Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

We’re not trying to argue the morality of this. We’re trying to argue the reality of this.  –  Nicole Emma

Feminine Pragmatism 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

Lao workers, many of them young and some still in their teens, have poured in growing numbers this year into neighboring Thailand, braving exploitation and unsafe work conditions in search of employment to help support families back home…nine Lao migrants [were] killed on Aug. 18 in a head-on collision while traveling to a border town to renew the tourist visas on which they had entered Thailand…an official…said…“They won’t [tell us their personal business [so]…we can’t stop them”…Many of those looking for work in Thailand voice concerns over family poverty as their reason for leaving home…Many young Laotians [are forced by arbitrary laws to] enter Thailand with the help of middle-men to work illegally…the…head of the anti-trafficking unit of the Thai-based Labor Rights Promotion Network…[said] “This is one of the loopholes in Thailand’s laws, and this is a problem [because we would rather force them to stay in Laos and die in poverty]”…

What kind of authoritarian mind thinks that “people killed in tragic accident while trying to comply with arbitrary government rules” is a less important point than where they were from or what they did for a living?

The New Victorianism

It’s about time Playboy started covering this topic more aggressively:

…Moral panic…and purity politics…interfere with our right to sexual safety, pleasure and free expression…civil policy-making has been supplanted by partisan uproar and triggered panic.  Sex is at the center of every one of these…sex…has become the enemy…Panic rejects nuance, debate and disagreement in favor of party lines and swift action.  Panic has resulted in the rise of cancel culture and the dismissal of due process…rational thinking has…been cast aside…In a sex panic, it becomes imprudent to question the extent to which sex-based discrimination exists.  It becomes dangerous to suggest that all sexual violations, and all experiences of sexual violence, are not equivalent.  As a consequence, we learn to shut up and sit down lest we face public condemnation and risk being attacked…moral panic is more about social control than ethical guidelines for how we should get along with one another…attempts to regulate morality only heighten panic by promoting, for example, sex-trafficking laws that ignore racist immigration policies and degrade sex workers as second-class citizens…Awkward sexual encounters continue to be conflated with the worst of accusations.  And then: If he’s accused, he must have done it…

Elephant in the Parlor

Too bad more politicians don’t hire the marginalized women cops are most likely to persecute:

West Virginia [politician] Mike Maroney has been charged with soliciting a prostitute…Maroney exchanged text messages to discuss prices and set up meetings with a woman who [was arrested]…Police [then snooped in her phone and started charging people for texting her]…

Micromanagement

The modern Fuhrer wants serial numbers tattooed on every cell of every prisoner of his concentration camps:

The Trump administration wants [the border Gestapo]…to collect DNA samples from undocumented immigrants in its [cages]…according to a draft policy…CBP officials would spend more than 20,000 additional work hours on such a policy in its first year of implementation.  Hundreds of thousands of individuals could have their DNA collected each year if the draft regulation, proposed by the Department of Justice, is fully implemented…

Choke Point (#593) 

We fucking told you so:

While sex-related businesses…have long faced draconian restrictions from banks, we’re living in a time when their position is more precarious than ever…If this continues, it will disproportionately impact small sex-focused businesses…further marginalize sex workers, and decrease access to positive information about sexual health…“To see [this] spreading to educators and activists is alarming,” said Lorrae Jo Bradbury, founder of Slutty Girl Problems, a sex-positive blog…these incidents have ramped up dramatically since…FOSTA…passed in the Senate…[creating] a more repressive era of the internet, one in which websites such as Tumblr have banned adult content, Patreon is kicking off adult performers, and financial institutions are clamping down on businesses even remotely connected to sex…

Safe Position

When this is happenening in Utah, you know we’re past the watershed:

The best way of protecting sex workers is to decriminalize their industry and allow them to come out of the shadows, a Salt Lake City nonprofit told Utah [politicians]…Nicole Emma…of the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)…told members of the state’s Criminal Code Evaluation Task Force…[that] if these penalties were removed, sex workers could communicate more openly about their industry, check client backgrounds more easily and blacklist bad actors…

The Monsters Are Due (#867) 

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

The recent spate of mob attacks in Uttar Pradesh has caught the state police on the back foot.  Incidents of hapless people…being brutally beaten up on suspicion of being child lifters are surfacing with alarming frequency…UP director general of police…OP Singh said…“A total of 46 incidents were reported in which one person was killed and 29 injured”…In…Ghaziabad, a middle-aged woman was…thrashed by a mob…[when] she went with her grandson for shopping…people have been attacked simply for being seen with a child…two siblings — Ramautar and Raju — were thrashed mercilessly…when…taking their nephew Ravi to a hospital for treatment…Ramautar [died and]…Raju [is] still battling for his life in the hospital…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#886)

The pigs are starting their annual fearmongering early this year:

[Cops] in Massachusetts want to [spread yet another stupid panic]…about…ecstasy [pills]…in the shape of “SpongeBob SquarePants” cartoon characters…The National Institute on Drug Abuse…warns that MDMA use can “promote trust and closeness,” potentially encouraging unsafe sexual behavior…“Parents, guardians, and caretakers should be on the lookout for these as school starts and Halloween is fast approaching,” [pigs oinked]…

Yeah, because people are going to hand free samples of a drug that costs $100 a gram to anonymous brats.  And you’ve gotta love that the only “warning” these drug warriors can come up with is that stupid amateurs taking MDMA might do the same kind of stupid shit they do when sober.

Pyrrhic Victory (#960)

The more we discover about Amazon’s fascist collaboration with cops, the worse it sounds:

[Amazon’s] doorbell-camera company Ring has quietly forged [fascist] partnerships with more than 400 police forces across the United States, granting them access to homeowners’ camera footage…The number of police deals, which has not previously been reported, will likely fuel [belated] questions about privacy, surveillance and the expanding reach of [fascist surveillance]…The rapid growth of the program, which launched last spring, surprised [insufficiently-cynical] civil-liberties advocates…

Read Full Post »

Good grief, reporters, please learn the difference between “size” and “length”.

Asteroid 2000 QW7 is set to pass Earth on September 14 according to research from Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).  Asteroid 2000 QW7 is rather large, estimated to be 290 and 650 meters…making it the size of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world…Luckily, Asteroid 2000 QW7 is keeping its distance, only coming within 0.03564 astronomical units of Earth, which is approximately 3.3 million miles…

Burj Khalifa is very narrow in comparison to its height; an asteroid is not.  And while Burj Khalifa is mostly empty space, an asteroid is solid rock and/or metal.  Burj Khalifa masses a mere half a million tons; the asteroid mentioned in this story has a (very approximate) mass of 340 million tons.  In other words, O deeply scientifically-illiterate reporter, 2000 QW7 is not “the size of Burj Khalifa”; it is in fact well over 600 times its size.  For those who need a more concrete visualization:  The statement “2000 QW7 is the size of Burj Khalifa” is not-dissimilar in accuracy to the statement “A 2019 Honda Accord is the size of the bag of sugar in my cupboard.”

And yet I wonder how these same people can believe in 100,000 “sex trafficked children” being raped dozens of times a day.

Addendum, for those who care about such things:  I approximated the asteroid as a chondrite spheroid 600 m in diameter, small enough to be solid (unlike some small chondrite moons, which appear to have sizeable internal cavities); I approximated its density as 3 grams/cc.  I asked my astronomer friend Mike Siegel to check my numbers, and he came up with very similar ones (though he felt the official estimate of Burj Khalifa’s mass to be a bit high).

Read Full Post »

Any drug can be used responsibly.  –  Andre Picard

The Crumbling Dam

Prohibitionists hate harm reduction because prohibition is based in harm magnification:

The Alberta government has appointed a panel to study supervised drug-consumption sites.  Panel members have been told to not to consider the merits of the facilities, only how they affect neighbouring residents and businesses…this political exercise…is about vilifying one type of drug user…Because the reality is there are already a lot of supervised consumption sites in Alberta and every province and territory – places where clients can be served their poison of choice unadulterated, in relatively safe quantities and not be judged or jailed.  We call these places bars.  What they really are are supervised alcohol-consumption sites: a place people can consume a safe supply of a drug in social surroundings and where if they overdose (i.e. get too drunk), there are friends and bar staff around to help…The assumptions we have that injected drugs are dangerous and bad, while liquid drugs ingested in clean glasses are innocuous and safe, are false.  The best way to minimize the harm caused by drugs is to legalize them, to ensure the supply is safe…

The Proper Study (#572)

Every proper study of any kind of sex work shoots prohibitionist lies down in flames:

…[prohibitionists claim] that porn fuels misogynistic attitudes and sexual violence.  If this were the case, you would think that people who consumed a lot of porn would hold particularly negative views towards women.  So we decided to study a group of men whom we’ve dubbed “porn superfans” – those who are so enthusiastic about porn that they’ll attend the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas…The 294 expo attendees we surveyed…actually expressed more progressive attitudes towards gender equality on two of the questions.  For two others, they indicated just as progressive – or, said another way, just as sexist – attitudes as the general population…

Guinea Pigs (#726) 

In case you had forgotten that banks are actively looking for whores to rat out to the pigs:

The first episode of Forensic Finance discusses human trafficking, with more than 40 million people [pretended by prohibitionists] to be victims…It’s up to [the fascist establishment to feed this hysteria by destroying the lives of sex workers]…and one solution is to analyze bank data…

The rest is mostly a lot of misogynistic, agency-negating bullshit such as “many people who are trafficked might not know they’re victims”.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#774) 

Return of the Killer Sex Robots:

Sex robots plagued with coding errors could be prone to violent behaviours including strangling, a [doll collector] has [fantasized.  A person who expects to be taken seriously despite calling himself] Brick Dollbanger fears violent repercussions if robotics are not regulated properly.  He believes a simple “coding error” could turn AI girlfriends against their owners [and magically give them souls]…”It scares me to death, it’s a machine and it’s always going to be a machine…If you’ve watched [The Terminator]…I honestly believe synthetics are going to look very similar…It’s not going to be something you can hit with a pipe and it’s going to fall apart…it’s going to be very strong, and it won’t get tired, it won’t stop unless it runs out of an energy supply…

Crying for Nanny (#842)

This is good news; hysteria never stops until it starts harming the wealthy & well-connected:

[Ambulance-chasing shysters are using “sex trafficking” hysteria as a weapon in an attempt to rob] four Atlanta-area hotels [based on the pretense that they] knew sex trafficking was taking place [because they did not actively persecute sex workers and others who might fit the absurdly-broad]…indicator of sex trafficking [propaganda pushed by prohibitionists]…Jonathan Tonge and Pat McDonough…represent four [women who now claim to be]…trafficking victims…

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria.

Bad Girls (#923) 

Note how an accomplished adult man is portrayed as a passive victim when sex & drugs are involved:

A prostitute linked to the suspected overdose deaths of three men…including [Andrea Zamperoni] an Italian chef at a popular restaurant…has been arrested on drug charges…Angelina Barini [admitted to providing the chef drugs and later claimed that her pimp gave the chef some kind of fentanyl-based concoction she called “liquid ecstasy”.  After Zamperoni predictably ODed]…her pimp, who hasn’t been identified, would not let her call the police and discussed whether to cut up the body…

Obviously, trying to cover up an overdose by CHOPPING UP A FUCKING BODY is an act of epic stupidity, and if this “pimp” exists, why has he neither been arrested nor named?  Ask yourself:  if drugs were not illegal, would successful men buy unidentifiable and possibly toxic swill from people they don’t know?  And if drug-taking companions weren’t charged under monstrous “felony murder” statutes, wouldn’t people be much more likely to summon help in case of overdose?

Repeat Offenders (#934)

Even when it isn’t garment-related, “rescuers” invariably want to push sex workers into some kind of traditional feminine menial labor:

…76…former sex workers [in Haiti]…have just completed a two (2) year training based on disciplines such as cosmetology, sewing, baking and cooking…This program of social reintegration…was initiated…by Fanm Kore Fanmi Professional Center, Fanm Kore Fanm Association in partnership with Operation Underground Railroad…

The inevitable religious connection is at the very end there; “Operation Underground Railroad” has strong ties to the Mormon Church.

Dangerous Speech (#948)

Why let facts get in the way of a witch hunt?

[Prohibitionists’] claims [against Backpage] have always been bogus. Now, thanks to memos obtained by Reason, we have proof that prosecutors understood this all along…six years before Backpage leaders were indicted on federal criminal charges, prosecutors had already begun building a “child sex trafficking” case against the company.  But this case was hampered by the fact that Backpage kept trying to help stop sex trafficking…”Unlike virtually every other website that is used for prostitution…Backpage is remarkably responsive to law enforcement requests and often takes proactive steps to assist in investigations,” wrote Catherine Crisham and Aravind Swaminathan, both assistant U.S. attorneys for the Western District of Washington, in the April 3 memo to Jenny Durkan, now mayor of Seattle and then head federal prosecutor for the district.  [The FBI] told prosecutors that “on many occasions,” Backpage staff proactively sent him “advertisements that appear to contain pictures of juveniles” and that the company was “very cooperative at removing these advertisements at law enforcement’s request”…[the memos] would wind up being accidently sent by federal prosecutors to Backpage defense lawyers last year.  But both would be ruled off-limits for defense use, placed under seal, and only subject to public courtroom discussion…after prosecutors tried to sanction defendants for a few paragraphs from the memos appearing in a June Wired article

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#954)

Clownish cops continue to pratfall over fentanyl hysteria; clownish reporters swallow it whole:

…[a hysterical] Harrisburg [Pennsylvania cop suffered a panic attack due to cop disinformation about fentanyl after picking up]…a package [discarded by a fleeing vehicle.  A spokespig claimed]…he was stricken with the classic overdose symptoms [and then described the classic symptoms of a panic attack, not an opioid overdose]…the first [backup pig] to arrive on the scene immediately administered a dose of the opioid antidote Narcan [which of course had no effect because he wasn’t overdosing, but]…EMTs [were able to calm him down with] a second dose, which [acted as a placebo to calm his hysteria]…

Buried lede: “…merely touching fentanyl is…not enough exposure to produce a life-threatening overdose”, but the reporter is so afraid of debunking pig dogma he had to insert qualifiers.

Read Full Post »

Is everyone insane?

Here’s a new video from the only presidential candidate any moral person can really support, courtesy of Brooke Magnanti.  The links above it were provided by Tushy Galore (“time” and “Shazam”), Radley Balko (“serving”), Mike Siegel (“shocked” and “algorithms”), and Carol Fenton (“crises”).

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

We…help…people…learn to integrate their sexuality into their whole self, rather than separating it from the rest of their life.  –  David Ley

Part of the Picture (#23)

Dr. David Ley vs. the childish belief that pictures of sex are magic:

Max Bennet…[of] Stripchat…and Dr David Ley…teamed up to give the customers of the camming website help on sexual struggles and shame…Max [said]…“Nearly 40% of our users experience a deep connection with the models, or are able to access a fantasy that may not be available in reality.  By bringing doctors like Dr David Ley on to speak with users, it alleviates some of that shame and conflict, and offers them a way to integrate this…with their relationships”…Dr David [has] discovered that…“many users worry…that it is infidelity and could negatively affect their relationships…Sexual shame is the real enemy to intimacy, and that’s what these sessions are trying to address”…

Scrambled Eggs (#311)

Oh look, another man says women shouldn’t be compensated for services men can’t perform because we’re too stupid to make decisions about our own bodies:

Proponents of a proposed law allowing women to be paid to donate their eggs for research [point out that]…research subjects in other fields can get paid…men can get paid for donating sperm….[and] it’s legal for women to be paid for eggs to assist couples undertaking fertility treatments.  But it’s illegal for researchers to compensate women for their eggs…[politician] Autumn Burke…[revived] this idea…[after] Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill by former [politician] Susan Bonilla…in 2013, [bloviat]ing [misogynistically and self-righteously]…“Not everything in life is for sale, nor should it be“…Burke’s bill, Assembly Bill 922, passed the Assembly without a single “no” vote in May…so it’s likely to pass the Senate handily.  Gov. Gavin Newsom thus may be the only person standing in the way of its becoming law…[Like sex work,] this…would [give] California women, especially low-income women who may [welcome]…the compensation, [a way to make money that isn’t dependent on subjugation to men, so] he should kill it…

Though he hastens to distance himself from them, this writer’s arguments were mostly formulated by an anti-abortion group which opposes the bill for predictable reasons.

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [prisoner of the state of] Florida…with a history of epilepsy says he was beaten and thrown in solitary confinement for seven months after he involuntarily bit a [screw]…while having a seizure…Dean Higgins…suffered a grand mal seizure last September…[and] while the guards tried to restrain Higgins—an improper way to handle someone having a seizure—he bit one of the[m] on the arm…he was then beaten and…[locked] in…a tiny cell….[where] raw sewage would seep in…at times a number of inches deep…in addition to having epilepsy, Higgins is also on the autism spectrum…

Pyrrhic Victory (#922)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

…In early July, the FBI posted a solicitation notice for a “Social Media Alerting Subscription,” which would “acquire the services of a company to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests through a means of online sources.”  The request singles out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram “and other social media platforms” for snooping.  Essentially, the FBI is looking for companies to build a tool to comb through…social media posts and pinpoint possible threats ahead of time.  Think of it like a meme-illiterate Facebook-stalking precog from Minority Report…this system could empower the Red Flag law ideas that have since gained prominence.  This kind of “proactive identification” could allow [cops] to target and even disenfranchise social media users whose posts may have been [intentionally or not] misinterpreted…

You Were Warned

Yes, I’m going to say “I told you so”, because I’ve been telling you so for nine years now:

FOSTA [turned] the internet…into a more exclusionary place almost overnightInternet companies became significantly more restrictive in their treatment of sexual speech…The law also threw important harm reduction activities into a legal gray area…Congress failed to listen to the people it was removing from the internet, and put them in more danger as a result…The entire history of censorship shows that it magnifies existing imbalances in society, sometimes intentionally…there are many, many stories of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter taking down important work to document human rights violations under their anti-extremism policies.  Politicians…routinely treat Section 230 as a handout to tech companies — or a “gift,” as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently put it…Let’s not forget that Facebook and other big internet companies actively lobbied for FOSTA, a law that made it considerably more difficult for a startup ever to unseat Facebook…Section 230 isn’t a gift to big internet companies.  It’s a gift to rural LGBTQ teenagers who depend every day on the safety of their online communities.  It’s a gift to activists around the world using the internet to document human rights abuses.  It’s a gift to women who rely on dating apps to meet people more safely

Think of the Children! (#936)

Obviously this sex-ray contaminated money would have “sexualized” their patients!

Mount Sinai Health System said on Friday that it will make a charitable contribution equivalent to the money it received from…Jeffrey Epstein.  The money will go to an organization focused on p[ersecu]ting [sex workers]…and toward the health system’s own program Sexual Assault and Violence intervention program, which provides immediate treatment and counseling to sexual assault survivors.  The hospital did not say how much money was donated by the disgraced financier…

Loose Cannons (#949)

If this is happening to this rich, prominent man, with access to the best lawyers…what happens to the rest of us?

One of the women arrested in the [Robert Kraft massage parlor] case…pleaded no contest…to misdemeanor charges, leaving only one of the women arrested yet to take a plea in the case.  Qing Hua Zhang…pleaded no contest to engaging in prostitution and use of a structure or conveyance for prostitution.  The most serious charge — racketeering — was dropped…

Yellow Fever (#956) 

Another hodgepodge of idiotic lies, myths, wild exaggerations, wanking fantasies and long-debunked propaganda was shoveled into a column by Business Insider and represented as “journalism”; apparently they’re tying to go in the clickbait direction taken by The Hill.  This one uses the term “trafficking” no fewer than 21 times in a not-very-long article and presents a misogynistic weltanschauung in which women can be either passive “victims” or malevolent “perpetrators” but never anything else, making the Shazam-style leap without passing through any of the complex human behavior between due to “weaponization” and “normalization” by powerful, Svengali-like men.  A by-no-means-exhaustive list of dysphemisms from this trash includes “offenders”, “ring”, “traffickers”, “cult”, “slaves”, “lifestyle”, “abusers”, “groomed”, and my favorite, “sexual pyramid scheme”.  If you want an article on this topic written by an actual adult who understands concepts like “facts” and “agency”, here you go.

Across the Pond (#964)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

Police are [raid]ing residential properties believed to be used for sex work…to [spy on] what is happening behind closed doors…potential [targets are determined by snitching]…from local residents…[chief swine] Paul Whitehouse [oinked that intimidating people and violating their privacy is a means of]…”gaining their trust and confidence…We [don’t find enough women to harass on the street anymore]…so now we can pick [on] the off-street work[ers]…We do not want to criminalise the females.  We are looking at [pinning] criminality on a[ny available] third party”…

Read Full Post »

Politicians are going to act like they’re supporting us, and learn to mouth the right rhetoric.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Real People

Why are amateurs so obsessed with sex workers’ taxes?

Kirie Redfield…runs her own limited company and…pays VAT every quarter.  Every week she sends her books to her accountant to make sure all her tax affairs are in order…she’s a[n]…escort…plying her trade from a motor home in which she travels all over the country…Kirie…was unwittingly caught up in a blackmail scam when a [disgusting pig]…attempted to extort money from one of the punters who had visited her van…in Luton.  The first Kirie knew of it was when a [different pig tried to pin it on]…her…

Sex Work is Work

One day, simply listing a job on a job list will not be controversial:

Universal Credit chiefs have made a humiliating U-turn after [correctly including]…“dances in adult entertainment establishments” as one option for jobseekers with “no formal academic” skills…it has since been taken offline, hours after [a chorus of puritans bleated idiocy about a lucrative, flexible job being]…“inappropriate”…”unacceptable”…”insecure” [etc]…

Against Their Will (#831)

Journalists never question why women are willing to risk death to escape “rescue” by cops:

A woman is expected to survive after she was hit by two vehicles on the Gulf Freeway service road in southeast Houston…[while fleeing rape and brutalization by disguised pigs who deceived her]…the woman unknowingly got into a [pigmobile, but when she realized she was going to be raped and abducted]…she decided to run away…

Safe Position (#851)

If the Democratic Party were run by people who care about human rights, this would be its official position:

…sex workers and their allies are feeling left behind by…Bernie Sanders and…Elizabeth Warren, who have both unveiled wide-reaching policy platforms on criminal justice reform…that don’t include a single mention of decriminalizing sex work…

The article quotes several sex worker rights activists, but like so many stories of this ilk incorrectly states that arch-prohibitionist Kamala Harris is in favor of decriminalization, which she absolutely is not; she supports the misogynistic, authoritarian, agency-negating Swedish model.

Torture Chamber (#866) 

The State wants us to call this a “correctional institution” and the torturers “correctional officers”:

A Florida prison guard on [August 21st] [intentionally] broke the neck of a female inmate who suffered from both mental and physical disabilities…Cheryl A. Weimar…was unable to clean a toilet due to a pre-existing hip condition.  A [screw tried to force her to do it anyway while shouting “Stop faking!” at her, triggering]…Weimar to…[have a panic attack]…the guard became angry and…slammed [his helpless victim] to the ground…then dragged to a wheelchair, “with her head bouncing along the ground.”  She was eventually taken to the hospital where she was placed in intensive care…[with] a…broken neck…

Here are a few more choice tidbits from the past year at Lowell:

Florida officials [initially tried to cover up an incident in which a crazed screw intentionally broke a woman’s neck]…at [the notorious] Lowell [Cage Stack]…A year ago, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division met with…victims [of rape by screws and their] families and loved ones…to [pretend something would be done, but]…the next month, Nicholas Seaborn Jefferson, a [rookie screw], was arrested [for raping]…an inmate…Five months later, Adrian Victor Matthew Puckett was charged with [beating the living shit out of a woman] and falsifying records [to cover it up], and Kurtis Kyle Mitchell was charged [as his accomplice]…Puckett [beat her so severely]…that her two upper central incisors and one upper lateral incisor were knocked out at the root….her lower lip [was sliced] in half…The injuries caused permanent disfigurement…

Rooted in Racism (#953)

The racism of European “anti-trafficking” schemes is getting harder to disguise:

…many European countries and the EU itself are trying to restrict [rescue of human beings from sinking vessels], even as the death toll in the Mediterranean rises.  The European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex, appears to have come up with an ingenious solution: use drones.  The legal obligation to aid a vessel in distress does not apply to an unmanned aerial vehicle…You can avoid the politically fraught argument about who should take care of rescued migrants if you never rescue them in the first place…If we are obliged to rescue those who ask us for help, the solution seems to be to ensure we cannot hear their request…in the self-serving morality of European border policy if there were no traffickers there would be no migrants.  But traffickers do not manufacture migrants in their garages.  If the official routes are blocked, people will seek out unofficial routes.  The demand for smugglers is increased, not stopped, by making migration more difficult.  Rather than breaking their business model, these policies create it…The obsession with border security is running up against some of the oldest obligations western societies have.  Look after the vulnerable, do unto others as we would have them do unto us, help those we can…But our governments have decided it is not what Europeans do.  In perverse defiance of ingrained moral instincts thousands of years old, in modern Europe a sailor who rescues a drowning refugee must be punished…

Between the Ears (#959)

Any internet-connected device can be used to spy on you:

Contractors working for Microsoft have listened to audio of Xbox users speaking in their homes…human contractors [also] listen…to…Skype calls as well as audio recorded by Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like virtual assistant…The purpose of contractors [eavesdropping]…was [supposedly]…to improve the products…Apple, Google, and Facebook suspended their own use of contractors after swelling media coverage around the widespread practice; Amazon said it will let users opt-out…Microsoft [merely] updated its privacy documents to…say that humans may [listen to users without their consent]…

All-Purpose Excuse (#959)

Hey prohibitionists, are you proud of your accomplishments?

The Trump Administration…will now seek to terminate the Flores Settlement Agreement, a [compromise authoritarians call a] loophole that results in most alien families being released into the country after 20 days…The Flores loophole essentially gives a free pass into the interior of the United States to many aliens who arrive at the border with a minor…Smugglers have even fraudulently presented aliens arriving at the border as fake families to take advantage of the Flores loophole…[which] acts as a [giant cartoon] magnet, [magically] drawing more and more alien families to make the dangerous journey to our border…

To Molest and Rape (#961)

Cops show you what they are every day; why don’t you believe them?

A [typical and representative] Cleveland [cop]…attempt[ed] to kidnap [and rape] a 12-year-old girl who was waiting for a school bus in Euclid…Solomon Nhiwatiwa…asked the girl if she wanted a ride to school and after she [wisely] refused, he…[whipped out his dick] and urinated on her while filming the incident with his cell phone.  Afterwards, he got back in his car and drove away…He has been [arrested and] charged with [numerous offenses]…

Read Full Post »

This was not a good idea.  –  Jamie Bisceglia

If you’re British and over 40, or an American of that age who loved Captain Kangaroo, you probably remember the adventures of Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings.  I recently remembered them and discovered this YouTube channel, and if you’ve never seen them before I think you’ll enjoy them.  And if you’re American and remember them too, you may remember that the song was slightly different when they aired here.  The links above the video are from Emma Evans, Skye, Dave Krueger, Mike Siegel (x2), and Tim Cushing, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »