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Archive for December, 2020

Yule 2020

The apparent path of the sun reached its southernmost point exactly as this posted, 10:02 UTC, making this the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the longest day of the year in the Southern.  This is a time for remembrance, renewal and rebirth; I wish for all my readers the blessings of the season, and pray that all of you get all you hope for in the new year.  Blessed Be!

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Why are you in my home?  –  Kawaski Trawick, last words

Though there are rarely any decent holiday videos on YouTube any more (and when there are, they appear only a few days in advance), Christmas has long been a time for celebrating via mind-altering substances.  I therefore present this video, provided by Jesse Walker, who also supplied “corpse” and both obits.  The other links above the video are from Mike Siegel, Walter Olson, Mistress Matisse, Phoenix Calida, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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Analysing the content of all [electronic] correspondence….[is] as if the post office opened all letters in search of illegal content.  –  Patrick Breyer

Unreal Princesses

Pretending to be a sex worker gets attention, without the stigma of really being one:

If you spend a lot of time on TikTok…you’ve probably come across ItsImperial…an 18-year-old with high cheekbones, a septum piercing, and intense, dark eyebrows…[who] has racked up an impressive 1.9 million followers in less than a year, typically posting…wild stories about her [supposed] stripping career…[but] many on StripperTok don’t believe Imperial’s stories are actually true…Jessica Kind…who…has been in the industry for 11 years, says that Imperial’s florid accounts of life as a sex worker facing a litany of abusive or lascivious clients do real harm to an already-stigmatized community…One of the most glaring red flags, says Kind, was the fact that on her TikToks Imperial rarely makes references to the presence of security or a bouncer, which is standard to prevent dancers from being mistreated. (One exception is the TikTok where she discusses having a gun pulled on her, and she says security intervened)…The presence of a bouncer…would theoretically prevent many of the incidents Imperial describes in her videos, such as being pelted with feces or being attacked by a jealous wife who smells her perfume…Imperial [claims]…that she works private parties, not at clubs…[but] most privates are booked through connections made at clubs. Imperial’s website also doesn’t allow potential patrons to book her, and her Instagram, where she has 181,000 followers, doesn’t promote upcoming appearances…She also doesn’t appear to follow the local clubs in her area, nor do they follow her, as is common in the industry. “I don’t see how it would be possible for her to advertise and make money off private parties during a pandemic,” says Bebe Gunn…

Above the Law  

FBI thugs are just federal cops, and behave accordingly:

An assistant FBI director…drunkenly grop[ed] a female subordinate in a stairwell.  Another…sexually harassed eight employees.  Yet another…blackmail[ed] a young employee into s[ubmitting to rape]…An Associated Press investigation has identified at least six s[uch cases]…over the past five years, including two new claims brought this week by women who…were sexually assaulted by ranking agents.  [As is typical for rapist cops,] each of the…officials…avoided…[any meaningful consequences], and several were quietly transferred or retired, keeping their full pensions and benefits…Beyond that, federal [rapist] officials are afforded anonymity even after the disciplinary process runs its course, allowing them to land on their feet in the private sector or even remain in law enforcement…

Pretext

More cops using non-consenting people as props in a propaganda show:

…Instead of writing tickets, some deputies with the Richland County [South Carolina] Sheriff’s Department [played a sick practical joke and called it] spread[ing] Christmas cheer.  [Cops] patrolled the Eastover and Gadsden areas, pulling over [people on various pretexts and giving them] gift cards…

As usual, reporters obediently parrot the pigs’ press release without any counterpoint from a lawyer or civil rights advocate.

