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Posts Tagged ‘disease’

Diary #571

I had my second COVID vaccine a week ago today, and though I had very few side effects from the first shot a month ago, I’m afraid I can’t say the same for this one.  Long-time readers have probably noticed that I very rarely get sick, but when I do my body tends to go all “HOOOOOOOLD THE BUS!!!” and I get extremely ill for about 24 hours, then almost immediately back to normal.  It’s as though my immune system has only two settings, “standby” and “full throttle”.  So I’m never suprised when I have strong reactions to vaccines, but since the first shot gave me nothing but a sore arm for two days, I expected nothing this time either.  Alas, such was not to be.  I got the Moderna shot about 7:15 Tuesday evening, went to bed with a sore arm, then woke up next morning feeling just slightly icky.  By noon I decided not to get dressed; I had chills and brain fog, was weak as a kitten, and had no appetite at all.  The culprit was obvious so I just took it easy, went to bed early, and was fine by Thursday morning.  I thought that would be that, but then Friday morning the left side of my jaw hurt so badly I could only barely eat cereal, and then only by chewing solely on the right side.  I assumed it was some kind of dental pain and I’m overdue for a checkup anyhow, so I just made an appointment and decided to make soup for dinner.  But by dinnertime the pain had spread up the left side of my face to the temple, and it hurt every time I opened my mouth far enough to admit a spoon; I was also incredibly thirsty all day (which is very unusual for me) and my hearing seemed oddly acute.  A little research pointed to a culprit: a transient condition called “Bell’s palsy” caused by inflammation of one of the facial nerves, which is sometimes a side effect of a number of vaccines (including the COVID vaccine).  Everything I read said it would clear up on its own, so I felt better about that, and Saturday morning the pain had changed into more like numbness and moved up the side of my head, running from my upper teeth to my scalp, leaving me with only minor chewing pain; by dinnertime that, too was mostly gone, though it has returned in spells.  The info I read said this is only experienced by about 25 vaccine recipients in 100,000, so yay me for being so exceptional.  But the experience did remind me of how much I dislike the way the medical community uses “benign” to mean “not fatal” rather than actually benign; by that standard, a truck accidentally dumping 6 tons of horse manure in your driveway would be considered “benign” because it can eventually be cleared away without destroying your house.

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Instead of…a chicken in every pot, Biden…promises an auditor at every kitchen table.  –  Chuck Grassley

To Molest and Rape (#1013)

Give aggressive thugs power over teen girls; what could possibly go wrong?

A [cop assigned to terrorize students]…in the Chouteau Public School District…[was arrested by other] Oklahoma [cops for molesting a student]…Dale Tillotson…faces a lewd molestation charge [for sexual assault while wearing his magic clown costume]…

I Spy (#1064) 

Looks like we’re going to have to rethink the safety of the mail:

The [US] post office’s law enforcement arm has faced intense congressional scrutiny in recent weeks over its Internet Covert Operations Program (iCOP), which tracks social media posts of Americans and shares that information with [cop shops and spook houses]…the program…includes analysts who assume fake identities online, use sophisticated intelligence tools and employ facial recognition software…in[cluding]…Clearview AI…Other tools…include Zignal Labs’ software, which…run[s] keyword searches on social media event pages…[and] Nfusion…to create and maintain anonymous, untraceable email and social media accounts…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1071)

Now that the pandemic is fading, cops are back to their usual panics:

A Michigan [cop] collapsed during a traffic stop after he [had a panic attack due] to [hysteria over] fentanyl…[he] was [root]ing [in] a vehicle [that was none of his business] and adjusted his face mask…[then got the vapors] and f[ainted.  Imagining]…he could be overdosing, his partner administered Narcan and the [placebo effect stopped the attack]…Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is [not an aerosol and is so difficult to absorb through the skin that fentanyl patches for pain treatment rely on patented technology that took years to develop]…according to [actual pharmacologists]

Guinea Pigs (#1083) 

Civil rights violations often start with whores, but never stop with us:

…In the name of catching tax dodgers, the Biden administration is seeking serious snooping rights to oversee all American bank accounts and payment apps…87,000 new IRS employees would be hired and everyone could expect more scrutiny of the flow of money to and from their financial accounts…inc[luding]…Paypal and Venmo…It’s how the administration proposes paying for the massive new spending measures in Biden’s American Families Plan…The administration [claim]s…this…would only affect extremely wealthy tax scofflaws.  But the extremely wealthy know they get extra IRS scrutiny and already have all sorts of tricks for shielding income…from regulators’ view.  Rather, it’s the folks who sometimes get paid “under the table” for informal gig work…who [would be targeted]…After all, those 87,000 new employees can’t all be catching wily millionaires and billionaires…the IRS would have an unprecedented ability to…target even the tiniest bits of unreported income…

Biden adores surveillance, and dreams of dramatically increasing every variety whether the Constitution allows it or not.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1088) 

It’s so nice to see them feeding on their own for a change:

A [typical and representative] New Jersey [cop named Christopher Walls] is facing a list of serious charges after [other cops] discovered a methamphetamine lab inside of his home…[when his girlfriend] called t[hem because he beat her up]…Walls had everything…he needed to manufacture meth, along with…books related to “making methamphetamine, explosives, and poison…

Torture Chamber (#1121)

Clearly, this is all Trump’s doing:

More than 4,500 immigrant children and teens are being held in enormous, filthy tents on a military base in Texas without access to basic necessities, including underwear…The [camp], which is largely populated by teenage boys, is housed at Fort Bliss, an Army base near El Paso…In [government propaganda], these [camps are] shelters…for kids who are waiting to be reunited with relatives…in the United States.  In fact…the Biden administration is holding “tens of thousands of asylum-seeking children in an opaque network of some 200 facilities”…[that even] Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra [admits are]…not fit for…them…lice…are…[spread]ing…and [a whistleblower reported that]…”We have already caught staff [molesting] minors”…

To Molest and Rape (#1140)

Good riddance to bad rubbish:

A Texas [cop] killed himself…just after admitting he had sexually abused children…Robert Johnson…had a six-hour standoff with other [cops] before he died by suicide on [May 19th].  He admitted to being involved in several child sexual assaults…[and] implicated two other [cops, Christina McKay and Chonda Shalett Williams] in the crimes…

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As anyone with half a brain could’ve predicted, Team MAGA and Team Unpronounceable String of Capitals are still fighting over COVID masking despite the fact that it will soon be a moot point.  This is especially sad because, like so very many societal issues, it has a very simple solution: “Mind your own damned business.”  A person has the right to cover their face in public if they want to, and their reason for doing so is none of your concern.  Maybe they’re paranoid; maybe they’re Muslim.  Maybe they were burned by acid.  Maybe they’re hopeless fantasy geeks cosplaying in public.  Maybe they’re overcautious about germs.  Maybe they’re severely immunosuppressed.  Maybe they are justifiably worried about facial recognition.  Maybe they were wrongly convicted and wish to avoid recapture.  Maybe they’re in mourning.  Maybe they just have a weird sense of style.  But no matter what the reason, nobody else has any more right to violate their boundaries, harass them about it, attempt to involve the state, etc, than they’d have to veto others’ tattoos or get Delta Dawn arrested for walking downtown with a suitcase in her hand.

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The…[cops] didn’t count on us not believing their bullshit.
–  Norma Rodriguez

R.I.P. Smarajit Jana

A leader of the rights movement for sex workers in India and a[n epidemiologist] known for his contribution to the prevention of HIV in the country, Smarajit Jana, passed away due to COVID-19 related complications in Kolkata on [May 8th]…He was 68 years old. Dr. Jana founded and spearheaded the first rights-based HIV intervention programmes in India by collectivising the sex workers of Sonagachi and setting up the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) in Kolkata in 1995…Jana was instrumental in setting up a cooperative bank for sex workers…He was a member of a Supreme Court-appointed panel in Budhadev Karmaskar vs State of West Bengal, which in its report in 2016 recommended legal recognition for sex workers through the issuing of ration and voter identification cards, and decriminalising of sex work…

The Lion and the Ox

FACT: Young woman in illegal casino. CONCLUSION: “sex trafficking”!

[San Antonio cops oink] they believe they have found the largest gambling operation in the [universe], while possibly also finding human trafficking evidence…“[We] found a bit of narcotics, we’ve also discovered a 16-year-old young lady that at this point we don’t know if she was a victim of any sort of trafficking, but we do suspect it,” [Sheriff Javier] Salazar said…

Torture Chamber 

For a change, this story doesn’t refer to torture as “correction”:

The Collin County [Texas] medical examiner ruled Marvin Scott III’s death a homicide…more than a month after he [was murdered by screws] at the Collin County jail…Sheriff Jim Skinner fired seven jailers and another resigned after [the murder]…One of the jailers was reinstated last week through the civil service process, a decision Skinner has said he disagreed with…The sheriff has refused to release the names of the [murderers]…But The Dallas Morning News obtained…the names…Blaise Mikulewicz…Austin Wong…Justin Patrick…Rafael Paradez…James Schoelen…Alec Difatta…Andres Cardenas…and…Christopher Windsor…

To Molest and Rape 

Rapist cops are often rewarded with paid vacations, but this is extreme even by cop standards:

RCMP…Co[p] Justin Harris…paid [for] sex…[with an indigenous woman known as CC, but then raped] her…four [times]…Less than one month [after she reported him], on April 1, 2007, CC died from natural causes.  In a matter of weeks, the RCMP dropped their case, lifting Harris’ suspension…instead…Harris segued from a paid suspension to paid sick leave for psychological issues he [blames on]…the force’s [trying to prosecute him for his behavior]…His lawsuit against the force, filed in 2008, has stalled while the RCMP attempts to medically discharge him—a lengthy process now in its seventh year.  In total, he has been paid—but not working—for close to 17 years…

Like Houses (#1044)

Lockdowns are to keep people SAFE!

A [cop] in Honduras was arrested and charged…for the murder of a young woman…in February inside a jail cell…police…[had until now] claimed that Keyla Martínez, a 26-year-old nursing student, had committed suicide within hours of being [abduct]ed [by cops] for a pandemic curfew violation…

A Broker in Pillage (#1068)

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

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey…signed a package of civil forfeiture reforms that will make it substantially harder for [cops] to [steal] people’s stuff by [pretend]ing that it is connected to criminal activity…property can still be seized [if a cop claims]…it was used to commit a crime or represents the proceeds of illegal activity.  But now the government can complete the forfeiture only after convicting the owner…Arizona is the 16th state to require a criminal conviction for some or all forfeitures…[and] the 14th…to require that the government prove an owner is not innocent rather than making the owner prove that he is…

To Molest and Rape (#1134)

It’s not unusual for fired cops, even child rapists, to simply move elsewhere:

An Alabama state trooper arrested [in April because] he raped an 11-year-old girl had been kicked out of the FBI amid a string of sexual misconduct allegations but was hired by the state agency with the apparent help of a fake bureau letter that scrubbed his record clean…Christopher Bauer was suspended without pay and stripped of his security clearance in the FBI’s New Orleans office in late 2018…[after] he raped…[a co-work]er at knifepoint.  But Alabama…state police…[somehow managed to overlook aggravated rape in its] “full and thorough” investigation into Bauer’s background when he applied to be a trooper in 2019…

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The…state may not obstruct those who wish to participate in lawful transactions nor…those who wish to help them.  –  Justice Hayden

Droit du Seigneur

If a non-cop did this, do you think the court would simply ask his employers to demote him?

A New Jersey police chief…[who] offer[ed a cop] a promotion in exchange for sex with his wife and [underage] daughter, should [merely] be demoted, a…judge [declared]…Rudy Beu…was [found] guilty of…[a few status] charges…Beu…has been [on paid vacation]…since Feb. 26, 2020…

To Molest and Rape

Rapist cops often target sex workers for exactly this reason:

…on May 24, 2020…[sex worker and activist Jay St. James] was stalked and raped by Christopher Drumm, a [typical and representative Eugene, Oregon cop]…after the attack, she and her family were harassed by other [cop gang] members…No charges have been brought against Drumm—but St. James is now facing charges of her own after protesting her assault…three days before the a[ggravat]ed rape…Drumm responded to a domestic violence call at St. James’s house…St. James requested a mental health professional, but [of course they sent the pigs]…instead…the [cops refused] to make a report…about the abuse…[but instead reported her to] Child Protective Services…because [she had not magically teleported] her children [away the instant the] …domestic violence [started]…Drumm and his colleagues [also] sexually harassed her…For the next three days…Drumm continued to show up at her house unannounced…[then] on May 24…[he] returned…and raped her twice…

The Proper Study (#897)

Another study proves what sex workers have been saying all along:

Our research provides new causal evidence on the impact that criminalizing sex work in a lower‐​income country has on the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) by exploiting a natural experiment in which commercial sex work was unexpectedly criminalized in one district in East Java, Indonesia, while it remained noncriminalized in neighboring districts…criminalizing sex work increases STI rates among sex workers…by 27.3 percentage points, or 58 percent, from baseline…the main mechanisms driving the increase…are a decrease in access to condoms, an increase in condom prices, and an increase in sex without condoms…women who…leave sex work because of criminalization have lower earnings than those who leave by choice…children of [these] women…are more likely to work to supplement household income…criminalization [also] results in substantial increases in the probability of STI transmission to the general population…Understanding the impacts of criminalization…in lower‐​income countries is arguably even more important than in higher‐​income countries…

Skin To Skin (#980)

Wise judge refuses to allow prudish paternalism to trump human needs:

A senior judge has ruled it is lawful for carers [of people with mental disabilities] to help clients find and pay for sex…[but entitled busybodies plan] to appeal the judgment because of its implications for policies on [sending violent thugs to attack people for desiring consensual adult sex]…The young man…known only as C, is fit and healthy but…needs daily help with many parts of his life. He has autism and a genetic disorder – but [the judge]…found that he was happy and well-supported…C knew he would probably never find a girlfriend but he nevertheless wanted to experience sex – and so he had asked his carers if they could find him a sex worker…[but] C’s carers w[orried] they would [be]…legally [classified as “pimps”] if they agreed to help…Justice Hayden ruled that…If the law banned the carers from helping C, that would be discrimination because anyone else without his condition could lawfully pay for sex…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1052)

To the state, facial recognition systems’ false positives are a feature, not a bug:

In February 2019, Nijeer Parks walked into the Woodbridge…New Jersey…[cop shop after] receiv[ing] a frantic phone call from his grandmother telling him that p[igs]…had come [root]ing for him…Parks had trouble with the law…on drug-related charges, [but]…was now working a steady job as a carpenter…Parks [unwisely walked into the cop shop without a lawyer in an attempt] to clear his name…[but was instead arrested on bogus charges of] aggravated assault, unlawful possession of weapons, using a fake ID, possession of marijuana, shoplifting, leaving the scene of a crime, [and] resisting arrest…he spent 11 days in jail…[before] learn[ing t]hat the evidence against him was…a facial recognition scan of…[the] fake ID…What followed was a year-long legal nightmare for Parks, who faced years in prison and the potential of additional time due to his prior convictions…

Disaster (#1115)

Canada is following Australia and the US in trying to destroy the internet:

Canadian Senate Bill S-203…is another woefully misguided proposal aimed at regulating sexual content online.  To say the least, this bill fails to understand how the internet functions and would be seriously damaging to online expression and privacy…S-203 would make any person or company criminally liable for any time an underage user engages with sexual content through its service…unless the person or company “implemented a prescribed age-verification method”…[it] would criminalize the acts of independent performers, artists, blogs, social media, message boards, email providers, and any other intermediary or service…that is in some way “for commercial purposes”…The only meaningful defense…would be to verify the legal adult age of every user and then store that data…The sheer amount of technical infrastructure…would be costly and overwhelmingly complicated….[and] introduce many security concerns that weren’t previously there…the financial burden would only advantage the largest players online…the bill would likely force many companies to simply eliminate sexual content instead of carrying the huge risk that an underage user will access it…

You Were Warned (#1131)

Puritans never quite admit they want to destroy the internet, but this comes close:

U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty…has unveiled a [scheme] to repeal Section 230…and replace it with something he calls “Section 232.”  His [Orwellian-named] “21st Century FREE Speech Act“…would change the nature of online communication as we know it…the…bill…attempts to establish as U.S. federal policy the act of “facilitat[ing] the…blocking…[of] objectionable or inappropriate online material”…[and to] redefine “the major internet communications platforms” as “common carriers”…In quite explicit terms, Hagerty’s bill establishes a protection from censorship of “religious and political speech” while at the same time encouraging the censorship of “objectionable and inappropriate online material”…the…bill…would essentially enshrine a peculiarly vague notion of sexual content (i.e. “signifies the form of immorality which has relation to sexual impurity”)…an[d] active[ly] call for state and corporate censorship…

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[Pandemic] measures [seem to] constitute the fulfillment of preexisting authoritarian tendencies.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I hope this makes Swedish criminalization fans extremely uncomfortable:

A…[typical and representative] Toronto [cop]…solicit[ed] a sex…worker…[Travis Houston implicitly threatened her with a gun] and told her that he was a [cop, but instead of submitting she]…demanded that he leave…He was charged with weapons dangerous [sic], obtaining sexual services and mischief [but also rewarded with a paid vacation]…

The More the Better 

Even lurid gawking by creeps at the New York Times can serve the greater purpose of demystifying sex work to squares:

…financial domination [is] a form of B.D.S.M. [sic] that has flourished during the pandemic, when many sex workers and their customers have migrated online because of social distancing..The concept is simple, even if the allure is not immediately self-evident: “finsubs” (short for “financial submissives”) send monetary “tributes” to a financial dominatrix…in exchange for being humiliated and degraded…

Rough Trade (#448) 

Can we not all agree something is wrong without giving the state another excuse for violence?

…antics now considered merely caddish or immoral—like lying to a prospective sex partner about one’s relationship status, social standing, or future intentions—would count as criminal sexual misconduct…[under a] bill…sponsored by [a gaggle of]…New York [politicians which would criminalize sex]…”obtained with…the use of…deception, fraud, concealment or artifice”…Women could be guilty for lying about contraceptive use or menstrual cycles, and men for lying about having a vasectomy.  Trying to win over a date by saying you have a better job than you actually do, live in a nicer place, or went to a better school could become a crime if that date sleeps with you…Someone might try to sue or press charges based on the idea that makeup, Botox, boob jobs, and similar measures to enhance one’s appearance should count as illegal artifice that negates consent.  It also seems likely that people could attempt to use the law against transgender…people…

As I pointed out in the subtitle-linked article, this would make prostitution stings legally rape, but no cop would ever actually be prosecuted for it.  Overbroad laws, no matter how good they may sound to some, are only ever used to increase the power of those who already have it at the expense of those who don’t.

Little Boxes (#865)

Forced sexual contact with strangers is “trust building”, but voluntary sexual contact with strangers is a “crime”:

A former employee of…Panda Express…was required to strip down to her underwear and hug a partially clad co-worker during a “cult-like ritual” at a 2019 training seminar sponsored by the company as a prerequisite to promotion…At the start, attendees were told to sit down and not talk, and were left in isolation for a full hour before a man stormed in, yelling in Spanish and berating them for sitting there and doing nothing…participants were prohibited from using their cellphones, there was no clock in the room and the doors and windows were all covered with black cloth…the woman…was forced to strip down to her underwear under the guise of trust building…while, Alive Seminars staff were openly ogling the women in their state of undress…Attendees…were confined in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation…[and not even allowed] to use the restroom…[even] to throw up…

HIV Cure (#920)

Another silver lining for the COVID pandemic:

new HIV vaccine, based on the Moderna COVID-19 inoculation, has shown a 97% antibody response rate in Phase I clinical trials…If approved, this vaccine could become the first stage of a multi-step strategy to combat HIV and other viral diseases.  The vaccine successfully stimulated the production of rare immune cells needed to generate antibodies against HIV…

Like Houses (#1031)

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

…the…world that is more-policed and less-free than it was a year ago…Protests continued across the U.K. over…a proposed law that would increase police powers…[after a cop] murder[ed] Sarah Everard…[in] France…[t]ens of thousands…protest[ed] legislation that would restrict people from publishing identifiable images of [cops]…police have [brutalized] demonstrators in countries including Belgium, France (again), Greece, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere.  Mounted police in Brussels trampled a woman at an anti-lockdown party, before opening up with water cannon.  In Athens, [a cops beat]…a man…to enforce a…lockdown…”Across the world in 2020, citizens experienced the biggest rollback of individual freedoms ever undertaken by governments during peacetime (and perhaps even in wartime),” [wrote] The Economist…and…at least some countries want to permanently increase the status and power of police…

To Molest and Rape (#1127)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative New Jersey cop] and [known lecher has been] sexually assaulting a [girl] for five years, starting when she was 15…Tyrone Rolls…was charged…with sexual assault [but also rewarded with a paid vacation.  As usual, “authorities” are weirdly fixated on whether]…he was [wearing his magical clown costume while committing the rapes]…The [victim finally gathered the courage to] report…Rolls [after he slapped her]…and knocked her to the ground…

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Socializing is not a luxury.  –  Zeynep Tufekci

Maggie in the Media

Torture Chamber 

Even journalists reporting on these abuses insist on referring to them as “correction”:

…a [few days after being] threat[ened by a New Jersey screw]…Darrell Smith was…[savagely beaten] twice by a g[ang] of [screws.  He]…was tortured, beaten, kicked, punched, stomped…choke[d], slammed to the ground, and had his head slammed into a glass door…he was [then] “denied…medical care…[despite] catastrophic injuries that left him in an unresponsive and catatonic state” in a prison cell covered in his own feces, urine and vomit…[after being left in this state for] four days…Smith…was transported to a hospital…his leg was cuffed to the bed [for two days despite being]…declared brain dead…the family…[filed a] lawsuit…[after finally getting ahold of medical records showing that] Smith “sustained a severe catastrophic brain injury…[due to] the brutal beatings”…

The Enlightenment Police (#884)

The obsession with controlling women cannot be stopped by a mere pandemic:

Swiss voters have approved a ban on…facial coverings…in nearly all…publicly accessible places, including on the streets, in public offices, on public transport, in restaurants, shops and in the countryside.  The controversial proposal [was] support[ed by only] 51.21% of voters…The only exceptions include places of worship…[or] if worn for health and safety reasons, because of the weather and in situations where it is considered a “local custom” to do so, such as at carnivals…There will be no…exceptions…for tourists…[from Muslim countries]…The proposal, put forward by several [authoritarian] groups…has been criticized by a number of…religious organizations…human rights and civic groups, as well as the federal government…

Switzerland in October:  Everybody must cover their faces in public.
Switzerland in March:  Wait, not like that!

You Were Warned (#926)

Indian politicians are just as eager to demolish the internet as those in the US, Australia and Europe:

The Indian government’s new Information Technology rules…have been sold to citizens and the world as being of a piece with global efforts to [control]…social media…platforms now have to…giv[e] the government details about the “originator” of content [that it dislikes]…effectively breaking end-to-end encryption…The rules…also cover digital news organisations and video-streaming platforms like Netflix…giving the government much more power to…censor…The government has made massive changes to the way the internet will work in India, but without having to take the matter to Parliament at all, by amending the rules under pre-existing sections of the law…the government…is…unwilling…to engage with the stakeholders that matter…the rules create a bureaucratic super-structure that gives the executive much more power over…the internet…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1074)

Ever notice how often predatory cops’ targets are underage?

A Denton [Texas cop]…has been arrested…for distribution of child pornography.  David Schoolcraft…[fell into a trap set by the FBI] Dec[ember]…2020…he [i]s…of…c[our]se [still on the payroll, because cop]…

Since the “authorities” prefer to hide the identity of this child molester, here’s a picture of his boss until such time as a photo of Schoolcraft becomes available.

Quiet Genocide (#1081)

The Chinese are now using a method of subjugation invented by the Assyrians:

Chinese authorities have loaded large numbers of Uyghur workers onto trains bound for factories thousands of kilometres away as part of a plan to [forcibly] assimilate Muslim minorities into mainstream Chinese culture and thin their populations in Xinjiang…the…Uyghur workers…[are then forced] in[to “re-education”] programs…that mix Mandarin lessons with in[doctrina]tion by police and Communist Party cadres…the…policies…are designed to sever them from their homes and traditional way of life, moulding them into state-approved members of the “Chinese nation”…

Social Distancing (#1082)

Far too many people adore authoritarian public health schemes:

When the polio vaccine was declared safe and effective, the news was met with jubilant celebration…One might have expected the initial approval of the coronavirus vaccines to spark similar jubilation…But…instead, the steady drumbeat of good news…has been met with a chorus of relentless pessimism…and claims of impending catastrophe…the public has been offered a lot of misguided fretting over new virus variants…and presented with long lists of things vaccinated people still cannot do…Five key fallacies and pitfalls have…played an outsize role in derailing an effective pandemic response…mistrust and paternalism …toward the public…[arbitrary] rules in place of mechanisms…scolding and shaming…absolutism [instead of harm reduction]…and…a poor balance between knowledge, risk, certainty, and action…

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Diary #558

Saturday was a sad day at Sunset. Orville didn’t respond when I called him for dinner, so I went to the barn to see if he might not be incapacitated again, as happened in mid-January; I found him in his usual nest, but unfortunately quite dead.  He was cold but not stiff, so it had apparently happened sometime late morning or early afternoon, and there were no indications of what might’ve happened except a little bloody discharge from his snout.  He hasn’t shown any kind of symptoms; the picture below was taken only a week ago today, and he appeared perfectly normal.  I haven’t noticed anything unusual about his stools (eg parasites or blood), and other than the incident in January and a chronic limp which seems to have been caused by the rough hog-tying his previous owners inflicted on him when they dumped him, he’s always been an apparently healthy animal.  I even asked our helpful neighbor (who keeps pigs himself) if had any clue, and he had none; he was as surprised as I was.  The internet seems to point toward a respiratory infection called actinobacillus pleuropneumonia (APP) which can “cause sudden death in all ages of swine…it is common to see pigs that have recently died with blood coming from the nose“.  Grace did not take the news well; she loves animals in general and was quite attached to her “little piggy”.  The only consolation is that he was a happy pig, and any suffering must have been very short-lived because he was in good spirits and had a healthy appetite just the day before.  And in the end, for pigs as well as people, the important thing is not when we die, but how we live.

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DHS…is spending its time knowingly policing paid sex acts between consenting adults (even though prostitution is not a federal crime).  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Japanese Prostitution

A modern descendant of the walled districts of feudal times:

…In its prime from the late ‘70s to mid ‘80s, Japanese civil servants, policemen, and salarymen from the nearest main island would take a 3-minute boat ride to [Watakano]…where a quarter of its 270 residents were sex workers…girls…could each make as much as two million yen ($19,000), or the equivalent of $26,000 today, every month.  Residents who weren’t sex workers ran grocery stores, cafes, and apartment complexes.  Hidden yet prosperous, Watakano Island enjoyed decades of economic wealth.  But when Japan’s economic bubble burst in 1992…high spenders stopped visiting…the[n]…In 1998, Japan legalized [outcall] escort services…

Rooted in Racism

Anti-sex laws are deeply rooted in racism all over the world:

…law enforcement uses sex-negative legislation to enable harm against marginalized communities…Laws targeting sex work and pornography “have sexist, racist, and classist origins”…and those underlying roots continue to manifest themselves to this day.  For example, “anti-trafficking” organization Polaris works with [cops] and ICE to arrest and deport…sex workers with a special emphasis on Asian sex workers.  Between 2012 and 2016, arrests of Asian people in New York City for “unauthorized practice of a profession” and prostitution rose 2,700 percent.  In 2018 Polaris launched a campaign to close “illicit” massage parlors…thousands of Asian women have lost their businesses and their livelihoods…Laws against loitering for purposes of prostitution…empower police to profile, harass and arrest women for existing in public spaces…[using excuses] such as “wearing a skirt” and “standing somewhere other than a bus stop or taxi stand” as justification

Think of the Children! (#571) 

No doubt the children were contaminated by sex rays!

A Sacramento [woman’s] three young kids were expelled from a Catholic school because she sells sexy videos online.  The principal…[wo]n’t even [let the children] pick up their things left in class.  Crystal Jackson…is making up to $150,000 a month selling access to photos and videos on her Only Fans account.  [Only] some of the pictures include nudity.  But…a [busybody caught her husband looking at]…her site and started a campaign [with her busybody friends] to get her three kids [expelled by sending poison pen letters including screenshots]…to the diocese and school principal…

I’m sure Jesus would approve of punishing children for the sins of their parents.

Lack of Evidence (#897) 

They were “safeguarded”, no doubt at a “safe house”.  How stupid do these pigs think we are?

Twelve people have been arrested after…police [staged a pogrom] in Woolwich and Kent…[in order] to…exploit…sex workers [to further racist propaganda]…police st[aged an American-style raid]…on…February 16, by battering down the door and smashing glass as they [chased their terrified middle-aged Chinese victims] down [like animals]…This [pogrom resulted in] the arrest of a 44-year-old woman…a 52-year-old man…a 37-year-old…man…a 59-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman.  Another woman was arrested for immigration offences….and two [other] women were…safeguarded…to [be deported] at a later date.  [Two spokespigs oinked a lot of filthy wanking fantasies about]…modern slavery…organised…crime…and money laundering…

This is your regular reminder that massive police operations in the UK have never found more than a single-digit number of “sex trafficking” cases.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1026)

“Sponsored content” means content a paper was paid to publish; it’s an ad, not journalism:

…the Guardian and the Observer [have] launched…a two-year reporting project [advertised as] investigating and exposing human rights abuses around the world…[but is in actuality sponsored] by Humanity United…[it] builds on [previously-published propaganda and yellow journalism]…on human trafficking…modern slavery…[and] sex trafficking…

Click on the subtitle link for Gustavo Turner’s previous reporting on the previously-published content mentioned above, which includes “articles and editorials with a distinct War On Porn…slant“, including providing “a platform to…Exodus Cry founder Laila Mickelwait…Humanity United…[is] a U.S.-based [prohibitionist] foundation…[founded by] a billionaire p[rohibition]ist couple…who were embroiled in a labor human trafficking scandal of their own around the time they founded Humanity United…

Social Distancing (#1084)

While India allows deranged prohibitionists to dictate public health policy:

Bangladesh has started inoculating older sex workers at the country’s biggest brothel…to protect the most vulnerable in the pandemic…“If I don’t reach them, they may not come…It’s important to encourage groups…who are disadvantaged,” said Dr Asif Mahmud of the Goalanda district where the brothel is…Bangladesh…launched a vaccination drive in the first week of February and has since vaccinated nearly 2.5 million people…

The Widening Gyre (#1103)

Hysterical fantasies about normal events seem most common in the South:

Savannah [Georgia] is [becom]ing [a hotspot for fantasies about]…human trafficking.  In one incident, a woman claim[ed] a man…was attempting to distract her at a…gas station so that he could take her children…[in reality, the man she intended to inflict cop violence upon] was actually a gas station employee who was attempting to tell [her] that the pump she was at was inoperable.  The second…post [claimed] an unmarked black car with a blue dome light in the dash attempted to pull [her] over…[she] further [lied that she] called 911 and learned the black car and a blue truck have been involved in local human trafficking incidents.  Police [den]y [that there was any such call or any such]…incidents…[in reality] the post[er]…had [simply] been involved in a confrontation in traffic with the other vehicle…

Loose Cannons (#1109)

Too bad the settlement won’t come out of prosecutors’ and sheriffs’ personal assets:

…one of the…[victims of the 2019 pogroms which entrapped Robert Kraft] has filed a federal civil lawsuit to see that this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.  Keith Taig is seeking to obtain class-action status for himself and anyone who was [illegal]ly filmed while visiting the…East Spa…and subsequently slapped with criminal charges…While prosecutors [were eventually forced to] drop…all cases against the men who were surveilled, publicly humiliated, and used to make claims of a sham trafficking bust, the women…[are still being] prosecuted [despite being]…the very people police [pretend]ed…they were in this to save.  Four…have already pleaded guilty to prostitution.  Two…are still staring down serious charges…Some local press continues to report that [Lanyun] Ma stands accused of “human trafficking,” although no such charges exist…and…Prosecutors are still planning to use the [illegal] surveillance footage…

Winding Down (#1114)

Your “leaders” know what’s best, so shut up and obey:

Efforts to thwart voter-approved marijuana legalization…are evidence of a “playbook” that reflects new legal strategies and greater willingness among [politicians] to [disregard] election results…In Idaho, some [politicians] are…trying to preemptively ban marijuana legalization through an amendment to the state constitution…Utah [politicians] enacted a much more narrow medical cannabis program than was called for by a voter-approved citizen initiative…[and] the Utah Supreme Court ruled that the governor and Legislature were within their legal rights to [ignore the voters because they know better]…The Nebraska Supreme Court shot down a medical marijuana initiative before Nov. 3, saying it violated the state’s single-subject rule for ballot measures…South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem [used a similar rule] to [ignore] that state’s voter-approved…initiative…and now…backe[rs of liberty are] preparing to appeal to the state Supreme Court…In Mississippi, a constitutional challenge to voter-approved medical marijuana…is based on a signature-collection technicality that would nullify “every initiative in the past two decades”…Montana, which also has faced [authoritarian] legal challenges to its voter-approved recreational marijuana initiative, [is in better shape due to]…having a governor committed to upholding the vote…

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Give this man his money.  –  Judge Christine Underwood

Profit from Panic 

A pandemic can’t stop opportunists from wringing every penny they can from this hysteria before it implodes completely:

The B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation…hosted its 6th annual Awareness Gala, themed “Rising from the Ashes.” The event centered on raising…funds for [the organizers by exploiting the moral panic around]…sex trafficking…Because of pandemic health guidelines, guests were invited to host in-home parties with only their close circles, family or solo.  SHERO Founder Kimberly Miles hosted the online event from the Stirling Club, with special appearances from Terry Fator, Clint Holmes, Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers and more…

Disaster (#949)

Australia is joining the US in trying to destroy the internet:

If Australia genuinely wants to minimise online harm, we need to have more nuanced narratives than “won’t somebody please think of the children”.  The federal government’s Online Safety Bill…[will] impede upon our digital rights, harm vulnerable groups, and c[onstrict] the way the majority of Australians experience the internet…part [of the scheme] gives the eSafety Commissioner expanded “take-down powers”…[to] order the removal of…any sexual content…or content that is “unsuitable for a minor to see”…Sex workers, pornography creators…sex-positive educators and activists are just some who will struggle to work online due to the scheme.  As experience of the controversial SESTA/FOSTA laws in the US…has shown, crackdowns such as these incentivise online platforms to remove or censor sexual content altogether to avoid penalty…this forces sex workers offline and often into unsafe working environments…

A Moral Cancer (#1013)

Crypto-moralists won’t hesitate to add nationalism to “health” rhetoric to advance their anti-pleasure agenda:

British stores could be flooded with “dangerous” bacon and ham from the US, marketed under misleading labels, as the result of a transatlantic trade deal, says the author of a new book based on [statistical illiteracy and militant veganism]…The meat has been cured with nitrites extracted from vegetables, a practice not permitted by the European Commission because of evidence that it [marginally] increases the [very small] risk of bowel cancer.  But it is allowed in the US, where the product is often labelled as “all natural”…

Robocops

Court declares that cops are too stupid and evil to understand that intentionally burning an innocent person alive is wrong:

…On July 10, 2017, [Gabriel Eduardo] Olivas’ son called 911 to report that his father was threatening to kill himself…[responding cops] found Olivas “leaning against a wall and holding a red gas can”…[one cop] shouted…”If we tase him, he is going to light on fire!”…Olivas [had] poured gasoline over himself…[but pig Jeremias] Guadarrama “fired his taser at the gasoline-soaked man, causing him to burst into flames…The fire spread from Olivas to the walls of the bedroom, and the house eventually burned to the ground”…Olivas…died…the [family]…sued…and…the…court [ruled]…it…”reasonable”…[to set off high-voltage electrical] sparks that could easily ignite gasoline…after a[nother cop] had [already] emphasized it…the 5th Circuit has forthrightly declared that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit police from firing Tasers at a suicidal, gasoline-drenched man…

The Last Shall Be First (#1078)

Anti-trans hysteria has shifted from toilets to high-school sports:

A proposed bill introduced in…Georgia…called for banning transgender girls from participating in [organized] sports…a similarly-written law in Idaho…is currently blocked by injunction from a federal court.  So another proposal was introduced…that went even further.  House Bill 372 would redefine gender as “a person’s biological sex at birth” in state law, require state-funded schools and associations to ban participants they deem not “biologically” male or female from sports, and calls for a panel to examine information about the genitalia or chromosomes of any [prospective] participant who petitions otherwise…

I must point out that contrary to some online statements about this buffoonery, it does not call for the panel to inspect students’ genitalia, only “information about” them (presumably derived from a medical exam).  But it’s still akin to the creepy pretense that for students to voluntarily allow other people to examine their genitalia for the purpose of pleasure is a “crime”, but for the same students to be forced by law to allow strangers to examine their genitalia for the purpose of bigotry is “protection”.

The Next Target (#1099)

One day, “professional ‘survivor'” will no longer be a lucrative job:

…[Morality in Media] filed a…[law]suit in Birmingham, Alabama against Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek, [exploiting the claims] of two women who alleged illegal videos of themselves were uploaded to the platform by third-party users…The lawsuit alleges that MindGeek “conspired, facilitated and financially benefited, from sex trafficking ventures between [themselves] and others”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1101)

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

A district court judge in North Carolina is threatening to jail one town’s officials if they don’t return nearly $17,000 in cash they s[tole from] a man’s rental car…Jermaine Sanders was staying at a hotel in…November when he left his room and found police [ransack]ing his car.  Police [claimed] they found half an ounce of marijuana and $16,761 in cash.  They s[tole] both…[and] sent the cash to…CBP [in order to circumvent state restrictions on such robbery].  When Sanders lawyered up…Mooresville [bureaucrats] responded that [they were] no longer in possession of the cash…[Judge Christine] Underwood…found the city in contempt of her order [to refund the money] and…[gave] them seven business days to comply.  She told the city’s attorney…that she was not afraid to jail town commissioners, the police chief, or anybody else responsible for keeping Sanders from getting his money back…

Yet most courts still refuse to admit that this is about nothing other than profit:

Civil asset forfeiture…allows police to s[teal] property they [pretend] is connected to crime without arresting…the owner…the practice demolishes due process and undermines property rights, giving cops a license to steal from innocent people who often lack the resources to resist…[pushers] of [the scheme pretend] it deters and incapacitates drug traffickers…[but] in a new study published by the Institute for Justice, Seattle University economist Brian Kelly…analyzed data from five states that use forfeiture extensively:  Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota.  He reports no statistically significant relationship between increased forfeiture revenue and lower drug use rates or higher crime clearance rates.  To the contrary, Kelly found that clearance rates for violent crimes tend to fall as forfeiture revenue rises…[because] the lure of…money diverts law enforcement resources from predatory crimes to drug offenses…

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