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Posts Tagged ‘Dangerous Speech’

Prosecutors are not allowed to just randomly tie defendants to heinous crimes they’re not on trial for…and yet here we are.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

To Molest and Rape (#941)

Rapist cop is still a rapist cop:

A Border Patrol [cop named Steven Holmes] who was released from jail after being charged in multiple [violent rapes]…two years ago is…now being held without bond​ in [Tucson]…He is being [protected] from other inmates due to his [being a cop]…Holmes was p[reviously…released [on bond]…with a GPS tracking device…[but a woman he has been fucking] for the past 3 months…[reported that] on Aug. 26, they were having sex [when]…”something changed” and…Holmes…[suddenly started strangling her until she] los[t]…consciousness…Holmes [then] continued [raping]…her after she had asked him to stop…She managed to leave and…called the [local] police…the[y now admit the]re may be more potential victims out there…

Panopticon (#986)

Cops will continue to do this until there are criminal penalties for it:

…the Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission has [sued]…the Oakland Police Department…[for] violat[ing] the city’s surveillance technology vetting ordinance, the city charter and multiple state laws…[by] retaining data for two years [when they’re allowed only 6 months, and by]…giving the FBI “unfettered access” to the license plate data…the police department [has] fail[ed] to audit the use of its surveillance technology…and [refused to] provid[e] information…requested under the state’s public records act…the police department has [also] used surveillance technology such as drones without a search warrant or prior approval…

I Spy (#1098)

Encryption won’t protect you if providers are willing to hand metadata to the cops:

ProtonMail is a well-known and well-regarded mail service…[which] was recently forced to cooperate with Swiss authorities in providing user data (date of account creation), which was subsequently handed over to American security authorities…That ProtonMail made its home in Switzerland has previously been a point of praise for the mail service.  However…the country is by no means a bastion of digital privacy…due in no small part to new laws passed in response to the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris…

Dangerous Speech (#1159)

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

[In] the federal trial of Backpage.com’s founders and former executives…prosecutor Reggie Jones misrepresented Backpage ads and the law, while harping on specific crimes of which the defendants aren’t even accused.  Defense lawyers are already calling for a mistrial…the…motion [states]…”The opening…consisted of inflammatory, unproven, and unprovable assertions that fail in any event to address what the government must prove to convict any defendant”…

I Spy (#1167)

“Delayed” isn’t good enough:

Apple has delayed plans to roll out its [new surveillance]…technology …citing [criticism] from customers and policy groups…The Electronic Frontier Foundation…amassed more than 25,000 signatures…[and] close to 100 policy and rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, also called on Apple to abandon plans to roll out the technology.  In…[reply], Apple [bloviated about how allowing governments to spy on everyone is]…”critically important”…Apple’s so-called NeuralHash technology…could [easily] be abused by…governments…to implicate innocent victims or [enforce criminalization of thought]…researchers…were [even] able to…trick…the system into thinking two entirely different images were the same…

A Broker in Pillage (#1170)

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

Ameal Woods was driving near Houston in May 2019 when he was pulled over by a Harris County [cop using the common pretext that he was suppos]edly…driving too close to a semi-truck.  The [cop used this an excuse to rob]…Woods’ and his wife’s life savings…$43,200 in cash…that Woods and Davis say they planned on using to…purchase a tractor-trailer for Woods’ trucking business…Now Woods and his wife, Jordan Davis, are the lead plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit…against Harris County…by the Institute for Justice…Harris County prosecutors have a pattern of seeking civil forfeitures based on boilerplate [fantasies] written by [cops] who were not…the[re]…at least 113 forfeiture petitions since 2016…used stock language and identical phrases…[which] led to errors…such as contradictory dates and incorrectly stating what property was s[tolen by the cops]…Harris County’s forfeiture practices fail to provide owners with prompt hearings to challenge property seizures, require owners to prove their own innocence, and create perverse profit incentives for law enforcement, all of which violates the Texas constitution…

To Molest and Rape (#1170)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A Mohave County (Arizona) [cop] is facing a felony charge of s[tatutory rape]…after he was arrested on…Aug[ust 31]…when Kingman police…[discovered] Andrew Jacob Sundberg…[had intentionally gotten] a 15-year-old girl [drunk so as to seduce her]…

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Who will be the victims of the government’s next attack on legally protected speech that it wishes to silence? – Michael Lacey & Jim Larkin

Acting and Activism 

Why are so many “celebrities” such hypocritical trash?

[Comedian Bill] Maher [said] during Friday’s Real Time…“OnlyFans is staying in the porn business…because their fans would not take it…if there’s one thing millennials love more than canceling the patriarchy it’s women having sex for money”…So, in Maher’s mind, “women having sex for money” is anti-feminist and a product of the patriarchy.  Women couldn’t possibly be sex workers of their own volition…It’s…strange given how Maher has solicited the services of sex workers in the past…and dated a number of others—including Karine Steffans…who once said of him, “Bill wants someone he can put down in an argument, tell you how ghetto you are, how big your butt is and that you’re an idiot”…

A Whore in Church

Matthew 21:31 seems pretty straightforward to me:

A Christian OnlyFans star…has been [attacked by religious fanatics for] saying “Jesus would have loved sex workers”.  Nita Marie…believes her sexuality is a divine gift, and that God gave her permission to strip…after [she] ask[ed] him directly in prayer – but…so…[called “Christians” who seem poorly acquainted with the Gospels] are calling her a “grifter”, and [some are so] delusional [they imagine] that it “might be Satan”…answering her prayers…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1124)

I have no sympathy for members of the dangerous “porn addiction” cult:

“BlockerX”, a porn [autocensor] application, has failed to protect its Amazon AWS instance…result[ing in]…exposure of its user[s’]…personal details…The owner of the app…Atmana Innovations, responded immediately…but the period of exposure remains unknown.  “BlockerX” is a subscription service that…cost[s] users $7.50 per month or $180 in a single lifetime payment…[and censors anything its algorithms register as] adult content…The…danger for…exposed users…is extortionists who could…threaten…to publish the fact that they [imagine their normal sexual behavior constitutes an “]addiction[“]…

I Spy (#1154) 

Fascism is rapidly making private communications a thing of the past:

A federal court ruled…that…drugs [stolen] by police from a package [th]at [did not belong to them were] not seized unconstitutionally [despite the lack of a warrant]…At the center of the decision is a little-known [fascist pact between FedEx and the cops, which] allow[s pigs to root through]…parcels at the shipping behemoth’s sorting centers…if [they claim] a…dog [gave them permission]…cops…[can then] dress up as FedEx delivery men…[to deceive the victim and] arrest…them…The court d[ecision is based in the legal fiction that an individual’s property no longer belongs to him while in the hands of a third party, such as] FedEx…[thus creating the] con[venient pretense that] it…own[s the packages]…and it can [give them to] the police [without warrant or permission of the actual owner]…The agreement evokes Apple’s recent announcement that it will scan people’s photos [in order to sell them down the river]…the relationship between FedEx and police…has quietly existed for some time, says John Wesley Hall, an expert in Fourth Amendment law…”FedEx…[has] always cooperated…with them—even loans them the truck”…

It’s OK for a company to sell out its customers, because drugs are bad.

Dangerous Speech (#1159)

Michael Lacey & Jim Larkin remind you of what their trial, which began Wednesday, is actually about:

On April 6, 2018, the federal government eradicated an entire classified ads website containing speech that was 100-percent legal…The publication of speech…by users is legally protected; so is “offensive” speech and speech the government does not like.  Numerous federal courts said just that, in cases involving Backpage…whenever any concern arose…our company voluntarily aided law enforcement and government entities such as the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  This is documented extensively by court records…and the government’s own reports…Since the FBI seized Backpage, adult advertising has, predictably, fled overseas to companies that do not respond to U.S. subpoenas…The culprits here are…self-serving politicians with historical vendettas and overzealous prosecutors who placed their own ambition above the safety and welfare of women…The prosecution has engaged in years of scurrilous tactics, such as destroying evidence, abusing the grand jury process, and seizing all the money we set aside for legal expenses…

If you haven’t been following this tag, I suggest you peruse it today; the various articles I’ve linked will show you exactly the kind of evil, completely-illegal shenanigans the government has pulled over the past three years in its crusade to crucify journalists who wouldn’t make obeisance to its censorious diktats.

To Molest and Rape (#1166)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

[Typical and representative Florida cop] Travis Ryan Pritchard [was sentenced] to 35 years in federal prison for [rap]ing…a 15-year-old [girl and filming it]…Pritchard was also [condemned to the]…sex offender [registry]…From December 2019 through May 2, 2020, Pritchard…had sexually abused [the victim] on a weekly basis…[but finally she had enough and reported him, and another cop role-played her to]…chat…with Pritchard using [a popular] app.  Late in the night of May 1, 2020, and into the early morning hours of the next day, Pritchard [harassed] the [cop he thought was his victim] to sneak out of her home to meet with him…Pritchard’s cellular telephone revealed many [such] conversations…[and a] folder containing numerous…child [porn pics, including one]…of the rape of a prepubescent [girl]…

The Next Target (#1166)

The sex worker rights movement is getting too loud to ignore“:

…It remains to be seen whether [OnlyFans] will be true to its word but to force the hand of such a giant corporation is no small feat…That a platform which built its fortune on the backs of sex workers might, at a moment’s notice, ditch us, is no surprise; it would be the latest in the slow but sure eradication of sex workers from online spaces…Throughout the fiasco, both MasterCard and OnlyFans were keen to separate themselves from the potential destitution of creators and to claim their credentials as non-haters of sex workers…multi-billion dollar companies fall[ing] over themselves to maintain the veneer of corporate virtue is grotesque…Still, in the conflicted responses there is hope…it’s clear that the sex worker rights movement is too loud to ignore…

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[Surveillance] is not what makes people or communities more safe.  –  Lauren Johnson

Unintentional Hilarity

Vancouver, Washington is a “hotspot” for “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Sex trafficking is a growing problem across Washington…[blah blah bogus statistics] as close as your child’s school, your neighborhood, or even the internet in your home.  It’s time we double-down on our efforts to put an end to it…Clark County’s…position between Seattle and Portland with Interstate 5 as one of our main corridors makes us part of the sex trafficking circuit in the West.  We need to protect our children…with [propaganda sourced from]…Shared Hope International…

Remember the imbecile who gave a strange man all her savings, then claimed she had “escaped sex trafficking” because he told her strippers make more money than waitresses?  She was encouraged & enabled by this same bunch.

The Punitive Mindset (#880) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

The Prison Policy Initiative has campaigned for years to protect incarcerated people’s letters from home…We’ve been concerned for some time that private companies — which already make it costly for incarcerated people to make phone calls and video calls — would someday partner up with prisons to block people from sending physical mail, too.  Now…the telecom company Smart Communications is trying to sell prisons its “MailGuard” service — where the company scans incarcerated people’s letters from home and gives them…digital copies instead — and the federal Bureau of Prisons is piloting the service…Pennsylvania has been using MailGuard in its prisons since 2018…but if the federal system starts replacing letters from home with scanned copies, more states will follow…the Florida Department of [Torturing Caged Humans] is planning not only to convert incoming mail to scans, but to start charging incarcerated people to access their own mail…

Welcome to the Future (#1124)

Pasco County is already being sued and federally investigated over this:

It starts like an offer of admission from a prestigious university.  “We are pleased to inform you that you have been selected”…But the four-page letter from the Pasco [County, Florida] Sheriff’s Office goes on to tell recipients they will be facing enhanced police scrutiny under the agency’s controversial intelligence program…the Sheriff’s Office creates lists of people it [pretends are more] likely to break the law based on criminal histories, social networks and…[a lot of “AI” bullshit, then harasses them merciless]ly…without…warrant or [even the slightest shred of] probable cause…four [victims of these civil rights violations] are now suing the Sheriff’s Office in federal court…and…policing experts drew comparisons to child abuse and surveillance that could be expected under a…[more] authoritarian regime [than is allowed even in Florida]…the agency has a separate program that uses schoolchildren’s grades, attendance records and abuse histories to label them potential future criminals

The Course of a Disease (#1130)

Our recent Freedom Fest panel:

Dangerous Speech (#1146)

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

The mendacity of the federal government’s prosecution of award-winning journalists Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin knows no bounds.  With less than a month before…trial…the government claims it had no duty to correctly define “prostitution” to the grand jury in the case.  And so far, prosecutors have dodged defining prostitution for the pending trial…Instead, the prosecution has taken a free-wheeling “it’s whatever we want it to be” approach…

Choke Point (#1150)

PayPal is becoming an active threat to civil liberties:

PayPal announced Monday a new initiative against [free speech] online…it…will track and shut down financial networks that…”profit…from all forms of hate and bigotry against any community [except sex workers]”…PayPal threatens to limit the ability of individuals or organizations that it deems intolerable to engage in private financial transactions.  Even worse, the judgment about what language or opinions stand beyond the limits of toleration will be outsourced to activists with their own…definition[s] of extremism [that are] not limited to terrorism, organized crime, or other direct threats to constitutional government…The goal is to make it as difficult as possible to organize [for groups popularly deemed]…offensive[, including sex workers]…

To Molest and Rape (#1154)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

A [typical and representative] Greeneville [Tennessee cop]…was pushed out by his department after an internal affairs investigation concluded he sexually assaulted a woman onboard a Caribbean cruise in 2019…A group of three women [reported that] Alan Dotson…proposition[ed] them and [w]hen [they refused]…he…push[ed] his hand over [one of  the women’s] dress into her genitals…He continues to deny the allegations [on the grounds that cops virtually]…never face…criminal charges [when they rape]…

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To what extent the prosecution will twist the law to its ends remains to be seen.  –  Stephen Lemons

Whore Madonnas (#808)

More from Juniper Fitzgerald:

…my children’s book, How Mamas Love Their Babies…is the only children’s book– to my knowledge– to include a sex-working mother: “Some mamas dance all night long in special shoes. It’s hard work!”…You would never suspect that such a modest inclusion of sex workers in a picture book about how parents provide for their children by any means necessary would provoke the bowels of the internet so profoundly.  Claims that I—along with Hilary Clinton, mind you—am sex-trafficking my own child grace my timeline even three years after publication.  My inbox still tells me that I am a literal witch and devil worshipper—whatever the fuck that means.  Or, my favorite, that I am “communist whore filth.”  It’s easy to dismiss Q-anon and #PizzaGate believers as a handful of rabid, marginal cultists.  But these…exist on the same continuum with wine-sipping white ladies who think sex workers are a threat to their children…

The Punitive Mindset (#880) 

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

Billy Steffey…is a former federal inmate…still trying to fight the BOP for stripping him of good behavior credits and throwing him in solitary confinement for five months based on…an unverified [drug] test with a well-established track record of leading to wrongful arrests…[such] tests…[a]re not admissible…in court; and the manufacturers explicitly warn that all tests should be sent to crime labs to be verified…Yet the federal Bureau of Prisons relies solely on such tests to pu[nish prisoners]…and strip them of…rights…with virtually no avenue for recourse…The issues with these tests have been known for decades and are easily verifiable…In December [2017] a [screw] opened a package…legal…papers [that he claimed] felt “unusually thick” and gritty and looked discolored…many…prisons have…bann[ed] physical mail and used book donations…[under the pretext that] they…are [used]…to…s[muggle] drugs…[screws] tested the…papers…[and claimed they saw evidence of] amphetamines…[then] linked the package to Steffey after [rooting in his] email…threw him in…solitary…for five months…and…stripped him of 41 days of “good time” credit…

A Moral Cancer (#1000)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

[Oregon governor] Kate Brown…[approved] a bill banning the online sale of nicotine-containing vaping products to state residents…despite convincing evidence that limiting access to e-cigarettes drives users, especially young people, to traditional cigarettes that pose greater health risks…as politicians eternally pretend to not understand, banning things doesn’t mean that people give up on them.  Instead, it drives them to legal substitutes that may pose different or greater risks, or else to black market suppliers who offer products of unknown quality and safety.  [When] San Francisco banned the sale of flavored tobacco products in 2018…92 percent of [users] continued their habits after the ban…[but] high school students’ odds of smoking conventional cigarettes doubled…The conclusion that prodding youthful users from vaping to cigarettes is a bad idea is not [even] controversial…

Micromanagement (#1012)

This would be better news if judges didn’t simply rubber-stamp cops’ warrant requests:

Maryland and Montana have become the first states to pass laws…requir[ing] police to have court authorization…[and] probable cause…[Maryland further requires that] the crime being probed must be a murder, a rape, a felony sexual offense, or a “criminal act involving circumstances presenting a substantial and ongoing threat to public safety or national security”…AncestryDNA and 23andMe both prohibit such investigations using an ordinary user profile.  But other companies, such as FamilyTreeDNA and GEDMatch…allow police to [root in] their databases…[at will]…

Devil’s Advocate (#1114) 

Your periodic reminder that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

[Creepy weirdos] assigned to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s [Sympathetic Magic] Unit have arrested and charged a…man accused of possessing child[-shapd toasters]…in October 2020, [intrusive and unconstitutional surveillance revealed] that William Crowder…ordered a child[-shaped toaster] to be shipped to his home.  TBI agents subsequently [roo]ted…at Crowder’s residence and found at least six [toasters (it’s difficult to be sure because Tennessee cops can’t count that high)], several of them dressed in children’s clothing…Crowder [was charged] with six counts of [making toast in a way that upsets redneck busybodies]…

Stalkers in Blue (#1138)

Another cop demonstrating exactly what he is:

Minnesota State [pig] Albert Kuehne sat in his [pigmobile] in March 2020 and [rooted] through a phone belonging to a 25-year-old woman he’d just…[accused] of drunken driving…he [had no permission to even touch the phone, but] clicked through her photos [anyway].  Hours later, the woman’s boyfriend noticed something alarming on her MacBook, which was synced to her phone:  Outgoing text…messages to an unknown phone number with nude and partly clothed pictures of the woman attached.  When they called that unfamiliar number, Kuehne answered…Kuehne…[has finally] admitted that he sent himself three explicit photos of the woman, and then deleted the outgoing messages on the woman’s phone to try to cover his tracks.  Kuehne pleaded guilty…to a misdemeanor…

Dangerous Speech (#1138)

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

During a June 7 status conference…in the Lacey/Larkin case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Rapp…objected to the phrase “escort services” in a survey question about whether jurors had “strong feelings” concerning…the “legal adult entertainment industry”…Rapp [claimed] that the phrase is “a misnomer” for “prostitution services…[that] suggests that escort services [are] somewhat legal”…Whitney Bernstein, an attorney for Jim Larkin, [correctly responded] that escort services are…legal…in…many…states…[Judge] Brnovich…overruled Rapp, allowing the question to remain…

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We made their lives worse.  –  former OUR member Meg Conley

Stalkers in Blue

Another cop demonstrating exactly what he is:

A [typical and representative] cop [who]…snapp[ed] photos up skirts during a Texas wedding is [named]…Scott Eugene Kilmer…[wedding organizers foolishly hired Kilmer to attend the event wearing his magical clown costume], whe[re] he was caught [repeatedly putt]ing…his foot [with a camera on it] between [women’s] legs but [nobody wanted to] confront him because [they were afraid he would maim, tase, pepper-spray or even murder]…the…guests…the camera transmitted photos to a device in Kilmer’s p[igmobile]…[where other cops] discovered about 50 video clips from the wedding and…similar images [he had taken] previously…

Censor Chic (#830)

Corporations have become the favored tool of censors worldwide:

The British government [has] proposed sweeping re[gulation]s to force [websites] to…[cens]or what is posted online — including carve-outs to [render] politicians [immune to such censorship]…The much-delayed Online Safety Bill includes hefty penalties for companies that fail to [obey the censorship diktats of politicians]…and…[forc]es a so-called duty of care on social networks, smartphone apps and other sites where people can interact with each other, making them [arms of the fascist establishment whether they like it or not]…Content on [politically favored] websites will…not be subject to the new rules…The U.K.’s proposals come as countries worldwide look to [by]pass [legal restrictions on censorship by] forc[ing] social media companies to [do the governments’ dirty work for them]…In Germany, local officials recently revamped the country’s [notorious] online content rules, known as NetzDG, to mandate that companies [become police informants]…The European Union is also pushing ahead with s[imilar] proposals…while countries like Hungary and Poland are pursuing [laws] that would…ban…platforms f[rom censoring politicians and bureaucrats]…[anti-]rights campaigners and misinformation [promoter]s welcomed the U.K.’s new proposals…

See also “Kiss Freedom Goodbye” and “The Convergence of Censors“.

O, Canada! (#1027)

Prohibitionists want Ontario to be more like the US:

Advocates and community groups are calling on the province to drop plans to [increase police powers using the pretext of] human trafficking…[because the] proposed bill [will] harm sex workers and…lead to discrimination and racial profiling…The proposed law would [empower cops] to inspect any place for compliance with the law and [interrogate] any person [they feel like harssing]…with failure to comply leading to possible heavy fines.  Police and inspectors would also have the power to [demand] hotels…[let the pigs root in] their guest registers…without [warrant, merely by vomiting the magic words “]human trafficking[” at random clerks]…Over 70 legal and human rights organizations have written to the provincial government in opposition to the bill, calling for the resources dedicated to this plan to instead be redirected into efforts to help marginalized communities across the province.  Sandra Ka Hon Chu…of the HIV Legal Network…[pointed out that] these types of government initiatives [always] involve surveillance…and [usually abduc]tion and/or deportation of sex workers…“human trafficking i[s used] as a pretext to monitor and interrogate sex workers and to discourage them from working,” she said…

Quiet Genocide (#1054)

There are still some Westerners who insist this isn’t genocide:

Across much of China, the authorities are encouraging women to have more children…but in…Xinjiang, they are forcing them to have fewer, as…part of a vast and repressive social…engineering campaign by a Communist Party determined to e[stablish fully totalitarian] rule…Xi Jinping…has [condemned millions of]…Uyghurs…to [concentration] camps…placed the region under tight surveillance, sent residents to work in factories [thousands of kilometers away, abducted Uyghur] children…[to give to childless Han couples, and forced] Muslim women…to [submit to]…invasive birth control procedures…[propaganda] authorities [absurdly claim that] the procedures are voluntary…[but] the [facts say otherwise.  Uyghur women]…recuperat[ing] at home [from the forced sterilization were also forced to literally accept] government officials [in their beds]…If they…refused…they faced steep fines or, worse…a…[concentration] camp…[where] they were…[repeatedly and systematically] raped

Served Cold (#1120) 

It took almost seven years, but the press finally caught up with me on this:

I’d never heard of Operation Underground Railroad when…Tim Ballard, called me suddenly in the summer of 2014…I didn’t wonder why he thought it was appropriate for me—the writer of a mommy blog—to chronicle anti-trafficking work…A camera crew filmed everything, because Ballard…[was] pitch[ing] a TV series about his [cowboy games]…OUR staff…were mostly as inexperienced as I was…Everybody wanted to “save the kids,” but no one really knew anything about these kids.  We talked mostly about fundraising.  The calls never addressed real things children need to be saved from…Ballard…put me in harm’s way so that I could write a story about him…But…I’d imagined myself the same way he did…as a savior…I tried to find meaning in my own life on the backs of exploited kids… A TV show based on [his] bookSlave Stealers, is currently in development.  And a new action movie about him, Sound of Freedom, is forthcoming. Jim Caviezel plays Ballard, with Mira Sorvino as his wife…

Dangerous Speech (#1128)

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

Federal prosecutors have failed, for now, in their most repugnant smear tactic to date in the case involving veteran journalists and onetime Backpage.com owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin…Judge Susan Brnovich denied a government bid to prejudice the jury at trial by introducing gruesome details of homicides that Lacey, Larkin and their four co-defendants have absolutely nothing to do with…But in a separate ruling issued the same day, Brnovich explained that she will permit prosecutors to try to introduce material involving “sex trafficking” and “child sex trafficking,” though the defendants are not charged with these heinous crimes…These allegations rest on an absurd theory of vicarious, third-party liability, in an attempt to hold Lacey and Larkin responsible for the alleged illegal acts of people they don’t know, have never met and have zero connection to…

To Molest and Rape (#1130)

High union rank is another thing rapist cops often have in common:

A [typical and representative] Miami-Dade [cop] and…high-ranking union member has been charged with sexual battery…John Jenkins Jr. has been “re[warded for his behavior with a paid vacation]” said [top cop] Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III in a statement [which also focused] on…Jenkins…not…[wearing his magic clown costume while raping women]…Jenkins resigned as executive vice president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association…

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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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