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In the News (#1005)

Poke any “Super Bowl sex trafficking sting”…and all you’ll find is a bunch of sex workers and their customers arrested.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Finding What Isn’t There (#778)

Because the numbers are so low, fetishists want cops trained to manufacture larger ones:

…a state Department of Justice survey…found that human trafficking data is “inconsistent across [Wisconsin]”…and more needs to be done to train [pigs to pretend that sex workers are]…victims…[and] children…[Attorney General Josh] Kaul said…”there’s…clearly a need for more training…so…we can make sure that [cop shops define eveything possible as]…human trafficking [so we can get more federal]…money…in Wisconsin…The number of agency heads who believe that human trafficking happens in their jurisdictions has increased”…Milwaukee has be[en fantasized as]…a hub for sex trafficking [absurdly called “the Harvard of sex trafficking“], in part because of a…[masturbatory fantasy about] “pimp roundtables,” focused on [learning how to walk through walls and do black magic]…

Comfort Zone (#847)

Sometimes the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative is especially apparent:

Forty-seven people have been arrested in a major operation against a network trafficking people between Gibraltar and Spain…the gang kaked [sic] the documentation necessary for the migrants to obtain a visa to enter Gibraltar and then cross the border into Spain clandestinely, hidden in four-wheel drive vehicles with tinted window.  The organisation charged each Moroccan migrant between 7,000 and 8,000 euros for the visa, which increased by between 500 and 700 euros if they needed temporary accommodation…or transfer to another province or country…the traffickers planned the migrants’ journeys, preparing a complete file with false documentation…a plane ticket…a hotel reservation in Gibraltar and [instructions on] steps to follow and who to contact…

Does that sound like “victimization” to you?  This business is providing a service to people who want it, and the attempt to frame it as a “crime” against anyone but the State is patently absurd.

Something Rotten in Sweden (#908)

The public will believe anything it sees on billboards, no matter how ridiculous:

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley…[is behind] a new public [disinformation] campaign to [perscute sex workers]…that’s called, “Take The Pledge”…[which] invites [ignorant conformists] to [jump on the “sex trafficking” bandwagon.  Propaganda]…will be presented on Clear Channel billboards and bus shelters throughout Alameda County…[so gullible yahoos] can [fork over their hard-earned money to] support [pogroms against sex workers and their clients and families]…O’Malley said the billboards drive internet traffic to the her office’s [propaganda] website, where people can take the pledge [under the pretense of] anonym[it]y and sign up for text and email alerts with [their identifying information stored on the prosecutor’s office computers]…

Micromanagement (#927)

They’re not only giving cops people’s info, but selling it to corporations as well:

DNA testing company 23andMe has sold the rights to a new drug that it has developed using its customers’ data…the drug…is…a potential treatment for inflammatory diseases…The drug is likely to be the first of many the company licenses…More than 80 per cent of their customers have agreed to their data being used by the company for research…“In general, I think it’s really good that human genetic information is useful for drug discovery,” says [molecular geneticist Tim] Frayling.  But he questions whether it is fair for the company to financially profit from genetic data that its customers volunteered for medical research…Commentators have already suggested that companies that offer consumer genetic testing pay their customers for the data, rather than charge for it

Rescued To Death (#977)

Once again Philippine cops “rescue” Chinese women from lucrative employment:

Nearly 300 Chinese sex workers and their clients were [arrested] in raids by…Philippine…Police…in the second half of last year…the managers were…charged with human trafficking…and…the…women…were sent to [jails described by cops as] shelters [pending deportation]…The sudden proliferation of Chinese prostitution is tied to the explosive growth of Philippine offshore gaming operators…that cater to players in China, where gambling is illegal…Teresita Ang-See, chair of the [authoritarian] group Movement for the Restoration of Peace and Order….[claimed] the sex workers were themselves victims…

Stupor Bowl (#989)

Virtually the only people who still profess to believe this nonsense are cops and politicians…and, apparently, the Associated Press:

To [profit from hysteria over] human trafficking during the Super Bowl, [pigs oinked]…that they need hotel workers, ride-hailing service drivers and security personnel to be especially [hysterical]…at the “No Room for Trafficking” conference [cops publicly masturbated while sharing their fantasies of young girls]…enslaved for sex…[at] the…Super Bowl…“We’re enlisting people to [build a fascist surveillance state],” said [Florida Attorney General Ashley] Moody…

The public recitation of prohibitionist sexual fantasies about whores and sports fans has become such a pathetic annual ritual, Liz Brown decided to gather a convenient list of articles debunking the tales.

The Widening Gyre (#996)

Amateurs’ fantasies about their value to “sex traffickers” are growing ever sillier.  This one not only thinks each supposed “trafficking” attempt is worth $100, she also believes in a magic contact poison that incapacitates in seconds and cops as magic angels of safety (note the similarity of their role in this tale to the classic “THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!” instant warrantless phone tracing shtick).  The substitution of something of real value for the usual zip tie, scrap paper or the like is like an amplification of the “jar of honey” version we’ve also seen recently; this one also adds the visible lurking stranger of other versions.  It’ll be interesting to see if the car-marking ghosts start using white vans soon.

Dutch Threat (#999)

Dutch authorities keep pretending their registration scheme is intended to help sex workers:

A lack of [government] control has turned Leeuwarden’s red light district into “the cesspit” of Dutch legal prostitution [in the minds of cops and other busybodies]…prostitutes in the Frisian capital, often from other countries, are largely unregistered and invisible to the authorities making them…able to [avoid police] abuse…[and the] unsafe working conditions [created by the laws using the exuse of] possible human trafficking…[migrant] women can immediately start work in…Leeuwarden…[without jumping through hoops or having their lives snooped in by cops.  This de]creases the risk of exploitation [by government actors]…

Loose Cannons (#1002)

Florida prosecutors have apparently realized how desperate they look:

[Prosecutors]…have backed down from a recent claim that…Robert Kraft committed a felony [by having consensual sex with an adult woman] a year ago…[they] revised their position in an appeal concerning video…[obtained with] an unlawful warrant when they recorded Kraft and other people…the state is…contending that…[illegal acts by cops are actually] legal…[because] prostitution…Kraft’s attorneys cited two older federal court cases to make the point that “hidden video surveillance” by [cops] “raises the spectre of the Orwellian state”…

It Tolls for Thee

Recently, someone asked me why I care about Beijing’s campaign to exterminate the Uighurs, stating that he had little symmpathy for them; he appeared to believe the Communist Party’s designation of them as “terrorists”, a word calculated to shut down cognition in anyone predisposed to believe that governments, even oppressive governments, are generally trustworthy in their statements.  Presumably, this person was just intelligent enough to grasp that if he questions the Chinese government’s right to oppress a Muslim minority, the right of his own government to do the same is suspect.  I quickly dismissed him as an odious clod, but was irresistibly reminded of the words of John Donne:

No man is an island, entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

These words are not merely true in a philosophical and moral sense, but in a practical one as well; for every time we allow tyranny and oppression to go unchallenged, we participate in normalizing and excusing the behavior, and establishing it as international precedent.  Then one day soon the victims may not be a strange people in a distant land, but familiar people in our own country.  Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Raising Ignorance

Moral panics are a natural, if unfortunate, byproduct of the tribal instincts of the great ape called homo sapiens.  They tend to last roughly a generation from start to finish (sometimes, mercifully, a little shorter) and can cause tremendous damage to individuals’ lives and society in general before they’re over.  Clever sociopaths have always found ways to profit from these periodic waves of hysteria; for example, evil opportunists would often hurl accusations of witchcraft at widows whose land they wanted to steal.  But the first major moral panic of the internet era (the Satanic Panic was already moribund by the time AOL began its first major marketing campaign) has created a market for profiting from hysterical propaganda on a scale never before seen in human history.  It’s impossible to even guess how large what Laura Agustín dubbed the “rescue industry” has grown, but when its connections to the garment industry are considered, it’s probably safe to say that it’s comparable in size to its own imaginary claims about “sex trafficking”.  In 2011 the propagandists declared January “National Human Trafficking Awareness Month”, probably due to the increasing popularity of the myth that the Super Bowl, which is held in the first few days of February, is a huge driver of “sex trafficking”, with huge cargoes of “sex slaves” trucked into every host city, unimpeded by the usual logistics of transportation and lodging.  Cops and other police-state organs have taken advantage of the hype as an excuse to present their pogroms and “stings” as “sex trafficking operations”, and as a result every January now produces an avalanche of idiotic propaganda (absurdly referred to as “education” or “raising awareness”) that is shockingly stupid even by the very low standards of “sex trafficking” propaganda.  Take this incredible mass of lies from KAKE in Wichita, Kansas:

…“Back Page [sic] needed to be shut down,” [oinked vice pig] Brent Huhman…“they were exploiting…women”…It was considered a hotbed for human trafficking, which can lead to missing people.  The site’s creators would defend the user-posted advertisements…they were not responsible for [under section 230 of the CDA]…However, [federal propaganda claimed] it…pushed moderators to approve [questionable]…ads [despite ample evidence to the contrary]…

The rest is the usual hodgepodge of local “news” copsucking, yellow journalism, parent-scaring, bogus math, BDSM sexual fantasies, surveillance cheerleading and more.  This article from KDRV in Medford, Oregon is every bit as moronic:

Oregon police report that they encounter 3-5 victims of human trafficking per week; 80% of these victims are women, 50% are children.  “People don’t realize that sex trafficking with children is a silent epidemic in the United States,” said Kirsten Arreguin…of Redemption Ridge…“Portland is the second largest city for forced child prostitution in the United States right after Las Vegas”…Traffickers spend considerable time in areas where children congregate such as parks, malls, youth shelters and on social media in order to carefully lure their victims into sex slavery…

It is a sign of the incredible mathematical illiteracy rampant in the US that nobody questions a “report” which begins with “statistics” that add up to 130% (children cannot be women and vice versa, so the categories cannot overlap).  And the prohibitionist sexual fantasy of “pimps” hanging out at every playground is so sick that one has to wonder how anyone higher on the evolutionary scale than a cop could possibly take it seriously, until one considers that these are the same mouth-breathers who claim there are more “sex trafficking” cases in Oregon alone than in the entire United States (“…jail intelligence suggests approximately 595 minors and 1,191 adults are currently victims of sex trafficking currently in the Portland metro area…“); presumably “jail intelligence” is Copese for “tall tales told by prisoners trying to get on cops’ good sides”, because there aren’t even 500 full-service sex workers in Portland, much less “child sex slaves” (this fantasy claims about 1 “sex slave” per 400 adult men in the area).  Support for sex worker rights is growing all the time, and even some of the usual suspects are beginning to recognize prohibition for what it is.  But cops, politicians and profiteers are going to continue publicly masturbating while riding the gravy train until it finally runs off the rails for good.

In the News (#1004)

I didn’t feel like she was really there to help me.  –  sex worker A.G, of a court-ordered “counselor”

King of the Hill

After a long slump, “King of the Hill” claims are again increasing:

…Portland…is a hub for sex trafficking….[with] the notorious ranking of coming second for the greatest number of children…in forced prostitution of all U.S. cities…One of the reasons it is a hot spot is…[that] strip clubs, live sex acts and swingers’ clubs are legal in Portland.  These businesses are often also places where traffickers lure workers into forced prostitution…Portland’s location at the intersection of major interstate freeways I-5 and I-84 puts it at the center of trafficking routes between Seattle, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Moreover, the city’s proximity to shipping waterways and the Canadian border provides access to domestic and international traffickers.  The demand from buyers is unfathomably high…around 300 advertisements are posted online every day for prostitution-related acts…total[ing] $60 million a year…

Most of this is just the usual snake oil intended to shame businesses into paying to subject their employees to bogus “sex trafficking” indoctrination from profiteers like BEST, but I find the “We’re the second worst!” pissing contest (with its attendant “causes” and pompous phraseology like “prostitution-related acts”) to be much more amusing.

Property of the State 

The writer of this article appears to understand very little about politics, or else she’d recognize trolling when she sees it:

…South Carolina [politician]…Mia McLeod pre-filed…a…bill…demand[ing] that anti-choice [politicians]…compensate [women] for acting as…gestational surrogate[s] for the state…which…cannot itself physically conceive or carry a child…The compensation…includes reasonable living, legal, medical, psychological, and psychiatric expenses…claim[ing] the fetus as a…tax…deduction…[guaranteed] public assistance…until the child is 18…all medical expenses associated with [any] disability…all costs associated with health, dental, and vision insurance until the child turns 18…and…a college savings plan…

Logically, McLeod is correct; if the state demands a woman produce subjects against her will, it should be responsible for the upkeep of that human property.  But politics is not logical, and politicians who want abortion banned (especially at the absurdly-early stages currently fashionable in these anti-abortion laws) are not acting in good faith.  These laws have nothing to do with “protecting children” and everything to do with controlling women, just like laws against sex work, toplessness, etc; therefore logical responses to them are pointless.  Furthermore, there’s nothing “groundbreaking” about this; similar trolling-bills regulating men’s ejaculation, etc have been introduced in other anti-choice states.  Nor will it “force a conversation” any more than those other bills, because no conversation is possible between those who believe human rights are inalienable and those who view them as an impediment to state ownership of people.  It’s a good troll, to be sure, but a troll is all it is, and all it can be until self-ownership is Constitutionally recognized as the foundation of all human rights.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#582)

Sex work under ‘legalisation’ is still…conceived of as a crime for which the law makes allowances“:

…charges were withdrawn against two women…facing conviction for “a tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel”…Laura Watson, English Collective of Prostitutes…commented…“Ms O and Ms R were working in a flat together for safety and supporting their families. Both women are migrant and we believe that racism was involved in why they were targeted”…Niki Adams from Legal Action for Women…commented…“We are also disgusted that the [prosecutors] tried to extort money from women offering them a caution on the condition that they “write over the money seized on their arrest.”  Taking money from sex workers under duress is tantamount to pimping”…

The Widening Gyre (#792) 

Though better-disguised than usual, this is just the “Facebook pimps” myth again:

…the Roma…are easy pickings for traffickers who post adverts on Facebook promising a bright future for those prepared to travel.  Many have succumbed to the temptation.  A lot of young people have gone to the UK to work for a better life…the line between economic migration and exploitation is ill-defined: some who travel are aware of the risks but prepared to take a chance, others think they are off to start a better life only to end up in modern slavery

In the minds of white saviors, all people from economically-distressed countries are childlike naifs incapable of making calculated risks or violating racist laws on their own, so anyone who helps them further their plans is an exploitative “trafficker” and any work they do to survive is “modern slavery”.  One might ask how the Roma, who have migrated to the British Isles for centuries, managed to do it before anybody ever heard of either Facebook or “human trafficking”.

Cooties (#816)

Two years ago, AirBnB said it would “invest in new technology” to discriminate against sex workers:

Airbnb now owns an AI technology that allows them to discriminate against people in certain categories, specifically including sex workers, based on unrelated social media posts and other online data…it stigmatizes sex work and “involvement in pornography” by grouping them with drug use, membership in hate groups…and “narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy”…the stigmatizing language…spelled out in the patent…seems to confirm sex workers’ reports that they have been discriminated against by the company not because of their behavior as guests, but merely because of their careers…

A Procrustean Bed (#834)

At last, a little skepticism from “journalists” about the prohibitionist shitshow that is New York’s “sex trafficking court”:

…as courts [which classify all sex workers as “victims” and sentence them to indoctrination disguised as “counseling”]…proliferate nationwide, New York’s…have [been repeatedly]…critici[zed for the past] six years [by actual experts on the subject]…a growing group of people engaged in prostitution…have complained that the counseling sessions amount to little more than unproductive conversations with [busybody] strangers…the idea…is [at last] facing skepticism…[from ignoramuses who refused to consult actual experts years ago]…

Prohibitionists are so dedicated to denying sex workers’ agency that they prefer ridiculous multi-word constructions like “people engaged in prostitution” to the simple and honest “sex worker”, and keep pretending that any non-prohibitionist ever thought arresting and attempting to brainwash adult women for the “crime” of consensual sex was a good idea in the first place.

Pyrrhic Victory (#841)

Why wasn’t it “a step too far” when they started doing it three years ago?

One of the most senior policing figures in Wales has [criticized] the use of facial recognition technology at the country’s biggest football derby [last] weekend…Arfon Jones…the North Wales police and crime commissioner…accused the South Wales force of being engaged in a “fishing expedition…When facial recognition…was first used in the Champions League final…there were…thousands…of false positives”…the Football Supporters’ Association Wales said…“Fans coming out for…football…will be treated like they’re in a police line-up”…Big Brother Watch has called for an immediate ban on facial recognition surveillance in the UK…

Checklist (#953)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system is adding intrusive surveillance measures:

There’s a growing push [to force] doctors, paramedics and other health-care professionals to [report sex workers to the cops]…In 2018, Congress passed legislation that created a federally sponsored [indoctrination]…program..[to] tr[ick them into defining sex workers as]…victims…and re[port them by way of new]…diagnostic codes

The Cop Myth (#996)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. Some don’t stop with mere beating:

A Newark [New Jersey cop who murdered]…his estranged wife…and [attempted to murder] her boyfriend…has [finally] been indicted on murder and attempted murder charges…John Formisano…was indicted…on Dec. 30…[for the murder of] Christie Solaro-Formisano…on July 11…Formisano…was [wearing his magical clown costume and] used his [department-issued] revolver to [murder] his [victim as]…she attempted to flee…The…two children were inside the home…but were uninjured…

Diary #498

It’s kinda nice when I can keep things moving along for a change.  We’ve got the trim for the bookcases; I’m waiting for the proof of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I; I’ve made my travel arrangements for this weekend; and I’m starting to figure out my schedule for February (about which I’ll say more later).  And in addition to all that I managed to read a novel and listen to a rather strange but very entertaining radio serial from 1972 named The Fourth Tower of Inverness, which Chekhov gave me for Christmas (he also gave me the sequel, Moon Over Morocco).  Normally it would be difficult for me to sit and listen to such a long series, but I’ve driven to or from Sunset five times since receiving it, and the car has a CD player, so ta-da!  If you’ve ever heard the series you’ll understand when I tell you I kinda wish I had listened to at least some of it stoned, but I’ll have a chance with the sequel (which I’m told is not dissimilar).  Learning to relax and let go of stuff that stresses me out has been a long, slow, laborious process, but I’m getting there, and it’s lovely when people give me gifts that help.

On Course

Almost a year ago I published “In the Club“, wherein I explained my two-year plan for reducing stress and making my life easier by spending more energy on the things I’m good at, and less on the things I’m not good at.  I’ve never been good at marketing, and the post-FOSTA advertising landscape is so frustrating I can’t even deal with it any more.  So as I explained in the aforementioned column,

…by the end of [2019]…I’d like to be off of formal escort advertising sites entirely.  This doesn’t mean I’m going Under the Radar, which would be impossible anyhow; it just means I want to increase the fraction of my business which does not come from traditional ad malls…to 100%.  I am moving toward all of my business being either regulars or people who approach me via my blog, Twitter, other writing, my public speaking, TV interviews, etc.  Then…I want to tighten it up even more so that by the end of 2020 I’m no longer taking new clients without a direct recommendation from one of my friends.  I have no plans to stop working any time soon; I enjoy my work and I like making people happy.  What I don’t like is having to constantly deal with advertising, screening and all that jazz.  If you’ve already seen me or plan to soon, you’ve got nothing to worry about; once you’re a proven client you are “in” unless you start acting like a flake or a danger.  But if you want to be in that select group, I suggest you not wait much longer…

Well, so far so good; I dropped Eros last summer and though most of the men who’ve contacted me from my other traditional ads have been cretins and/or time-wasters, I’m in exactly the same position with my budget (two months ahead) as I was last January.  What this tells me is that there’s no real point in paying for ads any longer, because most of my business is coming via other channels anyhow.  I’m not going to delete my ads completely, but neither will I be paying for upgrades or the like; my own escort website and the various media I appear in seem to suffice.  That means I’m apparently on course to stop taking new, unrecommended clients by the end of this year.  Now, mice and men and all; things may not go as I hope, and I may have to push back the deadline.  But I wouldn’t count on that if I were you.  It’s not at all unusual for new clients to tell me that they’ve wanted to see me for a while, but put it off in order to build up their courage to approach me; after the end of this year, it’s very possible that guys who do that may find they’ve procrastinated for too long.  So if you’d like to be in the “club” of people I’ll see in the future, I suggest you make a date in the next few months, while I’m still taking applications.

Links #497

Kelso…apprehended the open facial area of her…head. – “Officer” John Wolf

The big news this week was the death of Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for Rush.  It wasn’t easy to pick a video to commemorate him, but I decided on this one not only for its unusually wise view of immortality, but also because it displays both Peart’s skill as a lyricist (inspired by Coleridge, for goodness’ sake), but also his ability as a percussionist.  The links above it were contributed by Anarras Ansible, Sydney Brownstone, Amy Alkon, Mike Siegel, Cop Crisis, Walter Olson, and Cop Crisis again, in that order.

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