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Archive for December 7th, 2022

Expanding the definition of human trafficker means more convictions, which…means huge “increases” in…trafficking numbers that authorities can point to in order to further justify expanding the police state.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Buried Truth

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

Believers in the…QAnon [outgrowth of the popular “sex trafficking” moral panic] are always on the hunt for the powerful pedophiles they imagine run the world…but…court records reveal that QAnon leader Phil Godlewski has a criminal past of his own involving an inappropriate relationship with a minor that [apparently] turned sexual.  Thanks to an ill-conceived defamation lawsuit against a local newspaper, Godlewski has put his conspiracy-theory career at risk by inadvertently prompting the release of more details regarding his case, including lurid text messages and a video of his erect penis.  Perhaps worse…Godlewski has [apparently] been caught both committing perjury himself and attempting to convince his own victim to do the same to ensure a “financial windfall” for them both…

Innocence Never Had

Most states are trying to distance themselves from the most wackadoodle aspects of “sex trafficking”” mythology, but Florida prefers to take the facts about one of the few situations in which young girls really are in increased danger of sexual exploitation – the foster care system – and view it through the bizarrely-distorted lens of a dying moral panic.  If you’ve got a little time, read these concise comments I made about the topic a few years ago, and then try this outlandish fantasy of “neighborhood sex traffickers” “prowling the area” to abduct unwary 12-year-olds by the thousands without anyone at all noticing.  Though I hesitate to ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence, this reads like an attempt to exploit the plight of young people dramatically failed by the government into a narrative that can be used to advance a specific political agenda for that same government.

All-Purpose Excuse

Anything can be “trafficking” if you use your imagination:

…The U.K…[is] using its Modern Slavery Act to target anyone who employs a minor in the drug trade…[Glodi] Wabelua was the first drug dealer to be prosecuted under the U.K.’s Modern Slavery Act, but not the last…most of the defendants in drug-related [“modern] slavery[“] cases were Black men under 21.  Many, if not all, were only one rung removed from the streets themselves”…Laws targeting prostitution and low-level drug crimes may seem overly punitive to you and me, but for many authoritarians these punishments don’t go far enough.  By ratcheting up the charges to human trafficking or modern slavery, officials can subject sex workers and drug dealers to much longer periods of incarceration, larger fines, and more stringent restrictions on movement, employment, free association, free speech, and privacy…

To Molest and Rape

To cops, the most important factor is whether a rapist crony was wearing his magical clown costume at the time:

[A typical and representative] New York [cop named]…Kristofor O’Rourke [has finally been arrested for a sexual assault he committed]…on July 1…he…[accused] a woman [of]…driving while intoxicated and then…oral[ly raped her after]…threatening to take her to jail if she didn’t comply…[after the victim registered her] complaint…O’Rourke was immediately [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Panopticon (#1203)

It’s only one step from “all commercial vehicles” to “all vehicles”:

The Department of Transportation is considering a disturbing new rule that could force every commercial motor vehicle to install an electronic device that would wirelessly transmit location data and other personal information to police on demand…[DoT] offers no reason to believe the warrantless collection of identifying information will make anyone safer.  It might make some inspectors’ jobs easier, but that is no reason to override the rights of truck owners and operators.  One might as well call for putting us all in ankle monitors, just because it might reduce crime if the cops know where everyone is all the time.  The Fourth Amendment requires the government to get a warrant before encroaching into private space to gather information…The Supreme Court has ruled that police must get a warrant—regardless of whether the subject of a search has a reasonable expectation of privacy—before they physically install a tracking device.  The rule is no different just because the government forces people to purchase and install the tracking device on their own property…

Opting Out (#1261) 

The UK’s decade-long campaign to censor the internet continues to be a comedy of errors:

Britain will not force tech giants to remove content that is “legal but harmful” from their platforms after campaigners [convinced a few influential politicians]…that the move could curtail free speech…Online safety laws would instead focus on the [nebulous goal of] protection of children and on ensuring companies removed content that was illegal or prohibited in their terms of service…[but spokesbureaucrats] would not specify what legal content should be censored…

The Cop Myth (#1281)

“Law enforcement worker” is a new low in trying to hide the fact that a violent criminal is a cop:

A Virginia [cop drove to California]…murdered the mother and grandparents of a teenage girl he catfished online, [then tried to burn down their house] before trying to [abduct]…the teen…[neighbors] called…the…[cops when they witn]essed…the [abduction and saw the]…fire…The Riverside Fire Department …discovered [the] three [murder] victims…[while] the [violently-deranged cop,] Austin Lee Edwards…[fled] through San Bernardino County…before being fatally shot by…[sheriff’s] deput[ies.  Luckily the girl was unharmed]…The slain family members were identified as 69-year-old Mark Winek, his wife 65-year-old Sharie Winek, and their daughter, 38-year-old Brooke Winek…

 

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