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Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

I’ll fuck you up, son.  –  John Jackson.

On Friday Liz Brown tweeted that someone had sent her the lyrics to this song with “Elvis” replaced with “sex trafficking”, but she appeared to be unfamiliar with the original song so naturally I shared the video, and it got so many likes and retweets I figured I should share it here as well.  The links above it were provided by Boatfloating, Dan Savage, Scott Hechinger, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, and Dave Krueger, in that order.

From the Archives

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Prostitution is normal.  –  Carmen Kleingeris

Dutch Threat (#349)

Every few years, Utrecht thinks of a new way to harass sex workers:

Utrecht’s…Tippelzone…[has been] clos[ed by prohibitionist politicians.  Activist] Carmen Kleingeris…said…”Politicians are now actually saying by closing the tolerance zone: ‘sex workers do not belong’…this mentality…legitimize[s]…rape”…[The politicians specifically] decided to close the Tippelzone in 2018 [in order to gentrify the area]…

Monsters (#616) 

“Gender-critical feminists” are also virtually always prohibitionists:

The [UK] High Court has rejected claims that housing trans women who’ve committed sexual or violent offences against women in female prison facilities is discriminatory to cis women…The landmark case was brought by an unnamed cis female inmate…who…argued that her human rights were violated by having to be in the same prison as trans women prisoners who have convictions for sexual or violent offences against women, [but not by having to be in prison with]…cis women [who committed similar crimes]…The…case was supported by several so-called “gender-critical” groups…

Going After the Pimps

Your periodic reminder of what “going after the pimps” actually means:

A nurse accused of living off the earnings of the prostitution of his wife…in 2018…was fined €600 and did not appeal the decision.  [But now a busybody h]as [complained] to the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland…and [David] Navarro is now facing an allegation of misconduct for allegedly bringing the nursing profession into disrepute [by failing to stop his wife from having a job]…

Between the Ears (#966)

Any internet-connected device can and will be used to spy on you:

Google Assistant records your conversations even when not in use, the company…admitted to an Indian government panel…even without saying the word “OK Google,” the AI Assistant still listens to your conversations…[even though] Google has…previously…cl[aimed otherwise]…Google [further] admitted…that their employees listen to such recordings…[but claims] it is not being done in a creepy way, [as if there is some non-creepy way to eavesdrop on strangers]…

Remember, Google has a long history of complying with surveillance and other police-statery.

R.I.P. Margo St. James

A “Celebration of Margo’s Life”:

Margo St. James…fought for sex workers at a time when the mainstream U.S. feminist movement was hostile to them and leftist organizers mostly wanted to portray them as victims…St. James still helped position the sex worker rights movement as a broad and classical liberal battle for civil rights, sexual freedom, economic liberty, and bodily autonomy, while advancing the idea that decriminalization would be good for women and good for sex worker safety.  In May, a group of COYOTE’s 21st century descendants released a video memorial to St. James, who died in January 2021.  Celebration of Life for Margo St. James features archival footage, photos, and interviews plus new commentary on and paeans to her life and work from an international and intergenerational squad of admirers. You can find the whole thing at margostjames.com

The Course of a Disease (#1118)

When a politician does the right thing, it’s usually for the wrong reason:

Maine Gov. Janet Mills vetoed legislation that would have made the state the first in the nation to [impose Swedish-style]…criminaliz[ation because]…she wasn’t convinced that the bill [taught dirty whores a lesson and she shared her masturbatory fantasies about how]…the state is a trafficking hub where victims are recruited and sent to major cities…such as New York and Boston…

As usual, the ignorant fuckwads who infest US journalism swallowed prohibitionist vomit about the Swedish model being “partial decriminalization” instead of consulting actual experts on the subject.

Property of the State (#1149)

Women with young children should avoid Alabama if at all possible:

Erika…Prock’s husband was smoking a cigarette outside the[ir] car…[when] an [Alabama cop pretended he] smelled marijuana on his breath.  Todd Prock [foolishly] told police he had [legal] marijuana [from their home in Michigan] in the trunk of the car.  The…[pigs therefore] arrested both adults and [abducted] the[ir toddler]…Weeks [later] the…Prock[s]…were charged with felony chemical endangerment, a law originally [represented to useful idiots as necessary] to target parents whose children were near meth labs…Instead of returning to Michigan, Prock and her husband moved into a tent behind her in-laws’ trailer while they fight a[ccus]ations in [both] criminal and [so-called] family court.  Her child has been [given away to] an Alabama foster family…Alabama courts have ruled that drug use can’t be the sole reason for [abducting people’s] child[ren], but [that doesn’t stop cops and prosecutors from maliciously attempting to destroy their lives for months or years until a court finally dismisses the charges]…

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[The purpose of the] stilted, imprecise…verbiage found in…police [reports]…is…to exculpate the police from any blame.  –  Thomas Nolan

All-Purpose Excuse

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

Egyptian police…arrested a Tiktok star who [w]as…sentenced [in absentia] to 10 years imprisonment for her posts on social media.  Haneen Hossam, a 20-year-old Cairo University student…was sentenced…along…[with] four others…for encouraging women to share videos in exchange for money, which Egyptian authorities [fantasize is] human trafficking…She was first convicted [last] July…of sharing “indecent” photos and videos [ie dancing fully clothed] with her 1 million Instagram followers…the charges were overturned on appeal in January a[fter] the five [had been locked in a filthy cage for]…eight months…But…prosecutors [wanted to destroy their lives, so they] introduced new charges of human trafficking…the other four [were “only” condemned]…to…six years…

Under Duress (#824) 

I find it mind-boggling that most people are surprised to find out that cops are habitual liars:

When Thomas Nolan was a…Boston P[ig]…he…routinely advise[d]…subordinates to incorporate…buzzwords in their reports to frame themselves as the hero and the suspect – who might have been injured or killed – out as the aggressor.  Those…reports…were chock-full of words like “resist,” “overcome,” “vigorous,” “violent,” “subdue,” “fear,”and “attack”…even if they were exaggerations.  Now an associate professor of sociology…Nolan regrets taking part in…the systemic deception that is police report writing…it bolsters a police culture of misconduct, where [cops] are trained and socialized to believe they’re above the law…

I Spy (#1006)

They won’t stop until privacy of any kind is absolutely impossible:

…instructions for the iPhone [brea]king tech GrayKey obtained by Motherboard provide more insight into the capabilities of the device…GrayKey, made by Austin-based Grayshift, is designed to [brea]k [into] modern iOS devices and [steal] their contents.  iOS devices are encrypted by default, meaning someone needs to have, or guess, the device’s passcode to access…the data stored on it.  iOS devices protect themselves from brute force attacks…but GrayKey can successfully brute force iOS devices in some cases.  The company is constantly in a cat-and-mouse game with Apple, which tries to fix security issues that GrayKey [exploits.  Cop shops]…around the country have bought GrayKey units

Elephant in the Parlor (#1101)

Even if this wasn’t a commercial transaction, it’s certainly adjacent:

Zack Weiner, 26, a City Council candidate running in Manhattan, [w]as…ou…an…anonymous [Twitter user who] posted…video [of]…Weiner…[in session with a domme]…at Parthenon studio…known [as a] high-quality BDSM dungeon…Weiner confirmed it was him in the video and said the footage was made about 18 months ago with a former girlfriend he met during a Halloween party in 2019.  “I didn’t want anyone to see that, but…I am not ashamed of the private video…Like many young people, I have grown into a world where some of our most private moments have been documented online…I am a proud BDSMer.  I like BDSM activity,” Weiner [said]…He refused to name the woman in the video and [called releasing the video without permission of either participant]…“a violation of trust”…

In a just world, this would help his campaign rather than hurting it; honesty is a vanishingly-rare trait in politicians.

To Molest and Rape (#1110)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

Little Rock police arrested a [university cop named]…Gregory Ray McKinney[, who]  is being charged with two counts of possession of child pornography…

Property of the State (#1133) 

Still another abomination from Alabama:

An Alabama [woman] battling chronic back pain faces felony charges for refilling her prescription…Kim Blalock had back problems before she became pregnant.  She suffered from arthritis and degenerative disc disease [aggravated by]…surgical complications and a car accident the year before her pregnancy…Blalock, a married stay-at-home mother of six, managed her condition under the care of a local orthopedist…[who] prescribed hydrocodone, one of the most common medications for patients with chronic pain…Four years [later] she…became pregnant with her youngest son and stopped her medication…[but] the pain became unbearable in the last six weeks before her due date, so she refilled her prescription.  When Blalock delivered, she told her obstetrician about the hydrocodone…[child “protection” witch-hunters] closed the case after Blalock showed them the prescription bottle and allowed a [bean-count]er to count the pills.  But that didn’t satisfy [local pigs and prosecutors, who]…charged Blalock with prescription fraud for not telling her orthopedist she was pregnant…[even though politician]s amended the law [in 2016] to protect mothers who took drugs prescribed by doctors…

Quiet Genocide (#1138)

Naturally; the “missing” children were abducted by the government to give to childless Han couples:

Over the past two years, the Chinese authorities have repeatedly promised to help trace any children reported to be missing in Xinjiang, to pr[etend] that they haven’t been forcibly separated from their parents. Those promises have not been met…China’s then-ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming…denied that China’s policies in…Xinjiang [included]…large-scale separation of children from their parents [despite ample evidence that this is the case]…

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I will not be intimidated [by a flying dildo].  –  Manuel Gonzales

I must admit I like the ooga-chaka version better, but it was B.J. Thomas who passed away recently, not anyone from Blue Swede.  The links above the video were provided by Jesse Walker (x2), Billy Binion, Cop Crisis (x2), Scott Greenfield, and Tim Cushing, in that order.

