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Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

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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We did prohibition, it didn’t work.  –  George Koob

Pyrrhic Victory (#1189)

“Criminality” is a status defined entirely by the State:

…the head of [the] Iranian…morality [police] said in a September interview that [facial recognition] technology would be used “to identify inappropriate and unusual movements,” including “failure to observe hijab laws”…[activists] monitoring the ongoing [protests] have noticed that some people…are confronted by police days after an alleged incident—including women cited for not wearing a hijab…the pattern indicates face recognition is already in use…women…[are also] receiving citations in the mail for hijab law violations despite not having [been physically accosted by a cop]…Women deemed violators of the law can lose access to banks, public transportation, and other essential…services.  Repeat offenders can spend years in jail or in [“re-education” camps]…

Virtual Imperialism (#1202)

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

…a Chinese outpost [in New York] conducting police operations without jurisdiction or diplomatic approval — one of more than 100 such outfits around the world…[was searched by] F.B.I. counterintelligence agents…last fall…Irish, Canadian and Dutch officials have called for China to shut down police operations in their countries…[but] the F.B.I. raid is the first known example of the authorities seizing materials from one of the outposts…The Chinese…[claim] the outposts…are staffed by volunteers who help Chinese nationals perform [benign] tasks like renewing their driver’s licenses back home.  But Chinese state news media reports…cite police and local Chinese officials by name describing the operations…[as “]overseas police service centers[” which engage in]…“collecting intelligence” and solving crimes abroad without collaborating with local officials…Some of those online articles have been deleted recently as Western officials and human rights groups have called attention to the police offices…[which are] part of Beijing’s larger drive to keep tabs on Chinese nationals abroad, including dissidents…

A Moral Cancer (#1260)

Crypto-moralists want people to believe they could live forever by simply eliminating every single pleasurable activity from their lives:

After decades of confusing and…contradictory [claims by crypto-moralists]…the[y’re now claiming to be really really right this time when they claim]…even small amounts of alcohol can have health consequences…When experts talk about the dire health consequences linked to excessive alcohol use, people often assume that it…[means excessive] alcohol use…But th[at’s not good enough for puritans, who want the gullible to be afraid of even]…moderate consumption…the [ever-changing] U.S. Dietary Guidelines…[now] recommend…[no] more than two drinks a day for men and…one drink a day for women…[but] the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…[which is well known for the consistency of its claims and “]recommend[ations” says…if you abstain [most of the time]…and have two or three drinks…on[ce in a while it still]…count[s] as excessive consumption [and God will smite you with cancer]…

Property of the State (#1293)

Universal criminality provides many avenues for State violence:

Alabama’s attorney general [Steve Marshall] said he could prosecute women who take abortion pills, despite language in the state’s new abortion ban that ensures it won’t be used against people who receive abortions…That state’s law against “chemical endangerment” of a child was originally passed to punish people who exposed children to meth labs.  But it’s been used to prosecute numerous pregnant women accused of taking drugs, including marijuana alone…Since abortion pills are now an illegal drug in Alabama…Marshall’s statement doesn’t seem like an empty threat at all…

Opting Out (#1295) 

The UK’s decade-long campaign to censor the internet has taken a mindlessly-carceral turn:

Nearly 40 [politicians are demanding]…the [long-debated] Online Safety Bill…[include] an amendment that would give Ofcom, the communications watchdog, extra powers to prosecute tech bosses and hold them criminally liable for breaches of their [newly-invented “duty”] to protect children [from vaguely-defined “harms”]…

The Cop Myth (#1303)

Sleeping with cops isn’t safe for men, either:

A [cop] running for mayor of Houston…was arrested…[for] assaulting her live-in boyfriend with her police baton and stun gun…Robin Williams…punched her boyfriend in the mouth and struck him with her…baton early Dec. 31 at their Houston home – four months after…beating him with the baton and using a taser on him…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1304)

Apparently, magic insta-fentanyl only affects cops:

Camden County [New Jersey bureaucrats bragged] that [cops]…arrest[ed] five men…[for] fentanyl and cocaine possession and manufacturing, [but] 11 [cops who raided them all had panic attacks when they saw the] fentanyl [their victims were handling without harm] and required medical treatment [to get them to stop crying, fainting and engaging in other histrionics]…

 

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

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

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

Torture Chamber

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

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

Stalkers in Blue

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

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

Eavesdropping (#1152)

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

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

Monsters (#1195)

Never forget that this started with censorship of internet porn:

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

Prudish Pedants (#1223)

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

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

Stalkers in Blue (#1282)

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

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

Absolute Corruption (#1293)

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

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

 

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

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To deny [a dying man permission to be with his daughter] is heartless, cruel, and inhumane.  –  Sandy Rozek

Banishment

I’m sure you feel safer now:

The daughter of a bedridden, dying 79-year-old man asked for permission to care for him at home.  This request was denied by the city council of Shenandoah, since the man is on the sex offender registry.  Registrants must live at least 1,000 feet from playgrounds.  The daughter’s home is 894 feet from a toddler park…the Texas bill regarding registries seems to require that towns “establish procedures for a registered sex offender to apply for an exemption from the ordinance,” that option was not provided in Shenandoah.  The chief of police, Troye Dunlap, [said]…”My opinion is no exceptions should be made…If something were to happen, then it falls on me.”  The possibility of something happening seems remote, since the man…is confined to his bed and receiving end-of-life care…

If Men Were Angels

Even the use of the distancing “former” is the same as for rapist cops:

A [typical and representative] Des Moines…youth pastor is charged with giving alcohol to minors [in order to] sexually assault…them.  Caleb Toney [molested at least] five…boys…in [this]…manner…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#786)

Indonesian fanatics have been trying to impose this evil scheme for years:

Indonesia has passed a new criminal code that outlaws sex outside of marriage [and] defamation of the president, and expands its laws against blasphemy.  The new laws, which apply to foreigners in the country as well…[will be used] to [target sexual minorities, especially sex workers]…and religious minorities.  Critics also say the new laws could damage Indonesia’s [attempts to pretend to be] a tolerant and secular nation.  In 2019, the Indonesian government tried to pass a similar draft law, but it was shelved by President Joko Widodo after protests from young people [because] the law [blatantly violates] civil liberties…

Torture Chamber (#1202)

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

An Oklahoma [screw]…was caught using white supremacist gangs to go after Black inmates…Matthew Ware…was sentenced to [a mere] 46 months…in prison.  It’s unclear if the prison will be the one where he worked, however…

To Molest and Rape (#1214)

It’s rare that a rapist cop is stopped after only one victim:

A [typical and representative] Atlanta [cop] who was…a serial rapist…was found guilty…and sentenced to 50 years in prison…Lionel Dely…[raped] a mass[euse after vomiting the word]…investigation [at]…her…[it later came out] that Dely had [raped] three other [women previously]…Though Dely was not charged in those cases, the three victims testified against him at trial.  Police [thought it was very important to tell reporters]…that Dely [did not have permission to rape]…the victim…

Torture Chamber (#1219)

He wasn’t a “former” warden when he raped three women:

A federal jury convicted [boss screw] Ray J. Garcia of [raping]…three female victims who were [condemned to the hell-hole Garcia was supposed to be managing.  As is typical of government press releases, prosecutors and other “officials” stood around congratulating themselves to an almost comical extent, but did point out that]…Garcia…fostered [such] a culture of abuse at FCI Dublin [that it was nicknamed “The Rape Club”]…

The Cop Myth (#1270)

Can you imagine any other gang responsible for this level of mayhem being described as merely “troubled”?

Fewer fatal police shootings are recorded by the federal government every year, despite [a collective pretense of increased] scrutiny of police use of force…Even though federal records indicate that fatal shootings by police have been declining nationwide since 2015, The Washington Post’s Fatal Force database shows the opposite is true: [cops] have [wantonly murdered] more people every year, reaching a record high in 2021 with 1,047 deaths.  The FBI database contains only about one-third of the 7,000 fatal police shootings during this time — down from half when The Post first started tracking…Fatal shootings by [cops] in at least 2,250 [cop shops] are missing from the past seven years of federal records…The excluded data has created a misleading government picture of police use of force, [intentionally] complicating efforts at accountability…

 

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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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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