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Posts Tagged ‘Social Distancing’

Traffickers aren’t sneaking into your home in the night and stealing your teen daughter from her bed.  –  Kip Hollenbeck

Finding What Isn’t There

Are some cops starting to abandon the “sex trafficking” myth?

[While “rescue” profiteers in] Spokane [keep spouting fantasies about hundreds of teenage “sex slaves” controlled by “pimps”]…Kip Hollenbeck, who heads up Spokane Police Department’s sex trafficking unit…estimates the average age of a prostitute in Spokane at about 30.  He said some three out of four people selling sex in Spokane are independent, meaning they keep their own money and don’t work through a pimp…they choose sex work when they find they can make significantly more money than working for minimum wage…FBI agents, who work with SPD, sees similar trends.  “We’re not seeing hundreds of juveniles being trafficked in our city, and we’ve got people whose full-time job is to look for that,” said [spook] Christian Parker…profit[eer]s’ [fantasies] that the vast majority of people [selling] sex are basically enslaved are “nothing like what we’re seeing”…Dramatic claims of women or girls kidnapped and chained up in basements are also false…

To Molest and Rape

Another rapist protecting and serving:

Desmond Ladon Logan, the [typical and representative] Chattanooga [cop] who admitted to raping three women [he had abducted] and [tortur]ing a…fourth [with a taser]…has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison…Logan stood before U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier and [claimed he]…”never hurt anyone [because obviously his victims wanted it]”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1012)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

Tucson handyman Kevin McBride was hard at work one Friday last May when his girlfriend offered to get him a cold drink from a convenience store.  She took his Jeep, his sole means of transportation and the basis of his livelihood.  Then the cops [stole it]…and local prosecutors are…demanding a $1,900 ransom before he can get it back.  This sort of shakedown…is legal under Arizona’s civil asset forfeiture law [because] the cops [claim] McBride’s girlfriend…used his Jeep to sell a small amount of marijuana to a…[disguised, lying pig] for $25.  Although the charges against her were dropped, the Jeep is still being held…the Goldwater Institute is representing McBride pro bono, arguing that Arizona’s system of legalized theft violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process and the Eighth Amendment’s ban on excessive fines…

Rotting Fruit (#1015)

In which the old-fashioned act of paying for a son to lose his virginity to a sex worker is described as “sex trafficking”:

Peter Nygard, the 79-year-old Finnish-Canadian fashion designer, [h]as [been] sued…by two of his sons, who accused their father of sex trafficking, and claimed that he arranged for them both to be raped when they were underage.  The suit…comes just months after ten women and girls filed a sexual assault and trafficking lawsuit against Nygard…[his] sons…say that their father [hired]…a “known sex worker”…to…statutorily rape them when they were 14 and 15, respectively…

Losing Their Shit

Some states are doubling down on the dying myth:

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has a new unit that will focus solely on [persecuting sex workers]…the new…Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit….will focus on [hunting] commercial sex [workers] and…[locking up consenting] adult[s]…

Loose Cannons (#1054)

Court declares that illegal surveillance is illegal:

A Florida appeals court ruled…that police violated the rights of…Robert Kraft and others when they secretly video recorded them paying for massage parlor sex acts, barring the tapes’ use at trial and dealing a potentially deadly blow to their prosecution…Prosecutors will likely appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court…and…State deputy solicitor general Jeffrey DeSousa argued that police and prosecutors [shoul]d [be allowed to do whatever they like, no matter how illegal] to convict [massage parlor] owners of felonies…because…sex…

Social Distancing (#1054)

“Equality minister” is European Prohibitionese for “chief anti-sex bureaucrat”:

Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero…called on the country’s regional governments to order the closure of all brothels [under the guise of] avoid[ing] coronavirus infections…Montero made her request via a letter sent to the regions’ equality chiefs [rather than public health officials], and called on them to take specific measures for the sex trade…[which she referred to as] “sexual exploitation”…

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It’s awful to think how disposable [migrant] women are.  –  Linda Corchado

To Molest and Rape (#996)

The state is more willing to act when a cop molests a corpse than when he does the same to a living woman:

The family of a woman whose [corpse was molested] by an…L.A. [cop]…is suing [both] the [molester] and the city of L.A.  The family of Elizabeth Baggett notes that [necrophile cop] David Rojas already has been charged criminally in the case, and that his own body-camera footage…captured him in the act…the lawsuit…[was filed by celebrity] attorney Gloria Allred…

Torture Chamber (#999)

“Detention center” is just another euphemism for “prison”, and that means rape:

[Screws] in an immigrant detention center in El Paso sexually assaulted and [raped] inmates in a “pattern and practice” of abuse, according to a complaint filed by a Texas advocacy group urging the local district attorney and federal prosecutors to conduct a criminal investigation…the [screws favored attacking women]…in areas of the [cage stack] not visible to security cameras…[any] complaint…[results in faster] deportation…[three] women [so far]…have come forward with abuse allegations [and]…at least one [more] was deported after [reporting] a [screw had raped] her…the[se]…are [only] the latest…sexual abuse complaints related to [cage stacks] run by ICE, which imprisons about 50,000 immigrants across the country each year…About 14,700 [of those caged people reported] sexual and physical abuse…between 2010 and 2016…in a May federal court filing in Houston, a Mexican woman [reported] that she…and two [other] female [captives] were moved to an isolated cell…[where] they [were] raped and beat[en by masked screws, then]…bused to Mexico hours later, where the woman eventually discovered she was pregnant from the assault…one…wom[an who escaped the cage]…because of a medical condition…told an attorney that…guards encouraged women to sign up for anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants because they oversee the dispensing of medication at night and have access to an enclosed off-camera area [where they can rape them]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1017) 

Remember this when cops start bloviating about how they use the technology to catch “dangerous criminals”:

The NYPD [em]ployed facial recognition technology in its [recent st]unt [targeting] a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, whose home was besieged by dozens of [pigs] and…dogs…Derrick Ingram, the 28-year-old co-founder of Warriors in the Garden, was targeted by [thugs] in riot gear during an hours-long NYPD raid on August 7th…[using the excuse that a sow’s dewicate widdle ears got an ouchie from his using a bullhorn] during a June protest against police brutality.  More than 50 [pigs mobbed] his…apartment, shutting down his street and urging him to voluntarily surrender [for beating and caging], as NYPD helicopters hovered overhead…a spokesp[ig oinked]…that facial recognition software was used…to…”compar[e] a still image from a surveillance video to a pool of lawfully possessed arrest photos”…[but] the NYPD’s photo of Ingram appears to be taken from his Instagram page.  It’s unclear how a social media post would constitute either a surveillance video image or an arrest photo…“the tools that are sold to the public as a way to fight terrorism and violent crime [are] being used to silence dissent,” said Albert Fox Cahn…of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project. “We would never have seen this level of police response for using a bullhorn if the message hadn’t been one opposed to the NYPD”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1019) 

But don’t worry, toothless local laws will definitely stop this!

…ICE [recently] signed a contract with…Clearview AI…[in order to expand its] use [of] facial recognition technology…the agency, along with the FBI, ha[s long] accessed state drivers’ license databases…without the knowledge or consent of drivers…Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That…[responded to requests for comment by vomiting up wanking fantasies about “sex trafficked”]…children across the country”…Federal records also show Clearview signed a $50,000 contract with the US Air Force in December…Several tech companies have sent cease and desist orders to Clearview requesting it remove any data culled from social media posts. And the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Clearview in May for violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1021) 

Given that dancers win every one of these suits, the old strip club business model is a dead duck:

On July 31, the National Labor Relations Board upheld a ruling that a stripper named Brandi Campbell was a statutory employee of the Centerfold Club in Columbus, Ohio, and that she was fired for engaging in activities protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)…Campbell…was hired to work at Centerfold [in 2018] as an independent contractor, but weeks later the club management discovered her blog, stripperlaborrights.com, and the cases she’s brought against multiple past clubs where she worked.  Management fired Campbell for violating “no touching” laws—which courts later decided was a discriminatory firing…

Working From Home (#1031)

Indian sex workers, like their US sisters, are going online to survive:

…”floating” sex workers…used to travel regularly from the hinterland to Asia’s biggest red light area–Sonagachi–in north Kolkata…But in the past four months since the Covid-induced lockdown began, these floating sex workers have been reduced to a hand-to-mouth existence.  Trains are yet to resume services and travelling in private vehicles like vans and buses is expensive.  The brothels too are yet to resume business; the 7,000-odd sex workers who live in the red light area are managing somehow by providing “virtual” services online and with rations and other assistance from sympathisers…[but] for the…4,000 or so who commute to the city, their lives have become [more] challenging…The “high-class, A category” sex workers, who used to charge between Rs 25,000-30,000 a night, are now happy to negotiate for Rs 5,000 for it is important for them to stay in the business, pamper the clients.  They have spacious rooms and independent arrangements and can cater to whatever the clients demand…But for the “floating”…getting an independent space to operate is difficult…

Social Distancing (#1044)

New York apes Scotland’s approach to “helping” sex workers:

The [New York] City Council tucked $4.1 million in the 2021 pandemic-influenced budget to “support people involved in the sex trade.”  But sex workers [won’t]…see…any of the funds…none of the groups and agencies [receiving the largesse]…are run by sex workers.  And [in fact most are prohibitionist gangs]…that…don’t [even] recognize sex work as legitimate employment…As COVID-19 disrupted the industry and forced would-be customers to stay home and social distance, sex workers were left without…income and [deemed] ineligible for government unemployment relief…The organizations that got funding, ranging from $85,000 to $650,000…[largely] focus on [working with cops to harass]…sex [workers]…and [target them for arrest and forced brainwashing]…

Social Distancing (#1055)

A “compromise” only bureaucrats and politicians could find reasonable:

Berlin’s brothels were [finally] allowed to reopen…months [after similar businesses such as hairdressers, massage parlours, gyms, tattoo shops, and saunas] – but [intercourse] is [still verboten by diktat]…clients looking for sexual healing in the German capital will have to make do with [hand jobs] until regulations are further relaxed in September…In July…[sex workers] staged a protest outside the Bundesrat upper house of parliament in Berlin, complaining that [discriminatory] restrictions were preventing them from making a living [legally]…

To Molest and Rape (#1060)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

The former head of the Boston police union…sexually abused a girl over five years, beginning when she was 7.  Patrick M. Rose Sr…[repeatedly molested] a [now] 14-year-old girl…from the time she was 7 years old until she was 12…Rose…[tried to] flee…[but was caught when] State Police [used software to access the location data from] his phone…and [caught him at] a Needham [Massachusetts] hotel, where they arrested him [last week]…Judge Kathleen Coffey set bail at $100,000 and ordered that Rose wear a GPS monitoring device, stay away from the alleged victim and other children under 16, and surrender his passport, any guns that he might have and his license to carry a firearm…

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The fear of ending up homeless is bigger than that of Covid.
–  Fernanda Ponciano

Panopticon (#609)

Buried lede: cops were using a license plate reader to manufacture “probable cause”:

[Cops arrested] and [terrorized] a Black mother and four children [at gunpoint] after [claimining] their SUV [was really] a stolen motorcycle from another state…[fortunately] several…witnesses [recorded the cops’ crime]…The [cops had been] us[ing] a license plate scanner to…[spy] on vehicles in the area…[the boss pig] blamed the license plate reader but could not explain why the dozens of [cops] who responded [were too goddamned stupid to comprehend that a truck isn’t a motorcycle]…Video shows over a dozen [cops] standing around the traumatized family…

Too Close To Home (#760)

The fanatically-prohibitionist Seattle Times demonstrates what an eager copsucker it is with this pathetic op-ed from a prosecutor and a prohibitionist profiteer that absolutely reeks of desperation in its mixture of begging and demanding Seattle politicians to prop up the dying “sex trafficking” scam by continuing to send cops to stalk, surveil, rape, harass, rob and otherwise ruin the lives of consenting adults.  When all this is over, we can only hope that the Seattle Times is one of the businesses that perishes, and good riddance.

Pyrrhic Victory (#846)

More on Amazon’s partnership with fascist surveillance pusher Marinus:

…the founders of Marinus Analytics created Traffic Jam, a [program] designed to [collaborate with cops to persecute sex workers]…by sifting through digital information gathered from the[ir] online a[ds]…Over the past year, Marinus worked with Amazon…and used the cloud-based graph database Amazon Neptune to boost the efficiency of Traffic Jam and help automate tedious manual processes to create a system capable of quickly identifying relationships and providing [more private] in[formation about sex workers] to [pigs]…Traffic Jam collects data from websites…used by [sex workers to advertise]…and rel[ate]s…[it to other] information as imagery, dates, locations, [stage] names…and [government names in order to out sex wokers to cops so they can be targeted for persecution, up to and including rape, robbery, and forced brainwashing programs]…Once connected through Neptune, Traffic Jam received a giant boost to its capabilities.  The system could now traverse relationships between data points up to 2.5 degrees of separation and expand to collect more than 350,000 data points daily…queries run…twice the speed despite using a dataset that is now four to eight times larger than before…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1011)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

The Trump administration…announced more than $35 million in Justice Department grants to organizations that pro[fit from hysteria over]…human trafficking [but are now hurting due to decline in public interest in their fantasies due to the pandemic]…Ivanka Trump called human trafficking the “gravest of human rights violations”…[she has embraced the eradication of sex work as one of her causes despite her stepmother’s history of sex work].  The grants will be shared by 73 organizations in 33 states [that pretend] to provide…assistance to survivors, [though in actuality the supposed “assistance” is usually just a photocopy of public aid offices, etc]…Among organizations sharing the grants are [Hookers for Jesus]

Above the Law (#1056)

Another UK politician has been accused of rape:

A [member of parliament and]…former minister ha[s] been [accused of rape] by an…employee….[who] alleg[es]…four separate [attacks]…between July 2019 and January 2020…he…left h[is victim] so traumatised that she had to go to hospital…

Bureaucrats are calling this a “serious matter”, yet won’t identify the rapist.

Social Distancing (#1056)

I’ve corrected the blatantly false claims The Times makes about economic relief for sex workers:

When the mayor of Modica [Italy]…learned that a sex worker in the area had tested positive for the coronavirus, he immediately [descended into “dirty whore” tropes]…the…situation…highlight[ed] the…dangers of keeping sex work in the shadows…prostitution is not illegal, nor is it regulated as an official occupation, making the country’s 70,000 sex workers largely ineligible to receive economic relief.  Many have been forced to take their chances by returning to work in order to avoid poverty…the Netherlands and Germany [have forced] sex workers [naive enough to]…officially register…with the government [to go without work, even after all other close-contact businesses have re-opened]…Scotland also [ex]cluded sex workers [from] its relief programs.  In Greece…brothels were allowed to reopen on June 15, [albeit with government demands they violate professional discretion by revealing] clients’ names [to the “authorities”]…In Italy, various charities and associations have raised money for groceries, medicines, bills and rent to benefit the country’s sex workers…

Traffic Circle (#1062)

I’m glad to see more podcasts having Liz Brown on to debunk “sex trafficking” BS:

Reason senior editor Elizabeth Nolan Brown has done extensive research and coverage on the topic of sex work and…explains how authoritarians use the…term [“sex trafficking”] to punish and harm…sex work[ers]…how criminalization of sex work protects rapists & abusers…and how [massage parlor raids have]…become the #1 way for [cops] to make themselves look like they are…fighting trafficking…

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We put incredibly onerous restrictions on them that are…des[igned] to…make them fail.  –  Daniel Lambright

Counterfeit Comfort (#52) 

New York increases “indefinite imprisonment” to “death sentence”:

On March 4, Hector Rodriguez was sent to Rikers Island because he failed to log his address with state’s sex offender registry — even though he had been homeless for years.  Rodriguez died June 21 on his jail bed, while struggling to breathe during a severe asthma attack…he was 60 years old and had contracted COVID-19 in April…Rodriguez was convicted of raping a woman…in 1979, when he was a teenager.  He spent 23 years in prison and has been on the Sex Offender Registry since his release…“He died in a jail where he was put because he didn’t tell someone he was homeless? What kind of society does that?” asked Vincent Schiraldi, who served as probation commissioner during the Giuliani administration…

Sex Rays

Where “bad vibes” is used to mean “sex rays”:

At the posh 75 Main in Southampton [New York], owner Zach Erdem…[publicly] chopped up and torched Table 1 — the favorite of onetime regular Jeffrey Epstein, and occasionally, Harvey Weinstein…“I’m sick of the bad energy of this table,…Every time I see it I think of that sicko.”  The bustling brunch crowd left their tables to gawk at the bonfire in progress, whooping and chanting, “Burn, Epstein, burn!” as Erdem hacked at the cursed table and burned it into oblivion.  Renee Downing, a Miami native who summers in the Hamptons, toasted the roasting. “I think this sends a strong statement”…

Said statement being, “I figured out a way to turn last year’s news into an ad for my overpriced hipster restaurant, because if Gwyneth Paltrow can profit from a bunch of superstitious snobs with far more money than cognitive development, so can I.”

The Immunity Syndrome (#666)

The result of “abstinence only sex education”:

Plastic wrap.  Plastic bags.  These are some of the workarounds teens use to protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, pediatrician Dr. Laura Grubb, a specialist in adolescent medicine…published…in the journal Pediatrics…Grubb said…”I’ve heard so many teens tell me that they don’t need contraception or they don’t need condoms because they don’t plan on being sexually active.  And then a couple weeks later they’re back in the office and we’re running a pregnancy test or we’re testing for sexually transmitted infections.”   Recent rates of sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, have been skyrocketing among teens and young adults, at the same time that the number of teen pregnancies and births has declined…Adolescents and young adults account for more than 50% of new STI diagnoses, despite being only about 25% of the sexually active population…they [also] account for 1 in 5 of all new HIV…diagnoses in the United States…

The Last Shall Be First (#768)

Politicians’ potty obsession goes federal:

A copy of the new rule that will allow homeless shelters to refuse transgender people has been leaked to the media, and it contains instructions on how to spot transgender women to target them for discrimination…the Obama-era Equal Access Rule…required homeless shelters that receive HUD funding to house transgender people with the gender they identify as.  The rollback…allows single-gender homeless shelters to decide if they want a housing policy based on sex assigned at birth or gender identity, effectively allowing shelters…to determine who is transgender…the rule [says]…a shelter…may use “factors such as height, the presence…of facial hair, the presence of an Adam’s apple, and other physical characteristics”…if a homeless person appears…transgender…the shelter is allowed to ask them for proof of “biological sex”…[but stops short of allowing] shelters [to] forc[e] suspected transgender people to strip in front of them…

Checklist (#972) 

Airlines:  are you sure you want to keep accepting liability for employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you keep feeding them?

A Black social worker is suing American Airlines…[after] airline employees [accused] her of kidnapping a white toddler whom she was accompanying during a flight last fall.  Shannon Murphy, a social worker with Riverside County, California…was pulled off a plane in October and airline employees [temporarily abducted] the…toddler [she was bringing] back from a court-mandated two-week visit with his father in Arkansas.  While [she] was waiting for the second leg of a flight [at] Dallas-Fort Worth [a racist passenger]…told a flight attendant that they [fantasized] Murphy [was] holding a kidnap victim…Airline employees [forced] Murphy…[off] the plane…and took the child from her…she had paperwork…including her work ID, the child’s birth certificate, and a signed copy of the court order for the trip…but the…[employees preferred to be melodramatic instead of simply looking at the documents on the damned plane]…after about 40 minutes, during which the flight was delayed at the gate, she was let back on…

Dutch Threat (#1017)

The idea of just letting sex workers see clients in private, away from cops, bureaucrats and tourists, never occurs to the Dutch:

the Netherlands[‘ biased and punitive] lockdown measures…[plunged] legal…sex workers…into deep financial trouble and…emboldened [NIMBY]…residents…to [demand]…the [government throttle]…the…tourism [on which the inner city economy depends]…Sex workers [point out that, as is typical in places steeped in puritanism,] their industry has been unfairly singled out as the root of the problem…Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema [is using]…the pandemic [to push her scheme to confine]…sex workers…[in] a “prostitution hotel”…outside the [direct sight of busybodies]…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#1056) 

This is the second time we’ve seen fetishists trying to shore up their collapsing fantasy by pretending that “sex traffickers” discarded their “slaves” during the pandemic:

Thousands of Nigerian women forced into prostitution were left to starve by sex traffickers during the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy…[racist Europeans fantasize that] more than 80% of the tens of thousands of Nigerian women who arrived in Italy from Libya in recent years were victims of highly organised sex trafficking gangs.  The [fetishists claim that] women are forced into prostitution to pay off debts of up to €40,000 (£36,000) and controlled through violence and fear of juju” black magic rituals they are made to undergo before their journey to Europe…during the prolonged and strict three-month Covid-19 lockdown introduced by the Italian government, trafficking gangs abandoned women and their children, who were unable to leave their homes or work and were left without food or money to pay the rent.  Given the illegal status of their jobs, they had no recourse to financial assistance or unemployment benefits…

Anyone with at least one foot in reality could comprehend that sex workers are in financial trouble for the same reason as many other people, but that would require admitting that sex work is work.

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Criticising China is the new blasphemy.  –  Nick Cohen

Above the Law

Yet another sociopath with a title:

[UK politician] Charlie Elphicke chased a woman around his kitchen and chanted “I’m a naughty Tory” after sexually assaulting her, a court has heard.  Elphicke talked to the woman about bondage then…groped her breast and tried to kiss her…while his wife Natalie Elphicke was away in 2007…Elphicke [also] sexually assaulted a parliamentary worker in her twenties several years later after he became MP for Dover, telling her: “Oh I’m naughty sometimes aren’t I? I can be so badly behaved but I can’t help it.”  Both women rejected his advances, with the [second] describing a “disgusting slobbery mess” when Elphicke tried to kiss her before groping her.  In a separate incident some time later, Elphicke rubbed his hand up her leg towards her groin…

Watershed (#899)

I’m glad Gloria “Body Invasion” Steinem lived long enough to see the magazine she founded publishing pro-sex worker rights articles:

The U.S. Supreme Court…upheld a Bush-era law requiring overseas affiliates of U.S. organizations to adopt an organization-wide policy explicitly opposing prostitution in order to receive federal anti-HIV/AIDS funds…Serra Sippel…of the Center for Health and Gender Equity…[said] “The [anti-prostitution loyalty oath] hurts public health outcomes and it has always been bad policy”…“The Supreme Court upheld the U.S. government’s quest to impose its harmful ideological agenda on U.S. organizations and restrict their right to free speech,” said Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations…According to CHANGE…“publicly opposing sex work while also providing social and health services to sex workers…is hypocritical”…

Against Their Will (#955) 

The Indian rescue industry is being undone by its own pretense that it wants to “help” its victims:

Holding up the fundamental rights of an adult, [an Indian] court ordered the release of four sex workers [abducted by cops under the pretense of] rescue…The women had argued for their right to free mobility and expressed desire to get back to their hometowns…advocate…Rajesh Katore…submitted a Bombay High Court…ruling…[in support.  Natur]ally, the cops had opposed the application filed by the women, [claim]ing that they needed to [keep them locked in a cage to]…conduct an investigation…

Quiet Genocide (#1023)

How China tries to keep the genocide quiet:

Once, blasphemy was damning the faithful’s gods and sacred books.  Now, criticism of the world’s largest dictatorship has become sacrilegious.  You shouldn’t be surprised.  As some of us tried to say in the 1990s and 2000s, the gap between the sacred and the profane was never as wide as religious sentimentalists and liberal multiculturalists believed…Authoritarian politics and authoritarian religion are just two sides of the same debased coin…One of the great crimes of the 21st century is being committed in front of our eyes…if a western country were to display one-tenth, one-hundredth or one-thousandth of the brutality that China is inflicting on Muslims, the global left would be burning with outrage…But the main reasons why Muslims suffer in silence is that the Muslim-majority countries that raged against Rushdie, Jyllands-Posten and Charlie Hebdo have decided to stay silent.  They use the idea of Muslim solidarity only when it suits them…Iran, Egypt, Syria and dozens of other countries that could not tolerate a magical realist novel can live with the mass sterilisation of Muslim women.  They will give concentration camps a conniving wink of approval, but draw the line at cartoons in a Danish newspaper…China is now a more active and influential voice at the United Nations because so many countries are benefiting from billions of dollars in Chinese investments through its “Belt and Road” infrastructure programme.  As…Australia found…when it asked for an international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19, those who blaspheme against China face cyber-attacks and sanctions.  Better to take the rewards and avoid the punishments…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#1027) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit because people aren’t listening to their wanking fantasies during the pandemic:

[Public disinterest in] human trafficking [propaganda] is…alarming [the rescue industry.  In San Antonio, Texas, fetishist]…Chuck Paul [fantasized that] the ability for traffickers to sell a person…was diminished following the COVID-19 outbreak and traffickers began ditching people they had trafficked onto the street…[but] once the state’s restrictions were lifted, traffickers started looking to “re-supply their stock of slaves…There’s a huge population of young people right now that are stuck at home, they haven’t been going to school…the traffickers are working hard on social media to target whichever child they can.”  Paul [made furtive movements in his pants while spouting fantasies that being a teenager]…is…a…sign…of trafficking…[another is] if you’re in a hotel or motel and [a] person walks right past the front desk because they are [already] checked in…[or] has…tattoos…

So according to Paul, it’s “suspicious” if a person doesn’t stay in their hotel room the entire time between checkin and checkout.  What drugs is he on?

Pyrrhic Victory (#1045)

Canada pretends to care about privacy, but has plenty of other snooping tools:

Clearview AI has advised Canadian privacy protection authorities that, in response to their joint investigation, it will cease offering its facial recognition services in Canada.  This…includes the indefinite suspension of Clearview AI’s contract with the RCMP, which was its last remaining client in Canada…The authorities still plan to issue findings in this matter given the importance of the issue for the privacy rights of Canadians.  An ongoing issue…is the deletion of the personal information of Canadians that Clearview has already collected as well as the cessation of Clearview’s collection of Canadians’ personal information…

Social Distancing (#1055)

“Enlightened” Europe has treated sex workers shamefully during the pandemic:

News that clubs and brothels could reopen in the Netherlands from the start of July took everyone by surprise — including sex workers.  Club owners were warned that the industry would remain in lockdown [using the excuse] of the pandemic until September, months after all other sectors had already reopened.  But the reality is that many sex workers felt forced to work privately and illegally just to survive.  Now, as the industry starts to reopen across Europe, they worry about their earnings and whether they can stay safe…most European governments…paid a percentage of [many] workers’ wages while they were furloughed.  But sex workers rarely qualify…In Germany, the sector remains closed under a government ruling [even though]…most German businesses have now reopened, including gyms, bars and hairdressers…In Britain, the industry remains [officially] shut down…and many…women…have not started working again because they are terrified of contracting the virus and passing it on to their families…

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Sex workers tend to find [“feminist”] attitudes offensive, paternalistic and…detrimental to their rights.  –  Gabriele Koch

Japanese Prostitution

If Koch was really “surprised” by any of this, she isn’t much of an anthropologist:

Gabriele Koch’s new book Healing Labor: Japanese Sex Work in the Gendered Economy…is…a menagerie of “sex for sale” stories from one of the largest markets in the world.  An assistant professor of anthropology at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, Koch spent almost two years on ethnographic fieldwork, exploring how Japanese sex work is woven into a culture and economy that frequently puts women at a disadvantage.  Along the way, Koch says, she had to be open to surprises.  “I soon realized that the kinds of [unscientific fantasies and bigoted misconceptions] I had as an American about what sex work is, who’s involved and how (the women) think about their work didn’t really fit what I was hearing or seeing,…One surprise was how the sex industry is more or less accepted as socially necessary in Japan…But despite this…sex workers still face a lot of stigma.  Both in Japan and in the United States, people often think of the sex industry as somehow different from the rest of society.  But it’s an ordinary industry made up of ordinary people”…

Warning: the (male) reviewer insists on editorializing about how sex work is “sexist”, “problematic” and accompanied by “attendant ills”, despite Koch’s apparent rejection of these bigoted tropes.

Rotting Fruit

I wonder how long it’ll be before she conveniently “commits suicide”?

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, an ex-girlfriend of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, is facing charges in the US…includ[ing] enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and two counts of perjury.  She was…arrested in New Hampshire and…has denied any involvement in or knowledge of Epstein’s alleged sexual misconduct…

Moving Pictures

Apparently “sex trafficking” fetishists think all films about coercive sexual interactions must promote their specific fantasy narrative:

Netflix said…it will continue to stream the Polish film 365 Days [despite demands it be censored]…including by [a] British [pop star who apparently thinks it will undermine the sales of her own book about being raped]…the film…based on a bestselling Polish book trilogy by Blanka Lipinska…follows a woman…who is imprisoned by a Sicilian mafia boss…who gives his hostage a year to fall in love with him…

Stalkers in Blue

Hey female cops, how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

[Cop] Heather McWilliam was sexually harassed for years by her supervisors, including a sexual assault…part of a culture of sexual harassment that exists throughout the Toronto Police…However, the…[judge merely]…ordered…$85,000 as compensation…and…yearly…training…[on] dealing with sexual harassment…

Ordering cops receive more “training” is a popular way for judges to pretend they’re doing something while preserving the status quo.

Topping from the Bottom

Every amateur “sex scandal” makes me even more glad I’m a professional:

A case against the creator of the “Shitty Media Men” list can move forward, per a federal judge’s ruling…in a lawsuit brought by…writer and director Stephen Elliott, best known [to sex workers for being a creep]…The issue at stake this round was whether Elliott is a public figure.  If so, the standard for proving defamation is higher, and the chances for [list creator Moira] Donegan’s motion to dismiss would have been much greater.  [The judge] ruled that Elliott is not a public figure for purposes of this case…Next up: figuring out what Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has to say about all this…Donegan argues that Section 230 applies here because she, as the creator of the list, is the provider of an “interactive computer service” and should not be held legally liable for potentially defamatory shitty-men allegations made by others…

Social Distancing (#1025)

So many “enlightened” countries still believe that disease is caused by “sin”:

Several dozen prostitutes…staged a protest in Berlin…against…restrictions…[that] are preventing them from making a living…sex work has been banned since mid-March [using the excuse]…of the coronavirus…[despite the fact that] “Hairdressers, massage parlours, beauty salons… fitness studios, tattoo shops, saunas, restaurants and hotels have been allowed to reopen”…[in Germany and] brothels have been allowed to reopen in neighbouring countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands…

Social Distancing (#1050)

Compare with Germany’s disdain for sex workers’ livelihoods:

With performers wearing facemasks as well as bikinis, Bangkok’s red-light districts reopened on [July 1st]…after more than three months of shutdown…Bars, karaoke venues and massage parlours were in the latest category of businesses allowed to reopen…It meant a return to work for some of the hundreds of thousands of people in the nightlife industry who have been struggling to survive…But Thailand’s economy is forecast to sink further than any other in Southeast Asia with the number of foreign tourists expected to drop 80% this year…

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When “decriminalisation” was formulated we were smoking indoors.  –  Cheryl Overs

Think of the Children! (Updates Galore)

In some parts of the Anglosphere, male teachers who do sex work can manage to keep their jobs:

…Gordon Parsons will still be allowed to teach at Queensland’s Ipswich State High despite allegedly making graphic sexual videos with his porn star girlfriend…Luci Power…Parsons was moved from Corinda State High last year after the Education Department discovered his extra-curricular activities…[and] now teaches under the name of James Parsons after allegedly agreeing to remove any sexual content he was involved in.  But…he…was reportedly spotted [by a deeply hypocritical parent while] at[tending] the Brisbane Sexpo with [his porn star girlfriend. Luci Power]…who was [making a paid appearance] at the exhibition…the [shockingly two-faced slimeball] wrote…a [poison pen] letter…to the school [to try to get Parsons fired despite the fact that he was at the same event]…

Apparently, hypocrisy rays are far less dangerous than sex rays.

So Close and Yet So Far

This could’ve been a decent article about why Filipino sex workers are afraid of cops and refuse to participate in their witch hunts and morality plays.  But instead the reporter insists on smearing them with the agency-denying prohibitionist slur “protituted women”; uncritically labels a prison with the authoritarian euphemism “safe house”; claims prohibitionists really want to help sex workers; and even used the insulting phrase “so-called ‘clients'”.  Not worth wasting your time on.

The Widening Gyre (#697) 

The NY Times is still pretending “Pizzagate” is about cranks, when actually it was a natural & predictable outgrowth of the “sex trafficking” hysteria they’ve aggressively promoted for two decades:

Four minutes into a video that was posted on Instagram last month, Justin Bieber leaned into the camera and adjusted the front of his black knit beanie…someone had posted a comment asking Mr. Bieber to touch his hat if he had been a victim of a child-trafficking ring known as PizzaGate…there [i]s no evidence…Bieber [saw] that message.  But…[fetishists] quickly uploaded hundreds of videos online analyzing…Bieber’s [casual] action.  The videos were translated into Spanish, Portuguese and other languages, amassing millions of views.  Fans then left thousands of comments on…Bieber’s social media posts asking him if he was safe.  Within days…the hashtag #savebieber started trending.  Four years ago…the [fantasy] that Hillary Clinton and Democratic elites were running a child sex-trafficking ring out of a Washington pizzeria spread across the internet, illustrating [the damage done by the] crackpot idea [called “sex trafficking”] with no truth to it [which was irresponsibly spread by mainstream] media — and how dangerous it could be…Facebook, Twitter and YouTube managed to largely [censor] PizzaGate.  But now, just months before the next presidential election, the conspiracy theory is making a comeback on these platforms — and on new ones such as [the Chinese-developed] TikTok — underlining the limits of their efforts to [censor] speech online…PizzaGate no longer focuses on…Clinton…its new targets…includ[e]…Bieber, Bill Gates, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey and Chrissy Teigen…

I Swear To God (#712)

US courts are happy to allow US censorship of non-Americans:

Foreign groups that receive American funding to fight HIV and AIDS must still pledge to oppose sex work…[even though] a similar requirement for U.S. nonprofits was struck down as unconstitutional in 2013…U.S. groups whose international affiliates must still abide by the rule sought to have it overturned, too, arguing that compelling anti-prostitution speech from these foreign affiliates was attributed to the American groups and therefore violated their First Amendment rights.  But in a 5-3 decision, the Court [said]…”plaintiffs…[get what’s coming to them for] affiliating] with [dirty] foreign[ers]”…

To Molest and Rape (#835)

Imagine how many others like him are still free:

Four decades after he started sneaking into homes, tying up victims, raping women and murdering couples, [typical and representative cop] Joseph DeAngelo pleaded guilty…to 26 charges, admitting…he was the sadistic Golden State Killer…He only stopped…when he got old and was no longer spry enough to overpower victims…he was responsible for more than 60 rapes…in…[all], but the statute of limitations expired on those crimes…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#995) 

Cheryl Overs on the erosion of the line between legalization and decriminalization in Australia:

…the Australian state of Victoria…is about decriminalise sex work after thirty years of disastrous legalisation…so I…[tried] to identify exactly which “ordinary business regulations” should apply to a decriminalised sex industry here.  Big mistake…In 2020 the regulatory framework of a wealthy country like Australia requires every business and service provider to apply for a dizzying number of permits and permissions; to pay various fees and taxes; to register their names in various places and to comply with a web of regulations including allowing access to authorities to inspect and enforce those regulations.  No one gets out this.  Some combination of these rules apply whether you are a large engineering plant or a self employed hairdresser working from home…most require the legal name of a “natural person”…When “decriminalisation” was formulated…we could walk into banks and open an account in whatever name we wanted…There were always regulations and records and cross checking of course, but analogue data collection and retention was expensive and limited…So I’m quite thrown by discovering that history has narrowed the gap between “legalisation” and “decriminalisation” in this way.  As Maggie McNeill says, “what we’re seeing here is less a sex-work-specific issue and more just government’s ever-expanding intrusion into all people’s lives and private affairs.  But that’s cold comfort to those who are targeted first as tyrants expand their reach”…

Quiet Genocide (#1002)

There are still some in the West who insist China isn’t trying to exterminate the Uighurs:

The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities…even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children…an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with…ex-detainees…[demonstrate that China] is [carrying out] what some experts are calling…“demographic genocide”.  The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands…The…measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply.  Having too many children is a major [excuse Beijing uses] to [condemn people to concentration] camps…with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines.  Police raid homes…[to] search for hidden children…

Loose Cannons (#1005)

Apparently, Florida prosecutors don’t know when to stop digging:

Judges from the 4th District Court of Appeal heard arguments…on whether they should allow [illegal] surveillance video captured by [masturbating pigs]…to be…the evidence in the prostitution case against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others.  The controversial “sneak and peek” warrants [were illegally used by] Jupiter police to install hidden cameras that recorded all activities at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa…similar warrants and tactics were also used at spas in Martin and Indian River counties…[after cops lied, spouting] human trafficking [sex fantasies to judges]…there [was of course] no…human trafficking…[several] judge[s]…suppressed the videos…[but the state] argued…that the videos should be allowed…because [sex]…

Social Distancing (#1034)

A “No shit, Sherlock” headline from the ever-confused Vice:

In Spain, sex work employs an estimated 100,000 women and…like many other countries…legalis[ation includes a host of ridiculous laws which essentially treat sex orkers as tolrated criminals who must]…pay taxes, but aren’t recognised as employees.  When the country went into lockdown in March, sex work was not considered an essential service, and [was] therefore banned…after initially leaving sex workers completely in the lurch, on the 21st of April the Spanish government announced emergency measures [pre]tended to help [the minuscule number of] women forced into sex work…To qualify, workers had to [pretend] they were victims of exploitation by [lying to] social services, or [have an arrest record]…It’s a policy that excludes [the great majority of sex workers]…

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Sex workers are not a thought experiment.  –  Kai Cheng

Monsters

Violence against trans people is getting mainstream attention:

The NYPD drone circling over the protest outside the Brooklyn Museum [on June 14th] must have only picked up a sea of white.  That’s the color protestors were asked to wear to rally and march silently in the wake of the deaths of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah MiltonTony McDade, and countless other Black trans victims of police brutality and civilian violence.  The event featured speakers from the Okra Project, the Marsha P. Johnson InstituteFor the GworlsGLITS, and Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, as well as the family and loved ones of Layleen Polanco…Many of the people gathered had their own stories of police brutality to tell, but that didn’t stop them from showing up for the Black trans community…

Nothing To Be Proud Of

More queer sex workers are remembering that Pride commemorates a riot:

Sex work gave me a livelihood and autonomy…and…sex workers taught me resilience and self-worth.  Queer “community,” with its endless callouts and purity politics, has never come close to doing that…Maybe you came here expecting a congenial, well-reasoned article patiently defending the virtues of sex work as a profession and politely asking for solidarity.  This isn’t that article.  That article has already been written, several times, by several different authors.  That article should have changed all of your minds already about the fact that sex workers are human beings who deserve basic human rights, but apparently it didn’t, so here we are.  Still criminalized, still stigmatized, still by and large ignored by mainstream “LGBT community,” despite the fact that transfeminine sex workers such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera are the reason that we have Pride in the first place.  People love the idea that sex workers need saving.  A lot of money, power, and attention goes into that idea – not to sex workers, but to our would-be saviors…In order to [really help], though, anti-sex work activists and police would have to actually care about sex workers’ actual lives, as opposed to their self-image as Real Life Heroes™ rescuing us from evil human traffickers…

Do Not Tolerate Domestic Violence

Government as domestic abuser is a very useful metaphor:

For ages the Democratic Party and its allies have been actively manipulating leftwardly-inclined Americans away from issues which might inconvenience the powerful — issues like economic justice, anti-imperialism, slashing the military budget, ending government surveillance and police militarization, and actually getting money out of politics…The powerful do not care if you have an abortion. They do not care how many bullets your gun can hold, they do not care if two guys get married or what gender pronouns you use, and they do not care if everyone is a racist or if no one is.  They care about maintaining and expanding their ability to exert control over other people…But…[now] people aren’t just out protesting racism, they’re calling for the complete dismantling of the entire police state…And the nice guy abusers are falling all over themselves to manipulate them back into their cage…Liberal narrative managers manipulated the people into understanding that they are only allowed to care about issues like sexism, LGBT rights, and racism.  The people responded by saying “Okay, well then we demand that you dismantle the entire police state because it is racist.”  Through all the confusion and fog of a lifetime of ingesting establishment propaganda, the people have still managed to find one solid strand of “no” that they know the nice guy abuser can’t actually forbid them from holding onto…

Quiet Genocide

Mainstream Western media are still largely ignoring China’s atrocities in Xinjiang:

…Formally an autonomous region of China, [Xinjiang] is today practically the largest internment camp in the world…Xi [Jinping] instructed the cadres of the Communist Party of China to “show absolutely no mercy” to its Uighur Muslim population.  The regime that now decries any allusion to the genesis of the coronavirus as bigoted then proceeded to describe Islam as a “virus”.  And its prescription for the eradication of this pathogen…was the swift “hospitalisation” of Muslims in indoctrination camps…up to 20 prisoners are packed into every cell.  Heads shaved, hands and feet bound at all times, they are permanently watched by cameras.  Their day begins at 6am and ends after midnight.  Their meals consist of gruel — except on Friday, the holiest day of the week for Muslims, when they are served pork, forbidden by Islam — and they are granted two minutes a day to relieve themselves in a communal bucket.  The remaining hours are devoted to the performance of rituals intended to purge them of their religious and ethnic identity.  They must master Mandarin, the language of their overlords; soak themselves in party propaganda; atone for who they are by confessing to their existence as a crime; and endlessly chant slogans pledging subservience to Han supremacy: I love China! Thank you, Communist Party! I love Xi Jinping!…Inmates are made to sit on chairs embedded with metal spikes, starved, and suspended from ceilings and flogged with electric truncheons; their fingernails are prised with pliers, their skin is pierced with needles, and their bodies are pumped with mysterious medicine.  “Good” behaviour cannot bring relief from this ordeal because it is impossible for the captives to know what defines “good” behaviour…All that stands between the inmates and the torture chamber is the mood of the prison guards…There is no emancipation even in death from the humiliations…in addition to destroying and disfiguring Muslim places of worship, [China] also razes their graves

Silver Lining

My answer to the titular question: “I certainly hope not”:

…the anti-trafficking community has been largely silent on the blossoming conversation on police brutality…While some organizations have put out blanket statements about Black Lives Matter and racism, these…have not addressed the field’s entrenchment with law enforcement, or the use of anti-trafficking to re-brand abusive police forces/tactics and expand the police statecan a field that relies on carceral penalties and approaches even be saved from its pro-police roots?  The history of the anti-trafficking field has revolved around the decision to take social justice problems and apply a criminal justice answer…This decision to…center…law enforcement and criminal justice-based interventions was concretized through legislation which incentivized joint approaches between service providers and law enforcement and primarily defined success as convictions…

Social Distancing (#1031)

The Japanese are much more sensible about sex than Americans:

…nightclubs across Japan are trying to come to terms with in the age of COVID-19, as they roll out a raft of anti-infection measures to shed their newfound notoriety as hotbeds for virus clusters.  The industry [was ready]…for the full lifting [last] Friday of Tokyo’s business closure requests, which…pave[d] the way for host clubs and hostess bars…to officially reopen for the first time in months.  In reality, a number of nightclubs had already resumed business to protect the livelihoods of employees.  But…many parlors [are now] taking a stab at the new safety guidelines issued by the government on how to coexist with the pandemic…

The Cop Myth (#1049)

A Reason interview with Reason alumnus Radley Balko:

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American policing is a thick blue tumor strangling the life from our communities.  –  A  Cab

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a man painting his house”?

A San Francisco woman who questioned a man writing “Black Lives Matter” on his own home has apologised for…[trying to get him beaten, abducted or murdered by] calling the police on him…In the video, shot by James Juanillo on his phone, [Lisa] Alexander is seen asking Mr Juanillo, who is Filipino, whether he lives in the house, saying that he is defacing private property as he uses chalk to write words on his wall…[luckily for] Juanillo…the [cop who came]…recogni[zed him and declined to brutalize him]…

Monsters (#949)

In which yelling “stop faking!” is described as “trying to wake her”:

New footage outside the Rikers Island [solitary confinement] cell…where transgender woman Layleen…Polanco died last June reveals that guards tried to wake her for approximately an hour and a half before calling for…medical care that could have saved her life…after an epileptic seizure…

Fallen Idol (#976)

I suspect this isn’t going to end well:

Ginger Banks…who co-starred in the 2018 Evil Angel documentary-style feature Cam Girls, has filed a police report for “sexual battery” with the West Hollywood Police Department against company owner and director John Stagliano for an incident while they were shooting a scene for that project in February 2018…Banks [also] posted a series of videos on social media describing her frustration with “the lack of accountability” she felt the adult industry dispensed to powerful stakeholders like Stagliano…Banks [said] that the recent decision to file charges now stems from a realization that what had happened to her and her co-star, cam model Jenny Blighe, was indeed a reportable offense under California law…

Choke Point (#1013) 

More fascism in action; don’t say sex workers didn’t warn you:

Covid Bail Out NYC, a group raising funds to get people out of jails during the…pandemic, has a list of hundreds of people waiting to be bailed out.  But because of constant security freezes and transfer limits imposed by PayPal and its mobile payment service Venmo, the group is only able to bail out around five people— $20,000 worth of cash bail—per week…In response to the pandemic, several grassroots bail out organizations popped up, using community outreach, social media, and payment processing platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App to raise funds quickly.  The crisis became even more urgent during the Black Lives Matter protests, as police a[bduc]ted and [cag]ed thousands of [citizens exercising their First Amendment rights] across the U.S…the…process starts to break down because of payment platform’s transfer limits…PayPal…users can transfer up to $60,000 a week, but may be limited to $10,000 in a single transaction …But unusual activity—like a mutual aid fund going viral on Twitter and having its account flooded with donations, for example—could trip PayPal’s fraud monitoring service.  Those holds can stay…for weeks…[while] PayPal [continues to collect interest on the balance]…

Social Distancing (#1042)

At their core, the Netherlands are still prohibitionist:

…Like other freelancers [Jeanet] applied for emergency government funding but…has not…received a penny,  [so she] works illegally as an escort…from home, usually with clients she has known for a long time. “I do not take too many customers, for safety reasons,” she says. But, even with the infectious disease spreading, there are still plenty of customers who are willing to pay for her services…Sex workers in the Netherlands have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic…[because] the government has [declared them “nonessential“, so many must]…work…illegally…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1048)

Oh look, Microsoft also wants to have its cake and eat it too:

Microsoft CEO Brad Smith declared during an online Washington Post event…that his company “will not sell facial-recognition technology to police departments in the United States until we have a national law in place…that will [allow us to pretend we aren’t evil for developing] this technology.”  This follows Amazon’s announcement…that it is implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of the company’s …facial recognition platform…These moves follow IBM CEO Arvind Krishna’s letter to Congress announcing that his company is getting out the facial recognition business…The digital rights group Fight for the Future has issued a statement calling Amazon and Microsoft’s moves “essentially a public relations stunt.”  The companies’ researchers will “spend the next year ‘improving’ the accuracy of their facial recognition algorithms, making it even more effective as an Orwellian surveillance tool…The reality is that facial recognition technology is too dangerous to be used at all…Congress should act immediately to ban facial recognition for all surveillance purposes”…

The Cop Myth (#1048)

Will you believe that there’s no such thing as a good cop if a cop tells you so?

I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard.  We all were…It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of.  It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt…Under the guise of public safety, I personally ruined people’s lives but in so doing, made the public no safer…so did the family members and close friends of mine who also bore the badge alongside me.  But enough is enough.  The reforms aren’t working. Incrementalism isn’t happening.  Unarmed Black, indigenous, and people of color are being killed by cops in the streets and the police are savagely attacking the people protesting these murders…

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[US police] violence appears so widespread and consistent that you could…think…it’s coordinated at a national level.  –  T.C. Sottek

The Widening Gyre (#864)

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the “scrap paper” variant of the “sex traffickers marking cars” scary tale:

A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety said…post-it notes left on various cars throughout Lubbock were…not sex trafficking ploys…Lubbock Police…looked into the matter and found that the numbers were, in fact, from a legitimate hail damage repair company…three Facebook posts claiming the notes were sex trafficking ploys…had been shared over 3,000 times…

Hail causes sex trafficking!

You Were Warned (#926)

Australian politicians are just as invested in demolishing the internet as US ones:

…The Court of Appeal for New South Wales has just dismissed an attempt by several Australian media outlets to overturn a 2019 ruling that they could be held liable for Facebook comments about [the state torture of a young man named] Dylan Voller…Voller…sued some of the media outlets that covered him—not because the news reports defamed him, but because other people writing on the outlets’ Facebook pages were accusing him of having committed various crimes.  Australian courts have not yet ruled on whether these comments defamed Voller.  This fight is about whether media outlets could even be sued for Facebook comments.  The outlets argue that…Facebook does not let them preemptively stop individual readers from posting comments on their page.  They do have the option to delete, hide, or report individual comments, but only after they’ve been posted…But the fact that these outlets have the ability to delete comments after the fact was enough for Judge John Basten to declare them publishers…Another judge suggested that a potential solution would be…censor[ing] content…If this ruling stands, it’s going to force Australian media outlets to monitor all comments and beef up their social media teams at a time when they’re having to lay off staff and even shut down newspapers

Censor Chic (#948)

It’s so convenient to outsource tyranny to computers:

…certain combinations of Chinese characters have been immediately removed from [YouTube] within a few short seconds…[without] warning or reason…The Hanzi Which Shall Not Be Named were merely 共匪  (“communist bandit”) and 五毛 (“fifty cents”)…the term 共匪…was used by Nationalist partisans led by…Chiang Kai-shek against…Mao Zedong and the reds.  Today, it is considered a slur against the CCP…五毛 is a cleverer anti-CCP troll.  It’s basically calling a pro-CCP commenter a paid shill, albeit a cheap one.  The joke is that human CCP NPCs get paid fifty cents for each pro-CCP post; ergo, the “fifty-cent army” or 五毛党…those terms would not disappear from YouTube comments if you typed them out in English or in Pinyin…only…in the original Hanzi…YouTube is already banned in China and can be a pain to access without a good VPN and strong desire to do so…We are asked to believe that YouTube’s pesky algorithm just happened to accidentally disappear these very particular Chinese anti-government phrases since at least October of 2019…Perhaps the fifty-cent army flagged these phrases enough to become automatic triggers that the algorithm would automatically pull.  But it is also possible that someone at YouTube manually added these terms to a blocklist…Pressure from politicians of both parties contributed to Google winding down its proposed “Dragonfly” Chinese search engine that would have been compliant with CCP censorship demands…

Panopticon (#1007)

FWIW, the DEA mostly conducts old-fashioned Stasi-type surveillance:

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been granted sweeping new authority to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people participating in protests over the police killing of George Floyd…Attorney General William Barr issued a statement…blam[ing the protests on]…“anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics”…He said the FBI, DEA, US Marshals, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be “deployed to support local efforts to enforce federal law.”  Barr did not say what those agencies would do, however…

Panopticon (#1030)

Pigs now routinely use spy drones for surveillance :

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is regularly flying Predator drones…above American cities for surveillance.  This includes cities farther than 100 miles from the border…In two instances last month, CBP…flew [a drone] either close to or directly above Minneapolis…[another] recently flew around half a dozen times above or near San Antonio, Texas, which is also outside the 100 mile border region.  In some cases the Predator drones circled above the cities for an extended period of time…

Social Distancing (#1041)

Australian sex workers are challenging crypto-moralism:

Sex workers in Australia could operate under a COVID-19-safe framework…according to the adults-only industry association.  The industry has been crippled by bans in all states and territories during the…pandemic.  As other industries are included in road maps for restarting, only the Northern Territory has given clear advice to sex workers on when they can return to work.  In a letter to Health Minister Greg Hunt…the Eros Association expressed concern that shutting down the sex industry was being “motivated by moral judgments…rather than any justified concerns regarding public health…strip clubs, escort agencies and brothels should be allowed to operate (with appropriate restrictions) at the same stage as other body work practitioners such as massage therapists…Attached to the letter were proposed guidelines for restarting the industry…

But for Video

Just a few choice selections of police brutality from the past week:

…A New York City [cop] tore a protective mask off of a young black man and assaulted him with pepper spray…New York City [cops]…rammed a crowd in a street…[cops] in Minneapolis marched down a quiet residential street and shot paint canisters at residents who were watching from their private porch…Police in Louisville raided a public square, [stealing] and destroying water and milk…used to counter irritants like pepper spray…Atlanta police [shot] two black people…with tasers and t[ore] them out of their car…A New York City [cop] used two hands to throw a woman to the ground…San Antonio Police used tear gas against people. So did Dallas policeSo did Los Angeles policeSo did DC police. The list goes on…A freelance photographer in Minneapolis…went permanently blind in her left eye after being [intentionally] shot [in the face with a rubber bullet at close range]…

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