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Posts Tagged ‘scams’

The time has come to reject the canard of marijuana emanating from nearly every vehicle subject to a traffic stop.  –  Judge April Newbauer

Just a few hours after my last Links column posted, we learned of the death of Ric Ocasek (formerly of The Cars); this was my favorite of their videos, and one of my favorites of their songs.  The links above it were provided by Tim Cushing, Jillian Keenan, Scott Greenfield, Dave Krueger, Popehat, and Tim Cushing again, in that order.

From the Archives

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You can say, “No sex without a condom”. You can say, “No sex until we’re married”.  But you can’t say, “No sex until you pay me”?…that…really undermines what consent means.  –  Katherine Sears

Bad Girls

I guess it runs in the family:

A judge found a[n Ohio] woman guilty of felony theft charges..[for] swindling an elderly war veteran out of tens of thousands of dollars before his death earlier this year.  Latasha Wisniewski, 38, used the false promise of romance to gain the trust of Charles Bauer, an 89-year-old Korean War veteran and widower, then looted much of his life’s savings in a matter of months to purchase botox injections, breast implants and butt implants…Wisniewski and her boyfriend, Daniel Scholz, are also charged with additional felony charges of misuse of credit cards in a separate case…Wisniewski’s conviction was based in part on the testimony of her aunt, 39-year-old Lisa Dotson…[who] was a home health aide charged in a separate case that accused her [of] stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly and disabled clients.  She pleaded guilty to charges in both cases in August and agreed to [snitch on] Wisniewski…

Check Your Premises 

How about “women who were forced to work as cashiers were watched over by security guards so that they didn’t escape”?

South American women who were forced to work as prostitutes were watched over by security guards so that they didn’t escape.  [Cops sexually fantasized that] the 22 women were available 24 hours a day…The[y]…apparently…[worked for] two months [before]…new women would be introduced…

The word for a security guard posted to keep potentially-unruly, possibly-drunk customers in line is “bouncer”.  Bouncers in sex work establishments (such as strip clubs & brothels) are there to protect the workers, not to keep them from “escaping”.

The More the Better

Anything that helps demystify sex work is a good thing:

…attorney…Katherine Sears…began working as a prostitute three years ago, at…a…Nevada…brothel…By speaking about her experience, Sears hopes to educate people on a taboo topic…her husband John…isn’t bothered by her part-time job…Katherine…works in the brothel for three weeks before coming home to Iowa for a week…“You’re really less likely to get an STD from a prostitute than you are from the general public,” Sears said.  In the past year, she has taken time off to focus on her law practice and her 4-month-old son.  But it hasn’t stopped her from trying to break down misconceptions around prostitution…and…is so passionate about the decriminalization of prostitution, she is willing to take prostitution cases on pro bono…

Thou Shalt Not

Crypto-moralism is back in the news again lately:

…Regular consumption of soft drinks — both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened — was associated with a greater risk of all causes of death, according to research…in JAMA Internal Medicine.  Participants who drank two or more glasses of soft drinks per day had a higher risk of mortality than those who consumed less than one glass per month…two or more glasses of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day was positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases.  For sugar-sweetened soft drinks, one or more glasses a day were associated with deaths from digestive diseases…researchers cautioned that elevated soft-drink consumption may be a marker for an overall unhealthy lifestyle.  “In our study, high soft drinks consumers had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were also more likely to be current tobacco smokers,” said the study’s chief researcher, Neil Murphy…

Given that 100% of humans die, it’s not possible for anything to lead to “a greater risk of all causes of death”.  Also, this is your reminder that “sugary” is a ’70s-era dysphemism for “sweet”, appearing at roughly the same time as “natural” became an advertising buzzword; note that while the article writer mostly used more objective language, the headline writer couldn’t resist the pejorative term.

Monsters 

This was the 17th murder of a trans person this year; the majority were black trans women:

…Bailey Reeves…A [17-year-old trans woman]…was shot and killed in Baltimore over Labor Day weekend…the…body was found by a 16-year-old who said they heard three gunshots and a girl screaming “My friend! Someone help my friend! Call 911!”…the victim was transported to a hospital where she died…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#699)

Canadians join Americans in filling kids’ heads with anti-sex propaganda:

An Ontario school board is reviewing a new curriculum that would [indoctrinate] Grade 7 and 8 students [in anti-]sex [worker propaganda]…TK Pritchard [dreamed up] the [propaganda, which includes the usual lies about how]…the average “age of entrance” to trafficking is between 12 and 14…[boyfriends are] “Romeo pimps”…love and trust of [anyone who isn’t an “authority” is bad, etc]…”Waterloo region is a hotbed for human trafficking,” said Pritchard [while stroking himself]…”a lot of curriculums [sic]…use [propaganda] from the States…our curriculum is made with Canadian [lies which are exactly the same]…Police say they [wish] more trafficking [were] happening [so they could use it as an]…intimidation tactic…[like US cops do]…

Checklist (#852) 

Though that word doesn’t appear in this story, ask yourself why a racist airline employee was interrogating passengers about a fantasized international criminal conspiracy:

…an Alaska Airlines employee [intentionally set off an alarm and] yelled “evacuate” at [Newark]…airport on Labor Day…sen[ding] 200 panicked people fleeing amid fears of a mass shooting attack…the…employee…[claimed] she believed two male passengers were acting suspiciously…Han Han Xue…was waiting…to board his delayed…flight home to San Francisco….[when] the…employee…[pushed] him from behind…then approached Chunyi Luo, a…student standing near him.  “Are you scared? Are you nervous?” Luo said she asked him.  Luo…said he told her he was feeling nervous because the flight was late…but she stood “too close” to him so he stepped a few feet away.  Then she began asking Xue questions.  She asked if he knew Luo (the two were strangers) and what his itinerary was.  She then asked, “Why are you acting suspiciously?”  Xue said he struggled to know how to respond as the questions…became more bizarre.  “How much are they paying you?…Did they give you a visa?  Did they give your family a visa?  Do you make a lot of money?  Do you work on Wall Street?  Are you on an American visa?”…Xue..a [Canadian] citizen [who] works as a product designer at Lyft…said…he felt like he was being racially targeted and harassed, so he…join[ed] the passengers boarding the flight, hoping she’d bother someone else.  But she followed him, saying, “I’m onto you guys. The cops are already called”…[she then] yelled, “Evacuate, evacuate!” and pressed an emergency alarm…Xue ran with the crowd to another gate and…Luo [did too because he] believed there was a shooter…

The employee didn’t dream up these rude, prying questions herself; they’re the type of questions the mandated “training program” urges employees to harass brown people with in order to “fight sex trafficking”.

Pyrrhic Victory (#964)

The fascist establishment thinks nobody should have any privacy, even in their own thoughts:

A new frontier in lie detection is now emerging…projects are using AI to combine multiple sources of evidence into a single measure for deception.  Machine learning is accelerating deception research by spotting previously unseen patterns in reams of data…The algorithms behind such tools are designed to improve continuously over time, and may ultimately end up basing their determinations of guilt and innocence on factors that even the humans who have programmed them don’t understand.  These tests are being trialled in job interviews, at border crossings and in police inter[rogations]…the frontline for much of the new government-funded lie detection technology has been the borders of the US and Europe…the Avatar unit has a microphone, an infra-red eye-tracking camera and an Xbox Kinect sensor to measure body movement…[the system displays a creep cartoon “agent” to distract and unsettle subjects and] uses an algorithm to combine all of these types of data…to send a verdict to a human border guard within 45 seconds, who can either wave the traveller through or pull them aside for additional screening…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#965) 

Will porn companies be the next to face the music for exploiting sex workers?

…nearly two dozen young women say that they responded to Craigslist ads seeking models and were then tricked into performing in internet pornography…producers behind a website called Girls Do Porn…were seeking women to make so-called amateur porn…Respondents…were directed to innocuous websites, with pictures of clothed women, that asked for their contact information and photographs.  Instead of being offered modeling jobs…they were offered roughly $5,000 to make pornography…[that] producers [claimed]…would be distributed only on DVD outside of the United States and would never be published online…[instead] the videos [were published] online, on Girls Do Porn…[and] also distributed to major sites, like Pornhub.  Shortly after the videos were posted, the women’s names and identifying information popped up on a [now-defunct] site called PornWikileaks, which [doxxes] people who have done porn…The women are seeking $22 million in damages…[and] their videos removed from the website…

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Court[s]…allow…prosecutors to punish teens for the terrible things [others] have done to them.  –  Tim Cushing

Bad Girls

Why is “attractive” in scare quotes?

Men arriving at a [house in] Plant City [Florida] with the expectation of meeting a woman were instead beaten, robbed and even tortured…Hispanic [victims] were lured…under the guise of “socializing with an attractive female.”  The woman did indeed meet each victim in the driveway, but once they were inside…the men were “viciously tortured” while being beaten and robbed.  Then, they were forced to drive their own cars to ATMs around Plant City to withdraw money for the [gang], all under the threat that their families would be harmed if they did not cooperate…[the gang then] released the victims but kept their cars…two men and two women [have] been arrested on charges related to kidnapping, robbery, and battery: Thomas Nolasco, Joshua Rodriguez, Carina Bailon, and Melissa Long; a warrant is out for the arrest of James T. Smith…

Feminine Pragmatism 

It’s good to see that the media is beginning to grasp this:

When I saw an ad for topless waitresses at double the minimum wage plus tips, it seemed like a sign from the universe…The job was a vast improvement over motel housekeeping.  On the first night, I earned an entire month’s rent money and, more importantly, bouncers made sure no one touched the staff…years later, I looked back and realized, “Oh, that was sex work.”  Once I’d recognized that, I also understood what I’d been doing when I was earning groceries…The only difference between sex work and other work is that American culture continues to place a high moral value on amorphous concepts like…sexual purity.  I was supposed to be ashamed of my topless waitressing, because my hypothetical future husband wouldn’t like the idea of a hundred half-drunk soldiers staring at my breasts on a Saturday night.  My body was supposed to belong to a man I wouldn’t meet for another 10 years…sex work is not some great fall from respectability.  It’s often the net that catches people before they fall into destitution…Sex work has the power to lift people out of poverty, because you don’t need a college degree, and it almost always pays more than minimum wage…

Buried Truth

I think we have enough evidence to start calling this “McNeill’s Law”:

The founder of one of the nation’s largest conversion therapy programs, who spent decades leading the organization, now says he is gay, apologizing for his role in the practice.  McKrae Game, who founded and led Hope for Wholeness in South Carolina, publicly announced he was gay in early June, more than two years after the organization’s board of directors abruptly fired him…

Under Every Bed (#615)

Possibly the silliest “King of the Hill” claimant ever:

The FBI says human trafficking is the third largest criminal activity in the world.  Rockford ranks tenth in the United States and second in the state when it comes to trafficking victims.  According to advocates for Rockford’s Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, or RAASE, one reason why Rockford is high on those lists is because of its location in the Midwest, making it a central hub for human trafficking…

The idea that a declining industrial city could be a “sex tourism” destination is right up there with the claim that any serious adult calls Milwaukee “the Harvard of sex trafficking“.

Banishment (#802)

Few states are as sociopathic as Florida in maltreating people on a Sacred Government List:

…in Florida…people [condemned to] the [“sex offender”] registry were barred from shelters [during Hurricane Dorian]…if they attempted to stay with friends or relatives, they faced daunting residency and registration requirements…in Flagler [and Nassau] Count[ies, they]…were directed to…seek shelter in the county jail…Under Florida law, those who evacuate must register their temporary addresses, in person, at the sheriff’s office if they will be away from home for three or more days.  They are also required to [pay to change] their driver’s license or identification card with the temporary address within 48 hours of their departure date [and then pay again to change it back when they return home]…failing to comply with [these] requirements [could result in]…five years in prison…

I guess Florida “officials” enjoy getting sued over this, because they keep doing it.

Guinea Pigs (#884) 

Facebook policies prohibit the creation of fake accounts by law enforcement, but pigs make them anyway and Facebook does nothing about it:

Facebook said…that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be violating the company’s rules if agents create fake profiles to monitor the social media of foreigners seeking to enter the country…Facebook spokeswoman Sarah Pollack…said the company has communicated its concerns and its policies on the use of fake accounts to DHS.  She said the company will shut down fake accounts, including those belonging to [duplicitous pigs and spooks], when they are reported…

But until they’re reported by others, you can bet Facebook won’t be looking very hard.

Saving Them From Themselves (#942)

Oink oink, she was on the wrong side of an imaginary line, so we have to destroy her life!  SHAZAM!

In 2016, a 16-year-old Maryland student known as S.K….sent a brief cellphone video to two friends…A few months later, S.K. had a falling-out with one recipient of the video, a 17-year-old boy known as K.S…[who] reported the video to the school [pig], Eugene CaballeroCaballero took [SK’s] statement and passed it on to state prosecutors [who of course did what prosecutors do]…S.K…was found guilty…as a distributor of child pornography…S.K. challenged the sentence, pointing out that the law does not provide for charging the subject of alleged child porn with child pornography production…The court looks at the law and decides the legislative intent was to treat minors as their own pornographers…The dissent says this is [clearly insane]…

Forward and Backward (#947)

Moral panics make it so easy for pathetic twits to gain a sense of importance; all they need to do is be willing to make up a lot of ridiculous and evidence-free lies about how they were “almost snatched by a pimp”, about “signs of sex trafficking”, about small cities being “sex trafficking hubs”,  about magic numbers and words that “end demand”, and naturally about how looking at pictures of naked people magically creates “slavery”.  And the hoi-polloi just gobble it up, no matter how deeply stupid it is to anyone who lives in the real world.

Torture Chamber (#966)

The government calls this “correction”:

A brutal beating by four guards inside Florida’s largest women’s prison has left a woman…paralyzed for life, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit…four [screws]…slammed her to the ground and began beating her.  At least one…elbowed the back of her neck…then [the four] dragged Weimar “like a rag doll” to an area not covered by surveillance cameras and continued beating her nearly to death…She is now a quadriplegic and…hospitalized with a breathing tube…the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) has blocked Weimar’s attorney and her husband from taking pictures of her injuries…

Pyrrhic Victory (#969)

Surely you didn’t think Amazon’s two nastiest privacy-violation schemes would stay separate for long?

…Amazon loooooves to play word-games…[it claims] cops only get access to Ring customers’ videos if the customers offer to share it; but what they never said is that if a customer turns down a police [demand], Amazon instructs the cops to make an “official request” to the company and then they grant warrantless access to the footage…a[n anonymous] Ring spokesperson…[said] “Ring is not Rekognition and does not work with Rekognition”…[yet] there’s a dude at Ring Ukraine named Oleksandr Obiednikov whose title is “head of face recognition research” and who has given conference talks on how facial recognition can integrate with products like Ring.  The company’s filed multiple facial recognition patents, and its terms of service allow it to use the video from your doorbell to train facial recognition systems.  Oh, and they’ve recently advertised job openings for engineers with experience in facial recognition…

And remember, Amazon is trying to add “emotion detection” to its facial recognition.

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[Government regulation of] encryption…[is] great, if your ideal gardening tool is a flamethrower.  –  Violet Blue

Under Every Bed

Some places are so small, they need to claim the whole COUNTY as a “sex trafficking hub”:

[Prohibitionist MacKrea “Cuckoo” Larue claims] Ohio is a hot spot for human trafficking because of its advanced [?] highway system, the fact that 60% of the U.S. population lives within an eight- to 10-hour drive…and the location of four international airports here…[prohibitionists pretend they “found”] nearly 50 online ads related to sex trafficking of minors in Tuscarawas County during a three-month period in the winter of 2015…23 were from Dover and 11 were up and down the I-77 corridor [because 44 is “nearly 50”, I guess]…“The biggest feeder for this is child pornography”…

Others do the same while claiming to be talking about just a town:

Clinton [Mississippi pigs oinked, bloviated and shared masturbatory fantasies about Hinds County’s] first-ever [prostitution sting to be relabeled a] human trafficking operation….The I-20 corridor is a thoroughfare for traffickers as they travel the country…

Naturally, both blame interstate highways as the cause.

Checklist (#704)

Apparently, Canadian “authorities” think their target audience is too stupid to read static posters, so they made a moving one:

A…video [ad displaying anti-sexwork propaganda]…could soon show up in your social media feed, now that a [commercial]…displayed at [Canadian] rest area locations is [loose]…The 14-second video was [released in] July…and…was created by a…[prohibitionist gang]…called Courage for Freedom.  The group [spreads the usual propaganda trying to convince the gullible]…”that [there] are criminal[s] actively working to recruit and isolate young people”…[the group believes that] “It doesn’t matter [who sex workers] are — to [us], they’re a commodity to make money.  [We] will go after anybody that [we] think [we] can coerce and manipulate to make money”…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#778) 

Sex dolls have existed for over a century, but nobody cared until our current global Neo-Victorian Era:

A petition calling for a ban on importing life-size sex dolls into South Korea has gathered nearly a quarter million signatures…passing a threshold that requires the president’s office to respond to the matter.  While sex dolls are not illegal in South Korea, government customs agencies had blocked their import under a law that restricts materials that “corrupt public morals.”  However, the Seoul High Court said in January that sex dolls were for personal use and should be treated differently than pornography, which is heavily restricted under South Korean law.  That decision was upheld by the supreme court in June.  The ruling has sparked a backlash [from puritanical busybodies]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#781)

More idiocy from megalomaniacs who think they control the laws of nature:

US Attorney General Barr [bloviated] that Big Tech “can and must” [somehow magically] put backdoors into encryption [but make them only accessible to the government]…likening the hard facts of computer science to a set of [political] beliefs…The AG’s remarks were reminiscent of former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s unforgettable line regarding encryption backdoors, that “the laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia”…under the Australian laws [which resulted from that delusional attitude], companies can be compelled to install malware on their users’ devices…[censor] messages…[or even spy on] the end-user…as a result [Australian companies were forced]…to build data centers [outside Australia in order to avoid]…the creation of “systemic weaknesses” in their products…

Cops and Robbers (#813)

Since billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt’s loathesome “bots” aren’t scaring clients away, the pigs now pretend they were a major factor in “stings” so as to make them seem scarier:

More than 500 people [including many sex workers] were arrested in a national [pogrom]…the so-called “National Johns Suppression Initiative”…was conducted in 11 states by 26 [gangs of thugs]…six [of the gangs] used fake internet ads that linked to AI bots…[but most arrests were from the typical] street-level…stings [that victimize black and Hispanic people disproportionately]…eight [of the victims] were charged with [talking to an adult pig using them for non-consensual age play] and 18 [were] charged with trafficking [whatever that means.  The arrestees]…includ[ed] three minors [in the entire country]…The AI bot, [paid for by a deranged billionaire]…interacts with [peaceful individuals by deceiving them]…and eventually [bombarding their phones with unwanted BDSM sex fantasies]…The bot [sent such porn to] over 1,100 people in Cook County alone…

Turn of Tide

Though I despise the vague, pejorative term “trafficking” because it means whatever cops, prosecutors, politicians and profiteers want it to mean, the official narrative is backfiring.  Prohibitionists have been so successful in attaching the term “trafficking” to sex work conducted by abused people, women with addiction issues and other marginalized folks, and so victorious in convincing the Great Unwashed that there is a dark-skinned “pimp” hiding behind every survival sex worker no matter what the women say about their lives and experiences, that their own rhetoric is now being used to attack the way that the state persecutes sex workers.  Take this story in GQ, for example; though some variation on the word “traffick” (“trafficker”, “trafficking”, “trafficked”, etc) appears no fewer than 35 times in this relatively-short article (as many as six times a paragraph, which would’ve earned them no better than a “C” in my composition class because such repetition is both boring and annoying), and the authors obediently parrot “international trafficking ring” wanking fantasies as “facts” while simultaneously admitting that there’s no proof for any of it, the central argument isn’t much different from that made by countless sex worker activists: caging sex workers helps nobody but those who profit from the carceral system.  And when the relentless logic of their own mythology leads “trafficking” True Believers to support decriminalization, the days of the moral panic (if not the machinery of injustice it was used to build) are numbered.

The Widening Gyre (#882)

Snopes quotes a giant lie while debunking one tiny subsidiary one:

Human trafficking affects millions of people worldwide, but it’s also the frequent subject of viral scarelore…One such story went viral in October 2018 and again in late July 2019 when social media users shared a meme stating that human traffickers were leaving zip ties…on homes, mailboxes, and cars, of potential female victims to either mark them as targets or distract and abduct them for sex-trafficking purposes when the women try to remove the ties.  The hoax initially centered on San Angelo, Texas…but police there quickly debunked it…

Yes, the once-useful Snopes quoted both fascist scaremonger Polaris and the propaganda-spreading cops as credible sources even though both play a large part in creating the moral panic from which the scarelore springs.

The Course of a Disease (#927)

“Rehabilitation” = “re-education”, AKA “reprogramming” (ie psychological torture):

A[n Israeli] government plan to rehabilitate sex workers has yet to be implemented as most of the funding for the program has not been disbursed…The [scheme]…mandated the establishment of [prisons] and [brainwashing] programs for prostitutes, the expansion of…medical [prison] facilities and the drawing up of [propaganda]…Its approval came shortly after the Knesset passed a law penalizing the solicitation of prostitution…The purpose of the plan [is] to [force] sex workers [into low-paid menial “women’s work”]…

To Molest and Rape (#949)

Just another typical, representative cop:

A Florida state trooper has been arrested for [raping a 14-year-old]…in the back of his car parked in a public gas station…Riley Marcus Schwarz…was busted after the girl’s parents found her journal detailing the numerous times [she was raped by the pig]…Schwarz admitted to [raping] the girl “six to eight times”…and [amazingly]…was immediately fired by the Florida Highway Patrol…

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It seems odd … to make…integrity of…intimate body cavities dependent on who it is that does the…penetrating.  –  Judge John Z. Lee

Where Are the Protests? 

A lot of editing was needed here:

…Portland Police [are]…merging [the] human trafficking [gang]…with its [vice gang.  Prohibitionists]…are concerned the consolidation will result in [fewer pigs raping and persecuting sex workers, but in reality the point is to have more cops harassing women and fewer investigating actual labor exploitation]…

Pride Goeth

We don’t see many good articles about “Straight Pride” events, but the ones we do see are hilarious:

Netflix has threatened the organisers of Boston’s Straight Pride with legal action after they listed the streaming platform as a “prospective corporate sponsor” for their anti-LGBT+ event.  Netflix sent a cease-and-desist order to Super Happy Fun America, the group organising the parade, which has several ties with…white nationalist organisations…Super Happy Fun America were ordered to “immediately” remove the Netflix logo from all materials associated with the event, with the threat of further legal action if this is not done within 24 hours…The parade organisers hit back at Netflix on their website in a post entitled “Netflix hates the straight” which accuses Netflix’s legal team of being staffed by “gay supremacists”…Super Happy Fun America previously tried to use Brad Pitt as their movement’s “mascot,” but were forced to stop following a complaint from Pitt’s representatives…

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

Screenshots of a private group chat…show several [screws] at a Florida prison making [vile] remarks about an inmate beating days before a video of that [beating]…was uploaded to YouTube…by inmates using a [hidden] cell phone…the sister of the [beaten] inmate…and a Florida [politician] who interviewed the inmate in person…have [reported that] officials at the institution [are lying]…about what transpired and attempting to cover up the [flagrant] abuse…Otis Miller [is now locked up in a different stack of cages]…The video [clearly] show[s a gang of screws]…punching [Miller] in the head…[even though] he…is [only] five feet tall and weighs 140 pounds…the [screws clearly took] pride in the damage they had inflicted on [a helpless human being, oinking out such pleasantries as]…“That [inmate] looks like beetle juice [sic]”…“I want more lol”…[and] “Fuck him”…Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch responded with [the usual denials and bullshit]…

That Old Black Magic (#442)

Remember that witchcraft charges were once a popular way to persecute sex workers:

Two residents of the city of Gudermes were [arrested by cops in] Chechnya…for practicing…witchcraft…persecution of medicine men and psychics began in Chechnya six years ago, but in recent years has intensified…The detained women may be facing criminal prosecution…Sorcery and magic contradict Islamic dogma…but…the current campaign…is less connected with religious motives, and to a greater extent with comparatively stronger police control…believes Mikhail Roshchin…of…the Russian Academy of Sciences…

Other modern “wars on witchcraft” are taking place in IndonesiaSaudi Arabia (including online censorship), and to a lesser extent the UK (subtitle link).

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#684) 

This is the worst crime I’ve ever seen “sex addiction” used as a defense for:

A…son of a priest blamed a porn overload for him raping and killing a California scientist who vanished from a conference in Crete…Giannis Paraskakis, who confessed to the murder of 59-year-old Suzanne Eaton, [claimed]…watching too much hardcore porn led him to murder…Paraskakis…encountered Eaton on June 2 and…rammed into her twice with his car…he [then] stuffed an unconscious Eaton in the trunk of his vehicle…drove to a remote World War II bunker near Xamoudochori…raped her and left her for dead…Eaton — a molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany — was reported missing by colleagues after she missed several sessions at an Orthodox Academy of Crete conference.  Her [remains were] recovered from inside the bunker July 8 with “many broken ribs and face bones as well as multiple injuries to both hands”…cause of death was ruled asphyxiation…

License to Rape (#836)

US court rules mass sexual assault is legal as long as other wannabe rapists are allowed to watch and learn:

Early one March morning inside an Illinois prison, a tactical unit armed with batons and shields stormed two women’s housing units to round up about 200 handcuffed inmates and march them to a gymnasium…[where] they stood facing the wall for more than an hour…until the guards started taking groups of four to 10 into the adjoining bathroom and beauty shop.  There, they were ordered to strip.  Standing shoulder to shoulder, women on their periods were asked to remove their tampons and pads…They were ordered to lift their breasts and hair, to cough and squat, and then, finally, to bend over and spread open their vaginal and anal cavities…male guards [stared at] the naked prisoners…[throughout] the humiliating mass strip search…[which was pretended to be] a training exercise for incoming cadets. Now, after eight years of litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has ruled in a divided 2-1 opinion that the entire 2011 episode was legal…

Change a Few Words (#868)

Another good example of why “legalized” sex work is a bad idea:

[Violent thugs] in Southern California have conducted a massive drug bust that includes 14.9 tons of illegally-grown marijuana in one area…[the thugs also stole] 37 guns, multiple dogs and a honey oil lab at the properties in the Perris area, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles…[pigs raided] 48 [private properties]…and have…[locked] 27 [human beings in cages for farming]…

Oh noes, they grew plants without asking “Mother may I?” first!  WHAT MONSTERS!

Welcome To Our World (#888)

Not an attempt to control women’s bodies, no sirree:

Phnom Penh Municipal Court…charged three women with human trafficking in connection to a surrogacy business after they were arrested and deported from Vietnam…two of them are still pregnant…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915)

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

On [July 18th], Amazon’s [fascist surveillance] partnership with the Orlando Police Department [supposedly] ended, and…city officials [claim] it didn’t work…[because] the city’s technology infrastructure simply wasn’t advanced enough and didn’t have the bandwidth to support the artificial intelligence software on more than one camera at a time…Amazon proposed to outfit the city with more advanced surveillance cameras…since the cameras already installed downtown weren’t proving to be compatible with Rekognition, but the city [suppos]edly declined.  This failure rather neatly illustrates a reality standing in the way of a [fascist] panopticon:  extremely normal technical problems.  If Amazon wants to market a surveillance product to local governments, it will have to deal with the fact that many municipal computer systems run outdated software, that police departments’ cameras aren’t all high-definition, and not all the equipment is neatly networked with a…reliable internet connection.  Amazon appears to be having better luck looking to civilian customers to help it break into the police surveillance market…[by] hand[ing] out free or discounted Ring systems to residents, which allows police to…access footage directly from the…doorbell cameras using Ring’s Neighbors app…cities as big as Dallas, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City all have joined Ring’s police program, according to a new map from…Fight for the Future…The map also lists smaller cities that have contracts, like Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Maywood, New Jersey…

Elephant in the Parlor (#926) 

Pederast politicians are nearly as common as those who hire adult women:

A businessman who [w]as a key witness in…Robert Mueller’s investigation now faces a charge of child sex trafficking in addition to transporting child pornography…Lebanese-American businessman George Nader…transport[ed] a 14-year-old boy from Europe to Washington, D.C. [for sexual purposes] in February 2000…Nader…[w]as [a] liaison between Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian banker close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and members of President Donald Trump’s transition team.  Nader also served as an adviser to the United Arab Emirates…Nader was convicted in the Czech Republic…of 10 cases of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a one-year prison term in 2003….[and] also pleaded guilty to a charge of transporting child-pornography images in Virginia in 1991.  The current investigation…began last year when images depicting child pornography and bestiality were found on his phone after it was [seized] under a search warrant connected to the Mueller probe…

Overripe

More from Liz Brown on the Epstein case:

R. Kelly. Jeffrey Epstein. Keith Raniere.  For more than a decade, each of these men escaped largely unscathed as allegations of sexual misconduct — sometimes involving minors — piled up…the recent prosecution of all three on federal sex crime charges…represent all-too-rare instances of “sex trafficking” cases that seem to involve real predatory behavior.  It’s a nice change.  In recent years, sex trafficking charges have largely been lobbed against sex workers and those who work with them.  In both the media and the halls of justice these days, the terms “sex trafficking” and “human trafficking” are often used interchangeably with “prostitution”…“Human trafficking operations” are all too frequently just rebranded stings…The Mann Act is a favorite for federal prosecutors wanting to butt into prostitution stings when there are no minors or evidence of coercion.  That’s because the law prevents driving another person — technically it’s gender neutral, but in practice these cases almost always involve a female sex worker — across state lines for prostitution purposes…In its annual Operation Cross Country, the FBI often ratchets up federal arrest numbers by conducting stings in cities like Kansas City, where driving from one part of the city to another means crossing from Kansas into Missouri…

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We have refrigerators with condiments at my law firm, then I must be running a brothel from the law firm?  –  Katie Phang

Monsters 

Just another fatality from the state’s sick need to police women:

Layleen Polanco…[an] Afro-Latina transgender woman was found dead in solitary confinement [on June 7th] at Rikers Island Jail. Polanco was being held on $500 bail owing to misdemeanor charges for a prostitution-related offense, in addition to the lowest-level drug charge.  The New York medical examiner has not yet [invented] the cause of her death…Decrim NY…[said] “Polanco’s death was caused by an all-too-common overlap of three aspects of the criminal legal system: She was criminalized for sex work.  She was held on $500 bail for misdemeanor charges.  And she was placed in solitary confinement”…hundreds of people gathered in downtown Manhattan to pay tribute to Polanco and to join in her family and the broader LGBTQ+ community’s calls for answers…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical, representative cop:

 A Florida [cop]…has been fired and arrested after…he tried to lure a Polk County child for sex…Okaloosa County Sheriff’s [deputy]…Cansas Sadler, Jr., came in contact with the 9-year-old girl through an online game called, “The Wolf”…[and] pretended to be an 11-year-old named, “Jade” [as cops so often do to their intended victims.  Sadler]…engaged in a sexual conversation…and…ask[ed] the child if she wanted to have sex with a 31-year-old man named “Jason”…then, he [sent her a dick pic]…and…[asked her] to take pictures of herself [to] send to him…the suspect [eventually] called the 9-year-old but the little girl’s mother answered the phone and…call[ed] the cops…[who] traced Sadler’s IP address…

Grady Judd of Polk County expends a lot of effort tricking young men into having sexual conversations with imaginary teenagers, when all he has to do if he wants to arrest “sex predators” is “investigate” his own men.

Not Good Enough (#687) 

Another shitty drug intended to capitalize on an imaginary “problem”:

U.S. [bureaucrats] approved a second drug to [capitalize on what is defined by profiteers as] low [in comparison to men] sexual desire in women…bremelanotide…will be marketed by Amag Pharmaceuticals…under the brand name Vyleesi…it’s a shot that comes in an auto-injecting pen that…would [be] use[d] about 45 minutes before [planned] sex…A spokeswoman for the company said it plans to start selling the drug in September and will announce its price closer to the launch…the FDA said about 25% of patients treated with Vyleesi benefited from an increase in sexual desire score, compared with about 17% who took a placebo.  [This net 8% increase in “desire” was paid for with a] 40% [rate] of…nausea…13% needed medications to [stop throwing up]…8% [of the test group] discontinued due to nausea…the National Women’s Health Network…urged women not to use Vyleesi until more is known about its safety and effectiveness…

So these idiots want women to give themselves a shot and then wait 45 minutes for the outcome, which is 5x as likely to be puking than it is to be horniness.  A nice present would be far more effective, without the vomit.

Disaster (#832)

It’s easy to for US sex workers to forget that FOSTA harms sex workers all over the world:

…[Since] FOSTA…it can seem like two parallel internets have formed:  one ostensibly “free” of sex work, and another, hand-built in the margins by workers now excluded from mainstream platforms…This has especially significant consequences for the more vulnerable sex workers…In the wake of FOSTA, there has been a growing focus on sex worker-led technology companies, set up to address the workers’ own needs…Lola Hunt and Eliza Sorensen, based in Melbourne, have launched several technology platforms serving sex workers through their company, Assembly Four.  One is Switter, a social media network for sex workers; another is a paid advertising platform called Tryst Link.  Neither are hosted in the US, to avoid FOSTA exposure…the Assembly Four team has been “completely bootstrapping” its work…because they haven’t yet been able to receive venture capital funding…getting merchant facilities from banks or the means to accept payments…has been a “nightmare”…

Full of Themselves (#886)

This one eschews the usual puritanical lingo in favor of Copese pomposity:

The Kitsap County [Washington] Sheriff’s Department…[lied about] a large-scale operation…Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office [bloviated that]…”a significant military/U.S. Navy Nexus was identified” [meaning there’s a naval base nearby and sailors often go to massage parlors.  Pigs also oinked that]…they rescued human trafficking victims [when in reality they merely arrested 4 migrant women ranging in age from 51 to 61]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915) 

Government didn’t need to impose mass surveillance because bootlickers volunteer to be spied on:

…police departments around the country are encouraging [peasants] to register their doorbells to police [so the cops can use them at will to spy on anyone coming or going from their houses].  Right now there’s no such program in Huntsville or Madison [Alabama.  “Crime” rhetoric and a lying sentence fragment, then pigs hilariously claiming] …they respect citizens’ rights to privacy…

The Crumbling Dam (#917)

It’s OK; I’m sure no more than a few dozen people will OD in the next year:

A new effort by California [polticians] to permit a safe injection facility to be built in San Francisco has been put on hold until next year apparently due to struggles getting it through the State Senate…last year state [politicians] crafted a bill that would guarantee…people running a permitted SIF in San Francisco wouldn’t be arrested by local or state police…but when it got to Gov. Jerry Brown, he vetoed it.  In his veto letter, he argued that…drugs [are bad]…

Spotlight (#943)

Take a look at this fawning praise of a fascist surveillance organ, then click on the subtitle link above to see the truth about this topic:

[A pig’s self-aggrandizing, evidence-free tall tale of] the rescue [of a “child” of indeterminate age] illustrates [the level of “evidence” accepted by mainstream reporters when writing about] Thorn…[the fascist surveillance corporation] cofounded in 2009 by actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher…Thorn…was named one of eight projects that will share in $280 million from TED’s philanthropic offshoot, the Audacious Project…Thorn initially worked to pressure technology companies to [censor] more…more recently, it shifted to…a more [profitable] strategy of producing and operating new technology for use by…the [police state]…Thorn…offers a[nother] way…[for cops to use] facial recognition…[to] endanger…privacy…[starting by putting every sex worker in the world into a database for pigs to root through]…

Those who wondered why I was skeptical of WIRED‘s recent article about Backpage:  this gullible, swallow-whatever-an-authority-figure-says-about-sex-work-no-matter-how-stupid approach is typical of their treatment of the topic.

Loose Cannons (#947)

Even reporters are starting to see how stupid & blatantly illegal the actions of cops and collaborators were:

Because of Kraft, what would have been a police blotter entry in local newspapers has made international headlines…[thus drawing much-needed outside attention to the] fates of the women [violated, attcked, robbed and caged by cops]…The [persecu]tion that became State of Florida v. Robert Kraft…began when…a [busybody] Florida Department of Health inspector, Karen Herzog, [snitched to pigs] about…Bridges Day Spa…[claiming] proof of human trafficking [consisting of]…a “refrigerator filled with food and condiments”…[even though] Herzog’s state inspection report…attached two photos of a refrigerator that would not look out of place in any workplace kitchen…[after the busts, pigs oinked to reporters that]…“these women…are not citizens and don’t have residency cards, and so they’re afraid…of being deported,” [said lawyer Tama] Kudman…“Well, at [Orchids of Asia], every [masseuse] was not only either a resident or a citizen, but they were in their 30s and 40s.  These were not children.  These were women who held multiple massage and cosmetology licenses.  [The truth] couldn’t have been further from the stereotype that they were trying to paint when this case first occurred”…[owner Hua] Zhang [is] a 58-year-old…grandmother who has a master’s degree…The Martin County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to [steal her]…home, as well as the homes of her son and cousin…“When you start using slogans like human sex trafficker, prostitute, john, these [terms] have a lasting effect on the people that they’re used against,” Kudman said…“our state attorneys and our sheriffs have to be more careful with their allegations before they destroy people’s lives”…

Despite a slightly-Swedish-scented undertone, the article isn’t bad for the mainstream media.

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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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