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Archive for November, 2022

You might as well flip a coin.  –  Maria Hartwig, on “deception detection”

Saving Them From Themselves (#681)

This story asks us to feel sorry for a man who was hoist with his own petard:

…[A high] school [principal in]…Colorado…[has been] accused of possessing child pornography…Bradley Bass…is facing up to 12 years in prison and the possibility of being branded a sex offender [just as the teenagers he was trying to catch would have been]…Bass violated a Colorado law that says even unintentionally possessing explicit images of [legal minor]s is…having child pornography…The case began when Bass and…[his boss] Scott Hodgson…[seiz]ed [students’ phones based on a rumor and]…found photos on a few students’ phones, saved in the disappearing photo application Snapchat.  Worried the boys [might escape having their lives destroyed by “child porn” charges via the expedient of]…delet[ing] the photos by logging into their Snapchat accounts remotely, Bass used his work cellphone to take photos of the students’ phones…After police learned the administrators had taken photos of the boys’ phones, they arrested them [just as they wanted the students to be arrested]…

Absolute Corruption (#867)

The prosecutor in this case rode it to become attorney general of Massachusetts:

…Gov. Charlie Baker [of] Massachusetts…[has] recommended pardons for Gerald “Tooky” Amirault and Cheryl Amirault Lefave, who were convicted of sexually abusing young children at their Malden day care…in the [Satanic Panic]…of the…1980s…[despite] the…scientific [and practical absurdity of the claims]…Baker’s office included in its announcement of the pardons a statement of approval from former Attorney General Tom Reilly, who fought as Middlesex district attorney in the 1990s to keep the Amiraults and their mother in prison…

Welcome to the Future (#1191)

Calling 911 = calling the cops. Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

[A cop named] Eric Matthews decided Jessica Logan probably killed her baby before he talked to a single eyewitness or collected…any evidence…the coroner hadn’t [even] announced a cause of death.  What Matthews did have was a recording of Logan’s 911 call…[from which he magically divined that]…the 25-year-old…had likely staged the scene to cover up a murder…Matthews…reach[ed this bizarre, megalomaniacal conclusion because]…he had taken a two-day law enforcement training course called “911 homicide: Is the caller the killer?”…the [pseudoscience has]…spread across the country and burrowed deep into the justice system, largely without notice…defense lawyers and judges…often learn…[of] the technique for the first time in the courtroom…[but] hundreds of [cops and other sociopaths and psychopaths]…who have taken the course…now present themselves as experts, able to divine truth and deception — and guilt and innocence — from the word choice, cadence and even grammar of people reporting emergencies…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1233)

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

A…pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Round Rock, Texas who was caught with…child pornography…[tried to excuse his behavior by blaming it on] an addiction…David Lloyd Walther now faces federal charges for distribution, receipt, transportation and possession of child pornography…[includ]ing an image of a nude boy with a collar on his neck and being sexually abused, a similar image of a female toddler…images of nude young boys and girls being restrained by ropes and tools…[and] a bestiality video involving a dog and a female toddler “likely less than three years old”…

Property of the State (#1271)

Women of childbearing age should avoid Alabama entirely if at all possible:

Another Alabama woman has been jailed for using drugs while pregnant.  But this time there’s a twist: she wasn’t actually pregnant.  Her young child merely told a social worker that she was, according to the woman’s lawsuit against…Etowah County…[which locked her in a cage instead of just giving her a] pregnancy test…Etowah County… “has prosecuted more than 150 women on pregnancy-related charges in recent years,” Pregnancy Justice said.  “Of the more than 1,700 pregnancy-related criminalization cases Pregnancy Justice has documented from 1973 through 2020, Alabama leads the nation with more than 600 cases, and Etowah County leads the state.”  Freeman is now suing [pregnancy-persecuting cop Brandi] Fuller and Etowah County Sheriff Jonathon Horton…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1279)

Oh, what a surprise:

[A fantasy that] Halloween candy collected in [Calgary, Alberta was] tainted with fentanyl…is [of course bogus, but the]…RCMP are continuing to [search for some person whose life they can ruin on a bogus charge of]…illicit tampering…a[nother] woman [claimed that] that she found a sewing needle in the wrapping of a chocolate bar her child received while trick-or-treating on the same Halloween night [in the same small city even though it has ever actually happened anywhere since at least the Second World War]…

To Molest and Rape (#1286)

Think a non-cop would’ve been given a mere six years for this?

 A [typical and representative] Charleston [Illinois cop] who fled the country after being charged with three sex crimes was sentenced…to [a mere] six years in prison on lesser charges…David Iwaniw…pleaded guilty…to a charge of official misconduct…[for raping a 17-year-old girl and filming it]…Judge James Glenn sentenced Iwaniw to three years in prison on the official misconduct charge and another three years for fleeing the country, with credit for 313 days already served…[after the rape he told his victim that he would] “hunt her down if she told anyone what happened and that if she told, no one would believe her because he was a police officer”…

 

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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Diary #648

As regular readers know, I’m serious about my traditions and rituals, and not inclined to treat them in a loosy-goosy fashion.  So it takes a lot to delay my tree-trimming, which I tend to do on the day after Thanksgiving like clockwork.  But I really wanted to get the waterproof coating (see this coming Friday’s column) done in the shower before it’s too cold to work with the stuff, and since we’re supposed to be getting a coldfront this weekend I didn’t want to risk delaying.  So after Chekhov and I went out and found this tree last Friday, I put it in the stand and gave it water, but did nothing else with it that day.  On Saturday I had to do the second coat in the shower, plus too many other small chores (like making stock from the turkey carcass) to have time.  But Sundays are my light writing day, so after I finished the third coat I was able to knock out my other chores pretty quickly, and trimmed the tree Sunday night.  I think it came out pretty nicely; the trees around here are spindly compared to the ones we had in Oklahoma, but it’s still very satisfying to get a tree from one’s own woods.  But while I’ve got your attention: please consider donating to my toy drive!  The last few years I’ve started slow and still did well, so I’m not worried about this year’s slow start again.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to remind y’all every chance I get!

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Back Issue #113

The world is full of people who really cannot understand the difference between weed-smoking and assault or between prostitution and rape, and are willing to say so in courtrooms and legislatures.
–  “O Tempora! O Mores!

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I can’t even breathe.  –  Neal Saunders

This seemed like the right song to memorialize composer Ned Rorem, especially since it’s also seasonally appropriate.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel; Dave Crisp; Jesse Walker, Franklin Harris, & Dan Savage; Cop Crisis (x2); and Carol Fenton, in that order.

From the Archives

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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[KOSA] is the ultimate “let’s just blame the internet for anything bad” bill.  –  Mike Masnick

What the Hell Were You Thinking?

While prohibitionists get big bucks to harass sex workers, spread anti-whore propaganda and work with cops to target women for state violence, organizations which work to actually support sex workers get by on little more than volunteer hours and good wishes.  There’s nothing in this article about Street Safe New Mexico and the bad date list it maintains for street workers which will surprise sex workers or regular readers, but perhaps if articles like this keep appearing some big moneybag like Bezos or Gates, trying to make a name for himself as a philanthropist, will recognize this as an area where he really can make a difference for hundreds of thousands of women in the US alone.  And the fact that it appears in Cosmopolitan is another sign that feminism is slowly, falteringly, moving away from its misogynistic demands that the state violently police women’s sexual behavior.

No Friend of Ours

Those laboring under the delusion that Nevada is even remotely whore-friendly need look no further than this collection of dysphemisms, infantilization, racism, copaganda, bizarrely-stilted Copese, lurid fetishization of police victims, puritanism, distortion, and outright lies vomited out by “journalist” parrots after fellating their “law enforcement sources”.  The persecution of a very ordinary business is made to seem something like the adventure of a TV hero breaking up a terrorist plot to kill millions, rather than a simple-minded scheme for a gang of thugs to molest women and harass migrants in order to justify their pathologically-bloated budget while getting themselves off.

Torture Chamber (#1198)

Authoritarians want you to pay for more such hell-holes to torture even more people in:

…A new…report from the the [Fulton County Georgia] jail’s medical provider reveals that…the jail’s most vulnerable…[prisoners a]re wasting away in squalid conditions…more than 90 percent…were so malnourished that they had developed cachexia, a wasting syndrome that typically affects people with advanced-stage cancer…the men were detained in filthy cells and…over 90 percent…had not been “receiving essential medications” or completing their…activities of daily living…such as showering, dressing, using the toilet, and eating…every person in the unit had lice or scabies—in some cases both—a[bout which nothing was done until one prisoner died from the neglect]…on…Sept. 13…

Virtual Imperialism (#1202)

Beijing’s campaign to silence Chinese people outside China is becoming more aggressive:

…Criticism of the CCP has been rising in the ranks of censored topics on American campuses.  Whether it’s among professors adapting their classrooms to skirt Hong Kong’s oppressive national security law, administrators fearful of alienating lucrative funding or partnership opportunities, or international students worried that basic academic discussions will cause legal trouble at home, there is a growing problem in higher education….[which] comes with global implications: It’s getting a lot harder to talk critically about Xi Jinping, the CCP, and the human rights violations taking place in China.  This shift was on full display at GWU in February when [Chinese] students launched [an] anonymous protest…[by] post[ing] artwork from Australia-based Chinese artist Badiucao satirizing China’s human rights record and the ethical issues raised by its hosting of the Olympics…it took less than 24 hours before the…[Beijing-backed] Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) [demanded the protest be censored], calling for the responsible students to be “punished severely”…

You Were Warned (#1224)

These attempts to destroy the internet are just going to keep getting worse:

…a [gang of censorious politician]s is attempting to include the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) in a year-end “must pass” omnibus bill, ramping up the bill’s chance of passage.  While KOSA has been touted as a bill that would provide [so-called] accountability for tech companies by regulating their interactions with [legal minors], the bill would…instead…enact confusing, vague regulations upon tech companies that would encourage even more surveillance of users, and it would [allow]…parents [to file nuisance lawsuits] upon tech companies [on the same kinds of flimsy pretexts allowed by laws like FOSTA]…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1264)

It’s always lovely to see them feeding on each other:

A…[typical and representative cop] has been jailed after he…arrang[ed] to meet a[nother cop fantasy role-playing online as a] 15-year-old girl…Alex John Foster…was [arrested by the fantasy role-player and his cronies] in a [KFC parking lot] with condoms and lube [the other cop had asked him to bring.  Foster is clearly not very bright even by cop standards, because]…he…told the [fantasy role-playing cop]…“she could be an undercover police officer” [yet went anyway]…

The Cop Myth (#1285)

Sleeping with a cop is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do:

Madison [Wisconsin cop] Cary House was arrested and charged with…strangulation…of [his girlfriend.  The victim]…said House had been drinking all day when he entered her room where she was lying in bed with her young daughter; House started yelling at her and choking her…This isn’t the first time…House has…[been arrested for violent drunkenness]. In 2013…he was suspended without pay after…[firing] a gun while under the influence during a social gathering at his home…three [other Madison cops]…have been arrested within the last two weeks in separate, unrelated incidents…

 

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help both by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids.  If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual toy drive!  From now until Monday, December 12th, I’m collecting donations with which to buy toys, which I then donate to Toys for Tots.  In the past I tied session-time to the donations, but since I’m semi-retired that’s not really a workable deal any more; besides, my readers have always been so generous I’ve only had a few collect on the bargain!  If you’re in the Seattle area, we may be able to meet in person; otherwise you can send it via PayPal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net.  Since I’m also working on my own blog’s funding right now (see that thermometer in the right-hand margin?), make sure you put “Toys for Tots” in the memo so I’ll know where you intend the donation to go.  And if you can afford only one, please make it to the toy drive!

