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Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’

To what extent the prosecution will twist the law to its ends remains to be seen.  –  Stephen Lemons

Whore Madonnas (#808)

More from Juniper Fitzgerald:

…my children’s book, How Mamas Love Their Babies…is the only children’s book– to my knowledge– to include a sex-working mother: “Some mamas dance all night long in special shoes. It’s hard work!”…You would never suspect that such a modest inclusion of sex workers in a picture book about how parents provide for their children by any means necessary would provoke the bowels of the internet so profoundly.  Claims that I—along with Hilary Clinton, mind you—am sex-trafficking my own child grace my timeline even three years after publication.  My inbox still tells me that I am a literal witch and devil worshipper—whatever the fuck that means.  Or, my favorite, that I am “communist whore filth.”  It’s easy to dismiss Q-anon and #PizzaGate believers as a handful of rabid, marginal cultists.  But these…exist on the same continuum with wine-sipping white ladies who think sex workers are a threat to their children…

The Punitive Mindset (#880) 

“Drugs” are a popular pretext for petty vindictiveness in US prisons:

Billy Steffey…is a former federal inmate…still trying to fight the BOP for stripping him of good behavior credits and throwing him in solitary confinement for five months based on…an unverified [drug] test with a well-established track record of leading to wrongful arrests…[such] tests…[a]re not admissible…in court; and the manufacturers explicitly warn that all tests should be sent to crime labs to be verified…Yet the federal Bureau of Prisons relies solely on such tests to pu[nish prisoners]…and strip them of…rights…with virtually no avenue for recourse…The issues with these tests have been known for decades and are easily verifiable…In December [2017] a [screw] opened a package…legal…papers [that he claimed] felt “unusually thick” and gritty and looked discolored…many…prisons have…bann[ed] physical mail and used book donations…[under the pretext that] they…are [used]…to…s[muggle] drugs…[screws] tested the…papers…[and claimed they saw evidence of] amphetamines…[then] linked the package to Steffey after [rooting in his] email…threw him in…solitary…for five months…and…stripped him of 41 days of “good time” credit…

A Moral Cancer (#1000)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

[Oregon governor] Kate Brown…[approved] a bill banning the online sale of nicotine-containing vaping products to state residents…despite convincing evidence that limiting access to e-cigarettes drives users, especially young people, to traditional cigarettes that pose greater health risks…as politicians eternally pretend to not understand, banning things doesn’t mean that people give up on them.  Instead, it drives them to legal substitutes that may pose different or greater risks, or else to black market suppliers who offer products of unknown quality and safety.  [When] San Francisco banned the sale of flavored tobacco products in 2018…92 percent of [users] continued their habits after the ban…[but] high school students’ odds of smoking conventional cigarettes doubled…The conclusion that prodding youthful users from vaping to cigarettes is a bad idea is not [even] controversial…

Micromanagement (#1012)

This would be better news if judges didn’t simply rubber-stamp cops’ warrant requests:

Maryland and Montana have become the first states to pass laws…requir[ing] police to have court authorization…[and] probable cause…[Maryland further requires that] the crime being probed must be a murder, a rape, a felony sexual offense, or a “criminal act involving circumstances presenting a substantial and ongoing threat to public safety or national security”…AncestryDNA and 23andMe both prohibit such investigations using an ordinary user profile.  But other companies, such as FamilyTreeDNA and GEDMatch…allow police to [root in] their databases…[at will]…

Devil’s Advocate (#1114) 

Your periodic reminder that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

[Creepy weirdos] assigned to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s [Sympathetic Magic] Unit have arrested and charged a…man accused of possessing child[-shapd toasters]…in October 2020, [intrusive and unconstitutional surveillance revealed] that William Crowder…ordered a child[-shaped toaster] to be shipped to his home.  TBI agents subsequently [roo]ted…at Crowder’s residence and found at least six [toasters (it’s difficult to be sure because Tennessee cops can’t count that high)], several of them dressed in children’s clothing…Crowder [was charged] with six counts of [making toast in a way that upsets redneck busybodies]…

Stalkers in Blue (#1138)

Another cop demonstrating exactly what he is:

Minnesota State [pig] Albert Kuehne sat in his [pigmobile] in March 2020 and [rooted] through a phone belonging to a 25-year-old woman he’d just…[accused] of drunken driving…he [had no permission to even touch the phone, but] clicked through her photos [anyway].  Hours later, the woman’s boyfriend noticed something alarming on her MacBook, which was synced to her phone:  Outgoing text…messages to an unknown phone number with nude and partly clothed pictures of the woman attached.  When they called that unfamiliar number, Kuehne answered…Kuehne…[has finally] admitted that he sent himself three explicit photos of the woman, and then deleted the outgoing messages on the woman’s phone to try to cover his tracks.  Kuehne pleaded guilty…to a misdemeanor…

Dangerous Speech (#1138)

US “authorities” keep pretending “because sex” is an excuse for any tyranny:

During a June 7 status conference…in the Lacey/Larkin case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Rapp…objected to the phrase “escort services” in a survey question about whether jurors had “strong feelings” concerning…the “legal adult entertainment industry”…Rapp [claimed] that the phrase is “a misnomer” for “prostitution services…[that] suggests that escort services [are] somewhat legal”…Whitney Bernstein, an attorney for Jim Larkin, [correctly responded] that escort services are…legal…in…many…states…[Judge] Brnovich…overruled Rapp, allowing the question to remain…

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The victim was conscious during at least a portion of the time.
–  Phil Esbenshade

One Size Fits All

It’s good to see a government hoist with its own “sex trafficking” petard:

The [UK] Home Office must compensate female victims of sex trafficking whose children had to hear details of their abuse* because no childcare was available during appointments, the high court has ruled…Justice Kerr found…that the system of support for victims of trafficking discriminates against asylum-seeking women.  The Home Office admitted it…di[scriminated against such women]…but told the court that…this [kind of discrimination should be OK because sex]…Two [sex workers branded] trafficking victims [by the same government] brought the case, both of them single mothers from Albania recently granted refugee status…The home secretary, Priti Patel, has indicated the ruling would require the government to pay additional sums totalling about £5m a year…

*IOW, “migrant sex workers whose kids were in the next room during sessions”.  Using the government’s own ugly propaganda that sex work is “trafficking” and “abuse” as a way to get a payout from it is nothing short of brilliant.

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Just another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

…Rachael Myla Stagner…was sentenced to 21 months in prison…for falsely accusing a white man of sexually assaulting her on the Wind River Indian Reservation [in Wyoming]…Stagner was indicted in September 2020 but pleaded guilty in January to making false statements to police.  Her initial claims resulted in an investigation by the FBI due the alleged incident taking place on an Indian reservation.  Even as her story began to crumble, Stagner maintained that she had been sexually assaulted in an attempt to extort money from the man she falsely accused…

Pyrrhic Victory (#683)

If this doesn’t horrify you, you haven’t been paying attention:

A [man] whose fingerprints were analyzed by police when he shared a photo of his hand holding a block of cheese has been sentenced to 13 years and six months in prison.  Carl Stewart…from Liverpool…sent…an encrypted [pictur]e of a block of Stilton…the photograph was [rooted up] by [cops], who used it [as a pretext] to [wreck his life for] supply[ing recreational drugs to consenting adults]…Stewart sent the image on EncroChat, an encrypted messaging service [destroyed]…by…[cops after they branded every single user of the service a] criminal

It isn’t just fingerprints, either, and those aren’t as unique as people have been led to believe.

Above the Law (#866) 

They always make these cases sound like the bureaucrat was doing his victims a favor:

A former assistant district attorney [in Tennessee]…entered a guilty plea…[on charges of “]bribe[ry” because he]…dismiss[ed] and expung[ed] a woman’s criminal charges [after raping her]…William E. “Bill” McManus Jr….admitted that while acting in his capacity as a prosecutor, he [coerced a woman into submitting to rape under threat of pursuing]…shoplifting and possession of methamphetamine charges [against her.  He was reasonably sure she would comply because]…he had previously…[paid her fairly for] sex [on other occasions]…

A non-rapist would simply have dismissed the charges, then booked with her properly at a later time.

Still a Child (#897) 

Unfortunately, the 5th Circuit decided to suck Louisiana politicians’ dicks on this same issue in 2018:

The Texas legislature has passed a new law raising the minimum age for legal stripping in the state to 21…it…require[s adult businesses]…to participate in the federal electronic verification of employment authorization program…and…creat[es] criminal offenses. [out of the ugly asturbatory fantasies of]…Operation Texas Shield, a [rescue industry]…profit[eer] that [labels]…all [sex work] “human trafficking”…and [was] one of the moving forces behind SESTA-FOSTA.  Language deployed in support of the bill…erased the distinction between adults 18-21 and actual minor children…many Texas strip clubs had recently started firing anyone under 21 — including survival sex workers — in preparation for the passing of this law…

To Molest and Rape (#1054)

Imagine how many others like this are still out there, raping and murdering:

A mass grave filled with dozens of female corpses — believed to be victims of a violent sex and murder ring — was found in a…[typical and representative] cop’s backyard in El Salvador…[other cops] made the grisly discovery…while investigating [[typical and representative cop] Hugo Ernesto Osorio Chavez for the double homicide of a 57-year-old woman and her 26-year-old daughter — a crime the [typical and representative] cop has apparently admitted to…When cops went into Chavez’s backyard…they noticed the ground appeared to be uneven and soft. Investigators soon discovered eight pits filled with what they believe could be at least a dozen bodies each…Chavez and ten others have been arrested in what cops believe was a sex and murder ring…

The Next Target (#1111)

Prohibitionists have realized the best way to accomplish their goals is to buy as many politicians as possible:

…The Stopping Internet Sexual Exploitation Act…has been filed by a member of Canada’s Parliament.  SISEA is a near-mirror image of legislation proposed by a member of [US] Congress earlier this year.  The bills even share the same name…and…both…are written so broadly that they [reveal]…the [true]…inten[t]…of [the prohibitionists behind them:] shuttering sites like Pornhub and OnlyFans, and making it difficult to impossible for many sex workers to make a living…SISEA requires companies that host porn for commercial purposes to obtain written affirmation from the person uploading it that all participants were of legal age when the porn was made and consented to being filmed/pictured and have not withdrawn that consent.  Those making the porn are required to obtain proof of legal age from all participants, as well as their written consent to be depicted…this…would…reveal the identities of sex workers [and thereby make them vulnerable to harassment and possibly even]…criminal prosecution…the bill’s key proponent…in both countries is Exodus Cry, a U.S. based religious group…spokesperson Laila Mickelwait has made no secret of her goal to take down Pornhub specifically…and…get rid of all porn…Exodus Cry’s…website openly states that it seeks to “end the sex industry”…

Torture Chamber (#1123) 

Stop faking!

…on the morning of March 9, 2019…Jaime Osuna…decapitated and dissected the body of his cellmate, Luis Romero…with a makeshift knife…[screws who pretended to have] made their rounds…reported that both men were alive [hours later]…Osuna, a self-styled satanist with a history of attacking his cellmates…[i]s serving a life sentence for the killing and torture of Yvette Pena…at a Bakersfield motel in 2011…during the 2017 trial…[he] mock[ed] the victim’s family and bragg[ed] to a television news reporter of his love of torturing people…Using a razor-style blade attached to a handle, Osuna disfigured Romero, cutting out one of his eyes, chopping off one of his fingers and removing part of his ribs and slicing out part of his lung.  He ultimately cut off his head.  He also posed the body, slicing Romero’s face open on either side of his mouth to resemble an extended smile…Guards found Osuna wearing a necklace made of Romero’s body parts…

To Molest and Rape (#1141)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to violate kids:

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office announced…that a [typical and representative cop that the state had paid for years to lurk in]…school[s to stalk, harass, and spy on students was]…convicted of [rape and] aggravated criminal sodomy of a child younger than 14 and…sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 50 years…Mark Scheetz…was convicted…of two counts of criminal aggravated sodomy, two counts of rape, and other crimes…

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You shouldn’t be able to breathe, you stupid bastard.
–  William Jennette’s murderer

For a number of reasons, novelty songs aren’t really a thing any more, but the 1960s were their heyday; all through that decade, one subgenre was novelty songs recorded by the stars of hit TV shows, often (though not always) in character.  Here’s one example I hadn’t seen before, called to my attention by Franklin Harris; the links above it were provided by Scott Greenfield, Clarissa, Mike Siegel, Mistress Matisse, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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I think someone stole my chicken.  –  Thomas Ramsey

This week’s video is probably the best-known composition by jazz great Chick Corea, who died late last week.  The links above it were provided by Tracy Quan, Radley Balko, Dan Savage, Mike Siegel, Radley again, Amy Alkon, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, then it will protect all of you.  Because I’m the worst.  –  Larry Flynt

R.I.P. Larry Flynt

The last of the “Big Three” of men’s magazine publishing, Larry Flynt, died of heart failure a week ago today at the age of 78 (Hugh Hefner preceded him in 2017 and Bob Guccione in 2010).  Flynt’s magazine Hustler was (intentionally) the raunchiest of the three, and its brand had the greatest commercial viability in the long run due to its expansion into home video and strip clubs.  As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, infringements of civil liberties always start with those nobody wants to defend, and Flynt intentionally set himself up as a target for censorship attempts by prominently featuring the nasty, the grotesque, and the deliberately offensive, especially in Hustler‘s cartoons and cover art.  He was prosecuted for obscenity several times, always prevailing in the end, and battled fundamentalist blowhard Jerry Falwell all the way to the Supreme Court in the ’80s; after 1978 he was paralyzed below the waist due to being shot by a racist who objected to Hustler featuring interracial couples.  Despite attacks from dried-up “feminists” like Gloria Steinem and prissy editorialization from bluenosed “journalists”, the fact is Flynt was a bona fide free speech hero, and not merely in his own mind as the WaPo’s pearl-clutching headline pretends.

Droit du Seigneur 

What did this guy think he was, a cop?

The Ohio Supreme Court suspended the law license of a [lawyer who]…was charged with human trafficking involving six women — most, former clients…Michael Mearan…say[s]…the allegations [a]re [a frame-up by cops using] testimony from [prisoners] who [were given] favorable treatment for co[lluding with cops]…Mearan…was [also a politician who sat on the]…Portsmouth…city council…he [is alleged to have] targeted women who were poor, addicted to drugs and facing criminal charges to take part in [what cops label] a prostitution ring during a 15-year-period beginning in 2003…

Thought Control

US institutions often need to be reminded that they do not own people:

…Kimberly Diei, a pharmacy graduate student [was expelled from] the University of Tennessee…[after] her posts on Twitter and Instagram were…[the subject of a poison pen accusation by] an anonymous [busybody]…She was given two days to appeal, and she scrambled to find a lawyer.  With the threat of a lawsuit looming, the dean of the college reversed the decision to expel her.  But the experience was so painful that…Diei filed a federal lawsuit with the help of a pro bono lawyer, arguing that the public university had violated her constitutional right of free expression “for no legitimate pedagogical reason”…universities are…fumbling to [extend campus censorship] policies…into the world of social media…And young people are fighting back, contending that their off-campus speech is no business of their school…the Supreme Court agreed in January to hear the case of a high school cheerleader in Pennsylvania who was removed from the junior varsity squad after she posted vulgar complaints about not making the varsity team…

Acting and Activism (#556)

Predictable ugliness from the “celebrity” prohibitionist trash who once called stripping a “gateway to slavery”:

Red Table Talk…[hosted by noted bigot] Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow…and mother…“Gammy”…tout[s] itself as a space where three generations of women can discuss various topics in a judgment-free environment…But…Ava Louise Lockner…[revealed that] the “open and honest” policy the show pushes is not what she experienced when she was set to be featured in an episode about being a sugar baby in the fall of 2019…she [was verbally] attacked during the several hours she spent at the Smiths’…home, [with] Pinkett Smith…rolling her eyes and Gammy…slut-shaming her throughout filming.  When the segment failed to air, Ava Louise spent weeks chasing up once-eager producers.  Finally, she…received a…call from a high-level executive on the show…[who] told her…they would not be airing her episode because…the hosts found her “gross and disgusting…they don’t want to be associated with sex work”…

Banishment (#870) 

This Orwellian tyranny is part of how governments are getting around the push to reduce prison populations:

Twenty states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government have laws that authorize civil commitment of [human beings arbitrarily branded] sex offenders…after serving their prison terms…The state punishes people…based on the [claim] that they could and should have controlled themselves.  But when it is time for them to be released after completing the punishment prescribed by law, the state says that was not actually true; now they must be locked up precisely because they can’t control themselves.  If the government decided to retroactively increase an offender’s penalty, it would be clearly unconstitutional…The trick is to cast continued confinement as treatment rather than punishment.  But…in Minnesota, only 13 [prisoners] have been unconditionally released since the program was established in 1994; more than six times as many have died in custody…the Supreme Court [says that’s okey-dokey]…Joe Morrissey…argues that Virginia’s [similar] program is “abhorrent”…[and] introduced a bill that would have abolished the program [but other politicians]…derailed [the] bill

Cooties (#884) 

UK cops are still shoehorning people into their public masturbatory fantasy of “pop-up brothels”:

Three men and a woman have been arrested for [consensual sex dysphemized as “]slavery[” in a raid on an apparent incall dysphemized as]…a “pop-up brothel”…Two [migrant] women…were [also arrested and]…are currently being [held pending deportation]…

“Safeguarded” is the UK euphemism for “held without trial or charge pending deportation”.  The term is Orwellian even in a field littered with such propaganda.

Torture Chamber (#1098) 

Stop faking!

An Alabama man [locked] in a prison mental health [cell] overheated and died in December after temperatures inside his cell topped 101 degrees Fahrenheit.  Tommy Lee Rutledge was found unresponsive in Donaldson [cage stack] on the night of Dec. 7, sitting near the window of his s[olitary-confinement] cell with his head “facing out the window,” in an apparent attempt to breathe cool air…his core body temperature [had] reached 109 degrees…[Screws refuse to explain] how temperatures inside the…cell skyrocketed past 100 degrees on a winter night with a low of 31 degrees…citing an “ongoing” investigation…

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I fear for my life.  –  unnamed witness to police violence

Here’s another Luna video, because she’s awesome.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Radley Balko, Franklin Harris, Cathy Reisenwitz, Radley again, Tim Cushing, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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[COVID-19 schemes] are throwing the working class under the bus.  –  Dr. Martin Kulldorff

Don’t Take My Word For It (#592)

The Australian site Mama Mia, like the US site Jezebel, seems unable to make up its collective mind about sex work.  It has often published anti-sex work propaganda, like its notorious “Faces of Prostitution” article from March 2015 (which featured pictures of bruised, emaciated, drug-ravaged women accompanied with propaganda text from the notorious Christian anti-sex group “Exodus Cry”), or the October 2013 article in which it opined that for sex workers to have Amazon wishlists was “creepy” and “bizarre” (Jezebel wrote on the same topic the same week).  On the other hand, it also published several good articles by the late Grace Bellavue, and now this new one interviewing a male escort who caters to women, and one of his clients.  And of course Jezebel now features the pro-sex work writer Tracy Clark-Flory, so maybe there’s hope for both sites yet.

Unchristian Nation (#907)

Government thugs continue their crusade against Christian charity:

Border Patrol [thugs abducted] 19 people [from] a No More Deaths camp near Arivaca, Ariz., on [October 4th]…12 were in the country without [document]ation…[and] the remaining seven…were No More Deaths volunteers…No More Deaths representatives described the incident as a “military-style” raid with a “massive show of armed force”…[including] “dozens” of trucks…and a [tank]…This was the second raid against the humanitarian camp south of Tucson, near the U.S.-Mexico border, this year, and along with the escalated actions, Border Patrol officials also amped up their rhetoric against the group, [referr]ing t[o] the organization[‘s]…saving lives…as “harboring” people…

Between the Ears (#923)

Yet another ill-conceived, internet-connected dick gadget:

…the Qiui Cellmate internet-connected chastity lock…works by allowing a trusted partner to remotely lock and unlock the chamber over Bluetooth using a mobile app.  That app communicates with the lock using an API.  But that API was left open and without a password, allowing anyone to take complete control of any user’s device.  Because the chamber was designed to lock with a metal ring underneath the user’s penis…it may require the intervention of a heavy-duty bolt cutter or an angle grinder to free the user…There is no emergency override function either…Qiui, based in China…missed the three self-imposed deadlines to fix the vulnerable API…Several user reviews of the app complained that the app [also] had bugs that would cause the device to stay locked…Qiui joins a long list of sex toys with security problems that inherently don’t exist in non-internet-connected devices…Practice safe sex; don’t use a smart device.

