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Archive for May, 2018

The most enjoyable, rewarding and memorable moments of my life have always involved other people.  –  “The Best Part

I reckon my travel habits probably seem odd or even boring to many people; I don’t generally go to see the sights or touristy things in places I visit, and when I do I generally prefer the more off-the-beaten-track ones rather than the ones that demand both admission and standing in long queues.  When I travel, I like to spend as much time as possible doing things the locals consider quite ordinary, such as eating local foods or just walking around the streets or countryside.  And nearly every time I visit a new place, I discover several new foods I like and learn new ways of doing things.  On this trip I discovered haggis, Stornoway black pudding, stroopwafels, and a flat wine I actually like (generally, I only like sparkling wines).  But I don’t just stumble on these things by accident; I try them because either my traveling companion or someone I meet recommends them to me and takes the time to tell me why they think I’ll like them.  As I’ve written on several occasions, it’s my traveling companions and the people I meet and talk to who are the best part of travel for me:

I’ve met a lot of people in [my life].  I’ve talked with them, argued with them, loved them, and fought with them.  I’ve hired them to do jobs and been hired by them; I’ve fucked them, been fucked over by them, played with them and feared them.  I’ve learned from them, taught them, helped and been helped by them, ignored them, missed them and avoided them and done many other things far too numerous to list.  And for the majority of my adult life, I’ve made my living by interacting directly with them on a one-on-one basis…I can open the vault of memory and find a wealth of experiences from months, years and decades in the past; I can see their faces, hear their voices and even tell you where we were and what we talked about.  Some of the people with whom I had these treasured interactions are still dear friends, and some I haven’t seen in many years; many of them were with people I met only once, and whose names I have long forgotten.  And many others fall somewhere between those two extremes…

This trip was no exception; I met, talked to and otherwise interacted with lots of people I didn’t know before, some by introduction from Brooke and some just by circumstance (the festival at Hay-on-Wye was very fruitful in the latter respect).  I’ll probably never cross paths with most of them ever again, and others may grow into friends.  But as usual, the memory of many of those meetings will outlast most of the other experiences of the trip.

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This has been a very cleverly designed campaign to end the commercial sex industry.  –  Billie McIntire

Where Are the Victims?

As usual, not even an allegation that he exploited anyone:

An American man has been arrested in a sting operation for allegedly running a online brothel service matching men in northern Thailand with Myanmar sex workers across the border…Kenneth Viggo Albertsen…is behind a website and Facebook page called “Burmese Border Chicks for Hire” that sold sex with Myanmar women for 6,500 baht ($200).  The business brought women to meet clients on the Thai side of the border in Mae Sai, and also offered to “guide” men into Myanmar for sex services…

A Procrustean Bed

Let’s hope this is the start of a new trend:

After just a few years in operation, Delaware’s Human Trafficking Court is shutting down. The court’s rise and fall…shines a light on how trending problems lead to stupid policy…a 2016 report from the Delaware Criminal Justice Council, which found less than a third of people who started the…program actually completed it and that there was “little evidence to suggest the defendants of this court are the subjects” of sex-trafficking enterprises…[delusional prohibitionists] argue that “free will is an illusion”…and they insist the definition of sex-trafficking victim should be expanded to include anyone who exchanges sexual services for money…But…many arrested on prostitution charges didn’t want to declare themselves victims, name names of “traffickers,” enter a months-long state-run “treatment” program, or even leave prostitution in the first place.  And those that were open to state aid with starting a new life could find themselves presented not with practical assistance but things like yoga classes and group counseling

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

Because “brothel”:

A husband and wife team who charged clients €200 an hour for sex with them at their Ennis home have escaped jail.  Spanish national, David Navaro…and his Brazilian born wife, Celia Galan…arrived into Ireland from Barcelona in 2015 and a surveillance operation by Gardai was mounted outside the couple’s Ennis home in July 2016 as a result of Garda suspicions that there was a brothel being operated from their home…[since] both have no previous convictions [the] judge…fine[d] each €600…

Little Tin Gods

For those who think Arpaio, Judd & Dart are anomalies:

…[sheriffs have] enormous power…over the lives of local residents. The scope of their dominion varies slightly by county, but is almost always wide-reaching.  Like other police officers, sheriffs can arrest you, serve you a warrant, write you a traffic ticket.  But, depending on the county, they also perform countless other duties, including overseeing discretionary funds, patrolling highways, investigating crimes, and evicting tenants…in most places, sheriffs are also responsible for managing the local jails.  This is particularly important because jails have functionally replaced mental health facilities in America…The extent of a sheriff’s power can [be]…dangerous.  In some California counties, the sheriff even moonlights as the county coroner, an example of how sheriffs’ power obliterates any hope of accountability by the public…the only thing that could really limit the power of the sheriff is the voter.  But that’s not really how it plays out on the ground…As Professor Casey LaFrance told the New Yorker’s Rachel Aviv, “Once you become the sheriff, you’re likely to remain the sheriff until you retire or die”…

Drawing Lines

Most of this is fairly elementary, but it’s always nice to see this kind of point:

…Alison Bass…said it was interesting that other forms of sex work, such as stripping, pornography and being a mistress in exchange for money and power were legal, while sex work involving a straightforward transaction was not.  “What’s the difference between Donald Sterling, the former owner of the Yankee Clippers, who spent millions of dollars on his much younger mistress—bought her a car, an apartment, all this stuff…and someone who has a more straightforward transaction for an evening or an hour? There’s really no difference, but one is legal, perfectly legal, and one is not”…

Prudesville 

If you think the choice of target had nothing to do with the neighboring county’s crusade against them, you haven’t been paying attention:

Police from the southern King County town of Pacific arrested two men…who allegedly confessed to setting fire to a bikini barista stand.  The men, both 19, were booked into King County Jail…and reportedly called themselves “stupid”…about 2:54 a.m. at the Cowgirls Espresso stand…[cops] arrived to find “a large cloud of smoke”…and the smell of gasoline…the south side of the building was damaged.  An Auburn [cop] had already detained two men nearby from a reported car vandalism incident and…they also admitted to setting the Cowgirls blaze…

He Said, She Said (#448) 

Another abusive asshole tries to hide his violence behind BDSM:

Eric Schneiderman, New York’s attorney general, has long [pretended to] be…a…champion of women’s rights, and recently he has become an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement…Now Schneiderman is facing a reckoning of his own…four women with whom he has had romantic relationships or encounters…accuse Schneiderman of having subjected them to nonconsensual physical violence.  All have been reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal.  But two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, have talked to The New Yorker on the record, because they feel that doing so could protect other women.  They allege that he repeatedly hit them, often after drinking, frequently in bed and never with their consent…both…sought medical attention after having been slapped hard across the ear and face, and also choked.  Selvaratnam says that Schneiderman warned her he could have her followed and her phones tapped, and both say that he threatened to kill them if they broke up with him…

Naturally, actual kinky people are appalled:

…Mistress Matisse called any non-negotiated encounter “ABUSE. End of story”…Ronan Farrow, co-author of the New Yorker story that first revealed the allegations…[said] the accusers made clear “that this was not role-playing…It wasn’t in a gray area at all”…Jillian Keenan, author of the BDSM memoir Sex with Shakespeare…[wrote] “Just as sex without consent is rape, kink without consent doesn’t exist – that’s assault”…

Send In the Clowns 

Dare I hope for a return of “creepy clown” hysteria?

A 19-year-old was arrested…for stabbing her boyfriend not long after she said men should only be used as “human sacrifices”.  Zoe Adams reportedly dressed up as a clown and put a pillow over Kieran Bewick’s face as they were intimate one night. Then she stabbed him five times with a 10-inch knife…Adams described the incident, which resulted in Bewick, 17, having a collapsed lung, as an “overreaction”…She allegedly took pictures after the incident with the caption “Murder is like a bag of chips: you can’t stop after just one”…

A Broker in Pillage (#750)

Government is just a word for the things we choose to do together:

Anthonia Nwaorie says she knew travelers entering the United States with more than $10,000 in cash are legally required to report that fact to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  But the Texas nurse, who was born in Nigeria and became a U.S. citizen in 1994, says she did not realize the same obligation applies to people leaving the United States.  That mistake cost her $41,377, most of which was earmarked for a medical clinic she planned to build in her native country…Because the Justice Department declined to pursue civil forfeiture of the money, CBP was required to return it.  Yet the agency has refused to do so unless Nwaorie signs a waiver forgoing interest on the money, renouncing any legal claims in connection with the seizure, assuming responsibility for claims by third parties, and promising to reimburse the government for any expenses it incurs while enforcing the agreement.  That demand is illegal and unconstitutional, according to a federal class action lawsuit that the Institute for Justice filed…on behalf of Nwaorie and other travelers who have found themselves in the same situation…

Original Sin (#803)

We’re seeing more and more of this in mainstream papers:

…anti-trafficking NGOs…are staunchly religious, and those religious views can have damaging effects…Billie McIntire, a psychotherapist and educator at the Colorado School for Family Therapy, as well as a former sex worker…says that the anti-trafficking movement has been intentionally co-opted by religious institutions, who police prostitution and infringe on the rights of sex workers, using anti-trafficking rhetoric as a ploy to gain sympathy, more members, more money and more ammunition against consensual commercial erotic services…McIntire blasts anti-trafficking organizations that have joined up with movements like Fight the New Drug (an anti-pornography initiative), and have lobbied against national bills to decriminalize prostitution…

Crying for Nanny (#809)

This is even scarier post-FOSTA:

…“Some of the facts of our cases are going to show that not only did some of these hotel facilities or truck stops turn a blind eye, but they actually facilitated the trafficking of these individuals,” attorney Annie McAdams said…“We’re here to disrupt the status quo of the industry”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#810)

License plate readers are a menace to civil rights:

Maryland State Police vehicles have their on-board computer connected to the automatic license plate readers in their patrol cars. These computers are set to flag…out-of-state vehicles with owners that have concealed carry permits…The [cop] can…stop the vehicle and challenge the driver to produce his concealed weapon, for which he has a legal permit IN ANOTHER STATE.  If the driver is found to have a concealed firearm…he has violated Maryland State firearms law.  The person will be arrested and there is a three year minimum sentence.  Having a concealed carry permit in another state [is also claimed as] probable cause for…a search of the…vehicle…IF YOU ARE LEGALLY CARRYING CONCEALED FROM ANOTHER STATE, DO NOT EVEN DRIVE THROUGH MARYLAND. AND IF YOU HAVE A PERMIT FROM ANOTHER STATE, EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT CARRYING, EXPECT TO BE STOPPED…

To Molest and Rape (#817) 

Another pig uses a traumatized woman’s fear as leverage:

…a [cop] in Apex, North Carolina has been accused of coercing a domestic violence survivor into an affair while working on her case…Worth Brown kissed Julia Allgrove against her will after she called police after her estranged and abusive husband repeatedly violated a restraining order she’d taken out to protect herself and their two small children.  A relationship between the victim and the detective developed…he said her husband’s case would be dropped if the relationship was ever revealed…and…that she could lose custody of her children…

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As those of you who saw Friday’s picture column were probably already aware, Brooke Magnanti and I spent last week in Scotland, largely doing the sorts of things I like to do on such trips: talking to people and sampling the local foods and ways (including haggis, which I absolutely loved).  Then starting Friday afternoon, in 24 hours we used basically every common sort of vehicle (boat, self-driven car, airplane, bus, train and chauffeured car) to get from where we were in the West Highlands down to Hay-on-Wye in Wales for a large literary & philosophical festival at which Brooke spoke & participated in panel discussions.  It was quite rainy on Sunday, as this picture demonstrates, and I’m currently typing this using the festival’s wi-fi while waiting to see a panel on sex robots which I will try VERY hard not to disrupt.  By the time you read this, we’ll be on a train back to London; Brooke’s flying back to the US tomorrow, and I’ll be returning on Thursday.  I’ve very much enjoyed this trip, and I’ll have more thoughts about it on Thursday and more pictures on Friday; for now, it will suffice to say that I’ll be back to the UK in the not-terribly-distant future, with any luck sooner rather than later.

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Back Issue: May 2015

Charity does indeed begin at home, but the ripples spread out to affect the whole world.  –  “Monkey See, Monkey Do

I think another change of format for this column will be necessary soon; the number of individual columns requiring description has grown too small.  After the holiday column (May Day), the guest columnist (Ayna), the fictional interlude (“Split Focus“), the harlotography (“Barbara Payton“), and the Q&A columns (“In Charge of the Henhouse“, “Unwanted Strings“, “Monkey See, Monkey Do“, and “Genteel Indolence“), the only four left are one on Hawaii’s persecution of whores (“The Aloha State“), one on what prohibitionist fantasies tell us about them (“Very Like a Whale“), and two on my personal & professional life (“Back in the Saddle” and “A Night To Forget“). 

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It’s tyranny at its finest.  –  Rakem Balogun

Regular readers may recall that I love Rube Goldberg machines, and here’s a doozy called to my attention by Mike Siegel.  The links above it were provided by Dave KruegerNun YaClarissaPopehatScott GreenfieldWalter Olson, and Tim Cushing, in that order.

From the Archives

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Despite intensive investigations by Immigration New Zealand, no cases of trafficking in the sex industry have been identified to date. 
–  Lynzi Armstrong

Whores and Wives

It’s so nice to see whores portrayed as dangerous seductresses rather than pathetic “victims”:

Police are being asked to probe a Latino prostitution ring which is allegedly being facilitated by immigration officers and a private school in South Trinidad…The request for the probe is coming from the wives of businessmen who are complaining that these Latino sex workers are stealing their husbands away from them…The wives…claim their husbands are spending…up to US$30,000 a month, to fund lifestyles of infidelity with these women.  “These Spanish women coming here and taking away our men with their nastiness and the Government and the police need to seriously send them all back,” said one woman…I don’t know what these women have but they bringing their nasty habits and ruining our sacred marriages and blighting our beds…they have to be caught and sent away for good.  They are breaking up our families”…

As I’ve often said, whores save far more marriages than we ruin.  But better to be thought a homewrecker than a vegetable.

No Fun Shall Be Had

Grown woman with degree pretends to be harmed by a lame Bugs Bunny elevator joke from the ’40s:

“Ladies’ lingerie.”  It was a lame, outmoded joke — the sort of thing you say in a crowded elevator, an artifact of the days of fancy department stores with operators announcing the floor stops…last month in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association…Richard Ned Lebow, a professor of political theory…made the remark after someone in his elevator called out to ask for floor requests.  Simona Sharoni, professor of women’s and gender studies…took offense…”As a survivor of sexual harassment in the academy, I am quite shaken by this incident”…ISA…disciplinary committee…found his elevator remarks “offensive and inappropriate”…Lebow was thus instructed to issue an “unequivocal apology.”  Not surprisingly, he declined…

A grown woman who is “shaken” by something so ridiculous deserves public mockery, not official conciliation.

Droit du Seigneur 

A pretty typical “leader”, really:

A…Kentucky judge has been sentenced to 20 years in prison on human trafficking charges.  Timothy Nolan…[also] pleaded guilty to…other felony sex crimes involving minors…Nolan is…a conservative political activist and worked on President Trump’s campaign in Kentucky…[there were] nearly 20 teen victims, many…under 16…

Surplus Women 

This is going to become much more common due to the ramped-up war on whores:

An Indiana man charged in the killings of seven women who…were among a vulnerable population of drug addicts or prostitutes pleaded guilty to murder charges…to avoid…the death penalty…Darren D. Vann…preyed on those who were disconnected from their families and could not be readily found…Vann [was] sentenced on May 25 to life in prison without the possibility of parole…

Presumption of Guilt (November Updates)

This totalitarian idea won’t die:

A new ordinance in Allentown [Pennsylvania] will require owners of pawn shops and other second-hand retailers to take photographs and collect thumb prints from customers before purchasing or exchanging any merchandise.  They are also required to catalog any inventory purchased and to upload that information (along with the photos and fingerprints) to a police database.  They cannot re-sell anything for 15 days.  The rules were passed last year to make it easier to track stolen items and intercept them before they can be sold again.  But the b…adly written law has swept up all second-hand sellers in the city, including comic book stores, consignment shops, and antiques markets…[these stores will likely have to close or move because]  people who want to buy or sell a used item can simply cross the city lines and do it somewhere else—whether it’s stolen or not…

Finding What Isn’t There

Most of this is just the usual garbage, but there’s one rather amusing point: the conviction of one pimp in “August 2014 [is described]…as a major blow to sex trafficking in the Charleston [South Carolina] area“.  If one guy arrested four years ago is a “major blow” to any crime in a metro area of 750,000 people, that area doesn’t have a problem with that crime.

Banishment

The state says this isn’t a punishment:

For the past four years, dozens of homeless sex offenders have lived in tents in a makeshift encampment along a set of railroad tracks in Hialeah, a city in Florida’s Miami-Dade County.  The residents live in squalid conditions…Rain soaks through the tents, and flies and mosquito populate the residents’ belongings.  Because there isn’t even an outhouse in the area, many of those living there are forced to defecate outside.  Many of the surrounding businesses have complained that they’ve lost customer traffic as a result of the encampment and view the residents as a nuisance…After the story…Miami-Dade’s county commissioners amended an ordinance on public camping to effectively outlaw the encampment this past January, [pretending] public safety and health concerns.  In March, Mayor Carlos Giménez gave those living there 45 days to vacate…if they refuse to leave…police may be able to arrest them on the spot.  The problem is, they have almost nowhere to go…

Just Call Me Nobody

I’m not going to bother quoting this trash, because moronic assertions from “authorities” (usually, as in this case, in horrifically-prohibitionist cities like San Diego) that there’s no such thing as a woman who can make her own sexual decisions is as tired and inane as it is idiotic.  What’s always fun is when literally hundreds of sex workers turn up on social media to condemn the lie.

Moving Pictures 

Another “sex trafficking” hysteria film for future generations to laugh at:

Kate Bosworth is wearing many different hats—actress, of course, producer, photographer and activist, with her eyes set on [harming sex workers, because it’s fashionable in Hollywood]…Bosworth took on a producer role for the upcoming [propaganda] film Nona…[like most prohibitionists,] Bosworth started down this path after a…[distorted] news story [made her think she was an expert]…

Blunt Instrument (#770)

With the demise of Backpage, anti-whore pogroms turn back to low-hanging fruit:

…Backpage was one of the biggest tools for the Tulsa Police Vice Unit to [hunt down]…sex [workers]…now that they can’t set up stings on Backpage, they’ve [turned] to focus…on [pogroms]…at local massage parlors…

Pyrrhic Victory (#814) 

Expect this to spread to the US within just a few years:

At 2017’s [Porthcawl] Elvis festival, impersonators were [harassed by] police…trialling automated facial recognition technology to track down criminals [without consent from anyone who was recorded].  Cameras scanning the public spotted 17 faces that they believed matched those stored in databases.  Ten were correct, and seven people were wrongly identified.  South Wales Police has been testing an automated facial recognition system since June 2017 and has used it in the real-world at more than ten events.  In the majority of cases, the system has made more incorrect matches than the times it has been able to correctly identify a potential suspect..During the UEFA Champions League Final week in Wales last June…92 per cent of matches were incorrect…

Disaster (#829)

We did warn you this wouldn’t stop with sex workers:

Airbnb is running up against local laws that may be prohibited under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—and now it’s fighting back…Airbnb has sued the cities of San Francisco and Santa Monica over ordinances that target not just residents who use these digital platforms…but also the platforms themselves.  “Unfortunately both efforts to enjoin them have resulted in federal district court decisions saying that Section 230 does not shield them”…The Santa Monica case is now before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#838) 

Another twist in the New Zealand migrant sex worker controversy:

New Zealand must repeal its ban on migrant sex workers to ensure the benefits of its decriminalisation model are extended to all sex workers, says…the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective…NZPC co-founder Catherine Healy cited a recent case when contacted by migrant workers requiring support, in which NZPC had to reassure the women that immigration officials were unlikely to be notified by police.  She added that…action is needed to formally protect migrant sex workers so that they can seek support without fearing deportation…Minister for Immigration Iain Lees-Galloway issued a statement outlining his current concerns that overturning the ban might “encourage sex trafficking”…Healy explained that trafficking and abuse experienced by migrant sex workers would be best prevented and addressed by removing the ban, and granting rights to migrants…

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Abroad, But Not Innocent







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