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Posts Tagged ‘ethics’

Crises lead to a permanently bigger state with many more powers and responsibilities and the taxes to pay for them.

The Maze of Consent

Consent is neither as simple nor as static as puritans pretend:

The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo represents one key node in a global network of adult-oriented entertainment expos that attract fans and industry personnel…Every January the…largely LA-based adult entertainment industry relocates to Las Vegas for about a week, bringing with it performers, producers, directors and videographers.  The porn community is in town for business-to-business events, to shoot porn, celebrate industry achievements at the AVN Awards…A “mix of physical, social and institutional boundaries and formal and informal rules of engagement” prevails within…Attendees…must sign a “code of conduct”.  Signage…reminds patrons of the AVN’s policy of zero tolerance of anyone found and/or reported to have engaged in assault, non-consensual physical contact, violations of privacy, and verbal or physical harassment.  While this code isn’t perfect, our research found it…help[s] keep non-consensual contact to a minimum and empower the performers to negotiate their own boundaries…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw your neighbors outdoors”?

A [cop shop] has had a surge in calls from people reporting their neighbours for “going out for a second run”.  Government lockdown rules allow [subjects] to leave their [cells] to take one form of exercise a day…In the coming days, police will be given the powers to fine anyone [accused of controlling their own lives.  One pig oinked]…”We are getting calls from [bootlicking snitches] who say ‘I think my neighbour is going out on a second run – I want you to come and arrest them’…We have had dozens and dozens of these calls”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#865) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit because people aren’t listening to their wanking fantasies during the pandemic:

…the 79,000 victims in Texas born and raised in America are not protected against COVID-19, nor are their clients…spread of the virus will be curbed by prosecution of sex traffickers…[who] snag some 200,000 young people born and raised in the U.S…Traffickers lure vulnerable youth at bus stops, outside schoolyards…and even within foster homes…

The Dallas Morning News is so filled with scribbling from these compulsive masturbators, it’s an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas.

O, Canada! (#943)

Prohibitionists want Ontario to be more like the US:

On March 6, the Ontario government announced an investment of $307 million over five years in an alleged strategy to “combat human trafficking and end sexual exploitation”…The unprecedented scale of the financial investment…coincides with some of the most comprehensive budget cuts and privatization of services in Ontario…To receive funding, approved agencies must maintain practice and policy that aligns with the Ford government’s blatant anti-sex work position, which is based on biased and false information about sex workers and their trade…such as the rampant and false claims that 13 is the average age of entry into sex work, or that the majority of sex workers do not “choose” to participate in sex work.  These myths not only promote disempowering stereotypes…but [also] embolden police and other institutions to criminalize sex workers and…contribute to moral panic…

Panopticon (#1010)

Fascists scheme to make the horrifying UK surveillance network even worse:

Police are creating the UK’s first database of homes with doorbell cameras and CCTVs to help [increase the surveillance network]…Wiltshire Police are asking residents with the devices to register them with police so that they can be [accessed even if owners deny permission]…The scheme is backed by [politicians] in Swindon where it is being initially launched.  “This isn’t about surveillance”…[lied politician] Rahul Tarar…

Watershed (#1011)

We’re likely to start seeing more articles like this as “sex trafficking” hysteria dies:

When consensual sex work is considered a form of violence, it’s hard to look ahead at the possibilities of decriminalization…when most of the space is used wrangling an ideological debate about whether sex work is inherently demeaning, any discussion of how decrim would take shape gets lost in the crossfire.  But as Vermont recently followed New York and became the second state…to introduce legislation to remove criminal penalties, the reality of a decriminalized future is inching closer…more than half of the population supports decrim…[but] what would [that]…look like in the United States?…

Like Houses (#1025)

Once the state takes a power for itself, it never surrenders that power voluntarily:

