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Archive for December, 2022

Soon the government will recognize that its manufactured hysteria has accomplished all it is likely to accomplish, and shift the money it has flushed down the “sex trafficking” toilet to some new civil-rights-destroying boondoggle.  –  “New Year’s Eve 2019

I think it’s time to officially call it at last: “sex trafficking” hysteria is moribund.  While politicians still often include it in lists of fake reasons you should surrender all of your civil liberties to the latest police-statery, and spokespigs still oink about it (while making furtive movements in their pants) to justify pogroms against sex workers, and local news outlets which happily dance to their cop masters’ discordant tunes still parrot whatever they’re told about it (no matter how jaw-droppingly stupid), the public has, for the most part, lost interest in the mainstream version of the myth; those who still believe have largely adopted the more extreme “QAnon” branch of the hysteria, like the drug users of prohibitionist dogma who inevitably move from “softer” drugs to “harder” ones in search of ever-more-elusive thrills.  But politicians better at reading the room have moved on to other folk devils (including “domestic terrorism” and “obscenity”, depending upon which schoolyard team they belong to); big-city cops have largely returned to their favorite excuses for violence, drugs and poverty; and national news outlets have for the most part shifted to debunking the wackier aspects of the mythology, pretending it all started with Trump in 2017, and relying on Americans’ fabulously-poor collective memory to escape blame for amplifying and disseminating the panic in the first place in order to sell ads.  This does not mean fascists, prohibitionists, and other violent busybodies will stop attacking sex workers; these creatures act according to their natures, and can always be counted on to use every power at their disposal to inflict as much suffering as possible on those weaker than they are.  When the last iteration of “sex trafficking” hysteria died in the 1920s, the laws it spawned remained and are still being used to persecute people for thoughtcrime to this very day; the laws passed over the past 20 years will likewise long outlive the moral panic which spawned them.  Furthermore, the old excuses such as “crime” and “quality of life” never went away, and the new war on porn is more than enough to inflict carnage on a demimonde which heavily shifted toward online manifestations during the pandemic.  But the puritans’ and oppressors’ spotlight is no longer as focused directly on whores as it has been for a generation; public support for police violence is lower than it has been in years; religious fanatics have broadened their focus to include all sexual expression; carceral feminists are too busy fighting the recriminalization of abortion to attack other women for wrongthink; and some politicians have finally recognized that sex workers vote.  So I’m not breaking out the champagne or anything, but even slight progess is progress, and the less prohibitionist noise we have to shout over, the more clearly sex workers can get our message out to those who need to hear it.

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Back Issue #114

Why is the reason two people choose to live together, sign a contract together or have sex with each other any business of the government’s?  –  “Like a Horse and Carriage

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Your face is like a password you can’t change.  –  Pete Warden

Torture Chamber

Just in case you thought this was restricted to the US:

…a man [died in] a central Japan police station…[after being beaten and then] left naked and bound with his head in a toilet bowl, and a senior official is among those…[recorded on camera] kicking the…[prisoner] as he lay tied up…[cops also] neglected to take necessary medical measures, such as having a doctor examine the man, though he had diabetes and schizophrenia…

Stalkers in Blue

This week’s entry in the “No shit” department:

…Connecticut cop…Joshua Zarbo has been suspended after he…ask[ed] an emergency dispatcher to check a woman’s license plate to obtain her name and personal information in hopes of securing a date…It’s not the first time a police officer in the state [ab]used the system to identify potential [sexual target]s…[typical and representative] Norwalk [cop] Taranjit Singh resigned in 2021 before he could be punished after…four women [reported] he either pulled over and threatened to give them a ticket unless they gave him their cellphone number or obtained their names and addresses through the same database system Zarbo…[ab]used…One…wom[a]n who was twice stopped by Singh…became so fearful of running into him again that she moved out of Norwalk…

Eavesdropping (#1152)

Why does a vacuum cleaner need either a camera or a wifi connection?

