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Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

After the government does something especially awful, there is usually an avalanche of horror stories illustrating exactly what reasonable people warned would happen after the awful government act.  The overturn of Roe v Wade is no exception; if I had included these stories in my normal news columns, they would’ve completely dominated most of the late July installments.  So instead, I opted to collect them all together here; future updates to these stories will appear in regular news columns under the appropriate tags.

One of the strongest reasons to oppose authoritarian laws of any kind is that they inevitably harm people the politicians insist they weren’t trying to target:

A sexual assault survivor chooses sterilization so that if she is ever attacked again, she won’t be forced to give birth to a rapist’s baby.  An obstetrician delays inducing a miscarriage until a woman with severe pregnancy complications seems “sick enough.”  A lupus patient must stop taking medication that controls her illness because it can also cause miscarriages.  Abortion restrictions in a number of states and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade are having profound repercussions in reproductive medicine as well as in other areas of medical care…Even in medical emergencies, doctors are sometimes declining immediate treatment. In the past week, an Ohio abortion clinic received calls from two women with ectopic pregnancies…who[se] doctors wouldn’t treat them…

More about the aforementioned lupus drug many women are now being denied:

Methotrexate is a cheap, common drug prescribed to millions of Americans…[for] rheumatic illnesses…inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis or cancer…[but because] it is used off-label to end ectopic pregnancies…it could be restricted by doctors or pharmacists even in states…that do not ban abortion…in low doses, it has proved to be one of the safest, least expensive and most effective treatments for roughly a dozen autoimmune conditions, from juvenile idiopathic arthritis to Crohn’s disease…“I have gotten some reports where children have been denied methotrexate for their juvenile arthritis until they’ve proven they’re not pregnant,” said Dr. Cuoghi Edens…a rheumatology expert…“The majority of rheumatic diseases affect females at substantially higher rates than males…The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in women to men is 3 to 1.  For lupus it’s 10 to 1.  And so rheumatology is a very female-predominant patient population”…some doctors have already stopped prescribing methotrexate rather than risk [persecution]…Many pharmacists have likewise refused to fill methotrexate prescriptions, or have demanded additional proof before dispensing the medication to patients they believe could get pregnant…

And it’s not just a few fundamentalist asshat pharmacists, either:

…the largest pharmacy chain in the country sent explicit instructions to its pharmacists informing them that new checks would be implemented to confirm the reason a doctor prescribes a drug before filling routine medications for patients…CVS headquarters sent a memo to pharmacies in [Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas]…review[ing] diagnosis codes that are deemed acceptable for dispensation, which include miscarriage…If they find abortion is the intended use, they “must refuse to fill the prescription”…

Some of the tyrannies forced-birth fetishists are trying to impose are blatantly unconstitutional:

South Carolina [politician]s introduced legislation that would make it illegal to “aid, abet or conspire with someone” to obtain an abortion…Provisions would outlaw providing information over the internet or phone about how to obtain an abortion.  It would also make it illegal to host a website or “[provide] an internet service” with information that is “reasonably likely to be used for an abortion”…the proposal is…modeled off a blueprint created by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), an antiabortion group, and designed to be replicated by [politician]s across the country…

Other FOSTA-inspired laws which encourage nuisance lawsuits have unfortunately not yet been declared unconstitutional:

Nearly four years after a woman ended an unwanted pregnancy with abortion pills obtained at a Phoenix clinic, she finds herself mired in an ongoing lawsuit [after]…A judge allowed the woman’s ex-husband to establish an estate for the embryo, which had been aborted in its seventh week of development.  The ex-husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the clinic and its doctors in 2020, alleging that…[he has the right to make decisions for his ex-wife]…

Naturally, this new extension of the police state will be enabled by the same fascist surveillance tactics as the War on Whores:

Many of the states rushing to ban abortion are also the biggest users of a surveillance tool that [cops] could use to track women ending their pregnancies — the location data from people’s phones…states across the country are already using this kind of data for other [surveillance and harassment].  And a POLITICO analysis found that many of the states that have criminalized abortion have relied increasingly on location data in recent years…Figures from Google…show that the company received 5,764 “geofence” warrants between 2018 and 2020 from police in the 10 states that have banned abortion as of July 5…

Of course, sex workers know all about most of these oppressions, because they’re tested on us first before being extended to amateurs:

Madolline Gourley, a Brisbane resident…was treated like a criminal during her transit through Los Angeles on 30 June, where she was detained at the border due to suspicions about her intention to house- and cat-sit in exchange for accommodation while holidaying in Canada.  Gourley was held in a detention room, interrogated twice, patted down, fingerprinted and photographed…At one point a US b[ureaucrat] asked Gourley, who was wearing a loose-fitting dress, whether she was pregnant.  The same question was repeated as she was moved between rooms.  When she again [replied that]…she was not pregnant, Gourley was asked whether she had had an abortion…

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None of us should be here.  –  Nicole Gililland

Counterfeit Comfort (#958) 

US sex laws are nothing but PR campaigns for cops:

Since 2006, the federal government has funneled millions into sometimes-massive operations to verify the addresses of those [condemned to] sex-offender registries…studies show they…do nothing to improve public safety…[and] programs with proven track records in preventing sexual violence…get little federal help…These mobilizations…funnel federal dollars to local police…but the…flood of money doesn’t appear to produce much…most [of the arrests during such sweeps are] for failure to report a change of address or vehicle…Sweep announcements often convey danger…[which] might explain why so many [are staged] on or around Halloween…Cops also use the raids to promote the m[yth] that police are all that stands between families and mayhem…And federal officials use the operations to denounce criticism of cops…

Imaginary Victims (#1000) 

The state’s pretended sympathy for “sex trafficking victims” applies only to imaginary “perfect” ones; real young women must fight for their lives:

…the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled…that a teenager who killed her sexual abuser may have the chance to be acquitted of all charges…Chrystul Kizer, now 22…has spent years fighting for the opportunity to show evidence…that her crimes were the “direct result” of the [exploitation]…she experienced at the hands of the man she killed: Randall Volar Jr.  She hoped to employ a never-before-used Wisconsin law that [claims]…to offer legal protection to [people classified as “]victims of trafficking[“, but prosecutors…[ha]ve argued…[that] her charge should only be lessened from first-degree homicide to second-degree — meaning she would still face up to 60 years in prison.  The court…[finally allowed] Kizer’s case, which has been stalled for years, [to] continue.  If [yet another] judge agrees there is “some evidence” her crimes were a “direct result” of trafficking, she will be able to present the same argument to a jury.  If the jury sides with her, she could be acquitted of some or all the charges against her…

Business As Usual (#1041)

Passive voice and obfuscation are used to divert blame for sexual assaults:

Two Flagstaff [cops lied] to [women in] massage parlors, took their pants off, and allowed themselves to be fondled eight different times….[which is] illegal according to state law [despite being approved] by [a gang composed of spooks, pigs, and]…prosecutors…Police a[bducted] 13 people…after…the [sexual assaults]…state law clearly outlines that what the [rapist pigs] detailed in their reports is illegal…[they also] repeatedly [claimed] they were looking into “sex trafficking” and then proceeded to pay for sex acts from [women they infantilized as “]victims[“]…

Panopticon (#1150)

A federal appeals court already ruled this kind of surveillance a 4th amendment violation, but I guess that doesn’t apply to the feds themselves:

[On June 30th], residents of Nogales, Arizona—a border-hugging town of about 20,000 people—awoke to find a large white blimp stationed in the sky.  Even [local politicians] had no idea the blimp was coming….[to] conduct…round-the-clock surveillance [for] U.S. Customs and Border Patrol…With the ability to provide surveillance both night and day, and a maximum [altitude] of 3,000 feet…the blimp is certainly capable of snooping on many people…There are now 17 blimps stationed over the U.S.-Mexico border.  The Nogales blimp is the first in eastern Arizona, though the CBP tentatively plans to launch another in that sector later this year…

It’d be a shame if locals started using this for target practice.

Permanent Record (#1200)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

An Oregon jury has awarded more than $1.7 million to Nicole Gililland, a former nursing student who sued her school for discriminating against her because of her adult performer past.  Although the jury declined to hold Southwestern Oregon Community College liable for Title IX violations, it did find SWOCC in breach of contract for derailing Gililland’s career and life after the school administration and instructors found out in 2017-2018 about her brief stint as an adult performer…for around 20 months between 2007 and 2009.  The jury…award[ed] Gililland $735,417 in compensation for the economic damage…plus $1 million in punitive damages…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives; some don’t stop with mere beating:

…a [typical and representative cop] in Virginia…[nam]ed…Richard Colon Crowder…[murdered] both his wife Diane…and stepdaughter Carrie Szaksz…[and also] fired…at [his fellow cops] in an approximately nine-hour standoff before surrendering…Diane was moving out of the home…to get [away from her husband’s] abus[e]…The movers were just taking care of the final two pieces when [Crowder started shooting, so they fled]…and called [the other cops]…

Still a Child (#1226) 

Japanese politicians decided to infantilize all adults rather than just young women:

Japanese p[orn]…performer…Sakura Tsukishima has revealed…that she was forced to give up her apartment due to unreasonable changes [politicians] forc[ed] on the local adult industry…the sudden precipitous decline in her projected income…[was] caused by the virtual shutdown of production while companies try to figure out how they can continue shooting now that the Japanese government has rendered adult industry contracts unenforceable…the new law empowers any performer of any age or gender to withdraw…their consent for companies to distribute adult material in which they appear [and were already paid for]…at any time before the film’s public release without conditions, as well as up to a year afterward…video vendors [would be] obliged to [somehow] recover the products and delete the footage, and cannot claim [to be repaid for the] compensation [paid to the cold-footed] performers…

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I can’t breathe.  –  John Elliott Neville

Raymond Scott’s 1937 composition, “Powerhouse”, is best remembered for its extensive use in classic Warner Brothers cartoons, but few know its name or have ever heard it in its entirety, so Maggie is here to fix that for you.  You’re welcome.  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis, Radley Balko, Fiona Harrigan, Mike Siegel, Popehat, and Marc Randazza, in that order.

From the Archives

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That was stupid.  –  Chase Bebak-Miller, to his victim

Last week, on my way back from Seattle, I listened to the Little Shop of Horrors soundtrack.  That may have been a mistake because I had a tooth pulled the next day, and I kept giggling because this song kept going through my head.  The links above the video were provided by Mike Siegel, Franklin Harris, Cop Crisis (x3), and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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How did we go from a routine traffic stop to narcotics-sniffing dogs?  –  Pamella Jenkins

The big news this week was the passing of Vangelis, the Greek composer most famous for his soundtrack work, whose albums from the late ’70s and early ’80s in particular formed a large portion of the soundtrack of my life.  I’ve featured many of his compositions over the years, but never the one that first made me a fan, fittingly entitled “Alpha”.  The links above it were provided by Franklin Harris, Cop Crisis (x2), Radley Balko, Popehat, and Nun Ya, in that order.

From the Archives

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It’s a serious crime.  –  Tom Mynsberge, about a child’s tantrum

I have no particular explanation for this 1975 hit by The Jimmy Castor Bunch, except to say, “you had to be there”.  The links above it were provided by Walter Olson, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, J.D. Tuccille, Tim Cushing, Cop Crisis again, and Wendy Lyon, in that order.

From the Archives

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 I will fucking shoot you.  –  Sheriff Craig Rowland

This week’s amusing holiday video was provided by reader En Passant in a comment on last week’s Links column; the first and last links above the video are from Cop Crisis, and the others from Stephen Lemons, Scott Greenfield, Lenore Skenazy, Mike Siegel, and Jesse Walker, in that order.

From the Archives

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The federal government is literally paying state and local police to circumvent state law.  –  Justin Pearson

To Molest and Rape

If only there were a concise word for “coerced into having sex”:

An Elk Grove [California cop], along with [his cop shop] and city of Elk Grove, are being sued by a woman who…was [raped by]…the [cop, whose identity the state is hiding so he can continue to prey on other vulnerable women]…in April, the woman called 911 to report the theft of her vehicle’s catalytic converter…When the [rapist, who was among the responding cops, discovered]…she was single, he took her number and [claimed] it would be used for the investigation…[but in actuality] he [used it to harass]…her…th[reatening] her son…if she did not [submit]…she complied [due to reasonable]…fear of retaliation…[but] called [a different cop shop]…to…report…the…rape [afterward]…

Thou Shalt Not (#642)

New Zealand cops apparently lack sufficient reasons to brutalize people:

New Zealand is [criminaliz]ing young people [who]…buy cigarettes in a rolling program that aims to make [every]…smoke[r in the country a criminal] by 2025…Each year the age limit will be increased until…[all Kiwis who smoke are criminalized]…As part of the strategy, cigarette prices have [been artificially] increased by 10 per cent every year for the 10 years between 2011 and 2020, but…the price hike has…creat[ed] a black market for cigarettes…

But just in case you thought politicians were capable of logic:

New Zealand has become the first country in the world to permanently legalise drug checking services, which will allow individuals to test the safety of illicit substances at festivals and other locations without the fear of legal repercussions…

So will services checking the safety of black market cigarettes be legal?

