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Posts Tagged ‘language’

[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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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 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 very much!

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More Than a Bathhouse

When I first started planning the addition to my house, I was mostly thinking of it in terms of the hot tub and the bathroom, and the guest cottages were sort of separate entities in my mind. But as the plan came together and I realized that the new annex was going to have multiple functions, of which the bathroom and hot tub were the only bath-related ones, I realized that calling it a bathhouse was really a misnomer. But by that point I had already started calling the columns “Bathhouse #X”, and since I’m a creature of habit it just kept on that way for 2 years. But once I was done with the roof, and I could really see the thing as a whole, I started referring to the big open space as the atrium because that’s what it is, an open space at the center of the house (the main house and both cottages open onto it).  So even though I am currently working on the bathroom, I’ve decided it’s time to rename these columns; the whole project amounts to a new wing of my house, an annex, so that’s what I’m going to start calling the columns, starting next week. I’m going to go back and relabel the older ones as well, but I’m not going to change the links because it would just be too much trouble and I’m not trying to memory-hole the history of the project or anything. I just have a thing for accuracy, and though it took a while, it finally overcame my inertia.

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Last week I was involved in an online discussion about writing ability, and whether it is actually less common among people who majored in STEM fields vs those who majored in the humanities; I explained that, in my experience as a writer, editor, and former teacher and librarian, it isn’t common in either group, but is slightly less uncommon in the humanities.  I used to edit technical papers as a side gig, and they were often so unintelligible I had to get on the phone to the author to ask what in God’s name he was trying to say.

Of course, the problem is a bit more complex than a simple “which group is better”; certain subgroups of humanities majors, most notably those in the “Ideological Studies” ghetto, are taught to write such convoluted, cumbersome gibberish that after graduation most of them can’t stop doing it even when explicitly told not to.  I was once in a working group trying to draft a press release; despite everyone being told we wanted to keep the language concise, simple, and straightforward for the general public, the draft modifications one group came up with were absolutely larded with academic and identity-politics jargon.  We had to ignore nearly all their contributions in the final draft because the additions, prevarications, disclaimers, lists, and semantically-empty garbage they wanted to insert would’ve tripled the length while crippling the meaning.  It’s important to recognize that this was not truly their fault; for their entire academic careers these participants were repeatedly rewarded for crafting ugly, clunky, unreadable rubbish interchangeable with every other statement of its type, the literary equivalent of an East German institutional building.  Writing ability develops with practice; unfortunately, many students of the past several decades have been taught practices that make their writing worse instead of better.  So, I guess the best summary of the situation is:  Most students start as bad writers.  STEM students tend not to improve.  Humanities majors in traditional fields usually improve at least some.  And “ideological studies” majors improve at writing committee-approved ideological garbage.  People learn what they’re taught.  If they’re taught to write properly, they’ll learn that.  If they’re taught to write improperly, they’ll learn that instead.  And if they aren’t taught to write at all, they will learn whatever they are taught.

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I won’t help you until you help yourself.  –  jail “nurse”

Regular readers know how I feel about abuse of words, especially by government, so this video (called to my attention by Elizabeth N. Brown) really spoke to me.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel, Kevin Wilson, Scott Greenfield, Jesse Walker, and Cop Crisis (x3), in that order.

From the Archives

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This fucking cop is still a block away and this girl got raped on the street corner!  –  witness to the crime

License to Rape

“Search” is the most common government euphemism for “molest”:

…650 [legal minors] were strip-searched [by London cops without good reason] over a two-year period and the majority were found to be innocent of the [accusat]ions [cops used to justify the molestation] …in almost a quarter of cases (23%) an appropriate adult was not present during the search, despite this being a [legal] requirement…of children [and young adults] aged 10 to 17 who were strip-searched between 2018 and 2020, almost three out of five (58%) were black…for 2018 alone the figure rose to 75%…

Torture Chamber 

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

…a lawsuit against [St. Louis] and [a pack of screws reports]…that [human beings locked in cages without having]…been convicted of any crime — are subjected to “persistent and widespread torture practices”…[foremost among these being] pepper-sprayed for any number of capricious reasons or for no apparent reason at all…In 2019, the St. Louis county executive resurrected a local advisory board to monitor conditions at the jail after the deaths of several detained people, including one person who died of a curable form of leukemia…But as conditions at the jail continued to deteriorate, several board members resigned in protest…[because] they were not…[actually allowed] to…investigate conditions…the city of St. Louis has denied all wrongdoing…[and a spokesbureaucrat vomited out the words] “order and security in the correctional facility” [as an excuse for the torture, which includes]…regularly shut[ting] off detained people’s water for hours or days at a time…

If Men Were Angels  

It’s getting harder to tell the preachers from the cops:

A [Missouri] pastor has been charged…[with] sexually abusing a child…John Hampton…abused two children, starting four to five years ago…[Cops]…tried to talk to Hampton in May, but Hampton told [them] he didn’t have time to speak to them [so they just let it go for a few months]…

To Molest and Rape

I suspect prosecutors get off on coming up with ridiculous-sounding euphemisms for rape:

A [typical and representative] California [cop] faces a federal indictment [for raping] four women while [wearing his magical clown costume]…J. DeShawn Torrence…[faces] a maximum…penalty of life in prison and a $250,000 fine…[for] crimes [of rape and sexual assault committed] from August 2017 to June 2021…without a legitimate law enforcement purpose…

Presumably, raping a sex worker in order to entrap her and destroy her life would be considered “a legitimate law enforcement purpose”.

Above the Law (#923)

Rapist politicians generally prefer to assault drunk women:

A…Kentucky [politician]…was arrested [for]…rape.  John Tilley…[raped] a woman who could not consent due to her level of intoxication…[besides being a state legislator] he…served as Justice and Public Safety Cabinet secretary from December 2015 through 2019, overseeing Kentucky State Police, the Department of [Locking People in Filthy Cages] and other agencies…

Notice how any association with cops has a high correlation with being a rapist?

To Molest and Rape (#946) 

Some Louisiana cops prefer to rape by proxy:

A New Orleans [cop who] was flagged down…in the French Quarter by a witness who…saw a man raping an unconscious woman in plain view on the street corner…didn’t budge…the witness…[then called] 911…[and] grew increasingly frantic as the [cop continued]…to [do nothing]…Another [pigmobile] had already driven past the [rape] without stopping, she added…Two minutes passed. “He’s still not even coming!” the witness said.aid.  The dispatcher also became exasperated, “Ma’am, this is…I can’t speak freely…I understand”…The witness [who is a respiratory therapist] returned to the corner and [started CPR when she] found the victim without a pulse.  The [rapist] had fled…The witness…asked not to be named because she fears [police] retribution…

The Prudish Giant (#1251) 

Why does anyone still trust Facebook?

A Nebraska teenager is facing criminal charges alleging she aborted a fetus in violation of state law, after [cops rooted in] her Facebook messages using a search warrant.  Seventeen-year-old Celeste Burgess…[was transformed into] an adult [by the power of a magic prosecutorial finger] along with her mother Jessica Burgess…Nebraska c[riminalizes] abortions beyond 20 weeks…[cops found out via a snitch and couldn’t wait to ruin a young woman’s life]…Facebook [has been playing both sides on the issue; while]…the company [has] announced that it will reimburse employees who…must travel to a different state to seek an abortion…Instagram and Facebook posts about acquiring abortion pills…[a]re being systematically removed…[and the company has] continued to earn revenue from anti-abortion advertisements containing dangerous misinformation…Facebook [is also] collecting data from users interacting with abortion services websites, and [selling it]…to anti-abortion groups…

Since the earlier Texas case was dropped, Burgess may end up being the first woman prosecuted under the new abortion prohibitionist regime.

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If you don’t have the right to bodily autonomy then you cannot be said to really be free.  –  Kelly Wright

Crypto-puritans in the libertarian tent have definitely become more numerous.  A few weeks ago at Freedom Fest, I attended a panel on the dangerous liberty-violating laws that may result now that Roe has been overturned.  Despite the fact that there was even a “pro-life” person on the panel who eloquently explained why she was just as concerned as the others, stupid mumbling and a few loud belches of “dead babies!” and the like warned me of what was to come during the time reserved for questions: a long line of propagandists at the mike who didn’t have questions, but instead wanted to appoint themselves as members of the panel without invitation of permission.  So I was forced to appoint myself as bailiff and shout “THIS IS NOT A QUESTION!” when it became clear that was the case, except for the idiot who made an “argument” involving Marxism equivalent to, “this plastic bottle is actually a plant because both are green”; for that guy, I shouted “This is pure bullshit!”  Then there was the guy who promised his question wasn’t belligerent, then proceeded to make a statement just as propagandistic as the half-dozen before him.  We were only saved by the organizers ejecting us for the next presentation.  It felt like an Evangelical convention had invaded a Libertarian one.  By the by, most of the panelists thanked me for my anger later; I could do from the floor what they really couldn’t from the stage: confront rude, disrespectful twatwaffles with a taste of their own medicine.

It’s certainly possible for a libertarian to be against abortion for themselves and/or in principle, but the second the state becomes involved, using violence to abrogate women’s bodily autonomy, there is no honest way to describe support for such a regime as “libertarian”.  This recent article by Kelly Wright explains it perfectly; it’s rare that I agree with every point made in a persuasive essay, but this is one of those times.  The article is well worth reading in its entirety and I strongly urge you to do so, but here’s the core of the argument:

Are the lives of hypothetical future babies (blastocysts, zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are not babies) worth more than the lives of actual living breathing pregnant individuals?  Are people with the capacity for pregnancy nothing more than walking, potential incubators?  Even if we concede the argument that a fetus is a person with individual rights, libertarians should still oppose abortion restrictions.  If someone is invading your home, you have a right to repel them, especially if your life is at risk.  It follows that if someone is invading your uterus then you also have the right to repel them as well.  Fetuses hijack blood supplies and even begin to leach the calcium out of the bones of the person whose body they have commandeered.  This may seem like a peculiar projection of agency onto fetuses, but it’s no more peculiar than the rights, interests, and souls projected onto fetuses by advocates of fetal personhood and forced pregnancy.  No one has a right to your circulatory system, and if someone has affixed themselves to your circulatory system against your will, you have the right to use force to stop them from doing so.  One rights-bearing individual does not have the right to the calcium in the bones and teeth of another rights-bearing individual…

There’s an incidental point the author makes that you might not have noticed, so I’ll elaborate.  I’ve never made a big deal about people incorrectly calling anything in a pregnant woman’s uterus a “fetus”, because up to now it wasn’t that important.  However, it certainly has become so.  A developing organism of less than 11 weeks gestational age (which is actually 9 weeks after fertilization due to the practice of counting from the last menstrual period) is not, repeat not, a fetus; it is an embryo.  This is important because there is as real and distinct a difference between the two as there is between a fetus and a baby.  Alas, this won’t make any difference at all to prohibitionist politicians, who think the state has the right to classify a bee as a fish, define pi as “3” or declare that the laws of the State supersede the laws of science in any other way.  But using the word “fetus” in a discussion of, say, ectopic pregnancies (when the developing organism rarely makes it to the fetal stage) helps to extend and worsen the scientific ignorance and confusion that prohibitionism relies upon to thrive.  Using the correct terminology won’t sway religious anti-abortion people in the least, because their position is based in belief, not facts.  But it may help the great majority who can be swayed by argument to understand the absurdity and evil of “from point of conception” abortion bans.

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