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Posts Tagged ‘hysteria’

In its attempts to target an ever-growing number of people for detention and deportation, ICE has reached into the private homes and lives of almost every person in America.  –  Nina Wang

Pyrrhic Victory (#1045)

Allowing Clearview to continue arming those who claim the “right” to spy on you, violently assault you, and destroy your life, is nothing like a “big win”:

Under a legal settlement filed in court today, Clearview AI…has agreed to a new set of restrictions that ensure the company is in alignment with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…Clearview will be permanently banned from granting paid or free access to its gargantuan face recognition database to private entities [but not to governmental entities, including ICE, CBP, the FBI and local cop shops]…except…in Illinois [and even that restriction is only]…for a [mere] five years…Clearview will maintain an opt-out request form on its website, allowing Illinois residents to [give this unscrupulous business yet another] photo [in exchange for a politician’s promise that]…their faceprints will be blocked from appearing in Clearview’s search results…

Quiet Genocide (#1105)

Here’s another firsthand account of the ongoing genocide of the Uighur people by the Chinese communist regime, told in comic strip form.  Since finally escaping after years of brutalization, Zumrat Dawut has bravely told her story despite attempts by the Chinese government to terrorize her even though she now resides in the US.  Please read her story, edited by Anthony Del Col and illustrated by Fahmida Azim; it is imperative Westerners stop looking away and pretending these atrocities are not happening.

I Spy (#1155)

Nothing infuriates violent, self-important busybodies more than private affairs that are none of their business:

…the European Commission [is] seeking to end encrypted communications…[using the popular excuse] of child sexual abuse imagery…messaging services and web hosts would be required to search for, and report, child abuse material – even in the case of encrypted messaging services…that cannot be scanned in such a way…[politician] Ylva Johansson…[bloviated a lot of self-contradictory nonsense about] “strong safeguards guaranteeing privacy of all”…[while constantly harping on the word] “children”…But the plans [are in reality]…an attack on privacy…Joe Mullin of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[pointed out that because what the politicians demand is literally impossible in encrypted messaging…“This would be a massive new surveillance system…[which] would require the infrastructure for detailed analysis of user messages”…It is a similar approach to that proposed…by Apple…Patrick​ ​Breyer, German MEP for the​ ​Pirate​ ​party, called the proposals “fundamental​ ​rights​ ​terrorism​ ​against​ ​trust,​ ​self-determination​ ​and​ ​security​ ​on​ ​the​ internet”…

To Molest and Rape (#1178)

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

A 10-year-old girl called police in March [to report that] her father, a Chicago [cop, had]…sexually abus[ed] her…but when he was [arrested and] charged…it was only for domestic battery, a misdemeanor…

I Spy (#1200)

All federal cop shops and spook houses are part of the police-state blob:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement…has built a vast digital surveillance system that gives it access to the personal details of almost every person in America, a two-year investigation by Georgetown University law center…conclud[ed] that the…organisation has strayed well beyond its [official] duties as an immigration body to become…a domestic surveillance agency…[with] capabilities that allows its agents to “pull detailed dossiers on nearly anyone, seemingly at any time”…includ[ing]…driver’s license data…utility records…[license plate reader data and] facial recognition [data on roughly 75% of US adults]…and…weaponised through the use of powerful algorithmic tools for searching and analysing data…all…[secretly and] in the absence of warrants…

The Implosion Begins (#1211)

The New York Times uses terms like “far-right conspiracy theory” to describe the moral panic they’ve aggressively promoted for 18 years:

Jason Frank…and his [QAnon] group…have been camping out near Sasabe, Ariz., as a self-appointed border force [in an elaborate fantasy roleplay]…of protecting the thousands of migrant children who have been arriving from the evils of sex trafficking — a favorite QAnon theme…wh[ich developed] over the years [from fantasies about]…pedophilia rings [heavily promoted by cops, fanatics, politicians, and journalists – especially the New York Times – since the early Oughts despite mountains of evidence that organized]…sex-trafficking schemes [of the sort featured in these fantasies are highly] unusual…migrant children [and adults are]…overwhelmingly people who paid to be smuggled…

Policing for Profit (#1230)

I reckon Empyreal felt letting this crime boss save face was a cheap way to get their property back:

Empyreal Logistics…has reached a settlement with the San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff’s Department, which had [robbed] more than $1 million from Empyreal’s armored cars.  The Justice Department, which was holding the money pending federal forfeiture, agreed to return all of it last month…Empyreal a[lso agreed to endorse a statement] the sheriff’s department issued on Friday, [absurdly claiming that the sheriff and his henchmen were]…”acting in good faith when the[y conducted pretextual traffic] stops w[ith the specific intent of robbing a corporation conducting business that was 100% legal under California law]”…

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The pursuit of sex buyers…functions…[by] targeting people in the sex trade and result[s] in forced evictions, deportations and police harassment.  –  Niina Vuolajärvi

Maggie in the Media

Bound By the Cloak is a new-ish podcast whose tagline is, “Candid conversations about the unspoken”.  Episode 6 is entitled “Grande Horizontale”, so you can probably guess who is interviewed in it.  Give it a listen; I think you’ll enjoy it even if you’ve heard me talk about these topics before.

Sales Pitch

If the Swedish model is so successful, why are they threatening to increase the penalties?

The European Sex Worker Alliance (ESWA) is circulating a petition in solidarity with Swedish sex worker activists fighting a politically motivated attempt to require mandatory jail time for their clients…the…threat…has been Trojan-Horsed into…a series of legal reforms [driven]…by various sex panics fostered by the press…

Smoke and Mirrors

Another of those cases whose reported details don’t add up:

On April 8, a [man] and his teenage daughter were at a Dallas Mavericks basketball game…in Dallas.  Just before halftime, the daughter left her seat to use the restroom.  After she didn’t return, the father went to look for her and notified arena security, staff, and Dallas police of her being missing…lawyer Zeke Fortenberry…[claims] the family repeatedly called Dallas police to help find their daughter…[but] Dallas police…didn’t make any efforts to locate the girl…[so] the family reached out to a [rescueindustry group called] the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative…[which claims it] found [her pictures] on a[n escort] website…in Oklahoma City…and…Oklahoma City police…[found her] at an Extended Stay America…on April 18 and several people were arrested…Fortenberry [was quick to point fingers at]…the Dallas Mavericks…the [stadium, and the hotel, using the required “]failed to protect the victim[” language indicating he plans to sue them and]…Dallas police [using the novel legal construction of vicarious liability which has become popular among ambulance-chasers]…

If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

A pastor [named]…John William Lovelace…in Ayden, North Carolina, was charged…with [various crimes of rape and sexual assault, and]…is also facing two counts of statutory [rape of] a child under the age of 15…

Winding Down (#1179)

It’s too bad Washington only supports self-ownership where drugs are concerned, not sex:

Drug-reform advocates, doctors, and politicians have initiated a ballot measure, Initiative 1922, to remove the penalties for possessing drugs of any kind in the state of Washington, including cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogenic mushrooms.  Led by a coalition group called Commit to Change WA, the proposed [measure would also]…dedicat[e] $141 million…each year to substance use treatment and prevention…the funds…would come from cannabis taxes the state is already receiving…Sponsors of the initiative have until July 8 to collect almost 325,000 valid signatures of registered Washington voters to qualify for a spot on the statewide ballot in November…

Creepy Coppers

Your “leaders” apparently also want you to refer to spreading child porn as “correction”:

Tennessee [screw]…Michael Vernon White, has been charged with possession of “hundreds of items” of child porn…[discovered] after an Internet service provider detected and reported multiple uploads of sexual images and videos depicting young girls.  The number associated with the uploads was linked back to White…

The Cop Myth (#1205)

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

An…NYPD [cop named]…Kevin Marcial…was suspended…following…his [attempt to shoot his] girlfriend’s husband [after he saw the latter behind him in traffic]…Marcial turned around and fired a shot at the [husband, but missed]…The outraged husband showed up later at a nearby police station and reported the [attack], as well as Marcial and the love triangle.  Cops at first [refused to] believe him, but the husband gave [them] the…license plate number, which they traced back to Marcial.  A shell casing was also found at the scene…police reached out to Marcial, who, with his lawyer, [later] surrendered…An NYPD spokeswoman s[pun this as] Marcial “self-report[ing]” the shooting…

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You know you’re way beyond the looking-glass when a judge overturning the diktat of an unelected bureaucracy is declared “power-drunk” and “undemocratic”.  This has nothing to do with whether one agrees with either the judge’s decision or the diktat she overturned; it has to do with the fact that under our Constitution, 1) only legislators can legally make laws, and 2) it’s judges’ job to put brakes on the actions of government actors.  If anything, it is the judiciary’s collective failure to restrain government power (especially the power of unelected state actors such as cops) for decades that constitutes a shameful “brokenness”, not one of the rare times it actually does watchdog the creatures it’s supposed to.  Unfortunately, neither of the authoritarian “wings” has anything resembling philosophical consistency any longer; both change their political positions more often than a nomad changes his residence, and both cheer government actions which reinforce their beliefs du jour and attack those which undermine those beliefs, regardless of whether they approved of the exact same actions in other cases.  The whole “wing” nonsense became totally arbitrary in the US right around the time they moronically assigned the color traditionally associated with nationalism to the “left” and the color traditionally associated with the “left” to the “right”.  I don’t believe the mis-assignment caused the individual elements of dogma to become unmoored from any coherent philosophical framework, but it’s an interesting coincidence nonetheless.

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Following a person’s movements 24 hours a day, day after day, will tell you where they live, where they work, who they spend time with, and who they are.  –  Nate Wessler

Bullies With Badges

Big heroes prove their manhood by terrorizing women:

[British cops] have been…ignoring the law in order to…bully, harass and intimidate…sex workers…[they have] raid[ed] sex workers’ premises [without warrants] and [refused] to identify themselves…In one [case, the cops]…shouted that “prostitution was illegal in the UK, told [their victim] that she was mentally ill, [ransack]ed the flat and [stole] her phones…a personal book containing her email address, passwords and phone numbers”…and [her] towels…claiming they needed to check them for semen…“After this aggressive and unreasonable behaviour officers then bizarrely asked Ms B if she was trafficked,” [Niki] Adams [of ECP] wrote…A spokesp[ig claimed the cops]…did not need a warrant as they were carrying out a routine welfare check…They [lied that their victim voluntarily] invited [them] inside…[the spokespig also oinked out the word “]safeguarding[“, which is a UK cop euphemism for arrest]…

To Molest and Rape

In which “child” is used to mean “teen” and “gang-like group” is used to mean “gang”:

[Cops] in an exclusive Santa Ana Police [gang]…who share…skull tattoos have [repeatedly brutalized and molested citizens]…both [while wearing their magical clown costumes] and [not, and unsurprisingly] faced no [consequences of any kind]…Five of…[them] were [observed by numerous witnesses] verbally harassing [and molesting] two teenage girls…at a…restaurant [in 2020].  In a 2021 incident, [a politician named] Johnathan Hernandez reported seeing…[two of them] holding a struggling woman [down] in a parking lot…[while] groping…and [verbally abusing]…her…

While I sympathize with the desire to make these thugs look as bad as possible, infantilizing victims of sexual assault does not help them.

Stalkers in Blue

Even seemingly-consensual sex with a cop may be something else:

A…Belchertown [Massachusetts cop named]…Michael Beaupre…pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of unlawful wiretapping and 10 charges of photographing an unsuspecting nude person…Beaupre’s [girlfriend]…discovered a thumb drive at his home, which contained a folder of images of her naked, including performing sexual acts.  Those videos were taken without her knowledge…[and] permission [and directly against her] consent…Beaupre had previously asked her if he could film their sexual activities and that she “emphatically stated no”…[cops also] discovered…”approximately 60 folders with women’s names,” and that those folders contained hundreds of videos…13 [of the] folders…[contained] surreptitious recordings…[and] they were able to identify seven of those women…filmed from several devices in Beaupre’s bedroom and downstairs in his living room…between 2017 and 2021…

I Spy (#1064)

Modern fascism has spun a terrifyingly-extensive surveillance net:

According to Brendon Clark of Anomaly Six…the combination of its cellphone location-tracking technology with the social media surveillance provided by Zignal Labs would permit the U.S. government to effortlessly spy on Russian forces…or…track Chinese nuclear submarines.  To prove that the technology worked, Clark pointed A6’s powers inward, spying on the National Security Agency and CIA, using their own cellphones against them…there’s a good chance that A6 knows an immense amount about you.  The company is one of many that purchases vast reams of location data, tracking hundreds of millions of people around the world…without [thei]r knowledge or informed consent, relying on disclosures buried in the legalese of the sprawling terms of service that the companies involved count on you never reading…

To Molest and Rape (#1189)

Remember when the UK claimed it could protect women from predatory cops by paying other predatory cops to lurk in clubs?

A [Scottish cop] is to go on trial facing charges of sexual assault in Aberdeen and Dundee.  Ross Campbell…a[ssaulted seven women]…at various nightclubs…in 2019 and 2020…He [claims they either all wanted it or are lying]…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1202)

At least some reporters are finally getting skeptical of this popular excuse for bad behavior:

Daniel Andrew Karas…confessed to [talking dirty online to a cop fantasy role-playing online as a 13-year-old girl, but blamed it on an imaginary “]crippling adult porn addiction[“.  In court, he self-indulgently went on at great length about his religious beliefs]…and…bizarre[ly claimed that]… “pornography can even be a source of domestic violence, because if they don’t get what they see on porn from their partner then they could get violent”…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1208)

Politicians are always happy to indulge cops’ violent fantasies:

…Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost is [attempt]ing [to panic citizens about]…Nitazenes, [moronically labeled] “Frankenstein Opioids” [by prohibitionists.  The drugs are supposedly]…more than 40-times [as potent as]…fentanyl…Nitazines are not approved for medical use anywhere in the world but are currently being made in secret labs [due to the Iron Law of Prohibition.  But rather than telling the truth, that the War on Drugs is to blame, Yost preferred to repeat childish campfire tales about how cops] who just touched a little fentanyl immediately fell out, overdosed and were rushed to the hospital…[even though fentanyl cannot be absorbed through the skin]…

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Qualified immunity does not protect the officer who orchestrated this outrageous clown show.  –  Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan

The links above this video for my favorite Earth, Wind & Fire song (in honor of the passing of their saxophonist) were provided by Scott Greenfield, Jesse Walker, Cop Crisis, Greg Lukianoff, Popehat, Cop Crisis again, and Billy Binion, in that order.

From the Archives

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It was just heartbreaking to me…to see what we had become.
–  Morgan Davis

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

…Conner “Jesse” Penny…was arrested April 5…for…sexual assault of a child…[for repeatedly molesting] a girl…between 2015 and 2018.  Police did not say how old the girl was at the time or now…Since his arrest…more victims have come forward [about being]…abuse[d] by Penny between 2013 and 2021…Penny was…a youth pastor at Inspiration Church…in Mesquite, [Texas, but he has a long history of following his bliss]…as a teacher’s aide and a [youth] counselor…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1103)

Liz Brown takes a very detailed look at the current US pro-censorship cult:

…it’s a financially precarious, and perhaps even dangerous, time to be in the business of online porn…a constellation of activist groups, rooted in deeply conservative opposition to virtually any depiction of sexuality…have put considerable pressure on the middlemen who keep online porn in business.  In some cases, that pressure has led to the creation of onerous new laws; in others, it has been aided by support from powerful figures in business and government.  These groups have repeatedly sought to conflate…commercial sex…with…sexual exploitation, often with lurid statistics about exploited minors that don’t stand up to scrutiny.  Although these groups [pretend] their aim is merely to rid the web of abuse, it’s clear that their true goal is to eliminate the vast majority of adult sexual content…through a combination of legal pressure tactics, lobbying for new laws, and political intimidation…Rather than help vulnerable women, these efforts threaten to make life worse for the very people they claim to want to help—while simultaneously stifling internet expression more broadly…

The Widening Gyre (#1136)

Innocent people accused of “sex trafficking” by attention-hungry loons are starting to hit back:

…In a two-part Instagram video…[Katie] Sorensen spun a [hysterical] tale about a “[not] clean-cut” man and woman who nearly succeeded in kidnapping her two young children…In reality, her frantic [fantasy] succeeded only in shining a spotlight on herself.  Sorensen’s video gained her a flood of new Instagram followers, an interview with the local news, and an outpouring of online support from terrified moms.  But police said an investigation into the incident produced no evidence that a crime had taken place.  Now Sorensen herself is scheduled to be on trial in May.  Instead of nearly being one of the extremely rare stranger abductions in the U.S. every year, the truth…[is] something less surprising: a white woman painting herself as the victim, when she is actually the aggressor…

Sorensen’s intended victims, Sadie Vega-Martinez and her husband Eddie, wisely went public as soon as they realized Sorenson was defaming them online, exposing her lies as the attention-seeking nonsense they were.  And Elle‘s article quoted above is yet another sign that the implosion of the moral panic which spawned this attempt to destroy an innocent family’s lives is well underway.

Policing for Profit (#1207)

Does anyone still believe that this is about anything other than profit?

The federal government has agreed to return more than $1 million that California sheriff’s deputies stole from an armored-car company that serves state-licensed marijuana businesses…Empyreal Logistics…[was robbed by] Sheriff Shannon Dicus’ [henchmen]…three times in November, December, and January, making off with about $700,000 the first time and about $350,000 the second time.  During the third stop, they came away empty-handed because the van was carrying rolls of coins that had nothing to do with the cannabis industry.  Since…marijuana businesses…are legal in California, Dicus handed the loot over to the FBI, hoping to ultimately keep up to 80 percent of the money through…the Justice Department’s “equitable sharing” program.  That “adoption” fell through after Empyreal sued the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Drug Enforcement Administration…As part of the settlement, Empyreal dropped the federal defendants from its lawsuit.  It is still suing Dicus, and the settlement does not address a separate [robbery] of $165,000 by Kansas sheriff’s deputies, who targeted an Empyreal van carrying money from state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in Kansas City, Missouri, last May…

The Last Shall Be First (#1216) 

It’s good to see a few government employees with both spines and principles:

While the [Texas] attorney general’s office has gone to great lengths to defend the governor’s [jihad against trans youth] in court, the agency responsible for carrying out the investigations has been roiled by resistance and resignations…More than half a dozen child abuse investigators told [reporters]…that they either have resigned or are actively job hunting as a result of the directive…The employees, most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity…said they [were]…unwilling to undertake…discriminatory investigations…but haunted by what a mass exodus of experienced child abuse investigators would mean for the state’s most vulnerable children…

Disaster (#1220)

They’ve chased the ambulance back to Texas again:

Three Texas judges for the state’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals denied…Facebook’s appeal to dismiss a lawsuit in which [ambulance-chasers representing professional “survivors”] argued the platform “facilitated the sex trafficking of minors” and is not protected from liability by Section 230.  Facebook had asked the [court]…to decide if Texas had jurisdiction over the case…The Texas Supreme Court…ruled [last] June…that Facebook was protected from several of the claims by Section 230…but also decided that some of the [fantastical] claims…could proceed [because pro-censorship fanatics like Morality in Media claim to believe them]…

To Molest and Rape (#1222)

So many rapist cops, so many underage victims:

A Los Angeles Co[p named]…Sean Jerome Essex…was arrested for [molesting a girl]…under 14-years-old, and for[cing her to blow him]…

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Maybe it’s spreading so quickly due to the rich soil provided by the 20-year bipartisan crusade to pretend supporting sexworker rights is harmful to children.  If you supported “sex trafficking” hysteria and laws (including censorship) targeting sex workers, you helped create this.  So you can squawk out “THE RIGHT!” all you like; your pet politicians have been working on creating this for two decades, and the blood is on your hands just as much as the hands of “conservatives”.  Maybe you should’ve opposed bigotry and censorship vs sexual minorities from the start instead of setting your own ilk up as judges of which sexual minorities are “good” and deserving of rights, and which “bad” and therefore undeserving.  But I’m sure the worst offenders will just keep flapping their “left wing” and running around in circles squawking “TRUMP!” rather than actually taking a hard look in the mirror.

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I used to like hoaxing on April Fools Day, until it stopped being fun; five years ago, in “The Rule of Fools“, I explained why:

…the…media are positively riddled with idiotic nonsense about “sex trafficking”, the “War on Cops”, supposed “epidemics” of things that are actually less common than they’ve ever been, and other tall tales that could be easily debunked by ten fucking minutes on Google if reporters actually cared to practice journalism rather than stenographically reporting every moronic, impossible and self-serving lie vomited out by cops, politicians, prohibitionists and all the other bipedal vermin who glut themselves on others’ suffering and profit from human misery.  Mathematically-impossible, scientifically-illiterate and sociologically-absurd poppycock too ridiculous for a ’50s science fiction B-movie is routinely presented as fact even by “respected” sources like The New York Times, and politicians base laws on fantasies roughly as credible as the contents of Malleus Maleficarum, complete with penalties that would’ve found approval from those who employed that book.  Clowns are widely presented as objects of terror (and are the subject of a recurring moral panic), which perhaps makes sense given that our rulers are themselves violent clowns who send forth armed thugs in clownish costumes to terrorize, rape, rob and murder the populace based on excuses Caligula himself might recognize as mad.  And their cringing subjects attempt to impose order on a world gone completely insane by artificially dividing their overlords into teams, swearing fealty to one of those teams and then obstinately ignoring all the evil done by “their” leaders while blaming the other side for everything no matter what the facts show.  In short, we live in a world in which the highest points are all occupied by professional full-time fools, and it seems pointless for a sane person to even attempt to compete with them.

In the five years since, the situation has only grown worse.  The mad emperor had at that time barely even begun his Carnival of Crazy, and the powerful deranging effect he had on minds still harboring some childlike faith in government had only begun to show itself.  The American political stage soon became a Punch and Judy show writ large, and everyone was too busy watching it to pay attention while their hollowed-out rights were reduced to paper-thin facades; a plague of snitches spread across the land; “sex trafficking” hysteria began its implosion in a more spectacular fashion than I had anticipated; another, more literal plague gave tyrants and control freaks the best excuse for a power grab they’d had since 2001; censorship became wildly popular among all those who believe the most terrifying fact of the world is that others beside themselves have free will; and those in power gave up all pretense of even attempting to make their lies resemble some rough fascimile of the truth.  In short, the lunatics are running the asylum; every day is Fools’ Day, and the joke is on us.

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

Sisters in Arms

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

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

The Widening Gyre (#698) 

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

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

Working From Home

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

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

You Were Warned (#1134)

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

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

Their Own Petard

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

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

Thou Shalt Not (#1206)

Crypto-moralism rots people’s brains:

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

The Cop Myth (#1217)

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

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

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One of the titles by which the 20th Century will no doubt be known to future historians is “the Prohibition Era”.  The concept of Prohibition first started to take root in the diseased brains of control freaks in the late 19th century; it was an outgrowth of the broader “Progressive” philosophy which held that ordinary people cannot be trusted with our own lives, and must therefore be ruled by “experts” who decide for everyone how the human race should be “improved”, and enforce their diktats with violent thug armies whose actions cannot easily be reconciled with the concept of civil rights.  The first prohibitionist laws date to the late 19th century, but it was in the 20th that the concept not only reached full flower, but also successfully penetrated the minds of the general public so thoroughly that most took it for granted that for governments to tell people what they could consume, what they could own, and even what thoughts they could have while agreeing to consensual sex, was not only normal, but desirableFull alcohol prohibition lasted barely over a decade, but it left in its wake a patchwork of local prohibitions which have only very gradually eroded (and in some ways worsened again toward the end of the century).  And the failure of this one form of prohibition to thrive probably has a great deal to do with the fact that virtually no other country was willing to follow the American example; in most other cases, prohibitions which started in the US (such as drugs and prostitution) spread like a plague over the rest of the world.

But as the 20th century recedes into the past and the number of adults who can’t even remember it grows with every passing year, what Josephine Butler called “the fatuous belief that you can oblige human beings to be moral by force” has gradually become less popular.  The once-global “War on Drugs” is beginning to wind down, and the full or partial criminalization of sex work is increasingly recognized as an abomination by those with healthy minds and respect for human rights.  New South Wales decriminalized “prostitution” in 1995, followed by New Zealand in 2003; many other countries at least loosened their laws on the subject around that same time.  Unfortunately, the prohibitionists recognized the trend before it could snowball, and began a propaganda campaign to convince the world that adult women are universally too weak-minded and spineless to be allowed to run our own sexual affairs, and that phenomena which had previously always been recognized as the pragmatic sexual decisions of individual women were in reality the result of the machinations of a vast cabal of “sex traffickers” abducting hundreds of thousands of “children” into literal slavery.  But moral panics have a very limited lifespan, and this one is already long past its heyday of the early ’10s.  It is now in the process of imploding in a rather spectacular fashion, and opposition to the continued criminalization of sex work has become a safe position even for US politicians.  The temporarily-delayed process of decriminalization got rolling again over the past few years; Australia’s Northern Territory decriminalized near the end of 2019, and Victoria state followed suit just a few weeks ago.  And now the first country outside of Oceania is set to join them:

The official green light has been given to Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne’s proposal to reform Belgium’s sexual criminal law…[by] remov[ing] sex work from the penal code…The Federal Parliament still has to approve the proposal but that is not expected to be more than a formality.  “This is a crucial leap forward. We are finally giving sex workers what they are entitled to: recognition and protection. Something they have been asking for decades,” Van Quickenborne said…Under current regulation, sex work is allowed, but third parties involved with sex workers are committing a crime.  The law [cl]aims to target pimps but in practice impacts other people…from book-keepers and web designers to drivers, landlords and even banks…

The importance of this move is difficult to overstate; the “sex trafficking” myth has provided a convenient cloak for Europen racism, and European chauvinism made decriminalization easy to ignore as long as it was strictly a “Down Under” practice (the same chauvinism has given the toxic “Swedish model” undeserved credibility).  But if Belgium follows through, Europe can no longer dismiss recognition of the sexual rights of adult women as a provincial abberation, and it’s entirely possible others may follow its example.

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