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Posts Tagged ‘disease’

Sulu (George Takei): I’ll save you, fair maiden!
Uhura (Nichelle Nichols): Sorry, neither.

Nichelle Nichols, who passed away a week ago today, first entered show business as a singer, and she performed in several first-season episodes; this video features “Beyond Antares” from “The Conscience of the King”.  The links above it were provided by Dave Krueger; Cop Crisis; Franklin Harris; Scott Greenfield; Franklin again, and Furrygirl; Mike Siegel; and Kevin Wilson, in that order.

From the Archives

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Give people a load of propaganda about…sex trafficking and voila—awareness has been raised!  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Above the Law

Why does nobody ever recognize the likely outcome of giving guys in hyper-masculine professions power over teenage girls?

…a New York Times investigation…has found that the [Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] program has repeatedly become a place where retired military officers prey on their teenage students.  In the past five years…at least 33 JROTC instructors have been criminally charged with sexual misconduct involving students, far higher than the rate of civilian high school teachers…Victims have reported sexual assaults in classrooms and supply closets, during field trips or on late-night rides home, sometimes committed after instructors plied students with alcohol or drugs.  One [victim] said her instructor told her that sexual submission was expected of women in the military.  A[nother]…said her JROTC instructor warned that he had the skills to kill her without a trace if she told anyone about their sexual encounters…[Another] said she was forced to kneel at her instructor’s bedside, blindfolded, with a gun to her head…

To Molest and Rape

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

A federal appeals court in Texas has sent a case back down to a lower court after deciding that a…sheriff’s deputy who…forced a woman to expose her genitals to him while he masturbated isn’t entitled to a qualified immunity defense…On Sept. 18, 2018, [Melissa] Tyson’s husband [foolishly] called the Sheriff’s Department of Sabine County, Texas, to request a welfare check on his wife…while [he] was out of town.  [David] Boyd called Melissa Tyson that night…telling her…that he handled welfare checks because he was a preacher, although…[his] “ministerial credentials had actually been revoked eleven years prior because”…[he] had…been sued by church members for [repeat]ed sexual misconduct…

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

I suppose it could have been much worse:

…Overall, the 2022 version of the human trafficking bill is shorter than many earlier iterations and lower on the sort of carceral solutions and surveillance initiatives that defined them…at least isn’t simply throwing more money at cops for prostitution stings.  And a section pressuring hotels to [indoctrinate] staff on spotting human trafficking (an endeavor without a great track record) was removed…But there are…repeated references to “trafficking transmitted through technology”…[censorious asshats and their] lawyers have been trying to broaden the scope of sex trafficking laws to cover not just underage or forced prostitution but also the transmission of certain pornographic images by commercial tech platforms…it will…likely mean going after tech platforms in a way that jeopardizes a wide variety of free speech related to sex…

Guinea Pigs (#1153) 

Stalwart friend of whores Mark Draughn picks apart claims that computers can detect “sex trafficking” in ordinary escort ads:

…I’ve obtained a copy of [a]…research paper…[in which researchers] “used machine learning and custom web crawlers to collect and analyze a data set of online ads for escort and sex work services”…you need sex trafficking ads to train an ML system to recognize sex trafficking ads.  I suppose it’s possible in theory: They could have searched police human trafficking case files to find instances where the victims were the subject of online sex ads and then used those ads for training and testing the ML model against ads tied to actual sex trafficking.  The problem…is that actual sex trafficking cases are…too rare to build up a large enough corpus of online ads to train an ML classifier.  So where did the researchers find those ads?  How did they know the ads were for human trafficking victims?  The short answer is that they didn’t.  Instead, they used a manual classification system to deem some of the ads as possibly related to sex trafficking…[using] a list of trafficking indicators from [typical prohibitionist propaganda]…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1255)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

[Flint, Michigan cop] Forrest Bradley…was one of two deputies who [had panic attacks]…after previously [subduing] a…[prisoner] who had overdosed from fentanyl-laced heroin…[the other hysteric was named] Justin Hall…[neither described any of] the [known] effects of a fentanyl overdose [but that didn’t stop local media from gullibly lapping up every word drooled by “authorities” about it]…

A Moral Cancer (#1256)

The claims of crypto-moralists are growing increasingly absurd:

People who consume more than 17 units of alcohol in a week – equal to about five large glasses of wine or eight pints of beer – were found to have “older” DNA…The study…[claims] that consuming alcohol in excess can wreak havoc on DNA by causing damage to telomeres — like protective caps at the ends of a chromosome — which could eventually lead to age-related diseases and the formation of cancer…

Cancer is probably inevitable for anyone who doesn’t die of something else first, but don’t tell that to puritans, who want people to believe they could live forever by simply eliminating every single pleasurable activity from their lives.  Of course, then there’d be little point to an extended lifespan, but one can’t have everything.

Micromanagement (#1258)

Any information you give to the State can and will be used against you:

New Jersey police…use…blood samples taken from babies to in[criminate their parents]…the practice came to light after a case in which [cops]…subpoenaed a…lab for a blood sample drawn from a child.  Police then performed DNA analysis on the…sample that [suppos]edly linked the child’s father to a crime committed more than 25 years ago…a…lawsuit…filed jointly by the [Office of the Public Defender] and the New Jersey Monitor, now seeks to compel the state…to disclose…the full extent of the practice.  All babies born in the state of New Jersey are required to have a blood sample drawn within 48 hours as part of a mandatory [disease] testing program…if police are able to…obtain the samples through subpoena, then…the…screening…is entering all babies…into a DNA database with no ability to opt out…

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After the government does something especially awful, there is usually an avalanche of horror stories illustrating exactly what reasonable people warned would happen after the awful government act.  The overturn of Roe v Wade is no exception; if I had included these stories in my normal news columns, they would’ve completely dominated most of the late July installments.  So instead, I opted to collect them all together here; future updates to these stories will appear in regular news columns under the appropriate tags.

One of the strongest reasons to oppose authoritarian laws of any kind is that they inevitably harm people the politicians insist they weren’t trying to target:

A sexual assault survivor chooses sterilization so that if she is ever attacked again, she won’t be forced to give birth to a rapist’s baby.  An obstetrician delays inducing a miscarriage until a woman with severe pregnancy complications seems “sick enough.”  A lupus patient must stop taking medication that controls her illness because it can also cause miscarriages.  Abortion restrictions in a number of states and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade are having profound repercussions in reproductive medicine as well as in other areas of medical care…Even in medical emergencies, doctors are sometimes declining immediate treatment. In the past week, an Ohio abortion clinic received calls from two women with ectopic pregnancies…who[se] doctors wouldn’t treat them…

More about the aforementioned lupus drug many women are now being denied:

Methotrexate is a cheap, common drug prescribed to millions of Americans…[for] rheumatic illnesses…inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis or cancer…[but because] it is used off-label to end ectopic pregnancies…it could be restricted by doctors or pharmacists even in states…that do not ban abortion…in low doses, it has proved to be one of the safest, least expensive and most effective treatments for roughly a dozen autoimmune conditions, from juvenile idiopathic arthritis to Crohn’s disease…“I have gotten some reports where children have been denied methotrexate for their juvenile arthritis until they’ve proven they’re not pregnant,” said Dr. Cuoghi Edens…a rheumatology expert…“The majority of rheumatic diseases affect females at substantially higher rates than males…The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in women to men is 3 to 1.  For lupus it’s 10 to 1.  And so rheumatology is a very female-predominant patient population”…some doctors have already stopped prescribing methotrexate rather than risk [persecution]…Many pharmacists have likewise refused to fill methotrexate prescriptions, or have demanded additional proof before dispensing the medication to patients they believe could get pregnant…

And it’s not just a few fundamentalist asshat pharmacists, either:

…the largest pharmacy chain in the country sent explicit instructions to its pharmacists informing them that new checks would be implemented to confirm the reason a doctor prescribes a drug before filling routine medications for patients…CVS headquarters sent a memo to pharmacies in [Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas]…review[ing] diagnosis codes that are deemed acceptable for dispensation, which include miscarriage…If they find abortion is the intended use, they “must refuse to fill the prescription”…

Some of the tyrannies forced-birth fetishists are trying to impose are blatantly unconstitutional:

South Carolina [politician]s introduced legislation that would make it illegal to “aid, abet or conspire with someone” to obtain an abortion…Provisions would outlaw providing information over the internet or phone about how to obtain an abortion.  It would also make it illegal to host a website or “[provide] an internet service” with information that is “reasonably likely to be used for an abortion”…the proposal is…modeled off a blueprint created by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), an antiabortion group, and designed to be replicated by [politician]s across the country…

Other FOSTA-inspired laws which encourage nuisance lawsuits have unfortunately not yet been declared unconstitutional:

Nearly four years after a woman ended an unwanted pregnancy with abortion pills obtained at a Phoenix clinic, she finds herself mired in an ongoing lawsuit [after]…A judge allowed the woman’s ex-husband to establish an estate for the embryo, which had been aborted in its seventh week of development.  The ex-husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the clinic and its doctors in 2020, alleging that…[he has the right to make decisions for his ex-wife]…

Naturally, this new extension of the police state will be enabled by the same fascist surveillance tactics as the War on Whores:

Many of the states rushing to ban abortion are also the biggest users of a surveillance tool that [cops] could use to track women ending their pregnancies — the location data from people’s phones…states across the country are already using this kind of data for other [surveillance and harassment].  And a POLITICO analysis found that many of the states that have criminalized abortion have relied increasingly on location data in recent years…Figures from Google…show that the company received 5,764 “geofence” warrants between 2018 and 2020 from police in the 10 states that have banned abortion as of July 5…

Of course, sex workers know all about most of these oppressions, because they’re tested on us first before being extended to amateurs:

Madolline Gourley, a Brisbane resident…was treated like a criminal during her transit through Los Angeles on 30 June, where she was detained at the border due to suspicions about her intention to house- and cat-sit in exchange for accommodation while holidaying in Canada.  Gourley was held in a detention room, interrogated twice, patted down, fingerprinted and photographed…At one point a US b[ureaucrat] asked Gourley, who was wearing a loose-fitting dress, whether she was pregnant.  The same question was repeated as she was moved between rooms.  When she again [replied that]…she was not pregnant, Gourley was asked whether she had had an abortion…

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Diary #631

I suppose I should’ve recognized that sooner or later, I’d start to show symptoms of age beyond mere grey hairs and facial lines that can be hidden by modern technology.  And I should’ve also recognized that by the time she was my age, Maman had already been suffering from arthritis for years, and my mother had surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome before she turned 50.  So it really wasn’t a surprise that I developed one of them (I suspect it’s arthritis, because it’s in both hands even though I’m a one-finger typist), but what was a surprise was how rapid the onset was.  Before the summer started, I’d never had any persistent symptoms (though now I’m wondering about the occasional spasms I’ve had in my right hand for years), but a little over a month ago my hand started hurting too much to ignore, so last week I bought one of these braces and it’s definitely helping.  In fact, no sooner did I start wearing this on my right hand while working, than my left hand started hurting just as badly.  It seems a reasonable assumption that my left hand was probably hurting before and I simply didn’t notice it because the pain in my right hand was much worse; with the brace alleviating the right-hand pain, I was able to notice that in the left.  And that makes me wonder if perhaps I’ve actually had this problem for some time, and what changed recently was that the pain finally reached a level I couldn’t ignore.  I have a very high threshhold of pain, and now I’m beginning to wonder how much of that is due to the way I’m wired, and how much due to a stubborn refusal to let pain distract me from whatever it is I want to do.

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Reliance on [police] to enforce Covid-19 restrictions has created…human rights violations.  –  Amnesty International

If Men Were Angels

Like father, like son:

A father and son pair of former church pastors were charged…with multiple counts of sexual assault of a child.  Scott Huse, 64…and…Travis Huse, 42…[were] involved with the Apostolic Worship Center and former Evergreen Christian Academy in Elton [Wisconsin]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1065)

Michigan is among the greediest, most unscrupulous states in this regard:

Michigan…[politicians have] open[ed] a dangerous loophole by authorizing [cops to rob]…travelers at Michigan airports [by pointing at them and oinking out the magic word “drugs”]…That change represents a substantial reversal of reforms that Michigan enacted in response to complaints…[bill sponsor Graham] Filler [paused from fellating cops to belch out a host of idiocies such as]…”ill-gotten gains”…”secure”…and…”reform”…

The Course of a Disease (#1093)

The Spanish case of the Swedish rot is especially virulent:

Spanish…politicians [are]…aiming to outlaw all forms of…sex work…including…audiovisual productions, magazines or internet content deemed “pornographic”…politicians within [socialist ruling party] PSOE, which took power in 2019…have taken up the abolition of sex work as their personal cause…the party’s General Vice-Secretary Adriana Lastra…last month took to the press to promote a change in the Spanish penal code to mandate up to three years of jail time for anyone paying for sex…

The Last Shall Be First (#1115)

Another perverse genital inspection law:

…the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” bans schools and colleges in Ohio from permitting “individuals of the male sex” from participating in women’s sports…The bill does not explain what the “male sex” or “female sex” is.  It does not say “trans” or “transgender” anywhere in the bill.  It doesn’t talk about birth or biological sex.  What it does instead is give people the power to dispute the sex of an individual athlete.  Then it falls upon that athlete to prove their sex by going to a physician and getting a signed statement confirming the athlete’s sex based on only…”The participant’s internal and external reproductive anatomy…normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone…[or] analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup.”  The bill…[also] authorize[s] individuals or schools…to sue the school, school district, or conference who allowed the trans woman to play and be awarded damages…The bill’s wording is similar to one passed in Idaho in 2020 that is currently being challenged in federal court

In the authoritarian mind,  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”.

Social Distancing (#1197)

Oh look, it’s what I was saying TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO:

“Widespread reliance on punitive approaches to enforcing public health” harms marginalized groups, says Amnesty International.  A new report…suggests quarantine rules and other COVID-19 restrictions were especially damaging for groups already more likely to face discrimination, police harassment, and unjust criminalization.  Amnesty International calls on governments to reject using criminal sanctions to implement public health goals and “refrain from implementing repressive policies” in the name of protecting pubic health…”Contrary to the often-voiced claim by governments that ‘we were all in this together’, the truth is that their responses to Covid-19 have been experienced unequally…[especially by] people who are homeless, engage in sex work, or use drugs, as well as people “targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression”…


To Molest and Rape (#1225)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A [typical and representative] Philadelphia [cop who raped and]…sexually assault[ed men]…over the course of more than a decade was found guilty…of multiple crimes, including rape…Philip Nordo…often targeted [men] who were already handcuffed or shackled…

Thought Control (#1240)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

CatholicVote, which calls itself “America’s top Catholic advocacy organization,” has launched a “parent-led movement” called Hide the Pride to “empty libraries of LGBTQ content aimed at kids.”  It encourages members of the public to first collect signatures protesting library Pride displays containing children’s books, then to check out all of the books on display…After the titles are checked out, they then advise to “place the Pride books on a shelf out of reach of children” and email or mail the signatures to the library…a…school board candidate in Maryland did the same thing, though she didn’t stop at kids’ books.  Heather Fletcher checked out all the LGBTQ books on the library Pride display in the Brunswick Public Library…she [bloviat]ed, “This has…to do with the preservation of innocence”…

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We are not killed by Covid, but by the Covid control measures.
-anonymous Weibo post

For me, it was always his voice and manner, which is why the video below is so funny.  His reading of 50 Shades of Grey is even funnier, but I already shared that one seven years ago.  And of course his performance as Mr. Mxyzptlk in the Superman animated TV show of the ’90s was one of the highlights of the entire series.  The links above the video were provided by Dan Savage, Cop Crisis, Liz Wolfe, Isley, Cop Crisis again, and Popehat, in that order.

From the Archives

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The online safety bill presents a clear attempt to age-gate the internet.  –  Mark Johnson

To Molest and Rape

It’s pretty rare for reporters to actually use the word “rape” when the rapist is a cop:

Atlanta [cop]…Lionel Joseph Dely…rap[ed] a woman in her…apartment…Jan. 31 shortly after…Dely…[tricked her into admitting him by belching out the magic word “]investigation[“.  A spokespig oinked that]…Dely [didn’t have]…official [permission]…to [commit rape]…

Safe Position

Prior to 2018, it wasn’t even safe for a politician to support human rights for sex workers, much less admit to being one:

As I prepared to enter the political world as a candidate, I made promises that I would not leave anyone behind and that I would be honest about my experiences, including my time working as a stripper during college…I was afraid if I told anyone I would be stigmatized.  I feared getting kicked out of school, losing my friendships, and being denied a future in the career I was working toward…After coming forward in the campaign, the soccer club I worked for through this pandemic confronted me about sex work on my campaign’s social media platform.  They asked me to remove my statements while…removing me from both the teams I coached…My story is not unique.  So many examples exist that highlight the stigma and job loss that impact individuals, especially women when their past or current involvement in sex work is revealed

HIV Cure (#920)

Previous cures were accomplished by bone marrow transplant:

A woman in the New York City area appears to have been cured of…HIV…[she] has shown no detectable signs of the…virus in extensive testing since she stopped antiretroviral treatment in October 2020 following a transplant of stem cells with a rare genetic mutation that blocks HIV invasion…The woman, who had a form of leukemia, received a transplant of stem cells from an adult relative and umbilical-cord blood from a newborn to whom she wasn’t related.  The treatment is likely to be suitable for a broader range of people than are the transplants that beat HIV back in three other patients, because cord blood doesn’t have to be a precise genetic match to a recipient patient…

Welcome to the Future (#944)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

…GoGuardian…[is] a s[urveillance]…tool for monitoring what students do during Zoom classes…it…[euphemizes the atmosphere of distrust this creates] as [a]…”digital learning environment…where every student can thrive”…Defenders of [such] programs [barf up the usual platitudes about “safety”]…but…[the] tools also collect data related to non-life-threatening behavior…most kids probably don’t want school administrators reading their journals…and…if students feel they are being watched, they may be less likely to explore less “acceptable” ideas or to search the internet with questions they are embarrassed to ask in class…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1120)

Even if Clearview itself is brought down, the djinni is already out of the bottle:

Face surveillance is a growing menace…and…one of the worst offenders is Clearview AI, which extracts faceprints from billions of people without their consent and uses these faceprints to help police identify [people they wish to target for]…violence.  Clearview’s faceprinting violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…which requires opt-in consent…Clearview now faces many consolidated BIPA lawsuits in federal court.  It also faces another suit, brought by the ACLU…in state court…the judge in the federal cases rejected Clearview’s First Amendment defense, denied the company’s motion to dismiss, and allowed the lawsuits to move forward.  This is an important victory for our privacy over Clearview’s profits…

Rotting Fruit (#1187)

Oh, oh, my goodness me, who could ever have predicted this outcome?

Prince Andrew and his accuser Virginia Giuffre have settled out of court in the civil sex assault claim filed in the US…the…lawyer[s]…wrote jointly…to say that the parties had “reached a settlement in principle”.  Court documents show the duke will make a “substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights”…

Opting Out (#1194) 

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

U.K. government officials confirmed…that social media sites “hosting large amounts of pornographic material, such as Twitter and Reddit” would have to “introduce systems to remove adult material in the U.K., or introduce age checks to determine whether users are over 18″…This is one of the first official confirmations that the measure has as eventual targets not only “pornographic websites”…but also any website that tolerates sexually explicit content.  Eradicating adult content from open platforms has been one of the core objectives of the leading religiously inspired, U.S.-based groups that are at the forefront of the War on Porn, including [Morality in Media] and Exodus Cry and their mouthpieces…

The tagline above was drawn from this article, demonstrating just how much more acceptable censorship has become to the hoi-polloi in only 4 years.

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The amount of child porn [on US government computers] is just unbelievable.  –  Daniel Payne

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

The key to breaking these evil laws is recognizing that they are punishment, not mere “registration”:

A federal judge…had harsh words for Tennessee [bureaucrats and pigs] who continue to enforce retroactive punishments against [people illegally condemned to the “]sex offender[” registry]…some of whom [were] co[nvicted]…decades before the state’s sex offender law took effect…In April, a different federal judge, also in the Middle District of Tennessee, ordered two men be removed from the…registry, finding that it was unconstitutional to [retroactively] subject them to…laws that were written after they [were] co[nvicted.  Judge Aleta]…Trauger cited the April ruling and other similar recent rulings…[including a] 2016 rul[ing] against the retroactive enforcement of a Michigan sex offender law

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

Biden is trying to wrest control of the “sex trafficking” narrative back from the Trumpists:

The Biden administration…released an updated National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking…based on four pillars, prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships.  Prevention i[s actually a euphemism for “propaganda”], protection involves in[fantilizing sex workers] and [migrants], prosecution involves [more money to cops and other carceral mechanisms,] and partnerships involves strengthening [fascist collaborations with the rescue industry]…

Social Distancing (#1082)

Lockdowns just have one consequence…and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer“:

…with COVID-19 cases rising in Europe, several countries are implementing lockdowns all over again, often with clearly punitive motivations…Austria’s government announced that police would enforce a lockdown exclusively against unvaccinated citizens…in Germany…a new lockdown was announced…for unvaccinated people, barring them from almost all public places except for pharmacies and supermarkets…Though statewide lockdowns have eased in Australia, the country is constructing internment camps for those who test positive for Covid, along with their Covid-negative “close contacts”…Initially marketed to the public as a means to “flatten the curve” and “slow the spread,” lockdowns now represent one of the most draconian aspects of the perverse New Normal that has metastasized amid an atmosphere of seemingly endless emergency…an array of scientific studies and data demonstrat[e]…that they likely caused more deaths than they prevented.  The lethal impact of lockdowns was particularly pernicious in the Global South, where hundreds of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people were driven into a cascading humanitarian crisis. As the World Food Program warned in 2020, “135 million people on earth are marching towards the brink of starvation” as a result of their economies shutting down to supposedly inhibit the spread of COVID-19…

Above the Law (#1187) 

This subtitle is no exaggeration:

Over the past 14 years, the Central Intelligence Agency has secretly a[llowed]…at least 10 of its employees and contractors [to get away with] committ[ing] sexual crimes involving children…only one of the individuals was ever charged with a crime…few faced any consequences beyond the possible loss of their jobs and security clearances…CIA insiders say the agency resists prosecution of its staff for fear the cases will reveal state secrets…One [spook molested] a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old.  He was fired.  A second employee purchased [child porn]…he resigned.  A third employee…[habitually viewed] child…[porn] while on agency assignments…the CIA took [no action] against him.  A contractor who [interacted] with an…FBI agent [fantasy role-play]ing as a [teen] had his contract revoked.  [The] only one…[who] was charged with a crime…was also [already] under investigation for mishandling classified material…The CIA [refers to allowing spooks to get away with sex crimes as]… “tak[ing]…allegations of possible criminal misconduct…seriously”…

But hey, at least the CIA doesn’t run its own child porn sites as the FBI does.

I Spy (#1188)

Why end-to-end encryption is only the beginning of security:

It is common to hear marketing language about “end-to-end encryption” and “private messaging” for basically every communications app out there…[but] not every “encrypted messaging service” is made equally…your message app may leak metadata, contacts, and even message contents.  A recently uncovered FBI document obtained by a group called Property of the People…illustrates just how important your choice of private messenger can be…Nine popular messaging applications are included in the document: Apple’s iMessage; Line, a Japanese message app; Signal, an open source encrypted chat platform popularized by Edward Snowden; Telegram, which originated in Russia and is now based in Dubai; Threema, a paid encryption chat…with servers based in Switzerland; Viber, which was developed in Cyprus and then bought by the Japanese conglomerate Rakuten; the Chinese Swiss army knife app WeChat; Meta’s WhatsApp; and Wickr [Me], which is a chat service that Amazon Web Services apparently owns…of the[se]…iMessage and WhatsApp are particularly susceptible to FBI snooping. Telegram and Signal score far better…Line and Viber are also relatively bad picks…

The article goes into detail about what information specifically the feds can get from each app.

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars wasted to cater to a politician’s showboating:

A Texas school district pre-emptively pulled more than 400 books from its libraries for review following…[political grandstanding by censorious politician] Matt Krause…The school district said in a statement Tuesday that it was reviewing the books “out of an abundance of [fear]” to “ensure [none of our librarians can be prosecuted by violent lunatics with delusions of grandeur]…For us, this is not about politics or censorship, but rather about [protect]ing [our staff and covering our butts]”…

The Cop Myth (#1191)

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

A [cop] in Kenya [murder]ed his wife and five others in a rampage before taking his own life…Benson Imbasi…who was described as…”[typical and representative]”…first shot his wife in the neck with his AK-47 rifle before walking out of their home and “shooting at innocent members of the public”…Two other people who were wounded remain in critical condition…

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Phil Harvey…was a sex-positive activist before we used that term.  –  Carol Queen

R.I.P. Phil Harvey

Phil Harvey, the founder of…adult entertainment giant Adam & Eve and a longtime fighter of censorship, died on [December 2nd] at…[the age of] 83…As a student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Global Public Health in the 1960s, Harvey first began what would become Adam & Eve as part of his graduate thesis focused on the distribution of contraception…Before enrolling at UNC, Harvey spent five years in India working for the nonprofit CARE International, helping feed hungry children.  The experience made him an advocate for expanding birth control availability.  Though it was illegal at the time to sell contraception and other “obscene” items via the post…the mail-order company became a success, [especially] after it [expanded to selling sex toys and then, in the 1980s, adult video].  And…a portion of all…purchases w[ent] to…DKT International, a nonprofit that increased the availability of contraception and conducted educational campaigns around family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention.  By 2004, Harvey w[as] putting around $2 million per year…into DKT…helping distribute some 348 million condoms to countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America…over the years Harvey…donated some $50 million total of his Adam & Eve profits to his family-planning work…

Surplus Women (#544) 

Almost 30 years before he was caught, then another 61/2 before he was tried:

The trial [of] a [typical and representative] Pasco [Washington cop] is [finally] set to begin…in Spokane [for the] 1986 [rape and] murder of a [sex worker named Ruby Doss]…Richard J. Aguirre…was charged [again in] September [2020] with premeditated first-degree murder…charges [wer]e…brought against Aguirre…in 2015…[but] in December 2017, the case was [quietly] dropped…while [Aguirre got to remain at large as a menace to other sex workers]…

To Molest and Rape

Another sexual predator specifically targeted a vulnerable woman:

A New Mexico [cop]…rap[ed] a [woman after accusing her of] drunk driving…Leon Martin…[implied]…he would shoot her or add extra charges…if she didn’t comply…he…[also infected her with] chlamydia…Martin admitted to [rap]ing…the woman…but [claimed] she [wanted it] and…[euphemized aggravated rape as] a lapse in judgment…Martin…had [previously stalked] her on Facebook after…[he first met her when she reported a domestic violence incident]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1091)

I hope the Institute for Justice has already contacted her:

Dallas [cops robbed]…$106,829.00, from a 25-year-old [woman from]…Chicago [at Dallas’ Love Field Airport]…Legally, there is no limit on the amount of cash a traveler can carry on domestic flights, but forfeiture allows [cops] to s[teal] any amount [as long as] they [belch out the magic word “]suspicious[” first]…Texas [cop shops]…have a “strong incentive” to s[teal] property, as they are entitled to a significant percentage of the [take].  In fact, IJ is currently suing Harris County, which encompasses Houston, over its application of the state’s asset forfeiture law…

Devil’s Advocate (#1114) 

The absurdity becomes more obvious when we substitute “toaster” for “sex doll”:

The Supreme Court [of South Korea has] ruled…imports of child[-shaped toasters] should be banned, because they could lead to the perception of children as [foodstuffs] and increase the danger of potential [cannibalism] against minors.  The ruling overturned lower courts’ decisions that imports of child[-shaped toasters] should be allowed, like those of [other novelty toasters].  In 2019, the top court allowed imports of [toasters] on grounds that they are [appliances] used in private [kitchens], an area in which the state should not interfere…

The Punitive Mindset (#1146) 

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

A Massachusetts judge has ordered the state prison system to stop using drug field tests with well-known reliability issues after incarcerated people and their lawyers…were [repeatedly] falsely accused of smuggling drugs for exchanging legitimate legal mail…Justice Catalyst Law and the law firm BraunHagey & Borden, filed a class action lawsuit [demonstrat]ing that the state Department of [Torturing Caged Humans] uses NARK II test kits to [generate pretexts to torture people specifically because]…those tests have an error rate so high that they’re akin to “witchcraft, phrenology or simply picking a number out of a hat”…Judge Brian Davis issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the [DOTCH] from punishing inmates based solely on the results of…NARK II field tests…[saying] the tests were…”only marginally better than a coin-flip”…

To Molest and Rape (#1181)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative Alabama cop] has pleaded guilty to more than two dozen child porn charges.  Phillip Humphries…was…sentenced…to 10 years, with [only] one year to serve in [a jail diversion program, then]…probation for three…[plus condemnation to the] sex offender [registry.  The judge’s leniency was probably mostly due to Humphries’ copishness, but may also have something to do with]…his recent leg amputation…

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This is another example of…the false idea that the police can police themselves.  –  Ann Webb

R.I.P. Wakefield Poole

To the New York Times, the only good sex worker or pornographer is a dead one:

Wakefield Poole…made a feature-length, surrealistic movie called Boys in the Sand…and [after] its release in 1971…was hailed as a pioneer of gay porn…the film became a crossover hit that changed attitudes about pornography among both…gay and straight audiences…“I wanted a film,” Mr. Poole said at the time, “that gay people could look at and say, ‘I don’t mind being gay — it’s beautiful to see those people do what they’re doing’…Just seeing my name above the title on a theater made its impact.  Hundreds of people…came out after seeing the film…The reason I stopped making films was the AIDS situation…I lost my fan base to AIDS.  I saw them all die…Cocaine saved my life.  I did so much coke, I couldn’t have sex”…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

A false rape claim supported by a lying cop; the victim is lucky to be free:

A New South Wales [cop named]…Scott John White is facing two charges of perjury, after he [lied to] a court [in support of false rape claims made by]…Sarah Jane Parkinson, who[m] he has since married…[against] her former partner…in March 2014…she had told police she was hanging out washing in the garden…when her former partner assaulted her, slamming her head into a brick wall and raping her…police arrested her [victim] as he left work, and he was jailed until [her story came apart during investigation]…Parkinson was convicted of making a false statement and jailed after she eventually pleaded guilty to the charge [in 2019]…

Opting Out (#982) 

As I predicted two years ago:

[Politicians] are preparing to [re-]introduce [a censorship scheme claimed] to prevent children accessing online pornography.  Plans to [impose] age verification for adult sites, which were shelved in 201[9], are now being [brought up again due to the current anti-porn hysteria]…The…[would-be censors’ ringleader is]…Dame Rachel de Souza, [who holds the pompous title] children’s commissioner…[and is] willing to [use bogus statistics]…and [the debunked tabula rasa model of sexual development]…to …[advance her scheme] to…stop children stumbling across [information busybodies and fanatics don’t want them to have.  The prior “age verification” scheme]…was never [implemented due to] privacy campaigners [pointing out] that it would force users to hand over their identities to porn sites[, government officials, or other fascists who would absolutely misuse the information.  But] De Souza [fantasizes] that technology now exist[s] that will allow users to prove their age online using a passport or other identification in a [magical] way that…[renders] privacy issues…no longer a concern…

Quiet Genocide (#991)

America has given every tyrannical regime in the world a powerful weapon of rhetoric:

…what was once an American obsession is now an international one.  “Terrorism” has become the opportunistic cover for governments around the world looking to subdue any kind of non-state agitator: ethnic nationalists in Russia, pirates in Indonesia, environmentalists in the Philippines, Kurdish revolutionaries in Turkey.  There is hardly a government anywhere that has not adopted some feature of the war on terror, from its ideological abstractions of good and evil to the special permissions it grants states to monitor and control citizens.  The evolution is nowhere so stark as in…Xinjiang…whose minority Uyghur population is almost certainly the most monitored and controlled on the planet…In The War on the Uyghurs, Sean Roberts…shows how the United States’ efforts to build an international consensus for its counterterrorism projects had far-reaching consequences on the other side of the world…[encouraging] the Chinese government [to] bec[o]me increasingly brazen in its oppression of Muslim and Turkic minorities…long before the moment in 2016 when it began secretly [caging millions] of people in [the brutal concentration camps to which it applies the Orwellian term] “Transformation Through Education centers“…

Under Duress (#1110)

Are most cops even capable of telling the truth?

A [typical and representative] Ventura County [cop] has admitted to [intentionally hid]ing…a drug test that exonerated a woman [he wanted to railroad for]…being under the influence of methamphetamine…Richard Charles Barrios III…pleaded guilty to [a minor charge for trying to destroy the woman’s life]…two years ago…Throughout the [arrest and booking], the woman vehemently denied being under the influence of any drugs…she…provided a urine sample and…[w]hen…the results [were negative]…he…threw the test kit into the garbage…disposed of the urine sample…refused to tell the woman the results of her test and began the process of having her booked…Barrios also [lied to the Big Pig on duty]…that the woman had refused to provide a urine sample…another [cop believed her and]…found the [discarded] test kit…show[ing] that she tested negative…[so s]he…was released and taken back to her vehicle…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

North Carolina’s “solution” for rampant cop violence? Hide the data:

A paragraph deep in the new state budget forbids sheriffs, [cop shops] and any other government entity in North Carolina from creating a public log of the times [cops]…injure[, maim, or murder] someone.  These so-called critical incidents are going to be recorded statewide for the first time…but that database is for [cop shops] to use in an effort to [hide]…problem [cops from]…the public…[while claiming]…to [be a part of] police reform…they…can’t [even] create a database of wh[ich cops have been]…disciplin[ed or how often]…The new language ensures that [cops are protected from reform-minded politicians]…

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

Authoritarian regimes are much of a muchness:

The Chinese censorship system, like the tactic being employed in Texas, relies on intimidation.  Chinese publishers excise material that might run afoul of censors before sending books for approval…Likewise…the Stalinization of Eastern Europe depended not primarily on the gulag and the firing squads, but on the intimidation of people who felt compelled to spew the same idiocy they heard, pursuing a grotesque conformity…This process is brilliantly caricatured in Eugène Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros, in which people who seem perfectly normal transform into violent beasts, more and more of them caving as the play goes onA parallel process has taken place as an increasing number of Americans seem willing to abandon previously hallowed democratic norms, including freedom of expression

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