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Posts Tagged ‘asset seizure’

Kraft’s…case punctured some of the overheated rhetoric surrounding coerced sex work.  –  Matt Ford

Rough Trade 

A rare case where a rapist of sex workers is actually convicted:

A San Francisco jury…found a man guilty of several felonies in connection with the sexual assault of two female sex workers more than five years ago in the city’s Mission District…Edwin Rodriguez [was found]…guilty of multiple counts of forcible rape as well as aggravated kidnapping, assault and criminal threats.  Rodriguez now faces multiple life sentences…

Unclean Situation (#330)

These are also some of the nuns behind Ruhama:

A religious order which ran some of the Magdalene laundries, but has refused to pay into the redress scheme for survivors, is to sell its retreat centre in north Dublin.  The Religious Sisters of Charity announced it will sell the €3m Stella Maris Retreat Centre in Howth…A spokesman for the Department of Justice said no contributions have been made by any of the four religious congregations involved in respect of the implementation of the Magdalen Restorative Justice Ex-Gratia Scheme…[which has paid] a total of €27.8m…so far to 732 applicants…

Catastrophic Consequences (#576)

This sleazy tactic started in Canada, then spread to the UK:

[In the UK] “anti-trafficking”…raids [are] known officially as “welfare visits”…[cops pretend] that “the welfare and safety of the women…is…the number one priority”…[but in truth] “prostitute cautions“…are…handed out at high rates, and the…Proceeds of Crime Act not only allows them to [steal] sex workers’ earnings, it actively making it easier for them by reversing the burden of proof…the [stolen] cash is given to the Home Office, which then [gives it right back] to the police force without regulating how it’s spent.  The official line is that [cops] have no incentive to raid, but the truth is that the police force does stand to profit…

BDSM (#583)

A “cult”.  Because mentioning their sex practices wasn’t quite lurid enough:

Torsten Weiss…[the owner of a] medieval fetish shop in Hachenburg, Germany…was found dead with crossbow bolts protruding from his neck and skull…[in] a…B&B in Passau…By his side was 33-year-old Kerstin Enders who had succumbed to similar fatal injuries.  On the floor in front of them in a pool of blood was 30-year-old Farina Caspari, suspected of honoring Weiss’s…command to first kill him and Enders, and then take her own life…Weiss and Enders left wills at their sides…”Investigators suspect they were all members of a kind of sex circle with a focus on the Middle Ages,” according to RTL news…[at] Caspari[‘s]…house [cops]…found two more female victims.  One, identified only as Gertrud C., was her lover…friends of the four female victims interviewed by police say the women had all been under Weiss’s hypnotic control.  They reportedly engaged in extreme sexual acts, often involving BDSM, under his direction.  But what police don’t yet know is what led the fivesome to their deaths rather than just continuing their fantastical life…The two women found dead in [Caspari’s] apartment have no obvious wounds or signs of violence. Toxicology reports will show if they were poisoned…

Other than what I’ve quoted above, most of the rest is lurid speculation by cops and the neighbors, friends, and family members of the victims, mostly of the same level of popular ignorance as the myth that a person can be “hypnotized” to do things against their will.

To Molest and Rape 

Just 1500 isolated incidents:

Nearly 1,500 accusations of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, [rape, sexual assault] and child [molestation], have been made against [cops] in England and Wales over six years…Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that 1,491 complaints were filed against [various kinds of cops]…across 33 forces in England and Wales between 2012 and 2017, or 2018 in the case of the Metropolitan Police in London, which took a year to respond…Of these cases, 371 were upheld, resulting in the sacking or resignation of 197 [rapists]…Ten police forces [refused to] provide data…

Girls, Girls, Girls! (#679)

Clubs need to learn that the bad old days of exploiting dancers are over:

A federal jury has awarded five black dancers more than $3 million in their discrimination lawsuit against Danny’s strip club…Danny’s Downtown Cabaret…limit[ed] the number of shifts black dancers could work, and subject[ed] them to racially offensive epithets…”Danny’s also forced the dancers to work at a related club, Black Diamonds, even though they were subject to arrest there because they were not licensed to work at that club,” according to the EEOC.  “The pay and working conditions at Black Diamonds were inferior to those at Danny’s, and there was less security there.  The dancers who refused to work at Black Diamonds were fined and sent home, and not allowed to work at Danny’s”…

Profound Ignorance (#800) 

Scott Cunningham has finally set the record straight on the history of decriminalization in Rhode Island:

…In 1980, the Rhode Island General Assembly legalized indoor sex work.  The surviving members of that assembly have [pretended] that legalizing indoor sex work happened accidentally while trying to strengthen laws prohibiting street prostitution…the police and local prosecutors [eventually forgot]…as indoor sex workers were arrested and prosecuted regularly…throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Then in 2003, a Rhode Island District Court judge reminded everyone what the law said…For six years the state was running a “natural experiment” that would teach us more about decriminalized indoor sex work than we’d ever known in history…what we found surprised us and everyone else…Rhode Island rapes and sexually transmitted infections both substantially declined…several other articles in economics have found similar effects but in other countries and cities…in light of these studies, organizations such as the World Health Organization and the ACLU have begun calling for reconsideration of our commercial sex laws…

Unfortunately, he’s still making silly claims like “everyone was surprised” (no, prohibitionists feigned surprise; it has been known since at least the 1920s that criminalization of a market always increases violence and health issues).  But at least he’s admitting that Rhode Island was neither a “mistake” nor a merely six-year phenomenon, and I’ve noticed his studies have been getting much better.  We may make a good ally out of him yet.

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#830)

Even Reuters is starting to listen to what sex workers have to say about “rescue”:

Sex workers in Thailand are rejecting the “raid and rescue” model used by authorities to crack down on…sex workers…[by labeling them] victims of trafficking.  Many of the women arrested are then [forced] to learn [menial] skills like sewing and baking.  “People say we should stop doing what we do, and sew or bake cookies instead – but why are only those jobs considered appropriate?” said Mai Chanta, who has been a sex worker for about eight years.  “This is what we choose to do, and we feel a sense of pride and satisfaction that we are just like other workers”…

That Old Black Magic (#884)

Click on the subtitle for the truth about Nigerian juju (not “voodoo”) rituals:

Spanish Police have busted a network of Nigerian voodoo sex traffickers who use illegal migration routes to smuggle young girls into Europe…the sex slaves are being groomed in Benin City, Edo state by mafia-style gangs promising them a better life in Spain…They were submitted to voodoo rituals threatening terrible consequences to them and their families if they disobeyed the organisation, police [fantasized, groaning and making furtive movements in their pants while describing how]…parts of their bodies were smothered in animal blood before they were threatened with death or infertility if they failed to obey the traffickers…

Pyrrhic Victory (#899)

Welcome to the future:

A UK pedestrian was arrested and fined £90 ($115 US) after attempting to cover his face while passing a controversial facial recognition camera van on an East London street.  The notorious London police vans scan the faces of passers-by and compare them to a database of wanted criminals.  One man wasn’t having any of it, and was seen covering his face with his hat and jacket before London police stopped him and [forcibly] took his picture anyway…The ticketing comes in the wake of another similar incident in February, in which another man refused to be scanned by one of the facial recognition vans and was also fined £90…the technology is terribly inaccurate – wrongly matching over 2,000 people to criminal…[at] the Champions League Final in Cardiff in 2017

First They Came for the Hookers… (#903) 

Most “prostitution” cases come apart like wet toilet paper if actually taken to trial:

A former Foxy Lady dancer…was found not guilty…of offering sex for money.  Lindsay Hoffmann…one of three dancers arrested at the club on Dec. 11, was cleared after a trial…lasting less than an hour…[a cop claimed] Hoffmann told him…he could get “anything” he wanted for $300 in the downstairs VIP room…But Judge Melissa DuBose said “anything” could have been anything…

End Demand (#910)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will use any story about petty crime to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

…According to Mar Brettmann…“We know that 300-to-500 kids are prostituted at any given time in King County.”  Brettmann is executive director of B.E.S.T. – Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking – in Seattle…[which profits by indoctrinating] businesses and employees in King County to [harass] sex [workers], especially in hotels and motels…

In other words, she claims that there are about twice as many “teen sex slaves” in Seattle as adult escorts, a number so absurd prominent Seattle sex workers have actually been asked by cops where all those supposed “sex slaves” are hiding, because they sure can’t find them.

Loose Cannons (#938)

Another good anti-prohibition article at New Republic:

…The…charges against Kraft came as part of a sweeping, dramatic raid on Asian massage parlors across Florida…prosecutors [pretended]…they had smashed a international sex-trafficking ring…the narrative changed just as the public’s attention turned elsewhere…law enforcement agencies…often use [the claim] to describe and justify crackdowns on consensual sex work…prosecutors regularly use the threat of additional charges and a prolonged trial to induce defendants to accept a guilty plea…This warps the criminal justice system, such that…between 90 and 95 percent of federal and state cases are now resolved through plea deals instead of a trial with one’s peers…

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Women…are being undermined by a system that should be supporting them.  –  Joan Phillips

Surplus Women

Two women were murdered, but this reporter thinks the real story is the neighbors’ sadfeelz about how they made their living:

Over the past [two] years, two women were murdered in [DeKalb County, Georgia]…one…in 2017…[and] the…second…a few months ago…[but sociopathic] neighbors…[are more concerned with] solicitation [on a local stroll than the deaths of two human beings]…They said they see it in early mornings when school kids are waiting for the bus…A [WSB-TV] photographer also rode along with DeKalb County police to…listen…to [copaganda about] human trafficking…

Note that this is the same copsucking TV station which we saw demonizing people’s religion a few days ago.

Yellow Fever

Modern media companies like The Guardian are willing to discard whatever credibility they once enjoyed:

…[the] vastly profitable and largely unregulated [sex industry] has…become infested with criminality, turning Spain into a global hub for human trafficking and sexual slavery…the scale of the problem…is staggering…the [new prohibitionist] Spanish government [claims] that up to 90% of women working in prostitution could be victims of trafficking…[Spanish cops claim to have] rescued 5,695 people from slavery but acknowledge that thousands more remain under the control of…gangs operating with impunity…

Shame, Shame

Most journalists abandoned most of their ethics long ago:

Last June, Florida Today decided to…scrap its traditional gallery of mug shots…an increasing number of editors…have recognized that the American style of crime reporting— picking sensational cases with the most odious details, printing mug shots and full names, and not providing contextual information on crime and statistics in stories —needs a long-overdue overhaul.  Still, on the internet, the salacious news story and the quest for “hits” too often subsumes  conscientious reporting.  Despite the fact that most prisoners will be released, permanent digital punishment in the form of salacious reporting or mug shots hinders reentry…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#627)

It’s so good to see more widespread recognition of this:

…Dr Joan Phillips said while there was a lot of [hoohah about “sex trafficking”] in the Caribbean…it seem[s] to be [simply] a matter of people moving for…work…She argued that too often, Caribbean countries were made to feel that “something needs to be done” about [what the US calls] human trafficking and that it needs to be done now…“we in the Caribbean…are being pushed to look at something that we are not sure…is happening but because of the political and economic influence of US foreign policy we need to do something or we will lose funding”… she argued…that…[US bureaucrats and politicians do] not take into consideration the willing movement of people to work in various settings including nightclubs…“The…issue with the sex [trafficking] paradigm is that poor women are becoming poorer and…the systems that have been put in place [to supposedly help them] are lip service…we need to look at…the ideology about trafficking in a totally different way…Caribbean governments have to…deci[de]…whether they accept the foreign policy of the US and talk about this sexual trafficking and put all this law in place and not focus on…the bigger issues…poverty, vulnerability, lack of education, the need for support for children, unemployment and so on”…

To Molest and Rape

Anything to avoid the word “rape”:

A Richmond [Virginia cop] has been indicted by a…grand jury…Michael Bryson…has been charged with a misdemeanor count of…sexually abusing the victim against their will by force, threat, intimidation, or ruse…

Election Day (#840) 

This is beginning to look like the beginning of the end of the War on Drugs:

A referendum in Denver to decriminalize psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms”, appears to have passed by a narrow margin…But the activists who worked to get the issue on the ballot say their fight was the beginning of a larger movement…Cindy Sovine, a political consultant who worked on the initiative [said]…”Whether you’re using this plant for a medical reason, or a spiritual reason, or a recreational reason, you should not be going to jail or losing your children for it”…

Dangerous Speech

The government’s entire case against Backpage is based on lies and wanking fantasies:

The Arizona Republic recently…claim[ed]  prosecutors had revealed “new evidence”, which demonstrated that Michael Lacey, a former owner of the now defunct classified ad website Backpage.com, was aware of and complicit in sex trafficking taking place on the site.  This so-called evidence consisted of internal Backpage emails from 2012…where Lacey and others discuss how to respond to an inquiry from…Nicholas Kristof, a notorious prig, who, in preparation for an opinion piece, had asked Backpage to comment on the case of a 13 year-old girl alleged…[by disgraced racist prosecutor Lauren Hersh to have been] advertised on Backpage…The…quote from [Lacey’s] email…reads…”We do how many million ads, and he picks out one, tells us by the end of the day and wants our total response by a.m.?  Of course there are kids who get through the system.  As there are in bars.  This makes pursuit of solution…more critical rather than scoring political points”.  Given…that Backpage regularly cooperated with law enforcement in order to catch perpetrators who were misusing the site, only a latter-day Inspector Javert would look at such an email and assume that it established guilt.  It would be far easier to draw the opposite conclusion, that the email’s author does not want underage individuals accessing Backpage…

Welcome To Our World (#888)

Do you really need more evidence of the link between anti-sex work and anti-abortion campaigns?

Phalla was a surrogate paid to carry [a] baby for a couple in China.  Now, due to [totalitarian] measures enacted by Cambodian authorities late last year…Phalla is among dozens of women forced to raise [someone else’s] child…If she doesn’t, she faces up to 20 years in prison for human trafficking…Phalla had a caesarean birth in August [while pigs lurked and watched]…Three months later, she and her newborn were released on bail, on the strict condition that she did not give the child away and [was forced] to raise the child until she turned 18…Phalla must present herself — baby in hand — to a local police office once a month.  She cannot change her address without the investigating judge’s permission, and failing to meet these bail conditions could result in her arrest…

Forced parenthood.  Registered “sex offender” type treatment.  “Human trafficking” as a catch-all.  Get it yet?

See No Evil (#889)

Another prosecution for drawings of fictional characters:

The former commander of the 49th Medical Support Squadron at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico will face a civilian trial later…over accusations of possessing [what prosecutors call] virtual child pornography, and will also be court-martialed in August.  Lt. Col. Keith Vollenweider…[is said to have] knowingly possessed “visual depictions, such as drawings, cartoons and virtual images, that depict minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct”…

Note that people have been similarly charged for possessing Japanese manga books because the characters appear “child-like” by Western aesthetic standards.

Property of the State (#895) 

Critics of governmental abuses need to stop using neutral words like “taken” and call these crimes what they are:

Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services…has a practice of obtaining blank [child abduction] orders pre-signed by judges.  Social workers then fill out the documents with the necessary information after they’ve been signed by a judge and then use them to [abduct] children from parents who[m somebody decided to accuse of something]…no judge actually reviews these orders, or the evidence used to justify separating a family, before signing them.  This…galling abuse of…basic civil liberties…only came to an end after an investigative report by WDRB…spotlighted the practice…

Pyrrhic Victory (#912) 

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

San Francisco…is…on track to be the first municipality in the United States to [officially] ban use of facial recognition technology by the city government…the bill also requires all other types of surveillance technologies—like automatic license plate readers, predictive policing software, and cell phone surveillance towers—to only be adopted by city agencies following a public notice and vote by the Board of Supervisors.  The bill also requires [bureaucratic] policies for how surveillance technologies will [supposedly] be used by the city government…A similar proposal to ban the use of facial recognition across the bay in Oakland…will be debated later this month…There was [already] some pushback from [copsuckers and badge-lickers, especially those who]…give [cops access to] their private surveillance camera[s]

A Broker in Pillage (#918)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed three bills into law…that significantly limit police’s ability to [steal] property…11 other states…have passed laws requiring convictions before forfeitures in some or all cases…Three states have abolished civil forfeiture altogether.  In Hawaii, a bill banning civil forfeiture is currently awaiting the governor’s signature…the new Michigan laws…still…[allow people to] be pressured by [cops] to sign away their property [under threat]…

Negative Secondary Effects (#933)

A lot of people are growing sick of the oppression of sex workers:

Hundreds of people have signed a petition backing workers at a strip club weeks after calls were made for its licence to be revoked.  [Prohibitionists who paid men to secretly film dancers without their consent claim their snitches] saw dancers performing sex acts at Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield…An open letter with the petition backing the workers at the club said: “We believe sex work should not be stigmatised as uniquely or especially oppressive to women in the context of widespread misogyny and male violence against women.  Sex work is legal, and advocating to take away women’s choice to do safe, legal work is anti-feminist and anti-worker”…

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Our government has this idea of “we have to find this common enemy to fight”…right now, sex workers [are] that villain.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Good Fantasy, Bad Reality

But Georgia’s only too happy to lock up adult sex workers:

…Michael Wysolovski coerced a North Carolina teenager into sex and held her against her will for more than a year inside a dog cage in his Georgia home…he pleaded guilty to first-degree cruelty to children and interstate interference with custody…[and] won’t spend any time in prison…the terms of his plea deal gave him credit for the time he spent behind bars awaiting bail. He will spend the remaining nine years on probation and must register as a sex offender…the girl [was discovered] in a state of malnutrition with ringworm and back pain caused by being caged for so long…she reached out to a…person on [an online] forum, who in turn informed the FBI…When they first met, the girl told Wysolovski she was unhappy at home, so he convinced her to come live with him when she turned 16…[they] agreed to a “consensual non-consensual” sexual relationship…[but Wysolovski eventually disregarded her] boundaries and safe words…because…the relationship…resided in a gray area of consent…a trial by jury might not have yielded a guilty verdict on the rape charge…[so] the victim’s family didn’t want the case to go to trial because they didn’t want her to have her story picked apart on the stand.

Down Under

Prohibitionists keep insisting that decriminalization doesn’t work:

The Sex Worker Advisory Group, or SWAG, is a unique collaboration between the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective (NZPC), and groups like Rape Crisis to help sex workers better access support services after sexual assault…[though] sexual assault isn’t common in the industry…there is still stigma around sex work in New Zealand.  When many people’s attitude is…“Aren’t you getting sexually assaulted in a daily basis?”, finding non-judgmental support can be incredibly difficult…Both the Prostitution Reform Act and SWAG offer a new paradigm for police-sex worker relations that stands in stark contrast to the hostile relationship seen in the rest of the world.  In the UK, “Police forces are failing sex workers who come to them as victims of crime”. In the United States, sex workers are often the victims of sexual assault by the police.  And in Norway…the police have evicted and deported workers who have reported rape to them.  These patterns repeat themselves in other countries where the sex industry remains fully or partially criminal…

Rooted in Racism

Mistreatment of sex workers is deeply rooted in racism all over the world:

Our conversations about sex work in Australia are deeply racialised, with roots in a number of anti-Asian tropes…cultural stereotypes of Asian women as “passive” has primed white Australia to swallow the portrayal of Asian sex workers as always already exploited.  This generates a default suspicion that has been used to justify intense over-policing of Asian migrant sex workers and their lack of access to safe and legal long-term labour migration pathways, all under the banner of “anti-trafficking”.  It’s also contributed to the construction of the popular image into which a collective xenophobic contempt for for sex work and sex workers is currently distilled: “illegal Asian brothels”.  This image normalises and perpetuates state violence against migrant sex workers…accompanied by grotesque, sensational media reporting, and the resulting deportation of migrant sex workers on minor breaches…

Above the Law

Obviously this fireman has been hanging around too many cops:

A fire captain in Arizona accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl while “extremely intoxicated” claims he mistook the girl’s genitals for the mouth of an adul…Michael William Palmatier…[also blamed his behavior on] a prescription muscle relaxer…Palmatier…[claims to] recall…going into a bedroom during the party…and starting to [perform oral sex on]…the victim…a…colleague then told Palmatier that the victim was 8 years old, prompting him to repeatedly curse before crying and apologizing…but insisted that he thought he was kissing an adult’s mouth rather than the girl’s genitals…

Train Wreck (#544)

The “Abuja Environmental Protection Board” is the Orwellian name of a Nigerian vice gang empowered to do basically anything it likes to terrorize sex workers:

…Activists ha[ve] called on the [government]…to desist from the persistent public humiliation, assault, sexual harassment of women in Abuja in the name of [harassing]…sex workers in the city or face legal action…a statement signed by 36 civil society groups…condemned the recent raids and arrest of over 100 women at a night club in Abuja…on two different occasions within one week – April 17 and 26.  The raids were carried out by…the Joint Task [Gang], which [includes]…the…Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB)…many of the arrested women “were severally assaulted and sexually harassed, with some raped, leaving injuries in the vaginas of some of them…many were psychologically traumatised by the experience…[the raids] targeted and violated young women in the club…No attempts were made to question the club proprietors or arrest the male guests…[but] several female guests in or around the nightclub were also arrested and harassed…young women were brutally dragged out by male officers who beat them, and some women were stripped naked”…

