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Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

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!

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No one wins in this.  –  Connor Cook

If Men Were Angels

It’s getting harder to tell the preachers from the cops:  “A pastor [named Fredy Gonzalez]…in Wildomar [California] has been arrested for [molesting] a child…

A Broker in Pillage (#1118)

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

Vera and Apollonia Ward…were just getting a dog-breeding business off the ground…when…[cops attempted to rob]…them…the…sisters…had…tried to send $17,500 in cash through FedEx to a…California…dog broker…to scout and purchase two new animals for them…[like most people, they did not know] FedEx [has a] fa[scist pact with cops which allows them to root through parcels at FedEx sorting centers if they claim a dog gave them permission.  The cops first vomited out the phrase]…drug proceeds…[and claimed their Sooper Cop noses] smelled marijuana on the money…[but] the sisters…had receipts to [show they had withdrawn the cash from their bank]…When the sisters refused to cave and say the money was drug proceeds, the…[cops] threatened to go after them for money laundering…[but] after the Wards connected with the Goldwater Institute, prosecutors relented and returned the…money…six months [later]…

The Cop Myth (#1191)

Well, this is certainly novel:

A Miami [cop was]…shot in the head by his estranged…girlfriend…Yessenia Sanchez…a[nother cop paid to lurk in]…school[s in order to spy on and harass students]…Sanchez went to [Damian] Colon’s [home]…around 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 4…to argue [with him], a[fter] which [she]…shot [him]…then fled…in a red pick up truck, [which she almost immediately wrecked into]…an oncoming car.  She [then]…los[t] control, hit two parked cars…and continued for another block until her [truck died, after which she]…fled on foot…[and] was later arrested at her home…

Stalkers in Blue (#1240)

This kind of behavior is just another sexual power trip:

A [typical and representative Mountie] convicted of multiple sex offences has been sentenced to 18 months in jail…Andrew Seangio…will [also] be placed on a sex offender registry for 10 years…[because] between 2018 and February 2019…he exposed himself to four girls, one of whom was just 14 years old, as well as [disguised cops]…Seangio would drive…past York House School and Little Flower Academy, both all-girls K-12 private schools, until he spotted an isolated victim.  He would then roll down his window, expose himself and drive away…

Thought Control (#1261)

Just keep plunging that ice pick in; the bad thoughts will go away eventually:

[When] the Patmos Library millage failed in…August…it lost 84% of its operating budget because its staff refused to remove its LGBTQ books.  The board put it on the ballot again [last week]…hoping that with more residents aware of the measure, it would pass.  It failed, again.  Without taxpayer funds, the library will close.  Exactly when that will happen is not yet known.  A GoFundMe for the library raised about $265,000, with the help of author Nora Roberts, but it won’t be enough to sustain it long-term…

Imaginary Victims (#1274) 

The state is far too concerned with “punishing” this girl to actually help her:

…On November 4, [Pieper] Lewis cut off her GPS tracker and [escaped] from [a gingerbread house named] Fresh Start…[cops] issued a warrant for her arrest…and [she was captured 5 days later]…Judge David Porter sentenced Lewis in September to probation for five years to be served at the [gingerbread house].  He also gave her a deferred judgment, which meant her conviction would be expunged from her record if she [successfully jumped through all the] probation [hoops].  Porter warned Lewis at her sentencing hearing that by affording her an opportunity to avoid prison he was giving her a second chance.  “You don’t get a third,” he said…[because of her escape, pigs want] the court to…revoke her probation and deferred judgment and send her to prison…

Winding Down (#1286)

When will the federal government finally read the writing on the wall?

Voters…approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in Maryland and Missouri while rejecting similar measures in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Meanwhile, voters in five Texas cities passed ballot measures that bar local police from issuing citations or making arrests for low-level marijuana possession.  But the most striking election result for drug policy reformers looking beyond the ongoing collapse of marijuana prohibition happened in Colorado, where a broad psychedelic decriminalization measure [squeaked by despite clucking from puritans that not sending cops to destroy people’s lives over possession of plants]…is bad, because people might use psychedelics for fun…

 

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!

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Sex trafficking stings often serve as a general dragnet for petty offenses.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Innocence Never Had

To cops, sex workers can only be victims or criminals:

Two 17-year-old girls were arrested as part of a “human trafficking” operation in Volusia County, Florida…18 people [in all] were arrested…[on] charges including prostitution, drug possession, and probation violations…[oddly, the sheriff actually admitt]ed that “what they were doing was prostitution—they were doing it willingly…they both went to great lengths and showed us things that they’re doing this because they want to do it, they’re not doing it because they were forced to do it…One of [the girls] had an outstanding warrant for her arrest” and [so] was…[locked in a cage like a stray dog], while the other “was returned to her father” [whom she had apparently run away from]…It’s rare for police departments to admit that they arrest teenagers for prostitution in the first place…and authorities almost never acknowledge that teenagers may sell sex for myriad reasons, not only because they’ve been abducted and forced into it…So it’s actually somewhat refreshing to see the sheriff in this case be open about what really went down (the teens were arrested) and not try to overplay the heroics by insisting that his office saved children from sex trafficking…


If Men Were Angels

Oh look, it’s another “youth pastor”:

A [typical and representative South Carolina] youth pastor…sexually abus[ed] a teenage boy for more than two years…Michael Paul Keech…[was] charged with…[offenses] stretching from July 2019 to February 2022…[when] a family member of the…victim reported signs of the abuse to [the cops]…

To Molest and Rape

This paper copsucks so hard, it even puts the word “rape” in scare quotes:

A Stockton [California cop raped at least]…three women…Nicholas Bloed [was sacked by]…the Stockton Police Department…[after he enjoyed] about five months…paid [vacation] while [other cops were trying to figure out if they could cover up his crimes]…Bloed…repeated[ly]…pulled [women] over, [sexually] harassed and sexually violated…[them, one of them] for several years…Dan Gilleon, the…attorney representing the three women, has described [the rapes committed by] Bloed…as “rape”…

Morality Lessons (#1133) 

This unconstitutional bill failed in over a dozen states before passing in Utah:

A…Pennsylvania [politician] has introduced a [copycat] bill mandating default “porn filters” on phones and computers sold in the state…Jim…Gregory, whose background as a TV sports journalist does not seem to involve any neuroscience expertise, claims that these unspecified “porn filters” would “shield children from the harmful effects pornographic material can have on developing brains”…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#1185)

Some reporters still refuse to grasp that nobody is going to give expensive edibles to your spawn for free:

The Pennsylvania state police want parents to [believe the stupid scary tale that]…your child might receive [THC or Psilocybin edibles] while trick-or-treating this Halloween…These products could be confused [by morons] with candy and accidentally distributed to children…PSP is not aware of any incidents where these products were distributed to children but [wants to whip up fear to justify their bloated budget]…

But while Pennsylvania cops admit their stories have no basis in reality, Alabama cops are willing to blatantly lie to whip up hysteria:

Macon County Sheriff Andre Brunson said he was six years old when he went to a trick-or-treat fair with his mom…[and] he was forced by a stranger to each [sic] his candy…Brunson recalled his doctor telling his parents the candy he tasted was laced with…LSD.  The sheriff said he was hospitalized and was unconscious for just tasting this candy.  He [also claims]…his department sees drugs that look just like candy and even sweets with razor blades in them…

There has literally never been a case of a kid getting drugs or a razor blade in trick-or-treat, so if his department has “seen” that it was in their own sick imaginations.

The Cop Myth (#1262)

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

A Gonzales [Louisiana cop] who…beat…his [wife also]…bragged that he would get away with [it]…Michael Britt…was arrested…for…domestic abuse…includ[ing]…repeatedly kick[ing] the victim in the groin and…chok[ing] her.  The victim told [cops] that she’s been in a “violent relationship” with Britt for over a decade….[but] felt “stuck in her situation”…because [she knew] “cops [routinely get]…away with domestic violence”…

Thought Control (#1268)

Apparently, I was destined to fight censors regardless of my career path:

In the name of “curriculum transparency,” Florida…has…hastily assembled [a] censorship council…[which will attempt to indoctrinate] public school librarians to abide by new restrictions…the council was…staffed under suspicious circumstances, with the state Education Department ignoring its own call for official candidates from local school districts and instead filling most of the slots with [pro-censorship] activists…in Brevard County…the department went with…Michelle Beavers…[h]ead…[of] the local chapter of Moms for Liberty, a [pro-censorship group at the forefront of this year’s book-burning crusade]…Meanwhile, censorship measures that initially targeted school libraries were extended to individual teachers’ classroom collections, which must now “be reviewed by a [functionary of the State to ensure ideological compliance with Party teachings”…

 

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!

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It’s clear in a lot of places that there is just total denial of reality.  –  Alison Macrina

Torture Chamber 

Your “leaders” refer to this as “correction”:

[Bureaucrats who mismanage New York] city jails [were] recently [forced to] share…photos and videos from Rikers Island with assistant district attorneys in Manhattan, giving…prosecutors…a…look at the squalid and deadly conditions [to] which [they routinely condemn poor people who have not been convicted of any crime]…The…presentation…[included] a man defecating in his shorts due to a lack of toilets in the intake area and then being left in his soiled clothes for 11 hours until another [prisoner]…brought him new clothes; a [prisoner] locked in a cage shower for nearly 24 hours before he injured himself; and [prisoners] dragging sick people to medical care, and even administering chest compressions themselves, because [screws were off fucking around somewhere instead of doing their jobs.  People condemned to this hell-hole by]…prosecutors…face months, and sometimes years, waiting for court hearings…most…have not been convicted of crimes…

You Were Warned (#1119)

Indian politicians use the same high-sounding airy-fairy excuses to censor the internet as those in the West:

The…Indian government has ordered the country’s internet service providers to block 67 adult sites for violating a new IT law passed in 2021…using the…[rather vague excuse] of “tarnishing the image of modesty of women”…Although most mainstream Indian newspapers avoided mentioning which sites were the latest to be subjected to government censorship, India Express has published a spreadsheet that lists the sites, which brings the total number…banned by the Indian government to 857…

Choke Point (#1159)

PayPal is becoming an active threat to civil liberties:

Access to online payment systems is crucial for the innumerable individuals and organizations that rely on financial support for their expressive activity.  It’s essential to content creators’ ability to earn a living, to websites’ and other businesses’ ability to raise revenue, to fundraising by political candidates and nonprofit organizations, and to everyday Americans’ ability to consume content and support causes they believe in.  When payment processing services act as political hall monitors or moral arbiters…they present a grave threat to free expression.  A small number of companies dominate the space, allowing them to wield significant control over the speech environment by denying service to users who express disfavored views or wade into controversial subject matter…When consumer choice borders on illusory, any argument that those dissatisfied…should simply seek other payment methods is not particularly convincing — or realistic…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1164) 

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

Treatment for “sex addiction” is booming, even though it frequently destroys marriages and the individuals it “treats”.  It’s expensive, moralistic, and is obsessed with sex while understanding very little about it…most professionals offering sex addiction treatment (including the movement’s 1985 founder, Patrick Carnes) have no training in human sexuality.  Very few sex therapists—the country’s clinical experts in human sexuality—offer such treatment, because they don’t believe in the so-called disease.  But…the “sex addiction” concept provides the dignity of something that sounds like a medical diagnosis, which gratifies both betrayer and betrayed.  Sex addiction treatment simultaneously trivializes sex, and sees everything involving a penis as sexual.  The treatment typically ignores a couple’s power dynamics; how painful it can be to lose not just sex but touching and affection; the huge range of normal sexual desire and expression; and the simple fact that for most people, sex is about more than sex…

Thought Control (#1253)

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

In the last [few] weeks, at least a dozen public libraries across the U.S. received threats that resulted in canceled events and systemwide closures…bomb and active shooter threats [were sent] to public library systems in Nashville, Fort Worth, Denver, Salt Lake City, Boston, and other cities…some…[were] directed at LGBTQ events…[while] other[s]…seemed to have no obvious motive but come at a time when libraries and library workers have increasingly become targets of [political] harassment.  Public libraries were also closed statewide in Hawaii over [a recent] weekend due to an “unspecified threat”…[many of] the threats were received via digital reference points that allow patrons to communicate with library workers…through direct chat, email, or SMS functions…

The Next Target (#1272)

Most Americans still believe France is a sex-positive society:

A French Senate committee has issued a virulently anti-porn report comparing the adult industry with “hell” and recommending state regulation and censorship…The report is the result of six months of hearings about the adult industry…[dominated by] a group of feminist associations aiming to abolish all sex work…Le Mouvement du nid, Osez le féminisme and les Effronté·es…The…report recommends the [inven]tion of a new crime, “Encouraging a Criminal Act in Case of Sexual Violence in the Context of Pornography”…making it a criminal offense to even write or speak, without explicit condemnation, about porn that someone else or the state considers “sexual violence”…

To Molest and Rape (#1273)

Most rapist cops have multiple underage victims:

A [typical and representative] Philadelphia [cop]…sexually abus[ed] young girls and threaten[ed] witnesses…Patrick Heron…faces more than one dozen counts related to [rape, molestation and child porn]…”This is not only about terrible conduct, it’s about a…terrible effort at cover-up, intimidation and abuse of pretty much every process you can imagine,” [reformist DA Larry] Krasner said…

 

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 very much!

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Americans are increasingly aware that their privacy is evaporating before their eyes.  –  Ed Markey

Torture Chamber

Your “leaders” refer to this as “correction”:

A W[est Virginia] man died 19 days [after the state locked him in a cage]…Alvis Shrewsbury…called his family members daily.  But as the days went on, his appearance on video calls began to worry his family members more and more…”After we were talking to him on the 10th (of September), he’d already been beaten.  His face was black,” his daughter Miranda Smith said…”He was telling us about his ribs being broken.  It was hard to breathe. He hadn’t had a bowel movement in over a week and nothing was being done about it”…Shrewsbury was the fifth person who died in the [same dungeon in the] last year…Kyle Robinson…[was the first] in September 2021.  Then a month later, John Lewis Jarrell died after [only] a week…In March, Quantez Burks died less than two days after [being condemned there and]…that [same] month, Richard Wriston…Shrewsbury’s body is in the custody of the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner…[but] the family plans to conduct an independent autopsy of his body…

Thought Control (Censorship Ascendant)

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

…over the past several years, Germany has [chosen to terrorize and]…criminally prosecut[e] people for [saying things politicians dislike] online…German authorities have br[anded]…insults, threats and harassment…[as “hate speech” and sent] police [on predawn] raid[s of people’s] homes…[where they rob their victims of] electronics and [abduct them using the pretext of “]questioning[” in a campaign reminiscent of the country’s dark 20th-century past].  Judges have enforced fines worth thousands of dollars each and, in some cases, [locked victims in cages for wrongthink].  The threat of prosecution, they believe, will [terrorize people into] not e[xpressing disfavored ideas.  They pretend]…that they are encouraging and defending free speech by providing a space where people can share [favored pro-state and majoritarian] opinions without fear of being [challenged by contrary ideas]..:

Stupor Bowl (#1211)

This pathetic public promotion of misogynistic masturbatory material appears to be all that’s left of the once-popular “gypsy whores” myth:

An estimated 5% of men have or will be buyers of sex workers, [said cops making furtive movements in their pants]…“The traffickers will, of course, follow the money to Arizona”…That’s why Glendale police are working with other law enforcement agencies across the Valley to catch traffickers coming to the state…

I’ve written before about the ever-shrinking fraction of men who will admit to having paid for sex, the unreliable methodology that produces these impossibly-low numbers, the ugly and misogynistic fantasy that paying for sex is “buying a woman”, and the weird and self-contradictory inclusion of the term “sex worker” in this kind of agency-negating propaganda.  And that’s before we even get to this myth that even prohibitionists outside of Arizona now admit is deeply stupid.

Panopticon (#1256)

San Francisco pigs are no longer satisfied with waiting for useful idiots’ consent:

San Francisco [politicians rubber-stamped] a new s[urveillance] policy allowing police to access thousands of private cameras in a live feed without a search warrant…the…proposal…will take effect in 30 days and sunset in 15 months…police can monitor the cameras…for any [event that they decide to call] “significant”…or [basically any other time they can think of an excuse]…The Electronic Frontier Foundation …called the new policy a “troubling ordinance” that could have a chilling effect on First Amendment and other rights…“Misdemeanors like vandalism or jaywalking happen on nearly every street of San Francisco on any given day — meaning that this ordinance essentially gives the SFPD the ability to put the entire city under live surveillance indefinitely,” the organization wrote in a press release

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1260)

Cops won’t drop this fantasy until local media stop obediently parroting it:

…two [West Virginia cops] were hit in the face with an unknown substance [thrown by a man they were trying to brutalize and abduct.  Being hysterical whiny-babies, the immediately assumed the substance was the magical black magic version of fentanyl which haunts cop fantasies, and]…one…suddenly [had a panic attack.  Since this kind of hysteria is contagious among those with weak minds]…the second [pig also had a panic attack]…An off-duty nurse helped administer NARCAN, which [acted as a placebo to placate the two cowards]…

Thought Control (#1265)

Surely you didn’t think this would stop with LGBT books?

…at the start of Banned Books Week…Reshma Saujani was awakened by an alert on her phone letting her know that the Girls Who Code book series [she founded] had been banned from classrooms in the Central York School District in Pennsylvania.  On Twitter, she attributed the ban to the [pro-censorship] Moms for Liberty group…Other books banned by the…district include such controversial-sounding titles as A Is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to ZCondoleeza Rice: Being The Best; Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra; Elizabeth Blackwell: The First Woman Doctor; Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code; I Love My Hair!; Muffin Wars; The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage; I Am Rosa Parks; Who Was Lucille Ball? and about a hundred others…the…common thread [seems to be books] that…acknowledge that Black people or women of any color exist and do things…There is good news: this ban has already been defeated.  Yay!  The bad news is that it was all very stupid from beginning to end…

I Spy (#1270)

The number of politicians who support such reform is very small:

Civil rights lawyers and [a small minority of politicians] are pushing for legislation that would limit U.S. [cop shop]s’ ability to buy cellphone tracking tools to follow people’s whereabouts, including back years in time…[usually] without a search warrant.  Concerns about police use of the tool known as “Fog Reveal…also surfaced in a Federal Trade Commission hearing three weeks ago.  [Cop]s have been using the platform to search hundreds of billions of records gathered from 250 million mobile devices, and hoover up people’s geolocation data to assemble so-called “patterns of life”…

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 very much!

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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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Institutions writers could once count on to defend them…now race to see who can kowtow most obsequiously to the censor-morons.
–  “Censorship Ascendant

Until a few years ago, traditional top-down censorship was largely a thing of the past, something I wrote about annually at the beginning of Banned Books Week to remind people that it could happen again.  As recently as 2016, I used the occasion to write,

…top-down state censorship…is very rare now in the United States, and has been for decades; the majority of “challenges” now (despite the celebration’s name, it’s pretty rare that books are actually removed from public collections) originate not with state officials or other “authorities”, but with individuals seeking to “protect the children” from thoughts their parents don’t want them to have

Of course, none of that is true any longer.  Top-down censorship has returned with a vengeance, mostly implemented by fascist corporations acting on behalf of governments.  But in the US, politicians in many states have implemented traditional censorship in school libraries, even to the point of threatening librarians with criminal charges.  The “Thought Control” tag, which formerly appeared only once in a while, has had several entries a month since this new book-burning fad took off last November.  Meanwhile, the “cancel culture” censorship which has been growing for years has grown so pervasive that even the somewhat pro-censorship New York Times can no longer endorse it.  I’m honestly unsure where this will end; we’re well into uncharted territory my librarian self would’ve found unbelievable.  So if you haven’t been paying attention, I suggest you peruse the aforementioned “Thought Control” tag, and revisit the columns I’ve quoted from below.  Because there’s only one thing about this situation which is certain: like all authoritarianism, it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

We are watching the advent of a new dark age, and in such times no light is entirely safe from being snuffed out by zealots, speech-cops and bureaucrats whose ideal model for human society is the anthill.  –  “The Convergence of Censors

Every two-bit dictatorship has recognized that all it needs to do to justify thought control is parrot Western “hate speech” idiocy.  –  “The Return of the Censor

Though lily-livered fools have been demanding they be “protected” from ideas they don’t like for several years now, it’s terrifying how quickly this terrible idea has moved from the lunatic fringe to the mainstream.  –  “Suppression

[Many young adults] not only display an ovine passivity in the face of censorship, but actively run to the nanny-state to hide in her skirts lest they see or hear some idea or word, or see some image, that will cause some ripple in the placid lakes of their privileged lives and perhaps actually require them to think rather than merely consuming and regurgitating the dogma they’ve been spoon-fed.  –  “Unwise Monkeys

The censor-morons are loose, and they’re coming after everyone who dares to disagree with them.  –  “The Censor-Moron

It doesn’t matter whether the excuse is “sin” or “feelings”, or the injured party is conceived of as an individual or collective, or the suppression comes from above or below, or the method is violence or economics; the suppression of thought and speech is evil, tyrannical and socially self-lobotomizing.  –  “Moral Climate

Thinking people must not let themselves be intimidated by…self-appointed guardians of the public morality; we must speak out against all forms of censorship and speech suppression, whether advanced by guns, threats, intimidation or appeals to nebulous “harm”.  –  “Censor Chic

The belief that the state or collective has the right to [censor] is an abomination; it is nothing less than the dogma that the state owns every individual, body and soul, and has the right to torture or maim those individuals as it pleases.  –  “Crippling Thought

The important thing to remember when listening to any demand for censorship is that no matter what excuse the censor presents to attain his goal, he is ultimately lying.  It’s not really about “public safety”, or the “children”, or “community standards”, or whatever else he may claim; it’s about the fact that his leaky mind is unable to keep unwelcome thoughts out, so he demands that society do it for him.  –  “Thought Control

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If you don’t [sell people’s data to cops], someone else probably will.  –  anonymous data broker

To Molest and Rape

The media are becoming slightly more willing to call cops’ criminal behavior what it is:

A [typical and representative] Kenosha [Wisconsin cop named…Joshua Sylvester…was fired for…sexually assault[ing]…a…woman [who wrecked into] a tree…[while] driving [drunk]…Sylvester sexually assaulted her…while [lurking]…in [her] hospital [room for over two hours.  He]…also went through her phone, found nude photos of her and sent them to himself…

I Spy (The Vultures Descend)

As was predicted when news of abortion recriminalization first broke:

A Gizmodo investigation into some of the nation’s biggest data brokers found more than two dozen promoting access to datasets containing digital information on millions of pregnant and potentially pregnant [women]…at least one of those companies also offered a large catalogue of…[women] using the same sorts of birth control that’s being targeted by more restrictive states right now…Also on the market: data on 478 million customer profiles labeled “interested in pregnancy” or “intending to become pregnant.”  You can see the full list of companies for yourself

Opting Out (#1241)

This will keep getting worse until policians stop giving fanatics a heckler’s veto:

French [pro-censorship] groups claiming to represent “the children”…formally request[ed]…that online government regulator Arcom suspend Twitter in France unless the platform finds, within two weeks, a way to block minors from what the groups [declare] “pornographic” content…The coalition calling for censorship of the international platform is a patchwork of obscure organizations pursuing a self-appointed mission of “child protection” and sex work abolitionism.  Among them…[is] noted…[prohib]itionist lobby Fondation Scelles

Vulture Watching

The fact that SCOTUS didn’t foresee this is a clear indicator that their overturn of Roe was not based in legal reasoning:

…The Department of Justice…sued to stop [the abortion] ban in Idaho, wh[ich]…goes against provisions of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act…requir[ing] hospitals receiving Medicare funds (i.e., most U.S. hospitals) to provide stabilizing treatment…”Federal law is clear: patients have the right to stabilizing hospital emergency room care no matter where they live,” said…DHS…Secretary Xavier Becerra.  “Women should not have to be near death to get care”…No existing abortion ban lacks an exception for a mother’s life, but some do omit exceptions for women’s health.  And…many pregnancy complications could become life-threatening while not being necessarily or immediately so.  The HHS guidance…stat[es] that regardless of what a state law says, physicians must provide an abortion if one is necessary to address an emergency medical condition…Texas sued over th[is]…and…the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas…granted a preliminary injunction against enforcing the mandate against Texas…A court in Idaho came to [the opposite conclusion]…The discordant rulings could force the issue back before the Supreme Court, if appeals courts in each district concur with the lower courts…

Thought Control (#1264)

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

A new Missouri law [criminalizes stocking] books with [what politicians define as] sexually explicit images from school libraries…it [is now] a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail or a $2,000 fine for librarians…to [allow] students access to such material.  The law does not apply to written descriptions of sex or sexual acts; only photos, drawings, videos, and other visual depictions…“showing human masturbation, deviate [sic] sexual intercourse,…physical stimulation of genitals, sadomasochistic abuse,” or showing human genitals.  There are exceptions for anatomy, biology, sex education, art [politicians decide to tolerate], and other images [declared] educational [by censorious politicians].  Melissa Corey…of the Missouri Association of School Librarians, [believes] the law likely will only [be enforced against art politicians dislike]…Corey said the association advised librarians to work with local school boards to best follow the law, particularly the [incredibly vague and arbitrary] exceptions for art and biology…

Winding Down (#1265)

Alas, the drug war isn’t ending; the government is simply shifting it to nicotine:

For the first time in Gallup polling, more Americans (16%) said they smoke marijuana than had smoked a tobacco cigarette (11%) in the past week…Marjiuana and tobacco usage trends have been going in opposite directions for a few decades now.  By 1985, nearly as many Americans said they had tried marijuana (33%) as had smoked a cigarette in the past week (35%).  Cigarette smoking has been declining ever since. By 2013, just 19% of Americans were smoking cigarettes at least once a week…while…38%…told Gallup they had tried marijuana…

To Molest and Rape (#1267)

Those who consort with cops are often just as awful:

…a [typical and representative] Delcambre [Louisiana cop named]…Christopher Moorehart…[has been arrested for] rap[ing his girlfriend’s five-year-old daughter on multiple occasions]…The mother…Kimberly Healy…was arrested and [charged for letting him do it and]…never report[ing him even]…after [they] broke up…Moorehart [then started fucking an Iberia Parish screw named Shelly Lynn] Friou…[who also kept the child rapes] secret…[until] the two broke up [after which she reported him to their fellow pigs as an act of vengeance]…

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The more eggs you have in one basket, the more likely the basket is to break.  –  “Mark”

If Men Were Angels 

Oh look, it’s another “youth pastor”:

A [Pennsylvania]…youth pastor has been indicted…[for] sexually exploit[ing] underage boys…Sean Higgins…has been in custody since he was arrested in October 2020.  He is accused of victimizing 13 boys ages 12 to 17…in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Alabama, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Tennessee…[by] pretend[ing] to be a teenage girl on Instagram and Snapchat and deceiv[ing] boys into trading images with him.  Higgins…would then…blackmail the victim to [masturbate] while he watched and recorded remotely.  The investigation began when [some of the victims]…reported [him]…to Snapchat…

To Molest and Rape

Yet another cop specifically targeting a vulnerable woman:

[A typical and representative] Ottawa [cop] who r[aped]…a [drunk, mentally ill] 19-year-old…plea…[bargained] to breach of trust…[to escape] sexual assault [charges]…He also tendered his resignation from the Ottawa Police Service…[Sundeep] Singh was one of four [cops] dispatched…after [the victim] left a party intoxicated and walked home in early February 2021, not suitably dressed for the cold weather…The[y]…took her to…Hospital…but [after treatment she was behaving irrationally and]…left…[the] hospital [on foot again]…Singh [pursued]…her home, [then took advantage of her intoxication and confused mental state to force himself on her]…

I Spy (#1184)

Your “leaders” want this to happen much more often:

Mark noticed…his toddler…son’s penis looked swollen and was hurting him…in February 2021.  His wife called an advice nurse at their health care provider to schedule an emergency consultation…by video because…pandemic…the nurse [foolishly] said to send photos so the doctor could review them in advance.  Mark’s wife [foolishly] grabbed her husband’s phone and [foolishly] texted a few high-quality close-ups of their son’s groin area to her iPhone so she could upload them to the health care provider’s messaging system…the doctor diagnosed the issue and prescribed antibiotics, which quickly cleared it up.  But the episode left Mark with a…target [painted on his face.  Our fascist system]…pressure[s corporations to do what governments are Constitutionally prohibited from doing, namely rooting through people’s private property without warrant]…Two days after taking the photos of his son, Mark’s…[Google] account [was]…disabled because of “harmful content”…Not only did he lose emails, contact information for friends and former colleagues, and documentation of his son’s first years of life, his Google Fi account shut down, meaning he had to get a new phone number with another carrier.  Without access to his old phone number and email address, he couldn’t get the security codes he needed to sign in to other internet accounts, locking him out of much of his digital life…Mark filed [an] appeal, [but because these corporations allow mindless algorithms control over human beings] Google…would not reinstate the account…[instead it snitched on him to] the San Francisco Police Department…Google [claims] the company scans only when an “affirmative action” is taken by a user…[but doesn’t bother to tell users] that includes when the user’s phone backs up photos to the company’s cloud…

Yet people often ask why I refuse to copy my data to the so-called “cloud”.

Torture Chamber (#1259)

I guarantee you that the number is a lot higher than 70, probably by at least one order of magnitude:

At least 70 girls [concent]rated in Los Angeles County…camps and [cage stacks] were sexually assaulted by [screws over]…more than three decades…a similar lawsuit [was] filed in March [by] 20 women [who]…were sexually assaulted over the course of a dozen years at Camp Joseph Scott, Los Angeles County’s all-girls juvenile detention facility.  Two new lawsuits…replace that case and expand on its accusations.  The [serial] abuse occurred from 1985 to 2019 a[s]…the same [screws assaulted]…different girls [condemned to] the facilities over the years…

The Crumbling Dam (#1262)

The feds don’t need to stop harm reduction programs when an ambitious politician will do it for them:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill legalizing “safe consumption sites” in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland…Where safe consumption sites are legal, they have proved tremendously effective…However, Newsom seems [afraid] that safe consumption sites will help the state’s drug users [at political cost to him personally]…Newsom’s veto of the bill has little to do with the efficacy of safe injection sites and instead is the result of his preparation for a possible presidential run in 2024…Newsom could be eager to present a more anti-drug, even “tough on crime” image…

To Molest and Rape (#1264)

Most rapist cops have multiple underage victims:

A “[typical and representative]” [London cop] has been jailed for 24 years after being found guilty of 13 counts of rape and sexual assault…against three girls between 1993 and 1997…[Anthony] Smith…[was sacked] in 2004 after he was convicted of gross indecency with a child in an unrelated case.  His abuse of the girls [in the current case] emerged in 2020 when one of his victims came forward, [followed by the]…other two…

Thought Control (#1265)

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

A [cop paid to harass and spy on students in] Katy [Texas censored]…a book [in] a high school library last month…after a woman filed a criminal complaint alleging the district was providing “harmful” material to minors.  The book, Flamer, by Mike Curato, had been formally reviewed by a committee and deemed appropriate for high school students…in March…the woman…was not satisfied with th[at and so took it upon herself to censor it and enlisted the help]…of the [power-drunk cop]…

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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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