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Posts Tagged ‘teachers’

 I will fucking shoot you.  –  Sheriff Craig Rowland

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

From the Archives

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

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

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

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

All-Purpose Excuse (#1063)

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

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

Social Distancing (#1082)

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

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

Above the Law (#1187) 

This subtitle is no exaggeration:

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

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

I Spy (#1188)

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

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

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

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

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

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

The Cop Myth (#1191)

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

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

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

Pretext

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

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

Lack of Evidence (#960)

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

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

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

Rooted in Racism (#966)

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

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

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1090)

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

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

Scapegoats (#1169)

This sordid saga finally wraps up after three years:

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

The Cop Myth (#1178)

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

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#1185)

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

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

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Sophia got carried away.  –  Brass Against

To commemorate the passing of one of the titans of musical theater, I present the opening number of the first production for which he wrote both words and music (still one of my favorites of his oeuvre).  The links above it were provided by David Ley, Scott Hechinger, Emma Evans, Mike Siegel, Walter Olson, Cop Crisis, and Scott Greenfield, in that order.

From the Archives

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I was found guilty the minute that mugshot went up.  –  Julie Levitch

Micromanagement

Any data in government hands will inevitably be misused by cops:

…a new data collection and analysis program…called “molecular HIV surveillance”…is used to identify groups of people…where HIV is spreading quickly.  When someone tests positive for HIV, a doctor usually orders a partial sequence of the virus’s genome to check for signs of drug resistance, and the result gives them information on which medicines will work best.  But in recent years, public health [bureaucrats] have been analyzing the virus’s sequence data to monitor how the pathogen spreads…[because of] HIV’s swift evolution…it [rapidly] mutate[s into]…genetically distinct strains.  When two people share similar strains, it suggests they are linked, directly or indirectly, by recent transmission…[but cops] might access and misuse the data in states where…HIV [is]…criminal[ized]…HIV-positive people…[want] assurances that data will be kept away from police and prosecutors…[but] public health [bureaucrats instead prefer to mouth platitudes about]…balanc[ing] the risks [instead of demanding laws to protect the data]…

This is just “contact tracing” by another name.

Monsters (#616)

It’s unusual for reporters not to excuse this as a “mistake”:

A transgender woman…[named] Kristina Frost [was arrested in] San Diego…on November 25, 2020…she was [at first] placed alone in a holding cell…But [was] later [intentionally]…moved…to a “minimally monitored” cell with three men…”against her wishes”…Frost[‘s]…DMV records and driver’s license both said she was a woman…[but she was] repeatedly misgendered [by screws]…both in person and on official reports…Frost was [then] “viciously” attacked by one of the men in the cell after she had fallen asleep…[including] “closed-fist punches” to the face, which resulted in her jaw being fractured in two places…Frost required two surgeries for her broken jaw and is now required to wear dentures…[screws] witnessed the attack and…none of them “immediately intervened.”  The [attacker] was “eventually” removed from the cell…[but] Frost…[was made] to wait…12 hours for medical attention, despite being unable to eat or drink water because of her injuries…Frost has sued San Diego County and its sheriff’s department for punitive and compensatory damages, and…attorney fees…[due to their] deliberate indifference to safety risks…

Across the Pond (#723)

Every four years, Ipswich claims it will “eradicate” street work:

[Politicians] have [bloviated that they will]…end the “scourge” of street prostitution in Ipswich – [just as they did in 2017 and 2013]…following news that a “small number” of sex workers are on the streets of Ipswich, 15 years after the Steve Wright murders…[a spokespig oinked that] “Police are [swagger]ing [around]…the area aimed at [intimidating] those who [reject the interference of official busybodies]…and the males who [pay their rent and other needs]…Funding of £124,000 will be used to i[ncrease surveillance] coverage…and [maximize the danger of rape and other violence against all women by increasing police presence]…

Gorged With Meaning (#902)

Prohibitionists want inexperienced sex workers harmed or even killed, to “send a message” of course:

A [politician] has condemned Durham University for promoting [safety] training for students working in the adult sex industry.  Michelle Donelan…[bloviated a lot of poisonous nonsense about how censorship constitutes] “protect[ion]”…The university [explain]ed the training was important to “ensure students can be safe and make informed choices” after noting an “emerging trend” of students selling sexual services…Donelan…[replied by barfing out infantilizing dysphemisms such as] “normalise”…”target”…[and] “trap”…[student union spokesman] Jonah Graham…said:  “You’ve got to be maliciously disingenuous to pretend to misunderstand this as anything other than an attempt to support students in a difficulty arising from the reality of rising costs in higher education.  Trying to create a scandal from an attempt to support people whose work can make them vulnerable is contemptible”…

Shame, Shame (#937)

They should never have been made public in the first place:

Many news outlets have stopped publishing mugshots — or at least so many of them — but some states and cities are beginning to grapple with a more fundamental issue: Why do police release th[em]…and should they be allowed to?…The Justice Department has repeatedly refused to release mugshots, arguing…that there’s no public safety interest in releasing pictures that are a “lasting image of what can be one of the most difficult episodes in an individual’s life.”  Last year, the San Francisco Police Department stopped releasing them as well…At least three states have gone a step further, barring the release of some mugshots.  In 2019, New York changed its open records law to ban the release of mugshots unless [the cops want to]…This year, California prohibited police from putting the images on social media, and Utah banned publishing mugshots until after conviction…

Choke Point (#1065) 

Decriminalization is just the beginning:

Australian financial institutions, particularly the Big Four banks, have far more control over the sex work industry than many of us realise.  Sex workers’ battles with the tech and finance industries have dominated headlines in recent months, from MasterCard and Visa’s decision to ban the use of their services on PornHub, to OnlyFans’ [aborted] plan to ban sex work from the platform altogether…On top of the already devastating blow of the pandemic practically obliterating the ability to safely conduct in-person sex work, the industry has been ravaged by a series of changes…designed to…make sex work significantly less safe…We saw this in the case of Mastercard’s policy changes, which were designed to [shield the company from attacks by “]sex trafficking[” fetishists, and] resulted in thousands of…sex workers having to go to more extreme measures to make money…a similar piece of legislation…implemented [using the popular fascist excuses of]…money laundering and terrorism funding, is allowing Australian banks to get away with financial discrimination right in our own backyard…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1176)

It’s good when they feed on each other:

…[Mississippi cop] Harold “Tad” Rogers was arrested…[for having] sexually explicit conversations with…an[other cop fantasy role-playing as a 13-year-old girl]…Rogers tried to solicit explicit pictures from the [oth]er [wank]er…[and w]as…charged with one count of enticement of a child to produce sexually explicit pictures…

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Censorship, once condemned by all ethical people, has now become almost universally popular.  –  “The Convergence of Censors

The speed at which censorship, up to and including calls for literal book-burning, has increased in the past few years is horrifying to any thinking person (by which I mean any person who thinks for themselvs rather than simply parroting what their “thought leaders” tell them to think).  This year’s column for “Banned Books Week” linked no fewer than 14 articles collected over a six-month period, but conditions are degenerating so quickly I’ve collected four more just since the beginning of this month.  Only one of them is about corporate media censorship:

Streaming media giant Roku pushed back on “clickbait” headlines…saying its decision to remove “‘non-certified channels” goes beyond banning Pornhub and other private pornographic channels.  Responding to multiple headlines this week [derived from claims by Morality in Media and other pro-censorship groups]…Roku…[released] a statement saying that the decision to eliminate “non-certified” channels aligns the company’s screening of content with what Apple, Amazon, Samsung and Xbox already do with apps…the fact that Pornhub and other adult entertainment platforms had found their way onto Roku televisions through private or non-certified channels was incidental to the decision, which intends to standardize the tools that app developers use to create channels…

But the others are all about government censorship of books; the first in Kansas:

The Goddard school district has removed more than two dozen books from circulation in the district’s school libraries, citing [a bandwagon they want to jump on]…The list…includes…The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas…The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky…Fences…by August Wilson and They Called Themselves the K.K.K…[bureaucrats claimed the ban isn’t really a ban because they’re belching out the words] “unsuitable for children” [while banning them]…

Not to be outdone by Midwesterners, Virginia’s authoritarians are calling for literal book-burning:

The Spotsylvania County School Board has directed staff to begin removing books that contain [what they have chosen to label] “sexually explicit” material from library shelves and report on the number of books that have been removed…The board also…indicated that it will consider a division-wide library audit…[and] plans to [add other categories to its definition of]…“objectionable” for a further review of library holdings…Two board members…Rabih Abuismail and…Kirk Twigg, said they would like to see the removed books burned.  “I think we should throw those books in a fire,” Abuismail said, and Twigg said he wants to “see the books before we burn them so we can [demonstrate to ignorant bigots] that we are eradicating this bad stuff”…Abuismail [then convulsively vomited out filth about how]…public schools “would rather have our kids reading gay pornography than about Christ”…

And Texas authoritarians are unsatisfied with merely torturing librarians by forcing them to assist violently-fanatical censors:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott…sent a…letter to state education authorities claiming minors “have been exposed to pornographic books and content in Texas public schools” and [belching out the words]…“obscene”…“protect Texas students”…”no educational purpose”…[and] “clear violation of the law.”  Abbott also [defined books censors dislike as]…“pornography being provided to minors”…[and threatened school librarians with life-destroying] “prosecution to the fullest extent of the law”…

I’m really hoping that this is a short-lived phenomenon. But given what I’ve seen over the past decade, I suspect that hope will be a forlorn one.

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[The Backpage] case is a hot mess.  –  Michael Piccarreta

The Punitive Mindset (#872) 

Much more of this, please:

I was incredibly disappointed when I recently learned that music artists are partnering with telecom corporations in the prison industryPrison telecom is a $1.4 billion industry dominated by just two corporations that charge families extortionate rates to communicate with their incarcerated loved ones.  One of these…is Aventiv Technologies, which [owns the]…notoriously predatory…Securus and JPay.  Securus controls roughly 40 percent of the prison and jail telecom market and charges as much as a dollar per minute for a simple call.  JPay charges similarly egregious rates for everything from money transfers to emails…And both…routinely face legal action for an extensive list of unlawful practices…including the unlawful recording of sacred attorney-client calls…As music executives and artists, we should…not [be] cutting back-office deals with…the prison industry…I’m making a pledge not to collaborate with corporations that profit from incarceration…And I urge my fellow music executives and artists to join me…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#957) 

“Porn addiction” is still being used as an excuse for violent crimes:

Two 11-year-old “porn addicts” have been arrested in India after they allegedly stoned a six-year-old girl to death for refusing to perform sex acts they had watched on their parents’ phones…Authorities arrested the two…along with another eight-year-old who is thought to have [stood guard while] the [others] murder[ed] the…girl…children are seen as having criminal responsibility from the age of seven in India…

Subtle Pimping (#1013)

While American cops favor VR porn games, Kazakh cops prefer LARPing:

A…week-long simulation exercise on combating…migration…started on 11 October 2021 in Almaty.  The simulation exercise [refers to this migration control as “]Combating Trafficking in Human Beings[“, following the racist European practice]…this training exercise offers f[antasies in place of]…real-life [situations], using actors to create [fantasy] trafficking scenarios.  A fictitious brothel..a[nd] massage parlor…were…created to…[indoctrin]ate c[ops in the fantasy version] of human trafficking…and sexual exploitation…

Torture Chamber (#1037)

The PREA is just feel-good nonsense as long as screws have absolute power over their victims:

…a 23-year-old woman…committed suicide in a [Forks,] Washington jail [after] she tried to report sexual harassment by a guard, but her complaint was [ignored].  Months later, that same [screw] was sentenced to prison for [raping] four other women…the family of Kimberly Bender [is suing jail] officials…[for allow]ing Bender…[to] be…tormented by a [typical and representative screw] with a known misconduct record…John Gray…[repeat]edly tormented Bender at night, leering at her, making “vile” comments, and frequently waking her up.  Bender, “struggling with heroin withdrawal, was unable to sleep, rest, or relax because of…Gray”…wh[o was]…previously…fire[d from a different cage stack] in 2018 for m[oc]king…a training on the Prison Rape Elimination Act…[by making disgusting] “comments and sounds such as, ‘Here we go’ and ‘oooh…oh yeah baby…mmmmm'” during a [scene showing]…a woman [groping]…another woman [under the pretext of a “search”]…PREA is [well-known to be] largely toothless.  Since the reporting rules went into effect in 2012, reports of sexual assaults in prisons and jails have dramatically increased, especially at local and county jails…

The Convergence of Censors

Vomit out the right buzzwords and you can censor at will:

The Waterloo Region District School Board is undertaking a multi-year review of its library collections to [censor] any texts deemed “[magically] harmful to staff and students.”  Graham Shantz, coordinating [bureaucrat, made a bunch of incoherent, pseudointellectual excuses about why stunting students’ intellectual growth and controlling their thoughts is actually a good thing, belching out words like]…”inappropriate…questionable and…pedagogical framework”…[to support plain old-fashioned book burning]…Earlier this year, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board removed William Golding’s classic Lord of the Flies from its curriculum after [bureaucrats vomited out the words]…white, male power structures [at librarians].  Other books recently removed from Canadian school libraries…in response to complaints [backed by fashionable pseudointellectual bullshit]…include Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

To Molest and Rape (#1130)

Imagine a non-cop child rapist staying free for decades like this:

A [typical and representative] New York [cop] who for decades has delayed facing [trial for]…repeatedly rap[ing] and molest[ing] his daughter’s 12-year-old friend was arrested in Florida…Leonard Forte, who is now 80…was [found guilty] in Vermont in 1988…[but] the judge tossed the verdict…[because cop]…and…Forte persuaded prosecutors to delay the retrial because he [claimed to be terminally ill]…A USA Today investigation in 2019 revealed how Vermont prosecutors had mishandled the case [for over 25 years]…and exposed Forte’s dubious claims about his health…[thus shaming] Vermont’s Attorney General’s Office [into] reviv[ing] the case…

Dangerous Speech (#1184)

After presiding over an evil clown show for months, Brnovich does what an ethical judge would’ve done a year ago:

…Judge Susan Brnovich today recused herself from the [Backpage] trial…[without providing a] reason…the case ha[s] been reassigned by lot to…Judge Diane J. Humetewa…Brnovich…previously refused to recuse herself from the case [despite obvious]…conflict [of interest due to]…Brnovich’s [being married to the attorney general of Arizona, a noted prohibitionist with a history of disseminating anti-Backpage propaganda]…Humetewa is…the fourth judge on the case…Steven Logan was first assigned to the case…[but] recused himself with no explanation in March 2019.  The case was briefly assigned to…Douglas Rayes, who immediately recused himself sans explanation…Brnovich was then assigned the case…Tucson criminal defense attorney and former Arizona State Bar President Michael Piccarreta [pointed out that]…“Someone’s going to have to take a look at the government’s overreaching issues…No judge wants to have to deal with that”…prosecutorial misconduct in this case…[includes] the [intentional] destruction of exculpatory evidence…and…the [armed robbery] of millions of dollars in assets, including…more than $10 million from lawyers for the defense…

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Shut your mouth, boy.  –  “Officer” Hoover

As I was poking around YouTube, I discovered this live performance of Part One of Tubular Bells, which is not only seasonal (the first movement was used as the theme to The Exorcist, after all), but also happens to be one of my favorite albums of all time (and if you’ve ever seen me professionally, you may have noticed it playing in session).  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis (x3), Scott Hechinger (x2), and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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Censorship, once condemned by all ethical people, has now become almost universally popular.  –  “The Convergence of Censors

The last week of September is “Banned Books Week“; over the 11 years I’ve been writing this blog, my columns on the topic have changed as threats to intellectual freedom have dramatically increased worldwide.  As I said last year,

When I was a librarian, [this] Week was little more than an academic exercise; censorship was an intermittent and generally impotent threat proceeding from small numbers of narrow-minded busybodies, which was easily defeated by librarians and other guardians of our shared cultural heritage.  But that was a generation ago, and would-be censors have become numerous, aggressive, well-organized and (most concerningly) popular.  Few of those under 30 even understand what free speech is or why it’s important, and the majority or those over that age imagine all sorts of exceptions that they believe should be reasons to violently suppress speech…the censor-morons…are…multiplying like bacteria and have already infested all the centers of power…

The links are all there for your perusal, but just in case you’ve been asleep for the past three or four years, here are a few stories from the past six months so you can see for yourself that I’m not exaggerating.  There’s still plenty of old-fashioned, bluenosed, school-based censorship conducted in the name of THE CHIIIIIIIIILDREEEEEEN!!!™, but now they’ve learned to pretend ideas they don’t like constitute a “crime” so as to threaten their enemies with police violence.  Furthermore, institutions writers could once count on to defend them, including libraries and publishers, now race to see who can kowtow most obsequiously to the censor-morons, sometimes even volunteering to act as censors themselves, and institutions which need free speech the most are lobotomizing themselves by peddling pro-censorship sophistry and even conducting literal book burnings.  Governments are increasingly claiming the “right” to declare which facts are “correct” and to suppress ideas they declare “disinformation” or “fake news”, and in our increasingly-connected world governments are increasingly able to cause trouble for people who say things they dislike far beyond their own borders (China is the worst offender, but is far from alone).  Soon, ideas the mob, the government, or other violent simian gangs dislike may become impossible to acquire outside of caches of virtual samizdat, at which point the censor-morons will pivot to criminalizing avenues of access to such caches while “intellectuals” cheer and pen screeds about how obedience and conformity are far better for “society” than imagination and critical thinking.

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Denying rights and enabling trafficking are the same thing.
–  Jean Bruggeman

Down Under

The events which eventually led to decriminalization in New South Wales:

Libertarianism Happens To People

Why do people refuse to see injustice until it’s inflicted on them?

…Alyssa Reid [was]…a faculty member of [James Madison University], where she met a student named Kathryn Lese…in the spring of 2013…The following year, Lese graduated from JMU…the pair…eventually…became [lovers]…for two and a half years, living together for much of that time.  The relationship ended badly, [then]…almost a year later, on December 4, 2018, Lese filed a Title IX report with JMU…and Reid was accused of engaging in a nonconsensual relationship with her former girlfriend.  JMU suspended Reid from teaching.  Then, following a hearing where Reid was given no meaningful opportunity to rebut the allegations against her…the university de[cid]ed she had violated an aspect of the sexual misconduct policy that had not even existed during the time period in question…Reid is now suing JMU, as well as the U.S. Department of Education, which pushed colleges and universities to adopt unfair sexual misconduct adjudication policies during the…Obama…presidency…Reid herself strongly believed in the [policies at the time]…but becoming the target of a false accusation has broadened her perspective…

Torture Chamber

“Inappropriate contact with inmate” is such a nice way to say “rape of a caged woman”:

Richard Wade Sanders…was arrested [and charged with raping a caged woman.  He was also fired from his job as a screw]…

The article was so totally larded with euphemisms and circumlocution, only five words survived my edit.

What Were You All Waiting For? (#568)

About damned time, considering they backed Amnesty six years ago:

…[Cops] love to be the saviour, to do a raid and to rescue the little girls.  The criminalisation of sex work is tailor-made for that sort of project.  [They’ve] been given…carte blanche to stroll into any building or business where they think sex work is taking place, to pull over cars, or to arrest people on the street in order to investigate an on-going crime that they [claim] is being committed…and [cops] never want…a [power] taken away from them…sex work…[is] a form of work.  The people who disagree…usually give moral[istic]…reasons for why they think that.  But…FNUSA is grounded in representing workers who are doing dirty, dangerous, unpleasant work.  No little girl dreams of being a garment factory worker…or…a poultry processor…yet that is what some little girls end up doing, which is why we must put protections and regulations in place that make their environments less dangerous…even if it’s an industry that little girls don’t dream of going into, all sex workers deserve protection…and we don’t protect workers when we criminalise an industry.  We leave them…out in the cold…

Out of Control (#954)

Spooge-based sexual assaults are growing worse:

Thomas Stemen…who stabbed a woman with…a semen-filled syringe last year was sentenced [to 10 years in prison]…In February 2020, surveillance video showed [that Stemen] cre[pt up] behind a young woman…returning a shopping cart at a…grocery store…and stabbed her…Stemen…also…[tried to stab] a 17-year-old girl in the same supermarket, but he was unsuccessful…Doctors prescribed [the victim] a 30-day mix of preventive medication as she did not know what she [was injected] with, but…police searched Stemen’s home and vehicle, and found similar syringes were filled with semen…that…matched Stemen’s DNA…

The writing of this article is rather odd, including referring to the 52-year-old Stemens as “elderly”.

Torture Chamber (#1123) 

Stop faking!

…on May 6, 2019…[Tanya] Suarez…was arrested for being under the influence of [methamphetamine]…she was “acting bizarrely and responding to internal stimuli” during the booking process….[and] started clawing at her eyes.  [Screws]…cut…off her clothes and her acrylic nails with scissors.  The…nails cracked, leaving jagged edges…Suarez told the nurse she was bipolar…took psychiatric medication…[and] was having delusions…she…[was locked in a] bare concrete…hole…left naked…and…gouge[d] out her [own] eyes…[while a sow stood at the door recording the whole thing on her cell phone]…“for over a minute…and…never once…intervened in a[ny]…substantial way”…Six minutes later, the jail video shows a different [screw] walking up to Suarez’s cell and looking through the window, then watching as Suarez removed her right eye…[the screw then casually walked away to fetch more screws, who were eventually followed by medical staff after Suarez had gouged out her left eye.  After both eyeballs were on the floor and Suarez was bleeding profusely from the empty sockets, the screws waited another five to ten minutes to actually do anything]…

I Spy (#1155)

Cops and politicians think barfing out the word “children” excuses any tyranny:

Facebook’s plans to allow encrypted messaging across all its platforms could prevent the [government from snooping in millions of people’s private communications]…every year…[so executive cop] Rob Jones…[is claiming] the social media company’s goal of rolling out end-to-end encryption will stop [cops] from accessing “incisive intelligence” that allows them to rescue abused children…[meanwhile] the home secretary, Priti Patel…step[ped] up her [own] international campaign against encryption…

Nothing infuriates violent, self-important busybodies more than the knowledge that there are private affairs that are none of their business, so they keep trying to convince the masses to share their view of secrecy as a “crime” in and of itself with grossly-exaggerated scare stories, usually involving sex.

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