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Posts Tagged ‘transgender’

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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If there’s one thing law enforcement agents are not, it’s modest.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

To Molest and Rape

Cops covered up these crimes for six years:

A [typical and representative] Hutchinson [Kansas cop] was arrested…[for] more than a dozen sexual assault cases…between 2012 to 2018…Todd Allen…was arrested…on…multiple charges including rape, kidnapping, aggravated sexual battery and…child…[molestation.  When current police chief Jeff] Hooper…took over the…department in 2018…[he discovered that there had been] a series of sexual assaults that had not been reported to the public…After…he [held a] press conference [on the subject]…the sexual assaults stopped happening…[and] Allen resigned from the department shortly after[ward.  Then]…in 2022, the…department…received multiple “prowler” and “peeping tom” calls…and [arrested Allen while answering one of them]…Allen’s arrest closed 17 active sexual assault cases, including 12 cases between 2012 and 2018 and five since…

Between the Lines (#964)

Liz Brown tries to assess the damage from this year’s “Operation Cross Country” pogroms:

Operation Cross Country, the FBI’s annual vice squad bonanza disguised as a human-trafficking rescue mission, is back.  This year’s operation…involv[ed] more than 200 [cop shops and spook houses and claims to have]…located 37 missing minors, identified “more than 200 victims,” and led to the “identification or arrest” of 85 suspects.  But it gives us little information beyond these broad statistics…the FBI press release mentions only three federal cases, none involving sex trafficking…

The Implosion Begins

The hysteria is imploding so hard, it’s falling all the way back to its roots:

Accusations involving ritual sex abuse and the sexualization of children have surged into the mainstream of American politics over the past year…We ran a nationwide poll in cooperation with Qualtrics from May 26 to June 30 to gauge Americans’ views toward these topics…Twenty-six percent of Republicans and 29 percent of Democrats strongly agreed or agreed that Satanic ritual sex abuse is widespread; 36 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Democrats strongly agreed or agreed that members of Satanic cults are secretly abusing thousands of children, and 32 percent of both Republicans and Democrats strongly agreed or agreed that government and Hollywood elites are running a massive child sex trafficking scheme.  Sixty-three percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats believed the debunked claim that 300,000 or more children are currently victims of sex trafficking in the US.  These numbers suggest that these types of beliefs transcend typical partisan divisions…

Remember this when the New York Times or another media outlet who profited from this panic for two decades tells you it’s a “far-right conspiracy theory”.

Welcome to the Future (#1125)

Everything I read about modern corporate work makes me happier I became a whore:

In lower-paying jobs, the monitoring is already ubiquitous: not just at Amazon…but also for Kroger cashiers, UPS drivers and millions of others…Now [so-called] productivity monitoring is also spreading among white-collar [and professional] jobs…Many employees, whether working remotely or in person, are subject to trackers, scores, “idle” buttons, or just quiet, constantly accumulating records.  Pauses can lead to penalties, from lost pay to lost jobs…Architects, academic administrators, doctors, nursing home workers and lawyers described growing electronic surveillance over every minute of their workday.  They echoed complaints that employees in many lower-paid positions have voiced for years: that their jobs are relentless, that they don’t have control…[or] even…enough time to use the bathroom…[they] describe…being tracked as “demoralizing,” “humiliating” and “toxic”…But the most urgent complaint, spanning industries and incomes, is that the [surveillance systems]…are…inept at capturing offline activity, unreliable at assessing hard-to-quantify tasks and prone to undermining the work itself…

The Last Shall Be First (#1132) 

What kind of mind thinks it’s OK to protest by threatening health care providers?

Boston Children’s Hospital has warned employees about mounting threats…after [anti-trans] activists on social media began targeting the hospital with false claims about its treatment of young transgender people…One allegation said that the hospital offered gender-affirming hysterectomies to [legal minors]…fact-checking organizations debunked the claims…but many of the same accounts continued to spread the false allegations…and…also targeted…individual doctors…leaving vulgar and harassing comments on their social media accounts and flooding their online pages with negative reviews.  Some hospital staff have since made their social media profiles private…

Thought Control (#1224)

Texas just won’t stop plunging that ice pick into its frontal lobes:

A day before kids return to class, Keller [Texas bureaucrats ordered] school [librarians to remove]…any book that was challenged last year from library shelves…among the titles…[are] Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, Anne Frank’s Diary (The Graphic Adaptation) and The Bible…Keller [politicians]…kept its book c[ensorship] committee deliberations secret in part because of fear of retribution from Gov. Greg Abbott…Also this week, [politician] Jared Patterson…[of] Frisco…[demanded censorship of] nearly two dozen books…and…[complained that] Frisco…[politicians are]…not banning as many books as other local districts

Winding Down (#1241)

Over half of Americans now live in states with legal cannabis:

Voters in at least five states will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana this fall, and a similar measure may yet qualify for the ballot in one more state.  If all six initiatives are successful, recreational use will be legal in half of the states, underlining the untenability of continuing federal prohibition.  In Arkansas, where medical use was legalized in 2016, voters will consider a ballot initiative that would allow…recreational use [despite strong opposition from politicians]…In Maryland, where legislators authorized medical use in 2013, voters will consider a [similar] ballot initiative…In Missouriwhere voters approved medical marijuana in 2018, this year’s ballot initiative would amend the state constitution to…remove state prohibition…North Dakota [is trying to legalize recreational use for the second time after a loss in 2018]…and…South Dakota…[is trying to circumvent] Gov. Kristi Noem[‘s]…overturn [of the will of the people using a legal technicality]…In Oklahoma, where voters approved medical marijuana…in 2018, they could have a chance to…legalize recreational use…Oklahoma has become an improbable model for marijuana reformers troubled by the problems that states like California have encountered in trying to displace the black market.  Medical marijuana in Oklahoma is strikingly cheap and accessible, thanks largely to fast application approvals, light regulation, and modest taxes…

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Surveillance always comes with inherent forms of abuse.  –  Evan Greer

If Men Were Angels

“Youth group director” is clearly just as bad as “youth pastor”:

A [typical and representative New Jersey]…church youth group director is facing child pornography charges.  Arnold DiBlasi was arrested…after [cops] found thousands of child porn images on his home computer and cellphone…the FBI…[claims] DiBlasi distributed more than 11,000 photos to 30 different people in an online chat room…

You Were Warned (Subtle Difference)

What the government can’t destroy with criminal law, it wrecks by encouraging nuisance lawsuits against:

[A predatory lawsuit by a professional “survivor”] alleges that Visa, by processing revenue from ads, conspired with Pornhub’s parent firm MindGeek to make money from videos of [what is alleged to be underage sexual] abuse.  Visa had sought to be removed from the case…[correctly] argu[ing] that the “[fact] that Visa recognized MindGeek as an authorized merchant and processed payment to its websites does not suggest that Visa agreed to participate in sex trafficking of any kind”…a commercial relationship alone does not establish a conspiracy.  But [the] Judge…[prefers to fantasize that a major corporation with a long history of nervousness around “reputational damage”] “intended to help MindGeek monetize child porn from the very fact that Visa continued to provide MindGeek the means to [operate]”…

In plain English, the judge is assuming that the plaintiff’s bizarre and censorious conspiracy narrative, intended to further an agenda of criminalizing all adult content on the internet, is not only true, but that Visa somehow knew it to be true and willingly participated despite decades of aversion to dealing with stigmatized businesses.

Stalkers in Blue (#1180)

Another sexual predator specifically targets traumatized women:

A [Sussex cop] sent a naked selfie to a woman after [taking a report from her after] she [was]…sexually assaulted in a pub…he [also] told [her] he wanted to take her home and use his police handcuffs on her and [said] he was so aroused by her he would have sexually assaulted her himself…The [not-remotely] shocking revelations were made at a disciplinary hearing…where the [creepy cop was]…granted anonymity to keep his identity a secret [so he can assault more women in future]…

Thought Control (#1209)

A fine example of ice-pick self-lobotomization:

Voters in Jamestown Township, [Michigan]…rejected renewal…of a millage that would support the Patmos Library.  That vote guts the library’s operating budget in 2023 — 84 percent of the library’s $245,000 budget comes from property taxes…There have been protests at other Michigan public libraries and at school board meetings about books with LGBTQ themes.  But…[this] may be the first time a community voted, in effect, to close its library [because neither the board nor the director would submit to censorship by fanatics challenging books they haven’t read from a widely-circulated hit list]…Library Director Amber McLain resigned this spring…[after] she [was]…harassed online and accused of indoctrinating children.  Interim director Matthew Lawrence resigned later…

Opting Out (#1229) 

The UK’s decade-long campaign to censor the internet continues to be a comedy of errors:

The government’s flagship Online Safety Bill [wa]s…dropped from Commons business…with a view for it to return to the Commons “in the autumn”…[wannabe censors are] oncern[ed]…that it could be [entire]ly scrapped as its return later this year will be dependent on the focus of the new Prime Minister.  The Bill aimed to allow Ofcom to [control] online platforms, mainly [by censor]ing…content that [politicians have arbitrarily declared “harmful”]…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1231)

It’s always lovely to see them feeding on each other:

A [California cop so representative he]…was named “Detective of the Year”…in 2019 has been charged with sending graphic messages to someone [cops recruited to fantasy role-play online as] a 14-year-old girl…Gregory Beaumarchais…was [rewarded with a paid vacation after the incident, which vaguely occurred] between December 2021 and January 2022…

Welcome to the Future (#1249)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

When students in the US were forced [by the State] to continue their schooling virtually, many brought home school-issued devices…[packed with malware that can allow teachers to view and control students’ screens, [secretly read their] emails and cloud-based documents, and…[automatically rat them out to the pigs for thoughtcrime].  Now that the majority of American students are finally going back to school in-person, the surveillance [mal]ware that proliferated during the pandemic [is here to] stay…89 percent of teachers [report] that their schools will continue using student-monitoring software…[even though] the overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to new concerns about digital surveillance in states that have [criminalized] abortion care…[and] gender-affirming care

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[Men sentenced to “john schools” are] casualt[ies] in a moral panic that is destroying lives in order to save souls.  –  Elle Hardy

If Men Were Angels

It’s striking how much the sexual behavior of “pastors” resembles that of cops:

William C. Robinson, a pastor working for Chi Alpha Campus Ministries in Corpus Christi [Texas], was…charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child…He pleaded not guilty…[but] also…stated he wanted to confess to [molesting a child for five years, starting]…when she was nine…

Monsters (#668)

Though most of the items appearing under this heading describe violence against trans women, trans men are also targets of violence and discrimination:

An O[hio man]…was attacked and beaten while camping because he is transgender.  Noah Ruiz…was using the women’s restroom in a Preble County campground [because the owner of the campground foolishly directed him]…to do [so]…when a…[wo]man [who correctly perceived him as male demanded he leave.  He tried to explain, but]…as he was walking out, three large men…grabbed [him]…choked [him, and threatened to]…kill [him.  The pigs soon arrived and, as usual, made the situation worse by]…arrest[ing] Ruiz for disorderly conduct and obstructing official business.  [A spokespig tried to defend arresting an assault victim by lying]…that Ruiz was highly intoxicated and…becoming belligerent…

End Demand (#788)

Although the reporter makes her opinion of “john schools” quite clear from the beginning (see today’s epigram), I don’t even want to quote any of the nauseating details of either the scam to give sadistic wanker pigs their jollies, or the vile garbage vomited out in the “schools”.  So I’ll just quote this part:

…evangelical…anti-trafficking groups[‘ idea of]…“female empowerment”…is more about affirming the savior than understanding the real needs and lives of those to be “saved”.  It’s also hard to get away from the signs that…the movement interests itself only in a certain type of victim…they’re only ever waiting in carparks outside of strip joints—not helping th[ose]…who have been trafficked into other kinds of work….“anti-trafficking” and “modern slavery” mean more to the people who call it such than to those they’ve selectively identified as its victims.  These are just buzzwords for a certain kind of sexual ethics that has become the stock in trade of today’s Pentecostal movement…

Like Houses (#1090)

Useful idiots never see where “hate speech” laws inevitably lead:

…a [new] Japanese law…strengthens the country’s punishment for “online insults”…to as much as a year in prison and a fine of up to ¥300,000 (about $2,200 USD).  It also extended the statute of limitations from one year to three…the…new law…doesn’t define what is or is not “demeaning,” and since there’s no requirement that the statements be statements of fact, it could mean anything…Seiho Cho, a lawyer in Japan…says…”If someone calls the leader of Japan an idiot…that could be classed as an insult”…

Torture Chamber (#1202)

Funny how often people die mysteriously while cops just happen to be nearby:

Four [human beings condemned to filthy cages in Alabama] died between [July 7th] and [10th]…in addition to two others who have died in just over a week.  The [victims were]…Don Robert Barclay…Joe C. Davis…Lionel Ferado O’Neal…and Jakari Marquez Norris…[the] coroner…said there are no obvious signs of foul play or trauma [but O’Neal was only 45 and Norris only 30]…So far this year, 21 [people]…have died [in the filthy cages, compared to]…26 [over the entirety of 2021]…

Property of the State (#1252)

I was revolted but unsurprised at the number of “pro-life” sleazebags (including the AG of Ohio) who accused the doctor of lying:

A Columbus [Ohio] man has been charged with impregnating a 10-year-old Ohio girl, whose travel to Indiana to seek an abortion led to international attention…Gershon Fuentes…was arrested…after…he confessed to raping the child on at least two occasions…Columbus police were made aware of the girl’s pregnancy through…her mother on June 22…On June 30, the girl underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis…DNA from the clinic in Indianapolis is being tested against samples from Fuentes, as well as the child’s siblings, to confirm his paternity…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1253)

Apparently, fentanyl hysteria is contagious:

A [cop’s wife named]…Renee Parsons said she picked up a dollar bill off the ground at [a Tennessee] McDonald’s…and [had a panic attack]…She [experienced a number of symptoms of panic attacks and none of fentanyl overdose] before she [fainted], while he[r cop husband Justin] drove to the closest hospital…Soon after her husband [imagined] side effects as well. “My lips started going numb and my arm broke out in a rash,” Justin said…they [convinced themselves] fentanyl or a similar drug was on the money…[tests found nothing] on the dollar bill [but hysterical cops]…destroyed [it anyway]…Dr. David Edwards at Vanderbilt…[said] simply touching a drug will not cause an overdose…but the [local news media credulously reported the fantasy as if it were true anyhow]…“Your skin is a really good barrier and will likely protect you and you won’t just randomly overdose from just any medicine you are touching for a short period of time,” Dr. Edwards explained…

Note the resemblance to the “things on cars” trope of “sex trafficking” mythology.

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Consider this, then, a canary’s song.  –  Olivia Snow

If Men Were Angels

Another “youth pastor”, another string of underage victims:

A [typical and representative] youth pastor was convicted…of sexual assault against four boys.  William Stefan Wahl, of Port Huron [Michigan] was found guilty…of [molesting two boys] younger than 13, two [boys]…between 13 and 16, [and showing the boys porn]…

Guinea Pigs (#881) 

First it was supposedly about “terrorists”, then “sex trafficking”, and now:

…For sex workers, Section 230 had provided a foothold, however fragile, to exist on the internet.  FOSTA…was the first crack in a foundation that supported not only sex workers but also other marginalized, criminalized, and otherwise disenfranchised demographics.  The effects of FOSTA have…rippl[ed] beyond social media and payment processors to the most quotidian of technologies.  “Facilitating” sex work—language in later bills revised to “aiding and abetting”—could also implicate landlords renting to sex workers, ISPs that we use to advertise…By casting such a broad net…the bill essentially outlaws sex workers’ presence on the internet by criminalizing proximity to sex work.  Under this level of scrutiny, talking about sex work at all is a risk…A FOSTA-like ban would have violated Roe, but…[the] removal of federal protections gives [politicians] a path to criminalizing any online discussion about abortion, restrictions that can easily extend to include reproductive health entirely…Big Tech will use the artificial intelligence currently shadowbanning and suspending sex workers’ accounts to target users it suspects are seeking abortions…

