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Posts Tagged ‘A Moral Cancer’

They’re basically training us for a fake world.  –  Lucas, high school student

Zeitgeist

It’s slowly dawning on “feminists” that getting in bed with cops was a bad idea:

Many tend to think of police as the first line of defense for women in need of help. But…sexual misconduct is…pervasive throughout the profession, despite receiving relatively little attention.  After excessive force, sexual misconduct is the second most commonly reported form of police misconduct…and that only includes what’s reported.  “We have no way of knowing how much of this behavior goes on,” [said] Timothy Maher, a criminology professor at University of Missouri… “Many people are [afraid] to report on the police”…[rapist cops usually] target [women]…on the margins of society, such as [sex workers or other] women with criminal records…who[m they know will be dis]believed [by cops and prosecutors] if they do come forward.  While the spectrum of police sexual misconduct is wide, it can include things like unnecessary strip searches or a sexual shakedown, which is when a…[cop demands submission to rape] in exchange for not…arresting the [victim]…[even] female [cops]…can…be victims

A Broker in Pillage (#1145)

Indiana continues to pursue the “right” to rob anyone within its borders blind:

In April 2015…Indiana [cops stole] almost $10,000 from Terry Abbott after [a snitch claimed] he was…selling drugs…Abbott attempted to challenge that action…but he lost his attorney—as the money he would use to pay for that counsel had been [stolen] by the state…The Indiana Supreme Court…rul[ed] that [victims of robbery by cops] have no right to use their s[tolen money] to finance legal [challenges to the robbery]…This means that…the government is able to put defendants in a chokehold by seizing the very assets that they would use to defend themselves…Fighting to get your cash back is a bit difficult when the government has [stolen] all of your cash…

Property of the State (#1149)

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

It’s astounding how many novel ways politicians can propose to invade privacy.  The latest comes from Alabama, where a new bill would require women from ages 25 to 50 to produce a negative pregnancy test from a doctor or medical lab before purchasing medical marijuana.  The test would have to be conducted within 48 hours of the purchase…Pregnant women on the marijuana patient registry would also be required to report pregnancies to the physician who approved their patient status.  Having to go to a doctor or medical lab and pay for a pregnancy test before every medical cannabis purchase would be not only invasive but inconvenient.  In effect, it’s an added tax on…female patients…

Creepy Coppers

Just another cop demonstrating exactly what he is:

A [typical and representative] Perryton [Texas cop] was sentenced…to 17 years in federal prison for child pornography offenses…Aaron Bennett Daugherty…was [caught uploading]…a video file depicting an adult male [raping]…a blindfolded prepubescent child.  “I’m here to look at CP, everybody”…he…posted…

Thou Shalt Not (#1206)

Prohibitionists refuse to understand why their schemes never work:

Karlyn Gorski…[of] the University of Chicago…[studied the] robust black market for snack foods that persists at Hamilton High (not the school’s real name) despite the best efforts by school administrators, security guards, and teachers to stamp it out…Gorski spent 112 days observing students and adults at Hamilton during the 2019–2020 school year…[and] observed a widespread black market for snack sales…beyond the amusing anecdotes about deception and the heroic struggles of would-be entrepreneurs against the school snack cops, the paper contains some serious implications about what the school is teaching its students…Students in a Spanish club selling cookies to raise money for a field trip to Peru were allowed to “carry their wares openly and advertise on posters throughout the school…when…the school retained control over the proceeds…the [sales were deemed] ‘worthy'”…[but]…when students were caught “selling” [on their own]…their motives were “subject to moral scrutiny”…One student, code-named Lucas, told Gorski that “they’re basically training us for a fake world” in which good behavior is rewarded while trying to make a buck is regarded as valuable only if the seller’s intentions are worthy…

Welcome to the Future (#1214)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

Even before the pandemic,…exaggerated security fears intersected with the declining cost of technology to turn many schools into panopticons.  ID tags tracked students, cameras watched their behavior, and software monitored their online activity.  Then COVID-19 appeared and safety [theater]…overwhelmed civil libertarian concerns about privacy with public health arguments…contact tracing and social-distancing enforcement…became a new way to sell facial recognition systems…and…all of that surveillance technology remains in place even as pandemic concerns wane across the country.  Badges and cameras purchased at considerable expense aren’t going to be put into storage just because COVID-19 fades into the background…And, of course, the federal government is right there to subsidize schools’ purchase of surveillance tools with gobs of cash.  That makes the transformation of supposed learning environments into entry-level police states surprisingly affordable…

A Moral Cancer (#1223)

Prohibition is too useful an excuse for violence for the state to stop voluntarily:

…Tobacco is still legal for adults to purchase and consume in the United States.  But [state] policy regarding nicotine delivery systems is shifting from taxation and regulation to explicit prohibition of many products.  Some jurisdictions already have banned menthol cigarettes, and the…FDA…is likely to announce a similar ban at the federal level this spring.  Local restrictions on e-cigarettes likewise provide a preview of what will happen nationwide if the FDA continues to regulate vaping products in a way that threatens to wipe out nearly the entire industry…As tobacco, e-cigarettes, and e-liquids transition from legal to illicit, [cop shops] will more aggressively interfere with production, distribution, retail sales, and in some cases even individual use.  Every such interaction carries with it the possibility of freedom lost, perhaps violently.  There is a real risk that American tobacco policy will open a regressive new front in the war on drugs, just as the previous crackdown on psychoactive substances begins to wind down…

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Advocates of prohibition always claim good intentions.  –  Jacob Grier

Prudish Pedants

“The label ‘pornography’…represents an attempt by lawheads to pretend that their personal hang-ups about sex can be reduced to a rule”:

Adult content only becomes illegal when it veers into the realm of obscenity.  But for a work to be deemed legally obscene, it must meet the obscure Miller Test developed in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court…Numerous elements of this test are unworkable in modern times…most people do not know the definition of the word “prurient” and cannot use it correctly in a sentence.  Yet this consideration can determine whether someone is imprisoned for making a film.  The entire concept of “community standards” is meaningless in the digital age, when we have more in common with our social media groups spanning the globe than we do with our neighbors who happen to live in the same country…While it’s easy to understand what the “whole work” is when evaluating a magazine or film, what about a tube site or a social media site?…Despite these vagaries, the Miller obscenity test has been upheld over and over, in the face of numerous constitutional challenges…

A Moral Cancer (#1148)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

Sometime in the not-too-distant future…the first American will likely be sentenced to prison for selling flavored tobacco or e-cigarettes.  It might happen in Massachusetts, wh[ich]…announced charges last year against New Hampshire resident Samuel Habib…Or it might happen in New York…[where] the Auburn Police Department…raid[ed]…a…smoke shop owned by Mohamed Algamal…Or maybe it will happen in New Jersey or Rhode Island, which have banned flavored e-cigarettes statewide.  Or maybe it will be in one of the many cities that have passed flavor bans, such as Chicago…San Francisco…[or] Washington, D.C., or result from a federal prosecution if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moves forward with plans to prohibit them nationwide…advocates of flavor bans [falsely] portray them as…mere product regulations and…[pretend] prohibitions will [not] lead to…criminal enforcement, especially…against racial minorities…[but] as the American Civil Liberties Union, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and other groups warned in 2021, this will create “a massive law enforcement problem for states, counties, and cities, since all states treat unlicensed sale of tobacco products as a crime—usually as a felony punishable by imprisonment”…

Creepy Coppers

Funny how it nearly always takes years to convict cops of anything:

Nearly four years after being arrested, a [typical and representative] Harris County [Texas cop pled] guilty for possession of child pornography…Donald Dehnert [was first arrested on March 29, 2018]…he…admitted to having child pornography on a flash drive that…had photos of nude children under two years old and a girl who appeared to be between six and eight years old.  One image showed the girl appearing to perform a sexual act…[Dehner had also] solicited sex with [a roleplaying cop’s imaginary] 5- and 11-year-old daughters…

Opting Out (#1214) 

“At least one person noted that the UK was at risk of looking like idiots”:

…the U.K. has finally unveiled its controversial “Online Safety Bill”…focus[ing] on “pornography” as the main supposed “online harm”…the Johnson government [belched out a number of catchphrases and buzzwords including]…“protect children”…and…”illegal content”, while…[absurdly bragging that] the proposed measures are…“the world-first online safety laws”…[misusing the popular moralist shibboleth] “hold…to account”…and…set[ting] up the [bureaucrats]…running Ofcom, the government’s communications regulatory agency, to become essentially a censorship body with “the power to fine companies failing to comply with the laws up to 10% of their annual global turnover…[and] force them to…block non-compliant sites”…The government’s statement boasts of literally “a raft of other new offenses [including]…obstructing the regulator when it [raids] company offices”…

Leaving the 20th Century

So how exactly are they defining “pimping”?

Sex workers in Belgium will soon be able to claim state pensions and other benefits after the pandemic prompted reforms to decriminalise their profession.  Politicians approved plans to overhaul 19th-century legislation and offer prostitutes a legally recognised job title…While prostitution is decriminalised under Belgian law, there is a ban on pimping aimed at [placating “]sex trafficking[” fetishists]…

Science! (#1221)

A source heard it happened“:

[Wanking fantasies] have increased in Israel since the outbreak of war in Ukraine [about] claims…that some women refugees…were being exploited by human trafficking networks.  [Magical anti-pimp] leaflets…are expected to be [foisted upon] refugee women upon arrival at the airport as part of…moral[ity theater]…The [fantasies claim]…human trafficking and criminal networks lure Ukrainian refugees into prostitution upon their arrival to Israel, with the [tale] being used as an excuse for Israeli immigration officials to deny entry to dozens of refugees during the past two weeks…

The Cop Myth (#1221)

Sleeping with a cop is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do:

…Scottsboro [Alabama cop]…Stephen Miller shot his estranged wife, Amanda Miller, a[nd then shot himself]…Miller…was [an alcoholic]…and [Amanda] was filing for divorce.  Stephen was found dead…and Amanda is currently in critical condition…

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Financial Times omits any mention of the nature of [the] groups…[who] inten[d] to “eradicate” an entire legal industry.  –  Gustavo Turner

Follow Your Bliss

Understand that people like this are the norm in policing sexual offenses, and always will be:

An FBI agent who investigated sex crimes against children has been arrested and charged with multiple sex crimes against children across several states…David Harris [got himself] tasked with investigating crimes against children, including child pornography…[so it’s no surprise that] in February…he…expos[ed] himself to a 14-year-old girl…while on vacation in [Florida]…but…the…investigation…led to other [sex] crimes committed by Harris [against both] minors and adults in…Louisiana and Texas…[snooping in Harris’ phone revealed] conversation[s in which he admitted]…his sexual preference [for] underage [girls] and [bragging about] his exploits…Harris was arrested earlier this summer in Ascension Parish [Louisiana] and…has outstanding arrests warrants…from East Baton Rouge and Orleans Parish[es and] Tyler, Texas…

Traffic Jam (#403)

By this standard of “evidence”, Johnny Cash is lucky he was never accused of murder:

A jury found Defendant, Jaimian Sims, guilty of sex trafficking a minor and…the…court imposed a life sentence.  Sims appeals…arguing [among other things] … that certain rap videos were improperly admitted into evidence and shown to the jury…He contends that the lyrics…were fictional and did not depict his real life…Although these videos speak only generally to the pimping lifestyle and are cumulative of testimony in that respect, the violence and weapons depicted in the videos are relevant to the force charge—that Sims sex trafficked by force, fraud, or coercion…[the judges declared they we]re satisfied that the videos were not harmful to the defense…

License to Rape (#652)

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

State officials say a new grant will be used to provide training for Georgia law enforcement officers to draw blood from drivers [without their consent so as to]…prosecut[e them for] DUI…

If you’re not horrified by the prospect of psychopathic thugs running around with permission to jam needles into people’s bodies without their consent on the side of the road, you must be new to this blog.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#799)

Expect the equation of human sexuality with pollution to become more common:

The editorial board of the Financial Times — arguably the world’s most influential news source for the banking, investment and overall finance industries — published an editorial…[which] compares sex work and adult content to…environmental pollutants, and parrots sensationalist pieces by The New York Times and the BBC alleging a non-existent “proliferation” of illegal content on adult sites…The subhead…soberly warns its readers…that working with the porn industry “can pose legal as well as reputational risks”…It’s the old circular argument favored by censors, prudes and well-paid religious anti-porn activists: reputable banks should not do business with sex workers or porn because they have been known to look for alternative forms of financing — which sex workers and porn are forced to resort to because reputable banks won’t do business with them…“The argument for banks to stay away from porn is, if anything, stronger than staying away from coal,” is the Financial Times’ take on that dubious comparison…

Scapegoats (#930)

It’s fascinating how the State has changed the excuse for these laws from “morality” to “animal abuse”:

[Typical and representative cop] Terry Yetman…was charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of animals…including filming sex with his own police K9.  This decorated cop was also charged with 31 counts of child pornography several months later.  Now, nearly 3 years after his initial arrest…Yetman — despite facing over 70 charges — pleaded guilty to just one count of possession of child pornography and five counts of sexual abuse of an animal…He faces a total of 45 years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender…

Rough Trade (#1043) 

Gee, I wonder why this happens so often in Ireland?

A Dublin man [who] attack[ed] and violently h[eld] three women in his home against their will during separate incidents has been denied bail.  Aaron Barwell…[attacked] three [different]…escorts…on 29 January, 13 August and [27 August].  He is also accused of making threats to kill or cause serious harm to two of the women…[Barwell apparently believed that claiming] the third incident was prompted by a theft of cocaine, and the others arose after [he refused to] pay…[the escorts would somehow get the judge to grant him bail]…

A Moral Cancer (#1157)

Though the claim that certain foods can take “time off one’s life” is not new, I’ve never seen one this absurdly specific:

…[Nutritionists] at the University of Michigan…created a Health Nutritional Index which [claims to quantify] the nutritional impact…of almost 6,000 foods and calculated the health burden of each one.  Their findings [predictably singled out popular, pleasant foods, claiming] that every hot dog a person eats takes…36 minutes off their healthy life expectancy.  Soft drinks…shortened life by 12 minutes, bacon by six minutes…each double cheeseburger…nine minutes….[and] each portion of cheese…a minute off [the un]healthy [end of] life…the index also [claims] that it’s equally possible to [magically]  add minutes…each banana was [claimed] to add 13 and a half minutes…as was a portion of baked salmon…a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…[supposedly] adds a whopping 33 minutes to life…

The puritanical notion that lifelong deprivation of pleasure in the vague hope of adding a few extra minutes of senility and decreptitude to the far end of one’s old age – a time one has only a 50% chance of reaching in the first place, statistically – is so alien to my way of thinking, I’ve never been able to wrap my head around it, even as a concept for consideration.

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Contact[ing] Facebook…[i]s useless.  –  Elizabeth Licata

Rough Trade

Gee, I wonder why she “stopped cooperating”?

Florida [cops] have arrested a man seemingly living a “normal life”…for allegedly being the “Woodline rapist” nearly 20 years after the brutal attacks…Dwight Arthur Harris…was…link[ed]…to the rapes…us[ing] genetic genealogy…the…rap[es occured]…on February 1, 2002…and…July 10, 2002…[but in]…another 2011 case…a known sex worker…was able to provide authorities with the tag number…and…description of the vehicle that helped them identify Harris as a possible suspect in the case before she stopped cooperating…

See No Evil (#798)

This is absurd even by the low standards of bluenoses:

Pornhub…is reportedly facing [a nuisance lawsuit] from the Louvre museum in Paris and the Uffizi in Florence after debuting a new interactive website and app, “Show Me the Nudes,” that features porn actors re-envisioning classic works of art as jumping off points for sexually explicit content…the…museums are [apparently convinced they can win damages for “]infringement[” of rights they do not possess] and [somehow force] the website to take down the content…

Apparently nobody has explained to these would-be censors that they don’t own the images in question, which are all in the public domain in every country, merely because they own the original works; furthermore, even if the works were still under copyright, satire is fair use in most places, and I’m unaware of any special weirdness in the laws of Luxembourg, where Porhub is domiciled, which would make this lawsuit anything other than 100% spurious.

Opting Out (#803)

When will people learn that “artificial intelligence” isn’t?

Facebook’s censors[hip algorithms] are…flagging the word “hoe” in a western New York gardening group because they apparently confused the tool for a disparaging term for women.  A group called WNY Gardeners has been repeatedly flagged…for “violating community standards,” when its more than 7,500 members discussed the long-handled bladed implement, which is spelled with[out] a…[“w” or “r”] unlike the [slur]…Facebook representative[s claim]…an actual person will…supposedly [check] posts [flagged by algorithms] in the future before the group is sanctioned or deleted…[other] post[s] in the group [have] be[en] automatically [censored] because of “possible violence…or hate”…[against aphids] and…Japanese beetles…

Quiet Genocide (#1050)

An analysis of what China absurdly claims are “schools”:

BuzzFeed News calculated the floor areas of 347 compounds bearing the hallmarks of prisons and internment camps in [Xinjiang] and compared them to China’s own prison and detention construction standards, which lay out how much space is needed for each…prisone[r].  Earlier estimates…have suggested that a total of more than a million Muslims have been detained or imprisoned over the last five years…Our…analysis…show[s] that China has built space to lock up at least 1.01 million people in Xinjiang at the same time.  That’s enough space to detain or incarcerate more than 1 in every 25 residents of Xinjiang simultaneously — a figure seven times higher than the criminal detention capacity of the United States, the country with the highest official incarceration rate in the world.   Even this extraordinary capacity is very likely an underestimate, for a simple reason:  It does not take into account the suffocating overcrowding that many former Xinjiang [prisoners] have described in interviews…

You Were Warned (#1112)

The bipartisan war on the internet is past even trying to look reasonable:

Two Democratic U.S. senators…will add to the stack of bills [attacking] Section 230 – [the] law that [makes the open internet possible]…by [trying to] mak[e] such platforms responsible for health-related misinformation…and [giving government bureaucrats the power to define]…what constitutes health misinformation…

Giving the government the power to define what information is “correct” and then making “incorrect” information punishable?  What could possibly go wrong?

A Moral Cancer (#1115)

The increase in absolute risk is so small that it is unlikely to be relevant for the individual“:

Eating beef, lamb, pork and processed meats will increase your risk of coronary heart disease later in life, according to a new meta-analysis of studies on over 1.4 million people who were followed for 30 years…The risk…increased as the amount of meat increased…This is in line with what has been found for bowel cancer

To Molest and Rape (#1156)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

[A Texas cop] was arrested…on charges of sex assault of a minor…Miguel Velasco-Hererra…was [rewarded for the rape with a paid vacation, but decided to resign instead]…

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It’s essential to include input from sex workers when writing a narrative about a sex worker character.  –  Misha Calvert

Maggie in the Media

Last weekend I was on the Scot Goes Popcast, talking about the Swedish model (which prohibitionists are once again trying to impose on Scotland).  For those who just can’t get enough Maggie!

The Notorious Badge

Another sign we’re past the watershed:

When award-winning creator Misha Calvert first showed her new series, Strut, at the Tribeca Film Festival Creators Market in 2018, she offered some choice words on the show’s…subject matter.  “Hollywood has long used the archetype of the prostitute to heighten storytelling, be it as a seductress, a villain, seedy set decoration, or another dead body…The reality of sex workers is so much more complex”…Strut, starring Margaret Judson (The Newsroom), Christina Toh (Orange is the New Black), Manini Gupta (You), and Calvert herself, tells the story of a group of best friends in New York…starting their own escorting agency, wading into the world of sex work, and loving it…

To Molest and Rape (#997) 

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

A f[emale] NYPD cop was repeatedly raped, sodomized and mentally tormented by a [gang] of [fellow pig]s over the course of five years but…the Manhattan District Attorney…[refus]ed to prosecute…Maria Mendez…resigned from the department in January 2019 after a 14-year career, [during which] she was [repeatedly] raped by [gang members]…and…regularly forced to ingest oxycodone, ecstacy and alcohol…she suffered “physical deformities to her vagina and anus requiring surgical repair” and she was left suicidal and suffering from…post traumatic stress disorder [just like many victims of cops]…he[r federal] lawsuit…paints a vivid picture of sexual abuse and harassment that ran rampant…Mendez was not only regularly raped but was subjected to sexualized comments and requests by…[pig union rep] Alfred Gallicchio…[other sows refused to help; they] called Mendez a “slut” and [pretended her statements were]…“false allegations against good officers”…[despite the fact that] videos of Mendez being raped and assaulted were regularly shared across the department in a group chat…the abuse[rs included pigs]…Ryan Marrero…Jimmy Gutierres…Michael Ganz…and…Peter Montalbano…Marrero [was especially imaginative]…rap[ing] her on a series of public streets…in hotels, [pigmoblies], the p[igsty], the female bathroom and locker room and while out on emergency calls, [sometimes yelling at her to “stop resisting”]…He also [beat] his department canine…in front of Mendez as a form of intimdation and regularly talked about how he liked [raping] unconscius women because they don’t fight back and showed her naked pictures of teenage girls he…had [raped]

To Molest and Rape (#1047)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

A[rkansas] constable…Coby Ryan Poe…was [arrested for rape for the second time this year, despite having only]…been a constable…since November…in [the first case he w]as…[also] charged…with…child [porn] and three counts of second-degree sexual assault…

Winding Down

Over half of Americans now live in states with legal cannabis:

The Connecticut Senate voted…to legalize recreational marijuana…the fifth [state] this year to drop its war on weed…The bill [contains the usual ridiculous leaf-counting provisions so beloved by politicians, but]…also includes provisions to allow those in cities hit hardest by the drug war to apply for expedited licenses to sell…automatically expunging criminal convictions for possession of less than four ounces…and banning police from searching vehicles solely because [they claim they smelled weed]…Con[necticut is]…the 19th state…to legalize recreational marijuana.  Neighboring New York legalized it in late March.  New Jersey, New Mexico, and Virginia all legalized…this year as well…But…Biden [still wants the government to destroy people’s lives over a common plant]…

Torture Chamber (#1116)

Government bureaucracy at work, “correcting” people to death:

Last year, as the coronavirus killed hundreds [of caged human beings] in…Texas lockups and sickened tens of thousands more, prisoner rights advocates unsuccessfully pleaded for [lazy, incompetent bureaucrats] to more quickly release the thousands of people…who had already been approved for parole…18…parole[es] died with COVID-19 before they could walk out of prison…At least another two dozen…died in prison…in the same period…due to chronic health issues…At least 26 p[arolees] died in prison in 2019…In April, about 10,800 people held in Texas prisons had already been approved for parole…More than a quarter of them had been [waiting] at least six months…and nearly 900…for more than a year…That’s in part because the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles requires most prisoners to [be subjected to lucrative-for-the prisons]…re…programming before their parole release, which can last from three to 18 months…

A Moral Cancer (#1134)

Rulers of majority-black city openly target black people with police violence:

The D.C. Council…voted to ban flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, and flavored cigars, ratcheting up the drug war [by] creat[ing] another black market…This tobacco ban follows…D.C.’s legalization of recreational marijuana and the quasi-decriminalization of psychedelics…by voter ballot initiatives and…a viral incident…in…wh[ich cops] were [videoed] tasing and beating teens…for…vaping…The government enforces every law at gunpoint, even those [sold as] intended to “protect” our health…Eric Garner was…[murder]ed by [a typical and representative cop]…in 2014 for selling loose cigarettes…

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To what extent the prosecution will twist the law to its ends remains to be seen.  –  Stephen Lemons

Whore Madonnas (#808)

More from Juniper Fitzgerald:

…my children’s book, How Mamas Love Their Babies…is the only children’s book– to my knowledge– to include a sex-working mother: “Some mamas dance all night long in special shoes. It’s hard work!”…You would never suspect that such a modest inclusion of sex workers in a picture book about how parents provide for their children by any means necessary would provoke the bowels of the internet so profoundly.  Claims that I—along with Hilary Clinton, mind you—am sex-trafficking my own child grace my timeline even three years after publication.  My inbox still tells me that I am a literal witch and devil worshipper—whatever the fuck that means.  Or, my favorite, that I am “communist whore filth.”  It’s easy to dismiss Q-anon and #PizzaGate believers as a handful of rabid, marginal cultists.  But these…exist on the same continuum with wine-sipping white ladies who think sex workers are a threat to their children…

The Punitive Mindset (#880) 

“Drugs” are a popular pretext for petty vindictiveness in US prisons:

Billy Steffey…is a former federal inmate…still trying to fight the BOP for stripping him of good behavior credits and throwing him in solitary confinement for five months based on…an unverified [drug] test with a well-established track record of leading to wrongful arrests…[such] tests…[a]re not admissible…in court; and the manufacturers explicitly warn that all tests should be sent to crime labs to be verified…Yet the federal Bureau of Prisons relies solely on such tests to pu[nish prisoners]…and strip them of…rights…with virtually no avenue for recourse…The issues with these tests have been known for decades and are easily verifiable…In December [2017] a [screw] opened a package…legal…papers [that he claimed] felt “unusually thick” and gritty and looked discolored…many…prisons have…bann[ed] physical mail and used book donations…[under the pretext that] they…are [used]…to…s[muggle] drugs…[screws] tested the…papers…[and claimed they saw evidence of] amphetamines…[then] linked the package to Steffey after [rooting in his] email…threw him in…solitary…for five months…and…stripped him of 41 days of “good time” credit…

A Moral Cancer (#1000)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

[Oregon governor] Kate Brown…[approved] a bill banning the online sale of nicotine-containing vaping products to state residents…despite convincing evidence that limiting access to e-cigarettes drives users, especially young people, to traditional cigarettes that pose greater health risks…as politicians eternally pretend to not understand, banning things doesn’t mean that people give up on them.  Instead, it drives them to legal substitutes that may pose different or greater risks, or else to black market suppliers who offer products of unknown quality and safety.  [When] San Francisco banned the sale of flavored tobacco products in 2018…92 percent of [users] continued their habits after the ban…[but] high school students’ odds of smoking conventional cigarettes doubled…The conclusion that prodding youthful users from vaping to cigarettes is a bad idea is not [even] controversial…

Micromanagement (#1012)

This would be better news if judges didn’t simply rubber-stamp cops’ warrant requests:

Maryland and Montana have become the first states to pass laws…requir[ing] police to have court authorization…[and] probable cause…[Maryland further requires that] the crime being probed must be a murder, a rape, a felony sexual offense, or a “criminal act involving circumstances presenting a substantial and ongoing threat to public safety or national security”…AncestryDNA and 23andMe both prohibit such investigations using an ordinary user profile.  But other companies, such as FamilyTreeDNA and GEDMatch…allow police to [root in] their databases…[at will]…

Devil’s Advocate (#1114) 

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

[Creepy weirdos] assigned to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s [Sympathetic Magic] Unit have arrested and charged a…man accused of possessing child[-shaped toasters]…in October 2020, [intrusive and unconstitutional surveillance revealed] that William Crowder…ordered a child[-shaped toaster] to be shipped to his home.  TBI agents subsequently [roo]ted…at Crowder’s residence and found at least six [toasters (it’s difficult to be sure because Tennessee cops can’t count that high)], several of them dressed in children’s clothing…Crowder [was charged] with six counts of [making toast in a way that upsets redneck busybodies]…

Stalkers in Blue (#1138)

Another cop demonstrating exactly what he is:

Minnesota State [pig] Albert Kuehne sat in his [pigmobile] in March 2020 and [rooted] through a phone belonging to a 25-year-old woman he’d just…[accused] of drunken driving…he [had no permission to even touch the phone, but] clicked through her photos [anyway].  Hours later, the woman’s boyfriend noticed something alarming on her MacBook, which was synced to her phone:  Outgoing text…messages to an unknown phone number with nude and partly clothed pictures of the woman attached.  When they called that unfamiliar number, Kuehne answered…Kuehne…[has finally] admitted that he sent himself three explicit photos of the woman, and then deleted the outgoing messages on the woman’s phone to try to cover his tracks.  Kuehne pleaded guilty…to a misdemeanor…

Dangerous Speech (#1138)

US “authorities” keep pretending “because sex” is an excuse for any tyranny:

During a June 7 status conference…in the Lacey/Larkin case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Rapp…objected to the phrase “escort services” in a survey question about whether jurors had “strong feelings” concerning…the “legal adult entertainment industry”…Rapp [claimed] that the phrase is “a misnomer” for “prostitution services…[that] suggests that escort services [are] somewhat legal”…Whitney Bernstein, an attorney for Jim Larkin, [correctly responded] that escort services are…legal…in…many…states…[Judge] Brnovich…overruled Rapp, allowing the question to remain…

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Eradicating harm—[as now] redefined—may only amount to performance art, in which the semblance of action is all that is needed.  –  Eric Smith

Crying Wolf

This tendency has only worsened over the past decade:

The standard definition of harm has undergone concept creep…Where once the potential for harm existed in contact sports, accidents, physical altercations, traumas and so on, one might now find it while reading a question on an examlistening to a recorded debate in a classroom or encountering an opinion on social media…the broadening meaning of harm…can cause activists to spend so much time on relatively innocuous actions that they have none left for the arduous task of dealing with real societal harms like housing and food insecurity, failed educational institutions, violence in inner cities and disproportionate mortality rates…Defining harm as shallowly as many modern activists do leads them to mistake symbolic gestures for concrete strategies for change…the redefinition of harm [also] infantilizes people of color…I don’t think a world in which people of color give their power away so easily is one any self-respecting person of color would want to see…

Checklist (#986)

Your periodic reminder that Uber encourages its drivers to spy on riders and rat sex workers out to the pigs:

Uber…hire[s former pigs and spooks]…to help police catch suspected [sex worker]s…[by turning over their] uploaded information…[and] account identifiers…to…the…[pigs, referring to sex work as] human trafficking [equal to] carjackings…Uber works with the [rescue industry giant] “Polaris”…[to indoctrinate] Uber drivers [with absurd and overbroad “signs of] human trafficking[“]…

A Moral Cancer (#991)

It’s unusual for prohibitionists to admit they’re openly targeting black people:

[Prohibitionist] groups are applying…pressure on the Biden administration to institute a nationwide ban…o[n] menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products…precisely because of [their] popularity with African Americans…[even if] the law [is only] enforced against sellers…entrepreneurs would still have ready access to both cigarettes and menthol flavoring…[and] combin[ing] the two…[is a fairly simple] process…Unless the federal government attempts to turn menthol itself into a controlled substance, there will surely be many small-time sellers of menthol cigarettes meeting the demand of the millions of Americans who smoke them, including at least 77 percent of black smokers, but possibly as high as 88 percent (and around a quarter of white smokers)…Recall that Eric Garner’s [murderer used]…the petty crime of selling loose cigarettes a[s an excuse, and]…Garner’s mother, Gwendolyn Carr, became a vocal opponent of a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes in New York City [as a result]…in Massachusetts, which banned menthol cigarettes in 2020, at least one [black market]  seller is facing prosecution…the brunt of enforcement [will certainly] be borne by [black] people…

This is, unfortunately, par for the course; “progressive” campaigns to “improve” people against their will always ignore the fact that their moralistic crusades always disproportionately harm minorities, especially black people.

You Were Warned (#1108)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

A woman has sued Reddit [because] ex-boyfriend…repeatedly post[ed nude] images of her as a 16-year-old.  The lawsuit applies controversial measures instituted in 2018 under FOSTA-SESTA…The resulting case will test the limits of platforms’ legal shields amid ongoing efforts to [destroy] the law behind them.  The woman…[claims] that “Reddit knowingly benefits from lax enforcement of its content polices, including for child pornography”…She’s accusing Reddit of distributing child pornography, failing to report child sexual abuse material, and violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act…

The Widening Gyre (#1128)

It’s ironic that the newest target of “sex trafficking” scarelore is Target:

A…Reddit…user…who writes under the username Peeky-Lou…[and is so obsessed with] human trafficking…[fantasies that] she…[carries “]several legal self-defense items[” to go shopping at Target predictably imagined that]…three men…[in the store were] follow[ing her]…“It felt as if I was being surrounded like a wild animal —hunted, even,” she wrote…The…[nitwit spent] an hour…wandering around the store, [scaring herself silly with melodramatic fantasies of]…“darkness in his eyes…an eerie smirk [and]…sinister gaze”…[when] a male employee…walk[ed] her to her car…[she] saw [something that]… “solidif[ied] all of my suspicions…A white windowless van was parked in the lot“…

To Molest and Rape (#1129)

Rapist cops are sometimes treated like other rapists if their victims are prepubescent:

A [typical and representative] Louisiana [cop] has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and sexually assaulting three girls, all less than 11 years old…David Monceaux [was sentenced] to…two life terms and a 50-year sentence consecutively…without probation, parole, or suspension of sentence…his youngest victim was 4 years old…

Predictable Consequences (#1130)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system:

A mansion owned by Feras Antoon, a Pornhub executive, was torched in an apparent arson last [week].  Police…were initially called to [the Montreal] property…at 11:30 P.M when two people were spotted trespassing…when [they] arrived…shortly thereafter they found…a…fire…so massive that more than 80 firefighters were called in and the neighbours were forced to evacuate…

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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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[NOPD] argues the word “employ” means something else when it’s misleading the public.  –  Tim Cushing

The Puritan Recrudescence

No, Parler doesn’t have a “porn problem”; it has a spam problem:

Anyone following the #sexytrumpgirl hashtag on Parler…got an eyeful one recent Thursday evening as images of topless women and links to hardcore pornography websites appeared at a rapid-fire rate, often more than one per minute…The site’s lax moderation policies…have helped it become a magnet for pornographers, escort services and online sex merchants using hashtags…such as #keepamericasexy and #milfsfortrump2020.  The pornography…has the potential to complicate hopes the site may have to expand advertising…[because uptight] major companies typically avoid having their sales pitches appear alongside [sexu]al imagery…Parler once banned all pornography but in recent months revised its terms of service to permit essentially anything that’s legal, making its policy close to Twitter’s…[but] Twitter…has automated systems that prevent excessively rapid posting, as well as other spammy behavior…

I think most normal people would be just as annoyed by rapid-fire tweets hawking car warranties, miracle cures, get-rich-quick schemes, or political theater, but of course that wouldn’t be as lurid as focusing on porn.

Morality Lessons (#921)

Australian cops are envious of the FBI, and want permission to run their own kiddie porn sites:

[Australian pigs and spooks] will be [allowed] to take over the online accounts of [people they accuse of being]…paedophile[s], terrorists and drug-traffickers…under new laws to be introduced in Federal Parliament.  The [pigs and spooks] will also be a[llowed] to hack into people’s computer networks [to watch, steal and trade]…child [porn]…The new capabilities will give [pigs and spooks] unprecedented powers to [spy on people and justify it with all kinds of doubletalk about how “]criminals operating on the dark web…can more easily evade traditional law enforcement or investigation methods[“]…Under a new “account takeover power”, [pigs and spooks] will be able to take control of a person’s online account for the purposes of [creating false] evidence about criminal activity…

Pyrrhic Victory (#992) 

Why I keep telling you local laws banning facial recognition are feel-good bullshit:

…”The New Orleans Police Department has confirmed that it is utilizing facial recognition…despite years of assurances” t[o] the…contrary…this report by The Tenth Amendment Center makes the NOPD’s relationship with the tech more explicit…“the NOPD has…relied on technology operated by the Louisiana State Police…[via] the state fusion center”…the NOPD…”does not employ facial recognition software”…in the sense that the PD does not own the tech…It clearly does use it.  It just outsources that work to other agencies — including federal law enforcement — that do own the tech…The city is considering a facial recognition ban.  But this admission the PD outsources its facial recognition work means it won’t be enough to simply forbid the PD from buying and utilizing its own tech.  The proposal would need to be rewritten to prevent the PD from sending its photos to state or federal agencies for proxy searching.  The vote on the proposed ban has been delayed as city council members process the NOPD’s lies about its facial recognition use and decide what to do with this new information…now the city knows it can’t trust its own police department to be honest with it…

Take it from someone intimately acquainted with how things are done in New Orleans:  the city council already knew.  The vote has simply been delayed so they can think up good butt-covering lies.

A Moral Cancer (#1017) 

When government loses one excuse for violently intruding on private lives, it will invent another one:

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has banned people from smoking in their own apartments…the board voted 10–1 in favor of a bill…to prohibit smoking tobacco inside private dwellings in buildings with three or more units.  Violators…could receive fines of up to $1,000…The…bill…at [first]…also applied to smoking legal cannabis…[but] an amendment…exempts marijuana…be[cause] cannabis [is politically correct but tobacco is not]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1062)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

Civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow the government to s[teal] property…without ever charging the owner, are fundamentally rigged in favor of the [cop shops] that get a cut of the proceeds.  Even when an owner manages to challenge a forfeiture…he has the burden of proving his innocence, and the process often costs more than the property is worth.  Adding insult to injury, the government can drag out the process for so long that even innocent owners feel compelled to surrender.  The Institute for Justice (I.J.) challenges that aspect of civil forfeiture in an appeal it filed this week, asking the Supreme Court to rule that due process requires a prompt post-seizure hearing…The…case involves Gerardo Serrano, a U.S. citizen and Kentucky resident whose pickup truck was s[tolen] by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in September 2015, while he was on his way to visit relatives in Mexico.  The official, patently absurd justification: The truck was suspected of involvement in international arms smuggling, because Serrano had forgotten about a handgun magazine and five rounds he had left in the center console.  He waited two years without a hearing until CBP suddenly decided to return the truck in 2017, a month after I.J. filed a lawsuit on his behalf.  The circumstances…strongly suggest that Serrano was punished for asserting his constitutional rights…

You Were Warned (#1082)

Congress won’t stop until it controls the internet:

…Legislation to limit or abolish Section 230 has become popular in Congress…but with the exception of the 2018 sex-ad law FOSTA, most of these have gone nowhere.  Now, some [politicians] are taking a different tack.  Instead of pushing a standalone attack on Section 230, Sen. Roger Wicker…will allegedly introduce an anti-Section 230 bit into the latest defense spending bill…

And guess who’s actually behind it?

Donald Trump is threatening to veto a defense policy bill unless it [allows]…internet companies t[o be sued or prosecuted]…for material posted by their users…Trump has been waging war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against [him]…the…veto threat is another potential roadblock for the passage of the annual defense policy measure, which is already being held up in Congress by a spat over military bases named for Confederate officers…

Winding Down

A big step toward ending the disastrous War on Drugs:

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs…[has] accepted a World Health Organization…recommendation to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.  The historic vote in Vienna could have far-reaching implications for the global medical cannabis industry, ranging from regulatory oversight to scientific research into the plant and its use as a medicine…it could help boost medical cannabis legalization efforts around the globe now that the CND tacitly acknowledges the medical utility of the drug…

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[Kamala] Harris is basically a QAnon cheerleader for people who fancy themselves too sophisticated for that crap.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

A Moral Cancer (#790)

Crypto-moralists always pretend their lust to ban things is about “health” or “safety”:

Critics are lining up to blast a report, issued by [the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory] Committee earlier this summer, that urges the government to make steep cuts to the definition of moderate alcohol consumption…DGAC…policies include everything from recommending how many servings of vegetables people should consume in a day to determining what foods to serve to troops, schoolchildren, and prisoners…The report seeks to halve the DGAC’s longstanding definition of moderate drinking for men—no more than two drinks per day—to no more than one drink per day.  (The recommendation for women, set for years at no more than one drink per day, remains unchanged)…five Harvard Medical School faculty doctors—including three who served on one or more prior iterations of the DGAC…argue the…slash…is a “limited, arbitrary, and unsystematic treatment of alcohol consumption” that is based on “limited, arbitrary, and unsystematic evidence”…the DGAC appears to have “ignored” three decades of research…in…[order] to support claims made by members of the DGAC prior to appointment…In other words…anti-alcohol DGAC members focused only on research that supports arguments those members wanted to make all along…

Comfort Zone (#839)

Sometimes the attempt to hide migration control behind the “trafficking” narrative is especially apparent:

A spike in migrants moving north through Panama has [cops fantsizing] the country will become an international center for human trafficking.  Last year, nearly 22,000 migrants from Haiti, Cuba and a number of African and Asian countries were [arrested] after crossing the perilous Darién jungle along the Panama-Colombia border…The journey of a migrant…isn’t cheap or easy.  Migrants usually learn of the method from friends or family members who made the trip before them, or find instructions posted online…Often, migrants pay for smuggling through what analysts call “sponsors,” usually family members or friends already in the United States…

Down Under (#890)

Swedish model regimes would’ve instead targeted the victim for surveillance:

Michael Donald Grout attempted to blackmail…a…sex [worker], then followed through on his threat and [out]ed her [to her parents]…he…was sentenced in…Palmerston North [New Zealand]…to four months’ home detention…The victim was 18 at the time, more than 40 years Grout’s junior…Grout [claimed in court that he] became fearful for his own health after reading…an…advertisement that said the woman provided unprotected sex.  This was confirmed through an interaction with another of her clients…[but rather than distancing himself from her to protect his supposedly-compromised immune system] he obtained nude photographs of the woman and…[demanded she submit to rape or] he would send the photos to her parents…she…then…blocked the [anonymous] account [from which he was sending the threats, and he retaliated by sending]…a courier package [which] arrived at the home of [her] parents [on December 19]…her mother opened it and found several naked photos of her daughter.  Attached was a note wishing the couple a Merry Christmas and happy New Year.  “You must be proud of her,” Grout wrote…

Disaster (#1009)

The FOSTA challenge is proceeding again:

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation is suing (again) to get FOSTA ruled unconstitutional…[on the grounds that it] violates the First and Fifth Amendments…Woodhull’s motion for summary judgment…also takes aim at the law’s retroactive scope—FOSTA says you can be punished for violating it even before the law went into effect [even though such laws are prohibited in Article I of the Constitution]…

The Course of a Disease (#1020)

Maltese prohibitionists are strikingly loony, even for prohibitionists:

Malta’s Prostitution Reform Technical Committee excludes [prohibitionists] who [persecute and infantilize] sex workers, [prohibitionists] w[hi]ned….“Nordic model” [fanatics are upset that]…the state [is instead considering]…decriminalisation…[the prohibitionists vomited idiocy about “]sex hub tourism[” (whatever that is supposed to mean)] and “European Thailand”…[and also] called for [persecution of] strip clubs,  a…police [rape gang, and forcible “conversion therapy”]…for…victims of [the police]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1040)

I only hope this turns out to be true:

Ongoing tests of facial recognition technology continue to show that the technology is baffled when people wear masks of the sort that have become widespread (and even mandatory) in some places during the current pandemic. Forty-one newly tested algorithms—some of which were designed to compensate for face coverings—show the same dramatically elevated error rates as those examined earlier.  The tests have important implications for privacy at a time…of political instability and growing concern over law enforcement excesses, when people may have a strong interest in making identification of opponents and protesters difficult for the powers-that-be…

A Broker in Pillage (#1068)

A good argument for refusing to roll over and let yourself be robbed:

What happens when innocent people stand up to government bullies who use civil forfeiture laws to steal their property?  In many cases, the bullies, unaccustomed to such resistance, fold like a cheap suit…the government returned Kevin McBride’s Jeep, which…the Pima County Attorney’s Office was demanding a $1,900 ransom for the safe return of…But the day after the Goldwater Institute threatened to sue on McBride’s behalf…prosecutors changed their tune…

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