among homeless populations?

Well, how do we address that with the police and military populations? A third of police are domestic abusers, and obviously many of them have substance abuse problems. Nobody seem to have an issue with them being armed. I think it’s a cop-out argument. And also, I think if we started allowing the government to dictate who is mentally stable or unstable in order to meet the criteria to allow somebody to have their natural rights, how long is it before we're all deemed crazy? I just don't think that that's a fair argument intellectually. So, if we don't care about all of the police officers and all of the military members with PTSD who are doing the work of the state, I don't see why people want to concern themselves so much with citizens who may or may not have a mental illness.

What do you think of the current gun control push by activists since the Parkland shooting?

I hate using the word ignorant because it just sounds condescending, but the youth only know what they've had a chance to experience and I don't like the exploitation of them. You know what I mean? There's big, big money donors behind this and lobbying groups that organized it and politicians. Like, the school had 3,000 kids and there are only four or five of them that have become the spokespeople for this movement. I know at their age I was certainly not informed and I wouldn't have been able to make a fully informed choice on either side. So I think they're being used as pawns, and I really don't like it, frankly.

Is arming the homeless an actual, serious idea?

I’m serious from the aspect that it’s a worthy cause, and I guess we’ll let the potential donors decide how worthy it is. I mean, this isn’t a hill I’m going to die on, but I think there’s kind of a philosophical bent to it. It’s not enough just to say, “This is ridiculous,” or, “This is the dumbest idea I've ever heard,” which is all over my social media. I want people who are opposed to this to think about why they’re opposed. Is it because you are fundamentally opposed to the basic national right of self determination and self-defense? And if that's the case, then be intellectually honest with yourself about it. Or is it because you don't care about these disenfranchised people? And if that's the case just be honest with yourself about it. Is that a philosophy you would openly espouse?


Israeli weapons manufacturers racked up $1.26 billion in sales last year

Israel Today
March 16, 2018

Israel has been rated as the world's fifth largest arms supplier, following the US, Russia, France and Germany.

Israeli weapons manufacturers racked up a whopping $1.26 billion in sales last year, according to a survey by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Over half of those sales ($715 million) were to India. The next largest customers for Israel's arm industry are Vietnam ($142 million) and Azerbaijan ($137 million).

Sadly, being a good customer doesn't seem to include diplomatic support. Both Vietnam and Azerbaijan, despite maintaining solid business and military connections, routinely vote against Israel at the United Nations.

Israel is ranked 18th among importers of arms, having spent $528 million last year. Nearly all (97.5 percent) of Israel's arms imports come from the US, with the remainder coming from Germany.

Sunday, March 18, 2018


Could three porn stars and a Playboy model bring down Trump? Adult stars launch sexual misconduct claims against the President who brands allegations 'fake news'

By Tom Leonard

Daily Mail
March 17, 2018

The invitation had been for dinner, but when porn star Stormy Daniels arrived at Donald Trump’s hotel room, she found her date dressed for bed.

Wearing pyjama bottoms, the future Leader of the Free World was sprawled on the sofa waiting for her, she claims.

It was the summer of 2006 and Mr Trump, then riding high as host of a hit TV reality show, was playing in a charity golf match in Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border.

Back in New York was his wife of a year, Melania, who had given birth to their son, Barron, just under four months earlier.

According to Daniels, then one of the adult film industry’s biggest stars, the encounter was the start of a consensual affair. Mr Trump, who was then 60, insists it never happened and a White House spokesman has dismissed her claims as ‘recycled reports, which were published and strongly denied prior to the election’.

However, 12 years on, the alleged liaison between the star of The Apprentice and the star of Missionary Impossible and Breast Side Story has returned to haunt the President in spectacular fashion. It’s deeply tawdry, endlessly fascinating and just a little bit comical (unless you’re

Donald or Melania). But many believe the unfolding scandal could have serious consequences for the President.

For all the talk of Trump’s cronies in the Kremlin or North Korean missiles bringing a premature end to his presidency, there’s a growing belief in Washington that it might yet be ‘Stormin’ Daniels’ who brings him down.

She has launched a bid to overturn a 2016 non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that prevents her discussing her relationship with Mr Trump. Some predict it will open the floodgates to a deluge of ugly revelations about the President’s private life.

For 38-year-old Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — isn’t the only adult entertainment star whose recent claims about Mr Trump’s sexual misbehaviour have led to a respected New York Times columnist crowning him ‘our first Porn President’.

Three other adult stars — two porn actresses and a centrefold model — have heaped on the embarrassment with their own accusations about sexual impropriety.

Karen McDougal, a former nursery teacher who was Playboy’s Playmate of the Year in 1998, says her account of a nine-month affair with Mr Trump was bought by the National Enquirer for $150,000, only for the tabloid magazine’s owner, David Pecker, a close friend of the President, to bury it.

Both Mr Trump and Mr Pecker deny the allegation. The publication said it decided not to run the story because it didn’t find it credible.

In an eight-page letter written by Miss McDougal and obtained by the New Yorker magazine last month, it was claimed that she first met Mr Trump at a poolside party at the Playboy Mansion in June 2006.

After they had sex, she says Mr Trump offered her money. When she insisted she wasn’t ‘that girl’, he told her: ‘You are special.’ She claims they also slept together the following month at the Lake Tahoe golf tournament.

According to Miss McDougal, Mr Trump liked to share articles about him and his daughter Ivanka with her. Taking her on a tour of his penthouse home in New York’s Trump Tower, he reportedly pointed out the separate bedroom he and his wife used, telling her that Melania ‘liked her space to read or be alone’.

In a statement, a White House spokesman said Mr Trump denies having an affair with Miss McDougal: ‘This is an old story that is just more fake news. The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal.’

Also at that golf tournament at Lake Tahoe was Jessica Drake, who has starred with Stormy Daniels in porn films. She has accused Mr Trump of mauling her, kissing her and propositioning her.

Ms Drake says she and two other women went to his room where Mr Trump, again in pyjamas and accompanied by a bodyguard, hugged and kissed them.

She claims she was later offered $10,000 (though she was unable to recall whether Trump or a man calling on his behalf proposed it to her) and use of Trump’s private plane in return for sex, but she refused.

A spokesman for Mr Trump denied these claims, too, saying ‘this story is totally false and ridiculous’.

Ms Drake first made her accusations in 2016, but she’s now back in the spotlight as a possible witness in the Daniels case, after it emerged that the two porn stars had discussed the latter’s hushed-up affair with Mr Trump.

Just for good measure, there’s yet another porn star, Alana Evans, in the game.

Ms Evans says that Mr Trump and Ms Daniels both pleaded with her on the phone to join them for a threesome during that action-packed golfing weekend. She refused the generous offer, saying she wasn’t attracted to him.

Evans claims that, the following day, she met Stormy and asked how it went. ‘She tells me, “All I’m going to say is that I ended up with Donald in his hotel room. Picture him chasing me round his hotel room in his tighty-whities”,’ she said. ‘I was like, “Oh, I really didn’t need to hear that”.’

As with all the other salacious claims, the White House denies Ms Evans’s account.

Of course, it’s not the first time that Mr Trump has been accused of infidelity. He was deluged with sexual assault claims (all of which he denied) in the closing stages of the 2016 election, not that it made much difference to the result.

Voters even forgave him when a tape emerged in which he boasted graphically of groping women.

But in the opinion of some American legal experts, this time it could be different, with Ms Daniels being compared to Paula Jones, the woman whose 1994 sexual harassment lawsuit against president Bill Clinton led to his impeachment (although he was subsequently acquitted).

More than 20 years later, there’s talk of impeachment again following Ms Daniels’s attempt to overturn the 2016 agreement by which she agreed to keep silent about Mr Trump in return for $130,000.

If her court case is allowed to proceed, the President and his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen — who paid out the ‘hush money’ just ten days before the election — may have to testify in depositions.

It would be illegal under U.S. election law for the Trump business empire or his election campaign to have paid out for such a deal. However, Mr Cohen insists that the money came out of his own pocket.

He claims it was never discussed with anyone else in the Trump circle and he hadn’t expected to be reimbursed.

However, it has since emerged that Mr Cohen used his Trump Organisation email to finalise the deal. Mr Cohen has explained that he regularly used his business email for personal matters.