Policing for Profit (#924)

Until there are criminal penalties for this behavior, cops have no incentive to stop:

In [2016], Florida passed a law [intended to] reform…the state’s civil asset forfeiture process…But despite t[his]…Florida remains one of the most prolific practitioners of [legalized robbery, because]…local and state police can evade the new restrictions by [simply] working with the federal government [to divvy up the take]…In 2012, the Justice Department demanded that the police department in Bal Harbour, Florida—population 2,500—return $4 million in forfeited assets after audits showed the department had been misusing funds for lavish expenses, vehicles, payouts to snitches, and first-class travel…Bal Harbour police had been running a [so-called] task force…[which actually] laundered $56 million for drug cartels through undercover police bank accounts…police in the suburb of Sunrise, Florida…raked in millions by using well-paid snitches to lure cocaine buyers into town from around the country…and s[teal]ing their cash…a dozen members of the…vice squad had each made hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime pay through the stings…

Legislators Gone Wild (#1102) 

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

[A professional fantasist] and two…unnamed…[collaborators, backed by anti-sex extremists Morality in Media, have re-]filed a [previously-dismissed] lawsuit…against Nevada’s Governor [and others, seeking]…to put an end to legalized…prostitution in the state [because of their fantasies about it]…The lawsuit [bizarrely claims]…that…legalized prostitution…[is] “violating the thirteenth amendment’s ban on slavery”…Guinasso [also] argues that…prostitution [should be further criminalized because]…it…[allows women to] make a good living…

The Mob Rules

A district court judge has to do SCOTUS’ job because it won’t:

S.B. 8, the Texas law that bans abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, relies on a novel enforcement mechanism…It authorizes lawsuits by “any person” against “any person” who performs or facilitates a prohibited abortion and promises plaintiffs at least $10,000 in “statutory damages,” plus reimbursement of their legal expenses, if they win.  That “unique and unprecedented” arrangement …violates the state constitution’s standing requirements for civil actions, the separation of powers, and the right to due process…[ruled] Travis County District Court Judge David Peeples…His 48-page order emphasizes how the law’s “completely new” enforcement mechanism favors plaintiffs over defendants and warns that the same strategy could be deployed against all sorts of politically disfavored constitutional rights…”It is one thing to authorize taxpayers or citizens to file suits against government officials to make them obey a law, and…quite another thing to incentivize citizens or persons to file suits against other private citizens to extract money from them, with no pretense of compensating the claimant for anything”…

Since IANAL, I can’t judge whether SCOTUS arguments supporting its continued refusal to take action are specious or not.  But they’re certainly convenient.

Torture Chamber (#1189)

Arizona screws think they can cure mental illness by torture:

Day after day…Rahim Muhammad slammed his head into the prison cell door…[because he] heard voices that told him to harm himself.  But instead of providing counseling…Arizona prison staff repeatedly gassed Muhammad with pepper spray…more than 40 times over eight months [in the past year]…In one two-week period, Muhammad was pepper sprayed 15 times.  Sometimes [screws] gassed him twice a day…[or] shot him at close range with a pepper ball gun…The treatment…was recently highlighted in the [class action suit over medical neglect in Arizona prisons.  Screws]…have no psychiatric training, but nevertheless told Muhammad that his frequent self-harming behavior is a choice…and…”We’ll gas you, we’ll shoot you, and we’ll tase you until you stop”…Muhammad has spent the majority of the past seven years in…[solitary confinement]…causing [even more] harm…

Creepy Coppers

Setting an example for his underlings:

The [typical and representative] East Helena [Montana] chief of police…admitted…that he distributed child pornography in 2019 using [Facebook]…William Daly Harrington…faces a mandatory minimum five years to 20 years in prison…[and] a $250,000 fine…[he was caught] in September 2020…[after] Facebook Messenger [told cops]…that the Facebook Messenger account…belong[ing] to Harrington….sent…child pornography…[to another] account…

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Who would have thought drinking dirt would make me feel so so good?

Since Mike Nesmith passed away this week, I’d like to share “The Monkees’ Christmas Episode” from 1967.  If you don’t have time for the whole thing, at least listen to their very lovely a capella performance of the 16th century Spanish Christmas carol “Riu Chiu”, starting at 20:47.  The links above the video are from Rick Horowitz, Stephen Lemons, Jesse Walker, Kevin WilsonWalter Olson, Mike Siegel, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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This [bill]…is a sickening extension of the culture war.  –  Neil Coyle

Pretext

Conscription of unconsenting drivers into copaganda will continue until reporters stop parroting cop PR releases:

[A regular] holiday [PR scam] was recently [repeated] by…Mesa, Arizona…[cops who]…pulled [motorists] over for [bullshit] violation[s, then]…offered [them] turkey[s]…some [people were so traumatized they]…were…[brought] to tears…many U.S. police departments [subject drivers to similar publicity stunts around holidays every year]…

Lack of Evidence (#960)

As I’ve pointed out before, it’s very easy for cops and prosecutors to circumvent these supposed “guarantees”:

[Politicians and cops] have heard sex workers say over and over that they feel unsafe reporting crimes to police because they…[will] be prosecuted for their own [consensual] activity…[But instead of simply making it illegal to arrest adults for consensual sex, politician] Brianna Titone…said she intends to bring a “safe reporting” bill…to create a guarantee that [women criminalized by the state] can report crimes without fear of any legal retribution.  It’s not unlike a 2012 law Colorado adopted to guarantee immunity for illegal drug users who report overdoses.  [But politicians who want to ensure the bill is toothless are vomiting out dysphemisms like]…”offense”…and [“]illegal…prostitution[“]…Desiree Collins, a former sex worker closely involved in advocacy work…said she is skeptical…that sex workers would take advantage of it…[because] “there’s no way to maintain anonymity…You’re talking about a community where part of the culture is distrust, because distrust keeps you safe”…

Politicians’ and cops’ repeated claims that they want women who live by our wits to trust lying rapist thugs who hunt us for sport would be funny if it weren’t so ugly and dangerous.

Rooted in Racism (#966)

This was the endgame of “anti-trafficking” schemes all along:

The Royal Yacht Association (RYA) has warned its members against rescuing migrants at sea amid fears they could be prosecuted and jailed for people smuggling….the Home Office’s Nationality and Borders Bill…removes the words “for gain” and increases the sentences for [actions politicians decide to label] smuggling…to life imprisonment….[politician] Neil Coyle…said…“The clause requires…people to watch other people die…It is in breach of our international obligations and law”…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1090)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is more effective when you control the board:

Alex Shchegol was reinstated as president of ASA College, a for-profit institution that has campuses in New York and Florida, three years after he was forced out for sexual misconduct…At least 10 female ASA students and employees had accused Shchegol of…rape, sending unwanted [dick] pic[s]…and coercing students who relied on him for visas or employment into [submitting to rape]…The allegations had resulted in more than $2 million in out-of-court settlements…Shchegol was reinstated after he replaced five of the seven members of the board of the institution, which he owns.  Shchegol mentioned a letter from a sex addiction therapist affirming that she had worked with him on concepts like “victim empathy” and “accountability”…[however,] he [also claimed]…he was “completely innocent”…and…hung up when asked repeatedly if he’d had sex with any students…

Scapegoats (#1169)

This sordid saga finally wraps up after three years:

A [typical and representative] Bossier City [cop] was sentenced to 20 years in prison for possession of child pornography and sexually abusing his dog….Terry Yetman…was sentenced Tuesday to four years for each of the five counts of sexual abuse of animals…[and] 20 years for…child pornography.  The sentences will run concurrently.  When he is released, Yetman will have to register as a sex offender…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

Cops murder more people than any other group in the US:

…a Newark, New Jersey [cop] has been arrested after…fatally [running over] a nurse with his car — and then taking the body home to decide what to do…Louis Santiago was charged with reckless vehicular homicide, desecrating human remains, and other charges after he fatally hit…Damian Dymka and then stuffed his lifeless body into his car…and…took [it]…home…[to ask his mommy] what t[o]…do.  Ultimately…Santiago[‘s cop]…father [turned him in]…State Police found Dymka’s body still in the back of Santiago’s car…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1185)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

Delta…[has been joined by] JetBlue and American Airlines…[in] starting to test facial recognition for boarding and TSA checkpoints.  The TSA is also [collaborating] with companies to design [more invasive casual] screeners so passengers don’t have to remove anything from their bags and can leave their shoes on…TSA and airlines are [excusing this by saying it will] speed up airport security while making it safer…

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