The drug company CEO who came under fire after raising the cost of a life-saving drug more than 5,000 percent earlier this year has been arrested by the FBI. Federal agents arrested Martin Shkreli Thursday morning in connection with a securities fraud investigation related to [another] firm he founded, Bloomberg reported.
Though Shkreli was well within his legal rights to raise the price of the AIDS drug, I think his action was unconscionable. There's a discussion to be had about the original social goal of patent protection and the modern day exploitation of patents, but that isn't my point. I'm thinking here about conscience and wondering if there might be a link to the legal trouble Mr. Shkreli finds himself in.
A 17-year-old Manassas teen is facing felony charges for allegedly sexting his girlfriend, who was 15 at the time.
NBC4 reports that the teen was caught sexting with his then-girlfriend in January and "was charged with manufacturing and distributing child pornography. According to the Post, the incident started when the teen's girlfriend sent him nude pics, and then the 17-year-old responded with a video of his, um, private parts. The video was discovered by the girl's mother who then filed a complaint.
After the teen was arrested, police took pictures of his genitalia for evidence, the teen's aunt tells NBC4:
"He said they took him to a room and took pictures of his genitalia...I asked if they’re allowed to do that, and [he] said, ‘I tried to refuse,’” which he did, he didn’t want to do it. They told him if he did not they would do it by force.”
This prosecution is bonkers. The Manassas police and the girl's mother are causing grave harm to these kids, especially to the boy.
The article asks and I wonder why only the boy was charged with making and distributing child porn. Perhaps this would be explained by some technicality related to age, but I'm left to wonder if there isn't also some weird gender bias at work.
Here is the Virginia child porn statute. I don't see a reason for charging the boy, but not the girl. Could be some other statute or a court ruling supersedes the statute. Or maybe this was driven by demands from the mother of the girl or something else we don't know about the people and relationships involved.
But then there is the problem of treating the supposed victim of child porn as a perpetrator. If a 30-year-old man shot the video with the 17-year-old voluntarily participating, would the police charge this 17-year-old with a felony or treat him as the victim of a crime?
I bet they would treat him as the victim of a crime. Yet when the 17-year-old makes the video, the victim and perp are merged. Now the victim is inescapably punished along with the so-called perpetrator because they are one and the same person. Is there no room for the law to recognize that kids photographing themselves presents a fundamentally different situation from adults creating nude images of children for sexual purposes?
Of course, there's room to recognize the difference, and authorities throughout the country do recognize the difference. I've read about a number of cases in which police have publicly explained that they treat these situations as matters for parents to sort out, unlike the knucklehead cops in Manassas. I'm sure that plenty of police agencies understand that treating kids as criminals in these situations is far worse than the supposed crime itself.
If all this isn't bad enough, the story gets even worse. Police have obtained a warrant to photograph the boy's erect penis, and they have threatened to inject him by force with a drug that would cause an erection. I can't imagine a physician would agree to do that, but if this is true, I'd suggest instead that doctors consider injecting the investigators with Haldol.
David Abbott, the Manassas police detective who obtained the warrant to inject the boy's penis with an erection drug, shot and killed himself when police arrived to arrest him for child rape in connection with his role as a youth hockey coach. Abbott was a member of an internet crimes against children task force in the DC/VA area. Story
In January 2013, CPD Commander Glenn Evans chased a suspect who, according to Evans, ditched a gun. It's been alleged that when Evans caught up with the suspect in an abandoned building, he shoved a gun deep into the suspect's mouth, while holding a taser to the suspect's crotch and threatening to kill the suspect.
A subsequent investigation found the suspect's DNA on the barrel of Evans's gun. Evans has been charged in the case, and his trial begins today.
This morning, WBEZ aired an excellent, brief report about CPD officers' view of the charges.
In what may well be the first-ever paper to evaluate susceptibility to pseudo-profound BS, Gordon Pennycook and colleagues have found that people who are more susceptible to BS score lower for verbal and fluid intelligence, are more prone to “conspiratorial ideation,” and more likely to “endorse complementary and alternative medicine.” Their paper, “On the reception and detection of pseudo-profound bullshit,” was published in November in the journal Judgment and Decision Making.