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Posts Tagged ‘Not for Any Reason Whatsoever’

People applauding this policy should also specify what prison term they favor for people who sell full-strength cigarettes.  –  Jacob Grier

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

No, your reason is not an exception:

A new investigation by The [Washington] Post reveals at least 178 cases from 2019 to 2021 in which calls for help resulted in [cops murdering]…the very people they were [foolishly] called on to assist.  We used The Post’s nationwide database of fatal police shootings along with public reporting to identify cases in which the callers were concerned primarily for the individuals’ well-being and no imminent harm to others was reported.  Many of the calls [referr]ed…to people in mental health crises, [ignorantly] requested wellness checks or reported suicide threats.  The calls came from the distressed individuals themselves or were made by worried [but foolish] family members, friends or neighbors…

License to Rape (#957)

The police state’s insulting idea of compensation for a mass public gang rape:

In July 2020, when I had been out of prison for about 18 months, IDOC offered us money and asked us to sign an agreement absolving them of any wrongdoing.  I asked my attorney what would happen if I didn’t sign the papers, and he told me that the judge might throw the lawsuit out…I was still not going to sign.  But my attorney…convinced me.  “You know there are women inside that need that money,” he said.  I knew…it was a manipulative statement.  But…I [also] knew…that this money could mean the difference between deprivation and a pair of shoes, a pack of T-shirts or the chance to shop for food…The shame of those days stayed with me for years.  But…there is not enough space in one piece to detail the atrocities.  For the Halloween strip search, IDOC mailed me a check for $325.  Although the agency continues to assert that their staff did nothing wrong, this check that I may never cash is proof that they are guilty…in the eyes of IDOC, my pain — and that of my sisters — is only worth $325…

Robocops (#1044)

SCOTUS expands one of the greatest legal abominations ever conceived:

…anyone who has their rights violated by federal government agents…ha[s] no recourse against those rogue actors.  A federal badge will now serve as an impenetrable shield against civil liability…The justices announced…that they would decline to consider two major petitions. In the first, St. Paul [sow] Heather Weyker, who was serving on a federal task force, conjured a fake sex-trafficking ring and [cag]ed a teenage girl for two years on trumped-up charges.  In the second, [spook]…Ray Lamb a[ttempted]…to [murder] a man…though [the voctim was spared when his gun] jammed…[neither] Weyker [nor] Lamb…are…protected by qualified immunity…but because they were working for the federal government, they are protected by absolute immunity…and their victims—Hamdi Mohamud and Kevin Byrd, respectively—[are shit out of luck]…

Lack of Evidence (#1203) 

Contrast the speed with which legislatures manage to pass laws increasing cops’ powers:

California [politician]s are finally sending to Gov. Gavin Newsom a hot potato of a bill that would bar police from…arrest[ing women for standing in a public place after a cop points at them and belches out the magic word “]prostitution[“, a delay of] nine months after the measure passed the Legislature…[copsuckers] see it as a further erosion of criminal penalties that tie the hands of police on [consensual] issues…Greg Burt, a spokesman for the California Family Council, and other opponents fear it’s part of an eventual effort to decriminalize [thoughtcrime.  In support of his authoritarian agenda, he vomited out the words]…”sex trafficking”…[all over open-mouthed reporters]…

Welcome to the Future (#1227)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

Spyware apps were foisted on students at the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns…long after most students have returned to in-person learning, those apps are still proliferating, and enabling an ever-expanding range of human rights abuses…Americans face an unprecedented, record-breaking wave of legislation targeting transgender youth…and…[the overturn of] Roe v. Wade…That means that students who use their devices to research trans healthcare or abortion related material could find those devices weaponized against them, potentially resulting in criminal charges…

The Vultures Descend

22 vultures coming in for the kill:

[Jacob Sullum of Reason has published] a state-by-state rundown of what we can expect now that the Supreme Court has decided the Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion after all.  Red indicates the 22 states that are certain or likely to soon impose or start enforcing new restrictions on abortion, ranging from moderate to severe.  Green indicates the 23 states where abortion will remain broadly legal.  Blue indicates the five states where new restrictions are unlikely in the short term but are possible in the longer term, depending on electoral outcomes or judicial decisions…

A Moral Cancer (#1227)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

…the…FDA…[has arbitrarily banned] Juul’s…tobacco- and menthol-flavored vaping products…[despite the fact that Juul’s] application…was…detailed and data-heavy, showing just how effective it was at transitioning smokers away from cigarettes, toward a safer alternative …The company…became a victim of an intensely ideological war on nicotine…[when prohibitionists decided to blame] Juul…for the rise of youth vaping…[using the venerable puritan lie] that flavors like mango and cucumber [only]…appeal…to the younger demographic…The claim that Juul’s flavors were the underlying cause for the rise in youth vaping is highly dubious, considering there were thousands of different flavors for other e-cigarettes on the market years before Juul took off…

And just in case you think the government isn’t intentionally trying to create a black market so as to start a horrific new front in the drug war:

The Biden administration continues its misguided war on nicotine….[with] plans to require cigarette makers to severely cut the amount of nicotine in their products…nicotine itself isn’t what makes cigarettes so dangerous…it’s the other ingredients…and the byproducts of combustion, that make smoking cigarettes so bad for you.  This is one reason why the war on vaping is so stupid, and also speaks to the half-baked premises of the Biden administration’s latest anti-smoking plan…people already addicted to nicotine will still be addicted—they’ll just have to smoke more cigarettes to get their nicotine fix…low-nicotine cigarettes could actually make smoking riskier by requiring smokers to smoke more and consume more of the other substances in cigarettes in order to get the same level of nicotine they’re used to…[also,] other countries will still be producing full-nicotine cigarettes.  And this opens up a great opportunity for smuggling and black market sales of higher nicotine cigarettes…

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I’ve always been dedicated to the idea of this as the time of year for spooky fun.  So every year I collect all the spooky, creepy or scary content from the previous year into one place just before Halloween.  If you’ve come to my blog in the past year, or don’t remember previous editions, they are “Trick or Treat”, “More Trick or Treat“, “Tricks and Treats“, “This Trick’s a Treat”, “Tricky Treats“, “A Trickle of Treats”, “Tricking and Treating“, and “Tricks for the Treat“.  Horror, death or Halloween-themed columns of the past year include “Dead on Arrival“, “The Mysteries“, “Could It Be…Satan?“, “The Sparkle of a Star“, and “The October Country“; there are creepy or spooky-fun videos in Links #541#553#566, and #590, and here’s a collection of spooky or Halloweeny links:

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Please, don’t kill me!  –  Angelo Quinto, last words

Since Don Everly died last week, I thought this was the most appropriate song with which to memorialize him.  The links above it were provided by Lenore Skenazy (“ball”), Dave Krueger (“Hall”), Jesse Walker (“Everly”), and Cop Crisis (everything else).

From the Archives

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

To Molest and Rape

Cops constantly demonstrate exactly what they are:

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

Little Boxes (#748)

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

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

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

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

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

Panopticon (#1078)

Tell me again how my work is degrading?

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

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

End Demand (#1122)

Another good argument against criminalization from my friend Savannah Sly:

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

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1141)

Cops want everyone to share their hysteria:

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

The Next Target (#1142)

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

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

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I’m going to fuck you up.  –  unidentified terrorist

I’m not really fond of westerns, but I am fond of Henry Mancini; I discovered this one on a 1970s tape marketing a quadrophonic sound system, and it popped into my head again recently.  The links above it were provided by Franklin Harris, Jesse Walker, Scott Greenfield, Walter Olson, and Cop Crisis (x3), in that order.

From the Archives

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All I could do was bend over and duck.  –  Lecresha Murray

Here’s another 1960s novelty song recorded by the stars of a hit TV show, in this case Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman of The Avengers.  They’re not really in character, though of course Blackman’s character Cathy Gale was definitely an afficionado of “kinky boots”.  The links above the video were provided by Jesse Walker, Tim Cushing, Brooke Magnanti, Thaddeus Russell, Emma Evans, Cop Crisis, and Mike Siegel, in that order.

From the Archives

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As anyone with half a brain could’ve predicted, Team MAGA and Team Unpronounceable String of Capitals are still fighting over COVID masking despite the fact that it will soon be a moot point.  This is especially sad because, like so very many societal issues, it has a very simple solution: “Mind your own damned business.”  A person has the right to cover their face in public if they want to, and their reason for doing so is none of your concern.  Maybe they’re paranoid; maybe they’re Muslim.  Maybe they were burned by acid.  Maybe they’re hopeless fantasy geeks cosplaying in public.  Maybe they’re overcautious about germs.  Maybe they’re severely immunosuppressed.  Maybe they are justifiably worried about facial recognition.  Maybe they were wrongly convicted and wish to avoid recapture.  Maybe they’re in mourning.  Maybe they just have a weird sense of style.  But no matter what the reason, nobody else has any more right to violate their boundaries, harass them about it, attempt to involve the state, etc, than they’d have to veto others’ tattoos or get Delta Dawn arrested for walking downtown with a suitcase in her hand.

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This guy lay in shit and…died in [a] cell that looks like a friggin’ horse stall.  –  unnamed investigator

Imagination Pinned Down

Like seeing pictures in clouds or inkblots:

When the unrecognizable body of Jeannette DePalma…was found atop a…wooded hill…called the Devil’s Teeth in 1972, rumors spread quickly that the [16-year-old] was killed in some sort of satanic rite…Police…[claim]ed…they had found signs they thought might be related to the occult, including crosses made of sticks and branches arranged in a coffin-like outline around her body…But crime scene photographs released for the first time [last month]…debunk those claims, showing that DePalma’s body was simply lying in a dense, brushy area…facedown with an arm draped over a downed tree branch…Jason Coy, a history professor…who researches witchcraft…said he can’t find any sign of the occult or any other symbolism in the jumble of brush and branches.  It suggests that investigators, looking for something sinister, saw patterns that weren’t there…“Everything in th[e police] sketch that was marked out as a cross, in these crime scene photos just looks like a pile of underbrush…it’s a perfect example of how…i[f] someone…[has] the idea that something could be occult, they remember things that way”…

The Naked Anthropologist

Here’s Dr. Laura Agustín with GAATW on the rescue industry:

Torture Chamber 

For a change, this journalist doesn’t refer to torture as “correction”:

…Reginald Wilson spent more than 1,300 days in and out of jail since 1997 for charges often related to his fragile mental health…in December 2018 [Georgia cops abducted and caged him] for a probation violation…[dur]ing a mental health crisis…he was [lock]ed in a padded [cell and given no professional help, even after]…he smeared his own feces on the wall.  “He never slept. He was constantly just up, doing almost like gymnastics when you watched the video,” one [screw admitted to]…investigators…Wilson stopped eating, drinking and refused to take medication…[yet] the jail’s psychiatrist never saw [him].  In[stead,] staff [just repeatedly yelled “stop faking” at]…him…[and cop]s tased him at least tw[ice].  After… eight days…a [screw] found Wilson not breathing…[and] covered in…feces…[he had] died from…dehydration…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because a little boy picked a flower”?

[A] 6-year-old…was accused of picking a tulip from a yard at his bus stop, his attorney Julie Boyer said, and…was on trial…for injury to real property.  The boy’s attention span was too short to follow the proceedings…[so] Boyer…handed him crayons and a coloring book…she…and others [explain that] children that age don’t have the mental capacity to understand the juvenile justice process and…can’t make informed decisions…[yet at present North Carolina]…expect[s them to]…”Should a child that believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy be making life-altering decisions?” asked…Judge Jay Corpening…[local] advocates…recommend…the age be raised to 12…The National Juvenile Justice Network recommends 14…

End Demand (#893)

It’s good to see a story like this quote at least one knowledgeable person:

Columbus [Ohio politicians] are weighing changes to local solicitation laws that would emphasize pu…shing [propaganda about] those who pay for sex [in addition to propaganda about] those who sell it…[politician] Mitchell Brown [vomited out popular nonsense about]…sex trafficking…chief [copagandist and rape apologist] Jennifer Knight…[salivated about forcing people into “re-education”] sessions…[but actual] researchers like Jennifer Suchland argue “end demand” policies often backfire…“Because there’s now substantial evidence to show that they are, one, not actually reducing the amount of exploitation, and two, they are increasing the precarity of those people who are in the sex trade”…Suchland says…the “end demand” model is based on a faulty assumption…

Knight is the sow charged with making excuses for the Columbus rape gang, and claims the way to “build trust” with women is to hunt, rape and cage them.

Safe Position (#1058)

Don’t be deceived by Katz, a duplicitous proponent of Swedish criminalization:

Queens, New York, District Attorney Melinda Katz moved…to dismiss nearly 700 cases against people charged with loitering for the purpose of prostitution…[on] the same day…Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed [Swedish-style]…criminaliz[ation]…The…law was repealed last month out of concern it too often targeted…people…based solely on their appearance…Katz [followed up by bloviating about]…sex trafficking…

Katz is dismissing these cases because she has to, since the law they were charged under was repealed.  This isn’t some kind of personal move on her part toward sex worker rights, despite claims to the contrary.

Predictable Consequences

Lots of sex workers are quoted in this rebuke of prohibitionist yellow journalism:

The New York Times re[acted to]…the recent slayings of eight persons at three “Asian” spas…by a deranged religious nut…with a self-[indulgent article]…adopting the rhetoric…of…sex work…pro[hibitionists], painting the spas as havens for sex trafficking…without one quote from sex workers or sex worker rights advocates, the Times piece [claim]s that “experts say there are more than 9,000 such businesses” in the U.S. which are “fronts for prostitution,” and that “many of the women working there are being exploited.”  That dubious statistic hails from a particularly odious non-profit, the Polaris Project, which has long conflated consensual adult sex work with sex trafficking and has a history of dealing in fake statistics and urban legends…Massage workers…have no agency, nor any voice, in this scheme or this article…

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You don’t find out what it’s all about, but you have a lot of fun being extremely confused.  –  Douglas Adams

Here’s a really unusual cover of a familiar tune, played on a most unusual instrument.  The video was provided by Inspireland, and the links above it by Lenore Skenazy, Boatfloating, Gustavo Turner (“Cardin”), Lucy Steigerwald, Jesse Walker, and Scott Shackford, in that order.

From the Archives

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James Randi, AKA, “The Amazing Randi”, died last week at the age of 92.  If you don’t know who he was, watch this short video for an introduction; there’s also a full-length documentary on his life’s work, An Honest Liar.  The links above the video were provided by Mistress Matisse, Nun Ya, Franklin Harris, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, Walter Olson, and Mike Siegel, in that order.

From the Archives

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