How can people reasonably be expected to conform their behavior to the law when it is impossible for them to figure out what actions it proscribes until after they’ve been arrested and prosecuted? – Jacob Sullum
What a Week!
It looks like prohibitionists are getting more desperate:
A car bomb was defused in…[the] parking lot…[of] Paradise, one of Spain’s largest legal brothels…masked men sped up to the brothel in two cars. A man got out of one…and shouted he was leaving behind a car with a bomb in the back…it took a bomb squad several hours to deactivate the device…Town Mayor Sonia Martinez said she would take action to try and close Paradise, because it “seriously damages the image of the town”…
Welcome To Our World
This is exactly why most whores in legalization regimes refuse to register:
…In a piece titled, “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood“, the [New York] Journal News [published] the names and addresses of local residents who are licensed to own handguns…[in] Westchester [and] Rockland…counties…The article includes an interactive map…
Nor is this the only lesson the anti-gun crowd could learn from sex work legalization regimes; those who have studied them could explain to Sarah O’Leary that when the police are allowed to “regulate” something, corruption and abuse are the inevitable results:
…It’s unrealistic to think we can get the estimated 300 million guns off the streets…Lawful gun owners…are not the ones who endanger the masses of us. The ones who use massive amounts of ammo against innocents do…If we used law enforcement venues…to regulate gun owners’ access to ammunition, we would greatly limit the unstable person determined to commit mass murder…Require gun owners to log on to a centralized government website to order their ammo, then pick it up at their local police stations…the only places where anyone can legally buy ammunition. Put limits on how much ammunition can be purchased at any given time, and over any given period…
The density of ignorance in this article is truly mind-boggling. O’Leary imagines “mass murderers” use more ammo in a spree than target shooters use in an afternoon, that police are incorruptible, that a centralized database is a good thing (see article directly above) and that people can’t make their own ammo; in fact her level of ignorance approaches that of sex work prohibitionists, and that’s staggering indeed.
Backward, Turn Backward
In the profoundly perverse minds of “trafficking” fanatics, teaching someone to keep herself safe or work more efficiently is a “crime”:
…Police say 25-year-old Emilie Cook negotiated a $500 deal for herself and the teen to have sex with…an undercover cop. “[She]…was instructing a 16-year-old runaway on how to conduct prostitution,” said Trooper Melissa Matey with Louisiana State Police. “The 16-year-old has been taken into custody, and…[Cook] has been booked in the Orleans Parish Prison for trafficking children for sexual purposes…state police is [sic] anticipating more arrests and this case is ongoing…”
Note the pretense that this simple example of mentoring is part of some larger criminal conspiracy.
The Scarlet Letter
A new and revolting twist on “involuntary porn” extortion sites:
Potential Prostitutes is only the latest sleazy site to wed personal photos to public humiliation…any woman may be be anonymously tagged as a prostitute…in a browsable “offender” database seeded with mugshots of convicted prostitutes. Entries may be removed by those listed…[for] a hefty removal fee. Along with Predators Watch, a nearly-identical sister site…it’s part of a growing fad for shakedowns that exploit public records, police mugshots, compromising Facebook photos and other embarrassing personal information…the sites were registered to a P.O. Box in Stockholm, Sweden, in the last few weeks…Its Twitter feed consists only of a burst of links to prostitution stings and scandals from early November. Status People reports that only 6 percent of its followers are “good”, the rest being fake or inactive accounts…[Ken White of Popehat] writes that…”Courts are still determining application of Section 230 to extortion sites, [but] even the most generous application…wouldn’t apply if…the purveyors of the site were themselves the ones populating it with pictures under the guise of users doing it…Moreover, Section 230 is not a defense to criminal charges. Extortion is a…federal crime…[and if] the site makes deliberately false statements…to extort money, it…may [constitute] fraud…”
Backwards into the Future
Consider how closely this statement from a third-world militocracy resembles American anti-whore rhetoric:
Burma’s new quasi-civilian government has vowed to improve its record on tackling human trafficking…police chief Yam Len Mun…noted that Burma has already moved from tier three to tier two in the [US Trafficking in Persons] report…he said…the first priority for next year should be to educate workers in every factory in the country about the dangers of human trafficking. Other…measures…include setting up telephone hotlines in border towns…and…[setting] up rehabilitation camps for trafficked workers who have been rescued…
The Mote and the Beam
The US Senate asking someone else to be a “responsible global citizen” is unbelievable hypocrisy, its ignorance is shocking and its embrace of “sex trafficking” is just sad. But its sending the demand to the wrong corporation is totally hilarious:
The Senate passed a resolution…that calls on the newspaper Village Voice “to act as a responsible global citizen” by taking down its “adult entertainment” section of its classified advertising website…“The numbers are rising, in part because it has become frighteningly simple to order a child prostitute on the Internet…” Sen. Mark Kirk…said…“Just a few clicks on this site easily enables ‘johns’ to purchase children for sex. Law enforcement believes that the existence of Backpage encourages the recruitment of victims for sexual exploitation because it allows traffickers to operate out of sight from police patrols”…Kirk said that experts estimate that each year as many as 300,000 children are at risk of commercial sexual exploitation in the United States and cited cases where those prosecuted for such crimes have used Backpage.com to advertise…“The profit-first mentality at Village Voice Media, which prioritizes the rights of pimps, not children, must end.”
The Mystic Mother of the Phoenix Goddess Temple was arrested again after investigators said they found her posting ads on backpage.com seeking sex in exchange for cash “donations.” Tracy Elise, 51, was re-arrested on December 13, fifteen months after her initial arrest for running a suspected brothel. Elise insists her church was misunderstood because it combines spirituality and sexuality…Prosecutors argue that the Goddess Temple was a ruse for prostitution and even though religion was discussed…that doesn’t change the fact that money was expected after sex…
Posting a new Backpage ad while awaiting trial for prostitution is such an incredibly bad idea, I must assume either the cops are lying or Elise is trying to create a test case.
Presents, Presents, Presents!
I received two extraordinarily generous gifts this week: from Juan Iglesias, a copy of Vincent Price’s highly-regarded 1965 cookbook A Treasury of Great Recipes; and from Dr. Brooke Magnanti, over a kilogram of jelly babies plus several packets of Parma violets. Thanks so very much to both of you!
Change a Few Words
It’s gratifying when others see the resemblance between decriminalization of drugs and prostitution: “Now that a couple of states have made it clear that pot is legal within their own borders, it looks like the momentum has shifted on drugs…Perhaps now is a good time to start directing some attention to another prohibition, and that is prostitution…” While the author buys into “sex trafficking” hysteria and the “dirty whore” myth, he nonetheless recognizes that criminalization creates most of the problems, and that is a good sign for the future.
The Course of a Disease
Though England fought off the Labour Party’s last attempt to persecute sex workers and clients by imposing the tyrannical Swedish Model, the misogynistic puritans who run the party are at it again: “The government is coming under increasing pressure to…follow…Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland…[in imposing] the so-called Nordic model…”
Feet of Clay
Kristof’s awfulness is becoming so obvious, even the ignorant (such as someone who writes without a hint of sarcasm, “Paul Krugman is right about everything“) recognize him for what he is:
Nick Kristof travels the globe rescuing sex workers by getting them arrested and then attempting to find them jobs in sweatshops…His writing always features morally unambiguous black-and-white heroes and villains. The heroes are frequently rescuing helpless maidens. Kristof declines to see complexity in every great crisis he tackles, and largely refuses to acknowledge that money and American “intervention” are frequently…the cause of [them]…Kristof’s reliance on anecdote and personal narratives above all else…lead him to deeply stupid conclusions…
The Young and the Brainless
It’s for their own good! “[On Christmas Day] police arrested three men, 53 women and 16 transvestites for engaging in prostitution across Bangkok…to suppress human trafficking issues during the New Year holidays. All suspects will be sent to local police stations for further prosecution.”
Counterfeit Comfort (TW3 #16)
You may remember that when New York wanted to unconstitutionally punish people who had already served their sentences, it simply applied political pressure to get private corporations to do its dirty work for it:
New York State has teamed up with several major online game services to purge another 2,100 accounts held by registered sex offenders…New York’s Electronic Securing and Targeting of Online Predators Act (e-STOP) requires convicted sex offenders to register all of their email addresses, screen names and other online identities with the state. That information is passed along to sites and services so they can show predators to the door…
Obviously, there’s no possible way guys caught pissing in public or having sex with their girlfriends could ever start new anonymous accounts and not tell Big Brother about it.
Capricious Lusts (TW3 #37)
While Hollywood figures are lining up to climb on the “sex trafficking” bandwagon, Bollywood figures are beginning to support decriminalization:
…Legalising prostitution in India would be a step…to bettering…conditions…Prohibiting all activities related to prostitution…does not seem to be curbing the booming sex trade…Prostitution has been in existence since organised society came into being, and…these women provide services to all existing societies even today. Isn’t it time we give…[them] the respect and dignity they deserve?…
See No Evil (TW3 #51)
…a Montreal jury acquitted special-effects artist Rémy Couture of “corrupting morals” by creating gory photographs and short films…The government said his images were obscene…
Traffic Jam (TW3 #51)
Another judge acquits “trafficking” witch hunt victims due to a total lack of evidence:
A federal judge…overturned the convictions of three men on sex-trafficking charges…based on the government’s failure to prove the men were part of a single, overarching conspiracy…[and] because the government failed to turn over [to the defendants]…documents [which] showed contradictions in the testimony of the government’s principal witness…The [alleged] victim testified…that she was used as a prostitute…starting at age 12. But…new evidence…suggests…[she] lied about her age…[and was actually] 18 or 19…
Gorged With Meaning (TW3 #51)
I’ll bet those pearl-clutching Welsh academics didn’t expect this:
…Former madam Becky Adams, who is taking part in a Swansea University project examining youngsters in the sex trade, said that the market was almost flooded with people trying to pay their way through university…“The market is almost flooded with them…An hour used to be £150 in the 90s and now you can find an hour for £70 or £80. That is a result of supply and demand because there are so many more people at it. And you cannot just blame the Eastern Europeans…”
This Week in 2010 and 2011
Beside the original “Presents” post and my previous columns for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, this week also featured two columns about whore goddesses, a response to criticism from another activist, a biography of the Madame de Pompadour, a deconstruction of the ridiculous claims of “social scientists”, a report on Google’s support of anti-whore activism and my answers to reader questions on vaginal looseness, sluts, P411, anal sex, penis size and talking to children about prostitutes.
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