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Posts Tagged ‘hysteria’

[Forcing people to provide private] data…is dangerous, because it’s not a matter of if it will be breached; it’s a matter of when.  –  Caden Rosenbaum

Schadenfreude 

Yet another opportunistic fraud has been unmasked:

…the…[“]sex trafficking[” opportun]ist known as Eliza Bleu has broken into some of the top tiers of right-wing media in just a few years, growing her audience through…[claims that she is] “a survivor of human trafficking”…But now Bleu[‘s lies have been exposed by]…embarrassing images from her past…and…contradict[ions in her backstory from different] videos and interviews—and her frequent use of different names online…Now two former friends of Bleu [have come forward with more details which reveal]…that, at best, Bleu is exaggerating her experiences for attention…Carly Wenzel, a one-time pal…who has known her for two decades…added she believes Bleu is “completely lying”…

Lying Down With Dogs (#335)

What other country uses the term “prostitution” to criminalize consensual behavior the regime dislikes?

An Iranian court has handed jail sentences of more than 10 years each to a young couple who danced in front of one of Tehran’s main landmarks in a video seen as a symbol of defiance against the regime…Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance, Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, both in their early 20s, were arrested in early November…Haghighi was not wearing a headscarf…women are also not allowed to dance in public, let alone with a man…The couple, who already had a following in Tehran as popular Instagram bloggers, were convicted of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution” as well as “gathering with the intention of disrupting national security”…they [were]…deprived of lawyers during the [kangaroo] court…and attempts to secure their release on bail [were] rejected…

Negative Secondary Effects

It usually starts with sex workers, but it never stops with us:

A bill introduced in West Virginia…aims to ban adult entertainment businesses from the state…The language of the bill is both borderline graphic and incredibly vague: it defines the body parts that stores are prohibited from showing in books, live performances, and films with meticulous specificity…but specific details on which businesses will actually be affected if this bill were to pass into law are left mostly undefined…Under th[e bill’s current language], a bookstore that sells [sex education books or videos]…would be considered an adult business…the terms of this bill could effectively make gay bars and nude modeling at art schools illegal…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1021)

This would be terrible even if the cops weren’t lying:

The…NYPD…is in the process of redesigning its fleet of p[igmobi]les, which will now have 360-degree cameras installed in them for constant [surveillance] of the [citizen]s…Po[rk] Commissioner Keechant Sewell…[lied] that…there are no plans to e[quip] the [cameras with] facial recognition technology…[but she bragged about]…an “augmented reality” app…will allow [cops] to point their smartphones at a location, such as a…[person’s home], and learn about things like wanted suspects or previous 911 calls connected to the address…

Creepy Coppers

The people the government empowers to police your sexuality:

A [Virginia cop named]…David Stone…is currently being held without bond a[fter being]…arrested on Jan. 25…[on] 50 child pornography charges…

Stupor Bowl (#1277)

It’s unsurprising that Arizona is still promoting this nearly-mummified fantasy with police violence against women:

Despite more than a decade of research, reports, editorials, magazine articles and even police accounts debunking the odious myth that the Super Bowl is a magnet for sex trafficking, this zombie lie remains catnip to local politicians, police and media ahead of Super Bowl LVII…But occasionally a little truth sneaks through the miasma of misinformation, as is the case with…Fox 10’s report bolster[ing] the long-disproven…hoax…it inadvertently reveals [that]…Phoenix Police…ha[ve] been regularly arresting unknown numbers of adults [under the pretext that they might be “]victims of sex trafficking[” and] allowing [prohibitionist] groups to proselytize them while in custody…If that sounds familiar, it should, because about 10 years ago, the PPD was involved in a similar, highly-controversial program with ASU’s School of Social Work called Project ROSE

The Mob Rules (#1307)

Tyrannical politicians are now competing to see which state can make adolescence most closely resemble a prison sentence:

A pair of bills in Utah would impose draconian requirements on social media platforms [under the pretext] of protecting children….social media companies would be required to verify the ages of all users from Utah, get parental consent before allowing someone under age 18 to open or maintain an account, provide parents or guardians of minors with “access to the content and interactions” of accounts maintained by their children, and…minors would be prohibited from using social media between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m…The bill would also authorize a[nyone, including bureaucrats]…to sue social media companies for [supposed] violations…

 

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

The Immunity Syndrome (#833)

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

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

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

Peeping Toms (#871)

There is nothing contradictory about this:

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

Droit du Seigneur (#1183)

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

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

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

To Molest and Rape (#1257)

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

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

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

The Last Shall Be First (#1299) 

It looks like Florida is aping Texas again:

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

The Last Shall Be First (#1304) 

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

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

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1306)

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

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

 

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

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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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There’s a continual commitment to using violence to control people and manage problems in this country.  –  Elizabeth Davies

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Some psychopaths use moral panics to get attention at others’ expense:

A 22-year-old woman…[named] Eleanor Williams…[pretended] on Facebook…[that] she had been beaten and raped by [Muslim] men who took her to sex “parties” around the north-west of England.  The post, made…on 20 May 2020, prompted…more than 1,000 people [to] donate £22,000 to…her…and drove a sharp rise in racism…Curry house windows were smashed, beloved restaurants were boycotted and one Muslim takeaway owner was chased down the street by men who poured alcohol over his head…It also ruined the lives of those she falsely accused, who were spat at, ostracised and called “paedo” in the street…Wh[en] Williams…[made the] post…she had already been charged with making false rape allegations against four [other] men.  One of them, an 18-year-old man who had gone on a night out with her and friends, spent 10 weeks in prison…before police [bothered to] check…his alibi….[and] realised they had [arrested] him [for arguing] in [public] on the very night she first accused him of drugging and raping her…Williams had multiple phones she used to create a fictional web of abusers as well as fellow victims she created to corroborate her lies…[she concocted the fantasy] after watching [various “sex trafficking” propaganda movies and fakeumentaries, including]…the 2008 film Taken…Williams [even]…injur[ed herself]…with a claw hammer police found covered in Williams’s blood but absent of anyone else’s DNA…

To Molest and Rape (#1215)

It’s kinda nauseating to read this monster’s prattle about Jesus:

Dennis Wallace Perkins was sentenced to 100 years in [Louisiana] state prison…after the [typical and representative cop]…pleaded guilty to [several charges of rape and related crimes stemming from molestation and other violations of children he gained access to via]…his wife…Cynthia…[who allowed him to spooge into] batter [for cupcakes]…she then served to students at Westside Junior High School, where [she was]…employed as an English teacher…Perkins filmed himself making the revolting concoction.  Cynthia Perkins…[also] aid[ed] her husband in [raping and otherwise violating kids]…Perkins addressed the court…[claiming without evidence that] “Jesus Christ has forgiven me”…and…that…certain facts [which] “came to light in pre-trial motions”…would [somehow] have helped his case…

The Last Shall Be First (#1235) 

Another attempt to extend legal minority to 25 based in pseudoscience:

[A new] Oklahoma bill…proposed…by [politician] David Bullard…aims to prevent healthcare professionals from providing “gender transition procedures” to those…under 26…professionals administering [or referring patients to such]…care [c]ould be convicted of a felony…

See No Evil (#1270)

Let’s hope these opportunists get the same treatment as the Nirvana baby:

Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting were…teenagers…in the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Franco Zeffirelli.  The film was a hit and was nominated for four Academy Awards, but it also stirred controversy [among bluenoses] over a bedroom scene which included images of Whiting’s buttocks and Hussey’s bare breasts.  Now in their 70s, Hussey and Whiting filed a lawsuit in Santa Monica Superior Court…[hoping to cash in by] accusing Paramount of sexually exploiting them and distributing nude images of [young people who are now infantilized as] children.  The suit alleges that Zeffirelli — who died in 2019 [and is therefore unable to contradict their claims] — assured both actors that there would be no nudity in the film…but [later]…implored them to perform in the nude…[yet] the suit [also] alleges that…[they] were…filmed nude without their knowledge….They are seeking [a payday] “believed to be in excess of $500 million”…The lawsuit relies in part on a California law that temporarily suspended the statute of limitations for [mummified] claims of child sexual abuse

To Molest and Rape (#1281)

Most rapist New Orleans cops don’t do it by proxy:

…sexual violence by New Orleans [cops is]…an everyday practice of policing…on average, there is a complaint of sexual violence filed against an NOPD officer every 10 days…[and rapists are usually] allowed to resign without any investigation: of the 254 NOPD officers who left their job between 2019-2021, 90 percent had been reported for misconduct in the previous year…Of the 944 [thugs] currently employed by the NOPD, around 190 have at least one complaint of sexual and/or intimate partner violence. Of those…26 have two or more complaints, and 5…have three or more complaints.  The highest number of complaints for one [cop] still employed by the NOPD is 64…

The Cop Myth (#1297)

The death toll will continue to rise until policing as we know it now is abolished:

US law enforcement killed at least 1,176 people in 2022, making it the deadliest year on record for police violence since experts first started tracking the killings…Police…killed an average of more than three people a day, or nearly 100 people every month last year…including people fatally shot, beaten, restrained and Tasered…Only 370 (31%) involved…an alleged violent crime…What’s more, in 32% of cases last year, the person was fleeing before they were killed, generally running or driving off…Black residents were three times more likely to be killed by US police than white people. The inequality is particularly severe in some cities, including Minneapolis where police have killed Black residents at a rate 28 times higher than white residents, and Chicago, where the rate was 25 times higher…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1299)

If you didn’t foresee where this was going, you haven’t been paying attention:

The New Hanover County [North Carolina] Sheriff’s Office has charged a man with assault with intent to kill or seriously injure after [cops fantasized that he “]expos[ed” them]…to a “dangerous opioid drug.”  Lewis Drayton…attempted to throw drugs out of his vehicle and [when three little pigs saw this they panicked]…causing [one of the brave heroes to faint]…the Sheriff’s Office is awaiting lab testing to determine what the substance was…The charges follow a string of incidents over the last few years in which law enforcement across the country have claimed exposure to fentanyl has caused symptoms which…don’t line up with the drug’s effects.

 

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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I was not sent to prison to be raped and abused.  –  Briane Moore

To Molest and Rape (#1009)

Prince George’s County, Maryland is well-known for rapist cops:

…Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Deputy…Brandon Burroughs…has been suspended following repeated [rapes of]…a woman from the area…Burroughs w[as charged following the]…rape…that h[e committed] in October…[bu]t in September…Burroughs [had raped] the same woman…[and been rewar]ded with [a] pa[id vacation]…

Guinea Pigs (#1141) 

This is what your god-emperor and his lackeys call “going after the billionaires”:

…OnlyFans content creators [are now being slapped with threats of]…criminal tax investigation…“pairs of IRS Special Agents across the country descended on the homes and offices of OnlyFans personalities and their tax return preparers, delivering grand jury subpoenas,” [said] John Colvin, a Seattle tax defense attorney…OnlyFans reportedly grossed over $2.3 billion in 2020 alone.  Its content creators have been increasingly well-known for their eye-popping accumulation of wealth.  It is no surprise, then, that the IRS…[is going to try to rob as many of them as possible, starting with] some of the highest grossing of the 1.6 million content creators…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1193)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

…the TSA, has been testing facial recognition software to…screen passengers flying [domestically] in 16 airports.  And now it’s looking into rolling it out nationwide next year…security checkpoints [will require] scanning a copy of a government-issued ID…and standing in front of a c[omputerized facial recognition] system…TSA agents…[w]ill [lurk nearby to subject]…travelers…[to] further [harassment] due to the technology’s inaccuracies…

Thou Shalt Not (#1198)

Because this kind of prohibition will surely be different!

…the New Zealand parliament [has] passed a law banning anyone born after December 31, 2008, from ever buying cigarettes.  The law is designed to permanently [criminalize] tobacco usage in the country by aging out current[ly-legal] smokers.  In 2040, for instance, 31-year-olds will still be [criminalized if they]…buy…cigarettes, cigars, and similar products…the policy will fuel a black market for the products and create new vectors for state violence against individuals…[under the pretext of] dramatically reduc[ing] smoking rates in the country—which are already at a historic low, with only 8 percent of adults smoking daily.  The law will also reduce the number of retailers permitted to sell combustible tobacco products, from 6,000 to 600, and it mandates a reduced nicotine level in [legal] tobacco products.  The legislation will not ban the sale of tobacco vape products…

The Last Shall Be First (#1246) 

Texas seems to be preparing to extend its deranged jihad to trans adults:

Employees at the Texas Department of Public Safety in June received a sweeping request from…Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office: to compile a list of individuals who had changed their gender on their Texas driver’s license and other department records during the past two years…The behind-the-scenes effort…came as the attorney general, Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican [politicians] in the state have been publicly marshaling resources against transgender Texans…[including] more than a dozen anti-LGBTQ measures ahead of the next session in January, including criminalizing gender-affirming care and banning minors at drag shows…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1277)

Cops won’t drop this fantasy until “news” media stop obediently parroting it:

A Florida [cop] making a [pretext] stop [imagined she] was accidentally exposed to fentanyl, triggering a p[anic attack] that [was alleviated by a placebo effect when her fellow cops gave her]…three doses of Narcan…Courtney Bannick…[was looking for a drug arrest] while she was handling dollars bills [that cops claim are often coated with the magical insta-fentanyl of cop legends].  Although she was wearing gloves…[she was terrified by] a gust of wind [she suddenly imagined had] blown some of the drugs toward her…

Torture Chamber (#1298)

The one man most responsible for the staggering number of US women locked in cages is now living in the White House:

The epidemic of sexual assaults against [women locked in cages by the]…federal [government]…has prompted the Justice Department to expand the use of a program to provide early releases to women [raped by screws and other government actors]…In recent weeks, the deputy attorney general…has pressed top [screwmasters]…to encourage [prisoners] who have been [raped or otherwise] assaulted by prison employees…to apply.  The push comes amid new [admiss]ions about the extent of abuse of women, and the…willingness of many prison officials [to cultivate the system which allows that abuse]…and [shield rapists] at all levels in the system, to address a crisis that has long been an open secret…

 

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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If you, my friend, are not acquainted with the juvenile justice system, you will be very shortly.  –  cop, to autistic 7-year-old

Although she had several high-profile hits, this is the one I think of when Irene Cara’s name comes up, and the lyrics are certainly the most fitting to commemorate her passing. The links above the video were provided by Amy Alkon, Isley, Kevin Wilson, Jesse Walker, 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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