Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘left-right myth’

Institutions writers could once count on to defend them…now race to see who can kowtow most obsequiously to the censor-morons.
–  “Censorship Ascendant

Until a few years ago, traditional top-down censorship was largely a thing of the past, something I wrote about annually at the beginning of Banned Books Week to remind people that it could happen again.  As recently as 2016, I used the occasion to write,

…top-down state censorship…is very rare now in the United States, and has been for decades; the majority of “challenges” now (despite the celebration’s name, it’s pretty rare that books are actually removed from public collections) originate not with state officials or other “authorities”, but with individuals seeking to “protect the children” from thoughts their parents don’t want them to have

Of course, none of that is true any longer.  Top-down censorship has returned with a vengeance, mostly implemented by fascist corporations acting on behalf of governments.  But in the US, politicians in many states have implemented traditional censorship in school libraries, even to the point of threatening librarians with criminal charges.  The “Thought Control” tag, which formerly appeared only once in a while, has had several entries a month since this new book-burning fad took off last November.  Meanwhile, the “cancel culture” censorship which has been growing for years has grown so pervasive that even the somewhat pro-censorship New York Times can no longer endorse it.  I’m honestly unsure where this will end; we’re well into uncharted territory my librarian self would’ve found unbelievable.  So if you haven’t been paying attention, I suggest you peruse the aforementioned “Thought Control” tag, and revisit the columns I’ve quoted from below.  Because there’s only one thing about this situation which is certain: like all authoritarianism, it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

We are watching the advent of a new dark age, and in such times no light is entirely safe from being snuffed out by zealots, speech-cops and bureaucrats whose ideal model for human society is the anthill.  –  “The Convergence of Censors

Every two-bit dictatorship has recognized that all it needs to do to justify thought control is parrot Western “hate speech” idiocy.  –  “The Return of the Censor

Though lily-livered fools have been demanding they be “protected” from ideas they don’t like for several years now, it’s terrifying how quickly this terrible idea has moved from the lunatic fringe to the mainstream.  –  “Suppression

[Many young adults] not only display an ovine passivity in the face of censorship, but actively run to the nanny-state to hide in her skirts lest they see or hear some idea or word, or see some image, that will cause some ripple in the placid lakes of their privileged lives and perhaps actually require them to think rather than merely consuming and regurgitating the dogma they’ve been spoon-fed.  –  “Unwise Monkeys

The censor-morons are loose, and they’re coming after everyone who dares to disagree with them.  –  “The Censor-Moron

It doesn’t matter whether the excuse is “sin” or “feelings”, or the injured party is conceived of as an individual or collective, or the suppression comes from above or below, or the method is violence or economics; the suppression of thought and speech is evil, tyrannical and socially self-lobotomizing.  –  “Moral Climate

Thinking people must not let themselves be intimidated by…self-appointed guardians of the public morality; we must speak out against all forms of censorship and speech suppression, whether advanced by guns, threats, intimidation or appeals to nebulous “harm”.  –  “Censor Chic

The belief that the state or collective has the right to [censor] is an abomination; it is nothing less than the dogma that the state owns every individual, body and soul, and has the right to torture or maim those individuals as it pleases.  –  “Crippling Thought

The important thing to remember when listening to any demand for censorship is that no matter what excuse the censor presents to attain his goal, he is ultimately lying.  It’s not really about “public safety”, or the “children”, or “community standards”, or whatever else he may claim; it’s about the fact that his leaky mind is unable to keep unwelcome thoughts out, so he demands that society do it for him.  –  “Thought Control

Read Full Post »

I often criticize the foolish but popular idea that all human thought, opinion, and belief can be neatly divided into two rigid “sides”, but it’s rare that I am presented with such a perfect example of the absurd results of clinging to such a childish view and then acting surprised when real people in real life don’t act like your imaginary theoretical “side members” are supposed to act according to your scheme.  For those who missed it, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to their state constitution which would’ve opened the door to for Kansas politicians to jump on the forced-birth bandwagon:

Voters overwhelmingly voted against a measure that would have allowed abortion to be banned in Kansas in the first post-Roe test of abortion’s legality put directly to the people…The ballot measure would have amended the Kansas constitution to state that it did not protect the right to have an abortion.  Such an amendment would open the gates for state lawmakers to ban abortion—an option currently blocked by a 2019 state Supreme Court finding that the Kansas Constitution’s guarantee of “equal and inalienable rights” included a “natural right of personal autonomy” that protected abortion access.  But voters yesterday gave a resounding no to the question “should the Kansas constitution be amended to remove protections of abortion rights?”…Whether Kansas is a good bellwether for the rest of the country on this issue is debatable.  But Kansas is a relatively conservative and Republican state, and residents voting against an anti-abortion initiative at least suggests that conservative enthusiasm for banning abortion might not be as strong as many believe…

But rather than come to the sensible conclusion that Liz Brown did above – that maybe most people who label themselves “conservative” might not be quite as deranged as their “leaders” – we instead got a lot of apples-and-oranges nonsense like this:

He goes on and on, for tweet after tweet, doggedly comparing Trump’s election results to the results of this election, as though it were a foregone concluson that every single voter of both schoolyard “teams” was so mindlessly-obedient to their “team’s” agenda that their votes on each and every issue can easily and accurately be predicted by simply tallying their votes in the most recent presidential election.  Of course, if that were actually true, there would be no point in going through the trouble and expense of any election other than presidential ones.  But of course it isn’t true, no matter how much the Manicheans pretend otherwise.  In plainer language: just because you and/or the pundits you follow decided that support for Trump and hostility to abortion rights go together like bacon and eggs, doesn’t mean every single person who eats eggs also loves bacon.

Read Full Post »

I’ve noticed some people seem to be laboring under the delusion that if one of the schoolyard culture war “teams” temporarily espouses some position which happens to look something like one of mine, that means I “belong” to that schoolyard team.

No.

I am an individual, and my positions are derived from decades of ethical consideration based in one simple a priori principle:  Every individual owns themselves and the fruits of their own effort, and nobody else (individually or collectively) has the right to control either, regardless of excuse.  So if your preferred law, policy, regulation, politician, gang, or whatever claims the right to control any individual without their consent in any way, even if you claim it’s for “the greater good” or “their own good”, I am against it.  That’s it.  It’s really quite simple.  And yes, harming others is a form of controlling them, so please let’s have no whataboutery involving violent crime, or sophistry attempting to equate some consensual, nonviolent behavior to actual violence in order to excuse the State violating an individual’s rights.

Read Full Post »

Since I was one of the loudmouthed harlots who helped create the social climate which made all this possible, I think I’ve earned at least a little rest.  –  “Eleventh Anniversary

I think I can safely say without fear of contradiction that this is the largest single-creator blog on the internet; it now consists of 4384 daily posts, 106 static pages, and far too many words to count, published over a period long enough for a typical sex worker to have been reading it since she was a schoolgirl.  Indeed, I’ve been told many times that my blog helped a lot of girls get their bearings when they were contemplating a sex work career, or helped them solve problems when they were still green.  A lot of today’s activists were inspired by my work, and quite a few journalists, academics, thoughtful people in general, and even politicians credit me with opening their eyes to the truth about sex work and the lies spewed by authoritarians about it.  When I started this blog, the “sex trafficking” hysteria had not yet reached its peak; now (as I predicted over ten years ago) it’s imploding in real time, and many of those who were only too happy to profit from the moral panic are now being forced to distance themselves from it.  This does not, unfortunately, mean that things are becoming better for sex workers; as I also wrote way back when,

…the “trafficking” myth [is] “an increasingly-erratic cultural meme spinning wildly out of control, whose far-flung debris is going to cause a lot more damage before it finally disintegrates“, and…[in] this last and most dangerous phase we should expect to see a lot more people hurt…

Those of y’all who have been paying attention probably already recognize that we’re in that last and most dangerous phase.  Decades of allowing puritans, crypto-moralists, copsuckers, badge-lickers, petty tyrants, deranged busybodies, violent sociopaths, and other opportunistic, power-hungry trash to undermine civil liberties in the name of “safety” has created the dystopia into which the United States is collapsing, pulling much of the Western world with it, and a lot of the rest of the developed world is competing to be even more awful.  Free thought and free expression are in greater danger than they have been at any time since the Enlightenment, and the Marching Morons who make up three-quarters of the human race are divided into two main camps: those who eagerly embrace 21st-century technotyranny, and those whose chief criticism is that their preferred “leaders” are not the ones operating the machinery of oppression.  And all of it – every last bit – is the result of moral defectives happily supporting any and every form of repression against those they see as different from them.  The State tested its weaponry on “criminals”, drug users, sex workers, and members of various minority groups (racial, ethnic, religious, sexual, etc); it has increasingly criminalized both consensual behaviors and those which, while offensive to others, aren’t treated as actual crimes in healthy societies; and it has increasingly inserted itself into the lives of individuals to an extent and depth that would have been inconceivable to people of the 19th century or earlier.

So where is this all going? Honestly, I don’t know. But I’m planning to keep sounding the alarm and commenting upon news ites on topics pertaining to self ownership that come across my path, whether for good or ill, until either death or the Establishment stops me.

Read Full Post »

 

Read Full Post »

As I wrote almost two years ago,

The ACLU of old is, alas, no more.  Gone is the organization so passionately devoted to civil liberties that it paid for a team of Jewish lawyers to defend literal Nazis’ right to free speech; in its place is an organ of the Democratic party whose main concern is keeping its cash flow as high as possible by parroting its primary donors’ beliefs (often in childish tweets repeating some a priori statement in all caps, over and over, without a word of justification), and never ever ever challenging those beliefs, no matter how anti-civil-rights and factually wrong they may be

Unsurprisingly, free speech is the area in which ACLU’s position has degenerated most shamefully, because it’s no longer popular with their “progressive” authoritarian base.  But fortunately, there’s a younger civil rights organization which is now expanding its remit to take up the ball ACLU has not merely dropped, but actively cast aside…and it’s doing so to the plaudits of former ACLU heavweights:

…The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education is renaming itself the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression and keeping the “FIRE” acronym as it launches a drive to promote greater acceptance of a diversity of views in the workplace, pop culture and elsewhere…the group’s president, Greg Lukianoff, said…FIRE has raised $28.5 million for a planned three-year, $75 million litigation, opinion research and public education campaign aimed at boosting and solidifying support for free-speech values…FIRE’s new expansion is…a challenge of sorts to the ACLU, which has faced criticism in recent years for drifting from its unapologetically pro-free-speech roots and taking a more direct…partisan [role]…Many of FIRE’s founders and backers are former leaders of the ACLU who have grown disillusioned with the group under its current executive director, Anthony Romero, who left the Ford Foundation to take over the storied civil liberties organization in 2001.  In 2020, FIRE released Mighty Ira, a laudatory documentary film about Romero’s predecessor, Ira Glasser, focusing on the ACLU’s work from the 1970s through the 1990s.  Glasser, who serves on a FIRE advisory board, said in an interview that he “strongly encouraged” FIRE to broaden its free-speech work in part because the ACLU seems to be abdicating that role…
I’ve long admired FIRE’s steadfast viewpoint-neutral defense of free speech on campuses, and I suspect they’ll be just as dynamite in their new, larger mission.  Let’s hope their new drive brings in enough new money and talent to mount a successful war against the censor-morons dedicated to lobotomizing our society.

Read Full Post »

Here I stand, I can do no other.  –  Rikki de la Vega

A Broker in Pillage

Unlike other government departments, the IRS doesn’t even bother to accuse people of actual crimes before robbing them blind:

…Institute for Justice client Lyndon McLellan saw the…IRS…reach…into his bank account [to steal] his life savings without warning or cause in 2014.  McLellan [owned] a small convenience store…in Fairmont, North Carolina…he…worked long hours and rarely took vacations…Yet federal agents accused him of violating so-called structuring laws because his business frequently made bank deposits in amounts under $10,000…the[y stole] more than $107,000…”It took me 13 years to save that much money,” he says.  “And it took fewer than 13 seconds for the government to take it away”…

All-Purpose Excuse

“Sex trafficking” is a convenient excuse for any tyranny:

The Manitoba government is tabling a bill…[which] would require hotels and people operating on online accommodation platforms, such as Airbnb, to keep a record of guests’ information, including their names and addresses…and…to hand over that information to police…on…demand…without a warrant…[politician Rochelle Squires tried to justify this incredible violation of civil rights by vomiting out the words] “human trafficking”…and “children”…

Feminists and Other Puritans

It’s nice to see someone whose name isn’t Maggie McNeill writing about this:

…the worst form of prudery and repression is that which comes from those who also claim to be feminists…Women’s rights activists have been divided about sex from the beginning.  In the nineteenth century, the “free love” movement, which promoted birth control and sought to replace traditional male-dominated marriage with consensual unions of equal partners, butted heads with the “social purity” movement obsessed with controlling men’s lust as a way of eradicating such “evils” of prostitution and venereal disease…Those leaning towards the equality pole welcomed and worked with men who agreed with their goals, like Frederick Douglass and John Stuart Mill.  Those on the protectionist side, however, viewed men with skepticism, and demanded that they prove their worth by swearing to be chaste and “chivalrous” towards women…Not far off from contemporary pledges to not use porn or “end demand for sex trafficking”!  If the women who worked for social purity back then sounded like religious zealots, it’s because they were…

The Puritan Recrudescence

Politicians are increasingly convinced that they’re allowed to redefine legal concepts as they wish:

A strange new bill introduced by Oklahoma [politician] Rob Standridge would make it illegal to knowingly give “obscene material” to a “vulnerable person,” explicitly including unhoused people…SB 1522 [also includes] an unconstitutional redefinition of…“obscene material” as “any description, exhibition, presentation or representation, in whatever form, of nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sadomasochistic abuse”…Such supposedly obscene materials would include “book, magazine, newspaper, pamphlet, poster, print, picture, figure, image, description, motion picture film, record, recording tape, CD-ROM disk, magnetic disk memory [sic], magnetic tape memory, videotape, computer software, video game,” and other unspecified media to be determined by the authorities.  Despite his seeming concern for the moral hygiene of the unhoused, Standridge recently opposed a new homeless shelter, making statements conflating Oklahoma’s unhoused population with “sex offenders” and calling them “a public safety risk”…

Stalkers in Blue (#987)

Another cop demonstrates what he is:

A Bay Area [cop] has been charged with masturbating in front of a family that called police during a fraught domestic violence call…Matthew Dominguez…“milled around the home…keep[ing] the daughter in view of his Body Worn Camera”…Dominguez [later]…unzipped his pants and began rubbing his crotch…[in full view of the mother and] daughter…Dominguez [kept] follow[ing the daughter]…around…The mother and daughter then went to find…the father…who…[also] “saw…Dominguez…with his erect penis in his left hand”…

Blunt Instrument (#1012)

This would be a much better article if it didn’t pretend that prohibitionism is a solely a phenomenon of the “right wing”:

For the past year, low-income Asian women in Newmarket [Ontario] have been engaged in a fierce battle with [politicians]…working to close down their massage businesses by claiming that the workers are both disreputable criminals and sex trafficking victims…in January…the town council imposed a set of regulations requiring massage businesses to get a new type of licence…[under] threat…[of] fines of $4,000 to $5,000 per day…the town…[is] using a fake anti-trafficking campaign…with zealous support from [the usual suspects]…thanks to centuries of racism and employment segregation in North America, body rubs are associated with crime, sex work, and people of colour…Newmarket town council declared their intention to create new rules that would drive out the businesses that they defined as “appeal[ing] to sexual appetites,” and the “brothels” that town councillors claimed were “hosts for human trafficking.”  Their…plan was to get rid of suspected sex work by tightening the rules so that only businesses whose workers have formal educational certifications from Canada could get the newly [inven]ted Personal Wellness Establishment Licence…[such] certifications can take years…and tuition can cost thousands of dollars…

Repeatedly claiming that prohibition in Canada is “right wing” when Trudeau and his party eagerly promote it is tantamount to pissing on the readers’ legs and telling them it’s raining.

Torture Chamber (#1182)

The government needs to be buried in lawsuits before this will stop:

[Young men] at a South Carolina…[prison are locked in cages] with feces on the floor, mold on the walls, and cockroaches in their food, according to a new lawsuit…the kids — who range in age from 13 to 19 – are [also] subjected to routine violence by [screws and] other [prisoners]…[screws also] use solitary confinement — in cells with no natural light — as a way to “protect” them from violence…some[times for]…months [at a stretch], and there [are] no meaningful educational or mental health services for the[m]…the…[prisoners] are disproportionately Black and from families that live below the federal poverty line…

Once again: it does not help young victims of governmental brutality to infantilize them as “children”.

Read Full Post »

You know you’re way beyond the looking-glass when a judge overturning the diktat of an unelected bureaucracy is declared “power-drunk” and “undemocratic”.  This has nothing to do with whether one agrees with either the judge’s decision or the diktat she overturned; it has to do with the fact that under our Constitution, 1) only legislators can legally make laws, and 2) it’s judges’ job to put brakes on the actions of government actors.  If anything, it is the judiciary’s collective failure to restrain government power (especially the power of unelected state actors such as cops) for decades that constitutes a shameful “brokenness”, not one of the rare times it actually does watchdog the creatures it’s supposed to.  Unfortunately, neither of the authoritarian “wings” has anything resembling philosophical consistency any longer; both change their political positions more often than a nomad changes his residence, and both cheer government actions which reinforce their beliefs du jour and attack those which undermine those beliefs, regardless of whether they approved of the exact same actions in other cases.  The whole “wing” nonsense became totally arbitrary in the US right around the time they moronically assigned the color traditionally associated with nationalism to the “left” and the color traditionally associated with the “left” to the “right”.  I don’t believe the mis-assignment caused the individual elements of dogma to become unmoored from any coherent philosophical framework, but it’s an interesting coincidence nonetheless.

Read Full Post »

Maybe it’s spreading so quickly due to the rich soil provided by the 20-year bipartisan crusade to pretend supporting sexworker rights is harmful to children.  If you supported “sex trafficking” hysteria and laws (including censorship) targeting sex workers, you helped create this.  So you can squawk out “THE RIGHT!” all you like; your pet politicians have been working on creating this for two decades, and the blood is on your hands just as much as the hands of “conservatives”.  Maybe you should’ve opposed bigotry and censorship vs sexual minorities from the start instead of setting your own ilk up as judges of which sexual minorities are “good” and deserving of rights, and which “bad” and therefore undeserving.  But I’m sure the worst offenders will just keep flapping their “left wing” and running around in circles squawking “TRUMP!” rather than actually taking a hard look in the mirror.

Read Full Post »

I used to like hoaxing on April Fools Day, until it stopped being fun; five years ago, in “The Rule of Fools“, I explained why:

…the…media are positively riddled with idiotic nonsense about “sex trafficking”, the “War on Cops”, supposed “epidemics” of things that are actually less common than they’ve ever been, and other tall tales that could be easily debunked by ten fucking minutes on Google if reporters actually cared to practice journalism rather than stenographically reporting every moronic, impossible and self-serving lie vomited out by cops, politicians, prohibitionists and all the other bipedal vermin who glut themselves on others’ suffering and profit from human misery.  Mathematically-impossible, scientifically-illiterate and sociologically-absurd poppycock too ridiculous for a ’50s science fiction B-movie is routinely presented as fact even by “respected” sources like The New York Times, and politicians base laws on fantasies roughly as credible as the contents of Malleus Maleficarum, complete with penalties that would’ve found approval from those who employed that book.  Clowns are widely presented as objects of terror (and are the subject of a recurring moral panic), which perhaps makes sense given that our rulers are themselves violent clowns who send forth armed thugs in clownish costumes to terrorize, rape, rob and murder the populace based on excuses Caligula himself might recognize as mad.  And their cringing subjects attempt to impose order on a world gone completely insane by artificially dividing their overlords into teams, swearing fealty to one of those teams and then obstinately ignoring all the evil done by “their” leaders while blaming the other side for everything no matter what the facts show.  In short, we live in a world in which the highest points are all occupied by professional full-time fools, and it seems pointless for a sane person to even attempt to compete with them.

In the five years since, the situation has only grown worse.  The mad emperor had at that time barely even begun his Carnival of Crazy, and the powerful deranging effect he had on minds still harboring some childlike faith in government had only begun to show itself.  The American political stage soon became a Punch and Judy show writ large, and everyone was too busy watching it to pay attention while their hollowed-out rights were reduced to paper-thin facades; a plague of snitches spread across the land; “sex trafficking” hysteria began its implosion in a more spectacular fashion than I had anticipated; another, more literal plague gave tyrants and control freaks the best excuse for a power grab they’d had since 2001; censorship became wildly popular among all those who believe the most terrifying fact of the world is that others beside themselves have free will; and those in power gave up all pretense of even attempting to make their lies resemble some rough fascimile of the truth.  In short, the lunatics are running the asylum; every day is Fools’ Day, and the joke is on us.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »