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Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

Senator Klobuchar…is deliberately seeking to destroy [the internet].  –  Mike Masnick

Stalkers in Blue

No woman is safe from predatory cops:

A Prairie Village [Kansas cop] was allowed to stay on the job for 19 months after department officials were alerted that he had [pressur]ed a woman for sex after arresting her…Attorney Brandan Davies said he reported to Prairie Village police in March 2020 that…Rolando Swaby had arrested his client in a DUI case and later sent text messages asking her to meet him at a hotel for drinks and sex ahead of a court hearing in her case…Davies…thought the [cop] would be fired…[but he] was allowed to remain on the force for more than a year and a half until he was investigated in an unrelated domestic violence case in October 2021.  He later resigned and lost his Kansas police license…

You Were Warned (#1116)

Monkey see, monkey do:

…a law…[pushed by] Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rep. David Cicilline…[is another] link tax bill, similar to the one written in Australia to appease (and enrich) Rupert Murdoch.  It basically says that publishers can band together, with an antitrust exemption, to demand fees from bigger, more successful internet companies…Klobuchar…is [known for]…pushing bills that fundamentally break the internet…[and her] new version of the JCPA…[does so doubly by] only appl[ying] to smaller news orgs — those with under 1,500 employees …We’re at a time when hedge funds — most notably Alden Capital — have been buying up newspapers and laying off tons of people while trying to squeeze cash out of the remaining husks.  And, this bill basically says “buy up large newspapers and cut them to under 1,500 employees”…here’s Amy Klobuchar saying…“you get free money just as long as you fire enough people first“…But, the much bigger problem is that the bill is trying to break the internet…[by] allow[ing] news orgs to…force internet companies…to pay the journalism organizations for…sending them traffic…This is ludicrous.  News orgs beg these sites for traffic.  They hire SEO people to try to get more traffic.  Now they’re also getting to FORCE the internet companies to PAY them for that traffic too?…

Torture Chamber (#1207)

Give brutal, sexually-aggressive men total power over women, then act surprised when the eminently predictable happens:

A North Carolina [screw]…was fired and arrested for [rap]ing [female prisoners]…Khalim Jovan Battle…[raped at least] two [women powerless to defend themselves from him].  He…anally [raped]…one [and]…oral[ly raped both]…

Opting Out (#1214) 

Authoritarians believe that the people they want to impose their evil upon are either very stupid or very gullible:

…California’s AB 2273, the “Age Appropriate Design Code” bill that the California legislature seems eager to pass…seemed to be getting very little attention, but after a few [Techdirt] posts started to go viral, the backers of the bill ramped up their smear campaigns and lies…and…the “Age Verification Providers Association” decided to show up in the comments to defend themselves and insist that their members can do age verification in a privacy-protective manner.  You just have to let them scan your face with facial recognition technology… they insist it’s not “facial recognition” software because it’s not matching you up to a database of your identity…it’s just using “AI” to guess estimate your age.  What could possibly go wrong?  But, more to the point, they’re basically saying “don’t worry, you’ll just need to scan your face or ID for every website your visit.”  Normalizing facial scans…seems pretty dystopian, frankly…

Thought Control (#1252)

Of course, the politicians have already got what they wanted: positive attention from censorious asshats:

The [obscenity] trial in Virginia Beach, Virginia…of…two books has ended in dismissal.  Neither Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe nor A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas meet the legal definition of obscenity…Two lawsuits…sought to get both books not only removed from schools and libraries, but removed from private sale through bookstores across the state…Th[is] outcome…will help in setting a standard…that books like these…do not meet the legal definition of obscenity [regardless of what pro-censorship fanatics may claim]…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1262)

Fentanyl is being inserted into every popular scare myth:

The…DEA…[is fantasizing about] an “alarming” trend of brightly-colored fentanyl made to look like candy that is being used to attract children…The agency [claims collaborator pigs, in other words the same people who fantasize that casual contact with fentanyl produces instant overdose that exactly mimics the symptoms of a panic attack,] began s[teal]ing brightly colored “rainbow fentanyl” [from its owners last] month…in 18 states so far…“Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes — is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst [people who cannot pay for the product, because they’re EEEEEEEEEEVUL!]” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram [bloviated]…

This is, of course, the same old nonsense cops vomit out in the approach to Halloween every year, only with “fentanyl” inserted in place of “marijuana” or other drugs, Mad Libs style.  Given that we’ve also recently seen fentanyl being inserted in place of magic “sex trafficking” drugs in social media scary tales, I’d say it’s safe to declare that fentanyl is now the subject of its own moral panic.

To Molest and Rape (#1268)

“Having inappropriate contact with a minor” is such a nice way of saying “molesting a kid”:

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Denham Springs [cop who molested]…a minor…Joseph Reid Copeland…is believed [to have fled]…the…area…

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Knowing that predator[y cops]…are lurking online is every parent’s worst nightmare.  –  Matthew B. Millhollin

If Men Were Angels

It’s getting harder to tell the preachers from the cops:

A Fresno County minster was arrested [for molesting a girl under 14 years old in 2017].  Bernardino Villalobos…is a registered sex offender [who] previously served time in prison for convictions of rape and sodomy….[but] owns a church and serves as a minister at La Obra De Jesus Christian Church in Del Rey…

To Molest and Rape

Never trust a cop, especially not a cop who changes his legal name to that of a despotic French king:

A…Florida [cop] was arrested and suspended without pay after…[rap]ing his friend in the parking lot of a Krispy Kreme in early July…Alaindy LouisXVI was [only] charged with sexual battery…[despite raping his] “best friend”…[while she was] blacked out [drunk]…on July 25, detectives had her make a call to LouisXVI that was being secretly recorded by police where he…admitted to [rap]ing [her]…

The Crumbling Dam (#949)

Eventually, there wil be too many of these for the feds to block all of them:

California [politician]s have again given approval for…major cities to experiment with supervised injection facilities that would provide users a place to inject drugs under the supervision of health workers…S.B. 57…allow[s] San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Oakland to approve organizations to operate these injection sites, following a lengthy approval process that includes public meetings…[an earlier] attempt…to launch these injection facilities in San Francisco…[was vetoed by] then-Gov. Jerry Brown…[supposedly] partly because he worried that he couldn’t protect operators from federal prosecution (which everybody involved already knew was a risk) but really because his nanny state–style approach to addiction was to use government force to mandate people into drug treatment…

The Next Target (#1180)

Somebody really needs to start a credit card network that doesn’t want to be an arbiter of morality:

Visa and Mastercard [announced that] card payments for advertising on Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek would be suspended after a [predatory nuisance] lawsuit [convinced a large number of stupid people, including a federal judge in California, that] the payments giants could be facilitating child pornography

Above the Law (#1192)

He sounds like a typical, representative “member of the law enforcement community” to me:

A [typical and representative] Assistant Chief Probation Officer [in Massachusetts named]…Brian Orlandella…was sentenced…to 17 years in prison and five years of supervised release…[plus] a $5,000 [fine for sending] a…13-year-old girl…images of himself masturbating and [cajoling] her [in]to send[ing] him sexually explicit pictures and videos of herself…The Kik account’s IP address was traced to Orlandella’s residence in Massachusetts…[and] one of [hisphones] contained…the [pictures the girl sent]…

The Cop Myth (#1246)

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

A Connecticut state trooper [named Jaime Solis] was arrested twice [in one] week…[for] multiple incidents of domestic abuse that finally sent [his] unnamed female [partner] to the hospital.  The…victim told police that within the last year [Solis] had attacked her “approximately forty times,” hit her with his belt, threatened to kill her, and threatened to harm a dog.  Some of the…abuse occurred when the victim was pregnant…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1255)

Fentanyl-contaminated objects are replacing “sex trafficking”-contaminated objects in popular scarelore:

[Alaska cops claim they found] fentanyl…inside a folded one-dollar bill that [was] dropped on the ground…at the police department…[by] a woman…[named] Sarah Dailey..the [cop who] found it…[panicked like a little girl and] called for medics to get checked out…[of course] he was fine…[but that didn’t stop them]…charg[ing the woman] with…[“]reckless endangerment[” for dropping a harmless piece of paper on the ground]…

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None of us should be here.  –  Nicole Gililland

Counterfeit Comfort (#958) 

US sex laws are nothing but PR campaigns for cops:

Since 2006, the federal government has funneled millions into sometimes-massive operations to verify the addresses of those [condemned to] sex-offender registries…studies show they…do nothing to improve public safety…[and] programs with proven track records in preventing sexual violence…get little federal help…These mobilizations…funnel federal dollars to local police…but the…flood of money doesn’t appear to produce much…most [of the arrests during such sweeps are] for failure to report a change of address or vehicle…Sweep announcements often convey danger…[which] might explain why so many [are staged] on or around Halloween…Cops also use the raids to promote the m[yth] that police are all that stands between families and mayhem…And federal officials use the operations to denounce criticism of cops…

Imaginary Victims (#1000) 

The state’s pretended sympathy for “sex trafficking victims” applies only to imaginary “perfect” ones; real young women must fight for their lives:

…the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled…that a teenager who killed her sexual abuser may have the chance to be acquitted of all charges…Chrystul Kizer, now 22…has spent years fighting for the opportunity to show evidence…that her crimes were the “direct result” of the [exploitation]…she experienced at the hands of the man she killed: Randall Volar Jr.  She hoped to employ a never-before-used Wisconsin law that [claims]…to offer legal protection to [people classified as “]victims of trafficking[“, but prosecutors…[ha]ve argued…[that] her charge should only be lessened from first-degree homicide to second-degree — meaning she would still face up to 60 years in prison.  The court…[finally allowed] Kizer’s case, which has been stalled for years, [to] continue.  If [yet another] judge agrees there is “some evidence” her crimes were a “direct result” of trafficking, she will be able to present the same argument to a jury.  If the jury sides with her, she could be acquitted of some or all the charges against her…

Business As Usual (#1041)

Passive voice and obfuscation are used to divert blame for sexual assaults:

Two Flagstaff [cops lied] to [women in] massage parlors, took their pants off, and allowed themselves to be fondled eight different times….[which is] illegal according to state law [despite being approved] by [a gang composed of spooks, pigs, and]…prosecutors…Police a[bducted] 13 people…after…the [sexual assaults]…state law clearly outlines that what the [rapist pigs] detailed in their reports is illegal…[they also] repeatedly [claimed] they were looking into “sex trafficking” and then proceeded to pay for sex acts from [women they infantilized as “]victims[“]…

Panopticon (#1150)

A federal appeals court already ruled this kind of surveillance a 4th amendment violation, but I guess that doesn’t apply to the feds themselves:

[On June 30th], residents of Nogales, Arizona—a border-hugging town of about 20,000 people—awoke to find a large white blimp stationed in the sky.  Even [local politicians] had no idea the blimp was coming….[to] conduct…round-the-clock surveillance [for] U.S. Customs and Border Patrol…With the ability to provide surveillance both night and day, and a maximum [altitude] of 3,000 feet…the blimp is certainly capable of snooping on many people…There are now 17 blimps stationed over the U.S.-Mexico border.  The Nogales blimp is the first in eastern Arizona, though the CBP tentatively plans to launch another in that sector later this year…

It’d be a shame if locals started using this for target practice.

Permanent Record (#1200)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

An Oregon jury has awarded more than $1.7 million to Nicole Gililland, a former nursing student who sued her school for discriminating against her because of her adult performer past.  Although the jury declined to hold Southwestern Oregon Community College liable for Title IX violations, it did find SWOCC in breach of contract for derailing Gililland’s career and life after the school administration and instructors found out in 2017-2018 about her brief stint as an adult performer…for around 20 months between 2007 and 2009.  The jury…award[ed] Gililland $735,417 in compensation for the economic damage…plus $1 million in punitive damages…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives; some don’t stop with mere beating:

…a [typical and representative cop] in Virginia…[nam]ed…Richard Colon Crowder…[murdered] both his wife Diane…and stepdaughter Carrie Szaksz…[and also] fired…at [his fellow cops] in an approximately nine-hour standoff before surrendering…Diane was moving out of the home…to get [away from her husband’s] abus[e]…The movers were just taking care of the final two pieces when [Crowder started shooting, so they fled]…and called [the other cops]…

Still a Child (#1226) 

Japanese politicians decided to infantilize all adults rather than just young women:

Japanese p[orn]…performer…Sakura Tsukishima has revealed…that she was forced to give up her apartment due to unreasonable changes [politicians] forc[ed] on the local adult industry…the sudden precipitous decline in her projected income…[was] caused by the virtual shutdown of production while companies try to figure out how they can continue shooting now that the Japanese government has rendered adult industry contracts unenforceable…the new law empowers any performer of any age or gender to withdraw…their consent for companies to distribute adult material in which they appear [and were already paid for]…at any time before the film’s public release without conditions, as well as up to a year afterward…video vendors [would be] obliged to [somehow] recover the products and delete the footage, and cannot claim [to be repaid for the] compensation [paid to the cold-footed] performers…

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I don’t know why [magic fentanyl] stories won’t go away.  –  Ryan Marino

To Molest and Rape

Cops really believe they’re above the law:

Addison County [Vermont] Sheriff Peter Newton…[refused] to…resign…[despite] fac[ing multiple] counts of sexual assault…and domestic assault.  [Newton downplayed his crimes as merely going]…“too far” during sexual encounters…[after he] left [his victim] with pain and bruises, threatened her, and said no one would believe her if she stepped forward…he [also]…“told her ‘she was crazy’ and she ‘dreamt it’,” she said…“He’s a predator…It’s not just him, it’s the entire sheriff’s department because they knew he used his position to get women”…

Japanese Prostitution (#652)

There are some very weird exceptions to the general rule that the Japanese are less prudish than Americans about sex work:

Kyoto Prefectural Police arrested Masayuki Nakamoto…[for] selling copies of adult videos…that he had altered to appear uncensored.  Japanese adult videos are required by law to obscure the performers’ genitals, with placing a mosaic over them the most common form of compliance…since the mosaic is hard-coded into the image of the commercially released video, it can’t really be removed.  Instead, Nakamoto used an A.I. program, which via machine learning gained an understanding of what uncensored genitals look like, then used that knowledge to create a photorealistic simulated visual representation…[which he] placed…over the mosaic, making the on-screen performers appear completely uncensored…judge Shinsuke Danjo sentenced him to two years in prison, with the sentence suspended for three years…and…also fined [him] two million yen (roughly US$15,000)…

Cops and Robbers (#715)

Clueless wonders attempt to ape the antics they see on copaganda shows:

Three members of [a] social media [clique named “Dads Against Predators”]…lured…a [younger] man to a North Carolina [Target] store [on June 28th] before attacking him…The man reportedly fired a gun…to try to stop the beating…but…the g[ang] continued to beat the man, [stole] his gun and left…[cops claim] they have identified three men responsible for [the attack]…which…[left] the…25-year-old [victim]…with minor injuries…

The victim’s age leads me to believe that this gang’s tactics were copied from similar scams by cops.

Torture Chamber (#1040)

Your “leaders” want you to call this “correction”:

…in prison, many people are served meals that are altogether inedible…women at Virginia’s Fluvanna C[age Stack are often]…provided food that is moldy, rotten…spoiled…[and] roach[-infested.  When edible, t]he portions are “toddler size”…people in prison are routinely forced to pick through bugs and mold at meal time.  A 2017 survey of more than 100 incarcerated people in almost two dozen states found that over 65 percent of respondents had been served food not intended for humans, or that was moldy, spoiled, or had [maggots or other] bugs in it.  Most states spend less than $3 a day on food per incarcerated person…To survive these conditions, incarcerated people might try to smuggle some of the more edible food from the mess hall into their cell—maybe a banana or an orange.  But these items are [deem]ed contraband, which [provides a convenient excuse for further torture by screws] if they’re found…Incarcerated people are over six times more likely than those in the community to contract a foodborne illness

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1204)

The State claims these clowns are qualified to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship:

…Cops are having panic attacks upon encountering fentanyl because they believe they are overdosing.  The symptoms seem to never match up with those of an actual opiate overdose.  For one thing, these reports of overdoses never include the officer reporting a wave of euphoria before collapsing (there’s a reason people use opiates).  Reports often do not include the blue lips and fingernails, the limp body, and the reduced heart rate consistent with opiate overdoses.  It’s pretty clear that police…are simply suffering panic attacks—quite possibly because they…heard all those previous stories about these kinds of impossible overdoses…

Thought Control (#1224)

I never would’ve thought my first profession would become as much a target for authoritarians as my second:

As highly visible and politicized book bans have exploded across the country, librarians — accustomed to being seen as dedicated public servants in their communities — have found themselves on the front lines of an acrimonious culture war, with their careers and their personal reputations at risk.  They have been labeled pedophiles on social media…[and persecuted] by local politicians…[mob] members have tried to seek criminal charges against librarians…Many librarians have quit — or lost their jobs — after clashes over books.  Suzette Baker was fired from her job at the head of Kingsland Library branch in Llano County, Tex., after she repeatedly refused to [censor] books as [politicians] had demanded, according to a lawsuit.  The suit was filed this spring by residents against [politicians who are]…violat[ing] the First Amendment by censoring books…

The Vultures Descend (#1251)

All prohibitionism is the same, part umpteen:

The trajectory of access to abortion pills in Brazil may offer insight into how medication abortion can become out of reach and what can happen when it does.  While surgical abortion was the original target of Brazil’s abortion ban, the proscription expanded after medication abortion became more common, leading to the situation today where drug [deal]ers control most access to the pills.  Women who procure them have no guarantee of the safety or authenticity of what they are taking, and if they have complications, they fear seeking help…black market misoprostol, brought in from India, Mexico and Argentina, is sold for anywhere from about $200 to $400 for the eight tablets recommended for an abortion, compared with less than $15 for a 60-pill bottle in the United States…

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They do it just because they can.  –  Richard Serrano, of abusive screws

Torture Chamber 

And yet ProPublica still licks the boot by obediently and deferentially referring to torture as “correction”:

[The state of Illinois hides] disciplinary records for [screws after]…four years…So WBEZ and ProPublica used the files that are available to try to piece together how the system responds when…[screws inflict mayhem on] prisoners…Through that effort, WBEZ and ProPublica identified 18 Illinois [screws] who…had [brutalized] or sexually [assaulted victims caged] in the state’s prisons…including at least] one [murder]…all 18 held onto their jobs after the [atrocities]; 11 remain employed by the Illinois Department of [Torturing Caged People] today…


If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

The…pastor of a Southern Baptist church in South Carolina has been charged with molesting a child under 16…Tracy Darin Turner resigned [on] April 18, 2021, from Trinity Point Church [after somebody reported him to the cops]…

To Molest and Rape

Like inviting a vampire into one’s home:

[A British cop named] David Longden-Thurgood…[raped a] woman…[he had met] on the Bumble dating app…after a day of…exchanging sexualised messages and…naked selfies, the woman invited him to her home…but…repeatedly said “I don’t want sex”…when she noticed Longden-Thurgood taking his boxers off, she told him [again and]…he replied “don’t worry we won’t have sex”…then, “without warning”, raped her]…

Stalkers in Blue

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

A Florida [cop]…hid Apple AirTags in his ex-girlfriend’s car and bag to track and stalk her…Javier Magarin…was [rewarded]…with [a paid vacation]…after she…report[ed] the [harassment] to his employer…[Magarin also threatened her]…and…canceled [her airline reservations by]…logg[ing] into her email account…

The Last Shall Be First (#1230) 

Seeking a temporary halt to a deranged jihad:

A new lawsuit…is challenging [Texas] Gov. Greg Abbott’s di[ktat] to [persecu]te parents who provide gender-affirming care to their transgender children.  The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal on behalf of three families…[and] also seeks to block the state from [persecu]ting any families that belong to PFLAG…The state is currently blocked from investigating one family that brought a prior legal challenge.  This lawsuit seeks to widen the number of people who cannot be [persecu]ted under the di[ktat]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1232) 

Politicians are competing to see who can criminalize parents for the most deranged reasons:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis [blovia]ted…that he might urge the state’s child protective services to investigate parents who take their children to drag shows…The [threat was in response]…to…videos showing young children attending a Dallas drag show…which…were…the [subject of performative outage by other members of DeSantis’ playground “culture war” team.  The other team, in order to prove they had just as little respect for Constitutional rights, responded by demanding]…new gun laws…

The Cop Myth (#1235)

It’s hardly strange that a typical, representative cop became chief:

Noble Waidelich rose through the ranks of the Ukiah [California cop shop]…and eventually [became] chief.  [He abused his fiancee] Amanda Carley…[until] she packed her things and moved her children out of the house they owned together in 2015…“It started out as a shove and him standing in the doorway when I wanted to take a break.  Then he was throwing me down on the table and swerving into oncoming traffic, threatening to drop me off in the middle of nowhere,” Carley said.  She did not hesitate to disclose the abuse to her friends and co-workers…[but despite being backed up by her kids and another cop named] Freddy Kepplinger…Waidelich was not questioned…[despite] evidence of the injuries Carley had endured…[the district attorney] declined to file criminal charges against Waidelich…and [instead]…interrogated [Carley] and threatened [her] with criminal charges…

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The fact that a reporter has to call and tell me…is the issue.  –  Luis Correa

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Everyone involved in this story, excluding the sex worker but including the reporter and headline writer, is garbage:

A…Boston attorney who once [worked to destroy people’s lives for the State]…was caught literally with his pants down on [a stroll pigs think it’s funny to label] Methadone Mile with a prostitute…Bruce Singal…asked to speak to a police supervisor…but when he further asked for “lenience and consideration,” [cops vomited a lot of disgusting, misogynistic “sex trafficking” propaganda all over him]…The woman…was not arrested, but taken in to be connected with services…

“Not arrested, but taken in to be connected with services” is a euphemism for “arrested”.

Torture Chamber 

Your “leaders” refer to wanton murder as “correction”:

Three Florida [screws] were arrested on murder charges for [brutal]ly beating an inmate to death, while a fourth [fled the consequences of his actions]…Christopher Rolon…Kirk Walton…and Ronald Connor…were arrested…following a monthslong [attempt to cover up the murder] at the Dade [Torture] Institution…The [murder] occurred on the morning of Feb. 14, before the [victim] was scheduled to be transferred to a [different cage stack] in Lake County…the [attackers claimed that the murder was justified by their]…mental[ly-ill victim supposedly throwing urine]…at…the[m]…”The[y]…beat…[him] so badly he had to be carried to the transport van…During a stop in Ocala…over 300…[miles away, the murderers discovered their victim had died from their brutality.  An autopsy later revealed]…the [victim]’s death was caused by a punctured lung leading to internal bleeding…The incident initially led the Florida Department of C[ages to reward]…10 [screws with paid vacations]…

The Face of Trafficking

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

Gawain Baxter was 6 years old when he signed a contract agreeing to work for the Church of Scientology for 1 billion years…he spent his childhood doing manual labor at Scientology’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater, [Florida] and getting no education beyond basic reading, writing and math.  At 15, Baxter attempted to leave by writing a letter to a superior about constant abuse and intolerable living conditions.  Instead…church officials sent him to Scientology’s Freewinds ship in the Caribbean, where he worked for little or no wages for 14 years.  Through its highly regimented Sea Org workforce, Scientology officials systematically trafficked Baxter, 39, and others by indoctrinating them as children and making it financially, physically and psychologically impossible for them to leave as adults, according to a lawsuit filed…in Tampa federal court against Scientology leader David Miscavige and five church entities…on behalf of Baxter, his wife…Laura…and Valeska Paris, who all were raised in Scientology and worked on the Freewinds, where…the church [stole] their passports and identification documents…

To Molest and Rape

An armed robber is also a rapist.  Gee, what a surprise:

A [typical and representative cop from] the [violently-corrupt Alabama] town of Brookside has been arrested on a rape charge in Jefferson County.  Deshawn Mark Cook…[forcibly] rape[d his]…victim…on May 22, 2021…Cook was [previously] indicted in 2019 on a charge of strangling his girlfriend…[but a] judge dismissed that case when the woman failed to show up for court…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1212)

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

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be paying surveillance…company Trust Stamp $7.2 million annually to develop tech to track migrants [who enter the US] at the southern border…Trust Stamp…provid[ed] ICE with 10,000 smartphones that include the company’s app with facial recognition and GPS tracking…ICE then gives these…to migrants in order to surveil their whereabouts and behavior daily…migrants…are expected to complete “biometric check-in” once a day, meaning they scan their faces…An ICE [spook] looks at the result of each check-in, as well as the migrant’s location…[and] the…[phone] also…track[s its holder via] geolocation…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

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

A [typical and representative]…Massachusetts [cop]…threaten[ed] to kill his estranged wife in a brutal attack…Tomas Morales…showed up at his family’s home and said he wanted to talk to his [victim] about Christmas presents…after trying to kiss her, Morales threw her to the ground…forced her into a bedroom…said, “You’ll always be mine”…threatened to kill her, then strangled her and punched her in the face…Woburn police Chief Robert Rufo [thought the most important thing to tell reporters was that Morales wasn’t wearing his magical clown costume at the time]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1229)

Politicians are competing to see how many rights they can violate with one law:

Missouri [politicians are]…seeking to restrict access to gender-affirming care [not just to] minors…[but also] young adults under the age of 25…[in support of the scheme, they trotted out a quack] psychologist…[named Laurie] Haynes [who] also…support[s the discredited form of conditioning called] conversion therapy.  [This is merely the latest attempt to undermine the civil rights of young adults using the excuse]…that the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain responsible for executive functions like decision making – is not fully developed until roughly the age of 25…[a claim which is notably absent when politicians discuss voting, marriage, criminal responsibility, and enlisting in the military]…

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Advocates of prohibition always claim good intentions.  –  Jacob Grier

Prudish Pedants

“The label ‘pornography’…represents an attempt by lawheads to pretend that their personal hang-ups about sex can be reduced to a rule”:

Adult content only becomes illegal when it veers into the realm of obscenity.  But for a work to be deemed legally obscene, it must meet the obscure Miller Test developed in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court…Numerous elements of this test are unworkable in modern times…most people do not know the definition of the word “prurient” and cannot use it correctly in a sentence.  Yet this consideration can determine whether someone is imprisoned for making a film.  The entire concept of “community standards” is meaningless in the digital age, when we have more in common with our social media groups spanning the globe than we do with our neighbors who happen to live in the same country…While it’s easy to understand what the “whole work” is when evaluating a magazine or film, what about a tube site or a social media site?…Despite these vagaries, the Miller obscenity test has been upheld over and over, in the face of numerous constitutional challenges…

A Moral Cancer (#1148)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

Sometime in the not-too-distant future…the first American will likely be sentenced to prison for selling flavored tobacco or e-cigarettes.  It might happen in Massachusetts, wh[ich]…announced charges last year against New Hampshire resident Samuel Habib…Or it might happen in New York…[where] the Auburn Police Department…raid[ed]…a…smoke shop owned by Mohamed Algamal…Or maybe it will happen in New Jersey or Rhode Island, which have banned flavored e-cigarettes statewide.  Or maybe it will be in one of the many cities that have passed flavor bans, such as Chicago…San Francisco…[or] Washington, D.C., or result from a federal prosecution if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moves forward with plans to prohibit them nationwide…advocates of flavor bans [falsely] portray them as…mere product regulations and…[pretend] prohibitions will [not] lead to…criminal enforcement, especially…against racial minorities…[but] as the American Civil Liberties Union, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and other groups warned in 2021, this will create “a massive law enforcement problem for states, counties, and cities, since all states treat unlicensed sale of tobacco products as a crime—usually as a felony punishable by imprisonment”…

Creepy Coppers

Funny how it nearly always takes years to convict cops of anything:

Nearly four years after being arrested, a [typical and representative] Harris County [Texas cop pled] guilty for possession of child pornography…Donald Dehnert [was first arrested on March 29, 2018]…he…admitted to having child pornography on a flash drive that…had photos of nude children under two years old and a girl who appeared to be between six and eight years old.  One image showed the girl appearing to perform a sexual act…[Dehner had also] solicited sex with [a roleplaying cop’s imaginary] 5- and 11-year-old daughters…

Opting Out (#1214) 

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

…the U.K. has finally unveiled its controversial “Online Safety Bill”…focus[ing] on “pornography” as the main supposed “online harm”…the Johnson government [belched out a number of catchphrases and buzzwords including]…“protect children”…and…”illegal content”, while…[absurdly bragging that] the proposed measures are…“the world-first online safety laws”…[misusing the popular moralist shibboleth] “hold…to account”…and…set[ting] up the [bureaucrats]…running Ofcom, the government’s communications regulatory agency, to become essentially a censorship body with “the power to fine companies failing to comply with the laws up to 10% of their annual global turnover…[and] force them to…block non-compliant sites”…The government’s statement boasts of literally “a raft of other new offenses [including]…obstructing the regulator when it [raids] company offices”…

Leaving the 20th Century

So how exactly are they defining “pimping”?

Sex workers in Belgium will soon be able to claim state pensions and other benefits after the pandemic prompted reforms to decriminalise their profession.  Politicians approved plans to overhaul 19th-century legislation and offer prostitutes a legally recognised job title…While prostitution is decriminalised under Belgian law, there is a ban on pimping aimed at [placating “]sex trafficking[” fetishists]…

Science! (#1221)

A source heard it happened“:

[Wanking fantasies] have increased in Israel since the outbreak of war in Ukraine [about] claims…that some women refugees…were being exploited by human trafficking networks.  [Magical anti-pimp] leaflets…are expected to be [foisted upon] refugee women upon arrival at the airport as part of…moral[ity theater]…The [fantasies claim]…human trafficking and criminal networks lure Ukrainian refugees into prostitution upon their arrival to Israel, with the [tale] being used as an excuse for Israeli immigration officials to deny entry to dozens of refugees during the past two weeks…

The Cop Myth (#1221)

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

…Scottsboro [Alabama cop]…Stephen Miller shot his estranged wife, Amanda Miller, a[nd then shot himself]…Miller…was [an alcoholic]…and [Amanda] was filing for divorce.  Stephen was found dead…and Amanda is currently in critical condition…

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This is the conclusion of my series on the classic BBC sci-fi series Blake’s 7, which ran from 1978-81.  The first part appeared the last week of January, and four other installments on the series’ characters and writing followed in successive weeks.

Blake’s 7 was controversial from the very first episode, which featured an unusually-realistic depiction of how totalitarian states deal with dissent; self-appointed Moral Climate Monitor Mary Whitehouse practically had a cow over it.  And the creators didn’t stop there; for four seasons the show’s creators took risks and violated expectations in a way few broadcast TV shows ever dared.  Major characters were depicted in harsh daylight or even killed off, and that included the titular character at the end of season 2; the last episode of season 3, originally planned to be the last, left the remaining crew stranded on a remote planet when their beloved ship, the Liberator, was destroyed.  And when a BBC executive decided to order one more season, the creators seem to have viewed the surprise renewal as permission to color even further outside of the lines, depicting the heroes’ flaws much more clearly and ending the final episode with a bloodbath.  But two episodes earlier than that, “Orbit” had already thrown caution to the winds to produce one of the most realistic and adult episodes of series television ever aired by broadcast.  It was written by Robert Holmes, who is my all-time favorite Doctor Who writer thanks to his gift for characterization.  The basic plot was borrowed from “The Cold Equations“, one of the greatest sci-fi short stories of all time; Holmes, however, does not merely adapt the already-powerful tale, but instead uses it as a vehicle for portraying not one but two abusive relationships.

The story concerns a renegade scientist named Egrorian, who proposes a deal in which he will give his new super-weapon to Avon and Company in exchange for their supercomputer Orac.  The eccentric, narcissistic, treacherous Egrorian has a very elderly assistant named Pinder; the way Egrorian psychologically dominates and physically abuses him is already uncomfortable before we discover the truth: Pinder is only 28, and was prematurely aged due to radiation in an experiment where he was used as a gunea pig. He was a child prodigy who has been in hiding with Egrorian for ten years, and the homoerotic overtones of their interaction, combined with the abuse and Pinder’s being a teenager at the beginning of their relationship, paint a very dark and nasty picture indeed; I suspect the only way it got past the censors was simply that they were too puritanical to grasp what was going on.  But even that pales in comparison with what happens later:  Egrorian has sabotaged the shuttle on which Avon and Vila will return to their ship by hiding a microscopic quantity of super-dense neutronium on board, making the ship too heavy to achieve orbit with the available fuel.  And when they run out of other  things to dump, Avon goes looking for Vila, whose body mass is just over the critical amount they must shed.  Now, Avon does figure out the problem and  jettisons the neutronium instead; however, that does not change the fact that until he does, he is stalking around the ship with a gun, fully intending to murder his crewmate, who only escapes a grisly fate by hiding.  It would be difficult to count the number of unofficial rules of 20th-century broadcast TV drama this story broke; even in a series which had regularly broken rules for four seasons, it was nothing short of shocking.

Those under 40, whose televisual landcape has always included antiheroes, flawed or even criminal protagonists, and morally and factually ambiguous situations, can scarcely grasp how absolutely new, amazing, and even scandalous Blake’s 7 was, and its last season, in which the full humanity of the characters (with all that entails) was laid bare, was like nothing ever before seen on television.  And in its willingness to blow up audience expectations and transgress sharply-drawn boundaries of its time, like nothing since either.

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America[ns]…associate sin or indulgence with desserts.  –  Oona Hanson

Sisters in Arms

I’m repurposing this disused tag to highlight sex worker activism of this type:

Sex workers around the world, and many of the platforms they use, have spent the last week rallying support for their colleagues stranded on the ground in Ukraine…[sex workers] have developed a strong track record in recent years of mobilising for victims of disasters and ensuring they see the money that has been raised for them…even the platforms Ukrainian sex workers depend on to make a living have made serious efforts to make their support known.  OnlyFans made a donation of 500 Ethereum, equivalent to about $US1.5 million, to UkraineDAO on Saturday, one of a legion of crypto organisations raising millions of dollars…for Ukraine…payment app…Paxum…is currently working…to connect workers with transport at Ukraine’s border with Romania, where they would then be offered free accommodation…On Twitter, sex workers can regularly be seen urging their clients and fans to donate to individual causes that are as narrowly targeted as a life-saving surgery, or as broad as a global campaign to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims of bushfires, as was seen in Australia in 2020

The Widening Gyre (#698) 

Long-time readers may recall that I called this a hoax as soon as the story broke:

Sherri Papini, the California [woman] who disappeared for weeks in 2016 and claimed she’d been kidnapped at gunpoint, made up the story and had been staying with an ex-boyfriend…Papini…was arrested for…lying to investigators in 2020 when presented with evidence the kidnapping was faked and of defrauding California out of more than $30,000 in victim assistance money…Papini…[re]appear[ed]…on…Interstate 5 in rural Yolo County, with a chain around her waist and a “brand” on her shoulder she [pretended] was inflicted by her captors…[but] were [in reality] self-inflicted [with a wood-burning tool.  Papini, who had a history of posting on white nationalist sites, pretended]…two [armed] Hispanic women…kept her captive…[but] in 2020, DNA found on Papini’s clothes…led investigators to her ex-boyfriend…[who] told [them] that Papini asked him for help and needed to get away, that he agreed to drive to pick her up in Redding, and that she stayed at his home in Costa Mesa in the Los Angeles area the whole time…eventually she asked to be driven back to Northern California…

Working From Home

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targets for creeps:

A 20-year-old man…hid…in the attic of a [New Hampshire] woman he [followed] online through…OnlyFans…Mauricio Damian-Guerrero…[ha]s [been] charged with…burglary…for…br[eaking] into [her] home multiple times and t[aking] video of the woman’s private areas while she slept…he admitted [to cops that] he [also planned] to tape [a tracking device] to…he[r]…car…he…appeared to have been in the attic for a period of time, as [the woman] found food, a cup with urine in it, and a pair of headphones [in her attic.  He tricked her into giving him]…her address b[y claiming] he wanted to buy her a TV and fireplace…he [also]…admitted…that before breaking into the [house], which is…he[r mother’s] home, he had broken into her Dover, New Hampshire, apartment multiple times…

You Were Warned (#1134)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

A [cabal] of [ambulance-chasers] currently appealing a dismissed lawsuit against Reddit…[have] renew[ed] their claim that Section 230 protections should not shield the social media platform…from allegations of “profiting off of child pornography” over user-generated content…through an…increasingly…[popular but still legally] novel doctrine of “constructive knowledge,” as opposed to actual knowledge…

Their Own Petard

When we agreed to trick other people into cages with face-eating leopards, we didn’t know the leopards would eat our faces!

Marissa Sanchez [and the other plaintiffs]…in an ongoing lawsuit…against the [Houston, Texas] Constables’ Office…and [several of its boss cops]…They [agreed to participate in an elaborate scam]…in which [cops fantasy role-played as]…partygoers…[and] prostitutes…[in an attempt to ruin the lives of] sex workers [and their partners and friends]…Instead of capturing [imaginary “]traffickers[“]…they were subjected to [the same] sexual harassment…molestation…and sexual ridicule…that [they were happy to inflict on other women who never did them any harm]…

Thou Shalt Not (#1206)

Crypto-moralism rots people’s brains:

Girl Scouts, and the women who lead their troops and volunteer with them during cookie season, say that the…tradition of face-to-face sales is increasingly accompanied by…angry tirades from adults who want to lecture them about [those adult’s beliefs about] healthy eating…or rant about the group’s rumored (and false) link to Planned Parenthood…”I feel like in the last 10 years, and maybe especially since the pandemic, that people are getting even more aggressive”…[said] Oona Hanson, a Scouting parent in Los Angeles…she’s seen [oafs] make comments about weight gain, tell girls they can’t trust themselves to have Thin Mints in the house, or even yell at girls for “poisoning” people…Other [cretins]…have…harassed [girls] for…the use of palm oil in the cookies.  Widely used in commercial baked goods, the oil [has become] controversial [among people who think of themselves as environmentalists] because its production can lead to deforestation and disrupt the habitat of endangered species…a…[rumor started in] 2004…[by] the leader of an anti-abortion group in Waco, Texas…has stuck…among…anti-abortion [fanatics, who act out by] harassing [girls too young to even know]…what an abortion is…

The Cop Myth (#1217)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives; some don’t stop with mere beating:

[Typical and representative Georgia cop] Michael Perrault was found guilty on all counts…in…the Feb. 2020 [murder] of [his wife] Amanda Perrault…he…[was] sentenced to life in prison without parole…Perrault was initially arrested on Jan. 28, 2020 [for] battery on his wife…[and] was released on…bond…Days later…Michael claimed she killed herself in front of him…[but] there…[was] a long history of domestic abuse…[and Sheriff Howard] Sills testified it was obvious [to him] from the jump that Perrault had killed his wife and tried to stage it based on details at the scene.  A neighbor who gave Amanda refuge in their home also testified saying she told them, “If anything happened, she didn’t kill herself”…

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There have always been efforts to censor books, but what we’re seeing right now is frankly unprecedented.  –  Carolyn Foote

Damned If You Don’t

Everyone harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

A man is suing the City of Myrtle Beach [South Carolina, and its cop shop, for enabling a sow who nonconsentually involved him in her creepy fantasy roleplay to]…wrongfully arrest…him for prostitution…Ronald Thomas Uhrie…stopped at a local gas station to purchase a drink and some scratch-off tickets when he saw a woman waving frantically at him in the parking lot…because it was dark and rainy he could not tell if he knew her or not, and so he pulled over to speak to her…[when h]e asked the woman if she needed anything…she replied that she needed $20 for oral sex.  Uhrie…[t]he[n] rolled up his window and left, not knowing the woman…was a [disguised sow out to ruin men’s lives.  Her cronies stole]…his truck…and [publicized their lies, resulting in Uhrie being] fired from his position as a diesel mechanic…unemployment…was denied because the…[government claimed people who talk to strange women who seem to be in distress deserve to starve to death in a gutter]…The [bogus] charges against Urhie…were later dismissed…Urhie is seeking lost wages, front pay, future lost wages and benefits, compensatory and consequential damages and attorney’s fees and costs…

Scapegoats (#449)

Once again, vanillas reveal themselves as the true perverts:

…In Pennsylvania, Maine, Michigan, and Iowa in recent months, school board meetings have been disrupted by [people claiming] that educators are giving special treatment to furry students…the widespread hoaxes play into a broader right-wing effort to discredit and demand further control over public education…The rumors simmered for months in districts like Central York [Pennsylvania] last year, where a “concerned parents” Facebook group promoted fears that furries “could be in your child’s classroom hissing at your child and licking themselves”…in Michigan’s Midland school district [one parent claimed]…“I heard that at least one of our schools in our town, has in one of the unisex bathrooms a litter box for the kids that identify as cats”…the [hoaxe]s soon spread to Texas, where a [politician]…claim[ed]…“Cafeteria tables are being lowered in certain…middle and high schools to allow ‘furries’ to more easily eat without utensils or their hands”…chatter about litter boxes and doggie bowls display a misunderstanding about…furries[, who] do not literally believe they are non-human animals…a furry might play-act the role of a cartoon animal, but when nature calls, she’ll step out of character and remove her costume to use a normal toilet…

You Were Warned (#1060)

You just can’t keep a bad law down:

People don’t want outsiders reading their private messages —not their physical mail, not their texts, not their DMs, nothing.  It’s a clear and obvious point, but one place it doesn’t seem to have reached is the U.S. Senate.  A group of [politicians] led by…Richard Blumenthal…and…Lindsey Graham…have re-introduced the EARN IT Act, an incredibly unpopular bill from 2020 that was dropped in the face of overwhelming opposition….the…Act would [create]…a massive new surveillance system, run by private companies, that would…scan every message sent online and report [anything that tripped error-prone algorithms] to law enforcement…anything hosted online—backups, websites, cloud photos, and more—[would be] scanned.  The bill empowers every U.S. state or territory to create sweeping new Internet regulations…as long as they somehow [include the magic word]…child…the bill [also] creates a 19-person federal commission, dominated by [pigs and spooks], which will lay out [compulso]ry “best practices” for attacking…online [privacy]…

Top Cop (#1103)

Copmala will never let go of her hatred of sex workers:

Kamala Harris is back to [ly]ing…about human trafficking.  In a speech to the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Harris—who has a long history of dishonesty about sex trafficking—said that “in 2020 alone, there were 11,000 instances of human trafficking that were reported in the United States.”  Where did Harris get that figure?  From calls to the Polaris Project’s national human trafficking hotline…but the large numbers Polaris puts out are…just a tally of contacts to the hotline.  That includes pranks, cranks, and people reporting sightings of consensual sex work.  It’s refreshing (and all too rare) to see a major news outlet acknowledge this reality, as The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler did in a column last week…Kessler — who has previously tackled other false or misleading claims about human trafficking — points out that the Polaris numbers are mostly anecdotal…and…only about a third of these “potential cases” are even reported by Polaris to law enforcement.  They don’t know how many of those prompt the police to open an investigation, let alone what those investigations uncover…

The End of the Beginning (#1153) 

This would at last truly be the beginning of the end for these evil laws:

In March, the Council of the American Law Institute will meet to vote on revisions to the Model Penal Code…Though not legally binding, the Model…[h]as [been] hugely influential [since first published in 1962], with a majority of states adopting it wholly or in part.  The current revision, almost a decade in the making, will guide states to update their laws based on knowledge that we’ve acquired over the past 60 years.  The proposed revision recommends limiting the convictions that trigger [“sex offender”] registration to the most serious [actual] sex crimes…eliminating unrestricted public notification of registrants…and capping the maximum registration period to 15 years, in the absence of new sex crimes.  Crucially, the revised code recommends ending the practice of placing children on registries, except in rare cases of youth convicted in adult court of violent sex crimes committed at age 16 or older…

Thought Control (#1200)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

…libraries…[are] now a battleground in an unprecedented effort by parents and conservative politicians in Texas to ban books dealing with race, sexuality and gender from schools…hundreds of titles have been pulled from libraries across the state…over the objections of school librarians…who…face increasingly hostile work environments and mounting [bureaucratic] pressure to pre-emptively pull books that might draw complaints…school districts…report…more challenges this year than in the past two decades combined.  All but a few…targeted books dealing with racism or sexuality, the majority of them featuring LGBTQ characters and explicit descriptions of sex [and most titles drawn from lists circulated by pro-censorship groups]…Similar [crusades] are [disrupt]ing communities across the country…[but] the fight is particularly heated in Texas, where Republican state officials, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have gone as far as calling for criminal charges against any school staff member who provides [legal minors] with access to young adult novels that [censors] have labeled as “pornography”…

The Cop Myth (#1204)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives; some don’t stop with mere beating:

An Illinois state [cop murdered] his wife before [shoot]ing himself…Antonio Alvarez and [his estranged wife] Amanda…were found dead…on [January 24th, but]…the Illinois State Police…[thought] the [most important detail was that the murderer was neither in his clown car nor wearing his magic clown costume, rather than that Alvarez]…had long been in[credibly abusive]…and [murdered]…Amanda [because she]…planned to leave h[im] for good…She was [survived by] two children, ages 1 and 4 years…

The headline is so poorly written it makes it look like he murdered three people rather than one person plus himself.

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