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Diary #313

I’ve been slowly getting used to being a minor celebrity; for example, two weeks ago I didn’t even bat an eyelash when my doctor’s assistant said, “Oh, I saw you in the New York Times!”  So I wasn’t surprised when MTV News asked me for an interview, and I’m glad to report that the resulting article was quite good, certainly a lot better than that garbage Rolling Stone started the month with.  The article had a rather funny side-effect, though, mostly because computers are, as Isaac Asimov once called them, “high-speed morons”; they do whatever they’re told to do, very quickly and thoroughly, no matter how bloody stupid it is.  Well, apparently someone at a website named “The Celebrity Auction” figured that anybody mentioned by name in MTV News must be a celebrity, because the night after I took this lovely but wholly gratuitous selfie, Google alerts sent me a message from that site urging me to “Get the latest Maggie McNeill news and hot Maggie McNeill gossip!”  I ask you, readers, how could I resist?  I wanted to hear about how I’d been spotted stumbling drunk out of a swanky Manhattan club at 3 AM, or how I had been romantically linked with that one guy from the TV show, who was also in a band, probably.  Or maybe that actress who’s so funny.  Definitely her.  Ooh, or maybe an article about my beauty secrets, and how much plastic surgery I’ve had, and how I get my body “bikini ready” every year!  Alas, I was to be disappointed; it was just this link to a quote from the MTV interview.    Oh, well; at least I’m officially a celebrity now, so I can stop wondering; I reckon I should’ve seen this coming after I got my own IMDb page.  Can a Wikipedia article be far behind?

The difference between my level of contempt for evil and my level of contempt for moral cowardice is so minuscule I probably couldn’t shove [a police collaborator’s] scruples between them.  – “Zurvivor

Grigori RasputinThis month, the guest columnist (Sarah Woolley) moved into the spot that feature still occupies, the second Monday of the month.  Wednesdays were reader questions (“Late Bloomer“, “On a Mountaintop“, “Quicker Than the Eye” and “Sensitive Guy“), a feature that now appears on Thursdays; Fridays were reprints of my columns from Cliterati,  which this month were “Unmentionables”  and “Sold Out“; there were only two because this month’s fictional interlude,  “Glorious Gifts“, pre-empted one and my Summer Solstice column the other.  The month’s only other holiday was International Whores’ Day, and there were three other feature columns: the harlotography (“Marie Duplessis“), a book review (America’s War on Sex)Eeyore's house and a songs column (“Money Don’t Grow On Trees“).  “Zurvivor“, Pimping the Pimp“, “Rotten to the Core“, “Which I Doubt” and “Flush Criminalization”  were all news commentaries, and that leaves only three columns of other types:  “Sleeping With the Enemy” criticized some sex workers’ trendy but idiotic fascinations with Marxism and misandry; “Magic Formulae” discussed the superstitious belief in “tests” or procedures believed to protect whores from cops; and “Hussies” mocked the resurgence of the tiresome belief that women’s sex drives are at least as ravenous as men’s.The Ionian Dance by Sir Edward John Poynter (1895)

Links #312

Too bad I can’t eat too many without lowering blood pressure too much.

I’m very fond of short videos that put an unusual “spin” on a familiar subject; this week’s example was contributed by Tim Cushing.  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko (“paradise”), Amy Alkon (“children”), Nun Ya (“laws”), and Popehat (“policies”).

From the Archives

You are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.  –  Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Do As I Say, Not As I Do Tony Sellers

Usually, if I miss an item while it’s current and only hear about it months later, I’ll leave it alone.  But since this has been such a banner year for sexual misbehavior by cops, I want to feature every one I can find.  So when Tits & Sass featured this roundup of such items recently, I just couldn’t leave the one item I had missed behind:  “[After being entrapped in a sting Houston cop] Tony James Sellers…was charged with prostitution.  He was [given a paid vacation while officials bloviated about ‘ending demand’ and sex rays]…

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Once again, actual figures disprove the hysteria:

A new Department of Justice study shows that the crime parents obsess about the most—the abduction and murder of a child by stranger—is less likely than ever…in…2011…105…occurred, but only 8% ended in murder.  In 1997, by contrast, 40% did.  Today, children kidnapped by a stranger have a 92% chance of making it home…thanks to cell phones, GPSing and security cameras.  So what of the other big fears of our age, like the fear of children being abducted by strangers they meet on the internet?  The study found only one victim of such a crime.  Okay, well how about all the sex trafficking?  The study found that 16-18 girls were kidnapped for that purpose…Well, are kids at least being stolen by pedophile rings?  The DOJ found zero cases of this happening.  How about stolen by Satanists?  Zero again.  What’s more, the report also found that the victim profile most of us have in our heads—young moppets on their way to school—does not match with reality…The most common victims are girls aged 12 to 17, with sexual assault being the biggest motive…

Saving Them From Themselves

Once in a while an insanely-broad law is defeated:

The Minnesota Court of Appeals just struck down a key part of the state’s law concerning sexual communication with minors…[which]  criminalized conduct that falls far short of solicitation.  For example, the court noted, “a music video producer [who] creates a video with sexually explicit depictions or lyrics” could be found guilty under the law if he or she uploads the video to YouTube and someone under age 16 sees it.  So too could the producer of a film depicting sexual content or the writer of young-adult fiction that includes a sex scene…any communication with a child “relating to or describing sexual conduct,” even without trying to solicit them for real-world activity, is also a felony if it is done with “the intent to arouse”…”distributing any material, language, or communication, including a photographic or video image, that relates to or describes sexual conduct to a child or someone the person reasonably believes is a child” is a felony…

Note that the last provision criminalizes sex education.

The Schizoid State

So he’s a “pimp” because male, but a “child” because 17, and his same-age “victim” is obviously helpless because she’s female and therefore a moral imbecile even though they’re the same age.  Got all that?

A [Las Vegas] High School dropout is now an accused pimp…The 17-year-old is accused of running a prostitution ring…with two accomplices.  The victims — girls ages 15, 16 and 17 — were delivered to houses and hotels to sell sex for $100 or $200…The teen’s identity is not being revealed because his case is currently being handled in juvenile court…[but] Judge Frank Sullivan…[decided]…to charge the teen as an adult…[because] the district attorney’s office [said] the case is as serious as it gets…[despite] the teen’s history of…psychiatric and drug abuse issues…if convicted [he] could face life in prison…

Having sex is “as serious as it gets”.  Much worse than, say, murder, torture or kidnapping.

Standard Operating Procedure

It’s funny to me that most people are so naive they don’t realize this stuff is totally par for the course:

Three high-ranking officers in the NYPD acted as “cops on call” for two deep-pocketed de Blasio donors — as long as their “elves” plied them with gifts and bankrolled a highflying lifestyle that included hookers, free hotels and expensive meals.  Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, Deputy Inspector James Grant and Sgt. David Villanueva were arrested…in a far-reaching bribery scandal that has also snared longtime correction officers union leader Norman Seabrook…the cops acted as a “private police force” in exchange for gifts, bribes and perks worth more than $100,000…

The sex worker connection is described in more detail here:

A high-ranking NYPD official and another cop had sex with a prostitute…dressed as a flight attendant on…[a] 2014 excursion to Las Vegas…on a private plane…paid for by Jona Rechnitz, a real-estate investor being investigated by the FBI for allegedly providing gifts to police in exchange for favors…one of the officers [was] Deputy Inspector James Grant…Michael Milici, the other cop, is on modified duty…

Backwards Into the Future (#137)

These are the people prohibitionists think should be in charge of “protecting” sex workers:

Once, when I was meeting with a sex workers’ group in a brothel in Kenya, the women there got a call that one of their members had been found, dumped near a river with deep cuts on her face, hands, and thighs.  The woman had been [arrested] the night before…Her fellow sex workers had gone to the police station to bail her out but couldn’t find her.  When they picked her up…they learned she had been gang raped by the police, who then left her in the woods where she was accosted by street boys, who raped and beat her again.  The sex workers attempted to report the incident but were threatened with arrests of their own…

Shame, Shame

After a brief lull, politicians are once again trying to impose even more broad and mindlessly-draconian “revenge porn” laws on unsuspecting internet users:

The…ACLU…and [other free speech groups urged]…Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to veto a new measure meant to deal with “revenge porn” and “sextortion”…”unlike the laws of virtually every other state on this subject,” the Rhode Island measure does “not require a photo’s dissemination to cause harm to any person or even be intended to cause harm in order to violate the law”…The new legislation, passed earlier this month, prohibits posting sexually explicit photos without the subject’s [direct] permission…The legislation also bans “sextortion”…Rhode Island already criminalizes extortion.  But…the new “sextortion” charge…could…be added to regular extortion and/or revenge porn charges to give prosecutors an extra carceral edge…

Amazingly, the governor actually vetoed the law for its blatant unconstitutionality.

Blood on the Sand

This looks like another case in which everyone involved is awful:

A woman and her attorneys have been charged with secretly videotaping her having sex with a former CEO of Waffle House, and using the recording to try to extort millions of dollars from him…Mye Brindle, John Butters and David Cohen were indicted…in…Atlanta…Butters and Cohen tried to force [Joe] Rogers to pay millions of dollars to prevent the recording from being released…a…spokesman for Brindle’s attorneys…said the indictment sends a “chilling message” to victims of sexual abuse and those seeking help to attain justice…Brindle filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Rogers in 2012…[accusing] Rogers of forcing her to perform sex acts with him to keep her job despite her protests for nearly 10 years.  Rogers has acknowledged having consensual sexual encounters with Brindle, but has accused her of making false statements against him.  Court findings showed the covertly recorded video didn’t imply that Rogers forced the woman to do anything she didn’t want to…

Nice While It Lasted

The SCOTUS has more or less just demolished what little was left of the Fourth Amendment.  The following is a quote from Justice Sotomayor’s scathing dissent, which would’ve been the quote of the week except for its length:

…Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language:  This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong…If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant…Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realize how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more…this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time.  It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights…

Broken Record (#559) 

Irish iterations of the “gypsy whore” myth are the silliest and most hilarious ones:

Irish fans partying in French cities during Euro 2016 have been met by an army of sex workers brought from Eastern Europe and Africa for the month-long football tournament.  Football fans…have reported being propositioned…by women who have been forced to travel to France by criminal gangs determined to cash in on the tournament…Aside from health concerns, fans have also been warned of blackmail attempts by some sex trade workers, who have been ordered by pimps to secretly take photos and videos of their clients…[which are] then sold on to criminal gangs which specialise in blackmail and extortion…

Monsters (#566) 

You may remember that this was the case in which the cops claimed they didn’t know if it was hate-motivated:

A Kansas City man has been charged in the death of a transgender woman he intentionally ran over several times and left to die…Witnesses told the police that…they saw Tamara Dominguez got into a truck with 29-year-old Luis Sanchez.  But she soon exited the vehicle and slammed the door before walking away.  That’s when Sanchez reportedly gunned the engine and repeatedly ran over Dominguez, who died from injuries sustained in the attack…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#584)

San Diego has slowly grown into a major hotbed of “sex trafficking” hysteria, but it’s still surprising that none of these “authorities” is able to recognize this ludicrous masturbatory fantasy for what it is:

A federal report on sex trafficking in San Diego has revealed a vast underground industry worth more than $800m annually…Sex trafficking…involves some 110 gangs just in San Diego County, dubbed one of 13 hot spots for child sex trafficking in the US…“The study will provide a lot of new information to those seeking to end modern slavery,” said John Picarelli…between 3,000 and 8,000 victims enter the clutches of the sex-trafficking industry every year…The average age to begin selling sex is 15, and 50% of women arrested for prostitution have at some point been forced into it, the study found…pimps were typically earning around $670,000 a year…

To Molest and Rape

Sometimes they feed on their own:

A parking enforcement officer has accused three Toronto police officers of raping her vaginally, orally, and possibly anally…Leslie Nyznik…Joshua Cabero…and Sameer Kara…pleaded not guilty to sexual assault…The complainant told police she knew the three officers and was invited out for a “rookie night” by Kara in January 16, 2015…[after drinking a while] they went back to [a] hotel room…[where] she felt very drunk and laid down…she was immobilized and unable to speak.  She…remembers Nyznik inserting his penis into her mouth and that one of the men took her jeans off.  She recalled being penetrated vaginally…and that the two men may have switched places…When she woke up…Kara was asleep beside her and she grabbed her clothes and went home, where she vomited and passed out in her bathroom.  The following day, she had a rape kit examination at Scarborough Grace Hospital, during which a nurse found evidence of anal penetration…she didn’t remember being anally penetrated, but recalled one of the officers asking “should I fuck her in the ass?”…

The people we empower to sanction sexual deviance and protect others from sexual abuse are some of the worst perpetrators of sexual violence and exploitation.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

The rapist cop reports just keep increasing; as I wrote in the original “To Molest and Rape” only a month ago,

…in the past [few] months there has been such an explosion of rapist cop reports I’ve been forced to feature them in separate columns because there isn’t enough room in the news columns.  “Morality Lessons” contained several reports of cops raping people or otherwise victimizing them via sex; “The Public Morals” contained five more.  And this week there were so many that they literally would’ve filled half of a news column had I published them as separate items.  Does this mean cops are raping more often, that they’re being reported more often, or that the media used to bury such stories but are  publishing them more often now?  There’s no way to tell; perhaps it’s all three…

The horrifying trend has shown no sign of abating yet.  A week ago today, Elizabeth Nolan Brown included TEN separate incidents, all from the week before, in this article in Reason.  I’ve covered two of them already,  Scottsdale, Arizona’s “courteous” rapist cop Jay Wu, and the Oakland, California cop sex ring exploiting underage sex worker Celeste Guap (which is also the subject of this pro-decriminalization article by Alison Bass).  Liz also featured two items I discovered independently; the first one is from Montgomery, Alabama and demonstrates that men aren’t safe from rapist cops, either:  “…Deonte Lashawn Hamner…is charged with first-degree sodomy…[which] occurred when…he…[stopped] the victim’s vehicle [under the pretext of] a noise complaint on June 14…”  The second one doesn’t involve a rape:

A [Broward County] Florida deputy is facing 29 child sex-related charges, including sexual assault and using a computer in an attempt to lure a child for sex…Kreg Costa…was arrested [June 9th] and was being held without bail…staff at Costa’s office noticed he was staying in his office during the night shift with the lights off and his service belt removed.  A check into Costa’s computer showed he was viewing websites dedicated to hardcore pornography…while at work…[he] also exchanged sexually explicit emails and videos with a 16-year-old girl…

I assume he was later allowed to bail out, because he shot himself dead on the 15th.  Here are the others Liz reported:

A…Helena, Montana, [cop] faces a civil lawsuit brought by a woman who had been working as a confidential informant for a local drug task force….Lloyd Thompson initially threatened her with criminal charges and to have her children taken away if she did not have sex with him, and things eventually escalated to physical violence as well…Thompson also sexually abused four other female confidential informants…and that he drank alcohol and used meth while on duty…

From Hawaii, a cop’s idea of “friendship”:

Honolulu [cop] Jessie Laconsay was indicted by a grand jury…on four counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault.  He’s accused [of] raping a friend’s 14-year-old daughter on multiple occasions…

Oops, looks like somebody forgot about Miranda:

… a judge rejected a motion to suppress statements made by…Northern Illinois University (NIU) [cop] Andrew Rifkin, allowing the case to proceed to trial.  He’s accused of sexually assaulting an NIU freshmen in 2011.  The case was complicated by a previous court finding that the NIU Police Department had botched evidence in the case, a ruling that led to the firing of NIU Police Chief Donald Grady.

It’s not only regular cops who rape:

William Averill, a probation officer with the Dorchester [Massachusetts] Municipal Court, was arraigned…for rape, indecent assault and battery, and assault with intent to rape.  Averill is accused of sexually assaulting a young woman whom he was supervising during her one-year probation sentence…

No collection of rapist cops would be complete without one from Texas:

…Killeen [cop] Christopher R. Morris was indicted by a grand jury on charges of sexual assault and official oppression, after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in December…

I wonder if juries are getting less worshipful of cops?  Morris was indicted by a grand jury, and “…Muscatane [Iowa cop] Tom Tovar was convicted by a jury of sexually assaulting a woman whose boyfriend he arrested for drunk driving…”  And here’s one more from Louisiana that escaped Liz’s dragnet:

[An] Ascension Parish deputy is under arrest for malfeasance in office and first-degree rape…William Lanoux of Prairieville allegedly had sex with a [14-year-old runaway]…Lanoux said he believed he was meeting an 18-year-old girl…

Of course, it’s not only American cops who rape; UK cops are trying to keep up with them:

A [cop] who repeatedly raping a woman during a nine-month campaign of abuse was dubbed a “monster” as he was jailed for 16 years…Mike Graham…tied up the woman, choked her until she struggled to breath, and brutally attacked her at least a dozen times, ignoring her cries for help and pleas for him to stop…Graham claimed the sex was consensual, but some of the attacks were recorded on the woman’s iPhone on an app designed to capture sleep-talking or snoring.  The phone, which was sat on the bedside, was automatically activated by her cries for help and kept a recording of what happened…the woman broke down in tears as she told Graham the impact of his abuse.  “You told me as a police officer you could do as you liked, that no one would believe me and you would tell your colleagues I was mental…You threatened to kill me and dispose of the evidence”…The woman also told the court she lived in fear that Graham would come after her even after his arrest, and said she can no longer listen to music or watch television “in case I can’t hear you breaking in to kill me”…

Some of them prefer to rape by proxy:

…a…murder squad detective hid a secret life as a paedophile who trawled the internet looking for images of young girls…Kenneth Dymond…confessed to being sexually attracted to teenage girls and [claimed to be] addicted to pornography.  Dymond…also made contact with a 15-year-old girl over the internet causing such concern that her brother threatened to report him as a paedophile…police raided Dymond’s home…in August 2015 and seized two lap tops and two mobile phones.  Analysis…revealed 544 indecent images of children including 172 which were of the most serious level…The images included film footage of a baby girl aged just 18 months being raped by an adult man…Dymond…was jailed for eight months and placed on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years…

“Porn addiction”.  Naturally.  Nigerian cops make no such excuses for their rapes, though the media there are just as “addicted” to employing convoluted phrases to avoid the word “rape”:

A community based organization of sex workers…has called for help over the…ill treatment its members receive from policemen…who harass and rape them without protection.  “…the Policemen break our doors to start packing us like goats to the station.  If you don’t have money to bail yourself, they will say they want to sleep with you unprotected which is very bad…in the brothel, we protect ourselves, we use condoms, but with the Policemen, you don’t have a say”…

Well, that’s all of the “few bad apples” for now, but don’t be surprised if you see another one in tomorrow’s news column.  And I’m really wondering if I’m going to need to turn this into a separate feature.

Amateur Night

I’m a 33 year old man who was the victim of more than 20 years of physical, emotional and non-penetrative sexual abuse; as you might imagine this has impacted my sexuality in pretty negative ways.  But thanks to more than a decade of therapy, I believe that I have put the most of the worst behind me and I would like to lose my virginity.  I respect prostitutes a great deal, but there’s a part of me that doesn’t want that as my first experience.  I could go out and get a girlfriend (I’m actually quite comfortable with women), or I could attempt to have a one-night stand, though I don’t know the first thing about doing that.  I could go back into more therapy, but at this point I’m leaning towards doing the deed itself being the best form of that.  I would appreciate any assistance you might possibly render with your wisdom and experience in this field.Amateur Night

There’s nothing wrong with taking the slow, socially-approved route of getting a girlfriend and losing your virginity to her, provided you

A) aren’t in a rush;

B) are reasonably sure you won’t have any extreme reactions if she accidentally does something that triggers a traumatic memory; and

C) don’t really care about the quality of the sexual performance itself.

If, however, you feel a sense of urgency about this, like you “need” to lose your virginity right away, it’s probably much better to get a professional.  With a pro you can control the time and pacing; it will happen when YOU are ready, not when an amateur decides she’s ready.  And while navigating the dance of consent and the give-and-take of a romantic relationship is probably something you should learn at some point in the future, learning it right now, at a time when you aren’t yet sure you’re completely over your trauma yet, might be more than you can handle.  Furthermore, I’m a little uncomfortable with the way you say, “go out and get a girlfriend”, like “go and get takeout food”.  It makes it sound like you plan to use her to lose your virginity, and then…what?  What if you have a traumatic reaction, as I touched on above?  What if you get really needily-attached to her, or have a bad experience and reject her?  While those are things an adult woman should be able to handle, it’s just not ethical to dump your garbage in someone else’s yard without her permission, and frankly, most amateurs really have no idea what they’re doing when it comes to dealing with any sexuality more complicated than the typical vanilla “love” or lust-based interaction (which is why their STI rates are so damned high).  To me it’s a lot more honest, ethical and sensible for you to pay a seasoned professional (choose one who has a long internet history and a reputation for patience) for a multi-hour session, take her to dinner, get to feel comfortable and tell her about your issues so she can be ready.  Once you’ve got that troublesome first time out of the way, you can decide how you want to proceed in the future.  But given that most amateurs are barely even competent to give an untraumatized person a decent first time, I think your reticence runs counter to your best interests.  At one time it was quite normal for young men to have their first experiences with a whore; the modern preoccupation with amateur initiations is based in foolish romanticism, not good sense and a sober analysis of what would provide the best results.

(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.)

The GSI…is not an index of global slavery, but rather of global hypocrisy.  –  Julia Davidson & Sam Okyere

License to Rape

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

A young U.S. citizen is suing the federal government after she said she was taken in handcuffs by border officers to a Nogales [Arizona] hospital for a body cavity search — which found nothing — and then billed for the procedure.  Ashley Cervantes…crossed into Mexico on foot on a Saturday morning in October 2014 to have breakfast at a restaurant where she often eats.  On returning, she presented border officials with her birth certificate and state identification card…they accused…[her] of possessing drugs…she was handcuffed to a chair, had several dogs sniff her, and eventually taken into a separate room where she was patted down and asked to squat so female investigators could visually inspect her.  All…without her consent or a warrant…a request to call her mother was denied…Cervantes was taken in handcuffs to Holy Cross Hospital where the doctor probed her anus and vagina…No drugs ever were found…and…[she] was released after about seven hours…They even billed her parents for the “treatment” for $575…

A seven-hour rape, after which the rapists bill the victim for their “services”.  But this isn’t a police state.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do Robert Moore

When will these cops learn?  RAPING a whore is OK; it’s only paying her that’s an issue:

[Prison guard] Robert Moore, who…[was] arrested in December on what was at the time referred to as a “prostitution related crime,” was arrested yet again…for engaging/ soliciting for the purpose of prostitution…Moore…[was] “found…with the prostitute with her clothes partially off and a crack pipe in her pocket.  The woman told police…she and Moore read the Bible and talked about having intercourse…Officers say they found a wrapper and condom; Moore told them he put a condom on, but never intended on having sex“…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea

Some people think prostitution should be legal but “heavily regulated”; here’s an example of what that looks like in action, from India:

On 13 June, the Department of Telecommunications ordered internet service providers to block nearly 240 websites offering escort services.  The diktat came out of the blue, without any attendant statement from the government…In July last year, the Centre had tried to ban 857 pornographic websites, ostensibly to protect our countrymen (and women) from “immoral” influences on the internet.  That initiative came to nought, and the government backtracked, following a huge public and social media outcry against its attempt to police not just the internet, but also the private lives and sexual habits of citizens…However, the directive to black out…escort services shows that a year down the line, the government is unwavering in its resolve to censor the internet at will…in the interest of upholding its own ideas of public morality…when the state is in no position to ban prostitution – under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, buying and selling of sex is not illegal – why is it trying to take up cudgels against…escort services?…The government’s repeated attempts to police the internet and ferret out and ban its so-called corrupting elements are at once absurd and sinister…

Backwards into the Future

This is a bit of a head-scratcher; I’m not sure how working for free could be considered a “protest”:

Sex Workers in South Africa decided to offer free services as a protest intended to force President Jacob Zuma to address the needs of young people in the Rainbow nation…the special service [ran] for 24 hours across the country [on June 16th] to mark South Africa’s Youth Days…

Pyrrhic Victory

Definitely not a police state, no sirree:

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation has successfully convinced a federal judge to block the disclosure of where the bureau has attached surveillance cams on Seattle utility poles…this privacy dispute highlights a powerful and clandestine tool the authorities are employing across the country to snoop on the public—sometimes with warrants, sometimes without…The deployment of such video cameras appears to be widespread.  What’s more, the Seattle authorities aren’t saying whether they have obtained court warrants to install the surveillance cams…

What a Week! (#26)

You know that “negative secondary effects” bullshit?

The sex industry…has long been perceived and regulated as a “dirty and disorderly” feature of residential communities.  The stereotypical, and unfair, view of sex workers is that they are vectors of disease and social contagions; it’s a moral hangover from the Victorians…[which] is reflected in the regulation and marginalisation of sex work by…government policies to dark and secluded areas of cities…and police forces periodically engage in “clean-up” campaigns that seek to purge local areas of sex work…[these] strategies tend to be based not on science, but on a small number of complaints from a vocal minority who assert particular moral agendas.  Such raids are generally justified by the media and local authorities on the basis that locals, especially women and children, need to be protected from the harmful effects of “sleaze”…Research by Phil Hubbard and colleagues, Penny Crofts, Sarah Kingston, and Emily Cooper…suggests that sex work contributes to residential communities in much more complex ways than is commonly portrayed in the media…

Gingerbread House

“Residential farm” = “doing menial agricultural labor for their keep”.  But hey, at least they won’t be having dirtydirty sex:

For women escaping the sex trafficking industry, opportunities to start over new are slim, and places they can go to heal fully are even fewer.  Such is the mission of Sacred Roots Farm, which aims to be “a place of holistic healing”…The nonprofit’s eventual aim is to build a residential farm for those women and their children.  Founder Sam Haupt…began researching the issue and learned Atlanta is a known hub of trafficking and sex exploitation

Whatever They Need To Say

Cops openly admit being lazy fascists; the public just stays asleep:

California’s Costa Mesa Police Department arrested more people on prostitution-related charges in the first four months of 2016 than it did in all of the preceding five years…Police say this is thanks to a conscious decision to refocus a special investigations unit away from busting gang leaders, career criminals, and drug dealers and toward people involved in the sex trade…A long-term drug investigation could eat up hours of work from a half-dozen detectives…Arresting sex workers, however, is easy…But there may be an additional motive for the new focus:  the city wants to get rid of several small motels and replace them with condo and apartment buildings.  The hotels attract a lot of vice crimes…and policing them is a drain on public safety resources, city leaders complain.  Rather than reconsidering the need to obsess over these activities in the first place, officials want the hotels to go away to make room for higher-end residential housing…more profitable in terms of taxes to the city…

Profound Ignorance 

The only parts of this that aren’t profoundly ignorant are the ones that are profoundly obvious:

Sex workers aren’t only found on the street corners of big cities…the first-ever…research survey in Ontario…has assessed the social and health needs of rural sex workers…Researcher Stacey Hannem said the…project began in 2014 when she was approached by a group of social and health service providers [whom]…sex workers didn’t feel comfortable [with because]…the…providers would often try to [coerce] sex workers [to] exit the industry, when that wasn’t…what they wanted…”There is less street-based work but more of this kind of mid-range, everyday escorting,” [Hannem] said…rural sex workers usually find their clients through online advertising, and it often involves much more travel than urban work…when the garaphic designer doesn't read the story

I’ve got news for you, Stacey; mid-range everyday escorts who advertise online are the norm everywhere, so there aren’t dramatically more of them in rural areas than in cities.  An added level of stupidity: look at the picture CBC chose to illustrate a story about how there are fewer street workers in country towns.

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

…Between 2014 and 2015, 45 [Sacramento] businesses were cited for prostitution-related offenses, sexual battery and multiple violations of the county codes that govern massage establishments…Twenty-one…had their licenses revoked in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015—more than five times the previous year’s number…these operations…cause more harm than good.  “I can’t tell you how many of these people may want another job, but taking away their job doesn’t do that,” said Kristen DiAngelo…political and legal responses are often sold as cracking down on exploitation and human trafficking…But, at least locally, authorities say there is no connection between illicit massage parlors and human trafficking….“This does not address abuse,” DiAngelo said. “It’s all a game. And it’s a political game”…

Held Together With Lies (#643)

How “Walk Free Foundation” comes up with those ridiculous “slavery” numbers:

Walk Free has just released its 2016 Global Slavery Index…announcing that there are 45.8 million slaves in the world today…Walk Free doesn’t claim that slavery only exists where people are held in shackles.  Rather, it extends the concept to include people threatened with violence when attempting to leave a given situation or tied by debt to a particular employer.  When it comes to children, Walk Free includes even those who are paid for their labour and who are not necessarily subject to violence or debt, but who are nonetheless counted as “slaves” simply because they are under the age of 18…if Walk Free…is willing to expand the concept of “slavery” in these ways, then why stop here  Take “forced and early marriage”…consensual marriages also become violent and oppressive.  Furthermore, because women often lack legal or financial access to divorce, and/or face stigma and penury as divorced women or single mothers, the many millions who suffer domestic violence are frequently unable to “walk away” from their abusive husbands.  So why don’t these wives also appear as “slaves” in Walk Free’s index?  Equally, we might ask, if it is the absence of consent to a lifelong relationship rather than the actual presence of violence in that relationship that makes “forced and early marriage” a proxy for slavery, then why isn’t the “forced and early motherhood” experienced by women and girls in countries which restrict or deny access to abortion also “modern slavery”?…

Policing for Profit (#645) 

Politicians, being slightly smarter than cops on average, must have realized how obvious this was and are now trying to make themselves look good:

A bipartisan group of legislators and advocacy groups are asking Gov. Mary Fallin to order a stop to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s use of mobile scanners capable of [stealing] money loaded onto prepaid debit cards…Deployment of the scanners comes at a time when civil asset forfeiture has come under criticism in Oklahoma…

The governor has complied with the request, but only until they can put the public back to sleep:

…She says she wants to suspend use of the devices until a clear policy for using the new technology can be developed by the Department of Public Safety.  She says taking the time will help educate the public and “calm the fears of the motoring public”…

Traffic Circle (#647)

It’s so nice when bogus “sex trafficking” bullshit is called out in the mainstream media:

…The [Indiana] task force…launched its effort with billboards emblazoned with the key statistical warning — “13 is the average age kids are first used in the sex trade”…But even child advocates say it’s not true.  It’s cooked up data.  In fact, it’s been debunked for several years…The Fact Checker at the Washington Post…gave this “fact” a pants-on-fire special trophy…The statistic was based on “pretty slim research” and makes little sense, [Glenn] Kessler wrote.  If 13 is the average age for entering the sex trade, then there have to be children under age 11 offsetting those becoming sex workers at age 16 or 17.  A 2008 study of sexually exploited kids in New York City found the average entry age is about 15, but the researchers warned that even that data is fuzzy, too…

When I pointed out to Glenn that these people were still misinterpreting the average age of debut for underage workers as the average for all workers, he flew into action and added an extra note to his re-debunking.  Because that’s the kind of thing people who actually care about facts do!

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