Epstein guards to skirt jail time in deal with prosecutors

Both officers who were guarding Epstein were working overtime because of staffing shortages. One of the guards, who did not primarily work as a correctional officer, was working a fifth straight day of overtime. The other guard was working mandatory overtime, meaning a second eight-hour shift of the day.

Source: Epstein guards to skirt jail time in deal with prosecutors

The conspiracists said that Epstein’s death, under constant supervision, in a high-security wing of a prison, was orchestrated by the CIA to silence one of their most-valuable intelligence gathering assets. And I have been sympathetic to the notion. I mean, how could two guards, on round-the-clock suicide watch, right outside of his cell, have let this go unnoticed? Surely, they had to be in on the conspiracy, right?

No, the answer to at least this part of the tragedy of letting Epstein wiggle away from justice comes quite neatly back to our privatized prisons, and their colossal misalignment between society’s goals for a penal system, and squeezing as much profit out of the capital investment as possible. In retrospect, this is, of course, the perfectly-predicted answer: terribly overworked “guards,” and a lackadaisical accountability that had to have pervaded the workplace so that people could actually “work” in a place that could demand 16-hour shifts for 5 days straight.

The moral of the story is that, if the CIA actually sent someone in to kill Epstein, they didn’t even need to fool with the guards. Our privatized prison system made them a perfect asset for the plot without even needing to get them on-board, and leave the conspiracy vulnerable to the lowest ranks talking. I’m sure Congress will be holding hearings on our prison system, and demanding strong reforms any day now.

Even If It’s ‘Bonkers,’ Poll Finds Many Believe QAnon And Other Conspiracy Theories

Misinformation about the election and the coronavirus is also gaining a foothold in American society, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

Source: Even If It’s ‘Bonkers,’ Poll Finds Many Believe QAnon And Other Conspiracy Theories

The poll results add to mounting evidence that misinformation is gaining a foothold in American society and that conspiracy theories are going mainstream, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. This has raised concerns about how to get people to believe in a “baseline reality,” said Chris Jackson, a pollster with Ipsos.

You have to somehow square this with the fact that hundreds of mainstream news organizations, Twitter, Facebook, and Google exist — in the presence of pervasive internet access, and nearly ubiquitous ownership of small, networked computers — and put all information online, in realtime, available to everyone. In other words, this is happening when there is the least amount of friction in getting facts into people’s heads than ever before, and one can scarcely imagine making that process any easier.

“Increasingly, people are willing to say and believe stuff that fits in with their view of how the world should be, even if it doesn’t have any basis in reality or fact,” Jackson said.

I don’t think this is particularly new. The desire and the effort to bend the world to one’s own view of it has always been present. It’s the infinite spectrum of information, and the now-essentially-infinite supply of content at any point in that spectrum, that satiates this desire. No matter what you want to believe, you can find enough sources confirming that belief to convince yourself that you have a complete mental picture of the situation. The deluge of cherry-picked information has made it far easier to believe whatever you want to believe, and find support for that, than to try to separate the wheat from the chaff, recognize disinformation, and form an objective opinion based on the most-credible interpretation of the facts.

The term I use is “converge.” You have to keep reading disparate sources until facts converge. And that takes a lot of mental effort. Not only that, but in many examples of high-profile, widely-covered political stories — upon which people will hang their political identities — the stories never converge to form a clear picture of what actually happened. As more and more people report more and more arcane facts and figures about highly-controversial issues, this problem is on-track to get even worse.

#SocialMediaIsDestroyingSociety

A group of Satan-worshipping elites who run a child sex ring are trying to control our politics and media.

The article goes out of its way to highlight absurdity of the question, and disparage anyone who responded “yes” to it. But someone is going to have to help me understand why this question should be considered absurd when someone broke into a highly-secured, solitary-confinement wing of a prison, disabled all of the security cameras, and murdered an extremely well-connected underage-human sex trafficker — to prevent him from naming names at the highest levels of governments all over the world — and then evaded all investigation. If that doesn’t speak to a conspiracy of elites at least indifferent to the running of a child prostitution ring to you, then I don’t know what other events would have to have happened in that chain to flip your opinion on the matter. Those events alone should be enough to substantiate the bulk of the theoretical statement. I mean, is Ipsos’ addition of the “Satan-worshipping” clause supposed to flip the whole statement to the side of absurdity? And right there, we getting into the disinformation and manipulation of the facts that people can point to as the cause of all the societal problems the article is decrying.

UPDATE: I see now, from the Wikipedia article, that the whole “cabal of satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles” thing is the basis of QAnon itself. You’ll have to forgive me if I try to avoid reading too closely on either side of the political divide.

I Called Everyone in Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book – Mother Jones

Pivar, 90 years old, is an art collector, scientist, and a founder (alongside Andy Warhol) of the New York Academy of Art. He ended up speaking with me for over an hour about his “very, very sick” friend in a conversation we wound up publishing in its entirety. Stuart told me—over and over again—that Epstein suffered from “satyriasis,” which he described as the male version of nymphomania, and that he used his money and power to “make an industry” out of having sex with underage girls. This apparently entailed Epstein having sex with “three girls a day” and “hundreds and hundreds” in total. He said he never knew Epstein was having sex with children until Maria Farmer, a student at the academy and an acquaintance of Pivar, had told him she had been assaulted and held hostage by Epstein. He also claimed that Epstein had never invited him to what he called “The Isle of Babes,” a reference to Epstein’s private island where much of the child sex trafficking allegedly occurred.

Source: I Called Everyone in Jeffrey Epstein’s Little Black Book – Mother Jones

This admission, from one of Epstein’s supposedly closest friends, sort of puts the nail in the coffin of this particular kerfluffle. Not only did ESR’s denouncement of using the word “pedophile” to describe Epstein miss the mark ethically and morally, it also missed the mark factually. Here, someone very close to him admits that he was a straight-up pedo. I’m sure this was all documented in the early days of these revelations, but I hadn’t wanted to read about it that closely. Given the broad outlines of what could be reported in polite circles, I was quite certain that the line had been crossed so completely that the line no longer existed, and this proves it. It doesn’t take a genius’ genius to figure that one out.

The whole article is a gift that keeps on giving, but this hook is what made me read the whole thing:

After Epstein’s arrest in 2019, a media narrative coalesced around the question of his strange place in the global elite: Epstein the master salesman, a man who had skillfully conned his way into the world’s most powerful circles, fooling everyone in the process. But after my travels through the book, after hearing more of the petty gossip and childish drama of the people who rule our world, I realized this was obviously incorrect. Built into the premise of Epstein the mastermind scammer is the notion that some kind of legitimate path to a legitimate global aristocracy exists. To call Epstein a grifter is to assume he circumvented some genuine meritocratic world order, where the “real” virtuosos dutifully climb the “real” ranks into the oligarchy, powered by nothing but their native talents.

The truth is that the elite world that Epstein ascended into, the one I tapped into by way of the black book, is populated with hordes of loathsome, boring, untalented people living their bumbling, idiotic lives while just so happening to wield some share of the preposterous global bounty that he and the rest were after. For all the mystery surrounding Epstein’s fortune, its existence is hardly more inscrutable than the wealth of any of his other billionaire peers. He earned it the same way they all did, which is to say precisely not at all.

This wasn’t some masterful hack into the global aristocracy. It’s what everyone does. It’s what the whole thing is. There is no scam here. It’s grifters grifting grifters all the way down.

But the final analysis — that Epstein was a tool in the employ of the CIA — was both novel to me, and is pretty convincing. It fits the facts pretty well.

A reflection on the departure of RMS – Thomas Bushnell, BSG – Medium

RMS treated the problem as being “let’s make sure we don’t criticize Minsky unfairly”, when the problem was actually, “how can we come to terms with a history of MIT’s institutional neglect of its responsibilities toward women and its apparent complicity with Epstein’s crimes”. While it is true we should not treat Minsky unfairly, it was not — and is not — a pressing concern, and by making it his concern, RMS signaled clearly that it was much more important to him than the question of the institution’s patterns of problematic coddling of bad behavior.

And, I think, some of those focusing themselves on careful parsing of RMS’s words are falling into the same pitfall as he. His intentions do not matter nearly as much as his actions and their predictable effects.

Source: A reflection on the departure of RMS – Thomas Bushnell, BSG – Medium

I don’t want to rehash the story that leads to this; I just thought this was the best take I’ve seen about the situation, and worth capturing for posterity.

Epically-smart people seem highly disposed to self-destructive behavior, which results in alienation that they can only blame on other people. If someone writes an email like Stallman did, and utterly fails to account for the bigger picture, while simultaneously failing to make his comments in a way that doesn’t take enormous academic effort to interpret without revulsion, then, really, how smart is he?

A “public figure” like Stallman (as head of the FSF) must understand that you can’t make comments about something as serious as the Epstein/MIT connection in a casual manner. If you’re going to make a comment, you simply must provide total context. You can’t hide behind excuses, like it was part of a larger thread, or that it was on a private list. As a spokesperson, you have to understand that everyone is watching what you say. To his credit, he didn’t try to have a protracted fight about this.

I’ve watched with great sadness for almost 30 years while Stallman has squandered his beautiful idea with bad politics, and I’ve often wondered why. I suspect this whole situation is a large key to that puzzle. Not that my opinion matters one whit, but I agree with Bushnell that the correct outcome has been achieved.

Remove Richard Stallman – Selam G. – Medium

There is nothing wrong with women. There is nothing wrong with girls in STEM. There are many women and many girls who, in spite of everything, love STEM-related disciplines. Some of them even go through 4-year bachelors degrees at MIT, maybe even 7 years of a PhD, and then begin questioning whether they should continue in these fields, because they are filled to the brim with so, so many shitty men.

Source: Remove Richard Stallman – Selam G. – Medium

If you’re someone who has wondered what it is that people are going on about when they talk about “the patriarchy,” feel free to read about Harvey Weinstein and Jeffery Epstein. Their behavior has been revealed as abhorrent, sure, but the real problem coming to light is the enormous wealth and influence of people and organizations which protect people like this. It been revealed as absolutely, positively systemic.

Harvard, MIT, Hollywood, even Bill Clinton have been exposed as facilitating this sort of thing. And the relatively subdued reaction from big news organizations makes me think they’re part of the same problem. I mean, look at Matt Lauer. You think NBC execs didn’t know there was a long-standing problem there?

As of now, I’ve read articles by two of the most prominent programmers on the planet, who have split hairs to come up with positions that sound so much like they are defending Epstein, that it becomes indistinguishable to the average person.

Eric Raymond, says:

No, Jeffrey Epstein is not a pedophile. This is important. If conservatives keep misidentifying him as one, I fear some unfortunate consequences.

Dammit, conservatives, don’t spend your credibility in an overheated fling at Epstein lest you find you’re out of rhetorical ammunition and allies when the real monsters need to be taken down.

That’s funny. I would have though that “monster” would have been the perfect word to describe Epstein. Making sex slaves of young women seems monstrous, regardless of their age. ESR says he falls short of such categorization.

Stallman works at MIT, and is the head of the most-prominent open source organization in the world. Both of these people are brilliant, by any definition, but they can’t wrap their heads around the fact that Epstein’s actions are indefensible, in any way, shape, or form. This woman writes a scathing rebuke of Stallman’s piece, and many comments on her article are white-knighting Stallman! Gah! I literally can’t even!

I mean, in case you are dubious of how bad it could be, here’s a quote from Stallman’s own archive page: “I am skeptical of the claim that voluntarily pedophilia harms children. The arguments that it causes harm seem to be based on cases which aren’t voluntary, which are then stretched by parents who are horrified by the idea that their little baby is maturing.”

You can’t defend the indefensible! It’s literally right there in the definition of the word. Like a lot of other things in our nation, we debate the semantics, and never get to the root. The real problem here is that there are a LOT of (white, male) people in our country who, somehow see a way to allay what people like Weinstein and Epstein have done. They explain, in tortured detail, to the rest of us, what must have actually transpired, and how it wasn’t as bad as we think, if we were only smart enough to understand the shades of gray in the matter. And, all the while, they fail to see how this walks and talks like a duck called “defense.”

A lot of people on the right write off “liberals” who are trying to draw attention to these things, but our society has an undeniable problem here. It’s not just a few bad apples. There are entire industries and segments of the economy infected with this disease, and it’s propped up on patriarchy and white privilege. It’s time for people on the right to call a spade a spade, and admit there are systemic problems that are being revealed by scandals like Epstein’s and Weinstein’s.


Update! This is the story that keeps on giving! A new book alleges that Weinstein blackmailed NBC to prevent them from reporting stories about his sexual abuses by threatening to go public about Lauer’s abuses. If true, it proves my insinuation above that NBC execs were complicit with what was happening, and brilliantly illustrates the patriarchal power structure in play at huge companies like The Weinstein Company and NBC/Comcast.