Winding Down

The war against drugs other than nicotine continues to wind down:

The Supreme Court…unanimously sided with two physicians who were convicted of drug trafficking based on opioid prescriptions that federal prosecutors p[retended were] medically inappropriate…The decision in Ruan v. United States sends both cases back to the lower courts so they can assess the defendants’ arguments that the instructions received by the juries that convicted them misstated the law seriously enough that they are entitled to new trials.  But whether or not they prevail on those claims, the ruling represents an important limit on prosecutions that have long had a chilling effect on pain treatment…

The Prudish Giant (#1104) 

It usually starts with sex workers, but it never stops with us:

Facebook is removing the posts of users who…say abortion pills can be mailed and in some cases temporarily banning those users…a Motherboard reporter attempted to post the phrase “abortion pills can be mailed” on Facebook using a burner account.  The post was flagged within seconds as violating the site’s community standards, specifically the rules against buying, selling, or exchanging medical or non-medical drugs.  The reporter was given the option to “disagree” with the decision or “agree” with it.  After they chose “disagree,” the post was removed.  Motherboard was able to post the phrases “painkiller pills can be mailed,” “pills,” and “abortion” without issue.  Motherboard posted “abortion pills can be mailed” a second time, and it was flagged for removal, and this time the reporter “agreed” with the decision…and…the reporter’s Facebook account was suspended for 24 hours…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1114)

Remember, Clearview specifically markets itself to entities which claim a monopoly on violence:

Clearview AI is best‐​known as a…faci[litator of police violence]…the company has secured a patent for recognition systems that would allow users to scan someone’s face in order to determine whether that person does drugs, is homeless, or suffers from mental illness.  The same technology could also be used to determine someone’s education history or contact details.  Such technology could put members of the transgender community who wish to conceal their gender transition at risk of social sanction, public humiliation, and violence…Given ongoing policy fights over who should get to access gender‐​segregated spaces such as bathrooms and changing rooms, it is possible that private businesses, universities, and schools might choose to use AGR technology under the guise of security enhancement and privacy protection.  It is not hard to imagine AGR technology at train stations, bathrooms, and changing rooms prompting encounters where a member of the transgender community would feel embarrassed, unsafe, humiliated, and exposed…

Feudalism Redux

The crusade to reduce Americans to serfdom continues:

Several national antiabortion groups and [pet politicians]…are advancing plans to [try to] stop people in states where abortion is banned from seeking the procedure elsewhere…The Thomas More Society, a conservative legal organization, is drafting model legislation…that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a resident of a state that has banned abortion from terminating a pregnancy outside of that state.  The draft language will borrow from the…Texas abortion ban enacted last year in which private citizens were empowered to enforce the law through [nuisance] litigation

The Vultures Descend

This vulture feeding frenzy is going to get a lot uglier:

…antiabortion activists are eager to capitalize on their momentum by enshrining constitutional abortion bans, pushing Congress to pass a national prohibition, blocking abortion pills, and limiting people’s ability to get abortions across state lines…By the end of the year, abortion could be outlawed across roughly half the country…Democrat-[run] states are scrambling to enshrine protections for abortion, and President Biden has [bloviated about doing] everything in his power “to protect a woman’s right”…but Biden has also ruled out the more extreme remedies, such as [pack]ing the Supreme Court, and key Democrats remain opposed to [burning down the house to roast the pig as some very silly people are demanding]…

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People applauding this policy should also specify what prison term they favor for people who sell full-strength cigarettes.  –  Jacob Grier

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

No, your reason is not an exception:

A new investigation by The [Washington] Post reveals at least 178 cases from 2019 to 2021 in which calls for help resulted in [cops murdering]…the very people they were [foolishly] called on to assist.  We used The Post’s nationwide database of fatal police shootings along with public reporting to identify cases in which the callers were concerned primarily for the individuals’ well-being and no imminent harm to others was reported.  Many of the calls [referr]ed…to people in mental health crises, [ignorantly] requested wellness checks or reported suicide threats.  The calls came from the distressed individuals themselves or were made by worried [but foolish] family members, friends or neighbors…

License to Rape (#957)

The police state’s insulting idea of compensation for a mass public gang rape:

In July 2020, when I had been out of prison for about 18 months, IDOC offered us money and asked us to sign an agreement absolving them of any wrongdoing.  I asked my attorney what would happen if I didn’t sign the papers, and he told me that the judge might throw the lawsuit out…I was still not going to sign.  But my attorney…convinced me.  “You know there are women inside that need that money,” he said.  I knew…it was a manipulative statement.  But…I [also] knew…that this money could mean the difference between deprivation and a pair of shoes, a pack of T-shirts or the chance to shop for food…The shame of those days stayed with me for years.  But…there is not enough space in one piece to detail the atrocities.  For the Halloween strip search, IDOC mailed me a check for $325.  Although the agency continues to assert that their staff did nothing wrong, this check that I may never cash is proof that they are guilty…in the eyes of IDOC, my pain — and that of my sisters — is only worth $325…

Robocops (#1044)

SCOTUS expands one of the greatest legal abominations ever conceived:

…anyone who has their rights violated by federal government agents…ha[s] no recourse against those rogue actors.  A federal badge will now serve as an impenetrable shield against civil liability…The justices announced…that they would decline to consider two major petitions. In the first, St. Paul [sow] Heather Weyker, who was serving on a federal task force, conjured a fake sex-trafficking ring and [cag]ed a teenage girl for two years on trumped-up charges.  In the second, [spook]…Ray Lamb a[ttempted]…to [murder] a man…though [the voctim was spared when his gun] jammed…[neither] Weyker [nor] Lamb…are…protected by qualified immunity…but because they were working for the federal government, they are protected by absolute immunity…and their victims—Hamdi Mohamud and Kevin Byrd, respectively—[are shit out of luck]…

Lack of Evidence (#1203) 

Contrast the speed with which legislatures manage to pass laws increasing cops’ powers:

California [politician]s are finally sending to Gov. Gavin Newsom a hot potato of a bill that would bar police from…arrest[ing women for standing in a public place after a cop points at them and belches out the magic word “]prostitution[“, a delay of] nine months after the measure passed the Legislature…[copsuckers] see it as a further erosion of criminal penalties that tie the hands of police on [consensual] issues…Greg Burt, a spokesman for the California Family Council, and other opponents fear it’s part of an eventual effort to decriminalize [thoughtcrime.  In support of his authoritarian agenda, he vomited out the words]…”sex trafficking”…[all over open-mouthed reporters]…

Welcome to the Future (#1227)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

Spyware apps were foisted on students at the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns…long after most students have returned to in-person learning, those apps are still proliferating, and enabling an ever-expanding range of human rights abuses…Americans face an unprecedented, record-breaking wave of legislation targeting transgender youth…and…[the overturn of] Roe v. Wade…That means that students who use their devices to research trans healthcare or abortion related material could find those devices weaponized against them, potentially resulting in criminal charges…

The Vultures Descend

22 vultures coming in for the kill:

[Jacob Sullum of Reason has published] a state-by-state rundown of what we can expect now that the Supreme Court has decided the Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion after all.  Red indicates the 22 states that are certain or likely to soon impose or start enforcing new restrictions on abortion, ranging from moderate to severe.  Green indicates the 23 states where abortion will remain broadly legal.  Blue indicates the five states where new restrictions are unlikely in the short term but are possible in the longer term, depending on electoral outcomes or judicial decisions…

A Moral Cancer (#1227)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

…the…FDA…[has arbitrarily banned] Juul’s…tobacco- and menthol-flavored vaping products…[despite the fact that Juul’s] application…was…detailed and data-heavy, showing just how effective it was at transitioning smokers away from cigarettes, toward a safer alternative …The company…became a victim of an intensely ideological war on nicotine…[when prohibitionists decided to blame] Juul…for the rise of youth vaping…[using the venerable puritan lie] that flavors like mango and cucumber [only]…appeal…to the younger demographic…The claim that Juul’s flavors were the underlying cause for the rise in youth vaping is highly dubious, considering there were thousands of different flavors for other e-cigarettes on the market years before Juul took off…

And just in case you think the government isn’t intentionally trying to create a black market so as to start a horrific new front in the drug war:

The Biden administration continues its misguided war on nicotine….[with] plans to require cigarette makers to severely cut the amount of nicotine in their products…nicotine itself isn’t what makes cigarettes so dangerous…it’s the other ingredients…and the byproducts of combustion, that make smoking cigarettes so bad for you.  This is one reason why the war on vaping is so stupid, and also speaks to the half-baked premises of the Biden administration’s latest anti-smoking plan…people already addicted to nicotine will still be addicted—they’ll just have to smoke more cigarettes to get their nicotine fix…low-nicotine cigarettes could actually make smoking riskier by requiring smokers to smoke more and consume more of the other substances in cigarettes in order to get the same level of nicotine they’re used to…[also,] other countries will still be producing full-nicotine cigarettes.  And this opens up a great opportunity for smuggling and black market sales of higher nicotine cigarettes…

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They do it just because they can.  –  Richard Serrano, of abusive screws

Torture Chamber 

And yet ProPublica still licks the boot by obediently and deferentially referring to torture as “correction”:

[The state of Illinois hides] disciplinary records for [screws after]…four years…So WBEZ and ProPublica used the files that are available to try to piece together how the system responds when…[screws inflict mayhem on] prisoners…Through that effort, WBEZ and ProPublica identified 18 Illinois [screws] who…had [brutalized] or sexually [assaulted victims caged] in the state’s prisons…including at least] one [murder]…all 18 held onto their jobs after the [atrocities]; 11 remain employed by the Illinois Department of [Torturing Caged People] today…


If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

The…pastor of a Southern Baptist church in South Carolina has been charged with molesting a child under 16…Tracy Darin Turner resigned [on] April 18, 2021, from Trinity Point Church [after somebody reported him to the cops]…

To Molest and Rape

Like inviting a vampire into one’s home:

[A British cop named] David Longden-Thurgood…[raped a] woman…[he had met] on the Bumble dating app…after a day of…exchanging sexualised messages and…naked selfies, the woman invited him to her home…but…repeatedly said “I don’t want sex”…when she noticed Longden-Thurgood taking his boxers off, she told him [again and]…he replied “don’t worry we won’t have sex”…then, “without warning”, raped her]…

