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Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

I think someone stole my chicken.  –  Thomas Ramsey

This week’s video is probably the best-known composition by jazz great Chick Corea, who died late last week.  The links above it were provided by Tracy Quan, Radley Balko, Dan Savage, Mike Siegel, Radley again, Amy Alkon, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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We open or we die.  –  open letter from Mexico City restaurateurs

Feminine Pragmatism (#913)

One day, reporters will learn that “people work to make money” is not news:

Like many other young Venezuelans, Valery Lopez has found a way to survive the…country’s crippling economic crisis…[by selling] online sexual content…she has found a way to avoid joining the exodus of five million migrants [who] have left the country since 2015.  “I was…[able] to stay in Venezuela thanks to OnlyFans,” [said] Lopez…[her] channel has more than 50 [international] subscribers…each one pays $10 a month: a figure six times the minimum salary in Venezuela…[but professional busybodies like] Abel Saraiba…[bemoan Lopez’ and others’ entrepreneurship, absurdly referring to merely selling pictures from the privacy of her own home as]…”a risky (line of work)”…

Hot Mess Alabama

Alabama is trying to make up for its late start by spewing “sex trafficking” idiocy most other states have quietly dropped:

…the purpose of the event series is “to promote…myths surrounding [sex work]”…focusing on…the sex [fantasies of prohibitionists about]…how traffickers recruit and subjugate young women and children…[chief busybody] Julia Meyers [recited the Shahada and tired old “King of the Hill” tropes about]…I-20 and I-65 as…major human trafficking corridors…the commercial sex industry generates $110 million each year in the Birmingham-metro area…this does not include illegal activity that occurs in massage parlors or strip clubs…90 percent or more people that are prostituted people are actually being trafficked…

“People that are prostituted people” is a tautology that well encapsulates the circularity of these wankers’ parade into their own rectums.

False Witness (#980)

Once the Satanic panic returned as “sex trafficking”, charlatans began to work on rehabiltating the dangerous and discredited doctrine of “repressed memories”, which was use to destroy so many lives in the 1980s and ’90s.  In this article from The Cut, writer Katie Heaney pretends that the science debunking “repressed memories” is “controversial” (it isn’t), and that the theory behind what is now called false memory syndrome originated in a couple’s defense against accusations of abuse from their adult daughter (it didn’t).  She also tries her best to smear Elizabeth Loftus, whose work in the field of memory was the actual origin of the theory.  Heaney’s motivation is probably just page-clicks, but the people who want to re-convince courts that memories can magically reappear decades after the end of a statute of limitations (and the disintegration of any evidence or alibi) have a decidedly more sinister motive, and unless mental health professionals nip this in the bud, we’re once again going to start seeing people’s lives destroyed based on nothing more than delusions created or validated by unscrupulous, malicious cops, bureaucrats and prosecutors.

Nonessential

Working people all over are done with arbitrary authoritarian “lockdowns”:

It was assumed that…[on] January 11, Mexico City and the State of Mexico would [be done with the government-assigned COVID risk category called “]the red light[“, the most restrictive designation, but politicians arbitrarily] decided to extend it for another week.  Given this, many restaurateurs decided to ignore this measure and under the social media hashtag #AbrimosOMorimos, they announced that as of today they will reopen…”Open or die is a reality in the industry in general, from the taco stand to the most sophisticated restaurant…and the oxygen is over,” said José Sánchez…of Sonora Grill…Manolo Ablanedo…of…Fisher’s, said…more than 500 restaurants in [Mexico City] will open…”because…the next option to survive is to fire waiters and cooks”…[in] a letter addressed to the…government…the…restaurateurs requested to be considered essential…”They are extinguishing us…Let’s not condemn restaurant workers to unemployment, or thousands of businesses to bankruptcy!”

