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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

I’m always happy when journalists investigate the wild fantasies promoted by politicians, cops, and “rescue” profiteers via the mainstream media.  First of all, they have much better investigational tools and resources than I do, plus paid time to do the job; second, they have a far larger platform, and can thus inform many more people of the truth even if their coverage of the topic trails mine by years; and third, given the central role played by the news media in disseminating the lies and propagating the hysteria, it is the moral responsibility of ethical journalists to at least attempt to counteract the massive damage done by their unethical, incompetent and lazy brethren.  So I was very pleased indeed to see Michael Hobbes (whom I’ve corresponded with before) publish in Huffington Post (which for a while was as happy as any other site to spread anti-sex tall tales) a thorough debunking of that “brave hero cops rescue dozens of ‘sex trafficked children’ in Georgia” masturbatory fantasy from a couple of weeks ago.  So much information is intentionally omitted from the “official” press releases in such stories that I’m often forced to surmise the real meaning of semantically-opaque terms like “rescued”; I’m gratified to see that the details Hobbes uncovered are close to my educated guesses:

…“U.S. Marshals Find 39 Missing Children in Georgia”…proclaimed the government’s official press release.  Federal agents and local law enforcement, it said, had rescued 26 children, “safely located” 13 more and arrested nine perpetrators, some of whom were charged with sex trafficking.  The facts of the operation weren’t clear (what does “safely located” mean, exactly?), but it didn’t stop media outlets from taking up the story…the vast majority…were little more than rewritten versions of the U.S. Marshals Service’s press release.  Within hours, social media users continued the game of telephone. “39 kids were just recovered from traffickers in Georgia,” Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing student group Turning Point USA, wrote in a tweet…More than 150,000 people shared a single-sentence tweet from someone named King Randall, I: “How is finding 39 missing children in a double wide trailer here in Georgia NOT the biggest news story in America?”  Well, to answer a one-sentence question with a one-sentence answer, 39 kids being rescued from a trailer in Georgia is not the biggest news story in America because 39 kids were not rescued from a trailer in Georgia… 

…“This was not a designated anti-trafficking operation,” [said] Darby Kirby, a U.S. Marshals Service inspector…the…effort…was a collaboration between state and federal authorities to locate 78 “critically missing” children…they…found all but 13…39 were “recovered,” meaning they were removed from whatever situation they were in — which could be anything from living on the streets to crashing on a friend’s couch to staying with a parent who didn’t have custody rights.  The other 26 cases were closed without the child being “recovered”…[which] could [either] mean that another agency…found them — or that they had been home all along…authorities said they suspected [emphasis Maggie’s] that 15…were [so-called] victims of trafficking (meaning [only that] they were engaging in commercial sex) but confirmed only six cases…The operation netted only one new charge of sex trafficking…Of the seven men and two women arrested, three were charged with probation violations, one was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and two were accused of violating custody arrangements.  One…was arrested on a warrant for a previous sex trafficking charge, and two more were arrested on warrants for sex crimes in other states…agents did not rescue a large number of children from a single location — or even a single jurisdiction…only two…were recovered together.  The other kids were found individually across 15 Georgia counties and six other states:  South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky and Michigan.  The operation took place over two weeks, not one night…the agency did not conduct any raids…

…It’s also worth noting that the operation was also set up to arrest [legal minors], not just rescue [children]…two…were [arested as] suspects in homicide cases, and one was a person of interest in another…11…had…“some kind of gang affiliation”…seven warrants [in all] were issued for underage offenders…54 of the 78…had been in foster care before they went missing…most…were…runaways…

There’s a lot more, but I think you get the picture.  Between some reporters waking up, some outlets at last letting skeptical journalists publish stories like this, and some (like the New York Times) being forced to recant their own propaganda for fear of being associated with QAnon, I think it’s safe to say we’ve at last entered the period of skeptical journalism that always precedes the collapse of a moral panic.

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What seems obvious to citizens is far too often deliberately unclear to government agencies.  –  Tim Cushing

Negative Secondary Effects

Busybodies are trying to ban dancing by cribbing language from the federal “obscenity” test:

The city council of Drain, Oregon passed new regulations…with the specific purpose of outlawing a…[strip club by] introducing business licenses to the city’s Code of Ordinances…[and adding a] new pro-censorship ordinance [featuring nonsense about]…”public morals, public safety, public health and public convenience”…and…“public nudity…appeals to the prurient interest…and…lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value”…Ray Hacke, an attorney with the…religious [pro-censorship] group Pacific Justice Institute [bloviated that]…“an adult entertainment business has no business…next to a church…[or] any place where children congregate…These places do [magically] attract sexual predators”…

Choke Point (#859) 

Decriminalization is just the beginning:

Last month Kiwibank rolled out a “responsible banking policy” stating that it would no longer deal with any companies involved in [fossil fuels] and blacklisting the adult entertainment industry, casinos, military grade weapons, synthetic drugs, palm oil, tobacco and predatory lending.  But after representations from the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective, Kiwibank agreed to work with strip clubs and brothels that could demonstrate good practice.  The NZPC argued that banning brothel owners would have a flow-on effect to the people who worked for them.  Since then, [prohibitionist group] Wahine Toa Rising has written to Kiwibank applauding its initial commitment to [misogyny and discrimination]…and asking them to reconsider.  Kiwibank is still considering its response…