In fighting the attempt by the wily Stormy Daniels to slip out of the terms of her NDA, Team Trump faces another headache.

The NDA actually refers to Stormy Daniels not discussing a man called ‘David Dennison’ — not a Donald Trump. This was an alleged ploy to protect Mr Trump’s identity.

If the President doesn’t admit he is David Dennison, Daniels has a much stronger case to argue that she is not bound by the terms of the deal, and is free to go public about her claimed relationship with him.

But if Mr Trump does admit he’s Dennison, he will face questioning in court, and under oath, about whether he knew of the ‘hush payment’. His lawyer will, additionally, face questions as to why — under U.S. law — he didn’t inform his client of the agreeement.

An interview with Stormy Daniels is set to air on the CBS current affairs show 60 Minutes on March 25, although Mr Trump’s lawyers have threatened to stop it going out.

Meanwhile, a campaign finance watchdog group called Common Cause is arguing that the Daniels hush money was paid in service of Mr Trump’s presidential campaign because it bought silence on a controversy that could have hurt his prospects. If that’s so, it argues, then the payment could be an illegal undisclosed campaign contribution.

All in all. it’s a hugely complicated legal mess and, unfortunately for the President, it doesn’t even end there.

‘A lawsuit opens the door, and judges almost always allow for a plaintiff to have a “fishing” expedition,’ says Robert Bennett, the Washington lawyer who represented President Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones case.

Daniels will be entitled to ask all manner of unpleasant questions of Mr Trump and his lawyers, which they would be legally bound to answer truthfully. Mr Bennett says these questions would almost certainly include: ‘Have you paid other people money?’

In Michael Wolff’s controversial book, Fire And Fury, published late last year, the author quotes Steve Bannon, the president’s former chief strategist, as saying that another Trump lawyer [Marc Kasowitz] had got Mr Trump out of ‘all kinds of jams’ and ‘took care of’ 100 women during the campaign.

Kasowitz has dismissed Bannon’s reported remarks about him as ‘pure fiction’.

Other lawyers predict the Stormy Daniels lawsuit could easily be widened to address what one called the ‘wide array of Trump’s sexual interactions’.

Cue further Trump-bashing testimony from Karen McDougal, Jessica Drake, Alana Evans and possibly a posse of other women.

Some argue that, unlike other women accusers who have been silenced by Mr Trump’s dismissal of them as money-grabbing attention seekers, porn stars have no such sensitivity about their public image. They really don’t care what the President calls them. Stormy Daniels, currently revealing all on a ‘Make America Horny Again’ tour of U.S. strip clubs, is unashamedly out to grab as much money as she can from her notoriety.

Quite why the Trump camp is so desperate to silence her is perplexing many, given she’s already spilled the beans on what she insists happened between them.

In 2011, Daniels gave an interview to a celebrity magazine and passed a lie detector test that she was required to take beforehand.

The interview — held back for reasons unknown — was finally published two months ago and was hardly complimentary about the President.

They had ‘textbook generic sex’, Ms Daniels claimed, but Mr Trump — who called her ‘honeybunch’ — was a better conversationalist. ‘We had really good banter,’ she recalled. A photo on her social media page at the time showed them together at the Tahoe golfing event.

She said that Mr Trump evaded any questions about his wife Melania, telling her: ‘Oh, don’t worry about her.’

She went on: ‘He was sitting on the bed and he was like, “Come here.” And I was like, “Ugh, here we go”, and we started kissing.’

Daniels said she couldn’t even remember why she agreed to have sex with him, although she recalled thinking: ‘Please, don’t try to pay me.’

Afterwards, she says Mr Trump asked her to sign a copy of her latest comedy porn film, 3 Wishes.

Mr Trump became ‘smitten’ with her, she says, and would ring her every ten days, promising to put her on his show The Apprentice.

She said they continued to meet up, at Trump Tower in New York, at a Hollywood party and at the Miss USA pageant in Los Angeles.

Their affair really lasted just months, says Ms Daniels, but Mr Trump only stopped phoning her in 2010 — four years after they first met.

Meanwhile, Ms Daniels’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has been touring the TV studios this week, saying that he and his client will show that Mr Trump’s insistence that he had nothing to do with her hush agreement is ‘patently false’.

Mr Avenatti said that he has been approached by six other women with stories about the President similar to hers.

He also claimed that Ms Daniels had been physically threatened to stay silent about Mr Trump. He wouldn’t say by whom.

‘There’s the act and there’s the cover-up, and the American people are going to learn about both,’ he said of his client’s story.

The new allegations that Mr Trump had affairs prompted a slew of reports suggesting they had created a rift with his wife Melania.

Her spokesman decried a ‘laundry list of salacious and flat-out false reporting and said Melania was ‘focused on her family & role as FLOTUS [First Lady of the United States] — not the unrealistic scenarios being peddled daily by the fake news’.

Even so, it was reported that several hours after the New Yorker magazine published Miss McDougal’s story in February, Melania Trump conspicuously chose not to join her husband on the traditional walk across the White House lawn to the presidential helicopter.

Instead she was driven to the airport to board Air Force One and fly to Florida. Waiting media were ordered not to photograph her as she arrived.

How it all plays out remains to be seen, but there’s good reason to believe that a post-Harvey Weinstein America is less ready to tolerate tales of sexual misconduct by powerful men than it was during the election in 2016.

According to the latest data from the respected Pew Research Centre, enthusiasm for Mr Trump among white evangelical women — one of his core support groups — is slipping significantly. Porn stars appear to have been a factor.

With reports this week that Mr Trump plans to run for a second term under the slogan ‘Keep America Great’ — and even if the President and his lawyers can wriggle their way out of his latest legal nightmare — there may be a heavy price to pay at the ballot box in two years’ time.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Stormy Daniels simply misunderstood Trump. When he invited her for dinner, Trump meant he wanted to eat Stormy’s pussy.


'Stocking strangler' Carlton Gary executed for rapes, murders of elderly women in 1970s

Associated Press
March 16, 2018

JACKSON, Ga. - A man known as the "stocking strangler" was executed Thursday for the rape-slayings of three older women in attacks that terrorized a Georgia city four decades ago.

Carlton Gary, 67, was put to death by injection of compounded pentobarbital, a barbiturate, at the state prison in Jackson. He was the first inmate executed by Georgia this year.

Strapped to a gurney with his eyes closed, Gary didn't respond when Warden Eric Sellers asked if he wished to make a final statement or have a prayer recited. The warden exited the execution chamber at 10:17 p.m. Records from past executions show the lethal drug generally starts flowing within a couple of minutes of the warden exiting.

Gary took several quick breaths within a few of minutes of the warden exiting and then yawned before becoming still. He died at 10:33 p.m., Sellers told witnesses.

Gary was convicted in 1986 on three counts each of malice murder, rape and burglary for the 1977 deaths of 89-year-old Florence Scheible, 69-year-old Martha Thurmond and 74-year-old Kathleen Woodruff. Though charged only in those deaths, prosecutors say Gary attacked nine elderly women in the west Georgia city of Columbus from September 1977 to April 1978. Most were choked with stockings, and seven of them died.

Police arrested Gary six years after the last killing, in May 1984. He became a suspect when a gun stolen during a 1977 burglary in the upscale neighborhood where all but one of the victims lived was traced to him.

At trial, prosecutors introduced evidence from all nine attacks, arguing that common factors established a pattern. The victims were all older white women who lived alone and were sexually assaulted and choked, usually with stockings. They were attacked at home, usually in the evening, by someone who forced his way inside. All but one of the Georgia victims lived in the Wynnton neighborhood, and all lived near where Gary lived at the time of the crimes.

Prosecutors also presented evidence that they said connected Gary to similar crimes in New York state.

In a clemency petition and in filings before state and federal courts, Gary's lawyers had argued that evidence not available to his trial attorney — either because the necessary testing didn't exist yet or because it wasn't disclosed by the state — proved he wasn't the "stocking strangler."

The state countered in court filings that the evidence Gary's lawyers cited had already been considered by the courts and that his convictions and sentence had repeatedly been upheld by state and federal courts over the past three decades.

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles, the only authority in Georgia with the power to commute a death sentence, declined Wednesday to spare his life after holding a closed-door hearing to listen to arguments for and against clemency.

Appeals filed by Gary's attorneys with state and federal courts were also rejected.


5 NY doctors charged with taking bribes to tout painkiller

By Larry Neumeister

Associated Press
March 16, 2018

Five New York City doctors were arrested Friday on charges that they accepted bribes and kickbacks from an Arizona-based pharmaceutical company to prescribe large volumes of a highly addictive painkiller.

They pleaded not guilty in Manhattan federal court to an unsealed indictment charging them with conspiracy, among other charges.

Prosecutors say the doctors, four men and a woman, collected tens of thousands of dollars working for the company's "Speakers Bureau" over a four-year stretch beginning in August 2012. The company, Insys Therapeutics Inc., hasn't commented.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said the doctors reneged on their oath as doctors to put the care of their patients above all else. He said they accepted bribes in the form of speaking fees in exchange for prescribing millions of dollars' worth of a potent fentanyl-based spray that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and used their patients as an "instrument for profit."

William F. Sweeney Jr., head of New York's FBI office, said the doctors "were convinced to push aside their ethical obligations and prescribe a drug for profit to patients who turned to them for help."

He said doctors and medical professionals everywhere should be reminded "that the health and safety of their patients is not for sale."

The doctors were identified as Gordon Freedman, 57, of Mount Kisco, Jeffrey Goldstein, 48, of New Rochelle, Todd Schlifstein, 49, of Manhattan, Dialecti Voudouris, 47, of Long Island City and Alexandru Burducea, 41, of Little Neck. All practiced in Manhattan, prosecutors said.

Nicholas Kaizer, a lawyer for Burducea, said he looks "forward to the resolution of the charges in his favor."

Other defense lawyers declined comment after the arraignment.

Prosecutors said the "Speakers Bureau" was created with the purported intent to educate other practitioners about the fentanyl spray, but it was used instead to induce doctors to prescribe large volumes of the spray by paying them speaker program fees.

They said that although speakers were supposed to conduct slide presentations, the events often became mostly social affairs with no educational presentation about the spray.

The government said attendance sign-in sheets at the programs were frequently forged by the addition of names of health care practitioners who had not actually been present.

EDITOR’S NOTE: That’s just the tip of the ice berg. Thousands of other doctors just haven’t been caught … and probably won’t be.


"National Security Leaders" Adopt the Palestinian Narrative

by Elliott Abrams

Council on Foreign Relations
March 12, 2018

On March 2, seventeen “National Security Leaders” issued an alarming statement about Israel-Palestinian peace and U.S. policy. The statement was carried as an ad in The New York Times and a PDF version can be found here.

In my view, the statement is fairly radical in its departure from what has been U.S. policy for decades. How?

--The Statement claims that “previous U.S. administrations” have “accepted” a Palestinian demand for “equal and minimal land swaps.” I will speak only about the George W. Bush administration. We understood that land swaps were a very useful idea to make the two-state solution work, but we did not back any demand that they be “equal and minimal.” That was to be negotiated by the parties.

--The Statement says that “Jerusalem [is] to be the capital of Israel and Palestine, in the west and the east of the city respectively, an open city for the faithful of the three monotheistic religions.” The Bush administration also left the borders of Jerusalem to be determined by the parties, and never insisted on an “open city”—whatever that means.

--The Statement calls for “Ensuring the security of the two states consistent with their respective sovereignty and supported by a third-party security mechanism.” The Bush administration understood that security was an enormously complex and dangerous issue, but did not demand a “third-party security mechanism.” Again, the meaning of that phrase is entirely unclear, while it has long been entirely clear that Israel would not hand its security over to the United Nations, the United States, NATO troops, or any other possible “mechanism.”

--The Statement says our goal should be “Two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.” What’s missing here? Compare the words of President Bush when addressing the United Nations General Assembly in 2002: “In the Middle East there can be no peace for either side without freedom for both sides. America stands committed to an independent and democratic Palestine, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. Like all other people, Palestinians deserve a government that serves their interests and listens to their voices.” The Statement makes no mention whatsoever of freedom or democracy, simply abandoning the hopes and indeed the rights of the Palestinian people in this regard.

--The Statement says that a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians “remains a core U.S. national interest.” Really? A desirable goal to be sure, but as one thinks of the rise of China, American military preparedness, missile defense, Iranian and North Korean nukes, energy issues, and the like, does solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict qualify as a “core national interest?”

The Statement is radical in a more significant way in embracing the Palestinian view that only Israel is to blame for the failure of peace negotiations. It says that “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, addressing the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, February 20, affirmed the Palestinian commitment to a peaceful negotiated path….” Nowhere does it note that for nine years running now, the PLO has refused to come to the table and negotiate. If Abbas is committed to the path of negotiations, why did he not take it—especially in the years when Secretary of State Kerry was energetically trying to make that happen. It is worth recalling the comment of Martin Indyk, who was part of the American team under Obama: while PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas “checked out of the negotiations," Israeli prime minister Netanyahu "moved into the zone of a possible agreement." Indyk spreads blame to both parties, but his statement fully contradicts the Palestinian “narrative” that the Statement adopts.

The Statement does say that “The Palestinian leadership has reiterated its commitment to a non-violent path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue. Having articulated principles for a peaceful settlement, Palestinian leaders must also demonstrate this commitment in words and deeds….” That’s fine, but nowhere does the Statement actually demand that the PLO do the single thing that should be most obvious: agree to get back to the negotiating table.

The statement is radical in holding that the American role over the years is blameworthy: “Addressing legitimate Palestinian grievances, and America's role in their prolongation, is…crucial to the goal of de-radicalization, denying oxygen to extremists, and resetting America's standing and relationships.” Note that “legitimate Israeli grievances” are not even mentioned.

But how exactly has the United States “prolonged Palestinian grievances?” This is not explained. It must be assumed, given the overall tone of the Statement, that the answer is simple: the United States has been too “pro-Israel” and has not crammed a deal down Israel’s throat. So again, according to this Statement the blame does not lie with the Palestinians, led for decades by the terrorist Yasser Arafat and now by someone who refused a peace deal in 2008 and has for nine years refused to negotiate.

The Statement is radical in backing fully the Palestinian demand that the traditional American role in fostering negotiations must be usurped by others. The Statement backs the Palestinian call for a grand international conference whose ambitions and participants are worth noting: “with the participation of the parties themselves, the International Quartet, as well as the permanent members of the Security Council and regional stakeholders, creating a multilateral mechanism to assist the Israelis and Palestinians in negotiations, and to realize the Arab Peace Initiative and conclude a regional peace based on an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement consistent with UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.” That formulation would bring China into the mix, and Syria as well (isn’t it a “regional stakeholder?”). And what does concluding “a regional peace” mean, exactly? Israeli-Palestinian negotiations may be insufficiently complicated, so peace between Israel and Lebanon and Israel and Syria should now be in the mix?

Lest there be any confusion as to its intent, the Statement concludes this way: “If the Administration rejects two states and these reasonable parameters, then other members of the Quartet, of the Security Council and International Community should move forward with parameters and a mechanism to re-focus efforts on an early return to the two-state solution.”

So what is this all about? Clearly the signers believe the United States has long been much too pro-Israel. And now the dreaded Trump administration has gone even further in that direction (for example, one must suppose, by recognizing that Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, is Israel’s capital) --and this is intolerable. Therefore the signers demand that the “International Community” take over. This is not entirely unreasonable in one way: we can surely count on the “International Community” to abandon the support of Israel that has characterized American foreign policy, and to try to force a solution unfavorable to Israel. Israel has seventy years of experience with the “International Community” and it is bitter.

After all, that “International Community” includes 57 Islamic states, the EU, and countries hostile to Israel such as Sweden and Cuba. The Statement is, then, is a cry of anguish about the Trump administration’s strong support of Israel and a demand that someone, somewhere, start meeting to take the Palestinian side and pressure Israel for concessions.

Most surprising about this Statement is the thought that its many distinguished signers believe this can possibly work. Admittedly, not all signers are distinguished: one is distinguished only for hostility to Israel (see here and here); several others are quite distinguished but have no particular expertise in this subject area. But what of those who have long experience? Do they really think any of this can happen, or would have any positive effect? A gigantic international conference “by mid 2018”—this is in the Statement—in other words with minimal preparation?

I have an elixir that can calm the signers down. I suggest they travel in the Arab world, where the main topics are Iran and (as always) regime survival.

There they will find as I have that the sense of emerging calamity because Israel and the PLO have not made peace is missing. No one is demanding vast conferences or is seeking to exclude the United States. But the Arab world is far, so an alternative is traveling to Capitol Hill. There as well they will find no sense that America’s relationship with Israel requires that the “International Community” push us aside and take over, nor any belief among the leaders of either party that America is to blame for “prolonging” the Palestinians’ problems. They will find plenty of opposition to the Trump Administration, but happily it has not been translated into an analysis of the Middle East that blames Israel and the United States for the region’s troubles.

The Statement, like so many of its intellectual predecessors, infantilizes the Palestinians: they are victims and little else. But the past suggests, to me at least, that only when Palestinians take responsibility for their politics, their civic culture, their society, and their future can peace really be possible.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Trey Rusk brought me back this shirt from Lake Tahoe.



by Bob Walsh

The formerly great state of California has appointed an illegal alien lawyer to the California Student Opportunity and Access program Project Grant Advisory Committee. This appointment was made by the Senate Rules Committee. The interesting thing is that California law says very specifically that no person can hold a "civil office" in California if they are not a citizen at the time of their appointment. The senate for some reason or other seems to believe that this is not a "civil office." Or perhaps they just don't give a fuck.

The law in question was put in place after Governor Brown appointment Jorge Reyes Salinas, also an illegal alien, to the California Sate University Board of Trustees as a student member of the board.

Two illegal aliens have been appointed to local commissions in Huntington Park in 2014.

The appointment of the lawyer, Lizbeth Mateo, was made one day after Donald Trump's visit to California to inspect the border wall samples.

Maybe I am just Mr. Grumpy but if it was me making the decision I would send ICE in to make some targeted arrests. You can't afford to let people tell you to go fuck yourself if you are running the country.


by Bob Walsh

By all accounts Andrew McCabe, until recently the Deputy Director of the FBI an in charge of counter-intelligence, was at one time an honest and competent man. He had major political aspirations for his wife, who accepted buckets of money from Hillary Clinton's friends in a failed political bid. He also became deranged at the possibility, then the reality, of a Donald Trump presidency. This ended up with him being a major player in the deep state anti-Trump underground, where he took numerous actions that were at best questionable, and probably flat-out illegal, in support of Hillary Clinton and in opposition to Donald Trump.

On Friday, two days before his retirement, McCabe got fired. I have heard a couple of stories on exactly what this means. One of them says he has lost his pension. The other says that he will be eligible for a significantly smaller pension 5-7 years down the road. I have no idea which is true. It also seems likely (though not certain) that he will face at least a criminal investigation and maybe criminal charges.

It would be nice to hope that the Hillary Email investigation, which McCabe ran and apparently tanked, will now be actually honestly run and Hillary will, at a minimum, have her butt spanked a few times. Personally I would like to see both her and Bill as guests of the people at Leavenworth, but I realize that is unlikely.

This may be merely a flash in the pan, albeit a large one. Or it may be the large start to an even bigger ball of shit rolling downhill, and possibly even a little bit uphill. Damn, this is gonna be fun to watch.


by Bob Walsh

Under current California law it is illegal for state organizations, including universities, to use public funds to travel to evil horrible states that have laws the People's Republic believe to be discriminatory towards lesbians, gays, bisexual, transsexual and transgender humans. That meant that the San Diego State basketball team could NOT use state funds to travel to Kansas for a game, and could not use state funds to travel to Fort Worth, Texas, last year. They had to use private funds.

Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach, has now introduced legislation to permit the state to pay for such trips. After all, this is important shit.


by Bob Walsh

Santos Garcia, 35, and his wife Marcelina, 33, died Tuesday near the teeming metropolis of Delano, CA. Cause of death was terminal stupidity.

They were pulled over by an ICE police car. Horror of horrors, the people who got out of the police vehicle were not CHP or local County Mounties, the were the dreaded La Migra, agents of I.C.E. The Garcia's no doubt felt that they would be beaten, robbed, tied into their vehicle and set fire, or at the very least deported, so they fled. Badly.

Their SUV took off as soon as they saw who was walking towards them. They fled with more enthusiasm than skill, hit the soft shoulder and rolled, leaving their six children orphans.

I.C.E. originally went to the couple's home seeking another man, an illegal alien criminal but did not bother the Garcias, though they did follow them after they left the house and made the stop some distance away.

Mr. Garcia had a 2014 DUI and had self-deported three times within the last eight years. He was thrown out once last year.


Etowah sheriff pockets $750k in jail food funds, buys $740k beach house

By Connor Sheetss
March 13, 2018

In September, Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin and his wife Karen purchased an orange four-bedroom house with an in-ground pool and canal access in an upscale section of Orange Beach for $740,000.

To finance the purchase, Entrekin got a $592,000 mortgage from Peoples Bank of Alabama, according to public real estate records. The home is one of several properties with a total assessed value of more than $1.7 million that the couple own together or separately in Etowah and Baldwin counties.

Some Etowah County residents question how a county sheriff making a five-figure annual salary can afford to own multiple houses, including one worth nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.

But ethics disclosure forms Entrekin filed with the state reveal that over the past three years he has received more than $750,000 worth of additional "compensation" from a source he identified as "Food Provisions."

Entrekin did not deny that he received the money when asked about it via email last week. Ethics forms he filed in previous years do not list any income from such a source.

Entrekin told last month that he has a personal account that he refers to as his "Food Provision" fund. And Etowah County resident Matthew Qualls said that in 2015 Entrekin paid him to mow his lawn via checks with the words "Sheriff Todd Entrekin Food Provision Account" printed in the upper-left corner. viewed a photograph of one such check.

The money in the account was allocated by federal, state and municipal governments to feed inmates in the Etowah County jail, but was not used for that purpose and was instead personally pocketed by Entrekin.

"In regards to feeding of inmates, we utilize a registered dietitian to ensure adequate meals are provided daily," Entrekin said Sunday via email. "As you should be aware, Alabama law is clear as to my personal financial responsibilities in the feeding of inmates. Regardless of one's opinion of this statute, until the legislature acts otherwise, the Sheriff must follow the current law."

'More than $250,000'

Many Alabama sheriffs contend that the practice of keeping "excess" inmate-feeding funds for themselves is legal under a state law passed before World War II. Yet in a number of counties including Jefferson and Montgomery, any money allocated to sheriffs for feeding inmates that is not used for that purpose is instead turned over to the county government.

Entrekin reported on forms he filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission that he made "more than $250,000" each of the past three years via the inmate-feeding funds.

Tom Albritton, executive director of the ethics commission, said via email that the state does not require public officials to disclose exactly how much more income they received from a single source beyond the $250,000 threshold, which he said is "specifically set in the statute."

Meanwhile, Entrekin's annual salary as sheriff is $93,178.80, according to Jeff Little, human resources director for the Etowah County Commission.

Rainbow City Police Chief Jonathon Horton, who worked for the Etowah County Sheriff's Office under former sheriff James Hayes, is currently opposing Entrekin in this year's race for sheriff. One plank of Horton's campaign platform is a pledge to not keep any inmate-feeding funds.

"I believe the funds belong to the taxpayers and any excess funds should go toward things that benefit the taxpayer," he said in a March 1 phone interview. "There's been a tremendous amount of money left over that shouldn't be used as a bonus check."

Jail supplies

Entrekin does not use the funds allocated for inmate feeding to purchase "food trays" and certain "food service supplies" for the Etowah County jail, which the county instead pays contractors to supply, according to county records.

Etowah County currently has an open bid posted on its website for a contractor to provide "food trays" for the jail. The county awarded a fiscal year 2014-2015 contract to provide the trays to a Birmingham company called Design Specialties, Inc.

"Some of the supplies the county does provide for the jail. That may be one of them," David Akins, chief administrative officer for Etowah County, said when asked in a phone interview whether the county pays a contractor to supply the jail with food trays. He declined to provide additional information about county contracts for jail-related items.

The county awarded contracts for "food service supplies - jail" for fiscal years 2011-2012 and 2014-2015 to Osborn Brothers, a Gadsden company. Information about the specific supplies the company provides is not publicly available. Osborn Brothers, which did not respond to a request for comment, contributed $2,000 to Entrekin's campaign under the name Osborn Foodservice in October 2013.