The Crumbling Dam (#1057)

Remember this when apologists claim prohibitionists are “well-intentioned”:

A divided federal appeals court…blocked…the nation’s first supervised drug-injection site from opening in Philadelphia, saying it ran afoul of a federal law originally passed to [further criminalize] drug [users]…The decision overturned a lower court ruling in favor of Safehouse, a non-profit that aims to open a facility where drug users can safely inject heroin, fentanyl or other drugs in the presence of medical professionals who could treat them for overdoses…[attorney] Ilana Eisenstein…who represents Safehouse [said]…”We remain confident that the law was not intended to force Americans to stand by as idle witnesses while our brothers and sisters are dying.  Conscience compels us to pursue all legal options, and we shall”…The government[‘s case relies on]…a provision of the Controlled Substance Act commonly known as the “crack house statute,” which makes it a crime to knowingly open or maintain a place for distributing or using controlled substances [such as a doctor’s office, hospital, or pharmacy]…

Quiet Genocide (#1086)

Another firsthand account of China’s torture of Uighurs:

My [family] fled to France…in May 2006, just before Xinjiang entered an unprecedented period of repression.  My daughters, 13 and 8 at the time, were given refugee status, as was their father.  In seeking asylum, my husband had made a clean break with the past.  Obtaining a French passport in effect stripped him of his Chinese nationality…[but] I couldn’t bring myself to do [the same]…so instead, I’d applied for a residence permit that was renewable every 10 years…[then in November 2016] I [was tricked into] going back to Xinjiang…[so the police could] pull [me] in for questioning…[about] a photo…[of] my daughter Gulhumar…in Paris…[holding] a miniature East Turkestan flag in her hand, a flag the Chinese government had banned…I…was [condemned]…to…two years…of…violent…brainwashing…[until] on 2 August 2019…a judge…pronounced me innocent…[after] they had tortured my body and brought my mind to the edge of madness…

One of the more subtle ways that Western governments enable this abomination is by supporting the evil doctrine that countries permanently own their citizens, even if those citizens choose to live elsewhere.

You Were Warned (#1099)

Remember that whores are even less popular with the Establishment than MAGA types are:

Parler has — for now, at least — vanished, after Amazon canceled its web hosting contract with the company…Google also banned Parler, on [January 8th], with Apple following suit [the next]…day.  The companies cite posts making threats against Mike Pence, organizing last week’s events in Washington, D.C., and making plans for further action to challenge the 2020 election results…Plenty of digital platforms — including those much bigger and more mainstream than Parler — provide a place for conspiracy theorists, MAGA riot organizers, and threats of violence, as well as the politicians who back and encourage these forces.  To take action against Parler and no other social media sites or web forums — and to do it so swiftly, without providing them with a little buffer to find new options — feels…designed to stave off becoming a target themselves…this provides…a…glimpse of what a world without Section 230 would look like all the time, not just in the wake of incidents that rattle us.  Nobody would want to even tangentially do business with apps and other web forums that don’t aggressively police and limit user speech, for fear that liability would work its way up the food chain to them…

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The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.  –  Adolf Hitler, via the Kentucky State Police

Sean Connery died on Halloween, but I wasn’t about to stack his obit on top of The Amazing Randi’s.  I’ve also grown tired of dead YouTube links, so I picked a tribute from a channel that in my experience doesn’t often get censored.  The links above it were provided by Kevin Wilson, Mike Siegel, Radley Balko, Jesse Walker, Tim Cushing, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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

I Swear To God

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

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

Monsters

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

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

Business As Usual (#767) 

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

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

I Spy (#904)

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

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

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#911) 

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

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

Blunt Instrument (#986)

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

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

I Spy (#1057) 

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

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

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Scholars who pathologize sex workers in the classroom grant the state license to mete out gratuitous violence in the streets.  –  Rahsaan Mahadeo

Maggie in the Media

I was recently interviewed on an Australian sex worker radio show named Behind Closed Doors; it was originally supposed to be only one show, but Kitty, Dean & I were enjoying ourselves so much we just kept going and did a two-parter!  Here it is in podcast form (Part One & Part Two); I hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed talking!

The Course of a Disease

The Swedish rot has reached Eastern Europe:

Since July 1, in Latvia…[prostitution is technically not] illegal  as politicians have been unable to reach a compromise on this issue…The only [criminalization] proposal has been submitted by the party alliance Attīstībai/Par! (AP!) and its sets forth punishing only the buyer of the prostitution services and not the person providing them.  The proposal is to be reviewed in the Interior Ministry. Following this process, the ministry plans to bring the draft law for discussion in the government…

The Notorious Badge

Critics just can’t resist inserting their own dumb beliefs about whores into even good reviews:

Alice, the feature debut from Australian writer-director Josephine Mackerras, is…a leftfield take on female empowerment…Alice…discovers that her husband has cleaned out their accounts and stopped paying their mortgage; a bit of digging later and she discovers the money has been spent on prostitutes…With the bank threatening to foreclose on her home and a huge sum to pay…Alice agrees to work for the very escort agency her husband favoured; there is quite simply nothing else that will keep the roof over her head…Mackerras’s take on prostitution won’t be for everyone, and it does sugar-coat the profession somewhat, but it’s a sympathetic and often gutsy portrait of a woman doing what she must, and surviving, even thriving…

Acknowledging that selling sex is pragmatic and lucrative is “sugar-coating”.