Torture Chamber (#928) 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

After more than a year of warnings that Alabama’s gore-soaked prison system violates the Constitution, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the state…for its failure to prevent violence and sexual assault against…men [it keeps locked in cages]…Alabama’s prison system…is overcrowded, unsanitary, and…deliberately indifferent to the frequent and often deadly assaults against inmates, violating the Eighth Amendment and the 14th Amendment of the Constitution…

I Spy (#1000)

Anyone who doubts that politicians are deranged megalomaniacs should be following this:

…the European Parliament’s Civil liberties Committee voted to restrict the ePrivacy Directive…[in order to] generally and indiscriminately…screen and monitor all private electronic communications in the absence of any suspicion in order to search for [supposed] child pornographic content and “child grooming”.  On 10 September 2020, it presented a draft law to this effect.  Providers of e-mail, chat and messenger services would be…[forced to] search…the content of all private messages.  Looking for as yet unknown material would mean that even intimate photographs of adults will frequently be exposed.  In addition, error-prone algorithms are to search text messages for “solicitation of sexual contact” with minors.  Supposed hits are reported to the police.  A second law planned for next year will make this mass surveillance procedure compulsory, even where secure end-to-end encryption is [currently] used to protect private messages…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1096)

Prohibition never eradicates the prohibited thing; it just helps shady participants:

…the DOJ helped shut down law-abiding American porn producers, paved the way for Pornhub to dominate the market for online porn, and made the problem of illegal pornography worse…The Bush-era Obscenity Task Force started shutting down American porn companies right and left in 2005.  Pornhub launched in 2006.  The DOJ jailed Pornhub’s competition (and those who didn’t get arrested shut down their sites in fear by the hundreds) while allowing Pornhub to flout copyright and 2257 requirements (which establish that porn performers are citizens and of age)…By doing this, the DOJ helped move the adult industry away from a thriving competitive marketplace of independent American porn producers who were legally required to prove their performers were consenting adults toward three or four offshore tax-evading secretive companies with zero requirements to prove the porn they host is created by consenting adults.  Does anyone seriously think this made the porn industry safer or better in any way, shape, or form?…

To Molest and Rape (#1096)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

…Mike Wilson, a [typical and representative cop] with the Trenton [Missouri] police department, was arrested…and [charged with] statutory rape…[he is also being investigated for trying to talk a different underage girl into bed]…

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Bathhouse 26

At long last, we’ve finally got the last of our roofing materials.  The process has been far more difficult than it should have been; in Oklahoma, we had a choice of several local vendors and were able to quickly find and purchase what we wanted.  But here in Washington, the process was slow, confusing, and far more expensive than it had to be, and we eventually had to deal with three different vendors.  For this particular product (PBR panels, for those who understand the subject) we had to contract with a company in Tennessee to pick up the product in the Seattle area; my card was charged on October 29th, and when I had heard nothing about where or when to pick up our materials by November 30th, I called to inquire.  An email the next day told me that our order was ready and provided a tracking number, but still no address or phone number of the facility.  Yet another phone call was required to obtain those, but when I called the place they wanted a PO number rather than the tracking number I was given, and the clerk couldn’t find my order in the computer by name because the salesman misspelled it (despite my spelling it for him phonetically, more than once).  Finally they managed to locate it, and Chekhov took the trailer to pick it up.  And once we finally had it in hand, I could start the process of tracking down my promised refund of the shipping charge, which somehow mysteriously vanished between the order and my credit card.  As of this writing, I still don’t know what’s up with that, but even after I find it there’s no way I’m going to recommend this particular company to anyone else, even if I do think it’s due to the salesman being the owner’s son-in-law, ne’er-do-well nephew, or some other person unlikely to be fired merely because he’s startlingly incompetent.

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The times when those slain by the evil policies of the police state were simply left to rot in the shadows are over.  –  “The Body Count

Every year on this day, sex workers around the world gather to mourn our dead, but this year, the observance will be different in two very important ways.  You can probably guess the first:  Most of the gatherings are likely to be virtual ones, as people choose to physically isolate themselves to ward off disease.  The second, however, is far more important:  in the two years since the passage of the massive anti-sex censorship law FOSTA, attention and support for sex worker rights has grown dramatically among the general public, the media, and even the parasitic hangers-on who proclaim themselves “leaders”.  Increasingly-punitive laws engendered by “sex trafficking” hysteria and the general worldwide rise in authoritarianism, aggravated by pandemic-driven desperation, have produced the effect desired by prohibitionists:  dramatically increased violence against sex workers.  Most governments have added insult to injury by cutting those they know to be sex workers out of their pandemic relief programs, and even as the “sex trafficking” panic implodes those who have used it as an excuse for violence have redoubled their efforts.  Nor has the shift to online forms of sex work (again, driven by the pandemic) allowed sex workers to escape this violence:  sociopathic fanatics such as the creeps from Morality in Media and Exodus Cry, in collusion with sociopathic profiteers like Nicholas Kristof, have succeeded in cutting off revenue from the sex workers who sold their content on Pornhub, just as they did with Backpage, and it’s unlikely they will stop there.  But sex workers are no longer dying in the shadows, unnoticed and unmourned; social media has given us a megaphone, and FOSTA has galvanized those of our community who never considered organizing before to do so in numbers far too large to ignore.  Yes, there are still far too many (including the arch-prohibitionists who recently won the US presidential election) who want sex workers silent, invisible, and preferably caged, enslaved, or dead.  And they still hold tremendous power, and have been handed terrifying weapons over the past decade by a gullible public quaking in fear of imaginary bogeymen.  But they can no longer commit their atrocities in the dark as they once could.  As I’ve said before, we’re in the part where it gets worse before it gets better.  But now, many more people than ever before are watching, and increasing numbers of them do not at all like what they see.

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I think the ideal philosophy is to only care about the fact that you do your job with integrity.  –  Kiran Deshmukh

Social Autoimmune Disorder

Cops think they can never have enough pretexts to harass people:

Dallas [cops]…arrested 88 people in [just the first half of this year for]…driv[ing through a particular neighborhood, claiming they committed the thoughtcrime of]…looking for sex…All but one of those arrested were people of color.  [And now] Dallas [politicians want to make it easier for them to dramatically increase the score by]…allow[ing them] to [arrest people for the “crime” of] passing through [that neighborhood three times]…in…two hours…[using the all-purpose excuse of] trafficking women for sex.  The penalty is a fine of up to $500…[if pigs claim they] suspect[ed their victims]…of being pimps…

An Example to the West (#329)

An interview with Kiran Deshmukh, president of the National Network of Sex Workers in India:

I still remember Meena Seshu…telling us that we had to band together…to fight back.  I still remember that exact day this realization sunk in:  A gangster was on the streets making a scene and threatening us with knives.  All the women who’d usually shut their doors and sit tight poured out into the streets.  One woman undid her saree on the road, and the others used it to tie the gangster to a nearby pole.  The women beat him up so much and so badly that not a single gangster has created a scene in our area since then.  Once women band together, they become formidable opponents…Sex workers…work put food on the table and feed their children.  Society, on the other hand, views the world in a moral–immoral binary…Society will point out how our work is related to our bodies and how many men we “sleep” with…two people having consensual sex is justified but if you attach sex to money, it’s completely immoral.  Why?  You’re all saying it’s totally fine to have sex for free?…As for tragedy, if a woman enters sex work due to a tragic situation, but eventually decides to continue in the same profession, why would you bother her with the circumstances that influenced her choice 30-40 years ago?…

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#934) 

Remember, this is not slavery, but lucrative, flexible, voluntary work is:

Most [drug] rehab programs that require work act essentially as temp agencies, farming the [pati]ents out to…third parties, such as tree trimming services, dairies, poultry processing plants or oil refineries.  The wages are remitted not to the workers but to the rehab centers…the…workers…receiv[e]…no pay, no Social Security credits, [and] no unemployment insurance payment…Other rehab-affiliated programs, notably the Salvation Army, have their patients perform grossly underpaid work for their commercial enterprises — if they did not have this captive workforce, they would have to seek [fairly-paid] labor from the open market…

You Were Warned (#1007)

But please, tell me more about the “wings”:

It is now broadly recognized that Joe Biden doesn’t like Section 230 and has repeatedly shown he doesn’t understand what it does…[now] his…top tech policy advisor, Bruce Reed, along with Common Sense Media’s Jim Steyer, have published a bizarre and misleading “but think of the children!” attack on Section 230 that misunderstands the law, misunderstands how it impacts kids, and…suggests incredibly dangerous changes to Section 230..[among] its myriad problems…is…citing FOSTA as a “good example” of how to amend Section 230…

Rotting Fruit (#1015)

Why are men with so much to lose so goddamned stupid about sex?

[Paul Alexander,] the owner of a charter-jet company…has been charged with sex trafficking after [NYPD cops claim he]…offer[ed them] sex with a 12-year-old girl and 14-year-old girl for $300…In March, an underage girl went to the police and told them Alexander…had been…pimping her out…An undercover cop posing as a customer met with Alexander—who showed him nude photos of the girls, charged him $300 for sex with them, and suggested he ply them with drugs and pot so they would be more cooperative…Alexander…has…a 1996 sexual assault conviction…and in 2003 he was convicted of possession of…child [porn]…

Dangerous Speech (#1092)

Backpage case judge claims it’s OK her husband has publicly attacked Backpage because the Backpage case “isn’t about Backpage”.  Seriously.

…the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals…[has] ordered federal prosecutors to respond to the defense’s request for a “writ of mandamus,” which would order U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich to remove herself from the case.  The order…[comes only days after] a hearing in…[which] Judge Susan Brnovich claimed that inflammatory comments made by her husband, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, about Backpage.com’s alleged guilt in facilitating illegal sex work, were unimportant and did not warrant her recusal.  “This case is not about Backpage,” she contended at one point…an assertion that might come as a surprise for anyone familiar with the federal government’s superseding indictment in the case, which mentions Backpage more than 600 times[it also] seem[s] a startling statement given that the prosecution’s theory of the case from jump has been one of vicarious liability, in which the government seeks to hold Lacey and Larkin responsible for alleged illicit acts supposedly connected to 50 ads cited in the indictment — ads never seen by Lacey and Larkin and posted by persons unknown to them, among the millions that once existed on the site…

The Next Target

Prohibitionists care only about “messages”, not facts:

Pornhub has released…statements about…Visa and Mastercard [announcing] their cards would no longer be accepted on the platform, following…Nicholas Kristof[‘s spurious]…allegations against the company…”These actions…come just two days after Pornhub…[banned] unverified users…from uploading content — a policy no other platform has put in place, including Facebook…Any assertion that we allow CSAM is irresponsible and flagrantly untrue…Pornhub’s safeguards and technologies have proven effective:  while…Facebook reported that it removed 84,100,000 incidents of CSAM over two and a half years, Instagram reported that it removed 4,452,000 incidents…over one and a half years, and Twitter reported that it suspended 1,466,398 unique accounts for CSAM over two years, the Internet Watch Foundation…reported [only] 118 incidents of CSAM on Pornhub in a three year period”…

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Diary #546

I was concerned that this year’s toy drive would provide meager results, but I was very happy to be proven wrong.  My usual stalwarts, came through, plus a couple who have never donated before; altogether I got quite the haul, as you can see!  The reason it may look like more than usual is that I generally make two or even three trips to the collection center before I’m done, but I normally don’t need to drive to Olympia to do it.  So this year, after making sure that the last collection day was December 17th, I decided to do it all in one load today (Grace has a doctor appointment just a few blocks away from the center, so it was easy).  The trip also gives me the opportunity to do a bit of last-minute shopping for a few friends, so it worked out perfectly.  And thanks to my generous donors, I was able to still provide my usual small help to needy kids in a year when there are likely to be many more of them than usual.

 

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I’ve got a new article out in Reason; you can read it on their website, but here’s a taste to get you started:

Mastercard and Visa…announced that they will no longer let customers use their cards on the adult video site Pornhub.  This new policy was prompted by political pressure, making it the latest government victory in a long, censorious quest.

Governments can define actual actions as “crimes” and threaten dire consequences for those actions, but the intangible contents of the human mind are forever out of their reach.  So officials covet the next best thing:  the power to stop individuals from sharing the products of those minds—ideas, fantasies, art—with others.  In America they are constrained by the First Amendment, and so for centuries they’ve dreamed up ways to circumvent that restriction.  The courts have rejected most of these attempts, but one has had remarkable staying power:  an exception for the nebulosity called “obscenity.”  This used to be a fairly hefty cudgel; most big publishers, movie producers, and so on were unwilling to be dragged into court for a principle, and most of those who were willing were too puny to put up much of a defense.  That started to change in the 1980s, when cheap video equipment made it possible to churn out shoestring productions for the new and rapidly-growing home video market…

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The fact I have this name…doesn’t mean I’m striving for world domination.  –  Adolf Hitler Uunona

My friend Savannah Sly has released a new song in collaboration with Jazz Goldman; it’s a very impressive cover of “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  The links above it were provided by Ally Fogg, Amy Alkon, Mike SiegelJesse Walker, Tim Cushing, and Cop Crisis, in that order.

From the Archives

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Kristof…has never found a victim of a sexual crime that he cannot “humanize” by going through their ordeal in exploitative detail.  –  Gustavo Turner

Policing for Profit (#816)

When victims have nothing to steal, cops profit from them by fucking up their lives instead:

…under…a s[cheme politicians] and top cops have touted in recent years [as a way] to combat [imaginary “]human trafficking[“, gangs]…of NYPD [vice pigs] have descended on minority neighborhoods, leaning into car windows and knocking on apartment doors, trying to get men and women to…agree…to exchange sex for money.  These arrests are based…entirely on the word of cops, who…are incentivized to round up as many “bodies” as they can.  Some of their targets were selling sex to survive; others were minding their own business.  Almost everyone arrested for these crimes in the last four years is nonwhite…89% of the 1,800 charged with prostitution; 93% of the 3,000 accused of trying to buy sex…People living paycheck to paycheck lost their jobs over [imaginary] crimes…[because] facing multiple court hearings and the threat of jail time, they took quick deals to move on with their lives.  [One] former [vice sow admitted to]…ProPublica she participated in false arrests…Eighteen current and former [vice pigs admitted that]…overtime has motivated them for years.  The hours add up over the drive to the precinct, the questioning, the paperwork…

Choke Point (#847)

Since “Choke Point” was never banned or declared unconstitutional, there’s currently nothing to stop future tyrants from simply bringing it back:

…the…Office of the Comptroller of the Currency…led the charge with Operation Chokepoint.  [But] under the leadership of acting director…Brian Brooks, the OCC has proposed a rule change that would make government-supported financial suppression much harder legally….[by] mak[ing] use of an Obama-era law to stave off future Obama-style injustices.  The Dodd-Frank Act…authorized the OCC to ensure that nationally chartered banks provide “fair access to financial services, and fair treatment of customers.”  The intention was that minority customers be evaluated for creditworthiness on [their] own individual merits rather than the attributes of their broader group.  In other words, a creditworthy individual shouldn’t be punished because they belong to some group that is considered “high risk” in the aggregate.  The OCC would like to apply this thinking to industries through the proposed “Fair Access to Financial Services” rule.  The largest banks in the country..would be prohibited from red-lining politically disfavored industries just as they are prohibited from red-lining politically oppressed populations.  Rather, a gun manufacturer or pornography company or payday lender must be evaluated on the terms of their individual creditworthiness…Large banks will not be allowed to cut off financial access for disfavored industries just because the government or some other powerful group leans on them to do so…

Watershed (#941)

This article doesn’t contain anything that sex worker activists haven’t said, and journalist allies haven’t reported, a thousand times before.  What makes it notable is that it appeared (albeit as an op-ed) on the website of CNN, the TV news-entertainment-product purveyor which has done more than any other to promote “sex trafficking” hysteria since the days when Craigslist was supposedly run by Satan’s personal pimp.  Biden & Harris are both arch-prohibitionists with zero interest in making things better for sex workers, and the end of “sex trafficking” hysteria won’t do anything to remove all the oppressive, racist, misogynistic, anti-sex laws which were enacted under its aegis.  But it will mean we don’t have to listen to quite so many cops, politicians, religious fanatics, profiteers, and other (barely) human garbage vomiting out their wanking fantasies of enslaved pubescent girls being raped a physically-impossible number of times per day any more.  And it will also make it possible for more activists and allies to speak out about decriminalization without being drowned out by a flood of lurid tragedy porn, and for politicians in search of an angle to file bills to mitigate some of the damage.  And that is at least a good start.

Panopticon (#1030)

The article omits to say that these spy devices were designed and built in China:

…the Chula Vista [California] police…can dispatch a flying drone with the press of button…to…[spy] on…[people] and…[catch] everything [they do] on camera…Each day, the Chula Vista police respond to as many as 15 [informant] calls with a drone, launching more than 4,100 flights since the program began two years ago…Over the last several months, three other cities — two in California and one in Georgia — have followed suit…the latest drone technology…has the power to transform everyday polic[e surveillance]…even small [cop shops] could operate tiny autonomous drones for a relative pittance.  That newfound automation, however, raises civil liberties concerns, especially as drones gain the power to track vehicles and people automatically.  As the police use more drones, they could collect and store more video of life in the city, which could remove any expectation of privacy once you leave the home…Jay Stanley…[of] the American Civil Liberties Union..[said] “Drones…are…sensors that can generate offenses”…

Just wait until they start combining this with “deepfake” technology to manufacture any kind of “evidence” they like.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1085)

Dangerous puritan Nick Kristof and his enablers, the staunchly prohibitionist New York Times, have launched yet another pro-censorship crusade:

Nicholas Kristof [has] published a sensationalistic call for state censorship and financial strangulation of Pornhub…Kristof actually had the reporting to write a nuanced piece about the substantial problems with content moderation that plague all platforms that depend on third-party content, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, [etc]…but that’s not what Kristof and the editors of the New York Times chose to do, instead turning the piece into a manipulative attempt to insert themselves in the complex debates around Section 230…free speech online and sexual expression among consenting adults…Everything about “The Children of Pornhub” is exploitative, from the testimonials, to the absolutely misguided photo essay taking advantage of a homeless teen…As of this writing, Kristof continues to tweet the victim’s photo at public officials in the U.S. and Canada to manipulate them into “doing something about” Pornhub…

To Molest and Rape (#1088)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

…Portsmouth, Virginia [cop] Cleshaun Cox…abduct[ed and raped a 17-year-old girl] on May 27, 2019…she was hanging out with friends in the parking lot of…[an] apartment…[complex] when [the rapist and a crony showed up, claiming they’d]…responded to a noise complaint…Cox…told…he[r]…that she was out past curfew…and told her and [her] passenger…that they needed to drive home immediately…Cox followed her…[stalking] her [as she got] gas, then…[after she dropped] her friend [off at] home…he [began threatening her, then]…tried to persuade…[h]er to have sex with him [via a combination of promises and threats.  Eventually] he drove her to another location…[and] raped her…

Winding Down

It’s unlikely this will pass the Senate, but it’s a big sign of change nonetheless:

…the [US] House of Representatives voted to repeal the federal ban on marijuana, which was originally imposed 83 years ago in the guise of a revenue measure. The vote was 228 to 164, with five Republicans …joining 222 Democrats and [Libertarian] Justin Amash…in supporting the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and eliminate federal criminal penalties for cultivation, distribution, and possession…In addition…the MORE Act would require automatic expungement of federal marijuana convictions…prohibit the denial of federal public benefits because of convictions involving cannabis consumption and eliminate immigration disabilities based on marijuana-related conduct…

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