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Posts Tagged ‘Virtual Imperialism’

I have to stop cowering.  –  Jennifer Chen

Secret Squirrel (#895)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

…Intrusive surveillance has become a parental rite of passage in America.  But the parental panopticon is not a mark of maturity and responsibility but rather of paranoia, distrust, and devolvement.  From smartphones to schools to entertainment, parents can track the near totality of their children’s lives with ease…The simple, slick, and seductive interfaces are designed to make parents feel warm, fuzzy, and responsible…[but] constant vigilance, research suggests, does the opposite of increasing teen safety.  A University of Central Florida study of 200 teen/parent pairs found that parents who used monitoring apps were more likely to be authoritarian, and that teens who were monitored were…more likely to be exposed to unwanted explicit content and to bullying.  Another study, from the Netherlands, found that monitored teens were more secretive and less likely to ask for help.  It’s no surprise that most teens…feel that monitoring poisons a relationship.  And there are very real situations, especially for queer and trans teens, where their safety may depend on being able to explore without exposing all the details to their family

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1062)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of accepting responsibility:

A self-[describ]ed porn addict and his mother wept with relief…after a[n Illinois] judge decided not to send [him] to prison for…child pornography…Joshua R. Skinner…was sentenced to 36 months probation…in…a…plea…deal…[which] also sentenced Skinner to 180 days [time served]…and [life on the “sex offender” registry].  Skinner [also blamed] his behavior…[on] heroin…alcohol…[and] cannabis…[and babbled about] God…

It’s at least a slight improvement to see the headline writer put “addict” in scare quotes.

To Molest and Rape (#1148) 

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

A [female] New York City [cop has reveal]ed [that] her former commanding officer…serially rap[ed] her for more than a year while they worked together…In [her] lawsuit…Gillian Roberts…said she hoped to stay on the Yankee Stadium detail until her retirement, but decided to leave the department early last month when she could no longer handle the stress of becoming an “unwilling sex slave” to her “perverted” captain, Jeffrey Brienza…an NYPD spokesman said the “incident is under internal review”…

“Under internal review” in this case means “deciding whether to pay her off, claim she’s crazy and/or wanted it, or cut Brienza loose.”

To Molest and Rape (#1160)

“Police explorer” programs are nothing but grooming schemes for predatory cops:

A [typical and representative] Fairfax County [Virginia cop] has been convicted of [molesting] a 16-year-old [girl who parents foolishly allowed her to join a “police explorer” program].  John Grimes…[started grooming] the teen [by taking her] on ride-alongs.  The FBI tipped off Fairfax County police after Grimes applied to become a special agent and underwent background checks…

Virtual Imperialism (#1175)

Worst of all, Western governments are looking at this as a model:

The Chinese government, which has built an extensive digital infrastructure and security apparatus to [suppress] dissent on its own platforms, is going to even greater lengths to extend its internet dragnet to unmask and silence those who [tell the truth about] the country on Twitter, Facebook and other international social media.  These new investigations…use advanced…s[pyware to root through] public records and databases to find all the…personal information and international social media presence of people who critize Chinese tyranny, including]…those living beyond China’s borders…The digital [crusade] represents the [logical development] of the government’s vast campaign to counter [inconvenient facts about] China.  In recent years, the Communist Party has raised bot armiesdeployed [useful idiots] and marshaled [shills] to push its [propaganda] and drown out [facts].  The police have taken it a step further, hounding and silencing those who dare to talk back…and…threatening relatives [of those outside China], in an effort to get them to delete content deemed [embarassing to the rulers]…

Torture Chamber (#1181)

Funny how often people “die suddenly” while cops are brutalizing them:

The [murder] of a Black Kansas teenager [by] multiple [screws who sat on him] at a juvenile jail…was [actually] ruled a homicide…Cedric Lofton, 17…[died by asphyxiation on]…Sept. 26, two days after he was [abducted by cops who claimed he touched them]…in Wichita…five [grown screws sat on]…the unarmed, 135-pound…[boy until he died]…Sedgwick County [“authorities” are hiding the identities of the murderers and have rewarded them with]…paid [vacations]…

Rotting Fruit (#1192)

Does anyone really believe this wasn’t a foregone conclusion?

