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Posts Tagged ‘comics’

I wandered lonely as a clod,
Just picking up old rags and bottles,
When onward on my way I plod,
I saw a host of axolotls;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
A sight to make a man’s blood freeze.  –  Mad #43

Given the sad news about Mad, it seemed appropriate to feature one of the songs from one of its albums (some of which were actually included in “specials”; if you’re old enough to remember those, you should remember “sound sheets“).  The links above the video were provided by Radley Balko, Nun Ya, Emma Evans, Mike Siegel, Ivan Dragomiloff, and Radley Balko again, in that order.

From the Archives

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The single biggest fallacy in Randianism is the notion that the great industrialists of the past succeeded by their own genius.  They didn’t; every single one got wealthy due to crony deals with politicians, “officially”-granted monopolies, protectionist laws, subsidies, etc; in other words fascism, not the free market.  I’m an agorist; I believe all human interactions should be voluntary exchanges, and that nobody has a right to insert themselves into others’ voluntary arrangements.  But crony capitalism warps markets with collectivist violence, making them evil.  Let’s take one modern example, far more subtle than bailouts, subsidies or “regulations” so complex it takes a full-time legal department (such as big companies have and small ones don’t):  the copyright scam.  Basic copyright is a good concept; it allows creative people to make a living from their creations.  Without it, nobody could afford to be a full-time creator because the unscrupulous would constantly be stealing their work.  But look at how collusion between government and giant media corporations (especially Disney) have warped this good concept into a sick means of fascist corporations making billions from the intellectual creations of people who have been dead for decades.  Mickey Mouse and many other characters should have entered the public domain years ago, but the collectives which “own” them paid off enough Congresscritters to ensure that won’t happen, and the process will continue indefinitely until something is done about it.  But what could be done?  Well, If I were dictatrix, I’d set copyright at life plus 21 years, so any minor children of a creator who died young could enjoy those rights until majority.  But anything longer stifles future generations from doing new things with those creations (as Disney himself did with public-domain characters created by others).  I’d also bar corporations from owning copyright; only human creators (including teams of specifically-named individuals) could have that.  Of course, the creator could license his creation to a company, as Charles Moulton licensed Wonder Woman to DC.  But 21 years after the creator croaks?  It’s all over, including the licenses.  Under my system, everything John Lennon did solo (post-Beatles) would’ve come out of copyright a couple of weeks after George Harrison died in ’01, and Harrison’s work would now have only three years left.  But the collective Beatles creations would still be protected until 21 years after the last Beatle shuffles off this mortal coil.  Superman would’ve entered the public domain two and a half years ago, 21 years after Jerry Siegel’s death (his co-creator, Joe Shuster, died in 1992); imagine what stories new creators could soon write about him or about Batman (out of copyright this coming November in my system).

The “creative team” structure leaves a loophole, but I think it’s a sensible one that could allow a creator to care for loved ones after his death.  All a creator would need to do is give equal creative credit (at the time of publication; retroactive attribution would not be allowed) to the person he wanted to protect.  So if Lennon had given Yoko Ono official equal credit on all or some of his post-Beatles work, the music so credited would still be under copyright until 21 years after she croaks.  A clever creator could even give equal credit to their kids on individual works (one book or album per kid, that sort of thing).  And it would last until 21 years after that “co-creator” died, but there would be no such thing as collectives of investors who never even met Walt Disney profiting from his genius 52 years after his death.  This wouldn’t kill companies; for example, Disney would still hold rights to all from their ’90s revival, probably for decades to come, and they’ve got plenty of money to keep licensing new characters ad infinitum.  But no more resting on laurels, and no more using the power of government to stop other people from doing exactly what 19th and 20th-century creators did.

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In the Gilligan’s Island TV show, Dr. Roy Hinkley was originally stated to be a high-school science teacher with a degree in botany.  But like all TV “scientists” his store of knowledge and his technical abilities grew as required by lazy writers; he soon became a university professor rather than a high-school teacher and his expertise grew to include chemistry, entomology, psychology, engineering and several obscure Polynesian languages (and that’s just what I recall from childhood).  Whatever intellectual ability or STEM-type skill was required by the plot, the Professor was sure to have already or be able to rapidly acquire by consulting one of the many books he inexplicably brought along on a “three-hour tour”; that he not be skilled in boat repair was also required by the plot, so we’ll just leave that one alone for now.  The important thing is that in episodic fiction (whether that be television, comic books, pulp novels or whatever) “scientist” or “sage” type characters are generally assumed to have vast and encyclopedic knowledge and to be nigh-omnicompetent (Spock in Star Trek wasn’t quite as bad until the third season, when he suddenly acquired previously-unmentioned competencies such as comparative linguistics and art history, again as required by lazy writers).  Such formidable intellectual prowess rarely exists outside of fantasy, and yet you’d be amazed how often people in real life seem to expect unusually intelligent and erudite people to display similarly-superhuman intellectual abilities.  It happens to me on a regular basis; people seem to expect me to know basically everything, and while I certainly do have an exceptional memory, an excellent education, an uncannily-large store of mostly-useless trivia and an above-average learning rate, there are still vast gaps in my abilities and whole intellectual realms I know no more about than the average person (or even less than average if it has anything to do with popular culture from about 1995 to the present).  One of those gaps is computer stuff; in 1989 I actually had above-average practical computer skills (though I had flunked programming half a decade before), but I never really kept up and I’m still not entirely sure how a microprocessor actually works (THIS IS NOT AN INVITATION TO ATTEMPT AN EXPLANATION IN THE COMMENTS).  Add to that a general aversion to change, a neurological & emotional inability to deal with formal systems, and the fact that my brain was already fully canalized several years before I had home access to the internet, and I think you’ll be able to understand why I’m really not good with computer and internet stuff.  And because I am good at so many things, I tend to be very uncomfortable with and anxious about the things I’m not good at.  I tend to deal with obstacles in my path by figuring them out, charming them, intimidating them, or crying, and none of those work on a computer which is doing something I neither desire nor comprehend.  So if you want to interview me or have me on your podcast or whatever, you are really really really going to have to take care of “the technical details of anything more complicated than ‘click here’, ‘please look into the camera’ or ‘answer the phone’.”  I’m sorry if that reduces me in your estimation; perhaps it would restore your faith if you think of computer stuff being for me as boatbuilding must have been for The Professor.

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Women…are being undermined by a system that should be supporting them.  –  Joan Phillips

Surplus Women

Two women were murdered, but this reporter thinks the real story is the neighbors’ sadfeelz about how they made their living:

Over the past [two] years, two women were murdered in [DeKalb County, Georgia]…one…in 2017…[and] the…second…a few months ago…[but sociopathic] neighbors…[are more concerned with] solicitation [on a local stroll than the deaths of two human beings]…They said they see it in early mornings when school kids are waiting for the bus…A [WSB-TV] photographer also rode along with DeKalb County police to…listen…to [copaganda about] human trafficking…

Note that this is the same copsucking TV station which we saw demonizing people’s religion a few days ago.

Yellow Fever

Modern media companies like The Guardian are willing to discard whatever credibility they once enjoyed:

…[the] vastly profitable and largely unregulated [sex industry] has…become infested with criminality, turning Spain into a global hub for human trafficking and sexual slavery…the scale of the problem…is staggering…the [new prohibitionist] Spanish government [claims] that up to 90% of women working in prostitution could be victims of trafficking…[Spanish cops claim to have] rescued 5,695 people from slavery but acknowledge that thousands more remain under the control of…gangs operating with impunity…

Shame, Shame

Most journalists abandoned most of their ethics long ago:

Last June, Florida Today decided to…scrap its traditional gallery of mug shots…an increasing number of editors…have recognized that the American style of crime reporting— picking sensational cases with the most odious details, printing mug shots and full names, and not providing contextual information on crime and statistics in stories —needs a long-overdue overhaul.  Still, on the internet, the salacious news story and the quest for “hits” too often subsumes  conscientious reporting.  Despite the fact that most prisoners will be released, permanent digital punishment in the form of salacious reporting or mug shots hinders reentry…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#627)

It’s so good to see more widespread recognition of this:

