February 27, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions loves the drug war, and he's ready to fight it in a new theater of battle: the dark web.

Sessions' Department of Justice has announced the creation of the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement team (super cool acronym for all the kids out there: J-CODE), which the FBI says will work on "disrupting the sale of drugs via the darknet and dismantling criminal enterprises that facilitate this trafficking."

How that will happen, FiveThirtyEight reports, is not clear. Past FBI efforts in this area have been less than stellar. For example, the American Civil Liberties Union obtained FBI documents in 2016 that revealed that the agency took control of about half of the dark web's child pornography sites and then continued to operate them out of federal facilities in an attempt to catch their anonymous users. In many of the resulting trials, the evidence collected via this ethical morass was deemed inadmissible.

The dark web drug war will pose significant challenges beyond those inherent in the larger war on drugs, which after half a century shows no effect on addiction rates. First, when one dark web site goes down, another reliably springs up to take its place. And second, as cybersecurity researcher Eric Jardine told FiveThirtyEight, this issue is "global in terms of its potential spread and facilitation." The internet is everywhere, so fighting dark net drug sales just in the U.S. is likely a futile project. Bonnie Kristian

December 8, 2015
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Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson believes every visitor to the United States should register and be monitored throughout their stay in the country.

Campaign spokesman Doug Watts announced Monday that the practice is "done in many countries," and "we do not and would not advocate being selective on one's religion," Reuters reports. Carson put forth the statement after his opponent, Donald Trump, called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Carson's campaign didn't say how exactly visitors should be monitored — would they have to check in with Homeland Security? Or wear ankle bracelets? Maybe have government agents trail them from tourist trap to tourist trap? If it's the latter, I volunteer for duty in Hawaii. Catherine Garcia

November 13, 2014

Italian performance artist Sven Sachsalber is boldly torturing himself with the tedium of attempting to find a needle in a haystack — for art's sake.

Visitors to Paris' Palais de Tokyo can watch Sachsalber's potentially futile search for 48 hours, though the museum says it's possible that finding the needle will take longer.

In case you're wondering how he's faring so far, take a peek at the livestream below. --Samantha Rollins

September 10, 2014

Bloody McMary's, McMosas, and McNuggets and Waffles?

Fast-food chain McDonald's has filed a trademark application with the U.S. Patent Office to secure the rights to the term "McBrunch." The burger joint filed the application in July, though it may have no immediate aims to elbow its way into the realm of leisurely portmanteau meals.

"We routinely file intent to use trademark applications as a regular course of business," a company spokesperson told Burger Business. "We can't share details at this time as to how the trademarks may or may not be used."

There is already an unofficial term "McBrunch" that involves combining a McMuffin and Big Mac into one meat monstrosity, according to Urban Dictionary.

In 2010, Burger King tested a brunch menu that included a non-alcoholic mimosa comprised of orange juice and Sprite. Somehow, the drink never caught on. Jon Terbush

April 30, 2014

Life-long Clippers fan Frankie Muniz is disappointed in team owner Donald Sterling, though he has a solution to save his beloved franchise:

The Malcolm in the Middle star also posted a long message to Facebook Tuesday lamenting Sterling's "despicable, hurtful words." So will Muniz really buy the Clips if the NBA forces Sterling to sell the team? Probably not. It's estimated the Clippers could "easily" fetch more than $700 million. Jon Terbush

April 29, 2014
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Ralph Nader, the political activist-turned presidential candidate and Democratic pariah, says Congress should impeach President Obama for violating the Constitution.

In an interview with Yahoo News, Nader panned the potential Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton 2016 matchup as a "dull campaign," and showed some love for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his party-line-blurring libertarian streak. And when it came to Obama, Nader said the president should be impeached for "egregious" constitutional encroachments, like his use of force, sans congressional approval, in Libya.

This isn't the first time Nader has said Obama should get the boot. He's previously accused the president of committing war crimes and likened him to former President George W. Bush. Jon Terbush

April 20, 2014
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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a gathering of law students last week that if they were displeased with the nation's tax structure, maybe they should revolt to change it.

Speaking at the University of Tennessee College of Law on Tuesday, the outspoken Justice affirmed the government's constitutional authority to levy taxes. However, he added that "if it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt."

Scalia made his remarks Tuesday, and The Washington Times flagged them Saturday.

It's worth noting that Scalia has a sense of humor often exhibited in his questions from the bench and legal opinions, so his comment was probably a bit of hyperbole. Yet it's nonetheless indicative of Scalia's staunch conservatism that he would respond to a question about taxes with an immediate nod to revolution.

Though Scalia also touched on freedom of speech and protest rights in general in his remarks, he did not tell students what to do should they feel that the rent is also too damn high. Jon Terbush

March 26, 2014

Over the past few years, hip-hop collective Wu-Tang Clan secretly recorded a brand-new double album titled The Wu — Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. Curious enough to give it a spin? You'll have to work a little harder than opening iTunes or Spotify. Only one copy of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin exists — and Wu-Tang isn't planning to make any more.

"We're about to sell an album like nobody else sold it before," explained Wu-Tang member RZA in an interview with Forbes. "We're about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of [modern] music. We're making a single-sale collector's item. This is like somebody having the scepter of an Egyptian king."

The group plans to tour Once Upon a Time in Shaolin in museums, galleries, and festivals — London's Tate Modern has reportedly been discussed as a potential venue — where attendees can pay $30 to $50 to listen to the sole copy. When the tour is over, Wu-Tang plans to put the album for sale for a price that will reportedly be "in the millions." They're confident that a company or independent buyer will bite at that price, and it's hard to argue with their logic; after all, Wu-Tang Clan ain't nuthing ta... well, you know the rest. Scott Meslow

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