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State Department Report Repeats Talking Points From Group Who Wants To Ban All Porn

from the seems-odd dept

Last week the State Department released its United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking Annual Report 2021, and it's... a weird document in so many ways. Anti-human trafficking policy making is one of those issues that just seems to attract some very, very bizarre people -- as you might have noticed from the world of Pizzagate and Q-Anon. Human trafficking is (1) a very real problem, (2) a very serious problem, (3) just generally horrific for all the reasons you know, but (4) happens way less than most people think (especially given how much people focus on it). Obviously, continued efforts to prevent all human trafficking are important, and so I can understand why the State Department set up this advisory council. However, they seemed to staff it with a bunch of folks who have a very clear incentive to play up the issue as much bigger and more threatening than it really is.

And perhaps that explains the report's incredibly bizarre, incorrect, and just weird thoughts on the internet and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. First, they have a section that looks like it was directly written by The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), which while you might think that's a group with relevant expertise, is not. The group was founded in 1962 as "Morality in Media" and has spent decades trying to stop anything they deem to be smut. They only changed their name to NCOSE because it played better in the media to tie their anti-porn, anti-obscenity obsession to exploitation. They were also a major force behind FOSTA, which they always viewed as a step towards making all porn illegal.

One of the group's big lobbying campaigns is to convince states to pass laws declaring pornography to be a "public health issue." It's not, of course, but this group's entire existence doesn't make much sense if they can't convince more prudes that nekkid people are destroying society. Which, fine, if outlawing porn gets you off, do what you have to do, but I don't see why the State Department needs to support that kind of nonsense. Yet, right in this report we get:

We recommend HHS, DOJ, and DHS address the gaps and issues relating to the intersection between pornography, human trafficking, and child sexual exploitation.

As of November 2020, 16 U.S. states have passed resolutions recognizing pornography as a public health issue. It is time that the federal government also take deliberate action to acknowledge the direct links between pornography and human trafficking and address it as a threat to society....

They also recommend that HHS "allocate resources to fund research on the public health harms of pornography." They also cite the number of reports to NCMEC of suspected child sexual exploitation as proof that there's a real problem -- leaving out that (1) reports are not actual evidence of actual exploitation, (2) that social media has gotten better about reporting to NCMEC, and (3) that nuttiness like Q-Anon has resulted in tons of obviously bogus reports. But, no, they insist that such reports are proof of "a pervasive problem."

And then there's this:

In addition, the 94 United States Attorneys’ Offices are mandated to enforce federal obscenity laws. FBI agents, postal inspectors, and customs officers are responsible for investigating violations of federal obscenity laws. Pornography is the marketing department for sex trafficking. It has been shown to influence sex buying behaviors and much of it is produced by force, fraud, and coercion.[46] A robust enforcement of federal obscenity laws will therefore reduce the demand driving sex trafficking and protect those that are being victimized in the production of pornography. Therefore, we call upon federal law enforcement agencies to investigate and DOJ to prosecute federal obscenity laws actively, aggressively, and to the fullest extent of the law...

The claim that porn is "the marketing department for sex trafficking" seemed weird. It would be extreme already in just an NCOSE press release. It seems wholly irresponsible to put it into a State Dept. document. Meanwhile, I was wondering what the footnote was as evidence for this statement... and it's citing a Jezebel article from 2018 about two porn actors (understandably!) complaining about abuse, violence, and boundary violations on set. That's absolutely awful, but says nothing at all about how widespread this is and what any of that has to do with trafficking.

Then, the report suggests that Congress needs to update Section 230. Now, some of you might recall that we already did this. Congress -- at NCOSE's urging -- passed FOSTA specifically to try to carve out sex trafficking activity from Section 230 protections. And so far, what it has done is made it significantly more difficult to find and capture actual sex traffickers while also putting the lives of sex workers at risk -- often leading them to take risks that made it easier for traffickers to take advantage of them.

All in all, the evidence has shown that FOSTA has done the exact opposite of what was promised and has actually make sex trafficking worse.

