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Archive for the ‘Tyranny’ Category

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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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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People who haven’t had an online presence aren’t gonna make money right away.  –  Arabelle Raphael

Welcome To Our World

I hope you amateurs enjoy being hunted like animals by armed thugs:

[Cops are gleefully using violence to force peaceful] people [to] comply with the shelter in place orders across North Texas…[Pigs] have [been granted imaginary] authority to [harass] people to make sure they are…workers [the state has declared “essential”] and not [free citizens] out and about…“We did hear some complaints…of people being stopped going to work.  Let me be clear, [fuck you and we’ll keep doing it]” [oinked a pig] of the DeSoto [cop shop.  In addition, cops]…across the region are trying to…fill up the jails with people committing nonviolent or misdemeanor crimes [just as usual.  In fact, prosecutors]…will enhance crimes co[ps accuse people of] during this period [which means]…more jail time and higher fines…

But hey, I’m sure y’all won’t mind because politicians have declared that giving violent thugs permission to harass you just for existing, and robbing you of money you can’t afford to lose, is “for your own good”.

Maggie in the Media

I appeared last week on the All In A Day’s (Sex) Work podcast, speaking on (among other topics) how sex workers have often been blamed for epidemics.  Despite the grim topic, I think you’ll enjoy listening.

Property of the State 

The power to declare something “non-essential” is the power to ban it:

The Texas Attorney General’s office…ordered all clinics that provide abortion to immediately stop providing the procedure in order to comply with the state’s temporary suspension of surgeries that are not deemed “medically necessary” [by politicians]…Those in violation will face “penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time”…

The Cult of Coupling

Too much “togetherness”, y’all?

Divorce filings are skyrocketing from quarantine-weary and financially stressed couples…matrimonial attorneys…are experiencing a 50 percent rise in inquiries from potential clients…[some] Manhattan family-law experts…[say] couples forced to spend time together while quarantined…haven’t fared well…[and] dramatic sways in the financial markets will further spur a wave of wealthy divorces, because richer spouses may decide they want out while their net worth dips…

Top Cop (#995)

This psychopath is still far too close to power for comfort:

Joe Biden is in the process of narrowing down his list of potential running mates, and his allies in the business community are weighing in with their favorite choices.  Since Biden announced earlier this month that he plans to pick a woman as his nominee for vice president, leaders of…industries have been reaching out to him and his presidential campaign about whom they think should join him on the ticket…The names being floated and pushed to Biden by this group include Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar…

Social Distancing

As always, sex workers take care of our own:

…workers…and…professionals whose livelihoods are tied to in-person meetings…are currently suffering from coronavirus-related job cuts….37 million jobs are vulnerable to layoffs due to social distancing measures…one group facing particularly acute challenges are sex workers, whose work is often illegal…or not covered by unemployment laws…many come from marginalized communities and have trouble accessing other forms of employment…the advocacy organization Bay Area Workers Support (BAWS)…launched a microgrant program that gives out payments of $50–$200 to sex workers in need…Similar efforts are taking place across the country: the Sex Worker Outreach Project…is organizing mutual aid fundraisers for sex workers in places like Los AngelesAustin and New York, and sex workers in Las Vegas have been fundraising via crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe …Taking their work online through photos, videos, phone sex and videoconferencing is one way sex workers have [adapted]…But changing how one does business is not as easy as starting an account…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1023)

“Sponsored content” means content a paper was paid to publish; it’s an ad, not journalism:

Over the past few months, several articles and editorials with a distinct War On Porn propaganda slant have been appearing under the banner of The Guardian, the influential transatlantic news organization…These articles look almost exactly like the rest of The Guardian online content, with the same font, design, artwork, layout and out-links to other stories…Recent articles…[gave] a platform to…Exodus Cry founder Laila Mickelwait…the “Exploitation in Focus” series is “supported, in part, through a grant…[from] Humanity United, a U.S.-based [prohibitionist] foundation…with [a] very vague name…and mission…[which] respond[s] to a billionaire p[rohibition]ist couple…who were embroiled in a labor human trafficking scandal of their own around the time they founded Humanity United…

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Somewhere in the darkness, the gambler he broke even.  –  Kenny Rogers

Country music legend Kenny Rogers died late last week after a long, successful career which started as a doo-wop singer in the late ’50s; this was his most famous song, but he was known for many which told the stories of hard-luck characters (such as “Lucille” and “The Coward of the County”), plus his duets with Dolly Parton.  The links above were provided by Dave Krueger, Brooke Magnanti, Zuri Davis, Mistress Matisse, Phoenix Calida, and Furrygirl, in that order.

From the Archives

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We should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.  –  Norman L. Reimer

844,739

Waffle House is so reliably open, FEMA uses them as a measure of disaster severity:

Waffle House has now closed 365 locations across the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic…In a Facebook post on March 15th, Waffle House said that they were attempting to keep their customers safe and keep nearly 45,000 employees employed.

Like Houses

And guess who gets to declare that an “emergency” exists?

The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies…While the asks…will likely not come to fruition with a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives [until a future Democratic presdent asks for the same exact thing], they demonstrate how much th[e] White House has a frightening disregard for rights enumerated in the Constitution.  The DOJ [wants to]…allow any chief judge of a district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation”…Norman L. Reimer…of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, [said]…“you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over.  I find it absolutely terrifying”…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#892)

Hollywood actors really need to stop pretending expertise in sexology:

British actor Orlando Bloom…recently disclosed that he practiced celibacy for six months prior to dating pop-singer Katy Perry (now his fiancee) and further disclosed [his adherence to the bizarre but increasingly-popular puritancal belief] that pornography is very “destructive”.  Bloom’s comments were praised by [pro-censorship fringe group Morality in Media]…

Torture Chamber (#1010)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can torture them until they kill themselves”:

A 27-year-old Honduran man [killed himself in a cage after being locked in it by]…Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas…The death is the ninth in ICE custody in the 2020 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, and surpasses the number of deaths for the entire 2019 fiscal year when eight people died…The man had requested asylum [with his]…family…at a port of entry in Texas on Feb. 19…[but was denied by a pig] on Feb. 28, a decision that was later upheld by an immigration judge on March 11…

Social Distancing

How the pandemic is affecting sex workers in Germany:

At the “Lankwitzer 7” brothel…disinfectant dispensers have been installed next to the washbasins.  [Owner Aurel] Marx say he’s ordered staff to hot-wash all towels and sheets, and open the windows more often to let the warm, sticky air escape.  Still, customers just aren’t coming round anymore…since the virus arrived in Berlin…

And Bangladesh:

Sex workers from one of the world’s largest brothels appealed to the Bangladesh government…for emergency funding after a ban on customers to prevent the spread of coronavirus.  More than 1,500 sex workers are based at the Daulatdia brothel, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Dhaka, which is one of about 12 officially sanctioned brothels in the South Asian country, and receives an estimated 5,000 customers every day.  The government on [March 20th] announced the closure of the brothel…until at least April 5 but promised to give all of the sex workers a package of 30 kgs of rice, $25, and a freeze on rent…

And Bolivia:

A nighttime curfew imposed by the Bolivian president to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus…faces opposition from sex workers, who say their already precarious livelihoods are at stake…more than 50 licensed establishments have been forced to close after the Bolivian government imposed a daily curfew from about 5 p.m. to 5 a.m…Lily Cortes, a representative of Bolivia’s sex workers union, said that if the legal establishments cannot function, “unfortunately the sex workers will go out to work the streets and the result will be worse”…

Worse Than I Thought (#1023)

Wow, two politicians with a particle of human decency!

…Odessa [Texas politician]…Dan Jones [tried to use the fantasy of “sex trafficking” to sell his proposed]…policy [to deny strippers the licenses they need to work if they got behind on their water bills while out of work during an epidemic]…but…council member Peggy Dean…ask[ed] for the…change…to be pulled from the…agenda and so did…council member Tom Sprawls.  Both previously voted against the ordinance during the March 10 council meeting…Dean said that that she disagreed with the ordinance’s utilities policy especially in the current times where many people might be unable to pay their water bill after being laid off or have had their hours cut due to the coronavirus….“I don’t really understand how the past due water bills help stop human trafficking. That makes no sense to me.”  She mentioned that if anybody had a past due water bill, then they would be 18 [even though Jones pretended his petty, punitive]…policy would help us find out who is under age.  “Well it wouldn’t, a 16-year-old wouldn’t have a water bill…[this] is very invasive and way too far reaching”…

Social Distancing (#1024)

A glimpse into the violent sociopathy that is prohibitionism:

When the news alert from the Baltimore Sun popped up saying: “Baltimore State’s Attorney Mosby to stop prosecuting drug possession, prostitution, other crimes amid coronavirus,” I had a visceral reaction that was like a punch to the gut.  I’m most concerned about the inclusion of prostitution in her list.  By [stopp]ing [cops from stalking, deceiving and raping]…sex [workers, we rob freaks like me of material for our spank banks]…I sold sex for money in my early twenties…more than a decade later, I [started swallowing prohibitionist propaganda.  Blah blah “sending a message“]…In Baltimore we have a VICE unit specifically focused on [ra]ping sex [workers]…If I reacted so viscerally to Mosby’s statement, I can only assume that [the rapist cops must have had a similar reaction to news that they would temporarily be denied opportunities to rape women and destroy peaceful men’s lives]…

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When Lucy Steigerwald tweeted this item about ICE still trying to deport people in the middle of a pandemic, she commented that she didn’t understand how they could sleep at night; I said that “Just doing my job” is even more insidiously evil than “I was only following orders”.  Mike Siegel then replied by calling attention to what Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski said about the interrogator character in the episode “Intersections in Real Time”, a man so harmless-looking he would’ve gone unnoticed in any ordinary office:

…You look at most of the guys who ran Treblinka, or Bergen-Belsen, and they’re largely ordinary looking guys, who could be accountants or repair men or car salesmen…most SF tends to…deal with the big bad guys, the…Darth Vaders and all the other major forces…but all too often the real damage is done not by the single Evil Leader, but by the ten million people who follow him, the bookkeepers who track the bodies and…make the trains run on time, who run the gulags, who build the new state empires that will be built with slave labor, any or all of whom could say, as many have, “I was just doing my job”…To the interrogator, he was simply doing his job, and…then he goes home to his wife and kids, and has dinner, and sits out on the porch trying to forget what he does because he thinks he has to do it…assuming he thinks about it at all…

Look around you, especially in an election season, and see the pure evil a lot of people spout, usually while imagining that the things they’re advocating – up to and including mob violence – are righteous.  And they’re all ordinary folks.  Some of the people I’ve crossed paths with as an activist don’t actually care about anyone’s rights; they’re just amoral Marxists who happened to fall into sex work at some point and have chosen to adopt it as an identity despite Marxist regimes’ long persecution of us.  The majority of cops, bureaucrats and other petty evildoers don’t see themselves as evil; they see themselves as just people doing a job.  And every one of them looks (and in public, acts) just like anyone else.  They shop in the same stores, watch TV, love their dogs, eat next to us in restaurants.

All the cops.

All the screws.

All the functionaries.

All the other quiet sociopaths.

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On Wednesday of last week, an authoritarian psychopath from Australia tweeted that to prevent what violent collectivists call “food hoarding” during the pandemic, “All houses should be inspected. Anyone that has more than two weeks food should be fined, heavily.”  This is the kind of violent, coercive idiocy which has become fashionable among “wing” fetishists who think of themselves as “the Left”, and demonstrates their complete detachment from reality.  There has been no time in my life since I moved out on my own in 1983 that I did not have at least two weeks of food on hand; usually it’s more like one or two months’ worth.  That isn’t “hoarding”; it’s being an adult.  Let’s see what “two weeks of food” looks like, shall we?  I eat only two meals a day, a small breakfast and a moderate dinner.  A bag of cereal and a gallon of milk = breakfast for me for about ten days.  Add a second bag & we hit two weeks’ breakfast.  For dinner, an 18-carton of eggs + 1 loaf of bread + cheese = six omelettes or egg sandwiches.  A can of corned beef + bread + cheese = four meals.  I have two cans of corned beef in my cupboard, 4 packs of cheese in the fridge & 3 loaves of bread in the freezer; there’s your “two weeks of food”.   And as you can see, it’s maybe 20% of what I have just in my incall (fridge & freezer look similar, and at Sunset it’s at least triple that).  And yet this wannabe Wizard of Oz says my house should be torn apart by armed thugs and my personal economy wrecked because he’s too stupid to buy corned beef, cheese and bread before he absolutely needs it.  This is “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street” behavior:  “Anyone who does things differently from me should be targeted by mob violence.”  And anyone with a functional moral compass who encounters this kind of thinking should not be afraid to condemn it, in no uncertain terms.

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