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Posts Tagged ‘scams’

Until somebody figures out a good way to rein-in government snoopiness, it might be better to avoid taking selfies at protests.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Thou Shalt Not (#35)

Prohibitionism is a dangerous mental illness:

Some packets of biscuits will be banned from [certain areas of] supermarkets from 2023…the new law bans [stores] from selling [foods labeled] HFSS (high in fat, sugar and salt) [by government-employed puritans from displays in] checkout areas, ends of aisles and store entrances…government…[nannies justified the new law by barfing out the phrase]…childhood obesity [while maintaining laws that keep children from healthy outdoor exercise]…a [government] study [declared that most Britons are far too stupid and weak-willed to make their own food choices, so those choices must therefore be made for them]…

Torture Chamber

If there’s one thing the US needs, it’s more sadistic rapists in the military:

…Brandon Scott Price, a [typical and representative Kentucky] prison guard, was convicted of [a misdemeanor assault charge for anally raping a chained woman]…his…judge…sentenced [him]…to [a mere] 12 months in jail…but said Price could avoid jail time if he [re-]enlisted in the military within 30 days…enlistments are subject to military regulations that would require Price to seek a waiver for his sexual-assault conviction from military officials.  The military has spent more than a decade struggling to limit sexual assault among troops…[on the way back from the hospital after she had suffered] a medical emergency…Price pulled the van…over and [anally raped] the woman…then [claimed she wanted it]…

Choke Point (#611) 

PayPal needs to be buried in similar lawsuits before this will stop:

Three PayPal users who’ve…had their accounts frozen and funds [stol]en by the company without explanation have filed a federal lawsuit against the online payment service.  The plaintiffs…are…proposing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all other users who’ve had their accounts [similarly violated] and are seeking restitution, as well as punitive and exemplary damages.  Lena Evans…[ha]d been a PayPal user for 22 years…[when] the website s[tole] $26,984 from her account six months after…fr[eezing it] without ever telling her why…Roni Shemtov sa[w] PayPal s[teal] over $42,000 of her money and never got an acceptable [or consistent] reason for why her account was terminated…Shbadan Akylbekov…[explained that] PayPal s[tole] over $172,000 of his money without…explanation…[except] a letter that says she “violated PayPal’s User Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy”…PayPal has long angered many a user for limiting accounts and freezing their funds for six months or more.  One high-profile case was American poker player Chris Moneymaker’s who had $12,000 [stol]en from his account after six months of being limited.  Moneymaker was already in the process of asking people to join him in a class action lawsuit before his funds were “mysteriously returned”…

Blunt Instrument (#1012)

Oh look, Texas cops are staging pogroms against migrant-owned businesses; what a surprise.  The only thing even remotely unusual about this farrago of loathsome oinking, agency denial, pious bullshit and revolting bootlicking is that the violent racist psychopaths vomit out the word “trafficking” only 5 times in a 21-paragraph copaganda screed.  By contrast, the word “illicit” (a word which characterizes prohibitionist propaganda more than any other) appears 9 times.  But given that this was published (to use the most charitable word possible for this human-centipede excretion) by the Dallas Morning News, a rag so filled with prohibitionist masturbatory fantasies that it’s an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas, that actually counts as a twisted kind of progress.

I Spy (#1086) 

In mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…[Since] social media an easy and low-cost means of gathering intelligence…cops and their private-sector contractors snoop on us…while fishing for anything of interest…instead of curbing such abuses, many politicians want more.  “Social media has become a significant source of information for U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law noted in a report released last week…Customs and Border Protection…routinely runs the names of people of interest, including journalists and activists, through databases…For years, the FBI used Dataminr, “a third-party service that [surveills]…social media posts”…in 2019 [it switched] to ZeroFox, which offers a similar service.  Some FBI agents blamed their inability to anticipate the January 6 riot at the Capitol on the changeover…and…over the past year, law enforcement has come under pressure to engage in even more monitoring of social media because of its failure to anticipate the…riot…

Stalkers in Blue (#1180)

This disgusting article is loaded with copsucking and emotional manipulation:

A [typical and representative] NYPD [cop], who survived [a 2015 “dismissal probation” after drug paraphernalia and needles were found in his locker], was fired…after he repeatedly [sexually harassed] vulnerable women [he was] arrest[ing]…[including] wom[e]n he believed to be domestic abuse victim[s] and…sex [workers, but who]…were actually [other rolepaying cops]…investigati[ng him due to complaints]…He also used an NYPD computer to [stalk other women] …and [lied]…to [other cops]…about [his predatory behavior]…

Right from the headline on, IB Times attempts to manipulate the reader’s sympathies; the cop who repeatedly tried to get into the pants of women he arrested or “investigated” is described as a “veteran” and a “hero”.  His attempted manipulation and rape is described as “romantic”, his victims’ criminal histories are emphasized, and his other shenanigans are not mentioned until far down in the story.  It’s vile even by the standards of cop stenography.

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1204)

Cops think they can just make up their own pharmacology and demand reality conform to it:

Fentanyl that is about 50 times more potent than “what has regularly been found and tested” in the region has been recovered in Hartford, police [lie]d…[after] find[ing] nearly 40 bags of fentanyl…[near where] a seventh-grader [overdosed.  Though the boy appears to have eaten]…the drug…a…spokesp[ig preferred to oink a bunch of weird cop fantasies about how]…“this product can be deadly to anyone coming in contact with it, including absorption through the skin…fentanyl is a poison”…

Fentanyl is a life-saving synthetic drug, no more a “poison” than any other medicine.  It cannot be absorbed through the skin, and no batch is “50 times more potent” than any other; of course, this confused oinking might be attempting to convey the claim that most heroin cut with fentanyl in Hartford is only about 2% fentanyl, whereas this was nearly pure.  But it’s difficult to tell in proximity to so many exaggerations, cop fantasies and outright lies.

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Most members of the public have no interest in closely examining falsehoods uttered by governments.  –  Tim Cushing

Policing for Profit

What made it “illegal” was pronouncing the wrong magic words while pointing at his victims in the magic Spell of Forfeiture:

A rural sheriff near the Texas border is under criminal investigation for…having his deputies illegally seize money and a truck from undocumented immigrants during [pretext] stops….Sheriff Nathan Johnson…admitted to regularly s[tealing] money [after having his henchmen barf out the words “illegal alien”, when the]…state [instead wants them to barf out “drug trafficking” and also get permission for the spell from a sacred dog]…Johnson [attempted to defend himself by barfing out the words]…”stand against…traffic in our community”…

Torture Chamber 

Even journalists reporting on these abuses insist on referring to them as “correction”:

Anchorage-based s[crews]…pepper sprayed three [helpless] men inside a van and then closed the doors, leaving them to inhale the chemicals for between seven to 18 minutes…the men were not allowed to shower or change clothes for an extended period of time…one of the men [for] two days…The ombudsman’s investigation…found that…[the] assault…was in…[response to a thoughtcrime supposedly committed by one of the victims]…

Under Duress (#1110) 

I find it mind-boggling that most people are surprised to find out that cops are habitual liars:

Virginia Beach police used forged documents that [claimed to] link…people’s DNA to a crime to get them to confess or cooperate with [pigs], Virginia’s outgoing attorney general announced…The city’s police department has changed its policy [because it got caught]…but c[laimed] the [deception was] legal…The bogus pieces of paper included a seal and letterhead from the state agency…[and] the signature of a fictitious employee from the department…in at least one instance, [cops committed perjury by submitting] a forged report…to a court as evidence…

I Spy (#1155)

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

The UK government has expressed an unhealthy determination to undermine encryption for years now…[using excuses] ranging from “the children” to “the terrorists.”  The underlying intent never changes even if…the bills get renamed, as though a different shade of lipstick would make the UK’s anti-encryption pig any more desirable.  Rebranding from “Online Harms” to “Online Safety” only changed the tablecloths in the Titanic’s dining room…but presumably “safety” sounds better than “harms,” especially when the government affirmatively wants to harm the safety of millions of UK residents.  The Internet Society has taken a look at the revamped and rebranded bill and has delivered a report that explains exactly where on the Internet doll the UK government plans to engage in inappropriate touching.  There’s no mention of backdoors or broken encryption, but complying with the law means…doing both…

To Molest and Rape (#1187)

It would be difficult to bury this lede any further down:

A federal judge has sentenced a…North Dakota…man to life in prison for [rape]…Douglas J. Schneider…[was also ordered] to pay [the paltry sum of] $19,215 in restitution…between 2013 and 2018, Schneider [repeatedly raped the] child…who was between 7 and 10 years old when he started, but it became a federal case when]…Schneider transported the child from North Dakota to Montana [to rape her some more.  And by the way]…Schneider w[as a cop]…

The Cop Myth (#1197)

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

A [typical and representative] Tulsa [cop named]…Shannon Kepler…a[bandoned his] daughter, Lisa…at a homeless shelter shortly after she turned 18 with no money, cell phone, credit cards or clothes other than what she wore…[t]he[n continued to stalk her via]…Facebook…[when] she…changed her status to being “in a relationship” with [a 19-year-old black man named Jeremy] Lake, who…was a volunteer at the shelter…Kepler then [stalked]…Lake [via]…police [databases]…travelled…to Lake’s last known address…carrying a loaded .357 Magnum revolver…[and waited for] his daughter and Lake [to come by. When she understandably]…re[fused]…to speak with…Kepler [he responded by gunning]…Lake [down in the street like a mad dog, then attempted] to…[also murder] his daughter, the victim’s brother, and a third witness…Kepler [later] claimed that…he shot Lake in self-defense [despite] Lake [being unarmed and the contrary testimony of three witnesses]…Kepler was…[tried] fi[ve times in all]…The first three resulted in hung juries, and a fourth resulted in a conviction for manslaughter [rather than what it clearly was, premeditated murder.  After this conviction was overturned on a technicality, he was finally sentenced to 25 years for the 2014 murder]…

You Were Warned (#1203)

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

A controversial California bill that would eliminate Section 230 protections in the name of fighting “online trafficking” and “revenge porn,” along the lines established at the federal level by FOSTA-SESTA, has moved forward in the state senate…SB435 threatens platforms with fines of over $100,000 for not immediately removing flagged content, but offers little to protect the system from abuse by bad actors…Anti-porn groups and harassers, [Free Speech Coalition Public Affairs Director Mike] Stabile noted, “already abuse reporting systems to attack sex workers.  SB435 would give them a powerful new tool, with almost no protections for legal content. And since most of the time platforms would rather remove legal content than arbitrate slowly and risk expensive litigation, the end result would be the further banning and removal…at a massive scale”…

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

Quiet Genocide (#1023)

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

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

Tissue of Lies (#1109)

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

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

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

Lack of Evidence (#1120) 

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

The Widening Gyre (#1136)

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

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

You Were Warned (#1156)

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

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

Panopticon (#1171)

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

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

To Molest and Rape (#1202) 

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

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

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[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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Law enforcement has been extremely secretive about their acquisition and use of [surveillance] technology.  –  Kade Crockford

I Spy (#646)

The civil rights violations cops commit reinforce each other:

…in 2019 the Boston Police Department bought the device…known as a “stingray”…[which] acts like a commercial cell phone tower, tricking nearby phones into connecting to it…[at which point] the equipment secretly obtains location and other potentially identifying information.  It can pinpoint someone’s location down to a particular room of a hotel or house…[and] scoop up information from other phones in the vicinity, including yours…The Boston police bought it…using money [stolen from the public]…through what’s called civil asset forfeiture…[cops] have few limitations on how they spend it…and the public has virtually no way of knowing how the funds are used.  The Boston City Council reviews the BPD annual budget, scrutinizing proposed spending.  But the surveillance equipment wasn’t part of the budget.  Because it was purchased with civil forfeiture funds, BPD was able to circumvent the city council…

But don’t worry, Boston’s “ban” on facial recognition will totally protect you!

Working From Home (#1066)

Indian sex workers, like their US sisters, are going online to survive:

Sex workers in India were particularly affected by the pandemic.  Loss of jobs, income and mounting bills led to an increase in domestic violence cases, some even fatal.  Just like most of the world, sex workers expanded their digital lives…In…India, which has been experiencing a smartphone boom, phone sex services became popular.  In the recently released book Intimate City, author Manjima Bhattacharjya…discover[ed what prohibitionists deny but every sex worker already knows]: the huge efforts that went into personalising escort services online…websites…mak[e sex workers] more real to men who [want to]…engag[e] with [a real person]…From finer details about the sex worker’s dietary preferences, her favourite colour to the films she enjoys, the websites promise more human contact beyond just sex…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1092)

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

The Worcester City Council…voted unanimously to pass an ordinance that bans municipal government agencies from acquiring or using face recognition technology.  Worcester is the eighth municipality in Massachusetts to ban government use of face surveillance, joining Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Easthampton, Northampton, Springfield, and Somerville—as well as other major cities around the country, including San Francisco, New Orleans, and Portland, Oregon…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1147) 

This seems like a wise decision:

In an unusual decision, U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino granted an order of restitution…transferring the copyright of hundreds of GirlsDoPorn videos to the models who appear in them.  Judge Sammartino issued the order as part of the judgement against the site’s disgraced scout and male talent, Ruben Andre “Dre” Garcia…[who] was sentenced to 20 years in June after pleading guilty in December 2020 to…sex trafficking [charges]…the…402 models…can now seek takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against websites that continue to allow pirated versions of the flicks…on their websites…Sammartino’s order…also granted $907,000 in restitution to 23 of Garcia’s victims to cover medical and mental health care and other costs.  GirlsDoPorn’s gross income — estimated to be nearly $17 million — was also ordered as restitution…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1190)

It’s good when they feed on each other:

A [typical and representative] Maui [cop] who was scheduled to report to federal prison next month for [attemp]ting [to coerce] sex from a woman he pulled over has been arrested for [talking on the internet to another pervert cop fantasy role-playing as] a 13-year-old girl.  Last month…Brandon Saffeels [was sentenced] to 2 1/2 years in prison…but is now detained on a new federal charge of attempted enticement of a minor…

Opting Out (#1194) 

The worse the idea, the more eager politicians are to ape it:

Anonymous sources have leaked the…[scheme] of France’s Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel…to compel adult sites “before the end of the year” to immediately implement a form of age verification under penalty of being deplatformed by [French] internet service providers…the CSA is planning to effect age verification not by requiring government-issued IDs but by forcing users intending to watch adult content — however it is defined by the French government or its  officers — to provide credit card information…

The Cop Myth (#1197)

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

A Chicago [cop]…murder[ed]…the…mother of his child following an argument…Pierre Tyler…was charged on Saturday, Dec. 11, with first-degree murder in the death of…Andris B. Wofford, who[m he killed by]…a gunshot…to [her] head…Wofford discovered that Tyler had a “pending child support case” with the mother of [his] other child and…mistakenly believed that Tyler had married the woman, which led to an argument…Tyler…[tried] to [use] meet[ing an unnamed snitch as an alibi, but]…his partners s[hot that down]…

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Who would have thought drinking dirt would make me feel so so good?

Since Mike Nesmith passed away this week, I’d like to share “The Monkees’ Christmas Episode” from 1967.  If you don’t have time for the whole thing, at least listen to their very lovely a capella performance of the 16th century Spanish Christmas carol “Riu Chiu”, starting at 20:47.  The links above the video are from Rick Horowitz, Stephen Lemons, Jesse Walker, Kevin WilsonWalter Olson, Mike Siegel, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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Phil Harvey…was a sex-positive activist before we used that term.  –  Carol Queen

R.I.P. Phil Harvey

Phil Harvey, the founder of…adult entertainment giant Adam & Eve and a longtime fighter of censorship, died on [December 2nd] at…[the age of] 83…As a student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Global Public Health in the 1960s, Harvey first began what would become Adam & Eve as part of his graduate thesis focused on the distribution of contraception…Before enrolling at UNC, Harvey spent five years in India working for the nonprofit CARE International, helping feed hungry children.  The experience made him an advocate for expanding birth control availability.  Though it was illegal at the time to sell contraception and other “obscene” items via the post…the mail-order company became a success, [especially] after it [expanded to selling sex toys and then, in the 1980s, adult video].  And…a portion of all…purchases w[ent] to…DKT International, a nonprofit that increased the availability of contraception and conducted educational campaigns around family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention.  By 2004, Harvey w[as] putting around $2 million per year…into DKT…helping distribute some 348 million condoms to countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America…over the years Harvey…donated some $50 million total of his Adam & Eve profits to his family-planning work…

Surplus Women (#544) 

Almost 30 years before he was caught, then another 61/2 before he was tried:

The trial [of] a [typical and representative] Pasco [Washington cop] is [finally] set to begin…in Spokane [for the] 1986 [rape and] murder of a [sex worker named Ruby Doss]…Richard J. Aguirre…was charged [again in] September [2020] with premeditated first-degree murder…charges [wer]e…brought against Aguirre…in 2015…[but] in December 2017, the case was [quietly] dropped…while [Aguirre gt to remain at large as a menace to other sex workers]…

To Molest and Rape

Another sexual predator specifically targeted a vulnerable woman:

A New Mexico [cop]…rap[ed] a [woman after accusing her of] drunk driving…Leon Martin…[implied]…he would shoot her or add extra charges…if she didn’t comply…he…[also infected her with] chlamydia…Martin admitted to [rap]ing…the woman…but [claimed] she [wanted it] and…[euphemized aggravated rape as] a lapse in judgment…Martin…had [previously stalked] her on Facebook after…[he first met her when she reported a domestic violence incident]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1091)

I hope the Institute for Justice has already contacted her:

Dallas [cops robbed]…$106,829.00, from a 25-year-old [woman from]…Chicago [at Dallas’ Love Field Airport]…Legally, there is no limit on the amount of cash a traveler can carry on domestic flights, but forfeiture allows [cops] to s[teal] any amount [as long as] they [belch out the magic word “]suspicious[” first]…Texas [cop shops]…have a “strong incentive” to s[teal] property, as they are entitled to a significant percentage of the [take].  In fact, IJ is currently suing Harris County, which encompasses Houston, over its application of the state’s asset forfeiture law…

Devil’s Advocate (#1114) 

The absurdity becomes more obvious when we substitute “toaster” for “sex doll”:

The Supreme Court [of South Korea has] ruled…imports of child[-shaped toasters] should be banned, because they could lead to the perception of children as [foodstuffs] and increase the danger of potential [cannibalism] against minors.  The ruling overturned lower courts’ decisions that imports of child[-shaped toasters] should be allowed, like those of [other novelty toasters].  In 2019, the top court allowed imports of [toasters] on grounds that they are [appliances] used in private [kitchens], an area in which the state should not interfere…

The Punitive Mindset (#1146) 

“Drugs” are a popular pretext for petty vindictiveness in US prisons:

A Massachusetts judge has ordered the state prison system to stop using drug field tests with well-known reliability issues after incarcerated people and their lawyers…were [repeatedly] falsely accused of smuggling drugs for exchanging legitimate legal mail…Justice Catalyst Law and the law firm BraunHagey & Borden, filed a class action lawsuit [demonstrat]ing that the state Department of [Torturing Caged Humans] uses NARK II test kits to [generate pretexts to torture people specifically because]…those tests have an error rate so high that they’re akin to “witchcraft, phrenology or simply picking a number out of a hat”…Judge Brian Davis issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the [DOTCH] from punishing inmates based solely on the results of…NARK II field tests…[saying] the tests were…”only marginally better than a coin-flip”…

To Molest and Rape (#1181)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative Alabama cop] has pleaded guilty to more than two dozen child porn charges.  Phillip Humphries…was…sentenced…to 10 years, with [only] one year to serve in [a jail diversion program, then]…probation for three…[plus condemnation to the] sex offender [registry.  The judge’s leniency was probably mostly due to Humphries’ copishness, but may also have something to do with]…his recent leg amputation…

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This is another example of…the false idea that the police can police themselves.  –  Ann Webb

R.I.P. Wakefield Poole

To the New York Times, the only good sex worker or pornographer is a dead one:

Wakefield Poole…made a feature-length, surrealistic movie called Boys in the Sand…and [after] its release in 1971…was hailed as a pioneer of gay porn…the film became a crossover hit that changed attitudes about pornography among both…gay and straight audiences…“I wanted a film,” Mr. Poole said at the time, “that gay people could look at and say, ‘I don’t mind being gay — it’s beautiful to see those people do what they’re doing’…Just seeing my name above the title on a theater made its impact.  Hundreds of people…came out after seeing the film…The reason I stopped making films was the AIDS situation…I lost my fan base to AIDS.  I saw them all die…Cocaine saved my life.  I did so much coke, I couldn’t have sex”…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

A false rape claim supported by a lying cop; the victim is lucky to be free:

A New South Wales [cop named]…Scott John White is facing two charges of perjury, after he [lied to] a court [in support of false rape claims made by]…Sarah Jane Parkinson, who[m] he has since married…[against] her former partner…in March 2014…she had told police she was hanging out washing in the garden…when her former partner assaulted her, slamming her head into a brick wall and raping her…police arrested her [victim] as he left work, and he was jailed until [her story came apart during investigation]…Parkinson was convicted of making a false statement and jailed after she eventually pleaded guilty to the charge [in 2019]…

Opting Out (#982) 

As I predicted two years ago:

[Politicians] are preparing to [re-]introduce [a censorship scheme claimed] to prevent children accessing online pornography.  Plans to [impose] age verification for adult sites, which were shelved in 201[9], are now being [brought up again due to the current anti-porn hysteria]…The…[would-be censors’ ringleader is]…Dame Rachel de Souza, [who holds the pompous title] children’s commissioner…[and is] willing to [use bogus statistics]…and [the debunked tabula rasa model of sexual development]…to …[advance her scheme] to…stop children stumbling across [information busybodies and fanatics don’t want them to have.  The prior “age verification” scheme]…was never [implemented due to] privacy campaigners [pointing out] that it would force users to hand over their identities to porn sites[, government officials, or other fascists who would absolutely misuse the information.  But] De Souza [fantasizes] that technology now exist[s] that will allow users to prove their age online using a passport or other identification in a [magical] way that…[renders] privacy issues…no longer a concern…

Quiet Genocide (#991)

America has given every tyrannical regime in the world a powerful weapon of rhetoric:

…what was once an American obsession is now an international one.  “Terrorism” has become the opportunistic cover for governments around the world looking to subdue any kind of non-state agitator: ethnic nationalists in Russia, pirates in Indonesia, environmentalists in the Philippines, Kurdish revolutionaries in Turkey.  There is hardly a government anywhere that has not adopted some feature of the war on terror, from its ideological abstractions of good and evil to the special permissions it grants states to monitor and control citizens.  The evolution is nowhere so stark as in…Xinjiang…whose minority Uyghur population is almost certainly the most monitored and controlled on the planet…In The War on the Uyghurs, Sean Roberts…shows how the United States’ efforts to build an international consensus for its counterterrorism projects had far-reaching consequences on the other side of the world…[encouraging] the Chinese government [to] bec[o]me increasingly brazen in its oppression of Muslim and Turkic minorities…long before the moment in 2016 when it began secretly [caging millions] of people in [the brutal concentration camps to which it applies the Orwellian term] “Transformation Through Education centers“…

Under Duress (#1110)

Are most cops even capable of telling the truth?

A [typical and representative] Ventura County [cop] has admitted to [intentionally hid]ing…a drug test that exonerated a woman [he wanted to railroad for]…being under the influence of methamphetamine…Richard Charles Barrios III…pleaded guilty to [a minor charge for trying to destroy the woman’s life]…two years ago…Throughout the [arrest and booking], the woman vehemently denied being under the influence of any drugs…she…provided a urine sample and…[w]hen…the results [were negative]…he…threw the test kit into the garbage…disposed of the urine sample…refused to tell the woman the results of her test and began the process of having her booked…Barrios also [lied to the Big Pig on duty]…that the woman had refused to provide a urine sample…another [cop believed her and]…found the [discarded] test kit…show[ing] that she tested negative…[so s]he…was released and taken back to her vehicle…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

North Carolina’s “solution” for rampant cop violence? Hide the data:

A paragraph deep in the new state budget forbids sheriffs, [cop shops] and any other government entity in North Carolina from creating a public log of the times [cops]…injure[, maim, or murder] someone.  These so-called critical incidents are going to be recorded statewide for the first time…but that database is for [cop shops] to use in an effort to [hide]…problem [cops from]…the public…[while claiming]…to [be a part of] police reform…they…can’t [even] create a database of wh[ich cops have been]…disciplin[ed or how often]…The new language ensures that [cops are protected from reform-minded politicians]…

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

Authoritarian regimes are much of a muchness:

The Chinese censorship system, like the tactic being employed in Texas, relies on intimidation.  Chinese publishers excise material that might run afoul of censors before sending books for approval…Likewise…the Stalinization of Eastern Europe depended not primarily on the gulag and the firing squads, but on the intimidation of people who felt compelled to spew the same idiocy they heard, pursuing a grotesque conformity…This process is brilliantly caricatured in Eugène Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros, in which people who seem perfectly normal transform into violent beasts, more and more of them caving as the play goes onA parallel process has taken place as an increasing number of Americans seem willing to abandon previously hallowed democratic norms, including freedom of expression

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

Pretext

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

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

Lack of Evidence (#960)

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

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

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

Rooted in Racism (#966)

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

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

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1090)

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

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

Scapegoats (#1169)

This sordid saga finally wraps up after three years:

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

The Cop Myth (#1178)

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

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#1185)

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

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

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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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