Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘fascism’

As I’ve written before many times, nations and empires are as mortal as the humans who build them, if somewhat longer-lived; and despite the childish beliefs of many Americans, the US is not an exception.  It will die as all political entities must, and it has already passed the point at which future historians will draw an imaginary line dividing the “classical” US from the imperialistic police state which succeeded it.  Over the past few years, we’ve seen a succession of events which has dramatically undermined whatever prestige the US enjoyed:  the ascension of a mad emperor who has made himself an international laughingstock, burned nearly every bridge, and weakened the economy with a ridiculous trade war; the exposure before the eyes of the world of the violent, racist, authoritarian rot that permeates the entire fascist sytem; the childish bickering and deranged tyrannies of nearly every member of the US political class, trying to one-up each other instead of fulfilling one of the few legitimate functions of government, disaster management; and said government’s shameless funneling of money into the hands of the well-connected on a scale unseen since the collapse of the Ancien Régime.  But these were just the visible ulcerations of a cancer which existed for decades before (itself developing from the nation’s ugly birth defect, the morally repulsive notion that people do not own themselves, but can be owned by other people, groups or rulers).  As I wrote in 2013,

…the rulers, rather than admitting the systemic problems, prefer to treat government as a colossal game of hot potato, eternally passing the ball forward in the hopes that it will be in someone else’s hands when the music at last stops as it inevitably must.  But as the events of the last few years have amply demonstrated, the piper is growing steadily more exhausted, and will soon demand his due.  Soon we will be forced to change the way we’ve done things for the past century, whether we like it or not, and the actions of the ruling class (especially that of the US and UK) over the past few decades bode ill for that change being a peaceful one.  I think it’s safe to predict that there will be fireworks, and not of the pleasant kind…

The era of US hegemony is over; it looks, may the gods help us, as though the dominant world political power of the twenties is going to be an empire even more outrageously evil and single-mindedly authoritarian than the US ever was.  I suspect it won’t be long before the process of Balkanization which is already underway becomes obvious even to those who are deeply invested in ignoring it, and Washington joins Rome as a relic of crumbling monuments which was once the most powerful city on Earth.

Read Full Post »

Men…want sex. And I want their money.  –  Maggie, a sugar baby

Whimsical Notions

It’s difficult to tease out what actually happened in this incident due to all the dysphemisms, racism, agency denial, “American exceptionalism” propaganda, and pretenses that healthy young men can be ordered to be asexual:  “While the [NCIS] investigated numerous sailors for crimes involving sex trafficking and prostitutes in Bahrain in recent years, Navy prosecutors have struggled at times to win criminal convictions…due to a recurring problem:  the [refusal of] the Thai prostitutes at the center of the cases…[to pretend to be] victimized women…

Drawing Lines

Amateurs’ attempts to draw lines between different “types” of pragmatic sexual behavior are even more absurd when the amateur in question has a PhD:

Although sex is indeed common in sugaring, not all sugar daddies seek such intimate relations.  Similarly, although most sugar babies engage in sugaring in order to meet their expenses, some are hoping for a serious relationship…Self-esteem can be a tricky issue for both sugar babies and daddies.  A sugar daddy does not want to feel like he is a john and a sugar baby does not want to feel like she is a prostitute.  Accordingly, sugaring aims for mutual respect between the partners.  This is reflected in the sugaring terminology of “partner” rather than “worker” and “client”…while people speak about “ordering,” or “going to,” a prostitute, they speak about “meeting” or “dating” a sugar baby.  Maren Scull (2020) has identified a range of sugaring types: at one end of the continuum there is sugar prostitution, and at the other end there is sugar friendship and sugar love.  Scull further claims that 40% of women who have sugared do not have sex with their benefactors—and that those who do often have genuine connections with the men…

“Ordering”.  Like a pizza, presumably.  The later parts of the article reveal that this dude seems to have derived most of his “information” about sex work from prohibitionist talking points rather than by consulting sex workers.

