Posts Tagged ‘Kazakhstan’

Technology doesn’t make better people.  –  Vera, from Aqkol, Kazakhstan

Creepy Coppers

Police departments attract predatory garbage even to positions that don’t involve directly inflicting violence on citizens:  “[Typical and representative Tennessee cop employee] John Herring was arrested and charged…[with] possession of child pornography…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1291)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

…Smart Aqkol [is] a pilot study in digitized urban infrastructure for Kazakhstan…[using] Chinese surveillance [technology to establish a]…Chinese-style public surveillance system…The government…[sells the system with the usual rhetoric about] public safety…But the hardware came through…China’s…Silk Road initiative…and…uses surveillance cameras made by Chinese firms Dahua and Hikvision, which in China have been used — and touted, even — for their ability to track “suspicious” people and groups.  Both companies are sanctioned by the U.S. due to their involvement in surveilling and aiding in the repression of ethnic Uyghurs in Xinjiang…Kazakhstan…is home to a large Uyghur diaspora of more than 300,000 people, many of whom have deep ties to Xinjiang…Hikvision announced in December 2022 that its software is used by Chinese police to set up “alarms” that are triggered when cameras detect “unlawful gatherings” in public…its cameras can detect ethnic minorities based on their unique facial features…

I Spy (#1340)

It’s good to see sane people speaking up about this:

…the European Union…have bent themselves towards breaking up “monopolistic” (i.e., huge and non-European) services on the Internet, in the name of benefitting…user choice…this effort is at least equally motivated by a desire to delay adoption of end-to-end secure messaging solutions that lack…means to passively “backdoor” them…the latest draft of Section 45 of the EU’s eIDAS proposal contains phenomenally dangerous propositions that will clearly undermine the security and privacy of millions, even billions (because Europeans also speak with non-Europeans) of people.  They are a replay of the widely derided ChatControl proposal…and they too deserve to be roundly and loudly rejected by the privacy-loving European public …“Browsers” are not somehow conspiring to exclude European innovation.  It’s simply safer and clearer and more transparent to have just one agreed, well-oiled, open, global, standard website trust mechanism, especially where it’s proposed to be regionally usurped by something that is so clearly undermining trust and enabling surveillance…

Choke Point (#1354) 

It always starts with a politically-unpopular group like sex workers or gun owners, but never stops there:

The [pretexts] vary, but the scene that plays out is almost always the same.  Bank customers get a letter…saying their institution is closing all of their checking and savings accounts.  Their debit and credit cards are shuttered, too.  The explanation, if there is one, usually lacks any useful detail.  Or…instead, they discover that their accounts no longer work while they’re at the grocery store, rental car counter or A.T.M.  When they call their bank, frantic, representatives show concern at first…then comes the telltale pause and shift in tone.  “Per your account agreement, we can close your account for any reason at any time,” the script often goes…This isn’t your standard boot for people who have bounced too many checks.  Instead, a vast security apparatus has kicked into gear, starting with [bureaucrats] in Washington and [imposed on] bank security managers…The [pretext used] is to crack down on fraud, terrorism, [and invented political “crimes” such as sex work and “]money laundering[“…]

The Widening Gyre (#1368)

Apparently, as “sex trafficking” hysteria has shrink in popularity, imaginary “sex traffickers” have been forced to give up their ambitious schemes to abduct women and children from big-box stores such as Target and Ikea, and instead to stalk them at gas stations.  And while they could once afford to lure them with roses, honey, or $100 bills, or to mark cars with various objects such as zip ties or litter, they’ve now been reduced to rather pathetically begging for help.  I’m a bit disappointed that Sara didn’t describe her fantasy stalker’s vehicle as a windowless white van, though.

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1370)

The way local media parrots copaganda in the face of clear evidence of its foolishness is utterly pathetic:

A…Sonoma County [California cop had a panic attack]…after a c[opsuck]er reported finding what [he imagined was] fentanyl.  The [suggestion was strong enough for the weak-minded cop to have psychosomatic symptoms, feeling]…lightheaded and dizzy, and experienc[ing] rapid tunnel vision, [none of which are] symptoms of…fentanyl…a[nother cop]…quickly administered naloxone, which [calmed the crybaby cop due to the placebo effect]…

A Moral Cancer (#1379)

Anyone whose brain isn’t rotted by prohibitionism could’ve predicted this:

The Biden administration’s flavored cigarettes and cigars ban, currently under final review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will soon make it illegal to buy or sell menthol and flavored tobacco products in the United States…its [claimed] intention [is] to prevent people, especially [imaginary] children, from becoming addicted to cigarettes…[but] a similar ban in Brazil gives us a window into the probable outcome of [this new theater in the Drug War]…In 2012…Brazil became one of the first countries in the world to fully ban flavored cigarettes…But…demand for…flavored cigarettes…only increased.  Illegal actors quickly entered the market, leading the Brazilian government to conduct dangerous raids…[which have often resulted] in bystanders being killed in the crossfire.  The Brazilian government has lost billions of dollars in enforcement and tax revenues…[and] Brazil now has one of the largest cigarette markets in the world, [because]…of…prohibition…the illegal cigarette market now represents about half of the entire cigarette market


I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

Read Full Post »

[The Backpage] case is a hot mess.  –  Michael Piccarreta

The Punitive Mindset (#872) 

Much more of this, please:

I was incredibly disappointed when I recently learned that music artists are partnering with telecom corporations in the prison industryPrison telecom is a $1.4 billion industry dominated by just two corporations that charge families extortionate rates to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones.  One of these…is Aventiv Technologies, which [owns the]…notoriously predatory…Securus and JPay.  Securus controls roughly 40 percent of the prison and jail telecom market and charges as much as a dollar per minute for a simple call.  JPay charges similarly egregious rates for everything from money transfers to emails…And both…routinely face legal action for an extensive list of unlawful practices…including the unlawful recording of sacred attorney-client calls…As music executives and artists, we should…not [be] cutting back-office deals with…the prison industry…I’m making a pledge not to collaborate with corporations that profit from incarceration…And I urge my fellow music executives and artists to join me…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#957) 

“Porn addiction” is still being used as an excuse for violent crimes:

Two 11-year-old “porn addicts” have been arrested in India after they allegedly stoned a six-year-old girl to death for refusing to perform sex acts they had watched on their parents’ phones…Authorities arrested the two…along with another eight-year-old who is thought to have [stood guard while] the [others] murder[ed] the…girl…children are seen as having criminal responsibility from the age of seven in India…

Subtle Pimping (#1013)

While American cops favor VR porn games, Kazakh cops prefer LARPing:

A…week-long simulation exercise on combating…migration…started on 11 October 2021 in Almaty.  The simulation exercise [refers to this migration control as “]Combating Trafficking in Human Beings[“, following the racist European practice]…this training exercise offers f[antasies in place of]…real-life [situations], using actors to create [fantasy] trafficking scenarios.  A fictitious brothel..a[nd] massage parlor…were…created to…[indoctrin]ate c[ops in the fantasy version] of human trafficking…and sexual exploitation…

Torture Chamber (#1037)

The PREA is just feel-good nonsense as long as screws have absolute power over their victims:

…a 23-year-old woman…committed suicide in a [Forks,] Washington jail [after] she tried to report sexual harassment by a guard, but her complaint was [ignored].  Months later, that same [screw] was sentenced to prison for [raping] four other women…the family of Kimberly Bender [is suing jail] officials…[for allow]ing Bender…[to] be…tormented by a [typical and representative screw] with a known misconduct record…John Gray…[repeat]edly tormented Bender at night, leering at her, making “vile” comments, and frequently waking her up.  Bender, “struggling with heroin withdrawal, was unable to sleep, rest, or relax because of…Gray”…wh[o was]…previously…fire[d from a different cage stack] in 2018 for m[oc]king…a training on the Prison Rape Elimination Act…[by making disgusting] “comments and sounds such as, ‘Here we go’ and ‘oooh…oh yeah baby…mmmmm'” during a [scene showing]…a woman [groping]…another woman [under the pretext of a “search”]…PREA is [well-known to be] largely toothless.  Since the reporting rules went into effect in 2012, reports of sexual assaults in prisons and jails have dramatically increased, especially at local and county jails…

The Convergence of Censors

Vomit out the right buzzwords and you can censor at will:

The Waterloo Region District School Board is undertaking a multi-year review of its library collections to [censor] any texts deemed “[magically] harmful to staff and students.”  Graham Shantz, coordinating [bureaucrat, made a bunch of incoherent, pseudointellectual excuses about why stunting students’ intellectual growth and controlling their thoughts is actually a good thing, belching out words like]…”inappropriate…questionable and…pedagogical framework”…[to support plain old-fashioned book burning]…Earlier this year, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board removed William Golding’s classic Lord of the Flies from its curriculum after [bureaucrats vomited out the words]…white, male power structures [at librarians].  Other books recently removed from Canadian school libraries…in response to complaints [backed by fashionable pseudointellectual bullshit]…include Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

To Molest and Rape (#1130)

Imagine a non-cop child rapist staying free for decades like this:

A [typical and representative] New York [cop] who for decades has delayed facing [trial for]…repeatedly rap[ing] and molest[ing] his daughter’s 12-year-old friend was arrested in Florida…Leonard Forte, who is now 80…was [found guilty] in Vermont in 1988…[but] the judge tossed the verdict…[because cop]…and…Forte persuaded prosecutors to delay the retrial because he [claimed to be terminally ill]…A USA Today investigation in 2019 revealed how Vermont prosecutors had mishandled the case [for over 25 years]…and exposed Forte’s dubious claims about his health…[thus shaming] Vermont’s Attorney General’s Office [into] reviv[ing] the case…

Dangerous Speech (#1184)

After presiding over an evil clown show for months, Brnovich does what an ethical judge would’ve done a year ago:

…Judge Susan Brnovich today recused herself from the [Backpage] trial…[without providing a] reason…the case ha[s] been reassigned by lot to…Judge Diane J. Humetewa…Brnovich…previously refused to recuse herself from the case [despite obvious]…conflict [of interest due to]…Brnovich’s [being married to the attorney general of Arizona, a noted prohibitionist with a history of disseminating anti-Backpage propaganda]…Humetewa is…the fourth judge on the case…Steven Logan was first assigned to the case…[but] recused himself with no explanation in March 2019.  The case was briefly assigned to…Douglas Rayes, who immediately recused himself sans explanation…Brnovich was then assigned the case…Tucson criminal defense attorney and former Arizona State Bar President Michael Piccarreta [pointed out that]…“Someone’s going to have to take a look at the government’s overreaching issues…No judge wants to have to deal with that”…prosecutorial misconduct in this case…[includes] the [intentional] destruction of exculpatory evidence…and…the [armed robbery] of millions of dollars in assets, including…more than $10 million from lawyers for the defense…

Read Full Post »