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Posts Tagged ‘asset seizure’

No one wins in this.  –  Connor Cook

If Men Were Angels

It’s getting harder to tell the preachers from the cops:  “A pastor [named Fredy Gonzalez]…in Wildomar [California] has been arrested for [molesting] a child…

A Broker in Pillage (#1118)

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

Vera and Apollonia Ward…were just getting a dog-breeding business off the ground…when…[cops attempted to rob]…them…the…sisters…had…tried to send $17,500 in cash through FedEx to a…California…dog broker…to scout and purchase two new animals for them…[like most people, they did not know] FedEx [has a] fa[scist pact with cops which allows them to root through parcels at FedEx sorting centers if they claim a dog gave them permission.  The cops first vomited out the phrase]…drug proceeds…[and claimed their Sooper Cop noses] smelled marijuana on the money…[but] the sisters…had receipts to [show they had withdrawn the cash from their bank]…When the sisters refused to cave and say the money was drug proceeds, the…[cops] threatened to go after them for money laundering…[but] after the Wards connected with the Goldwater Institute, prosecutors relented and returned the…money…six months [later]…

The Cop Myth (#1191)

Well, this is certainly novel:

A Miami [cop was]…shot in the head by his estranged…girlfriend…Yessenia Sanchez…a[nother cop paid to lurk in]…school[s in order to spy on and harass students]…Sanchez went to [Damian] Colon’s [home]…around 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 4…to argue [with him], a[fter] which [she]…shot [him]…then fled…in a red pick up truck, [which she almost immediately wrecked into]…an oncoming car.  She [then]…los[t] control, hit two parked cars…and continued for another block until her [truck died, after which she]…fled on foot…[and] was later arrested at her home…

Stalkers in Blue (#1240)

This kind of behavior is just another sexual power trip:

A [typical and representative Mountie] convicted of multiple sex offences has been sentenced to 18 months in jail…Andrew Seangio…will [also] be placed on a sex offender registry for 10 years…[because] between 2018 and February 2019…he exposed himself to four girls, one of whom was just 14 years old, as well as [disguised cops]…Seangio would drive…past York House School and Little Flower Academy, both all-girls K-12 private schools, until he spotted an isolated victim.  He would then roll down his window, expose himself and drive away…

Thought Control (#1261)

Just keep plunging that ice pick in; the bad thoughts will go away eventually:

[When] the Patmos Library millage failed in…August…it lost 84% of its operating budget because its staff refused to remove its LGBTQ books.  The board put it on the ballot again [last week]…hoping that with more residents aware of the measure, it would pass.  It failed, again.  Without taxpayer funds, the library will close.  Exactly when that will happen is not yet known.  A GoFundMe for the library raised about $265,000, with the help of author Nora Roberts, but it won’t be enough to sustain it long-term…

Imaginary Victims (#1274) 

The state is far too concerned with “punishing” this girl to actually help her:

…On November 4, [Pieper] Lewis cut off her GPS tracker and [escaped] from [a gingerbread house named] Fresh Start…[cops] issued a warrant for her arrest…and [she was captured 5 days later]…Judge David Porter sentenced Lewis in September to probation for five years to be served at the [gingerbread house].  He also gave her a deferred judgment, which meant her conviction would be expunged from her record if she [successfully jumped through all the] probation [hoops].  Porter warned Lewis at her sentencing hearing that by affording her an opportunity to avoid prison he was giving her a second chance.  “You don’t get a third,” he said…[because of her escape, pigs want] the court to…revoke her probation and deferred judgment and send her to prison…

Winding Down (#1286)

When will the federal government finally read the writing on the wall?

Voters…approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland and Missouri while rejecting similar measures in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Meanwhile, voters in five Texas cities passed ballot measures that bar local police from issuing citations or making arrests for low-level marijuana possession.  But the most striking election result for drug policy reformers looking beyond the ongoing collapse of marijuana prohibition happened in Colorado, where a broad psychedelic decriminalization measure [squeaked by despite clucking from puritans that not sending cops to destroy people’s lives over possession of plants]…is bad, because people might use psychedelics for fun…

 

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What is it with government agencies & the media teaming up to Streisand some dumb thing…almost no one has ever…heard about…into a thing…everyone knows about?  –  Mike Masnick

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It’s too bad most arrests aren’t of other cops:

Deputies in South Dakota have arrested a Louisiana state [cop], accusing him of hiring a prostitute while in town for a…conference…Kirk Thibodeaux…has been [rewarded with a paid vacation]…pending the criminal and administrative investigations…

So What Else Is New? (#504)

I’ve never understood why some men are so attached to this notion:

…a[t] orgasm…a “milky fluid” is excreted from the urethra…[but] about 5 percent of women release a clear liquid…studies have determined the milky fluid comes from the Skene glands…[and] scientists in Japan have just published research that [demonstrates] the [clear] fluid comes from the bladder, stating only the “milky fluid”…can be classed as the female ejaculation…Miyabi Inoue…and her colleagues injected blue dye mixed with water into the bladders of five female volunteers w[ith a history of “squirting”]…after a subject was stimulated to the point of climax, a researcher collected the ejected liquid in a sterile cup, and in all five women it was blue…[true] female ejaculation…contains prostate-specific antigen…[and the squirted] liquid from four of the women…was found to contain PSA, suggesting they produced female ejaculate around the same time as they squirted urine, and the two fluids mixed together in the urethra.  Despite the fact previous studies have [produced similar findings]…the[y were] met with skepticism from hordes of men online…Women were quick to mock some of the shocked men and their responses, explaining it was something “women knew all along…Men need scientific study to admit they are being peed on and not actually gods in bed,” one scoffed…

Gullible’s Travels (#977)

Americans will believe basically any scaremongering about teenagers:

…the number of videos…of teens calling people idiots for even daring to think of putting a Tide pod in their mouth far, far outnumbered the extraordinarily few videos of people actually putting a Tide pod in their mouth.  As some people have noted, it’s way more dangerous to talk about teenagers as if they’re all too stupid to know not to put a Tide pod in their mouth.  But the media absolutely can’t resist.  Last…week…the FDA (for whatever reason) released a consumer alert saying that people shouldn’t cook their chicken in NyQuil, calling it “a recent social media challenge”…of course, like all the earlier examples, this…turned out to be a whole lot of…adults freaking out over things that kids weren’t actually doing…the whole thing started as a shitpost on 4chan where someone made a joke about cooking chicken in NyQuil…and some people [making videos] reacting to the joke.  And, then, of course, the FDA Streisanded the whole idea into becoming a thing.  According to…TikTok…there were only five searches for NyQuil chicken…on Sept. 14, one day before the FDA posted its statement.  By Sept. 21, searches on the topic had increased by more than 1,400 times

A Broker in Pillage (#985)

The South Carolina Supreme Court declares itself illegitimate:

In a major blow against government accountability, the South Carolina Supreme Court…upheld the state’s civil forfeiture laws, which let police [openly steal] cash, cars, and even ho[us]es, without ever filing criminal charges.  By overturning a lower court ruling that declared civil forfeiture unconstitutional, the decision jeopardizes property rights for [every citizen]…in…nearly 40% of all forfeiture cases…the owner was never convicted of a crime.  And under state law, if an owner doesn’t formally file a claim for their seized property, [cops] win a “default judgment” and keep [the stolen property]…Worse, state law provides a powerfully perverse incentive to police for profit.  [When any] property [is stolen by cops], the [robbers’ gang] keeps the first $1,000 and then 75% of the remainder.  Prosecutors receive 20%, while a mere 5% is sent to the general fund. Since 2009, [cops have robbed citizens of]…nearly $97 million

Disaster (#1234)

An amicus curiae brief was recently filed in the FOSTA challenge by a group of organizations including Decriminalize Sex Work, The Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center, Freedom Network, Brooklyn Defender Services, The Erotic Laborers Alliance of New England, Old Pros, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, New York Transgender Advocacy Group, Free Speech Coalition,  SWOP Brooklyn, GLITS, and the St. James Infirmary.  Elizabeth Nolan Brown has an in-depth look at the arguments in the suit and brief, and you can see a PDF of the brief here.  In related news, the Woodhull Foundation (one of the parties to the FOSTA challenge) has recently launched a petition seeking to block the so-called EARN IT Act; I’m not sure if petitions have any effect in such cases, but I suppose they can’t hurt.

Dangerous Speech (#1270)

The government’s evil clown show has been renewed for another season:

The prosecution of Backpage founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin…can continue to drag on, per a new ruling from the…9th Circuit.  The court [is pretending] that trying them again after a mistrial…would not count as double jeopardy.  “No one is the least surprised”…Lacey tells Reason…”We have always believed we must rely upon jurors, not judges, for a fair shake. And so to trial.”  Lacey, Larkin, and the other defendants are likely to face trial again in 2023, though no date has been set.  That would mean a sixth calendar year in which their lives are upended by this…seemingly eternal attempt to put people in prison for running a website where sex workers advertised.

Permanent Record (#1274)

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

A [teacher] who set up an OnlyFans account to supplement her income was fired from her…job…after her employer found out about the account…[thanks to a self-appointed morality cop who also] posted photos from the OnlyFans account without her consent…Sarah Juree worked full-time as a teacher in South Bend, Indiana…but…was unable to support her family on the modest salary of $55,000 per year…her rent alone cost nearly half of her income and her employer didn’t offer health insurance…Around the time Juree set up her OnlyFans account, she…had a casual conversation with a colleague and their boss about side gigs that fall under the sex work umbrella, including OnlyFans pages.  “My boss got really excited and said, ‘Yeah, you can start a page.  You can make a lot of money’…I was like, ‘Great, I’m not going to have any issues with work because my boss literally told me to sell my panties on OnlyFans”…

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Sex workers are collateral damage in th[e “progressive”] quest to build the perfect internet.  –  Evan Greer

The Missing Word (#570)

Notice what nobody calls this?

For almost seven years, two Pennsylvania judges sent hundreds of [teens and] children—some of them as young as 8 years old—to privately run juvenile detention centers in exchange for financial kickbacks…[now] former Judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan [have been ordered] to pay over $200 million in compensatory and punitive damages to their victims.  Starting in 2000, the pair sent children into juvenile detention for offenses as innocuous as jaywalking, petty theft, or truancy.  In what became known as the “kids for cash” scandal, the [victims] were sent to two privately run detention centers whose builder and co-owner paid the men $2.8 million…over the course of the scheme…following the plot’s discovery, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court…thr[ew] out 4,000 juvenile convictions…[but] many of the plaintiffs still suffer from mental health problems.  Several…died by suicide or drug overdose in the years after their detention…Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any of the plaintiffs will [actually] receive [any] financial compensation…[because] Ciavarella and Conahan are now serving lengthy prison sentences.  Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years…and Conahan…17…though he was released to home confinement in 2020…[due to] COVID-19…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1009)

Another baby step toward recognizing sex work as work:

…a group of former Star Garden [exotic] dancers…filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, through the established actors union Actors’ Equity Assn…If the[y]…succeed, it would be the first time the century-old union that represents actors and stage managers on Broadway and venues such as the Hollywood Pantages Theatre would include strippers in its ranks.  Star Garden would become the first unionized strip club in the U.S. since…the Lusty Lady…closed in 2013…But…most of the strippers seeking representation said they have not worked at Star Garden since mid-March, when they raised safety concerns and were subsequently [fired]…Union lawyers will need to convince the National Labor Relations Board the strippers are Star Garden employees who were unduly terminated in order to be eligible to participate in a union vote and secure a shot at winning…

The Widening Gyre (#1116)

The latest iteration of “sex traffickers are EVERYWHERE!!!” has it all: the roses from the item linked in the subtitle, themselves only one example of the “valuable bait” trope, are loaded with the magic instant-overdose fentanyl of cop fantasies instead of the unidentified magic contact poison of earlier iterations of this myth.  Given that cops have recently started claiming that the magic fentanyl is being intentionally sprinkled onto $1 bills, the convergence is pretty clear; presumably the fentanyl-using “traffickers”, no doubt driving around in white vans, are also dropping the bait bills where cops can find them so as to stop their heroic anti-trafficking pogroms, or something.

