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Posts Tagged ‘internet’

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#1189)

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

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

Virtual Imperialism (#1202)

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

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

A Moral Cancer (#1260)

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

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

Property of the State (#1293)

Universal criminality provides many avenues for State violence:

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

Opting Out (#1295) 

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

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

The Cop Myth (#1303)

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

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

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1304)

Apparently, magic insta-fentanyl only affects cops:

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

 

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

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I’m quite used to the prison making all these decisions for us, because we are still state property.  –  Desiree Romero

The Course of a Disease (#1084)

You’ll have to forgive me for finding this terribly amusing:

The number of [incalls, labeled “]illegal brothels[” by French police]…has tripled in the past two years…[because the “Swedish model” exposes]…street prostitution [to debilitating police harassment]…With hotels and the concierges of apartment blocks now extremely vigilant about rooms [rented by sex workers out of fear they will be]…pros[ecuted as “]pimps[“, sex workers] are increasingly opting for detached houses in…the [suburbs of Paris]…police…[of course vomited out bizarre fantasies about “sex trafficking”, but this outcome was predicted by those warning about the consequences of the so-called “]Nordic model[“] of [asymmetric criminalization]…

Torture Chamber (#1102)

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

Arizona [prisons are]…inducing the labor of pregnant prisoners against their will, according to three women [violated thus]…all three…were induced before their due dates…and…all three…were told…they were being induced because it was a policy…they believe it is being implemented to reduce liability for the prison system…two of the women said they were receiving medical bills…a common [indignity inflicted upon]…people [condemned to]…Arizona prisons

To Molest and Rape (#1181)

Expecting sociopaths to “think about what they did wrong” amounts to criminal negligence:

[UK cop]s who preyed upon women and posted homemade pornography to social media are among hundreds allowed to keep their jobs…[as] the c[itizenry]…continues to be plagued by [violent, sociopathic cops]…Most received little more than a slap on the wrist after their behaviour came to light, with some facing no repercussions whatsoever…one former chief constable [admitted that these hundreds of cases are just] “the tip of the iceberg”…at least 921 [cops were] investigated for [online] conduct…[and] texts…since the start of 2017.  Yet only six per cent…led to…dismiss[al, though]…many [involved rape]…sexual [coercion] and [harassment.  Cops who saw any consequences at all]…routinely escaped with…“reflective practice” – thinking about what they have done – or “management action”, which amounts to [stern words from] a superior…in…many cases [cops]…faced “no action” at all for predatory…behaviour…[including the] target[ing of] vulnerable women…and stalk[ing]

The Mob Rules (#1231)

Most commentary on this censorship law ignores its dangerous enforcement mechanism:

Laurie Schlegel is…a…[“]sex addiction[” profiteer turned pro-censorship]…Louisiana [politician who succeeded in]…pass[ing a law demand]ing age verification for any website that contains 33.3% or more pornographic material…[Even though the law adequately defines neither “pornography” nor how this percentage is supposed to be measured, that doesn’t matter because it is to be enforced by nuisance lawsuit like the Texas abortion statute SCOTUS has chosen to ignore]…Louisiana [residents can seek to cash in by claiming in a lawsuit that] “children are getting access to pornography”…

The Vultures Descend (#1253)

An important step toward ending this front in the ruinous culture war:

For the first time, retail pharmacies…will be allowed to offer abortion pills in the United States under a regulatory change made [on January 3rd] by the Food and Drug Administration…Until now, mifepristone…could be dispensed only by a few mail-order pharmacies or by specially certified doctors or clinics.  Under the new…rules…patients will still need a prescription…but any pharmacy that agrees to accept those prescriptions…can dispense the pills in its stores and by mail order…the F.D.A. [also] removed the in-person requirement…The second drug in the regimen, misoprostol, has never been as tightly restricted as mifepristone and is used for many different medical conditions; it is easily obtained at pharmacies through a typical prescription process…

The Cop Myth (#1292)

Cop deals with disagreement exactly as he normally does, and the press is shocked:

[A] Glasgow [Kentucky]…co[p was arrested] on New Year’s Day…Joseph Ramey…rep[ea]tedly assaulted h[is girlfriend, then]…handcuffed her…and held her against her will…

Without Let or Hindrance (#1298)

These abuses are for some reason finally getting the attention they’ve needed for a generation:

Once considered a last resort reserved for parents who abandon their children, the involuntary and permanent termination of parental rights [by the State] now hangs over every mother and father accused of any[thing the State chooses to call] abuse or neglect…No state terminates parental rights more frequently or [quickly] than West Virginia, [where]…one in 50 children [w]ere [violently and non-consensually abducted from]…both of their parents from 2015 to 2019…most…within 11 months of [the state abducting them] from their home for the first time…Nationally, the parents of about 327,000 children [had] their rights [ripped from them by the State] from 2015 to 2019…one-fifth…in less than a year.  Over the past 25 years, [the State has]…increasingly turned to this ultimate consequence, partly in response to Clinton-era federal policies that…[financially incentivize these abduc]tions.  According to a recent study, the [number of children permanently abducted by the State]…doubled from 2000 to 2016.  One in 100 U.S. children — disproportionately Black and Native American — [are thus abducted]…through the [pretext of] child welfare…before they turn 18…Most of those [cases were justified by]…allegations of neglect, [largely] a [dysphemism for]…poverty…Just 15% of [these cases were based in]…concerns about physical or sexual abuse…

 

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

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

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

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

Torture Chamber

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

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

Stalkers in Blue

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

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

Eavesdropping (#1152)

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

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

Monsters (#1195)

Never forget that this started with censorship of internet porn:

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

Prudish Pedants (#1223)

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

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

Stalkers in Blue (#1282)

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

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

Absolute Corruption (#1293)

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

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

 

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

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Is anybody out there?  –  “Metaverse gala” attendee

Not an especially seasonal selection, but it seemed the appropriate one for the death of its composer.  The links above the video were provided by Ed Krayewski; Amy Alkon; Radley Balko; Cop Crisis (x2); Jesse Walker, Mike Siegel, and Ally Fogg; and Clarissa, 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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Many of you are probably familiar with the WWII era “Kilroy Was Here” meme, in which the phrase – usually accompanied by this drawing – was written on walls by American GIs virtually everywhere they ended up.

Recently, the plummeting standards for photographs in the US news media have reached a new nadir.  For years now, an increasing number of photos on the internet have been taken by people who apparently don’t comprehend why a photo framed as a vertical rectangle is called “portrait” style; these pictures are done as landscapes, but rarely feature any interesting detail in the wide swaths of space which appear to one or both sides of the human subject.  Worse still, they’re often headshots which cut off the top of the subject’s head and/or the bottom of his chin, like bad amateur photographers used to do with cheap cameras in the days before digital image capture became ubiquitous.  But all too often there’s still plenty of space to the sides of the face, as though the photographer was too stupid to understand that a cell phone can take pictures when held vertically.  Given that many of these cutoff photos are mug shots, you can find many examples in my news columns; I crop the extraneous space from the sides, but there’s nothing I can do to restore missing crowns or necks, resulting in crap like this or this.  But though those pictures are bad, they’re fine portraiture in comparison with the new fashion, which appear to have been inspired by Kilroy.  The first was taken by cops of one of their gang, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that it would be useless as a means of identifying this rapist:

But given that the second is from Getty Images and appeared in the New York Times, I can only conclude that this is becoming A Thing among the stupid, vulgar and tasteless:

I encountered these within days of one another, so it seems unlikely to be a mere coincidence.  And the widely-separated sources point to their both being influenced by some original specimen of cloddishness I haven’t yet encountered.  I truly hope I’m wrong, because for this kind of aesthetic idiocy to gain any traction at all would indicate that the Muses have entirely abandoned us to the tender mercies of some horde of cross-eyed imps of the perverse.  But only time…and perhaps the Times…will tell.

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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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[KOSA] is the ultimate “let’s just blame the internet for anything bad” bill.  –  Mike Masnick

What the Hell Were You Thinking?

While prohibitionists get big bucks to harass sex workers, spread anti-whore propaganda and work with cops to target women for state violence, organizations which work to actually support sex workers get by on little more than volunteer hours and good wishes.  There’s nothing in this article about Street Safe New Mexico and the bad date list it maintains for street workers which will surprise sex workers or regular readers, but perhaps if articles like this keep appearing some big moneybag like Bezos or Gates, trying to make a name for himself as a philanthropist, will recognize this as an area where he really can make a difference for hundreds of thousands of women in the US alone.  And the fact that it appears in Cosmopolitan is another sign that feminism is slowly, falteringly, moving away from its misogynistic demands that the state violently police women’s sexual behavior.

No Friend of Ours

Those laboring under the delusion that Nevada is even remotely whore-friendly need look no further than this collection of dysphemisms, infantilization, racism, copaganda, bizarrely-stilted Copese, lurid fetishization of police victims, puritanism, distortion, and outright lies vomited out by “journalist” parrots after fellating their “law enforcement sources”.  The persecution of a very ordinary business is made to seem something like the adventure of a TV hero breaking up a terrorist plot to kill millions, rather than a simple-minded scheme for a gang of thugs to molest women and harass migrants in order to justify their pathologically-bloated budget while getting themselves off.

Torture Chamber (#1198)

Authoritarians want you to pay for more such hell-holes to torture even more people in:

…A new…report from the the [Fulton County Georgia] jail’s medical provider reveals that…the jail’s most vulnerable…[prisoners a]re wasting away in squalid conditions…more than 90 percent…were so malnourished that they had developed cachexia, a wasting syndrome that typically affects people with advanced-stage cancer…the men were detained in filthy cells and…over 90 percent…had not been “receiving essential medications” or completing their…activities of daily living…such as showering, dressing, using the toilet, and eating…every person in the unit had lice or scabies—in some cases both—a[bout which nothing was done until one prisoner died from the neglect]…on…Sept. 13…

Virtual Imperialism (#1202)

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

…Criticism of the CCP has been rising in the ranks of censored topics on American campuses.  Whether it’s among professors adapting their classrooms to skirt Hong Kong’s oppressive national security law, administrators fearful of alienating lucrative funding or partnership opportunities, or international students worried that basic academic discussions will cause legal trouble at home, there is a growing problem in higher education….[which] comes with global implications: It’s getting a lot harder to talk critically about Xi Jinping, the CCP, and the human rights violations taking place in China.  This shift was on full display at GWU in February when [Chinese] students launched [an] anonymous protest…[by] post[ing] artwork from Australia-based Chinese artist Badiucao satirizing China’s human rights record and the ethical issues raised by its hosting of the Olympics…it took less than 24 hours before the…[Beijing-backed] Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) [demanded the protest be censored], calling for the responsible students to be “punished severely”…

You Were Warned (#1224)

These attempts to destroy the internet are just going to keep getting worse:

…a [gang of censorious politician]s is attempting to include the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) in a year-end “must pass” omnibus bill, ramping up the bill’s chance of passage.  While KOSA has been touted as a bill that would provide [so-called] accountability for tech companies by regulating their interactions with [legal minors], the bill would…instead…enact confusing, vague regulations upon tech companies that would encourage even more surveillance of users, and it would [allow]…parents [to file nuisance lawsuits] upon tech companies [on the same kinds of flimsy pretexts allowed by laws like FOSTA]…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1264)

It’s always lovely to see them feeding on each other:

A…[typical and representative cop] has been jailed after he…arrang[ed] to meet a[nother cop fantasy role-playing online as a] 15-year-old girl…Alex John Foster…was [arrested by the fantasy role-player and his cronies] in a [KFC parking lot] with condoms and lube [the other cop had asked him to bring.  Foster is clearly not very bright even by cop standards, because]…he…told the [fantasy role-playing cop]…“she could be an undercover police officer” [yet went anyway]…

The Cop Myth (#1285)

Sleeping with a cop is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do:

Madison [Wisconsin cop] Cary House was arrested and charged with…strangulation…of [his girlfriend.  The victim]…said House had been drinking all day when he entered her room where she was lying in bed with her young daughter; House started yelling at her and choking her…This isn’t the first time…House has…[been arrested for violent drunkenness]. In 2013…he was suspended without pay after…[firing] a gun while under the influence during a social gathering at his home…three [other Madison cops]…have been arrested within the last two weeks in separate, unrelated incidents…

 

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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[Qatar’s] Preventive Security Department…[are a kind of] unhinged mafia that go arresting people…just on the suspicion of them being gay.  –  Dr. Nasser Mohamed

Rough Trade

What kind of garbage uses attacks on women as an opportunity to belch out slurs against the victims?

[Cops claim they want] to find a man…[who is a] seri[al rapist of]…sex workers in the east Hollywood area…[yet their press release also calls the victims’ work] “human trafficking’…the [rapist pretends to be a client to]…lure…[women] into his vehicle…the[n]…drives to [a secluded] area…and [violently rapes them at gunpoint]…the man…may use the name Mainer or Maynor and has tattoos on both arms. Also, he has sometimes had an “M” shaved on the side of his head…He was described as 25-35 years old, about 5-feet-8 inches tall, with black hair and brown eyes…and…drives a newer-model, four-door sedan, possible a Honda, which is dark in color.  The vehicle may have tinted windows and a…spoiler…

Above the Law

The predictable result of giving violent, aggressive men power over women:

A [typical and representative porcine creature] pleaded guilty…to…a…civil rights [charge for a violent rape]…Rogeric Hankins…was working as a [thug assigned to transport human beings like animals from one cage to another]…when he and a[nother member of his gang]…picked up a[n innocent woman, not convicted of any crime,] in Olympia, Washington, to take her to…St. Paul, Minnesota, where a federal warrant for [enjoying herself in ways the rulers disapprove of] had been issued…[after] picking up and dropping off several male [prisoners] along the way…they stopped at a gas station in Joplin, [Missouri on April 3, 2020]…the woman was the only [prisoner] left…[so] Hankins [used a bath]room…[stop as an opportunity to drag] her into [a filthy] men’s room and [rape her orally and vaginally]…in…[a] stall…

As often happens, the government has chosen to hide this dangerous predator’s picture so other women won’t know what he looks like.

The Punitive Mindset (#829) 

The minds of federal prison bureaucrats are just as narrow and mean as those of state prison bureaucrats, and just as pointlessly cruel as those of screws:

…the federal Bureau of Prisons…bans D&D and other roleplaying games…[just as they] are widely banned in state prison systems under the dubious rationale that they present a security threat or encourage gang behavior…it…illustrate[s] how counterproductive and dumb prison book bans can be.  Of all the things you could be doing in prison, D&D is one of the better and less offensive ways to pass the time.  It’s social, encourages teamwork and empathy, and as one former incarcerated man told me, gives “the vilified an opportunity to be the ‘Good Guy’ that the world in which we live rarely does”…

Presumption of Guilt (#843)

There’s very little point in actually quoting any of this revolting concoction of badge-licking, police-state cheerleading, demonization of privacy, and frantic wanking to “sex trafficking” fantasies and other infantilizing filth.  It is exactly what it appears to be: more propaganda for the Establishment’s wet dream of total financial surveillance.  For decades now, authoritarians have tried to devise a way to sell the hordes of useful idiots on their schemes to completely eliminate cash or other anonymous financial transactions, so governments can monitor, control, and bleed revue from even the smallest exchange of value and even completely cripple the ability of “undesirables” to engage in any financial activity at all.  The only thing of interest here, beside the remarkable depravity of Forbes’ editorial position, is that the magazine has such a low opinion of its readers’ critical faculties that it’s willing to specifically demonize a service whose name clearly reveals what its creators intended it to be an online analog for: Cash.  And in so doing, it “says the quiet part loud”, as the young people put it.

Monsters (#847) 

All around the world, monsters claim the “right” to persecute and torture sexual minorities:

 Qatar’s laws criminalise LGBTQ people…and homosexuality is punishable by imprisonment and lashings under sharia law…LGBT…Qatari[s tell]…of entrapment using dating-apps — cat-fishing gay men and luring them into a honeytrap to arrest them.  Of violence, including torture, and gang rape [by cops].  Of imprisonment, solitary confinement, and deportations.  And of far-reaching online surveillance…that renders LGBT people fearing every connection to someone they do not already know…There is only one publicly out gay Qatari in the world: Dr Nasser Mohamed who…[now lives in] San Francisco…[and works] with Human Rights Watch…“Their biggest targets are feminine gay men and transgender woman,” he says.  “Because it’s visible.”  Even subtle indications of gender identity or sexuality can lead to arrest…[often via] fake dates [like American cops set up with sex workers they wish to entrap]…

The Widening Gyre (#1266)

Even though neither word appears in the article, it’s obvious this woman’s panic attack was rooted in the “fentanyl” and “sex trafficking” hysterias:

A Houston [woman scared herself into a panic attack and]…spent a night in the hospital…because [she believed internet scary tales about] a napkin [she found on] her car door…[because she had read the stories] she grabbed it with the tips of her long fingernails, threw it away and went back inside to wash her hands.  [But she was already obsessed with the idea that the napkin might contain Magic Sex Trafficking Insta-fentanyl, so she imagined]…a tingly sensation in her fingers…She [had an anxiety attack, feeling] like she couldn’t breathe and quickly became light-headed…Hysterical, the couple couldn’t “think straight,” she said, and struggled to find the nearest hospital…where she spent just over six hours as doctors checked her vitals and blood pressure, gave her an IV, took a urine sample and ran a CAT scan to determine if she was having a stroke.  [In typical moral-panicker fashion, she] took to Instagram the next day to warn women to be safe.  Her video went viral…[giv]ing her [the attention she so desperately craved]…and…alarm[ing] many [other] women, who labeled it a kidnapping attempt…

You Were Warned (#1266)

It’s a relief when courts choose to rule that the obviously-true is true:

Reddit cannot be sued for sex trafficking if it didn’t knowingly permit sex trafficking.  That’s the gist of a recent ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  The case…was brought by [ambulance-chasers who claim that]…Reddit was not quick enough in [removing photos when informed the subjects were underage, and that]…this [somehow] made Reddit complicit in a sex trafficking venture.  In an October 24 decision, 9th Circuit justices disagreed…[due to] Section 230…FOSTA—carved out an exception to Section 230 for claims involving sex trafficking.  But no one was quite sure how wide that exception was…

 

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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Thanks for the boob grab.  –  “Officer” Samuel Sanson

The Widening Gyre (#1145) 

What do you get when you cross the “Facebook pimps” myth with the “traffickers looking for victims at stores” myth?

…Mallie Taylor [of Canberra] was offloading some free autumn and winter decor using [Facebook Marketplace] when one [woman with poor English was unable to comprehend the meaning of]…“pick up only”…[and repeated]ly asked to be met somewhere more convenient …[instead of realizing the irritating person as a scammer or someone with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement] Taylor shared her experience with other Marketplace users and was…[mis]informed [that] the woman’s behavior was consistent with [what fetishists like to imagine as]…”a know [sic] method of human traffickers”…

To Molest and Rape (#1216)

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

A [typical and representative] Edmonton [cop]…has been found guilty of sexually assaulting another [cop]…Samuel Sanson…had been [enjoying a paid vacation] for 2½ years after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.  He had been given permission to work out at the gym at police headquarters downtown…[where on  on January 20, 2021 he told the woman]…”The best part of right now is I can say or do whatever I want because I’m fucking crazy”…then…[grabb]ed her from behind…and [groped her]…while [theatrically] moaning in her ear…Sanson [claimed she wanted it]…

Choke Point (#1280)

PayPal is becoming a major threat to civil liberties:

On October 8th, [PayPal] updated its terms of service agreement to include a clause [grant]ing it[self the right”] to [steal] $2,500 from users’…accounts…for posting anything the company deems as misinformation or offensive.  Unsurprisingly, the backlash was instant and massive…Google searches for “delete PayPal” spiked to 1,392% after the announcement…and as the situation continued to unfold, the company’s stock price continued to plummet.  By the following day, PayPal’s PR team was…trying to spin the story as a “simple mistake” that was never meant to be included in the terms of service.  But…shortly after the criticism on social media died down, it was added back into the terms of service with equally ambiguous language.  Apparently, they believed that everyone would just accept their claim and immediately forget about the incident…

Winding Down (#1281)

Destigmatization of psychedelics is happening much more quickly than I would’ve expected:

Three years ago, Denver voters passed a…ballot initiative that made adult possession of psilocybin the city’s lowest law enforcement priority and prohibited the use of public money to pursue such cases.  N[ow]…voters statewide will consider a…measure that goes much further…than the initiative that Oregonians approved in 2020Proposition 122 would decriminalize noncommercial activities related to the use of “natural medicine” by adults 21 or older.  It defines “natural medicine” to include psilocybin, psilocyn (another psychoactive component of “magic mushrooms”), dimethyltryptamine (DMT, the active ingredient in ayahuasca), ibogaine (a psychedelic derived from the root bark of the iboga tree), and mescaline (the active ingredient in peyote).  The covered activities, which would not be subject to criminal or civil penalties, include “growing, cultivating, or processing plants or fungi capable of producing natural medicine for personal use.”  Also protected: possessing, storing, using, transporting, or obtaining the listed psychedelics or distributing them to adults 21 or older “without remuneration”…

The Cop Myth (#1281)

He wasn’t incorrect in this assumption:

…[Alice Springs cop] Zachary Rolfe [knew] he could go on a “paid holiday” if he shot someone [he] “didn’t care about, or like Indigenous people”, the coronial inquest into the death of Kumanjayi Walker has heard…[from Rolfe’s] ex-fiancée[, who is also a cop]…Rolfe [got away with Walker’s murder as he] was unanimously acquitted of all charges …after a Supreme Court trial earlier this year…Rolfe [also told her that he] wanted to join the special forces in the army and “wanted to be paid to go out and shoot people”…his [many] “unjustified” use of force incidents were “swept away” by [boss cops]…

Surplus Women (#1283)

Having to investigate sex workers’ disappearance is such a burden for cops:

…Iowa [cops] are investigating a woman’s claim that her late father was a prolific serial killer who murdered dozens of people over decades…[she said] Donald Dean Studey buried the bodies around his property in Thurman, in southwest Iowa near…Omaha…Studey’s daughter claimed her father killed “five or six” women a year for several decades…[before he] died in 2013 at age 75…two cadaver dogs {have been raken to] the 5-acre site…and found the possible existence of decomposing remains in an area around a well…Lucy Studey…[said] her father would demand that she and her siblings help move the…[bodies] using a wheelbarrow or a toboggan.  “He would just tell us we had to go to the well, and I knew what that meant”…her father lured sex workers and transients from Omaha to his property before he killed them.  She reported the claims to [cops] for the second time last year [but was put off until now]…

To Molest and Rape (#1284)

I could fill an entire tag with just cops who molest or rape kids:

Lawrence [Massachusetts cop] Carlos Vieira was found guilty on a series of child rape charges after [manipulating] a…13[-year old boy] he met…on the social media app Grindr…[in]to…[sex in a public] park…

 

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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