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Archive for the ‘The Dark Side’ Category

The lurid, sensationalized tragedy porn narratives that make up the body of “sex trafficking” mythology are nothing more than Gothic horror tales that opportunists pretend are real.  –  “Unreal Horrors

Every…sex-work[er]…has had clients fall for her; it’s a natural outgrowth of a situation in which a lonely man spends a lot of time in the company of a beautiful, alluring woman who only shows him her best side.  –  “Out of Bounds

You are going to die.  Soon.  And there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.  –  “Thanatopsis

Sex and death are but two sides of the same coin:  the former is the door through which we enter the world, and the latter the door through which we leave it.  –  “Eros and Thanatos

That experience of being a stranger in one’s own community, of being treated like a living oracle, like a weird visitor back from the underworld with divine wisdom to share…that, I think, is the experience which defines the old.
–  “Let There Be Dark

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Is there anything you wouldn’t do to save a child?  –  Tim Ballard

Buried Truth

Yet another example of McNeill’s Law:

A[n Indiana] man [named Eldon W. Phelps has been]…arrest[ed for]…possession of child pornography…[after NCMEC reported he had] an image of a [prepubescent] girl [being raped by] an adult male…[when interrogated,] Phelps told police…they would find more [of the same]…on his desktop computer…Phelps [h]as a…[history of vomiting ugly rhetoric against “pedophiles” on Twitter]…

Joey the Player

A rare case of “authorities” actually doing something about a serial rapist of sex workers:

Jose Torres…was convicted of…four counts of [“persuading women to travel interstate to engage in prostitution”]…From May 2015 to October 2019, Torres persuaded, induced and enticed…sex workers…to travel [to New Jersey]…to [see him as a client, specifically]…target[ing] out-of-state sex workers…with promises of large sums of payment.  Once the women were in New Jersey, Torres refused to pay them…[and] became aggressive, often assaulting and raping them.  Each charge of coercion and enticement carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2024…

Rape is not a federal offense, but Mann Act violations are.  At least this shitty law was used against an actual violent criminal for a change, but…

To Molest and Rape (#1338)

Give sexually-aggressive thugs power over teen girls; what could possibly go wrong?

…no charges will be filed against a[n Ohio cop assigned to spy on, harass, and intimidate students]…for [grooming and molesting] a female student…at the high school…[he was assigned to lurk in.  His behavior made his] wife…[suspicious so she rooted in his] phone…and [found]…a number of…lengthy…late…night [calls with the girl, plus]…messages [that were] “personal in nature and clearly unrelated to school business…a dozen or more times a day…many messages [were] sexual in nature including specific requests for sex”…the student…in[sists] “no sexual conduct beyond touching and kissing took place”…last month, [Bernhardt stalked her]…even though he’d been warned not to have contact with her…

When Ambulance-Chasers Run the Hospitals

Governments will keep uing civil suits to circumvent due process until the practice is declared unconstitutional:

The state of Utah [has] filed a lawsuit against TikTok…for [magical]ly harming the mental health of children and teens, following in the footsteps of states like Arkansas and Indiana…The new lawsuit accuses TikTok of leveraging “[magica]l algorithms and m[ind-control] design features” to entice young users to use the app [in] violation of the state’s consumer protection laws…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1371)

Politicians don’t even try to make their new laws Constitutional any more:

[An] Ohio [politician named Steve Demetriou has] introduced an age verification bill called the “Innocence Act,” which…could make posting any nude image online without verifying age a felony…and would [criminalize] anyone under the age of 18 [who views] sexually explicit content.”  Demetriou…claim[s] that unspecified studies have shown that “pornography is a pathway to mental health issues for children and can be a precursor to sexual aggression”…[and absurdly belched out the phrase] “human trafficking” [for extra hysteria value]…

Served Cold (#1375)

Ballard’s house of marked cards is collapsing:

[Fiv]e women [have] filed a lawsuit against Tim Ballard…for…abuse…[of] the Couples Ruse…in which a woman would accompany Ballard pretending to be his wife or girlfriend…Ballard would tell the women it was necessary to continue the ruse even while at private accommodations because [magical ninja] traffickers could be surveilling them[, presumably via psychic powers or invisibility,] at any moment…even though the accommodations were always at designated “safe houses”…Ballard [demanded sex]…in [order] to have “real chemistry” because…traffickers would be [magically] able to determine…if they were actually involved or not [via magic spells]…He frequently asked women to practice…before a mission ever took place…through a number of different sexual activities…and…at…strip clubs…Ballard believed he could “talk to the dead prophet Nephi and issue forth prophecies about Ballard’s greatness and future as…President of the United States, and ultimately the Mormon Prophet, to usher in the second coming of Jesus Christ”…


Y’all may remember that I’ve repeatedly described Ballard as a megalomaniac.

