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Industrial Chemicals as Weapons: Chlorine

Certain recent events in Iraq have elevated long-standing fears that terrorist groups may use poisonous chemicals, especially elemental chlorine, as toxic weapons against vulnerable populations. These concerns rest on a solid factual basis: many chemicals produced for industrial purposes are inherently dangerous due to their possession of one or more of the following properties: reactivity, flammability, explosiveness, toxicity, or carcinogenicity. In particular, the toxic industrial gases anhydrous ammonia, hydrogen fluoride, and elemental chlorine (often referred to as toxic inhalation hazards, or TIH) are of utmost concern from both safety and security standpoints. Any of these chemicals when released in the course of an accident or a deliberate attack can form a toxic gaseous plume that when carried by wind is capable of inflicting potentially catastrophic loss of life on the population in its path. The worst industrial accident in history is illustrative: 40 metric tons of methyl isocyanate was released from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, on December 3, 1984. The resulting plume killed at least 3,000 people downwind and injured more than 100,000. A sufficiently large release of elemental chlorine may be capable of exacting a comparable toll, particularly if it were to be discharged in a highly populated civilian area.

This issue brief describes the properties, hazards, and the legitimate applications of chlorine, as well as its use for weapons purposes during World War I and currently in Iraq. The vulnerability of America's chemical infrastructure to deliberate attack (including the facilities that produce, consume, and transport chlorine), as well as efforts currently underway to achieve infrastructure security, are also examined. The brief concludes with an evaluation of alternative approaches to mitigating the potential threat posed by a deliberate chlorine release.

Properties of Chlorine

Chlorine (Cl[2]) is a highly reactive, pale green gas produced industrially by the electrolysis of readily available aqueous sodium chloride (table salt). Worldwide, the annual production of chlorine totals approximately 55 million metric tons.[1] In 2006, the American chemical industry produced 12.2 million metric tons of chlorine, making it one of the ten most produced chemicals in the United States by weight.[2] Chlorine and its derivative chemicals serve myriad functions in modern society. The most important use of chlorine itself is as a disinfectant; for example, chlorine is employed worldwide in drinking water treatment facilities. In addition, chlorine derivatives (materials containing chlorine atoms chemically bound to other elements) are used as bleaching agents, construction materials (especially polyvinyl chloride, or PVC), high purity silicon precursors (e.g. trichlorosilane) for use in computer chip manufacture, pharmaceutical compounds (including "blockbuster" drugs such as Singulair, Plavix, and Norvasc), and many other functional materials.[3]

The high toxicity of chlorine gas tempers the many beneficial uses of the chemical.[4] Chlorine gas is heavier than air, and therefore will disperse slowly into the atmosphere after release. Because chlorine is water soluble, exposure to the gas irritates the mucous membranes and eyes at concentrations (in air) of under 3 parts per million (ppm).[5],[6] Moderate irritation of the upper respiratory tract occurs at 5-15 ppm, followed by chest pain, vomiting, and dyspnea at 30 ppm. Above 50 ppm, lung inflammation and pulmonary edema occurs. Chlorine is deadly at concentrations of several hundred ppm or higher. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, a chlorine concentration of 10 ppm is considered to be immediately dangerous to life or health.[7]

Military and Terrorist Use of Chlorine

In what many consider to be the dawn of modern chemical warfare, chlorine was first employed as a "choking agent" in the early days of World War I. On April 22, 1915, during the second battle of Ypres, the German military released approximately 168 metric tons of chlorine from 5,730 buried gas cylinders.[8] The heavy green plume was carried by prevailing winds to the Allied lines, where French and French Algerian soldiers, not suspecting a chemical attack, were taken by surprise and quickly overwhelmed by the chlorine. The attack claimed the lives of at least 800 soldiers, and injured thousands more. While this incident underscores the potential lethality of chlorine, both sides soon realized that chlorine is not a militarily effective chemical weapon against a prepared adversary. In particular, chlorine possesses both a visible color and a strong odor, which alerts people of its presence and enables avoidance. Moreover, the effects of chlorine exposure may be completely or somewhat mitigated using simple countermeasures, such as wearing a gas mask or even covering the nasal passages with a wet cloth. Therefore, chlorine was quickly abandoned in favor of more fearsome chemical agents (e.g. phosgene and mustard gas). Despite its nefarious usage, its widespread manufacture and distribution for industrial and sanitary purposes has continued.

In Iraq, militias or terrorists have detonated bombs rigged to cylinders containing chlorine that originally were intended for water treatment and other industrial uses, with the intention of dispersing the gas over their targets (primarily Iraqi police and civilians). The US military believes that terrorist groups affiliated with Al Qaeda are primarily responsible for these types of attacks.[9] According to the United Nations Monitoring, Inspection, and Verification Commission (UNMOVIC), at least 10 attacks involving chlorine have occurred in Iraq up to June 1, 2007, resulting in dozens of civilian deaths and an unknown number of injuries.[10] An attack on June 3, 2007 targeted a United States military forward operating base and resulted in making 65 US service members ill from chlorine exposure. The perpetrators have used relatively small, easily transportable quantities of chlorine in the attacks, no more than several tons. Deaths have been attributed primarily to the effects of the explosives themselves, not the chlorine.[11] It is reasonable to assume that the efficacy of these attacks will increase as terrorists modify their methods of chlorine dispersion based on past experience.

The attacks in Iraq utilizing chlorine have re-raised simmering questions in the United States: Is the country's chemical infrastructure, especially the sub-sector that makes and stores elemental chlorine, vulnerable to attacks by terrorist elements that would result in the large-scale release of TIH chemicals over population centers? Would facilities where chlorine is stored be attractive to those who seek to harm civilians?

