And so if the world didn’t need any more proof that Florida is the absolute dregs of modern society we get this story: Skateboarder and popular Miami-area artist Israel Hernandez (only 18 years of age) has been murdered by the Miami police department via taser for the unspeakable heinous atrocity of graffiting an abandoned McDonald’s building at 5 a.m. this past Tuesday morning.
In my various tweets, blogs and dialogues I have been critical of CNN in the past – I have to give them some credit however for actually having enough integrity to run a piece on this upsetting story.
The murderer of Trayvon Martin being allowed to walk scott free was almost as bad as it got – but then this happened. Though I hate to quantify murder by saying the circumstances surrounding one is not as bad as any other, but in all honesty this is far worse. In the Trayvon Martin case at least the killer was brought to trial, very publicly so that we all know now who he was, and will be considered a social pariah for the rest of his life. In that sense, a small modicum of justice was served. Don’t hold your breath for anybody involved in Hernandez’ death to be tried in the same way. Maybe 2-weeks of unpaid suspension may be levied against the guilty parties – if we can expect even that much.
As is usually the case the thin blue line will close ranks, opting not to do the right thing and out those responsible which only results in the few bad apples spoiling the whole bunch in the view of all our eyes. Naturally there are some sycophantic apologists who will tell you Israel was “defacing public property and shouldn’t of run from the police.” Of course, yes, agreed. But did he need to be murdered over graffiting an abandoned building? It’s not like the executioner can claim that he was standing his ground – Israel was running – running for his life as it was.
According to reports witnesses saw the cops high-fiving and congratulating one another after Hernandez was tazed to death and laying motionless on the floor. Real nice.
So congratulations Florida. You’ve somehow managed to make yourself look like more of a scumbaggier suckhole than we all already knew you were. Impressive. The only good news that can possibly come out of this outside of the life-imprisonment of the “officer” responsible is the fact that we’ve seen the worst of Florida now. Florida can’t get any worse than this… right? Incidentally – as most people are catching onto this fact now – you are far more likely to die at the hands of the police than you will a boogeyman who lives in a cave on the other side of the world. So chew on that.
Meanwhile the rest of us are left to mourn the loss of yet another young life, full of unlimited potential, being snuffed out in a state sanctioned execution. “…’umurica, Fuck yeah.” [via: LICK NYC]
A screencap from Canipre’s website
As you may already know, Voltage Pictures, the company responsible for the movie The Hurt Locker, (as well as a million movies you’ve never heard of) is currently in court, attempting to get an Ontario-based internet service provider to release the names associated with over 1000 IP addresses that they claim belong to people who illegally downloaded their copyrighted material.
These IP addresses were gathered by an extraordinarily douchey company called Canipre, the only antipiracy enforcement firm currently offering services in Canada.
Canipre, as a company, offers to track down people who are illegally downloading copyrighted material from record companies and film studios. According to their website, they have issued more than 3,500,000 takedown notices, and their work has led to multimillion dollar damages awards, injunctions, seizure of assets, and even incarceration.
There’s still a lot we don’t know about Monday’s bombing near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. We don’t know if the bombs were set off by one person or multiple people; we don’t know if it was an act of foreign or domestic terrorism; we don’t know what the perpetrators(s) look like; we don’t know what the motive was. One thing we do know: Many of the initial reports on media outlets on Monday and early Tuesday have proven to be false.
That’s inevitable during a breaking news event—and in this case, even some law enforcement officials did more to confuse than to clarify. But one day later, here’s a look at some early storylines that have fizzled upon further scrutiny:
1. Cellphone service shut down in Boston. Reported by: the Associated Press, which credited the information to an unidentified “law enforcement official.” But cellphone service continued uninterrupted in the city. Verizon spokesman Torod Neptune told Mother Jones the reports were “incorrect,” and that service providers were not asked to shut down.
2. Explosions kill 12 people. Reported by: the New York Post. As of 6:58 p.m. on Monday, the tabloid’s website was still touting the 12 dead figure on a splash on its website. (It has since been updated.) The Boston Police Department has only confirmed three dead, along with 176 injuries (including 17 people in critical condition).
3. Bombing at JFK library. Reported by: multiple sources, thanks to a series of ambiguous statements from the Boston Police Department. Boston police commissioner Edward Davis said at a press conference Monday that police were investigating a link between an incident at the JFK library and the marathon bombing. Time's Andrew Katz reported on a “possible” device, citing police scanners. By Tuesday morning, the JFK library incident had been officially classified as a “mechanical fire”—as library officials had maintained all along.
4. Saudi national in custody. Reported by: the New York Post, which stated on Monday that a Saudi national had been taken into custody as a “suspect.” Although investigators said they were speaking with a Saudi man who was in the United States on a student visa and was being treated for injuries at a nearby hospital, no one has been taken into custody, and at the moment there are no suspects.
5. Five additional incendiary devices found. Reported by: the Wall Street Journal, which initially said that counterterrorism officials had found five unexploded devices around the Boston area—separate from the two detonated bombs. The New York Times reported three unexploded devices, including one at the corner of St. James and Trinity Streets, and another outside the city in Newton. But the Journal walked back its report quickly and Newton police rebutted the bomb report. On Tuesday, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick confirmed that “two and only two explosive devices were found yesterday,” although many packages were investigated. “There were no unexploded explosive devices found.” Both articles have since been updated.
6. Police have security footage of a “possible suspect." Reported by: CBS News, citing “one law enforcement official.” According to a Monday afternoon CBS News report, authorities had found a video of an individual carrying backpacks on Boylston Street minutes before the first explosion. This would be news to the Boston Police Department and the FBI, both of whom say they are still looking for a suspect and have no description of what he or she might look like.
In the days following the suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons—the teenage girl from Halifax who committed suicide after being gang raped, photographed, and harassed—the hacktivist group Anonymous is playing a game of chicken with the authorities in Nova Scotia. Anonymous says they have the names of four suspects, and are threatening to release that information if justice is not delivered.
Those names have in fact been circulating in small online circles, but the information has been withheld from publication on Anonymous’s largest social media channels. All of this has caused a storm of negative feedback from those who view Anonymous’s actions as destructive “vigilantism” while Anonymous maintains they are only involved because “several crimes have been committed in Nova Scotia. A 17-year-old girl killed herself because the police failed to do their jobs.”
I spoke with a member of Anonymous who is directly involved with the operation to bring Rehtaeh’s rapists to justice, in order to get a better handle on their motivations.
How the government turned five stoner misfits into the world’s most hapless terrorist cell.
A worthy piece of reporting over at Rolling Stone, on “how the government turned five stoner misfits into the world’s most hapless terrorist cell,” in the spirit of COINTELPRO. Snip: “Nothing was destined to blow up that night, as it turns out, because the entire plot was actually an elaborate federal sting operation. The case against the Cleveland Five, in fact, exposes not just a deeply misguided element of the Occupy movement, but also a shadowy side of the federal government.” A former FBI counterterrorism agent now with the ACLU describes the government’s actions as “manufacturing threatening events.”