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Posts Tagged ‘universal criminality’

You’re about to die, my friend.  –  Tyler Longman

Here’s another Doctor Who novelty song, recorded as a publicity tie-in for the 1965 Doctor Who and the Daleks movie starring Peter Cushing; the singer, Roberta Tovey, played Susan in the film.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel, Cop Crisis (x3), Walter Olson, and Mistress Matisse, in that order.

From the Archives

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Holy shit. This guy is going to kill me now.  –  Tristin Goods

Last weekend a heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest; on Sunday it reached 43o C at Sunset, and hotter than that in Seattle.  So naturally this song came to mind.  The links above it were provided by Scott Greenfield, Jesse Walker, Radley Balko, Mark Bennett, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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Americans have collectively become some of the most submissive, spineless peasants upon the face of the Earth.  –  “Dependence Day

In practically every essay for this occasion, and every one for November 1st and 5th, and in innumerable other essays, tweets and statements, I have reminded my readers that every single thing in the Cosmos is mortal, and will pass away in its time.  Empires rise, thrive, decline, and fall, to be replaced by younger ones which then decline and fall in their time.  The history books are littered with their names, and even before Man learned to write there were other, elder realms (albeit of smaller size), stretching back into the mists of prehistory; there may have even been civilizations before the present Age of Apes which rose, fell, and eventually faded even from the hazy glass of mythology, leaving not a rack behind.  Likewise, the future will be riddled with empires, in the short-term developing from countries whose names are familiar to us, then, further into tomorrow, from nations on worlds yet unsettled circling nameless stars in constellations invisible from the Earth.  Each will rise and fall in its turn, crumbling into dust and passing first into memory, then legend, and eventually beyond the horizon of sentient knowledge.  The wheel turns inexorably, and all there is to say about it has already been said countless times; there is, I think, little point in saying it again, so this year I’ll instead content myself with reminding y’all of everything I’ve previously said on previous anniversaries of the birth of this particular collapsing empire.

The era of US hegemony is over; it looks, may the gods help us, as though the dominant world political power of the twenties is going to be an empire even more outrageously evil and single-mindedly authoritarian than the US ever was.  –  “Post-Imperial

Modern rulers claim “legitimacy” by a long series of Byzantine pretenses and procedures no more moral, just or rational than “Divine Right of Kings” was, then claim that their subjects somehow agreed to obey due to something called a “social contract” by virtue of being born within a particular set of imaginary lines the rulers drew on a map.  –  “Western Illiberalism

The moribund American Empire will produce no more good in the world except by its collapse and replacement, and though I grieve the innocent blood which will be spilled, it isn’t like US policies aren’t spilling rivers of innocent blood right now.  –  “It Can’t Come Soon Enough

I’ve come to view the present as an historical tableau, a set of events that has already happened, which I observe unfolding as though I were a time traveler from a future age.  –  “Divided We Stand

The idea that vast social resources should be devoted to warring upon the country’s own citizenry in order to stop them from consensual activities that the rulers disapprove of is a distinctly American form of collective madness, and the powerful influence American culture has exerted on the world for the past century…is the only reason it has become at all prevalent in the rest of the world.  –  “Successor

Police state[s employ]…a bloated police force whose powers are limited only by the imaginations of officials and whose members are able to inflict violence upon anyone they choose without any consequences whatsoever or recourse of any kind for the victims.  –  “My Police State, ‘Tis of Thee

It is insulting to the Founders’ memory to associate any patriotic feelings you have for the memory of the nation they created with the repressive fascist police state that now occupies its territory.  – “The Spirit of ’76

Though “freedom” is still a “worship word” in this country, observing the ovine obsequiousness with which Americans submit to looting, brutality, sexual molestation and demands of literal obeisance to petty officials leads me to the unavoidable conclusion that they have…little understanding of its meaning.  –  “The Fourth of July

The police have become…a vast, decentralized, undisciplined army which is not subject to any law, nor are individual cops held responsible for any crimes they commit.  –  “Independence Day

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Eradicating harm—[as now] redefined—may only amount to performance art, in which the semblance of action is all that is needed.  –  Eric Smith

Crying Wolf

This tendency has only worsened over the past decade:

The standard definition of harm has undergone concept creep…Where once the potential for harm existed in contact sports, accidents, physical altercations, traumas and so on, one might now find it while reading a question on an examlistening to a recorded debate in a classroom or encountering an opinion on social media…the broadening meaning of harm…can cause activists to spend so much time on relatively innocuous actions that they have none left for the arduous task of dealing with real societal harms like housing and food insecurity, failed educational institutions, violence in inner cities and disproportionate mortality rates…Defining harm as shallowly as many modern activists do leads them to mistake symbolic gestures for concrete strategies for change…the redefinition of harm [also] infantilizes people of color…I don’t think a world in which people of color give their power away so easily is one any self-respecting person of color would want to see…

Checklist (#986)

Your periodic reminder that Uber encourages its drivers to spy on riders and rat sex workers out to the pigs:

Uber…hire[s former pigs and spooks]…to help police catch suspected [sex worker]s…[by turning over their] uploaded information…[and] account identifiers…to…the…[pigs, referring to sex work as] human trafficking [equal to] carjackings…Uber works with the [rescue industry giant] “Polaris”…[to indoctrinate] Uber drivers [with absurd and overbroad “signs of] human trafficking[“]…

A Moral Cancer (#991)

It’s unusual for prohibitionists to admit they’re openly targeting black people:

[Prohibitionist] groups are applying…pressure on the Biden administration to institute a nationwide ban…o[n] menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products…precisely because of [their] popularity with African Americans…[even if] the law [is only] enforced against sellers…entrepreneurs would still have ready access to both cigarettes and menthol flavoring…[and] combin[ing] the two…[is a fairly simple] process…Unless the federal government attempts to turn menthol itself into a controlled substance, there will surely be many small-time sellers of menthol cigarettes meeting the demand of the millions of Americans who smoke them, including at least 77 percent of black smokers, but possibly as high as 88 percent (and around a quarter of white smokers)…Recall that Eric Garner’s [murderer used]…the petty crime of selling loose cigarettes a[s an excuse, and]…Garner’s mother, Gwendolyn Carr, became a vocal opponent of a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes in New York City [as a result]…in Massachusetts, which banned menthol cigarettes in 2020, at least one [black market]  seller is facing prosecution…the brunt of enforcement [will certainly] be borne by [black] people…

This is, unfortunately, par for the course; “progressive” campaigns to “improve” people against their will always ignore the fact that their moralistic crusades always disproportionately harm minorities, especially black people.

You Were Warned (#1108)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

A woman has sued Reddit [because] ex-boyfriend…repeatedly post[ed nude] images of her as a 16-year-old.  The lawsuit applies controversial measures instituted in 2018 under FOSTA-SESTA…The resulting case will test the limits of platforms’ legal shields amid ongoing efforts to [destroy] the law behind them.  The woman…[claims] that “Reddit knowingly benefits from lax enforcement of its content polices, including for child pornography”…She’s accusing Reddit of distributing child pornography, failing to report child sexual abuse material, and violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act…

The Widening Gyre (#1128)

It’s ironic that the newest target of “sex trafficking” scarelore is Target:

A…Reddit…user…who writes under the username Peeky-Lou…[and is so obsessed with] human trafficking…[fantasies that] she…[carries “]several legal self-defense items[” to go shopping at Target predictably imagined that]…three men…[in the store were] follow[ing her]…“It felt as if I was being surrounded like a wild animal —hunted, even,” she wrote…The…[nitwit spent] an hour…wandering around the store, [scaring herself silly with melodramatic fantasies of]…“darkness in his eyes…an eerie smirk [and]…sinister gaze”…[when] a male employee…walk[ed] her to her car…[she] saw [something that]…”solidif[ied] all of my suspicions…A white windowless van was parked in the lot“…

To Molest and Rape (#1129)

Rapist cops are sometimes treated like other rapists if their victims are prepubescent:

A [typical and representative] Louisiana [cop] has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and sexually assaulting three girls, all less than 11 years old…David Monceaux [was sentenced] to…two life terms and a 50-year sentence consecutively…without probation, parole, or suspension of sentence…his youngest victim was 4 years old…

Predictable Consequences (#1130)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system:

A mansion owned by Feras Antoon, a Pornhub executive, was torched in an apparent arson last [week].  Police…were initially called to [the Montreal] property…at 11:30 P.M when two people were spotted trespassing…when [they] arrived…shortly thereafter they found…a…fire…so massive that more than 80 firefighters were called in and the neighbours were forced to evacuate…

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Drop the bike or you’re gonna get arrested.  –  unnamed cop

You may have noticed that I am rather fond of novelty songs; here’s one from my childhood that the writer/singer insists is not meant to be suggestive.  The links above it were provided by Glenn Kessler, Billy Binion, Mike Siegel, The Onion, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, and Phoenix Calida, in that order.

