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Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

Surveillance always comes with inherent forms of abuse.  –  Evan Greer

If Men Were Angels

“Youth group director” is clearly just as bad as “youth pastor”:

A [typical and representative New Jersey]…church youth group director is facing child pornography charges.  Arnold DiBlasi was arrested…after [cops] found thousands of child porn images on his home computer and cellphone…the FBI…[claims] DiBlasi distributed more than 11,000 photos to 30 different people in an online chat room…

You Were Warned (Subtle Difference)

What the government can’t destroy with criminal law, it wrecks by encouraging nuisance lawsuits against:

[A predatory lawsuit by a professional “survivor”] alleges that Visa, by processing revenue from ads, conspired with Pornhub’s parent firm MindGeek to make money from videos of [what is alleged to be underage sexual] abuse.  Visa had sought to be removed from the case…[correctly] argu[ing] that the “[fact] that Visa recognized MindGeek as an authorized merchant and processed payment to its websites does not suggest that Visa agreed to participate in sex trafficking of any kind”…a commercial relationship alone does not establish a conspiracy.  But [the] Judge…[prefers to fantasize that a major corporation with a long history of nervousness around “reputational damage”] “intended to help MindGeek monetize child porn from the very fact that Visa continued to provide MindGeek the means to [operate]”…

In plain English, the judge is assuming that the plaintiff’s bizarre and censorious conspiracy narrative, intended to further an agenda of criminalizing all adult content on the internet, is not only true, but that Visa somehow knew it to be true and willingly participated despite decades of aversion to dealing with stigmatized businesses.

Stalkers in Blue (#1180)

Another sexual predator specifically targets traumatized women:

A [Sussex cop] sent a naked selfie to a woman after [taking a report from her after] she [was]…sexually assaulted in a pub…he [also] told [her] he wanted to take her home and use his police handcuffs on her and [said] he was so aroused by her he would have sexually assaulted her himself…The [not-remotely] shocking revelations were made at a disciplinary hearing…where the [creepy cop was]…granted anonymity to keep his identity a secret [so he can assault more women in future]…

Thought Control (#1209)

A fine example of ice-pick self-lobotomization:

Voters in Jamestown Township, [Michigan]…rejected renewal…of a millage that would support the Patmos Library.  That vote guts the library’s operating budget in 2023 — 84 percent of the library’s $245,000 budget comes from property taxes…There have been protests at other Michigan public libraries and at school board meetings about books with LGBTQ themes.  But…[this] may be the first time a community voted, in effect, to close its library [because neither the board nor the director would submit to censorship by fanatics challenging books they haven’t read from a widely-circulated hit list]…Library Director Amber McLain resigned this spring…[after] she [was]…harassed online and accused of indoctrinating children.  Interim director Matthew Lawrence resigned later…

Opting Out (#1229) 

The UK’s decade-long campaign to censor the internet continues to be a comedy of errors:

The government’s flagship Online Safety Bill [wa]s…dropped from Commons business…with a view for it to return to the Commons “in the autumn”…[wannabe censors are] oncern[ed]…that it could be [entire]ly scrapped as its return later this year will be dependent on the focus of the new Prime Minister.  The Bill aimed to allow Ofcom to [control] online platforms, mainly [by censor]ing…content that [politicians have arbitrarily declared “harmful”]…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1231)

It’s always lovely to see them feeding on each other:

A [California cop so representative he]…was named “Detective of the Year”…in 2019 has been charged with sending graphic messages to someone [cops recruited to fantasy role-play online as] a 14-year-old girl…Gregory Beaumarchais…was [rewarded with a paid vacation after the incident, which vaguely occurred] between December 2021 and January 2022…

Welcome to the Future (#1249)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

When students in the US were forced [by the State] to continue their schooling virtually, many brought home school-issued devices…[packed with malware that can allow teachers to view and control students’ screens, [secretly read their] emails and cloud-based documents, and…[automatically rat them out to the pigs for thoughtcrime].  Now that the majority of American students are finally going back to school in-person, the surveillance [mal]ware that proliferated during the pandemic [is here to] stay…89 percent of teachers [report] that their schools will continue using student-monitoring software…[even though] the overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to new concerns about digital surveillance in states that have [criminalized] abortion care…[and] gender-affirming care

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Give people a load of propaganda about…sex trafficking and voila—awareness has been raised!  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Above the Law

Why does nobody ever recognize the likely outcome of giving guys in hyper-masculine professions power over teenage girls?

…a New York Times investigation…has found that the [Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] program has repeatedly become a place where retired military officers prey on their teenage students.  In the past five years…at least 33 JROTC instructors have been criminally charged with sexual misconduct involving students, far higher than the rate of civilian high school teachers…Victims have reported sexual assaults in classrooms and supply closets, during field trips or on late-night rides home, sometimes committed after instructors plied students with alcohol or drugs.  One [victim] said her instructor told her that sexual submission was expected of women in the military.  A[nother]…said her JROTC instructor warned that he had the skills to kill her without a trace if she told anyone about their sexual encounters…[Another] said she was forced to kneel at her instructor’s bedside, blindfolded, with a gun to her head…

To Molest and Rape

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

A federal appeals court in Texas has sent a case back down to a lower court after deciding that a…sheriff’s deputy who…forced a woman to expose her genitals to him while he masturbated isn’t entitled to a qualified immunity defense…On Sept. 18, 2018, [Melissa] Tyson’s husband [foolishly] called the Sheriff’s Department of Sabine County, Texas, to request a welfare check on his wife…while [he] was out of town.  [David] Boyd called Melissa Tyson that night…telling her…that he handled welfare checks because he was a preacher, although…[his] “ministerial credentials had actually been revoked eleven years prior because”…[he] had…been sued by church members for [repeat]ed sexual misconduct…

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

I suppose it could have been much worse:

…Overall, the 2022 version of the human trafficking bill is shorter than many earlier iterations and lower on the sort of carceral solutions and surveillance initiatives that defined them…at least isn’t simply throwing more money at cops for prostitution stings.  And a section pressuring hotels to [indoctrinate] staff on spotting human trafficking (an endeavor without a great track record) was removed…But there are…repeated references to “trafficking transmitted through technology”…[censorious asshats and their] lawyers have been trying to broaden the scope of sex trafficking laws to cover not just underage or forced prostitution but also the transmission of certain pornographic images by commercial tech platforms…it will…likely mean going after tech platforms in a way that jeopardizes a wide variety of free speech related to sex…

Guinea Pigs (#1153) 

Stalwart friend of whores Mark Draughn picks apart claims that computers can detect “sex trafficking” in ordinary escort ads:

…I’ve obtained a copy of [a]…research paper…[in which researchers] “used machine learning and custom web crawlers to collect and analyze a data set of online ads for escort and sex work services”…you need sex trafficking ads to train an ML system to recognize sex trafficking ads.  I suppose it’s possible in theory: They could have searched police human trafficking case files to find instances where the victims were the subject of online sex ads and then used those ads for training and testing the ML model against ads tied to actual sex trafficking.  The problem…is that actual sex trafficking cases are…too rare to build up a large enough corpus of online ads to train an ML classifier.  So where did the researchers find those ads?  How did they know the ads were for human trafficking victims?  The short answer is that they didn’t.  Instead, they used a manual classification system to deem some of the ads as possibly related to sex trafficking…[using] a list of trafficking indicators from [typical prohibitionist propaganda]…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1255)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

[Flint, Michigan cop] Forrest Bradley…was one of two deputies who [had panic attacks]…after previously [subduing] a…[prisoner] who had overdosed from fentanyl-laced heroin…[the other hysteric was named] Justin Hall…[neither described any of] the [known] effects of a fentanyl overdose [but that didn’t stop local media from gullibly lapping up every word drooled by “authorities” about it]…

A Moral Cancer (#1256)

The claims of crypto-moralists are growing increasingly absurd:

People who consume more than 17 units of alcohol in a week – equal to about five large glasses of wine or eight pints of beer – were found to have “older” DNA…The study…[claims] that consuming alcohol in excess can wreak havoc on DNA by causing damage to telomeres — like protective caps at the ends of a chromosome — which could eventually lead to age-related diseases and the formation of cancer…

Cancer is probably inevitable for anyone who doesn’t die of something else first, but don’t tell that to puritans, who want people to believe they could live forever by simply eliminating every single pleasurable activity from their lives.  Of course, then there’d be little point to an extended lifespan, but one can’t have everything.

Micromanagement (#1258)

Any information you give to the State can and will be used against you:

New Jersey police…use…blood samples taken from babies to in[criminate their parents]…the practice came to light after a case in which [cops]…subpoenaed a…lab for a blood sample drawn from a child.  Police then performed DNA analysis on the…sample that [suppos]edly linked the child’s father to a crime committed more than 25 years ago…a…lawsuit…filed jointly by the [Office of the Public Defender] and the New Jersey Monitor, now seeks to compel the state…to disclose…the full extent of the practice.  All babies born in the state of New Jersey are required to have a blood sample drawn within 48 hours as part of a mandatory [disease] testing program…if police are able to…obtain the samples through subpoena, then…the…screening…is entering all babies…into a DNA database with no ability to opt out…

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I don’t know why [magic fentanyl] stories won’t go away.  –  Ryan Marino

To Molest and Rape

Cops really believe they’re above the law:

Addison County [Vermont] Sheriff Peter Newton…[refused] to…resign…[despite] fac[ing multiple] counts of sexual assault…and domestic assault.  [Newton downplayed his crimes as merely going]…“too far” during sexual encounters…[after he] left [his victim] with pain and bruises, threatened her, and said no one would believe her if she stepped forward…he [also]…“told her ‘she was crazy’ and she ‘dreamt it’,” she said…“He’s a predator…It’s not just him, it’s the entire sheriff’s department because they knew he used his position to get women”…

Japanese Prostitution (#652)

There are some very weird exceptions to the general rule that the Japanese are less prudish than Americans about sex work:

Kyoto Prefectural Police arrested Masayuki Nakamoto…[for] selling copies of adult videos…that he had altered to appear uncensored.  Japanese adult videos are required by law to obscure the performers’ genitals, with placing a mosaic over them the most common form of compliance…since the mosaic is hard-coded into the image of the commercially released video, it can’t really be removed.  Instead, Nakamoto used an A.I. program, which via machine learning gained an understanding of what uncensored genitals look like, then used that knowledge to create a photorealistic simulated visual representation…[which he] placed…over the mosaic, making the on-screen performers appear completely uncensored…judge Shinsuke Danjo sentenced him to two years in prison, with the sentence suspended for three years…and…also fined [him] two million yen (roughly US$15,000)…

Cops and Robbers (#715)

Clueless wonders attempt to ape the antics they see on copaganda shows:

Three members of [a] social media [clique named “Dads Against Predators”]…lured…a [younger] man to a North Carolina [Target] store [on June 28th] before attacking him…The man reportedly fired a gun…to try to stop the beating…but…the g[ang] continued to beat the man, [stole] his gun and left…[cops claim] they have identified three men responsible for [the attack]…which…[left] the…25-year-old [victim]…with minor injuries…

The victim’s age leads me to believe that this gang’s tactics were copied from similar scams by cops.

Torture Chamber (#1040)

Your “leaders” want you to call this “correction”:

…in prison, many people are served meals that are altogether inedible…women at Virginia’s Fluvanna C[age Stack are often]…provided food that is moldy, rotten…spoiled…[and] roach[-infested.  When edible, t]he portions are “toddler size”…people in prison are routinely forced to pick through bugs and mold at meal time.  A 2017 survey of more than 100 incarcerated people in almost two dozen states found that over 65 percent of respondents had been served food not intended for humans, or that was moldy, spoiled, or had [maggots or other] bugs in it.  Most states spend less than $3 a day on food per incarcerated person…To survive these conditions, incarcerated people might try to smuggle some of the more edible food from the mess hall into their cell—maybe a banana or an orange.  But these items are [deem]ed contraband, which [provides a convenient excuse for further torture by screws] if they’re found…Incarcerated people are over six times more likely than those in the community to contract a foodborne illness

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1204)

The State claims these clowns are qualified to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship:

…Cops are having panic attacks upon encountering fentanyl because they believe they are overdosing.  The symptoms seem to never match up with those of an actual opiate overdose.  For one thing, these reports of overdoses never include the officer reporting a wave of euphoria before collapsing (there’s a reason people use opiates).  Reports often do not include the blue lips and fingernails, the limp body, and the reduced heart rate consistent with opiate overdoses.  It’s pretty clear that police…are simply suffering panic attacks—quite possibly because they…heard all those previous stories about these kinds of impossible overdoses…

Thought Control (#1224)

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

As highly visible and politicized book bans have exploded across the country, librarians — accustomed to being seen as dedicated public servants in their communities — have found themselves on the front lines of an acrimonious culture war, with their careers and their personal reputations at risk.  They have been labeled pedophiles on social media…[and persecuted] by local politicians…[mob] members have tried to seek criminal charges against librarians…Many librarians have quit — or lost their jobs — after clashes over books.  Suzette Baker was fired from her job at the head of Kingsland Library branch in Llano County, Tex., after she repeatedly refused to [censor] books as [politicians] had demanded, according to a lawsuit.  The suit was filed this spring by residents against [politicians who are]…violat[ing] the First Amendment by censoring books…

The Vultures Descend (#1251)

All prohibitionism is the same, part umpteen:

The trajectory of access to abortion pills in Brazil may offer insight into how medication abortion can become out of reach and what can happen when it does.  While surgical abortion was the original target of Brazil’s abortion ban, the proscription expanded after medication abortion became more common, leading to the situation today where drug [deal]ers control most access to the pills.  Women who procure them have no guarantee of the safety or authenticity of what they are taking, and if they have complications, they fear seeking help…black market misoprostol, brought in from India, Mexico and Argentina, is sold for anywhere from about $200 to $400 for the eight tablets recommended for an abortion, compared with less than $15 for a 60-pill bottle in the United States…

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Respecting private property means government has to pay for the property it destroys.  –  Scott Bullock

A Broker in Pillage

There are many ways for governments to steal things that don’t belong to them:

…a federal jury ruled that Vicki Baker is entitled to $59,656.59 in damages after a SWAT team [wantonly] destroyed her McKinney, Texas, home while pursuing a fleeing fugitive in July 2020…the Institute for Justice…file[d] a lawsuit [on her behalf] in March 2021, after the city refused to pay for the damage that had been caused…U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant III ruled that the destruction of Vicki’s home was a “taking” that required the city to pay just compensation.  On April 29, Judge Mazzant rejected the city of McKinney’s argument that police…should be categorically exempt from [any consequences] for [their actions, no matter how callous and idiotic]…Because “the destruction to Baker’s home was intentional and foreseeable,” compensation was required, he ruled…

Civil rights advocates often joke that the Third Amendment is the only one that hasn’t been undermined, but I fail to see any important difference between the government forcibly taking people’s homes to quarter troops and forcibly taking them to enable cops and robbers games.

Divination

Authoritarians just love their wanking fantasies of mind-reading machines:

A Chinese research team claims to have created a “mind-reading device” that detects “porn watching,” which could be used by police to enforce the country’s strict laws against sexual expression…[Naturally the inventors used buzzwords such as] “AI”…an[d puritanisms such as]…”indecent image”…to [hawk their bogus] “porn police helmet that can read people’s minds to detect pornography”…

Stalkers in Blue

No woman is safe from predatory cops:

A [sleazy] cop is out of a job after he admitted to using [a sleazy cop surveillance database] to look up personal information about a woman he [found on] OnlyFans…Kevin Bohn, a member of the Cinnaminson police department, used a restricted law enforcement database to find information about the woman and her family…[the]n tried to hide his actions by creating incident numbers for his inquiries and then closing out the cases…

The Next Target (#1151)

Prohibitionists’ real goal is to completely ban online sex work:

The federal government of Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa, has ordered all open-access online platforms to “remove, disable or block access” to all “pornographic” content…Gay content is already illegal in Nigeria, as is any form of private gay sexuality.  According to reports, the country ranks second worldwide on searches for “gay porn”.  The order was made public [on June 14th], with all platforms available in the nation of 216 million given only 24 hours to comply.  It is unclear what the reach and success of the measure has been in practice, especially considering the easy availability of VPN programs to change an individual IP address location…

To Molest and Rape (#1239)

So many rapist cops, so many underage victims:

A [typical and representative Florida cop] has been sentenced to [a mere] six years in state prison for [repeatedly molesting] a [teenager]…William Arnold Jr…pleaded no contest to…sexual battery…[in exchange for more serious] charges [being] dropped as part of a plea deal…he will [also] face 9 years of probation with electronic monitoring and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender upon his release.  The victim…was 14 [when Arnold started molesting her]…

Thought Control (#1244)

No public library is safe from censorship, because they’re controlled by politicians:

…Trustees of the Smithtown Library Board on Long Island voted to remove signs for Pride and any LGBTQ+-related books from children’s sections [last week]…Books related to sexual orientation and gender identity will indefinitely be removed from children’s areas—regardless of the literature’s targeted audience—and put elsewhere…board trustee Marie Gergenti proposed the [censorship] to [give a heckler’s veto to unnamed parties she claimed to have]…receiv[ed] complaints [from, but]…New Yorkers both inside and outside the Smithtown-area[, especially politicians who saw an opportunity for vote-getting virtue-signaling,] rushed to social media to blast the board’s decision…The New York Library Association reaffirmed its “commitment to intellectual freedom,” and condemned the move…

The clamor immediately caused the board to reverse its ill-considered move.

Censor Chic (#1248)

A government powerful enough to…obscur[e anti-abortion] information…is also one powerful enough to…hid[e] info about how to obtain an abortion“:

…By the early 1970s, nearly 20 states prohibited publishing or advertising information about abortion…The U.S. Supreme Court would go on to declare such bans unconstitutional, in the 1975 case Virginia vs. Bigelow.  But…[with] Roe v. Wade…overturned, it’s all but assured that battles over…abortion information will begin again…senators have exerted pressure on Google to limit certain sorts of results…How long until we see [thm] pressured to block ads for abortion pills or information on methods to self-induce abortions?  We’re also likely to see abortion added to the list of things used to justify broader crackdowns on free speech, in the way that things like sex work, disinformation, and domestic extremism [are] used today.  The ability to communicate privately about…abortions could be used as another argument against encrypted communication.  And it shouldn’t be long until we hear about how Section 230…should be reformed since it protects Big Tech from being held liable for user posts about how to obtain an abortion…risk-averse companies may be quick to censor a wide range of content related to abortion, even if that content would ultimately prove protected…

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Prostitution is a profession and sex workers are entitled to dignity and equal protection under the law.  –  The Supreme Court of India

Follow Your Bliss

The naive believe that “child predators” are creepy dudes who hang out at playgrounds; in reality, they are largely people in positions of authority over their preferred targets:

A [Missouri] man [named Scott F. Burow]…who spent more than 30 years working as a deputy juvenile officer in Missouri state court has been indicted in United States District Court on a felony charge of sex trafficking of a minor…[for paying a] 15 year…old…ward of the state of Illinois…[for sex] and…secretly videotaping her…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

A [gang] of [cops] conducted illegal searches and arrests in New Jersey as a pretext to rob residents out of cash…On May 26, a federal jury convicted Michael Cheff on…conspiracy…and…falsification of a police report…Cheff supervised a [gang] of [thugs who] worked together…between 2016 and 2018, [the gang regularly]…conducted illegal stops and searches of individuals in their vehicles, on the streets or in their homes and [robbed] them…Cheff…[got] a cut [in exchange for]…approving false reports…that…lied about…the…[armed robber]ies…

If Men Were Angels

The problem isn’t Catholicism, Christianity or even religion; it’s blind submission to authority:

A community rabbi from Jerusalem w[as]…indicted…for repeated sexual crimes against newly religious women.  Rabbi Moshe Yazdi…rap[ed], sexually assault[ed] and sodomiz[ed]…women while fraudulently obtaining their “consent” by telling them these were religious acts and therefore they had to submit to his demands.  He is also suspected of exploiting them financially.  So far, 10 women…have filed complaints against him…[revealing that] he presented himself to them as one of the 36 righteous people who, according to Jewish tradition, ensure the world’s continued existence at any given moment…Some of the crimes were committed against brides on their wedding day…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#568)

Looks like the judge didn’t buy his “porn addiction” excuse:

Josh Duggar, former director of the lobbying arm of the…anti-porn Family Research Council, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for downloading child sexual abuse material…Duggar was known as a reality TV figure for his role on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, a show highlighting his extended family…[which] TLC canceled…in 2015 after it was revealed that Duggar had molested members of his family and a babysitter…The Arkansas trial also exposed the failure of…”porn filter” Covenant Eyes, a business highly ballyhooed by anti-porn crusaders…federal investigators found that Covenant Eyes had been installed on Duggar’s computer so that it could monitor and report his internet use to his wife, Anna…however, an investigator reported that “Covenant Eyes was unable to detect Duggar’s internet usage after a password-protected network was installed on his computer”…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#737)

Indian sex workers have awaited this ruling for years:

The Supreme Court…told police that they should refrain from interfering and taking criminal action against…sex workers…[who] should not be arrested, penalised, harassed, or victimised through raids on brothels because…sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful.  A sex worker’s child should not be deprived of her mother’s care “on the ground that she is in the sex trade”…The court also instructed cops not to discriminate against sex workers who lodge a complaint, if the offence against them is of sexual nature…The bench observed that use of condoms “should not be construed by the police as evidence of offence by sex workers”…[but unfortunately will still allow cops to abduct] sex workers [under the pretext of “]rescue[“] and [lock them in cages] “for not less than two-three years”…The apex court also ad[monished media to take] “utmost care not to reveal the identities of sex workers, during arrest, raid and rescue operations, whether as victims or accused and not to publish or telecast any photos that would result in disclosure of such identities”…[pointing out that] voyeurism is a criminal offence…

The Last Shall Be First (#1151) 

Laws like this have already been declared unconstitutional by the 4th Circuit:

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt…signed into law a bill that requires students at public schools…[including] charter schools to use restrooms and locker rooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates…Transgender students who decline to use the restroom required under the measure would have to use “a single-occupancy restroom or changing room” provided by the school.  The measure, which cleared the state Legislature last week, will take effect immediately because it was passed with an emergency clause.  School districts that [refuse] to comply…could be sued by school parents

The Next Target (#1151)

Prohibitionists’ real goal is to completely ban online sex work:

[Tobias Schmid, ] the local official behind the crusade for Germany to require age verification for viewing sexual content…is now seeking to expand to all of Europe the use of his new [surveillance] tool, KIVI, which automatically scans all online content to determine which images are not compliant with the law…KIVI was developed by Berlin-based Condat under…Schmid’s supervision and is now reportedly being used by all 14 state media authorities in Germany…to detect [images in] categories like “extremism, hate speech, swastikas or the glorification of drugs,” Schmid also included “pornography” as a target for the new surveillance engine

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This is going to be fun.  –  Ronni Carrocia

Sharing an earworm doesn’t actually cure it, but on some level it makes it more bearable.  The links above this particular earworm were provided by Cop Crisis, David Ley, Clarissa, Cop Crisis again, C.J. Ciaramella, and Elizabeth N. Brown, in that order.

From the Archives

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Advocates of prohibition always claim good intentions.  –  Jacob Grier

Prudish Pedants

“The label ‘pornography’…represents an attempt by lawheads to pretend that their personal hang-ups about sex can be reduced to a rule”:

Adult content only becomes illegal when it veers into the realm of obscenity.  But for a work to be deemed legally obscene, it must meet the obscure Miller Test developed in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court…Numerous elements of this test are unworkable in modern times…most people do not know the definition of the word “prurient” and cannot use it correctly in a sentence.  Yet this consideration can determine whether someone is imprisoned for making a film.  The entire concept of “community standards” is meaningless in the digital age, when we have more in common with our social media groups spanning the globe than we do with our neighbors who happen to live in the same country…While it’s easy to understand what the “whole work” is when evaluating a magazine or film, what about a tube site or a social media site?…Despite these vagaries, the Miller obscenity test has been upheld over and over, in the face of numerous constitutional challenges…

A Moral Cancer (#1148)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

Sometime in the not-too-distant future…the first American will likely be sentenced to prison for selling flavored tobacco or e-cigarettes.  It might happen in Massachusetts, wh[ich]…announced charges last year against New Hampshire resident Samuel Habib…Or it might happen in New York…[where] the Auburn Police Department…raid[ed]…a…smoke shop owned by Mohamed Algamal…Or maybe it will happen in New Jersey or Rhode Island, which have banned flavored e-cigarettes statewide.  Or maybe it will be in one of the many cities that have passed flavor bans, such as Chicago…San Francisco…[or] Washington, D.C., or result from a federal prosecution if the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) moves forward with plans to prohibit them nationwide…advocates of flavor bans [falsely] portray them as…mere product regulations and…[pretend] prohibitions will [not] lead to…criminal enforcement, especially…against racial minorities…[but] as the American Civil Liberties Union, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and other groups warned in 2021, this will create “a massive law enforcement problem for states, counties, and cities, since all states treat unlicensed sale of tobacco products as a crime—usually as a felony punishable by imprisonment”…

Creepy Coppers

Funny how it nearly always takes years to convict cops of anything:

Nearly four years after being arrested, a [typical and representative] Harris County [Texas cop pled] guilty for possession of child pornography…Donald Dehnert [was first arrested on March 29, 2018]…he…admitted to having child pornography on a flash drive that…had photos of nude children under two years old and a girl who appeared to be between six and eight years old.  One image showed the girl appearing to perform a sexual act…[Dehner had also] solicited sex with [a roleplaying cop’s imaginary] 5- and 11-year-old daughters…

Opting Out (#1214) 

“At least one person noted that the UK was at risk of looking like idiots”:

…the U.K. has finally unveiled its controversial “Online Safety Bill”…focus[ing] on “pornography” as the main supposed “online harm”…the Johnson government [belched out a number of catchphrases and buzzwords including]…“protect children”…and…”illegal content”, while…[absurdly bragging that] the proposed measures are…“the world-first online safety laws”…[misusing the popular moralist shibboleth] “hold…to account”…and…set[ting] up the [bureaucrats]…running Ofcom, the government’s communications regulatory agency, to become essentially a censorship body with “the power to fine companies failing to comply with the laws up to 10% of their annual global turnover…[and] force them to…block non-compliant sites”…The government’s statement boasts of literally “a raft of other new offenses [including]…obstructing the regulator when it [raids] company offices”…

Leaving the 20th Century

So how exactly are they defining “pimping”?

Sex workers in Belgium will soon be able to claim state pensions and other benefits after the pandemic prompted reforms to decriminalise their profession.  Politicians approved plans to overhaul 19th-century legislation and offer prostitutes a legally recognised job title…While prostitution is decriminalised under Belgian law, there is a ban on pimping aimed at [placating “]sex trafficking[” fetishists]…

Science! (#1221)

A source heard it happened“:

[Wanking fantasies] have increased in Israel since the outbreak of war in Ukraine [about] claims…that some women refugees…were being exploited by human trafficking networks.  [Magical anti-pimp] leaflets…are expected to be [foisted upon] refugee women upon arrival at the airport as part of…moral[ity theater]…The [fantasies claim]…human trafficking and criminal networks lure Ukrainian refugees into prostitution upon their arrival to Israel, with the [tale] being used as an excuse for Israeli immigration officials to deny entry to dozens of refugees during the past two weeks…

The Cop Myth (#1221)

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

…Scottsboro [Alabama cop]…Stephen Miller shot his estranged wife, Amanda Miller, a[nd then shot himself]…Miller…was [an alcoholic]…and [Amanda] was filing for divorce.  Stephen was found dead…and Amanda is currently in critical condition…

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Without economic freedom you cannot have political freedom.
–  John H. Cochrane

Peeping Toms

This article on how Lawrence v Texas and other cases relate to sex work isn’t flawless by any stretch; while the author makes some good points (especially regarding the common claim that Lawrence specifically excluded sex work), he also makes some shaky assertions and endorses some rather odious academic interpretations, which is perhaps unsurprising given his academic background.  Worth reading, but only cum grano salis.

A Broker in Pillage

It’s rare to see these schemes called what they are: extortion:

Two years ago, prosecutors offered a [Kentucky] man a deal: give up $380,000 in cash through asset forfeiture, and criminal charges just filed against his family would be dropped.  The case has now been resolved, with no criminal convictions for anyone involved — but police and prosecutors still kept the bulk of the cash.  Patrick Card was arrested in 2019 [on]…marijuana…charge[s]…As prosecutors began negotiating [a plea bargain]…they [decided to also] indict…his mother, father and wife…[then] offered Card a plea deal that would reduce his charges and dismiss those against his family if he forfeited the cash…He turned down the deal…[and eventually] the commonwealth’s attorney agreed to dismiss the charges and return a portion of the s[tolen] money.  “This supposed ‘offer’ was nothing more than an attempt by the Commonwealth and its agents to leverage the threat of indictment and prosecution for financial gain,” said attorney Daniel K. Robertson…the prosecutor agreed to…return Card’s [elderly]…parents’…bank account…but [kept]…$305,050 and three dozen guns [stolen from Card]…

To Molest and Rape

They try to make these cases sound like the rapist was doing his victim a favor:

A Le[cherous]…deputy sheriff…[is the target of] a federal lawsuit…filed [by]…Sabrina Adkins…Ben Fields [coerced] her [into submitting to rape]…six times late at night last year in a district judge’s chambers where he [raped] her [both] oral[ly] and [vaginally]…Adkins…was coerced and compelled to comply with Fields’ [demand]s given his “position and power and because she could not afford to pay for the ankle monitor and did not want to return to…jail.”  Fields…has not been charged criminally…

Choke Point (#1096)

Alas, useful idiots think these tyrannies are perfectly acceptable when used against people they dislike:

By invoking emergency powers and freezing the assets of…protesters, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes clear that civil liberties protections mean little when the government can deny you access to your money.  That financial weapon has been used…in democracies against controversial (to some) businesses and organizations…”It’s a Western version of China’s social credit system that does not altogether prohibit political dissent but makes it so costly that it becomes impractical to the ordinary citizen,” David Sacks, former PayPal COO, writes…Sacks warned that we should expect a wave of firms denying services to those who don’t share their ideology…this isn’t the first example of governments conscripting private companies against targets that otherwise enjoy legal protection.  Credit card companies have been pressured into denying services to suspected sex workers, and the U.S. federal government’s Operation Choke Point cut off gun dealers, payday lenders, and sex-oriented businesses from banking without the muss or fuss of proving any illegality…

The Last Shall Be First (#1132) 

Texas has officially lost its collective mind:

Texas…Attorney General Ken Paxton has declared all medical treatment of transgender minors to be child abuse and says that his office could prosecute parents of transgender children, as well as “mandatory reporters” who fail to report medical treatment of transgender children to the state.  In tandem…Gov[ernor and former AG] Greg Abbott has [ordered] state [“child protection” bureaucrats] to begin investigating any families that may be giving their trans kids puberty-blocking drugs or hormones, or allowing them to undergo surgical treatments…Paxton’s policy…is a rejection of transgender medical care entirely, as further evidenced by [his] concession that some types of genital surgery are “medically necessary” when they correct genetic disorders or cancer…Abbott…[also] threatens criminal penalties for anybody [with a functional moral compass] who [refuses] to [snitch on trans kids, their parents, and their doctors]…

Law of the Instrument (#1136)

Picture what you’d think of as “sex trafficking”, then compare it to this:

A school spirit club mom has been accused of having sex with nine pupils from a Tennessee school.  Melissa Blair allegedly had sexual encounters between spring 2020 and late 2021 with teenagers as young as 14…Blair is charged with solicitation of a minor, 18 counts of statutory rape…[and] four counts of human trafficking by patronizing prostitution…District attorney Steve Crump said cops want to “make the fullest amount of [political coin] possible…[out of] this, it truly is about…a headline, it’s…about trying to [posture] as much as possible, [so] our [subjects think we’re actually ‘fighting crime’]”…

To Molest and Rape (#1203)

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

[Police] chief [Thomas J. Herbst], of…Manville [New Jersey was rewarded with a paid vacation]…after a [female] employee [reported] in a civil lawsuit that he repeatedly sexually assaulted her at work and raped her at her home in a “prolonged pattern and practice of abhorrent sexual harassment” that continued for 13 years…Herbst…masturbat[ed] in front of the woman at the [cop shop]…and [molested] her…on a regular basis while he was a lieutenant…He later raped [her] approximately 10 times in the police archive room and began to regularly rape her at her home and in a hotel parking lot during her lunch hour…she was a single mother when the…assaults began and she feared losing her job…if she reported the [attacks]…She came forward now partly because she is retirement age…

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Whether we like it or not, the 1st Amendment protects both vaccine misinformation and hate speech.  –  Mike Masnick

Quiet Genocide (#1023)

In which the UN throws away what little credibility it had left:

The Chinese government’s violent oppression of the…Uyghur[s]…is no longer a secret…[its] actions…have been…[properly identified as] genocide…[b]y…the human rights community…[yet] the United Nations, the very institution created to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights,” is assisting China in its violent efforts to wipe out the Uyghurs by helping the CCP cover its tracks…UN human rights officer-turned whistleblower Emma Reilly…[report]s that prior to every UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session in recent years, China has requested the names of Uyghur and other Chinese dissidents who were scheduled to speak.  And despite this being explicitly forbidden by the UN’s own rules, the UN…has [betrayed them so]…Chinese authorities…[can] use [the information] to harass the dissidents’ families who are still based in China…Reilly…first discovered the practice in 2013…when [her] superior, Eric Tistounet…advis[ed] staffers t[o obey because he was scared of China]…But while the UN has at times acknowledged this indefensible practice, it has simultaneously provided contradictory statements denying it.  When asked about the allegations in March 2017, Tistounet…[barfed out the magic word] “wing” [as though it constituted an excuse]…

Tissue of Lies (#1109)

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

Five…teenage [runaways were arrested in New Orleans and] their families [alerted.  In an unrelated record review] 30 [people condemned to the “]sex offender[” registry were also arrested] after…U.S. Marshals [accused them] of violating their…registration requirements…One of the [ar]res[t]ed teens was a 16-year-old girl…suspected of stealing a relative’s car and handgun…[three others appear to have been engaging in survival sex work, and the fifth] was…a[ccused of “]felony human trafficking[“]…

These “operations” were innovated in Georgia after the pandemic made actual “stings” much more difficult, and have since become popular with cop shops all over the US.

Lack of Evidence (#1120) 

Only a prohibitionist could claim banning armed thugs from attacking women for merely existing in public is a “thorny issue”.  And the writer of this piece of trash is definitely a prohibitionist; her assumptions are lurid and puritanical, her heavy use of moronic dysphemisms cringeworthy, and her attempts to prejudice the reader so transparent it’s difficult to believe she thought anyone would fail to see what she was doing (“who are just past their teenage years but looked young enough to be on their way to a high school dance” is used to mean “youthful-looking twentysomethings”).  Most nauseating of all is that the LA Times has such a low opinion of its readers’ intelligence that they believe a pretense of objectivity can be maintained while printing straight-up anti-sex propaganda from people who sound as though they’re making furtive movements in their pants while sharing their ugly masturbatory fantasies with this delusional parrot.

The Widening Gyre (#1136)

More innocent people accused of “sex trafficking” by attention-hungry loons:

“Child luring incident!” read the warning that appeared last Friday on several Teaneck, New Jersey, social media pages.  “A man in a car pulled up and tried to get a child in around 11 am on 12/31/21…[in reality, the “child”]…was…the…14-year-old [son of Debra Passner], who wanted to leave [a family gathering] early (as 14-year-olds often do).  He started walking home, with his parents’ blessing.  Later, when they were driving home themselves, they saw him on the street and slowed down to offer him a ride.  “My son, being a wiseass, says, ‘I don’t take rides from strangers,'” Debra Passner recalls. So she leaned over and called out, “Don’t you like candy? We have candy!”  When their son shook his head, his father said, “Okay, then I’ll follow you.”  But moments later, they drove on.  Once the Passners saw this online, they immediately called the police…[who still felt compelled to invade the family’s privacy before they] issued a press release stating…no attempted luring [of a young man] had occurred…

You Were Warned (#1156)

The bipartisan war on the internet moves us another step closer to idiocracy:

…both [US ruling parties]…want to control the internet in a manner that helps “their team.”  But both approaches involve unconstitutional desires to interfere with 1st Amendment rights.  For Republicans, it’s often the compelled hosting of speech, and for Democrats, it’s often the compelled deletion of speech.  Both…are unconstitutional.  On the Republican side, we’ve already seen states like Florida and Texas [enact] content moderation bills — and both have been blocked for being wholly unconstitutional…some other Republican-controlled states have shelved plans for similar bills, [but]…it looks like the message has not made its way to Democratic-controlled states.  California has been toying with unconstitutional content moderation bills, and now NY has one as well.  Senator Brad Hoylman…has proudly introduced a hellishly unconstitutional social media bill….[to] “hold tech companies accountable for promoting vaccine misinformation and hate speech”…[but] it is unconstitutional to punish anyone for that speech, and it’s even more ridiculous to punish websites that host that content, but had nothing to do with the creation of it.  Believe it or not, the actual details of the bill are even worse than Hoylman’s description of it…

Panopticon (#1171)

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

[Cop shops] throughout San Diego County continue to spend thousands of dollars every year on technology that tracks the location of people’s cars, even though the information collected most often has nothing to do with solving crime or protecting the public…five [of these] have been violating state law by sharing this information with agencies all over the United States…that don’t have a…right to access it…including Border Patrol and [ICE]…

To Molest and Rape (#1202) 

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

A female Pittsburgh [cop was raped by a fellow cop after]…a cookout at the station…she was too drunk to drive home, so [the rapist] drove her to her house…[and] raped her…he later [tried to get her]…not t[o report him, and though]…she [did report him]…no charges were filed…[internal affairs] ultimately recommended the [rapist] be fired…[but] instead [he was given]…a…three day [vacat]ion and [the result was called “public safety”]…

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This [bill]…is a sickening extension of the culture war.  –  Neil Coyle

Pretext

Conscription of unconsenting drivers into copaganda will continue until reporters stop parroting cop PR releases:

[A regular] holiday [PR scam] was recently [repeated] by…Mesa, Arizona…[cops who]…pulled [motorists] over for [bullshit] violation[s, then]…offered [them] turkey[s]…some [people were so traumatized they]…were…[brought] to tears…many U.S. police departments [subject drivers to similar publicity stunts around holidays every year]…

Lack of Evidence (#960)

As I’ve pointed out before, it’s very easy for cops and prosecutors to circumvent these supposed “guarantees”:

[Politicians and cops] have heard sex workers say over and over that they feel unsafe reporting crimes to police because they…[will] be prosecuted for their own [consensual] activity…[But instead of simply making it illegal to arrest adults for consensual sex, politician] Brianna Titone…said she intends to bring a “safe reporting” bill…to create a guarantee that [women criminalized by the state] can report crimes without fear of any legal retribution.  It’s not unlike a 2012 law Colorado adopted to guarantee immunity for illegal drug users who report overdoses.  [But politicians who want to ensure the bill is toothless are vomiting out dysphemisms like]…”offense”…and [“]illegal…prostitution[“]…Desiree Collins, a former sex worker closely involved in advocacy work…said she is skeptical…that sex workers would take advantage of it…[because] “there’s no way to maintain anonymity…You’re talking about a community where part of the culture is distrust, because distrust keeps you safe”…

Politicians’ and cops’ repeated claims that they want women who live by our wits to trust lying rapist thugs who hunt us for sport would be funny if it weren’t so ugly and dangerous.

Rooted in Racism (#966)

This was the endgame of “anti-trafficking” schemes all along:

The Royal Yacht Association (RYA) has warned its members against rescuing migrants at sea amid fears they could be prosecuted and jailed for people smuggling….the Home Office’s Nationality and Borders Bill…removes the words “for gain” and increases the sentences for [actions politicians decide to label] smuggling…to life imprisonment….[politician] Neil Coyle…said…“The clause requires…people to watch other people die…It is in breach of our international obligations and law”…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1090)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is more effective when you control the board:

Alex Shchegol was reinstated as president of ASA College, a for-profit institution that has campuses in New York and Florida, three years after he was forced out for sexual misconduct…At least 10 female ASA students and employees had accused Shchegol of…rape, sending unwanted [dick] pic[s]…and coercing students who relied on him for visas or employment into [submitting to rape]…The allegations had resulted in more than $2 million in out-of-court settlements…Shchegol was reinstated after he replaced five of the seven members of the board of the institution, which he owns.  Shchegol mentioned a letter from a sex addiction therapist affirming that she had worked with him on concepts like “victim empathy” and “accountability”…[however,] he [also claimed]…he was “completely innocent”…and…hung up when asked repeatedly if he’d had sex with any students…

Scapegoats (#1169)

This sordid saga finally wraps up after three years:

A [typical and representative] Bossier City [cop] was sentenced to 20 years in prison for possession of child pornography and sexually abusing his dog….Terry Yetman…was sentenced Tuesday to four years for each of the five counts of sexual abuse of animals…[and] 20 years for…child pornography.  The sentences will run concurrently.  When he is released, Yetman will have to register as a sex offender…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

Cops murder more people than any other group in the US:

…a Newark, New Jersey [cop] has been arrested after…fatally [running over] a nurse with his car — and then taking the body home to decide what to do…Louis Santiago was charged with reckless vehicular homicide, desecrating human remains, and other charges after he fatally hit…Damian Dymka and then stuffed his lifeless body into his car…and…took [it]…home…[to ask his mommy] what t[o]…do.  Ultimately…Santiago[‘s cop]…father [turned him in]…State Police found Dymka’s body still in the back of Santiago’s car…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1185)

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

Delta…[has been joined by] JetBlue and American Airlines…[in] starting to test facial recognition for boarding and TSA checkpoints.  The TSA is also [collaborating] with companies to design [more invasive casual] screeners so passengers don’t have to remove anything from their bags and can leave their shoes on…TSA and airlines are [excusing this by saying it will] speed up airport security while making it safer…

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