To Molest and Rape (#1379)

Cops should not be allowed anywhere near legal minors:

Arkansas State Police arrested [a cop named] Roy E. Mitchell…[for] sexual assault [against a minor]…following a call [made by some unnamed party] to the…Crimes Against Children Division Hotline…

 

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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Once you get the scarlet letter, nobody wants you anymore.
–  Kristen DiAngelo

If Men Were Angels

Oh look, another “youth pastor”, what a surprise:

A [typical and representative] youth pastor at a Twin Falls [Idaho] church faces sexual battery charges after…[molesting] a girl in 2021 when she was 16 years old.  Dakota Austin Kennemer…was charged…after…the pastor [reported him to cops]…

This one, on the other hand, is a bit surprising:

Amanda Buchanan Justice…of [North Carolina]…was charged with sexually assaulting a child…She…was a youth leader at New Life Family Worship Center in Kings Mountain…her…husband…is still serving as a pastor…[but] stepped down from his role as a youth minister following…his wife [admitting the molestation to him]…

Torture Chamber (#690)

US officials already know prisons exacerbate crime; they simply don’t care:

In 1999 Connecticut had so many people in prison that it paid to send 500 of them to be [cag]ed in Virginia.  Nearly 25 years later, the state has not only sliced its number of imprisoned people in half, but been able to close more than 10 prisons while keeping its crime rate at its lowest level in more than 40 years…Connecticut currently runs 13 prisons, which [cag]e about 10,000 people.  Two-thirds of these are serving sentences; the other third are those who have yet to be sentenced…The state’s rate of 155 people imprisoned per 100,000 residents is now the ninth lowest in the country and well below the national average of 350 people per 100,000…

Guinea Pigs (#1307) 

Another bunch of vigilante bigots playing games with people’s lives:

Victor Marx…is…a [jarhead and] self-proclaimed exorcist…[who] helped launch the Skull Games, a privatized intelligence outfit that purports to hunt pedophiles, sex traffickers, and other “demonic activity” using a blend of sock-puppet social media accounts and commercial surveillance tools — including face recognition software…Recent games have been [sponsored] by the [Israeli] surveillance firm Cobwebs, and an upcoming competition…[by] Anomaly Six…Marx has savvily ridden recent popular attention to the [propaganda] film Sound of Freedom…and conservative “groomer” panic…to [sell harassment of sex workers as somehow]…Christ[ian]…Skull Games…is…a sort of hackathon for would-be Christian saviors…play[ers win] points based on their sleuthing.  Finding a [sex worker]’s high school diploma…nets 15 points, while finding [a common] tattoo on multiple women would earn…300…as they prepare intelligence dossiers on women before turning them over to p[igs]…what sets Skull Games apart from other amateur predator-hunting efforts is its reliance on “open-source intelligence”…a military euphemism…[for] surveilling the public internet and purchasing sensitive information from commercial data brokers…one [recent participant was]…able to use PimEyes to find a sex worker’s driver’s license…Clearview [and Amazon’s Rekognition were]…heavily used in the January 2023 Skull Games…

Lack of Evidence (#1312) 

Courts are still more dependable sources of relief from bad laws than politicians:

…The Dallas County Criminal Court of Appeals has struck down a law against “manifesting the purpose of engaging in prostitution.”  The law…”trespasses on the constitutional rights of Dallas citizens,” wrote Judge Kristin Wade…The Dallas law…[basically] prohibits looking like [a whore, and can bring]a fine of up to $500…there’s been a growing movement against these laws, which make it easy for police to hassle and arrest people without cause…The case that led to the law being struck down involved the arrest of Iqbal Jivani, who “was in a known prostitution area and stopped to engage passers-by in conversation,” per a police complaint…

Thought Control (#1343)

It seems I was destined to be threatened with state violence regardless of my career path:

A federal lawsuit…challenges an Arkansas law that would subject librarians and booksellers to criminal charges if they provide…materials [politicians have pointed at while belching out “harmful”] to minors.  A coalition that includes the Central Arkansas Library System in Little Rock filed the challenge to the law, which [took] effect Aug. 1.  The law also creates a new process [for any busybody] to [demand] library materials…be [censored]…The number of attempts to ban or [censor] books across the U.S. last year was the highest in the 20 years the American Library Association has been tracking such efforts…at least 121 proposals introduced in state legislatures this year target…libraries, librarians, educators and access to materials…39 of those…would allow for criminal prosecution…

Creepy Coppers (#1348)

The people the government empowers to police your sexuality:

A Vevay, Indiana [cop named]…Kyle Davis…was arrested…[for] attempt[ing] to video record an underage [girl]…while she was using the bathroom…on May 30, 2020, she was at his home when she wanted to use the bathroom…Davis went in…before her…and she noticed an iPhone pointed toward the toilet set to record video…[when later questioned] Davis…[tried to blame] his teenage son…[but] Davis’ phone…[held a nude photo] of two pre-pubescent girls about 8 years old…[and] searches related to “voyeurism” [and] “spy cams”…

I Spy (#1352)

This totalitarian nonsense is a danger to the entire internet, worldwide:

…the privacy of people around the world…[will be undermined by] the Online Safety Bill, now at the final stage before passage…which will destroy end-to-end encryption.  No amendments have been accepted that would mitigate the bill’s most dangerous elements…If the Online Safety Bill becomes British law, the damage it causes won’t stop at the borders of the U.K…because…undermining encryption, whether by banning it, pressuring companies away from it, or requiring client side scanning, will be a boon to bad actors and authoritarian states…That’s [why]…U.K. civil society groups have condemned the bill, as have technical experts and human rights groups around the world…In response to this outpouring of resistance, the U.K. government’s response has been to wave its hands and deny reality…

 

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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If the government decides to point its finger at you, there’s really no question that they’re going to try to ruin you.  –  Jim Larkin

I never met Jim Larkin, but the unexpected news of his suicide brought tears to my eyes last Tuesday; those tears were not only for him, but for all of us living under the government that murdered him as surely as if he had been executed.

God help us.

His death was reported in many places online; of course the corporate media reports ranged from typical lie-parroting and bootlicking to outright grave-dancing, and the ghouls at the federal agency which hounded him to death had the jaw-dropping gall to “send condolences to his family and friends, and wish them sustenance and strength in a difficult time“.  As is not unusual these days, one needed to turn to the alternative press to read a truthful account, such as this one from Elizabeth Nolan Brown of Reason:

Lacey [and] Larkin built the Phoenix New Times from an anti-war student newspaper into a broad—and still-thriving—record of Maricopa County culture and politics…They [then] expanded their alt-weekly empire nationwide, eventually running 17 free papers, including the Miami New Times, Westword, the Dallas Observer, and The Village Voice…Collectively, the papers and their staffers were nominated for more than 1,400 national writing awards, won one Pulitzer, and were finalists for the Pulitzer six other times…Among the court battles they fought—and won—was one over infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio demanding data on New Times readers; Arpaio was eventually forced to pay Larkin and Lacey a $3.75 million settlement, which they used to establish the immigrant rights organization Frontera Fund.  Another…was waged over a 1971 New Times ad for a group that helped women in Arizona (where abortion was illegal) travel to California for the procedure.  The case eventually helped invalidate Arizona’s entire abortion ban…

And this one from Mike Masnick of Techdirt:

…contrary to the public narrative you may have heard, Backpage worked closely with federal law enforcement to actually stop sex trafficking…But they refused to do the same for consensual sex work and that is why the feds eventually came down on them like a ton of bricks, all while telling the media and politicians that it was for sex trafficking.   But that was all bullshit.  And the bullshit extended to the process of the federal case against Larkin and Lacey, including when the defendants discovered an internal DOJ memo stating flat out that Backpage was helpful, rather than harmful, in the fight against sex trafficking.  The DOJ successfully got the court to say that they couldn’t use that in their defense

His family made this statement in the paper he co-founded:

…Jim fought for voices and issues ignored by society.  He fought against police brutality, he fought for immigrant rights and, above all, he fought tooth and nail for free speech.  He wasn’t afraid to pick up the unmovable boulders of our society and shine light on the corruption beneath.  While many publishers abandoned journalistic principles in the face of pressure and harassment, Jim stood fast and fought for the truth…

But it’s Michael Lacey’s comments which are, unsurprisibly, the most poignant:

I never saw my friend do a dishonest or dishonorable thing in his entire life.

I had a four-decade friendship with a wonderful man.

Now I have only his memory.

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When a film claims to be “based on a true story,” it can still be 99% fiction.  –  Robert Gehrke

If Men Were Angels

He wasn’t a “former pastor” when he murdered a little girl:

…83-year-old David Zandstra [has confessed to the]…murder of…[8-year-old] Gretchen Harrington…on August 15, 1975.  Zandstra was a pastor at…Trinity Church Chapel Christian Reform Church [in Media, Pennsylvania], where Harrington was going to [Bible] camp…[when Harrington’s] skeletal remains were found…[Zanstra was questioned but claimed he hadn’t seen her that day.  Then]…earlier this year, investigators learned Zandstra [had] groped a girl, who was best friends with his daughter, years ago…In [her] diary from 1975, she noted that she thought Zandstra kidnapped Harrington…[when confronted] in Marietta, Georgia, where he [now] lives…Zandstra admitted…he [had] offered Harrington a ride and took her to a wooded area…[where] he [tried to molest her, then fatally]…struck [her] in the head with a fist when she refused…he…[then] cover[ed her] body and [fled] the scene…

The Face of Trafficking (#585)

Another case of what really happens when a wannabe “pimp” abducts a girl:

Terrique Devon Milam, 19, [and an unnamed 17-year-old were] charged with…promotion of prostitution…[after being] arrested Thursday, July 20, by…Seattle Police…[when a] father…reported that his daughter was being held against her will…his daughter had told him she could not leave, shared her location and abruptly hung up the call…The victim told police she met a woman in her home state of Texas who…[had shared an especially-silly version of the “gypsy whore” myth with] her…she [was abducted by]…several [wannabe] pimps…[who for] two weeks [took her] to and from Aurora Avenue…[by] two men [who stole] the money she earned…

Note the lack of actual “sex trafficking” charges, despite the attempt to invoke the “sex trafficking at sporting events” myth.

I Spy (#1213) 

The government thinks you shouldn’t be allowed any privacy whatsoever:

…From the bluntly named World War II-era Director of Censorship’s power to restrict mail, to the 1873 Comstock Act fueling the power of the post to [censor] contraception information…to the PATRIOT Act’s many tentacles, the Post Office hides nasty habits under its all-American exterior…Mail covers involve the USPS recording any information displayed on the outside, then giving that information to [cop shops and spook houses].  It is…a kind of metadata for the analog realm that gives a…picture of who the suspect knows, what they are interested in, and sometimes where they have gone…The USPS has also not released data about mail covers since 2014…[but] “no higher authority, judge or otherwise, needs to endorse the process”…A legal concept called the third party doctrine…broadly says that if you willingly give your information over to a phone company, an internet service provider, or the post office…you do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy…

Torture Chamber (#1346)

Fascism in action, profiting from human misery:

The price of bottled water [has gone] up 50% in prison commissaries across Texas…as [humans locked in the filthy cages] struggle to endure an entrenched and deadly heatwave in facilities without air conditioning.  The state raised the price from $4.80 per case (24 bottles) to $7.20 per case [after]…vendor Royal Pacific Tea Company requested to raise the prices in March even though it contract was incomplete.  The price…[gouging was obtained via kickbacks to] the state comptroller’s office and…Texas Department of Criminal Justice…the men have access to tap water.  But…the water quality [in] the aging prisons [is far below acceptable standards]…the smell…resembl[es] sewage…[and] has [been] described…as “rancid” smelling…

Shifting the Blame (#1357)

Will we ever know the connection between this guy and disgraced former Police Chief James Burke?

…authorities [have begun] digging up the Long Island…home of Rex Heuermann, the man suspected of killing at least three women found at Gilgo Beach, and reportedly found a soundproof room in Heuermann’s basement that they think at least one woman may have died in…[they] are excavating his backyard, and…brought cadaver dogs and radar tools to the property…Heuermann’s wife, Asa Ellerup…has since filed for divorce…and…Heuermann is a “prime suspect” in the death of a fourth woman, Marueen Brainard-Barnes, who disappeared in July 2007…

The Widening Gyre (#1358) 

At least this one confessed quickly:

[Carlee Russell] has confessed to fabricating a story that she was kidnapped after stopping to check on a toddler she saw walking on the side of the interstate…there was no kidnapping…she did not leave the city, and acted alone…it is possible that Russell could face charges.  [Cops] are trying to determine where she was in the two days she was gone…

Served Cold (#1359)

The schadenfreude of watching Tim Ballard’s reputation go down in flames is so very sweet:

Ballard’s [highly-exaggerated] version of the story [he claims inspired him to profit from “sex trafficking” hysteria] provides the basis for the new film, Sound of Freedom, which has [not] done [as] well at the box office [as its promoters pretend]…But in the movie, even more liberties are taken…there are obvious discrepancies between the story Ballard tells and the narrative in court documents…When embellished or exaggerated or untrue statements are used to raise money, it becomes…problematic…much of Ballard’s origin story is flatly, provably false, and the people who have donated tens of millions of dollars to Ballard’s organizations deserve to know how much of what he has told them is true and how much has been concocted to fuel his celebrity status and ego.

 

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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[An FBI] suggestion…is not a suggestion. It is in fact effectively an order.  –  Darrell Issa

Surplus Women

Cops love awkward, overcomplicated language:

Three women [have been] found dead near the Trinity River in [Dallas, and]…Oscar Sanchez Garcia…is being charged with th[e]…murder[s].  The body of 60-year-old Limberly Robinson was found in late April.  25-year-old Cherish Gibson was found dead in the same area two months later.  The third woman was found [July 15th and] has not yet been identified.  Police believe at least two of the victims have possible ties to prostitution…

Would it have been too difficult to say, “at least two of the victims may have been sex workers”?

