Chicagoans! Where to find me and Max Temkin on the Walkaway tour!

On Sunday, I'll be appearing at Chicago's Volumes Books with Max "Cards Against Humanity" Temkin, as part of the Walkaway tour (which includes stops tonight in Chapel Hill at Flyleaf Books with Mur Lafferty; tomorrow in Cincinnati at Joseph Beth; and more dates in Winnipeg, Denver, Austin, Houston, Scottsdale/Phoenix, San Diego, Portland, Seattle, Bellingham, Vancouver and Burbank, before I head to the UK). Read the rest

Come to the Chicago Walkaway event with Max Temkin, get a multitool!

My publicist just found an extra box of the cool promotional Walkaway multitools, and she's generously offered to give them to the next 100 people to reserve tickets to the May 7th Walkaway event at Chicago's Royal George Theater, where I'm presenting with CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY creator Max Temkin (current ticket-holders, don't worry, you get one too). Read the rest

David Dao's injuries: concussion, two front teeth knocked out, broken nose

Dr David Dao's lawyers have revealed the extent of his injuries as part of his pending lawsuit: "a broken nose and concussion and lost two front teeth." Read the rest

United passenger threatened with handcuffs to make room for "higher-priority" traveler

United Airlines is already dealing with intense public backlash after a doctor was beaten, knocked out, and dragged off one of its plane for refusing to give up a seat he'd paid paid for because United wanted his seat for one of its employees. Now, the LA Times is reporting that another man, who'd purchased a full-fare first class ticket and was sitting is his seat on a United Flight, was threatened with handcuffs if he did't give up his seat for a "higher-priority" traveler.

Snip:

[Geoff Fearns] boarded the aircraft at Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai, took his seat and enjoyed a complimentary glass of orange juice while awaiting takeoff.

Then, as Fearns tells it, a United employee rushed onto the aircraft and informed him that he had to get off the plane.

...

“That’s when they told me they needed the seat for somebody more important who came at the last minute,” Fearns said. “They said they have a priority list and this other person was higher on the list than me.”

“I understand you might bump people because a flight is full,” Fearns said. “But they didn’t say anything at the gate. I was already in the seat. And now they were telling me I had no choice. They said they’d put me in cuffs if they had to.”

Read the rest

Oversold, understated and authoritarian: debullshitifying the reporting on United's "removal" of Dr David Dao

As the scandal over a United passenger who was beaten unconscious and dragged off a plane when he refused to give up his seat for a deadheading crewmember unspools, there's a predictable torrent of bullshit about how United was in the right because something something private property, and let us not forget the great American sport of victim-blaming. Read the rest

Restoration revealed 1920s roulette table was rigged

Enjoy this simple and surprising tale from The Games Room Company, who were tasked with restoring a roulette table operated in Chicago throughout the 1930s: "we found that it had been completely rigged to defraud people and increase the odds of the house during play."

A button disguised as decorative screw, accessible to the croupier, would cause tiny pins to emerge from the ball track's surface, deflecting balls toward house-friendly ball pockets. Powered by batteries hidden in the legs (and dated by the newspaper used as dampers) the mechanism and its results would be undetectable at speed. Read the rest

Federal magistrate judge in Illinois rules that being forced to unlock your phone with a fingerprint could violate your rights

M. David Weisman, a magistrate judge in Illinois's Eastern Division, denied a federal warrant application that would have allowed law enforcement officers to force suspects to unlock their mobile devices with a fingerprint, ruling that the suspects' Fourth Amendment (undue search and seizure) and Fifth Amendment (self-incrimination) rights protected them from being forced to unlock their devices. Read the rest

By stealing from innocents, Chicago PD amassed tens of millions in a secret black budget for surveillance gear

Since 2009, the Chicago Police Department has seized $72M worth of property from people who were not convicted of any crime, through the discredited civil forfeiture process, keeping $48M worth of the gains (the rest went to the Cook County prosecutor's office and the Illinois State Police) in an off-the-books, unreported slush fund that it used to buy secret surveillance gear. Read the rest

Report finds over 125,000 complaints against more than 25,000 Chicago police officers

An analysis of five decades of police records by The Chicago Tribune found that a small group of Chicago police officers have racked up over 100 complaints each over the course of their respective careers, “including notoriously corrupt cops who wound up in prison but also others whose allegations of repeated wrongdoing were never before made public.”

Read the rest

Merciless reporting on the Chicago Police Department's extortion racket, & the senior officials who covered it up

The more we learn about the Chicago Police Department, the worse it gets -- there's the sabotage of dashcams, the widespread corruption, the investigators fired for refusing to cover up police crimes, off-the-books "black site" where the CPD kidnaps and tortures suspects, the Accountability Task Force Report that called the force racist, corrupt and broken. Read the rest

Chicago reporter's three grim years of covering overnight crime

What happens to a journalist assigned to cover Chicago's overnight violent crime? Chicago Tribune reporter Peter Nickeas describes in harrowing detail how three years of covering endless violence and misery changed him: Read the rest

Predictive policing predicts police harassment, not crime

In Chicago, the "Heat List" system is used to direct policing resources, based on data-mining of social media to identify potential gang-members; the model tells the cops where to go and who to arrest, and is supposed to reduce both violent crime and the likelihood that suspects themselves will be killed -- but peer-reviewed analysis (Scihub mirror) of the program shows that while being on the Heat List increases your chances of being harassed and arrested by Chicago PD, it does not improve crime rates. Read the rest

Chicago cops switched off bodycams and high-fived after shooting unarmed black teen

The Chicago Independent Police Review Authority has released a video showing the aftermath of the July 28 police shooting of an unarmed black man, in which the officers checked to ensure that their body-cameras were switched off and then gave each other high fives. Read the rest

Mother's Day was Chicago's most violent weekend in the last 7 months

Eight people were killed in Chicago over Mother’s Day weekend. Another 43 people in the city were injured in gun violence.

Read the rest

Chicago’s hottest tourist ticket: a corruption walking-tour

Journalist Paul Dailing, creator of the 1001 Chicago Afternoons blog, has created a walking tour of the most corrupt sites in Chicago's fantastically corrupt history, and it's selling out. Read the rest

Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Report: racism, corruption, and a "broken system"

Chicago's Police Department are notorious: the force maintains a "black site" where prisoners are secretly held under fake names and tortured, uses political shenanigans to suppress information about corruption, sabotages their own dashcams, secretly operates illegal mass-surveillance equipment (bought with asset forfeiture money, natch), forces out internal investigators who do their jobs conscientiously, and don't get me started on the evils of the Illinois prison system! Read the rest

Photo of Bernie Sanders being arrested in 1963 Chicago protest

Some of Sanders' Democratic Party adversaries have claimed that the Senator's history of principled stands has been short on racial equality, a charge that has required those opponents to claim that photos of Sanders being arrested at civil rights demonstrations are actually photos of someone else. Read the rest

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