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Posts Tagged ‘France’

They’re trying to kill me, they’re trying to kill me.  –  Akeem Terrell

I’m sure most of y’all are already very familiar with most of The Pointer Sisters’ hits, but were you aware that they had recorded this one for Sesame Street?  The links above the video were provided by Jesse Walker (x3), Cop Crisis (x3), and Mike Siegel, in that order.

From the Archives

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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Since there are trees and you are Black, you could climb onto the trees.  –  “Officer” Yohan C

For Christine McVie’s memorial, I selected this song of all those she penned for Fleetwood Mac because it was for many years used as the band’s final encore; it’s also the song Mick Fleetwood has said he wants played at his funeral.  The links above the video were contributed by Dan Savage, Jesse Walker (x2), Walter Olson, and Cop Crisis (x3), in that order.

From the Archives

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 can’t even breathe.  –  Neal Saunders

This seemed like the right song to memorialize composer Ned Rorem, especially since it’s also seasonally appropriate.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel; Dave Crisp; Jesse Walker, Franklin Harris, & Dan Savage; Cop Crisis (x2); and Carol Fenton, in that order.

From the Archives

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’ve always been dedicated to the idea of this as the time of year for spooky fun.  So every year I collect all the spooky, creepy or scary content from the previous year into one place just before Halloween.  If you’ve come to my blog in the past year, or don’t remember previous editions, they are “Trick or Treat”, “More Trick or Treat“, “Tricks and Treats“, “This Trick’s a Treat”, “Tricky Treats“, “A Trickle of Treats”, “Tricking and Treating“, and “Tricks for the Treat“.  Oddly, though there were enough spooky or Halloweeny links to justify collecting them, the only horror, death or Halloween-themed column of the past year was “Books of the Dead“, and the only creepy or spooky-fun video appeared in Links #591.  Here’s hoping for a better collection next 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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It’s clear in a lot of places that there is just total denial of reality.  –  Alison Macrina

Torture Chamber 

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

[Bureaucrats who mismanage New York] city jails [were] recently [forced to] share…photos and videos from Rikers Island with assistant district attorneys in Manhattan, giving…prosecutors…a…look at the squalid and deadly conditions [to] which [they routinely condemn poor people who have not been convicted of any crime]…The…presentation…[included] a man defecating in his shorts due to a lack of toilets in the intake area and then being left in his soiled clothes for 11 hours until another [prisoner]…brought him new clothes; a [prisoner] locked in a cage shower for nearly 24 hours before he injured himself; and [prisoners] dragging sick people to medical care, and even administering chest compressions themselves, because [screws were off fucking around somewhere instead of doing their jobs.  People condemned to this hell-hole by]…prosecutors…face months, and sometimes years, waiting for court hearings…most…have not been convicted of crimes…

You Were Warned (#1119)

Indian politicians use the same high-sounding airy-fairy excuses to censor the internet as those in the West:

The…Indian government has ordered the country’s internet service providers to block 67 adult sites for violating a new IT law passed in 2021…using the…[rather vague excuse] of “tarnishing the image of modesty of women”…Although most mainstream Indian newspapers avoided mentioning which sites were the latest to be subjected to government censorship, India Express has published a spreadsheet that lists the sites, which brings the total number…banned by the Indian government to 857…

Choke Point (#1159)

PayPal is becoming an active threat to civil liberties:

Access to online payment systems is crucial for the innumerable individuals and organizations that rely on financial support for their expressive activity.  It’s essential to content creators’ ability to earn a living, to websites’ and other businesses’ ability to raise revenue, to fundraising by political candidates and nonprofit organizations, and to everyday Americans’ ability to consume content and support causes they believe in.  When payment processing services act as political hall monitors or moral arbiters…they present a grave threat to free expression.  A small number of companies dominate the space, allowing them to wield significant control over the speech environment by denying service to users who express disfavored views or wade into controversial subject matter…When consumer choice borders on illusory, any argument that those dissatisfied…should simply seek other payment methods is not particularly convincing — or realistic…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1164) 

It’s always a pleasure to watch experts trash harmful sex myths:

Treatment for “sex addiction” is booming, even though it frequently destroys marriages and the individuals it “treats”.  It’s expensive, moralistic, and is obsessed with sex while understanding very little about it…most professionals offering sex addiction treatment (including the movement’s 1985 founder, Patrick Carnes) have no training in human sexuality.  Very few sex therapists—the country’s clinical experts in human sexuality—offer such treatment, because they don’t believe in the so-called disease.  But…the “sex addiction” concept provides the dignity of something that sounds like a medical diagnosis, which gratifies both betrayer and betrayed.  Sex addiction treatment simultaneously trivializes sex, and sees everything involving a penis as sexual.  The treatment typically ignores a couple’s power dynamics; how painful it can be to lose not just sex but touching and affection; the huge range of normal sexual desire and expression; and the simple fact that for most people, sex is about more than sex…

Thought Control (#1253)

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

In the last [few] weeks, at least a dozen public libraries across the U.S. received threats that resulted in canceled events and systemwide closures…bomb and active shooter threats [were sent] to public library systems in Nashville, Fort Worth, Denver, Salt Lake City, Boston, and other cities…some…[were] directed at LGBTQ events…[while] other[s]…seemed to have no obvious motive but come at a time when libraries and library workers have increasingly become targets of [political] harassment.  Public libraries were also closed statewide in Hawaii over [a recent] weekend due to an “unspecified threat”…[many of] the threats were received via digital reference points that allow patrons to communicate with library workers…through direct chat, email, or SMS functions…

The Next Target (#1272)

Most Americans still believe France is a sex-positive society:

A French Senate committee has issued a virulently anti-porn report comparing the adult industry with “hell” and recommending state regulation and censorship…The report is the result of six months of hearings about the adult industry…[dominated by] a group of feminist associations aiming to abolish all sex work…Le Mouvement du nid, Osez le féminisme and les Effronté·es…The…report recommends the [inven]tion of a new crime, “Encouraging a Criminal Act in Case of Sexual Violence in the Context of Pornography”…making it a criminal offense to even write or speak, without explicit condemnation, about porn that someone else or the state considers “sexual violence”…

To Molest and Rape (#1273)

Most rapist cops have multiple underage victims:

A [typical and representative] Philadelphia [cop]…sexually abus[ed] young girls and threaten[ed] witnesses…Patrick Heron…faces more than one dozen counts related to [rape, molestation and child porn]…”This is not only about terrible conduct, it’s about a…terrible effort at cover-up, intimidation and abuse of pretty much every process you can imagine,” [reformist DA Larry] Krasner said…

 

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

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A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end – but not necessarily in that order.  –  Jean-Luc Godard

My online friend Patrick, late of the Popehat blog and creator of the hilarious DPRK News parody Twitter account, passed away of longstanding health problems last week.  There is nothing I could say which would express the grief of those who knew him as well as Ken White’s eulogy, so I’ll leave it at that.  I don’t know what sort of music he liked, so I’ll honor his fondness for the weird with this unusual cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” (which is still not as strange as the last one).  The video was provided by Mike Siegel, who also supplied “aliens”, and the other links are from Mirriam Zary, Yasmin Nair, Fiona Harrigan, Mark Bennett, C.J. Ciaramella, and Popehat, in that order.

From the Archives

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They knew exactly what these consequences were going to be because we told them.  –  Tani Malhotra

Change a Few Words

All prohibitionism is the same:

They were warned…[politicians]…were warned time and again that their…ban was cruel and…they didn’t care…What is one to make of people who can hear such testimony…and ignore it?  The stridency of ignorance?  The unearned confidence of religious zealotry?  The casual disregard of humanity and human empathy in favor of extremist ideology removed from reality?  The ignoble placating and pleasing of political special interests over compassionate human interests?  All of that?  Yes.  All of that…the world is complex, and human situations are nuanced and complicated.  This sledgehammer of extremist law inflicts grave injustice unbefitting of such sensitive issues…They were warned, and they did it anyway.  If this cruelty and suffering is what they wanted, they’ve certainly created a lot of it.

The only good prohibition ever creates is pushing more people into the proper skepticism about government they should’ve had in the first place.

I Saw My Brain (#999)

Judd loves giving his entrapment schemes sophomoric titles that reference adjacent events:

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office…arrested 160 people in a seven-day [pogrom] focused on [adult consensual sex]…the [only] arrests from “Fall Haul 2” [which are newsworthy]…were…[those of] a deputy police chief from Georgia, Jason DiPrima…[a screw named] Keith Nieves…[spokepigs also oinked out misogynistic fantasies about “sex trafficking”]…

This will continue until the majority of those arrested fight back with lawsuits, or the voters of Polk County get tired of paying the many lawsuits that are already filed against this cretin every year.

You Were Warned (#1122)

A lawsuit like this would never have reached first base had it been filed against mainsream film studios:

All claims made by a Jane Doe plaintiff against several adult studios, in a lawsuit sponsored by…Morality in Media…were dismissed…on Aug. 19…[after] the…plaintiff and defendants Diabolic Video Productions Inc., Black Ice LTD, Zero Tolerance Entertainment Inc. and Third Degree Films filed a joint motion to dismiss all of the claims “with prejudice,” meaning they cannot be refiled.  Typically, these types of joint motions are the result of a deal or settlement having been reached out of court…in March 2021, in an unusual decision, [judge Michael] Anello ruled that, although the contracts signed by a former performer were valid, the arbitration agreements that were part of them should be disregarded and the lawsuit could move forward…

The Next Target (#1219)

These are the countries authoritarians want the US to ape:

…courts in France and Germany moved forward…with proposed mandates to block adult sites over compliance with controversial age verification mandates.  A Paris court will rule next month on whether French media regulator Arcom “has the right to block access to…sites [including Twitter] in France unless…they can prevent minors…from accessing them”…in…Germany, the Higher Administrative Court has dismissed complaints from Cyprus-based platforms, including xHamster, seeking the reversal of a recent ban by the Düsseldorf Administrative Court.  Both developments — along with a recent reversal of policy by the Conservative government in the U.K., which has now vowed to “crack down” on adult sites like Pornhub and xHamster — are being celebrated by [pro-censorship]…crusaders as stepping stones in a strategy that would culminate in the total banning of adult content by open platforms like Twitter and Reddit…

The Vultures Descend (#1249)

Prohibitionists will use any sleazy trick to inflict bans on the people they supposedly represent:

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled…that a petition over whether to add a constitutional amendment expanding abortion rights must be on the ballot this fall…the…court directed an election board to certify a proposed amendment from the group Reproductive Freedom for All, which had submitted more than 750,000 signatures to get the question on the ballot…the…board deadlocked [along schoolyard-team lines] on whether to certify the ballot, throwing the issue into limbo…a coalition of anti-abortion groups…[claimed] to the board of canvassers that the ballot measure had spacing and formatting problems that rendered some of the proposed language unreadable…

This is the second attempt by prohibitionists in as many weeks to use technicalities to block civil rights advocates from enabling people to vote whether to stop politicians’ schemes to control their personal lives.

I Spy (#1268)

Funny how politicians were never interested in protecting people’s privacy until they could make political coin from it:

…the California legislature [has] passed a bill designed to prevent companies in the state from disclosing communications content and metadata in response to out-of-state legal demands for information in abortion-related investigations…Section 9 of the bill would bar companies that provide electronic communications services and are either (i) California corporations, or (ii) corporations whose principal executive offices are located in California, from providing “records, information, facilities or assistance” in California in response to legal process issued in another state that “relates to” an investigation into a violation of a law that prohibits “… providing, facilitating, or obtaining an abortion that is lawful under California law.”  Disclosures in investigations into attempts to provide, facilitate, or obtain such abortions are also blocked.  The legislation also empowers the California Attorney General to [sue]…to compel these companies to comply with this prohibition…The bill also blocks judges and law enforcement from aiding abortion investigations…

To Molest and Rape (#1269)

Since he’s not being charged, there’s nothing to stop this predator from just going to another cop shop:

…New Port Richey [Florida cop]…Bobby Lubrido…is not facing any criminal charges…from [molesting a teenager, even though he was fired]…The girl…[was labeled] a runaway…[and] Lubrido [was assigned to take her to a cage and lock her in]…Lubrido…placed her cellphone on his charger in the front seat at her request…[then] asked for the password…he started looking at her photo gallery and watching videos of her “twerking”…while driving…making sexually explicit comments as he drove…he…was so distracted…that he hit a deer…then…[later] let her eat half of his sandwich…and…when she was done…told her, “That sandwich wasn’t free,” and groped her bottom…and…breasts…[after which he] pulled up her mother’s photo on his [pigmobile] computer and asked if she would be interested in having a “threesome,” to which the girl said no…he [then threatened to] come to her house later to “check up on her”…

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If you don’t [sell people’s data to cops], someone else probably will.  –  anonymous data broker

To Molest and Rape

The media are becoming slightly more willing to call cops’ criminal behavior what it is:

A [typical and representative] Kenosha [Wisconsin cop named…Joshua Sylvester…was fired for…sexually assault[ing]…a…woman [who wrecked into] a tree…[while] driving [drunk]…Sylvester sexually assaulted her…while [lurking]…in [her] hospital [room for over two hours.  He]…also went through her phone, found nude photos of her and sent them to himself…

I Spy (The Vultures Descend)

As was predicted when news of abortion recriminalization first broke:

A Gizmodo investigation into some of the nation’s biggest data brokers found more than two dozen promoting access to datasets containing digital information on millions of pregnant and potentially pregnant [women]…at least one of those companies also offered a large catalogue of…[women] using the same sorts of birth control that’s being targeted by more restrictive states right now…Also on the market: data on 478 million customer profiles labeled “interested in pregnancy” or “intending to become pregnant.”  You can see the full list of companies for yourself

Opting Out (#1241)

This will keep getting worse until policians stop giving fanatics a heckler’s veto:

French [pro-censorship] groups claiming to represent “the children”…formally request[ed]…that online government regulator Arcom suspend Twitter in France unless the platform finds, within two weeks, a way to block minors from what the groups [declare] “pornographic” content…The coalition calling for censorship of the international platform is a patchwork of obscure organizations pursuing a self-appointed mission of “child protection” and sex work abolitionism.  Among them…[is] noted…[prohib]itionist lobby Fondation Scelles

Vulture Watching

The fact that SCOTUS didn’t foresee this is a clear indicator that their overturn of Roe was not based in legal reasoning:

…The Department of Justice…sued to stop [the abortion] ban in Idaho, wh[ich]…goes against provisions of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act…requir[ing] hospitals receiving Medicare funds (i.e., most U.S. hospitals) to provide stabilizing treatment…”Federal law is clear: patients have the right to stabilizing hospital emergency room care no matter where they live,” said…DHS…Secretary Xavier Becerra.  “Women should not have to be near death to get care”…No existing abortion ban lacks an exception for a mother’s life, but some do omit exceptions for women’s health.  And…many pregnancy complications could become life-threatening while not being necessarily or immediately so.  The HHS guidance…stat[es] that regardless of what a state law says, physicians must provide an abortion if one is necessary to address an emergency medical condition…Texas sued over th[is]…and…the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas…granted a preliminary injunction against enforcing the mandate against Texas…A court in Idaho came to [the opposite conclusion]…The discordant rulings could force the issue back before the Supreme Court, if appeals courts in each district concur with the lower courts…

Thought Control (#1264)

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

A new Missouri law [criminalizes stocking] books with [what politicians define as] sexually explicit images from school libraries…it [is now] a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail or a $2,000 fine for librarians…to [allow] students access to such material.  The law does not apply to written descriptions of sex or sexual acts; only photos, drawings, videos, and other visual depictions…“showing human masturbation, deviate [sic] sexual intercourse,…physical stimulation of genitals, sadomasochistic abuse,” or showing human genitals.  There are exceptions for anatomy, biology, sex education, art [politicians decide to tolerate], and other images [declared] educational [by censorious politicians].  Melissa Corey…of the Missouri Association of School Librarians, [believes] the law likely will only [be enforced against art politicians dislike]…Corey said the association advised librarians to work with local school boards to best follow the law, particularly the [incredibly vague and arbitrary] exceptions for art and biology…

Winding Down (#1265)

Alas, the drug war isn’t ending; the government is simply shifting it to nicotine:

For the first time in Gallup polling, more Americans (16%) said they smoke marijuana than had smoked a tobacco cigarette (11%) in the past week…Marjiuana and tobacco usage trends have been going in opposite directions for a few decades now.  By 1985, nearly as many Americans said they had tried marijuana (33%) as had smoked a cigarette in the past week (35%).  Cigarette smoking has been declining ever since. By 2013, just 19% of Americans were smoking cigarettes at least once a week…while…38%…told Gallup they had tried marijuana…

To Molest and Rape (#1267)

Those who consort with cops are often just as awful:

…a [typical and representative] Delcambre [Louisiana cop named]…Christopher Moorehart…[has been arrested for] rap[ing his girlfriend’s five-year-old daughter on multiple occasions]…The mother…Kimberly Healy…was arrested and [charged for letting him do it and]…never report[ing him even]…after [they] broke up…Moorehart [then started fucking an Iberia Parish screw named Shelly Lynn] Friou…[who also kept the child rapes] secret…[until] the two broke up [after which she reported him to their fellow pigs as an act of vengeance]…

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

The Notorious Badge 

I wonder when Hollywood will catch up?

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

Guinea Pigs (#757) 

And it can find you just as easily:

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

The Prudish Giant (#1104) 

Instagram and TikTok users, take note:

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

Dutch Threat (#1136)

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

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

Winding Down (#1148)

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

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

Opting Out (#1199)

French law provides some defense vs religious activism:

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

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

The Mob Rules (#1231)

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

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

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