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Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

The tiger is out.  –  Nael, age 6

The Rolling Stones’ drummer, Charlie Watts, died last week, but I wasn’t about to put him in the same column as Don Everly because I only do one video.  This one was suggested by Grace (who also told me about the death) as a good example of his skill (because I’ve already featured “Paint It Black“).  The links above it were provided by Wendy Lyon (x2), David Ley, Rick Horowitz (x2), and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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The only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn’t abused…is to never create it.  –  Apple in 2016

See No Evil

Moral panics really spin out of control as they age:

Spencer Elden, the man whose unusual baby portrait was used for…the…cover…of…Nirvana’s Nevermind, filed a lawsuit…[pretend]ing that the nude image constituted child pornography…[despite the fact that] non-sexualized nude photos of infants are…not considered child pornography under law.  [To circumvent this plain fact in order to cash in on “child porn” hysteria], Robert Y. Lewis, Elden’s [shyster, fantasizes]…that the inclusion of currency in the shot makes the baby appear “like a sex worker”…[Lewis demands] at least $150,000 from each of the defendants, who include…the…original Nirvana drummer…even though he had been replaced…before the album was recorded or the cover photography shot.  Elden has repeatedly recreated the pose as a teenager and adult, diving into pools to pose (with swim trunks on) on the occasion of the album’s 10th, 17th, 20th and 25th anniversaries…

“A sex worker”.  Seriously.  I reckon he’s supposed to be one of those hundreds of thousands of infant hookers needed to bring the average debut age down to 13.

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#648)

What “legal but heavily regulated” looks like in action:

On August 11, the Nagpur police put [up] a large number of barricades completely sealing the Ganga-Jamuna area….without any prior notice or reason [thu]s drastically affect[ing] the livelihood…of over a thousand sex workers who have been living and working for decades in the area…over 100 [cops] have been [sent to swagger around] the area at all times…Sex workers in India are one of the groups that are consistently at the receiving end of…state-sponsored police brutality…[even though] the profession is not illegal…brothel areas are repeatedly raided and their workers are harassed by the police…A petition by the National Network of Sex Workers, India (NNSW) demanding “Unseal Ganga Jamuna” has been put online and signed by more than 2700 people and organisations…

License to Rape (#720)

“Search” is the most common government euphemism for “molest”:

A Raleigh mother has filed a federal lawsuit against the TSA…a[fter] the[y]…violated her transgender teenager’s rights by [demanding] a strip-search at the airport.  Jamii Erway, 15 at the time, had a valid boarding pass [but] when [t]he [equipment regist]ered a “false positive”…a TSA [goon demanded]…to [leer at] her genitals…[and lied] “that she was not free to leave until she submitted to [the humiliation], in violation of TSA policy, the Fourth Amendment, and…the boundaries of civil and decent society”…the [goon further called the cops on the teenager]…and the[ir threatening] presence…[unsurprisingly] triggered…a…panic…[attack].  Rather than submit to the [molestation]…her mother, Kimberly Erway, rented a car and [they] drove 600 miles.  The Erways seek unspecified damages and an injunction preventing such a scenario from happening again…

Panopticon (#986)

Cops even get their equipment to lie for them:

Michael Williams…was [locked in a cage for almost a year], accused [by cops] of killing a young man from [his] neighborhood who asked him for a ride during a night of unrest over police brutality in May…the [supposed] evidence against Williams didn’t come from an eyewitness or [snitch, but rather]…from a clip of [silent] security video showing a car driving through an intersection, and a loud bang [separately] picked up by a network of surveillance microphones.  Prosecutors [pretende]d…a secret algorithm that analyzed noises detected by the sensors indicated Williams shot and killed the man…ShotSpotter [claims have] increasingly been admitted in court cases…[as evidence despite the fact that] it…can miss live gunfire right under its microphones, or misclassify the sounds of fireworks or cars backfiring as gunshots.  F[antasy stories written]…by ShotSpotter’s employees have been used in court to [lie] that a defendant shot at police, or provide [lies about] the number of shots allegedly fired by defendants…the…system…[i]s a…black box largely inscrutable to the public, jurors and police oversight boards…[but] the company…fully admits that]…employees can and do modify the location or number of shots fired [on their own whims or] at the request of police…in the past, city dispatchers or police themselves could also make some of these changes

Stalkers in Blue (#987)

Once in a while, there are witnesses to the way cops act toward women:

Florida [cop]…Naci Tuzcuoglu…approached a woman singing karaoke at…[a] sports bar…[and] put his hands on her hips.  The woman…t[old] him she was married and not interested [but he kep harassing her, so she]…went outside and spoke to her husband…Tuzcuoglu [followed her]…and punched the man in the face…multiple times…[while] taunt[ing him]…“I’m a cop…What are you gonna do about it?”…

Choke Point (#1150)

“Progressives” are finally deigning to notice financial discrimination vs some sex workers:

OnlyFans…has faced widespread backlash from sex workers after it announced…that it will ban sexually explicit content starting Oct. 1.  Some LGBTQ OnlyFans creators say the changes could jeopardize one of their primary sources of income during the Covid-19 pandemic…

OnlyFans reversed its position the day after this article appeared, but I still featured it because it illustrates a disturbing trend I’ve seen lately: some “progressives” only seem to think sex workers deserve rights if they’re queer (especially trans).  Now, since the majority of sex workers are some flavor of LGBT, fighting for their rights will still help straight, cisgender sex workers as well.  But I think it’s pretty sad that some people don’t think human rights are worth supporting unless they’re the “correct” people’s rights.

I Spy (#1161)

Straight from the horse’s mouth:

Apple’s own employees have been expressing alarm [about its plans to snoop in customers’ phones].  The company [pretend]s reservations about the system are rooted in “misunderstandings.”  We disagree.  We wrote the only peer-reviewed publication on how to build a system like Apple’s — and…we’re not concerned because we misunderstand how Apple’s system works.  The problem is, we understand exactly how it works…Our system could be easily repurposed for surveillance and censorship.  The design wasn’t restricted to a specific category of content; a service could simply swap in any content-matching database, and the person using that service would be none the wiser.  A…government could, for example, compel a service to out people sharing disfavored political speech…WeChat, the popular Chinese messaging app, already uses content matching to identify dissident material.  India enacted rules this year that could require pre-screening content critical of government policy.  Russia recently fined GoogleFacebook and Twitter for not removing pro-democracy protest materials[, and US politicians are pressuring social media companies to censor anything they declare “misinformation”]…We warned against our own system design…[an]d planned to discuss paths forward at an academic conference this month…[but] the week before our presentation, Apple announced it would deploy its nearly identical system…

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Get down on the fucking floor.  –  typical Chicago “peace officer”

The latest addition to my collection of unusual covers is unusual indeed!  The links above it were provided by Elizabeth N. Brown, Scott Greenfield, Radley Balko, Mike Siegel, C.J. Ciaramella, Cop Crisis, and Stephen Lemons, in that order.

From the Archives

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If you had relationships with any of the people on the block, you wouldn’t need [surveillance].  –  Asiaha Butler

ZZ Top had lots of songs about whores; I’ve already featured “La Grange” and “Mexican Blackbird” elsewhere, so to honor their bassist’s passing I’m featuring this one, which is at least whore-adjacent.  The links above it were provided by Genya Coulter; Mike Siegel and Scott Greenfield; Franklin Harris; Radley Balko; and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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Age restrictions [on adults]…are not rationally related to the state’s asserted interests [in protecting children].  –  Judge Robert Pitman

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

After [they] arrested [her after accusing her of] driving drunk, [cops took] a [woman]…to an Illinois jail, where [they]…held [her] down and forcibly stripped [her] naked in front of male [pigs and screws]…the[y justified their behavior by the rather bizarre excuse]…that they only [stripped] her…because she wouldn’t comply with their [demands she strip herself.  Ariel]…Harrison…hadn’t had any alcohol that day, despite [cops claiming to know via their magical powers of divination exactly how much liquor and of what type she supposedly consumed despite the fact that]…she was never tested and was tased multiple times before being [abducted, locked in a cage and sexually assaulted]…after more than a year of fighting for her freedom, Harrison is still facing five to seven years in prison for a variety of [bogus and evidence-free] charges…[such as] aggravated battery…resisting a peace officer, and improper lane usage.  [T]he s[tate]…also [abducted]…her kids.  She hasn’t seen them since the night she went to jail…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#863)

Indian sex workers’ fight against a terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill is drawing international attention:

…the All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) wrote a letter to the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeking an extension of time for submitting comments on the Draft Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, [because] the government gave too little time for assessing the provisions…if the request for an extension is not met, they will oppose the Bill…while the ministry had taken over two years to draft the Bill, affected groups and communities were given less than two weeks to share their views and feedback…While most of the sex workers’ organisations have not yet been able to make an assessment of the draft Bill, some lawyers [have pointed out that] clause 23…says, “the consent of the victim shall be irrelevant and immaterial in the determination of the offence of trafficking in persons”…This could mean even the sex workers who are willingly in the profession end up in jail…Abhijit Datta, an advocate…who has started studying the draft Bill, said that it appeared to him that the government was trying to prohibit prostitution altogether…

Working From Home (#1052)

And how do you think such a “ban” would be enforced?

After a [snitch told clueless Houston-area politicians about OnlyFans they started bloviating]…about whether or not live-streaming adult, sexual content from a home in [Woodlands] township is legal…a web [muckrake by busybodies] turned up scores of OnlyFans accounts for keywords, “OnlyFans’’ and “in The Woodlands”…[bean-counters] regulate…all home businesses in the township…and…adult-oriented businesses have been shunned or banned…

A Woman’s Point of View (#1114)

Will Oregon be the first US state to recognize sex workers’ human rights?

On Thursday, July 15th, the first-ever Human Rights Commission Event for Oregon Sex Workers [wa]s…held in Portland.  Our commission is asking voters and the Oregon Legislature for full decriminalization…For three hours, academics, researchers, medical experts, disability advocates, labor union representatives, and sex workers from Oregon and around the world will testify to invitees about why decriminalization of sex work is harm reduction for all Oregonians…many [politicians]…support Nordic…type models of criminalization, which means…arresting non-violent adults for trying to consensually pay for touch with another adult…fear-mongers who want to abolish sex work have relied on false “statistics” and church funding to put us in jail, shame us out of our day jobs, and take our kids away…their stances and legislation has led to more deaths, more poverty, and more hardship for people working in the sex trades and impacted by them…

To Molest and Rape (#1129)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

The ex-wife of a [rapist-murderer cop in London]…described…how his [gang] protected him from prosecution after [she] suffer[ed] years of physical and sexual abuse at his hands….Wayne Couzens has…admitted murdering Sarah Everard…in March this year…[after] kidnapping and raping [her.  Couzens]… was n[ever even questioned about] three separate indecent exposure complaints dating back to 2015 and [ignored that] he hit h[is ex-wife] repeatedly [even]…after he threatened her with a knife…[cops] did little more than tell him to go for a long walk to calm down…When she filed for divorce he…raped her…and…[agai]n…nothing was done…[except for cops telling her she] shouldn’t [tell the truth about him]…because it would bring the [thug gang] into disrepute…[nothing was done when he] tried to strangle hi[s son, either]…

Politicians’ response to the rape/murder was to propose that other members of the rapist’s gang be given even MORE power over women.

I Spy (#1141) 

Looks like we’re going to have to rethink the safety of the mail:

…postal inspectors have been monitoring social media platforms about U.S. protests…in April…Yahoo! News…obtained a March 16 “Situational Awareness Bulletin”…[which] mentioned that U.S. Postal Inspection Service…agents monitoring Facebook, Parler, Twitter, and Telegram had noticed “significant activity regarding planned protests”…USPIS agents “assume fake identities online, use sophisticated intelligence tools and employ facial recognition software”…includ[ing] Clearview AI…and Zignal Labs’ real-time keyword search software…

Still a Child (#1142) 

Unfortunately, the 5th Circuit decided to suck Louisiana politicians’ dicks on this same issue in 2018:

A U.S. District Court Judge in Texas granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the recent state law preventing sex workers aged 18-21 from being employed at strip clubs…Judge Robert Pitman…noted that the class-action plaintiffs “have a substantial likelihood of success on their claims that [the new law’s]…age restrictions…are unconstitutional…[and] that…“the challenged…law infringe[s] the…Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights”…

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I feel like I’ll never get out of here.  –  17-year-old inmate of a US “shelter”

The End of the Beginning (#772) 

Perhaps we’re at last about to witness the beginning of the end of these evil laws:

On June 8, the American Law Institute…voted to approve the most recent draft [of its model penal code], which…state[s that] sex offender registries…should be limited to law enforcement access for law enforcement purposes, as is the case in virtually every other country besides the US…people [condemned to these] regist[ries]…can be searched on public online databases, along with a slew of other data including their home addresses…this…enables…exileextortion and vigilante violence a[gainst]…such [people] and…their family members.  T[he] Supreme Court…still [pretends] that public registries of this kind are not “punishment,” though lower courts are growing more skeptical…[indeed,] public registration is…such a thoroughly soul-crushing punishment that it disincentivizes following the law for people subject to it

Surplus Women (#931)

A classic case of NHI:

Since 2001, at least 55 women (and counting) have lost their lives at the hands of the Chicago Strangler, whom the police have denied even exists.  The…serial killer’s methods are brutal, cold, and repetitive, practically a calling card at this point…[yet] the police swear they see no connections [because]…the…victims are, without exception, women, killed on Chicago’s South and West sides…Three-quarters…are Black…47 had some history of sex work…the women were killed by strangulation, either by bare hands or with a ligature like a belt, rope, or the women’s bras.  Some were suffocated via plastic bags placed over their heads.  Most were at least partially undressed, if not completely naked, and many of them showed some signs of sexual assault.  The bodies were found in semi-public places, like back alleys, empty lots, snowbanks, or dumpsters — places where someone should have seen them placed and set on fire.  The Chicago Strangler barely attempts to hide his crimes, and that’s if he’s not outright gloating about them, knowing that the police do not take him seriously…

The Crumbling Dam (#1105)

The feds will try to stop this just as they did in Philadelphia:

[Rhode Island] Gov. Daniel McKee…signed into law a proposal to…establish…safe injection sites…The goal is to provide clean needles to curtail the spread of infectious diseases; test drugs; and provide a bridge to medical and substance abuse treatment.  The [new] law…requires the approval of a center by the city or town council in which it is proposed…[and] the funding would all come from foundations and private donors…Federal prosecutors successfully blocked a…safe…[injection site] in Philadelphia…[and] President Biden…is [a hypocrite and unrepentant drug warrior]…

Winding Down (#1121)

Much more of this worldwide, please:

The Mexican Supreme Court first ruled that marijuana prohibition was unconstitutional in 2015.  That decision became binding nationwide three years later, when the court gave the Mexican Congress 90 days to pass a legalization bill.  [Politicians ignor]ed that deadline and several others, and [finally] the court lost patience, ordering the federal government to issue permits that will allow cannabis consumers to possess and grow marijuana at home.  Similar permits have been available since 2015, but until now they were limited to [individual] who had filed lawsuits and obtained injunctions.  Commercial cultivation and distribution remain illegal…

Guinea Pigs (#1136) 

Apparently, Psychology Today doesn’t bother to check whether its writers actually know anything about the subjects they write about:

Felipe Aros-Vera is an…assistant professor of industrial engineering at Ohio University…[who programmed] one of the world’s more powerful computers, the IBM Watson [with a lot of prohibitionist sexual fantasies about “]human trafficking[” in order to act out a puerile cops and robbers fantasy of]…caus[ing] the greatest damage to a human trafficking network.  He focuses on [the myth that sex workers are] victims…[who are] groom[ed]…acquir[ed]…[and] transport[ed by “pimps”] from place to place…and that…demand for…sex…is [not natural to humans, but artificially created by]…internet…advertising…

Despite the author’s panting nonsense, this is actually an example of the principle of garbage in, garbage out, and therefore unlikely to be as dangerous as systems such as Palantir and Memex.

Torture Chamber (#1141)

A prison doesn’t magically become a “shelter” just because those confined there are minors:

[Legal minors] inside the Biden administration’s largest [concentration camp] for unaccompanied migrant youth were subjected to filthy living conditions and medical neglect under the watch of unqualified government contractors…said…Laurie Elkin and Justin Mulaire, two federal employees who were detailed to the Fort Bliss [concentration camp]…near El Paso, Texas…they were repeatedly ignored or discouraged by [bureaucrats]…when they tried to report the…unsanitary conditions and poor care…Elkin recounts three instances where she discovered girls in distress, only to encounter resistance from contractors wh[o apparently think]…medical care [consists of shouting “Stop faking!” at sick prisoners]…contractors used loudspeakers to play music at intolerable volumes throughout the day, starting in the morning…at around 6 a.m. or 7 a.m…One contractor…used a bullhorn to wake [inmates] up in the morning…

Simple rule of thumb for reporters: if those confined there can’t come and go as they please, it isn’t a “shelter”, “center”, or “school”; it is a prison.

To Molest and Rape (#1142)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to violate kids:

A [typical and representative cop paid by the state to stalk, harass, and spy on students], Neil Dolan, a[greed to a]…plea…[bargain in which he confessed] to two…sexual [assault]…charge[s in order to escape more serious rape charges]…The hearing was held…via Zoom with Dolan appearing from [a cage where] he’s [locked for] two years for another…[plea-bargained-down] sexual [assault charge]…[the prosecutor thought it was very important] that Dolan wore [his magic clown suit while being a dangerous pervert]…Dolan groomed students at Bagley High School [by literally offering them candy] and…sending [his targets dick pics since at least]…2011 or 2012…he…also [hunted]…victims…as a…Boy Scout camp program director…

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They…leave people’s lives in ruins because they got it wrong.
–  Anjanette Young

When I retweeted the video I featured last week, reader Michael Norwitz called my attention to this one; I think it’s a suitable way to close out the year!  The links above it were provided by Stephen Lemons, Jillian Keenan, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, Franklin Harris, and Scott Greenfield, in that order.

From the Archives

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Think of the ramifications…if everyone who searched something…was subject to interviews by federal agents.  –  Todd Spodek

To Molest and Rape

Given that the badge is a weapon, most rape by cops is “on duty”:

Purcell [Oklahoma cop]…Jason Baca [raped a] woman…in [August and was rewarded with a]…paid [vacation until] an arrest warrant was [finally] issued [on October 7th] and he turned himself in at the [jail]…

Served Cold (#797) 

This megalomaniac’s antics have grown so bizarre even prohibitionists can no longer ignore it:

A Utah prosecutor is investigating Operation Underground Railroad – one of the best-known organizations [profiting from hysteria over] human trafficking.  Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings…[declined to] specif[y] why O.U.R…is under investigation.  However, in recent posts to his Instagram account, Rawlings implied a local nonprofit was conducting illegal fundraising efforts by taking credit for arrests made by [cops]…Rawlings suggested some witnesses have been hindered by nondisclosure agreements…“Just because someone claims they are called of God when asking for your money does not necessarily mean they actually are.”  Rawlings ended that post with the hashtags: “#fraud #scam #crime.”  In a later post, Rawlings included copies of Utah’s statutes against communications fraud and witness tampering…

I Spy (#930)

Curiosity offends the state, comrade:

…Google has provided police information on users based on keyword searches….[pigs demanded] the company…disclose the IP addresses of everyone who had looked up words relevant to their [snooping, rooting and prying]…The troubling practice came to light when police in Florida investigated an incident where a woman who had accused singer R. Kelly of sexual assault had her car vandalized outside her home…police “sent a search warrant to Google that requested information on users who had searched the address of the residence close in time to the arson”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1060) 

Illinois readers can get $400 from the copZucker:

Facebook users in Illinois can now apply to collect from a settlement stemming from a class action lawsuit…filed over Facebook’s collection and storing of biometric data…without…consent.  As part of the $650 million settlement, claimants may be eligible for payments of between $200-$400, depending on the number of valid claims filed…by…users…for whom Facebook created and stored a face template after June 7, 2011…Claimants must have been a resident of Illinois for at least 183 days (six months) to be eligible.  Claims must be filed by November 23, 2020…

You Were Warned (#1073)

Congress won’t stop until it controls the internet:

U.S. [politicians]—who have been tossing whatever claims of bad deeds they can at Big Tech for a good while—are now angling for antitrust law changes that they say are necessary to [control] Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google…the House…antitrust committee put out a 450-page report on the subject…result[ing from] a 16-month-long investigation [during which]…representatives barraged the CEOs of all four companies with inane and irrelevant questions in a public hearing…There’s scant evidence of elements…necessary for an antitrust violation…[so] the…report calls for “for sweeping changes to federal laws so that government regulators can [control] Silicon Valley”…The whole thing has followed the bipartisan playbook previously in use with Backpage and Craigslist…That is: Pick the biggest examples of a tech company or phenomenon that the government wants to curb or stop, subpoena a bazillion internal documents under some trumped-up pretense of criminal activity, and go fishing for something that can be spun into a call for congressional action…changing the underpinnings of internet and business and speech law in a way more friendly to federal control

The Widening Gyre (#1078)

The hysteria over Cuties keeps growing:

Netflix is now facing felony charges for Cuties, as [hysteria over]…the…film [spins out of control]…A Tyler County, Texas, grand jury indicted the streaming giant…for promoting…material that “depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of a clothed or partially clothed child…younger than 18 years of age” for the “prurient interest in sex.”  The document also [pretends] that the film held no serious “literary, artistic, political, or scientific value”…[meanwhile, Utah politician] Mike Lee…said…he was “unsatisfied” with Netflix’s response to his letter [demanding censorship]…of the film [on his say-so]…

Social Distancing (#1081)

Are physicians finally standing up to authoritarian ideas about public health?

The World Health Organisation [i]s…calling for world [politicians] to stop locking down their countries and economies.  Dr. David Nabarro from the WHO…[told politicians] to stop “using lockdowns as your primary control method…Lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer…The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganise, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it…It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year.  We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition”…

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What seems obvious to citizens is far too often deliberately unclear to government agencies.  –  Tim Cushing

Negative Secondary Effects

Busybodies are trying to ban dancing by cribbing language from the federal “obscenity” test:

The city council of Drain, Oregon passed new regulations…with the specific purpose of outlawing a…[strip club by] introducing business licenses to the city’s Code of Ordinances…[and adding a] new pro-censorship ordinance [featuring nonsense about]…”public morals, public safety, public health and public convenience”…and…“public nudity…appeals to the prurient interest…and…lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value”…Ray Hacke, an attorney with the…religious [pro-censorship] group Pacific Justice Institute [bloviated that]…“an adult entertainment business has no business…next to a church…[or] any place where children congregate…These places do [magically] attract sexual predators”…

Choke Point (#859) 

Decriminalization is just the beginning:

Last month Kiwibank rolled out a “responsible banking policy” stating that it would no longer deal with any companies involved in [fossil fuels] and blacklisting the adult entertainment industry, casinos, military grade weapons, synthetic drugs, palm oil, tobacco and predatory lending.  But after representations from the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective, Kiwibank agreed to work with strip clubs and brothels that could demonstrate good practice.  The NZPC argued that banning brothel owners would have a flow-on effect to the people who worked for them.  Since then, [prohibitionist group] Wahine Toa Rising has written to Kiwibank applauding its initial commitment to [misogyny and discrimination]…and asking them to reconsider.  Kiwibank is still considering its response…

Even in New Zealand, the yellow press colludes with prohibitionists.  From the headline claiming that bigotry and dicrimination are “principled”, to the mischaracterization of a rescue-industry organization employing paid “survivor” shills as a legitimate sex worker group, to the prohibitionist propaganda which makes up the bulk of the article, to the Swedish criminalization snake oil, to the ugly prohibitionist masturbatory fantasies such as “the majority of sex workers…[were] sexually abused as…child[ren]”, this garbage would be more at home in a US tabloid than a New Zealand website purporting to be a news magazine.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#938)

Partly because of their legalized status, strippers are spearheading the movement for sex worker labor rights:

BammRose…is…the CEO of Stilettos Inc., a grassroots organization led by sex workers that provides support to Black dancers, and has called for a strippers’ strike in Philadelphia. The Stilettos, as they call themselves, are not alone in mobilizing for the workplace rights of Black dancers in the stripping industry. In Portland, more than a hundred strippers went on strike in June against…racist hiring practices, and organized rallies pressuring strip clubs to…hire Black dancers…and give them profitable shifts…At the root of the strippers’ strike is a demand for better, safer working conditions, fair wages, and protection from sexual assault…

A Broker in Pillage (#988)

Michigan is among the greediest, most unscrupulous states in this regard:

[The Michigan supreme] court…[ruled in favor of] two plaintiffs suing…Oakland County…[over its] forfeiture policy…a…tax lien…[was] put on [Uri Rafaeli’s] property when…he…[underpaid his property taxes by] “$8.41 in…2011, which grew to $285.81 after interest, penalties, and fees. Oakland County and its treasurer, Andrew Meisner…foreclosed on Rafaeli’s property…sold [it] at public auction for $24,500, and retained all the sale proceeds”…the county turned less than $300 in delinquencies into a $24,200 profit…Another property owner, Andre Ohanessian, saw $6000 in taxes, fines, and fees turn into a $76,000 net gain for the county when it auctioned his property for $82,000 and kept everything…

The Widening Gyre (#1014)

I can’t tell you how satisfied I am that Trumpaloons are taking over “sex trafficking” hysteria:

a [Facebook] post shared over 1,000 times reads…“Did you KNOW that a child in AMERICA is over 66,000 x more likely to be human trafficked than to get COVID-19?”  Similar [Facebook] posts contend that upwards of 800,000 children go missing every year, and that mask-wearing makes a child more likely to be trafficked.  These posts also criticize government officials and businesses for promoting mask use, [fantasiz]ing they are endangering children.  “We have now COMPLETELY taken away identifying our children’s faces.  We’ve made it much easier on these child abductors and human traffickers!” a post shared almost 8,000 times reads…“A child is 66,667 times more likely to be sold to human traffickers than die of COVID-19,” another post shared 2,000 times reads. “In addition, your masks assist in them being transported undetected and unidentified to anyone”…

Best part: the article then goes on to attempt to debunk these hysterical fantasies while simultaneously wallowing in other claims nearly as wacko as “masks cause sex trafficking!”

Pyrrhic Victory (#1060) 

Facial recognition systems have quietly become ubiquitous:

A would-be class action lawsuit alleges that the Macy’s department store chain violates Illinois law when it identifies customers recorded on its surveillance cameras by using facial recognition software…the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…bars some private companies from obtaining scans of facial geometry without written consent.  Macy’s uses software provided by Clearview AI Inc., which scrapes data from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other internet platforms…Clearview…provides facial recognition services to more than 200 corporate clients, including Macy’s, Best Buy, Kohl’s and Walmart.  Some of the companies used the software on a trial basis, but Macy’s is a paying customer that has completed more than 6,000 searches…

Top Cop (#1062)

This psychopath is only two steps from the power she so desperately craves:

Joe Biden announced [last week] that he had picked [Kamala] Harris to be his running mate as he seeks to become the next president of the United States.  The good news is that it keeps Harris—who has a long and authoritarian history on criminal justice issues—far from the [post of] attorney general…[where she] would have the potential to do much more damage than as vice president.  The bad news is that it puts Harris next in line for the presidency should anything happen to [the man who would be the oldest ever elected to that office] and sets her up nicely for a future presidential run.  In Harris, we would get a leader with President Donald Trump’s penchant for unchecked executive power and modern Democrats’ tendency to consider no issue outside the reach of government.  The pick is somewhat surprising…[considering] Harris’ backhanded busing stunt during the Democratic candidate debates last summer, and…[her] troubling history…[on] law-and-order issues [for which she] is despised…by many young left-of-center voters…That’s a particular liability as Americans streets are still erupting with protests over police violence and calls for criminal justice reform…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Javier Ambler

Sometimes it’s difficult to choose which of a musician’s songs to use as a memorial, but this time it was a no-brainer.  The links above the video were provided by I Am Curious Blue, Mark Draughn, Furrygirl, Popehat and Walter Olson, Kevin Wilson, and Mark Bennett, in that order.

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