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Posts Tagged ‘Arizona’

As most of y’all can probably guess, I have not been watching the Kavanaugh hearings on TV, because even if I did watch other TV news (which I don’t, and haven’t since I first started reading the newspaper around age 12, recognizing even then that it was entertainment and not news) I would certainly not watch this ridiculous circus designed to further the popular “red-blue” myth in the minds of the hoi-polloi.  I also have the word “Kavanaugh” muted on Twitter, but of course that doesn’t block tweets which don’t directly reference him.  So I was able to see and comment on this very interesting observation by Phoenix Calida:

So you know Rachel Mitchell, the woman who is going to question Dr. Christine Ford?  She’s a prosecutor with the special victims unit.  From Maricopa county.  You know, the place where sheriff Joe Arpaio worked?…The one who bragged about running concentration camps where guards tortured inmates?  And then he was held in Contempt of court for racial profiling and pardoned by Trump?…And remember when Sheriff Joe refused to investigate rape cases?  And cases where children were being sexually abused by adults?  All Bc the victims were Latinas?  That’s where this woman earned her credentials as a sex crimes prosecutor.  Rachel Mitchell is about to question Dr. Ford, an alleged rape victim.  And Mitchell earned her “credentials” working with cops who wouldn’t even investigate rape cases in their county.  How do y’all see this really turning out?

Maricopa County is, of course, a cesspool of political corruption, especially where sex work is concerned.  And Arpaio was a big Trump supporter, so one of his gang turning up in Washington to help Trump is not really a surprise.  But Phoenix’s tweets got me thinking, so I wrote this after quoting hers:

You remember Arpaio, right?  The guy who arrested newspapermen Lacey & Larkin for exposing his corruption?  The same Lacey & Larkin who were persecuted as owners of Backpage, partly thanks to the efforts of Cindy McCain, whom they exposed as a drug addict who robbed her own charity?  The same Cindy McCain, widow of John McCain, warmonger politician from AZ (where Maricopa County is) who has relentlessly demonized Backpage (owned by the men who exposed her crimes) for years?  Arizona is also the site of ASU, home of Dominique Roe-Sepowitz (who says sex work is bad because “body fluids” cause brain damage), who is paid big bucks by the McCain Institute and government cronies to do bogus “studies” designed to “prove” that “sex trafficking” was rampant on Backpage?  Funny how all of this shit begins to fit together when you follow the money and the trail of vendettas, alliances & favors, isn’t it?

And in case you hadn’t noticed, while this big show of “us vs them” was going on, Congress almost-unanimously passed the biggest war-advancing military spending bill in history, and the House passed a bill which expands the PATRIOT Act using “sex trafficking” as an excuse with solid support from both of these supposedly-deadly-enemy parties.  But please keep watching the fireworks and pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

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To many people, what we do is more important than who we are.  –  Empower Foundation

Storyville 

An interesting collection of 19th-century brothel photos:

Working Girls, an exhibition of remarkable archival photos…has just opened at Ricco/ Maresca Gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea district (where it will remain on view through October 13).  These photographs, which are also featured in a new book of the same name…are intriguing documents…of “an American brothel, circa 1892”…

If It Were Legal

I know several ladies who would’ve gladly handled this job:

An Arizona man has been charged with multiple counts of sex abuse and fraudulent schemes after he allegedly faked having Down syndrome and hired female caregivers to bathe him and change his diapers.  Three women have accused Paul Menchaca…[who] would become aroused during baths and diaper changes…Menchaca…hired the women using an online service, where he posed as his mother…making arrangements for them to pick him up at various locations…Several…times he insisted that his genitals were not cleaned enough…The caregivers became suspicious, and one…visited Menchaca’s home…Menchaca’s parents…said he is capable of taking care of himself and does not have Down syndrome…

Even if sex work were legal and unstigmatized, Menchaca (and others like him) might still choose not to hire dommes willing to cater to infantilists, either because they’re too cheap or they get off on tricking women.  And certainly, most infantilists do contract with dommes to get their needs met despite the stigma.  But the possibility cannot be discounted that some, perhaps even many, men with this kink are too ignorant to know that there are professionals skilled in dealing with their needs or too afraid to hire them.

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality

Hostess bars in the Near East aren’t very different from those in the Far East:

…are the “Russian bars” [in Jordan] really hotbeds of prostitution and trafficking?  “Russian bars” aren’t necessarily Russian.  The women who work there…[often] hail from other post-Soviet and central Asian countries, including Ukraine, Estonia, Romania, Uzbekistan and Moldova.  “Russian” women work in bars in many other Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon, and are often assumed to be sex workers…[but] the bar owners and managers either prohibited or strongly discouraged the women from sleeping with their…clients…The women make their money by getting the clients to buy drinks at the bar…and…work on commission…Bar managers…ensure that the women are sent home in cabs booked by the bar, so there is no chance they are going to a client’s home.  But rules get broken, or at least worked around.  What is good for the bar manager isn’t necessarily what’s good for the women working there.  Whilst all of the women interviewed for the study on “Russian bars” denied ever having sex with a client, everyone knew another girl who had…

A Broker in Pillage

Let’s hope this is merely the first of many such settlements:

Philadelphia’s civil forfeiture program, which critics have long assailed for allowing prosecutors to [steal] the cash and property of [innocent people]…will be overhauled as part of a court settlement…the city…agreed to place new limits on its seizures, more quickly hold hearings for defendants to challenge the seizures, and include judicial oversight earlier in the process…”Philadelphia treated its citizens like ATMs, ensnaring thousands…in a system designed to strip people of their property and their rights,” [said] Darpana Sheth…[of the] Institute for Justice…the settlement would also create a $3 million fund to compensate some of those whose property was seized…Scott Bullock, president of the Institute for Justice…said that other jurisdictions should proactively seek to reform their civil forfeiture practices in order to avoid litigating them as Philadelphia was forced to do…

Blunt Instrument 

“Sex trafficking” is such a convenient weapon to use against adult businesses:

San Diego massage parlors have become hotspots of human trafficking thanks to the high concentration of U.S. military personnel in the area, claim local [prohibition]ists…If San Diego has a human trafficking problem because of U.S. troops, I’d say that’s an issue for the U.S. military and federal law enforcement.  Instead, the San Diego City Council is considering a measure to require special police-issued permits for massage businesses, in addition to the general business permits owners must have and the state certification required of massage therapists…These new licenses could be yanked if any illicit activity takes place at the business…a business fronting for illegal activity can already be shut down if law enforcement goes through the typical legal channels:  bringing criminal charges, proving guilt, etc., etc…But those avenues require due process, which is costly and time-consuming for cops and prosecutors.  The new measure would allow the city to yank a business’ license if any of its individual employees were found guilty of any number of minor offenses…excessive occupational and business licensing has come under intense fire from progressives…So…bureaucrat[s]..pretend the regulations are about protecting people, rather than depriving them of their liberty and property…

Under Every Bed

Population 13,665:

…a recently-formed group in York County [Nebraska] wants to…erase the faces of sex trafficking from the York area…and…educate York County residents on what they can do to disrupt the sex trafficking plague…Local schools are being trained on how to identify human trafficking, as well as the hospitality industry…Hospitality employees are crucial to disrupting sex trafficking, as many victims are sold in hotels…

This is one of the tiniest little podunk towns I’ve ever featured in this subtitle; even the rural county I lived in when I was in Oklahoma had almost twice as many people, and I was the only escort there (plus a couple of girls who worked the bars, I believe).  One wonders where they think all those “sex traffickers” are hiding; I grew up in a town of 6000 and everybody knew everybody else’s business.

Torture Chamber 

“Correcting” people to death:

A Texas prison guard has been charged in the aggravated assault of an inmate who…died [as a result of the attack]…[screw] D’Andre Glasper [slammed] Gary Ryan[‘s] head [into a concrete floor, resulting in]…brain injuries…[Ryan] died nearly two weeks later…Ryan was less than three months away from completing a five-year sentence for [contempt of cop]…

An Example To the West (#659) 

The Thai sex worker organization EMPOWER has now opened an online library to supplement its physical sex work museum in Chiang Mai.  I have said many times before that Asian sex worker activists, most especially Thai and Indian activists, are among my heroines; they regularly accomplish amazing activism far beyond what we in the West ever manage, under oppression and social stigma as bad as that in the US.  These women’s courage is an inspiration to all their sisters in every land.

Send In the Clowns 

A sad epilogue to the Great Clown Panic of 2016:

A Reading [Pennsylvania] man was sentenced…to 22 months to five years in state prison for firing a shotgun while drunk at his apartment in December 2016 because he believed there were clowns inside it…Nathan A. Matthias…will receive credit for the 490 days he’s spent in prison since June 2017 and was ordered to complete drug and alcohol treatment…[cops] found Matthias standing next to the house holding a shotgun and ordered him to put the gun on the ground.  Matthias told police that two small clowns were running around his apartment and he had shot at them…While being questioned outside, Matthias pointed next door and said he still saw clowns on the neighbor’s roof, but [the cops] did not see any…

Comfort Zone (#847)

Europe’s attempts to hide its racism behind the “human trafficking” hysteria are crumbling:

Eleven people who had been arrested and charged with human trafficking in October 2017 appeared in court in Brussels on September 6, the first hearing of a trial that activists say is yet another case of “criminalization of solidarity” in Europe.  The defendants have allegedly assisted 95 undocumented migrants, including 12 minors, to travel from Belgium to the United Kingdom last year, either by hosting them in their homes, by lending them phones and thereby indirectly helping them cross the channel.  On the day of the trial, three hundred people protested in front of the courthouse.  Demonstrators say this is a political trial, aimed at dissuading people from helping migrants by establishing an intimidating judicial precedent…Belgian law states that there must be a monetary transaction involved for an act to be framed as human trafficking, something the defendants deny ever happening…[advocates point out] that the law’s scope is…being expanded to target activists…

The Widening Gyre (#872) 

The more cops are forced to deny “sex trafficking” scary tales, the harder it will be for them to spread such tales themselves:

The woman behind a now viral Facebook Live video says she regrets using the term “human trafficking” to describe what [didn’t] happen…at a local grocery store but does not regret [spreading hysteria about] the [fantasy].  Lynne Knowles went live on Facebook Sunday and it has since been viewed more than 3 million times.  Knowles described a suspicious man following her through several aisles of a [Florida] grocery store, recording her on his cell phone…While the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says they are seeing more women report[ing] being followed by strangers in public places, what happened to Knowles doesn’t sound like a precursor to human trafficking…[spokespig] Spencer Gross…says [they haven’t] investigated a human trafficking case in more than 18 months…[but oink oink “If you see something say something” squeal grunt]…

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It’s not money laundering when it’s the government.  –  Scott Shackford

A Broker in Pillage

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

In order to get back any of the money that the New Hampshire State Police took from him, Edward Phipps has agreed to let federal prosecutors keep most of it, even though he has not been charged with any crimes.  The cops [stole] the cash during a traffic stop in 2016…[after pulling] the driver over for tailgating and for going one whole mile per hour over the speed limit.  A search turned up a bag full of $46,000 cash in the trunk.  Police then brought in a drug-sniffing dog, which came up empty…As part of the settlement, Phipps not only agrees to give up everything but $7,000 (which will probably have to go to his legal fees).  He agrees never to request that the money to be returned, and he furthermore agrees never to attempt to assert any claim that the government did not have “probable cause” to make him forfeit the money…New Hampshire reformed its civil asset forfeiture laws in 2016 to require a criminal conviction before police or prosecutors could force people to forfeit money or property.  Unfortunately, the state’s reform did not close a loophole that lets local police partner with the feds in a program called Equitable Sharing…The state police can’t seize Phipps’ money on their own.  So they went to the feds to arrange the forfeiture, and then the Equitable Sharing program lets the Justice Department funnel the funds right back to local law enforcement…

Innocence Never Had

Reporter vomits dysphemisms all over a young woman making the best of a bad situation:

Fourteen-year-old Lilian…passes for an innocent girl at first sight.  But a close interaction with her reveals a dark side, apparently a offshoot of a thick skin she as developed in her trade.  Lilian…boasts that she has made a name in sex work…and…has no regrets…[because] her guardians do not support her…

If having a “thick skin” means not being a sentimental idiot, I’m glad I have one.

Bait and Switch (#636)

Why bother looking for actual sex-trafficking victims when cops can just pretend to be them and reap the same rewards?

An Arizona court ruling says it doesn’t violate a defendant’s constitutional rights for a [cop] to [lie about being] a minor during a child prostitution [entrapment scheme]…[the] unanimous ruling…says the law barring a defense based on a [pi’s fantasy role-play] of being a minor is constitutional because it is “rationally related to a legitimate government purpose”…Buren Jarrett Burgess appealed his…convictions stemming from a…[scheme] in which two 27-year-old undercover [sows claimed they were]…16-year-old prostitutes.  Burgess argued that the [women] appeared to be [the] adults [they actually are]…Burgess was arrested in 2014 and the child prostitution crime has since then been changed to “child sex trafficking”…

In other words, a female cop who is obviously an adult can later claim she told a victim she was underage and that’s good enough to convict someone.

To Molest and Rape 

Prosecutors claim they let a child-rapist cop off the hook to “protect” his victim:

Prosecutors gave a plea deal to a[n]…El Paso County [Colorado] Sheriff’s deputy who created a pornographic image involving a young boy and offered to share it on a child porn message board on the Dark Web…Donald Fair…will avoid prison time because of the plea deal [though] he must register as a sex offender and has 10 years to life of sex offender intensive supervised probation…District Attorney George Brauchler is pleased with the deal because [we can’t have members of the ruling class locked in cages like the peons]…“A young innocent child is not further traumatized by testifying and being cross-examined during a trial”…

Funny how nobody worries about traumatizing kids when the rapist isn’t a cop.  Also note we aren’t told the victim’s age; I guess that would anger people even more because it’s probably below 5.

Across the Pond (#757)

Redbridge has a history of harassing sex workers while belching up stupid “crime” rhetoric:

…Redbridge Council has introduced £100 fines for those caught soliciting sex workers.  The move is a bid to [harass and persecute sex workers]…in Ilford Lane…Extra night police patrols throughout the weekend…[increased] lighting, gating alleyways and installing CCTV are other measures put in place to make Ilford Lane a more “hostile environment for [the peasants].”  Cllr Jas Athwal, leader of the [prohibitionists], said…”We want to…create a ‘ring of steel’ around the borough to [harass] our residents and make Redbridge a [more authoritarian] place to live.”  The fines will start being issues from the end of August…

This is one of the places where cops claim they can “build communication with sex workers” via stealing their income by harassing their clients.

The Mote and the Beam (#786)

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

…Sex trafficking has become so rampant on this mile and a half stretch that county officials…asked a court to declare it off limits, filing a civil lawsuit that prohibits by name more than 80 pimps, prostitutes and customers from doing business on the infamous “Bissonnet Track”.  The sex trafficking is so open that it’s listed on international websites as Houston’s unofficial red light district.  “For years people in this area have complained about the large number of people buying and selling sex and committing other crimes on or around the Track,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner, who jointly announced the nuisance lawsuit with the county attorney and the city police chief…

“Sex trafficking” has become nothing more than a dysphemism for “sex work”.

To Molest and Rape (#794)

New York pigs are still harassing the young woman who was raped by two of their cronies:

The woman who was…raped by two NYPD detectives while handcuffed in the back of a police van in Brooklyn last year was called a “stupid bitch” by a person attempting to serve subpoena papers from a lawyer for one of the cops.  “THIS ISNT HARASSMENT?!” Anna Chambers wrote on Twitter [last] Wednesday night, along with a video of the man…“There’s your subpoena right there,” the man says on the video. “What are you afraid of[, Anna]?  This isn’t Russia.  I’m not the KGB.”  The man was attempting to hand Chambers a subpoena for photos…show[ing] her mangled wrists following the [brutal] rape by Richard Hall and Eddie Martins.  Chambers repeatedly tells the man to leave.  “[I’m from the sheriff’s office,] I could do whatever I want,” the person says before calling her a “stupid bitch.”  Martins’ lawyer Mark Bederow said he sent the server, but…condemned [his] behavior…

To Molest and Rape (#851) 

It’s rare that politicians’ tendency toward “monkey see, monkey do” actually works for good:

[Politicians] introduced a bill…to prohibit federal [pigs, spooks and g-men] from [raping] people in custody, aiming to close a legal loophole that has let them avoid [rape] convictions by [absurdly] claiming sex with [prisoners] was consensual.  The proposed legislation would direct additional federal funding to local law enforcement agencies in states that close this loophole…Jackie Speier…and…Barbara Comstock…noted that they were “spurred to introduce the bill” following [the rape of]…Anna Chambers…by two New York City detectives…in their police van…

It’s also rare that a “bipartisan” bill actually curtails police power rather than expanding it.

Legislators Gone Wild (#854) 

The anti-whore brigade couldn’t get the people to support them, so politicians overruled the people:

…Dennis Hof has lost the license to his Love Ranch Brothel.  The brothel’s license, liquor license, and the female worker’s cards were all surrendered to the Sheriff’s Office, and the property is currently closed…”It’s more political shenanigans, and it’s at the expense of the people here at the brothel,” said Sonja Bandolik, Love ranch madam…”There’s three federal lawsuits against them.  They’re trying to do a little payback, and what they’re doing is hurting the people that work here.”  County commissioners [claim] they denied renewal permits because the brothel’s application was incomplete.  Commissioner Dan Schinhofen says Hof has racked up a number of violations over the past few years, like having signs in the public right of way and not getting inspections after moving portable buildings…

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I have completed an email draft to send to the bitch that will hopefully make her shit herself.  –  “Constable” Neil Punchard

I’m not really a fan of news videos because text is so much more efficient at providing the information, and though cop misconduct videos are helpful they are almost never properly edited and are therefore usually about 10x as long as they need to be.  This is an exception; it was provided by That Anonymous Coward.  The links above it are from Clarissa (“heroic”), Tim Cushing (“spread”), Dave Krueger  (“never”), Kevin Wilson (“excellent”), and Wendy Lyon (“sun”).

From the Archives

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Fucking over sex workers is a way [Democrats] can be bipartisan.
– Sean McElwee

Life Imitates Artifice

Prohibitionist tactics remain the same no matter what they’re trying to prohibit:

Members of Congress…held a press conference…to announce a letter signed by 56 GOP lawmakers calling for investigations into a report from discredited anti-choice group Live Action Network accusing Planned Parenthood of covering up child sexual abuse…[this] follows a familiar game plan, including coordination between an anti-choice activist group and Republican lawmakers.  This round of attacks come as the Trump administration looks to reinstate a…restriction blocking federal family planning funds from organizations that provide abortion services in the same location as Title X-funded services…The Live Action report…includes discredited and extensively edited “sting” footage originally reported in 2008 and 2011…

This laudatory article from Christian Post has a bit more meat:

Laura J. Lederer, president of Global Centurion…[fantasized] that abortions and the sex trade are “inextricably linked.”   She recently conducted a study…in which the findings revealed that approximately 30 percent the trafficking victims surveyed reported multiple abortions.  Traffickers would routinely threaten their lives and beat them if they became pregnant, Lederer said.  One survivor whose abuse was especially brutal at the hands of her trafficker “said that she had 17 abortions over the time she was trafficked, all of them at the same clinic”…

I’m honestly surprised that the “forced sex trafficking abortions” myth didn’t become more popular, given the considerable overlap between anti-whore and anti-abortion activism.

Moloch 

Is this idiotic enough yet?  Can we stop now?

…18-year-old Mariea Starr…[of] Waynesboro, Pennsylvania…was caught by another student allegedly performing oral sex on a boy in a school stairwell…Because Starr had turned 18 two months before the incident and the boy she allegedly engaged in oral sex with…was [16, school pig Matthew Gordon]…charged [Starr] with…felony unlawful contact with minors which carries a Tier II sex offender designation…for 25 years, including being photographed by Pennsylvania State Police twice a year…Gordon brought the case without oversight from the district attorney’s office or school district administration because in Pennsylvania [pigs have absolute power to inflict charges on students]…Franklin County District Attorney Matthew Fogal…reduced the charges against Starr to open lewdness.  She was sentenced to 12 months’ probation and will not be placed on the registry.  Nonetheless, Starr will graduate from high school with a criminal record, which will significantly affect her educational and job opportunities…Starr is far from the only student that Gordon…has [fed] into the criminal justice system…

Dirty Laundry

And yet the Times supports the evil of Ruhama, the Magdalene orders’ rebranding:

…220 survivors of Ireland’s notorious Magdalene Laundries convened for a state-sponsored meeting in Dublin…The laundries were filled not only with “fallen women” — prostitutes, women who became pregnant out of marriage or as a result of sexual abuse and those who simply failed to conform — but also orphans and deserted or abused children…The Magdalene Laundries were part of an interlocking system of orphanages, industrial schools, “mother and baby homes” for unwed mothers and church-run institutions in which Ireland…confined…At least 10,000 women and girls…between independence from Britain in 1922 and the closing of the last one in 1996…

The Spiral of Absurdity 

Why do reporters repeat this egregious nonsense without fact-checking?

A sting on the sex-trafficking trade in metro Atlanta netted dozens of arrests and the rescue of dozens of children forced into sexual servitude, the FBI announced…Operation Safe Summer was a collaborative effort between the FBI’s Atlanta field office and 38 law enforcement agencies…The sting ended with nearly 160 children rescued, including one as young as 3 years old, and nearly 150 arrests, convictions or sentences…

Really?  If cops had really discovered 160 kids being held hostage, this would be international news, not a minor local story.  Looks to me like some mouthpiece repeated the number of arrests as the number of “rescued children”.

Between the Ears (#407)

Velvet Swing is the first female sex aid that actually works:

…it’s not exactly surprising that [Mistress Matisse] ended up in the cannabis industry…It’s even less surprising that her first product is a weed lube, called Velvet Swing.  While weed lube—rightly touted as the first truly effective female sex aid—is nothing new, Velvet Swing is the first water-soluble version.  Which kind of means it’s the first one that really qualifies for the term weed lube.  Oil-based lubricants are…not condom safe, meaning that products like Foria or Bond Sensual Oil are effectively restricted to people in monogamous partnerships…

And naturally, Matisse uses the interview to wake up pot-business folks to sex worker rights.

Bait and Switch

Entrapment so blatant even a judge couldn’t swallow it:

…In 2014…Skagit County [Washington] detective Theresa Luvera…posted a sex solicitation on Craigslist’s casual encounters…Craigslist’s rules required all participants to be 18+. something that has undermined sex stings in the past…After some online exchanges between the detective and the defendant, the detective claimed she is underage (“almost 15 but waaay advanced”).  Even further in…the detective brought up money-for-sex.  At every step along the way but the end, the defendant seemingly made it clear he was seeking free sex with a female adult.  Eventually the defendant shows up at the designated rendezvous point baitwith the requested items…The trial court dismissed the prosecution because the “State engaged in outrageous misconduct in violation of a defendant’s due process right to fundamental fairness”…Now that Craigslist has shut down its personals section, I’m not clear where law enforcement will conduct its online sex stings…

The Crumbling Dam (#709)

Alas, Seattle “officials” think harm reduction principles only apply to drug use:

Seattle’s efforts to find a location for its…supervised injection site has turned up nothing, and now the mayor’s office is looking to go mobile.  Jeff Sakuma…point person in finding a site…[said] there are no city or county-owned buildings that meet the criteria…the $2 million the council had set aside is to low to purchase an existing building or buy land and build…a private party that could partner with the city to allow the use of their property as an injection site, “could be subject to seizure by the federal government”…As an alternative…Seattle & King County would purchase a recreation[al] vehicle and remodel it…The mobile [unit] would park either on the street or in a parking lot near a facility that would provide space for a reception area, a waiting area, restroom storage and utility space…

Worse Than I Thought (#745)

Another shitty law specifically designed to harm sex workers:

Phoenix is ramping up the penalties for [adult consensual sex] as part of the city’s ongoing effort to curb [adult consensual sex].  The City Council voted…to fine individuals convicted of soliciting sex workers $2,000 for a second offense, $2,250 for a third offense and $2,500 for each additional conviction. The mandatory fines will be in addition to jail sentences of 15-180 days.  “If we catch you … we’re going to make it as unpleasant for you as we possibly can and I don’t feel bad about that at all,” said Councilman Jim Waring, chair of the Phoenix [anti-consensual sex] Task Force…

The Widening Gyre (#764) 

Yeahno.  This still smells like a publicity stunt gone wrong:

British model Chloe Ayling has thanked those who “believed in me from the beginning” after a Polish man was jailed for kidnapping her.  Lukasz Herba held Chloe Ayling captive for six days in a farmhouse near Turin in Italy, after abducting her during what she thought would be a photo shoot last July.  He was arrested after releasing her at the British consulate, and has now been sentenced to 16 years and nine months in jail…Ayling…has always insisted she has told the truth about her captivity.  She told police she never tried to escape because she was terrified and believed Herba’s threats that he was part of a bigger criminal gang that was watching her constantly…

Pyrrhic Victory (#836)

Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.  But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly building what will likely become the largest database of biometric and biographic data…in the United States. The agency’s new Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) database will include multiple forms of biometrics—from face recognition to DNA, data from questionable sources, and highly personal data on innocent people.  It will be shared with federal agencies outside of DHS as well as state and local law enforcement and foreign governments…HART will chill and deter people from exercising their First Amendment protected rights to speak, assemble, and associate…face recognition makes it possible to identify and track people in real time, including at lawful political protests and other gatherings.  Other data DHS is planning to collect—including information about people’s “relationship patterns” and from officer “encounters” with the public—can be used to identify political affiliations, religious activities, and familial and friendly relationships.  These data points are also frequently colored by conjecture and bias…

Blunt Instrument (#841)

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

Three indictments were unsealed…alleging massage parlors in Topeka and Lawrence were fronts for prostitution…Five people were charged in federal grand jury indictments alleging prostitution businesses generated millions of dollars in revenue.  Charges included conspiracy, interstate racketeering, bank fraud and money laundering…

Note the way pigs try to make this seem like a big-time cartel by throwing around terms like “millions”; any business that doesn’t gross at least $1 million over a five-year period is probably failing.

Safe Position

If the Democrats were smart, they’d adopt this as their official platform:

…when it comes to the rights of…sex workers…elected Democrats still overwhelmingly side with the religious right and consistently fail to consult the people most affected by their policies…Now, however, a small but growing group of…candidates are heeding the outrage of their constituents and have turned against laws that make it harder for sex workers to safely practice.  At least three Democrats running in competitive House primaries are currently campaigning on their opposition to SESTA/FOSTA, legislation that passed in April and holds websites criminally liable for any [claims of] sex trafficking that occurred on their pages…the bill effectively shut down the websites that were the safest venues for sex workers to ply their trade.  Following its passage, Backpage.com and the personals section of Craigslist immediately folded.  Their collapse has already prompted many sex workers to return to the streets, where conditions are much more dangerous…

Lack of Evidence (#848)

The recrudescence of a public health nightmare:

…If you believe that all prostitutes are forced into it against their will…then prostitutes are victims.  If you believe it’s possible that it’s just a transaction between consenting adults, then it shouldn’t be a crime at all.  If you’re just a prude determined to tell other people how to conduct their sex lives in accordance with your sniffling sensibilities, then it doesn’t matter…As advocates like Maggie McNeill have made clear, there are women who choose prostitution as their occupation without shame or excuse.  This is what they choose to do, and they don’t give a damn about your Victorian mores.  You don’t have to like it, but…the demand exists and always has, and despite your sniffling, it’s not going away.  But is the answer to force prostitutes, and their customers, to risk the choice between contracting a loathsome, if not deadly, disease or enhance their time in jail?  That’s what Allegheny County is trying to do…the possession of condoms means the difference between a summons and a custodial arrest…

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Sex work is first and foremost a livelihood strategy.  –  Borislav Gerasimov

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

New Hampshire’s state Supreme Court has upheld a young man’s harsh sentence—which includes lifetime registry on the sex offender list—for propositioning a 15-year-old girl over the internet.  The man, Bailey Serpa, was 18 at the time.  According to New Hampshire law, Serpa would have been guilty of a mere misdemeanor had the two actually had sex. But online solicitation of a minor is considered a felony.  Serpa appealed the sentence on grounds that it was “unconstitutional and grossly disproportional”…Teens expressing sexual interest in each other isn’t weird or abnormal, and it certainly shouldn’t be a crime…

Broken Record

Top this one, “sex trafficking event” hysterics:

Lynne Barletta is the founder of Catch the Wave of Hope, a[n]…organization designed to [spread] human trafficking [hysteria].  She says during the summer, traffickers are at beaches, in malls – anywhere children could be unsupervised…13-year-old girls and 11-year-old boys are the prime target.  The recruiters are the same age…[Fetishists fantasize that] modeling or a summer job is the most popular technique…

Believe it or not, we’ve seen this one before, but both Google and WordPress searches are so poor and non-Boolean that I can’t find the previous claim. I think it was quite early in the blog’s history, prior to 2012, but I might be wrong.

The Widening Gyre 

Observation: homeless camp in woods. Conclusion: sex trafficking!

A homeless veterans advocacy group stumbled upon an abandoned campsite on the night of Tuesday, May 29…Dani Ward, a volunteer, [said]…she thinks it’s a child trafficking camp.  She pointed out children’s clothing, toys, luggage and strollers.  Ward [breathlessly fantasized] that straps tied to trees were used as restraints.  Also described was an underground bunker where they [fantasize] children may have been kept.  [Reporters] toured the site…and noticed structures in the camp were tied together using similar straps that they described as restraints.  The area…where they claim the children may have been kept could also have been used as shelter to get out of the heat or place to sleep…

When you’ve lost local news reporters, your moral panic is dying.

An Example To the West (#343) 

Thai sex worker activists are made of awesome:

Sting operations staged to crack down on human trafficking in the sex industry violate human rights, and lead to stigmatisation and discrimination against women who are working as sex workers of their own volition…Empower Foundation…said that in order to rescue 10 victims of enforced or underage sex workers, on average some 100 innocent women are also arrested. These women suffer distress from violation of their human rights and dignity. The women’s rights group urged the authorities to decriminalise prostitution…as a legal career in order to give them protection and welfare as per labour law, which will also be a sustainable solution to suppress human trafficking in the sex industry…Thanta Laovilawanyakul, Empower Foundation coordinator, said…“Many of them face the charge of adultery and are publicly exposed for working in the sex industry. Even the victims of human trafficking are mistreated…they are detained in an improper detention area for a long period and they are unable to contact their family”…

Property of the State 

Condemning a young man to frequent, horrific seizures is “standing up for a child’s welfare”:

Georgia recognizes cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy and notionally lets certified patients possess up to 20 fluid ounces of “low THC oil”…that contains a…substantial amount of cannabidiol (CBD), the ingredient that reduces seizures.  That privilege is mainly theoretical, however, since there is no legal way to produce or obtain cannabis extract in Georgia.  Given that glaring defect in the state’s medical marijuana law, it is easy to understand why Matthew and Suzeanna Brill let their 15-year-old son, David, smoke cannabis in a desperate attempt to control his epileptic seizures…David was having several seizures a day…and the drugs he was prescribed for his epilepsy did not work.  But after he started smoking marijuana in February, he went more than two months without a seizure…David’s doctors knew why he was suddenly doing so much better, and they did not object.  But his therapist ratted out the Brills, which led to a visit by Twiggs County sheriff’s deputies, who demanded that David stop taking his medicine…The Brills were charged with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, and Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services took David away.  He has been living in a group home for a month now, away from his parents, his medicine, and the dog that is trained to detect imminent seizures.  His parents are fighting to get him back, a process they say may take as long as a year.  They are trying to raise money to cover their legal expenses on GoFundMe…Twiggs County Sheriff Darren Mitchum defended his department’s handling of the case…[with] “somebody’s got to stand up for the child’s welfare”…

Where Are the Protests? (#578)

Before swallowing this, I suggest you compare it to the “nail parlor slavery” myth, which it resembles even to the point (see title link) of claims of “sex slaves” hidden in the back:

…a shocking investigation reveals that many of the 20,000 hand car washes operating in this country are criminally exploiting workers.  They are typically staffed by immigrants from Eastern Europe who have been trafficked into this country on the promise of paid work – but without immigration papers they find themselves trapped in debt to their new bosses.  Often unable to speak English they are forced to work up to 11 hours a day for as little as £1 an hour, with even those pitiful wages docked to cover the cost of accommodation.  Those who try to quit are threatened with violence and deportation.  The exploitation extends even to putting their health at risk, with ruthless bosses providing little or nothing in the way of safety equipment or protective clothing despite the strong detergents used by many washes.  Latest figures show that about a 10th of the police operations tackling slavery in Britain involve car washes – double the figure of a year before…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#628)

Cops busting kids’ lemonade stands isn’t news any more, but they usually have the law behind them:

Everybody was having a good time on Memorial Day until somebody called the cops on the children selling lemonade to neighbors across the street from a park in Denver…police wasted no time in shutting the lemonade stand down for operating without a permit, putting a good scare into the kids, including the 6-year-old who took off running and the 4-year-old who started crying.  Jennifer Knowles, mother of the two boys, later learned there is no law or policy requiring kids to obtain a license to set up a temporary stand for neighbors…she encouraged her children to set up a lemonade stand…to teach them business and entrepreneurial skills…But if the kids learned anything, it is to not trust police…

Lack of Evidence (#659)

Just in case you thought this particular insanity was over:

…police charged people with both prostitution and possessing an instrument of crime in 100 cases last year in Allegheny County [Pennsylvania].  In 15 of the cases, condoms were an alleged instrument of crime.  In 14 others, police seized condoms as evidence.  In…the remaining cases, people faced instrument-of-crime charges for allegedly using cellphones to set up meetings…Authorit[arians think this is OK because]…filing condom-related charges or using condoms as evidence gives police and judges more leverage to win guilty pleas in prostitution cases and allows [pigs] to [arrest] sex workers…By filing an additional instrument-of-crime charge, a suspect is immediately processed and their fingerprints and photos are stored in a [pig] database.  It ensures police will be aware of their prior criminal history if they [are arrested] elsewhere…

Banishment (#779) 

This Orwellian tyranny is part of how governments are getting around the push to reduce prison populations:

In early September 2015, guards fanned out across Texas…to round up about 200 men, rousing some from bed as early as 3 a.m. and demanding they stuff whatever they wanted to keep into black Hefty bags…The state calls them “sexually violent predators,” men required not only to publicly register their whereabouts but also to participate in a court-ordered monitoring and treatment program meant to cure them of “behavior abnormalities”…most were living in boarding homes and halfway houses…[they] were frisked, loaded onto vans and prison buses and driven hundreds of miles to Littlefield, a remote, sparsely populated corner of the Texas Panhandle, where guards shuffled them into…a prison that had been empty for six years…the men [were forced to] surrender…their IDs, Social Security cards, birth certificates and credit cards, along with cash…Guards dug through the Hefty bags, tossing out all sorts of personal items now considered contraband…But officials at the detention center were adamant:  This wasn’t a prison.  They [demanded] the men…call their [cells] “rooms,” not prison cells…the new inmates couldn’t come and go.  It wasn’t clear when their sentences would end, if ever.  Two and a half years…[later] only five men have been released — four of them to medical facilities where they later died.  State officials claim Texas’ new civil commitment program is designed to rehabilitate the men….[by] stash[ing] them in a for-profit prison…far away from the support services they’ll need if there’s any hope of transitioning back into society — the supposed goal of the facility…

The Cop Myth

Alex Vitale on the development of modern policing:

The first modern police force—the London Metropolitan Police—was established by Sir Robert Peel in 1829.  He developed his ideas about law and order, Alex S. Vitale writes in his book The End of Policing, when he was “managing the British colonial occupation of Ireland and seeking new forms of social control … in the face of growing insurrections, riots, and political uprisings.”  The “Peace Preservation Force” was meant to serve as a less expensive alternative to the British army…Appointed home secretary in 1822…Peel would run the London Metropolitan Police along the same lines…Boston adopted the London model in 1838, and New York established a formal police force in 1844…But well before then, cities in the southern United States, such as New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston, “had paid full-time officers”…charged with preventing slave revolts…The motto “to protect and to serve”—adopted by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1955 and later used by others around the country—has been a highly effective public relations tool for the police, as it obscures the main function of their work, which since its inception has been to act in an adversarial manner toward the wider community…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#784)

Never underestimate the human capacity to obsess about things that don’t exist:

There’s “no evidence that having sex with robots is healthy,” The Washington Post wants you to know.  Similar headlines grace the pages of USA TodayThe VergeCNBC…and many other outlets, sometimes with an added dose of alarmism (“Sex robots could empower pedophiles and sex offenders“) or millennialism (“There’s literally no research proving sex robots are good for society“).  These headlines are all true, more or less, but they omit an important fact: There’s also “literally no research” showing…sex robots unhealthy…There’s just no evidence about sex robots period, because at present they don’t really exist.  The authors of a new article in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health—the study behind all those headlines—admit as much…

Sex Workers Against Trafficking (#812)

The world’s largest “anti-trafficking” organization recognizes that sex workers are the best guardians against actual coercion in our industry:

In February 2018 the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) published our new report, Sex Workers Organising for Change: Self-representation, community mobilisation and working conditions.  The report documents how organising has enabled sex workers to deal with the on-going stigma and discrimination they face from society and the authorities, and to prevent and address the violence, coercion, and exploitation occurring in the sex industry…At least one sex worker organisation in each country took part: Stella and Butterfly (Canada), Brigada Callejera (Mexico), Hetaira and Genera (Spain), SWEAT and Sisonke (South Africa), SANGRAM and VAMP (India), Empower (Thailand) and New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (New Zealand).  These countries were chosen because they represent different world regions and cultures, span both the global north and global south, and are considered as both countries of origin and destination for migration and trafficking…

Perquisites (#840)

Are amateurs really so sheltered that this sort of thing shocks them?

Just a week before the World Cup starts, Mexico’s national team is embroiled in scandal…El Tri held a farewell party in Mexico City…the…day the team claimed victory over Scotland…where players were joined by “30 VIP escorts”…Mexican officials won’t sanction players because it took place on their day off…

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If you suspect you are going to become the subject of a Title IX investigation, the optimal strategy may very well be to file the first complaint.  –  Robby Soave

Where Are the Victims?

An escort service driver is convicted of “sex trafficking”:

A [judge ignored the conditions of a plea bargain to]…re-sentence…[a man who] pleaded guilty to a violation of the Mann Act…Judge Robert Pitman…[sentenced] Emmanuel Emil Bailey…[to] 84-months in [a cage and]…3-years on supervised release…[pigs called] an escort service ad and [fraudulently booked a session]…at a Waco [Texas] motel and when she arrived…[they] arrested her. [and her driver, Bailey]…

Lower Education

Why, how could anyone have predicted this?

The University of Cincinnati suspended a female student for allegedly engaging in nonconsensual sex with a male student who claimed he was too drunk at the time to approve the encounter.  The fact that this case involves a male accuser (“John Doe”) and a female aggressor (“Jane Roe”) makes it unusual among Title IX complaints…But the female student’s lawsuit against Cincinnati…reveals…Roe had previously filed a sexual misconduct complaint against one of Doe’s friends.  Roe’s lawsuit…suggests that Doe filed the complaint against Roe as a kind of revenge for getting his friend in trouble…Here’s an alternative theory: Doe woke up, realized they had engaged in sexual activity while they were both drunk, and feared that she would file a complaint against him, as she had done to his friend.  Panic-stricken, he felt he had no choice but to beat her to the punch…[because] Title IX administrators often appear biased in favor of the initial complainant, and presume the other party is the wrongdoer…

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

Police are investigating the former Modesto [California] youth pastor who is accused of sexual acts with teenage girls who attended his churches in California and Arizona…Les Hughey…was a youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Modesto in the 1970s.  Women recently came forward to accuse Hughey of coercing them into having sex when they were teenagers and he was a young married man…

Moving Pictures 

About the same level of reality as the other Rambo movies, really:

Sylvester Stallone…is returning for a [Rambo] sequel that’s scheduled to begin shooting September 1st.  In this installment, our hero is living in Arizona and burdened with PTSD.  He is forced to come out of mass killing retirement when his friend’s granddaughter goes missing in Mexico, which leads him to battle a vicious crime lord and his sex trafficking ring…

To Molest and Rape 

Too bad all rapist cops don’t make it this easy:

A Brooklyn jail guard who’s on trial for forcing inmates to pleasure his huge, stinky, hooked penis also bragged that his nickname was “caballo” — “horse” in Spanish…Eugenio Perez crowed about his 12-inch tool before abusing the women…The feds…corroborated the stories of [his] five [victims]…by confirming their description of his massive, putrid member.  The FBI got a search warrant to take photos of the distinctive phallus…which [were] show[n] to jurors…

Skin To Skin (#702)

All challenges to anti-sex laws end this way, until the day they don’t:

A lawsuit seeking to legalize prostitution in Utah got shot down by a federal magistrate judge…The case was brought by Russell Greer, a 25-year-old Utah resident who sought to open a brothel in Salt Lake City.  State authorities initially granted Greer a license for the establishment, then revoked it.  Greer sued, claiming his constitutional rights were being violated by Utah’s criminalization of prostitution…

Presumption of Guilt (#703)

Another step toward total financial surveillance:

Australia’s Liberal Party government has announced that it will soon be illegal to purchase anything over $10,000 AU ($7,500 US) with cash. The government says it’s, “encouraging the transition to a digital society,” and cracking down on tax evasion. But…anyone with their eyes open can see where this is going…

The Missing Word (#735)

The magic word isn’t completely missing herein, but look at where it isn’t used:

Thousands of migrants from Haiti and the Dominican Republic seeking a better life in more prosperous Chile are at high risk of labour exploitation and trafficking as migration to the South American nation soars…At least 100,000 migrants arrived in Chile last year from Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas…Chilean authorities charged five people with smuggling dozens of Haitians into the country with false promises of jobs and work visas…Wadner Maignan [of] the Jesuit Service for Migrants…says Haitian men often end up working on construction sites and in factories where they are victims of labour exploitation and abuse…Chile [recently] tightened its rules on migration for Haitians and other nationals, citing a need to stem rising illegal immigration…

Between the Lines (#741)

Federal & fed-assisted vice pogroms now claim to be based on a “model”:

…a lengthy and significant investigation involving International Human Trafficking suspects operating in and throughout the Midwest…focused on the use of Internet based websites such as Backpage and City Vibe, which offered erotic massage and escort services of Asian females.  The ads were determined to serve as covers for prostitution services offered in dozens of U.S cities…Federal and local law enforcement choreograph[ed] the simultaneous service of multiple search warrants…The “Omaha Model” was advanced to all branches participating in the effort as the template for success…The communal efforts were successful in identifying and arresting fifteen Asian females…

Torture Chamber (#798) 

Trump thinks there isn’t enough rape in prisons:

The Trump administration…rolled back rules that allowed transgender inmates to use facilities that match their gender identity, including cell blocks and bathrooms, thereby reversing course on an Obama administration effort to protect transgender prisoners from sexual abuse and assault.  The Bureau of Prisons now “will use biological sex” to make initial determinations in the type of housing transgender inmates are assigned…The policy…gives federal officials…more leeway to place transgender women in cells alongside men…[leaving them] vulnerable to violence and rape…

Original Sin (#803)

Sometimes they don’t even bother to hide the evangelicalism of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Victory Outreach…Pentecostal church is…trying to bring sex workers and sexually exploited youth in off the streets.  Their main tool is prayer.  But in a city where police and prosecutors have tried to turn the tide of sex trafficking for more than a decade, can appeals to God really make a difference?…Ebony Salazar is driving down International Boulevard in Oakland…“We’re looking for girls that are out there, selling their bodies,” she explains…Salazar jumps out of the car.  The young women walk away, and a man drives up close next to them, swearing.  Salazar says he’s probably their pimp, and she calls after them:  “Jesus loves you!”…

Because interfering with poor women trying to make a living is a show of “love”.

Whore Madonnas (#808) 

More from Juniper Fitzgerald:

…mothers working within the sex industry are often heavily stigmatized.  As a mother to a precocious four-year-old, and a former sex worker, I know this stigma all too well.  Even though I command a certain degree of social capital…I nevertheless experience the stigma of my former work more often than most might think.  Even after earning my PhD, countless lawyers advised me that my former sex work would likely result in me losing full custody after my child’s father and I split…My experience is not an anomaly…

To Molest and Rape (#827) 

This is the first time I’ve been pleased about politicians’ tendency toward “monkey see, monkey do”:

A new Kansas law makes it a crime for police to [rape] people they [arrest or] pull over for traffic violations…the new law [was] passed in a bundled bill…[after] multiple [women spoke out against rapist cop]…Roger Golubski…[who] had a long history of coercing sex from women in Kansas City’s black community by threatening to arrest them or their relatives if they didn’t comply…

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