Bread and Circuses

The owner of CityGuide was a fool for not moving both his websites’ and his own domiciles to somewhere outside of the violently-prohibitionist US:

A Bay Area man is…awaiting extradition to Texas, where he is set to face federal charges that [describe ordinary escort advertising sites as “]sex trafficking websites on an international scale[” and include federal prosutors’ disgusting wanking fantasies about…“numerous child trafficking victims”…[Wilhan] Martono first purchased a CityXGuide domain in 2004, but in 2018…he…purchased a domain called “New Backpage”…The websites were set up with physical addresses listed in a Hong Kong apartment, and phone numbers that went back to a property management company there…[but the dumbass sent] wire transfers [back to the US, so]…the U.S. Department of Justice is moving to [steal] the contents of 12 bank accounts…[and] an undisclosed amount of silver bullion…

Business As Usual

All sex workers victimized by cops should sue if at all possible, especially now:

SWOP Behind Bars…caught up with Donah Sandford regarding her federal case against Missouri law enforcement, where [rapist cop] Leon Pullen eventually pleaded guilty to robbing and sexually assaulting escorts…Previously interviewed by FOX Files investigator Chris Hayes, Donah…shares the full story…of her 2009 experience with…law enforcement in St. Louis…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915) 

The word for authoritarian corporate/government “partnerships” is “fascism”:

…all-expenses paid [junkets] for [boss pigs and bureaucrats] is one of the ways Nextdoor has been looking to promote its network of online communities to government agencies.  It reflects a trend that’s worrying to civil rights and government accountability experts:  that local [cop shops] and other types of government officials are closely collaborating with private companies whose interests don’t…align with the public’s…Nextdoor and the [pigs, bureaucrats and politicians] it [colludes] with say that close ties between the social media platform and the government can help them [build a more pervasive surveillance system]…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#943)

It’s good to see a lockdown house getting some well-deserved pushback:

…a…lawsuit claims that Sheri’s Ranch misclassified its [legal prostitutes] as independent contractors, and should have instead classified them as employees and paid them in accordance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  The [petitioners] claim that Sheri’s Ranch owes unpaid minimum wages and overtime compensation to them and…other[s] who join[ed] the case, as well as portions of their tips they were required to give to the Ranch.  Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Sheri’s Ranch filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that its business is not covered by the FLSA because it does not operate in interstate commerce.  The Court rejected this argument, finding the allegations in the complaint that Sheri’s Ranch’s annual sales exceed $500,000, and that its sports bar sells food and beverage products produced outside of Nevada, sufficient to bring the Ranch within the coverage of the FLSA…

Lack of Evidence (#991)

Where “rescued” means “arrested” and “safety shelter” means “deportation prison”.  How stupid do these pigs think we are?

Three addresses in Luton suspected of housing brothels…were [raided] by police…All of the women, who were from Romania, have been [infantilized] as victims of modern slavery and taken to a safety shelter…[pig] Jim Goldsmith, who led the [raid, admitted]: “It can take up to 10 e[pisodes of harassment by] the police…before [women break down and accept the label of] victim…[to make the persecution stop.  Cops] lie to, bully and exploit…sex [workers to destroy their livelihoods], all in the name of [“rescue”]…

You’d be traumatized too, if a gang of rapist thugs invaded your place of business, stole your money, and abducted you.

Read Full Post »

American policing is a thick blue tumor strangling the life from our communities.  –  A  Cab

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a man painting his house”?

A San Francisco woman who questioned a man writing “Black Lives Matter” on his own home has apologised for…[trying to get him beaten, abducted or murdered by] calling the police on him…In the video, shot by James Juanillo on his phone, [Lisa] Alexander is seen asking Mr Juanillo, who is Filipino, whether he lives in the house, saying that he is defacing private property as he uses chalk to write words on his wall…[luckily for] Juanillo…the [cop who came]…recogni[zed him and declined to brutalize him]…

Monsters (#949)

In which yelling “stop faking!” is described as “trying to wake her”:

New footage outside the Rikers Island [solitary confinement] cell…where transgender woman Layleen…Polanco died last June reveals that guards tried to wake her for approximately an hour and a half before calling for…medical care that could have saved her life…after an epileptic seizure…

Fallen Idol (#976)

I suspect this isn’t going to end well:

Ginger Banks…who co-starred in the 2018 Evil Angel documentary-style feature Cam Girls, has filed a police report for “sexual battery” with the West Hollywood Police Department against company owner and director John Stagliano for an incident while they were shooting a scene for that project in February 2018…Banks [also] posted a series of videos on social media describing her frustration with “the lack of accountability” she felt the adult industry dispensed to powerful stakeholders like Stagliano…Banks [said] that the recent decision to file charges now stems from a realization that what had happened to her and her co-star, cam model Jenny Blighe, was indeed a reportable offense under California law…

Choke Point (#1013) 

More fascism in action; don’t say sex workers didn’t warn you:

Covid Bail Out NYC, a group raising funds to get people out of jails during the…pandemic, has a list of hundreds of people waiting to be bailed out.  But because of constant security freezes and transfer limits imposed by PayPal and its mobile payment service Venmo, the group is only able to bail out around five people— $20,000 worth of cash bail—per week…In response to the pandemic, several grassroots bail out organizations popped up, using community outreach, social media, and payment processing platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App to raise funds quickly.  The crisis became even more urgent during the Black Lives Matter protests, as police a[bduc]ted and [cag]ed thousands of [citizens exercising their First Amendment rights] across the U.S…the…process starts to break down because of payment platform’s transfer limits…PayPal…users can transfer up to $60,000 a week, but may be limited to $10,000 in a single transaction …But unusual activity—like a mutual aid fund going viral on Twitter and having its account flooded with donations, for example—could trip PayPal’s fraud monitoring service.  Those holds can stay…for weeks…[while] PayPal [continues to collect interest on the balance]…

Social Distancing (#1042)

At their core, the Netherlands are still prohibitionist:

…Like other freelancers [Jeanet] applied for emergency government funding but…has not…received a penny,  [so she] works illegally as an escort…from home, usually with clients she has known for a long time. “I do not take too many customers, for safety reasons,” she says. But, even with the infectious disease spreading, there are still plenty of customers who are willing to pay for her services…Sex workers in the Netherlands have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic…[because] the government has [declared them “nonessential“, so many must]…work…illegally…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1048)

Oh look, Microsoft also wants to have its cake and eat it too:

Microsoft CEO Brad Smith declared during an online Washington Post event…that his company “will not sell facial-recognition technology to police departments in the United States until we have a national law in place…that will [allow us to pretend we aren’t evil for developing] this technology.”  This follows Amazon’s announcement…that it is implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of the company’s …facial recognition platform…These moves follow IBM CEO Arvind Krishna’s letter to Congress announcing that his company is getting out the facial recognition business…The digital rights group Fight for the Future has issued a statement calling Amazon and Microsoft’s moves “essentially a public relations stunt.”  The companies’ researchers will “spend the next year ‘improving’ the accuracy of their facial recognition algorithms, making it even more effective as an Orwellian surveillance tool…The reality is that facial recognition technology is too dangerous to be used at all…Congress should act immediately to ban facial recognition for all surveillance purposes”…

The Cop Myth (#1048)

Will you believe that there’s no such thing as a good cop if a cop tells you so?

I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard.  We all were…It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of.  It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt…Under the guise of public safety, I personally ruined people’s lives but in so doing, made the public no safer…so did the family members and close friends of mine who also bore the badge alongside me.  But enough is enough.  The reforms aren’t working. Incrementalism isn’t happening.  Unarmed Black, indigenous, and people of color are being killed by cops in the streets and the police are savagely attacking the people protesting these murders…

Read Full Post »

Fundamental[ly]…policing [is]…a state institution that’s predicated on the use of violence to fix problems.  –  Alex Vitale

What Were You All Waiting For? 

Is the ACLU finally beginning to do the right thing, at long last?

