Posted: December 29th, 2012 | Filed under: drugs, heroin, LSD, marijuana, opiates, prostitution, You Will Die | No Comments »
In coordination with the January 1st release of the Feral House version of You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos, AlterNet published my article, “Ten Ways Social Taboos About Sex, Drugs and Death Scare Us from Learning the Truth.”
The ten harmful misconceptions caused by taboos covered in the article are:
1. Taboo: Drugs—Misconception: Jesus was against drug use.
2. Taboo: Sex—Misconception: Few women choose to be sex workers.
3. Taboo: Drugs—Misconception: Drugs do not aid creativity.
4. Taboo: Excrement—Misconception: We go to the bathroom properly.
5. Taboo: Drugs—Misconception: Illicit drugs are exceptionally deadly.
6. Taboo: Sex—Misconception: Jesus was against non-marital sex.
7. Taboo: Nasal Mucus—Misconception: Nose-picking is bizarre.
8. Taboo: Sex—Misconception: Homosexuality is a choice.
9. Taboo: Drugs—Misconception: Drug dealers cause drug use.
10. Taboo: Death—Misconception: Modern medicine can save us.
Thanks to Kristen Gwynne (@kristengwynne) at AlterNet for running this unconventional piece.
Posted: October 11th, 2012 | Filed under: drugs, marijuana | No Comments »
In America, it is not illegal to write about your past crimes, and the following is a guide to doing it online. I am an attorney who has practiced criminal defense law, however, this article merely provides general legal information—not legal advice.
Any defense attorney will tell you that it is almost never prudent to make statements about your past crimes. This is particularly true online as it creates evidence, often permanent, that can be used in your prosecution. Unless you are masking your identity with software like Tor, every web site that you visit can record your computer’s Internet Protocol (IP) address. Without masking, this IP address is also delivered with every e-mail you send.
Nevertheless, even if the only precaution you take is to use a pseudonym it is highly unlikely you will be tracked down by law enforcement if you do it in a global forum and only talk about low-level crimes like sex work or drug use. It is not because the authorities cannot find you, but because it is not worth their time. Even the simple act of filing a warrant to discover an IP address is usually not worthwhile for multiple reasons:
- They do not know if you are lying.
- They would have to prove that it was you that used your computer and your pseudonym.
- They would have to have some evidence in addition to the internet admission.
- They often do not know if the crime occurred in their jurisdiction.
- They often do not know if the crime occurred outside of the statute of limitations.
There are three things you can do to increase the odds you will not be pursued. The most obvious is to hide your identity and any clues to your identity. Talking about a crime on a social network like Facebook, even with an alias, is risky as profiles provide other identifying information.
In forums that discuss drug use the acronym SWIM is often used instead of “I.” SWIM stands for “someone who isn’t me.” Using SWIM is better than using a first-person narrative but more creative obfuscation would be better. For example, saying a friend did the described activity.
Second, do not reveal the location of the crime. Law enforcement is bound by its jurisdiction. Police are significantly less likely to pursue a low-level crime if they are unsure if it occurred in their jurisdiction. For example, Philadelphia police are not going to waste time investigating something that probably occurred in another municipality or another state. For this reason, writing about crimes in a local forum, like the Littlestown Crocheting Message Board, is not wise.
Federal authorities have broader jurisdiction but rarely pursue low-level crimes, and they would almost never waste resources investigating a low-level crime that may have occurred abroad.
Third, do not disclose when the crime happened. Most crimes have a time limit on how long they are allowed to be prosecuted. These limits are called statutes of limitations. Law enforcement is unlikely to investigate low-level crimes that may no longer be open to prosecution.
Writing about your crimes online is rarely advisable, however, writing about low-level crimes in global forums has scant chance of spurring investigation if you use these precautions.
- Criminal statute of limitations laws by state: LINK
- Facebook’s procedures for law enforcement seeking a user’s data: LINK
- Rocco Parscandola, “NYPD Forms New Social Media Unit to Mine Facebook and Twitter for Mayhem,” NYDailyNews.com, 10 Aug. 2011. LINK
- Tor’s website: LINK
The following tweets by Mary Wanna? are examples of oversharing online. Follow Marry Wanna? on Twitter at @the_high_life.
Posted: June 19th, 2012 | Filed under: alcohol, bath salts, drugs, media bias | 8 Comments »
(For more information on bath salts read “Doctor Tried Bath Salts and Liked It: In Defense of Bath Salts.” For an alternate theory of the Causeway Cannibal read “Did Bible Study and Anti-Drug Vow Cause Miami Cannibal Attack?”)
After a face eating the objective news media linked cannibalism with the drugs sold as bath salts on the flimsiest of evidence:
Rudy Eugene (5/26/12) – In the face-eating case, the media continues to link the Miami Causeway Cannibal to bath salts based on the Miami police union chief’s spurious speculation even though initial toxicology reports found no evidence of bath salts in his system.*
Brandon De Leon (6/2/12) – After being arrested for disorderly conduct a homeless Miami man tried to bite an officer and threatened to eat one. A toxicology test found that he had marijuana and Xanax in his system. He was also extremely intoxicated with a blood alcohol content over three times the legal limit for driving (.29). No bath salt chemicals were found by the blood test but news reports say it was “later discovered” that De Leon used the bath salt, Cloud 9.
Carl Jacquneaux (6/5/12) – A Louisiana man, Carl Jacquneaux, bit his neighbor’s face in a fight. The only evidence of a bath salts connection was the victim’s friend said that Jacquneaux used bath salts.
The idiocy of blaming bath salts for violent gore is obvious to the average person who has used these substances. A bath salt, mephedrone, has been one of the top club drugs in the UK for years and has never precipitated cannibalism. (4) Scientists have found that alcohol’s correlation with violence dwarfs that of all other drugs – including PCP, steroids, and stimulants like bath salts. (3) Compare the following acts of cannibalism involving alcohol with the bath salts’ incidents above:
Jeffrey Dahmer (6/78 – 7/91) – One of America’s most famous cannibals, Dahmer killed 17 victims over a 14-year period. He spoke of eating his victims with Dateline NBC in 1994, “It made me feel like they were a permanent part of me …. and it gave me a sexual satisfaction to do that.” (See 20-second clip here.) Dahmer was an alcoholic since high school. He was so drunk during the 1989 murder that launched his spree of savagery that after awaking next to the corpse he could not remember what had happened.
Maxim Golovatskikh and Yury Mozhnov (1/09) – These two Russian 20-year-old goths drowned 16-year-old Karina Barduchian in a St. Petersburg bathtub. They carved up her body, ate some of her, and served her meat with potatoes to an unaware woman the next day. The victim was in love with Golovatskikh, a minor pop star. In interrogation they said they did it because they were hungry and drunk.
Susan Mukuhi Mwarabu (5/11) – This sixth-grade teacher was drunk at a St. Paul, Minnesota diner. After licking a stranger’s face, she bit part of his ear off. When she was asked to leave the premises she picked the ear off the floor and put it back in her mouth on her way out.
Nagaraj Reddy (6/11) – This drunk Indian fought with his wife after a late dinner in Bangalore. She went to bed but was awoken by a sharp pain in her left ear. Her husband was biting it off. She told the police, “He chewed it in front of me. It was disgusting.” (5)
Tyree Lincoln Smith (12/11) – The Connecticut Cannibal murdered a homeless man by bashing his face and head with an ax. He took parts of the brain and an eyeball to his cousin’s grave at a local cemetery. There he ate the body parts and washed them down with a shot of alcohol. He told another cousin that, “he had gotten a rare steak at a restaurant in Florida and when he had tasted the blood it had given him a sexual sensation.” (1) He said the victim’s eyeball tasted like oyster.
Wang Ai (1/12) – This drunk Chinese father bit off two of his daughter’s fingers in China’s Guizhou province. His daughter, Leilei, was two-years old.
Russian Man (3/12) – A man whose name was not released was having a vodka party with friends. He stabbed one of them to death, sliced the meat off, cooked it, and ate it with the other guest. The next day he took the excess meat to a local market and sold it as pork. One of the three purchasers thought the meat tasted strange and took it to experts. The murderer later told police, “We got short of snacks to eat with our vodka.” (2)
Because people are familiar with alcohol’s typical users, not just psychos cherry-picked by the media, the alcohol incidents are properly viewed as extremely rare mental-health cases. Due to yellow journalism responsible bath salts users are invisible. Instead of banning bath salts for minors and objectively studying the chemicals, politicians have responded to the distorted media attention by declaring all adults who possess them criminals.
* Addendum (June 28, 2012) – The full toxicology report of Rudy Eugene released on June 27, 2012 reported that the only drug found in his body was marijuana. The common chemicals in drugs sold as bath salts were absent. LINK
Addendum (July 2, 2012) – On June 26, 2012, a bus driver identified as “Dong” drank heavily at lunch in Wenzhou, China. Whereas his drinking buddies merely passed out, Dong ran into traffic and blocked a woman’s car. He climbed onto the hood and began smashing her windshield. When she exited the vehicle to escape, Dong tackled her and began eating her face. LINK
1. Martin Barillas, “‘Connecticut Cannibal’ Held on $1 Million Bond,” EnergyPublisher.com, 1 Feb. 2012. LINK
2. Matt Blake, “Russian Man Kills and Eats Drinking Partner ….,” DailyMail.co.uk, 26 Mar. 2012. LINK
3. Martin Brecher, et al., “Phencyclidine and Violence,” J. Clin. Psychopharmacol., Dec. 1988.
4. Jamie Doward, “Mephedrone More Popular Since Being Banned,” Guardian.co.uk, 10 Mar. 2012. LINK
5. “Husband Bites Wife’s Ear in Drunken Rage,” Siasat.com, 4 July 2011. LINK
6. “Politics of Facebook,” New Scientist, 24 Apr. 2010.