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Posts Tagged ‘crypto-moralism’

What we really need are safe and legal ways for sex workers to do what millions of Americans depend on them for.  –  Kate Zen

Under Every Bed 

Population 23,639:

…Guardians of the Children hosted a walk and candlelight vigil to raise awareness about child exploitation…[and] human trafficking…[but because North] Platte [Nebraska has no actual “sex trafficking” the members conflated it with]…child abuse [so they could claim at least a few hundred]…cases…

The Widening Gyre (#786)

When a headline writer doesn’t actually read the article first:

…historians offer a…thesis for the purpose QAnon serves.  The “nocturnal ritual fantasy”—a term coined by the historian Norman Cohn in his landmark study of European witch trials, Europe’s Inner Demons—is a recurring trope in Western history.  And it is often a politically useful one.  Deployed by the Romans against early Christians, by Christians against Jews, by Christians against witches, by Catholics against “heretics,” it is a malleable set of accusations that posit that a social out-group is engaged in perverse, ritualistic behaviors that target innocents—and that the out-group and all its enablers must be crushed…

Apparently, New Republic editors are so fixated on the “left-right” fantasy, and the belief that all social evils proceed from “The Right”, that they’re willing to characterize the Romans, the Christians, and the great majority of 1980s and 1990s Americans as “The Right” in order to cram an article into that paradigm.

Guinea Pigs (#955)

Just a reminder that this privacy-destroying abomination started as a means of spying on sex workers:

Palantir…promises t[o]…create clarity and order.  But to deliver, its software needs data — lots of it.  Now, two never-before-seen documents, “Intermediate Course” and “Advanced Course” training manuals, reveal how the Los Angeles Police Department has taught its [thugs] to use Palantir Gotham…At great taxpayer expense, and without public oversight or regulation, Palantir helped the LAPD construct a vast database that indiscriminately lists the names, addresses, phone numbers, license plates, friendships, romances, jobs of Angelenos — the guilty, innocent, and those in between.  LAPD’s Palantir database includes information from the DMV…[and] 1 billion pictures taken of license plates from traffic lights and toll booths in Los Angeles and neighboring areas.  If you’ve driven through Los Angeles since 2015, the police can see where your car was photographed, when it was photographed, and then click on your name to learn all about you…

Thou Shalt Not (#971)

Pregnant women are easy targets for crypto-moralists:

Women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should completely avoid caffeine, according to a study published in The British Medical Journal.  Its findings, though, were quickly picked apart by skeptics who are sick of women being warned that almost everything they do…is a risk to their kids.  “I don’t think we need to worry about coffee,” says Clare Murphy…[of] the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. “I think we need to worry about this relentless pursuit of pregnant women and regulating of pregnant women’s choices”…the paper…is…a meta-analysis of several earlier studies…conducted by James E. Jack, a professor of psychology at Reykjavik University whose life’s work seems to be excoriating caffeine…in a culture enamored of shame and blame, especially when it comes to moms, it is this kind of research that gets funding and attention…Murphy says that her country’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently published guidelines “whereby they want a woman’s entire alcohol history through the entire pregnancy—from a glass of beer they had before they knew they were pregnant—to be all documented and transferred onto a child’s health record.”  The clear implication is that anything a mom does can and will be held against her if a child exhibits problems…

The Implosion Begins

Cops will embrace any belief, no matter how bizarre, which gives them more power:

…what if the cop patrolling your neighborhood held bizarre and unsubstantiated views?  What if…he…was watching videos…[claim]ing that a satanic cabal of high-profile…pedophiles is running the world’s most insidious sex ring?  Or was swiping through memes popularizing …[fantasies] about kidnapped children kept in underground tunnels so their blood can be harvested to help keep wealthy people alive?  And what if they sincerely believed it all?  In a small but growing number of places across the country…[cops] have endorsed QAnon, [just as they endosed “sex trafficking” hysteria from which it sprang]…

Working From Home (#1070)

We’re way past the watershed when a prominent sex worker activist gets a network news byline:

Sex workers are the majority of creators on [OnlyFans], and here was a celebrity coming in and making more in a day than they could in a year.  Many sex workers rely on [the site] as their sole source of income during the pandemic, as in-person encounters became unsafe.  But what especially angered workers was how [former Disney star Bella] Thorne caused a wave of chargebacks that “broke OnlyFans”…[by] promising a $200 pay-per-message nude photo that she then shied away from sending…Shortly thereafter, OnlyFans…limit[ed] max subscription and tip payments and extend[ed] payout time by 23 days in 14 countries where fraud risk is deemed highest…To rub salt in the wound, Thorne’s sister Kaili responded to the controversy by seeming to dismiss and shame sex worker concerns…while the scandal has mostly died down, the problems it revealed remain worthy of our attention, especially as we head into fall and winter without a clear end to the…pandemic in sight…

Tissue of Lies

As I predicted almost 9 years ago, these debunkings are becoming common:

…The myths spread about human trafficking are endless.  Every year viral headlines claim the Super Bowl (and other major sporting events) are hotbeds for human trafficking.  This has been debunked for years.  The vast majority of sex workers get into the industry through friends or social activities, not through coercion of pimps.  There are ads to fight human trafficking in airports all over the country, despite there never being a confirmed case in one (but many cases of interracial families are reported)…These myths will continue feeding conspiracy theories like Pizzagate and QAnon until there’s a cultural effort to share the truth.  Human trafficking has been marketed as a national problem for decades and has generated hundreds of millions of dollars both publicly and privately, yet still has no credible studies showing the numbers of victims, no proof there’s a nation-wide crisis, and scarce evidence that current solutions help the underlying problems at all…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Vanessa Peoples

I thought “I Am Woman” was vapid and silly even when I was very young and it was very popular.  I do like “Angie Baby”, but I already featured that one in Links #373, so I decided to give the video to an intentionally silly song by Mac Davis.  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko, Lenore Skenazy, Elizabeth N. Brown, Matt WelchWalter Olson, Popehat, and Radley again, in that order.

