Posts Tagged ‘libraries’

I’m honestly unsure where this [new wave of censorship] will end; we’re well into uncharted territory my librarian self would’ve found unbelievable.  –  “The Book Burners

It may be difficult for my younger readers to believe that when I was a librarian, “Banned Books Week” was little more than an academic exercise.  The first few years of my blog demonstrate just how negligible a threat so-called “book banning” actually was.  In 2010, I didn’t even remember to write about the observance; in 2011 I simply noted a number of frequently-challenged books (because the number was small enough to do that), and in 2012 and 2013 I used the occasion to attack the concept of censorship from a philosophical perspective.  2014’s “Censor Chic” was the first harbinger of things to come, as I discussed the new indirect form of censorship: authoritarians both in and out of government getting risk-averse corporations to do their dirty work for them by issuing threats to either smear those companies’ reputations or attack them with increased government meddling.  The latter tactic has grown from the relatively-veiled threats issued by the Obama administration’s “Operation Choke Point” to the Biden administration’s jawboning so egregiously even federal judges couldn’t be persuaded to give it a pass.  And in the past two years, pro-censorship politicians have crafted terrible laws to empower isolated cranks to censor any books their “thought leaders” tell them are “bad”:

…School book challenges reached historic highs in America in 2021 and 2022, according to the American Library Association.  And just a handful of people are driving those records.  A Washington Post analysis of thousands of challenges nationwide found that 60 percent of all challenges in the 2021-2022 school year came from 11 adults, each of whom objected to dozens — sometimes close to 100 — of books in their districts….

2015’s “Moral Climate” pointed out that most censorship nowadays is neither top-down nor obvious nor based in pearl-clutching about “obscenity” (though in the past two years that has again become a popular excuse among censor-morons who label themselves “conservative”); rather, it is disguised lateral censorship by censor-morons who label themselves “progressive”:

…What if you read different words in your books and never even knew the original language was changed?  That’s where publishers’ growing penchant for revisionism and censorship of written works comes in — often through the use of so-called “sensitivity readers” — to eliminate “problematic” content…From Roald Dahl and Ian Fleming to R.L. Stine and Agatha Christie, this trend of editing and rewriting authors’ books…without their consent…should alarm us all…the publishers who commission it foster a chilling effect on free speech, a sanitization of art, and a corrosion of our larger cultural discourse…

Of course, some “progressive” censorship is just as blatant and top-down as that of “conservatives”:

Peel District School Board…students, parents and community members…are concerned about a [bizarre] approach to a new equity-based book weeding process implemented by the board last spring in response to a provincial directive from the Minister of Education.  They say the new process, intended to ensure library books are inclusive, appears to have led some schools to remove thousands of books solely because they were published in 2008 or earlier…neither Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce’s office, nor the Education Ministry, would comment on PDSB’s implementation of Lecce’s directive…But in a [later] statement…the education minister said he has written to the board to immediately end this practice…

By 2017, my “Banned Books Week” essays had pivoted to dealing with the new reality of “adults…not merely accepting, but demanding they be shielded from ideas they find uncomfortable for one reason or another“, and in 2018 top-down censorship enforced by violence returned with a vengeance, starting with the internet.  In 2019 I summarized developments as follows:

…in this century, the sick need to control others’ thoughts grew as the internet made it easier for those thoughts to be shared, and early last year top-down government censorship returned with a vengeance thanks to the Great Unwashed eagerly swallowing racist claims about “human trafficking” and magically baneful effects of anything to do with sex.  The US enacted FOSTA, leading to a wave of internet censorship; the UK is trying to build a massive firewall comparable to China’s; the EU has enacted law after law allowing greedy corporations and finger-pointing Prunellas alike power over others’ web-browsing; and every two-bit dictatorship has recognized that all it needs to do to justify thought control is parrot Western “hate speech” idiocy…

The pandemic gave governments a new excuse, “misinformation” (a euphemism for “disagreeing with the government”), and that year I wrote, “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.”  I was, as usual, not wrong; the following year saw the arrival of a wave of censorship even the mainstream media couldn’t ignore, excuse, or hand-wave away.  My primary tag for filing items about written-word censorship is “Thought Control”; only 7 items appeared there in 2012-2020; then there were 9 in ’21 alone; 27 in ’22; and 14 so far in ’23.  And that does not include the explosion of attempts to shut down large portions of the internet because politicians, useful idiots, and other censor-morons don’t like what other people say or watch.  As I said at the top, I have no idea where this will end, but in the meantime all ethical people need to resist the book-burners and website-wreckers, loudly and defiantly, in the hopes that at least some of our fellow-humans will come back to their senses before it’s too late.


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[This] is…a slap in the face to free speech advocates around the world.  –  Corey Silverstein


The entire Utah rescue industry appears to be collapsing:

The CEO of a Utah-based [company which]…profit[s from hysteria over “]human trafficking[” has been charged with]…communications fraud, theft, and forgery among others.  In total, she was [charged] with 35 different offenses, 32 of which were felonies…

If Men Were Angels

Oh look, another “youth pastor”:

David Robinson…was arrested for sending [porn to] at least two minors, ages 12 and 17…Robinson would send the victim’s [sic] bible [sic] verses and then ask them questions including, “Are you sexually active?” and “Are you pregnant?”…Robinson was a youth pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church…and would volunteer at Seffner Christian School[, both in Florida]…

Of course, not all molesters at schools are preachers:

Matthew Galhouse, a…[girls’] softball coach…in Pasco County, [Florida,] was arrested…for s[tatutory rape of] a 17-year-old [player]…Galhouse…hired her to be his babysitter for his child…[to hide their trysts from her parents]…

And not all molesty preachers have their own church:

An evangelist is facing a slew of child rape and sexual abuse charges in Murfreesboro, [Tennessee]…Benjamin Garlick has been charged with…aggravated rape of a child…and [related offenses, and] his wife…Shaantal Garlick, is also facing charges…[as an accessory]…

Served Cold (#1120) 

Thirteen years after I started writing about it, the press is finally recognizing that “sex trafficking” hysteria rests on pseudoscience, woo, and plain nonsense:

[One] day in February 2016…Operation Underground Railroad…[launched] a bumbling and ineffective mission to [“rescue”]…Gardy Mardy, a missing Haitian boy whose abduction Ballard has portrayed as “the case that led us to found OUR.”  Joining him and his team of [cosplayers, profiteers and loons] was Janet Russon—a psychic medium from Utah whose supposed visions were guiding the mission…Gardy was not found that day, or any day since.  There is no evidence to suggest that he was ever in the village where Russon’s visions led OUR and his hopeful father…Now…files reveal for the first time the level of influence Russon had within the organization, how much she was paid…and how little intelligence there was to back up some of the missions…beyond [the] word…of a Utah psychic who claimed to be able to communicate with the prophet Nephi, a [mythical] figure from the Book of Mormon…

Thought Control (#1267)

Texas’ ice-pick self-lobotomization is becoming increasingly spasmodic:

Katy [Texas is hiding]…$93,000 in new [library] books [under the pretext of “]review[“, and refuses to state] the reasons 14 additional books were [censored], despite a public p[retense] of transparency on book banning…Drew Daywalt’s The Day the Crayons Quit was one of 44 books flagged for review in August that was later retained.  An illustration depicts a beige crayon that has lost its wrapper, becoming “naked”…Other titles [censored] from elementary schools include Eric Carle’s illustrated classic Draw Me a Star, Judy Blume’s coming of age novel Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret, Dr. Seuss’ Wacky Wednesday, and Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess, all of which have been in circulation for more than 40 years…

Property of the State (#1306)

Women of childbearing age should avoid Alabama entirely if at all possible:

The number of arrests of women for allegedly harming their fetuses has increased sharply since 2006, and almost half those cases happened in Alabama, according to a new report by the advocacy group Pregnancy Justice…[which] followed up on prior research that found 413 criminal cases against pregnant women from 1973 to 2005.  The [new] study…found more than four times that number, 1,396 cases, from 2006 until last year, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.  Alabama accounted for 649 of those cases, followed by South Carolina with 180, Tennessee with 131 and Oklahoma with 113…Etowah County had the highest number of cases for any county in the country,..

I Spy (#1369)

In mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

ShadowDragon…[is] a government contractor…selling social media surveillance technology…[to] ICE…[DEA, FBI, and the State Department.]  It..can be used to monitor protests…and…gather[s] data [not only from large social media sites, but also smaller ones such as] video games like Fortnite and [specialty sites like] BabyCenter, a reference and pregnancy tracking site…as well as social media sites for Black people, bodybuilders, and the fetish community…In one video on ShadowDragon’s website, Elliott Anderson, president and targeting instructor at ShadowDragon, says that with [its chief product] SocialNet “You can pop in an email, an alias, a name, a phone number, a variety of different things, and immediately have information on your target.  We can see interests, we can see who friends are, pictures, videos.”  [Anderson further describes pregnant women, gamers, black people and kinky people, among others, as] “the bad guys”…

I Spy (#1372)

A new censorship regime has been imposed on British subjects:

The U.K. Parliament [has] passed the much-delayed Online Safety Bill, despite vocal criticisms by virtually all digital rights and free speech organizations and advocates…the…law [is] aimed at making social media firms…responsible for users’ s[peech]…and will force firms to…censor any content [arbitrarily] deemed “harmful” or “pornographic” by the politicians who happen to be in power in the U.K. at any given time…The bill grants broad powers to the politicians and bureaucrats appointed to the UK’s regulation agency, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), to target material they [declare] “harmful,” essentially reestablishing content-based state censorship in the U.K…


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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Once you get the scarlet letter, nobody wants you anymore.
–  Kristen DiAngelo

If Men Were Angels

Oh look, another “youth pastor”, what a surprise:

A [typical and representative] youth pastor at a Twin Falls [Idaho] church faces sexual battery charges after…[molesting] a girl in 2021 when she was 16 years old.  Dakota Austin Kennemer…was charged…after…the pastor [reported him to cops]…

This one, on the other hand, is a bit surprising:

Amanda Buchanan Justice…of [North Carolina]…was charged with sexually assaulting a child…She…was a youth leader at New Life Family Worship Center in Kings Mountain…her…husband…is still serving as a pastor…[but] stepped down from his role as a youth minister following…his wife [admitting the molestation to him]…

Torture Chamber (#690)

US officials already know prisons exacerbate crime; they simply don’t care:

