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Posts Tagged ‘Dangerous Speech’

A lot of…urban legends [are] old wine in new bottles. – Benjamin Radford

A Broker in Pillage (#863)

Go on, keep giving governments more excuses and powers to literally rob people.  I’m sure you’ll never regret it:

South Korean prosecutors have sold bitcoin…[stolen from people they branded] criminals…turn[ing] a profit of around 12.3 billion won (around US$10.9 million)…the [excuse used for the robbery was that the victim was]…”the operator of [an] illegal pornography site”…While the U.S. government has been auctioning [stolen] bitcoin since 2014, Korean prosecutors have held on to the [stolen] bitcoin for the past four years…[until] March 25, the exact day when the country’s [politicians]…classifie[d] crypto as “virtual assets”…

The Notorious Badge (#976)

Twitter’s connection to movies exploiting sex workers isn’t usually so direct:

After receiving rave reviews at last year’s Sundance festival, the full trailer for Janicza Bravo’s Twitter-storm dramedy Zola is finally here…the film follows Zola (Taylour Paige), a Detroit waitress who strikes up a friendship with a customer named Stefani (Riley Keough). Together, they head to Florida to earn some money stripping at a club where Stefani has heard dancer tips are excellent.  As the trip progresses, Stefani puts Zola and herself in more insane and dangerous situations, including run-ins with a nameless pimp and some Tampa gangsters…Zola is based on a viral Twitter thread posted in October 2015 by Detroit-based stripper A’ziah “Zola” King…detail[ing] a weekend of debauchery that quickly descends into a hellish whirlwind of sex, murder, and near-suicide…

The Last Shall Be First (#977) 

Since their “bathroom bills” kept getting struck down, transphobes are now trying to accomplish their goals by controlling doctors:

Arkansas [politician]s passed a bill…that would flatly prohibit medical professionals from providing any sort of gender transition treatments to minors…the…act…forbids the prescribing of puberty blockers to suppress hormones, bans genital reassignment surgeries, and bars any medical treatment that would “alter or remove physical or anatomical characteristics or features for the individual’s biological sex” or “instill or create physiological or anatomical characteristics that resemble a sex different from the individual’s biological sex”…[it] further forbids medical professionals from referring minors to any doctor who could provide the forbidden treatments…says that public funds may not be granted to any entity that provides trans treatments to minors, declares that medical transition treatment procedures are not tax-deductible forms of health care coverage (regardless of age), and prohibits the state’s Medicaid program from providing coverage for these treatments for minors.  Medical professionals who defy the law could lose their licenses to practice in the state…

It’s impossible to miss the resemblance of this strategy to that of imposing arbitrary restrictions on abortion providers.

Dangerous Speech (#1097)

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

…a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously rejected a defense petition that the court order federal Judge Susan Brnovich’s recusal from the Lacey/Larkin case…due to an “appearance of partiality” created by prejudicial statements made by the judge’s husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, concerning…Backpage…The trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 23

The Widening Gyre (#1103)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” scarelore invaded TikTok:

“OK, so I saw this TikTok that Target is the new sex trafficking hub”…Makenzie Jade says in her video.  She then tells a story about being followed by a man…in…her local Target, then being circled by two additional men with nothing in their shopping carts…Over the past week…there have been dozens of [similar] videos, some with millions of views, in which young women from all over the country describe being followed by strange men or women in Target in what they [fantasize is] an attempted trafficking operation…what[ever] that…means…experts are highly skeptical of these reports.  “I have never heard a case of anyone being abducted from Target in my 20 years in this field,” says Jean Bruggeman…of Freedom Network USA, [the largest coalition of groups actually concerned with exploitation rather than simply using it as a cover for persecution of sex workers]…the TikTok rumors…adhere to a familiar pattern of…urban legends intended to spread hysteria…Dubious rumors purporting to raise awareness about the “realities” of sex trafficking are nothing new…

In a sign that the hysteria is dying, note that even the perennially-clueless Rolling Stone bluntly calls this what it is (“hoax”) rather than deferentially referring to it as a “mistake” or the like.

Predictable Consequences

Oh look, somebody at Washington Post realized how tone-deaf their initial coverage was:

[When cops raided] three massage businesses…they [branded with the moralistic epithet “]illicit[“, they vomited out a lot of filth about]…“human trafficking and child exploitation” [to]…cover [up the fact that the disguised cops raped sex]…workers, then arrested them…local media outlets…[then abetted the outrage by outing the cops’ victims, complete with names and] photos of their mug shots on the evening news…[barfing up the magic word “]illicit[” has for decades given disguised, lying thugs a court-approved pretext for raping]…spa workers…[none of whom were inter]viewed by The Post…[but after decades of these repeated atrocities, a few politicians] are [finally] beginning to propose new limits on [rape] by police, which [any person with a functional moral compass should understand] serves to dehumanize — and [deepl]ly traumatize — the very women the raids are [claimed by psychopaths] to help.  The…[rapists in] law enforcement, experts said, [nearly always] go unpunished…

As you can see, the article is still replete with copsucking, but some editor appears to have at least some inkling that maybe they’re on the wrong side.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1124)

Still think this djinni can be crammed back into its bottle?

A…facial recognition tool designed [to give government even more power over individual lives] has been quietly deployed across the [US] with little to no public oversight…more than 7,000 individuals from nearly 2,000 [government] agencies nationwide have used Clearview AI to search through millions of Americans’ faces, looking for p[otential victims]…BuzzFeed News has developed a searchable table of 1,803 publicly funded agencies whose employees…used…the [surveillance] tool before February 2020.  These include local and state police, [ICE], the Air Force, state healthcare [bureaucracies], [politicians’] offices…and even public schools.  In many cases, [bureaucrats] at these agencies [claimed to be] unaware that employees were using the tool; five [lied]…in response to questions about it…210 organizations denied any use…1,161 [others ignored] questions about whether they had used it…Hoan Ton-That, the company’s cofounder and CEO, [expressed glee that his invention has done so much to undermine privacy and empower cop shops]…

What makes it worse is, cops just keep blatantly lying about it:

Despite statements from the NYPD in early 2020 stating that it had no relationship with…Clearview AI, documents…reveal that the company was an acknowledged vendor to the department from as early as 2018, and that it continue[s] to enjoy a congenial relationship…that [has] included in-person meetings and customer support from Ton-That [himself]…

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I think the ideal philosophy is to only care about the fact that you do your job with integrity.  –  Kiran Deshmukh

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Cops think they can never have enough pretexts to harass people:

Dallas [cops]…arrested 88 people in [just the first half of this year for]…driv[ing through a particular neighborhood, claiming they committed the thoughtcrime of]…looking for sex…All but one of those arrested were people of color.  [And now] Dallas [politicians want to make it easier for them to dramatically increase the score by]…allow[ing them] to [arrest people for the “crime” of] passing through [that neighborhood three times]…in…two hours…[using the all-purpose excuse of] trafficking women for sex.  The penalty is a fine of up to $500…[if pigs claim they] suspect[ed their victims]…of being pimps…

An Example to the West (#329)

An interview with Kiran Deshmukh, president of the National Network of Sex Workers in India:

I still remember Meena Seshu…telling us that we had to band together…to fight back.  I still remember that exact day this realization sunk in:  A gangster was on the streets making a scene and threatening us with knives.  All the women who’d usually shut their doors and sit tight poured out into the streets.  One woman undid her saree on the road, and the others used it to tie the gangster to a nearby pole.  The women beat him up so much and so badly that not a single gangster has created a scene in our area since then.  Once women band together, they become formidable opponents…Sex workers…work put food on the table and feed their children.  Society, on the other hand, views the world in a moral–immoral binary…Society will point out how our work is related to our bodies and how many men we “sleep” with…two people having consensual sex is justified but if you attach sex to money, it’s completely immoral.  Why?  You’re all saying it’s totally fine to have sex for free?…As for tragedy, if a woman enters sex work due to a tragic situation, but eventually decides to continue in the same profession, why would you bother her with the circumstances that influenced her choice 30-40 years ago?…

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#934) 

Remember, this is not slavery, but lucrative, flexible, voluntary work is:

Most [drug] rehab programs that require work act essentially as temp agencies, farming the [pati]ents out to…third parties, such as tree trimming services, dairies, poultry processing plants or oil refineries.  The wages are remitted not to the workers but to the rehab centers…the…workers…receiv[e]…no pay, no Social Security credits, [and] no unemployment insurance payment…Other rehab-affiliated programs, notably the Salvation Army, have their patients perform grossly underpaid work for their commercial enterprises — if they did not have this captive workforce, they would have to seek [fairly-paid] labor from the open market…

You Were Warned (#1007)

But please, tell me more about the “wings”:

It is now broadly recognized that Joe Biden doesn’t like Section 230 and has repeatedly shown he doesn’t understand what it does…[now] his…top tech policy advisor, Bruce Reed, along with Common Sense Media’s Jim Steyer, have published a bizarre and misleading “but think of the children!” attack on Section 230 that misunderstands the law, misunderstands how it impacts kids, and…suggests incredibly dangerous changes to Section 230..[among] its myriad problems…is…citing FOSTA as a “good example” of how to amend Section 230…

Rotting Fruit (#1015)

Why are men with so much to lose so goddamned stupid about sex?

[Paul Alexander,] the owner of a charter-jet company…has been charged with sex trafficking after [NYPD cops claim he]…offer[ed them] sex with a 12-year-old girl and 14-year-old girl for $300…In March, an underage girl went to the police and told them Alexander…had been…pimping her out…An undercover cop posing as a customer met with Alexander—who showed him nude photos of the girls, charged him $300 for sex with them, and suggested he ply them with drugs and pot so they would be more cooperative…Alexander…has…a 1996 sexual assault conviction…and in 2003 he was convicted of possession of…child [porn]…

Dangerous Speech (#1092)

Backpage case judge claims it’s OK her husband has publicly attacked Backpage because the Backpage case “isn’t about Backpage”.  Seriously.

…the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals…[has] ordered federal prosecutors to respond to the defense’s request for a “writ of mandamus,” which would order U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich to remove herself from the case.  The order…[comes only days after] a hearing in…[which] Judge Susan Brnovich claimed that inflammatory comments made by her husband, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, about Backpage.com’s alleged guilt in facilitating illegal sex work, were unimportant and did not warrant her recusal.  “This case is not about Backpage,” she contended at one point…an assertion that might come as a surprise for anyone familiar with the federal government’s superseding indictment in the case, which mentions Backpage more than 600 times[it also] seem[s] a startling statement given that the prosecution’s theory of the case from jump has been one of vicarious liability, in which the government seeks to hold Lacey and Larkin responsible for alleged illicit acts supposedly connected to 50 ads cited in the indictment — ads never seen by Lacey and Larkin and posted by persons unknown to them, among the millions that once existed on the site…

The Next Target

Prohibitionists care only about “messages”, not facts:

Pornhub has released…statements about…Visa and Mastercard [announcing] their cards would no longer be accepted on the platform, following…Nicholas Kristof[‘s spurious]…allegations against the company…”These actions…come just two days after Pornhub…[banned] unverified users…from uploading content — a policy no other platform has put in place, including Facebook…Any assertion that we allow CSAM is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue…Pornhub’s safeguards and technologies have proven effective:  while…Facebook reported that it removed 84,100,000 incidents of CSAM over two and a half years, Instagram reported that it removed 4,452,000 incidents…over one and a half years, and Twitter reported that it suspended 1,466,398 unique accounts for CSAM over two years, the Internet Watch Foundation…reported [only] 118 incidents of CSAM on Pornhub in a three year period”…

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Smart people…[a]re better than dumber people at coming up with reasons to justify their false beliefs.  –  Cathy Reisenwitz

See No Evil (#424)

Censors have learned to use “progressive” rhetoric to cloak prudery:

A 26-foot-tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe playfully patting down her upblown skirt is the source of a [moronic] debate in Palm Springs, California.  The town’s city council has approved the…recreation of the act[ress]’s iconic scene atop a blustery subway grate from…The Seven Year Itch—to be installed near the Palm Springs Art Museum for a three-year period.  But…[prudes, busybodies and censors are dis]pleased with the decision…the museum’s executive director…Louis Grachos [made furtive movements in his pants while bloviating weird fantasies about underwear]…“school-age children”…and [how the]…statue [magically] objectifies women…[thereby] “hurt[ing] our whole community”…Steven H. Maloney, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, [opined that women are so stupid that a painted hunk of metal constitutes]…“an unhealthy encouragement of risqué behavior of women”…

I have a hard time imagining what a lower opinion of women than that displayed by these pompous weeds would look like.

Policing Womanhood

Cathy Reisenwitz has further thoughts on the origin of whore-hatred in women:

As my friend and fellow sex worker Maggie McNeill points out, public polling suggests men are more likely to support sex work decrim than women…Maggie thinks that the main reason women oppose sex work decrim is that women tend to think of women’s individual behavior as reflecting on women as a whole and think sex work is a bad look…I think there’s truth to that, but it lacks an important class angle…middle-class white women began campaigning for laws against prostitution and defining any type of promiscuity as prostitution in the Progressive Era at the turn of the 20th century…Middle-class white women feared female economic independence threatened dominant middle-class values.  By making prostitution dangerous and illegal, middle-class white women sought to force working-class women, women of color, and immigrant women into marriage, chastity, monogamy, hard work, and propriety lest they live independently of men and destroy the social order…

To Molest and Rape (#825)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A man who [was raped by] a [typical and representative] South Carolina [cop]…is suing the city of Travelers Rest…The [cop], Shawn Jenkins, was fired from the [cop shop] last year after…[the] Sheriff’s Office…[only] charged [him] with second-degree sexual misconduct…The plaintiff, who filed the suit anonymously, told investigators Jenkins pointed a department-issued stun gun at him while he was visiting Jenkins’ residence on Aug. 5, 2019, and told him to “strip or be tased”…The [then-underage victm] tried to run away, but [Jenkins] locked [him] inside a room [and raped him]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#974) 

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

In Maine, voters in the state’s largest city recently enacted one of the toughest facial recognition bans in the country in the Nov. 3 elections, outlawing both use of the technology by local police and the city government…the measure codifies – [but adds only weak] enforcement teeth – to a ban…passed in August by the Portland City Council…The new law allows citizens to sue the city for illegal facial recognition surveillance by the city police or government.  Citizens could get [a mere] $1,000 per violation plus legal fees, if they prevail in court.  Municipal employees [but not cops] can be fired [but not criminally prosecuted] for violating the [law]…

Welcome to the Future (#1073)

Pasco County, Florida’s “predictive policing” scheme doesn’t spare minors:

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office keeps a secret list of kids it [pretend]s could “fall into a life of crime” based on factors like whether they’ve been abused or gotten a D or an F in school…the list [is created] by combining the rosters for most middle and high schools in the county with records so sensitive, they’re protected by state and federal law…Four hundred and twenty kids are [currently] on the list…[cops do]n’t tell the kids or their parents about the designation…an[d]…school…[administrators claim to have been] unaware…of [it as well]…The Department of Children and Families [refused to] answer…the Sheriff’s Office…use[s the list] to [target]…middle and high school…[students for surveillance and harassment euphemized as] “mentorship” and “resources”…Ten experts in law enforcement and student privacy…called the program…a clear misuse of children’s confidential information that stretched the limits of the law…

Legislators Gone Wild (#1086)

Why are Nevada brothel whores unable to open their mouths without vomiting out toxic whorearchy?