Stalkers in Blue

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

A Florida [cop]…hid Apple AirTags in his ex-girlfriend’s car and bag to track and stalk her…Javier Magarin…was [rewarded]…with [a paid vacation]…after she…report[ed] the [harassment] to his employer…[Magarin also threatened her]…and…canceled [her airline reservations by]…logg[ing] into her email account…

The Last Shall Be First (#1230) 

Seeking a temporary halt to a deranged jihad:

A new lawsuit…is challenging [Texas] Gov. Greg Abbott’s di[ktat] to [persecu]te parents who provide gender-affirming care to their transgender children.  The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal on behalf of three families…[and] also seeks to block the state from [persecu]ting any families that belong to PFLAG…The state is currently blocked from investigating one family that brought a prior legal challenge.  This lawsuit seeks to widen the number of people who cannot be [persecu]ted under the di[ktat]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1232) 

Politicians are competing to see who can criminalize parents for the most deranged reasons:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis [blovia]ted…that he might urge the state’s child protective services to investigate parents who take their children to drag shows…The [threat was in response]…to…videos showing young children attending a Dallas drag show…which…were…the [subject of performative outage by other members of DeSantis’ playground “culture war” team.  The other team, in order to prove they had just as little respect for Constitutional rights, responded by demanding]…new gun laws…

The Cop Myth (#1235)

It’s hardly strange that a typical, representative cop became chief:

Noble Waidelich rose through the ranks of the Ukiah [California cop shop]…and eventually [became] chief.  [He abused his fiancee] Amanda Carley…[until] she packed her things and moved her children out of the house they owned together in 2015…“It started out as a shove and him standing in the doorway when I wanted to take a break.  Then he was throwing me down on the table and swerving into oncoming traffic, threatening to drop me off in the middle of nowhere,” Carley said.  She did not hesitate to disclose the abuse to her friends and co-workers…[but despite being backed up by her kids and another cop named] Freddy Kepplinger…Waidelich was not questioned…[despite] evidence of the injuries Carley had endured…[the district attorney] declined to file criminal charges against Waidelich…and [instead]…interrogated [Carley] and threatened [her] with criminal charges…

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Prostitution is a profession and sex workers are entitled to dignity and equal protection under the law.  –  The Supreme Court of India

Follow Your Bliss

The naive believe that “child predators” are creepy dudes who hang out at playgrounds; in reality, they are largely people in positions of authority over their preferred targets:

A [Missouri] man [named Scott F. Burow]…who spent more than 30 years working as a deputy juvenile officer in Missouri state court has been indicted in United States District Court on a felony charge of sex trafficking of a minor…[for paying a] 15 year…old…ward of the state of Illinois…[for sex] and…secretly videotaping her…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

A [gang] of [cops] conducted illegal searches and arrests in New Jersey as a pretext to rob residents out of cash…On May 26, a federal jury convicted Michael Cheff on…conspiracy…and…falsification of a police report…Cheff supervised a [gang] of [thugs who] worked together…between 2016 and 2018, [the gang regularly]…conducted illegal stops and searches of individuals in their vehicles, on the streets or in their homes and [robbed] them…Cheff…[got] a cut [in exchange for]…approving false reports…that…lied about…the…[armed robber]ies…

If Men Were Angels

The problem isn’t Catholicism, Christianity or even religion; it’s blind submission to authority:

A community rabbi from Jerusalem w[as]…indicted…for repeated sexual crimes against newly religious women.  Rabbi Moshe Yazdi…rap[ed], sexually assault[ed] and sodomiz[ed]…women while fraudulently obtaining their “consent” by telling them these were religious acts and therefore they had to submit to his demands.  He is also suspected of exploiting them financially.  So far, 10 women…have filed complaints against him…[revealing that] he presented himself to them as one of the 36 righteous people who, according to Jewish tradition, ensure the world’s continued existence at any given moment…Some of the crimes were committed against brides on their wedding day…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#568)

Looks like the judge didn’t buy his “porn addiction” excuse:

Josh Duggar, former director of the lobbying arm of the…anti-porn Family Research Council, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for downloading child sexual abuse material…Duggar was known as a reality TV figure for his role on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, a show highlighting his extended family…[which] TLC canceled…in 2015 after it was revealed that Duggar had molested members of his family and a babysitter…The Arkansas trial also exposed the failure of…”porn filter” Covenant Eyes, a business highly ballyhooed by anti-porn crusaders…federal investigators found that Covenant Eyes had been installed on Duggar’s computer so that it could monitor and report his internet use to his wife, Anna…however, an investigator reported that “Covenant Eyes was unable to detect Duggar’s internet usage after a password-protected network was installed on his computer”…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#737)

Indian sex workers have awaited this ruling for years:

The Supreme Court…told police that they should refrain from interfering and taking criminal action against…sex workers…[who] should not be arrested, penalised, harassed, or victimised through raids on brothels because…sex work is not illegal and only running the brothel is unlawful.  A sex worker’s child should not be deprived of her mother’s care “on the ground that she is in the sex trade”…The court also instructed cops not to discriminate against sex workers who lodge a complaint, if the offence against them is of sexual nature…The bench observed that use of condoms “should not be construed by the police as evidence of offence by sex workers”…[but unfortunately will still allow cops to abduct] sex workers [under the pretext of “]rescue[“] and [lock them in cages] “for not less than two-three years”…The apex court also ad[monished media to take] “utmost care not to reveal the identities of sex workers, during arrest, raid and rescue operations, whether as victims or accused and not to publish or telecast any photos that would result in disclosure of such identities”…[pointing out that] voyeurism is a criminal offence…

The Last Shall Be First (#1151) 

Laws like this have already been declared unconstitutional by the 4th Circuit:

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt…signed into law a bill that requires students at public schools…[including] charter schools to use restrooms and locker rooms that match the sex listed on their birth certificates…Transgender students who decline to use the restroom required under the measure would have to use “a single-occupancy restroom or changing room” provided by the school.  The measure, which cleared the state Legislature last week, will take effect immediately because it was passed with an emergency clause.  School districts that [refuse] to comply…could be sued by school parents

The Next Target (#1151)

Prohibitionists’ real goal is to completely ban online sex work:

[Tobias Schmid, ] the local official behind the crusade for Germany to require age verification for viewing sexual content…is now seeking to expand to all of Europe the use of his new [surveillance] tool, KIVI, which automatically scans all online content to determine which images are not compliant with the law…KIVI was developed by Berlin-based Condat under…Schmid’s supervision and is now reportedly being used by all 14 state media authorities in Germany…to detect [images in] categories like “extremism, hate speech, swastikas or the glorification of drugs,” Schmid also included “pornography” as a target for the new surveillance engine

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The viewpoints…individuals and businesses hold are real, even if they differ from the views of…government officials.  –  Judge Aleta A. Trauger

Surplus Women

The BBC feeds stigma just as much as the Russian media this story criticizes:

On the day she was murdered, 20 July 2020, Olga had a profile on an online escort site where she went by the name Margo.  A 53-year-old former convict, Oleg Tochilkin – who had been released on parole after serving part of a 20-year prison sentence for crimes including murder…b[eat] and strangled Olga…then [dump]ed her naked body…at the entrance to [his apartment] building…One headline read, “Do you feel sorry for this kind of victim of violence?”  Another was, “The bloody details of how a prostitute from Bryansk was killed”.  And there was the one that called Olga a “whore” and referred to her killer as “grandpa”…

Instant Criminal

This guy is lucky his evil wife wasn’t smarter:

…on April 18…Angel Moore [told cops in]…Wynnewood [Oklahoma that]…she’d [somehow] seen a man using his phone to download child [porn.  She claimed]…the man’s wife, Lacey Hucks, managed to get the phone away from her husband and gave it to Moore so she could alert police.  The man was swiftly arrested, and…over 800 child sex abuse images [were found] on that phone…[but] deputies noticed that the phone that the husband had on him at the time of his arrest didn’t have any content similar to what was on the phone Moore had given them.  They only kept the husband in jail overnight, and got a warrant for Hucks’ phone—which showed that she and Moore had been discussing plans to make the police report before April 18…Moore quickly folded under questioning…an[d]…told a deputy that Hucks had…coached her…to deliver the false report against her husband…in hopes of winning a child custody battle…Hucks and Moore…were arrested on charges of conspiracy and knowingly reporting a false crime.  Hucks faces an additional charge of aggravated possession of child sex abuse material; if convicted on that charge, she faces up to life in prison…

Buttons, Bags & Banknotes (#770)

I’m not sure who Bindel thinks she’s convincing with this tedious claptrap, but I’ve got to hand it to Liz Brown for being far more patient with her than I could possibly manage.

I Spy (#1015)

Are there really sane adults gullible enough to swallow this?

The NSA — which has undermined encryption standards in the past — says it won’t undermine the next strain of encryption, one being built to withstand the inevitable arrival of quantum computing…“There are no backdoors,” said Rob Joyce, the NSA’s director of cybersecurity…Pardon my cynicism, but that’s exactly the sort of thing someone planning to backdoor encryption would say…While it’s true the NSA has spent less time agitating (at least publicly) for encryption backdoors than, say, the FBI, its troubling past strongly suggests it should not be taken at its word this time around…Quantum computing has the capacity to be the pipe wrench that makes security efforts mostly irrelevant.  The sooner a new standard can be put in place, the better.  If the NSA can help achieve this more quickly, it should.  But it should never be assumed the NSA’s intentions are pure…

The Last Shall Be First (#1140)

One small victory against a rising tide of bigotry:

A federal judge struck down a Tennessee law…that would have [forced] businesses in the state to post warning notices on their public restrooms if they have policies allowing transgender patrons to use the facilities that match their gender identities…Judge Aleta A. Trauger…wrote…that the law violates the First Amendment of the Constitution because it compels speech that is controversial and with which the plaintiffs disagree.  “It would do a disservice to the First Amendment to judge the Act for anything other than what it is: a brazen attempt to single out trans-inclusive establishments and force them to parrot a message that they reasonably believe would sow fear and misunderstanding about the very transgender Tennesseans whom those establishments are trying to provide with some semblance of a safe and welcoming environment,” Trauger wrote…

Out of Control (#1173)

The next level beyond spooge-based sexual assault:

An Arby’s manager…urinated in the milkshake mix…for his own “sexual gratification” on at least two occasions…Stephen Sharp, who was being investigated for child pornography, admitted to police that he enjoyed relieving himself in the restaurant’s milkshake mix while working as a night manager at a Vancouver, Washington, location…[cops found] dozens of [child porn] photos and videos…as well as the urine video on his digital devices…Investigators are looking for any unlucky customers who bought and drank the urine-contaminated shakes…

To Molest and Rape (#1230)

So many rapist cops, so many underage victims:

A Dallas [cop who was] arrested last summer [for] sexual assault of a child is now facing a second charge after more victims came forward…Tyrone William Jr….[h]as [been on paid vacation since…June [of last year]…

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The fact that a reporter has to call and tell me…is the issue.  –  Luis Correa

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Everyone involved in this story, excluding the sex worker but including the reporter and headline writer, is garbage:

A…Boston attorney who once [worked to destroy people’s lives for the State]…was caught literally with his pants down on [a stroll pigs think it’s funny to label] Methadone Mile with a prostitute…Bruce Singal…asked to speak to a police supervisor…but when he further asked for “lenience and consideration,” [cops vomited a lot of disgusting, misogynistic “sex trafficking” propaganda all over him]…The woman…was not arrested, but taken in to be connected with services…

“Not arrested, but taken in to be connected with services” is a euphemism for “arrested”.

Torture Chamber 

Your “leaders” refer to wanton murder as “correction”:

Three Florida [screws] were arrested on murder charges for [brutal]ly beating an inmate to death, while a fourth [fled the consequences of his actions]…Christopher Rolon…Kirk Walton…and Ronald Connor…were arrested…following a monthslong [attempt to cover up the murder] at the Dade [Torture] Institution…The [murder] occurred on the morning of Feb. 14, before the [victim] was scheduled to be transferred to a [different cage stack] in Lake County…the [attackers claimed that the murder was justified by their]…mental[ly-ill victim supposedly throwing urine]…at…the[m]…”The[y]…beat…[him] so badly he had to be carried to the transport van…During a stop in Ocala…over 300…[miles away, the murderers discovered their victim had died from their brutality.  An autopsy later revealed]…the [victim]’s death was caused by a punctured lung leading to internal bleeding…The incident initially led the Florida Department of C[ages to reward]…10 [screws with paid vacations]…

The Face of Trafficking

Note that cases of actual coercion don’t look much like the myths:

Gawain Baxter was 6 years old when he signed a contract agreeing to work for the Church of Scientology for 1 billion years…he spent his childhood doing manual labor at Scientology’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater, [Florida] and getting no education beyond basic reading, writing and math.  At 15, Baxter attempted to leave by writing a letter to a superior about constant abuse and intolerable living conditions.  Instead…church officials sent him to Scientology’s Freewinds ship in the Caribbean, where he worked for little or no wages for 14 years.  Through its highly regimented Sea Org workforce, Scientology officials systematically trafficked Baxter, 39, and others by indoctrinating them as children and making it financially, physically and psychologically impossible for them to leave as adults, according to a lawsuit filed…in Tampa federal court against Scientology leader David Miscavige and five church entities…on behalf of Baxter, his wife…Laura…and Valeska Paris, who all were raised in Scientology and worked on the Freewinds, where…the church [stole] their passports and identification documents…

To Molest and Rape

An armed robber is also a rapist.  Gee, what a surprise:

A [typical and representative cop from] the [violently-corrupt Alabama] town of Brookside has been arrested on a rape charge in Jefferson County.  Deshawn Mark Cook…[forcibly] rape[d his]…victim…on May 22, 2021…Cook was [previously] indicted in 2019 on a charge of strangling his girlfriend…[but a] judge dismissed that case when the woman failed to show up for court…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1212)

Undermining of civil liberties only starts with “undesirables”; it never stops there:

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be paying surveillance…company Trust Stamp $7.2 million annually to develop tech to track migrants [who enter the US] at the southern border…Trust Stamp…provid[ed] ICE with 10,000 smartphones that include the company’s app with facial recognition and GPS tracking…ICE then gives these…to migrants in order to surveil their whereabouts and behavior daily…migrants…are expected to complete “biometric check-in” once a day, meaning they scan their faces…An ICE [spook] looks at the result of each check-in, as well as the migrant’s location…[and] the…[phone] also…track[s its holder via] geolocation…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

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

A [typical and representative]…Massachusetts [cop]…threaten[ed] to kill his estranged wife in a brutal attack…Tomas Morales…showed up at his family’s home and said he wanted to talk to his [victim] about Christmas presents…after trying to kiss her, Morales threw her to the ground…forced her into a bedroom…said, “You’ll always be mine”…threatened to kill her, then strangled her and punched her in the face…Woburn police Chief Robert Rufo [thought the most important thing to tell reporters was that Morales wasn’t wearing his magical clown costume at the time]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1229)

Politicians are competing to see how many rights they can violate with one law:

Missouri [politicians are]…seeking to restrict access to gender-affirming care [not just to] minors…[but also] young adults under the age of 25…[in support of the scheme, they trotted out a quack] psychologist…[named Laurie] Haynes [who] also…support[s the discredited form of conditioning called] conversion therapy.  [This is merely the latest attempt to undermine the civil rights of young adults using the excuse]…that the prefrontal cortex – the part of the brain responsible for executive functions like decision making – is not fully developed until roughly the age of 25…[a claim which is notably absent when politicians discuss voting, marriage, criminal responsibility, and enlisting in the military]…

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