Remember that time I tried to resurrect another local live music venue that had been turned into an "Ultra Lounge", failed at that spectacularly, and then it turned into a sports bar that lasted less than a year? Yeah, good times, good times.
Fun fact, "Ultra Lounge" is usually a synonym for "money laundry". If you watched Breaking Bad, it's the same con as the carwash. That venue you walked by that had been there for years but seemed to only be open once every six weeks? Like that.
If you don't want DNA Lounge to be replaced by a Pottery Barn, or worse, an Ultra Lounge, maybe kick in to our Patreon or something, I dunno.
McNeil, 28, was among four people charged Tuesday for their alleged actions at a July Salt Lake City, Utah, protest over a district attorney's decision that the fatal police shooting of a young man was justified. Protesters allegedly splashed red paint on the DA's office, broke windows, and hung signs calling for justice for the slain man.
But instead of merely charging the protesters with vandalism or even rioting, that same DA used a charging enhancement to claim they operated as a gang. Under the new charges, the demonstrators face up to life in prison. It's the latest in a pattern of harsh measures that ratchet up potential penalties by treating protesters like a criminal conspiracy. [...]
McNeil and fellow protesters were met with police in riot gear when they arrived at the DA's office, she said. Footage she filmed from the event shows the police line charging protesters with their riot shields. [...]
A criminal complaint accuses McNeil of positioning herself to shove one of the shield-toting officers, and of buying the red paint that protesters allegedly splashed outside the DA's office. She and six other protesters face criminal mischief and rioting charges, which usually cap at a second-degree felony [...] But Gill, the DA who was the focus of protesters' ire in the first place, enhanced the charges using a provision intended for gangs. Under the new enhancements, which apply to "offenses committed in concert with two or more persons or in relation to a criminal street gang," the protesters can face up to life in prison, if convicted. [...]
Groth and McNeil also questioned the potential conflict of interest of Gill issuing sentencing enhancements against protesters who were demonstrating against him.
In most states, a felony conviction means that you can never vote again, so you get criminalization of dissent and disenfranchisement in one convenient fascist package.
A New Jersey police department is pursuing cyber harassment charges against five people in connection with a protest photo uploaded to Twitter in June. Complaints were served against the original tweeter and four other people who retweeted the message, alleging that they caused the officer to fear for the safety of his family.
It's an unprecedented use of anti-harassment laws, coming amid a nationwide law enforcement backlash against anti-police brutality activism. [...]
The Nutley Police Department filed its complaints in late July over a tweet posted during a June 26th protest. The now-deleted message included a photo of a masked on-duty police officer with a request that "If anyone knows who this bitch is throw his info under this tweet." Because of the mask, the officer is not readily identifiable from the photograph, and there do not appear to be any replies revealing his identity. [...]
The department charged Sziszak and others on behalf of Detective Peter Sandomenico, who the complaint identifies as the officer in the tweet. It alleges that the photo and accompanying caption threatened the officer "acting in the performance of his duties, causing Detective Sandomenico to fear that harm will come to himself, family, and property."
Once this blew up they panicked and dropped the charges like the bullying cowards they are.
A senior engineer collected internal evidence that showed Facebook was giving preferential treatment to prominent conservative accounts to help them remove fact-checks from their content.
The company responded by removing his post and restricting internal access to the information he cited. On Wednesday the engineer was fired. [...]
Some of Facebook's own employees gathered evidence they say shows Breitbart -- along with other right-wing outlets -- has received special treatment that helped it avoid running afoul of company policy. They see it as part of a pattern of preferential treatment for right-wing publishers and pages, many of which have alleged that the social network is biased against conservatives. [...]
On July 22, a Facebook employee posted a message to the company's internal misinformation policy group noting that some misinformation strikes against Breitbart had been cleared by someone at Facebook seemingly acting on the publication's behalf.
"A Breitbart escalation marked 'urgent: end of day' was resolved on the same day, with all misinformation strikes against Breitbart's page and against their domain cleared without explanation," the employee wrote.
The same employee said a partly false rating applied to an Instagram post from Charlie Kirk was flagged for "priority" escalation by Joel Kaplan, the company's vice president of global public policy. Kaplan once served in George W. Bush's administration and drew criticism for publicly supporting Brett Kavanaugh's controversial nomination to the Supreme Court. [...]
Facebook did not respond to questions about why Kaplan would personally intervene in matters like this.
When a person searches Instagram for a hashtag and clicks on it, the platform has automatically generated "related hashtags" pointing users to other relevant content. TTP examined related hashtags for 20 popular terms associated with the Trump and Biden campaigns and found starkly different treatment of the two candidates.
Instagram blocked the display of related hashtags on all 10 of the Trump hashtags reviewed, including #donaldtrump, #trump and #trump2020. That means users were not directed to other content, including anything negative or critical about the president.
But for all 10 similar Biden hashtags, Instagram did display related hashtags, which at times steered users to insults and disinformation about the former vice president, with phrases like #creepyjoebiden, #joebidenpedophile and #joebidenisaracist. [...]
It's not clear why Instagram blocked related hashtags for key Trump-themed content and not for parallel Biden content. It appears to be a custom service that the company did not advertise but performed for certain political figures and celebrities in the past. [...]
TTP found no mention in Instagram's policy website, help center or Facebook's hashtag guidance offering campaigns or brands the ability to turn off related hashtags. Beyond the Trump campaign, it appears to have been done on an ad hoc basis for some politicians, celebrities and Instagram executives. [...]
One interesting case is Instagram's treatment of the hashtag for Brad Parscale, Trump's former campaign manager. On June 23, #bradparscale displayed no related hashtags, TTP observed. But after Parscale's recent demotion, TTP noticed on July 21 that related hashtags had begun appearing on #bradparscale, suggesting the switch had something to do with his changed status.
Remember when I asked Zuckerberg why he allowed a white supremacist-linked org to be an official fact checker for Facebook and he wouldn't give a straight answer? Maybe this is why.
The incentives are certainly there.
Dems believe in antitrust, reigning in monopolies, and checking abuse of corporate power.
Zuckerberg himself said he'd go "to the mat and fight" against these points.
Could that include weaponizing FB's platform to influence our elections?
In accordance with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), first trimester abortions are now exempt from unnecessary regulations for all individuals practicing The Satanic Temple's religious abortion ritual.
The Satanic abortion ritual provides spiritual comfort and affirms bodily autonomy, self-worth, and freedom from coercive forces with the affirmation of TST's Seven Tenets. The ritual is not intended to convince a person to have an abortion. Instead, it sanctifies the abortion process by instilling confidence and protecting bodily rights when undergoing the safe and scientific procedure.
Religious freedom ensures Satanists have access to safe abortions that are free from unwarranted state interference. Examples of requirements that cannot be enforced on Satanists are:
- Mandatory Waiting Periods
- The Requirement that Practitioners Withhold Certain Medical Information
- Compulsory Counseling Prior to Abortion
- Required Reading Materials
- Medically Unnecessary Sonograms
- Mandatory Listening to the Fetal Heartbeat
- Compulsory Burial or Cremation of Fetal Remains
As a federally-recognized religion, The Satanic Temple utilizes RFRA and the Hobby Lobby precedent to protect its members from unnecessary abortion regulations that inhibit their religious practices and force them to violate their deeply-held beliefs.
Thus, the "wine windows," or buchette del vino, of Tuscany. They are just as they sound: pint-size hatches, carved into the concrete walls of urban wineries and shops, where beverage merchants would serve sips at a safe social distance.
First introduced in the 1600s, their true purpose went untapped for centuries after the plague -- that is, until a new one came along this year.
We recorded about half of the acts the night before, and did the rest live from the main stage. That gave us time to turn over the stage without anyone needing to get too close to each other. It was a short show, only an hour of acts, not counting the DJ before and after, but it went pretty well!
To my great surprise, I was able to upload the show to Youtube. It got dozens of Content-ID hits, but it looks like it's not actually blocked? Yet? I hate you, Milkman Youtube.
We hope to do more of this kind of thing, mostly because we're all going crazy doing nothing! But lest anyone mistake this for a business model -- it's not. It's a small way we can put a little joy out into this dystopian hellscape we're all living through. But it's not a business. The tiny amount we take in via the "Donate" button might cover our bandwidth and staffing costs, but that's about it. And we're still paying rent and insurance on a big empty building.
We've managed to turn this place into a nice little TV studio in the meantime, though. Besides the existing webcast cameras we've also got a mobile recording rig that lets us do more complicated shots. And we've got projection mapping all over the place, which looks just fantastic. Now we're trying to find ways to use it that make sense. And don't kill anybody. And... maybe pay some bills? But probably not.
We've got live DJs tonight: Sound Breaker, Gabber and doomcore with DJs Reinforcer and Pyramidhead. Our DJ webcasts have mostly had a pretty good "turnout", and the chat has been really active, especially at Death Guild, Star Crash and Turbo Drive. Come hang out!