Thiel, ethnic cleansing, sex work legislation, zoning, and fertility

“From foil blankets to cloud-computing storage and the face masks worn by agents to stifle the stench of unbathed people overcrowded in cages for 40 days, American companies are getting into the business of migration management.” Read this unflinching look at how companies like Palantir are making huge dollars off of ethnic cleansing. My one quibble is that the author describes Palantir CEO Peter Thiel as “ultra-libertarian.” Thiel is a nationalist authoritarian. Literally the opposite of a libertarian.

I appreciated this piece on the role of sex worker advocates on passing Scott Wiener’s SB-233, which prevents cops from arresting sex workers who report abuse and also disallows cops from using carrying condoms as evidence of prostitution. One great passage:

San Francisco’s Barbary Coast hosted countless gambling dens, saloons, clubs, and brothels, where famous madams like Belle Cora and Minna Rae Simpson held court. Brothel-keeping provided one of the few avenues for social mobility available to women at the time. Today, San Francisco boasts both a Minna Street and a Cora Street, and Cora’s body is buried in the Catholic Mission Dolores cemetery. San Francisco was also the site of one of the earliest women’s marches, in 1917, where hundreds of sex workers occupied a Methodist church to protest its minister’s incendiary sermons, in which he encouraged anti-vice vigilante campaigns against street-based sex workers in order to “clean up” the city.

I’m angry about U.S. attorney general William Barr saying it’s “untenable” that phones and computers could offer uncrackable encryption and not give access to law enforcement. Remember that police department and crime lab storage facilities across the country are currently sitting on hundreds of thousands of untested rape kit. And as Elissa Shevinsky pointed out, many domestic terrorists are also domestic abusers. Also interesting, FBI Director Chris Wray said that the majority of the suspected 100 or so domestic terrorism suspects arrested this year are motivated by some version of white supremacy. White supremacy is also associated with misogyny and domestic violence. We know a ton of rapists are walking free due to police misogyny. Maybe some terrorists are as well. The bigger point is that law enforcement isn’t using the information they already have. 

In news that’s not surprising except that there’s a study of it, land-use regulations lower fertility rates. Makes intuitive sense. Zoning increases housing prices, which disincentives having kids. One more reason to upzone everything everywhere. I’m not really a pro-natalist. But I don’t think it’s great that selfish Boomers are able to make having kids artificially expensive to boost their property values. 

Lastly, this story is completely insane.

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