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Posts Tagged ‘consensual crime’

If there is one succinct statement which sums up my political philosophy, it’s “Every adult individual owns themselves and absolutely nobody has the right to overrule that.”  There is no such thing as “legitimate” authority over an individual except that conferred personally by that individual for themelves and no one else, and even that can be revoked by the granter.  And I’ve stated many times that my definition of “evil” is “The attempt to impose control over an individual which that individual neither desires or requires”.  I will oppose to the death any attempt to impose such undesired control over any individual, and have done so my entire adult life; my advocacy for sex work is really only the most visible manifestation of that philosophical core.  So obviously, I’m going to provide any assistance I can to any person threatened by violent busybodies who claim the “right” to control their bodies and lives, no matter what reasons the authoritarians may claim.  With that in mind, here are just a few resources for women living in states trying to assert control over their bodies:

Medication Abortions Are Increasing: What They Are and Where Women Get Them” (NY Times)

Aid Accesssupports people with an unwanted pregnancy to access an abortion or miscarriage treatment if you are health and less than 10 weeks pregnant“.

Hey Jane provides “Modern abortion care for $249 — no clinic visit needed.  Get fast, safe and affordable abortion pills shipped to your home. Consult with a medical provider within 24 hours. Medications are shipped daily.

Plan Cprovides up-to-date information on how people in the U.S. are accessing at-home abortion pill options online.”

Las Libres provides support to “Women who wish to terminate undesirable pregnancies, offering them access to medical abortion and moral support

Reproaction offers this instructional video:

And if, Aphrodite forbid, you should get in some kind of legal trouble due to busybodies claiming control over your own body, the Repro Legal Defense Fund may be able to help.

Please link this page far and wide, and add any more resources you know of in the comments below.  Some states are attempting to criminalize those who “aid and abet” a person to get an abortion, so please feel free to pass the links on to those who may need them (anonymously, if neccesary); I’m used to being an outlaw so I don’t honestly care if Missouri or Texas or Louisiana decides to add one more to my mountanous heap of “crimes” of denying the state control over individual lives.  And if you have other sources you think I should know about directly, send them to me via this link.

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The pursuit of sex buyers…functions…[by] targeting people in the sex trade and result[s] in forced evictions, deportations and police harassment.  –  Niina Vuolajärvi

Maggie in the Media

Bound By the Cloak is a new-ish podcast whose tagline is, “Candid conversations about the unspoken”.  Episode 6 is entitled “Grande Horizontale”, so you can probably guess who is interviewed in it.  Give it a listen; I think you’ll enjoy it even if you’ve heard me talk about these topics before.

Sales Pitch

If the Swedish model is so successful, why are they threatening to increase the penalties?

The European Sex Worker Alliance (ESWA) is circulating a petition in solidarity with Swedish sex worker activists fighting a politically motivated attempt to require mandatory jail time for their clients…the…threat…has been Trojan-Horsed into…a series of legal reforms [driven]…by various sex panics fostered by the press…

Smoke and Mirrors

Another of those cases whose reported details don’t add up:

On April 8, a [man] and his teenage daughter were at a Dallas Mavericks basketball game…in Dallas.  Just before halftime, the daughter left her seat to use the restroom.  After she didn’t return, the father went to look for her and notified arena security, staff, and Dallas police of her being missing…lawyer Zeke Fortenberry…[claims] the family repeatedly called Dallas police to help find their daughter…[but] Dallas police…didn’t make any efforts to locate the girl…[so] the family reached out to a [rescueindustry group called] the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative…[which claims it] found [her pictures] on a[n escort] website…in Oklahoma City…and…Oklahoma City police…[found her] at an Extended Stay America…on April 18 and several people were arrested…Fortenberry [was quick to point fingers at]…the Dallas Mavericks…the [stadium, and the hotel, using the required “]failed to protect the victim[” language indicating he plans to sue them and]…Dallas police [using the novel legal construction of vicarious liability which has become popular among ambulance-chasers]…

If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

A pastor [named]…John William Lovelace…in Ayden, North Carolina, was charged…with [various crimes of rape and sexual assault, and]…is also facing two counts of statutory [rape of] a child under the age of 15…

Winding Down (#1179)

It’s too bad Washington only supports self-ownership where drugs are concerned, not sex:

Drug-reform advocates, doctors, and politicians have initiated a ballot measure, Initiative 1922, to remove the penalties for possessing drugs of any kind in the state of Washington, including cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogenic mushrooms.  Led by a coalition group called Commit to Change WA, the proposed [measure would also]…dedicat[e] $141 million…each year to substance use treatment and prevention…the funds…would come from cannabis taxes the state is already receiving…Sponsors of the initiative have until July 8 to collect almost 325,000 valid signatures of registered Washington voters to qualify for a spot on the statewide ballot in November…

Creepy Coppers

Your “leaders” apparently also want you to refer to spreading child porn as “correction”:

Tennessee [screw]…Michael Vernon White, has been charged with possession of “hundreds of items” of child porn…[discovered] after an Internet service provider detected and reported multiple uploads of sexual images and videos depicting young girls.  The number associated with the uploads was linked back to White…

The Cop Myth (#1205)

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

An…NYPD [cop named]…Kevin Marcial…was suspended…following…his [attempt to shoot his] girlfriend’s husband [after he saw the latter behind him in traffic]…Marcial turned around and fired a shot at the [husband, but missed]…The outraged husband showed up later at a nearby police station and reported the [attack], as well as Marcial and the love triangle.  Cops at first [refused to] believe him, but the husband gave [them] the…license plate number, which they traced back to Marcial.  A shell casing was also found at the scene…police reached out to Marcial, who, with his lawyer, [later] surrendered…An NYPD spokeswoman s[pun this as] Marcial “self-report[ing]” the shooting…

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Expanding the use of facial recognition doesn’t hurt authoritarians like Putin — it helps them.  –  Evan Greer

A Broker in Pillage

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

Police in Rochester, New York, s[tole] $8,040 from Cristal Starling during a raid on her apartment in October 2020…[in] the…process of…[harass]ing her former boyfriend, who[m they had decided to accuse] of dealing drugs.  The police didn’t find any drugs in the apartment, but they did find and [steal] Starling’s cash…Starling, who runs a food cart and…was saving up for a food truck, began trying to fight the [robbery] without a lawyer…[but] the Rochester [cop shop] had [laundered] her money t[hrough] the…DEA…and [byzantine]…federal court…[procedures allowed a crooked judge to rule that]…her money [was not hers]…the Institute for Justice…will file an appeal on her behalf…if successful, Starling’s case will be kicked back to district court, where she will have the opportunity to challenge the seizure [with IJ’s help]…

Torture Chamber 

Your “leaders” refer to this as “correction”:

Los Angeles jail guards have frequently punched [caged] people in the head and subjected them to a “humiliating” group s[exual assault after which] they were forced to wait undressed for hours [outdoors], according to a new report from court-appointed monitors documenting a range of abuses.  The Los Angeles sheriff’s department (LASD)…[also regularly refuses] to provide information to the monitors…The report…adds to a long string of scandals for the department…The [mass molestation was excused by claiming that there was a rumor]…that a firearm “might have been smuggled” into…jail.  Guards responded by…tak[ing their victims] out of their cells in the morning, g[roping them using the pretext of a]…search…then walked naked en masse through the jail…to the room with the X‐ray machine…they…were [then] taken to a yard where they were forced to wait for hours until they returned to their cells later that night…

Property of the State

Since they’re claiming this was a “mistake”, there’s nothing to stop them doing it again and again:

