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Posts Tagged ‘asset seizure’

This is political prosecution with no evidence.  –  Cliff Yi

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality

A review of what looks like a decent book on the reality of sex work in China:

…sex is for sale everywhere in China and deeply embedded in the culture, allowing migrant women to earn a living in large cities and provide companionship to men left alone by unfavourable demographics…Eileen Yuk-ha Tsang explores these aspects of China’s sex industry and more in her new book China’s Commercial Sexscapes. She takes an in-depth look at prostitution in Dongguan…one of China’s sex industry hotspots…Tsang, an associate professor in the department of social and behavioural sciences at the City University of Hong Kong, worked at a bar for several months to gain the trust of sex workers, and her sources eventually open up with stories which are vivid with humanity…Tsang details how sex workers from rural areas see their lives in big cities as modern and sophisticated, and they take pride in being able to support their families living in other provinces such as Sichuan, Guangdong, and Hunan…many find sex work preferable to their former jobs in factories, where they would work 30 days a month, 12 hours a day, in mind-numbing and harsh environments for around 1,600 yuan a month.  In the sex industry, they can earn from five to 50 times that amount, working perhaps three or four days a week.  Tsang also discusses the foreign men who hire Chinese sex workers.  [Unsurprisingly], more than a few end up marrying the women and move them to their home countries…

The Missing Word

They’re bending over backwards to avoid that word:

Maricopa County Assessor Paul D. Petersen has been indicted in an adoption fraud scheme…in addition to being County Assessor for Maricopa County, Petersen is also an adoption lawyer…none of the women who gave birth did anything illegal, and none of the families that adopted children are accused of any crimes…Petersen and [his accomplice Lynwood] Jennet facilitated travel for pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to come to Arizona for the purpose of giving a child up for adoption…Petersen [has been charged] with 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of a child, and communications fraud…Authorities say they were first alerted to the scheme by concerned hospital workers who called a human trafficking tip line…

Bread and Circuses 

So will Newsweek next tell us that some politicians want a $15 minimum hourly “rental” fee, or that some big company has “rented” a new CEO?

A website that allowed…folks to review, rent and…message…escorts has been [stolen] by federal authorities.  Now, those who frequent[ed] IndependentGirls.com [will] look elsewhere…The website…wasn’t just geared for those wishing to buy, rent or even casually view women, but it was also a way for escort agencies to advertise themselves and their clients…

“Buy women”.  Yes, this is an actual supposed adult who apparently believes that it’s possible to purchase slaves on an ordinary review board.  And a supposedly-serious news outlet actually printed that.

If It Were Legal (#560)

While stigma and criminalization exist, this will keep happening:

The account details of the 250 thousand users of Dutch website Hookers.nl…we[re hacked and the]…hacker…is offering [the data] for sale…The website is popular among [both] clients [and] sex workers…The leaked data includes email addresses, user names, IP addresses and passwords.  The passwords are encrypted, but the email addresses are legible…[and some government] names are in the email address used to open an account.  The hacker is offering to sell the data for 300 dollars to any individual who wishes to purchase it…

Dutch Threat (#578)

Dutch authorities keep pretending their ever-narrower bottleneck is intended to help sex workers:

The [Dutch] government is taking extra measures to fight…the sex industry.  Sex workers will soon be required to have a permit to do their job, and the minimum age for sex work will be raised from 18 to 21…the government wants to bring “uniformity” to the rules around sex work in the Netherlands.  Currently…the minimum age varies per municipality, with some maintaining a minimum age of 18 and other 21…The articles that criminalize human trafficking and exploitation in prostitution will be expanded to include the persons “involved” with sex workers who get “financial benefit”.  It will make it illegal to [be a roommate, partner, landlord, etc] of a sex worker that doesn’t have a permit…People within the sex industry have warned that the[se stupid laws] will lead to sex workers going underground and working illegally [as such laws invariably do]…

The Cop Myth

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. How many more don’t admit it?

…In the nineteen-nineties, researchers found that forty-one per cent of male [cops]…admitted that, in the previous year, they’d been physically aggressive toward their spouses, and nearly ten per cent acknowledged choking, strangling, or using—or threatening to use—a knife or a gun.  But there are…no [more recent] empirical studies…[due to] reluctance to fund a study that will bring attention to [the violence intrinsic in policing]…the factors that lead to abuse at home—coercion, authoritarianism, a sense of entitlement to violence—are also present in [public cop behavior]…It should not be surprising that domestic abuse appears to predict excessive use of force—a link that scholars have suggested should [but won’t] alter the way that departments respond to both kinds of aggression.  The Citizens Police Data Project, in Chicago, analyzed the records of Chicago cops between 2000 and 2016 and found that [cops who commit]…domestic abuse received fifty per cent more complaints than their colleagues for using excessive force…one in five [cops actually] arrested for domestic violence…had also been the subject of a federal lawsuit for violating people’s civil rights…

Cooties (#816)

AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies are going global:

At the end of September, Airbnb unveiled a new special portal through which [pigs] can [demand private] information about users…The company [snivelled that] the portal will provide [pigs] with a dedicated channel they can use to [root through things that really are none of their business]…short-term rental properties such as those offered via Airbnb…have [long been the subject of cop masturbatory fantasies about]…human trafficking and prostitution…in…so-called “pop-up brothels”…[blah blah]…pimps and gangs…[blah blah] law enforcement agencies…

Even before one reads the article, the word “illicit” is a red flag for puritanical authoritarianism.

