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Posts Tagged ‘cell phones’

Diary #586

Our cell service has never been very good at Sunset; in order to make a conventional cell call (rather than via internet by Signal) I’ve always had to stand in my office window upstairs, and even then it’s liable to drop several times an hour.  Then a few weeks ago, the display of my phone broke, and the new phone had no signal at all at Sunset.   So even though my old phone is finally repaired and I’m picking it up today, I decided something finally had to be done about the poor reception.  Well, one of my gentlemen did the research for me and Grace went over his findings, and they agreed on a specific model of repeater.  It took over a week to arrive, but finally came in Saturday, and during a lull in the rain I went out onto the roof and installed this antenna outside my office window, pointed SSE in the general direction of the nearest cell tower.  It took us awhile to find the best place to put the internal antenna so as to avoid feedback, but we eventually found a spot in the hall which seems to give pretty good reception in every part of the house.  So now I can actually make and receive phone calls from every part of the house like a civilized person, even (thanks to our now fully-operational standby generator) during power outages.

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Who will be the victims of the government’s next attack on legally protected speech that it wishes to silence? – Michael Lacey & Jim Larkin

Acting and Activism 

Why are so many “celebrities” such hypocritical trash?

[Comedian Bill] Maher [said] during Friday’s Real Time…“OnlyFans is staying in the porn business…because their fans would not take it…if there’s one thing millennials love more than canceling the patriarchy it’s women having sex for money”…So, in Maher’s mind, “women having sex for money” is anti-feminist and a product of the patriarchy.  Women couldn’t possibly be sex workers of their own volition…It’s…strange given how Maher has solicited the services of sex workers in the past…and dated a number of others—including Karine Steffans…who once said of him, “Bill wants someone he can put down in an argument, tell you how ghetto you are, how big your butt is and that you’re an idiot”…

A Whore in Church

Matthew 21:31 seems pretty straightforward to me:

A Christian OnlyFans star…has been [attacked by religious fanatics for] saying “Jesus would have loved sex workers”.  Nita Marie…believes her sexuality is a divine gift, and that God gave her permission to strip…after [she] ask[ed] him directly in prayer – but…so…[called “Christians” who seem poorly acquainted with the Gospels] are calling her a “grifter”, and [some are so] delusional [they imagine] that it “might be Satan”…answering her prayers…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1124)

I have no sympathy for members of the dangerous “porn addiction” cult:

“BlockerX”, a porn [autocensor] application, has failed to protect its Amazon AWS instance…result[ing in]…exposure of its user[s’]…personal details…The owner of the app…Atmana Innovations, responded immediately…but the period of exposure remains unknown.  “BlockerX” is a subscription service that…cost[s] users $7.50 per month or $180 in a single lifetime payment…[and censors anything its algorithms register as] adult content…The…danger for…exposed users…is extortionists who could…threaten…to publish the fact that they [imagine their normal sexual behavior constitutes an “]addiction[“]…

I Spy (#1154) 

Fascism is rapidly making private communications a thing of the past:

A federal court ruled…that…drugs [stolen] by police from a package [th]at [did not belong to them were] not seized unconstitutionally [despite the lack of a warrant]…At the center of the decision is a little-known [fascist pact between FedEx and the cops, which] allow[s pigs to root through]…parcels at the shipping behemoth’s sorting centers…if [they claim] a…dog [gave them permission]…cops…[can then] dress up as FedEx delivery men…[to deceive the victim and] arrest…them…The court d[ecision is based in the legal fiction that an individual’s property no longer belongs to him while in the hands of a third party, such as] FedEx…[thus creating the] con[venient pretense that] it…own[s the packages]…and it can [give them to] the police [without warrant or permission of the actual owner]…The agreement evokes Apple’s recent announcement that it will scan people’s photos [in order to sell them down the river]…the relationship between FedEx and police…has quietly existed for some time, says John Wesley Hall, an expert in Fourth Amendment law…”FedEx…[has] always cooperated…with them—even loans them the truck”…

It’s OK for a company to sell out its customers, because drugs are bad.

Dangerous Speech (#1159)

Michael Lacey & Jim Larkin remind you of what their trial, which began Wednesday, is actually about:

On April 6, 2018, the federal government eradicated an entire classified ads website containing speech that was 100-percent legal…The publication of speech…by users is legally protected; so is “offensive” speech and speech the government does not like.  Numerous federal courts said just that, in cases involving Backpage…whenever any concern arose…our company voluntarily aided law enforcement and government entities such as the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  This is documented extensively by court records…and the government’s own reports…Since the FBI seized Backpage, adult advertising has, predictably, fled overseas to companies that do not respond to U.S. subpoenas…The culprits here are…self-serving politicians with historical vendettas and overzealous prosecutors who placed their own ambition above the safety and welfare of women…The prosecution has engaged in years of scurrilous tactics, such as destroying evidence, abusing the grand jury process, and seizing all the money we set aside for legal expenses…

If you haven’t been following this tag, I suggest you peruse it today; the various articles I’ve linked will show you exactly the kind of evil, completely-illegal shenanigans the government has pulled over the past three years in its crusade to crucify journalists who wouldn’t make obeisance to its censorious diktats.

To Molest and Rape (#1166)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

[Typical and representative Florida cop] Travis Ryan Pritchard [was sentenced] to 35 years in federal prison for [rap]ing…a 15-year-old [girl and filming it]…Pritchard was also [condemned to the]…sex offender [registry]…From December 2019 through May 2, 2020, Pritchard…had sexually abused [the victim] on a weekly basis…[but finally she had enough and reported him, and another cop role-played her to]…chat…with Pritchard using [a popular] app.  Late in the night of May 1, 2020, and into the early morning hours of the next day, Pritchard [harassed] the [cop he thought was his victim] to sneak out of her home to meet with him…Pritchard’s cellular telephone revealed many [such] conversations…[and a] folder containing numerous…child [porn pics, including one]…of the rape of a prepubescent [girl]…

The Next Target (#1166)

The sex worker rights movement is getting too loud to ignore“:

…It remains to be seen whether [OnlyFans] will be true to its word but to force the hand of such a giant corporation is no small feat…That a platform which built its fortune on the backs of sex workers might, at a moment’s notice, ditch us, is no surprise; it would be the latest in the slow but sure eradication of sex workers from online spaces…Throughout the fiasco, both MasterCard and OnlyFans were keen to separate themselves from the potential destitution of creators and to claim their credentials as non-haters of sex workers…multi-billion dollar companies fall[ing] over themselves to maintain the veneer of corporate virtue is grotesque…Still, in the conflicted responses there is hope…it’s clear that the sex worker rights movement is too loud to ignore…

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How do we know it won’t happen again?  –  Lacy Lennon

I Spy (#930)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Google received more than 20,000 geofence warrants in the US in the last three calendar years…[this fascist surveillance technique allows cops to] carve out a specific area and time period and [demand]…information about the devices that were present during that window.  The information is anonymous…[until cops demand more details, at which time]…Google [happily violates] those users’ [privacy]…In 2018, Google received 982 [such] warrants.  The following year, it rose to 8,396.  Last year, it jumped to 11,554.  In all, Google received 20,932 geofence warrants…since 201[8]…

Business As Usual (#1011)

The media are still downplaying the crimes of this psychopathic rapist-murderer cop:

A federal judge has set a new trial date for a [typical and representative] Columbus…vice [pig who murdered a sex worker when she wouldn’t submit to rape]…Andrew Mitchell is [only being] charged with…federal [conspiracy and perjury-type crimes even though]…he…had [a long history of raping] prostitutes…Mitchell also faces state charges [for shooting 100-pound] Donna Castleberry [eight times at point-blank range] after she [fought back] during an [attempted rape by] Mitchell, who has [described the wanton murder of a woman half his size]…as self-defense…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1012) 

How is this surprising when TikTok is owned by the Chinese?

TikTok has quietly expanded how much information it will collect from its more than 100 million users in the U.S. to include “faceprints and voiceprints.”  In response, [US politicians want a piece of the action]…The U.S. does not have a federal law regulating the tracking of biometric data by technology companies, but…TikTok…is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese [company owned in part by the Chinese government, which also controls 1/3 of its board]…Earlier this year, TikTok paid $92 million to settle dozens of lawsuits [in response to] the app[‘s]…harvesting personal data…including…facial recognition…without user consent.  That data…was [shaed with Beijing] and sold to advertisers in violation of state and federal law.  In 2019, TikTok was fined nearly $6 million by the Federal Trade Commission for [violating] the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which requires apps to receive parental permission before collecting a minor’s data.  The Trump administration[‘s attempt]…to ban the app was abandoned by the Biden administration in June

Policing for Profit (#1096)

No matter how little their victims have, cops will steal it and fuck up their lives in the process:

The city of Longmont [Colorado] has [finally] paid the $1,592.72…toll bill [the state tried to stick] a [disabled] woman [with after]…a [city cop named Stephen Schulz stole her] license plate…and put [it] on his [disguised pigmobile]…Debra Romero…[was] left…without the use of a vehicle…[because] the [state]…refused to waive the toll charges even after Romero filed a report…declaring her license plate as stolen…the state of Colorado [also] barred her from renewing her registration until the toll bill was paid…the city [didn’t care about Romero’s plight until]…the…situation [made the news]…

The Prudish Giant (#1104)

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

A poster for Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s new film Parallel Mothers…was [censored by Facebook-owned] Instagram for depicting a lactating nipple…[after public outcry] Instagram…reverse[d] its censorship…[but] given Instagram’s exception for artistic context, the rationale for the poster’s initial removal remains unclear…

To Molest and Rape (#1165)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative] Massachusetts [cop] has been arrested on child pornography charges…Francis Hart…[was caught] upload[ing] a file with numerous images of child pornography…

I’m not sure what will happen here; Massachusetts cops who forcibly rape actual children get less than one year per victim, or no penalty at all plus being rewarded with a powerful cop gang position for repeatedly raping children of both sexes for decades.  But Massachusetts puritans are very uptight about porn, so who knows?

