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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

Give this man his money.  –  Judge Christine Underwood

Profit from Panic 

A pandemic can’t stop opportunists from wringing every penny they can from this hysteria before it implodes completely:

The B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation…hosted its 6th annual Awareness Gala, themed “Rising from the Ashes.” The event centered on raising…funds for [the organizers by exploiting the moral panic around]…sex trafficking…Because of pandemic health guidelines, guests were invited to host in-home parties with only their close circles, family or solo.  SHERO Founder Kimberly Miles hosted the online event from the Stirling Club, with special appearances from Terry Fator, Clint Holmes, Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers and more…

Disaster (#949)

Australia is joining the US in trying to destroy the internet:

If Australia genuinely wants to minimise online harm, we need to have more nuanced narratives than “won’t somebody please think of the children”.  The federal government’s Online Safety Bill…[will] impede upon our digital rights, harm vulnerable groups, and c[onstrict] the way the majority of Australians experience the internet…part [of the scheme] gives the eSafety Commissioner expanded “take-down powers”…[to] order the removal of…any sexual content…or content that is “unsuitable for a minor to see”…Sex workers, pornography creators…sex-positive educators and activists are just some who will struggle to work online due to the scheme.  As experience of the controversial SESTA/FOSTA laws in the US…has shown, crackdowns such as these incentivise online platforms to remove or censor sexual content altogether to avoid penalty…this forces sex workers offline and often into unsafe working environments…

A Moral Cancer (#1013)

Crypto-moralists won’t hesitate to add nationalism to “health” rhetoric to advance their anti-pleasure agenda:

British stores could be flooded with “dangerous” bacon and ham from the US, marketed under misleading labels, as the result of a transatlantic trade deal, says the author of a new book based on [statistical illiteracy and militant veganism]…The meat has been cured with nitrites extracted from vegetables, a practice not permitted by the European Commission because of evidence that it [marginally] increases the [very small] risk of bowel cancer.  But it is allowed in the US, where the product is often labelled as “all natural”…

Robocops

Court declares that cops are too stupid and evil to understand that intentionally burning an innocent person alive is wrong:

…On July 10, 2017, [Gabriel Eduardo] Olivas’ son called 911 to report that his father was threatening to kill himself…[responding cops] found Olivas “leaning against a wall and holding a red gas can”…[one cop] shouted…”If we tase him, he is going to light on fire!”…Olivas [had] poured gasoline over himself…[but pig Jeremias] Guadarrama “fired his taser at the gasoline-soaked man, causing him to burst into flames…The fire spread from Olivas to the walls of the bedroom, and the house eventually burned to the ground”…Olivas…died…the [family]…sued…and…the…court [ruled]…it…”reasonable”…[to set off high-voltage electrical] sparks that could easily ignite gasoline…after a[nother cop] had [already] emphasized it…the 5th Circuit has forthrightly declared that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit police from firing Tasers at a suicidal, gasoline-drenched man…

The Last Shall Be First (#1078)

Anti-trans hysteria has shifted from toilets to high-school sports:

A proposed bill introduced in…Georgia…called for banning transgender girls from participating in [organized] sports…a similarly-written law in Idaho…is currently blocked by injunction from a federal court.  So another proposal was introduced…that went even further.  House Bill 372 would redefine gender as “a person’s biological sex at birth” in state law, require state-funded schools and associations to ban participants they deem not “biologically” male or female from sports, and calls for a panel to examine information about the genitalia or chromosomes of any [prospective] participant who petitions otherwise…

I must point out that contrary to some online statements about this buffoonery, it does not call for the panel to inspect students’ genitalia, only “information about” them (presumably derived from a medical exam).  But it’s still akin to the creepy pretense that for students to voluntarily allow other people to examine their genitalia for the purpose of pleasure is a “crime”, but for the same students to be forced by law to allow strangers to examine their genitalia for the purpose of bigotry is “protection”.

The Next Target (#1099)

One day, “professional ‘survivor'” will no longer be a lucrative job:

…[Morality in Media] filed a…[law]suit in Birmingham, Alabama against Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek, [exploiting the claims] of two women who alleged illegal videos of themselves were uploaded to the platform by third-party users…The lawsuit alleges that MindGeek “conspired, facilitated and financially benefited, from sex trafficking ventures between [themselves] and others”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1101)

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

A district court judge in North Carolina is threatening to jail one town’s officials if they don’t return nearly $17,000 in cash they s[tole from] a man’s rental car…Jermaine Sanders was staying at a hotel in…November when he left his room and found police [ransack]ing his car.  Police [claimed] they found half an ounce of marijuana and $16,761 in cash.  They s[tole] both…[and] sent the cash to…CBP [in order to circumvent state restrictions on such robbery].  When Sanders lawyered up…Mooresville [bureaucrats] responded that [they were] no longer in possession of the cash…[Judge Christine] Underwood…found the city in contempt of her order [to refund the money] and…[gave] them seven business days to comply.  She told the city’s attorney…that she was not afraid to jail town commissioners, the police chief, or anybody else responsible for keeping Sanders from getting his money back…

Yet most courts still refuse to admit that this is about nothing other than profit:

Civil asset forfeiture…allows police to s[teal] property they [pretend] is connected to crime without arresting…the owner…the practice demolishes due process and undermines property rights, giving cops a license to steal from innocent people who often lack the resources to resist…[pushers] of [the scheme pretend] it deters and incapacitates drug traffickers…[but] in a new study published by the Institute for Justice, Seattle University economist Brian Kelly…analyzed data from five states that use forfeiture extensively:  Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota.  He reports no statistically significant relationship between increased forfeiture revenue and lower drug use rates or higher crime clearance rates.  To the contrary, Kelly found that clearance rates for violent crimes tend to fall as forfeiture revenue rises…[because] the lure of…money diverts law enforcement resources from predatory crimes to drug offenses…

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I think someone stole my chicken.  –  Thomas Ramsey

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

From the Archives

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The current way of handling sex workers is dangerous.  –  Eric Gonzalez

The Proper Study (#897)

Academics keep “discovering” what we’ve been saying for decades:

A new study shows nearly a third of all sex workers are unable to call 911 for help…due to fear of [arrest or attack] from police for themselves, their coworkers and managers.  The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Sciences, is based on community research conducted in Surrey, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Sudbury, Ont., from 2017-18…[project lead] Dr. Anna-Louise Crago…said the current [Canadian] legal framework…places emphasis on criminalizing clients…and…sex workers[‘ friends and associates]…“The stated aim of the law…has clearly, clearly failed…sex workers are forced to choose between accessing help…or protecting their coworkers or their managers from [cops].”  The data shows the current [Swedish criminalization] framework…creates an obstacle to safety, and is harmful, said Crago…Another key finding…is that when sex workers needed help escaping a situation of violence or confinement, some 40.5 per cent were assisted by other sex workers; 29.7 per cent by friends, family or partner; 24.3 per cent by clients; and only 5.4 per cent…[by] police…

Safe Position (#928)

Finally, a politician supports sex worker rights with deeds, not mere words:

More than 1,000 open cases related to prostitution and loitering — some dating as far back as the 1970s — will be dismissed in Brooklyn, [said] District Attorney Eric Gonzalez…The news is a part of a formal announcement that Gonzalez’s office now plans to decline to prosecute or dismiss cases on both charges.  It is part of an effort to keep sex workers and other marginalized people — particularly people of color on low incomes — out of court…Gonzalez said his office has been rolling out a program to dismiss all prostitution cases over the last year, along with arrests under the loitering statute, which he said it has declined to prosecute since 2019…Sex workers may still [not be able to beat the ride], but Gonzalez [promised they’ll beat the rap]…he…said…fewer than 30 cases [were] processed last year…

Quiet Genocide (#1002)

The few Western articles about the Uighur genocide usually ignore the rapes:

First-hand accounts from inside [Chinese concentration] camps are rare, but several former [prisoners] and a guard have [reported]…an organised system of mass rape, sexual abuse and torture.  Tursunay Ziawudun, who fled Xinjiang after her release and is now in the US, said women were removed from the cells “every night” and raped by one or more masked Chinese men.  She…was tortured and later gang-raped on three occasions, each time by two or three men…a Kazakh woman…who was detained for 18 months…was forced to strip Uighur women naked and handcuff them, before leaving them alone with Chinese men.  Afterwards, she [was ordered to] clean…the rooms… “My job was to remove their clothes above the waist and handcuff them so they cannot move,” said Gulzira Auelkhan …”Then I would leave the women in the room and a man would enter – some Chinese man from outside or policeman…when the man left…I took the woman for a shower…[men] would pay money to have their pick of the prettiest young inmates”, she said…Some of the women who were taken away from the cells at night were never returned, Ziawudun said.  Those who were brought back were threatened against telling others in the cell what had happened to them…”It is designed to destroy everyone’s spirit”…

I Spy (#1011)

Despite claims of “wing” fetishists, the worst US tyranny is always bipartisan:

A new bill revitalizes the war on terror’s favorite slogan in service of forcing tech companies to turn over more user data to the government.  The “See Something, Say Something Online Act,” introduced by [Democrat] Joe Manchin…and…[Republican] John Cornyn…is the latest attack on…Section 230 as well as freedom of speech and…privacy.  The legislation says any interactive computer service provider…will lose Section 230 protections if they fail to report any known user activity that…government officials [retroactively declare]…suspicious…services must submit a Suspicious Transmission Activity Report (STAR) within 30 days, providing the user’s name, location, and other identifying information, as well as any relevant metadata.  Those submitting the user surveillance reports would henceforth be barred from talking about or even acknowledging the existence of them.  STARs would also be exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests…

Remember that the government pretends that sex work is “sex trafficking”, and declares that a “major crime”, which means this law would compel webites to rat sex workers out to the feds.

Worse Than I Thought (#1025)

Another politician with a minuscule particle of human decency:

…Last month, the Casper [Wyoming] City Council began revising their prostitution ordinance after the [local cop shop began touting fantasies about supposed]…“human trafficking” [in the city of 58,000]…City Manager Carter Napier [admitted]…that the main purpose was to further criminalize sex work by…creat[ing] the new crime of “performance prostitution,” which it defined as “any touching, manipulation or fondling of the sex organs and/or aerola [sic] by one person upon themselves or…another, whether by touch or the physical use of other items, for the purpose of sexually arousing…the person who paid for…the sexual arousal”…But…Council Member Kyle Gamroth [delayed the vote after] point[ing] out that the definition would criminalize online sex work in the city…Local publication Oil City News added anti-sex work editorializing to their report by…connect[ing a Julie] Bindel…[screed published in the] UK [to] creat[e] a made-up panic around OnlyFans…[as part of] their ongoing series on “human trafficking in Wyoming”…

Torture Chamber (#1037)

Dozens of rapists rewarded with paid vacations:

Dozens of [screws] at New Jersey’s only women’s prison have been [rewarded with paid vacations for]…brutally beat[ing] and [raping defenseless women.  In the most recent reported incident, on January 11th, screws handcuffed]…Ajila Nelson…and others, before punching, kicking, stripping and [rap]ing [them in] a shower [to wash away evidence.  In another case]…a transgender woman…was beaten by a g[ang] of [screws] and three of…[them] stomped on her head…her…knee was so badly damaged that she’s now…in…a wheelchair…[some of] the attack[s appear to be]…retaliation for complaints…

Bread and Circuses (#1053)

Texas courts have never seen police-statery they won’t hand-wave through:

Another constitutional challenge to FOSTA has failed, at least for the time being…Last summer, the DC Court of Appeals…said the law was littered with broad language that could be construed to target legal actions and behavior.  It particularly had a problem with the terms “promote” and “facilitate” when used in conjunction with the law’s sex trafficking language…Unfortunately, a federal court in Texas has come to the opposite conclusion about the same terms…It…[claims]…the terms…are narrow enough to limit collateral damage to free speech and other protected activity.  This challenge was filed by Wilhan Martono — the operator of CityXGuide, someone the DOJ finally used FOSTA against more than two years after it was signed into law…[but] sex workers who moved to CityXGuide after the shutdown of Backpage were nonetheless collateral damage, even if the law…supposedly…[does] not [target] consensual sex work…the court [also]…equat[es] the hosting of ads for sex work with the act of pimping...Even [though] the government didn’t argue Martono was engaged in…pimping.  There are no charges related to that…

The Next Target (#1099)

Prohibitionists care only about “messages”, not facts:

[A Canadian Parliamentary] Committee…held a hearing…concerning the allegations made against Pornhub…by Nicholas Kristof…[and] Exodus Cry…parent company MindGeek…is headquartered in Luxembourg, although many of its operations are run from Montreal and the…owners are Canadian…The[re were]…only two witnesses…[an] American [professional “survivor”] and…a NYC-based [shyster], Michael Bowe, who has previously represented disgraced evangelist Jerry Falwell Jr. and Donald Trump…Bowe…showed no professional understading of the technical issues around online platforms, algorithms or moderation, or…to basic free speech issues…[and] told the MPs he didn’t “have time or full understanding to explain [MindGeek’s business model]”…

Stupor Bowl (#1110)

One of those rare occasions when I’m actually less pessimistic than others:

…the now-routine round of warnings about sex trafficking around the big game has once again surfaced…So, here is your annual reminder that there’s no truth to the idea that forced and underage prostitution pick up around the Super Bowl (or other big sporting events), nor that “human traffickers” will descend on the city where it takes place…and we can all marvel at the persistence and audacity of this myth… “Alleged attempts to tackle #humantrafficking in response to mega sporting events are too often based on conflating #sexwork in general…to crack down on consensual sex workers trying to make a living,” tweets U.K. writer Emily Kenway, author of the new book The Truth About Modern Slavery…claims of an influx of Super Bowl sex traffickers has helped the feds put a positive spin on security theater around the event, while giving local cops an excuse to do vice stings and call them rescue missions

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You’re acting like a child.  –  unnamed cop to 9-year-old

So I’ve been doing a “video of the day” thing on Twitter, and realized I’ve never featured my favorite Ozzy song, so here it is.  Would it help if I told you I used to strip to this?  The links above it were provided by Emma Evans; Cop Crisis; Stephen Lemons; Mama Tush and Franklin Harris; Cop Crisis again; and Jesse Walker, in that order.

From the Archives

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The word “whore” is…used to keep other women in line. – Margo St. James

Lying Down With Dogs (#591)

The US has regularly done this for decades:

…Tajikistan’s parliament is set to amend the country’s Family Law in a way that would deprive [sex workers] convicted [of] pimp[ing or]…brothel[keeping]…of parental rights — with the state [abducting] any underage children they have.  The bill is widely expected to be approved…Government officials and [prohibitionist] groups…[already] conduct [propaganda] campaigns that in[flict] so-called “morality lessons” [on] sex workers…involv[ing both religious and political propaganda from]…doctors, [cops and prohibitionists]…who [fantasize] about…human trafficking…[as in the US, Tajik cops also] extort…money from [sex workers] during raids or beat…and [rape] them…[politicians, cops, and bootlickers] deny th[ese facts]…

The Course of a Disease (#909)

Prohibitionist scum keep trying to trick decent-but-ignorant amateurs into thinking the Swedish model is decriminalization:

[New York politician] Liz Krueger…[wants to impose Swedish style criminalization, using the new Orwellian term]…the “equality model”…[the law] aims to [indirectly criminalize sex workers by declaring them “pimps” while pretending] to decriminalize [them]…That’s in contrast to [actual] decriminalization, which [is recognized as best practice by virtually all sex workers, every major human rights organizations, and every academic who has honestly studied the subject]…Krueger [vomited out a lot of ugly lies and sexual fantasies fed to her by prohibitionist organizations]…

Sex Rays (#1036)

Oh noes, they contaminated public places with their eeeevul sex rays!

A couple has been arrested in South Carolina and charged with multiple sex crimes, including obscenity, after [a busybody snitched to] police…about public sex videos they…shot and uploaded to an adult website.  [The prosecutor claims] the videos were…shot in Myrtle Beach and…is charging the[m]…with…South Carolina’s rarely enforced obscenity statute which considers all filming of sexual acts illegal.  The accused couple…has been identified by their legal names by mainstream publications, some of which also provided identifying location information for them…The alleged indecent exposure was not witnessed or reported by anyone at the time of the incident and the investigation by local police seems to have only consisted of [cops masturbating to] the videos…[then searching] the adult site [to find a pretext to arrest them again 10 day later]…

Thought Control (#1091) 

Buried underneath all the masturbatory self-congratulation, prosecutorial pomposity, and repeated shouts of “THE CHILDREN™!!!” in this press release is the fact that Thomas Arthur was convicted for hosting a website full of stories, in other words fiction.  A man has been convicted of “crimes” against people who do not exist and never did, partly because a judge refused to allow expert witness testimony to counter the wild fantasies of prosecutors about how thoughtcrime is bad because sex rays magically radiate outward via the internet to harm “victims”.  The case will obviously be appealed.

Tissue of Lies (#1091)

The latest pig fad: collecting a bunch of unrelated raids, arrests & record updates and calling the resulting dog’s breakfast a “human trafficking operation”:

Thirty-three [legal minors the FBI called] children were [arrested] in [what the FBI pretended was] an anti-trafficking operation in Southern California…[involving] more than two dozen [cop shops] and [fascist collaborators]…eight of the 33 [were apparently underage sex workers]…Two…had been [arres]ted multiple times [before]…One [was living with a non-custodial] parent.  Some others were arrested for violating probation, robbery or other misdemeanors…

Loose Cannons (#1102)

Judge denies prosecutors’ wish to keep nonconsensual porn:

A federal court has ordered Florida [prosecutors] to destroy [illegal] video footage…[of] men getting hand jobs from women the state [later humilated, infantilized and robbed]…State prosecutors had argued against destruction of the [illegal] video on the grounds that [“revenge porn” is a good thing when produced by cops]…By now, multiple state judges have forbid prosecutors from using the footage…

To Molest and Rape (#1103)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [Utah cop] has been arrested for…planting a camera in a 12-year-old girl’s bathroom for months to record her naked.  Marc Swain…admitted he had been recording the girl for nine months…but “quickly deleted them” [after he finished jerking off] because he knew he [might get caught.  The incriminating evidence was found on a flash drive he forgot to wipe]…

R.I.P. Margo St. James

Here’s another obituary of Margo St. James from 48 Hills; I like this quote from Annie Sprinkle:

“When Margo spoke she was low key, calm, cool, and collected…but by the end of the meeting we were all ready to work to rid the world of the bad laws against our profession and to help relieve the stigmas and stop the dangers of being a whore.  Over the years I went to every event Margo did that I could, because they were about the liberation and empowerment of people like me”…

I do, however, have to roll my eyes at the news that “the San Francisco Board of Supervisors vote[d] on declaring February 14th, 2021 ‘Margo St. James Day’“; if they really wanted to honor her, they’d vote to decriminalize sex work in the city.  But I guess expecting deeds rather than words is too much to ask of politicians.

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Pretending that ordinary incidents are dangerous and ordinary objects are toxic recalibrates reality.  –  Lenore Skenazy

I’m really pleased to see that others are beginning to mock the kindergarten pretense that there is some meaningful difference between authoritarians who call themselves “left” and those who take the label “right”.  We’ve seen these guys before, but this example was provided by Franklin Harris; the links above it are from Lenore Skenazy, Emma Evans, Cop Crisis, Walter Olson, Amy Alkon, and Emma again, in that order.

From the Archives

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[Bans on outdoor dining are] not grounded in science, evidence, or logic.  –  Judge James C. Chalfant

Lack of Evidence (#574)

Another example of barking up the wrong tree:

…Brittney Smith and Anita Yanes…tried to visit Rachel’s [Gentlemen’s Club in] Orlando in 2018 and were denied entry because they didn’t have any men with them.  They argue that this policy violates Orange County’s…law…ban[ning] discrimination in public places “on the basis of…[factors including] sexual orientation”…the Orlando Sentinel…is pushing the case as a boon for LGBTQ rights…But Rachel’s wasn’t denying Smith and Yanes entry because of the women’s sexual orientation but because of their sex…how can it be discriminating against gay people by applying its policy evenly to heterosexual and homosexual women?…

As I’ve explained before, these policies have nothing to do with LGBT rights; they’re anti-whore measures intended to keep us from “poaching” clients from the clubs.  Don’t like it, lesbians?  Fucking lobby for decriminalization, then, because as long as we have no rights yours will continue to be infringed.

Signs (#911) 

Texas won’t be satisfied until every police-state functionary is spying on women:

Texas is opening a new front in the war on [women]…The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission has started [indoctrinat]ing its agents and vendors to s[urveill] and [harass] w[omen] in the bars, clubs and restaurants it licenses [via bogus “signs”] like…women [be]ing on the premises…In one example, a sports bar just outside San Antonio, [a busybody]…complain…ed…that [brown women were there]…so…[pigs could raid them.  Even when there’s nothing even cops were willing to accept as “evidence”] TABC…canceled liquor licenses on 100 businesses…

The Widening Gyre (#928)

Innocent people accused of “sex trafficking” by attention-hungry loons are starting to hit back:

A [bourgeois white woman]…claimed on Instagram…that her children were nearly kidnapped at a [Michael’s] craft store has received [insufficient criticism for her attempt to inflict police violence on innocent strangers]…after her videos went viral…her local police department in…Petaluma [California says]…the story Katie Sorensen told her Instagram followers i[s different from the version she gave them]…Sorensen [claimed]…that she wanted to share her experience because she wanted [white] parents to feel empowered to [call the cops on innocent people existing in public]…“I posted it simply to raise awareness,” she [belched].  Sorensen has since made the two videos and her account private, but KTVU reporter Henry K. Lee shared a part of one on Twitter…Sorensen [falsely claimed to cops that]…she was “followed inside the store” by a man and woman who had “made comments concerning the appearance of [her] children”…she [then hypocritically made comments on the appearance of her intended victims]…

Sorenson’s intended victim, Sadie Martinez, has since approached me on Twitter and asked me to help share her story; I suspect she may be considering a lawsuit against the woman who tried to get her arrested for daring to be in the same retail outlet as Sorenson’s brats at the busiest shopping time of the year.

Legislators Gone Wild (#987) 

The fanatical, unhinged Guinasso and his pet fantasist are at it again, as I predicted:

…[Self-proclaimed “]sex trafficking survivor[” and professional fantasist]…Rebekah Charleston…[is once again] target[ing] Nevada [with a nuisance lawsuit after]…her previous [attempt was]…dismissed by an appeals court [for having absolutely zero basis in law or fact]…Charleston…served 13 months in a federal prison after a conviction for tax evasion, [but] was among 26 individuals granted clemency this month by President Donald Trump [because she blamed her crime on bogeyman “pimps” whose names she]…claimed t[o have conveniently forgotten, just as she has apparently forgotten the name of the brothel she claims to have been “enslaved” in]…Charleston and her lawyer, Jason Guinasso, are seeking an injunction to stop Nevada from allowing sex work, [yet cannot explain how she managed to pass the police background checks required to work in the state’s legalized] sex industry…

Torture Chamber (#1037)

Your “leaders” refer to this as “correction”:

The number of women held in America’s jails has risen more than 20% over the past decade, to an average of more than 115,000 inmates a day.  And more and more are arriving in need of medical attention or with debilitating health conditions that strain the capacity of lockups typically designed for men.  Thousands arrive pregnant each year. Most suffer from mental illness – at far higher rates than their male counterparts – and…as more women land in America’s local jails, more are dying there, too…[at least] 914 [women died] in [US cages] from 2008 to 2019…at least 24% of the[m]…were Black…at least 639 [of them] were awaiting trial…and presumed innocent of the charges they faced.  The death toll [also] doesn’t include a category of collateral fatalities: their infant children…

Not mentioned in this article: the chief architect of the laws that resulted in this huge explosion in the number of female prisoners is about to be crowned as the next president of the US.

Nonessential

Courts are losing patience with arbitrary authoritarian “lockdowns”:

A California judge…blocked enforcement of state and local orders prohibiting dining in San Diego County restaurants, finding no evidence that such bans help curtail the COVID-19 epidemic…The case involves two strip clubs with restaurant service, Cheetahs Gentlemen’s Club and Pacers Showgirls International, which initially challenged local cease-and-desist orders.  Gov. Gavin Newsom subsequently issued an order that imposes many restrictions, including a ban on both indoor and outdoor restaurant dining, on regions where the available ICU capacity has fallen below 15 percent.  That order currently applies to all of Southern California…[Judge Joel] Wohlfeil noted that the plaintiffs had implemented various COVID-19 precautions, including physical distancing, masks for employees, and sanitization.  They are following “all provisions of the State of California Industry Guidance for restaurants, wineries and bars.”  Dancers perform in roped-off areas at least 15 feet from tables, and patrons are not allowed to approach them.  No COVID-19 outbreaks have been traced to either business…

We’ve seen that governments are pretending that “sin” causes disease to justify extra restrictions on strip clubs, but that does not appear to be the case here.

Loose Cannons (#1068)

Prosecutors pretend there really is some compelling state interest in keeping illegal videos of people having consensual sex:

A Florida prosecutor asked a judge to preserve [revenge porn] video…[of] Robert Kraft [having consensual adult]…sex…A misdemeanor [adult consensual sex-having] charge against Kraft was dropped in September after an appeals court ruled…that [the] video [was illegal, nonconsensual and obtained by a fraudulent warrant application]…But Palm Beach County State Attorney David Aronberg argues th[at he should be allowed to keep]…the videos [so they] could [potentially] be used [if he thinks up a new way to destroy someone’s life for having consensual sex with another adult]…

Quiet Genocide (#1081)

While some Western media timidly explore criticizing an atrocity, the Wall Street Journal licks Xi’s arse:

…Xi Jinping wants to meld [China]’s dozens of ethnic groups into a sing[le] national identity.  The program of…“ethnic fusion,” as it’s called in government documents and speeches—has gone to extremes in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, home to the largest mass detention of a minority group since World War II…the…campaign relies on security infrastructure…[which] the…government has said…is necessary for security in the area.  Those methods have now spread eastward to sedate regions like southwestern China’s Guangxi, home to the country’s largest minority group, the Zhuang, who…have little recent history of ethnic conflict.  In Tibet, where controls are already strict, local authorities launched a new program of “military-style” vocational training for rural Tibetans and passed new regulations to promote ethnic unity and patriotism in the region…

You Were Warned (#1099)

Congress won’t stop until it controls the internet:

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell…derailed…any attempts to reach agreement on a one-time, $2,000 COVID-relief check for most Americans [by demanding] the bill also included the repeal…of Section 230, the so-called “First Amendment of the internet”…McConnell [intentionally sank the stimulus check bill by]…listing a number of unrelated policy measures (in Congress parlance, “pork”) that he insisted be attached…

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You don’t find out what it’s all about, but you have a lot of fun being extremely confused.  –  Douglas Adams

Here’s a really unusual cover of a familiar tune, played on a most unusual instrument.  The video was provided by Inspireland, and the links above it by Lenore Skenazy, Boatfloating, Gustavo Turner (“Cardin”), Lucy Steigerwald, Jesse Walker, and Scott Shackford, in that order.

From the Archives

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They…leave people’s lives in ruins because they got it wrong.
–  Anjanette Young

When I retweeted the video I featured last week, reader Michael Norwitz called my attention to this one; I think it’s a suitable way to close out the year!  The links above it were provided by Stephen Lemons, Jillian Keenan, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, Franklin Harris, and Scott Greenfield, in that order.

From the Archives

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I think the ideal philosophy is to only care about the fact that you do your job with integrity.  –  Kiran Deshmukh

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Cops think they can never have enough pretexts to harass people:

Dallas [cops]…arrested 88 people in [just the first half of this year for]…driv[ing through a particular neighborhood, claiming they committed the thoughtcrime of]…looking for sex…All but one of those arrested were people of color.  [And now] Dallas [politicians want to make it easier for them to dramatically increase the score by]…allow[ing them] to [arrest people for the “crime” of] passing through [that neighborhood three times]…in…two hours…[using the all-purpose excuse of] trafficking women for sex.  The penalty is a fine of up to $500…[if pigs claim they] suspect[ed their victims]…of being pimps…

An Example to the West (#329)

An interview with Kiran Deshmukh, president of the National Network of Sex Workers in India:

I still remember Meena Seshu…telling us that we had to band together…to fight back.  I still remember that exact day this realization sunk in:  A gangster was on the streets making a scene and threatening us with knives.  All the women who’d usually shut their doors and sit tight poured out into the streets.  One woman undid her saree on the road, and the others used it to tie the gangster to a nearby pole.  The women beat him up so much and so badly that not a single gangster has created a scene in our area since then.  Once women band together, they become formidable opponents…Sex workers…work put food on the table and feed their children.  Society, on the other hand, views the world in a moral–immoral binary…Society will point out how our work is related to our bodies and how many men we “sleep” with…two people having consensual sex is justified but if you attach sex to money, it’s completely immoral.  Why?  You’re all saying it’s totally fine to have sex for free?…As for tragedy, if a woman enters sex work due to a tragic situation, but eventually decides to continue in the same profession, why would you bother her with the circumstances that influenced her choice 30-40 years ago?…

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#934) 

Remember, this is not slavery, but lucrative, flexible, voluntary work is:

Most [drug] rehab programs that require work act essentially as temp agencies, farming the [pati]ents out to…third parties, such as tree trimming services, dairies, poultry processing plants or oil refineries.  The wages are remitted not to the workers but to the rehab centers…the…workers…receiv[e]…no pay, no Social Security credits, [and] no unemployment insurance payment…Other rehab-affiliated programs, notably the Salvation Army, have their patients perform grossly underpaid work for their commercial enterprises — if they did not have this captive workforce, they would have to seek [fairly-paid] labor from the open market…

You Were Warned (#1007)

But please, tell me more about the “wings”:

It is now broadly recognized that Joe Biden doesn’t like Section 230 and has repeatedly shown he doesn’t understand what it does…[now] his…top tech policy advisor, Bruce Reed, along with Common Sense Media’s Jim Steyer, have published a bizarre and misleading “but think of the children!” attack on Section 230 that misunderstands the law, misunderstands how it impacts kids, and…suggests incredibly dangerous changes to Section 230..[among] its myriad problems…is…citing FOSTA as a “good example” of how to amend Section 230…

Rotting Fruit (#1015)

Why are men with so much to lose so goddamned stupid about sex?

[Paul Alexander,] the owner of a charter-jet company…has been charged with sex trafficking after [NYPD cops claim he]…offer[ed them] sex with a 12-year-old girl and 14-year-old girl for $300…In March, an underage girl went to the police and told them Alexander…had been…pimping her out…An undercover cop posing as a customer met with Alexander—who showed him nude photos of the girls, charged him $300 for sex with them, and suggested he ply them with drugs and pot so they would be more cooperative…Alexander…has…a 1996 sexual assault conviction…and in 2003 he was convicted of possession of…child [porn]…

Dangerous Speech (#1092)

Backpage case judge claims it’s OK her husband has publicly attacked Backpage because the Backpage case “isn’t about Backpage”.  Seriously.

…the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals…[has] ordered federal prosecutors to respond to the defense’s request for a “writ of mandamus,” which would order U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich to remove herself from the case.  The order…[comes only days after] a hearing in…[which] Judge Susan Brnovich claimed that inflammatory comments made by her husband, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, about Backpage.com’s alleged guilt in facilitating illegal sex work, were unimportant and did not warrant her recusal.  “This case is not about Backpage,” she contended at one point…an assertion that might come as a surprise for anyone familiar with the federal government’s superseding indictment in the case, which mentions Backpage more than 600 times[it also] seem[s] a startling statement given that the prosecution’s theory of the case from jump has been one of vicarious liability, in which the government seeks to hold Lacey and Larkin responsible for alleged illicit acts supposedly connected to 50 ads cited in the indictment — ads never seen by Lacey and Larkin and posted by persons unknown to them, among the millions that once existed on the site…

The Next Target

Prohibitionists care only about “messages”, not facts:

Pornhub has released…statements about…Visa and Mastercard [announcing] their cards would no longer be accepted on the platform, following…Nicholas Kristof[‘s spurious]…allegations against the company…”These actions…come just two days after Pornhub…[banned] unverified users…from uploading content — a policy no other platform has put in place, including Facebook…Any assertion that we allow CSAM is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue…Pornhub’s safeguards and technologies have proven effective:  while…Facebook reported that it removed 84,100,000 incidents of CSAM over two and a half years, Instagram reported that it removed 4,452,000 incidents…over one and a half years, and Twitter reported that it suspended 1,466,398 unique accounts for CSAM over two years, the Internet Watch Foundation…reported [only] 118 incidents of CSAM on Pornhub in a three year period”…

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