Category Archives: Control Freaks

The Great American Right to Complain

For 30+ years as a news hound and reporter of weird stuff, I, Xeno, have believed it is the duty of Americans to speak up truthfully about what they like and dislike.

We have the right to complain, to make things better. This was true in the past. Is it still?

I like peace, non-violence, transparency in government and privacy and fair voting for the public. I oppose violence and support peaceful plans.

I try to read a broad spectrum of news and ideas, but don’t agree with everyone or everything I read or see. Reading is not approving, obviously.

Long ago, I found and interviewed a man when researching “reptilian aliens” (they are just metaphorical, in my view) who advocated over email “storming Area 51”. I disagreed with his plan because the real Area 51 is on a US military base, it is still run by the CIA as far as I know and I also thought he might be an agent of a foreign government. You never know. I’m not into anything subversive, I follow laws and believe in peaceful change.

One thing I read about Area 51 that was reinforced by real voices of government employees in the news, was that people working within agencies don’t always agree with policies they are supposed to follow. It is the duty of workers to follow the direction set by leadership, but there were differences of opinion within, just as within the FBI, and also between agencies. I’m no insider, this is just what I gleaned over the years.

I like the idea of humans getting organized as a species, but not under fascism. I don’t like Nazis or any other violent war-promoting control freaks. The idea of people writing about Reptilian Aliens, as I have understood it, is that there are factions of “cold blooded” ideological Nazis in the US government. Some were imported from Germany after the war in Operation Paperclip and these scientists grew in power in the Shadow Government. They are opposed by other groups that take seriously their oath to uphold the Constitution and to protect citizen’s rights to complain.

Until the mainstream news started talking about the Shadow Government after the attacks of 9/11/2001, I didn’t think there really was such a thing. After learning there is, I still placed my faith in the good side of the inner US government, writing articles on xenophilia.com such as 10 Proven Conspiracies and Why I Still Trust the Government. (The upshot was that “the Government” is not a single thing, it is different groups with different goals and ideals, many competing.) Conspiracy is a real thing; we have laws against it in the USA and people, including members of Congress, have gone to prison for it. Not every conspiracy theory is true, but some are, investigators have to look at the facts, the real facts, when available.

I keep repeating that I support peaceful change because it is true and because, on the spooky side, I fear that vocal people who complain peacefully, may one day be attacked, framed as radicals or turned into criminals in political theater by Nazi factions in the Shadow Government using dirty tricks, digital and otherwise. Let’s hope not.

I pray the good and honest people and groups win this epic battle.

Being interested in the culture of oddities, I have driven to Nevada and stayed at the Little Ale’Inn near Area 51 a few times. I enjoy the ET alien thing, the interesting people you can meet, and the science fiction fun aspect of it. I liked the movie Independence Day and enjoyed driving on the ET highway. I also personally like the idea of a US Space Force, although people laugh at it and some strongly oppose it.

How can we fix corruption and undue influence of big business in government if not by “storming Area 51?”

I like capitalism and competition generally, but support an idea by the Yang campaign to reasonably rein in the influence of super wealthy individuals and lobby groups:

Democracy Dollars. The easiest way to minimize the influence of super-rich individuals and SuperPACs in our politics is to drown that money out with contributions by normal Americans. Under my Democracy Dollars plan, every American would receive $100 per election cycle to donate to candidates of their choosing.

Via AndrewYang

I don’t endorse him as a presidential candidate, but I like this idea.

Representative Democracy, allowing the majority of the people (instead of a cabal) to pick the best leaders works well only if we have well informed voters. To make Democracy Dollars work, we first need truth in advertising and truth in news reporting.

Simultaneous with Democracy Dollars, we need laws that provide stiff fines for lies, and even stiffer fines for lies about lies–in other words, an American realist movement.

Candidate Joe Biden made a slip I heard yesterday while he was campaigning. He said, we need to support “truth not facts”. I do not support non-factual “truths” as facts are the basis of truth.

I support accurate and fearless fact checking as the basis for an effective peaceful democracy. We must protect the rights of reporters to investigate and report the truth.

I support local police, the FBI and the CIA and the NSA which I believe to be composed mostly of individuals of strong moral character who sometimes have to fight within their organizations for what is right, for what is truly American, for our rightful way of life.

Please save a copy of this on your computer, in the cloud, etc. and republish the bejeebies out of it if it ever gets “disappeared” by anyone who tries to put other words or ideas into my mouth! 😉

Peace, love and music,

Xeno of True Strange News

Blogging at xenophilia.com & truestrange.com

Xeno is a songwriter who has written over 100 songs, a reporter and blogger for 30+ years and nephew of a member of the band Steppenwolf. He was engaged to the personal chef of a California billionaire and has traveled to all 48 lower US states interviewing people for an eventual book on happiness. He opposes violence and promotes peaceful positive change.

TrueStrange.com

Japanese Court: Father is “Sole Parent” to 13 Babies

Not many men have sole custody of 19 of their own children, 13 by foreign surrogate mothers. In the news is the case of a weathly Japanese man, Mitsutoki Shigeta, who was recently awarded sole custody of 13 children by surrogate Thai mothers. The ruling is not saying he is the only biological parent, rather that he is “the legal parent” of his own biological children, a quite logical ruling.

In discussing this “baby factory” case, a confused international media seems unaware that there is no legal joint custody status in Japan.

Officially, there is no such thing as joint custody in Japan, … When couples get divorced, the woman usually takes the child and assumes full financial responsibility. “Only one person gets to be the parent,” …

Via Link

There is a problem, according to the Thai government, of “illegal surrogacy.”

I actually had no idea until today that paying a woman to carry your child is illegal in some places. Why would it be? At first glance, I didn’t get it. Don’t women have that human right if they choose? If they can sell their eggs to a fertility clinic, why can’t they carry a child to term for hire if they enjoy being pregnant and choose it as a profession? Aren’t women worthy and free to have reproductive freedom of choice? It seemed quite a stretch to think of surrogacy as a type of prostitution.

Why, in Washington DC, was there up to a $10,000 fine and/or one year in prison for surrogacy? In 2007, according to a chart at American Progress, the laws in the USA are all over the map.

The situation changed for D.C. in 2015, however, when surrogacy was decriminalized.

Under the city’s antiquated surrogacy law that the new law replaces, all parties to surrogacy agreements that are legal in nearly every state were subject to a fine of up to $10,000 and a one-year prison sentence.

After four years in the making, a bill ending D.C.’s longstanding criminalization of surrogacy parenting and establishing a legal framework for surrogacy agreements became law on April 7 upon completion of a required congressional review.

The D.C. City Council gave final approval of the legislation, the Collaborative Reproduction Amendment Act of 2015, last December.

Via Link

The controversy remains worldwide.

Surrogacy is controversial around the world, raising difficult moral, social and legal issues. As a result, the legal situation varies considerably. Many countries do not have laws which specifically deal with surrogacy. Some countries ban surrogacy outright, while others ban commercial surrogacy but allow altruistic surrogacy (in which the surrogate is not financially compensated). Some countries allow commercial surrogacy, with few restrictions. Some jurisdictions extend a ban on surrogacy to international surrogacy. In some jurisdictions rules applicable to adoptions apply and in others the practice is unregulated.

As of 2013, places where a woman could legally be paid to carry another’s child through IVF and embryo transfer included India, Georgia, Russia, Thailand, Ukraine and a few U.S. states.

Via Wikipedia

Why is surrogacy ever made illegal? What do proponents of anti surrogacy laws say? In France, it was because the human body, by public policy, is “unavailable.”

In 1991, it ruled that an agreement entered into by a woman to conceive, bear a child, and relinquish it at birth, albeit for altruistic reasons, was contrary to the public policy principle of unavailability of both the human body and civil status. This prohibition was confirmed in the Bioethics Act of 1994 and enshrined in the Civil Code as a regulation which is “a matter of public policy,” i.e. belonging to a category of mandatory rules created by the state to protect fundamental values of society and from which citizens have no freedom to derogate.

Link

In France, citizens are not free to make the human body available–even, and especially citizens who are inhabitants of a human body. This sounds like an issue where the French State asserts legal control (ownership) of its subject’s bodies, which makes me feel some anger about lack of freedom.

Is the prohibition coming from antiquated puritanical disapproval of women’s rights?

A Thai court has given a wealthy Japanese businessman sole custody of 13 children he fathered through surrogates in Thailand.

Mitsutoki Shigeta, 28, made a headlines in 2014 for what became widely known as the “baby factory” case. It was one of several cases that led to the country banning foreigners using surrogate mothers in Thailand.

The children were seized by Thai authorities in a raid and sent to a government orphanage as part of a crackdown on suspected illegal surrogacy. Ranging in age from newborns to one year olds at the time of the raid, they were cared for by seven women in a Bangkok apartment. Police at the time said the babies were well taken care of.

Via CNN

The word “raid” implies suspected criminal activity. Did a Bangkok SWAT team swoop in on babies and find that they were well cared for?

Kong Suriyamontol … the Thai lawyer for Japanese national Mitsutoki Shigeta, speaks to the press after his client was granted paternity rights to his children, at a juvenile court in Bangkok on February 20, 2018. A Bangkok court on February 20 granted Shigeta “sole parent” rights to 13 babies fathered through Thai surrogate mothers, a ruling that paves the way for him to take custody of the children.

A Japanese man who became embroiled in a “baby factory” scandal four years ago has been granted sole custody of 13 children he fathered with Thai surrogate mothers.

Mitsutoki Shigeta, 28, won custody on Tuesday, after taking the Thai government to court over his paternal rights, AFP reports. The court ruled that Shigeta, reportedly the son of a Japanese business tycoon, has ample means to care for such a large family.

“For the happiness and opportunities the 13 children will receive from their biological father — who does not have a history of bad [behavior] — the court rules them to be the plaintiff’s legal children,” Thailand’s Central Juvenile Court said in a statement.

In 2014, Shigeta, who is unmarried, was at the centrt of an international scandal after a luxury apartment in Bangkok was raided and found to contain nine children and their seven 24-hour nannies. It soon emerged that Shigeta had fathered 19 children in total, with 13 babies born to surrogate mothers living in Thailand, and six living in Cambodia and Japan. Police told AFP that he had paid the Thai surrogate mothers between $9,300 and $12,500 each.

His case contributed to the international outcry against Thailand’s “rent a womb” industry, and led to the Protection for Children Born Through Assisted Reproductive Technologies Act (ART Act) in 2015, preventing foreigners from paying for Thai surrogates.

Via Time

What is the issue, why are some opposed to others “renting a womb?”

Does Thailand claim foreign biological fathers are unfit parents who are frequently mistreating their own children?

On February 19, 2015, the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand enacted the Protection for Children Born Through Assisted Reproductive Technologies Act (ART Act), which will be enforced after it is published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette. (Senate Meeting Minutes (Feb. 19, 2015), Thai Senate website; text of the Act, Thai Senate website (both in Thai).) This act significantly protects children born through Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and sets the legal procedures the spouses (referred as “applicants”) must follow in order to have such children.

Thailand has previously not had any law directly referring to surrogacy. Instead, the authorities applied a provision in the Criminal Code, which states that anyone who enslaves another person or causes a person to be in a position similar to that of a slave; transports them into or out of the country; or buys, sells, disposes, accepts, or restrains a person may be subject to imprisonment for up to seven years and fined up to 14,000 Baht (about US$430). (Thailand Penal Code (Thai Laws Specifying Crimes and Punishment), (B.E. 2499 (1956), last amended by Criminal Code (No.17), B.E. 2547 (2004)), § 312.)

Many problems arose as a result of the application of this provision, including the problem of the restriction of rights over children born through surrogacy.

Reportedly, Mr. Kitti Wasinondh, a member of the National Legislative Assembly, and Mr. Adul Saengsingkaew, the Minister of Social Development and Human Security, believe that the new Act will reduce the surrogacy for profit and human trafficking that has resulted in maltreatment of women.

Via Library of Congress

In November the Thai National Legislative Assembly passed – with 177 to two votes and six abstentions – the first reading of a draft bill which bans commercial surrogacy. If the law is passed, women who agree to become surrogates in return for payment will be liable to a maximum 10-year prison sentence and fine of Bt200,000 (approximately £4,000). Social Development and Human Security Minister Pol General Adul Saengsingkaew stated that the bill sought to punish all sides involved in commercial surrogacy, protect surrogate babies and suppress human trafficking. The push to legislate in the area comes following several high-profile surrogacy scandals in the country.

Link

I stand against human slavery (trafficking), but see surrogacy as a separate issue. If there is a case where you have both, there are already laws against trafficking and those laws should be applied. Lawful surrogacy should not be criminalized. This is my view after researching this issue. If you disagree, leave a comment with your view.

TrueStrange.com

Florida: Up to 15 years in Prison for a “Pew pew pew” drawing

Feb 14, 2018 Update: This blog entry was posted Jan 10, over a month before the horrific Feb 14 Parkland Florida high school shooting of 17 students by a former student. Parkland is about 550 miles (over 8 hours) away from where where this school shooting drawing took place and the man who drew a school shooting image was not connected to the Parkland shooter. Gun violence in schools is horrific, but I still feel that an artist who draws a school shooting scene is not necessarily making a threat. It could have been drawn for his step son as a vision, as a warning, as something to avoid by staying aware and taking precautions.

There is currently an average of one school shooting every 2.5 days this year in the USA.

This is the 18th school shooting of 2018. We are seven weeks into the year. That means there’s a school shooting every 2.5 days. There have been 30 mass shootings this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The attack on a Florida high school on Wednesday, is the eighth school shooting to result in injury or death so far this year, and the 18th incident involving gunfire in schools.

Vía BlackListed News http://ift.tt/2o2EOfP

The original post:

The following bad drawing may put a man with scary face tatoos and poor grammar who drew it in prison for up to 15 years. Does that sound right? He wrote the word “Pew” three times and one must wonder, Florida, shouldn’t each “pew” be considered a separate fellony?

thoughtPoliceArrestArtist

robert-paul-edwardsA Florida man is charged with making a violent written threat after school officials found a rudimentary drawing of a gunman shooting people outside a burning school on a kid’s homework, authorities said.

The man, Robert Paul Alexander Edwards, 33, of Mexico Beach, Fla., was arrested Friday on a charge of making a written threat to kill or do bodily injury, a second-degree felony, Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison said Monday.

Edwards is being held on $150,000 bond pending a Jan. 2 hearing in Gulf County Circuit Court. If he is convicted, he could face as long as 15 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Harrison said he had no reason to believe that Edwards intended to carry through on the implied threat, which staff found in the homework of a student at Port St. Joe Elementary School in the town of Port St. Joe.

But, he said, “Our country has been affected one too many times with horrific school tragedies. We take matters like this very seriously.”

Link

Robert Paul Alexander Edwards, of Mexico Beach, is facing multiple charges after staff at Port St. Hoe Elementary School contacted the school resource deputy about the picture, according to the sheriff’s office. The drawing showed a school house on fire, a person running from the school on fire and several others standing in a line being shot by an individual.

The drawing also included two people on the ground in what appeared to be a pool of blood. The words, “Pew, Pew, Pew,” were written next to the person with the gun.

Link

We don’t know all the details, but, while protecting kids is a very serious matter, considering this drawing a credible threat feels like a possible stupid waste of police resources. Why do people assume the worst? Witch hunts piss me off. For all you know the guy had a vision, a bad dream, and with this drawing was trying to warn the kid(s) about potential danger (not from himself) to the school.

How did they get him as the person doing the shooting from this terrible drawing? This could be laughed out of court easily. Imagine this: The defense attorney lines up a bunch of very different looking people including the suspect, all wearing bell bottoms, and has the jury compare them carefully to the stick figure shooter in the drawing. Reasonable doubt? See what I mean. It’s not clear that he is holding a gun at the resolution we can see the drawing and it also seems that the “shooter” in the image is facing away from the kids and looking back over his shoulder.

To me this seems less like a threat and more like a political statement he was making about kid’s attention spans. The words coming from a flaming stick figure fleeing the scene that say, “Ahhh! It boring!” are ignored by everyone.

If he didn’t have those face tatoos, this might have gone another way, but he choose to make himself look scary. The root of it is that he is probably filled with unresolved fear or anger.

So, how many years should a man be put in prison for scary face tatoos? Life? We must think of the children. Our country has been through too much.

Another Side of the Story

Update: 1/31/2018. The artist has posted his side of the story on a GoFundMe page where he is attempting to raise bail. The statement there says in part:

The December 4th NY Times headline read: “Florida Man Charged With Drawing School Shooting on Student’s Homework”  Similar headlines with the same story appeared in most major news outlets and social media sites, as far away as the UK and the far east.

Rob was arrested In the small town of Port St. Joe, FL at his workplace by deputies who were almost apologetic when they picked him up. “Don’t shoot the messenger,” said one. When they told him that he was being arrested for a drawing on the corner of his step child’s homework, he retorted with his famous quip “are you kidding me right now?” After being given time to gather his stuff and close up the shop, he was brought to the sheriff’s office (unrestrained) and booked. He signed a written confession that he had indeed drawn the doodle assuming that it really wasn’t a huge deal, and was told that he would appear before a judge in the a.m. and be out shortly thereafter.

But the following Saturday morning the judge set bail at $150K even after the sheriff’s office said that they didn’t consider Rob a threat or that he had any intention of carrying out the “threat” that they were charging him with. The public defender evidently put up little fuss at the bail hearing, since the entire local public defender’s office subsequently recused themselves from defending his legal rights. He has been sitting in the county jail ever since.

Via GoFundMe

If the child in question was indeed his step-child, it seems even more ridiculous that he is in jail for a drawing.

Tattoo Prejudice?

Is this story really about prejudice, pre-judging based on a person’s appearance?

A poll by Pew Research Center found that nearly 40 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 have tattoos. Even though tattoos have drastically increased in popularity, those with tattoos still feel stigmatized by the untattooed population. A study published in The Social Science Journal took a closer look at tattoo prejudice and found some pretty interesting concepts. …

A team of researchers questioned 196 tattooed and 257 non-tattooed college students. They found that having a tattoo, having tattooed friends, and having a tattooed family member was correlated with fewer stigmas against tattooed people. Reasons, such as the belief that tattoos involve major health risks and cause large amounts of pain, were most frequently referred to the reason stigmas were formed.

Via MedicalDaily

Lesson: Choose Wisely and Be Lucky

People do still judge a book by its cover. If you decide to look like a rebel, eventually someone may assume you are a rebel, (or criminal,) despite your actual actions and intentions. For matters of appearance where you have a choice, you may want to seriously consider taking responsibility for knowing that. Life can be unfair. Manage your risks appropriately with good decisions.

No one wants to believe that bad things happen to good people, that any person could win the “now your life sucks lottery” even with a lifetime of positive actions and intentions. It is a depressing and/or stressful thought. Unless you believe babies are born with “original sin,” however, history is filled with examples. We each spin the wheel and take our chance. Every day. Usually, you get a slightly positive or slightly negative day. On rare occasions you get a life changing strong positive event, like finding the love of your life. You might also spin and get a disaster.

That we help each other through chaos and tragedy is one of the best features of humanity.

TrueStrange.com

Hidden Web Site Terms: You Must Obey!

Slavery as a condition of web page use? I found a web site where a hidden term is that you agree to not disobey any employee of the company. The interface is set up so it is not possible to see the terms and conditions until you are already using the site. 

Hidden number 27: obey!

Nice try, Satan.

Actually, from the point of view of the simulation, we probably all agreed to obey already. The terms of use in here may include obeying the current laws of physics, for example.

– 

TrueStrange.com
 

Jury Nullification: The Most Power You Have as a Private Citizen in the USA

If you disagree with a law, did you know you can legally override it? You can, on a jury.

You may, of course, vote “not guilty” if you feel there is a reasonable doubt about circumstances in a case, or that a person may have been falsely accused, but even if you think a person violated a law, I was surprised to learn that you may still enter a “not guilty” vote if you simply disagree with the law or if, for example, you think a person violated a law for an honorable reason, like running a red light to save a life.

An organization called FIJA (the Fully Informed Jury Association) wants you to know that you have more power than you thought. Judges tell jurors that they must find according to the law, even if the jurists do not agree with the law. This is not true and an organization is working to inform American citizens about the truth.

Lawyers spend a lot of time building a case that a law was broken, but if you, as a member of a Jury, do not agree with the law, you can vote “not guilty” according to your own personal standards.

primaryfunction-rev4

FIJA works to:
• Inform potential jurors of their traditional, legal authority to refuse to enforce unjust laws
• Inform potential jurors that they cannot be required to check their consciences at the courthouse door
• Inform potential jurors that they cannot be punished for their verdicts
• Inform everyone that juror veto—jury nullification—is a peaceful way to protect human rights against corrupt politicians and government tyranny

The judge will also tell a jury that they should not consider the consequences of a conviction, that they must only decide if the law was broken. You do not have to follow that instruction. A typical American justice punishment will be life destroying for serious crimes. If you feel the risk to the public of not convicting is low and want to fight what you consider to be unjust laws, get on a jury and use your power to send a message.

Jury nullification is a concept where members of a trial jury can vote a defendant not guilty if they do not support a government’s law, do not believe it is constitutional or humane, or do not support a possible punishment for breaking a government’s law. This may happen in both civil and criminal trials.

In a criminal trial, a jury nullifies by acquitting a defendant, even though the members of the jury may believe that the defendant did the act the government considers illegal. This may occur when members of the jury disagree with the law the defendant has been charged with breaking, or believe that the law should not be applied in that particular case. …

A jury verdict that is contrary to the letter of the law pertains only to the particular case before it. If a pattern of acquittals develops, however, in response to repeated attempts to prosecute a statutory offence, this can have the de facto effect of invalidating the statute. A pattern of jury nullification may indicate public opposition to an unwanted legislative enactment.

In other words, it takes a huge amount of time and money to bring a case to trial and if juries keep nullifying bad laws, the unjust laws will probably eventually get changed.

… In most modern Western legal systems… judges often instruct juries to act only as “finders of facts”, whose role it is to determine the veracity of the evidence presented, the weight accorded to the evidence, to apply that evidence to the law as explained by the judge, and to reach a verdict; but not to question the law or decide what it says. Similarly, juries are routinely cautioned by courts and some attorneys not to allow sympathy for a party or other affected persons to compromise the fair and dispassionate evaluation of evidence. These instructions are criticized by advocates of jury nullification.  …

Juries have also refused to convict due to the perceived injustice of a law in general, or of the way the law is applied in particular cases. …

Jury nullification has been considered the greatest form of direct democracy where a citizen can have a direct say in whether a law is acceptable or should be nullified.

Link

People I know all hate jury duty, but I think if they knew the truth about their power in that capacity, more would be interested in serving. Here are a few laws you might consider nullifying on a jury, even if the person did the crime.

  • Drug use, which accounted for over 50% of federal prison population in 2011, is a crime many believe to be victim-less, depending on the drugs used and the circumstances. Marijuana use was recently legalized in California after a long costly losing battle known as the “war on drugs.”
  • The second largest population in prison is there for what are known as “public-order” crimes. These include prostitution between consenting adults. 
  • It is illegal in Ohio, California, Georgia, Illinois, and Oregon to have an empty hidden compartment in your vehicle.
  • It is illegal in California to remove your license plate when your car is parked on private property.
  • In Dyersburg, Tenn., it is illegal for a lady to call a gentleman for a date.
  • In Washington, D.C., engaging in any sexual position other than missionary is illegal.
  • In Washington state, there’s a law that warns “a motorist with criminal intentions [must] stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police as he is entering the town.” Sounds like a plot to double all fines for any “pre-intended” crime.
  • Gambling is illegal in most states and playing games of chance (as opposed to betting when there is some skill as a dominant factor) is a felony in some states.
  • One law in Massachusetts prohibits keeping a mule on the second floor of a building unless there are two exits.

What law would you nullify using your power as a jurist? It is interesting to consider.

TrueStrange.com

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