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Posts Tagged ‘California’

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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We are done with your silly little games.  –  cop, to man he paralyzed

Sidney Poitier gave a lot of powerful performances in his long career, but this one has always been my personal favorite.  And since it has a song to go with it, here you are.  All the links above the video were provided by Cop Crisis except for the obit itself (from Phoenix Calida) and “billionaires” (from Nun Ya).

From the Archives

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People should not be in jail for imaginary crimes.  –  Ryan Marino

Power Play (#701)

I guess 5 years is longer than most Americans’ attention spans:

the New York Daily News [has] published a glowing, error-filled preview of former California prosecutor and failed Sacramento County DA candidate Maggie Krell’s book Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker, which…depicts Krell as a crusading attorney for the California AG’s office who “defeated”…Backpage.com by bringing pimping charges in 2016 against its former owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin…But Krell’s charges…were thrown out of court, not once, but twice.  Nor did Backpage go out of business in 2016.  Rather, Backpage went out of business in 2018, when the federal government seized…the site…on multiple counts of conspiracy, money laundering and facilitating misdemeanor state prostitution offenses in violation of the U.S. Travel Act…none of the defendants are charged with…sex trafficking…nor could they be…

I Spy (#990)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

The EU’s police agency, Europol, will be forced to delete much of a vast store of personal data that it has…[illegally] amassed…the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) [has ordered the deletion of]…what privacy experts are calling a “big data ark” containing…data…drawn from crime reports, hacked from encrypted phone services and [stolen] from asylum seekers never involved in any crime…Europol’s cache contains at least 4 petabytes – equivalent to…a fifth of the entire contents of the US Library of Congress…the…mass surveillance…is a step…to becoming a European counterpart to the…NSA…The watchdog ordered Europol to erase data held for more than six months and gave it a year to sort out what could be lawfully kept…

Quiet Genocide (#1111)

A very brave woman working to expose a colossal abomination:

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1162)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

Every year, [cops] claim to have suffered near-fatal overdoses after accidentally touching fentanyl, a[nd reporters obediently parrot the hysterical fantasies]…But…It is…impossible to overdose simply by touching or getting too close to fentanyl. Doctors and toxicologists warn that the hype around this perceived threat is harming overdose victims…[and] taxpayers…Accidental overdose by skin exposure “is chemically and physically implausible,” said Dr. Ryan Marino, a medical toxicologist and addiction medicine specialist…at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Andrew Stolbach, an emergency physician and medical toxicologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said, “It’s not possible to overdose on fentanyl by touching it. If it was absorbed well through the skin, people wouldn’t inject it and snort it in order to get high.” Despite this, people who use the drug are facing serious legal repercussions — such as charges of assault or endangerment of officers — for supposedly causing these impossible overdoses…

I Spy (#1188)

It’s best not to upset useful idiots at a time like this:

Signal [i]s considering adding cryptocurrency payments…start[ing] with MobileCoin…“a system [designed to] hide…everything from everyone”…There’s nothing sinister about putting payments into a messaging app, and Signal is not alone in adding crypto payments to messaging…What sets Signal’s effort apart is the combination of end-to-end encryption in messaging and a cryptocurrency with privacy features designed to make any transactions anonymous…Signal employees…[a]re worried…that…anonymous transactions would likely attract…regulatory scrutiny.  Given that end-to-end encryption already faces [political persecution] around the globe…Signal’s addition of anonymous payments…could give more ammunition to [politicians] who want to end encryption…

I’m not sure how trustworthy this writer is, given that he believes the government should be able to spy on anyone as long as some spook belches out the magic words “money laundering” first.

The Next Target (#1192)

It won’t be long now before this spreads out of the porn ecosystem and into the greater internet:

My webcam account was recently suspended for violating the code of conduct.  I was told I had engaged in a fetish category that is cause for immediate account closure…in the past, I cammed from an actual brick and mortar studio for a small website with just a few dozen models.  I had direct contact with management.  If there was a problem, Mastercard contacted the boss to explain the issue.  He would knock on my studio door, tell me what was up, and I could immediately comply…[now] I’m working for a giant site with thousands of performers.  I have no relationship with management.  Most of my emails go unanswered or receive generic responses.  When I was suspended, I got no explanation, no opportunity for correction, no word about what would happen to my outstanding pay…Platforms are moderating their workers with an increasingly heavy hand, so the scope of sexual topics we have to avoid is getting broader.  Platforms have also passed the task of moderation down to us, asking that we flag and report clients who request shows that might violate the rules, or risk being punished for complicity.  Not only does this mean I stand to make less money—I’m also being asked to police my clientele and their desires…

The Cop Myth (#1199)

Sleeping with a cop is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do:

A Huntsville [Alabama cop named]…David McCoy…murder[ed his]…girlfriend [by shooting her] in the head inside a parked vehicle, then called in the death claiming the woman shot herself.  The [motive appears to be that the] woman…recently informed McCoy she was pregnant…McCoy has [been rewarded for his violent behavior with a paid vacation]…per [cop shop] policy…

Note that the exonerative-mood headline makes it sound like the victim committed the murder.

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Whether we like it or not, the 1st Amendment protects both vaccine misinformation and hate speech.  –  Mike Masnick

Quiet Genocide (#1023)

In which the UN throws away what little credibility it had left:

The Chinese government’s violent oppression of the…Uyghur[s]…is no longer a secret…[its] actions…have been…[properly identified as] genocide…[b]y…the human rights community…[yet] the United Nations, the very institution created to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights,” is assisting China in its violent efforts to wipe out the Uyghurs by helping the CCP cover its tracks…UN human rights officer-turned whistleblower Emma Reilly…[report]s that prior to every UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in recent years, China has requested the names of Uyghur and other Chinese dissidents who were scheduled to speak.  And despite this being explicitly forbidden by the UN’s own rules, the UN…has [betrayed them so]…Chinese authorities…[can] use [the information] to harass the dissidents’ families who are still based in China…Reilly…first discovered the practice in 2013…when [her] superior, Eric Tistounet…advis[ed] staffers t[o obey because he was scared of China]…But while the UN has at times acknowledged this indefensible practice, it has simultaneously provided contradictory statements denying it.  When asked about the allegations in March 2017, Tistounet…[barfed out the magic word] “wing” [as though it constituted an excuse]…

Tissue of Lies (#1109)

The latest pig fad: collecting a bunch of unrelated raids, arrests & record updates and calling the resulting dog’s breakfast a “sex trafficking sting”:

Five…teenage [runaways were arrested in New Orleans and] their families [alerted.  In an unrelated record review] 30 [people condemned to the “]sex offender[” registry were also arrested] after…U.S. Marshals [accused them] of violating their…registration requirements…One of the [ar]res[t]ed teens was a 16-year-old girl…suspected of stealing a relative’s car and handgun…[three others appear to have been engaging in survival sex work, and the fifth] was…a[ccused of “]felony human trafficking[“]…

These “operations” were innovated in Georgia after the pandemic made actual “stings” much more difficult, and have since become popular with cop shops all over the US.

Lack of Evidence (#1120) 

Only a prohibitionist could claim banning armed thugs from attacking women for merely existing in public is a “thorny issue”.  And the writer of this piece of trash is definitely a prohibitionist; her assumptions are lurid and puritanical, her heavy use of moronic dysphemisms cringeworthy, and her attempts to prejudice the reader so transparent it’s difficult to believe she thought anyone would fail to see what she was doing (“who are just past their teenage years but looked young enough to be on their way to a high school dance” is used to mean “youthful-looking twentysomethings”).  Most nauseating of all is that the LA Times has such a low opinion of its readers’ intelligence that they believe a pretense of objectivity can be maintained while printing straight-up anti-sex propaganda from people who sound as though they’re making furtive movements in their pants while sharing their ugly masturbatory fantasies with this delusional parrot.

The Widening Gyre (#1136)

More innocent people accused of “sex trafficking” by attention-hungry loons:

“Child luring incident!” read the warning that appeared last Friday on several Teaneck, New Jersey, social media pages.  “A man in a car pulled up and tried to get a child in around 11 am on 12/31/21…[in reality, the “child”]…was…the…14-year-old [son of Debra Passner], who wanted to leave [a family gathering] early (as 14-year-olds often do).  He started walking home, with his parents’ blessing.  Later, when they were driving home themselves, they saw him on the street and slowed down to offer him a ride.  “My son, being a wiseass, says, ‘I don’t take rides from strangers,'” Debra Passner recalls. So she leaned over and called out, “Don’t you like candy? We have candy!”  When their son shook his head, his father said, “Okay, then I’ll follow you.”  But moments later, they drove on.  Once the Passners saw this online, they immediately called the police…[who still felt compelled to invade the family’s privacy before they] issued a press release stating…no attempted luring [of a young man] had occurred…

You Were Warned (#1156)

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

…both [US ruling parties]…want to control the internet in a manner that helps “their team.”  But both approaches involve unconstitutional desires to interfere with 1st Amendment rights.  For Republicans, it’s often the compelled hosting of speech, and for Democrats, it’s often the compelled deletion of speech.  Both…are unconstitutional.  On the Republican side, we’ve already seen states like Florida and Texas [enact] content moderation bills — and both have been blocked for being wholly unconstitutional…some other Republican-controlled states have shelved plans for similar bills, [but]…it looks like the message has not made its way to Democratic-controlled states.  California has been toying with unconstitutional content moderation bills, and now NY has one as well.  Senator Brad Hoylman…has proudly introduced a hellishly unconstitutional social media bill….[to] “hold tech companies accountable for promoting vaccine misinformation and hate speech”…[but] it is unconstitutional to punish anyone for that speech, and it’s even more ridiculous to punish websites that host that content, but had nothing to do with the creation of it.  Believe it or not, the actual details of the bill are even worse than Hoylman’s description of it…

Panopticon (#1171)

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

[Cop shops] throughout San Diego County continue to spend thousands of dollars every year on technology that tracks the location of people’s cars, even though the information collected most often has nothing to do with solving crime or protecting the public…five [of these] have been violating state law by sharing this information with agencies all over the United States…that don’t have a…right to access it…including Border Patrol and [ICE]…

To Molest and Rape (#1202) 

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

A female Pittsburgh [cop was raped by a fellow cop after]…a cookout at the station…she was too drunk to drive home, so [the rapist] drove her to her house…[and] raped her…he later [tried to get her]…not t[o report him, and though]…she [did report him]…no charges were filed…[internal affairs] ultimately recommended the [rapist] be fired…[but] instead [he was given]…a…three day [vacat]ion and [the result was called “public safety”]…

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My freezer is full of roadkill.  –  Sarah Day

In honor of the death of one of its stars, here’s one of the more spectacular musical numbers from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel, Dan Savage, Scott Greenfield, a reader who prefers to remain anonymous, Jesse Walker, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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 I will fucking shoot you.  –  Sheriff Craig Rowland

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

From the Archives

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

To Molest and Rape

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

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

Thou Shalt Not (#642)

New Zealand cops apparently lack sufficient reasons to brutalize people:

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

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

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

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

Policing for Profit (#924)

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

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

Legislators Gone Wild (#1102) 

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

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

The Mob Rules

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

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

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

Torture Chamber (#1189)

Arizona screws think they can cure mental illness by torture:

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

Creepy Coppers

Setting an example for his underlings:

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

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This is another example of…the false idea that the police can police themselves.  –  Ann Webb

R.I.P. Wakefield Poole

To the New York Times, the only good sex worker or pornographer is a dead one:

Wakefield Poole…made a feature-length, surrealistic movie called Boys in the Sand…and [after] its release in 1971…was hailed as a pioneer of gay porn…the film became a crossover hit that changed attitudes about pornography among both…gay and straight audiences…“I wanted a film,” Mr. Poole said at the time, “that gay people could look at and say, ‘I don’t mind being gay — it’s beautiful to see those people do what they’re doing’…Just seeing my name above the title on a theater made its impact.  Hundreds of people…came out after seeing the film…The reason I stopped making films was the AIDS situation…I lost my fan base to AIDS.  I saw them all die…Cocaine saved my life.  I did so much coke, I couldn’t have sex”…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

A false rape claim supported by a lying cop; the victim is lucky to be free:

A New South Wales [cop named]…Scott John White is facing two charges of perjury, after he [lied to] a court [in support of false rape claims made by]…Sarah Jane Parkinson, who[m] he has since married…[against] her former partner…in March 2014…she had told police she was hanging out washing in the garden…when her former partner assaulted her, slamming her head into a brick wall and raping her…police arrested her [victim] as he left work, and he was jailed until [her story came apart during investigation]…Parkinson was convicted of making a false statement and jailed after she eventually pleaded guilty to the charge [in 2019]…

Opting Out (#982) 

As I predicted two years ago:

[Politicians] are preparing to [re-]introduce [a censorship scheme claimed] to prevent children accessing online pornography.  Plans to [impose] age verification for adult sites, which were shelved in 201[9], are now being [brought up again due to the current anti-porn hysteria]…The…[would-be censors’ ringleader is]…Dame Rachel de Souza, [who holds the pompous title] children’s commissioner…[and is] willing to [use bogus statistics]…and [the debunked tabula rasa model of sexual development]…to …[advance her scheme] to…stop children stumbling across [information busybodies and fanatics don’t want them to have.  The prior “age verification” scheme]…was never [implemented due to] privacy campaigners [pointing out] that it would force users to hand over their identities to porn sites[, government officials, or other fascists who would absolutely misuse the information.  But] De Souza [fantasizes] that technology now exist[s] that will allow users to prove their age online using a passport or other identification in a [magical] way that…[renders] privacy issues…no longer a concern…

Quiet Genocide (#991)

America has given every tyrannical regime in the world a powerful weapon of rhetoric:

…what was once an American obsession is now an international one.  “Terrorism” has become the opportunistic cover for governments around the world looking to subdue any kind of non-state agitator: ethnic nationalists in Russia, pirates in Indonesia, environmentalists in the Philippines, Kurdish revolutionaries in Turkey.  There is hardly a government anywhere that has not adopted some feature of the war on terror, from its ideological abstractions of good and evil to the special permissions it grants states to monitor and control citizens.  The evolution is nowhere so stark as in…Xinjiang…whose minority Uyghur population is almost certainly the most monitored and controlled on the planet…In The War on the Uyghurs, Sean Roberts…shows how the United States’ efforts to build an international consensus for its counterterrorism projects had far-reaching consequences on the other side of the world…[encouraging] the Chinese government [to] bec[o]me increasingly brazen in its oppression of Muslim and Turkic minorities…long before the moment in 2016 when it began secretly [caging millions] of people in [the brutal concentration camps to which it applies the Orwellian term] “Transformation Through Education centers“…

Under Duress (#1110)

Are most cops even capable of telling the truth?

A [typical and representative] Ventura County [cop] has admitted to [intentionally hid]ing…a drug test that exonerated a woman [he wanted to railroad for]…being under the influence of methamphetamine…Richard Charles Barrios III…pleaded guilty to [a minor charge for trying to destroy the woman’s life]…two years ago…Throughout the [arrest and booking], the woman vehemently denied being under the influence of any drugs…she…provided a urine sample and…[w]hen…the results [were negative]…he…threw the test kit into the garbage…disposed of the urine sample…refused to tell the woman the results of her test and began the process of having her booked…Barrios also [lied to the Big Pig on duty]…that the woman had refused to provide a urine sample…another [cop believed her and]…found the [discarded] test kit…show[ing] that she tested negative…[so s]he…was released and taken back to her vehicle…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

North Carolina’s “solution” for rampant cop violence? Hide the data:

A paragraph deep in the new state budget forbids sheriffs, [cop shops] and any other government entity in North Carolina from creating a public log of the times [cops]…injure[, maim, or murder] someone.  These so-called critical incidents are going to be recorded statewide for the first time…but that database is for [cop shops] to use in an effort to [hide]…problem [cops from]…the public…[while claiming]…to [be a part of] police reform…they…can’t [even] create a database of wh[ich cops have been]…disciplin[ed or how often]…The new language ensures that [cops are protected from reform-minded politicians]…

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

Authoritarian regimes are much of a muchness:

The Chinese censorship system, like the tactic being employed in Texas, relies on intimidation.  Chinese publishers excise material that might run afoul of censors before sending books for approval…Likewise…the Stalinization of Eastern Europe depended not primarily on the gulag and the firing squads, but on the intimidation of people who felt compelled to spew the same idiocy they heard, pursuing a grotesque conformity…This process is brilliantly caricatured in Eugène Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros, in which people who seem perfectly normal transform into violent beasts, more and more of them caving as the play goes onA parallel process has taken place as an increasing number of Americans seem willing to abandon previously hallowed democratic norms, including freedom of expression

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This is not a Uyghur tragedy. This is a human tragedy.  –  Gulchehra Hoja

Guinea Pigs (#970)

Is Facebook finally going to do something about the creation of predatory accounts by law enforcement?

Facebook is demanding that the Los Angeles police department cease all use of [fake] accounts on its platforms and stop collecting data on users for surveillance…after the Guardianrevealed the department [collaborat]ed in 2019 with Voyager Labs, a tech company that [spies on people]…by analyzing social media information such as a person’s friends, posts and usernames…in addition to enabling law enforcement clients to [steal] user data from companies like Facebook, Voyager software also enables…[the creation of] fake accounts to access otherwise inaccessible and private user information…both these uses are violations of [Facebook] policies…

Welcome to the Future (#997)

Another would-be magic lasso based in pseudoscience:

…EyeDetect is just the polygraph in more algorithmic clothing.  The machine is fundamentally unable to deliver on its claims…because human truth-telling is too subtle for any data set…Where the polygraph measures blood pressure, breathing and sweat to determine the flubbing, EyeDetect looks at factors like pupil dilation and the rapidity of eye movement…But experts say such logic may not have much basis in science…Leonard Saxe, a psychologist…who has conducted some of the leading research in the field of truth-detection…says, “I don’t know of any evidence that eye movements are linked to deception”…[yet despite] the polygraph[‘s]…long history of…failure…it…continues to be used [by people who prize false certainty over actual truth, such as cops and]…government [officials]…

Top Cop (#1108)

This authoritarian psychopath wants you to forget what she’s really like:

…polls show the vice president to be deeply unpopular with voters—even less popular than Biden, whose approval numbers have been underwater since August…Her…sloppy attempts to rewrite her biography…attest to an uncomfortable relationship between who Harris is and who she’s trying to convince you she is…Harris is a cop and that won’t change no matter how many times she tries to awkwardly mouth the buzzwords of the progressive youths.  If you’re the type of person who defends dirty copsthrows poor parents in jail when their kids miss school, or laughs at the idea of inmates being denied food and water, then you’re probably never going to be believably woke…Harris is a law-and-order politician in a party that no longer has much room for cops and heavy-handed prosecutors (unless they’re prosecuting the right people).  Her attempts at evolving her image have been disingenuous and unconvincing.  And now she’s tethered to a sinking ship of a presidency, and she doesn’t seem too interested in helping to bail—only in complaining that her feet are getting wet.  And, no, don’t chalk up Harris’ poor poll numbers or criticism of her political performance to sexism and racism…there are plenty of more popular politicians out there who are racial minorities and/or women.  Harris’ popularity problems are her own…

Quiet Genocide (#1114)

Fascist corporations are happy to assist in a genocide:

With the Beijing Olympics less than three months away, will Coca-Cola and other sponsors of the Games celebrate with China while…an entire people is being slowly, deliberately erased?  We have learned to think of genocide as industrial-scale slaughter: gas chambers, killing fields, mass graves.  A report published last week by the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, “To Make Us Slowly Disappear,” suggests that China may have found a different way, more insidious if no less monstrous.  The campaign against the Uyghur[s]…began with conventional discrimination, escalated to intense surveillance and mass detentions, and now includes forcible sterilization and insertion of IUDs; separation of men and women through incarceration, forced migration and coerced [sham] marriages of Uyghur women to men from the ethnic Han majority; and mass kidnapping of Uyghur children, taken from their parents and placed in state “boarding schools”…

Rotting Fruit (#1126)

The state demands an eye for an eye, but it doesn’t really care whose eye:

Jeffrey Epstein…isn’t just gone; he’s quickly being forgotten, relegated to a supporting role in the scandal that bears his name.  Our focus has turned to Ghislaine Maxwell, whose status has grown so great in the wake of Epstein’s death that she has all but eclipsed the man without whose bad acts there would never have been a story at all…In 2019, when Epstein was arrested and charged with sex trafficking, Maxwell was covered as more of a curiosity than an accomplice — let alone a puppeteer pulling his strings…today…Maxwell’s guilt is treated as a foregone conclusion…the public narrative has already promoted her from partner to boss…The female villain who wields power in the form of manipulation is an ancient fictional archetype; from Eve and the apple on up, it serves to tell us that it’s women’s ambition which forms the true roots of men’s evil deeds.  In Snow White, it’s the power-hungry and jealous queen who orders a huntsman to cut out the heart of her stepdaughter.  In Shakespeare, it’s Lady Macbeth who gets stuck with indelible bloodstains on her hands…in Epstein’s case…the more we hear about Ghislaine Maxwell, the less agency Epstein seems to have…

The Next Target (#1180)

Mastercard’s elaborate concern kabuki is the direct result of “sex trafficking” propaganda:

…for the first time, [Mastercard is] requir[ing] Pornhub, OnlyFans, and other distribution companies to obtain copies of age-verification records instead of only the owner of the content having and maintaining them…making [performers] vulnerable to fraudsters, blackmail artists, and worst of all, people who want to harm us physically…The general public should freak out that Mastercard now controls what they can and cannot watch.  Today, they’re regulating porn, but what if they start deeming what cinema and books we consume?  What if tomorrow they stop processing payments of booksellers that sell Lolita?…Mastercard implemented their porn rules because of a targeted campaign spearheaded by bad-faith actors like Exodus Cry.  In the future, they could quickly stop processing payments of controversial political material due to public pressure.  Last month, c[ensorious] Virginia parents demanded school libraries strip Toni Morrison’s Beloved from their shelves…if activists could scream loud enough so Mastercard could regulate porn, it’s easy to imagine the company coming after other forms of speech.  One day, something isn’t controversial; the next day, it is.  America flip-flops on which artists we hate daily…

The Cop Myth (#1187)

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

…a…four-day manhunt for [typical and representative] Baltimore Co[p]…Robert Vicosa [ended when he murdered] his two kidnapped daughters [and his cop girlfriend, Tia Bynum, then shot himself]…Giana and Aaminah Vicosa…[were] 7 and 6, respectively…The [two cops] had been on the run after…kidnapping Vicosa’s daughters from his estranged wife…then robbing and carjacking the people they encountered while trying to [get aw]ay…the two…[had] lured his estranged wife to his home…the[n held her captive…[ti]ed her [up in] the basement and…drugged…threatened…and sexually assaulted her, [then fled after the ex managed to escape and call the cops]…

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