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Posts Tagged ‘cell phones’

This family…didn’t choose…to [allow] Jefferson Parish to look into their home and judge what happens there.  –  Chelsea Cusimano

The big news this week was the death of Eddie Van Halen; I wasn’t really a fan, but this song was recent enough when I was teaching that some of my students used to “innocently” sing it within earshot.  The links above it were provided by Nun YaStephen Lemons, Tim Cushing, Popehat, Scott Greenfield, Cop Crisis, and Thaddeus Russell, in that order.

From the Archives

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Our job as educators is not to create a surveillance environment that teaches students how to better lie, but to foster critical thinking and civic responsibility.  – Zeynep Tufekci

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

Christopher McCormack is one of the New York Police Department’s highest-ranking officers…his ascension started three decades earlier…and [all]…along the way, police leaders were privy to an ever-growing list of complaints against McCormack…[most] of [which] were hidden from public view…What stands out…is how often Black and Latino men accused him of [molesting them under he pretext of] invasive, humiliating searches…he pulled down their pants in public, exposing their genitals…[and] used his fingers to [rape] their anal cavities [under the pretext of “searching for drugs”]…McCormack is just one of dozens of high-ranking NYPD officers who have risen [thank to egregious] misconduct in their records.  Eighty-six of the roughly 420 [cops]…who currently hold a rank above captain…have tallied at least one misconduct allegation that was substantiated by the [cops themselves], meaning that [the behavior was too blatant to hide as per standard procedure]…the…substantiated complaints are dwarfed by a far larger list of those that are “unsubstantiated,” meaning [cops were able to pretend they didn’t]…happen…

Scapegoats (#438)

I reckon someone else noticed Arpaio’s obsession with this topic:

…For $30.99, users of Cameo — an app where singers, actors and other public figures record custom video messages for a fee — can request a personalized clip of [disgraced politician Joe Arpaio] saying whatever they want…Most of Arpaio’s Cameo videos appear to be standard fare, such as birthday greetings, thank-you messages, congratulatory comments.  But one…[last week] raised eyebrows. “Hey, good luck organizing the Arizona Furry convention,” Arpaio begins, though he pronounces it “Fury,” suggesting he’s not totally certain…he’s been asked to talk about…Arizona Fur Con, an annual event [for] members of the furry community…the…person who ordered the video [goes by]…Sir Yiffs A Lot.  “Yiff” refers to furry-related sexual content or activity, which made Arpaio’s sign-off all the more cringeworthy…”I’m kind of partial to dogs,” he says after a pause, as if responding to a question included in the video request. “But I love all animals. Thanks”…

Devil’s Advocate (#944) 

Florida politicians are obsessed with child-shaped toasters:

[A pervert politician from Florida] filed legislation in Congress to ban [small] sex dolls [fashioned to resemble children] nationwide…[per-Vern Buchanan] said he will reintroduce the [moronically-named] CREEPER Act…which died in the Senate [in 2018]…Buchanan said he felt the [urge] to reintroduce the legislation after [some creep had a masturbatory fantasy] that a…sex doll was being sold on the Internet…was [somehow] modeled off of a girl in Miami [even though the same model has been sold for years before the girl reached the size and age depicted by the doll]…Florida passed a similar…ban in 2019…[making it] one of only three states, along with Kentucky and Tennessee that has specifically banned [plastic toys made to resemble children]…

Welcome to the Future (#1010)

What “predictive policing” actually looks like on the ground:

Pasco County [Florida] Sheriff Chris Nocco took office in 2011 with a…plan…to create a…system to continuously monitor and harass…residents…the Sheriff’s Office generates lists of people it c[laims are] likely to break the law, based on arrest histories, un[founded allegations] and arbitrary decisions by [cops]…Then it sends deputies to find and [harass] anyone whose name appears, often without probable cause, a search warrant or evidence of a specific crime.  They swarm homes in the middle of the night, waking families and embarrassing people in front of their neighbors.  They write tickets for missing mailbox numbers and overgrown grass, saddling residents with court dates and fines.  They come again and again, making arrests for any reason they can.  One former deputy described the directive like this: “Make their lives miserable until they move or sue.”  In just five years, Nocco’s signature program has ensnared almost 1,000 people…

I Spy (#1010)

The pandemic has been a very useful excuse for expanding the police state:

[Using the excuse of] the pandemic, many universities and colleges around the country are forcing students to download location-tracking apps, sometimes as a condition of enrollment…When students enter a classroom, their phone informs a sensor that’s been installed in the room, or the app checks the Wi-Fi networks nearby to determine the phone’s location.  As a university professor, I’ve seen surveillance like this before.  Many of these apps replicate the tracking system sometimes installed on the phones of student athletes, for whom it is often mandatory.  That system tells us a lot about what we can expect with these apps…Knowing that they are being tracked, some students will no doubt let their phone “sleep” peacefully in their bed while they party elsewhere.  If a few get sick, they may hide it, for fear of having their tech trickery found out…Excessive surveillance often backfires in this way…And broad surveillance can engender a chilling effect among the whole populace…

You Were Warned (#1045)

Exactly the same thing the Democrats want, but please tell me more about the “wings”:

A group of…Republican…[politician]s introduced a new bill…aimed at chipping away some of the protections provided to social media companies through Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  The [misnamed] Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act…would strip away the liability protection provided by Section 230 if a platform restricted access to content without providing specific rules that it violated…[after] Trump[‘s]…executive order [doing much the same thing was shown to be impotent, bootlicking politicians] started introducing their own legislation to amend the law…

Finding What Isn’t There (#1070)

This time they didn’t even try to wedge their scam into the “sex trafficking” narrative:

Eight [legal minors] were [taken into custody] in a five-day r[aid series] in the Indianapolis area and one person was arrested on charges including parental kidnapping…The U.S. Marshals [are] now [calling all of the apprehensions in three states “]rescue[” even though few if any of the subjects were in any danger; they are also calling all of the 72 subjects “]missing children[” even though most were not actually children and few were actually “missing” in the usual sense of the term]…The [subjects] are between 6 to 17 years old…and [some may have been arrested by the cops under guise of “rescue”, since the pigrelease claims they were all]…turned over to the Indiana Department of Child Services…and…no further details about the [subjects] or the circumstances were released…the U.S. Marshals Service [also pretended] it found 39 missing children in Georgia…[and] 25…in Ohio…[though no factual details were available in that case, either]…

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I’ve written before about the dark side of characteristics usually viewed as positive, pointing out that every deviation from balance has a cost.  The candle that burns twice as bright burns twice as quickly; of course that means it lasts half as long, but it also means that other candles burn at half speed relative to it.  My thoughts race constantly; I’m usually well ahead of everyone else in figuring things out, and my reflexes are abnormally fast.  But have you ever considered what the world looks like when viewed from within such a nervous system?  Take traffic, for example; many people say I drive too fast, but from my vantage point most other people are driving much too slowly.  Anything slower than freeway speeds seems like crawling to me, and being trapped in a clump of people going below the speed limit makes me feel like I’m having one of those nightmares where you are moving in slow motion, and I get so nervous I can’t endure it for long without trying to find some way out of it.  When I’m doing physical work with other people, they often seem to me to be taking much too long, and with far too many breaks in which they sit still in a way I can’t manage without being sedated.  And then there are automated telephone systems, which to me seem something like this:

Thank.  You.  For.  Calling.  The.  Blank.  Ety.  Blank.  Office.  Lo.  Cated.  At.  The.  Inter.  Section.  Of.  Main.  Street.  And.  First.  Ave.  Nue.  In.  Snail.  Ville.  Wa.  Shing.  Ton.”

{long pause}

If.  This.  Is.  An.  E.  Mer.  Gen.  Cy.  Please.  Hang.  Up.  And.  Call.  Nine.  One.  One.

This.  Line.  Does.  Not.  Handle.  E.  Mer.  Gen.  Cies.

{very long pause}

If.  This.  Is.  Some.  Other.  Thing.  Please.  Call.  Our.  Other.  Line.  At.  Eight.  Zero.  Zero.  Five.  Five.  Five.  One.  Two.  Three.  Four.   Exten.  Sion.  Six.  Seven.  Nine.

{pause so long I start saying “Hello?  Hello?”}

For.  The.  Least.  Con.  Ceive.  Ab.  Ly.  Use.  Ful.  Sel.  Ec.  Tion.  Press.  One.

For.  The.  Least.  Con.  Ceive.  Ab.  Ly.  Use.  Ful.  Sel.  Ec.  Tion.  Save.  The.  Pre. Cee.  Ding.  Press.  Two.

For.  Some.  Depart.  Ment.  You.  Never.  Heard.  Of.  Press.  Three.

As you might expect, by this part I’m about to scream and/or jump out of my skin, and I start repeatedly pressing zero, hoping it isn’t one of those systems where the operator is actually reached by pressing five or eight or whatever.  If I know or suspect it’s a voice-actuated system instead, I’m liable to start repeating “Agent. Agent. Agent. Agent.” every time the system starts to say anything, in hopes of getting to talk to someone before my phone runs out of power or I die of boredom, starvation, or old age, whichever comes first.

Anyhow, I think you probably get the picture.  And it may help you to comprehend why navigating bureaucratic systems is like some kind of exotic torture for me, and why it’s best for all involved if I work for myself.

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Gender-specific…violence is not an aberrant corner of law enforcement. It is…a cornerstone of police power.  –  Anne Gray Fischer

I Swear To God

Just in case you thought the US was the only country playing the compelled speech game:

A leading [Irish] sex workers rights group was told it could not access government funding unless it [pretend]ed that “prostitution is inherently exploitative of vulnerable people”.  Sex Workers Alliance Ireland enquired about emergency funding from the Department of Justice after it gave similar funding to the leading “End Demand” advocate organisation in Ireland…The group says “this culturally entrenched position” from the government has “no place in decision-making within the DoJ in regards to policy-making”…A spokesman for the Department of Justice…[responded by vomiting out a lot of nonsense about] “organised crime involved in human trafficking”…

Monsters

It’s good to see the real monsters caged for a change:

A court in El Salvador has sentenced three [typical & representative cops] to 20-year prison sentences for the murder of a transgender woman, the nation’s first convictions in a homicide case involving a trans victim…About 600 LGBT+ people have been murdered in El Salvador since 1993…[Camila] Diaz, a 29-year-old sex worker, had fled El Salvador for the United States following repeated threats on her life from a gang but was deported two years ago [due to racist, anti-sex US laws and violent Trump administration policies.  Then in January 2019]…the three [murder]ers…offered to give Diaz a ride home a[s a pretext to murder her.  They]…handcuffed [her] face-down in their p[igmobile, then]…severely beat…[her] and thr[ew her] out onto a highway…she…died three days later in a hospital…

Business As Usual (#767) 

It’s good to see this getting public attention again:

…Police sexual violence is hidden in plain sight…sexual violence…is endemic to law enforcement, and…women of color..,are especially vulnerable to it.  This violence is possible in part because of the extreme power disparity that exists between targeted women and police, which at once enables such violence and shields officers from consequences.  But police sexual violence is also possible because it is a legally sanctioned tactic of everyday policing.  Women’s bodies are the strategic terrain on which police gain evidence, secure informants, and impose their authority in the name of “public safety” and “border security.”  Indeed, rape is considered a legal and legitimate tool of law enforcement…undercover police routinely entrap women into engaging in sexual acts to gain “evidence” that they are doing sex work.  Because consent is obtained under false pretenses, this practice amounts to legal sexual assault…Sexual “contact” by police officers to enforce morals laws is legal in all fifty states; when lawmakers in Alaska tried to ban police sexual contact, the Anchorage Police Department quashed the bill.  How did we get to the point where sexual assault is considered valid, necessary police work?  The answer lies in the origin story of modern police, and specifically in the history of the discretionary enforcement of public order laws…

I Spy (#904)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…Anomaly Six LLC…founded by two U.S. military veterans with a background in intelligence, said in marketing material it is able to draw location data from more than 500 mobile applications, in part through its own software development kit, or SDK, that is embedded directly in some of the apps.  An SDK allows the company to obtain the phone’s location if consumers have allowed the app containing the software to access the phone’s GPS coordinates.  App publishers often allow third-party companies, for a fee, to insert SDKs into their apps.  The SDK maker then sells the consumer data harvested from the app, and the app publisher gets a chunk of revenue.  But consumers have no way to know whether SDKs are embedded in apps; most privacy policies don’t disclose that information…Anomaly Six is a federal contractor that provides global-location-data products to branches of the U.S. government and private-sector clients…

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#911) 

COVID-19 is almost as versatile an excuse for tyranny as “sex trafficking” is:

…Citing the threat of COVID-19, [the Trump administration has] granted federal agents sweeping powers to almost immediately return anyone at the border, including infants as young as 8 months.  Children are typically entitled to special protections under the law…[but] the administration is not deporting children — a proceeding based on years of established law that requires a formal hearing in immigration court.  It is instead expelling them — without a judge’s ruling…[or] access to…lawyers, sometimes not even their family, while in U.S. custody.  The children are not even granted the primary registration number by which the Department of Homeland Security tracks all immigrants in its [custody], making it “virtually impossible” to find them…almost all children arriving at the border are being rapidly returned.  Between April and June, [CBP thugs and bureaucrats] encountered 3,379 unaccompanied minors at or between ports of entry.  Of those, just 162 were sent to federal shelters for immigrant children…Lisa Frydman…of…Kids in Need of Defense…[said,] “The rest are just gone”…Of the thousands of unaccompanied minors expelled under the health [pretext]…advocacy organizations said that they have only found about three dozen after months of searching across the United States, Mexico and Central America…the administration has detained at least [240] children in three Hampton Inn & Suites hotels in El Paso and McAllen, as well as Phoenix, before expelling them…Children reported being held for weeks…with little ability to reach anyone outside…

Blunt Instrument (#986)

It’s great to see Asian sex workers fighting back against the racist “sex trafficking” narrative:

…sex work can be a crucial source of income and, in some cases, startup capital, for those denied access to other options.  “I’ve seen a lot of former massage parlor workers start bakeries, laundromats, or new massage parlors of their own,” says [Kate] Zen, a former sex worker and co-founder and co-director of Red Canary Song, a collective of Chinese massage parlor workers in New York City that formed after massage parlor worker Yang Song died [because of] a police raid on a Flushing massage parlor in November 2017…It is the quintessential American story.  Immigrants arrive, often fleeing persecution or other injustice elsewhere.  They find a neighborhood that has at least some of the comforts of home — food, language, culture.  Maybe some family or friends who came before them.  They find work, even if it’s not necessarily the work they’d ever dreamed for themselves.  They save up, and some of them start their own businesses, pay their way through college or get certification for careers they were already trained for…But because of who they are and the kind of work they do, sex workers are seen as nuisances at best and easy targets at worst by those with more power and wealth in the city around them…

I Spy (#1057) 

Pigs are rooting around in people’s social media in order to destroy their lives:

…In early June…the City of Pittsburgh created [a new cop shop called] the Damage Assessment and Accountability Task Force [DAAT] to…charged [as many] people [as possible with]…alleged crimes stemming from the protests.  The charges range from disorderly conduct and failure to disperse to burglary and [so-called] weapons of mass destruction [as though they had nukes or something]…In 21 cases, police used social media in combination with other forms of evidence….including…Analyzing Instagram profiles and Facebook livestreams…facial recognition…surveilling the home of a suspect’s girlfriend…surveillance cameras…[and] using [facial recognition based on] a statewide database of photos…including…driver’s license photos…

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The government has adopted a win-at-all-costs approach and [an attitude] that the ends justify the means.  –  Michael Piccarreta

Elephant in the Parlor

Politician takes bribes, hires whores.  Yawn.

…federal [documents]…suggest…a years-long trail of bribery between City Councilmember Jose Huizar and a Chinese development firm with a megaproject slated for downtown Los Angeles…[real estate broker] George Chiang…started a real estate consulting company in 2014…that directed money, consulting fees, casino chips, flights on private jets, luxury hotel stays, prostitutes and escort services between developers…[politicians] and [bureaucrats]…in exchange for approval of an 80,000-square foot commercial project and other downtown developments…

Dangerous Speech (#958)

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

fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1…accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client privileges…despite repeated warnings from defense counsel…and two [court] orders…the government continued to question former Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer concerning confidential legal advice that was subject to joint defense and representation agreements with other defendants…the government grilled Ferrer repeatedly through “seven successive interviews” over the course of 13 months, beginning the day of his plea deal…In doing so…the government engaged in “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” misconduct.  Prosecutors “willfully invaded” Lacey and Larkin’s attorney-client privileges in order to “gain a tactical advantage in the case,” thereby violating the defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel…Barring outright dismissal, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the harm done to the defendants and possible sanctions against the government, such as the exclusion of Ferrer as a witness, the suppression of other evidence, or the disqualification of the entire prosecution team…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

The human cost of a prohibitionist crusade:

In March 2019 my life was turned upside down…by feminist groups who said I needed saving…Becoming a dancer at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino was the best thing I’d ever done.  It gave me the confidence I desperately lacked…[but then] Not Buying It sent private [dicks] into our club to buy lap dances and secretly film the women dancing.  They did this to “prove” to Sheffield Council that Spearmint Rhino was in breach of its own code of conduct and should have its licence revoked.  They filmed women naked and without their consent, and this was only the beginning…it traumatised the women …[and] hurt their families, their friends and their children…the ensuing campaign to close our club left me extremely anxious and scared to go to work…I was paranoid that every person who came into the club was another undercover investigator trying to take my job away.  I was always on edge, watching people, checking buttons for cameras, looking in people’s ears to see if they were wearing earpieces.  I was hyper-aware of customers who used their mobile phones and frightened that they were secretly recording me.  It was torture.  Work went from being the place I felt safest to a place I felt judged and under attack…

Business As Usual (#1001)

Every so often one of these sadly-typical stories gets more media attention:

Agents with…DHS…in Arizona have been “fighting” human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to [rape women they claim to be]…victims…[then] seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.  Federal agents [raped] at least 17…”Asian females” working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018…the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges…[the] scenario…is far from an isolated incidentnational and mainstream media have been discovering and disapproving of “Operation Asian Touch.”  This is great—so long as nobody mistakes what happened in Mohave County for an atypical investigation.  If you track initial claims about massage parlor-based human trafficking through to their actual conclusions, you’ll almost always find law enforcement simply targeting sex workers, small-business owners, immigrants, and the people who patronize them with harassment, assault, arrest, property seizure, prosecution, detainment, and deportation. And the “victims” they allegedly set out to save frequently wind up facing criminal charges.  There are only two roles women can play in this Homeland Security-led charade: helpless sex slave or conniving human trafficker.  (Both types…are invited to stroke ICE agent penises)…

I Spy (#1006)

But please, tell me more about “wings” and “blue states” and “democracy”:

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.  The measure must be approved…by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law…

Like Houses (#1031)

All they were waiting for was a strong enough excuse:

In India, the COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect excuse for the government to consolidate its pre-pandemic surveillance ambitions.  Since May 4, as restrictions began to ease, the government has mandated the installation of its contact-tracing smartphone app for anyone who works…or uses public transport.  Failing to do so is criminal…Unsurprisingly, digital rights and civil society organizations are pushing back on the new di[ktat]…

Reawakening

A high-profile example of the quiet rebellion that’s already started everywhere in the US:

Alameda County [bureaucrats] backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.  Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting …”If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me“…Musk’s civil disobedience against the COVID lockdown regime is a high-profile instance of a wider trend…

Social Distancing (#1036)

At its core, Australia is still prohibitionist:

…as Australia eases itself out of COVID-19 restrictions…in [a] three-stage framework…strip clubs and brothels were specifically listed “to remain closed” even in stage three…other businesses with…skin-to-skin contact – like waxing, massages, tattoos, bathhouses and saunas – are allowed to open in stage three.  Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim [said]…”We hoped this…outbreak wouldn’t be used as an excuse to turn back…gains made in sex worker legislation, but it’s hard to see this as anything but discrimination, considering similar businesses are allowed”…federal [bureaucrats] recommended brothels and strip club venues should stay shut [indefinitely]…sole operator sex workers…are banned after being classed as “non-essential”

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand:

The national lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 means it’s business as usual for many Kiwis, including sex workers…The New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective (NZPC) released guidelines for sex workers on their website…with a checklist of hygiene practices and safety measures workers, brothels and massage parlours should be implementing…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

No human is truly free while governments claim the “right” to lock people in filthy, disease-ridden cages:

In the vast majority of the world’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons…physical distancing is simply not an option.  In situations where close confinement, shared facilities and spaces and poor hygiene are commonplace…prison[ers]…are living in constant fear of the ticking COVID-19 time bomb…UNAIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are calling on leaders to make detention a last resort, to close drug rehabilitation detention centres and to decriminalize sex work, same-sex sexual relations and drug use.  They are urging countries to release the people who can be released…The Government of Ethiopia…has released more than 30,000 prisoners and has heightened sanitation measures.  Indonesia is releasing more than 50,000…Iran is releasing 40% of its total prison population, 100,000 people, while Chile is set to release around 50,000 people…

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Companies…that made bad bets on the internet…[are] using…the political process to harm the competitors who built the products people actually want.  –  Mike Masnick

Anatomy of a Boondoggle

While some other states are trying to stop cops from raping sex workers, Florida is still paying them to do so:

A..[lying cop]…with the Pembroke Pines [Florida cop shop] used department-issued funds to get [access to women so he could] sexual[ly assault masseuses]…at three massage parlors…the [rapist] arrested] four women, ages 48 to 58, who are from Shanghai, China.  The women…didn’t have…[state permission to touch other humans and] are facing prostitution charges…

Welcome To Our World

People’s lives are just stakes in a game to these sociopaths:

Hillsborough County, Florida [cops pretended to be]…homeowners seeking handymen on social media to do jobs that required licensure.  These unsuspecting handymen would be lured to one of five homes, where [pigs] filmed them performing or agreeing to perform prohibited tasks like painting or installing recess lighting…118 [people in all were victimized by the badge-carrying] con men…Leslie Sammis, a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa…[said] “The real con men that are trying to trick homeowners are usually too experienced to get caught up in one of these types of sting operations.  So the stings tend to catch someone that crosses the line in an unsophisticated way”…[pigs] will hire a handyman on the pretext of performing work that doesn’t need a license, and then during the course of the job ask them to do something that does, like unhooking a toilet or laying some tiles…the [pigs] are [literally] creating a crime that probably wouldn’t occur otherwise…Cops and regulators have conducted similar [violent scams] in New York and California

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

Prosecutors in California are dropping all charges against a surgeon and his girlfriend who were [wrongly] accused of drugging and raping a number of women…Grant W. Robicheaux…and Cerissa Riley were charged in 2018 with kidnapping, rape by use of drugs, and other crimes…prosecutors [fantasized that] the couple…[would] meet…women in restaurants and bars, spik[e] their drinks, tak[e] them to Robicheaux’s apartment, and sexually assaulting them.  Prosecutors [pretended] they had more than 1,000 videos of…women being sexually abused. But…Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, who was elected after the case was filed, said there were no such videos.  “There is not a single piece of evidence or video or photo that shows an…incapacitated woman being sexually assaulted,” Spitzer said…”Not one”…Spitzer…criticized his predecessor, Tony Rackauckas, for filing the case…[but the] judge [is afraid to drop it because of]…politics…[and] Rackauckas voiced concern that his successor’s decision would [make his false prosecution look bad]…and claimed that…the…case [should be tried in]…the [court of] public [opinion instead of a real court]…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical and representative cop predating on vulnerable women:

A [typical and representative] El Paso [cop got off with] a [mere] decade of probation [after brutally raping] a woman he met wh[en she reported]…a domestic violence incident.  William Ollie Alexander…will [at least] have to register as a sex offender for life….on…March 10, 2018…he met [the victim after taking her]…domestic violence [report]…and hours later…took her to a dark area…and [raped] her…

The Mote and the Beam (#777)

Some tech companies are willing to destroy the internet to secure a temporary business advantage:

…the narrative being pushed about internet companies and Section 230 was…manufactured…by Hollywood and other old legacy companies jealous of the success of new internet companies…the NY Times has a detailed article on…how a broad coalition of big, old, legacy companies are conspiring to punish Google and Facebook by convincing the media and politicians that Section 230…is bad.  The headline lists three companies: IBM, Marriott, and Disney…Disney and its powerful trade association have fought to stop the law’s spread abroad.  Marriott has asked Congress to amend the law.  IBM has a plan to [castrate] it…Disney, of course, is a stand-in for the MPAA and all of the big Hollywood movie studios…while Disney led the copyright lobbying charge in the 80s and 90s, the company leading the way against the internet…has been Fox.  But…Disney recently bought Fox…Marriott…has been screaming bloody murder about Airbnb for years, because it can’t stand having competition that actually offers better service…IBM…and Oracle…[don’t] rely on Section 230, since they don’t run consumer facing internet services…

Traffic Jam (#877)

The ethically-bankrupt Dominique “Body Fluids” Sepowitz has invented another idiotic “study” designed to find exactly what its funders wanted found:

More than two-thirds of sex [workers labeled by prohibitionists as] trafficking victims in a Hawaii study reported being homeless…[deranged fantasist] Khara Jabola-Carolus [was] co-author of the study [along with her crony Dominique “Body Fluids” Sepowitz]…The [so-called] study [was actually] a…survey [of questionnaires filled out by] 363…clients of state service agencies…[the designation as] sex trafficking victims [was imposed by Carolus and Sepowitz without the consent of the clients…

In 2018, Jabolus cried to cops when Sepowitz claimed she had received a mysterious text message about a supposed plot against Carolus’ job; she claimed the rumor constituted a “threat of physical violence”.  This is the level of fantasy and wild exaggeration that passes for truth in “Cuckoo Clock” McCain’s crowd.  In case you’re wondering why this drama is centered around tiny Hawaii, it’s because there is some support for decriminalization in the state legislature and the prohibitionists want that crushed.

Guinea Pigs (#881) 

Summer Stephan has for years touted her personal animus against whores as “concern”:

[Politicians] in San Diego…are [still persecuting adults for seeking consensual sex, now with] a new mobile app [intended to trick] the public [into ratting their neighbors out to the pigs]…District Attorney Summer Stephan [and other “sex trafficking” fetishists shared their fantasies of]…traffickers…lur[ing]…victims and…[brave hero cops.  Magic]al technology is playing a growing role in the ability of traffickers to…control their victims…Humans Against Trafficking…release[d]…a free mobile app, called Radlee, designed to [frame ordinary events as]…suspicious…the app will allow…parents…to [spy on sex workers online and rat them out to the pigs]…Roger Martin, the group’s CEO…[says “Women are much too stupid to place escort ads themselves, so] there must be some trafficker that’s flipping through profiles on Instagram and based on what he reads or sees, deciding whether or not to [traffick them]”…Martin’s organization…last year received a $100,000 grant from San Diego County…

A Moral Cancer (#978)

Buried lede: “The increase in absolute risk is so small that it is unlikely to be relevant for the individual“:

If you’ve been swayed by recent reports that red and processed meat isn’t harmful to your health, [crypto-moralists want you to ignore the facts and listen to their claims of a]…significant risk of death from any cause tied to eating two servings of processed meat or unprocessed red meat each week…One serving…equaled two slices of bacon, two small sausages or one hot dog…[or] 4 ounces of red meat…The new findings [were designed to contradict]…a…meta-analysis [show]ing there’s no need to reduce your red and processed meat intake for good health…

Crypto-moralists will claim that anything that brings pleasure is “unhealthy”, because it isn’t really about health; it’s about puritanism.  Since puritans believe pleasure is bad, they’re always looking for ways to pretend their primitive ideas about “sin” have some basis in reality.

Subtle Pimping (#979)

Cops watch racist “virtual reality” porn and call it “training”:

Last year, students from Cal Poly created a VR massage parlor [fantasy] to [entert]ain cops [with the misogynistic myth that] many [women] are forced into prostitution…In Houston, Texas, most…vice [pigs]…have spent time [masturbating to] Trapped, a [porn] that [lets them fantasy roleplay] 14-year-old Lisa…More than 2,500 [cops]…have [masturbated to this BDSM fantasy] at [pig] conventions…Billy Joe Cain, CEO of…the VR [porn] company behind Trapped…[also] licenses his…profit[able fantasy game] to high schools and middle schools as a[n indoctrination into anti-sex dogma]…

Across the Pond (#985)

Redbridge has a long history of harassing sex workers while belching up stupid “crime” rhetoric:

…a [gang] of 17 [highly aggressive pigs]…will be [harassing people with]…evening and late-night patrols, seven days a week.  Redbridge Council…set up [the gang with] a £320,000 funding pot…[to harass homeless people, buskers,] street s[ell]ers…drinkers and [sex workers]…the [gang] will also [spy on people in] Ilford Lane [using the favorite cop wanking fantasy of]…pop-up brothels…Mark Glazer, chairman of Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch, described the amount being [thrown away] on the [gang] as “ludicrous” and said resources should to be directed elsewhere…”They have been trying to sort out prostitution in Ilford Lane for years and [sending] police [to harass people] will not help”…

Crying for Nanny (#998)

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

A new lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages for two [soi-disant] victims claims the owners of nearly two dozen Collier County [Florida] hotels and motels are responsible for sex trafficking on their premises …Sharon Hanlon, an a[mbulance-chasing shyster, filed]…this lawsuit [to profit from hysteria as allowed by FOSTA]…Linda Oberhaus, [a rescue industry profiteer, claims]…“These are the hotels that are allowing human trafficking to exist”…The [ambulance-chasers] said as their [greed] in[creases], they expect to add more hotels and motels to the lawsuit…

Choke Point (#1006) 

Fascism in action, badly covered by a yellow journalist:

…If you want to PayPal or Venmo some cash to someone without any hitches, do not put the word Iran in the memo field…Jewish Currents…tweeted that nine payments to its staff and contributors had been held up by PayPal because the transaction descriptions included the term Iran in reference to a piece that the magazine published…PayPal, along with its subsidiary Venmo, uses a system that automatically flags keywords in the payment memo field that could indicate a violation…So if, say, you try to send a friend money for “drinks at Cuba Libre”, you’ll quickly learn how dense PayPal’s system can be when it comes to context clues…this leaves out a good number of illicit activities that the payment service could be facilitating…I sent my editor dozens of 1 cent transactions with different memo descriptions…PayPal…has a…laissez-faire stance toward weapons, drugs, human and animal trafficking, prostitution, and hate groups…

Not only is this moron spreading fake information based on an idiotic experiment (even PayPal computers know that a 1¢ transaction to a male Slate editor with the memo “blowjob” – yep, he went there – is not a genuine sex work transaction); his puritanical pea brain also considers sex work as in the same category as “Car bomb”, “Kidnapping”, “Nazis”, and “KKK”.  Let’s hope he tries the experiment I suggested to him (sending several hundred bucks to a female friend with “blowjob” in the memo) so his account gets shut down.

To Molest and Rape (#1012)

Give aggressive thugs power over teen girls; what could possibly go wrong?

A [typical and representative] Cottage Grove [Minnesota cop] assigned to [terrorize students at] Park High School has been charged with [molesting] seven female students and soliciting one…multiple times for nude photos.  Adam G. Pelton…[managed to rack up this score in only a year ending on] Oct. 4, 2019…Students [reported] that Pelton repeatedly [groped them under cover of non-consensual] hug[ging]…during which he would [grope] their buttocks…Most of these [attacks] occurred in Pelton’s private school office, which lacked video surveillance [because cop]…

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While scandalized men are given second chances galore, women who society says behaved badly are branded for life.  –  Melissa Petro

Think of the Children! (Bits and Pieces)

Melissa Petro was open about her past when she applied to be a teacher; it wasn’t until she was outed that her “sex rays” suddenly became dangerous to children:

Ten years ago, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg…personally asked for me to be removed from my job as a public-school teacher and called for the city to take legal action against me…because I admitted that I’d worked in the sex industry before teaching.  “We’re just not going to have this woman in front of a class,” Bloomberg was quoted as saying…he…and I never met.  He never commented further on my situation.  He decided my fate, and that was that…The press…demonized me.  I was dubbed the “hooker teacher” and made into the butt of jokes.  And yet in the intervening years I was able to turn that exposure into a platform for humanizing sex work…

Under Duress 

I wonder if most cops are even capable of telling the truth?

Just…a…week [after]…[Los Angeles cop Angel Reinosa was arrested because he] fabricated [a] story of [being] shot in the shoulder by a sniper as he walked from his patrol car into the station…another cop in Ohio was arrested for doing the exact same thing.  On January 13, approximately 50 [heavily-armed thugs] from ten different [cop shops invaded] a predominantly black neighborhood looking for a non-existent suspect.  This swarm of cops…detain[ed] innocent people…and [terrorized] an entire community…because Warren [Ohio pig] Noah Linnen falsely claimed he’d been involved in a shootout with a [vaguely-described] black man in a black SUV…Due to the massive police presence…the…lying cop’s story [quickly] began to unravel…After…[terrorizing innocent people for a while], police finally looked at the surveillance footage from nearby properties and never saw an SUV fitting Linnen’s description.  So, the lying cop changed his story…[to claim he had somehow mistaken] a bicycle [for a truck]…In total, this lying cop would change his story four times after each lie he made up was shut down…In the final version of the story…he [simply] fired…at a passing vehicle [because it had] bright headlights…

Shifting the Blame (#327)

It’s difficult to tell if the anti-whore bullshit in this review springs from the film or its reviewer:

…In Lost Girlsthe great documentary filmmaker Liz Garbus…enters the realm of drama as if born to it.  The movie, based on a true story that began in 2010 (it’s adapted from Robert Kolker’s 2013 nonfiction bestseller Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery), is about…Mari Gilbert (Amy Ryan), who learns that her oldest daughter, Shannan, who’s around 20 and has been a sex worker living in Jersey City, N.J., has gone missing…police find four dismembered bodies off the side of the highway…Lost Girls is built around an aggrieved mother’s obsession to learn, at any cost, what happened to her child, and it may remind you of other mystery dramas rooted in the squalid dangers of the sex industry…we expect the movie to be…some sort of investigative deep dive into the ugly nuts and bolts of…the druggy, unstable, three-rotating-cell-phones life of a sex worker in the Craigslist era…

Reviewer Owen Gleiberman affects an understanding of the demimonde which is undermined by his misuse of terms, such as “in-call” when he means outcall and “john” to mean client (despite his decrying the dehumanization of sex workers a couple of paragraphs later).  Gleiberman seems unsure if he’s an ally, a puritan, or just a working writer employing the pseudo-intellectual cant of the professional fim critic who likes his comfortable paycheck but isn’t sure what his audience wants to hear; as such, it’s difficult to tell how much of this attitude is derived from the book (whose author spoke to me shortly before release), how much from the film, how much from the reviewer, and how much from the anti-sex dogma 21st century US journalists are expected to parrot.

To Molest and Rape

Another brave hero, protecting and serving:

A [typical and representative] Alabama [screw who was a serial rapist]…pleaded guilty…during…his ongoing trial…Matthew Moore…was arrested in 2018 and implicated by DNA in sexual assaults in George, Alabama and Florida…Moore was sentenced to life in prison with 30 years to serve…In June 2010, Moore [brutally raped] an Atlanta [sex worker at gunpoint]…[after he] left…the victim called 911, and [a rape kit was performed]…On November 17, 2015, Moore [brutally and sadistically raped another sex worker in]…Sandy Springs [Georgia]…and…record[ed] the entire [attack on his cell phone]…The victim was eventually able to escape…and ran…[into] the hallway…Moore [threatened bystanders with a gun to escape]…A year and a half later – in 2017 – the se[cond victim’s rape kit]…revealed…[a] DNA…match…[with the 2010] rape…as well as a 2008 [rape] in Homewood, a 2010 [rape] in Cobb County, and a 2010 [rape] in Birmingham…[when] Moore [was caught]…the video…of the 2015 rape…was still on his phone three years later…In addition to the Georgia and Alabama cases, Moore was implicated in a [rape] of a 64-year-old woman in Jupiter, Florida on March 7, 2018…

The Prudish Giant (#899)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

Facebook…[recently released] a long-delayed “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker [which]…shows Facebook and sister apps Instagram and Messenger don’t need a microphone to target you with those eerily specific ads and posts — they’re all up in your business countless other ways.  Even with Facebook closed on my phone…It knows when I [use the Peet’s Coffee or Home Depot apps,] read…Pete Buttigieg[‘s website] or…The Atlantic…or…open the Ring app…The “Off-Facebook Activity” tracker will show you 180 days’ worth of the data Facebook collects about you from the many organizations and advertisers in cahoots with it.  This page, buried behind lots of settings menus (here’s a direct link), is the product of a promise…Zuckerberg made during the height of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal to provide ways we can “clear the history” in our accounts…it doesn’t let you reset your entire relationship with Facebook.  But…it does give you a way to unlink some of its surveillance…Even when your phone is entirely off, businesses can upload information about you making an in-store purchase.  One colleague found 974 apps and websites shared his activity…

Business As Usual (#928)

Oh look, a psychopathic rapist-murderer cop has raped before:

In a lawsuit filed…against [typical and representative vice cop Andrew] Mitchell and the City of Columbus, Mitchell is [reported to have] handcuff[ed] an unnamed woman and rap[ed] her…on…[two separate occasions] in 2017 and…2018….[on both occasions] Mitchell [acted out his typical MO with women he knew were sex workers or]…had…warrants out against her [at some point]…Mitchell…[drove] the woman to a…parking lot in Columbus where he [knew he would not be caught, forced her]…into the back seat…handcuffed her to the vehicle and raped her….[both] time[s]…he…drove off [after raping her], leaving the woman without most of her clothing…

The Widening Gyre (#941)

The “sex traffickers” have spread from Target and Ikea to gas station mini-marts:

Burlington [North Carolina] police are [help]ing [to spread hysteria]…about…human trafficking…after a [woman fantasized she was followed]…at [a crowded] Sheetz [gas station]…in the middle of the day…The [wo]man’s [fantasy]…prompted the Burlington Police Department to post a warning on its Facebook page reminding people to [spy on each other] and report [any brown people] to them…

Welcome to the Future (#977)

As I’ve repeatedly stated, it’s far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…implicit bias…is ubiquitous in the workplace, and can hurt not just employees, but also a company’s bottom line…Despite the growing adoption of implicit bias training, some in the field of human resources have raised doubts about its effectiveness in improving diversity and inclusion within organizations.  But what if a smart device, similar to the Amazon Alexa, could tell when your boss inadvertently [made] a female colleague…feel that her perspective wasn’t valued?  This device doesn’t yet exist, but Northeastern associate professors…are preparing to embark on a three-year project that could yield such a gadget…working on…a $1.5 million…grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory…

I’m sure the US Army is funding this because it cares so deeply about “diversity and inclusion”.

Watershed (#978)

We’re way past the watershed now:

For the first time, over half of Americans support the decriminalization of sex work, and two-thirds of voters aged 18 to 44 back the initiative.  The statistic comes from…Decriminalizing Survival: Policy Platform and Polling on the Decriminalization of Sex Work, [which] analyzes a Data for Progress and YouGov Blue survey from late November…author Nina Luo…argues…that public discourse is leading voters to have a better understanding of the arguments surrounding decriminalization beyond fearmongering around sex trafficking…Democrats are nearly twice as likely as Republicans to support decriminalization, and younger voters generally show stronger support…than older Americans.  Among respondents aged 18 to 29, 65% support decriminalization, compared to 42% among people aged 65 or older.  Overall, only 36% of American voters oppose decriminalization…

All-Purpose Excuse (#978)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

President Trump…attend[ed] a White House summit organized by his daughter Ivanka on [so-called] human trafficking, an issue he frequently invokes…But some of the country’s most prominent…organizations [which label themselves “anti-trafficking”]…won’t be there.  They have decided to boycott the event.  The group includes Polaris, the…[most influential purveyor of anti-sex work propaganda in the US], and the leader of Freedom Network USA, the…largest…coalition [of groups actually concerned with exploitation rather than simply using it as a cover for persecution of sex workers]…They say that although the president frequently invokes human trafficking, his administration is actively endangering a significant portion of [people infantilized as “trafficking victims”]:  immigrants…Ivanka Trump…has embraced the eradication of [sex work] as one of her causes [despite her stepmother’s history of sex work]…she…has advocated anti-[sex work] legislation, including [the internet censorship bill FOSTA]…

The Monsters Are Due (#996)

White van hysteria appears to be broadening:

The driver of a white van described [by cops and Facebook hysterics] as possibly being involved in suspicious activity…is a dog-loving business owner and tourist…[named] Chris Fox…who lives in Salt Lake City…Jackson County [South Dakota cops] posted a photo of Fox’s van and wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post that it wanted to learn more about the vehicle because [gullible cops imagined it was] “associated with confirmed criminal activity…[and] appears to use the large antenna visible on the roof to intercept WiFi, stealing credit card information”…[cops harassed him by]…track[ing] down his phone number by running his license plate, which [a busybody had] photographed [while he was peacefully going about his business in his van, which] doesn’t have a big antenna…

Stupor Bowl (#1005)

Though the majority of journalists now insert disclaimers when repeating tall tales of “Super Bowl sex trafficking”, the Miami Herald has apparently decided to go in exactly the opposite direction, publishing the lurid sex fantasies of cops, politicians, and other assorted prohibitionist lowlifes as not only news, but breaking news despite the fact that this same masturbatory fantasy has been spread in conjunction with every major sporting event for well over a decade.  And since we’ve all seen this tragedy porn more times than is healthy for any normal brain, I’m just going to excerpt the high points:

…an underground stream of no-name girls…branded with bar-code tattoos on their inner lower lip, dulled by a diet of drugs, painted with makeup to look older, bruised or burned in discreet spots and living in a state of terror…they are an essential element of the Super Bowl…modern-day slave masters…aiming to make upwards of $1,000 per night per woman under their control…40 million victims caught in the $150 billion sex…trafficking industrysecond only to drug trafficking as the world’s largest criminal industryTheresa Flores [shares her fantasy about being “trafficked” by magical ninja pimps]…You can sell a human being over and over again…[bogus statistics from previous years]…Robert Kraft…Florida ranks third…in human trafficking…hub[s]…the average sex trafficking victim may be forced to have sex 20 times a day…Jeffrey Epstein…hiding in plain sight…SOAP…coerced and brainwashed…Traffickers…spend hours mining social media…mafia…a man…buys a girl the same age as his daughter…piece of property…father figure or a job scam…They pay in cash. At hotels, they keep the Do Not Disturb sign on the doorcontrol of their minds, bodies and soulssophisticateddating sitesThey deny having a pimp

I Spy (#1006)

Anyone who doubts that politicians are deranged megalomaniacs should be following this:

Attorney General William Barr [i]s making a bizarre attack on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…arguing — without evidence — that 230 might be contributing to “unlawful behavior” online…Section 230 explicitly exempts federal criminal charges from what it applies to, meaning that it literally cannot interfere with any DOJ prosecution…But Barr has continued to push forward with this anti-230 kick, and is going to host a “workshop” about [it] in a few weeks…the DOJ claims that this workshop will have that “diversity of viewpoints”…but it is likely to stack the deck against 230…[as it] has done…with regard to…encryption…the DOJ a[ppears to be] playing this anti-230 card simply as a method of punishing the internet industry for opposing his desire to gut encryption…

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Any gun-rights advocate or pro-choice voter understands that making something illegal doesn’t make it go away, only more dangerous.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

…Mbalaminwe Mwimanzi was watching sports at a friend’s apartment on the evening of January 15, 2019…[when pigs] stormed the apartment with a warrant allowing them to search [the location but not the people] for drugs…[cops] searched Mwimanzi three separate times [anyhow]…[when the first two pigs] found no[thing]…Joshua Wilson, who is being sued by Mwimanzi and the ACLU-DC…[forced] Mwimanzi, who was still handcuffed, to spread his legs…[so he could grope] Mwimanzi’s backside and…[violate his] anus…the[n]…he…fondled [Mwimanzi’s testicles]…Mwimanzi told [the other cops] that Wilson had sexually assaulted him….[and] asked to be taken to a hospital as he was experiencing pain…ACLU-DC has already filed three previous lawsuits over similar [sexual assaults]…

Paint By Numbers

Silly “awareness raising” stunts by crowds of idiots are mostly a thing of the past; now they’re usually marketing gimmicks:

The Greater Dallas Restaurant Association’s 24Hour Dallas initiative introduced an anti-human trafficking program…[which purports to] give…businesses a way to help trafficked persons…“realize they are not free [because they’re very stupid and restaurateurs who have never done sex work know more about their lives than they do] and give them steps to take to escape their captors”…[magic] signs will be placed in public restrooms…on the sex…trafficking superhighway

This is the first time I’ve seen the ludicrous “sex trafficking superhighway” term for I-20 outside of Alabama.

Choke Point (#665) 

Fascism in action:

Following the US government’s assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, PayPal has delayed and blocked numerous small donations to The Grayzone that mentioned this website’s news coverage of Iran.  At the same time…Facebook has censored a The Grayzone video reporting on the US government’s escalation against Iran and its ally Hezbollah.  In 2010, PayPal froze donations to WikiLeaks…Now independent journalism websites…are suffering from blockages imposed by PayPal that appear directly linked to Washington’s aggressive actions in the Middle East…

A Moral Cancer (#972)

Anti-vaping lunacy is quickly reaching “sex trafficking” levels of disinformation:

This is not simply wrong, it’s unbelievably wrong…For starters, the death rate of jumping out of airplanes without parachutes is 100 percent (the odd Vesna Vulović story notwithstanding).  For vaping, not so much…even New Jersey’s official site for anti-vaping propaganda admits that there is only a single confirmed case of a Garden State vaper—out of what must be hundreds of thousands if not millions of users—dying from illness related to electronic cigarettes…also…neither of the vaping devices pictured…are the sort that use the black-market THC cartridges that have been most plausibly linked to most serious illnesses, let alone deaths.  But when you’re dealing with propaganda, it’s best not to get too lost in the weeds (perhaps especially when the propaganda is somehow related to weed)…

See also “Unsafe for Human Consumption” for more unbelievably-exaggerated lies about drugs.

Rotting Fruit (#973)

An account of Epstein’s crimes that doesn’t devolve into torture porn:

A lawsuit filed…by the…U.S. Virgin Islands alleges that…Jeffrey Epstein sexually trafficked hundreds of young women and girls on his private island as recently as 2018 by using a web of shell companies to carry out and conceal his crimes…The allegations…shed new light on the tactics Epstein used to hide his illicit activities.  Epstein…brought girls as young as 11 to his private island, known as Little St. James, and maintained a database to track their availability and movements…Most of the companies were created in 2011 and 2012, soon after Epstein registered as a sex offender in the Virgin Islands following his 2008 guilty plea…[in return for] a…non-prosecution agreement from then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta…[which] shelved a federal sex trafficking indictment that could have put Epstein away for life…The lawsuit…is the first…to allege that Epstein continued to commit crimes after 2005…

Little Boxes (#975)

SCOTUS leaves the conflict between the 7th and 10th Circuits unresolved:

The U.S. Supreme Court…will not consider an appeal by three women who were arrested for exposing their breasts at a New Hampshire beach more than three years ago.  The women — who are now part of a global campaign called Free the Nipple — were arrested in 2016…Heidi Lilley, Kia Sinclair and Ginger Pierro argued in their appeal that the local ordinance that resulted in their arrests and convictions violates their 14th Amendment rights because it applies to women but not men.  The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld their convictions…ruling that…laws that…criminalize…women but not men [for the same actions somehow don’t discriminate on the basis of gender, because tits]…

Shift in the Wind (#983)

A pro-decrim article by a former sex worker in a conservative-leaning newspaper:

…Time and money spent hunting grown-ups for doing consensual adult things with each other could be used to test rape kits, investigate reports of sexual violence and provide emergency support to victims.  But politicians…throughout the country are trying to increase raids on massage parlors, increase surveillance at hotels and make men like Robert Kraft register as a sex offenders…cracking down on consensual adults in the sex industry won’t make any of us safer…prohibition…creates black markets where career criminals thrive…

I Spy (#1000)

Anyone who doubts that politicians are deranged megalomaniacs should be following this:

Attorney General William P. Barr declared…that a [single] shooting [incident outweighs the privacy interests of every single Apple customer because]…terrorism, and he asked Apple…to [break encryption it developed to be unbreakable so the government can snoop in]…two phones used by the gunman…Barr…call[ed] on Apple and other technology companies to find a solution [to the laws of mathematics.  Spooks pretend]…they need access to [Mohammed Saeed] Alshamrani’s phones to see messages from encrypted apps like Signal or WhatsApp [because he is Muslim]…

With Friends Like These… (#1003)

So helping!  Many respectful!

…Louis Theroux[‘s] documentary, Selling Sex, [exploited three sex workers named] Caroline, Victoria and Ashleigh…Ashleigh and [her best friend] Georgina…published an open letter to the show’s creators and the BBC, describing their disappointment and mistreatment…[by] Theroux and his collaborators…[who] set out to tell a certain narrative on sex work[ers as]…victim[s]…Theroux[‘s]…faux-naive narration…constantly referred to unspecified people finding sex work unsavoury and “unhealthy”..[though] no evidence of this was presented in the programme…Theroux…ask[ed] every woman he interviewed about the…“damage” [he assumed caused them to begin sex work]…There was…no mention of the closure of Backpage…which forced thousands of sex workers further into the fringes…Selling Sex felt lazy and uncontentious, challenging its subjects rather than its viewers…

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When sex trafficking is somehow construed as the “natural consequence” of virtually any action, virtually no person or entity is safe from the threat of liability.  –  Alex Yelderman

Surplus Women

The Swedish model protects women!

[A sex worker was] found dead on Christmas morning…partially burned and stripped…near the pond of Font Merle, in Mougins [France.  Cops are]…trying to find out “who gravitated around this young woman” [in hopes of persecuting her clients or friends]…

Monsters

Yet TERFs want you to believe trans women are the dangerous ones:

David Bogdanov…is accused of second-degree murder in the [strangling] death of Nikki Kuhnhausen, a [Vancouver, Washington] teenager who had been missing since June…Bogdanov and Kuhnhausen appear to have first spent time together June 5 — the same day she last had contact with her family…Bogdanov [admitted]…that Kuhnhausen told him she was biologically male at some point after he picked her up from an apartment on the morning of June 6…He [claims that he then] asked Kuhnhausen to get out of his car…and…that was the last time he saw her.  [But] Bogdanov’s phone records [place him]…near Larch Mountain in east Clark County…[where] On Dec. 7, a passerby…found a human skull…[which] forensic analysis confirmed…[as] Kuhnhausen[‘s]…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…St. Charles County [Missouri cops] coerced at least 39…motorists into signing over their assets in 2018…[the pigs] would lie in wait for a car [driven by a minority person, then accuse them of] committing a minor traffic violation…[the pigs] would then…direct them to a private towing lot owned by Superior Towing…[where they would] search the vehicle, all in the hopes of finding large amounts of cash..[they would then get a] dog [to bark, claiming that meant drugs were present, and give]…the motorists two options: they could go to jail, or sign their possessions away to the department and leave with a traffic ticket.  In the 39 documented stops, no criminal charges were filed.  A third of the targets were stopped and taken to the lot after midnight…nearly half of the drivers had either Hispanic or Asian surnames…Missouri…asset forfeiture laws…require…criminal conviction…before forfeiture, and the assets are supposed to go towards schools, not [pigs, but]…the federal Equitable Sharing program…[lets pigs violate state law].  A legislative effort to close this loophole and force [pigs to follow]…state law was defeated this year after the local police lobby quietly campaigned against it, calling it “anti-police”…

Torture Chamber

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

New York City has agreed to [steal] $12.5 million dollars [from taxpayers] to settle a class action lawsuit by people who were subject to invasive strip searches while visiting loved ones in jail…In the most serious cases, [screws digitally raped] women…or forced them to drop their pants and show their sanitary napkins…each person is entitled to up to $4,000 in damages…The city has also agreed to [tell] all [screws not to rape or humiliate people who aren’t prisoners]…[but] individual [screws] named in the lawsuit…[will not] be disciplined…

He or She? (#512)

Surprising absolutely no trans people:

Transgender children…start to identify with toys and clothes typical of their gender identity from a very young age, a recent study suggests.  And their confidence in their gender identity is generally as strong as that of cisgender children…researchers interviewed 317 transgender children, ages 3 to 12, and 189 of the children’s siblings.  They also interviewed 316 cisgender kids…The transgender kids showed strong preferences for toys and clothing typically associated with their gender identity, not their assigned sex…[and those] preferences didn’t appear to differ based on how long they had lived as their current gender.  Transgender kids also didn’t appear to have preferences much different from cisgender children with the same gender identity…The similarities among transgender and cisgender children were surprising [to cisgender people who believe in the tabula rasa doctrine]…

Amateur Night

This sounds like somebody who followed my repeated advice to older virgins:

Five years ago I wrote an essay for Salon about being a 33-year-old virgin…I wrote about how not having sex is not weird, and that if you haven’t met the right one, to not let bitterness and anger overtake you…I was wrong…last October I bought a plane ticket to Las Vegas…[did] the seven-hour drive to the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, and…lost my virginity…It was fine. It was fun…Sex is not a big deal.  Stop waiting.  Have it.  Experience it.  Enjoy it…It’s normal…staying away from sex all those years was like banning myself from the grocery store.  It’s not the end of the world to have sex with someone you have no connection with.  Also, we need to stop the stigma against sex workers.  I had a great time at the ranch.  It did wonders for me mentally.  I used to think I’d be ashamed if I lost it to a prostitute.  Not at all. I was given a great experience and was handled with real care…I’m dating now…and life is good…I [used to] let my fear of…doing it with someone I don’t care for block me from making connections with women…I put that wall up.  Life didn’t change.  I did…

A Moral Cancer (#790)

Prohibitionism is a mental illness:

[Irish] supermarket customers face a ban on using loyalty card points to buy alcohol under new regulations…aimed at [making it harder for poor people to buy] alcohol [under the excuse of]…health…

I Spy (#903) 

The US is following in the footsteps of China:

When Syracuse University freshmen walk into professor Jeff Rubin’s…class…Bluetooth beacons…connect with a…[compulsory] app on their smartphones and boost their “attendance points”.  And when they skip class…the…app…log[s] their absence into a campus database that tracks them over time and can sink their grade…campuswide WiFi networks are empowering colleges across the United States to track hundreds of thousands of students…Dozens of schools now use such technology to monitor students’ academic performance, analyze their conduct or assess their mental health…[only a few] professors and education advocates [recognize]…the systems [as] a new low in intrusive technology, breaching students’ privacy on a massive scale…[to power a Chinese-style “social credit”] system…[to] infantilize students in the very place where they’re expected to grow into adults, further training them to see surveillance as a normal part of living, whether they like it or not…

Loose Cannons (#982)

Florida prosecutors are desperately trying to wipe the egg off of their faces:

Florida prosecutors…[are now pretending that] Robert Kraft’s…two misdemeanor c[harges] of soliciting prostitution…[magic]ally co[nstitute] a felony [because they say so, thus ensuring that Kraft’s lawyers are highly motivated to work even harder to destroy the state’s case if]…the state wins its appeal of a lower court order [dismissing the evidence cops obtained with lies and an illegal warrant]…Observers across the country view it as a constitutional test that pits police powers to [terrorize consenting adults]…against individual privacy rights…

Quiet Genocide (#989)

Oh look, Western nations are starting to notice a genocide in progress:

Western coverage of one of China’s worst human rights abuses…has [very slightly] increased over the past year.  Satellite images revealed the Government destroying scores of traditional burial grounds belonging to Uighurs in northwest Xinjiang; drone footage revealed hundreds of blindfolded and shackled men being transferred to detention camps; and just last month, secret Chinese Government documents revealed how the regime was instructed to deal with the ethnic minority.  But [even] less…reported on is…a forced-living arrangement between Han Chinese men and Uighur women that…[constitutes] mass rape…[which] the Government claims [is] designed to promote harmony between the different cultural groups…The [Newspeak term for the mass rape scheme is]…the “Pair Up and Become Family” program…Rushan Abbas, a Uighur activist…[explained that] “The Government is offering money, housing and jobs to Han people to come and marry Uighur people.  Neither the girls nor their families can reject such a marriage because they will be [treated]…by Chinese authorities…as Islamic extremists for not wanting to marry atheist Han Chinese…

To Molest and Rape (#998)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to violate teenagers:

A [typical and representative pig Arizona hired to terrorize teenagers in] school…now faces multiple criminal charges [for molesting a teenage girl]…Yuma police arrested Bobby Garcia on numerous charges including [trying to hide evidence]…Police…receiv[ed] a complaint against [Garcia in May, but didn’t arrest him until December]…

Crying for Nanny (#998)

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

A case challenging FOSTA on constitutional grounds was dismissed on grounds that none of the plaintiffs…could demonstrate a credible threat of prosecution, civil liability, or redressable harm…Three recently-filed civil lawsuits have soundly refuted th[at claim]…Two of the federal  cases that will potentially implicate FOSTA were filed in state courts, one in Washington and the other in California…Craigslist [has] removed [both] case[s] to federal court, on grounds that 18 U.S.C. § 1595 creates a federal (not state) cause of action…The cases are essentially the same, with sections of their respective complaints copied verbatim…and…do not allege that craigslist knew anything about them specifically being trafficked…but rather claim that the website [should have shut itself down]…once [fanatics started spreading ridiculous myths and wanking fantasies about]…its ongoing operation “amount[ing] to a venture with sex traffickers to efficiently market victims”…This is a radical theory of liability, and…shows the Woodhull plaintiffs’ fear to be entirely reasonable…The third case…was filed in Georgia by an attorney who has also sued Facebook, Instagram, Backpage, and Salesforce, among others…the charges against Salesforce were dismissed due to the Section 230 immunity)…[if] the…[expansive] view of “natural consequences” [upon which these cases are based] is [allowed to stand]…there is no limiting factor in sight…

There is also another lawsuit in Texas.

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The eternal flame that is Ring’s dumpster fire of an existence continues to burn.  –  Tim Cushing

Rough Trade

Cops wait a year to arrest a dangerous, violent serial rapist.  Guess why?

Stephen Bradley Ewing was charged on Dec. 17 with two counts of sexual assault and one count of [trying to strangle his victim]…from [rapes]…on June 15 and Aug. 1 of this year…The August offence occurred the same day Ewing was arrested by Nanaimo RCMP…and charged with three counts of [raping sex workers]…between March and October of 2018…

Follow Your Bliss

A “national leader in the field of sex offender management”:

A…forensic psychologist and national leader in the field of sex offender management has surrendered to St. Louis [cops] on warrants for child sex crimes in two Missouri counties…Kurt M. Bumby…is accused of molesting two children in incidents in [two different Missouri] counties, the oldest of those charges stretching back to 1988…

Business As Usual

More cops raping sex workers (excuse me, “rescuing trafficking victims”):

…a two-year federal sex-trafficking [boondoggle] started to unravel last week…[because spooks were caught raping women] at massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City [Arizona in the process of trying to frame ordinary massage parlors as part of]…an alleged sex trafficking network…The [spooks raped women] at each location…but never to completion…the [scheme] led to the arrests of seven people…[but] charges against two of the[m] were dismissed because th[e rapists refuse] to testify [on 5th Amendment grounds.  Meanwhile, a lawsuit from]…one of the women arrested…is seeking disclosure of the full names of the [rapists] and all reports they prepared…more felony cases against [the feds’ victims]…could be dismissed soon…

“It’s not rape because I didn’t jizz” is certainly a novel defense.

Broken Record (#748) 

As the hysteria collapses, some “sex trafficking” opportunists will turn to producing “studies” to “find” what is already known:

As the Formula 1…Grand Prix Race approaches each year in Austin…newly published research suggests that…there is not…an…uptick in crimes — sex trafficking or otherwise…in weeks before and after the race….property crimes, violent crimes, and sex-related offenses…[don’t] increase…Earlier this year, COTA and the track owners lost at least $20 million in state reimbursement funds for missing the deadline to submit a…plan [to prevent something that doesn’t exist]…

Torture Chamber (#898)

Imprisonment doesn’t magically become “care” when the prisoner is under 18:

The White House sought…to embed immigration enforcement agents within the U.S. refugee agency that cares for…migrant [minors who were separated from their parents]…to…target the[ir relatives] for deportation…officials…rejected the attempt…[but] agreed to allow [ICE spooks]…to collect fingerprints and other biometric information from adults seeking to claim migrant [minors] at government shelters.  If those adults are deemed ineligible to take custody of children, ICE could then use their information to target them for arrest and deportation…Congress…made clear [after this was done last year, resulting in the arrest of more than 170 relatives] that it does not want those who come forward as potential sponsors of [caged] minors…to be frightened away by possible deportation…[Trump’s henchmen] acknowledge the arrangement will instill fear among migrant parents, but they say it will deter families from having their children cross into the United States illegally…

There is nothing sociopathic politicians (pardon the redundancy) love more than “sending messages” with other people’s lives.

I Spy (#904)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Your smartphone can broadcast your exact location thousands of times per day, through hundreds of apps, instantaneously to dozens of different companies.  Each of those companies has the power to follow individual mobile phones wherever they go, in near-real time.  That’s not a glitch in the system.  It is the system.  If the government ordered Americans to continuously provide such precise, real-time information about themselves, there would be a revolt…Yet…we’ve reached a tacit consensus to hand this data over voluntarily, even though we don’t really know who’s getting it or what they’re doing with it…

Backwards into the Future (#923) 

I wonder how long it will be before the US abandons “re-education” for sex workers and clients?

China’s extrajudicial detention of sex workers or their customers, known as “custody and education”, is set to be abolished, in what experts called a long-overdue move.  The detention system has been used to [persecute sex workers]…since the 1980s.  Sex workers and their clients could be detained for up to two years without trial in centres overseen by the police.  More than 300,000 people were detained in custody and education (C&E) between 1987 and 2000…mainland media have reported a steady decrease in detentions in recent years, resulting in the closures of some detention facilities…

If you’re wondering whether to believe that China really intends to give up “re-education” schemes, see “Quiet Genocide” below.

Train Wreck (#935)

The “Abuja Environmental Protection Board” is a Nigerian vice gang long empowered to do basically anything it likes to terrorize sex workers:

A…high court in Abuja has condemned the arrest of women…by [cops and spooks]…She also ruled that sex work is not a crime…The…police, the army, ministry of the federal capital territory (FCT), and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) were…ordered…to pay N1.6 million [$4415 US]…to the affected women.  [The suit was filed after the perpetrators]…arrested over 100 women at…a night club in Abuja…[raping or] sexually assaulting [many of them] them…[or forcing them to] bribe their way to freedom…

Safe Position (#966)

Just another lying politician who wants to police others’ private lives:

…presidential hopeful Andrew Yang said…”we should consider decriminalizing sex work on the part of the seller,” as this would be “helpful in combating human trafficking.”  [The term for what] Yang is talking about…is…the…[Swedish model, not decriminalization, but] lately, a coalition of old-school moral crusaders…has taken to co-opting the language of the sex worker rights movement to push their anti-sex work agenda.  This means many of them say they are for prostitution “decriminalization” while still pushing to keep prostitution between consenting adults as a crime.  They get away with this linguistic malpractice by saying that they would decriminalize the act of offering paid sex as long as it is still illegal to purchase such services.  Obviously, this is not decriminalization within any normal meaning of the word.  Yang’s preferred model would still mean devoting law enforcement resources to catching people attempting to pay for sex—and that would mean monitoring and conducting stings on sex workers…

Quiet Genocide

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

So progress!  Much Seattle!

At the direction of Mayor Jenny Durkan, [Seattle]’s Human Services Department is studying the possibility of mandatory biometric screening of homeless shelter and service clients, using fingerprints or other biometric markers to track the city’s homeless population…Durkan [mouthpiece] Kamaria Hightower [bloviates] that…a “digital ID” would create “efficiencies” that improve on the scan cards currently used [because] homeless…people…often lose their IDs and other documents when the city sweeps their encampment and [steals] or throws away their stuff, a policy that has accelerated under Durkan…

Torture Chamber (#997)

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

Four women [visiting loved ones] at [a cage stack in Virginia were] told…they had to consent to a strip search immediately after [screws claimed] dogs [“alerted”]…or they would lose all visitation rights…the women…were on or near their period at the time and believe the dogs may have confused that with the smell of drugs.  A [bureaucrat bloviated]…“It is not…policy to permanently ban anyone solely based on their compliance or non-compliance with a strip search”…Each of the women [was tricked into] sign[ing] a consent form believing that to refuse the strip search would mean a permanent ban from the prison.  All were taken to a bathroom and [violated by screws]…Most…also had their cars searched…

Panopticon (#999)

The “security” system that isn’t:

The log-in credentials for 3,672 Ring camera owners were compromised…exposing log-in emails, passwords, time zones, and the names people give to specific Ring cameras…such as “bedroom” or “front door”…Ring says this leak of personal data isn’t its fault.  The company claims there’s been no breach…it’s kind of hard to take Ring’s word for it.  The company has been doing nothing but putting out PR fires ever since its law enforcement partnerships came to light…Ring took no interest in this…until after the security researcher who discovered the compromised credentials discussed his findings on Reddit…Ring [was]…quick to blame users for the commandeering of their cameras by a forum full of shitbirds, but the company does almost nothing to ensure users are protected from malicious activity…

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