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Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you’ve missed some of my musings on the pandemic, the panic surrounding it, and the police state expansion it’s being used an excuse for. Here are a few choice examples:

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As I pointed out in “Silver Lining“,

…COVID panic has pushed “sex trafficking” hysteria off of the internet’s “front page”, so to speak…the last round of “sex trafficking” hysteria ended in the UK because of the First World War, and in the US because of the Great Depression; it wouldn’t be at all surprising or unprecedented for this one to be killed by a pandemic…

I’m not the only one who’s noticed; prohibitionists certainly have as well, and I’ll bet their donations are rapidly drying up as both bourgeois pearl-clutchers and governments alike find themselves without money to spend on supporting sociopaths who have made careers out of vomiting out ugly BDSM sexual fantasies and devising new excuses for cops to use in hunting, raping and deporting sex workers and destroying the lives of our clients, associates, friends and families.  Expressed another way, both the panic and the governmental mismanagement of it are killing a number of industries, and it looks as though the rescue industry may well be one of them (especially since it has never produced anything of value).  As a result, the “sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit, and attempting to tie their parasitic business model in to pandemic hysteria in order to leech resources away from truly vital disaster-relief efforts.  The most horrifying example I’ve seen is from Georgia:

…as the coronavirus continues its spread across America and beyond…pedophiles are working 24/7 to take advantage of these dark times as more children than ever are on the internet…whereas there has been a reduction in the illicit massage business due to closures…“We…are…seeing an increase in the use of social media as part of the grooming process,” [lied] Bob Rodgers…of Street Grace…The activity he’s seeing around Atlanta…shows a steady stream of people reaching out and making inquiries with the intent of purchasing sex with children.  In other places like North Carolina, he’s actually seen an uptick…Deborah J. Richardson…of the International Human Trafficking Institute in Atlanta…[fantasizes]…“that labor trafficking is emerging” [in a bust economy]…

This “institute’s” motto expressed in plain English is, “Replace facts with propaganda, spy on your neighbors and snitch on them to the cops“.  But Atlanta isn’t the only US city infested by anti-sex bigots; the unhinged fantasies of those in New York are openly anti-Semitic, claiming an art exhibit was “really” an international “pimp” conspiracy promoting “child rape” and financed by George Soros.  It’s going to be really interesting to see how much crazier the ranting of these deranged scam artists is going to get as their funds dry up, and if we’re fortunate their increasingly-bizarre claims will be the last we ever hear from them.

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Whores are pretty relatable when it comes down to it.  –  Andrea Werhun

Here We Go Again

Some things never change:

…in 1913…the San Francisco Bulletin began publishing a series of remarkable essays from a woman using the pen name Alice Smith.  Not yet 30, she’d been working in brothels since she was a teenager, and her first-person account of sex work in California sent shockwaves through the state.  By the time her “A Voice from the Underworld” series ended, the Bulletin had received over 4,000 letters to the editor, many from women in similar situations…[before she started sex work] Alice…worked from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m…Her first [client] paid her $10; she had been making $6 per week as a washerwoman…The Bulletin [later] admitted that it wrote the stories using a ghostwriter, understandable given Alice’s supposed lack of education…[at best] “Alice” was…an amalgamation of stories from several women…[at worst] the Bulletin made the whole thing up, not uncommon for tabloids…

Guest Columnist:  Andrea Werhun

Another peek at Andrea and her book, Modern Whore:

…The overall mission of Modern Whore is to de-stigmatize sex work and make it relatable to civilians.  It’s also to give sex workers visibility and representation, to make sex workers feel a little less alone, a little less isolated and a little less ashamed.  There’s nothing wrong with pleasuring people for money.  It’s a pretty good gig when everyone’s happy and safe and everything is consensual…Hollywood depictions of sex workers enforce stereotypes.  When sex workers are not consulted in the development of those characters, when it’s men creating a fantasy world of how they think sex workers talk to each other, they’re not doing anyone a service.  They’re feeding their own fantasies…

Legislators Gone Wild (#930) 

Nevada politicians accomplish by royal decree what they couldn’t accomplish legally:

Unable to apply for federal loans or state unemployment, Nevada’s sex workers are unemployed with no financial recourse after brothels and strip clubs [were forcibly] shut down [by royal decree] to…clos[e]…all [businesses politicians deem] non-essential…including bars…strip clubs, and…brothels.  The move leaves thousands of workers without any source of income [in hopes of forcing them into poverty and later wage-slavery]…there [a]re 12,000 registered strippers in [Las Vegas] alone…

Unfortunately, Nevada’s “legal” prostitutes have their government names on an official dirty whore list, so they can’t simply lie to get relief as “illgal” sex workers can.

Dutch Threat (#981)

Another painfully-stupid Dutch sex work law:

Dutch sex workers will be…required to stop working and take a break every four hours, even in the middle of a job…[under] new rules following a hard rise in repetitive injury complaints…[due to] Amsterdam and other cities…reduc[ing] their numbers of window brothels…[so] women…[need to] work…extra shifts to meet demand…There are…questions about how the new regulations should be policed.  A recent “mystery shopper” scheme for brothels had no shortage of volunteers but was scrapped after undercover officials were exposed…

Only Dutch bureaucrats could figure out a way to make a good idea like paid breaks for brothel workers into an idiotic exercise in clock-watching monitored by cops.

Fair-Weather Friends (#1009)

The only atypical thing about this is that they’ve been charged:

Yet more Columbus, Ohio, vice cops have been arrested on federal criminal charges…Steven G. Rosser and Whitney R. Lancaster have been charged with conspiring to violate others’ civil rights and conspiring to commit wire fraud…both officers were involved in [the bullshit arrest]…of…Stormy Daniels…in July 2018…That incident is not part of the new federal indictment.  But the duo’s current troubles also stem, in part, from strip club antics and…wrongful arrest…Rosser got in a fight with a patron at Nick’s Cabaret in 2015…had the man “seized and searched without probable cause…and [locked his victim in a cage]…for…five days before the charges against him were ultimately dismissed”…In another incident, this one in April 2018, Rosser, Lancaster, and some of their [accomplices]…stopped and searched the owner of the Dollhouse strip club without probable cause…

Social Distancing (#1025)

Even in a crisis, politicians have to advertise their hate for sex workers:

The federal application for COVID-19-related disaster relief for small businesses…explicitly disqualifies any sex worker or sex oriented business who may derive income from “presenting live performances of a prurient sexual nature” or “through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature”…the USSBA asks potential applicants for economic relief to first check if they do not belong to one of the disqualifying categories, which include “engaging in any illegal activity (as defined by Federal guidelines),” being a deadbeat parent with delinquent child support obligations, legal gambling, lobbying or having a conflict of interest by being a member of Congress or a government entity.  The longest exclusion…[is] deliberately worded to target the largest segment of sex workers and sex-related businesses possible…

If your stage name isn’t clearly tied to your government name and your taxes are filed as a “consultant” or other neutral term, I advise you to lie.  You need this as much as anyone else, and your taxes are paying for it.  Unfortunately, my company is “Maggie McNeill, LLC”, which is pretty obvious to any government stooge with access to Google, but that may not be true for other sex workers reading this.  Fuck these sociopaths for trying to exclude us; take what you need.

Property of the State (#1026) 

This is what happens when you give politicians power to close down businesses:

As more states move to temporarily ban surgical abortions using COVID-19 as an excuse, federal judges have begun to block them.  In three separate rulings [last week], federal judges told state leaders that categorizing abortion as a non-essential medical procedure…was not OK.  The rulings came in response to lawsuits filed after [politicians] in Ohio, Texas, and [Alabama] started declaring that temporary surgical abortion bans were necessary…Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have seen similar orders…Groups are already suing over the bans in Oklahoma and Iowa

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Right now we have a pinpointed risk…called New York City.  –  politician Gina Raimondo

In this very funny Godzilla fan film provided by Franklin Harris, one guy plays all the parts (in the same suit).  The links above it were contributed by Brooke Magnanti, Jesse Walker, Mistress Matisse, Stephen Lemons, Jesse Walker again, Mama Tush, and Thaddeus Russell, in that order.

From the Archives

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Crises lead to a permanently bigger state with many more powers and responsibilities and the taxes to pay for them.

The Maze of Consent

Consent is neither as simple nor as static as puritans pretend:

The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo represents one key node in a global network of adult-oriented entertainment expos that attract fans and industry personnel…Every January the…largely LA-based adult entertainment industry relocates to Las Vegas for about a week, bringing with it performers, producers, directors and videographers.  The porn community is in town for business-to-business events, to shoot porn, celebrate industry achievements at the AVN Awards…A “mix of physical, social and institutional boundaries and formal and informal rules of engagement” prevails within…Attendees…must sign a “code of conduct”.  Signage…reminds patrons of the AVN’s policy of zero tolerance of anyone found and/or reported to have engaged in assault, non-consensual physical contact, violations of privacy, and verbal or physical harassment.  While this code isn’t perfect, our research found it…help[s] keep non-consensual contact to a minimum and empower the performers to negotiate their own boundaries…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw your neighbors outdoors”?

A [cop shop] has had a surge in calls from people reporting their neighbours for “going out for a second run”.  Government lockdown rules allow [subjects] to leave their [cells] to take one form of exercise a day…In the coming days, police will be given the powers to fine anyone [accused of controlling their own lives.  One pig oinked]…”We are getting calls from [bootlicking snitches] who say ‘I think my neighbour is going out on a second run – I want you to come and arrest them’…We have had dozens and dozens of these calls”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#865) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit because people aren’t listening to their wanking fantasies during the pandemic:

…the 79,000 victims in Texas born and raised in America are not protected against COVID-19, nor are their clients…spread of the virus will be curbed by prosecution of sex traffickers…[who] snag some 200,000 young people born and raised in the U.S…Traffickers lure vulnerable youth at bus stops, outside schoolyards…and even within foster homes…

The Dallas Morning News is so filled with scribbling from these compulsive masturbators, it’s an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas.

O, Canada! (#943)

Prohibitionists want Ontario to be more like the US:

On March 6, the Ontario government announced an investment of $307 million over five years in an alleged strategy to “combat human trafficking and end sexual exploitation”…The unprecedented scale of the financial investment…coincides with some of the most comprehensive budget cuts and privatization of services in Ontario…To receive funding, approved agencies must maintain practice and policy that aligns with the Ford government’s blatant anti-sex work position, which is based on biased and false information about sex workers and their trade…such as the rampant and false claims that 13 is the average age of entry into sex work, or that the majority of sex workers do not “choose” to participate in sex work.  These myths not only promote disempowering stereotypes…but [also] embolden police and other institutions to criminalize sex workers and…contribute to moral panic…

Panopticon (#1010)

Fascists scheme to make the horrifying UK surveillance network even worse:

Police are creating the UK’s first database of homes with doorbell cameras and CCTVs to help [increase the surveillance network]…Wiltshire Police are asking residents with the devices to register them with police so that they can be [accessed even if owners deny permission]…The scheme is backed by [politicians] in Swindon where it is being initially launched.  “This isn’t about surveillance”…[lied politician] Rahul Tarar…

Watershed (#1011)

We’re likely to start seeing more articles like this as “sex trafficking” hysteria dies:

When consensual sex work is considered a form of violence, it’s hard to look ahead at the possibilities of decriminalization…when most of the space is used wrangling an ideological debate about whether sex work is inherently demeaning, any discussion of how decrim would take shape gets lost in the crossfire.  But as Vermont recently followed New York and became the second state…to introduce legislation to remove criminal penalties, the reality of a decriminalized future is inching closer…more than half of the population supports decrim…[but] what would [that]…look like in the United States?…

Like Houses (#1025)

Once the state takes a power for itself, it never surrenders that power voluntarily:

In just a few weeks a virus a ten-thousandth of a millimetre in diameter has transformed Western democracies.  States have [forcibly] shut down businesses and sealed people indoors.  They have promised trillions of dollars to keep the economy on life support.  If South Korea and Singapore are a guide, medical and electronic privacy are about to be cast aside.  It is the most dramatic extension of state power since the second world war.  One taboo after another has been broken.  Not just in the threat of fines or prison for ordinary people doing ordinary things, but also in the size and scope of the government’s role in the economy…history suggests that after crises the state does not give up all the ground it has taken.  Today that has implications not just for the economy, but also for the surveillance of individuals…

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As you may have noticed (and I mentioned in “Silver Lining“), it’s become difficult to fill my news columns due to the pandemic; nobody’s talking about anything else (even though there are definitely other things to talk about), so there just aren’t enough stories to feature (because I have even less interest in writing a column about stupid epidemic memes than you have in reading one).  So for the time being, I’m rationing news items to seven per news column (instead of the usual nine to thirteen) until I start noticing the number of fresh items has increased again.  This also means I have fewer things to write full columns about, so you’ve probably noticed that most of them touch on the pandemic as well.  Since I’m not going to let some stupid collection of RNA that isn’t even actually alive (and its attendant hysteria) break a decade-long perfect record, you can be sure I’ll keep posting something every day (and look for The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II on Monday).  But until things get back to relatively normal, a lot of them may be meager pickings like this one.

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I’ve received some criticism from people who seem incensed by the fact that I’m not freaking out about the pandemic, and even criticizing the actions of politicians who are far more motivated by winning votes and casting themselves in contrast to the “Disease? What disease?” Orange-utan than by any sincere concern for human life.  Some of that is simply because I’m battle-hardened enough not to freak out even when I’m being violently assaulted, and part of it is due to decades of study of mass psychology.  See, specimens of homo sapiens are always afraid of things they can’t see (“sex trafficking is hidden in plain sight!” “Fifth column!” “They look just like us!” “Zombies!”) and it doesn’t get much more invisible than viruses.  It triggers a very deep and irrational response in the amygdala, which manifests in panic buying, overreaction, innumeracy, etc.  So while I don’t judge anyone for being scared (because it’s natural and understandable), I also discount things that are clearly panic in preparing my own mental model of what’s going on.  And I’m very frustrated with those who fly up in my face for responding calmly & pragmatically to a situation instead of blindly panicking.  It reminds me very much of my 20s, when I used to get called “cold” or even “inhuman” for not being a fucking drama queen about everything.  So please do not approach me in that manner; I didn’t tolerate it three decades ago, and I’m a lot more ornery now than I was then.

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