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Posts Tagged ‘Decentralization’

Technology is not magic.  –  Andrea O’Sullivan

To Molest and Rape

So many words to downplay a rape:

A Columbia [South Carolina cop]…was arrested…[for raping] an “incapacitated” person…[and] was fired from the department shortly after[ward]…Keith Ryan Williamson [committed the rape]…in October…

“Accomplished sexual battery with the victim and had reason to know that the victim was incapacitated at the time of the assault” is a ridiculously cumbersome way to say “raped a drunk woman”.

To Molest and Rape (#1158)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

An Indianapolis [cop] is [merely] facing misconduct and battery charges…[despite sexually assaulting] a handcuffed man…multiple times before throwing him to the ground…Travis Lewis…[decided to arrest the] man who called police [in the first place, and when resisted beig forced into a pigmobile]…Lewis…grab[bed] the man’s [testicles]…and…twist[ed them violently.  In video the man can be heard screaming]…”My balls are bleeding”…Lewis [then] threw the man to the ground…

Stalkers in Blue (#1167)

Once in a while, there’s evidence of the way cops act toward women:

A…Charleston[, South Carolina cop]…was fired…after a…[woman he tried] to coerce [into sex at] a department store [secretly recorded his harassment with her phone]…Darryl Felkel…made repeated attempts to coerce the woman…at [her work in] a Dillard’s department store…the woman refuse[d]…him…but…he…[just kept on haranguing her for seven] minutes…

Decentralization (#1181)

Bitcoin is a kind of folk devil for economically-illiterate politicians:

Politicians who don’t like bitcoin rarely have one reason.  They have all of the reasons, and will seize on whichever one is most convenient or newsworthy at the time.  Right now, it’s war.  Hillary Clinton was trotted out to wag her finger at crypto exchanges that did not extralegally ban all Russians from their services. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is on the case, “monitoring” cryptocurrency for its capacity to give aid and comfort to the Ruskies…But [Elizabeth] Warren stole the show with fearmongering about…”criminals and cheats” before…direct[ing confused] questions at a representative from…a blockchain forensics company…which…is…routinely able to unmask transactions…Warren, surprised but undeterred, continued with her confused line of questioning, so proud of herself that she put a transcript of the objectively embarrassing exchange on her government webpage…

Scapegoats (#1210)

No rumor is so stupid that some politician won’t believe and repeat it:

Nebraska [politician] Bruce Bostelman…is the latest [fool] to repeat th[e] urban legend [that] “Schoolchildren dress up as animals—cats or dogs—during the school day…And now schools are wanting to put litter boxes in the schools for these children to use.  How is this sanitary?” he said…during a televised debate, before backtracking hours later amid school district denials…similar myths have made the rounds in Iowa, Michigan, and Texas, prompting the same denials from school administrators…these stories…line up perfectly with conservative fears about transgender and non-binary students and…reminiscent of how [politicians] for years insisted that same-sex marriage legalization would lead to people marrying animals…

Thought Control (#1222)

Every so often the difference between upper and lower house becomes visible:

An Idaho bill that would have cr[iminalized]…librarians who provide minors with content [politicians] deemed inappropriate is now dead in the water; it…[will] not get a hearing in the state Senate…the Idaho Senate has also declined to take up the state House’s anti-trans bill

Science! (#1223)

“Sex trafficking” fetishists keep publicizing their creepy fantasies about Ukranian women:

Social media posts from a German sex work support network [were dishonestly]…use[d as propaganda by prohibitionists] falsely claiming the group is “recruiting” Ukrainian refugees to work in brothels.  The group was in fact highlighting support for existing sex workers…Trans*Sexworks is a Berlin-based peer support and mutual aid group primarily for transgender, intersex and non-binary people who do sex work…Wren Oscyth, one of the group’s members…explained…“We have absolutely no connection to brothels or places of employment in Germany.  There currently is not a single member of our group who is employed at a brothel or club since it is very uncommon for those places to hire trans and non-binary workers”…

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You don’t exist if you can’t use the banking system.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

The Face of Trafficking

Note that even cases of actual coercion don’t look much like the myths:

A married couple was charged with sex trafficking young women into…prostitution…prosecutors [claim]…Kareem…and Sharice Mitchell…pushed at least eight women into prostitution, including at least two who were…[their wards]…none of the women was under 18.  In New York, young people can leave foster care once they reach the age of 18, but they can also choose to stay in care until they turn 21…

Decentralization (#818) 

There’s nothing in this article on sex workers accepting bitcoin that will surprise any sex worker, except the claim that escorts typically charge upwards of $1700/hour.  Unfortunately, even the reporter’s incredibly-naive acceptance of the government’s claims about the intent of FOSTA, Operation Choke Point, and various other anti-whore policies is nothing new.  But what is new is the way most non-local news media (the local ones are way too busy licking cops’ boots to stay up with the rest of their industry) are now treating sex work as normal and sex workers as sympathetic.  Prohibitionists are still winning most of the battles which involve the players in the fascist Establishment, but we’re winning the war.  And in the long run, there’s absolutely nothing the whore-haters can do about it.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1001)

Undermining of civil liberties only starts with “undesirables”; it never stops there:

A tech firm is offering police a capability to identify and pull up information on [homeless] people…[via] facial recognition…“Police [can] use ODIN…to identify even non-verbal or intoxicated individuals,” the [company’s] brochure…reads…a section called “What’s The Problem?” [includes this graphic]:

…after [scann]ing…a person police would be provided with a slew of information on the individual, including their date of birth, prior contacts, labels such as “needles,” “assaultive,” or “registered sex offender,” their warrant status, notification of who their probation officer or parole agent is, contact information for therapists or social workers, their arrest history, and their temporary housing history…

Panopticon (#1012)

Another government scheme to normalize constant surveillance:

[Politicians] in Iowa introduced a bill…that would require cameras to be installed in nearly every K-12 school classroom across the state, allowing parents to s[py on classes in order]…to censor classrooms and intimidate educators …[as part of the “]critical race theory[” witch hunt]…teachers, administrators and other school staff members who fail to keep the cameras active and in working order or who “obstruct” the camera’s views could be fined up to 5 percent of their weekly salary per infraction…Meanwhile…in…Nevada [a pro-censorship group]…recently proposed placing body cameras on teachers to ensure they aren’t teaching critical race theory…[politicians] in Florida introduced a bill similar to the Iowa proposal…that would require cameras in classrooms and require teachers to wear microphones…and…Missouri [politician] Cindy O’Laughlin…[also] called for…teachers to wear body cameras as a way for parents to [spy on them]…

I sincerely doubt teachers’ unions will agree to this kind of Maoist surveillance, but the very fact that it’s being seriously proposed does not bode well for the future.

Negative Secondary Effects (#1122)

It’s rare for an article on sex work in the UK press to be so free of dysphemisms:

Women who work in Bristol’s two s[trip clubs]…have threatened a judicial review against the city council, if it goes ahead with a proposal to close the venues down.  The United Voices of the World trade union, which represents the dancers at Urban Tiger and Central Chambers, has warned Bristol City Council that…the “nil cap” policy…constitute[s]…gender discrimination and [thereb]y break[s] the law…“The [policy would]…prevent…strippers from working in an occupation, city, and venue of their choice.  This…poses a serious threat to the…livelihoods, safety, and health of over 100 individuals”…[especially given] that other venues that host male stripper nights do not [suffer] the same level of regulation and are not included in the fresh attempts to close down their venues…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#1164) 

Victoria has become the world’s fourth jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

…This historical move makes the Australian state of Victoria only the fourth jurisdiction in the world to decriminalise sex work…provid[ing] sex workers with access to the same workplace health and safety protections as other Victorians…The…bill…repeal[s] over the next two years criminal laws associated with consensual adult sex work.  This is an important first step in acknowledging sex work as work…Crucially, and uniquely, the bill strengthens anti-discrimination protections available to sex workers…

To Molest and Rape (#1189)

Why are reporters so unable to comprehend that forced sex is still rape when the rapist is a cop?

The detective [rap]ing…the woman he’d just a[bduc]ted in the toilets at Charing Cross Police Station didn’t react when Sue opened the toilet door…During Sue’s time at the Central London station in the 2000s the building’s toilets and cells were often used by some officers for [rape]…“It was a place to go and [commit rape] before they went home to their girlfriends or wives”…[victims] were [usually either] highly intoxicated [or] in vulnerable situations.  Sex workers in the area were [often the victims]…details of an investigation into…a…[cop who raped] a drunk [woman]…revealed other incidents of “abhorrent behaviour”…Text messages between [cops] at the station…discussed raping [other cops], [murder]ing black children and beating up girlfriends, with one [cop] nicknamed “McRapey Raperson“…

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People should not be in jail for imaginary crimes.  –  Ryan Marino

Power Play (#701)

I guess 5 years is longer than most Americans’ attention spans:

the New York Daily News [has] published a glowing, error-filled preview of former California prosecutor and failed Sacramento County DA candidate Maggie Krell’s book Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker, which…depicts Krell as a crusading attorney for the California AG’s office who “defeated”…Backpage.com by bringing pimping charges in 2016 against its former owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin…But Krell’s charges…were thrown out of court, not once, but twice.  Nor did Backpage go out of business in 2016.  Rather, Backpage went out of business in 2018, when the federal government seized…the site…on multiple counts of conspiracy, money laundering and facilitating misdemeanor state prostitution offenses in violation of the U.S. Travel Act…none of the defendants are charged with…sex trafficking…nor could they be…

I Spy (#990)

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

The EU’s police agency, Europol, will be forced to delete much of a vast store of personal data that it has…[illegally] amassed…the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) [has ordered the deletion of]…what privacy experts are calling a “big data ark” containing…data…drawn from crime reports, hacked from encrypted phone services and [stolen] from asylum seekers never involved in any crime…Europol’s cache contains at least 4 petabytes – equivalent to…a fifth of the entire contents of the US Library of Congress…the…mass surveillance…is a step…to becoming a European counterpart to the…NSA…The watchdog ordered Europol to erase data held for more than six months and gave it a year to sort out what could be lawfully kept…

Quiet Genocide (#1111)

A very brave woman working to expose a colossal abomination:

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1162)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

Every year, [cops] claim to have suffered near-fatal overdoses after accidentally touching fentanyl, a[nd reporters obediently parrot the hysterical fantasies]…But…It is…impossible to overdose simply by touching or getting too close to fentanyl. Doctors and toxicologists warn that the hype around this perceived threat is harming overdose victims…[and] taxpayers…Accidental overdose by skin exposure “is chemically and physically implausible,” said Dr. Ryan Marino, a medical toxicologist and addiction medicine specialist…at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Andrew Stolbach, an emergency physician and medical toxicologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said, “It’s not possible to overdose on fentanyl by touching it. If it was absorbed well through the skin, people wouldn’t inject it and snort it in order to get high.” Despite this, people who use the drug are facing serious legal repercussions — such as charges of assault or endangerment of officers — for supposedly causing these impossible overdoses…

I Spy (#1188)

It’s best not to upset useful idiots at a time like this:

Signal [i]s considering adding cryptocurrency payments…start[ing] with MobileCoin…“a system [designed to] hide…everything from everyone”…There’s nothing sinister about putting payments into a messaging app, and Signal is not alone in adding crypto payments to messaging…What sets Signal’s effort apart is the combination of end-to-end encryption in messaging and a cryptocurrency with privacy features designed to make any transactions anonymous…Signal employees…[a]re worried…that…anonymous transactions would likely attract…regulatory scrutiny.  Given that end-to-end encryption already faces [political persecution] around the globe…Signal’s addition of anonymous payments…could give more ammunition to [politicians] who want to end encryption…

I’m not sure how trustworthy this writer is, given that he believes the government should be able to spy on anyone as long as some spook belches out the magic words “money laundering” first.

The Next Target (#1192)

It won’t be long now before this spreads out of the porn ecosystem and into the greater internet:

My webcam account was recently suspended for violating the code of conduct.  I was told I had engaged in a fetish category that is cause for immediate account closure…in the past, I cammed from an actual brick and mortar studio for a small website with just a few dozen models.  I had direct contact with management.  If there was a problem, Mastercard contacted the boss to explain the issue.  He would knock on my studio door, tell me what was up, and I could immediately comply…[now] I’m working for a giant site with thousands of performers.  I have no relationship with management.  Most of my emails go unanswered or receive generic responses.  When I was suspended, I got no explanation, no opportunity for correction, no word about what would happen to my outstanding pay…Platforms are moderating their workers with an increasingly heavy hand, so the scope of sexual topics we have to avoid is getting broader.  Platforms have also passed the task of moderation down to us, asking that we flag and report clients who request shows that might violate the rules, or risk being punished for complicity.  Not only does this mean I stand to make less money—I’m also being asked to police my clientele and their desires…

The Cop Myth (#1199)

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

A Huntsville [Alabama cop named]…David McCoy…murder[ed his]…girlfriend [by shooting her] in the head inside a parked vehicle, then called in the death claiming the woman shot herself.  The [motive appears to be that the] woman…recently informed McCoy she was pregnant…McCoy has [been rewarded for his violent behavior with a paid vacation]…per [cop shop] policy…

Note that the exonerative-mood headline makes it sound like the victim committed the murder.

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So many clowns.  –  an Afghan refugee expert, about the rescue industry

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It’s always nice when filth like this feed on each other:

…Waco [Texas cop]…Willy Rafael Lopez was arrested…after…he [was tricked by another pervert cop named Joseph Scaramucci who was fantasy role-playing] as a prostitute…online…Scaramucci [has a long history of this kind of creepy behavior, and previously targeted Lopez [with] the same [trick] in 2018…[which is ironic considering that] at that time, Lopez was [playing the same disgusting game to trick others]…

For more cops eating each other, see the next item.

Droit du Seigneur (#885)

Cops fantasy role-playing pimps vs cops fantasy role-playing sex workers & clients:

NYPD [cops]…Thomas Diorio and Michael Sardone, both of [whom fancied themselves “pimps”, were tricked by fellow cops]…in a[n elaborate sex fantasy]…the two cops were convinced to come up to a hotel room to lean on…another undercover cop [playing out a stupid stereotype of a customer] who didn’t want to pay the f[ee]…The details of the sting operation [reveal the depravity of the stupid stereotypes about sex work cops usually masturbate to]…

This would be hilarious if they didn’t use these make-believe sex games to justify spying upon, robbing, raping, abducting and deporting actual sex workers.

To Molest and Rape (#940) 

Cops are just a gang of rapist thugs waiting for opportunities:

Hundreds of cases of sexual misconduct were made against [cops in] Scotland…over the last four years – yet not one resulted in dismissal…245 counts of sexual misconduct [were filed] against 166 [cops, yet every one of these dangerous sexual predators is still loose to attack more women]…The findings come as part of a wider investigation into sexual misconduct in police forces across the UK in the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s murder…by [typical and representative cop] Wayne Couzens

Cops and Robbers (#1071) 

The rescue industry provides many opportunities for white folks to play cowboy:

…following the shambolic departure of U.S. troops [from Afghanistan]…a wide ecosystem of private citizens and groups [has appeared,] claiming to be facilitating the evacuation of both American and Afghan citizens…Many of the[se are]…making unsupported—and, in many cases, unverifiable—claims about their work in Afghanistan a[nd] raising funds off doing so.  Some of these are well-known [rescue industry]…organizations, many of them QAnon-adjacent, [which] have grown [wealthy]…in recent years by making bold, heroic claims of dubious validity about their work rescuing women and girls from sexual slavery…[th]is…troubling, widening stratum of would-be fixers and self-appointed saviors…are in [many] cases potentially imperiling the lives of people seeking to flee a war zone, [just as they’ve imperiled the lives of sex workers and migrants for decades]…”There are like 500 nonprofits raising money but not doing shit,” said one person directly involved in exfiltrating refugees…

Given that the media is finally starting to pay attention to this scam after 20 years (thanks to the Trump connection), this could also be filed under “The Implosion Begins”.

Torture Chamber (#1139)

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

A 42-year-old man arrested by [Houston cops]…died suddenly [in a cage after cops beat and repeatedly]…tased [him while oinking out the words]…“combative”…[and “]open municipal warrants[“.  The cops have announced they’ll be “investigating” themselves]…

To Molest and Rape (#1168)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative] Kentucky [cop named]…Joshua Eugene Preece [pled guilty] to [federal]…child pornography [charges in return for a maximum]…sentence of…no more than 30 years…Preece [was dispatched] to a domestic dispute between a mother and daughter in November 2018…He…offered to drive [the daugher]…to her friend’s home…[but] instead…he…stopped his [pigmobile]…near a barn, [where he molested her and demanded]…her…Snapchat username and contact information…the girl told her mother what happened and [cops rooted in]…Preece’s cellular phone [to find]…numerous “sexually explicit photographs and conversations”…with “seven self-described minors that [prosecutors were un]able to identify” between the ages of 13 and 17 and that [Preece had]…confirmed each…was underage before continuing to chat with them…Preece’s internet-based predatory behavior went on for “months if not potentially years” and was effectuated through the use of “at least two false personas–a teenage female and a teenage male,” fake identities which were used “to coerce the…minors to send explicit photographs”…

Decentralization (#1174)

Did you ever wonder why the government stopped harassing bitcoin?

…central bankers want to displace grassroots cryptocurrencies with central bank digital currencies (CBDC) of their own design that absolutely will not protect privacy, and that will let governments control private transactions…”Imagine your digital balance shrinking slowly over time to motivate rapid consumer spending,” warns Alexander William Salter, a professor of economics at Texas Tech University.  “Or the Fed blocking payments to politically disfavored businesses”…There’s really no doubt that governments dislike financial privacy and want greater ability to monitor where and how we use our money.  As I write, President Joe Biden’s proposed tax plan “will give the IRS the resources it needs to keep up with the lawyers and accountants of the super-wealthy,” insists the president…[but] the proposal…would apply to all business and personal accounts…[above] $600…I suspect that $600 is a definition of “super wealthy” that’s new to most of us…

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[Do] they have a deal with the police…or is this simple freelance vigilantism?  –  Laura Agustín

Surplus Women

The same everywhere sex work is at all criminalized:

In light of the death of Nigerian sex worker Eunice Osayande, who was brutally murdered by a 17-year-old client in 2018, an ethnographic study on sex work in the area…was commissioned by the city of Schaerbeek…The sex workers who were interviewed stressed that they faced violence on a regular basis, but especially at night, including robberies and beatings…and people trying to have unprotected sex with them.  The women also spoke of discriminatory attacks, often by young people, and…highlighted that…they are often reluctant to call the police…

Decentralization (#313)

Did you ever wonder why the government stopped harassing bitcoin?

Coinbase will provide [ICE]…with [the] blockchain [surveillance] software…[it] has also provided…to the U.S. Secret Service and [UK] Inland Revenue…Details as to exactly what the ICE wants Coinbase software for are [being hidden]…Last year, Coinbase announced its desire to sell [the same surveillance] tools to…the [DEA] and [IRS]…

If Men Were Angels

Basically the same as a “youth pastor”:

A…California attorney and church leader was sentenced to 40 years…after pleading guilty to molesting young girls…Steven Matlak…[was first] arrested…in 2017…All of [his] victims were under the age of 10, with the youngest being five years old…Matlak…led a Bible study in his home for young members of the First Presbyterian Church…He [tried to claim] sex addiction [as an excuse] for his crimes, but the families did not accept the [attempted responsibility-dodge]…

Rotting Fruit

Presented without comment:

Prince Andrew…’s efforts to avoid facing…[an] American…lawsuit launched against him by…Virginia (Giuffre) Roberts…have now [failed.  British judges] accepted a request…“to formally contact Andrew about the civil proceedings launched in America”…Roberts’ lawyers have complained that Andrew…has thwarted efforts to serve him with the suit…[which] claims that when she was 17…[Jeffrey] Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew at [Ghislaine] Maxwell’s London townhouse…

Negative Secondary Effects (#1122)

It’s rare for an article on sex work in the UK press to be so free of dysphemisms:

Blackpool Council announced in January th[at]…it planned to phase out lap dancing clubs in order to [protect THE CHILDREN!!!™ from dangerous sex rays]…The existing four clubs would be allowed to continue operating, but once those licences lapse for any reason they would not be renewed.  [Club] operators…[poin]t out [th]at…“The industry will be forced underground and girls will be tempted, if not forced to work…for private bachelor parties”…[without] security…or…”underground clubs or might have to get into more dangerous forms of sex work”…

Predictable Consequences (#1125)

Prohibitionists learned nothing from the Atlanta massacre last March:

In Arizona and across the country, [prohibitionists]…have set up massage parlors as [targets] for sex trafficking [hysteria].  Women [who travel] from China, Korea and other countries…may be [raped by cops pretending to “rescue” them, then caged] in unsanitary conditions [to await deportation].  The Arizona Republic and USA Today are [try]ing [to help cops commit] this…legal[ized abomination]…

Frontpage Confidential featured quotes from activists sharply criticizing this exercise in yellow journalism, directly intended to attract either organized or individual violence against migrant sex workers.

Droit du Seigneur (#1135)

What the people who enforce “sex trafficking” laws are really like:

Larry Allen Clay Jr., the [typical and representative]…police chief of [a] small town [in West Virginia]…is charged with sex trafficking a…17-year-old girl…[by paying her stepmother, Kristen] Naylor-Legg…[$50 to] rape…her…[the prosecutor thought it was super-important to note her rapist was]…wearing his [magic clown costume and]…rap[ed] her [in his pigmobile]…He…[later] told the teen “he could be her sugar daddy”…and [pimp by charging]…other [pigs]…$100 to rape her…

Note how deeply the “journalist” who wrote this buried the identity and responsibility of the actual initiator of this crime; they didn’t even print his picture.

CORRECTION: The Washington Post published this as if it were a new story, but in actuality it already appeared back in April and I failed to catch the repeat.

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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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If the benefits, and responsibilities, of adulthood keep getting deferred, is it any wonder kids have a hard time growing up?  –  Karol Markowicz

Dysphemisms Galore 

In normal adult language, they ran an ordinary escort service like I did:

A [San Francisco Bay area] woman who is accused of running a 150-woman prostitution ring with her son is also a prolific author of feminist erotica…Fay Ruth Romesburg, is accused of working with her son David Scott Romesburg…to lure women into sex work and then arranging appointments for them at three properties…Romesburg said she is “deeply concerned with female sexual empowerment” and referred to laws against sex work as a “continued assault on women’s rights…We need to stop treating these women as victims,” she said of sex workers…”They are highly intelligent and educated”…

Still a Child 

It’s a pity so few Americans can see this:

…for a long time, 18 meant the start of official adulthood in America…suggestions of raising the age for gun purchases came during the same week that the…forceful outpouring of civic engagement by Stoneman Douglas High School students led commentators to argue that the voting age should be lowered to 16…We send mixed messages about when adulthood begins and what will be expected once it arrives…Allan Metcalf notes that “until the teen age was invented, that was the goal of children: to become adult as soon as possible, to escape the limitations of childhood.”  But somewhere along the way, we came up with this middle ground and, to our detriment, this middle ground is [pretended to be] the brightest, happiest time…Then 18 rolls around…An 18-year-old can vote or join the military but not buy beer or, in some states like New York, cigarettes…On the other hand: When they commit a crime, we try juveniles as young as 13 as adults even though we know their cognitive abilities aren’t mature…a Pew Research study last year found that kids are living at home longer than ever before.  They can stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26…

If Men Were Angels 

A secondary evil made possible by drug prohibition:

Christopher Bathum managed to build an empire in California’s lucrative addiction treatment industry despite the fact that he held no license in drug counseling and no college degree.  The self-described “Rehab Mogul” founded…a chain of about 20 facilities in Southern California and Colorado…Bathum presented himself as a trusted confidant and mentor to his patients – particularly to young, broken women wrestling with addiction.  He made numerous, vulnerable young women feel special, showering them with “internships” and access to company cars and iPhones…But he also used their weaknesses…to lure the women with drugs, get them high, and then sexually assault them…Bathum was convicted of sexually assaulting seven women…and…now faces up to 65 years in state prison when he is sentenced in April…

Above the Law (#615)

25 years would be satisfactory, if it were given to every single rapist cop:

Two Los Angeles [cops] pleaded no contest…to [raping] multiple women, often preying on victims while one partner served as the lookout as the other carried out an attack in their unmarked police car…[rapist pigs] Luis Valenzuela and James C. Nichols entered their no-contest pleas to two counts each of forcible rape and two counts each of…oral [rape]. The [rapists] appeared in court in orange, jail-issued jumpsuits and were shackled at the waist…The judge also ordered the [rapist pigs] to register as sex offenders…

The Prudish Giant (#703) 

Facebook can’t even follow its own “standards”:

…The latest work deemed “pornographic” is the 30,000 year-old nude statue famously known as the Venus of Willendorf…An image of the work posted on Facebook by Laura Ghianda…was removed as inappropriate content despite four attempts to appeal the decision…A case on Facebook’s censorship of art was heard in a Paris court earlier this month.  Frédéric Durand-Baïssas, a French teacher, has been trying to sue the social media giant since 2011 for closing his account after he posted a photograph of Gustave Courbet’s 1866 painting L’Origine du Monde…Despite Facebook changing its policy on nudity to allow “photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures”, instances of art censorship persist…

Guinea Pigs (#719) 

Palantir is the same company which is helping cops spy on sex workers, and gave California cops a facial recognition database of black and Latino men:

According to Ronal Serpas, the [former NOPD] chief…one of the tools used by the New Orleans Police Department to identify members of gangs like 3NG and the 39ers came from the Silicon Valley company Palantir.  The company provided software to a secretive NOPD program that traced people’s ties to other gang members, outlined criminal histories, analyzed social media, and predicted the likelihood that individuals would commit violence or become a victim…[trials using the data as evidence] made no mention of the NOPD’s partnership with Palantir…[which] began in 2012…Palantir Technologies…[was] founded with seed money from the CIA…

Absolute Corruption (#758)

Readers who are still around in 2040 can expect a series of exonerations of victims of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A judge has dismissed charges against two men who were convicted in the death of a woman as part of a “Satanic ritual” more than 25 years ago…Judge Bruce Butler dismissed the charges against Jeffrey Clark and Keith Hardin…[who] were convicted of killing Rhonda Warford in 1992 as part of a Satanic ritual, and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison.  New DNA evidence and accusations that [pigs maliciously and intentionally] framed the pair led the Kentucky Supreme Court to vacate the convictions.  After special prosecutor Jon Heck chose not to pursue a new trial, this was the final step…

The Mote and the Beam (#798)

Authoritarianism is its own reason for existence:

…the House voted both on Rep. Mimi Walters’ bad amendment to attach SESTA to FOSTA, and then on the combined bill — and both sailed through Congress…even though the Justice Department weighed in with a last minute letter saying that the language in the combined SESTA/FOSTA is so poorly drafted that it would actually make it more difficult to prosecute sex traffickers, and also calling into question whether or not the bill was even Constitutional…the combined (terrible) bill sailed through the whole House 388 to 25.  Kudos to the 25 Representatives who actually understand how CDA 230 works and why this bill is so bad, but it’s depressing to think that it was just 25…

Decentralization (#813) 

I’ll start accepting bitcoin for donations (not services) as soon as someone shows me how to exchange it freely for stuff I actually need:

An adult entertainment venue in Las Vegas will enable its dancers to get payments from clients directly via bitcoin transfers.  The use of the cryptocurrency is primarily used as a privacy-enhancing measure as well as an attraction for affluent bitcoin investors.  Vistors to the Legends Room can use the…bitcoin ATM to buy cryptocurrency at the club.  The dancers can choose to wear temporary QR tattoos as wallet addresses that can be scanned on a smartphone.  Besides the privacy concerns of the patrons, the use of bitcoin allows the dancers to avoid explaining to banks where they get large amounts of cash…

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Why shouldn’t a man want sex?  Why shouldn’t a man want intimacy?…Why do we view that as being abusive or predatory?  –  Antonia Murphy

Mythbusters

Six years ago I mocked UK cops for demanding censorship of nude art based on Greek mythology, but now the galleries are doing it themselves:

Manchester Art Gallery has…remov[ed] John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs…from its walls.  Postcards of the painting will be removed from sale in the shop.  The painting was…replaced with a notice explaining that a temporary space had been left “to prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks”.  Members of the public have stuck Post-it notes around the notice giving their reaction…Clare Gannaway, the gallery’s curator of contemporary art, [gave her opinion even though the painting is Pre-Rapealite and not contemporary]…The removal itself is [censorship presented as] an artistic act and will feature in a solo show by the artist Sonia Boyce which opens in March…Gannaway [pretended] the removal was not about censorship [despite bloviating a lot of nonsense about “objectification” and the evil “male gaze”]…

Yes, this means that modern people are officially more prudish than Victorians. 

First They Came for the Hookers… (#349)

For those who still pretend government is different from organized crime:

A Harris County judge has ordered the closing of a Houston strip club after [cops raided it] more than 30 [times, alleging] crimes including prostitution…over the past four years.  Judge Fredericka Phillips granted a request from the city to have Fantasy Plaza, a club [which does not pay the required bribes to Houston police], closed…

That’s not just a snarky interposition of my own, by the way; click on the title link.  Houston actually has a program that allows strip clubs to openly pay off cops not to be raided, and Fantasy Plaza is one of the clubs suing the city in federal court to shut the scheme down. But yeah, I’m sure those 30 raids were for serious “crimes”.

Down Under (#410)

New Zealand is moving toward the day when disclaimers like this will no longer be necessary:

Antonia Murphy is…the madam of Whangarei’s The Bach, an enterprise she’s taking pains to describe as an ethical brothel.  “If you start by saying it’s a ­brothel, in my experience people immediately start relating it to violence and gangs and drugs,” Murphy says…This means treating her workers with respect – providing them with condoms, briefing them on their legal rights, paying them at least $150 an hour – and there’s free childcare on site.  “New Zealand seems way ahead of the curve in terms of decriminalisation and yet [because of stigma] much of the sex industry is still bogged down in sort of shady working practices…It’s still not socially accepted and there is still a lot of judgment”…

Whither Canada? (#439)

This challenge is only necessary because the Liberals lied about repealing the law:

Canada’s prostitution laws are being put to the legal test in a London, Ont. courtroom where two people are charged with advertising sexual services, profiting from the sex trade and producing a person to offer sexual services.  The first defence expert witness called in the case, academic Chris Atchison, testified that the new law, often referred to as Bill C-36, makes it less safe for people in the sex trade to do their jobs…Hamad Anwar and Tiffany Harvey…face more than two dozen [prohibition]-related charges each…[after] a bust made by London police at an escort service in November 2015…

Schadenfreude (#561) 

I wonder how much profit they made on survival sex workers’ backs with this scam?

Dozens of [survival sex workers were kick out of a shelter the day after the Super Bowl]…a long-term residential facility…called Breaking Free…typically require[s women to submit to indoctrination]…to stay there but for the 10 days leading to the Super Bowl, Breaking Free [staged a publicity stunt in which they provided] emergency shelter.  The NFL Super Bowl Host Committee, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Catholic Benedictine Sisters and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet, among other organizations, footed the bill to help Breaking Free buy beds, food and emergency provisions…”What a heartbreak to tell the women they can’t spend the night here” said Terry Forliti, Breaking Free’s executive director…”My fear is they fall back into the life, when we have tried so hard to offer an exit strategy”…

“Exit strategy” my high-priced arse.  Breaking Free is well known as a money-hungry profiteer group more concerned with milking the unfortunate than helping them; three years ago its own employees reported it to its funding agencies for “misuse of funds, property, and services and…staff misconduct”…

That Old Black Magic (#714)

The descent of “sex trafficking” hysteria into self-parody continues unabated:

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said it has engaged some local witchdoctors in Benin, Edo as ambassadors in fighting human trafficking in [Nigeria]…The Director General of NAPTIP, Ms Julie Okah-Donli…said investigations revealed that some local witch doctors were involved or used in the [migration] of persons to Europe.  “When we gathered these witchdoctors recently to [indoctrinate] them [with anti-migration propaganda European countries are paying us to disseminate], they were shocked”…

O, Canada! (#733)

Canadian prohibitionists are trying desperately to whip up “sex trafficking” hysteria there to US levels:

If you ask most Canadians, they’d say…this isn’t the kind of place where men and women entrap teenagers, then move them from city to city, buying and selling them as modern-day sex slaves…But Canada is exactly that kind of place….[prohibitionists fantasize] there are thousands of them…The average age at which exploitation begins is 13; the average age of rescue, if a girl is rescued at all, is 17…[prohibitionist] Shae Invidiata…[fantasizes] “One girl in Canada can make a pimp $300,000 a year”…[hysteria has] gotten to the point where, last February, the Edmonton Police Service changed the name of its Vice unit…to the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Unit [so they could cash in]…The youngest victim they’ve rescued so far was 13…

It’s rare that a propaganda piece is so idiotic that it contradicts itself within a couple of paragraphs; how can the average and youngest “victim” both be 13?

First They Came for the Hookers… (#752) 

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for someone who leaves a job inflicting violence consensually for one where she can inflict it non-consensually:

A New Jersey sheriff’s officer has lost her job because she previously appeared in bondage films as a dominatrix…Kristen Hyman…was [supposedly] terminated for lying about her prior work on her application, [but]…she would not have made it into the academy had she been honest about her past.  The sheriff’s office characterized Hyman’s activities, which took place roughly from 2010 through 2012, as conduct unbecoming for a public employee…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#756)

This might be the first of these apps to actually consult sex workers:

A new app…is dubbing itself the Airbnb of sex work…“Gfendr”…developed in Montreal, has attracted 700 users since its launch [three] weeks ago…[it] allows sex workers to list their services and rate clients.  In turn, clients can search for sex workers based on their preferences and chat with their chosen service provider about location and price ahead of time.  Sex workers can flag difficult or dangerous clients, helping others avoid unsafe situations in the future.  Vancouver sex-worker advocacy group PACE said the founders of the app reached out to them and other groups across the country ahead of the launch and asked for feedback…Co-developer Melissa Desrochers says she and her partner have built the app without funding. Once there are more users, sex workers will be able to pay to promote their services in search results…[but since] current laws…say buying sex and helping advertise are illegal…the police might use the app to gather information on sex workers and clients…Gfendr only requires a phone number or email to register, and Desrocher assures that this and all other identifying information is encrypted by an outside company, so even she doesn’t have access to it…

Decentralization (#764)

Good grief, another titcoin?

Leah Callon-Butler wants to revolutionise the sex and adult industries using cryptocurrency.  Alongside her four co-founders she’s helping develop a new cryptocurrency called Intimate which will operate as a digital payment option for adult or sexual products, services or offerings…

Signs (#766) 

Yet another reason never to call the fucking cops:

When Jodi Gaylord answers…911 calls at the emergency dispatch center in Vancouver [Washington], details can raise red flags.  She asks herself, “Could this be a sex trafficking situation?”…Gaylord was just one dispatcher in four groups who…were [indoctrin]ated on the subject by [prohibitionists]…

IOW, that call you make to rat out your neighbor could end with a SWAT team smashing down your door and murdering your dog because some dumbass with no critical thinking skills imagines you “raised a red flag”.

Signs (#771)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers announced Monday, Jan. 29 they would introduce legislation during the coming 2018 session designed to help prevent sex trafficking in Minnesota through education…“There are people who are trained to manipulate you, to coerce you, to persuade you they’re your boyfriend…This is the curriculum we hope to have schools teach and will warn girls against”…

Cops and Robbers (#794)

These were first used in Seattle, but monkey-cop see, monkey-cop do.  Especially when both gangs of monkeys are on the same billionaire sociopath’s payroll:

Technology has opened a new door for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff Tom Dart says it’s not clear yet what they’ll do with it.  It’s software that can respond by text to people who are looking on-line to pay for sex…In a roughly 30-day period that just wrapped up, 2,500 people engaged with the bots.  Around 65 percent of them stayed with the text exchange until they agreed on a price.  Then, the would-be sex buyers got a…sort of a “scared straight” message meant to deter any future endeavors…

And judging by the amount of work I and my friends have had in Seattle since summer, no, they don’t deter business.  But I’m sure you’d already guessed that; cops don’t like to crow about surveillance tricks (such as Stingrays) that actually work.

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Officialdom should never have the right to tell grown adults when, how, with whom and for what reason they can have sex.  –  Ella Whelan

Feminine Pragmatism 

The capacity of lawheads for denying reality is nothing short of astonishing:

The [Samoan] Ministry of Health has made it a priority to educate and counsel “commercial sex workers” despite the government downplaying their existence…the number of female sex workers in Samoa was estimated at around 400.  It was also revealed that most women are doing sex work for economic reasons…The…report was rubbished by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi who laughed at claims that poverty and hardship are to blame for the growing number of sex workers in Samoa…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

A woman who works at a Tulsa massage parlor…has been charged with trying to persuade colleagues to not testify against their employer.  Stefanie Lea Thomas…was charged…with intimidation of a witness…Thomas is the manager…The owner…Willie Charles Whitman, was arrested earlier this month as the result of a…[sting and] charged with two counts of human trafficking…On the night of Whitman’s arrest, he called Thomas from the county jail and told her he “needed the other girls in the shop to go to court and say that he was not human trafficking anyone”…

Of course, he’d have said the same things if he was innocent & simply intelligent enough to realize that the pigs are trying to pin BS “sex trafficking” charges on him, but of course that’s not important now that presumption of innocence is a thing of the past.

Torture Chamber 

The State wants us to call this a “correctional institution” and the torturers “correctional officers”:

For 46 hours, Andrew Holland’s legs and arms were shackled to a chair in the San Luis Obispo County jail.  The [helpless human being], who suffered from schizophrenia, was left in his own filth, eating and drinking almost nothing.  He was naked, except for a helmet and mask covering his face and a blanket that slipped off his lap, exposing him to jail staff who passed by his glass-fronted cell.  When he was finally unbound, [screws] dumped him to the floor of a nearby cell.  Within 40 minutes, he [died]…

All-Purpose Excuse

It’s not “erroneous”, which implies an honest mistake; it’s a willful conflation:

…The way police involved in…sting[s] chose to spin their costly efforts to entrap the buyers and sellers of sex is just one more example of how law enforcement and others routinely conflate consensual prostitution with far rarer instances of actual sex trafficking…in [a recent “Operation Cross-Country”]…which cost taxpayers millions of dollars, only six underage prostitutes were found out of a total 85 prostitutes…only 14 “pimps” were arrested and there is no evidence that any of them actually engaged in trafficking according to the legal definition.  It’s not just law enforcement that…[conflates] victimless sex work with trafficking.  Many politicians…and others persist in conflating the two for their own political benefit…

Dating Game

Melissa Petro on her post-sex work dating experiences:

Aside from losing my career in dramatic fashion, dating was one of the toughest parts of being someone with sex work experience.  Whether you’re a dancer or an escort, a porn star or a cam girl, the same questions arise:  how and when to tell the person you’re dating, and then, how to manage their reaction (they always have one).  “Do prostitutes really date and marry?” is an actual question some men ask.  And some men think the answer ought to be no.  Whether our experiences in the industry are positive, negative, or — as they very frequently are — neutral, many people paint all sex workers with the same broad brush.  They’re morally corrupt, or else so emotionally and even physically damaged by their experiences as to be undatable…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#698) 

As regular readers know, “expert sex therapists” have never labelled “sex addiction” a disorder:

In the world of sex therapy, there is no consensus on what constitutes a sex addict…Answers from therapists vary wildly.  And for now, nobody is right and nobody is wrong, as there is no standardized “sex addiction” diagnosis.  This could soon change, and a bitter battle is raging behind the scenes over whether it should change…

No, there is no “bitter battle” among actual, qualified sex therapists; those who wish this imaginary syndrome labeled  a true disorder are opportunists, few with actual qualifications as therapists, who want their pet label officially recognized so they can cash in on insurance. But credulous reporters don’t want to hear that.

Decentralization (#718)

Did you ever wonder why the government stopped harassing bitcoin?

Computer science [bootlickers] at the University of California, Berkeley have developed new tools to identify sex [workers]…making them easier for law enforcement to target and prosecute…The new technique [pretends to]…find…stylistic similarities between ads for sex services posted to sites like Backpage.com…[in order to pretend they’re all posted by] criminal organizations posting multiple ads…Because Backpage is the most used portal for advertising sex services, credit card processors like Visa [were threatened into choking off payment processing by a megalomaniacal Chicago politician]…starting in 2015.  That left Bitcoin as the preferred means of paying for ads.  The Berkeley researchers took advantage of Bitcoin’s public blockchain — a record of all transactions — to identify payments for sex ads…and even to connect them to real-world names…

The Widening Gyre (#726) 

I’m really enjoying “grocery store sex trafficking” hysteria:

A creepy trend has been scaring mothers across Sarasota County who say strangers are approaching women in stores and parking lots, asking intrusive questions about their children.  This has…many people panicked on social media…[one hysteric] says two pretend shoppers [no doubt wearing labels that said “pretend shopper”] approached them in the toy aisle…one woman asked strange religious questions while the other was fixated on her daughter…asking direct questions about [her] looks and features…“It just made me even more afraid that they were going to try to grab either just my daughter or both of us”…

Because nobody but a “sex trafficker” ever attempts to be polite by complimenting a child’s looks.

Like Houses

The leading edge of a wedge is often extremely thin:

A bill that will allow homes to be searched without a warrant was passed with overwhelming support by the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Trump—and it happened with no media coverage and very little fanfare.  On the surface, House Joint Resolution 76 looks harmless…However, there is one major red flag buried within the text of the bill that stems from the list of “powers” given to the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, and it violates one of the basic tenets of the U.S. Constitution…The text gives the Commission the authority to enter property near the Metro Rail System “without limitation” and without a warrant, for the purpose of “making inspections, investigations, examinations, and testing.”  This clearly goes against the Fourth Amendment…[but] only five Congressmen…voted against it…This is not the first time Congress has quietly passed a bill that will take away some of the most basic rights from law-abiding citizens in the U.S…and while it may only affect the Washington D.C. metro area now, it could be laying the blueprint for future legislation across the country.

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes (#767) 

Bindel is increasingly becoming a transparent laughing stock:

…In framing prostitution as modern slavery, something that holds women captive, Bindel plays on the classic and sexist damsel-in-distress motif.  Yes, in other countries women do not enjoy the same rights as we do in the UK.  But sticking with the country Bindel is based in and writes about in her piece – Britain – there is simply no epidemic of “sex slavery” here.  Prostitution happens, often in unpleasant circumstances, but these women are not chattel; they can make decisions…

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Goats are escape artists.  –  Matt Minnick

The first music videos (short films intended to market a song) were probably Warner Brothers’ “Merrie Melodies” cartoons, but the form as we would recognize it today probably began with The Beatles cartoon series (1965) and grew by way of The Monkees (1966) and Yellow Submarine (1968).  So it’s probably not surprising that many of the first stand-alone videos were short animated films; the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour showed these as a regular feature, and I fondly remember quite a few of them.  This was one of my favorites: the music is a Sonny & Cher cover of the anti-racist folk-rock song “Black and White“.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker (“course”), Conner Habib (“wouldn’t”),  Tushy Galore (“happens”),  Mistress Matisse (“woo” and “together”), and Tejas (“safe”).

From the Archives

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