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Posts Tagged ‘disease’

I can’t breathe.  –  Justin Thomson

I don’t know why this video of a brick in a washing machine on a trampoline is so funny, but it is.  The video was provided by Mike Siegel, who also provided “does”; the other links above the video are from Popehat (“hate”, “cancer” & “monsters”),  Emma Evans (“state”), and Tim Cushing (“tone”).

From the Archives

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To the casual observer, I seem to be a remarkably healthy specimen; I’m well-formed and well-proportioned, with above-average muscular development, excellent bone density, good skin and exceptional looks.  My cognitive  functions and reflexes are far above the norm, my memory is nothing short of awe-inspiring and as long as I don’t get stupid about it, I can pretty much eat what I like.  Some of that came naturally, some was the result of years of work on my part and some of it was the combined result of medical science and money (lots and lots of money).  But what’s invisible to the casual observer is that I also suffer from a number of neurological disorders, including chronic depression (since the age of 9), ADD, mild OCD, insomnia, orgasmic dysfunction, a host of anxieties, and vertigo so debilitating that I literally get dizzy if my head isn’t at least a pillow’s height above my heart at all times (if you’re ever around when I put on my shoes, watch how I do it).  Some of these (such as the insomnia & anxiety) have worsened due to the whips and scorns of time, while age has taught me tricks and workarounds for dealing with some of the others (such as the ADD).

But “workarounds” is all they are; they no more mean the problem is “solved” than a limp means the limb one favors is “cured”.  Take my vertigo, for example; in everyday life I can avoid triggering it as long as I don’t make any sudden motions, spin, look down while moving, lie flat on my back, go to see an IMAX movie, watch images that flash or jerk quickly, try to move in any way but very slowly & carefully while drunk or high, ride in the back seat of a car, ignore the warning signs of a sinus headache, fly in an airplane, or remain vertical when I start feeling even the slightest symptom of dizziness.  Sometimes it happens anyway due to some sickness or mold spores or whatnot, but for the most part I can avoid the dizziness, vomiting, temperature dysregulation, hives, tunnel vision and other exciting and glamorous effects by simply avoiding the things that I know will precipitate them.  Of course, this doesn’t mean the vertigo is “cured” any more than a peanut allergy sufferer can be said to be “cured” because she made it through a week without dying of anaphylactic shock by avoiding anything which might have potentially contacted peanuts; the disorder is merely managed, not cured.  Naturally, having to avoid so many activities and movements other people take for granted is frustrating and annoying, so as I’m sure you can imagine I have over the past four decades tried every goddamned thing which has been suggested as a way to cure or at least mitigate the problem.  And you know what?  The same goes for everyone who suffers from any neurological, mental or emotional disorder.

And that’s why most of us, especially those of us who are older, often get so irate when well-meaning and seemingly-reasonable people make “suggestions” about how to “get over” these issues.  If a disorder has obvious physical manifestations, like blindness or epilepsy, nobody thinks one can “learn” to “get over it”.  But if it’s something that results in changes to behavior, such as vertigo, insomnia or Seasonal Affective Disorder, suddenly they assume it’s all in the mind and can be learned away by the “right” kind of thinking, meditation, affirmation, health food or some other mumbo-jumbo woo; if the person they’re making these “helpful suggestions” to is older than a teenager, this is highly insulting to the sufferer’s intelligence as well as dismissive of their problem.  DON’T YOU THINK I TRIED ALL YOUR MAGIC PASSES & HAPPY THOUGHTS 30 FUCKING YEARS AGO?  And it’s even worse for those with mental illness; at least my vertigo produces tangible, observable puke.  But people with clinical depression or a personality disorder can no more “snap out of it” than I can “snap out of” an attack of dizziness and vomiting.  Even those who do understand that such issues aren’t merely bad moods often think that A) there’s a med for everything; and B) that side effects aren’t a consideration.  But neither of those is true; there isn’t a medication for every condition, not everyone responds well to meds that work for others, and side effects are sometimes so bad they outweigh the benefits and the sufferer decides it’s better not to use them.

