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Posts Tagged ‘pregnancy’

The legislation…grossly limits…sex workers from taking steps to protect their health and safety.  –  Justice Phillip Sutherland

Imaginary Evils (#929)

Is there anything the government won’t label “sex trafficking”?

In 2004 [Nicole] Daedone founded a group called OneTaste, disseminating…the practice of what she called orgasmic meditation, or OM.  At its peak, OneTaste was reported to be making $12 million a year; it had centres in nine cities, including New York, San Francisco and London, and was endorsed by no less a personage than…Gwyneth [“jade vagina egg”] Paltrow.  But the organisation has now shut down following accusations by former members of the group, with the FBI reportedly investigating allegations of sex-trafficking, prostitution and violation of labour laws…

Property of the State (#989) 

Pregnant women are uniquely vulnerable to state coercion:

…each new wave of illegal drug panic and crackdowns…has spurred new excuses for monitoring pregnant women, overriding their consent, and applying strict laws against them.  In Alabama, hundreds of pregnant women have been prosecuted for positive drug tests…”A woman can be charged with chemical endangerment from the earliest weeks of pregnancy“…and…face up to 10 years of prison time [if her baby is born perfectly healthy]…and up to 20 years if the child shows signs of exposure.  High courts in…Alabama, Oklahoma, and South Carolina…have affirmed that it’s OK to use general child abuse statutes in the criminal prosecution of pregnant women who test positive for any illegal drug…in…South Carolina…[hospital] staff called the cops on a woman whose child tested positive for [metabolites of THC]…In Louisiana…a woman was charged with child desertion and second-degree cruelty, punishable by up to 40 years imprisonment, for smoking pot while breastfeeding.  In…Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin…drug use during pregnancy can lead to involuntary civil commitment.  At least 23 states [pretend] any drug use during pregnancy is…child abuse…Even in states without this explicit policy, a single positive test can trigger…investigation by child protective services

Sex Rays (#1059)

Another sleaze turns old news into an ad for his business catering to superstitious snobs with more money than cognitive development:

Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion is being demolished in the hopes of [ritually] cleansing the area of [evil spirits].  The waterfront property was purchased…for…$US18 million [by real estate]…developer Todd Michael Glaser…the gated estate is modest for the area, which is largely made up of extravagant holiday homes…occupied only during the summer months, leaving the area eerily quiet during the off-season…

I Spy (#1067)

At least a few politicians’ moral compasses aren’t entirely defective:

A bipartisan group of [politicians] has introduced a bill to stop federal law enforcement from sidestepping citizens’ privacy rights by secretly purchasing our personal data from third-party brokers.  In 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in Carpenter v. United States that the FBI violated a suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights by tracking his cellphone without getting a warrant first…[so] federal agencies began…just buy[ing] the information from brokers…And so a group…including Sens. Rand Paul…Ron Wyden…Patrick Leahy…and Mike Lee…has introduced…a…bill [which would]…require fed[s]…to…get a court order [to buy the data] just as they have to do now if they want to force a phone service provider to cough up your information.  It prohibits the use of this data as evidence [unless the spooks simply lie and pretend they obtained the data using a legal method, in a dodge called “parallel construction”]…

Morality Lessons (#1112) 

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

The Alabama House Judiciary Committee held a hearing…on a “copycat bill” of the legislation…passed in Utah [which] aim[s] to force phone and computer manufacturers to install default “porn filters” on devices sold in Alabama.  The bill…[i]s part of a current effort…by [pro-censorship group]…Morality in Media…and other religiously motivated…organizations — to pass state-by-state laws making this requirement…

Winding Down (#1118)

Washington state politicians demonstrate their hypocrisy:

…in February the Washington State Supreme Court…struck down the state’s felony drug possession law…decriminaliz[ing] drugs statewide and suddenly render[ing] tens of thousands of prisoners eligible for reduced sentences.  The Legislature could have seen this ruling…as an opportunity [to end the drug war in]…Washington…But…the provincial, fearful mommies and daddies who run Olympia have made…plans to restart the war on mostly Black drug users.  The only question is how much destruction they want to cause, and for how long…

Whither Canada? (#1126)

Slowly chipping away at a terrible law:

An Ontario Superior Court judge has declared unconstitutional legal provisions that ban sex workers from being able to work safely, including by being able to advertise…hire security, work together and communicate with clients…Justice Phillip Sutherland ruled…that the law breaches the right of sex workers to life, liberty and security of the person…Jenn Clamen, national co-ordinator for the [Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform]…stressed [that] the ruling is just a partial victory [as] it does not address…provisions…banning the purchase of sex and communication for th[at] purpose…this is the second time in Ontario that a judge has partially struck down the [prohibitionist law which imposed] the Nordic model [on Canada.  Crown attorneys whined]…that [it]…would be more difficult [to destroy people’s lives for consensual adult sex]…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Eleanor Northington

Grace got some new glasses this week, which means I’ve heard her singing this all week.  And I’m therefore going to share it with you!  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko, Elizabeth N. Brown, Desiree Alliance, Cop Crisis, Jesse Walker, and Clarissa, in that order.

From the Archives

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I think someone stole my chicken.  –  Thomas Ramsey

This week’s video is probably the best-known composition by jazz great Chick Corea, who died late last week.  The links above it were provided by Tracy Quan, Radley Balko, Dan Savage, Mike Siegel, Radley again, Amy Alkon, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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What we really need are safe and legal ways for sex workers to do what millions of Americans depend on them for.  –  Kate Zen

Under Every Bed 

Population 23,639:

…Guardians of the Children hosted a walk and candlelight vigil to raise awareness about child exploitation…[and] human trafficking…[but because North] Platte [Nebraska has no actual “sex trafficking” the members conflated it with]…child abuse [so they could claim at least a few hundred]…cases…

The Widening Gyre (#786)

When a headline writer doesn’t actually read the article first:

…historians offer a…thesis for the purpose QAnon serves.  The “nocturnal ritual fantasy”—a term coined by the historian Norman Cohn in his landmark study of European witch trials, Europe’s Inner Demons—is a recurring trope in Western history.  And it is often a politically useful one.  Deployed by the Romans against early Christians, by Christians against Jews, by Christians against witches, by Catholics against “heretics,” it is a malleable set of accusations that posit that a social out-group is engaged in perverse, ritualistic behaviors that target innocents—and that the out-group and all its enablers must be crushed…

Apparently, New Republic editors are so fixated on the “left-right” fantasy, and the belief that all social evils proceed from “The Right”, that they’re willing to characterize the Romans, the Christians, and the great majority of 1980s and 1990s Americans as “The Right” in order to cram an article into that paradigm.

Guinea Pigs (#955)

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

Palantir…promises t[o]…create clarity and order.  But to deliver, its software needs data — lots of it.  Now, two never-before-seen documents, “Intermediate Course” and “Advanced Course” training manuals, reveal how the Los Angeles Police Department has taught its [thugs] to use Palantir Gotham…At great taxpayer expense, and without public oversight or regulation, Palantir helped the LAPD construct a vast database that indiscriminately lists the names, addresses, phone numbers, license plates, friendships, romances, jobs of Angelenos — the guilty, innocent, and those in between.  LAPD’s Palantir database includes information from the DMV…[and] 1 billion pictures taken of license plates from traffic lights and toll booths in Los Angeles and neighboring areas.  If you’ve driven through Los Angeles since 2015, the police can see where your car was photographed, when it was photographed, and then click on your name to learn all about you…

Thou Shalt Not (#971)

Pregnant women are easy targets for crypto-moralists:

Women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should completely avoid caffeine, according to a study published in The British Medical Journal.  Its findings, though, were quickly picked apart by skeptics who are sick of women being warned that almost everything they do…is a risk to their kids.  “I don’t think we need to worry about coffee,” says Clare Murphy…[of] the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. “I think we need to worry about this relentless pursuit of pregnant women and regulating of pregnant women’s choices”…the paper…is…a meta-analysis of several earlier studies…conducted by James E. Jack, a professor of psychology at Reykjavik University whose life’s work seems to be excoriating caffeine…in a culture enamored of shame and blame, especially when it comes to moms, it is this kind of research that gets funding and attention…Murphy says that her country’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently published guidelines “whereby they want a woman’s entire alcohol history through the entire pregnancy—from a glass of beer they had before they knew they were pregnant—to be all documented and transferred onto a child’s health record.”  The clear implication is that anything a mom does can and will be held against her if a child exhibits problems…

The Implosion Begins

Cops will embrace any belief, no matter how bizarre, which gives them more power:

…what if the cop patrolling your neighborhood held bizarre and unsubstantiated views?  What if…he…was watching videos…[claim]ing that a satanic cabal of high-profile…pedophiles is running the world’s most insidious sex ring?  Or was swiping through memes popularizing …[fantasies] about kidnapped children kept in underground tunnels so their blood can be harvested to help keep wealthy people alive?  And what if they sincerely believed it all?  In a small but growing number of places across the country…[cops] have endorsed QAnon, [just as they endosed “sex trafficking” hysteria from which it sprang]…

Working From Home (#1070)

We’re way past the watershed when a prominent sex worker activist gets a network news byline:

Sex workers are the majority of creators on [OnlyFans], and here was a celebrity coming in and making more in a day than they could in a year.  Many sex workers rely on [the site] as their sole source of income during the pandemic, as in-person encounters became unsafe.  But what especially angered workers was how [former Disney star Bella] Thorne caused a wave of chargebacks that “broke OnlyFans”…[by] promising a $200 pay-per-message nude photo that she then shied away from sending…Shortly thereafter, OnlyFans…limit[ed] max subscription and tip payments and extend[ed] payout time by 23 days in 14 countries where fraud risk is deemed highest…To rub salt in the wound, Thorne’s sister Kaili responded to the controversy by seeming to dismiss and shame sex worker concerns…while the scandal has mostly died down, the problems it revealed remain worthy of our attention, especially as we head into fall and winter without a clear end to the…pandemic in sight…

Tissue of Lies

As I predicted almost 9 years ago, these debunkings are becoming common:

…The myths spread about human trafficking are endless.  Every year viral headlines claim the Super Bowl (and other major sporting events) are hotbeds for human trafficking.  This has been debunked for years.  The vast majority of sex workers get into the industry through friends or social activities, not through coercion of pimps.  There are ads to fight human trafficking in airports all over the country, despite there never being a confirmed case in one (but many cases of interracial families are reported)…These myths will continue feeding conspiracy theories like Pizzagate and QAnon until there’s a cultural effort to share the truth.  Human trafficking has been marketed as a national problem for decades and has generated hundreds of millions of dollars both publicly and privately, yet still has no credible studies showing the numbers of victims, no proof there’s a nation-wide crisis, and scarce evidence that current solutions help the underlying problems at all…

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Police killing is not the work of vigilant warriors defending society…and sometimes going too far: it is the…petty tyranny of a taxpayer-funded bureaucratic lobby group.  –  Lyman Stone

The Proper Study (#652)

Another study proves what sex workers have been saying all along:

In a new study just published in The Journal of Sex Research…men…said paid sex offered them a space where they could overcome their insecurities and low self-esteem and sidestep their awkwardness in approaching women…paid sex allowed for a shared understanding of what was (and was not) going to follow sex.  Both the man paying for sex and the sex worker understood the nature of the transaction…with a sex worker, men said they did not worry about being sexually inexperienced…Some men indicated that through paid sex they actually could learn new sexual skills that they might use with other women in other circumstances…Paid sex was also described as giving some men a non-threatening context where they felt safe to engage in sex despite their sexual concerns, including the fear of being unable to have an erection…The findings further expand [academic] ideas of what it is that men are really buying when they pay for sex and suggests [amateurs]…underestimate the amount of emotional labor that goes into sex work…

I Spy (#958)

A politician claims that spying isn’t actually spying:

A secretive unit of the Maine State Police…gather[s] information about groups and organizations even when they are not suspected of crimes, including people who are participating in protests…Michael Sauschuck, the [chief pig] commissioner of…Maine…testified at a…legislative hearing about…a federal whistleblower lawsuit filed by a state trooper…[who] was retaliated against after reporting that the intelligence unit illegally used surveillance tools to monitor innocent citizens…Sauschuck refused to directly respond to the allegations in the lawsuit…but…acknowledged under questioning that the center does [spy] on citizens, including groups that organize public protests…[yet still claimed]  “We’re not spying on people”…the Maine State Police might be using powerful new technologies to scan your face and intercept your cellphone signals, and don’t have to tell the public because of an unusual provision in state law…the center…also…participated in the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, which involves [ratting out people they spy on]…to federal agencies [based on flimsy suspicions and]…racial profiling…

The Missing Word (#981)

If only there were a concise word for smuggling humans to sell them:

…Paul Petersen plead guilty to the offense of Conspiracy to Smuggle Illegal Aliens for Commercial Advantage and Private Financial Gain…Petersen…orchestrated the travel of several pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the Western District of Arkansas…to arrange adoption of their children by families living in the United States…[even though that’s illegal under a] 1983 [compact between] the United States…and…the…RMI…

The Monsters Are Due (#1040)

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

After a chaotic saga unfolded…centering around two missing teenage girls and a [Milwaukee house fantasized to be] a sex trafficking hub…police said…there is no indication the girls were ever there — or that the house was used for such activity.  The girls, ages 13 and 15, were found by one of their mothers more than three miles away…[but before that] three people [were] shot — including two 14-year-olds — plus…a house [was] set on fire twice and an unknown number of [people were] hurt by the tear gas and rubber bullets police fired into a scattered crowd…

Whimsical Notions (#1051)

Since the “trafficked slaves” myth isn’t getting results any more, the government is now claiming sex workers are actually spies:

Trafficked women in Bahrain, some working as prostitutes, are seeking to collect sensitive intelligence from U.S. sailors that they can later sell, according to [NCIS spook]…Joe Minucci…in [an indoctrination video]…“they sell that information, and that’s how they make more money in order to get themselves out of the [lucrative job] they’re in,” he said…

Bread and Circuses (#1051)

FOSTA just keeps splashing egg all over the feds’ stupid, violent faces:

For years leading up to the passage of FOSTA, we were told that Congress had to pass the law…because so many women were “at risk” due to trafficking….[on] Backpage…of course, the actual stats that were provided turned out to be fake and Backpage was seized before the law was even passed.  The charges against the founders did not include sex trafficking charges…with all of the moral panic around the need to pass FOSTA,…the DOJ had not used the law a single time to go after any “sex trafficking” site.  Instead, as we predicted, the law was being used in nuisance lawsuits…Finally…the DOJ made use of FOSTA in shutting down a website and arresting its operator…the DOJ conveniently mashes together sex work and sex trafficking, because that’s the kind of thing law enforcement likes to do…[so] plenty of…sex workers, who previously had relied on Backpage to remain safe and now relied on Martono’s sites, are again put in danger.  The Hacking/Hustling collective…put out a press release calling out what a stupid, counterproductive move this is…

The Cop Myth (#1052)

Even political conservatives are beginning to recognize the danger of police violence:

[Cops murder] about 1,700 Americans every year.  In other words, police killings have made up about one out of every twelve violent deaths of Americans between 2010 and 2018…including American military deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere during that window.  Indeed, more Americans died at the hands of [cops] during that period (about 14,400) than died while on active military duty (about 9,400).  Police violence in America is…disproportionate to the actual threats facing [cops]…historically, police unionization has led directly to increases in police killings, but no change in crime…When incompetent DMV workers are not fired, when abusive teachers are reshuffled around schools, when bureaucrats use administrative gimmicks to thwart the electorate’s desire to rein in excessive spending, we conservatives are quick to (correctly!) identify the pernicious work of public-sector unions.  Whereas all workers should have some say in their employment conditions, such as via unionization, public-sector workers already get a say in their employment conditions without a union: they get to vote on who their boss is!  Public sector unions give the bureaucrats double the “votes” of the rest of us…The difference is that, unlike other public sector unions, police unions have military-grade equipment they can use to violently crush protests against their abuses, and they are legally immune from most consequences.  They’re teachers’ unions, but with tanks and endless get-out-of-jail-free cards…

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I can’t breathe.  –  George Floyd

Last week Jesse Walker tweeted this video and…see for yourself.  The links above it were provided by Mama Tush, Popehat, Zuri Davis, Mike Siegel, Jesse again, and Stephen Lemons, in that order.

From the Archives

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If you keep moving, I’m going to blow your fucking head off.
–  an unnamed “peace officer”

Longtime readers probably remember that Blondie was one of my favorite bands, and this is in my top ten favorite songs by them; it suddenly popped into my head last week in response to something a gentleman said, so naturally I had to share.  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis, Popehat (x2), Tim Cushing, Jesse Walker, Violet Blue, and Kevin Wilson, in that order.

From the Archives

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I didn’t feel like she was really there to help me.  –  sex worker A.G, of a court-ordered “counselor”

King of the Hill

After a long slump, “King of the Hill” claims are again increasing:

…Portland…is a hub for sex trafficking….[with] the notorious ranking of coming second for the greatest number of children…in forced prostitution of all U.S. cities…One of the reasons it is a hot spot is…[that] strip clubs, live sex acts and swingers’ clubs are legal in Portland.  These businesses are often also places where traffickers lure workers into forced prostitution…Portland’s location at the intersection of major interstate freeways I-5 and I-84 puts it at the center of trafficking routes between Seattle, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Moreover, the city’s proximity to shipping waterways and the Canadian border provides access to domestic and international traffickers.  The demand from buyers is unfathomably high…around 300 advertisements are posted online every day for prostitution-related acts…total[ing] $60 million a year…

Most of this is just the usual snake oil intended to shame businesses into paying to subject their employees to bogus “sex trafficking” indoctrination from profiteers like BEST, but I find the “We’re the second worst!” pissing contest (with its attendant “causes” and pompous phraseology like “prostitution-related acts”) to be much more amusing.

Property of the State 

The writer of this article appears to understand very little about politics, or else she’d recognize trolling when she sees it:

…South Carolina [politician]…Mia McLeod pre-filed…a…bill…demand[ing] that anti-choice [politicians]…compensate [women] for acting as…gestational surrogate[s] for the state…which…cannot itself physically conceive or carry a child…The compensation…includes reasonable living, legal, medical, psychological, and psychiatric expenses…claim[ing] the fetus as a…tax…deduction…[guaranteed] public assistance…until the child is 18…all medical expenses associated with [any] disability…all costs associated with health, dental, and vision insurance until the child turns 18…and…a college savings plan…

Logically, McLeod is correct; if the state demands a woman produce subjects against her will, it should be responsible for the upkeep of that human property.  But politics is not logical, and politicians who want abortion banned (especially at the absurdly-early stages currently fashionable in these anti-abortion laws) are not acting in good faith.  These laws have nothing to do with “protecting children” and everything to do with controlling women, just like laws against sex work, toplessness, etc; therefore logical responses to them are pointless.  Furthermore, there’s nothing “groundbreaking” about this; similar trolling-bills regulating men’s ejaculation, etc have been introduced in other anti-choice states.  Nor will it “force a conversation” any more than those other bills, because no conversation is possible between those who believe human rights are inalienable and those who view them as an impediment to state ownership of people.  It’s a good troll, to be sure, but a troll is all it is, and all it can be until self-ownership is Constitutionally recognized as the foundation of all human rights.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#582)

Sex work under ‘legalisation’ is still…conceived of as a crime for which the law makes allowances“:

…charges were withdrawn against two women…facing conviction for “a tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel”…Laura Watson, English Collective of Prostitutes…commented…“Ms O and Ms R were working in a flat together for safety and supporting their families. Both women are migrant and we believe that racism was involved in why they were targeted”…Niki Adams from Legal Action for Women…commented…“We are also disgusted that the [prosecutors] tried to extort money from women offering them a caution on the condition that they “write over the money seized on their arrest.”  Taking money from sex workers under duress is tantamount to pimping”…

The Widening Gyre (#792) 

Though better-disguised than usual, this is just the “Facebook pimps” myth again:

…the Roma…are easy pickings for traffickers who post adverts on Facebook promising a bright future for those prepared to travel.  Many have succumbed to the temptation.  A lot of young people have gone to the UK to work for a better life…the line between economic migration and exploitation is ill-defined: some who travel are aware of the risks but prepared to take a chance, others think they are off to start a better life only to end up in modern slavery

In the minds of white saviors, all people from economically-distressed countries are childlike naifs incapable of making calculated risks or violating racist laws on their own, so anyone who helps them further their plans is an exploitative “trafficker” and any work they do to survive is “modern slavery”.  One might ask how the Roma, who have migrated to the British Isles for centuries, managed to do it before anybody ever heard of either Facebook or “human trafficking”.

Cooties (#816)

Two years ago, AirBnB said it would “invest in new technology” to discriminate against sex workers:

Airbnb now owns an AI technology that allows them to discriminate against people in certain categories, specifically including sex workers, based on unrelated social media posts and other online data…it stigmatizes sex work and “involvement in pornography” by grouping them with drug use, membership in hate groups…and “narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy”…the stigmatizing language…spelled out in the patent…seems to confirm sex workers’ reports that they have been discriminated against by the company not because of their behavior as guests, but merely because of their careers…

A Procrustean Bed (#834)

At last, a little skepticism from “journalists” about the prohibitionist shitshow that is New York’s “sex trafficking court”:

…as courts [which classify all sex workers as “victims” and sentence them to indoctrination disguised as “counseling”]…proliferate nationwide, New York’s…have [been repeatedly]…critici[zed for the past] six years [by actual experts on the subject]…a growing group of people engaged in prostitution…have complained that the counseling sessions amount to little more than unproductive conversations with [busybody] strangers…the idea…is [at last] facing skepticism…[from ignoramuses who refused to consult actual experts years ago]…

Prohibitionists are so dedicated to denying sex workers’ agency that they prefer ridiculous multi-word constructions like “people engaged in prostitution” to the simple and honest “sex worker”, and keep pretending that any non-prohibitionist ever thought arresting and attempting to brainwash adult women for the “crime” of consensual sex was a good idea in the first place.

Pyrrhic Victory (#841)

Why wasn’t it “a step too far” when they started doing it three years ago?

One of the most senior policing figures in Wales has [criticized] the use of facial recognition technology at the country’s biggest football derby [last] weekend…Arfon Jones…the North Wales police and crime commissioner…accused the South Wales force of being engaged in a “fishing expedition…When facial recognition…was first used in the Champions League final…there were…thousands…of false positives”…the Football Supporters’ Association Wales said…“Fans coming out for…football…will be treated like they’re in a police line-up”…Big Brother Watch has called for an immediate ban on facial recognition surveillance in the UK…

Checklist (#953)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system is adding intrusive surveillance measures:

There’s a growing push [to force] doctors, paramedics and other health-care professionals to [report sex workers to the cops]…In 2018, Congress passed legislation that created a federally sponsored [indoctrination]…program..[to] tr[ick them into defining sex workers as]…victims…and re[port them by way of new]…diagnostic codes

The Cop Myth (#996)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. Some don’t stop with mere beating:

A Newark [New Jersey cop who murdered]…his estranged wife…and [attempted to murder] her boyfriend…has [finally] been indicted on murder and attempted murder charges…John Formisano…was indicted…on Dec. 30…[for the murder of] Christie Solaro-Formisano…on July 11…Formisano…was [wearing his magical clown costume and] used his [department-issued] revolver to [murder] his [victim as]…she attempted to flee…The…two children were inside the home…but were uninjured…

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We simply can’t allow government officials to continue raping those in their custody.  –  Lavissa Stannow

Above the Law (#551)

Since the Miami Herald wants to play coy, click on the subtitle link for more on this predator’s behavior:

Hialeah [Florida cop] Jesús Menocal Jr. was arrested by FBI agents…in connection with…sexually assault[ing] and threaten[ing] four girls and women [in 2015]…Menocal…ha[s] been [on paid vacation since September in reward for a years-long “investigation” which naturally cleared him of] sexual battery and false imprisonment charges…federal [prosecutors]…will [probably] charge…[him] with violating the civil rights of [his victims]…

Real People (#665) 

Veteran activist Norma Jean Almodovar on leaving LAPD for sex work:

…Working in law enforcement, even as a traffic officer, exposed me to the worst elements in human beings…When I learned just how corrupt and evil…all too many police officers, judges, district attorneys and politicians were, I really got depressed…(While off work recovering from a car accident) I decided I could no longer tolerate the corruption within the LAPD and the moral hypocrisy…Whenever I was interviewed for a talk show or spoke at colleges/ universities, I was always asked how I liked doing sex work compared to working for the LAPD.  I always say that it was the best job I ever had, and it truly was…[later] I ended up charged with one count of pandering…[because] I tried to help a former friend of mine from the LAPD fulfill her fantasy…in…a conversation in which money and sex were mentioned….the…woman…admitted she set me up because she wanted to stop me from writing an expose on Los Angeles Police…the judge gave me three years probation…[but] I…didn’t shut up…So after a year…the DA’s office decided to appeal my sentence on the grounds that my “crime” was worse than rape or robbery because I was commercially exploiting my law enforcement past…I served 18 months in prison and another 18 months on parole…[during which] I was sexually molested by one of the [screws]…

To Molest and Rape (#670) 

The mother allowed this disgusting pig to be alone with her daughter “to prove that policemen are good”:

A [typical and representative] Lowell [North Carolina cop named]…James Blair is serving 12 years behind bars for statutory rape [of a 14-year-old, but] Blair’s sister has [contacted] her repeatedly on her brother’s behalf and even arranged conference calls.  [Both the rapist and his sister, Kathy Baxter, denied this even though]…there are recordings of some of the calls…Baxter [claimed]…“The minor has called me”…[and] Blair’s attorney claims he plans to [lurk around the result of his rape] when he gets out of prison in 10 years…”I’m not going to allow him to have anything to do with that baby,” the victim’s mother said.  The family now wants a no contact order against Blair’s sister….[and] if the court determines Blair violated his no contact order…he will face a new misdemeanor charge that may add significant time to his sentence…the [victim] is suing the [rapist], the police chief and the town…

I hope she wins and Blair gets at least 6 more years added to his sentence so the child will be an adult when he gets out, and therefore safe from attempts to force him to see the monster who sired him.

Pimps Ahoy

Some rescue industry charlatans pretend to have been pimps, but this guy really was one:

William Foster…[ran] a 15-year enterprise that targeted teenage girls in foster care and vulnerable young women…[though] a nonprofit called Foster’s Care, Inc., that promised “a comprehensive restoration program for victims of Human Sex Trafficking,” and “protection in partnership with police and FBI”…Foster, who faces sex trafficking charges, offered women flashy sports cars and luxury designer clothes while withholding the cash they made performing sex work while under his control…he…used “deceit, manipulation and fear of physical harm to cajole women and minor females to engage in commercial sex”…[he] forced women to go on a “lemon juice diet” to lose weight, and required his “girls” to get breast and buttocks implants and undergo nose jobs, liposuction and even rib removals to shrink their already-tiny waists…he [was undone when a] newly recruited victim phoned the National Human Trafficking Hotline…

All “rescue” profiteers are exploitative, but this is ridiculous.

Torture Chamber (#824)

The PREA is just feel-good nonsense as long as screws have absolute power over their victims:

…15 years after the…Prison Rape Elimination Act….prisons and jails in the United States continue to be sites of widespread sexual…violence….much of it…perpetrated by government employees…Prison rape is a longstanding [abomination] affecting [human beings locked in cages like animals]… incarcerated women are 30 times more likely to be raped than women who are not incarcerated…[and] Bureau of Justice Statistics…put the number of people sexually assaulted in U.S. jails and prisons at over 200,000 [per year]…more than 58 percent [of formal allegations are the result of rapes or assaults by]…prison staff…Seven Days, a Vermont newspaper, published a report on…rape by [screws] at the state’s only women’s prison…some[times]…continu[ing]…long after the…[victims] were released…[embarrassed politicians and bureaucrats have made] several responses…[most of them cosmetic but a few real, such as] a request for a federal investigation…one [single]…prosecutor, Sarah George, [declared] that she would be reviewing the sentences of all 20 people…who were [caged] by her office to determine whether they can be released [without political repercussions to her]…

Laws supposedly intended to control government actors virtually never carry criminal penalties; it’s long past time for that to change.  There need to be criminal penalties for the criminal cops, screws, etc, and their victim needs to go free so the state itself has some punishment for allowing their behavior.

Torture Chamber (#950)

Feds arrest doctors for wanting to help prisoners instead of just yelling “stop faking!” at them:

A group of doctors seeking to provide [caged] migrants with free flu vaccinations…were arrested by federal [pigs]…[after] protesting outside the Border Patrol’s San Diego headquarters…Doctors for Camp Closure…said…”We are licensed medical doctors…with decades of experience…immigration officials…are ignoring us and children’s lives are at risk as a result”…In the last fiscal year, at least three [minors], ages 2, 6 and 16, died of influenza while in federal c[ages]…CBP [defends letting people die in cages of easily-preventable diseases by pretending]…migrants are only meant to be [caged] for a maximum of up to 72 hours [even though in reality they are often held for weeks or months]…the[y also called]…the…doctors…”a random group of radical political activists”…and [vaccines]…”drugs”…

I Saw My Brain (#960)

Operations that purport to target human trafficking but yield mass arrests for prostitution-related offenses are commonplace in [the domain of the psychopathic Grady Judd]“:

[Pigs caged] more than 100 people in a…[swinish scheme] targeting [men seeking consensual sex.  Polk County fuhrer Grady Judd moronically]…dubbed [the scheme] “Operation Santa’s Naughty List” [and cl]aimed [it was intended] to identify and help victims of human trafficking…“I in my heart believe that every one of these prostitutes at some point in…their life were a victim of human trafficking, if in fact they’re not currently a victim of human trafficking,” [oinked] Judd [while furiously masturbating right in front of reporters]…A total of 124 people were arrested, five of wh[om Judd lied] had the intent to sexually harm a child [even though the victims, some of them autistic or learning-disabled, actually had no such intent and were simply tricked by lying cops]…

Judd especially loves conducting his entrapment schemes near holidays, giving them moronic and childish titles that reference said holiday.  This will continue until the majority of those arrested fight back with lawsuits, or the voters of Polk County get tired of paying the many lawsuits that are already filed against this lunatic every year.

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#972)

Next they’ll tell us about fermenting grapes “contaminated” with ethanol and cane “contaminated” with sugar:

…the[se] poppy seeds are different and dangerous.  The labels use code words like unwashed and raw.  They are poppy seeds contaminated by opium that scientists say can have the same dangerous effects as heroin or morphine…the DEA website says that “unwashed poppy seeds are a danger to the user” and are “in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.”  The seeds are now clearly categorized as schedule II controlled substances just like morphine and fentanyl.  “If you sell these products and don’t take steps to make sure they are not contaminated, you can be prosecuted for drug related offenses,” said Sarah Sorcher, from the Center for Science in the Public Interest…

They aren’t “contaminated”; they are the natural source of opium and they aren’t cheap.  Anyone who buys these things knows exactly what he’s buying, or else he’s unbelievably stupid with money; of course this issue wouldn’t exist if it were legal to sell drugs as what they are instead of having to hide it from violent busybodies.  Oh, and CSPI has nothing to do with science; it’s an authoritarian organization dedicated to promoting the latest nutritional pseudoscience, as you may be able to tell from its criticism-free embrace of prohibitionist laws.

Dutch Threat (#981)

No licensing scheme has ever exceeded a 10% compliance rate for reasons obvious to everyone but politicians:

Five major Dutch cities are concerned that a proposed law to regulate sex work nationally could have negative consequences…The mayors of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, The Hague and Groningen have submitted an official reaction to the new law’s online consultation raising their worries.  Although they welcome [more laws because they are politicians], they fear that a national registration scheme for all prostitutes and businesses involved in sex work [will fail miserably as such schemes always do]…the new…law…would criminalise unlicensed sex workers, the customers of unlicensed sex workers as well as their employers…”It could even be counterproductive, making this group further hidden from view, unreachable for care and in an even more vulnerable position”…

Micromanagement (#988)

When you give your sensitive information to strangers, what’s to stop them from selling it to fascists?

…GEDmatch was…an obscure genealogy website…[until] police…used [it] to identify a suspect in the 40-year-old Golden State Killer case…[turning] the site [into] a [surveillance] tool…[without the consent of] users…[rooting by pigs quickly and predictably grew] increasingly invasive; the site’s owners tried to react with changes to its terms of service that ended up backfiring; and [on December 9th]…GEDmatch announced it was being taken over by…the [fascist] genomics firm Verogen…[which offers] DNA testing services…to [cops]…GEDmatch…users…[are] locked out until [they] accept…the new terms…[or] permanently delet[e their right to access their own] data [on] the GEDmatch servers…GEDmatch…users [recently] discovered their privacy settings [don’t mean shit]…when…a Florida [pig] obtained a warrant to search the site’s full database, including individuals who had opted out of [letting pigs root through their underwear]…

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn (#991)

District attorneys running on platforms of refusing to prosecute consensual “crimes” are like jury nullification on a massive scale:

Audia Jones, a…prosecutor…campaigning to be the next district attorney in Houston, said…she would not prosecute…drug possession and offenses that target poverty.  She later clarified that would include sex work.  “Why are we criminalizing people for making choices with their own bodies?” she said…”I don’t think it’s something for the government to interfere [in]”…Harris County—the nation’s third largest county—is one of the worst when it comes to [persecuting sex workers, but the incumbent, Jones’s former boss Kim]…Ogg…[responded by vomiting out “King of the Hill” propaganda, calling] Houston “ground zero for human trafficking” [and adding violent nonsense about “going after the pimps“]…

Panopticon (#993)

The best news we’ve had yet about Amazon’s Ring:

The NulledCast is a podcast livestreamed to Discord…in which hackers take over people’s Ring and Nest s[urveillance] cameras and use their speakers to…harass their unsuspecting owners…hack[ing]…software churns through previously compromised email addresses and passwords to break into Ring cameras…le[ading] to a recent spate of hacks that…have been covered by local media outlets.  In [Georgia] a hacker shouted at a sleeping woman through her hacked Ring camera to wake-up.  In Texas, a hacker demanded a couple pay a bitcoin ransom.  Hackers targeted a family in DeSoto County, Mississippi, and spoke through the device to one of the young children…

The cops already have at-will access to Ring camera video and can do whatever they like with it, including keep it, masturbate to it and distribute it to their buddies.  This is no different except that the hackers aren’t likely to try to frame the camera’s owners for crimes, and the more often this kind of thing happens, the less eager the hoi-polloi will be to install surveillance equipment controlled from outside their homes.

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Being freaked out by a van is like being freaked out by a pigeon.
–  Lenore Skenazy

Torture Chamber 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

More than two dozen Maryland [screws]…are being indicted for [beating the hell out of prisoners]…All 25 of the [perpetrators] are part of a special…[gang of screws] which is brought in to [beat the hell out of prisoners.  Other]…charges include…participation in a criminal gang [other than the official one organized by the state]…All 25…have been…suspended without pay…

Maryland apparently doesn’t like it when a gang of thugs specifically organized to beat up prisoners organize themselves in a different way to…beat prisoners up in a different way?

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#626)

The rescue industry loves its sexual fantasies about Cambodian brothels; the truth is more mundane:

Ahya…left Prey Veng for Phnom Penh five years ago to work in a garment factory after divorcing her “lazy and drunkard” husband, leaving her two children and one orphaned niece under the care of her mother.  However, she could not support her family on her salary as a factory worker.  Then, some friends introduced her to her current job in a…massage parlour…providing “what men want”…“People can criticise us, calling what we are doing a deviation in society…But, those people do not feed me and my family”…

To Molest and Rape

Even being dead can’t protect you from sexually-aggressive cops:

An LAPD [cop] has been [rewarded with a paid vacation] after footage captured by a body-worn camera [clear]ly showed him [grop]ing a deceased woman’s breasts…About a month ago…[unelected] union [gangsters who are allowed to control public policy reluctantly agreed to] a protocol in which the LAPD could randomly check video footage from body-worn cameras…[after] a body was found inside of a residence…[two pigs were sent to root around.  While] one…left to retrieve paperwork from [their pigmobile] the other…turned off his bodycam and then [felt up the cadaver.  But even though]…the [creepy cop] deactivated his camera, a two-minute buffer on the device captured [his disgusting behavior and] the…camera…was [later reviewed]…at random…

Interesting that they’re more willing to act when a cop molests a corpse than when he does the same to a living woman.  I’m sure he’ll claim at the hearing that she came onto him.

Property of the State (#756) 

Evelyn Hernández’ nightmare still isn’t over:

…El Salvador…criminalizes women living in poverty when they have pregnancy- or birth-related complications…Since 2000, at least 129 women have been imprisoned…abortion is totally banned, even when the woman’s life is at risk.  Some of these women have been charged with aggravated homicide and sentenced to as many as 40 years…Many of those women languished in prison…until 2014, when activists requested a presidential pardon for 17 of them and launched a global campaign to demand their release.  But…[in response] the Salvadoran state has…escalated…its criminalization of these women…For Hernández, the nightmare began in 2016, when she delivered a [stillborn] baby…she didn’t [even] know she was expecting…she hemorrhaged severely…and…was hospitalized for six days.  She was accused of aggravated homicide and…in July 2017…was sentenced to 30 years in prison…In December 2018…her [lawyers got her] sentence…annulled, and the judge called for a retrial…she returned to court [last] August for the retrial, [in] which…[she] was [found] innocent…But 18 days later, the attorney general’s office…[announced] it would appeal the judge’s decision, opening the possibility of a third trial…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#855) 

Will “PTSD” replace the thoroughly-debunked “sex addiction” as an excuse for bad behavior?

A Perth [cop] who [claims he] was suffering from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of his job has been jailed for almost two years for possessing images and videos of “explicit and depraved” sexual abuse of [toddlers]…David Mark Dodson…was working as a detective…when Canadian authorities discovered he had used social media to send an image…of a girl, aged between two and four, being raped.  Australian [cops] then raided his home and found almost 350 images and videos of…girls as young as two being abused by adults…Dodson…[claims becoming a sexual predator] was “a direct result of his occupation”…

Well, I can’t deny that being a cop increases sexual predation, even if it doesn’t actually cause it.

Part of the Picture (#859)

It’s been awhile since we’ve seen the moronic claim that pictures magically “rewire” the brain:

Rachel Anne Barr, a [prohibitionist, pretends]…studies show people who regularly watch adult entertainment often develop damage to the prefrontal cortex…Barr [claims] “adult entertainment may revert our brain wiring to a more juvenile state…porn appears to be hijacking our neural wiring with dire consequences”…when a person uses cocaine, their brains give off a rush of dopamine, the “feel-good” hormone…

Yep, despite the sensational language this is just the debunked “dopamine theory”.  Again.  For those unfamiliar with the topic, saying “X produces a rush of dopamine” is the neuroscience equivalent of saying “X is pleasant”.  It means nothing more than that; it isn’t some scary weird thing.

The Widening Gyre (#961)

The more cops are forced to deny “sex trafficking” scary tales, the harder it will be for them to spread such tales themselves:

…[viral scarelore] claims that sex traffickers are putting zip ties on cars to make it easier to target victims.  But police say it just isn’t true.  [Scare stories] have popped up on TikTokFacebook and  Twitter over the last year, imploring women not to fiddle with zip ties they’ve found on their cars…Officials in Michigan…liken[ed] the claims to dangerous myth…[while simultaneously pretending that their own equally idiotic  claims about] sex traffickers [pulling screaming childen through the internet are true]…Celia Williamson, [a trafficking fetishist]…at the University of Toledo [added her own weird sexual fantasies about “pimps” and “grooming”]…In 2017, LaFourche Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana debunked a rumor that human traffickers were placing white stickers on windshields to mark future targets…but…reporte[rs still feel compelled to quote evidence-free claims about tens of thousands of]…victims trafficked in the United States every year…

What makes these especially funny is that there has never been a single case of a woman or child abducted by “sex traffickers” from any public place, much less a crowded shopping mall.  But THIS SEX TRAFFICKING IS OUT OF CONTROL!

Disaster (#975)

A timid but possibly important challenge to FOSTA from inside Congress:

[Politician] Ro Khanna…is drafting legislation that would…call on the National Institutes of Health to study the impact of [FOSTA, which]…enacts steep penalties on any digital actor that “facilitates”…prostitution…Khanna [is] one of just 25 House members and two senators who voted against the legislation.  Sex workers, civil liberties advocates, and many others warned in advance about the dangers posed by [this awful law]…but they were overshadowed by well-funded lobbyists, pandering politicians, and a media more interested in easy narratives…than listening to those most impacted by the legislation.  Ideally, FOSTA would be repealed entirely.  But getting enough votes for repeal right now would be unlikely, so Khanna’s approach might be the current only way forward for reform…

You Were Warned (#976)

These predatory lawsuits won’t stop until FOSTA is repealed:

A[n ambulance-chaser is claiming her client] was sex-trafficked as a result of a…[magical] email sent via Mailchimp, an email marketing platform, [and] is suing the company…in Georgia [in an attempt to destroy Section 230]…Annie McAdams…claim[s] Mailchimp…worked with [Backpage] copycat site YesBackpage.com [in some way that was somehow fundamentally different from other email services]…McAdams is taking aim at Mailchimp with the hope [of a big payout]…she [also vomited out disgusting filth about] “send[ing] a message”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

You know how wannabe “civil liberties advocates” keep bleating that the main problem with facial recognition systems are that they’re less acurate on dark-skinned people?  Yeah, about that:

…AnyVision, an Israeli facial recognition tech company funded by Microsoft, has been wielding its software to help enforce Israel’s military occupation, using the occupied West Bank to field-test technology it plans to export around the world…Microsoft[‘s]…funding…AnyVision…was a shockingly unethical decision by a company attempting to establish itself as a “moral leader” in the tech industry…[last year] Microsoft publicly committed to six principles to guide its facial recognition work.  One of these principles is a commitment to [making surveillance] lawful…for [fascist governments]…Following the [baclsh]…Microsoft announced it would end its relationship with AnyVision if an independent audit finds that AnyVision violates any of Microsoft’s [so-called] principles…[but] on November 15, Microsoft announced that [surveillance fan] Eric Holder will lead the independent audit

Held Together With Lies (#993)

While fascist organs like Time parrot racist government propaganda about how brown people making considered decisions in search of a better life are actually passive, childlike “slaves” in need of deportation “repatriation”, media actually owned and run by brown people are publishing articles like this:

Recent years have seen a huge increase in public, political and media attention…[to] “modern slavery“…understood as analogous to terms like “human trafficking”…the number of institutions involved in [profiting from]…this…has mushroomed, from a handful in the early 1990s to many hundreds todayMillions of dollars have been spent annually…while media outlets have provided…sensationalist…coverage…”Modern slavery”, as a concept, is a recent Euro-American invention.  It sprang up in the 1990s among [racist, prohibitionist] NGOs which found it to be an effective and attractive tool for spreading their [propaganda] and raising funds.  A key figure in this story is Kevin Bales, who established the widely critiqued Global Slavery Index…and…the [very] idea of modern slavery in the public consciousness…[this paradigm] constructs certain non-Western phenomena as problematic (such as the survival work done by poor children in much of the Global South) while excluding from concern Western phenomena (such as migrant detention centres) which are…even more troublesome…[most] poor workers labelled as modern slaves or victims of trafficking [and subjected to]…force[d “rescue”]…underst[an]d themselves as having consented to their work because doing so represented the best of their very limited options.  Rescue was therefore undesired and even abusive

The Monsters Are Due (#994) 

One can hardly blame the hoi-polloi for “sex trafficking” hysteria when “authorities” are vomiting up this kind of idiocy:

White van hysteria has hit a new high, with Baltimore Mayor Jack Young warning his citizens not to even park near a white van [because] people in…these vehicles are coming to enslave young women, force them into prostitution, murder them, and sell their body parts…When asked for the source of his information by the skeptical local reporter Vanessa Herring, he said: “It’s all over Facebook”…This incredibly thorough CNN report tracked down viral postings of the white van story and seems to have found the origin…a November 13 post by a Baltimore resident claimed she had seen two men in a white van outside a gas station who would not stop staring at her…the woman even wrote that she thought other people on social media were exaggerating when they posted about their terrifying white van encounters, but now that she had this terrifying (non) encounter of her own, she was a believer…stranger abductions are incredibly rare.  The number of minors (under age 18) kidnapped and killed by a stranger is about nine a year, in a country of about 65 million minors…David Finkelhor, head of the Crimes Against Children Resource Center…[has] heard of no cases of a child being snatched from a parent in a public place and sex-trafficked.  Not one…

The Cop Myth (#995)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. Some don’t stop with mere beating:

[Megan Montgomery was] found shot to death in…a…parking lot…[months after] obtain[ing] a restraining order against her [estranged] husband, a [typical and representative cop named] Jason Bragg McIntosh…[who] resigned from the Hoover [Alabama] Police Department…[after he shot her in the arm]…on Feb. 23…Montgomery filed for divorce in May…[after which] McIntosh was [arrested] again [for attacking her]

Since the story seems deliberately designed to be confusing, I’ll express it competently: McIntosh & Montgomery were married in February of ’18.  They fought often and separated after he shot her in the arm during an argument in February of this year.  She took out a restraining order in March, then in May she filed for divorce and he was arrested for beating her up.  Then he finally murdered her in a parking lot on December 1st.

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