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Posts Tagged ‘Shazam!’

Migrant workers are a driving force of the…economy.
–  Thientong Prasanpanich

Saving Them From Themselves

Oink oink, they were on the wrong side of an imaginary line, so we have to destroy their lives!  SHAZAM!

Pi[gs are using pi]ctures taken and shared by some Candler County [Georgia] middle school students [as an excuse for destroying their lives. Oink oink]…child porn…[oink oink] distributing child pornography…[oink oink] crime…[oink oink blame] parents…

Surplus Women

Your government wants this to happen more often:

Months after the decomposed bodies of two [sex workers] were found behind a church in the Apopka [Florida] area, a…man [named]…Pablo Tavarez was arrested…The bodies of Nicole Evans…and Kristina Upchurch…were found in May near the New Vision Community Church…Tavarez has been charged in one of the women’s deaths, and…[cops] plan to charge him in the other death soon…Tavarez could [also] be connected to other cases…

A Mound of Filth 

Don’t trust a “writer” who thinks the word for sex workers’ clients is “John’s” [sic]:

…the state of Arizona…work[s] around the clock to…[persecute] sex [workers] and…they also go after the traffickers and “John’s” or customers…Lea Benson, a pro[hibitionist, called jails] safe houses and [arrests] services…[big pig] Jason Flam…said…the average age [of the girls he masturbates while thinking of]…is between 12-14 years old…”[sex workers have] a 7-year life span,” [panted] Benson…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#586)

They always act as though the obvious is some kind of revelation:

…[puritans] are urging Thailand…to curb [the] migration [of people they arbitrarily define as “children”] amid [moral panic] over human trafficking.  [But] Premjai Vungsiriphisal, a senior researcher at Chulalongkorn University’s Asian Research Centre for Migration, attributes the influx of migrant[s below the age of 18] from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos to socio-economic deprivation…”From the Western perspective…labour [by people under 18] is unacceptable.  However, the[y]…must work to escape poverty.  If authorities launch a new crackdown, what are the[y]…going to do?  There should be alternatives to [police violence]…such as…providing development opportunities for kids…I interviewed 15-year-old migrant girls [arrested in] karaoke brothels a few years ago.  When I questioned them, they said they knew what they had to do before starting the job. What should we do if it is their choice [to enter the sex trade]?”…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#692)

A sci-fi themed brothel is the right place for this:

Alien Cathouse, located just outside Area 51, in Nevada…has plans to introduce [sex dolls and] teledildonics into its menu of possibilities…teledildonics, which are internet connected sex toys, will allow customers in other states – or even other countries – to spend some virtual time with the brothel’s [sex workers]…

Stalkers in Blue

Once in a while, there are witnesses to the way cops act toward women:

A Massachusetts State [pig masturbated in front of a woman]…during a…concert [on June 21st]…Andrew Patterson…punched…a…man [after stealing] his girlfriend[‘s seat and then motioning for her]…to sit in his lap…he…then unzipped his pants…and began to masturbate [at her].  It was then that Patterson’s friend left the area and…Patterson [punched the boyfriend]…police [who broke up the fight] said [Patterson] appeared “extremely intoxicated and his speech was thick and slurred.”  Patterson [was rewarded with a paid vacation]…and calls the charge “ridiculous”…[because he previously murdered people] in Afghanistan…

Legislators Gone Wild (#918) 

This isn’t the last we’ll see of the fanatical, unhinged Guinasso:

A federal judge in Nevada has dismissed a lawsuit that invoked sex trafficking laws in a bid to close the nation’s only legal brothels…Judge Miranda Du in Reno said…”Nevada laws…[do not cause] the illicit behaviors of private bad actors”…Attorney Jason Guinasso, representing plaintiffs Rebekah Charleston, Angela Delgado-Williams and Leah Albright-Williams, said they may appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals…Guinasso previously served as a lawyer for a [prohibitionist] group [and is also engaged in a crusade to out the legal names and addresses of all legal prostitutes in Nevada]…

To Molest and Rape (#940) 

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

A g[ang] of [pigs] known as “the boys’ club”…locked a heavily pregnant constable in a room and…[she] was forced to climb out a window at Forres [Cop Shop], in Scotland…[they] also…left a female co[p] in a forest in retaliation for her reporting [her pig] partner for domestic violence and [rape]…the [gang also abused]…male co[ps who wouldn’t join them]…

Loose Cannons (#967)

The state steals all or most of a migrant woman’s assets because it disapproved of her clothes:

Ruimei Li, owner of one of the spas [that] Martin County [florida pigs] targeted in a s[cam to destroy their businesses and grab publicity]…pleaded guilty to several charges…and [the state will rob her of] $150,000…Prosecutors [only] dropped [the] money laundering charge…Li [was also condemned to] five years’ probation and [had her only means of making a living barred to her]…Li was [the last of the migrant women victimized by cops in the case to]…enter…[a] plea…[the pigs] started [rooting around] in July 2018 after a [puritanical bureaucrat complained that]…one [of Li’s employees]…was…dressed “provocatively”…

Torture Chamber (#970)

Your government calls this “correction”:

A Florida [screw who intentionally broke] a [woman]’s neck in a vicious attack has a decadelong history of complaints against him alleging excessive force, verbal and physical abuse, and [rape]…Cheryl Weimar filed a civil rights lawsuit in September after an assault by several [screws] at Lowell [cage stack]…left her [permanently] paralyzed from the neck down.  [Politicians hid]…the [names of her attackers] until now…the Miami Herald…named [screws] Keith Turner and Ryan Dionne in the lawsuit…Turner has [committed scores, possibly hundreds, of crimes against helpless women in his power] since 2009.  [Victims] said he made…sexual comments [and forced some women to suck his filthy pig dick]…used racial slurs, and [pepper] sprayed them for [fun]…[he also] smash[ed women’s] heads against walls, body slamm[ed] them, and in one [other] instance dragg[ed a woman] across the ground [as he did to Weimar, though luckily that victim’s neck was not broken]…Numerous [helpless women]…said they were in fear for their lives from Turner…[who] in…2019 [tortured another woman]…by leaving her handcuffed in 93 degree heat for three hours without water…[his accomplice] Ryan Dionne…was arrested in 2013 for domestic battery…[which under Florida law] should have precluded him from being [given power over women in cages]…

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Why are you trying to avoid talking about Jeffrey Epstein?

What would you have me say?  Perhaps you missed “Overripe“, in which I wrote…

…when a powerful, wealthy, well-connected person is accused of a crime (especially a complex one), the result is invariably dueling volcanos of accusation & defense vomiting megatons of obfuscation into the atmosphere.  Moreover, when the crime “just happens” to fit into a moral panic in full eruption, the result is a firestorm that makes it very difficult to separate truth, lies, prevarications, opportunism, excuse-making, police-statery, and outright bullshit from one another…

Epstein, like many men, was attracted to women younger than the law allowed him to have.  And unlike most men, he had the means to get what he wanted and no moral compunctions against it.  Do you want my thoughts on why the government suddenly revisited the case a decade after it was over, even though Liz Brown’s analysis (synopsized and linked in the above-referenced column) covered it better than I could?  Perhaps you want me to explain the obvious, why a well-connected billionaire who hobnobbed with at least two US presidents and who-knows-how-many other powerful people, got a slap on the wrist for crimes a poor man would’ve been crucified for?  It’s possible you might want me to titillate you with pointless and lurid speculation about whether Bill Clinton or Donald Trump or whoever shared in Epstein’s predilections, in which case I would point you to my “Elephant in the Parlor” tag, tell you that I don’t write porn, and remind you that even if I did I wouldn’t do it for free.  Or maybe you’re asking me to virtue-signal about age of consent laws and infantilize young women, pretending that they are equivalent to six-year-olds because they haven’t yet reached Magic 18 and shouted “Shazam!”?  If so, you’re definitely barking up the wrong tree.  Of course, you could be asking for my speculation on whether Epstein really killed himself or was “suicided”; if that’s it I would observe that while his “friends” had both the means and the motivation to silence him, he also had extremely good reason to spare himself the ordeal and show-trial to come, and the US prison system has a long history of letting people die in cages, sometimes at the hands of sadistic cretins and sometimes by monumental incompetence.  At the end of the day, the one person who could’ve answered all of these questions is dead, and everyone else who could answer any of them is highly motivated to keep his mouth shut.  So even if you’re just dying to know the answers, I’m afraid you’re going to have to learn to live with disappointment.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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Is everyone insane?

Here’s a new video from the only presidential candidate any moral person can really support, courtesy of Brooke Magnanti.  The links above it were provided by Tushy Galore (“time” and “Shazam”), Radley Balko (“serving”), Mike Siegel (“shocked” and “algorithms”), and Carol Fenton (“crises”).

From the Archives

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We…help…people…learn to integrate their sexuality into their whole self, rather than separating it from the rest of their life.  –  David Ley

Part of the Picture (#23)

Dr. David Ley vs. the childish belief that pictures of sex are magic:

Max Bennet…[of] Stripchat…and Dr David Ley…teamed up to give the customers of the camming website help on sexual struggles and shame…Max [said]…“Nearly 40% of our users experience a deep connection with the models, or are able to access a fantasy that may not be available in reality.  By bringing doctors like Dr David Ley on to speak with users, it alleviates some of that shame and conflict, and offers them a way to integrate this…with their relationships”…Dr David [has] discovered that…“many users worry…that it is infidelity and could negatively affect their relationships…Sexual shame is the real enemy to intimacy, and that’s what these sessions are trying to address”…

Scrambled Eggs (#311)

Oh look, another man says women shouldn’t be compensated for services men can’t perform because we’re too stupid to make decisions about our own bodies:

Proponents of a proposed law allowing women to be paid to donate their eggs for research [point out that]…research subjects in other fields can get paid…men can get paid for donating sperm….[and] it’s legal for women to be paid for eggs to assist couples undertaking fertility treatments.  But it’s illegal for researchers to compensate women for their eggs…[politician] Autumn Burke…[revived] this idea…[after] Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill by former [politician] Susan Bonilla…in 2013, [bloviat]ing [misogynistically and self-righteously]…“Not everything in life is for sale, nor should it be“…Burke’s bill, Assembly Bill 922, passed the Assembly without a single “no” vote in May…so it’s likely to pass the Senate handily.  Gov. Gavin Newsom thus may be the only person standing in the way of its becoming law…[Like sex work,] this…would [give] California women, especially low-income women who may [welcome]…the compensation, [a way to make money that isn’t dependent on subjugation to men, so] he should kill it…

Though he hastens to distance himself from them, this writer’s arguments were mostly formulated by an anti-abortion group which opposes the bill for predictable reasons.

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [prisoner of the state of] Florida…with a history of epilepsy says he was beaten and thrown in solitary confinement for seven months after he involuntarily bit a [screw]…while having a seizure…Dean Higgins…suffered a grand mal seizure last September…[and] while the guards tried to restrain Higgins—an improper way to handle someone having a seizure—he bit one of the[m] on the arm…he was then beaten and…[locked] in…a tiny cell….[where] raw sewage would seep in…at times a number of inches deep…in addition to having epilepsy, Higgins is also on the autism spectrum…

Pyrrhic Victory (#922)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

…In early July, the FBI posted a solicitation notice for a “Social Media Alerting Subscription,” which would “acquire the services of a company to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests through a means of online sources.”  The request singles out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram “and other social media platforms” for snooping.  Essentially, the FBI is looking for companies to build a tool to comb through…social media posts and pinpoint possible threats ahead of time.  Think of it like a meme-illiterate Facebook-stalking precog from Minority Report…this system could empower the Red Flag law ideas that have since gained prominence.  This kind of “proactive identification” could allow [cops] to target and even disenfranchise social media users whose posts may have been [intentionally or not] misinterpreted…

You Were Warned

Yes, I’m going to say “I told you so”, because I’ve been telling you so for nine years now:

FOSTA [turned] the internet…into a more exclusionary place almost overnightInternet companies became significantly more restrictive in their treatment of sexual speech…The law also threw important harm reduction activities into a legal gray area…Congress failed to listen to the people it was removing from the internet, and put them in more danger as a result…The entire history of censorship shows that it magnifies existing imbalances in society, sometimes intentionally…there are many, many stories of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter taking down important work to document human rights violations under their anti-extremism policies.  Politicians…routinely treat Section 230 as a handout to tech companies — or a “gift,” as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently put it…Let’s not forget that Facebook and other big internet companies actively lobbied for FOSTA, a law that made it considerably more difficult for a startup ever to unseat Facebook…Section 230 isn’t a gift to big internet companies.  It’s a gift to rural LGBTQ teenagers who depend every day on the safety of their online communities.  It’s a gift to activists around the world using the internet to document human rights abuses.  It’s a gift to women who rely on dating apps to meet people more safely

Think of the Children! (#936)

Obviously this sex-ray contaminated money would have “sexualized” their patients!

Mount Sinai Health System said on Friday that it will make a charitable contribution equivalent to the money it received from…Jeffrey Epstein.  The money will go to an organization focused on p[ersecu]ting [sex workers]…and toward the health system’s own program Sexual Assault and Violence intervention program, which provides immediate treatment and counseling to sexual assault survivors.  The hospital did not say how much money was donated by the disgraced financier…

Loose Cannons (#949)

If this is happening to this rich, prominent man, with access to the best lawyers…what happens to the rest of us?

One of the women arrested in the [Robert Kraft massage parlor] case…pleaded no contest…to misdemeanor charges, leaving only one of the women arrested yet to take a plea in the case.  Qing Hua Zhang…pleaded no contest to engaging in prostitution and use of a structure or conveyance for prostitution.  The most serious charge — racketeering — was dropped…

Yellow Fever (#956) 

Another hodgepodge of idiotic lies, myths, wild exaggerations, wanking fantasies and long-debunked propaganda was shoveled into a column by Business Insider and represented as “journalism”; apparently they’re tying to go in the clickbait direction taken by The Hill.  This one uses the term “trafficking” no fewer than 21 times in a not-very-long article and presents a misogynistic weltanschauung in which women can be either passive “victims” or malevolent “perpetrators” but never anything else, making the Shazam-style leap without passing through any of the complex human behavior between due to “weaponization” and “normalization” by powerful, Svengali-like men.  A by-no-means-exhaustive list of dysphemisms from this trash includes “offenders”, “ring”, “traffickers”, “cult”, “slaves”, “lifestyle”, “abusers”, “groomed”, and my favorite, “sexual pyramid scheme”.  If you want an article on this topic written by an actual adult who understands concepts like “facts” and “agency”, here you go.

Across the Pond (#964)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

Police are [raid]ing residential properties believed to be used for sex work…to [spy on] what is happening behind closed doors…potential [targets are determined by snitching]…from local residents…[chief swine] Paul Whitehouse [oinked that intimidating people and violating their privacy is a means of]…”gaining their trust and confidence…We [don’t find enough women to harass on the street anymore]…so now we can pick [on] the off-street work[ers]…We do not want to criminalise the females.  We are looking at [pinning] criminality on a[ny available] third party”…

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People whose brains and morals haven’t been totally warped by partisan politics don’t write off…horrors just because The Other Side started them.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Where Are the Victims?

It’s always a “gang”, even when it isn’t:

A Chinese madam linked to a[n imaginary] “Snakehead” people smuggling ring, who [provided clients and an incall for migrant sex workers]…in…Scotland…was [sentenced to] 27 months…Yen Huang, 62…was [snitched on by racist busybodies at]…a bank in Dundee [after she went into the bank with] a 48-year-old [migrant] woman…Police…[had branded] the woman…a victim of human trafficking [so they arrested her]…and…she…[is] now [in prison] in England, waiting to be [deported]…Huang…eventually abandoned her claims to have been just a cleaner with “no connection” to…prostitution, and…[instead] claimed she herself was victim of human trafficking…brought to the UK…by “Snakehead” [an imaginary criminal cartel out of racist “Fu Manchu” style fantasies]…

Divided We Fall

Perhaps if Gay, Inc had stood with sex workers to fight these kinds of lies from the beginning, they wouldn’t have grown so popular and bold:

According to Diane Gramley, head of the American Family Association’s (AFA) Pennsylvania chapter, the 1969 Stonewall uprising wasn’t caused by queer people fighting against police harassment, it was caused by police trying to rescue a young transgender boy who was being sexually abused by the bar’s queer patrons.  Gramley [told her fantasy] on a recent broadcast of Stand in the Gap, a radio show produced by the American Pastors Network…Gramley [also] said…“Pride is definitely a menace to children…because they use these Pride events to desensitize us to the dangers of their lifestyle”…By claiming that police were trying to rescue a sexually abused transgender youth, Gramely continues to [advance the myth that cops exist to “help” people and to] repeat the old canard that LGBTQ people are pedophiles who groom and sexually prey on young children, “turning” some of them gay, bi or trans…

A “young transgender boy”?  How interesting, considering that people like Gramley claim that being trans is a “lifestyle” rather than a characteristic, and therefore deny that any young person can actually be trans.

The Widening Gyre (#431)

Prohibitionists just keep trying the same stupid publicity stunts:

[A pig oinked that] it was time to consider stopping drivers using the residential…Rosary Road [in] Norwich…”to prevent kerb crawlers doing laps” [even though cops admit this won’t have any affect on street work]…residents…[say they are] not bothered by kerb crawling traffic [though some virtue-signaled that they have read the propaganda about]…”women who are being exploited in all this”…

Click the subtitle link to see what happened the last time this Stupid Cop Trick was tried.

Japanese Prostitution (#502)

Japanese attempts to suppress and hide sex work prior to the Olympics are insufficient to please gaijin “sex trafficking” profiteers:

As the next Olympic host, Japan has become the focus of…global [hysteria over] child prostitution…with [profiteers] working to [spread disinformation] on “hidden crimes” they [pretend] have a symbiotic relationship with mega-events.  Major sporting events attract troves [sic] of [rescue industry]…organizations…looking to cash in by exploiting [public ignorance about sex work in order to convince them that sex workers are] vulnerable children…Despite [a total lack of evidence for any issues]…Japan is far from immune, according to It’s a Penalty, a Britain-based [prohibition]ist group.  “It does exist here, it is just that [the evidence says the opposite]” said Sarah de Carvalho, founder and CEO of IAP…

Saving Them From Themselves (#626)

Oink oink, but he was on the wrong side of an imaginary line, so we HAVE TO destroy his life!  SHAZAM!

As of January 2018, teenagers in Colorado who use their cellphones to exchange nude selfies can no longer be prosecuted for “sexual exploitation of a child.”  But that change, which state legislators approved after [considerable pressure from sane, normal people]…came five years too late for “T.B.”, a 15-year-old boy who in 2012 and 2013 swapped erotic pictures with two girls [his own age]…the Colorado Supreme Court upheld [destroying] T.B.’s [life by condemning him to]…sex offender [hell] for at least 20 years.  The majority conceded that its decision “may strike some as [insane but typical police-state violence]”…but T.B. violated the law that applied at the time, the court said, so he is out of luck.  Two dissenting justices argued that their colleagues had misread the statute and that the majority’s interpretation [was completely devoid of anything resembling justice]…

Divination

Yes, people really are stupid enough to believe a dog can smell electronic images:

Louisiana State Police have acquired a new tool to help solve child porn cases:  a dog named Maggie who’s trained to sniff out even the smallest electronic devices that might be used to store images and videos, including memory cards and flash drives.  At a press conference [pigs and politicians bloviated a lot of nonsense about magic pictures and infinitely-growing problems]…

Check Your Premises (#777) 

This is, of course, based on the deeply-flawed premise that “anti-trafficking” politicians actually want to protect sex workers, which they absolutely don’t:

…If you speak out in favour of decriminalisation of sex work as a member of the UK anti-trafficking sector, you risk losing partnerships, allies and funding.  But…unless the sector comes to a united understanding on sex work and the laws surrounding it, we risk trafficking being used as a rhetorical tool which harms some of the most marginalised women in our communities.  The major divide on this battlefield is between those promoting decriminalisation of sex work and those pushing the “sex buyer law”.  Tackling trafficking for sexual exploitation is often used as the reason to support this law…This approach can feel instinctively right because it punishes the buyers. I don’t know a single sex worker who likes their clients.  I’m sure there are some, but they are few and far between…

The author is clearly delusional.  First off, she refuses to recognize that “trafficking” is and always has been specifically a “rhetorical tool which harms some of the most marginalised women in our communities”, because that’s exactly what it was intended to be; it paints sex workers as “victims” so damaged by the supposed “trauma” of pragmatic sex that we don’t know what is good for us and can therefore be disregarded.  And anyone so out of touch with reality that she imagines the sex workers she “knows” (already an absurd assumption because whores aren’t generally honest with self-appointed saviors) are in any way representative of the great majority who wouldn’t even consent to talk to someone whose avowed purpose is the disruption of their entire profession, is too lost in her own navel to even bother correcting.

Storyville (#807)

It wasn’t just sex workers who thrived in the “Wild West”:

…people who did not conform to traditional gender norms were a part of daily life in the Old West, according to Peter Boag, a historian at Washington State University and the author of Re-Dressing America’s Frontier Past.  While researching a book about the gay history of Portland, Boag stumbled upon hundreds and hundreds of stories concerning people who dressed against their assigned gender…He was shocked at the size of this population, which he’d never before encountered in his time as a queer historian of the American West…Boag expanded his research beyond the Northwest, but limited it to towns west of the Mississippi, and the period of time from the California Gold Rush through statehood for all the Western continental territories.  It wasn’t that this time and place was more open or accepting of trans people, but that it was more diffuse and unruly, which may have enabled more people to live according to their true identities…“My theory is that people who were transgender…saw the West as a place where they could live and get jobs and carry on a life that they couldn’t have in the more congested East”…

Torture Chamber (#878)

Liz Brown delivers a scathing indictment of the government’s horrific child abuse:

For years, U.S. propagandists have spread scare stories about trafficked children being housed in warehouses and forced to sleep on mats or rickety cots, with inadequate nutrition, zero privacy, and a lack of basic sanitation…[but actually] it’s the U.S. government that is doing that…ferreting [abducted] children off to secretive warehouse locations where neon lights shine 24 hours per day.  Kids are crowded into large cages where they sleep on shared mats—or sometimes concrete floors…denied soap, toothbrushes, and medicine, amid outbreaks of lice and flu…Some sociopaths argue that abusing children is necessary to send a message to their parents…but…that innocent children should not suffer for the sins of their parents has long been a principle civil societies agree on…As Ken White writes at The Atlantic“The sheer effrontery of the government’s argument may be explained, but not excused, by its long backstory”…Like civilian criminal counterparts, [Trump and company are] essentially threatening to keep on kidnapping and traumatizing kids until Democrats meet their demands…

Dangerous Speech (#948)

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The state may not use a butcher knife on a problem that requires a scalpel to fix.  –  Judge John T. Nixon

Where Are the Victims?

It’s always a “gang”, even when it clearly isn’t:

Hu Shuangyan…was part of a[n imaginary] gang that [rented] flats [to sex workers] in Kent, Essex and London…[she and her parter Zhang Dongning] tricked estate agents by posing as employees of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei…[she] was also convicted of money laundering…

A couple is not a “gang”, and if there wasn’t a stupid law against renting rooms to people engaged in a legal trade, there would have been no need for them to lie.

The More the Better 

“Mommy whores” are good, but “gramma whores” are even better:

…grandmother-of-seven Abby Roberts is…working six days a week selling sex to make ends meet.  With disabled husband Sorren unable to work, the 58 year old spends eight hours a day…[working] via…webcam…[and] also shoots six adult movies a month…”As an average I work about eight hours a day.  Some people call me a workaholic but I just love it actually,” she says…that’s the way it has been for 18 years because when I fell in love with my husband I knew he had a very heavy disability”…She and Sorren…were regular swingers before he suffered a heart attack and was told he couldn’t have sex again…

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

A youth pastor at a Colorado Springs church has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child…Stephen Michael Houlihan…[of] Fellowship of the Rockies church, was booked June 8 on charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, internet luring of a child, and obscenity…

Censor Chic (#894)

Google is now so big it isn’t even accountable to its own shareholders:

A shareholder resolution aimed at halting Google’s  efforts to bring a censored version of its search engine to China has failed.  Shareholders tabled a resolution to demand Google put the brakes on its controversial search engine efforts in China.  The program, internally dubbed “Dragonfly”, is…a censorship-friendly search engine with the capability to hide results at the behest of Beijing…Google chief Sundar Pichai…describ[es] China as an “important” market…

Whereas just not being evil (as Google used to claim in its motto) is not so important.

The End of the Beginning (#915) 

Maybe we’re about to witness the beginning of the end of these evil laws:

The Supreme Court of Alaska ruled on Friday that Alaska’s sex offender registration statute violated the due process rights of out of state offenders by requiring them to register as sex offenders without allowing them to be heard.  The court…concluded that the statute…was overbroad and violated due process because it did not provide them an opportunity to demonstrate they were no[t]…a threat to the public.  The court elected not to invalidate the ASORA but rather to allow…the individual who brought the case…to file a civil action in the state’s superior court in an attempt to prove that he no longer poses a risk…

Uncommon Sense (#916)

Because whores are morons whose lives and businesses must be micromanaged by governments:

A flurry of recent media reports have suggested the Prostitutes Protection Act (herafter ProstSchG) had failed to achieve its stated goals and would not sufficiently protect people engaged in prostitution.  Voice4Sexworkers…firmly rejects that notion:  The ProstSchG is well on its way to achieve all of the federal government’s desired goals and effects…Germany’s Basic Law…which grants the inviolability of one’s home…no longer applies to sex workers.  Occupational freedom…is being undermined through the registration procedures…It was clear from the outset that the law would be particularly problematic for people from countries where prostitution is illegal, such as Bulgaria or Romania.  If they register as sex workers in Germany, they risk receiving mail in their countries of origin, despite the promised option to have any related mail delivered to a different mailing address…Tax offices flout this provision knowingly and deliberately, and in doing so, they greatly endanger the lives of sex workers in their countries of origin…The entire construct of the ProstSchG is intended to deter people from entering prostitution and render sex work impossible in most places…

Opting Out (#926) 

Any non-politician would have given this up as a bad idea by now:

The government is under pressure to delay its controversial online pornography age verification scheme for a third time [from July 15th to October 15th], or risk “nefarious” companies “using this opportunity to harvest and manipulate user data”…the Digital Policy Alliance…[ex]plains that…unless the scheme is delayed there will be “less protection for public data”…

Here’s more detail on that from the Open Rights Group:

New age restrictions on pornography…are a “privacy timebomb”…[because in typical government fashion] the data protection in place to protect consumers is “vague, imprecise and largely a ‘tick box’ exercise”…The UK government claims the new measures are necessary in order to prevent children and young adults from accessing adult content online…[even though] the new rules are unlikely to prevent tech-savvy children from reaching restricted websites…

Watershed (#934)

It took prohibitionists two months to freak out over an article saying everyone has human rights:

Teen Vogue tweeted an article titled, “Why Sex Work Is Real Work,” and many clutched their pearls at the audacity of talking to teens about sex work…sex therapist Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng[‘s]…central argument was that sex workers provide services that help people meet and understand their sexual needs in the same way that her sex counseling does…[prohibitionist] talking heads quickly posted their disdain:  “Why is a teen magazine promoting prostitution to their 13-year-old readers?”  Others falsely equated sex work with sex trafficking…One commenter pointed out that Teen Vogue is a part of Condé Nast in [a bizarre stretch] to falsely equate discussing sex work with pedophilia…Of course, Dr. Mofokeng’s article defends nothing other than the safe exchange of sexual services between consenting adults…Furthermore, scandalized reactions to teens learning about sex work are out of touch with reality.  About 40% of high school teens report to be sexually active, making conversations about sexual health and women’s issues crucially relevant in teens’ lives…

Dangerous Speech (#942)

Another deep dive into the facts of the persecution of Backpage:

…In the years before their arrest, Lacey and Larkin had successfully beat back charges like these in court.  They took refuge not only in the First Amendment but also in Section 230…Congress’ great gift to the internet….[which] wouldn’t exist without it.  After all, you can’t build or sustain a giant network if you’re getting sued every time a user says or does something objectionable…Lacey and Larkin…won case after case, with the support of Big Tech and civil libertarians alike.  But by the time the Feds descended on Paradise Valley that morning in the spring of 2018…the tech industry…had thrown them under the bus.  Their top lieutenant had flipped.  And Congress had used them as an excuse to finally accomplish what it had been trying to do for more than 20 years—tear a hole in Section 230…Silicon Valley had better hope they win.  United States v. Lacey is a dangerous case, with potential consequences far beyond the freedom of two aging antiauthoritarians…

There’s a lot of good info here, but watch for the writer’s bias; she seems to be a crypto-prohibitionist and it’s visible in a few places (such as calling Lacey & Larkin “digital pimps”).  That’s hardly unusual for Wired, which seems unable to publish an article about sex work that lacks major issues.

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It makes partisans and other tribalists nuts that my positions are based in principles and probable results rather than tribe-membership & “sending messages”.  That’s why they (idiotically) try to shame me out of my positions instead of intellectually challenging them; no sooner do they think they “have my number” than I say, write or tweet something that the partisan brain is unable to process.  See, all tribalists have a blind spot:  they assume their own tribe, group, party, sect, etc is good and right and can be trusted with power, while their designated “them” group is wholly and completely bad and wrong and in need of Punishment.  So if I tweet about LGBT rights, but then say I think it’s wrong (not to mention a fucking waste of everyone’s time) to use the power of the state to destroy an anti-queer bigot, some people are completely unable to comprehend why I don’t see a cake-baker in Colorado as the Second Coming of Hitler.  The other day there was a big hulabaloo about that rich kid who didn’t get to go to Harvard because he made racist tweets a year and a half ago, and once again the partisans were confused that I retweeted tweets mocking the situation; tweets pointing out the incredible hypocrisy of politicians for saying “Should someone’s mistake at 16 destroy his whole future?” while also thinking it’s hunky-dory to put 14-year-olds on trial as adults; and tweets saying it’s a bit creepy that people now go trolling through others’ social media histories for the express purpose of ruining the target’s life, and institutions eagerly oblige the snitch.  Partisans don’t see the principles at stake here; all they see is a reprehensible person that they want to see hurt, so they completely forget that a weapon once given to the state can never be taken away.  Someone argued that in the kid’s case, the comments were made only 18 months ago and were therefore basically the present.  I replied, “If you think it’ll stop at 18 months, 18 years or even 18 decades, you haven’t been paying attention.”  Also: I’m quite sure a prosecutor wouldn’t accept, “But she would’ve been of age in 18 months!” as a defense.  Either people below the magic Instant of Shazam are helpless, incompetent “children” incapable of decision-making, or they aren’t; you can’t have it both ways without hypocrisy.  If it’s wrong for Christian bigots to use government violence against LGBT people, it’s also wrong for vengeful LGBT people to use government violence against Christian bigots.  But people don’t see it this way; oh, everybody tells their kids “two wrongs don’t make a right”, but they don’t really believe it.  What they believe in is us vs. them, and that it’s perfectly OK to use state violence against “them”…regardless of the consequences to everyone.

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