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Posts Tagged ‘Texas’

I can’t breathe.  –  Javier Ambler

Sometimes it’s difficult to choose which of a musician’s songs to use as a memorial, but this time it was a no-brainer.  The links above the video were provided by I Am Curious Blue, Mark Draughn, Furrygirl, Popehat and Walter Olson, Kevin Wilson, and Mark Bennett, in that order.

From the Archives

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

The Widening Gyre (#864)

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

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

Hail causes sex trafficking!

You Were Warned (#926)

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

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

Censor Chic (#948)

It’s so convenient to outsource tyranny to computers:

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

Panopticon (#1007)

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

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

Panopticon (#1030)

Pigs now routinely use spy drones for surveillance :

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

Social Distancing (#1041)

Australian sex workers are challenging crypto-moralism:

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

But for Video

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

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

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He fed the police and didn’t charge them nothing.  –  Odessa Riley

Rube Goldberg machines are even more awesome when constructed in an ordinary yard, as in this video contributed by Phoenix Calida; the links above it were provided by Cathy Reisenwitz, Kevin Wilson, Missy Mariposa (x2), Mark Bennett, and Mike Siegel, in that order.

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  George Floyd

Last week Jesse Walker tweeted this video and…see for yourself.  The links above it were provided by Mama Tush, Popehat, Zuri Davis, Mike Siegel, Jesse again, and Stephen Lemons, in that order.

From the Archives

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[Therapists’] preconceptions about sex work…do more damage rather than help.  –  Teela Sanders

Follow the Leader

Costumed hooligans regularly abduct and torture people in ways that would be charged as crimes for anyone else:

…Dallas police [arrested]…Esmeralda Lira…and Jose Balderas…[and] charged [them] with child endangerment after…someone [claimed]…that Lira had three children tied up at the home with no food…[cops] found two children asleep in a bedroom…[and] the third…locked [in a] shed…the 6-year-old boy [was] standing alone inside the pitch-black shed.  His hands were tied behind his back with shoelaces…The child [said] that Lira, his grandmother, tied him him up in the shed [overnight] when he is bad…the boy…[said] Lira bathed [him] outside by spraying him with water…[and gave him] a plastic bag when he needed to relieve himself…

Compare this treatment with that in “Torture Chamber” below, in the same state.

The Real World

Anti-whore stigma even harms sex workers who are therapists:

Some years ago…I sought mental health support.  I noticed that during the initial assessment the therapist increased my risk score when I told him what I did for a living.  I am a trained therapist, so I understood the…form…When I asked him why he had increased my risk factor, he said, “Because you’re an escort.”  I said, “But you haven’t asked me how I work, where I work, with whom I work.  That doesn’t make sense”…He looked at me with a vacant glaze…[and] said, “Okay, well, it’s sex work, so I still have to increase the risk score.”  This is stigma against sex work, or “whorephobia” in action, and it is the opposite of what is needed to support sex workers effectively.  Sex-work stigma…has been identified as the leading cause of mental health problems for sex workers…

Skin To Skin (#958)

Another step forward for disabled Australians:

People with disabilities can use [Australian] disability insurance scheme funds to access specialised sex worker services, the federal court has ruled…unanimously in a favour of a woman who lives with multiple sclerosis and sought to include the services in her NDIS plan.  Despite the agency’s [claim] that it “does not fund participation in sexual activity”, the federal court said the NDIS Act “does not expressly exclude such activities…nor has any exclusion been made under the NDIS rules…there is no implied exclusion of such activities either, and indeed in our opinion the better view is that they are intended to be included”…the NDIS minister, Stuart Robert, [had bloviated that] funding…sexual therapy services was not in line with community expectations…

The Monsters Are Due (#969)

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

A sheriff’s deputy in North Carolina is facing criminal charges after…he led a[n]…armed [mob of non-cops] to the wrong home in a search for a missing girl [because only cops are allowed to attack wrong houses with armed mobs]…Jordan Kita[‘s mob trespassed at] the home of Dameon Shepard, a [black high school] senior…the all-white [mob] tried unsuccessfully to force its way into the…home…Kita was looking for Lekayda Kempisty, a 15-year-old girl who[se present whereabouts he didn’t know]…She was [not actually missing but]…Kita…was searching for someone named Josiah who used to live next door…There was believed to be some sort of familial relationship between Kita and…Lekayda…

Though the word isn’t used here, we all know what “missing girl” means, don’t we?

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#998) 

Puritans especially hate people enjoying themselves while their “leaders” have sent them to their rooms:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter US attorney general William Barr on April 30, calling on the Trump administration to “confront the ongoing harms wrought by the pornography industry”, especially as use of porn sites has spiked during the coronavirus pandemic

Pyrrhic Victory (#1007) 

Still think this djinni can be stuffed back into its bottle?

…in the coronavirus era, when everyone is advised to wear a mask, exposed faces are increasingly rare.  That’s breaking facial recognition systems everywhere, from iPhones to public surveillance…[but a] company [named] Rank One…[has] released a new form of facial recognition called periocular recognition, which can supposedly identify individuals by just their eyes and eyebrows…and is specifically meant for masked individuals.  Rank One says it will ship the technology to all of its active customers for free.  It’s difficult to pinpoint how many companies and government organizations in the United States use Rank One…[because] its technology is resold by companies with connections to [cop shops] and [spook houses]…like DataWorks Plus and Secure Planet…

Uncharted Seas (#1018)

Too bad politicians can’t recognize that criminalization of consensual acts is always harmful:

…a new [Utah] law decriminalizing polygamy among consenting adults [has] take[n] effect…plural marriages are now considered an infraction…less than some traffic tickets…Deidre Henderson, the bill’s sponsor, has said she hopes it will make victims of abuse and fraud less afraid to come forward in the future…[by] remov[ing] the fear for otherwise law-abiding residents that they could be jailed and their children taken from them because of their religious practices.  And she notes that there are still penalties under the new law for polygamy in conjunction with crimes such as fraud, abuse, domestic violence and human smuggling…

Reawakening

Expect a lot more of these before this is over:

The longer COVID-19 lockdowns last, Texas Supreme Court Justice James Blacklock suggested last week, the more legally vulnerable they may be.  “As more becomes known about the threat and about the less restrictive, more targeted ways to respond to it…continued burdens on constitutional liberties may not survive judicial scrutiny.”  Lockdown resisters are testing that hypothesis in state courts, arguing that the public health emergencies governors cited when they ordered businesses to close and told people to stay at home no longer exist.  An Illinois lawsuit made that case based on a statute that limits the length of a governor’s emergency declarations—an argument that last month persuaded a judge to issue a temporary restraining order.  A New Hampshire lawsuit filed this week claims new circumstances have eliminated the statutory rationale for that state’s lockdown…In Michigan…a…barber who defied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s business closure order will get a chance to challenge the state’s claim that he poses “an imminent danger to public health”…[even though] he was taking precautions such as wearing a mask…and sanitizing his tools with ultraviolet light…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

From the same monsters who think it’s reasonable to lock people in cages for not “socially distancing”:

Prison food is notoriously bad, even in the best of times.  This isn’t the best of times, especially in the 40-plus Texas prisons where people are locked in their cells all the time [under the excuse] of coronavirus.  Their food now arrives at odd hours in paper bags, cold, mushy and without a hint of green…except…for…[the] mystery meat…the milk comes in powdered form [not reconstituted] and…even though it doesn’t look like food you or your dog would want to eat, prisoners and their families say they’re not getting enough of it…A [screw mouthpiece]…denied [everything despite photos]…every time [a prisoner] tests positive for coronavirus, the entire prison goes on lockdown for at least two weeks and…[prisoners are] banned from buying food from the commissary because prison brass are treating the lockdowns like a punishment…[since] early May, thousands…[have] only had sporadic access to phones, mail and showers…a former [Texas] prison official [described the so-called]…johnny sacks…[with the statement] “They’re shitty”…

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[Sex workers] have to pay the rent, they have to eat, so they are forced to continue working.  –  Joep Rottier

Sex Rays

Oh noes, they contaminated public places with their eeeevul sex rays!

On April 21, Arkansas-based clip artist Mayven Doll and her husband took a plea deal…over serious felony charges filed against them back in 2017.  After keeping them in legal limbo for almost three years, this week the prosecutors finally allowed them to plead their felony charges — stemming from a few public sex clips…down to the far more common misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure…[pigs] had downloaded, [masturbated to] and written descriptions of the clips into a request for an arrest warrant and then raided their home…[with a] SWAT [team]…the [warrant] affidavit…wa[s] specifically worded…to invoke three old Arkansas obscenity statues about “hard-core film,” that…are so overly broad that they [crimi]nalize even owning a single commercial porn DVD…a few days after the original prosecutor finished a political campaign that resulted in his election to a newly created judgeship, prosecutors finally agreed to a…plea…deal…

To Molest and Rape

Pigese is designed for obfuscation, but I think this means he violently raped a sex worker:

A Tahoka [Texas cop]…has been arrested and charged with official oppression, prostitution and indecent assault…William Jayce Baker…was on [paid vacation] during the Texas Rangers investigation…

License to Rape (#652)

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by cops at will:

South Dakota [cops’] practice of [rap]ing [people with] catheter[s under the pretense of] obtain[ing] urine samples…violates the U.S. Constitution…federal judge…Roberto Lange…declined to dismiss the case brought by six individuals who sued the cities of Pierre, Wagner and Sisseton, as well as various [rapist cops]…Two [of the] plaintiffs – Gena Alvarez and Aaron Peters – were [raped by]…catheter…[without even the excuse] of…drug crimes.  Alvarez had been…arrested…[for drunk driving and] woke up at the Winner Hospital being held down and [stripped by rapist pig]…Adam Woxland [while his buddy held]…down her legs…

Permanent Record

If prohibitionists really want to “rescue” sex workers, why do they keep trying to stop us from getting other jobs?

A promising young mechanic at a Honda dealership in Indiana was fired from her job after management learned she was making amateur porn outside of work using the platform OnlyFans.  Kirsten Vaughn…was on track to become the first woman master technician at Don Ayres Honda dealership in Fort Wayne when she was abruptly [sacked]…after…coworkers began watching her videos together at the workplace and then sexually harassing her…Jason Johnston, who handles human resources for the dealership, denied that Vaughn had been fired over her OnlyFans account, and said instead that she had violated company policy…[but] declined to specify which policy…in audio recordings that Vaughn provided…of meetings she had with Johnston and dealership general manager John Watkins, the two men can be heard questioning her about her OnlyFans presence and discussing the harm it could do to the reputation of their business…and…blam[ing] Vaughn for the [behavior] of her coworkers…

Panopticon (#923)

The more extensive the surveillance, the more often this will happen:

Sheffield City Council’s automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) system exposed to the internet 8.6 million records of road journeys made by thousands of people…The…camera system’s internal management dashboard could be accessed by simply entering its IP address into a web browser.  No login details or authentication of any sort was needed to view and search the live system…Britain’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter described the security lapse as “both astonishing and worrying,” and demanded a full probe into the snafu…

Welcome To Our World (#1026)

I’m sure you feel safer now:

Two Texas p[igs staged]…an elaborate sting operation to catch citizens giving salon services for money in their own home.  The cops p[retend]ed [to be real people] needing…a manicure…[after] snitches…[ratted on] a woman who was advertising manicure services on social media…Laredo police a[bduc]ted Ana Isabel Castro-Garcia…and [locked her in a filthy cage]…Brenda Stephany Mata…was [also] a[bduc]ted…after she allegedly offered to do a…[sow’s] lashes.  Just like Castro-Garcia, she was [locked in a filthy cage]…for…trying to feed themselves and their families…

Social Distancing (#1034)

Unsurprisingly, New Zealand treats sex workers like any other workers:

…“The fact that the sex industry in New Zealand has been decriminalised has a lot of advantages, and it proves itself now with this virus issue”…says Joep Rottier, a criminology researcher at Utrecht University…In addition to the emergency wage subsidy, which is available to all New Zealand workers just by providing a national ID number and basic personal information, sex workers are also immediately eligible for job-seekers benefits…

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

The Naked Anthropologist

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

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

Shame, Shame (#649)

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

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

I Spy (#1001)

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

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

A Moral Cancer (#1002)

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

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

Like Houses (#1025)

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

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

Like Houses (#1027)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social Distancing (#1028)

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

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

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Whores are pretty relatable when it comes down to it.  –  Andrea Werhun

Here We Go Again

Some things never change:

…in 1913…the San Francisco Bulletin began publishing a series of remarkable essays from a woman using the pen name Alice Smith.  Not yet 30, she’d been working in brothels since she was a teenager, and her first-person account of sex work in California sent shockwaves through the state.  By the time her “A Voice from the Underworld” series ended, the Bulletin had received over 4,000 letters to the editor, many from women in similar situations…[before she started sex work] Alice…worked from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m…Her first [client] paid her $10; she had been making $6 per week as a washerwoman…The Bulletin [later] admitted that it wrote the stories using a ghostwriter, understandable given Alice’s supposed lack of education…[at best] “Alice” was…an amalgamation of stories from several women…[at worst] the Bulletin made the whole thing up, not uncommon for tabloids…

Guest Columnist:  Andrea Werhun

Another peek at Andrea and her book, Modern Whore:

…The overall mission of Modern Whore is to de-stigmatize sex work and make it relatable to civilians.  It’s also to give sex workers visibility and representation, to make sex workers feel a little less alone, a little less isolated and a little less ashamed.  There’s nothing wrong with pleasuring people for money.  It’s a pretty good gig when everyone’s happy and safe and everything is consensual…Hollywood depictions of sex workers enforce stereotypes.  When sex workers are not consulted in the development of those characters, when it’s men creating a fantasy world of how they think sex workers talk to each other, they’re not doing anyone a service.  They’re feeding their own fantasies…

Legislators Gone Wild (#930) 

Nevada politicians accomplish by royal decree what they couldn’t accomplish legally:

Unable to apply for federal loans or state unemployment, Nevada’s sex workers are unemployed with no financial recourse after brothels and strip clubs [were forcibly] shut down [by royal decree] to…clos[e]…all [businesses politicians deem] non-essential…including bars…strip clubs, and…brothels.  The move leaves thousands of workers without any source of income [in hopes of forcing them into poverty and later wage-slavery]…there [a]re 12,000 registered strippers in [Las Vegas] alone…

Unfortunately, Nevada’s “legal” prostitutes have their government names on an official dirty whore list, so they can’t simply lie to get relief as “illegal” sex workers can.

Dutch Threat (#981)

Another painfully-stupid Dutch sex work law:

Dutch sex workers will be…required to stop working and take a break every four hours, even in the middle of a job…[under] new rules following a hard rise in repetitive injury complaints…[due to] Amsterdam and other cities…reduc[ing] their numbers of window brothels…[so] women…[need to] work…extra shifts to meet demand…There are…questions about how the new regulations should be policed.  A recent “mystery shopper” scheme for brothels had no shortage of volunteers but was scrapped after undercover officials were exposed…

Only Dutch bureaucrats could figure out a way to make a good idea like paid breaks for brothel workers into an idiotic exercise in clock-watching monitored by cops.

Fair-Weather Friends (#1009)

The only atypical thing about this is that they’ve been charged:

Yet more Columbus, Ohio, vice cops have been arrested on federal criminal charges…Steven G. Rosser and Whitney R. Lancaster have been charged with conspiring to violate others’ civil rights and conspiring to commit wire fraud…both officers were involved in [the bullshit arrest]…of…Stormy Daniels…in July 2018…That incident is not part of the new federal indictment.  But the duo’s current troubles also stem, in part, from strip club antics and…wrongful arrest…Rosser got in a fight with a patron at Nick’s Cabaret in 2015…had the man “seized and searched without probable cause…and [locked his victim in a cage]…for…five days before the charges against him were ultimately dismissed”…In another incident, this one in April 2018, Rosser, Lancaster, and some of their [accomplices]…stopped and searched the owner of the Dollhouse strip club without probable cause…

Social Distancing (#1025)

Even in a crisis, politicians have to advertise their hate for sex workers:

The federal application for COVID-19-related disaster relief for small businesses…explicitly disqualifies any sex worker or sex oriented business who may derive income from “presenting live performances of a prurient sexual nature” or “through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature”…the USSBA asks potential applicants for economic relief to first check if they do not belong to one of the disqualifying categories, which include “engaging in any illegal activity (as defined by Federal guidelines),” being a deadbeat parent with delinquent child support obligations, legal gambling, lobbying or having a conflict of interest by being a member of Congress or a government entity.  The longest exclusion…[is] deliberately worded to target the largest segment of sex workers and sex-related businesses possible…

If your stage name isn’t clearly tied to your government name and your taxes are filed as a “consultant” or other neutral term, I advise you to lie.  You need this as much as anyone else, and your taxes are paying for it.  Unfortunately, my company is “Maggie McNeill, LLC”, which is pretty obvious to any government stooge with access to Google, but that may not be true for other sex workers reading this.  Fuck these sociopaths for trying to exclude us; take what you need.

Property of the State (#1026) 

This is what happens when you give politicians power to close down businesses:

As more states move to temporarily ban surgical abortions using COVID-19 as an excuse, federal judges have begun to block them.  In three separate rulings [last week], federal judges told state leaders that categorizing abortion as a non-essential medical procedure…was not OK.  The rulings came in response to lawsuits filed after [politicians] in Ohio, Texas, and [Alabama] started declaring that temporary surgical abortion bans were necessary…Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have seen similar orders…Groups are already suing over the bans in Oklahoma and Iowa

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People who haven’t had an online presence aren’t gonna make money right away.  –  Arabelle Raphael

Welcome To Our World

I hope you amateurs enjoy being hunted like animals by armed thugs:

[Cops are gleefully using violence to force peaceful] people [to] comply with the shelter in place orders across North Texas…[Pigs] have [been granted imaginary] authority to [harass] people to make sure they are…workers [the state has declared “essential”] and not [free citizens] out and about…“We did hear some complaints…of people being stopped going to work.  Let me be clear, [fuck you and we’ll keep doing it]” [oinked a pig] of the DeSoto [cop shop.  In addition, cops]…across the region are trying to…fill up the jails with people committing nonviolent or misdemeanor crimes [just as usual.  In fact, prosecutors]…will enhance crimes co[ps accuse people of] during this period [which means]…more jail time and higher fines…

But hey, I’m sure y’all won’t mind because politicians have declared that giving violent thugs permission to harass you just for existing, and robbing you of money you can’t afford to lose, is “for your own good”.

Maggie in the Media

I appeared last week on the All In A Day’s (Sex) Work podcast, speaking on (among other topics) how sex workers have often been blamed for epidemics.  Despite the grim topic, I think you’ll enjoy listening.

Property of the State 

The power to declare something “non-essential” is the power to ban it:

The Texas Attorney General’s office…ordered all clinics that provide abortion to immediately stop providing the procedure in order to comply with the state’s temporary suspension of surgeries that are not deemed “medically necessary” [by politicians]…Those in violation will face “penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time”…

The Cult of Coupling

Too much “togetherness”, y’all?

Divorce filings are skyrocketing from quarantine-weary and financially stressed couples…matrimonial attorneys…are experiencing a 50 percent rise in inquiries from potential clients…[some] Manhattan family-law experts…[say] couples forced to spend time together while quarantined…haven’t fared well…[and] dramatic sways in the financial markets will further spur a wave of wealthy divorces, because richer spouses may decide they want out while their net worth dips…

Top Cop (#995)

This psychopath is still far too close to power for comfort:

Joe Biden is in the process of narrowing down his list of potential running mates, and his allies in the business community are weighing in with their favorite choices.  Since Biden announced earlier this month that he plans to pick a woman as his nominee for vice president, leaders of…industries have been reaching out to him and his presidential campaign about whom they think should join him on the ticket…The names being floated and pushed to Biden by this group include Sens. Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar…

Social Distancing

As always, sex workers take care of our own:

…workers…and…professionals whose livelihoods are tied to in-person meetings…are currently suffering from coronavirus-related job cuts….37 million jobs are vulnerable to layoffs due to social distancing measures…one group facing particularly acute challenges are sex workers, whose work is often illegal…or not covered by unemployment laws…many come from marginalized communities and have trouble accessing other forms of employment…the advocacy organization Bay Area Workers Support (BAWS)…launched a microgrant program that gives out payments of $50–$200 to sex workers in need…Similar efforts are taking place across the country: the Sex Worker Outreach Project…is organizing mutual aid fundraisers for sex workers in places like Los AngelesAustin and New York, and sex workers in Las Vegas have been fundraising via crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe …Taking their work online through photos, videos, phone sex and videoconferencing is one way sex workers have [adapted]…But changing how one does business is not as easy as starting an account…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1023)

“Sponsored content” means content a paper was paid to publish; it’s an ad, not journalism:

Over the past few months, several articles and editorials with a distinct War On Porn propaganda slant have been appearing under the banner of The Guardian, the influential transatlantic news organization…These articles look almost exactly like the rest of The Guardian online content, with the same font, design, artwork, layout and out-links to other stories…Recent articles…[gave] a platform to…Exodus Cry founder Laila Mickelwait…the “Exploitation in Focus” series is “supported, in part, through a grant…[from] Humanity United, a U.S.-based [prohibitionist] foundation…with [a] very vague name…and mission…[which] respond[s] to a billionaire p[rohibition]ist couple…who were embroiled in a labor human trafficking scandal of their own around the time they founded Humanity United…

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We should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.  –  Norman L. Reimer

844,739

Waffle House is so reliably open, FEMA uses them as a measure of disaster severity:

Waffle House has now closed 365 locations across the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic…In a Facebook post on March 15th, Waffle House said that they were attempting to keep their customers safe and keep nearly 45,000 employees employed.

Like Houses

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

The Trump Department of Justice has asked Congress to craft legislation allowing chief judges to indefinitely hold people without trial and suspend other constitutionally-protected rights during coronavirus and other emergencies…While the asks…will likely not come to fruition with a Democratically-controlled House of Representatives [until a future Democratic presdent asks for the same exact thing], they demonstrate how much th[e] White House has a frightening disregard for rights enumerated in the Constitution.  The DOJ [wants to]…allow any chief judge of a district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation”…Norman L. Reimer…of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, [said]…“you could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over.  I find it absolutely terrifying”…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#892)

Hollywood actors really need to stop pretending expertise in sexology:

British actor Orlando Bloom…recently disclosed that he practiced celibacy for six months prior to dating pop-singer Katy Perry (now his fiancee) and further disclosed [his adherence to the bizarre but increasingly-popular puritancal belief] that pornography is very “destructive”.  Bloom’s comments were praised by [pro-censorship fringe group Morality in Media]…

Torture Chamber (#1010)

“Give me your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, so I can torture them until they kill themselves”:

A 27-year-old Honduran man [killed himself in a cage after being locked in it by]…Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Texas…The death is the ninth in ICE custody in the 2020 fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, and surpasses the number of deaths for the entire 2019 fiscal year when eight people died…The man had requested asylum [with his]…family…at a port of entry in Texas on Feb. 19…[but was denied by a pig] on Feb. 28, a decision that was later upheld by an immigration judge on March 11…

Social Distancing

How the pandemic is affecting sex workers in Germany:

At the “Lankwitzer 7” brothel…disinfectant dispensers have been installed next to the washbasins.  [Owner Aurel] Marx say he’s ordered staff to hot-wash all towels and sheets, and open the windows more often to let the warm, sticky air escape.  Still, customers just aren’t coming round anymore…since the virus arrived in Berlin…

And Bangladesh:

Sex workers from one of the world’s largest brothels appealed to the Bangladesh government…for emergency funding after a ban on customers to prevent the spread of coronavirus.  More than 1,500 sex workers are based at the Daulatdia brothel, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Dhaka, which is one of about 12 officially sanctioned brothels in the South Asian country, and receives an estimated 5,000 customers every day.  The government on [March 20th] announced the closure of the brothel…until at least April 5 but promised to give all of the sex workers a package of 30 kgs of rice, $25, and a freeze on rent…

And Bolivia:

A nighttime curfew imposed by the Bolivian president to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus…faces opposition from sex workers, who say their already precarious livelihoods are at stake…more than 50 licensed establishments have been forced to close after the Bolivian government imposed a daily curfew from about 5 p.m. to 5 a.m…Lily Cortes, a representative of Bolivia’s sex workers union, said that if the legal establishments cannot function, “unfortunately the sex workers will go out to work the streets and the result will be worse”…

Worse Than I Thought (#1023)

Wow, two politicians with a particle of human decency!

…Odessa [Texas politician]…Dan Jones [tried to use the fantasy of “sex trafficking” to sell his proposed]…policy [to deny strippers the licenses they need to work if they got behind on their water bills while out of work during an epidemic]…but…council member Peggy Dean…ask[ed] for the…change…to be pulled from the…agenda and so did…council member Tom Sprawls.  Both previously voted against the ordinance during the March 10 council meeting…Dean said that that she disagreed with the ordinance’s utilities policy especially in the current times where many people might be unable to pay their water bill after being laid off or have had their hours cut due to the coronavirus….“I don’t really understand how the past due water bills help stop human trafficking. That makes no sense to me.”  She mentioned that if anybody had a past due water bill, then they would be 18 [even though Jones pretended his petty, punitive]…policy would help us find out who is under age.  “Well it wouldn’t, a 16-year-old wouldn’t have a water bill…[this] is very invasive and way too far reaching”…

Social Distancing (#1024)

A glimpse into the violent sociopathy that is prohibitionism:

When the news alert from the Baltimore Sun popped up saying: “Baltimore State’s Attorney Mosby to stop prosecuting drug possession, prostitution, other crimes amid coronavirus,” I had a visceral reaction that was like a punch to the gut.  I’m most concerned about the inclusion of prostitution in her list.  By [stopp]ing [cops from stalking, deceiving and raping]…sex [workers, we rob freaks like me of material for our spank banks]…I sold sex for money in my early twenties…more than a decade later, I [started swallowing prohibitionist propaganda.  Blah blah “sending a message“]…In Baltimore we have a VICE unit specifically focused on [ra]ping sex [workers]…If I reacted so viscerally to Mosby’s statement, I can only assume that [the rapist cops must have had a similar reaction to news that they would temporarily be denied opportunities to rape women and destroy peaceful men’s lives]…

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