Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

this-tricks-a-treat It has been my custom for the last few years to present a collection of spooky stuff in order to get y’all in the mood for Halloween.  Last year’s column contains links to those of previous years, so if what I share with you today isn’t enough (and really, is it ever possible to get enough spooky fun?) you can go back to those previous columns for more!  Since last year’s column, there have been a few dark or horror-themed columns and stories, including “Windows of the Soul“, “Knock, Knock, Knock“, “May Eve 2016“, “Out of the Dark“, “Clowning Around” and last year’s thanatopsis, “A Necessary End“.  I also featured creepy or spooky-fun videos in Links #277, #278#279, #287, #293#295, #309, #315#316, #318#327 and #328, and here’s a collection of appropriate links:

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Because drug traffickers have been seen breathing, then breathing is an indicia of drug trafficking.  –  Justices Quinn, Campbell & Pirtle

There’s nothing “banned” about this Betty Boop Halloween cartoon from 1933; presumably, the label refers to the fact that once the Hays Code started being enforced the next year, Betty was given much less sexy clothes.  The links above it were contributed by Scott Greenfield (“more”), Brooke Magnanti (“Lovecraft”), Tim Cushing (“idiots” and “posters”), Nun Ya (“attention”), Inspireland (“Because”), and Grace (“whatsoever”).

From the Archives

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All that criminalization of prostitution does is make people afraid.
–  Tara Burns

Droit du Seigneur 

Though pimps are pretty rare, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:  “[An] Oklahoma City [cop]…was arrested…on multiple complaints, including aiding in prostitution.  Lt. Alex Edwards…was [also charged with a bunch of vague ‘crimes’ used by prosecutors to stack penalties]…

Pyrrhic Victory

When they smash down your door in the middle of the night, murder your dogs, terrorize your family and embroil you in a decade-long court battle which will utterly bankrupt you because some computer decided you look like somebody who supposedly broke some law, don’t say I didn’t warn you:

Half of American adults are in a face-recognition database, according to a Georgetown University study…”The Perpetual Line-up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America” shows that one-fourth of the nation’s law enforcement agencies have access to face-recognition databases, and their use…is virtually unregulated…Alvaro Bedoya…co-author of the study [said] “By [scanning]…the faces on 26 states’ driver’s license and ID photos, police and the FBI have basically enrolled half of all adults in a massive virtual line-up.  This has never been done for fingerprints or DNA”…researchers obtained documents stating that at least five “major police departments,” including those in Chicago, Dallas, and Los Angeles, “either claimed to run real-time face recognition off of street cameras, bought technology that can do so, or expressed an interest in buying it”…

Spotlight (#47) Asstoon

I wonder if Asstoon will ever get professional help for his delusions of grandeur?

Ashton Kutcher [made grandiose and unsubstantiated claims]…about how Thorn, an organization founded by himself and ex-wife Demi Moore, has been working to combat human trafficking…Kutcher [fantasized] that his organization had saved more than 6,000 victims from human trafficking in 2016, identifying more 2,000 trafficker in the process…An additional online menace that Thorn intends to combat…was online pornography…“I’m going to eliminate child pornography from the internet.”

Imagine a reporter neither expressing skepticism of nor demanding proof from a person who claimed to have saved 6000 rape victims and vowed that his next super-deed would be to eliminate every opium poppy in Asia.

Pearls Firmly Clutched 

Using Suzy Favor Hamilton’s story without her input is pretty sleazy even for an anti-whore sleazefest like Law and Order:

…an…episode on Law & Order SVU…revolved around a female Olympic Pole Vaulter who had been sexually assaulted while secretly escorting…They flash in the intro, “The following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person, entity or event.”  Well that’s kinda laughable because with the exception of the sexual assault and a couple minor modifications, it’s pretty much me out there.  Olympian?  Check.  Track & Field athlete?  Check.  Married?  Check.  Mom?  Check.  Secretly escorting?  Check.  Bipolar?  Check…It’s strange to me that a show like this…can rip off a story so blatantly.  I don’t pretend to know the ins and outs of how all this works, but what I do know it that as I watched, it felt a little icky and sneaky.  Like someone had broken into my life uninvited…

Torture Chamber

Americans keep pretending to be shocked by this, then support sending more people to prison:

A former inmate of a Louisiana private prison is suing the company that runs the prison after two guards [orally raped] him [on several occasions]…Aaron Franklin…was abused by Derrick Deshotel and Tyler Strothers…at the Allen Correctional Center…An investigation by the prison substantiated his allegations…The guards were fired…and criminally charged…[but] received only probation…

O, Canada! (All Traffick, All the Time)

Canadian cops are trying to intimidate sex workers again:

Holed up in a hotel room close to Calgary’s airport, a handful of [pigs]…dig through piles of online escort ads as they prep for Day Two of Operation Northern Spotlight…they make calls to unsuspecting sex workers and [lie to them to] set up “dates”…they hope to [intimidate them] to leave the world’s oldest profession…The women all react differently to the initial contact with the detective.  Some are hostile, as they realize the [cops have robbed them of hundreds of dollars of their time]…

Between the Lines

Sex workers, our clients, our associates and our families were once again subjected to the FBI’s periodic anti-sex worker pogrom, “Operation Cross-Country”:

This year’s Operation Cross Country—the largest to date—involved 55 FBI field offices and 74 FBI-led Child Exploitation Task Forces throughout the country composed of more than 400 law enforcement agencies.  Hundreds of law enforcement officials took part in sting operations in hotels, casinos, truck stops, and other areas frequented by pimps, prostitutes, and their customers…

The FBI learned years ago not to give any clear figures on the number of peaceful adults whose lives are destroyed in these fanatical jihads, preferring instead to represent any underage sex workers they arrest as “rescued victims” and pretty much any male unlucky enough to fall into their hands as a “pimp” (though the conviction rate is only 4%).  So it may take a week or two to get a picture of the extent of the carnage; right now the coverage is dominated by nauseating fluff like this in which cops and politicians engage in a vast circle-jerk to fantasies of enslaved teen girls:

Calling child sex trafficking a “scourge,” FBI Director James Comey announced Monday that 82 minors had been rescued…through an international effort held this month to locate victims and arrest the perpetrators…”These children trapped in this hell need a hero,” he said. “And the men and women who work for us, federal agents, state agents, local police officers and partners around the world are those heroes.”  Comey’s comments came during the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in San Diego…

But the tide has turned, and this time the usual cacophony of cop-fellation which accompanies these pogroms is interrupted by a few voices speaking the truth:

…sex-worker advocates [explain that]…better results could be achieved by decriminalizing prostitution.  They argue that eliminating the fear of arrest would sharply increase the reporting of abuse and exploitation from both sex workers and their customers.  Tara Burns…said people involved in the sex trade can’t rely on the hope that [a cop]…they encounter will use their arrest discretion to zero in on abuses, and could just as easily wield it to commit them, as seen in the ongoing East Bay police sex scandal…

To Molest and Rape 

It’s unusual for reporters to actually use the word “rape” in reference to rapist cops:  “A Festus [Missouri cop] charged with rape and domestic assault…has been [given a desk job]…Andrew J. Hirth…was charged Sept. 15…

No Moss

Let’s hope Rolling Stone‘s fortunes follow its credibility down the anti-sex toilet:

[Nicole Eramo] the University of Virginia dean [of students is] suing Rolling Stone for defamation over how she was portrayed in an article about a campus rape report…Sabrina Rubin Erdely [falsely] described a woman named “Jackie” being gang-raped by seven men…and portrayed the administration as not doing enough to help…“I don’t think anyone at Rolling Stone thought of me as a real person,” Eramo said…“You can’t just do drive-by journalism”…Rolling Stone made her “look like the devil”…[even though]…Jackie [had written]…”Dean Eramo has truly saved my life….[she] was helpful and understanding and, above all, compassionate”…Eramo disputed that she ever said any of the [quotes attributed to her in the article and]…no one at Rolling Stone contacted…[her] during the fact-checking process…Jackie forwarded an email to the reporter showing that the dean had set up two meetings with police so Jackie could report the alleged rape to authorities.  A reference to these meetings…was included in a draft of the article but was later edited out…

In other words, Erdely & Rolling Stone knew that the dean had supported “Jackie” in her claim, but willfully chose to depict her as a villain to make it a better story.

Send In the Clowns ooh-so-scary

As clown hysteria continues to mount, institutional responses to it grow increasingly more stupid:

The Russian government warned citizens traveling to Britain to beware of clowns…San Francisco schools went into lockdown during a clown fear wave, and have now claimed the FBI is looking into things…in Concord…a mother [claimed] a “creepy clown” tried to kidnap her 1-year-old child…The woman [supposedly] kicked the clown in the shin and the person fled…Sonoma State University has responded to clown sightings as well as an unrelated person in a gorilla suit…That’s the second…clown-gorilla connection

Meanwhile, elsewhere in California:

Police arrested a juvenile Tuesday following a social media post that suggested “armed” clowns would visit three Hanford schools…police began receiving calls about the post…from [idiots] fearing for their own safety or for the safety of their children…Capt. Karl Anderson attributed the fast resolution to citizens who [snitched]…The Spooky Halloween Super Store…and…Halloween City…said the recent clown scares around the country haven’t hurt sales of creepy clown masks, costumes and decorations…

But while these entrepreneurs are sensibly making money from people’s herd behavior, Target decided to “send a message” that it’s part of the Establishment:  “Halloween costume shoppers won’t be finding any ‘creepy clown’ masks on Target store shelves or online.  The decision was made late last week to pull all clown masks from stores…”  And Snopes is fielding some manifestations of the hysteria:

On 17 October 2016, the Empire Herald web site published a gruesome article about the arrest of a clown after police found eleven human bodies stuffed in a freezer at his Memphis residence…this story…was…a…fabrication intended to exploit…clown hysteria…The Empire Herald is a fake news site that does not publish any factual stories…

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Watching brouhahas unfold is always very revealing; even if different people agree that whatever it was that whoever it was said or did or thought was cause for concern, they may disagree about what particularly made it so.  The most recent major gaffe committed by the eternally-boorish Donald Trump is a perfect example.  For those blissfully unaware of the train wreck we call a presidential election, I’ll recap:  someone recently discovered a recording from 2005 in which Trump made comments to the effect that women let famous men get away with gross consent violations, such as kissing or groping them without asking.  Here’s the video if you’re interested:

Getting a clean copy of this wasn’t easy; most of the versions on YouTube were either censored or edited.  I’m rather glad that happened, however, because it actually reinforces my point.  In CNN’s version, for example, the very first thing a viewer sees is a “warning” that the video contains “graphic language” (as though anyone watching would actually have never heard the words “fuck” and “pussy” before).  Next, a description: “Footage from 2005 has surfaced featuring Donald Trump using vulgar language about women”, followed by a video in which a loud “bleep” has been inserted over the words (which rather makes one wonder what the point of the warning was).  Look at the emphasis there:  someone at CNN actually seems to believe, and undoubtedly many people agree, that the most salient point of the controversy was Trump’s language, that he had uttered taboo words which would presumably ritually pollute the dainty hearing of anyone viewing the video.  The fact that he used these common words about women is presented as though that somehow makes it worse than if he had used similar words in talking about men, children, mixed groups of people or Shetland ponies; the assumption seems to be that women are delicate china dolls who are magically harmed when men emit certain sounds from their vocal apparatus, even if the woman in question did not even hear them.  If he had joked about violating the physical boundaries of women without using those words, perhaps saying “I attempted to get her in bed” and “grab their crotches” instead, would that have made it all better in the minds of this unknown CNN editor and others like her?  Because that’s certainly the implication.

But if this social conservative spin on the incident is questionable, the “feminist” spin on it is even worse.  Yesterday morning I became aware of “Grab Her By The Brain“, a site whose founders apparently feel that the problem lies in the fact that Trump’s churlish comments were sexual in nature.  The implication seems to be that while grabbing a woman by her sexual anatomy is a horrible thing, grabbing her by some part that stupid, shallow people imagine to be non-sexual is perfectly OK.  As in the CNN video, the first words one sees upon landing on the site reinforce this: “Take part in the movement that refuses to accept the objectification of women – at work, on the sidewalk, at school, in the media, empower every woman by acknowledging her unique and immeasurable contribution to society.”  That’s followed immediately below by “Value her for who she is,” which is a direct contradiction of the pusillanimous and patronizing platitudes in the line above, which urge the reader to value a woman not for who she is but for her “contribution to society”, which is quite a different thing altogether.  For right now, let’s ignore the sexism inherent in the absurd notion that only women can be “objectified”, the infantilizing concept of “empowerment” as something granted to women from without as a gardener waters vegetables, the obsequious assertion that every single woman makes a “unique and immeasurable” contribution to society (a concept that’s ludicrous even on its face), and the tired neofeminist pretense that it’s somehow “better” or “more respectful”radio-assembly-line-1925 for women to be valued for the characteristics of one organ than for the characteristics of a different one; we are still left with the dangerously anti-sex mindset which imagines that so-called “objectification” can only be sexual while blatantly objectifying women as only valuable for our “contributions to society”.  This pretense derives from exactly the same mindset as that of the Republicans whose disavowal of Trump after the comments were made public was expressed in phrases like “our wives, our daughters, our mothers”; it’s the vile and loathsome collectivist obscenity that women’s rights derive not from the fact that we’re individuals, but from our relationships to men and “society”.

Human beings, no matter what their gender, are individuals and don’t need outside collectives to “empower” them. Their rights as individuals, including their right not to be molested by either individuals or the operatives of the state, are inalienable and don’t depend on whether anyone else thinks they’re of “value” (whether for their intellect, for their sex appeal or for any other reason) to the state, “society” or any individual.  So, please, stop pretending that “grab her by the brain” is superior to “grab her by the pussy”; you have no right to grab her, him or anybody by the brain, pussy or any other part without their consent.  Human beings don’t exist to serve you, to be “empowered” by you or to be defined in relation to you.  And only they have the right to determine what they wish to give to you, the state or “society”, and the conditions under which they will give it.

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The criminalization of sex work exposes not only sex workers but all women to more violence.  –  Alison Bass

The Proper Study

Yet another study confirms what we’ve been saying all along:

a recent study in…Las Vegas uncovers what anti-trafficking organizations might not like to hear.  The majority of youth selling sex on the streets have no pimps, or even third party managers, countering one of the key narratives of the sex trafficking movement that all youth involved are victims doing this work against their will…three fourths of the youth interviewed about the sex trade said they were not working with any pimp or other kind of third party manager…24 percent of the study’s participants reported use of a third party to find clients at some point in their lives, but only 4 percent…reported use of one at the time of the study…youth sex workers who do use pimps do so inconsistently and intermittently…[they] are finding their clients independently and negotiating their own prices…

It Looks Good On Paper (#340)

Remember that religious brainwashing program which “partnered with the Sarasota…Police Department…to bring victims into their care?

The conversations happening by phone are ones that the Sarasota Police Street Crime Unit hope will turn into a positive outcome.  “I want you to know you are not in any trouble,” [oinked a pig]…”We are just trying to reach out and let you know there are options”…Sergeant Robert Armstrong and his unit are [harassing and intimidating] women who have active ads online for escort services.  Many are involved in prostitution…The team is focused on connecting women with Selah Freedom…

“Many are involved in prostitution”?  Are these people actually pretending not to know what an escort is?  Look beneath the pious exterior; we don’t actually know what stated or implied threats these cops are using to try to intimidate women into this “program”, which is so unpopular the only way it gets participants is by cops literally forcing or frightening women into it.  If the tactic seems familiar, it’s because it’s much like Canada’s “Operation Northern Spotlight” except that the cops are (for now) merely terrorizing sex workers by phone instead of showing up at their doors.wesley-blackburn

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

A Pennsylvania pastor faces charges he impregnated a 15-year-old girl from his youth group during a seven-month sexual relationship…Wesley Blackburn, youth pastor at Faith Brethren Bible Church, told the New Paris church’s head pastor he had confessed to the relationship and asked for a divorce…church leaders immediately fired Blackburn…and alerted police last week.  He was charged Oct. 6 on hundreds of counts of statutory sexual assault and indecent assault…

Rough Trade (#446) 

A setback for women’s rights in India:

The Supreme Court…ruled that a sex worker cannot file a case alleging rape if her customers refused to pay her…The judgment…acquitted three people of rape charges in a case that is close to 20 years old…the Karnataka High Court had convicted them of raping the victim, who used to work as a maid; the victim’s roommate had revealed that she works as a sex-worker at night…the Supreme Court…[claimed] that the woman’s “conduct during the alleged ordeal is unlike a victim of rape and betrays somewhat submissive and consensual disposition”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#502)

In which po-faced twits with tape over their mouths walk down a street holding pre-printed propaganda cards:

A long, single-file line of people donned [sic] in black, some with their mouths taped shut, silently made its way down Stephen Avenue [in Calgary] to [promote anti-sex work propaganda]…The [po-faced] group remained speechless, but handed out [propaganda] pamphlets to bystanders…former Manitoba MP Joy Smith [spoke] at the event…part of a global initiative by A21…

The tape is supposed to signify that sex workers are “voiceless”, a convenient lie for those who wish to talk over us.  A21, the NGO which sponsored this charade, is infamous as the source of the high-water mark of the “clients per day” competition of a few years ago: 110.

Eternal Vigilance (#610)

Just a reminder that prohibitionism still exists in decriminalized regimes:

New Zealand celebrities will be donning aprons to serve dinner with a difference at Destiny Rescue’s Dark Secret Pop up Dinner on International Anti-Slavery Day, Tuesday 18 October…Another special menu, thankfully not available in New Zealand, will shine the spotlight on the dark secret of the near two million children trapped in sexual slavery in countries like Thailand, India and the Philippines…

The table-waiting gimmick is appropriate given that Destiny’s idea of “rescue” is to teach brown urchins to sew, wait table and draw with crayons.

Wise Investment (#673)

Picket-fence gay men are such wonderful, dependable sex worker allies:

In his recent attempt to revise the history of sex workers in Vancouver’s West End, Kevin Dale McKeown…erases the West Sex Workers Memorial Committee and our eight-year campaign to secure financial reparations and a formal civic apology from the City of Vancouver.  He instead claims that his recollections are more truthful and authentic than the voices of sex workers…In McKeown’s distorted revision…expelled sex workers become the villains.  However, our archival research found close to 1,000 news articles revealing that power elites in the early 1980s — including Mayor Mike Harcourt, MP Pat Carney, Attorney General Brian Smith, Concerned Residents of the West End (CROWE) and Shame the Johns — forged a “war on hookers” with lethal consequences…Residents like McKeown moved into the West End when it was a thriving [24-hour] entertainment zone…McKeown…frantically disavows his own and other white gay men’s complicity in hooker-bashing tactics…McKeown makes a failed attempt to hide his investment in a “quiet” and “peaceful” gaybourhood cleansed of “noisy” hookers…

Too Close To Home (#677)

These are the people who claim they want to “protect” women, and portray the men we choose to have sex with as “sexual predators”:

…after settling a sexual-harassment lawsuit for $1 million in 2013, the King County Sheriff’s Office…is again embroiled in a legal fight over its treatment of female officers.  This time, two…deputies and one sergeant are accusing the county of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual-orientation based harassment, and retaliation…a former head of internal affairs [is] seeking whistleblower protections before he talks.  Central to many of these claims is King County Sheriff John Urquhart…[whose] tenure so far…has been ignominious, involving the two sexual-harassment lawsuits, a cop convicted of pimping his wife and selling his colleagues steroids, a bogus “sex trafficking bust,” a chief-of-staff with polygraph problems, and more…this latest lawsuit…specifically calls out the actions of Sheriff Urquhart, Major Sean Ledford, and Sergeant Dewey Burns…defensive tactics instructor Melissa Deer…claims [Burns] grabbed her crotch during a training exercise…text messages showed the sergeant making racist, anti-gay, and sexually explicit comments to other staffers, including…Deputy Amy Shoblom…who…is one of three plaintiffs in the current suit, along with Diana Neff…and Julie Blessum…[Burns’] antics included texting her half-naked photos of women he was sleeping with, asking during a roll call if she had “hooked up” with a male deputy, and drawing a penis on the hood of her car with hand sanitizer…

There’s a lot more, and it’s by the awesome Liz Brown so you should read it all.

Send In the Clowns dublin-clown

The most disturbing thing about the clown hysteria is the way in which it has so quickly given rise to organized violence and naked authoritarianism.  A “Clown Lives Matter” protest against the panic, to be held in Tucson, was cancelled due to amateur threats of violence, and the professional violence-inflicters are responding by criminally charging people and destroying young childrens’ lives.  The hysteria has also spread to Ireland, and while police in Dublin have responded calmly, those in Belfast have responded with US-style threats of violence and lifelong imprisonment.  Dutch police are moronically calling for a prankster there to turn himself in, and the ever-lunatic British tabloid press have found a way to merge the clown panic into “sex predator” panic:

The basic premise of [this] story is that some men get off on women dressed as creepy clowns, they’re causing a spike in clown-porn searches and clown-fetish requests at escort services, and soon their “sick fetish” may lead them to commit real-world sexual assaults “as the adrenaline junkies seek more ‘extreme thrills'”…what the story lacks in logic it makes up for in references to “sex-mad sickos” and quotes from an anonymous escort-agency head…[it] also quotes a woman who counsels rape victims and worries that the “clown craze” provides cover to predators…Popular millennial women’s website Elite Daily published a clown-sex-panic story…warning readers that “the sexual deviants partaking in the madness are allegedly dressing up as clowns and experimenting with BDSM” and “those who are involved in the aggressive clown porn are potentially dangerous.”

Power Play

Your periodic reminder that Dennis Hof is a revolting excuse for a human being:

Dennis Hof…said that while he supports law enforcement aggressively enforcing laws against underage sex trafficking, he believes that law enforcement in the United States would have an easier time doing its job if adult prostitution were [legalized]…using the [Nevada]…model…Hof said [independent sex workers spread]…sexually transmitted diseases…”My brothel business model [magically] puts the…pimps [who aren’t politically connected] out of business, [magically] stops underage girls from working illegally [?] and [magically] ends sex trafficking [even though 99% of Nevada sex workers prefer to work illegally than to submit to the onerous brothel regime]”…

In the first version of the press release, Hof actually cheered the arrests of the owners & CEO of Backpage; I guess he later realized that was vile even by his standards.

Challenge (#681)

The ACLU has finally done something to act on its theoretical support for decriminalization by filing an amicus brief in the ESPLERP case:

The ACLU brief supports the lawsuit’s contention that California’s penal code violates fundamental constitutional rights to sexual privacy and is enforced in a discriminatory manner…Lawrence v. Texas…recognized that “liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex”…The ACLU brief also argues that the California penal code is unconstitutional because the way it is enforced is discriminatory.  Certain groups, such as transgender women, LGBT youth, and female sex workers are targeted and arrested for prostitution in disproportionately higher numbers than other people…

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For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face.
–  1 Corinthians 13:12

through-a-glass-darklyAuthoritarians always have some high-sounding excuse to justify why they have the “right” to meddle in others’ lives, up to and including rationalizations for inflicting violence (or recruiting proxies to do so).  Very often, those excuses involve imaginary villains (or real people cast as villains) upon which the authoritarians can project their own sick need to control others; they can then pretend that their own actions are intended to “protect” (and sometimes “serve”) those they wish to dominate.  It is the traditional duty of journalists to shine light upon claims publicly made by those in power or seeking it, but at some point in the past few decades most of the profession abdicated that responsibility in favor of becoming the handmaidens of the powerful and mindlessly parroting whatever narrative will increase their power.  And so we find journalists publishing dark, lurid sexual fantasies like this one:

A Texas teenager was lured into sex trafficking after meeting her alleged captors on Snapchat…John Clark, a Houston-area energy executive, turned detective to rescue his 18-year-old daughter weeks after she went missing in April of this year…Clark hired a private kidnap and rescue firm, consulted experts, and even bought his own 1-800 number to get tips…Clark [says]…his daughter was “groomed” by her alleged captor starting at age 16.  The trafficker was in his 20s…The teen…was still in high school when she went missing…Last month, Clark launched a petition to strengthen Texas’s anti-trafficking laws.  The petition, among other things, asks the state to increase the age to work in sexually oriented businesses from 18 to 21…in a Facebook post describing how traffickers and their recruiters groom their victims, Clark warned parents “never [to] worry about being over protective…The only luck we had with Snapchat was to literally grab my daughter’s phone unexpectedly… and look at recent communications, but even that had limited effectiveness”…

Such a brave hero!  He went above and beyond to protect his “child”, and now he wants to help others!  How noble!  But look a little closer: the daughter is a legal adult, and he hired thugs to literally abduct her…and if he actually admits to literally assaulting his daughter to grab her phone, what else did he do that he didn’t admit?  Elizabeth Nolan Brown, one of the minority of journalists who still practices real journalism, found out:

A Texas father’s story of “Snapchat sex traffickers” has gone viral as he pushes for legislation that would, among other things, allow parents to have their 18- to 20-year-old offspring involuntarily committed to psychiatric facilities for engaging in sex work…John Clark…has claimed repeatedly that Heather was lured by a sex trafficker…But…the facts he offers suggest Heather left her parents’ home willingly, did not want to return, and only did so after Clark had her tracked down by FBI agents and private investigators…on Saturday, April 30…Heather ditched her car and cell phone and…didn’t return home…According to a May 21 Facebook post from John Clark, he and his wife…”went through her phone several times a week”…[she] wasn’t allowed to take her cellphone upstairs to her bedroom and “when she went upstairs she had to leave her phone on the kitchen counter, so we could check it.”  They required Heather to provide them with “all her passwords”…and installed a GPS tracker on her car…they “Facetimed her every time she went out to make sure she was where she was supposed to be, and she was with the people she was supposed to be seeing”…he writes:  “Children…have no right to privacy.  We have a responsibility to search EVERYTHING.  Install an application like mobistealth or Mobil-spy on your kid’s phone”…I can’t say I’d blame an 18-year-old for wanting to get away from that environment…

Since then, Clark has been meeting with Texas and federal lawmakers, circulating an online petition, and [demanding new laws]…Changing the minimum age requirement for working at a sexually-oriented business (such as strip clubs or adult-video stores) to 21 years old…[and] “Providing extended parental guardianship in specific circumstances and emergencies”…The guardianship period could be triggered if at least four of following six criteria are met: the young adult 1) lives at home, 2) is still in high-school, 3) is a full-time college student, 4) was claimed as a dependent by the parent(s) on the prior year’s tax return, 5) has never been married, and 6) has not been the subject of any child protective services (CPS) investigations…Here is a man who permitted his 18-year-old daughter almost no privacy, went to great lengths to track her down after she left home and told him she didn’t want to return, and has publicly assigned more culpability to Snapchat than his daughter…and…he’s now asking for…changes to…law that would allow him…to continue treating adult offspring like literal children…Under Clark’s proposal, a 19-year-old single woman who lives on her own, attends college, and makes money selling sex in her spare time could find herself back under her parent’s rule (and subject to their medical whims) so long as her parents were never investigated by Texas CPS and had claimed her on tax returns the previous year…

fogged-up-glassesThis is just one case; there are a myriad of others like it, all over the world, every day.  And in most cases, the tyrants trying to gain greater control over other people’s lives don’t even have the dubious excuse of a misguided sense of parental responsibility, because the people they want to control are not their children.  Furthermore, Liz didn’t have to go to any extraordinary lengths to discover the truth; all she had to do was look at Clark’s public Facebook page.  Kate Briquelet, the Daily Beast reporter responsible for the first version, could’ve done the same thing; she simply couldn’t be bothered (or else she intentionally spread Clark’s warped view of events on purpose, which is even worse).  And that’s the real tragedy of modern moral panics:  the facts which could dissipate the fog generated by authoritarians are readily available to all, but neither ordinary citizens nor those with the duty of disseminating facts are willing to put forth the minimal effort required to wipe the glass clean.

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Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.  –  Crenshanda Williams

Though I like to feature short horror films during October, the majority of such films available online are simply elaborate setups for a person in makeup and/or a costume to jump out and grab the protagonist at the end.  In other words, boring and predictable.  But though this one suffers from that a little, it has other virtues which IMHO make up for it.  The links above it were provided by Clarkhat (“much much”), Scott Greenfield (“yet” and “patronize”), Tim Cushing (“too big”), and Nun Ya (“hang”).

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