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Posts Tagged ‘law’

A right does not, as a practical matter, exist without any remedy for its enforcement.  –  Justice Elissa Cadish

The End of the Beginning (#1197) 

It’s horrifying that a court order was required to stop the government from trying to punish people for being unable to do the literally impossible:

A rule that Attorney General Merrick Garland issued in 2021…requires people to do things that are plainly impossible.  If they have been convicted of a sex offense, they must register with their state, even when the state neither requires nor allows them to do so.  They also must supply the state with all the information required by federal law, even when the state does not collect that information…someone [unable] to meet those requirements…who travels outside his state can be charged with a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.  At trial, the defendant has the burden of proving that he was unable to register “as required”…That Kafkaesque situation, a federal judge in California [has] ruled…violates the constitutional right to due process…The case, John Doe v. Department of Justice, illustrates the perverse consequences of the federal government’s attempt to identify and track sex offenders through detailed registration requirements that often conflict with state law…

Panopticon (#1212)

Useful idiots keep providing government with excuses for Orwellian levels of surveillance:

A bill…in the Mississippi Legislature would require public schools and postsecondary institutions to install video surveillance cameras all over their campuses.  The bill would require that the cameras also record audio and that they be installed in classrooms, auditoriums, cafeterias, gyms, hallways, recreational areas, and along each facility’s perimeter.  Further, it would permit [even adult] students’ parents to view live feeds of classroom instruction…the bill’s sponsor…Stacey Hobgood…[belched out the catchphrases] “critical race theory”…and…”accountable”…[to justify creating a stifling] atmosphere of suspicion and distrust [across every school in the state]…

Robocops (#1249)

Since SCOTUS refuses to slay this monster of its own creation, state courts will need to do the job for it:

…the Nevada Supreme Court [has] unanimously ruled that victims of wrongful searches and seizures have the right to sue the responsible government officials.  Just as critically, the court firmly rejected qualified immunity as a potential defense against those lawsuits.  The court’s twin holdings will better ensure that government officials can actually be held accountable for their misconduct…

Thought Control (#1268)

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

Books containing [what politicians vaguely term] “sexually explicit” content…would be banned from North Dakota public libraries under [newly-proposed] legislation…the measure…proposes up to 30 days imprisonment for librarians who refuse to remove the [censored] books…In addition to banning depictions of “sexual identity” and “gender identity,” the measure specifies 10 other things that library books cannot visually depict, including “sexual intercourse,” “sexual preference” and “sexual perversion,” — though it does not define any of those terms.  The proposal does not apply to books that have “serious artistic significance” or “materials used in science courses,” among other exceptions…

Presumably, the “serious artistic significance” would be determined by politicians, which is a bit like asking a panel of tone-deaf 11-year-olds to discuss the relative merits of Bach cantatas.

The Vultures Descend (#1273)

Calling politicians on their hypocrisy is an interesting strategy:

A group of religious leaders who support abortion rights [has] filed a lawsuit…challenging Missouri’s abortion ban, saying [politicians] openly invoked their religious beliefs while drafting the measure and thereby imposed those beliefs on others who don’t share them.  The lawsuit…is…among nearly three dozen post-Roe lawsuits that have been filed against 19 states’ abortion bans…and…was…filed on behalf of the faith leaders by Americans United for Separation of Church & State and the National Women’s Law Center…Lawsuits in several other states take similar approaches.  In Indiana, lawyers for five anonymous women…and…Hoosier Jews for Choice have argued that state’s ban infringes on…Jewish teaching that a fetus becomes a living person at birth and…Jewish law prioritizes the mother’s life and health…In Kentucky, three Jewish women sued, claiming the state’s ban violates their religious rights under the state’s constitution and religious freedom law…

Presumption of Guilt (#1288)

Another step toward total financial surveillance:

…if you’ve sent money across American borders…Big Brother is likely watching.  In what began as an Arizona-led effort before going nationwide, a not-so-independent nonprofit organization has been indiscriminately compiling sensitive financial information and making it available to [cop shops and spook houses] across the country…ACLU…has published more than 200 documents revealing details of the program which fed a vast database of sensitive data…run by an organization called the Transaction Record Analysis Center…The surveillance dates to 2006, when Arizona’s attorney general sought details from Western Union about money transfers to and from the Mexican state of Sonora…[the ensuing] legal battle [was] settled in 2010…and…TRAC was established in 2014 as a nominally independent repository for intercepted financial records…in 2019…DHS took over funding TRAC and…[began] compel[ling] financial disclosures with…a type of subpoena…

Blunt Instrument (#1296)

This will continue for as long as the voters allow it to:

Attorney General Daniel Cameron has announced [a scheme]…to [use “]human trafficking[” as an excuse to carry out violent pogroms] in Kentucky by targeting “illicit massage businesses”…[Cameron plans to threaten] landlords and [spread racist propaganda] to [encourage useful idiots to snitch on migrant-owned] businesses that Cameron [wanks to pedophilic fantasies about]…Cameron is…running for governor this year…

 

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

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Silicon Valley lobbyists are…trying to avoid the real debate: whether technology this dangerous should even exist.  –  Fight for the Future

Cooties

Anti-sexworker bigotry harms all women:

An Airbnb host was caught on camera threatening to “smack” a woman in the face and calling her a “prostitute” before telling her no one would believe her if she complained…Yet despite complaints to Airbnb and local police, the man has faced no sanction more than four months on…Airbnb claimed it had suspended the listing, but several others from the same landlord – including one in the same building – are still available to book as of 6 January.  The woman and her cousin…were staying at the flat in Somerset…[when] at the end of August they say they received a phone call from the landlord threatening to physically attack them unless they left…he…the[n]…let himself into the flat…threatened them again, made racist remarks and pinned one of them against the wall…He told them…“You are prostitutes operating from this apartment”…Both women deny…that they were doing sex work on the premises, saying they only had a few friends to visit during their stay…

Fallen Idol (#1052)

Probably not the outcome prosecutors expected:

Former adult film star Ron Jeremy is suffering from “severe dementia” and will be declared incompetent to stand trial on multiple charges of rape later this month…weeks before Jeremy’s trial was slated to begin last year, his defense attorney, Stuart Goldfarb, [report]ed…his client did not recognize him…mental health experts called on by both prosecutors and…defense…have determined…there is no evidence he is faking his symptoms…dementia is a progressive and degenerative illness from which Jeremy is unlikely to recover…the experts reached their conclusion based on a review of medical documents and interviews with Jeremy, his relatives and several…[screw]s who interacted with him while in [jail].  Some of Jeremy’s relatives apparently suspected he suffered from dementia before his 2020 arrest…Jeremy is likely to be placed in a state-run hospital…

Torture Chamber (#1098) 

Perhaps Alabama’s state bird should be the ostrich:

The Alabama Department of C[ramming Human Beings into Filthy Cage]s will no longer track the number of…deaths [in its cages] by month…the department ended [2022]…with 225 deaths…[Chris] England, a member of the prison oversight committee, says now is not the time for less transparency…He wants to…require them to report more often..the Governor’s Office…[claims less frequent reporting is actually “]more accurate[“]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1135)

Cops really don’t care how many false positives these systems shit out:

Instead of enjoying a late Thanksgiving meal with his mother in Georgia, Randal Reid spent nearly a week in jail in November after he was falsely [accused of grand larceny] by Louisiana [cops on the basis of] facial recognition technology…Reid…[was] misidentified as one of three people who allegedly stole over $10,000 in Chanel and Louis Vuitton purses from a pair of shops via bogus credit card purchases…[and arrested] by…Georgia…[cops during a traffic stop]…“They told me I had a warrant out of Jefferson Parish. I said, ‘What is Jefferson Parish?,’” Reid recalled. “I have never been to Louisiana a day in my life…”

Rooted in Racism (#1151)

In Europe as in the US, the real humanitarians are fighting against racist “anti-trafficking” schemes:

Greek prosecutors…[are putting] humanitarians on trial for search-and-rescue efforts that are protected under international human rights law and Greek law…The [latest] trial is…against…Sarah Mardini…Sean Binder [ans 22 others]…is riddled with procedural flaws that undermine their rights to due process and a fair trial…“Greek authorities…are going after people for saving lives the authorities didn’t want them to save,” said Bill Van Esveld…[of] Human Rights Watch…prosecutors…split the misdemeanor charges from felony charges in the case so the misdemeanors could be tried before expiring under Greece’s five-year statute of limitations…The misdemeanor charges…include espionage and forgery…based on humanitarians’ efforts to identify migrant boats in distress…[while] the…felony case misrepresents…search-and-rescue…operations as human smuggling by a criminal organization…

The Last Shall Be First (#1246) 

The war on trans people has expanded to include drag queens:

Arkansas [politician] Gary Stubblefield…[has] filed a bill…that would classify drag performances as…”adult-oriented business,” along with escort agencies…adult book…or video store[s]… massage establishment[s, etc.  The bill would also restrict all]…adult-oriented business[es from] be[ing] located on public property or anywhere where a minor could [possibly] view [them]…

It would be remiss of me to fail to point out that this wouldn’t be a big deal if sex work weren’t so stigmatized; maybe the queer community should’ve supported sex worker rights as we’ve been urging them to do for the past 20 years.

Panopticon (#1295)

Why bother with license plate readers when fools will pay to be tracked?

A team of security researchers managed to gain “super administrative access” into Reviver, the company behind California’s new digital license plates which launched last [October].  That access allowed them to track the physical GPS location of all Reviver customers and change a section of text at the bottom of the license plate designed for personalized messages to whatever they wished…“An actual attacker could remotely update, track, or delete anyone’s REVIVER plate,” Sam Curry, a bug bounty hunter, wrote…Reviver is the sole provider of these plates, [which] are legal to drive nationwide, and…[cost] between $20 and $25 a month…Users can digitally update the lower section of their license plate to display different messages…[such as] “Go Team!”  An accompanying app can also update a user if their car moves when it is supposed to be parked…the license plate will then display the text “stolen.” Reviver promises “continuous rollout of new features,” including automatic toll payment, parking payment, roadside assistance, and vehicle diagnostics…Reviver [calls this tracking device]…“security” [which] offers “true peace of mind”…

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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We need to…finally pursue drug policies that help people instead of incarcerating them.  –  Scott Wiener

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It’s deeply satisfying to see cops preying upon each other:

…Charlotte [North Carolina cops arrested]…a state trooper [named]…Jeffrey Scott Salyer f[or]…misdemeanor…charges [of hiring a sex worker] and one felony count of [getting a blow job]…on Dec. 23…Salyer resigned that same day…

Follow the Leader

Note that as a cop and screw, Conklin was legally allowed to treat strangers and their kids in exactly this same way:

…a [typical and representative] Arizona [screw and his wife violently]…abus[ed] their 10 children…Kelly [and Melissa] Conklin [were found out] after two of their boys ran away by jumping out of their bedroom window…[and spoke] with…other [cops]…In one instance…the…father…grabbed [a] child…[in a chokehold, then] slammed him to the ground…[and locked] him in handcuffs…he …had [previously] slammed [the same boy’s] face into the gravel, punched him, banged his head, then choked him to the point that he blacked out…The boy also said that he had been beaten…by his father using handcuffs…the [boys’] room locks from the outside, [so] they must use a doorbell to ask to leave the room…they sleep on the floor, because there is no bed for them.  In another instance, [Conklin pulled a knife on] one of the girls…and held her to the wall…after one child [was left with] a black eye [from the abuse]…Conklin…pulled a gun and threatened the other kids…telling them they needed to lie to DCS about [it]…

A Moral Cancer (#1157)

As I’ve been telling you since 2012:

[Shoddy] studies have been linking red meat consumption to health problems like heart disease, stroke, and cancer for years.  But…nearly all the research is observational, unable to tease out causation convincingly.  Most are plagued by confounding variables…[and] are based on self-reported consumption…lastly, the reported effect sizes in these scientific papers are often [too] small…[to be] really worth worrying about…In a new, unprecedented effort, scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) scrutinized decades of research on red meat…formulating a new rating system to communicate health risks in the process…“We found weak evidence of association between unprocessed red meat consumption and colorectal cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes and ischemic heart disease.  Moreover, we found no evidence of an association between unprocessed red meat and ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke,” they summarized

To Molest and Rape (#1181)

An earlier report identified only 245, until somebody dug deeper:

More than 400 Scottish [cops] have been reported to their bosses [due to] serious misconduct…sexual assault[, or rape]…Police Scotland commissioned an internal review following the rape, kidnap and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard in March 2021, by [London cop] Wayne Couzens.  The report showed that Police Scotland had recorded 410 [complaints] over four years…around 118 of the 410 were “assessed [by bureaucrats] as criminal” with the remaining 292 classed as “non-criminal”, which saw 44 [cops] resign or retire “during proceedings” [to escape the consequences of their actions]…

If Men Were Angels (#1251)

“Youth pastors” of a feather flock together:

…David Shagena was a youth leader at The River Church [in Port Huron, Michigan] when [he molested at least four] minors…Shagena’s name was brought up while [cops] were investigating another [typical and representative] youth pastor, William Stefan Wahl…

Torture Chamber (Rapist Roundup)

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

A guard at a California…prison [for women] is under investigation after the state [finally decided to listen to] more than 22 [women who reported that]…Gregory Rodriguez [had raped them]…

Winding Down (#1289)

When will the federal government finally read the writing on the wall?

Colorado voters last month approved a groundbreaking ballot initiative that decriminalized five psychedelics derived from fungi or plants: 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).  This month a California legislator introduced a bill, S.B. 58, that emulates Colorado’s new policy, aiming to legalize the possession, preparation, noncommercial transfer, and transportation of those five drugs by adults 21 or older…polling indicates that California voters are receptive to the idea, which builds on a series of reforms in other jurisdictions that suggest psychedelic prohibition could collapse faster than marijuana prohibition did, thanks largely to recent research on the potential benefits of these drugs…

 

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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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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There is no world in which we can say this is a good outcome.
–  DoJ Inspector General

The Last Shall Be First (#904)

How can people fail to grasp that bigotry is not a legal justification for sexual assault?

A woman who grabbed a transgender man’s genitals after demanding to know what sex he was has been convicted of sexual assault.  Karen Waldron…claim[ed] she was just looking out for a friend who had “taken a shine” to the man.  But Waldron…was ordered to pay her victim…£300 in compensation. She had approached him…[and] when…[she] grabbed his genitals and squeezed…he…told her that it was not appropriate.”  Waldron replied “I don’t care”…

To Molest and Rape (#1137)

Canada often rewards its rapist cops with years-long paid vacations:

London [Ontario] police issued a public safety warning…about a former [typical and representative cop] who spent two-thirds of his career [on paid vacation] before resigning last year…Steve Williams…already fac[es] eight charges for [rape and]…sexual assault [and is known for] choking [his victims]…William…[uses at least] a half-dozen [different] aliases t[o find victims] on dating and social media websites…[including] Will Stevenson, Will Stephens, Will S. Will, Where there is a Will there is a way and Will Si…Williams…was first [rewarded with a paid vacation] in November 2017…

Leaving the 20th Century

If this passes, South Africa will become the third country to achieve decriminalization:

South Africa has said it will decriminalise sex work, hoping to tackle high levels of crime against women…“It is hoped that decriminalisation will minimise human rights violations against sex workers,” Justice Minister Ronald Lamola told a press briefing…“It would also mean better access to healthcare and … afford[ing] better protection for sex workers, better working conditions and less discrimination and stigma”…

Torture Chamber (#1219)

The PREA is just feel-good nonsense as long as screws have absolute power over their victims:

The federal Bureau of Prison’s deeply flawed, backlogged system for investigating sexual assault fails to protect female inmates from rape while protecting [rapist] employees…[rapes are so pervasive at] FCI Dublin…in California, [that it’s known as “the rape club”…both the…warden and prison chaplain, among other employees, have been found guilty of [rape][at] FCC Coleman…in Florida…prison leadership created a “sanctuary” for guards who were known sexual predators.  “The sexual abuse at these…prisons is rampant but goes largely unchecked as a result of cultural tolerance, orchestrated cover-ups and organizational reprisals of inmates who dare to complain”…Ostensibly, incarcerated people are protected from sexual assault by not only the Constitution and criminal law, but the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)…passed in 2003, [which] was supposed to create zero-tolerance policies for sexual abuse…However, in practice, PREA is toothless…Both Dublin and Coleman were found to be in compliance with PREA standards…

Without Let or Hindrance (#1282)

Some people still believe these sociopaths are motivated by a desire to “protect children”:

To varying degrees from state to state, low-income families…particularly Black, Hispanic and Native families…are inordinately subjected to child abuse investigations, says Anna Arons…[director of] the New York University School of Law…Family Defense Clinic… “statistics…estimate that 37 percent of all American children will be subjected to one of these investigations before they turn 18…That is a huge, kind of mind-boggling number that speaks to the scale of the system”…a vast, invasive surveillance apparatus is not necessary to keep children safe[, yet] “That experience is forced on millions of families around the country every year, and fewer than 20 percent of reports end up being substantiated”…In many jurisdictions…the case workers who handle child abuse investigations are trained by police, which shapes the way they approach their work…Many agencies will consider it a safety risk to the child if a parent objects to [being treated like a criminal or subjected to warrantless raids]…

The Cop Myth (#1295)

Cops hiding evidence are described as murderer’s “co-workers”:

Co-workers of Austin Lee Edwards, the Virginia [cop] who [murder]ed the grandparents and mother of a 15-year-old [California] girl he “catfished” online, removed a sheriff’s truck and a black trash bag from Edwards’ property the night before it was officially searched…Two deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office…arrived [just a few hours after]…the [murder]s…[without permission from] Smyth County (Virginia)…[where] the house [is located]…Washington County Sheriff’s Office had [no] warrant for Edwards’ property, [and]…there are few — if any — legitimate reasons for [cops]…from a different county to go onto a property before an official search…

To Molest and Rape (#1296)

For a change, this one really was “former”:

A former [Florida] police chief was arrested…[for] the [aggravated rape] of a minor…William Ray Pruitt…[raped] a 14-year-old girl…while using a[n unidentified] deadly weapon…Pruitt…[w]as Center Hill Police Chief from March 1998 to Sept. 1999…

 

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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[Politicians want] a whole community of people [to] just cease to exist.  –  Jenn Clamen

To Molest and Rape

Cops still believe “a woman wanted to be raped by a random cop” is credible:

A Chicago cop…[raped] a woman hours after he responded to a burglary at her home in the spring of 2016.  The woman came forward years later as she struggled with mental health issues and thoughts of suicide…[after] Daniel Otero…returned to her studio apartment, had drinks with her and then [raped] her…C[ops assigned to investigate themselves] ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to prove…her allegations…and Otero…[claimed] that she wa[nted it, but at least]…Chicago Police…agreed he should be fired…Early on April 3, 2016, Otero…responded to a call of a “peeping Tom”…[who apparently stole] her cellphone, wallet and purse [after she fled to her neighbors’ and]…apparently left a door unlocked…Otero…asked for her email address since her phone had been taken…he…Otero emailed a few hours later and came over…they shared a few drinks…[and] she was already feeling drunk when he “guided” her to the bed…[and raped] her…she was left feeling “confused, in disbelief and ashamed,” but it wasn’t until early January 2019 that she…had a “mental breakdown” and was hospitalized…

Rescued To Death (#900)

So much for San Francisco’s pious bullshit about no longer sending cops to assault sex workers:

In response to [complaints from bourgeois women], San Francisco’s [cops]…promised t[o send thugs and rapists to attack sex workers on]…Capp Street…[Boss pig] Gavin McEachern acknowledged…that, for the most part, the police department has [actually left women unmolested]…over the past two years in the Mission District.  “We’re looking forward to changing that” [he gloated.  Another pig then oinked]…”Let the games begin”…

Whither Canada? (#1126)

Sex workers ask the Canadian Supreme Court to uphold its own judgment:

Sex workers are being harmed and exploited, not protected, under the current laws, a coalition of sex workers and sex worker-led groups…argue[d] Monday at a landmark five-day Superior Court hearing — the first step in what they hope will lead to sex work being fully decriminalized in Canada…the 2014 [Canadian version of the misogynistic Swedish model]…is…intended to discourage and ultimately eliminate sex work…The Attorney General of Canada argues that the law should remain in place because it…give police[s] the [power] to…[deceive sex workers and barge into their workplaces to harass and intimidate them.  Th]is [creates] a “culture of fear” for clients who need to avoid detection by police and, as a result, sex workers are forced to operate in unsafe locations, with limited communication and with no ability to work together to improve their working conditions without risking being charged with third-party offences, the coalition argues…with support from organizations including Amnesty International Canada, LEAF and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association…this lawsuit differs from previous constitutional challenges because it does not target just the third-party offences, but the key foundational provision: that purchasing sex is illegal…it is about changing the government’s ideological position that sex work is inherently exploitative…

You Were Warned (#1201)

Given this court’s behavior so far, we might be about to see the end of the open internet:

The Supreme Court…agreed to hear a challenge to…Section 230…[the law which] protect[s] free expression on the internet by shielding internet companies from liability for much of the content their users post on their platforms.  The law also protects the companies from lawsuits for removing content that violates their policies.  But the law has drawn [attacks] from both Democrats and Republicans [because it keeps politicians from exerting the kind of centralized control over the internet they lust for]…

To Molest and Rape (#1233)

In case you’ve ever wondered where the good cops are:

LAPD [cop] Houston Tipping…died during police training [because] was targeted b[y]…fellow cops for [reporting that they committed] a…gang rape…the…fatal spinal cord injury…[was] ruled…an accident [by the coroner]…but Brad Gage, the attorney for Tipping’s mother Shirley Huffman, [explained] that [Tipping] was a whistleblower in [the gang rape] case that involved four other [cops]…one of the [rapist]swas present when he died…[though] the department…[claimed] Tipping…was injured while “grappling” with another [cop, an independent invstigation revealed]…he was “repeatedly struck in the head severely enough that he bled”…[and also] suffered broken ribs…LAPD [also appears to be hiding the]…video taken of the training…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1269)

Cops vomit out the same nonsense in the approach to Halloween every year, this time with “fentanyl” inserted in place of “marijuana” or other drugs:

Despite a lack of evidence, urban legends about drug-laced Halloween candy keep circulating, aided by feckless reporters.  This year, it’s “rainbow fentanyl” that has the press repeating unfounded tales of deadly drugs disguised as candy.  While the narrative around rainbow fentanyl and children…is bunk, journalists just won’t stop peddling the story…[last week], Good Morning America connected the myth to a recent seizure of 15,000 fentanyl pills, which were smuggled in a Lego box…

Thought Control (#1277)

Authoritarians are working to spread support for worldwide criminalization of speech:

…New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is trying out her professional scold routine in front of a world audience, perhaps preparing for a role at some international body.  Key to that shift is her belief that this whole free speech thing is a menace, and something should be done about it, preferably around the globe…she has a whole pro-censorship project ready to go for a career reboot after electoral politics…Ardern…[talks about] the dangers of unregulated speech…[a] category encompass[ing all]…ideas the powers-that-be find threatening…she demands “international rules, norms, and expectations” comparable to those applied in weapons control…

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

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What is it with government agencies & the media teaming up to Streisand some dumb thing…almost no one has ever…heard about…into a thing…everyone knows about?  –  Mike Masnick

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

It’s too bad most arrests aren’t of other cops:

Deputies in South Dakota have arrested a Louisiana state [cop], accusing him of hiring a prostitute while in town for a…conference…Kirk Thibodeaux…has been [rewarded with a paid vacation]…pending the criminal and administrative investigations…

So What Else Is New? (#504)

I’ve never understood why some men are so attached to this notion:

…a[t] orgasm…a “milky fluid” is excreted from the urethra…[but] about 5 percent of women release a clear liquid…studies have determined the milky fluid comes from the Skene glands…[and] scientists in Japan have just published research that [demonstrates] the [clear] fluid comes from the bladder, stating only the “milky fluid”…can be classed as the female ejaculation…Miyabi Inoue…and her colleagues injected blue dye mixed with water into the bladders of five female volunteers w[ith a history of “squirting”]…after a subject was stimulated to the point of climax, a researcher collected the ejected liquid in a sterile cup, and in all five women it was blue…[true] female ejaculation…contains prostate-specific antigen…[and the squirted] liquid from four of the women…was found to contain PSA, suggesting they produced female ejaculate around the same time as they squirted urine, and the two fluids mixed together in the urethra.  Despite the fact previous studies have [produced similar findings]…the[y were] met with skepticism from hordes of men online…Women were quick to mock some of the shocked men and their responses, explaining it was something “women knew all along…Men need scientific study to admit they are being peed on and not actually gods in bed,” one scoffed…

Gullible’s Travels (#977)

Americans will believe basically any scaremongering about teenagers:

…the number of videos…of teens calling people idiots for even daring to think of putting a Tide pod in their mouth far, far outnumbered the extraordinarily few videos of people actually putting a Tide pod in their mouth.  As some people have noted, it’s way more dangerous to talk about teenagers as if they’re all too stupid to know not to put a Tide pod in their mouth.  But the media absolutely can’t resist.  Last…week…the FDA (for whatever reason) released a consumer alert saying that people shouldn’t cook their chicken in NyQuil, calling it “a recent social media challenge”…of course, like all the earlier examples, this…turned out to be a whole lot of…adults freaking out over things that kids weren’t actually doing…the whole thing started as a shitpost on 4chan where someone made a joke about cooking chicken in NyQuil…and some people [making videos] reacting to the joke.  And, then, of course, the FDA Streisanded the whole idea into becoming a thing.  According to…TikTok…there were only five searches for NyQuil chicken…on Sept. 14, one day before the FDA posted its statement.  By Sept. 21, searches on the topic had increased by more than 1,400 times

A Broker in Pillage (#985)

The South Carolina Supreme Court declares itself illegitimate:

In a major blow against government accountability, the South Carolina Supreme Court…upheld the state’s civil forfeiture laws, which let police [openly steal] cash, cars, and even ho[us]es, without ever filing criminal charges.  By overturning a lower court ruling that declared civil forfeiture unconstitutional, the decision jeopardizes property rights for [every citizen]…in…nearly 40% of all forfeiture cases…the owner was never convicted of a crime.  And under state law, if an owner doesn’t formally file a claim for their seized property, [cops] win a “default judgment” and keep [the stolen property]…Worse, state law provides a powerfully perverse incentive to police for profit.  [When any] property [is stolen by cops], the [robbers’ gang] keeps the first $1,000 and then 75% of the remainder.  Prosecutors receive 20%, while a mere 5% is sent to the general fund. Since 2009, [cops have robbed citizens of]…nearly $97 million

Disaster (#1234)

An amicus curiae brief was recently filed in the FOSTA challenge by a group of organizations including Decriminalize Sex Work, The Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center, Freedom Network, Brooklyn Defender Services, The Erotic Laborers Alliance of New England, Old Pros, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, New York Transgender Advocacy Group, Free Speech Coalition,  SWOP Brooklyn, GLITS, and the St. James Infirmary.  Elizabeth Nolan Brown has an in-depth look at the arguments in the suit and brief, and you can see a PDF of the brief here.  In related news, the Woodhull Foundation (one of the parties to the FOSTA challenge) has recently launched a petition seeking to block the so-called EARN IT Act; I’m not sure if petitions have any effect in such cases, but I suppose they can’t hurt.

Dangerous Speech (#1270)

The government’s evil clown show has been renewed for another season:

The prosecution of Backpage founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin…can continue to drag on, per a new ruling from the…9th Circuit.  The court [is pretending] that trying them again after a mistrial…would not count as double jeopardy.  “No one is the least surprised”…Lacey tells Reason…”We have always believed we must rely upon jurors, not judges, for a fair shake. And so to trial.”  Lacey, Larkin, and the other defendants are likely to face trial again in 2023, though no date has been set.  That would mean a sixth calendar year in which their lives are upended by this…seemingly eternal attempt to put people in prison for running a website where sex workers advertised.

Permanent Record (#1274)

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to shut us out of other jobs?

A [teacher] who set up an OnlyFans account to supplement her income was fired from her…job…after her employer found out about the account…[thanks to a self-appointed morality cop who also] posted photos from the OnlyFans account without her consent…Sarah Juree worked full-time as a teacher in South Bend, Indiana…but…was unable to support her family on the modest salary of $55,000 per year…her rent alone cost nearly half of her income and her employer didn’t offer health insurance…Around the time Juree set up her OnlyFans account, she…had a casual conversation with a colleague and their boss about side gigs that fall under the sex work umbrella, including OnlyFans pages.  “My boss got really excited and said, ‘Yeah, you can start a page.  You can make a lot of money’…I was like, ‘Great, I’m not going to have any issues with work because my boss literally told me to sell my panties on OnlyFans”…

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