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Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

Contact[ing] Facebook…[i]s useless.  –  Elizabeth Licata

Rough Trade

Gee, I wonder why she “stopped cooperating”?

Florida [cops] have arrested a man seemingly living a “normal life”…for allegedly being the “Woodline rapist” nearly 20 years after the brutal attacks…Dwight Arthur Harris…was…link[ed]…to the rapes…us[ing] genetic genealogy…the…rap[es occured]…on February 1, 2002…and…July 10, 2002…[but in]…another 2011 case…a known sex worker…was able to provide authorities with the tag number…and…description of the vehicle that helped them identify Harris as a possible suspect in the case before she stopped cooperating…

See No Evil (#798)

This is absurd even by the low standards of bluenoses:

Pornhub…is reportedly facing [a nuisance lawsuit] from the Louvre museum in Paris and the Uffizi in Florence after debuting a new interactive website and app, “Show Me the Nudes,” that features porn actors re-envisioning classic works of art as jumping off points for sexually explicit content…the…museums are [apparently convinced they can win damages for “]infringement[” of rights they do not possess] and [somehow force] the website to take down the content…

Apparently nobody has explained to these would-be censors that they don’t own the images in question, which are all in the public domain in every country, merely because they own the original works; furthermore, even if the works were still under copyright, satire is fair use in most places, and I’m unaware of any special weirdness in the laws of Luxembourg, where Porhub is domiciled, which would make this lawsuit anything other than 100% spurious.

Opting Out (#803)

When will people learn that “artificial intelligence” isn’t?

Facebook’s censors[hip algorithms] are…flagging the word “hoe” in a western New York gardening group because they apparently confused the tool for a disparaging term for women.  A group called WNY Gardeners has been repeatedly flagged…for “violating community standards,” when its more than 7,500 members discussed the long-handled bladed implement, which is spelled with[out] a…[“w” or “r”] unlike the [slur]…Facebook representative[s claim]…an actual person will…supposedly [check] posts [flagged by algorithms] in the future before the group is sanctioned or deleted…[other] post[s] in the group [have] be[en] automatically [censored] because of “possible violence…or hate”…[against aphids] and…Japanese beetles…

Quiet Genocide (#1050)

An analysis of what China absurdly claims are “schools”:

BuzzFeed News calculated the floor areas of 347 compounds bearing the hallmarks of prisons and internment camps in [Xinjiang] and compared them to China’s own prison and detention construction standards, which lay out how much space is needed for each…prisone[r].  Earlier estimates…have suggested that a total of more than a million Muslims have been detained or imprisoned over the last five years…Our…analysis…show[s] that China has built space to lock up at least 1.01 million people in Xinjiang at the same time.  That’s enough space to detain or incarcerate more than 1 in every 25 residents of Xinjiang simultaneously — a figure seven times higher than the criminal detention capacity of the United States, the country with the highest official incarceration rate in the world.   Even this extraordinary capacity is very likely an underestimate, for a simple reason:  It does not take into account the suffocating overcrowding that many former Xinjiang [prisoners] have described in interviews…

You Were Warned (#1112)

The bipartisan war on the internet is past even trying to look reasonable:

Two Democratic U.S. senators…will add to the stack of bills [attacking] Section 230 – [the] law that [makes the open internet possible]…by [trying to] mak[e] such platforms responsible for health-related misinformation…and [giving government bureaucrats the power to define]…what constitutes health misinformation…

Giving the government the power to define what information is “correct” and then making “incorrect” information punishable?  What could possibly go wrong?

A Moral Cancer (#1115)

The increase in absolute risk is so small that it is unlikely to be relevant for the individual“:

Eating beef, lamb, pork and processed meats will increase your risk of coronary heart disease later in life, according to a new meta-analysis of studies on over 1.4 million people who were followed for 30 years…The risk…increased as the amount of meat increased…This is in line with what has been found for bowel cancer

To Molest and Rape (#1156)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

[A Texas cop] was arrested…on charges of sex assault of a minor…Miguel Velasco-Hererra…was [rewarded for the rape with a paid vacation, but decided to resign instead]…

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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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You’re about to die, my friend.  –  Tyler Longman

Here’s another Doctor Who novelty song, recorded as a publicity tie-in for the 1965 Doctor Who and the Daleks movie starring Peter Cushing; the singer, Roberta Tovey, played Susan in the film.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel, Cop Crisis (x3), Walter Olson, and Mistress Matisse, in that order.

From the Archives

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Age restrictions [on adults]…are not rationally related to the state’s asserted interests [in protecting children].  –  Judge Robert Pitman

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

After [they] arrested [her after accusing her of] driving drunk, [cops took] a [woman]…to an Illinois jail, where [they]…held [her] down and forcibly stripped [her] naked in front of male [pigs and screws]…the[y justified their behavior by the rather bizarre excuse]…that they only [stripped] her…because she wouldn’t comply with their [demands she strip herself.  Ariel]…Harrison…hadn’t had any alcohol that day, despite [cops claiming to know via their magical powers of divination exactly how much liquor and of what type she supposedly consumed despite the fact that]…she was never tested and was tased multiple times before being [abducted, locked in a cage and sexually assaulted]…after more than a year of fighting for her freedom, Harrison is still facing five to seven years in prison for a variety of [bogus and evidence-free] charges…[such as] aggravated battery…resisting a peace officer, and improper lane usage.  [T]he s[tate]…also [abducted]…her kids.  She hasn’t seen them since the night she went to jail…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Indian sex workers’ fight against a terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill is drawing international attention:

…the All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) wrote a letter to the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeking an extension of time for submitting comments on the Draft Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, [because] the government gave too little time for assessing the provisions…if the request for an extension is not met, they will oppose the Bill…while the ministry had taken over two years to draft the Bill, affected groups and communities were given less than two weeks to share their views and feedback…While most of the sex workers’ organisations have not yet been able to make an assessment of the draft Bill, some lawyers [have pointed out that] clause 23…says, “the consent of the victim shall be irrelevant and immaterial in the determination of the offence of trafficking in persons”…This could mean even the sex workers who are willingly in the profession end up in jail…Abhijit Datta, an advocate…who has started studying the draft Bill, said that it appeared to him that the government was trying to prohibit prostitution altogether…

Working From Home (#1052)

And how do you think such a “ban” would be enforced?

After a [snitch told clueless Houston-area politicians about OnlyFans they started bloviating]…about whether or not live-streaming adult, sexual content from a home in [Woodlands] township is legal…a web [muckrake by busybodies] turned up scores of OnlyFans accounts for keywords, “OnlyFans’’ and “in The Woodlands”…[bean-counters] regulate…all home businesses in the township…and…adult-oriented businesses have been shunned or banned…

A Woman’s Point of View (#1114)

Will Oregon be the first US state to recognize sex workers’ human rights?

On Thursday, July 15th, the first-ever Human Rights Commission Event for Oregon Sex Workers [wa]s…held in Portland.  Our commission is asking voters and the Oregon Legislature for full decriminalization…For three hours, academics, researchers, medical experts, disability advocates, labor union representatives, and sex workers from Oregon and around the world will testify to invitees about why decriminalization of sex work is harm reduction for all Oregonians…many [politicians]…support Nordic…type models of criminalization, which means…arresting non-violent adults for trying to consensually pay for touch with another adult…fear-mongers who want to abolish sex work have relied on false “statistics” and church funding to put us in jail, shame us out of our day jobs, and take our kids away…their stances and legislation has led to more deaths, more poverty, and more hardship for people working in the sex trades and impacted by them…

To Molest and Rape (#1129)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

The ex-wife of a [rapist-murderer cop in London]…described…how his [gang] protected him from prosecution after [she] suffer[ed] years of physical and sexual abuse at his hands….Wayne Couzens has…admitted murdering Sarah Everard…in March this year…[after] kidnapping and raping [her.  Couzens]… was n[ever even questioned about] three separate indecent exposure complaints dating back to 2015 and [ignored that] he hit h[is ex-wife] repeatedly [even]…after he threatened her with a knife…[cops] did little more than tell him to go for a long walk to calm down…When she filed for divorce he…raped her…and…[agai]n…nothing was done…[except for cops telling her she] shouldn’t [tell the truth about him]…because it would bring the [thug gang] into disrepute…[nothing was done when he] tried to strangle hi[s son, either]…

Politicians’ response to the rape/murder was to propose that other members of the rapist’s gang be given even MORE power over women.

I Spy (#1141) 

Looks like we’re going to have to rethink the safety of the mail:

…postal inspectors have been monitoring social media platforms about U.S. protests…in April…Yahoo! News…obtained a March 16 “Situational Awareness Bulletin”…[which] mentioned that U.S. Postal Inspection Service…agents monitoring Facebook, Parler, Twitter, and Telegram had noticed “significant activity regarding planned protests”…USPIS agents “assume fake identities online, use sophisticated intelligence tools and employ facial recognition software”…includ[ing] Clearview AI…and Zignal Labs’ real-time keyword search software…

Still a Child (#1142) 

Unfortunately, the 5th Circuit decided to suck Louisiana politicians’ dicks on this same issue in 2018:

A U.S. District Court Judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the recent state law preventing sex workers aged 18-21 from being employed at strip clubs…Judge Robert Pitman…noted that the class-action plaintiffs “have a substantial likelihood of success on their claims that [the new law’s]…age restrictions…are unconstitutional…[and] that…“the challenged…law infringe[s] the…Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights”…

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Sex work is a legitimate form of work and should be regulated through standard business laws, like all other industries.  –  Melissa Horne

Under Every Bed

Population 77,434:

Human trafficking is something that continues to happen…here in the City of Albany [Georgia.  Hysteria ramped up after two women left town]…and [hysterics decided]…the[y] could have been part of human trafficking [sic]…[even though] police don’t believe the two cases are [even] related…Leah Dee [is a rather pathetic attention-seeker who] makes it her mission to [spread silly masturbatory fantasies about]…human trafficking…and [harass women while calling it]…rescue…Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards [bloviated that] “Albany, itself, is a hub”…and [shared his favorite wanking fantasies about how] predators typically operate in broad daylight…at sporting events, malls, grocery stores, and more…starting off with a “Gorilla Pimp”…

The Last Shall Be First (#631) 

SCOTUS makes its disinterest in potty-obsession quite clear:

The Supreme Court…dec[ided]…to…leav[e] a lower court ruling intact that says it’s unconstitutional for a school district to try to force a transgender student to continue using the bathroom facilities corresponding to their sex at birth…the…Court rejected [yet another attempt by the…Gloucester County [Virginia] School Board…[to reverse a federal court ruling in favor of] Gavin Grimm…the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia…in August 2019…granted a summary judgment affirming Grimm’s position…In August 2020, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed this decision with a 2–1 vote.  In February of this year, the school board petitioned the Supreme Court to again take up this case…[but] the Supreme Court dec[lined to] get involved again…

Disaster (#936)

Facebook didn’t think the face-eating leopards it wanted would eat its face:

…the Texas Supreme Court denied Facebook’s liability immunity for third party content based on Section 230…quoting FOSTA/SESTA to [spin a masturbatory fantasy about]…“websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts with sex trafficking victims.”  The opinion…denied Facebook’s motion to…dismiss…three [predatory lawsuits based in FOSTA by ambulance-chasers claimg to represent]…“victims of sex trafficking who became entangled with their abusers through Facebook”…

Rooted in Racism (#966)

In Europe as in the US, the real humanitarians are fighting against racist “anti-trafficking” schemes:

Hanad Abdi Mohammad, a Somali who saved 31 people of a smuggling ship that sank off the Greek island of Lesbos in December, has been sentenced to 142 years in prison, after being charged with human trafficking…However, he [will “only”] serve a total of 20 years behind bars, the maximum allowed by the [Greek] criminal code…Mohammad is one of several asylum seekers who has received a[n outrageous sentence]…for facilitating the illegal entry of [refugees]…Last year, two Afghan men…received 50-year sentences for the same reasons…the turkish smuggler that transported them abandoned the boat and that Mohammad tried to save them after a Turkish Coast Guard ship forced him into Greek waters.  [All but] two of the migrants were [denied the right] to testify in [Mohammad’s defense using the excuse of] coronavirus…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#1054) 

It looks like Victoria is about to become the world’s fourth jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

Victoria will join a growing list of jurisdictions in the world to decriminalise the sex industry if state MPs adopt recommendations aimed at safeguarding workers and reducing stigma…Consumer Affairs Minister Melissa Horne said…the government was working towards the decriminalisation of the industry as a priority…The proposed changes stem from a 2019 parliamentary review of laws governing sex work, led by Reason Party MP Fiona Patten…[which] recommends…full decriminalisation…including street-based…work, and regulating it through the Occupational Health and Safety Act…[instead of] police…

Monsters (#1064)

State violence vs trans women in Latin America is starting to get attention:

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, a regional court based in Costa Rica, has ordered the Honduran government to continue its investigation into the [2009 rape and murder] of [trans sex worker Vicky] Hernández…by [cops who used]…a curfew [as excuse for the atrocity.  Naturally] the government’s lawyers denied its [cops were the perpetrators despite eyewitness testimony, but]…the court…ruled [otherwise]…

The Next Target (#1122)

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

…German authorities want to force the hosting provider of the porn website xHamster to lock out German users.  A year ago, the State [Censorship] Agency…in North Rhine-Westphalia began to issue porn portals such as PornHub with an ultimatum: Either they [censor their content using the excuse of “]youth protection[” opt-in software]…or [else]…porn companies argue that they label their websites according to an international standard designed to make it easy for parents to [censor] their children’s devices.  However, German legislation takes the opposite approach: Portals that [puritans decl]are harmful to minors should only be accessible if [prospective] users are [willing to surrender private information to prove they are] of legal age…[the threats are the brainchildren of arch-censor] Tobias Schmid, [a politician who has proudly declared himself obsessed with “Ordnung” (order)]…

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Holy shit. This guy is going to kill me now.  –  Tristin Goods

Last weekend a heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest; on Sunday it reached 43o C at Sunset, and hotter than that in Seattle.  So naturally this song came to mind.  The links above it were provided by Scott Greenfield, Jesse Walker, Radley Balko, Mark Bennett, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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The police are…seen as outside the law.  –  Nicole Van Cleve

Schadenfreude

Yet another rescue industry “hero” is revealed as an opportunistic fraud:

A private foundation is suing [rescue industry profiteer group] Unlikely Heroes and its [owner] Erica Greve…[because]…it misrepresented its rescue home operations and breached its contract involving an online education program, among other [abuses].  The Human Investment Foundation, a Dallas-based private family foundation focused on sexual violence education and prevention…seeks declaratory relief and a re[fund] of the more than $100,000 it [was scammed into] donat[ing] to Unlikely Heroes…[which] claims to have recovered over 500 children and [indoctrin]ated more than 80,000 people [i]n human trafficking [propaganda]…since 2011.  The organization is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, but has an office in Hollywood…[despite claims to the contrary] Unlikely Heroes does not actually own or operate its rescue homes in Thailand, the Philippines and Mexico, nor does it have any staff outside the U.S.  Instead, it extends a small donation to [other prohibitionists who] own [gingerbread houses] in their respective countries and claims the work as its own…

How Many Will It Take?

How many mass graves before people stop believing in the goodness of religion?

…Canad[ian]…investigators have found hundreds of unmarked graves at the site of…the Marieval Indian Residential School, which operated from 1899 to 1997 where the Cowessess First Nation is now located…[in] Saskatchewan.  A search with ground-penetrating radar resulted in 751 ’’hits,″ indicating that at least 600 bodies were buried in the area…the numbers will be verified in coming weeks…the graves were marked at one time, but that the Roman Catholic Church that operated the school had removed the markers…Last month the remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were found buried on the site of what was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school near Kamloops, British Columbia…until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools, the majority of them run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations, in a campaign to assimilate them into Canadian society…physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages…

Panopticon (#746)

It only took the courts five years to recognize the obvious this time:

The use of surveillance planes in Baltimore to track people’s movement for long periods without a warrant is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, a federal appeals court [has finally] ruled…The case revolved around a…surveillance program run by the Baltimore Police Department…[euphemized as] Aerial Investigation Research…beginning in 2016…The program was [temporarily] discontinued in response to [rightful] public anger over the snooping.  But in 2019, the program [quietly] returned as…a [fascist collaboration] between BPD and a private company…During daylight hours, the planes would fly over the city recording images…of about 90 percent of Baltimore…[which] could be used to track the movements of [any] individual…co[ps decided to brand a]…crim[inal, without need for]…a warrant…

Disaster (#1000)

Even the government itself recognizes what a disaster FOSTA is:

…the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report detailing how federal prosecutors have rarely used…FOSTA…[against any] act[ual]…criminal[s]…”because…prosecutors have had success using other criminal statutes.”  “The GAO report confirms…FOSTA-SESTA was a complete disaster,” said Sarah Roth-Gaudette…[of] Fight for the Future.  “Lives were put in danger…[yet] the law has only been used once in its three-year history”…

Choke Point (#1007)

The ACLU has finally deigned to notice financial discrimination vs sex workers:

Using financial intermediaries such as PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo can make or break one’s ability to work or survive in our increasingly virtual society.  In spite of this, platforms like PayPal and Venmo continue to boot sex workers and other users off their platforms…criminalization…makes sex workers more vulnerable to financial censorship…platforms like PayPal and Venmo, who should offer their services to all users without discrimination, will randomly…shut down the accounts of sex workers…without warning or due process…harm[ing] workers relying on that income…pushing sex work deeper into the shadows and enabling more abuse…In addition…PayPal routinely targets users for speech protected by the First Amendment…and…stall[s] efforts to provide bail support…The censorship of sex workers is just one piece of the puzzle…

Predictably, ACLU only seems concerned about discrimination against LGBT sex workers.  But since we make up the majority, that will help straight sex workers as well.

The Cop Myth (#1053)

Is there any non-troglodyte who still denies police violence is epidemic?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that since 2015, more than 400,000 people have been treated in emergency rooms because of violent interactions with police or security guards.  But there’s almost no nationwide data on the nature or circumstances of their injuries.  Many of the [US]’s roughly 18,000 [cop shops] don’t [bother to] tally…the number of people who need medical care after [thug cops] break their arms, bruise their faces or shock them with Tasers…”police…get to decide who is worthy or unworthy of an ambulance,” said Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve…[of] Brown University…“It is absolutely an undercount”…

Tissue of Lies

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

…Georgia [cop shops pretend] they recovered 20 endangered children, 16 of which are [fantasized] to be victims of sex trafficking…[by combining mundane record updates] over a two-week period in May around Atlanta…The [publicity stunt] is the third of its kind…

These “operations” have become popular with cop shops all over the US, but were innovated last year in Georgia.

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Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.  But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.  –  Frank Herbert, Dune

On Saturday, my Twitter account was locked for twelve hours because a mindless censorship algorithm could not tell the difference between mocking an idea and professing that idea; said algorithm was given power to judge human thought for “acceptability” because Twitter (at the insistence of legions of nitwits) has decided that it’s a good idea to silence wrongthink in the first place.  I’ve already pointed out the deep foolishness and simian stupidity of censorship in many other essays, and I’ll be doing so again this year on the last Monday in September, as usual; today I’d like you to think about just how incredibly dumb it is to give machines that kind of power without human supervision or functional appeals process.  Now, I’m not a Luddite; I certainly recognize that there are certain circumstances in which computers can be trusted with limited power (such as controlling an aircraft in flight) provided there is a human around to supervise.  Computers are, as Isaac Asimov once expressed it, high-speed morons; they do whatever they’re told to do, exactly as they’re told to do it and for as long as they’re told to do it, very very quickly.  The problem, of course, is that they are completely incapable of anything even approximating actual thought, which means that they will follow the most mind-bogglingly stupid (or even self-destructive) orders with the same degree of speed and efficiency as they would obey more sensible directives.  Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to have their computer infected with a virus should know this, yet people keep happily entrusting more and more of their lives to hopped-up pocket calculators they insist on pretending are “smart”; many of them even think it’s a good idea to let these overcomplicated abaci drive their cars at highway speed or tell them how to write.  Computers are useful tools and (usually) dependable servants, but apparently generations of science-fiction writers have failed to pound into the heads of the intellectually lazy what a colossally bad idea it is to accept them in positions of authority.

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Civil forfeiture is an abomination.  –  Travis May

The Red Umbrella

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targeted for violence:

…Over four days in May, the same man stalked seven women and sexually assaulted three of them across [Philadelphia] and [its] suburbs….he took [few] steps to evade detection, [even wearing]…the same clothing…[yet cops] from Mississippi to Philadelphia [let Kevin Bennett pull off] a…crime spree staggering in scope, spanning eight states over 50 days, until [they finally managed to arrest him] in late May.  He’s a suspect in at least five rapes, three jewelry-store robberies, and a handful of stalking and assault incidents…

A Broker in Pillage

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

…the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to permanently [steal] the contents of hundreds of safe deposit boxes, including over $85 million in cash and precious metals, jewelry and other valuables worth millions more…the boxes’ owners have not been accused of any crime and have not been told what the government thinks they did wrong.  Now, several of those owners are joining an existing Institute for Justice (IJ) class action lawsuit to stop the government’s forfeiture plans…“This is an $85 million cash grab by the federal government,” said IJ Senior Attorney Robert Frommer.  “The government has no basis to think any of these people have done anything wrong.  It just wants to keep their stuff”…

I first linked to this story in Links #563.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1003) 

The latest chapter in this nasty, twisted saga:

GirlsDoPorn…recruiter and male talent Ruben Andre “Dre” Garcia was sentenced…to 20 years after pleading guilty to sex trafficking charges against him in the case that also involves the site’s fugitive owner, Michael Pratt, and others…

Forward and Backward (#1058)

A good example of why “policies” not anchored in law are no solution:

…Leeds City Council…[ha]s deci[ded] to “step away from what has been a pioneering and compassionate approach to on street sex work” and scrap the Holbeck Managed Approach Zone…almost seven years after [it] was first launched…The zone was officially closed down temporarily last April, [using] the [excuse of the] pandemic…forc[ing women] to work in riskier environments and ma[king] it harder for them to get help in an emergency…[and apparently thepoliticians liked that result and wanted it to continue]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1090)

Puritanism is throttling the entire world:

[Politicians] in Hungary passed [a law] that prohibits sharing with minors any content that portrays being gay or transgender…supporters [of the ban projectile-vomited the word “]pedophilia[” a]t…human rights groups [who] denounced [the new censorship law] as anti-LGBT discrimination…The ruling Fidesz party has a parliamentary majority, and [politicians] from the right-wing Jobbik party also endorsed the measure…All other opposition parties boycotted the voting session in protest…Some human rights officials have compared it to the so-called gay “propaganda” law passed by Russia in 2013…[in order] to harass sexual minorities…

Winding Down

You know things are changing when Louisiana eliminates an excuse for caging people:

A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana…in Louisiana will become law after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation…Although…the bill [doesn’t legalize cannabis]…the penalty would be less than most speeding tickets…[it] would make possession of 14 grams or less…a misdemeanor in all cases and limit the fine to $100 with no jail time.  It takes effect Aug. 1…

Torture Chamber (#1141)

Your regular reminder that rapist screws are not confined to the US:

Cases of sexual assault and prostitution have been [anonymously] reported at a [prison] for unaccompanied migrant minors…in Spain’s Canary Islands…The complaint…also detailed “physical assault and sustained abuse” allegedly committed by workers at the center, as well as deficient sanitary conditions.  According to the complaint, these episodes of “negligence” have been “condoned and encouraged” by members of current and past management teams, who “have done nothing to stop it”…

What kind of sick mind thinks that voluntary “delinquent” behavior is the same as being raped, tortured and locked in filthy cages by brutal armed thugs?

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