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Posts Tagged ‘weaponry’

Sulu (George Takei): I’ll save you, fair maiden!
Uhura (Nichelle Nichols): Sorry, neither.

Nichelle Nichols, who passed away a week ago today, first entered show business as a singer, and she performed in several first-season episodes; this video features “Beyond Antares” from “The Conscience of the King”.  The links above it were provided by Dave Krueger; Cop Crisis; Franklin Harris; Scott Greenfield; Franklin again, and Furrygirl; Mike Siegel; and Kevin Wilson, in that order.

From the Archives

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It won’t only be sex workers who lose in the end.  –  Heather Berg

Confined and Controlled

“Progressives” want everyone forced into collectives so they can be “managed”:

…the [currently-popular progressive] narrative [is] that…gig workers…should be done away with rather than understood as a vanguard.  This narrative [pretend]s that gig work is new and newly exploitative.  Its primary goal is to bring gig workers back into full-time employee status…[including in its] relationships to the state…But…sex workers’ stories belie the idea that gig workers are dumbly lured by false promises of flexibility.  Many sex workers seek out sex work precisely because it does not follow the rules of full-time jobs.  People…whose lives can’t accommodate schedules bosses set might pursue sex work because it means better conditions or because they find it impossible to get and keep straight jobs…freedom from a boss dictating the conditions of your work can make the workday materially better…Sex work prohibitions…attempt to reign [sic] in th[ose]…who use sex work to achieve this kind of freedom…

Though the article is heavily larded with academic jargon, it still makes some good points.

If Men Were Angels

Parents should keep their kids far away from both cops and “youth pastors”:

An Arlington [Washington] youth pastor has been charged with…child rape for…[molesting a 15-year-old] girl…Kendal Kippen…worked at Jake’s House Church in 2017 and 2018…[under] his father…the lead pastor…In September 2020…[someone] report[ed both Kippen and]…church [leaders]…includ[ing] the [elder Kippen, because they] were attempting to h[ide] the situation…the victim…[has] filed a civil lawsuit against Kippen and Jake’s House…

To Molest and Rape (#926)

When the victim is a small child, rapist cops sometimes get their comeuppance:

A [typical and representative] police chief in Pennsylvania may spend more than three decades behind bars for repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a child relative of his friend…Brent Getz [will] serve a sentence of 16 to 32 years in jail…three years of state probation…and [permanent condemnation to the] sex offender…registr[y]…his co-defendant…Gregory Wagner…is…the victim[‘s uncle].  The assaults took place in his home from 2007, when the victim was 4, and continued until 2012…

Creepy Coppers

The people the government empowers to police your sexuality:

A [typical and representative] Florida [cop]…appeared in court…to face a child pornography charge…Christopher James Chappell [appears to have bought pictures or video]…in…a…[tangible,] shipped [format rather than the now-typical]…inter[net form]…

Micromanagement (#1213)

Any information you give to cops can and will be used against you:

A 76-year-old California man accused of two decades-old murders was arrested after his DNA was collected from a breathalyzer during an unrelated traffic stop…James Gary…was charged with murder…in the 1996 killing of Winifred Douglas…who…was…strangled and [beaten]…Additional charges are expected in the 1980 killing of Latrelle Lindsay…[who] was [raped, beaten]…and [strangled.  Cops]…determined in 2012 that the DNA profile from the [Douglas] case matched a piece of evidence in the [Lindsay] case, [but] no suspect…was identified [at the time]…

For every actual malefactor this kind of tactic catches, there are dozens of ordinary people harassed for minor “crimes” or framed for major ones.

The Mob Rules (#1241)

The number of laws empowering busybodies to harass victims with nuisance lawsuits will only keep growing until they’re ruled unconstitutional:

California…Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a co[pycat]…law patterned after a Texas anti-abortion law [but for]…gun control…the…law allow[s anyone] to sue anyone who distributes [guns California has defined as] illegal…parts that can be used to build weapons, guns without serial numbers, or .50-caliber rifles…[since they rely on the same mechanism, encouraging nuisance lawsuits from opportunists]…California’s law will automatically be invalidated if the Texas law is eventually ruled unconstitutional…An unusual combination of gun owner advocates and the American Civil Liberties Union have criticized Newsom for creating what they said amounts to a bounty system to encourage such lawsuits.  The ACLU called California’s law “an attack on the constitution” for deliberately trying to sidestep judicial review…and for undermining due process rights…

Thought Control (#1253)

I never would’ve thought my first profession would become as much a target for authoritarians as my second:

Library workers across Oklahoma’s Metropolitan Library System (MLS) were shocked…after receiving instructions to avoid using the word “abortion” and not to help patrons locate abortion-related information on either library computers or their own devices.  Workers were [threatened with]…penalties under the state’s abortion laws…The message also [warn]s library workers to be wary of people who try to trick staff into giving them information on how to obtain an abortion so they can report them to [cop]s…The notes also say that librarians can direct patrons toward medical databases, to a computer to run their own search, or to state statutes if patrons have questions about laws pertaining to the topic.  The…[new policy directly] contradict[s] the American Library Association’s Principles of Intellectual Freedom

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The nuisance comes from drinking and drunkenness, but no one is saying close the bars.  –  Brenda, Dutch sex worker

The Notorious Badge 

I wonder when Hollywood will catch up?

The brothels look brighter, the alleyways are cleaner, and a stirring soundtrack accompanies the protagonists, but a new Bollywood film set in Mumbai’s red-light district has struck a chord with India’s roughly one million sex workers.  Gangubai Kathiawadi is a biopic telling the story of a sex worker of the same name who went from being a [coerced underage sexworker] to fight[ing] for the rights of women working in the trade in the 1950s, a battle still being fought today…Many sex workers in Kamathipura…and across India say the film starring celebrated actress Alia Bhatt shows rare understanding of their everyday struggles…“There have been so many films on women like us, but none that raised these issues,” said Kiran Deshmukh, president of National Network of Sex Workers.  “People believe what they see in Bollywood films. And this film has shown that sex work is work…that…helps us live our lives and feed and raise our children”…

Guinea Pigs (#757) 

And it can find you just as easily:

Cher Scarlett, a software engineer…uploaded some images of her[self]…to PimEyes, a facial-recognition website meant to be used to find pictures of yourself from around the web — ostensibly to help stamp out issues such as revenge porn and identity theft…the results [included]…porn…[she was coerced into making as a 19-year-old] addict…in New York in 2005…She has since tried and failed to get all of the explicit photos removed from PimEyes’ search results, despite the site saying it would scrub images of Scarlett from results…Giorgi Gobronidze…the current owner and director of PimEyes…[deflected blame by saying] “The problem isn’t that there is a search engine that can find these photos; the problem is…people who actually uploaded [the photos] on purpose”…Scarlett’s saga starkly shows how easily facial-recognition technology, which is now available to anyone with internet access, can lead to unexpected harms that may be impossible to undo…

The Prudish Giant (#1104) 

Instagram and TikTok users, take note:

Digital studies and sexuality researcher Dr. Carolina Are is asking sex workers, adult performers and others who have experienced discrimination to participate in a study investigating Instagram and TikTok’s approach to malicious flagging or reporting of “gray area” content, including nudity.  Are is seeking participants over 18 years of age who have received negative comments and simultaneously had their accounts and/or content removed…Are plans to circulate an anonymous survey and then interview specific case studies.  Those wishing to share their experience with social media discrimination can fill out the survey here

Dutch Threat (#1136)

The Dutch scheme to Disnify De Wallen is no longer merely a scheme:

In November 2020, Mayor Femke Halsema announced plans to [forcibly] relocate sex workers to a purpose built “Erotic Center” on the city’s outskirts in hopes of luring bands of drunk men and general carnality away from residents to make space for new cafés, art galleries, and designer boutiques…according to the mayor’s office…“We want less dominance of cheap nightlife”…if built, it will be the most extreme measure taken to “clean up” De Wallen, which has, in recent years, already been subject to a raft of new regulations and s[urveillance]…Amsterdam’s sex workers are ambivalent about the city’s plans to relocate them.  Brenda, a sex worker…[who] met me at the Prostitution Information Center…said sex workers were soft targets in the city’s gentrification push…Iris, a coordinator at the center, said the “so-called nuisance and antisocial behavior” was just another excuse to get rid of sex workers and free up lucrative real estate in the sought-after inner city

Winding Down (#1148)

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

Rhode Island…became the 19th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use…[the] bill…immediately allows adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis in public and grow up to three plants at home.  State-licensed recreational sales are supposed to start on December 1, beginning with the state’s three existing medical marijuana dispensaries.  The law also requires automatic expungement of marijuana possession convictions…public consumption…will be legal in any place where cigarette smoking is allowed…The law caps the number of retailers at 33, which amounts to about one store per 32,000 people…Rhode Islanders may find it easier to buy pot from black-market dealers or from stores in Massachusetts or Connecticut, both of which have legalized recreational use.  Like California, Rhode Island will allow local governments to ban pot shops, but only through referendums and not in the three cities (Providence, Warwick, and Portsmouth) where medical marijuana is already being sold…

Opting Out (#1199)

French law provides some defense vs religious activism:

A Paris court of appeals rejected…the attempt by local War on Porn groups, led by an extremist Catholic organization, to use France’s media authority and the courts to block the most popular adult tube sites in the country…following months of…threats pressuring tube sites to implement vaguely defined age verification schemes, French media regulator ARCOM went to court…to demand that French ISPs block Pornhub…and [a number of similar sites, but]…the Council of State…issued a ruling rendering null all the activities taken up by…ARCOM in connection with the…block…the Council…specifically pointed out the role played by extremist Catholic organization Civitas in orchestrating the campaign…

Civitas is associated with the Society of Saint Pius X, the reactionary organization founded by Archbishop Lefebvre to fight modernization efforts such as performing the Mass in the vernacular rather than Latin.

The Mob Rules (#1231)

The number of laws empowering busybodies to harass victims with nuisance lawsuits will only keep growing until they’re ruled unconstitutional:

Shortly after the nation’s latest mass shooting…at an elementary school in Texas, the California Senate passed a bill…to allow private citizens to file suit for at least $10,000 — a bounty-hunter provision modeled on a Texas abortion law — against makers or sellers of [3-D printed firearms] or [rifles banned under California law]…

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Once-lawful whip-possessing citizens have now been made criminals.  –  Christian Britschgi

Universal Criminality

Politicians will criminalize virtually anything that can be defined:

…the Reno City Council [has] passed an ordinance that prohibits people from using or possessing whips in the city’s downtown without first obtaining a city permit.  The policy is in response to an increasing number of 911 calls by [aggressive busybodies imagining that] the periodic snaps and cracks of whips [are] gunshots.  Reno City Attorney Karl Hall said that the new restrictions were commonsense whip control…Council Member Jenny Brekhus voted against the ordinance because it didn’t apply citywide, thus leaving whips dangerously unregulated in most of Reno.  Meanwhile, a representative for the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union argued that banning the possession of whips without a permit…contributes to the criminalization of [Reno’s] homeless…[who] are known for using whips for self-defense…

So does Reno also plan to criminalize cars backfiring and transformers exploding?

Nothing New

Do the chattering classes seriously believe unprotected sex is something new?

“Fluid bonding” — the act of intentionally sharing bodily juices with a sexual partner — is purportedly becoming a popular practice in bedrooms across the nation…a variety of publications are now reporting on the randy activity, which refers to far more than simply forgoing a condom during sex…fluid bonding is done with the goal of being “more connected, [or to] have more sensation, intimacy or commitment”…it…“is an active, conscious choice” that revolves around consent and intent…

And yet amateurs pretend that sex workers are the one who spread STIs.

Against Their Will (#831)

Prohibitionists call this “rescue”:

A woman who had overstayed in Singapore since 2013 was trying to escape [police violence] by climbing through her room window when she fell to her death last year…Gong Xiuxian…worked as a private masseuse from her home and sold apparel at market stalls…Her death on 2 November last year was pronounced an unfortunate misadventure by Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam…[so as to absolve cops from responsibility for terrorizing women by showing up with a gang] of eight [thugs to bang on their doors and shine lights into their]…bedroom [windows] at about 5.15am…

Feet of Clay (#839)

Nicholas Kristof is a vile excuse for a human being, so naturally he’s going into politics:

[Recently-retired] New York Times [hack column]ist Nicholas Kristof announced his candidacy…for Oregon governor, saying the state needs a political newbie to solve problems like homelessness and rural despair.  “I’ve never run for political office in my life,” Kristof said in a campaign video, expressing it as an asset.  He said he felt compelled to run for governor because, after [supporting state violence] around the world, he was heartbroken to see [what he considers insufficient in]flicti[on of it on] his home state…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1022)

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

Delta Air Lines…is testing new facial recognition technology [using the pretext of] reduc[ing] the time it takes between arriving at the airport and getting passengers in their seats…Delta wants to be the first [airline] to offer full curb-to-gate security centered around facial recognition…the pilot program…will soon be available to [marks who already belong to] Delta’s Loyalty Program…[and] have also uploaded passport details and have TSA Pre-check…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#1087)

Nobody is going to give expensive cannabis edibles to your spawn for free:

As Halloween approache[d]…several state attorneys general [vomited out stupid copaganda about]…marijuana edibles that [a moron might mistake for] regular candies and snacks.  Attorneys general in Ohio, New York, Illinois, Connecticut and Arkansas all released statements [last week], a part of a coordinated effort to [continue the dying drug war at least until they leave office]…THC is the main compound found in marijuana, and [has no known LD50 despite inane squawking about]…overdose…In Ohio, Attorney General Dave Yost…[claim]ed the levels of THC could have “real and devastating” consequences for children [who manage to consume 1/3 of their body weight in edibles]…

I find it amusing that so many people are surprised that NPR so often parrots copaganda; apparently they’re unfamiliar with the adage, “He who pays the piper, calls the tune.”

Acting and Activism (#1113)

“Vagina Egg” Paltrow joins the prohibitionist trash who once called stripping a “gateway to slavery”:

[Noted sex scammer] Gwyneth Paltrow [joined noted bigot] Jada Pinkett Smith…in…[vomiting out ignorant, censorious nonsense about] “how pornography is harmful to women” on the latest episode of Pinkett Smith’s chat show, Red Table Talk…Neither [“celebrity” airhead] has any training on health issues or sexuality studies…Pinkett Smith, who on a [filmed but unaired] prior episode [verbally attacked and slut-shamed a sugar baby]…discussed having had what she [claimed was] “an unhealthy relationship with porn”…

Neither actress specified what kind of sexual content could be broadly classified as “pornography.”

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The lady in front of you sucks.  –  “Officer” Brandon Roy

I’m combining two of my favorite types of videos this week: novelty songs and spooky stuff, in this oldie from The Dr. Demento Show.  The links above it were provided by Nun Ya, Missy Mariposa, Jacob Sullum, Mistress Matisse, and Dave Krueger (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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Give this man his money.  –  Judge Christine Underwood

Profit from Panic 

A pandemic can’t stop opportunists from wringing every penny they can from this hysteria before it implodes completely:

The B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation…hosted its 6th annual Awareness Gala, themed “Rising from the Ashes.” The event centered on raising…funds for [the organizers by exploiting the moral panic around]…sex trafficking…Because of pandemic health guidelines, guests were invited to host in-home parties with only their close circles, family or solo.  SHERO Founder Kimberly Miles hosted the online event from the Stirling Club, with special appearances from Terry Fator, Clint Holmes, Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers and more…

Disaster (#949)

Australia is joining the US in trying to destroy the internet:

If Australia genuinely wants to minimise online harm, we need to have more nuanced narratives than “won’t somebody please think of the children”.  The federal government’s Online Safety Bill…[will] impede upon our digital rights, harm vulnerable groups, and c[onstrict] the way the majority of Australians experience the internet…part [of the scheme] gives the eSafety Commissioner expanded “take-down powers”…[to] order the removal of…any sexual content…or content that is “unsuitable for a minor to see”…Sex workers, pornography creators…sex-positive educators and activists are just some who will struggle to work online due to the scheme.  As experience of the controversial SESTA/FOSTA laws in the US…has shown, crackdowns such as these incentivise online platforms to remove or censor sexual content altogether to avoid penalty…this forces sex workers offline and often into unsafe working environments…

A Moral Cancer (#1013)

Crypto-moralists won’t hesitate to add nationalism to “health” rhetoric to advance their anti-pleasure agenda:

British stores could be flooded with “dangerous” bacon and ham from the US, marketed under misleading labels, as the result of a transatlantic trade deal, says the author of a new book based on [statistical illiteracy and militant veganism]…The meat has been cured with nitrites extracted from vegetables, a practice not permitted by the European Commission because of evidence that it [marginally] increases the [very small] risk of bowel cancer.  But it is allowed in the US, where the product is often labelled as “all natural”…

Robocops

Court declares that cops are too stupid and evil to understand that intentionally burning an innocent person alive is wrong:

…On July 10, 2017, [Gabriel Eduardo] Olivas’ son called 911 to report that his father was threatening to kill himself…[responding cops] found Olivas “leaning against a wall and holding a red gas can”…[one cop] shouted…”If we tase him, he is going to light on fire!”…Olivas [had] poured gasoline over himself…[but pig Jeremias] Guadarrama “fired his taser at the gasoline-soaked man, causing him to burst into flames…The fire spread from Olivas to the walls of the bedroom, and the house eventually burned to the ground”…Olivas…died…the [family]…sued…and…the…court [ruled]…it…”reasonable”…[to set off high-voltage electrical] sparks that could easily ignite gasoline…after a[nother cop] had [already] emphasized it…the 5th Circuit has forthrightly declared that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit police from firing Tasers at a suicidal, gasoline-drenched man…

The Last Shall Be First (#1078)

Anti-trans hysteria has shifted from toilets to high-school sports:

A proposed bill introduced in…Georgia…called for banning transgender girls from participating in [organized] sports…a similarly-written law in Idaho…is currently blocked by injunction from a federal court.  So another proposal was introduced…that went even further.  House Bill 372 would redefine gender as “a person’s biological sex at birth” in state law, require state-funded schools and associations to ban participants they deem not “biologically” male or female from sports, and calls for a panel to examine information about the genitalia or chromosomes of any [prospective] participant who petitions otherwise…

I must point out that contrary to some online statements about this buffoonery, it does not call for the panel to inspect students’ genitalia, only “information about” them (presumably derived from a medical exam).  But it’s still akin to the creepy pretense that for students to voluntarily allow other people to examine their genitalia for the purpose of pleasure is a “crime”, but for the same students to be forced by law to allow strangers to examine their genitalia for the purpose of bigotry is “protection”.

The Next Target (#1099)

One day, “professional ‘survivor'” will no longer be a lucrative job:

…[Morality in Media] filed a…[law]suit in Birmingham, Alabama against Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek, [exploiting the claims] of two women who alleged illegal videos of themselves were uploaded to the platform by third-party users…The lawsuit alleges that MindGeek “conspired, facilitated and financially benefited, from sex trafficking ventures between [themselves] and others”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1101)

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

A district court judge in North Carolina is threatening to jail one town’s officials if they don’t return nearly $17,000 in cash they s[tole from] a man’s rental car…Jermaine Sanders was staying at a hotel in…November when he left his room and found police [ransack]ing his car.  Police [claimed] they found half an ounce of marijuana and $16,761 in cash.  They s[tole] both…[and] sent the cash to…CBP [in order to circumvent state restrictions on such robbery].  When Sanders lawyered up…Mooresville [bureaucrats] responded that [they were] no longer in possession of the cash…[Judge Christine] Underwood…found the city in contempt of her order [to refund the money] and…[gave] them seven business days to comply.  She told the city’s attorney…that she was not afraid to jail town commissioners, the police chief, or anybody else responsible for keeping Sanders from getting his money back…

Yet most courts still refuse to admit that this is about nothing other than profit:

Civil asset forfeiture…allows police to s[teal] property they [pretend] is connected to crime without arresting…the owner…the practice demolishes due process and undermines property rights, giving cops a license to steal from innocent people who often lack the resources to resist…[pushers] of [the scheme pretend] it deters and incapacitates drug traffickers…[but] in a new study published by the Institute for Justice, Seattle University economist Brian Kelly…analyzed data from five states that use forfeiture extensively:  Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota.  He reports no statistically significant relationship between increased forfeiture revenue and lower drug use rates or higher crime clearance rates.  To the contrary, Kelly found that clearance rates for violent crimes tend to fall as forfeiture revenue rises…[because] the lure of…money diverts law enforcement resources from predatory crimes to drug offenses…

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I think someone stole my chicken.  –  Thomas Ramsey

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

From the Archives

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[NOPD] argues the word “employ” means something else when it’s misleading the public.  –  Tim Cushing

The Puritan Recrudescence

No, Parler doesn’t have a “porn problem”; it has a spam problem:

Anyone following the #sexytrumpgirl hashtag on Parler…got an eyeful one recent Thursday evening as images of topless women and links to hardcore pornography websites appeared at a rapid-fire rate, often more than one per minute…The site’s lax moderation policies…have helped it become a magnet for pornographers, escort services and online sex merchants using hashtags…such as #keepamericasexy and #milfsfortrump2020.  The pornography…has the potential to complicate hopes the site may have to expand advertising…[because uptight] major companies typically avoid having their sales pitches appear alongside [sexu]al imagery…Parler once banned all pornography but in recent months revised its terms of service to permit essentially anything that’s legal, making its policy close to Twitter’s…[but] Twitter…has automated systems that prevent excessively rapid posting, as well as other spammy behavior…

I think most normal people would be just as annoyed by rapid-fire tweets hawking car warranties, miracle cures, get-rich-quick schemes, or political theater, but of course that wouldn’t be as lurid as focusing on porn.

Morality Lessons (#921)

Australian cops are envious of the FBI, and want permission to run their own kiddie porn sites:

[Australian pigs and spooks] will be [allowed] to take over the online accounts of [people they accuse of being]…paedophile[s], terrorists and drug-traffickers…under new laws to be introduced in Federal Parliament.  The [pigs and spooks] will also be a[llowed] to hack into people’s computer networks [to watch, steal and trade]…child [porn]…The new capabilities will give [pigs and spooks] unprecedented powers to [spy on people and justify it with all kinds of doubletalk about how “]criminals operating on the dark web…can more easily evade traditional law enforcement or investigation methods[“]…Under a new “account takeover power”, [pigs and spooks] will be able to take control of a person’s online account for the purposes of [creating false] evidence about criminal activity…

Pyrrhic Victory (#992) 

Why I keep telling you local laws banning facial recognition are feel-good bullshit:

…”The New Orleans Police Department has confirmed that it is utilizing facial recognition…despite years of assurances” t[o] the…contrary…this report by The Tenth Amendment Center makes the NOPD’s relationship with the tech more explicit…“the NOPD has…relied on technology operated by the Louisiana State Police…[via] the state fusion center”…the NOPD…”does not employ facial recognition software”…in the sense that the PD does not own the tech…It clearly does use it.  It just outsources that work to other agencies — including federal law enforcement — that do own the tech…The city is considering a facial recognition ban.  But this admission the PD outsources its facial recognition work means it won’t be enough to simply forbid the PD from buying and utilizing its own tech.  The proposal would need to be rewritten to prevent the PD from sending its photos to state or federal agencies for proxy searching.  The vote on the proposed ban has been delayed as city council members process the NOPD’s lies about its facial recognition use and decide what to do with this new information…now the city knows it can’t trust its own police department to be honest with it…

Take it from someone intimately acquainted with how things are done in New Orleans:  the city council already knew.  The vote has simply been delayed so they can think up good butt-covering lies.

A Moral Cancer (#1017) 

When government loses one excuse for violently intruding on private lives, it will invent another one:

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has banned people from smoking in their own apartments…the board voted 10–1 in favor of a bill…to prohibit smoking tobacco inside private dwellings in buildings with three or more units.  Violators…could receive fines of up to $1,000…The…bill…at [first]…also applied to smoking legal cannabis…[but] an amendment…exempts marijuana…be[cause] cannabis [is politically correct but tobacco is not]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1062)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

Civil asset forfeiture laws, which allow the government to s[teal] property…without ever charging the owner, are fundamentally rigged in favor of the [cop shops] that get a cut of the proceeds.  Even when an owner manages to challenge a forfeiture…he has the burden of proving his innocence, and the process often costs more than the property is worth.  Adding insult to injury, the government can drag out the process for so long that even innocent owners feel compelled to surrender.  The Institute for Justice (I.J.) challenges that aspect of civil forfeiture in an appeal it filed this week, asking the Supreme Court to rule that due process requires a prompt post-seizure hearing…The…case involves Gerardo Serrano, a U.S. citizen and Kentucky resident whose pickup truck was s[tolen] by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in September 2015, while he was on his way to visit relatives in Mexico.  The official, patently absurd justification: The truck was suspected of involvement in international arms smuggling, because Serrano had forgotten about a handgun magazine and five rounds he had left in the center console.  He waited two years without a hearing until CBP suddenly decided to return the truck in 2017, a month after I.J. filed a lawsuit on his behalf.  The circumstances…strongly suggest that Serrano was punished for asserting his constitutional rights…

You Were Warned (#1082)

Congress won’t stop until it controls the internet:

…Legislation to limit or abolish Section 230 has become popular in Congress…but with the exception of the 2018 sex-ad law FOSTA, most of these have gone nowhere.  Now, some [politicians] are taking a different tack.  Instead of pushing a standalone attack on Section 230, Sen. Roger Wicker…will allegedly introduce an anti-Section 230 bit into the latest defense spending bill…

And guess who’s actually behind it?

Donald Trump is threatening to veto a defense policy bill unless it [allows]…internet companies t[o be sued or prosecuted]…for material posted by their users…Trump has been waging war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against [him]…the…veto threat is another potential roadblock for the passage of the annual defense policy measure, which is already being held up in Congress by a spat over military bases named for Confederate officers…

Winding Down

A big step toward ending the disastrous War on Drugs:

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs…[has] accepted a World Health Organization…recommendation to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.  The historic vote in Vienna could have far-reaching implications for the global medical cannabis industry, ranging from regulatory oversight to scientific research into the plant and its use as a medicine…it could help boost medical cannabis legalization efforts around the globe now that the CND tacitly acknowledges the medical utility of the drug…

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Smart people…[a]re better than dumber people at coming up with reasons to justify their false beliefs.  –  Cathy Reisenwitz

See No Evil (#424)

Censors have learned to use “progressive” rhetoric to cloak prudery:

A 26-foot-tall sculpture of Marilyn Monroe playfully patting down her upblown skirt is the source of a [moronic] debate in Palm Springs, California.  The town’s city council has approved the…recreation of the act[ress]’s iconic scene atop a blustery subway grate from…The Seven Year Itch—to be installed near the Palm Springs Art Museum for a three-year period.  But…[prudes, busybodies and censors are dis]pleased with the decision…the museum’s executive director…Louis Grachos [made furtive movements in his pants while bloviating weird fantasies about underwear]…“school-age children”…and [how the]…statue [magically] objectifies women…[thereby] “hurt[ing] our whole community”…Steven H. Maloney, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, [opined that women are so stupid that a painted hunk of metal constitutes]…“an unhealthy encouragement of risqué behavior of women”…

I have a hard time imagining what a lower opinion of women than that displayed by these pompous weeds would look like.

Policing Womanhood

Cathy Reisenwitz has further thoughts on the origin of whore-hatred in women:

As my friend and fellow sex worker Maggie McNeill points out, public polling suggests men are more likely to support sex work decrim than women…Maggie thinks that the main reason women oppose sex work decrim is that women tend to think of women’s individual behavior as reflecting on women as a whole and think sex work is a bad look…I think there’s truth to that, but it lacks an important class angle…middle-class white women began campaigning for laws against prostitution and defining any type of promiscuity as prostitution in the Progressive Era at the turn of the 20th century…Middle-class white women feared female economic independence threatened dominant middle-class values.  By making prostitution dangerous and illegal, middle-class white women sought to force working-class women, women of color, and immigrant women into marriage, chastity, monogamy, hard work, and propriety lest they live independently of men and destroy the social order…

To Molest and Rape (#825)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A man who [was raped by] a [typical and representative] South Carolina [cop]…is suing the city of Travelers Rest…The [cop], Shawn Jenkins, was fired from the [cop shop] last year after…[the] Sheriff’s Office…[only] charged [him] with second-degree sexual misconduct…The plaintiff, who filed the suit anonymously, told investigators Jenkins pointed a department-issued stun gun at him while he was visiting Jenkins’ residence on Aug. 5, 2019, and told him to “strip or be tased”…The [then-underage victm] tried to run away, but [Jenkins] locked [him] inside a room [and raped him]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#974) 

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

In Maine, voters in the state’s largest city recently enacted one of the toughest facial recognition bans in the country in the Nov. 3 elections, outlawing both use of the technology by local police and the city government…the measure codifies – [but adds only weak] enforcement teeth – to a ban…passed in August by the Portland City Council…The new law allows citizens to sue the city for illegal facial recognition surveillance by the city police or government.  Citizens could get [a mere] $1,000 per violation plus legal fees, if they prevail in court.  Municipal employees [but not cops] can be fired [but not criminally prosecuted] for violating the [law]…

Welcome to the Future (#1073)

Pasco County, Florida’s “predictive policing” scheme doesn’t spare minors:

The Pasco Sheriff’s Office keeps a secret list of kids it [pretend]s could “fall into a life of crime” based on factors like whether they’ve been abused or gotten a D or an F in school…the list [is created] by combining the rosters for most middle and high schools in the county with records so sensitive, they’re protected by state and federal law…Four hundred and twenty kids are [currently] on the list…[cops do]n’t tell the kids or their parents about the designation…an[d]…school…[administrators claim to have been] unaware…of [it as well]…The Department of Children and Families [refused to] answer…the Sheriff’s Office…use[s the list] to [target]…middle and high school…[students for surveillance and harassment euphemized as] “mentorship” and “resources”…Ten experts in law enforcement and student privacy…called the program…a clear misuse of children’s confidential information that stretched the limits of the law…

Legislators Gone Wild (#1086)

Why are Nevada brothel whores unable to open their mouths without vomiting out toxic whorearchy?

…[brothel whores unemployed] because of COVID-19…say they are being forced to make money in what they call dangerous, scary and illegal ways…the long shutdown is depleting their savings and they’re going broke waiting to work again.  That is forcing some of them to turn to things they didn’t want to to make money, like illegal prostitution.  One…says…”it’s so degrading and so scary”…Another…admits to illegally meeting with a Mustang Ranch regular…she trusted him but…he beat and choked her…two [say they] decided to turn a trick in Arizona…but…the…man…ended up holding them hostage in the bathroom at gun point…The madams also say they’re seeing some of their workers walking the streets now with…pimps…”If you walk into a casino, the floor is filled with illegal prostitutes and pimps”…

Apparently these whores are both incompetent and cursed, so that in a few months they’ve experienced more violence than every escort I know put together has experienced in years.

Dangerous Speech (#1087)

It’s symptomatic of the government’s deep moral rot that she wasn’t automatically disqualified:

On Nov. 18, veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin took the extraordinary step of filing a petition for a writ of mandamus with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, asking it to intervene in their ongoing criminal case and order Judge Susan Brnovich to recuse herself from all future proceedings…her husband, Arizona Attorney General Mark…Brnovich, others on his behalf and organizations with which he is associated…have vilified Backpage, assumed its complicity in sex trafficking, and drawn conclusions about facts that will be at issue in the trial of Lacey, Larkin and their four co-defendants…[although] the AG’s inaccurate assumptions about Backpage go to the heart of the case and raise the specter of potential bias on behalf of the judge[, she has stubbornly refused to recuse herself]…

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