Scarlett Johansson Nude-Pics Leaker Christopher Chaney Pleads Guilty to Hacking

By the time the damage was done, Christopher Chaney had hacked into Scarlett Johansson’s email, stolen and leaked nude pictures or her online, and also hacked into the accounts of Christina Aguilera and Mila Kunis. In all, prosecutors say Chaney hacked into the email accounts of over 50 celebrities.

The culprit now faces U.S. federal prison time of up to 60 years and fines and victim restitution of up to $2.2 million. Chaney has been apparently been jobless, so it is not clear if he can ever pay the fines.

The Scarlett Johansson nude pics were real, and she has admitted that they were meant for ex-husband Ryan Reynolds.

Chaney actually used publicly available information to piece together usernames and passwords of email accounts. After getting into the accounts, he found a wealth of information. In addition to the private pics of Johansson and Christina Aguilera, he was able to use the email accounts to find email addresses and contact information of even more celebrities.

Sources:

The Daily Mail

 

 

Simon Cowell Burglary Case

Last Saturday night, a woman apparently lost her marbles and entered into Simon Cowell’s home in England with a broken brick. Although no one was injured, the woman was detained by Cowell security until police arrived, and she was arrested for burglary.

The woman allegedly had screamed at Simon and threw unknown items at one of his windows before entering the house.

Burglary is generally defined as breaking and entering into the dwelling house of another with the intent to commit a felony once you get inside. Although the common law required the act to be at night, that generally does not matter in modern criminal law. In this case, the felony that she allegedly intended to commit was to inflict grievous bodily harm on a person by use of the brick.

The woman has been charged in court and detained in jail until her next hearing.

Public Is Rushing to Judgment in Martin/Zimmerman Protests

This is getting more surreal by the minute. Do Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson ever actually check the facts before they start complaining and spending their donors’ money (at least the part that doesn’t go in their pockets)?

There is no doubt that police can be incompetent at any given time, but there is still no evidence that the Sanford, FL police have bungled the Trayvon Martin case. Evidence has been released by local police that Trayvon Martin assaulted George Zimmerman first, punching him and slamming his head on the ground.

Part of this started because people assumed that Zimmerman went after Trayvon. This is simply an assumption that is NOT fully supported by the 911 call. In Zimmerman’s 911 call, we don’t actually know what happened after he was told by a 911 dispatcher not to follow Martin. People only assumed that he followed or chased Martin. In fact, Zimmerman told the police that he turned back to go to his car, and that Martin then appeared and assaulted him after Martin asked him if he had a problem.

At first blush, Zimmerman’s story does not exactly square with what you would expect to have happened based on the 911 call. But new reports indicate that there is an eyewitness who saw Martin assaulting Zimmerman. We don’t know who this witness is, but without more evidence, we have no reason to believe this witness is lying.

Now, to corroborate this witness and Zimmerman, the police say they visibly saw George with a fat lip, a cut on the back of his head and other injuries consistent with his account of what happened and the account of the eyewitness.

Once again, I can’t claim to know what happened. But I DO know the public has rushed to judgment in this case. Public opinion polls saying that three-fourths of people surveyed think Zimmerman should be arrested mean nothing. Those poll takers don’t know the facts that are in the possession of local police. The same goes for this petition that apparently has one million signatures. You don’t arrest people based on public petition. America is not supposed to be a country run by mob rule.

It is looking more and more like there is no probable cause to arrest George Zimmerman with or without Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defenseĀ  law. And if someone is slamming your head on the ground, you do have the right to use deadly force. Whether that actually happened is a different story, but slamming someone’s head on the ground is deadly force, and you can meet deadly force with your own deadly force.

Media Analysis: Are Black People Only Upset When a White Person Kills a Black Person?

The Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case has brought this question up again. If you watch the media, you may think that blacks only get upset when a white person kills a black person. This outrage never seems to occur with black-on-black crime. Some observers online even claim this as a fact.

I’m not sure this is true at all. While it is true that black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson seem to only get up in arms when they feel a black person has been victimized, that could be because that is their job. They don’t see other killings as a racial issue, so they don’t necessarily respond to it.

But this is not important. People like Sharpton do NOT represent all blacks. They represent themselves and their own opinions and agendas.

This may be part misperception and part media distortion. Blacks seem extremely upset over the Trayvon Martin case, but that’s because the media is shedding light on this incident. What about black-on-black crime? You don’t usually see the media take this on because it is not juicy enough for them. But if you talked to the people in the neighborhood where a black-on-black killing occurred, you may find that they would be upset about that.

The media distorts everything. Again, there is a reason you don’t see reports of black-on-black crime usually becoming a big story. The media doesn’t have enough hype to sell that story. Whether blacks are as outraged over such killings as they are with white-on-black crime is something that is hard to answer because the media will never find a way to help answer that question.

By the way, I find it odd that George Zimmerman is being called “white” by so many people when HE DOESN’T EVEN LOOK WHITE and is actually Hispanic (his father is Caucasian, though). Jordin Sparks has a white mother. Is she white, too? This latest issue doesn’t seem to be about race at all.

Conclusion: Never trust the media to gauge the real pulse of society. They report what they think makes them the most money and sensationalize it the best they can. Count on that.

 

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman 911 Calls (YouTube Videos Included)

I have seen a couple of different 911 calls coming out of the Trayvon Martin case. The first one was where the shooter George Zimmerman actually called 911 for help. This particular tape suggests a couple of things. It seems Zimmerman is looking for trouble instead of responding when trouble actually occurs. He even said that these guys “always get away.” What guys are he talking about? At least at that point, Trayvon Martin had done nothing. This could hurt a self-defense claim. The second related point is that Zimmerman unfortunately acts like a paranoid cop who finds suspicion in every possible stare, head movement, or anything else. I am not black, but even I have encountered police from time to time that were clearly oversuspicious.

The second 911 call was from a female in the neighborhood who heard the gunshot (perhaps it was two gunshots, but there seemed to be confusion on that point). This 911 call contained the voice of someone crying out. Apparently, it was Trayvon Martin. This call does not prove anything. It was obviously after he was shot, so the crying out was just a normal response from someone who had just been shot but was still conscious.

Neither 911 call is going to prove what actually happened. I’m not sure why people are claiming that any of these 911 calls uncover the truth, but they only provide a glimpse into what happened between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. With no other evidence, it would be difficult to prove anything above manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt, and even that would be difficult to prove without a single witness to exactly what happened.

What likely happened here is that George Zimmerman was overzealous in trying to protect the neighborhood and escalated the situation to the point that someone was shot and killed. It may have even been that Trayvon did show some aggression in the eyes of George Zimmerman, but that very well could have been a situation where Trayvon felt he was actually the one defending himself when Zimmerman approached him.

While the available evidence from the 911 calls does not paint a picture of self-defense, we have a system that is based on guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Nothing I have seen from the 911 calls or anything else proves beyond a reasonable doubt that George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin. It only shows that he killed him, but we don’t know what happened in the seconds before the shooting. Zimmerman was not committing any crime by approaching Martin. If that were a crime, people could be arrested all day long. Whether a crime occurred after Zimmerman approached is the crucial question.

The following links lead to YouTube videos that have the relevant 911 calls. Note that the title of the first YouTube has a very deceptive claim. The 911 call does not contain the actual shooting. It was the screaming after the fact.

Sources:

Florida’s Stand Your Ground Self-Defense Criminal Law Is Just Fine; No Changes Needed

The shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman has brought to light the Florida Stand Your Ground self-defense law. Politicians and professional and amateur pundits are doing like they always do by overreacting and calling for a change in the law. Not only should this Florida self-defense criminal law not be changed. In fact, the truth is the states that do not have a Stand Your Ground law should be adopting it as the standard for self-defense.

First of all, instead of attacking the law, many reasonable observers are noting that the Stand Your Ground law may not even apply in the case of Trayvon Martin. In this case, Zimmerman used a gun – the principal example of deadly force in self-defense and defense-of-others law. The question here is whether the Stand Your Ground law provides a defense for Zimmerman in this case, not whether the Stand Your Ground law is a good self-defense law.

This is like when people blame religion for wars. It’s just a bogus argument. Religion is not responsible for war. People abusing religion or misapplying its teachings are the ones responsible for war. In this case, the fact that the Florida police might be misapplying the Stand Your Ground law does not mean it’s a bad law. Under this twisted logic, any law would have to be changed because any law can be misapplied.

The Stand Your Ground law is about retreat. In many states, you must attempt to retreat first before using deadly force if there is any possible avenue for retreat. That is a horrible law on its face. Self-defense laws requiring retreat put you in a Catch 22: either defend yourself now or try to retreat and risk getting shot or stabbed in the back or otherwise injured or killed during the retreat.

Requiring retreat before deadly force ignores the heightened emotional state, adrenaline and stress accompanied by being attacked. A victim cannot reasonably be expected to “think things through” or look around for an avenue of retreat. Those who devised the retreat requirement grew up in a nice neighborhood and didn’t have to worry about being mugged on a regular basis. I grew up in a nice neighborhood, but I also have common sense and can put myself in the shoes of a victim. An attack on the street is not an exercise in classroom or courtroom logic. It is an event that happens quickly and does not provide room for second guessing, pondering, deliberation, etc. You act quickly and you act decisively. That is self-defense in the real world.

Laws requiring retreat essentially blame the victim for his or her impulsive human defense mechanisms. If you are going to attack someone, then you need to take the risk of being injured or killed when the victim strikes back. Retreat should have no place in self-defense. Once you go to retreat, you just don’t know what is going to happen.

The seeming problem in the case of Trayvon Martin is that the use of deadly force might not have been justified. That is a far cry and essentially irrelevant to the value or wisdom of the Florida Stand Your Ground law. If George Zimmerman used deadly force without reasonable cause, then prosecute him. Don’t prosecute a good law that allows for reasonable self-defense without the uncertainty of a mandatory retreat in the face of danger.

 

Summary of the Invisible Children, Inc. “Stop Kony” Campaign (Kony 2012)

Invisible Children heads up the Stop Kony campaign, which is a global effort to bring Joseph Kony to justice. The promotional video is about 30 minutes long, and with so many people pressed for time, I decided to write a summary of the main points of the film.

First, I think the film is very self-aggrandizing, and it is odd that the creator is prompting his own son to give an opinion about a sadistic murderer. The kid has plenty of time to grow up and think about these things when he has the maturity level to understand the issues. But with those complaints aside, it is a well-produced film with a fantastic stated purpose.

In short, Joseph Kony is the leader of the LRA, which is a group of rebels that kidnaps children in Uganda and forces them to act as LRA soldiers. The girls are forced to act as sex slaves. They have also killed some of the children for not obeying orders. According to the film, there have been 30,000 such victims since this LRA reign of terror began 26 years ago. Forced acts have even included forcing kids to kill their own parents.

As an aside, stopping Osama bin Laden did not stop terrorism. And this is part of the problem. You can’t just take out Joseph Kony. Someone will just take his place. So this issue is much bigger than one man.

I also found it bizarre to say that the film will expire on December 31, 2012. You certainly can’t rush justice, particularly international justice. It is unrealistic to think this problem will be solved on a specific timeline. Once again, the creator is passionate but unrealistic at the same time. But that does not take away from the fact that the cause is very admirable.

Now, some may be wondering why the US government is not doing anything to stop this. Well, the movie explains that all those in Washington (both major parties) do not see this as an issue in the national interest. Political arguments aside, both parties have consistently refused to get involved in several travesties like this in Africa (similar atrocities happened in Rwanda, and the UN turned its back).

Invisible Children then goes into a self-promotional campaign about the good that it hasĀ done to raise money for charity and build schools and do other good deeds. This has nothing to do with Kony and the LRA, so I have no idea what it is doing in the movie except as additional self-aggrandizement.

By the way, Kony is under indictment. But Uganda either has not tried or at least tried hard enough to capture him. And as stated above, other governments don’t feel the need to get involved.

However, Obama eventually sent a small number of 100 or so troops to advise and assist in the pursuit of Kony. This is the equivalent of military lip service and nothing else, but the show makes it sound like some grand accomplishment.

The show then says Kony has “changed his tactics” to avoid capture.

This brings us to the call to action given by Invisible Children. In short, it says we need to spread the word about Joseph Kony to avoid having the advisor group’s mission cancelled by the president. The campaign also involves going to the website to send emails to 40 influential people. The idea is to get these people to support the cause. You can also donate money and get an action kit with Kony 2012 items that are meant to help spread the word. The plan is to hang all these posters in every street corner in America on April 20, 2012.

Although I am critical of the movie, I am not critical of the cause. Let me make that as clear as possible. And I support the cause of getting the word out. The guy lives to torture people, and he needs to be stopped. But I think the job of doing that lies with the Ugandan government and army at this point. The pressure should be on them to use all legal measures necessary to hunt this guy down. I also support having the advisory group, but it is not a solution by itself. Sending a group of advisors with no military authority is more of a political move than an action to affect real change.

Click the link below to watch the Stop Kony video. You can visit the website for this Invisible Children campaign at Kony2012.com.

http://youtu.be/Y4MnpzG5Sqc

Nancy Grace Puts Foot in Her Mouth Again Over Whitney Houston Autopsy

Nancy Grace is nothing if not controversial. She recently appeared to insinuate that someone pushed Whitney Houston under the water in an interview on CNN. Actually, in Nancy’s defense, she did also note in the same interview that there was no sign of force or trauma. The reality is that Grace just doesn’t seem to have the ability to apologize over anything.

What likely happened in this latest controversy is that Nancy just chose the wrong words. She probably meant to say that Whitney Houston’s autopsy might reveal that she was placed under the water, not that it actually happened. The statement is innocent enough. But Nancy’s overbloated ego is the problem. She can’t even apologize for a simple mistake in word usage that caused confusion.

You’ve got to remember that Nancy Grace is a former prosecutor from the Atlanta area. She knows the importance of words, and she has undoubtedly used the words of criminal suspects to help get them convicted and sent to prison. But she is acting like one of the criminals here who refuses to apologize. But Nancy just misspoke. She didn’t really do anything wrong here even though a former prosecutor should know how to be more careful with her words. All she has to do is apologize for the misstament, but Grace is apparently above that.

On a side note, there could still be criminal charges arising out of this case, but the autopsy is unlikely to show that kind of guilt. What it will show is the types of substances that Whitney had and may help determine the exact cause of death. But that would have to be added to other evidence of someone wrongfully supplying drugs or other substances. This does not appear to be like the case of Anna Nicole Smith or Michael Jackson. No one is saying that Whitney was out of her mind or couldn’t take care of herself.

Criminal charges in this case are unlikely unless there is a doctor involved who was grossly negligent in prescribing drugs. Barring that, there is probably no criminal case here. And Nancy Grace should just focus on the facts instead of introducing wild speculation about a forced drowning. Learn some humility, Nancy Grace. It’s really not that hard to apologize.

Sources:

LA Times: Nancy Grace Defends Her Whitney Houston Death Speculation