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Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

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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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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[Morality in Media’s] entire existence doesn’t make much sense if they can’t convince more prudes that nekkid people are destroying society.  –  Mike Masnick

My Body, My Choice

An argument I’ve often made myself:

…feminists should embrace a definition of sexual freedom that goes beyond the right to prevent reproduction and which focuses on women’s sexual autonomy…Anti-abortion advocates have embraced paternalistic arguments that assert they know better than women about their best interests and the harms of abortion…in much the same way mainstream feminists have claimed to know better than sex workers about how they should use their bodies. However, decriminalized sex work and access to abortion allow women in economic precarity escape destitution…the decriminalization of sex work has been treated as niche or counterproductive to the goal of sexual freedom…this…has contributed to the political embrace of access to abortion as the priority issue for feminist organizing, while women’s groups have openly contested women’s right to be free from criminalization while engaging in commercialized sex…

Pretext

Conscription of unconsenting drivers into copaganda will continue until reporters stop parroting cop PR releases:

Tulsa [cops] were out [stalking people as usual], but instead of giving out tickets, the [cops used them without their consent in a PR stunt funded by]…an anonymous donor [who] gave them nine, $100 gift cards to give out to people.  [Cops said]…the [terrified or disgusted] look on their [victims’] faces made it [fun for them]…

See No Evil (#937)

Are the Japanese the only people left on Earth who can tell fantasy from reality?

…it isn’t just [actual child porn] that Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are trying to find and erase from their servers.  They’re also looking for cartoons depicting graphic acts involving [drawings of fictional characters that resemble] children, as revealed by a recent search warrant [demand]ing Google…provide information on a[n artist] who[m the Thought Police decided to accuse of] own[ing] such animations.  That kind of content is p[rosecutable]… under U.S. law and can be detected by Google’s anti-child…systems, a fact not…discussed [with Google’s customers]…in late 2020 in Kansas…Google detected “digital art or cartoons depicting [fictional characters which appeared to mindless algorithms to resemble] children engaged in sexually explicit conduct”…within a Drive account…Google [eagerly] handed information on what it found…to the [Feds]…This [should] concern…artists [and anyone else who understands the difference between fantasy and reality]…but [useful idiots in the media pretend] the [criteria]…prosecutor[s use when] trying to [destroy people’s lives for cartoons are not only objective, but judged by people with functional moral compasses]…

A Woman’s Point of View (#1003) 

Prohibitionists can always find bogus “studies” to support their fantasies:

Burlington [Vermont] city councilors…unanimous[ly] pass[ed]…a…measure [which] will…go before the voters…in March.  The measure would remove [anti-sex worker] language…from the city charter, e[stablishing de facto decriminalization] in the city…Councilor Perri Freeman…introduced the action…to [protect]…sex workers…Freeman…[correctly pointed out th]at [Morality in Media,] a [religious pro-censorship] group [which sent a number of shills]…to speak against [human rights, is led by]…Patrick Trueman…former director of…government affairs for the American Families Association…a Southern Poverty Law Center hate group”…

The Cop Myth (#1145)

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

A [typical and representative] Houston [cop named]…Ray Irvin…was arrested on Dec. 17 a[fter he]…broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment on Nov. 21[, then pistol-whipped] and beat [her because]…she had changed the locks because [she was afraid he’d do exactly what he did when] they broke up…

You Were Warned (#1175)

Are you beginning to see the whole picture now?

…the State Department released its United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking Annual Report 2021…Anti-human trafficking policy…seems to attract some very, very bizarre people…[which] perhaps…explains the report’s incredibly bizarre, incorrect, and just weird thoughts on the internet and Section 230…[one] section…looks like it was directly written by…Morality in Media…One of the group’s big lobbying campaigns is to convince states to pass laws declaring pornography to be a “public health issue“…The claim that porn is “the marketing department for sex trafficking”…seems wholly irresponsible to put it into a State Dept. document…the report…ignores all th[e evidence of what a disaster FOSTA was] and says we just need to take an even bigger sledge hammer to Section 230…why is the State Department allowing its name and credibility to be used to launder this nonsense as if it’s legit?

The Cop Myth (#1194)

Another example of why cops are not reformable:

…two sex workers in Washington, D.C…called 911 reporting that a [drunk and] belligerent [cop] had [tried to rape]…one of them…a[t] gun[point], and then accused them of stealing his phone…the…plates…[of the assailant’s car]…show[ed]…it belonged to Ronald Faunteroy…who…after a…two-hour interview [with internal affairs]…confess[ed]…Yet a powerful tribunal of three high-ranking [cops], known as the Adverse Action Panel, overruled the department’s decision to fire Faunteroy…MPD’s Disciplinary Review Division sought to terminate at least 24 [cops] currently on the force for criminal misconduct from 2009 to 2019.  In all but three of those cases…the Adverse Action Panel blocked the termination and instead issued much lighter punishment…These [cops had been caught committing] domestic violence, DUIs, indecent exposure, sexual solicitation, stalking, and more.  In several instances, they fled the scenes of their crimes…

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Tyrants never fight harder than when they know they’re losing, in order to destroy the lives of as many of their chosen victims as possible while they still can.  –  “NYE 2020

It has been ten years since I first predicted how “sex trafficking” mythology would implode…

…and though I was correct in general I underestimated how hard the government and fascist profiteers would work to extend it, resulting in my prediction being too optimistic by about three or four years.  Government funding for anti-sex hate groups is still flowing like a river of toxic vomit despite most people having found a new topic to panic about, but the “true believers” have expanded the core myth cycle to include even more bizarre elements (including techno-vampirism and colonies on Mars) that apparently are too much for the same outlets that breathlessly parroted wild sexual fantasies about millions of pubescent girls chained to radiators while being raped 100 times a day…

A few years ago, a few journalists whose critical faculties had not entirely atrophied due to disuse began to realize just how disgusting and morally-repellent the copaganda and torture porn they had served up to their readers actually was, and began casting about for some means of distancing themselves and their outlets from it; ironically, the solution was provided by their favorite target of scorn, Donald Trump, or rather his deranged worshipers.  Some outlets (including the paper that launched the panic in 2004), relied upon the American public’s infantile attention span to avoid backsplash, boldly debunking their own lies while pretending that the newest version of their favorite clickbait fantasy was something new and uniquely Trumpian. This recent and much-ballyhooed article from The Atlantic is a perfect example; it largely pretends that “sex trafficking” hysteria started in 2017 (safely within Trump’s term of office), even going so far as to state, “the last moral panic centered on widespread physical dangers to America’s children began in the early 1980s…“, as though there were a wide, clear gap between the Satanic Panic and “sex trafficking” hysteria (which there isn’t).  The only exception the author mentions is Operation Underground Railroad, whose formerly-sterling reputation with US media has been degenerating for years due to the bizarre antics of its founder, and which conveniently embraced QAnon two years ago.

And then there’s the Washington Post, which despite featuring this debunking by yours truly eight years ago (thanks to longtime foe of tyranny Radley Balko), has been happy to spread mathematically-illiterate fantasies with all the others; in this recent article, it represents the specific “Wayfair” craziness as an isolated urban legend tied only to OUR, “Pizzagate” and QAnon, when in actuality it’s no different from the other hysterical nonsense I’ve chronicled in “The Widening Gyre” for ten years.  And then there’s this George Will column, also in the Post, which condemns the depredations committed by police using one high-profile case of “a nonexistent Somali immigrant crime ring” while coyly avoiding mention of the fact that the imaginary “crime” was “sex trafficking”, a fantasy Will himself embraced.

Look, I’m happy to see this moral panic imploding, as I predicted it would a decade ago.  Government and corporate funding for anti-sex worker hate groups isn’t drying up yet, but funding from individuals has already decreased enough that they’ve switched tactics to focus much more on porn, and supporting decriminalization is no longer politically radioactive in the US, the country driving the hysteria.  But if you think I’m going to let the people who aided and abetted the most violent and widespread campaign of persecution against sex workers in American history get away with pretending they were on the side of truth all along, you must not have read very much of my work.

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Those in government office a[re] the proper subjects of scrutiny…not those who hold them to account.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Same As It Ever Was

All prohibitionism is the same:

The place of the humble egg in the street food culture of Gujarat…has become the latest flash point in the growing role of religion in everyday life…under [Hindu nationalist] Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who[se]…policies to reshape India…include tightening a ban on alcohol and adding protections against the slaughter of cattle…But even devout Hindus don’t always agree among themselves what practices the faithful should follow, a conflict that also raises issues of income and class.  Hence the bitter disagreement over eggs…[which some high-caste] Hindu…vegetarian[s]…consider…to be meat products.  Citing complaints from Hindus as well as [bogus] health concerns, local officials in Ahmedabad…and at least four other cities in mid-November banned the sale and display of meat, fish and eggs on the street…facing a lawsuit and protests, officials in Ahmedabad relented and allowed sales…to resume for now, though the dispute is being considered by the courts

Stalkers in Blue

Cops regularly demonstrate exactly what they are:

Two [cops, James Delinicolis and Angelo Dellosa,] who regularly [harassed] women while [wearing their magical clown costumes were allowed to skate despite] pleading guilty to misconduct in public office over sex with a 17-year-old schoolgirl…in March 2020.  The…other charges [they faced] were withdrawn, including attempted…sexual assault [at gunpoint] and multiple charges of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent…Judge Peter Berman…[let them off] with…community service…[because they testified they were scared of jail despite the fact that they apparently also] tried to rape a schoolgirl…The two [routinely tried to intimidate]…women [into submitting to]…sex…with the[m]…

I Spy (#990)

Remember this when some useful idiot claims you don’t need anonymity online:

…Customs and Border Protection…routinely use[s] the country’s most sensitive databases to obtain the travel records and financial and personal information of journalists, [bureaucrats, politician]s and their staff, NGO workers and others…includ…ing email addresses, phone numbers and photos from passport applications…Running background checks as a matter of course may be creepy, but it’s difficult to imagine it not becoming standard practice when that information is available at agents’ fingertips…because of the fetishization of national security…an[d]…also because it’s so easy to access information on almost everybody…The number of journalists jailed around the world set another record in 2021…[with] 56 journalists…arrested in the U.S. this year…as many as in 2017-2019 combined….journalism isn’t a status, but rather an activity in which anybody can engage…and…annoying powerful people has become an increasingly dangerous activity even where it was once safe…

Permanent Record (#1018)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

Magistrate Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai…in Gililland v. Southwestern Oregon Community College, et al. [ruled] that a nursing student who was discriminated against because she was a former adult film performer is sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX.  This ruling is a historic victory for sex worker rights and will likely be expanded upon in years to come…Gililland asserted the college’s behavior was “gender stereotyping” her…The college…contended that Gililland was not protected by Title IX because…“employment history is not a protected status”…Judge Kasubhai…rejected th[is as bullshit and]…determined the “heart of this analysis” is “the kind of woman…that [the college] perceived [Gililland] to be because of her employment history…an ‘unclassy’ woman unfit to be a nurse”…

Censor Chic (#1046)

I’m sure you’ll extend the same courtesy to authors who aren’t violent, genocidal  megalomaniacs, right Amazon?

Amazon quietly removed criticism of…Xi [Jinping’s propaganda screeds] by scrubbing bad reviews, ratings and comments from its Chinese site…agree[ing] to Beijing’s demand to have anything below a five-star review of…The Governance of China removed from Amazon.cn about two years ago…The move is the latest example of western tech companies willing to [kowtow to] Chinese censors for access to the country’s massive consumer market…

Droit du Seigneur (#1183)

It’s good to see this lurid narrative turned against cops for a change:

A Putnam County [New York cop named]…Wayne Peiffer [has been] charged with protecting [what prosecutors refer to as] a sex trafficking ring…in [exchange for sexual services.  The sex workers were arrested and prosecutors]…are [attempting to threaten them into cooperation by threatening them with deportation to Mexico]…One of the Queens-based s[ex workers escaped]…and is being labeled a fugitive…

As in the Virginia case, it’s tough to tease out reality from fantasy here, but I’ve done my best to extract what appear to be the facts from amongst the dysphemized descriptions, agency denial, and outright lies.

Thought Control (#1197)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

…Local public libraries in Texas…are fielding a flurry of book challenges from [censorious twatwaffles].  While book challenges are nothing new, there has been a growing number of complaints…in re[sponse to censorship demands from politicians.  In]…October…state Rep. Matt Krause [bloviated nonsense about “pornographic books” in school libraries, and was soon joined by violent prohibitionist]…Gov. Greg Abbott…In the weeks since, school districts across the state have [been forced to waste huge amounts of money and work-hours] review[ing] of their book collections, and state officials have [sp]un in[creasingly-stupid propaganda about]…inappropriate content…In Victoria…Dayna Williams-Capone says the number of [copycat] complaints about books is the most she’s seen in her nearly 13 years…about 40…books f[rom a short list]…that touch on topics of same-sex relationships, sexuality and race.  After Williams-Capone and her staff [turned down] the [censorship demands], the…[would-be censors tried to go over their heads]…to the library’s advisory board…[who] voted…to [trust their] librar[ians’ judgement rather than accede to the demands of prudish ignoramuses]…

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

I Spy (#646)

The civil rights violations cops commit reinforce each other:

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

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

Working From Home (#1066)

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

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#1092)

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

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

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

This seems like a wise decision:

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

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

It’s good when they feed on each other:

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

Opting Out (#1194) 

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

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

The Cop Myth (#1197)

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

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

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Even as the “sex trafficking” panic implodes, those who…use…it as an excuse for violence have redoubled their efforts.  –  “Before It Gets Better

If you are a regular reader, you’ve probably noticed that I’m no longer writing new essays for those occasions I’ve observed with polemics for the past decade.  As I wrote last March, “It’s time for older activists like me to move into a more advisory role…[and] as part of that shift, I think it’s time for me to stop writing new essays on this topic, lest I grow irrelevant due to repetition.” And so, as I have already done on every other such occasion this year, I present a collection of statements I’ve previously made on this topic:

Most people are far too frightened of reality to admit that their government wantonly enacts laws and procedures whose specific and intentional purpose is to destroy the lives of anyone it has designated an “enemy of the state”.
–  “The Body Count

This jihad is no more “well-meaning” than the Drug War, alcohol Prohibition, Jim Crow or any other campaign of government violence against individuals and civil rights.  –  “Malice Aforethought

A…large…fraction of the violence committed against sex workers is committed directly by armed agents of the state, often though not always under the excuse of “gathering evidence” for our “crime” of having impure thoughts about otherwise-legal sex.  –  “Against Violence

The State…wants to send “messages” against [sex,] drugs and many other forms of pleasure; against free thought, free speech and free movement; against self-determination and self-ownership; and most of all against the dangerous idea that it does not own you and has no right to control your body, your mind or your possessions.  –  “Sending Messages

Until our society grows up and stops believing in ridiculous fairy tales about magical sex acts and ritual purity, sex workers will continue to be treated as disposable.  –  “December Seventeenth

The state, Western religions, and carceral “feminists” teach that a woman who has sex for practical reasons rather than emotional ones is robbed of her “purity”, and that an “impure” woman would be better off dead. – “On December Seventeenth

We…honor our dead not merely by weeping for them, but by fighting for the day when no more of us have to die for a sick and twisted fantasy of governmental control over the private choices of individuals.  –  “Honoring Our Dead

“End demand” and Swedish model proponents…respond to copious evidence that the approach harms sex workers by denying it, insisting that the harm is actually good…or simply dismissing it as a “price worth paying” for their fanatical dream of a society in which sex is entirely under government control.
–  “End Violence, Not Demand

The propaganda which drives this moral panic paints all prostitutes as pathetic, childlike victims suffering from mental illnesses which render us unable to make decisions for ourselves, thus justifying our abduction, imprisonment, deportation, robbery and rape.  –  “A Day Against Hate

The laws criminalizing our profession allow weak-minded men (and even some women) to convince themselves that since we are “criminals” we don’t deserve to be treated like human beings.  –  “The Red Umbrella

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The amount of child porn [on US government computers] is just unbelievable.  –  Daniel Payne

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

The key to breaking these evil laws is recognizing that they are punishment, not mere “registration”:

A federal judge…had harsh words for Tennessee [bureaucrats and pigs] who continue to enforce retroactive punishments against [people illegally condemned to the “]sex offender[” registry]…some of whom [were] co[nvicted]…decades before the state’s sex offender law took effect…In April, a different federal judge, also in the Middle District of Tennessee, ordered two men be removed from the…registry, finding that it was unconstitutional to [retroactively] subject them to…laws that were written after they [were] co[nvicted.  Judge Aleta]…Trauger cited the April ruling and other similar recent rulings…[including a] 2016 rul[ing] against the retroactive enforcement of a Michigan sex offender law

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

Biden is trying to wrest control of the “sex trafficking” narrative back from the Trumpists:

The Biden administration…released an updated National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking…based on four pillars, prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships.  Prevention i[s actually a euphemism for “propaganda”], protection involves in[fantilizing sex workers] and [migrants], prosecution involves [more money to cops and other carceral mechanisms,] and partnerships involves strengthening [fascist collaborations with the rescue industry]…

Social Distancing (#1082)

Lockdowns just have one consequence…and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer“:

…with COVID-19 cases rising in Europe, several countries are implementing lockdowns all over again, often with clearly punitive motivations…Austria’s government announced that police would enforce a lockdown exclusively against unvaccinated citizens…in Germany…a new lockdown was announced…for unvaccinated people, barring them from almost all public places except for pharmacies and supermarkets…Though statewide lockdowns have eased in Australia, the country is constructing internment camps for those who test positive for Covid, along with their Covid-negative “close contacts”…Initially marketed to the public as a means to “flatten the curve” and “slow the spread,” lockdowns now represent one of the most draconian aspects of the perverse New Normal that has metastasized amid an atmosphere of seemingly endless emergency…an array of scientific studies and data demonstrat[e]…that they likely caused more deaths than they prevented.  The lethal impact of lockdowns was particularly pernicious in the Global South, where hundreds of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people were driven into a cascading humanitarian crisis. As the World Food Program warned in 2020, “135 million people on earth are marching towards the brink of starvation” as a result of their economies shutting down to supposedly inhibit the spread of COVID-19…

Above the Law (#1187) 

This subtitle is no exaggeration:

Over the past 14 years, the Central Intelligence Agency has secretly a[llowed]…at least 10 of its employees and contractors [to get away with] committ[ing] sexual crimes involving children…only one of the individuals was ever charged with a crime…few faced any consequences beyond the possible loss of their jobs and security clearances…CIA insiders say the agency resists prosecution of its staff for fear the cases will reveal state secrets…One [spook molested] a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old.  He was fired.  A second employee purchased [child porn]…he resigned.  A third employee…[habitually viewed] child…[porn] while on agency assignments…the CIA took [no action] against him.  A contractor who [interacted] with an…FBI agent [fantasy role-play]ing as a [teen] had his contract revoked.  [The] only one…[who] was charged with a crime…was also [already] under investigation for mishandling classified material…The CIA [refers to allowing spooks to get away with sex crimes as]… “tak[ing]…allegations of possible criminal misconduct…seriously”…

But hey, at least the CIA doesn’t run its own child porn sites as the FBI does.

I Spy (#1188)

Why end-to-end encryption is only the beginning of security:

It is common to hear marketing language about “end-to-end encryption” and “private messaging” for basically every communications app out there…[but] not every “encrypted messaging service” is made equally…your message app may leak metadata, contacts, and even message contents.  A recently uncovered FBI document obtained by a group called Property of the People…illustrates just how important your choice of private messenger can be…Nine popular messaging applications are included in the document: Apple’s iMessage; Line, a Japanese message app; Signal, an open source encrypted chat platform popularized by Edward Snowden; Telegram, which originated in Russia and is now based in Dubai; Threema, a paid encryption chat…with servers based in Switzerland; Viber, which was developed in Cyprus and then bought by the Japanese conglomerate Rakuten; the Chinese Swiss army knife app WeChat; Meta’s WhatsApp; and Wickr [Me], which is a chat service that Amazon Web Services apparently owns…of the[se]…iMessage and WhatsApp are particularly susceptible to FBI snooping. Telegram and Signal score far better…Line and Viber are also relatively bad picks…

The article goes into detail about what information specifically the feds can get from each app.

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars wasted to cater to a politician’s showboating:

A Texas school district pre-emptively pulled more than 400 books from its libraries for review following…[political grandstanding by censorious politician] Matt Krause…The school district said in a statement Tuesday that it was reviewing the books “out of an abundance of [fear]” to “ensure [none of our librarians can be prosecuted by violent lunatics with delusions of grandeur]…For us, this is not about politics or censorship, but rather about [protect]ing [our staff and covering our butts]”…

The Cop Myth (#1191)

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

A [cop] in Kenya [murder]ed his wife and five others in a rampage before taking his own life…Benson Imbasi…who was described as…”[typical and representative]”…first shot his wife in the neck with his AK-47 rifle before walking out of their home and “shooting at innocent members of the public”…Two other people who were wounded remain in critical condition…

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

R.I.P. Phil Harvey

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

Surplus Women (#544) 

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

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

To Molest and Rape

Another sexual predator specifically targeted a vulnerable woman:

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

A Broker in Pillage (#1091)

I hope the Institute for Justice has already contacted her:

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

Devil’s Advocate (#1114) 

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

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

The Punitive Mindset (#1146) 

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

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

To Molest and Rape (#1181)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

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

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