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Posts Tagged ‘Wisconsin’

[KOSA] is the ultimate “let’s just blame the internet for anything bad” bill.  –  Mike Masnick

What the Hell Were You Thinking?

While prohibitionists get big bucks to harass sex workers, spread anti-whore propaganda and work with cops to target women for state violence, organizations which work to actually support sex workers get by on little more than volunteer hours and good wishes.  There’s nothing in this article about Street Safe New Mexico and the bad date list it maintains for street workers which will surprise sex workers or regular readers, but perhaps if articles like this keep appearing some big moneybag like Bezos or Gates, trying to make a name for himself as a philanthropist, will recognize this as an area where he really can make a difference for hundreds of thousands of women in the US alone.  And the fact that it appears in Cosmopolitan is another sign that feminism is slowly, falteringly, moving away from its misogynistic demands that the state violently police women’s sexual behavior.

No Friend of Ours

Those laboring under the delusion that Nevada is even remotely whore-friendly need look no further than this collection of dysphemisms, infantilization, racism, copaganda, bizarrely-stilted Copese, lurid fetishization of police victims, puritanism, distortion, and outright lies vomited out by “journalist” parrots after fellating their “law enforcement sources”.  The persecution of a very ordinary business is made to seem something like the adventure of a TV hero breaking up a terrorist plot to kill millions, rather than a simple-minded scheme for a gang of thugs to molest women and harass migrants in order to justify their pathologically-bloated budget while getting themselves off.

Torture Chamber (#1198)

Authoritarians want you to pay for more such hell-holes to torture even more people in:

…A new…report from the the [Fulton County Georgia] jail’s medical provider reveals that…the jail’s most vulnerable…[prisoners a]re wasting away in squalid conditions…more than 90 percent…were so malnourished that they had developed cachexia, a wasting syndrome that typically affects people with advanced-stage cancer…the men were detained in filthy cells and…over 90 percent…had not been “receiving essential medications” or completing their…activities of daily living…such as showering, dressing, using the toilet, and eating…every person in the unit had lice or scabies—in some cases both—a[bout which nothing was done until one prisoner died from the neglect]…on…Sept. 13…

Virtual Imperialism (#1202)

Beijing’s campaign to silence Chinese people outside China is becoming more aggressive:

…Criticism of the CCP has been rising in the ranks of censored topics on American campuses.  Whether it’s among professors adapting their classrooms to skirt Hong Kong’s oppressive national security law, administrators fearful of alienating lucrative funding or partnership opportunities, or international students worried that basic academic discussions will cause legal trouble at home, there is a growing problem in higher education….[which] comes with global implications: It’s getting a lot harder to talk critically about Xi Jinping, the CCP, and the human rights violations taking place in China.  This shift was on full display at GWU in February when [Chinese] students launched [an] anonymous protest…[by] post[ing] artwork from Australia-based Chinese artist Badiucao satirizing China’s human rights record and the ethical issues raised by its hosting of the Olympics…it took less than 24 hours before the…[Beijing-backed] Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) [demanded the protest be censored], calling for the responsible students to be “punished severely”…

You Were Warned (#1224)

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

…a [gang of censorious politician]s is attempting to include the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) in a year-end “must pass” omnibus bill, ramping up the bill’s chance of passage.  While KOSA has been touted as a bill that would provide [so-called] accountability for tech companies by regulating their interactions with [legal minors], the bill would…instead…enact confusing, vague regulations upon tech companies that would encourage even more surveillance of users, and it would [allow]…parents [to file nuisance lawsuits] upon tech companies [on the same kinds of flimsy pretexts allowed by laws like FOSTA]…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#1264)

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

A…[typical and representative cop] has been jailed after he…arrang[ed] to meet a[nother cop fantasy role-playing online as a] 15-year-old girl…Alex John Foster…was [arrested by the fantasy role-player and his cronies] in a [KFC parking lot] with condoms and lube [the other cop had asked him to bring.  Foster is clearly not very bright even by cop standards, because]…he…told the [fantasy role-playing cop]…“she could be an undercover police officer” [yet went anyway]…

The Cop Myth (#1285)

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

Madison [Wisconsin cop] Cary House was arrested and charged with…strangulation…of [his girlfriend.  The victim]…said House had been drinking all day when he entered her room where she was lying in bed with her young daughter; House started yelling at her and choking her…This isn’t the first time…House has…[been arrested for violent drunkenness]. In 2013…he was suspended without pay after…[firing] a gun while under the influence during a social gathering at his home…three [other Madison cops]…have been arrested within the last two weeks in separate, unrelated incidents…

 

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

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I’ve always been dedicated to the idea of this as the time of year for spooky fun.  So every year I collect all the spooky, creepy or scary content from the previous year into one place just before Halloween.  If you’ve come to my blog in the past year, or don’t remember previous editions, they are “Trick or Treat”, “More Trick or Treat“, “Tricks and Treats“, “This Trick’s a Treat”, “Tricky Treats“, “A Trickle of Treats”, “Tricking and Treating“, and “Tricks for the Treat“.  Oddly, though there were enough spooky or Halloweeny links to justify collecting them, the only horror, death or Halloween-themed column of the past year was “Books of the Dead“, and the only creepy or spooky-fun video appeared in Links #591.  Here’s hoping for a better collection next year!

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 you don’t [sell people’s data to cops], someone else probably will.  –  anonymous data broker

To Molest and Rape

The media are becoming slightly more willing to call cops’ criminal behavior what it is:

A [typical and representative] Kenosha [Wisconsin cop named…Joshua Sylvester…was fired for…sexually assault[ing]…a…woman [who wrecked into] a tree…[while] driving [drunk]…Sylvester sexually assaulted her…while [lurking]…in [her] hospital [room for over two hours.  He]…also went through her phone, found nude photos of her and sent them to himself…

I Spy (The Vultures Descend)

As was predicted when news of abortion recriminalization first broke:

A Gizmodo investigation into some of the nation’s biggest data brokers found more than two dozen promoting access to datasets containing digital information on millions of pregnant and potentially pregnant [women]…at least one of those companies also offered a large catalogue of…[women] using the same sorts of birth control that’s being targeted by more restrictive states right now…Also on the market: data on 478 million customer profiles labeled “interested in pregnancy” or “intending to become pregnant.”  You can see the full list of companies for yourself

Opting Out (#1241)

This will keep getting worse until policians stop giving fanatics a heckler’s veto:

French [pro-censorship] groups claiming to represent “the children”…formally request[ed]…that online government regulator Arcom suspend Twitter in France unless the platform finds, within two weeks, a way to block minors from what the groups [declare] “pornographic” content…The coalition calling for censorship of the international platform is a patchwork of obscure organizations pursuing a self-appointed mission of “child protection” and sex work abolitionism.  Among them…[is] noted…[prohib]itionist lobby Fondation Scelles

Vulture Watching

The fact that SCOTUS didn’t foresee this is a clear indicator that their overturn of Roe was not based in legal reasoning:

…The Department of Justice…sued to stop [the abortion] ban in Idaho, wh[ich]…goes against provisions of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act…requir[ing] hospitals receiving Medicare funds (i.e., most U.S. hospitals) to provide stabilizing treatment…”Federal law is clear: patients have the right to stabilizing hospital emergency room care no matter where they live,” said…DHS…Secretary Xavier Becerra.  “Women should not have to be near death to get care”…No existing abortion ban lacks an exception for a mother’s life, but some do omit exceptions for women’s health.  And…many pregnancy complications could become life-threatening while not being necessarily or immediately so.  The HHS guidance…stat[es] that regardless of what a state law says, physicians must provide an abortion if one is necessary to address an emergency medical condition…Texas sued over th[is]…and…the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas…granted a preliminary injunction against enforcing the mandate against Texas…A court in Idaho came to [the opposite conclusion]…The discordant rulings could force the issue back before the Supreme Court, if appeals courts in each district concur with the lower courts…

Thought Control (#1264)

I never would’ve thought my first profession would become as much a target for authoritarians as my second:

A new Missouri law [criminalizes stocking] books with [what politicians define as] sexually explicit images from school libraries…it [is now] a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail or a $2,000 fine for librarians…to [allow] students access to such material.  The law does not apply to written descriptions of sex or sexual acts; only photos, drawings, videos, and other visual depictions…“showing human masturbation, deviate [sic] sexual intercourse,…physical stimulation of genitals, sadomasochistic abuse,” or showing human genitals.  There are exceptions for anatomy, biology, sex education, art [politicians decide to tolerate], and other images [declared] educational [by censorious politicians].  Melissa Corey…of the Missouri Association of School Librarians, [believes] the law likely will only [be enforced against art politicians dislike]…Corey said the association advised librarians to work with local school boards to best follow the law, particularly the [incredibly vague and arbitrary] exceptions for art and biology…

Winding Down (#1265)

Alas, the drug war isn’t ending; the government is simply shifting it to nicotine:

For the first time in Gallup polling, more Americans (16%) said they smoke marijuana than had smoked a tobacco cigarette (11%) in the past week…Marjiuana and tobacco usage trends have been going in opposite directions for a few decades now.  By 1985, nearly as many Americans said they had tried marijuana (33%) as had smoked a cigarette in the past week (35%).  Cigarette smoking has been declining ever since. By 2013, just 19% of Americans were smoking cigarettes at least once a week…while…38%…told Gallup they had tried marijuana…

To Molest and Rape (#1267)

Those who consort with cops are often just as awful:

…a [typical and representative] Delcambre [Louisiana cop named]…Christopher Moorehart…[has been arrested for] rap[ing his girlfriend’s five-year-old daughter on multiple occasions]…The mother…Kimberly Healy…was arrested and [charged for letting him do it and]…never report[ing him even]…after [they] broke up…Moorehart [then started fucking an Iberia Parish screw named Shelly Lynn] Friou…[who also kept the child rapes] secret…[until] the two broke up [after which she reported him to their fellow pigs as an act of vengeance]…

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After the government does something especially awful, there is usually an avalanche of horror stories illustrating exactly what reasonable people warned would happen after the awful government act.  The overturn of Roe v Wade is no exception; if I had included these stories in my normal news columns, they would’ve completely dominated most of the late July installments.  So instead, I opted to collect them all together here; future updates to these stories will appear in regular news columns under the appropriate tags.

One of the strongest reasons to oppose authoritarian laws of any kind is that they inevitably harm people the politicians insist they weren’t trying to target:

A sexual assault survivor chooses sterilization so that if she is ever attacked again, she won’t be forced to give birth to a rapist’s baby.  An obstetrician delays inducing a miscarriage until a woman with severe pregnancy complications seems “sick enough.”  A lupus patient must stop taking medication that controls her illness because it can also cause miscarriages.  Abortion restrictions in a number of states and the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade are having profound repercussions in reproductive medicine as well as in other areas of medical care…Even in medical emergencies, doctors are sometimes declining immediate treatment. In the past week, an Ohio abortion clinic received calls from two women with ectopic pregnancies…who[se] doctors wouldn’t treat them…

More about the aforementioned lupus drug many women are now being denied:

Methotrexate is a cheap, common drug prescribed to millions of Americans…[for] rheumatic illnesses…inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis or cancer…[but because] it is used off-label to end ectopic pregnancies…it could be restricted by doctors or pharmacists even in states…that do not ban abortion…in low doses, it has proved to be one of the safest, least expensive and most effective treatments for roughly a dozen autoimmune conditions, from juvenile idiopathic arthritis to Crohn’s disease…“I have gotten some reports where children have been denied methotrexate for their juvenile arthritis until they’ve proven they’re not pregnant,” said Dr. Cuoghi Edens…a rheumatology expert…“The majority of rheumatic diseases affect females at substantially higher rates than males…The prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis in women to men is 3 to 1.  For lupus it’s 10 to 1.  And so rheumatology is a very female-predominant patient population”…some doctors have already stopped prescribing methotrexate rather than risk [persecution]…Many pharmacists have likewise refused to fill methotrexate prescriptions, or have demanded additional proof before dispensing the medication to patients they believe could get pregnant…

And it’s not just a few fundamentalist asshat pharmacists, either:

…the largest pharmacy chain in the country sent explicit instructions to its pharmacists informing them that new checks would be implemented to confirm the reason a doctor prescribes a drug before filling routine medications for patients…CVS headquarters sent a memo to pharmacies in [Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas]…review[ing] diagnosis codes that are deemed acceptable for dispensation, which include miscarriage…If they find abortion is the intended use, they “must refuse to fill the prescription”…

Some of the tyrannies forced-birth fetishists are trying to impose are blatantly unconstitutional:

South Carolina [politician]s introduced legislation that would make it illegal to “aid, abet or conspire with someone” to obtain an abortion…Provisions would outlaw providing information over the internet or phone about how to obtain an abortion.  It would also make it illegal to host a website or “[provide] an internet service” with information that is “reasonably likely to be used for an abortion”…the proposal is…modeled off a blueprint created by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), an antiabortion group, and designed to be replicated by [politician]s across the country…

Other FOSTA-inspired laws which encourage nuisance lawsuits have unfortunately not yet been declared unconstitutional:

Nearly four years after a woman ended an unwanted pregnancy with abortion pills obtained at a Phoenix clinic, she finds herself mired in an ongoing lawsuit [after]…A judge allowed the woman’s ex-husband to establish an estate for the embryo, which had been aborted in its seventh week of development.  The ex-husband filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the clinic and its doctors in 2020, alleging that…[he has the right to make decisions for his ex-wife]…

Naturally, this new extension of the police state will be enabled by the same fascist surveillance tactics as the War on Whores:

Many of the states rushing to ban abortion are also the biggest users of a surveillance tool that [cops] could use to track women ending their pregnancies — the location data from people’s phones…states across the country are already using this kind of data for other [surveillance and harassment].  And a POLITICO analysis found that many of the states that have criminalized abortion have relied increasingly on location data in recent years…Figures from Google…show that the company received 5,764 “geofence” warrants between 2018 and 2020 from police in the 10 states that have banned abortion as of July 5…

Of course, sex workers know all about most of these oppressions, because they’re tested on us first before being extended to amateurs:

Madolline Gourley, a Brisbane resident…was treated like a criminal during her transit through Los Angeles on 30 June, where she was detained at the border due to suspicions about her intention to house- and cat-sit in exchange for accommodation while holidaying in Canada.  Gourley was held in a detention room, interrogated twice, patted down, fingerprinted and photographed…At one point a US b[ureaucrat] asked Gourley, who was wearing a loose-fitting dress, whether she was pregnant.  The same question was repeated as she was moved between rooms.  When she again [replied that]…she was not pregnant, Gourley was asked whether she had had an abortion…

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None of us should be here.  –  Nicole Gililland

Counterfeit Comfort (#958) 

US sex laws are nothing but PR campaigns for cops:

Since 2006, the federal government has funneled millions into sometimes-massive operations to verify the addresses of those [condemned to] sex-offender registries…studies show they…do nothing to improve public safety…[and] programs with proven track records in preventing sexual violence…get little federal help…These mobilizations…funnel federal dollars to local police…but the…flood of money doesn’t appear to produce much…most [of the arrests during such sweeps are] for failure to report a change of address or vehicle…Sweep announcements often convey danger…[which] might explain why so many [are staged] on or around Halloween…Cops also use the raids to promote the m[yth] that police are all that stands between families and mayhem…And federal officials use the operations to denounce criticism of cops…

Imaginary Victims (#1000) 

The state’s pretended sympathy for “sex trafficking victims” applies only to imaginary “perfect” ones; real young women must fight for their lives:

…the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled…that a teenager who killed her sexual abuser may have the chance to be acquitted of all charges…Chrystul Kizer, now 22…has spent years fighting for the opportunity to show evidence…that her crimes were the “direct result” of the [exploitation]…she experienced at the hands of the man she killed: Randall Volar Jr.  She hoped to employ a never-before-used Wisconsin law that [claims]…to offer legal protection to [people classified as “]victims of trafficking[“, but prosecutors…[ha]ve argued…[that] her charge should only be lessened from first-degree homicide to second-degree — meaning she would still face up to 60 years in prison.  The court…[finally allowed] Kizer’s case, which has been stalled for years, [to] continue.  If [yet another] judge agrees there is “some evidence” her crimes were a “direct result” of trafficking, she will be able to present the same argument to a jury.  If the jury sides with her, she could be acquitted of some or all the charges against her…

Business As Usual (#1041)

Passive voice and obfuscation are used to divert blame for sexual assaults:

Two Flagstaff [cops lied] to [women in] massage parlors, took their pants off, and allowed themselves to be fondled eight different times….[which is] illegal according to state law [despite being approved] by [a gang composed of spooks, pigs, and]…prosecutors…Police a[bducted] 13 people…after…the [sexual assaults]…state law clearly outlines that what the [rapist pigs] detailed in their reports is illegal…[they also] repeatedly [claimed] they were looking into “sex trafficking” and then proceeded to pay for sex acts from [women they infantilized as “]victims[“]…

Panopticon (#1150)

A federal appeals court already ruled this kind of surveillance a 4th amendment violation, but I guess that doesn’t apply to the feds themselves:

[On June 30th], residents of Nogales, Arizona—a border-hugging town of about 20,000 people—awoke to find a large white blimp stationed in the sky.  Even [local politicians] had no idea the blimp was coming….[to] conduct…round-the-clock surveillance [for] U.S. Customs and Border Patrol…With the ability to provide surveillance both night and day, and a maximum [altitude] of 3,000 feet…the blimp is certainly capable of snooping on many people…There are now 17 blimps stationed over the U.S.-Mexico border.  The Nogales blimp is the first in eastern Arizona, though the CBP tentatively plans to launch another in that sector later this year…

It’d be a shame if locals started using this for target practice.

Permanent Record (#1200)

An important victory in the fight for sex worker rights:

An Oregon jury has awarded more than $1.7 million to Nicole Gililland, a former nursing student who sued her school for discriminating against her because of her adult performer past.  Although the jury declined to hold Southwestern Oregon Community College liable for Title IX violations, it did find SWOCC in breach of contract for derailing Gililland’s career and life after the school administration and instructors found out in 2017-2018 about her brief stint as an adult performer…for around 20 months between 2007 and 2009.  The jury…award[ed] Gililland $735,417 in compensation for the economic damage…plus $1 million in punitive damages…

The Cop Myth (#1223)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives; some don’t stop with mere beating:

…a [typical and representative cop] in Virginia…[nam]ed…Richard Colon Crowder…[murdered] both his wife Diane…and stepdaughter Carrie Szaksz…[and also] fired…at [his fellow cops] in an approximately nine-hour standoff before surrendering…Diane was moving out of the home…to get [away from her husband’s] abus[e]…The movers were just taking care of the final two pieces when [Crowder started shooting, so they fled]…and called [the other cops]…

Still a Child (#1226) 

Japanese politicians decided to infantilize all adults rather than just young women:

Japanese p[orn]…performer…Sakura Tsukishima has revealed…that she was forced to give up her apartment due to unreasonable changes [politicians] forc[ed] on the local adult industry…the sudden precipitous decline in her projected income…[was] caused by the virtual shutdown of production while companies try to figure out how they can continue shooting now that the Japanese government has rendered adult industry contracts unenforceable…the new law empowers any performer of any age or gender to withdraw…their consent for companies to distribute adult material in which they appear [and were already paid for]…at any time before the film’s public release without conditions, as well as up to a year afterward…video vendors [would be] obliged to [somehow] recover the products and delete the footage, and cannot claim [to be repaid for the] compensation [paid to the cold-footed] performers…

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Reliance on [police] to enforce Covid-19 restrictions has created…human rights violations.  –  Amnesty International

If Men Were Angels

Like father, like son:

A father and son pair of former church pastors were charged…with multiple counts of sexual assault of a child.  Scott Huse, 64…and…Travis Huse, 42…[were] involved with the Apostolic Worship Center and former Evergreen Christian Academy in Elton [Wisconsin]…

A Broker in Pillage (#1065)

Michigan is among the greediest, most unscrupulous states in this regard:

Michigan…[politicians have] open[ed] a dangerous loophole by authorizing [cops to rob]…travelers at Michigan airports [by pointing at them and oinking out the magic word “drugs”]…That change represents a substantial reversal of reforms that Michigan enacted in response to complaints…[bill sponsor Graham] Filler [paused from fellating cops to belch out a host of idiocies such as]…”ill-gotten gains”…”secure”…and…”reform”…

The Course of a Disease (#1093)

The Spanish case of the Swedish rot is especially virulent:

Spanish…politicians [are]…aiming to outlaw all forms of…sex work…including…audiovisual productions, magazines or internet content deemed “pornographic”…politicians within [socialist ruling party] PSOE, which took power in 2019…have taken up the abolition of sex work as their personal cause…the party’s General Vice-Secretary Adriana Lastra…last month took to the press to promote a change in the Spanish penal code to mandate up to three years of jail time for anyone paying for sex…

The Last Shall Be First (#1115)

Another perverse genital inspection law:

…the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” bans schools and colleges in Ohio from permitting “individuals of the male sex” from participating in women’s sports…The bill does not explain what the “male sex” or “female sex” is.  It does not say “trans” or “transgender” anywhere in the bill.  It doesn’t talk about birth or biological sex.  What it does instead is give people the power to dispute the sex of an individual athlete.  Then it falls upon that athlete to prove their sex by going to a physician and getting a signed statement confirming the athlete’s sex based on only…”The participant’s internal and external reproductive anatomy…normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone…[or] analysis of the participant’s genetic makeup.”  The bill…[also] authorize[s] individuals or schools…to sue the school, school district, or conference who allowed the trans woman to play and be awarded damages…The bill’s wording is similar to one passed in Idaho in 2020 that is currently being challenged in federal court

In the authoritarian mind,  for students to voluntarily allow other people to examine their genitalia for the purpose of pleasure is a “crime”, but for the same students to be forced by law to allow strangers to examine their genitalia for the purpose of bigotry is “protection”.

Social Distancing (#1197)

Oh look, it’s what I was saying TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO:

“Widespread reliance on punitive approaches to enforcing public health” harms marginalized groups, says Amnesty International.  A new report…suggests quarantine rules and other COVID-19 restrictions were especially damaging for groups already more likely to face discrimination, police harassment, and unjust criminalization.  Amnesty International calls on governments to reject using criminal sanctions to implement public health goals and “refrain from implementing repressive policies” in the name of protecting pubic health…”Contrary to the often-voiced claim by governments that ‘we were all in this together’, the truth is that their responses to Covid-19 have been experienced unequally…[especially by] people who are homeless, engage in sex work, or use drugs, as well as people “targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression”…


To Molest and Rape (#1225)

Rapist cops don’t only target women:

A [typical and representative] Philadelphia [cop who raped and]…sexually assault[ed men]…over the course of more than a decade was found guilty…of multiple crimes, including rape…Philip Nordo…often targeted [men] who were already handcuffed or shackled…

Thought Control (#1240)

There is nothing as contagious as a bad idea:

CatholicVote, which calls itself “America’s top Catholic advocacy organization,” has launched a “parent-led movement” called Hide the Pride to “empty libraries of LGBTQ content aimed at kids.”  It encourages members of the public to first collect signatures protesting library Pride displays containing children’s books, then to check out all of the books on display…After the titles are checked out, they then advise to “place the Pride books on a shelf out of reach of children” and email or mail the signatures to the library…a…school board candidate in Maryland did the same thing, though she didn’t stop at kids’ books.  Heather Fletcher checked out all the LGBTQ books on the library Pride display in the Brunswick Public Library…she [bloviat]ed, “This has…to do with the preservation of innocence”…

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It’s called silly string. It’s silly.  –  Suzanne Johnson

As one who appreciates both Doctor Who and Jacques Brel, I found this extremely funny; I hope you do as well.  The links above it were provided by David Ley, Franklin Harris, Scott Greenfield, Walter Olson, Jesse Walker, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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The legislation…grossly limits…sex workers from taking steps to protect their health and safety.  –  Justice Phillip Sutherland

Imaginary Evils (#929)

Is there anything the government won’t label “sex trafficking”?

In 2004 [Nicole] Daedone founded a group called OneTaste, disseminating…the practice of what she called orgasmic meditation, or OM.  At its peak, OneTaste was reported to be making $12 million a year; it had centres in nine cities, including New York, San Francisco and London, and was endorsed by no less a personage than…Gwyneth [“jade vagina egg”] Paltrow.  But the organisation has now shut down following accusations by former members of the group, with the FBI reportedly investigating allegations of sex-trafficking, prostitution and violation of labour laws…

Property of the State (#989) 

Pregnant women are uniquely vulnerable to state coercion:

…each new wave of illegal drug panic and crackdowns…has spurred new excuses for monitoring pregnant women, overriding their consent, and applying strict laws against them.  In Alabama, hundreds of pregnant women have been prosecuted for positive drug tests…”A woman can be charged with chemical endangerment from the earliest weeks of pregnancy“…and…face up to 10 years of prison time [if her baby is born perfectly healthy]…and up to 20 years if the child shows signs of exposure.  High courts in…Alabama, Oklahoma, and South Carolina…have affirmed that it’s OK to use general child abuse statutes in the criminal prosecution of pregnant women who test positive for any illegal drug…in…South Carolina…[hospital] staff called the cops on a woman whose child tested positive for [metabolites of THC]…In Louisiana…a woman was charged with child desertion and second-degree cruelty, punishable by up to 40 years imprisonment, for smoking pot while breastfeeding.  In…Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin…drug use during pregnancy can lead to involuntary civil commitment.  At least 23 states [pretend] any drug use during pregnancy is…child abuse…Even in states without this explicit policy, a single positive test can trigger…investigation by child protective services

Sex Rays (#1059)

Another sleaze turns old news into an ad for his business catering to superstitious snobs with more money than cognitive development:

Jeffrey Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion is being demolished in the hopes of [ritually] cleansing the area of [evil spirits].  The waterfront property was purchased…for…$US18 million [by real estate]…developer Todd Michael Glaser…the gated estate is modest for the area, which is largely made up of extravagant holiday homes…occupied only during the summer months, leaving the area eerily quiet during the off-season…

I Spy (#1067)

At least a few politicians’ moral compasses aren’t entirely defective:

A bipartisan group of [politicians] has introduced a bill to stop federal law enforcement from sidestepping citizens’ privacy rights by secretly purchasing our personal data from third-party brokers.  In 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in Carpenter v. United States that the FBI violated a suspect’s Fourth Amendment rights by tracking his cellphone without getting a warrant first…[so] federal agencies began…just buy[ing] the information from brokers…And so a group…including Sens. Rand Paul…Ron Wyden…Patrick Leahy…and Mike Lee…has introduced…a…bill [which would]…require fed[s]…to…get a court order [to buy the data] just as they have to do now if they want to force a phone service provider to cough up your information.  It prohibits the use of this data as evidence [unless the spooks simply lie and pretend they obtained the data using a legal method, in a dodge called “parallel construction”]…

Morality Lessons (#1112) 

This unconstitutional bill failed in over a dozen states before passing in Utah:

The Alabama House Judiciary Committee held a hearing…on a “copycat bill” of the legislation…passed in Utah [which] aim[s] to force phone and computer manufacturers to install default “porn filters” on devices sold in Alabama.  The bill…[i]s part of a current effort…by [pro-censorship group]…Morality in Media…and other religiously motivated…organizations — to pass state-by-state laws making this requirement…

Winding Down (#1118)

Washington state politicians demonstrate their hypocrisy:

…in February the Washington State Supreme Court…struck down the state’s felony drug possession law…decriminaliz[ing] drugs statewide and suddenly render[ing] tens of thousands of prisoners eligible for reduced sentences.  The Legislature could have seen this ruling…as an opportunity [to end the drug war in]…Washington…But…the provincial, fearful mommies and daddies who run Olympia have made…plans to restart the war on mostly Black drug users.  The only question is how much destruction they want to cause, and for how long…

Whither Canada? (#1126)

Slowly chipping away at a terrible law:

An Ontario Superior Court judge has declared unconstitutional legal provisions that ban sex workers from being able to work safely, including by being able to advertise…hire security, work together and communicate with clients…Justice Phillip Sutherland ruled…that the law breaches the right of sex workers to life, liberty and security of the person…Jenn Clamen, national co-ordinator for the [Canadian Alliance for Sex Work Law Reform]…stressed [that] the ruling is just a partial victory [as] it does not address…provisions…banning the purchase of sex and communication for th[at] purpose…this is the second time in Ontario that a judge has partially struck down the [prohibitionist law which imposed] the Nordic model [on Canada.  Crown attorneys whined]…that [it]…would be more difficult [to destroy people’s lives for consensual adult sex]…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Rilee Peet

Mary Wilson of the Supremes died last week; I’ve selected this TV video from 1969 because it begins with a solo by her.  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko, The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, Elizabeth N. Brown, Nun Ya, Mike Siegel, and Jesse Walker, in that order.

From the Archives

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James Randi, AKA, “The Amazing Randi”, died last week at the age of 92.  If you don’t know who he was, watch this short video for an introduction; there’s also a full-length documentary on his life’s work, An Honest Liar.  The links above the video were provided by Mistress Matisse, Nun Ya, Franklin Harris, Radley Balko, Cop Crisis, Walter Olson, and Mike Siegel, in that order.

From the Archives

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