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Posts Tagged ‘Kansas’

You can’t win an unwinnable war.  –  José Irizarry

R.I.P. Carol Leigh

Carol Leigh, one of the leading figures of the US sex worker movement (she was the person who actually coined the term “sex work”) has died at 71 after a 7-year battle with uterine cancer.  Carol became involved in activism just a year after she became a sex worker in 1977, and was involved in nearly every aspect  of the movement throughout the ’80s, ’90s, and Oughts; even later she was always happy to give advice and guidance to younger activists like me.  She was so well-known that even the mainstream media (including the AP, the NewYork Times and the San Francisco Chronicle) published obituaries, but the title links to one by a sex-work-friendly reporter (albeit in a publication which can’t seem to make up its mind); I’ll also be linking memorial essays from those who knew her as they appear.

Perquisites

Are statists really so delusional they can’t grasp that this is inevitable when men are given this kind of power and privilege?

José Irizarry accepts that he’s known as the most corrupt agent in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration history…[for] conspiring with Colombian cartels to build a lavish lifestyle of expensive sportscars, Tiffany jewels and [women] around the world.  But…Irizarry says he won’t go down for this alone, accusing some long-trusted DEA colleagues of joining him in skimming millions of dollars from drug money laundering stings to fund a decade’s worth of luxury overseas travel, fine dining, top seats at sporting events and frat house-style debauchery…federal agents, prosecutors, informants and in some cases cartel smugglers themselves were all in on the three-continent joyride known as “Team America” that chose cities for money laundering pick-ups mostly for party purposes or to coincide with Real Madrid soccer or Rafael Nadal tennis matches.  That included stops along the way in VIP rooms of Caribbean strip joints, Amsterdam’s red-light district and aboard a Colombian yacht that launched with plenty of booze and more than a dozen prostitutes…All this revelry was rooted, Irizarry said, in a…reali[stic assessment] among DEA agents…that there’s nothing they can do to make a dent in the drug war anyway…“We know we’re not making a difference…The drug war is…a very fun game that we were playing”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1104)

Useful idiots destroying any possibility that the facial recognition djinni can ever be rebottled:

…public anxiety about crime seems to be peaking. Determined to [capitalize on hysteria in order to win]…votes), major cities including San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans are turning to…surveillance as a [pretend] solution.  This marks a big shift, especially for a city like San Francisco, which in 2019 became the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition technology by…police.  Boston, Portland, Oakland, and Jackson, Mississippi, have since followed…But…the [public is fickle and fearful]…“We went from a long-term view to an extremely short-term view,” explained Tracy Rosenberg…[of] Oakland Privacy…“[concerns about] the end of public anonymity…ha[ve] largely been replaced by a narrative that [says]…the short-term implications on your life right now are more important than any sort of future surveillance state”…San Francisco’s…passed a policy that will allow [cops]…to [root through]…footage of private security cameras [without a warrant]…Cities…expanding the use of surveillance technology…risk entrenching a permanent surveillance infrastructure that may be difficult to dismantle down the road.  “The history of surveillance suggests that it’s not easy to put the genie back in the bottle,” argues Rosenberg.  One of the most high-profile examples of this dynamic comes out of New Orleans, where [politicians] are poised to expand police surveillance less than two years after passing a sweeping facial recognition ban

Torture Chamber (#1186)

It’d be great if US cities could flush their toxic waste before somebody dies:

…Forks, Washington, will pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit…filed by the family of a young…woman who committed suicide in jail after being harassed by a guard with a long history of misconduct…John Gray…would later be convicted of sexually assaulting four other [helpless caged] women.  But when Kimberly Bender—a 23-year-old Quileute tribal member struggling with drug addiction and depression—tried to report Gray’s misconduct, the Forks jail [blew her off while Gray]…sexually torment[ed] her…[until] she…hanged herself in her cell…

Torture Chamber (#1189)

I’m sure they helpfully yelled “Stop faking!” at him as he died:

…Thousands die while locked [in cages by the State] each year…a third of [them]…are younger than 55, many suffering from untreated or poorly treated illnesses, with the prison healthcare system frequently deciding that treatments for common and debilitating ailments are not “medically necessary”…“If it’s not life-threatening in that moment…they put it off and tell you to…take ibuprofen,” said Tonya Wilson…an advocate with Freedom Project…[Clifford] Farrar, [a type I diabetic] who required four insulin shots a day, was initially given access to needles, test strips and a glucometer…But…prison…[bureaucrats in Washington state soon started refusing to pay] for…insulin supplies…and…on 27 December [of last year], Farrar…was found lying on the ground…with blood coming from his mouth…he…was declared dead 20 minutes later…the prison had repeatedly neglected his health, including by denying him supplies that could have prevented his seizures, failing to check on him when he did not arrive to get his insulin shot, and responding too slowly to his final emergency…

Creepy Coppers

Just another typical and representative cop:

A Chesapeake [Virginia cop named]…Timothy M. Newton…was charged with more than 20 felony child pornography offenses [after an unknown party snitched on him]…

To Molest and Rape (#1275)

This just keeps getting worse:

[Typical and representative] Kansas City [cop]…Roger Golubski…[faces charges of conspiring with] Cecil Brooks, LeMark Roberson and Richard Robinson…[to run a violent pimping scheme] from 1996 to 1998…Brooks, Roberson and Robinson all…used physical beatings, sexual assault and threats to compel the young women to provide sexual services to men…Golubski…accepted [bribes] from Brooks, provided protection from law enforcement, and forcibly raped a[t least one] young woman…

 

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[NYPD behavior is] nothing short of an extrajudicial campaign of terror and kidnapping.  –  Paul Phillips et al

It wasn’t easy choosing a song to honor the passing of Loretta Lynn, but I finally settled on this one because it’s representative of a recurring theme in her oeuvre, unwanted pregnancy, which is as timely now as it ever was (other examples include “One’s On the Way” and “Pregnant Again”).  The links above the video were provided by Cop Crisis; Mistress Matisse (x2); Jesse Walker; Mike Siegel and Phoenix Calida; Cop Crisis again; and Scott Greenfield, in that order.

From the Archives

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You don’t address issues in a broken criminal legal system by layering technology on them.  –  Jumana Musa

Permanent Record

Surely you didn’t think this would only be used to punish sex workers?

Erick Adame says that he has been fired from his position as the morning meteorologist on Spectrum News NY1 for a leaked appearance on an adult cam site.  Adame [said he was]…aiming to “share [his] truth rather than let others control the narrative of [his] life”…[and] not[ed] that his psychiatrist has called his actions “compulsive behavior” and that he is “not in a position to disagree”…Adame made a point to highlight that while he regrets his appearance on the website, he rejects any criticism that may come about his sexuality…He also filed a lawsuit against Unit 4 Media Ltd. to seek the identity of the anonymous user who leaked the content of him on the adult site…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#754) 

Just another study showing the same results as every other one:

A recent study published in the academic journal Crime & Delinquency suggests that sexual offenders rarely replicate what they see in pornography as a driver of sexual aggression…the research suggests that “sexual scripts learned through pornography use are not present in patterns of sexual offending behavior,” reports Craig Harper in his recurring column “Articles of Heterodoxy” for the Psychology Today directory website…Other research has arrived at similar conclusions.  The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and Stetson University in Florida, in a paper published in the summer of 2020 for the academic journal Trauma, Violence, & Abuse found that pornography does not cause violent sex crimes.  Harper referenced this study in his Psychology Today column, as well.  The researchers, Chris Ferguson…and Richard Hartley…found that there are scores of poorly designed studies that “tended to be more likely to support a link between pornography and sexually assaultive behavior…Our evidence suggests that policymakers should examine other causes of sexual aggression and that beliefs about pornography may be driven more by methodological mistakes than sound science”…

Welcome to the Future (#944)

Fascists are trying to destroy young people’s lives before they even get started:

For a few thousand dollars a year, Social Sentinel offer[s] schools across the country sophisticated technology to s[py on] social media posts from students…[thus] allowing campus police to surveil student protests…as more students have embraced social media as a digital town square to express opinions and organize demonstrations, many college police departments have been using taxpayer dollars to pay for Social Sentinel’s services to monitor what they say.  At least 37 colleges…collectively educating hundreds of thousands of students, have used Social Sentinel since 2015.  The true number…could be far higher…and…the company has been moving in a new and [even] more [dangerously] invasive direction — allowing schools to monitor student emails on university accounts…a…private Ohio-based company…acquired Social Sentinel in 2020…and…changed the name…to Navigate360 Detect earlier this year…

Choke Point (#993) 

In a fascist system, politicians’ inability to pass a law doesn’t stop them from getting what they want:

Government officials continue deputizing private businesses to implement restrictive policies that can’t win traction through the political process or are forbidden by the Constitution.  The latest…development comes in the form of a specific merchant category code for retailers of firearms and ammunition, breaking them out from the broader category of specialty retailers in which they were previously included.  The code makes credit card purchases from such businesses much easier to track and potentially exposes buyers and sellers to harassment…That has industry insiders worried that politicians are again weaponizing the financial system to target activities they don’t like but haven’t been able to ban through law…such as abortion…

To Molest and Rape (#1103)

It took 35 years of evil for the government to notice a serial rapist:

A [typical and representative] Kansas [cop] who had long…rap[ed] and terroriz[ed] Black women as he p[row]led the streets of Kansas City has been indicted on federal charges that he repeatedly sexually assaulted two women over several years while on duty…Roger Golubski, 69…face[s] a maximum possible sentence of life in prison…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1229)

Clearview is once again trying to rehabilitate its reputation among useful idiots:

…Andrew Grantt Conlyn…[was] the passenger…[when] his [drunk] friend drove [wrecked the car at] approximately 100 miles per hour…When he came to, his friend was gone, the car was on fire and his seatbelt buckle was jammed.  Luckily, a good Samaritan intervened, prying open the driver’s side door and pulling Mr. Conlyn out of the burning vehicle…that Wednesday night in March 2017…[after] the police…found the body of his friend, Colton Hassut, in the bushes near the crash…[they decided to try to railroad] Conlyn…[because they believe no tragedy should go unexploited as an excuse to destroy someone]’s life.  If Clearview AI…hadn’t granted his lawyer special access to [its] facial recognition database…Conlyn might have spent up to 15 years in prison because the police [didn’t care whom they crucified]…Clearview…now plans to offer access to public defenders.  Hoan Ton-That, the chief executive, said this would help “balance the scales of justice,” but…“I think it’s a rare situation in which most defense attorneys would want to use it,” said Jerome Greco, who oversees a forensics technology lab at the Legal Aid Society, in New York City.  “This is mostly being done as a P.R. stunt to try to push back against the negative publicity that Clearview has about its tool and how it’s being used by law enforcement”…

Thought Control (#1268)

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

The Greenville County [South Carolina] Republican Party wants [politicians] to investigate who ordered and displayed a number of LGBTQ children’s books at public libraries earlier this year.  It also wants the county to ban books that mention LGBTQ topics from the children and juvenile sections of the county’s libraries…The resolution names a handful of children’s book titles…[including] Twas the Night Before Pride, My Shadow is PurpleThe Rainbow Parade, I’m Not a Girl, and My Own Way: Celebrating Gender…Jeff Davis, GCGOP chairman, said party members have checked the books out of the library and plan to [steal them so as]…to prevent them from being displayed for children to see…“They’re downstairs here at the (GCGOP) headquarters,” Davis said…

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen would-be censors advocating the actual theft of books from libraries, and I suspect it won’t be the last.

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Senator Klobuchar…is deliberately seeking to destroy [the internet].  –  Mike Masnick

Stalkers in Blue

No woman is safe from predatory cops:

A Prairie Village [Kansas cop] was allowed to stay on the job for 19 months after department officials were alerted that he had [pressur]ed a woman for sex after arresting her…Attorney Brandan Davies said he reported to Prairie Village police in March 2020 that…Rolando Swaby had arrested his client in a DUI case and later sent text messages asking her to meet him at a hotel for drinks and sex ahead of a court hearing in her case…Davies…thought the [cop] would be fired…[but he] was allowed to remain on the force for more than a year and a half until he was investigated in an unrelated domestic violence case in October 2021.  He later resigned and lost his Kansas police license…

You Were Warned (#1116)

Monkey see, monkey do:

…a law…[pushed by] Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rep. David Cicilline…[is another] link tax bill, similar to the one written in Australia to appease (and enrich) Rupert Murdoch.  It basically says that publishers can band together, with an antitrust exemption, to demand fees from bigger, more successful internet companies…Klobuchar…is [known for]…pushing bills that fundamentally break the internet…[and her] new version of the JCPA…[does so doubly by] only appl[ying] to smaller news orgs — those with under 1,500 employees …We’re at a time when hedge funds — most notably Alden Capital — have been buying up newspapers and laying off tons of people while trying to squeeze cash out of the remaining husks.  And, this bill basically says “buy up large newspapers and cut them to under 1,500 employees”…here’s Amy Klobuchar saying…“you get free money just as long as you fire enough people first“…But, the much bigger problem is that the bill is trying to break the internet…[by] allow[ing] news orgs to…force internet companies…to pay the journalism organizations for…sending them traffic…This is ludicrous.  News orgs beg these sites for traffic.  They hire SEO people to try to get more traffic.  Now they’re also getting to FORCE the internet companies to PAY them for that traffic too?…

Torture Chamber (#1207)

Give brutal, sexually-aggressive men total power over women, then act surprised when the eminently predictable happens:

A North Carolina [screw]…was fired and arrested for [rap]ing [female prisoners]…Khalim Jovan Battle…[raped at least] two [women powerless to defend themselves from him].  He…anally [raped]…one [and]…oral[ly raped both]…

Opting Out (#1214) 

Authoritarians believe that the people they want to impose their evil upon are either very stupid or very gullible:

…California’s AB 2273, the “Age Appropriate Design Code” bill that the California legislature seems eager to pass…seemed to be getting very little attention, but after a few [Techdirt] posts started to go viral, the backers of the bill ramped up their smear campaigns and lies…and…the “Age Verification Providers Association” decided to show up in the comments to defend themselves and insist that their members can do age verification in a privacy-protective manner.  You just have to let them scan your face with facial recognition technology… they insist it’s not “facial recognition” software because it’s not matching you up to a database of your identity…it’s just using “AI” to guess estimate your age.  What could possibly go wrong?  But, more to the point, they’re basically saying “don’t worry, you’ll just need to scan your face or ID for every website your visit.”  Normalizing facial scans…seems pretty dystopian, frankly…

Thought Control (#1252)

Of course, the politicians have already got what they wanted: positive attention from censorious asshats:

The [obscenity] trial in Virginia Beach, Virginia…of…two books has ended in dismissal.  Neither Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe nor A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas meet the legal definition of obscenity…Two lawsuits…sought to get both books not only removed from schools and libraries, but removed from private sale through bookstores across the state…Th[is] outcome…will help in setting a standard…that books like these…do not meet the legal definition of obscenity [regardless of what pro-censorship fanatics may claim]…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1262)

Fentanyl is being inserted into every popular scare myth:

The…DEA…[is fantasizing about] an “alarming” trend of brightly-colored fentanyl made to look like candy that is being used to attract children…The agency [claims collaborator pigs, in other words the same people who fantasize that casual contact with fentanyl produces instant overdose that exactly mimics the symptoms of a panic attack,] began s[teal]ing brightly colored “rainbow fentanyl” [from its owners last] month…in 18 states so far…“Rainbow fentanyl — fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes — is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst [people who cannot pay for the product, because they’re EEEEEEEEEEVUL!]” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram [bloviated]…

This is, of course, the same old nonsense cops vomit out in the approach to Halloween every year, only with “fentanyl” inserted in place of “marijuana” or other drugs, Mad Libs style.  Given that we’ve also recently seen fentanyl being inserted in place of magic “sex trafficking” drugs in social media scary tales, I’d say it’s safe to declare that fentanyl is now the subject of its own moral panic.

To Molest and Rape (#1268)

“Having inappropriate contact with a minor” is such a nice way of saying “molesting a kid”:

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Denham Springs [cop who molested]…a minor…Joseph Reid Copeland…is believed [to have fled]…the…area…

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

To Molest and Rape

Cops covered up these crimes for six years:

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

Between the Lines (#964)

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

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

The Implosion Begins

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

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

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

Welcome to the Future (#1125)

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

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

The Last Shall Be First (#1132) 

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

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

Thought Control (#1224)

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

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

Winding Down (#1241)

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

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

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I often criticize the foolish but popular idea that all human thought, opinion, and belief can be neatly divided into two rigid “sides”, but it’s rare that I am presented with such a perfect example of the absurd results of clinging to such a childish view and then acting surprised when real people in real life don’t act like your imaginary theoretical “side members” are supposed to act according to your scheme.  For those who missed it, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to their state constitution which would’ve opened the door to for Kansas politicians to jump on the forced-birth bandwagon:

Voters overwhelmingly voted against a measure that would have allowed abortion to be banned in Kansas in the first post-Roe test of abortion’s legality put directly to the people…The ballot measure would have amended the Kansas constitution to state that it did not protect the right to have an abortion.  Such an amendment would open the gates for state lawmakers to ban abortion—an option currently blocked by a 2019 state Supreme Court finding that the Kansas Constitution’s guarantee of “equal and inalienable rights” included a “natural right of personal autonomy” that protected abortion access.  But voters yesterday gave a resounding no to the question “should the Kansas constitution be amended to remove protections of abortion rights?”…Whether Kansas is a good bellwether for the rest of the country on this issue is debatable.  But Kansas is a relatively conservative and Republican state, and residents voting against an anti-abortion initiative at least suggests that conservative enthusiasm for banning abortion might not be as strong as many believe…

But rather than come to the sensible conclusion that Liz Brown did above – that maybe most people who label themselves “conservative” might not be quite as deranged as their “leaders” – we instead got a lot of apples-and-oranges nonsense like this:

He goes on and on, for tweet after tweet, doggedly comparing Trump’s election results to the results of this election, as though it were a foregone concluson that every single voter of both schoolyard “teams” was so mindlessly-obedient to their “team’s” agenda that their votes on each and every issue can easily and accurately be predicted by simply tallying their votes in the most recent presidential election.  Of course, if that were actually true, there would be no point in going through the trouble and expense of any election other than presidential ones.  But of course it isn’t true, no matter how much the Manicheans pretend otherwise.  In plainer language: just because you and/or the pundits you follow decided that support for Trump and hostility to abortion rights go together like bacon and eggs, doesn’t mean every single person who eats eggs also loves bacon.

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Requiring a pinky promise of a court order [i]s woefully insufficient [to prevent surveillance abuse].  –  Ron Wyden

Stalkers in Blue

Just protecting and serving:

The Department of Justice has charged [Adrian O. Pena,] a Deputy U.S. Marshal for…using access to a controversial phone tracking service offered by a company called Securus to track the physical location of people he had personal relationships with as well as their spouses…between September 2016 and October 2017…He did this by uploading fake documents to the Securus platform that he claimed gave him authority to obtain requested location data…Securus is a massive prison and law enforcement contractor that, among many other things, previously offered a service for geolocating nearly all phones in the United States called Location Based Services…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#916) 

All prohibitionism is the same:

According to [fantasists at] the…DEA…teens simply message a sequence of emojis that symbolize the substance they’re after so that their dealer can avoid any kind of digital detection.  The secret codes also help youngsters keep their habits a secret from their parents, who likely have no idea what the emojis actually represent.  Now, the DEA has released a chart titled “Emoji Drug Code: Decoded ” to [spread disinformation] about the [reasons for]…the soaring number of adolescent overdose deaths

Crying for Nanny (#1037)

The only winners are the ambulance-chasers:

A [professional “survivor”] who brought a civil lawsuit seeking [to cash in with a FOSTA-enabled nuisance “]sex trafficking[” lawsuit]…against Craigslist [is out of luck, as he lawyers should’ve told her, because]…the online service is immune from the claims under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…

Creepy Coppers

Seems like a significant fraction of child porn is spread by cops:

Maryland [cop] Daniel Morozewicz…has…pleaded guilty to possessing and distributing over 12,000 files of child pornography…on the BitTorrent file sharing network.  Morozewicz also used multiple electronic devices to download and distribute child pornography involving [toddlers] and infants…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1208)

Media stenographers are always happy to indulge cops’ violent fantasies:

The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department is [spread]ing [moronic copaganda] about…fentanyl…[an important medicine which, despite a fantasy popular among cops, is not an aerosol and cannot be absorbed through casual] exposure…[a hysterical pig named] Dallas Thompson [suffered a panic attack when he thought he was exposed, and] his [gang wasted] five rounds of Narcan [despite that medicine only being effective vs opiates, not panic attacks.  But] the [prohibitionist gang] is still e[ager to tell tall tales about drugs and brag about what might heroes they supposedly are]…

Hint: if five doses of Narcan doesn’t help, you’re not overdosing on opioids.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1230)

Journalism is slowly dying of gullibility:

The New Yorker…staff writer Sheelah Kolhatkar wrote a lengthy feature detailing horrific allegations of child sexual abuse material allegedly uploaded to Pornhub…[and] spend[ing] thousands of words praising #Traffickinghub creator…Laila Mickelwait for [supposedly] helping women…Kolhatkar…describes Mickelwait designating Pornhub a sex-trafficking ring before highlighting her supposed mission: holding Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek “accountable”.  The problem is that despite Mickelwait’s protestations, her goal isn’t to save victims.  It’s to abolish the porn industry…

Goodbye, ACLU; Hello FIRE

Here are FIRE’s first new ads; there are five in all and they’ll play in sequence.

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Asset forfeiture laws imperil people’s rights to property and due process.  –  Elizabeth Patton

Droit du Seigneur

What the people who enforce “sex trafficking” laws are really like:

[Typical and representative Honolulu cop] Mason Jordan [i]s a “hands-on sexual offender of multiple children” who allegedly bullied victims to send him their nude pictures and…[then tried to force them into] prostitution…[with him as] pimp…he…also [liked to fantasy role-play]…as a teenage girl [online] to…stalk…[threaten, and attempt to blackmail] a woman…

A Broker in Pillage

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

…Kansas [cop shops] raked in $21 million through civil asset forfeiture over the past two years, according to a report…by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation…less than one-quarter of the owners have been convicted of a crime…half of all [that stolen loot]…had a value of $3,100 or less, meaning it would be impractical in those cases, if not a net loss, to hire an attorney to try and recover one’s property…the numbers…omit [the federal governent’s cut of the spoils, amounting to] more than $5 million…

Magic Formulae

Remember this next time somebody tells you that “cop checks” actually work:

[At least nine cops in British Columbia] engag[ed] in “disgusting, appalling” behaviour as they went to “extreme lengths” to prove they were not cops…[they] penetrated a colleague using a vegetable, [shat] on [each]…other and exposed their genitalia…[so-called] experts [who somehow didn’t know cops did stuff like this]…are now calling for an immediate overhaul of undercover tactics…[law professor] Kent Roach…expressed concerns over the liberal use of deceptive and even violent tactics which Canadian police are allowed to use in undercover operations…

Property of the State

Most tyranny starts with governments claiming they want to “protect” people:

Poland has officially started recording pregnancies in a digital database when [women] seek medical care…The country…has a near-total abortion ban with narrow exceptions…[which means that] every pregnancy that doesn’t end in a live birth is a potential crime scene [in the authoritarian mind]…the Polish government…[claims] it’s simply trying to protect [women] from X-rays and medicines that could harm the…[fetus and pretends that]…only medical professionals will have access to the data…[but even if true, that hardly seems likely to withstand cop demands]…

If Men Were Angels

“Youth leaders” = “youth pastors” = predatory perverts:

A…youth leader at two South Carolina churches…has been charged with sex crimes involving children…William Pinckney Carpenter III…[molested] victims as young as 7 [between 2016 and 2021]…

To Molest and Rape

Rapist cops never stop until they’re caged or dead:

A…[typical and representative Georgia cop] pleaded guilty to raping a woman [in]…2019…David Wilborn…[used the pretext of a traffic] stop [to]…block…a car with his p[igmobile].  After…[humiliating the driver], he [raped the passenger at gunpoint.  After]…Wilborn [left]…the victim immediately called police…Wilborn was sentenced to a term of life in prison to serve 25 years without parole, with the balance on probation.  He must also register as a sex offender.  Wilborn was previously a…[cop in] Atlanta…but resigned after…[sexually assaulting a woman in] 2007…

Served Cold (#1156) 

As OUR collapses, expect it to engage in increasingly-petty interference with sex workers’ lives:

The abrupt cancellation…of the Latin American adult industry conference, LALExpo, has been linked to a single press release from controversial, Mormon-led U.S. organization Operation Underground Railroad…As the local religious and conservative campaign attempted to sway local officials into denying LALExpo…permits, OUR issued a press release on June 3…seemingly attempting…to insinuate that the trade show’s sponsors were somehow responsible for “human trafficking”…

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

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

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

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1103)

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

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

The Widening Gyre (#1136)

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

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

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

Policing for Profit (#1207)

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

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

The Last Shall Be First (#1216) 

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

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

Disaster (#1220)

They’ve chased the ambulance back to Texas again:

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

To Molest and Rape (#1222)

So many rapist cops, so many underage victims:

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

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Scapegoating Gen Z…belies the enduring hold of sex-negativity on our culture.  –  Asa Seresin

To Molest and Rape

It’s gradually becoming slightly less rare for reporters to describe the actions of rapist cops as rape:

A [typical and representative Kansas cop] is facing over two dozen charges…[for] raping a woman while [wearing his magical clown costume]…Jonathan Gardner…[is mostly being] charged with…official misconduct…[because he stalked potential victims using] Kansas [cop shop computer]…systems…

Disaster (#996)

A timid but possibly important challenge to FOSTA from inside Congress, take 2:

…a few members of Congress are…at least willing to consider the possibility that they messed up in passing FOSTA.  To this end, they’re backing legislation that would further study [its] effects…and of the Justice Department’s shutdown of websites—like Backpage and Rentboy—popular for sex worker advertising.  First introduced in 2019, these measures promptly flopped.  Now, their sponsors—Ro Khanna…Barbara Lee…Elizabeth Warren…and Ron Wyden…are trying again…In the findings section of the bill, the [politicians] explain (with a shocking lack of moral panic) how the government’s war on sex work advertising has caused a number of reported harms, and how FOSTA…increased it…Khanna—one of just 25 House members and two senators who voted against FOSTA—[said that]…he hoped getting more data on FOSTA’s effects would be unobjectionable—and useful for eventual repeal…Techdirt editor Mike Masnick…is skeptical. When it comes to sex trafficking, Congress just “wants to pretend to care about these issues so it can get headlines and go on TV to look serious about how it’s ‘solving’ these problems”…

I’m at least as skeptical as Masnick is, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Ron Wyden actually tweet that “Sex workers deserve equal and full labor protection and dignity under the law.

Disaster (#1151)

They’ve chased this ambulance from Austin to Washington and back:

The [US] Supreme Court declined…to settle a question presented by a[n opportunist and her lawyers] looking to [cash in on a novel theory of] Facebook’s [legal] liability in a case where she [claim]s that she was “sex trafficked as a minor” because the social media platform “[allowed her to communicate with someone she now says was] a sex trafficker.”  The case had already gone all the way up to the Texas Supreme Court, although that tribunal’s decision pointed out the issues with trying to determine Section 230 protections, particularly in a case that also invoked FOSTA-SESTA.  [Though] the Supreme Court denied the request to take up the question…Justice Clarence Thomas added a statement opining that “although the case was not appropriate for court review, Congress should revisit the scope of Section 230”…

I Spy (#1166)

It looks as though at least one court is attempting to grow a spine:

[So-called “geofence”] warrants reverse the expectations of probable cause by turning everyone in a[n]…area into a suspect before investigators work backwards from the location data to generate a list of most likely suspects…[cops] have used these for years…[but] courts are paying more attention now…cops were investigating shootings at a motel in Fairfax County [Virginia, and]…had no suspects so they asked Google to generate them a list of people who had been in the area at the time of the shooting…[including] identifying data…the court…reject[ed] this warrant…Probable cause is the baseline and geofence warrants don’t even try to approach that constitutional guideline…Law enforcement either needs to do a whole lot better crafting these so-called warrants or, better yet, go back to the basics and start looking for suspects first, rather than trying to blunder their way into them by sifting through tons of unrelated data.

Why I Wait (#1177)

Somebody whose name isn’t Maggie McNeill is actually applying critical thought to this claim:

…a widely-held belief [holds] that…Gen Z, like the porn-sceptic feminists of the 70s and 80s, is a sex-negative generation.  Evidence routinely cited to support this belief includes the so-called “sex recession”…and the annual intergenerational battles over kink at Pride.  The idea that young people are abstaining from sex has even crystalised into a neologism: the Puriteen…young people who profess to avoid sex [do so] for a number of reasons: because they find it “objectifying”, “dangerous”, “uncomfortable”, “fucked up and scary”; because they are “exceptionally concerned with trauma and consent”; because casual sex makes them feel “used”…such statements have a political history…that risks falling from view when sex-negativity is treated as if Gen Z invented it.  By invoking objectification, instrumentalization, trauma, and consent, these young people – consciously or not – are using terms handed down to them by feminism…While it might seem like a paradox that [even] some young queers are expressing sex-negative views, the historical legacy of lesbian feminism proves that it isn’t paradoxical at all…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

Another cost of America’s sick worship of state-sanctioned violence:

…more than 7,600 [cops’ violent incompetence]…has more than once led to payouts to resolve lawsuits…[the] Washington Post…collected data on nearly 40,000 payments at 25 of the nation’s largest [cop shops] within the past decade, documenting more than $3.2 billion spent to settle claims…The total amounts further confirm the broad costs associated with police misconduct, as reported last year by FiveThirtyEight and the Marshall Project…more than 1,200 off[enders]…had been the subject of at least five payments.  More than 200 had 10 or more.  The repetition is the hidden cost of [police] misconduct: [cops] whose conduct was at issue in more than one payment accounted for more than $1.5 billion, or nearly half of the money spent by the departments to [sweep reports under the rug]…

To Molest and Rape (#1209)

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

A [cop paid by the state to stalk, harass, and spy on students] at Auburn High School [in New York molested]…a student…William T. Morrissey, III has been charged with first-degree sexual abuse, official misconduct and endangering the welfare of a child…Auburn [politicians found out about the molestation via]…an anonymous written complaint in the mail…

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