Horton said that Hayes used the funds he was allocated for feeding inmates to pay for trays and other kitchen supplies.

"I worked for the previous sheriff, Sheriff Hayes, and my understanding then was the sheriff personally owned and bought and purchased all the trays and utensils, all the hardware, and handled the operation of everything to do with food in the jail," Horton said.

Entrekin provided a two-sentence response to a series of detailed questions about the county contracts for jail needs and campaign contributions from companies that provide products and services for the county.

"You should understand that in the State of Alabama, the sheriff does not have the legal authority to enter into contracts," he said via email. "According to the law, contractual authority is the responsibility of the County Commission."

On Feb. 1, Entrekin's campaign received one of its largest single contributions to date: $5,000 from Network Communications International Corporation (NCIC.) Etowah County awarded the Texas company a contract to provide "inmate telephone services" on Sept. 20, 2016. NCIC did not respond to a request for comment.

Chevrolet of Boaz contributed $500 to Entrekin's campaign in October 2013. It contributed another $1,000 to his campaign in October 2017 under its former name, Kilpatrick Chevrolet. In December 2014, Etowah County awarded Chevrolet of Boaz a contract to provide the sheriff's office with a "1500 Crew Cab 4WD Truck (or comparable.)" The dealership did not respond to a request for comment.

Raising funds

On the evening of Feb. 20, Entrekin hosted a gala campaign fundraiser in a rustic lodge at Otter Creek Farm in Ohatchee.

Featuring a fully stocked bar, fruit and cheese platters, and large polished bowls piled high with shrimp, the event was a veritable who's who of Etowah County politics and society, with local leaders including state Sen. Phil Williams, District Attorney Jody Willoughby and District Judge Joe Nabors in attendance.

Peoples Bank - the bank that gave Entrekin the $592,000 mortgage to pay for his $740,000 Orange Beach home - contributed $1,000 to Entrekin's reelection campaign on the date of the fundraiser. It was the single largest contribution from the company to an individual politician listed on online state campaign finance forms going back to July 2013. Neither Entrekin nor Peoples responded to questions about their relationship.

The official printed invitation to Entrekin's Feb. 20 fundraiser did not include a request for attendees to donate to his campaign, but records filed with the state show that the campaign brought in $32,600 on the day of the event.

Pitching in $1,500, Jim's Asphalt was one of the 65 people or companies that contributed to Entrekin's campaign on Feb. 20. The Southside company's founder, Jim Brannon, attended the fundraiser in Ohatchee that evening.

In July 2015, Etowah County awarded Jim's Asphalt a contract to provide "hot plant mix paving material." The contract has been renewed each subsequent year and the current contract period ends in July. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

Real estate holdings

Entrekin and his wife Karen - who worked for years as a probation officer and met her husband in the Etowah County Sheriff's Office, according to a profile by the Alabama Republican Party that described the sheriff as a "rising Republican star" - own several properties in Etowah County and two others in Orange Beach.

The $740,000 Orange Beach home is the most expensive of their properties, but they also own a second single-family house in Orange Beach that was assessed at $200,900 in October 2016, according to Baldwin County real estate records.

Entrekin stated on an annual form he filed with the Alabama Ethics Commission in January that he owned two Orange Beach properties classified as "real estate for investment or revenue production." He stated that he received "less than $10,000" in income from each property last year. He did not list any Etowah County investment properties on that disclosure form.

In Etowah County, Entrekin is identified in county real estate records as the sole owner of one property in Gadsden and another in Hokes Bluff. He and his wife are listed as jointly owning a handful of other properties in Gadsden, where Karen Entrekin is listed as the sole owner of one more property.

The total assessed value of their Etowah County real estate holdings is more than $990,000, according to county records.

In April 2017, Todd Entrekin stated in his annual filing with the Alabama Ethics Commission that he owned two Orange Beach properties worth between $150,000 and $250,000 and two more in Etowah County.

He classified all four properties as "real estate for investment or revenue production," and stated that each brought in less than $10,000 in 2016. He wrote on the form that his investment property in Rainbow City was worth between $150,000 and $250,000, and that the one he owned in Hokes Bluff was worth between $100,000 and $150,000.

Entrekin did not provide any further information about his homes, his finances, or his campaign in response to a series of detailed questions.


Stormy Daniel’s lawyer claims the porn star was threatened with physical harm if she did not sign the non-disclosure agreement

The storm of porn Actress Stormy Daniels continues to brew over Trump. Now her lawyer claims the porn star was threatened with physical harm if she did not sign the non-disclosure agreement for which she was paid $130,000. Michael Avenatt, her lawyer said so on MSNBC's Morning Joe program and CNN's New Day.

Whether what Avenatt said is true or not, there is no doubt in my mind that Trump fucked the hottie Stormy. So would millions of red-blooded men if they got the chance. It wouldn’t be a big deal if Trump were not the president.

Avenatt also indicated to CNN there were six women with similar stories and that Americans would be interested to learn “if one or more of these women had a similar circumstance relating to my client as it related to the intimidation tactics, the bullying tactics and the efforts to muzzle and gag these women from telling their story.” He believes that two of these women also signed non-disclosure agreements but cautioned that he has not as yet verified the stories about the six women.

Trump probably cheated on all his wives and has fucked countless women. After all he’s a stud, and a very wealthy one at that. Grab ’em by the pussy Donald.


3 Tons of Gold Bars Accidentally Fell Out of a Plane as its Weight Caused Floor to Collapse

Associated Press
March 13, 2018

MOSCOW -- Russian news reports say the hatch of a cargo plane carrying precious metals accidentally flew open upon takeoff — scattering at least 3 tons of gold on the runway.

An investigation is underway after the incident Thursday at the airport in the far east city of Yakutsk, according to the Tass news agency.

An An-12 plane operated by the airline Nimbus took off for Krasnoyarsk carrying 9.3 tons of gold and other precious metals, according to a statement from the state Investigative Committee quoted by Tass. Wight of the gold caused the plane’s floor to collapse and spill some of the metal.

Authorities recovered 172 gold bars weighing 3.4 tons, Tass quoted Interior Ministry officials as saying.

No one was hurt in the incident. Images circulating on social media showed gold bars scattered across a runway.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yebena mat is Russian for holy shit.


U.N. accuses Mexico of torture, cover-up in case of 43 missing students

By Stephanie Nebehay and Gabriel Stargardter

March 15, 2018

GENEVA -- The U.N. human rights office said in a report on Thursday that Mexican authorities had tortured dozens of people in connection with an investigation into the 2014 disappearance of 43 students, and called for a full inquiry.

The abduction and suspected massacre of the trainee teachers in the southwestern city of Iguala precipitated one of the worst crises of President Enrique Pena Nieto’s government as criticism swirled around its investigation into the case.

The U.N. report into the fate of the students, who attended a college in the town of Ayotzinapa, puts the spotlight back on failings by the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) on law and order as it attempts to secure re-election in July.

“The findings of the report point to a pattern of committing, tolerating and covering up torture in the investigation of the Ayotzinapa case,” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in the report.

Murders hit a record high in Mexico last year, and discontent over lawlessness and corruption has hammered support for the PRI, whose candidate is running third in most polls for the July presidential election, well behind the favorite.

Mexico’s mission in Geneva said the ambassador was not immediately available to comment on the U.N. report, entitled “Double injustice - human rights violations in the investigation of the Ayotzinapa case”.

An initial government investigation found that the students, who were on five buses, were abducted by corrupt police who handed them over to members of a drug cartel.

The gang members then killed them, incinerated their bodies at a trash dump and threw the ashes into a river, it concluded.

But that account has been widely questioned by local and international human rights experts. Only the remains of one of the students has been definitively identified.

Zeid’s office, which examined information related to 63 out of 129 people detained in connected with the case, said it had documented arbitrary detention and torture based on interviews, judicial files and medical records.

It had information on the possible torture of 51 people and “solid grounds to conclude that at least 34 of these individuals were tortured”, including one woman. But it stopped short of attributing blame for the murders.

“Ayotzinapa is a test case of the Mexican authorities’ willingness and ability to tackle serious human rights violations,” Zeid said. “I urge the Mexican authorities to ensure that the search for truth and justice regarding Ayotzinapa continues, and also that those responsible for torture and other human rights violations committed during the investigation are held accountable.”

The U.N. report calls for any evidence in the Ayotzinapa case for which there are credible indications that it was obtained under torture to be excluded or invalidated.

A team of international experts said in September 2015 that Mexico’s official account of the Ayotzinapa case did not add up, citing deep flaws in the inquiry. The experts suggested the missing bus may have been carrying a shipment of cash or drugs.

Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday that crimes against humanity had been committed in Mexico “in the name of security.”

Mexico said on Monday it had arrested a suspected drug gang member regarded as a key figure in the kidnapping.

Friday, March 16, 2018


Rebuttal to “ Marijuana is the most dangerous drug of all time ”

by Hunter J. White

Big Jolly Times
March 16, 2018

My name is Hunter White, I am the Communications Director for the national Republican Political organization Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition (RAMP) and I write today to respectfully disagree with Mr. Katz’s characterization of marijuana as the most dangerous drug of all.

Mr. Katz article lays out a host of scary claims about marijuana. Mr. Katz argument seems to break down into three main points. First, Mr. Katz claims that marijuana is a gateway drug to harder drug use. Second, Mr. Katz claims that marijuana is unsafe, and poses a substantial risk to public health. Finally, Mr. Katz claims that organized crime will reap the befit of legal marijuana.

Marijuana as a gateway drug

Mr. Katz begins his argument by claiming that marijuana is a gateway drug. He sites his own personal experiences as a narcotic enforcement officer, and a 20-year study conducted by Professor Wayne Hall which Mr. Katz claims supports his contention.

To begin, anecdotal experiences are no replacement for actual scientific testing. If anecdotal experiences could, then marijuana would be legal as hundreds of thousands of cancers sufferers, epilepsy sufferers, MS, Parkinson’s, ALS, and those suffering from a host of other illness would be able to access marijuana.

Mr. Katz also claims that Professor Hall’s study backs up his claim. Unfortunately, it appears that Mr. Katz did not bother to read Mr. Hall’s study or is disingenuously choosing to ignore large portions of that study. Mr. Hall’s study did not claim that Marijuana is highly addictive, the precise language of the study was “If cannabis is not addictive then neither is heroin or alcohol.” A subtle distinction, but notable for its difference from Mr. Katz claim that the study reflects that marijuana is highly addictive. An honest marijuana advocate would never claim that marijuana is not additive. The issue is how additive it is. Studies from the national Institute of Health put the rate of marijuana addiction at 9% of users. For a frame of reference Heroin has an addiction rate of 23%. It is also important to note that almost in substance or behavior can become psychologically addictive. There is nothing intrinsically special about drug use. If a substance or activity effects the brains dopamine reward pathways, it can become addictive.

Other studies contradict Mr. Katz and Mr. Halls claims that marijuana is a gateway drug. Vice systematically lays out, with citations, a point by point dismantling of this argument. To put it simply, there are other factors besides marijuana use that have significantly greater impacts on the likelihood that one will go on to use other drugs besides marijuana. Socioeconomic class, preexisting mental health issues, family background, geographic location, and genetics play significantly bigger parts of addiction than marijuana use alone. Mr. Katz simply confuses correlation with causation, a common logical fallacy. Mr. Katz should also note that Mr. Halls study makes the same logical mistake by failing to account for other risk factors of addiction beyond marijuana use itself. Other studies by the National Institute of Drug abuse bolster the claim that marijuana is not a gateway drug. The vast majority of marijuana users never go on to harder drugs. This conclusion is supported by studies from the Benjamin Center of Public Policy Initiatives at SUNY New Paltz. in which the authors conclude the idea that marijuana use is a gateway to using harder drugs is a myth. A study conducted by The National Academy of Sciences and the RAND corporation found “marijuana has no causal influence over hard drug initiation.”. In fact, Mr. Katz overlooks studies that indicate that if any such gateway drug really existed alcohol seems to be it.

Truly the gateway drug idea itself is simply absurd. There is nothing intrinsic in marijuana that makesusers more likely to use other drugs. The idea that some drug would make you more likely to use other drugs stretches credibility. Science does not support Mr. Katz position, or the gateway drug theory, and certainly science does not support the proposition that we should continue to lock up hundreds of thousands of Americans a year, and deny life saving medicine to millions of Americans each year because of this outdated and factually incorrect theory. Thus Mr. Katz claim that the marijuana is a gateway drug is factually false.

Further, it should be noted that Mr. Katz gateway drug theory could support an argument for legalization itself. As it currently stands marijuana is a black-market product. This means it is sold by drug dealers who often have access to other drugs as well. By moving marijuana to a safe regulated, and legal market, marijuana users would no longer have to go to drug dealers who would offer other harder drugs.

Marijuana is Unsafe

Mr. Katz next argument appears to be a litany of studies demonstrating that marijuana is unsafe for human use. Let us first begin with some simple observations. There has never been a recorded death due to marijuana alone. It is impossible to overdose on marijuana. Dronabinol is an FDA approved treatment for mitigating pain, vomiting, and appetite loss from chemotherapy drugs. To be FDA approved, it must show a clinically significant effect on those symptoms. Dronabinol is synthetic THC, the primary active ingredient in Marijuana. Apparently, the FDA believes that the active drug in marijuana is effective in treating the very symptoms Mr. Katz claims it is ineffective at treating.

Moreover, for every claim of marijuana’s ineffectiveness in treating symptoms or disorders Mr. Katz sites, there is a contradicting study to say marijuana is an effective treatment. Mr. Katz claims the American Epilepsy Society says that marijuana is ineffective and yet its most recent study published in 2017 states that CBD, the other primary active ingredient in marijuana is an effective treatment for treatment resistant forms of epilepsy. A glaring omission on his part.

Mr. Katz claims that marijuana is ineffective at treating pain. I suppose his alternative is to continue the use of prescription opioids which have fueled the opioid epidemic. Thankfully studies seem to undermine his position. Marijuana is effective at treating pain. I will say that again, and again, and again. Marijuana is an effective alternative to opioid pain treatments. What is more, chronic pain sufferers overwhelmingly prefer marijuana-based pain treatment to opioid based pain treatment citing marijuana as more effective, with less side effects, and less risk of addiction. Opioid use has fallen in states which have legalized medical marijuana, which further undermines Mr. Katz claim that marijuana is a gateway drug. Further, the Federal Government seems to believe that marijuana is an effective treatment for chronic pain, as it has already given out patents for its use for that very purpose.

Mr. Katz claims that American Glaucoma Society believes that marijuana has no scientific basis for treatment. This is factually incorrect, as numerous studies published by the American Glaucoma society indicate that marijuana effectively lowers interocular pressure, rather the American Glaucoma Society has raise concerns that the pressure reduction is short term, requiring follow up doses. This is a far different position than Mr. Katz claims they take. Further, Mr. Katz omits why the American Glaucoma Society expresses that the risk may out weigh the benefits, as the studies cite the current illegality of the substance as a major risk factor. What is more, the common theme from many of the American Glaucoma Society reports is that more scientific research is needed, rather than marijuana is ineffective. It is also important to note that the Federal government seems to believe that marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for glaucoma as the Compassionate Investigational New Drug program currently gives four glaucoma patients one ounce of marijuana a month to treat their glaucoma following a federal court ruling which found marijuana to be scientifically effective at treating the condition. Another glaring omission on Mr. Katz part.

Mr. Katz claims that Marijuana causes damage to the brain. This is simply not true. I repeat, marijuana use does not cause brain damage, or brain abnormalities. What is more, the Federal Government seems to take this position, as the Department of Health and Human Services holds a patent on marijuana as a neuroprotector, meaning the Federal Government believes it actually protects the brain rather than harming it. I am sure Mr. Katz just overlooked all the contrary evidence, rather than trying to deliberately mislead on this point.

Mr. Katz claims that marijuana is ineffective at treating symptoms of MS, and yet study, after study, after study, after study, after study seem to contradict Mr. Katz claim. What is also important to note is that all of these studies call for more research and note the current illegality of the product as a risk factor for use.

Mr. Katz claims that marijuana use poses a risk of triggering Schizophrenia, however what he fails to point out from the study he sites, or findings from other studies on this subject is that risk is only prominent in those who already have a genetic predisposition to Schizophrenia. Simply put, if one has this predisposition, they should avoid the drug. This not unlike any other risk factor or side effect of any other drug which exist. Mr. Katz fearmongering obscures the reality of the findings.

Mr. Katz cites foreign studies which indicate that immediate marijuana use is associated with impairment in ones’ ability to operate a motor vehicle and increases the risk of an accident. This should not be a surprise, if you are stoned, you should not drive, just like if you are drunk, you should not drive. Oddly enough, Mr. Katz fails to mention that studies from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration which indicate that while the detectable amounts of marijuana in those who have experienced accidents has risen slightly in states which have legalized recreational marijuana, the relative risk posed by marijuana impairment is low if any, and significantly lower than the risk posed by alcohol consumption. Further, studies in the states on vehicle accidents and marijuana use have been unable to determine a causal link between marijuana use and accidents, only an increase in the detachable amounts of marijuana in one’s system. This is significant to note as marijuana can remain in detectable amounts in one’s body for up to 90 days after use with no effect on cognitive functioning. Once again, Mr. Katz appears to be confusing correlation with causation, or he is just cherry-picking studies which support his Prohibitionist position.

Simply put, for every study Mr. Katz cited, there are a host of other studies contradicting those claims. Further, several of the studies he cites have glaring omissions such as qualifiers for risk factors, or account for outside risk factors contributing to results.

Legal Marijuana Will Increase Illegal Marijuana Revenue

Mr. Katz final claim, interestingly enough, seems to be that legal marijuana will lead to anincrease in illegal marijuana revenue. This statement is questionable to say the least. Mr. Katz is of the opinion that marijuana users will continue to seek the black-market marijuana because it is tax free.

With marijuana reform sweeping this county, the conversation about the effective tax rate for marijuana is becoming increasingly important. States like California are already set to lower their tax rate on marijuana to snuff out black-market competition. Marijuana cannot be taxed too highly or else Mr. Katz fear would be justified. However, states like Colorado, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington have all adopted tax rates which have effectively snuffed out the intrastate marijuana black-market.

Mr. Katz claim stretches credulity. States like Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska have all shown that marijuana users are willing to pay a sizeable tax on marijuana if they can get access to a safe, clean, regulated product without the fear of violence inherent in the back-market.

Historical examples also seem to undermine Mr. Katz argument. Alcohol and Tabaco are highly taxed products, in some states even more highly taxed than marijuana. However, these states do not suffer a rampant black-market of bootleggers and illicit tobacco dealers. When people have a safe, legal option they are willing to pay more for the peace of mind of knowing their product is free of pesticides, molds, and other containments. People are willing to pay more to know the strength and potency of their product.

Mr. Katz claim is further undermined by the fact that studies have found that Mexican drug cartels are moving away from marijuana as a revenue source. However, cartels will continue to smuggle marijuana into states like Texas and Arizona for as long as legal marijuana remains inaccessible. Further, Mr. Katz claims also seems to overlook the fact that violent crime has gone down in states which have decriminalized, or legalized recreational marijuana.

Simply put, Mr. Katz concerns are, in some sense valid, but his conclusion and reasoning are not. Marijuana users would gladly pay a bit more for safe legal access, the cartels are pulling out of the marijuana market as cheaper, safer marijuana becomes available, and crime is dropping because if this safe, legal access.


I respectfully disagree with Mr. Katz’s characterization of the risk of marijuana. Worse yet, I believe that Mr. Katz is either grossly misinformed, willfully ignorant, or completely blind to the mountains of contradicting evidence that exist for each and every one of his positions. Mr. Katz has utterly failed to accurately reflect the real risk of marijuana and has done so without ever once acknowledging contrary facts and evidence to his position.

It is wholly irresponsible to allow one’s own personal bias to be a reason to deny medicine to millions of Americans who suffer needlessly. It is morally reprehensible to use one’s prejudices to justify incarcerating hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. It is completely shameful to allows one’s narrow view deny billions in economic growth to Americans in need of good, stable jobs. It is utterly contemptable to take to the public forum and seek to scare readers of the danger of something that they have little to no reason to fear.

Thus, for the reason cited above, I must respectfully dissent from Mr. Katz views along with the millions of Americans who know the truth. Marijuana is effective medicine. Marijuana is safe, and marijuana is not “the most dangerous drug of all times.”


Mr. White, you have shredded me to bits with materials you have prepared long ago. I could debunk several of your points, but what’s the use.

I venture to say that your pro-pot organization only has a small minority of Republican members, most of whom probably smoke pot.

I take exception to your conclusion that I am morally reprehensible to use my prejudices to justify incarcerating hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. My prejudices are not the reason all those Americans are being incarcerated … They are locked up because they knowingly broke a law they happen to dislike.

And it’s not just my personal prejudices. Most law enforcement officers – and there are 800,000 of them in this country – believe that marijuana is a dangerous drug and not beneficial, as do a number of reputable scientists.

There are compounds within marijuana which when extracted can treat some of the ailments you described, but smoking pot will not do so.

In conclusion, smoking marijuana is not effective medicine. Marijuana is unsafe, and marijuana is the most dangerous drug of all drugs. It’s pot advocates like you that have conned people into believing otherwise.


by Bob Walsh

I first saw this one the 11 pm news last night, and then today in the Sacramento B(ullshit) newspaper. It is definitely strange. It seems that this little old lady went missing and the neighbors called it in. Upon further digging into it, it seems that two Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies (maybe detectives, maybe not) put the woman on a plane to the Philippines, where she had family.

The two deputies, a fairly senior female and a fairly junior male, are currently on paid administrative leave. A search warrant has been served at both their residences and some "interesting" stuff was found.

The elderly lady made a call for service some while back to the S.O. Somewhat afterwards a concerned neighbor made a complaint that s/he believed the deputies were "taking advantage of" the lady.

The S. O. took the unusual step of sending two investigators to the Philippines to speak with the woman, and brought her back to Sacramento with them.

Similar allegations have been made against one of the two deputies in another nearby county.

The female deputy has stated that she was helping out the elderly lady and admits assisting her in getting to the airport and getting on a plane. The male deputy has not yet made any sort of statement, at least none that has been leaked.

The obvious answer is that the deputies were somehow scamming the woman out of money or valuable property and then shuffled her out of the country when they needed to cool off their trail. The obvious answer is, however, not always the right answer.


by Bob Walsh

It's easy. Put up a pre-fabbed bridge over an eight lane interstate highway in Miami and a few days later that bridge collapses killing people, injuring people, trapping people and smushing a lot of cars.

I don't know how much exposure, if any, the university will have since the pedestrian bridge in question was not yet open and the approaches were not completed. I suspect the architect or construction company will, however, be in deep kimchi over this. Rightfully so.


Most people have been conned into believing cannabis is innocuous

By Howie Katz

Big Jolly Times
March 15, 2018

Despite the naysayers, marijuana is truly a gateway drug. Searching for a better high, many marijuana users turn to more potent drugs like heroin, meth and other mind-altering substances.

During the six years I specialized in narcotics enforcement, I came into close contact with dozens of hardcore heroin addicts. Each and every one of those heroin users started out on pot. The same can be said for most of the cocaine users and the users of other potent drugs that I came into contact with. And those addicts were not restricted to the riffraff of society. I busted two doctors and several lawyers for heroin use. They all started out with a 'harmless' puff or two of pot.

Marijuana is the most dangerous drug of all because the advocates of pot have conned most people into believing cannabis is innocuous.

The drumbeat of claims that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol is pure hogwash! Even former President Obama said alcohol was more harmful, but I suspect he made that statement to justify his admitted use of pot. Although the occasional user of pot is unlikely to switch to more potent drugs, when he is under the influence of cannabis, he is every bit as dangerous behind the wheel of a car as is the driver under the influence of alcohol.

There are those who question the constitutionality of a law that criminalizes people for smoking a plant and who say that people have the right to do whatever they want as long as they do no harm to others. Tell that to the innocent victims in Colorado and Washington where, according to state police reports, car crashes involving drivers under the influence of pot have surged significantly ever since those states legalized recreational marijuana.

Pot advocates claim marijuana users are laid-back and non-violent. More hogwash! People under the influence of marijuana are just as unpredictable as those under the influence of alcohol. At times they are calm, but at other times they are aggressive. As a narcotics enforcement officer, I personally battled it out with quite a few pot heads … and when making arrests I always tried to avoid provoking any physical altercations.

Marijuana is innocuous? Quite to the contrary! Pot may cause psychotic reactions such as delusions and paranoia, and lead to fatal car crashes. Even claims that marijuana has medical benefits are in dispute and appear to be a hoax.

The American Epilepsy Society says: "Marijuana itself has major shortcomings as an epilepsy treatment ... evidence for efficacy in treating seizures does not meet the necessary standard to recommend it to patients." Worse, researchers state that "marijuana use or withdrawal could potentially trigger seizures in susceptible [epilepsy] patients."

The pot proponents keep trumpeting phony claims that marijuana provides relief to glaucoma patients, eases pain, nausea and vomiting in in chemotherapy patients, and eases multiple sclerosis (MS) muscle contractions, sleep disorders and Tourette’s symptoms.

The American Glaucoma Society has written: "There is no scientific basis for marijuana's use in treatment," and there is evidence that it could actually do damage.

And a study conducted with 6,500 volunteers by England’s prestigious Bristol University showed that cannabis does not ease pain, nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients, nor does it ease MS muscle contractions, sleep disorders and Tourette’s symptoms.

A study by Dr. Penny Whiting and her team at England’s University of Bristol found that cannabis does not ease pain, nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy patients, MS muscle contractions, sleep disorders or Tourette’s symptoms.

A 20 year study by a team led by Professor Wayne Hall, a drug adviser to the World Health Organization, found cannabis is highly addictive, causes mental health problems, doubles the risk of developing psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and opens the door to hard drugs.

There have been a number of studies showing that cannabis had caused heart problems in the young and middle-aged. Doctors in Wales noted that there is evidence pot can trigger heart attacks, with the risk increasing 4.8 times in the first hour after smoking the weed. They also noted that studies have shown marijuana affects blood flow, increases the heart rate, causes high blood pressure when sitting down and low pressure when standing up.

The Journal of Neuroscience reports that researchers from Harvard Medical School and Chicago’s Northwestern University have discovered that smoking pot even casually once or twice a week can damage the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala, both core structures of the brain which are linked to emotion, motivation and addiction.

The Drug Abuse Recognition Journal reports there is mounting evidence that cannabis may increase the risk for schizophrenia in the developing mind and the Archives of General Psychiatry reports that people who smoke pot are more likely to develop a psychotic illness such as schizophrenia earlier than those who do not use marijuana.

The British Medical Journal reports that a review of nine studies found that drivers were more likely to be involved in a collision with another car after smoking marijuana. Smoking cannabis within three hours of getting behind the wheel could almost double the risk of a serious crash.

A study headed by Marie-Odile Krebs, professor of psychiatry at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) laboratory in France, found that among 190 patients with schizophrenia, 121 of whom had used marijuana, cannabis appeared to affect the age of psychosis onset in a subgroup of 44 patients. The affected patients either had their first symptoms within a month of smoking pot for the first time, or experienced a severe worsening of psychotic symptoms each time they smoked.

A study just released by Finnish researchers who worked alongside Cambridge and Queensland experts, showed that smoking cannabis just five times as a teenager raises the risk of psychosis. Researchers at the University of Ohio found a similar link between cannabis and psychosis.

And the British Journal of Psychiatry reports that a study of more than 6,000 volunteers that were tracked from their 15th birthday until they turned 30, also showed a link between cannabis and psychosis.

Unfortunately, the voices of those that debunk medical marijuana and who consider pot to be dangerous are drowned out by those who insist that marijuana is innocuous. But what about all those glowing testimonials about marijuana having cured or reduced seizures and other ailments? A few slugs of Jim Beam or Jack Daniel’s probably would have done the same.

So America is merrily on its way to becoming a nation of pot heads. People will be smoking Marlboro Marijuana, Cannabis Camels, Lucky Weed, Stoner Pall Mall, etc. Oh, and don’t forget there’s also edible marijuana.

The Mexican drug cartels are not at all unhappy to see the legalization of pot in our country. The cartels are counting on a significant increase in the use of heroin, cocaine, meth and other mind-altering substances. And they’ll still be raking in lots of cash from the sales of marijuana here because many pot users prefer to buy their drug on the tax-free black market.

And now we have all those headlines about the opioid epidemic. That epidemic isn’t all due to prescription drugs. Heroin is an opioid too.

Some of you will say I’ve lost my mind or call me a moron and other insulting names, but take it from an old narc, there can be no doubt that marijuana is the most dangerous drug of all. If it were not for pot, there would be a lot fewer users of heroin and other mind-altering substances. There would be fewer psychotic episodes. And there would be fewer fatal car crashes.

To those cost conscious conservatives who want to legalize pot so as to stop ‘wasting’ money on enforcement and reap a tax bonanza instead, think again! Sure, you’ll both save and make a bunch of money, but in human terms, at what cost?

Marijuana is innocuous … that’s one of history’s biggest con jobs.


Study Finds Predictive Policing No More Racist Than Regular Policing

By Sidney Fussell

March 13, 2018

Police agencies are increasingly using advanced technologies to fight crime, including biometrics, auditory detection, and even virtual reality. One of the most controversial tools is “predictive policing,” which has long been accused of reinforcing racial biases. But a team of researchers from Indiana University, UCLA, and Louisiana State University found the practice, and its effects on bias, is more complicated than that.

Predictive policing is a “smart policing” tool that trains an algorithm to predict where crime will happen. For this study, the LAPD was given maps of “hot spot” areas to patrol. On “treatment” days, the hot spot areas were selected by an algorithm. On “control” days, they were selected by a human analyst. The researchers compared arrest rates on both treatment and control days, wanting to know if minorities were arrested more or less frequently on either day.

Why is this controversial? Because arrest data lacks nuance. A person could commit the same crime in two different places, but would only be arrested if there’s an officer there (or one who comes after responding to a 911 call.) As advocates argue, areas with more police presence will always have more arrests. So if officers are more suspicious of a neighborhood, it will have more arrests because there are more officers sent there. This dynamic isn’t reflected in the arrest data used to train algorithms; it simply shows where arrests happen and how often. Law enforcement agencies, however, say that officers are sent into areas based on crime levels, not racial suspicion.

But what the Indiana University researchers found neither proved nor disproved either assertion. The paper, “Does Predictive Policing Lead to Biased Arrests? Results from A Randomized Control Trial?” was published in the latest edition of Statistics and Public Policy.

Researchers say minorities were not arrested at higher rates on algo-determined days than on analyst-determined days. The racial proportions of arrestees were the same on both “treatment” and “control” days. Taken as a whole, arrest rates for all races were the same on both “treatment” and “control” days overall.

Interestingly, when broken down to a geographic level, officers did arrest more people in specific “hot spot” areas determined by the algorithm than the “hot spots” determined by an analyst. But, the researchers assert that this is expected—the increase in arrests scales upward proportional to the increase in crime.

“The higher crime rate, and proportionally higher arrest rate, is what you would expect since the algorithm is designed to identify areas with high crime rates,” George Mohler, one of the study’s authors, told

Ultimately, the researchers found that predictive policing seemingly doesn’t increase bias. That does not mean policing, predictive or no, doesn’t have racial biases; simply that in this case, algorithms weren’t found to have caused any racial imbalances in arrests. From the results section:

The analyses do not provide any guidance on whether arrests are themselves systemically biased. Such could be the case, for example, if black and Latino individuals experienced arrest at a rate disproportionate to their share of offending. [...] The current study is only able to ascertain that arrest rates for black and Latino individuals were not impacted, positively or negatively, by using predictive policing. Future research could seek to test whether the situational conditions surrounding arrests and final dispositions differ in the presence of predictive policing.

Predictive policing simply augments existing policing patterns. If there are biases, algorithms augment them as well, but they aren’t the originator. The researchers point out that the root causes of crime and racial bias are a different subject, though left unasked is an obvious question: Why augment policing while there are still pervasive, unaddressed biases?

That remains a debate for community leaders and law enforcement agencies. For now, Mohler hopes the study serves as a “framework” for auditing the racial impact of this practice.

“Every time you do one of these predictive policing deployments, departments should monitor the ethnic impact of these algorithms to check whether there is racial bias,” Mohler said. “I think the statistical methods we provide in this paper provide a framework to monitor that.”