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Posts Tagged ‘I Spy’

Most members of the public have no interest in closely examining falsehoods uttered by governments.  –  Tim Cushing

Policing for Profit

What made it “illegal” was pronouncing the wrong magic words while pointing at his victims in the magic Spell of Forfeiture:

A rural sheriff near the Texas border is under criminal investigation for…having his deputies illegally seize money and a truck from undocumented immigrants during [pretext] stops….Sheriff Nathan Johnson…admitted to regularly s[tealing] money [after having his henchmen barf out the words “illegal alien”, when the]…state [instead wants them to barf out “drug trafficking” and also get permission for the spell from a sacred dog]…Johnson [attempted to defend himself by barfing out the words]…”stand against…traffic in our community”…

Torture Chamber 

Even journalists reporting on these abuses insist on referring to them as “correction”:

Anchorage-based s[crews]…pepper sprayed three [helpless] men inside a van and then closed the doors, leaving them to inhale the chemicals for between seven to 18 minutes…the men were not allowed to shower or change clothes for an extended period of time…one of the men [for] two days…The ombudsman’s investigation…found that…[the] assault…was in…[response to a thoughtcrime supposedly committed by one of the victims]…

Under Duress (#1110) 

I find it mind-boggling that most people are surprised to find out that cops are habitual liars:

Virginia Beach police used forged documents that [claimed to] link…people’s DNA to a crime to get them to confess or cooperate with [pigs], Virginia’s outgoing attorney general announced…The city’s police department has changed its policy [because it got caught]…but c[laimed] the [deception was] legal…The bogus pieces of paper included a seal and letterhead from the state agency…[and] the signature of a fictitious employee from the department…in at least one instance, [cops committed perjury by submitting] a forged report…to a court as evidence…

I Spy (#1155)

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

The UK government has expressed an unhealthy determination to undermine encryption for years now…[using excuses] ranging from “the children” to “the terrorists.”  The underlying intent never changes even if…the bills get renamed, as though a different shade of lipstick would make the UK’s anti-encryption pig any more desirable.  Rebranding from “Online Harms” to “Online Safety” only changed the tablecloths in the Titanic’s dining room…but presumably “safety” sounds better than “harms,” especially when the government affirmatively wants to harm the safety of millions of UK residents.  The Internet Society has taken a look at the revamped and rebranded bill and has delivered a report that explains exactly where on the Internet doll the UK government plans to engage in inappropriate touching.  There’s no mention of backdoors or broken encryption, but complying with the law means…doing both…

To Molest and Rape (#1187)

It would be difficult to bury this lede any further down:

A federal judge has sentenced a…North Dakota…man to life in prison for [rape]…Douglas J. Schneider…[was also ordered] to pay [the paltry sum of] $19,215 in restitution…between 2013 and 2018, Schneider [repeatedly raped the] child…who was between 7 and 10 years old when he started, but it became a federal case when]…Schneider transported the child from North Dakota to Montana [to rape her some more.  And by the way]…Schneider w[as a cop]…

The Cop Myth (#1197)

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

A [typical and representative] Tulsa [cop named]…Shannon Kepler…a[bandoned his] daughter, Lisa…at a homeless shelter shortly after she turned 18 with no money, cell phone, credit cards or clothes other than what she wore…[t]he[n continued to stalk her via]…Facebook…[when] she…changed her status to being “in a relationship” with [a 19-year-old black man named Jeremy] Lake, who…was a volunteer at the shelter…Kepler then [stalked]…Lake [via]…police [databases]…travelled…to Lake’s last known address…carrying a loaded .357 Magnum revolver…[and waited for] his daughter and Lake [to come by. When she understandably]…re[fused]…to speak with…Kepler [he responded by gunning]…Lake [down in the street like a mad dog, then attempted] to…[also murder] his daughter, the victim’s brother, and a third witness…Kepler [later] claimed that…he shot Lake in self-defense [despite] Lake [being unarmed and the contrary testimony of three witnesses]…Kepler was…[tried] fi[ve times in all]…The first three resulted in hung juries, and a fourth resulted in a conviction for manslaughter [rather than what it clearly was, premeditated murder.  After this conviction was overturned on a technicality, he was finally sentenced to 25 years for the 2014 murder]…

You Were Warned (#1203)

The bipartisan war on the internet moves us another step closer to idiocracy:

A controversial California bill that would eliminate Section 230 protections in the name of fighting “online trafficking” and “revenge porn,” along the lines established at the federal level by FOSTA-SESTA, has moved forward in the state senate…SB435 threatens platforms with fines of over $100,000 for not immediately removing flagged content, but offers little to protect the system from abuse by bad actors…Anti-porn groups and harassers, [Free Speech Coalition Public Affairs Director Mike] Stabile noted, “already abuse reporting systems to attack sex workers.  SB435 would give them a powerful new tool, with almost no protections for legal content. And since most of the time platforms would rather remove legal content than arbitrate slowly and risk expensive litigation, the end result would be the further banning and removal…at a massive scale”…

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People should not be in jail for imaginary crimes.  –  Ryan Marino

Power Play (#701)

I guess 5 years is longer than most Americans’ attention spans:

the New York Daily News [has] published a glowing, error-filled preview of former California prosecutor and failed Sacramento County DA candidate Maggie Krell’s book Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker, which…depicts Krell as a crusading attorney for the California AG’s office who “defeated”…Backpage.com by bringing pimping charges in 2016 against its former owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin…But Krell’s charges…were thrown out of court, not once, but twice.  Nor did Backpage go out of business in 2016.  Rather, Backpage went out of business in 2018, when the federal government seized…the site…on multiple counts of conspiracy, money laundering and facilitating misdemeanor state prostitution offenses in violation of the U.S. Travel Act…none of the defendants are charged with…sex trafficking…nor could they be…

I Spy (#990)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

The EU’s police agency, Europol, will be forced to delete much of a vast store of personal data that it has…[illegally] amassed…the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) [has ordered the deletion of]…what privacy experts are calling a “big data ark” containing…data…drawn from crime reports, hacked from encrypted phone services and [stolen] from asylum seekers never involved in any crime…Europol’s cache contains at least 4 petabytes – equivalent to…a fifth of the entire contents of the US Library of Congress…the…mass surveillance…is a step…to becoming a European counterpart to the…NSA…The watchdog ordered Europol to erase data held for more than six months and gave it a year to sort out what could be lawfully kept…

Quiet Genocide (#1111)

A very brave woman working to expose a colossal abomination:

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1162)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

Every year, [cops] claim to have suffered near-fatal overdoses after accidentally touching fentanyl, a[nd reporters obediently parrot the hysterical fantasies]…But…It is…impossible to overdose simply by touching or getting too close to fentanyl. Doctors and toxicologists warn that the hype around this perceived threat is harming overdose victims…[and] taxpayers…Accidental overdose by skin exposure “is chemically and physically implausible,” said Dr. Ryan Marino, a medical toxicologist and addiction medicine specialist…at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Andrew Stolbach, an emergency physician and medical toxicologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said, “It’s not possible to overdose on fentanyl by touching it. If it was absorbed well through the skin, people wouldn’t inject it and snort it in order to get high.” Despite this, people who use the drug are facing serious legal repercussions — such as charges of assault or endangerment of officers — for supposedly causing these impossible overdoses…

I Spy (#1188)

It’s best not to upset useful idiots at a time like this:

Signal [i]s considering adding cryptocurrency payments…start[ing] with MobileCoin…“a system [designed to] hide…everything from everyone”…There’s nothing sinister about putting payments into a messaging app, and Signal is not alone in adding crypto payments to messaging…What sets Signal’s effort apart is the combination of end-to-end encryption in messaging and a cryptocurrency with privacy features designed to make any transactions anonymous…Signal employees…[a]re worried…that…anonymous transactions would likely attract…regulatory scrutiny.  Given that end-to-end encryption already faces [political persecution] around the globe…Signal’s addition of anonymous payments…could give more ammunition to [politicians] who want to end encryption…

I’m not sure how trustworthy this writer is, given that he believes the government should be able to spy on anyone as long as some spook belches out the magic words “money laundering” first.

The Next Target (#1192)

It won’t be long now before this spreads out of the porn ecosystem and into the greater internet:

My webcam account was recently suspended for violating the code of conduct.  I was told I had engaged in a fetish category that is cause for immediate account closure…in the past, I cammed from an actual brick and mortar studio for a small website with just a few dozen models.  I had direct contact with management.  If there was a problem, Mastercard contacted the boss to explain the issue.  He would knock on my studio door, tell me what was up, and I could immediately comply…[now] I’m working for a giant site with thousands of performers.  I have no relationship with management.  Most of my emails go unanswered or receive generic responses.  When I was suspended, I got no explanation, no opportunity for correction, no word about what would happen to my outstanding pay…Platforms are moderating their workers with an increasingly heavy hand, so the scope of sexual topics we have to avoid is getting broader.  Platforms have also passed the task of moderation down to us, asking that we flag and report clients who request shows that might violate the rules, or risk being punished for complicity.  Not only does this mean I stand to make less money—I’m also being asked to police my clientele and their desires…

The Cop Myth (#1199)

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

A Huntsville [Alabama cop named]…David McCoy…murder[ed his]…girlfriend [by shooting her] in the head inside a parked vehicle, then called in the death claiming the woman shot herself.  The [motive appears to be that the] woman…recently informed McCoy she was pregnant…McCoy has [been rewarded for his violent behavior with a paid vacation]…per [cop shop] policy…

Note that the exonerative-mood headline makes it sound like the victim committed the murder.

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[Morality in Media’s] entire existence doesn’t make much sense if they can’t convince more prudes that nekkid people are destroying society.  –  Mike Masnick

My Body, My Choice

An argument I’ve often made myself:

…feminists should embrace a definition of sexual freedom that goes beyond the right to prevent reproduction and which focuses on women’s sexual autonomy…Anti-abortion advocates have embraced paternalistic arguments that assert they know better than women about their best interests and the harms of abortion…in much the same way mainstream feminists have claimed to know better than sex workers about how they should use their bodies. However, decriminalized sex work and access to abortion allow women in economic precarity escape destitution…the decriminalization of sex work has been treated as niche or counterproductive to the goal of sexual freedom…this…has contributed to the political embrace of access to abortion as the priority issue for feminist organizing, while women’s groups have openly contested women’s right to be free from criminalization while engaging in commercialized sex…

Pretext

Conscription of unconsenting drivers into copaganda will continue until reporters stop parroting cop PR releases:

Tulsa [cops] were out [stalking people as usual], but instead of giving out tickets, the [cops used them without their consent in a PR stunt funded by]…an anonymous donor [who] gave them nine, $100 gift cards to give out to people.  [Cops said]…the [terrified or disgusted] look on their [victims’] faces made it [fun for them]…

See No Evil (#937)

Are the Japanese the only people left on Earth who can tell fantasy from reality?

…it isn’t just [actual child porn] that Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are trying to find and erase from their servers.  They’re also looking for cartoons depicting graphic acts involving [drawings of fictional characters that resemble] children, as revealed by a recent search warrant [demand]ing Google…provide information on a[n artist] who[m the Thought Police decided to accuse of] own[ing] such animations.  That kind of content is p[rosecutable]… under U.S. law and can be detected by Google’s anti-child…systems, a fact not…discussed [with Google’s customers]…in late 2020 in Kansas…Google detected “digital art or cartoons depicting [fictional characters which appeared to mindless algorithms to resemble] children engaged in sexually explicit conduct”…within a Drive account…Google [eagerly] handed information on what it found…to the [Feds]…This [should] concern…artists [and anyone else who understands the difference between fantasy and reality]…but [useful idiots in the media pretend] the [criteria]…prosecutor[s use when] trying to [destroy people’s lives for cartoons are not only objective, but judged by people with functional moral compasses]…

A Woman’s Point of View (#1003) 

Prohibitionists can always find bogus “studies” to support their fantasies:

Burlington [Vermont] city councilors…unanimous[ly] pass[ed]…a…measure [which] will…go before the voters…in March.  The measure would remove [anti-sex worker] language…from the city charter, e[stablishing de facto decriminalization] in the city…Councilor Perri Freeman…introduced the action…to [protect]…sex workers…Freeman…[correctly pointed out th]at [Morality in Media,] a [religious pro-censorship] group [which sent a number of shills]…to speak against [human rights, is led by]…Patrick Trueman…former director of…government affairs for the American Families Association…a Southern Poverty Law Center hate group”…

The Cop Myth (#1145)

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

A [typical and representative] Houston [cop named]…Ray Irvin…was arrested on Dec. 17 a[fter he]…broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment on Nov. 21[, then pistol-whipped] and beat [her because]…she had changed the locks because [she was afraid he’d do exactly what he did when] they broke up…

You Were Warned (#1175)

Are you beginning to see the whole picture now?

…the State Department released its United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking Annual Report 2021…Anti-human trafficking policy…seems to attract some very, very bizarre people…[which] perhaps…explains the report’s incredibly bizarre, incorrect, and just weird thoughts on the internet and Section 230…[one] section…looks like it was directly written by…Morality in Media…One of the group’s big lobbying campaigns is to convince states to pass laws declaring pornography to be a “public health issue“…The claim that porn is “the marketing department for sex trafficking”…seems wholly irresponsible to put it into a State Dept. document…the report…ignores all th[e evidence of what a disaster FOSTA was] and says we just need to take an even bigger sledge hammer to Section 230…why is the State Department allowing its name and credibility to be used to launder this nonsense as if it’s legit?

The Cop Myth (#1194)

Another example of why cops are not reformable:

…two sex workers in Washington, D.C…called 911 reporting that a [drunk and] belligerent [cop] had [tried to rape]…one of them…a[t] gun[point], and then accused them of stealing his phone…the…plates…[of the assailant’s car]…show[ed]…it belonged to Ronald Faunteroy…who…after a…two-hour interview [with internal affairs]…confess[ed]…Yet a powerful tribunal of three high-ranking [cops], known as the Adverse Action Panel, overruled the department’s decision to fire Faunteroy…MPD’s Disciplinary Review Division sought to terminate at least 24 [cops] currently on the force for criminal misconduct from 2009 to 2019.  In all but three of those cases…the Adverse Action Panel blocked the termination and instead issued much lighter punishment…These [cops had been caught committing] domestic violence, DUIs, indecent exposure, sexual solicitation, stalking, and more.  In several instances, they fled the scenes of their crimes…

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Those in government office a[re] the proper subjects of scrutiny…not those who hold them to account.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Same As It Ever Was

All prohibitionism is the same:

The place of the humble egg in the street food culture of Gujarat…has become the latest flash point in the growing role of religion in everyday life…under [Hindu nationalist] Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who[se]…policies to reshape India…include tightening a ban on alcohol and adding protections against the slaughter of cattle…But even devout Hindus don’t always agree among themselves what practices the faithful should follow, a conflict that also raises issues of income and class.  Hence the bitter disagreement over eggs…[which some high-caste] Hindu…vegetarian[s]…consider…to be meat products.  Citing complaints from Hindus as well as [bogus] health concerns, local officials in Ahmedabad…and at least four other cities in mid-November banned the sale and display of meat, fish and eggs on the street…facing a lawsuit and protests, officials in Ahmedabad relented and allowed sales…to resume for now, though the dispute is being considered by the courts

Stalkers in Blue

Cops regularly demonstrate exactly what they are:

Two [cops, James Delinicolis and Angelo Dellosa,] who regularly [harassed] women while [wearing their magical clown costumes were allowed to skate despite] pleading guilty to misconduct in public office over sex with a 17-year-old schoolgirl…in March 2020.  The…other charges [they faced] were withdrawn, including attempted…sexual assault [at gunpoint] and multiple charges of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent…Judge Peter Berman…[let them off] with…community service…[because they testified they were scared of jail despite the fact that they apparently also] tried to rape a schoolgirl…The two [routinely tried to intimidate]…women [into submitting to]…sex…with the[m]…

I Spy (#990)

Remember this when some useful idiot claims you don’t need anonymity online:

…Customs and Border Protection…routinely use[s] the country’s most sensitive databases to obtain the travel records and financial and personal information of journalists, [bureaucrats, politician]s and their staff, NGO workers and others…includ…ing email addresses, phone numbers and photos from passport applications…Running background checks as a matter of course may be creepy, but it’s difficult to imagine it not becoming standard practice when that information is available at agents’ fingertips…because of the fetishization of national security…an[d]…also because it’s so easy to access information on almost everybody…The number of journalists jailed around the world set another record in 2021…[with] 56 journalists…arrested in the U.S. this year…as many as in 2017-2019 combined….journalism isn’t a status, but rather an activity in which anybody can engage…and…annoying powerful people has become an increasingly dangerous activity even where it was once safe…

Permanent Record (#1018)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

Magistrate Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai…in Gililland v. Southwestern Oregon Community College, et al. [ruled] that a nursing student who was discriminated against because she was a former adult film performer is sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX.  This ruling is a historic victory for sex worker rights and will likely be expanded upon in years to come…Gililland asserted the college’s behavior was “gender stereotyping” her…The college…contended that Gililland was not protected by Title IX because…“employment history is not a protected status”…Judge Kasubhai…rejected th[is as bullshit and]…determined the “heart of this analysis” is “the kind of woman…that [the college] perceived [Gililland] to be because of her employment history…an ‘unclassy’ woman unfit to be a nurse”…

Censor Chic (#1046)

I’m sure you’ll extend the same courtesy to authors who aren’t violent, genocidal  megalomaniacs, right Amazon?

Amazon quietly removed criticism of…Xi [Jinping’s propaganda screeds] by scrubbing bad reviews, ratings and comments from its Chinese site…agree[ing] to Beijing’s demand to have anything below a five-star review of…The Governance of China removed from Amazon.cn about two years ago…The move is the latest example of western tech companies willing to [kowtow to] Chinese censors for access to the country’s massive consumer market…

Droit du Seigneur (#1183)

It’s good to see this lurid narrative turned against cops for a change:

A Putnam County [New York cop named]…Wayne Peiffer [has been] charged with protecting [what prosecutors refer to as] a sex trafficking ring…in [exchange for sexual services.  The sex workers were arrested and prosecutors]…are [attempting to threaten them into cooperation by threatening them with deportation to Mexico]…One of the Queens-based s[ex workers escaped]…and is being labeled a fugitive…

As in the Virginia case, it’s tough to tease out reality from fantasy here, but I’ve done my best to extract what appear to be the facts from amongst the dysphemized descriptions, agency denial, and outright lies.

Thought Control (#1197)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

…Local public libraries in Texas…are fielding a flurry of book challenges from [censorious twatwaffles].  While book challenges are nothing new, there has been a growing number of complaints…in re[sponse to censorship demands from politicians.  In]…October…state Rep. Matt Krause [bloviated nonsense about “pornographic books” in school libraries, and was soon joined by violent prohibitionist]…Gov. Greg Abbott…In the weeks since, school districts across the state have [been forced to waste huge amounts of money and work-hours] review[ing] of their book collections, and state officials have [sp]un in[creasingly-stupid propaganda about]…inappropriate content…In Victoria…Dayna Williams-Capone says the number of [copycat] complaints about books is the most she’s seen in her nearly 13 years…about 40…books f[rom a short list]…that touch on topics of same-sex relationships, sexuality and race.  After Williams-Capone and her staff [turned down] the [censorship demands], the…[would-be censors tried to go over their heads]…to the library’s advisory board…[who] voted…to [trust their] librar[ians’ judgement rather than accede to the demands of prudish ignoramuses]…

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

I Spy (#646)

The civil rights violations cops commit reinforce each other:

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

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

Working From Home (#1066)

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

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#1092)

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

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

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

This seems like a wise decision:

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

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

It’s good when they feed on each other:

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

Opting Out (#1194) 

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

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

The Cop Myth (#1197)

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

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

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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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The people having the greatest sexual fulfilment were [those] who…discarded the entire package of paint-by-numbers ideas about sexuality.  –  Peggy Kleinplatz

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

Alice Sebold’s bestselling 1999 memoir Lucky tells the story of a young woman raped by a stranger…Sebold went on to write the bestseller The Lovely Bones, a fictional account of a teenage girl raped and killed.  But last week Anthony Broadwater, the man who served 16 years in prison for raping Sebold, was exonerated.  Timothy Mucciante, a producer working on a film adaptation of Lucky, was fired after raising questions about inconsistencies in Sebold’s story…[and] discrepancies between the memoir and the facts of the case, to the point where he…ended up hiring a private investigator [who]…broke the case.  Broadwater’s conviction…rested on shaky evidence: Sebold had…initially picked a different man out of a lineup—and the only forensic evidence was a form of hair analysis that [even] the government now [admits is] junk science…Broadwater was [condemned to] the New York Sex Offender Registry after his 1999 release, and…remained on it until a few days ago.  His case starkly highlights the needless cruelty of sex offense registries

Between the Ears (#322)

Professionals have been telling y’all this for decades:

…truly magnificent sex has very little to do with daring feats of seduction or screaming orgasms…erotic intimacy is more a state of mind than a physical act.  In a recent study, Magnificent Sex, psychologist and sex therapist Dr Peggy J Kleinplatz and her colleagues at Ottawa University…recruited people from around the world across the age, gender and sexuality spectrum – who self-reported having had, at some point in their lives, truly mindblowing sex.  Through a series of interviews, researchers began to build up a picture of what “the best sex ever” looks, feels and sounds like…Despite the different ways each participant actually had sex, at the very peaks of the experience, everyone was feeling the same kinds of things: total absorption in the moment, deep connection with their partner, and openness and a willingness to take a few emotional risks…

The rest has the same kind of advice sex educators have been giving people for as long as there’s been such a thing (see the subtitle of this item?) but it won’t do any good, because most people just want a magic pill.

Checklist (#685)

Thought you could avoid the “sex trafficking” Gestapo by taking a bus rather than a plane?  Think again:

Denver [cops swarmed]…a Greyhound bus [on November 29th]…[they delayed the bus for hours, interrogat]ing…passengers and [root]ing [through people’s] luggage [without their consent, using the excuse of “]a possible human trafficking situation[” reported by a busybody indoctrinated by government “signs of trafficking” propaganda]…an adult female was [on the bus] and…The Denver Police Human Trafficking Unit is investigating [why she was traveling without a male]…no one has been arrested at this time…

Monsters (#863) 

All internet “porn” censorship schemes have similar endgames:

A powerful Russian [politician]…unveiled…a bill proposal that would classify all depictions of LGBTQ+ relationships in the same banned or restricted categories as pornography…[while] another [politician announced]…he had prepared a catalog of “toxic content,” using a system that labels content from “completely banned” to “simply undesirable”…Vitaly Milonov…[said] “the state…[should] not allow the broadcast of films with LGBTQ+ content”…and…Igor Ashmanov… “would flag topics such as radical feminism [and] ‘child-free’ lifestyles, as well as the promotion of homosexuality and bestiality”…Last month, an[other politician blathered toxic nonsense about]…“the rights of law enforcers [to inflict violence upon individuals for their thoughts]”…

Winding Down (#1114)

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

South Dakota voters made history last November by simultaneously approving ballot initiatives aimed at legalizing recreational and medical use of marijuana…Amendment A…prevailed by an eight-point margin in a state that is…largely conservative.  But thanks to…legal [obstructionism]…by [prohibitionist] Gov. Kristi Noem, Amendment A was almost immediately tied up in litigation, and…[now] the South Dakota Supreme Court [has] definitively overturned it…[on a technicality the amendment’s backers called “a far-fetched legal theory”, an assessment the dissenting judge agreed with]…unless the state legislature independently implements the policy embodied in Amendment A, the ruling means supporters…will have to try again next year with an initiative that addresses the court’s legal objections…

The Crumbling Dam (#1153)

Will the feds interfere with this as they did in Philadelphia?

In an attempt to curb a surge in overdose deaths caused by [street drugs made] increasingly potent [by the iron law of prohibition], New York City will authorize two supervised injection sites in Manhattan…New York…will become the first U.S. city to open officially authorized injection sites…other cities including Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston and Seattle have taken steps toward supervised injection but have [been blocked by prohibitionists both in and out of government]…Mayor Bill de Blasio…sent a letter to the providers promising “not to take enforcement action” against their operations and…four of the city’s five district attorneys — [in]cluding [crypto-prohibitionist]…Cyrus R. Vance Jr

I Spy (#1173)

I’ll believe Facebook is actually going to do this when it actually does it:

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp’s parent company…doesn’t plan to roll out end-to-end encryption…by default on Messenger and Instagram until 2023…Antigone Davis, Meta’s head of safety, attributes the delay to concerns about user safety…[which does not]…mean…[actual safety, but is in actuality an Orwellian euphemism for copsucking]…UK…[politicians are trying to criminalize encryption in their fiefdom] and…the US…Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Japan…all [subscribe to mathematically-illiterate lawhead beliefs that it’s possible]…to give [pigs and spooks a “backdoor” to root around in people’s private affairs while magically preventing thugs and busybodies who don’t work for the State from exploiting the same intentional gap in security]…

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This is not a Uyghur tragedy. This is a human tragedy.  –  Gulchehra Hoja

Guinea Pigs (#970)

Is Facebook finally going to do something about the creation of predatory accounts by law enforcement?

Facebook is demanding that the Los Angeles police department cease all use of [fake] accounts on its platforms and stop collecting data on users for surveillance…after the Guardianrevealed the department [collaborat]ed in 2019 with Voyager Labs, a tech company that [spies on people]…by analyzing social media information such as a person’s friends, posts and usernames…in addition to enabling law enforcement clients to [steal] user data from companies like Facebook, Voyager software also enables…[the creation of] fake accounts to access otherwise inaccessible and private user information…both these uses are violations of [Facebook] policies…

Welcome to the Future (#997)

Another would-be magic lasso based in pseudoscience:

…EyeDetect is just the polygraph in more algorithmic clothing.  The machine is fundamentally unable to deliver on its claims…because human truth-telling is too subtle for any data set…Where the polygraph measures blood pressure, breathing and sweat to determine the flubbing, EyeDetect looks at factors like pupil dilation and the rapidity of eye movement…But experts say such logic may not have much basis in science…Leonard Saxe, a psychologist…who has conducted some of the leading research in the field of truth-detection…says, “I don’t know of any evidence that eye movements are linked to deception”…[yet despite] the polygraph[‘s]…long history of…failure…it…continues to be used [by people who prize false certainty over actual truth, such as cops and]…government [officials]…

Top Cop (#1108)

This authoritarian psychopath wants you to forget what she’s really like:

…polls show the vice president to be deeply unpopular with voters—even less popular than Biden, whose approval numbers have been underwater since August…Her…sloppy attempts to rewrite her biography…attest to an uncomfortable relationship between who Harris is and who she’s trying to convince you she is…Harris is a cop and that won’t change no matter how many times she tries to awkwardly mouth the buzzwords of the progressive youths.  If you’re the type of person who defends dirty copsthrows poor parents in jail when their kids miss school, or laughs at the idea of inmates being denied food and water, then you’re probably never going to be believably woke…Harris is a law-and-order politician in a party that no longer has much room for cops and heavy-handed prosecutors (unless they’re prosecuting the right people).  Her attempts at evolving her image have been disingenuous and unconvincing.  And now she’s tethered to a sinking ship of a presidency, and she doesn’t seem too interested in helping to bail—only in complaining that her feet are getting wet.  And, no, don’t chalk up Harris’ poor poll numbers or criticism of her political performance to sexism and racism…there are plenty of more popular politicians out there who are racial minorities and/or women.  Harris’ popularity problems are her own…

Quiet Genocide (#1114)

Fascist corporations are happy to assist in a genocide:

With the Beijing Olympics less than three months away, will Coca-Cola and other sponsors of the Games celebrate with China while…an entire people is being slowly, deliberately erased?  We have learned to think of genocide as industrial-scale slaughter: gas chambers, killing fields, mass graves.  A report published last week by the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, “To Make Us Slowly Disappear,” suggests that China may have found a different way, more insidious if no less monstrous.  The campaign against the Uyghur[s]…began with conventional discrimination, escalated to intense surveillance and mass detentions, and now includes forcible sterilization and insertion of IUDs; separation of men and women through incarceration, forced migration and coerced [sham] marriages of Uyghur women to men from the ethnic Han majority; and mass kidnapping of Uyghur children, taken from their parents and placed in state “boarding schools”…

Rotting Fruit (#1126)

The state demands an eye for an eye, but it doesn’t really care whose eye:

Jeffrey Epstein…isn’t just gone; he’s quickly being forgotten, relegated to a supporting role in the scandal that bears his name.  Our focus has turned to Ghislaine Maxwell, whose status has grown so great in the wake of Epstein’s death that she has all but eclipsed the man without whose bad acts there would never have been a story at all…In 2019, when Epstein was arrested and charged with sex trafficking, Maxwell was covered as more of a curiosity than an accomplice — let alone a puppeteer pulling his strings…today…Maxwell’s guilt is treated as a foregone conclusion…the public narrative has already promoted her from partner to boss…The female villain who wields power in the form of manipulation is an ancient fictional archetype; from Eve and the apple on up, it serves to tell us that it’s women’s ambition which forms the true roots of men’s evil deeds.  In Snow White, it’s the power-hungry and jealous queen who orders a huntsman to cut out the heart of her stepdaughter.  In Shakespeare, it’s Lady Macbeth who gets stuck with indelible bloodstains on her hands…in Epstein’s case…the more we hear about Ghislaine Maxwell, the less agency Epstein seems to have…

The Next Target (#1180)

Mastercard’s elaborate concern kabuki is the direct result of “sex trafficking” propaganda:

…for the first time, [Mastercard is] requir[ing] Pornhub, OnlyFans, and other distribution companies to obtain copies of age-verification records instead of only the owner of the content having and maintaining them…making [performers] vulnerable to fraudsters, blackmail artists, and worst of all, people who want to harm us physically…The general public should freak out that Mastercard now controls what they can and cannot watch.  Today, they’re regulating porn, but what if they start deeming what cinema and books we consume?  What if tomorrow they stop processing payments of booksellers that sell Lolita?…Mastercard implemented their porn rules because of a targeted campaign spearheaded by bad-faith actors like Exodus Cry.  In the future, they could quickly stop processing payments of controversial political material due to public pressure.  Last month, c[ensorious] Virginia parents demanded school libraries strip Toni Morrison’s Beloved from their shelves…if activists could scream loud enough so Mastercard could regulate porn, it’s easy to imagine the company coming after other forms of speech.  One day, something isn’t controversial; the next day, it is.  America flip-flops on which artists we hate daily…

The Cop Myth (#1187)

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

…a…four-day manhunt for [typical and representative] Baltimore Co[p]…Robert Vicosa [ended when he murdered] his two kidnapped daughters [and his cop girlfriend, Tia Bynum, then shot himself]…Giana and Aaminah Vicosa…[were] 7 and 6, respectively…The [two cops] had been on the run after…kidnapping Vicosa’s daughters from his estranged wife…then robbing and carjacking the people they encountered while trying to [get aw]ay…the two…[had] lured his estranged wife to his home…the[n held her captive…[ti]ed her [up in] the basement and…drugged…threatened…and sexually assaulted her, [then fled after the ex managed to escape and call the cops]…

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For far too long Internet users have suffered personal data abuses at the whims of Facebook and other platforms.  –  Alan Butler

Surplus Women

Deranged men may respond violently when sex workers refuse to cater to their fantasies:

…Stanley Szeliga…has been charged with [the] murder…of [a dancer named Abigail] Saldaña…in…Fort Worth [Texas]…Rick’s Cabaret [manager told cops]…Saldaña had recently been harassed by a customer he knew as “Stan.”  The manager showed the detective an Oct. 14 Instagram post in which Saldaña said she found a tracker under her car…“Stan” was irritated [that] Saldaña [would not indulge his fantasy of being her boyfriend] and had threatened to tell police she was engaged in prostitution…

Schadenfreude

Yet another rescue industry fraud has been unmasked:

[A rescue industry scam named] Saved in America has in the last four years collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from g[ullible] San Diegans and other donors at big-ticket galas…its [ringleader], private [dick] Joseph Travers, describes [the] group…[as composed of] former [pigs, spooks and jarheads] that help…families locate missing and exploited children.  Since its formation in 2017, SIA has re[leas]ed extensive publicity extolling its [own supposed] work.  Now, though, former supporters and local [politicians] are distancing themselves from the organization’s [bullshit] claims.  Multiple groups [and politicians] listed as supporters on the organization’s website…[have] ask[ed] Saved in America to remove their names.  A [politician] scheduled to receive the group’s major award at the Thursday gala said he is not attending…

Pretext

The “cops bearing gifts” PR scam is not limited to the US:

Since August 11 this year, [cops have harassed]…sex work[ers and clients] in Ganga Jamuna [the red light district of Nagpur, India, thus endangering] the livelihood of the 2,000- 3,000 sex workers there…[yet those same cops] organized a “Diwali milan” programme to distribute sarees, ration and other gifts to the women and their children…sex workers [replied by] demanding [that the] cops…[stop harassing them instead.  One] sex worker said the cops cannot justify…keeping us away from livelihood for the last three months and then offering us festive gifts…the cops…[of course] denied any strong opposition [to their scam, claiming…the majority [or sex workers were] in our favour [of starving to death while cops play generous for reporters]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1082) 

I wonder if the Illinois lawsuit had anything to do with this?

Facebook…announced…it is shutting down its facial recognition system, which automatically identifies users in photos and videos…[civil rights advocates point out that] facial recognition technology – which is popular among retailers, hospitals and other businesses for s[urveillance] purposes…compromise[s] privacy, target[s] marginalized groups and normalize[s] intrusive surveillance.  IBM has permanently ended facial recognition product sales, and Microsoft…and Amazon…have suspended sales to police [temporari]ly…

Checklist (#1158)

Airlines:  do you really want to keep accepting liability for employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you feed them?

A mother and her 10-year-old daughter were [harassed] by [cops and a bureaucrat] at Denver International Airport in October, after an air…[hostess included them in her]…human-trafficking [fantasies without their consent]…Mary MacCarthy said the suspicion was based on a “racist assumption” as she is white and her daughter is biracial…The pair were travelling to attend [a] funeral…[but] upon arriving in Denver, [they] were surrounded by two armed [thugs] and a…Southwest [agent] on the jet bridge, and were [interrogated after the crying child was]…separate[d from her mother]…the [air hostess fantasized that] it was suspicious that Ms MacCarthy and her daughter Moira were [in] the last…[airline-assigned] board[ing group] and [that a mother wanted]…to…sit together [with her 10-year-old]…daughter…[even after they were finally allowed to leave, the cops]…called [MacCarthy] 10 days later to [harass her some more]…Southwest Airlines responded [by vomiting out a lot of platitudes and the magic buzzwords]…Human Trafficking…

I Spy (#1173)

Why end-to-end encryption is an absolute necessity:

Signal has released the details of a search warrant it received from police in Santa Clara, California, unveiling the [lengths to which cops]…will [go] to force online platforms into disclosing the personal information of their users…[the cops] sought to get the name, street address, telephone number, and email address of a specific Signal user.  It also wanted billing records, the dates of when the account was opened and registered, inbound and outbound call detail records, voicemails, video calls, emails, text messages, IP addresses along with dates and times for each login, and even all dates and times the user connected to Signal…[the only information] Signal [could] provide…[was] timestamps show[ing] the dates that the account last connected to Signal…[because] “It’s impossible to turn over data that we never had access to in the first place. Signal doesn’t have access to your messages; your chat list; your groups; your contacts…or [anything else]”…[the cops] then issued a non-disclosure order that required Signal to not publicly disclose that it received the search warrant.  Th[at] was then extended four times, which resulted in Signal’s request to unseal the search warrant being repeatedly pushed back.  In total, it took Signal almost a full year before the company was able to legally publicly disclose [what had happened]…

Winding Down (#1179)

Is it too much to ask politicians to actually ban these arrests instead of merely “urging” cops not to violate people’s rights?

Detroit voters…overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative aimed at protecting people who consume “entheogenic plants” from arrest and prosecution.  Proposal E, which was supported by 61 percent of voters, makes “personal possession and therapeutic use” of natural psychedelics by adults “the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority”…Just a month ago, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a [similar] resolution…Although the Detroit ballot initiative claims to “decriminalize” natural psychedelics “to the fullest extent permitted under Michigan law,” it does not affect state penalties for possessing such drugs, which…[can include] up to four years in prison and a $25,000 fine…[though a pending bill] would [truly] decriminalize the [substances if passed]…

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This case is important…because of…Texas’s cavalier and contemptuous mechanism for shielding from review potential violations of constitutional rights.  –  The Firearms Policy Coalition

Above the Law  

A rare case of a government functionary actually being punished for his crimes:

A [typical and representative porcine creature] will now spend life in prison himself after [raping women he was paid by the State to haul from one cage to another like livestock]…A federal judge in Little Rock, Arkansas sentenced Eric Scott Kindlay…to life in prison plus five years.  Kindlay…[ran] his own private prison transport company, signing contracts with local jails and [other government cage stacks to haul]…people who had been arrested on out-of-state warrants.  The…woman in the 2017 case testified that Kindlay [raped]…her…on a deserted stretch of road [en route from Alabama to Arizona]…in 2014…Kindlay [orally raped another woman]…after telling her that he had gotten lost.  Kindlay [attacked both]…while [they were] handcuffed.  While only two charges of sexual assault were listed on the indictment, a total of six women testified…that…for hundreds of miles…he [repeatedly] “threatened to kill them and made sexually explicit comments that escalated in intensity and depravity”…[he raped one] woman…in a park bathroom…a[nd another]…on [a] desolate hiking trail…in the middle of a snowstorm.  The individual [victims] did not apparently know that the others existed until the trial…[the] FBI…uncovered a total of 16 women who Kindlay had either harassed or assaulted from 2012 to 2017.  Eleven of these women submitted…statements…

Dysphemisms Galore (#345)

Many “sex trafficking” fetishists are also fixated on hentai:

…the web of human trafficking is a sordid saga…of dream merchants…with the connivance of traffickers, whose…illegal immigrants, once caught in these tentacles, most often succumb to…[being] deeply absorbed in the flesh trade…

Torture Chamber (#1143)

Stop faking!

Marc Crawford was booked into a Kentucky jail in May 2017.  Just shy of a month later, he left state custody in a body bag…[after] succumb[ing] to a previously diagnosed case of lung cancer, one for which state officials and health care contracting companies re[fused] to provide him basic treatment…Correct Care Solutions LLC, one of those contracting companies, refused to ensure Crawford received his scheduled chemotherapy treatments, and s[crews refused]…to give Crawford his prescriptions, took off his pain-medication patch, and put him on psychoactive medications that did not[hing to] treat his illness.  [Screws yelled “Stop faking!]…as Crawford vomited blood, and senior s[crews]…rebuffed several requests from a lower-level employee to [actually] give him [his prescribed medication]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1161)

Philadelphia has many different ways to rob its citizens:

Philadelphia’s notorious civil forfeiture program…ended in 2018 as a result of a 2014 class action lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice…The organization…recently surveyed 407 of the 30,000 people whose property was seized under Philadelphia’s program…the median value of seized items…was just $600.  More than two-thirds…were valued at $1,800 or less.  The median value of all property seized in a single case was $1,370.  Cash seizures…involved amounts as low as $25.  The cops even [stole] “a cologne gift set worth $20″ and a pair of crutches…In three-quarters of the cases…owners were either never arrested, never charged, or never convicted.  Yet…only 43 percent of [victims]…succeeded…[in getting] their property back…at a median cost of $3,500…and…[taking] nine months on average.  Some had to wait years…”just four ZIP codes in the city’s center” accounted for 57 percent of Philadelphia forfeitures.  The median income in those neighborhoods ranged from $16,000 to $30,000…[and] residents were mainly black or Hispanic…owners of seized property also were more likely to be unemployed and to earn less than $50,000 a year.  They were less likely to have college degrees and less likely to own a home…

The Mob Rules

I wish more people understood the power of legal precedent this well:

The Firearms Policy Coalition, a national gun rights outfit, filed a friend of the court brief at the U.S. Supreme Court…in support of Whole Woman’s Health, the abortion rights group that is leading the legal fight against…the sweeping Texas anti-abortion law that recently went into effect.  “The approach used by Texas to avoid pre-enforcement review of its restriction on abortion and its delegation of enforcement to private litigants…could just as easily be used by other States to restrict First and Second Amendment rights or, indeed, virtually any settled or debated constitutional right.”  The Firearms Policy Coalition “takes no position on whether abortion should be protected by the Constitution,” the brief stated, “but believes that the judicial review of restrictions on established constitutional rights, especially those protected under this Court’s cases, cannot be circumvented in the manner used by Texas”…

I Spy (#1171)

Oh, what a surprise:

Governments were already discussing how to misuse…[cell phone] scanning technology even before Apple announced its plans…[to] scan iPhones for child sexual abuse materials…[it was obvious] that…governments [would] insist…the company scan for other types of images, and there now seems good evidence for this [despite]…Apple[‘s pretense] that it had a [magical politician-proof] safeguard in place to…prevent [governmental] misuse…such promises are impossible to keep…[because] any government could pass a law requiring tech companies to use their available capabilities (e.g., the CSAM scanning system) to look for images they say are associated with terrorism, or any type of political opposition…A group of security researchers says that the European Union [already] planned to use this technology to scan for other types of images even before Apple revealed that it had developed its own system…

Dangerous Speech (#1172)

Remember how I pointed out that the government couldn’t win this fairly?

Defense attorneys in the Lacey/Larkin case…argue in a new motion that the government willfully ignored federal Judge Susan Brnovich’s instructions during the pair’s recent trial in Phoenix.  Instead, prosecutors doubled down on false accusations of sex trafficking and child sex trafficking, goading the defense into calling for a mistrial…the motion calls on Brnovich to dismiss the case with prejudice [because] in provoking the mistrial, the prosecution violated the double jeopardy clause of the Fifth Amendment…the feds’ mistrial shenanigans were part of “a pattern of repeated and brazen government misconduct,” [intentionally] committed by “seasoned prosecutors”…And because the government has “seized virtually all of the defendants’ assets” — including money set aside for defense costs — the mistrial leaves the defendants in an “untenable” financial position…A new trial would favor the government…allowing it “a retooling of its faltering case”…

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