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Sat, 24 Sep 2022
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Eye 1

Fresno, CA man with over 1,000 DVDs of child rape sentenced to 180 days in jail

child sex offender
This story, while HUGE all by itself, is even bigger when considering what else is going on today. First of all, let's start with the story itself. Michael Wayne Martin was arrested with what the Fresno County Sheriff's office called an "astonishing amount of child pornography." According to a May 2021 media relations post to their website,
"Detectives contacted the suspect, Michael Martin, at his home on the 2600 block of E. Andrews Ave. in Fresno. They arrested him after executing a search warrant and finding more than a thousand DVDs containing videos of children being raped. Additionally, detectives seized electronic devices and books containing explicit photos and videos.

Detectives consider this to be one of the largest collections of child pornography they have ever come across in an investigation."
Martin is now 57 and was just sentenced to 180 days in jail, in addition to two years of formal probation and registry as a sex offender under California Law.

Bad Guys

Gruesome: Remains of Brooklyn woman found in two suitcases, NYPD on the hunt for her boyfriend

nypd crime scene unit
Two suitcases full of human body parts were discovered in an apartment in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn on Wednesday by the building's superintendent after neighbors reported a wafting malodorous odor.

According to local news, authorities believe they are the remains of a 22-year-old woman, a resident who had not been seen for several days. A neighbor, Lindsey Vena, said, "This neighborhood is not the best neighborhood, to be honest with you, but this is outrageous. Absolutely outrageous. It makes me scared to even be around here. I'm just sick."

After reports of the fetid smell, security tried to enter the woman's residence but encountered her 23-year-old boyfriend, who purportedly lived at the location on occasion.

Comment: See also:


Bangladesh mask study results are consistent with no effect

Bangladesh cottage
Approximately one year ago, I wrote about the Bangladesh mask study - the only randomised control trial of community masking since the start of the pandemic. (The well-known Danish study examined the effect of masking on the wearer; not the effect of community masking on community-level outcomes.)

While the Bangladesh study did find significant differences between the treatment and control arms, I described it as a "missed opportunity". That's because it wasn't an RCT of mask-wearing per se, but rather of mask promotion campaigns. And the latter may influence transmission through mechanisms other than mask-wearing - such as by changing people's behaviour.

Now there's a new critique out claiming the study's original conclusions may be wrong. It's a bit technical - let me explain.

In a typical RCT: 100 patients get the drug, another 100 get a placebo, and you compare how many in each group get sick. But the Bangladesh study had a much more complex design - as shown in the figure below.

Comment: See also:

Eye 1

Pedophile ex-teacher who abused over 80 kids gets 30 years in prison

Jeffrey Pierce
© The Capital-Journal
Jeffrey Pierce
A former Kansas teacher will serve up to 30 years in prison after he was found guilty of sexually exploiting 80 children, according to the Department of Justice.

Jeffrey Pierce, a former teacher and coach at Seaman High School in Topeka, Kansas, convinced children to send him sexually explicit photos by pretending to be a female teenager on social media, according to a Department of Justice press release. In addition to 30 years in prison, Pierce must pay $55,100 in special assessments and serve five years of supervised release.

"Pierce, an educator and coach, used deception, manipulation and threats to exploit the most vulnerable victims and those he was entrusted to protect, our children" Special Agent in Charge Charles Dayoub said in a press release. "The investigation into his actions and today's sentencing demonstrate the unwavering dedication of law enforcement to seek justice for our most innocent victims and those who are unable to defend themselves."

Arrow Down

Man released after killing teen that he deemed a 'republican terrorist'

Shannon Brandt
© Foster County Sheriff's Office
A booking photo of Shannon Brandt, taken September 18, 2022
A North Dakota man was released from jail this week on a $50,000 bond, despite facing homicide charges after he told investigators that he intentionally ran down a "Republican extremist" teenager over a political argument. Conservative pundits and lawmakers are furious, claiming rhetoric from President Joe Biden spurred the man on.

Shannon Brandt was released from Stutsman County Jail on Tuesday. He has been arrested on Sunday and charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal crash. According to police reports and court documents published by Fox News, the 41-year-old suspect had been drinking at a "street dance" in McHenry, North Dakota, when he got into a "political argument" with 18-year-old Cayler Ellingson.

Brandt said he believed that Ellingson and his friends were "coming to get him," so he struck the teen with his SUV. Brandt claimed that the 18-year-old was "part of a Republican extremist group."

Ellingson died of his injuries in the hospital shortly afterwards, and Brandt was arrested at his home later that evening.


Russia to increase military hardware production

© Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov
A show stand of the Rostech corprotation is seen at the 'ARMY-2019' military technical forum in the mOscow region, Russia, on June 25, 2019.
Rostech - the Russian state-owned defense industry giant - has vowed to enhance its production capabilities to keep up with the growing demand for military hardware amid the partial mobilization, the corporation announced on Wednesday. Certain management decisions have already been taken, it added.

"Today, many Rostech enterprises have already introduced special operating conditions: The employees are working overtime and often on weekends as well," Rostech said in a statement, adding that it would "further increase its production capacities to meet the goals" set by Moscow. The corporation also expressed its hope that "its contribution to the common cause would help Russia prevail and come out as a victor."

The statement came as Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded the defense industry speed up their work under the state defense procurement and acquisition program. Rostech is responsible for 40% of all defense acquisition contracts, the corporation said. The defense industry giant produces warplanes, artillery systems, high-precision weapons, communication devices and radio electronic warfare systems among others.

Star of David

New evidence emerges showing Israel deliberately targeted Shireen Abu Akleh as family files ICC complaint

journalist mural
© Mohammed Abed/AFP
Shireen Abu Akleh memorial mural
Shireen Abu Akleh was "deliberately and repeatedly targeted" by an Israeli military sniper while reporting on an IDF raid last May, at the entrance to Jenin refugee camp - by a sniper taking "precise and careful aim."

This is among the previously unreleased findings of a joint investigation by UK-based Forensic Architecture and the Monitoring and Documentation Department of the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq, presented this morning in front of the International Criminal Court in the Dutch capital, The Hague.

These findings, based, in part, on previously unseen footage recorded by an Al Jazeera camera person on the scene, were disclosed to a small group of reporters following the submission of a complaint to the ICC by lawyers for the family of Abu Akleh and two Palestinian journalists standing beside her that day.

The Israeli sniper assault involved "three distinct rounds of shooting, totaling sixteen individual shots at Shireen, her colleagues and a civilian trying to provide medical aid," the Forensic Architecture-Al Haq Investigate Unit (FAI) revealed.

"All shots were fired above the shoulders and intended to kill."


How New York City may solve the mystery of how COVID-19 spread undetected for months in 2019

New YC
© Unknown
There is now lots of evidence that the coronavirus had begun spreading undetected all over the world by autumn 2019 at the latest. This has led to a mystery as to why winter 2019-20 was relatively mild in terms of 'flu' deaths and why excess deaths only started appearing from January onwards, first in Wuhan, then Lombardy and Iran, then other places such as New York and London.

This has led some scientists to dismiss all evidence of early spread as false positives, and conversely some sceptics who accept early spread to argue that the excess deaths of the pandemic have all been caused by interventions, not by the virus.

For myself, I don't see how interventions can explain all the excess deaths. If that were the case we should see a positive correlation between interventions and deaths, but we don't. Rather, as we know, evidence-based studies show there to be little or no relationship between lockdown strictness and deaths, either positive or negative.

Arrow Down

Failed zero Covid policy cost Australia over $938 billion, report finds

COVID stay at home orders, NSW, New South Wales, Australia
The danger in the post-lockdown era is that in our rush to move on we forget the hard lessons that have been learned about this catastrophic public policy failure.

On the basis of alarmist modelling, often commissioned by governments and amplified by sensationalist media, panicked politicians discarded all basic ideas about proportionality and the rule of law to criminalise everyday life and exert unprecedented controls over the citizenry.

From the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, all Australian governments adopted the attitude that any public health mitigation measure was on the table, and little to no consideration was given to the costs of the measures that were adopted.

This is the subject of new research published by the Institute of Public Affairs, which for the first time in Australia calculates many of the costs of the nation's Covid zealotry up to June 2022. In the report, Hard Lessons: Reckoning the Humanitarian, Economic, and Social Costs of Zero-Covid, we find that the total economic and fiscal cost of the Australian COVID-19 response was no less than A$938.4 billion (£550.6 billion) to June 2022. This report identifies:
  • $595.8 billion in state and federal Government to enforce Covid policies and stimulate the economy;
  • $259.8 billion in lost economic activity because of the restrictions and economic shutdowns;
  • $82.8 billion in inflation related costs due to expansive monetary and fiscal policies, a cost which is set to only increase more and more over the next couple of years.

Gold Seal

Louisiana Department of Health revokes COVID vaccine mandate for kids: Victory for parents and their children

robert malone rfk jr
This year, parents and guardians stood together in opposition to the COVID-19 shot being required for their children to attend school. As a result of their coming together, the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) decided to rescind the mandate for Louisiana students. As of yesterday, it has officially been repealed.

In light of this victory for parents and their children, Attorney General Jeff Landry has filed a motion to dismiss the Crews v. Edwards case, wherein he sought to have the vaccine mandate enjoined and issued the following statement:

"Today is the culmination of hard work by so many concerned parents throughout Louisiana. This is the direct result of moms, dads, grandparents, and guardians fighting for what is right. I thank Representative Raymond Crews, Health Freedom Louisiana, the Bayou Mama Bears, Town Hall Baton Rouge, Children's Health Defense, and all those from across Louisiana that stood with us for parental choice.