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Posts Tagged ‘robots’

Some days are grumpier than others.

Beloved comedian Tim Conway died last week, but I decided to hold off reporting it until this week so I could share a video from The Carol Burnett Show (provided by Franklin Harris) in which Conway demonstrates one of his favorite pastimes, ad-libbing bits so funny they made Harvey Korman piss himself on live television.  The links above the video were contributed by Amy Alkon, Tim Cushing, Glenn Kessler, Jillian Keenan, Radley Balko, and Clarissa, in that order.

From the Archives

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You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I’m picking up trash.  –  unnamed cop victim

When Angela Keaton and I were quite stoned one night while she was visiting two weeks ago, she played this video for me and I instantly recognized the guy as the one who did the minor-key “Kiss the Girl” which sounds like the soundtrack to a lesbian bondage scene.  In this one, the key shift actually completely changes the perceived meaning of the song (play it and see if you think I’m wrong).  The links above it were provided by Popehat, Mike Siegel, Radley Balko, Mike Chase, Lauren Chief Elk, and Mark Bennett, in that order.

From the Archives

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Harris’s contempt for sex workers lies at the heart of her hypocrisy.  –  Stephen Lemons

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be enterprising women working to get some of it:

Mongolia’s mining boom started in the early 2000s and mining now accounts for around 20 per cent of Mongolia’s gross domestic product.  The growth…has created a spike in internal migration to mining areas – most notably Ömnögovi…The coal route from the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit to the Chinese border is synonymous with sex work fuelled by the mining industry…In contrast to the stigma…in the city…the border area [i]s accepting and open…four or five women travel to the border area with a driver and rent a ger (a traditional round felted tent) to stay…If [truck] drivers don’t have cash, they pay in fuel: 40 or 50 litres of diesel for one act, 100 litres for one hour.  The women then resell the fuel when they can…Ulaanbaatar…is [by contrast] a harsh environment for women working in the trade…sex [workers] in…sauna[s] in the capital…[are beaten by] police and customers…ultra-nationalists target sex workers on the street and shave their heads to disgrace them…

Despite the obligatory “sex trafficking” disinformation and nonsense sprinkled throughout, the article is not a bad look at sex work in a part of the world few Westerners know anything about.

See No Evil (#25)

Are the Japanese the only people left on Earth who can tell fantasy from reality?

The United Nations has proposed an international initiative…to tighten…restrictions and prohibition of…child pornography…However…child pornography…”is defined…as ‘any representation of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities…includ[ing]…visual material such as photographs, movies, drawings and cartoons…including when…such material represents…non-existing children”…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

One South Carolina [politician] is working to shut down massage parlors…Mandy Powers Norrell proposed legislation that could close those places for good.  “It will give labor, licensing, and regulation the authority to close them down and prosecute any [women] found there,” [she bloviated]…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…In case after case, [motorists were robbed by cops claiming]…the cash was found near drugs.  Yet few…ever were arrested.   They were caught in one of the most aggressive [robbery] operations in [South Carolina, where the]…police…[stole] nearly $50,000 from…motorists over a two-year period…$135 for every person living in Nichols.  That’s six times more per resident than any other police department in the state…

An Example To the West (#636)

Ugandan sex workers demand their rights:

Human and women rights activists have appealed to Members of Parliament not to criminalise prostitution as they debate and pass the pending Sexual Offences Bill of 2015…”These arrests are mostly carried out to solicit bribes from sex workers and harass them.  Few of them get to trial.  The provision, is therefore, unnecessary since it is unenforceable,” [said] Macklean Mary Kyomya…of Alliance of Women Advocating for Change…activists brandished placards reading…”outlaw poverty not prostitution…rights not rescue…my body, my business”…

Secret Squirrel (#686)

Conditioning squares to accept intrusive monitoring of every aspect of their lives:

Devices worn on employees’ bodies are an increasingly valuable source of workforce health intelligence for employers and insurance companies.  It’s fueling a boom in the use of wrist-borne health and fitness monitors such as those made by Fitbit, Garmin and Apple…the information is not covered by federal rules that protect health records from disclosure.  And when it’s combined with data such as credit scores, employees are giving up more insights about themselves than they realize…In general, employees in such programs [“voluntarily”] sign up for digital health monitoring.  They are lured by cash, reduced premiums, or reimbursements for co-payments and deductibles…Fitbit is moving aggressively to sign up companies.  It added a call service that [nag]…workers…via text messages and phone calls…whose data shows they are falling short of their [assigned “fitness goals”]…

You amateurs really think being spied on like this is OK?  No wonder fantasies of whores “enslaved” by exploitative bosses who spy on their every move are so popular; it’s just amateurs projecting their work conditions onto us.

Pyrrhic Victory (#697)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

The use of PredPol—a predictive policing software…is far more widespread than previously reported…PredPol claims to use an algorithm to predict crime in specific 500-foot by 500-foot sections of a city, so that police can…surveil specific areas more heavily…PredPol [has] contract[s or] negotiation[s]…with…South Jordan, UT; Mountain View, CA; Atlanta, GA; Haverhill, GA; Palo Alto, CA; Modesto, CA; Merced, CA; Livermore, CA; Tacoma, WA; and the University of California, Berkeley…Los Angeles, Elgin [CA], Oakland [CA], Richmond [CA]…Milpitas [CA]…Santa Cruz, CA; Morgan Hill, CA, Fairfield, CA, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, CA; Campbell, CA; Salinas, CA; Alhambra, CA; Lansing, MI; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Columbia, SC…Manhattan, KS…Little Rock, AK; Kent, England; Reading, PA; “and many more”…Predpol explicitly encourage[s] police departments to dedicate their resources towards petty crime…Shahid Buttar, the Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[explains] it’s impossible to expect unbiased results from predictive policing technology, because the data it analyzes is structurally biased.  Predictive policing is “driven by…data that itself reflects longstanding and pervasive bias…If you overpolice certain communities, and only detect crime within those communities, and then try to provide a heat map of predictions, any AI will predict that crimes will occur in the places that they’ve happened before”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#743) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are still masturbating to the fantasy that emojis are part of some mysterious pimp “code”:

Bay Area prosecutors were trying to prove that a man arrested during a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping charges, and among the [supposed] evidence was a series of Instagram DMs he’d allegedly sent to a woman…with high heels and money bag emoji placed at the end…[a hired gun claiming to be] an expert…in sex trafficking…[fantasized under oath that] the high heels and bags of money supported the interpretation that the defendant was accused of sex trafficking, essentially translating to “wear your high heels to come make some money.”  Another message from the defendant included the crown emoji, which was said to signify that the “pimp is the king”.  Ultimately, the ruling didn’t hinge on the interpretation of emoji, but [that didn’t stop prosecutors from trying to destroy lives based on the masturbatory fantasies of people who’ve never done sex work in their lives]…

Uncommon Sense (#745)

Yet another registration regime fails miserably, as we keep telling y’all:

Only 76 of the reportedly 200,000 women (0.038%) who work as prostitutes in Germany have registered for state services [and of course politicians can’t understand why]…sex workers [can] register for state-run health insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits…[but the price after a new and paternalistic] law was enacted…in 2017 [is] regist[ration with pigs, mandatory “counseling”, prying into their private lives by social workers and compulsory] regular health [inspections]…most prostitutes…register under some different professional category in order to continue working anonymously…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

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

…sex robots are rapidly becoming a part of…national [fantasies] about the future of sex and relationships….a number of companies are currently developing [human-shaped sex toys]…with a few already on the market…A 2017 survey suggested almost half of Americans think that having sex with robots will become a common practice within 50 years [the same fraction who think Donald Trump is intelligent and genetically-modified foods are dangerous].  As a [pompous windbag]…I’m interested in the legal and policy questions that sex robots pose…How will [masturbating] with a sex [doll]] affect the human [soul]?  Would sex with a child[-shaped toaster] be ethical?…

These articles are so deeply stupid, I just can’t take them at all seriously any more.  Despite the claims in the title, “sex robots” are not here, and never will be in the form envisioned by both fetishists and prohibitionists.  And the dolls (that’s all they are, silicone dolls) which people insist on incorrectly calling “robots” are inanimate objects which raise no more “ethical issues” than a Baby Alive or a tablet computer.

Held Together With Lies (#858)

We haven’t seen this concentration of ludicrous claims in a couple of years now:

[The rescue industry] is the business of stealing freedom for profit.  [Sex workers labeled against their will as] victims of trafficking are deprived of their basic human rights, dehumanized, brutalized and objectified [by police]…Human trafficking business is [fantasized] to generate $100 billion annually, more than Apple, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike combined…there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally…we [masturbate furiously while fantasizing] that there are countless victims, some only young teens…in our own communities…Sex trafficking data is scarce and has many gaps, due to [our making it up as we go]…

As usual, ridiculous numbers are slung about in self-contradictory fashion, mis-citing sources (the 40.3 million fantasy is from the NGO “Walk Free Foundation”, not the ILO as claimed) and claiming knowledge while admitting there is none.  So naturally I had to correct the wording a bit.

Top Cop

Another example of the odiousness of the police-state operative Hillary fans have anointed as their savior:

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.  That’s what pundits from The Nation to the Washington Post fail to grasp about the onetime romance between former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and California Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris.  Harris’s apologists would have people believe that discussion of the relationship, which occurred two decades ago when Brown held the powerful post of Speaker of the California Assembly and Harris was a lowly deputy district attorney in California’s Alameda County, is sexist, racist, or both.  Viewed in light of Harris’s ongoing war on sex workers, however, her advantageous liaison with Brown indicates that she has no problem applying different rules to herself than she does to others…Maggie McNeill [said]…“I have absolutely nothing against the fact that she used her sexuality to get by in the world…What I do have a problem with, is that having gained that power, she used it to attack other women for doing the same thing”…

Disaster (#909)

The successors of Tumblr:

…with Tumblr’s strict adult-content ban…kinky bloggers fled the site–searching for, and trying to build, new communities.  One of the fastest growing of these sites is relative newcomer newTumbl, which has gained about 40,000 blogs since it launched on December 31.  True to its name, the site closely resembles Tumblr–at least the NSFW parts that are now banned…MojoFire, a site created by members of the BDSM community but aspiring to host all types of content, has not yet launched.  Yet others were already in the works before the Tumblr porn ban and have seen a large influx of refugee bloggers.  For instance, Pillowfort–another site meant for a broad community–has been straining with the arrival of former Tumblr users, forcing it to limit new sign-ups…MakeLoveNotPorn…[has] provided a hub for user-generated “social sex” videos since 2009…

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Bounty-hunters can buy information about where we are, in real time…and come after us.  You don’t need to be a replicant to be scared of the consequences.  –  Thomas Rid

A Broker in Pillage

Government is just a word for the things we choose to do together:

Chicago…regularly pulls residents into a nexus of ticket-related debt and car seizures that is stunning in its scope.  In 2017 alone, Chicago booted more than 67,000 vehicles for unpaid tickets.  In about a third of those cases, the driver couldn’t afford to remove the boot, and the vehicle was later towed to a city impound lot…[and] sold off, with the owners receiving none of the sale proceeds…the city and its towing contractor pocketed millions of dollars, while residents were left with ticket debt…there have been nearly 50,000 of these sales since 2011…the vast majority…from low-income and minority communities…The city…[calls] those who owe ticket money…“scofflaws”…conflating the inability to pay debts with criminal activity…workers or contractors sometimes [illegally] issu[e]…multiple tickets on the same day…[and] just two or three outstanding tickets will prompt the city’s revenue workers to boot a car.  Owners have just 24 hours to pay $100 to remove a boot…if the window’s missed, the car’s towed, and the owner [is also assessed]…a $150 towing fee…cars can [then] be sold in as little as three weeks, but not before drivers rack up [daily] storage and other fees…

Buried Truth 

Not quite an example of the McNeill Rule, but close:

Donnie Romero, a Baptist pastor in Texas who has a history of making…anti-LGBT…[remarks], told his congregation last week that he would be resigning from his post…Though Romero did not provide details to his congregants…[another preacher] Steven Anderson…weighed in on his “grievous sins” in a [YouTube] video…“The major sin involved was being with prostitutes, and then there were also marijuana and gambling”…Romero, who has called gays “scum of the earth,” also came under immense scrutiny in 2016 after he said he was praying that victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando who were injured would not survive “so that they don’t get any more opportunity to go out and hurt little children”…

Sex Rays

The puritanism just keeps increasing:

Organizers of the Consumer Electronics Show…in Las Vegas selected a sex toy called Osé as one of a handful of honorees in its robotics and drones Innovation Awards program.  But two weeks later, they disqualified the device and banned its exhibition at the event — because it’s an adult product…Osé…(formerly called Vela) is a sex toy developed in partnership with an engineering professor at Oregon State University that uses “biometric mimicry” for hands-free vaginal and clitoral stimulation…It’s unclear why the CTA made the Osé an honoree in the first place, before backtracking on its decision…The trade show gave a sex toy a similar award three years ago, and other companies have exhibited sex toys and adult products at the show over the years…

Bottleneck (#414)

Canberra is infested with prohibitionists, many of them in the police.  Articles like this one typically spout similar “rescue” and “sex trafficking” nonsense; the rebuttal from actual experts is way down at the end:

…Jules Kim from the national sex worker’s union, The Scarlet Alliance, doubted that human sex trafficking was as widespread in Canberra and Australia as police claimed…a 2017 federal government inquiry…found no sex workers were tricked into the job out of the 14 sex-work-related trafficking convictions nationally since 2004…despite this, there [i]s “a continued focus on framing issues” in the sex industry, particularly those involving South-East Asia migrants, as trafficking…”police raids…ha[ve] been proven to create worse conditions for sex workers, resulting in…barriers to accessing police in the event of a crime“…Ms Kim said the “illegal brothels” police referred to were often situations where more than one worker was working from a premises in order to share costs — which is illegal in some states and territories, including the ACT…


The Last Shall Be First (#785)

Anti-trans bigots often claim transwomen will sexually assault ciswomen in public toilets:

Two North Carolina women…were charged with second-degree kidnapping and sexually battery of a transgender woman in a ladies room of a Raleigh bar…the…victim had just entered the women’s restroom at the popular Milk Bar when Amber Harrell…and Jessica Fowler…followed her in and locked the door….[then] verbally and sexually assaulted her…Both women are also accused of exposing their breasts and genitals to the victim, who eventually escaped the bathroom.  The two…then followed her to the bar and continued the abuse, a bartender testified to police…

It’s not coincidental that this happened in a state where politicians openly encourage such bigotry.

To Molest and Rape (#842) 

Another pig uses a traumatized woman’s fear as leverage:

In one of the first releases of records under a new [California] law that [removes the previously-existing laws which allowed]…police [departments to hide] misconduct, documents show the Burlingame Police Department fired a [rapist cop] last year after…he [pressured] a woman [for sex by claiming he would interfere] with [her] DUI [case] if she would [not]…David W. Granucci…was later found to have made similar proposals to two other women, one [of] who[m submitted to letting]…him [rape her]…Granucci…obtained her phone number and address and went to her house the…day [after she was arrested] and made the [threat]…She rejected Granucci’s advances and reported him to police.  Granucci was [miraculously] fired [probably because Bay Area police departments are covering their arses due to the Celeste Guap affair]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#864)

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

Whereas it’s common knowledge that [pigs] can track phones with [stingrays or] a warrant to service providers…at least one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries, ranging from car salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters…this spying capability is also being resold to others on the black market…mobile networks and the data they generate are…open to surveillance by [cops], stalkers, and [other] criminals, and comes as media and [informed citizens] are paying more attention than ever to how location and other sensitive data is collected and sold

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#879) 

Truly dedicated prohibitionists never let the fact that a thing doesn’t actually exist stop them from banning it:

…Bryan [Texas]…put…the definition of a sex robot into the city [zoning] ordinance….[so] any [sex doll arcade]…would be required to be located only in the area of the city that’s zoned for adult-type businesses.  The move comes mostly as a precaution after someone tried to open a similar type of business in Houston…

Censor Chic (#894)

Corporations are becoming the favored tool of censors around the world:

Li Chengzhi had a lot to learn when he first got a job as a professional censor…Now, after training, he knows what to look for — and what to block.  He spends his hours scanning online content on behalf of Chinese media companies looking for anything that will provoke the government’s wrath.  He knows how to spot code words that obliquely refer to Chinese leaders and scandals, or the memes that touch on subjects the Chinese government doesn’t want people to read about.  Mr. Li, who [has been well-brainwashed, believes]…his job…“helps cleanse the online environment”…For Chinese companies, staying on the safe side of government censors is a matter of life and death.  Adding to the burden, the authorities demand that companies censor themselves, spurring them to hire thousands of people to police content.  That in turn has created a growing and lucrative new industry: censorship factories…

Imaginary Victims (#896)

Naturally, he had to show how big his dick is by delaying her release for seven months:

Cyntoia Brown…is due to be released on Aug. 7…She has [been kept locked in a cage] since she was 16…Gov. Bill Haslam…granted Brown a…commutation to parole…for 10 years…Brown will be required to participate in regular counseling sessions and to perform at least 50 hours of community service, including working with at-risk youth.  She also will be required to get a job [with a murder conviction on her record].  Her Aug. 7 release marks 15 years since the date of her crime.  Brown’s attorneys said 15 years is a typical sentence for a second-degree murder conviction…

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You don’t see Superman holding Lex’s sister hostage in return for an orderly surrender.  –  Stephen Robinson

Dirty Whores

Whores understand the need for STI prevention; amateurs, not so much:

In 2002, a major report predicted an AIDS catastrophe in India.  The country would have 20-25m…cases by 2010…But 2010 came and went…That victory – India’s biggest public health achievement – has remained uncelebrated…[because] the people…[who] were crucial in guiding India away from its seemingly inescapable destiny [were] the country’s sex workers…Ashok Alexander spent a decade at the helm of [Avahan,] the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s campaign against HIV.  In his book, A Stranger Truth: Lessons in Love, Leadership and Courage from India’s Sex Workershe says the miracle would never have happened without [them]…Avahan opened drop-in centres where…[sex workers] could unwind, have a hot shower and rest on a mattress on the floor.  There was also the chance to be checked for sexually transmitted infection by a doctor without fear of being identified and stigmatised.  For Avahan, the centres were a way of collecting the women in one place to be able to give them the information, support and condoms they needed…Avahan…had a presence in 550 towns in just two years; within three, it had become the world’s largest privately sponsored HIV prevention programme…The women knew what was best for them.  All Alexander had to do, as he says, was tap into “the strength inherent in even the most marginalised of people if they are enabled to come together in a common cause”…

Surplus Women 

What does her income have to do with her murder?

A murdered escort known as a party girl by her “posh friends” told them she was an IT consultant to cover up her double life as a sex worker…Christina Abbotts…charged $2,500 [a night]…She was beaten around the head 13 times in a brutal attack and strangled, allegedly by a banker who was a regular customer…Zahid Naseem…is accused of the 29-year-old’s murder, at around midnight on her birthday…she…[used] the [stage name] Tilly Pexton…

$2500 for an overnight is a fairly typical rate for “high end” escorts; this detail is not noteworthy in any way.  It’s only purpose is to appeal to prurience.

If Men Were Angels 

Go on, keep raising your kids to respect authority:

A former high school athletic trainer in Montana accused of sexually assaulting up to 100 boys during a nearly 30-year span has been arrested on multiple counts of child pornography possession…James Eric Jensen…78…groomed and sexually assaulted up to 100 male students, prompting an admission of guilt…after at least 18 victims were identified…Jensen…promised to increase the physical prowess of the teen athletes as young as 14 with a training regimen that he dubbed “The Program” and included routine clinical exams that escalated to massages to oral sex and digital anal penetration…the…incidents…occurred outside the statute of limitations…[but] Jensen [also] had images of child pornography…[which] were discovered after a housekeeper at a retirement community…where Jensen lived told police she saw images of nude boys on his computer…

Pyrrhic Victory (#615)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

…Hertz rental cars [has entered a]…partnership with Clear, the biometric face and fingerprint scanning company you’ve seen at airport security checkpoints…At the…Atlanta International Airport this month, you can check out and drive off in your rental car with just a scan of your face (or a fingerprint reading)…if you’re a Gold Plus Rewards program member who’s signed up for Clear…The Fast Lane service will expand to 40 other airport rental locations in the next six months…The rental car scans come less than a week after Microsoft president Brad Smith warned about the dangers of facial recognition tech…government misuse…stem[s] from this convenience.  Granted, the Hertz use-case is fairly harmless.  But that’s how it always starts…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#684) 

I think it’s kinda hilarious that these dumb sex doll conferences keep getting cancelled:

…the Fourth International Congress of Love and Sex With Robots had the rug pulled out from under it when co-conference Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology abruptly canceled its own event in what it [hilariously and self-importantly] called “a tragic moment in the history of human civilization”…Even before its demise, Love and Sex With Robots was shaping up to be something less than a remarkable affair.  The conference appears to have been a nonstarter going back months.  Springer Nature pulled the plug on the planned publication of the conference proceedings when it learned back in July that only about 10 papers had been submitted for the planned two-day conference…As of last week, only five academic papers appeared on the schedule, including one paper by Adrian David Cheok in which he apparently asked 15 people if they would like to have sex with a robot…

Pyrrhic Victory (#810)

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

…the Electronic Frontier Foundation…filed hundreds of Freedom of Information Act…requests…[to investigate] Vigilant Solutions, the largest private company selling [Automated License Plate Reader] technology and data…173 entities (largely police departments and sheriff’s offices, but also some federal agencies) in 23 states scanned a total of 2.5 billion license plates in 2016 and 2017…99.5 percent of scans belonged to cars that weren’t associated with crimes…on average, each agency was directly sharing this information with 160 other jurisdictions at various levels of government…Vigilant…[also] sells access to this dataset to an undisclosed list of entities.  What that means is even if your plates were shot in Georgia, your location data may be accessible to cops in say, Illinois.  Or it may be bought by private companies or Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Torture Chamber (#878)

Government is just a word for the things we choose to do together:

(ICE) announced…that federal authorities have arrested 170 immigrants who came forward to sponsor migrant children in government custody.  This is the result of a new, fun rule the Department of Homeland Security put into effect…[which] allows immigration authorities to examine the criminal background and legal status of anyone who attempts to sponsor the unaccompanied minors — usually parents or close relatives already in the country.  They can even check the papers of any other adults living in their home…It’s a masterclass in evil:  Use defenseless children as bait to lure immigrants to the authorities…109 of the immigrants arrested had no criminal record.  The remaining 61 had criminal records, but ICE wouldn’t specify [whether they were]…violent offenses…

The article is marred by the fact that author Stephen Robinson, who apparently opposes locking people in cages for things that aren’t violent crimes, praises scumbag prohibitionist Kamala Harris…whose entire career is based on locking people in cages for things that aren’t violent crimes and then using them for slave labor.

Pyrrhic Victory (#884) 

Though Amazon isn’t listening to shareholders, it seems Google is:

Google…made a pretty clear statement about how its facial recognition technology will and won’t be used for the time being…civil rights groups as well as its own investors and employees have urged [Amazon] to stop providing its facial recognition technology to police…

I think it unlikely Google has decided to stop being evil; it’s probably just too busy developing an internet censorship engine for the Chinese government.

Uncommon Sense (#892) 

More on the Spanish sex worker union the government wants to suppress:

APROSEX falls somewhere between a social network, support group, and day-care system.  The women check in on one another to make sure they’ve reached and left their dates safely, take turns watching each other’s children during night shifts, and meet…to vent about work and clients.  APROSEX counts about 150 members…Two years ago, the women of APROSEX decided it was time to unionize.  Once they were a legal entity, they’d have a fighting chance to demand basic workers’ rights and challenge the criminal code.  Under a 2015 public-safety law—colloquially known as the “gag law” and widely considered draconian—sex workers can be fined from €600 to €10,400 (roughly $680 to $11,800) for committing “obscene acts” or, more vaguely, for “disobeying authority” in public spaces close to places frequented by minors…Last year, law enforcement reported an average of 1.3 women per day for prostitution, 60 percent of whom were fined…

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I am more frightened of the police than I am of [a rapist].  –  Sipho

Surplus Women 

Stick to sex worker victims, and you can murder as many women as you like without cops giving a shit (or even noticing):

Convicted killer Samuel Little, 78, could turn out to be among the country’s most prolific serial killers in history, and one that, until now, law enforcement didn’t even realize existed…after being convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2014 for three murders in Southern California between 1986 and 1989, Little recently began confessing to dozens more [as part of a bargain in which he will be moved to a prison in Texas].  In total, Little has confessed to killing 90 women  across more than a dozen states between 1970 and 2005…and…the FBI…has been able to link 34 unsolved murders to Little’s confessed crimes…While Little is fuzzy about dates, he has a chillingly detailed memory of…what his victims looked like and how they were killed…Little targeted marginalized women, many of them women of color, and the FBI has admitted that many of the murder cases they’ve linked to Little were not just unsolved, but barely investigated; some of his victims haven’t even been identified.  And although Little, a former competitive boxer, usually beat his victims and then strangled them while masturbating, according to the FBI, “many of these deaths were not classified as homicides [because NHI] but attributed to drug overdoses, accidents, or natural causes”…

Secret Squirrel (#344)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

…“We offer a variety of options for parents whether they are simply looking out for their teens overall safety or concerned for the teen that may be sneaking out of the house at night or at risk of running away,” a sales video for Florida’s Tampa Bay Monitoring informs prospective customers…Frank Kopczynski, the owner of Tampa Bay Monitoring…also runs Action Plus Bail Bonds…“We provide a bracelet that is near-impossible to cut off,” Kopczynski [said]…[a microphone allows] staff [to] monitor the teen covertly…A competing teen GPS monitoring service says of their systems, “This device is also great if your juvenile goes on spring break!”…Tampa Bay Monitoring also offers an “optional, hardened steel encased security cuff for high-risk teens”…

Property of the State 

People with children are uniquely vulnerable to state coercion:

Child Protective Services workers…pressured a Harris County investigator to file charges against the mother whose case prompted a $127,000 sanction against the agency…Dillon and Melissa Bright [sued the state]…after CPS [abducted]…their children…[using invented claims] of child abuse…Following an October court hearing in which a CPS caseworker repeatedly pleaded the Fifth Amendment on the stand [to avoid admitting prior perjury], the family ultimately won back their kids and last month Juvenile Judge Mike Schneider slapped the state with what may be the largest-ever sanction against the agency.  [The pressure to file further spurious charges started soon after]…

Little Boxes (#576)

US media reporting this fail to mention that many US jurisdictions have very similar laws against revealing clothes for women:

An Egyptian actress [was]…charged with public obscenity after she showed up at the closing ceremony of a film festival in Cairo wearing a see-through dress that revealed the entirety of her legs.  Rania Youssef’s trial, which is scheduled to begin Jan. 12, follows a complaint to the chief prosecutor by a group of [busybody] lawyers…Youssef faces up to five years in prison if convicted…

Sex Work is Work (#603)

Amateurs could learn so much about business from whores:

…Why [do] sex workers show so many more leadership attributes than a business leader?  The answer is straightforward—out of necessity.  A business leader has as many leadership attributes as he needs to have, and…just one or two might suffice…Rarely does he have to be an all-rounder…because he has enough people to cover for him.  The female sex worker does not have this luxury.  Her world is far more complex, much more challenging.  She must deal with emotional, health, and financial crises all the time.  There is the constant threat of violence, and her first mission is really to survive.  She has no power, but still must stay in control.  She has no support system, but she must cope.  She simply cannot win with just one or two shots in her game; she needs a whole repertoire…

The Last Shall Be First (#624)

The only “mistake” here was that the victim wasn’t actually trans:

A woman is suing employees of a Florida jail after they…forced her to spend…[many] hours in a cell surrounded by dozens of men, because they suspected she was transgender…Fior Pichardo de Veloz had come to Miami from the Dominican Republic to witness the birth of her grandchild in 2013, when she was arrested at the airport on an outstanding drug charge…Due to her history of high blood pressure, Pichardo de Veloz was examined by a nurse as a precaution.  The nurse saw she had been taking hormone pills and questioned her about her gender.  Despite Pichardo de Veloz’s denial of being a man, the nurse added a note to her file that read: “Transgender, male parts, female tendencies.”  The nurse notified a doctor, who reclassified Pichardo de Veloz as male without an examination…[she] was transferred to…an all-male jail, and shared a cell with about 40 men, who jeered at her…for 10 hours and said she was terrified to go to the bathroom and “urinated on herself instead”…[when] family members [complained]…she was…given a new examination [while]…several male [cops watched]…laughed at her and…took a photo…

Understand what happened here:  the nurse fully intended to put a transwoman into a situation where she was likely to be raped.  She could easily have determined the woman’s genitalia by examining her, but then she couldn’t have claimed it was a “mistake” to put her with men.

To Molest and Rape 

Can you imagine any non-cop getting only three months for aggravated rape?

A Colorado [pig] who [raped] a handcuffed woman…was sentenced to 90 days in jail followed by four years on probation…His victim was left with PTSD…Curtis Lee Arganbright…[was supposed] to take the woman home [after a minor incident at a hospital, for which the hospital declined to press charges]…on the way to her house…he…stopped his…car…and [vaginally raped] her…on the [hood] while she was still cuffed.  He then…oral[ly raped her]…before [threatening her if she told anyone]…She returned the hospital the following day [to report the]…rape…Addressing the incident when it first came to light in August 2017, Westminster Police Chief Tim Carlson [tried to divert attention from the crime by talking about his sadfeelz]…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#778) 

Toasters have no “virginity” and cannot “consent” to anything:

Sex robots [do not exist] at the moment…but [that doesn’t stop reporters from calling sex doll rental arcades]…“robot brothels”…feel out the market in the US and Canada.  But if a [doll] hasn’t “had sex” yet, does that make it a virgin?  A crowdfunding campaign to open the world’s first consent-focused [sex doll rental arcade]…launched by Abyss Creations employee Unicole Unicron last month would argue that it does indeed…a $155,000 funding target [failed miserably by reaching only $2659 even though]…backers [could] pledge $10,000 to be the first person to [masturbate with] a [doll] at Eve’s Robot Dreams…in California…is putting a price on a robot’s virginity really the best marketing strategy for a [fake] brothel that’s focusing on the idea of [fake] consent?…

I’m sorry, that’s all  can quote; it’s just all too stupid even with my extensive editorialization.

The Rape Question (#806) 

Why do men not get that an informal contract without a lawyer witness would offer no protection?

…women [are] being asked to record “consent videos” before having [amateur] sex with men who fear they will be accused of assault afterwards…this then allows the person who recorded the video to use it as “evidence” that their partner gave consent before having sex…barrister Kate Fortescue [said]…”In this digital age, a jury is nearly always asked to look at material from phones and computers to help them decide the issue of consent.  Evidence of pre-recorded consent is clearly relevant and something a jury could consider.  However, even if consent was freely given, such recordings could never provide a blanket defence”…

Seriously, guys, if you’re really this worried just stick to pros and leave the amateurs alone.

The Prudish Giant (#818) 

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

Curator and art historian Ruben Cordova [foolishly] thought that Facebook was the perfect platform to archive the photographic materials equivalent to almost a decade’s worth of his research.  He created a network of albums, links, commentaries, and comparanda online, sometimes using those resources for his lectures at universities and galleries.  This abundance of scholarship even included materials necessary for Cordova’s forthcoming publication.  But…in the early morning of November 16…Facebook…permanently disabled his account due to an alleged violation of community standards banning sexually explicit content…[because an] algorithm in[correc]tly identified the nude woman in John De Andrea’s hyperrealistic Self-Portrait with Sculpture (1980) as a living human being…the image…was just one of about 240…he uploaded from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s popular Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body exhibition…[and even] included a link to the museum website, which would presumably allow a human moderator to fact-check Cordova’s appeal against his ban…when the art historian did try to appeal Facebook’s decision, he found that none of his messages reached the social media giant through his computer, receiving multiple error messages instead…

Disaster (#829)

We did warn you this wouldn’t stop with sex workers:

Tumblr will permanently ban adult content from its platform on December 17th in [celebration of the infliction of violence on sex workers]…The new policy’s announcement comes just days after Tumblr was removed from Apple’s iOS App Store over a child pornography incident, but it extends far beyond that matter alone…Banned content includes photos, videos, and GIFs of human genitalia, female-presenting nipples, and any media involving sex acts, including illustrations…The new guidelines exclude text, so erotica remains permitted.  Illustrations and art that feature nudity are still okay — so long as sex acts aren’t depicted — and so are breastfeeding and after-birth photos…[existing] posts with [censored] content will be set to private, which will prevent them from being reblogged or shared elsewhere…Users who run adult blogs can also export their content before the change takes place in order to save what they have…Since Tumblr was founded in 2007, it has largely turned a blind eye to adult content…[which made it] a safe place [for gender and sexual minorities] to enjoy, share, and discuss…adult content…

Business As Usual (#845)

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

One in three of the 57 sex workers surveyed [in South Africa] reported they had been raped by policemen, and more than half said police officers had demanded bribes from them in exchange for escaping arrest or abuse…From interviews with a further 61 sex workers, the Sonke and Sweat researchers documented horrific examples of police forcing the women to have sex with animals, compelling them to eat used condoms and refusing to assist them after they had reported abuse at the hands of clients…in November 2015, [when] a sex worker…was found dead at “The Bush” [a scrub-covered field where sex workers take clients]…police…refused to take…statements [from her friends]…Instead…the police raided “The Bush” two weeks later, setting fire to their shacks and destroying their personal possessions…

Worse Than I Thought (#852)

While Virginia lags in inventing inflammatory anti-whore rhetoric, it makes up for it by inventing truly awful anti-whore laws:

Members of the Virginia State Crime Commission endorsed a package of anti-sex-[worker] legislation…that would…create “John schools” for people caught [in cop stings] and make it illegal to charge for “masturbatory services”…“Happy endings”…are currently not included in the state’s prostitution statutes, but local governments can individually act to define the transactions as illegal sex acts…[prohibitionists quoted some racist propaganda]…from…Polaris Project [that infantilizes Asian migrant women so as to deny them agency]…Another piece of legislation approved by the commission would create a [new anti-whore bureaucracy]…and…proposed “John schools” [to indoctrinate ordinary men in anti-whore propaganda]…Another…would define [any associate of an underage sex worker] as caretakers…and allow social service agencies to take emergency custody of [those declared] victims, [imprisoning them indefinitely under the guise of “protection”]…

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The “first oral sex robot”…[looks less like a] sexy silicone face…and…more like a Wi-Fi router with benefits.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Feminine Pragmatism 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

The [UK] Universal Credit benefits system is forcing some women to turn to sex work, [opponents of the scheme] say…”Julie”, from Merseyside, never thought she would have to turn to sex work.  But an eight-week wait for the single mum’s first payment after transferring from her previous benefits left her “desperate”, so when she was offered £30 for sex she took it…

Counterfeit Comfort

Arizona says anyone even accused of a sex crime is subhuman:

…the Supreme Court in Smith v. Doe held that sex offender registration was not punitive, but civil, and therefore beyond the reach of the Ex Post Facto Clause…this categorical group known as “sex offenders” was so deserving of a life of misery, prohibition and shunning for the putative safety of the community that there was a rational basis for civil rules to make them societal outcasts.  Where they can live, work, exist for decades, if not the rest of their lives, was constrained to the point of impossibility.  And should they mess up compliance with any detail, back they go to prison.  But it’s not criminal.  It’s civil.  For no better reason than legislatures say it’s not punitive, but for the safety of the children, Even though it’s punitive.  Extremely punitive.  Arizona wants to take this further…[by] “rendering a defendant [accused of a sex crime] categorically ineligible for bail“…it categorically prohibits bail without regard for individual circumstances…In order to obtain release, the accused would apparently be compelled to disprove the accusations.  Not at trial, but just to be considered for bail.  It’s not merely a presumption of guilt, with the burden shifted onto the defendant to disprove his guilt, but one that imposes the burden on a singular group, sex offenders, because they are now the most dreaded and hated in society…

Scapegoats 

Safety first:

A [Florida] man has been arrested after several people told deputies they spotted him having sex with a miniature horse…Nicholas Anthony Sardo, 21, admitted to having sex with a miniature male pony named Jackie G…four times during the course of a week.  Sardo told deputies he used a condom each time because he didn’t want to get a disease from the horse…

Torture Chamber 

“Correcting” people to death:

The death of an inmate following an “altercation with correctional staff” at Western Illinois Correctional Center in May has been ruled a homicide…Larry Earvin died from blunt trauma [intentionally inflicted] to the chest and abdomen [by four screws]…The 65-year-old Earvin sustained 15 rib fractures…two dozen or more abrasions, hemorrhages and lacerations…[and a ruptured colon]…four [screws] were [rewarded for the murder with paid vacations]…Willie Hedden…Benjamin Burnett…Blake Haubrich…and…Alex Banta…

“An altercation with correctional staff” means “screws beat him to death”.

To Molest and Rape 

Sometimes they even rape their own:

A [cop] who became a pariah among Nashville police has sued the force and her commander for…retaliating against her after she [reported] a rape by a colleague, as well as racial and gender-based discrimination.  Monica Blake[‘s]…lawsuit includes a long list of grievances, from being treated differently than male colleagues to free speech suppression and retaliation for reporting [her] rape in 2016…[the rapist] made a plea deal…and had his rape charges reduced to aggravated assault [and the department is hiding his identity so he can be free to rape other women]…she was once suspended for three days for simply playing a game of cards, while white male officers escaped almost all culpability for much harsher violations – like [framing innocent people]…It got worse when she publicly supported an initiative to create a Community Oversight Board…

Lack of Evidence (#821)

Why do sex workers and others believe in these garbage “immunity” policies?

Sex workers would be [statutorily] immune from criminal prosecution when they report rapes, assaults, robberies and other crimes, under a bill approved by a [Utah] legislative committee…[bill sponsor] Paul Ray…said…”If we put it in statute, [gullible whores]…will [believe they’ll actually] receive immunity and be treated as a victim or witness”…He said serial offenders prey upon sex workers because “they know they can”…

Remember, cops and politicians claim that indefinite detention without charge is a form of “protection”, and courts have on many occasions caged rape or domestic violence victims to compel their testimony.  Laws that claim to grant members of a criminalized group “immunity” for high-sounding reasons are bullshit as long as the group is still criminalized; even if the mark isn’t immediately caged she will be placed on a list, spied on and generally persecuted.

The Notorious Badge (#822) 

An interesting history of Annie Sprinkle’s salon in 1980s New York:

…From 1980-94, the Sprinkle Salon was a spiritual and physical extension of Sprinkle’s identity.  Her radicalism was translated into fetish, tattoo, and body modification parties, while her pledge to sexual positivity emulated in female empowerment sex classes like Sluts and Goddesses…and her role as a leader in the sex industry was equally translated into sex worker rights groups like PONY (Prostitutes Of New York) and porn support groups like Club 90.  Above all, the Sprinkle Salon was a central point for New York’s underground sexual rebellion and a place to push the revolution into the rights of fetishists, porn stars, and sex workers…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848) 

Liz Brown on the “sex robot” fantasy:

…The idea of sex machines as technological comeuppance for women who dared declare their liberation has grown alongside the boom in misogynist online media…But here’s the bad news for the men dreaming of a sexbot…”Harmony”…is as close as we’ve come so far to a consumer sexbot.  And she’s more Tamagotchi than Westworld…there is little to suggest that sexbots will be more than a fascinating “niche”…There will certainly be some of your “Men Going Their Own Way” (MGTOW) types, those who see sex robots as a way around the problem of women’s inconvenient humanity.  And there will be fetishists — those for whom the synthetic and robotic elements are the appeal…There are also likely to be novelty users…None of this seems terribly scary, and certainly not the catastrophe some fear…because most people are looking for something much more complicated than a well-engineered masturbatory machine…

Traffic Circle (#880)

A pearl-clutching hack incompetently tries to present the shitty management of a part-time strip club as “evidence” of “sex trafficking” in a rural area during hunting season:

…from September to November…Frank Day’s [bar] opens a short-term strip club, specifically catering to a rush of pheasant hunters who travel [to South Dakota]here from all over the country toting shotguns and cash to burn.  Pheasant hunting season…comes with a dark side: sex trafficking…Pop-up strip clubs…can trap freelance dancers in a web of exorbitant fees…making them vulnerable to being illegally exploited by traffickers…South Dakota is dawning to the realization that human trafficking isn’t just a big-city problem.  It’s…modern slavery…as…men [magically] control…women and sell their [soulless] bodies for sex…“People of South Dakota don’t think it’s happening in their backyard, but it is,” [panted prohibitionist] Lisa Heth…

Epilogue:  The idiot who wrote this dreck actually tried to mansplain the stripping business to a well-known stripper who writes about stripping when she called him on his BS on Twitter.

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