More than two years after Jeffrey Epstein’s su[spicious death] behind bars, and following a [predictably-quick] trial, his longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of multiple sex trafficking charges.  A New York City jury [decided] Maxwell was Epstein’s chief enabler, recruiting and grooming young girls for him to abuse…

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Authoritarian regimes are able to reach across borders much more effectively than they could in the past.  –  Ronald Deibert

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1024)

A natural 21st-century development for the brand:

Playboy announced…the launch of premium fan site Centerfold…expected to roll out in the coming months.  Centerfold will “build upon our long history of passing the mic to the most revolutionary voices of our day.  And true to our heritage, we will amplify their messages even further through digital covers, feature stories, interviews and, of course, striking and sensual pictorials…We will also arm our creators with access to content production, merchandise capabilities, blockchain integration and more”…

Safe Position (#1111)

Even prohibitionists like Holmes can tell which way the wind is blowing:

…a Seattle Municipal Court Judge approved a motion by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes to quash all outstanding warrants for misdemeanor prostitution, including some issued well over a decade ago…The City Attorney’s Office hasn’t prosecuted anyone for selling sex since 2019, when the Seattle Police Department ramped up arrests and sting operations targeting both sex workers and [client]s in response to…pressure [from idiots who thought sex work would magically vanish after]…the federal shutdown of Backpage…

Predictable Consequences (#1134)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system:

The FBI arrested a Michigan man [last] Monday fo[r]…threats of violence…against telecommunications companies, which the man had blamed for “broadcasting pornography, cursing and immoral content.”  Federal prosecutors charged John Douglas Allen…with “extortion and attempting to destroy a building”…Th[reat] letters were sent from a supposed “Coalition for Moral Telecommunication (CMT)” and addressed to several companies, including AT&T and Verizon.  The letters [threatened the imaginary group would] “begin distroying [sic] inner city tower communication”…unless several demands were followed…includ[ing] a $5 million payment and [total censorship of]…”immoral content”…

You Were Warned (#1135)

They should’ve done this years ago:

A trade organization for the adult entertainment industry has hired a D.C. lobbying firm to build its relationships with [politicians]…on behalf of…the industry.  Most notably it is trying to beat back major changes to Section 230…[which] is key to its ability to exist.  The same law that protects Instagram and YouTube from being sued over illegal content posted by its users…also protects sites like PornHub and OnlyFans…But [a majority of politicians] of both parties…have…[only been stopped from] strip[ping]…that protection away [by their inability to agree on what should be censored and who exactly should control Americans’ thoughts and speech].  The Free Speech Coalition…has enlisted two lobbyists at Clarity Consulting…Keith Nelson…and…Shawn Delaney…So far, [Nelson] has been meeting with [politicians] and their [lackeys] to address…“a huge vacuum of information” about the adult entertainment industry…

For the umpteen thousandth time: the bipartisan drive to censor the internet is not “Trump-fueled”, didn’t begin with Trump, and is being ramped up by Biden, who has repeatedly stated that he wants Section 230 repealed.  But I guess partisanism trumps facts in the modern yellow press.

Above the Law (1142)

A prosecutor is just a kind of cop:

…a tough-on-crime prosecutor…[named] Jeffrey Lynn Thomas…[raped a] woman…he…knew…in a professional capacity…[who] had for years rebuffed his persistent sexual advances…he…walked into the woman’s home with an armload of beer cans and…refused [to leave]…After she slapped him, Thomas hit her in the face and gave her a nosebleed…[then] raped [and throttled] her…Thomas finally left…after the woman promised him she wouldn’t report him to the police…She reported the rape to Pennsylvania State Police on [September 20th]…

Virtual Imperialism

Worst of all, Western governments are looking at this as a model:

Once Dan arrived in Canada and began adjusting to a new city and a new university, he continued to browse Twitter in his dorm room…He retweeted only three posts: the news that Nobel laureate and Chinese democracy advocate Liu Xiaobo had died, a short satirical video about…Xi Jinping, and a chart on levels of Chinese government corruption.  With only two followers, he wasn’t making a splash — but…then his father called him out of the blue, clearly disturbed. “Son, did you say something about the Chinese government on the internet? The public security bureau called us twice”…Soon after…a [Chinese cop] contacted him on the WeChat social media app…[even though] Dan hadn’t accepted a new friend request…“The police told me the Ministry of Public Security…tracked me by my IP address and knows where I live in Canada.  They have evidence the Twitter account belongs to me”…the [cop] ordered Dan to immediately delete the offensive posts [or] “You will face trouble.”  “Trouble” is a well-known euphemism in China for state persecution.  It can range from repeated visits and phone calls all the way to…house arrest [of relatives still in China]…

To Molest and Rape (#1172)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

Prosecutors…charged St. Louis [cop] Mark West with three counts of…molest[ing children]…younger than 12…[and] asked for a $100,000 bail “due to the number and serious nature of the offenses and because the defendant constitutes a threat to the victim and other children he may encounter”…

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Last Friday was the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, in which roughly 3000 people were brutally murdered by the totalitarian government of Communist China.  Of course, the exact number will never be known, because the tyrants memory-holed the truth and have over the past generation methodically buried any and all references to the massacre accessible to their subjects, to the point that few young Chinese today can even recognize the iconic “tank man” photo.  But if it were only their own subject population the Chinese were trying to bury in suffocating ignorance of their rulers’ atrocities, there would be no point in writing about it because that has been the playbook used by every oppressive government since the invention of mass media.  However, while past regimes were mostly limited to spewing propaganda via press releases and useful idiots (just as all governments do), the Chinese have taken their misinformation campaign into the 21st century by sending out swarms of social media “bots” to interject themselves into conversations featuring certain keywords, no matter which language those conversations occur in or what the nationality of the participants; after I retweeted a tweet about the “tank man” on May 28th, a short thread formed which has been repeatedly interrupted by tankies and bots, mostly during business hours in Beijing, and despite the thread having little engagement from real people.  I’ve also seen similar harassment of threads about the genocide against the Uighurs, the suppression of Hong Kong, and the mere mention of Taiwan; furthermore, the Chinese are using their economic power to force Hollywood to make its spineless denizens dance like marionettes to whatever tune Beijing calls, no matter how transparently stupid, even to the point of publicly humiliating themselves by “apologizing” for merely stating plain facts.  We’re not yet to the point of watching the same crowd of celebrity halfwits who have proven so useful to “sex trafficking” fetishists singing “re-educational” songs about how much they love Xi Jinping, but what we are seeing, especially in light of Western governments’ concurrent crusade to destroy the open internet, is more than horrifying enough, and does not bode at all well for the future.

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Mental gymnastics is the best exercise of all!  –  Elana Spivack

Drawing Lines 

In the 21st century, humor sites are more honest and moral than “news” sites:

…30-year-old Penelope Clemm has been pole dancing recreationally for three years now, but has harbored an internalized hatred for sex workers her entire life.  Clemm strikes a delicate balance of acknowledging how much she loves pole dancing, but dismissing every woman who makes money doing the same thing…“It’s definitely made me…feel sexy in a way that I never did before.  And yet, I still cannot conceptualize in the slightest how any self-respecting woman would do this for money”…like many people with deep-seated, internalized biases, Clemm had difficulty articulating why she holds this position. “It’s a matter of principle, and I have principles”…

Imaginary Victims (#904)

Naturally, the prohibitionists who didn’t give a shit until last year are claiming credit for her release:

Cyntoia Brown…whose case drew national attention [over a decade] after being sentenced to life in prison for killing a man [in self-defense] at age 16, was released on parole [last] Wednesday…She will be on parole for 10 years [with] conditions…includ[ing]…that she maintain employment [with a murder conviction on her record] or educational enrollment…that she participate in [approved state] counseling sessions…[and that] she…perform at least 50 hours of community service [while working or going to school], including working with at-risk youth…

Though parole conditions are often designed to make it easy for “authorities” to cage a person again with very little justification, Brown has a better chance than most due to support from allies and public attention to her case.

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

Ever wonder why the government pushes “sex trafficking” propaganda so hard?

[Deranged propagandist] Jaco Booyens touted President Trump’s [“historic”] work in fighting sex trafficking and [fetishized] Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as “incredible people” who helped keep children safe…His movie 8 Days [is soft BDSM porn about] a 15-year-old girl who’s forced into sex trafficking after attending a party with her friends…[yet claimed] that sex trafficking was rooted in sex addiction fueled by mass media…”It starts with…soft porn [like my movie], it’s the objectification of women”…

Blunt Instrument (#926)

While Asian sex workers are fighting back against the racist “sex trafficking” narrative, cops are trying to use that visibility against them:

Emily Zhang Lawrence…[was] charged with a number of criminal counts including human trafficking and prostitution…[after] the Montgomery County…Vice [gang raided her business]…Rose’s Spa…[pigs oinked] that the spa recruited its masseuse’s [sic] — all Chinese immigrants — from Flushing, New York.  The Queens neighborhood is known for being a [sister community to Hong Kong, where many Asian migrants first stay upon arriving in the US.  Racist pigs therefore refer to it as a] hub for…human trafficking…

Backwards into the Future (#927)

The prohibitionists are slowly losing ground to the facts:

South African authorities are compromising the safety and wellbeing of thousands of women…by treating sex work as a crime…We have researched illegal sex work in ChinaTanzaniaCambodiaSouth Africa, and the United States…and…we consistently find police abuse to be one of criminalization’s main cruelties.  Sex workers often face harassment, extortion, and rape, and vulnerability to violence…at the hands of…police…and…because they cannot trust members of law enforcement, they are deterred from reporting attacks by men who pretend to be clients…Fortunately, South Africa and the United States are both sites of growing movements to decriminalize sex work once and for all…

Pyrrhic Victory (#931)

Tyranny always starts with despised minorities, but it never stops with them:

Chinese authorities approached the family of an international student who participated in high-profile protests at an Australian university and warned his parents of the potential consequences of political dissent.  The…intimidation tactics [demonstrate that] the Chinese government was monitoring the demonstration at the University of Queensland to record who attended…last month’s event [was held] to show support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and to condemn Beijing’s repression of the Uighur ethnic minority group…within days of the rally the student received a call from his mother in China to say the family had been approached by…authorities [who] issued [threats] about engaging in “anti-China rhetoric” in Brisbane…[Australian politicians claimed to be] alarmed by [China following precedents set by] Australia…

If you like the precedent that a country owns its citizens and has the “right” to punish them for acts which were totally legal in the place they happened, thank the international war on whores.  Australia is especially hypocritical in this respect, given that since 2010, Australians who hire surrogate mothers outside of Australia can be penalized under Australian law.

Negative Secondary Effects (#937)

It’s great to see sex workers striking back at prohibitionist persecution:

…Not Buying It, a group led by well-known [prohibitionist] Sasha Rakoff has been terrorizing gentlemen’s clubs across England in recent months, by sending in undercover former police detectives to covertly film inside…The resultant tapes have been submitted to local councils in a bid to get the establishments shut down…Now, nine dancers at the Spearmint Rhino in London…have sued Not Buying It for breach of privacy, demanding that all existing tapes be destroyed.  An earlier High Court ruling had already banned Rakoff from further sharing the tapes, so the strippers’ chances of getting their way in the high-profile case, the costs of which are likely to bankrupt the losing side, are more than fair…

Pyrrhic Victory (#960)

The more we discover about Amazon’s fascist collaboration with cops, the worse it sounds:

Amazon[‘s]…Neighbors app…allows people to report suspicious things to…neighbors [and cops, mostly]…the existence of brown people…Government agencies participating in the Ring handouts are given talking points, pre-written press releases, and contractual obligationsAmazon has even crafted scripts for [cops]…to use when questioned…or…to talk people out of their Constitutional rights…”Ring suggests cops post often on Neighbors…interacting with the [peasantry so as to]…increas[e] the opt-in rate”…(There are scripts for that as well)…

Turn of Tide (#961)

The “sex trafficking” narrative has been so successful, prohibitionist rhetoric is now being used to attack the way the state persecutes sex workers:

L.A.’s anti-sex trafficking efforts…ensnare…female sex workers far more often than any traffickers, and the women arrested rarely end…up in programs designed to [brainwash] them out of the sex trade…While black women make up around 9% of the city’s female population, they account for nearly 65% of the LAPD’s female prostitution arrests…It adds up to a high-profile effort to target human traffickers and save victims that’s causing collateral damage…City officials [pre]tend that policing the sex trade is one of the best methods for rescuing trafficking victims…[but those] with a front row seat have a different perspective…Dr. Susie Baldwin, the medical director of L.A. County’s Office of Women’s Health…[said] “All of this money is going to arrest people…leaving them with severe consequences for their lives”…law enforcement…[intentionally] conflate[s] trafficking and prostitution, painting all sex work as exploitative and doubling down on vice arrests under the guise of trafficking enforcement…

The idea that sex workers are “collateral damage” in a well-intentioned war on “sex trafficking” is of course naive nonsense; the entire purpose of the narrative is to harm sex workers and our clients.  But if the gullible are going to use those fantasies to strike back at pigs and prohibitionists, I’m not going to complain.

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