Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

I can’t breathe.  –  Javier Ambler

Sometimes it’s difficult to choose which of a musician’s songs to use as a memorial, but this time it was a no-brainer.  The links above the video were provided by I Am Curious Blue, Mark Draughn, Furrygirl, Popehat and Walter Olson, Kevin Wilson, and Mark Bennett, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

Sex work is becoming cool again.  –  Maggie McNeill

The Cop Myth

Cops are responsible for more violence than any other social group in the US:

Every time protests erupt after yet another innocent black person is killed by police, “reform” is meekly offered as the solution…The Minneapolis police implemented trainings on implicit bias, mindfulness, de-escalation, and crisis intervention; diversified the department’s leadership; created tighter use-of-force standards; adopted body cameras; initiated a series of police-community dialogues; and enhanced early-warning systems to identify problem officers…None of it worked…because “procedural justice” has nothing to say about the mission or function of policing.  It assumes that the police are neutrally enforcing a set of laws that are automatically beneficial to everyone…[but in reality,] over the last 40 years we have seen a massive expansion of the scope and intensity of policing.  Every social problem in poor and non-white communities has been turned over to the police to manage.  The schools don’t work; let’s create school policing.  Mental health services are decimated; let’s send police.  Overdoses are epidemic; let’s criminalize people who share drugs.  Young people are caught in a cycle of violence and despair; let’s call them superpredators and put them in prison for life.  Police have also become more militarized…The alternative is not more money for police training programs, hardware or oversight.  It is to dramatically shrink their function…

I Spy (#1001)

Violet Blue on protecting yourself from phone-based surveillance at protests:

…our phones are spying on us 24/7.  These little handheld sidekicks are…Big Brother’s most useful asset when it comes to tracking and surveilling anyone…The only way we can completely refuse to be tracked is not to use our apps, or leave our phones at home. But not using apps or going without a phone isn’t a realistic option…Smartphones leak your information and leave a trail of your information by design.  Your info can be discovered and your habits known by any bystanders who know how to look.  Hackers and developers have been trying to raise the alarm about phone security for years, but have gone practically ignored…

You Were Warned (#1007)

Basically the same thing Biden wants; now please tell me more about the “wings”:

Donald Trump [issued an executive order] in response to [Twitter]’s attempt to fact-check his tweets [which] proposes a radical modification of Section 230…The…order…“attempts to circumvent Congress and the courts in directing changes to long-established interpretations of Section 230….orders a review of alleged ‘unfair or deceptive practices’ by Facebook and Twitter”…and calls on the…FCC to “examine whether actions related to the editing of content by social media companies should potentially lead to the firms forfeiting their protections under Section 230″…Lawrence Walters, a First Amendment expert with extensive adult industry experience…[said] “Any order impacting Section 230 immunity will likely be challenged in court…Congress is the only body that can alter the broad protections granted by Section 230 but we are seeing some legislative activity in that realm as well — particularly the EARN IT Act“…

Surplus Women (#1010)

Government never, ever blames itself for the harm it causes:

On May 17, the RCMP charged a 17-year-old [who hacked Ashley Noelle Arzaga]…to death with a machete inside the Crown Spa with first-degree murder – terrorist activity…The parlour owner and another man were also injured in the February attack.  Police allege he carried out the murder in the name of the “incel” movement…but sex worker advocates say that while the RCMP is making a show of the case, the government is evading practical change to protect sex workers – namely, by decriminalizing their occupations.  “Laying a terrorism-related charge here…makes it look like we’re more concerned about sex workers’ deaths,” says international criminal law professor Heidi Matthews. “In reality that’s not true…We still have a whole matrix of criminal laws that make their existence and their work more precarious and less safe”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1039)

Far too little, far too late: “Plaintiffs American Civil Liberties Union (“ACLU”)…Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (“CAASE”), Sex Workers Outreach Project Chicago (“SWOP-Chicago”), [et al]…bring this Complaint against Defendant Clearview AI, Inc. (“Clearview”) to put a stop to its unlawful surreptitious capture and storage of millions of Illinoisans’ sensitive biometric identifiers…”  The suit is based on “the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”), which [is intended to] protect…people against the surreptitious and nonconsensual capture of their biometric identifiers, including faceprints.”  That’s well and fine, but other states are far less fastidious about how the collect information on unsuspecting citizens.  And as we’ve seen, cops freely and surreptitiously exchange facial recognition data without any permission at all, even lying in reports and committing perjury in court to cover up how they obtained any given data.  So even if this suit succeeds in banning facial recognition technology in Illinois or even destroying Clearview, the facial recognition djinni was released from its bottle years ago, and has no intention of going back in.  I do find it interesting to actually see a sex worker organization involved in a lawsuit like this, though, so kudos to SWOP-Chicago.

Working From Home (#1042)

I’m extensively quoted in this article about everyone suddenly joining OnlyFans:

While, as far as McNeill is concerned, anyone selling their own erotic labor is in fact a sex worker, she acknowledges that as online sex work becomes more popular, “some people [are] claiming the mantle of sex worker who really shouldn’t because they think it’s going to give them cachet…The criticism that those ladies are leveling at the newcomers is a correct one, but at the same time you kind of have to give them the side eye and say, ‘Yeah, honey, you were new at one time too’”…while McNeill agrees that celebrity interest in sex work…will probably “suck money from women who really need it,” she remains hopeful that mainstream exposure from celebrities may eventually have a positive effect on the progress of sex work destigmatization…

Social Distancing (#1042)

Like its neighbor the Netherlands, Belgium only pretends to respect sex workers:

A hotel where many sex workers receive their clients briefly opened its doors…despite the coronavirus regulations forbidding it, because the rules were not clear…Despite hotels being allowed to stay open…the[se were forced by government diktat]…to close their doors as they are mainly used by [human beings whom authoritarians deem “nonessential”]…“a lot of those hotel owners probably think that, based on the measures for hotels, they are also allowed to open again,” [said] Daan Bauwens of UTSOPI, the Belgian union for and by sex workers…“We strongly advise sex workers to…stop working [and live on happy thoughts, sunshine and pixie dust]” said Bauwens…

Read Full Post »

To tell you the truth, erotic services could have resumed earlier.
–  Alain Berset

Secret Squirrel (#715)

For every weapon, there is a defense:

YouTube has plenty of videos on how to fake your GPS location, and teens are doing it…[spokespig] Grady Thigpen [oinked a lot of ridiculous nonsense about how privacy from intrusive surveillance]…can actually be really dangerous for teens.  [He infantilized]…young adult[s as]…child[ren and pretended that total violation of their privacy and trust is]…about their safety…

Choke Point (#723)

[sex worker] Sophie Ladder noticed that different…platforms had different notions of what they considered “restricted content.”  So [she]…decided to compile the variations in the form of a shareable spreadsheet…“It was interesting to see how different types of sites are, as a whole, more or less restrictive.  The free tube sites overall are the most open, banning few things.  The clip stores are somewhat restrictive.  And the live camming sites are the most strict”…One challenge…was determining exactly what a particular site’s rules actually are….“many of these sites’ rules are vague to avoid the crackdown from their payment processors that would come with explicitly allowing X, Y, Z content, so instead their rules just don’t really mention X, Y, Z”…

Social Distancing (#1037)

Scotland out-Herods Herod, not only refusing relief money to sex workers but giving it to prohibitionists:

A sex worker charity [w]as…excluded from a Scottish Government pledge of £60,000 to support women affected during the Covid-19 pandemic…the government [instead gave the money]…to…nine [prohibitionist] organisations…[activist] Molly Smith…said…”That the Scottish Government sees organisations which campaign to harm us as appropriate vehicles for our ‘support’ during this crisis shows just how screwed up policy-making on sex work is in Scotland”…

Robocops

One of the greatest legal abominations ever conceived:

The Supreme Court created qualified immunity in 1982.  With that novel invention, the court granted all government officials immunity for violating constitutional and civil rights unless the victims of those violations can show that the rights were “clearly established”…th[is]…is a legal obstacle that’s nearly impossible to overcome.  It requires a victim to identify an earlier decision by the Supreme Court or a federal appeals court in the same jurisdiction holding that precisely the same conduct under the same circumstances is illegal or unconstitutional.  If none exists, the official is immune…in February, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held that a Texas prison guard who pepper-sprayed an inmate in his locked cell “for no reason” did not violate clearly established law because similar cited cases involved guards who had hit and tased inmates for no reason, rather than pepper-spraying them for no reason…In the last year alone…courts have granted qualified immunity to [cops] who stole $225,000;  a cop who shot a 10 year old while trying to shoot a nonthreatening family dog; prison officials who locked an inmate in a sewage-flooded cell for days; SWAT team members who fired gas grenades into an innocent woman’s empty home; medical board officials who rifled through a doctor’s client files without a warrant; county officials who held a 14 year old in pretrial solitary confinement for over a month; a cop who body-slammed a 5-foot-tall woman for walking away from him; and police who picked up a mentally infirmed man, drove him to the county line, and dropped him off at dusk along the highway, where he was later struck and killed by a motorist…

Social Distancing (#1042)

Compare to the contrived prohibition in Australia & the Netherlands:

Swiss politicians have decided that sex workers can soon get back to business while activities and sports involving close physical contact such as judo, boxing and wrestling will remain prohibited.  Prostitution …can resume from June 6, along with cinemas, nightclubs and public pools…Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset [said]…“To tell you the truth, erotic services could have resumed earlier.”  Switzerland has dramatically slowed its Covid-19 infection rate while avoiding the strict confinement imposed in neighboring countries…It was among the first countries in Europe to reopen shops, restaurants and schools earlier this month…The [good sense of the] Swiss…contrasts with [the official whore stigma of]…the Netherlands…

The Course of a Disease (#1043)

German sex workers answer the ugly lies of prohibitionist politicians:

The coronavirus ban on sex work, including the closure of brothels must be lifted, said Germany’s Federal Association of Sex Services (BSD) in an open letter…to 16 [prohibitionist] members of Germany’s parliament who recently [demanded imposition of the Swedish model]…The sex work industry must also be able “to generate income again and to offer customers a good service that is human and grounding for them,” states the letter [which] presents a “hygiene concept” that outlines how sex work could continue while minimizing infection…German states [have begun] to ease restrictions such as reopening restaurants, swimming pools and non-sexual massage parlours.  Yet the blanket ban on all types of sex work remains in place…

Like Houses (#1043)

It’s just to keep people SAFE!

Despite the mayor’s claim that police have enforced social distancing equally across Chicago…almost all arrests and citations for congregating have been issued on the city’s South and West sides.  All 13 arrests and 11 of 13 citations have been issued in majority-Black and Latino neighborhoods…Between March 20 and May 21, 13 people were arrested for violating the stay at home orders.  Ten were Black, one was white and two were juveniles whose race and arrest reports were withheld…

Read Full Post »

[Therapists’] preconceptions about sex work…do more damage rather than help.  –  Teela Sanders

Follow the Leader

Costumed hooligans regularly abduct and torture people in ways that would be charged as crimes for anyone else:

…Dallas police [arrested]…Esmeralda Lira…and Jose Balderas…[and] charged [them] with child endangerment after…someone [claimed]…that Lira had three children tied up at the home with no food…[cops] found two children asleep in a bedroom…[and] the third…locked [in a] shed…the 6-year-old boy [was] standing alone inside the pitch-black shed.  His hands were tied behind his back with shoelaces…The child [said] that Lira, his grandmother, tied him him up in the shed [overnight] when he is bad…the boy…[said] Lira bathed [him] outside by spraying him with water…[and gave him] a plastic bag when he needed to relieve himself…

Compare this treatment with that in “Torture Chamber” below, in the same state.

The Real World

Anti-whore stigma even harms sex workers who are therapists:

Some years ago…I sought mental health support.  I noticed that during the initial assessment the therapist increased my risk score when I told him what I did for a living.  I am a trained therapist, so I understood the…form…When I asked him why he had increased my risk factor, he said, “Because you’re an escort.”  I said, “But you haven’t asked me how I work, where I work, with whom I work.  That doesn’t make sense”…He looked at me with a vacant glaze…[and] said, “Okay, well, it’s sex work, so I still have to increase the risk score.”  This is stigma against sex work, or “whorephobia” in action, and it is the opposite of what is needed to support sex workers effectively.  Sex-work stigma…has been identified as the leading cause of mental health problems for sex workers…

Skin To Skin (#958)

Another step forward for disabled Australians:

People with disabilities can use [Australian] disability insurance scheme funds to access specialised sex worker services, the federal court has ruled…unanimously in a favour of a woman who lives with multiple sclerosis and sought to include the services in her NDIS plan.  Despite the agency’s [claim] that it “does not fund participation in sexual activity”, the federal court said the NDIS Act “does not expressly exclude such activities…nor has any exclusion been made under the NDIS rules…there is no implied exclusion of such activities either, and indeed in our opinion the better view is that they are intended to be included”…the NDIS minister, Stuart Robert, [had bloviated that] funding…sexual therapy services was not in line with community expectations…

The Monsters Are Due (#969)

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

A sheriff’s deputy in North Carolina is facing criminal charges after…he led a[n]…armed [mob of non-cops] to the wrong home in a search for a missing girl [because only cops are allowed to attack wrong houses with armed mobs]…Jordan Kita[‘s mob trespassed at] the home of Dameon Shepard, a [black high school] senior…the all-white [mob] tried unsuccessfully to force its way into the…home…Kita was looking for Lekayda Kempisty, a 15-year-old girl who[se present whereabouts he didn’t know]…She was [not actually missing but]…Kita…was searching for someone named Josiah who used to live next door…There was believed to be some sort of familial relationship between Kita and…Lekayda…

Though the word isn’t used here, we all know what “missing girl” means, don’t we?

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#998) 

Puritans especially hate people enjoying themselves while their “leaders” have sent them to their rooms:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter US attorney general William Barr on April 30, calling on the Trump administration to “confront the ongoing harms wrought by the pornography industry”, especially as use of porn sites has spiked during the coronavirus pandemic

Pyrrhic Victory (#1007) 

Still think this djinni can be stuffed back into its bottle?

…in the coronavirus era, when everyone is advised to wear a mask, exposed faces are increasingly rare.  That’s breaking facial recognition systems everywhere, from iPhones to public surveillance…[but a] company [named] Rank One…[has] released a new form of facial recognition called periocular recognition, which can supposedly identify individuals by just their eyes and eyebrows…and is specifically meant for masked individuals.  Rank One says it will ship the technology to all of its active customers for free.  It’s difficult to pinpoint how many companies and government organizations in the United States use Rank One…[because] its technology is resold by companies with connections to [cop shops] and [spook houses]…like DataWorks Plus and Secure Planet…

Uncharted Seas (#1018)

Too bad politicians can’t recognize that criminalization of consensual acts is always harmful:

…a new [Utah] law decriminalizing polygamy among consenting adults [has] take[n] effect…plural marriages are now considered an infraction…less than some traffic tickets…Deidre Henderson, the bill’s sponsor, has said she hopes it will make victims of abuse and fraud less afraid to come forward in the future…[by] remov[ing] the fear for otherwise law-abiding residents that they could be jailed and their children taken from them because of their religious practices.  And she notes that there are still penalties under the new law for polygamy in conjunction with crimes such as fraud, abuse, domestic violence and human smuggling…

Reawakening

Expect a lot more of these before this is over:

The longer COVID-19 lockdowns last, Texas Supreme Court Justice James Blacklock suggested last week, the more legally vulnerable they may be.  “As more becomes known about the threat and about the less restrictive, more targeted ways to respond to it…continued burdens on constitutional liberties may not survive judicial scrutiny.”  Lockdown resisters are testing that hypothesis in state courts, arguing that the public health emergencies governors cited when they ordered businesses to close and told people to stay at home no longer exist.  An Illinois lawsuit made that case based on a statute that limits the length of a governor’s emergency declarations—an argument that last month persuaded a judge to issue a temporary restraining order.  A New Hampshire lawsuit filed this week claims new circumstances have eliminated the statutory rationale for that state’s lockdown…In Michigan…a…barber who defied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s business closure order will get a chance to challenge the state’s claim that he poses “an imminent danger to public health”…[even though] he was taking precautions such as wearing a mask…and sanitizing his tools with ultraviolet light…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

From the same monsters who think it’s reasonable to lock people in cages for not “socially distancing”:

Prison food is notoriously bad, even in the best of times.  This isn’t the best of times, especially in the 40-plus Texas prisons where people are locked in their cells all the time [under the excuse] of coronavirus.  Their food now arrives at odd hours in paper bags, cold, mushy and without a hint of green…except…for…[the] mystery meat…the milk comes in powdered form [not reconstituted] and…even though it doesn’t look like food you or your dog would want to eat, prisoners and their families say they’re not getting enough of it…A [screw mouthpiece]…denied [everything despite photos]…every time [a prisoner] tests positive for coronavirus, the entire prison goes on lockdown for at least two weeks and…[prisoners are] banned from buying food from the commissary because prison brass are treating the lockdowns like a punishment…[since] early May, thousands…[have] only had sporadic access to phones, mail and showers…a former [Texas] prison official [described the so-called]…johnny sacks…[with the statement] “They’re shitty”…

Read Full Post »

Backpage and small sex-work ad sites were the test case. Censoring the rest of the internet is the goal.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

License to Rape

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

…the American Civil Liberties Union [filed suit against] two southern Minnesota sheriff’s deputies [who sexually assaulted] a woman on the side of the road in below-freezing temperatures [using the excuse of a “search”], ignoring her pleas to be taken to the hospital or police station and searched the “the right way”.  During the 2018 incident, Kelli Jo Torres…asked the [rapists] to stop trying to reach into her vagina 25 times…[while] the[y]…kept her outside without a coat in 9 degree weather, along an interstate on-ramp, for a half-hour before [finally] taking her to a hospital to [justify the assault]…

Since Sheriff Evan Verbrugge prefers to hide the identity of rapists, he gets his picture here until and unless someone can provide me with a picture of rapists Dallas Hamm and Shelley Douty.

The Widening Gyre (#923)

Fact:  woman thinks stranger “looks sad”.  Conclusion: sex trafficking!

At 7:40 p.m. April 30, a woman…returned to her apartment [in Cleveland] after being out of state for the past month.  In her apartment’s parking lot, she noticed two cars that were unfamiliar.  She [harassed] the cars’ drivers…and was not satisfied [that they didn’t simply tell her to fuck off]…The woman then [peeked] through a window into an[other person’s] apartment…and saw a female who appeared to be sad.  [Fantasiz]ing that what she had witnessed may have something to do with human trafficking, the woman called police…After [cops] knock[ed] on the unit’s door to try to [harass, rape, rob, abduct or murder]…the female…[the occupants wisely] denied [them] entry…

Do I really need to say, “don’t call the fucking pigs on a stranger because you thought they looked sad“?