From the Archives

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The…[cops] didn’t count on us not believing their bullshit.
–  Norma Rodriguez

R.I.P. Smarajit Jana

A leader of the rights movement for sex workers in India and a[n epidemiologist] known for his contribution to the prevention of HIV in the country, Smarajit Jana, passed away due to COVID-19 related complications in Kolkata on [May 8th]…He was 68 years old. Dr. Jana founded and spearheaded the first rights-based HIV intervention programmes in India by collectivising the sex workers of Sonagachi and setting up the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) in Kolkata in 1995…Jana was instrumental in setting up a cooperative bank for sex workers…He was a member of a Supreme Court-appointed panel in Budhadev Karmaskar vs State of West Bengal, which in its report in 2016 recommended legal recognition for sex workers through the issuing of ration and voter identification cards, and decriminalising of sex work…

The Lion and the Ox

FACT: Young woman in illegal casino. CONCLUSION: “sex trafficking”!

[San Antonio cops oink] they believe they have found the largest gambling operation in the [universe], while possibly also finding human trafficking evidence…“[We] found a bit of narcotics, we’ve also discovered a 16-year-old young lady that at this point we don’t know if she was a victim of any sort of trafficking, but we do suspect it,” [Sheriff Javier] Salazar said…

Torture Chamber 

For a change, this story doesn’t refer to torture as “correction”:

The Collin County [Texas] medical examiner ruled Marvin Scott III’s death a homicide…more than a month after he [was murdered by screws] at the Collin County jail…Sheriff Jim Skinner fired seven jailers and another resigned after [the murder]…One of the jailers was reinstated last week through the civil service process, a decision Skinner has said he disagreed with…The sheriff has refused to release the names of the [murderers]…But The Dallas Morning News obtained…the names…Blaise Mikulewicz…Austin Wong…Justin Patrick…Rafael Paradez…James Schoelen…Alec Difatta…Andres Cardenas…and…Christopher Windsor…

To Molest and Rape 

Rapist cops are often rewarded with paid vacations, but this is extreme even by cop standards:

RCMP…Co[p] Justin Harris…paid [for] sex…[with an indigenous woman known as CC, but then raped] her…four [times]…Less than one month [after she reported him], on April 1, 2007, CC died from natural causes.  In a matter of weeks, the RCMP dropped their case, lifting Harris’ suspension…instead…Harris segued from a paid suspension to paid sick leave for psychological issues he [blames on]…the force’s [trying to prosecute him for his behavior]…His lawsuit against the force, filed in 2008, has stalled while the RCMP attempts to medically discharge him—a lengthy process now in its seventh year.  In total, he has been paid—but not working—for close to 17 years…

Like Houses (#1044)

Lockdowns are to keep people SAFE!

A [cop] in Honduras was arrested and charged…for the murder of a young woman…in February inside a jail cell…police…[had until now] claimed that Keyla Martínez, a 26-year-old nursing student, had committed suicide within hours of being [abduct]ed [by cops] for a pandemic curfew violation…

A Broker in Pillage (#1068)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey…signed a package of civil forfeiture reforms that will make it substantially harder for [cops] to [steal] people’s stuff by [pretend]ing that it is connected to criminal activity…property can still be seized [if a cop claims]…it was used to commit a crime or represents the proceeds of illegal activity.  But now the government can complete the forfeiture only after convicting the owner…Arizona is the 16th state to require a criminal conviction for some or all forfeitures…[and] the 14th…to require that the government prove an owner is not innocent rather than making the owner prove that he is…

To Molest and Rape (#1134)

It’s not unusual for fired cops, even child rapists, to simply move elsewhere:

An Alabama state trooper arrested [in April because] he raped an 11-year-old girl had been kicked out of the FBI amid a string of sexual misconduct allegations but was hired by the state agency with the apparent help of a fake bureau letter that scrubbed his record clean…Christopher Bauer was suspended without pay and stripped of his security clearance in the FBI’s New Orleans office in late 2018…[after] he raped…[a co-work]er at knifepoint.  But Alabama…state police…[somehow managed to overlook aggravated rape in its] “full and thorough” investigation into Bauer’s background when he applied to be a trooper in 2019…

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The legislation…grossly limits…sex workers from taking steps to protect their health and safety.  –  Justice Phillip Sutherland

Imaginary Evils (#929)

Is there anything the government won’t label “sex trafficking”?