Sex workers aren’t always a part of [amateurs’] conversation about police brutality, but they should be.  Police regularly target, harass, and assault sex workers or people they think are sex workers…[and] usually get away with the abuse because sex workers fear being arrested if they report. If we lived in a world that didn’t criminalize sex work, sex workers could better protect themselves and seek justice when they are harmed.  Protecting sex workers from police violence is just one of the reasons we need to decriminalize sex work…

To Molest and Rape

A murderer is also a rapist.  Gee, what a surprise:

…one of three white officers accused in the death of Breonna Taylor…[also molested at least] two women [in the past.  Brett Hankinson]…is…a dirty cop [who has also carried out] vendetta[s by] arrest[ing people he dislikes on trumped-up charges]…the more recent sexual assault…[was] against…a woman [named]…Margo Borders w[ho reported that Hankinson]…”drove me home [from a bar] in uniform, in his marked car, invited himself into my apartment and sexually assaulted me while I was unconscious”…In the second instance…Emily Terry…”began walking home from a bar intoxicated.  A [cop] pulled up next to me and offered me a ride home…He began making sexual advances towards me…As soon as he pulled up to my apartment building, I got out of the car and ran to the back”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#903) 

Amazon wants to have its cake and eat it too:

We’re implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of Amazon’s facial recognition technology.  We will continue to allow organizations like Thorn, the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Marinus Analytics to use Amazon Rekognition to [persecute sex workers] and [pass the information on to the cops]…

In other words, Amazon is adopting a cosmetic ban in order to take advantage of the anti-cop zeitgeist while simultaneously profiting from helping notorious fascist anti-sex organizations to persecute sex workers and pass the information along to their pig buddies.

Silver Lining

Another sign that the moral panic may be dying:

For the second year in a row, the number of federal human trafficking cases…has dropped after almost two decades of increases…Overall, federal p[er]secutions of [people using the excuse of] human traffick[ing] have dropped by about a third since 2017…The decrease came entirely from a drop in prosecutions of sex trafficking…which has consistently made up the majority of federal human trafficking prosecutions since the TVPA was enacted.  The number of labor trafficking cases has remained roughly the same, [because unike “sex trafficking” they are based in reality]…The number of new sex trafficking cases, meanwhile, dropped from 207 in 2017 to just 136 filed in 2019…

Working From Home (#1045)

Moloch (#1047) 

Contrast with Oregon and other states which are finally moving to protect students from police violence:

…thousands of small children who are led out of schools in handcuffs every year around the country.  Juvenile arrests in Florida have been steadily declining over the last decade, as they have been more generally across the U.S., but…the state embarked on an aggressive plan to “harden” its…[treatment of students], including putting at least one [armed, dangerous thug] in every K-12 school in the state…[the result is that] students, especially minorities and those with disabilities, are now bearing the brunt of new zero tolerance policies and heavy-handed discipline…In Minneapolis…the school board recently voted in favor of…ending a $1 million [cash cow for]…city police.  Mayor Ted Wheeler of Portland, Oregon, announced…that he would disband the city’s school [pig herd]…Other states and cities appear to be considering similar measures.  [But] in Florida [police violence against students] increased…20%…[and] there’s been a spike in the use of involuntary psychiatric commitments against kids…thanks to an existing Florida…that gives police authority to temporarily lock up both children and adults against their will…

The Cop Myth (#1047)

Alex Vitale on what abolishing police would actually look like:

Five years ago, in the wake of the murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, we were told, “Don’t worry, we’re going to fix it. We’re going to give the police implicit bias training.  We’re going to hold some community police encounter sessions.  We’re gonna buy some body cameras”…what we often refer to as “procedural reforms”…[were] going to magically fix the problem.  But…the problem of overpolicing remains…Procedural justice folks…want to restore the public’s trust in the police…But this ignores the question of what they are policing, and whether they should be policing it.  We have [millions of] low-level arrests in the United States every year and most of them are completely pointless.  It is just a huge level of harassment meted out almost exclusively on the poorest and most marginal communities in our society…[true police reform must] go…hand in hand with decriminalizing sex work, drugs, homelessness, mental illness.  We don’t really need a vice unit, we need a system of legalized sex work that’s regulated just like any other business.  We don’t need school police, we need counselors and restorative justice programs.  We don’t need police homeless outreach units, we need supportive housing, community based drop-in centers, social workers…

Read Full Post »

If lockdowns worked as advertised, we would not see such enormous variability in the death rates.  –  William Briggs

Blasphemy

As I’ve said for decades, so-called “radical” feminism is a cult:

…Looking back on her time in the “gender critical” feminist movement, [Amy Dyess] is unequivocal: it’s a cult…that groomed her when she was vulnerable and sleeping in her car; a cult that sought to control her, keeping tabs on her movements and dictating what she could and couldn’t say; a cult that was emotionally and sexually abusive towards her.  As Amy began to notice more and more red flags about the GC movement – like how it defended abusive women, how it wouldn’t let lesbians speak out about sexual assault perpetrated by women, and how it was forming alliances with homophobic groups – she started asking questions.  Last year, she began speaking out against what she saw as increasingly blatant homophobia in the gender-critical movement.  The cult tightened its grip.  Lesbian journalists who are household names “lovebombed” her, she says, trying to keep her in the movement…

Surplus Women

More blood on prohibitionists’ hands:

Lawrence Paul Mills III…targeted…sex workers on the southside of Detroit…he would [hire] his victims…and [transact their business] in…his [car].  When the victim left the vehicle, he would [intentionally run them down]…and then [steal back] his payment…Mills was arraigned…in connection to a Dec. 22, 2017, incident in which he…[ran over] a then-pregnant woman…several times before driving away…The woman and her unborn child survived…

The Swedish Pimpocracy (#719) 

The key to understanding Swedish law: the government thinks it owns the citizens:

As infections continue to grow in Sweden, several parents and teachers in the country have raised concerns over the risk their children (and everyone the kids come into contact with) face due to the mandatory school attendance required among those aged from six to 15 amid the ongoing pandemic…parents (some of whom have serious health conditions) have reported being threatened with fines, being reported to social services and other repercussions for choosing to keep their children at home to minimize the risk to their own lives…

Safe Position (#947)

This is the woman who beat the pro-decrim candidate Tiffany Caban:

District Attorney Melinda Katz…announced the creation of a [so-called] Human Trafficking Bureau that is exclusively dedicated to [persecuuting sex workers]…in Queens County. This newly formed Bureau will…aggressively prosecut[e sex workers’ clients, friends, family members and associates]…and will also [infantilize and criminalize sex workers]…

I Spy (#1035)

It boggles the mind that anyone could be gullible enough to install this:

The Care19 app, developed for the North Dakota Department of Health by developer ProudCrowd, [claimed it would] assist health officials in their battle against coronavirus by logging users’ location data…[which] it also sent…to Foursquare…this is especially concerning, as the app’s [supposed] privacy policy [claims] to explicitly prohibit [exactly] what [the app does]…”This location data…is stored securely on ProudCrowd, LLC servers,..It will not be shared with anyone including government entities or third parties, unless you consent or ProudCrowd is compelled under federal regulations”…

Reawakening

In case you missed this:

…quarantining an entire population is not some set-in-stone technique that has been used for decades to stem the spread of a virus.  It was first proposed in 2006 by two [medical bureaucrats]…neither of them infectious disease specialists —  after President George W. Bush asked for a plan to combat pandemics…But four scientists who were infectious disease specialists…wrote…a devastating critique.  There was no science to support the notion that a national quarantine would halt the spread of infection, they wrote.  It could increase the risk of infection for people living in close quarters.  Closing theaters, malls, restaurants, stores and bars…would have “serious disruptive consequences.”  Closing schools was not only impractical “but carries the possibility of a seriously adverse outcome”…there is surprisingly little evidence that lockdowns work…a statistician named William M. Briggs…compar[ed] countries that locked down with countries that didn’t.  As of May 12, the U.S. had 237 deaths per million people.  Taiwan, a no-lockdown country, had 0.3 deaths per million…No-lockdown Sweden has had 347 deaths per million; lockdown Belgium, with a similar population, has had 763 deaths per million.  Ethiopia…had no lockdown — and a death rate of 0.04 per million…

Social Distancing (#1037)

India refuses to give sex workers stipends to survive on, so I’m sure these pompous blowhards’ scheme will work:

India can add 17 days of additional delay to reaching the peak of novel coronavirus cases, and prevent 72 per cent of projected new cases by closing down its red light areas till a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, [prohibitionists fantasize]. Based on [authoritarian nonsense that imagines people can survive indefinitely with no income if the government demands they do], the [prohibitionists claim]…closing down these places of sex work may reduce projected COVID-19 death toll increase in India by 63 per cent [and besides, whores are expendable]…

Working From Home (#1038)

Internet companies use sex workers to build themselves, then screw us over:

…In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, [OnlyFans] has exploded in popularity, seeing a 75 percent increase in sign-ups in recent weeks and garnering 170,000 new users per day…[so-called “]influencers[“] like Caroline Calloway have flocked to the platform as a way to monetize their content by selling directly to their fan base.  The influx of…civilians…has prompted concern among many sex workers, who’ve long relied on the platform as a source of income and are worried about oversaturation of the market…To make matters worse, some…[are] being pushed out of the platform, reporting that their accounts have been deleted [and their funds stolen by the platform] even when they have not violated OnlyFans’ terms of service…Emails shared with Rolling Stone show the boilerplate language OnlyFans has sent to such creators, saying accounts are “typically being deleted due to suspicious/fraudulent activity”…

This is, of course, exactly what Paypal did, down to stealing sex workers’ money and claiming it was about “fraud”.

Social Distancing (#1041)

At their core, the Netherlands are still prohibitionist:

The red-light district is one of the main tourist attractions in Amsterdam.  While coronavirus…restrictions are starting to ease, sex work is not allowed to resume until September…the lack of support for sex workers has exposed how vulnerable they are under Dutch law.  Hella Dee…started a fundraising campaign when she realized how many of her colleagues were in financial distress…The campaign collected over $20,000 that was distributed to over 400 sex workers.  Masten Stavast, who rents out 31 windows…is compiling a protocol with sex workers, club owners and other people from the red-light district to lobby policymakers on how sex work can safely resume before September…”If everything goes all right on July 1, there can be 100 people together, why not one to one then with all the protection that everybody has?”  M[ost] sex workers are [also intentionally] excluded from the billions of dollars of government support offered to overcome economic hardship…

Read Full Post »

Government needs to back off…[Christian] moral…judgments…when it comes to women’s work.  –  Leah LaGrone

Where Are the Victims?

Does this fit your idea of what “sex trafficking” is?

The owner of The Salt City Inn…Rezvan “Ray” Saisani, and the inn’s manager…Sameer Syed, are both facing numerous felony charges related to using the motel to run [what pigs and prosecutors fantasize was] a sex trafficking operation…Saisani and Syed would…charg[e clients a] $10 [incall fee]…[and] rent…rooms to…sex workers in exchange for sexual favors…Saisani and Syed would not charge them upfront for the room, knowing they would make money by using the room for sex work and would be able to pay later…

Bait and Switch

When cops call other people “predators”, refer to the original of this title:

[Virginia cops fantasy role-played as women interested in ageplay in order to entrap]…30 men…during [a cop fantasy-fest absurdly labeled] Operation COVID Crackdown[predictably, most of] the men [targeted for this “operation” were racial minorities, as is typical in cop “stings”]…

All-Purpose Excuse

With their anti-whore schtick failing, the rescue industry is desperate to find new things they can call “human trafficking”:

Buyers of [wooden] products…may unknowingly be financing organized crime gangs, human trafficking and deforestation in an industry tainted by illegal logging, [profiteers claim]…Criminal groups are increasingly involved in the illegal timber trade in the [Mexican] state of Chihuahua which borders the United States, according to [claims] by [a group alling itself] the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime…Diana Siller, director of the…profit[eer] group Jade [shouted]…”The…children[!]”…

Social Distancing

Cassandra wishes to share this with you:

…Americans are now desperate for sensible policymakers who have the courage to ignore the panic and rely on facts…Five key facts are being ignored by those calling for continuing the near-total lockdown.  Fact 1: The overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19.  The recent Stanford University antibody study now estimates that the fatality rate if infected is likely 0.1 to 0.2 percent…Fact 2: Protecting older, at-risk people eliminates hospital overcrowding…Fact 3: Vital population immunity is prevented by total isolation policies, prolonging the problem…Fact 4: People are dying because other medical care is not getting done due to hypothetical projections…Fact 5: We have a clearly defined population at risk who can be protected with targeted measures.  The overwhelming evidence…consistently shows that a clearly defined group — older people and others with underlying conditions — is more likely to have a serious illness requiring hospitalization and more likely to die from COVID-19…it is a commonsense, achievable goal to target isolation policy to that group, including strictly monitoring those who interact with them…

I Spy (#1029)

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

…public health [commissars] desperately want the ability to track people’s movements to [see if the proles are obeying] social-distancing [diktats] and also to trace contacts between people who carry the disease and [non-consenting] members of the public they [contact]…cellphone tracking…promises to fulfill every Big Brother-ish fear privacy advocates have ever raised.  “When California officials…tapped…Facebook [to] provide…location coordinates of tens of millions of smartphones [without their owners’ knowledge or permission]…show[ing]…that large numbers of people were still [visit]ing…beaches and in public parks.  So…Gov. Gavin Newsom…ordered them closed to vehicles, sharply restricting…people’s…ability to escape to the healthy outdoors

Social Distancing (#1032)

Op-eds like this have become very common since FOSTA:

…businesses that provide “live or recorded performances” or “receive more than 5 percent of [their] gross revenue” from the sale of products with any depictions of a “prurient nature” are ineligible for [pandemic loans].  Owners of clubs and other small businesses may file lawsuits over their exclusion, but it is the women carrying the industry who will suffer.  Though…sex [workers]…can still file for aid through unemployment and possibly receive the $1,200 stimulus checks given to millions of Americans, they are ineligible for the…far larger [SBA] loans…When the government excludes the sex industry from economic help, it is because it considers this work immoral, a judgment that devalues women’s labor and sex work more broadly.  Treating the sex industry as illicit reinforces flawed moral judgments and makes workers in this industry, especially women, particularly vulnerable…

Like Houses (#1034)

If you didn’t expect the pandemic to be used as an excuse for censorship, you are hopelessly naive:

It has been six weeks since…[cops murdered] 21-year-old Duncan Lemp in a 4:30 a.m. raid at his family’s home in Potomac, Maryland, an affluent and sedate suburb of Washington, D.C.  Montgomery County Police have thus far refused to provide any e[xcuse for murdering] Lemp.  But a county prosecutor leaped to action…[by] threatening any Lemp family members who attend a protest over his killing with a $5000 fine and a year in jail…[using the excuse of]…Maryland’s strict stay-at-home [diktat]…

Read Full Post »

You would think that an organization…that spent weeks…agonizing over a decision to block literal Nazis from its platform…would be more considerate when getting into the censorship game.  –  Sarah Jamie Lewis

A Moral Cancer (#404)

Pat Robertson is back to bat-shit crazy again:

Many Evangelical preachers have been looking for a scapegoat for COVID-19.  They’ve already blamed it on gays and claimed it was a sign of the end of the world.  Some Evangelicals don’t even believe the disease is real…But now fundie fossil Pat Robertson has weighed in with an even more ridiculous theory….“Some of these young uns are doing all kinds of unnatural things with their sex organs…When people do that, they transfer all kinds of chemicals from ladies’ private parts and that’s where I think the virus came from.  We never had this kind of thing when I was coming up.  But no one was committing oral sex back then”…preacher Rick Wiles…recently…claimed…that COVID-19 was punishment from God

Opting Out (#815)

“Filtered” is a euphemism for “censored”, and this will continue until the media acknowledge that:

Cloudflare, known for free speech advocacy, rolled out a self-styled family-friendly variation of its DNS service to [censor] adult content – and ended up [censring] LGBTQ websites and sex education resources [as is typical for such automated censorship software]…the service is called 1.1.1.1 for Families…

Panopticon (#980)

Nothing to see here; just US cops using spy devices designed and built by a totalitarian state:

Police in Chula Vista, Calif. plan to use Chinese-made aerial drones to surveil [their subjects in order to] enforce the [police] state’s…“stay at home” [diktats]…the…drones…[will] be outfitted with night-vision and loudspeakers…Chula Vista [pigs] may also use…drones to [harass]…the city’s homeless…the coronavirus outbreak has rapidly [given]…Chula Vista…[“authorities” the excuse to do something they’ve been wanting to do for years]…Chinese-manufactured drones pose a risk of opening the U.S. up to Chinese spying efforts.  In 2017, the U.S. Army ordered its soldiers to stop using DJI drones [for that reason, and] the U.S. Department of the Interior also decided in October to ground its entire drone fleet

The End of the Beginning (#1015) 

While most Americans are losing civil liberties, one oppressed group is finally regaining a few:

[The] federal judge [who found Michigan’s overbroad and draconian “sex offender” law unconstitutional] is commanding state authorities to stop enforcing [it]…during the coronavirus pandemic…Judge Robert Cleland…[wrote that] officials are “preliminarily enjoined from enforcing registration, verification, school zone, and fee violations of (the act) that occurred or may occur from February 14, 2020, until the current crisis has ended, and thereafter until registrants are notified of what duties they have…going forward”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1020)

Because obviously this would’ve been OK if it had been invented by a “far left” extremist:

Clearview AI…is the most powerful form of facial recognition technology ever created…with more than 3 billion photos scraped surreptitiously from social media profiles and websites…Its mobile app can match names to faces with a tap of a touchscreen.  The technology is already being integrated into augmented reality glasses so [cops] can identify almost anyone they look at…Clearview’s CEO and co-founder, Cam-Hoan Ton-That, and his associates chose to [emulate government actors by] mass-violat[ing] social media policies against scraping accounts…Ton-That, as well as several people who have done work for the company, have deep, longstanding ties to far-right extremists…includ[ing]…Andrew “weev” Auernheimer…webmaster for The Daily Stormer; and…Peter Thiel, a Facebook board member…Trump adviser…and [owner of]…Palantir, his [the fascist surveillance] behemoth [that started as a tool in the War on Whores]…Every time p[igs root into people’s business] us[ing] Clearview, they upload images of people they’re trying to identify…to Ton-That’s unregulated and ever-expanding database, where they are stored indefinitely [for other pigs, spooks and bureaucrats to root in without any kind of supervision]…

Working From Home

I’ve never used this site because they discriminate against escorts:

…The Stokely family had already been sort of financially struggling…long before Onlyfans…Users often are struggling to get paid; some [sic] shortchanged all together [sic]…the Stokely’s [sic] and the execs have struggled to find payment processors that can or would…deal with a website that isn’t fully registered the way it should be…The processors…we do have aren’t actually full payment processors because we are in trouble with processors over a number of violations…Performers are being used and duped while execs/Stokely’s [sic] are making off with huge sums of money…Go somewhere else.  There are plenty of other platforms out there…Performers should run for the hills…

Like Houses (#1027)

Don’t worry, this is OK because it’s about safety, not expanding the police state!

Unable to play golf in their own state due to the…[government shutting down courses us]ing [the] pandemic [as an excuse], three Massachusetts men…crossed into Rhode Island…[and] were arrested after returning to their cars in a McDonald’s parking lot [because a bootlicker snitched on them]…after noticing two cars with Massachusetts license plates load golf clubs into a car with a Rhode Island license plate…the course will begin checking IDs [to ensure undersirables from the other side of an imaginary line can’t]…play…

Read Full Post »

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…

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

All shall love me and despair.  –  Galadriel

Have you ever considered the allegorical meaning of the One Ring?  Because it’s apparently beyond the comprehension of most humans, especially authoritarians, that nobody can be trusted with that kind of power, not even a Galadriel.  And in those moments when I feel myself being tempted by even the concept of power, I rewatch this to remind myself…and to pray that in similar circumstances, I would have the strength to reject it as she did.  The links above the video were provided by Anarras Ansible, Walter Olson, Franklin Harris, Election Babe, Cop Crisis, Robby Soave, and Cop Crisis again, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »