When cops turn into robbers

Many years ago, I visited the Dominican Republic with some friends.  But, instead of the ‘regular’ tourist spots, we stayed with friends who actually lived there.  It was a wonderful experience in so many ways!

When our stay ended, we needed to drive from the small town of San Pedro de Marcoris on the Southern coast to the Northern coast town of Puerto Plata, because that is where our flight was leaving from.  So, we rented a vehicle and one of our Dominican friends came along to act as our navigator and interpreter.

That is how it happened that, late at night, I was driving along on a mostly empty road in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere.  As in, little to no people to be seen around.  Then, along the side of the road, was a police car with a uniformed police officer waving me over to stop.  Being the law-abiding person that I am, I quite automatically began to slow down and pull over to the side of the road.

Orlando, my Dominican friend and guide, looked at me, shocked, and yelled:  “What are you doing?  Are you crazy?”

Confused by his demeanor, I explained that a cop was pulling us over, so I was stopping.

“No!!!  He’s going to rob us!”  Orlando replied.  “Drive by, fast, fast, fast, so he cant’ catch us!”

His fear was genuine.  So, I did what he said:  this became nothing more for me than an amusing anecdote about the one and only time in my life I had evaded the police…but it was the right thing to do, and the only safe course of action to have taken on that dark, secluded stretch of road.

Apparently, it was not unusual for police officers in the 1980′ Dominican Republic to supplement their income by pulling over drivers and then robbing them.  Of course, this could never happen in a Western country, right?

Well, think again:  unless ‘Detroit’ no longer qualifies as part of the civilized ‘Western world’, of course!

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Pat Condell: Who’s afraid of free speech?

 

Learn Liberty: Baptists and Bootleggers

 

To Serve, Protect and Terrorize

The war on drugs is not the only time we keep seeing random, but deadly, violence from cops against civilians.

And if you thought a woman who reports a sexual assault and is immediately arrested (with a judge looking on, nonetheless) could only happen in a Middle Eastern, Sharia ruled country, think again.  This one happened in Clark County Family Court – that is, Las Vegas.

And, of course, not to stay behind, the Toronto Police oblige with a shooting of a kid on a bus

If you listen carefully, you can hear what appears to be a Taser deployed long after the kid was shot 9 times.  Because, even without a gun and with 9 bullets in him, the kid still posed deadly threat to the 11 officers on scene.

By the way – have you read A Clockwork Orange lately?  Remember Little Alex’s buddy’s choice of employment?  I never guessed this was a prophecy…

H/T:  BCF

Walter E. Williams – The Cruel Alternative

True, I’m afraid:  too true…

Tinfoil-hat time: embedding false memories using blue light is now a reality

Yes – what seemed far-fetched sci-fi plots is now a reality, if, for the time being, only for mice.

‘The researchers used optogenetics, a technique that allows precise control of brain circuits. The control is achieved by expressing proteins that act as switches in particular types of brain cells. These switches are channels that, when struck by a particular color of light, allow charged particles into or out of the neurons, which will either activate or silence them.’

‘Armed with this discovery, they installed the optogenetic trigger in the neurons that were especially busy while a mouse got to know a new environment (we’ll call that Place A). The next day, in a different environment, they gave the mouse small electric shocks while triggering the memory of Place A using light. After that, even though it never had a negative experience in Place A itself, the mouse froze when it was returned there.’

What the researchers did was to target a memory of ‘place A’, where the mice had no unpleasant experience, at a later date and use a blue light and electric shock to change that neutral memory into a terrifying one.

Think of that next time you feel a strong aversion to something or an unspecified feeling of uneasiness – and keep the light-reflecting tinfoil hats on!

Hacking NASDAQ

It seems that five men fro Russia and the Ukraine have pulled off the biggest hack yet:

‘The case, brought by US attorneys in Manhattan and New Jersey, is the largest hacking scheme ever prosecuted in the US, Department of Justice officials said. From 2005 to 2012, the four Russian nationals and a Ukrainian penetrated the private networks of the Nasdaq stock exchange, Citibank, PNC Bank, Heartland Payment Systems, 7-Eleven, JCPenney, Hannaford Brothers, and others, prosecutors alleged in indictments unsealed Thursday morning. The hacking gang traded text strings that exploited SQL-injection vulnerabilities in the victim companies’ websites to obtain login credentials and other sensitive data, then installed malware that gave them persistent backdoor access to the networks.’

Read the full article at arsTechnica here: http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/07/nasdaq-is-owned-five-men-charged-in-largest-financial-hack-ever/

(Apologies – for some reason, the post crashes when I try to embed the link…or put on tags…or just about anything:  still having internet connectivity problems.)