…[brothel whores unemployed] because of COVID-19…say they are being forced to make money in what they call dangerous, scary and illegal ways…the long shutdown is depleting their savings and they’re going broke waiting to work again.  That is forcing some of them to turn to things they didn’t want to to make money, like illegal prostitution.  One…says…”it’s so degrading and so scary”…Another…admits to illegally meeting with a Mustang Ranch regular…she trusted him but…he beat and choked her…two [say they] decided to turn a trick in Arizona…but…the…man…ended up holding them hostage in the bathroom at gun point…The madams also say they’re seeing some of their workers walking the streets now with…pimps…”If you walk into a casino, the floor is filled with illegal prostitutes and pimps”…

Apparently these whores are both incompetent and cursed, so that in a few months they’ve experienced more violence than every escort I know put together has experienced in years.

Dangerous Speech (#1087)

It’s symptomatic of the government’s deep moral rot that she wasn’t automatically disqualified:

On Nov. 18, veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin took the extraordinary step of filing a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking it to intervene in their ongoing criminal case and order Judge Susan Brnovich to recuse herself from all future proceedings…her husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark…Brnovich, others on his behalf and organizations with which he is associated…have vilified Backpage, assumed its complicity in sex trafficking, and drawn conclusions about facts that will be at issue in the trial of Lacey, Larkin and their four co-defendants…[although] the AG’s inaccurate assumptions about Backpage go to the heart of the case and raise the specter of potential bias on behalf of the judge[, she has stubbornly refused to recuse herself]…

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Drugs are winning the war on drugs.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Suppression

Watch what you say in front of your children, comrade:

Conversations over the dinner table that incite hatred must be prosecuted under Scotland’s hate crime law, [a megalomaniacal politician bloviated]…Journalists and theatre directors should also face the courts if…Humza Yousaf [or some other censorious sociopath disagrees with them]…the…bill has been condemned by [supporters of human rights and even] the Scottish Catholic Church [and some cops]…It will introduce an offence of [magically] stirring-up of hatred against people [by witchcraft, but only if they belong to specially privileged classes]…Mr Yousaf said that there should be no “dwelling defence” in his bill. He told the Scottish parliament’s justice committee that children, family and house guests must be [forced to become informants for the pigs by threatening them with violence if they refuse]…

Election Day (#937) 

We are watching the beginning of the end of the War on Drugs:

Of nine drug decriminalization or legalization measures on state ballots [this week]…not a single one failed.  These were decisive victories, too, not close calls…In D.C., more than three-quarters of voters approved Initiative 81, declaring “that police shall treat the non-commercial cultivation, distribution, possession, and use of entheogenic plants and fungi”—those that contain ibogaine, dimethyltryptamine, mescaline, or psilocybin—among the lowest law enforcement priorities”…Arizona…voters were 59.85 percent in favor of legalization [of recreational cannabis]…In New Jersey, the proportion favoring legalization was…67 percent…In South Dakota, 69 percent approved the medical marijuana measure…and…[53%] the recreational marijuana measure…Montana saw nearly 57 percent of voters approve recreational marijuana…Mississippi, voters said yes to two medical marijuana measures…with…74 percent…in favor…Oregon’s measure to decriminalize non-commercial possession of all drugs saw…59 percent of voters approve…and nearly 56 percent of voters approved…the Psilocybin Services Act, which…[allows] licensed …providers to…[sell “magic”] mushroom and fungi products…

See also “The Clueless Leading the Hysterical” below.

Shame, Shame (#951)

Bird-brains still think realistic porn cartoons are the worst use for this technology:

Dangerous Speech (#1041)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

…Susan Brnovich, the presiding judge in the prosecution of [a half dozen former members of the Village Voice Media family],  is married to the state’s top prosecutor, Attorney General Mark Brnovich…we have argued — to no avail — that the judge has a conflict.  Previously Judge Douglas Rayes disqualified himself because he had a friendly relationship with attorneys on both sides of this case…Judge Susan, on the other hand, is sleeping with General Mark.  She sees no problem…Mark Brnovich published an incendiary —  and wildly inaccurate  — propaganda booklet attacking Backpage, the classified advertising platform, in 2018…In the absence of any disclosure by her that her husband had already set the table for her, we went to court under the impression that Susan was an impartial jurist…We have only recently connected these judicial dots courtesy of a curious attorney who asked: Did you know…?  We did not…The defendants then are left to ponder the pillow talk between these interlocutors…

(State) Violence Against Women

The “Violence Against Women Act” doesn’t fight its named subject; it promotes it:

…”mandatory arrest” policies…spread across the U.S. after the passage of the…Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), part of the infamous 1994 crime bill.  The man behind [it]…was…Joe Biden.  The parent bill, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994…has since been disavowed by Democrats and Republicans, including…Biden…But Biden and the broader Democratic Party are still boasting in 2020 about VAWA…the product of activist agendas and political convenience, written and sold on ideas and evidence that were either dubious or outright debunked…Biden’s law funneled billions to police and prosecutors to enact policies that put women in greater danger—and said victims’ wishes didn’t matter when they conflicted with what the state thought best…Democrat[s claim]…that 30 years ago, “domestic violence was treated as a private matter, not a heinous crime”…But [this] doesn’t square with the historical record …”Assaults and threats of physical violence against intimate partners have been illegal for centuries,” noted lawyer Leigh Goodmark in The New York Times last year…[even] Prohibition [was pushed using the common belief]…that drunkenness was the main cause of abuse…As Aya Gruber, a law professor…and former public defender, writes in…The Feminist War on Crime, “The nascent battered women’s movement was radical and antiauthoritarian at its core…[but quickly] transformed…into a propolicing, proprosecution lobby”…

Tissue of Lies (#1081)

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

In what is [pretended by cops and prosecutors] to be the largest anti-human trafficking operation in state history, Ohio [pigs characterized a series of arrests of teenagers and adults as]…the…recover[y of] 45 missing children…and more 100 other human trafficking survivors…Hop[ing that nobody would notice the large amount of time the arrests were spread over, and that they were made by]…50 [diffient gangs of thugs]…Ohio Attorney General David Yost…[made furtive movements in his pants while describing the arrest of teenagers running away from abuse homes and/or living with non-custodial parents as] “lives that were rescued from this evil”…Yost [also seemed to lump the arrests of sex workers into his fantasy]…and…[tied it to] a two-week operation in Georgia that [The Atlanta Journal-Constitution examined and found that, by combining a variety of cases, pigs had intentionally and maliciously fostered a false perception that confused the public and harmed innocent people]…

Cops all over the US are apparently trying to shore up the dying “sex trafficking” mythology by combining a few arrests of sex workers and clients with mass arrests of teens in foster care and shelters and pretending they’re related.

To Molest and Rape (#1083)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A Baltimore Police SWAT [thug]…has been charged with child sex abuse…Donald P. Hildebrandt …“denies all the charges against him, and adamantly maintains [that she wanted it]”…

Legislators Gone Wild (#1086)

Sex workers need to keep suing prohibitionists whenever possible:

…Alice Little, who works at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch…is taking legal action [against Nevada governor Steve Sisolak] because…he…is [discriminating against] sex workers [by refusing to allow brothels to do business] while allowing other high-contact businesses to reopen …“For months…tattoo shops and massage parlors…have been…open while the…brothels remain shuttered.  If it’s safe for a customer to get a massage at a massage parlor, then it should be safe for a customer to visit a…brothel…Sex workers like me are suffering financially and emotionally.  We have minimal options for economic relief and limited alternative employment opportunities due to our stigmatized work history”…Most strip clubs in Clark County are also still closed…Little is being represented by attorney Marc J. Randazza

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#1086)

Reporters are finally getting that nobody is going to give expensive cannabis edibles to your spawn for free:

Since 1996…drug warriors and their credulous collaborators at newspapers and TV stations have repeatedly warned parents that seemingly friendly strangers might be trying to get their kids high on Halloween by passing off THC-infused candy as ordinary treats.  Yet none of those stories cited any actual examples…since substituting expensive marijuana edibles for cheap candy…offers no obvious payoff even for maliciously minded stoners…[but] after two decades of this nonsense…[some reporters] are starting to…show…appropriate skepticism…”No One’s Going to Give Your Kids Free Weed in Their Halloween Candy,” said the headline over an October 2019 Slate piece by Jane C. Hu…A week later, the Washington Examiner ran an opinion piece…with the same message…NBC News ran an essay by Simon Moya-Smith with this headline: “The Halloween tale of marijuana handed out to trick-or-treaters is as real as a ghost story.”  This month the Spokane Spokesman-Review noted that “tainted treats turn out to be mostly make-believe”…

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The censor-morons are loose, and they’re attacking the small targets so their totalitarian masters can expend their energy on big ones like the internet.  –  “The Return of the Censor

Censorship, once condemned by all ethical people, has now become almost universally popular.  From the most totalitarian of governments down to the youngest of adults, it seems everybody without a functional moral compass (which is to say, the great majority) wants to impose their ideas of “right” thinking and “correct” speech on everyone else.  China, of course, is leading the way, with a new Maoist-type campaign to purge schools and libraries of books deemed insufficiently pure, but the West isn’t far behind.  In the UK, cops are knocking on doors to intimidate people who made statements online that the cops didn’t like, and early this month a woman in Melbourne was actually arrested for posting on Facebook about a protest against totalitarian “lockdown” orders imposed by the Victorian government.  In the US, the pandemic is only one of many popular excuses for censorship; others include “hate speech”, criticizing the police, and (for social media platforms) either engaging in censorship on their own or not censoring often enough for the tastes of censors.  I know that last is confusing, so let me state it a different way:  Some politicians and other control freaks want to censor Facebook, Twitter, et al for engaging in censorship themselves, while others want to censor the same entities for not censoring enough.  Yes, it’s complete lunacy, and it isn’t limited to the internet; culture warriors in academia, Hollywood, and even corporate America are firing,expelling, or otherwise ostracizing people for engaging in wrongthink, or even for failing to chant approved party slogans with sufficient enthusiasm.

When I was a librarian, Banned Books Week was little more than an academic exercise; censorship was an intermittent and generally impotent threat proceeding from small numbers of narrow-minded busybodies, which was easily defeated by librarians and other guardians of our shared cultural heritage.  But that was a generation ago, and would-be censors have become numerous, aggressive, well-organized and (most concerningly) popular.  Few of those under 30 even understand what free speech is or why it’s important, and the majority or those over that age imagine all sorts of exceptions that they believe should be reasons to violently suppress speech, ranging from “it hurt my feelings”, to “it was said or written by a dead person who did things considered normal then, but which are now mortal sins”, to “it contains ‘bad’ words”, to the ever-popular “But SEX!”  As I wrote last year, the censor-morons (a term coined by D.H. Lawrence, one of many writers now considered “problematic”) are loose; furthermore, they are multiplying like bacteria and have already infested all the centers of power.  For now, the courts are mostly still defending the rights of those with enough money, resources, and patience to fight “cancellation” through official channels.  But if you will take the time to read all of my essays for this occasion starting in 2012, and working your way up a year at a time to the present, I think you’ll see a very frightening trend.  We are watching the advent of a new dark age, and in such times no light is entirely safe from being snuffed out by zealots, speech-cops and bureaucrats whose ideal model for human society is the anthill.

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If your fantasies offend the police…you can be destroyed.  –  Marty Klein

Tales from the Dark Side

In a world where prosecution for thoughtcrime has become a grim reality, it might be wise to restrict such discussions to fully-anonymized online accounts“:

…You are NOT free to fantasize about sex that is illegal.  If you do, and you’re caught, you will have to prove you do not actually want to do those things.  This is almost impossible…if two people email or text about [ageplay]…and the digital trail falls into the hands of the police, the person playing the adult role in the fantasy could be in big trouble…There are police departments in every state with units devoted to finding people who fantasize online about adult-child sex.  They have huge budgets and almost unlimited power.  These [cops] are going undercover in ADULT chatrooms…looking for people to arrest…they invite the hobbyist—whom they [pretend]is a predatory criminal—to meet for…legal sex….[with] an adult…[and when] he does…he is arrested for allegedly intending to have sex with a child

The Maze of Consent

An excellent essay on the deeply misogynistic basis of modern “consent” dogma:

…the notion that sexual contact is degrading to women has become wrapped up in the contemporary progressive language of trauma and consent…For all its protestations about how hot consent can be, the progressive discourse surrounding sex is markedly unsexy.  Amid the obsession with power, oppression and the ever present threat of harm, the notion of desire (or, heaven forbid, fun) all but disappears…This laser-focus on consent effectively recasts sex itself as a dangerous act, to be undertaken with extreme caution and only if absolutely necessary…men are increasingly seen as predators almost by default, while women are cast as helpless, even infantile.  (Witness the rise of the word “grooming,” previously reserved for sexual predation of children, as something done to women in their twenties)…young people are now being taught to expect absolute emotional safety in sex, love and courtship at all times—and that if they feel hurt, disappointed or betrayed, it means they’ve been violated…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#831)

“Legalization” of sex work always features weird, arbitrary laws written by obsessive bureaucrats:

Toronto will no longer force workers at body rub parlours to keep their doors unlocked—a win for sex worker safety…Toronto bylaws prohibited…parlours…from keeping their doors locked, so that inspectors could [barge in at will and without warning]…the rules [predictably] led to thefts, abuse, and even death..By locking doors, workers are now able to screen people entering their businesses…In February, Ashley Arzaga…was [murdered] by a 17-year-old man who entered her North York spa with a machete…60 avoidable robberies targeted body rub parlours [in the past year]…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#991)

Laws are for the peasantry, not the rulers:

The preferential treatment afforded to [Randal] Woolery wasn’t mentioned in the de[ferential coverage by bootlicking media like the Seattle Times]…But [it was sharply criticized in The Honest Courtesan] and…[now that the] public…[is clamoring for greater] police accountability…the [mainstream media are finally getting around to talking about it almost a year later]…Unlike the four other men arrested in the sting that night, Woolery avoided having…an “embarrassing situation” fully videotaped…The p[ig] also wasn’t taken in handcuffs to a [filthy sty] to await booking…[and] didn’t spend any time behind bars that [or any other] night…Woolery…has been [on paid vacation ever since, with]…his case [conveniently] postponed [using the excuse of] the coronavirus pandemic…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1016) 

Why I keep telling you local laws banning surveillance technology are feel-good bullshit:

The Los Angeles Police Department has used facial-recognition software nearly 30,000 times since 2009, with hundreds of [pigs rooting through]…a massive database of mugshots [in search of people to pin “crimes” on]…the LAPD has consistently denied having records related to facial recognition, and at times denied using the technology at all.  The truth is that, while it does not have its own facial-recognition platform, LAPD personnel have access to facial-recognition software through a regional database maintained by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  And [were that database banned, they could simply fall back on secret resources such as FITlist]…

Dangerous Speech (#1031)

A judge reverses one iota of the government’s persecution of two journalists:

The FBI [was] recently [forced to] return…scores of personal possessions belonging to veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin as the result of a judge’s finding that the bureau violated their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure when it…raided the men’s homes at gunpoint two years ago…Judge Susan Brnovich found that certain categories of items listed in the FBI’s 2018 warrant applications were “impermissibly vague”…the FBI’s warrant affidavit sought “evidence of wealth” from January 1, 2010 to the date of the search.  “Nothing suggests that Lacey and Larkin’s homes were filled solely with items obtained solely from illegal proceeds or to suggest that Backpage.com was being run out of their homes,” Brnovich writes. “Both individuals were successful and wealthy before 2010.”  And yet, prosecutors have contended that Lacey and Larkin’s affluence was wholly derived from the alleged crimes of conspiracy, money laundering and the facilitation of prostitution through the online listings giant Backpage.com, which the two men sold in 2015…

Quiet Genocide (#1058)

Oh look, someone in Hollywood appears to have grown a spine:

Judd Apatow is refusing to let Hollywood off the hook for allowing itself to be censored in…China in order to reap financial rewards…the…director said studios would shoot him down if he ever pitched a movie about a man who escapes Chinese concentration camps…Disney has recently come under fire for filming part of its live-action Mulan film in Xinjiang and using the film’s end credits to thank [the Communist propaganda ministry for]…the region…In addition to censoring content, Hollywood studios have also included China-friendly content in certain films in order to guarantee a theatrical release in the country…When filmmakers take a stand against China (see Quentin Tarantino refusing to edit out the Bruce Lee scene in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), their films are blocked from the country and risk losing a significant percentage of their box office…

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The government has adopted a win-at-all-costs approach and [an attitude] that the ends justify the means.  –  Michael Piccarreta

Elephant in the Parlor

Politician takes bribes, hires whores.  Yawn.

…federal [documents]…suggest…a years-long trail of bribery between City Councilmember Jose Huizar and a Chinese development firm with a megaproject slated for downtown Los Angeles…[real estate broker] George Chiang…started a real estate consulting company in 2014…that directed money, consulting fees, casino chips, flights on private jets, luxury hotel stays, prostitutes and escort services between developers…[politicians] and [bureaucrats]…in exchange for approval of an 80,000-square foot commercial project and other downtown developments…

Dangerous Speech (#958)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1…accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client privileges…despite repeated warnings from defense counsel…and two [court] orders…the government continued to question former Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer concerning confidential legal advice that was subject to joint defense and representation agreements with other defendants…the government grilled Ferrer repeatedly through “seven successive interviews” over the course of 13 months, beginning the day of his plea deal…In doing so…the government engaged in “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” misconduct.  Prosecutors “willfully invaded” Lacey and Larkin’s attorney-client privileges in order to “gain a tactical advantage in the case,” thereby violating the defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel…Barring outright dismissal, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the harm done to the defendants and possible sanctions against the government, such as the exclusion of Ferrer as a witness, the suppression of other evidence, or the disqualification of the entire prosecution team…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

The human cost of a prohibitionist crusade:

In March 2019 my life was turned upside down…by feminist groups who said I needed saving…Becoming a dancer at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino was the best thing I’d ever done.  It gave me the confidence I desperately lacked…[but then] Not Buying It sent private [dicks] into our club to buy lap dances and secretly film the women dancing.  They did this to “prove” to Sheffield Council that Spearmint Rhino was in breach of its own code of conduct and should have its licence revoked.  They filmed women naked and without their consent, and this was only the beginning…it traumatised the women …[and] hurt their families, their friends and their children…the ensuing campaign to close our club left me extremely anxious and scared to go to work…I was paranoid that every person who came into the club was another undercover investigator trying to take my job away.  I was always on edge, watching people, checking buttons for cameras, looking in people’s ears to see if they were wearing earpieces.  I was hyper-aware of customers who used their mobile phones and frightened that they were secretly recording me.  It was torture.  Work went from being the place I felt safest to a place I felt judged and under attack…

Business As Usual (#1001)

Every so often one of these sadly-typical stories gets more media attention:

Agents with…DHS…in Arizona have been “fighting” human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to [rape women they claim to be]…victims…[then] seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.  Federal agents [raped] at least 17…”Asian females” working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018…the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges…[the] scenario…is far from an isolated incidentnational and mainstream media have been discovering and disapproving of “Operation Asian Touch.”  This is great—so long as nobody mistakes what happened in Mohave County for an atypical investigation.  If you track initial claims about massage parlor-based human trafficking through to their actual conclusions, you’ll almost always find law enforcement simply targeting sex workers, small-business owners, immigrants, and the people who patronize them with harassment, assault, arrest, property seizure, prosecution, detainment, and deportation. And the “victims” they allegedly set out to save frequently wind up facing criminal charges.  There are only two roles women can play in this Homeland Security-led charade: helpless sex slave or conniving human trafficker.  (Both types…are invited to stroke ICE agent penises)…

I Spy (#1006)

But please, tell me more about “wings” and “blue states” and “democracy”:

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.  The measure must be approved…by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law…

Like Houses (#1031)

All they were waiting for was a strong enough excuse:

In India, the COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect excuse for the government to consolidate its pre-pandemic surveillance ambitions.  Since May 4, as restrictions began to ease, the government has mandated the installation of its contact-tracing smartphone app for anyone who works…or uses public transport.  Failing to do so is criminal…Unsurprisingly, digital rights and civil society organizations are pushing back on the new di[ktat]…

Reawakening

A high-profile example of the quiet rebellion that’s already started everywhere in the US:

Alameda County [bureaucrats] backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.  Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting …”If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me“…Musk’s civil disobedience against the COVID lockdown regime is a high-profile instance of a wider trend…

Social Distancing (#1036)

At its core, Australia is still prohibitionist:

…as Australia eases itself out of COVID-19 restrictions…in [a] three-stage framework…strip clubs and brothels were specifically listed “to remain closed” even in stage three…other businesses with…skin-to-skin contact – like waxing, massages, tattoos, bathhouses and saunas – are allowed to open in stage three.  Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim [said]…”We hoped this…outbreak wouldn’t be used as an excuse to turn back…gains made in sex worker legislation, but it’s hard to see this as anything but discrimination, considering similar businesses are allowed”…federal [bureaucrats] recommended brothels and strip club venues should stay shut [indefinitely]…sole operator sex workers…are banned after being classed as “non-essential”

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand:

The national lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 means it’s business as usual for many Kiwis, including sex workers…The New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective (NZPC) released guidelines for sex workers on their website…with a checklist of hygiene practices and safety measures workers, brothels and massage parlours should be implementing…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

No human is truly free while governments claim the “right” to lock people in filthy, disease-ridden cages:

In the vast majority of the world’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons…physical distancing is simply not an option.  In situations where close confinement, shared facilities and spaces and poor hygiene are commonplace…prison[ers]…are living in constant fear of the ticking COVID-19 time bomb…UNAIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are calling on leaders to make detention a last resort, to close drug rehabilitation detention centres and to decriminalize sex work, same-sex sexual relations and drug use.  They are urging countries to release the people who can be released…The Government of Ethiopia…has released more than 30,000 prisoners and has heightened sanitation measures.  Indonesia is releasing more than 50,000…Iran is releasing 40% of its total prison population, 100,000 people, while Chile is set to release around 50,000 people…

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Government demands for new…surveillance powers are all too familiar.  –  Adam Schwartz

Feminine Pragmatism 

I’m sure a “pimp” must be forcing her to do this:

…The sudden disappearance of paychecks, combined with a wide array of monthly debt payments and the declines in any investments, is forcing some millennials to take desperate measures…Jayci Cumberledge…in Amherst, Ohio…spent her last $80 in savings to make her monthly car payment shortly after the gastro pub where she worked closed in mid-March…She has since made some money by selling pictures of her feet to people with fetishes who found her online after she put a joking post on Twitter…

Dangerous Speech (#954)

The government’s case against the former owners of Backpage is totally unraveling:

…On March 30, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt federal prosecutors yet another setback in the government’s two-year-long quest to [steal] millions of dollars in publishing assets belonging to veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, former owners of the 17-paper Village Voice Media chain of alt-weeklies and co-founders of the now-defunct…Backpage…Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kucera had sought to block a First Amendment challenge by Lacey and Larkin to the seizures, lamely arguing — much as he had a year ago…that the appellate court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.  But a two-judge panel of the Ninth rejected Kucera’s motion to dismiss…the same judges [also] granted Lacey and Larkin’s request to expedite their appeal, warning the government that no requests for extensions of time would be approved “absent extraordinary and compelling circumstances.”  With an April 28 deadline set for the government’s response, and an optional reply from the appellants due 21 days thereafter, oral arguments concerning the civil asset seizures could be scheduled as early as June…

Working From Home

The hypocrisy of the prohibitionist New York Times is appalling:

As 16 million people in the United States have applied for unemployment benefits in the last [few] weeks, a rush of people…have sought new work performing in sexually explicit live broadcasts.  And, as nearly half the world is under some form of stay-at-home orders, people who do this work are also seeing a large growth in customers…The performers work for tips, to [circumvent] laws that [criminalize] sex work…CamSoda…said there had been a 37 percent increase in new model sign-ups this March…ManyVids…[saw] a 69 percent increase…But this growth isn’t always translating into more money for the models…[who report that] new viewers aren’t tipping as much as they typically would…

You Were Warned (#1023)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

…the EARN IT Act…[is designed to destroy] Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and…possibly encrypted communication writ large, under the guise of (what else?) protecting children…Signal developer Joshua Lund said in a blog post…that Signal would face insurmountable financial burdens as a result of the law and would therefore be forced to leave the US market rather than undermine its encryption to stay.  Given that Signal is recommended and used across the Department of Defense, Congress, and other parts of the US government, this would be a seemingly problematic outcome for everyone…

Like Houses (#1027)

Government can always be counted on to use any excuse to expand tyranny:

From cellphone tracking to drone eyes in the sky, perused health records, and GPS ankle bracelets, an epidemic of surveillance-state measures is spreading across the world…in the name of battling the spread of COVID-19…since every crisis is used to justify incursions into our liberty.  But long after the virus has done its worst and moved on, we’re likely to be stuck with these invasions of our privacy—unless we push back, hard…China…force[d] people to install cellphone apps that assigned them a code according to (allegedly) their perceived risk of spreading contagion.  Permission to travel or enter public spaces depended on that code even as the software also tracked their whereabouts and [handed] data on users’ phones [to] the authorities…South Korea…tracked people’s cellphones and credit card usage…Spanish authorities turned to aerial drones to detect unauthorized gatherings of people—already a cringe-worthy concept for those of us disinclined to ask permission to meet with friends.  Loudspeakers on the drones then ordered violators to return home…in the U.S., government officials joined with tech companies to paw through the location data that most of us share with cellphone apps…Privacy [laws] have also been [violated] to allow [government officials to root through] patients’ medical records

Social Distancing (#1028)

Amber DiPietra on the US disaster compensation check:

There is NO QUESTION on the 1040 form that asks what you do for employment or who you work for.  The only questions regarding employment is “occupation” and you can state that you are self-employed…Everything you have read…about our community members not being eligible for the stimulus check is NOT TRUE…there is no indication that independent workers or “gig” workers will not get a stimulus check.  Adult oriented BUSINESSES like Porn companies and Cam Platforms, will not be eligible for the BUSINESS stimulus LOAN…EVERYONE who files a 2019 tax return will get a stimulus check.  If you DON’T file a 2019 return, you will definitely NOT get a stimulus check…People who are on social security or disability WILL receive a stimulus check AUTOMATICALLY…

Social Distancing (#1029)

The government of Japan seems more susceptible to shaming than that of the US:

Japan has reportedly reversed its decision to discriminate against sex workers who are economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic…Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato declared that Japan’s legal sex workers will be eligible to receive government assistance…the…original…plan…was widely criticized for being discriminatory…It is unclear how self-employed sex workers would be treated…

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We might as well go down fighting.  –  unnamed Hong Kong protester

License to Rape

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

Australia[n cops’]…obsession with stamping out drug use at outdoor festivals has produced a twentyfold increase in strip searches over the course of a decade.  They have increased by nearly 50 percent in the last four years.  And…nearly two-thirds of the 5,400 strip searches performed by New South Wales police from 2017 to 2018 found absolutely nothing.  In the past three years, more than 600 people under 18 were subjected to police strip searches.  Three of them were 12 years old.  Seven were 13…The New York Times and The Guardian both report that festivals in New South Wales are now thick with police and their dogs sniffing around for…reasons to look inside young people’s underwear…

Surplus Women (#702)

One of this wannabe cop’s victims was only described as a “teen hooker” by the New York Daily News:

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver…is accused of murdering three women and attempting to kill a fourth…he…targeted young black women who [did] sex work…[because he figured] no one would notice if they disappeared…His attorneys contend [his] victims [were at fault because they were whores]…and [because he]…“doesn’t look like someone who would’ve done something like this”…Wheeler-Weaver…handcuffed [his fourth victim] and covered her mouth with duct tape before raping her…and almost strangling her to death…but…she convinced Wheeler-Weaver to take her back to the motel, where she had left her cellphone, then locked him out of the room while she dialed 911….[cops] who responded to the call were more interested in figuring out if she was a prostitute…so…months would pass before Wheeler-Weaver was arrested…[and while the cops fucked around] he [murdered another woman named Sarah] Butler…[whose] family…called the police [when she didn’t come home.  Of course the cops fucked around again, so]…Butler’s parents, sister and friends had taken matters into their own hands, logging into the 20-year-old’s social media accounts to see whom she had been talking with before she disappeared…[they] created a fake profile…to lure Wheeler-Weaver into a…[trap.  After he was finally arrested, cops found] Wheeler-Weaver had conducted a slew of disturbing online searches…including “How to make homemade poisons to kill humans” and “What chemical could you put on a rag and hold to someone’s face to make them go to sleep immediately”…Wheeler-Weaver, who had been working as a grocery store security guard, hoped to become a police officer [so he could rape and murder women with impunity]…

Guinea Pigs (#712) 

This toiletful of myths, lies, dehumanization, agency denial, eager and sloppy copsucking and bootlicking, wildly-exaggerated numbers, masturbatory fantasies, fascist cheerleading and other assorted sociopathy is so vile, I can’t even be bothered to make it tolerable by my usual editing.  The important facts are: it’s about a company named “Deliverfund” whose owners are “a group of former CIA, NSA, special forces, and [other assorted pigs and spooks] who collaborate with [vice cops] to bust sex [workers] in the U.S.” (yes, it’s so bad I even had to edit a measly pull-quote).  The rest is just the usual misogynistic, self-aggrandizing male BDSM fantasies about illiterate, passive, doll-like women so stupid we can’t even book a hotel room or put up a shitty ad, and the magical ninja pimps who control us completely.  The writer is so innumerate he can’t see how claims like “a pimp spends 6 to 12 months ‘grooming’ each victim into the trade” are impossible to reconcile with claimed numbers of “victims” (or even basic common sense); so illiterate he thinks the word “gruesome” is an appropriate description of sex work; and so oblivious to red flags that he cannot recognize that “DeliverFund also provided intel to assist the takedown of Backpage…[then] moved its headquarters into the former Backpage office in Dallas” is barely one moral step above putting human heads on a wall as hunting trophies.

Under Review (#733)

The European press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews:

This newsroom looked into a number of websites advertising European escorts, and on one particular site, over 1,207 entries were registered in Malta…one can even specify a locality…Escort profiles include pictures and a description of each girl…Some escort websites also allow users to leave a review of the escort, explaining their experience and services with the girls.  The reviews varied from very happy clients who left five-star reviews, to others who shamed and degraded certain escorts…some…comments…were extremely explicit and…many included internet sex slang and abbreviations of services particular escorts did or did not provide…

It must be a slow news month in Malta.

Stalkers in Blue

With modern surveillance and data processing, no woman is safe from sexually-aggressive cops:

Hundreds of [cops] and [cop shop] staff have ill[egally] accessed police databases for their own ends including checking the criminal records of partners…237 of…[them were] disciplined for accessing the highly-sensitive police national computer or other IT systems in the past two years [but] just half of the 45 forces responded to [reporters’] requests, which suggests as many as 500 officers have [been caught] misus[ing] databases that contain confidential personal information on millions of people [and an unknown but much-larger number have done it without getting caught]…

Banishment (#936)

This story started out in the “Procrustean Bed” tag, but is now a better fit here:

In August 2018, the mayor of Houston…announced…they would sue [sex workers]…Bissonnet Street…has been [so overpoliced it has had]…3,800 reports of [so-called] crime in the area from the beginning of 2016 through August of 2018, and a quarter of them were for prostitution…The county filed a civil lawsuit against 50 alleged sex workers, 23 alleged [clients], and 13 alleged pimps…to ban these 86 people from engaging in a wide array of “prostitution-related activities”…[including taking a] bus…walk[ing]…down the street…[or] using their cellphones in the [“prostitution-free”] zone.  If they are caught breaking these [draconian and arbitrary] rules, they could face fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 and up to 30 days in [a cage]…a year later, the injunction is on hold…What the county called an “unprecedented step” was another way of saying that the model was [unconstitutional]…the suit…publicly named all 86 defendants along with their known addresses before a judge ordered the names sealed in May…[thus] putting already vulnerable women and their families in grave danger…nuisance abatement laws, which the county is basing the lawsuit on, are not supposed to target individual people; they’re meant to discipline businesses that flout laws, like bars that routinely serve underage patrons…Only one other place in the U.S. has tried [a similar scheme]…Milwaukee banned 75 sex workers from…three neighborhoods…in 2002.  [It] was…a failure…

Future stories about “prostitution-free zones”, formerly filed in “Forward and Backward“, will now appear here.

I Spy (#958)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

For years, the New York Police Department illegally maintained a database containing the fingerprints of thousands of [juveniles] charged as…delinquents — in direct violation of state law mandating that police destroy these records after turning them over to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services.  When lawyers representing some of those youths discovered the violation [in 2015], the police department dragged its feet, at first denying but eventually admitting that it was retaining prints it was supposed to have destroyed…the police department [now claims] that the database ha[s] been destroyed [just like they claimed the records were before]…The department has made no public admission of wrongdoing, nor has it notified the thousands of people it impacted, although it [claims to have] changed its fingerprint retention practices following Legal Aid’s probing…

All-Purpose Excuse (#973)

It’s rare these days for a US court to uphold the Constitution against the government:

In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled…that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional.  The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the…ACLU…EFF…and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion…[ACLU attorney] Esha Bhandari [said]…“By putting an end to the government’s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that…we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel”…“Travelers…now can cross the international border without fear that the government will…ransack the extraordinarily sensitive information we all carry in our electronic devices,” said Sophia Cope, EFF Senior Staff Attorney…Border [thugs] must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler’s device…

Dangerous Speech (#974)

The FBI intentionally destroyed exculpatory evidence in the Backpage case:

An October 25 evidentiary hearing…offered additional proof of the government’s bad faith in its prosecution of…the erstwhile owners of…Backpage…Witnesses…testified that when the federal government seized Backpage…the FBI failed to take proper steps to preserve the website as evidence…the defense has [repeatedly] informed the prosecution that it needs access to the databases…in the same condition as when they were seized…Tami Loehrs, a digital forensics expert…testified…that…she…tried using the forensic software that the FBI [claims] it employed to create mirror images of the servers:  FTK Imager…but…FTK Imager “is not validated to image FreeBSD” [the operating system Backpage used, so]…the process was unsuccessful…[also, Backpage’s] servers were “equipped with self-encrypting drives”…if the server’s hard drives remained in the server’s chassis…the information would “automatically decrypt.”  However, if you remove the drives from the chassis, “you’ve just scrambled all the data”…[yet the FBI claims it somehow] mirror-imaged an encrypted file [with software that couldn’t image it even if]…decrypted…

Quiet Genocide

Unlike Americans, Hong Kongers know tyranny when they see it:

…Hong Kong’s government, backed by mainland China, has responded to [protests] with all the finesse of a control freak who has lost control.  It seems to have decided that the best way to reestablish control is to crack down even more.  Meanwhile, about half of Hong Kongers say that, on a scale of zero to 10, they would rate their trust in the police at zero.  Before this current wave of protest, in June, just 6.5 percent picked zero on the same poll…This is our last chance, [protesters say] very matter-of-factly.  If we stand down, nothing will stand between us and mainland China…They talk…about Xinjiang, and what China ha[s] done to the Uighur minority…China may have wanted to make an example out of the region, but the lesson Hong Kongers took was in the other direction—resist with all your might, because if you lose once, there will be a catastrophe for your people, and the world will ignore it…

The Cop Myth (#981)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. How many more don’t admit it?

A six-month investigation of California’s Criminal Cops by a statewide coalition of news organizations found [cops] who…commit…[domestic] violen[ce]…routinely plead down to nonviolent misdemeanors for disturbing the peace or vandalism or unreasonable noise.  And those softer charges…allow abusive [pigs] to keep their guns — and keep [inflicting violence on whoever they like without consequences]…reporters uncovered the cases of more than 80 [cops]…who[se violence was so egregious they] were [actually] convicted in connection with a domestic-abuse charge in the past decade.  And that’s just a fraction of what’s out there because the state’s records on criminal conduct among police are too flawed to illustrate the true scope of the problem…

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Surveillance technology…rivals nuclear weapons in the threat that it poses to the future of humanity.  –  Evan Greer and Tom Morello

Droit du Seigneur

Though pimps are not common, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:

A [typical and representative] vice [pig] convicted of offering to [pimp] a [sow sexually role-playing a sex worker got away with a slap on the wrist and]…will serve [a mere] 90 days in jail [instead of being charged with “sex trafficking” as a non-cop would have been].  David Moss…of Lehi [Utah], was …[given a cushy] plea deal…to [avoid rape charges as well]…and [merely] plead guilty to patronizing a prostitute…

Under Every Bed

Population 13,255.  Seriously:

Drivers on westbound Highway 17 heading from Sudbury toward the Manitoulin turn-off will notice a new billboard between Nairn Centre and McKerrow that describes a Canadian law with a frank statement: “Buying sex is a crime.”  It’s a part of a [scam] by [prohibitionists]…to [profit from] human trafficking [hysteria]…”if there’s no demand then we won’t have the supply,” said [economic ignoramus] Natasha Falle, [who also vomited up a lot of ridiculous nonsense about]…13…years old…“These highways are part of a circuit in prostitution.  Highway 17 is a part of that because it’s so close to Sudbury.  If a trafficker is moving cross-country, they might make a pit stop on Manitoulin…we’re [hoping our billboard scares them away, like a scarecrow]”…

I honestly have to wonder sometimes what these ninnies’ fantasies about our lives actually look like in their narrow, frightened little monkey-brains.