But this advisory ignores all that and says we just need to take an even bigger sledge hammer to Section 230:

Sex trafficking of children and adults has proliferated online in part because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) has been interpreted by federal and state courts to: 1) prohibit sex trafficking victims from suing websites that advertise them as being for sale; and 2) prevent states from enforcing criminal laws against websites that carry ads for sex trafficking. The technology industry has effectively used Section 230 to avoid responsibility for and profit from illegal activities that continue unabated on their platforms.* Despite the passage of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 tech-savvy internet traffickers have already leapt ahead using various ploys including utilizing foreign-based corporations and servers, which operate outside the reach of U.S. law, to advertise, exploit, and traffic American children on American soil.

Federal enforcement alone has proven insufficient in combating the growth of online commercial sexual exploitation of children. State, territorial, tribal, and local law enforcement must have the necessary digital forensics tools and clear authority to investigate and prosecute those who profit from these crimes. Additionally, removing civil immunity for companies that are complicit in child sexual exploitation on their platforms will create a necessary incentive for the technology industry to become proactive in protecting the most vulnerable in our society.

Therefore, we recommend Congress amend Section 230 of the CDA to empower victims and their attorneys, and states, territories, tribes, and localities to use all applicable criminal and civil laws to effectively combat human trafficking, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children online.

Except that as it stands right now, Section 230 already allows most of this. It has no impact on federal criminal law, and since the passing of FOSTA does allow for both civil and state criminal lawsuits. And so far, those have been a disaster. Ambulance chasing lawyers going after Mailchimp for cash, because some company that wanted to become the next Backpage signed up to use Mailchimp to send out emails.

All of the "sources" in the 3 paragraphs above... point to NCOSE's site, which again, is not a trustworthy or honest party in all of this.

I'm used to seeing this kind of nonsense from NCOSE all the time, but why is the State Department allowing its name and credibility to be used to launder this nonsense as if it's legit?

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, human trafficking, obscenity, porn, section 230, sex trafficking, state department, trafficking


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  • icon
    Jojo (profile), 23 Dec 2021 @ 10:09am

    More like the National Center of Sexual Kink-shaming.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2021 @ 11:27am

    Which, fine, if outlawing porn gets you off,

    You should be held in solitary confinement, with the song of songs being recited to you all day and night.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2021 @ 1:04pm

    it's citing a Jezebel article from 2018 about two porn actors (understandably!) complaining about abuse, violence, and boundary violations on set.

    ... and that's just in the porn film industry. Just wait until you hear how things are in the rest of the film industry! I heard that some of it even got mentioned on social media platforms!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 23 Dec 2021 @ 1:05pm

    "1) prohibit sex trafficking victims from suing websites that advertise them as being for sale; and 2) prevent states from enforcing criminal laws against websites that carry ads for sex trafficking. "

    "leapt ahead using various ploys including utilizing foreign-based corporations and servers, "

    "clear authority to investigate and prosecute those who profit from these crimes. "

    "removing civil immunity for companies that are complicit in child sexual exploitation on their platforms will create a necessary incentive for the technology industry to become proactive in protecting the most vulnerable in our society. "

    It was said, Here and may other places on the net what would happen. They would go back underground. That the police could no longer Use those sites to track Prostitution or Child porn, Which was being prosecuted.
    The Foreign Sites have not changed that much, May have just added a USA sections if anything more was needed. But the odds say there is things going on Still in the USA, its just underground.
    Also some may have suggested they go after regulating Thai markets.

    try this.
    https://deliverfund.org/the-human-trafficking-problem-in-america/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA2ZCOBhDiARIsAM Rfv9JNjlSnp1E1uoC5At-otQLzBh5ky5_UzidwHOlWuk0F9nWso3HwzfgaAriWEALw_wcB

    Approximately 400+ of these individuals are trafficked for labor

    https://www.worldschildren.org/child-trafficking-statistics/

    Children are 4 times more likely to be trafficked for labor rather than sex.
    There are an estimated 168 million child laborers around the world,

    168/4= <42 million

    Labor trafficking affects every country in the world, especially the Asia-Pacific region, where 1 in every 250 people are victims. (IBLA, 2019)

    7 in 10 victims of sexual exploitation in the world are trafficked in the Asia-Pacific. (IBLA, 2019)

    7x4.2= ~29.4 million?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/01/children-sex-trafficking-conspiracy-ep idemic/620845/

    Throwing numbers and % around and Not separating all the Nuance, Makes this so complicated, they can say anything, and say nothing about the USA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 23 Dec 2021 @ 3:17pm

    'Not everyone is paying for their sins in suffering yet!'

    'Trafficking is terrible, why just look at the people we threw to the wolves by backing FOSTA and who are worse off because of our efforts, now we want to spread that to everywhere so finally people will suffer for their sin- be spared from sex trafficking which will surely go away if we don't have to see it.'

    Yeah, the State Department really needs to look into sticking with a source that's not insane, terrified of the body and grossly hypocritical, pairing with that pack of lunatics is not going to help it's message or the people it claims to want to help.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 23 Dec 2021 @ 3:50pm

    Obvious

    Since the push began about 3 decades ago to pretend that prostitution is sex trafficking, it's been obvious that they would soon come after porn as well.

    These rabid anti-sex grifters somehow succeeded in labeling all sex industry as "trafficking" a mythical practice that hardly exists anywhere on earth.

    It's just another iteration of the puritan, feminist (among other groups)-based, war on agency that has been going on more or less since the early 1900s.

    They never give up and it's been a real disappointment that it looks like they got away with the relabeling and are just moving on to new prohibitions.

    The only surprise is that you are surprised in any way by this.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2021 @ 5:37pm

    Yeah, that's not happening. Never mind the usual points as to why FOSTA was a terrifically bad idea, the copyright industries are so joined at the hip to pornography at this point, any attempt to ban porn is basically scuppered. One does not simply agree to a ban of what drove most, if not all copyright-based out-of-court settlements pooling money into the industry since the early 2010s.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2021 @ 6:39pm

      Re:

      Might one try to drive settlement values higher? Not asking for a friend.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2021 @ 5:06am

        Re: Re:

        If the copyright lawyers know what's good for them they won't try to drive the values higher, because the last thing they want is to get the attention of judges that might not be particularly sympathetic to their schemes. Going by how Malibu Media and Strike 3 went out of their way to insist that they're "not Prenda" in their filings, they seem to be fighting on the defensive to assert their legitimacy.

        Which all adds up to a good thing for the innocent - the more cost-prohibitive copyright trolling becomes, the less likely copyright becomes a victimization engine.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Roger Esby, 24 Dec 2021 @ 12:48am

    Why is the state department allowing….?

    I can answer that:

    The State Department is still heavily under the sway of former head of Gary Haugens, and his International Justice Mission acolytes, hard core, radical and militant evangelicals.

    http://www.tipheroes.org/gary-haugen/

    Recall that he was the guy who staged the “rescue of child sex slaves” in Thailand back in 2003-7 or so, and his organization is active in gay conversion therapy, and VERY active in the east, and other places where the sex trade flourishes.

    Later, most of the “child brothels of Thailand” story was proven a hoax, and his sock puppet Somali Mam was widely discredited too.

    I am currently trying to find out if he is related to Frances Haugens, the pseudo-whistleblower in the Facebook scandal, if anyone has information.

    These people are insane, and often backed by bipartisan coalitions- both Bush and Hillary are Gary Haugens acolytes.

    Not coincidentally, they are also the crackpots online who ramble on about “directed energy weapons, satellite brain blasters,” and claim they are being gang stalked, and so on. They flood the various tip lines around the country with false sex abuse reports, and false claims of human trafficking.

    The former claim (microwave weapons, et al.) is their attempt to pollute the internet on that topic, as they stalk others. Their efforts are so bizarre that they enlist former Playboy bunnies to stalk people online anywhere sex workers are talking.

    These also infiltrate board forums, and ramble on about sex work as “MKULTRA. Mind control!!” And so on.

    Many “ womens empowerment” groups are also involved, much like Lulu Markwell in the heyday of the Womens Auxilliary of the KKK. They conflate every issue, and infiltrate all police departments. They are well financed.

    Keeping in mind how often pornography is mentioned in news stories of mass shootings, there is evidence that their church members were present near Stephen Paddock and other mass shooters before, during, and after there events.

    And then the ultra-conservatives in the FBI run narrative, advising people “Don’t Name Them!” so that is harder to investigate the so-called “mass contagion,” or “fame seeking” mass shooter- a far right concoction in most cases, with direct ties to these militant evangelical churches.

    So, Haugens et Al. legacy is that exactly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 25 Dec 2021 @ 9:12am

      Re: Why is the state department allowing….?

      And then the ultra-conservatives in the FBI run narrative, advising people “Don’t Name Them!” so that is harder to investigate the so-called “mass contagion,” or “fame seeking” mass shooter- a far right concoction in most cases, with direct ties to these militant evangelical churches.

      That's not a far right concoction, unless you're claiming the field of psychology and social science is a far right thing, because that's where the recommendation comes from. It has nothing to do with investigation - the police are well aware of a killer's name. It's about news reporting, and not glorifying the mass murderer.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Roger Esby, 26 Dec 2021 @ 5:11am

        Re: Re: Why is the state department allowing….?

        Um, no, it is NOT ABOUT NEWS REPORTING at all, because it is antithetical to the fact gathering and reporting duty.

        And, it is directly a concoction of a specific FBI agent, quoting official narrative “science” and it made its first appearance in media around 2011, when the mass shootings skyrocketed- a grand PSYOP of sickening proportions.

        Then, people like Tom Teves and his No Notoriety pr campaign started popping up everywhere seeding news stories with the cockamamie idea that these shooters primarily seek notoriety, RATHER THAN an end to the chronic bullying that they endure at their schools, and in their communities—those communities not ironically situated in ultra-religious conservative communities.

        Then, to call social science and psychology left wing is laughable, in light of the evidence that Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo/Mitchell and Jensen have provided: that US policies and agencies fully employ psychological and physical torture now.

        Police “science” is largely junk science, based in the inverted notions of punitive Justice as opposed to restorative Justice,

        The same goes for weaponized psychology, pop psy, etc. It’s a huge and sweeping generalization to call these in any way “liberal” institutional sciences.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Roger Esby, 26 Dec 2021 @ 5:19am

        Re: Re: Why is the state department allowing….?

        On another note, nearly half of all mass shooters become “radicalized” right after they fall onto the FBI “radar” Here is just one example, but their are countless others:

        https://apnews.com/article/fedex-indianapolis-mass-shooting-e92ad3117c56357b3b2c71a2903e68a8

        That s quite some special “radar” that they are using, huh?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 24 Dec 2021 @ 2:43am

    "We recommend HHS, DOJ, and DHS address the gaps and issues relating to the intersection between pornography, human trafficking, and child sexual exploitation."

    And the very first thing they need to do is to fund a study by an impartial group who isn't looking to reach a particular outcome but arrive at concrete real data so the problems can be addressed in reality not the fever dreams of Carrie Nation.

    "As of November 2020, 16 U.S. states have passed resolutions recognizing pornography as a public health issue. It is time that the federal government also take deliberate action to acknowledge the direct links between pornography and human trafficking and address it as a threat to society.... "

    Bitch more states have legalized weed so maybe they can roll on that one first. The direct links y'all are claiming seem to exist in your imagination and in cherry picked studies where you bought the outcome you wanted before any data was gathered.
    Wacky idea, perhaps it is your insistence that pron causes all of these other ills that is hampering any efforts combating human trafficking. You keep screaming pron pron pron & they have to do something about the pron while ignoring the actual victims of trafficking to focus more on how pron made those kidnappers park their white vans & stalk all those women in Target.

    Step 1 Solving the problem is to strip away all of the "extras" humans demand be crammed in making the problem impossible to explain easily.
    Step 2 Stop pretending everyone in pron isn't their by their own choice. You might not agree with their decision but you don't have to, its not your choice to make for anyone but yourself. Get the fuck back in your lane.
    Step 3 Get that unbiased report that shows the truth of the matter (and will probably show y'all are a bunch of fscking liars trying to demand everyone else match your morals) and design programs to deal with reality.
    Step 4 Get fscked. Y'all are a buncha pent up sexual deviants who have declared war on other people who refuse to live up to your moral decisions like you are the ultimate judge of these things and anyone who disagrees is under the sway of 'evil' and not to be allowed the rights to do so.

    4x's the population of the US are not missing children trucked into the superb owl. Your constant cries about the wolf are annoying the rest of us who you can't even show a single paw print or pile of scat to showing evidence there was a wolf.

    Y'all have made some stupid demands that have harmed people globally. Denying aid to countries where people are having survival sex to survive if anyone dares mention condoms to try and stop the spread of STI's. Because condoms are much much worse than assisting people out of poverty globally. Take your morals and remember they are YOUR morals no one else has to share them, and to be honest your morals are killing people so I question how moral you actually are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 24 Dec 2021 @ 7:59am

    So the State Department is still populated by Trump-hole extremists? They're like vermin that just won't die.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Roger Esby, 24 Dec 2021 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      These are Bush era extremists, not necessarily Trumpers. The Qanons are just the rabble who post all the lunatic claims, but make no mistake, it started with Haugens and IJW, uniting the NCOSE type fringes.

      Though he’s an Anglican, he managed to build bridges between frothy fundies on the right, and white female angst ridden academics on the liberal left to create the insane dialectic.

      This is legacy moral majority era rhetoric on steroids, but Haugens was a Bushy era ally. His career managed to co-opt the entire left wing platform of alleviating poverty and sex workers rights, and racial injustice, by urning all these issues into “fighting slavery, and ending violence against the poor.”

      Pepperdine, and all of the vangies et al just love the guy, and he has deep ties at the UN too, having headed the Rwanda genocide tribunals.

      It would be laughable, except that these vangies are dangerous, and will bomb countries endlessly to “end poverty,” lol.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 27 Dec 2021 @ 2:31am

        Re: Re:

        "These are Bush era extremists, not necessarily Trumpers. The Qanons are just the rabble who post all the lunatic claims, but make no mistake, it started with Haugens and IJW, uniting the NCOSE type fringes."

        It really didn't. This shit has been with the US since the first puritans left England, taking their calvinist beliefs with them. And it's been festering more or less in unchanged form all the way up to where modern communications enabled these pockets of rot to connect. Haugens may have been an influential mouthpiece - but there just isn't any single point of origin of this malicious creed to be found in modern times.

        At the heart of it this is just another offshoot of millenialism - the idea of a golden age destroyed by <insert scapegoat here> with modern times a morass of decay, kept that way by <insert scapegoat here>, that a reckoning is coming <ragnarok, rapture, final battle> at the end of which the Chosen Few will live in salvation ever after and everyone else burns.

        Nazism, various brands of christian churches and other religions, political movements like the jacobins...all tap into this mechanism, shoehorning the exact same template with the variables exchanged to fit the current audience. The nazis blamed jews. The puritans blame women and anyone "living in sin". This same recipe is behind most of what you bring up and pointing to any single person or organization is like focusing on a symptom of a much deeper and far more harmful disease - the contagious idea that as long as you adhere to the arbitrary set of standards you can claim you're better than everyone else.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Roger Esby, 27 Dec 2021 @ 12:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Your take is interesting, but vague. It’s far more complex.

          Re: This shit has been with the US since the first puritans left England, taking their calvinist beliefs with them…

          Puritans are an interesting question. Who financed them? And why?

          Then, that time was the issue of covert v overt colonialism. Corporations as “ stand ins” for conquests of various kinds.

          So, this “ better than” notion is quaint, because industry, and capital merely amplify such messages for the people in their era.

          Todays Nazi is yesterdays King David. Tomorrows bin Laden is a competitor to todays Alana “ the founder of the incel movemen5,” and her IC spawn.

          Jacobins, lol…the precursors to the Frankfurters. And neo-liberal pseudo-“philosophy”.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Dec 2021 @ 3:18am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Puritans are an interesting question. Who financed them? And why?"

            None more so than any migration of persecuted sects or ethnicities have been "funded" in order to get the hell out of Dodge. The puritan origin in the UK has been fairly well documented - and suffice to say that if your religious precepts are the legal equivalent of High Treason in the nation you currently reside in then a ticket to the mayflower is something for which you'll happily hock your house, horse and plough.
            In the example with the Mayflower the Plymouth Company was willing to bankroll the expedition - in return for a King's ransom of furs, timber, fish and other raw materials to be returned to England. But there is ample reason to assume the company was encouraged by the Crown to strike that deal just to see the back of what amounted to a large bunch of hardcore and rather unpleasant fanatical asshats.

            "Then, that time was the issue of covert v overt colonialism. Corporations as “ stand ins” for conquests of various kinds."

            Not a good analogy. In the times of the East India Company there really was just that one type of colonialism. Mercantilism occasionally included as an optional extra with the bundle of redcoats.

            "So, this “ better than” notion is quaint, because industry, and capital merely amplify such messages for the people in their era."

            It really isn't simply "quaint" when it is the driving impetus everything else just serves to leverage or, as you say, amplify.

            “"I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you.”

            • Lyndon B. Johnson, explaining racism.

            "Todays Nazi is yesterdays King David."

            Just...no. We do have accurate historical records regarding the Nazis. About King David we have what amounts to myth and hearsay. Strictly speaking we have no fscking clue what ideology, if any, he followed. We just know that in the 15th century clergymen heavily vested in politics cobbled together what would come to pass as That Book from whatever they felt looked nice - sourced from every scrap of graffiti or parchment to be found around the galilee.

            "Tomorrows bin Laden is a competitor to todays Alana “ the founder of the incel movemen5,” and her IC spawn."

            Seriously?🤨
            No. Just no again. The son of a saudi millionaire who caught religion, got trained by the CIA to fight a guerilla war to toss the USSR out of Afghanistan, and then went on to continue that fight by other means to get the US out of Saudi Arabia...isn't comparable to any keyboard warrior.
            Unless "suicidal fanatics using passenger planes as munition" is, in your head, equivalent to a few angry words tossed online.

            "Jacobins, lol…the precursors to the Frankfurters."

            Much the same way the nazis were a precursor to Mahatma Gandhi, you mean? Because assuming you mean the Frankfurt National Assembly it has very few similarities to the Jacobin movement - which was an ideology in itself which, much like nazism, included all the vestiges of being a pseudo-religious doctrine demanding the subordination of every thought, idea and policy carried out under it's wings.

            "And neo-liberal pseudo-“philosophy”."

            Pfft. All right, first of all, there's nothing "neo" about the ideologies pursied by either the Frankfurt National Assembly or the Jacobins. And I could call both those ideologies many names but "liberal" is contextually a comparison; Compared to "The King Governs, peasant! Off with your head!" a statement that "Citizen Robespierre and his committee will carefully judge you!" might be considered liberal.

            But that comparison does not hold up well when old Robespierre, after careful consideration, sending someone to see the National Razor is placed against modern western national policy.

            No, the explanation for US evangelism is vague not because it's complex but because everything involved is simple. Thousands of grifters over decades have, at some point or other, found great opportunity in catering to the lowest common denominator - the low hanging fruit - of the spiteful, envious, insecure and jealous.

            The same way the GOP today dogwhistling frantically to the neo-nazis and the KKK isn't because of some mysterious south american cabal of survivor nazis laid the groundwork but simply because it's so damn easy to convince humans of the merits of a fairy tale where they personally are the unsung protagonists striving in an epic battle against the forces of evil which invariably ends with them eventually getting raptured and living in peace and prosperity for eternity - while looking down at every person they ever perceived wronged them burning in hell forever.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Roger Esby, 28 Dec 2021 @ 9:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Wow.

              Well, I have been acquainted with you for just about five years-it’s the first time that you ever engaged with evidence, though your analysis of such indicates “variable” scholarship.
              But I do appreciate your engagement.

              About the East India and it’s Queen, I will study up— because you obviously have not fully answered the question, because the Queen at that time had advisors—those advisors so far not named.

              Like Trump and Rosenstein, or Stone, the advisors do in fact matter.

              I will address you commentary later, after I digest it.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Dec 2021 @ 5:48am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "...it’s the first time that you ever engaged with evidence, though your analysis of such indicates “variable” scholarship.
                But I do appreciate your engagement. "

                This would be ROGS, then.

                And the reason I don't "engage with evidence" on assertions of implausible conspiracies is because it isn't up to me to disprove the existence of Russel's Teapot.

                Normal human nature is, lamentably, all that is required for millennialist beliefs to prosper in whatever framework is considered convenient at the time. It's so fundamental a mechanism of humanity you can predict its emergence from any situation sharing the proper characteristics

                You will never find any single faction or individual with a "plan" behind what conspiracy theorists desperately try to see as a pattern - because just like salmon migrating upstream or fish schooling there's no coordinating entity. Just a thousand grifters all very predictably moving to secure their own immediate interests.

                Gates isn't sitting in a murky room plotting his part of the wealthy capturing every US regulatory body - he's just employed tax and lobbying specialists experts in the currently best way to abuse the system. And every other wealthy person, from the Koch brothers to Murdoch is doing the exact same thing. Not because they collude but because thousands of skilled lobbyists and lawyers by now have the formula on how to exploit the current system of laws down pat.

                Haugens was one of dozens of opportunists competing to harness a base of already radical wingnuts with a bias - and became the winning contender to represent that particular loud group which had already long decided Who Was To Blame For <insert real or made-up grievance here>.

                "Like Trump and Rosenstein, or Stone, the advisors do in fact matter."

                Let's dive into that, shall we? One of those we have an untold amount of information on, for most of his life. Trump. Who has, for 40 years or more, been very clearly never listening to advisors. If anything it's been made pretty damn clear that it's the other way around. Trump doesn't hire advisors. He hires YES men. And cthulhu have mercy on any of Dear Leader's retinue if they try to "advise" him on any topic.

                Similarly Hitler had no "advisors" who actually advised him. He made decisions, others executed them according to his will or vanished. Same as Mussolini, Capone, Jobs, Gates...at most they'll rely on accountants or systems experts how to best carry out what they've already planned, but they'll never allow an advisor to formulate or alter policy.

                "About the East India and it’s Queen, I will study up— because you obviously have not fully answered the question, because the Queen at that time had advisors..."

                Because no further reason is required. Mercantile interests found massive opportunity for business and approached the ruling body with the promise of massive tax returns and prosperity for the realm. This cooperation between the body politic and wealthy merchants is as tired a play first described in detail in ancient roman senate records. It hasn't really changed since.

                Conspiracy theorists keep insisting on ever more convoluted ways to ascribe perceived patterns in human history to singular prime movers or shadowy cabals when the truth has been staring us in the face for thousands of years. That humanity is no more organized than a school of bloody fish. Homo Sapiens Sapiens will, in large populations, act as predictably as a swarm of insects. With no more forethought nor planning than a termite mound or hornet's nest.

                Before you get to cohesive decisions you really need to move it down to a tribal stage where a single individual makes a difference. But on the national or world stage? It becomes nothing more than the sad autonomous response of the educated and wealthy individually consolidating their power the same way, the less wealthy and educated trying to figure out why the system they live in seems maliciously bent on plundering them, and the uneducated horde or know-nots keep falling - hook, line and sinker - for some millenialist trope designed to push all the right buttons in their heads.

                Looking at every real conspiracy ever attempted they all have the same pattern. They get blown wide open well within a scant few years. Not just because there are always curious people trying to find out why the government hands a billion dollar tax break to some electronics company but because three people still can't keep a secret unless two of them are dead.
                After all, there's always lots of money to be made in a book promising revelations.

                There'll always be a Deep Throat or Ridenhour or Snowden or Drake. The more explosive the material the more likely the leak will occur sooner.

                Ironically the best explanation for, for instance, the East India company and the imperialist efforts of the british empire in its day can be summarized by a fictional East India representative walking down a staircase getting shot to shit while mumbling "It's just Good Business". Short-sighted greed always ending in the total collapse of the business of absolutely everyone involved.

                The only mystery remaining in contemporary politics is Qui Bono? Trump getting to power, for instance, isn't hard to figure out once you find his campaign war chest filled with a bank loan guaranteed by the russian state bank. Nor his actions as president in conspicuously letting large parts of the ME fall into Putin's lap.

                Biden in his days in congress carrying water for the banking industry against his party's policy needs only a quick look at his campaign funding to figure out.

                Manchin orating in injured tones of why he felt compelled to vote against the infrastructure bill isn't mysterious at all when you look at who funds his seat.

                And any director or chief of any alphabet soup agency of the US has similar clearly obvious motives for their actions. Beyond the tribal arena you find no ideology or plan beyond Money.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Wyrm (profile), 25 Dec 2021 @ 2:55pm

    We recommend HHS, DOJ, and DHS address the gaps and issues relating to the intersection between pornography, human trafficking, and child sexual exploitation. [...] It is time that the federal government also take deliberate action to acknowledge the direct links between pornography and human trafficking and address it as a threat to society....

    Isn't that the same kind of people (maybe even some of the very same) who don't want the HHS and CDC to study the slightly more obvious link between guns and health?

    Pretty sure gun shots are deadlier than... well... other shots. (pun averted)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Roger Esby, 27 Dec 2021 @ 11:46am

      Re:

      Interesting, these “ intersections” between globalist billionaires agendas and local cultures, isn’t it .

      Covid-19 v Bill Gates, et al putting patents on social welfare?

      Guns are just tools, like hammers, chainsaws, knives and fists.

      The real question is “what laws, under human rights centric constitutions validate our rights”

      Much bigger, ay?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 28 Dec 2021 @ 4:43am

        Re: Re:

        "Interesting, these “ intersections” between globalist billionaires agendas and local cultures, isn’t it ."

        Nope. Just tiresome old "Got dam, more of the same?"

        "Covid-19 v Bill Gates, et al putting patents on social welfare?"

        It just is neither interesting nor odd that people in a position of power muck around in any venue they see opportunity. Gates, for instance, pays to charity humongous amounts of money....amounting to, what, half of what he should have paid in taxes if he'd paid the same proportion the middle class american has to? A third? A tenth? Same as every other billionaire he needs to keep a certain shell game going to keep that loophole legal.

        And his religious belief in IP über alles isn't exactly coming from out of nowhere, given that he built his fortune using it. His fervent advocacy of patenting the covid vaccine is right up his alley in that regard.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Roger That, 28 Dec 2021 @ 9:47am

          Re: Re: Re:

          More or less agreed, on every point.

          I believe the virus was in ngineered, one way or another. Soy sauce soldiers? Maybe.

          Bats? Very unlikely, if you know tha cooking habits of Wuhan and local chefs.

          But who DIDNT jump for joy, and laugh, as Melinda Gates divorced him? Predictable tribal sectarian Shadenfreude, like Eva rain, so silent all this years, lol.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2021 @ 9:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Corrections:

            Engineered,

            Eva Braun

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 30 Dec 2021 @ 6:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "I believe the virus was in ngineered, one way or another. Soy sauce soldiers? Maybe."

            I don't. Maybe because I've a background in bio and actually followed the hullaballoo about SARS.
            When every epidemiologist has been screaming about the hot spots the next new brand of plague will come out of for about 50 years Sars-CoV version 2.0 was about as surprising as a meteorologist telling you that after rain comes sunshine.
            We knew the next big virus had one of three plausible origins;

            1) Airborne Ebola out of Africa.
            2) Some variant of Dengue to emerge from what remains of the Amazon.
            3) New strain of facultative zoonosis like SARS out of China...oh, look, we got a winner!

            The thing about engineering a plague is sci-fi. Bad sci-fi at that, featuring moustache-twirling incompetent villains without a plan beyond "Be Evil!".
            No government, ever will actively try to push something like that. Because plagues mutate. Once your doomsday virus is out of the lab it will be immune to your current treatment in less than a decade. Meaning the politicians responsible will be in the endangered group. And there's fsck all you can do about that.

            "Bats? Very unlikely, if you know tha cooking habits of Wuhan and local chefs."

            That's not how a zoonosis spreads. Once you've got a pathogen leaping species all it takes is one single flea or mosquito for it to spread explosively to humans. It's why when you ask a biologist what the deadliest animal on earth is, we all point to those flying little syringes giving wings to all the worst pandemics.

            "But who DIDNT jump for joy, and laugh, as Melinda Gates divorced him?"

            Aside from Gates's last little spiteful attempt to advocate the corona vaccine locked away under patent he's more or less spent as an active force of evil. His contributions to charity may be a fraction of what he ought to have paid in taxes, but I'll take it. I'm far more concerned with Murdoch who is still very much actively invested in trying to save his ailing news media industry by lobbying for legislation which actively harms many of the concepts around which the internet was built...like the idea of a functional search engine.

            Or perhaps most critical, currently, all the interests still vested in fossils doing their damnedest to ensure any infrastructure bill focused on green energy fails in order to guarantee the next few quarters keep showing growth.

            "...like Eva Braun".

            Not sure what Hitler's old mistress has to do with the price of these eggs? If we're digging up the dirt on old Hitler nee Shicklgruber we ought to be looking at Geli Raubal.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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