Even in New Zealand, the yellow press colludes with prohibitionists.  From the headline claiming that bigotry and dicrimination are “principled”, to the mischaracterization of a rescue-industry organization employing paid “survivor” shills as a legitimate sex worker group, to the prohibitionist propaganda which makes up the bulk of the article, to the Swedish criminalization snake oil, to the ugly prohibitionist masturbatory fantasies such as “the majority of sex workers…[were] sexually abused as…child[ren]”, this garbage would be more at home in a US tabloid than a New Zealand website purporting to be a news magazine.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#938)

Partly because of their legalized status, strippers are spearheading the movement for sex worker labor rights:

BammRose…is…the CEO of Stilettos Inc., a grassroots organization led by sex workers that provides support to Black dancers, and has called for a strippers’ strike in Philadelphia. The Stilettos, as they call themselves, are not alone in mobilizing for the workplace rights of Black dancers in the stripping industry. In Portland, more than a hundred strippers went on strike in June against…racist hiring practices, and organized rallies pressuring strip clubs to…hire Black dancers…and give them profitable shifts…At the root of the strippers’ strike is a demand for better, safer working conditions, fair wages, and protection from sexual assault…

A Broker in Pillage (#988)

Michigan is among the greediest, most unscrupulous states in this regard:

[The Michigan supreme] court…[ruled in favor of] two plaintiffs suing…Oakland County…[over its] forfeiture policy…a…tax lien…[was] put on [Uri Rafaeli’s] property when…he…[underpaid his property taxes by] “$8.41 in…2011, which grew to $285.81 after interest, penalties, and fees. Oakland County and its treasurer, Andrew Meisner…foreclosed on Rafaeli’s property…sold [it] at public auction for $24,500, and retained all the sale proceeds”…the county turned less than $300 in delinquencies into a $24,200 profit…Another property owner, Andre Ohanessian, saw $6000 in taxes, fines, and fees turn into a $76,000 net gain for the county when it auctioned his property for $82,000 and kept everything…

The Widening Gyre (#1014)

I can’t tell you how satisfied I am that Trumpaloons are taking over “sex trafficking” hysteria:

a [Facebook] post shared over 1,000 times reads…“Did you KNOW that a child in AMERICA is over 66,000 x more likely to be human trafficked than to get COVID-19?”  Similar [Facebook] posts contend that upwards of 800,000 children go missing every year, and that mask-wearing makes a child more likely to be trafficked.  These posts also criticize government officials and businesses for promoting mask use, [fantasiz]ing they are endangering children.  “We have now COMPLETELY taken away identifying our children’s faces.  We’ve made it much easier on these child abductors and human traffickers!” a post shared almost 8,000 times reads…“A child is 66,667 times more likely to be sold to human traffickers than die of COVID-19,” another post shared 2,000 times reads. “In addition, your masks assist in them being transported undetected and unidentified to anyone”…

Best part: the article then goes on to attempt to debunk these hysterical fantasies while simultaneously wallowing in other claims nearly as wacko as “masks cause sex trafficking!”

Pyrrhic Victory (#1060) 

Facial recognition systems have quietly become ubiquitous:

A would-be class action lawsuit alleges that the Macy’s department store chain violates Illinois law when it identifies customers recorded on its surveillance cameras by using facial recognition software…the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…bars some private companies from obtaining scans of facial geometry without written consent.  Macy’s uses software provided by Clearview AI Inc., which scrapes data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other internet platforms…Clearview…provides facial recognition services to more than 200 corporate clients, including Macy’s, Best Buy, Kohl’s and Walmart.  Some of the companies used the software on a trial basis, but Macy’s is a paying customer that has completed more than 6,000 searches…

Top Cop (#1062)

This psychopath is only two steps from the power she so desperately craves:

Joe Biden announced [last week] that he had picked [Kamala] Harris to be his running mate as he seeks to become the next president of the United States.  The good news is that it keeps Harris—who has a long and authoritarian history on criminal justice issues—far from the [post of] attorney general…[where she] would have the potential to do much more damage than as vice president.  The bad news is that it puts Harris next in line for the presidency should anything happen to [the man who would be the oldest ever elected to that office] and sets her up nicely for a future presidential run.  In Harris, we would get a leader with President Donald Trump’s penchant for unchecked executive power and modern Democrats’ tendency to consider no issue outside the reach of government.  The pick is somewhat surprising…[considering] Harris’ backhanded busing stunt during the Democratic candidate debates last summer, and…[her] troubling history…[on] law-and-order issues [for which she] is despised…by many young left-of-center voters…That’s a particular liability as Americans streets are still erupting with protests over police violence and calls for criminal justice reform…

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Problem would be if I take you in the woods.  –  “Officer” James Lloyd

Here’s another of those unusual song covers I like so much.  The links above it were provided by Furrygirl, Cop Crisis, Mistress Matisse, Tim Cushing, Marc Randazza, and Amy Alkon, in that order.

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  Cornelius Fredericks

I recently re-listened to the Cosmos soundtrack, and was reminded of how much I like this piece by blues guitarist Roy Buchanan.  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis, Stephen Lemons, Angela Keaton, Popehat, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Brooke Magnanti, in that order.

From the Archives

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Collaborating with the police is not something…a mathematician should be doing.  –  Jayadev Athreya

Fallen Idol (#792)

These charges followed the accusations by almost three years:

Porn star Ron Jeremy has been charged with sexually assaulting four women on four separate occasions dating back to 2014…Jeremy…is accused of sexually assaulting two women at a bar in West Hollywood in 2017, and of forcibly raping another woman at that same bar during the summer of 2019.  He is also accused of forcibly raping a woman at a home in West Hollywood…In 2017…more than a dozen women had come forward accusing [him]…of sexual misconduct, including groping, inappropriate touching, nonconsensual digital penetration, and sexual assault.  Most of the women accusing him were in the adult industry…[one of them,] former adult performer Jennifer Steele, [said]…“[He] know[s] if someone’s a porn star and they say they’ve been raped, people aren’t gonna take it seriously”…

Lack of Evidence (#900) 

Removing excuses cops use to persecute people is always a good thing:

The Seattle City Council voted unanimously…to repeal the law [against “loitering” for the purpose of prostitution]…following a 2018 recommendation from a working group on reentry problems faced by people exiting incarceration.  “The prostitution loitering ordinance has a discriminatory legacy that impacted primarily people of color, women and our LGBTQ community,” said [politician Andrew] Lewis in a statement. “I’ve received hundreds of emails from constituents almost uniformly in favor of repealing these ordinances”…

Welcome to the Future (#916)

I’m afraid they’ve discovered their moral compasses at least 20 years too late:

…A group of mathematicians in the United States has written a letter calling for their colleagues to stop collaborating with police because of the widely documented disparities in how US law-enforcement agencies treat people of different races and ethnicities.  They concentrate their criticism on predictive policing, a maths-based technique…[that pretends to be able to] stop…crime before it occurs.  The letter, dated 15 June, is addressed to the trade journal Notices of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and…more than 1,400 researchers have now joined the call.  In recent years, mathematicians, statisticians and computer scientists have been developing algorithms that crunch large amounts of data and [pretend] to help police reduce crime…the mathematicians write in the letter. “It is simply too easy to create a ‘scientific’ veneer for racism”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

To the state, facial recognition systems’ false positives aren’t a bug; they’re a feature:

On a Thursday afternoon in January, Robert Julian-Borchak Williams was in his office at an automotive supply company when he got a call from the Detroit [cop shop demanding he] come to the station to be arrested.  He thought…it was a prank…[until] he pulled into his driveway…[and] a p[igmobile] pulled up behind, [vomiting out]…two [pigs who then insulted] and [brutalized] Mr. Williams…in front of his wife and two young daughters…[before dragging him] to a [cage and putting his biometric information into a database from which it will never be removed despite the fact that they were trying to frame him for grand theft based on]…a still image from a surveillance video…[which] was clearly not Mr. Williams…his case may be the first known account of an American being wrongfully arrested based on a flawed match from a facial recognition algorithm…

Working From Home

Most porn performers have long had to supplement film income with outside work:

…When COVID-19 shut down the adult entertainment industry, performers fell back on many of the things they were already doing, creating and selling content directly to their fans.  Realizing professional porn isn’t necessary for a lucrative career, many performers are now making even more money in a safe environment they control…the promise of [higher] payment may not be enough to entice performers back to set.  Three years after allegations of sexual assault enveloped the reputations of James Deen and Ron Jeremy, arguably the most iconic male performers of their generations, new alarms are being raised among female performers…women in the industry are speaking out on social media, exposing a rash of predatory behavior from companies, directors, and in some cases their agents.  Liberated from institutional misogyny, performers are creating content and cashing in on themselves for once, and not without a discernible sense of schadenfreude…

To Molest and Rape (#1047)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A…Harris County [Texas cop attempted to molest]…a teen girl he was assigned to investigate after she was reported as a runaway.  Aaron Isaac Mayes…went to the [girl’s] home…in March…to speak with the girl’s mother…[and] discovered the girl was at home and not missing…the mom [later] told investigators Mayes seemed interested in [her daughter], but [idiotically] believed he simply cared “beyond the scope of the law enforcement duties…in a healthy way”…[but her] daughter…[showed her] screenshots from Instagram conversations…[with] Mayes, which included [dick pics and]…an exchange in which Mayes offered her $80 in cash…[which] Mayes [claimed was] trying to…help her avoid…prostitution [by paying her for sex]…

The Cop Myth (#1047)

A few statistics to further dispel the myth of heroic cops:

…Americans have witnessed video after video of cops assaulting unarmed demonstrators and even bystanders unlucky enough to cross their path…Many try to explain away cases like these as “isolated incidents” carried out by “bad apples”…[but] if anything, most public discussions may be too narrow and myopic to capture how extreme, pervasive, and multifaceted police abuse of power actually is…So far this year, 481 civilians have been shot to death by police in the United States…Since 2015, cops fatally shot at least 352 people who were unarmed (that is, not even possessing a toy, blunt object, or other instrument)…hundreds more civilians are killed by cops every year with taserspepper sprayrubber bulletschokeholdspositional asphyxiablunt force trauma, [pigmobiles] and other causes…Deaths…only represent a small fraction of overall police violence…at least 985,300 Americans experienced non-lethal threats or use of force from police in a single year:…There are also widespread…rapes, sexual assault, and sexual harassment incidents [committed by] on-duty cops every year…many more cases likely go unreported…cops also regularly commit crimes, and carry out violence, when they are off duty.  For instance, rates of domestic abuse are as much as four times higher among law enforcement than in the broader population…The level of aggression cops deploy in an area seems to have no correlation with that area’s level of violent crime—nor does it seem proportional to the actual danger law enforcement agents face on the job…the overall line-of-duty law enforcement homicide rate…[is] 9.74 per 100,000 officers…the homicide rate for men…[in the general population is] 9.5 per 100,000.  That is, police officers were just a little more likely to be a victim of homicide in the line of duty than the typical American male living his day-to-day life…

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If lockdowns worked as advertised, we would not see such enormous variability in the death rates.  –  William Briggs

Blasphemy

As I’ve said for decades, so-called “radical” feminism is a cult:

…Looking back on her time in the “gender critical” feminist movement, [Amy Dyess] is unequivocal: it’s a cult…that groomed her when she was vulnerable and sleeping in her car; a cult that sought to control her, keeping tabs on her movements and dictating what she could and couldn’t say; a cult that was emotionally and sexually abusive towards her.  As Amy began to notice more and more red flags about the GC movement – like how it defended abusive women, how it wouldn’t let lesbians speak out about sexual assault perpetrated by women, and how it was forming alliances with homophobic groups – she started asking questions.  Last year, she began speaking out against what she saw as increasingly blatant homophobia in the gender-critical movement.  The cult tightened its grip.  Lesbian journalists who are household names “lovebombed” her, she says, trying to keep her in the movement…

Surplus Women

More blood on prohibitionists’ hands:

Lawrence Paul Mills III…targeted…sex workers on the southside of Detroit…he would [hire] his victims…and [transact their business] in…his [car].  When the victim left the vehicle, he would [intentionally run them down]…and then [steal back] his payment…Mills was arraigned…in connection to a Dec. 22, 2017, incident in which he…[ran over] a then-pregnant woman…several times before driving away…The woman and her unborn child survived…

The Swedish Pimpocracy (#719) 

The key to understanding Swedish law: the government thinks it owns the citizens:

As infections continue to grow in Sweden, several parents and teachers in the country have raised concerns over the risk their children (and everyone the kids come into contact with) face due to the mandatory school attendance required among those aged from six to 15 amid the ongoing pandemic…parents (some of whom have serious health conditions) have reported being threatened with fines, being reported to social services and other repercussions for choosing to keep their children at home to minimize the risk to their own lives…

Safe Position (#947)

This is the woman who beat the pro-decrim candidate Tiffany Caban:

District Attorney Melinda Katz…announced the creation of a [so-called] Human Trafficking Bureau that is exclusively dedicated to [persecuting sex workers]…in Queens County. This newly formed Bureau will…aggressively prosecut[e sex workers’ clients, friends, family members and associates]…and will also [infantilize and criminalize sex workers]…

I Spy (#1035)

It boggles the mind that anyone could be gullible enough to install this:

The Care19 app, developed for the North Dakota Department of Health by developer ProudCrowd, [claimed it would] assist health officials in their battle against coronavirus by logging users’ location data…[which] it also sent…to Foursquare…this is especially concerning, as the app’s [supposed] privacy policy [claims] to explicitly prohibit [exactly] what [the app does]…”This location data…is stored securely on ProudCrowd, LLC servers,..It will not be shared with anyone including government entities or third parties, unless you consent or ProudCrowd is compelled under federal regulations”…

Reawakening

In case you missed this:

…quarantining an entire population is not some set-in-stone technique that has been used for decades to stem the spread of a virus.  It was first proposed in 2006 by two [medical bureaucrats]…neither of them infectious disease specialists —  after President George W. Bush asked for a plan to combat pandemics…But four scientists who were infectious disease specialists…wrote…a devastating critique.  There was no science to support the notion that a national quarantine would halt the spread of infection, they wrote.  It could increase the risk of infection for people living in close quarters.  Closing theaters, malls, restaurants, stores and bars…would have “serious disruptive consequences.”  Closing schools was not only impractical “but carries the possibility of a seriously adverse outcome”…there is surprisingly little evidence that lockdowns work…a statistician named William M. Briggs…compar[ed] countries that locked down with countries that didn’t.  As of May 12, the U.S. had 237 deaths per million people.  Taiwan, a no-lockdown country, had 0.3 deaths per million…No-lockdown Sweden has had 347 deaths per million; lockdown Belgium, with a similar population, has had 763 deaths per million.  Ethiopia…had no lockdown — and a death rate of 0.04 per million…

Social Distancing (#1037)

India refuses to give sex workers stipends to survive on, so I’m sure these pompous blowhards’ scheme will work:

India can add 17 days of additional delay to reaching the peak of novel coronavirus cases, and prevent 72 per cent of projected new cases by closing down its red light areas till a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, [prohibitionists fantasize]. Based on [authoritarian nonsense that imagines people can survive indefinitely with no income if the government demands they do], the [prohibitionists claim]…closing down these places of sex work may reduce projected COVID-19 death toll increase in India by 63 per cent [and besides, whores are expendable]…

Working From Home (#1038)

Internet companies use sex workers to build themselves, then screw us over:

…In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, [OnlyFans] has exploded in popularity, seeing a 75 percent increase in sign-ups in recent weeks and garnering 170,000 new users per day…[so-called “]influencers[“] like Caroline Calloway have flocked to the platform as a way to monetize their content by selling directly to their fan base.  The influx of…civilians…has prompted concern among many sex workers, who’ve long relied on the platform as a source of income and are worried about oversaturation of the market…To make matters worse, some…[are] being pushed out of the platform, reporting that their accounts have been deleted [and their funds stolen by the platform] even when they have not violated OnlyFans’ terms of service…Emails shared with Rolling Stone show the boilerplate language OnlyFans has sent to such creators, saying accounts are “typically being deleted due to suspicious/fraudulent activity”…

This is, of course, exactly what Paypal did, down to stealing sex workers’ money and claiming it was about “fraud”.

Social Distancing (#1041)

At their core, the Netherlands are still prohibitionist:

The red-light district is one of the main tourist attractions in Amsterdam.  While coronavirus…restrictions are starting to ease, sex work is not allowed to resume until September…the lack of support for sex workers has exposed how vulnerable they are under Dutch law.  Hella Dee…started a fundraising campaign when she realized how many of her colleagues were in financial distress…The campaign collected over $20,000 that was distributed to over 400 sex workers.  Masten Stavast, who rents out 31 windows…is compiling a protocol with sex workers, club owners and other people from the red-light district to lobby policymakers on how sex work can safely resume before September…”If everything goes all right on July 1, there can be 100 people together, why not one to one then with all the protection that everybody has?”  M[ost] sex workers are [also intentionally] excluded from the billions of dollars of government support offered to overcome economic hardship…

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[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”…

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You would think that an organization…that spent weeks…agonizing over a decision to block literal Nazis from its platform…would be more considerate when getting into the censorship game.  –  Sarah Jamie Lewis

A Moral Cancer (#404)

Pat Robertson is back to bat-shit crazy again:

Many Evangelical preachers have been looking for a scapegoat for COVID-19.  They’ve already blamed it on gays and claimed it was a sign of the end of the world.  Some Evangelicals don’t even believe the disease is real…But now fundie fossil Pat Robertson has weighed in with an even more ridiculous theory….“Some of these young uns are doing all kinds of unnatural things with their sex organs…When people do that, they transfer all kinds of chemicals from ladies’ private parts and that’s where I think the virus came from.  We never had this kind of thing when I was coming up.  But no one was committing oral sex back then”…preacher Rick Wiles…recently…claimed…that COVID-19 was punishment from God

Opting Out (#815)

“Filtered” is a euphemism for “censored”, and this will continue until the media acknowledge that:

Cloudflare, known for free speech advocacy, rolled out a self-styled family-friendly variation of its DNS service to [censor] adult content – and ended up [censring] LGBTQ websites and sex education resources [as is typical for such automated censorship software]…the service is called 1.1.1.1 for Families…

Panopticon (#980)

Nothing to see here; just US cops using spy devices designed and built by a totalitarian state:

Police in Chula Vista, Calif. plan to use Chinese-made aerial drones to surveil [their subjects in order to] enforce the [police] state’s…“stay at home” [diktats]…the…drones…[will] be outfitted with night-vision and loudspeakers…Chula Vista [pigs] may also use…drones to [harass]…the city’s homeless…the coronavirus outbreak has rapidly [given]…Chula Vista…[“authorities” the excuse to do something they’ve been wanting to do for years]…Chinese-manufactured drones pose a risk of opening the U.S. up to Chinese spying efforts.  In 2017, the U.S. Army ordered its soldiers to stop using DJI drones [for that reason, and] the U.S. Department of the Interior also decided in October to ground its entire drone fleet

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

While most Americans are losing civil liberties, one oppressed group is finally regaining a few:

[The] federal judge [who found Michigan’s overbroad and draconian “sex offender” law unconstitutional] is commanding state authorities to stop enforcing [it]…during the coronavirus pandemic…Judge Robert Cleland…[wrote that] officials are “preliminarily enjoined from enforcing registration, verification, school zone, and fee violations of (the act) that occurred or may occur from February 14, 2020, until the current crisis has ended, and thereafter until registrants are notified of what duties they have…going forward”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1020)

Because obviously this would’ve been OK if it had been invented by a “far left” extremist:

Clearview AI…is the most powerful form of facial recognition technology ever created…with more than 3 billion photos scraped surreptitiously from social media profiles and websites…Its mobile app can match names to faces with a tap of a touchscreen.  The technology is already being integrated into augmented reality glasses so [cops] can identify almost anyone they look at…Clearview’s CEO and co-founder, Cam-Hoan Ton-That, and his associates chose to [emulate government actors by] mass-violat[ing] social media policies against scraping accounts…Ton-That, as well as several people who have done work for the company, have deep, longstanding ties to far-right extremists…includ[ing]…Andrew “weev” Auernheimer…webmaster for The Daily Stormer; and…Peter Thiel, a Facebook board member…Trump adviser…and [owner of]…Palantir, his [the fascist surveillance] behemoth [that started as a tool in the War on Whores]…Every time p[igs root into people’s business] us[ing] Clearview, they upload images of people they’re trying to identify…to Ton-That’s unregulated and ever-expanding database, where they are stored indefinitely [for other pigs, spooks and bureaucrats to root in without any kind of supervision]…

Working From Home

I’ve never used this site because they discriminate against escorts:

…The Stokely family had already been sort of financially struggling…long before Onlyfans…Users often are struggling to get paid; some [sic] shortchanged all together [sic]…the Stokely’s [sic] and the execs have struggled to find payment processors that can or would…deal with a website that isn’t fully registered the way it should be…The processors…we do have aren’t actually full payment processors because we are in trouble with processors over a number of violations…Performers are being used and duped while execs/Stokely’s [sic] are making off with huge sums of money…Go somewhere else.  There are plenty of other platforms out there…Performers should run for the hills…

Like Houses (#1027)

Don’t worry, this is OK because it’s about safety, not expanding the police state!

Unable to play golf in their own state due to the…[government shutting down courses us]ing [the] pandemic [as an excuse], three Massachusetts men…crossed into Rhode Island…[and] were arrested after returning to their cars in a McDonald’s parking lot [because a bootlicker snitched on them]…after noticing two cars with Massachusetts license plates load golf clubs into a car with a Rhode Island license plate…the course will begin checking IDs [to ensure undersirables from the other side of an imaginary line can’t]…play…

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The reasons for using encryption are as real and varied as the reasons for keeping your cash in a safe and your front door locked.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Torture Chamber

The government needs to be buried in lawsuits before this will stop:

Michigan has agreed to [steal] $80 million [from taxpayers] to settle a lawsuit on behalf of currently and formerly [caged] teens who [were raped or] sexual[ly] assault[ed by screws or prisoners]…while [caged] in adult jails and prisons…The lawsuit, representing more than 500 currently and formerly incarcerated youth…was filed in 2013…

The Public Eye (#710)

Sex workers reaching out via art:

An art exhibition aimed at destigmatizing sex work open[ed] in Manhattan [last] Tuesday.  The Sex Workers’ Pop-Up features artwork across 10 different countries and aims to elevate sex workers’ voices and drive the narrative around how their work is viewed.  More than half of the 22 artists have a history with sex work themselves…The pop-up gives viewers the ability to “actually listen to the voices of sex workers and hear what they have to say”…curat[ors were]…led by an advisory committee from groups based in the U.S., Australia, France, Scotland, and South Africa, and supported by the Open Society Foundation…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#792) 

It’s good to see the “sex addiction” myth slowly falling apart:

Sex addiction treatment forces people into a kind of re-education program, which tries to convince them that perfectly normal consensual sexual behavior is the sign of a serious problem…These programs tell supposed sex addicts that they can reprogram themselves through behavioral modifications to become ideal sexual citizens: monogamous, non-porn-using people who rarely masturbate or fantasize about anyone other than their main partners…some of the same centers that treat sex addiction also offer gay conversion therapy…illuminat[ing] the ugly truth behind the sex addiction industry: it’s based on a moralistic judgment on what sexual behaviors are socially acceptable, yet it’s cloaked in a scientific sheen that gives it legitimacy…

Checklist (#972) 

The hotel industry is regretting having collaborated with “sex trafficking” fetishists, and the airline industry eventually will as well:

…Jana Kuner, customer services manager for [Huntsville, Alabama] airport [is the only person actually named or quoted in what appears to be a “sex trafficking rescue” fantasy borrowed from TV cop glorification shows]….Kuner [claims she]…struck up a conversation [with a nameless] woman [who] shared how excited she was for her daughter who had answered an ad for a modeling job in Phoenix…Kuner has been [indoctrinated in all the usual fantasies, and claims she talked]…the [nameless] young woman…[into letting a complete stranger talk on the phone to] the [nameless] modeling agency…to [threaten to] have [cops come with]…the young woman [to snoop into their business, after which]…the young woman [supposedly] received texts from the agency saying they’d canceled her flights…[Nameless and unquoted] authorities are now [supposedly] certain [via magic that] she was walking into a human trafficking trap and…had already been sold [to some nameless buyer even though that doesn’t actually happen outside of movies]…

Given that this is pure hearsay with neither names of people or the supposed agency, nor quotes from the supposed victim, one can only conclude that these local news reporters are either gullible idiots or else have a very poor understanding of the meaning of the word “confirmed”.

To Molest and Rape (#986)

Your government calls this “border protection”:

[After] Geraldine Rodriguez Olivares…a [professional] twerk dancer [from Chile] on an international tour…landed in the Dominican Republic on a flight from Puerto Rico…U.S. Customs agents…[took] her to a private room where they forced her to twerk, while…five [pigs] threw dollar bills at her and slapped her butt.  She was then stripped naked and [raped]…Rodriguez’s public cries for help sparked an international investigation involving U.S. and Chilean diplomats, prosecutors and immigration officials…

Pyrrhic Victory (#989)

Your last bit of privacy during travel is about to be eliminated:

…The 9/11 commission and language in the Muslim ban directs Customs and Border Protection…to complete “a biometric entry and exit data system as expeditiously as possible” for non-citizens, and they’ve already worked with…SeaTac to buy face-scanning stuff for the gates at the new International Arrivals Facility that’s opening in July…SeaTac is already using biometrics in some capacities…[and] surveillance watchdogs…agree that airports across the country…will eventually expand this face-scanning infrastructure to snap photos of passengers arriving and departing on domestic flights, too…

I Spy (#1011)

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

A cabal of unsavory U.S. senators have introduced a…measure that would pressure tech companies to weaken protections for communications privacy in the guise of a measure aimed at child porn.  While the…bill…never mentions the word “encryption,” it makes online companies liable for information exchanged by their users unless they adopt practices approved by the government…[which] means leaving people’s messages open to snoopy officials…In particular, they’ve scrutinized the bill’s reservation of Section 230 protections…to…compan[ies] that [dance to whatever tune]…the [current] Attorney General [feels like playing at the moment]…Riana Pfefferkorn, associate director of surveillance and cybersecurity at Stanford Law School [warns] “The AG could single-handedly rewrite the ‘best practices’ to state that any provider that offers end-to-end encryption is categorically excluded”…[like FOSTA, the] EARN IT Act…[would allow ambulance-chasers to file] civil [suits against] companies [that]…offer…end-to-end encryption.  They’ll have to weaken or abandon such offerings to escape liability for users’ communications, but without ever explicitly being told to do so…

License to Rape (#1014)

People need to keep suing government actors for every single assault, no matter what the excuse:

Michele Leuthauser was traveling from Las Vegas…Airport last June wearing yoga pants that should have made it quite easy to determine that she was concealing nothing on the lower half of her body.  But…TSA…flagged [her] for…a pat-down of her “groin area”…in a private room…the [operative] told Michele to spread her legs far wider than the mat — an order that seems common for TSA screeners about to inflict abuse.  She then proceeded to rub her hand on Michele’s vulva, pressing firmly enough to penetrate her labia with her finger through her leggings, and then continuing to rub her vulva until Michele, in shock, finally recoiled and told the screener to stop…Michele [filed suit] after TSA supervisors, local police, and TSA’s Office of the Chief Counsel refused to do anything about this incident…

To Molest and Rape (#1016)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to rape children:

A [retired] New Orleans [cop]…who led the NOPD’s pedophile investigations unit for years before he was unmasked as a child molester himself admitted in federal court…that he abused a boy who had turned to him for protection after the boy was preyed upon by his Boy Scout leader.  Stanley Burkhardt’s admission in a Feb. 24 hearing in North Carolina came after years of denying the sex abuse claims leveled against him by Richard Windmann…

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This…goes way beyond anything that is legal.  –  Jacinta González

Bread and Circuses

The US anti-whore jihad is so out of control it’s attacking random foreign websites:

A Brighton[, England]-based ad agency[‘s] website was [stolen] by US Homeland Security.  The agency stopped receiving external emails and turned to its IT support company Ingenious for an answer.  They discovered that anyone trying to visit the company website – designate.com – met a landing page with America[n pigs’ and spooks’ virtual pissing symbols all over it.  The pigs]…seized control of the website by changing the dot-com’s DNS records, allowing them to redirect traffic to their landing page as well as snaffle emails.  The ad agency received n[either] warning [nor]…explanation…And the…[pigs held the site for] ransom until [they] signed a form [waiving any possible claim for damages]…Jason Triandafyllou, director at Designate, finally got hold of a sp[ook] at Homeland Security [who admitted]  the site had been s[tolen] as part of [the US crusade against sex work]…Triandafyllou…[said] it was hard to quantify the damage done….[by their] website [being offline and their company libeled by porcine accusations for]…10 days…”Our SEO has also been floored – we’ll have to build up our rankings from scratch”…

I warned y’all long ago that because much of the internet backbone is on US soil, this would start to happen.

To Molest and Rape

All vice squads are breeding grounds for rape:

Four Glynn County [Georgia cops] have been indicted on multiple [administrative] charges [after] a drug task force [was disbanded for corruption, drug dealing and rape of women the cops had threatened into becoming snitches]…Chief John Powell and [vice pigs] David Hassler, David Matthew Haney and Brian Scott are facing a variety of charges stemming from [crimes they committed while members of the]…Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics [gang]…Powell…has been [rewarded with a paid vacation for cooking up the scheme]…Hassler [ignored the others’ crimes] and…perjur[ed himself]…Haney…and…Scott [enabled yet another pig]…James Cassada…[to rape] and provid[e drugs] to…[women] he had control over [by threatening them with prison]…

These unconstitutional multi-jurisdictional “task forces” encourage cops to commit even more crimes than usual because they can play games with “jurisdiction”, thereby completely escaping consequences for actions that even spineless judges admit were criminal.

Utter Cluelessness

They’re not even trying any more:

Foreign-born trafficking victims in Metro Detroit can now find sanctuary through an assistance program…focused on helping victims return to a normal life…[by giving an individual] a maximum of $6,000, a family…$7,500…The majority…are in sex trafficking in the restaurant and foodservice industry, traveling sales crews, domestic work, hospitality and housekeeping services…[Meanwhile] police touted 46 arrests [of women in] its ongoing human trafficking…crusade.  The crimes were committed [by police] in hotels and multi-unit apartment complexes…”See something, say something”…

So they think a one-time grant of $7500 for an entire family will replace a job, and that foreign folks will trust an organization bragging about police literally hunting down women trying to survive, while quoting a slogan intended to encourage snitching on undocumented migrants?  I guess we can’t expect logic or consistency from people who think that restaurant or housekeeping work constitutes “sex trafficking”.

Unsafe for Human Consumption

Cops think everyone is as stupid as they are:

Police in central Texas…believe [people are so stupid they’ll buy that] methamphetamine in Blanco County may be contaminated with the coronavirus and…the Johnson City Police Department…[will] “test…” [it for them]…

This isn’t the first time Texas cops have tried to use hysteria to trick people into turning themselves in to have their lives destroyed, but I can’t find where I filed the previous case.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#907)

Usually they at least try to pretend the “public health” rhetoric isn’t just crypto-moralism:

Pastor Adrienne Greene of Harrison, Ohio…[claimed] the devil… “repackages and sells the same forbidden sex-practices God spoke about to Moses:  homosexuality, incest, human trafficking and predatory abuses toward children and beasts.”  Ohio is one of the states currently attempting to pass copycat legislation drafted by well-funded religious lobbies declaring a made-up “public health crisis” around “pornography”…The Ohio effort is spearheaded by…a 26-year-old fundamentalist Christian [politician] who graduated from Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University…

The Widening Gyre (#941)

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter.  What makes these especially funny is that there has never been a single case of an adult woman abducted by so-called “sex traffickers” from any public place, much less a crowded subway platform.  Any normal adult woman reading this thread (linked above; this time I saw the actual thread rather than just a screenshot) would recognize it as nothing more than a clumsy pass of the “big spender” variety, such as any reasonably attractive woman has endured many times.  But she’s 100% POSITIVE HE WAS A HUMAN TRAFFICKER!  And naturally the thread attracted the usual collection of sycophants and “The same thing happened to me!” twits.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1008) 

Too bad nobody listened to me when I wanted this banned in 2012:

Clearview AI…is facing legal threats from Facebook, Google, and Twitter [for stealing data from them], as well as [toothless] calls for regulation and scrutiny in the US.  But…it has already shared or sold its technology to thousands of organizations around the world.  In its quest to create a[n irreversibly-widespread] global biometric identification system…Clearview has [sold its surveillance software to]…ICE…New York…Macy’s…FBI…CBP…Interpol, and hundreds of local [cop shops]…providing access not just to organizations, but to individuals within those organizations…with [absolutely] no oversight or awareness from their own management.  Clearview’s software…has been used by [individuals] in more than 2,200 [cop shops, spook groups]…and companies across 27 countries…at every level of American society and…around the world.  The…[dangerous] technology was specifically] intended as a tool [to establish a] police [state]…in North America…but…has also been aggressively [working to destroy privacy] in industries such as law, retail, banking, and gaming and pushing into international markets in Europe, South America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East…

Checklist (#1014)

Hey nurses, how does it feel to be infantilized by misogynistic racists?

Nurses today are [indoctrinated in]…human trafficking [hysteria, but now that hysteria hs expanded to include]…trafficked [nurses]…Patricia M. Speck…of…the University of Alabama…[fantasizes that] an industry of suppliers…seek to meet the demand by bringing in immigrant skilled nurses [who are not white and therefore too stupid to think of migrating to the US] from impoverished countries, like the Philippines…in…[search of] economic opportunity…[Prohibitionist Emily] Dunlap [panted]…“Now…they’re under control of the person that brought them over”…

To Molest and Rape (#1016)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to rape children:

A [typical and representative] Poplar Bluff [Misouri cop who was paid to terrorize]…school[children]…is facing multiple charges, including child [sex trafficking]…Brandon Hopper…was [also] charged with…possession of child pornography.  [His porn supplier] Amber Longhibler…was also arrested…[and] charged with sexual trafficking of a child, promoting child pornography and…possession of child pornography…pornography [found] on his phone…included a video of an adult male and a four-year-old girl, and a video of an adult male and a 10-year-old girl…

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