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Posts Tagged ‘sex offender registry’

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

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

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

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

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

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

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

Social Distancing (#1082)

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

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

Above the Law (#1187) 

This subtitle is no exaggeration:

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

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

I Spy (#1188)

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

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

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

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

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

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

The Cop Myth (#1191)

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

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

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The people having the greatest sexual fulfilment were [those] who…discarded the entire package of paint-by-numbers ideas about sexuality.  –  Peggy Kleinplatz

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

Alice Sebold’s bestselling 1999 memoir Lucky tells the story of a young woman raped by a stranger…Sebold went on to write the bestseller The Lovely Bones, a fictional account of a teenage girl raped and killed.  But last week Anthony Broadwater, the man who served 16 years in prison for raping Sebold, was exonerated.  Timothy Mucciante, a producer working on a film adaptation of Lucky, was fired after raising questions about inconsistencies in Sebold’s story…[and] discrepancies between the memoir and the facts of the case, to the point where he…ended up hiring a private investigator [who]…broke the case.  Broadwater’s conviction…rested on shaky evidence: Sebold had…initially picked a different man out of a lineup—and the only forensic evidence was a form of hair analysis that [even] the government now [admits is] junk science…Broadwater was [condemned to] the New York Sex Offender Registry after his 1999 release, and…remained on it until a few days ago.  His case starkly highlights the needless cruelty of sex offense registries

Between the Ears (#322)

Professionals have been telling y’all this for decades:

…truly magnificent sex has very little to do with daring feats of seduction or screaming orgasms…erotic intimacy is more a state of mind than a physical act.  In a recent study, Magnificent Sex, psychologist and sex therapist Dr Peggy J Kleinplatz and her colleagues at Ottawa University…recruited people from around the world across the age, gender and sexuality spectrum – who self-reported having had, at some point in their lives, truly mindblowing sex.  Through a series of interviews, researchers began to build up a picture of what “the best sex ever” looks, feels and sounds like…Despite the different ways each participant actually had sex, at the very peaks of the experience, everyone was feeling the same kinds of things: total absorption in the moment, deep connection with their partner, and openness and a willingness to take a few emotional risks…

The rest has the same kind of advice sex educators have been giving people for as long as there’s been such a thing (see the subtitle of this item?) but it won’t do any good, because most people just want a magic pill.

Checklist (#685)

Thought you could avoid the “sex trafficking” Gestapo by taking a bus rather than a plane?  Think again:

Denver [cops swarmed]…a Greyhound bus [on November 29th]…[they delayed the bus for hours, interrogat]ing…passengers and [root]ing [through people’s] luggage [without their consent, using the excuse of “]a possible human trafficking situation[” reported by a busybody indoctrinated by government “signs of trafficking” propaganda]…an adult female was [on the bus] and…The Denver Police Human Trafficking Unit is investigating [why she was traveling without a male]…no one has been arrested at this time…

Monsters (#863) 

All internet “porn” censorship schemes have similar endgames:

A powerful Russian [politician]…unveiled…a bill proposal that would classify all depictions of LGBTQ+ relationships in the same banned or restricted categories as pornography…[while] another [politician announced]…he had prepared a catalog of “toxic content,” using a system that labels content from “completely banned” to “simply undesirable”…Vitaly Milonov…[said] “the state…[should] not allow the broadcast of films with LGBTQ+ content”…and…Igor Ashmanov… “would flag topics such as radical feminism [and] ‘child-free’ lifestyles, as well as the promotion of homosexuality and bestiality”…Last month, an[other politician blathered toxic nonsense about]…“the rights of law enforcers [to inflict violence upon individuals for their thoughts]”…

Winding Down (#1114)

Your “leaders” know what’s best, so shut up and obey:

South Dakota voters made history last November by simultaneously approving ballot initiatives aimed at legalizing recreational and medical use of marijuana…Amendment A…prevailed by an eight-point margin in a state that is…largely conservative.  But thanks to…legal [obstructionism]…by [prohibitionist] Gov. Kristi Noem, Amendment A was almost immediately tied up in litigation, and…[now] the South Dakota Supreme Court [has] definitively overturned it…[on a technicality the amendment’s backers called “a far-fetched legal theory”, an assessment the dissenting judge agreed with]…unless the state legislature independently implements the policy embodied in Amendment A, the ruling means supporters…will have to try again next year with an initiative that addresses the court’s legal objections…

The Crumbling Dam (#1153)

Will the feds interfere with this as they did in Philadelphia?

In an attempt to curb a surge in overdose deaths caused by [street drugs made] increasingly potent [by the iron law of prohibition], New York City will authorize two supervised injection sites in Manhattan…New York…will become the first U.S. city to open officially authorized injection sites…other cities including Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston and Seattle have taken steps toward supervised injection but have [been blocked by prohibitionists both in and out of government]…Mayor Bill de Blasio…sent a letter to the providers promising “not to take enforcement action” against their operations and…four of the city’s five district attorneys — [in]cluding [crypto-prohibitionist]…Cyrus R. Vance Jr

I Spy (#1173)

I’ll believe Facebook is actually going to do this when it actually does it:

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp’s parent company…doesn’t plan to roll out end-to-end encryption…by default on Messenger and Instagram until 2023…Antigone Davis, Meta’s head of safety, attributes the delay to concerns about user safety…[which does not]…mean…[actual safety, but is in actuality an Orwellian euphemism for copsucking]…UK…[politicians are trying to criminalize encryption in their fiefdom] and…the US…Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and Japan…all [subscribe to mathematically-illiterate lawhead beliefs that it’s possible]…to give [pigs and spooks a “backdoor” to root around in people’s private affairs while magically preventing thugs and busybodies who don’t work for the State from exploiting the same intentional gap in security]…

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It is difficult to imagine a situation in which parents would demand to see the driver’s licenses of neighbors handing out candy to trick-or-treaters.  –  Jacob Sullum

Crime Against Society (#609)

Courts are finally curtailing the worst of Louisiana’s nasty “sex offender” game:

The U.S. Supreme Court…declined to hear Louisiana’s appeal of a decision against its 2006 law requiring that people [condemned to] the state’s sex offender registry carry IDs or driver’s licenses that say “SEX OFFENDER” in orange capital letters.  A year ago, the Louisiana Supreme Court concluded that the requirement amounted to compelled speech and could not be justified by the state’s legitimate interest in protecting public safety…registries…are primarily punitive, exposing registrants to ostracism, harassment, and violence while impeding their rehabilitation by making it difficult to find employment and housing…Louisiana’s experiment in ritual humiliation, which branded registrants with orange letters they had to display in every transaction that required producing a government-issued ID, compounded those costs without offering any plausible benefits…

Louisiana even condemned sex workers to this “registry”; at one time, fully half of New Orleans’ victims of this monstrous punishment were sex workers.

To Molest and Rape

Prosecutors care more about magical clown costumes than about rape:

An off-duty cop has been charged with raping his girlfriend inside their Queens home…[on] Sept. 7…The girlfriend appears to have contacted police [last] week, with [rapist cop] Gilberto Salazar-Giraldo…arrested [on October 4th and]…suspended without pay…

Property of the State (#942) 

A rare rollback of state control of pregnant women:

[The Ohio Supreme] Court found that a woman can’t be charged with possession of drugs…just because she and her newborn had drugs in their systems…Kelly Foreman appealed her conviction on felony drug possession charges, which he was charged with after giving birth in March 2018…she was not “in actual or constructive control of any drugs”…and…the high court found that tests proving the presence of cocaine were “insufficient to prove that she possessed cocaine in Seneca County”…The court opinion said the argument that possession could be established through urine or umbilical cord testing leads to the possibility that a person could be charged with possession anywhere they test positive in the state, no matter where the drugs were when they were taken…

The Cop Myth (#1075)

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

…Matthew Kinne…a…[typical and representative cop] in…Oxford [Mississippi, knew that his mistress]…Dominique [Clayton] was home alone th[e]…night [of 18 May 2019], as her children were spending the weekend with a relative.  At the end of his shift, Kinne went…to a barn where the police horses were kept and left his mobile phone there…so that his movements could not be traced.  He…park[ed his pigmobile] around the corner [from]…he[r] home…[entered her bedroom] at around 2.05am…[and] shot her…in the head…Kinne [then] drove back to the barn to collect his phone and texted her at 2.20am as though nothing had happened…

Tissue of Lies (#1087)

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

Ten…[legal minors officially missing in]…Ohio [records were located when] authorities conducted [a record review similar to one last year, bizarrely referring to it as an] anti-human-trafficking operation…[and linking it with] the [unrelated] arrests of 161 people [in typical prostitution stings.  Cops also abducted one sex worker’s]…2-year-old [child]…The weeklong [pogrom] involved over 90 [pigs and spooks, oinking, grunting, and rooting in people’s private business, ruining lives to get about 50] misdemeanor [charges.  Among those arrested were] 51 [legal minors, some of whom were accused of selling sex to survive]…

Ohio is especially invested in this kind of swine theater in order to call attention away from the rapes, molestation, robbery, extortion, and murders practiced by Columbus’ “vice” gang for decades.

Winding Down (#1133)

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

Seattle just became the largest city in the country with a hands-off policy for…natural psychedelics…[after] the city council unanimously approved a resolution that says “the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of anyone engaging in entheogen-related activities should be among The City of Seattle’s lowest enforcement priorities”…[but does not impose] that…as [SPD] policy…The new policy…[only] applies to…”living, fresh, dried, or processed plant or fungal material”…[but not lab-made substances such as LSD or MDMA]…Seattle joins several other U.S. cities in urging [cops to] tolera[te] psychedelic use.  In 2019, Denver voters approved a[n]…initiative that made adult possession of psilocybin the city’s lowest law enforcement priority and prohibited the use of public money to pursue such cases.  Last year, the city councils of Ann Arbor, MichiganOakland, California; and Santa Cruz, California, enacted similar measures…An…Oregon ballot initiative approved in November decriminalized low-level possession of drugs, including psilocybin and other psychedelics…

Seattle’s resolution, unlike Denver’s, does not deny cops funds to persecute drug users, which renders it dependent upon voluntary cop cooperation.

Censorship Ascendant

Censors are now pretending ideas they don’t like constitute a “crime”:

Local busybodies in Campbell County, Wyoming, are trying to brand children’s or young adult books about getting pregnant, sex education, and being gay as illegal obscenity…books reported to [the cops] include How Do You Make a Baby? by Anna FiskeDating and Sex: A Guide for the 21st Century Teen Boy…the teen sex-education book Doing It by Hannah WittonThis Book Is Gay by Juno Dawson, and Sex Is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg.  The latter—an award-winning children’s comic book on the American Library Association’s 2016 Reading List—discusses concepts such as sex, gender identity, “privacy, safety, and respect,” “protecting yourself against unwanted sexual touch and abuse,” and “boundaries regarding nudity”…The…disturbing element here is…that [rather than leaving these matters to actual experts]…prosecutors are [actually] reviewing the case…

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