In 1999 Connecticut had so many people in prison that it paid to send 500 of them to be [cag]ed in Virginia.  Nearly 25 years later, the state has not only sliced its number of imprisoned people in half, but been able to close more than 10 prisons while keeping its crime rate at its lowest level in more than 40 years…Connecticut currently runs 13 prisons, which [cag]e about 10,000 people.  Two-thirds of these are serving sentences; the other third are those who have yet to be sentenced…The state’s rate of 155 people imprisoned per 100,000 residents is now the ninth lowest in the country and well below the national average of 350 people per 100,000…

Guinea Pigs (#1307) 

Another bunch of vigilante bigots playing games with people’s lives:

Victor Marx…is…a [jarhead and] self-proclaimed exorcist…[who] helped launch the Skull Games, a privatized intelligence outfit that purports to hunt pedophiles, sex traffickers, and other “demonic activity” using a blend of sock-puppet social media accounts and commercial surveillance tools — including face recognition software…Recent games have been [sponsored] by the [Israeli] surveillance firm Cobwebs, and an upcoming competition…[by] Anomaly Six…Marx has savvily ridden recent popular attention to the [propaganda] film Sound of Freedom…and conservative “groomer” panic…to [sell harassment of sex workers as somehow]…Christ[ian]…Skull Games…is…a sort of hackathon for would-be Christian saviors…play[ers win] points based on their sleuthing.  Finding a [sex worker]’s high school diploma…nets 15 points, while finding [a common] tattoo on multiple women would earn…300…as they prepare intelligence dossiers on women before turning them over to p[igs]…what sets Skull Games apart from other amateur predator-hunting efforts is its reliance on “open-source intelligence”…a military euphemism…[for] surveilling the public internet and purchasing sensitive information from commercial data brokers…one [recent participant was]…able to use PimEyes to find a sex worker’s driver’s license…Clearview [and Amazon’s Rekognition were]…heavily used in the January 2023 Skull Games…

Lack of Evidence (#1312) 

Courts are still more dependable sources of relief from bad laws than politicians:

…The Dallas County Criminal Court of Appeals has struck down a law against “manifesting the purpose of engaging in prostitution.”  The law…”trespasses on the constitutional rights of Dallas citizens,” wrote Judge Kristin Wade…The Dallas law…[basically] prohibits looking like [a whore, and can bring]a fine of up to $500…there’s been a growing movement against these laws, which make it easy for police to hassle and arrest people without cause…The case that led to the law being struck down involved the arrest of Iqbal Jivani, who “was in a known prostitution area and stopped to engage passers-by in conversation,” per a police complaint…

Thought Control (#1343)

It seems I was destined to be threatened with state violence regardless of my career path:

A federal lawsuit…challenges an Arkansas law that would subject librarians and booksellers to criminal charges if they provide…materials [politicians have pointed at while belching out “harmful”] to minors.  A coalition that includes the Central Arkansas Library System in Little Rock filed the challenge to the law, which [took] effect Aug. 1.  The law also creates a new process [for any busybody] to [demand] library materials…be [censored]…The number of attempts to ban or [censor] books across the U.S. last year was the highest in the 20 years the American Library Association has been tracking such efforts…at least 121 proposals introduced in state legislatures this year target…libraries, librarians, educators and access to materials…39 of those…would allow for criminal prosecution…

Creepy Coppers (#1348)

The people the government empowers to police your sexuality:

A Vevay, Indiana [cop named]…Kyle Davis…was arrested…[for] attempt[ing] to video record an underage [girl]…while she was using the bathroom…on May 30, 2020, she was at his home when she wanted to use the bathroom…Davis went in…before her…and she noticed an iPhone pointed toward the toilet set to record video…[when later questioned] Davis…[tried to blame] his teenage son…[but] Davis’ phone…[held a nude photo] of two pre-pubescent girls about 8 years old…[and] searches related to “voyeurism” [and] “spy cams”…

I Spy (#1352)

This totalitarian nonsense is a danger to the entire internet, worldwide:

…the privacy of people around the world…[will be undermined by] the Online Safety Bill, now at the final stage before passage…which will destroy end-to-end encryption.  No amendments have been accepted that would mitigate the bill’s most dangerous elements…If the Online Safety Bill becomes British law, the damage it causes won’t stop at the borders of the U.K…because…undermining encryption, whether by banning it, pressuring companies away from it, or requiring client side scanning, will be a boon to bad actors and authoritarian states…That’s [why]…U.K. civil society groups have condemned the bill, as have technical experts and human rights groups around the world…In response to this outpouring of resistance, the U.K. government’s response has been to wave its hands and deny reality…


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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Anytime there’s a bipartisan consensus and a preachy New York Times op-ed, you can assume something you enjoy is about to get regulated out of existence or made worse in quality.  –  Liz Wolfe

Broken Record (#687) 

Sparsely-populated states are still clinging desperately to “sex trafficking” myths that larger states have quietly backed away from:

The Sturgis Motorcycle rally officially begins on August 4th.  [Blah blah pearl-clutching, lies about criminal charges, infantilization of women, and cop swagger]…South Dakota’s pheasant hunting season also causes a spike in sex trafficking in South Dakota…

The Last Shall Be First (#924)

If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention:

Christine Gallinaro [took] her [deeply autistic] 15-year-old son…[to a cinema] in…New Jersey…[and brought him] into the women’s toilets because there was no family one…her son, who…is non-verbal, “is not equipped to go into a men’s bathroom in a public setting alone”…However, the…theatre’s manager approached them in the…crowded lobby, shouting…“a grown man should not be in the women’s restroom” and “this is not a transgender bathroom”.  He then told an assistant manager to call the police [on them]…

Above the Law (#1142)

They usually make these cases sound like the rapist was doing his victims a favor:

A disgraced Wisconsin prosecutor secretly recorded himself having sex with three women, including one he was prosecuting.  Daniel Steffen…[of] Wisconsin…was sentenced to 18 months in prison after he was convicted in April…“While the defendant and Victim #1 are still engaged in sex, the defendant looks at the camera, sticks his tongue out, and winks several times,” and can be heard repeatedly telling the victim, “Who’s in charge?” the complaint said…In addition to his prison time, Steffen must serve two years of extended supervision, four years of probation, and placement for 10 years on Wisconsin’s sex offender registry.

You Were Warned (#1279)

The bipartisan war on the internet moves us another step closer to idiocracy:

“[The internet causes] sex…trafficking, drug[s and death”, bloviate perennial nuisances] Lindsey Graham…and Elizabeth Warren…in t[he] New York Times…What follows is a litany of untrue statements and gross exaggerations about the way Big Tech operates and the purported harm done by the cluster of websites that millions of Americans willingly use on a daily basis…Warren and Graham go on to announce they’re introducing [another terrible internet-breaking law] to create [yet] an[other government agency]…”charged with licensing and policing…tech companies” which will be “nimble” and “adaptable” (just like all those other government agencies).  The regulator will “prevent online harm” (by waving a magic wand and ensuring no bad actors ever go online); “promote free speech and competition”…by scrapping Section 230 and…”guard Americans’ privacy” (because government agencies do a great job at cybersecurity!…

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#1293)

Blaming bad behavior on an imaginary “addiction” is the opposite of admitting responsibility:

[Actor] Terry Crews recently [attempt]ed [to avoid responsibility for abusive behavior toward his wofe and kids by blaming it on an imaginary “]porn addiction[” he melodramatically described as a]…”battle”…

It isn’t only celebrities who use this dodge to lessen their culpability:

[Indiana teacher] Christopher “Kit” Degenhart…[pled] guilty…to…seduc[ing a 17-year-old student in the theater department he headed]…Degenhart will spend one year behind bars while participating in a work release program.  After one year, he’s scheduled to move into home detention while working in the program for six more months…he…will [then] be on two and a half years of probation…[inclu]ding sex addiction meetings…[and] regist[ration] as a sex offender…

Thought Control (#1328)

Texas has figured out how to stop judges from overruling library censorship: simply eliminate libraries:

Houston…will be eliminating librarian positions at 28 schools this upcoming year and converting the libraries into “[punishment] centers” where kids [declared to have] behavioral issues will be [confined]…This…[is] part of the new superintendent Mike Miles[‘  “]reform[“] program…[with the Orwellian title] New Education System…a total of 85 schools…have joined Miles’ program, and of those, 28 campuses will lose their librarians.  The district said th[ose 28] will have the opportunity to transition to other roles within the district…[but] the [employment of the] remaining 57 NES schools’ librarians will be assessed on a case-by-case basis…

To Molest and Rape (#1358)

“Sexual offenses” sounds so much milder than “rape”:

The [typical and representative] chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police is being investigated over serious allegations of sexual offences in Northern Ireland.  Will Kerr was a [cop] in Northern Ireland for 27 years before [being promoted] in 2018…he said [she wanted it]…


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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Parents…are…capable of deciding for themselves what bibs are welcome…as a gift at their baby showers.  –  Walter Olson

If Men Were Angels

Tennessee has a disturbingly high number of such incidents:

Videos of the rapes of 10 unconscious boys were found on the cellphone of a Tennessee soccer coach after he left it behind at a restaurant…Camilo Hurtado Campos…was booked on allegations of child rape and sexual exploitation of a minor…”During off-hours, Campos frequented nearby school playgrounds…where he approached kids and recruited them as players on his team…After gaining their trust, Campos invited many of the kids to his home where he drugged and then raped them”…

Here’s another one:

Top leaders at…[the] Apostolic Christian Academy…of Maryville [Tennessee]…knew of at least two separate times…teacher Joseph “Kade” Abbott se[xted]…a 14-year-old girl [student]…but he was allowed to maintain contact with students…Abbott was suspended both times, but Apostolic leaders did not notify the parents of the girl about the messages, nor is there any evidence…they [called the cops]…Abbott al[so] sexually assaulted her multiple times, including in a stairwell of a Gatlinburg hotel while he was chaperoning students on an overnight trip.  He is now facing criminal charges…

The Widening Gyre (#1145) 

The “Facebook pimps” myth has gone from merely silly to completely pathetic:

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is demanding Mark Zuckerberg e[nable his weird sexual fantasies about] human trafficking across Meta platforms after a…[creepy internet fantasy about] pedophiles [magically sucking children into the computer via Facebook’s so-called “]metaverse[“].  Moody sent a letter to Zuckerberg Monday, [attemp]ting [to recruit] the CEO [into bolstering his political ambitions by pret]end[ing] human trafficking on sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp…is [an actual] public safety threat [rather than the pro-censorship copaganda it is]…

Thought Control (#1250)

Politicians are no longer satisfied with merely censoring libraries and the internet:

Republican attorneys general from seven states signed a letter…to Target…[absurdly claim]ing clothes and merchandise sold as part of…Pride month campaigns could violate their state’s child protection laws...[politicians] from Indiana, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and South Carolina signed the letter, [blovia]ting [that] they were “concerned by recent events involving the company’s ‘Pride’ campaign”…[and belching nonsense about] “protecting children” from “content that [magically] sexualizes them,” including obscenity laws.  The letter also [bizarrely claim]s Target may be breaching the law by making decisions that are allegedly…not in the best interests of its shareholders, citing it as a violation of the company’s fiduciary duty…

The Prudish Giant (#1263) 

Why does anyone still trust Facebook?

A Nebraska mother pleaded guilty…to giving her 17-year-old daughter pills for an…abortion [politicians wanted to deny her] last year and helping to burn and bury the [remains of the] fetus.  Under a plea agreement, Jessica Burgess…admitted to providing an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, false reporting and tampering with human skeletal remains…Celeste Burgess, now 18, was charged as an adult and pleaded guilty in May to removing, concealing or abandoning a dead body…She faces up to two years in prison [for daring to exert control over her own body in defiance of the State]…the two [foolishly] discussed terminating the pregnancy [over Facebook, which eagerly handed]…the messages [over to the pigs]…

Torture Chamber (#1322)

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

The RCMP are launching a confidential hotline to assist with their investigation into…[rapes and other] sexual abuse at the Nova Scotia [Teenage Cagestack] between 1988 and 2017.  Police…have already taken statements from more than 70 people who…were [raped and sexually] abused at the…jail in Waterville, N.S., but believe there could be up to 200 in total.  They ask…anyone with relevant information about the case…to come forward…to date, all 70…[victims] have been male, but police…are not ruling out that girls could also have been abused…

Thought Control (#1331)

Just keep plunging that ice pick in; the bad thoughts will go away eventually:

Gerard Kleinsmith [pretend]s he hates the idea of censorship…[yet] wants to pull the lease for the city’s public library because he doesn’t like books about transgender people…He is supported in this stance by the other members of St. Marys’ five-person city commission, a heavily religious group that attends the Society of St. Pius X…a…[heretical sect]…that broke away from the Catholic church…The public library…narrowly surviv[ed] an attempt to pull the lease at the end of last year…“We’re not part of the city structure and the lease agreement is the only leverage that they have seemed to be able to find,” [library director Judith] Cremer said…the library…would be forced to shift locations if the lease isn’t renewed, giving up a community spot it has held for decades…

A Moral Cancer (#1334)

Because obviously prohibition doesn’t ruin enough lives yet:

New York Mayor Eric Adams has gone to federal court to stop the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, [spouting the puritanical drivel that they are intended specifically to] appeal to kids…The mayor a[lso made the bizarre and specious claim] that some of the vape products are equal to between 175 and 350 single cigarettes.  The suit was filed against four distributors…and…[pigs have] already [stolen] many thousands of dollars worth of those products [from the companies.  Adams’ cronies vomited out other lies and propaganda, and]…the suit [absurdly] accuses the distributors of violating a host of city, state and federal laws, including the federal RICO statutes…


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 don’t even think about [masturbation] as relapsing, because…it’s not an addiction.  –  Nicole Prause

Show and Tell

Was this unfortunate person the one who sent me the proof of Ashley Madison’s con game?

Will Harrison was terminated as an Ashley Madison employee in November 2011, and by early 2012 he’d turned his considerable harassment skills squarely against the company.  Ashley Madison’s long-suspected army of fake female accounts came to the fore in August 2012 after the former sex worker turned activist and blogger Maggie McNeill published screenshots apparently taken from Ashley Madison’s internal systems suggesting that a large percentage of the female accounts on the service were computer-operated bots.  Ashley Madison’s executives understood that only a handful of employees at the time would have had access to the systems needed to produce the screenshots McNeill published online…on Mar. 5, 2014, Harrison committed suicide by shooting himself in the head…This fact was apparently unknown to Biderman and other Ashley Madison executives more than a year later when their July 2015 hack was first revealed

To Molest and Rape

A cop posing as a masseur is still a cop:

A [typical and representative Ontario cop] who admitted to sexually abusing 11 women at his side massage business [has escaped with a slap on the wrist, namely] an 18-month sentence at home.  David Kukoly…was not a registered massage therapist but still operated his “Massage by Dave” business from his…home using a different last name.  Under the pre[text] of providing massages, he [molest]ed 11 women…between 2016 and 2018…[but] Justice Richard Blouin…decided against the Crown’s request for a four-year prison sentence…[and gave the budding rapist a mere] year and a half of house arrest [because cop]…

The reporter inserts “was not a registered massage therapist” as though a piece of paper could magically control sexual predators despite considerable evidence to the contrary.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1124)

There’s a reason I’ve repeatedly called this cult “dangerous”:

…NoFap ideology tends to breed much bigger problems…suicidal feelings [are associated with] more engagement in the NoFap subreddit and related communities, and the more involved a participant [i]s with NoFap and other groups like PornFree, the more suicidal they report…feeling in response to their last relapse.  One problem with this—beyond the obvious— is that their “relapses” aren’t…real to begin with…because…people who masturbate to porn…aren’t actually “addicted” to it at all…there’s no objective basis for pornography addiction, an opinion supported by numerous peer-reviewed studies and experts in the field.  That isn’t to say that people can’t use pornography compulsively…but that it doesn’t fit in with the very clearly defined scientific idea of addiction, which involves a physiological withdrawal and a loss of pleasure in other activities…

Disaster (#1276)

Unfortunately, this is all we could expect right now:

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals…upheld the district court’s judgment against the Woodhull Freedom Foundation in its four-year legal battle to have FOSTA-SESTA declared unconstitutional, and rejected the strict scrutiny challenge proposed by free speech advocates.  Woodhull…was joined in the appeal by Human Rights Watch, the Internet Archive, Alex Andrews and Eric Koszyk…in January…legal observers…deemed the judges’ line of questioning as leaning toward the possibility of at least part of FOSTA-SESTA being struck down [but]…their new ruling…[declare]s that “neither Section 2421A of FOSTA nor FOSTA’s amendments to the Trafficking Act are overbroad or unconstitutionally vague,” [and] that “FOSTA’s c[ensorship]…comports with the First Amendment [because “sex trafficking”]…

Surplus Women (#1294)

Mexican cops are more concerned about sex workers’ lives than their US counterparts are:

A…suspected serial killer who targeted sex workers in Mexico has been arrested in Southern California…Mexican authorities are working to extradite…Bryan Rivera…of Downey, California who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of three sex workers in Tijuana…in 2022…

Thought Control (#1343)

Politicians are avid devotees of cutting off their noses to spite their faces:

Mississippi has a new law on the books [which effectively bans]…use of digital resources…for those under the age of 18…Even if granted parental permission, minors may not have materials available to them, if vendors do not ensure every item within their offerings meets the new, wide-reaching [political] definition of “obscenity”…[which states] any vendor is out of compliance by simply having materials available in their system which depict sexual reproduction or queerness in any capacity.  Images of nude female breasts…[even in] biology and anatomy books…would be out of compliance with the law.  Platforms like Hoopla and Overdrive are not set up to create systems which change access based on [politicians’ whims].  Library staff are also unable to preview and rate every item available within such platforms, leading to a position [where libraries must completely] shut down access [in order to protect librarians from legal persecution]…

Panopticon (#1344)

Cops will continue to do this until there are criminal penalties for it:

…The Electronic Frontier Foundation…has sent [Sacramento County Sheriff] Cooper a letter requesting that [his] Office cease sharing ALPR data with out-of-state agencies that could use it to prosecute someone for seeking an abortion…the…office…has shared license plate reader data with [cop shops] in states that have passed laws banning abortion, including Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas.  Adam Schwartz, EFF senior staff attorney, called automated license plate readers “a growing threat to everyone’s privacy”…and…a sheriff in Texas, Idaho or any other state with an abortion ban on the books could use that data to track people’s movements around California, knowing where they live, where they work and where they seek…medical care…71 [cop shops] in 22 California counties…[a]re sharing such data…in [direct] violation of a 2015 law [banning the practice]…


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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Librarians should be able to do their jobs rather than be forced to tiptoe through the minefield of…political positions.  –  Rita Christensen

Bad Girls

How to be a stupid, greedy whore:

A[n Irish] sex worker [named Lorna White] and her…boyfriend [Jason Hamill]…have been sentenced to [about] four years [in prison each for]…us[ing] threats of police involvement and exposure to extort £7,900 from their victim…[it is unclear whether White is a bona fide sex worker or an extortionist who merely takes clients in order to set them up, because] in July 2019, the couple were handed [similar] sentences after they admitted extorting more than £3,000 from [another]…man White had sex with…making repeated demands [for money] between July 1, 2017, and May 10, 2018…

Imaginary Evils (#1133)

Another sign the moral panic is over: prosecutors have backed away from labeling this “sex trafficking” as they initially did:

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn indicted Nicole Daedone, founder and former CEO of the cultish sexual wellness company OneTaste, and former head of sales Rachel Cherwitz…on forced labor charges…[US attorney] Breon Peace…said…“the defendants are alleged to have sought complete control over their employees’ lives, including by driving them into debt and directing them to perform sexual acts while also withholding wages.”  If sentenced, Daedone and Cherwitz will face up to 20 years in prison…

The Course of a Disease (#1152)

Maine is once again attempting to impose Swedish-style criminalization:

Maine [politicians] are on track to…rechristen prostitution as commercial sexual exploitation…institut[ing]…the “Nordic Model”…a scheme…linked to…[increased] rates of sexual violence…

Served Cold (#1248)

Tim Ballard’s newest shtick: falsely claiming others are collaborating with his “sex trafficking” antics:

…Despite the founder of O.U.R., Tim Ballard suggesting in January 2023 that [Mel] Gibson was involved in [a supposed] four-part docuseries, Gibson’s representative [says]…that [this is] no[t]…accurate…the Twitter page Leading Report…claimed…[the] alleged…series [is about] the [imagined] “$34 billion global child sex trafficking market involving countries like Ukraine“…The site wasn’t the only one to [share] the [claim, and there are]…several [supposed] links…between Gibson and…O.U.R…Though he’s not credited on IMDb, Ballard [also] claims Gibson did the final edit for his [long-delayed] movie Sound of Freedom

Thought Control (#1256)

I’m glad to see FIRE getting involved in this:

[Politicians] in Orem, Utah, have banned its public library from setting up displays highlighting Pride Month, Black History Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month, along with other heritage-themed holidays.  And then they banned librarians from criticizing the city’s decision—threatening to discipline them for “insubordination.”  But now, the Utah Library Association (ULA) has threatened to sue, teaming up with the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE)…to warn the city that it could soon face a lawsuit for violating librarians’ First Amendment rights…

Thou Shalt Not (#1341)

Crypto-moralists believe that people enjoying a food is sufficient reason for declaring it “unsafe”:

America’s favorite artificial sweetener could…damage…your DNA.  Splenda is the brand name for sucralose…It’s…600 times sweeter than sugar and is the best-selling artificial sweetener…But sucralose has been found to be genotoxic [in petri dishes], meaning it breaks apart the DNA in chromosomes [when cells are soaked in huge amounts of the stuff in petri dishes]…The new study adds to earlier [bad] research that [claim]s sucralose…can also cause intestinal damage…[actual] health experts…question the relevance of the new study.  “The findings…do not practically reflect what occasional or even frequent ingestion of sucralose-sweetened food and beverages have on health,” [said] Dr. John Damianos…[of] Yale School of Medicine…

Unsurprisingly, this one has the same buried lede (including the verb) as the previous attempt to demonize artificial sweeteners, only last month: “Instead of…diet soda, switch to seltzer water…Instead of…[diet] foods…grab fruits…”

Torture Chamber (#1345) 

Any country in which “officials” can get away with this has no business calling itself “free” or “liberal”:

Nineteen Rikers Island [prisoners] died last year, marking a high the New York jail complex hasn’t seen in more than 20 years.  Each death has received significant media attention…[so] New York City…[plans to eliminate the bad publicity by] no longer inform[ing] the press when [one of its victims] dies.  This comes after two [of those victims], Rubu Zhao and Joshua Valles, died in May.  The department didn’t publicly report either death.  Zhao died after reportedly falling or jumping over a railing on the top floor of [the] psychiatric facility…and…the…Department…has attempted to claim that Valles’ death wasn’t “in custody” because he was compassionately released on May 24 after he was sent to the hospital [due to a fractured skull] and [put]…on life support…


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 can’t breathe.  –  8-year-old murdered by US Border Patrol

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

A [typical and representative] Orlando [Florida cop named Jonathan Mills]…was found guilty of [misdemeanor] battery nearly a decade after he…grop[ed] a [woman under the pretext of a “]search[” after belching out the word “drugs” in]…August 2014…Mills was sentenced to [a mere] 30 days in…jail…Mills…was kept on the force for years despite multiple complaints of misconduct since he was hired in 2012…[including] two…excessive force [lawsuits]…which cost city taxpayers $130,000…

Crying for Nanny (#997)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A Las Vegas, Nevada, woman alleges in a new federal lawsuit that she was…trafficked at an Albuquerque motel whose management “overtly encouraged” the “horrific” behavior in March 2019. The woman…contends that employees at the Midtown Motel 6…should have known that she was being repeatedly exploited by her trafficker and the “many men who sexually assaulted her.”  But no one intervened and no one called police…

IOW she had a pimp and they didn’t rat her out, so now she’s off the street and seeking a payout.  I can’t feel sorry for Motel 6, though, because the chain typically has such a cozy relationship with pigs they’ve actually been sued over it.

Vulture Watching

Psychopathy is typical in politicians, but these laws are indicative of complete derangement:

…By the time [Kiersten Hogan] arrived at the hospital, she had lost too much amniotic fluid for her son to survive — but hospital staff didn’t tell her that…“I was told that if I tried to discharge myself, or seek care elsewhere, that I could be arrested for trying to kill my child. So of course, I stayed”…[for] a harrowing five days…where…religious counselors repeatedly came to visit her, even though she had declined pastoral care.  She…[was] terrified of…going…into premature labor, and be[ing] arrested…she was [finally] discharged [after delivering a stillborn child] and told she could return to work the next day, “as if nothing had happened”…Hogan is one of eight new plaintiffs who [have] joined a lawsuit against the state of Texas…seeking clarification about what qualifies as a medical emergency under Texas’…abortion bans…lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights, which filed the initial suit in March, asked a district court…for a temporary injunction blocking Texas’ abortion bans in cases of pregnancy complications as the case continues…

Thought Control (#1308)

It seems I was destined to be threatened with state violence regardless of my career path:

Librarians could face years of imprisonment and tens of thousands in fines for providing…books to [legal minors if politicians arbitrarily declare those books “obscene” or “harmful”] under new state laws that permit criminal prosecution of school and library personnel.  At least seven states have passed such laws in the last two years…although governors of Idaho and North Dakota vetoed the legislation.  Another dozen states considered more than 20 similar bills this year, half of which are likely to come up again in 2024…Some of the laws impose severe penalties on librarians, who until now were exempted in almost every state from prosecution over obscene material — a carve-out meant to permit accurate lessons in topics such as sex education.  All but one of the new laws target schools, while some also target the staff of public libraries and one affects book vendors…the laws [are designed to] forge a climate of fear among school librarians, spurring…censorship [by librarians lest] books [religious fanatics and other self-appointed moral authorities dislike are later used as a pretext to persecute librarians]…

Torture Chamber (Chamber of Horrors)

I’m sure they helpfully yelled “Stop faking!” at this little girl as she died:

…an 8-year-old girl…died [while locked] in [a cage for over a week by the US] Border Patrol…[because] agents repeatedly ignored pleas to hospitalize her…as she felt pain in her bones, struggled to breathe and was unable to walk….Mabel Alvarez Benedicks said…“She cried and begged for her life and they ignored her”…People are [supposed] to be [locked in cages for] no more than 72 hours under agency policy, a rule that is violated [with nauseating regularity]…

The Cop Myth (#1335)

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

A [typical and representative Georgia cop]…was sentenced to life in prison for the [wanton murder] of his girlfriend in June 2020…Jason Cunningham…[murdered] Nicole Harrington…[because during and argument about her] seeing another man, known as Maui…[she said] “at least Maui has a large penis”, and Cunningham shot her point-blank in the head…[and left] her body…in [an] elevator…

Winding Down (#1335)

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

Minnesota, which legalized medical marijuana in 2014, [has become] the 23rd state to allow recreational use…Adults 21 or older will be allowed to possess two ounces or less of marijuana in public, share that amount with other adults, keep two pounds or less at home, and grow up to eight plants…Marijuana products will be subject to a 10 percent retail tax, in addition to standard state and local sales taxes…Local governments will be allowed to regulate retailers and cap their number but will not be allowed to ban them entirely…Cannabis consumption initially will be limited to private residences.  But the law eventually will allow marijuana use at specially licensed businesses and events…


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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Culture warriors just keep plunging that ice pick into society’s frontal lobes, hoping they can make the Bad Thoughts which plague them go away.  The latest target is the Kinsey Institute, the world’s leading center of sexological research since shortly after the Second World War:

Indiana [politicians have]…voted…to approve a budget that specifically blocks Indiana University from using state funding to support the Kinsey Institute, and…Gov. Eric Holcomb [has] signed it into…law…The Kinsey Institute…is the leading sex research institute in the world.  We publish dozens of scientific and academic articles each year, across multiple disciplines.  Our faculty are internationally renowned biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, health scientists and demographers.  We house the world’s largest library and research collection of sexuality-related materials, and scholars from across the globe visit us to study these materials and to train in our research theories and methods…

As one might expect, Kinsey has always been a target for prudes, bluenoses, pearl-clutchers, religious fanatics and other assorted creeps and wackos:

Since its founding in 1947, the institute has been the target of disinformation and attacks.  The original “Kinsey reports” (Sexual Behavior in the Human Male in 1948, Sexual Behavior in the Human Female in 1953)…were…met with shock and moral panic — especially following the second volume, which documented the real sexual lives of America’s wives, sisters, mothers and daughters.  So much controversy ensued that the Rockefeller Foundation withdrew its…funding for the institute in 1954.  In 1950…U.S. customs…seized a shipment of…materials being mailed to the institute’s research collection on the basis of their being “obscene”.  The federal court case that followed, United States v. 31 Photographs, resulted in a historic ruling in favor of the institute’s right to collect materials and data for sex research…Another wave of attacks came in the 1980s, whipped up by conspiracy theories that Kinsey’s research had unleashed the sexual revolution and, with it, a moral decay on America…

But those 20th-century attacks pale in comparison with the sheer lunacy of the current ones, driven by control freaks publicly sharing their disgusting sexual fantasies:

…[Indiana politician] Lorissa Sweet…alleged without evidence that the Institute’s founder Alfred Kinsey sexually abused children and insinuated that Kinsey researchers continue to enable child abuse. “Could they be hiding child predators?” Sweet [panted with her hand in her pants].  “If there is any place where Chris Hansen needs to bring To Catch a Predator, it is Indiana University”…[to his credit one politician,] Matt Pierce[, said:] “This…is based on old, unproven allegations of conspiracies that did not exist…these are warmed-over internet memes that keep coming back…I don’t believe for a minute that the leadership really wanted that provision in the bill…but…they couldn’t bring themselves to say no to this rising base of power within the legislature”…

With rare exception, politicians can always be counted on to pander to hordes of ignorant lackwits who view any knowledge that might contradict their deeply-stupid weltanschauung as an existential threat.  But until recently, they were opposed by a vocal minority of Establishment intellectuals who, while hardly intellectual titans themselves, at least recognized the necessity of defending intellectual freedom against violent imbeciles who would be hard-pressed to out-think the average baboon.  Now, unfortunately, those same Establishment intellectuals are too busy promoting their own idiotic, fact-free belief system to have the energy, intellectual bandwidth or credibility to defend the Library and the Academy against smooth-brained cretins with torches, and there seems to be very little left to stop Western society from sliding into another dark age.

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Since I built my bookshelves three years ago, a number of readers have expressed a desire to be able to peruse their contents.  Then earlier this month, one of my Twitter readers specifically requested I provide some means of doing so, and I realized I could simply take pictures of each shelf, because cell-phone pictures are now high enough resolution to make out the titles.  So here you go; most of the interruptions from alphabetical order are due to the bottom shelves being used for oversized books, though I did notice a few where visitors had apparently taken books down to look at them and then stuck them back in some random place.  This collection is mostly mine, but some are Grace’s and I don’t know where others came from.  Also, there are some books floating around on my nightstand or whatever, and there are several shelves full in my Seattle incall.  So if you don’t see a book you yourself sent me, it’s very likely in Seattle because a disproportionate number of those are sexwork-related.  Oh, and if any of you have some personal objection to some book you see here, I hope you’ll show better sense than to complain about it.

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