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Archive for January 21st, 2023

We did prohibition, it didn’t work.  –  George Koob

Pyrrhic Victory (#1189)

“Criminality” is a status defined entirely by the State:

…the head of [the] Iranian…morality [police] said in a September interview that [facial recognition] technology would be used “to identify inappropriate and unusual movements,” including “failure to observe hijab laws”…[activists] monitoring the ongoing [protests] have noticed that some people…are confronted by police days after an alleged incident—including women cited for not wearing a hijab…the pattern indicates face recognition is already in use…women…[are also] receiving citations in the mail for hijab law violations despite not having [been physically accosted by a cop]…Women deemed violators of the law can lose access to banks, public transportation, and other essential…services.  Repeat offenders can spend years in jail or in [“re-education” camps]…

Virtual Imperialism (#1202)

Beijing’s campaign to silence Chinese people outside China is becoming more aggressive:

…a Chinese outpost [in New York] conducting police operations without jurisdiction or diplomatic approval — one of more than 100 such outfits around the world…[was searched by] F.B.I. counterintelligence agents…last fall…Irish, Canadian and Dutch officials have called for China to shut down police operations in their countries…[but] the F.B.I. raid is the first known example of the authorities seizing materials from one of the outposts…The Chinese…[claim] the outposts…are staffed by volunteers who help Chinese nationals perform [benign] tasks like renewing their driver’s licenses back home.  But Chinese state news media reports…cite police and local Chinese officials by name describing the operations…[as “]overseas police service centers[” which engage in]…“collecting intelligence” and solving crimes abroad without collaborating with local officials…Some of those online articles have been deleted recently as Western officials and human rights groups have called attention to the police offices…[which are] part of Beijing’s larger drive to keep tabs on Chinese nationals abroad, including dissidents…

A Moral Cancer (#1260)

Crypto-moralists want people to believe they could live forever by simply eliminating every single pleasurable activity from their lives:

After decades of confusing and…contradictory [claims by crypto-moralists]…the[y’re now claiming to be really really right this time when they claim]…even small amounts of alcohol can have health consequences…When experts talk about the dire health consequences linked to excessive alcohol use, people often assume that it…[means excessive] alcohol use…But th[at’s not good enough for puritans, who want the gullible to be afraid of even]…moderate consumption…the [ever-changing] U.S. Dietary Guidelines…[now] recommend…[no] more than two drinks a day for men and…one drink a day for women…[but] the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…[which is well known for the consistency of its claims and “]recommend[ations” says…if you abstain [most of the time]…and have two or three drinks…on[ce in a while it still]…count[s] as excessive consumption [and God will smite you with cancer]…

Property of the State (#1293)

Universal criminality provides many avenues for State violence:

Alabama’s attorney general [Steve Marshall] said he could prosecute women who take abortion pills, despite language in the state’s new abortion ban that ensures it won’t be used against people who receive abortions…That state’s law against “chemical endangerment” of a child was originally passed to punish people who exposed children to meth labs.  But it’s been used to prosecute numerous pregnant women accused of taking drugs, including marijuana alone…Since abortion pills are now an illegal drug in Alabama…Marshall’s statement doesn’t seem like an empty threat at all…

Opting Out (#1295) 

The UK’s decade-long campaign to censor the internet has taken a mindlessly-carceral turn:

Nearly 40 [politicians are demanding]…the [long-debated] Online Safety Bill…[include] an amendment that would give Ofcom, the communications watchdog, extra powers to prosecute tech bosses and hold them criminally liable for breaches of their [newly-invented “duty”] to protect children [from vaguely-defined “harms”]…

The Cop Myth (#1303)

Sleeping with cops isn’t safe for men, either:

A [cop] running for mayor of Houston…was arrested…[for] assaulting her live-in boyfriend with her police baton and stun gun…Robin Williams…punched her boyfriend in the mouth and struck him with her…baton early Dec. 31 at their Houston home – four months after…beating him with the baton and using a taser on him…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1304)

Apparently, magic insta-fentanyl only affects cops:

Camden County [New Jersey bureaucrats bragged] that [cops]…arrest[ed] five men…[for] fentanyl and cocaine possession and manufacturing, [but] 11 [cops who raided them all had panic attacks when they saw the] fentanyl [their victims were handling without harm] and required medical treatment [to get them to stop crying, fainting and engaging in other histrionics]…

 

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