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Posts Tagged ‘law’

It is difficult to imagine a situation in which parents would demand to see the driver’s licenses of neighbors handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.  –  Jacob Sullum

Crime Against Society (#609)

Courts are finally curtailing the worst of Louisiana’s nasty “sex offender” game:

The U.S. Supreme Court…declined to hear Louisiana’s appeal of a decision against its 2006 law requiring that people [condemned to] the state’s sex offender registry carry IDs or driver’s licenses that say “SEX OFFENDER” in orange capital letters.  A year ago, the Louisiana Supreme Court concluded that the requirement amounted to compelled speech and could not be justified by the state’s legitimate interest in protecting public safety…registries…are primarily punitive, exposing registrants to ostracism, harassment, and violence while impeding their rehabilitation by making it difficult to find employment and housing…Louisiana’s experiment in ritual humiliation, which branded registrants with orange letters they had to display in every transaction that required producing a government-issued ID, compounded those costs without offering any plausible benefits…

Louisiana even condemned sex workers to this “registry”; at one time, fully half of New Orleans’ victims of this monstrous punishment were sex workers.

To Molest and Rape

Prosecutors care more about magical clown costumes than about rape:

An off-duty cop has been charged with raping his girlfriend inside their Queens home…[on] Sept. 7…The girlfriend appears to have contacted police [last] week, with [rapist cop] Gilberto Salazar-Giraldo…arrested [on October 4th and]…suspended without pay…

Property of the State (#942) 

A rare rollback of state control of pregnant women:

[The Ohio Supreme] Court found that a woman can’t be charged with possession of drugs…just because she and her newborn had drugs in their systems…Kelly Foreman appealed her conviction on felony drug possession charges, which he was charged with after giving birth in March 2018…she was not “in actual or constructive control of any drugs”…and…the high court found that tests proving the presence of cocaine were “insufficient to prove that she possessed cocaine in Seneca County”…The court opinion said the argument that possession could be established through urine or umbilical cord testing leads to the possibility that a person could be charged with possession anywhere they test positive in the state, no matter where the drugs were when they were taken…

The Cop Myth (#1075)

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

…Matthew Kinne…a…[typical and representative cop] in…Oxford [Mississippi, knew that his mistress]…Dominique [Clayton] was home alone th[e]…night [of 18 May 2019], as her children were spending the weekend with a relative.  At the end of his shift, Kinne went…to a barn where the police horses were kept and left his mobile phone there…so that his movements could not be traced.  He…park[ed his pigmobile] around the corner [from]…he[r] home…[entered her bedroom] at around 2.05am…[and] shot her…in the head…Kinne [then] drove back to the barn to collect his phone and texted her at 2.20am as though nothing had happened…

Tissue of Lies (#1087)

The latest pig fad: collecting a bunch of unrelated raids, arrests & record updates and calling the resulting dog’s breakfast a “human trafficking sting”:

Ten…[legal minors officially missing in]…Ohio [records were located when] authorities conducted [a record review similar to one last year, bizarrely referring to it as an] anti-human-trafficking operation…[and linking it with] the [unrelated] arrests of 161 people [in typical prostitution stings.  Cops also abducted one sex worker’s]…2-year-old [child]…The weeklong [pogrom] involved over 90 [pigs and spooks, oinking, grunting, and rooting in people’s private business, ruining lives to get about 50] misdemeanor [charges.  Among those arrested were] 51 [legal minors, some of whom were accused of selling sex to survive]…

Ohio is especially invested in this kind of swine theater in order to call attention away from the rapes, molestation, robbery, extortion, and murders practiced by Columbus’ “vice” gang for decades.

Winding Down (#1133)

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

Seattle just became the largest city in the country with a hands-off policy for…natural psychedelics…[after] the city council unanimously approved a resolution that says “the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities should be among The City of Seattle’s lowest enforcement priorities”…[but does not impose] that…as [SPD] policy…The new policy…[only] applies to…”living, fresh, dried, or processed plant or fungal material”…[but not lab-made substances such as LSD or MDMA]…Seattle joins several other U.S. cities in urging [cops to] tolera[te] psychedelic use.  In 2019, Denver voters approved a[n]…initiative that made adult possession of psilocybin the city’s lowest law enforcement priority and prohibited the use of public money to pursue such cases.  Last year, the city councils of Ann Arbor, MichiganOakland, California; and Santa Cruz, California, enacted similar measures…An…Oregon ballot initiative approved in November decriminalized low-level possession of drugs, including psilocybin and other psychedelics…

Seattle’s resolution, unlike Denver’s, does not deny cops funds to persecute drug users, which renders it dependent upon voluntary cop cooperation.

Censorship Ascendant

Censors are now pretending ideas they don’t like constitute a “crime”:

Local busybodies in Campbell County, Wyoming, are trying to brand children’s or young adult books about getting pregnant, sex education, and being gay as illegal obscenity…books reported to [the cops] include How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna FiskeDating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy…the teen sex-education book Doing It by Hannah WittonThis Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, and Sex Is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg.  The latter—an award-winning children’s comic book on the American Library Association’s 2016 Reading List—discusses concepts such as sex, gender identity, “privacy, safety, and respect,” “protecting yourself against unwanted sexual touch and abuse,” and “boundaries regarding nudity”…The…disturbing element here is…that [rather than leaving these matters to actual experts]…prosecutors are [actually] reviewing the case…

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Prosecutors are not allowed to just randomly tie defendants to heinous crimes they’re not on trial for…and yet here we are.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

To Molest and Rape (#941)

Rapist cop is still a rapist cop:

A Border Patrol [cop named Steven Holmes] who was released from jail after being charged in multiple [violent rapes]…two years ago is…now being held without bond​ in [Tucson]…He is being [protected] from other inmates due to his [being a cop]…Holmes was p[reviously…released [on bond]…with a GPS tracking device…[but a woman he has been fucking] for the past 3 months…[reported that] on Aug. 26, they were having sex [when]…”something changed” and…Holmes…[suddenly started strangling her until she] los[t]…consciousness…Holmes [then] continued [raping]…her after she had asked him to stop…She managed to leave and…called the [local] police…the[y now admit the]re may be more potential victims out there…

Panopticon (#986)

Cops will continue to do this until there are criminal penalties for it:

…the Oakland Privacy Advisory Commission has [sued]…the Oakland Police Department…[for] violat[ing] the city’s surveillance technology vetting ordinance, the city charter and multiple state laws…[by] retaining data for two years [when they’re allowed only 6 months, and by]…giving the FBI “unfettered access” to the license plate data…the police department [has] fail[ed] to audit the use of its surveillance technology…and [refused to] provid[e] information…requested under the state’s public records act…the police department has [also] used surveillance technology such as drones without a search warrant or prior approval…

I Spy (#1098)

Encryption won’t protect you if providers are willing to hand metadata to the cops:

ProtonMail is a well-known and well-regarded mail service…[which] was recently forced to cooperate with Swiss authorities in providing user data (date of account creation), which was subsequently handed over to American security authorities…That ProtonMail made its home in Switzerland has previously been a point of praise for the mail service.  However…the country is by no means a bastion of digital privacy…due in no small part to new laws passed in response to the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris…

Dangerous Speech (#1159)

US “authorities” keep pretending “because sex” is an excuse for any tyranny:

[In] the federal trial of Backpage.com’s founders and former executives…prosecutor Reggie Jones misrepresented Backpage ads and the law, while harping on specific crimes of which the defendants aren’t even accused.  Defense lawyers are already calling for a mistrial…the…motion [states]…”The opening…consisted of inflammatory, unproven, and unprovable assertions that fail in any event to address what the government must prove to convict any defendant”…

I Spy (#1167)

“Delayed” isn’t good enough:

Apple has delayed plans to roll out its [new surveillance]…technology …citing [criticism] from customers and policy groups…The Electronic Frontier Foundation…amassed more than 25,000 signatures…[and] close to 100 policy and rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, also called on Apple to abandon plans to roll out the technology.  In…[reply], Apple [bloviated about how allowing governments to spy on everyone is]…”critically important”…Apple’s so-called NeuralHash technology…could [easily] be abused by…governments…to implicate innocent victims or [enforce criminalization of thought]…researchers…were [even] able to…trick…the system into thinking two entirely different images were the same…

A Broker in Pillage (#1170)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

Ameal Woods was driving near Houston in May 2019 when he was pulled over by a Harris County [cop using the common pretext that he was suppos]edly…driving too close to a semi-truck.  The [cop used this an excuse to rob]…Woods’ and his wife’s life savings…$43,200 in cash…that Woods and Davis say they planned on using to…purchase a tractor-trailer for Woods’ trucking business…Now Woods and his wife, Jordan Davis, are the lead plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit…against Harris County…by the Institute for Justice…Harris County prosecutors have a pattern of seeking civil forfeitures based on boilerplate [fantasies] written by [cops] who were not…the[re]…at least 113 forfeiture petitions since 2016…used stock language and identical phrases…[which] led to errors…such as contradictory dates and incorrectly stating what property was s[tolen by the cops]…Harris County’s forfeiture practices fail to provide owners with prompt hearings to challenge property seizures, require owners to prove their own innocence, and create perverse profit incentives for law enforcement, all of which violates the Texas constitution…

To Molest and Rape (#1170)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A Mohave County (Arizona) [cop] is facing a felony charge of s[tatutory rape]…after he was arrested on…Aug[ust 31]…when Kingman police…[discovered] Andrew Jacob Sundberg…[had intentionally gotten] a 15-year-old girl [drunk so as to seduce her]…

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This is an inherently abusive power that [cops] should not have.  –  Wesley Hottot

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

A woman is suing the Grace Baptist Church in Lansingburgh, [New York, because] its leadership ignored her daily sexual abuse as a [teen from 15-17] at the hands of a youth pastor – then claimed that she had “led him on”…Larry Hallock…sexually abused the victim “on a daily basis” between 2000 and 2002 in the church…Hallock’s wife sent the [victim] several letters acknowledging…the abuse…

No Moss

This time Rolling Stone wasn’t alone in gulping down a load of codswallop:

KFOR, an Oklahoma news channel, reported last week that rural hospitals throughout the state were in danger of becoming overwhelmed by…overdoses of ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug promoted by [anti-]vaccine [cranks] as a possible treatment for COVID-19.  The story went viral…under the headline: “Patients overdosing on ivermectin backing up rural Oklahoma hospitals”…[and] was quickly picked up by…Rolling Stone, Newsweekand the New York Daily Newsin fact, [there’s] little reason to believe a purported strain on Oklahoma hospitals is caused by ivermectin overdoses; one hospital served by the doctor quoted in the KFOR article released a statement saying it has not treated any ivermectin overdoses, nor has it been forced to turn away patients…but…at no point did [the interviewed doctor, Jason] McElyea actually come out and say that ivermectin overdoses were straining hospitals…It was the journalist, Katelyn Ogle, who added that framing…This means, of course, that if the national media outlets had called the doctor or the hospitals, they would have easily uncovered the error.  Instead, they [careless]ly spread it…

Stalkers in Blue

Another cop demonstrating what he is:

A [typical and representative] Arkansas [cop] will spend ten years in prison for stalking a…woman for more than three years…In 2016, Skylar Galloway was working at a family-owned gas station…The owner’s brother was [typical and representative cop] Mark Holland…Galloway eventually moved and switched jobs.  A month later, anonymous emails came [demanding] nude photos…[along with threats] like “If I have to come over there, I’ll take my own pics. I’m going to get what I want.”  Another read, “You are going to scream and moan, but you probably won’t really like it.”  She started filing police reports…but was turned away [because birds of a feather]…So she decided to…start…investigating…[and] after three years of digging. she realized it was Holland in December 2019.  Within five days, he was arrested by his own department and charged with 20 felonies…

Social Distancing (#1046)

Once a government takes more power, it never really relinquishes it again:

[Using the excuse of] coronavirus…Australia’s federal and state governments imposed draconian restrictions on its citizens [that even the] Prime Minister…[admits are far] too heavy…Before 2020, the idea of Australia all but forbidding its citizens from leaving the country, a restriction associated with Communist regimes, was unthinkable.  Today, it is…policy…Intrastate travel within Australia is also severely restricted…The state of Victoria announced a curfew and suspended its Parliament for key parts of the pandemic…In New South Wales…the…military [was deployed] to enforce lockdowns…anti-lockdown protests were banned, and when dissenters gathered anyway, hundreds were arrested and fined…Enduring rules of th[is] sort would certainly render a country a police state…with COVID-19 now thought to be endemic, rather than a temporary emergency the nation could avoid, how much time must pass before we must regard Australia as illiberal and unfree?…

A Broker in Pillage (#1072)

A good argument for refusing to roll over and let yourself be robbed:

Stephen Lara [was pulled over in Nevada by a cop using the common pretext]…that he’d been…following a…truck too closely…the [pigs rooted through]…his…vehicle, [steal]ing nearly $87,000 in a zip-top bag from Lara’s trunk and [pretend]ing a drug-sniffing dog had detected something on the cash…Lara…was charged with no crime.  But [cops]…call[ed] a [DEA spook] to [engineer] an “adoption,” [a scam] which allows [local cops to circumvent state laws curtailing such robbery by enlisting] federal authorities to [pretend that they were the ones who] seize[d] cash or property the[n give most of it back to the local pigs]…It was only after Lara got a lawyer, sued and talked with The Washington Post about his ordeal that the government said it would return his money [due to the bad publicity]…Justice Department [mouthpiece] Joshua Stueve [oinked that] the government “is reviewing existing policy on adoptive forfeitures”…

You Were Warned (#1108)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

A federal lawsuit accusing Twitter of sex trafficking can move forward, says District Judge Joseph C. Spero, in a decision that could portend a dangerous expansion of how courts define “sex trafficking”…[under] FOSTA…The case…was brought by…Morality in Media, [the Kennedy-era pro-censorship group] that also opposes NetflixAmazon, and Cosmopolitan magazine [and now wants to be called “The National Center on Sexual Exploitation”.  MiM wants the court to rule]…that soliciting a sex video from someone under age 18 amounts to sex trafficking…[and that] unwittingly providing a platform for a third party to post or link to that video makes one part of a sex trafficking enterprise…the teens—who were 13 or 14 years old at the time—recorded themselves engaging in sexual activity and used Snapchat to share these videos with a third party [the]y believed to be a peer.  The recipient turned out to be an adult, who allegedly blackmailed one of the teens…into providing additional sexual content…The perpetrator could have been held individually responsible, since blackmail and soliciting obscenity from minors are both crimes.  Instead, [MiM] is going after a bigger, richer, and much more high-profile target…

To Molest and Rape (#1168)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A Los Angeles Co[p]…has been arrested for…molesting a 16-year-old girl in Rancho Cucamonga.  Antonio Heriberto Galindo…coached girls’ softball teams…[as a means of finding and grooming] victims…

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Is it legal in New York City to meet a professional at a short-stay motel for the purposes of a BDSM session? The only sexual activity contemplated would be masturbation by me while naked.

There’s little point in concerning yourself with whether a consensual sex act is “legal” or not, because cops can and will arrest anyone they think they can get away with arresting, whether the supposed act they’re arresting someone for is legal, illegal, or nothing more than a product of their own sick imaginations.  The only relatively certain way to avoid arrest any time you step out of your front door is to avoid cops; when sex is involved, that means contracting with an established professional.  If you see someone with a long and proven professional history, you’re as safe as you are doing just about anything else involving sex (and much safer than doing the same thing with an amateur) regardless of the diktats of power-hungry busybodies; if you try to see someone without a reputation, there’s no way to guarantee it isn’t a cop and you won’t end up in the paper under a headline that screams “SEX TRAFFICKING!” regardless of whether you did anything any sane person would consider wrong or criminal.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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For years now, I’ve been warning about the government’s intentional dismantling of every established safeguard in the criminal justice system.  The first step was to enact a host of laws turning ordinary, consensual, victimless acts into “crimes” and then slowly eroding civil rights so as to make it easier for the State to arrest, charge, and convict people for these imaginary “crimes”.  Once there were far too many “criminal” cases for the courts to possibly keep up with, the scene was set for transferring control of the courts from the judicial to the executive branch via “plea bargaining”; some 97% of federal cases and 94% of state cases are now never heard by a jury, and the US cages 5x as many people per capita as more civilized countries do.  But still that isn’t enough to satisfy the carceral lust of America’s ruling fascist establishment, so the process of eliminating the presumption of innocence began; when that proved too slow a process, politicians hit upon the idea of persecuting individuals they wish to destroy with civil suits rather than prosecuting them in criminal courts, because civil suits have a lower burden of proof and may even allow the persecutors to make a profit.  The people most often attacked by this sleazy, unconstitutional end-run around due process were of course sex workers, but the tactic still required too much attention from prosecutors and others of their morally-diseased ilk to create the level of carnage desired by authoritarians until some especially-psychopathic individual realized about 4 years ago that a law encouraging any random busybody to file suit for the supposed “offense” would truly open the floodgates.  The tactic was incorporated into the awful FOSTA, and the damage that has caused gave authoritarian monsters everywhere paroxysms of joy.  So naturally, politicians are already starting to widen the net, and still SCOTUS will do nothing to stop it:

In a 5–4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to block enforcement of an extreme new abortion restriction in Texas.  Notably, it did not rule on the law’s constitutionality.  If it had, we would likely not be seeing this ban take effect…[because] “S.B. 8 is plainly inconsistent with what the Court has said about constitutional limits on abortion regulations“…The reason the Court declined to temporarily block the law is complicated…[but basically boils down to, it’s] because it’s not the state tasked with enforcing the law but private citizens in civil court suits…The Court saying that it can’t stay a likely unconstitutional law if it’s to be enforced by private actors and civil lawsuits could pave the way for all sorts of nutty new legislation…

As I regularly point out, the greatest danger posed by evil laws is often their terrible precedent:

…According to Texas, this…scheme means that the state cannot be hauled into federal court to account for its own law because it has handed over the law’s enforcement to private parties…if the Texas scheme actually succeeds in the long run, what’s to stop an anti-gun state legislature from banning handguns in the home, in clear violation of SCOTUS precedent, and then placing state officials beyond the reach of federal judicial review by outsourcing the ban’s enforcement to an army of private-sector gun control activists?  Most gun shops would probably go bankrupt overnight when faced with the wave of private-sector civil suits that such a state law would unleash…

Of course, useful idiots are completely unable to comprehend this simple concept, which means that unless SCOTUS wakes up and does its damned job, we’re at the dawn of a surveil-and-snitch state that will make East Germany look like a model of privacy in comparison.

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The myth of sex addiction is a pathological view of male sexuality, sexual diversity, non-monogamy, and non-normative sexual desire.  –  David Ley

Here We Go Again 

Prohibitionism never, ever changes:

…in the early 20th century…prostitution became seen [by busybodies] as a social evil that concerned a wide range of [people who were completely univolved in it]…evangelical Christians, feminists, business leaders and medical experts demanded immediate and unrelenting repression of [sex work]…self-styled “abolitionists” in both the United States and the United Kingdom gained public support for their efforts by [spreading propaganda about a fantasized epidemic] of “white slavery”…the legislation they produced was antithetical to prostitutes’ interests…policies that sanctioned state control and punishment of prostitutes flourished…[but] rather than eliminating prostitution, the anti-prostitution movement simply changed the nature of the sex trade…and…subjected [all women] to increased state control.  During World War I, the “American Plan” authorized the arrest, inspection and detention of women suspected of carrying venereal disease…surveillance of women in the name of public health increasingly committed the U.S. to a “neo-regulationist” prostitution policy that controlled women’s bodies…

The article has some interesting information, but if you notice the faint reek of Swedish thinking (as if some cretin had stuffed used toilet paper down between the sofa cushions), it’s not your imagination.

Traffic Jam (#619)

You may remember that I called this as bullshit ten years ago:

St. Paul [Minnesota sow] Heather Weyker…[fabricated] an interstate sex trafficking ring run by Somali refugees…result[ing] in 30 indictments, 9 trials, and 0 convictions.  Hamdi Mohamud, then a 16-year-old refugee from Somalia, found herself caught up in that scheme in 2011, when one of Weyker’s witnesses, Muna Abdulkadir, tried to attack her and her friends at knifepoint.  Mohamud called the police…Weyker…arrested Mohamud and her friends for allegedly tampering with a federal witness, and Mohamud subsequently spent two years in jail before the trumped-up charges were dismissed…but…since [Weyker framed all those victims]…as part of a federal task force, she is entitled to absolute immunity and cannot be sued…Mohamud hopes to change that…by asking the Supreme Court to hear her case, which she made official last week…

No Difference (#888) 

American puritanism is a pox on the entire world:

One of the world’s most restrictive “anti-pornography” laws, the indecency statute passed by Uganda in 2014, has been struck by the nation’s Constitutional Court as unconstitutional…the law was “quashed” following pressure from women’s rights groups, with a panel of five judges unanimously ruling “that sections of the law that defined pornographic offenses, including a ban on ‘indecent’ clothing, were unconstitutional”…the…law…was [typically]…used for morality policing and led to…song lyrics and music videos…be[ing] labeled pornographic…[with] the…artists criminally liable…the [censorship law and an anti-LGBT law were passed due to lobbying by]…American evangelicals…[especially] the…International House of Prayer…the parent ministry of Exodus Cry

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1033) 

It’s always a pleasure to watch experts trash harmful sex myths:

…it’s important to recognize that the concept of sex addiction was introduced…in the 1980’s during the HIV/AIDS crisis.  As…a society, we were terrified of sexual excess, of non-monogamy, of casual sex, of sex outside relationships, and of gay male sex…It is not by accident…that gay men get diagnosed as sex addicts…around three times more than anybody else.  The second very large group…are people struggling with a moral conflict over their sexual desires…[due to growing] up in religious household or communities where they were taught that any sex other than hetero sex within marriage is a sin…the third group…[consists of] men who get in trouble for sexual behavior…who self-identify as sex addicts to avoid responsibility for those behaviors…going to sex workers is…literally a diagnostic criterion in the sex addiction screening test that many therapists use…sex workers are [therefore] framed as analogous to either a drug or a drug dealer…self-destructive things that help people destroy their lives…

Welcome to the Future (#1052)

Prohibition by human idiots is bad enough:

Over the past two decades, the US…has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into developing and maintaining state-level prescription drug databases…In the past few years…a single [fascist collusion] called Appriss has…merg[ed] the[se] into…a…national prescription drug registry…[managed by] algorithms to generate “data insights” and…[accessing] huge reservoirs of data outside state drug registries to arrive at them.  NarxCare…is Appriss’…“analytics tool”…that purports to instantly and automatically identify a patient’s risk of misusing opioids…the software mines state registries for [so-called] red flags indicating that she has engaged in “drug shopping” behavior…the[n]…assigns each patient a unique, comprehensive Overdose Risk Score…Appriss is adamant that a NarxCare score is not meant to supplant a doctor’s diagnosis.  But physicians ignore these numbers at their peril.  Nearly every state now uses Appriss software…and most legally require physicians and pharmacists to consult them…on penalty of losing their license.  In some states, p[igs]…can also [root in this database]…without a warrant…to prosecute both doctors and patients…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1096)

Sex workers and allies speak out about Nick Kristof’s latest anti-sex crusade:

Kristof’s “The Children of Pornhub” — a…[propaganda screed] dropped as 2020 was winding to a close…triggered the removal of millions of videos from Pornhub and led to both Mastercard and Visa cutting ties with the adult industry giant…protecting…l[egal minor]s [ca]n’t  [be accomplished with] sweeping legislation and widespread content moderation, which endanger the safety and income of sex workers [and the civil liberties of everyone]…“Treating child sexual abuse as a moral failing is the wrong approach and is harmful to sex workers,” [says] Jeremy Malcolm, director of the child protection organization Prostasia Foundation…“dealing with [child sexual abuse] through a harm reduction lens is far more effective and less likely to [be used to cloak]…intended [attacks] on marginalized communities”…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#1151) 

It looks like Victoria is about to become the world’s fourth jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

Victoria will join a growing number of states by decriminalising sex work…the…government announced it would begin a two-year legislative overhaul, starting with the removal of offences and criminal penalties for consensual sex work, with the aim of having it passed by Parliament by the end of the year…sex work will be regulated through existing government agencies and…laws will be updated to support a decriminalised system…Victoria will join New Zealand, the Northern Territory and NSW…

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Coming together, even in private, is a radical, resistant, and dangerous act for [those] whose very identities are criminalised.  –  Erin Kilbride

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

The story is the same the world over:

Sex worker activists are among the most at risk defenders of human rights in the world, facing multiple threats and violent attacks…research…published…by…Front Line Defenders…found that their visibility as sex workers who are advocates for their communities’ rights makes them more vulnerable to the violations routinely suffered by sex workers.  In addition, they face unique, targeted abuse for their human rights work.  Drawing on the experience of 300 individuals in Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, El Salvador and Myanmar, the report focuses on cases of sexual assault, threats from managers and clients, [and police] raids…physical attacks and…surveillance…

Torture Chamber 

A “mistake” during “correction”.  This is not reformable:

A man was brutally beaten by [violently-deranged thugs] and denied medical treatment at the Valencia County [New Mexico] jail…Marvin Silva…was…naked in a holding c[age]…when a [screw rolled up and vomited out the magic word “]contraband[” at Silva’s dentures, thus giving a gang of dangerous cretins an excuse to]…beat Silva…[their cronies pretending to be] medical personnel [then] denied Silva’s [obvious need] for medical care before he was [thrown out] to walk 5 miles toward home…[with] fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, [and] injuries to the spleen…head, neck and abdomen…

Banishment (#848)

How a country treats its prisoners reveals a great deal about it:

For many men…co[nvicted]…of…[so-called] sex offenses in Texas, their prison term never really ends…because they’re [condemned to a different prison pretended to be] a…mental health facility…Civil commitment is the practice of [warehous]ing people…[for years or decades] past their release date, on the [pretense] that they are so dangerous they need therapy…Of course…if the state really…wanted them to have treatment and counseling, they had…20 to 25 years…in an ordinary prison before being civilly committed…For their first year or two…the men are required to wear electronic ankle monitors that they have to pay for…The…only…way…out…[is to] work their way up through four tiers of [shaming and humiliation mislabeled as] treatment…they have to keep a masturbation log…[includ]ing…what they’re masturbating about…so [a so-called therapist can arbitrarily declare] it…deviant…the prison also employs polygraphs and penile plethysmography…When an inmate moves up a tier, which can take a year, he can find himself demoted for [arbitrar]y reasons…One man who had…made it through all four tiers was finally about to get his release hearing.  But…a [screw vindictively] knocked [him] back down to tier 1…He went to his cell and hanged himself…Another man…[treated similarly] castrated himself…Until recently, inmates also had to pay a 33 percent tax on any packages they got, further isolating them from any support system they might have on the outside…

Shame, Shame (#951)

In which a bluenose describes cartoon nudity as “horrifying”:

…a new…website…boasts that it developed…image translation algorithms to “nudify” female bodies, and that the technology is so powerful there is not a woman in the world, regardless of race or nationality, who is safe from being “nudified.”  But it doesn’t work on men…the results are strikingly realistic, often bearing no glitches or visual clues that the photos are deepfakes…The [hysterical reactions of prudes] lays bare the grim and increasingly dangerous reality [that censorship is becoming increasingly popular among sheltered ninnies who can’t conceive of a more harmful use for]…powerful deepfake tools…[than realistic porn cartoons, such as cops manufacturing evidence to frame innocent people and/or excuse brutality and murder]…

The solution to this problem isn’t increasing the censorship powers of the already-bloated police state, as these rabid pearl-clutchers are demanding; it’s fighting the idea that a woman’s body is something to be ashamed of.  But good luck explaining that to people who actually think fake nude pictures are worse than totalitarianism.

Elephant in the Parlor (#1078)

People keep pretending “politician hires whores” is something more than a yawn:

Hunter Biden claimed…to [have]…lost a total of three computers – the first abandoned at a Delaware computer store and the second seized by federal agents –  each likely to hold…embarrassing pictures, videos and communications…The third laptop…was taken by Russian drug dealers after they partied with [him] in Vegas, he told a prostitute in a conversation caught on camera.  After filming himself having sex with the woman using his laptop in January 2019, Hunter left the camera rolling as he recounted [the] Vegas bender…

The Implosion Begins (#1091)

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

Matthew Taylor Coleman…kill[ed] his young children…after he said he became “enlightened” by [“sex trafficking” propaganda of the]…QAnon [branch]…Coleman’s…3-year-old son, Kaleo, was found stabbed 17 times at a ranch in Baja California…[his] 10-month-old daughter, Roxy, was stabbed 12 times…Coleman told investigators he used a spear-fishing gun to shoot and kill his children and then moved the spear…stabbing them with it…[because] “he believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them…[he] was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife…possessed serpent DNA and had passed it onto his children…he…knew it was wrong, but it was the only…course of action that would save the world”…The QAnon movement evolved out of [the “sex trafficking” hysteria intentionally spread by governments, police agencies, news media and “rescue industry” profiteers for the past 18 years]…

The Next Target (#1160)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” fetishists extended their pet fantasy to OnlyFans:

…Ann Wagner…the religious-right [politician]…who was the original drafter of FOSTA-SESTA, has released a letter to the Justice Department asking for an investigation into OnlyFans, claiming — without…any…evidence [whatsoever] — that the platform has “become a major marketplace for buying and selling Child Sexual Abuse Material…in the United States, as well as soliciting sexual activity with minors.”  Wagner also penned an editorial for congressional news site Roll Call stating her [ill-informed] opinion that all “sex work” (her quotation marks) is “illegal”…Wagner also [fantasized about]…the impact of FOSTA-SESTA…[whose] impact on human trafficking investigations has also been demonstrably the exact opposite of what Wagner claims

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[Tit censorship laws] sexually objectify women rather than treating them as people in their own right.  –  Judge Roger Gregory

To Molest and Rape

Cops constantly demonstrate exactly what they are:

A [typical and representative Pennsylavania cop]…was [riding around] in his p[igmobile] on Aug. 1, 2019, when he signaled to a woman he knew and when she walked over, he exposed himself to her and then grabbed her arm and put her hand on his penis…after the 22-year-old woman pulled away from [him] in [disgust and shock]…he told her, “You better not fucking tell anyone”…[but unfortunately for molester cop William Lance] there was a witness in the victim’s car…[the complaint was buried until June, when a social media post entitled “Officer Lance is a PERV” asked other victims to come forward]…Lance…[w]as [then rewarded with a paid vacation and]…charge[d with]…official misconduct…

Little Boxes (#748)

Puritans claim a law that only applies to women is “non-discriminatory”:

A federal appeals court…refused to strike down an ordinance banning women but not men from going topless on public beaches in Ocean City, Maryland, [prete]nding that the law does not violate the Equal Protections Clause of the Constitution [by belching out the magic words]…“protection of public sensibilities” [and claiming that a gland specifically activated during motherhood is somehow anti-family]…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a man house-shopping”?

[Out-of-control cops assaulted] a Black man, his teen son and his real estate agent as they were touring a home for sale in a Michigan neighborhood after a white resident falsely accused them of breaking into the house.  Roy Thorne…and his 15-year-old son, Samuel…[were] with Eric Brown, a Realtor who is also Black…Samuel was the first to notice…[cops playing soldier a]round…the ho[use with guns drawn]…Thorne, an Army veteran, told his son and Brown to get down and stay away from the windows…the [cops threatened the]…three…with [loaded weapons and demanded they perform acts of obeisance.  Fortunately]…the [cops weren’t as paranoid as many are]…and…subsequently released [their victims after] about 10 minutes…The [Cop Excuse-making] Department [claimed it was perfectly reasonable for armed thugs to go around threatening to murder ordinary people doing mundane things] and [absurdly claimed] race “played no role” in their [deranged] response…

Panopticon (#1078)

Tell me again how my work is degrading?

…As many workers have shifted to performing their duties at home, some companies are pushing for increasing levels of…staff [surveillance] in an effort to [magnify] the oversight of the office at home…[law professor] Veena Dubal [said]…“the reality is that it’s much more intrusive than surveillance conducted by a boss.”  [Customer service company] Teleperformance spokesman Mark Pfeiffer said…“We are committed to [excusing our dehumanizing practices with a lot of buzzwords]”…However…in March, members of Teleperformance’s global workforce…were sent an eight-page addendum to their existing employment contracts that asked them to agree to new home surveillance rules…[which include] having video cameras installed in their home…pointing at their workspace, to record and monitor [them] in real time…They must also agree to sharing data and images related to any children they have…and to sharing biometric data including fingerprints and photos…Pfeiffer…said that cameras were used for spot checks of the company’s clean desk policy and [belched out the word “]security[” multiple times]…

“Clean desk policy” sounds like the kind of rule nuns imposed on us in grammar school.

End Demand (#1122)

Another good argument against criminalization from my friend Savannah Sly:

…criminalization efforts are like when you’re going after sharks:  You’re going to catch a lot of dolphins in your net…we are the dolphins, and we don’t want to suffer from the laws that should punish only the sharks…We want to stop all traffickers, but we want people who freely choose this work to be treated with respect and not criminalized.  Likewise, we don’t think our clients should be criminalized, because we as sex workers are adults who consent to seeing them.  Criminalizing our clients puts us under economic stress…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1141)

Cops want everyone to share their hysteria:

San Diego [cop]…David Faiivae [had a panic attack]…seconds after [another cop] finished testing a white powder he’d [found while rooting in someone else’s property] was…fentanyl.  The [hysterical cop’s panic attack]…was the subject of a 4-minute video…th[at]…became part of the latest [copaganda campaign against] fentanyl, a [life-saving] drug [that is not an aerosol and is so difficult to absorb through the skin that fentanyl patches for pain treatment rely on patented technology that took years to develop, but]…which [cops keep pretending can] kill [by casual exposure]…the body camera video [of Faiivae’s hysterical reaction] prompted internal discussions about…how [the video] could be used in a p[ropaganda] campaign to [spread] d[isinformation about] fentanyl…

The Next Target (#1142)

Pro-censorship sleazebags are embracing nuisance lawsuits as their latest weapon:

Leading [pro-censorship] crusader Laila Mickelwait — until last year a mouthpiece for the religious ministry Exodus Cry — has completed her rebranding with the full launch of a website called “Justice Defense Fund,” promoting “civil litigation and legislation” against adult content websites…late last year she incorporated herself as “Justice Defense Fund” through a PO Box in a Colorado strip mall…Mickelwait [is] us[ing] her personal Twitter account to direct people who have had issues with online billing to the new website for information on a class action suit…

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Any time [cops use] an AI system…[to] affect an outcome for a human, it’s probably harmful.  –  Tristan Greene

First They Came for the Hookers…

The only thing unusual here is that the molester cop actually got in trouble:

The resignations of two top officials and a [lying, deceitful cop] at the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control this year are linked to a bungled undercover operation at Scottsdale’s Skin Cabaret, in which the [cop molested a dancer]…Director John Cocca and Deputy Director Mike Rosenberger resigned in April with no public explanation…[after pig] Mike Sanchez…[groped] her genitals during a…[strip club visit conducted using the pretext of]…COVID-19 health and liquor violations…in a VIP room…Sanchez…claimed [molesting the woman wasn’t a crime because] he “was never at any time sexually motivated” [when he groped her]…

Apparently, cops believe molestation and rape are OK as long as they pretend that they were thinking about ruining lives rather than getting off.

The Lesser of Two Evils (#414)

Principled Christians understand that prohibition is evil:

For years, my faith system told me that all forms of sex work were immoral and should be a crime, and the only way to eliminate the sale of sex…is [for the state] to impose heavy consequences that discourage the behavior.  Most people I know share similar beliefs…[but] the more I learn, the further I move away from this popular opinion…my prayers, my research and simply listening to those who trade sex, revealed that the greatest problem was the unnecessary burden society was placing on this community by criminalizing consensual sex work…criminalization has failed…to eliminate or even reduce the sex trade, nor has it improved the moral fabric of society.  If criminalization is not accomplishing any of these, then why does this remain our approach?…We eventually reversed [alcohol] Prohibition, so we should now be asking ourselves “why haven’t we reversed other laws like it, including those against consensual sex”?…

Disaster (#1000)

It’s so nice to hear this from someone whose name isn’t Maggie McNeill:

…if you’re talking about FOSTA/SESTA…someone, at some point, will [claim] that it was aimed at combatting sex trafficking [and] had unintended impacts on…sex work[ers]…there’s a law review article…called “good intentions and unintended consequences”…a…2018 OC Register article called “The Unintended Consequences of a Well Meaning Anti-Sex-Trafficking Law”…and [multiple examples of political bloviation]…But…the narrative of “unintended consequences” is utter nonsense.  Negative effects on sex workers (and there were many) were not “unintended.”  The text of the law explicitly criminalizes the promotion of prostitution and it’s hard to argue that an interpretation of the law that was clear from its text is unintended…this narrative is [even] contradicted by what the organizations that supported FOSTA say about their own goals

Guinea Pigs (#1079)

Just a reminder that this privacy-destroying abomination started as a means of spying on sex workers:

Hundreds of thousands of [cops] in the US have the authority to use blackbox AI to conduct unethical surveillance, generate evidence, and circumvent our Fourth Amendment protections.  And there’s little reason to believe anyone’s going to do anything about it…[because these] systems are a goldmine for startups, big tech, and politicians…Any cop, regardless of affiliation or status, has access to dozens (if not hundreds) of third-party AI systems…he…can…install…Clearview AI on [a] personal smartphone…take a picture of anyone and [find] their identity…then runs th[at]…through an app from a company such as Palantir…without a warrant, officer Friendly now has access to your phone carrier, ISP, and email records…medical and mental health records, military service history, court records, legal records, travel history, and…property records…[with] absolutely no oversight whatsoever…Predictive-policing is among the most common [of these] unethical AI systems…The[y]…claim to use “data” to determine where crimes are going to happen.  But…all [they] can [actually] do is determine, historically, where police tend to arrest the most people…

One small nitpick: hey headline writer, Pandora wasn’t in the box; she was the one who opened it.

To Molest and Rape (#1090)

“Police explorer” programs are nothing but grooming schemes for predatory cops:

Two NYPD cops [raped] a vulnerable teen [victim via] the police youth program, taking advantage of the underage girl to “satisfy their depraved interests,” an internal department judge has ruled….[after] Sanad Musallam and Yaser Shohatee [enjoyed a paid vacation for four years [after getting caught in]…2016…the case f[ell] apart [because] the [15-year-old victim was too afraid of her rapists]…to continue to cooperate with investigators…

The Next Target (#1127)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” fetishists extended their pet fantasy to OnlyFans:

…”[OnlyFans] is just one more avenue that traffickers can use to make money,” [bloviated a Texas cop named]…Joseph Scaramucci…[who] has spent more than a decade [masturb]ating [to fantasies of] sex trafficking…in recent months, much of his [wanking material has come from]…OnlyFans…”there was [sic] very obvious signs of people that were under 3rd party control, “Scaramucci [fantasized while making furtive movements in his pants]…He has [jerked off to] many pornographic images that [were] consensual, but…he…[fantasizes] that the females in…the pictures may be victims that have been coerced by sex traffickers…[especially] teenagers…

The Next Target (#1130)

Prohibitionists’ next target isn’t just porn; it’s all online sex work:

“Sugar dating” apps will not be allowed on the Android Play Store from September 1st, Google has announced…Google’s Play Store policies already prohibit apps that promote “services that may be interpreted as providing sexual acts in exchange for compensation.”  But the updated wording expands this definition to explicitly include “compensated dating or sexual arrangements where one participant is expected or implied to provide money, gifts or financial support to another participant (‘sugar dating’)”…

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The day my last diary column appeared, I was driving into Seattle; much too early the next morning I got on a plane for Rapid City, South Dakota to attend Freedom Fest, where I did some panels and speaking and such.  Both flights out were much too rough for my medicines to handle, because apparently both pilots thought they were auditioning for a remake of Top Gun or something (and let me tell you, that takes some doing when taking off from SEATAC in an Airbus A321), but I was fine by Thursday morning (except for dehydration that just wouldn’t go away despite walking around all day with a bottle) and Friday was my big day anyhow.  In the morning I was on a main-stage panel called “Feminism Needs to Stop Calling the Cops” with Avens O’Brien (of Feminists for Liberty), Brittany Hunter (of the Pacific Legal Foundation), Melissa Mann (of Reason), and well-known author Naomi Wolf, moderated by Elizabeth Nolan Brown (whom I’m sure needs no introduction on this blog).  I must admit I was really worried that such a crowded panel crammed into 30 minutes would result in all of us just kinda lining up to blurt out a few sentences, but I’m happy to say I was wrong; the synergy was amazing and we all worked well together to create an experience that audience members declared one of the best of the conference, despite its brevity.  Later in the afternoon Liz joined me on a panel (“DecriminaLIES: Exposing the Failed Global Policy to Regulate Prostitution”) with Savannah Sly and Kaytlin Bailey, moderated by the ever-awesome Alex Andrews of SWOP Behind Bars; that one was an hour, and we hurled out enough information to send any lurking prohibitionists running for the Black Hills; both that day and the next day at the airport, I ran into a number of people who told me how great the talks were, and thanked us for opening their eyes to the truth on the subject.  For years now, I’ve been one of the few sex workers willing to reach out to the libertarian ecosphere, but that time is long over, and I think we’re going to win a lot of allies this way; Alex tells me she’s already signed us up for next Freedom Fest, and it won’t be the only one.  Our days of largely preaching to the choir are over, and we’ll be withering a lot of prohibitionist disinformation with the blinding heat of our concentrated sex rays.

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