Posts Tagged ‘TikTok’

Is there anything you wouldn’t do to save a child?  –  Tim Ballard

Buried Truth

Yet another example of McNeill’s Law:

A[n Indiana] man [named Eldon W. Phelps has been]…arrest[ed for]…possession of child pornography…[after NCMEC reported he had] an image of a [prepubescent] girl [being raped by] an adult male…[when interrogated,] Phelps told police…they would find more [of the same]…on his desktop computer…Phelps [h]as a…[history of vomiting ugly rhetoric against “pedophiles” on Twitter]…

Joey the Player

A rare case of “authorities” actually doing something about a serial rapist of sex workers:

Jose Torres…was convicted of…four counts of [“persuading women to travel interstate to engage in prostitution”]…From May 2015 to October 2019, Torres persuaded, induced and enticed…sex workers…to travel [to New Jersey]…to [see him as a client, specifically]…target[ing] out-of-state sex workers…with promises of large sums of payment.  Once the women were in New Jersey, Torres refused to pay them…[and] became aggressive, often assaulting and raping them.  Each charge of coercion and enticement carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2024…

Rape is not a federal offense, but Mann Act violations are.  At least this shitty law was used against an actual violent criminal for a change, but…

To Molest and Rape (#1338)

Give sexually-aggressive thugs power over teen girls; what could possibly go wrong?

…no charges will be filed against a[n Ohio cop assigned to spy on, harass, and intimidate students]…for [grooming and molesting] a female student…at the high school…[he was assigned to lurk in.  His behavior made his] wife…[suspicious so she rooted in his] phone…and [found]…a number of…lengthy…late…night [calls with the girl, plus]…messages [that were] “personal in nature and clearly unrelated to school business…a dozen or more times a day…many messages [were] sexual in nature including specific requests for sex”…the student…in[sists] “no sexual conduct beyond touching and kissing took place”…last month, [Bernhardt stalked her]…even though he’d been warned not to have contact with her…

When Ambulance-Chasers Run the Hospitals

Governments will keep uing civil suits to circumvent due process until the practice is declared unconstitutional:

The state of Utah [has] filed a lawsuit against TikTok…for [magical]ly harming the mental health of children and teens, following in the footsteps of states like Arkansas and Indiana…The new lawsuit accuses TikTok of leveraging “[magica]l algorithms and m[ind-control] design features” to entice young users to use the app [in] violation of the state’s consumer protection laws…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#1371)

Politicians don’t even try to make their new laws Constitutional any more:

[An] Ohio [politician named Steve Demetriou has] introduced an age verification bill called the “Innocence Act,” which…could make posting any nude image online without verifying age a felony…and would [criminalize] anyone under the age of 18 [who views] sexually explicit content.”  Demetriou…claim[s] that unspecified studies have shown that “pornography is a pathway to mental health issues for children and can be a precursor to sexual aggression”…[and absurdly belched out the phrase] “human trafficking” [for extra hysteria value]…

Served Cold (#1375)

Ballard’s house of marked cards is collapsing:

[Fiv]e women [have] filed a lawsuit against Tim Ballard…for…abuse…[of] the Couples Ruse…in which a woman would accompany Ballard pretending to be his wife or girlfriend…Ballard would tell the women it was necessary to continue the ruse even while at private accommodations because [magical ninja] traffickers could be surveilling them[, presumably via psychic powers or invisibility,] at any moment…even though the accommodations were always at designated “safe houses”…Ballard [demanded sex]…in [order] to have “real chemistry” because…traffickers would be [magically] able to determine…if they were actually involved or not [via magic spells]…He frequently asked women to practice…before a mission ever took place…through a number of different sexual activities…and…at…strip clubs…Ballard believed he could “talk to the dead prophet Nephi and issue forth prophecies about Ballard’s greatness and future as…President of the United States, and ultimately the Mormon Prophet, to usher in the second coming of Jesus Christ”…

Y’all may remember that I’ve repeatedly described Ballard as a megalomaniac.

To Molest and Rape (#1379)

Cops should not be allowed anywhere near legal minors:

Arkansas State Police arrested [a cop named] Roy E. Mitchell…[for] sexual assault [against a minor]…following a call [made by some unnamed party] to the…Crimes Against Children Division Hotline…


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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If war is the health of the state…then scaring the hell out of people is the health of the security state.  –  J.D. Tuccille


Since practical limits on surveillance are vanishing, legal limits are more important than ever:

It sounds like science fiction, but researchers are getting better and better at retrieving tiny traces of human genetic material called environmental DNA…that we leave floating in the air or water, and mining it for genetic info.  The technique has…[already] been used for…detecting the…COVID-19  [virus] in wastewater, [and] tracking endangered or invasive species.  But now, a team of scientists has attempted to see how much information it could glean from human eDNA specifically…analyzing samples for genetic markers related to genealogy and even ethnicity.  As detailed in a new paper published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, a team led by University of Florida wildlife geneticist David Duffy found that they could trace back medical and ancestry information from these minute traces of human DNA.  And that has privacy experts deeply worried…[because cops] already…[ab]use…flawed and controversial DNA tools to [persecute people]…

Creepy Coppers

The people the government empowers to police your sexuality:

TikTok-famous small-town police chief traded incest videos via a secret Twitter account…Joel Justice Womochil…[was] police chief in Burns, Kansas…[from] February 2022…until his sudden resignation in early August…A little over a week later, Womochil was arrested [for child porn]…[after] Synchronoss Technologies, which provides cloud storage for Verizon Wireless customers, [reported] that [Womochil] had backed up a dozen video and image files of hardcore child abuse…

Incidentally, the ass-backward fantasy that Pedobear, a character created to mock people behaving creepily about young girls online, is actually some sort of symbol for pedophiles is a product of cops’ sick, warped minds, and was the topic of the very first “The Clueless Leading the Hysterical” in December 2011.

Welcome to the Future (#1261)

Conditioning kids to accept constant, intrusive surveillance:

…”Research demonstrates the damaging effect of surveillance on children’s ability to develop in healthy ways,” [wrote law professor Barbara] Fedders…”[they] cannot develop the ability to evaluate and manage risk…in order to function effectively.”  Notably, school surveillance normalizes the idea that constant monitoring is good and necessary for preserving safety…”3 in 10…Americans under 30 favor ‘the government installing surveillance cameras in every household’ in order to ‘reduce domestic violence, abuse, and other illegal activity,'” the Cato Institute…[reported] in June…and…A survey of college students by the Foundation for Individuals Rights and Expression (FIRE) found “forty-five percent said blocking other students from attending a speech may be acceptable in some situations”…If young Americans ultimately reject liberty, it may result from trapping them in miniature surveillance states that defy every premise of a free society.  Kids will grow up to value freedom only if they’re raised in an environment where privacy and liberty are treated as normal and good…

Thou Shalt Not (#1299)

Because this kind of prohibition will surely be different!

People in England born on or after January 1, 2009, will be [criminalized if they] ever buy…cigarettes under [a “monkey see, monkey do” law] announced…by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak [which would ape New Zealand’s scheme right down to the date of prohibition]…The prime minister [lied that] smokers put “huge pressures” on the country’s National Health Service despite the fact smokers in the U.K. pay far more in taxes than they cost in terms of health care…”Not only is this prohibitionist wheeze hideously illiberal and unconservative, it is full of holes,” says Christopher Snowdon…of…the Institute of Economic Affairs…”adults [will] buy cigarettes informally from slightly older adults and will inflate the black market in general”…But cigarettes aren’t alone in Sunak’s war on nicotine—disposable e-cigarettes, which have been blamed for an uptick in youth vaping, could also be banned

A Broker in Pillage (#1341)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

A North Carolina teenager was hoping to get her life back on track after a state judge ordered a man who sexually abused her to pay her $69,000.  Instead, she got a nasty surprise.  The local [cops] had already s[tolen] the cash through civil asset forfeiture, and it was already [spent].  Despite a judge’s order, she will get nothing…Mario Alberto Gomez-Saldana II…pleaded guilty…and is currently serving a prison sentence…[but the cops claimed to have found plant leaves when they ransacked his house, and used that as a pretext to steal money] Saldana [had] won [in] the lottery in 2018…[an after-tax total of] $70,507…North Carolina…is one of four states that only allows forfeiture after a criminal conviction…But under the Justice Department’s equitable sharing [scheme], federal authorities may “adopt” state and local civil asset forfeiture cases and…local [cop shops who collaborate in the racket get a kickback of]…up to 80 percent of the [loot]…the sheer injustice of th[is] case ha[s] led to calls from Congress to pass federal legislation to stop cases like this from happening in the future…

I Spy (#1353)

When it comes to surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…ICE…CBP…and the Secret Service all broke the law while using location data harvested from ordinary apps installed on smartphones.  In one instance, a CBP official also inappropriately used the technology to…[stalk] coworkers…For years U.S. government agencies have been buying access to location data through commercial vendors, a practice which…skirts the Fourth Amendment requirement of a warrant.  During that time, the agencies have typically refused to publicly explain the legal basis on which they based their purchase and use of the data.  Now, [a DHS] report shows that three of the main customers of commercial location data broke the law while doing so…ICE [has refused to] stop…use of such data [despite lack of warrant or supervisory] approval…

The Vultures Descend (#1358)

Regardless of what pompous politicians eventually do, many overseas pharmacies will sell to US customers without playing “Mother-May-I” games:

A handful of independent pharmacies across the [US] have quietly begun dispensing the abortion pill mifepristone under new rules created by the Biden administration earlier this year…Thousands of branches of major pharmacy chains are poised to join them — making the drugs more accessible to millions of people nationwide and kicking off a new phase of the legal and political battle over the most popular method of ending a pregnancy…

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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A facility didn’t kill my uncle; three deputies tased him while he was having a heart attack.  –  Sherilyn Sabo

St. James Infirmary

A program that did one thing well tried to be all things to all people:

St. James Infirmary…[i]s shutting down….[after] years…[of] mismanagement…Money was squandered, benefits went unpaid, and at one point the health clinic’s license allegedly lapsed, leaving medical providers in limbo…in the middle of the pandemic, staff on the ground saw problems spiral out of control.  Directors of the site quit or were pushed out…Shifts went severely understaffed…Brianna Singleton, a former nurse practitioner with St. James, [sai]d…the decision to take on housing programs dealt the organization a fatal blow.  “We were out of our depth…It felt like a magician pulling red flags out of their hat — they just kept coming”…

Torture Chamber 

Blaming torture and neglect on a building is brazen even by cop standards:

Between 2012 and 2016, the [East Baton Rouge Parish Prison] had a death rate more than twice the national average…Since 2012, there have been 59 fatalities in custody.  Jail staff have long…neglect[ed sick prisoners, leading to]…deadly lapses in medical treatment, and in 2016, the brutal treatment of people arrested and jailed for protesting the Baton Rouge police [murder] of Alton Sterling sparked a movement for jail reform.  The man who has overseen the jail for 15-plus years…Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, has often blamed the deaths on the building…[because he wants] a new, even larger facility, but voters have shot down requests for funding to build a new one.  The sheriff, [like most of his diseased ilk]…has…profit[ed from] his office, raking in significant campaign contributions from contractors during elections where he has…lacked a significant challenger.  This includes thousands of dollars in donations from a law firm that has represented Gautreaux and his co-defendants against plaintiffs whose loved ones have died in his jail…

Sex Rays (#1003)

I’m sure the people of Maui didn’t want her dirty whore money anyhow:

The OnlyFans model using her nude photos to raise money for Maui wildfire relief efforts can no longer crowdfund on GoFundMe…because the platform shut down her efforts.  Mariah Casillas, who goes by Lavagrll on social media, was sending nudes to folks who donated $10 to victims of the deadly Maui wildfires…The model raised over $7,400 in just a few days, but…GoFundMe [clutched its pearls, clucked about]…”prohibited conduct”…[and] refunded [all the money so the would-be donors got] her nudes for free [which I’m sure made the bluenoses at GoFundMe feel better].  She’s now taking her nude fundraiser over to OnlyFans…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1269)

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

[Louisiana politician] Liz Murrill…mixed two classic Republican strawmen — the drug war and abortion — into a single, unexpected and wholly unsubstantiated talking point: Nefarious drug pushers are lacing online abortion pills with fentanyl…In a…[radio interview] Murrill…[started by bloviating standard prohibitionist talking points, including the bogus] claim that cannabis is a gateway drug, [then declared that] the smell of marijuana is ruining American communities…“everywhere we go, we see these communities that are just being destroyed by the smell and…people are sleeping on the streets.  One thing leads to the other”…she [then]…claimed cannabis legalization has somehow been a boon for illegal fentanyl sales…and…then…pivoted to…abortion pills…Of course, there is no evidence that abortion pills are being mixed with fentanyl and they remain perfectly safe — and legal in most states…Ironically, Republicans have created a de facto gray market for abortion pills…if Murrill’s random musings about fentanyl and abortion pills were true, it would mean th[ey]…are responsible…since they made the pills illegal in the first place…

You Were Warned (#1341)

This is an extremely dangerous precedent:

TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance has spent years negotiating a national security agreement with the Biden Administration that would avoid a ban on the short video app in the United States…that agreement…would give [the US] government…the authority to: examine TikTok’s U.S. facilities, records, equipment and servers with minimal or no notice; block changes to the app’s U.S. terms of service, moderation policies and privacy policy; veto the hiring of any executive involved in leading TikTok’s U.S. Data Security org; order TikTok and ByteDance to pay for and subject themselves to various audits, assessments and other reports on the security of TikTok’s U.S. functions; and, in some circumstances, require ByteDance to temporarily stop TikTok from functioning in the United States.  The draft agreement would make TikTok’s U.S. operations subject to extensive supervision by an array of independent investigative bodies…and…force TikTok U.S. to exclude ByteDance leaders from certain security-related decision making, and instead rely on an executive security committee that would operate in secrecy from ByteDance…

Dangerous Speech (#1348)

It’s almost like the judge is intentionally setting up another mistrial:

…federal Judge Diane Humetewa…shot down a defense suggestion that the prosecution not use the terms “sex trafficking” and “child sex trafficking” during the Aug. 29 trial of award-winning journalist Michael Lacey and four others, calling the position a “non-starter”.  Humetewa also overruled a defense objection to her proposed jury instruction on the First Amendment, despite the defense’s claim that the instruction’s wording does not comport with precedents set by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Most of the two-hour hearing dealt with establishing a jury pool of 110 persons, out of which 16 will be plucked to serve as 12 jurors and four alternates.  Humetewa said she added questions to the jury questionnaire aimed at finding out if potential jurors knew of the recent, tragic death of veteran newspaperman Jim Larkin and if it would affect their ability to be impartial…

The Widening Gyre (#1360) 

This time, the “sex trafficking” lie was told to divert blame for bad behavior:

The junior Marine charged with sexually assaulting a [14-year-old girl]…met [her] on a dating app where she told him she was 22…Pfc. Avery Rosario…is currently…charged with…sexual assault of a child over age 12…Rosario’s defense team argued that the Marine and two friends who witnessed his interactions with the girl all believed she was 22…[her] Tinder profile…said she was 21…In screenshots of direct message exchanges on Tinder and Instagram shown in court…she told him she was actually 22…The girl’s aunt posted a series of videos on TikTok saying the girl had been the victim of sex trafficking and was sold to the Marine [presumably by “traffickers”] for sex…But [after] she [was] seen in the hallway of the barracks…She made several contradicting statements to investigators…first giving them a false birthday.  She later told them she’d lied to the Marine about her age…she [later claimed she] had been sex trafficked and had come to the base to be rescued…


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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Won’t somebody please actually think of the children?  –  Elizabeth Brown

Panopticon (#1001)

The “security” system that isn’t:

Amazon will pay $30 million in fines to settle allegations of privacy violations related to…its Ring video doorbell and Alexa virtual assistant services…Ring…grant[ed] access to private videos to its employees and contractors.  It also allegedly neglected to implement basic privacy and security measures, allowing hackers to gain control of consumers’ cameras and videos by breaching their accounts…”Ring gave every employee—as well as hundreds of Ukraine-based third-party contractors—full access to every customer video, regardless of whether the employee or contractor actually needed that access to perform his or her job function”…[one] Amazon employee viewed thousands of video recordings of female users in private spaces like bathrooms and bedrooms over several months.  This incident went unnoticed by the company’s security team until another employee discovered and reported it…

Thought Control (#1277)

It’s always nice to see authoritarian fanatics hoist with their own petard:

The Bible has been removed from all elementary and middle school libraries throughout the Davis School District [in Utah] after someone c[orrectly pointed out that it contains material now considered grounds for censorship in Utah.  Hypocrites responded by filing]…a[n] appeal to the ruling…asking for the district to retain the Bible in all district schools…[despite its considerable] vulgarity [and] violence…[the complaint] not[ed] that the Bible includes mentions of incest, bestiality, prostitution, genital mutilation and rape, among other things…

Torture Chamber (#1278) 

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

Rikers [Island] officials [lied, claiming one of their victims] had suffered a heart attack…[when in actuality] an autopsy shows that he had a fractured skull…Joshua Valles was [told “Stop faking!]…when he complained to s[crews] about head…[pain resulting from the fracture]…court monitor Steve Martin..learned that…Valles [had been fatally assaulted] not from the Department of [Locking Humans in Cages], but from an external source.  Pressed on what had happened, DOC staff [simply lied]…Commissioner Louis Molina…[even] urged [Martin] to [support the lies about] what happened to Valles…the endemic violence of Rikers Island…was deemed so severe in the federal lawsuit that gave rise to the monitorship eight years ago that it constitutes a violation of the constitutional rights of the people [locked up] there…

You Were Warned (#1288)

It’s a relief to see the courts sending so many ambulance-chasers packing:

The Supreme Court [has] declined to take up a case from a [soi-disant] victim of sex trafficking who [tried to use FOSTA] to [get a big payout from] Reddit…[because her former boyfriend posted videos of them having sex when she was slightly under 18]…The [attempt] was the latest targeting…section [230, hoping to destroy the open internet in pursuit of personal profit]…Earlier this month, the court [protect]ed Google and Twitter [from similar nuisance lawsuits by] preserving…Section 230 [from castration in the name of a bogeyman, though in that case it was]…terroris[m rather than “sex trafficking”] …“There are other important big tech cases in the pipeline, but this seems to confirm that the justices aren’t going to come back to Section 230 anytime soon,” [law professor Steve] Vladeck said…

The Last Shall Be First (#1318) 

Politicians don’t care how much public money they waste defending asinine culture war theater:

U. S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Parker…[has] declared Tennessee’s anti-drag Adult Entertainment Act to be unconstitutional…A…Memphis based…theatre company, Friends of George’s, had sued the state of Tennessee…[because] the law [is] unconstitutional under the First Amendment.  In April Judge Parker ordered a temporary injunction halting the…law…hours before it was set to take effect[, saying:]  “If Tennessee wishes to exercise its police power in restricting speech it considers obscene, it must do so within the constraints and framework of the United States Constitution…”

Dangerous Speech (#1329)

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less’.

U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa denied a defense motion asking her to dismiss the five-year-old criminal case against veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin…[because] the U.S. Department of Justice [is] talking out of both sides of its mouth, with the DOJ insisting on one interpretation of the U.S. Travel Act before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, while arguing for a looser application of the same law in Phoenix against Lacey, Larkin and four co-defendants…

You Were Warned (#1344)

When the Unsinkable Liz Brown does a deep dive on some species of tyranny, there’s no way for me to adequately choose a pull-quote to feature here, so I’m just going to advise you to read her latest, on attempts to undermine free speech, destroy the internet and expose all private communications to the probing snouts of cops under that venerable excuse for tyranny, “THE CHILDREN!!!™” and tell you that it covers KOSA, EARN IT, STOP CSAM, age verification lawsTikTok bans, and much more.


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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Whenever there is a power imbalance…consent is not really possible.  –  Meg Foster

Thou Shalt Not (#971)

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

The World Health Organization (WHO) has advised most people to avoid most kinds of “non-sugar sweeteners”, after a 2022 review of the evidence found they don’t help with weight control long term and [crypto-moralists claim without evidence that they] may cause diabetes, heart attacks and death…the evidence supporting [the idea that eating less sugar reduces sugar intake] is mixed.  Some short randomised trials have found that consuming drinks with sweeteners instead of the full-sugar versions can reduce weight gain in children, but others have failed to show a benefit.  Population studies tend to show that sweetener consumption correlates with higher rates of diabetes and heart disease – but this could be because people are more likely to use sweeteners if they are heavier to start with…

The lede is of course both buried and quintessentially crypto-moralist: “The perfect solution is going for water.”  To “hydrate” your meal of insects and raw vegetables, I’m sure.

A Broker in Pillage (#1101)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

…”civil asset forfeiture”…remains a boil on the ass of American jurisprudence.  Now, in a rare demonstration of cooperation across political divides, Democratic and Republican lawmakers have joined together to introduce legislation to reform the practice…at the federal level.  They are supported by a coalition of organizations that put aside ideological differences in an attempt to curb the dangerous practice…The FAIR Act…requires that seizures be conducted in court rather than through administrative processes and also guarantees legal representation for federal forfeiture targets…[I]t isn’t a perfect bill…but…some improvement is better than none for a practice that has largely served as an exercise in legalized highway robbery…

I Spy (#1206)

Remember, Twitter claims this surveillance isn’t surveillance:

…in the wake of the reversal of Roe v. Wade…U.S. Marshals …received regular alerts from Dataminr, a[n “official partner” of Twitter] that persistently monitors social media for corporate and government clients, about the precise time and location of both ongoing and planned abortion rights demonstrations…Dataminr flagged the social media posts of protest organizers, participants, and bystanders, and leveraged Dataminr’s privileged access to the so-called firehose of unrestricted Twitter data to monitor constitutionally protected speech…

You Were Warned (#1279)

A little bit of good news about mob-rule attempts to castrate Section 230:

The U.S. Supreme Court…upheld Section 230, ruling in favor of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube/Google in two cases…Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh…which dealt…with…Section 230 protections…In the unanimous decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas…SCOTUS held that the tech companies’ conduct “did not constitute aiding and abetting [terrorists] because they did not knowingly provide substantial assistance to the groups in carrying out the terrorist act in question”…the ruling means that…“the Supreme Court made it abundantly clear that social media platforms like Twitter cannot be held civilly liable for third-party content”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1299)

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

The…TSA’s trial rollout of biometric facial recognition technology at airport security checkpoints…is…[supposedly] voluntary.  However, in a March 14 interview with Kyle Arnold of The Dallas Morning News, TSA Administrator David Pekoske said that if the TSA gets its way, biometric screening technology will eventually not be optional.  But even without mandating facial recognition, fears of delay or poor treatment by TSA staff may lead travelers to submit when they’d rather not…Additionally, the TSA risks travelers’ privacy by collecting personal data and sending it to the Department of Homeland Security (even if the TSA [pretends] that the data is anonymized, encrypted, and eventually deleted)…

You Were Warned (#1328)

These attempts to destroy the internet are just going to keep getting worse:

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte has signed into law a measure to severely restrict…TikTok, making his state the first to enact a near-total ban on the social media platform…The law, slated to take effect on January 1, 2024, would bar TikTok from [legally] operating in Montana.  It would also prohibit app stores from offering TikTok for download within state lines — a ban that tech companies [correctly state] will be impossible to [enforce, in addition to being]…a violation of the…First Amendment…TikTok has earned bipartisan scrutiny in the US and other countries over questions of privacy, surveillance and [partial ownership by] Beijing’s government…Gianforte promised…to…widen…[the ban] to other social media apps with foreign ties, including the China-based WeChat and Telegram, which was founded by two Russian-born entrepreneurs…

To Molest and Rape (#1338)

Cops should not be allowed anywhere near legal minors:

A [typical and representative] Los Angeles [cop] has been charged with sexually assaulting four boys…Paul Razo…[molested] two of his young male relatives; one was 11 or 12 years old and the other was about 13 when the abuse began…The other two victims were sons of a woman Razo had been dating…one was 9 or 10 when Razo began molesting him, and the other…was 12…The assaults occurred between 2006 and 2017…

UPDATE: Razo has apparently died while in the “care” of his cronies.

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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Banning books you disagree with is a direct attack on our most basic liberties.  –  Ellen Leonida

To Molest and Rape

This is the kind of man to whom the State gives almost unlimited power over women:

…[on] December 17 and 18, 2021…[West Virginia state cop] Michael J. Miller…drugged, kidnapped and brutally raped [a] woman…[in a letter notifying the cop shop of intent to sue, her lawyer wrote] “She…woke up naked in her bed with blood, urine and feces all over her,…Her earrings were ripped out of her ears, her hair was pulled out, her teeth were damaged, and she had been raped vaginally and sodomized with some instrument.  This is all confirmed by the rape unit at the emergency department of CAMC Women’s and Children’s Hospital…To show you how ignorant your trooper is, the morning after he shattered this lady’s world, Trooper Miller sent a Facebook message to (the woman) and asked if he’d left his hat in her car.  The FBI has this message, and his hat, so you may want to discuss that with them as well”…

The Cop Myth (#1231)

If he’d succeeded in killing her, he would’ve claimed it was an accident or suicide:

[A UK cop named] Thomas Gair…mentally and physically abused Chloe Bradley, a fellow [cop], throughout the course of their relationship between February 2019 and January last year…During one assault in January 2020…Gair…shoved her out of [his] car before reversing it into her as she was getting back to her feet, sending her “absolutely flying”…But…[it became worse w]hen…he…got…[her] pregnant…in 2021…”he told me to have an abortion or he was going to leave me.  He said we couldn’t afford it and it would ruin our lives.  He told me I would be a crap mother and I was probably going to lose the baby…he wanted me to have a miscarriage…he would threaten ‘I will push you down the stairs'”…that is exactly what…he…[did] in May 2021…”He pushed me back and I fell right down the stairs.  I hit my head twice and that knocked me out”…the couple’s…colleagues eventually reported Gair’s abuse…

Thought Control (#1253)

There’s at least one principled judge in Texas:

A federal judge in Texas ruled that at least 12 books [censor]ed from public libraries by Llano County officials…because of their LGBTQ and racial content, must be placed back onto shelves within 24 hours…Seven residents sued county [bureaucrats] in April 2022…[because] their First and 14th Amendment rights were violated when…[busybodies and politicians set themselves up as censors over citizens in direct violation of the US Constitution]…because they dis[like people having]…ideas [they disagree with]…and terminated access to thousands of digital books because they could not ban two specific titles…The library system also is required to reflect these books as available in their catalog and cannot [censor] any books…while the case is ongoing…

Cops and Robbers (#1287)

It’s difficult to read this without feeling a bit of schadenfreude:

Police in Canada have arrested members of a vigilante “pedophile-hunting” group, charging them with distribution of child abuse images…in order to lure people, the group used sexually explicit photos, faked to give the appearance that the subjects were underage.  “The…law says, when you share a photo…and that you claim that it represents a person of age minor, even if it really isn’t, it [magically] becomes child pornography,” co[p] Andrée East [said]…For more than a decade, Quebec police have been pleading with the vigilante groups to stop their “hunts”…One investigation found the group[s] ensnared innocent people by manipulating chats and messages to give the appearance of impropriety.  One group, Creep Catchers, has long frustrated police for their methods, which at times have interfered in police investigations and come with tragic consequences.  In 2016, a woman in Alberta took her life months after she was [fram]ed by the group…

Of course, cops use these exact same tactics all the time, but I guess cops lack the magical transubstantiation power that busybody fanatics possess.

You Were Warned (#1292)

These attempts to destroy the internet are just going to keep getting worse:

“Would the RESTRICT Act—a.k.a. the TikTok ban bill—criminalize the use of VPNs?” Reason‘s Elizabeth Nolan Brown asked…The answer is: in many cases, yes—but wait, there’s more!  The RESTRICT Act proposed by…Mark Warner …and a [ho]st of co-sponsors…hands a whole lot of power to the government…”to review and prohibit certain transactions between persons in the United States and foreign adversaries” regarding information and communications technology…The National Law Review summarized last week…”the RESTRICT Act would provide the secretary of commerce broad authority to take appropriate measures to deal with [vaguely-defined] risks, and to enforce such measures with hefty civil and criminal penalties”…the bill also grants the president new power to take actions regarding “undue or unacceptable risk” posed by information and communications technology…That’s a huge grant of authority to address the supposed peril posed by TikTok.  What does it all mean?  Use your imagination; government officials implementing the law certainly will…

Permanent Record (#1296)

It seems as though it wasn’t actually the OnlyFans account that got him fired:

A [New York] City [parking ticket] judge moonlighted as a porn star on OnlyFans…Gregory A. Locke…has produced more than 100 posts since he opened an account in November 2020…[but it was the] Twitter account where he frequently posted X-rated images and video…[which actually attracted the attention of politician] Vickie Paladino [after he replied] “choke on a dick“…in a tweeted response to her…Drag Queen Story Hour [talking points]…Paladino’s official complaint about the Twitter comment…[got him] fired…for “unprofessional behavior”…

To Molest and Rape (#1323)

Cops view alcoholism in women as a way to facilitate rape:

Jason Redmond, a[n]…Ontario [cop, raped]…a woman while she was unconscious…[and] made a video of the [rape] on his phone to “prove” the victim had a drinking problem, and to “teach her a lesson” about how irresponsible she was when consuming alcohol.  “He made the video to show that anybody could rape her,” [the judge said]…Redmond…has been [enjoying a long-term] paid [vacation]…since 2015 after [he was caught] being involved in a local drug trafficking operation…


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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One obvious hole in the…[“drug treat” legend] is that drugs tend to cost more than candy.  –  Joel Best

King of the Hill

The first “King of the Hill” claim I’ve seen in almost three years:

 [A rescue industry group called] Reflection Ministries hosted [a propaganda session it labeled a “]human trafficking summit[“, in which professional “]survivors[” claimed] the Permian Basin is in the top five areas for most trafficked individuals throughout the United States…

The Permian Basin is a largely-rural area of West Texas; its only sizeable population cluster is the Midland-Odessa SMSE, with a total population of 320,513 over an area of 2,720 sq mi (118/sq mi, approximately the state average for Texas).  Click on the link for other cities & states claiming to be in the “top five”.

Buried Truth

Not a specific McNeill’s Law case, but adjacent:

A GOP candidate running for an Arizona college district’s governing board was arrested on a charge of public sexual indecency after a…[fellow cop] caught him masturbating in his truck near a preschool. Randy Kaufman was…[a screw] for 27 years…[and claimed] he didn’t know there was a preschool just feet away…In a Facebook post from May, Kaufman said he wanted “our children protected [from] the progressive left”…

Prudesville (#1012) 

Not an especially satisfactory resolution:

…Everett, Washington…passed a law prohibiting quick service food and drink peddlers from showing off certain body parts…The city didn’t even pretend to tie the law to food safety, instead c[laiming that “women who dress like sluts cause rape”]…A group of bikini baristas working suedcalling it a matter of women’s rights…the law…[also invent]ed a new crime of facilitating lewd conduct, to target the owners of bikini barista establishments…Now, a judge has finally ruled…that Everett’s dress code is unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.  [Judge Ricardo] Martinez rejected the baristas’ argument that the dress code violated their right to free expression.  And he let stand the city’s expanded definition of lewd conduct and criminalization [thereof, claiming]…that [stopping women from making money in ways politicians dislike]…is…an important government interest…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1248) 

Frogs, meet scorpion:

A China-based team at TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, planned to use the TikTok app to monitor the personal location of some specific American citizens…The team primarily conducts investigations into potential misconduct by current and former ByteDance employees.  But in at least two cases, the Internal Audit team also planned to collect TikTok data about the location of a U.S. citizen who had never had an employment relationship with the company…it is unclear from the [leaked] materials whether data about these Americans was actually collected; however, the plan was for a Beijing-based ByteDance team to obtain location data…in…[order] to surveil individual American citizens, not to target ads or any…other purpose…

To Molest and Rape (Rapist Roundup)

“Police explorer” programs are nothing but grooming schemes for predatory cops:

A 17-year-old in Florida was part of a [grooming] program for [predatory cops, yet somehow everyone was shocked when]…a [cop] sexually abused [her]…Matthew Allen Anderson…is charged with sexual battery…

To Molest and Rape (#1278)

I’m sure if they really “investigate”, they’ll find multiple underage victims:

An investigation is underway [because a typical and representative Houston cop]…sexually assault[ed] a child…Paul Fernandez has not been charged but was terminated from his role…supervising Internal Affairs investigations…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1282)

The stupider the belief, the harder it is to debunk:

…TSA agents [recently] discovered around 12,000 fentanyl pills in a passenger’s carry-on bag…smuggled in boxes and packaging of well-known candy brands, like Whoppers, Skittles, and SweeTarts.  [Cops and bureaucrats] quickly seized this detail as a reason to warn parents to be on the lookout for fentanyl pills in their children’s Halloween candy…Even though the pills seized during this week’s drug bust at the L.A. airport were all light blue, the fact that they were smuggled in candy boxes has allowed government officials and the media to piggyback on recent “rainbow fentanyl” fearmongering… “Stories about contaminated treats are best understood as contemporary legends,” writes Joel Best, a prominent researcher of “Halloween sadism…My data goes back to 1958, and…I can’t find any evidence that any child has ever been killed or seriously injured by a contaminated treat picked up in the course of trick-or-treating”…


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 very much!

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

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

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

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

So What Else Is New? (#504)

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

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

Gullible’s Travels (#977)

Americans will believe basically any scaremongering about teenagers:

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

A Broker in Pillage (#985)

The South Carolina Supreme Court declares itself illegitimate:

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

Disaster (#1234)

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

Dangerous Speech (#1270)

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

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

Permanent Record (#1274)

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

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

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A government powerful enough to bully tech companies into obscuring information about anti-abortion centers is also one powerful enough to bully tech companies into hiding info about how to obtain an abortion.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

If Men Were Angels

“Pastor” + “assistant principal” = “youth pastor”:

A [pastor and] assistant principal at Union Grove Christian School [in North Carolina]…has been sentenced to five consecutive 10-12 month sentences…for a series of sex crimes that he committed…from 2008 to 2009…with a high school student…

Quiet Genocide (#1130)

Meanwhile, the West obsesses about porn:

Under Xi, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has steadily beaten the population into ideological conformity.  For ethnic and religious minorities, that has meant erasing their identities and remaking them as Han Chinese.  Most far‐​reaching has been the campaign against the Muslim Uyghurs…the…vi[ctims of a]…far‐​reaching campaign of…Orwell[ian]…surveillance…and…[repress]ion …more than a million Uyghurs [are caged] in reeducation camps…[whose] purpose is also Orwellian—to produce CCP‐​controlled automatons.  Even after release, many Uyghurs are not free…[they are] forced…[to] work…in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well‐​known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Apple, BMW, Gap, Huawei, Nike, Samsung, Sony and Volkswagen…Even when [Uyghurs]…find…safe haven outside China…Beijing is also determined to control [them]…A new report by Bradley Jardine, a fellow with both the Wilson Center and the Kennan Institute, explores how China is exporting repression abroad, including into the United States…

Censor Chic (#1138)

Corporations have become the favored tool of censors worldwide:

…some politicians…think Google should be serving up only government-approved information.  In the latest iteration of this phenomenon, 21 senators have sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai complaining that people who search for information about abortions may be led to websites for crisis pregnancy centers…The[se] often draw people in by purporting to be neutral sources of information and support for people facing unexpected pregnancies, but their goal is to convince people to continue those pregnancies…But while some have been found to misrepresent themselves in ways that amount to fraud, most operate within legal limits and have every right to exist, to advertise, and to try to persuade people…standing in contrast to the much more drastic tactics of trying to…criminalize abortion [entirely]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1166) 

Frog, meet scorpion:

For years, TikTok has responded to data privacy concerns by pr[etend]ing that information gathered about users in the United States is stored in the United States, rather than China, where ByteDance, the video platform’s parent company, is located.  But according to leaked audio from…internal TikTok meetings, China-based employees of ByteDance have repeatedly accessed nonpublic data about US TikTok users…Despite a TikTok executive’s…[perjur]y in an October 2021 Senate hearing that a “world-renowned, US-based security team” decides who gets access to this data, nine statements by eight different employees describe situations where US employees had to turn to their colleagues in China to determine how US user data was flowing.  US staff did not have permission or knowledge of how to access the data on their own…

Creepy Coppers

The people the government empowers to police your sexuality:

New Mexico [cop]…Robert Jesse Strand…was…charged with c[hild porn]…possession…[he was caught in] June 2021 but…once [the investigators] learned Strand was [a member of their gang, they tried to bury]…the case…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1238)

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

…sex workers could be subject to unwanted visits from police — and more profiling from strangers — if the Manitoba government passes new legislation i[ntended to infantilize sexworkers and make it easier to persecute them and their clients, whom the bill’s sponsors label]…”exploiters”…Winnipeg police [are promoting the usual idiotic “]signs of exploitation[” on their website, and the]…new legislation…would compel hotels and temporary accommodations…to keep a record of guests’ information, including their names and addresses, and turn it over to police on [demand] without…a warrant…Families Minister Rochelle Squires [lied that the bill]…won’t go after people involved in consensual sex work.  The province wants to [call all sex work “]human trafficking[” so the government can pretend the bill]…is not intended to push sex work further underground…

Served Cold (#1245) 

OUR’s increasingly-bizarre antics have made it a pariah even among “trafficking” fetishists:

Operation Underground Railroad has a pattern of exaggeration and misrepresentation…its founder, Tim Ballard…claimed…in a video posted on…Instagram, in a Tweet, and in a Facebook post…to be doing a “collaboration” with American Airlines this month, with the airline showing a video about its work…a spokesperson for American flatly said there was no such collaboration…“We do not have any partnership or affiliation with them, and the content is not available on our in-flight entertainment”…Turns out…[that in actuality,] the organization bought an ad with a third-party service provider, Clearwind Media, which…never actually ran on [American’s] in-flight entertainment…this is qualitatively different from a “collaboration” with American…

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It’s as if Disney were entering Notre-Dame.  –  Maurice Culot

Every once in a while social media produces something really exceptional; this was called to my attention by Mike Siegel, who also contributed “improved” and “baby”.  The other links above the video were provided by Dan Savage, Scott Greenfield, Kevin Wilson, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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