Feminists and Other Puritans

An excerpt from The Feminist War on Crime by Aya Gruber

…The feminist penal regimes implemented in the 1980s and 1990s are now entrenched institutions overseen by prosecutors…administrators, and for-profit actors with vested interests in their continued survival.  Politicians are certainly not apologizing for VAWA…[and] plenty of feminists…remain committed not just to upholding the existing feminist crime control regimes and closing “loopholes” in them but also to creating new ones—new antitrafficking laws, revenge-porn laws, laws against hosting prostitution ads, [etc]…Campus antirape sentiments have proven a boon to prosecutors eager to implement strict versions of affirmative consent…and expand pro-prosecution trial rules…some of the most ardent prison critics…proceed as if there were a carve-out to the mass incarceration critique for sexual misconduct—including, or perhaps especially, intoxicated sex or sex without affirmative consent—even though there is no such carve-out for aggravated assault, drug dealing, or even murder…

Wise Investment (#1024)

In every country, sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

Liberal scholar [and long-time critic of the Chinese Communist Party] Xu Zhangrun has hired two lawyers to prepare legal action against police who accused him of soliciting prostitution…Xu was dismissed by Tsinghua University in Beijing…after he was taken away by police who [claimed] that the…scholar had solicited prostitutes in the southwestern city of Chengdu last year.  Xu, who had taught at Tsinghua for 20 years, was sacked because of “moral corruption”…The law professor…[hired] lawyers Mo Shaoping and Shang Baojun, and former human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang…to represent him…in an attempt to overturn an administrative ruling b[ased on a]…confession…police [pretend he made but]…Xu [denies]…

The Cop Myth (#1045)

Sociologists may at last be admitting their role in creating the police state:

Now is the time for sociology to reckon with its role…in the production of a criminal legal system subsidized by Black captivity, dispossession, debt and death…Any academic attempt to distinguish between “good policing” and “bad policing” or “overpolicing” and “underpolicing” makes policing itself not just theoretically possible, but legitimate…The University of Minnesota has already committed to cutting ties with the Minneapolis Police Department.  Now it and other sociology programs around the country must take the next step by canceling carceral curricula…According to an American Sociological Association report, “criminology/delinquency” was the highest-ranked specialization sought by employers…in 2019.  Courses like “Deviant Behavior,” “Criminal Behavior and Social Control”…and “Juvenile Delinquency” not only legitimize state violence, but also employ academics…sociologists fail to consider how “deviance,” “delinquency,” “criminal” and “terrorist” still conjure up racialized images that cops…and [spooks]…use…to…justify the killing of people of color…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1060)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

[Pennsylvania politician] Mike Folmer [was convicted on child pornography charges despite]…pleas [that the]…judge [should let him skate because Jesus]…Folmer [was]…sentence[d to 2 years in prison]…8 years on probation…[and] sex offender [registration] for 15 years…[his] defense attorney [also made the bizarre argument that he should be let off easy because he is a career sociopath]…“He had an addiction to pornography,” [attorney Brian] Perry said…Folmer [demonstrated his megalomania]…to the judge…[by comparing himself to] King David…

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Tracking protestors…and calling it “news” is still surveillance.
–  Andrew Ferguson

I Spy (#691) 

Twitter joins the fascists who claim surveillance isn’t surveillance:

…[fascist surveillance company] Dataminr [collaborated with cops to] digitally monitor the protests that swept the country following the killing of George Floyd, tipping off police to social media posts with the latest whereabouts and actions of demonstrators…The monitoring [proves the dishonesty of] claims from both Twitter and Dataminr that neither company would engage in or facilitate domestic surveillance…Twitter, up until recently a longtime investor in Dataminr alongside the CIA, provides the company with full access to a content stream known as the “firehose”…a…privilege…that lets Dataminr…scan every public tweet as soon as its author hits send.  Both companies denied that the [surveillance] meets the definition of surveillance…But…Dataminr relayed tweets and other social media content about the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests directly to police, apparently across the country…despite current terms of service that explicitly bar software developers “from tracking, alerting, or monitoring sensitive events (such as protests, rallies, or community organizing meetings)” via Twitter…

The Widening Gyre (#869)

Observation: overpriced furniture.  Conclusion: “sex trafficking”!

A new [masturbatory fantasy] surrounding products advertised by the home goods and furniture seller Wayfair now joins previous [masturbatory fantasies] like Pizzagate regarding worldwide pedophilic sex trafficking…The Wayfair [fantasy]…began with a[n idiot’s] post to the Conspiracy subreddit…”Is it possible Wayfair involved in Human trafficking with their WFX Utility collection? Or are these just extremely overpriced cabinets? (Note the names of the cabinets) this [gives] me [tingles below] my stomach if it’s true”…[naturally the fantasist] described themselves as “involved in a local organization that helps victims of human trafficking”…

Clearly, Wayfair was envious of all the “sex traffickers” at Ikea, and so decided to get into the business itself.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#892)

It’s sad that in the 21st century we’re still debunking claims that pictures have magic powers:

A new study by a neuroscientist from the Kinsey Institute found no scientific basis to the persistent myth, peddled by religiously inspired War On Porn crusaders and #NoFap semen-retention cultists, claiming that watching porn can cause erectile disfunction in men…[Dr] David J. Ley…explained [that] the lack of correlation between exposure to porn and erectile dysfunction suggests that “rather than getting distracted by pornography use, we can best support men struggling with erections by attending to personal motivational and behavioral factors”…

The Course of a Disease (#925)

Sex workers already gave their views before this tyranny was inflicted on them:

Sex workers and other “stakeholders” involved in or associated with the sale of sex are to be asked for their views on a review of Ireland’s prostitution law [years after their views were ignored to enact the law in the first place]…the act [cl]aimed to decriminalise prostitutes…[bu]t has been widely criticised by the Sex Workers Alliance of Ireland…[because] it actually puts prostitutes at greater risk…The 2017 Act specifically provided for a review…after a period of 3 years…[and SWAI]…said the forthcoming review “will show the current law is a failed experiment”…

The Course of a Disease (#961)

Israel’s plan to force sex workers into low-paid menial “women’s work”:

A law criminalizing the procuring of sex services went into effect…over the objections of some government offices and welfare groups, who [fantasize that the law will magically result in] thousands of newly out-of-work prostitutes [even though that never happens anyplace prostitution is criminalized].  The [Swedish model was] approved a year and a half ago by the Knesset…[but] de[layed until] mid-2020 to give the state time to form re[-education camps]…for sex workers…to [force them into sweatshops and other menial work]…Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn said…“Women are [the] property [of the state and only politicians and bureaucrats may decide how they may use] their bodies”…

The Crumbling Dam (#1018)

Cato & ACLU join forces to stop deranged prohibitionists from killing people:

…Safehouse wants to provide a supervised injection site (SIS) for compulsive opioid users…[but] the federal government is trying to block Safehouse by invoking a 1980s crack‐​house law that makes it a crime to provide a place to take illicit drugs, even without compensation.  Safehouse won the first round when a federal district court ruled that the Department of Justice couldn’t stretch the crack‐​house statute to cover Safehouse’s lifesaving SIS.  Now on appeal to the Third Circuit, Cato, joined by the ACLU and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, has filed a brief supporting Safehouse…the federal government is largely responsible for the current overdose crisis…Because of the “iron law of prohibition”…during alcohol Prohibition, beer and wine essentially disappeared and were replaced by hard spirits.  For the same reasons, drug traffickers prefer high‐​potency opioids like fentanyl even when the users are not demanding it…

To Molest and Rape (#1052)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A[n Ohio cop got]…a 12-year-old girl drunk and expos[ed] himself to her during a Father’s Day party at his house.  Roy E. Stephens…was [only] charged with indecent exposure and providing alcohol to a minor, which [means]…placing Stephens on the sex offender registry will be up to the discretion of the judge, so there is a chance he will avoid that [because cop]…Stephens gave the…girl between three and five alcoholic beverages throughout the night, and at one point encouraged her to chug one of the drinks down fast so it would “mess [her] up faster”…so he could have his way with her…She…felt the effects of the alcohol, but was luckily still coherent enough to prevent the encounter from escalating.  It is not entirely clear how she was able to get out of the situation, or how well Stephens was known by the girl and her family…

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The broad language in the law leaves a lot of room for lawyers to treat FOSTA like a get-rich-quick-off-Big-Tech scheme.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

The Lesser of Two Evils

Those who are surprised by this haven’t read much Church history:

Pope Francis assisted a group of transgender prostitutes who were struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic in Italy…They reached out to the pope through Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, who is responsible for charitable work done in the name of pope…It does not appear that the leader of the Catholic Church was signaling any changes in Catholic teaching on gender and sex

Why do some “journalists” feel compelled to virtue-signal by putting an ordinary word like “customers” in scare quotes?

The Proper Study (#968)

Men who respect women more also realize we don’t owe them free sex.  Gee, what a shock:

…Using an online survey of 519 clients of sexual services, we examine whether male client attitudes toward gender role equality are related to the main methods customers used to access prostitution services (i.e., through print or online media vs. in-person contact).  We found…all clients had more egalitarian attitudes toward women’s roles than the U.S. male population in the General Social Survey (GSS)…These findings point to need to rethink how masculinity and gender role attitudes affect patterns of male demand for paid sex..

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#995)

Just in case you failed to grasp the extent of Morality in Media’s depravity:

…[Morality in Media], a religiously inspired lobby that is behind the language of the scientifically discredited, multi-state “porn is a public health crisis” campaign…deliberately rebranded as NCOSE a few years ago to deceive the mainstream media…[and] are [now] trying to pressure [McDonald’s] to send a letter to all their employees “to make them aware of the exploitation and harms of the pornography industry.”  This latest attempt by NCOSE to flood the mainstream with their fringe messages (e.g., they consider Sport Illustrated as full-on “pornography” and repeatedly try to get supermarkets to hide it from their customers) was prompted by an offer by adult company IsMyGirl to “beat any platform’s percentage for new model sign-ups”…The absurd goal of this latest morality intervention by NCOSE is to demand a multibillion company help them spread fringe religious propaganda to minimum wage employees.  The message: a Victorian warning that safe, at-home sex work is a fate worse than starvation…

Torture Chamber (#999)

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

…the Department of Justice [has] released a report about sexual violence in New Jersey’s women’s prison…that concluded…the risk of sexual harm was so high that it reached constitutional proportions and violated inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment…The United States is witnessing an explosion in prison rape reports by women…[from Alabama]…Missouri…OregonConnecticutVermontFloridaCaliforniaKansasPennsylvania…[and many others].  Incarcerated women are 30 times more likely to be raped than free women.  Even though women account for less than 10 percent of inmates, their reports account for three quarters of assaults, and almost three-quarters of staff are men…Seventeen years after the law’s passage, it may be time to acknowledge that the Prison Rape Elimination Act isn’t protecting incarcerated women, most likely because it was never designed to…

Crying for Nanny (#1002)

We fucking told y’all so, over and over and over:

Companies anticipated that FOSTA would be used more broadly than its proponents claimed…Craigslist is now the target of one of the first FOSTA-based civil lawsuit efforts, with plaintiffs in California and Washington state…Both cases…rely on a “radical theory of liability,” wrote University of Notre Dame Law Professor Alex Yelderman…The suits do not claim Craigslist had specific knowledge…[but] simply claims that [because fetishists had for years claimed] Craigslist [was a “hub” of]…”human sex trafficking”…it…was thus responsible for any [actual exploitation] that happened…Another case…targets Mailchimp, an email automation and marketing service.  Anyone can sign up for an account and use Mailchimp tools to create and send mass emails…lawyers…[claim] that by letting YesBackpage use its software, Mailchimp was complicit in, and thus financially liable for, any crimes brokered through YesBackpage’s user-generated content…in January the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted [Eric] Koszyk and [Alex] Andrews standing to continue the [Woodhull/EFF backed] challenge.  Hopefully, they can fight their way to a decision that will undermine FOSTA before FOSTA further undermines free speech on the web…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1035)

With their anti-whore schtick failing, the rescue industry is desperate to find new things they can call “sex trafficking”:

…when I heard that “Mia,” as the Land O’Lakes Native American maiden was known, had been taken off the butter box…it was the stereotype some saw that bothered me.  North Dakota state Rep. Ruth Buffalo…for instance, [bloviated]…that the…image…went “hand-in-hand with…sex trafficking…by depicting Native women as sex objects”…How did Mia go from being a demure Native American woman on a lakeshore to a sex object tied to the trafficking of native women?…Mia was originally created for Land O’Lakes packaging in 1928…In 1954, my father, Patrick DesJarlait, redesigned the image again…[he] had been interested in art since boyhood, when he drew images related to his Ojibwe culture…he…[w]as one of the first modernists in American Indian fine art…

Social Distancing (#1036)

Another country which, like the US and France, shamefully neglects women:

…It is now a month since India went into total lockdown on 26 March to contain the spread of Covid-19.  With no clients, [sex workers’] savings have dwindled…As…economic activity [declared “non-essential” by politicians] has ground to a halt, the lockdown has hit millions of people working in the informal sector…As part of the government’s relief scheme for the poor, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has announced a financial package that will deposit 500 rupees (£5.30) monthly into the bank accounts of 200 million people.  But those working in…the sex industry…are [specifically ex]cluded…

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Be careful who you treat like shit.  –  Nicole Gililland

First They Came for the Hookers… 

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you:

Seven people were arrested and charged…[with] prostitution…at a gentleman’s club in Myrtle Beach, [South Carolina]…[after] a shooting at Derriere’s Gentleman’s Club on New Year’s Day, police [decided to charge dancers who would bot submit to rape]…and [moronically oinked that the club is]…a “hotbed of criminal activity”…

Uncharted Seas

A very interesting development:

The Utah state senate voted unanimously…to effectively decriminalize polygamy among consenting adults…The bill, which would treat the offense of plural marriage as a simple infraction on par with a parking ticket, now moves to the Utah house of representatives, where it is likely to face greater resistance…Under current law, polygamy…is classified as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.  If the senate bill becomes law, punishments for plural marriage would be limited to fines of up to $750 and community service…

Worse Than I Thought (#895)

Virginia excels in inventing truly awful anti-whore laws:

…the State Crime Commission…recommended [politicians] expand the definition of prostitution to aid prosecutors…in…[destroying the lives of] massage parlor…[employees]…The move has…activists [explaining to politicians that so-called]…anti-trafficking initiatives and laws are punishing consenting adults and doing more harm than good…Even still, prosecutors…[pretend] authorities are…helping…sex [workers by]…criminalizing [and deporting] them…

Permanent Record (#936)

Sex workers need to bury all prohibitionists of every kind in lawsuits:

…Nicole…Gililland’s…suit…marks what is likely the first time a student has invoked Title IX to fight discrimination they faced due to their status as a sex worker.  It’s a significant step to take, one that stands to protect other sex workers facing unequal treatment.  “Stigma tells sex workers that they’re not worth anything, and I want my lawsuit to be a wake-up call,” Gililland said…Derek Demeri, a third-year law student and co-founder of New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance…has written an article set to be published in Rutgers University Law Review this spring which asserts that discrimination against sex workers qualifies as sex discrimination under Title VII…Demeri’s article is the first legal document in the country to make this argument…“getting a court to recognize that discrimination against sex workers is sex discrimination could bring a sweeping movement across the country,” Demeri said of Gililland’s lawsuit…

I met Nicole at Woodhull last year, and this story doesn’t even cover half of the abuse she had to endure from these pearl-clutching tyrants and their busybody followers.  I hope she ends up owning that fucking school.

To Molest and Rape (#947)

Rapist boss-cops are the most dangerous rapists of all:

Colleton County [South Carolina] Sheriff Robert Strickland Jr….[has been indicted] on more than a dozen charges including [rape], misconduct in office…election [tampering, drug dealing]…and embezzlement…[victims and] witnesses in the case [a]re living in fear of retaliation by Strickland…[yet] his…attorney…argued that [a murderous thug who has repeadly used his political power to victimize people somehow] posed no danger…Strickland…force[d] an…employee [to submit to rape under threat of losing her]…job and [worse.  He also raped another]…employee, who was under 21, [after incapacitating her with] alcohol and Ambien…

Oh, by the by: this violent rapist thug who “poses no danger” to the public was previously arrested in November for repeatedly punching his girlfriend in the face and stealing her phone so she couldn’t call for help.

The Crumbling Dam (#979)

Deranged prohibitionist vows to violate court order in order to kill people:

An indoor space where [drug] users…may inject under medical supervision and without fear of arrest may be opening in just a week in South Philadelphia, making it the first of its kind to operate openly in the United States…[after] a federal judge [gave]…the nonprofit group Safehouse…explicit permission…to open a safe injection facility…While Safehouse is moving forward, the fight is not over.  U.S. Attorney William McSwain…is appealing and is warning the city not to open a facility…[using] threat[s of] everything from arrests to drug seizures to asset forfeiture in order to stop Safehouse…

Little Boxes (#979)

Threats of life-destroying consequences often cause people to surrender even with circuit court rulings on their side:

A Utah woman who fought criminal charges after her stepchildren saw her topless in her own home took a plea deal…to avoid the risk of having to register as a sex offender if convicted…Tilli Buchanan’s decision brought an end to the [test] case…[after] the judge [openly] sided with prosecutors who argued that [tits are evil and have gorgonic powers over children who aren’t actually sucking on them at the moment]…Buchanan pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of lewdness as part of the agreement that dropped two other charges…[which] would have [condemned her to] the sex offender registry for 10 years if she had been found guilty…[lying cops lied that] Buchanan removed her shirt and bra in front of the children while “under the influence of alcohol”…

Micromanagement (#988)

Cops lie, constantly. They are almost never not lying:

On an October morning in 2018, Eleanor Holmes and her husband…found two men inside their front gate.  They introduced themselves as detectives from Orlando, Florida, and said…they were trying to identify someone who’d been found dead many years earlier…using DNA and genealogical records to stitch together a family tree that they hoped would lead them to a name.  [Duplicitous] and [sociopathic]…they’d already got DNA samples from Eleanor Holmes’ sister and an aunt [by the same deception]…a few days later…she got a frantic phone call from the girlfriend of…her son…Benjamin…[who] had just [been] arrested…for a…[17-year-old murder they were trying to]…use…DNA…to tie him to…Police have said that the arrest of Benjamin Holmes Jr…shows their commitment “to [violate the public trust and every individual’s rights to make themselves look like big heroes]”…

How many times must we say, “Never talk to cops without your lawyer present”?

Guinea Pigs (#990) 

Another toiletful of myths, lies, dehumanization, agency denial, eager and sloppy copsucking and bootlicking, wildly-exaggerated numbers, masturbatory fantasies, fascist cheerleading and other assorted sociopathy from Deliverfund, a gang of former CIA, NSA, special forces, and other assorted pigs and spooks who collaborate with vice cops to destroy the lives of US sex workers while representing themselves as heroes and giving yellow journalist fantasy tales full of bragging, strutting, and other vile dehumanization of sex workers, our clients, and our friends, families and associates.  In my previous entry on this gang of psychos, I pointed out that their admitted behavior resembles putting human heads on a wall as hunting trophies; this one profiles a sociopath called “Kara the Huntress” who wears a T-shirt bragging that she hunts sex workers.  I can smell these monsters from across the country by the reek of their own verbal vomit.

The Monsters Are Due (#996)

Another case of white van hysteria:

A Springfield, Ohio, man spotted a white van—and it’s always a white van—that he [fantasized] was trying to kidnap a girl.  This man, Kevin Johnson, screamed at the girl that the driver was “trying to take her,” and chased the vehicle away while filming the incident…the video went viral on Facebook…[a spokespig admitted] that the cops had received not a single complaint [but that similar stories had come in periodically for]…about a year…[but] “We have never had a complaint saying somebody tried to pick [the caller themselves] up…it’s always…’oh, well it happened to a friend’ or ‘I heard this from a friend'”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1008) 

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

Clearview AI…lost its entire client list to hackers.  The company [blew off concerns with]…”unfortunately, data breaches are a part of life”…[and claims none of]…the…3 billion photos [the company stole] from the internet [without permission of their owners so as to non-consensually include them in a permanent electronic police lineup]…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Dekyrion Ellis

Eric Idle once said that he felt Monty Python was in a way a successor to the Beatles, but have you ever seen The Rutles?  The links above the video were provided by Cop Crisis, The Onion, Mistress Matisse, Cop Crisis again (x2), Radley Balko, and Robby Soave, in that order.

From the Archives

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