The Rape Question (#895) 

Tech geeks create a “consent app” that is not only useless, but dangerous:

Stating that applications such as Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge provide too many options with reduced quality of interaction, the dating app Loly, soon to be available on iOS and Android, aims to “disrupt the online dating industry”…Loly removes human inter[ac]tion from the equation and instead relies on a patent-pending Heat Index to take control…generating a recommendation for suitable partners.  After connecting, users can then confirm each other’s identities through the in-built video call feature, allowing potential partners to ensure that they each match their profile pictures…All data are then encrypted and stored separately, meaning that the sexual preferences and personal information of users [supposedly] cannot be connected [until the pigs demand it]…When using Loly to meet partners for sexual encounters, users must first confirm they consent by selecting the option on the app and at the end of the exchange, they must again confirm that they consented.  If both users choose to use this option, the app can listen in during the sexual encounter and will respond to the use of safewords.  If triggered through voicing pre-registered safewords, the app will initially place a fake call from the app to the user’s mobile phone.  If there is no response on the app, the police will be automatically contacted [so they can smash down the door and murder both partners]…The practicality of this app response is…questionable…

The Prudish Giant (#897) 

Facebook is trying to become one of the cornerstones of modern fascism:

…The Bay Area has long been a sandbox for technology giants who are no longer merely occupying communities, but building and reshaping them.  In Menlo Park, an affluent, mostly white city of 35,000, Facebook…[funds] a police unit…to patrol the area surrounding its campus.  The bill comes in at over $2 million annually—big money in a small city.  This [increasingly typical] relationship has highlighted issues of policing ethics…“You create a danger when you have public servants being privately funded,” [said] J.T. Faraji, an East Palo Alto resident and founder of the activist group Real Community Coalition…

Hard Numbers (#912)

Another Australian state moves toward decriminalization:

Queensland has withdrawn draft laws from State parliament which would have increased police powers, shifted police and licensing authority coverage from brothels to anywhere sex work takes place, and allowed police to covertly film sex workers…police…in Queensland ha[ve used]…”entrapment-style tactics to pressure sex workers into offering blacklisted services“.  The proposed laws would have afforded the police additional powers to enter, search, film and [steal sex workers’] property…Sex workers continue to campaign for this process to lead to decriminalisation of sex work in Queensland in line with the government’s [claimed] commitment to repeal the current laws and decriminalise sex work…

A Broker in Pillage (#937)

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

Thanks to chronic abuse…by…police…the days may be numbered for South Carolina’s forfeiture system that allows cops to [steal]…cash and property of the people they arrest…Circuit Judge Steven H. John has ruled that the South Carolina’s civil asset forfeiture regulations violate the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the citizens.  Civil asset forfeiture…allows police and prosecutors to declare that any money or property owned by a [target] is “connected” to a crime…and…[steal] it for themselves.  And because this is a civil process, [they]…can do this without having to convict anybody…and [the victims]…have to fund their own lawyers…Local newspapers in South Carolina…discovered police agencies across the state had seized more than $17 million in assets across [only] three years…South Carolina [politicians are working on]…a bill which would…eliminate…civil forfeiture entirely…If it passes, South Carolina would join New Mexico, Nebraska, and North Carolina in completely eliminating [the vile practice]…

Across the Pond (#958)

Redbridge has a history of harassing sex workers while belching up stupid “crime” rhetoric:

After…police [pogroms against] street prostitution in Ilford, hundreds of flyers advertising the sex workers’ services have been dumped on the streets in recent weeks…[prudes vomited up a lot of nonsense about sex rays, “objectification”, and THE CHILDREN™!] and…Redbridge Council [bloviated a lot of idiotic nonsense while pledging to continue its pathetic, useless game of]…whack-a-mole…The council also said it is exploring legal ways of “going after” printing businesses who make the call cards [even though there are plenty of card-printing businesses on the internet, safely out of the reach of censorious ninnies]…

Only the mind of a prohibitionist could be so narrow and stupid as to fail to comprehend that people have bills to pay, so if violent thugs keep businesspeople from advertising their services in one manner, they will find another.

Dangerous Speech (#974)

The government keeps flagrantly hiding information in the Backpage case:

…Ariel Neuman, an attorney for one of Lacey and Larkin’s co-defendants, asserts that prosecutors falsely summarized evidence and misled the grand jury by omitting or excising exculpatory material.  Worse still, prosecutors poured gasoline on the pyre by “falsely, repeatedly and irrelevantly” alleging that the defendants “engaged in child sex trafficking and knowingly published ads for sex with underage children,” though the government did not charge the defendants with…sex trafficking…[only] facilitating prostitution…Neuman writes…”These are not minor details that the government got wrong; these are explosive allegations that had no place in the Indictment or in the presentation to the grand jury.  These are the types of allegations that can overwhelm reason…and lead to decisions out of anger and disgust, regardless of what else is presented.  The government’s conduct…warrants dismissal of the Indictment“…

Pyrrhic Victory (#976) 

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

Imagine showing up at a…concert and being required to stand in front of a device that scans and analyzes your face…a computer algorithm could then decide that you…look “suspicious” and should be flagged for additional screening…facial recognition…could…be used to track the minute details of your movements once inside.  Face scanning software could be used to police behavior — constantly scanning the crowd for drug use or rule-breaking…organizers [w]ould be forced to hand this trove of sensitive biometric data over to [pigs and spooks so they]…could pull people out of the crowd because they have an outstanding warrant…Industry giants like Ticketmaster invested money in companies like Blink Identity…who…marketed [the tech] as a convenient ticketing option to concertgoers.  But…artists and fans waged a grassroots war to stop Orwellian surveillance technology from invading live music events…Our campaign pushed more than 40 of the world’s largest music festivals — like Coachella, Bonnaroo, and SXSW — to go on the record and state clearly that they have no plans to use facial recognition technology at their events.  Facing backlash, Ticketmaster all but threw Blink Identity under the bus, distancing itself from the surveillance startup it boasted about partnering with just a year ago.  This…is the first major blow to the spread of commercial facial recognition in the United States…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#982)

There has literally never been a case of a kid getting drugged candy in his trick-or-treat bag:

Police in a New Jersey town are [trying to spread hysteria]…after a substance [they claim they] believed to be heroin was found in a local child’s haul of candy from a recent Halloween event…[cops pretend] the substance was…given to the child at [one of those castrated] Trunk or Treat event[s]…police [used the non-incident as an excuse to vomit “if you see something, say something” all over children’s holiday fun]…

“Believed to be heroin”.  You know, just like cops routinely arrest people for things they “believe to be” drugs which turn out to be things like tea leaves, cotton candy, donut glaze, and even bird poop.

To Molest and Rape (#984)

Cops show you what they are every day; why don’t you believe them?

A [typical and representative] Livingston Parish [Louisiana cop] and his wife, a…school teacher, have been arrested and accused of child rape and the production of child pornography…photos…show the two suspects nude with an unclothed child [an actual child, under 13]…Dennis…and Cynthia Perkins…were arrested Wednesday, Oct. 23…Dennis Perkins…[who] was [a member of] the…SWAT [gang] is also charged with obstruction of justice after…[he] toss[ed] his cell phone into a river [when his fellow pigs arrived to arrest him]…

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