The Next Target (#1165)

Those who shift with the wind can be counted on to continue doing so:

OnlyFans says it has suspended a plan to ban sexually explicit content following an outcry from its creators and advocates for sex workers…the planned ban was “no longer required due to banking partners’ assurances that OnlyFans can support all genres of creators”…[however, an authoritarian circle-jerk made up] of over 100…[politicians are still howling for sex workers’ blood, cit]ing the[ir own disgusting fantasies about]…sex…with children

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Th[is is] not a slippery slope; [i]t’s a fully built system just waiting for…pressure to make the slightest change.  –  India McKinney & Erica Portnoy

Monkey Business

Higher primates understand the concept of “value”:

The long-tailed macaques who roam the [the Uluwatu temple in Bali] are infamous for brazenly robbing unsuspecting tourists and clinging on to their possessions until food is offered as ransom payment.  Researchers have found they are also skilled at judging which items their victims value the most and using this information to maximise their profit…Mobile phones, wallets and prescription glasses are among the high-value possessions the monkeys aim to steal…and…demand better rewards…for higher-valued items…

If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

[Australian] pastor Brian Houston has been charged for allegedly concealing child sexual abuse by his late father Frank Houston…in the 1970s…Frank Houston, who died in 2004, has been accused of abusing nine boys while a Pentecostal preacher…

A Broker in Pillage (#897)

Yet another government scam to steal Philadelphia citizens’ property:

…relocation towing…is when the police…or a private tow company moves legally parked vehicles to make room for a special event, utility work, or some other [pretext]…they are supposed to relay the new location of each vehicle to police headquarters, so when an owner finds their car missing and call 911, police can tell them where it is.  I[n reality]…drivers have reported spending days or weeks searching for their cars…because neither the [Philadelphia Parking Authority] nor police have any information about the tow.  Many…are recorded…with a pre-Internet system that relies mostly on handwritten notes and fax machines…The PPA [claims] tows from temporary no-parking zones are primarily a police function.  Police [claim] tow companies could be to blame for missing vehicles.  The tow companies [claim] police sometimes lose the information they provide.  Drivers who get sucked into the bureaucratic vortex describe it as city-sanctioned auto theft, often followed up by a shakedown by the PPA if the car was moved to an illegal parking space, then ticketed, towed or booted.  The resulting fees can be difficult or impossible to fight…

To Molest and Rape (#995)

Serial rapist rapes another vulnerable woman:

A [typical and representative] Spokane [cop out on bail]…for…[rap]ing a victim of domestic violence was arrested…[again] after another woman reported he raped her [before he was fired for the previously-reported rape]…Nathan Nash[‘s MO was the same]…in…both [cases; he]…responded to their calls for police assistance and later [raped them during pretended]…“follow-ups”…In the [new] case, Nash [displayed] his gun…then pushed the victim onto the couch, to[re] her clothes off, and raped her…he…[then forc]ed her in[to] the shower…[to wash away evidence]…the victim is disabled and has an apparent minor cognitive disability…

The Widening Gyre (#1057)

Observation: fools waste money.  Conclusion: “sex trafficking”!

Last May, the K-pop…group BTS entered into a partnership with McDonald’s to release a limited-edition promo meal that…almost immediately sold out, and enterprising individuals on social media decided to take advantage of the group’s enormous popularity by selling certain items from the meal online.  One item in particular, a chicken nugget shaped like a “crewmate” from the multiplayer online game Among Us, was auctioned off on eBay for nearly $100,000…[then] last month, [a TikTok idiot] posted a video accusing various eBay sellers peddling the BTS chicken nuggets of…“human trafficking”…The idea that a chicken nugget eBay listing would serve as a front for child trafficking was clearly ridiculous on its face.  Yet many of the commenters appeared to be…[just that ridiculous]…

I Spy (#1155)

The beginning of the end for private communication:

Apple has announced…new “protections for children”…in iCloud and iMessage…this means…Apple is planning to build a backdoor into its…system[s]…Apple’s…appease[ment of] government agencies…is a shocking about-face for users who have relied on the company’s leadership in privacy and security.  There are two main [spyware apps] the company is planning to install in every Apple device.  One…will scan all photos as they get uploaded into iCloud Photos to see if they match a photo in the database…maintained by…NCMEC…the other…scans all iMessage images sent or received by…accounts designated as owned by a minor…and…notifies the parent when…images [an algorithm decides are “sexual”] are sent or received.  All it would take to widen th[is]…backdoor…is an expansion of the…parameters to look for additional types of content…The abuse cases are easy to imagine: governments that outlaw homosexuality might require…[calling the cops on] apparent LGBTQ+ content, or an authoritarian regime might demand the classifier be able to spot popular satirical images or protest flyers…

I Spy (#1158)

Still think this djinni is ever going back into its bottle?

…several high-profile female journalists and activists…have…been targeted and harassed by authoritarian regimes in the Middle East through hack-and-leak attacks using the Pegasus spyware, created by Israeli surveillance technology company NSO Group.  The spyware transforms a phone into a surveillance device, activating microphones and cameras and exporting files without a user knowing…a key part of the harassment…is the use of private photos…[which would be] tame by Western standards…[but] are considered scandalous in…societies like Saudi Arabia and were…used to publicly shame these women and smear their reputations…Pegasus spyware is linked to human rights violations around the world…including the [murder] of Jamal Khashoggi…by Saudi agents…

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Any time [cops use] an AI system…[to] affect an outcome for a human, it’s probably harmful.  –  Tristan Greene

First They Came for the Hookers…

The only thing unusual here is that the molester cop actually got in trouble:

The resignations of two top officials and a [lying, deceitful cop] at the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control this year are linked to a bungled undercover operation at Scottsdale’s Skin Cabaret, in which the [cop molested a dancer]…Director John Cocca and Deputy Director Mike Rosenberger resigned in April with no public explanation…[after pig] Mike Sanchez…[groped] her genitals during a…[strip club visit conducted using the pretext of]…COVID-19 health and liquor violations…in a VIP room…Sanchez…claimed [molesting the woman wasn’t a crime because] he “was never at any time sexually motivated” [when he groped her]…

Apparently, cops believe molestation and rape are OK as long as they pretend that they were thinking about ruining lives rather than getting off.

The Lesser of Two Evils (#414)

Principled Christians understand that prohibition is evil:

For years, my faith system told me that all forms of sex work were immoral and should be a crime, and the only way to eliminate the sale of sex…is [for the state] to impose heavy consequences that discourage the behavior.  Most people I know share similar beliefs…[but] the more I learn, the further I move away from this popular opinion…my prayers, my research and simply listening to those who trade sex, revealed that the greatest problem was the unnecessary burden society was placing on this community by criminalizing consensual sex work…criminalization has failed…to eliminate or even reduce the sex trade, nor has it improved the moral fabric of society.  If criminalization is not accomplishing any of these, then why does this remain our approach?…We eventually reversed [alcohol] Prohibition, so we should now be asking ourselves “why haven’t we reversed other laws like it, including those against consensual sex”?…

Disaster (#1000)

It’s so nice to hear this from someone whose name isn’t Maggie McNeill:

…if you’re talking about FOSTA/SESTA…someone, at some point, will [claim] that it was aimed at combatting sex trafficking [and] had unintended impacts on…sex work[ers]…there’s a law review article…called “good intentions and unintended consequences”…a…2018 OC Register article called “The Unintended Consequences of a Well Meaning Anti-Sex-Trafficking Law”…and [multiple examples of political bloviation]…But…the narrative of “unintended consequences” is utter nonsense.  Negative effects on sex workers (and there were many) were not “unintended.”  The text of the law explicitly criminalizes the promotion of prostitution and it’s hard to argue that an interpretation of the law that was clear from its text is unintended…this narrative is [even] contradicted by what the organizations that supported FOSTA say about their own goals

Guinea Pigs (#1079)

Just a reminder that this privacy-destroying abomination started as a means of spying on sex workers:

Hundreds of thousands of [cops] in the US have the authority to use blackbox AI to conduct unethical surveillance, generate evidence, and circumvent our Fourth Amendment protections.  And there’s little reason to believe anyone’s going to do anything about it…[because these] systems are a goldmine for startups, big tech, and politicians…Any cop, regardless of affiliation or status, has access to dozens (if not hundreds) of third-party AI systems…he…can…install…Clearview AI on [a] personal smartphone…take a picture of anyone and [find] their identity…then runs th[at]…through an app from a company such as Palantir…without a warrant, officer Friendly now has access to your phone carrier, ISP, and email records…medical and mental health records, military service history, court records, legal records, travel history, and…property records…[with] absolutely no oversight whatsoever…Predictive-policing is among the most common [of these] unethical AI systems…The[y]…claim to use “data” to determine where crimes are going to happen.  But…all [they] can [actually] do is determine, historically, where police tend to arrest the most people…

One small nitpick: hey headline writer, Pandora wasn’t in the box; she was the one who opened it.

To Molest and Rape (#1090)

“Police explorer” programs are nothing but grooming schemes for predatory cops:

Two NYPD cops [raped] a vulnerable teen [victim via] the police youth program, taking advantage of the underage girl to “satisfy their depraved interests,” an internal department judge has ruled….[after] Sanad Musallam and Yaser Shohatee [enjoyed a paid vacation for four years [after getting caught in]…2016…the case f[ell] apart [because] the [15-year-old victim was too afraid of her rapists]…to continue to cooperate with investigators…

The Next Target (#1127)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” fetishists extended their pet fantasy to OnlyFans:

…”[OnlyFans] is just one more avenue that traffickers can use to make money,” [bloviated a Texas cop named]…Joseph Scaramucci…[who] has spent more than a decade [masturb]ating [to fantasies of] sex trafficking…in recent months, much of his [wanking material has come from]…OnlyFans…”there was [sic] very obvious signs of people that were under 3rd party control, “Scaramucci [fantasized while making furtive movements in his pants]…He has [jerked off to] many pornographic images that [were] consensual, but…he…[fantasizes] that the females in…the pictures may be victims that have been coerced by sex traffickers…[especially] teenagers…

The Next Target (#1130)

Prohibitionists’ next target isn’t just porn; it’s all online sex work:

“Sugar dating” apps will not be allowed on the Android Play Store from September 1st, Google has announced…Google’s Play Store policies already prohibit apps that promote “services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation.”  But the updated wording expands this definition to explicitly include “compensated dating or sexual arrangements where one participant is expected or implied to provide money, gifts or financial support to another participant (‘sugar dating’)”…

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I’m 300 percent sure that’s illegal money.  –  example of typical cop math

If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

Chets Creek…Southern Baptist megachurch in Florida, [distanced itself from]…former Southside campus pastor Jeff Bedwell [when he] was recently arrested for…sexually molesting a young girl from the age of 12 until…17…Senior Pastor Spike Hogan [bloviated a lot of excuses and added some copsucking for good measure]…Bedwell served as a youth pastor…before his [promotion] in…2018…

Policing for Profit (#645)

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

A New Mexico man [was robbed at gunpoint by] Oklahoma sheriff’s deputies [of] more than $140,000…[using the bogus excuse] of drug trafficking, [but] a local news outlet found the records to [show the cops were lying]…Thai Nang…and a business partner were traveling to buy a piece of land when they were pulled over.  Sheriff’s deputies [rooted through] the car and [stole] the money…[claiming moronically], “I’m 300 percent sure that’s illegal money”…but…[reporters] obtained the bill of sale and interviewed the owner from whom Nang was intending to purchase the property…Nang also [reported that] the amount the sheriff’s office reported s[teal]ing is roughly $10,000 short of the actual amount.  The Institute for Justice…[says] Canadian County, Oklahoma is [notorious for this kind of]…abuse…

Lack of Evidence (#861) 

When will amateurs learn that the War on Whores affects them as well?

A raid on a Maryland adult bookstore in May resulted in…unconstitutional arrests of three men for violating the state’s [unconstitutional] sodomy law…nine people [were arrested, but]…only three…were charged with perverted sexual practice.  Another four were charged with indecent exposure…and one…was arrested for solicitation of…a…[sow fantasy role-playing a sex worker]…NIMBY complaints appear to have motivated the…raid…

Checklist (#1059) 

Airlines:  are you sure you want to keep accepting liability for employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you keep feeding them?

A Black Colorado woman…[was harass]ed and [interrogated] by [armed government thugs who accused her of “]human trafficking[” her] adoptive four-year-old sister…Olivia, [who is white]…Lakeyjanay Bailey…was [harass]ed by [cops] after their flight touched down at…DFW…[because] Frontier Airlines [air hostesses decided it was OK to sic dangerous thugs on the sisters because a white busybody] on the flight had [sexual fantasies about them]…

To Molest and Rape (#1092)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A [typical and representative] Progreso [Texas cop] will spend the next 30 years in federal prison for sexually assaulting two [young men] he arrested in 2019, [one] a minor…Matthew Lee Sepulveda…[arrested both] after minor traffic stops, then [abducted] them back to a jail that otherwise stood empty due to the late hour.  Both testified [that] Sepulveda asked them questions regarding their sexual activity and masturbation before…[assaulting] them…The jury also unanimously found that Sepulveda had committed bodily injury, aggravated sexual abuse…and…kidnapp[ing]…

Safe Position (#1111)

Why “policies” not backed up by law reform are worthless:

P[igs deceived and brutalized adults seeking consensual sex] in…Brooklyn…following [recent prohibitionist yellow journalism.  Most of the arrests]…targeted men [simply] driving [through a] four-block…stretch…the NYPD [vomited out a lot of disgusting propaganda and bragged about sows spicing up their pathetic sex lives by fantasy-roleplaying as sex workers]…The [pogrom] came [despite]…the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez [claiming it was] moving away from prosecuting prostitution cases…a DA spokesman said the arrests were for solicitation…an[d bragged about how its “]Sex Trafficking Unit[” indirectly victimizes women by]…vigorously prosecut[ing their friends, associates, and family members and trying to deprive them of income so they’ll end up homeless]…

I Spy (#1156)

Amazon only likes fascist surveillance schemes it owns and controls:

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has shut down infrastructure and accounts linked to Israeli surveillance vendor NSO Group that sells spyware Pegasus…[after] Amnesty International…[shamed them by] report[ing on how]…Pegasus spyware…[is used by repressive governments] across the world, including India where around 300 mobile numbers were snooped using the spyware.  Pegasus is…installed by sending a malicious link to a target device, and…is [difficult]…to…identif[y] by the person using the targeted device…

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Sex workers are amazing people, and they deserve to be celebrated.  –  Perri Freeman

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Just another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

Quantavious Brown was [locked in a cage without trial in Tennessee] for three years for a rape he…did not commit…on August 3, 2018…he spent the [evening]…with a woman he met two years prior through his then-girlfriend…[she then falsely] reported…that Brown forced his way into her apartment and raped her…Brown…was [arrested]…and…eventually g[iven] a trial [date] but it was delayed [using the excuse of] the pandemic…[finally public defender] Tim Hewitt…[hir]ed an investigator…[who] discover[ed that]…the woman’s landlord and her son…were home during the alleged rape [but cops] had not b[othered to] interview…[them.]  The landlord heard Brown and the woman having a quiet conversation when her boyfriend busted in…Forensic reports showed no evidence of rape and the landlord…told [the] investigators the woman’s injuries [she claimed were from the rape] were not new…a jury found Brown not guilty…[but the prosecutor claimed he] disagree[d that a man should be found not guilty of a crime that never happened]…

I Spy (#988)

Do people really take “this tool of oppression is only sold to oppressors” as some kind of reassurance?

A powerful surveillance tool…was used to infiltrate mobile phones belonging to at least seven people in India…represent[ing] a tiny fraction of what may be a vast surveillance net, intensifying concerns about the erosion of civil liberties…under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  Hundreds of Indian phone numbers appeared on a list…for surveillance by clients of NSO Group, an Israeli firm.  The list contained numbers for…journalists, activists, opposition politicians, senior officials, business executives, public health experts, Tibetan exiles and foreign diplomats…The spyware…called Pegasus…secretly unlocks the contents of a target’s mobile phone and transforms it into a listening device.  NSO says it licenses the tool exclusively to government agencies [who belch out the words “]terrorism[” or “]crime[” first]…

This is the same surveillance tool the Saudis used to spy on Jamal Khashoggi before murdering him.  But don’t worry, because “terrorism” and “crime”!

