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Posts Tagged ‘language’

Slang terms come and go; sometimes they enter the vernacular on a more permanent basis, but more often the fade away once their season is done, and using them after that time tends to mark someone as not at all “with it”, to use one example from my youth.  But as you might suspect from someone who was invited to a conference of freethinkers, I don’t much care if young people think it’s funny when I use words like “chick”, “square”, and “dig” without a hint of irony (I’ve even been known to occasionally use “groovy”), just like I didn’t much care if adults disliked it when I used them as a kid.  There’s one term from my youth, though, which has pretty thoroughly vanished from popular use despite being as necessary now as it ever was, and perhaps even more so: “The Establishment”.  It was first used in this sense by British journalist Henry Fairlie, who in The Spectator (September 1955) wrote:  “By the Establishment, I do not only mean the centres of official power—though they are certainly part of it—but rather the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised.”  The Establishment, then, includes politicians, cops, bureaucrats, banks, well-connected corporations, institutions, academia, NGOs, the mainstream press…all the interconnected parts of the fascist regimes which act collectively to corral people into easily-managed herds.  Most people nowadays, especially (but not limited to) those in the chattering classes, like to pretend that these institutions either act separately, or can be cleanly divided into “wings”; those who buy into this fantasy think it’s perfectly reasonable to be against “capitalism” without also being against centralized government, or believe that institutions which mouth popular “woke” jargon are truly against the larger institutions which pay their bills, or imagine that a TV news network which airs propaganda for one of the so-called “wings” is different in some substantive way from one which prefers to air propaganda for the other “wing”.  But as I’ve discussed many times, this is nonsense; the machine of authoritarianism is vast, complex, and has many parts which seem separate or even adverserial to shallow thinkers, but in reality all work together (sometimes by design, but more often by necessity) to either reduce all individuals to soulless parts of that machine, or else crush those who refuse to be used thus into pulp.

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

Power Play (#701)

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

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

I Spy (#990)

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

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

Quiet Genocide (#1111)

A very brave woman working to expose a colossal abomination:

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1162)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

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

I Spy (#1188)

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

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

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

The Next Target (#1192)

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

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

The Cop Myth (#1199)

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

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

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

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A few months ago I shared this story about a federal lawsuit involving cops protecting what appears to be an exploitative escort service in Virginia in exchange for services (for which the escorts appear to have not been compensated).  The original was drawn almost entirely from a government press release, so I did my best to “extract…what appears to be the important information from amongst the dysphemized descriptions, agency denial, and outright fantasies“.  Unfortunately, most sex workers and supporters of our rights who have linked the story made far less effort to separate fact from fantasy, preferring instead to simply parrot the government’s calling the operation a “trafficking ring”.  If you’ve done this yourself and have actual information on the supposed “ring” that does not come from government sources, please share; otherwise you’re just repeating a prohibitionist narrative.  If you don’t understand what I’m saying, remember that cops and prosecutors use the slur “sex trafficking ring” to mean anything from a broken-down pimp to an ordinary escort service to a sex worker ad site.  Until we know what this organization (if it even was an organization; cops and prosecutors often create imaginary “gangs” and “rings” from people who don’t even know each other) was about, it’s a bad idea to parrot government’s claims.  I understand you want to talk about bad cops, but you don’t know these cops weren’t just accepting ordinary bribes from an ordinary escort service.  So please chill on the “sex trafficking ring” cant and stop denying the agency of women you don’t know just to “pwn the cops”.

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I think that certain foods produce better-smelling farts.  –  Stephanie Matto

This week’s video isn’t a new one, but I was recently reminded of ts existence by Lenore Skenazy.  The first and last links above it were provided by David Ley, and the others by Desiree Alliance; Mistress Matisse & Jesse Walker; Emma Evans; and Phoenix Calida, in that order.

From the Archives

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

Same As It Ever Was

All prohibitionism is the same:

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

Stalkers in Blue

Cops regularly demonstrate exactly what they are:

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

I Spy (#990)

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

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

Permanent Record (#1018)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

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

Censor Chic (#1046)

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

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

Droit du Seigneur (#1183)

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

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

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

Thought Control (#1197)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

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

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 I will fucking shoot you.  –  Sheriff Craig Rowland

This week’s amusing holiday video was provided by reader En Passant in a comment on last week’s Links column; the first and last links above the video are from Cop Crisis, and the others from Stephen Lemons, Scott Greenfield, Lenore Skenazy, Mike Siegel, and Jesse Walker, in that order.

From the Archives

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It’s coming…it’s coming soon.  –  Rodolfo

This seasonal video is kinda brilliant on several levels.  It was provided by Walter Olson, and the links above it by Tim Cushing, Missy Mariposa, Mike Siegel, Clarissa, David Ley, The Onion, and Mike Peters, in that order.

From the Archives

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Who would have thought drinking dirt would make me feel so so good?

Since Mike Nesmith passed away this week, I’d like to share “The Monkees’ Christmas Episode” from 1967.  If you don’t have time for the whole thing, at least listen to their very lovely a capella performance of the 16th century Spanish Christmas carol “Riu Chiu”, starting at 20:47.  The links above the video are from Rick Horowitz, Stephen Lemons, Jesse Walker, Kevin WilsonWalter Olson, Mike Siegel, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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A system that allows this level of sustained incompetence and cruelty…is morally bankrupt.  –  Tod Wilcox

Where Are the Victims?

They’re talking about ordinary-sounding escort agencies or phone services:

…a BBC [news show claims it]…has evidence that…pimps are using Vivastreet to advertise multiple women under their control…one mobile phone number was being used for 78 ads on the site – which suggests the women might be controlled by a single person [because obviously, women are much too stupid to hire answering services like other businesses do]…some of the adverts for sex contained [what prohibitionists, cops, and others who wank to fantasies of passive, doll-like women enjoy calling] the warning signs of sexual exploitation.  One such sign is when multiple women [use the same phone answering service]…Diana Johnson, chair of the [politicians’] Group [trying once again to impose Swedish criminalization on the UK, barfed up childish nonsense about]…”a pimp’s paradise”…Stuart Peall…a…Lancashire [vice cop, made furtive movements in his pants while burbling about how]…”it’s like a takeaway menu”…

It’s really sad that the BBC has sunk to the “IT’S LIKE PIZZA!” level of journalism.

Surplus Women

Your government wants this to happen more often:

Police have arrested a man believed to be the serial killer responsible for six murders and several shootings that happened in St. Louis…and Kansas City…during a span of several weeks in September and late October…Perez Reed…used the same gun to shoot all of the victims…He is also suspected of multiple other homicides in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas…[but his] motive remains unknown.  Most of the victims were women…some were involved in sex work.  And other[s appear to have been transwomen]…Some…were shot in the back of their heads…some victims didn’t fit into any type of pattern and some survived.  One man was waiting for a bus when he was shot but survived…most of the…[victims]…did not know their killer — who does not have much of a criminal history…

Missouri cops of course had to demonstrate what they are by misgendering some of the dead.

Rooted in Racism (#966)

The racism of European “anti-trafficking” schemes is getting harder to disguise:

EU [politicians want to]…e[conomically] sa[botage] Minsk…[for allowing] large numbers of [brown people into]…Belarus…in hopes of [stopping them] crossing into Polish territory…European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called…[the migration of brown people a] “hybrid attack”…[and said] that the EU “will explore how to…blacklist…third-country airlines” that a[llow brown people to buy tickets, referring to the sales as]…”human trafficking”…[another politician bloviated that] “All airlines of the world should understand that they cooperate with the criminal regime by flying to Belarus”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#996)

A tactic pioneered by China:

The Israeli military has been conducting a broad surveillance effort in the occupied West Bank to monitor Palestinians by integrating facial recognition with a growing network of cameras and smartphones…a…technology called Blue Wolf…captures photos of Palestinians’ faces and matches them to a database of images so extensive that one former soldier described it as the army’s secret “Facebook for Palestinians.”  The phone app flashes in different colors to alert soldiers if a person is to be [harassed], arrested or left alone.  To build the database…soldiers competed last year in photographing Palestinians, including children and the elderly, with prizes for the most pictures collected by each unit…The surveillance program was described…by…soldiers…to…Breaking the Silence…an advocacy group composed of Israeli army veterans that opposes the occupation…

The Implosion Begins (#1172)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

John Eisenman [of Spokane fantasized] that his underage daughter’s boyfriend had…sold her into a [“]sex trafficking organization[“] in Seattle.  [After the daughter returned home, an event described by]  Eisenman…as…rescue…[he stalked] the boyfriend, 19-year-old Aaron Sorensen…[and murdered] him…by beating and stabbing…[then put his] body in the trunk [of a car, which he] then abandoned in North Spokane County where it sat for nearly a full year.  In October 2021…[someone found the car and] drove [it] back into Spokane…On Oct. 22, [police] received calls from [someone]…who discovered the body when rummaging through the abandoned vehicle…

Here’s the wholly predictable chaser:

The family of Andrew Sorensen…[pointed out that this supposed “trafficker”] “was born with cerebral palsy, autism, and [was] developmentally delayed…Both the FBI and Washington State Patrol said there is no sex trafficking investigation”…John Eisenman…is facing the charge of first-degree murder and is being held in jail on a $1 million bond…

Torture Chamber (#1184)

Arizona screws are notably devoted to yelling “Stop faking!” at the sick and dying:

A paraplegic man was left to physically deteriorate until his penis had to be amputated.  A man with undiagnosed, untreated lung cancer lost 90 pounds and died “slowly and agonizingly” without pain medication.  A woman’s multiple sclerosis was ignored and misdiagnosed until she was left, at age 36, nearly completely paralyzed.  Arizona’s prison system is on trial once again in a long-running civil lawsuit over [systemic] medical neglect…and a doctor’s testimony in the case paints a stomach-churning picture of unnecessary suffering, malpractice, and death…medical neglect is widespread in American prisons and jails, despite the Eighth Amendment’s supposed guarantee of basic medical care, hygiene, and living conditions.  The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and several law firms have been litigating the case since 2012…

To Molest and Rape (Long Hidden)

UK reporters have discussed this more in weeks than US ones have in years:

More than 30 a[ccus]ations of sexual misconduct were made against Suffolk [cops] in the past five years…the figures come amid fresh focus on police conduct after the kidnap, rape and killing of Sarah Everard by [typical and representative cop] Wayne Couzens in March…The case has raised questions about how police forces [refuse to] deal with sexual misconduct amongst their own rank and file after it emerged that Couzens was referred to by his own colleagues as “the rapist”.  Three days before he [raped and murdered a young woman], Couzens also…exposed himself in a McDonald’s restaurant…

Yet reporters still feel the need to include denials and excuses from spokespigs who want to expose even more women to the danger of rape and other violence from cops:

A scheme that will see [disguised cops secretly spying on] clubs and bars [using the excuse of] safeguard[ing] women will instead put them at risk of police violence…the government…first announced plans to roll the scheme out nationwide in the spring…after the kidnapping, murder and rape of Sarah Everard by a serving Metropolitan Police officer…Deniz Ugur…of the End Violence Against Women Coalition said trying to safeguard women from predatory men using [other predatory men] would not tackle the root of the problem…“Given that one woman a week reports domestic abuse by a police officer and that police abuse of power for a sexual purpose is…the most common form of police corruption…these plans will be ineffective and…leave women…at risk of police violence”…

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