Gingerbread House (#693)

It’s satisfying when the mask of concern for “trafficking victims” slips:

…the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland is seeking to open a [jail] for teenage…sex…[workers]…but the…plan…is facing opposition on multiple fronts.  Claire’s House, named after [some politician’s] mother…plans to [lock] up…12 teenage sex [worker]…at a [time]…advocates…say the church’s opposition to contraception and abortion could harm [their] victims.  Meanwhile, neighbors of the [jail] worry that traffickers will bring crime, drugs and guns to their community…

Disaster (#879)

Good news about the FOSTA challenge:

…The important thing to remember about this appeal is that the question before the appeals court isn’t really about the constitutionality of FOSTA itself.  What’s being appealed is the case having been dismissed for lack of standing by the plaintiffs.  The district court never directly ruled on the constitutionality of the law; it only ruled that these plaintiffs had no right to complain about it…the…court [claimed] these plaintiffs weren’t being hurt, or likely to be hurt, by FOSTA, and so it dismissed their case…All the DOJ…has to do to defend FOSTA is say…”These people…will not be hurt by FOSTA, so keep this case dismissed”…but that’s exactly what the amicus brief by the twenty-one state attorney generals does not do…their brief instead reads as a bright flashing neon sign warning the court that there is plenty of reason for them to be worried.  Because…[it] reads as a paean to everything FOSTA is going to let the states do, including to people just like the plaintiffs…

A Broker in Pillage (#904)

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

The Institute for Justice filed a class-action lawsuit in Illinois state court alleging that Chicago’s impound program violates residents’ guarantee of due process, as well as protections against excessive fines and unreasonable seizures, under both the Illinois and U.S. constitutions…A Reason investigation published last year described how Chicago’s punitive impound program soaks people in fines and fees and deprives them indefinitely of their transportation, whether or not they actually committed an offense, in an effort to reduce its massive annual budget deficits.  It also operates independently from the state’s courts, meaning that even in cases where a defendant beats a criminal charge and/or a civil asset forfeiture case, they can still be found liable for thousands of dollars in fines and storage fees, and have their cars held until they pay or relinquish them to the city…

Disaster (#922)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Verizon is seeking a buyer for Tumblr, the blogging platform it [intentionally destroyed by ill-considered censorship] in 201[8]…Pornhub VP Corey Price claimed…that his company is “extremely interested” in buying Tumblr and…“restoring it to its former glory with NSFW content”…Price is referring to…Tumblr[‘s deeply-stupid]…step of banning porn on its platformresult[ing] in harsh criticism…and a steep decline in web traffic…Pornhub [has] sought to attract those users that Tumblr drove away…

The Course of a Disease (#925)

How do you think they “stopped” these guys?  By spying on “known prostitutes” and harassing anyone who visited them, just like in Sweden:

Gardaí said that it carried out [harassment] operations in DMR North, DMR East, DMR South Central, Wexford, Louth and Kildare.  A total of 36 individuals were stopped and [interrogated after being seen visiting known sex workers]…A number of files are now being prepared for forwarding to the Director of Public Prosecutions.  The DPP will then decide if any criminal proceedings should be initiated.  Gardaí said that the operation reinforces their “commitment to target [sex workers and harass them to death]”…

Torture Chamber (#928) 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

On March 25, 2019, Christopher Caldwell…[was made] nearly immobile, shackled to a bucket at Limestone [Cage Stack] in Alabama.  His pant legs were taped up, and his belly, feet and hands were shackled.  Caldwell’s handcuffs were shackled to his belly, preventing him from moving his hands above his waist.  Caldwell had just been transferred…from [another prison]…and had already undergone extensive [initiation tortures]:  several body cavity searches, metal detectors and drug dogs…[then screws locked] him in a [cage], shackled and taped him…[and] told [him that] his restraints would not be removed until he “shat six times” in the bucket…he…was bound to the bucket in a [cage] without running water for five days.  His pleas for help were either ignored by guards, or met with mace threats.  Another confined individual subjected to the “shitting in a bucket” [torture], Daniel Bolden…said that his memories of eating like a dog (due to constrained hands) are etched into his mind.  Unable to shower, he was forced to lie near and in his own feces and urine…a mother whose son is currently confined at [the same prison]…reported…that she’s been extorted by [screws who]…“stabbed my son…then…call[ed me and]…said things would get worse for him if I didn’t send money”…

Broken Record (#932)

You mean they just made it up?  Say it ain’t so!

[For the last decade, pigs, spooks and politicians] have promoted the [myth] that a rise in sex trafficking rates is correlated with large sporting events.  [Despite repeated debunking] this narrative [is intentionally spread by prohibitionists]…every year around the Super Bowl…Yet [people who actually can do math and understand the difference between their anuses and holes in the ground]…say that there is…[absolutely no] evidence to support the idea that events like the Super Bowl or the Kentucky Derby are correlated with a rise in sex trafficking rates…even…Polaris…the there’s…no…data to suggest [such] spikes…Such [propaganda campaigns]…put sex workers at increased risk of arrest during anti-sex [worker pogroms justified by these myths about]…large sporting events, says Kristen DiAngelo…of SWOP Sacramento…

Loose Cannons

A judge slaps down pigs & prosecutors for a change:

Florida police failed to exhaust [legal] options and to protect the privacy of non-suspects when secretly recording surveillance video inside Martin County massage parlors.  That’s the verdict of Florida Judge Kathleen Roberts…”at no time was any effort made to stop the monitoring or recording at any point to protect the innocent person who happened to enter an area covered by a camera”…Kraft and other men charged with solicitation have been challenging the use of “sneak and peak” warrants…Workers at these businesses are also suing over the surveillance, as are customers of the spas who simply received regular massage services…State prosecutors [predictably] intend to appeal the ruling…

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Cops and prosecutors have become so use to courts sucking their dicks and reporters licking their boots that they seem to have developed a pathological level of overconfidence in their own lies and depredations.  Any wholly-sane person with a particle of common sense would realize that it’s going to be harder to pin any kind of crime, much less a consensual one, on a billionaire, and yet nobody involved in the massage-parlor raids which ensnared Robert Kraft seems to have considered what a bad idea it was to try to pretend that a well-liked 77-year-old man with no criminal record was some kind of violent psycho because he paid for a hand job from a middle-aged woman.  Instead, we were treated to the spectacle of a pompous sheriff strutting about for the cameras, vomiting out racist sex fantasies and bizarre nonsense about “zombie sex slaves” while prosecutors demanded that Kraft and literally hundreds of other victims of the pogroms perjure themselves by swearing under oath that the cops’ sexual fantasies were true and submitting to a humiliating combination of brainwashing and slavery (“john school” and “community service”).  As any non-megalomaniac could’ve predicted, Kraft and most of the others turned them down flat and demanded jury trials while the whole “sex trafficking” narrative unraveled in record time and the Martin County sheriff’s office was revealed in the press as a hotbed of corruption, including many bogus arrests.  But sociopathic manbabies used to getting their way don’t back down when confronted by opposition that would cause the wise to think twice; instead they doubled down, attempting to get back at people who dared assert their Constitutional right to a trial by threatening to release the illegally-obtained surveillance videos:

The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office has announced its intention to make the surveillance videos of Kraft, and all other suspects, available to the public.  Kraft’s lawyers have strenuously opposed the release of this material, but media companies and prosecutors have pushed back, contending that since the investigation is over, the Florida Sunshine Law guarantees the public access to these records…Kraft’s legal team has filed a pair of motions seeking to suppress the video.  One motion holds that the videos should remain private because “the Jupiter Police Department deems the masseuses who are alleged to have performed the sex acts to be victims of a sexual offense”…

The government quickly countered by basically admitting that it lied, and the women were just plain old dirty whores:

“All of the masseuses who engaged in acts of prostitution in the Orchids of Asia Spa and who have been identified are being charged with felonies and misdemeanors,” [state attorney Greg] Kridos wrote in response to that motion.  [But] the second defense motion seeks to get the video thrown out out on the grounds that [pig] Andrew Sharp…[intentionally] lied about suspected human trafficking in order to get a warrant for cameras at the spa…

The attorneys for the other charged men quickly followed suit, and a judge responded accordingly:

Florida Judge Leonard Hanser agreed to temporarily seal the footage of [patrons at]…Orchids of Asia spa…Kraft…[is] fighting the disclosure…And…lawyers for other solicitation defendants…filed a joint motion seeking to prevent the public release of imagery from the hidden cameras…

A third lawsuit, this one a federal class-action suit, was filed by the cops’ victims who weren’t charged:

Nearly three dozen men and women have filed a federal class-action lawsuit accusing Florida authorities of unlawfully videotaping them as they received legal massages…The lawsuit by 31 John and Jane Does alleges that Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg, the Jupiter Police Department and the case’s lead detective violated their rights to privacy…None of the 31 has been charged with a crime…It seeks unspecified monetary and punitive damages and to have the video recordings blocked from public release and ultimately destroyed.  “It is horrific when you think about the scenario,” said [lead attorney] Joseph Tacopina…“It is akin to going to a bathroom.  You are in a state of undress and you are being surreptitiously recorded and that recording is now subject to disclosure and being disseminated around the internet. It is an abomination of any form of privacy rights and constitutional rights”…

And how did the cops react to all this?  By arresting another of the women they called “victims” and robbing her blind:

A woman accused of performing an illegal sex act on…Robert Kraft…is now under arrest.  58-year-old Shen Mingbi was booked…and…[cops stole her] safety deposit box at Bank of America [that] contained approximately $43,800…a judge set her bond at $5,000…[with the condition that she] can’t [support herself by] work[ing] in [her own profession]…and also must surrender her passport and any travel documents…

Oh, and make that four lawsuits:

…attorneys for [arrested sex workers] Lei Wang and…Hua Zhang…asked a judge to hold the Jupiter Police Department and Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office responsible for…trying to leak the Kraft surveillance video to TheBlast.com

Yes, in an act of petulance that’s hard to fathom even by the abysmal ethics of prosecutors, they tried to disobey a judge and release the videos anyhow:

…when the police admitted months later that no human trafficking had occurred, it was too late.  They had tied Kraft to the despicable crime of sex trafficking and then simply moved on.  No corrections were issued on any of these stories.  Having spread this vicious lie…the state attorney moved on to other methods of torment…Kneel and confess guilt, or we will release embarrassing footage of you…Kraft’s attorneys have, so far, successfully blocked the release.  But on [Good] Friday, those attorneys said that the video had been leaked and was now being shopped around to various websites…

…the Kraft case should appall even [prohibitionists].  This is now a story about how the justice system has moved to humiliate and harm Kraft because he refuses to bow to their demands that he proclaim his guilt.  What is being done to Kraft should sound an alarm for us all…Many are enjoying the whole debacle.  Kraft is a very rich man.  He’s a friend of President Trump.  Who cares if he gets abused by the justice system?  But that’s exactly backward.  If this is happening to this rich, prominent man, with access to the best lawyers and p.r., what happens to the rest of us?

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I would…suggest you not promote pictures of juveniles in this situation.  –  Muriel Bowser

Remember Harry Nilsson?  Besides writing songs for The Monkees (“Cuddly Toy“), Three Dog Night (“One“), and others, he had a successful solo career and counted The Beatles among his fans (he later briefly lived with John & Ringo in 1973 during John’s “Lost Weekend”). I first encountered him via this TV movie (narrated by Ringo), which I watched when it premiered in 1971 and never forgot.  I bought it when it became available on DVD and have watched it several times since, most recently while stoned with Grace & Chekhov at Sunset on Easter weekend.  The links above the video were provided by Furrygirl, Peter Roman, Mike Siegel, Peter Roman again, Tim Cushing, and Tushy Galore, in that order.

From the Archives

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

Above the Law 

Yet another sociopath with a title:

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

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

Policing for Profit

Governments are reining in these depredations much too slowly:

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

Torture Chamber 

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

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

To Molest and Rape

Just protecting and serving:

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

Japanese Prostitution (#819) 

A Japanese historian says the comfort woman phenomenon was complicated:

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#864)

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

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

Scapegoats (#901) 

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

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#913) 

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

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

Legislators Gone Wild (#923) 

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

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

Blunt Instrument (#926)

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

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

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The careers of…politicians ultimately benefited from the war on…female sexuality.  –  Sascha Cohen

It Looks Good On Paper

What these “safe harbor” laws actually do is empower the cops to indefinitely detain underage sex workers in “protective custody”, i.e. jail:  “A minor engaged in prostitution should be considered a victim and not face criminal charges, a [Mississippi] bill says…House Bill 571 also allows the [young woman] to be taken into protective custody…

Policing for Profit

But they’re rescuing “sex slaves”!

Five [Florida cop gangs profited handsomely from what they claim were]…investigations into prostitution and possible sex-trafficking operations inside massage parlors and day spas in their jurisdictions.  Martin County Sheriff’s Office and Jupiter Police Dept. worked together, and collectively [stole] a property in Stuart, two properties in Hobe Sound, six vehicles, including luxury cars like a Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, and more than $500,000 in cash.  Indian River County Sheriff’s Office [stole] $22,000 in cash, a 2018 Toyota Corolla and…more than $110,000 in bank accounts.  Vero Beach Police…[stole more than] $30,000 in bank accounts and an undisclosed amount of cash.  Sebastian Police…[stole] almost $5,500 in cash, laptops, cellphones, a credit card machine, and a plastic bag of finger condoms…

Paint By Numbers

We haven’t seen any dumb “anti-trafficking” stunts for a while, but Captain Save-a-ho here is going to “fight” our work by walking around:

A U.S. Army veteran plans to walk [from Chicago] to Springfield next week to raise awareness and funds to help [himself using the hysteria over]…human trafficking.  Jordan Mitchell…plans to make the 189-mile march with a ruck sack weighing up to 100 pounds.  “Walking with weight on your back is…symbolic of the problem of human trafficking.  These girls carry the weight of a million different problems every day.”  Mitchell [infantilizes Korean sex workers by fantasizing them as] preteen girls engaged in sex trafficking…When he returned to the United States, he said he talked to other…[racists] about [exploiting those women for his own profit]…

To Molest and Rape

Rapist cops are typical and representative of all cops:

Robert M. Collins…retired [from his cop job]…shortly after he was arrested…[for raping] four women…from August 2013 to December 2014…Collins is the second area [cop]…facing [rape] charges…Mark Icker…was arrested Dec. 20…after [orally raping] a woman…[in] a secluded park…within two weeks of his arrest, detectives charged Icker with additional allegations by two other women

This is your regular reminder that Pennsylvania is one of several states (the others being Florida & Indiana) which actively defends cops who rape sex workers prior to arresting them; these two rapists apparently forgot they needed to join the sacred Vice Gang to get that protection, and went about raping women without the pretense of “investigation”.

Broken Record (#691) 

Politicians demand magical posters to “fight” a repeatedly-debunked “problem”:

South Carolina law requires posting of human trafficking [propaganda] posters in hotels, bars and airports.  But with Columbia hosting first- and second-round games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this weekend, the posters are on display for the first time ever in Colonial Life Arena.  “There’s always an increase in online solicitation around large sports events, which lands a lot of people in trafficking,” [fantasized prohibitionist] Alexis Williams Scurry [despite mountains of proof that this is a lie]…

I Saw My Brain (#773)

Your regular reminder that Grady Judd is an utterly loathsome excuse for a human:

The Polk County Sheriff’s Department in Florida is touting…a three-day sting in which cops arrested 26 registered sex offenders for…failing to register their vehicles with the government….sex offenders in Florida are required to provide the government with up-to-date information regarding their name, age, sex, height, weight, tattoos, hair color, address, email address, telephone number, social media accounts, employment information, and vehicle information.  It’s…easy for [someone]…to forget to constantly re-supply [demanded] information…it’s absurd to suggest that these un-registered cars posed some kind of danger to the community.  And yet The Miami Herald happily entertained this fantasy…and…printed the mugshots of all the offenders, listed their names, and provided not only the reason for their re-arrests but information on their initial arrests…most of these people were in their 20s, or teens themselves, when they were first convicted…J.S….was convicted…in 2005, and…is currently 25—meaning that at the time of the alleged crime, J.S. would have been about 12 himself…C.C., who is currently 39, was convicted in 1998 of lewd conduct toward a person under the age of 16.  This man would have been about 18 in 1998…

In the original article, Judd uses the moralist shibboleth “hold accountable”, which means something like “persecute using a moralistic excuse”.  Pay close attention to who uses the phrase and how.

Stalkers in Blue

With modern surveillance and data processing, no woman is safe from sexually-aggressive cops:

A [cop] in Cleveland was charged…with using…a police database to find information about [and photos of] two women, and to send social media messages to about 2,300 women over the course of eight months.  The charges against…Michael Rybarczyk…stemmed from an earlier investigation in which he was charged…with soliciting prostitution…

Turn of Tide

Want more proof that we’re past the watershed?  Consider this article, which even though it’s mostly the usual “sex trafficking” propaganda, also contains this passage:

One expert says that…sex trafficking studies feature “some of the worst research you will ever find in science literature…It is really hard to determine what is hyperbole and wild estimates and what is more reasonable and accurate,” says Rachael Lovell, a senior research associate at Case Western University’s Begun Center for Violence Prevention…

Also look for Melissa Farley basically admitting that she and cops just arbitrarily declare women “victims” as it suits them: “…some women might switch back and forth between being trafficked and being a prostitute.

The Last Shall Be First (#904)

Anti-trans bigots keep sexually assaulting trans people in public toilets:

An assistant principal at a West Virginia high school will not have his employment contract renewed after [he]…follow[ed] a transgender student into the bathroom and [told] him “you freak me out”…Lee Livengood…attempted to [force] 15-year-old student Michael Critchfield…to…[piss in front of him while he watched]…Livengood repeatedly yelled at [Critchfield]…saying, “Why are you in here? You shouldn’t be in here”…The decision not to renew his contract by the education board was reportedly unanimous…

Business As Usual (#905)

Prohibitionist group laments the shutdown of a gang of rapists:

The Columbus Vice Unit shutdown [due to rape, harassment and other gross abuses of power] has impacted local [fascist groups]…Local Outreach Volunteers…worked closely with the vice unit to [harass sex workers]…during prostitution busts.  Now that [the rapists can no longer romam about raping and robbing women]…they will have to search the “working girls” out on their own [if they want to continue interfering with their lives]…

Lack of Evidence (#907)

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

…when young, single women began to venture into America’s new urban establishments in large numbers, their presence in public was challenged…coalitions of police departments, city councils, business groups, and evangelical reformers were responsible for criminalizing women who socialized without a chaperone.  They warned of a “life of vice” in disease-ridden brothels, where “fallen girls” were “beaten by their so-called lovers or keepers, and often drunk or sick.”  This anti-prostitution rhetoric, couched in language of protection…was used to justify police surveillance of women…establishments posted signs that read…“no unescorted ladies will be served”…In the 1950s, politicians and the press orchestrated a campaign against “b-girls”…[who] in earlier decades…had been [portrayed] as potential victims of “white slavery,” but by the 1940s they were cast as the villains, out to fleece and extract money from innocent men…such women—whose sexuality was dangerous because it was too adjacent to prostitution—faced police harassment, arrest without bail, mandatory venereal disease testing, and even quarantine…

Signs (#912) 

The imposition of creepy fascist surveillance on hotel guests is growing worse:

Hampton Inn’s General Manager Jennifer Decker organized [a propaganda session in Manassas, Virginia]…“If one case comes to light on a property, it could have serious risks to the business…You could be held liable [under FOSTA & similar laws]”…[sow] Robyn Hyatt [vomited all kinds of widely-debunked propagnda at]…the group.  “One trafficker with three victims [and a] customer every 15 minutes can make $2.19 million in one year…Trafficking is…everywhere…Virginia…[is] a hotbed…we have…lots of hotels, FedEx Field, National Harbor, the 95-corridor…during the January Super Bowl in Atlanta, there were over 150 arrests for suspected human trafficking”…[another sow vomited out racist propaganda about]…gangs…The [sows] shared a typical [masturbatory fantasy, not dissimilar to those from old marijuana scare films]…a young woman…might be approached by a trafficker in a mall.  He flatters her, buys her presents…then one day she wakes up from a drug-induced state; she’s been raped.  He has taken photographs. He forces her to do things under the threat of distributing the photographs.  [excited, the cops masturbate and encourage others to do the same while denying the agency of non-sows]…

Worse Than I Thought (#914)

Voters voted to restore people’s voting rights after prison; politicians want to exclude sex workers:

Sex workers who’ve been convicted of prostitution three times…wouldn’t be eligible to have their voting rights automatically restored, under a [Florida] proposal aimed at ca[strat]ing…a constitutional amendment approved in November.  The…amendment…granted “automatic” restoration of voting rights to felons “who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation.”  The amendment excluded people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”  But state and local…officials…want to [undermine that to the greatest extent possible, so they want to exclude whores and businesspeople who made the error of]…locating an adult entertainment store within 2,500 feet of a school…

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