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Posts Tagged ‘weaponry’

The war on guns, like the war on drugs, is primarily waged on poor people.  –  Baynard Woods and Brandon Soderberg

Doris Day, who passed away this week at the ripe old age of 97, was probably my mother’s favorite singer; I remember her singing “Que Sera, Sera” so often when I was a child that I knew the lyrics by heart before I started school (and it’s one of the few popular songs entirely within my rather-limited vocal range).  So it only seems appropriate to feature a recording of that song as this week’s video; the link above it were provided by SWOP Behind Bars, Tim Cushing, C.J. Ciaramella, Elizabeth N. Brown, Radley Balko, and Tim Cushing again (in that order).

From the Archives

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What message are we sending [young women]…to roll over when your picture gets exposed without your…consent?  –  Lauren Miranda

Under Every Bed

‘I was deeply troubled to learn that my home town of Sheboygan could be the hub of sex trafficking in this state’…said Sara Neumann, a junior…at Lakeland University“.  It’s true, Sara!  Why, the rate of “sex trafficking” in Sheboygan, with under 50,000 people, is comparable to that of a European country with over 42 million!

…the Eastern European country of Ukraine and Sheboygan…are…both…major hubs for human trafficking.  So as part of the Open World Program, a delegation of young professionals from Ukraine are in Sheboygan this week to exchange ideas on how to deal with the human trafficking issue…

Above the Law (#443) 

They spent five years trying to exonerate him, then finally gave him a slap on the wrist:

A [typical and representative] Birmingham [cop] arrested more than four years ago…[after] he sexually abused a child and raped an adult woman has been sentenced to [a mere] six months in the Shelby County Jail.  Joshua Herbinger…[made a plea bargain to dismiss]…other child sex abuse charges…He is required to register as a sex offender and avoid contact with the victims and their families…

Compare this sentence with the one in “To Molest and Rape” below.

Happy Endings

Possibly the best explainer about Asian massage parlors I’ve ever seen.  It was written by a guy who dated a spa owner for years, and is written in clear, concise English without a lot of the jargon so many activists seem addicted to.  I’m not going to attempt to quote from it because you need to read it all, except for this bit from the conclusion:

…These smart, enterprising women need your help to combat this vicious slander.  Upvote this answer.  Share it…send…links to this Quora answer to media outlets.  If enough of them see it, perhaps they’ll at least publicly question the human trafficking allegations…

Checklist (#562)

Another whore-snitching app:

A Flushing, NY woman has been arrested and charged with prostitution [for doing her job] after police…[targeted her workplace because a useful idiot snitched] through the STOPit phone app…[which makes it easy for squealers]…to [squeal] in real time with [pigs who record all their details despite claims the snitch is anonymous]…

Think of the Children! (#619) 

Another young woman fired for having a private sex life:

Lauren Miranda was…told in January that a male student had a topless selfie of the 25-year-old math teacher…so…she was…fired…she took steps to sue the South Country [New York] School District…for $3 million, claiming gender discrimination…The photo was taken in 2016…[for] another teacher…whom she was dating at the time…she…is not sure how it got into the hands of the student…who…was [apparently not] disciplined…New York state law allows women to appear topless in public…

To Molest and Rape

It’s rare to see the phrase “rapist cop” outside of my oeuvre:

[Rapist cop] Robert A. Sundberg III was sentenced…to 10 to 15 years in state prison for raping and abusing his ex-girlfriend, a[nother cop]…Sundberg’s ex-girlfriend said that instead of upholding his sworn oath…Sundberg [instead acted like a cop]…to manipulate and abuse her physically and emotionally…She described him as “remorseless” and a “predator”…Sundberg was behind a false emergency call that led to her being…[wrongly] arrest[ed] for drunk driving…Sundberg…was [not] officially fired [until he was sentenced]…

The fact that his victim was another pig rather than just a little girl may have something to do with his getting an appropriate sentence.

Backwards into the Future (#763)

This is quite a change in less than two years:

[South African] President Cyril Ramaphosa told dozens of women and civil organisations that the government is looking into decriminalising sex work…His comments were greeted by loud cheers from women activists and members of nongovernmental organisations against gender-based violence…

Negative Secondary Effects (#859)

It usually starts with sex workers, but it never stops with us:

Ypsilanti [Michigan] is in the process of relegating gun retailers and ranges to often undesirable locations in the city alongside strip clubs, massage parlors and pornography shops…Current zoning laws allow for gun retailers and ranges to operate in the same commercial districts as general stores and recreation businesses…

The Course of a Disease (#869)

Israeli prohibitionists are trying to criminalize all sex work:

Lap dancing should be regarded as a form of [prostitution]…and those who own properties where they are conducted will be prosecuted as pimps, the [Israeli] State Attorney…[laying the ground for future criminalization of all forms of] stripping…the decision speaks of a “slippery slope” in which stripping…leads to sex work in back rooms – which is [now] illegal…

Business As Usual (#905)

Every vice gang in the country needs to be shut down:

The police chief of Glynn County, Georgia, says the department’s narc…[gang]…has been dissolved [because]…one of its detectives [named James Cassada] was using drugs and [raping snitches]…also…[cop] David Hassler [lied]…during the investigation and [cop] John Simpson had an ongoing friendship with a convicted drug manufacturer…

Micromanagement (#912)

They’re not only giving cops people’s info, but trying to convince their victims it’s a good thing:

FamilyTreeDNA is finally being upfront with users about its intentions for their DNA samples. This is due to its founder deciding — without consulting his customers — that they’re all as willing as he is to convert your DNA samples into public goods.  “Bennett Greenspan, the firm’s founder, said he had decided he had a moral obligation to help solve old murders and rapes”…FamilyTreeDNA [claims]…it’s finally going to seek consent from its customers, but only after having abused their trust once…While some DNA companies like 23andMe are insisting on at least a subpoena before handing over access…other companies are…specifically targeting law enforcement agencies with ads promising to help them work through their cold case files…it’s never going to be complete consent, no matter how FamilyTreeDNA shapes the argument…[because] as Elizabeth Joh points out at Slate…”[W]hen you volunteer your DNA sample, you’re volunteering your genetic family tree, without having asked your parents, siblings, cousins, and distant cousins…You can’t give the police lawful consent to search your third cousin’s house, even if your third cousin (who you may never have met) is suspected of having been involved in a serious crime.  Why are we allowing a distant relative to grant police permission to your DNA?”…

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (#917)

Destroying sex workers’ safety, one “improvement” at a time:

One million pounds…was given to Sacro to fund a “safety app for women involved in prostitution”…Sacro run a [program]…called Another Way, aiming at [pushing] women out of prostitution…in complete contrast to what is actually demanded by…sex worker[s]…the Home Office [is] frustrated that data around sex workers is so tightly protected amongst our allies…apps are regularly used as methods to gather data, and that installing an app can give it access to our locations, contacts, and even use of our camera.  This is deeply worrying when the app will be being built and run by…people who seek to see us eradicated…[prohibitionists will] get access to our personal data and an overarching ability to track us, and see who we communicate with…

Guinea Pigs (#919) 

Cops thought they had a big trophy when they arrested a billionaire for consensual sex:

Police used a fake bomb threat to clear out a Florida spa and install cameras…Robert…Kraft’s attorneys wrote in a…motion to suppress the video footage that Jupiter Police Department (JPD) officers…used “allusions to human trafficking” to secure the warrant.  “This ruse concealed the execution of the Warrant from the Spa, its employees, and its customers, none of whom received notice of the issuance of the Warrant or the placement of hidden video cameras on Spa premises,” Jack Goldberger…wrote…The filing also took issue with the inspections of the spa conducted by Florida Department of Health [copsucker] Karen Herzog, whose reports have been included in other warrants issued…as part of the [pogrom] that led to more than 300 arrests…“Herzog [claimed]…female employees were living there”…[yet] only…noted was that there were “some tables showing wear and tear.”  Two photos of the inside of a refrigerator…showed bottled water and ranch dressing…“[the pig who requested the warrant] made his reckless leap over to human trafficking based on supposed ‘evidence’ consisting of…a refrigerator stocked with food, two beds, and clothing‐all of which may be routinely observed at any number of places of employment, including law offices, for reasons having nothing to do with human trafficking,” Goldberger wrote…

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He was being very aggressive.  –  Juan Lopez-Razo, of a man having a seizure

Last weekend Franklin Harris shared this video of a camera test from The Muppet Movie (1979); the improvisation between Jim Henson and Frank Oz is both brilliant and hilarious.  The links above it were provided by Radley BalkoJesse Walker (x2), Tim Cushing (x2), and Nun Ya, in that order.

From the Archives

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When we come back, we come back stronger.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Surplus Women 

Politicians won’t even wait for a whore’s body to be cold before launching vile attacks on her community:

Just a few hours before the march…in memory of [Eunice, a Nigerian sex worker] who was mortally stabbed on…5 June, the Committee of Brussels’s Alhambra District…speaks…in favor of…prostitution tolerance zones…and of a building complex to shelter…prostitutes’ shop windows…The Alhambra Committee [claims] that it is not against prostitution, but rather against the disturbance it causes in a residential district…“We can accept several independent prostitutes ‘working’ in the neighborhood, but it is difficult not to notice the Rumanian-Bulgarian-Albanian-Hungarian mafia installed on our streets since 2005″…the…Committee…[also stated] that they are favorable to police control of clients…[and] denounces the fact that [activists are against this ghetto because]…prostitutes without official papers could not work there…

Dehumanization, racism, end demand garbage, scare quotes around “working” and a bottleneck to keep “dirty foreigners” out.  They didn’t even include her name, just called her “a prostitute”.  But they’re not against sex work, no sir!

Broken Record 

Hysteria is like a disease; it spreads among friend & foe alike:

Even though prostitution is illegal in Russia, there are around three million regular sex workers in the country, according to activist group Silver Rose.  Until recently, the group says, the police had turned a blind eye to the practice or taken kickbacks.  But with hundreds of thousands of tourists descending on Russia for the World Cup, the authorities are [purging as “authorities” always do before such events]…this means frequent raids on well-known prostitution sites…Despite the authorities’ efforts, though, [prohibitionists fantasize] that the relaxed visa regime introduced to simplify travel to Russia during the tournament is encouraging illegal trafficking of women.  As Yulia Siluyanova of Alternativa, a Moscow-based [prohibitionist] organization, put it, “The World Cup is a gift for traffickers”…

Under Every Bed

Is it just me, or are “sex trafficking is EVERYWHERE!” articles beginning to sound very tired?

Some Central Texans are taking a stand against sex trafficking…the T.S.O.Y., Texas Save Our Youth organization, held a meeting…to [indoctrinate] the public…[in bogus] statistics, [fantasies] of trafficking and warning signs like strategically placed tattoos…The U.S. is the number one producer and consumer of sex trafficking in the world, and Texas is in the top three states in the country.

Bottleneck (#638)

“Licensing” is one of the ways governments try to surreptitiously ban things:

The state-run Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) ordered all unregistered bloggers and online forums…to suspend their websites immediately or face criminal prosecution.  Several sites, including popular online discussion platform Jamiiforums, have reportedly shut down to avoid prosecution.  Reuters reports: Regulations passed in March made it compulsory for bloggers and owners of other online forums such as YouTube channels to register with the government and pay up to $900 for a license.  Per capita income in Tanzania is slightly below $900 a year.  Digital activists say the law is part of a crackdown on dissent and free speech…Government officials [pretend] the new rules are aimed at tackling hate speech and other online crimes, including cyberbullying and pornography

Does that list of “crimes” justifying censorship sound familiar?

Morality Lessons (#689)

In which the FBI running an actual child porn site is called “law enforcement ingenuity”:

…we spearhead and coordinate massive nationwide and international operations to disrupt and destroy child exploitation networks….these…are most successful only when we can rely on our close partnerships with the many federal, state, local, tribal, and non-governmental partners here today.  Operation Pacifier was a prime example.  In that case, we…[took over] a highly sophisticated, global enterprise on the dark web called “Playpen,” where users exchanged tens of thousands of postings relating to the sexual abuse of children – even, revoltingly, children as young as infants and toddlers.  Operation Pacifier was a model of law enforcement ingenuity.  Agents identified and seized the “Playpen” server, which gave the FBI a very short window of time to [keep running it as normal]…to identify site users…

Your regular reminder that the word for a “partnership” between political and corporate interests is “fascism”.

The Spiral of Absurdity (#743) 

Another sighting of the “sex trafficking” fetishist who masturbates to the fantasy that emojis in low-rent escort ads are part of some mysterious pimp “code”:

“Human trafficking is a business,” said Jessica Whitney, “where people are treated as inventory”…Whitney [fantasizes] that traffickers use certain language and emojis (symbols) to appeal to certain buyers.  They market the girls — by age, race, skin color, “new in town” (i.e. limited time only) — as a retailer positions its products.  In fact, victims are often forced to write their own customized ads.  The [fantasy] doesn’t relent…

The Course of a Disease (#757)

Israeli prohibitionists ladle FOSTA slop on top of an already-bad anti-whore bill:

The state is petitioning the courts to remove five Israeli prostitution websites from the internet…[clients careless enough to be] caught [in pig stings] within three years of the first offense will pay doubled the original fine, according to the draft legislation…[Injustice Minister Ayelet] Shaked had decided that customers would be pursued through administrative rather than criminal enforcement: the offender would not be considered a criminal with a criminal record…The minister [bloviated] that the draft bill fining customers is…part of a wider plan she intends to bring before government in the months to come…Meanwhile…the Knesset approved a bill banning advertisement of prostitutes…for the first time, the prohibition will apply to the printing shop that printed the ad…offending internet sites and phone numbers involved in promoting prostitution services could be blocked…

Surprised how fast mass censorship is taking hold? We did warn you.

Devil’s Advocate (#761) 

Your periodic reminder that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

The U.S. House approved a ban…on the importation and trafficking of anatomically correct child sex dolls…that [perverts wrongly claim] “normalize sex between adults and minors…These dolls can be programmed to simulate rape. The very thought makes me [excited]” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte…“Once an abuser tires of practicing on a doll, it’s a small step to move on to a child”…[fantasized bill sponsor] Dan Donovan…The proposal [imagines] the…dolls…“can resemble actual children”…Goodlatte [pretended to be] “distraught” that…child sex dolls even exist…“Customers can order bespoke dolls, providing pictures of specific children they would like the doll to resemble.  They can indicate a preferred facial expression such as sadness or fear”…

Even in the world of anti-sex propaganda, this bill and article are egregious.  They express psychologically-illiterate fantasies and scare-claims in declarative sentences, and make assertions that are not only untrue, but calculated to demonize the buyers of such dolls (eg, the last sentence).  I also remind you of the McNeill Rule.

Feminine Pragmatism (#778) 

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

…in Colombia’s border city of Cucuta…Venezuelan sex workers…now [do a fairly ordinary job] to support themselves and their families…About 672,000 Venezuelans have crossed into neighbouring Colombia alone, both legally and illegally, since 2015…The exodus from the oil-rich country is the largest migration of people in South America’s recent history, and it shows little signs of abating.  For some, sex work is [a reasonable, practical] option…

The Widening Gyre (#811)

Lenore Skenazy is doing great work reporting on these absurd “sex trafficking” panics:

Here’s [a] mom’s Facebook post:  “we are driving home from Cincinnati and got off at a rest stop for a quick bathroom break.  Just my daughter and I went inside…some lady who appeared to be on something, was trying to talk to my daughter…I heard…her say “the little girl” [to another woman]…As we leave I passed both women and the one that I originally saw had changed clothes and started to leave…I then made a dead sprint to the car, threw my daughter in and locked doors.  Once we were safely in car I noticed 3 men standing in front of a gold minivan with all the doors open…I have this terrible feeling that had I not been aware…my daughter may have been taken from me“…stranger danger is so rare that even the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children…has asked people to stop using the term.  And David Finkelhor, head of the Crimes Against Children Research Center, told me he had heard of no children ever abducted from their parents in public for sex trafficking purposes…A media organization uncritically promoting this hysteria is…reckless journalism…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#834) 

Lewis & her friends are fools; what they want is legalization & protectionism, and they’re not going to like it if they get it:

[A small group of] New Zealand sex workers have written an open letter…asking for the election of a Minister of Prostitution.  The letter also rejects the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) as the representative organisation of sex workers here, and attacks the collective’s support for illegal sex workers.  The letter by Hamilton sex worker Lisa Lewis carries 25 other names…In an unlikely alliance, the letter was written with the help of [conservative Christian group] Family First…Lewis said… “Prostitution needs to be governed in New Zealand.  If there is a legislation, there should be a Minister.”  The letter claimed migrants coming on temporary visas to work as prostitutes were “taking money off legal sex workers, not paying tax and going home with the money …NZPC’s current focus is legalising internationals to be allowed to provide commercial sexual services here in New Zealand and no legal New Zealand sex worker wants this”…Family First is highly critical of the Prostitution Reform Act and is calling for a Nordic model…

I am reminded of the fable, “The Frogs Who Desired a King”.

Choke Point (#839) 

Useful idiots are unable to understand how precedent works:

Several gun-related businesses were suddenly — and without warning — disrupted in recent weeks when Intuit stopped processing credit card payments because phone and internet sales were gun-related…Some of the payments stopped didn’t even involve firearms, but simply T-shirts and coffee mugs and gun safety classes…As a result, the businesses had to scramble to track down customers to get them pay their bills after Intuit credited back to customers’ accounts the purchases — even if the T-shirt was already shipped or the class already taken…

It always starts with a politically-unpopular group like sex workers or gun owners, but never stops there.

Disaster (#839)

I’ve never seen anything galvanize public support for sex workers like FOSTA has:

After…SESTA-FOSTA…organizing around sex workers has been reinvigorated with a new urgency.  The legislation…cripples sex workers’ ability to work safely online.  It’s merely the latest example in an unbroken history of harmful anti-sex work laws.  But at a time when activism…is all the more crucial…SESTA-FOSTA…[is] silencing and criminalizing the very organizing and advocacy that would help sex workers stay safe and fight persecution, even chilling journalists’ efforts to cover these issues…In one poignant example of how these laws harm advocacy, the Desiree Alliance Conference — the largest U.S. gathering addressing human, labor, and civil rights for workers in the sex industry — announced that it will not take place this year due to fears surrounding SESTA-FOSTA…

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If they can take care of themselves without Government assistance, great…If not, let them starve and die.  Easy as that.  –  Christopher Barnett

I discovered this song years ago, but every time I rode the underground on my recent trip to the UK it popped irresistibly into my head, so now I’m going to share that experience with y’all.  The links above it were provided by Desiree Alliance,  Eddie J CunninghamMike SiegelNun YaEmma EvansNina Hartley, and Mike Siegel again, in that order.

From the Archives

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We will call the police and tell them he has a gun so they can come faster.  –  Shanna Swearingen

Prince was famously protective of his image, and videos of his performances never stayed online long (there are several dead video embeds on this blog because of it).  His estate has continued the tradition, if not quite as aggressively, so videos that stick tend to be things that aren’t official Prince videos.  Here’s a clever tribute to his songwriting prowess which gets around the banhammer by…well, see for yourself.  The links above it were provided by Conner Habib (“legit”), Mike Chase  (“serve”), Emma Evans (“Australians”), Tushy Galore (“bigot”), and Amy Alkon  (“prohibition”).

From the Archives

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I am tired of black peoples [sic] paranoia that white people are out to get them.  –  “Officer” Cynthia Whitlatch

Over the past month I’ve played a few songs I remember well from childhood; this is one of the first I can remember thinking of as my favorite song.  Don’t be surprised; as I’ve told you before, I was a strange, melancholy child (and a very, very, very old soul).  The links above the video were provided by Dave Krueger  (“bootlicker”), Ivan Dragomiloff (“brilliant”), Tushy Galore (“Seattle”), Amy Alkon  (“whatever”), and Radley Balko (“together”).

From the Archives

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