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Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end – but not necessarily in that order.  –  Jean-Luc Godard

My online friend Patrick, late of the Popehat blog and creator of the hilarious DPRK News parody Twitter account, passed away of longstanding health problems last week.  There is nothing I could say which would express the grief of those who knew him as well as Ken White’s eulogy, so I’ll leave it at that.  I don’t know what sort of music he liked, so I’ll honor his fondness for the weird with this unusual cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” (which is still not as strange as the last one).  The video was provided by Mike Siegel, who also supplied “aliens”, and the other links are from Mirriam Zary, Yasmin Nair, Fiona Harrigan, Mark Bennett, C.J. Ciaramella, and Popehat, in that order.

From the Archives

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We cannot set the house on fire to roast the pig.
–  Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, after Frankfurter

Imaginary Victims 

The state’s pretended sympathy for “sex trafficking victims” applies only to imaginary “perfect” ones; real ones are treated as hardened criminals:

A teenage [runaway] who was initially charged with first-degree murder after she stabbed her…rapist to death was sentenced…in an Iowa court to five years of closely supervised probation and ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to the man’s family.  Pieper Lewis, 17…pleaded last year to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury in the June 2020 killing of…Zachary Brooks of Des Moines.  Both charges were punishable by up to 10 years in prison…judge David M. Porter…deferred those prison sentences, meaning that if Lewis violates [even the most arbitrary or trivial condition] of her probation, she could be sent to prison to serve that 20-year term.  As for being required to pay the estate of her rapist, “this court is presented with no other option,” Porter said, noting the restitution is mandatory under Iowa law…Lewis was [a] 15 [year old]…runaway who was seeking to escape an abusive life with her adopted mother…when a 28-year-old man took her in [and started] forcibly [pimp]ing her…Brooks…had [paid her pimp to] rape…her multiple times in the weeks before his death…after Brooks had raped her yet again, she grabbed a knife from a bedside table and stabbed [him] in a fit of rage.  Police and prosecutors…took issue with Lewis [correctly] calling herself a victim…and [were eager to make it look like she was at fault for being coerced and raped]…

Maggie in the Media

Cathy Reisenwitz interviews me on her podcast:

The Day of the Dead (#44) 

In Taiwan, strippers are a traditional part of funerals and autumn festivals.  This is no more “raunchy” than having performers in Halloween costumes would be in the West, and any pretense to the contrary is due to the influence of more puritanical cultures such as China and the US:

The Taoyuan Veterans Home, a state-run facility for retired army personnel in Taiwan, paid [a stripper to perform for] for a…celebrat[ion of the] Mid-Autumn Festival — an important holiday in [several Asian] culture[s]…the…performance…[was branded “raunchy” by bluenosed busybodies who were not present, but saw a video] filmed by an attendee…[which] went viral…nursing home residents clapped along enthusiastically…relish[ing] the…show.  But [people uncomfortable with the idea that the elderly are stil sexual beings attacked the]…facility…[whic] subsequently released a statement saying: “The intention of the event was to entertain residents and make them happy.  We are very sorry for the offense that was caused”…

If Men Were Angels

It’s getting harder to tell the preachers from the cops:

Five woman are suing an international megachurch and its leader, convicted felon Naasón Joaquín García, in California state court over decades of…child sexual abuse…earlier this year…[Garcia] was…sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison…[but] his church, which claims more than 5 million members worldwide, has stood b[ehind him the whole time]…Now, in a 49-page complaint, the church, García, and several affiliated businesses and individuals are being sued for various damages to a class that is expected to include well over 500 alleged victims as plaintiffs.  The introductory lines of the complaint do not mince words and stake out shocking allegations that criticize the church…as an enterprise that intentionally existed for the purpose of finding and providing children to be raped by the leader…The five principal plaintiffs are Jane Doe women [now] aged 20-28…who were originally cited in the criminal complaint…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1089) 

India protects rights the West now seems determined to destroy:

The Supreme Court of India has rejected a petition seeking to codify a…[pretend]ed link between viewing internet pornography and committing crimes such as rape and child sexual abuse…the…court…stated that “child sex abuse is a crime by itself” and [said]…“What you are advocating may be surveillance and collection of data”…The court expressed concern about where the type of Internet surveillance being proposed might lead…

Permanent Record (#1099)

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to shut us out of other jobs?

An OnlyFans content creator…was [fired] from her nursing position because other nurses were watching her adult videos on the clock…Jaelyn says she was called into the office of a woman she’s never met, who told her she knew about the OnlyFans.  The woman allegedly claimed that the nurses at this particular nursing home have been looking at her socials and OnlyFans while [she] is with patients…Jaelyn adds that her co-workers would have to be paying for her OnlyFans in order to be watching her videos on the clock…This isn’t the first time someone found out their co-worker was watching their OnlyFans videos, as one creator claimed their manager subscribed to their account.  Similarly, another Only Fans creator…was forced out of her nursing job due to her adult content in August…

The Implosion Begins (#1265)

The hysteria is imploding so hard, it’s falling all the way back to its roots:

…in…a spate of recent examples…individuals have been targeted with accusations of Satanism or so-called ritualistic abuse, marking…a [recrudescence] of the moral panic of the 1980s, when hysteria and hypervigilance over protecting children led to [wildly-]false allegations, wrongful imprisonments, decimated communities and wasted resources…While the current obsession with Satan was boosted in part by the QAnon community, partisan media and…politicians have been instrumental in spreading newfound fears over the so-called ritualistic abuse of children that the devil supposedly inspires, sometimes weaving the allegations together with other culture war issues such as LGBTQ rights…which are amplified on social media and by [yellow journalism], and can mobilize mobs to seek vigilante justice…Online accusers can bypass police, therapists and the traditional media and out their alleged accusers straight to audiences of millions…

It’s rather funny to see the expression “partisan media” used pejoratively by NBC News, considering the stark partisanism of its offspring MSNBC.

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When you become a snitch, [cops] keep your drug problem going and then they arrest you for it.  –  Harold Murry

Torture Chamber (#1116)

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

Throughout this summer, [young adults] in Texas’ youth prison system have repeatedly been trapped in their cells, forced to urinate in water bottles and defecate on the floor…Calls for immediate action by juvenile justice advocates and dozens of [politicians] to address the crisis have largely gone unanswered by Gov. Greg Abbott…In May and June, more than a dozen detained youths at the Giddings [Cage Stack] said [screws] didn’t let them out of their cells to use the bathroom between 4:30 p.m. and 8 a.m. during the week due to short staffing…On the weekends…youths were sometimes kept in their cells 22 hours a day…[so they] had no choice but to use water bottles, milk cartons, lunch trays or pieces of paper as makeshift toilets…

Torture Chamber (#1207)

Just because his victim was gullible doesn’t make this not rape:

The Department [of locking people in cages] quietly canned a Rikers Island guard after…he repeatedly [raped] a [prisoner], provided her with drugs and pressured her to delaying filing a report that she’d [also] been raped by a [different screw]…Leonard McNeill [was] fired for…“exploit[ing] the inmate, pos[ing] a security risk, [and providing an example of the system’s] corruption”…[the other rapist screw,] Jose Cosme…copped a plea with prosecutors, and as part of his deal was fired, forced to register as a sex offender and sentenced to 10 years of probation.  McNeil has so far avoided prosecution…

Micromanagement (#1213)

Any information you give to cops can and will be used against you:

A woman whose rape kit DNA was used to link her to an unrelated property crime has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco over the incident…police…later dropped the charges against her…[after] a backlash from advocates…legal experts and [even a few politicians], many of whom warned the practice could affect victims’ willingness to [report crimes against them]…

The Implosion Begins (#1213)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

A Michigan man, who had reportedly been sucked into QAnon…was killed by police after [murder]ing… his wife…Igor Lanis…also [shot and killed his dog and shot] one of [h]is…daughters, Rachel, [but the girl managed to call police]…after being shot in the back and legs…

The Vultures Descend (#1251)

This vulture feeding frenzy is going to get a lot uglier:

After decades of saying abortion’s legality should be left up to individual states, Republicans are wasting no time in exposing that for the convenient lie it was…Sen. Lindsey Graham…is reportedly backing a federal ban on abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy…The bill’s name [“Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act”] is…designed to make anyone who votes against it seem to the casual observer like an extremist or even a monster.  (See also: any bill with sex trafficking in the name.)  The phrase late-term abortion is not a medical term.  But in general, it refers to an abortion in the third trimester (which starts at 28 weeks) or, at least, an abortion that takes place after the point of fetal viability (when a fetus could survive outside the womb, around 23 or 24 weeks)…

To Molest and Rape (#1263)

Some Louisiana cops prefer to rape by proxy:

A woman…[whom cops coerced into being a snitch w]as…left…on her own [by the cops who coerced her]…unprotected and unmonitored in real time…Under threat of violence, the dealer…oral[ly raped her]…twice — in an attack so brazen he paused at one point to conduct a separate drug deal…Even as the woman cried and her assailant threatened to put her “in the hospital,” [pigs fucked off]…down the block…[supposedly] unaware of what was going on…because…they [didn’t care whether] such an attack might happen and the devices the woman carried didn’t have the ability to transmit…in real time…it wasn’t until the woman left the area on her own and contacted her handlers that [cops bothered to]…arrest…Antonio D. Jones…And while it’s not clear what kind of deal the woman struck with the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office…Just three weeks after her recorded assault…[s]he…was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia…and she’s been pulled over and booked on possession charges at least twice since then…

To Molest and Rape (#1267)

Most rapist cops have multiple underage victims:

A [typical and representative London cop] has been charged with [raping] an underage girl…child…[porn] and other child sex offences…Hussain Chehab…is accused of a total of 13 crimes…he was arrested in July 2021 [but not] charged [until September 13th 2022]…The offences [were committ]ed between 2019 and 2021…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Nykon Brandon

Not long after I posted another song by Sweet, I visited a friend’s house to find a Sweet playlist coming from her speakers, including this one (which is probably my favorite of their songs).  Every damned link above it was provided by Cop Crisis, which was on quite a roll for a couple of weeks.

From the Archives

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They knew exactly what these consequences were going to be because we told them.  –  Tani Malhotra

Change a Few Words

All prohibitionism is the same:

They were warned…[politicians]…were warned time and again that their…ban was cruel and…they didn’t care…What is one to make of people who can hear such testimony…and ignore it?  The stridency of ignorance?  The unearned confidence of religious zealotry?  The casual disregard of humanity and human empathy in favor of extremist ideology removed from reality?  The ignoble placating and pleasing of political special interests over compassionate human interests?  All of that?  Yes.  All of that…the world is complex, and human situations are nuanced and complicated.  This sledgehammer of extremist law inflicts grave injustice unbefitting of such sensitive issues…They were warned, and they did it anyway.  If this cruelty and suffering is what they wanted, they’ve certainly created a lot of it.

The only good prohibition ever creates is pushing more people into the proper skepticism about government they should’ve had in the first place.

I Saw My Brain (#999)

Judd loves giving his entrapment schemes sophomoric titles that reference adjacent events:

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office…arrested 160 people in a seven-day [pogrom] focused on [adult consensual sex]…the [only] arrests from “Fall Haul 2” [which are newsworthy]…were…[those of] a deputy police chief from Georgia, Jason DiPrima…[a screw named] Keith Nieves…[spokepigs also oinked out misogynistic fantasies about “sex trafficking”]…

This will continue until the majority of those arrested fight back with lawsuits, or the voters of Polk County get tired of paying the many lawsuits that are already filed against this cretin every year.

You Were Warned (#1122)

A lawsuit like this would never have reached first base had it been filed against mainsream film studios:

All claims made by a Jane Doe plaintiff against several adult studios, in a lawsuit sponsored by…Morality in Media…were dismissed…on Aug. 19…[after] the…plaintiff and defendants Diabolic Video Productions Inc., Black Ice LTD, Zero Tolerance Entertainment Inc. and Third Degree Films filed a joint motion to dismiss all of the claims “with prejudice,” meaning they cannot be refiled.  Typically, these types of joint motions are the result of a deal or settlement having been reached out of court…in March 2021, in an unusual decision, [judge Michael] Anello ruled that, although the contracts signed by a former performer were valid, the arbitration agreements that were part of them should be disregarded and the lawsuit could move forward…

The Next Target (#1219)

These are the countries authoritarians want the US to ape:

…courts in France and Germany moved forward…with proposed mandates to block adult sites over compliance with controversial age verification mandates.  A Paris court will rule next month on whether French media regulator Arcom “has the right to block access to…sites [including Twitter] in France unless…they can prevent minors…from accessing them”…in…Germany, the Higher Administrative Court has dismissed complaints from Cyprus-based platforms, including xHamster, seeking the reversal of a recent ban by the Düsseldorf Administrative Court.  Both developments — along with a recent reversal of policy by the Conservative government in the U.K., which has now vowed to “crack down” on adult sites like Pornhub and xHamster — are being celebrated by [pro-censorship]…crusaders as stepping stones in a strategy that would culminate in the total banning of adult content by open platforms like Twitter and Reddit…

The Vultures Descend (#1249)

Prohibitionists will use any sleazy trick to inflict bans on the people they supposedly represent:

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled…that a petition over whether to add a constitutional amendment expanding abortion rights must be on the ballot this fall…the…court directed an election board to certify a proposed amendment from the group Reproductive Freedom for All, which had submitted more than 750,000 signatures to get the question on the ballot…the…board deadlocked [along schoolyard-team lines] on whether to certify the ballot, throwing the issue into limbo…a coalition of anti-abortion groups…[claimed] to the board of canvassers that the ballot measure had spacing and formatting problems that rendered some of the proposed language unreadable…

This is the second attempt by prohibitionists in as many weeks to use technicalities to block civil rights advocates from enabling people to vote whether to stop politicians’ schemes to control their personal lives.

I Spy (#1268)

Funny how politicians were never interested in protecting people’s privacy until they could make political coin from it:

…the California legislature [has] passed a bill designed to prevent companies in the state from disclosing communications content and metadata in response to out-of-state legal demands for information in abortion-related investigations…Section 9 of the bill would bar companies that provide electronic communications services and are either (i) California corporations, or (ii) corporations whose principal executive offices are located in California, from providing “records, information, facilities or assistance” in California in response to legal process issued in another state that “relates to” an investigation into a violation of a law that prohibits “… providing, facilitating, or obtaining an abortion that is lawful under California law.”  Disclosures in investigations into attempts to provide, facilitate, or obtain such abortions are also blocked.  The legislation also empowers the California Attorney General to [sue]…to compel these companies to comply with this prohibition…The bill also blocks judges and law enforcement from aiding abortion investigations…

To Molest and Rape (#1269)

Since he’s not being charged, there’s nothing to stop this predator from just going to another cop shop:

…New Port Richey [Florida cop]…Bobby Lubrido…is not facing any criminal charges…from [molesting a teenager, even though he was fired]…The girl…[was labeled] a runaway…[and] Lubrido [was assigned to take her to a cage and lock her in]…Lubrido…placed her cellphone on his charger in the front seat at her request…[then] asked for the password…he started looking at her photo gallery and watching videos of her “twerking”…while driving…making sexually explicit comments as he drove…he…was so distracted…that he hit a deer…then…[later] let her eat half of his sandwich…and…when she was done…told her, “That sandwich wasn’t free,” and groped her bottom…and…breasts…[after which he] pulled up her mother’s photo on his [pigmobile] computer and asked if she would be interested in having a “threesome,” to which the girl said no…he [then threatened to] come to her house later to “check up on her”…

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It’s very frustrating to be a gynecologist in Texas.  –  Dr. Lauren Swords

Bad Girls

It’s an extremely bad idea to try to do the work of a professional, whether dominatrix or lawyer, without any training in the field:

After three days of often graphic evidence, sex worker Madeleine Joan Lewin offered no explanation about what happened…the night Brisbane businessman Anthony Brady died…the 34-year-old, representing herself at her manslaughter trial…sat…silently throughout the proceedings…she did not cross examine any witnesses and did not give evidence or make a closing statement to the jury.  It took the 12 jurors less than an hour to return a unanimous guilty verdict…Brady…[died] during a consensual bondage activity on the evening of August 12, 2020…[apparently from positional asphyxia as he] was found face down on the bed with a hood over his head, and handcuffs and bindings around his wrists and legs…Some of the bindings were difficult for police to remove…[and] Lewin had [fled the scene]…in a hurry…

Property of the State (#1149)

Women of childbearing age should avoid Alabama entirely if at all possible:

…Several pregnant women and new moms accused of exposing their fetuses to drugs have been [caged] for weeks or months in…Etowah County [Alabama]…under special bond conditions that require rehab and $10,000 cash…As a result…Etowah County…often [cages] several pregnant and postpartum women [at a time], against the advice of experts on maternal and fetal health…“The stress and conditions in jail and prisons, including lack of consistent access to standard prenatal care and mental health care, poor diets, poor sanitation, infestations with bugs and vermin, poor ventilation, tension, noise, lack of privacy, lack of family and community contact, can be detrimental to physical and mental health which can result in poor pregnancy outcomes for both the mother and the baby,” [said prominent OB-GYN Dr. Carolyn] Sufrin…It’s difficult to know how many…women…Etowah County [victimizes in this way.  Reporters]…found seven pregnant or postpartum women in a recent investigation of the jail log…National Advocates for Pregnant Women…have tracked more than 150 chemical endangerment cases involving women in Etowah County since 2010…

Legislators Gone Wild (#1198) 

The fanatical, unhinged Guinasso and his pet fantasist are at it again, now with the financial backing of Morality in Media:

…one of Las Vegas’ premier strip clubs, Sapphire Las Vegas…[and] the Chicken Ranch, an unrelated…[Nevada brothel, have been targeted by a nuisance law]suit [filed by]…Morality in Media…and [fanatical anti-sex lawyer] Jason Guinasso…[with the help of two professional “survivors” who hope to profit from the dying “sex trafficking” hysteria by pretending they were] “sex trafficked in Nevada through legal strip clubs, including the Sapphire Gentleman’s Club”…Conflating all legal sex work with “sex trafficking” has been one of the key strategies used by [Morality in Media] in its ambitious quest to outlaw all consensual sex work, one of the group’s core goals…the organization…also planned to sue Steve Sisolak, the governor of Nevada; Aaron Ford, the state’s attorney general; the city of Las Vegas; and Nevada’s Clark County and Nye County.  However, the court ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue those parties…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1199) 

The latest chapter in this nasty, twisted saga:

The FBI announced…that it had placed GirlsDoPorn owner Michael Pratt on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, and doubled the reward for information leading to his arrest from $50,000 to $100,000…On July 26, Matthew Wolfe, Pratt’s second in command for the shuttered GirlsDoPorn website, pleaded guilty…to a single count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking…Pratt, a New Zealand national, escaped the U.S. before federal charges against the company and its employees were unsealed in 2019…

The Cop Myth (#1236)

Why are people shocked when men paid and encouraged to behave violently, behave violently?

A…[typical and represntative] California [cop] has been charged [for] murder[ing]…a married couple…Devin Williams…was allegedly dating the female victim…Maria Tran and [murdered] her [and her] husband…Benison Tran [when he discovered she was married]…the pair’s 14-year-old-son…walked in on the crime in progress…Williams fled…but…turned himself in nearly 11 hours later…

Property of the State (#1259)

“Hard cases” are more common than forced-birth proponents want you to believe:

Kristina Cruickshank…lost her unborn baby…in her 15th week of pregnancy…[she] was frail, vomiting and in pain when she and her husband, John, arrived at Houston Methodist Sugar Land on…June 3.  She needed an abortion…but…it…was not clear whether Kristina was exempt from Texas abortion laws, which threaten providers with felonies and lawsuits for performing abortions except to treat a miscarriage or a loosely defined “medical emergency.”  Her fetus still had a heartbeat, and she did not yet need life-saving care…So over the next three days, a sick and distraught Kristina was stuck in limbo, waiting…while an ethics committee reviewed the case…

Winding Down (#1265)

Your “leaders” know what’s best, so shut up and obey:

Arkansas is one of a handful of states, and the only Southern state, that allows voters to directly pass laws and amend the state constitution by ballot referendum.  Placing an initiative on the ballot requires collecting signatures from registered voters equal to 8 percent of the total votes for governor in the most recent election.  Currently, that number is 89,151.  In July, Responsible Growth Arkansas…submitted a [legalization] measure with over 190,000 signatures, more than twice the necessary number…[but] the State Board of Election Commissioners…denied the measure’s title and, therefore, its ballot eligibility…Responsible Growth Arkansas sued Secretary of State John Thurston…The Arkansas Supreme Court preliminarily ordered Thurston to certify the measure for November’s general election ballot but noted that it would not ultimately be able to hear arguments on the case until September…

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Bud, it’s okay, you’re not in trouble.  –  murderer to his victim

The big news this week was of course the passing of Queen Elizabeth II; this selection seems the appropriate one for such an occasion.  The links above it were contributed by Cop Crisis (x2), Amy AlkonTim Cushing, Clarissa, Radley Balko, and Elizabeth N. Brown, in that order.

From the Archives

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It doesn’t sound as though the case was going very well for the government so far.  –  Judge William Fletcher

If Men Were Angels 

It’s getting harder to tell the preachers from the cops:

A former [pastor and] teacher at a [Pennsylvania] evangelical school was convicted [on August 31st] of sexually assaulting a first grader there in 2007.  Randy Lee Boston…denied the allegations, [claim]ing…that he had barely any interaction with the alleged victim while he was enrolled at the school.  But in an interview with police, a recording of which was played in court, Boston admitted to having sexual desires “connected to young boys” and being attracted to their bodies…

Choke Point (#593) 

Wells Fargo has repeatedly shown itself to be among the worst perpetrators of this abuse:

Sex workers…are reporting that the bank Wells Fargo has sent them notices terminating their accounts effective immediately, in what they see as an extension of the crackdown measures banks and other large institutions have been implementing over the past few years.  In the letters, which are dated August 25…Wells Fargo offers zero explanation for the decision…Alana Evans, the president of the Adult Performance Artists’ Guild (APAG), says that she has been a client with Wells Fargo in good standing for nearly 30 years…Spike Irons and Sofie Marie, who run…a porn production company…primarily use[d] the[ir now-closed] account to pay out independent contractors…They have since applied to two other banks and been rejected…Former adult performer Raylene has been out of the industry for a decade, and says she’s had her Wells Fargo account for 22 years.  She, too, received the same notice…despite the only adult industry-related payment on her account being residuals from a lifetime contract with Streammate…In 2014, JP Morgan Chase closed down many adult performers’ accounts without providing any explanation…

See No Evil (#1167)

Legalese for “get out of my courtroom, you opportunist”:

A federal judge…dismissed a lawsuit filed by a man who, as a baby, had graced the cover of Nirvana’s seminal album, Nevermind, and argued 30 years later that the iconic photo of him drifting naked in a pool had been a form of sexual exploitation…Spencer Elden…[even] accused Nirvana…of engaging in child pornography…The judge, Fernando M. Olguin, wrote in his eight-page ruling that because Mr. Elden had learned about the album cover more than 10 years ago, he had waited too long to file his lawsuit, making his claims untimely…

Dangerous Speech (#1186)

The government’s evil clown show continues in a new ring:

Oral arguments in the Lacey/Larkin appeal took place Sept. 2 before a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit, where the defense presented a forceful case that the government didn’t deserve a retrial…[one] issue was the testimony of California cop Brian Fichtner during last year’s…mistrial due to prosecutorial misconduct…the government…repeatedly mentioned or elicited testimony related to sex trafficking or child sex trafficking, though Lacey, Larkin, et al. are not charged with such…[prosecution witness] Fichtner, who investigated Backpage previously for then-Cali AG Kamala Harris’ failed 2016 prosecution of Lacey and Larkin, was…eviscerated on cross-examination by the defense and forced to admit that the content of the ads on Backpage was legal and on its own did not give law enforcement probable cause to arrest anyone for prostitution…this point…is important because the appellate court must find that the government had a reason to sabotage its own case for the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on double jeopardy to kick in…the prosecution faced certain defeat, and so chose to throw the case, and retool its strategy for a retrial…

A Woman’s Point of View (#1201) 

Another Vermont city achieves de facto decriminalization:

Montpelier has become the second city in Vermont to repeal its antiquated prostitution ordinance in the past year…most municipalities in Vermont do not have ordinances banning prostitution [so]…repealing the language…bring[s] Montpelier in line with the rest of the state.  Though bills proposing to decriminalize prostitution were introduced during the past two legislative sessions, they did not advance and prostitution remains criminalized at the state level…

The Cop Myth (#1232)

How long will America ignore the costs of its sick worship of state-sanctioned violence?

California…[cops murder]ed nearly 1,000 people in six years…[despite] recent legislative attempts to curtail police violence by toughening the rules of engagement for officers, requiring deescalation training and bringing in outside investigators when unarmed civilians are killed [but not actually holding the murderers responsible as ifthey were non-cops]…For the sixth straight year, Los Angeles County was the setting for the largest number (172) and highest rate (27.4 incidents per 100,000 residents) of [police violence too serious to ignore] in the state last year…

I Spy (#1233)

Modern fascism has spun a terrifyingly-extensive surveillance net:

[Cop shop]s from suburban Southern California to rural North Carolina have been using an obscure cellphone tracking tool, [usually] without search warrants, that gives them the power to follow people’s movements months back in time…[cops] have used “Fog Reveal” to search hundreds of billions of records from 250 million mobile devices, and harnessed the data to create location analyses known among [pigs] as “patterns of life”…The tool is rarely, if ever, mentioned in court records, something that defense attorneys say makes it harder for them to properly defend their clients in cases in which the technology was used.  The company was developed by two former high-ranking Department of Homeland Security officials under former President George W. Bush.  It relies on advertising identification numbers…culled from popular cellphone apps such as Waze, Starbucks and hundreds of others that target ads based on a person’s movements and interests…that information is then sold to companies like Fog…

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Senator Klobuchar…is deliberately seeking to destroy [the internet].  –  Mike Masnick

Stalkers in Blue

No woman is safe from predatory cops:

A Prairie Village [Kansas cop] was allowed to stay on the job for 19 months after department officials were alerted that he had [pressur]ed a woman for sex after arresting her…Attorney Brandan Davies said he reported to Prairie Village police in March 2020 that…Rolando Swaby had arrested his client in a DUI case and later sent text messages asking her to meet him at a hotel for drinks and sex ahead of a court hearing in her case…Davies…thought the [cop] would be fired…[but he] was allowed to remain on the force for more than a year and a half until he was investigated in an unrelated domestic violence case in October 2021.  He later resigned and lost his Kansas police license…

You Were Warned (#1116)

Monkey see, monkey do:

…a law…[pushed by] Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rep. David Cicilline…[is another] link tax bill, similar to the one written in Australia to appease (and enrich) Rupert Murdoch.  It basically says that publishers can band together, with an antitrust exemption, to demand fees from bigger, more successful internet companies…Klobuchar…is [known for]…pushing bills that fundamentally break the internet…[and her] new version of the JCPA…[does so doubly by] only appl[ying] to smaller news orgs — those with under 1,500 employees …We’re at a time when hedge funds — most notably Alden Capital — have been buying up newspapers and laying off tons of people while trying to squeeze cash out of the remaining husks.  And, this bill basically says “buy up large newspapers and cut them to under 1,500 employees”…here’s Amy Klobuchar saying…“you get free money just as long as you fire enough people first“…But, the much bigger problem is that the bill is trying to break the internet…[by] allow[ing] news orgs to…force internet companies…to pay the journalism organizations for…sending them traffic…This is ludicrous.  News orgs beg these sites for traffic.  They hire SEO people to try to get more traffic.  Now they’re also getting to FORCE the internet companies to PAY them for that traffic too?…

Torture Chamber (#1207)

Give brutal, sexually-aggressive men total power over women, then act surprised when the eminently predictable happens:

A North Carolina [screw]…was fired and arrested for [rap]ing [female prisoners]…Khalim Jovan Battle…[raped at least] two [women powerless to defend themselves from him].  He…anally [raped]…one [and]…oral[ly raped both]…

Opting Out (#1214) 

Authoritarians believe that the people they want to impose their evil upon are either very stupid or very gullible:

…California’s AB 2273, the “Age Appropriate Design Code” bill that the California legislature seems eager to pass…seemed to be getting very little attention, but after a few [Techdirt] posts started to go viral, the backers of the bill ramped up their smear campaigns and lies…and…the “Age Verification Providers Association” decided to show up in the comments to defend themselves and insist that their members can do age verification in a privacy-protective manner.  You just have to let them scan your face with facial recognition technology… they insist it’s not “facial recognition” software because it’s not matching you up to a database of your identity…it’s just using “AI” to guess estimate your age.  What could possibly go wrong?  But, more to the point, they’re basically saying “don’t worry, you’ll just need to scan your face or ID for every website your visit.”  Normalizing facial scans…seems pretty dystopian, frankly…

Thought Control (#1252)

Of course, the politicians have already got what they wanted: positive attention from censorious asshats:

The [obscenity] trial in Virginia Beach, Virginia…of…two books has ended in dismissal.  Neither Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe nor A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas meet the legal definition of obscenity…Two lawsuits…sought to get both books not only removed from schools and libraries, but removed from private sale through bookstores across the state…Th[is] outcome…will help in setting a standard…that books like these…do not meet the legal definition of obscenity [regardless of what pro-censorship fanatics may claim]…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1262)

Fentanyl is being inserted into every popular scare myth:

The…DEA…[is fantasizing about] an “alarming” trend of brightly-colored fentanyl made to look like candy that is being used to attract children…The agency [claims collaborator pigs, in other words the same people who fantasize that casual contact with fentanyl produces instant overdose that exactly mimics the symptoms of a panic attack,] began s[teal]ing brightly colored “rainbow fentanyl” [from its owners last] month…in 18 states so far…“Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes — is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst [people who cannot pay for the product, because they’re EEEEEEEEEEVUL!]” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram [bloviated]…

This is, of course, the same old nonsense cops vomit out in the approach to Halloween every year, only with “fentanyl” inserted in place of “marijuana” or other drugs, Mad Libs style.  Given that we’ve also recently seen fentanyl being inserted in place of magic “sex trafficking” drugs in social media scary tales, I’d say it’s safe to declare that fentanyl is now the subject of its own moral panic.

To Molest and Rape (#1268)

“Having inappropriate contact with a minor” is such a nice way of saying “molesting a kid”:

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Denham Springs [cop who molested]…a minor…Joseph Reid Copeland…is believed [to have fled]…the…area…

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I won’t help you until you help yourself.  –  jail “nurse”

Regular readers know how I feel about abuse of words, especially by government, so this video (called to my attention by Elizabeth N. Brown) really spoke to me.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel, Kevin Wilson, Scott Greenfield, Jesse Walker, and Cop Crisis (x3), in that order.

From the Archives

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