Texas…jail[ed] a woman…for an alleged self-induced abortion.  Lizelle Herrera was arrested Thursday [of last week], charged with murder, and [caged]…for two nights before Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez said he would dismiss the charges.  While a state law passed in Texas last year bans performing an abortion on another person after six weeks pregnancy, it does not apply to self-induced abortions, nor does it allow for criminal charges.  Its mechanism of enforcement is through civil lawsuits brought by citizens, not agents of the state…[though] Ramirez…dismiss[ed] the charges…he…did not…condemn…the Starr County Sheriff’s Office…and [even made excuses for their behavior]…Herrera…was in the hospital and had a miscarriage and divulged some information to hospital staff who then [tattled] to police…

The most horrifying part of this is, unfortunately, not new; it’s that thanks to the ongoing war on bodily autonomy, American women cannot trust medical professionals to respect patient confidentiality.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1104)

Clearview is once again trying to rehabilitate its reputation among useful idiots:

In the weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine…Hoan Ton-That…[CEO] of…Clearview AI, began thinking about how he could [exploit the tragedy for his own profit]…Ton-That drafted a letter [to the Ukraine government] explaining that his app “can instantly identify someone just from a photo” and that [pigs and spooks]…in the United States used it to [further police-state surveillance]…He said the tool could identify people who might be spies, as well as deceased people…less than a month later…Clearview has created more than 200 accounts for…Ukrainian government agencies, which have conducted more than 5,000 searches…Critics warn…that [Clearview is]…taking advantage of a crisis to expand with little privacy oversight…Evan Greer…[of] Fight for the Future [explained]…“War zones are often used as testing grounds not just for weapons but surveillance tools that are later deployed on civilian populations or used for law enforcement or crowd control purposes…Companies like Clearview are eager to exploit the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine to normalize the use of their harmful and invasive software”…

Creepy Coppers

Seems like a significant fraction of child porn is spread by cops:

A Miami-Dade [cop] has been arrested and relieved of duty following his arrest on child pornography charges…David Jay Behney…[was snitched on by] Kik messenger [which is now apparently scanning]…upload[s]…a search warrant…revealed a video montage of 11 prepubescent girls…If he posts bond, he must surrender his passport and is not allowed to have any contact with minors, including his own children…he…has three…between the ages of 8 months and 6 years…

The Last Shall Be First (#1216) 

Alabama can’t let Texas beat it in the psycopathic cruelty department:

Alabama…passed a bill making it a felony to provide transition-related medical care to transgender minors and mandating prison time for th[e newly-invented “crime”]…S.B. 184…also [demands] that [all school employees snitch on the gender dysmorphia of any legal]… minor [that comes to their attention, regardless of possible consequences]…Another measure (H.B. 322)…would ban transgender students from using sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.  And an amendment to the bill limits school-based discussions about gender identity or sexual orientation (in the manner of a recent Florida law that opponents dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill)…

Opting Out (#1223) 

The “Online Safety Bill” is becoming a UK version of FOSTA:

The Online Safety Bill [had]…the stated aim of cracking down on “harmful” content online.  A clause has now been added to the bill to include the offence of “inciting or controlling prostitution for gain” as one of the priority offences that tech companies…[are] obliged to remove…from their platforms…this would…would undoubtably lead to…platforms clamping down on sex workers’ advertisements.in order to avoid any chance of being prosecuted – essentially criminalising the online advertising of sex work…

If you’re in the UK, click on the headline link to send a message to your MP via the ECP site.

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They’re basically training us for a fake world.  –  Lucas, high school student

Zeitgeist

It’s slowly dawning on “feminists” that getting in bed with cops was a bad idea:

Many tend to think of police as the first line of defense for women in need of help. But…sexual misconduct is…pervasive throughout the profession, despite receiving relatively little attention.  After excessive force, sexual misconduct is the second most commonly reported form of police misconduct…and that only includes what’s reported.  “We have no way of knowing how much of this behavior goes on,” [said] Timothy Maher, a criminology professor at University of Missouri… “Many people are [afraid] to report on the police”…[rapist cops usually] target [women]…on the margins of society, such as [sex workers or other] women with criminal records…who[m they know will be dis]believed [by cops and prosecutors] if they do come forward.  While the spectrum of police sexual misconduct is wide, it can include things like unnecessary strip searches or a sexual shakedown, which is when a…[cop demands submission to rape] in exchange for not…arresting the [victim]…[even] female [cops]…can…be victims

A Broker in Pillage (#1145)

Indiana continues to pursue the “right” to rob anyone within its borders blind:

In April 2015…Indiana [cops stole] almost $10,000 from Terry Abbott after [a snitch claimed] he was…selling drugs…Abbott attempted to challenge that action…but he lost his attorney—as the money he would use to pay for that counsel had been [stolen] by the state…The Indiana Supreme Court…rul[ed] that [victims of robbery by cops] have no right to use their s[tolen money] to finance legal [challenges to the robbery]…This means that…the government is able to put defendants in a chokehold by seizing the very assets that they would use to defend themselves…Fighting to get your cash back is a bit difficult when the government has [stolen] all of your cash…

Property of the State (#1149)

Women of childbearing age should avoid Alabama entirely if at all possible:

It’s astounding how many novel ways politicians can propose to invade privacy.  The latest comes from Alabama, where a new bill would require women from ages 25 to 50 to produce a negative pregnancy test from a doctor or medical lab before purchasing medical marijuana.  The test would have to be conducted within 48 hours of the purchase…Pregnant women on the marijuana patient registry would also be required to report pregnancies to the physician who approved their patient status.  Having to go to a doctor or medical lab and pay for a pregnancy test before every medical cannabis purchase would be not only invasive but inconvenient.  In effect, it’s an added tax on…female patients…

Creepy Coppers

Just another cop demonstrating exactly what he is:

A [typical and representative] Perryton [Texas cop] was sentenced…to 17 years in federal prison for child pornography offenses…Aaron Bennett Daugherty…was [caught uploading]…a video file depicting an adult male [raping]…a blindfolded prepubescent child.  “I’m here to look at CP, everybody”…he…posted…

Thou Shalt Not (#1206)

Prohibitionists refuse to understand why their schemes never work:

Karlyn Gorski…[of] the University of Chicago…[studied the] robust black market for snack foods that persists at Hamilton High (not the school’s real name) despite the best efforts by school administrators, security guards, and teachers to stamp it out…Gorski spent 112 days observing students and adults at Hamilton during the 2019–2020 school year…[and] observed a widespread black market for snack sales…beyond the amusing anecdotes about deception and the heroic struggles of would-be entrepreneurs against the school snack cops, the paper contains some serious implications about what the school is teaching its students…Students in a Spanish club selling cookies to raise money for a field trip to Peru were allowed to “carry their wares openly and advertise on posters throughout the school…when…the school retained control over the proceeds…the [sales were deemed] ‘worthy'”…[but]…when students were caught “selling” [on their own]…their motives were “subject to moral scrutiny”…One student, code-named Lucas, told Gorski that “they’re basically training us for a fake world” in which good behavior is rewarded while trying to make a buck is regarded as valuable only if the seller’s intentions are worthy…

Welcome to the Future (#1214)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

Even before the pandemic,…exaggerated security fears intersected with the declining cost of technology to turn many schools into panopticons.  ID tags tracked students, cameras watched their behavior, and software monitored their online activity.  Then COVID-19 appeared and safety [theater]…overwhelmed civil libertarian concerns about privacy with public health arguments…contact tracing and social-distancing enforcement…became a new way to sell facial recognition systems…and…all of that surveillance technology remains in place even as pandemic concerns wane across the country.  Badges and cameras purchased at considerable expense aren’t going to be put into storage just because COVID-19 fades into the background…And, of course, the federal government is right there to subsidize schools’ purchase of surveillance tools with gobs of cash.  That makes the transformation of supposed learning environments into entry-level police states surprisingly affordable…

A Moral Cancer (#1223)

Prohibition is too useful an excuse for violence for the state to stop voluntarily:

…Tobacco is still legal for adults to purchase and consume in the United States.  But [state] policy regarding nicotine delivery systems is shifting from taxation and regulation to explicit prohibition of many products.  Some jurisdictions already have banned menthol cigarettes, and the…FDA…is likely to announce a similar ban at the federal level this spring.  Local restrictions on e-cigarettes likewise provide a preview of what will happen nationwide if the FDA continues to regulate vaping products in a way that threatens to wipe out nearly the entire industry…As tobacco, e-cigarettes, and e-liquids transition from legal to illicit, [cop shops] will more aggressively interfere with production, distribution, retail sales, and in some cases even individual use.  Every such interaction carries with it the possibility of freedom lost, perhaps violently.  There is a real risk that American tobacco policy will open a regressive new front in the war on drugs, just as the previous crackdown on psychoactive substances begins to wind down…

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Advocates of prohibition always claim good intentions.  –  Jacob Grier

Prudish Pedants

“The label ‘pornography’…represents an attempt by lawheads to pretend that their personal hang-ups about sex can be reduced to a rule”:

Adult content only becomes illegal when it veers into the realm of obscenity.  But for a work to be deemed legally obscene, it must meet the obscure Miller Test developed in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court…Numerous elements of this test are unworkable in modern times…most people do not know the definition of the word “prurient” and cannot use it correctly in a sentence.  Yet this consideration can determine whether someone is imprisoned for making a film.  The entire concept of “community standards” is meaningless in the digital age, when we have more in common with our social media groups spanning the globe than we do with our neighbors who happen to live in the same country…While it’s easy to understand what the “whole work” is when evaluating a magazine or film, what about a tube site or a social media site?…Despite these vagaries, the Miller obscenity test has been upheld over and over, in the face of numerous constitutional challenges…

A Moral Cancer (#1148)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

Sometime in the not-too-distant future…the first American will likely be sentenced to prison for selling flavored tobacco or e-cigarettes.  It might happen in Massachusetts, wh[ich]…announced charges last year against New Hampshire resident Samuel Habib…Or it might happen in New York…[where] the Auburn Police Department…raid[ed]…a…smoke shop owned by Mohamed Algamal…Or maybe it will happen in New Jersey or Rhode Island, which have banned flavored e-cigarettes statewide.  Or maybe it will be in one of the many cities that have passed flavor bans, such as Chicago…San Francisco…[or] Washington, D.C., or result from a federal prosecution if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moves forward with plans to prohibit them nationwide…advocates of flavor bans [falsely] portray them as…mere product regulations and…[pretend] prohibitions will [not] lead to…criminal enforcement, especially…against racial minorities…[but] as the American Civil Liberties Union, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and other groups warned in 2021, this will create “a massive law enforcement problem for states, counties, and cities, since all states treat unlicensed sale of tobacco products as a crime—usually as a felony punishable by imprisonment”…

Creepy Coppers

Funny how it nearly always takes years to convict cops of anything:

Nearly four years after being arrested, a [typical and representative] Harris County [Texas cop pled] guilty for possession of child pornography…Donald Dehnert [was first arrested on March 29, 2018]…he…admitted to having child pornography on a flash drive that…had photos of nude children under two years old and a girl who appeared to be between six and eight years old.  One image showed the girl appearing to perform a sexual act…[Dehner had also] solicited sex with [a roleplaying cop’s imaginary] 5- and 11-year-old daughters…

Opting Out (#1214) 

“At least one person noted that the UK was at risk of looking like idiots”:

…the U.K. has finally unveiled its controversial “Online Safety Bill”…focus[ing] on “pornography” as the main supposed “online harm”…the Johnson government [belched out a number of catchphrases and buzzwords including]…“protect children”…and…”illegal content”, while…[absurdly bragging that] the proposed measures are…“the world-first online safety laws”…[misusing the popular moralist shibboleth] “hold…to account”…and…set[ting] up the [bureaucrats]…running Ofcom, the government’s communications regulatory agency, to become essentially a censorship body with “the power to fine companies failing to comply with the laws up to 10% of their annual global turnover…[and] force them to…block non-compliant sites”…The government’s statement boasts of literally “a raft of other new offenses [including]…obstructing the regulator when it [raids] company offices”…

Leaving the 20th Century

So how exactly are they defining “pimping”?

Sex workers in Belgium will soon be able to claim state pensions and other benefits after the pandemic prompted reforms to decriminalise their profession.  Politicians approved plans to overhaul 19th-century legislation and offer prostitutes a legally recognised job title…While prostitution is decriminalised under Belgian law, there is a ban on pimping aimed at [placating “]sex trafficking[” fetishists]…

Science! (#1221)

A source heard it happened“:

[Wanking fantasies] have increased in Israel since the outbreak of war in Ukraine [about] claims…that some women refugees…were being exploited by human trafficking networks.  [Magical anti-pimp] leaflets…are expected to be [foisted upon] refugee women upon arrival at the airport as part of…moral[ity theater]…The [fantasies claim]…human trafficking and criminal networks lure Ukrainian refugees into prostitution upon their arrival to Israel, with the [tale] being used as an excuse for Israeli immigration officials to deny entry to dozens of refugees during the past two weeks…

The Cop Myth (#1221)

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

…Scottsboro [Alabama cop]…Stephen Miller shot his estranged wife, Amanda Miller, a[nd then shot himself]…Miller…was [an alcoholic]…and [Amanda] was filing for divorce.  Stephen was found dead…and Amanda is currently in critical condition…

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One of the titles by which the 20th Century will no doubt be known to future historians is “the Prohibition Era”.  The concept of Prohibition first started to take root in the diseased brains of control freaks in the late 19th century; it was an outgrowth of the broader “Progressive” philosophy which held that ordinary people cannot be trusted with our own lives, and must therefore be ruled by “experts” who decide for everyone how the human race should be “improved”, and enforce their diktats with violent thug armies whose actions cannot easily be reconciled with the concept of civil rights.  The first prohibitionist laws date to the late 19th century, but it was in the 20th that the concept not only reached full flower, but also successfully penetrated the minds of the general public so thoroughly that most took it for granted that for governments to tell people what they could consume, what they could own, and even what thoughts they could have while agreeing to consensual sex, was not only normal, but desirableFull alcohol prohibition lasted barely over a decade, but it left in its wake a patchwork of local prohibitions which have only very gradually eroded (and in some ways worsened again toward the end of the century).  And the failure of this one form of prohibition to thrive probably has a great deal to do with the fact that virtually no other country was willing to follow the American example; in most other cases, prohibitions which started in the US (such as drugs and prostitution) spread like a plague over the rest of the world.

But as the 20th century recedes into the past and the number of adults who can’t even remember it grows with every passing year, what Josephine Butler called “the fatuous belief that you can oblige human beings to be moral by force” has gradually become less popular.  The once-global “War on Drugs” is beginning to wind down, and the full or partial criminalization of sex work is increasingly recognized as an abomination by those with healthy minds and respect for human rights.  New South Wales decriminalized “prostitution” in 1995, followed by New Zealand in 2003; many other countries at least loosened their laws on the subject around that same time.  Unfortunately, the prohibitionists recognized the trend before it could snowball, and began a propaganda campaign to convince the world that adult women are universally too weak-minded and spineless to be allowed to run our own sexual affairs, and that phenomena which had previously always been recognized as the pragmatic sexual decisions of individual women were in reality the result of the machinations of a vast cabal of “sex traffickers” abducting hundreds of thousands of “children” into literal slavery.  But moral panics have a very limited lifespan, and this one is already long past its heyday of the early ’10s.  It is now in the process of imploding in a rather spectacular fashion, and opposition to the continued criminalization of sex work has become a safe position even for US politicians.  The temporarily-delayed process of decriminalization got rolling again over the past few years; Australia’s Northern Territory decriminalized near the end of 2019, and Victoria state followed suit just a few weeks ago.  And now the first country outside of Oceania is set to join them:

The official green light has been given to Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne’s proposal to reform Belgium’s sexual criminal law…[by] remov[ing] sex work from the penal code…The Federal Parliament still has to approve the proposal but that is not expected to be more than a formality.  “This is a crucial leap forward. We are finally giving sex workers what they are entitled to: recognition and protection. Something they have been asking for decades,” Van Quickenborne said…Under current regulation, sex work is allowed, but third parties involved with sex workers are committing a crime.  The law [cl]aims to target pimps but in practice impacts other people…from book-keepers and web designers to drivers, landlords and even banks…

The importance of this move is difficult to overstate; the “sex trafficking” myth has provided a convenient cloak for Europen racism, and European chauvinism made decriminalization easy to ignore as long as it was strictly a “Down Under” practice (the same chauvinism has given the toxic “Swedish model” undeserved credibility).  But if Belgium follows through, Europe can no longer dismiss recognition of the sexual rights of adult women as a provincial abberation, and it’s entirely possible others may follow its example.

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Until somebody figures out a good way to rein-in government snoopiness, it might be better to avoid taking selfies at protests.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Thou Shalt Not (#35)

Prohibitionism is a dangerous mental illness:

Some packets of biscuits will be banned from [certain areas of] supermarkets from 2023…the new law bans [stores] from selling [foods labeled] HFSS (high in fat, sugar and salt) [by government-employed puritans from displays in] checkout areas, ends of aisles and store entrances…government…[nannies justified the new law by barfing out the phrase]…childhood obesity [while maintaining laws that keep children from healthy outdoor exercise]…a [government] study [declared that most Britons are far too stupid and weak-willed to make their own food choices, so those choices must therefore be made for them]…

Torture Chamber

If there’s one thing the US needs, it’s more sadistic rapists in the military:

…Brandon Scott Price, a [typical and representative Kentucky] prison guard, was convicted of [a misdemeanor assault charge for anally raping a chained woman]…his…judge…sentenced [him]…to [a mere] 12 months in jail…but said Price could avoid jail time if he [re-]enlisted in the military within 30 days…enlistments are subject to military regulations that would require Price to seek a waiver for his sexual-assault conviction from military officials.  The military has spent more than a decade struggling to limit sexual assault among troops…[on the way back from the hospital after she had suffered] a medical emergency…Price pulled the van…over and [anally raped] the woman…then [claimed she wanted it]…

Choke Point (#611) 

PayPal needs to be buried in similar lawsuits before this will stop:

Three PayPal users who’ve…had their accounts frozen and funds [stol]en by the company without explanation have filed a federal lawsuit against the online payment service.  The plaintiffs…are…proposing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all other users who’ve had their accounts [similarly violated] and are seeking restitution, as well as punitive and exemplary damages.  Lena Evans…[ha]d been a PayPal user for 22 years…[when] the website s[tole] $26,984 from her account six months after…fr[eezing it] without ever telling her why…Roni Shemtov sa[w] PayPal s[teal] over $42,000 of her money and never got an acceptable [or consistent] reason for why her account was terminated…Shbadan Akylbekov…[explained that] PayPal s[tole] over $172,000 of his money without…explanation…[except] a letter that says she “violated PayPal’s User Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy”…PayPal has long angered many a user for limiting accounts and freezing their funds for six months or more.  One high-profile case was American poker player Chris Moneymaker’s who had $12,000 [stol]en from his account after six months of being limited.  Moneymaker was already in the process of asking people to join him in a class action lawsuit before his funds were “mysteriously returned”…

Blunt Instrument (#1012)

Oh look, Texas cops are staging pogroms against migrant-owned businesses; what a surprise.  The only thing even remotely unusual about this farrago of loathsome oinking, agency denial, pious bullshit and revolting bootlicking is that the violent racist psychopaths vomit out the word “trafficking” only 5 times in a 21-paragraph copaganda screed.  By contrast, the word “illicit” (a word which characterizes prohibitionist propaganda more than any other) appears 9 times.  But given that this was published (to use the most charitable word possible for this human-centipede excretion) by the Dallas Morning News, a rag so filled with prohibitionist masturbatory fantasies that it’s an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas, that actually counts as a twisted kind of progress.

I Spy (#1086) 

In mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…[Since] social media an easy and low-cost means of gathering intelligence…cops and their private-sector contractors snoop on us…while fishing for anything of interest…instead of curbing such abuses, many politicians want more.  “Social media has become a significant source of information for U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law noted in a report released last week…Customs and Border Protection…routinely runs the names of people of interest, including journalists and activists, through databases…For years, the FBI used Dataminr, “a third-party service that [surveills]…social media posts”…in 2019 [it switched] to ZeroFox, which offers a similar service.  Some FBI agents blamed their inability to anticipate the January 6 riot at the Capitol on the changeover…and…over the past year, law enforcement has come under pressure to engage in even more monitoring of social media because of its failure to anticipate the…riot…

Stalkers in Blue (#1180)

This disgusting article is loaded with copsucking and emotional manipulation:

A [typical and representative] NYPD [cop], who survived [a 2015 “dismissal probation” after drug paraphernalia and needles were found in his locker], was fired…after he repeatedly [sexually harassed] vulnerable women [he was] arrest[ing]…[including] wom[e]n he believed to be domestic abuse victim[s] and…sex [workers, but who]…were actually [other rolepaying cops]…investigati[ng him due to complaints]…He also used an NYPD computer to [stalk other women] …and [lied]…to [other cops]…about [his predatory behavior]…

Right from the headline on, IB Times attempts to manipulate the reader’s sympathies; the cop who repeatedly tried to get into the pants of women he arrested or “investigated” is described as a “veteran” and a “hero”.  His attempted manipulation and rape is described as “romantic”, his victims’ criminal histories are emphasized, and his other shenanigans are not mentioned until far down in the story.  It’s vile even by the standards of cop stenography.

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1204)

Cops think they can just make up their own pharmacology and demand reality conform to it:

Fentanyl that is about 50 times more potent than “what has regularly been found and tested” in the region has been recovered in Hartford, police [lie]d…[after] find[ing] nearly 40 bags of fentanyl…[near where] a seventh-grader [overdosed.  Though the boy appears to have eaten]…the drug…a…spokesp[ig preferred to oink a bunch of weird cop fantasies about how]…“this product can be deadly to anyone coming in contact with it, including absorption through the skin…fentanyl is a poison”…

Fentanyl is a life-saving synthetic drug, no more a “poison” than any other medicine.  It cannot be absorbed through the skin, and no batch is “50 times more potent” than any other; of course, this confused oinking might be attempting to convey the claim that most heroin cut with fentanyl in Hartford is only about 2% fentanyl, whereas this was nearly pure.  But it’s difficult to tell in proximity to so many exaggerations, cop fantasies and outright lies.

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

To Molest and Rape

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

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

Thou Shalt Not (#642)

New Zealand cops apparently lack sufficient reasons to brutalize people:

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

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

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

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

Policing for Profit (#924)

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

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

Legislators Gone Wild (#1102) 

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

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

The Mob Rules

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

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

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

Torture Chamber (#1189)

Arizona screws think they can cure mental illness by torture:

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

Creepy Coppers

Setting an example for his underlings:

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

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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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