Chlorine presents both disadvantages and some advantages to domestic terrorists. On the one hand, chlorine is not nearly as potent a toxin as other chemical weapons used in terrorist attacks, such as the fluoroorganophosphate nerve agent sarin released on the Tokyo subway on March 20, 1995 by the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo, killing 12. However, nerve agents require substantial finances, advanced equipment, appropriate chemical precursors, and personnel with specialized training in synthetic organic chemistry to prepare. Even then, nerve agent synthesis and dispersion is non-trivial. For example, Aum Shinrikyo used impure sarin coupled with a crude and relatively ineffective delivery system for the subway attack, despite mustering all the resources mentioned above.[12] On the other hand, chlorine does not need to be chemically synthesized (given its abundance), and as a gas does not require active aerosolization for efficient dispersal. Most importantly, a large release of chlorine may inflict mass casualties on unprepared civilians. According to a 2004 report by the Homeland Security Council, a deliberate release of 60,000 gallons of liquefied chlorine from an industrial facility in a highly populated area may result in 17,500 civilian deaths, while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that a "worst-case" chemical release would result in fewer than 10,000 deaths.[13][14]

Chemical Facility Security

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the United States there are approximately 15,000 facilities, including about 2,000 water systems, which store more than the threshold quantities of hazardous chemicals necessary to trigger EPA regulation. A "worst-case" chemical release from any one of 123 such facilities could expose more than 1,000,000 people to toxic gases.[15] In the aftermath of September 11th, the chemical industry has recognized its potential vulnerability and moved rapidly to enhance facility security. In 2002, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), a chemical industry association whose members control approximately 2,000 facilities, established the Responsible Care[®] Security Code, a mandatory private security initiative.[16] The Security Code requires member facilities to complete vulnerability assessments, perform physical security enhancements, invite an independent, third party audit of these enhancements, conduct employee training and drills, and perform periodic security self-audits. These requirements apply to members of the Chlorine Institute, a trade association and Responsible Care[®] partner whose membership includes 98% of chlorine producers and 100% of chlorine packagers in the United States.[17] According to the ACC, its companies have invested about $3 billion in security improvements since September 11th, and all member facilities have completed security upgrades and subsequent independent audits.[18]

Although private security initiatives have garnered justifiable praise, they are also widely viewed as inadequate. Investigative journalists have easily penetrated dozens of chemical facilities nationwide, including many housing chlorine, over the past several years. For example, in 2003, a reporter was able to approach storage tanks holding approximately 1,000 tons of chlorine gas at the Sony Technology Center in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.[19] In 2005, reporters from the New York Times were able to approach and loiter near chlorine storage tanks on an industrial site in densely populated Northern New Jersey, only miles from New York City.[20] In addition to the gaps in physical security, facility employees and emergency response personnel are often inadequately prepared to handle a deliberate chemical release.[21] Clearly, comprehensive chemical security requires, in addition to private initiatives, the participation of the public sector in order to safeguard the public most effectively.

At the federal level of government, DHS is responsible for chemical sector security. Until very recently, however, DHS had not received a Congressional mandate to implement and enforce industry-wide security measures.[22] The situation changed in October 2006, when President Bush signed the Homeland Security Appropriations Act, H.R. 5441, which gave DHS interim (3 year) authority to regulate security at chemical facilities. On April 2, 2007, DHS issued the interim final rule regulating chemical facility security, known as the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards.[23] The rule requires facilities possessing a threshold quantity of one or more of 342 chemicals of interest, including chlorine, to file a report known as a "top screen" with DHS. For chlorine, this threshold level currently is 1,875 lbs or more.[24] Using this data, DHS will perform a risk assessment and categorize "at risk" facilities according to a tiered system, with Tier 1 facilities considered the highest risk and Tier 4 facilities the lowest. A number of factors are considered in the assessment, including the type and amount of chemical(s) stored as well as the layout and location of the facility. DHS currently estimates that 5,000-8,000 facilities will be assigned a ranking in the tier system, with fewer than 1,000 assigned to Tiers 1 & 2.[25] The facilities assigned to a risk tier will be required to submit vulnerability assessments and site security plans, subject to DHS verification, with failure to comply resulting in daily fines and/or shutdown of the facility in violation. Chemical manufacturers have embraced the new rule's risk-based approach, although others, including environmental groups, have highlighted several apparent weaknesses.[26],[27] For example, the rule contains no timetable for compliance, no whistleblower protections, and may preempt more stringent state and local regulations. Furthermore, the rule is not applicable to water and waste treatment facilities that utilize chlorine for disinfection, and does not require these or other chemical facilities to consider replacing chlorine with safer alternatives (see below). Recent thefts of chlorine cylinders from a California water treatment facility have served to underscore the final point.[28]

Security of Chlorine Rail Shipments

Industrial chemicals, like all commodities, must be transported from production facilities to various consumers. For TIH chemicals such as chlorine, freight railroad offers the most viable transportation option for large-scale shipment. Of the approximately 12 million tons of chlorine produced annually in the United States, almost 3 million tons are shipped by rail, usually in 90 ton pressurized tank cars.6 Rail shipment of hazardous materials (hazmat) is very reliable; 99.997% of the ca. 1.8 million annual hazmat shipments in the United States arrive without incident.[29] Although rail accidents involving chlorine are exceedingly rare, when chlorine tank cars are breached, the consequences often are fatal. On June 28, 2004, near San Antonio, Texas, a head-on collision of two trains resulted in a chlorine tank car breach. Two people died of chlorine inhalation, and 50 more were hospitalized for exposure. On January 6, 2005, in Graniteville, South Carolina, another head-on collision resulted in the derailment of three cars containing chlorine. The resultant chlorine plume killed 8 people, injured 240 more, and led to the evacuation of 5400 people from the spill area.[30]

The railroad infrastructure (including trains, tracks, stations, etc.) is vast and relatively accessible, a necessity for rapid and inexpensive exchange of people and goods. The US rail system is comprised of approximately 171,000 miles of track and covers an area of 3,200 square miles.[31] The open nature of rail systems renders them particularly prone to attacks by terrorists and other groups, as no feasible security plan can possibly protect the entire infrastructure simultaneously and at all times. The RAND Corporation estimates that 181 terrorist attacks against railroads worldwide occurred in the period between 1998 and 2003.[32] Most attacks were directed against transit systems, as exemplified by the more recent bombings of the Madrid, London, and Mumbai commuter rail systems. The US freight rail system is as vulnerable as the European rail systems, and many lines pass through densely populated, high threat urban areas (HTUA's), most notably in the Northeastern corridor. Given the large quantities of chlorine shipped by rail, as well as the potentially catastrophic consequences of a large chlorine release, chlorine-containing tanker cars may represent an attractive target for terrorists.

Freight rail security, especially hazmat and TIH chemical transport, has attracted concern since September 11th and, even more so, after the Graniteville, S.C. chlorine accident in 2005. The freight rail industry, through programs initiated by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), has taken a more proactive stance on security issues since September 11th. The Terrorism Risk Analysis and Security Management Plan designed by AAR forms the basis for post-9/11 freight rail security. The plan includes over 50 security enhancements, addressing a number of general issues such as physical security, risk assessment, communications, and enhanced employee security training.[33] The railroads also, through the Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response Program (TRANSCAER) and the ACC's Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (Chemtrec), train and inform emergency responders to help them deal with hazmat emergencies. With respect to chlorine and other TIH chemicals, the Union Pacific railroad recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Dow Chemical to upgrade the TIH railcar fleet and procedures for TIH transport. The memorandum calls for the installation of global positioning satellite units on all TIH tank cars, the design of a new, more robust tank car for TIH chemicals, as well as a reduction in the time that TIH tank cars lay idle in urban areas.[34]

There has existed considerable variation in the approaches of local and federal governments to the threat of chlorine rail shipments. Many local governments, particularly HTUA's, are examining the possibility of banning chlorine rail shipments in proximity to highly populated areas. Citing the threat of chlorine, the Washington, D.C. city council voted on February 1, 2005 to ban all hazmat shipments within 2.2 miles of the Capitol, thus forcing rail companies to reroute shipments of chlorine around the city center.[35] CSX Transportation challenged the law in court and received an injunction, which remains in effect as of this writing. The railroad industry argues that: (1) rerouting increases the risk of accidental of deliberate hazmat exposure, due to increased mileage, (2) rerouting simply shifts exposure risk to other populations, and (3) regulatory variations at each locality would impose significant cost and time burdens on the industry. The federal government, represented by the Department of Justice, supported the railroad industry position in this case, arguing that the regulation of interstate commerce is its Constitutional responsibility.[36] The federal agency responsible for freight rail security, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), has not yet sought to force railroads to reroute chlorine and other TIH chemicals around HTUA's, as it currently is not currently required to do so by law. Rather, TSA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have issued voluntary security action items to guide private railroad efforts to secure chlorine and other TIH railcars.[37] TSA is also engaged in formulating rules and pilot programs in cooperation with the railroad industry, aimed at reducing the potential for attack on chlorine tankers. In conjunction with other federal, state, and local government agencies, TSA is currently conducting comprehensive reviews of rail corridor security, with a focus on HTUA rail corridors.[38] However, many have perceived federal funding for surface transportation security, including rail security, to be inadequate. The American Public Transportation Association noted in early 2007 that the federal government has allocated $549 million for rail transit security (including both passenger and freight rail security) since September 11, 2001, in contrast to over $24 billion for aviation security.[39]

Although prior security efforts have no doubt made a positive impact on rail security, freight railroads, and the chlorine transported on them, remain poorly protected. Publicly disclosed reports and media investigations over the past five years have identified gaping vulnerabilities in freight rail security. For example, a 2006 report published by the Citizens for Rail Safety (a public interest group) concluded that rail facilities are not sufficiently secure: cars containing hazmat, including TIH such as chlorine, often sit idle and unprotected, rail workers are poorly trained with respect to security, and emergency responders and citizens are ill-prepared for a hazmat emergency.[40] In early 2007, a reporter from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published an article describing how he gained access to a number of hazmat-containing (including chlorine) railcars throughout the country.[41] The reporter was not stopped by employees or rail police, and found hazmat-containing railcars unprotected on rails controlled by 12 railroads. These reports followed the publication in 2005 of two Teamsters Rail Conference surveys of rail workers, which reported significant physical security lapses and a notable lack of security training for workers.[42],[43]

Partially in response to the problems cited above, the US Congress passed new homeland security legislation (H.R. 1: Improving America's Security Act of 2007) on July 27, 2007.[44] President Bush has indicated that he will sign the bill into law in August 2007. The legislation will provide significant enhancements in TIH rail transportation security.[45] Provisions in the legislation call for significantly enhanced funding for freight rail safety and security, including hazmat transportation security, infrastructure improvement, and research and development aimed at secure rail car technologies. Specifically, language in the bill encourages the adoption of wireless communications to track the positions of TIH railcars and monitor their status in real-time. Furthermore, DHS and the DOT must require rail carriers shipping TIH chemicals to develop and submit risk mitigation plans to be enacted when the Homeland Security Advisory System threat levels are high or severe. These plans are to include rerouting of TIH chemical shipments away from high consequence targets, including densely populated areas, landmarks, and other important national resources, as designated by DHS. The legislation also calls for the establishment of a "rail worker security training program" and introduces federal whistleblower protections to protect rail employees who report rail security lapses and violations. This legislation promises to mitigate some of the problems currently facing rail security, but the ongoing evolution of public and private measures must continue.

Inherently Safer Technologies

An alternate approach to mitigating the risk posed by chlorine may be to reduce levels of chlorine consumption by replacing chlorine with inherently safer technologies (ISTs). As noted in a 2006 study by the National Academy of Sciences, "The most desirable solution to preventing chemical releases is to reduce or eliminate the hazard where possible, not to control it."[46] The adoption of ISTs to replace TIH chemicals is strongly supported by a number of interested parties, including environmental groups and the railroad industry. Depending on the industrial application, chlorine may in fact be readily replaced with cost-effective alternatives. According to a 2006 study by the Center for American Progress, 207 waste treatment plants and drinking water facilities have replaced chlorine gas with safer disinfectants such as sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach) and ultraviolet light since 1999.[47] Adoption of ISTs not only eliminates the TIH risk of chlorine at the chemical facility, but also reduces the risk of chlorine release in transit. For example, since 1999, 25 water facilities in the United States that previously received chlorine shipments by freight rail have switched to ISTs, and six others plan to do so.[48] Despite this progress, over 2,000 water treatment facilities continue to use chlorine gas, with 37 continuing to receive freight rail shipments. These facilities should be encouraged to adopt ISTs, especially in light of the current situation in Iraq and the thefts of chlorine in California in 2007 (see above).

However, chlorine cannot be easily replaced with IST in totality due to its chemical versatility. Notably, water treatment accounts for only about 5% of chlorine consumption. Chlorine remains a central ingredient in the manufacture of other chemicals and materials, most notably plastics, and a cost-effective replacement may not be apparent in many cases. In addition, a main byproduct of chlorine manufacture, sodium hydroxide (caustic soda), is itself an important industrial chemical (the chlorine production process is known as the Chlor-Alkali process for this reason). Eight million metric tons of sodium hydroxide was produced in the United States in 2006. Thus, an analysis of chlorine replacement by IST must explore the economic impact of lowered chlorine and sodium hydroxide production. The replacement of chlorine by IST is a worthy pursuit, but it will be a long-term endeavor.

Conclusion

It is indisputable that should a large chlorine release such as the Graniteville accident take place in the future, it would pose a substantial danger to the public. Moreover, recent studies demonstrate convincingly that chlorine-containing facilities, whether they are chemical plants or railroad infrastructure, may be infiltrated with ease and regularity by trespassers. It may be argued that there exist more readily accessible targets for terrorist attack, including even smaller quantities of chlorine transported by truck. However, given the toll that a large-scale chlorine release could inflict on a population, facilities and railcars containing multi-ton quantities of chlorine warrant increased attention. The DHS and TSA have both worked well with industry to create voluntary chemical security guidelines, yet to date neither agency has imposed stringent regulations governing chlorine security. The establishment of a coherent national policy (which adequately addresses the concerns of individual localities) regarding the issue of TIH railcar rerouting around HTUA's is particularly vital. The recently approved federal legislation addresses rerouting of TIH shipments in times of elevated threat, but a permanent, satisfactory solution for a non-threat environment will also be required. Further, the new Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards issued by DHS do not require the chemical industry to examine adopting ISTs to replace chlorine and other TIH chemicals. While chlorine replacement with an IST should not necessarily be mandatory, incentives should be considered to persuade the chemical industry to adopt safer practices. The federal government should also consider an increase in funding for research aimed at the development of ISTs. If a viable, cost effective IST exists for a given chemical process, it is in the best interest of the chemical industry to adopt it of their own accord in order to safeguard employees, facilities, and the surrounding communities. Increased funding for fundamental research and development of ISTs will hasten this progression. Finally, perhaps the best countermeasure against a large attack using chlorine or other TIH chemicals is public awareness and education. Militarily, it has been known for 80 years that the deleterious effects of chlorine may be attenuated using simple methods. Both private industry and governments at all levels, especially those with chlorine facilities in their jurisdictions, should enhance education and outreach efforts to the public regarding appropriate courses of action (e.g. shelter in place protocols) in the case of a chlorine release incident.

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You can always pep up your website with imagery on the killing and torture of me. Nobody cares. Cruelty towards men is accepted. But showing physical love of people below the age of 18 can earn a punishment much worse than that for torturing and killing a man. That's the world today. The result of feminism, the ideology by which ugly women want to protect their market value as sex objects by eliminating anything that undermines their hold on men.

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Pedophile sting ops roil U.S. forces on Okinawa Controversial operations in which sailors pose online as underage girls lead to dozens of NCIS arrests

SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES

Since 2015, at least 36 U.S. service members on Okinawa have been arrested in child sex stings operated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Those detained have belonged to all branches of the military — with marines in the majority — and their ranks have ranged from private to lieutenant colonel. Typically they have received sentences of between two and three years in military prison, and upon their release they will be required to register as sex offenders in the United States.

Details of the operations were revealed by two American lawyers — Timothy J. Bilecki and Stephen H. Carpenter Jr. — who have represented some of those service members arrested. Both lawyers have criticized the methods employed by the U.S. Navy’s law enforcement agency.

According to Honolulu-based Bilecki, in the operations, NCIS agents task female sailors with posting messages online, including in the personals section of Craigslist and on the Whisper messaging app. After being contacted by service members, the sailors pose as bored young women, engage in sexually provocative chat and, at some point during the conversations, they describe their ages as 14 or 15 years old. NCIS agents arrest the service members when they go to meet the females in person — either at a house temporarily leased to the NCIS within Kadena Air Base or an ice cream shop in American Village, a popular tourist area in Chatan Town.

The operations have been nicknamed “To Catch A Predator” due to their similarities to the contentious NBC reality TV show that aired from 2004 to 2007.

Basing his estimates on U.S. Marine Corps records, Bilecki says the Okinawa operations have netted at least 36 service members, but he believes the actual number may be as high as 50.

Contacted by The Japan Times, the NCIS declined to comment on the operations, saying it does not discuss the details of ongoing investigations.

According to its website, the NCIS is comprised of more than 2,300 members in approximately 40 countries tasked with investigating major criminal cases involving or targeting the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Its special agents can conduct arrests of service members and civilians on- and off-base. In Japan, the NCIS is headquartered at Yokosuka Naval Base, Kanagawa Prefecture, with four subordinate offices, including one at Camp Foster, Okinawa, from where it is believed the sting operations are directed.

Bilecki is highly critical of the way the NCIS conducts the operations. He says following the arrests, NCIS agents dupe the suspects into writing letters of apology to the nonexistent girl’s mother. He also questions why the NCIS sends photographs of adult women to the service members when encouraging them to meet.

“NCIS is using the wrong bait. If they are really looking for pedophiles, then why don’t they send pictures of kids?” he said in a recent interview.

Highlighting the NCIS’s mishandling of the operations, explains Bilecki, is one case tried in March 2016. Following the arrest of a marine staff sergeant, he says, the female sailor playing the role of the young girl gave the suspect her real mobile telephone number and later engaged in sexual relations with him. According to Bilecki, the sailor was consequently removed from her position.

The marine ultimately received a sentence of 15 years in prison — partly due to his sexual relationship with a real high school girl, which was uncovered during the investigation. The final sentence was reduced to two years because of a pre-trial agreement.

Seattle-based lawyer Carpenter, who has represented one of the marines and advised others charged in the Okinawa sting, describes the operations as “a network of sophisticated law enforcement tricks.”

“These kids (service members) are bored — indeed the only outlet they have is the internet, which, for NCIS, is like shooting fish in a barrel, except for the fact that these young marines aren’t fish, they are human beings with families and friends,” he told The Japan Times.

The morality of the NCIS operations has sparked heated debate online. On June 25, 2016, Bilecki posted a video on his law firm’s Facebook page following his successful defense of a marine accused of offenses including attempted sexual assault and abuse of a child. In the video — also viewable on YouTube (bit.ly/bileckisting) — he accused the NCIS of “absolutely entrapping people into committing crimes they wouldn’t otherwise commit.”

The Facebook posting has garnered 126,000 views and more than 530 comments. Although many people appeared to agree with Bilecki’s view that the NCIS operations were unjustly ensnaring service members, other posters seemed to support the operations. “Sting or not (the service members) are showing up to sleep with little girls! NCIS is protecting our alliance with Japan!” wrote one commentator.

Almost eight months since the video was posted, Bilecki remains outspoken in his criticism of the NCIS. These operations, he says, are being conducted “like an assembly line” with very little oversight. They are designed to boost arrest rates and make the NCIS look good, he says.

In recent years, there have been other high-profile arrests of American pedophiles on Okinawa.

In January 2015, a marine chief warrant officer admitted to 18 charges of sex crimes against children, some of which involved a child under the age of 12. He was sentenced to 144 years in military prison by a military judge at Camp Foster but the term was reduced to 20 years due to an agreement with the court.

In July 2015 a civilian employee at Kadena Air Force Base was convicted of sexually assaulting a minor on the base and filming the attack with his mobile phone. At a trial that took place in the U.S., he was sentenced to five years in prison.

Meanwhile, an undated case posted on the website of the Dallas-based law firm of Stephen P. Karns details how a first lieutenant in the army, stationed at Kadena, was arrested for possession of “983 image files and 41 multimedia (movie) files of suspected child pornography.” The soldier was allowed by his command to resign instead of facing a court martial, and it appears he did not receive any other punishments. Nor was he required to register as a sex offender.

“This high number of cases suggests there is a real problem with sex offenses in the U.S. military on Okinawa,” says Manabu Sato, a professor of political science at Okinawa International University. “Whenever there is an incident off-base involving a service member, the military likes to claim it is a one-off but these cases show such behavior is not an exception. If the military cannot even protect people within its bases then how can they claim to be able to prevent crimes from occurring off-base in Okinawan communities?”

On March 10, the first pretrial conference for Kenneth Franklin Shinzato is scheduled to be held at Naha District Court. The former U.S. Marine is charged with the rape and murder of a 20-year-old Okinawan woman in the city of Uruma last April. The crime ratcheted up anti-military tensions in the prefecture, host to the majority of U.S. installations in Japan.

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95 percent of the victims of work accidents are men. Because women are cowards, and just want to rule from behind.

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Why did the female orgasm evolve? ‘Because it feels good’

In [Richard Prum’s] new book, The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World—And Us, Prum, an evolutionary ornithologist at Yale, challenges the dominant narrative among evolutionary biologists: that beauty and sexual ornaments, such as a peacock’s plumage, a deer’s antlers, or the size of a man’s penis, evolve for adaptive reasons. Traditional theory holds that these ornaments are designed to display good genes, attract females, and help the species reproduce. It also tends to characterize the female orgasm as either a tool for genetic subterfuge, or an evolutionary mistake.

Some evolutionary biologists theorized that [female orgasms] evolved to literally “upsuck” the sperm of genetically superior men….The other dominant theory…holds that the female orgasm, like male nipples, evolved as a byproduct of natural selection.

Prum posits a different—and coincidentally, far more appealing—explanation: that female sexual pleasure is in fact the central force behind the mating process. Basically, the female orgasm exists because it feels good, and women naturally sought out partners who could provide them with pleasurable feelings.

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Channeling tens of millions of refugees to Europe can kill feminism and Europe. It can do so reliably in the span of two decades. And to aide it is low risk political activism for people with a lot of money. Suited for Qatari and Russian billionaires. Just finance humanitarian efforts, such as rescue vessels on the Mediterranean, or life vests for those who board in Libya.

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This Is What It’s Like to Spend an Hour With “Neomasculinity” Blogger Roosh

Washingtonian

Hearing that Daryush Valizadeh, a blogger who set off global outrage last week when he planned to organize men-only “tribal gatherings” around the world, would be holding a press conference Saturday night in a Dupont Circle hotel was like receiving an invitation to a real-life meeting with one of the odder corners of internet culture. Valizadeh had already had an interesting week: His planned meetings resurfaced an article he wrote last year in which he suggested rapes committed on private property should be legal, prompting internet-wide condemnation, rebukes from government officials around the globe, and the online-activist group Anonymous publishing his parents’ address.

A day after the Daily Mail followed Anonymous’s tip to a Silver Spring cul-de-sac and found him at the door, Valizadeh—who goes by the nom-de-blog “Roosh V”—hastily called the press conference, supposedly to dispel charges that he is a “pro-rape” advocate. The set-up suggested the strangeness that was to come. Valizadeh did not supply the exact location until less than two hours before it started. He arrived escorted by a clutch of burly men who he said were bodyguards, and set up his own cameras to ensure his online followers would have their own view of the proceedings with the dozen or journalists who took the bait.

What followed was nearly an hour of ranting, evasions, and accusations ranging from broadside attacks on all media to responding to one of my questions by asking, “Do you lift?” And rather than spend the remainder of the night adding to his purported sexual conquests—Valizadeh has self-published more than a dozen “guides” to seducing women in many different countries, all with the word “Bang” in the title—he followed the press conference by setting his Twitter followers loose on the reporters who showed up.

“This article, to a ten-year-old, was obvious I didn’t intend to legalize rape or cause harm against women,” Valizadeh said about his February 2015 post that his critics seized upon. While he said it was meant to be satire from the start, though, it is not difficult to see why readers would take it as his genuine belief.

As “Roosh V,” Valizadeh has built up a small but dedicated following of a philosophy he calls “neomasculinity.” He believes that women should be socially and physically submissive to men, claims to have 1 million monthly readers, and has written about multiple sexual encounters in which the woman was too inebriated to give consent.

But rather than give off a veneer of strength and virility, Valizadeh on Saturday came off as rambling, paranoid, and defensive, answering nearly every question by pivoting back to his belief that he is the victim of a media conspiracy, guzzling through several bottles of water in the process. He told a reporter from Vice Media that the company peddles “garbage,” and called the Daily Beast a CIA front.

“As you see I’ve been under a lot of stress from this mob that’s coming after me because of these things you wrote that don’t conform to the real world, and I don’t get it,” he said. “You’re ready to write that this guy is pro-rape without knowing where that false idea comes from.”

Even if Valizadeh’s professed exploits have been on the right side of the law, they do not, as Vox pointed out last week, comport to most people’s definition of rape. (The FBI defines it as “penetration, no matter how slight” without consent.)

“I’ve never been accused of rape,” he said. “Nobody’s ever read something by me and went onto rape, because I know if they did hurt a woman it would be all over the news.

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Neomasculinity is defined by its view on females, and particularly on feminism. It is NOT defined by opinions on race, homosexuality, or religion. For a United Front, we can accept any opinion as long as it matches our views on females and feminism.

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Vain men are having their scrotums botoxed

You can have a six-pack sculpted, dimples created, a designer vagina and almost any part of your face tweaked, lifted and tightened.

But there’s a new plastic surgery procedure that is on the rise — and it’s altogether more bizarre.

The number of men inquiring about scrotox — yes, that’s having Botox injected into your scrotum — has doubled in the past year, according to experts.

The operation, which can cost up to $3,600, helps ease sweating, lessens the appearance of wrinkles and makes the scrotum appear larger by helping the muscles relax, the Metro reports.

It is already a staple on the menu at clinics across the US, and with the UK around three years behind the plastic surgery times, experts say they expect to see a surge in interest in the coming years.

Mark Norfolk, clinical director at Transform, a national clinic, said that even though they do not offer Scrotox, they have seen a huge rise in the number of patients asking about the procedure.

He told The Sun Online: “Over the past year, requests for scrotum Botox have doubled at Transform, showing the huge demand and interest for this procedure.”

He said the procedure is not offered at Transform “due to the possible risks and complications associated with treating this part of the body.”

The procedure involves Botox being injected into a man’s scrotum.

While the drug is commonly used slightly higher up the anatomy, to rid foreheads and faces of unsightly wrinkles, Norfolk warns it does not have the same effect below the waistline.

“In terms of results, injecting Botox into the scrotum may help with any sweating issues, but won’t have much of an effect on wrinkles,” he explained.

“There is lots of loose skin on this part of the body, that an injectible treatment just can’t shift.”

The only way to get rid of excessive wrinkles and loose skin on a man’s scrotum is to have surgery to remove the excess skin, Norfolk said.

He added: “If anyone is interested in having this treatment, I can’t stress enough how important it is to do a thorough research — not only into the practitioner but also around the product they’ll be using.”

“Also, patients should manage their expectations in terms of results, it could prove very costly and nerve-wracking to go through, for very little in return.”

Writing for the Cosmetic Surgery Times, Dr. Jason Emer, a surgeon based in Beverley Hills, California, said that like the advent of the designer vagina, it is likely Scrotox will go from being a “hush-hush” op to one that is trending.

He said earlier this year: “As the vaginal rejuvenation market is skyrocketing, men are seeking their own type of rejuvenation.”

“Who wouldn’t want to be a little bit longer, thicker, or have more sensitivity and a better sex life?”

“These men are also becoming interested in the cosmetic appearance of the actual penis and scrotum itself.”

Emer said he has seen a rise in the number of men seeking advice on the op, and adds that he expects that number to continue to grow.

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Nothing, absolutely nothing, flatters a girl more than a man committing suicide because of her.

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The Rare Truth About "Tight" and "Loose" Women

Many women complain that their vaginas are "too tight" or "too loose," and many men raise the issue about lovers. Notions of vaginal tightness and looseness are fraught with mythology. Many people believe that (1) the virgin vagina is extremely tight, (2) that loss of virginity permanently loosens it, (3) that frequent sex loosens it further (so don't be promiscuous, girls!), and (4) that childbirth loosens the vagina even more and possibly forever after.

The truth is considerably different.

Vaginal Tightness

Imagine a hand towel stuffed inside a thick sock squeezed by two hands. The sock is the vagina. The towel is the folded muscle tissue of the vaginal wall. And the hands are the pelvic floor muscles that surround the vagina.

The vagina's tightly folded muscle tissue is very elastic, like an accordion or the mouth. Try this: Pull the corners of your mouth out toward your ears then let go. What happens? The mouth immediately snaps back to its pre-stretched state because the tissue is elastic. Do it 100 times. There's no permanent stretching. The mouth quickly returns to its pre-stretched state and no one would ever know you'd stretched it.

The same goes for the vagina, with two exceptions I'll discuss shortly. When it's at rest–all the time except sexual arousal and childbirth–the vagina's muscle tissue remains tightly folded like a closed accordion. Anxiety makes the vaginal musculature clench even tighter. That's why young girls sometimes have problems inserting tampons. Their vaginal muscle tissue is tight and contracted to begin with, and many girls feel anxious about touching themselves and inserting anything, so the muscles contract even tighter.

As women become sexually aroused, vaginal muscle tissue relaxes somewhat. Biologically, this makes perfect sense. Evolution is all about facilitating reproduction. A tight vagina would impede intercourse and reproduction, so women evolved to have sexual arousal relax the vaginal muscles, allowing easier insertion of erections–and greater chance of pregnancy.

However, arousal-related vaginal loosening does NOT produce a big open cavity like the inside of a sock. Rather, the vaginal interior changes from resembling a tight fist to a fist loose enough to insert a finger or two.

If the vagina feels "too tight" during lovemaking, the woman is either (1) not interested in sex, or (2) she has not had enough warm-up time to allow her vaginal musculature to relax enough for comfortable insertion.

A man who attempts intercourse before the woman is fully aroused–before her vagina has relaxed and become well lubricated–is either sexually unsophisticated or a boor. Most women require at least 30 minutes of sensuality—kissing, hugging, and mutual massage for their vaginas to relax enough to allow the penis to slide in comfortably. That's why leisurely, playful, whole-body lovemaking is so important. It gives women (and men) the warm-up time they need. In addition, it also allows the vagina to relax, and, in most women, produce enough natural lubrication for comfortable intercourse. In other words, the solution to vaginal tightness is extended foreplay. It you need more lubrication, try a commercial lubricant.

One final note: If a woman experiences pain and/or great difficulty inserting a tampon or accepting an erection, the cause may be vaginismus, unusual clenching of the vaginal muscles. For suspected vaginismus, consult a physician.

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This is the latest deal offered by the Islamic State. You want to die the best possible death, then you have to blow up your brain. It's the only death that is instant and painless. We tie a bomb around your body and send you into a populated area. You don't have to die alone, and you don't have to pull a trigger. We do that by remote control.

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Fathers who kill their children

The Guardian

Sarah Heatley sits in the warm kitchen of her East Midlands home while her son, George, plays in the room next door on his computer. Her cat is curled up on the cooker and her dog is asleep at her feet. In a cabinet behind her there are numerous framed photographs: of her completing London marathons; of George, who is 11; of her parents, her twin sister and her nieces and nephews. At first glance, it could be any typically proud family. But then you remember the two people who are missing - her son, Jack, and his older sister, Nina.

'It is the only room in the house where there are no photos of them,' Sarah, a 42-year-old nurse, explains. 'Because I need one place where I can laugh, if I want to, without feeling guilty.'

It is almost 13 years since her husband, a GP, killed their children. Jack was three and Nina four. He strangled them with a pyjama cord and wrapped their bodies in duvets, before placing them in a cellar. When their mother went to identify them in the mortuary, their faces were still stained with traces of her lipstick which they'd been playing with earlier that day.

The day before he killed his children, he videotaped them, responding to his questions about whether they wanted to 'stay with daddy' and whether they agreed that 'mummy was bad'.

On police advice, Sarah never watched it, but she believes he intended to leave it for her as some sort of justification for his actions. His body was found hours later at the foot of a block of flats.

'Even now, everywhere I look, there are reminders of them,' she says. 'Earlier this week I heard a little boy saying "Mummy" and I just burst into tears. I just heard that sweet two-year-old baby voice, and I saw this angelic, totally innocent little boy and I thought it could've been Jack.'

Of all violent crimes, those where a parent takes the lives of his or her children are the most baffling. Most parents would die to protect their child. So for a mother or father to look at their son or daughter, perhaps hear their cries, and see their uncomprehending faces, and kill them, is almost too abhorrent to think about. They must have snapped, lost their mind in a moment of madness or insanity, is the most common and convenient explanation.

It isn't surprising that we tend to recoil in horror at such tragedies and seek comfort in the belief that they are isolated incidents, senseless - and, as a consequence, impossible to avert. But the truth may be slightly less palatable. Although rare, figures show that a child in the United Kingdom is far more likely to be murdered by his or her parent than by a stranger. Even more disturbing is that many experts insist that they are virtually all premeditated.

The most recent crime statistics, for 2002/03, show that 99 people under the age of 16 were murdered in England and Wales, and seven in Scotland. More than half were killed by a parent, another 10 per cent by someone else they knew, and fewer than 20 per cent by a person unknown to them. Further analysis of the figures has shown that it is more likely that your partner is going to kill your children if you leave him than that they are going to be killed by a stranger in the park. In the past week alone, there have been two cases of what American criminologists have dubbed 'the family annihilator'.

In Northampton, 33-year-old Gavin Hall, a hospital radiographer, was jailed for life for murdering his three-year-old daughter, Amelia, known as Millie. After discovering sexually explicit emails sent by his wife, Joanne, to a part-time judge whom she had met on the internet, Hall set out to destroy his family. The night before he murdered Millie, he killed their two cats. Police believe he intended to kill Millie, her one-year-old sister, Lucy, and himself that night, but received a text message from Joanne, who was working nightshift, that led him to believe the marriage might not be over.

The following night, however, after a row with his wife, he realised it was. When Millie woke up during the night, he brought her downstairs and asked her repeatedly whether she wanted to 'come with daddy'. When she said she did, he gave her sleeping tablets and anti-depressants, then covered her nose and mouth with a handkerchief soaked in chloroform, before strangling her.

During the trial, Hall had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, arguing that his wife's affair had created an abnormality in his mind. But the jury dismissed this, and agreed that it was a premeditated murder, motivated by bitterness, anger and a desire to punish his wife.

Earlier last week, Sayrah Riaz, 16, and her sisters, Sophia, 15, Alisha, 10 and Hannah, three, were killed by their father, Mohammed, after he doused the family home in Accrington, Lancashire, with accelerants, probably diesel or petrol, locked all the doors from the inside, and set it alight. Their mother, Caneze, also died. Earlier that night, the children had been dressed up for a Halloween party, while their mother had been visiting their 17-year-old son, Adam, who is in hospital receiving treatment for leukaemia.

While no one will ever really know what was going on in Mohammed's mind - although he survived the fire, he died later in hospital - it appears that he had convinced himself that his wife was on the verge of leaving him. While both were distraught about Adam's illness, Caneze had a lot of support. She was a well-known and active member of the local community, while he remained isolated. She had become friendly with a man, Jemshad Ahmed, whom she worked with, but he insisted that there was nothing other than friendship between them.

In August, John Hogan, a 32-year-old businessman from Bristol, threw his six-year-old son, Liam, to his death from a hotel balcony in Crete. Moments later, he jumped from the same fourth-floor balcony with his two-year-old daughter, Mia. Both survived with broken bones. In this case, there were also marital problems: his wife, Natasha, 34, was threatening to leave. Again, the response was to kill his children and himself. Hogan, whose two brothers had committed suicide, has since tried again to take his own life and remains in a psychiatric hospital in Athens, accused of murder and attempted murder.

While the perpetrators of murder-suicides are usually men, in 5 per cent of cases it is the mother who is responsible. On Friday, a court in Hull heard that Angela Schumann, 28, had jumped 100ft from the Humber Bridge with her two-year-old daughter, Lorraine, in her arms. Schumann had written a note on her stomach, blaming her estranged husband. Both survived, but Schumann, who had left a note saying she 'didn't have to be a prisoner ... or his slave', faces imprisonment after admitting the attempted murder of her daughter. Another case involving a mother as the perpetrator occurred in April, when 40-year-old Alison Davies jumped from the same bridge, killing herself and her 12-year-old autistic son, Ryan.

At the heart of this is a question wrapped in such complexity that it can never be satisfactorily answered. What drives an individual to carry out an act of such unspeakable brutality against his or her own children? Is it hatred or despair, revenge or a madly possessive love? And what - if anything - can be done to prevent it?

The subject has been most widely studied in America, where there are 10 murder-suicides each week. According to Professor Jack Levin, a leading expert from North-Eastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, the most significant factors are family break-up, male sexual jealousy, a need to be in control and extreme possessiveness.

'The profile of a family annihilator is a middle-aged man, a good provider who would appear to neighbours to be a dedicated husband and a devoted father,' Levin said. 'He quite often tends to be quite isolated. He is often profoundly dedicated to his family, but has few friends of his own or a support system out with the family. He will have suffered some prolonged frustration and feelings of inadequacy, but then suffers some catastrophic loss. It is usually financial or the loss of a relationship. He doesn't hate his children, but he often hates his wife and blames her for his miserable life. He feels an overwhelming sense of his own powerlessness. He wants to execute revenge and the motive is almost always to "get even".'

Research from the States shows that family annihilators rarely have a prior criminal record. However, many experts believe there is often a prior pattern of domestic abuse. A report published two years ago in Britain by Women's Aid, called Twenty-nine child homicides, found that, out of 13 families studied, domestic violence was a feature in 11. In one of the other two cases, the mother spoke of her ex-partner's obsessively controlling behaviour.

'To the outside world, these crimes seem to come out of nowhere,' continued Levin. 'The perpetrators have not previously been involved in criminal behaviour. Nor do they tend to be on drugs or drinking heavily when they commit the crime. However, if psychologists had seen them in advance, they would have spotted the warning signs. They would have noticed how the person reacted to things not going his way - the irrational rage and the blaming of others. These people often also regard their partner and children as their own possessions.'

In the majority of cases, if the perpetrator fails in his own suicide, as in the Hogan and Hall cases, they almost always plead some form of insanity.

But Levin rejected this: 'These are executions. They are never spontaneous. They are well planned and selective. They are not carried out in the heat of the moment or in a fit of rage. They are very methodical and it is often planned out for a long time. There are certain people the killer blames for his problems. If a friend came along, he wouldn't kill him or her. He kills his children to get even with his wife because he blames her and he hates her. The killer feels he has lost control. Annihilating his family is a way of regaining control. It is a methodical, selective murder by a rational, loving father. That's why it is so terrifying.'

Although these cases are more common than child murders by a stranger, they often do not receive the same media coverage. Part of the reason is that the perpetrator often takes his own life as well - meaning there is no court case. But Levin said he also felt people were reluctant to think too much about such abhorrent crimes.

'People don't want to think about it because it makes them feel very vulnerable. When most people think of crime, they typically think of something happening in the street, being mugged or robbed or attacked by a stranger. People don't want to think it is more likely to happen in their own home. It's supposed to be a safe haven, an enclave where we can feel secure.'

In the most recent high-profile cases, such as that of Gavin Hall and Mohammed Riaz, some press reports have focused extensively on the wife's behaviour as a trigger for the crime. For instance, in the former case, one headline said: 'The judge, his sordid affair and the husband driven to murder'. Another said: 'Sex obsession of devoted mother blamed for murder of innocent child'.

But the suggestion that her infidelity was largely responsible for the murder of Millie has angered those involved in investigating the crime. Superintendent John Jones, who led the inquiry, said people seemed to need to cling on to the idea that this murder would not have happened if Hall's wife had not had an affair.

'Affairs happen all the time and people don't respond by killing their children,' said Jones. 'The marriage was doomed. She could have had a fling with a judge, a dustman or left for no one, and there would have been some sort of backlash. It was in his personality. It emerged in court that he was a controlling person and was quite sulky and non-communicative if he didn't get his own way. He didn't have the wherewithal within himself to move on after the end of the marriage.'

He said the crime had affected him and his officers more than any other in his 28 years as a detective. 'Had he killed her, I think people might have been able to understand - not condone, but understand it. But for the life of me I cannot understand why he would kill an innocent child and the person most precious to him, other than to make his wife suffer and to exert the ultimate control over her for the rest of her life. I've spent a lot of time with Amelia's mum and of course she feels guilty and responsible. She shouldn't, but she does and probably will for the rest of her life.'

Dr Alex Yellowlees, consultant psychiatrist and medical director of the Priory Hospital in Glasgow, said there were distinct differences in the minds of men and women who harm their children. Women, he said, tended to be mentally ill, often suffering from postnatal depression. In contrast, men tended to be struggling to deal with feelings of rage, jealousy, revenge and hatred.

'Most men and woman go through life experiencing distressing circumstances such as relationship breakdowns or financial problems, and they have developed strategies to deal with them. Most people, especially women, tend to speak to their friends, perhaps go and get drunk, sometimes chop the sleeves off their partner's suits or destroy his books or favourite CDs.

'But there are people, less functional people, who have not developed those coping skills. They have very low self-esteem. They are almost always very controlling and are less able to handle rejection. They cannot talk about it - it is as if they have failed - and they simply cannot accept it. They feel utterly humiliated and respond with the ultimate act of revenge - if I can't have you, no one can. They know that she will suffer for the rest of her life if he kills the children and leaves her alive.'

As to whether such crimes can be prevented, most experts agree that it is an almost impossible task. It can take years before a woman realises that her husband regards her, and perhaps their children, as his possessions, says Levin. 'Initially, a woman can feel flattered if her partner is jealous or possessive. It can be very hard for a woman to leave a possessive husband. When she does, or even when she tries to, that is when she is at the greatest danger.'

For Sarah Heatley, though, she is in no doubt that her children's murders could have been prevented and would like to see a radical overhaul of the judicial system, particularly the family courts. She found the courage to leave her husband and did not want him to have unsupervised contact with their children. However, the family courts, who believe contact with both parents is always in the best interests of the child, granted it. It was on their first unsupervised weekend with their father that Nina and Jack ate their cornflakes and played with their mum's lipstick before their father strangled them. 'I am still furious that the legal system didn't care about the children's safety when they were alive and nor do they care about learning lessons,' she said.

As she leafs through a photo album of her two children, who would be 16 and 18 now if they had been allowed to live, she explains that she will always feel responsible for their death. 'They were three and four and looked to me to protect them. I left him to protect them and I put my faith in the legal system. But the court ordered contact. They said I was being a hysterical and over-reactive wife. He was a GP and, to the outside world, he was an upstanding member of the community - an intelligent, generous and affable, loving father. People said he was the perfect dad.'

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Fake news is great news. The more, the better. Because it undermines the media's credibility.

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