Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘West Virginia’

[Forcing people to provide private] data…is dangerous, because it’s not a matter of if it will be breached; it’s a matter of when.  –  Caden Rosenbaum

Schadenfreude 

Yet another opportunistic fraud has been unmasked:

…the…[“]sex trafficking[” opportun]ist known as Eliza Bleu has broken into some of the top tiers of right-wing media in just a few years, growing her audience through…[claims that she is] “a survivor of human trafficking”…But now Bleu[‘s lies have been exposed by]…embarrassing images from her past…and…contradict[ions in her backstory from different] videos and interviews—and her frequent use of different names online…Now two former friends of Bleu [have come forward with more details which reveal]…that, at best, Bleu is exaggerating her experiences for attention…Carly Wenzel, a one-time pal…who has known her for two decades…added she believes Bleu is “completely lying”…

Lying Down With Dogs (#335)

What other country uses the term “prostitution” to criminalize consensual behavior the regime dislikes?

An Iranian court has handed jail sentences of more than 10 years each to a young couple who danced in front of one of Tehran’s main landmarks in a video seen as a symbol of defiance against the regime…Astiyazh Haghighi and her fiance, Amir Mohammad Ahmadi, both in their early 20s, were arrested in early November…Haghighi was not wearing a headscarf…women are also not allowed to dance in public, let alone with a man…The couple, who already had a following in Tehran as popular Instagram bloggers, were convicted of “encouraging corruption and public prostitution” as well as “gathering with the intention of disrupting national security”…they [were]…deprived of lawyers during the [kangaroo] court…and attempts to secure their release on bail [were] rejected…

Negative Secondary Effects

It usually starts with sex workers, but it never stops with us:

A bill introduced in West Virginia…aims to ban adult entertainment businesses from the state…The language of the bill is both borderline graphic and incredibly vague: it defines the body parts that stores are prohibited from showing in books, live performances, and films with meticulous specificity…but specific details on which businesses will actually be affected if this bill were to pass into law are left mostly undefined…Under th[e bill’s current language], a bookstore that sells [sex education books or videos]…would be considered an adult business…the terms of this bill could effectively make gay bars and nude modeling at art schools illegal…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1021)

This would be terrible even if the cops weren’t lying:

The…NYPD…is in the process of redesigning its fleet of p[igmobi]les, which will now have 360-degree cameras installed in them for constant [surveillance] of the [citizen]s…Po[rk] Commissioner Keechant Sewell…[lied] that…there are no plans to e[quip] the [cameras with] facial recognition technology…[but she bragged about]…an “augmented reality” app…will allow [cops] to point their smartphones at a location, such as a…[person’s home], and learn about things like wanted suspects or previous 911 calls connected to the address…

Creepy Coppers

The people the government empowers to police your sexuality:

A [Virginia cop named]…David Stone…is currently being held without bond a[fter being]…arrested on Jan. 25…[on] 50 child pornography charges…

Stupor Bowl (#1277)

It’s unsurprising that Arizona is still promoting this nearly-mummified fantasy with police violence against women:

Despite more than a decade of research, reports, editorials, magazine articles and even police accounts debunking the odious myth that the Super Bowl is a magnet for sex trafficking, this zombie lie remains catnip to local politicians, police and media ahead of Super Bowl LVII…But occasionally a little truth sneaks through the miasma of misinformation, as is the case with…Fox 10’s report bolster[ing] the long-disproven…hoax…it inadvertently reveals [that]…Phoenix Police…ha[ve] been regularly arresting unknown numbers of adults [under the pretext that they might be “]victims of sex trafficking[” and] allowing [prohibitionist] groups to proselytize them while in custody…If that sounds familiar, it should, because about 10 years ago, the PPD was involved in a similar, highly-controversial program with ASU’s School of Social Work called Project ROSE

The Mob Rules (#1307)

Tyrannical politicians are now competing to see which state can make adolescence most closely resemble a prison sentence:

A pair of bills in Utah would impose draconian requirements on social media platforms [under the pretext] of protecting children….social media companies would be required to verify the ages of all users from Utah, get parental consent before allowing someone under age 18 to open or maintain an account, provide parents or guardians of minors with “access to the content and interactions” of accounts maintained by their children, and…minors would be prohibited from using social media between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m…The bill would also authorize a[nyone, including bureaucrats]…to sue social media companies for [supposed] violations…

 

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!

Read Full Post »

First let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime.  –  Pope Francis

The Immunity Syndrome (#833)

The tone of this article is remarkably restrained; it doesn’t even use the phrase “super gonorrhea”:

Public health [bureaucrat]s says they have found two cases of gonorrhea that appear to have reduced susceptibility to every kind of antibiotic available…It’s the first time strains of gonorrhea this resistant to antibiotics have been identified in the United States…Dr. Jeffrey Klausner…[of USC said] “It’s a reminder that gonorrhea is becoming…increasingly hard to treat…We haven’t had new antibiotics to treat gonorrhea for years and we really need a different treatment strategy”…

Providing a proper sex education to teenagers, the primary vectors for STI transmission in the US, might be a good start.

Peeping Toms (#871)

There is nothing contradictory about this:

Pope Francis criticized laws that criminalize homosexuality as “unjust,” saying God loves all his children just as they are and called on Catholic bishops who support the laws to welcome LGBTQ people into the church.  “Being homosexual isn’t a crime,” Francis said…and he himself referred to the issue in terms of “sin”.  But…these…comments …are the first uttered by a pope about such laws…are…consistent with his…belief that the Catholic Church should welcome everyone…Francis’ remarks come ahead of a trip to Africa, where such laws are common, as they are in the Middle East.  Many date from British colonial times or are inspired by Islamic law…

Droit du Seigneur (#1183)

Better cops escape consequences than this ugly narrative be reinforced yet again:

A Virginia jury rejected claims by a Costa Rican woman who accused a police chief and three o[ther pig]s of conspiring to protect a sex-trafficking ring…[the] jury in[stead]…found that the woman was not a victim of trafficking but a [mundane] sex worker….Police Chief Edwin Roessler…[and his underlings] James Baumstark…Michael Barbazette and Jason Mardocco….protected the [escort service, but the claims of] human trafficking…were [bogus and largely followed the typical script, including]…claim[s]…of…17 [clients] a day and that Sanchez kept…her passport…Defense lawyers pointed out that the woman [repeatedly] traveled [home] to Costa Rica between 2010 and 2015 and returned to Sanchez each time….”She’s willing to say whatever it takes to get what she wants in that moment,” [said defense lawyer] Kim Baucom…

The jury reached the same conclusion I did the first time I heard the story, and I wrote about people credulously accepting this woman’s claims in “Taking the Bait“.  While I certainly sympathize with wanting to see cops suffer consequences for their behavior, the “sex trafficking” paradigm will never die as long as opportunists are rewarded every time they invoke it.

To Molest and Rape (#1257)

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

[A London cop named] Hussain Chehab…pleaded guilty to [repeatedly molesting teenage girls the government had paid him to harass at school, and also]…making [sexual] photographs of [his victims]…Chehab’s offending came to light in July 2021 when the family of a 16-year-old girl raised concerns…that…he…was [molesting their daughter]…The…offences [we]re…all the more [predictable because]…Chehab was [paid by the government to lurk] in…schools [to spy on, harass, and terrorize the students]…

It’s sad that the UK has adopted the school-to-prison pipeline from the US.

The Last Shall Be First (#1299) 

It looks like Florida is aping Texas again:

…Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking state universities for the number and ages of their students who sought or received gender dysphoria treatment, including sex reassignment surgery and hormone prescriptions…Why he’s conducting the survey wasn’t completely clear[, but Texas did something similar last summer]…

The Last Shall Be First (#1304) 

Trans people have become another canary in the civil rights coal mine:

…Legislation in Oklahoma and South Carolina would make it a felony to provide hormonal or surgical transition treatment to transgender people younger than 26…Other bills in both states, and in Kansas  and Mississippi, would ban such care up to age 21.  And bills in more than a dozen states would ban it for minors, which Arkansas was the first to do in 2021…A bill in Mississippi…would define sex as immutably set at birth, denying transgender identities under state law.  A measure in West Virginia would define “any transvestite and/or transgender exposure, performances or display” as obscene, potentially outlawing transgender people’s presence around children…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1306)

The way local media parrots copaganda in the face of clear evidence of its foolishness is utterly pathetic:

The Illinois State Police…has tested…substance[s that triggered panic attacks in a gang of screws, and]…the test came back negative for narcotics or hazardous materials…[despite] the [clowns wasting] Narcan…[and whining all the way to the] hospital…Everyone [who had a panic attack]…has been discharged [and the substance they thought was magical insta-fentanyl]…was [in fact] baby powder…the…department [of locking humans in cages] has [tried to save face by bloviating nonsense about]…further investigation [being] needed to explain the…symptoms [of panic attack]…

 

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!

Read Full Post »

Please don’t kill my husband.  –  Shameka Smith

Grace suggested this video to commemorate the passing of guitar legend Jeff Beck; I was unfamiliar with it, but less than 60 seconds in I knew it was the right choice.  The inks above the video were provided by Dan Savage, Mama Tush, Clarissa (x2), Mike Siegel, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

Read Full Post »

I’m quite used to the prison making all these decisions for us, because we are still state property.  –  Desiree Romero

The Course of a Disease (#1084)

You’ll have to forgive me for finding this terribly amusing:

The number of [incalls, labeled “]illegal brothels[” by French police]…has tripled in the past two years…[because the “Swedish model” exposes]…street prostitution [to debilitating police harassment]…With hotels and the concierges of apartment blocks now extremely vigilant about rooms [rented by sex workers out of fear they will be]…pros[ecuted as “]pimps[“, sex workers] are increasingly opting for detached houses in…the [suburbs of Paris]…police…[of course vomited out bizarre fantasies about “sex trafficking”, but this outcome was predicted by those warning about the consequences of the so-called “]Nordic model[“] of [asymmetric criminalization]…

Torture Chamber (#1102)

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

Arizona [prisons are]…inducing the labor of pregnant prisoners against their will, according to three women [violated thus]…all three…were induced before their due dates…and…all three…were told…they were being induced because it was a policy…they believe it is being implemented to reduce liability for the prison system…two of the women said they were receiving medical bills…a common [indignity inflicted upon]…people [condemned to]…Arizona prisons

To Molest and Rape (#1181)

Expecting sociopaths to “think about what they did wrong” amounts to criminal negligence:

[UK cop]s who preyed upon women and posted homemade pornography to social media are among hundreds allowed to keep their jobs…[as] the c[itizenry]…continues to be plagued by [violent, sociopathic cops]…Most received little more than a slap on the wrist after their behaviour came to light, with some facing no repercussions whatsoever…one former chief constable [admitted that these hundreds of cases are just] “the tip of the iceberg”…at least 921 [cops were] investigated for [online] conduct…[and] texts…since the start of 2017.  Yet only six per cent…led to…dismiss[al, though]…many [involved rape]…sexual [coercion] and [harassment.  Cops who saw any consequences at all]…routinely escaped with…“reflective practice” – thinking about what they have done – or “management action”, which amounts to [stern words from] a superior…in…many cases [cops]…faced “no action” at all for predatory…behaviour…[including the] target[ing of] vulnerable women…and stalk[ing]

The Mob Rules (#1231)

Most commentary on this censorship law ignores its dangerous enforcement mechanism:

Laurie Schlegel is…a…[“]sex addiction[” profiteer turned pro-censorship]…Louisiana [politician who succeeded in]…pass[ing a law demand]ing age verification for any website that contains 33.3% or more pornographic material…[Even though the law adequately defines neither “pornography” nor how this percentage is supposed to be measured, that doesn’t matter because it is to be enforced by nuisance lawsuit like the Texas abortion statute SCOTUS has chosen to ignore]…Louisiana [residents can seek to cash in by claiming in a lawsuit that] “children are getting access to pornography”…

The Vultures Descend (#1253)

An important step toward ending this front in the ruinous culture war:

For the first time, retail pharmacies…will be allowed to offer abortion pills in the United States under a regulatory change made [on January 3rd] by the Food and Drug Administration…Until now, mifepristone…could be dispensed only by a few mail-order pharmacies or by specially certified doctors or clinics.  Under the new…rules…patients will still need a prescription…but any pharmacy that agrees to accept those prescriptions…can dispense the pills in its stores and by mail order…the F.D.A. [also] removed the in-person requirement…The second drug in the regimen, misoprostol, has never been as tightly restricted as mifepristone and is used for many different medical conditions; it is easily obtained at pharmacies through a typical prescription process…

The Cop Myth (#1292)

Cop deals with disagreement exactly as he normally does, and the press is shocked:

[A] Glasgow [Kentucky]…co[p was arrested] on New Year’s Day…Joseph Ramey…rep[ea]tedly assaulted h[is girlfriend, then]…handcuffed her…and held her against her will…

Without Let or Hindrance (#1298)

These abuses are for some reason finally getting the attention they’ve needed for a generation:

Once considered a last resort reserved for parents who abandon their children, the involuntary and permanent termination of parental rights [by the State] now hangs over every mother and father accused of any[thing the State chooses to call] abuse or neglect…No state terminates parental rights more frequently or [quickly] than West Virginia, [where]…one in 50 children [w]ere [violently and non-consensually abducted from]…both of their parents from 2015 to 2019…most…within 11 months of [the state abducting them] from their home for the first time…Nationally, the parents of about 327,000 children [had] their rights [ripped from them by the State] from 2015 to 2019…one-fifth…in less than a year.  Over the past 25 years, [the State has]…increasingly turned to this ultimate consequence, partly in response to Clinton-era federal policies that…[financially incentivize these abduc]tions.  According to a recent study, the [number of children permanently abducted by the State]…doubled from 2000 to 2016.  One in 100 U.S. children — disproportionately Black and Native American — [are thus abducted]…through the [pretext of] child welfare…before they turn 18…Most of those [cases were justified by]…allegations of neglect, [largely] a [dysphemism for]…poverty…Just 15% of [these cases were based in]…concerns about physical or sexual abuse…

 

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!

Read Full Post »

Americans are increasingly aware that their privacy is evaporating before their eyes.  –  Ed Markey

Torture Chamber

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

A W[est Virginia] man died 19 days [after the state locked him in a cage]…Alvis Shrewsbury…called his family members daily.  But as the days went on, his appearance on video calls began to worry his family members more and more…”After we were talking to him on the 10th (of September), he’d already been beaten.  His face was black,” his daughter Miranda Smith said…”He was telling us about his ribs being broken.  It was hard to breathe. He hadn’t had a bowel movement in over a week and nothing was being done about it”…Shrewsbury was the fifth person who died in the [same dungeon in the] last year…Kyle Robinson…[was the first] in September 2021.  Then a month later, John Lewis Jarrell died after [only] a week…In March, Quantez Burks died less than two days after [being condemned there and]…that [same] month, Richard Wriston…Shrewsbury’s body is in the custody of the West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner…[but] the family plans to conduct an independent autopsy of his body…

Thought Control (Censorship Ascendant)

Censors are now pretending thoughts they don’t like constitute a “crime”:

…over the past several years, Germany has [chosen to terrorize and]…criminally prosecut[e] people for [saying things politicians dislike] online…German authorities have br[anded]…insults, threats and harassment…[as “hate speech” and sent] police [on predawn] raid[s of people’s] homes…[where they rob their victims of] electronics and [abduct them using the pretext of “]questioning[” in a campaign reminiscent of the country’s dark 20th-century past].  Judges have enforced fines worth thousands of dollars each and, in some cases, [locked victims in cages for wrongthink].  The threat of prosecution, they believe, will [terrorize people into] not e[xpressing disfavored ideas.  They pretend]…that they are encouraging and defending free speech by providing a space where people can share [favored pro-state and majoritarian] opinions without fear of being [challenged by contrary ideas]..:

Stupor Bowl (#1211)

This pathetic public promotion of misogynistic masturbatory material appears to be all that’s left of the once-popular “gypsy whores” myth:

An estimated 5% of men have or will be buyers of sex workers, [said cops making furtive movements in their pants]…“The traffickers will, of course, follow the money to Arizona”…That’s why Glendale police are working with other law enforcement agencies across the Valley to catch traffickers coming to the state…

I’ve written before about the ever-shrinking fraction of men who will admit to having paid for sex, the unreliable methodology that produces these impossibly-low numbers, the ugly and misogynistic fantasy that paying for sex is “buying a woman”, and the weird and self-contradictory inclusion of the term “sex worker” in this kind of agency-negating propaganda.  And that’s before we even get to this myth that even prohibitionists outside of Arizona now admit is deeply stupid.

Panopticon (#1256)

San Francisco pigs are no longer satisfied with waiting for useful idiots’ consent:

San Francisco [politicians rubber-stamped] a new s[urveillance] policy allowing police to access thousands of private cameras in a live feed without a search warrant…the…proposal…will take effect in 30 days and sunset in 15 months…police can monitor the cameras…for any [event that they decide to call] “significant”…or [basically any other time they can think of an excuse]…The Electronic Frontier Foundation …called the new policy a “troubling ordinance” that could have a chilling effect on First Amendment and other rights…“Misdemeanors like vandalism or jaywalking happen on nearly every street of San Francisco on any given day — meaning that this ordinance essentially gives the SFPD the ability to put the entire city under live surveillance indefinitely,” the organization wrote in a press release

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1260)

Cops won’t drop this fantasy until local media stop obediently parroting it:

…two [West Virginia cops] were hit in the face with an unknown substance [thrown by a man they were trying to brutalize and abduct.  Being hysterical whiny-babies, the immediately assumed the substance was the magical black magic version of fentanyl which haunts cop fantasies, and]…one…suddenly [had a panic attack.  Since this kind of hysteria is contagious among those with weak minds]…the second [pig also had a panic attack]…An off-duty nurse helped administer NARCAN, which [acted as a placebo to placate the two cowards]…

Thought Control (#1265)

Surely you didn’t think this would stop with LGBT books?

…at the start of Banned Books Week…Reshma Saujani was awakened by an alert on her phone letting her know that the Girls Who Code book series [she founded] had been banned from classrooms in the Central York School District in Pennsylvania.  On Twitter, she attributed the ban to the [pro-censorship] Moms for Liberty group…Other books banned by the…district include such controversial-sounding titles as A Is for Audra: Broadway’s Leading Ladies from A to ZCondoleeza Rice: Being The Best; Duke Ellington: The Piano Prince and his Orchestra; Elizabeth Blackwell: The First Woman Doctor; Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code; I Love My Hair!; Muffin Wars; The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage; I Am Rosa Parks; Who Was Lucille Ball? and about a hundred others…the…common thread [seems to be books] that…acknowledge that Black people or women of any color exist and do things…There is good news: this ban has already been defeated.  Yay!  The bad news is that it was all very stupid from beginning to end…

I Spy (#1270)

The number of politicians who support such reform is very small:

Civil rights lawyers and [a small minority of politicians] are pushing for legislation that would limit U.S. [cop shop]s’ ability to buy cellphone tracking tools to follow people’s whereabouts, including back years in time…[usually] without a search warrant.  Concerns about police use of the tool known as “Fog Reveal…also surfaced in a Federal Trade Commission hearing three weeks ago.  [Cop]s have been using the platform to search hundreds of billions of records gathered from 250 million mobile devices, and hoover up people’s geolocation data to assemble so-called “patterns of life”…

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so very much!

Read Full Post »

Bud, it’s okay, you’re not in trouble.  –  murderer to his victim

The big news this week was of course the passing of Queen Elizabeth II; this selection seems the appropriate one for such an occasion.  The links above it were contributed by Cop Crisis (x2), Amy AlkonTim Cushing, Clarissa, Radley Balko, and Elizabeth N. Brown, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

Interactions with artificial agents is not the same as interacting with humans.  –  Yochanan Bigman

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#799) 

The idea that words entered into a computer program constitute “verbal abuse” is like something out of a Monty Python sketch:

The smartphone app Replika lets users create chatbots…that can carry on almost-coherent text conversations…Replika has also picked up a significant following on Reddit, where members post interactions with chatbots created on the app.  A [sad] trend has emerged there: users who create [algorithms they pretend are] partners, act [toward them in a way that could be termed] abusive…[if the algorithms were alive], and post the toxic interactions online…The results can be upsetting [to those with a very loose grasp of reality who should maybe get off the internet once in a while]…Replika chatbots can’t actually experience suffering — they might seem empathetic at times, but in the end they’re nothing more than data and clever algorithms…nothing you do can actually “harm” them…Yale University research fellow Yochanan Bigman [said] “Chatbots don’t really have motives and intentions and are not autonomous or sentient.  While they might give people the impression that they are human, it’s important to keep in mind that they are not”…

The “trigger warning” claiming that typing words into an algorithm constitutes “violence” is just {chef’s kiss}.

You Were Warned (#976)

This decision was necessary to prevent a cascade of predatory lawsuits that would make the tobacco & breast implant lawsuits look reasonable and moderate in comparison:

A California appeals court sided with Salesforce…and dismissed a lawsuit by [ambulance-chasers representing] 50 [professional “survivors”] claiming that the cloud-based software company was liable for their alleged sex trafficking because it had provided services to the now-defunct classifieds site Backpage.com.  The ruling dismissed the plaintiffs’ appeal on the basis of Section 230…[just as the lower] Court [had]…

Counterfeit Comfort (#984)

We may be seeing the beginning of the end of these medieval practices:

From McClendon v. Long, decided…by the Eleventh Circuit, in an opinion by Judge Frank Hull, joined by Chief Judge William Pryor and Britt Grant:  In October 2018, two deputies from the Butts County Sheriff’s Office placed signs in the front yards of the residences of all 57 registered sex offenders within the County, warning “STOP” and “NO TRICK-OR-TREAT AT THIS ADDRESS.”  Before Halloween 2019, three registered sex offenders living in Butts County sued, seeking to enjoin the Sheriff from placing the signs again…[W]e conclude that the Sheriff’s warning signs are compelled government speech, and their placement violates a homeowner’s First Amendment rights.  Thus, we vacate the district court’s judgment in favor of the Sheriff and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion

Social Distancing (#1055)

The sex industry is a major part of the Thai economy, but you wouln’t know it from the way politicians behave:

[Last summer], sex workers and others in Thailand’s nightlife industry lined high heels up in front of the parliament building in Bangkok.  Each pair…had a note calling for the government to compensate redlight district workers who are out of work due to the pandemic.  Six months later, with bars and nightclubs still ordered to remain closed, sex workers…have not been financially supported like others in the nightlife industry…many of the workers, who call themselves the “High Heel Defenders” have been mailing boxes with pairs of heels to the government each day to “remind them of their responsibility for the people impacted by their policies.”  But the packages have been sent back…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#1185)

Cops will keep this up as long as people let them pretend that adults never like sweet flavors:

[Mobile] police [squealed and grunted at credulous reporters after they stole]…86 pounds of…marijuana…and a large number of [edibles.  Head pig] Paul Prine [oinked a lot of idiotic nonsense about how no adult in the universe eats marshmallow treats made with breakfast cereal]…“Everything is packaged to attract children,” he [oinked stupidly.  Cops are obsessed with the idea that people want to give expensive cannabis edibles to penniless brats for free, but a few reporters have grown tired of parroting the silly fantasy]…

To Molest and Rape (#1203)

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

[Typical and representative Wisconsin cop] Rick Gramza has been ordered to pay a [very small] fine [but] will spend no time in jail after…[repeatedly] sexually assaulting a department employee [for] several [years]…Gramza[‘s victim was afraid she’d lose her job, but sometime after he was promoted to Boss Pig she]…filed [charges against him] in November 2020…Gramza…[used the typical cop “she wanted it” defense, but also]…resigned from the department [the following] March…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#1204)

Politicians are always happy to indulge cops’ violent fantasies:

West Virginia [politicians] advanced a bill that would make “exposing” [cops] to illicit fentanyl punishable by up to five years in prison…It’s unclear how someone might be shown to “intentionally” possess illicit fentanyl, which is often present as an adulterant in supplies of other drugs without purchasers’ awareness or consent…Mike Pushkin…the sole committee member to vote against the bill, [said]…“In a lot of cases, people think they’re buying one substance and they wind up getting fentanyl. So how can you prove they intentionally were in possession of fentanyl?”  Neither is it clear how the bill would determine “exposure” to fentanyl.  “Does it mean they’re in the same room?” Pushkin asked…overdose from passive fentanyl exposure is a myth.  The substance does not readily absorb through the skin, nor do its molecules linger in the air.  But the false claim that simply touching or being in the vicinity of airborne fentanyl can cause overdose is one frequently circulated by [cops]…

Read Full Post »

We have a culture where men are more embarrassed about paying for sex than having sex with women who are too drunk to consent.
–  Cathy Reisenwitz

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Funny how many cops who are willing to pay prefer underage girls:

Larry Allen Clay…and Kristen Naylor-Legg…were both charged with sex trafficking of a minor [because]…on two separate occasions in June 2020, Clay…the Chief of Police for..Gauley Bridge [West Virginia]…paid $50 to Naylor-Legg to have sex with a 17-year-old girl [who is apparently a migrant because]…ICE [is involved]…

Thou Shalt Not

Crypto-moralists love their rats & their subtle dysphemisms:

…researchers…gave adolescent rats free access to a sugar-sweetened beverage [much more concentrated than] those that humans drink and then tested their memories using two methods when the rats became adults…the rats that had consumed [pathologically-]high levels [of] sugary drinks had more difficulty with memory that uses a region of the brain called the hippocampus compared with rats that only drank water…the [excessive]…sugar consumption seems to…[have] change[d]…the gut microbiome…[which in turn seems to] alter the function of a particular region of the brain [in rats]…

Standard Operating Procedure (#851)

“Foreign visitors do business with locals” is neither “misconduct” nor even news:

[UK charity] Oxfam is facing new allegations of…bullying and mismanagement only weeks after it was cleared to apply for government aid funds again following [white saviors’ freakout] th[at some Oxfam employees purchased services from entrepreneurs in] Haiti…The charity has commissioned an independent investigation into accusations against senior managers in the Democratic Republic of Congo that allege intimidation, death threats, fraud and nepotism…[which arose] after…[prohibitionists were disappointed] that…the[re was insufficient hysteria about mundane transactions which brought much-needed]…money…in[to]…Haiti…[politicians bloviated] that the latest allegations strengthened the case for [denying poor countries]…water and sanitation projects [if]…an[yone among]…the emergency [workers has sexual desires]…

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn (#991)

It looks as though Boudin is indeed following through with the policies he campaigned on:

Panelists at “Sex Work Decrim 101: Evidence-based approaches to policy”…call[ed] for the complete removal of sex work from the state’s criminal law codes.  One fan of that idea is San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin…”I’m a big believer in the decriminalization of sex work, which I think will help us become safer in concrete ways”…Boudin said…”It’s not something I would ever prosecute, except under the most extraordinary circumstances, if it is consensual between adults”…Panelist Maggie McNeill…wanted to impress upon the attendees the importance of the district attorney’s stance…she [also]…explained the distinction [of decriminalization versus legalization] through an analogy to the restaurant business…

Tony Montoya, a gay man who is the president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association, did not respond to a request for comment [on a law forbidding a common pretext for harassing sex workers].

Lipstick on a Pig

When one rewards animals for acting a certain way, one shouldn’t be surprised when that behavior increases:

Two [typical and representative] Texas [cop]s have been indicted fo[r murdering]…a Black man [by] repeatedly…taser[ing him during a pretext]…stop [being] filmed for a [cop glorification] TV show.  Javier Ambler…[was murdered on] March 28, 2019…[during] a…traffic stop…[using the pretext that he] fail[ed] to dim headlights for oncoming traffic…the A&E network show Live PD…was canceled weeks after the killing of George Floyd amid widespread protests over police brutality and racism…Ambler was tasered four times, according to body cam footage of the [murder], despite telling the [pigs] that he suffered from…congestive heart failure…Ambler…can be heard [repeatedly] saying…”I can’t breathe”

To Molest and Rape (#1110)

{sings} One of these things is not like the others

A [New Jersey cop named]…Richard F. Haffner…sexually assault[ed] a girl who worked for him at his…restaurant on numerous occasions starting when she was 15 years old, and then tr[ied] to get her to lie to investigators…Prosecutor[s seem to think it’s important that he wasn’t wearing his magical clown costume at the time]…Haffner [w]as…suspended without pay…[because prosecutors also] charged him with…offering an acquaintance money for sex…

The Next Target (#1122)

The prohibitionist crusade against OnlyFans is heating up:

Paul Gosar [a politician from Arizona] sent a[n open] letter…to the Department of Justice demanding that OnlyFans be…prosecuted for “promoting prostitution” under a…Segregation-era law called the “White Slave Traffic Act”…also known as the Mann Act…[apparently because Gosar believes that viewing a picture of a woman taken in a different state is the equivalent of] transport[ing] women across state lines…

Read Full Post »

Evidence…shows that [end]…demand [laws]…are [only] effective…[in putting] sex workers…at greater risk.  –  Alex Andrews

Torture Chamber 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

Five [screws] at [a Tennessee state hellhole]…entered the [cage holding] a man on suicide watch and took turns repeatedly punching him “like a pinata” without cause…and…cover[ed] the cell’s surveillance camera…[Typical and representative screws]…Jonathan York…Tommy Morris…Cadie McAlister…Carl Spurlin…Tanner Penwell…and Nathaniel Griffin…[have all either] pleaded guilty [or at least been charged]…After the [monsters]…left the man [beaten and bleeding]…they…all…agreed to say that the[ir victim had beaten himself up]…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical and representative cop predating on vulnerable women:

[West Virginia cop] Newton Higginbotham [stalked] a woman…[and raped her] on a back road…[Higginbotham knew] the woman was on probation on charges tied to drug use and didn’t want to risk going back to jail…another woman [submitted to rape because]…Higginbotham…[made it a condition for] obtaining a domestic violence petition against her husband…the State Police…believed the women…[but allowed] Higginbotham [to] resign…he was never charged.  The FBI [believed Higginbotham’s lie that the]…sex…was consensual [because bitches, amirite?]…Both women filed lawsuits against Higginbotham…[the first] one…settled the case for $150,000…

The Punitive Mindset (#880) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

Inmates at several West Virginia prisons are getting free electronic tablets to read books, send emails, and communicate with their families—but…the tablets charge readers…3 cents a minute to read books, even though the books all come from Project Gutenberg…the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a nonprofit that offers free books and education to inmates, says the fee structure is exploitative…wages in West Virginia prisons range between $0.04 and $0.58 an hour…

King of the Hill (#881)

It’s not often we see debunking in stories about the “sex trafficking hub” pissing contest:

Anna Rodriguez…of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking…said hotline calls are not an accurate measure of trafficking activity….[most] calls are not from trafficking victims but from [prohibitionists] seeking information or brochures or a referral for a trainer or speaker.  Rodriguez said…rescue organizations exaggerate the prevalence of sex trafficking…in pitches for financial support.  She said that practice has hurt the credibility of the movement, especially after news organizations have debunked exaggerated claims…“There are more cases of labor trafficking…But…labor trafficking does not sell media.  People are not interested in labor trafficking.”  Mandy Riedel…of the Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force [vomited out a lot of the usual “King of the Hill” nonsense]…Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd s[trutted and crowed about how big his dick is]…Christa Hicks…of One More Child Anti-Trafficking…[admitted] reliable numbers don’t…exist but [it’s better for her bottom line to pretend] that sex trafficking is widespread in Florida…

Good News, Bad News (#926)

Australia’s Northern Territory becomes the world’s third jurisdiction to achieve decriminalization:

The Sex Industry Bill 2019 fully decriminalises sex work, aligning sex work to existing laws and regulations as well as enabling access to industrial rights, protections and responsibilities.  The process of the Bill from development to its passing has been a demonstration of best practice collaboration and consultation…CEO of Scarlet Alliance, Jules Kim says, “This is a momentous day for all sex workers and sets a positive example that sex workers are valued members of the community, deserving of rights and protections…Sex work is work and it is fantastic that it is finally being recognised as such”…

Worse Than I Thought (#936)

Florida prohibitionists are now quadrupling down on their awful anti-whore laws:

Florida [politicians] have passed a raft of [bad] laws intended to [harass consenting adult sexuality]…includ[ing putting sex workers on the “sex offender”] registry…The law [was pushed by authoritarian sociopath] Lauren Book, [who wants to violate sex workers by forcing them and their clients and associates to participate in her needy psychodrama without their consent]…Anna Eskamani…cast the only vote against the measure [because she admitted]…sex workers [w]ould [be condemned to] the registry [while the other politicians pretended otherwise. Other prohibitionists bloviated that]…indicators [of “sex trafficking” include atheism, homeschooling, emotional trauma]…confus[ion, accident-proneness, and being American]…Claire VanSusteren, a spokeswoman for Book, [lied that “pimps” are totally and completely different from sex workers and always wear hats that say “PIMP” on them in sequins; she then vomited out a lot of end]…demand [propaganda]…

Disaster (#941)

Remember how swimwear & lingerie companies were whining about Instagram censorship?

…the internal ad policies pertaining to underwear and swimwear for Instagram and Facebook…were created in alignment with a Victoria’s Secret’s advertising campaign.  [A] policy document…in use [as] of July 2019…outlines…in twenty-two bullet points the way models can sit, dress, arch their backs, pose, interact with props, how see-through their underwear can be, how the images can be cropped and where their ads can link to…It seems evident that the purpose of these…policies is to stop women from making money from sex on Instagram…[while] ensur[ing that] Victoria’s Secret [can] make money…on the same platform…sex can be sold for the benefit of major corporations…but NOT for the benefit of sex workers…

Watershed (#972)

Women’s fashion & beauty magazines are recognizing that they owe their very existence to whores, and speaking up:

Sex workers…are as diverse a group as the general population, and their individual self-care needs can vary just as much.  That said, when I asked members of the sex work community about their personal self-care routines, a few themes popped up, from dealing with the stigma against sex work to taking care of their bodies…here are some tips sex workers and experts in the space recommend others in the industry tuck into their self-care toolboxes…

Quiet Genocide

I’ve edited this to replace the word The Graun went to great length to avoid:

[Leaked] documents [have] confirm[ed the] largest mass incarceration of an ethnic-religious minority since [the] second world war…a cache of classified [Chinese] government papers…obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists…provide…confirmation from within China’s bureaucracy that the [concentration] camps were envisaged from the start as brainwashing detention centres, to be constructed on a massive scale, with inmates confined by multiple layers of security…The document states…[Concentration] camps must adhere to a strict system of total physical and mental control, with multiple layers of locks on dormitories, corridors, floors and buildings…Inmates [can] be held indefinitely – but must serve at least a year…before they can even be considered for “completion”, or release…[Prisoners] earn credits for “ideological transformation”, “compliance with discipline” and “study and training”…Even after completing their “education transformation” [prisoners] are not allowed to go free.  They move into another tier of camps, where they face a further three- to six-months’ internment for “labour skills training”…“Preventing escape” is a top priority…Control of every aspect of [prisoners’] lives is so comprehensive that they have to be assigned a specific place…in the lunchtime queue…There have been multiple accounts…of torturerape and abuse

The Monsters Are Due (#993) 

One can hardly blame the hoi-polloi for “sex trafficking” hysteria when soi-disant “experts” are vomiting up this kind of idiocy:

Social media has been flooded with posts of claims of white vans being connected with human trafficking…a psychologist [explained that this is hysteria but reporters then felt compelled to parrot idiocy from]…Virginia Josey, a [panicmonger who claims]…White vans…[aren’t] the only indicators…”It could be that someone is speaking to children”…red flags of someone who’s being trafficked…includ[e] that they…are…depressed…tense…or have poor hygiene…

“White vans aren’t the only indicators” is the semantic equivalent of “white vans are indicators”.  As for the rest, I daresay you can see that without my help.

The Cop Myth (#993)

Of course they hired him; he’ll fit right in with his co-workers:

Prichard, Alabama…[cop] Markell Carter was first arrested and charged with domestic violence against his wife…on August 15…[after] he punched her in the face, bashed her head into their headboard and threw a mirror at her…she filed and was granted a protection order…[after reporting] that Carter smashed her belongings with a hammer, stole her car, and  “viciously beat” her.  Despite these damning accusations, which were sustained with enough evidence to make an arrest, Carter was hired by the Prichard police department…Weeks later on October 20…[he grabbed] his estranged wife by the hair, pushing her to the ground and hitting her in the head.  Again, he was arrested…[then retaliated by having her] arrested after accusing her of breaking his front door…

Read Full Post »

We’re not trying to argue the morality of this. We’re trying to argue the reality of this.  –  Nicole Emma

Feminine Pragmatism 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

Lao workers, many of them young and some still in their teens, have poured in growing numbers this year into neighboring Thailand, braving exploitation and unsafe work conditions in search of employment to help support families back home…nine Lao migrants [were] killed on Aug. 18 in a head-on collision while traveling to a border town to renew the tourist visas on which they had entered Thailand…an official…said…“They won’t [tell us their personal business [so]…we can’t stop them”…Many of those looking for work in Thailand voice concerns over family poverty as their reason for leaving home…Many young Laotians [are forced by arbitrary laws to] enter Thailand with the help of middle-men to work illegally…the…head of the anti-trafficking unit of the Thai-based Labor Rights Promotion Network…[said] “This is one of the loopholes in Thailand’s laws, and this is a problem [because we would rather force them to stay in Laos and die in poverty]”…

What kind of authoritarian mind thinks that “people killed in tragic accident while trying to comply with arbitrary government rules” is a less important point than where they were from or what they did for a living?

The New Victorianism

It’s about time Playboy started covering this topic more aggressively:

…Moral panic…and purity politics…interfere with our right to sexual safety, pleasure and free expression…civil policy-making has been supplanted by partisan uproar and triggered panic.  Sex is at the center of every one of these…sex…has become the enemy…Panic rejects nuance, debate and disagreement in favor of party lines and swift action.  Panic has resulted in the rise of cancel culture and the dismissal of due process…rational thinking has…been cast aside…In a sex panic, it becomes imprudent to question the extent to which sex-based discrimination exists.  It becomes dangerous to suggest that all sexual violations, and all experiences of sexual violence, are not equivalent.  As a consequence, we learn to shut up and sit down lest we face public condemnation and risk being attacked…moral panic is more about social control than ethical guidelines for how we should get along with one another…attempts to regulate morality only heighten panic by promoting, for example, sex-trafficking laws that ignore racist immigration policies and degrade sex workers as second-class citizens…Awkward sexual encounters continue to be conflated with the worst of accusations.  And then: If he’s accused, he must have done it…

Elephant in the Parlor

Too bad more politicians don’t hire the marginalized women cops are most likely to persecute:

West Virginia [politician] Mike Maroney has been charged with soliciting a prostitute…Maroney exchanged text messages to discuss prices and set up meetings with a woman who [was arrested]…Police [then snooped in her phone and started charging people for texting her]…

Micromanagement

The modern Fuhrer wants serial numbers tattooed on every cell of every prisoner of his concentration camps:

The Trump administration wants [the border Gestapo]…to collect DNA samples from undocumented immigrants in its [cages]…according to a draft policy…CBP officials would spend more than 20,000 additional work hours on such a policy in its first year of implementation.  Hundreds of thousands of individuals could have their DNA collected each year if the draft regulation, proposed by the Department of Justice, is fully implemented…

Choke Point (#593) 

We fucking told you so:

While sex-related businesses…have long faced draconian restrictions from banks, we’re living in a time when their position is more precarious than ever…If this continues, it will disproportionately impact small sex-focused businesses…further marginalize sex workers, and decrease access to positive information about sexual health…“To see [this] spreading to educators and activists is alarming,” said Lorrae Jo Bradbury, founder of Slutty Girl Problems, a sex-positive blog…these incidents have ramped up dramatically since…FOSTA…passed in the Senate…[creating] a more repressive era of the internet, one in which websites such as Tumblr have banned adult content, Patreon is kicking off adult performers, and financial institutions are clamping down on businesses even remotely connected to sex…

Safe Position

When this is happenening in Utah, you know we’re past the watershed:

The best way of protecting sex workers is to decriminalize their industry and allow them to come out of the shadows, a Salt Lake City nonprofit told Utah [politicians]…Nicole Emma…of the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)…told members of the state’s Criminal Code Evaluation Task Force…[that] if these penalties were removed, sex workers could communicate more openly about their industry, check client backgrounds more easily and blacklist bad actors…

The Monsters Are Due (#867) 

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

The recent spate of mob attacks in Uttar Pradesh has caught the state police on the back foot.  Incidents of hapless people…being brutally beaten up on suspicion of being child lifters are surfacing with alarming frequency…UP director general of police…OP Singh said…“A total of 46 incidents were reported in which one person was killed and 29 injured”…In…Ghaziabad, a middle-aged woman was…thrashed by a mob…[when] she went with her grandson for shopping…people have been attacked simply for being seen with a child…two siblings — Ramautar and Raju — were thrashed mercilessly…when…taking their nephew Ravi to a hospital for treatment…Ramautar [died and]…Raju [is] still battling for his life in the hospital…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#886)

The pigs are starting their annual fearmongering early this year:

[Cops] in Massachusetts want to [spread yet another stupid panic]…about…ecstasy [pills]…in the shape of “SpongeBob SquarePants” cartoon characters…The National Institute on Drug Abuse…warns that MDMA use can “promote trust and closeness,” potentially encouraging unsafe sexual behavior…“Parents, guardians, and caretakers should be on the lookout for these as school starts and Halloween is fast approaching,” [pigs oinked]…

Yeah, because people are going to hand free samples of a drug that costs $100 a gram to anonymous brats.  And you’ve gotta love that the only “warning” these drug warriors can come up with is that stupid amateurs taking MDMA might do the same kind of stupid shit they do when sober.

Pyrrhic Victory (#960)

The more we discover about Amazon’s fascist collaboration with cops, the worse it sounds:

[Amazon’s] doorbell-camera company Ring has quietly forged [fascist] partnerships with more than 400 police forces across the United States, granting them access to homeowners’ camera footage…The number of police deals, which has not previously been reported, will likely fuel [belated] questions about privacy, surveillance and the expanding reach of [fascist surveillance]…The rapid growth of the program, which launched last spring, surprised [insufficiently-cynical] civil-liberties advocates…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »