No love, not really

A new global report on slavery has estimated there are more than 40 million people trapped in slavery worldwide. Many of us will have rarely thought about the immense scale of modern-day slavery, assuming that slavery only exists in faraway lands. But that assumption is wrong.

Have you ever had your nails done at a salon? Do you have your car hand-washed? Have you ever had building work done, or had a new driveway laid? If so, the chances are you may have come across someone who is enslaved. The harsh reality is that modern slavery not only exists in the UK, but it is on the rise. It is all around us – in nail bars, car washes, hotels, restaurants, farms and building sites. I myself was ignorant about modern-day slavery until I came across an online article a few years ago, and I have been researching it ever since.

The actual report being referred to lists some 1,700 Vietnamese over 7 years. It’s very hazy indeed about the difference between slavery (vile) and illegal immigration with labour paying back the fee (perhaps not desirable but also not vile).

This may all be entirely appalling even so of course but it’s not exactly immense scale, is it?

So, the Nazi punched out in Seattle. Someone’s going to jail, right?

Anti-Fascists Used Twitter To Find A Neo-Nazi Walking Around Seattle And Beat Him Up

So, idiot wandering around Seattle wearing swastika armband, mouthing off at people. Twitter antifa vigilantes track him down on the street then celebrate as he’s punched out.

The person using the @teethnclaws account asked not to be identified, citing concerns over his personal safety. He said he wasn’t aware of who actually threw the punch, but credits anti-fascist Twitter networks for making it happen.

“I would say that we successfully identified, tracked and coordinated to neutralize a clear and present danger to Seattle. Whether we coordinated the actual punch or not,” he said, “I, for one, applaud the anonymous hero.”

@teethnclaws described himself as an active anti-fascist fighter for the last 20 years and said that the punch in Seattle was the coordinated effort of “horizontal organizing between concerned neighbors.” He said nobody knows who threw the punch and that he wouldn’t help anyone find out.

“When anti-fascists, casual or organized, have their identity broadcast they are put in extreme danger,” he said.

So, pretty clear case of assault (dunno, do the Americans use GBH, ABH?) and conspiracy to perhaps.

Someone is going to jail for this, right? Like, at least, the person who threw the punch? Because it’s not clever, sensible nor even polite to wander around Seattle mouthing off while wearing a swastika armband. But it is also legally going about ones’ personal business and as such merits the full protection of the law. Because that’s how the law works – or at least should do.

And if a jury wants to nullify then that’s up to a jury but the case should still be brought.

What is the justification for this?

Twitter is “failing women” who are victims of online threats and abuse by taking far too long to remove hateful and misogynistic content, Britain’s leading women’s rights charity warns today.

Yeah, Yeah, yeah….

The offending tweets included a vile slur on the late MP Jo Cox,

Whut?

The argument is that such threats are, umm, threats. You know, I’ll do you physical harm stuff. There is no such justification for complaining about someone being rude about the dead.

as we all knew it would the demands are moving beyond the possible justification, aren’t they?

ACLU gives up

The American Civil Liberties Union took a new stance on firearms Thursday, announcing a change in policy that it would not represent hate groups who demonstrate with firearms.

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero told The Wall Street Journal that the group would have stricter screenings and take legal requests from white supremacist groups on a case-by-case basis.

“The events of Charlottesville require any judge, any police chief and any legal group to look at the facts of any white-supremacy protests with a much finer comb,” Romero told the Journal. “If a protest group insists, ‘No, we want to be able to carry loaded firearms,’ well, we don’t have to represent them. They can find someone else.”

Indeed they can. But that is you giving up matey.

We might think that carrying arms in public isn’t a right that Americans should have but they do. Similarly, we might think that Americans shouldn’t be racist but they do actually have a right to be.

The great glory of the ACLU, over the decades, has been that it does simply do what is said upon the tin. Here, Americans have these rights. As we defend the rights of Americans then we defend these Americans in the exercise of their rights. That’s it.

The moment, the very moment, the ACLU says, well, you know, maybe they, that group, for this reason, shouldn’t have those rights then, well, that’s the organisation busted. Over.

Mr. Romero, you’ve just destroyed the reason for the existence of your own organisation. At which point, fuck you.

Because this is what you are for:

Citing the First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union is defending a group that supports pedophilia against a civil suit filed by the family of a molested and slain Massachusetts boy.

Because those lines of defending those liberties are with the hateful people that no one else likes, right?

My hope, most unlikely to be met, is that Romero gets fired immediately.

No, fuck off, fuck off, fuck off

The legal scheme under which anyone can ask for convicted criminals to be given tougher sentences is to be extended to cover more terrorist offences.

An order will be laid before MPs next week allowing those found guilty of encouraging terrorism, sharing terrorist propaganda and related offences to be brought back to court to have their punishment reassessed.

The Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) procedure – which allows victims and the public to query sentences handed out by judges – will now also include crimes such as membership of banned organisations and taking part in weapons training.

The scheme permits anyone to ask the attorney general to review a sentence. Where the senior law officer deems it appropriate, the case can be referred to the court of appeal for reconsideration.

The entire point of the courts of law is so that we are not ruled by the whims of the mob.

Further, despite the limited abolition of the double jeopardy rules, the State does not, or perhaps given double jeopardy fraying should not, get a second bite at trying, convicting nor punishing you. They get just the one chance to stack up their story against your.

And yes, this includes terrorists as well. Including those who “share terrorist propaganda,” as slippy an offence as to do credit to a Stalinist system of propaganda against state interests.

No, fuck off, and the horse you rode in on.

Well, no, just no

The RSPCA wants to be allowed to enter private property to seize pets in England and Wales.

The charity is in talks with the Government and police chiefs to negotiate new powers which will allow it to enter gardens, sheds and outhouses without an officer present.

Under current rules the RSPCA has to contact the local police force and wait for an officer to arrive if they believe an animal is in distress on private property.

But if granted special statutory powers, its 33 officers would be able to remove animals from private land without police permission – though the powers do not extend to entering a private home.

No.

As in, no, fuck off.

Having the powers of the State granted to non-state actors really doesn’t have a good track record now, does it?

I approve of this

In the video, the Arkansas Capitol dome can be seen lit against the night sky as the Dodge Dart accelerates to 10, then 20 mph.

“Oh my goodness,” a man says as he flicks on the car’s lights. “Freedom!”

The vehicle speeds up the hill, and the last thing that comes into view before a crash is a large, newly installed monument.

Authorities say the man in the video is Michael Tate Reed, an alleged serial destroyer of Ten Commandments monuments.

He was arrested by state capitol police officers at the scene early Wednesday, according to Chris Powell, a spokesman for the Arkansas secretary of state. Reed is charged with criminal trespass, first-degree criminal mischief and defacing objects of public interest.

The laddie, as they say, seems to have some issues. Issues amenable perhaps to a judicious does of lithium. And yet, and yet……..

Sure, it’s the destruction of someone elses’ property, that’s bad. But it is property, not people, and he seems to be around for being punished for it. Leave aside that lithium issue and regard it instead as an extreme free speech one. Boy’s got the right to make his view known, as long as he’s willing to take the consequences of doing so. As I’m just fine with Banksy doing so–as long as he is willing to pay the damages.

The outrage, the outrage!

Where are the free speech defenders?

Taylor is inarguably in more danger than Charles Murray. She is a black person in a country with a long history of white supremacist violence—and in recent years that violence has been especially public. Just last month, a white supremacist stabbed two bystanders to death in Portland when they interfered with his racial abuse. Racism may also have motivated the May slaying of a black college student in Maryland.

Coverage of free speech fights in the U.S. casts the left as illiberal antagonists and lets the right off the hook for its own, much more serious history of censorship. By defending Charles Murray, and not Taylor, the media has shown some revealing inconsistencies in its concerns about free speech.

Murray was howled down, persued and his colleague required medial treatment as a result of the treatment from the mob.

As The Seattle Times reported on Thursday, the threats started after Fox News covered her May 30 commencement speech at Hampshire College. In it, she correctly called Donald Trump “a racist, sexist megalomaniac.”

“Since last Friday, I have received more than 50 hate-filled and threatening emails. Some of these emails have contained specific threats of violence, including murder,” she said in a May 31 statement. “I have been threatened with lynching and having the bullet from a .44 Magnum put in my head.”

She’s received emails. About the number that any working journalist will get if they write on a hot subject. Death threats are a bit much of course but this is very much closer to that mere vulgar abuse which is indeed free speech, isn’t it? Certainly closer than a howling mob chasing you out of the building and following you down the street…..

A good point

In the heart of the nation’s capital, at near-maximum terror alert, with the densest national concentration of armed officers, the attackers had 8-10 minutes to rampage unimpeded before the armed police turned up and whacked them in short order.

Contrast this with the May 2015 attack in Garland, TX where the heavily armed gunmen just made it out of their car, managed to slightly wound a security officer, and then promptly expired in a hail of bullets. I can’t help but notice the complete lack of follow-on terror attacks in Texas since then; presumably word has got around the terror community that it’s a poor choice of location.(Glasgow is probably number 2 on the do-not-terrorise list after the terrifyingly vicious response of the residents.).

I can’t help but think that the complete dis-arming of the UK civilian population is not working out quite as well as most of its proponents expected.

I seem to recall something around 1905 or so in London. Lithuanian, Latvian perhaps, anarchists. The police were borrowing revolvers from the crowd to combat them….

Sigh, yes it is

As his city mourns two men who were killed after confronting a man screaming anti-Muslim slurs, Mayor Ted Wheeler is calling on federal officials to block what he called “alt-right demonstrations” from happening in downtown Portland, Ore.

His concern is that the two rallies, both scheduled in June, will escalate an already volatile situation in Portland by peddling “a message of hatred and of bigotry.” Although the organizers of the rallies have a constitutional right to speak, “hate speech is not protected by the First Amendment,” Wheeler told reporters.

Yes, yes it is. The Supreme Court has ruled on it a number of times and that’s the end of that.

The idiot’s idea of a clever man

Stephen Fry has called for Facebook and other “aggregating news agencies” to be reclassified as publishers in order to stop fake news and online abuse spreading by making social media subject to the same legal responsibilities as traditional news websites.

Outlining his “reformation” for the internet, as part of the Hay literary festival’s programme to mark the quincentenary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-five Theses in 1517, Fry accused social media platforms of refusing to “take responsibility for those dangerous, defamatory, inflammatory and fake items whose effects will have legal consequences for traditional printed or broadcast media, but which they can escape”.

“One thesis I could immediately nail up to the tent flag is to call for aggregating news agencies like Facebook to be immediately classified as publishers. At the moment, they are evading responsibility for their content as they can claim to be platforms, rather than publishers. Given that they are now a major source of news for 80% of the population, that is clearly an absurd anomaly,” he said.

“If they, and Twitter and like platforms recognised their responsibilities as publishers, it would certainly help them better police their content for unacceptable libels, defamations, threats and other horrors, that a free belief in the value of the press would, as a matter of course, be expected to control.”

If they do that this means that they have to edit what is said.

And all that will happen is that people who want to say things which are edited out will move to another platform.

It’ll just be an endless game of whack a mole.

Hate crimes in Manchester rise to fewer than toll of dead and injured

This evening it emerged that hate crime in Manchester has doubled since the terror attack which killed 22 people on Monday.
Greater Manchester Police bosses said the number of reports had risen from 28 to 56 since Salman Abedi set off a nail bomb at Manchester Arena.
Chief Inspector Ian Hopkins called for the city to stand up against hate and ensure any incidents are quickly reported to the police.
He said: ‘Manchester has come together this week but it is important we continue to stand together here in Greater Manchester against the hate-filled views we have seen from small minorities of the community.
‘We had 28 reports of hate crime on Monday, which is the average, but it rose to 56 reports on Wednesday, although we cannot directly link that to the attack.

22 dead, plus one suicided bomber, and 120 injured.

Hmm

5,000 troops on the streets?

All a bit security theatre isn’t it?

When do we get the TSA prodding our bollocks as we enter a concert hall?

As I’ve noted before I’m not all that worried about terrorist nutters killing some few of us. Yes, easy to say as it’s not me howling at the skies in rage at the theft of my children.

But what do we want, 65 million subject to pass laws and id cards and communications interception and the state, that Courageous State, still failing to protect us or the sacrifice of handfuls of us over time on that altar of secular freedom?

I’ve always worried much more about what government might do to us to stop the bearded nutters than I have about the nutters themselves.

Not being a brave man I’ll not try asking those whose faces are still shining from the tracks of their tears. But I will ask you.

The Czechs have this free speech thing right

This is the moment a brave 16-year-old Girl Scout stood up against a Neo-Nazi demonstrator at a rally in the Czech Republic.
Lucie Myslíková, from the city of Brno, attended a march in the city on May Day along with eight of her fellow Girl Scouts with the aim of walking alongside far-right demonstrators to try and drown out their message.
At one point she was approached by a shaved-headed man before getting into what she called a ‘sharp talk’ about national identity, immigration and refugees.

This is normal on May Day. In Usti nad Labem they always get the remnants of the Sudeten Deutchland Party (or whatever they call themselves) coming down from Dresden. All 15 of them.

The teen and her friends joined several hundred protesters during the counter-demonstration, with local reports suggesting they vastly outnumbered the right-wing marchers.
Activists were told not to block the marches, but to walk alongside them singing, dancing and playing instruments in order to drown them out.

Yep, no one even dreams of trying to stop them marching. Ach, Jo, it’s free speech innit? You have an absolute right to march. As do we and those massive numbers of police over there are to make sure that everyone does get to march.

At which point they’ve got it absolutely right and correct. They don’t have to agree with the speech of others, don’t have to approve of it but they’ve most certainly got to tolerate it. Which they do.

Good.

The collapse of a corruption case

Their confidence was misplaced. In January 2015, Mr Justice Nicholas Blake, sitting in the Old Bailey, rejected the SFO’s argument. “The case remains a matter of conjecture and suspicion,” he wrote in his judgment. To confiscate assets, prosecutors have to prove that the frozen money related to a specific crime and, he ruled, the SFO had totally failed to do so.

Well, yes, that’s sorta the standard thing isn’t it? We’ve not got a crime called “being a bad ‘un” and we should all be most grateful that we don’t.