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Posts Tagged ‘agency denial’

First let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime.  –  Pope Francis

The Immunity Syndrome (#833)

The tone of this article is remarkably restrained; it doesn’t even use the phrase “super gonorrhea”:

Public health [bureaucrat]s says they have found two cases of gonorrhea that appear to have reduced susceptibility to every kind of antibiotic available…It’s the first time strains of gonorrhea this resistant to antibiotics have been identified in the United States…Dr. Jeffrey Klausner…[of USC said] “It’s a reminder that gonorrhea is becoming…increasingly hard to treat…We haven’t had new antibiotics to treat gonorrhea for years and we really need a different treatment strategy”…

Providing a proper sex education to teenagers, the primary vectors for STI transmission in the US, might be a good start.

Peeping Toms (#871)

There is nothing contradictory about this:

Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.  “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said…and he himself referred to the issue in terms of “sin”.  But…these…comments …are the first uttered by a pope about such laws…are…consistent with his…belief that the Catholic Church should welcome everyone…Francis’ remarks come ahead of a trip to Africa, where such laws are common, as they are in the Middle East.  Many date from British colonial times or are inspired by Islamic law…

Droit du Seigneur (#1183)

Better cops escape consequences than this ugly narrative be reinforced yet again:

A Virginia jury rejected claims by a Costa Rican woman who accused a police chief and three o[ther pig]s of conspiring to protect a sex-trafficking ring…[the] jury in[stead]…found that the woman was not a victim of trafficking but a [mundane] sex worker….Police Chief Edwin Roessler…[and his underlings] James Baumstark…Michael Barbazette and Jason Mardocco….protected the [escort service, but the claims of] human trafficking…were [bogus and largely followed the typical script, including]…claim[s]…of…17 [clients] a day and that Sanchez kept…her passport…Defense lawyers pointed out that the woman [repeatedly] traveled [home] to Costa Rica between 2010 and 2015 and returned to Sanchez each time….”She’s willing to say whatever it takes to get what she wants in that moment,” [said defense lawyer] Kim Baucom…

The jury reached the same conclusion I did the first time I heard the story, and I wrote about people credulously accepting this woman’s claims in “Taking the Bait“.  While I certainly sympathize with wanting to see cops suffer consequences for their behavior, the “sex trafficking” paradigm will never die as long as opportunists are rewarded every time they invoke it.

To Molest and Rape (#1257)

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

[A London cop named] Hussain Chehab…pleaded guilty to [repeatedly molesting teenage girls the government had paid him to harass at school, and also]…making [sexual] photographs of [his victims]…Chehab’s offending came to light in July 2021 when the family of a 16-year-old girl raised concerns…that…he…was [molesting their daughter]…The…offences [we]re…all the more [predictable because]…Chehab was [paid by the government to lurk] in…schools [to spy on, harass, and terrorize the students]…

It’s sad that the UK has adopted the school-to-prison pipeline from the US.

The Last Shall Be First (#1299) 

It looks like Florida is aping Texas again:

…Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking state universities for the number and ages of their students who sought or received gender dysphoria treatment, including sex reassignment surgery and hormone prescriptions…Why he’s conducting the survey wasn’t completely clear[, but Texas did something similar last summer]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1304) 

Trans people have become another canary in the civil rights coal mine:

…Legislation in Oklahoma and South Carolina would make it a felony to provide hormonal or surgical transition treatment to transgender people younger than 26…Other bills in both states, and in Kansas  and Mississippi, would ban such care up to age 21.  And bills in more than a dozen states would ban it for minors, which Arkansas was the first to do in 2021…A bill in Mississippi…would define sex as immutably set at birth, denying transgender identities under state law.  A measure in West Virginia would define “any transvestite and/or transgender exposure, performances or display” as obscene, potentially outlawing transgender people’s presence around children…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1306)

The way local media parrots copaganda in the face of clear evidence of its foolishness is utterly pathetic:

The Illinois State Police…has tested…substance[s that triggered panic attacks in a gang of screws, and]…the test came back negative for narcotics or hazardous materials…[despite] the [clowns wasting] Narcan…[and whining all the way to the] hospital…Everyone [who had a panic attack]…has been discharged [and the substance they thought was magical insta-fentanyl]…was [in fact] baby powder…the…department [of locking humans in cages] has [tried to save face by bloviating nonsense about]…further investigation [being] needed to explain the…symptoms [of panic attack]…

 

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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A right does not, as a practical matter, exist without any remedy for its enforcement.  –  Justice Elissa Cadish

The End of the Beginning (#1197) 

It’s horrifying that a court order was required to stop the government from trying to punish people for being unable to do the literally impossible:

A rule that Attorney General Merrick Garland issued in 2021…requires people to do things that are plainly impossible.  If they have been convicted of a sex offense, they must register with their state, even when the state neither requires nor allows them to do so.  They also must supply the state with all the information required by federal law, even when the state does not collect that information…someone [unable] to meet those requirements…who travels outside his state can be charged with a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.  At trial, the defendant has the burden of proving that he was unable to register “as required”…That Kafkaesque situation, a federal judge in California [has] ruled…violates the constitutional right to due process…The case, John Doe v. Department of Justice, illustrates the perverse consequences of the federal government’s attempt to identify and track sex offenders through detailed registration requirements that often conflict with state law…

Panopticon (#1212)

Useful idiots keep providing government with excuses for Orwellian levels of surveillance:

A bill…in the Mississippi Legislature would require public schools and postsecondary institutions to install video surveillance cameras all over their campuses.  The bill would require that the cameras also record audio and that they be installed in classrooms, auditoriums, cafeterias, gyms, hallways, recreational areas, and along each facility’s perimeter.  Further, it would permit [even adult] students’ parents to view live feeds of classroom instruction…the bill’s sponsor…Stacey Hobgood…[belched out the catchphrases] “critical race theory”…and…”accountable”…[to justify creating a stifling] atmosphere of suspicion and distrust [across every school in the state]…

Robocops (#1249)

Since SCOTUS refuses to slay this monster of its own creation, state courts will need to do the job for it:

…the Nevada Supreme Court [has] unanimously ruled that victims of wrongful searches and seizures have the right to sue the responsible government officials.  Just as critically, the court firmly rejected qualified immunity as a potential defense against those lawsuits.  The court’s twin holdings will better ensure that government officials can actually be held accountable for their misconduct…

Thought Control (#1268)

I never would’ve thought my first profession would become as much a target for authoritarians as my second:

Books containing [what politicians vaguely term] “sexually explicit” content…would be banned from North Dakota public libraries under [newly-proposed] legislation…the measure…proposes up to 30 days imprisonment for librarians who refuse to remove the [censored] books…In addition to banning depictions of “sexual identity” and “gender identity,” the measure specifies 10 other things that library books cannot visually depict, including “sexual intercourse,” “sexual preference” and “sexual perversion,” — though it does not define any of those terms.  The proposal does not apply to books that have “serious artistic significance” or “materials used in science courses,” among other exceptions…

Presumably, the “serious artistic significance” would be determined by politicians, which is a bit like asking a panel of tone-deaf 11-year-olds to discuss the relative merits of Bach cantatas.

The Vultures Descend (#1273)

Calling politicians on their hypocrisy is an interesting strategy:

A group of religious leaders who support abortion rights [has] filed a lawsuit…challenging Missouri’s abortion ban, saying [politicians] openly invoked their religious beliefs while drafting the measure and thereby imposed those beliefs on others who don’t share them.  The lawsuit…is…among nearly three dozen post-Roe lawsuits that have been filed against 19 states’ abortion bans…and…was…filed on behalf of the faith leaders by Americans United for Separation of Church & State and the National Women’s Law Center…Lawsuits in several other states take similar approaches.  In Indiana, lawyers for five anonymous women…and…Hoosier Jews for Choice have argued that state’s ban infringes on…Jewish teaching that a fetus becomes a living person at birth and…Jewish law prioritizes the mother’s life and health…In Kentucky, three Jewish women sued, claiming the state’s ban violates their religious rights under the state’s constitution and religious freedom law…

Presumption of Guilt (#1288)

Another step toward total financial surveillance:

…if you’ve sent money across American borders…Big Brother is likely watching.  In what began as an Arizona-led effort before going nationwide, a not-so-independent nonprofit organization has been indiscriminately compiling sensitive financial information and making it available to [cop shops and spook houses] across the country…ACLU…has published more than 200 documents revealing details of the program which fed a vast database of sensitive data…run by an organization called the Transaction Record Analysis Center…The surveillance dates to 2006, when Arizona’s attorney general sought details from Western Union about money transfers to and from the Mexican state of Sonora…[the ensuing] legal battle [was] settled in 2010…and…TRAC was established in 2014 as a nominally independent repository for intercepted financial records…in 2019…DHS took over funding TRAC and…[began] compel[ling] financial disclosures with…a type of subpoena…

Blunt Instrument (#1296)

This will continue for as long as the voters allow it to:

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has announced [a scheme]…to [use “]human trafficking[” as an excuse to carry out violent pogroms] in Kentucky by targeting “illicit massage businesses”…[Cameron plans to threaten] landlords and [spread racist propaganda] to [encourage useful idiots to snitch on migrant-owned] businesses that Cameron [wanks to pedophilic fantasies about]…Cameron is…running for governor this year…

 

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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There [is] a culture of impunity for…police officers.  –  Harriet Wistrich

Divided We Fall (#736)

Contrary to popular belief, “conversion therapy” has never been banned anywhere in the US; most states merely restrict its use to sex workers and clients:

[Politicians] in Wisconsin voted to strike down a ban on [using] conversion therapy [against LGBT people]…effectively making the practice legal.  Conversion therapy is a broad term that can describe many practices that generally involve trying to force…sexual…[minorities] to [stop whatever sexual practices those with power over the victims dislike].  The methods involved in these practices are highly discredited by medical professionals, and those who have been victims of conversion therapy have described it as torture

The Widening Gyre (#928)

People interpreting a domestic violence incident as “sex trafficking” is basically a microcosm of the whole moral panic:

Bangor [Maine] police sa[id a] kidnapping [from a Target parking lot] is not part of a larger human trafficking ring, despite claims to the contrary on Facebook…Colby Cooper…arrived at the store with the unnamed woman[, but when she broke up with him while there] he…forced [her]…into a U-Haul rental van…[and] fled…police spotted Cooper a short time later…and…arrested [him]…The department cautioned people to refrain from believing everything they read on Facebook…

To Molest and Rape (#1212)

Just a few isolated incidents:

A [London cop] who used his [job] to put fear into his victims has admitted [to] dozens of rape[s] and [highly abusive] sexual [relationships with] 12 women.  David Carrick…who met some victims through dating websites, pleaded guilty to 49 offences across two decades.  The [police bureaucracy] has apologised after it emerged he had [been reported for rape]…nine [times]…between 2000 and 2021.  A [boss cop attempted to downplay the pervasiveness of rape among cops by uttering the obvious lie that] his [behavior] was “unprecedented in policing”…His offences spanned 2003 to 2020 and most took place in Hertfordshire, where he lived.  [In his abusive relationships] Carrick…would control what the women wore, what they ate, where they slept and even stopped some of the women from speaking to their own children…

Thou Shalt Not (#1227)

Prohibitionism is a dangerous mental illness:

Bringing cake into the office should be seen as being as socially unacceptable as inflicting passive smoking on your colleagues, Britain’s top food [nanny]…said…[Nutrition cultist] Susan Jebb…said it was not enough to rely on…personal [responsibility and free choice]… “If nobody brought in cakes into the office, I would not eat cakes in the day, but because people do bring cakes in, I eat them.  Now, OK, I have made a choice, but people were making a choice to go into a smoky pub”…

The Punitive Mindset (#1243) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

Florida’s prison system has banned more than 20,000 books — the most tracked in the U.S., according to a new study from The Marshall Project…[which] published a database…of about 54,000 titles banned by [human-caging bureaucrats] in 18 states with such records…Most prison systems ban…books containing content related to violence, [criticism of the carceral system], sex or nudity…But…other books banned in Florida prisons include: adult coloring books, French language textbooks, [and] How to Make Money in StocksIn Texas, The Color Purple is banned, while Dungeons and Dragons books are prohibited in Michigan

Guinea Pigs (#1260) 

Alabama discovers the secret to detecting “sex trafficking” in ordinary escort ads: label everything “sex trafficking” and arrest all the women:

Computer modeling developed by…University of Alabama…collects data from online sex ads…[in order to] help…[cops] locate…and arrest s[ex workers]…the modeling has…[led to] over 100 arrests since February 2021…

The article goes on to dredge up lots of moldy decade-old “sex trafficking” propaganda, including the claim that half of all sex workers are children; “Human trafficking is the second-largest criminal enterprisebring[ing] in as much as $150 billion…a year“; the claim that someone other than gibbering idiots calls I-20 the “sex trafficking superhighway“; and the utterly-absurd fantasy of “6,000 human trafficking victims per day in Alabama alone.

The Mob Rules (#1303)

Laws enabling nuisance lawsuits will keep multiplying until they’re ruled unconstitutional:

Utah may follow Louisiana’s lead by requiring residents who want to access pornographic websites to verify their age first….[pro-censorship politician] Todd Weiler…[bloviated a lot of nonsense and dismissed] privacy concerns…[which should come as no surprise given that he’s the jackass who sponsored the bill]…declar[ing] pornography a [“]public health crisis[“ and also tried to establish a state internet censor]

 

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’m quite used to the prison making all these decisions for us, because we are still state property.  –  Desiree Romero

The Course of a Disease (#1084)

You’ll have to forgive me for finding this terribly amusing:

The number of [incalls, labeled “]illegal brothels[” by French police]…has tripled in the past two years…[because the “Swedish model” exposes]…street prostitution [to debilitating police harassment]…With hotels and the concierges of apartment blocks now extremely vigilant about rooms [rented by sex workers out of fear they will be]…pros[ecuted as “]pimps[“, sex workers] are increasingly opting for detached houses in…the [suburbs of Paris]…police…[of course vomited out bizarre fantasies about “sex trafficking”, but this outcome was predicted by those warning about the consequences of the so-called “]Nordic model[“] of [asymmetric criminalization]…

Torture Chamber (#1102)

Your “leaders” refer to this atrocity as “correction”:

Arizona [prisons are]…inducing the labor of pregnant prisoners against their will, according to three women [violated thus]…all three…were induced before their due dates…and…all three…were told…they were being induced because it was a policy…they believe it is being implemented to reduce liability for the prison system…two of the women said they were receiving medical bills…a common [indignity inflicted upon]…people [condemned to]…Arizona prisons

To Molest and Rape (#1181)

Expecting sociopaths to “think about what they did wrong” amounts to criminal negligence:

[UK cop]s who preyed upon women and posted homemade pornography to social media are among hundreds allowed to keep their jobs…[as] the c[itizenry]…continues to be plagued by [violent, sociopathic cops]…Most received little more than a slap on the wrist after their behaviour came to light, with some facing no repercussions whatsoever…one former chief constable [admitted that these hundreds of cases are just] “the tip of the iceberg”…at least 921 [cops were] investigated for [online] conduct…[and] texts…since the start of 2017.  Yet only six per cent…led to…dismiss[al, though]…many [involved rape]…sexual [coercion] and [harassment.  Cops who saw any consequences at all]…routinely escaped with…“reflective practice” – thinking about what they have done – or “management action”, which amounts to [stern words from] a superior…in…many cases [cops]…faced “no action” at all for predatory…behaviour…[including the] target[ing of] vulnerable women…and stalk[ing]

The Mob Rules (#1231)

Most commentary on this censorship law ignores its dangerous enforcement mechanism:

Laurie Schlegel is…a…[“]sex addiction[” profiteer turned pro-censorship]…Louisiana [politician who succeeded in]…pass[ing a law demand]ing age verification for any website that contains 33.3% or more pornographic material…[Even though the law adequately defines neither “pornography” nor how this percentage is supposed to be measured, that doesn’t matter because it is to be enforced by nuisance lawsuit like the Texas abortion statute SCOTUS has chosen to ignore]…Louisiana [residents can seek to cash in by claiming in a lawsuit that] “children are getting access to pornography”…

The Vultures Descend (#1253)

An important step toward ending this front in the ruinous culture war:

For the first time, retail pharmacies…will be allowed to offer abortion pills in the United States under a regulatory change made [on January 3rd] by the Food and Drug Administration…Until now, mifepristone…could be dispensed only by a few mail-order pharmacies or by specially certified doctors or clinics.  Under the new…rules…patients will still need a prescription…but any pharmacy that agrees to accept those prescriptions…can dispense the pills in its stores and by mail order…the F.D.A. [also] removed the in-person requirement…The second drug in the regimen, misoprostol, has never been as tightly restricted as mifepristone and is used for many different medical conditions; it is easily obtained at pharmacies through a typical prescription process…

The Cop Myth (#1292)

Cop deals with disagreement exactly as he normally does, and the press is shocked:

[A] Glasgow [Kentucky]…co[p was arrested] on New Year’s Day…Joseph Ramey…rep[ea]tedly assaulted h[is girlfriend, then]…handcuffed her…and held her against her will…

Without Let or Hindrance (#1298)

These abuses are for some reason finally getting the attention they’ve needed for a generation:

Once considered a last resort reserved for parents who abandon their children, the involuntary and permanent termination of parental rights [by the State] now hangs over every mother and father accused of any[thing the State chooses to call] abuse or neglect…No state terminates parental rights more frequently or [quickly] than West Virginia, [where]…one in 50 children [w]ere [violently and non-consensually abducted from]…both of their parents from 2015 to 2019…most…within 11 months of [the state abducting them] from their home for the first time…Nationally, the parents of about 327,000 children [had] their rights [ripped from them by the State] from 2015 to 2019…one-fifth…in less than a year.  Over the past 25 years, [the State has]…increasingly turned to this ultimate consequence, partly in response to Clinton-era federal policies that…[financially incentivize these abduc]tions.  According to a recent study, the [number of children permanently abducted by the State]…doubled from 2000 to 2016.  One in 100 U.S. children — disproportionately Black and Native American — [are thus abducted]…through the [pretext of] child welfare…before they turn 18…Most of those [cases were justified by]…allegations of neglect, [largely] a [dysphemism for]…poverty…Just 15% of [these cases were based in]…concerns about physical or sexual abuse…

 

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 don’t think it’s controversial (it certainly shouldn’t be) to say that street workers suffer far more violence than sex workers with higher screening barriers.  It’s not like every damned study ever done on the subject hasn’t said the same thing.  If this is in any way controversial to some people, I’d say it derives from the modern infatuation with Manicheanism.  Far too many moderns want to believe that all of society can be neatly divided into sheep and goats, “workers” and “capitalists”, renters and landlords, oppressors and oppressed, white and POC, old and young, straight and queer, etc, etc, ad nauseam.  So when people laboring under that grievous cognitive error see a statement like “x is safer than y”, they read it as “X is completely safe and Y unrelentingly dangerous”.  But of course, that’s no more true than any of the others; we don’t live in a Hollywood black hat/white hat world.  The first time I was ever raped on the job, it was by a businessman in a 5-star hotel, but that doesn’t change the fact that on average, I was safer from violence by clients, cops, and criminals than my sisters on the streets.  The chance of a suburban kid being killed by cops firing wildly into her parents’ house is dramatically less than that of an inner-city kid suffering that fate, but it still isn’t zero.  And of course the same can be said for all those other imaginary dualities.  Sex workers who should certainly understand the wrongness of Madonna vs whore will nonetheless subscribe to the equally absurd renters vs landlords or labor vs management dichotomies if they find it politically convenient to do so, even while simultaneously condemning the state’s pretense that sex workers can be cleanly divided by a bright, clear line from “pimps” (despite the fact that this notion is a littermate of the Marxist labor vs management divide).

