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Posts Tagged ‘China’

Respecting private property means government has to pay for the property it destroys.  –  Scott Bullock

A Broker in Pillage

There are many ways for governments to steal things that don’t belong to them:

…a federal jury ruled that Vicki Baker is entitled to $59,656.59 in damages after a SWAT team [wantonly] destroyed her McKinney, Texas, home while pursuing a fleeing fugitive in July 2020…the Institute for Justice…file[d] a lawsuit [on her behalf] in March 2021, after the city refused to pay for the damage that had been caused…U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant III ruled that the destruction of Vicki’s home was a “taking” that required the city to pay just compensation.  On April 29, Judge Mazzant rejected the city of McKinney’s argument that police…should be categorically exempt from [any consequences] for [their actions, no matter how callous and idiotic]…Because “the destruction to Baker’s home was intentional and foreseeable,” compensation was required, he ruled…

Civil rights advocates often joke that the Third Amendment is the only one that hasn’t been undermined, but I fail to see any important difference between the government forcibly taking people’s homes to quarter troops and forcibly taking them to enable cops and robbers games.

Divination

Authoritarians just love their wanking fantasies of mind-reading machines:

A Chinese research team claims to have created a “mind-reading device” that detects “porn watching,” which could be used by police to enforce the country’s strict laws against sexual expression…[Naturally the inventors used buzzwords such as] “AI”…an[d puritanisms such as]…”indecent image”…to [hawk their bogus] “porn police helmet that can read people’s minds to detect pornography”…

Stalkers in Blue

No woman is safe from predatory cops:

A [sleazy] cop is out of a job after he admitted to using [a sleazy cop surveillance database] to look up personal information about a woman he [found on] OnlyFans…Kevin Bohn, a member of the Cinnaminson police department, used a restricted law enforcement database to find information about the woman and her family…[the]n tried to hide his actions by creating incident numbers for his inquiries and then closing out the cases…

The Next Target (#1151)

Prohibitionists’ real goal is to completely ban online sex work:

The federal government of Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, has ordered all open-access online platforms to “remove, disable or block access” to all “pornographic” content…Gay content is already illegal in Nigeria, as is any form of private gay sexuality.  According to reports, the country ranks second worldwide on searches for “gay porn”.  The order was made public [on June 14th], with all platforms available in the nation of 216 million given only 24 hours to comply.  It is unclear what the reach and success of the measure has been in practice, especially considering the easy availability of VPN programs to change an individual IP address location…

To Molest and Rape (#1239)

So many rapist cops, so many underage victims:

A [typical and representative Florida cop] has been sentenced to [a mere] six years in state prison for [repeatedly molesting] a [teenager]…William Arnold Jr…pleaded no contest to…sexual battery…[in exchange for more serious] charges [being] dropped as part of a plea deal…he will [also] face 9 years of probation with electronic monitoring and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender upon his release.  The victim…was 14 [when Arnold started molesting her]…

Thought Control (#1244)

No public library is safe from censorship, because they’re controlled by politicians:

…Trustees of the Smithtown Library Board on Long Island voted to remove signs for Pride and any LGBTQ+-related books from children’s sections [last week]…Books related to sexual orientation and gender identity will indefinitely be removed from children’s areas—regardless of the literature’s targeted audience—and put elsewhere…board trustee Marie Gergenti proposed the [censorship] to [give a heckler’s veto to unnamed parties she claimed to have]…receiv[ed] complaints [from, but]…New Yorkers both inside and outside the Smithtown-area[, especially politicians who saw an opportunity for vote-getting virtue-signaling,] rushed to social media to blast the board’s decision…The New York Library Association reaffirmed its “commitment to intellectual freedom,” and condemned the move…

The clamor immediately caused the board to reverse its ill-considered move.

Censor Chic (#1248)

A government powerful enough to…obscur[e anti-abortion] information…is also one powerful enough to…hid[e] info about how to obtain an abortion“:

…By the early 1970s, nearly 20 states prohibited publishing or advertising information about abortion…The U.S. Supreme Court would go on to declare such bans unconstitutional, in the 1975 case Virginia vs. Bigelow.  But…[with] Roe v. Wade…overturned, it’s all but assured that battles over…abortion information will begin again…senators have exerted pressure on Google to limit certain sorts of results…How long until we see [thm] pressured to block ads for abortion pills or information on methods to self-induce abortions?  We’re also likely to see abortion added to the list of things used to justify broader crackdowns on free speech, in the way that things like sex work, disinformation, and domestic extremism [are] used today.  The ability to communicate privately about…abortions could be used as another argument against encrypted communication.  And it shouldn’t be long until we hear about how Section 230…should be reformed since it protects Big Tech from being held liable for user posts about how to obtain an abortion…risk-averse companies may be quick to censor a wide range of content related to abortion, even if that content would ultimately prove protected…

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A government powerful enough to bully tech companies into obscuring information about anti-abortion centers is also one powerful enough to bully tech companies into hiding info about how to obtain an abortion.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

If Men Were Angels

“Pastor” + “assistant principal” = “youth pastor”:

A [pastor and] assistant principal at Union Grove Christian School [in North Carolina]…has been sentenced to five consecutive 10-12 month sentences…for a series of sex crimes that he committed…from 2008 to 2009…with a high school student…

Quiet Genocide (#1130)

Meanwhile, the West obsesses about porn:

Under Xi, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has steadily beaten the population into ideological conformity.  For ethnic and religious minorities, that has meant erasing their identities and remaking them as Han Chinese.  Most far‐​reaching has been the campaign against the Muslim Uyghurs…the…vi[ctims of a]…far‐​reaching campaign of…Orwell[ian]…surveillance…and…[repress]ion …more than a million Uyghurs [are caged] in reeducation camps…[whose] purpose is also Orwellian—to produce CCP‐​controlled automatons.  Even after release, many Uyghurs are not free…[they are] forced…[to] work…in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well‐​known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen…Even when [Uyghurs]…find…safe haven outside China…Beijing is also determined to control [them]…A new report by Bradley Jardine, a fellow with both the Wilson Center and the Kennan Institute, explores how China is exporting repression abroad, including into the United States…

Censor Chic (#1138)

Corporations have become the favored tool of censors worldwide:

…some politicians…think Google should be serving up only government-approved information.  In the latest iteration of this phenomenon, 21 senators have sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai complaining that people who search for information about abortions may be led to websites for crisis pregnancy centers…The[se] often draw people in by purporting to be neutral sources of information and support for people facing unexpected pregnancies, but their goal is to convince people to continue those pregnancies…But while some have been found to misrepresent themselves in ways that amount to fraud, most operate within legal limits and have every right to exist, to advertise, and to try to persuade people…standing in contrast to the much more drastic tactics of trying to…criminalize abortion [entirely]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1166) 

Frog, meet scorpion:

For years, TikTok has responded to data privacy concerns by pr[etend]ing that information gathered about users in the United States is stored in the United States, rather than China, where ByteDance, the video platform’s parent company, is located.  But according to leaked audio from…internal TikTok meetings, China-based employees of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users…Despite a TikTok executive’s…[perjur]y in an October 2021 Senate hearing that a “world-renowned, US-based security team” decides who gets access to this data, nine statements by eight different employees describe situations where US employees had to turn to their colleagues in China to determine how US user data was flowing.  US staff did not have permission or knowledge of how to access the data on their own…

Creepy Coppers

The people the government empowers to police your sexuality:

New Mexico [cop]…Robert Jesse Strand…was…charged with c[hild porn]…possession…[he was caught in] June 2021 but…once [the investigators] learned Strand was [a member of their gang, they tried to bury]…the case…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1238)

“Sex trafficking” is a convenient excuse for any tyranny:

…sex workers could be subject to unwanted visits from police — and more profiling from strangers — if the Manitoba government passes new legislation i[ntended to infantilize sexworkers and make it easier to persecute them and their clients, whom the bill’s sponsors label]…”exploiters”…Winnipeg police [are promoting the usual idiotic “]signs of exploitation[” on their website, and the]…new legislation…would compel hotels and temporary accommodations…to keep a record of guests’ information, including their names and addresses, and turn it over to police on [demand] without…a warrant…Families Minister Rochelle Squires [lied that the bill]…won’t go after people involved in consensual sex work.  The province wants to [call all sex work “]human trafficking[” so the government can pretend the bill]…is not intended to push sex work further underground…

Served Cold (#1245) 

OUR’s increasingly-bizarre antics have made it a pariah even among “trafficking” fetishists:

Operation Underground Railroad has a pattern of exaggeration and misrepresentation…its founder, Tim Ballard…claimed…in a video posted on…Instagram, in a Tweet, and in a Facebook post…to be doing a “collaboration” with American Airlines this month, with the airline showing a video about its work…a spokesperson for American flatly said there was no such collaboration…“We do not have any partnership or affiliation with them, and the content is not available on our in-flight entertainment”…Turns out…[that in actuality,] the organization bought an ad with a third-party service provider, Clearwind Media, which…never actually ran on [American’s] in-flight entertainment…this is qualitatively different from a “collaboration” with American…

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Extortion, there’s no other way to explain it.  –  Marc Deldin

To Molest and Rape

Distorting a rapist pig’s image is almost as bad as hiding it:

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation arrested a [typical and representative] Canadian County [cop]…who…rap[ed a woman] he [had locked in a cage-truck]…David Wayne Loman [raped her]…three times at three different locations…at [least once anally]…

A Broker in Pillage (#918)

Wayne County, Michigan has openly extorted money for years with similar tactics:

…in December of 2020…the mayor…and…police chief [of Highland Park, Michigan] dropped by a 13,000-square-foot building owned by Justyna and Matt Kozbial [using the pretext of] an impromptu fire code inspection…[in reality, the politicians needed pretext to pretendto “find” a [state-licensed] marijuana grow operation…[in order to steal] the building…and h[o]ld on to it for 17 months without charging them with a crime…police never alleged there was any major criminal activity…[and] In…response to an interrogatory filed in the Kozbials’ subsequent lawsuit against Highland Park…they received a settlement offer from the town:  Stop growing marijuana and buy two [brand-new pigmobiles] for the [cop shop, for]…a…total…pcost of] about $70,000…after WXYZ Detroit reported on the fiasco, Highland Park informed the Kozbials that it would be giving them back their building.  Their lawsuit is still ongoing…

Quiet Genocide (#1157)

How much longer will the Western Establishment ignore this?

Thousands of photographs from the heart of China’s highly secretive system of mass incarceration in Xinjiang, as well as a shoot-to-kill policy for those who try to escape, are among a huge cache of data hacked from police computer servers in the region.  The Xinjiang Police Files, as they’re being called, were passed to the BBC earlier this year…and…reveal…in unprecedented detail, China’s use of “re-education” camps and formal prisons…for Uyghurs – and…[makes it harder for Western politicians to pretend to believe its ridiculous] public narrative about…[the concentration camps being] “schools”…The documents provide some of the strongest evidence to date for a policy targeting almost any expression of Uyghur identity, culture or Islamic faith – and of a chain of command running all the way up to the Chinese [dictator], Xi Jinping…

Thought Control (#1210)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

[After the] Virginia Beach (VA) school…[board ordered the] remov[al of the book] Gender Queer from [school libraries]…a Virginia [ambulance-chaser seized upon the opportunity to]…fil[e]…suit[s] against [a] school [which stocked the book] and against the Barnes & Noble store in Virginia Beach…[because the book, and another one named] A Court of Mist and Fury are [available]…to minors…[shyster Tim Anderson,who is also (unsurprisingly) a politician, openly admitted his suit is intended as a nuisance and encouraged other wannabe censors to file] “suits like this…all over Virginia. There are dozens of books. Hundreds of schools”…Neither book fits the [legal] definition of obscene and neither book is pornography…

The Mob Rules (#1215)

This batshittery is virulent, and will only get worse:

The Oklahoma Legislature gave final approval…to a bill that prohibits nearly all abortions starting at fertilization, which would make it the nation’s strictest abortion law.  The bill subjects abortion providers and anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion to civil suits from private individuals…The measure is modeled on a law that took effect in Texas in September, which has relied on civil…instead of criminal enforcement to [circumvent] court challenges”…The bill makes exceptions for cases of rape and incest, but only if [the victims invite cops to gawk at them, ask disgusting questions, and pry into every corner of their lives]…

Oklahoma ladies: please allow me to aid and abet you in having a medication abortion at home.

Guinea Pigs (#1234)

Cops have been doing this for years, and platforms do nothing to stop it:

…a little-known [gang in the Chicago cop shop]…called the Social Media Exploitation…team…had been set up to [conspire with] the FBI [to] find [weak people who could be suborned] and [spy on citizens] using information gleaned from social sites.  The Intercept and Chicago-based transparency groups obtained more than 800 pages of emails and other documents about the [gang] through public records requests.  These show that the [gang members] were given broad leeway to [spy on] people across platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, using fake social media accounts furnished by the FBI, in violation of some platforms’ policies…

Stalkers in Blue (#1238)

This cop just keeps demonstrating what he is:

Matthew Dominguez…[the infamous Wanking Pig of] San Jose…[has] sexually harassed and assaulted…other…wom[en]n [in the past]…Dominguez…touched [one woman’s] breasts and thigh and kept trying to touch her even after she rebuffed his advances…she and her boyfriend…reported the…sexual assault…but [of course nothing was done]…Another woman…[w]as…[groped by] Dominguez…[while] arresting [her in December.  Conveniently]…the body camera footage [for the arrest is] missing…

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In its attempts to target an ever-growing number of people for detention and deportation, ICE has reached into the private homes and lives of almost every person in America.  –  Nina Wang

Pyrrhic Victory (#1045)

Allowing Clearview to continue arming those who claim the “right” to spy on you, violently assault you, and destroy your life, is nothing like a “big win”:

Under a legal settlement filed in court today, Clearview AI…has agreed to a new set of restrictions that ensure the company is in alignment with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…Clearview will be permanently banned from granting paid or free access to its gargantuan face recognition database to private entities [but not to governmental entities, including ICE, CBP, the FBI and local cop shops]…except…in Illinois [and even that restriction is only]…for a [mere] five years…Clearview will maintain an opt-out request form on its website, allowing Illinois residents to [give this unscrupulous business yet another] photo [in exchange for a politician’s promise that]…their faceprints will be blocked from appearing in Clearview’s search results…

Quiet Genocide (#1105)

Here’s another firsthand account of the ongoing genocide of the Uighur people by the Chinese communist regime, told in comic strip form.  Since finally escaping after years of brutalization, Zumrat Dawut has bravely told her story despite attempts by the Chinese government to terrorize her even though she now resides in the US.  Please read her story, edited by Anthony Del Col and illustrated by Fahmida Azim; it is imperative Westerners stop looking away and pretending these atrocities are not happening.

I Spy (#1155)

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

…the European Commission [is] seeking to end encrypted communications…[using the popular excuse] of child sexual abuse imagery…messaging services and web hosts would be required to search for, and report, child abuse material – even in the case of encrypted messaging services…that cannot be scanned in such a way…[politician] Ylva Johansson…[bloviated a lot of self-contradictory nonsense about] “strong safeguards guaranteeing privacy of all”…[while constantly harping on the word] “children”…But the plans [are in reality]…an attack on privacy…Joe Mullin of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[pointed out that because what the politicians demand is literally impossible in encrypted messaging…“This would be a massive new surveillance system…[which] would require the infrastructure for detailed analysis of user messages”…It is a similar approach to that proposed…by Apple…Patrick​ ​Breyer, German MEP for the​ ​Pirate​ ​party, called the proposals “fundamental​ ​rights​ ​terrorism​ ​against​ ​trust,​ ​self-determination​ ​and​ ​security​ ​on​ ​the​ internet”…

To Molest and Rape (#1178)

Not even a rapist cop’s own daughters are safe:

A 10-year-old girl called police in March [to report that] her father, a Chicago [cop, had]…sexually abus[ed] her…but when he was [arrested and] charged…it was only for domestic battery, a misdemeanor…

I Spy (#1200)

All federal cop shops and spook houses are part of the police-state blob:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement…has built a vast digital surveillance system that gives it access to the personal details of almost every person in America, a two-year investigation by Georgetown University law center…conclud[ed] that the…organisation has strayed well beyond its [official] duties as an immigration body to become…a domestic surveillance agency…[with] capabilities that allows its agents to “pull detailed dossiers on nearly anyone, seemingly at any time”…includ[ing]…driver’s license data…utility records…[license plate reader data and] facial recognition [data on roughly 75% of US adults]…and…weaponised through the use of powerful algorithmic tools for searching and analysing data…all…[secretly and] in the absence of warrants…

The Implosion Begins (#1211)

The New York Times uses terms like “far-right conspiracy theory” to describe the moral panic they’ve aggressively promoted for 18 years:

Jason Frank…and his [QAnon] group…have been camping out near Sasabe, Ariz., as a self-appointed border force [in an elaborate fantasy roleplay]…of protecting the thousands of migrant children who have been arriving from the evils of sex trafficking — a favorite QAnon theme…wh[ich developed] over the years [from fantasies about]…pedophilia rings [heavily promoted by cops, fanatics, politicians, and journalists – especially the New York Times – since the early Oughts despite mountains of evidence that organized]…sex-trafficking schemes [of the sort featured in these fantasies are highly] unusual…migrant children [and adults are]…overwhelmingly people who paid to be smuggled…

Policing for Profit (#1230)

I reckon Empyreal felt letting this crime boss save face was a cheap way to get their property back:

Empyreal Logistics…has reached a settlement with the San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff’s Department, which had [robbed] more than $1 million from Empyreal’s armored cars.  The Justice Department, which was holding the money pending federal forfeiture, agreed to return all of it last month…Empyreal a[lso agreed to endorse a statement] the sheriff’s department issued on Friday, [absurdly claiming that the sheriff and his henchmen were]…”acting in good faith when the[y conducted pretextual traffic] stops w[ith the specific intent of robbing a corporation conducting business that was 100% legal under California law]”…

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We are not killed by Covid, but by the Covid control measures.
-anonymous Weibo post

For me, it was always his voice and manner, which is why the video below is so funny.  His reading of 50 Shades of Grey is even funnier, but I already shared that one seven years ago.  And of course his performance as Mr. Mxyzptlk in the Superman animated TV show of the ’90s was one of the highlights of the entire series.  The links above the video were provided by Dan Savage, Cop Crisis, Liz Wolfe, Isley, Cop Crisis again, and Popehat, in that order.

From the Archives

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It’s called silly string. It’s silly.  –  Suzanne Johnson

As one who appreciates both Doctor Who and Jacques Brel, I found this extremely funny; I hope you do as well.  The links above it were provided by David Ley, Franklin Harris, Scott Greenfield, Walter Olson, Jesse Walker, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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As shocking as this may be to the fine folks at Marriott:  people have sex in hotels.  –  Jennifer Worrel

Counterfeit Comfort (#52) 

Fortunately, an ever-growing number of people – including a few politicians – are becoming increasingly critical of these medieval laws:

…After an alleged sexting incident in 2012 snowballed into a felony conviction in his southern state, [Jason] was forced to register as a sex offender and barred from using a computer or smartphone.  Over time, the conditions of his probation were reduced to a patchwork of technology-related restrictions: He was allowed to use email, but…not…text[ing].  He could use the internet, but…not…social media account, and all of his time online was [surveill]ed by a probation officer…Jason has become a leader in nonprofit advocacy around criminal legal system reform…Last summer he petitioned the court to have his probation end early…But right now Jason is sitting in prison and will be there until July 2023…[because the probation officer and a prosecutor decided] watching a community prayer livestream…was…accessing social media…

Watershed

When a timid hack like Oliver feels safe supporting sex worker rights, we’re definitely past the watershed:

Signs (#912) 

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

Several years ago…I booked an overnight at a…convenient…mid-priced hotel…I informed the young woman working at the desk that I had a reservation….[but] she [kept] ask[ing]…annoying…question[s]…It felt like I was being assessed and scrutinized…In hindsight, I wish I would have just left right then and found another hotel.  I had already presented my driver’s license…I had loyalty status showing numerous prior stays at related properties which presumably she could confirm in her system; I had a drivers license with my photo confirming who I was.  The reservation was made via a corporate travel department.  Why was I getting the third-degree?  “Ma’am, we need to make sure women staying in our hotel are doing so for legitimate reasons”…As it turned out, Marriott International had launched an initiative to combat…sex trafficking…By 2019, the company proudly announced an achievement milestone of [indoctrinating] 500,000 hotel workers [in propaganda about]…signs of human trafficking…I suggest that Marriott could make more of a contribution to their mission of “combatting modern day slavery” and “caring about human rights”  if they re-assessed their business presence in China or their treatment of Uyghurs instead of scrutinizing adult American women checking into rural hotels…

The writer is a supporter of sex workers, and the article is well worth reading in its entirety.

To Molest and Rape (#947)

Even rapist cops sometimes get their comeuppance when the victim is a kid:

Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain was sentenced to…four life sentences without parole [for] aggravated rape…and…aggravated incest…of…five victims, some of them relatives, [who] testified at trial…of looking up to Strain as an older brother or father figure and having their trust betrayed when he molested or raped them in tents, campers, and in his bedroom.  The sexual abuse continued into adulthood in many cases…

Creepy Coppers

The article is pretty vague, but it seems to belong in this tag:

A [typical and representative Georgia cop] is facing a wave of new charges after having already separately been indicted by a federal Grand Jury…for child pornography…Peter Bilardello is facing five charges for the sexual exploitation of children…in [addition to the previous charges]…for the…possession and distribution of child pornography…Bilardello…worked in a sex-offender [gang, and]…was receiving training in sex crimes investigations while…committing online sex crimes against children…

The Cop Myth (#1210)

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

…On Aug. 3, 2018, [typical and representative California cop Brad] Wheat took his CHP-issued service weapon and hollow-point ammunition to [murder (by his own later admission) Philip “Trae” Debeaubien, the boyfriend of Wheat’s estranged wife, Mary…Wheat’s colleagues convinced him to surrender his…weapons and they reported it to superiors. Instead of treating this matter with the seriousness it deserved, or showing concern for the dangers that Debeaubien and Mary Wheat faced, CHP…essentially did nothing…it didn’t even inform the…planned [victims]…sent [Wheat] on vacation for two weeks, let him return to work, and returned his firearm and ammunition…Two weeks later, Wheat…shot Debeaubien in the shoulder…shot to death his ex-wife, and then killed himself.  Now CHP says it has no responsibility for this tragic event and that its decisions did not endanger the plaintiff’s life…

To Molest and Rape (#1211)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

An Alabama A&M spokesperson…[thought the most important detail about] the…arrest…for sexual abuse and enticing a child o[f campus copper] Ismael Roldan…was [that he wasn’t wearing his magical clown costume while committing the assault]…

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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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I have to stop cowering.  –  Jennifer Chen

Secret Squirrel (#895)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

…Intrusive surveillance has become a parental rite of passage in America.  But the parental panopticon is not a mark of maturity and responsibility but rather of paranoia, distrust, and devolvement.  From smartphones to schools to entertainment, parents can track the near totality of their children’s lives with ease…The simple, slick, and seductive interfaces are designed to make parents feel warm, fuzzy, and responsible…[but] constant vigilance, research suggests, does the opposite of increasing teen safety.  A University of Central Florida study of 200 teen/parent pairs found that parents who used monitoring apps were more likely to be authoritarian, and that teens who were monitored were…more likely to be exposed to unwanted explicit content and to bullying.  Another study, from the Netherlands, found that monitored teens were more secretive and less likely to ask for help.  It’s no surprise that most teens…feel that monitoring poisons a relationship.  And there are very real situations, especially for queer and trans teens, where their safety may depend on being able to explore without exposing all the details to their family

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1062)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

A self-[describ]ed porn addict and his mother wept with relief…after a[n Illinois] judge decided not to send [him] to prison for…child pornography…Joshua R. Skinner…was sentenced to 36 months probation…in…a…plea…deal…[which] also sentenced Skinner to 180 days [time served]…and [life on the “sex offender” registry].  Skinner [also blamed] his behavior…[on] heroin…alcohol…[and] cannabis…[and babbled about] God…

It’s at least a slight improvement to see the headline writer put “addict” in scare quotes.

To Molest and Rape (#1148) 

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

A [female] New York City [cop has reveal]ed [that] her former commanding officer…serially rap[ed] her for more than a year while they worked together…In [her] lawsuit…Gillian Roberts…said she hoped to stay on the Yankee Stadium detail until her retirement, but decided to leave the department early last month when she could no longer handle the stress of becoming an “unwilling sex slave” to her “perverted” captain, Jeffrey Brienza…an NYPD spokesman said the “incident is under internal review”…

“Under internal review” in this case means “deciding whether to pay her off, claim she’s crazy and/or wanted it, or cut Brienza loose.”

To Molest and Rape (#1160)

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

A [typical and representative] Fairfax County [Virginia cop] has been convicted of [molesting] a 16-year-old [girl who parents foolishly allowed her to join a “police explorer” program].  John Grimes…[started grooming] the teen [by taking her] on ride-alongs.  The FBI tipped off Fairfax County police after Grimes applied to become a special agent and underwent background checks…

Virtual Imperialism (#1175)

Worst of all, Western governments are looking at this as a model:

The Chinese government, which has built an extensive digital infrastructure and security apparatus to [suppress] dissent on its own platforms, is going to even greater lengths to extend its internet dragnet to unmask and silence those who [tell the truth about] the country on Twitter, Facebook and other international social media.  These new investigations…use advanced…s[pyware to root through] public records and databases to find all the…personal information and international social media presence of people who critize Chinese tyranny, including]…those living beyond China’s borders…The digital [crusade] represents the [logical development] of the government’s vast campaign to counter [inconvenient facts about] China.  In recent years, the Communist Party has raised bot armiesdeployed [useful idiots] and marshaled [shills] to push its [propaganda] and drown out [facts].  The police have taken it a step further, hounding and silencing those who dare to talk back…and…threatening relatives [of those outside China], in an effort to get them to delete content deemed [embarassing to the rulers]…

Torture Chamber (#1181)

Funny how often people “die suddenly” while cops are brutalizing them:

The [murder] of a Black Kansas teenager [by] multiple [screws who sat on him] at a juvenile jail…was [actually] ruled a homicide…Cedric Lofton, 17…[died by asphyxiation on]…Sept. 26, two days after he was [abducted by cops who claimed he touched them]…in Wichita…five [grown screws sat on]…the unarmed, 135-pound…[boy until he died]…Sedgwick County [“authorities” are hiding the identities of the murderers and have rewarded them with]…paid [vacations]…

Rotting Fruit (#1192)

Does anyone really believe this wasn’t a foregone conclusion?

More than two years after Jeffrey Epstein’s su[spicious death] behind bars, and following a [predictably-quick] trial, his longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of multiple sex trafficking charges.  A New York City jury [decided] Maxwell was Epstein’s chief enabler, recruiting and grooming young girls for him to abuse…

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