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Posts Tagged ‘Pyrrhic Victory’

A government powerful enough to bully tech companies into obscuring information about anti-abortion centers is also one powerful enough to bully tech companies into hiding info about how to obtain an abortion.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

If Men Were Angels

“Pastor” + “assistant principal” = “youth pastor”:

A [pastor and] assistant principal at Union Grove Christian School [in North Carolina]…has been sentenced to five consecutive 10-12 month sentences…for a series of sex crimes that he committed…from 2008 to 2009…with a high school student…

Quiet Genocide (#1130)

Meanwhile, the West obsesses about porn:

Under Xi, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has steadily beaten the population into ideological conformity.  For ethnic and religious minorities, that has meant erasing their identities and remaking them as Han Chinese.  Most far‐​reaching has been the campaign against the Muslim Uyghurs…the…vi[ctims of a]…far‐​reaching campaign of…Orwell[ian]…surveillance…and…[repress]ion …more than a million Uyghurs [are caged] in reeducation camps…[whose] purpose is also Orwellian—to produce CCP‐​controlled automatons.  Even after release, many Uyghurs are not free…[they are] forced…[to] work…in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well‐​known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen…Even when [Uyghurs]…find…safe haven outside China…Beijing is also determined to control [them]…A new report by Bradley Jardine, a fellow with both the Wilson Center and the Kennan Institute, explores how China is exporting repression abroad, including into the United States…

Censor Chic (#1138)

Corporations have become the favored tool of censors worldwide:

…some politicians…think Google should be serving up only government-approved information.  In the latest iteration of this phenomenon, 21 senators have sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai complaining that people who search for information about abortions may be led to websites for crisis pregnancy centers…The[se] often draw people in by purporting to be neutral sources of information and support for people facing unexpected pregnancies, but their goal is to convince people to continue those pregnancies…But while some have been found to misrepresent themselves in ways that amount to fraud, most operate within legal limits and have every right to exist, to advertise, and to try to persuade people…standing in contrast to the much more drastic tactics of trying to…criminalize abortion [entirely]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1166) 

Frog, meet scorpion:

For years, TikTok has responded to data privacy concerns by pr[etend]ing that information gathered about users in the United States is stored in the United States, rather than China, where ByteDance, the video platform’s parent company, is located.  But according to leaked audio from…internal TikTok meetings, China-based employees of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users…Despite a TikTok executive’s…[perjur]y in an October 2021 Senate hearing that a “world-renowned, US-based security team” decides who gets access to this data, nine statements by eight different employees describe situations where US employees had to turn to their colleagues in China to determine how US user data was flowing.  US staff did not have permission or knowledge of how to access the data on their own…

Creepy Coppers

The people the government empowers to police your sexuality:

New Mexico [cop]…Robert Jesse Strand…was…charged with c[hild porn]…possession…[he was caught in] June 2021 but…once [the investigators] learned Strand was [a member of their gang, they tried to bury]…the case…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1238)

“Sex trafficking” is a convenient excuse for any tyranny:

…sex workers could be subject to unwanted visits from police — and more profiling from strangers — if the Manitoba government passes new legislation i[ntended to infantilize sexworkers and make it easier to persecute them and their clients, whom the bill’s sponsors label]…”exploiters”…Winnipeg police [are promoting the usual idiotic “]signs of exploitation[” on their website, and the]…new legislation…would compel hotels and temporary accommodations…to keep a record of guests’ information, including their names and addresses, and turn it over to police on [demand] without…a warrant…Families Minister Rochelle Squires [lied that the bill]…won’t go after people involved in consensual sex work.  The province wants to [call all sex work “]human trafficking[” so the government can pretend the bill]…is not intended to push sex work further underground…

Served Cold (#1245) 

OUR’s increasingly-bizarre antics have made it a pariah even among “trafficking” fetishists:

Operation Underground Railroad has a pattern of exaggeration and misrepresentation…its founder, Tim Ballard…claimed…in a video posted on…Instagram, in a Tweet, and in a Facebook post…to be doing a “collaboration” with American Airlines this month, with the airline showing a video about its work…a spokesperson for American flatly said there was no such collaboration…“We do not have any partnership or affiliation with them, and the content is not available on our in-flight entertainment”…Turns out…[that in actuality,] the organization bought an ad with a third-party service provider, Clearwind Media, which…never actually ran on [American’s] in-flight entertainment…this is qualitatively different from a “collaboration” with American…

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Prison officials like to censor anything…to do with minority anything.  –  Paul Wright

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

A…youth pastor who [claimed] he began sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl [because] he mistook her for his wife, [yet] continued abusing her for more than two years, was sentenced…to…more than four years in prison.  David Walker…gasped as…Judge Ashley Kilbane announced the sentence.  Walker also must register as a sex offender…Walker was also a math teacher, baseball and basketball coach at Cleveland Christian Academy at the time…Investigators spoke to several women who were teenagers in the church around the same time as the abuse, and four of them said that David Walker also committed sexually inappropriate behavior with them…

I view shocked reactions in these cases as evidence of severe sociopathy; they really can’t believe they’re actually suffering consequences for their actions.

Damned If You Don’t (#442)

But picket-fence gays say cops aren’t our enemies:

The [cop shop] that [harasses people in] New York City’s main bus terminal has agreed to stop sending [disguised cops]…to [lurk in] its public bathrooms to [frame] people [for supposedly] propositioning strangers for sex, a [creepy] type of sting…aimed at gay men.  Under a legal settlement…the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will…only reinstate the so-called public lewdness patrols…if approved at the highest levels…the charges were [nearly always]…brought by [cops] who targeted men…they perceived…as gay, largely to inflate their arrest statistics.  The two named plaintiffs, Cornell Holden and Miguel Mejia, [were both victimized by cops] at the bus terminal in 2014…Both [were]…arrested…[for] public…masturbati[on because they were holding their penises in order to urinate]…

As a NY Times reporter phrased it at the time, “the Port Authority’s interpretation of the law [seems] to criminalize the use of public urinals“.

To Molest and Rape

I guess cops are never too old to rape:

An 81-year-old Walker County [Georgia cop named Jerry Glover]…has been arrested and charged with rap[ing a woman while wearing his magical clown suit]…

The Punitive Mindset (#804) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

[Prison] officials in…Michigan…ha[ve] banned dictionaries in Spanish and Swahili under claims that books’ contents are a threat to the state’s [cage stacks].  “If certain prisoners all decided to learn a very obscure language, they would be able to then speak freely in front of s[crews]”…said Chris Gautz, the spokes[mor]on for the Michigan Department of [Torturing]…prisoners …If staff is unable to find a translation [of any] book…[it] is placed under the list of banned books – even when these are in Spanish…A 1989 Supreme Court ruling allows prisons to ban any book – as long as [the censors belch out the magic word “]safety[” first]…

Gautz’s moronic definition of “obscure” includes languages spoken by roughly 592 million and 90 million people, respectively.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1022)

I don’t think petitions like this do any good, but they don’t hurt:

We, the Tech Equity Coalition, including members of the former Port of Seattle Biometrics External Advisory Group…write to urge you to post clear and accessible signage in both visual and auditory forms in the new International Arrivals Facility (IAF) regarding the collection of biometric data from travelers and the rights available to travelers.  Such signage should be present and discernible prior to an individual’s biometric data being collected.  Since Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has not posted such signage themselves, then the Port of Seattle must step up to do so…the…lack of clear and accurate signage violates all seven of the Port of Seattle’s Principles for Public-Facing Biometric Technology, which were adopted in Motion 2019-13.[2]  The Port of Seattle can and should post signage making it clear that CBP intends to collect biometric data from travelers and that U.S. citizens have the right to opt out…

Tissue of Lies (#1231)

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

ICE…[crowed]…that 70 missing children were recovered following a three-week long operation in Texas.  [In reality, the lugubriously-named] “Operation Lost Souls” [was largely a review of records which dis]covered 70 [legal minors who had been reported] missing…[most of whom had already returned home.  The others were] victims of…physical…and sexual abuse…[whom police captured and returned to their abusers, under the direction of] Homeland Security…El Paso…

Winding Down (#1236)

British Columbia is better on prohibition issues than its neighbor to the south:

British Columbia will become the first jurisdiction in North America to decriminalize possession of “hard” drugs such as…heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.  Effective Jan. 31, 2023, British Columbians 18 and older will be able to carry up to a cumulative total of 2.5 grams of these [state-stigmatized] substances without the risk of arrest or criminal charges.  Police are not to [steal] the drugs, and there is no requirement that people found to be in possession seek treatment.  The production, [sale] and exportation of these drugs will remain illegal…The change comes six years after B.C. declared a public health emergency in response to skyrocketing overdose deaths [due directly to the drug war]…Close to 10,000 people have died since 2016 in B.C. alone, and advocates have put pressure on governments to re-examine drug laws [politicians pretend] were intended to minimize harms but have [always] had the opposite effect…

Judging by the number of dysphemisms I needed to edit, the Globe and Mail does not approve.

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The nuisance comes from drinking and drunkenness, but no one is saying close the bars.  –  Brenda, Dutch sex worker

The Notorious Badge 

I wonder when Hollywood will catch up?

The brothels look brighter, the alleyways are cleaner, and a stirring soundtrack accompanies the protagonists, but a new Bollywood film set in Mumbai’s red-light district has struck a chord with India’s roughly one million sex workers.  Gangubai Kathiawadi is a biopic telling the story of a sex worker of the same name who went from being a [coerced underage sexworker] to fight[ing] for the rights of women working in the trade in the 1950s, a battle still being fought today…Many sex workers in Kamathipura…and across India say the film starring celebrated actress Alia Bhatt shows rare understanding of their everyday struggles…“There have been so many films on women like us, but none that raised these issues,” said Kiran Deshmukh, president of National Network of Sex Workers.  “People believe what they see in Bollywood films. And this film has shown that sex work is work…that…helps us live our lives and feed and raise our children”…

Guinea Pigs (#757) 

And it can find you just as easily:

Cher Scarlett, a software engineer…uploaded some images of her[self]…to PimEyes, a facial-recognition website meant to be used to find pictures of yourself from around the web — ostensibly to help stamp out issues such as revenge porn and identity theft…the results [included]…porn…[she was coerced into making as a 19-year-old] addict…in New York in 2005…She has since tried and failed to get all of the explicit photos removed from PimEyes’ search results, despite the site saying it would scrub images of Scarlett from results…Giorgi Gobronidze…the current owner and director of PimEyes…[deflected blame by saying] “The problem isn’t that there is a search engine that can find these photos; the problem is…people who actually uploaded [the photos] on purpose”…Scarlett’s saga starkly shows how easily facial-recognition technology, which is now available to anyone with internet access, can lead to unexpected harms that may be impossible to undo…

The Prudish Giant (#1104) 

Instagram and TikTok users, take note:

Digital studies and sexuality researcher Dr. Carolina Are is asking sex workers, adult performers and others who have experienced discrimination to participate in a study investigating Instagram and TikTok’s approach to malicious flagging or reporting of “gray area” content, including nudity.  Are is seeking participants over 18 years of age who have received negative comments and simultaneously had their accounts and/or content removed…Are plans to circulate an anonymous survey and then interview specific case studies.  Those wishing to share their experience with social media discrimination can fill out the survey here

Dutch Threat (#1136)

The Dutch scheme to Disnify De Wallen is no longer merely a scheme:

In November 2020, Mayor Femke Halsema announced plans to [forcibly] relocate sex workers to a purpose built “Erotic Center” on the city’s outskirts in hopes of luring bands of drunk men and general carnality away from residents to make space for new cafés, art galleries, and designer boutiques…according to the mayor’s office…“We want less dominance of cheap nightlife”…if built, it will be the most extreme measure taken to “clean up” De Wallen, which has, in recent years, already been subject to a raft of new regulations and s[urveillance]…Amsterdam’s sex workers are ambivalent about the city’s plans to relocate them.  Brenda, a sex worker…[who] met me at the Prostitution Information Center…said sex workers were soft targets in the city’s gentrification push…Iris, a coordinator at the center, said the “so-called nuisance and antisocial behavior” was just another excuse to get rid of sex workers and free up lucrative real estate in the sought-after inner city

Winding Down (#1148)

Over half of Americans now live in states with legal cannabis:

Rhode Island…became the 19th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use…[the] bill…immediately allows adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis in public and grow up to three plants at home.  State-licensed recreational sales are supposed to start on December 1, beginning with the state’s three existing medical marijuana dispensaries.  The law also requires automatic expungement of marijuana possession convictions…public consumption…will be legal in any place where cigarette smoking is allowed…The law caps the number of retailers at 33, which amounts to about one store per 32,000 people…Rhode Islanders may find it easier to buy pot from black-market dealers or from stores in Massachusetts or Connecticut, both of which have legalized recreational use.  Like California, Rhode Island will allow local governments to ban pot shops, but only through referendums and not in the three cities (Providence, Warwick, and Portsmouth) where medical marijuana is already being sold…

Opting Out (#1199)

French law provides some defense vs religious activism:

A Paris court of appeals rejected…the attempt by local War on Porn groups, led by an extremist Catholic organization, to use France’s media authority and the courts to block the most popular adult tube sites in the country…following months of…threats pressuring tube sites to implement vaguely defined age verification schemes, French media regulator ARCOM went to court…to demand that French ISPs block Pornhub…and [a number of similar sites, but]…the Council of State…issued a ruling rendering null all the activities taken up by…ARCOM in connection with the…block…the Council…specifically pointed out the role played by extremist Catholic organization Civitas in orchestrating the campaign…

Civitas is associated with the Society of Saint Pius X, the reactionary organization founded by Archbishop Lefebvre to fight modernization efforts such as performing the Mass in the vernacular rather than Latin.

The Mob Rules (#1231)

The number of laws empowering busybodies to harass victims with nuisance lawsuits will only keep growing until they’re ruled unconstitutional:

Shortly after the nation’s latest mass shooting…at an elementary school in Texas, the California Senate passed a bill…to allow private citizens to file suit for at least $10,000 — a bounty-hunter provision modeled on a Texas abortion law — against makers or sellers of [3-D printed firearms] or [rifles banned under California law]…

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In its attempts to target an ever-growing number of people for detention and deportation, ICE has reached into the private homes and lives of almost every person in America.  –  Nina Wang

Pyrrhic Victory (#1045)

Allowing Clearview to continue arming those who claim the “right” to spy on you, violently assault you, and destroy your life, is nothing like a “big win”:

Under a legal settlement filed in court today, Clearview AI…has agreed to a new set of restrictions that ensure the company is in alignment with the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…Clearview will be permanently banned from granting paid or free access to its gargantuan face recognition database to private entities [but not to governmental entities, including ICE, CBP, the FBI and local cop shops]…except…in Illinois [and even that restriction is only]…for a [mere] five years…Clearview will maintain an opt-out request form on its website, allowing Illinois residents to [give this unscrupulous business yet another] photo [in exchange for a politician’s promise that]…their faceprints will be blocked from appearing in Clearview’s search results…

Quiet Genocide (#1105)

Here’s another firsthand account of the ongoing genocide of the Uighur people by the Chinese communist regime, told in comic strip form.  Since finally escaping after years of brutalization, Zumrat Dawut has bravely told her story despite attempts by the Chinese government to terrorize her even though she now resides in the US.  Please read her story, edited by Anthony Del Col and illustrated by Fahmida Azim; it is imperative Westerners stop looking away and pretending these atrocities are not happening.

I Spy (#1155)

Nothing infuriates violent, self-important busybodies more than private affairs that are none of their business:

…the European Commission [is] seeking to end encrypted communications…[using the popular excuse] of child sexual abuse imagery…messaging services and web hosts would be required to search for, and report, child abuse material – even in the case of encrypted messaging services…that cannot be scanned in such a way…[politician] Ylva Johansson…[bloviated a lot of self-contradictory nonsense about] “strong safeguards guaranteeing privacy of all”…[while constantly harping on the word] “children”…But the plans [are in reality]…an attack on privacy…Joe Mullin of Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[pointed out that because what the politicians demand is literally impossible in encrypted messaging…“This would be a massive new surveillance system…[which] would require the infrastructure for detailed analysis of user messages”…It is a similar approach to that proposed…by Apple…Patrick​ ​Breyer, German MEP for the​ ​Pirate​ ​party, called the proposals “fundamental​ ​rights​ ​terrorism​ ​against​ ​trust,​ ​self-determination​ ​and​ ​security​ ​on​ ​the​ internet”…

To Molest and Rape (#1178)

Not even a rapist cop’s own daughters are safe:

A 10-year-old girl called police in March [to report that] her father, a Chicago [cop, had]…sexually abus[ed] her…but when he was [arrested and] charged…it was only for domestic battery, a misdemeanor…

I Spy (#1200)

All federal cop shops and spook houses are part of the police-state blob:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement…has built a vast digital surveillance system that gives it access to the personal details of almost every person in America, a two-year investigation by Georgetown University law center…conclud[ed] that the…organisation has strayed well beyond its [official] duties as an immigration body to become…a domestic surveillance agency…[with] capabilities that allows its agents to “pull detailed dossiers on nearly anyone, seemingly at any time”…includ[ing]…driver’s license data…utility records…[license plate reader data and] facial recognition [data on roughly 75% of US adults]…and…weaponised through the use of powerful algorithmic tools for searching and analysing data…all…[secretly and] in the absence of warrants…

The Implosion Begins (#1211)

The New York Times uses terms like “far-right conspiracy theory” to describe the moral panic they’ve aggressively promoted for 18 years:

Jason Frank…and his [QAnon] group…have been camping out near Sasabe, Ariz., as a self-appointed border force [in an elaborate fantasy roleplay]…of protecting the thousands of migrant children who have been arriving from the evils of sex trafficking — a favorite QAnon theme…wh[ich developed] over the years [from fantasies about]…pedophilia rings [heavily promoted by cops, fanatics, politicians, and journalists – especially the New York Times – since the early Oughts despite mountains of evidence that organized]…sex-trafficking schemes [of the sort featured in these fantasies are highly] unusual…migrant children [and adults are]…overwhelmingly people who paid to be smuggled…

Policing for Profit (#1230)

I reckon Empyreal felt letting this crime boss save face was a cheap way to get their property back:

Empyreal Logistics…has reached a settlement with the San Bernardino County, California, Sheriff’s Department, which had [robbed] more than $1 million from Empyreal’s armored cars.  The Justice Department, which was holding the money pending federal forfeiture, agreed to return all of it last month…Empyreal a[lso agreed to endorse a statement] the sheriff’s department issued on Friday, [absurdly claiming that the sheriff and his henchmen were]…”acting in good faith when the[y conducted pretextual traffic] stops w[ith the specific intent of robbing a corporation conducting business that was 100% legal under California law]”…

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The fact that a reporter has to call and tell me…is the issue.  –  Luis Correa

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Everyone involved in this story, excluding the sex worker but including the reporter and headline writer, is garbage:

A…Boston attorney who once [worked to destroy people’s lives for the State]…was caught literally with his pants down on [a stroll pigs think it’s funny to label] Methadone Mile with a prostitute…Bruce Singal…asked to speak to a police supervisor…but when he further asked for “lenience and consideration,” [cops vomited a lot of disgusting, misogynistic “sex trafficking” propaganda all over him]…The woman…was not arrested, but taken in to be connected with services…

“Not arrested, but taken in to be connected with services” is a euphemism for “arrested”.

Torture Chamber 

Your “leaders” refer to wanton murder as “correction”:

Three Florida [screws] were arrested on murder charges for [brutal]ly beating an inmate to death, while a fourth [fled theconsequences of his actions]…Christopher Rolon…Kirk Walton…and Ronald Connor…were arrested…following a monthslong [attempt to cover up the murder] at the Dade [Torture] Institution…The [murder] occurred on the morning of Feb. 14, before the [victim] was scheduled to be transferred to a [different cage stack] in Lake County…the [attackers claimed that the murder was justified by their]…mental[ly-ill victim supposedly throwing urine]…at…the[m]…”The[y]…beat…[him] so badly he had to be carried to the transport van…During a stop in Ocala…over 300…[miles away, the murderers discovered their victim had died from their brutality.  An autopsy later revealed]…the [victim]’s death was caused by a punctured lung leading to internal bleeding…The incident initially led the Florida Department of C[ages to reward]…10 [screws with paid vacations]…

The Face of Trafficking

Note that cases of actual coercion don’t look much like the myths:

Gawain Baxter was 6 years old when he signed a contract agreeing to work for the Church of Scientology for 1 billion years…he spent his childhood doing manual labor at Scientology’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater, [Florida] and getting no education beyond basic reading, writing and math.  At 15, Baxter attempted to leave by writing a letter to a superior about constant abuse and intolerable living conditions.  Instead…church officials sent him to Scientology’s Freewinds ship in the Caribbean, where he worked for little or no wages for 14 years.  Through its highly regimented Sea Org workforce, Scientology officials systematically trafficked Baxter, 39, and others by indoctrinating them as children and making it financially, physically and psychologically impossible for them to leave as adults, according to a lawsuit filed…in Tampa federal court against Scientology leader David Miscavige and five church entities…on behalf of Baxter, his wife…Laura…and Valeska Paris, who all were raised in Scientology and worked on the Freewinds, where…the church [stole] their passports and identification documents…

To Molest and Rape

An armed robber is also a rapist.  Gee, what a surprise:

A [typical and representative cop from] the [violently-corrupt Alabama] town of Brookside has been arrested on a rape charge in Jefferson County.  Deshawn Mark Cook…[forcibly] rape[d his]…victim…on May 22, 2021…Cook was [previously] indicted in 2019 on a charge of strangling his girlfriend…[but a] judge dismissed that case when the woman failed to show up for court…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1212)

Undermining of civil liberties only starts with “undesirables”; it never stops there:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be paying surveillance…company Trust Stamp $7.2 million annually to develop tech to track migrants [who enter the US] at the southern border…Trust Stamp…provid[ed] ICE with 10,000 smartphones that include the company’s app with facial recognition and GPS tracking…ICE then gives these…to migrants in order to surveil their whereabouts and behavior daily…migrants…are expected to complete “biometric check-in” once a day, meaning they scan their faces…An ICE [spook] looks at the result of each check-in, as well as the migrant’s location…[and] the…[phone] also…track[s its holder via] geolocation…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

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

A [typical and representative]…Massachusetts [cop]…threaten[ed] to kill his estranged wife in a brutal attack…Tomas Morales…showed up at his family’s home and said he wanted to talk to his [victim] about Christmas presents…after trying to kiss her, Morales threw her to the ground…forced her into a bedroom…said, “You’ll always be mine”…threatened to kill her, then strangled her and punched her in the face…Woburn police Chief Robert Rufo [thought the most important thing to tell reporters was that Morales wasn’t wearing his magical clown costume at the time]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1229)

Politicians are competing to see how many rights they can violate with one law:

Missouri [politicians are]…seeking to restrict access to gender-affirming care [not just to] minors…[but also] young adults under the age of 25…[in support of the scheme, they trotted out a quack] psychologist…[named Laurie] Haynes [who] also…support[s the discredited form of conditioning called] conversion therapy.  [This is merely the latest attempt to undermine the civil rights of young adults using the excuse]…that the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain responsible for executive functions like decision making – is not fully developed until roughly the age of 25…[a claim which is notably absent when politicians discuss voting, marriage, criminal responsibility, and enlisting in the military]…

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The decision of whether or not to install surveillance cameras at a business should be up to the owner.  –  Erica Smith Ewing

To Molest and Rape

Protecting and serving rapists:

A…Vicksburg, Mississippi…[cop named]…Derrick Dotson…resigned about a week after being [given a paid vacation for raping a woman.  Another cop named Jessie Harris]…who was already on probation from an earlier incident, was fired for [trying to cover up his buddy’s crime].  The [assault came to light when]…the…victim[, Ejeane Lewis, reported]…in a now-deleted Facebook post that she was sexually assaulted in the back of a p[igmobile]…behind an “abandoned hospital” by the [rapist cop], who “turned his cameras and radio off”…

Panopticon (#914)

Houston isn’t satisfied with waiting for useful idiots to grant them access:

…the Institute for Justice (IJ) calls on Houston officials to repeal an Orwellian ordinance that requires various businesses to install surveillance cameras at their own cost and turn footage over to the police without a warrant…Any business that does not comply…would be subject to fines of $500 per day.  The law requires “bars, nightclubs, convenience stores, sexually oriented businesses, and game rooms” to install surveillance cameras with sufficient lighting at all places where customers are permitted, keep the cameras running 24/7 and store all footage for at least 30 days.  Upon [demand] from police, businesses will be forced to turn their footage over within three days…some local bar owners raised concerns that it was arbitrarily targeting their businesses, and that many could not afford to comply if it becomes law…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

How long will America ignore the costs of its sick worship of state-sanctioned violence?

Police in the US have [murdered] nearly 600 people during traffic stops since 2017…including…a…disproportionate…[percentage of] people of color, according to data collected by Mapping Police Violence…About 10% of the roughly 1,100 people [murder]ed by police each year involve traffic violations, the group found…There has been renewed scrutiny of traffic stops since the 4 April killing of [Patrick] Lyoya…[who] was shot in the back of the head…for having a mismatched license plate…Daunte Wright…was [murdered]…for…a hanging air freshener; Sandra Bland…was [murdered] for failing to signal; and…Philando Castile [was murdered because a racist cop claimed he couldn’t tell black people apart]…Some of the deadly traffic cases tracked this year include a Miami man [murder]ed for an expired tag, a Milwaukee man [murdered for] failing to signal and an Oregon man…[murdered for pulling out of] a parking lot…

Creepy Coppers

Seems like a significant fraction of child porn is spread by cops:

A Daytona Beach [cop named]…Brandon Fox…is facing seven counts of possession of child pornography…[after he was caught] sharing…images and videos of sexual acts involving children under 10…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1214)

There won’t be any shortcut to stopping Clearview:

…Scraping publicly accessible data is legal, according to a…ruling by the U.S. Ninth Circuit of Appeals…in a long-running legal battle brought by LinkedIn aimed at stopping a rival company from web scraping personal information from users’ public profiles. The…Court…found that scraping data that is publicly accessible on the internet is not a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act…which governs what constitutes computer hacking under U.S. law.  The…decision is a major win for archivists, academics, researchers and journalists…But there have been egregious cases of web scraping that have sparked privacy and security concerns.  Facial recognition startup Clearview AI claims to have scraped billions of social media profile photos, prompting several tech giants to file lawsuits

Torture Chamber (#1229) 

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

…For incarcerated persons, few experiences are as degrading as the strip search…a…humiliating…reminder of your total inability to control access to the most intimate parts of your body.  Even worse is what people in prisons call the “credit card swipe,” the practice of sliding a gloved hand between a person’s buttocks.  [It] is…indistinguishable from sexual assault…especially…[because] guards use this practice…as a form of punishment…a means of control…and provoking a reaction that might lead to pretext for a beating or other punishment…these degrading searches almost certainly undermine institutional security, to say nothing of rehabilitative goals.  Ultimately, rather than cowing the defiant, unnecessary strip searches are likely to inflame opposition and defiance of authority – exactly the opposite effect intended…

The Last Shall Be First (#1229) 

At least Florida’s anti-trans crusade isn’t as psychopathic as Texas’:

…the Florida Department of Health [has] released guidelines that advise no treatment of gender dysphoria for children and teenagers outside of counseling…[it advises] against…prescription of hormone therapy or puberty blockers…[and even] things like using a different name, pronouns or style of dress…It…[is un]clear what effect the state’s guidance could have on physicians treating children and teens with gender dysphoria…research shows that gender-affirming care like social transitions and hormone therapy can improve the mental health and well-being of transgender and nonbinary children and adolescents…

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Expanding the use of facial recognition doesn’t hurt authoritarians like Putin — it helps them.  –  Evan Greer

A Broker in Pillage

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

Police in Rochester, New York, s[tole] $8,040 from Cristal Starling during a raid on her apartment in October 2020…[in] the…process of…[harass]ing her former boyfriend, who[m they had decided to accuse] of dealing drugs.  The police didn’t find any drugs in the apartment, but they did find and [steal] Starling’s cash…Starling, who runs a food cart and…was saving up for a food truck, began trying to fight the [robbery] without a lawyer…[but] the Rochester [cop shop] had [laundered] her money t[hrough] the…DEA…and [byzantine]…federal court…[procedures allowed a crooked judge to rule that]…her money [was not hers]…the Institute for Justice…will file an appeal on her behalf…if successful, Starling’s case will be kicked back to district court, where she will have the opportunity to challenge the seizure [with IJ’s help]…

Torture Chamber 

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

Los Angeles jail guards have frequently punched [caged] people in the head and subjected them to a “humiliating” group s[exual assault after which] they were forced to wait undressed for hours [outdoors], according to a new report from court-appointed monitors documenting a range of abuses.  The Los Angeles sheriff’s department (LASD)…[also regularly refuses] to provide information to the monitors…The report…adds to a long string of scandals for the department…The [mass molestation was excused by claiming that there was a rumor]…that a firearm “might have been smuggled” into…jail.  Guards responded by…tak[ing their victims] out of their cells in the morning, g[roping them using the pretext of a]…search…then walked naked en masse through the jail…to the room with the X‐ray machine…they…were [then] taken to a yard where they were forced to wait for hours until they returned to their cells later that night…

Property of the State

Since they’re claiming this was a “mistake”, there’s nothing to stop them doing it again and again:

Texas…jail[ed] a woman…for an alleged self-induced abortion.  Lizelle Herrera was arrested Thursday [of last week], charged with murder, and [caged]…for two nights before Starr County District Attorney Gocha Allen Ramirez said he would dismiss the charges.  While a state law passed in Texas last year bans performing an abortion on another person after six weeks pregnancy, it does not apply to self-induced abortions, nor does it allow for criminal charges.  Its mechanism of enforcement is through civil lawsuits brought by citizens, not agents of the state…[though] Ramirez…dismiss[ed] the charges…he…did not…condemn…the Starr County Sheriff’s Office…and [even made excuses for their behavior]…Herrera…was in the hospital and had a miscarriage and divulged some information to hospital staff who then [tattled] to police…

The most horrifying part of this is, unfortunately, not new; it’s that thanks to the ongoing war on bodily autonomy, American women cannot trust medical professionals to respect patient confidentiality.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1104)

Clearview is once again trying to rehabilitate its reputation among useful idiots:

In the weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine…Hoan Ton-That…[CEO] of…Clearview AI, began thinking about how he could [exploit the tragedy for his own profit]…Ton-That drafted a letter [to the Ukraine government] explaining that his app “can instantly identify someone just from a photo” and that [pigs and spooks]…in the United States used it to [further police-state surveillance]…He said the tool could identify people who might be spies, as well as deceased people…less than a month later…Clearview has created more than 200 accounts for…Ukrainian government agencies, which have conducted more than 5,000 searches…Critics warn…that [Clearview is]…taking advantage of a crisis to expand with little privacy oversight…Evan Greer…[of] Fight for the Future [explained]…“War zones are often used as testing grounds not just for weapons but surveillance tools that are later deployed on civilian populations or used for law enforcement or crowd control purposes…Companies like Clearview are eager to exploit the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine to normalize the use of their harmful and invasive software”…

Creepy Coppers

Seems like a significant fraction of child porn is spread by cops:

A Miami-Dade [cop] has been arrested and relieved of duty following his arrest on child pornography charges…David Jay Behney…[was snitched on by] Kik messenger [which is now apparently scanning]…upload[s]…a search warrant…revealed a video montage of 11 prepubescent girls…If he posts bond, he must surrender his passport and is not allowed to have any contact with minors, including his own children…he…has three…between the ages of 8 months and 6 years…

The Last Shall Be First (#1216) 

Alabama can’t let Texas beat it in the psycopathic cruelty department:

Alabama…passed a bill making it a felony to provide transition-related medical care to transgender minors and mandating prison time for th[e newly-invented “crime”]…S.B. 184…also [demands] that [all school employees snitch on the gender dysmorphia of any legal]… minor [that comes to their attention, regardless of possible consequences]…Another measure (H.B. 322)…would ban transgender students from using sex-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.  And an amendment to the bill limits school-based discussions about gender identity or sexual orientation (in the manner of a recent Florida law that opponents dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill)…

Opting Out (#1223) 

The “Online Safety Bill” is becoming a UK version of FOSTA:

The Online Safety Bill [had]…the stated aim of cracking down on “harmful” content online.  A clause has now been added to the bill to include the offence of “inciting or controlling prostitution for gain” as one of the priority offences that tech companies…[are] obliged to remove…from their platforms…this would…would undoubtably lead to…platforms clamping down on sex workers’ advertisements.in order to avoid any chance of being prosecuted – essentially criminalising the online advertising of sex work…

If you’re in the UK, click on the headline link to send a message to your MP via the ECP site.

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Is there anything they wouldn’t sell this mass surveillance for?
–  Jack Poulson

A Broker in Pillage

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

Carl Nelson and Amy Sterner Nelson…[w]ere…[forced to sell] their house and their car, liquidate…their retirement funds, and move…their family of six from a comfortable West Seattle home to Amy’s sister’s basement after the FBI s[tole] almost $1 million from them in May 2020…The[y looted]…nearly every corner of the Nelsons’ world, including…the savings Amy racked up from her decade as a practicing attorney…[even though] the[y]…never even suspected Amy of committing any crime.  It was…Carl—a former real estate transaction manager for Amazon—w[hom]…they accused…of showing favor to certain developers and securing them deals in exchange for illegal kickbacks…the…years-long investigation into Carl’s alleged fraud has not yielded an indictment.  Yet no such thing was necessary for the federal government to wreck the Nelsons’ lives…Last week, the government agreed to a settlement:  Of the original approximately $892,000 it seized, it will return $525,000…and…[keep] about $109,000. (The remaining sum has been depleted by court fees)…Carl is still a defendant in a massive federal lawsuit against Amazon, and they accepted the deal so that they’d have money for attorneys’ fees…

To Molest and Rape (#989)

I won’t be surprised if his sentence is shorter than this:

Cynthia Perkins…faces 41 years in prison after taking a plea deal…in exchange for testifying against her [child rapist cop] ex-husband, Dennis…[who] manipulated…her…[in]to commit[ing]…horr[ible] crimes [ranging from rape to child porn to mixing his semen into cupcakes which she fed to her students]…Cynthia…could have faced 72 years in prison.  However, 68 of the remaining charges against her were dropped…she has no possibility of parole…and…waived any right to appeal…

What was the advantage to her in agreeing to what amounts to a life sentence without parole?  Does she honestly think she’ll have any kind of life after getting out of prison at 77, assuming she lives that long once the other prisoners figure out who she is and what she did?

Something Rotten in Sweden (#1112)

California’s annual anti-whore pogrom did a lot more damage this year, thanks to federal collaboration:

More than 200 sex workers were arrested as part of an [annual pogrom] that police [sell to the ignorant] as an attempt to save people from human trafficking.  The arrests—part of a Super Bowl-adjacent collaboration between Los Angeles law enforcement and the feds—represent an all too common theme in U.S. law enforcement, where people claim to be helping sex workers while actually subjecting them to harm.  The…[pogrom is] christened with the creepy name “Operation Reclaim and Rebuild”…now in its seventh year…[Pigs merrily oinking about all the lives they ruined were] joined by representatives of…Morality in Media…214 people were arrested for allegedly selling sex and 201 people were arrested for allegedly trying to pay for sex…only 53 people were arrested for pimping, pandering, or supervising prostitution. And it’s unclear if any of these individuals were engaged in anything that we might think of as abusive or non-consensual behavior…most of the arrests—445—were for misdemeanors…

To Molest and Rape (#1142)

Imagine how many others like this are still out there, raping and murdering:

The suspect in a 1983 cold case murder is…a [cop] who worked in several counties…in Central Florida.  St. Lucie County…cold case squad found evidence that [dead] deputy James Harrison raped and murdered an 11-year-old girl…[and] could be responsible for more unsolved cases.  He died of cancer in 2008…11-year-old Lora Ann Huizar disappeared while walking home from a gas station.  She was found in a nearby drainage ditch.  Detectives… believe [Harrison] kidnapped, raped and killed her…witness[es] report[ed that]…Harrison [was] watching the girl…[Sheriff Ken] Mascara…[claims] he was concerned at the time that Harrison showed a pattern of inappropriate behavior with young girls…his complaint w[as dismissed by a]…supervisor [who opined] that, since Harrison was also a preacher, he was “spiritually mentoring children at risk”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1182)

Still think this djinni can be crammed back into its bottle?

The facial recognition company Clearview AI is telling investors it is on track to have 100 billion facial photos in its database within a year, enough to ensure “almost everyone in the world will be identifiable”…Those images — equivalent to 14 photos for each of the 7 billion people on Earth — would help power a surveillance system that has been used [to abduct] and [terrorize many] thousands of [people by cops, spooks,] and [other] government [operatives] around the world.  And the company wants to expand beyond…[fascist operations to purely corporate ones], saying in the presentation that it could monitor “gig economy” workers and is researching a number of new technologies that could identify someone based on how they walk, detect their location from a photo or scan their fingerprints from afar…With $50 million from investors, the company said, it could bulk up its data collection powers to 100 billion photos, build new products, expand its international sales team and pay more toward [buy]ing…poli[ticians so as] to “develop favorable regulation”…

Creepy Coppers

The only thing cops seem to love as much as raping kids is collecting kiddie porn:

In less than two weeks, two Sioux Falls [South Dakota cops]…have been arrested for child pornography…On Wednesday, February 16, Matthew Alan Jock was…charged with five counts…and…on February 8…Luke Schauer, a[nother typical and representative cop], was…[charged with] “attempted production”…[spokespigs fell all over themselves to distance themselves from the pair and oink about “bad apples”]…

Meanwhile, a few states to the southeast:

Ohio…[cop] Kevin A. Kovacs…pleaded guilty…to transporting and possessing child pornography…between April 2015 and July 2017, Kovacs uploaded more than 300 images and 2,200 videos depicting child pornography to his Dropbox account.  Videos featured the sexual abuse of children as young as toddler aged.  One video depicted a toddler…whose arms and legs were bound by black tape…In total…Kovacs possessed more than 780 images and 5,100 videos of child pornography…[his] plea…includes an agreed upon sentencing range of 60 to 240 months in prison…

The Mob Rules (#1209)

Until SCOTUS acts, this will only get worse:

A Texas-style abortion law is advancing in Idaho…SB 1309…would authorize the father, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or sibling of a fetus aborted after [fetal cardiac activity can be detected] to file a civil lawsuit against the doctor at any time up to four years after the abortion, and get $20,000 minimum damages plus attorney fees…”It’s unconstitutional on its face,” state Sen. Grant Burgoyne…said. “I think that the state of Idaho is in for another rough ride on…abortion litigation, and an expensive ride, and an unconstitutional ride”…

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The online safety bill presents a clear attempt to age-gate the internet.  –  Mark Johnson

To Molest and Rape

It’s pretty rare for reporters to actually use the word “rape” when the rapist is a cop:

Atlanta [cop]…Lionel Joseph Dely…rap[ed] a woman in her…apartment…Jan. 31 shortly after…Dely…[tricked her into admitting him by belching out the magic word “]investigation[“.  A spokespig oinked that]…Dely [didn’t have]…official [permission]…to [commit rape]…

Safe Position

Prior to 2018, it wasn’t even safe for a politician to support human rights for sex workers, much less admit to being one:

As I prepared to enter the political world as a candidate, I made promises that I would not leave anyone behind and that I would be honest about my experiences, including my time working as a stripper during college…I was afraid if I told anyone I would be stigmatized.  I feared getting kicked out of school, losing my friendships, and being denied a future in the career I was working toward…After coming forward in the campaign, the soccer club I worked for through this pandemic confronted me about sex work on my campaign’s social media platform.  They asked me to remove my statements while…removing me from both the teams I coached…My story is not unique.  So many examples exist that highlight the stigma and job loss that impact individuals, especially women when their past or current involvement in sex work is revealed

HIV Cure (#920)

Previous cures were accomplished by bone marrow transplant:

A woman in the New York City area appears to have been cured of…HIV…[she] has shown no detectable signs of the…virus in extensive testing since she stopped antiretroviral treatment in October 2020 following a transplant of stem cells with a rare genetic mutation that blocks HIV invasion…The woman, who had a form of leukemia, received a transplant of stem cells from an adult relative and umbilical-cord blood from a newborn to whom she wasn’t related.  The treatment is likely to be suitable for a broader range of people than are the transplants that beat HIV back in three other patients, because cord blood doesn’t have to be a precise genetic match to a recipient patient…

Welcome to the Future (#944)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

…GoGuardian…[is] a s[urveillance]…tool for monitoring what students do during Zoom classes…it…[euphemizes the atmosphere of distrust this creates] as [a]…”digital learning environment…where every student can thrive”…Defenders of [such] programs [barf up the usual platitudes about “safety”]…but…[the] tools also collect data related to non-life-threatening behavior…most kids probably don’t want school administrators reading their journals…and…if students feel they are being watched, they may be less likely to explore less “acceptable” ideas or to search the internet with questions they are embarrassed to ask in class…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1120)

Even if Clearview itself is brought down, the djinni is already out of the bottle:

Face surveillance is a growing menace…and…one of the worst offenders is Clearview AI, which extracts faceprints from billions of people without their consent and uses these faceprints to help police identify [people they wish to target for]…violence.  Clearview’s faceprinting violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act…which requires opt-in consent…Clearview now faces many consolidated BIPA lawsuits in federal court.  It also faces another suit, brought by the ACLU…in state court…the judge in the federal cases rejected Clearview’s First Amendment defense, denied the company’s motion to dismiss, and allowed the lawsuits to move forward.  This is an important victory for our privacy over Clearview’s profits…

Rotting Fruit (#1187)

Oh, oh, my goodness me, who could ever have predicted this outcome?

Prince Andrew and his accuser Virginia Giuffre have settled out of court in the civil sex assault claim filed in the US…the…lawyer[s]…wrote jointly…to say that the parties had “reached a settlement in principle”.  Court documents show the duke will make a “substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights”…

Opting Out (#1194) 

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

U.K. government officials confirmed…that social media sites “hosting large amounts of pornographic material, such as Twitter and Reddit” would have to “introduce systems to remove adult material in the U.K., or introduce age checks to determine whether users are over 18″…This is one of the first official confirmations that the measure has as eventual targets not only “pornographic websites”…but also any website that tolerates sexually explicit content.  Eradicating adult content from open platforms has been one of the core objectives of the leading religiously inspired, U.S.-based groups that are at the forefront of the War on Porn, including [Morality in Media] and Exodus Cry and their mouthpieces…

The tagline above was drawn from this article, demonstrating just how much more acceptable censorship has become to the hoi-polloi in only 4 years.

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You don’t exist if you can’t use the banking system.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

The Face of Trafficking

Note that even cases of actual coercion don’t look much like the myths:

A married couple was charged with sex trafficking young women into…prostitution…prosecutors [claim]…Kareem…and Sharice Mitchell…pushed at least eight women into prostitution, including at least two who were…[their wards]…none of the women was under 18.  In New York, young people can leave foster care once they reach the age of 18, but they can also choose to stay in care until they turn 21…

Decentralization (#818) 

There’s nothing in this article on sex workers accepting bitcoin that will surprise any sex worker, except the claim that escorts typically charge upwards of $1700/hour.  Unfortunately, even the reporter’s incredibly-naive acceptance of the government’s claims about the intent of FOSTA, Operation Choke Point, and various other anti-whore policies is nothing new.  But what is new is the way most non-local news media (the local ones are way too busy licking cops’ boots to stay up with the rest of their industry) are now treating sex work as normal and sex workers as sympathetic.  Prohibitionists are still winning most of the battles which involve the players in the fascist Establishment, but we’re winning the war.  And in the long run, there’s absolutely nothing the whore-haters can do about it.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1001)

Undermining of civil liberties only starts with “undesirables”; it never stops there:

A tech firm is offering police a capability to identify and pull up information on [homeless] people…[via] facial recognition…“Police [can] use ODIN…to identify even non-verbal or intoxicated individuals,” the [company’s] brochure…reads…a section called “What’s The Problem?” [includes this graphic]:

…after [scann]ing…a person police would be provided with a slew of information on the individual, including their date of birth, prior contacts, labels such as “needles,” “assaultive,” or “registered sex offender,” their warrant status, notification of who their probation officer or parole agent is, contact information for therapists or social workers, their arrest history, and their temporary housing history…

Panopticon (#1012)

Another government scheme to normalize constant surveillance:

[Politicians] in Iowa introduced a bill…that would require cameras to be installed in nearly every K-12 school classroom across the state, allowing parents to s[py on classes in order]…to censor classrooms and intimidate educators …[as part of the “]critical race theory[” witch hunt]…teachers, administrators and other school staff members who fail to keep the cameras active and in working order or who “obstruct” the camera’s views could be fined up to 5 percent of their weekly salary per infraction…Meanwhile…in…Nevada [a pro-censorship group]…recently proposed placing body cameras on teachers to ensure they aren’t teaching critical race theory…[politicians] in Florida introduced a bill similar to the Iowa proposal…that would require cameras in classrooms and require teachers to wear microphones…and…Missouri [politician] Cindy O’Laughlin…[also] called for…teachers to wear body cameras as a way for parents to [spy on them]…

I sincerely doubt teachers’ unions will agree to this kind of Maoist surveillance, but the very fact that it’s being seriously proposed does not bode well for the future.

Negative Secondary Effects (#1122)

It’s rare for an article on sex work in the UK press to be so free of dysphemisms:

Women who work in Bristol’s two s[trip clubs]…have threatened a judicial review against the city council, if it goes ahead with a proposal to close the venues down.  The United Voices of the World trade union, which represents the dancers at Urban Tiger and Central Chambers, has warned Bristol City Council that…the “nil cap” policy…constitute[s]…gender discrimination and [thereb]y break[s] the law…“The [policy would]…prevent…strippers from working in an occupation, city, and venue of their choice.  This…poses a serious threat to the…livelihoods, safety, and health of over 100 individuals”…[especially given] that other venues that host male stripper nights do not [suffer] the same level of regulation and are not included in the fresh attempts to close down their venues…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#1164) 

Victoria has become the world’s fourth jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

…This historical move makes the Australian state of Victoria only the fourth jurisdiction in the world to decriminalise sex work…provid[ing] sex workers with access to the same workplace health and safety protections as other Victorians…The…bill…repeal[s] over the next two years criminal laws associated with consensual adult sex work.  This is an important first step in acknowledging sex work as work…Crucially, and uniquely, the bill strengthens anti-discrimination protections available to sex workers…

To Molest and Rape (#1189)

Why are reporters so unable to comprehend that forced sex is still rape when the rapist is a cop?

The detective [rap]ing…the woman he’d just a[bduc]ted in the toilets at Charing Cross Police Station didn’t react when Sue opened the toilet door…During Sue’s time at the Central London station in the 2000s the building’s toilets and cells were often used by some officers for [rape]…“It was a place to go and [commit rape] before they went home to their girlfriends or wives”…[victims] were [usually either] highly intoxicated [or] in vulnerable situations.  Sex workers in the area were [often the victims]…details of an investigation into…a…[cop who raped] a drunk [woman]…revealed other incidents of “abhorrent behaviour”…Text messages between [cops] at the station…discussed raping [other cops], [murder]ing black children and beating up girlfriends, with one [cop] nicknamed “McRapey Raperson“…

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