A Broker in Pillage (#1147)

Absolutely nothing is “safe” if government actors know where it is:

The FBI [lied] to…a federal magistrate judge…[claiming] that it intended to open hundreds of safe deposit boxes s[tolen] during a March 2021 raid in order to inventory the items inside—but new evidence shows that federal agents were plotting all along to use the operation as an opportunity to [steal] cash and other valuables…the FBI also seems to have ignored limitations imposed by the warrant, including an explicit prohibition against using the…boxes as the basis for further criminal investigations…agents…were instructed to be on the lookout for cash…and to note…anything which [might give the government a pretext to steal it]…Agents [even] arranged to have drug-sniffing dogs present…which doesn’t do anything to help inventory items, of course, but makes more sense if the actual goal is to initiate forfeiture proceedings…

You Were Warned (#1218)

Looks like Reddit is covering its butt as a hedge against more FOSTA-enabled predatory lawsuits:

…adult content creator[s have]…recently found themselves abruptly removed or had their Reddit account limited without warning.  Sex workers have long been subject to deplatforming on most social media platforms…yet even though Reddit has a reputation for being relatively sex-positive compared to other Big Tech sites, sex workers are increasingly finding themselves restricted or even outright permanently banned on the platform, often without notice or…explanation…“The fact that sex workers are reporting an uptick on Reddit is particularly concerning because it has been one of the last places where this type of content is allowed,” says Evan Greer, director of the digital rights organization Fight for the Future, citing Twitter as the only other example of a platform that still continues to allow NSFW content…

The Vultures Descend

You can always count on my native state to out-Herod Herod:

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry…successfully urged the Louisiana Bond Commission…to delay a $39 million future line of credit for the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board–which the city needs for [a dedicated power station for] its flood response–until city officials agree to enforce the state’s abortion ban.  The move comes right at the start of hurricane season, on the same day New Orleans…issued a flood advisory…Even Republican state senator Bret Allain warned that because the sewerage and water board is a state-created agency, he finds it “problematic” to target New Orleans over their abortion stance…

The Last Shall Be First (#1244)

If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention:

After one competitor “outclassed” the rest of the field in a girls’ state-level competition last year, the parents of the competitors who placed second and third lodged a complaint with the Utah High School Activities Association calling into question the winner’s gender.  David Spatafore, the UHSAA’s legislative representative…said the association…asked the student’s school to…examine…the students’ enrollment records [going]…“back to kindergarten and she’d always been a female”…Spatafore said the association has received other complaints, some that said “that female athlete doesn’t look feminine enough”…

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Asset forfeiture laws imperil people’s rights to property and due process.  –  Elizabeth Patton

Droit du Seigneur

What the people who enforce “sex trafficking” laws are really like:

[Typical and representative Honolulu cop] Mason Jordan [i]s a “hands-on sexual offender of multiple children” who allegedly bullied victims to send him their nude pictures and…[then tried to force them into] prostitution…[with him as] pimp…he…also [liked to fantasy role-play]…as a teenage girl [online] to…stalk…[threaten, and attempt to blackmail] a woman…

A Broker in Pillage

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

…Kansas [cop shops] raked in $21 million through civil asset forfeiture over the past two years, according to a report…by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation…less than one-quarter of the owners have been convicted of a crime…half of all [that stolen loot]…had a value of $3,100 or less, meaning it would be impractical in those cases, if not a net loss, to hire an attorney to try and recover one’s property…the numbers…omit [the federal governent’s cut of the spoils, amounting to] more than $5 million…

Magic Formulae

Remember this next time somebody tells you that “cop checks” actually work:

[At least nine cops in British Columbia] engag[ed] in “disgusting, appalling” behaviour as they went to “extreme lengths” to prove they were not cops…[they] penetrated a colleague using a vegetable, [shat] on [each]…other and exposed their genitalia…[so-called] experts [who somehow didn’t know cops did stuff like this]…are now calling for an immediate overhaul of undercover tactics…[law professor] Kent Roach…expressed concerns over the liberal use of deceptive and even violent tactics which Canadian police are allowed to use in undercover operations…

Property of the State

Most tyranny starts with governments claiming they want to “protect” people:

Poland has officially started recording pregnancies in a digital database when [women] seek medical care…The country…has a near-total abortion ban with narrow exceptions…[which means that] every pregnancy that doesn’t end in a live birth is a potential crime scene [in the authoritarian mind]…the Polish government…[claims] it’s simply trying to protect [women] from X-rays and medicines that could harm the…[fetus and pretends that]…only medical professionals will have access to the data…[but even if true, that hardly seems likely to withstand cop demands]…

If Men Were Angels

“Youth leaders” = “youth pastors” = predatory perverts:

A…youth leader at two South Carolina churches…has been charged with sex crimes involving children…William Pinckney Carpenter III…[molested] victims as young as 7 [between 2016 and 2021]…

To Molest and Rape

Rapist cops never stop until they’re caged or dead:

A…[typical and representative Georgia cop] pleaded guilty to raping a woman [in]…2019…David Wilborn…[used the pretext of a traffic] stop [to]…block…a car with his p[igmobile].  After…[humiliating the driver], he [raped the passenger at gunpoint.  After]…Wilborn [left]…the victim immediately called police…Wilborn was sentenced to a term of life in prison to serve 25 years without parole, with the balance on probation.  He must also register as a sex offender.  Wilborn was previously a…[cop in] Atlanta…but resigned after…[sexually assaulting a woman in] 2007…

Served Cold (#1156) 

As OUR collapses, expect it to engage in increasingly-petty interference with sex workers’ lives:

The abrupt cancellation…of the Latin American adult industry conference, LALExpo, has been linked to a single press release from controversial, Mormon-led U.S. organization Operation Underground Railroad…As the local religious and conservative campaign attempted to sway local officials into denying LALExpo…permits, OUR issued a press release on June 3…seemingly attempting…to insinuate that the trade show’s sponsors were somehow responsible for “human trafficking”…

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Reliance on [police] to enforce Covid-19 restrictions has created…human rights violations.  –  Amnesty International

If Men Were Angels

Like father, like son:

A father and son pair of former church pastors were charged…with multiple counts of sexual assault of a child.  Scott Huse, 64…and…Travis Huse, 42…[were] involved with the Apostolic Worship Center and former Evergreen Christian Academy in Elton [Wisconsin]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1065)

Michigan is among the greediest, most unscrupulous states in this regard:

Michigan…[politicians have] open[ed] a dangerous loophole by authorizing [cops to rob]…travelers at Michigan airports [by pointing at them and oinking out the magic word “drugs”]…That change represents a substantial reversal of reforms that Michigan enacted in response to complaints…[bill sponsor Graham] Filler [paused from fellating cops to belch out a host of idiocies such as]…”ill-gotten gains”…”secure”…and…”reform”…

The Course of a Disease (#1093)

The Spanish case of the Swedish rot is especially virulent:

Spanish…politicians [are]…aiming to outlaw all forms of…sex work…including…audiovisual productions, magazines or internet content deemed “pornographic”…politicians within [socialist ruling party] PSOE, which took power in 2019…have taken up the abolition of sex work as their personal cause…the party’s General Vice-Secretary Adriana Lastra…last month took to the press to promote a change in the Spanish penal code to mandate up to three years of jail time for anyone paying for sex…

The Last Shall Be First (#1115)

Another perverse genital inspection law:

…the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” bans schools and colleges in Ohio from permitting “individuals of the male sex” from participating in women’s sports…The bill does not explain what the “male sex” or “female sex” is.  It does not say “trans” or “transgender” anywhere in the bill.  It doesn’t talk about birth or biological sex.  What it does instead is give people the power to dispute the sex of an individual athlete.  Then it falls upon that athlete to prove their sex by going to a physician and getting a signed statement confirming the athlete’s sex based on only…”The participant’s internal and external reproductive anatomy…normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone…[or] analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup.”  The bill…[also] authorize[s] individuals or schools…to sue the school, school district, or conference who allowed the trans woman to play and be awarded damages…The bill’s wording is similar to one passed in Idaho in 2020 that is currently being challenged in federal court

In the authoritarian mind,  for students to voluntarily allow other people to examine their genitalia for the purpose of pleasure is a “crime”, but for the same students to be forced by law to allow strangers to examine their genitalia for the purpose of bigotry is “protection”.

Social Distancing (#1197)

Oh look, it’s what I was saying TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO:

“Widespread reliance on punitive approaches to enforcing public health” harms marginalized groups, says Amnesty International.  A new report…suggests quarantine rules and other COVID-19 restrictions were especially damaging for groups already more likely to face discrimination, police harassment, and unjust criminalization.  Amnesty International calls on governments to reject using criminal sanctions to implement public health goals and “refrain from implementing repressive policies” in the name of protecting pubic health…”Contrary to the often-voiced claim by governments that ‘we were all in this together’, the truth is that their responses to Covid-19 have been experienced unequally…[especially by] people who are homeless, engage in sex work, or use drugs, as well as people “targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression”…


To Molest and Rape (#1225)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A [typical and representative] Philadelphia [cop who raped and]…sexually assault[ed men]…over the course of more than a decade was found guilty…of multiple crimes, including rape…Philip Nordo…often targeted [men] who were already handcuffed or shackled…

Thought Control (#1240)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

CatholicVote, which calls itself “America’s top Catholic advocacy organization,” has launched a “parent-led movement” called Hide the Pride to “empty libraries of LGBTQ content aimed at kids.”  It encourages members of the public to first collect signatures protesting library Pride displays containing children’s books, then to check out all of the books on display…After the titles are checked out, they then advise to “place the Pride books on a shelf out of reach of children” and email or mail the signatures to the library…a…school board candidate in Maryland did the same thing, though she didn’t stop at kids’ books.  Heather Fletcher checked out all the LGBTQ books on the library Pride display in the Brunswick Public Library…she [bloviat]ed, “This has…to do with the preservation of innocence”…

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Extortion, there’s no other way to explain it.  –  Marc Deldin

To Molest and Rape

Distorting a rapist pig’s image is almost as bad as hiding it:

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation arrested a [typical and representative] Canadian County [cop]…who…rap[ed a woman] he [had locked in a cage-truck]…David Wayne Loman [raped her]…three times at three different locations…at [least once anally]…

A Broker in Pillage (#918)

Wayne County, Michigan has openly extorted money for years with similar tactics:

…in December of 2020…the mayor…and…police chief [of Highland Park, Michigan] dropped by a 13,000-square-foot building owned by Justyna and Matt Kozbial [using the pretext of] an impromptu fire code inspection…[in reality, the politicians needed pretext to pretendto “find” a [state-licensed] marijuana grow operation…[in order to steal] the building…and h[o]ld on to it for 17 months without charging them with a crime…police never alleged there was any major criminal activity…[and] In…response to an interrogatory filed in the Kozbials’ subsequent lawsuit against Highland Park…they received a settlement offer from the town:  Stop growing marijuana and buy two [brand-new pigmobiles] for the [cop shop, for]…a…total…pcost of] about $70,000…after WXYZ Detroit reported on the fiasco, Highland Park informed the Kozbials that it would be giving them back their building.  Their lawsuit is still ongoing…

Quiet Genocide (#1157)

How much longer will the Western Establishment ignore this?

Thousands of photographs from the heart of China’s highly secretive system of mass incarceration in Xinjiang, as well as a shoot-to-kill policy for those who try to escape, are among a huge cache of data hacked from police computer servers in the region.  The Xinjiang Police Files, as they’re being called, were passed to the BBC earlier this year…and…reveal…in unprecedented detail, China’s use of “re-education” camps and formal prisons…for Uyghurs – and…[makes it harder for Western politicians to pretend to believe its ridiculous] public narrative about…[the concentration camps being] “schools”…The documents provide some of the strongest evidence to date for a policy targeting almost any expression of Uyghur identity, culture or Islamic faith – and of a chain of command running all the way up to the Chinese [dictator], Xi Jinping…

Thought Control (#1210)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

[After the] Virginia Beach (VA) school…[board ordered the] remov[al of the book] Gender Queer from [school libraries]…a Virginia [ambulance-chaser seized upon the opportunity to]…fil[e]…suit[s] against [a] school [which stocked the book] and against the Barnes & Noble store in Virginia Beach…[because the book, and another one named] A Court of Mist and Fury are [available]…to minors…[shyster Tim Anderson,who is also (unsurprisingly) a politician, openly admitted his suit is intended as a nuisance and encouraged other wannabe censors to file] “suits like this…all over Virginia. There are dozens of books. Hundreds of schools”…Neither book fits the [legal] definition of obscene and neither book is pornography…

The Mob Rules (#1215)

This batshittery is virulent, and will only get worse:

The Oklahoma Legislature gave final approval…to a bill that prohibits nearly all abortions starting at fertilization, which would make it the nation’s strictest abortion law.  The bill subjects abortion providers and anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion to civil suits from private individuals…The measure is modeled on a law that took effect in Texas in September, which has relied on civil…instead of criminal enforcement to [circumvent] court challenges”…The bill makes exceptions for cases of rape and incest, but only if [the victims invite cops to gawk at them, ask disgusting questions, and pry into every corner of their lives]…

Oklahoma ladies: please allow me to aid and abet you in having a medication abortion at home.

Guinea Pigs (#1234)

Cops have been doing this for years, and platforms do nothing to stop it:

…a little-known [gang in the Chicago cop shop]…called the Social Media Exploitation…team…had been set up to [conspire with] the FBI [to] find [weak people who could be suborned] and [spy on citizens] using information gleaned from social sites.  The Intercept and Chicago-based transparency groups obtained more than 800 pages of emails and other documents about the [gang] through public records requests.  These show that the [gang members] were given broad leeway to [spy on] people across platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, using fake social media accounts furnished by the FBI, in violation of some platforms’ policies…

Stalkers in Blue (#1238)

This cop just keeps demonstrating what he is:

Matthew Dominguez…[the infamous Wanking Pig of] San Jose…[has] sexually harassed and assaulted…other…wom[en]n [in the past]…Dominguez…touched [one woman’s] breasts and thigh and kept trying to touch her even after she rebuffed his advances…she and her boyfriend…reported the…sexual assault…but [of course nothing was done]…Another woman…[w]as…[groped by] Dominguez…[while] arresting [her in December.  Conveniently]…the body camera footage [for the arrest is] missing…

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Here I stand, I can do no other.  –  Rikki de la Vega

A Broker in Pillage

Unlike other government departments, the IRS doesn’t even bother to accuse people of actual crimes before robbing them blind:

…Institute for Justice client Lyndon McLellan saw the…IRS…reach…into his bank account [to steal] his life savings without warning or cause in 2014.  McLellan [owned] a small convenience store…in Fairmont, North Carolina…he…worked long hours and rarely took vacations…Yet federal agents accused him of violating so-called structuring laws because his business frequently made bank deposits in amounts under $10,000…the[y stole] more than $107,000…”It took me 13 years to save that much money,” he says.  “And it took fewer than 13 seconds for the government to take it away”…

All-Purpose Excuse

“Sex trafficking” is a convenient excuse for any tyranny:

The Manitoba government is tabling a bill…[which] would require hotels and people operating on online accommodation platforms, such as Airbnb, to keep a record of guests’ information, including their names and addresses…and…to hand over that information to police…on…demand…without a warrant…[politician Rochelle Squires tried to justify this incredible violation of civil rights by vomiting out the words] “human trafficking”…and “children”…

Feminists and Other Puritans

It’s nice to see someone whose name isn’t Maggie McNeill writing about this:

…the worst form of prudery and repression is that which comes from those who also claim to be feminists…Women’s rights activists have been divided about sex from the beginning.  In the nineteenth century, the “free love” movement, which promoted birth control and sought to replace traditional male-dominated marriage with consensual unions of equal partners, butted heads with the “social purity” movement obsessed with controlling men’s lust as a way of eradicating such “evils” of prostitution and venereal disease…Those leaning towards the equality pole welcomed and worked with men who agreed with their goals, like Frederick Douglass and John Stuart Mill.  Those on the protectionist side, however, viewed men with skepticism, and demanded that they prove their worth by swearing to be chaste and “chivalrous” towards women…Not far off from contemporary pledges to not use porn or “end demand for sex trafficking”!  If the women who worked for social purity back then sounded like religious zealots, it’s because they were…

The Puritan Recrudescence

Politicians are increasingly convinced that they’re allowed to redefine legal concepts as they wish:

A strange new bill introduced by Oklahoma [politician] Rob Standridge would make it illegal to knowingly give “obscene material” to a “vulnerable person,” explicitly including unhoused people…SB 1522 [also includes] an unconstitutional redefinition of…“obscene material” as “any description, exhibition, presentation or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse”…Such supposedly obscene materials would include “book, magazine, newspaper, pamphlet, poster, print, picture, figure, image, description, motion picture film, record, recording tape, CD-ROM disk, magnetic disk memory [sic], magnetic tape memory, videotape, computer software, video game,” and other unspecified media to be determined by the authorities.  Despite his seeming concern for the moral hygiene of the unhoused, Standridge recently opposed a new homeless shelter, making statements conflating Oklahoma’s unhoused population with “sex offenders” and calling them “a public safety risk”…

Stalkers in Blue (#987)

Another cop demonstrates what he is:

A Bay Area [cop] has been charged with masturbating in front of a family that called police during a fraught domestic violence call…Matthew Dominguez…“milled around the home…keep[ing] the daughter in view of his Body Worn Camera”…Dominguez [later]…unzipped his pants and began rubbing his crotch…[in full view of the mother and] daughter…Dominguez [kept] follow[ing the daughter]…around…The mother and daughter then went to find…the father…who…[also] “saw…Dominguez…with his erect penis in his left hand”…

Blunt Instrument (#1012)

This would be a much better article if it didn’t pretend that prohibitionism is a solely a phenomenon of the “right wing”:

For the past year, low-income Asian women in Newmarket [Ontario] have been engaged in a fierce battle with [politicians]…working to close down their massage businesses by claiming that the workers are both disreputable criminals and sex trafficking victims…in January…the town council imposed a set of regulations requiring massage businesses to get a new type of licence…[under] threat…[of] fines of $4,000 to $5,000 per day…the town…[is] using a fake anti-trafficking campaign…with zealous support from [the usual suspects]…thanks to centuries of racism and employment segregation in North America, body rubs are associated with crime, sex work, and people of colour…Newmarket town council declared their intention to create new rules that would drive out the businesses that they defined as “appeal[ing] to sexual appetites,” and the “brothels” that town councillors claimed were “hosts for human trafficking.”  Their…plan was to get rid of suspected sex work by tightening the rules so that only businesses whose workers have formal educational certifications from Canada could get the newly [inven]ted Personal Wellness Establishment Licence…[such] certifications can take years…and tuition can cost thousands of dollars…

Repeatedly claiming that prohibition in Canada is “right wing” when Trudeau and his party eagerly promote it is tantamount to pissing on the readers’ legs and telling them it’s raining.

Torture Chamber (#1182)

The government needs to be buried in lawsuits before this will stop:

[Young men] at a South Carolina…[prison are locked in cages] with feces on the floor, mold on the walls, and cockroaches in their food, according to a new lawsuit…the kids — who range in age from 13 to 19 – are [also] subjected to routine violence by [screws and] other [prisoners]…[screws also] use solitary confinement — in cells with no natural light — as a way to “protect” them from violence…some[times for]…months [at a stretch], and there [are] no meaningful educational or mental health services for the[m]…the…[prisoners] are disproportionately Black and from families that live below the federal poverty line…

Once again: it does not help young victims of governmental brutality to infantilize them as “children”.

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In its attempts to target an ever-growing number of people for detention and deportation, ICE has reached into the private homes and lives of almost every person in America.  –  Nina Wang

Pyrrhic Victory (#1045)

Allowing Clearview to continue arming those who claim the “right” to spy on you, violently assault you, and destroy your life, is nothing like a “big win”:

Under a legal settlement filed in court today, Clearview AI…has agreed to a new set of restrictions that ensure the company is in alignment with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…Clearview will be permanently banned from granting paid or free access to its gargantuan face recognition database to private entities [but not to governmental entities, including ICE, CBP, the FBI and local cop shops]…except…in Illinois [and even that restriction is only]…for a [mere] five years…Clearview will maintain an opt-out request form on its website, allowing Illinois residents to [give this unscrupulous business yet another] photo [in exchange for a politician’s promise that]…their faceprints will be blocked from appearing in Clearview’s search results…

Quiet Genocide (#1105)

Here’s another firsthand account of the ongoing genocide of the Uighur people by the Chinese communist regime, told in comic strip form.  Since finally escaping after years of brutalization, Zumrat Dawut has bravely told her story despite attempts by the Chinese government to terrorize her even though she now resides in the US.  Please read her story, edited by Anthony Del Col and illustrated by Fahmida Azim; it is imperative Westerners stop looking away and pretending these atrocities are not happening.

I Spy (#1155)

Nothing infuriates violent, self-important busybodies more than private affairs that are none of their business:

…the European Commission [is] seeking to end encrypted communications…[using the popular excuse] of child sexual abuse imagery…messaging services and web hosts would be required to search for, and report, child abuse material – even in the case of encrypted messaging services…that cannot be scanned in such a way…[politician] Ylva Johansson…[bloviated a lot of self-contradictory nonsense about] “strong safeguards guaranteeing privacy of all”…[while constantly harping on the word] “children”…But the plans [are in reality]…an attack on privacy…Joe Mullin of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[pointed out that because what the politicians demand is literally impossible in encrypted messaging…“This would be a massive new surveillance system…[which] would require the infrastructure for detailed analysis of user messages”…It is a similar approach to that proposed…by Apple…Patrick​ ​Breyer, German MEP for the​ ​Pirate​ ​party, called the proposals “fundamental​ ​rights​ ​terrorism​ ​against​ ​trust,​ ​self-determination​ ​and​ ​security​ ​on​ ​the​ internet”…

To Molest and Rape (#1178)

Not even a rapist cop’s own daughters are safe:

A 10-year-old girl called police in March [to report that] her father, a Chicago [cop, had]…sexually abus[ed] her…but when he was [arrested and] charged…it was only for domestic battery, a misdemeanor…

I Spy (#1200)

All federal cop shops and spook houses are part of the police-state blob:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement…has built a vast digital surveillance system that gives it access to the personal details of almost every person in America, a two-year investigation by Georgetown University law center…conclud[ed] that the…organisation has strayed well beyond its [official] duties as an immigration body to become…a domestic surveillance agency…[with] capabilities that allows its agents to “pull detailed dossiers on nearly anyone, seemingly at any time”…includ[ing]…driver’s license data…utility records…[license plate reader data and] facial recognition [data on roughly 75% of US adults]…and…weaponised through the use of powerful algorithmic tools for searching and analysing data…all…[secretly and] in the absence of warrants…

The Implosion Begins (#1211)

The New York Times uses terms like “far-right conspiracy theory” to describe the moral panic they’ve aggressively promoted for 18 years:

Jason Frank…and his [QAnon] group…have been camping out near Sasabe, Ariz., as a self-appointed border force [in an elaborate fantasy roleplay]…of protecting the thousands of migrant children who have been arriving from the evils of sex trafficking — a favorite QAnon theme…wh[ich developed] over the years [from fantasies about]…pedophilia rings [heavily promoted by cops, fanatics, politicians, and journalists – especially the New York Times – since the early Oughts despite mountains of evidence that organized]…sex-trafficking schemes [of the sort featured in these fantasies are highly] unusual…migrant children [and adults are]…overwhelmingly people who paid to be smuggled…

Policing for Profit (#1230)

I reckon Empyreal felt letting this crime boss save face was a cheap way to get their property back:

Empyreal Logistics…has reached a settlement with the San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff’s Department, which had [robbed] more than $1 million from Empyreal’s armored cars.  The Justice Department, which was holding the money pending federal forfeiture, agreed to return all of it last month…Empyreal a[lso agreed to endorse a statement] the sheriff’s department issued on Friday, [absurdly claiming that the sheriff and his henchmen were]…”acting in good faith when the[y conducted pretextual traffic] stops w[ith the specific intent of robbing a corporation conducting business that was 100% legal under California law]”…

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It was just heartbreaking to me…to see what we had become.
–  Morgan Davis

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

…Conner “Jesse” Penny…was arrested April 5…for…sexual assault of a child…[for repeatedly molesting] a girl…between 2015 and 2018.  Police did not say how old the girl was at the time or now…Since his arrest…more victims have come forward [about being]…abuse[d] by Penny between 2013 and 2021…Penny was…a youth pastor at Inspiration Church…in Mesquite, [Texas, but he has a long history of following his bliss]…as a teacher’s aide and a [youth] counselor…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1103)

Liz Brown takes a very detailed look at the current US pro-censorship cult:

…it’s a financially precarious, and perhaps even dangerous, time to be in the business of online porn…a constellation of activist groups, rooted in deeply conservative opposition to virtually any depiction of sexuality…have put considerable pressure on the middlemen who keep online porn in business.  In some cases, that pressure has led to the creation of onerous new laws; in others, it has been aided by support from powerful figures in business and government.  These groups have repeatedly sought to conflate…commercial sex…with…sexual exploitation, often with lurid statistics about exploited minors that don’t stand up to scrutiny.  Although these groups [pretend] their aim is merely to rid the web of abuse, it’s clear that their true goal is to eliminate the vast majority of adult sexual content…through a combination of legal pressure tactics, lobbying for new laws, and political intimidation…Rather than help vulnerable women, these efforts threaten to make life worse for the very people they claim to want to help—while simultaneously stifling internet expression more broadly…

The Widening Gyre (#1136)

Innocent people accused of “sex trafficking” by attention-hungry loons are starting to hit back:

…In a two-part Instagram video…[Katie] Sorensen spun a [hysterical] tale about a “[not] clean-cut” man and woman who nearly succeeded in kidnapping her two young children…In reality, her frantic [fantasy] succeeded only in shining a spotlight on herself.  Sorensen’s video gained her a flood of new Instagram followers, an interview with the local news, and an outpouring of online support from terrified moms.  But police said an investigation into the incident produced no evidence that a crime had taken place.  Now Sorensen herself is scheduled to be on trial in May.  Instead of nearly being one of the extremely rare stranger abductions in the U.S. every year, the truth…[is] something less surprising: a white woman painting herself as the victim, when she is actually the aggressor…

Sorensen’s intended victims, Sadie Vega-Martinez and her husband Eddie, wisely went public as soon as they realized Sorenson was defaming them online, exposing her lies as the attention-seeking nonsense they were.  And Elle‘s article quoted above is yet another sign that the implosion of the moral panic which spawned this attempt to destroy an innocent family’s lives is well underway.

Policing for Profit (#1207)

Does anyone still believe that this is about anything other than profit?

The federal government has agreed to return more than $1 million that California sheriff’s deputies stole from an armored-car company that serves state-licensed marijuana businesses…Empyreal Logistics…[was robbed by] Sheriff Shannon Dicus’ [henchmen]…three times in November, December, and January, making off with about $700,000 the first time and about $350,000 the second time.  During the third stop, they came away empty-handed because the van was carrying rolls of coins that had nothing to do with the cannabis industry.  Since…marijuana businesses…are legal in California, Dicus handed the loot over to the FBI, hoping to ultimately keep up to 80 percent of the money through…the Justice Department’s “equitable sharing” program.  That “adoption” fell through after Empyreal sued the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration…As part of the settlement, Empyreal dropped the federal defendants from its lawsuit.  It is still suing Dicus, and the settlement does not address a separate [robbery] of $165,000 by Kansas sheriff’s deputies, who targeted an Empyreal van carrying money from state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Kansas City, Missouri, last May…

The Last Shall Be First (#1216) 

It’s good to see a few government employees with both spines and principles:

While the [Texas] attorney general’s office has gone to great lengths to defend the governor’s [jihad against trans youth] in court, the agency responsible for carrying out the investigations has been roiled by resistance and resignations…More than half a dozen child abuse investigators told [reporters]…that they either have resigned or are actively job hunting as a result of the directive…The employees, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity…said they [were]…unwilling to undertake…discriminatory investigations…but haunted by what a mass exodus of experienced child abuse investigators would mean for the state’s most vulnerable children…

Disaster (#1220)

They’ve chased the ambulance back to Texas again:

Three Texas judges for the state’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals denied…Facebook’s appeal to dismiss a lawsuit in which [ambulance-chasers representing professional “survivors”] argued the platform “facilitated the sex trafficking of minors” and is not protected from liability by Section 230.  Facebook had asked the [court]…to decide if Texas had jurisdiction over the case…The Texas Supreme Court…ruled [last] June…that Facebook was protected from several of the claims by Section 230…but also decided that some of the [fantastical] claims…could proceed [because pro-censorship fanatics like Morality in Media claim to believe them]…

To Molest and Rape (#1222)

So many rapist cops, so many underage victims:

A Los Angeles Co[p named]…Sean Jerome Essex…was arrested for [molesting a girl]…under 14-years-old, and for[cing her to blow him]…

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Expanding the use of facial recognition doesn’t hurt authoritarians like Putin — it helps them.  –  Evan Greer

A Broker in Pillage

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

Police in Rochester, New York, s[tole] $8,040 from Cristal Starling during a raid on her apartment in October 2020…[in] the…process of…[harass]ing her former boyfriend, who[m they had decided to accuse] of dealing drugs.  The police didn’t find any drugs in the apartment, but they did find and [steal] Starling’s cash…Starling, who runs a food cart and…was saving up for a food truck, began trying to fight the [robbery] without a lawyer…[but] the Rochester [cop shop] had [laundered] her money t[hrough] the…DEA…and [byzantine]…federal court…[procedures allowed a crooked judge to rule that]…her money [was not hers]…the Institute for Justice…will file an appeal on her behalf…if successful, Starling’s case will be kicked back to district court, where she will have the opportunity to challenge the seizure [with IJ’s help]…

Torture Chamber 

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

Los Angeles jail guards have frequently punched [caged] people in the head and subjected them to a “humiliating” group s[exual assault after which] they were forced to wait undressed for hours [outdoors], according to a new report from court-appointed monitors documenting a range of abuses.  The Los Angeles sheriff’s department (LASD)…[also regularly refuses] to provide information to the monitors…The report…adds to a long string of scandals for the department…The [mass molestation was excused by claiming that there was a rumor]…that a firearm “might have been smuggled” into…jail.  Guards responded by…tak[ing their victims] out of their cells in the morning, g[roping them using the pretext of a]…search…then walked naked en masse through the jail…to the room with the X‐ray machine…they…were [then] taken to a yard where they were forced to wait for hours until they returned to their cells later that night…

Property of the State

Since they’re claiming this was a “mistake”, there’s nothing to stop them doing it again and again:

Texas…jail[ed] a woman…for an alleged self-induced abortion.  Lizelle Herrera was arrested Thursday [of last week], charged with murder, and [caged]…for two nights before Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez said he would dismiss the charges.  While a state law passed in Texas last year bans performing an abortion on another person after six weeks pregnancy, it does not apply to self-induced abortions, nor does it allow for criminal charges.  Its mechanism of enforcement is through civil lawsuits brought by citizens, not agents of the state…[though] Ramirez…dismiss[ed] the charges…he…did not…condemn…the Starr County Sheriff’s Office…and [even made excuses for their behavior]…Herrera…was in the hospital and had a miscarriage and divulged some information to hospital staff who then [tattled] to police…

The most horrifying part of this is, unfortunately, not new; it’s that thanks to the ongoing war on bodily autonomy, American women cannot trust medical professionals to respect patient confidentiality.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1104)

Clearview is once again trying to rehabilitate its reputation among useful idiots:

In the weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine…Hoan Ton-That…[CEO] of…Clearview AI, began thinking about how he could [exploit the tragedy for his own profit]…Ton-That drafted a letter [to the Ukraine government] explaining that his app “can instantly identify someone just from a photo” and that [pigs and spooks]…in the United States used it to [further police-state surveillance]…He said the tool could identify people who might be spies, as well as deceased people…less than a month later…Clearview has created more than 200 accounts for…Ukrainian government agencies, which have conducted more than 5,000 searches…Critics warn…that [Clearview is]…taking advantage of a crisis to expand with little privacy oversight…Evan Greer…[of] Fight for the Future [explained]…“War zones are often used as testing grounds not just for weapons but surveillance tools that are later deployed on civilian populations or used for law enforcement or crowd control purposes…Companies like Clearview are eager to exploit the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine to normalize the use of their harmful and invasive software”…

Creepy Coppers

Seems like a significant fraction of child porn is spread by cops:

A Miami-Dade [cop] has been arrested and relieved of duty following his arrest on child pornography charges…David Jay Behney…[was snitched on by] Kik messenger [which is now apparently scanning]…upload[s]…a search warrant…revealed a video montage of 11 prepubescent girls…If he posts bond, he must surrender his passport and is not allowed to have any contact with minors, including his own children…he…has three…between the ages of 8 months and 6 years…

The Last Shall Be First (#1216) 

Alabama can’t let Texas beat it in the psycopathic cruelty department:

Alabama…passed a bill making it a felony to provide transition-related medical care to transgender minors and mandating prison time for th[e newly-invented “crime”]…S.B. 184…also [demands] that [all school employees snitch on the gender dysmorphia of any legal]… minor [that comes to their attention, regardless of possible consequences]…Another measure (H.B. 322)…would ban transgender students from using sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.  And an amendment to the bill limits school-based discussions about gender identity or sexual orientation (in the manner of a recent Florida law that opponents dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill)…

Opting Out (#1223) 

The “Online Safety Bill” is becoming a UK version of FOSTA:

The Online Safety Bill [had]…the stated aim of cracking down on “harmful” content online.  A clause has now been added to the bill to include the offence of “inciting or controlling prostitution for gain” as one of the priority offences that tech companies…[are] obliged to remove…from their platforms…this would…would undoubtably lead to…platforms clamping down on sex workers’ advertisements.in order to avoid any chance of being prosecuted – essentially criminalising the online advertising of sex work…

If you’re in the UK, click on the headline link to send a message to your MP via the ECP site.

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