Author Archive: Trench Reynolds

16 year independent crime, news and opinion blogger.

Partial motive revealed in Alpine High shooting

Partial motive revealed in Alpine High shooting

Alpine High School

The police department in Alpine, Texas, have said that the still unnamed 14-year-old shooter was planning to shoot her 14-year-old stepbrother at Alpine High School. Instead, the 17-year-old girl who was shot interrupted the shooter’s plans by entering the school rest room. The shooter fired at the other girl, wounding her. The shooter then turned the gun on herself and took her own life. What is not known at this time is why the shooter wanted to kill her stepbrother. Due to the ages of everyone involved, none of their identities have been released.

I’ll post more as details become available and time allows.

Supreme Court rejects Backpage appeal to keep sex trafficking records private

Backpage granted temporary stay from Supreme Court

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

Yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to block a Senate subpoena that had requested Backpage turn over its internal records regarding its alleged role in online prostitution and sex trafficking. In case you haven’t been following the story, back in August, a federal judge gave Backpage ten days to turn over its records to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The subcommittee has been investigating Backpage for some time and has been attempting to get these records for almost a year. Backpage was given a stay after that ruling, but soon afterwards the stay was lifted. This prompted Backpage to appeal to the Supreme Court, which as I mentioned refused to block the subpoena. The Supreme Court’s ruling makes Backpage’s deadline to turn over records right about…now.

While Backpage has seem to run out of their judicial bag of tricks they still seem to be hemming and hawing about turning over the records

“The volume of documents and data required to be processed, reviewed, redacted and logged renders production of every last responsive document and complete privilege logs by September 13, 2016 impossible regardless of best efforts,” the company’s lawyers said, adding that they hoped the tens of thousands of pages they were producing would be evidence of good faith.

My main concern is when it comes to Ferrer himself. If any legislative action is handed down I’m afraid he’ll just head back to The Netherlands where Backpage’s parent company is located, and where Ferrer helps run other sex sites that are even less subtle than Backpage. However, this now oft-repeated quote continues to make my day…

Backpage lawyer Liz McDougall declined to comment.

As always though, you shouldn’t count out Backpage just yet. They have more lives than the proverbial cat, and if history is any indicator, greed is a powerful motivator for evil to survive.

60-year-old Wisconsin veterinarian charged with being Backpage sex trafficker

60-year-old Wisconsin veterinarian charged with being Backpage sex trafficker

Brian Lee Kersten

60-year=old Brian Lee Kersten is a veterinarian from Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, which has a population of not quite 3,000. I’m sure you can just imagine the kindly looking old man mending injured puppies or delivering a litter of kittens, but police consider him part of a major sex trafficking ring.

Kersten is not only accused of allegedly trying to trick a woman into prostituting herself on Backpage by promising her a legitimate job, but he’s also accused of travelling to China, with an associate, in order to being back girls and women into the country illegally to work as prostitutes for him.

This shows that sexual slavery, and Backpage’s involvement, is not just a big city problem and it’s not just being committed by minorities, like some people think. It’s also in small town America being committed by local businessmen or supposed pillars of the community. Because of Backpage, sexual slavery, human trafficking and child prostitution is happening all over our country.

Trench’s further adventures in Linux: Enchantment OS

enchanmentosdesktop

One of my favorite things, as a Linux fan, is to read the weekly issues of Distrowatch’s ‘Distrowatch Weekly’, and seeing what new Linux distros are being added to their database. In the August 29th issue, under the ‘Distributions added to waiting list’ section was a distro called Enchantment OS, and it was described as follows…

Enchantment OS is a Linux distribution which is based on Xubuntu LTS and designed with less technical users in mind.

Ok, so it’s billed as a beginner’s Linux distro, but it’s much more. First off, the Enchantment OS website is professional looking. Sometimes if a distro’s website is janky looking, I won’t download the distro. The only compalint I have about the website is that the distro is a straight download from Sourceforge. I’d have preferred a torrent download, but if a distro is a newer one it may not have the users to torrent. Enchantment OS also offers pre-installed USB sticks and DVDs for sale along with a paperback guide for the distro. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a distro that was so encouraging to new Linux users. I can’t offer a review on the book since I can’t afford the $30, but I’m not above taking a free review copy if Enchantment wants to send me one. (hint, hint)

After downloading the distro, I installed it onto my Acer Cloudbook 14 with its 2 GB of RAM and 32GB hard drive. I had no problems with installation as I had with some other distros like Zorin OS and Linux Lite. It’s a very nice and clean-looking distro with all the software you might need. and not a lot of unnecessary applications. After downloading all the programs I needed, that weren’t included with the distro, I still had 18 GB left on the hard drive, Compared to the 3GB I had left after the last Windows 10 update, 18 GB is plenty.

enchanmentoslogo

It boots fast, It has some great looking wallpaper choices that comes with it and, as one famous company once said. it just works. The one thing I didn’t care for was Enchantment’s Software Boutique, basically its app store. Instead of being able to search through it, you can only browse through it. However, Enchantment, in its Software Boutique, also offers you the option to download any other software manager like the Ubintu software store which I prefer. It also comes with Firefox Fast browser pre-installed, which is a really good privacy browser with the best ad and flash blocking extensions pre-installed.

If you were to sit a Windows user in front of a machine that had Enchantment OS installed on it, they should have no problem using the machine, but as with most Linux distros they’ll probably need their hands held for a few things. I would imagine that’s where the Enchantment OS book comes in.

As a regular user of Linux, I love Enchantment OS, and it is now currently my favorite distro. It comes with the XFCE desktop, and is based on the long-term supported Xubuntu 16.04, so you won’t have to do a fresh install every six months. In closing of my disjointed review, I give Enchantment OS the full Trench Reynolds’ seal of approval.

Initial thoughts on the Alpine High shooting

Alpine High School

Alpine High School

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the tragedy that unfolded at Alpine High in Alpine, Texas. A 14-year-old female shot and wounded another female student before the shooter took her own life. As of right now I have not heard anything about the shooter’s name or any kind of motive. I could speculate but there’s really no point in that.

What I would like to address at this point is a quote from this article by the Dallas Morning News

The shooter, who was 14 and who authorities initially believed was another victim, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson, adding that his department had never had to deal with a situation like this before.

“It’s not supposed to happen here,” he said.

Please, for the love of God, stop saying this. As I’ve said before these shootings tend to happen in smaller communities rather than big cities. I’m sure many of us would have never heard of Paducah, Jonesboro, Littleton or Newtown if it wasn’t for the calamities that happened at these locations.

We need to stop having this mindset, because it’s unfortunately been proven wrong over and over again.

UPDATE 9/11/2016: Authorities have said that the shooter and the victim did not know each other. It was also mentioned that bullying has not been discussed as a motive in the shooting.

Backpage granted temporary stay by Supreme Court

Backpage granted temporary stay from Supreme Court

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

In my previous post about Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer, I mentioned that it would be more difficult for Backpage to appeal to the Supreme Court after being ordered by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to turn over their internal records to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Not surprisingly, that didn’t stop Ferrer and Backpage from filing an appeal with the US Supreme Court today, who granted them a temporary stay. In the ruling the court gave Senate lawyers until the 9th to respond.

Once again, like the scoundrel and coward that he is, Ferrer is trying to hide behind the First Amendment claiming that the ads Backpage hosts for prostitution are protected speech. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the First Amendment was crafted so that a free press could question the government without fear of reprisal. It wasn’t meant for shady businessmen to make profits from those who peddle other human beings in the sex trade.

Hopefully logic and basic human decency will prevail and Backpage will lose this appeal as well. If that does happen, it will be interesting to see if Backpage attempts to defy an order from the Supreme Court.

Maine man charged with pimping woman on craigslist in order to pay his bail

Maine man charged with pimping woman on craigslist in order to pay his bail

Curtis H. Moody

47-year-old Curtis H. Moody, of Whitfield, Maine, was in jail on domestic violence charges but didn’t think his cunning plan through when it came to posting his bail. Moody is accused of calling a woman and allegedly ordering her to prostitute herself on craigslist in order to raise bail money for him. He reportedly told the woman to “get it done tonight” but of course, since he was making the call from jail the call was recorded. When the woman was questioned’ she claimed that the craigslist ad was for dates with men, but not sex. You know, like what every pimp tells their prostitutes to say. One could even wonder if the domestic violence was committed against the same woman he tried to prostitute for his bail, or possibly even another woman who Moody could have been trafficking. Pimps normally don’t get women to work for them like that by asking nicely. Violence against the women that are trafficked like that is usually a way of life for them. Think about that the next time someone uses the phrase ‘consenting adults’.

The Asus 4G Surf Linux Challenge: wattOS 10

wattos10

I almost thought about not doing the EEEpc challenge anymore. I was playing a video game and tried using the Surf to look something up about the game. The Surf was so slow to work that I thought that it’s not really a functional computer anymore. Not only is it a 9-year-old computer, but my low-end smart phone, the Moto-E, is more powerful than the first generation EEEpc. Not only that but recently, most Linux developers are only focusing on 64-bit architectures, while the 701 EEEpc has a 32-but processor.

wattos

Then the other day I was over at Distrowatch and saw that one of my favorite Linux distros for the 4G Surf had a new release recently and that would be watt OS 10. Watt OS and Zorin OS Lite have been trading the challenge crown back and forth for a couple of years now.

When I booted it for the first time I did have to use the forcepae trick to get it to boot into the desktop. While installing I once again used no swap space to get the distro to fit on the 4GB hard drive. After installing and running the updates, I still had over 800MB of space left. Unfortunately, I could not get the function keys to work correctly but that has been the case with most distros for a while now. The computer itself functions fine but by today’s standards it’s incredibly slow. While not as low as dial-up speeds it does have an issue loading modern products like GMail and Facebook.

So while wattOS is a very good lightweight distro for older computers, the Asus EEEpc 701 4G Surf is now just a historic oddity. Stay tuned however, because there will be a new Linux challenge coming shortly.

Backpage loses latest bid to keep records private

Backpage loses latest bid to keep records private

Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer

The last we heard from Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer, he was ordered to turn over all of Backpage’s records to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Instead of doing that, Backpage was given a stay to make a case for themselves. Backpage has always claimed that the First Amendment protects them from prosecution as their ads for prostitution are protected speech. Earlier today, the appeals court lifted that stay saying that Backpage’s free speech argument was lacking. That means that Backpage has 10 days to turn over all their records to the Senate subcommittee. This must have been a great blow to Backpage as their mouthpiece, attorney Liz McDougall, refused to comment on whether or not Backpage will appeal to the Supreme Court for another stay, which the Cleveland.com article says is more difficult to obtain. While I wish this was the end of the story, don’t count Backpage out yet. They’ve survived some pretty drastic measures against them, like not being able to accept credit card payments. They may be devious enough to pull another trick out of their collective hats.

However, if this is the beginning of the end for Backpage, don’t shed a tear for them. This is not a blow against a free press, this is a victory for all the girls and women who have suffered at the hands of pimps and traffickers that advertised their victims on Backpage.

Kik kreeper threatens suicide in sextortion plot

Kik kreeper threatens suicide in sextortion plot

Zachary Myers

Again, I hate the use of portmanteaus like ‘sextortion’ but they’ve become a necessary evil.

kiklogo

Speaking of evil, 22-year-old Zachary Myers is accused in three Colorado counties of sexually assaulting underage girls. Myers is said to have used a new twist on the extortion trick. Normally a predator like this would threaten their victims or the victims’ families with violence if they didn’t comply with their requests. Myers, on the other hand, allegedly threatened to kill himself if his victims did not comply. He is even said to have gone as far as keeping a photo on his phone of himself holding a shotgun in his mouth. He reported used this trick mostly on Kik in the sexual assault of at least three different victims in Jefferson, Weld and Denver counties. His victims range from ages 13 to 16. In each case Myers is accused of allegedly either forcing himself on them or attempting to. Myers was also said to have been in possession of several explicit pictures of underage girls.

Normally, this is where I go on about how Kik is just crawling with sex offenders and pedophiles, and I guess I just did, but the article brings up a great tip about your kids’ electronic devices. It recommends that you may want to consider taking your kids’ devices away at night. Some of you may say that you trust your child too much to do that and that’s fine, but do you trust whoever they’re talking to on the other side?