Torture Chamber (#950)

Just locking hundreds of women in secret dungeons and denyng them lawyers; nothing to see here:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement moved more than 700 women, some of whom have critical medical conditions, out of a Texas detention center in September without giving their lawyers any way of finding them…Starting on Sept. 20, the women being held at the Karnes County Residential Center were sent to other centers around the country so that the facility could be used to detain families.  More than two weeks later, their lawyers from the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) have no idea where the majority of these women are being held, and they can’t find any updated information in ICE’s online detainee tracking system…

A Procrustean Bed (#958) 

These programs to warp women’s minds and indoctrinate them in anti-sex dogma are very popular in Ohio:

A [so-called] diversion program for [sex workers] is spreading to cities around the country. The model has roots in Columbus, Ohio, where a judge decided to [force] women [in]to…[“conversion therapy”] instead of jail…Judge Paul Herbert…[like most modern authoritarians, infantilizes sex workers] as victims of human trafficking…At the start, CATCH was one of only a few such programs in the country.  There are now seven of these [re-education programs]…in Ohio alone…[victims of this system are] subject to drug testing and must show up in court every week for two years [making both normal life and square jobs impossible.  It’s no wonder that fewer]…than 1 in 4 of the women [forced into the scheme] make it to [the end]…

Loose Cannons (#967)

I’m pleased to see yet another big article on the Robert Kraft raids recognizing what a huge scam the whole thing was:

On July 6, 2018, a health inspector named Karen Herzog visited a massage parlor in South Florida for a routine inspection.  She noticed that the spa worker, a young Asian woman, was “dressed provocatively,” spoke “little English,” and appeared “nervous.”  Herzog also noted suitcases, clothes, a fridge full of food, and condoms, all of which, according to the [racist indocrination] she had received, could be signs of human trafficking.  She reported her findings to the Martin County sheriff’s office…[which] launched a…[snoop campaign] into what [they thought they could sell to the media]…as a large-scale prostitution ring engaged in human trafficking…

The “sex trafficking” hysteria is finally dying; unfortunately, the laws it spawned will continue to be used to destroy thousands of lives and eviscerate the internet.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#971) 

Is there anything the government won’t call “sex trafficking”?

…the U.S. attorney’s office of San Diego charged the owners and one employee of the adult website Girls Do Porn with four counts of sex trafficking…[in] August…another case against the company—a class-action lawsuit representing 22 Jane Does—went to trial after years of hearings, discovery, and strategic delays from the defendants.  The trial was initially planned for February…but delayed for six months when the company’s owner, New Zealand native Michael Pratt, filed for bankruptcy.  “As soon as I bankrupt the business,” Pratt wrote in texts later submitted as evidence, “they are fucked”…The company…conned the plaintiffs and several hundred other young, low-income girls into porn by making false promises that their scenes would not go online.  They claimed the tapes would sell only to private collectors abroad…

This is clearly criminal fraud, but it doesn’t help anyone for the government to roll it into the inflated “sex trafficking” numbers it uses to justify police violence, grotesque violations of civil liberties, and mass censorship.

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Alexandru Tanase…confessed to cleaning the teeth of Sandi Mullins.

Though I could’ve featured any number of videos for this week’s celebrity deaths, this one seemed the most appropriate.  The links above it were provided by Popehat (x2), Tim Cushing, Franklin Harris & Scott Greenfield, Radley Balko, and Amy Alkon, in that order.

From the Archives

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(There’s) little [government] interest in the importance of consent and choice.  –  Martin Drago

Dirty Whores (#44)

Here’s an interesting article about how the UK’s horrible Contagious Disease Acts – laws which infringed on human rights so severely they actually inspired English church ladies to fight on the side of whores for a while – affected the landscape of sex work in India, with special attention to Calcutta.  While the article does get some things wrong (as is nigh-universal among articles about sex work written by amateurs), most of the errors are minor and the author appears pretty solidly on the side of the whores, even to the point of describing how 19th-century whore stigma is still alive and harming Indian sex workers to this day via other vestiges of British colonial law.

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false sexual assault accusations:

Shannon Maley [of Airdrie, Scotland] had a…vendetta against a 20-year-old man with learning disabilities who was dating her sister.  She barely knew him, yet claimed he sexually assaulted her and her friends.  Maley then created multiple social media accounts under the young man’s name and sent herself disturbing and threatening messages in order to frame him.  She has since pleaded guilty to “perverting the course of justice and also to harassing witnesses”…Maley’s messages to herself included threats “to set you on fire and watch you burn alive”…Maley had apparently intimidated her friends into making accusations against [the young man] as well.  One of those friends eventually admitted that…he…had not sexually assaulted her and that Maley had harassed her and tried to influence their testimony…Maley’s story unraveled after she accused [her victim] of sending a threatening message while he was in prison without access to the Internet…

A Modest Proposal (#527)

Women make pragmatic decisions to survive!  Other cultures have different sexual and marital traditions than white Europeans do!  The age of consent varies from country to country!  Clergymen often believe religious law trumps civil law!  Islamic laws are usually pretty shitty toward women!  Lots of men are exploitative fuckwads who take advantage of naive young women!  Laws don’t stop people from exploiting each other!  Opportunists will use unpopular laws as excuses to make money!  And the BBC is on it!

The Widening Gyre (#735)

Nigerian sex trafficking juju mafia terrorists.  I am not making this up:

Stockholm police [are trying to spread hysteria about]…the “Black Ax”, [which they claim is] a Nigerian criminal gang connected to drug trafficking and prostitution involving illegal migrants…The Nigerian mafia is…[fantasized by racist Europeans] to use juju, a Nigerian equivalent of voodoo, to force migrants to become drug traffickers or prostitutes. This [racist fantasy] has been [claimed]…in…Italy…where…earlier this year…police [fantasized]…that the influence of terrorist groups like Boko Haram was spreading among mafia members…

I especially love that the Swedish police are clearly right at home on Breitbart.

Check Your Premises (#809)

Yes, this really is as stupid and evil as it seems at first glance:

[Pigs oinked that] many of the women arrested…in a [prostitution sting] in [Houston] are likely victims.  Many are asking why they were arrested if they are victims themselves.  “They’ve been brainwashed, they’ve been threatened, they’ve been physically abused,” [oinked spokespig] John Wall [while making furtive movements in his pants pockets]…“Certainly we know there are women who choose a life of prostitution, but more often than not…women are prostituted,” s[lurped copsucker] Rania Mankarious…[who] said it’s up to a district attorney to decide if a prostitution suspect is actually a sex-trafficking victim [because women are much too stupid to know that for ourselves]…Trafficking [fetishists] said many times the victims are unwilling to cooperate with [disguised predators who hunt, rape and cage them]…“’It’s going to be better,’ ‘You won’t have to do this much longer,’” are things pi[g]s tell their victims…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#817) 

Another slap on the wrist for a sexually-entitled cop:

A [typical and representative] NYPD cop [who hired] a 15-year-old prostitute [on at least ten occasions] and record[ed] their [sessions, plea-bargained]…felony rape and sex abuse charges [down to]…official misconduct and witness tampering…Raul Olmeda…refused to admit that he knew his victim…in…photos…found on his computer and cellphone.  Nor would he identify his bedroom and living room furniture, which were in the photos [and because he’s a cop, his self-evidently false denials were enough]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#899)

You know how wannabe “civil liberties advocates” keep bleating that the main problem with facial recognition systems are that they’re less acurate on dark-skinned people?  Yeah, about that:

In July, Google admitted it has employees pounding the pavement in a variety of US cities, looking for people willing to sell their facial data for a $5 gift certificate…But…a Google contractor may be using some questionable methods to get those facial scans, including targeting groups of homeless people and tricking college students who didn’t know they were being recorded…a contracting agency named Randstad sent teams to Atlanta explicitly to target homeless people and those with dark skin, often without saying they were working for Google, and without letting on that they were actually recording people’s faces…

Subtle Pimping (#903)

Yet another “virtual reality” game based on lies about us, this one intended to teach pigs racist fantasies about Asian sex workers:

A team of Cal Poly students is using virtual reality to [lick cop boots and endanger sex workers]…”We’re building a…[racist fantasy of an Asian] massage parlor in virtual reality to [indoctrinate pigs into misinterpreting even the most innocuous]…things [as ‘evidence’ of ‘crime’]” said Marco Zuniga…he researched [prohibitionist propaganda]…as he developed the VR [game instead of talking to sex workers]…“What do massage parlors even look like?”…he asked himself [moronically, instead of actually going to find out]…The [game] has other object[s] for its [players to find, just like players of other video games can] find [magic potions, creatures to enlave, and other fantasy treatures]…

The Crumbling Dam (#917)

Those who gain power from opioid hysteria aren’t going to like this:

A judge has ruled that a Philadelphia nonprofit group’s plan to open the first [public] site in the U.S. where people can use…opioids under medical supervision does not violate federal drug laws, delivering a major setback to Justice Department lawyers who launched a legal challenge to block the [life-saving] facility.  U.S. District Judge Gerald McHugh ruled…that…”The ultimate goal of Safehouse’s proposed operation is to reduce drug use, not facilitate it,” McHugh wrote in…the first legal decision about whether supervised injection sites can be legally permissible under U.S. law…”The Department of Justice remains committed to preventing…drug [users] from [accessing basic harm reduction],” said Bill McSwain, U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Pennsylvania…

A Broker in Pillage (#935)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

The city of Chicago says retired grandmother Allie Nelson owes it $6,000 in fines and fees after [it stole] her car…in 2017, even though the criminal case that led to [the seizure]…was dismissed, and even though she wasn’t driving her car, or even in the state…Nelson was in fact…in Houston, recuperating from cancer treatment, when she got a call from a family member saying [cops had stolen] her car…[when they] found her granddaughter’s boyfriend driving [it], allegedly along with some marijuana…Nelson is also one of two named plaintiffs added this week to a class-action lawsuit challenging Chicago’s [extortion scam, which]…violates residents’ guarantee of due process, as well as protections against excessive fines and unreasonable seizures, under both the Illinois and U.S. constitutions…

Pyrrhic Victory (#946)

As I keep saying, it’s already far too late to stop this tyranny:

France is poised to become the first European country to use facial recognition technology to give citizens a [supposedly] secure digital identity — whether they want it or not.  Saying it wants to make the state more efficient [like Communist China, the]…government is pushing through plans to roll out an ID program, dubbed Alicem, in November…the program breaches the European rule of consent and a privacy group is challenging it in France’s highest administrative court…France [lies that] the ID system won’t be used to keep tabs on residents…[and pretends] the facial recognition data collected will be deleted when the enrollment process is over…the app [clearly] violates Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which makes free choice mandatory…Authorities say the security of Alicem is at the “highest, state level”.  Yet in April, Robert Baptiste, a hacker who goes by Elliot Alderson on Twitter, was able to access one of the government’s “highly secure” apps within 75 minutes…

Pyrrhic Victory (#961)

Where “public safety” is used to mean “accessibility to government snooping”:

Attorney General Bill Barr, along with officials from the United Kingdom and Australia, is set to publish an open letter to…Mark Zuckerberg asking [Facebook] to delay plans for end-to-end encryption across its messaging services until it can guarantee the added privacy does not reduce [what the politicians absurdly label] public safety…the letter raises concerns that…encryption i[s a mathematical process which]…will prevent [government busybod]ies from [spying on people in the same way it prevents other malware]…The letter calls on Facebook to prioritize [government snooping even though that will also enable non-government snooping]…

Little Boxes (#975)

The puritans are already arguing a federal court ruling doesn’t apply to them:

Tilli Buchanan and her husband had been installing insulation in their garage, and had stripped off their clothes just inside their home to get the itchy materials off their skin.  She was topless when her stepchildren bounded down the stairs…but Buchanan told them they shouldn’t treat her differently because she was a woman…But [the children’s biological mother found out and reported her to pigs, who]…filed criminal charges…of lewdness involving a child…If convicted, Buchanan could…[be condemned to] the sex offender registry for the next 10 years…her attorney Randy Richards plans to ask a judge to find that Utah’s lewdness statute is unconstitutional because it discriminates against women…her husband was also in the same state of undress and is not charged…the…10th Circuit Court…which includes Utah [recently made the incredibly-obvious ruling that laws which single women out for]…condemn[ation]…as…child sex offender[s discriminate]…on the basis of sex…But…prosecutors argued…that…Utah’s lewdness statute [prohibiting only female toplessness somehow] does not discriminate on the basis of gender [and that even if it did that would be a good thing]…

Grown adults are trying to destroy a woman’s life for getting undressed to shower in her own home, and using public funds to argue that a clearly-discriminatory law isn’t discriminatory, but the US isn’t a police state, no sirree.

