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Posts Tagged ‘sex offender registry’

Knowing that predator[y cops]…are lurking online is every parent’s worst nightmare.  –  Matthew B. Millhollin

If Men Were Angels

It’s getting harder to tell the preachers from the cops:

A Fresno County minster was arrested [for molesting a girl under 14 years old in 2017].  Bernardino Villalobos…is a registered sex offender [who] previously served time in prison for convictions of rape and sodomy….[but] owns a church and serves as a minister at La Obra De Jesus Christian Church in Del Rey…

To Molest and Rape

Never trust a cop, especially not a cop who changes his legal name to that of a despotic French king:

A…Florida [cop] was arrested and suspended without pay after…[rap]ing his friend in the parking lot of a Krispy Kreme in early July…Alaindy LouisXVI was [only] charged with sexual battery…[despite raping his] “best friend”…[while she was] blacked out [drunk]…on July 25, detectives had her make a call to LouisXVI that was being secretly recorded by police where he…admitted to [rap]ing [her]…

The Crumbling Dam (#949)

Eventually, there wil be too many of these for the feds to block all of them:

California [politician]s have again given approval for…major cities to experiment with supervised injection facilities that would provide users a place to inject drugs under the supervision of health workers…S.B. 57…allow[s] San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Oakland to approve organizations to operate these injection sites, following a lengthy approval process that includes public meetings…[an earlier] attempt…to launch these injection facilities in San Francisco…[was vetoed by] then-Gov. Jerry Brown…[supposedly] partly because he worried that he couldn’t protect operators from federal prosecution (which everybody involved already knew was a risk) but really because his nanny state–style approach to addiction was to use government force to mandate people into drug treatment…

The Next Target (#1180)

Somebody really needs to start a credit card network that doesn’t want to be an arbiter of morality:

Visa and Mastercard [announced that] card payments for advertising on Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek would be suspended after a [predatory nuisance] lawsuit [convinced a large number of stupid people, including a federal judge in California, that] the payments giants could be facilitating child pornography

Above the Law (#1192)

He sounds like a typical, representative “member of the law enforcement community” to me:

A [typical and representative] Assistant Chief Probation Officer [in Massachusetts named]…Brian Orlandella…was sentenced…to 17 years in prison and five years of supervised release…[plus] a $5,000 [fine for sending] a…13-year-old girl…images of himself masturbating and [cajoling] her [in]to send[ing] him sexually explicit pictures and videos of herself…The Kik account’s IP address was traced to Orlandella’s residence in Massachusetts…[and] one of [hisphones] contained…the [pictures the girl sent]…

The Cop Myth (#1246)

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

A Connecticut state trooper [named Jaime Solis] was arrested twice [in one] week…[for] multiple incidents of domestic abuse that finally sent [his] unnamed female [partner] to the hospital.  The…victim told police that within the last year [Solis] had attacked her “approximately forty times,” hit her with his belt, threatened to kill her, and threatened to harm a dog.  Some of the…abuse occurred when the victim was pregnant…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1255)

Fentanyl-contaminated objects are replacing “sex trafficking”-contaminated objects in popular scarelore:

[Alaska cops claim they found] fentanyl…inside a folded one-dollar bill that [was] dropped on the ground…at the police department…[by] a woman…[named] Sarah Dailey..the [cop who] found it…[panicked like a little girl and] called for medics to get checked out…[of course] he was fine…[but that didn’t stop them]…charg[ing the woman] with…[“]reckless endangerment[” for dropping a harmless piece of paper on the ground]…

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School [cops]…are accountable to nobody.  –  Andrea J. Ritchie

Perquisites

Ladies, it’s probably a bad idea to accept a client’s offer of a job you aren’t qualified for:

A senior research scientist working on advanced propulsion technologies for the U.S. Air Force duped a contractor into hiring an unqualified sex worker…because he thought she was “really hot”…The man then allegedly threatened to kill the sex worker’s supervisor and himself when the scheme fell apart—but not before shifting the bulk of the project’s funding elsewhere to pay for her salary at a different defense firm…a newly unsealed search warrant application…accuses Dr. James Gord…of installing the 32-year-old sex worker on a highly technical research project even though she did not have a college degree or any expertise in the field.  The woman “did not fully understand how to use basic word processing…software,” and “struggled to formulate coherent interoffice emails,” the warrant states…No charges had yet been filed against Gord prior to his death last September of unspecified causes.  The woman…has not [yet] been charged with a crime either…but…is…being investigated on charges of prostitution near military and naval establishments, and false, fictitious, or fraudulent claims…

To Molest and Rape (#758)

In the looking-glass world inhabited by people who believe in the virtue of cops, sexual coercion becomes “bribery”:

Pocono Mountain [cop] Steven Mertz detained a woman, drunk at the wheel of her car, then threatened her with a DUI charge if she refused to [submit to rape]…then he blackmailed her with “their secret”—all admitted in testimony—demanding she [submit to rape] again lest he find his notes.  He found them anyway.  This wasn’t rape, jurors unanimously [pretended], but merely taking a bribe—a lesser charge for which he was sentenced to 30 to 60 months in jail.  They agreed with his defense that “his role as her arresting officer did not constitute as an imbalance of power, nor did her impairment preclude her from being able to consent”…Beyond the sexist contempt and cop-worship of almost everyone involved in this, “acquiescing to a threat amounts to bribery that justifies the threat, but not the acceptance of the bribe” is a magnificently batshit legal outcome right up there with America’s worst.

The Widening Gyre (#928)

Cops don’t like it when non-cops falsely accuse innocent people of “crimes” that didn’t happen:

…a Baltimore man…[named] Ryan Dark White, a.k.a. Dr. Jon McGreevey…[who is] a candidate for United States Senate…[told cops] an older adult male was [at an adult bookstore] with a young girl, 10-12 years of age, [and was] forcing the child to perform sexual acts on male customers…a…[three-month] investigation revealed [that]…White [had made the whole thing up, presumably for publicity, so cops]…arrested…White [and] charged [him] with [making] false statements…

Banishment (#970)

This is sick even by the abysmal standards of US “sex offender” laws:

In 2020, an ordinance in Brevard County, Florida, permitted a business to certify itself as a place where children congregate—the moral equivalent of a park—thereby making it a crime for anyone [condemned to] the sex offense registry to venture inside…[despite] hav[ing] no way of knowing which businesses have self-certified themselves as child-gathering places…but if they get too close, they are violating their registration requirements, which could land them in prison…registrants…[wanted] to bring the matter before county commissioners…[but] merely attending a meeting of the county commissioners is impossible…as Brevard’s Government Center is less than 1,000 feet from a high school, making it a crime for [them]…to enter the building…After [a] law[suit by]…the Florida Justice Institute…the commissioners finally modified the code [in March] just enough to permit people on the registry to attend a meeting…

Broken Record (Spot the Loonies)

The once-thriving competition for silliest “sex trafficking magnet” tall tale has been reduced mostly to pathetic reruns of years-old fantasies:

A se[lf-serving] law enforcement [pogrom held in the same month as] the World Games led to dozens of arrests…in Birmingham [Alabama].  The [pogrom]…involved [nearly as many cop shops, spook houses, and other collections of violent thugs than]…the [number of people] arrest[ed: 21 gangs to persecute]…34 [lonely men, 8] of [whom were tricked by the “bait and switch” tactics especially popular with Southern pigs]…15…sex [workers were also arrested] and [forced into a brainwashing scheme]…“Major sporting events like this routinely attract transnational criminal organizations and other bad actors involved in illicit criminal activity such as human exploitation crimes, drug trafficking and the sale of counterfeit merchandise,” S[ow] Katrina W. Berger [oinked]…

“Transnational criminal organizations” selling cheap knock-off T-shirts, because apparently “sex trafficking” is no longer enough to capture enough public attention on its own.

Above the Law (1175)

A prosecutor is just a kind of cop:

A Montgomery County [Ohio] prosecutor…w[ho] rape[d a woman in April 2013] has resigned…John Amos…[was charged with several related] counts…[after his victim came forward] in June 2020…the prosecutor’s office was notified [of Amos’ crime in February 2021, but didn’t fore him because]…the [crime was committed] “outside of the office during non-work hours”…

To Molest and Rape (#1234)

Give aggressive thugs power over teen girls; what could possibly go wrong?

In 2014, [a] Dothan, Alabama [cop named] Lanice Bonds…[raped] a 16-year-old student from Dothan High School, where he w[as assigned to spy on, harass, and intimidate students]…Three years later, at the same school, [his successor]…Adrian Folmar, was arrested for [raping] a 17-year-old student…another victim was [later] found, and…she was 14 years old.  Bonds and Folmar a[re]…part of a wider pattern of school[-haunting pigs] being removed from their positions due to sexual misconduct…at least 440 school children have been sexually abused by [cops] at their school in the last 20 years…and…that i[s]…likely underreported…

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None of us should be here.  –  Nicole Gililland

Counterfeit Comfort (#958) 

US sex laws are nothing but PR campaigns for cops:

Since 2006, the federal government has funneled millions into sometimes-massive operations to verify the addresses of those [condemned to] sex-offender registries…studies show they…do nothing to improve public safety…[and] programs with proven track records in preventing sexual violence…get little federal help…These mobilizations…funnel federal dollars to local police…but the…flood of money doesn’t appear to produce much…most [of the arrests during such sweeps are] for failure to report a change of address or vehicle…Sweep announcements often convey danger…[which] might explain why so many [are staged] on or around Halloween…Cops also use the raids to promote the m[yth] that police are all that stands between families and mayhem…And federal officials use the operations to denounce criticism of cops…

Imaginary Victims (#1000) 

The state’s pretended sympathy for “sex trafficking victims” applies only to imaginary “perfect” ones; real young women must fight for their lives:

…the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled…that a teenager who killed her sexual abuser may have the chance to be acquitted of all charges…Chrystul Kizer, now 22…has spent years fighting for the opportunity to show evidence…that her crimes were the “direct result” of the [exploitation]…she experienced at the hands of the man she killed: Randall Volar Jr.  She hoped to employ a never-before-used Wisconsin law that [claims]…to offer legal protection to [people classified as “]victims of trafficking[“, but prosecutors…[ha]ve argued…[that] her charge should only be lessened from first-degree homicide to second-degree — meaning she would still face up to 60 years in prison.  The court…[finally allowed] Kizer’s case, which has been stalled for years, [to] continue.  If [yet another] judge agrees there is “some evidence” her crimes were a “direct result” of trafficking, she will be able to present the same argument to a jury.  If the jury sides with her, she could be acquitted of some or all the charges against her…

Business As Usual (#1041)

Passive voice and obfuscation are used to divert blame for sexual assaults:

Two Flagstaff [cops lied] to [women in] massage parlors, took their pants off, and allowed themselves to be fondled eight different times….[which is] illegal according to state law [despite being approved] by [a gang composed of spooks, pigs, and]…prosecutors…Police a[bducted] 13 people…after…the [sexual assaults]…state law clearly outlines that what the [rapist pigs] detailed in their reports is illegal…[they also] repeatedly [claimed] they were looking into “sex trafficking” and then proceeded to pay for sex acts from [women they infantilized as “]victims[“]…

Panopticon (#1150)

A federal appeals court already ruled this kind of surveillance a 4th amendment violation, but I guess that doesn’t apply to the feds themselves:

[On June 30th], residents of Nogales, Arizona—a border-hugging town of about 20,000 people—awoke to find a large white blimp stationed in the sky.  Even [local politicians] had no idea the blimp was coming….[to] conduct…round-the-clock surveillance [for] U.S. Customs and Border Patrol…With the ability to provide surveillance both night and day, and a maximum [altitude] of 3,000 feet…the blimp is certainly capable of snooping on many people…There are now 17 blimps stationed over the U.S.-Mexico border.  The Nogales blimp is the first in eastern Arizona, though the CBP tentatively plans to launch another in that sector later this year…

It’d be a shame if locals started using this for target practice.

Permanent Record (#1200)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

An Oregon jury has awarded more than $1.7 million to Nicole Gililland, a former nursing student who sued her school for discriminating against her because of her adult performer past.  Although the jury declined to hold Southwestern Oregon Community College liable for Title IX violations, it did find SWOCC in breach of contract for derailing Gililland’s career and life after the school administration and instructors found out in 2017-2018 about her brief stint as an adult performer…for around 20 months between 2007 and 2009.  The jury…award[ed] Gililland $735,417 in compensation for the economic damage…plus $1 million in punitive damages…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

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

…a [typical and representative cop] in Virginia…[nam]ed…Richard Colon Crowder…[murdered] both his wife Diane…and stepdaughter Carrie Szaksz…[and also] fired…at [his fellow cops] in an approximately nine-hour standoff before surrendering…Diane was moving out of the home…to get [away from her husband’s] abus[e]…The movers were just taking care of the final two pieces when [Crowder started shooting, so they fled]…and called [the other cops]…

Still a Child (#1226) 

Japanese politicians decided to infantilize all adults rather than just young women:

Japanese p[orn]…performer…Sakura Tsukishima has revealed…that she was forced to give up her apartment due to unreasonable changes [politicians] forc[ed] on the local adult industry…the sudden precipitous decline in her projected income…[was] caused by the virtual shutdown of production while companies try to figure out how they can continue shooting now that the Japanese government has rendered adult industry contracts unenforceable…the new law empowers any performer of any age or gender to withdraw…their consent for companies to distribute adult material in which they appear [and were already paid for]…at any time before the film’s public release without conditions, as well as up to a year afterward…video vendors [would be] obliged to [somehow] recover the products and delete the footage, and cannot claim [to be repaid for the] compensation [paid to the cold-footed] performers…

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As shocking as this may be to the fine folks at Marriott:  people have sex in hotels.  –  Jennifer Worrel

Counterfeit Comfort (#52) 

Fortunately, an ever-growing number of people – including a few politicians – are becoming increasingly critical of these medieval laws:

…After an alleged sexting incident in 2012 snowballed into a felony conviction in his southern state, [Jason] was forced to register as a sex offender and barred from using a computer or smartphone.  Over time, the conditions of his probation were reduced to a patchwork of technology-related restrictions: He was allowed to use email, but…not…text[ing].  He could use the internet, but…not…social media account, and all of his time online was [surveill]ed by a probation officer…Jason has become a leader in nonprofit advocacy around criminal legal system reform…Last summer he petitioned the court to have his probation end early…But right now Jason is sitting in prison and will be there until July 2023…[because the probation officer and a prosecutor decided] watching a community prayer livestream…was…accessing social media…

Watershed

When a timid hack like Oliver feels safe supporting sex worker rights, we’re definitely past the watershed:

Signs (#912) 

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

Several years ago…I booked an overnight at a…convenient…mid-priced hotel…I informed the young woman working at the desk that I had a reservation….[but] she [kept] ask[ing]…annoying…question[s]…It felt like I was being assessed and scrutinized…In hindsight, I wish I would have just left right then and found another hotel.  I had already presented my driver’s license…I had loyalty status showing numerous prior stays at related properties which presumably she could confirm in her system; I had a drivers license with my photo confirming who I was.  The reservation was made via a corporate travel department.  Why was I getting the third-degree?  “Ma’am, we need to make sure women staying in our hotel are doing so for legitimate reasons”…As it turned out, Marriott International had launched an initiative to combat…sex trafficking…By 2019, the company proudly announced an achievement milestone of [indoctrinating] 500,000 hotel workers [in propaganda about]…signs of human trafficking…I suggest that Marriott could make more of a contribution to their mission of “combatting modern day slavery” and “caring about human rights”  if they re-assessed their business presence in China or their treatment of Uyghurs instead of scrutinizing adult American women checking into rural hotels…

The writer is a supporter of sex workers, and the article is well worth reading in its entirety.

To Molest and Rape (#947)

Even rapist cops sometimes get their comeuppance when the victim is a kid:

Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain was sentenced to…four life sentences without parole [for] aggravated rape…and…aggravated incest…of…five victims, some of them relatives, [who] testified at trial…of looking up to Strain as an older brother or father figure and having their trust betrayed when he molested or raped them in tents, campers, and in his bedroom.  The sexual abuse continued into adulthood in many cases…

Creepy Coppers

The article is pretty vague, but it seems to belong in this tag:

A [typical and representative Georgia cop] is facing a wave of new charges after having already separately been indicted by a federal Grand Jury…for child pornography…Peter Bilardello is facing five charges for the sexual exploitation of children…in [addition to the previous charges]…for the…possession and distribution of child pornography…Bilardello…worked in a sex-offender [gang, and]…was receiving training in sex crimes investigations while…committing online sex crimes against children…

The Cop Myth (#1210)

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

…On Aug. 3, 2018, [typical and representative California cop Brad] Wheat took his CHP-issued service weapon and hollow-point ammunition to [murder (by his own later admission) Philip “Trae” Debeaubien, the boyfriend of Wheat’s estranged wife, Mary…Wheat’s colleagues convinced him to surrender his…weapons and they reported it to superiors. Instead of treating this matter with the seriousness it deserved, or showing concern for the dangers that Debeaubien and Mary Wheat faced, CHP…essentially did nothing…it didn’t even inform the…planned [victims]…sent [Wheat] on vacation for two weeks, let him return to work, and returned his firearm and ammunition…Two weeks later, Wheat…shot Debeaubien in the shoulder…shot to death his ex-wife, and then killed himself.  Now CHP says it has no responsibility for this tragic event and that its decisions did not endanger the plaintiff’s life…

To Molest and Rape (#1211)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

An Alabama A&M spokesperson…[thought the most important detail about] the…arrest…for sexual abuse and enticing a child o[f campus copper] Ismael Roldan…was [that he wasn’t wearing his magical clown costume while committing the assault]…

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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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There have always been efforts to censor books, but what we’re seeing right now is frankly unprecedented.  –  Carolyn Foote

Damned If You Don’t

Everyone harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

A man is suing the City of Myrtle Beach [South Carolina, and its cop shop, for enabling a sow who nonconsentually involved him in her creepy fantasy roleplay to]…wrongfully arrest…him for prostitution…Ronald Thomas Uhrie…stopped at a local gas station to purchase a drink and some scratch-off tickets when he saw a woman waving frantically at him in the parking lot…because it was dark and rainy he could not tell if he knew her or not, and so he pulled over to speak to her…[when h]e asked the woman if she needed anything…she replied that she needed $20 for oral sex.  Uhrie…[t]he[n] rolled up his window and left, not knowing the woman…was a [disguised sow out to ruin men’s lives.  Her cronies stole]…his truck…and [publicized their lies, resulting in Uhrie being] fired from his position as a diesel mechanic…unemployment…was denied because the…[government claimed people who talk to strange women who seem to be in distress deserve to starve to death in a gutter]…The [bogus] charges against Urhie…were later dismissed…Urhie is seeking lost wages, front pay, future lost wages and benefits, compensatory and consequential damages and attorney’s fees and costs…

Scapegoats (#449)

Once again, vanillas reveal themselves as the true perverts:

…In Pennsylvania, Maine, Michigan, and Iowa in recent months, school board meetings have been disrupted by [people claiming] that educators are giving special treatment to furry students…the widespread hoaxes play into a broader right-wing effort to discredit and demand further control over public education…The rumors simmered for months in districts like Central York [Pennsylvania] last year, where a “concerned parents” Facebook group promoted fears that furries “could be in your child’s classroom hissing at your child and licking themselves”…in Michigan’s Midland school district [one parent claimed]…“I heard that at least one of our schools in our town, has in one of the unisex bathrooms a litter box for the kids that identify as cats”…the [hoaxe]s soon spread to Texas, where a [politician]…claim[ed]…“Cafeteria tables are being lowered in certain…middle and high schools to allow ‘furries’ to more easily eat without utensils or their hands”…chatter about litter boxes and doggie bowls display a misunderstanding about…furries[, who] do not literally believe they are non-human animals…a furry might play-act the role of a cartoon animal, but when nature calls, she’ll step out of character and remove her costume to use a normal toilet…

You Were Warned (#1060)

You just can’t keep a bad law down:

People don’t want outsiders reading their private messages —not their physical mail, not their texts, not their DMs, nothing.  It’s a clear and obvious point, but one place it doesn’t seem to have reached is the U.S. Senate.  A group of [politicians] led by…Richard Blumenthal…and…Lindsey Graham…have re-introduced the EARN IT Act, an incredibly unpopular bill from 2020 that was dropped in the face of overwhelming opposition….the…Act would [create]…a massive new surveillance system, run by private companies, that would…scan every message sent online and report [anything that tripped error-prone algorithms] to law enforcement…anything hosted online—backups, websites, cloud photos, and more—[would be] scanned.  The bill empowers every U.S. state or territory to create sweeping new Internet regulations…as long as they somehow [include the magic word]…child…the bill [also] creates a 19-person federal commission, dominated by [pigs and spooks], which will lay out [compulso]ry “best practices” for attacking…online [privacy]…

Top Cop (#1103)

Copmala will never let go of her hatred of sex workers:

Kamala Harris is back to [ly]ing…about human trafficking.  In a speech to the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Harris—who has a long history of dishonesty about sex trafficking—said that “in 2020 alone, there were 11,000 instances of human trafficking that were reported in the United States.”  Where did Harris get that figure?  From calls to the Polaris Project’s national human trafficking hotline…but the large numbers Polaris puts out are…just a tally of contacts to the hotline.  That includes pranks, cranks, and people reporting sightings of consensual sex work.  It’s refreshing (and all too rare) to see a major news outlet acknowledge this reality, as The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler did in a column last week…Kessler — who has previously tackled other false or misleading claims about human trafficking — points out that the Polaris numbers are mostly anecdotal…and…only about a third of these “potential cases” are even reported by Polaris to law enforcement.  They don’t know how many of those prompt the police to open an investigation, let alone what those investigations uncover…

The End of the Beginning (#1153) 

This would at last truly be the beginning of the end for these evil laws:

In March, the Council of the American Law Institute will meet to vote on revisions to the Model Penal Code…Though not legally binding, the Model…[h]as [been] hugely influential [since first published in 1962], with a majority of states adopting it wholly or in part.  The current revision, almost a decade in the making, will guide states to update their laws based on knowledge that we’ve acquired over the past 60 years.  The proposed revision recommends limiting the convictions that trigger [“sex offender”] registration to the most serious [actual] sex crimes…eliminating unrestricted public notification of registrants…and capping the maximum registration period to 15 years, in the absence of new sex crimes.  Crucially, the revised code recommends ending the practice of placing children on registries, except in rare cases of youth convicted in adult court of violent sex crimes committed at age 16 or older…

Thought Control (#1200)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

…libraries…[are] now a battleground in an unprecedented effort by parents and conservative politicians in Texas to ban books dealing with race, sexuality and gender from schools…hundreds of titles have been pulled from libraries across the state…over the objections of school librarians…who…face increasingly hostile work environments and mounting [bureaucratic] pressure to pre-emptively pull books that might draw complaints…school districts…report…more challenges this year than in the past two decades combined.  All but a few…targeted books dealing with racism or sexuality, the majority of them featuring LGBTQ characters and explicit descriptions of sex [and most titles drawn from lists circulated by pro-censorship groups]…Similar [crusades] are [disrupt]ing communities across the country…[but] the fight is particularly heated in Texas, where Republican state officials, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have gone as far as calling for criminal charges against any school staff member who provides [legal minors] with access to young adult novels that [censors] have labeled as “pornography”…

The Cop Myth (#1204)

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

An Illinois state [cop murdered] his wife before [shoot]ing himself…Antonio Alvarez and [his estranged wife] Amanda…were found dead…on [January 24th, but]…the Illinois State Police…[thought] the [most important detail was that the murderer was neither in his clown car nor wearing his magic clown costume, rather than that Alvarez]…had long been in[credibly abusive]…and [murdered]…Amanda [because she]…planned to leave h[im] for good…She was [survived by] two children, ages 1 and 4 years…

The headline is so poorly written it makes it look like he murdered three people rather than one person plus himself.

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Interactions with artificial agents is not the same as interacting with humans.  –  Yochanan Bigman

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#799) 

The idea that words entered into a computer program constitute “verbal abuse” is like something out of a Monty Python sketch:

The smartphone app Replika lets users create chatbots…that can carry on almost-coherent text conversations…Replika has also picked up a significant following on Reddit, where members post interactions with chatbots created on the app.  A [sad] trend has emerged there: users who create [algorithms they pretend are] partners, act [toward them in a way that could be termed] abusive…[if the algorithms were alive], and post the toxic interactions online…The results can be upsetting [to those with a very loose grasp of reality who should maybe get off the internet once in a while]…Replika chatbots can’t actually experience suffering — they might seem empathetic at times, but in the end they’re nothing more than data and clever algorithms…nothing you do can actually “harm” them…Yale University research fellow Yochanan Bigman [said] “Chatbots don’t really have motives and intentions and are not autonomous or sentient.  While they might give people the impression that they are human, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not”…

The “trigger warning” claiming that typing words into an algorithm constitutes “violence” is just {chef’s kiss}.

You Were Warned (#976)

This decision was necessary to prevent a cascade of predatory lawsuits that would make the tobacco & breast implant lawsuits look reasonable and moderate in comparison:

A California appeals court sided with Salesforce…and dismissed a lawsuit by [ambulance-chasers representing] 50 [professional “survivors”] claiming that the cloud-based software company was liable for their alleged sex trafficking because it had provided services to the now-defunct classifieds site Backpage.com.  The ruling dismissed the plaintiffs’ appeal on the basis of Section 230…[just as the lower] Court [had]…

Counterfeit Comfort (#984)

We may be seeing the beginning of the end of these medieval practices:

From McClendon v. Long, decided…by the Eleventh Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Frank Hull, joined by Chief Judge William Pryor and Britt Grant:  In October 2018, two deputies from the Butts County Sheriff’s Office placed signs in the front yards of the residences of all 57 registered sex offenders within the County, warning “STOP” and “NO TRICK-OR-TREAT AT THIS ADDRESS.”  Before Halloween 2019, three registered sex offenders living in Butts County sued, seeking to enjoin the Sheriff from placing the signs again…[W]e conclude that the Sheriff’s warning signs are compelled government speech, and their placement violates a homeowner’s First Amendment rights.  Thus, we vacate the district court’s judgment in favor of the Sheriff and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion

Social Distancing (#1055)

The sex industry is a major part of the Thai economy, but you wouln’t know it from the way politicians behave:

[Last summer], sex workers and others in Thailand’s nightlife industry lined high heels up in front of the parliament building in Bangkok.  Each pair…had a note calling for the government to compensate redlight district workers who are out of work due to the pandemic.  Six months later, with bars and nightclubs still ordered to remain closed, sex workers…have not been financially supported like others in the nightlife industry…many of the workers, who call themselves the “High Heel Defenders” have been mailing boxes with pairs of heels to the government each day to “remind them of their responsibility for the people impacted by their policies.”  But the packages have been sent back…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#1185)

Cops will keep this up as long as people let them pretend that adults never like sweet flavors:

[Mobile] police [squealed and grunted at credulous reporters after they stole]…86 pounds of…marijuana…and a large number of [edibles.  Head pig] Paul Prine [oinked a lot of idiotic nonsense about how no adult in the universe eats marshmallow treats made with breakfast cereal]…“Everything is packaged to attract children,” he [oinked stupidly.  Cops are obsessed with the idea that people want to give expensive cannabis edibles to penniless brats for free, but a few reporters have grown tired of parroting the silly fantasy]…

To Molest and Rape (#1203)

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

[Typical and representative Wisconsin cop] Rick Gramza has been ordered to pay a [very small] fine [but] will spend no time in jail after…[repeatedly] sexually assaulting a department employee [for] several [years]…Gramza[‘s victim was afraid she’d lose her job, but sometime after he was promoted to Boss Pig she]…filed [charges against him] in November 2020…Gramza…[used the typical cop “she wanted it” defense, but also]…resigned from the department [the following] March…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1204)

Politicians are always happy to indulge cops’ violent fantasies:

West Virginia [politicians] advanced a bill that would make “exposing” [cops] to illicit fentanyl punishable by up to five years in prison…It’s unclear how someone might be shown to “intentionally” possess illicit fentanyl, which is often present as an adulterant in supplies of other drugs without purchasers’ awareness or consent…Mike Pushkin…the sole committee member to vote against the bill, [said]…“In a lot of cases, people think they’re buying one substance and they wind up getting fentanyl. So how can you prove they intentionally were in possession of fentanyl?”  Neither is it clear how the bill would determine “exposure” to fentanyl.  “Does it mean they’re in the same room?” Pushkin asked…overdose from passive fentanyl exposure is a myth.  The substance does not readily absorb through the skin, nor do its molecules linger in the air.  But the false claim that simply touching or being in the vicinity of airborne fentanyl can cause overdose is one frequently circulated by [cops]…

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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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I have to stop cowering.  –  Jennifer Chen

Secret Squirrel (#895)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

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

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1062)

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

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

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

To Molest and Rape (#1148) 

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

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

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

To Molest and Rape (#1160)

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

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

Virtual Imperialism (#1175)

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

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

Torture Chamber (#1181)

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

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

Rotting Fruit (#1192)

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

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

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 I will fucking shoot you.  –  Sheriff Craig Rowland

This week’s amusing holiday video was provided by reader En Passant in a comment on last week’s Links column; the first and last links above the video are from Cop Crisis, and the others from Stephen Lemons, Scott Greenfield, Lenore Skenazy, Mike Siegel, and Jesse Walker, in that order.

From the Archives

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