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Posts Tagged ‘Arkansas’

Once-lawful whip-possessing citizens have now been made criminals.  –  Christian Britschgi

Universal Criminality

Politicians will criminalize virtually anything that can be defined:

…the Reno City Council [has] passed an ordinance that prohibits people from using or possessing whips in the city’s downtown without first obtaining a city permit.  The policy is in response to an increasing number of 911 calls by [aggressive busybodies imagining that] the periodic snaps and cracks of whips [are] gunshots.  Reno City Attorney Karl Hall said that the new restrictions were commonsense whip control…Council Member Jenny Brekhus voted against the ordinance because it didn’t apply citywide, thus leaving whips dangerously unregulated in most of Reno.  Meanwhile, a representative for the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union argued that banning the possession of whips without a permit…contributes to the criminalization of [Reno’s] homeless…[who] are known for using whips for self-defense…

So does Reno also plan to criminalize cars backfiring and transformers exploding?

Nothing New

Do the chattering classes seriously believe unprotected sex is something new?

“Fluid bonding” — the act of intentionally sharing bodily juices with a sexual partner — is purportedly becoming a popular practice in bedrooms across the nation…a variety of publications are now reporting on the randy activity, which refers to far more than simply forgoing a condom during sex…fluid bonding is done with the goal of being “more connected, [or to] have more sensation, intimacy or commitment”…it…“is an active, conscious choice” that revolves around consent and intent…

And yet amateurs pretend that sex workers are the one who spread STIs.

Against Their Will (#831)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

A woman who had overstayed in Singapore since 2013 was trying to escape [police violence] by climbing through her room window when she fell to her death last year…Gong Xiuxian…worked as a private masseuse from her home and sold apparel at market stalls…Her death on 2 November last year was pronounced an unfortunate misadventure by Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam…[so as to absolve cops from responsibility for terrorizing women by showing up with a gang] of eight [thugs to bang on their doors and shine lights into their]…bedroom [windows] at about 5.15am…

Feet of Clay (#839)

Nicholas Kristof is a vile excuse for a human being, so naturally he’s going into politics:

[Recently-retired] New York Times [hack column]ist Nicholas Kristof announced his candidacy…for Oregon governor, saying the state needs a political newbie to solve problems like homelessness and rural despair.  “I’ve never run for political office in my life,” Kristof said in a campaign video, expressing it as an asset.  He said he felt compelled to run for governor because, after [supporting state violence] around the world, he was heartbroken to see [what he considers insufficient in]flicti[on of it on] his home state…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1022)

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

Delta Air Lines…is testing new facial recognition technology [using the pretext of] reduc[ing] the time it takes between arriving at the airport and getting passengers in their seats…Delta wants to be the first [airline] to offer full curb-to-gate security centered around facial recognition…the pilot program…will soon be available to [marks who already belong to] Delta’s Loyalty Program…[and] have also uploaded passport details and have TSA Pre-check…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#1087)

Nobody is going to give expensive cannabis edibles to your spawn for free:

As Halloween approache[d]…several state attorneys general [vomited out stupid copaganda about]…marijuana edibles that [a moron might mistake for] regular candies and snacks.  Attorneys general in Ohio, New York, Illinois, Connecticut and Arkansas all released statements [last week], a part of a coordinated effort to [continue the dying drug war at least until they leave office]…THC is the main compound found in marijuana, and [has no known LD50 despite inane squawking about]…overdose…In Ohio, Attorney General Dave Yost…[claim]ed the levels of THC could have “real and devastating” consequences for children [who manage to consume 1/3 of their body weight in edibles]…

I find it amusing that so many people are surprised that NPR so often parrots copaganda; apparently they’re unfamiliar with the adage, “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

Acting and Activism (#1113)

“Vagina Egg” Paltrow joins the prohibitionist trash who once called stripping a “gateway to slavery”:

[Noted sex scammer] Gwyneth Paltrow [joined noted bigot] Jada Pinkett Smith…in…[vomiting out ignorant, censorious nonsense about] “how pornography is harmful to women” on the latest episode of Pinkett Smith’s chat show, Red Table Talk…Neither [“celebrity” airhead] has any training on health issues or sexuality studies…Pinkett Smith, who on a [filmed but unaired] prior episode [verbally attacked and slut-shamed a sugar baby]…discussed having had what she [claimed was] “an unhealthy relationship with porn”…

Neither actress specified what kind of sexual content could be broadly classified as “pornography.”

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This case is important…because of…Texas’s cavalier and contemptuous mechanism for shielding from review potential violations of constitutional rights.  –  The Firearms Policy Coalition

Above the Law  

A rare case of a government functionary actually being punished for his crimes:

A [typical and representative porcine creature] will now spend life in prison himself after [raping women he was paid by the State to haul from one cage to another like livestock]…A federal judge in Little Rock, Arkansas sentenced Eric Scott Kindlay…to life in prison plus five years.  Kindlay…[ran] his own private prison transport company, signing contracts with local jails and [other government cage stacks to haul]…people who had been arrested on out-of-state warrants.  The…woman in the 2017 case testified that Kindlay [raped]…her…on a deserted stretch of road [en route from Alabama to Arizona]…in 2014…Kindlay [orally raped another woman]…after telling her that he had gotten lost.  Kindlay [attacked both]…while [they were] handcuffed.  While only two charges of sexual assault were listed on the indictment, a total of six women testified…that…for hundreds of miles…he [repeatedly] “threatened to kill them and made sexually explicit comments that escalated in intensity and depravity”…[he raped one] woman…in a park bathroom…a[nd another]…on [a] desolate hiking trail…in the middle of a snowstorm.  The individual [victims] did not apparently know that the others existed until the trial…[the] FBI…uncovered a total of 16 women who Kindlay had either harassed or assaulted from 2012 to 2017.  Eleven of these women submitted…statements…

Dysphemisms Galore (#345)

Many “sex trafficking” fetishists are also fixated on hentai:

…the web of human trafficking is a sordid saga…of dream merchants…with the connivance of traffickers, whose…illegal immigrants, once caught in these tentacles, most often succumb to…[being] deeply absorbed in the flesh trade…

Torture Chamber (#1143)

Stop faking!

Marc Crawford was booked into a Kentucky jail in May 2017.  Just shy of a month later, he left state custody in a body bag…[after] succumb[ing] to a previously diagnosed case of lung cancer, one for which state officials and health care contracting companies re[fused] to provide him basic treatment…Correct Care Solutions LLC, one of those contracting companies, refused to ensure Crawford received his scheduled chemotherapy treatments, and s[crews refused]…to give Crawford his prescriptions, took off his pain-medication patch, and put him on psychoactive medications that did not[hing to] treat his illness.  [Screws yelled “Stop faking!]…as Crawford vomited blood, and senior s[crews]…rebuffed several requests from a lower-level employee to [actually] give him [his prescribed medication]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1161)

Philadelphia has many different ways to rob its citizens:

Philadelphia’s notorious civil forfeiture program…ended in 2018 as a result of a 2014 class action lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice…The organization…recently surveyed 407 of the 30,000 people whose property was seized under Philadelphia’s program…the median value of seized items…was just $600.  More than two-thirds…were valued at $1,800 or less.  The median value of all property seized in a single case was $1,370.  Cash seizures…involved amounts as low as $25.  The cops even [stole] “a cologne gift set worth $20″ and a pair of crutches…In three-quarters of the cases…owners were either never arrested, never charged, or never convicted.  Yet…only 43 percent of [victims]…succeeded…[in getting] their property back…at a median cost of $3,500…and…[taking] nine months on average.  Some had to wait years…”just four ZIP codes in the city’s center” accounted for 57 percent of Philadelphia forfeitures.  The median income in those neighborhoods ranged from $16,000 to $30,000…[and] residents were mainly black or Hispanic…owners of seized property also were more likely to be unemployed and to earn less than $50,000 a year.  They were less likely to have college degrees and less likely to own a home…

The Mob Rules

I wish more people understood the power of legal precedent this well:

The Firearms Policy Coalition, a national gun rights outfit, filed a friend of the court brief at the U.S. Supreme Court…in support of Whole Woman’s Health, the abortion rights group that is leading the legal fight against…the sweeping Texas anti-abortion law that recently went into effect.  “The approach used by Texas to avoid pre-enforcement review of its restriction on abortion and its delegation of enforcement to private litigants…could just as easily be used by other States to restrict First and Second Amendment rights or, indeed, virtually any settled or debated constitutional right.”  The Firearms Policy Coalition “takes no position on whether abortion should be protected by the Constitution,” the brief stated, “but believes that the judicial review of restrictions on established constitutional rights, especially those protected under this Court’s cases, cannot be circumvented in the manner used by Texas”…

I Spy (#1171)

Oh, what a surprise:

Governments were already discussing how to misuse…[cell phone] scanning technology even before Apple announced its plans…[to] scan iPhones for child sexual abuse materials…[it was obvious] that…governments [would] insist…the company scan for other types of images, and there now seems good evidence for this [despite]…Apple[‘s pretense] that it had a [magical politician-proof] safeguard in place to…prevent [governmental] misuse…such promises are impossible to keep…[because] any government could pass a law requiring tech companies to use their available capabilities (e.g., the CSAM scanning system) to look for images they say are associated with terrorism, or any type of political opposition…A group of security researchers says that the European Union [already] planned to use this technology to scan for other types of images even before Apple revealed that it had developed its own system…

Dangerous Speech (#1172)

Remember how I pointed out that the government couldn’t win this fairly?

Defense attorneys in the Lacey/Larkin case…argue in a new motion that the government willfully ignored federal Judge Susan Brnovich’s instructions during the pair’s recent trial in Phoenix.  Instead, prosecutors doubled down on false accusations of sex trafficking and child sex trafficking, goading the defense into calling for a mistrial…the motion calls on Brnovich to dismiss the case with prejudice [because] in provoking the mistrial, the prosecution violated the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment…the feds’ mistrial shenanigans were part of “a pattern of repeated and brazen government misconduct,” [intentionally] committed by “seasoned prosecutors”…And because the government has “seized virtually all of the defendants’ assets” — including money set aside for defense costs — the mistrial leaves the defendants in an “untenable” financial position…A new trial would favor the government…allowing it “a retooling of its faltering case”…

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This is an inherently abusive power that [cops] should not have.  –  Wesley Hottot

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

A woman is suing the Grace Baptist Church in Lansingburgh, [New York, because] its leadership ignored her daily sexual abuse as a [teen from 15-17] at the hands of a youth pastor – then claimed that she had “led him on”…Larry Hallock…sexually abused the victim “on a daily basis” between 2000 and 2002 in the church…Hallock’s wife sent the [victim] several letters acknowledging…the abuse…

No Moss

This time Rolling Stone wasn’t alone in gulping down a load of codswallop:

KFOR, an Oklahoma news channel, reported last week that rural hospitals throughout the state were in danger of becoming overwhelmed by…overdoses of ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug promoted by [anti-]vaccine [cranks] as a possible treatment for COVID-19.  The story went viral…under the headline: “Patients overdosing on ivermectin backing up rural Oklahoma hospitals”…[and] was quickly picked up by…Rolling Stone, Newsweekand the New York Daily Newsin fact, [there’s] little reason to believe a purported strain on Oklahoma hospitals is caused by ivermectin overdoses; one hospital served by the doctor quoted in the KFOR article released a statement saying it has not treated any ivermectin overdoses, nor has it been forced to turn away patients…but…at no point did [the interviewed doctor, Jason] McElyea actually come out and say that ivermectin overdoses were straining hospitals…It was the journalist, Katelyn Ogle, who added that framing…This means, of course, that if the national media outlets had called the doctor or the hospitals, they would have easily uncovered the error.  Instead, they [careless]ly spread it…

Stalkers in Blue

Another cop demonstrating what he is:

A [typical and representative] Arkansas [cop] will spend ten years in prison for stalking a…woman for more than three years…In 2016, Skylar Galloway was working at a family-owned gas station…The owner’s brother was [typical and representative cop] Mark Holland…Galloway eventually moved and switched jobs.  A month later, anonymous emails came [demanding] nude photos…[along with threats] like “If I have to come over there, I’ll take my own pics. I’m going to get what I want.”  Another read, “You are going to scream and moan, but you probably won’t really like it.”  She started filing police reports…but was turned away [because birds of a feather]…So she decided to…start…investigating…[and] after three years of digging. she realized it was Holland in December 2019.  Within five days, he was arrested by his own department and charged with 20 felonies…

Social Distancing (#1046)

Once a government takes more power, it never really relinquishes it again:

[Using the excuse of] coronavirus…Australia’s federal and state governments imposed draconian restrictions on its citizens [that even the] Prime Minister…[admits are far] too heavy…Before 2020, the idea of Australia all but forbidding its citizens from leaving the country, a restriction associated with Communist regimes, was unthinkable.  Today, it is…policy…Intrastate travel within Australia is also severely restricted…The state of Victoria announced a curfew and suspended its Parliament for key parts of the pandemic…In New South Wales…the…military [was deployed] to enforce lockdowns…anti-lockdown protests were banned, and when dissenters gathered anyway, hundreds were arrested and fined…Enduring rules of th[is] sort would certainly render a country a police state…with COVID-19 now thought to be endemic, rather than a temporary emergency the nation could avoid, how much time must pass before we must regard Australia as illiberal and unfree?…

A Broker in Pillage (#1072)

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

Stephen Lara [was pulled over in Nevada by a cop using the common pretext]…that he’d been…following a…truck too closely…the [pigs rooted through]…his…vehicle, [steal]ing nearly $87,000 in a zip-top bag from Lara’s trunk and [pretend]ing a drug-sniffing dog had detected something on the cash…Lara…was charged with no crime.  But [cops]…call[ed] a [DEA spook] to [engineer] an “adoption,” [a scam] which allows [local cops to circumvent state laws curtailing such robbery by enlisting] federal authorities to [pretend that they were the ones who] seize[d] cash or property the[n give most of it back to the local pigs]…It was only after Lara got a lawyer, sued and talked with The Washington Post about his ordeal that the government said it would return his money [due to the bad publicity]…Justice Department [mouthpiece] Joshua Stueve [oinked that] the government “is reviewing existing policy on adoptive forfeitures”…

You Were Warned (#1108)

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

A federal lawsuit accusing Twitter of sex trafficking can move forward, says District Judge Joseph C. Spero, in a decision that could portend a dangerous expansion of how courts define “sex trafficking”…[under] FOSTA…The case…was brought by…Morality in Media, [the Kennedy-era pro-censorship group] that also opposes NetflixAmazon, and Cosmopolitan magazine [and now wants to be called “The National Center on Sexual Exploitation”.  MiM wants the court to rule]…that soliciting a sex video from someone under age 18 amounts to sex trafficking…[and that] unwittingly providing a platform for a third party to post or link to that video makes one part of a sex trafficking enterprise…the teens—who were 13 or 14 years old at the time—recorded themselves engaging in sexual activity and used Snapchat to share these videos with a third party [the]y believed to be a peer.  The recipient turned out to be an adult, who allegedly blackmailed one of the teens…into providing additional sexual content…The perpetrator could have been held individually responsible, since blackmail and soliciting obscenity from minors are both crimes.  Instead, [MiM] is going after a bigger, richer, and much more high-profile target…

To Molest and Rape (#1168)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A Los Angeles Co[p]…has been arrested for…molesting a 16-year-old girl in Rancho Cucamonga.  Antonio Heriberto Galindo…coached girls’ softball teams…[as a means of finding and grooming] victims…