No Difference (#1334)

Will this be another victory for US evangelical prohibitionists?

Kenya is…introducing legislation that would criminalise openly identifying with, or supporting, the LGBTQ+ community…including openly identifying as LGBTQ+ or wearing Pride emblems.  Those found in breach of the law would face a minimum of 10 years in jail while those found guilty of performing same-sex acts would face a minimum of 14 years…anyone found guilty under a clause for “aggravated homosexuality,” defined as engaging in “homosexual acts with a minor or disabled person and transmitting a terminal disease through sexual means”, could be executed.  The bill heavily mirrors Uganda’s…which was signed into law earlier this year.  Similar bills are also being proposed in Tanzania…South Sudan…[and] Ghana

You Were Warned (#1344)

“This bill is not about kids’ safety, because it will put their safety at risk”:

With…KOSA…be[ing] debated in…Congress…Joe Biden [has] come out [to] give a full throated endorsement of the horrible, dangerous, bill that will damage privacy and harm children…the Republicans have been quite vocal about how they support KOSA because they know they can use it to suppress LGBTQ voices.  They flat out said that they believe that “keeping trans content away from children is protecting kids”…KOSA….[is] not about “protecting” kids privacy at all.  It’s about giving the government more control over kids.  The nature of the bill will require more data collection…[and] create serious 1st Amendment concerns by holding companies potentially liable if kids face harm that…an [ambulance-chaser can pretend was somehow related]…to anything they found online…

Now would be the time to call your congresscritter to scare it away from being associated with this police-state garbage.

Torture Chamber (#1344)

I’m sure they occasionally yelled “Stop faking!” at him as he wasted away:

By the time he died alone in his Miami-Dade jail cell in the summer of 2021, (5’10”) Randy Heath weighed just 113 pounds…[because] guards…allowed [him]…to languish [for 9 months] in the jail’s mental health unit…[and] did not properly feed, monitor, or administer…medication…the…Medical Examiner’s Office…[claims] Heath…died from “food asphyxia” after a large piece of orange blocked his airway, with the contributory cause being pica, an eating disorder in which people compulsively eat things that aren’t food…Heath…had been in and out of…jail since 2002 on various charges…[but the most recent arrest] in April 2020 [was on the pretext that he touched] his ankle monitor [in a manner disallowed by The State]…He would remain on the floor of his cell unattended for hours…in his own urine and feces…Although he was regularly prescribed medication for his mental illnesses, his toxicology report detected no medicine in his system at the time of death…

Censor Chic (#1354)

Partisans deny this when it’s their side making “suggestions”:

…based on current evidence, the FBI has not explicitly demanded that social media companies censor any specific posts or news stories.  But…[as] the Supreme Court [said] nearly 60 years ago: Americans “do not lightly disregard public officers’ thinly veiled threats to institute criminal proceedings against them if they do not come around.”  Much is said in our current discourse about…power imbalances…When your boss asks if you can stay late or come in on the weekend, you can say no. But in the back of your mind, you know there may be consequences…It’s…a similar dynamic when the government sends “suggestions” to private individuals or companies over which it exercises…authority…When the FBI floods social media platforms with “alerts” about content it obviously wants taken down, it doesn’t deserve a pass just because it didn’t say out loud: “or else”…The FBI uses the weight and authority of its office to lean on platforms in an attempt to do what the First Amendment forbids it from doing directly: suppress protected speech.  This tactic is called “jawboning,” and is not something we should blithely accept in a society committed to free expression as a fundamental value…

Served Cold (#1357)

Ballard’s increasingly-bizarre antics have apparently upset his partners in profiteering:

Tim Ballard, the celebrity [“sex] trafficking[” profiteer] whose heavily fictionalized exploits served as the inspiration for the [fak]e box-office hit Sound of Freedom, is no longer CEO of the Nazarene Fund, the Glenn Beck-backed [rescue industry] organization…a letter is circulating in Utah’s philanthropic community, which claims that Ballard left OUR following an internal investigation…[after] an employee filed an HR complaint after returning from a mission with Ballard…

Elsewhere, Kaytlin Bailey uses Ballard’s fanciful story as a springboard for discussion of why “rescue” narratives are not only nonsense, but distracting from measures that really help sex workers.

Torture Chamber (#1358)

It does not help young victims of governmental brutality to infantilize them as “children”:

…inside…the…largest juvenile [prison]…in…New Mexico…[young people] between the ages of 12 and 17 are routinely subjected to strip searches, held for weeks in cells without toilets, and left with only a thin plastic sheet to block out the glare of hallway lights that never turn off.  Girls face particularly harsh conditions, often placed in…solitary confinement…chronic understaffing…[is used to excuse holding prisoners] for weeks, in temporary booking cells with no toilets or sinks…[yet somehow there are enough staff for weekly sexual assaults euphemized as “]strip searches[“.  Girls who]…refuse…to [submit are]…locked in…cell[s] until [they “]consent[“]…

 

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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The judges…justif[ied] their leniency…in florid language strikingly similar to that found in subreddits for incels.  –  Gustavo Turner

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#787)

The return of a ridiculous fantasy we haven’t seen much in the past few years:

Former Google executive Mo Gawdat has made a st[upid, hackneyed] prediction: hyper-realistic AI sex robots are coming that could make intimate human relationships obsolete…Gawdat— [like many other clueless techheads before him]—claimed…virtual reality and augmented reality will soon allow people to have simulated sexual experiences that are indistinguishable from real life…If you can use tech to feel what your partner makes you feel, Gawdat [inanely bloviated], “Why would you need another being in the first place?”…

Virtual Imperialism (#1175)

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

…a couple of weeks before the [election, incumbent Canadian MP] Kenny Chiu…[realized] something had flipped among the ethnic Chinese voters in his British Columbia district…Longtime supporters…were not returning his calls.  Volunteers reported icy greetings at formerly friendly homes.  Chinese-language news outlets stopped covering him.  And he was facing an onslaught of attacks — from untraceable sources — on the local community’s most popular social networking app, the Chinese-owned WeChat…Chiu and several other elected officials critical of Beijing were targets of a Chinese state that has increasingly exerted its influence over Chinese diaspora communities worldwide as part of an aggressive campaign to expand its global reach…a Chinese diplomat…[tried] to intimidate…Michael Chong…after he successfully led efforts in Parliament to label China’s [genocide] of…Uyghur[s]…a genocide…

The Widening Gyre (#1218) 

Another troubled woman fakes an “abduction” to get attention:

Police in Alabama cast doubt…on the story of a woman who set off a frantic search when she disappeared for two days after calling 911 to report a[n imaginary] toddler wandering on the highway.  Carlee Russell [pretended] she was abducted and forced into a car…but…detectives were…unable to verify…[her claim that] she was taken by a man who came out of the trees when she stopped to check on the child, put [her] in [both] a car and an 18-wheel truck, [then] blindfolded [her] and held [her] at a home where a woman fed her cheese crackers…she [claimed she later]…managed to escape and run through the woods to her neighborhood.  In the days before her disappearance, she searched for information on her cellphone about Amber Alerts, [the “sex trafficking” propaganda] movie [Taken,] and [buying] a one-way bus ticket from Birmingham, Alabama, to Nashville, Tennessee, departing the day she disappeared.  Her phone also showed she traveled about 600 yards while telling a 911 operator she was following a 3- or 4-year-old child in a diaper on the side of the highway…

To Molest and Rape (#1325)

If only there were a concise term for “coerced women into sex”:

In 2012, three months after Eddie Scott became sheriff of Clay County, Miss…a woman he had [repeatedly rap]ed…after she was arrested…[filed suit against him, and even] showed suggestive letters [he had written her]…Judge Jim Kitchens ruled against the woman.  Sheriff Scott’s predecessor, Laddie Huffman…did not report [him] to state or federal [cop shops].  There [wa]s no…internal investigation…The…only public record of the allegations [was intentionally hidden] at the Clay County Courthouse…among hundreds of cases, until reporters [finally] pressed for it…while [finally] investigating other [rapes committed by] Scott…[who claims she wanted it, just like all the other] women..[he has harassed,] coerce[d, raped,] and retaliate[d] against…wh[en they reported the attacks]…In rural communities like Clay County…sheriffs rule like kings.  They can arrest anyone they choose, smear reputations and hand out reprieves and other favors.  They…hold people in jail as long as they please and they answer to no one…Noxubee County Sheriff Terry Grassaree rose in the ranks of his Mississippi department and kept his elected office for years despite [repeated rapes and beatings of caged people].  He was voted out in 2019 and now faces federal charges of bribery…But in Clay County, Sheriff Scott remains in power…

The Vultures Descend (#1333)

Prohibition can never succeed, regardless of which substance is prohibited:

…A new procedure adopted in mid-June by one of the largest abortion pill suppliers, Europe-based Aid Access, now allows U.S. medical professionals in…states that have passed abortion “shield” laws to prescribe and mail pills directly to patients in antiabortion states.  Previously, Aid Access allowed only Europe-based doctors to prescribe abortion pills to women in states where abortion is restricted and then shipped those pills internationally, leaving patients to wait weeks.  The telemedicine shield laws, enacted over the past year in New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Vermont and Colorado, explicitly protect abortion providers who mail pills to restricted states from inside their borders.  The result is a new pipeline of legally prescribed abortion pills flowing into states with abortion bans…

Surplus Women (#1349)

Gee, I wonder why violent men often target sex workers?

In a controversial statement justifying their sentence of 30 years rather than life in prison for the man convicted of murdering [adult] performer and OnlyFans creator Charlotte Angie, the Italian judges in the case referred to the victim as an “uninhibited” woman who made her killer feel “used”…

Torture Chamber (#1356)

It does not help young victims of governmental brutality to infantilize them as “children”:

[Young people] incarcerated on the former death row unit of Louisiana’s Angola prison were locked in their cells without air conditioning for several days this month amid scorching summer temperatures…the[y]…were only let out of their cells for an eight-minute shower, which they had to take while handcuffed with their ankles shackled…With heat indexes in the surrounding area reaching as high as 133 degrees this month, a medical expert…warned the court that the conditions could be fatal…[describing the practice as] “foolhardy and perilous”…the…young people [were moved to Angola in retaliation for] escap[ing] from a…juvenile…facility…

 

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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How many more skeletons need to be found in closets or cesspools before the public wakes up to the evil of prohibitionism?  –  “How Many Will It Take?

Two extra pairs of arms shot forth from her gown with the speed of striking cobras; six sets of razor-sharp fingernails glinted like gems for only an instant before they were coated in blood; thirty powerful digits ripped out the princely entrails with the ease and energy of a child scattering shredded paper from the interior of an eagerly-awaited package.  And Marilith was not sure if she would ever stop screaming, much less sleep again.  –  “Willpower

Sex work isn’t going anywhere, no matter what cops, prosecutors and morally-retarded billionaires want you to believe.  –  “Scrupleless in Seattle

While nobody has yet managed to sell the idea of a humorous ride centering around terrorists, a kids’ movie series about carjackers or a “Talk Like a Rapist Day”, somehow pirates (bizarrely conceived as forever locked in the late 17th century) have been stripped of basically all of their realities (except maybe the ships) and re-imagined as lovable seafaring clowns led by strangely gender-and-sexual-orientation-ambiguous performance artists with highly idiosyncratic fashion senses.  –  “Humorous, Adventurous Rapists

There is no legitimate “debate” over whether people own their own bodies, nor whether they have the right to consensual sex with other adult partners; pretending that there is such a “debate” is nothing more than catering to evil control freaks and sucking the dick of power.  –  “Not Even Close

The only actual power government has is to inflict violence.
–  “The Gun in the Room

Democrats have always joined Republicans in enthusiastic support for anti-sex worker laws since such laws first started popping up in the late 19th century, and half of the blame for “sex trafficking” hysteria and the horrible laws it has enabled is scattered all over the Dems’ front lawn like overturned garbage cans.
–  “Fair-Weather Friends

Rape cases don’t go uninvestigated because cops and prosecutors don’t believe victims; they languish because cops and prosecutors don’t care about victims, especially not the marginalized women who make up the majority of serial rapists’ targets.  –  “Low Priority

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All the alarm bells should be going off when [politicians] use their elected power to control…children’s ideas.  –  Val Benavidez

Surplus Women

Sick men may respond violently when sex workers refuse to belong to them:

The neighbor and content partner of [adult] performer Charlotte Angie has been convicted in Italy for her 2022 murder.  Davide Fontana was sentenced…to 30 years in prison for beating Angie to death…Angie…[had a short-lived] relationship…[with] Fontana…[in] 2021…and [apparently did not realize]…he was [obsessed with her because she] agreed to shoot a BDSM sex video [with him] in January 2022…after binding…he[r, Fontana] took a hammer and…hit…her all over her body and on her covered head…then cut her throat with a kitchen knife…From January to March, Fontana used Angie’s phone to impersonate her on her social media accounts, and also paid her rent and bills…[while he] traveled around…looking for places to dispose of the…body parts…[cops found them] on March 20, 2022, apparently the same day Fontana finally disposed of them by throwing them down a cliff in Valcamonica…

If Men Were Angels

It’s getting harder to tell the preachers from the cops:

A 75-year-old deacon at a church in Walker County [Georgia] faces hundreds of sex abuse charges…Dennis Carl Laman…[repeatedly molested a] 30-year-old victim [with] cerebral palsy [who] is bound to a wheelchair and has a low mental capacity…she…told [a] doctor…and…her caregiver that Laman had fondled her inappropriately, and that the…abuse had been going on for about 6 years…Laman…confessed [to molesting]…the woman…about 199 times…

To Molest and Rape

Another cop following his bliss:

A [typical and representative Irish cop] who was…questioned [due to] allegations of rape was released without charge…he was [previously] involved in…investigat[ing] multiple high profile sexual abuse cases…

The Last Shall Be First (#1266)

If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention:

…a…9-year-old daughter was verbally assaulted at a track and field event…[in] Kelowna…[British Columbia]…she was competing in a shot-put event when a grandfather of one of the other participants started yelling at her…[saying], “Hey, this is supposed to be a girls’ event, and why are you letting boys compete”…the man then carried on to demand certification to prove that [the girl] was born female…the man’s wife then started calling [the girl’s mot]her “a genital mutilator, a groomer, and a pedophile”…School District superintendent Kevin Kaardal [said]…steps are being taken to ban the man from all school-related events…

Part of the Picture (#1280)

Some people still claim we don’t live in a police state:

Prosecutors in Monroe County [Indiana] charged Hannah’s husband with possession of child [porn, so]…the court ordered that he not have access to any electronic devices as a condition of his pretrial release from jail.  To ensure he complied with those terms, the probation department installed Covenant Eyes on Hannah’s phone, as well as those of her two children and her mother-in-law.  In near real time, probation officers are being fed screenshots of everything Hannah’s family views on their devices…Covenant Eyes doesn’t permit its software to be used…[for] monitoring people on probation…but…courts in at least five US states have [illegally done so anyway]…Less than a week after Covenant Eyes was installed…her husband’s probation officer [claimed] her husband had violated the terms of his bond…[because] Covenant Eyes [reported] that her phone had visited Pornhub…[in actuality,] her phone had made a network request to the website’s servers as part of a background app refresh…on her Chrome browser…This is a known issue with Covenant Eyes [but prosecutors don’t care]…

Thought Control (#1343)

It seems I was destined to be threatened with state violence regardless of my career path:

…[Texas] Gov. Greg Abbott [criminalizing librarians who stock books politicians declare “]explicit[“, and]…prohibit schools from purchasing books that [politicians decl]are “sexually explicit, pervasively vulgar or educationally unsuitable”…Abbott [also declared that books politicians dislike are]…”trash”…Under the bill, [a political] Commission is tasked with [declaring which ideas will henceforth be legal in Texas, and task]…book vendors to [guess what politicians may arbitrarily want censored]…

Panopticon (#1346)

Hanging a camera on an animal essentially turns it into a surveillance drone:

A case recently filed in a federal district court in Connecticut alleges that a state government agency violated the Fourth Amendment by attaching a camera to a bear they knew frequented the plaintiff property owners’ land…tagged as Number 119…The bear-mounted cam was allegedly supplied…by…the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)…[which had accused] the plaintiffs…of “illegally” feeding bears on their property.  So, this cambear appears to be part of DEEP’s efforts to prove the allegations against the couple (Mark and Carol Brault).  This surveillance attempt failed when the couple noticed the bear and its digital appendage…no warrant was obtained before DEEP converted an apparent regular visitor to the Braults’ property into a confidential non-human source.  The Braults say this is a Fourth Amendment violation, with the bear acting as a government agent, albeit one incapable of being directly controlled…

 

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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How do you deal with the legal prohibition of sex work?  I don’t mean practically, but rather psychologically; don’t you fear that someday you might be caught and sent to prison?

I’ve never much been one to “borrow trouble”, as we say where I’m from; in other words, I try not to worry about what might conceivably happen, instead of what is likely to happen.  What this means from a practical standpoint in this context is, I have always taken sensible precautions against being entrapped by the police, but I never lay awake at night worrying about it because the truth is, if a powerful government really and truly wants to harm any individual, it will do so regardless of precautions.  However, such governments tend to employ such extraordinary means against much “bigger fish” than ordinary sex workers making very ordinary amounts of money and filing taxes every year as the State demands.  This is not to say that the police don’t target ordinary sex workers, because they obviously do; however, they’re generally looking for big numbers of people whom they can easily trick with lies and then inflict criminal records upon.  They don’t really want people who can fight back, so they tend to tailor their schemes to entrapping the poor and marginalized rather than people who might have lawyers.  I was once caught in such a trap, in October 2005, and though it was an extremely unpleasant experience it was over pretty quickly and in the end I felt more angry than anything else.  Still, the experience gave me even more empathy for people who did not have access to the resources I had, and it’s one of the life-experiences that fuels my activism: I am trying, in my own small way, to work for a world in which nobody has to endure that, especially not the people for whom a prostitution arrest means very serious and life-changing consequences rather than a temporary scare and inconvenience.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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