In the fall of 2020, gig workers in Venezuela posted a series of images to online forums where they gathered to talk shop.  The photos were mundane, if sometimes intimate, household scenes captured from low angles…In one particularly revealing shot, a young woman in a lavender T-shirt sits on the toilet, her shorts pulled down to mid-thigh.  The images were…taken by…development versions of iRobot’s Roomba J7 series robot vacuum…[and] sent to Scale AI, a startup that contracts workers around the world to label audio, photo, and video data used to train artificial intelligence…iRobot—the world’s largest vendor of robotic vacuums, which Amazon recently acquired for $1.7 billion in a pending deal—confirmed that these images were captured by its Roombas in 2020.  All of them came from “special development robots…that are not and never were present on iRobot consumer products for purchase”…given to “paid collectors and employees” who signed written agreements acknowledging that they were sending data streams, including video, back to the company for training purposes…

Monsters (#1195)

Never forget that this started with censorship of internet porn:

…Putin…[has] signed new legislation that widely bans public expression of [LGBT content]…in [Russia by criminalizing the]…spread [of] “propaganda” about “nontraditional sexual relations” in the media, advertising, movies or…social media…and from any outlet visible to minors.  Distributing to minors any information “that causes children to want to change their sex” was also prohibited…Putin has long cast [the existence of sexual minorities] as a Western intrusion into Russia’s traditional society and values, and proponents of the new law recently likened the[ir crusade]…to Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, which they [depict] as a broader civilization clash between them and the West…

Prudish Pedants (#1223)

Redefining words to mean something more convenient is the oldest trick in the politicians’ playbook:

…Sen. Mike Lee…[has] introduced the Interstate Obscenity Definition Act (IODA), which attempts to edit the legal definition of “obscenity” to allow…for [government] regulation of pornography…The definition of obscenity is based on a stringent, three-part test originating from the 1973 case Miller v. CaliforniaIODA is an attempt to challenge the Miller test’s prominence, creating an alternate definition of obscenity…[which]…would basically render the majority of pornography legally obscene…thus allow[ing] for the criminalization of most internet pornography, by removing the requirement that sexual depictions be “patently offensive,” as well as the requirement that “contemporary community standards” be used to judge material…

Stalkers in Blue (#1282)

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

A Los Angeles [cop has enjoyed a paid vacation since]…he…shared explicit photographs and videos of his [cop] wife with other [cops]…without her knowledge or consent.  Brady Lamas…[merely] faces…misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct…[for] shar[ing] the images between Dec. 29, 2021, and Jan. 24 in a group chat on Kik…They were discovered by his wife…on Jan. 30…[and he was rewarded] the day after…

Absolute Corruption (#1293)

Expecting moral courage from a politician is like expecting a duckbilled platypus to perform Shakespeare:

In a [wholly predictable] reversal of a [rare moment of moral clarity, Massachusetts governor] Charlie Baker…withdrew his recommendation to pardon Gerald Amirault and Cheryl Amirault LeFave, who were convicted in a [“Satanic Panic” kangaroo court] in…1984…the Amirault family has always maintained their innocence…[and] the testimony of [young] children, which formed the backbone of the case, was coerced by improper interviewing techniques.  But after years of litigation, including two trials and six Supreme Judicial Court rulings, the courts upheld their convictions.  Baker recommended the pardons against the advice of the Advisory Board of Pardons…but the Governor’s Council must confirm any pardon recommendation…and…more than half of the eight councilors expressed grave doubts about [the political popularity of bucking “child sex abuse” hysteria]…Councilor Eileen Duff said she does not believe the Amiraults are eligible for a pardon because they did not [perjure themselves by claiming guilt for “crimes” that never happened]…Amirault will be released from strict parole conditions in another year.  But both LeFave and Amirault will continue to have to register as sex offenders in the absence of a pardon…

 

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 #652

We’ve got a certain routine on holidays; some friends who don’t have local family come out for the feast, and we eat, drink, and generally make merry.  This time it rained all day on Christmas, but we were snug in the house and the atrium roof was wonderful; despite the torrential downpour, people were able to come and go between the main house and the cottages completely dry, and though the new bathroom is still incomplete the toilet is functional, the door works, and there’s light and a heater.  If only the damned gas company had come to connect my new heater as they were supposed to do weeks ago, we wouldn’t even have been affected by the two long power outages (22nd-23rd and the morning of Boxing Day) at all, because the only major appliance the generator can’t handle is the electric water heater.  Ah, well, it still wasn’t remotely annoying enough to ruin an otherwise lovely Christmas, and next year we should have most of the bugs worked out of our backup systems.

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Y’all have three cop cars because I’m feeding cats?  –  Mary Alston

You’re probably familiar with the song, but did you know there was an official music video starring the young singer herself, from 1953?  The links above the video were provided by Clarissa, Jesse Walker, Cop Crisis (x3), Radley Balko, and Phoenix Calida, 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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Boxing Day 2022

Just a reminder of what this day is for: relaxing and sharing with the less fortunate. And they needn’t be strangers. Happy Holidays, and Blessed Be.

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Christmas Day 2022

A Very Merry Christmas to all my readers, and Blessed Be!

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Christmas Eve 2022

Merry Christmas, dear readers, and may you all find everything you hope for under your tree!

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I was not sent to prison to be raped and abused.  –  Briane Moore

To Molest and Rape (#1009)

Prince George’s County, Maryland is well-known for rapist cops:

…Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Deputy…Brandon Burroughs…has been suspended following repeated [rapes of]…a woman from the area…Burroughs w[as charged following the]…rape…that h[e committed] in October…[bu]t in September…Burroughs [had raped] the same woman…[and been rewar]ded with [a] pa[id vacation]…

Guinea Pigs (#1141) 

This is what your god-emperor and his lackeys call “going after the billionaires”:

…OnlyFans content creators [are now being slapped with threats of]…criminal tax investigation…“pairs of IRS Special Agents across the country descended on the homes and offices of OnlyFans personalities and their tax return preparers, delivering grand jury subpoenas,” [said] John Colvin, a Seattle tax defense attorney…OnlyFans reportedly grossed over $2.3 billion in 2020 alone.  Its content creators have been increasingly well-known for their eye-popping accumulation of wealth.  It is no surprise, then, that the IRS…[is going to try to rob as many of them as possible, starting with] some of the highest grossing of the 1.6 million content creators…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1193)

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

…the TSA, has been testing facial recognition software to…screen passengers flying [domestically] in 16 airports.  And now it’s looking into rolling it out nationwide next year…security checkpoints [will require] scanning a copy of a government-issued ID…and standing in front of a c[omputerized facial recognition] system…TSA agents…[w]ill [lurk nearby to subject]…travelers…[to] further [harassment] due to the technology’s inaccuracies…

Thou Shalt Not (#1198)

Because this kind of prohibition will surely be different!

…the New Zealand parliament [has] passed a law banning anyone born after December 31, 2008, from ever buying cigarettes.  The law is designed to permanently [criminalize] tobacco usage in the country by aging out current[ly-legal] smokers.  In 2040, for instance, 31-year-olds will still be [criminalized if they]…buy…cigarettes, cigars, and similar products…the policy will fuel a black market for the products and create new vectors for state violence against individuals…[under the pretext of] dramatically reduc[ing] smoking rates in the country—which are already at a historic low, with only 8 percent of adults smoking daily.  The law will also reduce the number of retailers permitted to sell combustible tobacco products, from 6,000 to 600, and it mandates a reduced nicotine level in [legal] tobacco products.  The legislation will not ban the sale of tobacco vape products…

The Last Shall Be First (#1246) 

Texas seems to be preparing to extend its deranged jihad to trans adults:

Employees at the Texas Department of Public Safety in June received a sweeping request from…Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office: to compile a list of individuals who had changed their gender on their Texas driver’s license and other department records during the past two years…The behind-the-scenes effort…came as the attorney general, Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican [politicians] in the state have been publicly marshaling resources against transgender Texans…[including] more than a dozen anti-LGBTQ measures ahead of the next session in January, including criminalizing gender-affirming care and banning minors at drag shows…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1277)

Cops won’t drop this fantasy until “news” media stop obediently parroting it:

A Florida [cop] making a [pretext] stop [imagined she] was accidentally exposed to fentanyl, triggering a p[anic attack] that [was alleviated by a placebo effect when her fellow cops gave her]…three doses of Narcan…Courtney Bannick…[was looking for a drug arrest] while she was handling dollars bills [that cops claim are often coated with the magical insta-fentanyl of cop legends].  Although she was wearing gloves…[she was terrified by] a gust of wind [she suddenly imagined had] blown some of the drugs toward her…

Torture Chamber (#1298)

The one man most responsible for the staggering number of US women locked in cages is now living in the White House:

The epidemic of sexual assaults against [women locked in cages by the]…federal [government]…has prompted the Justice Department to expand the use of a program to provide early releases to women [raped by screws and other government actors]…In recent weeks, the deputy attorney general…has pressed top [screwmasters]…to encourage [prisoners] who have been [raped or otherwise] assaulted by prison employees…to apply.  The push comes amid new [admiss]ions about the extent of abuse of women, and the…willingness of many prison officials [to cultivate the system which allows that abuse]…and [shield rapists] at all levels in the system, to address a crisis that has long been an open secret…

 

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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