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Everything cool gets co-opted, and whores have always been the coolest people in the room.  –  Jacq the Stripper

Life Imitates Artifice

It was inevitable that a real pimp would eventually ape prohibitionist wanking fantasies:

A convicted [armed robber] from Detroit faces new charges for allegedly running a prostitution ring that required the prostitutes — one underage — to brand themselves with his name.  Tory Michael Anderson was [also] charged…[with] possession…of child pornography….one [woman] had his first name…tattooed on her neck while  a second…had [it]…on her forehead.  A third woman, only 17, had [it]…tattooed on the side of her face…

The origin of the “branding” myth is the common and very old practice of people getting the names of romantic partners tattooed on their bodies; since prohibitionists deny that most actual pimps really are a kind of partner, they had to characterize this practice as somehow different, leading to the embellishment that the “brand” is tattooed on the face, lip, eyelid, etc.  Presumably this dude heard the tales and assumed that’s how he should behave to be a “real pimp”.

They Still Don’t Get It

I wonder if they realize what they’re admitting here?

The Stanislaus County [California] Sheriff’s Office conducted a sting Sept. 20 that resulted in the arrest of 12 men and several [women the pigs labeled] potential human trafficking victims.  Although the sheriff’s office called it a human trafficking sting in their press release, [spokespig] Joshua Clayton said that the operation was better described as a prostitution sting…[because the terms] prostitution and human trafficking…are…used interchangeably…Paul Durenberger, deputy district attorney for Sacramento County, [fantasized] that…human trafficking could not exist without prostitution and vice versa…

Watershed

We’re way past the watershed now:

Since the passage of FOSTA…conversations about sex workers’ rights and decriminalization have entered into mainstream consciousness…Sex work is becoming more than just acceptable—the rising popularity of sex worker-inspired fashion, aesthetics, and philosophy among millennial women, including those who aren’t sex workers themselves, is sparking a complex dialogue…Like “lesbian chic” in the ’90s, some non-sex working millennial women are adopting sex work as an edgy aesthetic, because being a sex worker—or rather, looking like one—is cool…

For Love

One of Dan Savage’s readers demonstrates why it’s a bad idea to quit sex work for “love”:

…A few months in, I…made the amateur mistake of moving him from customer to boyfriend.  Things went well for a bit but he progressively got less generous. (This is common, I’ve since heard.)  Six months after we met he bought me a car and considered any financial obligations to me “complete”.  We had a discussion about how I was going to get a “regular” job and be in a monogamous relationship with him.  The only problem was, no regular job was enough to support my family.  I struggled and hinted that I needed some help, but he [gave none, so]…I reached out to a former client and he happily started paying me for regular visits again…My boyfriend found out…and insisted I “dump” [my good client]…And I was so dumb and in love that I did…until my older kid needed braces and my younger kid needed glasses and my bills were out of control…[while] my boyfriend was making six figures…After months of going back and forth, he dumped me for good and took back his car…

A Moral Cancer (#583)

Nutritionists aren’t “scientists”, because nutritionism is pseudoscience:

[Busybody bureaucrats] for years have urged Americans to limit consumption of red meat and processed meats because of [crypto-moralism]…but…an international collaboration of researchers produced a series of analyses concluding that the advice…is not…scientific…If there are health benefits from eating less beef and pork, they are…so faint that they can be discerned only when looking at large populations…and are not sufficient to tell individuals to change their meat-eating habits…Already they have been met with fierce criticism by [nutritionists]…

That last line is equivalent to saying that a report in an astronomical journal was “met with fierce criticism by astrologers”.

Full of Themselves (#831)

Alabama’s “licensed massage therapists” want to be as pompous as California’s:

Massage therapies are a common front for human trafficking, but in Alabama the Massage Therapy Board is very active in fighting back.  “We are probably one of the very few states out of the fifty that have the authority to go and inspect an establishment…So we are pretty much the lead in the nation when it comes to dealing with these kinds of complaints.”  Those fighting traffickers know the best way to stop the process is to take away their means of carrying out their practice…Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office came up with a new law that is designed to fight traffickers…“It’s not too far akin to [sic] what we see in the fortitude [sic] side for criminal cases,” he said…

Presumably, “asset fortitude” is something like the “poignant” smell of marijuana.

Disaster (#873)

The predictable result of non-binding “policies” that leave oppressive laws in place:

Seattle police…this summer returned to routinely arresting and booking sex workers on Aurora Avenue in North Seattle.  While the city has publicly and p[ompous]ly pursued the “demand” side of the sex trade — [except for Asian sex workers, whom they have continued to persecute using racist “sex trafficking” tropes] — the City Attorney’s Office and the Seattle Police Department since 2012 have mostly shied away from [formally] booking [native-born] sex workers themselves, [forc]ing them instead [in]to [useless “diversion” programs that make bourgeois white Seattlites feel good]…But in the face of a sharp spike in the amount of street-based sex work [due to clownish government interference in sex workers’ advertising venues]…and [the discontinuance of payoffs from Swanee Hunt’s “Demand Abolition” scam]…the Seattle Police Department began [persecuting street workers again despite repeated assurances from “officials” that they wouldn’t]…Since July, SPD has made about 120 arrests via sting operations, said [boss pig Mike] Edwards…

The rest is the usual “crime” and “doing something” bullshit and propaganda about the worse-than-useless LEAD “conversion therapy” program.

To Molest and Rape (#890)

Prince George’s County, Maryland is known for rapist cops; this may give you some inkling why:

…Ian G Lucas from the Prince George’s County Police Department and an unnamed [cop] from…Washington DC…[repeatedly] target[ed] transgender [sex workers] and threaten to to [cage] them…unless they [sucked the pig’s dicks]…One woman went to DC’s FOX station with her story, providing…video proof…Multiple women [then] testified in front a grand jury…after being granted immunity.  But…both police forces and the federal prosecutor…shrugged their shoulders…Lucas was [rewarded for the rapes with a paid vacation and given a plea bargain for “solicitation of a prostitute” which wil]…be withdrawn after six months [when] he completes 48 hours of community service.  The charges w[ill] be dismissed [and he will be immunized from further prosecution] and…not be required to register as a sex offender…

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

The Trump administration abruptly delayed a $13.5 million grant to house human trafficking victims just five days after saying that “non-citizens” could be served by the program.  The program’s funds, which were approved two years ago by multiple federal agencies, are now in limbo with no indication when money will be distributed…The grants were to be dispersed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in collaboration with the Department of Justice and Health and Human Services…On September 4, the funding announcement was updated to “allow recipients [of the funds] to serve non-citizens,” including lawful permanent residents and foreign national victims…Five days later, the grant solicitation was cancelled…DOJ has…asked for the funds back from HUD and…will now run the program itself…

Negative Secondary Effects (#933)

UK judge says only “good” women should be protected by anti-“revenge porn” laws:

Nine strip club performers in the United Kingdom are fighting to stop the publication of an undercover video shot by Not Buying It, a self-described “feminist” anti-sex work organization.  The performers argue that the footage, shot by hired [ex-pigs]…“could infringe their human right to…priva[cy]”…Already, this seems to be proving true…A judge ruled that, against the performers’ wishes, their names will be revealed in court records.  These women…will…be outed as sex workers…because a feminist organization is ostensibly concerned, as the Guardian puts it, “about the exploitation of women.”  Guess it’s OK when self-described feminists are the ones doing the exploiting…

Safe Targets (#953)

Please tell us more about how legalization “protects” sex workers:

A [Singaporean mired in gambling debts named]…Tan Shi Feng…targetted [a] sex worker [for robbery by impersonating a cop], believing that the victim would not report to the police as she…provided [what the state idiotically labels] illegal sexual services…Tan [and two confederates tricked their way into their victim’s flat]…by pretending [Tan was] a genuine customer…They [stole]…$15,000 in cash and an Apple iPhone worth $600 from [her]…

No, he didn’t “cheat” her; he robbed her.  Armed robbery, to be precise, backed up by the threat of state violence.

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We’re not going to sit around and wait to be prosecuted before we fight this law.  –  Skye Wheeler

Real People 

Even shitty and somewhat exploitative sex work doesn’t really resemble prohibitionist fantasies:

Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss’ poignant documentary Lovemobil observes the Nigerian Rita and the Bulgarian Milena as they perform sex work in caravans (trailers) along a German country road.  The young women have escaped difficult economic circumstances in their home countries and are looking to earn money; they feel obligated to send Euros back to their families…they work for Uschi, a tough older woman who keeps them in line and advises them about pricing their services, but also appears to care for them, even as she chides Rita for trying to cheat her out of payments…Lovemobil deliberately keeps the sex acts off camera to focus on the larger issues of globalization, feminism and economic inequality that are part of this fascinating subculture of sex work…

Where Are the Victims?

Note the bizarre, stilted language used to describe a very ordinary-sounding escort service:

Jessica Nesbitt [of Chicago was]…charged with [various pompously-named]…prostitution [“crimes”]…for…own[ing] and operat[ing] a company called Kink Extraordinaires, which employed several individuals who engaged in prostitution…Nesbitt advertised prostitution services on multiple websites…and…also emailed her clients invitations to paid sex and fetish parties…In addition to activity in Chicago, Nesbitt arranged for herself and her employees to perform acts of prostitution in California, Washington, D.C., Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin…

Dirty Laundry (#452)

At least this judge gave the stolen money to someone other than Ruhama:

Money [stolen] by Laois gardai from [two sex workers was]…donated to two local charities by the court…the two [sensibly fled] and have not returned…Judge Catherine Staines directed that €3,410 got to the Laois Domestic Abuse Service, and around €1300 go to the Garda Youth Diversion Projects…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical, representative cop:

A Miami-Dade [screw]…has been charged with raping a woman he was supposed to be supervising while she was on house arrest.  Yulian Gonzalez…paid regular visits to the alleged victim’s home during the course of his work as a case manager…Gonzalez threatened to issue a violation of her house arrest and send her back to jail if she did not [submit to rape]…Gonzalez rented a room at the Nexx Motel…and drove the woman there in his [pigmobile]…so as not to set off any alarms, Gonzalez tampered with the woman’s ankle monitor…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#754) 

I love seeing prohibitionists hoist with their own petard:

report compiled by the Department of Justice has revealed that the [Swedish model]…in Northern Ireland is not fit for purpose…“This report…shows that there has not been a decrease in demand for sex work since the introduction of client criminalisation…in 2015,” [said] Kate McGrew…”Instead, we have seen an increase in sex trafficking by 26%…In the north, it led to massive increase in advertising (on one site alone over 1700 new ads) and demand (in one jurisdiction by 134%) and a 200% increase threatening behaviour in clients.  In the south, it led to an increase in violent crime against sex workers by 92%“…

Once the government started defining all third parties as “sex traffickers” and then passed a law whose natural consequence would be increased reliance on such parties, naturally “sex trafficking” by their definition increased.  And since prohibitionists pretended the intent of their anti-whore law was to “fight sex trafficking”, they now have no choice but to admit the law was a “failure”.  Oops.

Little Boxes (#792)

A federal court finally recognizes what should’ve been obvious years ago:

Fort Collins, Colorado, decided not to continue its challenge to a federal court’s decision that a ban on going topless in the city amounts to unconstitutional discrimination…The city decided not to appeal the decision…after [wast]ing hundreds of thousands of [public] dollars on the legal battle already…[this] effectively legalizes [female toplessness] in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit court…Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming…

Given that the 7th Circuit ruled exactly the opposite two years ago (see subtitle link), a SCOTUS showdown is now inevitable.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

This is much worse than the typical government propaganda such as “DARE”:

…the FBI is launching its #StopSextortion [propaganda] campaign to [convince parents] and schools [that teenage sexting is a]…growing problem [called] sextortion…[affecting] kids…as young as seven or eight…The [FBI wants parents to believe that peer “sexting” is actually the product of an adult] extortionist [who] finds children and teens on social media [to]…convince…to send a naked photo—and…the[n]…telling the child that he will send the photo to friends and family or post online…the extortionist continues to threaten while escalating demands, which can include…sex acts…

The FBI is intentionally representing a rare crime as the norm so as to give the federal government power over teen sexting.  If you thought FOSTA and the drug war were great, you’re going to love the “war on sextortion”.

Disaster (#935)

News about the FOSTA challenge:

Human Rights Watch and four other plaintiffs…present[ed] arguments on September 20 against the dismissal of their challenge to a…law that imposes criminal liability for online speech about sex work…FOSTA…’s language is [so] broad and vague, it could prevent sex workers and others from writing about sex work and posting about critically important health and safety issues, and it would restrict organisations like Human Rights Watch from effectively reporting on and advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work…FOSTA has [already] endangered [sex workers because]…websites that made it easier for sex workers to screen clients and to sell sex in safer locations have stopped sex workers from posting.  The co-plaintiffs in the case with Human Rights Watch are the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the Internet Archive, and individuals Alex Andrews and Eric Koszyk.  The lower court [incorrectly] dismissed the case [a year ago]…without addressing the substantive claims, on the [pretense] that plaintiffs faced no imminent risk of prosecution…[but] in cases involving free expression, the appropriate lens is whether speech will be unconstitutionally burdened or chilled…

A Moral Cancer (#972)

Authoritarian idiots respond to deaths from a black market product by dramatically expanding the black market:

Walmart said…that it would stop selling e-cigarettes at its stores in the United States, dealing a new blow to the vaping industry as [hysteria] mount[s] over the health risks of [black market] products [which have nothing to do with the banned e-cigarettes]…The decision…comes amid a [dumpster fire full] of new [moral panic] about the potential health risks of [black market THC cartridges] that has [inspired prohibitionists to]…increas[e the danger by banning completely different currently-legal] products…

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[We’re] stuck with one narrative that hasn’t changed since Jack the Ripper’s victims were found.  –  Phoenix Calida

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Funny how many cops who are willing to pay prefer underage girls:

…a [typical and representative] New Market [Tennessee cop]…is back in jail…Joseph Ray Miller…tried to solicit an underage girl for sex on more than one occasion….[he] was…initially arrested…on May 3…[for talking to a disguised cop he apparently thought could arrange for him] to engage in sexual activity with a female under the age of 13…

Watershed

CosmopolitanGlamourTeen Vogue and now Allure…it’s so heartening to see so many women’s fashion & beauty magazines recognizing that they owe their very existence to whores, and speaking up:

…The physical demands of being a [sex] worker also mean taking care of yourself in new ways that may not be intuitive.  From icing bruised knees to carrying pepper spray, sex workers’ meticulous methods of self-care [are] further evidence that sex work is, in fact, work…For many researchers, it’s difficult to ethically study criminalized groups, a phenomenon that only serves to further marginalize sex workers…According to Phoenix Calida…patronizing assumptions…are harmful to folks in the industry who want their health concerns taken seriously.  Oftentimes, that means lying about their occupation during doctor’s visits.  “I did make the mistake of telling one of my doctors about [sex work],” she tells Allure. “I almost had child services called on me.”  The challenge of finding quality healthcare can also take a mental toll on sex workers…“It might be difficult to find a therapist, a counselor, or a medical professional who’s going to treat you seriously and respectfully”…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…people traveling to California who[m cops pretend] smell like weed and are carrying large sums of cash…[are] regularly [being robbed by cops] at Fort Lauderdale International Airport…the Sheriff’s Office has [robbed]…19 individuals since 2016, all under [similar] circumstances…only three [of their victims]…were arrested for drug possession the same day they were stopped.  None have been charged with a drug-trafficking crime…the Broward County Sheriff’s Office has [stolen] $189,678 in this fashion…

Business As Usual

That this dude is being prosecuted now for the officially-sanctioned rape of a sex worker six years ago means he pissed off somebody well above his pay grade:

A…Fort Myers [Florida cop]…was arrested…on charges of soliciting prostitution, official misconduct and perjury related to a massage parlor sting that happened more than six years ago…Jay Rodriguez…[raped] a sex…[worker after deceiving her with official permission to do so] on March 14, 2013…[As he had been trained to do,] Rodriguez [then] “authored a falsified account of his actions during the operation…to affect [sic] the arrests of two women at the massage parlor”…Additionally, Rodriguez is accused of committing perjury when he was interviewed during an internal affairs investigation in January and said he had never [raped any women] while on duty…

Given that Florida is one of three states (along with Pennsylvania and Indiana) which routinely and aggressively defend cops’ “right” to rape women in order to destroy their lives, Rodriguez must’ve somehow crossed someone very important.

A Moral Cancer (#618) 

Authoritarian idiots respond to deaths from a black market product by dramatically expanding the black market:

The Trump administration said…it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored electronic cigarettes [in response to several deaths from] vaping [black-market THC cartridges]…“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes [due to deaths from existing federal prohibition tof cannabis,” bloviated bureaucrat]…Alex Azar…The American Vaping Association said it was disappointed in the president’s decision to take direction from “anti-vaping activists,” such as [totalitarian fascist]…Michael Bloomberg…

Where Are the Protests? (#693) 

Another church running a fake “shelter” scam to exploit marginalized people:

A dozen leaders of a California-based [church] have been indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of forced labor of mostly homeless people…Imperial Valley Ministries leaders recruited [victims] by promising food and shelter, and instead forced them to beg for money for nine hours a day, six days a week and to give up their welfare benefits “for the financial benefit of the church leaders”…The ministry operates nondenominational churches and group homes in the United States and Mexico…church leaders kept victims inside [buildings] with deadbolt locks only they had keys to and confiscated IDs such as driver’s licenses, immigration papers and passports to prevent victims from escaping…Victims said they were isolated and closely watched…They were threatened with punishment for violating…rules, and…were told their children would be taken away from them if they left…Victims were refused basic and necessary medical attention…[such as] a diabetic who was refused insulin and even the food needed to control blood sugar levels…

End Demand (#962)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will say anything to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

The King County Council is considering requiring [indoctrination] for Uber and Lyft drivers on [anti-sex worker propaganda]…“Because [sex workers] often [prefer not to deal with Seattle’s horrendous downtown parking situation]…they…[prefer to use] rideshare and taxi services in order to get around,” said Mar Brettmann, executive director of BEST – Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking.  Brettmann has [profited handsomely from mandated indoctrination]…for…hotel [employees]…and…saw a dramatic jump in the number of people who were [ratting sex workers out to the pigs rather than minding their own business like decent citizens…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#968)

Clownish cops pratfall over fentanyl hysteria, despite debunking by doctors:

On August 9, 2017, [a gang of Pittsburgh cops raided Anthony]…Lozito’s residence…[Because they rushed in like a pack of mindless animals, they overturned] a table…[hurling what cops called] large amounts of [fentanyl into the]…air…[18 pigs panicked like little girls so they] were sent to Mercy [Hospital] for [doctors to tell them that fentanyl is not an aerosol so their “symptoms” were those of a panic attack, not opioid exposure]…

Checklist (#971) 

Airlines:  are you sure you want to keep accepting liability for your employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you keep feeding them?

A white North Carolina man says Frontier Airlines staff falsely accused him of sex trafficking his 12-year-old adopted son, who is black…Peter DelVecchia is suing the airline and several workers…DelVecchia and his son were flying to Las Vegas in March when he was hit [on the head] by a crew member who accused him of trafficking the boy, who was [forcibly] moved to another seat…workers denied the boy’s requests to return to his seat, refusing to believe they were family…one worker also [molested the boy]…DelVecchia’s suing for discrimination and false imprisonment…

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It’s a funny sort of justice that lets the government take your stuff and then say you have no recourse because you don’t have that stuff anymore.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Lower Education

Why, how could anyone have predicted this outcome?

…A student accused of sexual assault and subject to an unlawful, unconstitutional adjudication process filed a motion seeking class-action certification in his pre-existing lawsuit against Michigan State University.  Rather than seeking to void the results only of his own flawed adjudication, he’s now seeking to void every adjudication where accused students were punished “without first being afforded a live hearing and opportunity for cross examination.”  This new motion comes after a wave of cases across the country that have invalidated and reversed the results of campus kangaroo courts — and these rulings are coming from judges across the political/judicial spectrum.  In California…judges issued rulings that effectively halted proceedings in 75 campus sexual-misconduct cases, while California universities reworked their processes…the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals joined dozens of other courts in ruling that university processes should face exacting legal scrutiny…

Torture Chamber

In case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

In May…the Jackson County Detention Center In Kansas City, Missouri, with no warning to local attorneys, instituted a new [humiliation] policy that requires all visitors, including inmates’ attorneys, to pass through a metal detector…underwire bras are setting it off…instead of simply using a wand to determine what is setting off the alarm…the [cage stack] is refusing to let visiting women pass through until…their bras…come off…An even more draconian policy was implemented in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, in 2018:  Visitors were given only two chances to pass the metal detector — and women were required to wear a bra under prison rules…A Maryland jail was sued [for similar reasons] in 2011…[in the current case] when women (and, later, men) complained about a policy they found unnecessary, humiliating and sexist, they were met with gaslighting, false solutions, accusations of privilege, stonewalling and, finally, retaliation.  And this was against attorneys, who by definition are well positioned to fight back…

That Old Black Magic (#501)

West African “penis stealing” hysteria has spread to East Africa:

A…man in Likoni, Mombasa, plans to travel to neighbouring Tanzania to seek the help of a famed witchdoctor…after an elderly sex worker allegedly cast a spell on him, which has seemingly rendered his sex organ useless, at least in the bedroom…Isaac Karisa…refused to pay an elderly prostitute he had spent a night with…[because] he was too drunk to accomplish the task and fell into a deep slumber after less than five minutes…Karisa refused to part with the thousand shillings he had promised and instead fished out a Sh200 note…A scuffle ensued, with the woman mumbling gibberish and hurling incantations, aimed at jinxing the man…

I can’t decide whether the phrase “night nurse” is clever or silly, but ladies in the global South, PLEASE start charging these bozos in advance!

Law of the Instrument (#774)

Picture what you’d think of as “sex trafficking”, then compare it to this:

A new legal filing accuses prominent political activist and donor Ed Buck of violating federal human trafficking laws when he allegedly supplied an airline ticket to a man who flew to Los Angeles from Texas and died inside Buck’s West Hollywood apartment.  The [filing bloviates that]…Buck…”knowingly utilized interstate commerce…for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex acts”…[in the real world] Moore’s death was…[the result of] an accidental methamphetamine overdose…

Cases are this are why even some not-completely-stupid people believe that “sex trafficking” is increasing; “sex trafficking” charges certainly are.

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn (#824)

No one person can undo an entire system of fascist tyranny:

…Pennsylvania [politicians] have quietly muscled power away from reformist District Attorney Larry Krasner, passing new legislation giving authority to the state’s attorney general to prosecute certain firearms violations in Philadelphia — and nowhere else in the state.  The provision will expire in two years, or just after Krasner’s first term ends…The bill was passed…with no public awareness.  Even some of the [politicians] who voted for it say they [were more clueless than usual]…The maneuver…is the most significant legislative pushback to date against the new movement by criminal justice reformers to focus on seizing the power of the prosecutor…to decide when to bring charges and, critically, when not to.  The new law means that even if Krasner decides to exercise the latter power and not bring charges, the police could go directly to the attorney general to pursue the case regardless…

Prudesville (#828) 

A federal appeals court accepts Everett’s argument that “women who dress like sluts cause rape”:

…a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals…vacated U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman’s 2017 decision that placed an injunction on a city ordinance requiring “quick-service facility” workers to wear, at minimum, shorts and a tank top…The ordinances will now go into effect as the decision is sent back down to a lower court….Everett [politicians] praised the court’s ruling, claiming that…”[sluts in bikinis cause rape]”…

Safe Position (#859)

If Rantz read my blog he’d know this stopped being a “fringe position” over a year ago:

[Seattle city] council candidate Tammy Morales announced on Twitter that she would like to decriminalize sex work in Seattle.  She’s not the only candidate…if Morales lands on the Council with activists incumbents Lisa Herbold and Kshama Sawant, we may very well have to waste our time debating this fringe position…Mark Solomon, Former crime prevention coordinator with the Seattle Police Department, [also supports decrim, as does]…Chris Peguero…

Sawant has somehow managed to convince a number of people that she is pro-sex worker, but she is a socialist (a group which has always opposed sex work) and flat-out refused to meet with sex workers when she ran the last time.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, with a pro-decrim member on the council, Sawant publicly espouses the Swedish model.

Unsafe for Human Consumption

Everybody knows cops are stupid, but this is a new level of idiocy:

…Given how difficult it is to absorb fentanyl through the skin (which is why the companies that make…fentanyl patches for pain treatment rely on patented technology that took years to develop), the likelihood that [histrionic pigs who accidentally touched some] were actually feeling the narcotic’s effects is approximately zero…[a local news station reporting on such a porcine fantasy] consulted a [soi-disant] drug treatment specialist…who proceeded to [bloviate]…”Someone…who enters a room with a person who’s having an issue with fentanyl could become addicted to it instantly [emphasis added]”…there is no such thing as instant addiction.  Addiction is a gradual process through which people become strongly attached to an experience that provides pleasure or emotional relief…patients who take prescribed opioids, including fentanyl, for pain relief rarely become addicted to them.  So even if [a pack of porkers]…somehow absorbed enough fentanyl to experience its psychoactive effects (say, by accidentally injecting themselves with a loaded syringe found at the scene), they would not become addicted to it unless they liked those effects enough to repeatedly seek them out…

After her accident, Jae was on IV fentanyl for two weeks and didn’t show the slightest signs of addiction afterward.  But as we all know, cops are delicate little pansies who can be so terrified by the sight of a black teenager running away from them that they are uncontrollably compelled to empty an entire clip into his back.  So I guess the idea that they could become “instantly addicted” by touching a person with the drug in his system isn’t so farfetched after all.

Dangerous Speech (#917)

The government keeps contradicting itself in its haste to crucify the former owners of Backpage:

…the 9th Circuit considered claims [last] week that federal prosecutors have improperly seized…money and property and used dirty tricks to prevent the courts from making things right…the feds have seized “26 real properties (some purchased before Backpage… ever existed), 89 bank accounts, and 268 domain names” from the defendants, their family members, and associated entities.  Prosecutors also seized money held in trusts by the defendants’ lawyers, jeopardizing defendants’ ability to afford defense counsel…Under the twisted rules of civil asset forfeiture, the government can take money and property from those accused of wrongdoing before actually proving any wrongdoing, so long as there is “probable cause” to believe the assets were used in or derived from criminal activity.  But for assets related to…First Amendment–protected activities…the government…must first show that the speech in question is not constitutionally protected.  Prosecutors [pretend]…that all the assets it seized were derived from the operation of Backpage, that all ads on Backpage were illegal, and that this is self-evidently true…and…that there were no free speech issues…since Backpage had already been…sold by Lacey and Larkin in 2015…[yet] prosecutors [also] argue that defendants never really did let the company go…

Out of Control (#932)

Spooge-based sexual assaults are growing worse:

…Justin Schneider…admitted that he had [choked a woman until she passed out, then] masturbated onto her….[and] ejaculated on her face.  But he was not charged with sexual assault.  As a first-time offender, he accepted a deal to plead guilty to just a single count of second-degree assault, and he walked out of the courtroom a free man…prosecutors…never brought [a sexual assault charge]…because…In Alaska, sexual assault has a very narrow definition…because Schneider touched only his own genitals but didn’t touch Lauren’s or force her to touch his, his actions didn’t qualify as sexual assault…Alaska lawmakers last month voted to close what has been dubbed the “Schneider loophole.”  But out of 54 US states and territories, 44 of these jurisdictions, including [Washington], do not have a legislated definition of sexual contact that explicitly mentions contact with semen…

Torture Chamber (#950)

And the incidents we hear about are only a fraction of the ones that happen:

…[screws] mistreated migrant children [caged] in Arizona…[one of them molested] a 15-year-old-girl from Honduras…[he] put his hands inside her bra, pulled down her underwear and groped her…in front of other [pigs]…a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy [reported screws] took the mats out of their cell in retaliation for complaints from him and others about the taste of the water and food…accounts…include reports of verbal threats, physical altercations…[and] sexual abuse…

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