In just a few weeks a virus a ten-thousandth of a millimetre in diameter has transformed Western democracies.  States have [forcibly] shut down businesses and sealed people indoors.  They have promised trillions of dollars to keep the economy on life support.  If South Korea and Singapore are a guide, medical and electronic privacy are about to be cast aside.  It is the most dramatic extension of state power since the second world war.  One taboo after another has been broken.  Not just in the threat of fines or prison for ordinary people doing ordinary things, but also in the size and scope of the government’s role in the economy…history suggests that after crises the state does not give up all the ground it has taken.  Today that has implications not just for the economy, but also for the surveillance of individuals…

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When Lucy Steigerwald tweeted this item about ICE still trying to deport people in the middle of a pandemic, she commented that she didn’t understand how they could sleep at night; I said that “Just doing my job” is even more insidiously evil than “I was only following orders”.  Mike Siegel then replied by calling attention to what Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski said about the interrogator character in the episode “Intersections in Real Time”, a man so harmless-looking he would’ve gone unnoticed in any ordinary office:

…You look at most of the guys who ran Treblinka, or Bergen-Belsen, and they’re largely ordinary looking guys, who could be accountants or repair men or car salesmen…most SF tends to…deal with the big bad guys, the…Darth Vaders and all the other major forces…but all too often the real damage is done not by the single Evil Leader, but by the ten million people who follow him, the bookkeepers who track the bodies and…make the trains run on time, who run the gulags, who build the new state empires that will be built with slave labor, any or all of whom could say, as many have, “I was just doing my job”…To the interrogator, he was simply doing his job, and…then he goes home to his wife and kids, and has dinner, and sits out on the porch trying to forget what he does because he thinks he has to do it…assuming he thinks about it at all…

Look around you, especially in an election season, and see the pure evil a lot of people spout, usually while imagining that the things they’re advocating – up to and including mob violence – are righteous.  And they’re all ordinary folks.  Some of the people I’ve crossed paths with as an activist don’t actually care about anyone’s rights; they’re just amoral Marxists who happened to fall into sex work at some point and have chosen to adopt it as an identity despite Marxist regimes’ long persecution of us.  The majority of cops, bureaucrats and other petty evildoers don’t see themselves as evil; they see themselves as just people doing a job.  And every one of them looks (and in public, acts) just like anyone else.  They shop in the same stores, watch TV, love their dogs, eat next to us in restaurants.

All the cops.

All the screws.

All the functionaries.

All the other quiet sociopaths.

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Almost all of the messages we get about trafficking are slanted toward imaginary victims.  –  Sabra Boyd

Droit du Seigneur

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

Two [cops in Trinidad & Tobago] have been arrested in connection with trafficking in persons and other gang-related activities [after they were caught pimping]…a Venezuelan [refugee]

Thought Experiment

The hysteria has grown so bad, what was just a fantasy scenario in 2011 is now literal:

Two children were a[bducted from the parents]…by police…[because their parents were] working in barber-shops in London…100 [cops, spooks and bureaucrats raided the shops]…arrest[ing an unspecified number of people using the euphemism]…safeguarding…The [cops’] victims [will now be processed for possible deportation]…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

…that a brave hero cop tried to murder a man for seeking consensual sex:

A Spotsylvania [Virginia cop attempted to murder] a man…during a prostitution sting…[when a crowd of disguised thugs forced their way] into the room [behind him he tried to escape so one of them shot him]…he underwent surgery and is listed in critical condition.  The [thug] who [attempted to murder] the man…was [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#626)

Usually, cops reserve their sick masturbatory fantasies about sex work for Asian women:

“[I like to fantasize about]h girls getting waterboarded, eating their own feces, being brutally raped,” [admits] Detective Dave Davies [of] the Durham [Ontario vice gang]…”The [b]est [fantasies] are [about]…the young ones that have never had sex before and they lose their virginity to some John, or they end up getting pregnant.  Those are real scenarios that [I masturbate to]”…

To Molest and Rape

If only there was a concise term for “used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex”:

The Oregon State Bar has rejected the application of a [typical and representative cop] to become a lawyer after its investigators found that he had used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex…The Board of Bar Examiners determined that Neil Halttunen had not shown that he “is currently of good character” and…Halttunen, [in a display of the typical cop sense of entitlement that drove his career as a serial rapist]…has appealed the decision to the Oregon Supreme Court…Halttunen [w]as a…[serial rapist] who…used his badge to [rape]…at least nine women…court filing include accounts from [his victims, whom] Halttunen met through routine police calls [and then stalked in order to rape them]…Halttunen…[raped so many women] he “has consistently claimed difficulty remembering all of [them]”…[but it was] in excess of 30…

Theatrics (#761)

This is at least the fifth iteration we’ve seen of this same inane stunt:

Covenant House today launched a new campaign called Shoppable Girls…with a goal to [profit from hysteria]…about sex trafficking…The hope is Ontarians will be encouraged to [send prohibitionists money] and ultimately [support more state violence against people who have consensual sex]…[blah blah Shahada, blah blah] signs of luring and grooming…[blah blah] billion-dollar industry…[blah blah] social media..[blah blah] 13…[blah blah] $280,000 per year…[per] victim…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

Never underestimate the human capacity to panic about things that don’t exist:

US [prohibitionists fantasize] that the availability of sex [dolls] with [voice chips] poses a growing psychological and moral threat to individuals and society.  They [claim that “moral threats” are somehow a subject]…scientists [can analyze]…Christine Hendren of Duke University [moaned that combination Baby Alive/Talky Tina dolls]…”create…rape”…[and vomited out violent authoritarian fantasies about how people troubled by paraphilias]…”should be treated by just stamping them out”…Dr Hendren was speaking…at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science…Kathleen Richardson…wants [sex doll] marketing outlawed…

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kathleen Richardson and her one-pearlclutcher “Campaign Against Toasters”, but she’s sti lurking around, desperately trying to get anyone – including anti-sex “science” conventions – to listen to her weird sexual fantasies.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

If a “study” sounds benign to you, click on the subtitle above:

[Politician] Josh Hawley announced…he has introduced a bill that would [supposedly] document human trafficking in the U.S.  The bill would reform the [TVPA]…reauthorization…of 2005…[to] mandate…a…[“study”] of…”commercial sex acts”…[which] Hawley [demonized as]…”an epidemic”…[his toady] Nanette Ward [then croaked the usual fantasies about]…”fastest growing and second largest criminal enterprise in the world…Victims…in every corner of our community…children…being sold by their parents…Everyone who is on social media [is at risk]“…

It may help you to see the big picture if I remind you that Hawley is one of the loudest proponents of government censorship and control of the internet, and of repealing Section 230.

Joey the Player

A rare case of “authorities” actually charging a serial rapist of sex workers:

A New Jersey man [named Jose Torres] who [for years] lured commercial sex workers to travel from out of state [so he could rape them was]…charged by complaint with two counts of coercion and enticement…From May 2015 to October 2019, Torres persuaded, induced and enticed commercial sex workers to travel from various out of state locations, including Canada and New York…with promises of large payments.  When the commercial sex workers a[rrived]…Torres [would] assault…and rap[e] them.  Torres never paid the sex workers.  The coercion and enticement charges each carries a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment and a potential $250,000 fine…

If you wish to add your testimony against this violent creep, please do not contact prosecutors directly; instead contact lead attorney for the complainants, Noam Biale, at (212-202-2600, direct 212-300-2445) or nbiale@shertremonte.com; he will be able to protect your identity from prosecutors.

Pyrrhic Victory (#992) 

Why I keep telling you local laws banning surveillance technology are feel-good bullshit:

California’s largest police departments have been collecting millions of images of drivers’ license plates and sharing them with entities around the country…in violation of state law…230 police and sheriff’s departments in the state currently use automated license plate readers…and…most of the data collected is on innocent people…The Los Angeles Police Department, for example, has collected more than 320 million images over the last several years.  Only 400,000 of those generated…matches to cars of interest, but the remaining 99.9 percent of the images, which can be used to track peoples’ movement across the city, stay stored in a department database for more than five years…The LAPD then adds other sensitive information to that database, sometimes tagging the photos with criminal records, names, addresses, and dates of birth

Watershed (#1011)

Headed toward the end of the hysteria, albeit 3 or 4 years late:

…For years…experts have pointed out that the reality of sex trafficking bears little resemblance to the sensationalized version depicted in public-awareness campaigns.  Shoppers are not being snatched from grocery store parking lots.  Victims…seldom exhibit any of the “warning signs” that would make their abuse visible to members of the public.  Despite the persistent myth that human trafficking “could happen to anyone,” most victims are undocumented, homeless, in foster care or otherwise marginalized…as warning posters have appeared in nearly every airport…the U.S. has [not] had a single confirmed case of a child being trafficked by strangers via airplane…Most minor kidnappings…are carried out by parents as part of custody disputes…[and] strangers are the perpetrator in only 10% of [child sexual abuse] cases…[NCMEC admits] that fewer than 1% of calls to…[its “hotline”] were reports of “stranger danger” abductions…“You can’t know the signs of trafficking by looking at someone you don’t know,” said a senior staff member at one of America’s major anti-trafficking organizations who asked…not to [be] name[d] out of fear of losing her job…[however] she [also] said the sensationalized messaging was necessary to [get people to support the police state]…

This is the sort of essay I originally envisioned we’d be seeing in 2016-17; unfortunately it took much longer because governments have been pushing it much harder than I anticipated to achieve their goals of internet censorship and migration control.  But prophecy is not an exact science, so I’m glad I wasn’t further off the mark.

To Molest and Rape (#1014)

Even rapist cops usually wait until their victims are thirteen or so:

[Typical and representative] Harris County [cop] Jack Hagee…[repeated]ly sexually abus[ed] a child for eight years…[starting when she] was 5-years-old…Hagee started [orally raping] the 5-year-old girl…in 1989 at their Harris County home…[and vaginaly raping] her about three times a week by the time she started kindergarten…he…stopped having sex with her at the age of 13, because…she began menstruating…the first person [s]he…[told] was her aunt who…[is mrried to] Hagee’s brother…[the] brother…[then] confronted Hagee over the phone and told him he was not welcome at their home…

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I live in a very small city, so there aren’t many escorts around here.  I contacted a new one recently and when she replied, I notice that her username appears to be her real name (it isn’t the same as her stage name) and I’m not sure she realizes that is showing.  I could be wrong, but given that she seems very inexperienced I don’t believe I am.  Should I say something to her, and if so how?

I’d simply be honest with her; take a screenshot of what it looks like on your end and send it to her with something like, “This is what your email looks like on my end; I’m concerned this may be information you don’t want revealed.”  Also assure her that you will not share the information with anyone because you understand it could compromise her safety.  If you’re wrong (and perhaps even if you’re right), she’ll probably just thank you for your concern and say that it’s fine and you’re only seeing another alias she has used before.  It’s possible she may get upset with you, but if you truly believe she might be accidentally outing herself, telling her is still the right thing to do (before she replies to someone who might try to use the information to exploit her).

(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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Chauvinism is a hell of a drug.  Once a person has swallowed the Kool-aid that their own place and time are the best that have ever been, and that all future societies will be based upon current beliefs and notions, and that all past and foreign societies are to be judged against the chauvinist’s culture, deeply stupid ideas are bound to be the result.  One way in which chauvinists paper over the cognitive dissonance which is bound to result from such silly prejudices is to envision everyone who isn’t lucky enough to live in the Magical and Blessed Here and Now™ as being interchangeable, because obviously individuality was only invented in the 1960s and therefore everyone born before Kennedy was assassinated (OK, maybe before the First World War, but definitely no earlier than that) thought and believed and felt exactly the same way as everyone else, except for a few Great People™ whose names are in the history books because everyone else was wrong and they were right.  You think I’m kidding?  Exaggerating, sure, but not kidding.  Take a look at this article:

Historians from Oxford University have been taken aback to discover that Matthew Tomlinson’s diary from 1810 contains…open-minded views about same-sex attraction being a “natural” human tendency.  The diary challenges preconceptions about what “ordinary people” thought about homosexuality…Tomlinson [was] prompted by…a…scandal…in which a well-respected naval surgeon had been found to be engaging in homosexual acts.  A court martial had ordered him to be hanged – but Tomlinson…argued…”It must seem strange indeed that God Almighty should make a being with such a…defect in nature; and at the same time make a decree that if that being whom he had formed, should at any time follow the dictates of that Nature, with which he was formed, he should be punished with death,” he wrote on January 14 1810.  If there was an “inclination and propensity” for someone to be homosexual from an early age, he wrote, “it must then be considered as natural…and if [so]…it seems cruel to punish that defect with death”…An acceptance of homosexuality might have been expressed privately in aristocratic or philosophically radical circles – but this was being discussed by a rural worker.  “It shows opinions of people in the past were not as monolithic as we might think,” says [Oxford researcher Eamonn] O’Keeffe…

You might think those unschooled old-time hicks had “monolithic” opinions, Mr. O’Keeffe, but I certainly don’t.  Human opinions were never and are never monolithic across a society and era, no matter what authoritarians want you to believe.  Individuals have always thought and felt across a wide spectrum of opinion (and yes, that includes “rural workers”); the difference is that in the past, there were fewer places where freedom of speech was protected, so we don’t get to hear about widely-differing opinions because people were afraid of their ideas being declared as “sinful” or “seditious” or “hateful” or “misinformed” and therefore cause for censure or even punishment.  Sound familiar?  This is what both “wings” now want for America and Europe:  control of thought and speech by government and its corporate cronies to enforce “righteous” norms.  Oh, the excuses differ between places & rulers, but the intended outcome is always the same:  Thought control.

The world has improved not because we are “better” or “smarter” or “more educated” than our ancestors; it has improved because slowly, over millennia, humans have become less accepting of “rulers” using threats of violence to control what we can think, say, and do.  Oh, there have been eras of backsliding; we’re in one right now, where every would-be dictator supports censorship of ideas they don’t like and state violence against people who dare to have sex, ingest substances, or cross imaginary lines in the dirt in the “wrong” way and/or without the permission of their Dear Leaders.  In times and places where the individual’s right to be individual is respected, society becomes better and freer for everyone; in those where individuals are only viewed as faceless members of cliques, parties, mobs, or other collectives, society becomes worse and less free for everyone except the rulers.  Sentient beings are not born to be part of a monolith, and the only way to make them so is to violently break them and cram the remains into a huge structure designed and built by the power elite for nobody’s benefit but their own.

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Recently, someone asked me why I care about Beijing’s campaign to exterminate the Uighurs, stating that he had little symmpathy for them; he appeared to believe the Communist Party’s designation of them as “terrorists”, a word calculated to shut down cognition in anyone predisposed to believe that governments, even oppressive governments, are generally trustworthy in their statements.  Presumably, this person was just intelligent enough to grasp that if he questions the Chinese government’s right to oppress a Muslim minority, the right of his own government to do the same is suspect.  I quickly dismissed him as an odious clod, but was irresistibly reminded of the words of John Donne:

No man is an island, entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

These words are not merely true in a philosophical and moral sense, but in a practical one as well; for every time we allow tyranny and oppression to go unchallenged, we participate in normalizing and excusing the behavior, and establishing it as international precedent.  Then one day soon the victims may not be a strange people in a distant land, but familiar people in our own country.  Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

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Stupid little children!  –  “Officer” Harry Reid

Want me to watch your commercials?  Put as much class and creativity into them as Banco Sabadell put into this one (discovered by Grace); you don’t strictly need to include Beethoven, but it wouldn’t hurt.  The links above it were provided by Eric Sprankle (“kitty”), Mark Bennett (“Jesus”), Cop Crisis (“bullies”, “feed” and “mayor”), Walter Olson (“sirree”), and Mike Siegel (“adoption”).

From the Archives

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