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Posts Tagged ‘left-right myth’

Sex workers are not a thought experiment.  –  Kai Cheng

Monsters

Violence against trans people is getting mainstream attention:

The NYPD drone circling over the protest outside the Brooklyn Museum [on June 14th] must have only picked up a sea of white.  That’s the color protestors were asked to wear to rally and march silently in the wake of the deaths of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah MiltonTony McDade, and countless other Black trans victims of police brutality and civilian violence.  The event featured speakers from the Okra Project, the Marsha P. Johnson InstituteFor the GworlsGLITS, and Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, as well as the family and loved ones of Layleen Polanco…Many of the people gathered had their own stories of police brutality to tell, but that didn’t stop them from showing up for the Black trans community…

Nothing To Be Proud Of

More queer sex workers are remembering that Pride commemorates a riot:

Sex work gave me a livelihood and autonomy…and…sex workers taught me resilience and self-worth.  Queer “community,” with its endless callouts and purity politics, has never come close to doing that…Maybe you came here expecting a congenial, well-reasoned article patiently defending the virtues of sex work as a profession and politely asking for solidarity.  This isn’t that article.  That article has already been written, several times, by several different authors.  That article should have changed all of your minds already about the fact that sex workers are human beings who deserve basic human rights, but apparently it didn’t, so here we are.  Still criminalized, still stigmatized, still by and large ignored by mainstream “LGBT community,” despite the fact that transfeminine sex workers such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera are the reason that we have Pride in the first place.  People love the idea that sex workers need saving.  A lot of money, power, and attention goes into that idea – not to sex workers, but to our would-be saviors…In order to [really help], though, anti-sex work activists and police would have to actually care about sex workers’ actual lives, as opposed to their self-image as Real Life Heroes™ rescuing us from evil human traffickers…

Do Not Tolerate Domestic Violence

Government as domestic abuser is a very useful metaphor:

For ages the Democratic Party and its allies have been actively manipulating leftwardly-inclined Americans away from issues which might inconvenience the powerful — issues like economic justice, anti-imperialism, slashing the military budget, ending government surveillance and police militarization, and actually getting money out of politics…The powerful do not care if you have an abortion. They do not care how many bullets your gun can hold, they do not care if two guys get married or what gender pronouns you use, and they do not care if everyone is a racist or if no one is.  They care about maintaining and expanding their ability to exert control over other people…But…[now] people aren’t just out protesting racism, they’re calling for the complete dismantling of the entire police state…And the nice guy abusers are falling all over themselves to manipulate them back into their cage…Liberal narrative managers manipulated the people into understanding that they are only allowed to care about issues like sexism, LGBT rights, and racism.  The people responded by saying “Okay, well then we demand that you dismantle the entire police state because it is racist.”  Through all the confusion and fog of a lifetime of ingesting establishment propaganda, the people have still managed to find one solid strand of “no” that they know the nice guy abuser can’t actually forbid them from holding onto…

Quiet Genocide

Mainstream Western media are still largely ignoring China’s atrocities in Xinjiang:

…Formally an autonomous region of China, [Xinjiang] is today practically the largest internment camp in the world…Xi [Jinping] instructed the cadres of the Communist Party of China to “show absolutely no mercy” to its Uighur Muslim population.  The regime that now decries any allusion to the genesis of the coronavirus as bigoted then proceeded to describe Islam as a “virus”.  And its prescription for the eradication of this pathogen…was the swift “hospitalisation” of Muslims in indoctrination camps…up to 20 prisoners are packed into every cell.  Heads shaved, hands and feet bound at all times, they are permanently watched by cameras.  Their day begins at 6am and ends after midnight.  Their meals consist of gruel — except on Friday, the holiest day of the week for Muslims, when they are served pork, forbidden by Islam — and they are granted two minutes a day to relieve themselves in a communal bucket.  The remaining hours are devoted to the performance of rituals intended to purge them of their religious and ethnic identity.  They must master Mandarin, the language of their overlords; soak themselves in party propaganda; atone for who they are by confessing to their existence as a crime; and endlessly chant slogans pledging subservience to Han supremacy: I love China! Thank you, Communist Party! I love Xi Jinping!…Inmates are made to sit on chairs embedded with metal spikes, starved, and suspended from ceilings and flogged with electric truncheons; their fingernails are prised with pliers, their skin is pierced with needles, and their bodies are pumped with mysterious medicine.  “Good” behaviour cannot bring relief from this ordeal because it is impossible for the captives to know what defines “good” behaviour…All that stands between the inmates and the torture chamber is the mood of the prison guards…There is no emancipation even in death from the humiliations…in addition to destroying and disfiguring Muslim places of worship, [China] also razes their graves

Silver Lining

My answer to the titular question: “I certainly hope not”:

…the anti-trafficking community has been largely silent on the blossoming conversation on police brutality…While some organizations have put out blanket statements about Black Lives Matter and racism, these…have not addressed the field’s entrenchment with law enforcement, or the use of anti-trafficking to re-brand abusive police forces/tactics and expand the police statecan a field that relies on carceral penalties and approaches even be saved from its pro-police roots?  The history of the anti-trafficking field has revolved around the decision to take social justice problems and apply a criminal justice answer…This decision to…center…law enforcement and criminal justice-based interventions was concretized through legislation which incentivized joint approaches between service providers and law enforcement and primarily defined success as convictions…

Social Distancing (#1031)

The Japanese are much more sensible about sex than Americans:

…nightclubs across Japan are trying to come to terms with in the age of COVID-19, as they roll out a raft of anti-infection measures to shed their newfound notoriety as hotbeds for virus clusters.  The industry [was ready]…for the full lifting [last] Friday of Tokyo’s business closure requests, which…pave[d] the way for host clubs and hostess bars…to officially reopen for the first time in months.  In reality, a number of nightclubs had already resumed business to protect the livelihoods of employees.  But…many parlors [are now] taking a stab at the new safety guidelines issued by the government on how to coexist with the pandemic…

The Cop Myth (#1049)

A Reason interview with Reason alumnus Radley Balko:

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The government has adopted a win-at-all-costs approach and [an attitude] that the ends justify the means.  –  Michael Piccarreta

Elephant in the Parlor

Politician takes bribes, hires whores.  Yawn.

…federal [documents]…suggest…a years-long trail of bribery between City Councilmember Jose Huizar and a Chinese development firm with a megaproject slated for downtown Los Angeles…[real estate broker] George Chiang…started a real estate consulting company in 2014…that directed money, consulting fees, casino chips, flights on private jets, luxury hotel stays, prostitutes and escort services between developers…[politicians] and [bureaucrats]…in exchange for approval of an 80,000-square foot commercial project and other downtown developments…

Dangerous Speech (#958)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1…accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client privileges…despite repeated warnings from defense counsel…and two [court] orders…the government continued to question former Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer concerning confidential legal advice that was subject to joint defense and representation agreements with other defendants…the government grilled Ferrer repeatedly through “seven successive interviews” over the course of 13 months, beginning the day of his plea deal…In doing so…the government engaged in “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” misconduct.  Prosecutors “willfully invaded” Lacey and Larkin’s attorney-client privileges in order to “gain a tactical advantage in the case,” thereby violating the defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel…Barring outright dismissal, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the harm done to the defendants and possible sanctions against the government, such as the exclusion of Ferrer as a witness, the suppression of other evidence, or the disqualification of the entire prosecution team…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

The human cost of a prohibitionist crusade:

In March 2019 my life was turned upside down…by feminist groups who said I needed saving…Becoming a dancer at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino was the best thing I’d ever done.  It gave me the confidence I desperately lacked…[but then] Not Buying It sent private [dicks] into our club to buy lap dances and secretly film the women dancing.  They did this to “prove” to Sheffield Council that Spearmint Rhino was in breach of its own code of conduct and should have its licence revoked.  They filmed women naked and without their consent, and this was only the beginning…it traumatised the women …[and] hurt their families, their friends and their children…the ensuing campaign to close our club left me extremely anxious and scared to go to work…I was paranoid that every person who came into the club was another undercover investigator trying to take my job away.  I was always on edge, watching people, checking buttons for cameras, looking in people’s ears to see if they were wearing earpieces.  I was hyper-aware of customers who used their mobile phones and frightened that they were secretly recording me.  It was torture.  Work went from being the place I felt safest to a place I felt judged and under attack…

Business As Usual (#1001)

Every so often one of these sadly-typical stories gets more media attention:

Agents with…DHS…in Arizona have been “fighting” human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to [rape women they claim to be]…victims…[then] seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.  Federal agents [raped] at least 17…”Asian females” working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018…the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges…[the] scenario…is far from an isolated incidentnational and mainstream media have been discovering and disapproving of “Operation Asian Touch.”  This is great—so long as nobody mistakes what happened in Mohave County for an atypical investigation.  If you track initial claims about massage parlor-based human trafficking through to their actual conclusions, you’ll almost always find law enforcement simply targeting sex workers, small-business owners, immigrants, and the people who patronize them with harassment, assault, arrest, property seizure, prosecution, detainment, and deportation. And the “victims” they allegedly set out to save frequently wind up facing criminal charges.  There are only two roles women can play in this Homeland Security-led charade: helpless sex slave or conniving human trafficker.  (Both types…are invited to stroke ICE agent penises)…

I Spy (#1006)

But please, tell me more about “wings” and “blue states” and “democracy”:

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.  The measure must be approved…by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law…

Like Houses (#1031)

All they were waiting for was a strong enough excuse:

In India, the COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect excuse for the government to consolidate its pre-pandemic surveillance ambitions.  Since May 4, as restrictions began to ease, the government has mandated the installation of its contact-tracing smartphone app for anyone who works…or uses public transport.  Failing to do so is criminal…Unsurprisingly, digital rights and civil society organizations are pushing back on the new di[ktat]…

Reawakening

A high-profile example of the quiet rebellion that’s already started everywhere in the US:

Alameda County [bureaucrats] backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.  Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting …”If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me“…Musk’s civil disobedience against the COVID lockdown regime is a high-profile instance of a wider trend…

Social Distancing (#1036)

At its core, Australia is still prohibitionist:

…as Australia eases itself out of COVID-19 restrictions…in [a] three-stage framework…strip clubs and brothels were specifically listed “to remain closed” even in stage three…other businesses with…skin-to-skin contact – like waxing, massages, tattoos, bathhouses and saunas – are allowed to open in stage three.  Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim [said]…”We hoped this…outbreak wouldn’t be used as an excuse to turn back…gains made in sex worker legislation, but it’s hard to see this as anything but discrimination, considering similar businesses are allowed”…federal [bureaucrats] recommended brothels and strip club venues should stay shut [indefinitely]…sole operator sex workers…are banned after being classed as “non-essential”

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand:

The national lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 means it’s business as usual for many Kiwis, including sex workers…The New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective (NZPC) released guidelines for sex workers on their website…with a checklist of hygiene practices and safety measures workers, brothels and massage parlours should be implementing…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

No human is truly free while governments claim the “right” to lock people in filthy, disease-ridden cages:

In the vast majority of the world’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons…physical distancing is simply not an option.  In situations where close confinement, shared facilities and spaces and poor hygiene are commonplace…prison[ers]…are living in constant fear of the ticking COVID-19 time bomb…UNAIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are calling on leaders to make detention a last resort, to close drug rehabilitation detention centres and to decriminalize sex work, same-sex sexual relations and drug use.  They are urging countries to release the people who can be released…The Government of Ethiopia…has released more than 30,000 prisoners and has heightened sanitation measures.  Indonesia is releasing more than 50,000…Iran is releasing 40% of its total prison population, 100,000 people, while Chile is set to release around 50,000 people…

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I’ve grown very, very tired of the whole “billionaires are intrinsically evil” idiocy over the past couple of years.  As I’ve said many times over the past several decades, wealth and power do not create evil; they merely enable the evil that is already inherent in the human brain.  Oppression is enabled by wealth and/or power, but not created by them; poor and powerless people are not morally superior to the rich and powerful.  In general, they are just as shitty; they merely lack the means to inflict their evil on others by any means other than direct interpersonal violence.  That’s why it’s impossible to “fix” authoritarian systems by giving more power to historically disenfranchised groups; given money and/or power they soon become indistinguishable from the other pigs.  The only way to “fix” systems in which people abuse power over others is to elimate abusable power.  In short, St. Augustine’s observation about children is also true (if you substitute socioeconomic weakness for physical) of the poor: “The weakness of little children’s limbs is innocent, not their souls.”

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Government is not reason.  Government is not eloquence.  It is force.  And, like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
–  George Washington

Even though I am well aware of Americans’ obsessive, single-minded and moronic devotion to black hat/white hat (excuse me, “blue hat/red hat”) fantasies of how the world works, it is especially frustrating and infuriating during the pandemic.  On the one hand, we have a demented would-be emperor and his crazed followers denying that anything is wrong and claiming that the best way to deal with the possibility of a disease raging through the population is to pretend it doesn’t exist.  On the other hand, we have several dozen deranged would-be kings and queens granting themselves the power to reduce people to serfdom and destroy everything they have worked toward for years or decades by declaring their jobs, businesses and even Constitutional rights “non-essential” and sending out violent thugs to enforce their “orders”, however arbitrary or nonsensical.  And despite their claims to the contrary, none of these positions are based in science, logic or careful consideration; they are purely based in politics.  The collectivist idiots who identify with the color “blue” (in defiance of its historical associations) like to pretend that their arbitary diktats are based in “science”, despite the fact that there’s nothing “scientific” about criminalizing the purchase of seeds while allowing the purchase of produce, or violently confining a woman in a filthy cage packed with strangers for the “crime” of being found in the company of her romantic partner.  Meanwhile, collectivist idiots who identify with the color “red” (in defiance of its historical associations) like to pretend that their arbitary diktats are based in…something that isn’t arbitrary? (I’m not sure; I’ve never been good at understanding stupid people).  Examples include banning abortion as “non-essential” (same reason some states gave for trying to ban gun sales; it’s a versatile excuse for authoritarianism), suspending the writ of habeas corpus, or closing the borders.  In reality, both groups of violent, power-mad imbeciles are defining their positions completely in relation to one another (as they usually do), and searching for logic or consistency in any proclamation made by any US politician is a complete waste of time.  My advice?  You’ve got a brain; use it.  Read as much as you can, decide for yourself which precautions make sense, respect the rights of others to make those decisions for themselves, and accept whatever consequences result from your choices without pointing the finger at anyone else other than the politicians and other state actors who are never content with only running their own lives, but instead demand to make decisions for everyone, and dispatch thugs and lawyers to destroy the lives of anyone who refuses to kowtow to their whims.

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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…

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

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Chauvinism is a hell of a drug.  Once a person has swallowed the Kool-aid that their own place and time are the best that have ever been, and that all future societies will be based upon current beliefs and notions, and that all past and foreign societies are to be judged against the chauvinist’s culture, deeply stupid ideas are bound to be the result.  One way in which chauvinists paper over the cognitive dissonance which is bound to result from such silly prejudices is to envision everyone who isn’t lucky enough to live in the Magical and Blessed Here and Now™ as being interchangeable, because obviously individuality was only invented in the 1960s and therefore everyone born before Kennedy was assassinated (OK, maybe before the First World War, but definitely no earlier than that) thought and believed and felt exactly the same way as everyone else, except for a few Great People™ whose names are in the history books because everyone else was wrong and they were right.  You think I’m kidding?  Exaggerating, sure, but not kidding.  Take a look at this article:

Historians from Oxford University have been taken aback to discover that Matthew Tomlinson’s diary from 1810 contains…open-minded views about same-sex attraction being a “natural” human tendency.  The diary challenges preconceptions about what “ordinary people” thought about homosexuality…Tomlinson [was] prompted by…a…scandal…in which a well-respected naval surgeon had been found to be engaging in homosexual acts.  A court martial had ordered him to be hanged – but Tomlinson…argued…”It must seem strange indeed that God Almighty should make a being with such a…defect in nature; and at the same time make a decree that if that being whom he had formed, should at any time follow the dictates of that Nature, with which he was formed, he should be punished with death,” he wrote on January 14 1810.  If there was an “inclination and propensity” for someone to be homosexual from an early age, he wrote, “it must then be considered as natural…and if [so]…it seems cruel to punish that defect with death”…An acceptance of homosexuality might have been expressed privately in aristocratic or philosophically radical circles – but this was being discussed by a rural worker.  “It shows opinions of people in the past were not as monolithic as we might think,” says [Oxford researcher Eamonn] O’Keeffe…

You might think those unschooled old-time hicks had “monolithic” opinions, Mr. O’Keeffe, but I certainly don’t.  Human opinions were never and are never monolithic across a society and era, no matter what authoritarians want you to believe.  Individuals have always thought and felt across a wide spectrum of opinion (and yes, that includes “rural workers”); the difference is that in the past, there were fewer places where freedom of speech was protected, so we don’t get to hear about widely-differing opinions because people were afraid of their ideas being declared as “sinful” or “seditious” or “hateful” or “misinformed” and therefore cause for censure or even punishment.  Sound familiar?  This is what both “wings” now want for America and Europe:  control of thought and speech by government and its corporate cronies to enforce “righteous” norms.  Oh, the excuses differ between places & rulers, but the intended outcome is always the same:  Thought control.

The world has improved not because we are “better” or “smarter” or “more educated” than our ancestors; it has improved because slowly, over millennia, humans have become less accepting of “rulers” using threats of violence to control what we can think, say, and do.  Oh, there have been eras of backsliding; we’re in one right now, where every would-be dictator supports censorship of ideas they don’t like and state violence against people who dare to have sex, ingest substances, or cross imaginary lines in the dirt in the “wrong” way and/or without the permission of their Dear Leaders.  In times and places where the individual’s right to be individual is respected, society becomes better and freer for everyone; in those where individuals are only viewed as faceless members of cliques, parties, mobs, or other collectives, society becomes worse and less free for everyone except the rulers.  Sentient beings are not born to be part of a monolith, and the only way to make them so is to violently break them and cram the remains into a huge structure designed and built by the power elite for nobody’s benefit but their own.

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For the past two and a half years, Friday columns have generally been light and low-effort for me; many of them are just expanded versions of tweet threads that I felt deserved a more permanent treatment.  Well, last week someone retweeted some of my content from 18 months ago, and I realized it should have that treatment as part of my intermittent series of columns on language.  I’ve written about this in a number of places (two of which I’ve linked below), but never quite this clearly or succinctly.  And so without further ado:

There are 4 separate meanings of “libertarian”:

1) one who opposes authoritarianism
2) a member of a broad movement advocating reduced governmental power
3) a US political party (capitalized)
4) a pejorative used by some “progressives” to mean “anyone I disagree with”

So if you’re in that first category, which many people are, you may be correctly described under (1) while not fitting into (2) or (3).  And (4) is impossible to control, but also no more meaningful than “traitor”, “infidel” or “doodyhead”.  I’m certainly a member of (1); as an anarchist I’m tolerated by (2); I have generally friendly relations with (3); and (4) is meaningless because membership in it is controlled by the whims of the very silly.

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In all sexual matters, the line between legal and illegal…should turn on the willing participation of those involved, not the tastes of whoever shouts the loudest.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

A [cop] in Texas was arrested…[for molesting]…at least six women in 11 days [under the pretext of “performing strip-searches”].  Floyd Berry…was re[warded with a paid vacation]…after several [women complained about the sexual assaults]…between Nov. 24 and Dec. 4…

Whimsical Notions

Here’s an interesting article on the official prostitution system developed by the South Korean government to cater to occupying US troops; long-time readers may note its resemblance to the similar “comfort” system Japan organized to deal with the same occupying force a decade earlier.  Before you read the article, you really should click on the subtitle link to read the original column of this name, from six years ago.  And after you read it, consider that this is what the full development of “legalized” prostitution looks like; then perhaps you will understand why every sex worker with an opinion on the subject prefers decriminalization to this nightmare of confinement, control and abuse.

Pimps Ahoy 

Another rescue industry scam intended to exploit sex workers captured by cops:

…Cynthia Luvlee-Austin found herself [a new scam] in 2018: [profiting from hysteria over] human trafficking [with yet another exploitative “training program”] to [force sex workers into after cops destroy] their own businesses and…financial independence…“As long as I can speak, I will [speak over people by claiming they’re] voiceless,” she says…“I’m [practiced in] disrupting [people’s lives to make a profit while pompously promoting myself]…She started Shyne San Diego, an organization that provides [her with income from grants based in] trafficking [hysteria]…

Lack of Evidence (#800)

NSWP on state surveillance and harassment of sex workers who travel:

Sex workers face many barriers to migration and travel, and are often subjected to arbitrary questioning, biased visa refusals and surveillance and discriminatory immigration checks after entering a country.  Sex workers’ movement can also be restricted under measures purporting to be “anti-trafficking”…some…avoid travel altogether because they are afraid of being denied entry, deported or of being identified as a sex worker.  Barriers to sex workers’ mobility also make it harder for them to engage with civil society and political spaces, and impede their right to associate and organise.  This Policy Brief explores the travel restrictions faced by sex workers

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#889) 

This article in the Daily Dot is a perfect example of how the inane “wing” model, which teaches that all political thought can be neatly divided into two and only two completely different and opposite camps, leads those who embrace it down the road to Moronia.  It starts by talking about the recent surge of porn-censoring zealotry among Republican politicians and pundits, then declares this a disease of the “right wing”, ignoring that the current “porn as public health crisis” rhetoric is rooted in the anti-porn “feminism” of Gail Dines, and the very concept of “public health” as meaning something other than disease control is a staunchly progressive dogma.  But the idiocy doesn’t stop there; author Ana Valens then declares libertarians “right wing”, and attempts to rectify the obvious contradiction by declaring that their opposition to the censorship that both Republicans and Democrats want (though sometimes for somewhat different things) “tore the right-wing into two camps”.  Do yourself a favor; skip this exercise in Procrustean navel-gazing and read Liz Brown’s article on the topic instead; it’s based on facts and won’t make you stupider as Valens’ article seems intended to do.

Signs (#912) 

Most of this article is just the typical rescue industry garbage, with busybody white ladies claiming to have seen “sex trafficking” everywhere they looked; this particular brand of snake oil comes courtesy of Mar Brettman, one of the smelliest turds produced by the collective Seattle anti-whore arsehole.  The only noteworthy aspect is Brettman’s iteration of the dusty old “pimp classification” silliness.  Normally the second type is “gorilla”, because he uses brute force and violence to control a woman.  But in Brettman’s scheme it’s “guerilla”, presumably the kind of “pimp” who stalks women in Ikea or Target and then jumps out of his white van to “sex traffick” them out of the parking lot.

Full of Themselves (#931)

Puritanical language is an intrinsic part of any story about cops raiding massage parlors:

[Pigs collected] dirty tissues…[from the garbage of] a South Carolina massage parlor…[then described their goodies as] “evidence of sexual nature…containing biological samples namely semen, and used female yeast infection medication capsules”…in August, a…[cop was sent to rape one of the masseuses and described the rape as]…illicit sexual services…[at] a house of ill fame…

Normal people do not use words like “illicit” or “house of ill fame”, or go digging through people’s trash for used tissues and medicine.  Cops are deeply twisted and in dire need of professional help, not given power to destroy normal people’s lives.

Blunt Instrument (#942)

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

[New York] city is suing to shut down an…Asian mass[age parlor]…after…two [lying] cops made separate visits on July 5 and 13, during which each [sexually assaulted]…a woman…and…[claimed otherwise in reports]…One of the cops returned on July 23 and [raped the masseuse, then called for]…a…raid…The [cop’s victim] was also arrested and charged with prostitution…the city…is also [trying to rob the owners by a court order] seeking [loot] of $1,000 for every day the [spa] was in business…a lawyer for landlord Elias Kalimian said [because of disguise cop threats to prosecute them for “pimping”] eviction proceedings were underway against the tenant who’s been renting the…space for more than eight years…

Torture Chamber (#950)

Your government is trying to increase efficiency by letting screws deport people after beating and raping them:

Florida is poised to deputize [screws] as federal [pigs] at a state…prison as part of a [crusade]…to “[frame and deport migrants by pretending they] pose a risk to public safety in Florida”…the program…is the latest effort by the DeSantis administration to [weaponize racism]…in the state…including a ban on so-called sanctuary cities…Florida would become the fourth state to have its [human-caging] department enter into a…[fascist] agreement with the federal agency.  Arizona, Massachusetts and Georgia are the…other [three]…

Triple Threat

Once in a while the pigs make an example of an unusually-awful rapist cop:

[Rapist cop] Daniel Wilkey has been indicted on 44 criminal charges, including 25 felonies…he [is also the subject of] at least four separate lawsuits involving traffic stops…and…[was rewarded with] paid [vacation] since July.  Charges include six counts of sexual battery, two counts of rape, nine counts of official oppression, extortion, stalking, assault and others…

To Molest and Rape (#992)

Officials love bloviating about a nonexistent “oath” to make rapist cops seem like outliers when they’re actually typical:

A [cop] who [was about to be turned loose in a school to brutalize kids]…rap[ed] a 12-year-old girl [in] Texas [and] has been sentenced to 10 years in prison…Jorge Luis Bastida…met [the girl] online…raped [her] multiple times and filmed it on his cellphone.  “He swore an oath to protect children,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg [lied]. “He promised to protect and serve one of our most vulnerable populations”…Bastida…took [the girl]…to a motel…[and] despite her telling him that she is only 12 years old and did not want to have sex…Bastida pushed her down on the bed and held her by the neck [while he raped her].  The following morning, Bastida…th[rew]…money [at her “for candy”] before leaving the motel [to go to] work [with his fellow rapists].  After Bastida left, the girl called her mom from the motel and was [taken] to a hospital…

Crying for Nanny (#997)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A woman who [pretends] she was the victim of sex trafficking in 2012 and 2013 at multiple hotels in Oregon and Washington is suing six major hotel chains in federal court, saying they neglected trafficking happening “openly on hotel properties” and failed to [stick their noses into the guests’ business]…The suit…names Hilton…Wyndham…Marriott…Choice Hotels…Extended Stay America and Red Lion…all…of [whom bloviated, postured and vomited out “sex trafficking” propaganda in response]…

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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.  –  George Santayana

Americans suffer from a peculiar and almost characteristic ignorance of history.  Part of the reason is certainly “American exceptionalism”, the ridiculous dogma that the US is intrinsically different from all other nation and empires which have preceded it since the nation-state was first invented; after all, if one truly believes that none of the lessons of history can possibly apply to one’s own current reality, then studying it is as academic as a physician choosing to study the anatomy of echinoderms.  Another part is this country’s bizarre celebration of ignorance; as Isaac Asimov once expressed it,

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Soi-disant conservatives mock the currently-fashionable elevation of feelings above facts by the “woke”, yet they themselves are guilty of the same sin; they eschew facts which conflict with their irrational attachment to ancient religions, their emotional discomfort with new ideas, and their visceral fear of unfamiliar cultural or sexual practices.  Americans belonging to both “wings” of the US Fascist Party are only too happy to discard whatever economic, scientific, or historical facts get in the way of their preferred policies, especially when those facts indicate that the policies will accomplish exactly the opposite of their pretended goals.  And then there’s intentional disinformation; since tribalism is the highest virtue in modern American thought, nobody wants to be called a “traitor” for refuting the lies vomited out by their “leaders”, even when those lies are easily contradicted by consulting a legitimate source.  So the ignorant believe whatever they are told, while those who know better remain silent.

Worst of all, history has always been written by the victors, and in the US the victors have always been authoritarians; US history is thus warped by authoritarians to glorify other authoritarians, and Americans can’t be bothered to consult histories written by non-Americans because what do those foreign eggheads know?  They’re probably atheist or libertarian or Muslim or dead white males who aren’t Marx anyway.  USA! USA! USA!   Both Team MAGA and Team {unpronounceable string of umpteen capital letters} are much too busy dreaming of inflicting their own flavor of totalitarian dystopia on everyone else to bother even attempting to learn from those who went before, and besides, it’s 2019, duh.  And so they keep fighting over the wheel while the ship which carries all of us spins slowly in the rapid current toward the whirlpool ahead, ignoring the writing on the map, the clearly-posted warning buoys, and the shipwrecked sailors on nearby islands shouting at them to turn back before it’s too late. 

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