From the Archives

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[Pandemic] measures [seem to] constitute the fulfillment of preexisting authoritarian tendencies.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I hope this makes Swedish criminalization fans extremely uncomfortable:

A…[typical and representative] Toronto [cop]…solicit[ed] a sex…worker…[Travis Houston implicitly threatened her with a gun] and told her that he was a [cop, but instead of submitting she]…demanded that he leave…He was charged with weapons dangerous [sic], obtaining sexual services and mischief [but also rewarded with a paid vacation]…

The More the Better 

Even lurid gawking by creeps at the New York Times can serve the greater purpose of demystifying sex work to squares:

…financial domination [is] a form of B.D.S.M. [sic] that has flourished during the pandemic, when many sex workers and their customers have migrated online because of social distancing..The concept is simple, even if the allure is not immediately self-evident: “finsubs” (short for “financial submissives”) send monetary “tributes” to a financial dominatrix…in exchange for being humiliated and degraded…

Rough Trade (#448) 

Can we not all agree something is wrong without giving the state another excuse for violence?

…antics now considered merely caddish or immoral—like lying to a prospective sex partner about one’s relationship status, social standing, or future intentions—would count as criminal sexual misconduct…[under a] bill…sponsored by [a gaggle of]…New York [politicians which would criminalize sex]…”obtained with…the use of…deception, fraud, concealment or artifice”…Women could be guilty for lying about contraceptive use or menstrual cycles, and men for lying about having a vasectomy.  Trying to win over a date by saying you have a better job than you actually do, live in a nicer place, or went to a better school could become a crime if that date sleeps with you…Someone might try to sue or press charges based on the idea that makeup, Botox, boob jobs, and similar measures to enhance one’s appearance should count as illegal artifice that negates consent.  It also seems likely that people could attempt to use the law against transgender…people…

As I pointed out in the subtitle-linked article, this would make prostitution stings legally rape, but no cop would ever actually be prosecuted for it.  Overbroad laws, no matter how good they may sound to some, are only ever used to increase the power of those who already have it at the expense of those who don’t.

Little Boxes (#865)

Forced sexual contact with strangers is “trust building”, but voluntary sexual contact with strangers is a “crime”:

A former employee of…Panda Express…was required to strip down to her underwear and hug a partially clad co-worker during a “cult-like ritual” at a 2019 training seminar sponsored by the company as a prerequisite to promotion…At the start, attendees were told to sit down and not talk, and were left in isolation for a full hour before a man stormed in, yelling in Spanish and berating them for sitting there and doing nothing…participants were prohibited from using their cellphones, there was no clock in the room and the doors and windows were all covered with black cloth…the woman…was forced to strip down to her underwear under the guise of trust building…while, Alive Seminars staff were openly ogling the women in their state of undress…Attendees…were confined in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation…[and not even allowed] to use the restroom…[even] to throw up…

HIV Cure (#920)

Another silver lining for the COVID pandemic:

new HIV vaccine, based on the Moderna COVID-19 inoculation, has shown a 97% antibody response rate in Phase I clinical trials…If approved, this vaccine could become the first stage of a multi-step strategy to combat HIV and other viral diseases.  The vaccine successfully stimulated the production of rare immune cells needed to generate antibodies against HIV…

Like Houses (#1031)

Government can always be counted on to use any excuse to expand tyranny:

…the…world that is more-policed and less-free than it was a year ago…Protests continued across the U.K. over…a proposed law that would increase police powers…[after a cop] murder[ed] Sarah Everard…[in] France…[t]ens of thousands…protest[ed] legislation that would restrict people from publishing identifiable images of [cops]…police have [brutalized] demonstrators in countries including Belgium, France (again), Greece, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere.  Mounted police in Brussels trampled a woman at an anti-lockdown party, before opening up with water cannon.  In Athens, [a cops beat]…a man…to enforce a…lockdown…”Across the world in 2020, citizens experienced the biggest rollback of individual freedoms ever undertaken by governments during peacetime (and perhaps even in wartime),” [wrote] The Economist…and…at least some countries want to permanently increase the status and power of police…

To Molest and Rape (#1127)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A [typical and representative New Jersey cop] and [known lecher has been] sexually assaulting a [girl] for five years, starting when she was 15…Tyrone Rolls…was charged…with sexual assault [but also rewarded with a paid vacation.  As usual, “authorities” are weirdly fixated on whether]…he was [wearing his magical clown costume while committing the rapes]…The [victim finally gathered the courage to] report…Rolls [after he slapped her]…and knocked her to the ground…

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Sex workers are a gift to people who stir up fake outrage for a living.  –  Mistress Matisse

Caring Professionals (#138)

It’s been a while since I’ve seen this topic addressed so well:

Both…my stylist…and…microblade artist…are care workers.  Their bodies—their hands—are necessary to their labor.  Massage parlors…exist in a similar realm of personal care, like hair salons and permanent-makeup studios.  These are all places where clients can pay for the intimacy of touch, the pleasure that touch affords.  The difference, of course, is that what we call sex work—a kind of care work that is criminalized and socially opprobrious—happens here.  And because it is labor that carries the threat of penalization, the burden of stigma and illegitimacy, the women who do this work become simultaneously more vulnerable, while their essential contributions to society remain invisible, devalued…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#892)

There’s a reason I’ve repeatedly called this cult “dangerous”:

I had been leading an independent lab for nearly 10 years studying various aspects of genital responsiveness, but the death threats first came when I published a study that did not support [the notion of] pornography addiction.  The death threats were thick with misogyny and anti-semitism, which seemed bizarre as they simultaneously bragged that they were liberal bastions for equality.  I went quickly to being physically stalked, moving my home multiple times, and now living in address protection…the Atlanta murder[s]…seemed to manifest the incredible vitriol I have watched grow.  All of this occurred through “pornography addiction” forums on the Internet.  Scientists have started studying these communities…as a part of a new anti-sexuality movement, which includes (1) anti-pornography feminists, (2) Internet porn addiction activists, and (3) religious morality groups…

Welcome to the Future (#1092)

I hope Pasco County, Florida is bankrupted by this lawsuit:

…a group of [Pasco] county residents, represented by the Institute for Justice, is suing the county over…years of harass[ment]…by cops…because [a “predictive policing”] system identified them as potential offenders.  When the residents lost patience with the continued police presence in their lives…the red tape of the endless regulatory state [was used] against them to encourage compliance or to simply cause pain…In [one] case, deputies cited [their victim] for tall grass, but failed to notify him of the citation.  Then, when he failed to appear for a hearing that he was never told was happening, they arrested him for failure to appear…The slow torture of tickets, arrests, and disrupted lives drove some to pick up and move out of Pasco County to avoid harassment…

Traffic Jam (#1107)

Mistress Matisse on why even not-quite-prohibitionist sex work documentaries are not quite good:

There are some hard-working sex workers in Hulu and ABC News’ new documentary, Only Fans: Selling Sexy, and I respect them…being in a documentary about doing sex work is a gigantic leap of faith.  We’re rarely treated with respect, and sometimes not even with much humanity…such filmmakers favour drama and controversy, and choose to sensationalise the lived experiences of myself and my sex work peers…Hulu/ABC News did better than most with their documentary – it’s smoothly made, and it only made me wince a few times.  But…in media, anyone who does sex work is deemed not to be a credible witness to their own life, so there are always non-sex workers in these documentaries who serve to confirm (or more often deny) what we say is real.  Irony in 2021 is watching a glossy TV show inspired by a sex work website, which features non-sex working actors saying to the camera, in serious tones, that giving sex workers “all this attention” might make us “go too far”.  Ask yourself: why does that sound a little hypocritical to me?…

You Were Warned (#1112)

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

Senator Mark Warner[‘s]…SAFE TECH Act…is one of the worst 230 bills I’ve seen and would effectively end the open internet…Warner doesn’t understand what he’s talking about.  At all…He…doesn’t…understand how 230 works…or how…websites actually handle content moderation …[he keeps] claiming that Section 230 has “turned into a get out of jail free card for large online providers”…Yet…this bill would help Facebook and Google by basically making it close to impossible for new competitors to exist, while leaving the market to those two…many critics have noted that smaller platforms would inevitably be harmed by Warner’s bill…Warner…[claims] he’s open to talking to smaller platforms, which is kind of laughable, considering that his staffers have been going around…lying about people…that have pointed out the problems with his bill…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1114)

The NY Times pretends to be critical of mass surveillance, yet opens this article with copsucking:

Clearview…deploy[ed its software by stealing]…billions of photos from the…internet…After Clearview’s activities came to light, [politicians bloviated for the cameras and passed do-nothing local laws easily circumvented by cops]…It seemed entirely possible [to the hopelessly-naive] that Clearview AI would be sued, legislated or shamed out of existence.  But [of course] that didn’t happen.  With no federal law prohibiting or even regulating the use of facial recognition, Clearview did not…change its practices…it [has] continued to acquire government customers…[and] is valued at nearly $109 million…it [has over]…3,100 [cop shops and other purveyors of organized violence as]…customers [including the military and]…ICE…The legal threats to Clearview have [only just] begun to move through the courts…civil-liberties advocates fear the company will prevail, and they are aghast at the potential consequences…

Predictable Consequences

Two more of my friends have thoughts on this tragedy. Kaytlin Bailey:

There are a over a hundred years of propaganda and policy behind the idea that sex workers and immigrants “infect” communities.  Asian women in particular have been fetishized and demonized, becoming the first targets of anti-prostitution and anti-immigration laws in the United States…In 1875, the Page Act barred Asian women from entering the country, for presumed “lewd and immoral purposes,” and police…began arresting droves of Asian women for prostitution.  US officials openly hoped that by driving out Asian women, they could prevent Asian people from settling and starting families here…

And Liz Brown:

…Blaming women for male lust is an old and all-too-common trope among those who commit or excuse violence against women.  And it’s a trope thoroughly rooted in common cultural messages about sexuality…we may have come a long way from the assumption that all sexy women are “asking for it,” but holding women responsible for men’s sexual urges and actions is still far from a fringe attitude.  And again and again, we see the milder version of this distorted by the minds of self-loathing psychopaths to hold that women deserve to pay for the desire men feel toward them.  Sex workers are particularly vulnerable to this type of misogyny.  Which is why it’s especially clueless and crass for certain media to be blaming sex work in the wake of the Atlanta massage parlor shootings…

But the big news this week is Polaris’ tacit admission of blood on its hands:

…following the attacks…anti-sex work organization Polaris Project deleted multiple pages that made claims about massage parlors as dens of sex trafficking…Polaris removed its page for “human trafficking in illicit massage businesses”…According to an archived snapshot of the site, the…page was up as of March 18, two days after the attacks…by the next day…the page returned a “not found” error.  The [memory-holed] page…featured a series of grainy images of massage parlors overlaid with titles like “Massage parlor trafficking networks and organized crime,” and “Your role in ending massage parlor trafficking”…

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You don’t find out what it’s all about, but you have a lot of fun being extremely confused.  –  Douglas Adams

Here’s a really unusual cover of a familiar tune, played on a most unusual instrument.  The video was provided by Inspireland, and the links above it by Lenore Skenazy, Boatfloating, Gustavo Turner (“Cardin”), Lucy Steigerwald, Jesse Walker, and Scott Shackford, in that order.

From the Archives

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The very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence.  –  Adolf Hitler, via the Kentucky State Police

Sean Connery died on Halloween, but I wasn’t about to stack his obit on top of The Amazing Randi’s.  I’ve also grown tired of dead YouTube links, so I picked a tribute from a channel that in my experience doesn’t often get censored.  The links above it were provided by Kevin Wilson, Mike Siegel, Radley Balko, Jesse Walker, Tim Cushing, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  Vanessa Peoples

I thought “I Am Woman” was vapid and silly even when I was very young and it was very popular.  I do like “Angie Baby”, but I already featured that one in Links #373, so I decided to give the video to an intentionally silly song by Mac Davis.  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko, Lenore Skenazy, Elizabeth N. Brown, Matt WelchWalter Olson, Popehat, and Radley again, in that order.

From the Archives

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