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Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

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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Prostitution is a profession and sex workers are entitled to dignity and equal protection under the law.  –  The Supreme Court of India

Follow Your Bliss

The naive believe that “child predators” are creepy dudes who hang out at playgrounds; in reality, they are largely people in positions of authority over their preferred targets:

A [Missouri] man [named Scott F. Burow]…who spent more than 30 years working as a deputy juvenile officer in Missouri state court has been indicted in United States District Court on a felony charge of sex trafficking of a minor…[for paying a] 15 year…old…ward of the state of Illinois…[for sex] and…secretly videotaping her…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

A [gang] of [cops] conducted illegal searches and arrests in New Jersey as a pretext to rob residents out of cash…On May 26, a federal jury convicted Michael Cheff on…conspiracy…and…falsification of a police report…Cheff supervised a [gang] of [thugs who] worked together…between 2016 and 2018, [the gang regularly]…conducted illegal stops and searches of individuals in their vehicles, on the streets or in their homes and [robbed] them…Cheff…[got] a cut [in exchange for]…approving false reports…that…lied about…the…[armed robber]ies…

If Men Were Angels

The problem isn’t Catholicism, Christianity or even religion; it’s blind submission to authority:

A community rabbi from Jerusalem w[as]…indicted…for repeated sexual crimes against newly religious women.  Rabbi Moshe Yazdi…rap[ed], sexually assault[ed] and sodomiz[ed]…women while fraudulently obtaining their “consent” by telling them these were religious acts and therefore they had to submit to his demands.  He is also suspected of exploiting them financially.  So far, 10 women…have filed complaints against him…[revealing that] he presented himself to them as one of the 36 righteous people who, according to Jewish tradition, ensure the world’s continued existence at any given moment…Some of the crimes were committed against brides on their wedding day…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#568)

Looks like the judge didn’t buy his “porn addiction” excuse:

Josh Duggar, former director of the lobbying arm of the…anti-porn Family Research Council, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for downloading child sexual abuse material…Duggar was known as a reality TV figure for his role on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, a show highlighting his extended family…[which] TLC canceled…in 2015 after it was revealed that Duggar had molested members of his family and a babysitter…The Arkansas trial also exposed the failure of…”porn filter” Covenant Eyes, a business highly ballyhooed by anti-porn crusaders…federal investigators found that Covenant Eyes had been installed on Duggar’s computer so that it could monitor and report his internet use to his wife, Anna…however, an investigator reported that “Covenant Eyes was unable to detect Duggar’s internet usage after a password-protected network was installed on his computer”…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#737)

Indian sex workers have awaited this ruling for years:

The Supreme Court…told police that they should refrain from interfering and taking criminal action against…sex workers…[who] should not be arrested, penalised, harassed, or victimised through raids on brothels because…sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful.  A sex worker’s child should not be deprived of her mother’s care “on the ground that she is in the sex trade”…The court also instructed cops not to discriminate against sex workers who lodge a complaint, if the offence against them is of sexual nature…The bench observed that use of condoms “should not be construed by the police as evidence of offence by sex workers”…[but unfortunately will still allow cops to abduct] sex workers [under the pretext of “]rescue[“] and [lock them in cages] “for not less than two-three years”…The apex court also ad[monished media to take] “utmost care not to reveal the identities of sex workers, during arrest, raid and rescue operations, whether as victims or accused and not to publish or telecast any photos that would result in disclosure of such identities”…[pointing out that] voyeurism is a criminal offence…

The Last Shall Be First (#1151) 

Laws like this have already been declared unconstitutional by the 4th Circuit:

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt…signed into law a bill that requires students at public schools…[including] charter schools to use restrooms and locker rooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates…Transgender students who decline to use the restroom required under the measure would have to use “a single-occupancy restroom or changing room” provided by the school.  The measure, which cleared the state Legislature last week, will take effect immediately because it was passed with an emergency clause.  School districts that [refuse] to comply…could be sued by school parents

The Next Target (#1151)

Prohibitionists’ real goal is to completely ban online sex work:

[Tobias Schmid, ] the local official behind the crusade for Germany to require age verification for viewing sexual content…is now seeking to expand to all of Europe the use of his new [surveillance] tool, KIVI, which automatically scans all online content to determine which images are not compliant with the law…KIVI was developed by Berlin-based Condat under…Schmid’s supervision and is now reportedly being used by all 14 state media authorities in Germany…to detect [images in] categories like “extremism, hate speech, swastikas or the glorification of drugs,” Schmid also included “pornography” as a target for the new surveillance engine

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This is going to be fun.  –  Ronni Carrocia

Sharing an earworm doesn’t actually cure it, but on some level it makes it more bearable.  The links above this particular earworm were provided by Cop Crisis, David Ley, Clarissa, Cop Crisis again, C.J. Ciaramella, and Elizabeth N. Brown, in that order.

From the Archives

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Technology is not magic.  –  Andrea O’Sullivan

To Molest and Rape

So many words to downplay a rape:

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

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

To Molest and Rape (#1158)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

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

Stalkers in Blue (#1167)

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

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

Decentralization (#1181)

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

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

Scapegoats (#1210)

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

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

Thought Control (#1222)

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

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

Science! (#1223)

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

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

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We have been arrested simply for the fact we practice massage.  –  Charlotte

A Whore in Church

Matthew 21:31 seems pretty straightforward to me:

I am a sex worker and a nude model.  I post nude pictures of myself and sell masturbation videos for a subscription fee on my OnlyFans website…I married young and had my first child at 19.  My priority was being a mom, and it’s still my priority today.  When I was 31, my husband became sick with an illness that eventually took his life…A widowed mom becoming a sex worker is somewhat of a unique story, but my story is even more unusual because I am an active member of the Mormon Church…I believe that God wants us to be proud of our bodies and comfortable with sexuality.  I believe that church leaders have decided this is wrong ― not God ― and I do not believe I need to choose between doing something I love and continuing as a member of the Mormon Church…Still, while I don’t worry or care about people looking down on me for my work, I do fear excommunication…

Actually, divorced or widowed moms doing sex work isn’t remotely unique; in fact, it’s probably closer to typical.

Science!

I’ll bet you knew this was coming:

…in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine…women and children [are] seen as “fair game” for exploitative pimps and traffickers looking to capitalise on the destruction and deprivation that so often results from war…Ukraine’s geography — namely the country’s proximity to the regime of legalised prostitution in Germany — exacerbates the threat of pimps and traffickers looking to exploit a vulnerable population…

Tom Farr, whom I’m sure imagines himself a “feminist”, is disgusting not only in his denial of women’s agency and his bizarre claim that legal businessmen need to resort to kidnapping to get employees, but also by the almost-audible sound of fapping accompanying his one-hand-typed misogynist fantasy.

Pimps Ahoy

Exploitation is, sadly, more common than not in the “rescue” industry:

Employees of a Texas-contracted [profiting from housing] female [minors consigned to the] foster c[are system using the profitable excuse of “]sex trafficking[” have been caught exploit]ing the [girls]…Seven [girls], ages 11 to 17, were victimized by nine [people who claimed to be “sex trafficking experts”]…they…were sexually and physically abused and suffered from neglectful supervision and medical neglect while at The Refuge…in Bastrop…a current…employee reported…that…a[nother]…staff member sold nude photos of two [of the girls and]…us[ed] the proceeds to purchase…drugs and alcohol [for]…the [girls]…

Blunt Instrument (#1064)

An attempt to take one weapon of racist persecution away from cops:

New York…specifically directs local authorities to enforce licensing requirements for massage therapy — the only profession singled out.  As a result, police across the state and particularly in New York City routinely raid massage parlors…sexually assaulting those they arrest in these raids, or taking cash and other valuables and never returning them…Asian immigrant women have disproportionately been subjected to these raids…Newly introduced New York State Assembly Bill A8281 aims to change that.  The bill does not change licensing requirements for massage therapy or get rid of penalties for violations, but it does decriminalize unlicensed massage work and remove local police and district attorney enforcement…Red Canary Song…worked with lawyers at the New York Civil Liberties Union, immigration rights organizations and other legal aid groups to draft A8281.  State Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, whose district includes several Queens neighborhoods close to Flushing, sponsored the bill…

Winding Down (#1195)

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

The Harris Rider, a provision barring the legalization of recreational marijuana sales in the nation’s capital…sailed through the Senate…a day after passing the House, as part of a larger $1.5 trillion spending omnibus package…Congressional Democrats had pushed to do away with the…rider…But [lacked the spine to stand up to]…Republicans  “[Whine whine, simper simper” mewled one Democratic politician.  “It’s not our fault” pouted another one]…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1199)

It’s good when they feed on each other:

A [typical and representative] Loudoun County [Virginia cop] pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor over the internet.  Ryan Amos…used an internet application called “Whisper” to “engage in sexually charged conversations with an[other pervert cop fantasy role-play]ing as a 15-year-old girl”…Prosecutors [were most concerned about his desecrating his sacred clown costume by sending a picture of it to the role-playing wanker]…He will be required to register as a sex offender after being released from prison…

The Cop Myth (#1217)

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

A California [screw] was arrested…after he [murder]ed his girlfriend…Luis Antonio Pulido-Esparza…called…911…[and claimed] his girlfriend had shot herself…[cops] found three children in the home…and arrested Pulido-Esparza…

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I will never be the same person that I was before.  –  Jared Corson’s victim

Rough Trade

Did the cops not realize she was a sex worker, or did somebody in charge actually develop a particle of moral judgment?

On November 30, 2021…Antonio D. Lightner, picked…up…a [sex worker in Spokane, WA]…and drove to a deserted parking lot….[where he] zip-tied [her hands] behind her back, and [threatened her with]…a stun gun…when another vehicle pulled into the parking lot [he] stopped [raping her]…and drove…[elsewhere before resuming the] assault…After[ward]…Lightner [threw] the victim, still bound and naked, from the car and onto the ground before fleeing…

The Next Target (#1151)

It’s about time these companies started using their money to fight censorship:

Hours after the German government ordered the country’s major internet service providers to block xHamster, one of the ISPs, PŸUR, told a digital rights group that it reserves the right “to have the decision legally reviewed by an independent court”…Germany’s Commission for Youth Media Protection decided unanimously…to impose a network ban on xHamster, [claim]ing the adult tube site was…“illegal”…[such] ban[s are]…unpopular and [widely recognized by Germans]…as…censorship…

Creepy Coppers

Just another cop demonstrating what he is:

A Pennsylvania [cop named]…Sean McKenzie…had child pornography on his phone and a USB drive…[he was caught after] the file hosting service Dropbox [snitched on him]…

Stalkers in Blue (#1206)

Another article trying to elicit sympathy for a cop’s criminal behavior:

A [typical and representative] Everett [Washington cop got off with a mere] 10 days in jail, followed by community service and six years…on probation, for stalking his ex-girlfriend, [though a non-cop might’ve been hit with up to three years in a cage]…Jared Corson…us[ed] a tracking device on a car belonging to his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, then l[ied] about it [under oath, which is a felony]…Defense attorney Karen Halverson [whined about how]…Corson [like many men whose lives are destroyed by the US “justice” system] is the lone financial provider for his wife and their two young children…he [also]…lost the [power trip] he dreamed of…His defense attorney [blamed his actions on an encounter with a random mentally-ill stranger over a year before]…Corson cried as [belched out platitudes and copaganda at] the court…

Boo hoo hoo, poor widdle piggy wasn’t at fault for terrorizing a woman because a bad man once scared him.  Boo hoo hoo.

Thought Control (#1210)

My native state can always be counted on to find ways to make a bad idea even worse:

Louisiana [politician] Beth Mizell…has proposed a new state law requiring the censorship of “pornography or sexually explicit content” on the personal phones or computers of students, professors and staff while connected to a public university’s Wi-Fi network or internet service…Many…so-called…“filters” have been shown to block non-explicit content as well, with a particular bias against any sex education or LGBTQ+ material…[Mizell] wants any student or employee “who needs ‘unfiltered or unrestricted access to the internet’ for any scientific, educational or [pig-rooting] reason…[to] obtain written authorization from the institution granting access for a specified time period.  Such authorization must be kept on file and reviewed periodically”…

You’ve got to hand it to Mizell; it’s difficult to think of a clearer way for a politician to demonstrate that she not only lacks even the most basic understanding of what “higher education” means, but also a complete hostility to the concept.

Torture Chamber (#1211)

The people who actually need “correction” are the ones who enable this horror:

The Justice Department [pretends] it is gravely concerned…that a high-ranking [member of that department assigned] to…cover-up…[sexual abuse] at a women’s prison known as the “rape club” may have taken steps to [cover up] a recent complaint…T. Ray Hinkle…attempt[ed] to silence a female employee who said…[her] manager at the prison…in Dublin, California…[met] with her personally in violation of established protocols…[while women condemned to the hellhole are still being raped and] sexually abus[ed]…

Just in case you missed it: systematic rape and abuse of prisoners is covered up, but an “improper meeting” with a minor bureaucrat is “abhorrent”.

To Molest and Rape (#1217)

Rapist cops make sure they’re exempted from “sex offender” registration if possible, because they know it’s really an unending punishment:

After striking a [sweetheart] plea deal with prosecutors, a [typical and representative] Tennessee [cop] who…repeatedly rap[ed] a 14-year-old girl over a period of 20 months will serve no time in prison and does not have to register as a sex offender.  Brian O. Beck…[was allowed to] plead…guilty to a single count of aggravated assault…and [received only]…a…four-year [suspended] sentence and…three years probation…

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Please don’t embarrass yourself any further.  –  UnionWatch, to cops

It’s always interesting to me to hear a composer’s own interpretation of his works.  Here’s a recording of Debussy playing “La Soiree dans Grenade” in 1913, contributed by Gustavo Turner (who also supplied “safer”).  The other links above the video were provided by Popehat, Nun Ya, David Ley, Franklin Harris, Cop Crisis, and Dave Krueger, in that order.

From the Archives

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

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

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

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

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

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

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

Social Distancing (#1082)

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

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

Above the Law (#1187) 

This subtitle is no exaggeration:

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

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

I Spy (#1188)

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

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

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

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

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

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

The Cop Myth (#1191)

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

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

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Sex work is a legitimate form of work and should be regulated through standard business laws, like all other industries.  –  Melissa Horne

Under Every Bed

Population 77,434:

Human trafficking is something that continues to happen…here in the City of Albany [Georgia.  Hysteria ramped up after two women left town]…and [hysterics decided]…the[y] could have been part of human trafficking [sic]…[even though] police don’t believe the two cases are [even] related…Leah Dee [is a rather pathetic attention-seeker who] makes it her mission to [spread silly masturbatory fantasies about]…human trafficking…and [harass women while calling it]…rescue…Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards [bloviated that] “Albany, itself, is a hub”…and [shared his favorite wanking fantasies about how] predators typically operate in broad daylight…at sporting events, malls, grocery stores, and more…starting off with a “Gorilla Pimp”…

The Last Shall Be First (#631) 

SCOTUS makes its disinterest in potty-obsession quite clear:

The Supreme Court…dec[ided]…to…leav[e] a lower court ruling intact that says it’s unconstitutional for a school district to try to force a transgender student to continue using the bathroom facilities corresponding to their sex at birth…the…Court rejected [yet another attempt by the…Gloucester County [Virginia] School Board…[to reverse a federal court ruling in favor of] Gavin Grimm…the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia…in August 2019…granted a summary judgment affirming Grimm’s position…In August 2020, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit affirmed this decision with a 2–1 vote.  In February of this year, the school board petitioned the Supreme Court to again take up this case…[but] the Supreme Court dec[lined to] get involved again…

Disaster (#936)

Facebook didn’t think the face-eating leopards it wanted would eat its face:

…the Texas Supreme Court denied Facebook’s liability immunity for third party content based on Section 230…quoting FOSTA/SESTA to [spin a masturbatory fantasy about]…“websites that facilitate traffickers in advertising the sale of unlawful sex acts with sex trafficking victims.”  The opinion…denied Facebook’s motion to…dismiss…three [predatory lawsuits based in FOSTA by ambulance-chasers claiming to represent]…“victims of sex trafficking who became entangled with their abusers through Facebook”…

Rooted in Racism (#966)

In Europe as in the US, the real humanitarians are fighting against racist “anti-trafficking” schemes:

Hanad Abdi Mohammad, a Somali who saved 31 people of a smuggling ship that sank off the Greek island of Lesbos in December, has been sentenced to 142 years in prison, after being charged with human trafficking…However, he [will “only”] serve a total of 20 years behind bars, the maximum allowed by the [Greek] criminal code…Mohammad is one of several asylum seekers who has received a[n outrageous sentence]…for facilitating the illegal entry of [refugees]…Last year, two Afghan men…received 50-year sentences for the same reasons…the turkish smuggler that transported them abandoned the boat and that Mohammad tried to save them after a Turkish Coast Guard ship forced him into Greek waters.  [All but] two of the migrants were [denied the right] to testify in [Mohammad’s defense using the excuse of] coronavirus…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#1054) 

It looks like Victoria is about to become the world’s fourth jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

Victoria will join a growing list of jurisdictions in the world to decriminalise the sex industry if state MPs adopt recommendations aimed at safeguarding workers and reducing stigma…Consumer Affairs Minister Melissa Horne said…the government was working towards the decriminalisation of the industry as a priority…The proposed changes stem from a 2019 parliamentary review of laws governing sex work, led by Reason Party MP Fiona Patten…[which] recommends…full decriminalisation…including street-based…work, and regulating it through the Occupational Health and Safety Act…[instead of] police…

Monsters (#1064)

State violence vs trans women in Latin America is starting to get attention:

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, a regional court based in Costa Rica, has ordered the Honduran government to continue its investigation into the [2009 rape and murder] of [trans sex worker Vicky] Hernández…by [cops who used]…a curfew [as excuse for the atrocity.  Naturally] the government’s lawyers denied its [cops were the perpetrators despite eyewitness testimony, but]…the court…ruled [otherwise]…

The Next Target (#1122)

Prohibitionists’ next target isn’t just Pornhub; it’s all online sex work:

…German authorities want to force the hosting provider of the porn website xHamster to lock out German users.  A year ago, the State [Censorship] Agency…in North Rhine-Westphalia began to issue porn portals such as PornHub with an ultimatum: Either they [censor their content using the excuse of “]youth protection[” opt-in software]…or [else]…porn companies argue that they label their websites according to an international standard designed to make it easy for parents to [censor] their children’s devices.  However, German legislation takes the opposite approach: Portals that [puritans decl]are harmful to minors should only be accessible if [prospective] users are [willing to surrender private information to prove they are] of legal age…[the threats are the brainchildren of arch-censor] Tobias Schmid, [a politician who has proudly declared himself obsessed with “Ordnung” (order)]…

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We made their lives worse.  –  former OUR member Meg Conley

Stalkers in Blue

Another cop demonstrating exactly what he is:

A [typical and representative] cop [who]…snapp[ed] photos up skirts during a Texas wedding is [named]…Scott Eugene Kilmer…[wedding organizers foolishly hired Kilmer to attend the event wearing his magical clown costume], whe[re] he was caught [repeatedly putt]ing…his foot [with a camera on it] between [women’s] legs but [nobody wanted to] confront him because [they were afraid he would maim, tase, pepper-spray or even murder]…the…guests…the camera transmitted photos to a device in Kilmer’s p[igmobile]…[where other cops] discovered about 50 video clips from the wedding and…similar images [he had taken] previously…

Censor Chic (#830)

Corporations have become the favored tool of censors worldwide:

The British government [has] proposed sweeping re[gulation]s to force [websites] to…[cens]or what is posted online — including carve-outs to [render] politicians [immune to such censorship]…The much-delayed Online Safety Bill includes hefty penalties for companies that fail to [obey the censorship diktats of politicians]…and…[forc]es a so-called duty of care on social networks, smartphone apps and other sites where people can interact with each other, making them [arms of the fascist establishment whether they like it or not]…Content on [politically favored] websites will…not be subject to the new rules…The U.K.’s proposals come as countries worldwide look to [by]pass [legal restrictions on censorship by] forc[ing] social media companies to [do the governments’ dirty work for them]…In Germany, local officials recently revamped the country’s [notorious] online content rules, known as NetzDG, to mandate that companies [become police informants]…The European Union is also pushing ahead with s[imilar] proposals…while countries like Hungary and Poland are pursuing [laws] that would…ban…platforms f[rom censoring politicians and bureaucrats]…[anti-]rights campaigners and misinformation [promoter]s welcomed the U.K.’s new proposals…

See also “Kiss Freedom Goodbye” and “The Convergence of Censors“.

O, Canada! (#1027)

Prohibitionists want Ontario to be more like the US:

Advocates and community groups are calling on the province to drop plans to [increase police powers using the pretext of] human trafficking…[because the] proposed bill [will] harm sex workers and…lead to discrimination and racial profiling…The proposed law would [empower cops] to inspect any place for compliance with the law and [interrogate] any person [they feel like harssing]…with failure to comply leading to possible heavy fines.  Police and inspectors would also have the power to [demand] hotels…[let the pigs root in] their guest registers…without [warrant, merely by vomiting the magic words “]human trafficking[” at random clerks]…Over 70 legal and human rights organizations have written to the provincial government in opposition to the bill, calling for the resources dedicated to this plan to instead be redirected into efforts to help marginalized communities across the province.  Sandra Ka Hon Chu…of the HIV Legal Network…[pointed out that] these types of government initiatives [always] involve surveillance…and [usually abduc]tion and/or deportation of sex workers…“human trafficking i[s used] as a pretext to monitor and interrogate sex workers and to discourage them from working,” she said…

Quiet Genocide (#1054)

There are still some Westerners who insist this isn’t genocide:

Across much of China, the authorities are encouraging women to have more children…but in…Xinjiang, they are forcing them to have fewer, as…part of a vast and repressive social…engineering campaign by a Communist Party determined to e[stablish fully totalitarian] rule…Xi Jinping…has [condemned millions of]…Uyghurs…to [concentration] camps…placed the region under tight surveillance, sent residents to work in factories [thousands of kilometers away, abducted Uyghur] children…[to give to childless Han couples, and forced] Muslim women…to [submit to]…invasive birth control procedures…[propaganda] authorities [absurdly claim that] the procedures are voluntary…[but] the [facts say otherwise.  Uyghur women]…recuperat[ing] at home [from the forced sterilization were also forced to literally accept] government officials [in their beds]…If they…refused…they faced steep fines or, worse…a…[concentration] camp…[where] they were…[repeatedly and systematically] raped

Served Cold (#1120) 

It took almost seven years, but the press finally caught up with me on this:

I’d never heard of Operation Underground Railroad when…Tim Ballard, called me suddenly in the summer of 2014…I didn’t wonder why he thought it was appropriate for me—the writer of a mommy blog—to chronicle anti-trafficking work…A camera crew filmed everything, because Ballard…[was] pitch[ing] a TV series about his [cowboy games]…OUR staff…were mostly as inexperienced as I was…Everybody wanted to “save the kids,” but no one really knew anything about these kids.  We talked mostly about fundraising.  The calls never addressed real things children need to be saved from…Ballard…put me in harm’s way so that I could write a story about him…But…I’d imagined myself the same way he did…as a savior…I tried to find meaning in my own life on the backs of exploited kids… A TV show based on [his] bookSlave Stealers, is currently in development.  And a new action movie about him, Sound of Freedom, is forthcoming. Jim Caviezel plays Ballard, with Mira Sorvino as his wife…

Dangerous Speech (#1128)

US “authorities” keep pretending “because sex” is an excuse for any tyranny:

Federal prosecutors have failed, for now, in their most repugnant smear tactic to date in the case involving veteran journalists and onetime Backpage.com owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin…Judge Susan Brnovich denied a government bid to prejudice the jury at trial by introducing gruesome details of homicides that Lacey, Larkin and their four co-defendants have absolutely nothing to do with…But in a separate ruling issued the same day, Brnovich explained that she will permit prosecutors to try to introduce material involving “sex trafficking” and “child sex trafficking,” though the defendants are not charged with these heinous crimes…These allegations rest on an absurd theory of vicarious, third-party liability, in an attempt to hold Lacey and Larkin responsible for the alleged illegal acts of people they don’t know, have never met and have zero connection to…

To Molest and Rape (#1130)

High union rank is another thing rapist cops often have in common:

A [typical and representative] Miami-Dade [cop] and…high-ranking union member has been charged with sexual battery…John Jenkins Jr. has been “re[warded for his behavior with a paid vacation]” said [top cop] Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III in a statement [which also focused] on…Jenkins…not…[wearing his magic clown costume while raping women]…Jenkins resigned as executive vice president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association…

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