Micromanagement (#969)

It only starts with people the state wants you to hate and distrust:

The Trump administration has started forcibly collecting DNA samples from immigrants in detention and sending that information to an FBI criminal database called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) for permanent storage…The Supreme Court approved this gross invasion of individual privacy in Maryland v. King (2013), ruling 5–4 that the law did not violate constitutional protections against illegal searches and seizures because the original arrest had required probable cause…[but] the vast majority of [immigrants] are detained not because they have committed serious crimes with actual victims but because a harsh Clinton-era enforcement law vastly increased detentions for nonviolent immigration-related offenses…the Justice Department…insist[s] that even if immigration detainees have committed no crimes at the time they are booked, having a permanent DNA record makes it easier to track them if they do so…later.  By this logic…DNA testing could be forced on all American citizens.  Anyone, after all, could commit a crime at some point in the future…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1030)

I’m sure you feel safer now:

Clearview AI…said it is ending its relationships with…entities and private companies [that do not claim the “right” to inflict violence upon people they dislike] amid…several potential class action lawsuits…[including one] which argues Clearview violated an Illinois statute regarding the use of biometric data for commercial purposes…Despite public assurances from Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That that its software was meant for law enforcement, internal documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News showed numerous private companies had used the service including Macy’s, Walmart, Bank of America, and Target…

So they’re now promising to only sell their Super Snooper to violent racist gangs whose entire purpose is to destroy the lives of as many people as possible.  That’s obviously much better.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1033) 

Another censorship attempt from the same old authoritarian playbook:

Taking a page from their crusades against Craigslist and Backpage, [prohibitionists] are calling for credit card companies to stop doing business with porn websites…[by] throw[ing] around phrases like sex trafficking and child abuse while p[retend]ing their request [i]s a common-sense plea to stop exploitation…The[y claim]…it is impossible to “judge or verify consent” in online porn content…[which] is “not only factually wrong but also intentionally misleading”…When Craigslist and later Backpage were the moral panic’s big targets…Illinois sheriff Tom Dart [demanded] companies to stop doing business with these websites—even though government officials and [other prohibitionists] had earlier [forc]ed Craigslist and Backpage to accept credit card payments because they thought it would make [surveill]ing customers easier.  Dart went so far as to threaten credit card companies that did business with Backpage, prompting Visa and Mastercard to temporarily suspend their services. (This was later ruled unconstitutional)…

Social Distancing (#1034)

Sex workers must help each other, because few others will:

The…pandemic has closed down Poland’s strip clubs and massage parlours, leaving many sex workers struggling to make ends meet but also inspiring solidarity via an online fundraising campaign.  Similar ventures have also appeared elsewhere in the West…

Torture Chamber (#1037)

Your regular reminder that rapist screws are not confined to the US:

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)…have learned that a[n unnamed rapist screw in]…Nova [Scotia]…was arrested and charged with [several rape-related crimes, yet they’re still trying to hide his identity]…The…women [who] reported the abuse to authorities…were ignored, transferred and [humiliated by being forced] to apologize [to the rapist]…by their very nature, prisons are violent and oppressive institutions…[which] make those held inside incredibly vulnerable to [rape and other sexual] abuse [such as]…routine strip searches [by screws]…

Read Full Post »

Live forever.  –  Mr. Electrico

This video is no surprise, given that it’s one of my favorite songs and I’ve featured videos from the lovely Luna before.  The links above it were provided by Juvenile Bluster, Mark Bennett, Anarras Ansible, Jesse Walker, Boatfloating, and Jesse Walker again, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

Governmental mechanisms to frame policy based on lies are not uncommon.  –  Laura Agustín

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín on “sex trafficking” snake oil:

Swindle, chicanery, skullduggery, con.  There’s no one perfect word to describe how trafficking came to be hailed as one of the great problems of our time.  Excess in rhetoric has known no bounds, with campaigners saying theirs is the new civil-rights movement and claiming there are more people in slavery today than at any time in human history, amongst other hyperbole.  And there was me thinking it was about folks wanting to leave home to see if things might be better elsewhere…I was asking reasonable questions about a social phenomenon and refused to be fobbed off with explanations that made no sense.  My trajectory as a thinker happened to coincide with a piece of governmental legerdemain that switched the topic of conversation from human mobility and migration to organized crime, like peas in a shell game…

Shame, Shame (#649)

Gee, who could’ve anticipated draconian “revenge porn” laws would be used this way (except all the free speech activists who have opposed them for years)?

Bethany Austin did nothing society would reasonably call wrong.  She received, without asking, sexually explicit images that her fiancé’s paramour sent to a shared cloud account.  She quietly called off the engagement…[and] her former fiancé [responded by] spread[ing] a hurtful and untrue rumor that he had ended the relationship because Ms. Austin was crazy and refused to cook and clean for him.  To clear her good name, Ms. Austin wrote a letter to her friends and family explaining what really happened.  She attached some of the images as proof.  Now the ex‐​fiancé and his paramour are using Illinois’s “revenge porn” law to punish her for speaking, and the state is happily obliging…The trial court found the law unconstitutional, but the Illinois Supreme Court reversed.  Cato, joined by DKT Liberty Project, has filed an amicus brief supporting Ms. Austin’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court…

I Spy (#1001)

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

Google will use its mammoth collection of mobile location data to [spy on] people across the globe [to see whether they are obeying] government [orders] to remain at home [until politicians deign to let them out again]…or are venturing out to [live their lives]…Google will provide county-level percentages that are updated every few days, but summarized in a way that the company [claims] will not reveal any individual’s travels [until politicians demand such information…

A Moral Cancer (#1002)

Crypto-moralists always pretend their lust to ban things is about “health” or “safety”:

With the economy tanking and families locked together because of stay-at-home orders…domestic violence rates appear to be soaring.  This requires an urgent response:  States should immediately order the closures of liquor stores.  They can reopen when [politicians declare that] home isolation is no longer needed…

Like Houses (#1025)

And guess who gets to declare that an “emergency” exists?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks that [the] right [to self-defense]…is…”nonessential”…a…decision…which allowed Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to unilaterally ban the sale of firearms and ammunition…Villanueva…[was forced to] rescind…his ban…[in the face of a lawsuit and]…new federal guidelines.  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy…[and] Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf [made similar defeated attempts]…their reluctance to respect [Constitutional rights does]…not bode well for civil liberties at a time when many people seem to think that fighting the pandemic trumps all other concerns…Cornell law professor Michael Dorf argued…Congress should suspend the writ of habeas corpus…[so] people [can be indefinitely] detained by the government…[and a recent poll showed] sizable majorities of [useful idiots]…favored confining people to their homes, [caging] sick people…government takeovers of businesses, [enslavement] of health care workers…and even criminalizing [speech that the government disapproves of]…

Like Houses (#1027)

Oh Maggie, you’re paranoid; this is about keeping people SAFE!

Under a motion passed by the city council in Laredo, Texas…residents…face a fine of up to $1,000 for not wearing some form of covering on their nose and mouth [until politicians declare] the coronavirus outbreak [over]…all residents over the age of 5 are required to have their nose and mouth covered when entering public buildings, using public transportation and when pumping gas…residents will also be required to adhere to a daily curfew or possibly face a fine or jail time…the curfew…lasts from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m…and may only leave for…work…[if they have a permission slip] from their employer…

It’s not about expanding the police state at all!

…New York [cops] arrested three people in Brooklyn…after they allegedly “failed to maintain social distancing”…despite [politicians] promising that those disregarding the lockdown would face fines at most…the individuals [were]…charged with obstructing governmental administration, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct…one…woman…[was mobbed by pigs] wearing no masks…[who] pepper-sprayed [her and her boyfriend]…she…was…then [locked in a filthy cage]…with two dozen other women for the next 36 hours.  Only women who already had masks when they were arrested were allowed to keep them…The woman was…[fired] because [her employer]…fears she was exposed to the virus while in [the disgusting, unsanitary cage]…

Government officials can be trusted not to take it too far!

Louisville residents [accused of]…contact with coronavirus patients [whom cops also accuse of] refus[ing] to isolate themselves are being [forced] to wear ankle [monitor] bracelets…there are [four] known cases so far…

Social Distancing (#1028)

American anti-sex work attitudes have slowly caught on in Japan:

Advocates for bar hostesses and [other] sex workers have urged the government to reconsider its exclusion of them from compensation for parents unable to work because of school closures, noting they are among the most vulnerable members of society.  A support group for such workers submitted…a letter asking the government not to discriminate by occupation and to protect the lives of all families as the coronavirus takes its toll on the Japanese economy…

Read Full Post »

Somewhere in the darkness, the gambler he broke even.  –  Kenny Rogers

Country music legend Kenny Rogers died late last week after a long, successful career which started as a doo-wop singer in the late ’50s; this was his most famous song, but he was known for many which told the stories of hard-luck characters (such as “Lucille” and “The Coward of the County”), plus his duets with Dolly Parton.  The links above were provided by Dave Krueger, Brooke Magnanti, Zuri Davis, Mistress Matisse, Phoenix Calida, and Furrygirl, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

If you keep moving, I’m going to blow your fucking head off.
–  an unnamed “peace officer”

Longtime readers probably remember that Blondie was one of my favorite bands, and this is in my top ten favorite songs by them; it suddenly popped into my head last week in response to something a gentleman said, so naturally I had to share.  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis, Popehat (x2), Tim Cushing, Jesse Walker, Violet Blue, and Kevin Wilson, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

Coming after the client means they’re coming after…the person who pays my bills.  –  Kristen Cain

Rough Trade

Tara Burns on the, “But she’s a whore!” defense for rape:

In 2019, a Fairbanks District Attorney offered a generous plea – 5 years of actual time, amounting to little more than time served – to a man charged with kidnapping and [raping] a minor…[because] he claimed his underaged victim was a prostitute…Winfred Hipp…the victim and her father…were headed to a BBQ, but the father had a stop to make first. Mr. Hipp dropped the father off and…took [the girl] to his apartment…and [raped] her while she was saying no…Hipp [at first used] a condom, but then he took it off and continued [raping] her.  When the victim’s father arrived at the BBQ and realized his daughter wasn’t there, he went to Hipp’s apartment, where he could hear his daughter being raped through the door.  Hipp stopped when the father almost broke the door down…His semen was found inside her and in a condom found on his bedroom floor which also had the victim’s DNA on the outside of it.  At his sentencing, he [claimed] he’d been raped and robbed by the victim…The plea deal…came after the minor victim was labeled “difficult” and a prostitute by the prosecutor…

Surplus Women

Sex workers cannot cure violent misogyny:

Marylène Lévesque, a 22-year-old sex worker employed by a Quebec City massage parlour, was murdered by…Eustachio Gallese…[who was out on parole from a life sentence for the] 2006…[murder] of his girlfriend…Chantale Deschenes…[who was] savagely beaten to death with a hammer and repeatedly stabbed.  Gallese then took the time to scribble [“whore” multiple times]…on the bedroom wall before turning himself in to police…He already had a history of…violence with a previous partner in 1997.  Even though the Parole Board initially found that he posed “a high risk of violence,” they later inexplicably changed that to a “moderate risk” and…out on day parole since March of 2019.  While out, he was [officially given permission]…to see sex workers…[despite his] history of misogyny, rage and extreme physical violence against women…No one bothered to inform this young woman, or the massage parlour she worked at, that he was extremely dangerous and posed a risk to her life…

But please, clients, keep telling us about how you don’t need to be screened because you’re “taking a risk, too”.

If Men Were Angels

“The crime was sexually motivated”.  No shit, really?

A priest…admitted to holding a teen captive in a church janitor’s closet…Brian Stanley was sentenced to 60 days in jail with credit for two days served.  He will also serve five years probation and must register as a sex offender for 15 years.  Stanley was charged in August for the 2013 incident that happened at St. Margaret’s Church in Otsego [Michigan]…he bound the teen boy in plastic wrap and masking tape, also covering his eyes and mouth with tape…then left [him] alone in the closet for over an hour before freeing him.  The state Attorney General’s Office…said the crime was sexually motivated…

Count the Idiocies

The verbal equivalent of vomiting up gallons of toxic diarrhea:

A forum on human trafficking…featur[ed]…keynote speaker Ohio [politician] Teresa Fedor…“Poverty drives and fuels trafficking1.  When…you want to control the victims, you drug them2…the estimated U.S. share of the $99 billion worldwide industry is between $10 to $15 billion3…Research she has found shows that runaways are “harvested” by traffickers within 24 hours4…she is working to change the laws to prosecute those doing the “selling of the bodies”5…“Those buying rape can no longer hide their actions”6…modern slavery…needs to be tackled like it was in 18657”…”I knew I had to build a movement, because I’m a Democrat8,” Fedor said…

1It’s hard to imagine a clearer indicator that by “sex trafficking” she actually means “sex work”.
2It’s been a while since we’ve seen the magical pimp mind-control philter.
3The US share of this made-up number is a smaller made-up number, both of which disagree with other made-up numbers from other prohibitionists“.
4Down from the usual claim of 48 hours, but up from Seattle’s claim of 45 minutes.
5Usually, they at least pretend to recognize we have minds.
6The “paid rape” trope is one of the ugliest elements of prohibitionist dogma.
7The fact that prohibitionists can’t see how loathsome it is to invoke historical black slavery to promote a system which gives more power to cops is a sign of their dyed-in-th-wool racism.
8WTF?

Welcome to the Future (#916)

Don’t be fooled by this “shutdown”; it’ll soon be back in an even-worse form:

In 2012, Chicago PD collaborated with the RAND Corporation and the Illinois Institute of Technology to automatically generate “risk scores” for people they arrested, which were supposed to predict the likelihood that the person would be a “party to violence” in the future (this program was called “TRAP” — Targeted Repeat-Offender Apprehension Program” — seemingly without a shred of irony).  Now, that program has been shut down, and the City of Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General has published a damning report on…ways in which the program discriminated against the people ensnared in it, without reducing violent crime…people…assigned high risk scores…were subjected to “enhanced prosecutions”…and…your TRAP score went up even if were acquitted or had your case dismissed…

Loose Cannons (#947)

“Sex trafficking” hysteria’s impending collapse has been helped along by the excesses of Florida “authorities”:

On January 23, the Hillsborough County sheriff’s office announced the completion of “two undercover human trafficking operations”…[Sheriff Chad] Chronister, who was elected in 2018, has pledged to make policing [consensual adult sex] a priority, and said that the stings are going to continue…”until human [sexuality] is stopped”…An anti-trafficking operation in early 2019 by a slew of Florida law enforcement agencies…yielded similar results: busts of massage parlors, arrests for solicitation…but no trafficking charges…That hasn’t stopped prosecutors, however, from claiming [without evidence]…that “[state prying into people’s private sex lives] often yield evidence of more serious crimes”…Chronister has also [vomited out fascist poison that “citizens]…must always be held accountable [to the state]”…

Checklist (#986)

They’re trying to cut off sex worker access to travel worldwide:

Thousands of tuk-tuk drivers in Cambodia are to [be indoctrinated]…in [anti-sex worker propaganda]…under a [scheme] by the ride-hailing app Grab to tr[ick] drivers [in]to [becoming police informants]…Grab [will indoctrinate]…10,000 drivers in…Phnom Penh this month, as it launches a [scheme] it plans eventually to extend to millions of its drivers in Asia…Cambodia’s…a…[favorite venue for racist “saviors” like] the Walk Free Foundation [to claim as a “hotbed”] of…[“slavery”, which is invariably described]…as rising despite [a number of studies showing exactly the opposite]…Sean Sok Phay…[of] Child Helpline [said]…”We want to remove any barriers that stop [us] from [profiting from hysteria]”…

Business As Usual (#988)

What kind of sick mind thinks the way to “build trust” with women is to hunt, rape and cage them?

Jennifer Knight…[is a sow charged with inventing propaganda to infantilize sex workers as a cover-up for the horrendous abuses committed by the Columbus, Ohio vice gang]…“I want them to associate the [rapist]’s uniform with someone who cares [enough to rape and humiliate them]” Knight says…It’s been a few months since…Columbus…[rebrand]ed their [vice gang with the Orwellian name]…Police and Community Together team, or PACT…[which] looks to…use “sex trafficking” and “end demand” propaganda when inflict]ing [violence on sex workers through]…increasing arrests…“One of the things we do in the secure staging area, after we [molest] them and [put them permanently into a criminal database]…is…give the [cops’ victims] a sack lunch provided by the Salvation Army…Knight [brags that] they expect to [deceive, rape and abduct] even more women as their [pogroms] ramp up…“we remove them from [freedom] and remove them from their [income]” Knight says. “At least giving ourselves a window of opportunity to [brainwash them in]”…CATCH Court…The months-long suspension of the [rape squad]…had a ripple effect on [those who profit from women being forced into their “re-education” scheme]…

Torture Chamber (#999)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can lock them in dungeons”:

…ICE…released a new version of its National Detention Standards…which…has removed even basic, minimal safeguards necessary for adequate medical care…and…further weakens protections for [caged] immigrant[s] against the use of force and solitary confinement by [screws]…ICE no longer requires that…toilets [have] modesty panels, and removes [any minimum] ratios for the number of toilets per detainee.  ICE has removed language requiring…outdoor recreation facilities, meaning…detainees could be [locked in cages] for months or even years without time outdoors as they wait for their cases to be heard…

Panopticon (#1001)

The “security” system that isn’t:

…An investigation by EFF of the Ring doorbell app for Android found it to be packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information…analytics and tracking companies are able to combine these bits together to form…a fingerprint that follows the user…providing trackers the ability to spy on what a user is doing in their digital lives and when they are doing it…without…user…consent…Ring has exhibited a pattern of behavior that attempts to mitigate exposure to criticism and scrutiny…by leveraging an image of the secure home, while profiting from a surveillance network which facilitates police departments’…access into the private lives of citizens…not only does Ring mismanage consumer data, but it also intentionally hands over that data to trackers and data miners…

I Spy (#1002) 

The US is following in the footsteps of China:

New students at the University of Missouri will be [forced] to participate in a tracking program designed to measure and enforce class attendance…officials [absurdly] defended the [privacy violation] as one to…benefit…students…Individual professors have to opt-in to using the app, but once they do, students in those professors’ classes will not be able to opt-out.  SpotterEDU, developed by a former basketball coach, is designed to monitor a user’s attendance by “pinpoint[ing] students within a classroom until they leave”…[sales propaganda] claims it does not track students’ locations anywhere else…[but] the app is [fully]…capable of tracking students’ locations outside the classroom…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »