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Archive for the ‘Tyranny’ Category

Chinese workers…would probably prefer not being deported to a religious text they can’t read.  –  Red Canary Song

Above the Law 

Yet another sociopath with a title:

The [Washington] state Attorney General filed charges…against Hells Canyon Circuit Superior Court Judge Scott Gallina…Nine women…have reported varying degrees of sexual misconduct by Gallina…[since] 2014…[including] charges of second-degree rape, fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, and indecent liberties…Gallina can return to his elective duties until the Supreme Court and the Judicial Conduct Commission stop him…To help protect [women]…the County Board of Commissioners called an emergency meeting…and signed a resolution…

Oooh, a RESOLUTION!  I wonder if that’s any more effective than a “restraining order”?

Policing for Profit

Governments are reining in these depredations much too slowly:

More than a year after police raided an Alabama couple’s house, upturned their lives, and seized thousands of dollars from them over a small amount of marijuana…a…state circuit judge dismissed the misdemeanor drug charges against Greg and Teresa Almond…and ordered that their property be returned to them…the Almonds filed a federal civil rights lawsuit earlier this year against the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department [because]…in January of 2018, the…narcotics [gang] busted down their door, threw a flashbang grenade at Greg Almond’s feet, detained the couple at gunpoint, and ransacked their house…[while they] were trying to refinance the loans they had taken out to start a chicken farm, and as a result, they say they missed a crucial bank deadline, resulting in their house being foreclosed upon.  They now live in a utility shed…The Alabama legislature is currently considering a bill that would essentially abolish civil asset forfeiture by requiring a criminal conviction before property could be forfeited by police.  It would join four other states that have passed similar laws…

Torture Chamber 

A “school” where scores of boys were “reformed” to death:

…a company doing pollution cleanup at the old Dozier School for Boys property in Marianna, 60 miles west of Tallahassee, has discovered 27 “anomalies” that could be possible graves about 165 yards outside the reform school’s Boot Hill cemetery…forensic anthropologists have already turned up far more burials on school property than the state knew about…anthropologists…found…a total of 55 graves…of…boys who died in state [cages]…The brutal…reform school was open from 1900 to 2011, when the state shuttered it under mounting public pressure…[due to] terrible, unceasing abuse and neglect of [caged] boys…and on a number of suspicious deaths…The [newly found] possible graves do not follow any obvious pattern…“This randomness might be expected in a clandestine or informal cemetery, where graves were excavated haphazardly and left unmarked,” the report says…

To Molest and Rape

Just protecting and serving:

…LaFayette [Alabama cop]…Quantavious Lakeith Lockhart was arrested Thursday, April 11th….[for] rape [of a mentally disabled girl]…LaFayette Police Chief George Rampey…will not confirm [that Lockhart]…worked [as a] School [pig]…Lockhart [has been rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Japanese Prostitution (#819) 

A Japanese historian says the comfort woman phenomenon was complicated:

Ikuhiko Hata…is one of Japan’s leading historians and…is no nationalist…Most allegations that Japanese troops kidnapped women for the comfort stations are untrue, Hata [said]…abduction of local girls by foreign troops would have ignited local resistance…the IJA did carry out abductions in a small number of “isolated criminal cases…in the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies…where…women were seen as kinds of POWs…The comfort women mainly worked at comfort stations run by private citizens.  They were recruited by brokers and had fixed-term contracts…Bankbook and bank transfer records prove that the comfort women wired money home to their families to buy homes or start businesses…Many comfort women…were the envy of other women attached to the military, such as nurses…daughters of farm families often had no choice but to go with a broker when her father sold her.  So, when we talk about free will, we have to take into account the range of choices available to women”…Hata said “slave” is the wrong word to describe women who had contracts, received relatively good pay – a commission of what soldiers paid – and, unlike soldiers, could go back to their hometowns after a year or two, even though the war was still continuing…

Pyrrhic Victory (#864)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…a…Google database employees call Sensorvault…turn[s] the business of tracking cellphone users’ locations into a digital dragnet for [cops]…Technology companies have for years responded to court orders for specific users’ information.  The new warrants go further, suggesting possible suspects and witnesses in the absence of other clues.  Often…the company responds to a single warrant with location information on dozens or hundreds of devices…The practice was first used by federal agents in 2016…and…has since spread to local departments across the country…This year…the company received as many as 180 requests in one week…Sensorvault…includes detailed location records involving at least hundreds of millions of devices worldwide and dating back nearly a decade…

Scapegoats (#901) 

Now we know why they wouldn’t say what kind of animal before:

A [typical and representative] Louisiana [cop] arrested last December for…[bestiality] has now been charged with more than 30 counts of child pornography.  Terry Yetman…was…charged…after…officials…discovered electronic evidence showing Yetman’s…bestiality with a retired police dog…

Pyrrhic Victory (#913) 

I’m afraid it’s far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

Axon, the largest supplier of body cameras to US police, has filed [three] patents to develop, surprise, surprise, facial recognition software…One patent is for a system to automatically detect and blur out personal information, probably for things like license plates and such, another matches faces to ones in a database, and the third detects objects like guns in video feeds.  The software also analyses faces to guess the person’s age, race and gender…

Legislators Gone Wild (#923) 

Looks like the anti-whore brigade couldn’t get politicians to support them, either:

State Sen. Joe Hardy’s bill (SB413) to ban Nevada’s legal brothels statewide died on Friday [April 12th] after it failed to get a committee hearing by the midnight deadline…as longtime watchers of the Legislature know, “dead” bills can become “zombie” bills that come back to life as amendments to other bills right up until the time the Legislature officially comes to an end (“sine die”) several weeks from now…we’ll remain vigilant and let you know if SB413 somehow joins the walking dead…

Blunt Instrument (#926)

It’s great to see Asian sex workers fighting back against the racist “sex trafficking” narrative:

…The public is fed the racist myth that all Chinese massage parlors are involved in human trafficking.  In fact, most Chinese workers do this work because it is the most sensible work for them to do…it is simply the fastest way to send money home, and it makes the most practical sense at this time of their lives…The Chinese hukou system, which restricts people to living in the rural area where they are born…is a huge driver of internal “migrant sex workers” with no working rights in China.  It is also a huge driver of migration out of China under Deng Xiaoping’s policies, which actively promoted rural migration out of China rather than overcrowding Chinese cities…Yet these migrant sex workers also do much to support Chinese economic development by sending a large portion of their money home.  It’s ironic and laughable in the darkest sense when Christian charities in “international development” work travel to countries like Cambodia and Thailand to convert sex workers into garment workers.  Do they recognize how much “international development” these sex workers are already doing?  Much more than a charity promoting the sale of handmade trinkets could ever manage…

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Registries deter the good guys without having much effect on the bad ones.  –  Alexandra Levy

We Told You So

Oh, what a surprise:

A…couple’s agency obtained a $1.5 million federal grant to [harass sex workers]…in Toronto…[but] the…project appears to be a sham…[La Passerelle I.D.E. used the names] of 26 Toronto women…[who] work in marketing, public relations, consulting and government…[as supposed sex workers]…in danger…La Passerelle is [also]…in hot water over misusing thousands of dollars of sports and concert tickets…The lawyer for La Passerelle, Peter Downard, [claims] the anti-prostitution program…will help young, immigrant francophone women escape from “informal prostitution,” which he describes as [actually getting something of value for their time instead of giving it to useless men for free]…

Ad Absurdum

Age of consent laws were always intended to criminalize teen sex:

The age…[of] consent…is set at the state level in the US…In states such as Montana, and Kansas, anyone over the age of 16 can engage in sex with whomever they choose…while…a 16-year-old high-school junior who has sex with someone in the year below them is…committing statutory rape…in states such as MassachusettsIllinois and California, two minors who engage in sex…might land one of them on the sex offenders’ registry for life…statutory-rape law can be a powerful tool in the hands of parents who want to prevent their teenagers from dating people they don’t like or from dating at all…this means the law disproportionally affects queer and interracial couples…Age-of-consent law as we know it today is a late 19th-century invention…In 1981…the…Supreme Court…held that “because their chastity was considered particularly precious, young women were felt to be uniquely in need of the state’s protection”.  Then the 1990s brought a push to shore up age-of-consent law in order to prevent teen pregnancy…age-of-consent law has always been…primarily focused on preventing consensual teenage sex…

AoC laws became popular as a way for parents to have revenge on young men who got their daughters pregnant, thus ruining their chances for an advantageous marriage.  All that modern crap about “child protection” is just rationalization to cover up the ugly, dehumanizing truth that despite the phrase “statutory rape”, AoC laws are more closely related to vandalism laws than they are to rape laws.

Cardboard Cutouts

Dutch sex workers are being threatened by Swedish plague carriers:

A [prohibitionist] petition is to be handed into the Dutch parliament demanding [the Swedish model]…”I am [worth]less” is the name of the social media-led campaign…[based in] Christian and feminist [dogma]…the group have posted Instagram photos showing [idiots with printed signs]…bearing [inane mottoes like]…I’m [worth]less…[and] “what if it was your sister?”…

A Load of Farley (#571)

Farley’s evil bigotry is finally coming back to bite her:

Florida lawmakers are rapidly advancing a bill they say will tackle human trafficking that would [condemn]…sex worker…[clients] to…a public registry.  But…the measure…relies on the work of [Melissa Farley] an…anti-sex work clinical psychologist who has referred to women sex workers as “house n****rs” [sic] and ”receptacles” and equates consensual sex with a sex worker with “rape”…other psychologists have described her work as “questionable”, “unqualified”, “inflammatory” and “demeaning propaganda”.  In 2010, Farley appeared as a key witness in a prostitution hearing in Ontario. The judge, Justice Susan Himel, dismissed Farley’s testimony [as]…”problematic”…[and] “inflammatory”…Several academics, writers and organizers wrote a scathing commentary on one of Farley’s reports in 2008, citing its biases and ignorance “of even the most basic legal principles”….Farley…initially denied using the racist slur, but when HuffPost sent her the archived link to the 2009 article, Farley said she was comparing “the structural similarities between prostitution and slavery”…

To Molest and Rape

This week’s typical and representative cop:

A Dartmouth [Massachusetts cop]..is facing…charges…[after raping] two children…Shawn Souza was arrested by state police…following a report from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and an investigation by the DA’s special victims unit…

Stalkers in Blue

She was “found dead” after a cop stalked her. Just a koinkydink:

A Denver [cop] will [get] a 10-day [vacat]ion and a fine for leaving work early to go to a strip club and then using a police database to look up a dancer, who was later found dead.  It is the second time in less than a year that…Shederick Dobbin has [received a light slap on the wrist] for abusing his access to the database…Dobbin was not a suspect in the [stripper’s death even though]…he [stalked]…her…and…two of [her] friends…Dobbin…previously [was rewarded with a] four day…[vacation] for [stalk]ing…the girlfriend of a man [accused] of assaulting a city employee…Denver [cops stalking women via computer]…became a focal point for the city’s Office of the Independent Monitor in 2016…

Imaginary Evils (#833)

It’s almost like feds use high-stigma accusations to force guilty pleas to lesser charges:

Allison Mack…pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and one count of racketeering conspiracy, for threatening to release secret photos of two women if they didn’t engage in “acts of love” with [cult leader Keith] Raniere.  Mack was…arrested along with NXIVM co-founder Raniere in what federal authorities widely described as a sex trafficking case…another example of the FBI using its new favorite buzzword (and desperately trying to rack up actual prosecutions for the same) even when the charges were a huge stretch…There a lot to criticize NXIVM for…and evidence that Raniere is guilty of a host of ethical and legal transgressions…Just not for sex trafficking

Original Sin (#913) 

Nobody wants to admit that forced celibacy exacerbates these issues:

Indian authorities…charged a bishop with repeatedly raping a nun in…Kerala, the first case of its kind in the country and a development that comes just weeks after Pope Francis acknowledged a continuing problem with sexual abuse of nuns in the Catholic Church…Bishop Franco Mulakkal had been charged with raping a nun nine times over a two-year period starting in 2014…The charge sheet includes statements from 83 witnesses, including a cardinal, three bishops, 11 priests and 25 nuns…Nuns have tried for years to call attention to sexual exploitation in the Catholic Church.  They have recently stepped forward to accuse clerics of abuse in India and Italy, as well as in African and Latin American countries.  But they have also struggled to move the conversation forward among church leaders…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#926)

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are desperately trying to turn the recent racist Florida pogroms into a huge international conspiracy:

…Yujing Zhang…was charged with illegally “entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds” and with lying to a federal agent…But as of now, any links between Zhang and Li “Cindy” Yang are…circumstantial at best…Despite dramatic insinuations, there’s been no evidence that Yang was actually “selling access” to the president (or other political figures) in any meaningful way…Her consulting company, GY US Investments, arranged tours, visits, and attendance at an array of political offices, business conferences, and political, networking, and cultural events for Chinese and Chinese-American entrepreneurs…Until recently, she ran a chain of massage businesses…one of those businesses she closed in 2013.  It was opened under a new name by a woman with no apparent ties to Yang and, earlier this year, the site of a Homeland Security–assisted prostitution sting that netted…Trump supporter…Robert Kraft on misdemeanor solicitation charges…And yet some people are quickly weaving a new narrative of shady “influence” with her as some sort of centerpiece…congressional Democrats called on the FBI to investigate Yang, even though no one has produced any evidence she’s doing anything illegal…

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The homeowner told police it also appeared someone had eaten some of his Krave cereal.

YouTube threw this video at me last week, and I literally laughed out loud even though I was sober.  The links above it were provided by Franklin Harris, Missy Mariposa, Furrygirl, Peter Roman (x2), and Elizabeth N. Brown, in that order.

From the Archives

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The way we are dealing with trafficking cases is not effective.
– Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez

Legal Is As Legal Does (#7)

Hamilton politicians should talk to those in Auckland & Christchurch:

Hamilton City Council is trying to renew a bylaw that may be illegal – a ban on street prostitution that threatens a $20,000 fine.  The Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) is dead against it, and even the council admits it’s on shaky legal ground…But…the ban is illegal [because it] recriminalises sex workers…Two attempts by Manukau City Council to ban street prostitution in 2007 and 2012 failed.  The Hamilton Mayor admits that exposes his council to legal risk…

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

Alabama’s prison…inmates are housed in unconstitutional conditions…the Department of Justice has…threatened to hit Alabama with a federal lawsuit if the state doesn’t begin to correct the violations within 49 days.  The report…lays out in unsparing detail a culture of violence across the state’s 13 prisons for men, which house roughly 16,000 inmates in dangerously understaffed prisons that are also among the nation’s most overcrowded.  During a single week…one inmate bled to death after being stabbed repeatedly as two others stood guard…Another stabbed inmate had to be evacuated by helicopter, and a prisoner…was attacked with a sock filled with metal locks…Rapes happen day and night in all corners of the prisons…more than 600…from late 2016 through April 2018…[and] the report…”did not identify a single incident in which…staff…intervened”…The prison system documented 24 prisoner homicides between January 2015 and June 2018, but the Justice Department said that…was an undercount…[because] the state [often] classifies violent deaths as arising from natural causes…

To Molest and Rape

Yet another typical and representative cop:

A Newport News [cop] was arrested…[for] rape and [anal rape] of…a girl [under 18]…the department [first] received a report on June 6, 2018 [but took their sweet time arresting their buddy, using the excuse that]…it had happened significantly prior to when the report was made…

The Enlightenment Police (#785)

Five times a day, Guilbault makes obeisance toward the capitol and chants, “the Law is the Law”:

…Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault told reporters at the Quebec National Assembly that it is the job of the police to enforce the law, and the province’s proposed ban on wearing religious symbols in some public service jobs would be no different.  “The law is the law,” Ms. Guilbault [chanted]…“People can [call the cops on others who have not hurt them]…The law is the law.”  She later clarified that she is confident officials will [mindlessly] obey the law…[even though] several Montreal-area municipalities and school boards say they would not enforce a ban on religiously symbolic garments such as the turban, kippa, hijab and crucifix from being worn by people in positions of authority, including teachers and [pigs]…the law…contain[s] no punitive measures…[but In]justice Minister Sonia LeBel said if a school board or city refuses to enforce the law, the province could obtain a court injunction to force compliance…“I’m very confident…there will be no civil disobedience,” she [lied.  Premier François] Legault later told reporters…“We shouldn’t be talking about [the gun in the room]. Quebeckers know there are means to [violently] force respect for the law”…Most of the people who would be affected are Muslim teachers who wear headscarves…

It’s cute how Canadian politicians like to dance around the inherent tyranny of laws against consensual behavior.

To Molest and Rape (#845) 

Dante would’ve placed this monster in Ptolomea:

Kenneth Collard…pleaded guilty to [rape]…and is expected to be sentenced to [a mere] five years in prison…Collard was staying at the home of an[other cop]…when he entered the [his host’s daughter’s] bedroom and [rap]ed her in the middle of the night…

Where Are the Protests? (#848)

I suggest you compare this to the “nail parlor slavery” myth:

Police have been alerted to 930 reports of [imagined] modern-day slavery at hand car washes, thanks to a new smartphone app devised by the Church of England (C of E) and the Catholic Church…Customers concerned by working conditions at a hand car wash have been urged to download the Safe Car Wash app and complete a survey which includes key indicators of modern slavery…[such as] evidence of staff living on site…

Rooted in Racism (#867)

But they want to “rescue” them!

Sex workers in the UK are being illegally targeted for deportations and subjected to harassment and attacks because of a Brexit-inspired culture of discrimination against foreigners…A dossier compiled by the…English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) includes examples of women being targeted by police for arrest and deportation despite having the right to remain in Britain, and police dismissing reports of violence against women…Niki Adams…said…“Migrant sex workers from EU countries like Romania, Albania and Poland do have the right to work in the UK but they have been picked up and deported…The police were doing things like confiscating a woman’s travel documents or passport and saying, ‘We will only give this back to you if you produce a one-way ticket to Romania’”…

The Widening Gyre (#901)

Cops don’t like it when non-cops falsely accuse innocent people of “crimes” that didn’t happen:

Santana Adams of Milton, West Virginia, has been charged with falsely accusing a man of trying to kidnap her 5-year-old daughter at the mall.  On April [Fool’s Day], Adams told the police that a stranger at the Old Navy store in Barboursville “grabbed the child by the hair and attempted to pull her away.”  The girl then “dropped to the floor with the male still pulling her”…The woman told police she pulled out a gun and the man quickly left the scene…the accused man, Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, was thrown in jail…But the case against him quickly began to unravel…By Tuesday, Zayan was released…By Thursday night…the prosecutor dismissed all charges….[after] surveillance video [showed] the two shoppers calmly leaving the store at slightly different times, going in opposite directions…By Friday afternoon the tables had completely turned and Adams found herself facing charges for accusing Zayan of a crime that did not happen.  Possible penalties are a $500 fine and sixth months in jail…

Safe Position (#919)

Even my jaded self is impressed with the speed this is happenng in New York:

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez voiced his support for the decriminalization of sex work on April 4 during a wide-ranging discussion with elected officials, advocates, and members of Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn (LID).  The “decriminal­izing queerness” event, which was hosted by LID and primarily focused on sex work but also touched upon marijuana legalization, housing rights, and other issues facing marginalized groups, additionally featured Brooklyn State Senators Julia Salazar and Zellnor Myrie as well as advocates who have experience as sex workers…Gonzalez’s clear support for decriminalization comes just weeks after he unveiled his Justice 2020 plan geared towards reducing incarceration…

Business As Usual (#921)

Every so often the feds decide to make an example of an especially-horrible cop:

A Franklin County grand jury indicted [typical and representative] Columbus…vice [pig] Andrew Mitchell…in the [murder] of Donna Castleberry…Mitchell had been attempting to [rape] Castleberry when she [resisted, so]…he shot her multiple times.  Mark Collins, Mitchell’s defense attorney [tried to defame the dead victim and claims]…Mitchell was acting in self-defense [when he murdered an unarmed woman half his size]…

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What message are we sending [young women]…to roll over when your picture gets exposed without your…consent?  –  Lauren Miranda

Under Every Bed

‘I was deeply troubled to learn that my home town of Sheboygan could be the hub of sex trafficking in this state’…said Sara Neumann, a junior…at Lakeland University“.  It’s true, Sara!  Why, the rate of “sex trafficking” in Sheboygan, with under 50,000 people, is comparable to that of a European country with over 42 million!

…the Eastern European country of Ukraine and Sheboygan…are…both…major hubs for human trafficking.  So as part of the Open World Program, a delegation of young professionals from Ukraine are in Sheboygan this week to exchange ideas on how to deal with the human trafficking issue…

Above the Law (#443) 

They spent five years trying to exonerate him, then finally gave him a slap on the wrist:

A [typical and representative] Birmingham [cop] arrested more than four years ago…[after] he sexually abused a child and raped an adult woman has been sentenced to [a mere] six months in the Shelby County Jail.  Joshua Herbinger…[made a plea bargain to dismiss]…other child sex abuse charges…He is required to register as a sex offender and avoid contact with the victims and their families…

Compare this sentence with the one in “To Molest and Rape” below.

Happy Endings

Possibly the best explainer about Asian massage parlors I’ve ever seen.  It was written by a guy who dated a spa owner for years, and is written in clear, concise English without a lot of the jargon so many activists seem addicted to.  I’m not going to attempt to quote from it because you need to read it all, except for this bit from the conclusion:

…These smart, enterprising women need your help to combat this vicious slander.  Upvote this answer.  Share it…send…links to this Quora answer to media outlets.  If enough of them see it, perhaps they’ll at least publicly question the human trafficking allegations…

Checklist (#562)

Another whore-snitching app:

A Flushing, NY woman has been arrested and charged with prostitution [for doing her job] after police…[targeted her workplace because a useful idiot snitched] through the STOPit phone app…[which makes it easy for squealers]…to [squeal] in real time with [pigs who record all their details despite claims the snitch is anonymous]…

Think of the Children! (#619) 

Another young woman fired for having a private sex life:

Lauren Miranda was…told in January that a male student had a topless selfie of the 25-year-old math teacher…so…she was…fired…she took steps to sue the South Country [New York] School District…for $3 million, claiming gender discrimination…The photo was taken in 2016…[for] another teacher…whom she was dating at the time…she…is not sure how it got into the hands of the student…who…was [apparently not] disciplined…New York state law allows women to appear topless in public…

To Molest and Rape

It’s rare to see the phrase “rapist cop” outside of my oeuvre:

[Rapist cop] Robert A. Sundberg III was sentenced…to 10 to 15 years in state prison for raping and abusing his ex-girlfriend, a[nother cop]…Sundberg’s ex-girlfriend said that instead of upholding his sworn oath…Sundberg [instead acted like a cop]…to manipulate and abuse her physically and emotionally…She described him as “remorseless” and a “predator”…Sundberg was behind a false emergency call that led to her being…[wrongly] arrest[ed] for drunk driving…Sundberg…was [not] officially fired [until he was sentenced]…

The fact that his victim was another pig rather than just a little girl may have something to do with his getting an appropriate sentence.

Backwards into the Future (#763)

This is quite a change in less than two years:

[South African] President Cyril Ramaphosa told dozens of women and civil organisations that the government is looking into decriminalising sex work…His comments were greeted by loud cheers from women activists and members of nongovernmental organisations against gender-based violence…

Negative Secondary Effects (#859)

It usually starts with sex workers, but it never stops with us:

Ypsilanti [Michigan] is in the process of relegating gun retailers and ranges to often undesirable locations in the city alongside strip clubs, massage parlors and pornography shops…Current zoning laws allow for gun retailers and ranges to operate in the same commercial districts as general stores and recreation businesses…

The Course of a Disease (#869)

Israeli prohibitionists are trying to criminalize all sex work:

Lap dancing should be regarded as a form of [prostitution]…and those who own properties where they are conducted will be prosecuted as pimps, the [Israeli] State Attorney…[laying the ground for future criminalization of all forms of] stripping…the decision speaks of a “slippery slope” in which stripping…leads to sex work in back rooms – which is [now] illegal…

Business As Usual (#905)

Every vice gang in the country needs to be shut down:

The police chief of Glynn County, Georgia, says the department’s narc…[gang]…has been dissolved [because]…one of its detectives [named James Cassada] was using drugs and [raping snitches]…also…[cop] David Hassler [lied]…during the investigation and [cop] John Simpson had an ongoing friendship with a convicted drug manufacturer…

Micromanagement (#912)

They’re not only giving cops people’s info, but trying to convince their victims it’s a good thing:

FamilyTreeDNA is finally being upfront with users about its intentions for their DNA samples. This is due to its founder deciding — without consulting his customers — that they’re all as willing as he is to convert your DNA samples into public goods.  “Bennett Greenspan, the firm’s founder, said he had decided he had a moral obligation to help solve old murders and rapes”…FamilyTreeDNA [claims]…it’s finally going to seek consent from its customers, but only after having abused their trust once…While some DNA companies like 23andMe are insisting on at least a subpoena before handing over access…other companies are…specifically targeting law enforcement agencies with ads promising to help them work through their cold case files…it’s never going to be complete consent, no matter how FamilyTreeDNA shapes the argument…[because] as Elizabeth Joh points out at Slate…”[W]hen you volunteer your DNA sample, you’re volunteering your genetic family tree, without having asked your parents, siblings, cousins, and distant cousins…You can’t give the police lawful consent to search your third cousin’s house, even if your third cousin (who you may never have met) is suspected of having been involved in a serious crime.  Why are we allowing a distant relative to grant police permission to your DNA?”…

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (#917)

Destroying sex workers’ safety, one “improvement” at a time:

One million pounds…was given to Sacro to fund a “safety app for women involved in prostitution”…Sacro run a [program]…called Another Way, aiming at [pushing] women out of prostitution…in complete contrast to what is actually demanded by…sex worker[s]…the Home Office [is] frustrated that data around sex workers is so tightly protected amongst our allies…apps are regularly used as methods to gather data, and that installing an app can give it access to our locations, contacts, and even use of our camera.  This is deeply worrying when the app will be being built and run by…people who seek to see us eradicated…[prohibitionists will] get access to our personal data and an overarching ability to track us, and see who we communicate with…

Guinea Pigs (#919) 

Cops thought they had a big trophy when they arrested a billionaire for consensual sex:

Police used a fake bomb threat to clear out a Florida spa and install cameras…Robert…Kraft’s attorneys wrote in a…motion to suppress the video footage that Jupiter Police Department (JPD) officers…used “allusions to human trafficking” to secure the warrant.  “This ruse concealed the execution of the Warrant from the Spa, its employees, and its customers, none of whom received notice of the issuance of the Warrant or the placement of hidden video cameras on Spa premises,” Jack Goldberger…wrote…The filing also took issue with the inspections of the spa conducted by Florida Department of Health [copsucker] Karen Herzog, whose reports have been included in other warrants issued…as part of the [pogrom] that led to more than 300 arrests…“Herzog [claimed]…female employees were living there”…[yet] only…noted was that there were “some tables showing wear and tear.”  Two photos of the inside of a refrigerator…showed bottled water and ranch dressing…“[the pig who requested the warrant] made his reckless leap over to human trafficking based on supposed ‘evidence’ consisting of…a refrigerator stocked with food, two beds, and clothing‐all of which may be routinely observed at any number of places of employment, including law offices, for reasons having nothing to do with human trafficking,” Goldberger wrote…

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I met Elsi Dawson at my Vancouver screening a few weeks ago, and when our conversation turned to new advertising venues she offered to do a guest column on the new site Tryst, which I have recently started an ad on myself.  I really like the way the site looks and operates, and I’m really hoping it catches on well enough that we can all start to abandon platforms which regularly invent new ways to annoy or actively hurt us while offering no customer service.

It’s been well-established that FOSTA/SESTA has shuttered, or at least, stunted many advertising platforms that are based out of the US.  While that nightmare has been felt most acutely by American sex workers, especially those in marginalized positions, the ripple effects have hurt sex workers in Canada as well.  The puritan moral panic that sought to end all sex-slavery has succeeded—if their goal was to cut the legs out from under independent sex workers and drive human trafficking underground.  Bravo.

Backpage went down, but the supply didn’t.  In Canada, the overflow moved to the next nearest website, Leolist – similar in function, but with better aesthetics and a much higher price tag.  Initially it seemed much more sex worker friendly, with the ability to verify yourself, bump your ad, purchase upgrades with premium features and navigate on a mobile platform.  But the longer you stay on Leolist, the more you notice that, even though it’s your credit card attached to the account, you’re not the client, you’re the product.  And, with all the people hustling on Backpage now looking for somewhere else to grind, Leolist found themselves running a monopoly.  A few years ago, an ad cost about $2 US, would go to the first page, scroll off onto subsequent pages until it expired thirty days later on page 16 or so.  Or, one could pay another $2 US to bring it back to the top of the list again at any time, multiple times a day.  A heavy volume day would probably be four or five bumps, and one could expect nearly a thousand views on their ad from that.  But post-FOSTA/SESTA, ads which used to be on Page 1 for an hour on a busy day, now barely last 30 minutes.  The result is a sex worker either not getting as much “primetime” ad exposure, or bumping more frequently to make up the difference.  After a small struggle (and a change of bank vendor) the prices changed to Euros, with a promise to keep the rates comparable.  In a move that surprised exactly no one, they did not.  Every few months for the past year, their rates have been climbing.  Not content with being at the top of the pile or having the most local traffic, Leolist gradually increased the cost of an ad, the cost of a bump, the cost of premium features.  Was it a move to try to starve out the scam artists and the fake ads?  Maybe, but we’ll never know because Leolist doesn’t have any interest in answering to their advertisers.  They don’t take comment or feedback, and even their Twitter is locked (after they directed people to contact them there).  The result is a frustrated group of independent sex workers who are watching their overhead costs tick up like the start of a rollercoaster, while their ads get less visibility and fewer bites.

And then there are the review boards.  In Western Canada, we have the archaic and wholly unwieldy Pacific Escort Review Board (PERB.cc) run on vBulletin (you know it’s bad when even academia has left the format behind).  On any given day, the old guard of “perberts” post degrading and vulgar comments about providers, their bodies and a scale-ten judgment of their services.  Hobbyists take nit-picky circle-jerk punches at “girls with boyfriends” and “girls who have cellulite” and “girls who think they have golden pussies.”  They routinely marvel at how providers could even dare to ask them for a deposit.  They jostle to outdo one another on their conquests and oscillate between “I think I’m going to quit this hobby” and “I can’t wait until the market pulls the prices back down and these girls get a good idea of what they’re actually worth.”  A month of all the ad posting you can eat (but only two ads a day, and posting a selfie counts as an ad, by the way) runs $113.  There are a litany of rules spread across eight different threads, with vague wording and a system of infractions, points, expirations, perbatory and permanent deletion.  A provider is allowed to comment on their own review, but not anyone else’s, and only while they’re “in red” (a bassackwards term that means “paid up” to them and no one else in the English-speaking world).  Necroposting (replying to an old thread to bring it back into discussion) is an infraction, and so is reposting (starting a new thread on a topic that has already been discussed but may have long since gone quiet).  It’s a minefield and a distraction from the day-to-day operations of running an independent sex work business.  Oh, and Leolist has exclusive rights to advertise on PERB – a cute little bromance that keeps client traffic swirling around the same toilet bowl.

Suddenly, a ray of hope appears.  Tryst.link arrives on the scene to balm our wounds and bring sanity to online marketing.  The superhero geniuses that brought us Switter (the Sex Worker Twitter, get it?!) when FOSTA/SESTA scared the other Twitter into shadow banning everyone with a visible nipple, have branched into making an advertising platform and it’s like a breath of fresh air.  Their team, Assembly Four, has put together a platform that works for the sex worker.  Do you want to set your weekly availability?  Sure. Wanna promo a tour? Here’s a drop-down menu for that.  Do you have different rates for different session types and lengths?  Go ahead and list them in as much or as little detail as you’d like.  Tryst, like Switter, has been built while avoiding the use of US companies, and prioritizing the privacy of the workers who reside on their platforms.  They ask for minimal personal information from clients (the basic username, email, and password) upon sign up.  Provider verification for Tryst is also quite standard and based on a handful of factors such as social media presence, other verified accounts, and verification photos.  They don’t ask for or require any civilian forms of ID for verification, and any information sent to them is treated with extreme sensitivity.  Tryst is rapidly gaining user profiles in Asia, Australia + NZ, Canada, Europe and – you guessed it – the United States of America.  As their traffic has increased (by 15.6x since November), they have encouraged feedback from providers and clients alike.  Since their launch, they’ve added features to better advertise genders, ethnicity, and transgender disclosure options at the suggestion of their members.  Their mission is not to be “your elite [cis white conventionally attractive woman in her mid-twenties] companion website” but to offer affordable and effective advertising with a sleek, contemporary, and user-friendly interface to sex workers at all price points and in all specializations.  This year, Tryst plans to implement a range of other features to further help workers of all demographics thrive in a post FOSTA/SESTA world.  For the first time, possibly ever, the way we advertise online is within our own control.  Solutions which cater to the needs of sex workers and still bring in clients are finally within reach.

What this development says to me is that whores are collaborating, investing in our communities, and coming back stronger than ever.  FOSTA/SESTA is devastating and terrifying, particularly for US providers, but It’s going to take more than a short-sighted and thinly-veiled prohibition/censorship bill to break us apart.  We’ve got a revolution on our hands, honey, and we’re not going anywhere.  This may be the world’s oldest profession, but we’re also gunning for the title of boldest as well.

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I thought they was going to shoot me, and my brother, and everybody else.  –  Samari Boswell

Last week Emma Evans tweeted an article about breakfast cereal marketing of the ’80s, which in turn reminded me of one of my favorite breakfast cereals of the previous decades; here is a collection of all the commercials (starting in 1974).  I had all of the magnets, too.  The links above the video were provided by Scott Greenfield, Walter Olson, Scott Greenfield again, Kevin Wilson, Peter Roman, and Popehat, in that order.

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