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Posts Tagged ‘France’

A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end – but not necessarily in that order.  –  Jean-Luc Godard

My online friend Patrick, late of the Popehat blog and creator of the hilarious DPRK News parody Twitter account, passed away of longstanding health problems last week.  There is nothing I could say which would express the grief of those who knew him as well as Ken White’s eulogy, so I’ll leave it at that.  I don’t know what sort of music he liked, so I’ll honor his fondness for the weird with this unusual cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” (which is still not as strange as the last one).  The video was provided by Mike Siegel, who also supplied “aliens”, and the other links are from Mirriam Zary, Yasmin Nair, Fiona Harrigan, Mark Bennett, C.J. Ciaramella, and Popehat, in that order.

From the Archives

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They knew exactly what these consequences were going to be because we told them.  –  Tani Malhotra

Change a Few Words

All prohibitionism is the same:

They were warned…[politicians]…were warned time and again that their…ban was cruel and…they didn’t care…What is one to make of people who can hear such testimony…and ignore it?  The stridency of ignorance?  The unearned confidence of religious zealotry?  The casual disregard of humanity and human empathy in favor of extremist ideology removed from reality?  The ignoble placating and pleasing of political special interests over compassionate human interests?  All of that?  Yes.  All of that…the world is complex, and human situations are nuanced and complicated.  This sledgehammer of extremist law inflicts grave injustice unbefitting of such sensitive issues…They were warned, and they did it anyway.  If this cruelty and suffering is what they wanted, they’ve certainly created a lot of it.

The only good prohibition ever creates is pushing more people into the proper skepticism about government they should’ve had in the first place.

I Saw My Brain (#999)

Judd loves giving his entrapment schemes sophomoric titles that reference adjacent events:

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office…arrested 160 people in a seven-day [pogrom] focused on [adult consensual sex]…the [only] arrests from “Fall Haul 2” [which are newsworthy]…were…[those of] a deputy police chief from Georgia, Jason DiPrima…[a screw named] Keith Nieves…[spokepigs also oinked out misogynistic fantasies about “sex trafficking”]…

This will continue until the majority of those arrested fight back with lawsuits, or the voters of Polk County get tired of paying the many lawsuits that are already filed against this cretin every year.

You Were Warned (#1122)

A lawsuit like this would never have reached first base had it been filed against mainsream film studios:

All claims made by a Jane Doe plaintiff against several adult studios, in a lawsuit sponsored by…Morality in Media…were dismissed…on Aug. 19…[after] the…plaintiff and defendants Diabolic Video Productions Inc., Black Ice LTD, Zero Tolerance Entertainment Inc. and Third Degree Films filed a joint motion to dismiss all of the claims “with prejudice,” meaning they cannot be refiled.  Typically, these types of joint motions are the result of a deal or settlement having been reached out of court…in March 2021, in an unusual decision, [judge Michael] Anello ruled that, although the contracts signed by a former performer were valid, the arbitration agreements that were part of them should be disregarded and the lawsuit could move forward…

The Next Target (#1219)

These are the countries authoritarians want the US to ape:

…courts in France and Germany moved forward…with proposed mandates to block adult sites over compliance with controversial age verification mandates.  A Paris court will rule next month on whether French media regulator Arcom “has the right to block access to…sites [including Twitter] in France unless…they can prevent minors…from accessing them”…in…Germany, the Higher Administrative Court has dismissed complaints from Cyprus-based platforms, including xHamster, seeking the reversal of a recent ban by the Düsseldorf Administrative Court.  Both developments — along with a recent reversal of policy by the Conservative government in the U.K., which has now vowed to “crack down” on adult sites like Pornhub and xHamster — are being celebrated by [pro-censorship]…crusaders as stepping stones in a strategy that would culminate in the total banning of adult content by open platforms like Twitter and Reddit…

The Vultures Descend (#1249)

Prohibitionists will use any sleazy trick to inflict bans on the people they supposedly represent:

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled…that a petition over whether to add a constitutional amendment expanding abortion rights must be on the ballot this fall…the…court directed an election board to certify a proposed amendment from the group Reproductive Freedom for All, which had submitted more than 750,000 signatures to get the question on the ballot…the…board deadlocked [along schoolyard-team lines] on whether to certify the ballot, throwing the issue into limbo…a coalition of anti-abortion groups…[claimed] to the board of canvassers that the ballot measure had spacing and formatting problems that rendered some of the proposed language unreadable…

This is the second attempt by prohibitionists in as many weeks to use technicalities to block civil rights advocates from enabling people to vote whether to stop politicians’ schemes to control their personal lives.

I Spy (#1268)

Funny how politicians were never interested in protecting people’s privacy until they could make political coin from it:

…the California legislature [has] passed a bill designed to prevent companies in the state from disclosing communications content and metadata in response to out-of-state legal demands for information in abortion-related investigations…Section 9 of the bill would bar companies that provide electronic communications services and are either (i) California corporations, or (ii) corporations whose principal executive offices are located in California, from providing “records, information, facilities or assistance” in California in response to legal process issued in another state that “relates to” an investigation into a violation of a law that prohibits “… providing, facilitating, or obtaining an abortion that is lawful under California law.”  Disclosures in investigations into attempts to provide, facilitate, or obtain such abortions are also blocked.  The legislation also empowers the California Attorney General to [sue]…to compel these companies to comply with this prohibition…The bill also blocks judges and law enforcement from aiding abortion investigations…

To Molest and Rape (#1269)

Since he’s not being charged, there’s nothing to stop this predator from just going to another cop shop:

…New Port Richey [Florida cop]…Bobby Lubrido…is not facing any criminal charges…from [molesting a teenager, even though he was fired]…The girl…[was labeled] a runaway…[and] Lubrido [was assigned to take her to a cage and lock her in]…Lubrido…placed her cellphone on his charger in the front seat at her request…[then] asked for the password…he started looking at her photo gallery and watching videos of her “twerking”…while driving…making sexually explicit comments as he drove…he…was so distracted…that he hit a deer…then…[later] let her eat half of his sandwich…and…when she was done…told her, “That sandwich wasn’t free,” and groped her bottom…and…breasts…[after which he] pulled up her mother’s photo on his [pigmobile] computer and asked if she would be interested in having a “threesome,” to which the girl said no…he [then threatened to] come to her house later to “check up on her”…

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If you don’t [sell people’s data to cops], someone else probably will.  –  anonymous data broker

To Molest and Rape

The media are becoming slightly more willing to call cops’ criminal behavior what it is:

A [typical and representative] Kenosha [Wisconsin cop named…Joshua Sylvester…was fired for…sexually assault[ing]…a…woman [who wrecked into] a tree…[while] driving [drunk]…Sylvester sexually assaulted her…while [lurking]…in [her] hospital [room for over two hours.  He]…also went through her phone, found nude photos of her and sent them to himself…

I Spy (The Vultures Descend)

As was predicted when news of abortion recriminalization first broke:

A Gizmodo investigation into some of the nation’s biggest data brokers found more than two dozen promoting access to datasets containing digital information on millions of pregnant and potentially pregnant [women]…at least one of those companies also offered a large catalogue of…[women] using the same sorts of birth control that’s being targeted by more restrictive states right now…Also on the market: data on 478 million customer profiles labeled “interested in pregnancy” or “intending to become pregnant.”  You can see the full list of companies for yourself

Opting Out (#1241)

This will keep getting worse until policians stop giving fanatics a heckler’s veto:

French [pro-censorship] groups claiming to represent “the children”…formally request[ed]…that online government regulator Arcom suspend Twitter in France unless the platform finds, within two weeks, a way to block minors from what the groups [declare] “pornographic” content…The coalition calling for censorship of the international platform is a patchwork of obscure organizations pursuing a self-appointed mission of “child protection” and sex work abolitionism.  Among them…[is] noted…[prohib]itionist lobby Fondation Scelles

Vulture Watching

The fact that SCOTUS didn’t foresee this is a clear indicator that their overturn of Roe was not based in legal reasoning:

…The Department of Justice…sued to stop [the abortion] ban in Idaho, wh[ich]…goes against provisions of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act…requir[ing] hospitals receiving Medicare funds (i.e., most U.S. hospitals) to provide stabilizing treatment…”Federal law is clear: patients have the right to stabilizing hospital emergency room care no matter where they live,” said…DHS…Secretary Xavier Becerra.  “Women should not have to be near death to get care”…No existing abortion ban lacks an exception for a mother’s life, but some do omit exceptions for women’s health.  And…many pregnancy complications could become life-threatening while not being necessarily or immediately so.  The HHS guidance…stat[es] that regardless of what a state law says, physicians must provide an abortion if one is necessary to address an emergency medical condition…Texas sued over th[is]…and…the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas…granted a preliminary injunction against enforcing the mandate against Texas…A court in Idaho came to [the opposite conclusion]…The discordant rulings could force the issue back before the Supreme Court, if appeals courts in each district concur with the lower courts…

Thought Control (#1264)

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

A new Missouri law [criminalizes stocking] books with [what politicians define as] sexually explicit images from school libraries…it [is now] a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail or a $2,000 fine for librarians…to [allow] students access to such material.  The law does not apply to written descriptions of sex or sexual acts; only photos, drawings, videos, and other visual depictions…“showing human masturbation, deviate [sic] sexual intercourse,…physical stimulation of genitals, sadomasochistic abuse,” or showing human genitals.  There are exceptions for anatomy, biology, sex education, art [politicians decide to tolerate], and other images [declared] educational [by censorious politicians].  Melissa Corey…of the Missouri Association of School Librarians, [believes] the law likely will only [be enforced against art politicians dislike]…Corey said the association advised librarians to work with local school boards to best follow the law, particularly the [incredibly vague and arbitrary] exceptions for art and biology…

Winding Down (#1265)

Alas, the drug war isn’t ending; the government is simply shifting it to nicotine:

For the first time in Gallup polling, more Americans (16%) said they smoke marijuana than had smoked a tobacco cigarette (11%) in the past week…Marjiuana and tobacco usage trends have been going in opposite directions for a few decades now.  By 1985, nearly as many Americans said they had tried marijuana (33%) as had smoked a cigarette in the past week (35%).  Cigarette smoking has been declining ever since. By 2013, just 19% of Americans were smoking cigarettes at least once a week…while…38%…told Gallup they had tried marijuana…

To Molest and Rape (#1267)

Those who consort with cops are often just as awful:

…a [typical and representative] Delcambre [Louisiana cop named]…Christopher Moorehart…[has been arrested for] rap[ing his girlfriend’s five-year-old daughter on multiple occasions]…The mother…Kimberly Healy…was arrested and [charged for letting him do it and]…never report[ing him even]…after [they] broke up…Moorehart [then started fucking an Iberia Parish screw named Shelly Lynn] Friou…[who also kept the child rapes] secret…[until] the two broke up [after which she reported him to their fellow pigs as an act of vengeance]…

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The nuisance comes from drinking and drunkenness, but no one is saying close the bars.  –  Brenda, Dutch sex worker

The Notorious Badge 

I wonder when Hollywood will catch up?

The brothels look brighter, the alleyways are cleaner, and a stirring soundtrack accompanies the protagonists, but a new Bollywood film set in Mumbai’s red-light district has struck a chord with India’s roughly one million sex workers.  Gangubai Kathiawadi is a biopic telling the story of a sex worker of the same name who went from being a [coerced underage sexworker] to fight[ing] for the rights of women working in the trade in the 1950s, a battle still being fought today…Many sex workers in Kamathipura…and across India say the film starring celebrated actress Alia Bhatt shows rare understanding of their everyday struggles…“There have been so many films on women like us, but none that raised these issues,” said Kiran Deshmukh, president of National Network of Sex Workers.  “People believe what they see in Bollywood films. And this film has shown that sex work is work…that…helps us live our lives and feed and raise our children”…

Guinea Pigs (#757) 

And it can find you just as easily:

Cher Scarlett, a software engineer…uploaded some images of her[self]…to PimEyes, a facial-recognition website meant to be used to find pictures of yourself from around the web — ostensibly to help stamp out issues such as revenge porn and identity theft…the results [included]…porn…[she was coerced into making as a 19-year-old] addict…in New York in 2005…She has since tried and failed to get all of the explicit photos removed from PimEyes’ search results, despite the site saying it would scrub images of Scarlett from results…Giorgi Gobronidze…the current owner and director of PimEyes…[deflected blame by saying] “The problem isn’t that there is a search engine that can find these photos; the problem is…people who actually uploaded [the photos] on purpose”…Scarlett’s saga starkly shows how easily facial-recognition technology, which is now available to anyone with internet access, can lead to unexpected harms that may be impossible to undo…

The Prudish Giant (#1104) 

Instagram and TikTok users, take note:

Digital studies and sexuality researcher Dr. Carolina Are is asking sex workers, adult performers and others who have experienced discrimination to participate in a study investigating Instagram and TikTok’s approach to malicious flagging or reporting of “gray area” content, including nudity.  Are is seeking participants over 18 years of age who have received negative comments and simultaneously had their accounts and/or content removed…Are plans to circulate an anonymous survey and then interview specific case studies.  Those wishing to share their experience with social media discrimination can fill out the survey here

Dutch Threat (#1136)

The Dutch scheme to Disnify De Wallen is no longer merely a scheme:

In November 2020, Mayor Femke Halsema announced plans to [forcibly] relocate sex workers to a purpose built “Erotic Center” on the city’s outskirts in hopes of luring bands of drunk men and general carnality away from residents to make space for new cafés, art galleries, and designer boutiques…according to the mayor’s office…“We want less dominance of cheap nightlife”…if built, it will be the most extreme measure taken to “clean up” De Wallen, which has, in recent years, already been subject to a raft of new regulations and s[urveillance]…Amsterdam’s sex workers are ambivalent about the city’s plans to relocate them.  Brenda, a sex worker…[who] met me at the Prostitution Information Center…said sex workers were soft targets in the city’s gentrification push…Iris, a coordinator at the center, said the “so-called nuisance and antisocial behavior” was just another excuse to get rid of sex workers and free up lucrative real estate in the sought-after inner city

Winding Down (#1148)

Over half of Americans now live in states with legal cannabis:

Rhode Island…became the 19th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use…[the] bill…immediately allows adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis in public and grow up to three plants at home.  State-licensed recreational sales are supposed to start on December 1, beginning with the state’s three existing medical marijuana dispensaries.  The law also requires automatic expungement of marijuana possession convictions…public consumption…will be legal in any place where cigarette smoking is allowed…The law caps the number of retailers at 33, which amounts to about one store per 32,000 people…Rhode Islanders may find it easier to buy pot from black-market dealers or from stores in Massachusetts or Connecticut, both of which have legalized recreational use.  Like California, Rhode Island will allow local governments to ban pot shops, but only through referendums and not in the three cities (Providence, Warwick, and Portsmouth) where medical marijuana is already being sold…

Opting Out (#1199)

French law provides some defense vs religious activism:

A Paris court of appeals rejected…the attempt by local War on Porn groups, led by an extremist Catholic organization, to use France’s media authority and the courts to block the most popular adult tube sites in the country…following months of…threats pressuring tube sites to implement vaguely defined age verification schemes, French media regulator ARCOM went to court…to demand that French ISPs block Pornhub…and [a number of similar sites, but]…the Council of State…issued a ruling rendering null all the activities taken up by…ARCOM in connection with the…block…the Council…specifically pointed out the role played by extremist Catholic organization Civitas in orchestrating the campaign…

Civitas is associated with the Society of Saint Pius X, the reactionary organization founded by Archbishop Lefebvre to fight modernization efforts such as performing the Mass in the vernacular rather than Latin.

The Mob Rules (#1231)

The number of laws empowering busybodies to harass victims with nuisance lawsuits will only keep growing until they’re ruled unconstitutional:

Shortly after the nation’s latest mass shooting…at an elementary school in Texas, the California Senate passed a bill…to allow private citizens to file suit for at least $10,000 — a bounty-hunter provision modeled on a Texas abortion law — against makers or sellers of [3-D printed firearms] or [rifles banned under California law]…

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Where is the baby pit bull?  –  cop, during no-knock raid

I’m really annoyed that The Steven Banks Show, an extremely funny comedy produced by my home-town PBS station, WYES, has never been released on DVD.  To give you a taste, here’s the show’s soundtrack album (which I own on CD, naturally).  The links above the video were provided by Mike Siegel, Franklin Harris, Cop Crisis, Jesse Walker, Cop Crisis again, and Amy Alkon, in that order.

From the Archives

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I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell.  –  Jim Steinman

It’s been a while since a musician’s death affected me as strongly as last week’s passing of Meat Loaf, but then there aren’t many musicians about whom I can truthfully claim to own every single album they ever released.  And there was really only one song I could use in memorial: the one Jim Steinman wrote as the ultimate teen death song.  The links above it were provided by Franklin Harris, Jesse Walker, Billy Binion, Scott Hechinger (x2), and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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Law enforcement has been extremely secretive about their acquisition and use of [surveillance] technology.  –  Kade Crockford

I Spy (#646)

The civil rights violations cops commit reinforce each other:

…in 2019 the Boston Police Department bought the device…known as a “stingray”…[which] acts like a commercial cell phone tower, tricking nearby phones into connecting to it…[at which point] the equipment secretly obtains location and other potentially identifying information.  It can pinpoint someone’s location down to a particular room of a hotel or house…[and] scoop up information from other phones in the vicinity, including yours…The Boston police bought it…using money [stolen from the public]…through what’s called civil asset forfeiture…[cops] have few limitations on how they spend it…and the public has virtually no way of knowing how the funds are used.  The Boston City Council reviews the BPD annual budget, scrutinizing proposed spending.  But the surveillance equipment wasn’t part of the budget.  Because it was purchased with civil forfeiture funds, BPD was able to circumvent the city council…

But don’t worry, Boston’s “ban” on facial recognition will totally protect you!

Working From Home (#1066)

Indian sex workers, like their US sisters, are going online to survive:

Sex workers in India were particularly affected by the pandemic.  Loss of jobs, income and mounting bills led to an increase in domestic violence cases, some even fatal.  Just like most of the world, sex workers expanded their digital lives…In…India, which has been experiencing a smartphone boom, phone sex services became popular.  In the recently released book Intimate City, author Manjima Bhattacharjya…discover[ed what prohibitionists deny but every sex worker already knows]: the huge efforts that went into personalising escort services online…websites…mak[e sex workers] more real to men who [want to]…engag[e] with [a real person]…From finer details about the sex worker’s dietary preferences, her favourite colour to the films she enjoys, the websites promise more human contact beyond just sex…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1092)

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

The Worcester City Council…voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that bans municipal government agencies from acquiring or using face recognition technology.  Worcester is the eighth municipality in Massachusetts to ban government use of face surveillance, joining Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Easthampton, Northampton, Springfield, and Somerville—as well as other major cities around the country, including San Francisco, New Orleans, and Portland, Oregon…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1147) 

This seems like a wise decision:

In an unusual decision, U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino granted an order of restitution…transferring the copyright of hundreds of GirlsDoPorn videos to the models who appear in them.  Judge Sammartino issued the order as part of the judgement against the site’s disgraced scout and male talent, Ruben Andre “Dre” Garcia…[who] was sentenced to 20 years in June after pleading guilty in December 2020 to…sex trafficking [charges]…the…402 models…can now seek takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against websites that continue to allow pirated versions of the flicks…on their websites…Sammartino’s order…also granted $907,000 in restitution to 23 of Garcia’s victims to cover medical and mental health care and other costs.  GirlsDoPorn’s gross income — estimated to be nearly $17 million — was also ordered as restitution…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1190)

It’s good when they feed on each other:

A [typical and representative] Maui [cop] who was scheduled to report to federal prison next month for [attemp]ting [to coerce] sex from a woman he pulled over has been arrested for [talking on the internet to another pervert cop fantasy role-playing as] a 13-year-old girl.  Last month…Brandon Saffeels [was sentenced] to 2 1/2 years in prison…but is now detained on a new federal charge of attempted enticement of a minor…

Opting Out (#1194) 

The worse the idea, the more eager politicians are to ape it:

Anonymous sources have leaked the…[scheme] of France’s Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel…to compel adult sites “before the end of the year” to immediately implement a form of age verification under penalty of being deplatformed by [French] internet service providers…the CSA is planning to effect age verification not by requiring government-issued IDs but by forcing users intending to watch adult content — however it is defined by the French government or its  officers — to provide credit card information…

The Cop Myth (#1197)

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

A Chicago [cop]…murder[ed]…the…mother of his child following an argument…Pierre Tyler…was charged on Saturday, Dec. 11, with first-degree murder in the death of…Andris B. Wofford, who[m he killed by]…a gunshot…to [her] head…Wofford discovered that Tyler had a “pending child support case” with the mother of [his] other child and…mistakenly believed that Tyler had married the woman, which led to an argument…Tyler…[tried] to [use] meet[ing an unnamed snitch as an alibi, but]…his partners s[hot that down]…

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It’s as if Disney were entering Notre-Dame.  –  Maurice Culot

Every once in a while social media produces something really exceptional; this was called to my attention by Mike Siegel, who also contributed “improved” and “baby”.  The other links above the video were provided by Dan Savage, Scott Greenfield, Kevin Wilson, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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There are…conflicts of interest…that could disincentivise certifiers from indicating police involvement, including the fact that many medical examiners and coroners work for…police departments.  –  The Lancet

Good Riddance to Bad Rubbish

What fraction of unsolved murders are committed by cops?

A [typical and representative] French [cop] unmasked himself as a notorious serial killer in a suicide note written just before he overdosed on pills [last week.  Cops are still hiding the identity of the monster, though he]…had been called for questioning in connection with the case of the killer dubbed “Grele” for his pockmarked face…he w[as]…responsible for a string of rapes and [murders by torture] in Paris in the 1980s and 1990s, including the murders of 11-year-old Cécile Bloch…38-year-old Gilles Politi and his 21-year-old au pair Irmgard Mueller, both of whom were savagely tortured…[and] 19-year-old…Karine Leroy…he…also [committed at least] six different rapes.  The crimes were shockingly brutal.  Block…was…found dead in a basement of [her] building, half naked and covered by an old carpet.  She had been raped, strangled, and stabbed in the chest…In three separate attacks on a 26-year-old German woman, a 14-year-old girl, and an 11-year-old girl, he had identified himself as a [cop, but the cops denied that and ignored the]…clue…

Down Under (#43)

Nine years after a previous government abandoned this same idiotic scheme:

The head of Australia’s…official online [busybody bureau]…has unveiled her proposal to censor adult content…Julie Inman Grant called the planned censorship measures a “child safety code,” although…[she admits] her goal [i]s to target “the likes of Facebook and Instagram”…Grant has continuously fudged the line between protecting children from what she calls “extreme pornography,” and creating censorship rules that affect all Australians regardless of age.  Neither…Grant nor [her like-minded cronies]…have clarified how “extreme” pornography will be distinguished from “regular” pornography, or who would be in charge of making that decision… Grant [recently]…appear[ed] on a podcast from…Morality in Media, whose avowed mission is “to eradicate all pornography”…including Sports Illustrated magazine, works of literature and LGBTQ+ education materials…

Australia ought to ask the UK how its own censorship scheme is going.

Torture Chamber (#843)

“Failure to exercise sound judgment” is a quite a euphemism for “serial rape”:

A Brooklyn [screw] convicted of repeatedly raping a…[defenseless woman] begged a judge to give him a no-prison sentence as h[is lawyer downplayed his crimes by saying]…“He failed to exercise sound judgment and made the worst decision of his life”…prosecutors asked the judge…to sentence [Carlos] Martinez to more than 20 years…the former warden of the jail had previously asked a judge to sentence him to life

Martinez was arrested with another rapist who took pride in the stench of his penis (see subtitle link).

Elephant in the Parlor (#907)

“Politician has a kept woman” doesn’t become interesting just because the politician is Russian:

…Svetlana Krivonogikh…reportedly grew up in a crowded communal apartment in St. Petersburg, and held jobs that included cleaning a neighborhood shop.  But…financial records combined with local tax documents show that Krivonogikh…became the owner of the apartment in Monaco through an offshore company created just weeks after she gave birth to a girl…at a time when, according to a Russian media report last year, she was in a secret, years-long relationship with…Vladimir Putin…

Rotting Fruit (#1015)

Why are men with so much to lose so goddamned stupid about sex?

Former Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard will be extradited to the U.S. to face sex trafficking and racketeering charges in New York…Nygard…won’t be extradited immediately…[but his] lawyer…expects Nygard will be in New York within the next 45 to 90 days…he doesn’t believe he will be held [in] the [usual filthy cage due to]…concerns [that the octagenarian may drop dead before his]…trial…

The Cop Myth (#1150)

Murder by cop is one of the most widespread causes of death in US males:

More than half of [murders committed by] police…aren’t labeled as such, according to new research published in The Lancet….[which] looks at roughly 40 years of fatal police violence in the U.S…the government’s National Vital Statistics System…left off 55.5 percent “of all deaths attributable to police violence” between 1980 and 2018, the researchers found…To put that in perspective…in 2019, more U.S. men died from police violence (1140 deaths) than from environmental heat and cold exposure (931 deaths), testicular cancer (486 deaths), or sexually transmitted diseases (37 deaths)…police [murder]…Black people at a rate of 3·5 times higher than White people, and [murder] Hispanic and Indigenous people disproportionately as well…Oklahoma, Wyoming, Alabama, Louisiana, and Nebraska were the most likely states to underreport police killings.  In Oklahoma, the misclassification rate was 83.7 percent, and in the other four top states, it was over 70 percent…

To Molest and Rape (#1177)

Not even a rapist cop’s own daughters are safe:

…an [Irish cop has been arrested for]…sexual abuse [of] his daughters…over a period of more than 10 years…he [repeatedly] issued threats to kill his family…in [order to discourage] the[m from reporting him, but eventually] all…[of them decided to] ma[ke] statements [together]…

The Irish do not generally release names or pictures until formal charges are filed, sometimes not until after conviction.

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

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I hope this makes Swedish criminalization fans extremely uncomfortable:

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

The More the Better 

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

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

Rough Trade (#448) 

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

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

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

Little Boxes (#865)

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

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

HIV Cure (#920)

Another silver lining for the COVID pandemic:

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

Like Houses (#1031)

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

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

To Molest and Rape (#1127)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

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

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