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Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Some creatures…survive by migrating vast and hazardous distances…more recent discoveries hint at a different migratory mode: through time.  –  Daniel Ackerman

This brilliant re-imagining of The Simpsons intro as a Russian art film was provided by Furrygirl, and the links above it by Dave Krueger, Jesse Walker, Franklin Harris, Tushy Galore, Clarissa, and Scott Shackford, in that order.

From the Archives

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It’s…a surveillance-first, ask-permission-later system.  –  Jake Laperruque

The More the Better 

There are a lot of things I dislike about this article written by a brothel owner in New Zealand, not the least of which is the writer’s use of the term “ethical pimp” to mean “ordinary madam” (the term “pimp” is hopelessly contaminated by racism and copaganda; it cannot be “reclaimed”).  But everything that helps to demystify sex work is good, even if its style grates on my nerves.

Gingerbread House

Stories about hooker jails are absolutely crammed with appalling euphemisms:

[More] victims of human trafficking [than exist in the United States] are expected to be [arrested] from [ordinary sex work] in Fresno alone this year.  But…a $45,000 donation from Granville Homes will be used to help “Breaking The Chains” build a new [prison] facility…[for] 25 victims of [the police]…It will provide a [place to lock them up out of public view so cops can pressure them to provide fake “evidence”]…to help [convict people as] gangs or pimps…District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp [moaned with her hand in her pants, fantasizing]…”It happens in schools.  People are taken from malls.  There are all different types of ways [magic ninja] traffickers get these girls,” [panted] Smittcamp…

The Missing Word

We certainly can’t use that word for people who were given control over their victims by the government:

A Crawfordville, Florida couple preparing for Armageddon faces multiple serious charges after two females escaped the couple’s farm and [said] they were prevented from leaving and were physically and sexually abused for years…[by] Mirko…and Regina Ceska…The females…The females…were [given] “custodial responsibility” of the Ceskas [by the government, and were forced to begin]…working each day at 5:30 a.m…The females reported they were not allowed to go anywhere, couldn’t have friends, couldn’t have cell phones, nor talk to people in public places”…If they didn’t smile, they would face a variety of punishments ranging from verbal abuse, beatings or being deprived of food….”Detectives noted marks and bruises on the female’s back and arm.”  Both females also described times that Mirko Ceska would force sex acts upon them…”with the support of Regina Ceska”…Mirko Ceska screamed at the females

I wonder what biological sex the victims were?

Rescued To Death

I’m sure they don’t mind having their lives destroyed so bourgeois Englishwomen can feel good:

The Modern Slavery Act…helps cover up serious forced labour issues…while making [busybodies]…feel better…Article 54…assigns British companies the responsibility to clean up their global supply chains…[and they shove] this responsibility [of on] local factory managers in Sri Lanka…[who intrusively] monitor their [mostly-female] workforce…for fear of losing their contracts…[many of these] women…engage…in part-time sex work to [supplement their meager pay, as working-class women have done since at least Roman times]…But local managers fear…it would be [fantasized] by Western [busybodies to be] exploitation and threaten their contracts…one factory manager [said]:  “If we do not fire part-time sex workers, our factories can get blacklisted, and our orders will be cancelled”…

Guinea Pigs (#690) 

Apply a label like “prostitute” or “gang member” and civil rights go out the window:

An NYPD database labels over 18,000 people in New York City as active gang members.  Three…are 13 years old, and more than 400 others are under 18…nearly 88 percent are Black or [Hispanic].  If your name is entered into the database, you have no way of knowing about it and no way of contesting it…Across the country, people have been calling for significant reform of, or even an end to, gang databases and gang policing measures…The Chicago Police Department database is [an order of magnitude larger than New York’s], containing the names of an estimated 128,000 adults and at least 33,000…people 17 and younger…includ[ing] hundreds listed as dead or having no known gang affiliation…two men listed as 132 years old and several 118-year-olds…alleged gang affiliation [is] treated as a factor in immigration proceedings, bail decisions and sentencing, and treatment when in jail or prison. The NYPD [pretends] that it does not share information with other agencies but [that is well-known to be a lie]…

Guess who built California’s version of this?  Palantir.  And I’ll bet they had a hand in New York’s, too.

Against Their Will (#795) 

This looks like a huge victory against the powerful Indian rescue industry:

The Bombay High Court has said that an adult [arrested under the pretense of] rescue…under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act cannot be sent to a [prison]…against her wish…The order will set a precedent…for all the women who are in [“rescue” prisons] against their wish…Advocate Satyavrat Joshi argued…that the Constitution provides every citizen a right to move freely through the territory of India and also the right to choose a vocation…

Dirty Laundry (#845)

The “Good Shepherd Sisters” were one of the two orders behind Ireland’s horrific Magdalene laundries, now doing business as the anti-sex work gang Ruhama:

…In “hubs” of human trafficking such as Detroit, faith-based groups such Sisters of the Good Shepherd have [capitalized on the hysteria] by [pretending to] offer…services to [sex workers], including counseling, housing, career training, prevention programs and even [indoctrin]ating the community [in propaganda] about human trafficking…

Finding What Isn’t There (#870)

Trying to manufacture data to “prove” a problem exists when existing data says it doesn’t is not science:

Britain is aiming to [exaggerate] the true scale of modern slavery and [invent] more trafficking networks [out of individuals] through the creation of a 10 million pound ($12.5 million) research center involving [hired guns, prohibitionists and rescue profiteers]…The initiative will [invent] research and boost [fascist] collaboration in Britain and abroad between various sectors…[and] law enforcement…[prohibitionists masturbate to the fantasy that] Britain is home to…136,000 slaves…a figure [dreamed up by rescue profiteers Walk Free Foundation]…whose accuracy has been [widely debunked] by academics and activists…

Disaster (#902)

Is there anyone outside government and prohibition profiteer groups who fails to recognize what a disaster FOSTA is?

…police…stings are [claimed] to fight sex trafficking, but…simply instigate…arrests for prostitution.  It’s a racket…Would Americans be in favor of spending these astronomical sums to fight sex work that is completely unrelated to sex trafficking?…they should at least…not be tricked into believing sex trafficking is happening all around them…FOSTA-SESTA has made sex work more dangerous, the internet less useful, and we are throwing money out the proverbial window in our zeal to fight a scourge that isn’t nearly as widespread as we are led to believe.  We need elected officials brave enough to say a mistake has been made.

Guinea Pigs (#936)

Just a reminder that this privacy-destroying abomination started as a means of spying on sex workers:

The Palantir user guide shows that police can start with almost no information about a [victim] and instantly know extremely intimate details about their lives…they can use automatic license plate reader data to find out where they’ve been, and when they’ve been there…[they] can also find a person’s email address, phone numbers, current and previous addresses, bank accounts, social security number(s), business relationships, family relationships, and license information like height, weight, and eye color…The software can map out a person’s family members and business associates of a suspect, and theoretically, find the above information about them, too…

Pyrrhic Victory (#944)

As I keep saying, it’s already far too late to stop this tyranny:

…Thousands of facial-recognition requests, internal documents and emails over the past five years…reveal that [pigs and spooks] have turned state Department of Motor Vehicles databases into the bedrock of an unprecedented surveillance infrastructure…Neither Congress nor state legislatures have authorized the development of such a system, and growing numbers of [politicians] are [publicly] criticizing the technology [to win support from voters while doing absolutely nothing to stop it]…Since 2011, the FBI has logged more than 390,000 facial-recognition searches of federal and local databases, including state DMV databases…The records…detailed the regular use of facial recognition to track down suspects in low-level crimes…with nothing more formal than an email from a federal agent to a local contact…

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A new Atlantic article on untested rape kits is very thorough and contains a lot of information which may be a revelation to those whose ideas about cops are largely drawn from cop glorification shows; unfortunately, it has a serious flaw which skews its analysis from the title onward.  Rape cases don’t go uninvestigated because cops and prosecutors don’t believe victims; they languish because cops and prosecutors don’t care about victims, especially not the marginalized women who make up the majority of serial rapists’ targets.  The notion that the purpose of cops is “protecting” people is a myth primarily believed by naive whites; that is not their function, and never has been since modern policing was invented by Sir Robert Peel in 1829.  The simple and unpleasant truth is that cops don’t bother to get rape kits tested because it doesn’t advance their intended purpose, namely terrorizing & subduing the populace.  Compare the non-testing of rape kits with the testing of drugs cops claim to have “found” on people they want to railroad.  Instant roadside “tests” are used to cage people; proper tests, when performed at all, take months.  That’s because the instant “tests” are incredibly inaccurate and usually result in feeding innocent people who would not otherwise be caged into the system; they are therefore high priority to people whose job is to cram as many bodies into cages as possible.  The follow-up tests that could get people out of cages?  Low priority.  Cops can safely assume an uncaught rapist (especially a serial rapist) will commit other crimes, possibly even drug “crimes”, therefore catching them for a real crime like rape is low priority to the cops.  They’d rather use the time/energy/money to cram dozens into cages for planted drugs rather than catching one rapist.  Besides, how does it terrorize ordinary folks for them to take a rapist off the street?  It doesn’t, and in fact leaving him free increases the fear that leads the hoi-polloi to support increasing the number, funding, and power of cops.  Caging non-violent people for drugs has much more power to terrorize individuals and destroy communities, and therefore is a much higher priority for those who are paid to do exactly that.

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It’s a funny sort of justice that lets the government take your stuff and then say you have no recourse because you don’t have that stuff anymore.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Lower Education

Why, how could anyone have predicted this outcome?

…A student accused of sexual assault and subject to an unlawful, unconstitutional adjudication process filed a motion seeking class-action certification in his pre-existing lawsuit against Michigan State University.  Rather than seeking to void the results only of his own flawed adjudication, he’s now seeking to void every adjudication where accused students were punished “without first being afforded a live hearing and opportunity for cross examination.”  This new motion comes after a wave of cases across the country that have invalidated and reversed the results of campus kangaroo courts — and these rulings are coming from judges across the political/judicial spectrum.  In California…judges issued rulings that effectively halted proceedings in 75 campus sexual-misconduct cases, while California universities reworked their processes…the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals joined dozens of other courts in ruling that university processes should face exacting legal scrutiny…

Torture Chamber

In case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

In May…the Jackson County Detention Center In Kansas City, Missouri, with no warning to local attorneys, instituted a new [humiliation] policy that requires all visitors, including inmates’ attorneys, to pass through a metal detector…underwire bras are setting it off…instead of simply using a wand to determine what is setting off the alarm…the [cage stack] is refusing to let visiting women pass through until…their bras…come off…An even more draconian policy was implemented in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 2018:  Visitors were given only two chances to pass the metal detector — and women were required to wear a bra under prison rules…A Maryland jail was sued [for similar reasons] in 2011…[in the current case] when women (and, later, men) complained about a policy they found unnecessary, humiliating and sexist, they were met with gaslighting, false solutions, accusations of privilege, stonewalling and, finally, retaliation.  And this was against attorneys, who by definition are well positioned to fight back…

That Old Black Magic (#501)

West African “penis stealing” hysteria has spread to East Africa:

A…man in Likoni, Mombasa, plans to travel to neighbouring Tanzania to seek the help of a famed witchdoctor…after an elderly sex worker allegedly cast a spell on him, which has seemingly rendered his sex organ useless, at least in the bedroom…Isaac Karisa…refused to pay an elderly prostitute he had spent a night with…[because] he was too drunk to accomplish the task and fell into a deep slumber after less than five minutes…Karisa refused to part with the thousand shillings he had promised and instead fished out a Sh200 note…A scuffle ensued, with the woman mumbling gibberish and hurling incantations, aimed at jinxing the man…

I can’t decide whether the phrase “night nurse” is clever or silly, but ladies in the global South, PLEASE start charging these bozos in advance!

Law of the Instrument (#774)

Picture what you’d think of as “sex trafficking”, then compare it to this:

A new legal filing accuses prominent political activist and donor Ed Buck of violating federal human trafficking laws when he allegedly supplied an airline ticket to a man who flew to Los Angeles from Texas and died inside Buck’s West Hollywood apartment.  The [filing bloviates that]…Buck…”knowingly utilized interstate commerce…for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts”…[in the real world] Moore’s death was…[the result of] an accidental methamphetamine overdose…

Cases are this are why even some not-completely-stupid people believe that “sex trafficking” is increasing; “sex trafficking” charges certainly are.

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn (#824)

No one person can undo an entire system of fascist tyranny:

…Pennsylvania [politicians] have quietly muscled power away from reformist District Attorney Larry Krasner, passing new legislation giving authority to the state’s attorney general to prosecute certain firearms violations in Philadelphia — and nowhere else in the state.  The provision will expire in two years, or just after Krasner’s first term ends…The bill was passed…with no public awareness.  Even some of the [politicians] who voted for it say they [were more clueless than usual]…The maneuver…is the most significant legislative pushback to date against the new movement by criminal justice reformers to focus on seizing the power of the prosecutor…to decide when to bring charges and, critically, when not to.  The new law means that even if Krasner decides to exercise the latter power and not bring charges, the police could go directly to the attorney general to pursue the case regardless…

Prudesville (#828) 

A federal appeals court accepts Everett’s argument that “women who dress like sluts cause rape”:

…a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals…vacated U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman’s 2017 decision that placed an injunction on a city ordinance requiring “quick-service facility” workers to wear, at minimum, shorts and a tank top…The ordinances will now go into effect as the decision is sent back down to a lower court….Everett [politicians] praised the court’s ruling, claiming that…”[sluts in bikinis cause rape]”…

Safe Position (#859)

If Rantz read my blog he’d know this stopped being a “fringe position” over a year ago:

[Seattle city] council candidate Tammy Morales announced on Twitter that she would like to decriminalize sex work in Seattle.  She’s not the only candidate…if Morales lands on the Council with activists incumbents Lisa Herbold and Kshama Sawant, we may very well have to waste our time debating this fringe position…Mark Solomon, Former crime prevention coordinator with the Seattle Police Department, [also supports decrim, as does]…Chris Peguero…

Sawant has somehow managed to convince a number of people that she is pro-sex worker, but she is a socialist (a group which has always opposed sex work) and flat-out refused to meet with sex workers when she ran the last time.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, with a pro-decrim member on the council, Sawant publicly espouses the Swedish model.

Unsafe for Human Consumption

Everybody knows cops are stupid, but this is a new level of idiocy:

…Given how difficult it is to absorb fentanyl through the skin (which is why the companies that make…fentanyl patches for pain treatment rely on patented technology that took years to develop), the likelihood that [histrionic pigs who accidentally touched some] were actually feeling the narcotic’s effects is approximately zero…[a local news station reporting on such a porcine fantasy] consulted a [soi-disant] drug treatment specialist…who proceeded to [bloviate]…”Someone…who enters a room with a person who’s having an issue with fentanyl could become addicted to it instantly [emphasis added]”…there is no such thing as instant addiction.  Addiction is a gradual process through which people become strongly attached to an experience that provides pleasure or emotional relief…patients who take prescribed opioids, including fentanyl, for pain relief rarely become addicted to them.  So even if [a pack of porkers]…somehow absorbed enough fentanyl to experience its psychoactive effects (say, by accidentally injecting themselves with a loaded syringe found at the scene), they would not become addicted to it unless they liked those effects enough to repeatedly seek them out…

After her accident, Jae was on IV fentanyl for two weeks and didn’t show the slightest signs of addiction afterward.  But as we all know, cops are delicate little pansies who can be so terrified by the sight of a black teenager running away from them that they are uncontrollably compelled to empty an entire clip into his back.  So I guess the idea that they could become “instantly addicted” by touching a person with the drug in his system isn’t so farfetched after all.

Dangerous Speech (#917)

The government keeps contradicting itself in its haste to crucify the former owners of Backpage:

…the 9th Circuit considered claims [last] week that federal prosecutors have improperly seized…money and property and used dirty tricks to prevent the courts from making things right…the feds have seized “26 real properties (some purchased before Backpage… ever existed), 89 bank accounts, and 268 domain names” from the defendants, their family members, and associated entities.  Prosecutors also seized money held in trusts by the defendants’ lawyers, jeopardizing defendants’ ability to afford defense counsel…Under the twisted rules of civil asset forfeiture, the government can take money and property from those accused of wrongdoing before actually proving any wrongdoing, so long as there is “probable cause” to believe the assets were used in or derived from criminal activity.  But for assets related to…First Amendment–protected activities…the government…must first show that the speech in question is not constitutionally protected.  Prosecutors [pretend]…that all the assets it seized were derived from the operation of Backpage, that all ads on Backpage were illegal, and that this is self-evidently true…and…that there were no free speech issues…since Backpage had already been…sold by Lacey and Larkin in 2015…[yet] prosecutors [also] argue that defendants never really did let the company go…

Out of Control (#932)

Spooge-based sexual assaults are growing worse:

…Justin Schneider…admitted that he had [choked a woman until she passed out, then] masturbated onto her….[and] ejaculated on her face.  But he was not charged with sexual assault.  As a first-time offender, he accepted a deal to plead guilty to just a single count of second-degree assault, and he walked out of the courtroom a free man…prosecutors…never brought [a sexual assault charge]…because…In Alaska, sexual assault has a very narrow definition…because Schneider touched only his own genitals but didn’t touch Lauren’s or force her to touch his, his actions didn’t qualify as sexual assault…Alaska lawmakers last month voted to close what has been dubbed the “Schneider loophole.”  But out of 54 US states and territories, 44 of these jurisdictions, including [Washington], do not have a legislated definition of sexual contact that explicitly mentions contact with semen…

Torture Chamber (#950)

And the incidents we hear about are only a fraction of the ones that happen:

…[screws] mistreated migrant children [caged] in Arizona…[one of them molested] a 15-year-old-girl from Honduras…[he] put his hands inside her bra, pulled down her underwear and groped her…in front of other [pigs]…a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy [reported screws] took the mats out of their cell in retaliation for complaints from him and others about the taste of the water and food…accounts…include reports of verbal threats, physical altercations…[and] sexual abuse…

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I wandered lonely as a clod,
Just picking up old rags and bottles,
When onward on my way I plod,
I saw a host of axolotls;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
A sight to make a man’s blood freeze.  –  Mad #43

Given the sad news about Mad, it seemed appropriate to feature one of the songs from one of its albums (some of which were actually included in “specials”; if you’re old enough to remember those, you should remember “sound sheets“).  The links above the video were provided by Radley Balko, Nun Ya, Emma Evans, Mike Siegel, Ivan Dragomiloff, and Radley Balko again, in that order.

From the Archives

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[Indiana’s] boundless view of governmental power cannot be squared with the Constitution.  –  Sam Gedge

Safe Targets

Please tell us more about how legalization “protects” sex workers:

The [Singaporean] television show Crime Watch…served as the source of inspiration that motivated three youths to hatch a plot to rob sex workers at knifepoint.  On…June 28…Theophileous Jebaraj, 16, and John Karan, 18, were convicted…the third co-accused, a 14-year-old…cannot be named as he is a minor…the trio agreed…[that] the “safest” way to commit a crime…would be preying on…sex workers…given the illicit [government designation] of their work…Armed with knives, they…[robbed] the victim…of…about S$100…and…ransack[ed] the house for other valuables…

Where Are the Victims?

When giving someone a ride to work is a “felony”.  Because “ring”:

A Billings massage parlor owner has agreed to plead guilty to one count related to [what masturbating pigs and prosecutors fantasized was] a sex-trafficking ring…Scot Donald Petrie…agree[d] to plead guilty [to] transporting a woman from Nevada to Billings to work…at his parlor…[giving adult women rides] carries a maximum of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and an additional $5,000 special assessment and five years to life supervised release…prosecutors agreed not to pursue charges of conspiracy and coercion and entitlement, which could have added 25 years to Petrie’s sentence…

Little Tin Gods (#588)

People sometimes ask me why I moved out of Louisiana.

[A pig who murdered] a 6-year-old autistic boy is out of prison after serving less than two years…Norris Greenhouse Jr.,,,[was given a] plea…[bargain for] negligent homicide and malfeasance…[and was given a] seven-year prison sentence…[which] was reduced due to [his being a pig]…Greenhouse will be on parole until 2025…Greenhouse [had a history of rape and molestation, including being caught trying to molest]…a 14-year-old…He was also accused of making “sexual advances” towards a girlfriend of [one of his murder victims]…

The Course of a Disease (#793)

The Swedish model “helps” sex workers!

Olivier Arsac, deputy mayor in charge of…safety…in Toulouse [said] “We must not hesitate to be brutal…to obtain…[sex workers’] departure [from the city]”…[the statement] caused controversy [among those who want to pretend policing is not intrinsically violent]…Arsac [has also called for]…eviction…of prostitutes [as is typical in Swedish model regimes]…

Rooted in Racism (#913)

In Europe as in the US, the real humanitarians are fighting against racist “anti-trafficking” schemes:

The sea captain who rammed a police boat while bringing 40 rescued immigrants to an Italian port…must be freed…a judge ruled…Carola Rackete…was arrested after she docked the rescue ship of…Sea-Watch at Italy’s tiny Lampedusa island [on June 29th], 17 days after taking the immigrant passengers aboard…Rackete was “doing her duty saving lives,” Judge Alessandra Vella concluded in denying prosecutors’ request to keep the German captain under house arrest…Italy’s virulently anti-immigrant interior minister, Matteo Salvini, banned [rescue] ships…from Italian waters and ports, [pre]tending they…encourage human trafficking.  Italian…authorities had repeatedly denied Rackete’s request to enter the port…[so] she steered into…Lampedusa…without authorization…Supporters in Italy and Germany pledged over 1.3 million euros ($1.48 million)…[to] an online fundraiser for her and for Sea-Watch…several impromptu street rallies were held in her support in Italy…[Italian pigs oinked that] the immigrants on board were not in a desperate state of need…[even though] 13 [of them had] to be…medical[ly evacuated from the ship soon after arrival]…

Dangerous Speech (#917)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

…federal Judge Susan Brnovich ruled against the wishes of prosecutors and in favor of a defense motion to reset the start date for the trial of six ex-Backpage honchos, allowing two newly-appointed defense attorneys an additional four months of prep time in [the] wildly complex case…Brnovich rescheduled the first day of trial for May 5, 2020 and reset several pretrial deadlines.  [Andrew] Padilla and [Joye] Vaught are relative small-fry in the case.  Out of a 100-count indictment, the feds have charged them with 51 counts: 50 for promoting prostitution in violation of the federal Travel Act, and one count of conspiracy…Though the criminal charges were brought in Arizona, the federal government chose to go through the Central District of California in order to [steal] millions of dollars in assets as part of the operation…[including designated] funds [set aside long before the raids for] legal defense…The reason why Padilla and Vaught have new counsel…is in part due to the feds’ [theft] of [these] accounts…

A Broker in Pillage (#917)

Indiana continues to pursue the “right” to rob anyone within its borders blind:

After losing at the U.S Supreme Court, the state of Indiana still hasn’t given up its argument that there are virtually no Eighth Amendment limits on what it can [steal from anyone cops point at]…In oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court last week, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said the state’s position that it would be constitutional to seize any and every car that [a cop claims] went over the speed limit—a line of argument that elicited laughter from the nation’s highest court last year—hasn’t budged…The Indiana Supreme Court is now reconsidering the case of Tyson Timbs’ $42,000 Land Rover, and whether the state’s 2015 [theft] of Timbs’ car after he was convicted of a drug felony violated his Eighth Amendment protections against excessive fines and fees…The Indiana Supreme Court will now have to decide how to determine whether a [theft] is excessive or not, a decision that could either check or reinforce the state government’s power in these cases…last year, Fisher argued…that the excessive fines clause, even if it applied to the states, did not apply to the practice of civil asset forfeiture, which operates under the legal fiction that it is an action against the property itself, not the owner…

Morality Lessons (#921)

The FBI should’ve just run their child porn sites on DoD computers:

…An untold number of Department of Defense (DOD) employees and contractors have subscriptions to child pornography websites, and…”hundreds of DoD-affiliated individuals” were recently identified as suspects in child pornography cases…an investigation by the National Criminal Justice Training Program found DOD computers were among the top networks nationwide for peer-to-peer sharing of pornographic images of minors.  DOD’s network ranked 19th out of 2,891 computer networks studied…

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

I love seeing governments fight the rescue industry for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

A [UK] Home Office policy document on…Nigeria[n sex workers] says that those who become “wealthy from prostitution” enjoy “high socio-economic status” and are “often held in high regard” when they return home…[rescue industry perv]erts retorted that [the migrant women they label] trafficking victims [are]…“very young women plucked from the streets of Benin City or Lagos and brought to the UK to be raped, for months and sometimes years”…

Now that the greedy and the power-hungry all recognize the proven power of this ugly, racist sexual fantasy to frighten the Great Unwashed into giving them what they want, they’ll keep struggling for control of it until it implodes.

Checklist (#934)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system continues:

EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland partnered with Seattle Against Slavery on June 21 to continue the [indoctrin]ation [of] health care professionals [in denying the sexual agency of adult women who seek healthcare services]…Claudia Lawrence…delivered a presentation to nursing staff, physicians and social workers on [how to project fantasies] of exploitation…[onto] adults…“Not everyone who is trafficked is aware they are trafficked,” said Lawrence…

Shame, Shame (#951)

An existing crime (extortion) doesn’t magically become a different thing (“sexortion”) when sex is involved:

Gabe Ryan Gilbert, 19, was charged with contacting juvenile girls on social media and threatening to photo-edit nude images of them if they would not send him real nude photos…A 15-year-old girl reported…that Gilbert “had threatened to photoshop images of her face onto nude photos unless she sent real nude pictures of herself”…When [cops] looked into Gilbert’s Snapchat account…”it was obvious the user had been engaging in very similar behavior with…over 50 potential victims”…

The solution to this problem isn’t increasing the censorship powers of the already-bloated police state as authoritarians demand; it’s fighting the idea that a woman’s body is something to be ashamed of.

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Lots of people are asking for my take on the Jeffrey Epstein thing, but I’m afraid I don’t have one just yet; when a powerful, wealthy, well-connected person is accused of a crime (especially a complex one), the result is invariably dueling volcanos of accusation & defense vomiting megatons of obfuscation into the atmosphere.  Moreover, when the crime “just happens” to fit into a moral panic in full eruption, the result is a firestorm that makes it very difficult to separate truth, lies, prevarications, opportunism, excuse-making, police-statery, and outright bullshit from one another.  However, I respect Liz Brown’s judgment on such things and here’s what she had to say on Monday:

…Why now?  Who else may be implicated?  What do lawyer Alan Dershowitz, activist Mike Cernovich, and The Miami Herald have to do with it?…Epstein first pleaded guilty in June 2008 to charges of…paying young women and teen girls to give him massages and then pressuring or forcing them into sexual activity.  At the time, federal prosecutors declined to pursue the case so long as Epstein registered as a sex offender in Florida, served a little time in jail, and paid compensation to the victims. The prosecutor handling the case was Alexander Acosta, who is now secretary of labor….soliciting  or patronizing prostitution from victims of sex trafficking was not explicitly a federal crime until 2015, with the passage of the Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act…[which] made prosecuting said crimes more lucrative for the feds…indeed, the new indictment against Epstein lays claim to his Palm Beach and New York City residences.  Before 2015, the feds may have been able to charge Epstein under the Mann Act…but…getting any assets…out of them would likely have been much harder…plaintiffs in [a civil] suit reached a settlement in 2017, and documents related to this were…kept under seal.  Wanting to clear his name, Dershowitz sued to have them unsealed.  Eventually, right-wing activist Mike Cernovich and Miami Herald writer Julie Brown would also seek to intervene…On July 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit…[ordered them] unsealed…

There’s a lot more, but I’m sure my readers will find this bit especially important:

…The conduct Epstein is accused of committing does fall under the federal definition of sex trafficking (which encompasses any paid sexual activity involving a minor, including paying them yourself).  And more so than almost any case I’ve covered, Epstein’s alleged actions fall within the spirit and not just the letter of the law.  They also come much closer to what many people might think of when they think about “sex trafficking.”  But these allegations…may be more closely aligned with other crimes, such as sexual assault, statutory rape, etc.  The decision to bring child sex trafficking charges is likely a function of a) some of these other things not being federal crimes, b) a general federal enthusiasm for adding trafficking charges in sex-crime cases, and/or c) the greater asset forfeiture possibilities and related conspiracy/etc. possibilities that come with the federal sex trafficking statute…

The final important point:  Epstein has lots of cronies in both “wings” of the US Fascist Party, so it’s likely that some powerful people in both halves of the duopoly (including two of the five living presidents) are motivated to hide the truth, while their enemies may not wish “to weaponize this” due to fear of fallout to “their” side.  All we can do for now is wait and see.

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