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Posts Tagged ‘propaganda’

People should not be in jail for imaginary crimes.  –  Ryan Marino

Power Play (#701)

I guess 5 years is longer than most Americans’ attention spans:

the New York Daily News [has] published a glowing, error-filled preview of former California prosecutor and failed Sacramento County DA candidate Maggie Krell’s book Taking Down Backpage: Fighting the World’s Largest Sex Trafficker, which…depicts Krell as a crusading attorney for the California AG’s office who “defeated”…Backpage.com by bringing pimping charges in 2016 against its former owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin…But Krell’s charges…were thrown out of court, not once, but twice.  Nor did Backpage go out of business in 2016.  Rather, Backpage went out of business in 2018, when the federal government seized…the site…on multiple counts of conspiracy, money laundering and facilitating misdemeanor state prostitution offenses in violation of the U.S. Travel Act…none of the defendants are charged with…sex trafficking…nor could they be…

I Spy (#990)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

The EU’s police agency, Europol, will be forced to delete much of a vast store of personal data that it has…[illegally] amassed…the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) [has ordered the deletion of]…what privacy experts are calling a “big data ark” containing…data…drawn from crime reports, hacked from encrypted phone services and [stolen] from asylum seekers never involved in any crime…Europol’s cache contains at least 4 petabytes – equivalent to…a fifth of the entire contents of the US Library of Congress…the…mass surveillance…is a step…to becoming a European counterpart to the…NSA…The watchdog ordered Europol to erase data held for more than six months and gave it a year to sort out what could be lawfully kept…

Quiet Genocide (#1111)

A very brave woman working to expose a colossal abomination:

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1162)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

Every year, [cops] claim to have suffered near-fatal overdoses after accidentally touching fentanyl, a[nd reporters obediently parrot the hysterical fantasies]…But…It is…impossible to overdose simply by touching or getting too close to fentanyl. Doctors and toxicologists warn that the hype around this perceived threat is harming overdose victims…[and] taxpayers…Accidental overdose by skin exposure “is chemically and physically implausible,” said Dr. Ryan Marino, a medical toxicologist and addiction medicine specialist…at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Andrew Stolbach, an emergency physician and medical toxicologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, said, “It’s not possible to overdose on fentanyl by touching it. If it was absorbed well through the skin, people wouldn’t inject it and snort it in order to get high.” Despite this, people who use the drug are facing serious legal repercussions — such as charges of assault or endangerment of officers — for supposedly causing these impossible overdoses…

I Spy (#1188)

It’s best not to upset useful idiots at a time like this:

Signal [i]s considering adding cryptocurrency payments…start[ing] with MobileCoin…“a system [designed to] hide…everything from everyone”…There’s nothing sinister about putting payments into a messaging app, and Signal is not alone in adding crypto payments to messaging…What sets Signal’s effort apart is the combination of end-to-end encryption in messaging and a cryptocurrency with privacy features designed to make any transactions anonymous…Signal employees…[a]re worried…that…anonymous transactions would likely attract…regulatory scrutiny.  Given that end-to-end encryption already faces [political persecution] around the globe…Signal’s addition of anonymous payments…could give more ammunition to [politicians] who want to end encryption…

I’m not sure how trustworthy this writer is, given that he believes the government should be able to spy on anyone as long as some spook belches out the magic words “money laundering” first.

The Next Target (#1192)

It won’t be long now before this spreads out of the porn ecosystem and into the greater internet:

My webcam account was recently suspended for violating the code of conduct.  I was told I had engaged in a fetish category that is cause for immediate account closure…in the past, I cammed from an actual brick and mortar studio for a small website with just a few dozen models.  I had direct contact with management.  If there was a problem, Mastercard contacted the boss to explain the issue.  He would knock on my studio door, tell me what was up, and I could immediately comply…[now] I’m working for a giant site with thousands of performers.  I have no relationship with management.  Most of my emails go unanswered or receive generic responses.  When I was suspended, I got no explanation, no opportunity for correction, no word about what would happen to my outstanding pay…Platforms are moderating their workers with an increasingly heavy hand, so the scope of sexual topics we have to avoid is getting broader.  Platforms have also passed the task of moderation down to us, asking that we flag and report clients who request shows that might violate the rules, or risk being punished for complicity.  Not only does this mean I stand to make less money—I’m also being asked to police my clientele and their desires…

The Cop Myth (#1199)

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

A Huntsville [Alabama cop named]…David McCoy…murder[ed his]…girlfriend [by shooting her] in the head inside a parked vehicle, then called in the death claiming the woman shot herself.  The [motive appears to be that the] woman…recently informed McCoy she was pregnant…McCoy has [been rewarded for his violent behavior with a paid vacation]…per [cop shop] policy…

Note that the exonerative-mood headline makes it sound like the victim committed the murder.

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A few months ago I shared this story about a federal lawsuit involving cops protecting what appears to be an exploitative escort service in Virginia in exchange for services (for which the escorts appear to have not been compensated).  The original was drawn almost entirely from a government press release, so I did my best to “extract…what appears to be the important information from amongst the dysphemized descriptions, agency denial, and outright fantasies“.  Unfortunately, most sex workers and supporters of our rights who have linked the story made far less effort to separate fact from fantasy, preferring instead to simply parrot the government’s calling the operation a “trafficking ring”.  If you’ve done this yourself and have actual information on the supposed “ring” that does not come from government sources, please share; otherwise you’re just repeating a prohibitionist narrative.  If you don’t understand what I’m saying, remember that cops and prosecutors use the slur “sex trafficking ring” to mean anything from a broken-down pimp to an ordinary escort service to a sex worker ad site.  Until we know what this organization (if it even was an organization; cops and prosecutors often create imaginary “gangs” and “rings” from people who don’t even know each other) was about, it’s a bad idea to parrot government’s claims.  I understand you want to talk about bad cops, but you don’t know these cops weren’t just accepting ordinary bribes from an ordinary escort service.  So please chill on the “sex trafficking ring” cant and stop denying the agency of women you don’t know just to “pwn the cops”.

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I have to stop cowering.  –  Jennifer Chen

Secret Squirrel (#895)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

…Intrusive surveillance has become a parental rite of passage in America.  But the parental panopticon is not a mark of maturity and responsibility but rather of paranoia, distrust, and devolvement.  From smartphones to schools to entertainment, parents can track the near totality of their children’s lives with ease…The simple, slick, and seductive interfaces are designed to make parents feel warm, fuzzy, and responsible…[but] constant vigilance, research suggests, does the opposite of increasing teen safety.  A University of Central Florida study of 200 teen/parent pairs found that parents who used monitoring apps were more likely to be authoritarian, and that teens who were monitored were…more likely to be exposed to unwanted explicit content and to bullying.  Another study, from the Netherlands, found that monitored teens were more secretive and less likely to ask for help.  It’s no surprise that most teens…feel that monitoring poisons a relationship.  And there are very real situations, especially for queer and trans teens, where their safety may depend on being able to explore without exposing all the details to their family

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1062)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

A self-[describ]ed porn addict and his mother wept with relief…after a[n Illinois] judge decided not to send [him] to prison for…child pornography…Joshua R. Skinner…was sentenced to 36 months probation…in…a…plea…deal…[which] also sentenced Skinner to 180 days [time served]…and [life on the “sex offender” registry].  Skinner [also blamed] his behavior…[on] heroin…alcohol…[and] cannabis…[and babbled about] God…

It’s at least a slight improvement to see the headline writer put “addict” in scare quotes.

To Molest and Rape (#1148) 

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

A [female] New York City [cop has reveal]ed [that] her former commanding officer…serially rap[ed] her for more than a year while they worked together…In [her] lawsuit…Gillian Roberts…said she hoped to stay on the Yankee Stadium detail until her retirement, but decided to leave the department early last month when she could no longer handle the stress of becoming an “unwilling sex slave” to her “perverted” captain, Jeffrey Brienza…an NYPD spokesman said the “incident is under internal review”…

“Under internal review” in this case means “deciding whether to pay her off, claim she’s crazy and/or wanted it, or cut Brienza loose.”

To Molest and Rape (#1160)

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

A [typical and representative] Fairfax County [Virginia cop] has been convicted of [molesting] a 16-year-old [girl who parents foolishly allowed her to join a “police explorer” program].  John Grimes…[started grooming] the teen [by taking her] on ride-alongs.  The FBI tipped off Fairfax County police after Grimes applied to become a special agent and underwent background checks…

Virtual Imperialism (#1175)

Worst of all, Western governments are looking at this as a model:

The Chinese government, which has built an extensive digital infrastructure and security apparatus to [suppress] dissent on its own platforms, is going to even greater lengths to extend its internet dragnet to unmask and silence those who [tell the truth about] the country on Twitter, Facebook and other international social media.  These new investigations…use advanced…s[pyware to root through] public records and databases to find all the…personal information and international social media presence of people who critize Chinese tyranny, including]…those living beyond China’s borders…The digital [crusade] represents the [logical development] of the government’s vast campaign to counter [inconvenient facts about] China.  In recent years, the Communist Party has raised bot armiesdeployed [useful idiots] and marshaled [shills] to push its [propaganda] and drown out [facts].  The police have taken it a step further, hounding and silencing those who dare to talk back…and…threatening relatives [of those outside China], in an effort to get them to delete content deemed [embarassing to the rulers]…

Torture Chamber (#1181)

Funny how often people “die suddenly” while cops are brutalizing them:

The [murder] of a Black Kansas teenager [by] multiple [screws who sat on him] at a juvenile jail…was [actually] ruled a homicide…Cedric Lofton, 17…[died by asphyxiation on]…Sept. 26, two days after he was [abducted by cops who claimed he touched them]…in Wichita…five [grown screws sat on]…the unarmed, 135-pound…[boy until he died]…Sedgwick County [“authorities” are hiding the identities of the murderers and have rewarded them with]…paid [vacations]…

Rotting Fruit (#1192)

Does anyone really believe this wasn’t a foregone conclusion?

More than two years after Jeffrey Epstein’s su[spicious death] behind bars, and following a [predictably-quick] trial, his longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of multiple sex trafficking charges.  A New York City jury [decided] Maxwell was Epstein’s chief enabler, recruiting and grooming young girls for him to abuse…

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[Morality in Media’s] entire existence doesn’t make much sense if they can’t convince more prudes that nekkid people are destroying society.  –  Mike Masnick

My Body, My Choice

An argument I’ve often made myself:

…feminists should embrace a definition of sexual freedom that goes beyond the right to prevent reproduction and which focuses on women’s sexual autonomy…Anti-abortion advocates have embraced paternalistic arguments that assert they know better than women about their best interests and the harms of abortion…in much the same way mainstream feminists have claimed to know better than sex workers about how they should use their bodies. However, decriminalized sex work and access to abortion allow women in economic precarity escape destitution…the decriminalization of sex work has been treated as niche or counterproductive to the goal of sexual freedom…this…has contributed to the political embrace of access to abortion as the priority issue for feminist organizing, while women’s groups have openly contested women’s right to be free from criminalization while engaging in commercialized sex…

Pretext

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

Tulsa [cops] were out [stalking people as usual], but instead of giving out tickets, the [cops used them without their consent in a PR stunt funded by]…an anonymous donor [who] gave them nine, $100 gift cards to give out to people.  [Cops said]…the [terrified or disgusted] look on their [victims’] faces made it [fun for them]…

See No Evil (#937)

Are the Japanese the only people left on Earth who can tell fantasy from reality?

…it isn’t just [actual child porn] that Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are trying to find and erase from their servers.  They’re also looking for cartoons depicting graphic acts involving [drawings of fictional characters that resemble] children, as revealed by a recent search warrant [demand]ing Google…provide information on a[n artist] who[m the Thought Police decided to accuse of] own[ing] such animations.  That kind of content is p[rosecutable]… under U.S. law and can be detected by Google’s anti-child…systems, a fact not…discussed [with Google’s customers]…in late 2020 in Kansas…Google detected “digital art or cartoons depicting [fictional characters which appeared to mindless algorithms to resemble] children engaged in sexually explicit conduct”…within a Drive account…Google [eagerly] handed information on what it found…to the [Feds]…This [should] concern…artists [and anyone else who understands the difference between fantasy and reality]…but [useful idiots in the media pretend] the [criteria]…prosecutor[s use when] trying to [destroy people’s lives for cartoons are not only objective, but judged by people with functional moral compasses]…

A Woman’s Point of View (#1003) 

Prohibitionists can always find bogus “studies” to support their fantasies:

Burlington [Vermont] city councilors…unanimous[ly] pass[ed]…a…measure [which] will…go before the voters…in March.  The measure would remove [anti-sex worker] language…from the city charter, e[stablishing de facto decriminalization] in the city…Councilor Perri Freeman…introduced the action…to [protect]…sex workers…Freeman…[correctly pointed out th]at [Morality in Media,] a [religious pro-censorship] group [which sent a number of shills]…to speak against [human rights, is led by]…Patrick Trueman…former director of…government affairs for the American Families Association…a Southern Poverty Law Center hate group”…

The Cop Myth (#1145)

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

A [typical and representative] Houston [cop named]…Ray Irvin…was arrested on Dec. 17 a[fter he]…broke into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment on Nov. 21[, then pistol-whipped] and beat [her because]…she had changed the locks because [she was afraid he’d do exactly what he did when] they broke up…

You Were Warned (#1175)

Are you beginning to see the whole picture now?

…the State Department released its United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking Annual Report 2021…Anti-human trafficking policy…seems to attract some very, very bizarre people…[which] perhaps…explains the report’s incredibly bizarre, incorrect, and just weird thoughts on the internet and Section 230…[one] section…looks like it was directly written by…Morality in Media…One of the group’s big lobbying campaigns is to convince states to pass laws declaring pornography to be a “public health issue“…The claim that porn is “the marketing department for sex trafficking”…seems wholly irresponsible to put it into a State Dept. document…the report…ignores all th[e evidence of what a disaster FOSTA was] and says we just need to take an even bigger sledge hammer to Section 230…why is the State Department allowing its name and credibility to be used to launder this nonsense as if it’s legit?

The Cop Myth (#1194)

Another example of why cops are not reformable:

…two sex workers in Washington, D.C…called 911 reporting that a [drunk and] belligerent [cop] had [tried to rape]…one of them…a[t] gun[point], and then accused them of stealing his phone…the…plates…[of the assailant’s car]…show[ed]…it belonged to Ronald Faunteroy…who…after a…two-hour interview [with internal affairs]…confess[ed]…Yet a powerful tribunal of three high-ranking [cops], known as the Adverse Action Panel, overruled the department’s decision to fire Faunteroy…MPD’s Disciplinary Review Division sought to terminate at least 24 [cops] currently on the force for criminal misconduct from 2009 to 2019.  In all but three of those cases…the Adverse Action Panel blocked the termination and instead issued much lighter punishment…These [cops had been caught committing] domestic violence, DUIs, indecent exposure, sexual solicitation, stalking, and more.  In several instances, they fled the scenes of their crimes…

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Tyrants never fight harder than when they know they’re losing, in order to destroy the lives of as many of their chosen victims as possible while they still can.  –  “NYE 2020

It has been ten years since I first predicted how “sex trafficking” mythology would implode…

…and though I was correct in general I underestimated how hard the government and fascist profiteers would work to extend it, resulting in my prediction being too optimistic by about three or four years.  Government funding for anti-sex hate groups is still flowing like a river of toxic vomit despite most people having found a new topic to panic about, but the “true believers” have expanded the core myth cycle to include even more bizarre elements (including techno-vampirism and colonies on Mars) that apparently are too much for the same outlets that breathlessly parroted wild sexual fantasies about millions of pubescent girls chained to radiators while being raped 100 times a day…

A few years ago, a few journalists whose critical faculties had not entirely atrophied due to disuse began to realize just how disgusting and morally-repellent the copaganda and torture porn they had served up to their readers actually was, and began casting about for some means of distancing themselves and their outlets from it; ironically, the solution was provided by their favorite target of scorn, Donald Trump, or rather his deranged worshipers.  Some outlets (including the paper that launched the panic in 2004), relied upon the American public’s infantile attention span to avoid backsplash, boldly debunking their own lies while pretending that the newest version of their favorite clickbait fantasy was something new and uniquely Trumpian. This recent and much-ballyhooed article from The Atlantic is a perfect example; it largely pretends that “sex trafficking” hysteria started in 2017 (safely within Trump’s term of office), even going so far as to state, “the last moral panic centered on widespread physical dangers to America’s children began in the early 1980s…“, as though there were a wide, clear gap between the Satanic Panic and “sex trafficking” hysteria (which there isn’t).  The only exception the author mentions is Operation Underground Railroad, whose formerly-sterling reputation with US media has been degenerating for years due to the bizarre antics of its founder, and which conveniently embraced QAnon two years ago.

And then there’s the Washington Post, which despite featuring this debunking by yours truly eight years ago (thanks to longtime foe of tyranny Radley Balko), has been happy to spread mathematically-illiterate fantasies with all the others; in this recent article, it represents the specific “Wayfair” craziness as an isolated urban legend tied only to OUR, “Pizzagate” and QAnon, when in actuality it’s no different from the other hysterical nonsense I’ve chronicled in “The Widening Gyre” for ten years.  And then there’s this George Will column, also in the Post, which condemns the depredations committed by police using one high-profile case of “a nonexistent Somali immigrant crime ring” while coyly avoiding mention of the fact that the imaginary “crime” was “sex trafficking”, a fantasy Will himself embraced.

Look, I’m happy to see this moral panic imploding, as I predicted it would a decade ago.  Government and corporate funding for anti-sex worker hate groups isn’t drying up yet, but funding from individuals has already decreased enough that they’ve switched tactics to focus much more on porn, and supporting decriminalization is no longer politically radioactive in the US, the country driving the hysteria.  But if you think I’m going to let the people who aided and abetted the most violent and widespread campaign of persecution against sex workers in American history get away with pretending they were on the side of truth all along, you must not have read very much of my work.

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Those in government office a[re] the proper subjects of scrutiny…not those who hold them to account.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Same As It Ever Was

All prohibitionism is the same:

The place of the humble egg in the street food culture of Gujarat…has become the latest flash point in the growing role of religion in everyday life…under [Hindu nationalist] Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who[se]…policies to reshape India…include tightening a ban on alcohol and adding protections against the slaughter of cattle…But even devout Hindus don’t always agree among themselves what practices the faithful should follow, a conflict that also raises issues of income and class.  Hence the bitter disagreement over eggs…[which some high-caste] Hindu…vegetarian[s]…consider…to be meat products.  Citing complaints from Hindus as well as [bogus] health concerns, local officials in Ahmedabad…and at least four other cities in mid-November banned the sale and display of meat, fish and eggs on the street…facing a lawsuit and protests, officials in Ahmedabad relented and allowed sales…to resume for now, though the dispute is being considered by the courts

Stalkers in Blue

Cops regularly demonstrate exactly what they are:

Two [cops, James Delinicolis and Angelo Dellosa,] who regularly [harassed] women while [wearing their magical clown costumes were allowed to skate despite] pleading guilty to misconduct in public office over sex with a 17-year-old schoolgirl…in March 2020.  The…other charges [they faced] were withdrawn, including attempted…sexual assault [at gunpoint] and multiple charges of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent…Judge Peter Berman…[let them off] with…community service…[because they testified they were scared of jail despite the fact that they apparently also] tried to rape a schoolgirl…The two [routinely tried to intimidate]…women [into submitting to]…sex…with the[m]…

I Spy (#990)

Remember this when some useful idiot claims you don’t need anonymity online:

…Customs and Border Protection…routinely use[s] the country’s most sensitive databases to obtain the travel records and financial and personal information of journalists, [bureaucrats, politician]s and their staff, NGO workers and others…includ…ing email addresses, phone numbers and photos from passport applications…Running background checks as a matter of course may be creepy, but it’s difficult to imagine it not becoming standard practice when that information is available at agents’ fingertips…because of the fetishization of national security…an[d]…also because it’s so easy to access information on almost everybody…The number of journalists jailed around the world set another record in 2021…[with] 56 journalists…arrested in the U.S. this year…as many as in 2017-2019 combined….journalism isn’t a status, but rather an activity in which anybody can engage…and…annoying powerful people has become an increasingly dangerous activity even where it was once safe…

Permanent Record (#1018)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

Magistrate Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai…in Gililland v. Southwestern Oregon Community College, et al. [ruled] that a nursing student who was discriminated against because she was a former adult film performer is sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX.  This ruling is a historic victory for sex worker rights and will likely be expanded upon in years to come…Gililland asserted the college’s behavior was “gender stereotyping” her…The college…contended that Gililland was not protected by Title IX because…“employment history is not a protected status”…Judge Kasubhai…rejected th[is as bullshit and]…determined the “heart of this analysis” is “the kind of woman…that [the college] perceived [Gililland] to be because of her employment history…an ‘unclassy’ woman unfit to be a nurse”…

Censor Chic (#1046)

I’m sure you’ll extend the same courtesy to authors who aren’t violent, genocidal  megalomaniacs, right Amazon?

Amazon quietly removed criticism of…Xi [Jinping’s propaganda screeds] by scrubbing bad reviews, ratings and comments from its Chinese site…agree[ing] to Beijing’s demand to have anything below a five-star review of…The Governance of China removed from Amazon.cn about two years ago…The move is the latest example of western tech companies willing to [kowtow to] Chinese censors for access to the country’s massive consumer market…

Droit du Seigneur (#1183)

It’s good to see this lurid narrative turned against cops for a change:

A Putnam County [New York cop named]…Wayne Peiffer [has been] charged with protecting [what prosecutors refer to as] a sex trafficking ring…in [exchange for sexual services.  The sex workers were arrested and prosecutors]…are [attempting to threaten them into cooperation by threatening them with deportation to Mexico]…One of the Queens-based s[ex workers escaped]…and is being labeled a fugitive…

As in the Virginia case, it’s tough to tease out reality from fantasy here, but I’ve done my best to extract what appear to be the facts from amongst the dysphemized descriptions, agency denial, and outright lies.

Thought Control (#1197)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

…Local public libraries in Texas…are fielding a flurry of book challenges from [censorious twatwaffles].  While book challenges are nothing new, there has been a growing number of complaints…in re[sponse to censorship demands from politicians.  In]…October…state Rep. Matt Krause [bloviated nonsense about “pornographic books” in school libraries, and was soon joined by violent prohibitionist]…Gov. Greg Abbott…In the weeks since, school districts across the state have [been forced to waste huge amounts of money and work-hours] review[ing] of their book collections, and state officials have [sp]un in[creasingly-stupid propaganda about]…inappropriate content…In Victoria…Dayna Williams-Capone says the number of [copycat] complaints about books is the most she’s seen in her nearly 13 years…about 40…books f[rom a short list]…that touch on topics of same-sex relationships, sexuality and race.  After Williams-Capone and her staff [turned down] the [censorship demands], the…[would-be censors tried to go over their heads]…to the library’s advisory board…[who] voted…to [trust their] librar[ians’ judgement rather than accede to the demands of prudish ignoramuses]…

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The amount of child porn [on US government computers] is just unbelievable.  –  Daniel Payne

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

The key to breaking these evil laws is recognizing that they are punishment, not mere “registration”:

A federal judge…had harsh words for Tennessee [bureaucrats and pigs] who continue to enforce retroactive punishments against [people illegally condemned to the “]sex offender[” registry]…some of whom [were] co[nvicted]…decades before the state’s sex offender law took effect…In April, a different federal judge, also in the Middle District of Tennessee, ordered two men be removed from the…registry, finding that it was unconstitutional to [retroactively] subject them to…laws that were written after they [were] co[nvicted.  Judge Aleta]…Trauger cited the April ruling and other similar recent rulings…[including a] 2016 rul[ing] against the retroactive enforcement of a Michigan sex offender law

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

Biden is trying to wrest control of the “sex trafficking” narrative back from the Trumpists:

The Biden administration…released an updated National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking…based on four pillars, prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships.  Prevention i[s actually a euphemism for “propaganda”], protection involves in[fantilizing sex workers] and [migrants], prosecution involves [more money to cops and other carceral mechanisms,] and partnerships involves strengthening [fascist collaborations with the rescue industry]…

Social Distancing (#1082)

Lockdowns just have one consequence…and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer“:

…with COVID-19 cases rising in Europe, several countries are implementing lockdowns all over again, often with clearly punitive motivations…Austria’s government announced that police would enforce a lockdown exclusively against unvaccinated citizens…in Germany…a new lockdown was announced…for unvaccinated people, barring them from almost all public places except for pharmacies and supermarkets…Though statewide lockdowns have eased in Australia, the country is constructing internment camps for those who test positive for Covid, along with their Covid-negative “close contacts”…Initially marketed to the public as a means to “flatten the curve” and “slow the spread,” lockdowns now represent one of the most draconian aspects of the perverse New Normal that has metastasized amid an atmosphere of seemingly endless emergency…an array of scientific studies and data demonstrat[e]…that they likely caused more deaths than they prevented.  The lethal impact of lockdowns was particularly pernicious in the Global South, where hundreds of millions of the world’s most vulnerable people were driven into a cascading humanitarian crisis. As the World Food Program warned in 2020, “135 million people on earth are marching towards the brink of starvation” as a result of their economies shutting down to supposedly inhibit the spread of COVID-19…

Above the Law (#1187) 

This subtitle is no exaggeration:

Over the past 14 years, the Central Intelligence Agency has secretly a[llowed]…at least 10 of its employees and contractors [to get away with] committ[ing] sexual crimes involving children…only one of the individuals was ever charged with a crime…few faced any consequences beyond the possible loss of their jobs and security clearances…CIA insiders say the agency resists prosecution of its staff for fear the cases will reveal state secrets…One [spook molested] a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old.  He was fired.  A second employee purchased [child porn]…he resigned.  A third employee…[habitually viewed] child…[porn] while on agency assignments…the CIA took [no action] against him.  A contractor who [interacted] with an…FBI agent [fantasy role-play]ing as a [teen] had his contract revoked.  [The] only one…[who] was charged with a crime…was also [already] under investigation for mishandling classified material…The CIA [refers to allowing spooks to get away with sex crimes as]… “tak[ing]…allegations of possible criminal misconduct…seriously”…

But hey, at least the CIA doesn’t run its own child porn sites as the FBI does.

I Spy (#1188)

Why end-to-end encryption is only the beginning of security:

It is common to hear marketing language about “end-to-end encryption” and “private messaging” for basically every communications app out there…[but] not every “encrypted messaging service” is made equally…your message app may leak metadata, contacts, and even message contents.  A recently uncovered FBI document obtained by a group called Property of the People…illustrates just how important your choice of private messenger can be…Nine popular messaging applications are included in the document: Apple’s iMessage; Line, a Japanese message app; Signal, an open source encrypted chat platform popularized by Edward Snowden; Telegram, which originated in Russia and is now based in Dubai; Threema, a paid encryption chat…with servers based in Switzerland; Viber, which was developed in Cyprus and then bought by the Japanese conglomerate Rakuten; the Chinese Swiss army knife app WeChat; Meta’s WhatsApp; and Wickr [Me], which is a chat service that Amazon Web Services apparently owns…of the[se]…iMessage and WhatsApp are particularly susceptible to FBI snooping. Telegram and Signal score far better…Line and Viber are also relatively bad picks…

The article goes into detail about what information specifically the feds can get from each app.

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars wasted to cater to a politician’s showboating:

A Texas school district pre-emptively pulled more than 400 books from its libraries for review following…[political grandstanding by censorious politician] Matt Krause…The school district said in a statement Tuesday that it was reviewing the books “out of an abundance of [fear]” to “ensure [none of our librarians can be prosecuted by violent lunatics with delusions of grandeur]…For us, this is not about politics or censorship, but rather about [protect]ing [our staff and covering our butts]”…

The Cop Myth (#1191)

Why are people shocked when men paid and encouraged to behave violently, behave violently?

A [cop] in Kenya [murder]ed his wife and five others in a rampage before taking his own life…Benson Imbasi…who was described as…”[typical and representative]”…first shot his wife in the neck with his AK-47 rifle before walking out of their home and “shooting at innocent members of the public”…Two other people who were wounded remain in critical condition…

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This is not a Uyghur tragedy. This is a human tragedy.  –  Gulchehra Hoja

Guinea Pigs (#970)

Is Facebook finally going to do something about the creation of predatory accounts by law enforcement?

Facebook is demanding that the Los Angeles police department cease all use of [fake] accounts on its platforms and stop collecting data on users for surveillance…after the Guardianrevealed the department [collaborat]ed in 2019 with Voyager Labs, a tech company that [spies on people]…by analyzing social media information such as a person’s friends, posts and usernames…in addition to enabling law enforcement clients to [steal] user data from companies like Facebook, Voyager software also enables…[the creation of] fake accounts to access otherwise inaccessible and private user information…both these uses are violations of [Facebook] policies…

Welcome to the Future (#997)

Another would-be magic lasso based in pseudoscience:

…EyeDetect is just the polygraph in more algorithmic clothing.  The machine is fundamentally unable to deliver on its claims…because human truth-telling is too subtle for any data set…Where the polygraph measures blood pressure, breathing and sweat to determine the flubbing, EyeDetect looks at factors like pupil dilation and the rapidity of eye movement…But experts say such logic may not have much basis in science…Leonard Saxe, a psychologist…who has conducted some of the leading research in the field of truth-detection…says, “I don’t know of any evidence that eye movements are linked to deception”…[yet despite] the polygraph[‘s]…long history of…failure…it…continues to be used [by people who prize false certainty over actual truth, such as cops and]…government [officials]…

Top Cop (#1108)

This authoritarian psychopath wants you to forget what she’s really like:

…polls show the vice president to be deeply unpopular with voters—even less popular than Biden, whose approval numbers have been underwater since August…Her…sloppy attempts to rewrite her biography…attest to an uncomfortable relationship between who Harris is and who she’s trying to convince you she is…Harris is a cop and that won’t change no matter how many times she tries to awkwardly mouth the buzzwords of the progressive youths.  If you’re the type of person who defends dirty copsthrows poor parents in jail when their kids miss school, or laughs at the idea of inmates being denied food and water, then you’re probably never going to be believably woke…Harris is a law-and-order politician in a party that no longer has much room for cops and heavy-handed prosecutors (unless they’re prosecuting the right people).  Her attempts at evolving her image have been disingenuous and unconvincing.  And now she’s tethered to a sinking ship of a presidency, and she doesn’t seem too interested in helping to bail—only in complaining that her feet are getting wet.  And, no, don’t chalk up Harris’ poor poll numbers or criticism of her political performance to sexism and racism…there are plenty of more popular politicians out there who are racial minorities and/or women.  Harris’ popularity problems are her own…

Quiet Genocide (#1114)

Fascist corporations are happy to assist in a genocide:

With the Beijing Olympics less than three months away, will Coca-Cola and other sponsors of the Games celebrate with China while…an entire people is being slowly, deliberately erased?  We have learned to think of genocide as industrial-scale slaughter: gas chambers, killing fields, mass graves.  A report published last week by the U.S. Holocaust Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, “To Make Us Slowly Disappear,” suggests that China may have found a different way, more insidious if no less monstrous.  The campaign against the Uyghur[s]…began with conventional discrimination, escalated to intense surveillance and mass detentions, and now includes forcible sterilization and insertion of IUDs; separation of men and women through incarceration, forced migration and coerced [sham] marriages of Uyghur women to men from the ethnic Han majority; and mass kidnapping of Uyghur children, taken from their parents and placed in state “boarding schools”…

Rotting Fruit (#1126)

The state demands an eye for an eye, but it doesn’t really care whose eye:

Jeffrey Epstein…isn’t just gone; he’s quickly being forgotten, relegated to a supporting role in the scandal that bears his name.  Our focus has turned to Ghislaine Maxwell, whose status has grown so great in the wake of Epstein’s death that she has all but eclipsed the man without whose bad acts there would never have been a story at all…In 2019, when Epstein was arrested and charged with sex trafficking, Maxwell was covered as more of a curiosity than an accomplice — let alone a puppeteer pulling his strings…today…Maxwell’s guilt is treated as a foregone conclusion…the public narrative has already promoted her from partner to boss…The female villain who wields power in the form of manipulation is an ancient fictional archetype; from Eve and the apple on up, it serves to tell us that it’s women’s ambition which forms the true roots of men’s evil deeds.  In Snow White, it’s the power-hungry and jealous queen who orders a huntsman to cut out the heart of her stepdaughter.  In Shakespeare, it’s Lady Macbeth who gets stuck with indelible bloodstains on her hands…in Epstein’s case…the more we hear about Ghislaine Maxwell, the less agency Epstein seems to have…

The Next Target (#1180)

Mastercard’s elaborate concern kabuki is the direct result of “sex trafficking” propaganda:

…for the first time, [Mastercard is] requir[ing] Pornhub, OnlyFans, and other distribution companies to obtain copies of age-verification records instead of only the owner of the content having and maintaining them…making [performers] vulnerable to fraudsters, blackmail artists, and worst of all, people who want to harm us physically…The general public should freak out that Mastercard now controls what they can and cannot watch.  Today, they’re regulating porn, but what if they start deeming what cinema and books we consume?  What if tomorrow they stop processing payments of booksellers that sell Lolita?…Mastercard implemented their porn rules because of a targeted campaign spearheaded by bad-faith actors like Exodus Cry.  In the future, they could quickly stop processing payments of controversial political material due to public pressure.  Last month, c[ensorious] Virginia parents demanded school libraries strip Toni Morrison’s Beloved from their shelves…if activists could scream loud enough so Mastercard could regulate porn, it’s easy to imagine the company coming after other forms of speech.  One day, something isn’t controversial; the next day, it is.  America flip-flops on which artists we hate daily…

The Cop Myth (#1187)

Why are people shocked when men paid and encouraged to behave violently, behave violently?

…a…four-day manhunt for [typical and representative] Baltimore Co[p]…Robert Vicosa [ended when he murdered] his two kidnapped daughters [and his cop girlfriend, Tia Bynum, then shot himself]…Giana and Aaminah Vicosa…[were] 7 and 6, respectively…The [two cops] had been on the run after…kidnapping Vicosa’s daughters from his estranged wife…then robbing and carjacking the people they encountered while trying to [get aw]ay…the two…[had] lured his estranged wife to his home…the[n held her captive…[ti]ed her [up in] the basement and…drugged…threatened…and sexually assaulted her, [then fled after the ex managed to escape and call the cops]…

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For far too long Internet users have suffered personal data abuses at the whims of Facebook and other platforms.  –  Alan Butler

Surplus Women

Deranged men may respond violently when sex workers refuse to cater to their fantasies:

…Stanley Szeliga…has been charged with [the] murder…of [a dancer named Abigail] Saldaña…in…Fort Worth [Texas]…Rick’s Cabaret [manager told cops]…Saldaña had recently been harassed by a customer he knew as “Stan.”  The manager showed the detective an Oct. 14 Instagram post in which Saldaña said she found a tracker under her car…“Stan” was irritated [that] Saldaña [would not indulge his fantasy of being her boyfriend] and had threatened to tell police she was engaged in prostitution…

Schadenfreude

Yet another rescue industry fraud has been unmasked:

[A rescue industry scam named] Saved in America has in the last four years collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from g[ullible] San Diegans and other donors at big-ticket galas…its [ringleader], private [dick] Joseph Travers, describes [the] group…[as composed of] former [pigs, spooks and jarheads] that help…families locate missing and exploited children.  Since its formation in 2017, SIA has re[leas]ed extensive publicity extolling its [own supposed] work.  Now, though, former supporters and local [politicians] are distancing themselves from the organization’s [bullshit] claims.  Multiple groups [and politicians] listed as supporters on the organization’s website…[have] ask[ed] Saved in America to remove their names.  A [politician] scheduled to receive the group’s major award at the Thursday gala said he is not attending…

Pretext

The “cops bearing gifts” PR scam is not limited to the US:

Since August 11 this year, [cops have harassed]…sex work[ers and clients] in Ganga Jamuna [the red light district of Nagpur, India, thus endangering] the livelihood of the 2,000- 3,000 sex workers there…[yet those same cops] organized a “Diwali milan” programme to distribute sarees, ration and other gifts to the women and their children…sex workers [replied by] demanding [that the] cops…[stop harassing them instead.  One] sex worker said the cops cannot justify…keeping us away from livelihood for the last three months and then offering us festive gifts…the cops…[of course] denied any strong opposition [to their scam, claiming…the majority [or sex workers were] in our favour [of starving to death while cops play generous for reporters]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1082) 

I wonder if the Illinois lawsuit had anything to do with this?

Facebook…announced…it is shutting down its facial recognition system, which automatically identifies users in photos and videos…[civil rights advocates point out that] facial recognition technology – which is popular among retailers, hospitals and other businesses for s[urveillance] purposes…compromise[s] privacy, target[s] marginalized groups and normalize[s] intrusive surveillance.  IBM has permanently ended facial recognition product sales, and Microsoft…and Amazon…have suspended sales to police [temporari]ly…

Checklist (#1158)

Airlines:  do you really want to keep accepting liability for employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you feed them?

A mother and her 10-year-old daughter were [harassed] by [cops and a bureaucrat] at Denver International Airport in October, after an air…[hostess included them in her]…human-trafficking [fantasies without their consent]…Mary MacCarthy said the suspicion was based on a “racist assumption” as she is white and her daughter is biracial…The pair were travelling to attend [a] funeral…[but] upon arriving in Denver, [they] were surrounded by two armed [thugs] and a…Southwest [agent] on the jet bridge, and were [interrogated after the crying child was]…separate[d from her mother]…the [air hostess fantasized that] it was suspicious that Ms MacCarthy and her daughter Moira were [in] the last…[airline-assigned] board[ing group] and [that a mother wanted]…to…sit together [with her 10-year-old]…daughter…[even after they were finally allowed to leave, the cops]…called [MacCarthy] 10 days later to [harass her some more]…Southwest Airlines responded [by vomiting out a lot of platitudes and the magic buzzwords]…Human Trafficking…

I Spy (#1173)

Why end-to-end encryption is an absolute necessity:

Signal has released the details of a search warrant it received from police in Santa Clara, California, unveiling the [lengths to which cops]…will [go] to force online platforms into disclosing the personal information of their users…[the cops] sought to get the name, street address, telephone number, and email address of a specific Signal user.  It also wanted billing records, the dates of when the account was opened and registered, inbound and outbound call detail records, voicemails, video calls, emails, text messages, IP addresses along with dates and times for each login, and even all dates and times the user connected to Signal…[the only information] Signal [could] provide…[was] timestamps show[ing] the dates that the account last connected to Signal…[because] “It’s impossible to turn over data that we never had access to in the first place. Signal doesn’t have access to your messages; your chat list; your groups; your contacts…or [anything else]”…[the cops] then issued a non-disclosure order that required Signal to not publicly disclose that it received the search warrant.  Th[at] was then extended four times, which resulted in Signal’s request to unseal the search warrant being repeatedly pushed back.  In total, it took Signal almost a full year before the company was able to legally publicly disclose [what had happened]…

Winding Down (#1179)

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

Detroit voters…overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative aimed at protecting people who consume “entheogenic plants” from arrest and prosecution.  Proposal E, which was supported by 61 percent of voters, makes “personal possession and therapeutic use” of natural psychedelics by adults “the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority”…Just a month ago, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a [similar] resolution…Although the Detroit ballot initiative claims to “decriminalize” natural psychedelics “to the fullest extent permitted under Michigan law,” it does not affect state penalties for possessing such drugs, which…[can include] up to four years in prison and a $25,000 fine…[though a pending bill] would [truly] decriminalize the [substances if passed]…

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