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Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

I am not dumb.  –  Reza Baluchi

There is, of course, only one song appropriate for Gary Wright’s memorial; the links above it were provided by Amy Alkon, Stephen Lemons, Jesse Walker, Clarissa, Carol Fenton, Nun Ya, and The Onion, 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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We can lock him up, take his kid, put his dog in the impound.
–  Raiford Box

As my memorial for Robbie Robertson, I chose this example of kind of antiwar song I think most effective: one about the human costs of war.  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko; Scott Greenfield; Popehat; Jesse Walker and Radley Balko again; Phoenix Calida; and Elizabeth N. Brown, 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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The gang list is absolutely asinine.  –  Tracey Mason

In observance of May Eve, here’s another Lovecraft video from the creators I featured last week; the humor in this one is both drier and darker, and does not entirely override the horror concept at the core of the story.  The links above it were provided by Walter Olson, Mike Siegel, Lucy Steigerwald, Greg Lukianoff, Cop Crisis (x2), and Radley Balko, 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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We have the right to be safe at work just like anybody.  –  Cherida Fraser

To Molest and Rape

This is brazen even by cop standards:

An [Alabama cop] pulled over a woman before kidnapping and [rap]ing her [at gunpoint]…Joshua Davidson…is facing federal charges…since…[the] Jan. 30, 2020…[attack]…prosecutors filed a motion asking the court to detain Davidson…[because] he is “a flight risk and danger to the community”…[having] previously fled…to New Hampshire…in 2020…However, the court denied the prosecution’s motion [because cop]…

Down Under (#876)

In the US, the government would’ve “helped” by prosecuting the victims:

…John-Paul Pohe…filmed 14…sex [workers in session] and went on to face 17 charges of making an intimate visual recording…Pohe was also sentenced for the repeated rape and sexual violation of a young girl…he [also] filmed the [rapes] and kept the footage on his phone…le[ading] to hi[s] being caught…Pohe recorded the [women] – three of wh[om] he recorded twice – without…consent between September 2021 and April this year at four different brothels around the Wellington region…he [would] put his phone in one of his shoes at the end of the bed, to covertly capture the [act].  The discovery of the recordings led to identifying the women, [none] of whom had [any] idea they had been filmed…In each video the[ir]…faces are visible…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1065) 

This is only the beginning:

Kelly Conlon and her daughter [went] to New York City the weekend after Thanksgiving as part of a Girl Scout field trip to Radio City Music Hall to see the Christmas Spectacular show.  But…Conlon was…identified [by a facial recognition system]…security guards approached her right as he got into the lobby…and…kicked her out…she [i]s an attorney…with the New Jersey based law firm, Davis, Saperstein and Solomon, which for years has been involved in personal injury litigation against a restaurant venue now under the umbrella of MSG Entertainment…”This whole scheme is a pretext for doing collective punishment on adversaries who would dare sue MSG in their multi-billion dollar network,” said Sam Davis, a partner at the firm…Other firms have sued over being blacklisted.  Conlon said she thought a recent judge’s order in one of those cases made it clear that ticketholders like her “may not be denied entry to any shows”…

Torture Chamber (#1267)

Where “alleged” is used to mean “endemic”:

For five decades, [young people condemned to] Los Angeles County [prison] camps and [cage stacks] have suffered repeated sexual assaults at the hands of [screws and] probation…officers, according to a lawsuit filed by nearly 300 [victims]…The…suit, involving 279 plaintiffs, follows two lawsuits filed earlier this year [by] 70 women…[who] were sexually assaulted [in]…other…facilities. [Screws]…not only [raped and] abused teenage girls, but also…boys…

Stalkers in Blue (Rapist Roundup)

Cops are sexual predators who often specifically target traumatized women:

Rachel Wilks was just 15 when…[she was] assaulted by a family member…[Victoria cop Jayden] Faure [started] grooming…[her via text and Snapchat and] also checking the details of one of her family members on the police [“]LEAP[“] database without any legitimate reason…[at least] 178 [cops] have…misuse[d]…LEAP in the past five years…[only] 65…were disciplined, and…Faure…was…the only o[ne of them] to be convicted…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1292)

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

A…[typical and representative Florida cop named] Jarrod Eldridge was arrested…[for interacting with] a…coworker…[fantasy role-play]ing as a 14-year-old girl named Jenny…Eldridge…[and the other wanker] exchanged dozens of messages, and Eldridge sent a photo of himself…

To Molest and Rape (#1298)

They’ll use any dodge to avoid saying “cop”, especially when the victims are literal babies:

A [typical and representative] Florida [cop]…received 60 years in prison for sexually abusing children on video.  Scott Matthew Yotka…videotaped himself abusing two children and distributed it over the internet, according to…an…FBI agent…[who was pretending to be a fellow]…molest[er]…The FBI agent asked Yotka how he kept the kids quiet about the abuse, and he responded, “they are young and don’t talk”…Yotka a[lso confessed]…he was an administrator on a social media for people who like “little kid things, incest fetishes and animal things”…

 

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 was not sent to prison to be raped and abused.  –  Briane Moore

To Molest and Rape (#1009)

Prince George’s County, Maryland is well-known for rapist cops:

…Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Deputy…Brandon Burroughs…has been suspended following repeated [rapes of]…a woman from the area…Burroughs w[as charged following the]…rape…that h[e committed] in October…[bu]t in September…Burroughs [had raped] the same woman…[and been rewar]ded with [a] pa[id vacation]…

Guinea Pigs (#1141) 

This is what your god-emperor and his lackeys call “going after the billionaires”:

…OnlyFans content creators [are now being slapped with threats of]…criminal tax investigation…“pairs of IRS Special Agents across the country descended on the homes and offices of OnlyFans personalities and their tax return preparers, delivering grand jury subpoenas,” [said] John Colvin, a Seattle tax defense attorney…OnlyFans reportedly grossed over $2.3 billion in 2020 alone.  Its content creators have been increasingly well-known for their eye-popping accumulation of wealth.  It is no surprise, then, that the IRS…[is going to try to rob as many of them as possible, starting with] some of the highest grossing of the 1.6 million content creators…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1193)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

…the TSA, has been testing facial recognition software to…screen passengers flying [domestically] in 16 airports.  And now it’s looking into rolling it out nationwide next year…security checkpoints [will require] scanning a copy of a government-issued ID…and standing in front of a c[omputerized facial recognition] system…TSA agents…[w]ill [lurk nearby to subject]…travelers…[to] further [harassment] due to the technology’s inaccuracies…

Thou Shalt Not (#1198)

Because this kind of prohibition will surely be different!

…the New Zealand parliament [has] passed a law banning anyone born after December 31, 2008, from ever buying cigarettes.  The law is designed to permanently [criminalize] tobacco usage in the country by aging out current[ly-legal] smokers.  In 2040, for instance, 31-year-olds will still be [criminalized if they]…buy…cigarettes, cigars, and similar products…the policy will fuel a black market for the products and create new vectors for state violence against individuals…[under the pretext of] dramatically reduc[ing] smoking rates in the country—which are already at a historic low, with only 8 percent of adults smoking daily.  The law will also reduce the number of retailers permitted to sell combustible tobacco products, from 6,000 to 600, and it mandates a reduced nicotine level in [legal] tobacco products.  The legislation will not ban the sale of tobacco vape products…

The Last Shall Be First (#1246) 

Texas seems to be preparing to extend its deranged jihad to trans adults:

Employees at the Texas Department of Public Safety in June received a sweeping request from…Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office: to compile a list of individuals who had changed their gender on their Texas driver’s license and other department records during the past two years…The behind-the-scenes effort…came as the attorney general, Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican [politicians] in the state have been publicly marshaling resources against transgender Texans…[including] more than a dozen anti-LGBTQ measures ahead of the next session in January, including criminalizing gender-affirming care and banning minors at drag shows…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1277)

Cops won’t drop this fantasy until “news” media stop obediently parroting it:

A Florida [cop] making a [pretext] stop [imagined she] was accidentally exposed to fentanyl, triggering a p[anic attack] that [was alleviated by a placebo effect when her fellow cops gave her]…three doses of Narcan…Courtney Bannick…[was looking for a drug arrest] while she was handling dollars bills [that cops claim are often coated with the magical insta-fentanyl of cop legends].  Although she was wearing gloves…[she was terrified by] a gust of wind [she suddenly imagined had] blown some of the drugs toward her…

Torture Chamber (#1298)

The one man most responsible for the staggering number of US women locked in cages is now living in the White House:

The epidemic of sexual assaults against [women locked in cages by the]…federal [government]…has prompted the Justice Department to expand the use of a program to provide early releases to women [raped by screws and other government actors]…In recent weeks, the deputy attorney general…has pressed top [screwmasters]…to encourage [prisoners] who have been [raped or otherwise] assaulted by prison employees…to apply.  The push comes amid new [admiss]ions about the extent of abuse of women, and the…willingness of many prison officials [to cultivate the system which allows that abuse]…and [shield rapists] at all levels in the system, to address a crisis that has long been an open secret…

 

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 he] 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]s was present when he died…[though] the department…[claimed] Tipping…was injured while “grappling” with another [cop, an independent investigation 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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It’s very frustrating to be a gynecologist in Texas.  –  Dr. Lauren Swords

Bad Girls

It’s an extremely bad idea to try to do the work of a professional, whether dominatrix or lawyer, without any training in the field:

After three days of often graphic evidence, sex worker Madeleine Joan Lewin offered no explanation about what happened…the night Brisbane businessman Anthony Brady died…the 34-year-old, representing herself at her manslaughter trial…sat…silently throughout the proceedings…she did not cross examine any witnesses and did not give evidence or make a closing statement to the jury.  It took the 12 jurors less than an hour to return a unanimous guilty verdict…Brady…[died] during a consensual bondage activity on the evening of August 12, 2020…[apparently from positional asphyxia as he] was found face down on the bed with a hood over his head, and handcuffs and bindings around his wrists and legs…Some of the bindings were difficult for police to remove…[and] Lewin had [fled the scene]…in a hurry…

Property of the State (#1149)

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

…Several pregnant women and new moms accused of exposing their fetuses to drugs have been [caged] for weeks or months in…Etowah County [Alabama]…under special bond conditions that require rehab and $10,000 cash…As a result…Etowah County…often [cages] several pregnant and postpartum women [at a time], against the advice of experts on maternal and fetal health…“The stress and conditions in jail and prisons, including lack of consistent access to standard prenatal care and mental health care, poor diets, poor sanitation, infestations with bugs and vermin, poor ventilation, tension, noise, lack of privacy, lack of family and community contact, can be detrimental to physical and mental health which can result in poor pregnancy outcomes for both the mother and the baby,” [said prominent OB-GYN Dr. Carolyn] Sufrin…It’s difficult to know how many…women…Etowah County [victimizes in this way.  Reporters]…found seven pregnant or postpartum women in a recent investigation of the jail log…National Advocates for Pregnant Women…have tracked more than 150 chemical endangerment cases involving women in Etowah County since 2010…

Legislators Gone Wild (#1198) 

The fanatical, unhinged Guinasso and his pet fantasist are at it again, now with the financial backing of Morality in Media:

…one of Las Vegas’ premier strip clubs, Sapphire Las Vegas…[and] the Chicken Ranch, an unrelated…[Nevada brothel, have been targeted by a nuisance law]suit [filed by]…Morality in Media…and [fanatical anti-sex lawyer] Jason Guinasso…[with the help of two professional “survivors” who hope to profit from the dying “sex trafficking” hysteria by pretending they were] “sex trafficked in Nevada through legal strip clubs, including the Sapphire Gentleman’s Club”…Conflating all legal sex work with “sex trafficking” has been one of the key strategies used by [Morality in Media] in its ambitious quest to outlaw all consensual sex work, one of the group’s core goals…the organization…also planned to sue Steve Sisolak, the governor of Nevada; Aaron Ford, the state’s attorney general; the city of Las Vegas; and Nevada’s Clark County and Nye County.  However, the court ruled that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue those parties…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1199) 

The latest chapter in this nasty, twisted saga:

The FBI announced…that it had placed GirlsDoPorn owner Michael Pratt on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, and doubled the reward for information leading to his arrest from $50,000 to $100,000…On July 26, Matthew Wolfe, Pratt’s second in command for the shuttered GirlsDoPorn website, pleaded guilty…to a single count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking…Pratt, a New Zealand national, escaped the U.S. before federal charges against the company and its employees were unsealed in 2019…

The Cop Myth (#1236)

Why are people shocked when men paid and encouraged to behave violently, behave violently?

A…[typical and representative] California [cop] has been charged [for] murder[ing]…a married couple…Devin Williams…was allegedly dating the female victim…Maria Tran and [murdered] her [and her] husband…Benison Tran [when he discovered she was married]…the pair’s 14-year-old-son…walked in on the crime in progress…Williams fled…but…turned himself in nearly 11 hours later…

Property of the State (#1259)

“Hard cases” are more common than forced-birth proponents want you to believe:

Kristina Cruickshank…lost her unborn baby…in her 15th week of pregnancy…[she] was frail, vomiting and in pain when she and her husband, John, arrived at Houston Methodist Sugar Land on…June 3.  She needed an abortion…but…it…was not clear whether Kristina was exempt from Texas abortion laws, which threaten providers with felonies and lawsuits for performing abortions except to treat a miscarriage or a loosely defined “medical emergency.”  Her fetus still had a heartbeat, and she did not yet need life-saving care…So over the next three days, a sick and distraught Kristina was stuck in limbo, waiting…while an ethics committee reviewed the case…

Winding Down (#1265)

Your “leaders” know what’s best, so shut up and obey:

Arkansas is one of a handful of states, and the only Southern state, that allows voters to directly pass laws and amend the state constitution by ballot referendum.  Placing an initiative on the ballot requires collecting signatures from registered voters equal to 8 percent of the total votes for governor in the most recent election.  Currently, that number is 89,151.  In July, Responsible Growth Arkansas…submitted a [legalization] measure with over 190,000 signatures, more than twice the necessary number…[but] the State Board of Election Commissioners…denied the measure’s title and, therefore, its ballot eligibility…Responsible Growth Arkansas sued Secretary of State John Thurston…The Arkansas Supreme Court preliminarily ordered Thurston to certify the measure for November’s general election ballot but noted that it would not ultimately be able to hear arguments on the case until September…

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One of the titles by which the 20th Century will no doubt be known to future historians is “the Prohibition Era”.  The concept of Prohibition first started to take root in the diseased brains of control freaks in the late 19th century; it was an outgrowth of the broader “Progressive” philosophy which held that ordinary people cannot be trusted with our own lives, and must therefore be ruled by “experts” who decide for everyone how the human race should be “improved”, and enforce their diktats with violent thug armies whose actions cannot easily be reconciled with the concept of civil rights.  The first prohibitionist laws date to the late 19th century, but it was in the 20th that the concept not only reached full flower, but also successfully penetrated the minds of the general public so thoroughly that most took it for granted that for governments to tell people what they could consume, what they could own, and even what thoughts they could have while agreeing to consensual sex, was not only normal, but desirableFull alcohol prohibition lasted barely over a decade, but it left in its wake a patchwork of local prohibitions which have only very gradually eroded (and in some ways worsened again toward the end of the century).  And the failure of this one form of prohibition to thrive probably has a great deal to do with the fact that virtually no other country was willing to follow the American example; in most other cases, prohibitions which started in the US (such as drugs and prostitution) spread like a plague over the rest of the world.

But as the 20th century recedes into the past and the number of adults who can’t even remember it grows with every passing year, what Josephine Butler called “the fatuous belief that you can oblige human beings to be moral by force” has gradually become less popular.  The once-global “War on Drugs” is beginning to wind down, and the full or partial criminalization of sex work is increasingly recognized as an abomination by those with healthy minds and respect for human rights.  New South Wales decriminalized “prostitution” in 1995, followed by New Zealand in 2003; many other countries at least loosened their laws on the subject around that same time.  Unfortunately, the prohibitionists recognized the trend before it could snowball, and began a propaganda campaign to convince the world that adult women are universally too weak-minded and spineless to be allowed to run our own sexual affairs, and that phenomena which had previously always been recognized as the pragmatic sexual decisions of individual women were in reality the result of the machinations of a vast cabal of “sex traffickers” abducting hundreds of thousands of “children” into literal slavery.  But moral panics have a very limited lifespan, and this one is already long past its heyday of the early ’10s.  It is now in the process of imploding in a rather spectacular fashion, and opposition to the continued criminalization of sex work has become a safe position even for US politicians.  The temporarily-delayed process of decriminalization got rolling again over the past few years; Australia’s Northern Territory decriminalized near the end of 2019, and Victoria state followed suit just a few weeks ago.  And now the first country outside of Oceania is set to join them:

The official green light has been given to Federal Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne’s proposal to reform Belgium’s sexual criminal law…[by] remov[ing] sex work from the penal code…The Federal Parliament still has to approve the proposal but that is not expected to be more than a formality.  “This is a crucial leap forward. We are finally giving sex workers what they are entitled to: recognition and protection. Something they have been asking for decades,” Van Quickenborne said…Under current regulation, sex work is allowed, but third parties involved with sex workers are committing a crime.  The law [cl]aims to target pimps but in practice impacts other people…from book-keepers and web designers to drivers, landlords and even banks…

The importance of this move is difficult to overstate; the “sex trafficking” myth has provided a convenient cloak for Europen racism, and European chauvinism made decriminalization easy to ignore as long as it was strictly a “Down Under” practice (the same chauvinism has given the toxic “Swedish model” undeserved credibility).  But if Belgium follows through, Europe can no longer dismiss recognition of the sexual rights of adult women as a provincial abberation, and it’s entirely possible others may follow its example.

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By and large, the [state’s] reaction is, “Who cares? A child is dead. Let’s put her in prison for the rest of her life.”  –  Karla Fischer

Bad Girls

I don’t usually think ages are an important detail, but this is an exception:

…two Thai sex workers…Nualpan Coxon, 67, and Pornthip Phonkoed, 63, both of Auckland, have been on trial…[for defrauding] and…blackmail[ing three elderly men]…between August 2015 and February 2018…prosecutor Rebecca Mann…described the pair’s behaviour as “psychological coercion”…but…defence counsel Russell Boot told the jury…”They were not deceived in any way…It wasn’t until their wives and daughters found out … that it became an issue”…

Micromanagement

Any information you give to cops can and will be used against you:

The San Francisco police crime lab has been entering sexual assault victims’ DNA profiles in[to] a database used to identify suspects in crimes…District Attorney Chesa Boudin…said his office was made aware of the practice last week, after a woman’s DNA collected years ago as part of a rape exam was used to link her to a recent property crime.  If DNA from a rape kit was used without consent for purposes other than investigating the underlying rape case, it may be a violation of constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures as well as California’s Victims’ Bill of Rights, Boudin said.  Such a practice could also create another deterrent to sexual assault victims coming forward…Boudin said his office was investigating the scope of the practice…the database potentially includes thousands of victims’ DNA profiles, with entries over “many, many years”…

For comparison: roughly 60% of prostitution charges in the US result from the charged sex worker becoming the victim of some crime.

Property of the State

The state wants vengeance for the loss of future tax revenue:

[On] New Year’s Eve…2019, Rebecca Hogue, then a 28-year-old cocktail waitress, arrived home in Norman, Oklahoma, around 4 a.m. and went to check on her 2-year-old son…Ryder…her boyfriend, Christopher Trent…had put him…in his crib, where he appeared to be sleeping…when she woke up again a few hours later, Trent was gone.  And her toddler, still in the crib, was…dead…Days later, [police] found [Trent] hanging from a tree in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge, where he’d killed himself…he’d [apparently] beaten the boy while Hogue was away at work…[because] they found the words “Rebecca is Innocent” carved into a tree…But in the ultimate act of victim-blaming against a grieving mother, the state of Oklahoma…convicted [her] of first-degree murder, even though she never laid a hand on the boy…Hogue was convicted under Oklahoma’s “failure to protect” law, which requires parents to [magically] shield their kid from physical harm if [a jury decides] they…[“]should[“] have been [clairvoyantly] aware…that another adult [wa]s abusing the child…

Broken Record (#747) 

There’s something especially pathetic about a politician who fails to realize a prohibitionist trope is long past its sell-by date:

…In a city council video that reads like sketch comedy…[Hudson, Ohio] mayor [Craig Shubert]] warns that if you open up the lake to ice fishing, ice shantytowns will follow, and the​​n commercial sex…”If you open this up to ice fishing, while on the surface it sounds good, then what happens next year—does someone come back and say I want an ice shanty?…And if you then allow ice fishing with shanties, then that leads to another problem: prostitution.  Just data points to consider,” he added. (Apparently, Shubert doesn’t understand what “data points” means)…

At least Shubert had the sense to realize he had become a laughingstock, and resigned the following week.

I Spy (#1154) 

The government thinks you shouldn’t be allowed any privacy whatsoever:

…the U.S. Postal Service…is violating the privacy and civil liberties of the American people by using sophisticated tools to break into hundreds of citizens’ cellphones and collect their social media posts…the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) admitted in its 2020 annual report that it not only employed top-of-the-line technology hundreds of times to hack into mobile phones but also planned to expand its use of…Cellebrite…and GrayKey…to break into phones, unscramble otherwise unreadable encrypted data, and copy it for [pigs] to [root] through.  This technology is dangerous and prone to abuse…

The Implosion Begins (#1189)

Everyone who spread “sex trafficking” hysteria contributed to this atrocity:

…Troy Burke…admitted to killing his wife, Jessica…by shooting her three times in the head in their [Michigan] home…a judge allowed Burke to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, after psychiatric evaluations by both the state and independent experts concluded that he was not fit to stand trial…Burke believed his tablet device was sending him signals from QAnon members who told him that his wife was working for the CIA…the messages directed him to kill his wife to save the world from child sex trafficking…it’s unclear if the messages Burke was speaking about were real or imaginary, but…QAnon…was built on…false claim[s about]…child sex-trafficking [spread for the past two decades by politicians, cops, the news media (including Vice), sex work prohibitionists, and amoral profiteers]…

Permanent Record (#1200)

Coverage of these incidents is growing more sympathetic:

Cami Strella…tried to tune out distress about being outed until a classmate who discovered her online identity broached a conversation about sex and Strella’s online content.  That encounter signified to Strella that her time as a student in occupational therapy with a neurological rehabilitation track was nearing a close…she…sought the advice of a trusted academic adviser who told her it would be best if she left the program…[so] she followed that advice and submitted her intent to unenroll from the only graduate program to which she had been accepted…Lutheran-affiliated Lenoir-Rhyne University has no policy against digital sex work, [and] a university spokesperson…said the school encourages Strella to communicate her concerns to university leadership…

“Communicate her concerns”?  What sanctimonious bullshit.  Note also that despite the generally-sympathetic tone, writer Lateshia Beachum still felt compelled to include dysphemisms such as “earning a living in society’s underbelly” and sophomoric tee-hee attempts at wit such as “pull themselves up by their garter belts to attain financial stability”.

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The federal government is literally paying state and local police to circumvent state law.  –  Justin Pearson

To Molest and Rape

If only there were a concise word for “coerced into having sex”:

An Elk Grove [California cop], along with [his cop shop] and city of Elk Grove, are being sued by a woman who…was [raped by]…the [cop, whose identity the state is hiding so he can continue to prey on other vulnerable women]…in April, the woman called 911 to report the theft of her vehicle’s catalytic converter…When the [rapist, who was among the responding cops, discovered]…she was single, he took her number and [claimed] it would be used for the investigation…[but in actuality] he [used it to harass]…her…th[reatening] her son…if she did not [submit]…she complied [due to reasonable]…fear of retaliation…[but] called [a different cop shop]…to…report…the…rape [afterward]…

Thou Shalt Not (#642)

New Zealand cops apparently lack sufficient reasons to brutalize people:

New Zealand is [criminaliz]ing young people [who]…buy cigarettes in a rolling program that aims to make [every]…smoke[r in the country a criminal] by 2025…Each year the age limit will be increased until…[all Kiwis who smoke are criminalized]…As part of the strategy, cigarette prices have [been artificially] increased by 10 per cent every year for the 10 years between 2011 and 2020, but…the price hike has…creat[ed] a black market for cigarettes…

But just in case you thought politicians were capable of logic:

New Zealand has become the first country in the world to permanently legalise drug checking services, which will allow individuals to test the safety of illicit substances at festivals and other locations without the fear of legal repercussions…

So will services checking the safety of black market cigarettes be legal?

Policing for Profit (#924)

Until there are criminal penalties for this behavior, cops have no incentive to stop:

In [2016], Florida passed a law [intended to] reform…the state’s civil asset forfeiture process…But despite t[his]…Florida remains one of the most prolific practitioners of [legalized robbery, because]…local and state police can evade the new restrictions by [simply] working with the federal government [to divvy up the take]…In 2012, the Justice Department demanded that the police department in Bal Harbour, Florida—population 2,500—return $4 million in forfeited assets after audits showed the department had been misusing funds for lavish expenses, vehicles, payouts to snitches, and first-class travel…Bal Harbour police had been running a [so-called] task force…[which actually] laundered $56 million for drug cartels through undercover police bank accounts…police in the suburb of Sunrise, Florida…raked in millions by using well-paid snitches to lure cocaine buyers into town from around the country…and s[teal]ing their cash…a dozen members of the…vice squad had each made hundreds of thousands of dollars in overtime pay through the stings…

Legislators Gone Wild (#1102) 

The fanatical, unhinged Guinasso and his pet fantasist are at it again, now with the financial backing of Morality in Media:

[A professional fantasist] and two…unnamed…[collaborators, backed by anti-sex extremists Morality in Media, have re-]filed a [previously-dismissed] lawsuit…against Nevada’s Governor [and others, seeking]…to put an end to legalized…prostitution in the state [because of their fantasies about it]…The lawsuit [bizarrely claims]…that…legalized prostitution…[is] “violating the thirteenth amendment’s ban on slavery”…Guinasso [also] argues that…prostitution [should be further criminalized because]…it…[allows women to] make a good living…

The Mob Rules

A district court judge has to do SCOTUS’ job because it won’t:

S.B. 8, the Texas law that bans abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, relies on a novel enforcement mechanism…It authorizes lawsuits by “any person” against “any person” who performs or facilitates a prohibited abortion and promises plaintiffs at least $10,000 in “statutory damages,” plus reimbursement of their legal expenses, if they win.  That “unique and unprecedented” arrangement …violates the state constitution’s standing requirements for civil actions, the separation of powers, and the right to due process…[ruled] Travis County District Court Judge David Peeples…His 48-page order emphasizes how the law’s “completely new” enforcement mechanism favors plaintiffs over defendants and warns that the same strategy could be deployed against all sorts of politically disfavored constitutional rights…”It is one thing to authorize taxpayers or citizens to file suits against government officials to make them obey a law, and…quite another thing to incentivize citizens or persons to file suits against other private citizens to extract money from them, with no pretense of compensating the claimant for anything”…

Since IANAL, I can’t judge whether SCOTUS arguments supporting its continued refusal to take action are specious or not.  But they’re certainly convenient.

Torture Chamber (#1189)

Arizona screws think they can cure mental illness by torture:

Day after day…Rahim Muhammad slammed his head into the prison cell door…[because he] heard voices that told him to harm himself.  But instead of providing counseling…Arizona prison staff repeatedly gassed Muhammad with pepper spray…more than 40 times over eight months [in the past year]…In one two-week period, Muhammad was pepper sprayed 15 times.  Sometimes [screws] gassed him twice a day…[or] shot him at close range with a pepper ball gun…The treatment…was recently highlighted in the [class action suit over medical neglect in Arizona prisons.  Screws]…have no psychiatric training, but nevertheless told Muhammad that his frequent self-harming behavior is a choice…and…”We’ll gas you, we’ll shoot you, and we’ll tase you until you stop”…Muhammad has spent the majority of the past seven years in…[solitary confinement]…causing [even more] harm…

Creepy Coppers

Setting an example for his underlings:

The [typical and representative] East Helena [Montana] chief of police…admitted…that he distributed child pornography in 2019 using [Facebook]…William Daly Harrington…faces a mandatory minimum five years to 20 years in prison…[and] a $250,000 fine…[he was caught] in September 2020…[after] Facebook Messenger [told cops]…that the Facebook Messenger account…belong[ing] to Harrington….sent…child pornography…[to another] account…

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