I Spy (#1057) 

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should“:

Scientists have invented an instrument to peer deeply into billions of Twitter posts — providing an unprecedented, minute-by-minute view of popularity, from rising political movements, to K-pop, to emerging diseases.  The tool — called the Storywrangler — gathers phrases across 150 different languages, analyzing the rise and fall of ideas and stories, each day, among people around the world…

You Were Warned (#1112)

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

Florida’s social media bill was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge a couple weeks ago…its response to the lawsuit…is…basically…deny[ing that its law is unconstitutional]…142 [times]…the law…violat[es] the 1st Amendment…[bu]t even if it were constitutional (which it is not), it would be pre-empted by Section 230…So, to counter that, Florida is now doing a “it’s not our law that’s unconstitutional, it’s actually Section 230 that’s unconstitutional!”…as the social media bill itself has shown, Florida does not exactly have a good track record for understanding what is, and what is not, a violation of the 1st Amendment.  But, of course, when you have clueless Supreme Court Justices asking for cases challenging the constitutionality of Section 230, eventually we were going to get to this point…

Safe Position (#1120)

This is quickly moving into the mainstream:

The Burlington [Vermont] City Council voted unanimously…to consider eliminating ordinances that prohibit prostitution and will consider charter changes that could [de facto] decriminalize sex work in the city…

A city cannot make laws that contravene those of its state, but it can remove copycat municipal ordinances, defund police vice gangs, and make it a city policy not to prosecute such “offences”.

Served Cold (#1145) 

This article seems to be hiding the fact that the subject of the movie is a psychopathic wacko who even makes some “trafficking” fetishists uncomfortable:

…As part of [a $2 million publicity stunt], Goya [food company], will support the release of Sound of Freedom…[a “sex trafficking” propaganda film glamorizing the shenanigans of Tim Ballard, the founder of the increasingly-controversial rescue industry group Operation Underground Railroad, which is being investigated by a Utah prosecutor for fraud and by the FBI, IRS and Homeland Security over reports that its “operators” have raped people, including underage girls, whom they labeled “human trafficking victims”]…

To Molest and Rape (#1155)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A Mississippi [cop] was arrested…for…sex crimes against children, including…production and distribution of child [porn]…Joshua Christopher Stockstill…[was reported to the FBI by] the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children…But agents couldn’t identify the suspect, and…asked for the public’s help in putting a name to the face…Stockstill was arrested and fired from his job a few hours later

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There’s a lot of emphasis on the sex part of the sex industry rather than the trade part of it.  –  Catherine Stephens

The More the Better

Anything that helps demystify sex work is a good thing:

…sex sells and where there’s a juicy, marketable topic, the novelists will follow.  The compulsion to set stories in an “edgy” setting guarantees a constant stream of questionable fiction about sex work.  Sex workers appear only when they are dead; sex workers are ludicrously happy; sex workers are powerless victims.  Sex work is flattened into stereotypes or laughably misrepresented; sex work is stripped of all political context, erasing the real-life battles we fight over policing and legislation.  [In] my novel, The Service, I tried to give readers a glimpse of the wildly different ways in which we work.  I wanted to write a book about the mundanity of prostitution, the boredom and practicalities…If readers take anything from The Service, I hope it’s that sex work has as many meanings as there are sex workers…

The Enlightenment Police (#884)

The European Court of Human Rights just keeps kissing racists’ arses:

Businesses can sack Muslim women wearing the hijab headscarf if they work face-to-face with customers or if [other employees are racist shitheads who whine to the boss], the EU’s highest court has ruled.  The decision…w[ill encourage thuggery] at a time when [European] countries, such as France, are [wallowing in racism under the pretext of “]combat[ting] extremism[“]…

Working From Home (#1079)

The biggest problem with working through someone else’s platform:

[When] users…viewing their content then get…refunds via fraudulent chargebacks…[it is] the creator, not OnlyFans, [who] is [forced] to reimburse the money…despite the scammer already having accessed their content…OnlyFans [seem to feel it’s enough that] a User can only chargeback once and then they are blocked from the platform…

When I had my escort service, we had a separate “NO REFUNDS” form on which the girl entered the client’s driver’s license and required his signature; if he attempted a chargeback, sending a copy of the form to the credit card company would stop that shit.  It seems there should be some analogous practice for online porn purchases.

I Spy (#1098)

Anyone who doubts that politicians are deranged megalomaniacs should be following this:

…during a…late-night session, the European Parliament approved…a…set of “chat control” measures making it legal for internet companies to scan all private messages by users if they [pretend] they are looking for Child [porn]…EU [politician] Birgit Sippel described the measures as “a compromise between [government’s desire to pry into every single aspect of human existence] and protecting users’ privacy”…[but] did not specify what part of this “compromise” does anything to protect users’ privacy…Patrick Breyer, whose Pirate Party led the opposition to the measures, [said] that “chat control will allow email, messaging and chat providers to indiscriminately search your private messages for allegedly illegal material and report to the police, using error-prone algorithms”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1101)

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

…Maine repealed its civil forfeiture laws [last week]…join[ing] Nebraska, New Mexico, and North Carolina as the fourth state t[o end]…one of the most serious assaults on due process and private property rights in America today…the bill…only [allows the state to steal property without prior conviction] in a few narrow [circumstances]…death, deportation, or if the defendant fled or abandoned the property…Just as critically, LD 1521 closes the “equitable sharing” loophole.  Through this program, state and local police collaborate with a federal agency or joint task force, and outsource forfeiture litigation to federal prosecutors [in return for] 80 percent of the [loot]..

The Implosion Begins (#1145)

I’m really enjoying US newsmedia’s panic over the natural, predictable development of the hysteria they profited from for two decades:

In the wake of Donald Trump’s 2020 election defeat and the disappearance of the anonymous online account “Q” that once served as QAnon’s inspiration, many people who spout QAnon’s [version of the popular “sex trafficking” mythology] have hatched a new plan: run for school board or local office, spread the gospel of Q, but don’t call it QAnon….In June, the [NEA whined]…that “[Trump]ists and [others who adopted our favorite hysteria] are winning local elections.  And their new positions give them a powerful voice in everything from local law enforcement to libraries, trash pickup to textbook purchases [just like every other politician].”  These moves signal an important evolution for the QAnon [develop]ment…[of fantasies about] societal conspiracies of child abuse [which have been popular with politicians, cops, and the news media since the beginning of the century]…

To Molest and Rape (#1149)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative] Florida [cop] has been sentenced to serve ten years in prison…[for] forcing two teenagers…to remove all their clothes and then run naked in front of him…Michael Martinez…was[n’t even] fired [until a] year after the [crime]…in August 2016.  Martinez [had] pulled over [his victims using the pretext of] a traffic stop…[and used their] alcohol and marijuana [to threaten them, even trying to get]…a hand job from…[the female victim, Remy] Riley…

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[The purpose of the] stilted, imprecise…verbiage found in…police [reports]…is…to exculpate the police from any blame.  –  Thomas Nolan

All-Purpose Excuse

Anything can be “trafficking” if you use your imagination:

Egyptian police…arrested a Tiktok star who [w]as…sentenced [in absentia] to 10 years imprisonment for her posts on social media.  Haneen Hossam, a 20-year-old Cairo University student…was sentenced…along…[with] four others…for encouraging women to share videos in exchange for money, which Egyptian authorities [fantasize is] human trafficking…She was first convicted [last] July…of sharing “indecent” photos and videos [ie dancing fully clothed] with her 1 million Instagram followers…the charges were overturned on appeal in January a[fter] the five [had been locked in a filthy cage for]…eight months…But…prosecutors [wanted to destroy their lives, so they] introduced new charges of human trafficking…the other four [were “only” condemned]…to…six years…

Under Duress (#824) 

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

When Thomas Nolan was a…Boston P[ig]…he…routinely advise[d]…subordinates to incorporate…buzzwords in their reports to frame themselves as the hero and the suspect – who might have been injured or killed – out as the aggressor.  Those…reports…were chock-full of words like “resist,” “overcome,” “vigorous,” “violent,” “subdue,” “fear,”and “attack”…even if they were exaggerations.  Now an associate professor of sociology…Nolan regrets taking part in…the systemic deception that is police report writing…it bolsters a police culture of misconduct, where [cops] are trained and socialized to believe they’re above the law…

I Spy (#1006)

They won’t stop until privacy of any kind is absolutely impossible:

…instructions for the iPhone [brea]king tech GrayKey obtained by Motherboard provide more insight into the capabilities of the device…GrayKey, made by Austin-based Grayshift, is designed to [brea]k [into] modern iOS devices and [steal] their contents.  iOS devices are encrypted by default, meaning someone needs to have, or guess, the device’s passcode to access…the data stored on it.  iOS devices protect themselves from brute force attacks…but GrayKey can successfully brute force iOS devices in some cases.  The company is constantly in a cat-and-mouse game with Apple, which tries to fix security issues that GrayKey [exploits.  Cop shops]…around the country have bought GrayKey units

Elephant in the Parlor (#1101)

Even if this wasn’t a commercial transaction, it’s certainly adjacent:

Zack Weiner, 26, a City Council candidate running in Manhattan, [w]as…ou…an…anonymous [Twitter user who] posted…video [of]…Weiner…[in session with a domme]…at Parthenon studio…known [as a] high-quality BDSM dungeon…Weiner confirmed it was him in the video and said the footage was made about 18 months ago with a former girlfriend he met during a Halloween party in 2019.  “I didn’t want anyone to see that, but…I am not ashamed of the private video…Like many young people, I have grown into a world where some of our most private moments have been documented online…I am a proud BDSMer.  I like BDSM activity,” Weiner [said]…He refused to name the woman in the video and [called releasing the video without permission of either participant]…“a violation of trust”…

In a just world, this would help his campaign rather than hurting it; honesty is a vanishingly-rare trait in politicians.

To Molest and Rape (#1110)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

Little Rock police arrested a [university cop named]…Gregory Ray McKinney[, who]  is being charged with two counts of possession of child pornography…

Property of the State (#1133) 

Still another abomination from Alabama:

An Alabama [woman] battling chronic back pain faces felony charges for refilling her prescription…Kim Blalock had back problems before she became pregnant.  She suffered from arthritis and degenerative disc disease [aggravated by]…surgical complications and a car accident the year before her pregnancy…Blalock, a married stay-at-home mother of six, managed her condition under the care of a local orthopedist…[who] prescribed hydrocodone, one of the most common medications for patients with chronic pain…Four years [later] she…became pregnant with her youngest son and stopped her medication…[but] the pain became unbearable in the last six weeks before her due date, so she refilled her prescription.  When Blalock delivered, she told her obstetrician about the hydrocodone…[child “protection” witch-hunters] closed the case after Blalock showed them the prescription bottle and allowed a [bean-count]er to count the pills.  But that didn’t satisfy [local pigs and prosecutors, who]…charged Blalock with prescription fraud for not telling her orthopedist she was pregnant…[even though politician]s amended the law [in 2016] to protect mothers who took drugs prescribed by doctors…

Quiet Genocide (#1138)

Naturally; the “missing” children were abducted by the government to give to childless Han couples:

Over the past two years, the Chinese authorities have repeatedly promised to help trace any children reported to be missing in Xinjiang, to pr[etend] that they haven’t been forcibly separated from their parents. Those promises have not been met…China’s then-ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming…denied that China’s policies in…Xinjiang [included]…large-scale separation of children from their parents [despite ample evidence that this is the case]…

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To what extent the prosecution will twist the law to its ends remains to be seen.  –  Stephen Lemons

Whore Madonnas (#808)

More from Juniper Fitzgerald:

…my children’s book, How Mamas Love Their Babies…is the only children’s book– to my knowledge– to include a sex-working mother: “Some mamas dance all night long in special shoes. It’s hard work!”…You would never suspect that such a modest inclusion of sex workers in a picture book about how parents provide for their children by any means necessary would provoke the bowels of the internet so profoundly.  Claims that I—along with Hilary Clinton, mind you—am sex-trafficking my own child grace my timeline even three years after publication.  My inbox still tells me that I am a literal witch and devil worshipper—whatever the fuck that means.  Or, my favorite, that I am “communist whore filth.”  It’s easy to dismiss Q-anon and #PizzaGate believers as a handful of rabid, marginal cultists.  But these…exist on the same continuum with wine-sipping white ladies who think sex workers are a threat to their children…

The Punitive Mindset (#880) 

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

Billy Steffey…is a former federal inmate…still trying to fight the BOP for stripping him of good behavior credits and throwing him in solitary confinement for five months based on…an unverified [drug] test with a well-established track record of leading to wrongful arrests…[such] tests…[a]re not admissible…in court; and the manufacturers explicitly warn that all tests should be sent to crime labs to be verified…Yet the federal Bureau of Prisons relies solely on such tests to pu[nish prisoners]…and strip them of…rights…with virtually no avenue for recourse…The issues with these tests have been known for decades and are easily verifiable…In December [2017] a [screw] opened a package…legal…papers [that he claimed] felt “unusually thick” and gritty and looked discolored…many…prisons have…bann[ed] physical mail and used book donations…[under the pretext that] they…are [used]…to…s[muggle] drugs…[screws] tested the…papers…[and claimed they saw evidence of] amphetamines…[then] linked the package to Steffey after [rooting in his] email…threw him in…solitary…for five months…and…stripped him of 41 days of “good time” credit…

A Moral Cancer (#1000)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

[Oregon governor] Kate Brown…[approved] a bill banning the online sale of nicotine-containing vaping products to state residents…despite convincing evidence that limiting access to e-cigarettes drives users, especially young people, to traditional cigarettes that pose greater health risks…as politicians eternally pretend to not understand, banning things doesn’t mean that people give up on them.  Instead, it drives them to legal substitutes that may pose different or greater risks, or else to black market suppliers who offer products of unknown quality and safety.  [When] San Francisco banned the sale of flavored tobacco products in 2018…92 percent of [users] continued their habits after the ban…[but] high school students’ odds of smoking conventional cigarettes doubled…The conclusion that prodding youthful users from vaping to cigarettes is a bad idea is not [even] controversial…

Micromanagement (#1012)

This would be better news if judges didn’t simply rubber-stamp cops’ warrant requests:

Maryland and Montana have become the first states to pass laws…requir[ing] police to have court authorization…[and] probable cause…[Maryland further requires that] the crime being probed must be a murder, a rape, a felony sexual offense, or a “criminal act involving circumstances presenting a substantial and ongoing threat to public safety or national security”…AncestryDNA and 23andMe both prohibit such investigations using an ordinary user profile.  But other companies, such as FamilyTreeDNA and GEDMatch…allow police to [root in] their databases…[at will]…

Devil’s Advocate (#1114) 

Your periodic reminder that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

[Creepy weirdos] assigned to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s [Sympathetic Magic] Unit have arrested and charged a…man accused of possessing child[-shapd toasters]…in October 2020, [intrusive and unconstitutional surveillance revealed] that William Crowder…ordered a child[-shaped toaster] to be shipped to his home.  TBI agents subsequently [roo]ted…at Crowder’s residence and found at least six [toasters (it’s difficult to be sure because Tennessee cops can’t count that high)], several of them dressed in children’s clothing…Crowder [was charged] with six counts of [making toast in a way that upsets redneck busybodies]…

Stalkers in Blue (#1138)

Another cop demonstrating exactly what he is:

Minnesota State [pig] Albert Kuehne sat in his [pigmobile] in March 2020 and [rooted] through a phone belonging to a 25-year-old woman he’d just…[accused] of drunken driving…he [had no permission to even touch the phone, but] clicked through her photos [anyway].  Hours later, the woman’s boyfriend noticed something alarming on her MacBook, which was synced to her phone:  Outgoing text…messages to an unknown phone number with nude and partly clothed pictures of the woman attached.  When they called that unfamiliar number, Kuehne answered…Kuehne…[has finally] admitted that he sent himself three explicit photos of the woman, and then deleted the outgoing messages on the woman’s phone to try to cover his tracks.  Kuehne pleaded guilty…to a misdemeanor…

Dangerous Speech (#1138)

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

During a June 7 status conference…in the Lacey/Larkin case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Rapp…objected to the phrase “escort services” in a survey question about whether jurors had “strong feelings” concerning…the “legal adult entertainment industry”…Rapp [claimed] that the phrase is “a misnomer” for “prostitution services…[that] suggests that escort services [are] somewhat legal”…Whitney Bernstein, an attorney for Jim Larkin, [correctly responded] that escort services are…legal…in…many…states…[Judge] Brnovich…overruled Rapp, allowing the question to remain…

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