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Posts Tagged ‘sporting events’

Americans are increasingly aware that their privacy is evaporating before their eyes.  –  Ed Markey

Torture Chamber

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

A W[est Virginia] man died 19 days [after the state locked him in a cage]…Alvis Shrewsbury…called his family members daily.  But as the days went on, his appearance on video calls began to worry his family members more and more…”After we were talking to him on the 10th (of September), he’d already been beaten.  His face was black,” his daughter Miranda Smith said…”He was telling us about his ribs being broken.  It was hard to breathe. He hadn’t had a bowel movement in over a week and nothing was being done about it”…Shrewsbury was the fifth person who died in the [same dungeon in the] last year…Kyle Robinson…[was the first] in September 2021.  Then a month later, John Lewis Jarrell died after [only] a week…In March, Quantez Burks died less than two days after [being condemned there and]…that [same] month, Richard Wriston…Shrewsbury’s body is in the custody of the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner…[but] the family plans to conduct an independent autopsy of his body…

Thought Control (Censorship Ascendant)

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

…over the past several years, Germany has [chosen to terrorize and]…criminally prosecut[e] people for [saying things politicians dislike] online…German authorities have br[anded]…insults, threats and harassment…[as “hate speech” and sent] police [on predawn] raid[s of people’s] homes…[where they rob their victims of] electronics and [abduct them using the pretext of “]questioning[” in a campaign reminiscent of the country’s dark 20th-century past].  Judges have enforced fines worth thousands of dollars each and, in some cases, [locked victims in cages for wrongthink].  The threat of prosecution, they believe, will [terrorize people into] not e[xpressing disfavored ideas.  They pretend]…that they are encouraging and defending free speech by providing a space where people can share [favored pro-state and majoritarian] opinions without fear of being [challenged by contrary ideas]..:

Stupor Bowl (#1211)

This pathetic public promotion of misogynistic masturbatory material appears to be all that’s left of the once-popular “gypsy whores” myth:

An estimated 5% of men have or will be buyers of sex workers, [said cops making furtive movements in their pants]…“The traffickers will, of course, follow the money to Arizona”…That’s why Glendale police are working with other law enforcement agencies across the Valley to catch traffickers coming to the state…

I’ve written before about the ever-shrinking fraction of men who will admit to having paid for sex, the unreliable methodology that produces these impossibly-low numbers, the ugly and misogynistic fantasy that paying for sex is “buying a woman”, and the weird and self-contradictory inclusion of the term “sex worker” in this kind of agency-negating propaganda.  And that’s before we even get to this myth that even prohibitionists outside of Arizona now admit is deeply stupid.

Panopticon (#1256)

San Francisco pigs are no longer satisfied with waiting for useful idiots’ consent:

San Francisco [politicians rubber-stamped] a new s[urveillance] policy allowing police to access thousands of private cameras in a live feed without a search warrant…the…proposal…will take effect in 30 days and sunset in 15 months…police can monitor the cameras…for any [event that they decide to call] “significant”…or [basically any other time they can think of an excuse]…The Electronic Frontier Foundation …called the new policy a “troubling ordinance” that could have a chilling effect on First Amendment and other rights…“Misdemeanors like vandalism or jaywalking happen on nearly every street of San Francisco on any given day — meaning that this ordinance essentially gives the SFPD the ability to put the entire city under live surveillance indefinitely,” the organization wrote in a press release

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1260)

Cops won’t drop this fantasy until local media stop obediently parroting it:

…two [West Virginia cops] were hit in the face with an unknown substance [thrown by a man they were trying to brutalize and abduct.  Being hysterical whiny-babies, the immediately assumed the substance was the magical black magic version of fentanyl which haunts cop fantasies, and]…one…suddenly [had a panic attack.  Since this kind of hysteria is contagious among those with weak minds]…the second [pig also had a panic attack]…An off-duty nurse helped administer NARCAN, which [acted as a placebo to placate the two cowards]…

Thought Control (#1265)

Surely you didn’t think this would stop with LGBT books?

…at the start of Banned Books Week…Reshma Saujani was awakened by an alert on her phone letting her know that the Girls Who Code book series [she founded] had been banned from classrooms in the Central York School District in Pennsylvania.  On Twitter, she attributed the ban to the [pro-censorship] Moms for Liberty group…Other books banned by the…district include such controversial-sounding titles as A Is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to ZCondoleeza Rice: Being The Best; Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra; Elizabeth Blackwell: The First Woman Doctor; Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code; I Love My Hair!; Muffin Wars; The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage; I Am Rosa Parks; Who Was Lucille Ball? and about a hundred others…the…common thread [seems to be books] that…acknowledge that Black people or women of any color exist and do things…There is good news: this ban has already been defeated.  Yay!  The bad news is that it was all very stupid from beginning to end…

I Spy (#1270)

The number of politicians who support such reform is very small:

Civil rights lawyers and [a small minority of politicians] are pushing for legislation that would limit U.S. [cop shop]s’ ability to buy cellphone tracking tools to follow people’s whereabouts, including back years in time…[usually] without a search warrant.  Concerns about police use of the tool known as “Fog Reveal…also surfaced in a Federal Trade Commission hearing three weeks ago.  [Cop]s have been using the platform to search hundreds of billions of records gathered from 250 million mobile devices, and hoover up people’s geolocation data to assemble so-called “patterns of life”…

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Sex workers are collateral damage in th[e “progressive”] quest to build the perfect internet.  –  Evan Greer

The Missing Word (#570)

Notice what nobody calls this?

For almost seven years, two Pennsylvania judges sent hundreds of [teens and] children—some of them as young as 8 years old—to privately run juvenile detention centers in exchange for financial kickbacks…[now] former Judges Mark A. Ciavarella and Michael T. Conahan [have been ordered] to pay over $200 million in compensatory and punitive damages to their victims.  Starting in 2000, the pair sent children into juvenile detention for offenses as innocuous as jaywalking, petty theft, or truancy.  In what became known as the “kids for cash” scandal, the [victims] were sent to two privately run detention centers whose builder and co-owner paid the men $2.8 million…over the course of the scheme…following the plot’s discovery, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court…thr[ew] out 4,000 juvenile convictions…[but] many of the plaintiffs still suffer from mental health problems.  Several…died by suicide or drug overdose in the years after their detention…Unfortunately, it is unlikely that any of the plaintiffs will [actually] receive [any] financial compensation…[because] Ciavarella and Conahan are now serving lengthy prison sentences.  Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years…and Conahan…17…though he was released to home confinement in 2020…[due to] COVID-19…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1009)

Another baby step toward recognizing sex work as work:

…a group of former Star Garden [exotic] dancers…filed a petition for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board, through the established actors union Actors’ Equity Assn…If the[y]…succeed, it would be the first time the century-old union that represents actors and stage managers on Broadway and venues such as the Hollywood Pantages Theatre would include strippers in its ranks.  Star Garden would become the first unionized strip club in the U.S. since…the Lusty Lady…closed in 2013…But…most of the strippers seeking representation said they have not worked at Star Garden since mid-March, when they raised safety concerns and were subsequently [fired]…Union lawyers will need to convince the National Labor Relations Board the strippers are Star Garden employees who were unduly terminated in order to be eligible to participate in a union vote and secure a shot at winning…

The Widening Gyre (#1116)

The latest iteration of “sex traffickers are EVERYWHERE!!!” has it all: the roses from the item linked in the subtitle, themselves only one example of the “valuable bait” trope, are loaded with the magic instant-overdose fentanyl of cop fantasies instead of the unidentified magic contact poison of earlier iterations of this myth.  Given that cops have recently started claiming that the magic fentanyl is being intentionally sprinkled onto $1 bills, the convergence is pretty clear; presumably the fentanyl-using “traffickers”, no doubt driving around in white vans, are also dropping the bait bills where cops can find them so as to stop their heroic anti-trafficking pogroms, or something.

A Broker in Pillage (#1147)

Absolutely nothing is “safe” if government actors know where it is:

The FBI [lied] to…a federal magistrate judge…[claiming] that it intended to open hundreds of safe deposit boxes s[tolen] during a March 2021 raid in order to inventory the items inside—but new evidence shows that federal agents were plotting all along to use the operation as an opportunity to [steal] cash and other valuables…the FBI also seems to have ignored limitations imposed by the warrant, including an explicit prohibition against using the…boxes as the basis for further criminal investigations…agents…were instructed to be on the lookout for cash…and to note…anything which [might give the government a pretext to steal it]…Agents [even] arranged to have drug-sniffing dogs present…which doesn’t do anything to help inventory items, of course, but makes more sense if the actual goal is to initiate forfeiture proceedings…

You Were Warned (#1218)

Looks like Reddit is covering its butt as a hedge against more FOSTA-enabled predatory lawsuits:

…adult content creator[s have]…recently found themselves abruptly removed or had their Reddit account limited without warning.  Sex workers have long been subject to deplatforming on most social media platforms…yet even though Reddit has a reputation for being relatively sex-positive compared to other Big Tech sites, sex workers are increasingly finding themselves restricted or even outright permanently banned on the platform, often without notice or…explanation…“The fact that sex workers are reporting an uptick on Reddit is particularly concerning because it has been one of the last places where this type of content is allowed,” says Evan Greer, director of the digital rights organization Fight for the Future, citing Twitter as the only other example of a platform that still continues to allow NSFW content…

The Vultures Descend

You can always count on my native state to out-Herod Herod:

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry…successfully urged the Louisiana Bond Commission…to delay a $39 million future line of credit for the New Orleans Sewerage & Water Board–which the city needs for [a dedicated power station for] its flood response–until city officials agree to enforce the state’s abortion ban.  The move comes right at the start of hurricane season, on the same day New Orleans…issued a flood advisory…Even Republican state senator Bret Allain warned that because the sewerage and water board is a state-created agency, he finds it “problematic” to target New Orleans over their abortion stance…

The Last Shall Be First (#1244)

If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention:

After one competitor “outclassed” the rest of the field in a girls’ state-level competition last year, the parents of the competitors who placed second and third lodged a complaint with the Utah High School Activities Association calling into question the winner’s gender.  David Spatafore, the UHSAA’s legislative representative…said the association…asked the student’s school to…examine…the students’ enrollment records [going]…“back to kindergarten and she’d always been a female”…Spatafore said the association has received other complaints, some that said “that female athlete doesn’t look feminine enough”…

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

Perquisites

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

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

To Molest and Rape (#758)

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

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

The Widening Gyre (#928)

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

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

Banishment (#970)

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

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

Broken Record (Spot the Loonies)

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

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

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

Above the Law (1175)

A prosecutor is just a kind of cop:

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

To Molest and Rape (#1234)

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

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

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Reliance on [police] to enforce Covid-19 restrictions has created…human rights violations.  –  Amnesty International

If Men Were Angels

Like father, like son:

A father and son pair of former church pastors were charged…with multiple counts of sexual assault of a child.  Scott Huse, 64…and…Travis Huse, 42…[were] involved with the Apostolic Worship Center and former Evergreen Christian Academy in Elton [Wisconsin]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1065)

Michigan is among the greediest, most unscrupulous states in this regard:

Michigan…[politicians have] open[ed] a dangerous loophole by authorizing [cops to rob]…travelers at Michigan airports [by pointing at them and oinking out the magic word “drugs”]…That change represents a substantial reversal of reforms that Michigan enacted in response to complaints…[bill sponsor Graham] Filler [paused from fellating cops to belch out a host of idiocies such as]…”ill-gotten gains”…”secure”…and…”reform”…

The Course of a Disease (#1093)

The Spanish case of the Swedish rot is especially virulent:

Spanish…politicians [are]…aiming to outlaw all forms of…sex work…including…audiovisual productions, magazines or internet content deemed “pornographic”…politicians within [socialist ruling party] PSOE, which took power in 2019…have taken up the abolition of sex work as their personal cause…the party’s General Vice-Secretary Adriana Lastra…last month took to the press to promote a change in the Spanish penal code to mandate up to three years of jail time for anyone paying for sex…

The Last Shall Be First (#1115)

Another perverse genital inspection law:

…the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” bans schools and colleges in Ohio from permitting “individuals of the male sex” from participating in women’s sports…The bill does not explain what the “male sex” or “female sex” is.  It does not say “trans” or “transgender” anywhere in the bill.  It doesn’t talk about birth or biological sex.  What it does instead is give people the power to dispute the sex of an individual athlete.  Then it falls upon that athlete to prove their sex by going to a physician and getting a signed statement confirming the athlete’s sex based on only…”The participant’s internal and external reproductive anatomy…normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone…[or] analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup.”  The bill…[also] authorize[s] individuals or schools…to sue the school, school district, or conference who allowed the trans woman to play and be awarded damages…The bill’s wording is similar to one passed in Idaho in 2020 that is currently being challenged in federal court

In the authoritarian mind,  for students to voluntarily allow other people to examine their genitalia for the purpose of pleasure is a “crime”, but for the same students to be forced by law to allow strangers to examine their genitalia for the purpose of bigotry is “protection”.

Social Distancing (#1197)

Oh look, it’s what I was saying TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO:

“Widespread reliance on punitive approaches to enforcing public health” harms marginalized groups, says Amnesty International.  A new report…suggests quarantine rules and other COVID-19 restrictions were especially damaging for groups already more likely to face discrimination, police harassment, and unjust criminalization.  Amnesty International calls on governments to reject using criminal sanctions to implement public health goals and “refrain from implementing repressive policies” in the name of protecting pubic health…”Contrary to the often-voiced claim by governments that ‘we were all in this together’, the truth is that their responses to Covid-19 have been experienced unequally…[especially by] people who are homeless, engage in sex work, or use drugs, as well as people “targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression”…


To Molest and Rape (#1225)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A [typical and representative] Philadelphia [cop who raped and]…sexually assault[ed men]…over the course of more than a decade was found guilty…of multiple crimes, including rape…Philip Nordo…often targeted [men] who were already handcuffed or shackled…

Thought Control (#1240)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

CatholicVote, which calls itself “America’s top Catholic advocacy organization,” has launched a “parent-led movement” called Hide the Pride to “empty libraries of LGBTQ content aimed at kids.”  It encourages members of the public to first collect signatures protesting library Pride displays containing children’s books, then to check out all of the books on display…After the titles are checked out, they then advise to “place the Pride books on a shelf out of reach of children” and email or mail the signatures to the library…a…school board candidate in Maryland did the same thing, though she didn’t stop at kids’ books.  Heather Fletcher checked out all the LGBTQ books on the library Pride display in the Brunswick Public Library…she [bloviat]ed, “This has…to do with the preservation of innocence”…

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How did we go from a routine traffic stop to narcotics-sniffing dogs?  –  Pamella Jenkins

The big news this week was the passing of Vangelis, the Greek composer most famous for his soundtrack work, whose albums from the late ’70s and early ’80s in particular formed a large portion of the soundtrack of my life.  I’ve featured many of his compositions over the years, but never the one that first made me a fan, fittingly entitled “Alpha”.  The links above it were provided by Franklin Harris, Cop Crisis (x2), Radley Balko, Popehat, and Nun Ya, in that order.

From the Archives

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Let’s not abandon th[e term “cancel culture”]…in a vain attempt to please the people most responsible for perpetuating the problem.
–  Komi T. German & Greg Lukianoff

Bad Girls

Cops really don’t care if they ruin people’s lives with wild accusations:

The NYPD wrongly used a [picture] of a Queens woman on a “wanted” poster for a thie[f posing as an escort]…and now the innocent woman is suing for $30 million.  Eva Lopez…first found out she was a wanted woman…[from] a friend…[and] shrugged it off until her boss convinced her it might be real…the wanted poster had already been taken down from the department’s Facebook page…but the damage was done…The poster…[referred to] an Aug. 3 theft from an East Village apartment, where a [careless] man had booked an escort online, only to [discover she was actually a thief who stole his]…$13,000 Rolex and [his roommate’s]…credit card…“On Facebook, the [wanted poster] got shared over…20,000 times.  Then on Instagram…” Lopez insisted she’s never been in trouble with the law, never worked as an escort, and doesn’t know the victims…“The NYPD should commit to more thorough investigations before haphazardly accusing…innocent people of…brazen crimes,” said her lawyer Mark Shirian…

Moral Climate

It’s always good to hear from people whose minds aren’t warped by adherence to the moronic “wing” fantasy:

“Cancel culture”…is a…real thing…no matter how many ways its meaning has been wrongly distorted…Ridiculous non-examples of cancel culture…provide all the ammunition needed for media and academic elites to blithely wave away the phrase as nothing more than a misleading term for a fake problem.  But just because the term has been grossly overused doesn’t mean we should give up on its popularly understood definition…the measurable uptick, since around 2014, of campaigns to get people fired, disinvited, deplatformed, or otherwise punished for speech that is—or would be—protected by First Amendment standards…We say “would be” because the First Amendment does not apply to private companies.  So, while the NFL was free to punish Colin Kaepernick, and The View was free to suspend Whoopi Goldberg, these are still examples of cancel culture under our definition, because the subjects of each controversy engaged in expression that “would be” protected, were the First Amendment standard to apply…despite the denialism surrounding its very existence, we will demonstrate through empirical data and polling that cancel culture is not only a real problem, it is one that continues to expand in scope and size…

Stalkers in Blue (#1088)

If they really want schools to be “safe”, they need to stop paying sexually-aggressive thugs to lurk in them:

Broward County Public Schools violated [Florida] law when [bureaucrats] failed to properly…notify the Florida Department of Education Office of Safe Schools of a [lurking pig]’s dismissal for [perving on a 15-year-old within]…72 hours after [his] firing…Steven J. Daniello…[was] a [typical and representative cop paid by the state to stalk, harass, and spy on students] at Westchester Elementary School in Coral Springs…Broward County…did not notify the state…until March 28, 2021, 56 days after the legally required notification period…Daniello…was sentenced to 14-and-a-half months in state prison…four years of probation…[and eternal condemnation to the “]sex offender[” registry]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1115)

A politician with even a vestigial sense of morality is a rare thing indeed:

Two Republican governors have vetoed bills in Utah and Indiana that seek to ban trans teens from competing in school sports on girls’ teams…Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb vetoed…HEA 1041, which not only would have banned trans females from competing on girls teams, but also required schools…and athletic organizations to [invite malcontents]…to complain, and e[nable them]…to sue in civil court for alleged violations. The law included no similar ban on trans males…In Utah, Gov. Spencer Cox’s veto of H.B. 11…was…[due to] a…[last-minute] amendment that changed the bill…[from a compromise in]to a full ban on trans girls competing with other girls….[and] struck down p[rovisions]…that provided indemnity to schools and athletic organizations from costs of lawsuits…Both vetoes seem likely to be overridden…

You Were Warned (#1210)

Savannah Sly and Tarah Wheeler, writing for the Brookings Institute:

In its current form, the…EARN IT Act…would strip technology companies of protection from liability for child sexual abuse material…uploaded onto their platforms by users.  The…[false] premise…[is] that technology companies aren’t doing enough to combat the presence of such material and need to face the prospect of greater legal penalties to do so…One of EARN IT’s key provisions…exposes technology companies to liability if [a prosecutor claims] their encryption features…enable the spread of CSAM—a move that may lead many companies to conclude that offering encryption to users simply isn’t worth it and doing away with secure messaging tools entirely…EARN IT…does nothing to prevent child abuse from happening in the first place…and…may [even] prevent young people from accessing online information about sex…that could help keep them safe…EARN IT will [also] never be able to eradicate…young people taking and sharing intimate photos and videos of themselves, and preventing such material from circulating online would be better done through education…

Thought Control (#1210)

There’s at least one principled librarian in Texas:

On March 9, Suzette Baker was fired as head librarian at the Kingsland Branch Library in Llano County [Texas]…“for creating a disturbance, insubordination, violation of policies and failure to follow instructions.”  Baker [explained] she…did not comply…[with a mob who demanded] censorship…[of] books that they [falsely labeled] “inappropriate” or “pornographic”…

Disaster (#1220)

Of course, the mainstream media will never acknowledge their part in creating this disaster:

Three years ago this month, Congress passed a law that got people killed…In the immediate wake of SESTA/FOSTA’s passage, sex workers…were cut off from online platforms and tools they used to make a living and keep themselves safe…Sex workers and advocates reported an increase in attacks, arrests, self-harm, and suicide…Now…[politicians] are once again obsessed with the idea of [undermining or eliminat]ing Section 230…It’s [typical] for [politicians] to legislate with the goal of scoring political points while ignoring the collateral damage to marginalized people’s safety and rights…[but] if Congress actually wants to…avoid repeating [intentional legal atrocities] that have gotten people killed…it’s essential that they learn from SESTA/FOSTA’s catastrophic failure…the SAFE SEX Workers Study Act…would task the Department of Health and Human Services with conducting a study on the public health impact that SESTA/FOSTA had on sex worker safety.  And it would require the Justice Department to study whether the legislation actually accomplished its [pretended] goal of cracking down on human trafficking…

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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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I think somebody somewhere must be tolling a bell.  –  Jim Steinman

It’s been a while since a musician’s death affected me as strongly as last week’s passing of Meat Loaf, but then there aren’t many musicians about whom I can truthfully claim to own every single album they ever released.  And there was really only one song I could use in memorial: the one Jim Steinman wrote as the ultimate teen death song.  The links above it were provided by Franklin Harris, Jesse Walker, Billy Binion, Scott Hechinger (x2), and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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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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How disconnected from reality are [censorious] Senators?  –  Mike Masnick

If Men Were Angels

Is a “small group leader” the same as a “youth pastor”?

…California church leader…Drue Mordecai, a…“small group leader” at New Vintage Church…sexually abused a juvenile…for approximately four to five years…beg[inning] when the victim was 12 years old…

Broken Record (#559) 

Irish versions of the “gypsy whores” myth always seem quaint:

[Pogroms against sex workers and their clients are] being prepared [using the popular myth that]…demand for such services [increases] around the time of major sports fixtures and other events…[fact-free propaganda promot]ed by the Garda shows the demand for prostitution increases around major events…[spokespigs oinked a lot of silly nonsense about]…victims…gangs…vast majority…[are] trafficked…[they also lied that] the Garda is not interested in treating [sex workers] as criminals, [despite ample evidence to the contrary]…

Above the Law (#866)  

The fact that the woman reported him tells me this wasn’t a coercion-free offer:

A Florida lawyer [sentenced to probation] in 2019 on charges that he was using female clients in two county jails to make pornographic films has been disbarred…Andrew Bennett Spark…was arrested Dec. 17, 2017, and charged with [minor offenses including]…soliciting for prostitution.  He…now lives in Flushing, New York…Spark went to visit with a woman…in the Pinellas County Jail…[who] had not requested a visit with him, and she was represented by a different lawyer…the…w[oman was an] adult film actress…whose arrest and conviction [had been] widely publicized…Spark…asked…he[r to let him take video of her giving him head]…in exchange for putting money in her jail account…[but when he gave her a measly $10 she] told her family about the unsolicited visit, and her family c[alled the pigs]…

Morality Lessons (#908) 

Utah hasn’t learned from this unconstitutional bill failing in over a dozen states:

…Utah [politicians]…discuss[ed the latest version of a censorship bill]…requiring all “new electronic devices” sold in the state to have pornography filters turned on by default…the…hearing…ended with putting the bill on hold…[following expert testimony] that… “compliance would not be possible…[and] the constitutional problems …are numerous”…

Chris Sevier, the pro-censorship crackpot who wrote this bill and has shopped it to almost half of US states, appears to be keeping a low profile since Elizabeth Smart threatened to sue him for slapping her name on previous versions without her permission.  Or maybe it’s because a federal judge in Utah threw out his lawsuit trying to target same-sex marriage by saying he should be allowed to marry his laptop.  Or perhaps it’s due to the warrant for his arrest in Tennessee?

Something Rotten in Sweden (#910)

California’s annual anti-whore pogrom did a lot less damage this year:

Riverside County [pigs deceived and abducted] 64 [peaceful citizens] over the course of four days [label]ing [the pogrom] an anti-human trafficking operation…[under the sophomoric name] Operation Reclaim and Rebuild…The statewide operation [destroyed fewer lives this year, down from]…518 [last year, including] 87 [sex workers; this year only 2 sex workers were brutalized]…

Theatrics (#914) 

Fake “sex trafficking” ads dreamed up by prohibitionists demonstrate the depravity of their lurid masturbatory fantasies about our lives and work:

A…Swed[ish prohibitionist organization]…has set up a [fake] call girl service…Unsuspecting men [looking for adult consensual sex] dial the [fake] hotline set up by [the “rescue” profiteers called] Talita, only to be…[non-consensually subjected to ugly tragedy porn] stories…Josephine Appelqvist, co-founder of Talita, says: “We wanted them to [violate their consent by tricking them into] hear[ing our disgusting sexual fantasies]”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1056)

Canada pretends to care about privacy, but has plenty of other snooping tools:

Clearview AI violated Canadian privacy laws when it collected photos of Canadians without their knowledge or permission, the country’s top privacy watchdog has ruled…the startup…scrap[ed] social media sites…without their permission, prompting Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to send cease and desist letters…Clearview rebuffed the allegations, claiming [it is above the] law…and that consent was not required because the images it scraped were publicly available…The Canadian privacy watchdog…said it would “pursue other actions” if the company does not…stop…the collection on Canadians and delet[e] all previously collected images…

Paint By Numbers (#1086)

The dumb “awareness raising” stunt field is being taken over by hack artists:

“Goats are empowering women in the poorest parts of India,” said Rob Canton, founder of Project Goat. “A Goat is essentially an ATM in these communities, keeping them from a life of sex…trafficking.”  That’s how Canton came up with the Global Offensive Against Trafficking also known as Project Goat.  During the months leading up to the Super Bowl…goats, decorated by different artists, were showing up everywhere…“Super Bowls and events like them, World Cups and Olympics, they are the types of events that generate a lot of human trafficking,” [lied] Canton…Canton is now in the process of corralling all these [propaganda] works…They will be part of a large art auction taking place the day before the Super Bowl at Zoo Tampa, with a portion of the proceeds going to [the rescue industry]…

You Were Warned (#1107)

The bipartisan war on the internet continues without even a pause:

For the past few months we’ve been seeing a ton of terrible/ ridiculous/awful/unconstitutional bills coming from mostly Republicans to try to wipe out or undermine Section 230.  Most of those were focused on trying to force websites to do less content moderation.  Now that the Democrats are back in power, it appears we’re going to be getting the opposite.  Senator Mark Warner has introduced…the SAFE TECH Act (“Safeguarding Against Fraud, Exploitation, Threats, Extremism, and Consumer Harms Act” co-sponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono and Amy Klobuchar), and it is one of the worst Section 230 bills I’ve seen.  It is difficult to explain just how bad this bill is concisely, because it has so many bad ideas crammed into one single bill.  It’s as if none of these three Senators or their staff spoke to anyone who actually understands how the internet works, or how content moderation/trust and safety works.  It’s stunning in the ignorance it displays…Basically, this bill takes nearly every single idea that people who want there to be less speech online have had, and dumped it all into one bill.  There’s a lot in there, and nearly all of it is bad…This bill…does not come from a well meaning place.  The drafters…are either malicious or ignorant…

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