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Archive for May, 2020

I can’t breathe.  –  George Floyd

Last week Jesse Walker tweeted this video and…see for yourself.  The links above it were provided by Mama Tush, Popehat, Zuri Davis, Mike Siegel, Jesse again, and Stephen Lemons, in that order.

From the Archives

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It’s unlikely you’ll make the world a better place by twisting people’s arms.  –  J.D. Tuccille

A Broker in Pillage

I’m sure you know the answer to the question posed in this headline:

An Arizona bill requiring police and prosecutors to get a criminal conviction before they could [steal citizens’ property]…died [in the Arizona House]…The bill passed the [state] Senate unanimously in March.  Then the coronavirus pandemic hit and…politic[ians decided]…they don’t want to give up the revenue…Kirsten Engel…[basically] said that…she wants to use civil forfeiture to finance police departments even if it means the disadvantaged get the blunt end of the stick…

The Joy of Juxtaposition

Beneath their “red x” silliness and childish propaganda, “End It” are dangerous copsuckers:

The End It movement is not…apolitical…people are supporting and directly funding institutions that define slavery, trafficking, and freedom by their own criteria while collaborating with the FBI, DHS, and police forces.  Overall, the End It movement serves the state, corporate, and institutional interests of the people who run it.  Every year the End It movement picks a random date in February to…promote Westerners drawing a red “X” on their hand to represent millions of victims who are enslaved…their Twitter page is full of…celebrities, police, corporations and…“law and order” types…

Rough Trade (#915) 

Cops refuse to release the name of a dangerous, violent serial rapist.  Guess why?

A man gardaí believe is a “serious threat to women” is staying in a Dublin hotel after arriving back into the country in recent weeks…The man[‘s name is not being released]…because his only [recent] rape [accusations were] of two prostitutes…who[m]…he…drugged and raped…and beat…during a lengthy attack…

The Course of a Disease (#980)

Proponents of the Swedish rot will use any excuse to push their filth:

Pro[hibitionist] German politicians…called for brothels to be closed indefinitely…[by rehashing the tired old myth of sex workers as vectors of disease]…”[We want people to believe] that prostitutes could become epidemiological ‘super spreaders’ — sexual activities are, as a rule, not compatible with social distancing measures,” the letter reads…The letter calls for Germany to take the opportunity to adopt the “Nordic model”…

The speed with which Swedish criminalization fans have pivoted from “we’re only trying to protect women!” to “whores are dirty and should be condemned to re-education” tells you all you need to know about their sincerity.

Social Distancing

Bills and hunger don’t “socially distance” from people without income:

…“the world’s oldest profession”…doesn’t stop for anything.  Not an economic crisis, not Ramadan, and not a deadly coronavirus outbreak.  [Even] in [Iran,] where “Morality Police” roam the streets, everyone knows exactly where to go to find prostitution…Mona…tells me…“It’s either I die of poverty or die of Corona – I choose the second one.”  Mona says that she gets fewer house calls these days, but the street ones are still coming.  Sex is always in demand, so business hasn’t taken much of a hit from the spread of the virus…

Working From Home (#1032)

Susannah Breslin interviews a stripper activist:

New Orleans…[stripper Chase] Kelly has become a source of support and wisdom for her dancer clients and her over 46,000 followers on Instagram.  So, when the coronavirus pandemic began spreading across the U.S. early this year, Kelly become a front line worker at the intersection of the pandemic and strip clubs, providing counseling and support for dancers who, due to the nature of their work, found themselves in dire circumstances.  Here, Kelly talks about how the coronavirus has changed the strip club business, why taking things online isn’t the same thing when you strip for a living, and whether or not the coronavirus will wipe out the strip club industry altogether…

Like Houses (#1038)

Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Violence is safety:

For a brief time, [Americans] seemed to be taking the dangers of official force to heart.  Then the pandemic came along, and…politicians quickly went to their happy place: threatening people with violence for not doing what they’re told…Threats to arrest people for violating stay-at-home [diktats] are especially ironic, given reports of rapid contagion in crowded jails and prisons.  Mass imprisonment…isn’t a great public health tactic…Cops across the country busted people for “social-distancing violations” including hanging out with friendsplaying with their children in public parks, and failing to wear face masks. Police in Brooklyn “cuffed a mother and pinned her to the ground” because her mask was around her neck instead of over her nose and mouth.  Everybody is potentially on the receiving end of such treatment, but cops always lean most heavily on the people they prefer to target…members of minority communities who are less able to push back…

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Back Issue #83

When the subject is sex everyone’s brains shift into “neutral” and the most outlandish claims are accepted as reasonable.  –  “Reaction Formation

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This blog has always been unusual in a number of ways.  I publish once a day, every single day, at exactly the same time every day for the past ten years.  For the majority of that time, posts that constituted anything less than a full essay were rather rare; diary columns and Friday columns are often short, and holiday columns are now the online equivalent of a card, but other than that it’s mostly essays or news commentary.  But as I pointed out in March, the pandemic has crowded crude masturbatory fantasies out of the public consciousness, and since I don’t really do history columns any more, that actually leaves me a bit short on things to write about at this stage of the game.  That’s actually kinda convenient because I’ve been doing a lot of work out at Sunset, and therefore have less time to write.  However, the columns about that work have proven popular, so today I’m starting a new (albeit temporary) feature logging the progess on my bathhouse.  So consider this the first installment; right now it’s just a recently-delivered refurbished hot tub sitting on the slab outside my back door.  But I think you’ll find the weekly development interesting, and I’ll certainly welcome a little more time to work on it.

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If lockdowns worked as advertised, we would not see such enormous variability in the death rates.  –  William Briggs

Blasphemy

As I’ve said for decades, so-called “radical” feminism is a cult:

…Looking back on her time in the “gender critical” feminist movement, [Amy Dyess] is unequivocal: it’s a cult…that groomed her when she was vulnerable and sleeping in her car; a cult that sought to control her, keeping tabs on her movements and dictating what she could and couldn’t say; a cult that was emotionally and sexually abusive towards her.  As Amy began to notice more and more red flags about the GC movement – like how it defended abusive women, how it wouldn’t let lesbians speak out about sexual assault perpetrated by women, and how it was forming alliances with homophobic groups – she started asking questions.  Last year, she began speaking out against what she saw as increasingly blatant homophobia in the gender-critical movement.  The cult tightened its grip.  Lesbian journalists who are household names “lovebombed” her, she says, trying to keep her in the movement…

Surplus Women

More blood on prohibitionists’ hands:

Lawrence Paul Mills III…targeted…sex workers on the southside of Detroit…he would [hire] his victims…and [transact their business] in…his [car].  When the victim left the vehicle, he would [intentionally run them down]…and then [steal back] his payment…Mills was arraigned…in connection to a Dec. 22, 2017, incident in which he…[ran over] a then-pregnant woman…several times before driving away…The woman and her unborn child survived…

The Swedish Pimpocracy (#719) 

The key to understanding Swedish law: the government thinks it owns the citizens:

As infections continue to grow in Sweden, several parents and teachers in the country have raised concerns over the risk their children (and everyone the kids come into contact with) face due to the mandatory school attendance required among those aged from six to 15 amid the ongoing pandemic…parents (some of whom have serious health conditions) have reported being threatened with fines, being reported to social services and other repercussions for choosing to keep their children at home to minimize the risk to their own lives…

Safe Position (#947)

This is the woman who beat the pro-decrim candidate Tiffany Caban:

District Attorney Melinda Katz…announced the creation of a [so-called] Human Trafficking Bureau that is exclusively dedicated to [persecuuting sex workers]…in Queens County. This newly formed Bureau will…aggressively prosecut[e sex workers’ clients, friends, family members and associates]…and will also [infantilize and criminalize sex workers]…

I Spy (#1035)

It boggles the mind that anyone could be gullible enough to install this:

The Care19 app, developed for the North Dakota Department of Health by developer ProudCrowd, [claimed it would] assist health officials in their battle against coronavirus by logging users’ location data…[which] it also sent…to Foursquare…this is especially concerning, as the app’s [supposed] privacy policy [claims] to explicitly prohibit [exactly] what [the app does]…”This location data…is stored securely on ProudCrowd, LLC servers,..It will not be shared with anyone including government entities or third parties, unless you consent or ProudCrowd is compelled under federal regulations”…

Reawakening

In case you missed this:

…quarantining an entire population is not some set-in-stone technique that has been used for decades to stem the spread of a virus.  It was first proposed in 2006 by two [medical bureaucrats]…neither of them infectious disease specialists —  after President George W. Bush asked for a plan to combat pandemics…But four scientists who were infectious disease specialists…wrote…a devastating critique.  There was no science to support the notion that a national quarantine would halt the spread of infection, they wrote.  It could increase the risk of infection for people living in close quarters.  Closing theaters, malls, restaurants, stores and bars…would have “serious disruptive consequences.”  Closing schools was not only impractical “but carries the possibility of a seriously adverse outcome”…there is surprisingly little evidence that lockdowns work…a statistician named William M. Briggs…compar[ed] countries that locked down with countries that didn’t.  As of May 12, the U.S. had 237 deaths per million people.  Taiwan, a no-lockdown country, had 0.3 deaths per million…No-lockdown Sweden has had 347 deaths per million; lockdown Belgium, with a similar population, has had 763 deaths per million.  Ethiopia…had no lockdown — and a death rate of 0.04 per million…

Social Distancing (#1037)

India refuses to give sex workers stipends to survive on, so I’m sure these pompous blowhards’ scheme will work:

India can add 17 days of additional delay to reaching the peak of novel coronavirus cases, and prevent 72 per cent of projected new cases by closing down its red light areas till a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, [prohibitionists fantasize]. Based on [authoritarian nonsense that imagines people can survive indefinitely with no income if the government demands they do], the [prohibitionists claim]…closing down these places of sex work may reduce projected COVID-19 death toll increase in India by 63 per cent [and besides, whores are expendable]…

Working From Home (#1038)

Internet companies use sex workers to build themselves, then screw us over:

…In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, [OnlyFans] has exploded in popularity, seeing a 75 percent increase in sign-ups in recent weeks and garnering 170,000 new users per day…[so-called “]influencers[“] like Caroline Calloway have flocked to the platform as a way to monetize their content by selling directly to their fan base.  The influx of…civilians…has prompted concern among many sex workers, who’ve long relied on the platform as a source of income and are worried about oversaturation of the market…To make matters worse, some…[are] being pushed out of the platform, reporting that their accounts have been deleted [and their funds stolen by the platform] even when they have not violated OnlyFans’ terms of service…Emails shared with Rolling Stone show the boilerplate language OnlyFans has sent to such creators, saying accounts are “typically being deleted due to suspicious/fraudulent activity”…

This is, of course, exactly what Paypal did, down to stealing sex workers’ money and claiming it was about “fraud”.

Social Distancing (#1041)

At their core, the Netherlands are still prohibitionist:

The red-light district is one of the main tourist attractions in Amsterdam.  While coronavirus…restrictions are starting to ease, sex work is not allowed to resume until September…the lack of support for sex workers has exposed how vulnerable they are under Dutch law.  Hella Dee…started a fundraising campaign when she realized how many of her colleagues were in financial distress…The campaign collected over $20,000 that was distributed to over 400 sex workers.  Masten Stavast, who rents out 31 windows…is compiling a protocol with sex workers, club owners and other people from the red-light district to lobby policymakers on how sex work can safely resume before September…”If everything goes all right on July 1, there can be 100 people together, why not one to one then with all the protection that everybody has?”  M[ost] sex workers are [also intentionally] excluded from the billions of dollars of government support offered to overcome economic hardship…

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Diary #517

On Saturday, as I was working on setting the piers for my new bathhouse, my manicurist called to let me know that she’s opening on June 1st; of course I made an appointment!  It will be so good for my hands to look and feel like those of a civilized lady again.  As of right now, I’ve got four broken ones (three on the right hand and the forefinger on my left), so not only do my hands look like shit, they’re also far less functional than usual.  I’m not used to hands without nails, which means my right hand is basically useless for fine work righy now (I am typing this with my middle finger) and I keep getting hairs, threads, etc snagged on the rough edges of the broken nails (which tear as they grow even if I file them).  And I don’t even like to look at my toenails.  Since I had my Botox week before last, now all I’m waiting for is my hair salon to call, so I can make these awful roots invisible.  Fortunately, it doesn’t grow all that fast, and I’m not due for a trim for a while yet, so I will not end up like Jonathan here (whom we’re probably going to have sheared soon).  And since the gent I call Dr. Quest has informed me that he’ll probably be able to see me soon, things for me are beginning to look like they’ll soon return to more manageable conditions.  And it’s about damned time.

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One of the things plague season has demonstrated to me is just how different my lifestyle is to that of most people.  Certainly, I’m losing money just like most small business owners, but fortunately, I have some generous readers, clients and friends who have been helping to ease that pain, and since I have for the past 17 months already been engaged in the process of shifting my business model to a smaller number of regular clients, the sudden drop in client contacts two months ago didn’t hit me as hard (financially or emotionally) as it did younger, less-established sex workers.  And given that my official residence (which has now become my primary residence) is on 11 acres of land 20 miles from the nearest town, most of the urban restrictions fell pretty lightly on my shoulders and gave me time to do a lot of long-neglected renovation.  Of course, the various restrictions (both real and made-up) are as annoying and frustrating to me as they are to any non-puritan, and I’m very concerned for the many small business owners I know who are being slowly strangled to death by politicians trying to save their own careers.  But for once, a disaster didn’t completely disrupt my life, as so many have in the past.  And I think that’s something I’ll be very thankful for over the next couple of years.

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How dare you!  –  Greta Thunberg

Here’s yet another unusual song cover to prove that “cultural appropriation” is awesome; it was provided by Radley Balko, and the links above it are from Franklin Harris, Rick Pettit, Kevin Wilson, Popehat (x2), The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, and Stephen Lemons, in that order.

From the Archives

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The government has adopted a win-at-all-costs approach and [an attitude] that the ends justify the means.  –  Michael Piccarreta

Elephant in the Parlor

Politician takes bribes, hires whores.  Yawn.

…federal [documents]…suggest…a years-long trail of bribery between City Councilmember Jose Huizar and a Chinese development firm with a megaproject slated for downtown Los Angeles…[real estate broker] George Chiang…started a real estate consulting company in 2014…that directed money, consulting fees, casino chips, flights on private jets, luxury hotel stays, prostitutes and escort services between developers…[politicians] and [bureaucrats]…in exchange for approval of an 80,000-square foot commercial project and other downtown developments…

Dangerous Speech (#958)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1…accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client privileges…despite repeated warnings from defense counsel…and two [court] orders…the government continued to question former Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer concerning confidential legal advice that was subject to joint defense and representation agreements with other defendants…the government grilled Ferrer repeatedly through “seven successive interviews” over the course of 13 months, beginning the day of his plea deal…In doing so…the government engaged in “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” misconduct.  Prosecutors “willfully invaded” Lacey and Larkin’s attorney-client privileges in order to “gain a tactical advantage in the case,” thereby violating the defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel…Barring outright dismissal, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the harm done to the defendants and possible sanctions against the government, such as the exclusion of Ferrer as a witness, the suppression of other evidence, or the disqualification of the entire prosecution team…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

The human cost of a prohibitionist crusade:

In March 2019 my life was turned upside down…by feminist groups who said I needed saving…Becoming a dancer at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino was the best thing I’d ever done.  It gave me the confidence I desperately lacked…[but then] Not Buying It sent private [dicks] into our club to buy lap dances and secretly film the women dancing.  They did this to “prove” to Sheffield Council that Spearmint Rhino was in breach of its own code of conduct and should have its licence revoked.  They filmed women naked and without their consent, and this was only the beginning…it traumatised the women …[and] hurt their families, their friends and their children…the ensuing campaign to close our club left me extremely anxious and scared to go to work…I was paranoid that every person who came into the club was another undercover investigator trying to take my job away.  I was always on edge, watching people, checking buttons for cameras, looking in people’s ears to see if they were wearing earpieces.  I was hyper-aware of customers who used their mobile phones and frightened that they were secretly recording me.  It was torture.  Work went from being the place I felt safest to a place I felt judged and under attack…

Business As Usual (#1001)

Every so often one of these sadly-typical stories gets more media attention:

Agents with…DHS…in Arizona have been “fighting” human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to [rape women they claim to be]…victims…[then] seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.  Federal agents [raped] at least 17…”Asian females” working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018…the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges…[the] scenario…is far from an isolated incidentnational and mainstream media have been discovering and disapproving of “Operation Asian Touch.”  This is great—so long as nobody mistakes what happened in Mohave County for an atypical investigation.  If you track initial claims about massage parlor-based human trafficking through to their actual conclusions, you’ll almost always find law enforcement simply targeting sex workers, small-business owners, immigrants, and the people who patronize them with harassment, assault, arrest, property seizure, prosecution, detainment, and deportation. And the “victims” they allegedly set out to save frequently wind up facing criminal charges.  There are only two roles women can play in this Homeland Security-led charade: helpless sex slave or conniving human trafficker.  (Both types…are invited to stroke ICE agent penises)…

I Spy (#1006)

But please, tell me more about “wings” and “blue states” and “democracy”:

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.  The measure must be approved…by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law…

Like Houses (#1031)

All they were waiting for was a strong enough excuse:

In India, the COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect excuse for the government to consolidate its pre-pandemic surveillance ambitions.  Since May 4, as restrictions began to ease, the government has mandated the installation of its contact-tracing smartphone app for anyone who works…or uses public transport.  Failing to do so is criminal…Unsurprisingly, digital rights and civil society organizations are pushing back on the new di[ktat]…

Reawakening

A high-profile example of the quiet rebellion that’s already started everywhere in the US:

Alameda County [bureaucrats] backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.  Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting …”If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me“…Musk’s civil disobedience against the COVID lockdown regime is a high-profile instance of a wider trend…

Social Distancing (#1036)

At its core, Australia is still prohibitionist:

…as Australia eases itself out of COVID-19 restrictions…in [a] three-stage framework…strip clubs and brothels were specifically listed “to remain closed” even in stage three…other businesses with…skin-to-skin contact – like waxing, massages, tattoos, bathhouses and saunas – are allowed to open in stage three.  Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim [said]…”We hoped this…outbreak wouldn’t be used as an excuse to turn back…gains made in sex worker legislation, but it’s hard to see this as anything but discrimination, considering similar businesses are allowed”…federal [bureaucrats] recommended brothels and strip club venues should stay shut [indefinitely]…sole operator sex workers…are banned after being classed as “non-essential”

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand:

The national lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 means it’s business as usual for many Kiwis, including sex workers…The New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective (NZPC) released guidelines for sex workers on their website…with a checklist of hygiene practices and safety measures workers, brothels and massage parlours should be implementing…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

No human is truly free while governments claim the “right” to lock people in filthy, disease-ridden cages:

In the vast majority of the world’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons…physical distancing is simply not an option.  In situations where close confinement, shared facilities and spaces and poor hygiene are commonplace…prison[ers]…are living in constant fear of the ticking COVID-19 time bomb…UNAIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are calling on leaders to make detention a last resort, to close drug rehabilitation detention centres and to decriminalize sex work, same-sex sexual relations and drug use.  They are urging countries to release the people who can be released…The Government of Ethiopia…has released more than 30,000 prisoners and has heightened sanitation measures.  Indonesia is releasing more than 50,000…Iran is releasing 40% of its total prison population, 100,000 people, while Chile is set to release around 50,000 people…

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The most popular current excuse for expanding the police state and destroying civil liberties is “the pandemic”.

Before that it was “sex trafficking”.

Before that it was “terrorism”.

Before that it was “crime”.

Before that it was “drugs”.

Before that it was “communism”.

Before that it was…

How many times will you let them fool you?

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