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Posts Tagged ‘crypto-moralism’

America[ns]…associate sin or indulgence with desserts.  –  Oona Hanson

Sisters in Arms

I’m repurposing this disused tag to highlight sex worker activism of this type:

Sex workers around the world, and many of the platforms they use, have spent the last week rallying support for their colleagues stranded on the ground in Ukraine…[sex workers] have developed a strong track record in recent years of mobilising for victims of disasters and ensuring they see the money that has been raised for them…even the platforms Ukrainian sex workers depend on to make a living have made serious efforts to make their support known.  OnlyFans made a donation of 500 Ethereum, equivalent to about $US1.5 million, to UkraineDAO on Saturday, one of a legion of crypto organisations raising millions of dollars…for Ukraine…payment app…Paxum…is currently working…to connect workers with transport at Ukraine’s border with Romania, where they would then be offered free accommodation…On Twitter, sex workers can regularly be seen urging their clients and fans to donate to individual causes that are as narrowly targeted as a life-saving surgery, or as broad as a global campaign to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims of bushfires, as was seen in Australia in 2020

The Widening Gyre (#698) 

Long-time readers may recall that I called this a hoax as soon as the story broke:

Sherri Papini, the California [woman] who disappeared for weeks in 2016 and claimed she’d been kidnapped at gunpoint, made up the story and had been staying with an ex-boyfriend…Papini…was arrested for…lying to investigators in 2020 when presented with evidence the kidnapping was faked and of defrauding California out of more than $30,000 in victim assistance money…Papini…[re]appear[ed]…on…Interstate 5 in rural Yolo County, with a chain around her waist and a “brand” on her shoulder she [pretended] was inflicted by her captors…[but] were [in reality] self-inflicted [with a wood-burning tool.  Papini, who had a history of posting on white nationalist sites, pretended]…two [armed] Hispanic women…kept her captive…[but] in 2020, DNA found on Papini’s clothes…led investigators to her ex-boyfriend…[who] told [them] that Papini asked him for help and needed to get away, that he agreed to drive to pick her up in Redding, and that she stayed at his home in Costa Mesa in the Los Angeles area the whole time…eventually she asked to be driven back to Northern California…

Working From Home

As long as sex work is marginalized, sex workers will be targets for creeps:

A 20-year-old man…hid…in the attic of a [New Hampshire] woman he [followed] online through…OnlyFans…Mauricio Damian-Guerrero…[ha]s [been] charged with…burglary…for…br[eaking] into [her] home multiple times and t[aking] video of the woman’s private areas while she slept…he admitted [to cops that] he [also planned] to tape [a tracking device] to…he[r]…car…he…appeared to have been in the attic for a period of time, as [the woman] found food, a cup with urine in it, and a pair of headphones [in her attic.  He tricked her into giving him]…her address b[y claiming] he wanted to buy her a TV and fireplace…he [also]…admitted…that before breaking into the [house], which is…he[r mother’s] home, he had broken into her Dover, New Hampshire, apartment multiple times…

You Were Warned (#1134)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

A [cabal] of [ambulance-chasers] currently appealing a dismissed lawsuit against Reddit…[have] renew[ed] their claim that Section 230 protections should not shield the social media platform…from allegations of “profiting off of child pornography” over user-generated content…through an…increasingly…[popular but still legally] novel doctrine of “constructive knowledge,” as opposed to actual knowledge…

Their Own Petard

When we agreed to trick other people into cages with face-eating leopards, we didn’t know the leopards would eat our faces!

Marissa Sanchez [and the other plaintiffs]…in an ongoing lawsuit…against the [Houston, Texas] Constables’ Office…and [several of its boss cops]…They [agreed to participate in an elaborate scam]…in which [cops fantasy role-played as]…partygoers…[and] prostitutes…[in an attempt to ruin the lives of] sex workers [and their partners and friends]…Instead of capturing [imaginary “]traffickers[“]…they were subjected to [the same] sexual harassment…molestation…and sexual ridicule…that [they were happy to inflict on other women who never did them any harm]…

Thou Shalt Not (#1206)

Crypto-moralism rots people’s brains:

Girl Scouts, and the women who lead their troops and volunteer with them during cookie season, say that the…tradition of face-to-face sales is increasingly accompanied by…angry tirades from adults who want to lecture them about [those adult’s beliefs about] healthy eating…or rant about the group’s rumored (and false) link to Planned Parenthood…”I feel like in the last 10 years, and maybe especially since the pandemic, that people are getting even more aggressive”…[said] Oona Hanson, a Scouting parent in Los Angeles…she’s seen [oafs] make comments about weight gain, tell girls they can’t trust themselves to have Thin Mints in the house, or even yell at girls for “poisoning” people…Other [cretins]…have…harassed [girls] for…the use of palm oil in the cookies.  Widely used in commercial baked goods, the oil [has become] controversial [among people who think of themselves as environmentalists] because its production can lead to deforestation and disrupt the habitat of endangered species…a…[rumor started in] 2004…[by] the leader of an anti-abortion group in Waco, Texas…has stuck…among…anti-abortion [fanatics, who act out by] harassing [girls too young to even know]…what an abortion is…

The Cop Myth (#1217)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives; some don’t stop with mere beating:

[Typical and representative Georgia cop] Michael Perrault was found guilty on all counts…in…the Feb. 2020 [murder] of [his wife] Amanda Perrault…he…[was] sentenced to life in prison without parole…Perrault was initially arrested on Jan. 28, 2020 [for] battery on his wife…[and] was released on…bond…Days later…Michael claimed she killed herself in front of him…[but] there…[was] a long history of domestic abuse…[and Sheriff Howard] Sills testified it was obvious [to him] from the jump that Perrault had killed his wife and tried to stage it based on details at the scene.  A neighbor who gave Amanda refuge in their home also testified saying she told them, “If anything happened, she didn’t kill herself”…

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Until somebody figures out a good way to rein-in government snoopiness, it might be better to avoid taking selfies at protests.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Thou Shalt Not (#35)

Prohibitionism is a dangerous mental illness:

Some packets of biscuits will be banned from [certain areas of] supermarkets from 2023…the new law bans [stores] from selling [foods labeled] HFSS (high in fat, sugar and salt) [by government-employed puritans from displays in] checkout areas, ends of aisles and store entrances…government…[nannies justified the new law by barfing out the phrase]…childhood obesity [while maintaining laws that keep children from healthy outdoor exercise]…a [government] study [declared that most Britons are far too stupid and weak-willed to make their own food choices, so those choices must therefore be made for them]…

Torture Chamber

If there’s one thing the US needs, it’s more sadistic rapists in the military:

…Brandon Scott Price, a [typical and representative Kentucky] prison guard, was convicted of [a misdemeanor assault charge for anally raping a chained woman]…his…judge…sentenced [him]…to [a mere] 12 months in jail…but said Price could avoid jail time if he [re-]enlisted in the military within 30 days…enlistments are subject to military regulations that would require Price to seek a waiver for his sexual-assault conviction from military officials.  The military has spent more than a decade struggling to limit sexual assault among troops…[on the way back from the hospital after she had suffered] a medical emergency…Price pulled the van…over and [anally raped] the woman…then [claimed she wanted it]…

Choke Point (#611) 

PayPal needs to be buried in similar lawsuits before this will stop:

Three PayPal users who’ve…had their accounts frozen and funds [stol]en by the company without explanation have filed a federal lawsuit against the online payment service.  The plaintiffs…are…proposing a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all other users who’ve had their accounts [similarly violated] and are seeking restitution, as well as punitive and exemplary damages.  Lena Evans…[ha]d been a PayPal user for 22 years…[when] the website s[tole] $26,984 from her account six months after…fr[eezing it] without ever telling her why…Roni Shemtov sa[w] PayPal s[teal] over $42,000 of her money and never got an acceptable [or consistent] reason for why her account was terminated…Shbadan Akylbekov…[explained that] PayPal s[tole] over $172,000 of his money without…explanation…[except] a letter that says she “violated PayPal’s User Agreement and Acceptable Use Policy”…PayPal has long angered many a user for limiting accounts and freezing their funds for six months or more.  One high-profile case was American poker player Chris Moneymaker’s who had $12,000 [stol]en from his account after six months of being limited.  Moneymaker was already in the process of asking people to join him in a class action lawsuit before his funds were “mysteriously returned”…

Blunt Instrument (#1012)

Oh look, Texas cops are staging pogroms against migrant-owned businesses; what a surprise.  The only thing even remotely unusual about this farrago of loathsome oinking, agency denial, pious bullshit and revolting bootlicking is that the violent racist psychopaths vomit out the word “trafficking” only 5 times in a 21-paragraph copaganda screed.  By contrast, the word “illicit” (a word which characterizes prohibitionist propaganda more than any other) appears 9 times.  But given that this was published (to use the most charitable word possible for this human-centipede excretion) by the Dallas Morning News, a rag so filled with prohibitionist masturbatory fantasies that it’s an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas, that actually counts as a twisted kind of progress.

I Spy (#1086) 

In mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…[Since] social media an easy and low-cost means of gathering intelligence…cops and their private-sector contractors snoop on us…while fishing for anything of interest…instead of curbing such abuses, many politicians want more.  “Social media has become a significant source of information for U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law noted in a report released last week…Customs and Border Protection…routinely runs the names of people of interest, including journalists and activists, through databases…For years, the FBI used Dataminr, “a third-party service that [surveills]…social media posts”…in 2019 [it switched] to ZeroFox, which offers a similar service.  Some FBI agents blamed their inability to anticipate the January 6 riot at the Capitol on the changeover…and…over the past year, law enforcement has come under pressure to engage in even more monitoring of social media because of its failure to anticipate the…riot…

Stalkers in Blue (#1180)

This disgusting article is loaded with copsucking and emotional manipulation:

A [typical and representative] NYPD [cop], who survived [a 2015 “dismissal probation” after drug paraphernalia and needles were found in his locker], was fired…after he repeatedly [sexually harassed] vulnerable women [he was] arrest[ing]…[including] wom[e]n he believed to be domestic abuse victim[s] and…sex [workers, but who]…were actually [other rolepaying cops]…investigati[ng him due to complaints]…He also used an NYPD computer to [stalk other women] …and [lied]…to [other cops]…about [his predatory behavior]…

Right from the headline on, IB Times attempts to manipulate the reader’s sympathies; the cop who repeatedly tried to get into the pants of women he arrested or “investigated” is described as a “veteran” and a “hero”.  His attempted manipulation and rape is described as “romantic”, his victims’ criminal histories are emphasized, and his other shenanigans are not mentioned until far down in the story.  It’s vile even by the standards of cop stenography.

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1204)

Cops think they can just make up their own pharmacology and demand reality conform to it:

Fentanyl that is about 50 times more potent than “what has regularly been found and tested” in the region has been recovered in Hartford, police [lie]d…[after] find[ing] nearly 40 bags of fentanyl…[near where] a seventh-grader [overdosed.  Though the boy appears to have eaten]…the drug…a…spokesp[ig preferred to oink a bunch of weird cop fantasies about how]…“this product can be deadly to anyone coming in contact with it, including absorption through the skin…fentanyl is a poison”…

Fentanyl is a life-saving synthetic drug, no more a “poison” than any other medicine.  It cannot be absorbed through the skin, and no batch is “50 times more potent” than any other; of course, this confused oinking might be attempting to convey the claim that most heroin cut with fentanyl in Hartford is only about 2% fentanyl, whereas this was nearly pure.  But it’s difficult to tell in proximity to so many exaggerations, cop fantasies and outright lies.

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Those in government office a[re] the proper subjects of scrutiny…not those who hold them to account.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Same As It Ever Was

All prohibitionism is the same:

The place of the humble egg in the street food culture of Gujarat…has become the latest flash point in the growing role of religion in everyday life…under [Hindu nationalist] Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who[se]…policies to reshape India…include tightening a ban on alcohol and adding protections against the slaughter of cattle…But even devout Hindus don’t always agree among themselves what practices the faithful should follow, a conflict that also raises issues of income and class.  Hence the bitter disagreement over eggs…[which some high-caste] Hindu…vegetarian[s]…consider…to be meat products.  Citing complaints from Hindus as well as [bogus] health concerns, local officials in Ahmedabad…and at least four other cities in mid-November banned the sale and display of meat, fish and eggs on the street…facing a lawsuit and protests, officials in Ahmedabad relented and allowed sales…to resume for now, though the dispute is being considered by the courts

Stalkers in Blue

Cops regularly demonstrate exactly what they are:

Two [cops, James Delinicolis and Angelo Dellosa,] who regularly [harassed] women while [wearing their magical clown costumes were allowed to skate despite] pleading guilty to misconduct in public office over sex with a 17-year-old schoolgirl…in March 2020.  The…other charges [they faced] were withdrawn, including attempted…sexual assault [at gunpoint] and multiple charges of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent…Judge Peter Berman…[let them off] with…community service…[because they testified they were scared of jail despite the fact that they apparently also] tried to rape a schoolgirl…The two [routinely tried to intimidate] …women [into submitting to]…sex…with the[m]…

I Spy (#990)

Remember this when some useful idiot claims you don’t need anonymity online:

…Customs and Border Protection…routinely use[s] the country’s most sensitive databases to obtain the travel records and financial and personal information of journalists, [bureaucrats, politician]s and their staff, NGO workers and others…includ…ing email addresses, phone numbers and photos from passport applications…Running background checks as a matter of course may be creepy, but it’s difficult to imagine it not becoming standard practice when that information is available at agents’ fingertips…because of the fetishization of national security…an[d]…also because it’s so easy to access information on almost everybody…The number of journalists jailed around the world set another record in 2021…[with] 56 journalists…arrested in the U.S. this year…as many as in 2017-2019 combined….journalism isn’t a status, but rather an activity in which anybody can engage…and…annoying powerful people has become an increasingly dangerous activity even where it was once safe…

Permanent Record (#1018)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

Magistrate Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai…in Gililland v. Southwestern Oregon Community College, et al. [ruled] that a nursing student who was discriminated against because she was a former adult film performer is sex discrimination prohibited under Title IX.  This ruling is a historic victory for sex worker rights and will likely be expanded upon in years to come…Gililland asserted the college’s behavior was “gender stereotyping” her…The college…contended that Gililland was not protected by Title IX because…“employment history is not a protected status”…Judge Kasubhai…rejected th[is as bullshit and]…determined the “heart of this analysis” is “the kind of woman…that [the college] perceived [Gililland] to be because of her employment history…an ‘unclassy’ woman unfit to be a nurse”…

Censor Chic (#1046)

I’m sure you’ll extend the same courtesy to authors who aren’t violent, genocidal  megalomaniacs, right Amazon?

Amazon quietly removed criticism of…Xi [Jinping’s propaganda screeds] by scrubbing bad reviews, ratings and comments from its Chinese site…agree[ing] to Beijing’s demand to have anything below a five-star review of…The Governance of China removed from Amazon.cn about two years ago…The move is the latest example of western tech companies willing to [kowtow to] Chinese censors for access to the country’s massive consumer market…

Droit du Seigneur (#1183)

It’s good to see this lurid narrative turned against cops for a change:

A Putnam County [New York cop named]…Wayne Peiffer [has been] charged with protecting [what prosecutors refer to as] a sex trafficking ring…in [exchange for sexual services.  The sex workers were arrested and prosecutors]…are [attempting to threaten them into cooperation by threatening them with deportation to Mexico]…One of the Queens-based s[ex workers escaped]…and is being labeled a fugitive…

As in the Virginia case, it’s tough to tease out reality from fantasy here, but I’ve done my best to extract what appear to be the facts from amongst the dysphemized descriptions, agency denial, and outright lies.

Thought Control (#1197)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

…Local public libraries in Texas…are fielding a flurry of book challenges from [censorious twatwaffles].  While book challenges are nothing new, there has been a growing number of complaints…in re[sponse to censorship demands from politicians.  In]…October…state Rep. Matt Krause [bloviated nonsense about “pornographic books” in school libraries, and was soon joined by violent prohibitionist]…Gov. Greg Abbott…In the weeks since, school districts across the state have [been forced to waste huge amounts of money and work-hours] review[ing] of their book collections, and state officials have [sp]un in[creasingly-stupid propaganda about]…inappropriate content…In Victoria…Dayna Williams-Capone says the number of [copycat] complaints about books is the most she’s seen in her nearly 13 years…about 40…books f[rom a short list]…that touch on topics of same-sex relationships, sexuality and race.  After Williams-Capone and her staff [turned down] the [censorship demands], the…[would-be censors tried to go over their heads]…to the library’s advisory board…[who] voted…to [trust their] librar[ians’ judgement rather than accede to the demands of prudish ignoramuses]…

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Financial Times omits any mention of the nature of [the] groups…[who] inten[d] to “eradicate” an entire legal industry.  –  Gustavo Turner

Follow Your Bliss

Understand that people like this are the norm in policing sexual offenses, and always will be:

An FBI agent who investigated sex crimes against children has been arrested and charged with multiple sex crimes against children across several states…David Harris [got himself] tasked with investigating crimes against children, including child pornography…[so it’s no surprise that] in February…he…expos[ed] himself to a 14-year-old girl…while on vacation in [Florida]…but…the…investigation…led to other [sex] crimes committed by Harris [against both] minors and adults in…Louisiana and Texas…[snooping in Harris’ phone revealed] conversation[s in which he admitted]…his sexual preference [for] underage [girls] and [bragging about] his exploits…Harris was arrested earlier this summer in Ascension Parish [Louisiana] and…has outstanding arrests warrants…from East Baton Rouge and Orleans Parish[es and] Tyler, Texas…

Traffic Jam (#403)

By this standard of “evidence”, Johnny Cash is lucky he was never accused of murder:

A jury found Defendant, Jaimian Sims, guilty of sex trafficking a minor and…the…court imposed a life sentence.  Sims appeals…arguing [among other things] … that certain rap videos were improperly admitted into evidence and shown to the jury…He contends that the lyrics…were fictional and did not depict his real life…Although these videos speak only generally to the pimping lifestyle and are cumulative of testimony in that respect, the violence and weapons depicted in the videos are relevant to the force charge—that Sims sex trafficked by force, fraud, or coercion…[the judges declared they we]re satisfied that the videos were not harmful to the defense…

License to Rape (#652)

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

State officials say a new grant will be used to provide training for Georgia law enforcement officers to draw blood from drivers [without their consent so as to]…prosecut[e them for] DUI…

If you’re not horrified by the prospect of psychopathic thugs running around with permission to jam needles into people’s bodies without their consent on the side of the road, you must be new to this blog.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#799)

Expect the equation of human sexuality with pollution to become more common:

The editorial board of the Financial Times — arguably the world’s most influential news source for the banking, investment and overall finance industries — published an editorial…[which] compares sex work and adult content to…environmental pollutants, and parrots sensationalist pieces by The New York Times and the BBC alleging a non-existent “proliferation” of illegal content on adult sites…The subhead…soberly warns its readers…that working with the porn industry “can pose legal as well as reputational risks”…It’s the old circular argument favored by censors, prudes and well-paid religious anti-porn activists: reputable banks should not do business with sex workers or porn because they have been known to look for alternative forms of financing — which sex workers and porn are forced to resort to because reputable banks won’t do business with them…“The argument for banks to stay away from porn is, if anything, stronger than staying away from coal,” is the Financial Times’ take on that dubious comparison…

Scapegoats (#930)

It’s fascinating how the State has changed the excuse for these laws from “morality” to “animal abuse”:

[Typical and representative cop] Terry Yetman…was charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse of animals…including filming sex with his own police K9.  This decorated cop was also charged with 31 counts of child pornography several months later.  Now, nearly 3 years after his initial arrest…Yetman — despite facing over 70 charges — pleaded guilty to just one count of possession of child pornography and five counts of sexual abuse of an animal…He faces a total of 45 years in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender…

Rough Trade (#1043) 

Gee, I wonder why this happens so often in Ireland?

A Dublin man [who] attack[ed] and violently h[eld] three women in his home against their will during separate incidents has been denied bail.  Aaron Barwell…[attacked] three [different]…escorts…on 29 January, 13 August and [27 August].  He is also accused of making threats to kill or cause serious harm to two of the women…[Barwell apparently believed that claiming] the third incident was prompted by a theft of cocaine, and the others arose after [he refused to] pay…[the escorts would somehow get the judge to grant him bail]…

A Moral Cancer (#1157)

Though the claim that certain foods can take “time off one’s life” is not new, I’ve never seen one this absurdly specific:

…[Nutritionists] at the University of Michigan…created a Health Nutritional Index which [claims to quantify] the nutritional impact…of almost 6,000 foods and calculated the health burden of each one.  Their findings [predictably singled out popular, pleasant foods, claiming] that every hot dog a person eats takes…36 minutes off their healthy life expectancy.  Soft drinks…shortened life by 12 minutes, bacon by six minutes…each double cheeseburger…nine minutes….[and] each portion of cheese…a minute off [the un]healthy [end of] life…the index also [claims] that it’s equally possible to [magically]  add minutes…each banana was [claimed] to add 13 and a half minutes…as was a portion of baked salmon…a peanut butter and jelly sandwich…[supposedly] adds a whopping 33 minutes to life…

The puritanical notion that lifelong deprivation of pleasure in the vague hope of adding a few extra minutes of senility and decreptitude to the far end of one’s old age – a time one has only a 50% chance of reaching in the first place, statistically – is so alien to my way of thinking, I’ve never been able to wrap my head around it, even as a concept for consideration.

