Posts Tagged ‘Missouri’

Hackers seek revenge for unprosecuted rape

The other day, I watched an excellent movie about the young julian Assange, called “Underground”.

It was fascinating, and contained some excellent performances: from Rachel Griffiths, especially, as his campaigning, “alternative” mother, fleeing from the cult known as The Family, and Laura Wheelwright as his girlfriend and young mother of Assange’s child.

It essentially covered what motivated Assange to take the life course he did, and I believe most people viewing it would be much less antagonistic to him today than they otherwise might be. The genesis of what later became Wikileaks is clear to see.

Anyway, that’s by the by. What the movie does show clearly is that hackers are not only motivated by a sense of mischief – which is undoubtedly true – but also, often, by holding strong moral positions.

Now, a group of vigilante hackers has promised retribution after the alleged rape of a high school cheerleader went unprosecuted in a rural American town.

Anonymous activists often appear in public wearing Guy Fawkes masks

Anonymous activists often appear in public wearing Guy Fawkes masks

Time US reports that Anonymous, an international band of internet activists, is targeting the Missouri town of Maryville after the Kansas City Star published a story about a possible rape case that went un-prosecuted by local authorities.

Known for successful hacks of powerful organisations such as the Church of Scientology, PayPal and even the government of Brazil, an Anonymous synthesized voice recording warned Maryville Mayor Jim Fall and other officials to “expect us”.

“If Maryville won’t defend these young girls, if the police are too cowardly or corrupt to do their jobs, if justice system has abandoned them, then we will have to stand for them,” the statement says.

The Kansas City Star reports that in the early hours of January 8, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman and a 13-year-old friend climbed from a bedroom window to join their 17-year-old “friend” at his house.

At the time, the 17-year-old was a Maryville High School football star and Daisy was a freshman cheerleader.

The boy, also the grandson of a former state Republican, later admitted to police that he knew the girl was drinking at his house and that he had sex with her while she was drunk, according to the Kansas City Star. The encounter was allegedly recorded on a friend’s iPhone.

Other witnesses told police the 17-year-old loaded the girl, in tears, into his car and shockingly left her unconscious on her front porch in freezing temperatures. When Daisy’s mother found her the following morning her hair was frozen.

Nodaway County Sheriff Darren White told the Star that he “absolutely” expected the case to end up in court.

“Within four hours, we had obtained a search warrant for the house and executed that. We had all of the suspects in custody and had audio/video confessions.”

Instead – and surely the public should know why – the charges were dropped, and much of the town turned on the Coleman family.

Daisy’s mother Melinda was fired from her job, and – after the Colemans left town – their house burned down under suspicious circumstances.

We haven’t heard the last of this story. Nor should we.

The young girl at the centre of the case has been the subject of a cruel whispering and insults campaign online, and has apparently attempted suicide twice. Further background to this appalling story can be read here:

If you wish to Tweet your feelings about this case, the hashtag to use is #justicefordaisy.

(Daisy’s mother gave the Kansas City Star permission to name her daughter. From The West Australian and others.)


A Special Prosecutor has now been appointed to consider the case. Stay tuned for further information as it comes to hand. And a rally has taken place in the town to stress support for Daisy. Over 200 people, dressed in local indentifying clothing and carrying daisies, came together to change the nature of the local debate.

Support for Daisy swells

Support for Daisy swells locally



The role of Anonymous in bringing this case to light is entirely noble and to be applauded.

The role of Anonymous in bringing this case to light is entirely noble and to be applauded.


Meanwhile, you can read Daisy’s own harrowing version of events here.


Sometimes a story come wandering across the Wellthisiswhatithink desk that make us righteously angry, squirming with embarrassment, and gets us shaking our heads in disbelief, all at the same time.

Toni Shelton, who lives in Sugar Creek, Missouri, has been repainting old tires to turn them into flower planters.

“I was just really interested in recycling and I’m really big on self-sufficiency,” she told KCTV news.

Dangerous radical seeks to make world more beautiful: authorities act

Dangerous radical seeks to make world more beautiful: authorities act decisively

Not only is Shelton using the tires decoratively, as painted flower planters, but also to grow fresh vegetables for her family.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

After all, recycling is one of the most important things we can do to preserve our planet for future generations.

Apparently, the authorities in Sugar Creek do not agree.

They have issued Shelton a citation, but she is refusing to pay the fine on principle. Instead, she is prepared to go to jail after she was threatened by authorities in her home town.

Why are these tires such a threat to Sugar Creek? Well, apparently the number of tires she was storing could attract mosquitoes and lower property values.

Oh no! What could be more important than property values?

Well, let’s even concede the town has a point. Citing her, and threatening to prosecute her, is ludicrous. Even though the police department said they don’t have a problem with her using the tires as planters, they told her to get rid of her unused supply and fined her before she had a chance to move them.

From rawstory:

“We’d asked her to put them somewhere else because there were quite a number of them,” Sugar Creek Chief Herb Soule insisted.”We try to keep people from accumulating tires because they retain water and they attract mosquitos. They detract from property values in the neighborhood too.”

She looks dangerous to us.

She looks dangerous to us.

In response, Shelton has now moved most of the old tires and is storing some of them inside of an old truck.

Still, she said she won’t get rid of all the tires because she said it would send the wrong message to her children. And to other environmentally aware people, presumably.

“I don’t want my kids to see me back down and not follow my heart,” she explained.

Anyhow, unless pressure not to do so can be brought to bear, the case will be heard in municipal court in Sugar Creek next week.

Missouri officials don’t seem to be aware, but here are some of the benefits of recycling:

•    Recycling protects and expands US manufacturing jobs and increases US competitiveness;
•    Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration;
•    Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials;
•    Recycling saves energy;
•    Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change;
•    Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals;
•    Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.

Shelton’s way of recycling these ugly objects should be applauded rather than punished. Shelton has moved her unused supply of tires to an enclosed space, but she says she’d rather go to jail than pay a citation for trying to set a good example for her kids.

Tell Sugar Creek recycling tires isn’t a crime.

If you agree that Toni Shelton is improving the environment by recycling old tires and that, far from being punished, she should be applauded, please sign the petition demanding that all charges against her be dropped immediately. They have 238 signatures already, (after I have just added mine), and are seeking at least 5,000. Let’s get it done, people.

Fellow bloggers, please PRESS THIS.

FUN FACTMr.Bumble_thumb

The phrase “the law is an ass” was popularized by Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, when the character Mr. Bumble is informed that “The law supposes that your wife acts under your direction”.

Mr. Bumble grumpily replies “If the law supposes that … the law is a [sic] ass — a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”