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Posts Tagged ‘United Kingdom’

Since we’ve finished Doctor Who for now (we’ll watch the most recent shows as they reach DVD), Grace and I turned to watching Blake’s 7, a gift from one of my regular readers who’s enjoyed the Whovian thread.  The set was only available in Region 2, but I have a multi-region player, so it’s all good.  I’ve known about the series since the ’80s, but for some reason I never managed to catch it on PBS.  One thing that struck me immediately was how groundbreaking the series was; it may be difficult for younger folks to believe, but in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s sci-fi series were very episodic.  There were ideas and themes that ran for entire series or seasons, but it was notable when an episode even made reference to the events of an earlier episode, much less continued a big, complex story.  Blake’s 7 changed that pattern; most of the stories were still just stories, but several per season were part of a larger pattern of development.  I don’t know if he’s ever said as much, but it appears pretty clear to me that J. Michael Straczynski was influenced by it in the creation and structure of Babylon 5, which started the same way and grew over 5 seasons to one long, deeply-interconnected saga, setting a new standard in US sci-fi TV.

One of the things I love about British sci-fi is its valuation of characters and storytelling over flashy special effects, and Blake’s 7 definitely has that (though its effects are actually better than those in Doctor Who of this time period).  It’s also fun for me to see so many faces and names I recognize from “Who” in this one; chief among those names is that of Terry Nation, most famous as the creator of the Daleks, who conceived of the show and wrote every episode of the first season (another Straczynski-like feature, though Babylon 5 did that in a later season, not the first).  I was happy to see that Nation’s writing had matured and improved considerably since the ’60s; this is the Nation who gave us “Genesis of the Daleks”, not the guy who phoned in so many earlier Dalek appearances, so the quality of the first season is consistently high.  Another familiar Who name is that of the script editor, Chris Boucher, who had given us Leela (and three excellent Who adventures featuring her) the year before signing on to Blake’s 7.  Boucher’s script editor during his time on Doctor Who was Robert Holmes, who reversed the relationship by penning a number of Blake stories for Boucher.  Holmes was a good fit here; as an idealistic young man he had become a cop, but once he found out the nasty truth about policing he turned to writing, and many of his tales involve noble or charming rascals, scoundrels, anti-heroes battling corrupt authoritarian governments.  But while The Doctor is a bit of a rascal and has no use for cops or permits, Blake’s 7 takes it up a couple of notches by giving us an often-abrasive hero dedicated to bringing down the entire evil Federation, even if it means a lot of people getting hurt in the process (the entire second season demonstrates that pretty clearly); his crew, all criminals themselves (including a smuggler, a cowardly thief, and an extremely arrogant embezzler); and a stolen spaceship (it’s technically only salvaged until the actual owners try to reclaim it).  One last thing for now: among the series’ innovations was the season cliffhanger.  Until then it was highly unusual for a TV series to bait viewers back for the following season by leaving the heroes facing certain death, as in the old movie serials; Blake’s 7 did it every season.  Though it’s now de rigeur for dramatic series to do this, that wasn’t so until the Nineties; even in the Eighties leaving the viewers hanging for more than one week (the typical gap in serials such as Doctor Who) was pretty rare on both UK and US television.

I have a great deal more to say, but it’s so much I’m going to divide it up over several weeks.

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Any suggestion that we allow or encourage illegal content…defies…reason, from both a moral and business standpoint.  –  Feras Antoon

Advice for Clients (#738)

Another good little article on interacting with sex workers on Twitter:

…If you’re new to Twitter, you may feel a bit overwhelmed when deciding whether to follow, like, comment, or retweet.  You might worry about saying the wrong thing, or accidentally making a bad impression.  I recently reached out to ask sex workers on Twitter for their best etiquette advice.  The result: some real gems on how to interact with your favourite providers in a ways that will help you enjoy the platform without jeopardizing your future booking success…As with everything in the sex industry, workers each have their own preferences.  But the advice that’s generously offered here is a great place to start…Mistresse Matisse has the perfect metaphor to describe the social media experience.  “Twitter is a cocktail party, not a one-on-one date”…

Not To Be Taken Internally (#886)

How many times must I say, “Do NOT let non-doctors inject filth into your body“?

A man…had been inserting various objects into his urethra for some time as an aid for erectile dysfunction.  During one such occasion, he and his partner had decided to use a straw attached to a can of weatherproofing spray, when the partner “inadvertently pressed the button deploying the foam.” The foam then shot through his entire urethra, even filling up his bladder.  The man waited three weeks before seeking medical attention at an emergency room, during which time he increasingly had difficulty urinating and urinating blood when he did…

Predictable Consequences (#1134)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system, but this kinda shitty hit piece in Vanity Fair pretends otherwise.  Rather than simply admit the obvious  –  that increasingly-emboldened members of the growing anti-sex cult burned down the property of the owner of a website their leaders had selected as the next target of their attentions after the wanton destruction of Backpage  –  the author prefers instead to repeat prohibitionist fantasies, wallow in dysphemisms and deny the agency of every single person in an entire industry while sharing weird, evidence-free conspiracy theories about possible perpetrators while pretending that there was no evidence pointing toward the obvious culprits  –  you know, those who had for weeks been literally calling for the place to be burned down.

Policing for Profit (#1158)

Cops seem to be moving toward discarding even the pretense that this is about anything other than pillage:

Because the continued federal prohibition of marijuana makes banks and payment processors leery of serving state-licensed cannabis suppliers, many of those businesses rely heavily on cash, which exposes them to a heightened risk of robbery…includ[ing by gangs of] cops who use federal civil forfeiture laws to steal money earned by state-legal marijuana businesses.  Five times since last May, [cops have held up]…armored cars operated by Empyreal Logistics, a Pennsylvania-based company that serves marijuana businesses and financial institutions that work with them.  The cops made off with…a total of $1.2 million…Empyreal, which is represented by the Institute for Justice, argues that…it is “entitled to protection from highway robberies, regardless of whether they are conducted by criminals or by the Sheriff and federal law-enforcement agencies acting under color of law”…

You Were Warned (#1175)

Much more of this, please:

OnlyFans…has hired its first federal lobbyists as poli[ticians] continue t[heir deranged crusade]…to [censor the internet and empower ambulance-chasers to destroy]…tech companies…OnlyFans is the latest player in the adult content ecosystem to turn to K Street as [politicians try to eviscerate] Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…Last year the Free Speech Coalition…enlisted a bipartisan pair of lobbyists at Clarity Consulting, becoming the first group to register to lobby on behalf of the porn industry in Washington…

Torture Chamber (#1186)

They’ll use any excuse to protect their own:

Bronx prosecutors have dropped all charges against a Rikers Island doctor’s assistant…[who repeatedly] rap[ed caged] women…Sidney Wilson…skated on a 43-count indictment filed in 2017…Bronx District Attorney Darcell Clark…touted the case in a press release and in testimony as part of her crackdown on sexual abuse in the troubled jail…But in…quietly dropped all charges against Wilson and is now blaming the discovery reform law requiring prosecutors to disclose a wide range of evidence earlier in the trial process [despite the case being filed over two years before the law came into effect]…

Never forget that a prosecutor is just another kind of cop; they are not interested in prosecuting their own.

I Spy (#1205)

Nothing infuriates violent, self-important busybodies more than private affairs that are none of their business:

…a new propaganda campaign…is…the latest salvo in the UK’s decades-long war against encryption…[it] include[s] “a striking stunt — placing an adult and child (both actors) in a glass box, with the adult looking ‘knowingly’ at the child as the glass fades to black”…as…David Thiel observed, an opaque box with people inside is what’s otherwise known as “a house.”  On one level, the opaque room represents encrypted messaging.  The audience’s inability to see what happens inside is meant to provoke sympathy for the child, who, it’s leeringly implied, is about to be victimized by the adult…But…on a different level, the opaque room isn’t a metaphor at all.  It is just what it seems to be: an opaque room — that is, a house.  A home.  The audience isn’t meant to sympathize with the people inside the home, people just like them, who can shield themselves from prying eyes.  Rather, they’re meant to sympathize with the would-be watcher: the UK government.  On this level, it’s the frustrated voyeurs who are the victims.  Their desire to watch what happens inside has been stymied by that demonic technology known as “walls.”  Wouldn’t it be better if someone could see in?…By portraying the transparent room as desirable and the opaque room as a sinister deviation from the norm, the government is peddling the idea that it is suspect for people to have our own private spaces in the physical world…

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Until somebody figures out a good way to rein-in government snoopiness, it might be better to avoid taking selfies at protests.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Thou Shalt Not (#35)

Prohibitionism is a dangerous mental illness:

Some packets of biscuits will be banned from [certain areas of] supermarkets from 2023…the new law bans [stores] from selling [foods labeled] HFSS (high in fat, sugar and salt) [by government-employed puritans from displays in] checkout areas, ends of aisles and store entrances…government…[nannies justified the new law by barfing out the phrase]…childhood obesity [while maintaining laws that keep children from healthy outdoor exercise]…a [government] study [declared that most Britons are far too stupid and weak-willed to make their own food choices, so those choices must therefore be made for them]…

Torture Chamber

If there’s one thing the US needs, it’s more sadistic rapists in the military:

…Brandon Scott Price, a [typical and representative Kentucky] prison guard, was convicted of [a misdemeanor assault charge for anally raping a chained woman]…his…judge…sentenced [him]…to [a mere] 12 months in jail…but said Price could avoid jail time if he [re-]enlisted in the military within 30 days…enlistments are subject to military regulations that would require Price to seek a waiver for his sexual-assault conviction from military officials.  The military has spent more than a decade struggling to limit sexual assault among troops…[on the way back from the hospital after she had suffered] a medical emergency…Price pulled the van…over and [anally raped] the woman…then [claimed she wanted it]…

Choke Point (#611) 

PayPal needs to be buried in similar lawsuits before this will stop:

Three PayPal users who’ve…had their accounts frozen and funds [stol]en by the company without explanation have filed a federal lawsuit against the online payment service.  The plaintiffs…are…proposing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all other users who’ve had their accounts [similarly violated] and are seeking restitution, as well as punitive and exemplary damages.  Lena Evans…[ha]d been a PayPal user for 22 years…[when] the website s[tole] $26,984 from her account six months after…fr[eezing it] without ever telling her why…Roni Shemtov sa[w] PayPal s[teal] over $42,000 of her money and never got an acceptable [or consistent] reason for why her account was terminated…Shbadan Akylbekov…[explained that] PayPal s[tole] over $172,000 of his money without…explanation…[except] a letter that says she “violated PayPal’s User Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy”…PayPal has long angered many a user for limiting accounts and freezing their funds for six months or more.  One high-profile case was American poker player Chris Moneymaker’s who had $12,000 [stol]en from his account after six months of being limited.  Moneymaker was already in the process of asking people to join him in a class action lawsuit before his funds were “mysteriously returned”…

Blunt Instrument (#1012)

Oh look, Texas cops are staging pogroms against migrant-owned businesses; what a surprise.  The only thing even remotely unusual about this farrago of loathsome oinking, agency denial, pious bullshit and revolting bootlicking is that the violent racist psychopaths vomit out the word “trafficking” only 5 times in a 21-paragraph copaganda screed.  By contrast, the word “illicit” (a word which characterizes prohibitionist propaganda more than any other) appears 9 times.  But given that this was published (to use the most charitable word possible for this human-centipede excretion) by the Dallas Morning News, a rag so filled with prohibitionist masturbatory fantasies that it’s an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas, that actually counts as a twisted kind of progress.

I Spy (#1086) 

In mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…[Since] social media an easy and low-cost means of gathering intelligence…cops and their private-sector contractors snoop on us…while fishing for anything of interest…instead of curbing such abuses, many politicians want more.  “Social media has become a significant source of information for U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law noted in a report released last week…Customs and Border Protection…routinely runs the names of people of interest, including journalists and activists, through databases…For years, the FBI used Dataminr, “a third-party service that [surveills]…social media posts”…in 2019 [it switched] to ZeroFox, which offers a similar service.  Some FBI agents blamed their inability to anticipate the January 6 riot at the Capitol on the changeover…and…over the past year, law enforcement has come under pressure to engage in even more monitoring of social media because of its failure to anticipate the…riot…

Stalkers in Blue (#1180)

This disgusting article is loaded with copsucking and emotional manipulation:

A [typical and representative] NYPD [cop], who survived [a 2015 “dismissal probation” after drug paraphernalia and needles were found in his locker], was fired…after he repeatedly [sexually harassed] vulnerable women [he was] arrest[ing]…[including] wom[e]n he believed to be domestic abuse victim[s] and…sex [workers, but who]…were actually [other rolepaying cops]…investigati[ng him due to complaints]…He also used an NYPD computer to [stalk other women] …and [lied]…to [other cops]…about [his predatory behavior]…

Right from the headline on, IB Times attempts to manipulate the reader’s sympathies; the cop who repeatedly tried to get into the pants of women he arrested or “investigated” is described as a “veteran” and a “hero”.  His attempted manipulation and rape is described as “romantic”, his victims’ criminal histories are emphasized, and his other shenanigans are not mentioned until far down in the story.  It’s vile even by the standards of cop stenography.

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1204)

Cops think they can just make up their own pharmacology and demand reality conform to it:

Fentanyl that is about 50 times more potent than “what has regularly been found and tested” in the region has been recovered in Hartford, police [lie]d…[after] find[ing] nearly 40 bags of fentanyl…[near where] a seventh-grader [overdosed.  Though the boy appears to have eaten]…the drug…a…spokesp[ig preferred to oink a bunch of weird cop fantasies about how]…“this product can be deadly to anyone coming in contact with it, including absorption through the skin…fentanyl is a poison”…

Fentanyl is a life-saving synthetic drug, no more a “poison” than any other medicine.  It cannot be absorbed through the skin, and no batch is “50 times more potent” than any other; of course, this confused oinking might be attempting to convey the claim that most heroin cut with fentanyl in Hartford is only about 2% fentanyl, whereas this was nearly pure.  But it’s difficult to tell in proximity to so many exaggerations, cop fantasies and outright lies.

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Most members of the public have no interest in closely examining falsehoods uttered by governments.  –  Tim Cushing

Policing for Profit

What made it “illegal” was pronouncing the wrong magic words while pointing at his victims in the magic Spell of Forfeiture:

A rural sheriff near the Texas border is under criminal investigation for…having his deputies illegally seize money and a truck from undocumented immigrants during [pretext] stops….Sheriff Nathan Johnson…admitted to regularly s[tealing] money [after having his henchmen barf out the words “illegal alien”, when the]…state [instead wants them to barf out “drug trafficking” and also get permission for the spell from a sacred dog]…Johnson [attempted to defend himself by barfing out the words]…”stand against…traffic in our community”…

Torture Chamber 

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

Anchorage-based s[crews]…pepper sprayed three [helpless] men inside a van and then closed the doors, leaving them to inhale the chemicals for between seven to 18 minutes…the men were not allowed to shower or change clothes for an extended period of time…one of the men [for] two days…The ombudsman’s investigation…found that…[the] assault…was in…[response to a thoughtcrime supposedly committed by one of the victims]…

Under Duress (#1110) 

I find it mind-boggling that most people are surprised to find out that cops are habitual liars:

Virginia Beach police used forged documents that [claimed to] link…people’s DNA to a crime to get them to confess or cooperate with [pigs], Virginia’s outgoing attorney general announced…The city’s police department has changed its policy [because it got caught]…but c[laimed] the [deception was] legal…The bogus pieces of paper included a seal and letterhead from the state agency…[and] the signature of a fictitious employee from the department…in at least one instance, [cops committed perjury by submitting] a forged report…to a court as evidence…

I Spy (#1155)

Nothing infuriates violent, self-important busybodies more than private affairs that are none of their business:

The UK government has expressed an unhealthy determination to undermine encryption for years now…[using excuses] ranging from “the children” to “the terrorists.”  The underlying intent never changes even if…the bills get renamed, as though a different shade of lipstick would make the UK’s anti-encryption pig any more desirable.  Rebranding from “Online Harms” to “Online Safety” only changed the tablecloths in the Titanic’s dining room…but presumably “safety” sounds better than “harms,” especially when the government affirmatively wants to harm the safety of millions of UK residents.  The Internet Society has taken a look at the revamped and rebranded bill and has delivered a report that explains exactly where on the Internet doll the UK government plans to engage in inappropriate touching.  There’s no mention of backdoors or broken encryption, but complying with the law means…doing both…

To Molest and Rape (#1187)

It would be difficult to bury this lede any further down:

A federal judge has sentenced a…North Dakota…man to life in prison for [rape]…Douglas J. Schneider…[was also ordered] to pay [the paltry sum of] $19,215 in restitution…between 2013 and 2018, Schneider [repeatedly raped the] child…who was between 7 and 10 years old when he started, but it became a federal case when]…Schneider transported the child from North Dakota to Montana [to rape her some more.  And by the way]…Schneider w[as a cop]…

The Cop Myth (#1197)

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

A [typical and representative] Tulsa [cop named]…Shannon Kepler…a[bandoned his] daughter, Lisa…at a homeless shelter shortly after she turned 18 with no money, cell phone, credit cards or clothes other than what she wore…[t]he[n continued to stalk her via]…Facebook…[when] she…changed her status to being “in a relationship” with [a 19-year-old black man named Jeremy] Lake, who…was a volunteer at the shelter…Kepler then [stalked]…Lake [via]…police [databases]…travelled…to Lake’s last known address…carrying a loaded .357 Magnum revolver…[and waited for] his daughter and Lake [to come by. When she understandably]…re[fused]…to speak with…Kepler [he responded by gunning]…Lake [down in the street like a mad dog, then attempted] to…[also murder] his daughter, the victim’s brother, and a third witness…Kepler [later] claimed that…he shot Lake in self-defense [despite] Lake [being unarmed and the contrary testimony of three witnesses]…Kepler was…[tried] fi[ve times in all]…The first three resulted in hung juries, and a fourth resulted in a conviction for manslaughter [rather than what it clearly was, premeditated murder.  After this conviction was overturned on a technicality, he was finally sentenced to 25 years for the 2014 murder]…

You Were Warned (#1203)

The bipartisan war on the internet moves us another step closer to idiocracy:

A controversial California bill that would eliminate Section 230 protections in the name of fighting “online trafficking” and “revenge porn,” along the lines established at the federal level by FOSTA-SESTA, has moved forward in the state senate…SB435 threatens platforms with fines of over $100,000 for not immediately removing flagged content, but offers little to protect the system from abuse by bad actors…Anti-porn groups and harassers, [Free Speech Coalition Public Affairs Director Mike] Stabile noted, “already abuse reporting systems to attack sex workers.  SB435 would give them a powerful new tool, with almost no protections for legal content. And since most of the time platforms would rather remove legal content than arbitrate slowly and risk expensive litigation, the end result would be the further banning and removal…at a massive scale”…

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We are done with your silly little games.  –  cop, to man he paralyzed

Sidney Poitier gave a lot of powerful performances in his long career, but this one has always been my personal favorite.  And since it has a song to go with it, here you are.  All the links above the video were provided by Cop Crisis except for the obit itself (from Phoenix Calida) and “billionaires” (from Nun Ya).

From the Archives

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My freezer is full of roadkill.  –  Sarah Day

In honor of the death of one of its stars, here’s one of the more spectacular musical numbers from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel, Dan Savage, Scott Greenfield, a reader who prefers to remain anonymous, Jesse Walker, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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It’s coming…it’s coming soon.  –  Rodolfo

This seasonal video is kinda brilliant on several levels.  It was provided by Walter Olson, and the links above it by Tim Cushing, Missy Mariposa, Mike Siegel, Clarissa, David Ley, The Onion, and Mike Peters, in that order.

From the Archives

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Who would have thought drinking dirt would make me feel so so good?

Since Mike Nesmith passed away this week, I’d like to share “The Monkees’ Christmas Episode” from 1967.  If you don’t have time for the whole thing, at least listen to their very lovely a capella performance of the 16th century Spanish Christmas carol “Riu Chiu”, starting at 20:47.  The links above the video are from Rick Horowitz, Stephen Lemons, Jesse Walker, Kevin WilsonWalter Olson, Mike Siegel, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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This is another example of…the false idea that the police can police themselves.  –  Ann Webb

R.I.P. Wakefield Poole

To the New York Times, the only good sex worker or pornographer is a dead one:

Wakefield Poole…made a feature-length, surrealistic movie called Boys in the Sand…and [after] its release in 1971…was hailed as a pioneer of gay porn…the film became a crossover hit that changed attitudes about pornography among both…gay and straight audiences…“I wanted a film,” Mr. Poole said at the time, “that gay people could look at and say, ‘I don’t mind being gay — it’s beautiful to see those people do what they’re doing’…Just seeing my name above the title on a theater made its impact.  Hundreds of people…came out after seeing the film…The reason I stopped making films was the AIDS situation…I lost my fan base to AIDS.  I saw them all die…Cocaine saved my life.  I did so much coke, I couldn’t have sex”…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

A false rape claim supported by a lying cop; the victim is lucky to be free:

A New South Wales [cop named]…Scott John White is facing two charges of perjury, after he [lied to] a court [in support of false rape claims made by]…Sarah Jane Parkinson, who[m] he has since married…[against] her former partner…in March 2014…she had told police she was hanging out washing in the garden…when her former partner assaulted her, slamming her head into a brick wall and raping her…police arrested her [victim] as he left work, and he was jailed until [her story came apart during investigation]…Parkinson was convicted of making a false statement and jailed after she eventually pleaded guilty to the charge [in 2019]…

Opting Out (#982) 

As I predicted two years ago:

[Politicians] are preparing to [re-]introduce [a censorship scheme claimed] to prevent children accessing online pornography.  Plans to [impose] age verification for adult sites, which were shelved in 201[9], are now being [brought up again due to the current anti-porn hysteria]…The…[would-be censors’ ringleader is]…Dame Rachel de Souza, [who holds the pompous title] children’s commissioner…[and is] willing to [use bogus statistics]…and [the debunked tabula rasa model of sexual development]…to …[advance her scheme] to…stop children stumbling across [information busybodies and fanatics don’t want them to have.  The prior “age verification” scheme]…was never [implemented due to] privacy campaigners [pointing out] that it would force users to hand over their identities to porn sites[, government officials, or other fascists who would absolutely misuse the information.  But] De Souza [fantasizes] that technology now exist[s] that will allow users to prove their age online using a passport or other identification in a [magical] way that…[renders] privacy issues…no longer a concern…

Quiet Genocide (#991)

America has given every tyrannical regime in the world a powerful weapon of rhetoric:

…what was once an American obsession is now an international one.  “Terrorism” has become the opportunistic cover for governments around the world looking to subdue any kind of non-state agitator: ethnic nationalists in Russia, pirates in Indonesia, environmentalists in the Philippines, Kurdish revolutionaries in Turkey.  There is hardly a government anywhere that has not adopted some feature of the war on terror, from its ideological abstractions of good and evil to the special permissions it grants states to monitor and control citizens.  The evolution is nowhere so stark as in…Xinjiang…whose minority Uyghur population is almost certainly the most monitored and controlled on the planet…In The War on the Uyghurs, Sean Roberts…shows how the United States’ efforts to build an international consensus for its counterterrorism projects had far-reaching consequences on the other side of the world…[encouraging] the Chinese government [to] bec[o]me increasingly brazen in its oppression of Muslim and Turkic minorities…long before the moment in 2016 when it began secretly [caging millions] of people in [the brutal concentration camps to which it applies the Orwellian term] “Transformation Through Education centers“…

Under Duress (#1110)

Are most cops even capable of telling the truth?

A [typical and representative] Ventura County [cop] has admitted to [intentionally hid]ing…a drug test that exonerated a woman [he wanted to railroad for]…being under the influence of methamphetamine…Richard Charles Barrios III…pleaded guilty to [a minor charge for trying to destroy the woman’s life]…two years ago…Throughout the [arrest and booking], the woman vehemently denied being under the influence of any drugs…she…provided a urine sample and…[w]hen…the results [were negative]…he…threw the test kit into the garbage…disposed of the urine sample…refused to tell the woman the results of her test and began the process of having her booked…Barrios also [lied to the Big Pig on duty]…that the woman had refused to provide a urine sample…another [cop believed her and]…found the [discarded] test kit…show[ing] that she tested negative…[so s]he…was released and taken back to her vehicle…

The Cop Myth (#1178)

North Carolina’s “solution” for rampant cop violence? Hide the data:

A paragraph deep in the new state budget forbids sheriffs, [cop shops] and any other government entity in North Carolina from creating a public log of the times [cops]…injure[, maim, or murder] someone.  These so-called critical incidents are going to be recorded statewide for the first time…but that database is for [cop shops] to use in an effort to [hide]…problem [cops from]…the public…[while claiming]…to [be a part of] police reform…they…can’t [even] create a database of wh[ich cops have been]…disciplin[ed or how often]…The new language ensures that [cops are protected from reform-minded politicians]…

Thought Control (Censorship Roundup)

Authoritarian regimes are much of a muchness:

The Chinese censorship system, like the tactic being employed in Texas, relies on intimidation.  Chinese publishers excise material that might run afoul of censors before sending books for approval…Likewise…the Stalinization of Eastern Europe depended not primarily on the gulag and the firing squads, but on the intimidation of people who felt compelled to spew the same idiocy they heard, pursuing a grotesque conformity…This process is brilliantly caricatured in Eugène Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros, in which people who seem perfectly normal transform into violent beasts, more and more of them caving as the play goes onA parallel process has taken place as an increasing number of Americans seem willing to abandon previously hallowed democratic norms, including freedom of expression

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

Pretext

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

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

Lack of Evidence (#960)

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

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

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

Rooted in Racism (#966)

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

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

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1090)

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

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

Scapegoats (#1169)

This sordid saga finally wraps up after three years:

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

The Cop Myth (#1178)

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

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#1185)

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

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

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