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Posts Tagged ‘hysteria’

We cannot set the house on fire to roast the pig.
–  Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, after Frankfurter

Imaginary Victims 

The state’s pretended sympathy for “sex trafficking victims” applies only to imaginary “perfect” ones; real ones are treated as hardened criminals:

A teenage [runaway] who was initially charged with first-degree murder after she stabbed her…rapist to death was sentenced…in an Iowa court to five years of closely supervised probation and ordered to pay $150,000 restitution to the man’s family.  Pieper Lewis, 17…pleaded last year to involuntary manslaughter and willful injury in the June 2020 killing of…Zachary Brooks of Des Moines.  Both charges were punishable by up to 10 years in prison…judge David M. Porter…deferred those prison sentences, meaning that if Lewis violates [even the most arbitrary or trivial condition] of her probation, she could be sent to prison to serve that 20-year term.  As for being required to pay the estate of her rapist, “this court is presented with no other option,” Porter said, noting the restitution is mandatory under Iowa law…Lewis was [a] 15 [year old]…runaway who was seeking to escape an abusive life with her adopted mother…when a 28-year-old man took her in [and started] forcibly [pimp]ing her…Brooks…had [paid her pimp to] rape…her multiple times in the weeks before his death…after Brooks had raped her yet again, she grabbed a knife from a bedside table and stabbed [him] in a fit of rage.  Police and prosecutors…took issue with Lewis [correctly] calling herself a victim…and [were eager to make it look like she was at fault for being coerced and raped]…

Maggie in the Media

Cathy Reisenwitz interviews me on her podcast:

The Day of the Dead (#44) 

In Taiwan, strippers are a traditional part of funerals and autumn festivals.  This is no more “raunchy” than having performers in Halloween costumes would be in the West, and any pretense to the contrary is due to the influence of more puritanical cultures such as China and the US:

The Taoyuan Veterans Home, a state-run facility for retired army personnel in Taiwan, paid [a stripper to perform for] for a…celebrat[ion of the] Mid-Autumn Festival — an important holiday in [several Asian] culture[s]…the…performance…[was branded “raunchy” by bluenosed busybodies who were not present, but saw a video] filmed by an attendee…[which] went viral…nursing home residents clapped along enthusiastically…relish[ing] the…show.  But [people uncomfortable with the idea that the elderly are stil sexual beings attacked the]…facility…[whic] subsequently released a statement saying: “The intention of the event was to entertain residents and make them happy.  We are very sorry for the offense that was caused”…

If Men Were Angels

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

Five woman are suing an international megachurch and its leader, convicted felon Naasón Joaquín García, in California state court over decades of…child sexual abuse…earlier this year…[Garcia] was…sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison…[but] his church, which claims more than 5 million members worldwide, has stood b[ehind him the whole time]…Now, in a 49-page complaint, the church, García, and several affiliated businesses and individuals are being sued for various damages to a class that is expected to include well over 500 alleged victims as plaintiffs.  The introductory lines of the complaint do not mince words and stake out shocking allegations that criticize the church…as an enterprise that intentionally existed for the purpose of finding and providing children to be raped by the leader…The five principal plaintiffs are Jane Doe women [now] aged 20-28…who were originally cited in the criminal complaint…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1089) 

India protects rights the West now seems determined to destroy:

The Supreme Court of India has rejected a petition seeking to codify a…[pretend]ed link between viewing internet pornography and committing crimes such as rape and child sexual abuse…the…court…stated that “child sex abuse is a crime by itself” and [said]…“What you are advocating may be surveillance and collection of data”…The court expressed concern about where the type of Internet surveillance being proposed might lead…

Permanent Record (#1099)

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to shut us out of other jobs?

An OnlyFans content creator…was [fired] from her nursing position because other nurses were watching her adult videos on the clock…Jaelyn says she was called into the office of a woman she’s never met, who told her she knew about the OnlyFans.  The woman allegedly claimed that the nurses at this particular nursing home have been looking at her socials and OnlyFans while [she] is with patients…Jaelyn adds that her co-workers would have to be paying for her OnlyFans in order to be watching her videos on the clock…This isn’t the first time someone found out their co-worker was watching their OnlyFans videos, as one creator claimed their manager subscribed to their account.  Similarly, another Only Fans creator…was forced out of her nursing job due to her adult content in August…

The Implosion Begins (#1265)

The hysteria is imploding so hard, it’s falling all the way back to its roots:

…in…a spate of recent examples…individuals have been targeted with accusations of Satanism or so-called ritualistic abuse, marking…a [recrudescence] of the moral panic of the 1980s, when hysteria and hypervigilance over protecting children led to [wildly-]false allegations, wrongful imprisonments, decimated communities and wasted resources…While the current obsession with Satan was boosted in part by the QAnon community, partisan media and…politicians have been instrumental in spreading newfound fears over the so-called ritualistic abuse of children that the devil supposedly inspires, sometimes weaving the allegations together with other culture war issues such as LGBTQ rights…which are amplified on social media and by [yellow journalism], and can mobilize mobs to seek vigilante justice…Online accusers can bypass police, therapists and the traditional media and out their alleged accusers straight to audiences of millions…

It’s rather funny to see the expression “partisan media” used pejoratively by NBC News, considering the stark partisanism of its offspring MSNBC.

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When you become a snitch, [cops] keep your drug problem going and then they arrest you for it.  –  Harold Murry

Torture Chamber (#1116)

Your “leaders” refer to this as “correction”:

Throughout this summer, [young adults] in Texas’ youth prison system have repeatedly been trapped in their cells, forced to urinate in water bottles and defecate on the floor…Calls for immediate action by juvenile justice advocates and dozens of [politicians] to address the crisis have largely gone unanswered by Gov. Greg Abbott…In May and June, more than a dozen detained youths at the Giddings [Cage Stack] said [screws] didn’t let them out of their cells to use the bathroom between 4:30 p.m. and 8 a.m. during the week due to short staffing…On the weekends…youths were sometimes kept in their cells 22 hours a day…[so they] had no choice but to use water bottles, milk cartons, lunch trays or pieces of paper as makeshift toilets…

Torture Chamber (#1207)

Just because his victim was gullible doesn’t make this not rape:

The Department [of locking people in cages] quietly canned a Rikers Island guard after…he repeatedly [raped] a [prisoner], provided her with drugs and pressured her to delaying filing a report that she’d [also] been raped by a [different screw]…Leonard McNeill [was] fired for…“exploit[ing] the inmate, pos[ing] a security risk, [and providing an example of the system’s] corruption”…[the other rapist screw,] Jose Cosme…copped a plea with prosecutors, and as part of his deal was fired, forced to register as a sex offender and sentenced to 10 years of probation.  McNeil has so far avoided prosecution…

Micromanagement (#1213)

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

A woman whose rape kit DNA was used to link her to an unrelated property crime has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Francisco over the incident…police…later dropped the charges against her…[after] a backlash from advocates…legal experts and [even a few politicians], many of whom warned the practice could affect victims’ willingness to [report crimes against them]…

The Implosion Begins (#1213)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

A Michigan man, who had reportedly been sucked into QAnon…was killed by police after [murder]ing… his wife…Igor Lanis…also [shot and killed his dog and shot] one of [h]is…daughters, Rachel, [but the girl managed to call police]…after being shot in the back and legs…

The Vultures Descend (#1251)

This vulture feeding frenzy is going to get a lot uglier:

After decades of saying abortion’s legality should be left up to individual states, Republicans are wasting no time in exposing that for the convenient lie it was…Sen. Lindsey Graham…is reportedly backing a federal ban on abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy…The bill’s name [“Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act”] is…designed to make anyone who votes against it seem to the casual observer like an extremist or even a monster.  (See also: any bill with sex trafficking in the name.)  The phrase late-term abortion is not a medical term.  But in general, it refers to an abortion in the third trimester (which starts at 28 weeks) or, at least, an abortion that takes place after the point of fetal viability (when a fetus could survive outside the womb, around 23 or 24 weeks)…

To Molest and Rape (#1263)

Some Louisiana cops prefer to rape by proxy:

A woman…[whom cops coerced into being a snitch w]as…left…on her own [by the cops who coerced her]…unprotected and unmonitored in real time…Under threat of violence, the dealer…oral[ly raped her]…twice — in an attack so brazen he paused at one point to conduct a separate drug deal…Even as the woman cried and her assailant threatened to put her “in the hospital,” [pigs fucked off]…down the block…[supposedly] unaware of what was going on…because…they [didn’t care whether] such an attack might happen and the devices the woman carried didn’t have the ability to transmit…in real time…it wasn’t until the woman left the area on her own and contacted her handlers that [cops bothered to]…arrest…Antonio D. Jones…And while it’s not clear what kind of deal the woman struck with the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office…Just three weeks after her recorded assault…[s]he…was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia…and she’s been pulled over and booked on possession charges at least twice since then…

To Molest and Rape (#1267)

Most rapist cops have multiple underage victims:

A [typical and representative London cop] has been charged with [raping] an underage girl…child…[porn] and other child sex offences…Hussain Chehab…is accused of a total of 13 crimes…he was arrested in July 2021 [but not] charged [until September 13th 2022]…The offences [were committ]ed between 2019 and 2021…

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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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Sex workers are collateral damage in th[e “progressive”] quest to build the perfect internet.  –  Evan Greer

The Missing Word (#570)

Notice what nobody calls this?

For almost seven years, two Pennsylvania judges sent hundreds of [teens and] children—some of them as young as 8 years old—to privately run juvenile detention centers in exchange for financial kickbacks…[now] former Judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan [have been ordered] to pay over $200 million in compensatory and punitive damages to their victims.  Starting in 2000, the pair sent children into juvenile detention for offenses as innocuous as jaywalking, petty theft, or truancy.  In what became known as the “kids for cash” scandal, the [victims] were sent to two privately run detention centers whose builder and co-owner paid the men $2.8 million…over the course of the scheme…following the plot’s discovery, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court…thr[ew] out 4,000 juvenile convictions…[but] many of the plaintiffs still suffer from mental health problems.  Several…died by suicide or drug overdose in the years after their detention…Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any of the plaintiffs will [actually] receive [any] financial compensation…[because] Ciavarella and Conahan are now serving lengthy prison sentences.  Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years…and Conahan…17…though he was released to home confinement in 2020…[due to] COVID-19…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1009)

Another baby step toward recognizing sex work as work:

…a group of former Star Garden [exotic] dancers…filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, through the established actors union Actors’ Equity Assn…If the[y]…succeed, it would be the first time the century-old union that represents actors and stage managers on Broadway and venues such as the Hollywood Pantages Theatre would include strippers in its ranks.  Star Garden would become the first unionized strip club in the U.S. since…the Lusty Lady…closed in 2013…But…most of the strippers seeking representation said they have not worked at Star Garden since mid-March, when they raised safety concerns and were subsequently [fired]…Union lawyers will need to convince the National Labor Relations Board the strippers are Star Garden employees who were unduly terminated in order to be eligible to participate in a union vote and secure a shot at winning…

The Widening Gyre (#1116)

The latest iteration of “sex traffickers are EVERYWHERE!!!” has it all: the roses from the item linked in the subtitle, themselves only one example of the “valuable bait” trope, are loaded with the magic instant-overdose fentanyl of cop fantasies instead of the unidentified magic contact poison of earlier iterations of this myth.  Given that cops have recently started claiming that the magic fentanyl is being intentionally sprinkled onto $1 bills, the convergence is pretty clear; presumably the fentanyl-using “traffickers”, no doubt driving around in white vans, are also dropping the bait bills where cops can find them so as to stop their heroic anti-trafficking pogroms, or something.

A Broker in Pillage (#1147)

Absolutely nothing is “safe” if government actors know where it is:

The FBI [lied] to…a federal magistrate judge…[claiming] that it intended to open hundreds of safe deposit boxes s[tolen] during a March 2021 raid in order to inventory the items inside—but new evidence shows that federal agents were plotting all along to use the operation as an opportunity to [steal] cash and other valuables…the FBI also seems to have ignored limitations imposed by the warrant, including an explicit prohibition against using the…boxes as the basis for further criminal investigations…agents…were instructed to be on the lookout for cash…and to note…anything which [might give the government a pretext to steal it]…Agents [even] arranged to have drug-sniffing dogs present…which doesn’t do anything to help inventory items, of course, but makes more sense if the actual goal is to initiate forfeiture proceedings…

You Were Warned (#1218)

Looks like Reddit is covering its butt as a hedge against more FOSTA-enabled predatory lawsuits:

…adult content creator[s have]…recently found themselves abruptly removed or had their Reddit account limited without warning.  Sex workers have long been subject to deplatforming on most social media platforms…yet even though Reddit has a reputation for being relatively sex-positive compared to other Big Tech sites, sex workers are increasingly finding themselves restricted or even outright permanently banned on the platform, often without notice or…explanation…“The fact that sex workers are reporting an uptick on Reddit is particularly concerning because it has been one of the last places where this type of content is allowed,” says Evan Greer, director of the digital rights organization Fight for the Future, citing Twitter as the only other example of a platform that still continues to allow NSFW content…

The Vultures Descend

You can always count on my native state to out-Herod Herod:

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry…successfully urged the Louisiana Bond Commission…to delay a $39 million future line of credit for the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board–which the city needs for [a dedicated power station for] its flood response–until city officials agree to enforce the state’s abortion ban.  The move comes right at the start of hurricane season, on the same day New Orleans…issued a flood advisory…Even Republican state senator Bret Allain warned that because the sewerage and water board is a state-created agency, he finds it “problematic” to target New Orleans over their abortion stance…

The Last Shall Be First (#1244)

If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention:

After one competitor “outclassed” the rest of the field in a girls’ state-level competition last year, the parents of the competitors who placed second and third lodged a complaint with the Utah High School Activities Association calling into question the winner’s gender.  David Spatafore, the UHSAA’s legislative representative…said the association…asked the student’s school to…examine…the students’ enrollment records [going]…“back to kindergarten and she’d always been a female”…Spatafore said the association has received other complaints, some that said “that female athlete doesn’t look feminine enough”…

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If there’s one thing law enforcement agents are not, it’s modest.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

To Molest and Rape

Cops covered up these crimes for six years:

A [typical and representative] Hutchinson [Kansas cop] was arrested…[for] more than a dozen sexual assault cases…between 2012 to 2018…Todd Allen…was arrested…on…multiple charges including rape, kidnapping, aggravated sexual battery and…child…[molestation.  When current police chief Jeff] Hooper…took over the…department in 2018…[he discovered that there had been] a series of sexual assaults that had not been reported to the public…After…he [held a] press conference [on the subject]…the sexual assaults stopped happening…[and] Allen resigned from the department shortly after[ward.  Then]…in 2022, the…department…received multiple “prowler” and “peeping tom” calls…and [arrested Allen while answering one of them]…Allen’s arrest closed 17 active sexual assault cases, including 12 cases between 2012 and 2018 and five since…

Between the Lines (#964)

Liz Brown tries to assess the damage from this year’s “Operation Cross Country” pogroms:

Operation Cross Country, the FBI’s annual vice squad bonanza disguised as a human-trafficking rescue mission, is back.  This year’s operation…involv[ed] more than 200 [cop shops and spook houses and claims to have]…located 37 missing minors, identified “more than 200 victims,” and led to the “identification or arrest” of 85 suspects.  But it gives us little information beyond these broad statistics…the FBI press release mentions only three federal cases, none involving sex trafficking…

The Implosion Begins

The hysteria is imploding so hard, it’s falling all the way back to its roots:

Accusations involving ritual sex abuse and the sexualization of children have surged into the mainstream of American politics over the past year…We ran a nationwide poll in cooperation with Qualtrics from May 26 to June 30 to gauge Americans’ views toward these topics…Twenty-six percent of Republicans and 29 percent of Democrats strongly agreed or agreed that Satanic ritual sex abuse is widespread; 36 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Democrats strongly agreed or agreed that members of Satanic cults are secretly abusing thousands of children, and 32 percent of both Republicans and Democrats strongly agreed or agreed that government and Hollywood elites are running a massive child sex trafficking scheme.  Sixty-three percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats believed the debunked claim that 300,000 or more children are currently victims of sex trafficking in the US.  These numbers suggest that these types of beliefs transcend typical partisan divisions…

Remember this when the New York Times or another media outlet who profited from this panic for two decades tells you it’s a “far-right conspiracy theory”.

Welcome to the Future (#1125)

Everything I read about modern corporate work makes me happier I became a whore:

In lower-paying jobs, the monitoring is already ubiquitous: not just at Amazon…but also for Kroger cashiers, UPS drivers and millions of others…Now [so-called] productivity monitoring is also spreading among white-collar [and professional] jobs…Many employees, whether working remotely or in person, are subject to trackers, scores, “idle” buttons, or just quiet, constantly accumulating records.  Pauses can lead to penalties, from lost pay to lost jobs…Architects, academic administrators, doctors, nursing home workers and lawyers described growing electronic surveillance over every minute of their workday.  They echoed complaints that employees in many lower-paid positions have voiced for years: that their jobs are relentless, that they don’t have control…[or] even…enough time to use the bathroom…[they] describe…being tracked as “demoralizing,” “humiliating” and “toxic”…But the most urgent complaint, spanning industries and incomes, is that the [surveillance systems]…are…inept at capturing offline activity, unreliable at assessing hard-to-quantify tasks and prone to undermining the work itself…

The Last Shall Be First (#1132) 

What kind of mind thinks it’s OK to protest by threatening health care providers?

Boston Children’s Hospital has warned employees about mounting threats…after [anti-trans] activists on social media began targeting the hospital with false claims about its treatment of young transgender people…One allegation said that the hospital offered gender-affirming hysterectomies to [legal minors]…fact-checking organizations debunked the claims…but many of the same accounts continued to spread the false allegations…and…also targeted…individual doctors…leaving vulgar and harassing comments on their social media accounts and flooding their online pages with negative reviews.  Some hospital staff have since made their social media profiles private…

Thought Control (#1224)

Texas just won’t stop plunging that ice pick into its frontal lobes:

A day before kids return to class, Keller [Texas bureaucrats ordered] school [librarians to remove]…any book that was challenged last year from library shelves…among the titles…[are] Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Anne Frank’s Diary (The Graphic Adaptation) and The Bible…Keller [politicians]…kept its book c[ensorship] committee deliberations secret in part because of fear of retribution from Gov. Greg Abbott…Also this week, [politician] Jared Patterson…[of] Frisco…[demanded censorship of] nearly two dozen books…and…[complained that] Frisco…[politicians are]…not banning as many books as other local districts

Winding Down (#1241)

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

Voters in at least five states will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana this fall, and a similar measure may yet qualify for the ballot in one more state.  If all six initiatives are successful, recreational use will be legal in half of the states, underlining the untenability of continuing federal prohibition.  In Arkansas, where medical use was legalized in 2016, voters will consider a ballot initiative that would allow…recreational use [despite strong opposition from politicians]…In Maryland, where legislators authorized medical use in 2013, voters will consider a [similar] ballot initiative…In Missouriwhere voters approved medical marijuana in 2018, this year’s ballot initiative would amend the state constitution to…remove state prohibition…North Dakota [is trying to legalize recreational use for the second time after a loss in 2018]…and…South Dakota…[is trying to circumvent] Gov. Kristi Noem[‘s]…overturn [of the will of the people using a legal technicality]…In Oklahoma, where voters approved medical marijuana…in 2018, they could have a chance to…legalize recreational use…Oklahoma has become an improbable model for marijuana reformers troubled by the problems that states like California have encountered in trying to displace the black market.  Medical marijuana in Oklahoma is strikingly cheap and accessible, thanks largely to fast application approvals, light regulation, and modest taxes…

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

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

From the Archives

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

Above the Law

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

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

To Molest and Rape

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

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

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

I suppose it could have been much worse:

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

Guinea Pigs (#1153) 

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

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

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1255)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

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

A Moral Cancer (#1256)

The claims of crypto-moralists are growing increasingly absurd:

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

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

Micromanagement (#1258)

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

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

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It has become increasingly difficult for the public to move, assemble, and converse in public without being tracked and recorded.  –  Ed Markey

Where Are the Protests? 

I’m sure the “anti-trafficking” crusaders will be going after this any day now:

From industrial-scale scam centers in Southeast Asia, criminal syndicates have spent the pandemic perfecting an intricate romance-meets-investment fraud called Shāzhūpán (pig butchering scams).  Teams of scammers use sophisticated scripts to “fatten up” their targets, grooming individuals…and enticing them into investment schemes increasingly centered on cryptocurrency, before going in for the “slaughter” and stealing their money…the scale of human suffering sustaining pig butchering is unprecedented in the world of online scamming.  Propping up the industry are thousands of people trapped in a cycle of human trafficking, debt, forced labor, and violence; people from across the region lured by fake job adverts to scam centers in Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia…the structures underpinning pig butchering…[are] creating a “humanitarian crisis”…[for both] individuals robbed of their life savings and plunged into debt, as well as those on the other side of the screen, imprisoned victims forced to groom others and scam…

If Men Were Angels

This “youth pastor” had an assistant:

A former pastor and his wife [named]…Raymond…and…Sandra Swash, face several historical sexual assault charges involving minors as young as 13 years old when they were members of the Banfield Memorial Church in North York, [Ontario]…Raymond was a youth pastor and youth leader at the church in the late 80s and early 90s…[and] a woman told…police she had repeatedly been sexually assaulted by both suspects when she was 13 years old in 1987, until she was 17 years old in 1990…Another…woman alleged she had been sexually assaulted by Raymond Swash when she was 13 and 14, from 1992 to 1993.  Investigators…believe there may be more victims…

Panopticon (#914)

San Francisco pigs are no longer satisfied with waiting for useful idiots’ consent:

Three years after San Francisco passed a law requiring city departments to get approval for their use of surveillance technology…the SFPD [wants warrantless]…live surveillance when a misdemeanor or a vaguely defined “significant event” is in progress…[via] tap[ping] into private cameras…Under the new policy, the SFPD could live-monitor private cameras across the city, including residents’ Ring doorbell cameras, or those operated by private organizations or businesses…

A Moral Cancer (#1072)

Crypto-moralists always pretend their lust to ban things is about “health” or “safety”:

Alcohol carries significant health risks and no benefits for young people but some older adults may gain from drinking a small amount, according to…the authors of the Global Burden of Diseases study, a rolling project based at the University of Washington in Seattle…Four years ago the study said that even the occasional drink was harmful to health, and suggested governments should advise people to abstain entirely.  But after [they weren’t publicly humiliated enough for suggesting] a major new [theater in the] global [War on Drugs], the [puritans] behind the study have [been emboldened to make even more ridiculous statements]…

Panopticon (#1089)

No evidence will stop those more concerned about a few burglars than a massive police state:

The Amazon company…confirm[ed] that there have [already] been 11 cases in 2022 where Ring complied with police “emergency” requests…[and] handed over private recordings, including video and audio, without letting users know that police had access to—and potentially downloaded—their data.  This raises many concerns about increased police reliance on private surveillance, a practice that’s long gone unregulated…

Whither Canada? (#1133)

I’m skeptical this will accomplish anything, but it probably can’t hurt:

A sex worker in Nova Scotia is pursuing a claim for non-payment of services in small claims court, in a case she and her advocates hope will help shift the conversation about sex work in Canada…[whose version of the odious Swedish model] prevents sex workers from being able to easily create contracts for their services, as one cannot typically establish a contract in which one party is required to do something illegal…Jessica Rose, a staff lawyer for the Elizabeth Fry Society…who is representing [the sex worker, said]…”Without being able to easily contract for their services…[sex workers a]re really at a disadvantage in terms of getting paid the money that they are owed by their clients…it might be that we could argue that this kind of an illegal contract is still one that should be enforced, and that is what we will be arguing”…

Thought Control (#1253)

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

Residents of a small Iowa town [persecut]ed their library’s LGBTQ staff and their displaying of LGBTQ-related books until most of the staff quit.  Now, the town’s library is closed for the foreseeable future.  After having the same library director for 32 years, the Vinton Public Library can’t seem to keep the position filled anymore…[in the last year] the…library has gone through two permanent directors and an interim director who has served in that role twice…the…issues s[tarted when]…a handful of locals whipped up a controversy first over the library displaying books about prominent Democrats, and later about it displaying LGBTQ books and [not illegally discriminating against] LGBTQ people…[in hiring.  The] attacks…[are] part of a nationwide trend sparked by [wannabe censors equating LGBT materials]…with pedophilia…Iowa has been no exception and public and school libraries have both in these crosshairs…

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