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I cross the void beyond the mind
The empty space that circles time
I see where others stumble blind
To seek a truth they never find
Eternal wisdom is my guide
I am the Doctor.
  –  Jon Pertwee

Here’s another specimen of the subgenre of novelty songs recorded by the stars of hit TV shows, this one about one of my all-time favorites.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Franklin Harris, Jesse Walker again, Desiree Alliance, Wendy Lyon, Lucy Steigerwald, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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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…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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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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A lot of…urban legends [are] old wine in new bottles. – Benjamin Radford

A Broker in Pillage (#863)

Go on, keep giving governments more excuses and powers to literally rob people.  I’m sure you’ll never regret it:

South Korean prosecutors have sold bitcoin…[stolen from people they branded] criminals…turn[ing] a profit of around 12.3 billion won (around US$10.9 million)…the [excuse used for the robbery was that the victim was]…”the operator of [an] illegal pornography site”…While the U.S. government has been auctioning [stolen] bitcoin since 2014, Korean prosecutors have held on to the [stolen] bitcoin for the past four years…[until] March 25, the exact day when the country’s [politicians]…classifie[d] crypto as “virtual assets”…

The Notorious Badge (#976)

Twitter’s connection to movies exploiting sex workers isn’t usually so direct:

After receiving rave reviews at last year’s Sundance festival, the full trailer for Janicza Bravo’s Twitter-storm dramedy Zola is finally here…the film follows Zola (Taylour Paige), a Detroit waitress who strikes up a friendship with a customer named Stefani (Riley Keough). Together, they head to Florida to earn some money stripping at a club where Stefani has heard dancer tips are excellent.  As the trip progresses, Stefani puts Zola and herself in more insane and dangerous situations, including run-ins with a nameless pimp and some Tampa gangsters…Zola is based on a viral Twitter thread posted in October 2015 by Detroit-based stripper A’ziah “Zola” King…detail[ing] a weekend of debauchery that quickly descends into a hellish whirlwind of sex, murder, and near-suicide…

The Last Shall Be First (#977) 

Since their “bathroom bills” kept getting struck down, transphobes are now trying to accomplish their goals by controlling doctors:

Arkansas [politician]s passed a bill…that would flatly prohibit medical professionals from providing any sort of gender transition treatments to minors…the…act…forbids the prescribing of puberty blockers to suppress hormones, bans genital reassignment surgeries, and bars any medical treatment that would “alter or remove physical or anatomical characteristics or features for the individual’s biological sex” or “instill or create physiological or anatomical characteristics that resemble a sex different from the individual’s biological sex”…[it] further forbids medical professionals from referring minors to any doctor who could provide the forbidden treatments…says that public funds may not be granted to any entity that provides trans treatments to minors, declares that medical transition treatment procedures are not tax-deductible forms of health care coverage (regardless of age), and prohibits the state’s Medicaid program from providing coverage for these treatments for minors.  Medical professionals who defy the law could lose their licenses to practice in the state…

It’s impossible to miss the resemblance of this strategy to that of imposing arbitrary restrictions on abortion providers.

Dangerous Speech (#1097)

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

…a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected a defense petition that the court order federal Judge Susan Brnovich’s recusal from the Lacey/Larkin case…due to an “appearance of partiality” created by prejudicial statements made by the judge’s husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, concerning…Backpage…The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 23

The Widening Gyre (#1103)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” scarelore invaded TikTok:

“OK, so I saw this TikTok that Target is the new sex trafficking hub”…Makenzie Jade says in her video.  She then tells a story about being followed by a man…in…her local Target, then being circled by two additional men with nothing in their shopping carts…Over the past week…there have been dozens of [similar] videos, some with millions of views, in which young women from all over the country describe being followed by strange men or women in Target in what they [fantasize is] an attempted trafficking operation…what[ever] that…means…experts are highly skeptical of these reports.  “I have never heard a case of anyone being abducted from Target in my 20 years in this field,” says Jean Bruggeman…of Freedom Network USA, [the largest coalition of groups actually concerned with exploitation rather than simply using it as a cover for persecution of sex workers]…the TikTok rumors…adhere to a familiar pattern of…urban legends intended to spread hysteria…Dubious rumors purporting to raise awareness about the “realities” of sex trafficking are nothing new…

In a sign that the hysteria is dying, note that even the perennially-clueless Rolling Stone bluntly calls this what it is (“hoax”) rather than deferentially referring to it as a “mistake” or the like.

Predictable Consequences

Oh look, somebody at Washington Post realized how tone-deaf their initial coverage was:

[When cops raided] three massage businesses…they [branded with the moralistic epithet “]illicit[“, they vomited out a lot of filth about]…“human trafficking and child exploitation” [to]…cover [up the fact that the disguised cops raped sex]…workers, then arrested them…local media outlets…[then abetted the outrage by outing the cops’ victims, complete with names and] photos of their mug shots on the evening news…[barfing up the magic word “]illicit[” has for decades given disguised, lying thugs a court-approved pretext for raping]…spa workers…[none of whom were inter]viewed by The Post…[but after decades of these repeated atrocities, a few politicians] are [finally] beginning to propose new limits on [rape] by police, which [any person with a functional moral compass should understand] serves to dehumanize — and [deepl]ly traumatize — the very women the raids are [claimed by psychopaths] to help.  The…[rapists in] law enforcement, experts said, [nearly always] go unpunished…

As you can see, the article is still replete with copsucking, but some editor appears to have at least some inkling that maybe they’re on the wrong side.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1124)

Still think this djinni can be crammed back into its bottle?

A…facial recognition tool designed [to give government even more power over individual lives] has been quietly deployed across the [US] with little to no public oversight…more than 7,000 individuals from nearly 2,000 [government] agencies nationwide have used Clearview AI to search through millions of Americans’ faces, looking for p[otential victims]…BuzzFeed News has developed a searchable table of 1,803 publicly funded agencies whose employees…used…the [surveillance] tool before February 2020.  These include local and state police, [ICE], the Air Force, state healthcare [bureaucracies], [politicians’] offices…and even public schools.  In many cases, [bureaucrats] at these agencies [claimed to be] unaware that employees were using the tool; five [lied]…in response to questions about it…210 organizations denied any use…1,161 [others ignored] questions about whether they had used it…Hoan Ton-That, the company’s cofounder and CEO, [expressed glee that his invention has done so much to undermine privacy and empower cop shops]…

What makes it worse is, cops just keep blatantly lying about it:

Despite statements from the NYPD in early 2020 stating that it had no relationship with…Clearview AI, documents…reveal that the company was an acknowledged vendor to the department from as early as 2018, and that it continue[s] to enjoy a congenial relationship…that [has] included in-person meetings and customer support from Ton-That [himself]…

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“Approved” voices rise to the top of [a social media] feed as if by magic.  –  Josephine Livingstone

Storyville

Half a year old, but since the events were over a century ago anyhow:

Willie V. Piazza, known as “The Countess,” was a successful Storyville madam who reigned relatively serenely over her mansion at 317 N. Basin Street. Hers was one of several so-called octoroon houses in the district which featured light-skinned women of color for white clients…The literature about her depicts a regal woman who lived up to her nickname: sophisticated, intelligent, elegant, and always fashionably dressed, she sported a monocle, smoked Russian cigarettes held in a diamond-studded ivory-and-gold holder, wore a diamond choker, and spoke four languages fluently…Piazza’s legacy grew further when she took a stand against racial segregation in the waning months of the district’s legal existence…Ordinance 4118, proposed in early 1917…decreed that Storyville would be entirely racially segregated…Piazza was disturbed by the prospect of being forced from her Basin Street property, which had been a considerable investment…the Louisiana Supreme Court, in City of New Orleans v. Willie V. Piazza (1917)…ruled in her favor, finding that Ordinance 4118 overstepped the original intent of the 1897 act regulating where prostitutes could live. The Countess and her ladies stayed put…

Permanent Record

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to stop us from getting other jobs?

Lonna Wells was [fired from an Arkansas Taco Bell because]…a customer had lodged a formal complaint that there was a woman working the drive-thru who was doing internet porn, and as a [hypocritical] Christian they didn’t feel comfortable [see]ing the [performers from the porn they watch in real life]…

Welcome to the Future (#977)

Everything I read about modern corporate work makes me happier I became a whore:

A…silicone wristband…called a Moodbeam…allows your employer to track your emotional state.  The gadget…[currently requires the wearer to] press the yellow [button] if [they] are feeling happy, and the blue one if [they] are sad…employees…can [currently] say no…[but obviously that will change]…Managers can then [snoop into the private feelings of their]…workers…[since they are] no longer able to [spy on them] in p[erson]…

Quiet Genocide (#1081)

The US finally decides to call a spade a spade:

With just one day left in President Trump’s term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo…officially de[clar]ed that China’s campaign of [genocide]…in Xinjiang constitutes “genocide”…The U.S. has become the first country to…describe the Chinese Communist Party’s gross human rights abuses [as what they are]…The Biden campaign has previously [recognized] China’s…genocide….[as a genocide but] it had been unclear whether the Trump administration would make this formal determination before Biden assumed office…

You Were Warned (#1097)

The bipartisan war on the internet continues without even a pause:

Section 230′s untouched days may be numbered [now that] Joe Biden will be president.  [He has repeatedly stated that he]…think[s] the law should be [repealed]…that…is an extreme — and unlikely — option, but many [politicians]…on both sides of the aisle have introduced bills and pushed for change to the legislation…

From the subtitle link:  “Biden doesn’t like Section 230 and…doesn’t understand what it does…his…top tech policy advisor…published a bizarre and misleading “but think of the children!” attack on [it] that…suggests incredibly dangerous changes…citing FOSTA as a ‘good example’…

R.I.P. Margo St. James

What do you do when you’re a prohibitionist rag which pretends to quasi-official status when the most famous sex worker activist in the world dies?  You do a proper, detailed obituary which nonetheless subtly dismisses her achievements and intentionally confuses decriminalization with legalization.  Hey New York Times, would it have really hurt you to have actually consulted any of the people you quoted from other sources instead?

Traffic Jam (#1104)

Rashida Jones’ sleazy prohibitionism ties into a much bigger picture:

…Rashida Jones, Meryl Streep, and Laverne Cox had all signed on to produce a “documentary adaptation” of Sell/Buy/Date, a one-woman [prohibitionist] play…A few days later, Cox…quit because of pressure from her core fanbase, who took up and amplified the performers’ concerns on Twitter.  If they hadn’t, the complaints would probably have sunk without a trace.  It’s harder now than ever for sex workers to be heard on social media, but even easier for producers like Rashida Jones to tell their stories on mega-streaming platforms like Netflix…Big platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok use proprietary algorithms and shadow banning…to minimize a user’s reach to the community without alerting them…“Rashida Jones can post to her two million followers without worrying about her posts being invisibilized by a platform,” Danielle Blunt, dominatrix and Hacking//Hustling member explained.  “Sex workers can’t.  Jones can buy ads to promote her movie.  Sex workers can’t”…

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The blast blasted blubber beyond all reasonable bounds.  –  Paul Linnman

Since last week was the 50th anniversary of the infamous Exploding Whale of Oregon, Mike Siegel felt this video should be posted to commemorate it.  He also provided “restoration” below, and the other links are from Walter Olson, Cop Crisis, Scott Greenfield, Amy Alkon, and Boatfloating, in that order.

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  Cornelius Fredericks

I recently re-listened to the Cosmos soundtrack, and was reminded of how much I like this piece by blues guitarist Roy Buchanan.  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis, Stephen Lemons, Angela Keaton, Popehat, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Brooke Magnanti, in that order.

From the Archives

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