Counterfeit Comfort (#984)

Halloween has become a focal point for challenging “sex offender” awfulness:

Every year in the run-up to Halloween, Patch publishes maps showing the homes of “registered sex offenders” in various cities….[the fantasy] that…children might be molested while trick-or-treating…ha[s] no basis in reality, and these stories—like the warning signs and restrictions imposed by local police prior to Halloween—mainly serve to stigmatize people who have already completed their sentences, along with their spouses and children, who have committed no crimes at all.  That stigma invites harassment, vandalism, and violence…This fall a petition organized by the National Association for Rational Sexual Offense Laws (NARSOL) is urging Patch and other outlets to cut it out…the petition asks news organizations to “cease a hurtful publication practice that has no positive effect at all on child protection or public safety”…

Working From Home (#1032)

Another example of sex worker ingenuity:

…In early May, one [of the] dancer[s from the East Hollywood hipster strip club Jumbo’s Clown Room] named Gabrielle reached out to a few of her coworkers to create a virtual strip show…within 24 hours they launched Cyber Clown Girls, which has now become a twice-weekly three-hour show featuring current dancers and alumni from Jumbo’s, and other performers from exotic dance communities…the show has given the strippers a new sense of agency and empowerment in an industry that is notorious for taking advantage of women…The co-founders take turns hosting and performing in the virtual show.  Each follows a theme — “Star Wars,” disco and funk, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — and features a different lineup of dancers who perform two short pieces in their homes.  Some dancers use portable poles, and others make creative use of bathtubs, windowsills, cars or apartment corners transformed by a makeshift set.  Like an in-person strip club, viewers (about 100 for each show) are encouraged throughout the night to tip the dancers using payment platforms like Venmo or Cash App.  The tips are eventually pooled and split evenly among all the performers…

The Widening Gyre (#1046)

The more cops are forced to deny “sex trafficking” scary tales, the harder it will be for them to spread such tales themselves:

Mysterious white dots have been popping up on windshields of cars…in Chester County [South Carolina]…Most of the reports and calls say they are finding white dots on their windshields after going into the Walmart…A rumor started on social media saying it was linked to sex traffickers trying to mark your car [sic]…Deputies say there is no evidence linking any type of human trafficking…[people have spread similar silly rumors about] car windshields…in Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama…

Quiet Genocide (#1058)

Are Western media finally going to stop tiptoeing around calling this what it is?

…the aim of China’s actions in Xinjiang is clear:  to homogenize Uighurs into the country’s Han Chinese majority, even if that means erasing their cultural and religious identity for good.  What is taking place is a cultural genocide.  The repercussions bear heavily even on Uighurs living outside of the country.  Their burden is more than just raising awareness about what is taking place in their homeland—a task many have taken up at great cost to themselves and their families.  It’s also about preserving and promoting their identity in countries where few people might know who the Uighurs are, let alone what the world stands to lose should their language, food, art, and traditions be eradicated…

Tissue of Lies

A few journalists are beginning to see the danger of “sex trafficking” propaganda:

Trevontae Shareef…didn’t know that his girlfriend of seven months was a runaway from state foster care…until…a dozen [heavily-armed pigs and spooks barged into]…his mother’s house…and…searched [it without permission] until they found the 17-year-old girl hiding under furniture in the garage…They allowed a TV news crew to tag along for the raid and record footage…as [the thugs dragged] Shareef and his mother’s fiancé, Kirk Waters, outside and handcuffed them…Public announcements about the operation, vague on details but full of loaded terms, led to weeks of social media [hysteria] about…a [fantasized] child sex trafficking ring in Georgia…The Atlanta Journal-Constitution examined the criminal charges…and found that, by combining a variety of cases, [pigs intentionally and maliciously] fostered a false perception that confused the public and…harmed [innocent] people…

Social Distancing (#1080)

I’m glad prominent physicians are starting to weigh in on this, at long last:

Martin Kulldorff, Professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and leading figure in the field of infectious disease epidemiology, argues…[that] lockdowns result in too much collateral damage…and impose unreasonable costs on the working class and the young in particular …”For older people this is much worse than the annual flu.  For children the risks are much less than the annual flu…We don’t close schools because of the annual flu.  We don’t ban people from driving cars because there are people who die in car accidents.  We let people live normal lives with standard precautions…As a scientist I have worked with infectious disease outbreaks for a couple of decades.  Then suddenly in the spring, I was hearing that we should “follow the science” by doing something that I think is contrary to science. That was absolutely stunning to me…among…infectious disease epidemiologists, the majority are in favour of an age-targeted strategy.  A minority are in favour of lockdowns and contact tracing”…

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I’m always happy when journalists investigate the wild fantasies promoted by politicians, cops, and “rescue” profiteers via the mainstream media.  First of all, they have much better investigational tools and resources than I do, plus paid time to do the job; second, they have a far larger platform, and can thus inform many more people of the truth even if their coverage of the topic trails mine by years; and third, given the central role played by the news media in disseminating the lies and propagating the hysteria, it is the moral responsibility of ethical journalists to at least attempt to counteract the massive damage done by their unethical, incompetent and lazy brethren.  So I was very pleased indeed to see Michael Hobbes (whom I’ve corresponded with before) publish in Huffington Post (which for a while was as happy as any other site to spread anti-sex tall tales) a thorough debunking of that “brave hero cops rescue dozens of ‘sex trafficked children’ in Georgia” masturbatory fantasy from a couple of weeks ago.  So much information is intentionally omitted from the “official” press releases in such stories that I’m often forced to surmise the real meaning of semantically-opaque terms like “rescued”; I’m gratified to see that the details Hobbes uncovered are close to my educated guesses:

…“U.S. Marshals Find 39 Missing Children in Georgia”…proclaimed the government’s official press release.  Federal agents and local law enforcement, it said, had rescued 26 children, “safely located” 13 more and arrested nine perpetrators, some of whom were charged with sex trafficking.  The facts of the operation weren’t clear (what does “safely located” mean, exactly?), but it didn’t stop media outlets from taking up the story…the vast majority…were little more than rewritten versions of the U.S. Marshals Service’s press release.  Within hours, social media users continued the game of telephone. “39 kids were just recovered from traffickers in Georgia,” Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing student group Turning Point USA, wrote in a tweet…More than 150,000 people shared a single-sentence tweet from someone named King Randall, I: “How is finding 39 missing children in a double wide trailer here in Georgia NOT the biggest news story in America?”  Well, to answer a one-sentence question with a one-sentence answer, 39 kids being rescued from a trailer in Georgia is not the biggest news story in America because 39 kids were not rescued from a trailer in Georgia… 

…“This was not a designated anti-trafficking operation,” [said] Darby Kirby, a U.S. Marshals Service inspector…the…effort…was a collaboration between state and federal authorities to locate 78 “critically missing” children…they…found all but 13…39 were “recovered,” meaning they were removed from whatever situation they were in — which could be anything from living on the streets to crashing on a friend’s couch to staying with a parent who didn’t have custody rights.  The other 26 cases were closed without the child being “recovered”…[which] could [either] mean that another agency…found them — or that they had been home all along…authorities said they suspected [emphasis Maggie’s] that 15…were [so-called] victims of trafficking (meaning [only that] they were engaging in commercial sex) but confirmed only six cases…The operation netted only one new charge of sex trafficking…Of the seven men and two women arrested, three were charged with probation violations, one was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and two were accused of violating custody arrangements.  One…was arrested on a warrant for a previous sex trafficking charge, and two more were arrested on warrants for sex crimes in other states…agents did not rescue a large number of children from a single location — or even a single jurisdiction…only two…were recovered together.  The other kids were found individually across 15 Georgia counties and six other states:  South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky and Michigan.  The operation took place over two weeks, not one night…the agency did not conduct any raids…

…It’s also worth noting that the operation was also set up to arrest [legal minors], not just rescue [children]…two…were [arested as] suspects in homicide cases, and one was a person of interest in another…11…had…“some kind of gang affiliation”…seven warrants [in all] were issued for underage offenders…54 of the 78…had been in foster care before they went missing…most…were…runaways…

There’s a lot more, but I think you get the picture.  Between some reporters waking up, some outlets at last letting skeptical journalists publish stories like this, and some (like the New York Times) being forced to recant their own propaganda for fear of being associated with QAnon, I think it’s safe to say we’ve at last entered the period of skeptical journalism that always precedes the collapse of a moral panic.