In 2004 [Nicole] Daedone founded a group called OneTaste, disseminating…the practice of what she called orgasmic meditation, or OM.  At its peak, OneTaste was reported to be making $12 million a year; it had centres in nine cities, including New York, San Francisco and London, and was endorsed by no less a personage than…Gwyneth [“jade vagina egg”] Paltrow.  But the organisation has now shut down following accusations by former members of the group, with the FBI reportedly investigating allegations of sex-trafficking, prostitution and violation of labour laws…

Property of the State (#989) 

Pregnant women are uniquely vulnerable to state coercion:

…each new wave of illegal drug panic and crackdowns…has spurred new excuses for monitoring pregnant women, overriding their consent, and applying strict laws against them.  In Alabama, hundreds of pregnant women have been prosecuted for positive drug tests…”A woman can be charged with chemical endangerment from the earliest weeks of pregnancy“…and…face up to 10 years of prison time [if her baby is born perfectly healthy]…and up to 20 years if the child shows signs of exposure.  High courts in…Alabama, Oklahoma, and South Carolina…have affirmed that it’s OK to use general child abuse statutes in the criminal prosecution of pregnant women who test positive for any illegal drug…in…South Carolina…[hospital] staff called the cops on a woman whose child tested positive for [metabolites of THC]…In Louisiana…a woman was charged with child desertion and second-degree cruelty, punishable by up to 40 years imprisonment, for smoking pot while breastfeeding.  In…Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin…drug use during pregnancy can lead to involuntary civil commitment.  At least 23 states [pretend] any drug use during pregnancy is…child abuse…Even in states without this explicit policy, a single positive test can trigger…investigation by child protective services

Sex Rays (#1059)

Another sleaze turns old news into an ad for his business catering to superstitious snobs with more money than cognitive development:

Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion is being demolished in the hopes of [ritually] cleansing the area of [evil spirits].  The waterfront property was purchased…for…$US18 million [by real estate]…developer Todd Michael Glaser…the gated estate is modest for the area, which is largely made up of extravagant holiday homes…occupied only during the summer months, leaving the area eerily quiet during the off-season…

I Spy (#1067)

At least a few politicians’ moral compasses aren’t entirely defective:

A bipartisan group of [politicians] has introduced a bill to stop federal law enforcement from sidestepping citizens’ privacy rights by secretly purchasing our personal data from third-party brokers.  In 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in Carpenter v. United States that the FBI violated a suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights by tracking his cellphone without getting a warrant first…[so] federal agencies began…just buy[ing] the information from brokers…And so a group…including Sens. Rand Paul…Ron Wyden…Patrick Leahy…and Mike Lee…has introduced…a…bill [which would]…require fed[s]…to…get a court order [to buy the data] just as they have to do now if they want to force a phone service provider to cough up your information.  It prohibits the use of this data as evidence [unless the spooks simply lie and pretend they obtained the data using a legal method, in a dodge called “parallel construction”]…

Morality Lessons (#1112) 

This unconstitutional bill failed in over a dozen states before passing in Utah:

The Alabama House Judiciary Committee held a hearing…on a “copycat bill” of the legislation…passed in Utah [which] aim[s] to force phone and computer manufacturers to install default “porn filters” on devices sold in Alabama.  The bill…[i]s part of a current effort…by [pro-censorship group]…Morality in Media…and other religiously motivated…organizations — to pass state-by-state laws making this requirement…

Winding Down (#1118)

Washington state politicians demonstrate their hypocrisy:

…in February the Washington State Supreme Court…struck down the state’s felony drug possession law…decriminaliz[ing] drugs statewide and suddenly render[ing] tens of thousands of prisoners eligible for reduced sentences.  The Legislature could have seen this ruling…as an opportunity [to end the drug war in]…Washington…But…the provincial, fearful mommies and daddies who run Olympia have made…plans to restart the war on mostly Black drug users.  The only question is how much destruction they want to cause, and for how long…

Whither Canada? (#1126)

Slowly chipping away at a terrible law:

An Ontario Superior Court judge has declared unconstitutional legal provisions that ban sex workers from being able to work safely, including by being able to advertise…hire security, work together and communicate with clients…Justice Phillip Sutherland ruled…that the law breaches the right of sex workers to life, liberty and security of the person…Jenn Clamen, national co-ordinator for the [Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform]…stressed [that] the ruling is just a partial victory [as] it does not address…provisions…banning the purchase of sex and communication for th[at] purpose…this is the second time in Ontario that a judge has partially struck down the [prohibitionist law which imposed] the Nordic model [on Canada.  Crown attorneys whined]…that [it]…would be more difficult [to destroy people’s lives for consensual adult sex]…

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The younger generation…don’t understand at all how the government could ever enter your bedroom and tell you what to do.  –  Mandie Landry

Creating a Monster

There really is nothing new under the sun:

Neither Craigslist’s personals nor…US [censorship of] the sexual commerce they make possible are uncharted territory.  Reading…coverage of…FOSTA–SESTA, gives me a sense of déjà vu.  I have spent the last several years researching how, more than one hundred years before Backpage opened its online classifieds—well before the rise of the internet…lonely hearts [and] sex workers…had access to Parisian “back-page” classifieds.  Then as now, [politicians] scrambled for ways to stop them from using this new, democratizing print technology to “immoral” ends.  The largely unsuccessful, often counter-productive, and oppressive solutions they came up with during the French Third Republic (1870–1940) look strikingly similar to those the US legislature is testing out now…

This article is three years old, but it’s about century-old events anyhow.

Safe Position

This might fly in New Orleans, but it’ll definitely be uphill in the rest of the state:

Sexual acts between consenting adults should remain just that, state Rep. Mandie Landry said, regardless of whether they involve a financial transaction.  She said she will author a bill in the Louisiana Legislature that would do away with the state’s existing laws that outlaw prostitution….“If two people engage in a relationship in their own home, whether they exchange money or not, it’s between them”…Prostitution involving minors will remain illegal because minors cannot give consent, she added…

False Witness (#920)

Texas cops routinely destroy lives with the same method used to create the Satanic panic:

…a vast body of research shows hypnosis does not increase the chance of retrieving accurate memories.  In fact, it may implant imaginary ideas or distort recollections.  At least 21 states ban evidence in court that was gleaned solely through hypnosis.  Yet a Dallas Morning News analysis found Texas law enforcement has used the dubious method nearly 1,800 times over 40 years, sending dozens of people to prison — and some to their deaths.  After one week of training, any Texas [cop]…who passes an exam can attempt to use hypnosis in a criminal investigation.  Hundreds…have been certified to practice it in Texas since 1988…

The Scarlet Letter (#941)

Why do puritans pretend the literally prehistoric practice of shaming constitute a “modern” approach to harming people for having sexual urges?

The Alabama House of Representatives…approved legislation that would post pictures of men a[ccus]ed [o]f…solicitation…to shame them…f[or having]…sex[ual needs.  Bill sponsor] Merika Coleman…[bloviated a lot of disgusting sexual fantasies about] human trafficking…an[d]…argued that the state needs to attack the de[sire] for sex…Coleman said [she doesn’t care that]…posting the picture of a person who was arrested…harms those individuals who are not found guilty for the rest of their lives.  [She said it’s OK that] they are not able to get jobs…

Japanese Prostitution (#950)

Japanese attempts to suppress and hide sexuality prior to the Olympics will never be sufficient to please puritanical gaijin:

Social pressure surrounding the upcoming Tokyo Olympics has resulted in distribution troubles for traditional Japanese adult magazines, which have drastically harmed the already dwindling sector…[using the excuse] “that the magazine covers were offensive to women and inappropriate in front of children”…In the years leading up to the games’ original date of Summer 2020, “some of the country’s biggest convenience store chains…said they would stop selling the publications altogether”…Akira Ikoma, editor-in-chief of the porn magazine My Journey…said Japan is “hiding this part of the culture because they’re embarrassed”…

Torture Chamber (#950)

“Packed” = “concentrated”. And the concise word for “tent facility” is “camp”:

Hundreds of immigrant children and teenagers have been [imprisoned] at a Border Patrol tent facility in packed conditions, with some sleeping on the floor because there aren’t enough mats…Some [are locked up]…for a week or longer, despite the agency’s three-day limit for detaining [minors]…they…a[r]en’t…allowed to phone their parents or other relatives who may be wondering where they are.  Despite…coronavirus, the[y]…are kept so closely together that they can touch the person next to them…Some have to wait five days or more to shower, and there isn’t always soap available, just shampoo…Biden’s administration denied the lawyers access to the [camp because]…attorney visits to Border Patrol [camp]s [have] revealed severe problems, including dozens of children held at one [camp] without adequate food, water, or soap…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

I love that Trumpists are holding onto the “sex trafficking” narrative like grim death:

On March 8th, the Lifeboat Project had the opportunity to host [politicians] and [profiteers trying] to stop [sex work using propaganda about] human trafficking…it was also a…[photo] opportunity for Ivanka Trump and [a payday for professional]…trafficking survivors…the…Founder of The Lifeboat Project, Jill Bolander Cohen…[introduc]ed the [fantas]y of having a universal signal that could be used world-wide…[instead of other folk magic] such as [wa]ving [red paper birds around like a semaphore flag]…or [activa]ting…[a super-duper anti-pimp tampon found in a public] bathroom…Jill be[lieves the stupid trope that]…victims [are literally “voiceless”]…so…[she proposed] flashing the letters “H” and “T” in American Sign Language…

Winding Down (#1101)

A long-overdue move by Mexico to throw off US domination:

…Mexic[an politicians]…approved a bill…to legalize recreational marijuana…The 316-to-129 vote in Mexico’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, came more than two years after the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the country’s ban on recreational marijuana was unconstitutional and more than three years after the country legalized medicinal cannabis…the measure is widely expected to sail through the Senate before being sent to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has signaled support for legalization.  The measure…would allow adults to [us]e…and, with a permit, grow a small number of cannabis plants at home.  It would also grant licenses for producers — from small farmers to commercial growers — to cultivate and sell the crop…

You Were Warned (#1119)

Unless some country makes a policy of providing a safe haven, the open internet is doomed:

The Russian government’s internet regulatory agency, Roskomnadzor, has announced it will be slowing down Twitter…in the country, alleging that the platform has “ignored requests to take down material harmful to children,” including adult content.  Regional experts [say]…“that the Twitter slowdown was just the start of a large-scale offensive by authorities to assert control over — and ultimately block — social media”…Like many American crusaders against Section 230…Roskomnadzor claims this attack on free expression [i]s…to “save the children”…

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I think someone stole my chicken.  –  Thomas Ramsey

This week’s video is probably the best-known composition by jazz great Chick Corea, who died late last week.  The links above it were provided by Tracy Quan, Radley Balko, Dan Savage, Mike Siegel, Radley again, Amy Alkon, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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When will we begin viewing women as human beings capable of making decisions for themselves?  –  Neha Choudhary

All-Purpose Excuse

In the West, “trafficking” rhetoric is used to block immigration. But in the East

…the government [of Nepal] has introduced a new rule, [requiring] women under 40…to produce consent from the family and permission from the ward office to travel abroad…Tek Narayan Paudel, a spokesperson with the Department of Immigration, [said]…“Women under 40 are at a higher risk of trafficking and other abuses. Therefore, the new rule is proposed for their protection”…Nepalis on social media were quick to slam the move, calling it a regressive rule that deprives women of their agency and curtails their constitutionally guaranteed right to move freely…

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (#603)

In the US, this is now illegal thanks to FOSTA:

Thanks to a $1-million…donation from the Law Foundation of BC and an anonymous donor…sex workers and provincial organisations are building a province-wide “bad date” reporting system….[so] sex workers will be able to report their experiences…in an online database in order to warn others…Going to the police…isn’t an option, given the ongoing stigma and criminalisation of sex workers in Canada…sex workers across British Columbia have typically relied on more localised methods of reporting bad dates.  In Victoria, PEERS…relies on…re[ports]…to staff, who then…share the information with other sex workers in the area.  At SWAN Vancouver…warnings are passed along via text.  But, these methods have their limitations…which is why the launch of the database is so crucial…

A Woman’s Point of View

As with cannabis legalization, if enough of these are thrown at the wall one may eventually stick:

Mariah Grant…[of] the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center…[is] hoping Oregon will become the first state to decriminalize sex work statewide…state Rep. Rob Nosse…filed a bill at the request of the Sex Workers Project…[which] would invalidate the state’s prostitution statutes, decriminalizing those engaged in selling sex, their customers, and third parties…Similar bills have been filed in New York and a handful of other Northeastern states in the past few years.  None has passed…[but] the legal sex industry already operates more freely in Oregon that anywhere else, thanks to the state’s…relative lack of an organized religious…lobby…HB 3088 would implement what advocates call “full decriminalization”…not…legalization…or…the “Nordic model”…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#926)

The way an individual or agency treats sex workers is a good indication of how they feel about people in general:

[Information] about a [pogrom] against a small chain of massage parlors in [Alabama] has [been suppressed by the police]…The owners, Yuping Tang and her daughter Jiao Liu, had their assets frozen and their string of businesses shut down in April 2019.  But the Alabama Supreme Court [has] ruled…the state failed to carry its burden of proof on [any] part…of its case…the testimony gathered from witnesses and [cops’] victims…conflicted with…the claims [made]…by [cops]…who went into the parlors [to rape the staff.  Woman infantilized by cops and prosecutors as]…human trafficking victims actually testified on behalf of the owners saying they were not kept against their will, and they always had access to their money, passports, and freedom of movement…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1039)

Remember when Clearview claimed it would no longer sell to entities that do not claim the “right” to a monopoly on violence?

Clearview AI…has proposed applying its technology to everything from policing to retail to dating, according to a[n August] 2020 patent application…[which] describes ways to apply…facial recognition…to…identify [homeless] people…drug…[users or] “a sex offender”…CEO Hoan Ton-That…has [a habit of publicly sharing his fantasies]…of child sex trafficking…

Devil’s Advocate (#1073) 

The absurdity becomes more obvious when we substitute “toaster” for “sex doll”:

South Dakota [politicians]…are considering criminalizing the selling, making or owning of a [toaster shaped] like a child…[by] a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison…[the psychologically illiterate] bill [declares such toasters]…a “gateway” into [eating] real children…The bill’s proponent, Sen. Jessica Castleberry…said the [toasters] create a market and demand for [cannibalism].  The [devices], which have [a plastic shell and a spring to pop up toast when ready]…make [burning people alive] easier…”It normalizes and desensitizes [cannibalism],” she said…[prohibitionist] Carrie Sanderson…said the [toasters] that look like children allow for inappropriate [cooking and eating] behaviors to fester…Justin Bell, lobbyist for the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said…the bill’s language was too broad and doesn’t have a victim…

Winding Down

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

After turning to the courts to stop voters from legalizing recreational marijuana in South Dakota, Gov. Kristi Noem says she’ll also veto attempts by [legislators] to give voters what they’ve demanded.  Noem said…at a news conference that she would “not be inclined” to sign a bill legalizing marijuana…just days after a judge, as part of a legal challenge Noem supported and helped fund, ruled that a ballot initiative approved by 54 percent of voters was unconstitutional and subsequently voided it.  So, to be clear, Noem will listen to neither the lawmakers…nor the actual citizens of South Dakota…she’s even trying to force delays in the implementation of a medical marijuana program, which was approved in a separate November vote and has not been struck down.  Medical marijuana is supposed to launch in July, but she’s trying to…delay it until next year…

Quiet Genocide (#1100)

Fascist corporations are happy to assist in a genocide:

Amazon…faces questions from [politicians] over a reported contract with Dahua, a Chinese security camera company…[whose] facial recognition software [alerts the cops when it] identifies members of the Uighur ethnic group…Dahua product support documents [state]…that suggest the company’s technology can sort passersby by race…[to] track “Uighurs with hidden terrorist inclinations”…Dahua is among the Chinese companies included on the Commerce Department‘s entity list for its ties to “human rights violations and abuses”…The U.S. doesn’t restrict American companies such as Amazon from buying from businesses on the entity list, though it urges caution…Dahua sold 1,500 thermal imaging cameras to Amazon in a deal estimated to be worth close to $10 million…

Morality Lessons (#1112) 

This unconstitutional bill has already failed in over a dozen states:

The Iowa House of Representatives’ Commerce subcommittee declined to advance a bill that proposed blocking adult content on electronic devices by default, as well as creating a special $5 tax on adult entertainment to fund initiatives against “human trafficking”…The bill is a version of one recently re-introduced in Utah, part of a “Project Blitz”  campaign by evangelicals to pass “copycat legislation” restricting adult content on a state-by-state basis….representatives of ATT, T-Mobile and CenturyLink pointed out that several content-blocking apps are already available and “the use of those apps is at the discretion of parents…rather than the internet provider”…

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If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, then it will protect all of you.  Because I’m the worst.  –  Larry Flynt

R.I.P. Larry Flynt

The last of the “Big Three” of men’s magazine publishing, Larry Flynt, died of heart failure a week ago today at the age of 78 (Hugh Hefner preceded him in 2017 and Bob Guccione in 2010).  Flynt’s magazine Hustler was (intentionally) the raunchiest of the three, and its brand had the greatest commercial viability in the long run due to its expansion into home video and strip clubs.  As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, infringements of civil liberties always start with those nobody wants to defend, and Flynt intentionally set himself up as a target for censorship attempts by prominently featuring the nasty, the grotesque, and the deliberately offensive, especially in Hustler‘s cartoons and cover art.  He was prosecuted for obscenity several times, always prevailing in the end, and battled fundamentalist blowhard Jerry Falwell all the way to the Supreme Court in the ’80s; after 1978 he was paralyzed below the waist due to being shot by a racist who objected to Hustler featuring interracial couples.  Despite attacks from dried-up “feminists” like Gloria Steinem and prissy editorialization from bluenosed “journalists”, the fact is Flynt was a bona fide free speech hero, and not merely in his own mind as the WaPo’s pearl-clutching headline pretends.

Droit du Seigneur 

What did this guy think he was, a cop?

The Ohio Supreme Court suspended the law license of a [lawyer who]…was charged with human trafficking involving six women — most, former clients…Michael Mearan…say[s]…the allegations [a]re [a frame-up by cops using] testimony from [prisoners] who [were given] favorable treatment for co[lluding with cops]…Mearan…was [also a politician who sat on the]…Portsmouth…city council…he [is alleged to have] targeted women who were poor, addicted to drugs and facing criminal charges to take part in [what cops label] a prostitution ring during a 15-year-period beginning in 2003…

Thought Control

US institutions often need to be reminded that they do not own people:

…Kimberly Diei, a pharmacy graduate student [was expelled from] the University of Tennessee…[after] her posts on Twitter and Instagram were…[the subject of a poison pen accusation by] an anonymous [busybody]…She was given two days to appeal, and she scrambled to find a lawyer.  With the threat of a lawsuit looming, the dean of the college reversed the decision to expel her.  But the experience was so painful that…Diei filed a federal lawsuit with the help of a pro bono lawyer, arguing that the public university had violated her constitutional right of free expression “for no legitimate pedagogical reason”…universities are…fumbling to [extend campus censorship] policies…into the world of social media…And young people are fighting back, contending that their off-campus speech is no business of their school…the Supreme Court agreed in January to hear the case of a high school cheerleader in Pennsylvania who was removed from the junior varsity squad after she posted vulgar complaints about not making the varsity team…

Acting and Activism (#556)

Predictable ugliness from the “celebrity” prohibitionist trash who once called stripping a “gateway to slavery”:

Red Table Talk…[hosted by noted bigot] Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow…and mother…“Gammy”…tout[s] itself as a space where three generations of women can discuss various topics in a judgment-free environment…But…Ava Louise Lockner…[revealed that] the “open and honest” policy the show pushes is not what she experienced when she was set to be featured in an episode about being a sugar baby in the fall of 2019…she [was verbally] attacked during the several hours she spent at the Smiths’…home, [with] Pinkett Smith…rolling her eyes and Gammy…slut-shaming her throughout filming.  When the segment failed to air, Ava Louise spent weeks chasing up once-eager producers.  Finally, she…received a…call from a high-level executive on the show…[who] told her…they would not be airing her episode because…the hosts found her “gross and disgusting…they don’t want to be associated with sex work”…

Banishment (#870) 

This Orwellian tyranny is part of how governments are getting around the push to reduce prison populations:

Twenty states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government have laws that authorize civil commitment of [human beings arbitrarily branded] sex offenders…after serving their prison terms…The state punishes people…based on the [claim] that they could and should have controlled themselves.  But when it is time for them to be released after completing the punishment prescribed by law, the state says that was not actually true; now they must be locked up precisely because they can’t control themselves.  If the government decided to retroactively increase an offender’s penalty, it would be clearly unconstitutional…The trick is to cast continued confinement as treatment rather than punishment.  But…in Minnesota, only 13 [prisoners] have been unconditionally released since the program was established in 1994; more than six times as many have died in custody…the Supreme Court [says that’s okey-dokey]…Joe Morrissey…argues that Virginia’s [similar] program is “abhorrent”…[and] introduced a bill that would have abolished the program [but other politicians]…derailed [the] bill

Cooties (#884) 

UK cops are still shoehorning people into their public masturbatory fantasy of “pop-up brothels”:

Three men and a woman have been arrested for [consensual sex dysphemized as “]slavery[” in a raid on an apparent incall dysphemized as]…a “pop-up brothel”…Two [migrant] women…were [also arrested and]…are currently being [held pending deportation]…

“Safeguarded” is the UK euphemism for “held without trial or charge pending deportation”.  The term is Orwellian even in a field littered with such propaganda.

Torture Chamber (#1098) 

Stop faking!

An Alabama man [locked] in a prison mental health [cell] overheated and died in December after temperatures inside his cell topped 101 degrees Fahrenheit.  Tommy Lee Rutledge was found unresponsive in Donaldson [cage stack] on the night of Dec. 7, sitting near the window of his s[olitary-confinement] cell with his head “facing out the window,” in an apparent attempt to breathe cool air…his core body temperature [had] reached 109 degrees…[Screws refuse to explain] how temperatures inside the…cell skyrocketed past 100 degrees on a winter night with a low of 31 degrees…citing an “ongoing” investigation…

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