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Contact[ing] Facebook…[i]s useless.  –  Elizabeth Licata

Rough Trade

Gee, I wonder why she “stopped cooperating”?

Florida [cops] have arrested a man seemingly living a “normal life”…for allegedly being the “Woodline rapist” nearly 20 years after the brutal attacks…Dwight Arthur Harris…was…link[ed]…to the rapes…us[ing] genetic genealogy…the…rap[es occured]…on February 1, 2002…and…July 10, 2002…[but in]…another 2011 case…a known sex worker…was able to provide authorities with the tag number…and…description of the vehicle that helped them identify Harris as a possible suspect in the case before she stopped cooperating…

See No Evil (#798)

This is absurd even by the low standards of bluenoses:

Pornhub…is reportedly facing [a nuisance lawsuit] from the Louvre museum in Paris and the Uffizi in Florence after debuting a new interactive website and app, “Show Me the Nudes,” that features porn actors re-envisioning classic works of art as jumping off points for sexually explicit content…the…museums are [apparently convinced they can win damages for “]infringement[” of rights they do not possess] and [somehow force] the website to take down the content…

Apparently nobody has explained to these would-be censors that they don’t own the images in question, which are all in the public domain in every country, merely because they own the original works; furthermore, even if the works were still under copyright, satire is fair use in most places, and I’m unaware of any special weirdness in the laws of Luxembourg, where Porhub is domiciled, which would make this lawsuit anything other than 100% spurious.

Opting Out (#803)

When will people learn that “artificial intelligence” isn’t?

Facebook’s censors[hip algorithms] are…flagging the word “hoe” in a western New York gardening group because they apparently confused the tool for a disparaging term for women.  A group called WNY Gardeners has been repeatedly flagged…for “violating community standards,” when its more than 7,500 members discussed the long-handled bladed implement, which is spelled with[out] a…[“w” or “r”] unlike the [slur]…Facebook representative[s claim]…an actual person will…supposedly [check] posts [flagged by algorithms] in the future before the group is sanctioned or deleted…[other] post[s] in the group [have] be[en] automatically [censored] because of “possible violence…or hate”…[against aphids] and…Japanese beetles…

Quiet Genocide (#1050)

An analysis of what China absurdly claims are “schools”:

BuzzFeed News calculated the floor areas of 347 compounds bearing the hallmarks of prisons and internment camps in [Xinjiang] and compared them to China’s own prison and detention construction standards, which lay out how much space is needed for each…prisone[r].  Earlier estimates…have suggested that a total of more than a million Muslims have been detained or imprisoned over the last five years…Our…analysis…show[s] that China has built space to lock up at least 1.01 million people in Xinjiang at the same time.  That’s enough space to detain or incarcerate more than 1 in every 25 residents of Xinjiang simultaneously — a figure seven times higher than the criminal detention capacity of the United States, the country with the highest official incarceration rate in the world.   Even this extraordinary capacity is very likely an underestimate, for a simple reason:  It does not take into account the suffocating overcrowding that many former Xinjiang [prisoners] have described in interviews…

You Were Warned (#1112)

The bipartisan war on the internet is past even trying to look reasonable:

Two Democratic U.S. senators…will add to the stack of bills [attacking] Section 230 – [the] law that [makes the open internet possible]…by [trying to] mak[e] such platforms responsible for health-related misinformation…and [giving government bureaucrats the power to define]…what constitutes health misinformation…

Giving the government the power to define what information is “correct” and then making “incorrect” information punishable?  What could possibly go wrong?

A Moral Cancer (#1115)

The increase in absolute risk is so small that it is unlikely to be relevant for the individual“:

Eating beef, lamb, pork and processed meats will increase your risk of coronary heart disease later in life, according to a new meta-analysis of studies on over 1.4 million people who were followed for 30 years…The risk…increased as the amount of meat increased…This is in line with what has been found for bowel cancer

To Molest and Rape (#1156)

Notice how often predatory cops’ victims are underage?

[A Texas cop] was arrested…on charges of sex assault of a minor…Miguel Velasco-Hererra…was [rewarded for the rape with a paid vacation, but decided to resign instead]…

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It’s essential to include input from sex workers when writing a narrative about a sex worker character.  –  Misha Calvert

Maggie in the Media

Last weekend I was on the Scot Goes Popcast, talking about the Swedish model (which prohibitionists are once again trying to impose on Scotland).  For those who just can’t get enough Maggie!

The Notorious Badge

Another sign we’re past the watershed:

When award-winning creator Misha Calvert first showed her new series, Strut, at the Tribeca Film Festival Creators Market in 2018, she offered some choice words on the show’s…subject matter.  “Hollywood has long used the archetype of the prostitute to heighten storytelling, be it as a seductress, a villain, seedy set decoration, or another dead body…The reality of sex workers is so much more complex”…Strut, starring Margaret Judson (The Newsroom), Christina Toh (Orange is the New Black), Manini Gupta (You), and Calvert herself, tells the story of a group of best friends in New York…starting their own escorting agency, wading into the world of sex work, and loving it…

To Molest and Rape (#997) 

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

A f[emale] NYPD cop was repeatedly raped, sodomized and mentally tormented by a [gang] of [fellow pig]s over the course of five years but…the Manhattan District Attorney…[refus]ed to prosecute…Maria Mendez…resigned from the department in January 2019 after a 14-year career, [during which] she was [repeatedly] raped by [gang members]…and…regularly forced to ingest oxycodone, ecstacy and alcohol…she suffered “physical deformities to her vagina and anus requiring surgical repair” and she was left suicidal and suffering from…post traumatic stress disorder [just like many victims of cops]…he[r federal] lawsuit…paints a vivid picture of sexual abuse and harassment that ran rampant…Mendez was not only regularly raped but was subjected to sexualized comments and requests by…[pig union rep] Alfred Gallicchio…[other sows refused to help; they] called Mendez a “slut” and [pretended her statements were]…“false allegations against good officers”…[despite the fact that] videos of Mendez being raped and assaulted were regularly shared across the department in a group chat…the abuse[rs included pigs]…Ryan Marrero…Jimmy Gutierres…Michael Ganz…and…Peter Montalbano…Marrero [was especially imaginative]…rap[ing] her on a series of public streets…in hotels, [pigmoblies], the p[igsty], the female bathroom and locker room and while out on emergency calls, [sometimes yelling at her to “stop resisting”]…He also [beat] his department canine…in front of Mendez as a form of intimdation and regularly talked about how he liked [raping] unconscius women because they don’t fight back and showed her naked pictures of teenage girls he…had [raped]

To Molest and Rape (#1047)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

A[rkansas] constable…Coby Ryan Poe…was [arrested for rape for the second time this year, despite having only]…been a constable…since November…in [the first case he w]as…[also] charged…with…child [porn] and three counts of second-degree sexual assault…

Winding Down

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

The Connecticut Senate voted…to legalize recreational marijuana…the fifth [state] this year to drop its war on weed…The bill [contains the usual ridiculous leaf-counting provisions so beloved by politicians, but]…also includes provisions to allow those in cities hit hardest by the drug war to apply for expedited licenses to sell…automatically expunging criminal convictions for possession of less than four ounces…and banning police from searching vehicles solely because [they claim they smelled weed]…Con[necticut is]…the 19th state…to legalize recreational marijuana.  Neighboring New York legalized it in late March.  New Jersey, New Mexico, and Virginia all legalized…this year as well…But…Biden [still wants the government to destroy people’s lives over a common plant]…

Torture Chamber (#1116)

Government bureaucracy at work, “correcting” people to death:

Last year, as the coronavirus killed hundreds [of caged human beings] in…Texas lockups and sickened tens of thousands more, prisoner rights advocates unsuccessfully pleaded for [lazy, incompetent bureaucrats] to more quickly release the thousands of people…who had already been approved for parole…18…parole[es] died with COVID-19 before they could walk out of prison…At least another two dozen…died in prison…in the same period…due to chronic health issues…At least 26 p[arolees] died in prison in 2019…In April, about 10,800 people held in Texas prisons had already been approved for parole…More than a quarter of them had been [waiting] at least six months…and nearly 900…for more than a year…That’s in part because the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles requires most prisoners to [be subjected to lucrative-for-the prisons]…re…programming before their parole release, which can last from three to 18 months…

A Moral Cancer (#1134)

Rulers of majority-black city openly target black people with police violence:

The D.C. Council…voted to ban flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, and flavored cigars, ratcheting up the drug war [by] creat[ing] another black market…This tobacco ban follows…D.C.’s legalization of recreational marijuana and the quasi-decriminalization of psychedelics…by voter ballot initiatives and…a viral incident…in…wh[ich cops] were [videoed] tasing and beating teens…for…vaping…The government enforces every law at gunpoint, even those [sold as] intended to “protect” our health…Eric Garner was…[murder]ed by [a typical and representative cop]…in 2014 for selling loose cigarettes…

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Eradicating harm—[as now] redefined—may only amount to performance art, in which the semblance of action is all that is needed.  –  Eric Smith

Crying Wolf

This tendency has only worsened over the past decade:

The standard definition of harm has undergone concept creep…Where once the potential for harm existed in contact sports, accidents, physical altercations, traumas and so on, one might now find it while reading a question on an examlistening to a recorded debate in a classroom or encountering an opinion on social media…the broadening meaning of harm…can cause activists to spend so much time on relatively innocuous actions that they have none left for the arduous task of dealing with real societal harms like housing and food insecurity, failed educational institutions, violence in inner cities and disproportionate mortality rates…Defining harm as shallowly as many modern activists do leads them to mistake symbolic gestures for concrete strategies for change…the redefinition of harm [also] infantilizes people of color…I don’t think a world in which people of color give their power away so easily is one any self-respecting person of color would want to see…

Checklist (#986)

Your periodic reminder that Uber encourages its drivers to spy on riders and rat sex workers out to the pigs:

Uber…hire[s former pigs and spooks]…to help police catch suspected [sex worker]s…[by turning over their] uploaded information…[and] account identifiers…to…the…[pigs, referring to sex work as] human trafficking [equal to] carjackings…Uber works with the [rescue industry giant] “Polaris”…[to indoctrinate] Uber drivers [with absurd and overbroad “signs of] human trafficking[“]…

A Moral Cancer (#991)

It’s unusual for prohibitionists to admit they’re openly targeting black people:

[Prohibitionist] groups are applying…pressure on the Biden administration to institute a nationwide ban…o[n] menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products…precisely because of [their] popularity with African Americans…[even if] the law [is only] enforced against sellers…entrepreneurs would still have ready access to both cigarettes and menthol flavoring…[and] combin[ing] the two…[is a fairly simple] process…Unless the federal government attempts to turn menthol itself into a controlled substance, there will surely be many small-time sellers of menthol cigarettes meeting the demand of the millions of Americans who smoke them, including at least 77 percent of black smokers, but possibly as high as 88 percent (and around a quarter of white smokers)…Recall that Eric Garner’s [murderer used]…the petty crime of selling loose cigarettes a[s an excuse, and]…Garner’s mother, Gwendolyn Carr, became a vocal opponent of a proposal to ban menthol cigarettes in New York City [as a result]…in Massachusetts, which banned menthol cigarettes in 2020, at least one [black market]  seller is facing prosecution…the brunt of enforcement [will certainly] be borne by [black] people…

This is, unfortunately, par for the course; “progressive” campaigns to “improve” people against their will always ignore the fact that their moralistic crusades always disproportionately harm minorities, especially black people.

You Were Warned (#1108)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

A woman has sued Reddit [because] ex-boyfriend…repeatedly post[ed nude] images of her as a 16-year-old.  The lawsuit applies controversial measures instituted in 2018 under FOSTA-SESTA…The resulting case will test the limits of platforms’ legal shields amid ongoing efforts to [destroy] the law behind them.  The woman…[claims] that “Reddit knowingly benefits from lax enforcement of its content polices, including for child pornography”…She’s accusing Reddit of distributing child pornography, failing to report child sexual abuse material, and violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Act…

The Widening Gyre (#1128)

It’s ironic that the newest target of “sex trafficking” scarelore is Target:

A…Reddit…user…who writes under the username Peeky-Lou…[and is so obsessed with] human trafficking…[fantasies that] she…[carries “]several legal self-defense items[” to go shopping at Target predictably imagined that]…three men…[in the store were] follow[ing her]…“It felt as if I was being surrounded like a wild animal —hunted, even,” she wrote…The…[nitwit spent] an hour…wandering around the store, [scaring herself silly with melodramatic fantasies of]…“darkness in his eyes…an eerie smirk [and]…sinister gaze”…[when] a male employee…walk[ed] her to her car…[she] saw [something that]… “solidif[ied] all of my suspicions…A white windowless van was parked in the lot“…

To Molest and Rape (#1129)

Rapist cops are sometimes treated like other rapists if their victims are prepubescent:

A [typical and representative] Louisiana [cop] has been sentenced to life in prison for raping and sexually assaulting three girls, all less than 11 years old…David Monceaux [was sentenced] to…two life terms and a 50-year sentence consecutively…without probation, parole, or suspension of sentence…his youngest victim was 4 years old…

Predictable Consequences (#1130)

Prohibitionism is an inherently violent belief system:

A mansion owned by Feras Antoon, a Pornhub executive, was torched in an apparent arson last [week].  Police…were initially called to [the Montreal] property…at 11:30 P.M when two people were spotted trespassing…when [they] arrived…shortly thereafter they found…a…fire…so massive that more than 80 firefighters were called in and the neighbours were forced to evacuate…

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Give this man his money.  –  Judge Christine Underwood

Profit from Panic 

A pandemic can’t stop opportunists from wringing every penny they can from this hysteria before it implodes completely:

The B.E. A S.H.E.R.O. Foundation…hosted its 6th annual Awareness Gala, themed “Rising from the Ashes.” The event centered on raising…funds for [the organizers by exploiting the moral panic around]…sex trafficking…Because of pandemic health guidelines, guests were invited to host in-home parties with only their close circles, family or solo.  SHERO Founder Kimberly Miles hosted the online event from the Stirling Club, with special appearances from Terry Fator, Clint Holmes, Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers and more…

Disaster (#949)

Australia is joining the US in trying to destroy the internet:

If Australia genuinely wants to minimise online harm, we need to have more nuanced narratives than “won’t somebody please think of the children”.  The federal government’s Online Safety Bill…[will] impede upon our digital rights, harm vulnerable groups, and c[onstrict] the way the majority of Australians experience the internet…part [of the scheme] gives the eSafety Commissioner expanded “take-down powers”…[to] order the removal of…any sexual content…or content that is “unsuitable for a minor to see”…Sex workers, pornography creators…sex-positive educators and activists are just some who will struggle to work online due to the scheme.  As experience of the controversial SESTA/FOSTA laws in the US…has shown, crackdowns such as these incentivise online platforms to remove or censor sexual content altogether to avoid penalty…this forces sex workers offline and often into unsafe working environments…

A Moral Cancer (#1013)

Crypto-moralists won’t hesitate to add nationalism to “health” rhetoric to advance their anti-pleasure agenda:

British stores could be flooded with “dangerous” bacon and ham from the US, marketed under misleading labels, as the result of a transatlantic trade deal, says the author of a new book based on [statistical illiteracy and militant veganism]…The meat has been cured with nitrites extracted from vegetables, a practice not permitted by the European Commission because of evidence that it [marginally] increases the [very small] risk of bowel cancer.  But it is allowed in the US, where the product is often labelled as “all natural”…

Robocops

Court declares that cops are too stupid and evil to understand that intentionally burning an innocent person alive is wrong:

…On July 10, 2017, [Gabriel Eduardo] Olivas’ son called 911 to report that his father was threatening to kill himself…[responding cops] found Olivas “leaning against a wall and holding a red gas can”…[one cop] shouted…”If we tase him, he is going to light on fire!”…Olivas [had] poured gasoline over himself…[but pig Jeremias] Guadarrama “fired his taser at the gasoline-soaked man, causing him to burst into flames…The fire spread from Olivas to the walls of the bedroom, and the house eventually burned to the ground”…Olivas…died…the [family]…sued…and…the…court [ruled]…it…”reasonable”…[to set off high-voltage electrical] sparks that could easily ignite gasoline…after a[nother cop] had [already] emphasized it…the 5th Circuit has forthrightly declared that the Fourth Amendment does not prohibit police from firing Tasers at a suicidal, gasoline-drenched man…

The Last Shall Be First (#1078)

Anti-trans hysteria has shifted from toilets to high-school sports:

A proposed bill introduced in…Georgia…called for banning transgender girls from participating in [organized] sports…a similarly-written law in Idaho…is currently blocked by injunction from a federal court.  So another proposal was introduced…that went even further.  House Bill 372 would redefine gender as “a person’s biological sex at birth” in state law, require state-funded schools and associations to ban participants they deem not “biologically” male or female from sports, and calls for a panel to examine information about the genitalia or chromosomes of any [prospective] participant who petitions otherwise…

I must point out that contrary to some online statements about this buffoonery, it does not call for the panel to inspect students’ genitalia, only “information about” them (presumably derived from a medical exam).  But it’s still akin to the creepy pretense that 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”.

The Next Target (#1099)

One day, “professional ‘survivor'” will no longer be a lucrative job:

…[Morality in Media] filed a…[law]suit in Birmingham, Alabama against Pornhub’s parent company MindGeek, [exploiting the claims] of two women who alleged illegal videos of themselves were uploaded to the platform by third-party users…The lawsuit alleges that MindGeek “conspired, facilitated and financially benefited, from sex trafficking ventures between [themselves] and others”…

A Broker in Pillage (#1101)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

A district court judge in North Carolina is threatening to jail one town’s officials if they don’t return nearly $17,000 in cash they s[tole from] a man’s rental car…Jermaine Sanders was staying at a hotel in…November when he left his room and found police [ransack]ing his car.  Police [claimed] they found half an ounce of marijuana and $16,761 in cash.  They s[tole] both…[and] sent the cash to…CBP [in order to circumvent state restrictions on such robbery].  When Sanders lawyered up…Mooresville [bureaucrats] responded that [they were] no longer in possession of the cash…[Judge Christine] Underwood…found the city in contempt of her order [to refund the money] and…[gave] them seven business days to comply.  She told the city’s attorney…that she was not afraid to jail town commissioners, the police chief, or anybody else responsible for keeping Sanders from getting his money back…

Yet most courts still refuse to admit that this is about nothing other than profit:

Civil asset forfeiture…allows police to s[teal] property they [pretend] is connected to crime without arresting…the owner…the practice demolishes due process and undermines property rights, giving cops a license to steal from innocent people who often lack the resources to resist…[pushers] of [the scheme pretend] it deters and incapacitates drug traffickers…[but] in a new study published by the Institute for Justice, Seattle University economist Brian Kelly…analyzed data from five states that use forfeiture extensively:  Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota.  He reports no statistically significant relationship between increased forfeiture revenue and lower drug use rates or higher crime clearance rates.  To the contrary, Kelly found that clearance rates for violent crimes tend to fall as forfeiture revenue rises…[because] the lure of…money diverts law enforcement resources from predatory crimes to drug offenses…

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I thought y’all might enjoy this Twitter conversation I recently had, primarily with Matisse and Carol Leigh; it touches on a number of themes that recur frequently in my work.  Twitter conversations tend to branch, but I think I’ve managed to gather the main elements I want to share.

 

 

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How is it that the US mass media can simultaneously fret about the fraction of people who are obese, and proclaim foods or activities that promote a lower body mass to be “healthy”, yet simultaneously claim that, for women at least, obesity is “healthy”?  It’s because the word “healthy” is not, and has not been for decades, a semantically neutral one.  “Healthy” is one of the modern signifiers of moral purity, and “unhealthy” = “sinful” (as openly proclaimed on the packaging of both “decadent” and “guilt-free” desserts).  So even though obesity is objectively sub-optimal for “wellness” by medical standards, using that word in front of the Great Unwashed signifies a moral judgment on the overweight person.  In order to conform to the current rules of “wokeness”, media must proclaim that obesity is “healthy” when what they actually mean is, “Obese people are not lesser humans, and it isn’t your job to shame them for being fat.  It’s their business, not yours”.  In the popular media, “wellness” isn’t an objective word but a declaration of moral fitness, a judgement on a person’s character.  It would certainly be a lot better for society as a whole to stop pretending that illness is due to divine retribution for an “unhealthy” (read: sinful) “lifestyle” (a word long used by crypto-moralists to judge others, especially queers and sex workers).  But given the considerable energy US culture has invested in that myth (cf preachers who blame hurricanes on same-sex marriage, and busybodies who cast shame on, or even call the cops on, people for visiting their friends against politicians’ “orders”), that’s unlikely to happen anytime before the collapse of the Empire.

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