Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘asset seizure’

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…

Read Full Post »

[Indiana’s] boundless view of governmental power cannot be squared with the Constitution.  –  Sam Gedge

Safe Targets

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

The [Singaporean] television show Crime Watch…served as the source of inspiration that motivated three youths to hatch a plot to rob sex workers at knifepoint.  On…June 28…Theophileous Jebaraj, 16, and John Karan, 18, were convicted…the third co-accused, a 14-year-old…cannot be named as he is a minor…the trio agreed…[that] the “safest” way to commit a crime…would be preying on…sex workers…given the illicit [government designation] of their work…Armed with knives, they…[robbed] the victim…of…about S$100…and…ransack[ed] the house for other valuables…

Where Are the Victims?

When giving someone a ride to work is a “felony”.  Because “ring”:

A Billings massage parlor owner has agreed to plead guilty to one count related to [what masturbating pigs and prosecutors fantasized was] a sex-trafficking ring…Scot Donald Petrie…agree[d] to plead guilty [to] transporting a woman from Nevada to Billings to work…at his parlor…[giving adult women rides] carries a maximum of 10 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and an additional $5,000 special assessment and five years to life supervised release…prosecutors agreed not to pursue charges of conspiracy and coercion and entitlement, which could have added 25 years to Petrie’s sentence…

Little Tin Gods (#588)

People sometimes ask me why I moved out of Louisiana.

[A pig who murdered] a 6-year-old autistic boy is out of prison after serving less than two years…Norris Greenhouse Jr.,,,[was given a] plea…[bargain for] negligent homicide and malfeasance…[and was given a] seven-year prison sentence…[which] was reduced due to [his being a pig]…Greenhouse will be on parole until 2025…Greenhouse [had a history of rape and molestation, including being caught trying to molest]…a 14-year-old…He was also accused of making “sexual advances” towards a girlfriend of [one of his murder victims]…

The Course of a Disease (#793)

The Swedish model “helps” sex workers!

Olivier Arsac, deputy mayor in charge of…safety…in Toulouse [said] “We must not hesitate to be brutal…to obtain…[sex workers’] departure [from the city]”…[the statement] caused controversy [among those who want to pretend policing is not intrinsically violent]…Arsac [has also called for]…eviction…of prostitutes [as is typical in Swedish model regimes]…

Rooted in Racism (#913)

In Europe as in the US, the real humanitarians are fighting against racist “anti-trafficking” schemes:

The sea captain who rammed a police boat while bringing 40 rescued immigrants to an Italian port…must be freed…a judge ruled…Carola Rackete…was arrested after she docked the rescue ship of…Sea-Watch at Italy’s tiny Lampedusa island [on June 29th], 17 days after taking the immigrant passengers aboard…Rackete was “doing her duty saving lives,” Judge Alessandra Vella concluded in denying prosecutors’ request to keep the German captain under house arrest…Italy’s virulently anti-immigrant interior minister, Matteo Salvini, banned [rescue] ships…from Italian waters and ports, [pre]tending they…encourage human trafficking.  Italian…authorities had repeatedly denied Rackete’s request to enter the port…[so] she steered into…Lampedusa…without authorization…Supporters in Italy and Germany pledged over 1.3 million euros ($1.48 million)…[to] an online fundraiser for her and for Sea-Watch…several impromptu street rallies were held in her support in Italy…[Italian pigs oinked that] the immigrants on board were not in a desperate state of need…[even though] 13 [of them had] to be…medical[ly evacuated from the ship soon after arrival]…

Dangerous Speech (#917)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

…federal Judge Susan Brnovich ruled against the wishes of prosecutors and in favor of a defense motion to reset the start date for the trial of six ex-Backpage honchos, allowing two newly-appointed defense attorneys an additional four months of prep time in [the] wildly complex case…Brnovich rescheduled the first day of trial for May 5, 2020 and reset several pretrial deadlines.  [Andrew] Padilla and [Joye] Vaught are relative small-fry in the case.  Out of a 100-count indictment, the feds have charged them with 51 counts: 50 for promoting prostitution in violation of the federal Travel Act, and one count of conspiracy…Though the criminal charges were brought in Arizona, the federal government chose to go through the Central District of California in order to [steal] millions of dollars in assets as part of the operation…[including designated] funds [set aside long before the raids for] legal defense…The reason why Padilla and Vaught have new counsel…is in part due to the feds’ [theft] of [these] accounts…

A Broker in Pillage (#917)

Indiana continues to pursue the “right” to rob anyone within its borders blind:

After losing at the U.S Supreme Court, the state of Indiana still hasn’t given up its argument that there are virtually no Eighth Amendment limits on what it can [steal from anyone cops point at]…In oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court last week, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher said the state’s position that it would be constitutional to seize any and every car that [a cop claims] went over the speed limit—a line of argument that elicited laughter from the nation’s highest court last year—hasn’t budged…The Indiana Supreme Court is now reconsidering the case of Tyson Timbs’ $42,000 Land Rover, and whether the state’s 2015 [theft] of Timbs’ car after he was convicted of a drug felony violated his Eighth Amendment protections against excessive fines and fees…The Indiana Supreme Court will now have to decide how to determine whether a [theft] is excessive or not, a decision that could either check or reinforce the state government’s power in these cases…last year, Fisher argued…that the excessive fines clause, even if it applied to the states, did not apply to the practice of civil asset forfeiture, which operates under the legal fiction that it is an action against the property itself, not the owner…

Morality Lessons (#921)

The FBI should’ve just run their child porn sites on DoD computers:

…An untold number of Department of Defense (DOD) employees and contractors have subscriptions to child pornography websites, and…”hundreds of DoD-affiliated individuals” were recently identified as suspects in child pornography cases…an investigation by the National Criminal Justice Training Program found DOD computers were among the top networks nationwide for peer-to-peer sharing of pornographic images of minors.  DOD’s network ranked 19th out of 2,891 computer networks studied…

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

I love seeing governments fight the rescue industry for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

A [UK] Home Office policy document on…Nigeria[n sex workers] says that those who become “wealthy from prostitution” enjoy “high socio-economic status” and are “often held in high regard” when they return home…[rescue industry perv]erts retorted that [the migrant women they label] trafficking victims [are]…“very young women plucked from the streets of Benin City or Lagos and brought to the UK to be raped, for months and sometimes years”…

Now that the greedy and the power-hungry all recognize the proven power of this ugly, racist sexual fantasy to frighten the Great Unwashed into giving them what they want, they’ll keep struggling for control of it until it implodes.

Checklist (#934)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system continues:

EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland partnered with Seattle Against Slavery on June 21 to continue the [indoctrin]ation [of] health care professionals [in denying the sexual agency of adult women who seek healthcare services]…Claudia Lawrence…delivered a presentation to nursing staff, physicians and social workers on [how to project fantasies] of exploitation…[onto] adults…“Not everyone who is trafficked is aware they are trafficked,” said Lawrence…

Shame, Shame (#951)

An existing crime (extortion) doesn’t magically become a different thing (“sexortion”) when sex is involved:

Gabe Ryan Gilbert, 19, was charged with contacting juvenile girls on social media and threatening to photo-edit nude images of them if they would not send him real nude photos…A 15-year-old girl reported…that Gilbert “had threatened to photoshop images of her face onto nude photos unless she sent real nude pictures of herself”…When [cops] looked into Gilbert’s Snapchat account…”it was obvious the user had been engaging in very similar behavior with…over 50 potential victims”…

The solution to this problem isn’t increasing the censorship powers of the already-bloated police state as authoritarians demand; it’s fighting the idea that a woman’s body is something to be ashamed of.

Read Full Post »

Lots of people are asking for my take on the Jeffrey Epstein thing, but I’m afraid I don’t have one just yet; when a powerful, wealthy, well-connected person is accused of a crime (especially a complex one), the result is invariably dueling volcanos of accusation & defense vomiting megatons of obfuscation into the atmosphere.  Moreover, when the crime “just happens” to fit into a moral panic in full eruption, the result is a firestorm that makes it very difficult to separate truth, lies, prevarications, opportunism, excuse-making, police-statery, and outright bullshit from one another.  However, I respect Liz Brown’s judgment on such things and here’s what she had to say on Monday:

…Why now?  Who else may be implicated?  What do lawyer Alan Dershowitz, activist Mike Cernovich, and The Miami Herald have to do with it?…Epstein first pleaded guilty in June 2008 to charges of…paying young women and teen girls to give him massages and then pressuring or forcing them into sexual activity.  At the time, federal prosecutors declined to pursue the case so long as Epstein registered as a sex offender in Florida, served a little time in jail, and paid compensation to the victims. The prosecutor handling the case was Alexander Acosta, who is now secretary of labor….soliciting  or patronizing prostitution from victims of sex trafficking was not explicitly a federal crime until 2015, with the passage of the Trafficking Victims’ Protection Act…[which] made prosecuting said crimes more lucrative for the feds…indeed, the new indictment against Epstein lays claim to his Palm Beach and New York City residences.  Before 2015, the feds may have been able to charge Epstein under the Mann Act…but…getting any assets…out of them would likely have been much harder…plaintiffs in [a civil] suit reached a settlement in 2017, and documents related to this were…kept under seal.  Wanting to clear his name, Dershowitz sued to have them unsealed.  Eventually, right-wing activist Mike Cernovich and Miami Herald writer Julie Brown would also seek to intervene…On July 3, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit…[ordered them] unsealed…

There’s a lot more, but I’m sure my readers will find this bit especially important:

…The conduct Epstein is accused of committing does fall under the federal definition of sex trafficking (which encompasses any paid sexual activity involving a minor, including paying them yourself).  And more so than almost any case I’ve covered, Epstein’s alleged actions fall within the spirit and not just the letter of the law.  They also come much closer to what many people might think of when they think about “sex trafficking.”  But these allegations…may be more closely aligned with other crimes, such as sexual assault, statutory rape, etc.  The decision to bring child sex trafficking charges is likely a function of a) some of these other things not being federal crimes, b) a general federal enthusiasm for adding trafficking charges in sex-crime cases, and/or c) the greater asset forfeiture possibilities and related conspiracy/etc. possibilities that come with the federal sex trafficking statute…

The final important point:  Epstein has lots of cronies in both “wings” of the US Fascist Party, so it’s likely that some powerful people in both halves of the duopoly (including two of the five living presidents) are motivated to hide the truth, while their enemies may not wish “to weaponize this” due to fear of fallout to “their” side.  All we can do for now is wait and see.

Read Full Post »

We have refrigerators with condiments at my law firm, then I must be running a brothel from the law firm?  –  Katie Phang

Monsters 

Just another fatality from the state’s sick need to police women:

Layleen Polanco…[an] Afro-Latina transgender woman was found dead in solitary confinement [on June 7th] at Rikers Island Jail. Polanco was being held on $500 bail owing to misdemeanor charges for a prostitution-related offense, in addition to the lowest-level drug charge.  The New York medical examiner has not yet [invented] the cause of her death…Decrim NY…[said] “Polanco’s death was caused by an all-too-common overlap of three aspects of the criminal legal system: She was criminalized for sex work.  She was held on $500 bail for misdemeanor charges.  And she was placed in solitary confinement”…hundreds of people gathered in downtown Manhattan to pay tribute to Polanco and to join in her family and the broader LGBTQ+ community’s calls for answers…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical, representative cop:

 A Florida [cop]…has been fired and arrested after…he tried to lure a Polk County child for sex…Okaloosa County Sheriff’s [deputy]…Cansas Sadler, Jr., came in contact with the 9-year-old girl through an online game called, “The Wolf”…[and] pretended to be an 11-year-old named, “Jade” [as cops so often do to their intended victims.  Sadler]…engaged in a sexual conversation…and…ask[ed] the child if she wanted to have sex with a 31-year-old man named “Jason”…then, he [sent her a dick pic]…and…[asked her] to take pictures of herself [to] send to him…the suspect [eventually] called the 9-year-old but the little girl’s mother answered the phone and…call[ed] the cops…[who] traced Sadler’s IP address…

Grady Judd of Polk County expends a lot of effort tricking young men into having sexual conversations with imaginary teenagers, when all he has to do if he wants to arrest “sex predators” is “investigate” his own men.

Not Good Enough (#687) 

Another shitty drug intended to capitalize on an imaginary “problem”:

U.S. [bureaucrats] approved a second drug to [capitalize on what is defined by profiteers as] low [in comparison to men] sexual desire in women…bremelanotide…will be marketed by Amag Pharmaceuticals…under the brand name Vyleesi…it’s a shot that comes in an auto-injecting pen that…would [be] use[d] about 45 minutes before [planned] sex…A spokeswoman for the company said it plans to start selling the drug in September and will announce its price closer to the launch…the FDA said about 25% of patients treated with Vyleesi benefited from an increase in sexual desire score, compared with about 17% who took a placebo.  [This net 8% increase in “desire” was paid for with a] 40% [rate] of…nausea…13% needed medications to [stop throwing up]…8% [of the test group] discontinued due to nausea…the National Women’s Health Network…urged women not to use Vyleesi until more is known about its safety and effectiveness…

So these idiots want women to give themselves a shot and then wait 45 minutes for the outcome, which is 5x as likely to be puking than it is to be horniness.  A nice present would be far more effective, without the vomit.

Disaster (#832)

It’s easy to for US sex workers to forget that FOSTA harms sex workers all over the world:

…[Since] FOSTA…it can seem like two parallel internets have formed:  one ostensibly “free” of sex work, and another, hand-built in the margins by workers now excluded from mainstream platforms…This has especially significant consequences for the more vulnerable sex workers…In the wake of FOSTA, there has been a growing focus on sex worker-led technology companies, set up to address the workers’ own needs…Lola Hunt and Eliza Sorensen, based in Melbourne, have launched several technology platforms serving sex workers through their company, Assembly Four.  One is Switter, a social media network for sex workers; another is a paid advertising platform called Tryst Link.  Neither are hosted in the US, to avoid FOSTA exposure…the Assembly Four team has been “completely bootstrapping” its work…because they haven’t yet been able to receive venture capital funding…getting merchant facilities from banks or the means to accept payments…has been a “nightmare”…

Full of Themselves (#886)

This one eschews the usual puritanical lingo in favor of Copese pomposity:

The Kitsap County [Washington] Sheriff’s Department…[lied about] a large-scale operation…Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office [bloviated that]…”a significant military/U.S. Navy Nexus was identified” [meaning there’s a naval base nearby and sailors often go to massage parlors.  Pigs also oinked that]…they rescued human trafficking victims [when in reality they merely arrested 4 migrant women ranging in age from 51 to 61]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915) 

Government didn’t need to impose mass surveillance because bootlickers volunteer to be spied on:

…police departments around the country are encouraging [peasants] to register their doorbells to police [so the cops can use them at will to spy on anyone coming or going from their houses].  Right now there’s no such program in Huntsville or Madison [Alabama.  “Crime” rhetoric and a lying sentence fragment, then pigs hilariously claiming] …they respect citizens’ rights to privacy…

The Crumbling Dam (#917)

It’s OK; I’m sure no more than a few dozen people will OD in the next year:

A new effort by California [polticians] to permit a safe injection facility to be built in San Francisco has been put on hold until next year apparently due to struggles getting it through the State Senate…last year state [politicians] crafted a bill that would guarantee…people running a permitted SIF in San Francisco wouldn’t be arrested by local or state police…but when it got to Gov. Jerry Brown, he vetoed it.  In his veto letter, he argued that…drugs [are bad]…

Spotlight (#943)

Take a look at this fawning praise of a fascist surveillance organ, then click on the subtitle link above to see the truth about this topic:

[A pig’s self-aggrandizing, evidence-free tall tale of] the rescue [of a “child” of indeterminate age] illustrates [the level of “evidence” accepted by mainstream reporters when writing about] Thorn…[the fascist surveillance corporation] cofounded in 2009 by actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher…Thorn…was named one of eight projects that will share in $280 million from TED’s philanthropic offshoot, the Audacious Project…Thorn initially worked to pressure technology companies to [censor] more…more recently, it shifted to…a more [profitable] strategy of producing and operating new technology for use by…the [police state]…Thorn…offers a[nother] way…[for cops to use] facial recognition…[to] endanger…privacy…[starting by putting every sex worker in the world into a database for pigs to root through]…

Those who wondered why I was skeptical of WIRED‘s recent article about Backpage:  this gullible, swallow-whatever-an-authority-figure-says-about-sex-work-no-matter-how-stupid approach is typical of their treatment of the topic.

Loose Cannons (#947)

Even reporters are starting to see how stupid & blatantly illegal the actions of cops and collaborators were:

Because of Kraft, what would have been a police blotter entry in local newspapers has made international headlines…[thus drawing much-needed outside attention to the] fates of the women [violated, attcked, robbed and caged by cops]…The [persecu]tion that became State of Florida v. Robert Kraft…began when…a [busybody] Florida Department of Health inspector, Karen Herzog, [snitched to pigs] about…Bridges Day Spa…[claiming] proof of human trafficking [consisting of]…a “refrigerator filled with food and condiments”…[even though] Herzog’s state inspection report…attached two photos of a refrigerator that would not look out of place in any workplace kitchen…[after the busts, pigs oinked to reporters that]…“these women…are not citizens and don’t have residency cards, and so they’re afraid…of being deported,” [said lawyer Tama] Kudman…“Well, at [Orchids of Asia], every [masseuse] was not only either a resident or a citizen, but they were in their 30s and 40s.  These were not children.  These were women who held multiple massage and cosmetology licenses.  [The truth] couldn’t have been further from the stereotype that they were trying to paint when this case first occurred”…[owner Hua] Zhang [is] a 58-year-old…grandmother who has a master’s degree…The Martin County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to [steal her]…home, as well as the homes of her son and cousin…“When you start using slogans like human sex trafficker, prostitute, john, these [terms] have a lasting effect on the people that they’re used against,” Kudman said…“our state attorneys and our sheriffs have to be more careful with their allegations before they destroy people’s lives”…

Despite a slightly-Swedish-scented undertone, the article isn’t bad for the mainstream media.

Read Full Post »

I’m going to put a cap in your ass.  –  Phoenix “police officer” professionalism

I’ve been sharing a lot of vintage instrumentals lately, so here’s one you’ve undoubtedly heard (because it was ubiquitous in TV commercials, “Please Stand By” notices and other TV artifacts of the ’70s) but may not have known the name of before.  The links above it were provided by Scott Greenfield, Nina Hartley, Popehat, Eric Sprankle, Stacey Swimme, and Amy Alkon, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

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…

Read Full Post »

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”…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »