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Posts Tagged ‘consensual crime’

Poke any “Super Bowl sex trafficking sting”…and all you’ll find is a bunch of sex workers and their customers arrested.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Finding What Isn’t There (#778)

Because the numbers are so low, fetishists want cops trained to manufacture larger ones:

…a state Department of Justice survey…found that human trafficking data is “inconsistent across [Wisconsin]”…and more needs to be done to train [pigs to pretend that sex workers are]…victims…[and] children…[Attorney General Josh] Kaul said…”there’s…clearly a need for more training…so…we can make sure that [cop shops define eveything possible as]…human trafficking [so we can get more federal]…money…in Wisconsin…The number of agency heads who believe that human trafficking happens in their jurisdictions has increased”…Milwaukee has be[en fantasized as]…a hub for sex trafficking [absurdly called “the Harvard of sex trafficking“], in part because of a…[masturbatory fantasy about] “pimp roundtables,” focused on [learning how to walk through walls and do black magic]…

Comfort Zone (#847)

Sometimes the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative is especially apparent:

Forty-seven people have been arrested in a major operation against a network trafficking people between Gibraltar and Spain…the gang kaked [sic] the documentation necessary for the migrants to obtain a visa to enter Gibraltar and then cross the border into Spain clandestinely, hidden in four-wheel drive vehicles with tinted window.  The organisation charged each Moroccan migrant between 7,000 and 8,000 euros for the visa, which increased by between 500 and 700 euros if they needed temporary accommodation…or transfer to another province or country…the traffickers planned the migrants’ journeys, preparing a complete file with false documentation…a plane ticket…a hotel reservation in Gibraltar and [instructions on] steps to follow and who to contact…

Does that sound like “victimization” to you?  This business is providing a service to people who want it, and the attempt to frame it as a “crime” against anyone but the State is patently absurd.

Something Rotten in Sweden (#908)

The public will believe anything it sees on billboards, no matter how ridiculous:

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley…[is behind] a new public [disinformation] campaign to [perscute sex workers]…that’s called, “Take The Pledge”…[which] invites [ignorant conformists] to [jump on the “sex trafficking” bandwagon.  Propaganda]…will be presented on Clear Channel billboards and bus shelters throughout Alameda County…[so gullible yahoos] can [fork over their hard-earned money to] support [pogroms against sex workers and their clients and families]…O’Malley said the billboards drive internet traffic to the her office’s [propaganda] website, where people can take the pledge [under the pretense of] anonym[it]y and sign up for text and email alerts with [their identifying information stored on the prosecutor’s office computers]…

Micromanagement (#927)

They’re not only giving cops people’s info, but selling it to corporations as well:

DNA testing company 23andMe has sold the rights to a new drug that it has developed using its customers’ data…the drug…is…a potential treatment for inflammatory diseases…The drug is likely to be the first of many the company licenses…More than 80 per cent of their customers have agreed to their data being used by the company for research…“In general, I think it’s really good that human genetic information is useful for drug discovery,” says [molecular geneticist Tim] Frayling.  But he questions whether it is fair for the company to financially profit from genetic data that its customers volunteered for medical research…Commentators have already suggested that companies that offer consumer genetic testing pay their customers for the data, rather than charge for it

Rescued To Death (#977)

Once again Philippine cops “rescue” Chinese women from lucrative employment:

Nearly 300 Chinese sex workers and their clients were [arrested] in raids by…Philippine…Police…in the second half of last year…the managers were…charged with human trafficking…and…the…women…were sent to [jails described by cops as] shelters [pending deportation]…The sudden proliferation of Chinese prostitution is tied to the explosive growth of Philippine offshore gaming operators…that cater to players in China, where gambling is illegal…Teresita Ang-See, chair of the [authoritarian] group Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order….[claimed] the sex workers were themselves victims…

Stupor Bowl (#989)

Virtually the only people who still profess to believe this nonsense are cops and politicians…and, apparently, the Associated Press:

To [profit from hysteria over] human trafficking during the Super Bowl, [pigs oinked]…that they need hotel workers, ride-hailing service drivers and security personnel to be especially [hysterical]…at the “No Room for Trafficking” conference [cops publicly masturbated while sharing their fantasies of young girls]…enslaved for sex…[at] the…Super Bowl…“We’re enlisting people to [build a fascist surveillance state],” said [Florida Attorney General Ashley] Moody…

The public recitation of prohibitionist sexual fantasies about whores and sports fans has become such a pathetic annual ritual, Liz Brown decided to gather a convenient list of articles debunking the tales.

The Widening Gyre (#996)

Amateurs’ fantasies about their value to “sex traffickers” are growing ever sillier.  This one not only thinks each supposed “trafficking” attempt is worth $100, she also believes in a magic contact poison that incapacitates in seconds and cops as magic angels of safety (note the similarity of their role in this tale to the classic “THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!” instant warrantless phone tracing shtick).  The substitution of something of real value for the usual zip tie, scrap paper or the like is like an amplification of the “jar of honey” version we’ve also seen recently; this one also adds the visible lurking stranger of other versions.  It’ll be interesting to see if the car-marking ghosts start using white vans soon.

Dutch Threat (#999)

Dutch authorities keep pretending their registration scheme is intended to help sex workers:

A lack of [government] control has turned Leeuwarden’s red light district into “the cesspit” of Dutch legal prostitution [in the minds of cops and other busybodies]…prostitutes in the Frisian capital, often from other countries, are largely unregistered and invisible to the authorities making them…able to [avoid police] abuse…[and the] unsafe working conditions [created by the laws using the exuse of] possible human trafficking…[migrant] women can immediately start work in…Leeuwarden…[without jumping through hoops or having their lives snooped in by cops.  This de]creases the risk of exploitation [by government actors]…

Loose Cannons (#1002)

Florida prosecutors have apparently realized how desperate they look:

[Prosecutors]…have backed down from a recent claim that…Robert Kraft committed a felony [by having consensual sex with an adult woman] a year ago…[they] revised their position in an appeal concerning video…[obtained with] an unlawful warrant when they recorded Kraft and other people…the state is…contending that…[illegal acts by cops are actually] legal…[because] prostitution…Kraft’s attorneys cited two older federal court cases to make the point that “hidden video surveillance” by [cops] “raises the spectre of the Orwellian state”…

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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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You often say “Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever”, but what’s the alternative when I’ve been burgled, robbed, or assaulted?  Vigilantism?  I’m sincerely asking.

The cops do not exist to “help” you.  That is not their purpose, and the great majority of crimes are never “solved”; most of the time the cops don’t even investigate them.  On top of that, there are thousands and thousands of cases of cops showing up and either inflicting violence on the caller or their family, or accusing THEM of a crime, or both.  We hear a lot about how rape cases often result in the victim being treated like a criminal, but in reality that’s true for all crimes.  If a cop takes a dislike to a complainant, he may decide that it would be both easier and better for him to accuse the complainant of a “crime” (usually a criminalized consensual act) instead.  In the US, most prostitution charges result not from “stings”, but from cops charging victims of some crime (rape, robbery, assault, etc) with “prostitution”; in this recent example, cops ignored a violent serial killer to try to charge his intended victim.  Examples of cops hurling drug or DV charges at crime victims abound.  You honestly think it’s worth it to risk all that so you can have the faint hope that the state will inflict vicarious revenge on the one who harmed you?  “Closure” is bullshit; people who expect to gain it by seeing the one who harmed them imprisoned often fall into depression when they realize it does nothing of the kind.  Nor is it a valid argument to claim that in seeking vicarious vengeance through state-sponsored violence, you are helping other potential victims; cops generally charge whoever is handy and pressure the victim to agree with their choice instead of actually seeking the true malefactor.  More simply put, when cops act to “solve” a crime at all, they generally do so by picking someone to frame for it and torturing the “evidence” to support their choice; your misfortune may be used to feed an innocent person into the carceral machine.  In short, there are very few good possible outcomes to calling the cops, and lots of extremely bad, even life-destroying, ones; before dialing “9-1-1” or its equivalent, you might at least consider asking yourself whether you’re feeling lucky that day.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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This is completely insane and endangers the property rights of anyone in Massachusetts.  –  Dan Alban

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I would agree that offering a woman in Seattle only $40 is indeed attempted sexual exploitation:

A Seattle [cop]…was arrested…[for] sexual exploitation[, released less than 30 minutes later] and [rewarded with a paid vacation]…Randal Woolery…has not [yet] been charged…Sexual exploitation is the [virtue-signaling] term the city of Seattle has adopted [after being paid to do so by a sociopathic billionaire] for the misdemeanor…that’s known as patronizing a prostitute in other Washington jurisdictions…

Droit du Seigneur

Though pimps are not common, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:

Wallace Waliczek…is [a New York cop] charged with…promoting [the] prostitution…of his wife, Melissa…who…[was caught in a pig trap]…Waliczek [was] suspended without pay..[from] working [as a screw]…in the Erie County [cage stack]…Mrs. Waliczek’s case…is now pending in Human Trafficking Court in Buffalo…[the DA] says…Melissa Waliczek may have been coerced into [sex work]…

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn (#824)

It’ll be interesting to see if they quietly muscle power away from him as Pennsylvania is doing to Krasner:

The new San Francisco district attorney has said his office will not prosecute prostitution…public urination…[or] other [so-called] quality-of-life crimes……[such as] blocking a sidewalk and public camping—crimes that can see homeless people charged for sleeping out on the street…It is not clear whether Boudin will follow through with this policy now that he has been elected…

Lack of Evidence (#897) 

Where “rescued” means “arrested” and “safe” means “caged and awaiting deportation”.  How stupid do these pigs think we are?

…17 people were arrested and are being [caged using the fantasy] of modern slavery…As part of a joint operation with Romanian police called “Operation Kelang”, the raids were executed at 16 addresses in [East London]…as well as four addresses in Romania.  A total of 29…women [the cops have labeled victims]…have been rescued from London addresses and are now safe…

Compare the UK government’s calling arrest “rescue” and jail “safeguarding”, with China’s calling concentraton camps “job training centers”.

Safe Position (#966)

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

…Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced a resolution calling for an overhaul of the U.S. criminal justice system…includ…ing the death penalty, cash-bail system…minimum sentences…[and] a call to decriminalize sex work…According to Pressley, the resolution is the result of working with more than 20 grassroots organizations and individuals negatively affected by the U.S. legal system…[However,] Pressley [has] endorsed [prohibitionist] Elizabeth Warren for president…[even though] Warren…endorse[s Swedish criminalization]…and…though Pressley was not [yet] in Congress to [support FOSTA]…her website stated as recently as last year that she supported [internet censorship and the banning of sex workers’ advertising]…[Since] the resolution…also calls for the decriminalization of marijuana, addiction, poverty, and migration [it cannot possibly pass Congress and is best understood as Pressley signalling her official position on these subjects]…

A Moral Cancer (#972)

Your “leaders” will use any excuse to further empower cops to rob people:

…Massachusetts [already] has “the worst civil forfeiture laws in the country“…[and now] the Massachusetts House…approved a bill that would ban flavored e-cigarettes, impose a 75 percent excise tax on “electronic nicotine delivery systems” (including e-liquids as well as devices), and authorize [cops to steal] cars driven by [anyone a cop chooses to plant] “untaxed” products [on]…This bill permanently bans “flavored tobacco products,” including menthol cigarettes as well as vaping liquids that taste or smell like anything other than tobacco.  It does not apply to hookah bars or [the bootleg] marijuana vapes [which started the moral panic]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#974) 

When a headline asks a question, the answer is nearly always “no”:

…the Facial Recognition Technology Warrant Act…would require federal officials to get a warrant if they’re going to use facial recognition technology to attempt to track a specific person’s public movements for more than 72 hours.  The bill does not prohibit the use of facial recognition technology to identify people or…to monitor events in real time.  Indeed, it says the authorities can use facial recognition to identify people, even without a warrant, as long as “no subsequent attempt is made to track that individual’s movement in real time or through the use of historical records after the individual has been identified”…The bill also doesn’t stop the feds from accessing or using the hundreds of millions of face pictures they’ve already collected from drivers licenses and passports.  In fact, it specifically gives such use a thumbs-up…

Quiet Genocide

“Xi urged the party to emulate aspects of America’s ‘war on terror’”:

…403 pages of internal documents [leaked to] The New York Times…provide an unprecedented inside view of the continuing [genocidal campaign] in Xinjiang…The [Chinese Communist] party has rejected international criticism of the [concentration] camps and described them as job-training centers that use mild methods to fight Islamic extremism.  But the documents confirm the coercive nature of the crackdown in the words and orders of the very officials who conceived and orchestrated it…Children saw their parents taken away…and crops could not be planted or harvested for lack of manpower…Yet officials were directed to tell people who complained to be grateful for the Communist Party’s help and stay quiet…[about] the…most far-reaching internment campaign since…Mao…[which] expanded rapidly after the appointment in August 2016 of Chen Quanguo, a zealous new party boss for the region…Chen…purg[ed communist] officials suspected of standing in his way, including one county leader who was jailed after quietly releasing thousands of inmates from the camps…There are also references to plans to extend restrictions on Islam to other parts of China…

The Cop Myth (#981)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. Some don’t stop with mere beating:

[Typical and representative Massachusetts cop] Brian Fanion…[has finally been] charge[d]…with the [murder] of his wife last year, which…he staged as a suicide…Fanion was having an affair…and [didn’t want] to surrender half his pension in…a divorce [so he just shot her and put his gun in her dead hand.  But]…forensic experts found the trajectory of the bullet and other factors made a suicide “impossible”…

Disaster (#986)

As I’ve said repeatedly, FOSTA was a huge miscalculation by prohibitionists:

…sex workers, researchers, journalists, law students and allies met…at Harvard University…to learn…about the ways in which…communities have been organizing and protecting themselves from the threat of mass surveillance and online censoring in the wake of SESTA-FOSTA…The law itself, along with the reactions of the general public, internet platforms and the sex working community, has had a profound impact…on…the entire American political landscape…sex workers have been organizing their communities long before the internet…[but] SESTA-FOSTA has sparked an increase in political involvement [among] sex work[ers]…who may have previously chosen to remain apolitical…

Top Cop (#988)

I really love seeing this monster’s attempted power grab going down the toilet:

Kamala Harris’ campaign is careening toward a crackup.  As the California senator [neglects her duties in Congress] trying to revive her sputtering presidential bid, aides at her fast-shrinking headquarters are deep into the finger-pointing stages.  And much of the blame is being placed on campaign manager Juan Rodriguez…[for accepting his role as second banana to] campaign chair Maya Harris, the candidate’s sister, and [none on the fact that Harris is the most eagerly, sociopathically carceral of all the candidates, including Trump]…one senior Harris official…described the current state of the campaign in blunt terms: “No discipline. No plan. No strategy.”  This account is based on interviews with more than a dozen current and former staffers…granted anonymity to…protect them from re[taliation by their jail-happy boss]…

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The biggest problem with democracy is, of course, that being oppressed by violent thugs enforcing bad, evil laws invented by self-serving sociopaths who win popularity contests isn’t really a lot different from being oppressed by violent thugs enforcing bad, evil laws invented by self-serving sociopaths who are descended from other self-serving sociopaths who were on the winning side of some war centuries ago.  Without a solid constitution guaranteeing individual rights against a government whose powers are strictly enumerated, how the oppressor class justifies its tyranny is of little consequence to anyone who doesn’t have a say in the proceedings.  After all, “democratic” American institutions approved of the claimed ownership of human beings until mid-19th century; the violent oppression of racial and ethnic minorities until the mid-20th century; the violent oppression of most sexual minorities until the beginning of the 21st century; and the violent oppression of some sexual minorities (not to mention the de facto violent oppression of some minority groups and the de jure oppression of others) to the present day.  As a member of one of those groups, I can assure you that it’s cold comfort to know that the rapist thugs trying to destroy my life employ excuses made up by many power-mad busybodies rather than by a few power-mad busybodies, or that those busybodies were supposedly picked by “the people” than by a god or gods.

At one time, one’s religion was almost entirely determined by where one was born; Greeks followed the Greek religion, Egyptians the Egyptian religion, Chinese the Chinese religion, etc.  Most people simply followed the religion they were born into, and the few who questioned it were, in general, either banished or violently murdered.  But as humans started moving around more and even mixing with people who were born in different places, they became more tolerant of foreign religions; to be sure, there were still plenty of jihads, witch hunts, inquisitions and the like, but in the truly great cities a number of different religions might coexist with little friction.  And in the modern world, most developed areas are home to people of at least several different religions, and many choose to have no religion at all.  But while religion has thus developed to be less intrinsically tied to circumstances of birth than it was for most of human history, its twin sister nationality has barely developed at all.  It was very easy for me to renounce Catholicism; I didn’t have to move or lose my friends or property, and the only social consequence was some disapproval from a few members of my family.  And while it’s certainly true that renouncing religion is a lot harder than that in some places (for example, in some parts of the Muslim world), renouncing nationality is universally difficult (and sometimes virtually impossible).  Renouncing Americanism would require me to lose my home, my friends, and many of my assets; I’d have to get used to different ways, possibly even learn a new language, and could look forward to being seen as an outsider in my new land for the rest of my life.

It doesn’t have to be this way; some political thinkers have proposed that government, which we conceive of as rigidly connected to a physical territory, could be as borderless as religion has largely become.  People could choose a government as they can now choose a religion; they would be subject to that government’s laws and taxes (and reap whatever benefits it offered) just as they now are subject to the restrictions and tithes (and reap whatever benefits) of their chosen religion.  No doubt most would stay with their nationality of birth, just as most people stick with their native religion; there would probably be large areas where most people belonged to one nationality or another, just as the majority of Brazilians are Catholic, the majority of Iraqis are Muslim and the majority of Indians Hindu.  But nobody would be forced to uproot and lose everything merely to change government, and being stateless or anarchist would be no more difficult than being agnostic or atheist currently is in the Western world.  If you want a different model of how this would work, consider insurance companies; nobody thinks it’s weird or threatening that their friends or neighbors pay premiums (taxes) to a different organization and have different benefits and limitations (laws) than they do.  Want a nanny state that takes most of your income and has lots of laws but provides all kind of benefits?  You can have that.  You want a police state where armed goons watch you through cameras and then leap into action to “protect” you at the touch of a panic button?  I’m sure some government will offer that.  A theocracy?  Sure, but your neighbors can still sin like crazy if they contract with a secular government.  And naturally, some would choose no government at all.

Obviously there are a LOT of problems and complications with this idea; for example, mineral rights have long been divorced from the property under which they lie, but what about common resources like air and water?  Treaties would need to be worked out for that.  Roads and other civil engineering projects could be free to the citizens of the government or governments which built them, while others paid a toll (toll tags could parse this automatically).  Violent crimes would probably be handled by the victim’s government, subject to whatever treaties & reciprocal agreements it had with the offender’s; violent crimes committed by anarchists would automatically be handled entirely by the government of the victim, thus providing an incentive for everyone to contract with some government, if only for legal protection in case a citizen of a “presumption of guilt” state decided to point at them.  Governments could still require residence in a certain place if they wanted, just as certain cults do, and every government would maintain some capital territory in which its power was absolute (just like companies, universities, etc have their own campus rules and security forces).  But in general, people would be free to choose the government that was right for them, and within a few centuries people would consider our current “You must obey us or die because you are within this set of imaginary lines” system as barbaric and monstrous as we consider forced religious conversion.

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Alexandru Tanase…confessed to cleaning the teeth of Sandi Mullins.

Though I could’ve featured any number of videos for this week’s celebrity deaths, this one seemed the most appropriate.  The links above it were provided by Popehat (x2), Tim Cushing, Franklin Harris & Scott Greenfield, Radley Balko, and Amy Alkon, in that order.

From the Archives

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Collectivism, the foul authoritarian belief that individuals do not own their own bodies and lack the right to manage their own lives, is the single greatest threat to human growth and happiness in the modern age.  All of the “-isms” which are used to promote violence, mass incarceration, mass surveillance, war and many other abominations are forms of collectivism; the list includes (but is not limited to) racism, fascism, communism, feminism, nationalism, progressivism and theocracy.  These poisonous ideologies teach that some authority has the “right” to control individuals, to spy upon them, take their property, inflict violence upon them, lock them in cages like animals or even murder them, in the name of some nebulosity like “the State”, “society”, “The Homeland”, “equality”, “God”, “the common good”, “public order”, or whatever.  And while the ways in which the monsters advance their evil agenda are countless, today I’d like to briefly look at one small example:  the war on cannabis, invented in the 1930s by the US government as part of a racist campaign to suppress Hispanic people; continued and escalated to ensure the power and profits of various fascist stakeholders such as pharmaceutical companies, brewers, prison guard unions, the incarceration industry, cops, and politicians; and re-justified every couple of decades since by the usual collectivist filth such as appeals to “public health”, lies about “crime”, scaremongering about “THE CHILDREN™!!!”, etc.  This common herb is not only the safest known mind–altering substance (its LD50 is so high no death from overdose has ever been recorded), it’s also incredibly cheap, non-addictive, available in as many varieties as its far more dangerous distant cousin alcohol, and capable of being absorbed into the body in a number of different ways.  Its best-known property is relaxation/sedation, but some people find it suppresses nausea and/or relieves pain; others find it has aphrodisiac effects; and studies demonstrate its effectiveness as a remedy for a number of ailments including glaucoma, arthritis and possibly even some forms of cancer.  I personally have found it invaluable for my insomnia and anxiety, and I’ve recently realized that lingering effects of daily use help me to stay calm in situations that would normally agitate me, even though I am not impaired and otherwise feel completely normal.  Even small doses dramatically increase my sensitivity to the nuances of artistic performance, and large doses have enabled a spiritual journey over the past four years which has greatly eased my troubled mind and brought me to a place of emotional peace I have never before had and never imagined I could have.  And yet, the collectivists would have me ignore all this, returning to a state of constant emotional, psychological and spiritual turmoil, because a bunch of sociopathic “leaders” who died before I was born believed it was their “right” to violently persecute their fellow humans for having darker skins than they did, and choosing a beneficial plant as the excuse for their violence.  And because other sociopaths I wouldn’t even trust to park my car, much less run my life, have chosen to inflict violence on huge numbers of people using that decades-old racist agenda as their excuse.  And because “the law is the law”.  In short, I’m supposed to hand over control of my life, my body and even my mind to a clique of violent apes who pretend that they know better about what is good for me than I do; that the majority of people think that this actually makes moral sense is the best argument for anarchism one could ever hope for.

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