From the Archives

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[Kamala] Harris is basically a QAnon cheerleader for people who fancy themselves too sophisticated for that crap.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

A Moral Cancer (#790)

Crypto-moralists always pretend their lust to ban things is about “health” or “safety”:

Critics are lining up to blast a report, issued by [the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory] Committee earlier this summer, that urges the government to make steep cuts to the definition of moderate alcohol consumption…DGAC…policies include everything from recommending how many servings of vegetables people should consume in a day to determining what foods to serve to troops, schoolchildren, and prisoners…The report seeks to halve the DGAC’s longstanding definition of moderate drinking for men—no more than two drinks per day—to no more than one drink per day.  (The recommendation for women, set for years at no more than one drink per day, remains unchanged)…five Harvard Medical School faculty doctors—including three who served on one or more prior iterations of the DGAC…argue the…slash…is a “limited, arbitrary, and unsystematic treatment of alcohol consumption” that is based on “limited, arbitrary, and unsystematic evidence”…the DGAC appears to have “ignored” three decades of research…in…[order] to support claims made by members of the DGAC prior to appointment…In other words…anti-alcohol DGAC members focused only on research that supports arguments those members wanted to make all along…

Comfort Zone (#839)

Sometimes the attempt to hide migration control behind the “trafficking” narrative is especially apparent:

A spike in migrants moving north through Panama has [cops fantsizing] the country will become an international center for human trafficking.  Last year, nearly 22,000 migrants from Haiti, Cuba and a number of African and Asian countries were [arrested] after crossing the perilous Darién jungle along the Panama-Colombia border…The journey of a migrant…isn’t cheap or easy.  Migrants usually learn of the method from friends or family members who made the trip before them, or find instructions posted online…Often, migrants pay for smuggling through what analysts call “sponsors,” usually family members or friends already in the United States…

Down Under (#890)

Swedish model regimes would’ve instead targeted the victim for surveillance:

Michael Donald Grout attempted to blackmail…a…sex [worker], then followed through on his threat and [out]ed her [to her parents]…he…was sentenced in…Palmerston North [New Zealand]…to four months’ home detention…The victim was 18 at the time, more than 40 years Grout’s junior…Grout [claimed in court that he] became fearful for his own health after reading…an…advertisement that said the woman provided unprotected sex.  This was confirmed through an interaction with another of her clients…[but rather than distancing himself from her to protect his supposedly-compromised immune system] he obtained nude photographs of the woman and…[demanded she submit to rape or] he would send the photos to her parents…she…then…blocked the [anonymous] account [from which he was sending the threats, and he retaliated by sending]…a courier package [which] arrived at the home of [her] parents [on December 19]…her mother opened it and found several naked photos of her daughter.  Attached was a note wishing the couple a Merry Christmas and happy New Year.  “You must be proud of her,” Grout wrote…

Disaster (#1009)

The FOSTA challenge is proceeding again:

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation is suing (again) to get FOSTA ruled unconstitutional…[on the grounds that it] violates the First and Fifth Amendments…Woodhull’s motion for summary judgment…also takes aim at the law’s retroactive scope—FOSTA says you can be punished for violating it even before the law went into effect [even though such laws are prohibited in Article I of the Constitution]…

The Course of a Disease (#1020)

Maltese prohibitionists are strikingly loony, even for prohibitionists:

Malta’s Prostitution Reform Technical Committee excludes [prohibitionists] who [persecute and infantilize] sex workers, [prohibitionists] w[hi]ned….“Nordic model” [fanatics are upset that]…the state [is instead considering]…decriminalisation…[the prohibitionists vomited idiocy about “]sex hub tourism[” (whatever that is supposed to mean)] and “European Thailand”…[and also] called for [persecution of] strip clubs,  a…police [rape gang, and forcible “conversion therapy”]…for…victims of [the police]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1040)

I only hope this turns out to be true:

Ongoing tests of facial recognition technology continue to show that the technology is baffled when people wear masks of the sort that have become widespread (and even mandatory) in some places during the current pandemic. Forty-one newly tested algorithms—some of which were designed to compensate for face coverings—show the same dramatically elevated error rates as those examined earlier.  The tests have important implications for privacy at a time…of political instability and growing concern over law enforcement excesses, when people may have a strong interest in making identification of opponents and protesters difficult for the powers-that-be…

A Broker in Pillage (#1068)

A good argument for refusing to roll over and let yourself be robbed:

What happens when innocent people stand up to government bullies who use civil forfeiture laws to steal their property?  In many cases, the bullies, unaccustomed to such resistance, fold like a cheap suit…the government returned Kevin McBride’s Jeep, which…the Pima County Attorney’s Office was demanding a $1,900 ransom for the safe return of…But the day after the Goldwater Institute threatened to sue on McBride’s behalf…prosecutors changed their tune…

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It’s awful to think how disposable [migrant] women are.  –  Linda Corchado

To Molest and Rape (#996)

The state is more willing to act when a cop molests a corpse than when he does the same to a living woman:

The family of a woman whose [corpse was molested] by an…L.A. [cop]…is suing [both] the [molester] and the city of L.A.  The family of Elizabeth Baggett notes that [necrophile cop] David Rojas already has been charged criminally in the case, and that his own body-camera footage…captured him in the act…the lawsuit…[was filed by celebrity] attorney Gloria Allred…

Torture Chamber (#999)

“Detention center” is just another euphemism for “prison”, and that means rape:

[Screws] in an immigrant detention center in El Paso sexually assaulted and [raped] inmates in a “pattern and practice” of abuse, according to a complaint filed by a Texas advocacy group urging the local district attorney and federal prosecutors to conduct a criminal investigation…the [screws favored attacking women]…in areas of the [cage stack] not visible to security cameras…[any] complaint…[results in faster] deportation…[three] women [so far]…have come forward with abuse allegations [and]…at least one [more] was deported after [reporting] a [screw had raped] her…the[se]…are [only] the latest…sexual abuse complaints related to [cage stacks] run by ICE, which imprisons about 50,000 immigrants across the country each year…About 14,700 [of those caged people reported] sexual and physical abuse…between 2010 and 2016…in a May federal court filing in Houston, a Mexican woman [reported] that she…and two [other] female [captives] were moved to an isolated cell…[where] they [were] raped and beat[en by masked screws, then]…bused to Mexico hours later, where the woman eventually discovered she was pregnant from the assault…one…wom[an who escaped the cage]…because of a medical condition…told an attorney that…guards encouraged women to sign up for anti-anxiety medication and antidepressants because they oversee the dispensing of medication at night and have access to an enclosed off-camera area [where they can rape them]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1017) 

Remember this when cops start bloviating about how they use the technology to catch “dangerous criminals”:

The NYPD [em]ployed facial recognition technology in its [recent st]unt [targeting] a prominent Black Lives Matter activist, whose home was besieged by dozens of [pigs] and…dogs…Derrick Ingram, the 28-year-old co-founder of Warriors in the Garden, was targeted by [thugs] in riot gear during an hours-long NYPD raid on August 7th…[using the excuse that a sow’s dewicate widdle ears got an ouchie from his using a bullhorn] during a June protest against police brutality.  More than 50 [pigs mobbed] his…apartment, shutting down his street and urging him to voluntarily surrender [for beating and caging], as NYPD helicopters hovered overhead…a spokesp[ig oinked]…that facial recognition software was used…to…”compar[e] a still image from a surveillance video to a pool of lawfully possessed arrest photos”…[but] the NYPD’s photo of Ingram appears to be taken from his Instagram page.  It’s unclear how a social media post would constitute either a surveillance video image or an arrest photo…“the tools that are sold to the public as a way to fight terrorism and violent crime [are] being used to silence dissent,” said Albert Fox Cahn…of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project. “We would never have seen this level of police response for using a bullhorn if the message hadn’t been one opposed to the NYPD”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1019) 

But don’t worry, toothless local laws will definitely stop this!

…ICE [recently] signed a contract with…Clearview AI…[in order to expand its] use [of] facial recognition technology…the agency, along with the FBI, ha[s long] accessed state drivers’ license databases…without the knowledge or consent of drivers…Clearview AI CEO Hoan Ton-That…[responded to requests for comment by vomiting up wanking fantasies about “sex trafficked”]…children across the country”…Federal records also show Clearview signed a $50,000 contract with the US Air Force in December…Several tech companies have sent cease and desist orders to Clearview requesting it remove any data culled from social media posts. And the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Clearview in May for violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA)…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#1021) 

Given that dancers win every one of these suits, the old strip club business model is a dead duck:

On July 31, the National Labor Relations Board upheld a ruling that a stripper named Brandi Campbell was a statutory employee of the Centerfold Club in Columbus, Ohio, and that she was fired for engaging in activities protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)…Campbell…was hired to work at Centerfold [in 2018] as an independent contractor, but weeks later the club management discovered her blog, stripperlaborrights.com, and the cases she’s brought against multiple past clubs where she worked.  Management fired Campbell for violating “no touching” laws—which courts later decided was a discriminatory firing…

Working From Home (#1031)

Indian sex workers, like their US sisters, are going online to survive:

…”floating” sex workers…used to travel regularly from the hinterland to Asia’s biggest red light area–Sonagachi–in north Kolkata…But in the past four months since the Covid-induced lockdown began, these floating sex workers have been reduced to a hand-to-mouth existence.  Trains are yet to resume services and travelling in private vehicles like vans and buses is expensive.  The brothels too are yet to resume business; the 7,000-odd sex workers who live in the red light area are managing somehow by providing “virtual” services online and with rations and other assistance from sympathisers…[but] for the…4,000 or so who commute to the city, their lives have become [more] challenging…The “high-class, A category” sex workers, who used to charge between Rs 25,000-30,000 a night, are now happy to negotiate for Rs 5,000 for it is important for them to stay in the business, pamper the clients.  They have spacious rooms and independent arrangements and can cater to whatever the clients demand…But for the “floating”…getting an independent space to operate is difficult…

Social Distancing (#1044)

New York apes Scotland’s approach to “helping” sex workers:

The [New York] City Council tucked $4.1 million in the 2021 pandemic-influenced budget to “support people involved in the sex trade.”  But sex workers [won’t]…see…any of the funds…none of the groups and agencies [receiving the largesse]…are run by sex workers.  And [in fact most are prohibitionist gangs]…that…don’t [even] recognize sex work as legitimate employment…As COVID-19 disrupted the industry and forced would-be customers to stay home and social distance, sex workers were left without…income and [deemed] ineligible for government unemployment relief…The organizations that got funding, ranging from $85,000 to $650,000…[largely] focus on [working with cops to harass]…sex [workers]…and [target them for arrest and forced brainwashing]…

Social Distancing (#1055)

A “compromise” only bureaucrats and politicians could find reasonable:

Berlin’s brothels were [finally] allowed to reopen…months [after similar businesses such as hairdressers, massage parlours, gyms, tattoo shops, and saunas] – but [intercourse] is [still verboten by diktat]…clients looking for sexual healing in the German capital will have to make do with [hand jobs] until regulations are further relaxed in September…In July…[sex workers] staged a protest outside the Bundesrat upper house of parliament in Berlin, complaining that [discriminatory] restrictions were preventing them from making a living [legally]…

To Molest and Rape (#1060)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

The former head of the Boston police union…sexually abused a girl over five years, beginning when she was 7.  Patrick M. Rose Sr…[repeatedly molested] a [now] 14-year-old girl…from the time she was 7 years old until she was 12…Rose…[tried to] flee…[but was caught when] State Police [used software to access the location data from] his phone…and [caught him at] a Needham [Massachusetts] hotel, where they arrested him [last week]…Judge Kathleen Coffey set bail at $100,000 and ordered that Rose wear a GPS monitoring device, stay away from the alleged victim and other children under 16, and surrender his passport, any guns that he might have and his license to carry a firearm…

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[US police] violence appears so widespread and consistent that you could…think…it’s coordinated at a national level.  –  T.C. Sottek

The Widening Gyre (#864)

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the “scrap paper” variant of the “sex traffickers marking cars” scary tale:

A spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety said…post-it notes left on various cars throughout Lubbock were…not sex trafficking ploys…Lubbock Police…looked into the matter and found that the numbers were, in fact, from a legitimate hail damage repair company…three Facebook posts claiming the notes were sex trafficking ploys…had been shared over 3,000 times…

Hail causes sex trafficking!

You Were Warned (#926)

Australian politicians are just as invested in demolishing the internet as US ones:

…The Court of Appeal for New South Wales has just dismissed an attempt by several Australian media outlets to overturn a 2019 ruling that they could be held liable for Facebook comments about [the state torture of a young man named] Dylan Voller…Voller…sued some of the media outlets that covered him—not because the news reports defamed him, but because other people writing on the outlets’ Facebook pages were accusing him of having committed various crimes.  Australian courts have not yet ruled on whether these comments defamed Voller.  This fight is about whether media outlets could even be sued for Facebook comments.  The outlets argue that…Facebook does not let them preemptively stop individual readers from posting comments on their page.  They do have the option to delete, hide, or report individual comments, but only after they’ve been posted…But the fact that these outlets have the ability to delete comments after the fact was enough for Judge John Basten to declare them publishers…Another judge suggested that a potential solution would be…censor[ing] content…If this ruling stands, it’s going to force Australian media outlets to monitor all comments and beef up their social media teams at a time when they’re having to lay off staff and even shut down newspapers

Censor Chic (#948)

It’s so convenient to outsource tyranny to computers:

…certain combinations of Chinese characters have been immediately removed from [YouTube] within a few short seconds…[without] warning or reason…The Hanzi Which Shall Not Be Named were merely 共匪  (“communist bandit”) and 五毛 (“fifty cents”)…the term 共匪…was used by Nationalist partisans led by…Chiang Kai-shek against…Mao Zedong and the reds.  Today, it is considered a slur against the CCP…五毛 is a cleverer anti-CCP troll.  It’s basically calling a pro-CCP commenter a paid shill, albeit a cheap one.  The joke is that human CCP NPCs get paid fifty cents for each pro-CCP post; ergo, the “fifty-cent army” or 五毛党…those terms would not disappear from YouTube comments if you typed them out in English or in Pinyin…only…in the original Hanzi…YouTube is already banned in China and can be a pain to access without a good VPN and strong desire to do so…We are asked to believe that YouTube’s pesky algorithm just happened to accidentally disappear these very particular Chinese anti-government phrases since at least October of 2019…Perhaps the fifty-cent army flagged these phrases enough to become automatic triggers that the algorithm would automatically pull.  But it is also possible that someone at YouTube manually added these terms to a blocklist…Pressure from politicians of both parties contributed to Google winding down its proposed “Dragonfly” Chinese search engine that would have been compliant with CCP censorship demands…

Panopticon (#1007)

FWIW, the DEA mostly conducts old-fashioned Stasi-type surveillance:

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been granted sweeping new authority to “conduct covert surveillance” and collect intelligence on people participating in protests over the police killing of George Floyd…Attorney General William Barr issued a statement…blam[ing the protests on]…“anarchistic and far left extremists, using Antifa-like tactics”…He said the FBI, DEA, US Marshals, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would be “deployed to support local efforts to enforce federal law.”  Barr did not say what those agencies would do, however…

Panopticon (#1030)

Pigs now routinely use spy drones for surveillance :

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is regularly flying Predator drones…above American cities for surveillance.  This includes cities farther than 100 miles from the border…In two instances last month, CBP…flew [a drone] either close to or directly above Minneapolis…[another] recently flew around half a dozen times above or near San Antonio, Texas, which is also outside the 100 mile border region.  In some cases the Predator drones circled above the cities for an extended period of time…

Social Distancing (#1041)

Australian sex workers are challenging crypto-moralism:

Sex workers in Australia could operate under a COVID-19-safe framework…according to the adults-only industry association.  The industry has been crippled by bans in all states and territories during the…pandemic.  As other industries are included in road maps for restarting, only the Northern Territory has given clear advice to sex workers on when they can return to work.  In a letter to Health Minister Greg Hunt…the Eros Association expressed concern that shutting down the sex industry was being “motivated by moral judgments…rather than any justified concerns regarding public health…strip clubs, escort agencies and brothels should be allowed to operate (with appropriate restrictions) at the same stage as other body work practitioners such as massage therapists…Attached to the letter were proposed guidelines for restarting the industry…

But for Video

Just a few choice selections of police brutality from the past week:

…A New York City [cop] tore a protective mask off of a young black man and assaulted him with pepper spray…New York City [cops]…rammed a crowd in a street…[cops] in Minneapolis marched down a quiet residential street and shot paint canisters at residents who were watching from their private porch…Police in Louisville raided a public square, [stealing] and destroying water and milk…used to counter irritants like pepper spray…Atlanta police [shot] two black people…with tasers and t[ore] them out of their car…A New York City [cop] used two hands to throw a woman to the ground…San Antonio Police used tear gas against people. So did Dallas policeSo did Los Angeles policeSo did DC police. The list goes on…A freelance photographer in Minneapolis…went permanently blind in her left eye after being [intentionally] shot [in the face with a rubber bullet at close range]…

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Rarely have entitled scolds been so empowered to tattle on people doing stuff of which they disapprove.  –  J.D. Tuccille

Rooted in Racism (#928)

Sex workers are always among the first targeted for deportation:

The COVID-19 pandemic has shut down strip clubs around the country, leaving workers without employment.  Many strippers have migrated to online sex work, but this type of visibility puts undocumented and migrant sex workers at a higher risk of being deported, getting their green card application denied, or being refused entry into the United States.  Without documentation…sex work is often the highest paid job available, and some clubs allow dancers to work without it.  Stripping has provided Ruby…with a comfortable lifestyle in South Florida, something she would not have been able to accomplish working the other jobs, such as dishwashing, available to undocumented people…Since her club shuttered as a result of the pandemic, Ruby said she considered camming but is afraid that online sex work could hurt her chances of obtaining a green card…

Working From Home

Another example of sex worker ingenuity:

unionised strippers in the UK…host[ed] a first-of-its-kind virtual strip club on Saturday, April 11th called CYBERTEASE…as a workers’ co-op, in response to the closure of strip clubs due to Covid-19…Dancers will be performing on Zoom, where the event will be DJed by Queer House Party

Meanwhile, on Instagram:

…Justin LaBoy, 28, a former professional basketball player and a social media personality…ha[s] been hosting virtual pop-up strip clubs on Instagram Live…Many bars and strip clubs were forced to close nearly overnight around much of the world.  Thousands of bartenders, bottle service girls and dancers have been left with no income…strip clubs have…sought to recreate the experience digitally…But Mr. LaBoy’s events have attracted a unique and fervent fandom.  Music artists…top N.F.L. and N.B.A. players and [other celebrities]…have…joined the stream as special guests…LaBoy…pin[s] the dancer’s Cash App user names to the top of the feed, so that followers could send them money…[and] the “Respectfully Justin Show” was born.  Several hours before the show, Mr. LaBoy begins hyping up the event on social media using the hashtag #respectfully.  Because Instagram prohibits explicit content, Mr. LaBoy creates a new Instagram handle for each event.  He announces this page’s name through Twitter, along with the date and time of the show…LaBoy brings in [P. Diddy’s son Justin Dior] Combs, then kicks back and begins streaming a glass of red wine, which has become a meme of its own…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever (#1027)

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

In the time of the pandemic the world’s snitches are in their glory, pointing fingers at “non-essential” businesses struggling to keep the lights on and at neighbors brazenly standing too closely together…Lockdown commandments hand them the opportunity not just to publicly shame violators…but to inform to the authorities, with all that entails…snitching seems to be competing with the virus itself in its spread…As always, informers are encouraged in their excess by many government officials.  Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promised that “snitches get rewards,” and his sentiments are shared by [authoritarians] elsewhere.  A certain segment of the public has eagerly embraced the role of social-distancing Stasi, recording perceived violations of safe practices and not just reprimanding the supposed violators for exercising independent judgment, but handing their details off to the [pigs]…

Like Houses (#1027)

Abrogating freedom of religion and freedom of assembly at once:

As Maryville Baptist Church moved forward with its in-person Easter service Sunday morning, Kentucky State [pigs] were recording the license plates and placing notices on the roughly 50 cars parked outside…[after] Gov. Andy Beshear [issued a diktat] as part of ongoing efforts to keep Kentuckians [locked up and isolated.  A spokespig oinked that]…most of the state’s [cop shops]…have responded to between two and five complaints about church services…but…found no violations of CDC guidelines…with Maryville apparently the exception.  Most calls have been in reference to [drive-in] services…[which] “were specifically mentioned by the governor as being allowed”…

Like Houses (#1029)

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

…New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio…really does want to [use state violence to] drag doctors and nurses from their jobs elsewhere to assigned positions in New York City [without their consent]…de Blasio isn’t alone as a government official who sees in the crisis an opportunity to go full commissar.  New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is stealing ventilators from upstate hospitals to give to facilities downstate.  New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is similarly snatching medical supplies from private firms and facilities to use as he sees fit.  And President Donald Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act to force medical equipment manufacturers to abandon customers beyond the borders — and even to sell to only the federal government.  In context, de Blasio’s insistence that medical providers are playing pieces to be pushed around a game board at his whim is the next logical step down the path the political class has already chosen…

Working From Home (#1030)

Cam work isn’t just a stopgap measure; it’s a specialization:

Many people who find themselves suddenly unemployed need cash quickly, and some might be considering a side gig in online sex work…However…even for experienced, full-time sex workers, “just making an OnlyFans” doesn’t always pay the bills.  Online sex work requires an entirely different skill set than in-person work like escorting and stripping, and it can pose greater risks to privacy and anonymity…top-earning performers ha[ve] one thing in common: production value.  If I wanted to earn anything close to sustainable income, I would at least need a webcam ($70 for a basic model, $250 for ultra HD), professional studio lights (at least $50), and a faster Wi-Fi connection (high-speed routers start around $150).  If I was really serious, I would need more dildos, bigger dildos (body-safe silicone sex toys can range from $20 to almost $200), better lingerie ($100), and a teledildonic sex toy that allowed viewers to interact with me via Bluetooth ($125).  Just being a sex worker costs much more than many people realize…it was months before I actually broke even…building a loyal, reliable one can take years.  It was a full year before I started making a somewhat steady income, and despite working full-time hours some weeks, the money I make is only supplemental to my freelance writing work…

Social Distancing (#1031)

Sex work businesses are ineligible for loans; individuals still get the check.  But Stormy’s points are still right on in a larger sense:

…the Fourteenth Amendment…states that all citizens…have equal protection and rights…no…part…states “unless you work in the adult entertainment industry” and yet that is precisely what is happening right now….disaster relief loan…[applications] specifically list…adult entertainment businesses…as a disqualification in receiving economic assistance…[sex workers a]re still required to pay taxes, thus contributing to the resources we are banned from receiving…The language in the application…lumps strippers in the same category as criminals and deadbeat parents.  Ironically, without that assistance, a lot of [sex] workers…could become exactly that by being unable to support their families…

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Governmental mechanisms to frame policy based on lies are not uncommon.  –  Laura Agustín

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín on “sex trafficking” snake oil:

Swindle, chicanery, skullduggery, con.  There’s no one perfect word to describe how trafficking came to be hailed as one of the great problems of our time.  Excess in rhetoric has known no bounds, with campaigners saying theirs is the new civil-rights movement and claiming there are more people in slavery today than at any time in human history, amongst other hyperbole.  And there was me thinking it was about folks wanting to leave home to see if things might be better elsewhere…I was asking reasonable questions about a social phenomenon and refused to be fobbed off with explanations that made no sense.  My trajectory as a thinker happened to coincide with a piece of governmental legerdemain that switched the topic of conversation from human mobility and migration to organized crime, like peas in a shell game…

Shame, Shame (#649)

Gee, who could’ve anticipated draconian “revenge porn” laws would be used this way (except all the free speech activists who have opposed them for years)?

Bethany Austin did nothing society would reasonably call wrong.  She received, without asking, sexually explicit images that her fiancé’s paramour sent to a shared cloud account.  She quietly called off the engagement…[and] her former fiancé [responded by] spread[ing] a hurtful and untrue rumor that he had ended the relationship because Ms. Austin was crazy and refused to cook and clean for him.  To clear her good name, Ms. Austin wrote a letter to her friends and family explaining what really happened.  She attached some of the images as proof.  Now the ex‐​fiancé and his paramour are using Illinois’s “revenge porn” law to punish her for speaking, and the state is happily obliging…The trial court found the law unconstitutional, but the Illinois Supreme Court reversed.  Cato, joined by DKT Liberty Project, has filed an amicus brief supporting Ms. Austin’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court…

I Spy (#1001)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Google will use its mammoth collection of mobile location data to [spy on] people across the globe [to see whether they are obeying] government [orders] to remain at home [until politicians deign to let them out again]…or are venturing out to [live their lives]…Google will provide county-level percentages that are updated every few days, but summarized in a way that the company [claims] will not reveal any individual’s travels [until politicians demand such information…

A Moral Cancer (#1002)

Crypto-moralists always pretend their lust to ban things is about “health” or “safety”:

With the economy tanking and families locked together because of stay-at-home orders…domestic violence rates appear to be soaring.  This requires an urgent response:  States should immediately order the closures of liquor stores.  They can reopen when [politicians declare that] home isolation is no longer needed…

Like Houses (#1025)

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

California Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks that [the] right [to self-defense]…is…”nonessential”…a…decision…which allowed Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to unilaterally ban the sale of firearms and ammunition…Villanueva…[was forced to] rescind…his ban…[in the face of a lawsuit and]…new federal guidelines.  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy…[and] Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf [made similar defeated attempts]…their reluctance to respect [Constitutional rights does]…not bode well for civil liberties at a time when many people seem to think that fighting the pandemic trumps all other concerns…Cornell law professor Michael Dorf argued…Congress should suspend the writ of habeas corpus…[so] people [can be indefinitely] detained by the government…[and a recent poll showed] sizable majorities of [useful idiots]…favored confining people to their homes, [caging] sick people…government takeovers of businesses, [enslavement] of health care workers…and even criminalizing [speech that the government disapproves of]…

Like Houses (#1027)

Oh Maggie, you’re paranoid; this is about keeping people SAFE!

Under a motion passed by the city council in Laredo, Texas…residents…face a fine of up to $1,000 for not wearing some form of covering on their nose and mouth [until politicians declare] the coronavirus outbreak [over]…all residents over the age of 5 are required to have their nose and mouth covered when entering public buildings, using public transportation and when pumping gas…residents will also be required to adhere to a daily curfew or possibly face a fine or jail time…the curfew…lasts from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m…and may only leave for…work…[if they have a permission slip] from their employer…

It’s not about expanding the police state at all!

…New York [cops] arrested three people in Brooklyn…after they allegedly “failed to maintain social distancing”…despite [politicians] promising that those disregarding the lockdown would face fines at most…the individuals [were]…charged with obstructing governmental administration, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct…one…woman…[was mobbed by pigs] wearing no masks…[who] pepper-sprayed [her and her boyfriend]…she…was…then [locked in a filthy cage]…with two dozen other women for the next 36 hours.  Only women who already had masks when they were arrested were allowed to keep them…The woman was…[fired] because [her employer]…fears she was exposed to the virus while in [the disgusting, unsanitary cage]…

Government officials can be trusted not to take it too far!

Louisville residents [accused of]…contact with coronavirus patients [whom cops also accuse of] refus[ing] to isolate themselves are being [forced] to wear ankle [monitor] bracelets…there are [four] known cases so far…

Social Distancing (#1028)

American anti-sex work attitudes have slowly caught on in Japan:

Advocates for bar hostesses and [other] sex workers have urged the government to reconsider its exclusion of them from compensation for parents unable to work because of school closures, noting they are among the most vulnerable members of society.  A support group for such workers submitted…a letter asking the government not to discriminate by occupation and to protect the lives of all families as the coronavirus takes its toll on the Japanese economy…

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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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The big story right now is of course the COVID-19 virus, and in addition to all the events and crowd-based businesses either shutting themselves down or being forced to shut down by governments, there’s lots of talk of practicing “social distancing”, in other words physically distancing oneself from other people in order to reduce the risk of transmission.  Naturally, this is emboldening all the puritans to declare that this aspect of the epidemic is a good thing, because touching other people is sinful unsanitary anyhow; it’s also inspiring a great deal of talk about “paid sick leave”, which totally ignores the 8% of Americans who own their own small businesses (including many sex workers) and the 10% of Americans who work as independent contractors (including most of the sex workers who don’t fall into the other category).  When people stay away from small businesses (or the government forces them to shut) for more than a few days, you know what often happens?  They go out of business.  And when there’s no work for independent contractors for similar reasons, you know what happens?  Their bills don’t get paid.  And I guarantee you there won’t be any “bailouts” for them, either, unlike big fascist banks and manufacturing concerns.  For sex workers who have already endured over a decade of persecution and two years of actual censorship, not to mention repeated attempts to choke off our income and steal our bank accounts, and who are now at the beginning of a hotly-contested presidential election year (which is always bad for business), this could not possibly have come at a worse time.  Some will try to get square jobs (assuming they can pass dystopian “background checks”), while others will attempt to switch to camming and other no-physical-contact sex work, a market which is already completely saturated due to full-service workers shifting to it to escape the aforementioned persecution and censorship.  But many others will simply grow more desperate, while sociopaths try to take advantage of them by haggling their prices down or demanding unprotected intercourse.

Whenever women talk about awful male behavior within earshot of men, they are sure to be accosted by weenies making the wholly unnecessary assertion that “Not all men…” blahbitty blah blah blah.  Well, dudes, now is your chance to prove that you’re one of the “nice guys” y’all insist are the rule rather than the exception.  If you’ve cancelled a session with a sex worker because you’re engaging in “social distancing”, how about sending her the money anyhow?  If you’ve got the money to buy sex from her, you have the money to help her in a time of need.  Or how about asking your favorites if they offer phone sex or Skype sessions so you can do business with each other despite “distancing”?  If you absolutely must have tit for tat, how about scheduling a session for sometime in April and paying in advance?  And if you have a sugar arrangement, maybe it’s time to give your sugar baby a raise.  (I’m not even going to try to appeal to self-appointed “rescuers” because we all know they’re pathological liars crammed as full of shit as a backed-up sewer line, and their idea of “rescue” is rape followed by confinement in cages or sweatshops.)

This is going to be an incredibly bad year for a very large fraction of sex workers, at least as bad as ’08 and possibly worse; if you profess to care about women, and you’re not one of those contractors or small business owners who are in the soup with us, now is the time to put your money where your mouth is.  The only upside to this mess that I can see is that it seems to have at least temporarily supplanted “sex trafficking” hysteria in the media, and bourgeois white women are too busy shopping for cases of hand sanitizer to accuse random brown people (or the drivers of white vans) of being “traffickers”.  But even if this really is a sign of the end of that long moral panic, sex workers need to make it through the year financially before they can enjoy the respite.

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This…goes way beyond anything that is legal.  –  Jacinta González

Bread and Circuses

The US anti-whore jihad is so out of control it’s attacking random foreign websites:

A Brighton[, England]-based ad agency[‘s] website was [stolen] by US Homeland Security.  The agency stopped receiving external emails and turned to its IT support company Ingenious for an answer.  They discovered that anyone trying to visit the company website – designate.com – met a landing page with America[n pigs’ and spooks’ virtual pissing symbols all over it.  The pigs]…seized control of the website by changing the dot-com’s DNS records, allowing them to redirect traffic to their landing page as well as snaffle emails.  The ad agency received n[either] warning [nor]…explanation…And the…[pigs held the site for] ransom until [they] signed a form [waiving any possible claim for damages]…Jason Triandafyllou, director at Designate, finally got hold of a sp[ook] at Homeland Security [who admitted]  the site had been s[tolen] as part of [the US crusade against sex work]…Triandafyllou…[said] it was hard to quantify the damage done….[by their] website [being offline and their company libeled by porcine accusations for]…10 days…”Our SEO has also been floored – we’ll have to build up our rankings from scratch”…

I warned y’all long ago that because much of the internet backbone is on US soil, this would start to happen.

To Molest and Rape

All vice squads are breeding grounds for rape:

Four Glynn County [Georgia cops] have been indicted on multiple [administrative] charges [after] a drug task force [was disbanded for corruption, drug dealing and rape of women the cops had threatened into becoming snitches]…Chief John Powell and [vice pigs] David Hassler, David Matthew Haney and Brian Scott are facing a variety of charges stemming from [crimes they committed while members of the]…Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics [gang]…Powell…has been [rewarded with a paid vacation for cooking up the scheme]…Hassler [ignored the others’ crimes] and…perjur[ed himself]…Haney…and…Scott [enabled yet another pig]…James Cassada…[to rape] and provid[e drugs] to…[women] he had control over [by threatening them with prison]…

These unconstitutional multi-jurisdictional “task forces” encourage cops to commit even more crimes than usual because they can play games with “jurisdiction”, thereby completely escaping consequences for actions that even spineless judges admit were criminal.

Utter Cluelessness

They’re not even trying any more:

Foreign-born trafficking victims in Metro Detroit can now find sanctuary through an assistance program…focused on helping victims return to a normal life…[by giving an individual] a maximum of $6,000, a family…$7,500…The majority…are in sex trafficking in the restaurant and foodservice industry, traveling sales crews, domestic work, hospitality and housekeeping services…[Meanwhile] police touted 46 arrests [of women in] its ongoing human trafficking…crusade.  The crimes were committed [by police] in hotels and multi-unit apartment complexes…”See something, say something”…

So they think a one-time grant of $7500 for an entire family will replace a job, and that foreign folks will trust an organization bragging about police literally hunting down women trying to survive, while quoting a slogan intended to encourage snitching on undocumented migrants?  I guess we can’t expect logic or consistency from people who think that restaurant or housekeeping work constitutes “sex trafficking”.

Unsafe for Human Consumption

Cops think everyone is as stupid as they are:

Police in central Texas…believe [people are so stupid they’ll buy that] methamphetamine in Blanco County may be contaminated with the coronavirus and…the Johnson City Police Department…[will] “test…” [it for them]…

This isn’t the first time Texas cops have tried to use hysteria to trick people into turning themselves in to have their lives destroyed, but I can’t find where I filed the previous case.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#907)

Usually they at least try to pretend the “public health” rhetoric isn’t just crypto-moralism:

Pastor Adrienne Greene of Harrison, Ohio…[claimed] the devil… “repackages and sells the same forbidden sex-practices God spoke about to Moses:  homosexuality, incest, human trafficking and predatory abuses toward children and beasts.”  Ohio is one of the states currently attempting to pass copycat legislation drafted by well-funded religious lobbies declaring a made-up “public health crisis” around “pornography”…The Ohio effort is spearheaded by…a 26-year-old fundamentalist Christian [politician] who graduated from Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University…

The Widening Gyre (#941)

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter.  What makes these especially funny is that there has never been a single case of an adult woman abducted by so-called “sex traffickers” from any public place, much less a crowded subway platform.  Any normal adult woman reading this thread (linked above; this time I saw the actual thread rather than just a screenshot) would recognize it as nothing more than a clumsy pass of the “big spender” variety, such as any reasonably attractive woman has endured many times.  But she’s 100% POSITIVE HE WAS A HUMAN TRAFFICKER!  And naturally the thread attracted the usual collection of sycophants and “The same thing happened to me!” twits.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1008) 

Too bad nobody listened to me when I wanted this banned in 2012:

Clearview AI…is facing legal threats from Facebook, Google, and Twitter [for stealing data from them], as well as [toothless] calls for regulation and scrutiny in the US.  But…it has already shared or sold its technology to thousands of organizations around the world.  In its quest to create a[n irreversibly-widespread] global biometric identification system…Clearview has [sold its surveillance software to]…ICE…New York…Macy’s…FBI…CBP…Interpol, and hundreds of local [cop shops]…providing access not just to organizations, but to individuals within those organizations…with [absolutely] no oversight or awareness from their own management.  Clearview’s software…has been used by [individuals] in more than 2,200 [cop shops, spook groups]…and companies across 27 countries…at every level of American society and…around the world.  The…[dangerous] technology was specifically] intended as a tool [to establish a] police [state]…in North America…but…has also been aggressively [working to destroy privacy] in industries such as law, retail, banking, and gaming and pushing into international markets in Europe, South America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East…

Checklist (#1014)

Hey nurses, how does it feel to be infantilized by misogynistic racists?

Nurses today are [indoctrinated in]…human trafficking [hysteria, but now that hysteria hs expanded to include]…trafficked [nurses]…Patricia M. Speck…of…the University of Alabama…[fantasizes that] an industry of suppliers…seek to meet the demand by bringing in immigrant skilled nurses [who are not white and therefore too stupid to think of migrating to the US] from impoverished countries, like the Philippines…in…[search of] economic opportunity…[Prohibitionist Emily] Dunlap [panted]…“Now…they’re under control of the person that brought them over”…

To Molest and Rape (#1016)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to rape children:

A [typical and representative] Poplar Bluff [Misouri cop who was paid to terrorize]…school[children]…is facing multiple charges, including child [sex trafficking]…Brandon Hopper…was [also] charged with…possession of child pornography.  [His porn supplier] Amber Longhibler…was also arrested…[and] charged with sexual trafficking of a child, promoting child pornography and…possession of child pornography…pornography [found] on his phone…included a video of an adult male and a four-year-old girl, and a video of an adult male and a 10-year-old girl…

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