We were somewhere near the Lombardi on the edge of the Turnpike when we got back in 3G range. Suddenly my phone began to chirp insanely, with the exact hell-born banshee-wail that the evil Dwark at the AT&T Store had promised me when I finally…
“A user with two bitcoins, bought for $5 and $10, could simply hand them both over to pay for a good worth one bitcoin, and receive one bitcoin as change. That would force both the spent bitcoin and the one received as change to be accounted for at the average cost of $7.50, since it would be impossible to tell which was which.”—
A very interesting analysis of the new Bitcoin ruling
“My concern is this eventually getting out there under my name, um, and I know that there are ways that, you know, like calling me a cooperating witness or, or something like that.”—Matthew Keys, being helpful (via warrantless)
A Vroom! Vroom! Story For Early Readers
Bertney loved her new Smurkurr.
“It’s like driving a soder can!” she told Papa the day he brought it home.
At first, she wasn’t happy that her old car had to go away, but Papa said he was tired of burying bodies out by the pool and it was time to get her something safer. Bertney didn’t know what any of those words meant, so she was very sad and confused. But then she saw her tiny little special car and instantly felt better.
“First stop, Furnch fries!” she squealed as she waved both hands out the window.
While she waited for Mr. David to get in (Bertney was never allowed to be alone. Papa’s rules.) Bertney imagined herself in the drive-thru beeping at all the other cars that would surely be jealous of her Smurkurr.
“I sure wish I was so teeny-tiny,” Bertney imagined them saying. “Why I bet that Smurkurr can fit in a pocket. I’ve never been in a pocket!”
Soon, Mr. David got in, but he didn’t seem happy at all about Bertney’s Smurkurr. He liked that it couldn’t go very fast on account of he was afeared of dying, but he sure used an awful lot of cuss words about how hard it’d be to put his wiener fry in her special place with so little room.
“So no doodly-diddles?” Bertney asked while trying not to look happy. Mr. David loved his doodly-diddles.
“No doodly-diddles,” Mr. David angrily. “And I paid your Papa good money.”
Bertney didn’t like the sound of that. But she did like the sound of the drive-thru window opening up for milkshakes! This was the bestest day ever.
“I love you, Smurkurr.”
A weird thing happened via SXSW on Saturday during Julian Assange’s keynote. It was one of those things that I love and hate about social media. Sat in my friends kitchen in Manchester I followed the livecast (brilliantly hosted by Texas Tribune), and at the opportune moment I dropped…
The modern-day protestor and revolutionary needs more than just a helmet, throwing-stones and heart filled with righteous passion. These days technology offers invaluable tools to those speaking out against oppressive regimes. This week Anchorfree – a Mountain View, California-based firm that offers an online privacy app called Hotspot Shield – declared […]
“In the end, my critique isn’t really about the stories themselves, but about consistency in the ways in which power is understood and confronted by the news media. We now know a great deal about the life, motivations, finances and peculiarities of Assange. Fine. But if we keep the lens there, and do not interrogate, in a similarly critical fashion, other actors with far more economic and political power than Assange (including those exposed by WikiLeaks), then we see only one small component of a much larger, complex picture. And that’s a disservice to WikiLeaks supporters and opponents alike.”—Very interesting article on the disservice celebrity journalism and the cult of personality do to articles about WikiLeaks.
— Regarding the alleged sexual assault committed by Peter Ludlow and the sudden targeting of activists online.
Disclosure: I have never met Peter Ludlow in my life.
I have been cautious to stay as far away from this issue as possible after witnessing a series of personal attacks aimed at activists and journalists online. These attacks came against anyone who will not be bullied or conform to the opinions of others. As matter of fact, I first learned about the lawsuit against Northwestern University when I was threatened by someone for not speaking out against Peter Ludlow. At that point, I became afraid to even bring it up in conversation.
Later, after seeing numerous accusations of rape on Twitter, I learned the word “rape” had not been used by the alleged victim in this case. After reading the court filings, I found out that the case did not involve any mention of intercourse, consensual or otherwise, anywhere. When I asked about this, I was accused of trying to diminish the importance of sexual assault.
The conversation I observed taking place online about the case seemed highly speculative and opinionated. Anytime someone mentioned that the word “rape” may not be appropriate, even while acknowledging a grievous assault may have occurred, they were accused of defending their “pal,” including others who never met Mr. Ludlow.
First, I’d like to talk about the notion that people should somehow be *required* to get involved in anything, including accusations of rape. As I’ve stated, I have no connection to Mr. Ludlow, other than the fact that I’ve shared a few of his Barrett Brown articles in the past. We’ve never had a personal conversation and to my knowledge, we’ve never even been in the same state at the same time. It’s confusing to me why I was being told I’m a bad person if I don’t say something. There are countless sexual crimes committed every day. I couldn’t begin to address them all. No one has ever attacked me for not condemning a particular sexual assault. I assumed it was generally understood that I’m against all forms of sexual assault and rape, forever.
I discovered that the idea that I’m somehow required to engage Mr. Ludlow is predicated on the notion that both Mr. Ludlow and myself are apart of the same “community”; that we’re connected by default through our mutual interests. To my knowledge, Mr. Ludlow and I do not actually share a membership in a political group, nor are we both affiliates of the same organization. Where does that line of logic begin? Where does it end? Should every student at Northwestern University who hasn’t gone online and issued a personal statement be likewise attacked?
I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan. If the quarterback sexually assaults someone (Sorry, Romo) and I don’t tweet about it, am I fucking cover-up artist? This line of thinking is bullshit.
Nevertheless, there have been several people who have told me it is my duty to investigate the cases mentioning Mr. Ludlow’s alleged actions — Correction, I have not been encouraged to investigate or read anything. I’ve been told what my opinion should be and that if I have any other opinion, or question the opinion, I deserve to be labelled a “rape apologist.”
Many of the people who read this may know, some of you may not, that over the past year I have been involved in a number of actions advocating for charges to be filed in cases of alleged sexual assault. In each of these cases there was clear material evidence to support the claims of the victims, and in fact, charges were eventually filed. Last year, I organized an online drive for a town that had suffered a particularly unspeakable incident of gangrape. The funds went to survivor counseling and assault prevention, which included presentations at local schools teaching young men (and yes, women) what their parents should have: no means no, and an inebriated person cannot provide consent.
I also feel no shame whatsoever in admitting that as a young child I was betrayed by an adult member of my family who I have not seen in over 25 years. I have never put any of this in writing, but at this moment, I think it is necessary that you understand why I am so furious that some fucker has accused me of trying to cover up an assault. They didn’t even have the balls to do in full view of the public.
I’m not here to call out anyone, but instead, to exhibit overall how crooked I find this entire situation to be. That there are marauding bands of assholes currently flooding Twitter, attacking any activist that has not taken the time to learn Mr. Ludlow’s name and personally condemn him, is vile. No one is responsible to do what you say. This is not your personal army.
I am especially disgusted to learn that these particular assholes have no fucking concept of what the alleged victim’s wishes are. To my knowledge, this young woman, a journalist, has not once called upon the Internet to attack anyone on her behalf. It’s appalling to me that anyone would launch personal attacks against uninvolved parties online, while claiming they are righteously doing so in the name of a victim.
You can speculate that she is benefiting from the attention, I’m going to speculate that she might be appalled by your presumptuousness. Has no one thought to ask what impact might the repeated, numerous accusations of rape — again, a word the victim has not used herself — have on the lawsuit she filed just yesterday?
I would like to point out that many of the accounts who previously used the word rape have now combed through their tweets and deleted those statements. Again, I’m not here to name names, but if challenged, I can easily prove that this is the case.
Over the past 24 hours I have also been made aware of two things:
First, that a few misguided bastards have held a little secret meeting to decide whether or not they should launch coordinated personal attacks against other activists, including myself, in the name of this alleged victim. Bear in mind, these proposed attacks were not against individuals who have defended Mr. Ludlow at all. They were to target people who had not issued any public statement regarding the case, individuals with which they coincidentally have bad blood.
Second, I was made aware — and this is particularly disgusting — that if I were to bring up the topic of rape, rape culture, or sexual assault, in the immediate future, that I would be attacked by so-called activists, or a so-called activist, with the charge that I am a “hypocrite.” I hope you’ll pause to think about that just for a moment. I was warned not to talk about rape online.
I don’t know what the fuck happened to you people, but from now on, the words “activism community” is expelled from vocabulary. If I am a part of this community, I will personally like to take a flamethrower to it before my evacuation. We are not members of the same community. You are not my neighbor. We are not allies. We are not friends.
I have taken care to avoid accusing any one person or group in this letter. It’s not important who did what. I am not here for vengeance. This is about asking people to be conscious of their behavior, and stop letting themselves fall victim to the loudest voice in the room. You are not sheep-people. You do not eat grass. There is no authority here and I would be suspect of anyone that tries to dominate you, or attack you simply for asking questions. In the immortal words of Lord Infamous, fuck that shit.
And for the record, if everything that Mr. Ludlow is accused of doing happens to be true, fuck him too. I wasn’t there. I only know what I read in the papers.
Regardless of whether it is true, that doesn’t excuse anyone taking advantage of the situation to engage in personal vendettas. Don’t for one fucking second think you’re protecting victims of sexual assault or keeping your, whatever, “community” clean. You are not the activism police and you are not attacking rape culture, you’re disgracing every person before you that has campaigned to end it, by using it as a weapon against innocent people.
Again, this letter is not an attempt to slander anyone. I’m not interested. Everyone is doing a good job fucking themselves up. But, I have a feeling after I publish this that there will be personal attacks in the near future. I don’t give a fuck. I don’t negotiate with terrorists. And you will all know exactly who they are when you see them come my way.
“In Kiev, Pavel, 25, a masseur, who took part in Thursday’s battle equipped with body armour, balaclava, sledgehammer, walkie-talkie, flares, and a knife, said: “We live for today. We have no idea what will happen tomorrow. We need a better life for Ukraine. For our children. This is just not normal.””—http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/20/ukraine-dead-protesters-police
I think it’s embarrassing for a head of state to go on like that for 45 minutes and say almost nothing … The real concern is that when you have an organization as powerful as National Security Agency has become and its Five Eyes allies and the cost of engaging in mass…
In January, Rachel Allshiny received a letter from a prisoner named Marcel who met Migs (NATO 5) in segregated housing at Pontiac Correctional Center. (As you may recall, Migs was thrown in seg for 5 months because he had “unauthorized” anarchist literature and symbols.) Marcel wanted to know more about OpPenPal and asked to be added to our list so that other politically conscious people could send him letters and books.
Although Marcel is not incarcerated for political reasons, it is our belief that any prisoner who wants to learn about the history and theory of political resistance should be accommodated if possible. As such OpPenPal will be establishing a second mailing list in the near future to include prisoners who have non-political charges but are interested in corresponding with activists and receiving political literature.
It is important not only to have activists advocating for prisoners from the outside, but also to cultivate relationships with prisoners on the inside who are committed to resisting the oppressive conditions of their confinement.
Before I go any further, I’d first like to say that I really appreciate you taking the time out to respond to my letter. It was a very pleasant surprise because, due to the lapse in time, I’d honestly assumed my letter would go unanswered.
After reading your letter and getting a clear understanding of all that you do and everything you’re involved with, I must say I’m impressed. The work you do and the lives you’ve impacted through your efforts speaks volumes about your character, to me. I can only imagine the amount of time and effort you have sacrificed to be a part of making [OpPenPal] a reality. It leaves me to wonder, when do you have time to rest?
I became aware of the Occupy Chicago movement around the time that Chicago was hosting the NATO summit a few summers ago. It seemed to be all that the media was covering at that time, so I knew that whatever the Occupy movement was about, it had to be a serious threat in one way or another to the summit, because the security measures that were being implemented in anticipation of the protest were unheard of.
