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Posts Tagged ‘asset seizure’

Any suggestion that we allow or encourage illegal content…defies…reason, from both a moral and business standpoint.  –  Feras Antoon

Advice for Clients (#738)

Another good little article on interacting with sex workers on Twitter:

…If you’re new to Twitter, you may feel a bit overwhelmed when deciding whether to follow, like, comment, or retweet.  You might worry about saying the wrong thing, or accidentally making a bad impression.  I recently reached out to ask sex workers on Twitter for their best etiquette advice.  The result: some real gems on how to interact with your favourite providers in a ways that will help you enjoy the platform without jeopardizing your future booking success…As with everything in the sex industry, workers each have their own preferences.  But the advice that’s generously offered here is a great place to start…Mistresse Matisse has the perfect metaphor to describe the social media experience.  “Twitter is a cocktail party, not a one-on-one date”…

Not To Be Taken Internally (#886)

How many times must I say, “Do NOT let non-doctors inject filth into your body“?

A man…had been inserting various objects into his urethra for some time as an aid for erectile dysfunction.  During one such occasion, he and his partner had decided to use a straw attached to a can of weatherproofing spray, when the partner “inadvertently pressed the button deploying the foam.” The foam then shot through his entire urethra, even filling up his bladder.  The man waited three weeks before seeking medical attention at an emergency room, during which time he increasingly had difficulty urinating and urinating blood when he did…

Predictable Consequences (#1134)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system, but this kinda shitty hit piece in Vanity Fair pretends otherwise.  Rather than simply admit the obvious  –  that increasingly-emboldened members of the growing anti-sex cult burned down the property of the owner of a website their leaders had selected as the next target of their attentions after the wanton destruction of Backpage  –  the author prefers instead to repeat prohibitionist fantasies, wallow in dysphemisms and deny the agency of every single person in an entire industry while sharing weird, evidence-free conspiracy theories about possible perpetrators while pretending that there was no evidence pointing toward the obvious culprits  –  you know, those who had for weeks been literally calling for the place to be burned down.

Policing for Profit (#1158)

Cops seem to be moving toward discarding even the pretense that this is about anything other than pillage:

Because the continued federal prohibition of marijuana makes banks and payment processors leery of serving state-licensed cannabis suppliers, many of those businesses rely heavily on cash, which exposes them to a heightened risk of robbery…includ[ing by gangs of] cops who use federal civil forfeiture laws to steal money earned by state-legal marijuana businesses.  Five times since last May, [cops have held up]…armored cars operated by Empyreal Logistics, a Pennsylvania-based company that serves marijuana businesses and financial institutions that work with them.  The cops made off with…a total of $1.2 million…Empyreal, which is represented by the Institute for Justice, argues that…it is “entitled to protection from highway robberies, regardless of whether they are conducted by criminals or by the Sheriff and federal law-enforcement agencies acting under color of law”…

You Were Warned (#1175)

Much more of this, please:

OnlyFans…has hired its first federal lobbyists as poli[ticians] continue t[heir deranged crusade]…to [censor the internet and empower ambulance-chasers to destroy]…tech companies…OnlyFans is the latest player in the adult content ecosystem to turn to K Street as [politicians try to eviscerate] Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…Last year the Free Speech Coalition…enlisted a bipartisan pair of lobbyists at Clarity Consulting, becoming the first group to register to lobby on behalf of the porn industry in Washington…

Torture Chamber (#1186)

They’ll use any excuse to protect their own:

Bronx prosecutors have dropped all charges against a Rikers Island doctor’s assistant…[who repeatedly] rap[ed caged] women…Sidney Wilson…skated on a 43-count indictment filed in 2017…Bronx District Attorney Darcell Clark…touted the case in a press release and in testimony as part of her crackdown on sexual abuse in the troubled jail…But in…quietly dropped all charges against Wilson and is now blaming the discovery reform law requiring prosecutors to disclose a wide range of evidence earlier in the trial process [despite the case being filed over two years before the law came into effect]…

Never forget that a prosecutor is just another kind of cop; they are not interested in prosecuting their own.

I Spy (#1205)

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

…a new propaganda campaign…is…the latest salvo in the UK’s decades-long war against encryption…[it] include[s] “a striking stunt — placing an adult and child (both actors) in a glass box, with the adult looking ‘knowingly’ at the child as the glass fades to black”…as…David Thiel observed, an opaque box with people inside is what’s otherwise known as “a house.”  On one level, the opaque room represents encrypted messaging.  The audience’s inability to see what happens inside is meant to provoke sympathy for the child, who, it’s leeringly implied, is about to be victimized by the adult…But…on a different level, the opaque room isn’t a metaphor at all.  It is just what it seems to be: an opaque room — that is, a house.  A home.  The audience isn’t meant to sympathize with the people inside the home, people just like them, who can shield themselves from prying eyes.  Rather, they’re meant to sympathize with the would-be watcher: the UK government.  On this level, it’s the frustrated voyeurs who are the victims.  Their desire to watch what happens inside has been stymied by that demonic technology known as “walls.”  Wouldn’t it be better if someone could see in?…By portraying the transparent room as desirable and the opaque room as a sinister deviation from the norm, the government is peddling the idea that it is suspect for people to have our own private spaces in the physical world…

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Most members of the public have no interest in closely examining falsehoods uttered by governments.  –  Tim Cushing

Policing for Profit

What made it “illegal” was pronouncing the wrong magic words while pointing at his victims in the magic Spell of Forfeiture:

A rural sheriff near the Texas border is under criminal investigation for…having his deputies illegally seize money and a truck from undocumented immigrants during [pretext] stops….Sheriff Nathan Johnson…admitted to regularly s[tealing] money [after having his henchmen barf out the words “illegal alien”, when the]…state [instead wants them to barf out “drug trafficking” and also get permission for the spell from a sacred dog]…Johnson [attempted to defend himself by barfing out the words]…”stand against…traffic in our community”…

Torture Chamber 

Even journalists reporting on these abuses insist on referring to them as “correction”:

Anchorage-based s[crews]…pepper sprayed three [helpless] men inside a van and then closed the doors, leaving them to inhale the chemicals for between seven to 18 minutes…the men were not allowed to shower or change clothes for an extended period of time…one of the men [for] two days…The ombudsman’s investigation…found that…[the] assault…was in…[response to a thoughtcrime supposedly committed by one of the victims]…

Under Duress (#1110) 

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

Virginia Beach police used forged documents that [claimed to] link…people’s DNA to a crime to get them to confess or cooperate with [pigs], Virginia’s outgoing attorney general announced…The city’s police department has changed its policy [because it got caught]…but c[laimed] the [deception was] legal…The bogus pieces of paper included a seal and letterhead from the state agency…[and] the signature of a fictitious employee from the department…in at least one instance, [cops committed perjury by submitting] a forged report…to a court as evidence…

I Spy (#1155)

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

The UK government has expressed an unhealthy determination to undermine encryption for years now…[using excuses] ranging from “the children” to “the terrorists.”  The underlying intent never changes even if…the bills get renamed, as though a different shade of lipstick would make the UK’s anti-encryption pig any more desirable.  Rebranding from “Online Harms” to “Online Safety” only changed the tablecloths in the Titanic’s dining room…but presumably “safety” sounds better than “harms,” especially when the government affirmatively wants to harm the safety of millions of UK residents.  The Internet Society has taken a look at the revamped and rebranded bill and has delivered a report that explains exactly where on the Internet doll the UK government plans to engage in inappropriate touching.  There’s no mention of backdoors or broken encryption, but complying with the law means…doing both…

To Molest and Rape (#1187)

It would be difficult to bury this lede any further down:

A federal judge has sentenced a…North Dakota…man to life in prison for [rape]…Douglas J. Schneider…[was also ordered] to pay [the paltry sum of] $19,215 in restitution…between 2013 and 2018, Schneider [repeatedly raped the] child…who was between 7 and 10 years old when he started, but it became a federal case when]…Schneider transported the child from North Dakota to Montana [to rape her some more.  And by the way]…Schneider w[as a cop]…

The Cop Myth (#1197)

Why are people shocked when men paid and encouraged to behave violently, behave violently?

A [typical and representative] Tulsa [cop named]…Shannon Kepler…a[bandoned his] daughter, Lisa…at a homeless shelter shortly after she turned 18 with no money, cell phone, credit cards or clothes other than what she wore…[t]he[n continued to stalk her via]…Facebook…[when] she…changed her status to being “in a relationship” with [a 19-year-old black man named Jeremy] Lake, who…was a volunteer at the shelter…Kepler then [stalked]…Lake [via]…police [databases]…travelled…to Lake’s last known address…carrying a loaded .357 Magnum revolver…[and waited for] his daughter and Lake [to come by. When she understandably]…re[fused]…to speak with…Kepler [he responded by gunning]…Lake [down in the street like a mad dog, then attempted] to…[also murder] his daughter, the victim’s brother, and a third witness…Kepler [later] claimed that…he shot Lake in self-defense [despite] Lake [being unarmed and the contrary testimony of three witnesses]…Kepler was…[tried] fi[ve times in all]…The first three resulted in hung juries, and a fourth resulted in a conviction for manslaughter [rather than what it clearly was, premeditated murder.  After this conviction was overturned on a technicality, he was finally sentenced to 25 years for the 2014 murder]…

You Were Warned (#1203)

The bipartisan war on the internet moves us another step closer to idiocracy:

A controversial California bill that would eliminate Section 230 protections in the name of fighting “online trafficking” and “revenge porn,” along the lines established at the federal level by FOSTA-SESTA, has moved forward in the state senate…SB435 threatens platforms with fines of over $100,000 for not immediately removing flagged content, but offers little to protect the system from abuse by bad actors…Anti-porn groups and harassers, [Free Speech Coalition Public Affairs Director Mike] Stabile noted, “already abuse reporting systems to attack sex workers.  SB435 would give them a powerful new tool, with almost no protections for legal content. And since most of the time platforms would rather remove legal content than arbitrate slowly and risk expensive litigation, the end result would be the further banning and removal…at a massive scale”…

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Law enforcement has been extremely secretive about their acquisition and use of [surveillance] technology.  –  Kade Crockford

I Spy (#646)

The civil rights violations cops commit reinforce each other:

…in 2019 the Boston Police Department bought the device…known as a “stingray”…[which] acts like a commercial cell phone tower, tricking nearby phones into connecting to it…[at which point] the equipment secretly obtains location and other potentially identifying information.  It can pinpoint someone’s location down to a particular room of a hotel or house…[and] scoop up information from other phones in the vicinity, including yours…The Boston police bought it…using money [stolen from the public]…through what’s called civil asset forfeiture…[cops] have few limitations on how they spend it…and the public has virtually no way of knowing how the funds are used.  The Boston City Council reviews the BPD annual budget, scrutinizing proposed spending.  But the surveillance equipment wasn’t part of the budget.  Because it was purchased with civil forfeiture funds, BPD was able to circumvent the city council…

But don’t worry, Boston’s “ban” on facial recognition will totally protect you!

Working From Home (#1066)

Indian sex workers, like their US sisters, are going online to survive:

Sex workers in India were particularly affected by the pandemic.  Loss of jobs, income and mounting bills led to an increase in domestic violence cases, some even fatal.  Just like most of the world, sex workers expanded their digital lives…In…India, which has been experiencing a smartphone boom, phone sex services became popular.  In the recently released book Intimate City, author Manjima Bhattacharjya…discover[ed what prohibitionists deny but every sex worker already knows]: the huge efforts that went into personalising escort services online…websites…mak[e sex workers] more real to men who [want to]…engag[e] with [a real person]…From finer details about the sex worker’s dietary preferences, her favourite colour to the films she enjoys, the websites promise more human contact beyond just sex…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1092)

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

The Worcester City Council…voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that bans municipal government agencies from acquiring or using face recognition technology.  Worcester is the eighth municipality in Massachusetts to ban government use of face surveillance, joining Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Easthampton, Northampton, Springfield, and Somerville—as well as other major cities around the country, including San Francisco, New Orleans, and Portland, Oregon…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1147) 

This seems like a wise decision:

In an unusual decision, U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino granted an order of restitution…transferring the copyright of hundreds of GirlsDoPorn videos to the models who appear in them.  Judge Sammartino issued the order as part of the judgement against the site’s disgraced scout and male talent, Ruben Andre “Dre” Garcia…[who] was sentenced to 20 years in June after pleading guilty in December 2020 to…sex trafficking [charges]…the…402 models…can now seek takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against websites that continue to allow pirated versions of the flicks…on their websites…Sammartino’s order…also granted $907,000 in restitution to 23 of Garcia’s victims to cover medical and mental health care and other costs.  GirlsDoPorn’s gross income — estimated to be nearly $17 million — was also ordered as restitution…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1190)

It’s good when they feed on each other:

A [typical and representative] Maui [cop] who was scheduled to report to federal prison next month for [attemp]ting [to coerce] sex from a woman he pulled over has been arrested for [talking on the internet to another pervert cop fantasy role-playing as] a 13-year-old girl.  Last month…Brandon Saffeels [was sentenced] to 2 1/2 years in prison…but is now detained on a new federal charge of attempted enticement of a minor…

Opting Out (#1194) 

The worse the idea, the more eager politicians are to ape it:

Anonymous sources have leaked the…[scheme] of France’s Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel…to compel adult sites “before the end of the year” to immediately implement a form of age verification under penalty of being deplatformed by [French] internet service providers…the CSA is planning to effect age verification not by requiring government-issued IDs but by forcing users intending to watch adult content — however it is defined by the French government or its  officers — to provide credit card information…

The Cop Myth (#1197)

Why are people shocked when men paid and encouraged to behave violently, behave violently?

A Chicago [cop]…murder[ed]…the…mother of his child following an argument…Pierre Tyler…was charged on Saturday, Dec. 11, with first-degree murder in the death of…Andris B. Wofford, who[m he killed by]…a gunshot…to [her] head…Wofford discovered that Tyler had a “pending child support case” with the mother of [his] other child and…mistakenly believed that Tyler had married the woman, which led to an argument…Tyler…[tried] to [use] meet[ing an unnamed snitch as an alibi, but]…his partners s[hot that down]…

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

To Molest and Rape

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

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

Thou Shalt Not (#642)

New Zealand cops apparently lack sufficient reasons to brutalize people:

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

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

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

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

Policing for Profit (#924)

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

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

Legislators Gone Wild (#1102) 

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

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

The Mob Rules

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

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

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

Torture Chamber (#1189)

Arizona screws think they can cure mental illness by torture:

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

Creepy Coppers

Setting an example for his underlings:

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

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Phil Harvey…was a sex-positive activist before we used that term.  –  Carol Queen

R.I.P. Phil Harvey

Phil Harvey, the founder of…adult entertainment giant Adam & Eve and a longtime fighter of censorship, died on [December 2nd] at…[the age of] 83…As a student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Global Public Health in the 1960s, Harvey first began what would become Adam & Eve as part of his graduate thesis focused on the distribution of contraception…Before enrolling at UNC, Harvey spent five years in India working for the nonprofit CARE International, helping feed hungry children.  The experience made him an advocate for expanding birth control availability.  Though it was illegal at the time to sell contraception and other “obscene” items via the post…the mail-order company became a success, [especially] after it [expanded to selling sex toys and then, in the 1980s, adult video].  And…a portion of all…purchases w[ent] to…DKT International, a nonprofit that increased the availability of contraception and conducted educational campaigns around family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention.  By 2004, Harvey w[as] putting around $2 million per year…into DKT…helping distribute some 348 million condoms to countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America…over the years Harvey…donated some $50 million total of his Adam & Eve profits to his family-planning work…

Surplus Women (#544) 

Almost 30 years before he was caught, then another 61/2 before he was tried:

The trial [of] a [typical and representative] Pasco [Washington cop] is [finally] set to begin…in Spokane [for the] 1986 [rape and] murder of a [sex worker named Ruby Doss]…Richard J. Aguirre…was charged [again in] September [2020] with premeditated first-degree murder…charges [wer]e…brought against Aguirre…in 2015…[but] in December 2017, the case was [quietly] dropped…while [Aguirre gt to remain at large as a menace to other sex workers]…

To Molest and Rape

Another sexual predator specifically targeted a vulnerable woman:

A New Mexico [cop]…rap[ed] a [woman after accusing her of] drunk driving…Leon Martin…[implied]…he would shoot her or add extra charges…if she didn’t comply…he…[also infected her with] chlamydia…Martin admitted to [rap]ing…the woman…but [claimed] she [wanted it] and…[euphemized aggravated rape as] a lapse in judgment…Martin…had [previously stalked] her on Facebook after…[he first met her when she reported a domestic violence incident]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1091)

I hope the Institute for Justice has already contacted her:

Dallas [cops robbed]…$106,829.00, from a 25-year-old [woman from]…Chicago [at Dallas’ Love Field Airport]…Legally, there is no limit on the amount of cash a traveler can carry on domestic flights, but forfeiture allows [cops] to s[teal] any amount [as long as] they [belch out the magic word “]suspicious[” first]…Texas [cop shops]…have a “strong incentive” to s[teal] property, as they are entitled to a significant percentage of the [take].  In fact, IJ is currently suing Harris County, which encompasses Houston, over its application of the state’s asset forfeiture law…

Devil’s Advocate (#1114) 

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

The Supreme Court [of South Korea has] ruled…imports of child[-shaped toasters] should be banned, because they could lead to the perception of children as [foodstuffs] and increase the danger of potential [cannibalism] against minors.  The ruling overturned lower courts’ decisions that imports of child[-shaped toasters] should be allowed, like those of [other novelty toasters].  In 2019, the top court allowed imports of [toasters] on grounds that they are [appliances] used in private [kitchens], an area in which the state should not interfere…

The Punitive Mindset (#1146) 

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

A Massachusetts judge has ordered the state prison system to stop using drug field tests with well-known reliability issues after incarcerated people and their lawyers…were [repeatedly] falsely accused of smuggling drugs for exchanging legitimate legal mail…Justice Catalyst Law and the law firm BraunHagey & Borden, filed a class action lawsuit [demonstrat]ing that the state Department of [Torturing Caged Humans] uses NARK II test kits to [generate pretexts to torture people specifically because]…those tests have an error rate so high that they’re akin to “witchcraft, phrenology or simply picking a number out of a hat”…Judge Brian Davis issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the [DOTCH] from punishing inmates based solely on the results of…NARK II field tests…[saying] the tests were…”only marginally better than a coin-flip”…

To Molest and Rape (#1181)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative Alabama cop] has pleaded guilty to more than two dozen child porn charges.  Phillip Humphries…was…sentenced…to 10 years, with [only] one year to serve in [a jail diversion program, then]…probation for three…[plus condemnation to the] sex offender [registry.  The judge’s leniency was probably mostly due to Humphries’ copishness, but may also have something to do with]…his recent leg amputation…

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I hear that China is unhappy about this conference…Well, I am unhappy there’s a country in 2021 that has concentration camps.  –  Zdeněk Hřib

Above the Law

The rapist gets a respectful title, while his victims are dehumanized as “offenders”:

A [typical and representative Florida] probation officer…has been arrested [for orally raping] two people [he was given coercive power over by the State]…Jeremy Greenidge…also [tried to coerce] a third [victim, who]…report[ed him]…

Dangerous Speech (#1031)

It’s an atrocity that these grossly-unconstitutional robberies weren’t ruled illegal from the beginning:

Staring down the barrel of an expensive retrial triggered by intentional government overreach, defense attorneys in the Lacey/Larkin case are asking federal Judge Diane Humetewa to release a fraction of the millions of dollars in assets illegally s[tolen] by the prosecution in its bid to starve the defendants into submission…The move forced Lacey, Larkin and their four co-defendants to fight a grotesquely expensive legal war on two fronts…the defense…is requesting that Judge Humetewa…un-freeze four specific categories of funds that should never have been seized because they cannot be traced to any alleged illegal activity.  These assets include…more than $10 million in defense attorneys’ trust accounts…

Working From Home (#1103)

No, these “new regulations” are not “intended to fight child sexual abuse and sex trafficking”. They’re intended to do just what they’re doing:

…creators of adult content were shaken when OnlyFans announced…it would ban adult content…it…reverse[d] its stance only days later after an outcry…[but] creators…are bracing for further disruption.  Groups campaigning against sex [workers]…are pushing credit card companies to impose [increasingly-stringent] requirements for processing payments on behalf of sexually explicit sites, aiming to [choke off sex workers’ income]…But, although [amateurs believe prohibitionist claims that] the policies are aimed at protecting those who might be forced into sex work, [in truth the crusade is directed at harming all sex workers]…The rules…seem innocuous [to amateurs]…but [are]…time-consuming and confusing…creating a bureaucracy that threatens their livelihoods [by consuming time and energy that would otherwise be spent in productive work]…In addition, the new…requirements…are delaying payments…

A Woman’s Point of View (#1114)

A petition to put a decriminalization measure on the ballot in Oregon:

An advocacy group called the Sex Worker Rights Act campaign filed a petition…seek[ing] to repeal Oregon’s prostitution laws and amend other relevant statutes.  The petition also seeks to [bar government from denying employees of sex work businesses status] as “employees” under Oregon law; protect people who are or once were sex workers from discrimination and retaliation in the workplace; and prevent a person’s past or present employment as a sex worker from being held against them in child custody disputes…The petitioners must gather 112,020 signatures to get the initiative on the November 2022 ballot.  Should it qualify, the ballot measure could become a sticking point in the Oregon governor’s race….[because noted prohibitionist] Nicholas Kristof has [announced he is running.  Kristof]… support[s]…a dis[credited and dangerous form of oppressing] sex work[ers] known as the “Nordic Model”—which [officially classifies women as moral inferiors of men]…

The Next Target (#1180)

Lux Alptraum and Erika Moen team up to detail (in cartoon form) how the recent brouhaha over OnlyFans is merely “the latest installment of Visa & Mastercard’s war on porn“.  As they explain, it’s really only the latest in a campaign against free expression that has existed since not very long after the internet became popular.

Quiet Genocide (#1191)

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor“:

The Marriott hotel in Prague [refus]ed to host a conference of activists and leaders from China’s Uyghur diaspora this month, c[laim]ing “political neutrality”…[this] reflects China’s growing ability to extend authoritarian control beyond its borders by making clear to corporations that crossing the party’s red lines will be bad for business…Marriott frequently hosts political fundraisers and events…[and Marriott corporate management said]…hosting the conference would not have violated any “political neutrality” policy…[however] Marriott International issued a profuse apology [for sharing facts Beijing dislikes] in 2018…

Rotting Fruit (#1191)

Now this will set the cat among the pigeons:

Exactly a week before the anticipated start of her sex trafficking trial, Ghislaine Maxwell received permission to call [noted]…memory…expert…Elizabeth Loftus..[who] has questioned the reliability of memory and…[demonstrated that] suggestion can mold it…[Despite the recovered-memory and “sex trafficking” industries’ repeated attempts to portray her as some kind of hired gun for rapists and child molesters]…Judge Alison Nathan granted Maxwell permission to call Loftus—subject to certain limitations that are currently under seal.  The threadbare order states only that the government’s motion to block her testimony is denied in part and granted in part…

If you want to understand exactly why Loftus’ testimony is liable to cause drama, you should watch this and read my academic paper “Mind-Witness Testimony“.

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[The Backpage] case is a hot mess.  –  Michael Piccarreta

The Punitive Mindset (#872) 

Much more of this, please:

I was incredibly disappointed when I recently learned that music artists are partnering with telecom corporations in the prison industryPrison telecom is a $1.4 billion industry dominated by just two corporations that charge families extortionate rates to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones.  One of these…is Aventiv Technologies, which [owns the]…notoriously predatory…Securus and JPay.  Securus controls roughly 40 percent of the prison and jail telecom market and charges as much as a dollar per minute for a simple call.  JPay charges similarly egregious rates for everything from money transfers to emails…And both…routinely face legal action for an extensive list of unlawful practices…including the unlawful recording of sacred attorney-client calls…As music executives and artists, we should…not [be] cutting back-office deals with…the prison industry…I’m making a pledge not to collaborate with corporations that profit from incarceration…And I urge my fellow music executives and artists to join me…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#957) 

“Porn addiction” is still being used as an excuse for violent crimes:

Two 11-year-old “porn addicts” have been arrested in India after they allegedly stoned a six-year-old girl to death for refusing to perform sex acts they had watched on their parents’ phones…Authorities arrested the two…along with another eight-year-old who is thought to have [stood guard while] the [others] murder[ed] the…girl…children are seen as having criminal responsibility from the age of seven in India…

Subtle Pimping (#1013)

While American cops favor VR porn games, Kazakh cops prefer LARPing:

A…week-long simulation exercise on combating…migration…started on 11 October 2021 in Almaty.  The simulation exercise [refers to this migration control as “]Combating Trafficking in Human Beings[“, following the racist European practice]…this training exercise offers f[antasies in place of]…real-life [situations], using actors to create [fantasy] trafficking scenarios.  A fictitious brothel..a[nd] massage parlor…were…created to…[indoctrin]ate c[ops in the fantasy version] of human trafficking…and sexual exploitation…

Torture Chamber (#1037)

The PREA is just feel-good nonsense as long as screws have absolute power over their victims:

…a 23-year-old woman…committed suicide in a [Forks,] Washington jail [after] she tried to report sexual harassment by a guard, but her complaint was [ignored].  Months later, that same [screw] was sentenced to prison for [raping] four other women…the family of Kimberly Bender [is suing jail] officials…[for allow]ing Bender…[to] be…tormented by a [typical and representative screw] with a known misconduct record…John Gray…[repeat]edly tormented Bender at night, leering at her, making “vile” comments, and frequently waking her up.  Bender, “struggling with heroin withdrawal, was unable to sleep, rest, or relax because of…Gray”…wh[o was]…previously…fire[d from a different cage stack] in 2018 for m[oc]king…a training on the Prison Rape Elimination Act…[by making disgusting] “comments and sounds such as, ‘Here we go’ and ‘oooh…oh yeah baby…mmmmm'” during a [scene showing]…a woman [groping]…another woman [under the pretext of a “search”]…PREA is [well-known to be] largely toothless.  Since the reporting rules went into effect in 2012, reports of sexual assaults in prisons and jails have dramatically increased, especially at local and county jails…

The Convergence of Censors

Vomit out the right buzzwords and you can censor at will:

The Waterloo Region District School Board is undertaking a multi-year review of its library collections to [censor] any texts deemed “[magically] harmful to staff and students.”  Graham Shantz, coordinating [bureaucrat, made a bunch of incoherent, pseudointellectual excuses about why stunting students’ intellectual growth and controlling their thoughts is actually a good thing, belching out words like]…”inappropriate…questionable and…pedagogical framework”…[to support plain old-fashioned book burning]…Earlier this year, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board removed William Golding’s classic Lord of the Flies from its curriculum after [bureaucrats vomited out the words]…white, male power structures [at librarians].  Other books recently removed from Canadian school libraries…in response to complaints [backed by fashionable pseudointellectual bullshit]…include Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

To Molest and Rape (#1130)

Imagine a non-cop child rapist staying free for decades like this:

A [typical and representative] New York [cop] who for decades has delayed facing [trial for]…repeatedly rap[ing] and molest[ing] his daughter’s 12-year-old friend was arrested in Florida…Leonard Forte, who is now 80…was [found guilty] in Vermont in 1988…[but] the judge tossed the verdict…[because cop]…and…Forte persuaded prosecutors to delay the retrial because he [claimed to be terminally ill]…A USA Today investigation in 2019 revealed how Vermont prosecutors had mishandled the case [for over 25 years]…and exposed Forte’s dubious claims about his health…[thus shaming] Vermont’s Attorney General’s Office [into] reviv[ing] the case…

Dangerous Speech (#1184)

After presiding over an evil clown show for months, Brnovich does what an ethical judge would’ve done a year ago:

…Judge Susan Brnovich today recused herself from the [Backpage] trial…[without providing a] reason…the case ha[s] been reassigned by lot to…Judge Diane J. Humetewa…Brnovich…previously refused to recuse herself from the case [despite obvious]…conflict [of interest due to]…Brnovich’s [being married to the attorney general of Arizona, a noted prohibitionist with a history of disseminating anti-Backpage propaganda]…Humetewa is…the fourth judge on the case…Steven Logan was first assigned to the case…[but] recused himself with no explanation in March 2019.  The case was briefly assigned to…Douglas Rayes, who immediately recused himself sans explanation…Brnovich was then assigned the case…Tucson criminal defense attorney and former Arizona State Bar President Michael Piccarreta [pointed out that]…“Someone’s going to have to take a look at the government’s overreaching issues…No judge wants to have to deal with that”…prosecutorial misconduct in this case…[includes] the [intentional] destruction of exculpatory evidence…and…the [armed robbery] of millions of dollars in assets, including…more than $10 million from lawyers for the defense…

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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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The lady in front of you sucks.  –  “Officer” Brandon Roy

I’m combining two of my favorite types of videos this week: novelty songs and spooky stuff, in this oldie from The Dr. Demento Show.  The links above it were provided by Nun Ya, Missy Mariposa, Jacob Sullum, Mistress Matisse, and Dave Krueger (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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Prosecutors are not allowed to just randomly tie defendants to heinous crimes they’re not on trial for…and yet here we are.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

To Molest and Rape (#941)

Rapist cop is still a rapist cop:

A Border Patrol [cop named Steven Holmes] who was released from jail after being charged in multiple [violent rapes]…two years ago is…now being held without bond​ in [Tucson]…He is being [protected] from other inmates due to his [being a cop]…Holmes was p[reviously…released [on bond]…with a GPS tracking device…[but a woman he has been fucking] for the past 3 months…[reported that] on Aug. 26, they were having sex [when]…”something changed” and…Holmes…[suddenly started strangling her until she] los[t]…consciousness…Holmes [then] continued [raping]…her after she had asked him to stop…She managed to leave and…called the [local] police…the[y now admit the]re may be more potential victims out there…

Panopticon (#986)

Cops will continue to do this until there are criminal penalties for it:

…the Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission has [sued]…the Oakland Police Department…[for] violat[ing] the city’s surveillance technology vetting ordinance, the city charter and multiple state laws…[by] retaining data for two years [when they’re allowed only 6 months, and by]…giving the FBI “unfettered access” to the license plate data…the police department [has] fail[ed] to audit the use of its surveillance technology…and [refused to] provid[e] information…requested under the state’s public records act…the police department has [also] used surveillance technology such as drones without a search warrant or prior approval…

I Spy (#1098)

Encryption won’t protect you if providers are willing to hand metadata to the cops:

ProtonMail is a well-known and well-regarded mail service…[which] was recently forced to cooperate with Swiss authorities in providing user data (date of account creation), which was subsequently handed over to American security authorities…That ProtonMail made its home in Switzerland has previously been a point of praise for the mail service.  However…the country is by no means a bastion of digital privacy…due in no small part to new laws passed in response to the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris…

Dangerous Speech (#1159)

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

[In] the federal trial of Backpage.com’s founders and former executives…prosecutor Reggie Jones misrepresented Backpage ads and the law, while harping on specific crimes of which the defendants aren’t even accused.  Defense lawyers are already calling for a mistrial…the…motion [states]…”The opening…consisted of inflammatory, unproven, and unprovable assertions that fail in any event to address what the government must prove to convict any defendant”…

I Spy (#1167)

“Delayed” isn’t good enough:

Apple has delayed plans to roll out its [new surveillance]…technology …citing [criticism] from customers and policy groups…The Electronic Frontier Foundation…amassed more than 25,000 signatures…[and] close to 100 policy and rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, also called on Apple to abandon plans to roll out the technology.  In…[reply], Apple [bloviated about how allowing governments to spy on everyone is]…”critically important”…Apple’s so-called NeuralHash technology…could [easily] be abused by…governments…to implicate innocent victims or [enforce criminalization of thought]…researchers…were [even] able to…trick…the system into thinking two entirely different images were the same…

A Broker in Pillage (#1170)

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

Ameal Woods was driving near Houston in May 2019 when he was pulled over by a Harris County [cop using the common pretext that he was suppos]edly…driving too close to a semi-truck.  The [cop used this an excuse to rob]…Woods’ and his wife’s life savings…$43,200 in cash…that Woods and Davis say they planned on using to…purchase a tractor-trailer for Woods’ trucking business…Now Woods and his wife, Jordan Davis, are the lead plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit…against Harris County…by the Institute for Justice…Harris County prosecutors have a pattern of seeking civil forfeitures based on boilerplate [fantasies] written by [cops] who were not…the[re]…at least 113 forfeiture petitions since 2016…used stock language and identical phrases…[which] led to errors…such as contradictory dates and incorrectly stating what property was s[tolen by the cops]…Harris County’s forfeiture practices fail to provide owners with prompt hearings to challenge property seizures, require owners to prove their own innocence, and create perverse profit incentives for law enforcement, all of which violates the Texas constitution…

To Molest and Rape (#1170)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A Mohave County (Arizona) [cop] is facing a felony charge of s[tatutory rape]…after he was arrested on…Aug[ust 31]…when Kingman police…[discovered] Andrew Jacob Sundberg…[had intentionally gotten] a 15-year-old girl [drunk so as to seduce her]…

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