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You have two things against you — you’re black and I have a badge.  –  Donald Kincaid

Vincent Price was never too proud or snobbish to appear in just about anything, including a plethora of TV commercials from the ’70s and ’80s; this one was from one of the first credit cards to offer reward points.  The links above the video were provided by Scott Greenfield, Rick Horowitz, Tim Cushing, Radley Balko, Mike Siegel, and Thaddeus Russell, in that order.

From the Archives

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Traffickers aren’t sneaking into your home in the night and stealing your teen daughter from her bed.  –  Kip Hollenbeck

Finding What Isn’t There

Are some cops starting to abandon the “sex trafficking” myth?

[While “rescue” profiteers in] Spokane [keep spouting fantasies about hundreds of teenage “sex slaves” controlled by “pimps”]…Kip Hollenbeck, who heads up Spokane Police Department’s sex trafficking unit…estimates the average age of a prostitute in Spokane at about 30.  He said some three out of four people selling sex in Spokane are independent, meaning they keep their own money and don’t work through a pimp…they choose sex work when they find they can make significantly more money than working for minimum wage…FBI agents, who work with SPD, sees similar trends.  “We’re not seeing hundreds of juveniles being trafficked in our city, and we’ve got people whose full-time job is to look for that,” said [spook] Christian Parker…profit[eer]s’ [fantasies] that the vast majority of people [selling] sex are basically enslaved are “nothing like what we’re seeing”…Dramatic claims of women or girls kidnapped and chained up in basements are also false…

To Molest and Rape

Another rapist protecting and serving:

Desmond Ladon Logan, the [typical and representative] Chattanooga [cop] who admitted to raping three women [he had abducted] and [tortur]ing a…fourth [with a taser]…has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison…Logan stood before U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier and [claimed he]…”never hurt anyone [because obviously his victims wanted it]”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1012)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

Tucson handyman Kevin McBride was hard at work one Friday last May when his girlfriend offered to get him a cold drink from a convenience store.  She took his Jeep, his sole means of transportation and the basis of his livelihood.  Then the cops [stole it]…and local prosecutors are…demanding a $1,900 ransom before he can get it back.  This sort of shakedown…is legal under Arizona’s civil asset forfeiture law [because] the cops [claim] McBride’s girlfriend…used his Jeep to sell a small amount of marijuana to a…[disguised, lying pig] for $25.  Although the charges against her were dropped, the Jeep is still being held…the Goldwater Institute is representing McBride pro bono, arguing that Arizona’s system of legalized theft violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process and the Eighth Amendment’s ban on excessive fines…

Rotting Fruit (#1015)

In which the old-fashioned act of paying for a son to lose his virginity to a sex worker is described as “sex trafficking”:

Peter Nygard, the 79-year-old Finnish-Canadian fashion designer, [h]as [been] sued…by two of his sons, who accused their father of sex trafficking, and claimed that he arranged for them both to be raped when they were underage.  The suit…comes just months after ten women and girls filed a sexual assault and trafficking lawsuit against Nygard…[his] sons…say that their father [hired]…a “known sex worker”…to…statutorily rape them when they were 14 and 15, respectively…

Losing Their Shit

Some states are doubling down on the dying myth:

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has a new unit that will focus solely on [persecuting sex workers]…the new…Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit….will focus on [hunting] commercial sex [workers] and…[locking up consenting] adult[s]…

Loose Cannons (#1054)

Court declares that illegal surveillance is illegal:

A Florida appeals court ruled…that police violated the rights of…Robert Kraft and others when they secretly video recorded them paying for massage parlor sex acts, barring the tapes’ use at trial and dealing a potentially deadly blow to their prosecution…Prosecutors will likely appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court…and…State deputy solicitor general Jeffrey DeSousa argued that police and prosecutors [shoul]d [be allowed to do whatever they like, no matter how illegal] to convict [massage parlor] owners of felonies…because…sex…

Social Distancing (#1054)

“Equality minister” is European Prohibitionese for “chief anti-sex bureaucrat”:

Spain’s Equality Minister Irene Montero…called on the country’s regional governments to order the closure of all brothels [under the guise of] avoid[ing] coronavirus infections…Montero made her request via a letter sent to the regions’ equality chiefs [rather than public health officials], and called on them to take specific measures for the sex trade…[which she referred to as] “sexual exploitation”…

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