…Dr Joan Phillips said while there was a lot of [hoohah about “sex trafficking”] in the Caribbean…it seem[s] to be [simply] a matter of people moving for…work…She argued that too often, Caribbean countries were made to feel that “something needs to be done” about [what the US calls] human trafficking and that it needs to be done now…“we in the Caribbean…are being pushed to look at something that we are not sure…is happening but because of the political and economic influence of US foreign policy we need to do something or we will lose funding”… she argued…that…[US bureaucrats and politicians do] not take into consideration the willing movement of people to work in various settings including nightclubs…“The…issue with the sex [trafficking] paradigm is that poor women are becoming poorer and…the systems that have been put in place [to supposedly help them] are lip service…we need to look at…the ideology about trafficking in a totally different way…Caribbean governments have to…deci[de]…whether they accept the foreign policy of the US and talk about this sexual trafficking and put all this law in place and not focus on…the bigger issues…poverty, vulnerability, lack of education, the need for support for children, unemployment and so on”…

To Molest and Rape

Anything to avoid the word “rape”:

A Richmond [Virginia cop] has been indicted by a…grand jury…Michael Bryson…has been charged with a misdemeanor count of…sexually abusing the victim against their will by force, threat, intimidation, or ruse…

Election Day (#840) 

This is beginning to look like the beginning of the end of the War on Drugs:

A referendum in Denver to decriminalize psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms”, appears to have passed by a narrow margin…But the activists who worked to get the issue on the ballot say their fight was the beginning of a larger movement…Cindy Sovine, a political consultant who worked on the initiative [said]…”Whether you’re using this plant for a medical reason, or a spiritual reason, or a recreational reason, you should not be going to jail or losing your children for it”…

Dangerous Speech

The government’s entire case against Backpage is based on lies and wanking fantasies:

The Arizona Republic recently…claim[ed]  prosecutors had revealed “new evidence”, which demonstrated that Michael Lacey, a former owner of the now defunct classified ad website Backpage.com, was aware of and complicit in sex trafficking taking place on the site.  This so-called evidence consisted of internal Backpage emails from 2012…where Lacey and others discuss how to respond to an inquiry from…Nicholas Kristof, a notorious prig, who, in preparation for an opinion piece, had asked Backpage to comment on the case of a 13 year-old girl alleged…[by disgraced racist prosecutor Lauren Hersh to have been] advertised on Backpage…The…quote from [Lacey’s] email…reads…”We do how many million ads, and he picks out one, tells us by the end of the day and wants our total response by a.m.?  Of course there are kids who get through the system.  As there are in bars.  This makes pursuit of solution…more critical rather than scoring political points”.  Given…that Backpage regularly cooperated with law enforcement in order to catch perpetrators who were misusing the site, only a latter-day Inspector Javert would look at such an email and assume that it established guilt.  It would be far easier to draw the opposite conclusion, that the email’s author does not want underage individuals accessing Backpage…

Welcome To Our World (#888)

Do you really need more evidence of the link between anti-sex work and anti-abortion campaigns?

Phalla was a surrogate paid to carry [a] baby for a couple in China.  Now, due to [totalitarian] measures enacted by Cambodian authorities late last year…Phalla is among dozens of women forced to raise [someone else’s] child…If she doesn’t, she faces up to 20 years in prison for human trafficking…Phalla had a caesarean birth in August [while pigs lurked and watched]…Three months later, she and her newborn were released on bail, on the strict condition that she did not give the child away and [was forced] to raise the child until she turned 18…Phalla must present herself — baby in hand — to a local police office once a month.  She cannot change her address without the investigating judge’s permission, and failing to meet these bail conditions could result in her arrest…

Forced parenthood.  Registered “sex offender” type treatment.  “Human trafficking” as a catch-all.  Get it yet?

See No Evil (#889)

Another prosecution for drawings of fictional characters:

The former commander of the 49th Medical Support Squadron at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico will face a civilian trial later…over accusations of possessing [what prosecutors call] virtual child pornography, and will also be court-martialed in August.  Lt. Col. Keith Vollenweider…[is said to have] knowingly possessed “visual depictions, such as drawings, cartoons and virtual images, that depict minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct”…

Note that people have been similarly charged for possessing Japanese manga books because the characters appear “child-like” by Western aesthetic standards.

Property of the State (#895) 

Critics of governmental abuses need to stop using neutral words like “taken” and call these crimes what they are:

Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services…has a practice of obtaining blank [child abduction] orders pre-signed by judges.  Social workers then fill out the documents with the necessary information after they’ve been signed by a judge and then use them to [abduct] children from parents who[m somebody decided to accuse of something]…no judge actually reviews these orders, or the evidence used to justify separating a family, before signing them.  This…galling abuse of…basic civil liberties…only came to an end after an investigative report by WDRB…spotlighted the practice…

Pyrrhic Victory (#912) 

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

San Francisco…is…on track to be the first municipality in the United States to [officially] ban use of facial recognition technology by the city government…the bill also requires all other types of surveillance technologies—like automatic license plate readers, predictive policing software, and cell phone surveillance towers—to only be adopted by city agencies following a public notice and vote by the Board of Supervisors.  The bill also requires [bureaucratic] policies for how surveillance technologies will [supposedly] be used by the city government…A similar proposal to ban the use of facial recognition across the bay in Oakland…will be debated later this month…There was [already] some pushback from [copsuckers and badge-lickers, especially those who]…give [cops access to] their private surveillance camera[s]

A Broker in Pillage (#918)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed three bills into law…that significantly limit police’s ability to [steal] property…11 other states…have passed laws requiring convictions before forfeitures in some or all cases…Three states have abolished civil forfeiture altogether.  In Hawaii, a bill banning civil forfeiture is currently awaiting the governor’s signature…the new Michigan laws…still…[allow people to] be pressured by [cops] to sign away their property [under threat]…

Negative Secondary Effects (#933)

A lot of people are growing sick of the oppression of sex workers:

Hundreds of people have signed a petition backing workers at a strip club weeks after calls were made for its licence to be revoked.  [Prohibitionists who paid men to secretly film dancers without their consent claim their snitches] saw dancers performing sex acts at Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield…An open letter with the petition backing the workers at the club said: “We believe sex work should not be stigmatised as uniquely or especially oppressive to women in the context of widespread misogyny and male violence against women.  Sex work is legal, and advocating to take away women’s choice to do safe, legal work is anti-feminist and anti-worker”…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Derek Williams

I’ve shared a lot of Sesame Street shorts in this space over the years, but for some reason I had completely forgotten about this one, which was one of my favorites as a child.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker, Tim Cushing, Zuri Davis, Charles Hill, Eric Sprankle, and Wendy Lyon, in that order.

From the Archives

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Harris’s contempt for sex workers lies at the heart of her hypocrisy.  –  Stephen Lemons

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be enterprising women working to get some of it:

Mongolia’s mining boom started in the early 2000s and mining now accounts for around 20 per cent of Mongolia’s gross domestic product.  The growth…has created a spike in internal migration to mining areas – most notably Ömnögovi…The coal route from the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit to the Chinese border is synonymous with sex work fuelled by the mining industry…In contrast to the stigma…in the city…the border area [i]s accepting and open…four or five women travel to the border area with a driver and rent a ger (a traditional round felted tent) to stay…If [truck] drivers don’t have cash, they pay in fuel: 40 or 50 litres of diesel for one act, 100 litres for one hour.  The women then resell the fuel when they can…Ulaanbaatar…is [by contrast] a harsh environment for women working in the trade…sex [workers] in…sauna[s] in the capital…[are beaten by] police and customers…ultra-nationalists target sex workers on the street and shave their heads to disgrace them…

Despite the obligatory “sex trafficking” disinformation and nonsense sprinkled throughout, the article is not a bad look at sex work in a part of the world few Westerners know anything about.

See No Evil (#25)

Are the Japanese the only people left on Earth who can tell fantasy from reality?

The United Nations has proposed an international initiative…to tighten…restrictions and prohibition of…child pornography…However…child pornography…”is defined…as ‘any representation of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities…includ[ing]…visual material such as photographs, movies, drawings and cartoons…including when…such material represents…non-existing children”…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

One South Carolina [politician] is working to shut down massage parlors…Mandy Powers Norrell proposed legislation that could close those places for good.  “It will give labor, licensing, and regulation the authority to close them down and prosecute any [women] found there,” [she bloviated]…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…In case after case, [motorists were robbed by cops claiming]…the cash was found near drugs.  Yet few…ever were arrested.   They were caught in one of the most aggressive [robbery] operations in [South Carolina, where the]…police…[stole] nearly $50,000 from…motorists over a two-year period…$135 for every person living in Nichols.  That’s six times more per resident than any other police department in the state…

An Example To the West (#636)

Ugandan sex workers demand their rights:

Human and women rights activists have appealed to Members of Parliament not to criminalise prostitution as they debate and pass the pending Sexual Offences Bill of 2015…”These arrests are mostly carried out to solicit bribes from sex workers and harass them.  Few of them get to trial.  The provision, is therefore, unnecessary since it is unenforceable,” [said] Macklean Mary Kyomya…of Alliance of Women Advocating for Change…activists brandished placards reading…”outlaw poverty not prostitution…rights not rescue…my body, my business”…

Secret Squirrel (#686)

Conditioning squares to accept intrusive monitoring of every aspect of their lives:

Devices worn on employees’ bodies are an increasingly valuable source of workforce health intelligence for employers and insurance companies.  It’s fueling a boom in the use of wrist-borne health and fitness monitors such as those made by Fitbit, Garmin and Apple…the information is not covered by federal rules that protect health records from disclosure.  And when it’s combined with data such as credit scores, employees are giving up more insights about themselves than they realize…In general, employees in such programs [“voluntarily”] sign up for digital health monitoring.  They are lured by cash, reduced premiums, or reimbursements for co-payments and deductibles…Fitbit is moving aggressively to sign up companies.  It added a call service that [nag]…workers…via text messages and phone calls…whose data shows they are falling short of their [assigned “fitness goals”]…

You amateurs really think being spied on like this is OK?  No wonder fantasies of whores “enslaved” by exploitative bosses who spy on their every move are so popular; it’s just amateurs projecting their work conditions onto us.

Pyrrhic Victory (#697)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

The use of PredPol—a predictive policing software…is far more widespread than previously reported…PredPol claims to use an algorithm to predict crime in specific 500-foot by 500-foot sections of a city, so that police can…surveil specific areas more heavily…PredPol [has] contract[s or] negotiation[s]…with…South Jordan, UT; Mountain View, CA; Atlanta, GA; Haverhill, GA; Palo Alto, CA; Modesto, CA; Merced, CA; Livermore, CA; Tacoma, WA; and the University of California, Berkeley…Los Angeles, Elgin [CA], Oakland [CA], Richmond [CA]…Milpitas [CA]…Santa Cruz, CA; Morgan Hill, CA, Fairfield, CA, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, CA; Campbell, CA; Salinas, CA; Alhambra, CA; Lansing, MI; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Columbia, SC…Manhattan, KS…Little Rock, AK; Kent, England; Reading, PA; “and many more”…Predpol explicitly encourage[s] police departments to dedicate their resources towards petty crime…Shahid Buttar, the Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[explains] it’s impossible to expect unbiased results from predictive policing technology, because the data it analyzes is structurally biased.  Predictive policing is “driven by…data that itself reflects longstanding and pervasive bias…If you overpolice certain communities, and only detect crime within those communities, and then try to provide a heat map of predictions, any AI will predict that crimes will occur in the places that they’ve happened before”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#743) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are still masturbating to the fantasy that emojis are part of some mysterious pimp “code”:

Bay Area prosecutors were trying to prove that a man arrested during a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping charges, and among the [supposed] evidence was a series of Instagram DMs he’d allegedly sent to a woman…with high heels and money bag emoji placed at the end…[a hired gun claiming to be] an expert…in sex trafficking…[fantasized under oath that] the high heels and bags of money supported the interpretation that the defendant was accused of sex trafficking, essentially translating to “wear your high heels to come make some money.”  Another message from the defendant included the crown emoji, which was said to signify that the “pimp is the king”.  Ultimately, the ruling didn’t hinge on the interpretation of emoji, but [that didn’t stop prosecutors from trying to destroy lives based on the masturbatory fantasies of people who’ve never done sex work in their lives]…

Uncommon Sense (#745)

Yet another registration regime fails miserably, as we keep telling y’all:

Only 76 of the reportedly 200,000 women (0.038%) who work as prostitutes in Germany have registered for state services [and of course politicians can’t understand why]…sex workers [can] register for state-run health insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits…[but the price after a new and paternalistic] law was enacted…in 2017 [is] regist[ration with pigs, mandatory “counseling”, prying into their private lives by social workers and compulsory] regular health [inspections]…most prostitutes…register under some different professional category in order to continue working anonymously…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

Never underestimate the human capacity to obsess about things that don’t exist:

…sex robots are rapidly becoming a part of…national [fantasies] about the future of sex and relationships….a number of companies are currently developing [human-shaped sex toys]…with a few already on the market…A 2017 survey suggested almost half of Americans think that having sex with robots will become a common practice within 50 years [the same fraction who think Donald Trump is intelligent and genetically-modified foods are dangerous].  As a [pompous windbag]…I’m interested in the legal and policy questions that sex robots pose…How will [masturbating] with a sex [doll]] affect the human [soul]?  Would sex with a child[-shaped toaster] be ethical?…

These articles are so deeply stupid, I just can’t take them at all seriously any more.  Despite the claims in the title, “sex robots” are not here, and never will be in the form envisioned by both fetishists and prohibitionists.  And the dolls (that’s all they are, silicone dolls) which people insist on incorrectly calling “robots” are inanimate objects which raise no more “ethical issues” than a Baby Alive or a tablet computer.

Held Together With Lies (#858)

We haven’t seen this concentration of ludicrous claims in a couple of years now:

[The rescue industry] is the business of stealing freedom for profit.  [Sex workers labeled against their will as] victims of trafficking are deprived of their basic human rights, dehumanized, brutalized and objectified [by police]…Human trafficking business is [fantasized] to generate $100 billion annually, more than Apple, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike combined…there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally…we [masturbate furiously while fantasizing] that there are countless victims, some only young teens…in our own communities…Sex trafficking data is scarce and has many gaps, due to [our making it up as we go]…

As usual, ridiculous numbers are slung about in self-contradictory fashion, mis-citing sources (the 40.3 million fantasy is from the NGO “Walk Free Foundation”, not the ILO as claimed) and claiming knowledge while admitting there is none.  So naturally I had to correct the wording a bit.

Top Cop

Another example of the odiousness of the police-state operative Hillary fans have anointed as their savior:

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.  That’s what pundits from The Nation to the Washington Post fail to grasp about the onetime romance between former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and California Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris.  Harris’s apologists would have people believe that discussion of the relationship, which occurred two decades ago when Brown held the powerful post of Speaker of the California Assembly and Harris was a lowly deputy district attorney in California’s Alameda County, is sexist, racist, or both.  Viewed in light of Harris’s ongoing war on sex workers, however, her advantageous liaison with Brown indicates that she has no problem applying different rules to herself than she does to others…Maggie McNeill [said]…“I have absolutely nothing against the fact that she used her sexuality to get by in the world…What I do have a problem with, is that having gained that power, she used it to attack other women for doing the same thing”…

Disaster (#909)

The successors of Tumblr:

…with Tumblr’s strict adult-content ban…kinky bloggers fled the site–searching for, and trying to build, new communities.  One of the fastest growing of these sites is relative newcomer newTumbl, which has gained about 40,000 blogs since it launched on December 31.  True to its name, the site closely resembles Tumblr–at least the NSFW parts that are now banned…MojoFire, a site created by members of the BDSM community but aspiring to host all types of content, has not yet launched.  Yet others were already in the works before the Tumblr porn ban and have seen a large influx of refugee bloggers.  For instance, Pillowfort–another site meant for a broad community–has been straining with the arrival of former Tumblr users, forcing it to limit new sign-ups…MakeLoveNotPorn…[has] provided a hub for user-generated “social sex” videos since 2009…

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The system isn’t in place to help you. It’s in place to keep you where you are.  –  Sophie

Thought Control (#137)

I’ve written on several occasions about arch-censor Fredric Wertham, a prohibitionist busybody who used Melissa Farley-style tactics to lobotomize the comic book industry in the 1950s; here’s a short video (courtesy of Kevin Wilson) showing him in action.

The Course of a Disease (#729)

There is no “debate”; this terrible law was unilaterally imposed by politicians despite vociferous opposition from everyone who is affected by it:

French sex workers have lodged a constitutional challenge to [the Swedish model]…reopening a debate on whether people should be free to [have consensual sex without government interference]…around 30 sex workers backed by nine associations, including [the prestigious Médecins du Monde], went to the Constitutional Council to argue the law infringed their sexual and commercial freedom and made them more vulnerable to attack…the law…[i]s an infringement of “constitutional rights to personal autonomy and sexual freedom, respect of privacy, freedom of contract and freedom to do business”…

The Course of a Disease (#796)

Prohibitionist scum understand that decriminalization is the only moral framework for sex work; that’s why they keep trying to trick people into thinking the Swedish model is decrim:

Rep Kay Khan of [Massachusetts is at it again with]…two [Swedish model] bills…One…n[orm]alizes [the persecution of] young people involved in sex work by [subjecting them to indefinite detention under the pretense of “protecting” them]…the other [pretends] to decriminalize adult sex workers [in order to confuse people into backing a campaign to choke off their income, get them evicted and persecute their families]…The two bills evolved from an earlier bill, HB 3499, which was submitted to to the Massachusetts House and Senate in early 2017…Any step towards decriminalization [would be] a win for sex workers’ rights.  But unfortunately, these bills [are not such a step and intentionally] leave in place statutes, language, funding, and institutional infrastructure which…[enables cops to] aggressively pursue…sex workers…

The Swedish model is NOT a step toward decriminalization; it infantilizes women, demonizes men, and defines consensual sex as “violence against women”.  That is a giant step away from decriminalization.

Signs (#886)

The public seems to have finally noticed that hotels are training their staff to harass women:

…Marriott International said it has reached a goal of training 500,000 hotel workers to spot and [harass sex workers]…Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson [said] “By…[indoctrinat]ing our global workforce to say something if they see something, we are [licking the boots of our masters and] protecting associates and guests [from dangerous sex rays]”…It collaborated with [prohibitionist] anti-[whore] groups ECPAT-USA and Polaris to create the program, which has been translated into 16 languages as well as English so it can be taught to employees throughout the 130 countries in which Marriott does business…

Legislators Gone Wild (#887) 

Oh, what a surprise:

…an annual Campaign and Expense…report filed by the End Trafficking and Prostitution (ETAP) PAC revealed…what appears to have been an outrageous abuse of power and conflict of interest by an elected government official…In December 2017, Reno lawyer Jason Guinasso  filed a public records request with the Lyon County recorder’s office demanding copies of the work card applications submitted to the Lyon County sheriff’s office by professional sex workers at all four of Lyon County’s legal brothels.  He filed the request on letterhead from the law firm at which he works – Hutchison and Steffen – which happens to be owned by then-Nevada Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, a political opponent of then-Assembly candidate Dennis Hof, who happened to own all four of Lyon County’s legal brothels…my guess is he wanted to make the addresses public in an effort to shame the adult women who were engaged in a legal business he has personal objections to…A couple months later Mr. Guinasso registered “End Trafficking and Prostitution” as a PAC with the Nevada Secretary of State…to place initiatives on the November 2018 ballot to shut down the legal brothels in Nye and Lyon counties – the two counties, not coincidentally, where Mr. Hof owned brothels…On June 7, 2018 the Lyon County Commission voted to place an “advisory question” on the ballot despite Mr. Guinasso’s failure to obtain enough signatures from Lyon County voters to do so himself…[this] was ultimately and overwhelmingly rejected in November by 80 percent of voters…

As we’ve seen before, crap like this is one of the primary reasons sex worker licensing schemes have such abysmally low compliance rates (below 1% in Nevada):  very few women are interested in being on a shaming & stalking list.

Why I Wait (#889)

Another dumb article about a phenomenon that probably doesn’t even exist:

…In her December 2018 cover story for The Atlantic warning that Americans—Millennials in particular—are having “so little sex,” senior editor Kate Julian soberly framed the drop as a “sex recession”.  Drawing from a 2017 study…[and methodologically-poor] evidence from the 2016 General Social Survey…sex for all adults dropped from 62 to 54 times a year, on average…mainly among white, middle-aged, married couples…the fear of a “sex recession” is misdirected.  A drop in sexual encounters from 62 to 54 times per year means that the average adult is still having sex more than once a week.  Current research suggests that having sex more than once a week does not have any positive impact on relationship satisfaction

That’s enough to show you the weaknesses in this turd sandwich, which, while skeptical of the worry, is not at all skeptical of the crap evidence itself.  Regular readers may recall that, as I’ve written on multiple occasions, the GSS is conducted face to face and is a terrible source for any sexual data (such as “have you ever paid for sex?“) because people simply lie about sexual questions.  These surveys don’t find anything about what people are actually doing sexually; what they measure is people’s relative comfort with the question, which is a horse of a different color.  The innate moralism of this article is visible in its assumption that the only important factor in talking about sex is “relationship satisfaction” (because obviously everybody has to pair off in vanilla monogamous amateur couples), not to mention the author’s asinine and moralistic statement that “There’s also a bit of a dark side in framing sex as economic given the realities of sex work“; I suspect this dumb bunny wouldn’t know one of the “realities of sex work” if it sashayed up and kissed her on the nose.

Stupor Bowl (#899) 

There’s very little point in bothering to quote this ridiculous mess because it’s the same garbage we’ve seen countless times: Theresa Flores selling her magical anti-pimp soap (designed to “help” women too stupid to remember the numbers “9-1-1”) and retelling her masturbatory fantasy of ninja pimps who managed to sneak her out of her home to “sell her for sex” every single night for two years without any member of her family ever noticing or any of her teachers wondering why she was falling asleep in class.  Politicians posturing so spasmodically one has to wonder how they don’t dislocate something.  Prohibitionists lovingly drooling over fantasies of enslaved thirteen-year-olds.  The magnification of a few prostitution arrests into an army of invisible “traffickers”.  I’m only mentioning it for two reasons: First, note that the opportunists now wait for mere days before the event in the forlorn hope that we won’t have time to debunk them (they used to start crowing about this idiocy as much as a year ahead); and second, that debunking is now so widespread that a refutation of this foofaraw appeared in the very same paper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Disaster (#899)

Tumblr made its bed, and now look who’s lying in it with them:

One month ago, Tumblr made the wildly unpopular decision to ban pornography and adult content from its website.  The move was greeted with outrage…and…critics accused the site of attempting to please larger tech corporations…Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio, however, maintained that the changes were made to foster a more “inclusive” community…however…the website is currently littered with pages promoting Nazism, white supremacy, ethno-nationalism, and far-right terrorism.  Despite their often flagrant violation of Tumblr’s Community Guidelines, these pages remain largely active and easy to find…

Well, at least Tumblr users are safe from “female-presenting nipples”.

On Tape

Trump has finally made it acceptable to question “sex trafficking” porn, at least when he spreads it:

…Trump[‘s]…human trafficking hyperbole is barely distinguishable  from the melodramatic “modern slavery” narratives put forth regularly by Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, and others during their tenure in power.  Or the stories stories spun by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) during her time as California attorney general.  And none of those stories were any less out of touch with reality…Ye[t]…CNN—which has rarely met a fact-free sex-trafficking melodrama it wouldn’t publish uncritically—ran an article titled “Experts: Trump’s tape-bound women trafficking claim is misleading“…and…at Vox, Dara Lind…reports that a top Border Patrol official emailed agents last week seeking information to back up the president’s claims…Seeking post-hoc justification for wild human trafficking claims is also a bad habit that predates Trump.  For many years, numbers spread by Justice Department and administration officials were more or less made up out of thin air, as The Washington Post‘s Glenn Kessler has pointed out. (See also: “The War on Sex Trafficking Is the New War on Drugs“)…

Top Cop

Another look at the odiousness of the police-state operative Hillary fans have anointed as their savior:

…any Democratic women who reject the feminist label would kill her campaign before it even started.  This may be why it’s especially galling that all four [female] candidates signed a piece of legislation that is making life harder and more dangerous for some of society’s most vulnerable women…SESTA/FOSTA, which was widely advertised by its proponents as a way to fight human trafficking.  What the legislation, which was co-sponsored by Sens. [Kamala] Harris and [Kirsten] Gillibrand, actually did was amend the Communications Decency Act, which, until last year, prohibited websites from being held liable for content posted by the site’s users…prominent sex-work marketplaces either shut down voluntarily, like Craigslist’s Casual Encounters section, or, like Backpage, were seized and shut down by the Feds. This is exactly what Harris intended…“from my earliest days as a prosecutor, I’ve led the fight against Backpage and other sex [work advertising] platforms”…There was one group…that has roundly condemned SESTA/FOSTA, and that’s the group most impacted by it: sex workers…

The article, by Katie Herzog of The Stranger, includes interviews with me, my friend Sophie and other sex workers.

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