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Posts Tagged ‘shame’

Following a person’s movements 24 hours a day, day after day, will tell you where they live, where they work, who they spend time with, and who they are.  –  Nate Wessler

Bullies With Badges

Big heroes prove their manhood by terrorizing women:

[British cops] have been…ignoring the law in order to…bully, harass and intimidate…sex workers…[they have] raid[ed] sex workers’ premises [without warrants] and [refused] to identify themselves…In one [case, the cops]…shouted that “prostitution was illegal in the UK, told [their victim] that she was mentally ill, [ransack]ed the flat and [stole] her phones…a personal book containing her email address, passwords and phone numbers”…and [her] towels…claiming they needed to check them for semen…“After this aggressive and unreasonable behaviour officers then bizarrely asked Ms B if she was trafficked,” [Niki] Adams [of ECP] wrote…A spokesp[ig claimed the cops]…did not need a warrant as they were carrying out a routine welfare check…They [lied that their victim voluntarily] invited [them] inside…[the spokespig also oinked out the word “]safeguarding[“, which is a UK cop euphemism for arrest]…

To Molest and Rape

In which “child” is used to mean “teen” and “gang-like group” is used to mean “gang”:

[Cops] in an exclusive Santa Ana Police [gang]…who share…skull tattoos have [repeatedly brutalized and molested citizens]…both [while wearing their magical clown costumes] and [not, and unsurprisingly] faced no [consequences of any kind]…Five of…[them] were [observed by numerous witnesses] verbally harassing [and molesting] two teenage girls…at a…restaurant [in 2020].  In a 2021 incident, [a politician named] Johnathan Hernandez reported seeing…[two of them] holding a struggling woman [down] in a parking lot…[while] groping…and [verbally abusing]…her…

While I sympathize with the desire to make these thugs look as bad as possible, infantilizing victims of sexual assault does not help them.

Stalkers in Blue

Even seemingly-consensual sex with a cop may be something else:

A…Belchertown [Massachusetts cop named]…Michael Beaupre…pleaded not guilty to 11 charges of unlawful wiretapping and 10 charges of photographing an unsuspecting nude person…Beaupre’s [girlfriend]…discovered a thumb drive at his home, which contained a folder of images of her naked, including performing sexual acts.  Those videos were taken without her knowledge…[and] permission [and directly against her] consent…Beaupre had previously asked her if he could film their sexual activities and that she “emphatically stated no”…[cops also] discovered…”approximately 60 folders with women’s names,” and that those folders contained hundreds of videos…13 [of the] folders…[contained] surreptitious recordings…[and] they were able to identify seven of those women…filmed from several devices in Beaupre’s bedroom and downstairs in his living room…between 2017 and 2021…

I Spy (#1064)

Modern fascism has spun a terrifyingly-extensive surveillance net:

According to Brendon Clark of Anomaly Six…the combination of its cellphone location-tracking technology with the social media surveillance provided by Zignal Labs would permit the U.S. government to effortlessly spy on Russian forces…or…track Chinese nuclear submarines.  To prove that the technology worked, Clark pointed A6’s powers inward, spying on the National Security Agency and CIA, using their own cellphones against them…there’s a good chance that A6 knows an immense amount about you.  The company is one of many that purchases vast reams of location data, tracking hundreds of millions of people around the world…without [thei]r knowledge or informed consent, relying on disclosures buried in the legalese of the sprawling terms of service that the companies involved count on you never reading…

To Molest and Rape (#1189)

Remember when the UK claimed it could protect women from predatory cops by paying other predatory cops to lurk in clubs?

A [Scottish cop] is to go on trial facing charges of sexual assault in Aberdeen and Dundee.  Ross Campbell…a[ssaulted seven women]…at various nightclubs…in 2019 and 2020…He [claims they either all wanted it or are lying]…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1202)

At least some reporters are finally getting skeptical of this popular excuse for bad behavior:

Daniel Andrew Karas…confessed to [talking dirty online to a cop fantasy role-playing online as a 13-year-old girl, but blamed it on an imaginary “]crippling adult porn addiction[“.  In court, he self-indulgently went on at great length about his religious beliefs]…and…bizarre[ly claimed that]… “pornography can even be a source of domestic violence, because if they don’t get what they see on porn from their partner then they could get violent”…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1208)

Politicians are always happy to indulge cops’ violent fantasies:

…Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost is [attempt]ing [to panic citizens about]…Nitazenes, [moronically labeled] “Frankenstein Opioids” [by prohibitionists.  The drugs are supposedly]…more than 40-times [as potent as]…fentanyl…Nitazines are not approved for medical use anywhere in the world but are currently being made in secret labs [due to the Iron Law of Prohibition.  But rather than telling the truth, that the War on Drugs is to blame, Yost preferred to repeat childish campfire tales about how cops] who just touched a little fentanyl immediately fell out, overdosed and were rushed to the hospital…[even though fentanyl cannot be absorbed through the skin]…

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By and large, the [state’s] reaction is, “Who cares? A child is dead. Let’s put her in prison for the rest of her life.”  –  Karla Fischer

Bad Girls

I don’t usually think ages are an important detail, but this is an exception:

…two Thai sex workers…Nualpan Coxon, 67, and Pornthip Phonkoed, 63, both of Auckland, have been on trial…[for defrauding] and…blackmail[ing three elderly men]…between August 2015 and February 2018…prosecutor Rebecca Mann…described the pair’s behaviour as “psychological coercion”…but…defence counsel Russell Boot told the jury…”They were not deceived in any way…It wasn’t until their wives and daughters found out … that it became an issue”…

Micromanagement

Any information you give to cops can and will be used against you:

The San Francisco police crime lab has been entering sexual assault victims’ DNA profiles in[to] a database used to identify suspects in crimes…District Attorney Chesa Boudin…said his office was made aware of the practice last week, after a woman’s DNA collected years ago as part of a rape exam was used to link her to a recent property crime.  If DNA from a rape kit was used without consent for purposes other than investigating the underlying rape case, it may be a violation of constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures as well as California’s Victims’ Bill of Rights, Boudin said.  Such a practice could also create another deterrent to sexual assault victims coming forward…Boudin said his office was investigating the scope of the practice…the database potentially includes thousands of victims’ DNA profiles, with entries over “many, many years”…

For comparison: roughly 60% of prostitution charges in the US result from the charged sex worker becoming the victim of some crime.

Property of the State

The state wants vengeance for the loss of future tax revenue:

[On] New Year’s Eve…2019, Rebecca Hogue, then a 28-year-old cocktail waitress, arrived home in Norman, Oklahoma, around 4 a.m. and went to check on her 2-year-old son…Ryder…her boyfriend, Christopher Trent…had put him…in his crib, where he appeared to be sleeping…when she woke up again a few hours later, Trent was gone.  And her toddler, still in the crib, was…dead…Days later, [police] found [Trent] hanging from a tree in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, where he’d killed himself…he’d [apparently] beaten the boy while Hogue was away at work…[because] they found the words “Rebecca is Innocent” carved into a tree…But in the ultimate act of victim-blaming against a grieving mother, the state of Oklahoma…convicted [her] of first-degree murder, even though she never laid a hand on the boy…Hogue was convicted under Oklahoma’s “failure to protect” law, which requires parents to [magically] shield their kid from physical harm if [a jury decides] they…[“]should[“] have been [clairvoyantly] aware…that another adult [wa]s abusing the child…

Broken Record (#747) 

There’s something especially pathetic about a politician who fails to realize a prohibitionist trope is long past its sell-by date:

…In a city council video that reads like sketch comedy…[Hudson, Ohio] mayor [Craig Shubert]] warns that if you open up the lake to ice fishing, ice shantytowns will follow, and the​​n commercial sex…”If you open this up to ice fishing, while on the surface it sounds good, then what happens next year—does someone come back and say I want an ice shanty?…And if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution.  Just data points to consider,” he added. (Apparently, Shubert doesn’t understand what “data points” means)…

At least Shubert had the sense to realize he had become a laughingstock, and resigned the following week.

I Spy (#1154) 

The government thinks you shouldn’t be allowed any privacy whatsoever:

…the U.S. Postal Service…is violating the privacy and civil liberties of the American people by using sophisticated tools to break into hundreds of citizens’ cellphones and collect their social media posts…the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) admitted in its 2020 annual report that it not only employed top-of-the-line technology hundreds of times to hack into mobile phones but also planned to expand its use of…Cellebrite…and GrayKey…to break into phones, unscramble otherwise unreadable encrypted data, and copy it for [pigs] to [root] through.  This technology is dangerous and prone to abuse…

The Implosion Begins (#1189)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

…Troy Burke…admitted to killing his wife, Jessica…by shooting her three times in the head in their [Michigan] home…a judge allowed Burke to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, after psychiatric evaluations by both the state and independent experts concluded that he was not fit to stand trial…Burke believed his tablet device was sending him signals from QAnon members who told him that his wife was working for the CIA…the messages directed him to kill his wife to save the world from child sex trafficking…it’s unclear if the messages Burke was speaking about were real or imaginary, but…QAnon…was built on…false claim[s about]…child sex-trafficking [spread for the past two decades by politicians, cops, the news media (including Vice), sex work prohibitionists, and amoral profiteers]…

Permanent Record (#1200)

Coverage of these incidents is growing more sympathetic:

Cami Strella…tried to tune out distress about being outed until a classmate who discovered her online identity broached a conversation about sex and Strella’s online content.  That encounter signified to Strella that her time as a student in occupational therapy with a neurological rehabilitation track was nearing a close…she…sought the advice of a trusted academic adviser who told her it would be best if she left the program…[so] she followed that advice and submitted her intent to unenroll from the only graduate program to which she had been accepted…Lutheran-affiliated Lenoir-Rhyne University has no policy against digital sex work, [and] a university spokesperson…said the school encourages Strella to communicate her concerns to university leadership…

“Communicate her concerns”?  What sanctimonious bullshit.  Note also that despite the generally-sympathetic tone, writer Lateshia Beachum still felt compelled to include dysphemisms such as “earning a living in society’s underbelly” and sophomoric tee-hee attempts at wit such as “pull themselves up by their garter belts to attain financial stability”.

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We should not allow people…in positions of authority to…lie to us.
–  Los Angeles Times

Buried Truth

I think we have enough evidence to start calling this “McNeill’s Law”:

A Missouri man who sought to ban several LGBTQ books from schools…is now facing a felony charge of…child molestation.  Ryan Utterback…of Kansas City, also faces a misdemeanor charge of…domestic assault and, in a separate case, a misdemeanor of furnishing…pornographic material to a minor.  Utterback had spoken at a school board meeting in November…to advocate for [censorship] of books in North Kansas City Schools libraries…Accusations against Utterback…describe separate instances in 2020 in which he…touched a 12-year-old girl…and…a teenager…under…[their clothes, and]…in 2021…showed pornographic video footage to a child…around 4 years old…

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

Silly nurse; don’t you know that defrauding and exploiting workers is only “trafficking” when sex is involved?

Novie Dale Carmen paid $20,000 to quit her nursing job…[with] Health Carousel…the…staffing agency that had helped get her from the Philippines to a hospital in…Pennsylvania…she was paid much less than the American nurses around her.  She was banned from discussing her working conditions or going out of town without notifying the agency.  Health Carousel seemed to keep finding ways not to count her work toward the 6,240 hours on her contract—the first three months of shifts didn’t qualify, the company said, because it considered that time part of her orientation period.  Mandatory overtime didn’t count toward her quota, either.  And because she couldn’t refuse overtime, her shifts could stretch as long as 16 hours in an understaffed emergency room…To pay [the]…quitting fee, she borrowed the money from her boyfriend, who’d been saving for years to buy a house.  She…was desperate to get away from Health Carousel without being sued for quitting, as had happened to many of her peers.  Now Carmen is the one suing.  She’s filed a proposed class action in Health Carousel’s home state of Ohio, accusing the company of human trafficking…

Peeping Toms (#690)

Cops love their “crackdowns” against gay men, but some politicians don’t like the optics any more:

Over the course of a six-week operation, Cincinnati police arrested or cited 20 men in Mt. Airy Forest, a huge and heavily wooded park on the city’s west side…[long] known as a place where gay men meet up for sexual encounters…[disguised] cops recently targeted this area…posing as [peaceful] men [in order to] prowl [for victims].  Police were set to release video of the stings [in order to shame their victims]…but the mayor’s office asked them not to…while also criticizing the premise of the stings…[new] Mayor Aftab Pureval…told police to “cite nonviolent offenses to court rather than…shaming…or jailing nonviolent offenders”…But [Spokespig] Dan Hils isn’t happy with this outcome [and angrily oinked copisms such as]…”values”…and…”law and order”…

Torture Chamber (#1037)

This will continue as long as screws have absolute power over their victims:

Inside one of the only federal women’s prisons in the United States, [prisoners are routinely]…subjected to rampant sexual abuse by [screws] and even the warden, and [a]re…threatened or punished when they…speak up.  [Reporters and bureaucrats absurdly refer to the torture as “]correction[“, but prisoners and some staff refer to the] institution in Dublin, California…[as] “The rape club”…[the] toxic [US prison] culture…[has] enabl[ed] years of sexual misconduct by predatory employees[, while] cover-ups…have largely kept the abuse out of the public eye…prisoners [are often condemned] to solitary confinement for reporting abuse and…officials in charge of preventing and investigating sexual misconduct…themselves [regularly] abus[e prisoners and ignore their pleas for help]…

The Implosion Begins

I did not foresee that the “sex trafficking” moral panic would implode in such a spectacular and entertaining fashion:

The National Butterfly Center on the Rio Grande in [Texas]…clos[ed]…after receiving “credible threats” against staff.  Marianna Wright, the center’s executive director, made the decision after a confrontation last week with a Republican congressional candidate from Virginia…[named] Kimberly Lowe [who] visited the center, demanding to see “illegals crossing on rafts”…[and repeating popular media fantasies about] sex trafficking….Wright has fended off…[QAnon-style fantas]ists for years, after the center filed suit against the Homeland Security Department in 2017 over former President Donald Trump’s plans to build a border wall through the 100-acre nature preserve…since 2019, [the fantasies]…have [grown to include]…dead bodies and a “rampant sex trade” at the center…Doctored images of the center’s dock, suggesting it was used to transport migrants, were spread by Brian Kolfage, the head of the “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign…

Stupor Bowl (#1110)

Pathetic public promotions of misogynistic masturbatory material like this appear to be all that’s left of the once-popular “gypsy whores” myth.  This one starts with a religious fanatic sharing his sexual fantasies about 7-year-olds and claiming that having sex involves selling one’s soul, then continues with a professional “survivor” babbling incoherent rubbish about the internet, and concluding with a pig making furtive movements in his pants while spinning fantasies about all the “victims” he’s going to rescue.  But on the same day KABC was sharing tragedy porn, the generally-prohibitionist LA Times gave us this instead:

…the [claim that the] Super Bowl…is linked to a spike in human trafficking…is solemnly repeated by [cops], [politicians] and news outlets…[even though] it’s a myth.  It has been debunked many times over, including by some leading organizations that fight trafficking.  Academic studies and serious news reporting have found no connection between trafficking and the game…Like all urban legends that just won’t die, this one appears to confirm but compartmentalize our fears…It’s like the fake but persistent Halloween story that pedophiles snatch trick-or-treaters from their porches…Panic over the sexual abuse of children…is good for law enforcement business…and because fear of crime is good for the news business as well, false or imagined threats uttered by [cops] and repeated uncritically by news outlets or even in [cop glorification] dramas like CSI become part of a body of “copaganda” — statements that serve police interests and become commonly accepted despite…being demonstrably untrue…

To Molest and Rape (#1205)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative] DeKalb County [Georgia cop named Derrick Gardner] is behind bars after being charged with rape, child molestation, and more…

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Coming together, even in private, is a radical, resistant, and dangerous act for [those] whose very identities are criminalised.  –  Erin Kilbride

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

The story is the same the world over:

Sex worker activists are among the most at risk defenders of human rights in the world, facing multiple threats and violent attacks…research…published…by…Front Line Defenders…found that their visibility as sex workers who are advocates for their communities’ rights makes them more vulnerable to the violations routinely suffered by sex workers.  In addition, they face unique, targeted abuse for their human rights work.  Drawing on the experience of 300 individuals in Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, El Salvador and Myanmar, the report focuses on cases of sexual assault, threats from managers and clients, [and police] raids…physical attacks and…surveillance…

Torture Chamber 

A “mistake” during “correction”.  This is not reformable:

A man was brutally beaten by [violently-deranged thugs] and denied medical treatment at the Valencia County [New Mexico] jail…Marvin Silva…was…naked in a holding c[age]…when a [screw rolled up and vomited out the magic word “]contraband[” at Silva’s dentures, thus giving a gang of dangerous cretins an excuse to]…beat Silva…[their cronies pretending to be] medical personnel [then] denied Silva’s [obvious need] for medical care before he was [thrown out] to walk 5 miles toward home…[with] fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, [and] injuries to the spleen…head, neck and abdomen…

Banishment (#848)

How a country treats its prisoners reveals a great deal about it:

For many men…co[nvicted]…of…[so-called] sex offenses in Texas, their prison term never really ends…because they’re [condemned to a different prison pretended to be] a…mental health facility…Civil commitment is the practice of [warehous]ing people…[for years or decades] past their release date, on the [pretense] that they are so dangerous they need therapy…Of course…if the state really…wanted them to have treatment and counseling, they had…20 to 25 years…in an ordinary prison before being civilly committed…For their first year or two…the men are required to wear electronic ankle monitors that they have to pay for…The…only…way…out…[is to] work their way up through four tiers of [shaming and humiliation mislabeled as] treatment…they have to keep a masturbation log…[includ]ing…what they’re masturbating about…so [a so-called therapist can arbitrarily declare] it…deviant…the prison also employs polygraphs and penile plethysmography…When an inmate moves up a tier, which can take a year, he can find himself demoted for [arbitrar]y reasons…One man who had…made it through all four tiers was finally about to get his release hearing.  But…a [screw vindictively] knocked [him] back down to tier 1…He went to his cell and hanged himself…Another man…[treated similarly] castrated himself…Until recently, inmates also had to pay a 33 percent tax on any packages they got, further isolating them from any support system they might have on the outside…

Shame, Shame (#951)

In which a bluenose describes cartoon nudity as “horrifying”:

…a new…website…boasts that it developed…image translation algorithms to “nudify” female bodies, and that the technology is so powerful there is not a woman in the world, regardless of race or nationality, who is safe from being “nudified.”  But it doesn’t work on men…the results are strikingly realistic, often bearing no glitches or visual clues that the photos are deepfakes…The [hysterical reactions of prudes] lays bare the grim and increasingly dangerous reality [that censorship is becoming increasingly popular among sheltered ninnies who can’t conceive of a more harmful use for]…powerful deepfake tools…[than realistic porn cartoons, such as cops manufacturing evidence to frame innocent people and/or excuse brutality and murder]…

The solution to this problem isn’t increasing the censorship powers of the already-bloated police state, as these rabid pearl-clutchers are demanding; it’s fighting the idea that a woman’s body is something to be ashamed of.  But good luck explaining that to people who actually think fake nude pictures are worse than totalitarianism.

Elephant in the Parlor (#1078)

People keep pretending “politician hires whores” is something more than a yawn:

Hunter Biden claimed…to [have]…lost a total of three computers – the first abandoned at a Delaware computer store and the second seized by federal agents –  each likely to hold…embarrassing pictures, videos and communications…The third laptop…was taken by Russian drug dealers after they partied with [him] in Vegas, he told a prostitute in a conversation caught on camera.  After filming himself having sex with the woman using his laptop in January 2019, Hunter left the camera rolling as he recounted [the] Vegas bender…

The Implosion Begins (#1091)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

Matthew Taylor Coleman…kill[ed] his young children…after he said he became “enlightened” by [“sex trafficking” propaganda of the]…QAnon [branch]…Coleman’s…3-year-old son, Kaleo, was found stabbed 17 times at a ranch in Baja California…[his] 10-month-old daughter, Roxy, was stabbed 12 times…Coleman told investigators he used a spear-fishing gun to shoot and kill his children and then moved the spear…stabbing them with it…[because] “he believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them…[he] was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife…possessed serpent DNA and had passed it onto his children…he…knew it was wrong, but it was the only…course of action that would save the world”…The QAnon movement evolved out of [the “sex trafficking” hysteria intentionally spread by governments, police agencies, news media and “rescue industry” profiteers for the past 18 years]…

The Next Target (#1160)

It was only a matter of time before “sex trafficking” fetishists extended their pet fantasy to OnlyFans:

…Ann Wagner…the religious-right [politician]…who was the original drafter of FOSTA-SESTA, has released a letter to the Justice Department asking for an investigation into OnlyFans, claiming — without…any…evidence [whatsoever] — that the platform has “become a major marketplace for buying and selling Child Sexual Abuse Material…in the United States, as well as soliciting sexual activity with minors.”  Wagner also penned an editorial for congressional news site Roll Call stating her [ill-informed] opinion that all “sex work” (her quotation marks) is “illegal”…Wagner also [fantasized about]…the impact of FOSTA-SESTA…[whose] impact on human trafficking investigations has also been demonstrably the exact opposite of what Wagner claims

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Th[is is] not a slippery slope; [i]t’s a fully built system just waiting for…pressure to make the slightest change.  –  India McKinney & Erica Portnoy

Monkey Business

Higher primates understand the concept of “value”:

The long-tailed macaques who roam the [the Uluwatu temple in Bali] are infamous for brazenly robbing unsuspecting tourists and clinging on to their possessions until food is offered as ransom payment.  Researchers have found they are also skilled at judging which items their victims value the most and using this information to maximise their profit…Mobile phones, wallets and prescription glasses are among the high-value possessions the monkeys aim to steal…and…demand better rewards…for higher-valued items…

If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

[Australian] pastor Brian Houston has been charged for allegedly concealing child sexual abuse by his late father Frank Houston…in the 1970s…Frank Houston, who died in 2004, has been accused of abusing nine boys while a Pentecostal preacher…

A Broker in Pillage (#897)

Yet another government scam to steal Philadelphia citizens’ property:

…relocation towing…is when the police…or a private tow company moves legally parked vehicles to make room for a special event, utility work, or some other [pretext]…they are supposed to relay the new location of each vehicle to police headquarters, so when an owner finds their car missing and call 911, police can tell them where it is.  I[n reality]…drivers have reported spending days or weeks searching for their cars…because neither the [Philadelphia Parking Authority] nor police have any information about the tow.  Many…are recorded…with a pre-Internet system that relies mostly on handwritten notes and fax machines…The PPA [claims] tows from temporary no-parking zones are primarily a police function.  Police [claim] tow companies could be to blame for missing vehicles.  The tow companies [claim] police sometimes lose the information they provide.  Drivers who get sucked into the bureaucratic vortex describe it as city-sanctioned auto theft, often followed up by a shakedown by the PPA if the car was moved to an illegal parking space, then ticketed, towed or booted.  The resulting fees can be difficult or impossible to fight…

To Molest and Rape (#995)

Serial rapist rapes another vulnerable woman:

A [typical and representative] Spokane [cop out on bail]…for…[rap]ing a victim of domestic violence was arrested…[again] after another woman reported he raped her [before he was fired for the previously-reported rape]…Nathan Nash[‘s MO was the same]…in…both [cases; he]…responded to their calls for police assistance and later [raped them during pretended]…“follow-ups”…In the [new] case, Nash [displayed] his gun…then pushed the victim onto the couch, to[re] her clothes off, and raped her…he…[then forc]ed her in[to] the shower…[to wash away evidence]…the victim is disabled and has an apparent minor cognitive disability…

The Widening Gyre (#1057)

Observation: fools waste money.  Conclusion: “sex trafficking”!

Last May, the K-pop…group BTS entered into a partnership with McDonald’s to release a limited-edition promo meal that…almost immediately sold out, and enterprising individuals on social media decided to take advantage of the group’s enormous popularity by selling certain items from the meal online.  One item in particular, a chicken nugget shaped like a “crewmate” from the multiplayer online game Among Us, was auctioned off on eBay for nearly $100,000…[then] last month, [a TikTok idiot] posted a video accusing various eBay sellers peddling the BTS chicken nuggets of…“human trafficking”…The idea that a chicken nugget eBay listing would serve as a front for child trafficking was clearly ridiculous on its face.  Yet many of the commenters appeared to be…[just that ridiculous]…

I Spy (#1155)

The beginning of the end for private communication:

Apple has announced…new “protections for children”…in iCloud and iMessage…this means…Apple is planning to build a backdoor into its…system[s]…Apple’s…appease[ment of] government agencies…is a shocking about-face for users who have relied on the company’s leadership in privacy and security.  There are two main [spyware apps] the company is planning to install in every Apple device.  One…will scan all photos as they get uploaded into iCloud Photos to see if they match a photo in the database…maintained by…NCMEC…the other…scans all iMessage images sent or received by…accounts designated as owned by a minor…and…notifies the parent when…images [an algorithm decides are “sexual”] are sent or received.  All it would take to widen th[is]…backdoor…is an expansion of the…parameters to look for additional types of content…The abuse cases are easy to imagine: governments that outlaw homosexuality might require…[calling the cops on] apparent LGBTQ+ content, or an authoritarian regime might demand the classifier be able to spot popular satirical images or protest flyers…

I Spy (#1158)

Still think this djinni is ever going back into its bottle?

…several high-profile female journalists and activists…have…been targeted and harassed by authoritarian regimes in the Middle East through hack-and-leak attacks using the Pegasus spyware, created by Israeli surveillance technology company NSO Group.  The spyware transforms a phone into a surveillance device, activating microphones and cameras and exporting files without a user knowing…a key part of the harassment…is the use of private photos…[which would be] tame by Western standards…[but] are considered scandalous in…societies like Saudi Arabia and were…used to publicly shame these women and smear their reputations…Pegasus spyware is linked to human rights violations around the world…including the [murder] of Jamal Khashoggi…by Saudi agents…

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It’s time for another of those articles so packed with idiocies that there was no way to do it justice in a news column.  This one, by Charlie Keegan of KSHB in Kansas City, is not only crammed full of prohibitionist nonsense, but also littered with deeply-weird language and jaw-droppingly dopey puritanisms; the result is an article so utterly permeated with the reek of stupidity it should probably be considered hazardous waste.

A new initiative to stop sex trafficking in the historic northeast part of Kansas City, Missouri, encourages residents and business owners to “Report a John,” with John referring to the name given to someone soliciting sex.

Some of these moronathons start slowly, but not this one, oh no; Charlie isn’t merely content to call sex work “trafficking” and a tired, hackneyed scheme pushed by unimaginative busybodies “new”; he also feels compelled to helpfully explain that the state calls everyone accused of “solicitation” by the proper name “John”, regardless of what their actual name might be.  At least, that’s what this sentence appears to say, though I suspect by “name given to” he actually means “prohibitionist slang referring to”.  And this is just the first sentence.

“What you have to do is focus on the demand because, without the demand, there is no supply. No one is in the sex trafficking trade if there is not a John,” explained Scott Wagner…of [Yet Another Rescue Industry Scam Full Of Slackjawed Yokels (YARISFOY)]…

I’m really trying to keep my editorialization outside of the block quotes, honest I am.  But when I’m faced with yet another semi-literate hick whose understanding of economics is roughly as grounded in reality as a Scrooge McDuck comic book, and who uses the bizarre phrase “sex trafficking trade” as though it actually meant something…well, give me a break, I’m only human.

…The new strategy debuted last week when a billboard went up at Independence and Cypress avenues.  The billboard says, “This community does not tolerate buying prostitution.”

I reckon it’s no wonder that a billboard which can erect itself can also speak, but is it too much to ask that what it says actually make sense?  Given that “prostitution” is the selling of sex, what does “buying prostitution” actually mean?  That’s like…”buying selling” or “purchasing vending”.  The kindest word I could use to describe the phrase would be “awkward”.

The billboards and multiple smaller signs…encourage people to call 816-234-5220 to “report [the license plate number of] a John.”  The…prosecutor’s office will then send a letter to the registered address for that license plate explaining the car has been suspected of soliciting sex.

What I’m encouraging people in Kansas City to do is use blocked or public phones to report the number of every city-owned vehicle they can find, especially pigmobiles.  These so-called “Dear John” scams have been going on for years, but never last long in any given place because they can’t survive a lawsuit.  However, I’ve never seen one where the actual cars are “suspected of soliciting sex”; I suppose if one can believe in talking billboards that magically appear without human action, a car looking for a blow job isn’t much more of a stretch.

It’s not an accusation or a warrant, simply a warning…The new initiative also calls for publishing mugshots of people arrested for soliciting sex on a new website and in the Northeast News printed newspaper…

Noooooo, it’s not an accusation at all.  After all, only the car is “suspected of soliciting sex”.  I’m sure all those people (disproportionately young men of color, natch) who are publicly shamed and probably lose their jobs based on some busybody’s mere suspicion will appreciate that distinction.

People found guilty of soliciting prostitution will be offered the chance to attend “John School”…

But of course they will.  For a small price, natch.  “John schools” are a for-profit scam related to “gay conversion therapy” and “sex addiction therapy“, and…oh, looky look!

“Johns…need some help in getting over what could be an addiction”…

What.  A.  Surprise.  And these clueless reporters don’t even get that they’re giving a profitable scam free advertising.

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The group should exist for the individual, not the other way around.  –  Remi Adekoya

Tyrants and other violent busybodies simply adore collectivism, the evil belief that individuals only have value as part of groups, and that it’s good and moral to crush, process, cook, and compress individuals until they are unidentifiable parts of a homogeneous whole, like individual fruit processed into “fruit roll-up” sheets.  The reason is of course the same for the monsters as it is for the snack companies:  such amalgams are handled, stored and used more efficiently than the individuals from which they’re made.  Caligula is said to have expressed this principle of tyranny as, “Would that the Roman people had but one neck!” and China’s campaign of homogenization is the stuff of dystopian science fiction.  But if you believe such abominations could never happen in the modern West, you haven’t been paying attention:

Polarisation cements groups while pressurising the individual…the stifling atmosphere of our current race debate…submerges the individual in generalisations and elevates groupism…[we are encouraged to use] grand generalisations…[and] sweeping concepts  to interpret our world – a world in which we don’t realistically live as individuals…the desire to be treated as individuals, not nameless members of this or that group, is a pretty universal one.  I find it difficult to imagine there are people of any ethnic or racial background who do not want to be viewed primarily as individuals, including those most responsible for popularising the sweeping groupist language of our times…So why then has language obscuring our individuality taken such a strong hold in what is supposed to be an age of empathy?  After all, to empathise requires, by definition, seeing a human individual, not a group or statistic…

Yet governments are working to pound members of minority groups into uniform sheets, in part by convincing them that individuality is not only bad but characteristic of bigots; meanwhile, members of other groups are coerced and brainwashed into accepting the most odious form of collectivism, collective guilt, and forced to undergo public humiliation rituals in order to be shriven from a form of original sin imposed not on all people by a deity, but rather on only some people by virtue of their sharing some tiny amount of DNA with other deeply-flawed human beings they’ve never met:

…Australia has [adopted] America’s particularly malignant approach to sexual disharmony…Brauer College in rural Victoria [recently] forced its male pupils, some only 12 years old, to stand at a school assembly, face the girls and apologize for rape, sexual harassment and all the other facets of male wickedness…as [part of] some ghastly effort to promote gender reconciliation through gender self-incrimination…
Governments have been working on imposing conformity and groupthink since the latter half of the 19th century, with fascist and communist regimes in particular elevating the process to a science.  It has never ended well for any of those regimes, and it will not end well for the West either; the American prison industry purees and processes wholesome and vile foodstuffs together into a barely-edible mass called “nutraloaf“, and attempting to process human beings together in a similar way will accomplish nothing but turning all of society into one vast prison.

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If there is one thing more powerful than shame, it is the need to find someone else to blame.  –  David Flint

It Looks Good On Paper

Yet another state touts bullshit “safe harbor” laws:

The Virginia General Assembly unanimously passed two bills to [pretend to] help [wwomen labeled] sex trafficking survivors [when it’s convenient for the state.  The bills will]…allow…[“perfect victims”] to have convictions related to [sex work] removed from their personal records…[if they can jump through enough hoops to] prove t[o authoritarian busybodies that they were passive, doll-like “victims”] forced…to commit crimes…

Send In the Clowns

Not a clown, but still about kids hoaxing credulous adults:

Merseyside Police ha[d]…to reassure [gullible parents th[at no]… “plague man”…dressed in all black and wearing a crow-like mask similar to that of a 17th-century plague doctor…was…[lurk]ing in parks…to kidnap [their brats]…the sightings…turned out to be…a…hoax…[perpetrated by] students [falsely] reporting sightings…

To Molest and Rape (#956)

At least the BBC uses the word “rape” when a cop is the rapist:

A [typical and representative cop] has been charged with rape and sexual assault…Ben Lister…has been suspended from [West Yorkshire Police]…

Whither Canada? (#1017)

Sex workers ask the Canadian Supreme Court to uphold its own judgment:

The Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform — an alliance of 25 sex worker rights groups across the country led predominantly by and for sex workers — along with several individual applicants, have filed a Notice of Application seeking to strike down the [laws establishing Canada’s Swedish-style] sex work prohibitions…because they violate sex workers’ constitutional rights to security, personal autonomy, life, liberty, free expression, free association, and equality…National Coordinator Jenn Clamen [said] “This government has spent five years paying lip service to human rights and to feminism, and it’s time for them to act.”  In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled three prostitution prohibitions in criminal law to be unconstitutional because they caused harm to sex workers and contravened sex workers’ rights to liberty and security.  This was the federal government’s opportunity to recognize sex workers’ rights and well-being by decriminalizing sex work.  Instead, the government…created a set of laws…that reproduce those same harms…

Rotting Fruit (#1055)

Given the filth spewing from every aspect of this affair, there’s no way to tell whether Maxwell’s conduct could legitimately be considered “sex trafficking”:

Prosecutors added two charges against Ghislaine Maxwell in a case accusing her of grooming and abusing young women and girls for Jeffrey Epstein…The new counts against Maxwell now include sex trafficking conspiracy and sex trafficking of a minor…the new charges…prolong…the length of the alleged conspiracy and adds a “Minor Victim-4”…

False Witness (#1121)

Sunlight really is the best disinfectant:

…Texas [pigs have been shamed into]…end[ing]…the [monstrous] practice of using hypnosis to [manufacture “evidence”]…more than forty years after its inception…The decision [seems to be the result of unwel]come…[public attention due to]…The Dallas Morning News…series, “The Memory Room,” which [showed how]…Texas…repeatedly doubl[ed] down on the practice despite scientific evidence that hypnosis can distort witness memories and lead to false convictions…Texas officers continue[d] to [use]…the debunked technique…[to intentionally] send…dozens of men and women to prison and some to their deaths.  The Texas Rangers are among the most [egregious offenders]…performing at least 1,700 hypnosis sessions since the 1980s.  The…[most] recently [w]as October 2020…Even without the program, local police departments may still be using hypnosis to [manufacture]…evidence [which Texas law still allows] to be used in courts…

Predictable Consequences

I wish I could believe that this tragedy would finally put a stake into the heart of the “sex addiction” myth once and for all:

…the press and the authorities…have spent years not only pushing the idea of sex addiction…[but also] portraying…sex workers and…sex-positive academics as evil, corrupt enemies of the state, traffickers and the wreckers of civilisation…they are complicit in crimes like this…[because] their constant demonisation of consensual sex between adults…has stoked the fires of hysteria, anger, social shaming and violent retribution…men who visit sex workers or masturbate to porn and then feel disgust afterwards are going to hold the sex workers…responsible, because it deflects blame from themselves…Often, this transferred disgust and unwillingness to accept responsibility for sexual desire shifts into campaigning against the sex industry…We see this in assorted anti-porn, NoFap, incel and rescue movements, dominated by very angry and aggressive men who want to punish women (and men) for giving them erections.  Are we surprised that some people are taking this anger beyond online rape and death threats and into the real world?  Yet these people have been indulged, encouraged and supported by politicians and the media…Set yourself up as anti-porn, anti-trafficking or anti-sexualisation, and you can pretty much say whatever you like without having to provide evidence, while your aggressive and exploitative responses to anyone who questions you will be glossed over…

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The younger generation…don’t understand at all how the government could ever enter your bedroom and tell you what to do.  –  Mandie Landry

Creating a Monster

There really is nothing new under the sun:

Neither Craigslist’s personals nor…US [censorship of] the sexual commerce they make possible are uncharted territory.  Reading…coverage of…FOSTA–SESTA, gives me a sense of déjà vu.  I have spent the last several years researching how, more than one hundred years before Backpage opened its online classifieds—well before the rise of the internet…lonely hearts [and] sex workers…had access to Parisian “back-page” classifieds.  Then as now, [politicians] scrambled for ways to stop them from using this new, democratizing print technology to “immoral” ends.  The largely unsuccessful, often counter-productive, and oppressive solutions they came up with during the French Third Republic (1870–1940) look strikingly similar to those the US legislature is testing out now…

This article is three years old, but it’s about century-old events anyhow.

Safe Position

This might fly in New Orleans, but it’ll definitely be uphill in the rest of the state:

Sexual acts between consenting adults should remain just that, state Rep. Mandie Landry said, regardless of whether they involve a financial transaction.  She said she will author a bill in the Louisiana Legislature that would do away with the state’s existing laws that outlaw prostitution….“If two people engage in a relationship in their own home, whether they exchange money or not, it’s between them”…Prostitution involving minors will remain illegal because minors cannot give consent, she added…

False Witness (#920)

Texas cops routinely destroy lives with the same method used to create the Satanic panic:

…a vast body of research shows hypnosis does not increase the chance of retrieving accurate memories.  In fact, it may implant imaginary ideas or distort recollections.  At least 21 states ban evidence in court that was gleaned solely through hypnosis.  Yet a Dallas Morning News analysis found Texas law enforcement has used the dubious method nearly 1,800 times over 40 years, sending dozens of people to prison — and some to their deaths.  After one week of training, any Texas [cop]…who passes an exam can attempt to use hypnosis in a criminal investigation.  Hundreds…have been certified to practice it in Texas since 1988…

The Scarlet Letter (#941)

Why do puritans pretend the literally prehistoric practice of shaming constitute a “modern” approach to harming people for having sexual urges?

The Alabama House of Representatives…approved legislation that would post pictures of men a[ccus]ed [o]f…solicitation…to shame them…f[or having]…sex[ual needs.  Bill sponsor] Merika Coleman…[bloviated a lot of disgusting sexual fantasies about] human trafficking…an[d]…argued that the state needs to attack the de[sire] for sex…Coleman said [she doesn’t care that]…posting the picture of a person who was arrested…harms those individuals who are not found guilty for the rest of their lives.  [She said it’s OK that] they are not able to get jobs…

Japanese Prostitution (#950)

Japanese attempts to suppress and hide sexuality prior to the Olympics will never be sufficient to please puritanical gaijin:

Social pressure surrounding the upcoming Tokyo Olympics has resulted in distribution troubles for traditional Japanese adult magazines, which have drastically harmed the already dwindling sector…[using the excuse] “that the magazine covers were offensive to women and inappropriate in front of children”…In the years leading up to the games’ original date of Summer 2020, “some of the country’s biggest convenience store chains…said they would stop selling the publications altogether”…Akira Ikoma, editor-in-chief of the porn magazine My Journey…said Japan is “hiding this part of the culture because they’re embarrassed”…

Torture Chamber (#950)

“Packed” = “concentrated”. And the concise word for “tent facility” is “camp”:

Hundreds of immigrant children and teenagers have been [imprisoned] at a Border Patrol tent facility in packed conditions, with some sleeping on the floor because there aren’t enough mats…Some [are locked up]…for a week or longer, despite the agency’s three-day limit for detaining [minors]…they…a[r]en’t…allowed to phone their parents or other relatives who may be wondering where they are.  Despite…coronavirus, the[y]…are kept so closely together that they can touch the person next to them…Some have to wait five days or more to shower, and there isn’t always soap available, just shampoo…Biden’s administration denied the lawyers access to the [camp because]…attorney visits to Border Patrol [camp]s [have] revealed severe problems, including dozens of children held at one [camp] without adequate food, water, or soap…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

I love that Trumpists are holding onto the “sex trafficking” narrative like grim death:

On March 8th, the Lifeboat Project had the opportunity to host [politicians] and [profiteers trying] to stop [sex work using propaganda about] human trafficking…it was also a…[photo] opportunity for Ivanka Trump and [a payday for professional]…trafficking survivors…the…Founder of The Lifeboat Project, Jill Bolander Cohen…[introduc]ed the [fantas]y of having a universal signal that could be used world-wide…[instead of other folk magic] such as [wa]ving [red paper birds around like a semaphore flag]…or [activa]ting…[a super-duper anti-pimp tampon found in a public] bathroom…Jill be[lieves the stupid trope that]…victims [are literally “voiceless”]…so…[she proposed] flashing the letters “H” and “T” in American Sign Language…

Winding Down (#1101)

A long-overdue move by Mexico to throw off US domination:

…Mexic[an politicians]…approved a bill…to legalize recreational marijuana…The 316-to-129 vote in Mexico’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, came more than two years after the Mexican Supreme Court ruled that the country’s ban on recreational marijuana was unconstitutional and more than three years after the country legalized medicinal cannabis…the measure is widely expected to sail through the Senate before being sent to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has signaled support for legalization.  The measure…would allow adults to [us]e…and, with a permit, grow a small number of cannabis plants at home.  It would also grant licenses for producers — from small farmers to commercial growers — to cultivate and sell the crop…

You Were Warned (#1119)

Unless some country makes a policy of providing a safe haven, the open internet is doomed:

The Russian government’s internet regulatory agency, Roskomnadzor, has announced it will be slowing down Twitter…in the country, alleging that the platform has “ignored requests to take down material harmful to children,” including adult content.  Regional experts [say]…“that the Twitter slowdown was just the start of a large-scale offensive by authorities to assert control over — and ultimately block — social media”…Like many American crusaders against Section 230…Roskomnadzor claims this attack on free expression [i]s…to “save the children”…

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Socializing is not a luxury.  –  Zeynep Tufekci

Maggie in the Media

Torture Chamber 

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

…a [few days after being] threat[ened by a New Jersey screw]…Darrell Smith was…[savagely beaten] twice by a g[ang] of [screws.  He]…was tortured, beaten, kicked, punched, stomped…choke[d], slammed to the ground, and had his head slammed into a glass door…he was [then] “denied…medical care…[despite] catastrophic injuries that left him in an unresponsive and catatonic state” in a prison cell covered in his own feces, urine and vomit…[after being left in this state for] four days…Smith…was transported to a hospital…his leg was cuffed to the bed [for two days despite being]…declared brain dead…the family…[filed a] lawsuit…[after finally getting ahold of medical records showing that] Smith “sustained a severe catastrophic brain injury…[due to] the brutal beatings”…

The Enlightenment Police (#884)

The obsession with controlling women cannot be stopped by a mere pandemic:

Swiss voters have approved a ban on…facial coverings…in nearly all…publicly accessible places, including on the streets, in public offices, on public transport, in restaurants, shops and in the countryside.  The controversial proposal [was] support[ed by only] 51.21% of voters…The only exceptions include places of worship…[or] if worn for health and safety reasons, because of the weather and in situations where it is considered a “local custom” to do so, such as at carnivals…There will be no…exceptions…for tourists…[from Muslim countries]…The proposal, put forward by several [authoritarian] groups…has been criticized by a number of…religious organizations…human rights and civic groups, as well as the federal government…

Switzerland in October:  Everybody must cover their faces in public.
Switzerland in March:  Wait, not like that!

You Were Warned (#926)

Indian politicians are just as eager to demolish the internet as those in the US, Australia and Europe:

The Indian government’s new Information Technology rules…have been sold to citizens and the world as being of a piece with global efforts to [control]…social media…platforms now have to…giv[e] the government details about the “originator” of content [that it dislikes]…effectively breaking end-to-end encryption…The rules…also cover digital news organisations and video-streaming platforms like Netflix…giving the government much more power to…censor…The government has made massive changes to the way the internet will work in India, but without having to take the matter to Parliament at all, by amending the rules under pre-existing sections of the law…the government…is…unwilling…to engage with the stakeholders that matter…the rules create a bureaucratic super-structure that gives the executive much more power over…the internet…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1074)

Ever notice how often predatory cops’ targets are underage?

A Denton [Texas cop]…has been arrested…for distribution of child pornography.  David Schoolcraft…[fell into a trap set by the FBI] Dec[ember]…2020…he [i]s…of…c[our]se [still on the payroll, because cop]…

Since the “authorities” prefer to hide the identity of this child molester, here’s a picture of his boss until such time as a photo of Schoolcraft becomes available.

Quiet Genocide (#1081)

The Chinese are now using a method of subjugation invented by the Assyrians:

Chinese authorities have loaded large numbers of Uyghur workers onto trains bound for factories thousands of kilometres away as part of a plan to [forcibly] assimilate Muslim minorities into mainstream Chinese culture and thin their populations in Xinjiang…the…Uyghur workers…[are then forced] in[to “re-education”] programs…that mix Mandarin lessons with in[doctrina]tion by police and Communist Party cadres…the…policies…are designed to sever them from their homes and traditional way of life, moulding them into state-approved members of the “Chinese nation”…

Social Distancing (#1082)

Far too many people adore authoritarian public health schemes:

When the polio vaccine was declared safe and effective, the news was met with jubilant celebration…One might have expected the initial approval of the coronavirus vaccines to spark similar jubilation…But…instead, the steady drumbeat of good news…has been met with a chorus of relentless pessimism…and claims of impending catastrophe…the public has been offered a lot of misguided fretting over new virus variants…and presented with long lists of things vaccinated people still cannot do…Five key fallacies and pitfalls have…played an outsize role in derailing an effective pandemic response…mistrust and paternalism …toward the public…[arbitrary] rules in place of mechanisms…scolding and shaming…absolutism [instead of harm reduction]…and…a poor balance between knowledge, risk, certainty, and action…

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