Over the years I’ve become more familiar with the organization [i.e. Occupy] through reading and seeing them in the news. Comrade Migs and the reading material he shared with me is what really sparked my interest, though, and left me thirsty for knowledge of the movement and the companionship of those active in it.
Although my knowledge of political activism is limited, I do know the risk of being arrested is always there for those on the streets protesting to make a difference. I also know firsthand the deliberate injustices being inflicted by the authorities behind these walls upon those who’ve dared to buck the system and have been labeled as “terrorist” and “anarchist.”
So you’re absolutely right; prisoner support is an indispensable part of the protest community, but also know that the people like yourself who advocate on behalf of those behind bars are just as invaluable. You’ll probably never know how vital your support was to Comrade Migs during his time away, and especially the time he spent in seg. Something as simple as a letter with a few words of encouragement means the world to us in here, so for him to have the whole movement behind him in solidarity is powerful.
Also, your willingness to assist even those who do not fit your original mission is admirable. It reflects on your role as an educator, and I am honored to even be considered for the OpPenPal offshoot that you’re currently working on. So yes, please include me, and be sure to let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.
Since it started I’d been following [the #NATO3] trial closely and was relieved to see that they were acquitted of the more serious charges in their case. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous how much time and money was wasted trying to convict these guys of these outrageous charges. This fiasco really makes the Mayor and CPD look bad. Hopefully this case will serve as precedent for activism in Chicago for the future. I’m interested in seeing what the outcome of sentencing will be - whether or not they’ll be fair or if they’ll try to send a message.
Before I close my letter, I’d like to share a little more about myself. Like yourself, I’ve lived in Chicago my entire life. Before my incarceration I’d been trained and certified in Culinary Arts and worked as a cook at Mt Sinai Hospital on the city’s west side. Cooking is something I’m passionate about, but unfortunately my reckless lifestyle and some very poor decisions led me down a different path, and landed me in prison.
Since I’ve been away I’ve made a conscious decision to change my life for the better and do something positive with my remaining years. I know that an education is the key to success, so I enrolled in school and have completed three vocational courses and received certificates. Before I was placed in seg, I was attending night classes to earn credits towards an associate’s degree in liberal studies. I’ve been in seg for eleven months now, so my education is pretty much on hold. I’m due to be released from seg at the end of April and will pick up where I left off.
While here though, I do a lot of reading to stay mentally stimulated and sharp. I’ll read just about anything right now but I prefer fiction, mysteries, action thrillers, horror, some theological non-fiction, history, and biographies. I also like newspapers and any type of mags dealing with current events and world news.
Outside of reading I’m a sports fanatic, especially for the Chicago sports teams. I like it all, football to hockey. So I spend a lot of time watching games, whatever they might be, and ESPN.
I like to write and express myself, so I’ve recently begun to keep a journal and write short stories and poems to pass the time.
On that note I’m going to end this in hopes of hearing from you again whenever your schedule allows. Until then take care of yourself and stay warm. I’ll do the same.
P.S. I’m not familiar with the Suffragettes. Please enlighten me. If there’s a book or any type of reading material you can send my on the subject I’d really appreciate it.
WRITE TO MARCEL:
Marcel Hunter #B65362
Pontiac Correctional Center
PO Box 99
Pontiac IL 61764
If you have questions about sending books to Marcel or other prisoners, please get in touch with @allshiny.
We’ve all been there: You’re holding a big ol’ hamburger with both hands, you bring it to your mouth to take a bite, and the whole burger falls out all over the place. But guess what, there’s an “ideal” way to hold a burger. This is it.
The central bank of Estonia, where Swedish banks dominate the lending market, urged consumers to steer clear of Bitcoin, warning that the software and others like it could prove to be little more than a “Ponzi scheme.”
VERY intelligent article on Bitcoin, if a teensy bit alarmist. Bloomberg hires good people.