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Posts Tagged ‘Ohio’

Holy shit. This guy is going to kill me now.  –  Tristin Goods

Last weekend a heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest; on Sunday it reached 43o C at Sunset, and hotter than that in Seattle.  So naturally this song came to mind.  The links above it were provided by Scott Greenfield, Jesse Walker, Radley Balko, Mark Bennett, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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It was not just that their perspective was discarded. Their perspective wasn’t even heard.  –  Ro Khanna

Torture Chamber

Stop faking!

…in…March 2014…19-year-old Nimali Henry was booked [into the St. Bernard parish jail] on charges of simple battery, disturbing the peace and unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling…she was living with a rare…blood disorder and…in desperate need of her medication…[but] did not have [it] with her [when arrested and screws made no effort to obtain it for her]…Two days later, other [prisoners tried] to…talk…to the guards on duty about her.  In a…video from March 31, 2014, Nimali [can be] seen stumbling and…barely [able to] walk as…guards [shout “stop faking!” at her].  Later that same day, another video shows her lying on a prison bunk with no mattress covered with what appears to be nothing more than a blanket…[she] died hours later…[as the direct result of] jail…[staff refusing to obtain] her medication and [intentionally leaving her] in excruciating pain for 10 days.  The[y]…never [even] called an ambulance….St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann [called the willful murder a “]shortfall[” and]…declined….to look at the video [because “he does not want to see anyone…die in jail”]…Four jail workers pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges…Andre Dominick…Timothy Williams…Lisa Vacrella and Debra Becnel…

What the story doesn’t tell you:  St. Bernard dramatically expanded its jail around 1990 so it could make money warehousing human beings for other parishes who lacked the room to cram any more people into their own cage stacks.

Don’t Take My Word For It (#541)

When a “study” makes silly claims like this, look for the reasons:

…Some researchers…seem obsessed with the idea of proving that sex work isn’t gendered and that women pay for sexual services in increasing numbers…from men…This…claim [is]…based on the number of profiles on [adult service websites, but]…most of these male-owned accounts have no feedback which suggests that they’re not escorts, but fantasists who set up a profile pretending to be an escort as part of their fantasy.  They’re attracted to the idea of anonymous sex as well as the misguided belief that someone would be interested in pursuing them sexually and even paying for the privilege.  Men who typically pay for sex are turned on by the idea that someone might want them enough to offer them money for it.  The male-owned profiles which do have feedback often have it because they pay for sex, get feedback from sex workers, then switch their profile around so it looks like women have paid for their services….client posing is commonly known amongst sex workers; if sex workers had been consulted on the research, that claim would have been contested…

This is an excellent article which explains a number of other silly “study” claims as well.

Full of Themselves (#831)

Racist persecution of massage parlors is a popular pastime for California “authorities”:

…the [victim of California] officials[‘ crusade against mundane businesses they ludicrously defamed as] “an organized crime sex trafficking ring operating across California” has been sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in state prison…Jing Chiang Huang was also ordered to pay $557,391 in [back taxes] to the California Franchise Tax Board [thus revealing the true motive behind the joint pogrom]…by federal, state and local [cop shops]…More than a dozen [employes] were [arrested and deported] in the process, according to a press release [calling the violence “rescue”]…

Uncommon Sense (#898) 

The Spanish high court says the government has no power to suppress a sex worker union:

Spanish sex workers have the right to form their own union, the Supreme Court ruled…overturning an earlier court decision ordering [its] dissolution…OTRAS…was discretely set up in August 2018 but was [attacked] three months later by…[prohibition]ist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez….and [his Swedish-criminalization cultist followers even though the law clearly states] that sex workers “have the fundamental right to freedom of association and the right to form a union”…

Imaginary Victims (#902) 

A celebrity accomplished what do-nothing “safe harbor” laws couldn’t:

…in…April of 2020…Ohio’s governor…grant[ed] the release of a 22-year-old…Alexis Martin…[from prison] after Kim Kardashian visited [her there]…after six years, five months and 13 days…she…wi[ll]…be…track[ed by ankle monitor]…every second…[and] on parole, being [spi]ed on and drug tested until at least 2034.  Her record w[ill] always show a murder conviction, [with] all the limitations [that] bring[s]…

The article has some good information, but you’ll need to pick around the wads of ugly prohibitionist propaganda and chunks of infantilizing, agency-denying language as you would pick around slimy green things in a casserole that’s otherwise edible.

Rough Trade (#923)

In the US, the victim would’ve been arrested:

Jessie Campos was found guilty of raping a sex worker in a [New Zealand] brothel in late 2018, and sentenced to three years and nine months in prison…he was made aware on several occasions a condom was legally required and he agreed to use one…but…the[n]…removed [it]…The woman indicated he had acted inappropriately and made him put the condom back on.  Without her knowledge, Campos again removed the condom and ejaculated inside her.  The woman ran to her manager’s office and the police were called…Judge Stephen Harrop…rejected the defence claim that the stealthing was not premeditated and that cultural factors [Campos emigrated from the Philippines] were relevant to the sentencing…

Yes, this is rape.  No, I don’t want to “discuss” it.

Safe Position (#991)

Even journalists are beginning to recognize what a huge backfire FOSTA was:

Sex workers have gained the backing of a small group of Democratic [politicians] after…being [entirely] shut out of the policymaking process [for decades].  The turning point was…FOSTA…also referred to as SESTA…which was [intended] to punish online platforms facilitating [sex work]…Despite the best efforts of sex workers to dissuade [politicians], the bill passed through both chambers easily…in 2018…“until very recently [no politician] wanted to be seen as facilitating…or encouraging sex work,” said Mike Stabile…of…the Free Speech Coalition…[anti-FOSTA politician Ro] Khanna [said]…his colleagues “didn’t even want to take meetings because of the possible images or pictures” with sex workers that could have been taken.  Stigma also hurts [civol rights] organizations’ funding because consumers of pornopgraphy are “embarrassed” to publically back them, says sex worker and writer Cathy Reisenwitz…

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Drop the bike or you’re gonna get arrested.  –  unnamed cop

You may have noticed that I am rather fond of novelty songs; here’s one from my childhood that the writer/singer insists is not meant to be suggestive.  The links above it were provided by Glenn Kessler, Billy Binion, Mike Siegel, The Onion, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, and Phoenix Calida, in that order.

From the Archives

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This guy lay in shit and…died in [a] cell that looks like a friggin’ horse stall.  –  unnamed investigator

Imagination Pinned Down

Like seeing pictures in clouds or inkblots:

When the unrecognizable body of Jeannette DePalma…was found atop a…wooded hill…called the Devil’s Teeth in 1972, rumors spread quickly that the [16-year-old] was killed in some sort of satanic rite…Police…[claim]ed…they had found signs they thought might be related to the occult, including crosses made of sticks and branches arranged in a coffin-like outline around her body…But crime scene photographs released for the first time [last month]…debunk those claims, showing that DePalma’s body was simply lying in a dense, brushy area…facedown with an arm draped over a downed tree branch…Jason Coy, a history professor…who researches witchcraft…said he can’t find any sign of the occult or any other symbolism in the jumble of brush and branches.  It suggests that investigators, looking for something sinister, saw patterns that weren’t there…“Everything in th[e police] sketch that was marked out as a cross, in these crime scene photos just looks like a pile of underbrush…it’s a perfect example of how…i[f] someone…[has] the idea that something could be occult, they remember things that way”…

The Naked Anthropologist

Here’s Dr. Laura Agustín with GAATW on the rescue industry:

Torture Chamber 

For a change, this journalist doesn’t refer to torture as “correction”:

…Reginald Wilson spent more than 1,300 days in and out of jail since 1997 for charges often related to his fragile mental health…in December 2018 [Georgia cops abducted and caged him] for a probation violation…[dur]ing a mental health crisis…he was [lock]ed in a padded [cell and given no professional help, even after]…he smeared his own feces on the wall.  “He never slept. He was constantly just up, doing almost like gymnastics when you watched the video,” one [screw admitted to]…investigators…Wilson stopped eating, drinking and refused to take medication…[yet] the jail’s psychiatrist never saw [him].  In[stead,] staff [just repeatedly yelled “stop faking” at]…him…[and cop]s tased him at least tw[ice].  After… eight days…a [screw] found Wilson not breathing…[and] covered in…feces…[he had] died from…dehydration…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because a little boy picked a flower”?

[A] 6-year-old…was accused of picking a tulip from a yard at his bus stop, his attorney Julie Boyer said, and…was on trial…for injury to real property.  The boy’s attention span was too short to follow the proceedings…[so] Boyer…handed him crayons and a coloring book…she…and others [explain that] children that age don’t have the mental capacity to understand the juvenile justice process and…can’t make informed decisions…[yet at present North Carolina]…expect[s them to]…”Should a child that believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy be making life-altering decisions?” asked…Judge Jay Corpening…[local] advocates…recommend…the age be raised to 12…The National Juvenile Justice Network recommends 14…

End Demand (#893)

It’s good to see a story like this quote at least one knowledgeable person:

Columbus [Ohio politicians] are weighing changes to local solicitation laws that would emphasize pu…shing [propaganda about] those who pay for sex [in addition to propaganda about] those who sell it…[politician] Mitchell Brown [vomited out popular nonsense about]…sex trafficking…chief [copagandist and rape apologist] Jennifer Knight…[salivated about forcing people into “re-education”] sessions…[but actual] researchers like Jennifer Suchland argue “end demand” policies often backfire…“Because there’s now substantial evidence to show that they are, one, not actually reducing the amount of exploitation, and two, they are increasing the precarity of those people who are in the sex trade”…Suchland says…the “end demand” model is based on a faulty assumption…

Knight is the sow charged with making excuses for the Columbus rape gang, and claims the way to “build trust” with women is to hunt, rape and cage them.

Safe Position (#1058)

Don’t be deceived by Katz, a duplicitous proponent of Swedish criminalization:

Queens, New York, District Attorney Melinda Katz moved…to dismiss nearly 700 cases against people charged with loitering for the purpose of prostitution…[on] the same day…Mayor Bill de Blasio pushed [Swedish-style]…criminaliz[ation]…The…law was repealed last month out of concern it too often targeted…people…based solely on their appearance…Katz [followed up by bloviating about]…sex trafficking…

Katz is dismissing these cases because she has to, since the law they were charged under was repealed.  This isn’t some kind of personal move on her part toward sex worker rights, despite claims to the contrary.

Predictable Consequences

Lots of sex workers are quoted in this rebuke of prohibitionist yellow journalism:

The New York Times re[acted to]…the recent slayings of eight persons at three “Asian” spas…by a deranged religious nut…with a self-[indulgent article]…adopting the rhetoric…of…sex work…pro[hibitionists], painting the spas as havens for sex trafficking…without one quote from sex workers or sex worker rights advocates, the Times piece [claim]s that “experts say there are more than 9,000 such businesses” in the U.S. which are “fronts for prostitution,” and that “many of the women working there are being exploited.”  That dubious statistic hails from a particularly odious non-profit, the Polaris Project, which has long conflated consensual adult sex work with sex trafficking and has a history of dealing in fake statistics and urban legends…Massage workers…have no agency, nor any voice, in this scheme or this article…

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Expungement…is an intentionally fairly hard process.  –  Sasha Naiman

What the Hell Were You Thinking?

Ally Deviant Ollam on internet security for sex workers:

End Demand (#586)

A thorough analysis of the awfulness of “end demand” policies from the superlative Savannah Sly:

Combined with fear and ignorance, simple stories can be powerful propaganda vehicles used to justify state oppression…End Demand suggests that cutting off cash flow to the sex trade economy will discourage profiteering exploiters, and force sex workers to find “real” jobs.  However…sex workers…don’t respond to a reduction of business by simply deciding to “quit the industry” and go get full time corporate jobs with a company car and a full benefits package.  The notion that tough times will motivate people who sell sex to simply move on to greener pastures is absurd, privileged, and fails completely to comprehend the reasons why people become sex trade involved in the first place.  In reality, End Demand is a form of economic siege that’s had catastrophic consequences on sex worker welfare.  Ham fisted and reckless, End Demand tactics have increased instability and scarcity in the sex trade, fostering circumstances ripe for exploitation…

It Looks Good On Paper (#746)

This time they actually admit this shit law is designed to put people through hell:

Bipartisan bills about to be introduced in both the Ohio House and Senate would allow [people branded] sex trafficking victims [by the state] to [beg] courts to expunge past crimes even if they had not been convicted of prostitution or related offenses…[bill sponsor] Teresa Fedor [bloviated nonsense about being]…“forced to steal or sell drugs for their trafficking”…and [seems to imagine that]…use of the internet, cell phones, and massage parlors [have only become part of sex work since the last Ohio bloviation about the topic in 2018.  Another bureaucrat]…noted applicants must [somehow] prove they had been trafficked and that the crimes they are seeking to have expunged resulted from that…“Frankly, it’s a fairly heavy burden on the survivor, but [we want them to prove that they are inert dolls without agency rather than bad girls who had bills to pay]”…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

This pro-censorship screed is so larded with dysphemisms barely any escaped my editing:

Bristol is set to become the biggest city in the [UK] to ban lap-dancing clubs in a move [prohibitionists] claim will [magically rewrite the neural pathways in human brains.  Politicians bloviated a lot of tabula rasa nonsense about sex rays causing]…violence against women…Not Buying It, which [publishes revenge porn of sex workers], said councils had a duty to pr[event consensual] sex…

Torture Chamber (#1039)

Your regular reminder that rapist screws are not confined to the US:

Canadian prisons…do…not keep track of employees [who rape prisoners]…The problem is also fueled by the [refusal] to believe prisoners when they [report rapes]…In recent years [only] three guards have been charged with sex crimes a[lthough the actual number of rapes is dramatically higher]…

The Next Target

Prohibitionists’ next target isn’t just Pornhub; it’s all online sex work:

Germany’s most vocal proponent of state censorship, an obscure local bureaucrat named Tobias Schmid who serves as the head of the State Media Authority (LMA) of North Rhine-Westphalia, has announced…his [animosity toward]…OnlyFans…“We are registering that OnlyFans…are [sic] increasingly attracting erotic providers…and we will take care of it,” Schmid ominously warned…Schmid…like…fellow War on Porn crusaders worldwide, claim[s] his campaigns have a purpose to “protect the children,” although with the German twist that he is proudly an obsessive of “Ordnung” (order)…

You Were Warned (#1108)

Prohibitionists, censors and profiteers will continue to harass businesses thus until FOSTA is overturned:

…a California judge ruled that, although the contracts signed by a former [porn] performer were valid, the arbitration agreements that were part of them should be disregarded…Judge Michael Anello denied a motion by porn studios to implement the arbitration clauses in the contracts signed by a Jane Doe for scenes they had distributed…Doe…briefly worked in the adult industry around 2009-2010.  At the time, she alleges, she was represented by someone named Cissy Steele…[whom she apparently was also involved in an abusive] relationship with…[the pro-censorship group Morality in Media is behind the suit, which]…names a number of adult studios and sites active a decade ago…as co-defendants on the basis that they distributed scenes…Doe [contracted with them to distribute]…

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The Constitution…also prohibits the government from using its immense authority to coerce private actors into censoring on its behalf.
–  Ben Wizner

A False Dichotomy 

Despite the authors’ use of prohibitionist terms like “trafficked into” (meaning “sold to”), insistence on pretending that Western cultural norms apply as clearly in impoverished Bangladesh as they do in middle-class London, and offensive presentation of cops and politicians as “rescuers”, the truth in this article still comes through:  that for girls in a brutally poor, overpopulated, patriarchal culture, sex work is often (as the authors themselves express it) “the least bad option”, even when those options include the monogamous marriage so beloved of the majority of white savior types.

Out of Control (#946)

What is wrong with doctors who do this?

A Stanford pediatrician has pleaded not guilty to…[trying to molest] an underage girl he met on social media…Dr. Dylan O’Connor…[sent] her [dick pics and]…requested [nudes] from…he[r, after which she apparently told her mother, who called the cops to set]…O’Connor [up].  He allegedly…brought a blanket and condoms with him, and [told cops he had]…a sex addiction [despite knowing as a doctor that there is no such thing]…

The Widening Gyre (#1005)

The “things on cars” branch of “sex trafficking” scarelore is driven by a kind of inversion of Occam’s razor:

Brittaney Strupe [of Ohio]…got engaged [on Valentine’s Day] and had plenty of leftover red roses…So [she]…her sister and daughter…[decided to] go to Walmart…[and put them on] vehicles [as a gift to others.  But when] customers and Walmart employees began to discover them [everybody succumbed to collective hysteria and]…called the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office…[which started spouting ridiculous fantasies about] human traffickers…on Facebook [where]…Strupe…[saw it and]…call[ed] to [explain, after which the cops vomited out “if you see something, say something”]…

“The mentally disturbed do not employ the Principle of Scientific Parsimony: the most simple theory to explain a given set of facts.  They shoot for the baroque.”  –  Philip K. Dick, Valis

Torture Chamber (#1040)

When government is in charge, things can always get worse:

…As a once-in-a-generation snowstorm walloped the Lone Star State…already-dire conditions inside Texas prisons…got even worse…33 prisons lost power and 20 had water shortages after the state’s electrical grid failed…prisoners ha[d]…no options to stay warm…there…[were] ne[ither enough]…extra blankets and jackets to…go around…no[r sufficient staff] to [distribute them because]…fewer [screws] showed up to work…staff [didn’t bother] to pass out medication…and…the food…bec[a]me [even more] inedible and…unidentifiable [than before]…prisoners with [secret] phones sent pictures of their increasingly pitiful meals…more than a dozen prisons lost some or all of their access to water…so…the toilets are overflowing with waste…Advocates for prisoners say these problems have been years in the making…

See also the final item below.

You Were Warned (#1046)

Australian politicians are just as invested in demolishing the internet as US ones:

Back in September…Facebook publicly sa[id] that if Australia went forward with its ridiculous attack on the open internet, and instituted a “news link tax” on Facebook and Google, that it would block news links on Facebook in Australia… and basically everyone ignored it.  So…when Facebook announced that it was no longer allowing news to be shared in Australia (and relatedly, no longer allowing the sharing of Australian news services on Facebook), it should not have been a surprise.  And yet…almost everyone started blaming and attacking Facebook…[the] company…deserves lots of blame for lots of bad things that it does.  But this ain’t it…the simple facts of the situation are that Australia — pushed heavily by Rupert Murdoch — has decided to put in place a plan to tax Google and Facebook for any links to news…This is fundamentally against the principles of an open internet …”search engine optimization” and “social media management”…[exist] because everyone else in the world has figured out that having prominent links on search engines and social media is valuable in its own right…[the Australian government’s position] is like saying that not only should NBC have to run an advertisement for Techdirt, but it should have to pay me for it.  If that seems totally nonsensical, that’s because it is…

You Were Warned (#1082)

Congress won’t stop until it controls the internet:

For the third time in less than five months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content…[using the pretexts of] “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud”…[politicians claim] that “these online platforms have…[enabled] grim consequences for public health and safety”…House Democrats have made no secret of their ultimate goal with this hearing:  to exert control over the content on these online platforms…[even though] Congress violates the First Amendment when it attempts to require private companies to impose…speech restrictions which the government itself would be constitutionally barred from imposing

Torture Chamber (#1093)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can torture and deport them”:

In Louisiana and Texas, immigrants seeking asylum are facing dire conditions [while locked in cages due to last]…week’s extreme cold.  At the South Texas Family [Concentration Camp]…parents and children have been living with overflowing toilets, thirst, poor hygiene, and [insufficient] heat…Twenty miles away, at [another] ICE [concentration camp, prisoners]…who complain…about the cold face…retaliation [from screws who] are turning on fans to make it colder…[some] have [even] thrown blankets into the garbage after [prisoners] complained…

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If the First Amendment will protect a scumbag like me, then it will protect all of you.  Because I’m the worst.  –  Larry Flynt

R.I.P. Larry Flynt

The last of the “Big Three” of men’s magazine publishing, Larry Flynt, died of heart failure a week ago today at the age of 78 (Hugh Hefner preceded him in 2017 and Bob Guccione in 2010).  Flynt’s magazine Hustler was (intentionally) the raunchiest of the three, and its brand had the greatest commercial viability in the long run due to its expansion into home video and strip clubs.  As I’ve repeatedly pointed out, infringements of civil liberties always start with those nobody wants to defend, and Flynt intentionally set himself up as a target for censorship attempts by prominently featuring the nasty, the grotesque, and the deliberately offensive, especially in Hustler‘s cartoons and cover art.  He was prosecuted for obscenity several times, always prevailing in the end, and battled fundamentalist blowhard Jerry Falwell all the way to the Supreme Court in the ’80s; after 1978 he was paralyzed below the waist due to being shot by a racist who objected to Hustler featuring interracial couples.  Despite attacks from dried-up “feminists” like Gloria Steinem and prissy editorialization from bluenosed “journalists”, the fact is Flynt was a bona fide free speech hero, and not merely in his own mind as the WaPo’s pearl-clutching headline pretends.

Droit du Seigneur 

What did this guy think he was, a cop?

The Ohio Supreme Court suspended the law license of a [lawyer who]…was charged with human trafficking involving six women — most, former clients…Michael Mearan…say[s]…the allegations [a]re [a frame-up by cops using] testimony from [prisoners] who [were given] favorable treatment for co[lluding with cops]…Mearan…was [also a politician who sat on the]…Portsmouth…city council…he [is alleged to have] targeted women who were poor, addicted to drugs and facing criminal charges to take part in [what cops label] a prostitution ring during a 15-year-period beginning in 2003…

Thought Control

US institutions often need to be reminded that they do not own people:

…Kimberly Diei, a pharmacy graduate student [was expelled from] the University of Tennessee…[after] her posts on Twitter and Instagram were…[the subject of a poison pen accusation by] an anonymous [busybody]…She was given two days to appeal, and she scrambled to find a lawyer.  With the threat of a lawsuit looming, the dean of the college reversed the decision to expel her.  But the experience was so painful that…Diei filed a federal lawsuit with the help of a pro bono lawyer, arguing that the public university had violated her constitutional right of free expression “for no legitimate pedagogical reason”…universities are…fumbling to [extend campus censorship] policies…into the world of social media…And young people are fighting back, contending that their off-campus speech is no business of their school…the Supreme Court agreed in January to hear the case of a high school cheerleader in Pennsylvania who was removed from the junior varsity squad after she posted vulgar complaints about not making the varsity team…

Acting and Activism (#556)

Predictable ugliness from the “celebrity” prohibitionist trash who once called stripping a “gateway to slavery”:

Red Table Talk…[hosted by noted bigot] Jada Pinkett Smith, her daughter Willow…and mother…“Gammy”…tout[s] itself as a space where three generations of women can discuss various topics in a judgment-free environment…But…Ava Louise Lockner…[revealed that] the “open and honest” policy the show pushes is not what she experienced when she was set to be featured in an episode about being a sugar baby in the fall of 2019…she [was verbally] attacked during the several hours she spent at the Smiths’…home, [with] Pinkett Smith…rolling her eyes and Gammy…slut-shaming her throughout filming.  When the segment failed to air, Ava Louise spent weeks chasing up once-eager producers.  Finally, she…received a…call from a high-level executive on the show…[who] told her…they would not be airing her episode because…the hosts found her “gross and disgusting…they don’t want to be associated with sex work”…

Banishment (#870) 

This Orwellian tyranny is part of how governments are getting around the push to reduce prison populations:

Twenty states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government have laws that authorize civil commitment of [human beings arbitrarily branded] sex offenders…after serving their prison terms…The state punishes people…based on the [claim] that they could and should have controlled themselves.  But when it is time for them to be released after completing the punishment prescribed by law, the state says that was not actually true; now they must be locked up precisely because they can’t control themselves.  If the government decided to retroactively increase an offender’s penalty, it would be clearly unconstitutional…The trick is to cast continued confinement as treatment rather than punishment.  But…in Minnesota, only 13 [prisoners] have been unconditionally released since the program was established in 1994; more than six times as many have died in custody…the Supreme Court [says that’s okey-dokey]…Joe Morrissey…argues that Virginia’s [similar] program is “abhorrent”…[and] introduced a bill that would have abolished the program [but other politicians]…derailed [the] bill

Cooties (#884) 

UK cops are still shoehorning people into their public masturbatory fantasy of “pop-up brothels”:

Three men and a woman have been arrested for [consensual sex dysphemized as “]slavery[” in a raid on an apparent incall dysphemized as]…a “pop-up brothel”…Two [migrant] women…were [also arrested and]…are currently being [held pending deportation]…

“Safeguarded” is the UK euphemism for “held without trial or charge pending deportation”.  The term is Orwellian even in a field littered with such propaganda.

Torture Chamber (#1098) 

Stop faking!

An Alabama man [locked] in a prison mental health [cell] overheated and died in December after temperatures inside his cell topped 101 degrees Fahrenheit.  Tommy Lee Rutledge was found unresponsive in Donaldson [cage stack] on the night of Dec. 7, sitting near the window of his s[olitary-confinement] cell with his head “facing out the window,” in an apparent attempt to breathe cool air…his core body temperature [had] reached 109 degrees…[Screws refuse to explain] how temperatures inside the…cell skyrocketed past 100 degrees on a winter night with a low of 31 degrees…citing an “ongoing” investigation…

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You don’t find out what it’s all about, but you have a lot of fun being extremely confused.  –  Douglas Adams

Here’s a really unusual cover of a familiar tune, played on a most unusual instrument.  The video was provided by Inspireland, and the links above it by Lenore Skenazy, Boatfloating, Gustavo Turner (“Cardin”), Lucy Steigerwald, Jesse Walker, and Scott Shackford, in that order.

From the Archives

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When cops came to arrest you in th[e late 20th century], they weren’t telling the newspapers they had saved you.  –  Maggie McNeill

Maggie in the Media

I recently gave an interview for the 30th anniversary of Pretty Woman:

Ten years ago, sex worker, writer, and activist Maggie McNeill wrote…that it was already “nigh-impossible to find an internet discussion on [Pretty Woman] without at least a few would-be critics complaining that it is ‘unrealistic.’”  This, however, is a criticism to which McNeill has long handed down a simple, “No shit, Sherlock.”  “Pretty Woman is a fantasy,” she told Bitch. “It’s not going to be realistic.”  While McNeill herself has no particular affection for the film, she’s never considered Pretty Woman’s lack of accuracy a compelling argument against it, though that argument is common among critics both within the sex-work community and those who are actively working to criminalize sex work…“it amuses me terribly to hear how much the prohibitionists are fixated on it,” she adds, noting that anti–sex work arguments often attempt to paint the film as a dangerously glamorous misrepresentation of a community prohibitionists would rather see victimized, humiliated, and/or punished…

If Men Were Angels

“Pastors” are as bad as cops:

William Dalton Milam, the pastor of Olivet Baptist Church in Milton[, Florida]…was arrested on charges of child pornography…[and “]promoting sexual performance of a child[” after]…a tip…from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children…Milam’s home…[held] multiple devices containing child pornography, some depicting children as young as 3…

Disaster (#829)

It usually starts with us, but it never, ever stops with us:

…TikTok purge[d sex worker accounts]…en masse in mid-November, all for the same [pretext]:  violating TikTok’s sex and nudity policy.  [None] of the…[victims]…violated TikTok’s policy, but had linked to either their OnlyFans or their websites linking to their OnlyFans in their bios, which they believe led to them getting removed from the platform.  The purge appears to have been in advance of TikTok’s new [terms of service, which ban virtually all]…sexual content…But…many mainstream creators on TikTok post links to their OnlyFans in their bios, including Bella Thorne

Why did anyone ever think a company owned by the Chinese wouldn’t aggressively censor?

Safe Position (#947)

Even my jaded self is impressed with the speed this is happening in New York:

A group of New York [politicians] are calling on the New York Police Department to stop all undercover operations that aim to arrest sex workers or their clients, after a ProPublica investigation revealed that the busts have [included]…false arrest and sexual misconduct, and that almost everyone arrested was nonwhite.  Assemblyman Ron Kim and four other [politicians] made that recommendation in a letter this week to…the City Council and the state Assembly and Senate.  The letter also asks for an oversight hearing to examine misconduct allegations against the NYPD vice unit…Separate from the letter and the call to end undercover operations, Council Speaker Corey Johnson and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, two of the city’s most powerful politic[ians], told ProPublica they believe the vice unit should be disbanded altogether…Ten other city and state [politicians]…have expressed support for the same…

Quiet Genocide (#997)

Fascist corporations are eager to assist in a genocide:

…the [Chinese] technology giant Alibaba taught its…[government] clients [how to] use its software to detect the faces of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities within images and videos…The feature was built into Alibaba software that [roots through]…digital content [looking] for material…to [censor]…A social media platform, for instance, could automatically flag videos for additional scrutiny, or even [whistle up] the [pigs], if they contain faces that the software [decide]s are Uighur…the company [has since] edited its website to remove…references to [the feature]…The Washington Post reported last week that Huawei, another Chinese tech giant, had tested software that could automatically alert the police when its surveillance cameras detected Uighur faces…

Served Cold (#1082) 

This megalomaniac’s lies have grown so extreme, even the yellow press can no longer ignore them:

The specific stories that OUR tells are intensely cinematic…and extremely difficult to fact-check.  They are also not the…truth.  An investigation by VICE…found…a pattern of image-burnishing and mythology-building, a series of exaggerations that are, in the aggregate, quite misleading…Multiple law enforcement agencies OUR says it has partnered with or supported describe their relationships as insubstantial…OUR has also declined to describe what precisely it does with the millions of dollars it says it spends overseas…During [a recent fundraiser], Ballard described a rescue in an undisclosed country in which, he [claimed], Jessica Mass, OUR’s director of aftercare, literally wrestled a padlock away from a trafficker as they were running to lock up and re-imprison young girls whom OUR and local police had just rescued*…”This is the [magic] padlock that had been used to lock these girls behind a jail cell [sic],” he proclaimed, triumphantly…Several people familiar with [an ongoing Utah] investigation…[said] it concerns…misleading claims to donors and the public about the work it does…

*Seriously, WTF?  Is Ballard claiming that this “trafficker” had a magical Hollywood padlock which, once locked, magically traps immobile, vegetable-like “young girls” into…I don’t know, an extradimensional space “behind a jail cell”(?) from which they could never have been freed had this liar not grabbed the magical lock in time?  Are these “girls” incapable of locomotion?  Have these people never heard of bolt cutters?  This story makes no sense on any level I can think of.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1090)

Are institutions finally starting to understand the cost of promoting “sex trafficking” hysteria?

Britain’s International Slavery Museum is facing a [righteous] backlash over a “dehumanising” [propaganda] exhibition…which features an image of a naked woman with tape over her mouth and abusive comments plastered on her body.  The museum [took money fror the propaganda display from]…a U.S.-based [pro-censorship] group, Exodus Cry, which seeks to [censor the internet] and s[upport police violence against]…sex workers…dozens of critical responses…[pointed out that] the [“art” is in reality] “trauma porn” [that is] “damaging, sensationalist and dehumanising”…Exodus Cry’s chief executive, Benjamin Nolot, [whined]…that criticism of the exhibition was…”unfair”, and that [sex workers are not allowed to criticize attempts to drive them into poverty and encourage cops to rape and abduct them]…

Torture Chamber (#1093)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can torture and deport them”:

…the U.S. government sent Mory Keita to a country he hasn’t lived in since he was three years old…Keita lived here undocumented for about three decades and has a daughter who is an American citizen…What makes Keita’s deportation extra jarring is that he was…a…[key witness in a] case…brought by Ahmed Adem and Bayong Brown Bayong…[against] the Butler County Jail, just north of Cincinnati…Bayong [reported] at least three beatings by jail guardsincluding one in August while he was infected with COVID-19…th[e] guards made “threats such as ‘I hope you die bitch’ and, after being pushed down the stairs, ‘When you get down the stairs, I am going to beat all the teeth from your mouth.'”  At one point, the suit says, Bayong was taken to an isolation cell where a correctional officer “punched Mr. Bayong with closed fists all over his face and head” as two other guards watched. Bayong lost a tooth…

You Were Warned (#1099)

Congress won’t stop until it controls the internet:

[Politicians] Ben Sasse…and Jeff Merkley…introduced [fascist] legislation, dubbed the “Stop Internet Sexual Exploitation Act,” [pre]tended to “prevent the uploading of pornographic images to online platforms without the consent of the individuals in the images”…The proposed legislation…would apply to “all online platforms that host pornography [but does not define it],” noted a summary provided by Sasse’s office…A wide variety of intended restrictions…include the [impossible demand that]…platforms hosting pornography [again, without defining the term] offer a 24-hour hotline staffed by the platform…[so] individuals…can request removal of a video that has been distributed without their consent…[within] two hours…

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They…leave people’s lives in ruins because they got it wrong.
–  Anjanette Young

When I retweeted the video I featured last week, reader Michael Norwitz called my attention to this one; I think it’s a suitable way to close out the year!  The links above it were provided by Stephen Lemons, Jillian Keenan, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, Franklin Harris, and Scott Greenfield, in that order.

From the Archives

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