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Expanding the definition of human trafficker means more convictions, which…means huge “increases” in…trafficking numbers that authorities can point to in order to further justify expanding the police state.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Buried Truth

I think we have enough evidence to start calling this “McNeill’s Law”:

Believers in the…QAnon [outgrowth of the popular “sex trafficking” moral panic] are always on the hunt for the powerful pedophiles they imagine run the world…but…court records reveal that QAnon leader Phil Godlewski has a criminal past of his own involving an inappropriate relationship with a minor that [apparently] turned sexual.  Thanks to an ill-conceived defamation lawsuit against a local newspaper, Godlewski has put his conspiracy-theory career at risk by inadvertently prompting the release of more details regarding his case, including lurid text messages and a video of his erect penis.  Perhaps worse…Godlewski has [apparently] been caught both committing perjury himself and attempting to convince his own victim to do the same to ensure a “financial windfall” for them both…

Innocence Never Had

Most states are trying to distance themselves from the most wackadoodle aspects of “sex trafficking”” mythology, but Florida prefers to take the facts about one of the few situations in which young girls really are in increased danger of sexual exploitation – the foster care system – and view it through the bizarrely-distorted lens of a dying moral panic.  If you’ve got a little time, read these concise comments I made about the topic a few years ago, and then try this outlandish fantasy of “neighborhood sex traffickers” “prowling the area” to abduct unwary 12-year-olds by the thousands without anyone at all noticing.  Though I hesitate to ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence, this reads like an attempt to exploit the plight of young people dramatically failed by the government into a narrative that can be used to advance a specific political agenda for that same government.

All-Purpose Excuse

Anything can be “trafficking” if you use your imagination:

…The U.K…[is] using its Modern Slavery Act to target anyone who employs a minor in the drug trade…[Glodi] Wabelua was the first drug dealer to be prosecuted under the U.K.’s Modern Slavery Act, but not the last…most of the defendants in drug-related [“modern] slavery[“] cases were Black men under 21.  Many, if not all, were only one rung removed from the streets themselves”…Laws targeting prostitution and low-level drug crimes may seem overly punitive to you and me, but for many authoritarians these punishments don’t go far enough.  By ratcheting up the charges to human trafficking or modern slavery, officials can subject sex workers and drug dealers to much longer periods of incarceration, larger fines, and more stringent restrictions on movement, employment, free association, free speech, and privacy…

To Molest and Rape

To cops, the most important factor is whether a rapist crony was wearing his magical clown costume at the time:

[A typical and representative] New York [cop named]…Kristofor O’Rourke [has finally been arrested for a sexual assault he committed]…on July 1…he…[accused] a woman [of]…driving while intoxicated and then…oral[ly raped her after]…threatening to take her to jail if she didn’t comply…[after the victim registered her] complaint…O’Rourke was immediately [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Panopticon (#1203)

It’s only one step from “all commercial vehicles” to “all vehicles”:

The Department of Transportation is considering a disturbing new rule that could force every commercial motor vehicle to install an electronic device that would wirelessly transmit location data and other personal information to police on demand…[DoT] offers no reason to believe the warrantless collection of identifying information will make anyone safer.  It might make some inspectors’ jobs easier, but that is no reason to override the rights of truck owners and operators.  One might as well call for putting us all in ankle monitors, just because it might reduce crime if the cops know where everyone is all the time.  The Fourth Amendment requires the government to get a warrant before encroaching into private space to gather information…The Supreme Court has ruled that police must get a warrant—regardless of whether the subject of a search has a reasonable expectation of privacy—before they physically install a tracking device.  The rule is no different just because the government forces people to purchase and install the tracking device on their own property…

Opting Out (#1261) 

The UK’s decade-long campaign to censor the internet continues to be a comedy of errors:

Britain will not force tech giants to remove content that is “legal but harmful” from their platforms after campaigners [convinced a few influential politicians]…that the move could curtail free speech…Online safety laws would instead focus on the [nebulous goal of] protection of children and on ensuring companies removed content that was illegal or prohibited in their terms of service…[but spokesbureaucrats] would not specify what legal content should be censored…

The Cop Myth (#1281)

“Law enforcement worker” is a new low in trying to hide the fact that a violent criminal is a cop:

A Virginia [cop drove to California]…murdered the mother and grandparents of a teenage girl he catfished online, [then tried to burn down their house] before trying to [abduct]…the teen…[neighbors] called…the…[cops when they witn]essed…the [abduction and saw the]…fire…The Riverside Fire Department …discovered [the] three [murder] victims…[while] the [violently-deranged cop,] Austin Lee Edwards…[fled] through San Bernardino County…before being fatally shot by…[sheriff’s] deput[ies.  Luckily the girl was unharmed]…The slain family members were identified as 69-year-old Mark Winek, his wife 65-year-old Sharie Winek, and their daughter, 38-year-old Brooke Winek…

 

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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Americans are increasingly aware that their privacy is evaporating before their eyes.  –  Ed Markey

Torture Chamber

Your “leaders” refer to this as “correction”:

A W[est Virginia] man died 19 days [after the state locked him in a cage]…Alvis Shrewsbury…called his family members daily.  But as the days went on, his appearance on video calls began to worry his family members more and more…”After we were talking to him on the 10th (of September), he’d already been beaten.  His face was black,” his daughter Miranda Smith said…”He was telling us about his ribs being broken.  It was hard to breathe. He hadn’t had a bowel movement in over a week and nothing was being done about it”…Shrewsbury was the fifth person who died in the [same dungeon in the] last year…Kyle Robinson…[was the first] in September 2021.  Then a month later, John Lewis Jarrell died after [only] a week…In March, Quantez Burks died less than two days after [being condemned there and]…that [same] month, Richard Wriston…Shrewsbury’s body is in the custody of the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner…[but] the family plans to conduct an independent autopsy of his body…

Thought Control (Censorship Ascendant)

Censors are now pretending thoughts they don’t like constitute a “crime”:

…over the past several years, Germany has [chosen to terrorize and]…criminally prosecut[e] people for [saying things politicians dislike] online…German authorities have br[anded]…insults, threats and harassment…[as “hate speech” and sent] police [on predawn] raid[s of people’s] homes…[where they rob their victims of] electronics and [abduct them using the pretext of “]questioning[” in a campaign reminiscent of the country’s dark 20th-century past].  Judges have enforced fines worth thousands of dollars each and, in some cases, [locked victims in cages for wrongthink].  The threat of prosecution, they believe, will [terrorize people into] not e[xpressing disfavored ideas.  They pretend]…that they are encouraging and defending free speech by providing a space where people can share [favored pro-state and majoritarian] opinions without fear of being [challenged by contrary ideas]..:

Stupor Bowl (#1211)

This pathetic public promotion of misogynistic masturbatory material appears to be all that’s left of the once-popular “gypsy whores” myth:

An estimated 5% of men have or will be buyers of sex workers, [said cops making furtive movements in their pants]…“The traffickers will, of course, follow the money to Arizona”…That’s why Glendale police are working with other law enforcement agencies across the Valley to catch traffickers coming to the state…

I’ve written before about the ever-shrinking fraction of men who will admit to having paid for sex, the unreliable methodology that produces these impossibly-low numbers, the ugly and misogynistic fantasy that paying for sex is “buying a woman”, and the weird and self-contradictory inclusion of the term “sex worker” in this kind of agency-negating propaganda.  And that’s before we even get to this myth that even prohibitionists outside of Arizona now admit is deeply stupid.

Panopticon (#1256)

San Francisco pigs are no longer satisfied with waiting for useful idiots’ consent:

San Francisco [politicians rubber-stamped] a new s[urveillance] policy allowing police to access thousands of private cameras in a live feed without a search warrant…the…proposal…will take effect in 30 days and sunset in 15 months…police can monitor the cameras…for any [event that they decide to call] “significant”…or [basically any other time they can think of an excuse]…The Electronic Frontier Foundation …called the new policy a “troubling ordinance” that could have a chilling effect on First Amendment and other rights…“Misdemeanors like vandalism or jaywalking happen on nearly every street of San Francisco on any given day — meaning that this ordinance essentially gives the SFPD the ability to put the entire city under live surveillance indefinitely,” the organization wrote in a press release

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1260)

Cops won’t drop this fantasy until local media stop obediently parroting it:

…two [West Virginia cops] were hit in the face with an unknown substance [thrown by a man they were trying to brutalize and abduct.  Being hysterical whiny-babies, the immediately assumed the substance was the magical black magic version of fentanyl which haunts cop fantasies, and]…one…suddenly [had a panic attack.  Since this kind of hysteria is contagious among those with weak minds]…the second [pig also had a panic attack]…An off-duty nurse helped administer NARCAN, which [acted as a placebo to placate the two cowards]…

Thought Control (#1265)

Surely you didn’t think this would stop with LGBT books?

…at the start of Banned Books Week…Reshma Saujani was awakened by an alert on her phone letting her know that the Girls Who Code book series [she founded] had been banned from classrooms in the Central York School District in Pennsylvania.  On Twitter, she attributed the ban to the [pro-censorship] Moms for Liberty group…Other books banned by the…district include such controversial-sounding titles as A Is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to ZCondoleeza Rice: Being The Best; Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra; Elizabeth Blackwell: The First Woman Doctor; Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code; I Love My Hair!; Muffin Wars; The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage; I Am Rosa Parks; Who Was Lucille Ball? and about a hundred others…the…common thread [seems to be books] that…acknowledge that Black people or women of any color exist and do things…There is good news: this ban has already been defeated.  Yay!  The bad news is that it was all very stupid from beginning to end…

I Spy (#1270)

The number of politicians who support such reform is very small:

Civil rights lawyers and [a small minority of politicians] are pushing for legislation that would limit U.S. [cop shop]s’ ability to buy cellphone tracking tools to follow people’s whereabouts, including back years in time…[usually] without a search warrant.  Concerns about police use of the tool known as “Fog Reveal…also surfaced in a Federal Trade Commission hearing three weeks ago.  [Cop]s have been using the platform to search hundreds of billions of records gathered from 250 million mobile devices, and hoover up people’s geolocation data to assemble so-called “patterns of life”…

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 very much!

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Institutions writers could once count on to defend them…now race to see who can kowtow most obsequiously to the censor-morons.
–  “Censorship Ascendant

Until a few years ago, traditional top-down censorship was largely a thing of the past, something I wrote about annually at the beginning of Banned Books Week to remind people that it could happen again.  As recently as 2016, I used the occasion to write,

…top-down state censorship…is very rare now in the United States, and has been for decades; the majority of “challenges” now (despite the celebration’s name, it’s pretty rare that books are actually removed from public collections) originate not with state officials or other “authorities”, but with individuals seeking to “protect the children” from thoughts their parents don’t want them to have

Of course, none of that is true any longer.  Top-down censorship has returned with a vengeance, mostly implemented by fascist corporations acting on behalf of governments.  But in the US, politicians in many states have implemented traditional censorship in school libraries, even to the point of threatening librarians with criminal charges.  The “Thought Control” tag, which formerly appeared only once in a while, has had several entries a month since this new book-burning fad took off last November.  Meanwhile, the “cancel culture” censorship which has been growing for years has grown so pervasive that even the somewhat pro-censorship New York Times can no longer endorse it.  I’m honestly unsure where this will end; we’re well into uncharted territory my librarian self would’ve found unbelievable.  So if you haven’t been paying attention, I suggest you peruse the aforementioned “Thought Control” tag, and revisit the columns I’ve quoted from below.  Because there’s only one thing about this situation which is certain: like all authoritarianism, it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

We are watching the advent of a new dark age, and in such times no light is entirely safe from being snuffed out by zealots, speech-cops and bureaucrats whose ideal model for human society is the anthill.  –  “The Convergence of Censors

Every two-bit dictatorship has recognized that all it needs to do to justify thought control is parrot Western “hate speech” idiocy.  –  “The Return of the Censor

Though lily-livered fools have been demanding they be “protected” from ideas they don’t like for several years now, it’s terrifying how quickly this terrible idea has moved from the lunatic fringe to the mainstream.  –  “Suppression

[Many young adults] not only display an ovine passivity in the face of censorship, but actively run to the nanny-state to hide in her skirts lest they see or hear some idea or word, or see some image, that will cause some ripple in the placid lakes of their privileged lives and perhaps actually require them to think rather than merely consuming and regurgitating the dogma they’ve been spoon-fed.  –  “Unwise Monkeys

The censor-morons are loose, and they’re coming after everyone who dares to disagree with them.  –  “The Censor-Moron

It doesn’t matter whether the excuse is “sin” or “feelings”, or the injured party is conceived of as an individual or collective, or the suppression comes from above or below, or the method is violence or economics; the suppression of thought and speech is evil, tyrannical and socially self-lobotomizing.  –  “Moral Climate

Thinking people must not let themselves be intimidated by…self-appointed guardians of the public morality; we must speak out against all forms of censorship and speech suppression, whether advanced by guns, threats, intimidation or appeals to nebulous “harm”.  –  “Censor Chic

The belief that the state or collective has the right to [censor] is an abomination; it is nothing less than the dogma that the state owns every individual, body and soul, and has the right to torture or maim those individuals as it pleases.  –  “Crippling Thought

The important thing to remember when listening to any demand for censorship is that no matter what excuse the censor presents to attain his goal, he is ultimately lying.  It’s not really about “public safety”, or the “children”, or “community standards”, or whatever else he may claim; it’s about the fact that his leaky mind is unable to keep unwelcome thoughts out, so he demands that society do it for him.  –  “Thought Control

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Give people a load of propaganda about…sex trafficking and voila—awareness has been raised!  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Above the Law

Why does nobody ever recognize the likely outcome of giving guys in hyper-masculine professions power over teenage girls?

…a New York Times investigation…has found that the [Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] program has repeatedly become a place where retired military officers prey on their teenage students.  In the past five years…at least 33 JROTC instructors have been criminally charged with sexual misconduct involving students, far higher than the rate of civilian high school teachers…Victims have reported sexual assaults in classrooms and supply closets, during field trips or on late-night rides home, sometimes committed after instructors plied students with alcohol or drugs.  One [victim] said her instructor told her that sexual submission was expected of women in the military.  A[nother]…said her JROTC instructor warned that he had the skills to kill her without a trace if she told anyone about their sexual encounters…[Another] said she was forced to kneel at her instructor’s bedside, blindfolded, with a gun to her head…

To Molest and Rape

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

A federal appeals court in Texas has sent a case back down to a lower court after deciding that a…sheriff’s deputy who…forced a woman to expose her genitals to him while he masturbated isn’t entitled to a qualified immunity defense…On Sept. 18, 2018, [Melissa] Tyson’s husband [foolishly] called the Sheriff’s Department of Sabine County, Texas, to request a welfare check on his wife…while [he] was out of town.  [David] Boyd called Melissa Tyson that night…telling her…that he handled welfare checks because he was a preacher, although…[his] “ministerial credentials had actually been revoked eleven years prior because”…[he] had…been sued by church members for [repeat]ed sexual misconduct…

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

I suppose it could have been much worse:

…Overall, the 2022 version of the human trafficking bill is shorter than many earlier iterations and lower on the sort of carceral solutions and surveillance initiatives that defined them…at least isn’t simply throwing more money at cops for prostitution stings.  And a section pressuring hotels to [indoctrinate] staff on spotting human trafficking (an endeavor without a great track record) was removed…But there are…repeated references to “trafficking transmitted through technology”…[censorious asshats and their] lawyers have been trying to broaden the scope of sex trafficking laws to cover not just underage or forced prostitution but also the transmission of certain pornographic images by commercial tech platforms…it will…likely mean going after tech platforms in a way that jeopardizes a wide variety of free speech related to sex…

Guinea Pigs (#1153) 

Stalwart friend of whores Mark Draughn picks apart claims that computers can detect “sex trafficking” in ordinary escort ads:

…I’ve obtained a copy of [a]…research paper…[in which researchers] “used machine learning and custom web crawlers to collect and analyze a data set of online ads for escort and sex work services”…you need sex trafficking ads to train an ML system to recognize sex trafficking ads.  I suppose it’s possible in theory: They could have searched police human trafficking case files to find instances where the victims were the subject of online sex ads and then used those ads for training and testing the ML model against ads tied to actual sex trafficking.  The problem…is that actual sex trafficking cases are…too rare to build up a large enough corpus of online ads to train an ML classifier.  So where did the researchers find those ads?  How did they know the ads were for human trafficking victims?  The short answer is that they didn’t.  Instead, they used a manual classification system to deem some of the ads as possibly related to sex trafficking…[using] a list of trafficking indicators from [typical prohibitionist propaganda]…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1255)

Cops want their hysteria to trump reality:

[Flint, Michigan cop] Forrest Bradley…was one of two deputies who [had panic attacks]…after previously [subduing] a…[prisoner] who had overdosed from fentanyl-laced heroin…[the other hysteric was named] Justin Hall…[neither described any of] the [known] effects of a fentanyl overdose [but that didn’t stop local media from gullibly lapping up every word drooled by “authorities” about it]…

A Moral Cancer (#1256)

The claims of crypto-moralists are growing increasingly absurd:

People who consume more than 17 units of alcohol in a week – equal to about five large glasses of wine or eight pints of beer – were found to have “older” DNA…The study…[claims] that consuming alcohol in excess can wreak havoc on DNA by causing damage to telomeres — like protective caps at the ends of a chromosome — which could eventually lead to age-related diseases and the formation of cancer…

Cancer is probably inevitable for anyone who doesn’t die of something else first, but don’t tell that to puritans, who want people to believe they could live forever by simply eliminating every single pleasurable activity from their lives.  Of course, then there’d be little point to an extended lifespan, but one can’t have everything.

Micromanagement (#1258)

Any information you give to the State can and will be used against you:

New Jersey police…use…blood samples taken from babies to in[criminate their parents]…the practice came to light after a case in which [cops]…subpoenaed a…lab for a blood sample drawn from a child.  Police then performed DNA analysis on the…sample that [suppos]edly linked the child’s father to a crime committed more than 25 years ago…a…lawsuit…filed jointly by the [Office of the Public Defender] and the New Jersey Monitor, now seeks to compel the state…to disclose…the full extent of the practice.  All babies born in the state of New Jersey are required to have a blood sample drawn within 48 hours as part of a mandatory [disease] testing program…if police are able to…obtain the samples through subpoena, then…the…screening…is entering all babies…into a DNA database with no ability to opt out…

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