What it all boils down to is this: unless you’re a medical or psychiatric professional skilled in the treatment of a particular condition, and a person who suffers that condition asks for your suggestions, DO NOT OFFER THEM.  Not even if the sufferer is complaining in front of you.  Not even if whatever you’re going to suggest worked for your Aunt Matilda.  Not even if you think that positive thinking can grant any power from telekinesis to survival in a hard vacuum.  Just don’t.  And if you refuse to take my advice and do it anyway, don’t get all butthurt if the recipient of your fucking Hints from Heloise blows up in your face.

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He had had prior run-ins with local authorities.  –  Alexandra Petri

Guitarist J Geils, who founded the band that bore his name, died this week; a lot of sex workers dislike the band’s most famous song, “Centerfold”, for what seems to be acceptance of the Madonna/whore dichotomy.  But the narrative persona in a song does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the songwriter (were the Rolling Stones advocating for war & genocide in “Sympathy for the Devil”?) and in this case, I’ve always felt the last line of the song indicates the writer’s real feelings about people who express the dichotomy.  The links above the video were provided by Rick HorowitzJesse Walker (x2), PopehatMike SiegelRadley Balko, and Mike Chase (in that order).

From the Archives

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Live fast ’cause it won’t last.  –  Chris Stein & Debbie Harry

In Monday’s column “Crystal-Gazing” I wrote, “I don’t think it’s likely I’ll be around to see [the mid 2030s], but many of you will be.”  Several readers asked me why I believed I wouldn’t make it to that point; after all, I’d only have to live to 70, and the average white American woman born in the 1960s lives to about 75.  Now, I could point out that statistically, my chance of dying before 70 is roughly equal to my chance of living past 80, but that wouldn’t quite be true; a lot of the reason the life expectancy keeps increasing is that infant mortality keeps decreasing, so anyone who survives childhood isn’t statistically likely to live as much longer than her ancestors as it might appear just from looking at those life expectancy figures.  Also, most of the female members of my family live into their ’80s, even if the male ones have an odd tendency to die under strange and often newsworthy circumstances (ask me about that if we ever get drunk together).  That having been said, a fair number of relatives of both sexes have contracted cancer or more-exotic terminal diseases, some of them at early ages (like the maternal uncle who died of leukemia in his late teens), and I’ve had several close brushes with sudden death (two of them of the “hushed-nurse-saying-I-shouldn’t-be-alive” variety), so I don’t think my familial or personal life expectancy is quite as high as that of the general population.

And thereby hangs the tale.  As I’ve stated before, I have absolutely no intention of ever enduring chemotherapy; if I develop cancer I’m going to seek out palliative care, put my affairs in order and let the disease take its course.  I’ve seen more than my share of people I love spending their last days hooked to machines in sterile institutions, dying in infernal contraptions surrounded by shouting doctors and nurses pounding on their chests and shooting chemicals into their veins, or electrically shocking their soon-to-be-corpses, instead of expiring quietly in their own beds surrounded by loved ones.  So I have a DNR order; if it’s respected I will die when I die rather than being dragged violently back across the threshold because mere humans have decided I’m not allowed to leave this plane yet.  Furthermore, though the more strictly-rational among my readers may scoff, I’ve never claimed to be strictly rational; my several close brushes with death (and a frank assessment of the chances I have taken in the past and those I continue to take on a regular basis) have led me to feel that I’m living on borrowed time, and Death knows that “when he at last come to collect me it will be a rendezvous rather than a capture“.  Death and I are old friends; he was gracious enough not to interrupt my work before it was done, and it’s the least I can do to return that favor when the time comes.  He’s passed me by on several occasions when he probably should have taken me, and I’m not such a fool that I think he’s going to keep doing that indefinitely.

Nor would I want him to.  I’ve clearly stated my philosophy on this subject many times, including in my fiction; it’s mortality which gives life meaning, and I think it’s a bit rude for those whose dance is done to keep hogging the floor rather than making “room for the new dancers who are always waiting for their turn.”  And besides all of that, I’m far too independent to be able to enjoy a life of decrepitude and dependence, and far too vain to desire a life in which I’m no longer the object of desire.  The song below has always been among the larger group of my favorites, and I don’t feel any differently about it at 50 than I did at 15; when I go, I want people to still be able to honestly talk about how beautiful I was.  Shallow?  Probably.  Silly?  Maybe.  But my friends will tell you I rarely ask for anything, so I don’t think it’s greedy of me to ask that no one begrudge my wish to not have to endure years or decades of life after the things I like best about it are gone.

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We should have a national day for camp followers.  –  Brendan Trainor

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

You mean pictures don’t have magic anti-love powers?  Who could have guessed?

In [a] 1989…study, subjects were exposed to photos from Playboy and other types of erotica.  Subjects who had viewed these nude images then [supposedly] found other women—especially their wives—to be less attractive…[and] reported that they were actually less in love with their wives…This research has been heavily cited in…[pro-censorship] arguments…recent research has attempted to replicate some of the hallmark findings of some heavily-cited, influential research in psychology and the social sciences.  [Un]surprisingly…many of these…[attempts] have failed, suggesting that in many cases, the original studies were limited by statistical strategies, methodological flaws, or just over-interpretation by…researchers eager to publish sensational findings in an academic market that feeds on hype.  Balzarini, Dobson, Chin, and Campbell recently undertook research to recreate the findings from the 1989 study…over three distinct experimental tests.  In each trial, the researchers were unable to replicate the original findings…

Public Service Announcement 

Are politicians actually stupider than other people, or does it just seem that way?

A Louisiana [politician] admits that he sent a then-17-year-old boy sexually charged text messages and gave him a “graduation present” pair of racy designer underwear, but insists that he was only “playing along” with the teen and that no sexual contact took place…He maintained that many of the details revealed in a 2015 blog post by the boy about the affair were false and that he never had sexual contact with the teen beyond kissing, nor was he grooming the boy for a sexual relationship…[which even if he were is] not illegal because the age of consent…in Louisiana is 17…Yenni said…“I’m not gay”…

So all those times I kissed girls, it wasn’t sexual contact & it doesn’t mean I’m queer?  Wow, that’s kind of a shock.

Saving Them From Themselves

What could possibly go wrong?

Under-18s should be prevented by social media companies from texting sexually explicit images, the health secretary has said.  Giving evidence to the Commons health committee on suicide prevention efforts, Jeremy Hunt also called for a crackdown on cyberbullying by the technology industry via the introduction of [magical] software that can [magically] detect when it is happening…

Heroines (First Updates of the Year) sailor-moon-vs-stis

Well, if Wonder Woman can teach breast self-examination

…Sailor Moon…and her creator, Naoko Takeuchi, have teamed up with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to…raise awareness about the rise of diseases like HIV and syphilis among young Japanese women.  Condoms and fliers featuring the pretty soldier, as she is famously known…will be distributed at several venues…The ministry…reworked the…famous catchphrase – “In the name of the moon, I will punish you!” – to: “If you don’t get tested, I will punish you!”…

Hard Numbers (#321)

Sex workers in [Australia’s] Northern Territory would be significantly safer if the industry was decriminalised…as a motion called for at a Labor conference held in February…the Northern Territory would become only the second state or territory in Australia to do so, after New South Wales.  The Attorney-General and Minister for Health Natasha Fyles confirmed…the new Labor Government would revise the Prostitution Regulation Act within its first term.  However she stopped short of indicating when exactly that would happen…[one] key reason why decriminalisation is necessary is to remove the mandatory requirement on sex workers to register with police…[sex workers are thus] branded for life, and there are instances of police releasing that information to third parties…

Creating the Crisis (#322)

I think the definition of “sexual predator” used here is much too broad to be useful, but the study is still interesting:

…a…peer-reviewed paper,  “Sexual Victimization Perpetrated by Women: Federal Data Reveal Surprising Prevalence”…[was] co-authored [by Lara Stemple] with Andrew Flores and Ilan Meyer…[using] federal survey data [that] challenged conventional wisdom.  “These surveys have reached many tens of thousands of people, and each has shown internally consistent results over time,” the authors note. “We therefore believe that this article provides more definitive estimates about the prevalence of female sexual perpetration than has been provided in the literature to date…the reports…document surprisingly significant prevalence of female-perpetrated sexual victimization, mostly against men and occasionally against women.”  Those conclusions are grounded in striking numbers…

No Difference

And this is different from the US…how, exactly?

An eight-year-old Ugandan girl has been arrested on suspicion on “lesbianism”…after she was found kissing friends…[and] a neighbour [snitched on her]…Human rights organisations have called for the child’s immediate release…the country’s notoriously stringent anti-homosexuality laws…amount to life imprisonment for those found in breach…

In the US, ten-year-old girls are arrested and charged with “aggravated sexual assault” for playing doctor.  And they are consigned to the “sex offender” registry, a form of imprisonment with invisible bars, often for life.

Uncommon Sense (#435)

Essentially, a mobile tippelzone:

Michael Lodberg Olsen…[created] Sexelance, his mobile sanctuary for street sex workers…A notice inside informs prostitutes that volunteers will call the police at the first sign of violence and encourages them to make contact if they are victims of human trafficking…Soon he hopes to have a generator and a small heater…Even if the project fails, he and his partners will have learned that they need a permanent facility like the ones that have been successful in bringing Canadian prostitutes off the street in Vancouver…

All-Purpose Excuse

One of the more predictable uses of the “sex trafficking” excuse: mass censorship:

A New Mexico legislator is getting on board with an effort to force manufacturers of electronics that connect to the internet to install filtering devices that would block online “obscenity”…David Gallegos…[says] he plans to sponsor…the Human Trafficking Prevention Act, [which was written] by a [prohibitionist] group attempting to introduce identical bills in the legislatures of at least 23 other states this coming year…the proposed law labels all devices that don’t install such filters “pornographic vending machines”…The bill lists child pornography, revenge pornography and online prostitution hubs as specific types of material that must be filtered…Free speech and digital rights advocates are lambasting the proposed legislation…as [blatantly] unconstitutional …the…bill would require New Mexico to declare all pornography a “public health crisis”…Consumers…would have the authority to turn the electronic filter off and view such “obscene” material, but only after making the request in writing and proving that they are 18 or older either in person “or through means that verify” their adult age…[they] must also pay a $20 opt-out fee “to help offset the secondary harmful social effects”…

Is the group backing this idiocy so desperate and delusional that they don’t recognize its blatant unconstitutionality?  Even if this shitshow passes it will instantly be challenged by watchdog groups and struck down in federal court.  Perhaps it’s just intended as a stalking horse, so as to force civil rights groups to waste money?

Camp Followers

It’s quite nice to see my ideas quoted positively in the mainstream press:

Nov. 11 was Veterans’s day.  Nov. 10 is Marines Founding Day…Politicians make tribute speeches and lay wreaths at memorials while bands play patriotic songs.  Americans everywhere show their appreciation to our troops.  But there are those who provide aid and comfort to our troops who are never mentioned.  They are the “camp followers,” who from time immemorial have followed warriors, providing immensely important services that help heal physical and mental wounds and raising the morale of our troops so they could endure the long stretches of boredom punctuated by adrenaline-fueled violence that is the reality of warfare.  Camp follower, of course, is a euphemism for sex worker, prostitute, whore.  No one has ever erected a monument that a wreath can be laid at for these women—or men—who provide vital services to our servicemembers in uniform at home and overseas, in peace and war.  Although the camp follower is as old as warfare itself—Homer mentions their role in the Trojan War—it wasn’t until the 19th century that modern Western governments began to pay attention to them…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#601)

This is what “legalized and heavily regulated” actually looks like in practice:

The laws surrounding sex work are complicated in [Hong Kong]…where the legal system consists of a tangled yarn of a colonial British past and ever-growing influence from China.  While solicitation for “immoral” purposes in public is flatly illegal, prostitution itself…is not illegal…this means in practice that they can offer services, but only if they are alone, in their own apartments.  The strange state of affairs has led to the proliferation of what are [moronically] called “one-woman brothels”…leaving many women at the mercy of predators, [most] of them cops…Hong Kong police…[often] threaten…or entrap…sex workers instead of protecting them…While this is [just as common]…in Western countries where prostitution remains illegal and vice cops are plentiful, critics suggest it is deeply ingrained into local policing in Hong Kong…

molester-cop-marc-smith
To Molest and Rape

Once again: if you think it matters whether a cop is “on duty” or not when he commits a sex crime, you are part of the problem:

A[n Oregon] sheriff’s deputy…used a work cellphone to film a minor in a state of nudity…Marc Smith…also…touched a girl’s breast, exposed his genitals to her and filmed and photographed her [vulva]…in August and September of 2015 and 2016…while he was off-duty…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#687) 

Funny how much delusional anti-drug nonsense sounds like delusional anti-sex nonsense, isn’t it?

…WANE, the CBS affiliate in Fort Wayne, Indiana…warns that “dealers [are] using THC-laced ‘edibles’ to attract young people”…that “much of it is done online,” and that “buyers order the candies online and use them to get high discreetly”…But…presents [no] evidence of such online commerce in cannabis candies for kids.  The genesis of the story was an incident…”involving suspicious lollipops” at West Noble High School in Ligonier.  The…package…indicates they were made by…an edible manufacturer that serves patients in Michigan…[reporter Angelica] Robinson compounds the deception with some bizarre scaremongering…”Typically, edibles can contain anywhere between 70 and 100 percent of THC.  Marijuana has just 17 to 30 percent.”  These numbers are nonsensical. A lollipop that was 100 percent THC would not be a lollipop; it would be pure THC.  Even a product that was 70 percent THC would not have the taste, consistency, or appearance of a lollipop, which consists mostly of sugar…a seven-gram lollipop that was 70 percent THC would contain 4,900 milligrams…[in actuality] the label on the…package indicates that it contains…25 milligrams per lollipop…

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When the government shuts down sites like Rentboy, they’re really taking away tools for folks to be safe.  –  Becky Barryte

Dirty Amateurs

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found a recent spike in STIs such as chlamydia (up nearly 6 percent since 2014), gonorrhea (up nearly 13 percent) and syphilis (up 19 percent) among young people…between the ages of 15 and 24…A 2015 CDC study found that condom use among sexually active high schoolers dropped from 63 percent in 2003 to 57 percent in 2015.  A study that same year by Skyn condoms found that 48 percent of millennials use condoms “never” or “rarely”…

Surplus Women 

Good riddance to bad rubbish:

A man serving a life sentence for killing three prostitutes in their one-woman brothels in 2008 hanged himself in…[a Hong Kong] Prison…on Thursday morning.  Nadeem Razaq…a Hong Kong resident of Pakistani origin, was found hanging with his pullover tied to the bars of his single-person cell at about 6.44am…

“One-woman brothels” are a fiction of the lawhead mind; what they mean are “incalls”.

The Punitive Mindset dungeon-by-aaron-klug

Given the petty vindictiveness of US prison officials, I’m amazed that any of them allow this:

…Sterling…is…a maximum security prison 130 miles northeast of Denver…every afternoon, half a dozen inmates gather around a table in the common room to join forces against imaginary foes in a…game of Dungeons and Dragons…Dice…aren’t allowed…so the inmates…use a set of 20 playing cards to make “rolls”…most of the guards…tolerate the game, even looking on with bemused curiosity and asking questions…Some even go so far as to encourage it…However, over the years, there has been the occasional guard who read sinister motives into the game…Back in 2004, at Waupun [prison] in Wisconsin, inmates were banned from playing D&D, and Dungeon Master, Kevin T. Singer’s, gaming materials were confiscated, including a 96-page handwritten manuscript outlining a campaign he was developing…Singer sued the prison, claiming the seizure and ban violated his free speech and due process rights.  At the trial, Captain Bruce C. Muraski, the prison’s security supervisor and also the man responsible for the confiscation, attempted to justify the prison’s decision.  He testi[l]ied that role-playing games like D&D “promote competitive hostility, violence, and addictive escape behavior, which can compromise not only the inmate’s rehabilitation and effects of positive programming, but endanger the public and jeopardize the safety and security of the institution.”  Singer appealed the decision and six years later, it escalated to the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.  There, Singer presented testimony to show that D&D—and roleplaying games in general—were effective tools for rehabilitating inmates, yet the appeals court upheld the ban…

Legal Is as Legal Does 

Why sex workers keep telling you that legalization isn’t much better than criminalization:

…at the end of 2014 Holbeck [in Leeds] was thrust into the limelight by a trial scheme: the UK’s first “managed prostitution zone”…Elsewhere in the UK, while selling sex is legal, soliciting is not.  In the managed area, however, this law no longer applies between 7PM and 7AM.  The basic premise is that, as long as you’re over 18 – police may ask to see ID – you can work as a sex worker without fear of arrest.  On Friday the 21st of October, however, the truce appears to have broken.  Women working in the area were shocked as police and UK Border Agency (UKBA) officials poured out of vans and cars and began to round up whoever they could find.  Anyone from outside the UK…found themselves detained and questioned…six women, all from EU countries, were taken straight to Yarl’s Wood and are now waiting to be deported.  Others have been given 30 days to provide paperwork proving their legitimacy to stay in the UK…

Another Fine Mess

This one’s more of a mess than usual; though it starts with the usual “OMG whores use the internet!” it quickly devolves into nonsense about sexbots, then veers off into idiotic prohibitionist claims like “Because there’s such high demand for [commercial] sex, that is what is creating sex trafficking, because a majority of people don’t want to go into commercial sex work willingly…because there’s this gap in supply, trafficking victims are filling that gap…”  If that were true, sex workers wouldn’t be working as hard as we do to attract clients and I wouldn’t be posting fucking specials.  The truth is that it’s a rare whore who has enough clients these days, and if prohibitionists’ moronic claims about clients they attack “generating demand” were true, we’d all be a lot wealthier.

Drawing Lines (#446)

Marc Randazza explains once again why attempts to prosecute porn as prostitution are doomed to fail:

…The industry has threatened to leave California, en masse, if [the mandatory condom bill] does pass.  Those who support the measure…claim that the industry can’t leave….[because] the only states where you can shoot porn legally are California and New Hampshire…I finally got sick enough of hearing this stupid shit that I wrote a law review article on it:  This will explain to you why porn is not prostitution, and why you can shoot anywhere in America.  It also tells you a bit about the Condom Wars…Download it, read it, study it, and tell the next idiot who tells you that you can only shoot porn in CA and NH that they’re full of shit.  Or, the next time someone asks “why isn’t porn prostitution?” explain this shit to them — because I’m sick of explaining it.

Shifting the Blame (#597)

Though the article doesn’t mention it, Burke was the man who derailed the hunt for the Long Island Killer:

The once popular and swaggering chief of the Suffolk County Police Department, James Burke, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison…for a series of misdeeds that began after a duffel bag belonging to him was stolen from his [truck]…The duffel bag contained pornography and sex toys.  Its disappearance in December 2012 set Mr. Burke off on a furious effort to find the thief, teach him a lesson, recover the bag and make sure the episode stayed quiet.  It did not.  Mr. Burke’s efforts at a cover-up set in motion a scandal that reverberated through Long Island politics…

Public Service Announcement (#669)

Admit it; you knew he’d claim to be a “sex addict”:

…serial sexter Anthony Weiner has checked into a sex addiction clinic…days after [his]…texting jolted the presidential race.  Weiner has dropped out of sight after an FBI investigation into his latest sexting scandal led the feds to reopen a probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#679) 

I had a feeling he’d extend this fantasy nonsense to his Swiss endeavor as well:

A Swiss café offering robot sex services to accompany your hot drink wants to open in Geneva by the end of the year.  Owner Bradley Charvet…had originally planned to employ sex workers to entertain clients, but legal issues meant he now wanted to use high-tech robots [that do not actually exist]…[because] Geneva’s department of security and economy told Le Matin “paid-for sexual services are banned in public establishments under the law on catering and the sale of drinks.”  Charvet…[pretends] he’s in talks with a U.S. sex robot manufacturing company to buy several “lifelike robot-women” for a cost ranging between $1,800-$3,000…

talky-tinaIf you can’t quite see how absurd this all is, read the next item below.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#685) 

This is what robo-fetishist David Levy was fantasizing about when he claimed “sex robots” will be available next year:  “Fifteen grand…as of next year…will get you a talking sex doll with heated genitals….physical responses to touch, verbal capabilities allowing them to speak in sultry voices…and synthetic skin…”  IOW, a cross between an adult-sized Talky Tina and a fleshlight.  Not what I’d consider competition.

The Course of a Disease (#686)

A very interesting development in Ireland:

Sex workers have called for a new law making it illegal to pay for sex to be reconsidered after several TDs raised concerns about its impact on vulnerable women.  The Sexual Offences Bill includes an amendment criminalising the purchase of sex…[which] would make sex workers’ lives more dangerous by driving the trade underground.  The legislation was criticised by Amnesty International, the World Health Organisation, HIV Ireland, the Sex Workers Alliance Ireland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland…

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Political opponents of [Backpage] like to imagine that without it, sex trafficking and the sexual exploitation of minors would simply cease.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Do As I Say, Not As I Do freddie-lorick

Of course they didn’t accuse him of faking:

Ten men, including a South Carolina police chief, have been arrested in an undercover prostitution sting…Chief Freddie Lorick Sr…told officers he needed medical treatment and was taken to a local hospital. It’s unclear whether he has been released…

An Ounce of Prevention

There have been a few close approaches, but this could be the most promising yet:

British man could become the first person in the world to be cured of HIV using a new therapy designed by a team of scientists from five UK universities…presently the virus is completely undetectable in the man’s blood, although that could be a result of regular drugs.  However if the dormant cells are also cleared out it could represent the first complete cure…

Girls, Girls, Girls!

While the feds actively persecute some sex workers

The federal government is again suing a Mississippi strip club, saying its owner still discriminates against black strippers…Danny’s Downtown Cabaret…managers require African-American strippers to work exclusively at the neighboring Black Diamonds club or pay extra to work at Danny’s.  The suit alleges patrons at Black Diamonds were allowed to grope strippers in a building where air conditioning sometimes didn’t work…

The Pygmalion Fallacy 

This double dose of stupid reminds me of those old Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials: “Hey! You got your robot whore fantasy in my blow job cafe fantasy!” “No, you got your blow job cafe fantasy in my robot whore fantasy!

An entrepreneur who hopes to open London’s first “fellatio cafe” has revealed his staff will be made up entirely of sex robots…Bradley Charvet…claims the sex-bots will be programmable to a person’s needs and will soon be seen as “totally normal”…

Shift in the Wind (#131)

An interesting article on getting funding for sex worker rights projects:

As human rights and social justice funders, we try to reach those people who are most marginalized and excluded from services and protection.  Those who are least empowered, least resilient, and hardest hit by inequality.  But one group that ticks all those boxes is systematically excluded from funding opportunities:  sex workers.  Why are not more funders stepping into this gap?  What makes even human rights funders so hesitant to take on the human rights of sex workers?…

Lack of Evidence (Extra Edition)

Future generations will marvel at their ancestors’ deeply weird obsession with female virginity:

An Egyptian MP has called for women to be forced to undergo virginity tests before being admitted to university…Elhamy Agina called on the Minister of Higher Education to issue a mandate requiring him or his officials to enforce the virginity tests…Agina reportedly [said]:  “No one should be upset by this decision.  If you’re upset then that means you’re scared that your daughter is in an ‘urfi’ marriage behind your back.”  Urfi marriages can be entered into without the approval of a bride’s guardian and can only require two witnesses, resulting in a cultural perception among some segments of Egyptian society that they are covert or secret marriages…

Fever Dream

We’re not hearing quite as much of this “highway” bullshit as we used to:

…Chattanooga and Tennessee have become a focal point [sic] in the war against sex trafficking.  The effort has involved not only agencies such as the TBI and local law enforcement, it also has…made its way to Congress with the End Modern Slavery Initiative from Bob Corker, the…U.S. senator from Tennessee and former Chattanooga mayor.  As the geographic intersection of Interstates 75, 24 and 59, Chattanooga provides an easy path for pimps to transport their victims around the Southeast…That’s especially true for traffickers from Atlanta which, in 2014, was ranked as the No. 1 city in the country for sex trafficking…

Seizing Power (#593)

A win for Backpage on one front:

The Supreme Court announced…it has declined to hear an appeal from…Chicago…sheriff [Tom Dart] who was ordered to cease threatening credit card companies about doing business with…Backpage.com.  The justices let stand a lower court order that forbids…Dart from contacting Visa and MasterCard in his effort to [censor] sex [workers’ ability to advertise online]…

However, see “Crying For Nanny” below.

Challenge (#628)

ESPLERP vs. Gascon reaches a court which could potentially do something:

…ESPLERP…filed a brief in the United States Federal Ninth Circuit appealing against the Northern California District Court’s judgement dismissing ESPLERP v Gascon…Maxine Doogan [said]…“[The judge] acknowledged that Lawrence v Texas defined a constitutional right to privacy in individuals’ sexual conduct, and also acknowledged that morality was not a basis to deny that right, but then found flimsy legal arguments to deny that right…“Lawrence v Texas made it clear that governments may not intrude into the private lives of consenting adults by criminalizing their sexual behavior” said Mike Chase, longtime human rights activist…Contributions to support the court case can be submitted through…www.litigatetoemancipate.com

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-christopher-odom

A Spring Hill [Tennessee cop] has been charged with rape and sexual battery…Christopher Odom…pulled two women over for traffic stops on two separate occasions, once in June and again in July, [raping] both adult women…

Crying for Nanny (#659)

It’s difficult to overstate what a huge development this is; the allegations constitute a direct attempt to destroy Section 230 and therefore the entire internet, all so a few megalomaniacal politicians can score a few political points:

State agents raided the Dallas headquarters of…Backpage and arrested Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer on Thursday following allegations that adult and child sex-trafficking victims had been forced into prostitution through escort ads posted on the site.  Ferrer…was arrested on a California warrant…[issued by] California Attorney General Kamala Harris…on felony charges of pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping….Harris…is running for the U.S. Senate in next month’s election…

Here’s more from super ally Liz Brown.

Dutch Threat (#678) 

Felicia Anna on the “My Red Light” scam:

…I’ve already talked about this project before…the mayor…proposed…that this brothel would be the first brothel without pimps.  A complete bullshit story, since first of all there are very few girls that actually have a pimp…and since this brothel has just as much chance of renting their windows to a girl with a pimp as any other brothel…there are hardly any abuses to begin with, as the numbers from the city of Amsterdam themselves prove…unlike how people (like the mayor for example) often claim…the mayor [is] trying to frame the current brothel owners as the bad guys…so he can have an excuse to close down the other brothels…only 6 sexworkers showed an interest in working in this brothel at all…

Send In the Clowns

As I expected when I wrote yesterday’s column, the clown panic continues to spin out of control:

A Livonia [New York] man was charged with falsely reporting an incident after he allegedly edited a clown image into a photo of [a local] Park…posted it on his Facebook page and then warned people to keep their children out of the park…Hooper…told his Facebook followers “the clown had then run away when he snapped the picture”…Hooper was charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident…the charge is a misdemeanor…

In New York, making up idiotic stories to frighten the stupid is only a misdemeanor, but in Texas it’s a matter of national security:

..a 14-year-old [Houston] student has been charged…[with] making a terroristic threat.  The student is accused of threatening “to shoot up an HISD school with his clown friends” on social media…”We can’t ignore it,” said HISD Spokesman Jason Spencer. “We [completely lack the adult capacity to control our own actions or use any discretion whatsover]…

Just in case you think my editorialization there is a bit extreme:

…”This clown crap is really getting on my nerves,” [suburban Dallas cop] Latrice Pettaway wrote on Facebook Monday night…”Pop a cap in the first clown you see.  Someone needs to just hit one and the rest of these fools will learn”…police spokesman Shane Kizer said….said shooting people dressed like clowns is “absolutely not” how the department wants the public to respond to viral reports of clowns…

And Utah cops agree with Kizer:  “Police in Orem, Utah would like to make it clear that neither they, nor you, can legally shoot random clowns…

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