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Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’


Every year on her feast day, I honor St. Mary Magdalene; even though the Church does not officially recognize her as the patron of whores, she certainly is in the public imagination.  And if beliefs have power, that recognition of sacred whoredom in the minds of millions has far more metaphysical and philosophical weight than any official Church designation.

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Reliance on [police] to enforce Covid-19 restrictions has created…human rights violations.  –  Amnesty International

If Men Were Angels

Like father, like son:

A father and son pair of former church pastors were charged…with multiple counts of sexual assault of a child.  Scott Huse, 64…and…Travis Huse, 42…[were] involved with the Apostolic Worship Center and former Evergreen Christian Academy in Elton [Wisconsin]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1065)

Michigan is among the greediest, most unscrupulous states in this regard:

Michigan…[politicians have] open[ed] a dangerous loophole by authorizing [cops to rob]…travelers at Michigan airports [by pointing at them and oinking out the magic word “drugs”]…That change represents a substantial reversal of reforms that Michigan enacted in response to complaints…[bill sponsor Graham] Filler [paused from fellating cops to belch out a host of idiocies such as]…”ill-gotten gains”…”secure”…and…”reform”…

The Course of a Disease (#1093)

The Spanish case of the Swedish rot is especially virulent:

Spanish…politicians [are]…aiming to outlaw all forms of…sex work…including…audiovisual productions, magazines or internet content deemed “pornographic”…politicians within [socialist ruling party] PSOE, which took power in 2019…have taken up the abolition of sex work as their personal cause…the party’s General Vice-Secretary Adriana Lastra…last month took to the press to promote a change in the Spanish penal code to mandate up to three years of jail time for anyone paying for sex…

The Last Shall Be First (#1115)

Another perverse genital inspection law:

…the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” bans schools and colleges in Ohio from permitting “individuals of the male sex” from participating in women’s sports…The bill does not explain what the “male sex” or “female sex” is.  It does not say “trans” or “transgender” anywhere in the bill.  It doesn’t talk about birth or biological sex.  What it does instead is give people the power to dispute the sex of an individual athlete.  Then it falls upon that athlete to prove their sex by going to a physician and getting a signed statement confirming the athlete’s sex based on only…”The participant’s internal and external reproductive anatomy…normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone…[or] analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup.”  The bill…[also] authorize[s] individuals or schools…to sue the school, school district, or conference who allowed the trans woman to play and be awarded damages…The bill’s wording is similar to one passed in Idaho in 2020 that is currently being challenged in federal court

In the authoritarian mind,  for students to voluntarily allow other people to examine their genitalia for the purpose of pleasure is a “crime”, but for the same students to be forced by law to allow strangers to examine their genitalia for the purpose of bigotry is “protection”.

Social Distancing (#1197)

Oh look, it’s what I was saying TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO:

“Widespread reliance on punitive approaches to enforcing public health” harms marginalized groups, says Amnesty International.  A new report…suggests quarantine rules and other COVID-19 restrictions were especially damaging for groups already more likely to face discrimination, police harassment, and unjust criminalization.  Amnesty International calls on governments to reject using criminal sanctions to implement public health goals and “refrain from implementing repressive policies” in the name of protecting pubic health…”Contrary to the often-voiced claim by governments that ‘we were all in this together’, the truth is that their responses to Covid-19 have been experienced unequally…[especially by] people who are homeless, engage in sex work, or use drugs, as well as people “targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression”…


To Molest and Rape (#1225)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A [typical and representative] Philadelphia [cop who raped and]…sexually assault[ed men]…over the course of more than a decade was found guilty…of multiple crimes, including rape…Philip Nordo…often targeted [men] who were already handcuffed or shackled…

Thought Control (#1240)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

CatholicVote, which calls itself “America’s top Catholic advocacy organization,” has launched a “parent-led movement” called Hide the Pride to “empty libraries of LGBTQ content aimed at kids.”  It encourages members of the public to first collect signatures protesting library Pride displays containing children’s books, then to check out all of the books on display…After the titles are checked out, they then advise to “place the Pride books on a shelf out of reach of children” and email or mail the signatures to the library…a…school board candidate in Maryland did the same thing, though she didn’t stop at kids’ books.  Heather Fletcher checked out all the LGBTQ books on the library Pride display in the Brunswick Public Library…she [bloviat]ed, “This has…to do with the preservation of innocence”…

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The nuisance comes from drinking and drunkenness, but no one is saying close the bars.  –  Brenda, Dutch sex worker

The Notorious Badge 

I wonder when Hollywood will catch up?

The brothels look brighter, the alleyways are cleaner, and a stirring soundtrack accompanies the protagonists, but a new Bollywood film set in Mumbai’s red-light district has struck a chord with India’s roughly one million sex workers.  Gangubai Kathiawadi is a biopic telling the story of a sex worker of the same name who went from being a [coerced underage sexworker] to fight[ing] for the rights of women working in the trade in the 1950s, a battle still being fought today…Many sex workers in Kamathipura…and across India say the film starring celebrated actress Alia Bhatt shows rare understanding of their everyday struggles…“There have been so many films on women like us, but none that raised these issues,” said Kiran Deshmukh, president of National Network of Sex Workers.  “People believe what they see in Bollywood films. And this film has shown that sex work is work…that…helps us live our lives and feed and raise our children”…

Guinea Pigs (#757) 

And it can find you just as easily:

Cher Scarlett, a software engineer…uploaded some images of her[self]…to PimEyes, a facial-recognition website meant to be used to find pictures of yourself from around the web — ostensibly to help stamp out issues such as revenge porn and identity theft…the results [included]…porn…[she was coerced into making as a 19-year-old] addict…in New York in 2005…She has since tried and failed to get all of the explicit photos removed from PimEyes’ search results, despite the site saying it would scrub images of Scarlett from results…Giorgi Gobronidze…the current owner and director of PimEyes…[deflected blame by saying] “The problem isn’t that there is a search engine that can find these photos; the problem is…people who actually uploaded [the photos] on purpose”…Scarlett’s saga starkly shows how easily facial-recognition technology, which is now available to anyone with internet access, can lead to unexpected harms that may be impossible to undo…

The Prudish Giant (#1104) 

Instagram and TikTok users, take note:

Digital studies and sexuality researcher Dr. Carolina Are is asking sex workers, adult performers and others who have experienced discrimination to participate in a study investigating Instagram and TikTok’s approach to malicious flagging or reporting of “gray area” content, including nudity.  Are is seeking participants over 18 years of age who have received negative comments and simultaneously had their accounts and/or content removed…Are plans to circulate an anonymous survey and then interview specific case studies.  Those wishing to share their experience with social media discrimination can fill out the survey here

Dutch Threat (#1136)

The Dutch scheme to Disnify De Wallen is no longer merely a scheme:

In November 2020, Mayor Femke Halsema announced plans to [forcibly] relocate sex workers to a purpose built “Erotic Center” on the city’s outskirts in hopes of luring bands of drunk men and general carnality away from residents to make space for new cafés, art galleries, and designer boutiques…according to the mayor’s office…“We want less dominance of cheap nightlife”…if built, it will be the most extreme measure taken to “clean up” De Wallen, which has, in recent years, already been subject to a raft of new regulations and s[urveillance]…Amsterdam’s sex workers are ambivalent about the city’s plans to relocate them.  Brenda, a sex worker…[who] met me at the Prostitution Information Center…said sex workers were soft targets in the city’s gentrification push…Iris, a coordinator at the center, said the “so-called nuisance and antisocial behavior” was just another excuse to get rid of sex workers and free up lucrative real estate in the sought-after inner city

Winding Down (#1148)

Over half of Americans now live in states with legal cannabis:

Rhode Island…became the 19th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use…[the] bill…immediately allows adults 21 or older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis in public and grow up to three plants at home.  State-licensed recreational sales are supposed to start on December 1, beginning with the state’s three existing medical marijuana dispensaries.  The law also requires automatic expungement of marijuana possession convictions…public consumption…will be legal in any place where cigarette smoking is allowed…The law caps the number of retailers at 33, which amounts to about one store per 32,000 people…Rhode Islanders may find it easier to buy pot from black-market dealers or from stores in Massachusetts or Connecticut, both of which have legalized recreational use.  Like California, Rhode Island will allow local governments to ban pot shops, but only through referendums and not in the three cities (Providence, Warwick, and Portsmouth) where medical marijuana is already being sold…

Opting Out (#1199)

French law provides some defense vs religious activism:

A Paris court of appeals rejected…the attempt by local War on Porn groups, led by an extremist Catholic organization, to use France’s media authority and the courts to block the most popular adult tube sites in the country…following months of…threats pressuring tube sites to implement vaguely defined age verification schemes, French media regulator ARCOM went to court…to demand that French ISPs block Pornhub…and [a number of similar sites, but]…the Council of State…issued a ruling rendering null all the activities taken up by…ARCOM in connection with the…block…the Council…specifically pointed out the role played by extremist Catholic organization Civitas in orchestrating the campaign…

Civitas is associated with the Society of Saint Pius X, the reactionary organization founded by Archbishop Lefebvre to fight modernization efforts such as performing the Mass in the vernacular rather than Latin.

The Mob Rules (#1231)

The number of laws empowering busybodies to harass victims with nuisance lawsuits will only keep growing until they’re ruled unconstitutional:

Shortly after the nation’s latest mass shooting…at an elementary school in Texas, the California Senate passed a bill…to allow private citizens to file suit for at least $10,000 — a bounty-hunter provision modeled on a Texas abortion law — against makers or sellers of [3-D printed firearms] or [rifles banned under California law]…

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Off the Green

Long-time readers may have noticed that although I do a lot of holiday columns, and used to do even more, I’ve never done one for St. Patrick’s Day.  The reason is simple: I dislike it almost as much as I dislike Valentine’s Day.  But while my reasons for disliking the latter are mostly rational, my reasons for disliking the former are almost entirely irrational, and go back to childhood.  I don’t think it will come as a surprise to anyone reading this that I was a willful, rebellious child who hated being told “you must” with the same intensity I hated being told “you can’t”.  Now, that doesn’t mean I was purely contrarian; however, even then I reserved the right to decide for myself whether I would comply with some adult diktat, starting with demanding to know why I was supposed to do something or refrain from doing something.  Being told, “because x authority says so,” or handed some tautological non-justification, would generally provoke either immediate non-compliance or a pretense of compliance as long as the parent/teacher/cop was looking, followed by refusal as soon as they left the room.  To this day, the surest way to lose my cooperation is to accompany the demand with a phrase like “you must”, “you are required to”, “it’s the law”, etc, though obviously I am a lot better at avoiding negative consequences for my hardheadedness than I was as a schoolgirl.  So, as some of you may have guessed, my aversion to St. Patrick’s Day started with the annual declaration that I must wear green on the occasion; I was told to do it, not asked or encouraged.  The reasons I was provided, when they existed at all, were pure blarney (I was skeptical about that snake story even before I stopped believing in Santa Claus), and given that my school uniform contained no green, the obligatory color display generally took the form of a stupid little felt shamrock pinned to my blouse.  On top of all that, I had an odd aversion to green clothing in the first place; Maman thought it was because my other grandmother had made several rompers for me out of an old green sofa cover, so after a while I was thoroughly sick of the color.  Or perhaps it was due to association with the vegetables whose mere smell nauseated me.  In any case, I eventually outgrew my aversion to the color, but not to the holiday; as I grew into young adulthood I even rationalized my dislike by tying it to my disdain for binge-drinking and my reflexive rejection of any attempt to include me in some group membership against my will (back when people were declaring “We’re all New Yorkers now”, my response was usually “I’m not.”)  So anyhow, now you know.  I no longer have issues with wearing green, but I still find beer (of any color) revolting and am wont to roll my eyes at fake brogues and dopey leprechaun cartoons.  And while I was perfectly willing to kiss the Blarney stone, I can’t say the same for drunken Irishmen. 

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It’s as if Disney were entering Notre-Dame.  –  Maurice Culot

Every once in a while social media produces something really exceptional; this was called to my attention by Mike Siegel, who also contributed “improved” and “baby”.  The other links above the video were provided by Dan Savage, Scott Greenfield, Kevin Wilson, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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It feels good to know that I played a small part in paralyzing a cho, LMAO.  –  Garrett Osbon

When the name Casino Royale was re-used for one of the James Bond franchise movies in 2006, those of us who remember the David Niven/Woody Allen parody from 1967 couldn’t help being amused, but apparently someone decided to juxtapose the two in a more direct way.  The video was provided by Franklin Harris, and the links above it by Clarissa (x2), Jesse Walker, Billy Binion, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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The key question we need to ask is why she was in prison in the first place.  –  Deborah Coles

The Lesser of Two Evils (#722)

Maybe the Church should delineate acceptable ways for priests to meet their sexual needs:

A Roman Catholic priest has been arrested for stealing over $117,000 in church funds to buy drugs for his gay sex parties.  Father Francesco Spagnesi…has been placed under house arrest while police interview 200 people who reportedly attended his lavish orgies over the past two years…when a parish accountant discovered that he had withdrawn [the money]…from the parish’s bank account…the local bishop…cut off [his] access to the funds…Spagnesi…the[n]…began taking money from the collection plate and soliciting money directly from parishioners, who were told he was raising aid for poor families.  The parishioners have now initiated legal action…to reclaim their money…

News flash: humans have sexual urges.  Deprive them of socially-sanctioned ways to meet their needs, and they’ll find other ways.  It really is that simple.

Full of Themselves (#787)

What is it about massage parlors that brings the puritans out of the woodwork?

In one of New York’s toniest neighborhoods…a shady massage parlor is hidden in plain view…[it] sees a steady stream of well-dressed male clientele late into the night.  The alleged illicit massage business in the upscale neighborhood is one of at least 629 others currently operating across the five boroughs — a network of illegal enterprises so vast, they outnumber Starbucks 2 to 1 citywide…this summer, a local [prohibitionist] in search of…a [way to drum up anti-sex hysteria supposedly sent her teenage son into one, then got him to parrot her ugly propaganda to a prohibitionist reporter for a yellow rag]…

When you see the word “illicit”, you can be sure you’re reading prohibitionist propaganda.

Torture Chamber (#1102)

British screws also love yelling “Stop faking!” at caged people:

A vulnerable 18-year-old whose baby died after her calls for help were ignored as she gave birth alone in a prison cell was not provided with bereavement support – but the prison guards who [refused]…her medical assistance were offered counselling…the [guards finally noticed her]…cradling her dead baby more than 12 hours after…[she told] staff…she needed an ambulance…

At least the UK press uses fewer copsucking euphemisms that that of the US.

Sex Rays (#1109)

Oh noes, they contaminated public places with their eeeevul sex rays!

A South Carolina couple, previously arrested in January over public sex videos they had uploaded to adult platforms, has once again been charged under local “obscenity” statutes after an anonymous [snitch] gave the police a USB drive containing their adult content…Eric and Lori Harmon…ar[e]…being held without bail…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1119)

It’s always nice when they feed on each other:

A [typical and representative] Jacksonville [Florida cop] has been arrested on charges of distributing…child…[porn]…Scott Matthew Yotka…faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted, as well as [condemnation to the “sex offender” registry]…Yotka…[was caught when he] used a social media app to [chat] with an…FBI [spook fantasy role-playing]…as the parent of a child…[he] was a[pparently offering to] Yotka [or some similar thing buried in the news report under prevarication and euphemisms]…

Safe Position (#1123)

I’ll be optimistic when she clearly repudiates the Swedish model:

[New York governor] Kathy Hochul did not endorse the decriminalization of sex work…but s[aid]…“It is absolutely something I’ve thought about and I’m considering”…[unfortunately there are] two competing bills…before the state Legislature….“We hope that when (Hochul says) ‘decrim’ that she’s talking about the real comprehensive decriminalization for sex workers that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for people,” [said] Jared Trujillo…[of the NYCLU; however]…the Hochul administration has had discussions with people backing a [Swedish model bill sponsored by [prohibitionist] Liz Krueger [which would treat sex workers as moral imbeciles and target their partners, friends, co-workers and families for persecution]…

To Molest and Rape (#1175)

So many words to downplay raping children:

A [typical and representative] Coos Bay [Oregon cop] has been indicted and arrested [for] child [rape]…Terry Scott Rogers…started [repeatedly raping] a child [under 12] in 2012…and…continued [regularly raping her] for six years.  Rogers was indicted on [five] counts of…[rape], eight counts of [molestation]…and [other associated] charges…Rogers’ attorneys argued his…background [as a rapist] is proof he can be released on his own recognizance…[but the judge set bail at] $50,000…and…Rogers [w]as [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

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You’re killing me.  –  Kyle Maurice Vinson

A few weeks ago Twitter reader Slow Barney called my attention to this video from a British impressionist who prank-called Tom Baker and got back as good as he gave!  The links above it were provided by Dan Savage, Cop Crisis, Eric Sprankle, Radley Balko, Rick Horowitz, and Cop Crisis again, in that order.

From the Archives

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Every year on her feast day, I honor St. Mary Magdalene; even though the Church does not officially recognize her as the patron of whores, she certainly is in the public imagination.  And if beliefs have power, that recognition of sacred whoredom in the minds of millions has far more metaphysical and philosophical weight than any official Church designation.

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The police are…seen as outside the law.  –  Nicole Van Cleve

Schadenfreude

Yet another rescue industry “hero” is revealed as an opportunistic fraud:

A private foundation is suing [rescue industry profiteer group] Unlikely Heroes and its [owner] Erica Greve…[because]…it misrepresented its rescue home operations and breached its contract involving an online education program, among other [abuses].  The Human Investment Foundation, a Dallas-based private family foundation focused on sexual violence education and prevention…seeks declaratory relief and a re[fund] of the more than $100,000 it [was scammed into] donat[ing] to Unlikely Heroes…[which] claims to have recovered over 500 children and [indoctrin]ated more than 80,000 people [i]n human trafficking [propaganda]…since 2011.  The organization is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, but has an office in Hollywood…[despite claims to the contrary] Unlikely Heroes does not actually own or operate its rescue homes in Thailand, the Philippines and Mexico, nor does it have any staff outside the U.S.  Instead, it extends a small donation to [other prohibitionists who] own [gingerbread houses] in their respective countries and claims the work as its own…

How Many Will It Take?

How many mass graves before people stop believing in the goodness of religion?

…Canad[ian]…investigators have found hundreds of unmarked graves at the site of…the Marieval Indian Residential School, which operated from 1899 to 1997 where the Cowessess First Nation is now located…[in] Saskatchewan.  A search with ground-penetrating radar resulted in 751 ’’hits,″ indicating that at least 600 bodies were buried in the area…the numbers will be verified in coming weeks…the graves were marked at one time, but that the Roman Catholic Church that operated the school had removed the markers…Last month the remains of 215 children, some as young as 3 years old, were found buried on the site of what was once Canada’s largest Indigenous residential school near Kamloops, British Columbia…until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend state-funded Christian schools, the majority of them run by Roman Catholic missionary congregations, in a campaign to assimilate them into Canadian society…physical and sexual abuse was rampant in the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages…

Panopticon (#746)

It only took the courts five years to recognize the obvious this time:

The use of surveillance planes in Baltimore to track people’s movement for long periods without a warrant is a violation of the Fourth Amendment, a federal appeals court [has finally] ruled…The case revolved around a…surveillance program run by the Baltimore Police Department…[euphemized as] Aerial Investigation Research…beginning in 2016…The program was [temporarily] discontinued in response to [rightful] public anger over the snooping.  But in 2019, the program [quietly] returned as…a [fascist collaboration] between BPD and a private company…During daylight hours, the planes would fly over the city recording images…of about 90 percent of Baltimore…[which] could be used to track the movements of [any] individual…co[ps decided to brand a]…crim[inal, without need for]…a warrant…

Disaster (#1000)

Even the government itself recognizes what a disaster FOSTA is:

…the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report detailing how federal prosecutors have rarely used…FOSTA…[against any] act[ual]…criminal[s]…”because…prosecutors have had success using other criminal statutes.”  “The GAO report confirms…FOSTA-SESTA was a complete disaster,” said Sarah Roth-Gaudette…[of] Fight for the Future.  “Lives were put in danger…[yet] the law has only been used once in its three-year history”…

Choke Point (#1007)

The ACLU has finally deigned to notice financial discrimination vs sex workers:

Using financial intermediaries such as PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo can make or break one’s ability to work or survive in our increasingly virtual society.  In spite of this, platforms like PayPal and Venmo continue to boot sex workers and other users off their platforms…criminalization…makes sex workers more vulnerable to financial censorship…platforms like PayPal and Venmo, who should offer their services to all users without discrimination, will randomly…shut down the accounts of sex workers…without warning or due process…harm[ing] workers relying on that income…pushing sex work deeper into the shadows and enabling more abuse…In addition…PayPal routinely targets users for speech protected by the First Amendment…and…stall[s] efforts to provide bail support…The censorship of sex workers is just one piece of the puzzle…

Predictably, ACLU only seems concerned about discrimination against LGBT sex workers.  But since we make up the majority, that will help straight sex workers as well.

The Cop Myth (#1053)

Is there any non-troglodyte who still denies police violence is epidemic?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that since 2015, more than 400,000 people have been treated in emergency rooms because of violent interactions with police or security guards.  But there’s almost no nationwide data on the nature or circumstances of their injuries.  Many of the [US]’s roughly 18,000 [cop shops] don’t [bother to] tally…the number of people who need medical care after [thug cops] break their arms, bruise their faces or shock them with Tasers…”police…get to decide who is worthy or unworthy of an ambulance,” said Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve…[of] Brown University…“It is absolutely an undercount”…

Tissue of Lies

The latest pig fad: collecting a bunch of unrelated raids, arrests & record updates and calling the resulting dog’s breakfast a “sex trafficking sting”:

…Georgia [cop shops pretend] they recovered 20 endangered children, 16 of which are [fantasized] to be victims of sex trafficking…[by combining mundane record updates] over a two-week period in May around Atlanta…The [publicity stunt] is the third of its kind…

These “operations” have become popular with cop shops all over the US, but were innovated last year in Georgia.

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