As you can see from the pictures, my readers have always risen to the occasion to help provide some simple joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.  If you’re not hurting economically yourself, please consider donating (either to my drive or to one near you); rising inflation is taking a bite out of many people’s income, so there will be less money for toys this year.  And while we adults can understand that, it can be heartbreaking for very young children to think Santa Claus has forgotten them or bypassed them because they were naughty.  Please help if you can!

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Thanksgiving 2022

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You can’t win an unwinnable war.  –  José Irizarry

R.I.P. Carol Leigh

Carol Leigh, one of the leading figures of the US sex worker movement (she was the person who actually coined the term “sex work”) has died at 71 after a 7-year battle with uterine cancer.  Carol became involved in activism just a year after she became a sex worker in 1977, and was involved in nearly every aspect  of the movement throughout the ’80s, ’90s, and Oughts; even later she was always happy to give advice and guidance to younger activists like me.  She was so well-known that even the mainstream media (including the AP, the NewYork Times and the San Francisco Chronicle) published obituaries, but the title links to one by a sex-work-friendly reporter (albeit in a publication which can’t seem to make up its mind); I’ll also be linking memorial essays from those who knew her as they appear.

Perquisites

Are statists really so delusional they can’t grasp that this is inevitable when men are given this kind of power and privilege?

José Irizarry accepts that he’s known as the most corrupt agent in U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration history…[for] conspiring with Colombian cartels to build a lavish lifestyle of expensive sportscars, Tiffany jewels and [women] around the world.  But…Irizarry says he won’t go down for this alone, accusing some long-trusted DEA colleagues of joining him in skimming millions of dollars from drug money laundering stings to fund a decade’s worth of luxury overseas travel, fine dining, top seats at sporting events and frat house-style debauchery…federal agents, prosecutors, informants and in some cases cartel smugglers themselves were all in on the three-continent joyride known as “Team America” that chose cities for money laundering pick-ups mostly for party purposes or to coincide with Real Madrid soccer or Rafael Nadal tennis matches.  That included stops along the way in VIP rooms of Caribbean strip joints, Amsterdam’s red-light district and aboard a Colombian yacht that launched with plenty of booze and more than a dozen prostitutes…All this revelry was rooted, Irizarry said, in a…reali[stic assessment] among DEA agents…that there’s nothing they can do to make a dent in the drug war anyway…“We know we’re not making a difference…The drug war is…a very fun game that we were playing”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1104)

Useful idiots destroying any possibility that the facial recognition djinni can ever be rebottled:

…public anxiety about crime seems to be peaking. Determined to [capitalize on hysteria in order to win]…votes), major cities including San Francisco, Chicago, and New Orleans are turning to…surveillance as a [pretend] solution.  This marks a big shift, especially for a city like San Francisco, which in 2019 became the first U.S. city to ban the use of facial recognition technology by…police.  Boston, Portland, Oakland, and Jackson, Mississippi, have since followed…But…the [public is fickle and fearful]…“We went from a long-term view to an extremely short-term view,” explained Tracy Rosenberg…[of] Oakland Privacy…“[concerns about] the end of public anonymity…ha[ve] largely been replaced by a narrative that [says]…the short-term implications on your life right now are more important than any sort of future surveillance state”…San Francisco’s…passed a policy that will allow [cops]…to [root through]…footage of private security cameras [without a warrant]…Cities…expanding the use of surveillance technology…risk entrenching a permanent surveillance infrastructure that may be difficult to dismantle down the road.  “The history of surveillance suggests that it’s not easy to put the genie back in the bottle,” argues Rosenberg.  One of the most high-profile examples of this dynamic comes out of New Orleans, where [politicians] are poised to expand police surveillance less than two years after passing a sweeping facial recognition ban

Torture Chamber (#1186)

It’d be great if US cities could flush their toxic waste before somebody dies:

…Forks, Washington, will pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit…filed by the family of a young…woman who committed suicide in jail after being harassed by a guard with a long history of misconduct…John Gray…would later be convicted of sexually assaulting four other [helpless caged] women.  But when Kimberly Bender—a 23-year-old Quileute tribal member struggling with drug addiction and depression—tried to report Gray’s misconduct, the Forks jail [blew her off while Gray]…sexually torment[ed] her…[until] she…hanged herself in her cell…

Torture Chamber (#1189)

I’m sure they helpfully yelled “Stop faking!” at him as he died:

…Thousands die while locked [in cages by the State] each year…a third of [them]…are younger than 55, many suffering from untreated or poorly treated illnesses, with the prison healthcare system frequently deciding that treatments for common and debilitating ailments are not “medically necessary”…“If it’s not life-threatening in that moment…they put it off and tell you to…take ibuprofen,” said Tonya Wilson…an advocate with Freedom Project…[Clifford] Farrar, [a type I diabetic] who required four insulin shots a day, was initially given access to needles, test strips and a glucometer…But…prison…[bureaucrats in Washington state soon started refusing to pay] for…insulin supplies…and…on 27 December [of last year], Farrar…was found lying on the ground…with blood coming from his mouth…he…was declared dead 20 minutes later…the prison had repeatedly neglected his health, including by denying him supplies that could have prevented his seizures, failing to check on him when he did not arrive to get his insulin shot, and responding too slowly to his final emergency…

Creepy Coppers

Just another typical and representative cop:

A Chesapeake [Virginia cop named]…Timothy M. Newton…was charged with more than 20 felony child pornography offenses [after an unknown party snitched on him]…

To Molest and Rape (#1275)

This just keeps getting worse:

[Typical and representative] Kansas City [cop]…Roger Golubski…[faces charges of conspiring with] Cecil Brooks, LeMark Roberson and Richard Robinson…[to run a violent pimping scheme] from 1996 to 1998…Brooks, Roberson and Robinson all…used physical beatings, sexual assault and threats to compel the young women to provide sexual services to men…Golubski…accepted [bribes] from Brooks, provided protection from law enforcement, and forcibly raped a[t least one] young woman…

 

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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Diary #647

One of the ways in which long, bright days are bad for my mental health is that they disrupt my sleep.  After a long day of anxiety, the last thing I want is for the sun to set so damned late that it’s been dark less than 3 hours when it’s time to go to bed.  My brain takes a while to wind down, and that’s even more true on very sunny days than on ordinary or overcast ones.  What that means is, before I started using cannabis to sleep, it might be 2 AM before I could get to sleep, and then I’d awaken about once an hour until maybe 7, after which I could forget sleeping any more.  Even with cannabis, my brain tends to race for a while after my head meets the pillow, and I wake up more often than is typical.  I consider it satisfactory if I wake up three times in a night, but in the summer, even with cannabis, it’s more often five or six times.  In autumn and winter, on the other hand, my brain feels calmer all day, and I don’t even start cooking dinner until all the chores are done and the sun is set.  Sometimes I even manage to fit my shower in before dinner, so I can sit down to eat nice and clean and relaxed, with no harsh sunlight streaming in the windows.  When bedtime comes, it’s already been dark for almost 8 hours; we turn off the heat before retiring, so I can wrap up in blankets to stay warm while breathing cool air.  It’s not unusual for me to wake up only twice, and on a few blessed occasions only once.  The sleep itself feels deeper and more restful, and I usually awaken about an hour after dawn feeling relatively content and ready to face the day.  Given what I’ve written here, and that I’ve often described sleep as the greatest of earthly pleasures, I think you can see why autumn would still be my favorite season absent all my other reasons for loving it.

 

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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