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Posts Tagged ‘Backpage’

Police killing is not the work of vigilant warriors defending society…and sometimes going too far: it is the…petty tyranny of a taxpayer-funded bureaucratic lobby group.  –  Lyman Stone

The Proper Study (#652)

Another study proves what sex workers have been saying all along:

In a new study just published in The Journal of Sex Research…men…said paid sex offered them a space where they could overcome their insecurities and low self-esteem and sidestep their awkwardness in approaching women…paid sex allowed for a shared understanding of what was (and was not) going to follow sex.  Both the man paying for sex and the sex worker understood the nature of the transaction…with a sex worker, men said they did not worry about being sexually inexperienced…Some men indicated that through paid sex they actually could learn new sexual skills that they might use with other women in other circumstances…Paid sex was also described as giving some men a non-threatening context where they felt safe to engage in sex despite their sexual concerns, including the fear of being unable to have an erection…The findings further expand [academic] ideas of what it is that men are really buying when they pay for sex and suggests [amateurs]…underestimate the amount of emotional labor that goes into sex work…

I Spy (#958)

A politician claims that spying isn’t actually spying:

A secretive unit of the Maine State Police…gather[s] information about groups and organizations even when they are not suspected of crimes, including people who are participating in protests…Michael Sauschuck, the [chief pig] commissioner of…Maine…testified at a…legislative hearing about…a federal whistleblower lawsuit filed by a state trooper…[who] was retaliated against after reporting that the intelligence unit illegally used surveillance tools to monitor innocent citizens…Sauschuck refused to directly respond to the allegations in the lawsuit…but…acknowledged under questioning that the center does [spy] on citizens, including groups that organize public protests…[yet still claimed]  “We’re not spying on people”…the Maine State Police might be using powerful new technologies to scan your face and intercept your cellphone signals, and don’t have to tell the public because of an unusual provision in state law…the center…also…participated in the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, which involves [ratting out people they spy on]…to federal agencies [based on flimsy suspicions and]…racial profiling…

The Missing Word (#981)

If only there were a concise word for smuggling humans to sell them:

…Paul Petersen plead guilty to the offense of Conspiracy to Smuggle Illegal Aliens for Commercial Advantage and Private Financial Gain…Petersen…orchestrated the travel of several pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the Western District of Arkansas…to arrange adoption of their children by families living in the United States…[even though that’s illegal under a] 1983 [compact between] the United States…and…the…RMI…

The Monsters Are Due (#1040)

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

After a chaotic saga unfolded…centering around two missing teenage girls and a [Milwaukee house fantasized to be] a sex trafficking hub…police said…there is no indication the girls were ever there — or that the house was used for such activity.  The girls, ages 13 and 15, were found by one of their mothers more than three miles away…[but before that] three people [were] shot — including two 14-year-olds — plus…a house [was] set on fire twice and an unknown number of [people were] hurt by the tear gas and rubber bullets police fired into a scattered crowd…

Whimsical Notions (#1051)

Since the “trafficked slaves” myth isn’t getting results any more, the government is now claiming sex workers are actually spies:

Trafficked women in Bahrain, some working as prostitutes, are seeking to collect sensitive intelligence from U.S. sailors that they can later sell, according to [NCIS spook]…Joe Minucci…in [an indoctrination video]…“they sell that information, and that’s how they make more money in order to get themselves out of the [lucrative job] they’re in,” he said…

Bread and Circuses (#1051)

FOSTA just keeps splashing egg all over the feds’ stupid, violent faces:

For years leading up to the passage of FOSTA, we were told that Congress had to pass the law…because so many women were “at risk” due to trafficking….[on] Backpage…of course, the actual stats that were provided turned out to be fake and Backpage was seized before the law was even passed.  The charges against the founders did not include sex trafficking charges…with all of the moral panic around the need to pass FOSTA,…the DOJ had not used the law a single time to go after any “sex trafficking” site.  Instead, as we predicted, the law was being used in nuisance lawsuits…Finally…the DOJ made use of FOSTA in shutting down a website and arresting its operator…the DOJ conveniently mashes together sex work and sex trafficking, because that’s the kind of thing law enforcement likes to do…[so] plenty of…sex workers, who previously had relied on Backpage to remain safe and now relied on Martono’s sites, are again put in danger.  The Hacking/Hustling collective…put out a press release calling out what a stupid, counterproductive move this is…

The Cop Myth (#1052)

Even political conservatives are beginning to recognize the danger of police violence:

[Cops murder] about 1,700 Americans every year.  In other words, police killings have made up about one out of every twelve violent deaths of Americans between 2010 and 2018…including American military deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere during that window.  Indeed, more Americans died at the hands of [cops] during that period (about 14,400) than died while on active military duty (about 9,400).  Police violence in America is…disproportionate to the actual threats facing [cops]…historically, police unionization has led directly to increases in police killings, but no change in crime…When incompetent DMV workers are not fired, when abusive teachers are reshuffled around schools, when bureaucrats use administrative gimmicks to thwart the electorate’s desire to rein in excessive spending, we conservatives are quick to (correctly!) identify the pernicious work of public-sector unions.  Whereas all workers should have some say in their employment conditions, such as via unionization, public-sector workers already get a say in their employment conditions without a union: they get to vote on who their boss is!  Public sector unions give the bureaucrats double the “votes” of the rest of us…The difference is that, unlike other public sector unions, police unions have military-grade equipment they can use to violently crush protests against their abuses, and they are legally immune from most consequences.  They’re teachers’ unions, but with tanks and endless get-out-of-jail-free cards…

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The government has adopted a win-at-all-costs approach and [an attitude] that the ends justify the means.  –  Michael Piccarreta

Elephant in the Parlor

Politician takes bribes, hires whores.  Yawn.

…federal [documents]…suggest…a years-long trail of bribery between City Councilmember Jose Huizar and a Chinese development firm with a megaproject slated for downtown Los Angeles…[real estate broker] George Chiang…started a real estate consulting company in 2014…that directed money, consulting fees, casino chips, flights on private jets, luxury hotel stays, prostitutes and escort services between developers…[politicians] and [bureaucrats]…in exchange for approval of an 80,000-square foot commercial project and other downtown developments…

Dangerous Speech (#958)

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

fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1…accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client privileges…despite repeated warnings from defense counsel…and two [court] orders…the government continued to question former Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer concerning confidential legal advice that was subject to joint defense and representation agreements with other defendants…the government grilled Ferrer repeatedly through “seven successive interviews” over the course of 13 months, beginning the day of his plea deal…In doing so…the government engaged in “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” misconduct.  Prosecutors “willfully invaded” Lacey and Larkin’s attorney-client privileges in order to “gain a tactical advantage in the case,” thereby violating the defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel…Barring outright dismissal, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the harm done to the defendants and possible sanctions against the government, such as the exclusion of Ferrer as a witness, the suppression of other evidence, or the disqualification of the entire prosecution team…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

The human cost of a prohibitionist crusade:

In March 2019 my life was turned upside down…by feminist groups who said I needed saving…Becoming a dancer at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino was the best thing I’d ever done.  It gave me the confidence I desperately lacked…[but then] Not Buying It sent private [dicks] into our club to buy lap dances and secretly film the women dancing.  They did this to “prove” to Sheffield Council that Spearmint Rhino was in breach of its own code of conduct and should have its licence revoked.  They filmed women naked and without their consent, and this was only the beginning…it traumatised the women …[and] hurt their families, their friends and their children…the ensuing campaign to close our club left me extremely anxious and scared to go to work…I was paranoid that every person who came into the club was another undercover investigator trying to take my job away.  I was always on edge, watching people, checking buttons for cameras, looking in people’s ears to see if they were wearing earpieces.  I was hyper-aware of customers who used their mobile phones and frightened that they were secretly recording me.  It was torture.  Work went from being the place I felt safest to a place I felt judged and under attack…

Business As Usual (#1001)

Every so often one of these sadly-typical stories gets more media attention:

Agents with…DHS…in Arizona have been “fighting” human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to [rape women they claim to be]…victims…[then] seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.  Federal agents [raped] at least 17…”Asian females” working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018…the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges…[the] scenario…is far from an isolated incidentnational and mainstream media have been discovering and disapproving of “Operation Asian Touch.”  This is great—so long as nobody mistakes what happened in Mohave County for an atypical investigation.  If you track initial claims about massage parlor-based human trafficking through to their actual conclusions, you’ll almost always find law enforcement simply targeting sex workers, small-business owners, immigrants, and the people who patronize them with harassment, assault, arrest, property seizure, prosecution, detainment, and deportation. And the “victims” they allegedly set out to save frequently wind up facing criminal charges.  There are only two roles women can play in this Homeland Security-led charade: helpless sex slave or conniving human trafficker.  (Both types…are invited to stroke ICE agent penises)…

I Spy (#1006)

But please, tell me more about “wings” and “blue states” and “democracy”:

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.  The measure must be approved…by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law…

Like Houses (#1031)

All they were waiting for was a strong enough excuse:

In India, the COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect excuse for the government to consolidate its pre-pandemic surveillance ambitions.  Since May 4, as restrictions began to ease, the government has mandated the installation of its contact-tracing smartphone app for anyone who works…or uses public transport.  Failing to do so is criminal…Unsurprisingly, digital rights and civil society organizations are pushing back on the new di[ktat]…

Reawakening

A high-profile example of the quiet rebellion that’s already started everywhere in the US:

Alameda County [bureaucrats] backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.  Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting …”If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me“…Musk’s civil disobedience against the COVID lockdown regime is a high-profile instance of a wider trend…

Social Distancing (#1036)

At its core, Australia is still prohibitionist:

…as Australia eases itself out of COVID-19 restrictions…in [a] three-stage framework…strip clubs and brothels were specifically listed “to remain closed” even in stage three…other businesses with…skin-to-skin contact – like waxing, massages, tattoos, bathhouses and saunas – are allowed to open in stage three.  Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim [said]…”We hoped this…outbreak wouldn’t be used as an excuse to turn back…gains made in sex worker legislation, but it’s hard to see this as anything but discrimination, considering similar businesses are allowed”…federal [bureaucrats] recommended brothels and strip club venues should stay shut [indefinitely]…sole operator sex workers…are banned after being classed as “non-essential”

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand:

The national lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 means it’s business as usual for many Kiwis, including sex workers…The New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective (NZPC) released guidelines for sex workers on their website…with a checklist of hygiene practices and safety measures workers, brothels and massage parlours should be implementing…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

No human is truly free while governments claim the “right” to lock people in filthy, disease-ridden cages:

In the vast majority of the world’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons…physical distancing is simply not an option.  In situations where close confinement, shared facilities and spaces and poor hygiene are commonplace…prison[ers]…are living in constant fear of the ticking COVID-19 time bomb…UNAIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are calling on leaders to make detention a last resort, to close drug rehabilitation detention centres and to decriminalize sex work, same-sex sexual relations and drug use.  They are urging countries to release the people who can be released…The Government of Ethiopia…has released more than 30,000 prisoners and has heightened sanitation measures.  Indonesia is releasing more than 50,000…Iran is releasing 40% of its total prison population, 100,000 people, while Chile is set to release around 50,000 people…

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Government demands for new…surveillance powers are all too familiar.  –  Adam Schwartz

Feminine Pragmatism 

I’m sure a “pimp” must be forcing her to do this:

…The sudden disappearance of paychecks, combined with a wide array of monthly debt payments and the declines in any investments, is forcing some millennials to take desperate measures…Jayci Cumberledge…in Amherst, Ohio…spent her last $80 in savings to make her monthly car payment shortly after the gastro pub where she worked closed in mid-March…She has since made some money by selling pictures of her feet to people with fetishes who found her online after she put a joking post on Twitter…

Dangerous Speech (#954)

The government’s case against the former owners of Backpage is totally unraveling:

…On March 30, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt federal prosecutors yet another setback in the government’s two-year-long quest to [steal] millions of dollars in publishing assets belonging to veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, former owners of the 17-paper Village Voice Media chain of alt-weeklies and co-founders of the now-defunct…Backpage…Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kucera had sought to block a First Amendment challenge by Lacey and Larkin to the seizures, lamely arguing — much as he had a year ago…that the appellate court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.  But a two-judge panel of the Ninth rejected Kucera’s motion to dismiss…the same judges [also] granted Lacey and Larkin’s request to expedite their appeal, warning the government that no requests for extensions of time would be approved “absent extraordinary and compelling circumstances.”  With an April 28 deadline set for the government’s response, and an optional reply from the appellants due 21 days thereafter, oral arguments concerning the civil asset seizures could be scheduled as early as June…

Working From Home

The hypocrisy of the prohibitionist New York Times is appalling:

As 16 million people in the United States have applied for unemployment benefits in the last [few] weeks, a rush of people…have sought new work performing in sexually explicit live broadcasts.  And, as nearly half the world is under some form of stay-at-home orders, people who do this work are also seeing a large growth in customers…The performers work for tips, to [circumvent] laws that [criminalize] sex work…CamSoda…said there had been a 37 percent increase in new model sign-ups this March…ManyVids…[saw] a 69 percent increase…But this growth isn’t always translating into more money for the models…[who report that] new viewers aren’t tipping as much as they typically would…

You Were Warned (#1023)

We told you so, over and over and over again:

…the EARN IT Act…[is designed to destroy] Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and…possibly encrypted communication writ large, under the guise of (what else?) protecting children…Signal developer Joshua Lund said in a blog post…that Signal would face insurmountable financial burdens as a result of the law and would therefore be forced to leave the US market rather than undermine its encryption to stay.  Given that Signal is recommended and used across the Department of Defense, Congress, and other parts of the US government, this would be a seemingly problematic outcome for everyone…

Like Houses (#1027)

Government can always be counted on to use any excuse to expand tyranny:

From cellphone tracking to drone eyes in the sky, perused health records, and GPS ankle bracelets, an epidemic of surveillance-state measures is spreading across the world…in the name of battling the spread of COVID-19…since every crisis is used to justify incursions into our liberty.  But long after the virus has done its worst and moved on, we’re likely to be stuck with these invasions of our privacy—unless we push back, hard…China…force[d] people to install cellphone apps that assigned them a code according to (allegedly) their perceived risk of spreading contagion.  Permission to travel or enter public spaces depended on that code even as the software also tracked their whereabouts and [handed] data on users’ phones [to] the authorities…South Korea…tracked people’s cellphones and credit card usage…Spanish authorities turned to aerial drones to detect unauthorized gatherings of people—already a cringe-worthy concept for those of us disinclined to ask permission to meet with friends.  Loudspeakers on the drones then ordered violators to return home…in the U.S., government officials joined with tech companies to paw through the location data that most of us share with cellphone apps…Privacy [laws] have also been [violated] to allow [government officials to root through] patients’ medical records

Social Distancing (#1028)

Amber DiPietra on the US disaster compensation check:

There is NO QUESTION on the 1040 form that asks what you do for employment or who you work for.  The only questions regarding employment is “occupation” and you can state that you are self-employed…Everything you have read…about our community members not being eligible for the stimulus check is NOT TRUE…there is no indication that independent workers or “gig” workers will not get a stimulus check.  Adult oriented BUSINESSES like Porn companies and Cam Platforms, will not be eligible for the BUSINESS stimulus LOAN…EVERYONE who files a 2019 tax return will get a stimulus check.  If you DON’T file a 2019 return, you will definitely NOT get a stimulus check…People who are on social security or disability WILL receive a stimulus check AUTOMATICALLY…

Social Distancing (#1029)

The government of Japan seems more susceptible to shaming than that of the US:

Japan has reportedly reversed its decision to discriminate against sex workers who are economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic…Health and Labor Minister Kazunobu Kato declared that Japan’s legal sex workers will be eligible to receive government assistance…the…original…plan…was widely criticized for being discriminatory…It is unclear how self-employed sex workers would be treated…

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I’ve got an article on the damage inflicted by FOSTA in the new print edition of Reason, and I think y’all should show your support by picking one up!  But if you have neither subscription nor newsstand handy, here it is online.  A sample to get you started:

That prohibitionist laws are always, always, enforced more heavily upon the poor, the disadvantaged, and minorities is not, I think, controversial.  One would have to contort one’s brain in a manner worthy of a Cirque du Soleil performance to ignore the facts that cops more heavily patrol poor and minority neighborhoods and actively look for people to arrest; that judges and juries have less sympathy for those they perceive as “others”; and that, because poor people overwhelmingly lack the resources to mount an adequate criminal defense (or even bail), they are far more likely to plead guilty to whatever a prosecutor offers, just so they can get it over with and at least try to get back to their lives…Most of y’all reading this probably already know that while white and nonwhite Americans use recreational drugs at roughly equal rates, minorities are arrested more frequently, charged more heavily, and more frequently caged (and for longer terms).  And most of y’all can probably guess that it’s the same with sex work:  While there are sex workers and clients of every description, sex workers of color, trans sex workers, and street workers are dramatically more likely to be hassled, arrested, and even robbed or raped by police than their white, cisgender, and indoor-working counterparts.  Black trans street workers, falling into all of these groups, practically have targets painted on their backs; they’re often arrested merely for daring to show their faces outdoors, a phenomenon that activists call “walking while trans.”  The same is true for their clients:  Poor minority men who can only afford the (generally lower-priced) services of street workers are far more likely to be ensnared by policewomen looking to entrap them into committing a crime than are affluent white men who visit “high-end” escorts who discreetly do business in apartments or houses in “nice” neighborhoods.  In one raid a few years ago, nearly every surname of the men arrested in a “john sting” in Seattle was Hispanic, despite the fact that Seattle is, to put it politely, much less ethnically diverse than most U.S. cities…

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Moral panics are a natural, if unfortunate, byproduct of the tribal instincts of the great ape called homo sapiens.  They tend to last roughly a generation from start to finish (sometimes, mercifully, a little shorter) and can cause tremendous damage to individuals’ lives and society in general before they’re over.  Clever sociopaths have always found ways to profit from these periodic waves of hysteria; for example, evil opportunists would often hurl accusations of witchcraft at widows whose land they wanted to steal.  But the first major moral panic of the internet era (the Satanic Panic was already moribund by the time AOL began its first major marketing campaign) has created a market for profiting from hysterical propaganda on a scale never before seen in human history.  It’s impossible to even guess how large what Laura Agustín dubbed the “rescue industry” has grown, but when its connections to the garment industry are considered, it’s probably safe to say that it’s comparable in size to its own imaginary claims about “sex trafficking”.  In 2011 the propagandists declared January “National Human Trafficking Awareness Month”, probably due to the increasing popularity of the myth that the Super Bowl, which is held in the first few days of February, is a huge driver of “sex trafficking”, with huge cargoes of “sex slaves” trucked into every host city, unimpeded by the usual logistics of transportation and lodging.  Cops and other police-state organs have taken advantage of the hype as an excuse to present their pogroms and “stings” as “sex trafficking operations”, and as a result every January now produces an avalanche of idiotic propaganda (absurdly referred to as “education” or “raising awareness”) that is shockingly stupid even by the very low standards of “sex trafficking” propaganda.  Take this incredible mass of lies from KAKE in Wichita, Kansas:

…“Back Page [sic] needed to be shut down,” [oinked vice pig] Brent Huhman…“they were exploiting…women”…It was considered a hotbed for human trafficking, which can lead to missing people.  The site’s creators would defend the user-posted advertisements…they were not responsible for [under section 230 of the CDA]…However, [federal propaganda claimed] it…pushed moderators to approve [questionable]…ads [despite ample evidence to the contrary]…

The rest is the usual hodgepodge of local “news” copsucking, yellow journalism, parent-scaring, bogus math, BDSM sexual fantasies, surveillance cheerleading and more.  This article from KDRV in Medford, Oregon is every bit as moronic:

Oregon police report that they encounter 3-5 victims of human trafficking per week; 80% of these victims are women, 50% are children.  “People don’t realize that sex trafficking with children is a silent epidemic in the United States,” said Kirsten Arreguin…of Redemption Ridge…“Portland is the second largest city for forced child prostitution in the United States right after Las Vegas”…Traffickers spend considerable time in areas where children congregate such as parks, malls, youth shelters and on social media in order to carefully lure their victims into sex slavery…

It is a sign of the incredible mathematical illiteracy rampant in the US that nobody questions a “report” which begins with “statistics” that add up to 130% (children cannot be women and vice versa, so the categories cannot overlap).  And the prohibitionist sexual fantasy of “pimps” hanging out at every playground is so sick that one has to wonder how anyone higher on the evolutionary scale than a cop could possibly take it seriously, until one considers that these are the same mouth-breathers who claim there are more “sex trafficking” cases in Oregon alone than in the entire United States (“…jail intelligence suggests approximately 595 minors and 1,191 adults are currently victims of sex trafficking currently in the Portland metro area…“); presumably “jail intelligence” is Copese for “tall tales told by prisoners trying to get on cops’ good sides”, because there aren’t even 500 full-service sex workers in Portland, much less “child sex slaves” (this fantasy claims about 1 “sex slave” per 400 adult men in the area).  Support for sex worker rights is growing all the time, and even some of the usual suspects are beginning to recognize prohibition for what it is.  But cops, politicians and profiteers are going to continue publicly masturbating while riding the gravy train until it finally runs off the rails for good.

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We might as well go down fighting.  –  unnamed Hong Kong protester

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

Australia[n cops’]…obsession with stamping out drug use at outdoor festivals has produced a twentyfold increase in strip searches over the course of a decade.  They have increased by nearly 50 percent in the last four years.  And…nearly two-thirds of the 5,400 strip searches performed by New South Wales police from 2017 to 2018 found absolutely nothing.  In the past three years, more than 600 people under 18 were subjected to police strip searches.  Three of them were 12 years old.  Seven were 13…The New York Times and The Guardian both report that festivals in New South Wales are now thick with police and their dogs sniffing around for…reasons to look inside young people’s underwear…

Surplus Women (#702)

One of this wannabe cop’s victims was only described as a “teen hooker” by the New York Daily News:

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver…is accused of murdering three women and attempting to kill a fourth…he…targeted young black women who [did] sex work…[because he figured] no one would notice if they disappeared…His attorneys contend [his] victims [were at fault because they were whores]…and [because he]…“doesn’t look like someone who would’ve done something like this”…Wheeler-Weaver…handcuffed [his fourth victim] and covered her mouth with duct tape before raping her…and almost strangling her to death…but…she convinced Wheeler-Weaver to take her back to the motel, where she had left her cellphone, then locked him out of the room while she dialed 911….[cops] who responded to the call were more interested in figuring out if she was a prostitute…so…months would pass before Wheeler-Weaver was arrested…[and while the cops fucked around] he [murdered another woman named Sarah] Butler…[whose] family…called the police [when she didn’t come home.  Of course the cops fucked around again, so]…Butler’s parents, sister and friends had taken matters into their own hands, logging into the 20-year-old’s social media accounts to see whom she had been talking with before she disappeared…[they] created a fake profile…to lure Wheeler-Weaver into a…[trap.  After he was finally arrested, cops found] Wheeler-Weaver had conducted a slew of disturbing online searches…including “How to make homemade poisons to kill humans” and “What chemical could you put on a rag and hold to someone’s face to make them go to sleep immediately”…Wheeler-Weaver, who had been working as a grocery store security guard, hoped to become a police officer [so he could rape and murder women with impunity]…

Guinea Pigs (#712) 

This toiletful of myths, lies, dehumanization, agency denial, eager and sloppy copsucking and bootlicking, wildly-exaggerated numbers, masturbatory fantasies, fascist cheerleading and other assorted sociopathy is so vile, I can’t even be bothered to make it tolerable by my usual editing.  The important facts are: it’s about a company named “Deliverfund” whose owners are “a group of former CIA, NSA, special forces, and [other assorted pigs and spooks] who collaborate with [vice cops] to bust sex [workers] in the U.S.” (yes, it’s so bad I even had to edit a measly pull-quote).  The rest is just the usual misogynistic, self-aggrandizing male BDSM fantasies about illiterate, passive, doll-like women so stupid we can’t even book a hotel room or put up a shitty ad, and the magical ninja pimps who control us completely.  The writer is so innumerate he can’t see how claims like “a pimp spends 6 to 12 months ‘grooming’ each victim into the trade” are impossible to reconcile with claimed numbers of “victims” (or even basic common sense); so illiterate he thinks the word “gruesome” is an appropriate description of sex work; and so oblivious to red flags that he cannot recognize that “DeliverFund also provided intel to assist the takedown of Backpage…[then] moved its headquarters into the former Backpage office in Dallas” is barely one moral step above putting human heads on a wall as hunting trophies.

Under Review (#733)

The European press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews:

This newsroom looked into a number of websites advertising European escorts, and on one particular site, over 1,207 entries were registered in Malta…one can even specify a locality…Escort profiles include pictures and a description of each girl…Some escort websites also allow users to leave a review of the escort, explaining their experience and services with the girls.  The reviews varied from very happy clients who left five-star reviews, to others who shamed and degraded certain escorts…some…comments…were extremely explicit and…many included internet sex slang and abbreviations of services particular escorts did or did not provide…

It must be a slow news month in Malta.

Stalkers in Blue

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

Hundreds of [cops] and [cop shop] staff have ill[egally] accessed police databases for their own ends including checking the criminal records of partners…237 of…[them were] disciplined for accessing the highly-sensitive police national computer or other IT systems in the past two years [but] just half of the 45 forces responded to [reporters’] requests, which suggests as many as 500 officers have [been caught] misus[ing] databases that contain confidential personal information on millions of people [and an unknown but much-larger number have done it without getting caught]…

Banishment (#936)

This story started out in the “Procrustean Bed” tag, but is now a better fit here:

In August 2018, the mayor of Houston…announced…they would sue [sex workers]…Bissonnet Street…has been [so overpoliced it has had]…3,800 reports of [so-called] crime in the area from the beginning of 2016 through August of 2018, and a quarter of them were for prostitution…The county filed a civil lawsuit against 50 alleged sex workers, 23 alleged [clients], and 13 alleged pimps…to ban these 86 people from engaging in a wide array of “prostitution-related activities”…[including taking a] bus…walk[ing]…down the street…[or] using their cellphones in the [“prostitution-free”] zone.  If they are caught breaking these [draconian and arbitrary] rules, they could face fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 and up to 30 days in [a cage]…a year later, the injunction is on hold…What the county called an “unprecedented step” was another way of saying that the model was [unconstitutional]…the suit…publicly named all 86 defendants along with their known addresses before a judge ordered the names sealed in May…[thus] putting already vulnerable women and their families in grave danger…nuisance abatement laws, which the county is basing the lawsuit on, are not supposed to target individual people; they’re meant to discipline businesses that flout laws, like bars that routinely serve underage patrons…Only one other place in the U.S. has tried [a similar scheme]…Milwaukee banned 75 sex workers from…three neighborhoods…in 2002.  [It] was…a failure…

Future stories about “prostitution-free zones”, formerly filed in “Forward and Backward“, will now appear here.

I Spy (#958)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

For years, the New York Police Department illegally maintained a database containing the fingerprints of thousands of [juveniles] charged as…delinquents — in direct violation of state law mandating that police destroy these records after turning them over to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services.  When lawyers representing some of those youths discovered the violation [in 2015], the police department dragged its feet, at first denying but eventually admitting that it was retaining prints it was supposed to have destroyed…the police department [now claims] that the database ha[s] been destroyed [just like they claimed the records were before]…The department has made no public admission of wrongdoing, nor has it notified the thousands of people it impacted, although it [claims to have] changed its fingerprint retention practices following Legal Aid’s probing…

All-Purpose Excuse (#973)

It’s rare these days for a US court to uphold the Constitution against the government:

In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled…that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional.  The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the…ACLU…EFF…and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion…[ACLU attorney] Esha Bhandari [said]…“By putting an end to the government’s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that…we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel”…“Travelers…now can cross the international border without fear that the government will…ransack the extraordinarily sensitive information we all carry in our electronic devices,” said Sophia Cope, EFF Senior Staff Attorney…Border [thugs] must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler’s device…

Dangerous Speech (#974)

The FBI intentionally destroyed exculpatory evidence in the Backpage case:

An October 25 evidentiary hearing…offered additional proof of the government’s bad faith in its prosecution of…the erstwhile owners of…Backpage…Witnesses…testified that when the federal government seized Backpage…the FBI failed to take proper steps to preserve the website as evidence…the defense has [repeatedly] informed the prosecution that it needs access to the databases…in the same condition as when they were seized…Tami Loehrs, a digital forensics expert…testified…that…she…tried using the forensic software that the FBI [claims] it employed to create mirror images of the servers:  FTK Imager…but…FTK Imager “is not validated to image FreeBSD” [the operating system Backpage used, so]…the process was unsuccessful…[also, Backpage’s] servers were “equipped with self-encrypting drives”…if the server’s hard drives remained in the server’s chassis…the information would “automatically decrypt.”  However, if you remove the drives from the chassis, “you’ve just scrambled all the data”…[yet the FBI claims it somehow] mirror-imaged an encrypted file [with software that couldn’t image it even if]…decrypted…

Quiet Genocide

Unlike Americans, Hong Kongers know tyranny when they see it:

…Hong Kong’s government, backed by mainland China, has responded to [protests] with all the finesse of a control freak who has lost control.  It seems to have decided that the best way to reestablish control is to crack down even more.  Meanwhile, about half of Hong Kongers say that, on a scale of zero to 10, they would rate their trust in the police at zero.  Before this current wave of protest, in June, just 6.5 percent picked zero on the same poll…This is our last chance, [protesters say] very matter-of-factly.  If we stand down, nothing will stand between us and mainland China…They talk…about Xinjiang, and what China ha[s] done to the Uighur minority…China may have wanted to make an example out of the region, but the lesson Hong Kongers took was in the other direction—resist with all your might, because if you lose once, there will be a catastrophe for your people, and the world will ignore it…

The Cop Myth (#981)

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

A six-month investigation of California’s Criminal Cops by a statewide coalition of news organizations found [cops] who…commit…[domestic] violen[ce]…routinely plead down to nonviolent misdemeanors for disturbing the peace or vandalism or unreasonable noise.  And those softer charges…allow abusive [pigs] to keep their guns — and keep [inflicting violence on whoever they like without consequences]…reporters uncovered the cases of more than 80 [cops]…who[se violence was so egregious they] were [actually] convicted in connection with a domestic-abuse charge in the past decade.  And that’s just a fraction of what’s out there because the state’s records on criminal conduct among police are too flawed to illustrate the true scope of the problem…

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Surveillance technology…rivals nuclear weapons in the threat that it poses to the future of humanity.  –  Evan Greer and Tom Morello

Droit du Seigneur

Though pimps are not common, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:

A [typical and representative] vice [pig] convicted of offering to [pimp] a [sow sexually role-playing a sex worker got away with a slap on the wrist and]…will serve [a mere] 90 days in jail [instead of being charged with “sex trafficking” as a non-cop would have been].  David Moss…of Lehi [Utah], was …[given a cushy] plea deal…to [avoid rape charges as well]…and [merely] plead guilty to patronizing a prostitute…

Under Every Bed

Population 13,255.  Seriously:

Drivers on westbound Highway 17 heading from Sudbury toward the Manitoulin turn-off will notice a new billboard between Nairn Centre and McKerrow that describes a Canadian law with a frank statement: “Buying sex is a crime.”  It’s a part of a [scam] by [prohibitionists]…to [profit from] human trafficking [hysteria]…”if there’s no demand then we won’t have the supply,” said [economic ignoramus] Natasha Falle, [who also vomited up a lot of ridiculous nonsense about]…13…years old…“These highways are part of a circuit in prostitution.  Highway 17 is a part of that because it’s so close to Sudbury.  If a trafficker is moving cross-country, they might make a pit stop on Manitoulin…we’re [hoping our billboard scares them away, like a scarecrow]”…

I honestly have to wonder sometimes what these ninnies’ fantasies about our lives actually look like in their narrow, frightened little monkey-brains.

The Rape Question (#895) 

Tech geeks create a “consent app” that is not only useless, but dangerous:

Stating that applications such as Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge provide too many options with reduced quality of interaction, the dating app Loly, soon to be available on iOS and Android, aims to “disrupt the online dating industry”…Loly removes human inter[ac]tion from the equation and instead relies on a patent-pending Heat Index to take control…generating a recommendation for suitable partners.  After connecting, users can then confirm each other’s identities through the in-built video call feature, allowing potential partners to ensure that they each match their profile pictures…All data are then encrypted and stored separately, meaning that the sexual preferences and personal information of users [supposedly] cannot be connected [until the pigs demand it]…When using Loly to meet partners for sexual encounters, users must first confirm they consent by selecting the option on the app and at the end of the exchange, they must again confirm that they consented.  If both users choose to use this option, the app can listen in during the sexual encounter and will respond to the use of safewords.  If triggered through voicing pre-registered safewords, the app will initially place a fake call from the app to the user’s mobile phone.  If there is no response on the app, the police will be automatically contacted [so they can smash down the door and murder both partners]…The practicality of this app response is…questionable…

The Prudish Giant (#897) 

Facebook is trying to become one of the cornerstones of modern fascism:

…The Bay Area has long been a sandbox for technology giants who are no longer merely occupying communities, but building and reshaping them.  In Menlo Park, an affluent, mostly white city of 35,000, Facebook…[funds] a police unit…to patrol the area surrounding its campus.  The bill comes in at over $2 million annually—big money in a small city.  This [increasingly typical] relationship has highlighted issues of policing ethics…“You create a danger when you have public servants being privately funded,” [said] J.T. Faraji, an East Palo Alto resident and founder of the activist group Real Community Coalition…

Hard Numbers (#912)

Another Australian state moves toward decriminalization:

Queensland has withdrawn draft laws from State parliament which would have increased police powers, shifted police and licensing authority coverage from brothels to anywhere sex work takes place, and allowed police to covertly film sex workers…police…in Queensland ha[ve used]…”entrapment-style tactics to pressure sex workers into offering blacklisted services“.  The proposed laws would have afforded the police additional powers to enter, search, film and [steal sex workers’] property…Sex workers continue to campaign for this process to lead to decriminalisation of sex work in Queensland in line with the government’s [claimed] commitment to repeal the current laws and decriminalise sex work…

A Broker in Pillage (#937)

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

Thanks to chronic abuse…by…police…the days may be numbered for South Carolina’s forfeiture system that allows cops to [steal]…cash and property of the people they arrest…Circuit Judge Steven H. John has ruled that the South Carolina’s civil asset forfeiture regulations violate the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the citizens.  Civil asset forfeiture…allows police and prosecutors to declare that any money or property owned by a [target] is “connected” to a crime…and…[steal] it for themselves.  And because this is a civil process, [they]…can do this without having to convict anybody…and [the victims]…have to fund their own lawyers…Local newspapers in South Carolina…discovered police agencies across the state had seized more than $17 million in assets across [only] three years…South Carolina [politicians are working on]…a bill which would…eliminate…civil forfeiture entirely…If it passes, South Carolina would join New Mexico, Nebraska, and North Carolina in completely eliminating [the vile practice]…

Across the Pond (#958)

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

After…police [pogroms against] street prostitution in Ilford, hundreds of flyers advertising the sex workers’ services have been dumped on the streets in recent weeks…[prudes vomited up a lot of nonsense about sex rays, “objectification”, and THE CHILDREN™!] and…Redbridge Council [bloviated a lot of idiotic nonsense while pledging to continue its pathetic, useless game of]…whack-a-mole…The council also said it is exploring legal ways of “going after” printing businesses who make the call cards [even though there are plenty of card-printing businesses on the internet, safely out of the reach of censorious ninnies]…

Only the mind of a prohibitionist could be so narrow and stupid as to fail to comprehend that people have bills to pay, so if violent thugs keep businesspeople from advertising their services in one manner, they will find another.

Dangerous Speech (#974)

The government keeps flagrantly hiding information in the Backpage case:

…Ariel Neuman, an attorney for one of Lacey and Larkin’s co-defendants, asserts that prosecutors falsely summarized evidence and misled the grand jury by omitting or excising exculpatory material.  Worse still, prosecutors poured gasoline on the pyre by “falsely, repeatedly and irrelevantly” alleging that the defendants “engaged in child sex trafficking and knowingly published ads for sex with underage children,” though the government did not charge the defendants with…sex trafficking…[only] facilitating prostitution…Neuman writes…”These are not minor details that the government got wrong; these are explosive allegations that had no place in the Indictment or in the presentation to the grand jury.  These are the types of allegations that can overwhelm reason…and lead to decisions out of anger and disgust, regardless of what else is presented.  The government’s conduct…warrants dismissal of the Indictment“…

Pyrrhic Victory (#976) 

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

Imagine showing up at a…concert and being required to stand in front of a device that scans and analyzes your face…a computer algorithm could then decide that you…look “suspicious” and should be flagged for additional screening…facial recognition…could…be used to track the minute details of your movements once inside.  Face scanning software could be used to police behavior — constantly scanning the crowd for drug use or rule-breaking…organizers [w]ould be forced to hand this trove of sensitive biometric data over to [pigs and spooks so they]…could pull people out of the crowd because they have an outstanding warrant…Industry giants like Ticketmaster invested money in companies like Blink Identity…who…marketed [the tech] as a convenient ticketing option to concertgoers.  But…artists and fans waged a grassroots war to stop Orwellian surveillance technology from invading live music events…Our campaign pushed more than 40 of the world’s largest music festivals — like Coachella, Bonnaroo, and SXSW — to go on the record and state clearly that they have no plans to use facial recognition technology at their events.  Facing backlash, Ticketmaster all but threw Blink Identity under the bus, distancing itself from the surveillance startup it boasted about partnering with just a year ago.  This…is the first major blow to the spread of commercial facial recognition in the United States…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#982)

There has literally never been a case of a kid getting drugged candy in his trick-or-treat bag:

Police in a New Jersey town are [trying to spread hysteria]…after a substance [they claim they] believed to be heroin was found in a local child’s haul of candy from a recent Halloween event…[cops pretend] the substance was…given to the child at [one of those castrated] Trunk or Treat event[s]…police [used the non-incident as an excuse to vomit “if you see something, say something” all over children’s holiday fun]…

“Believed to be heroin”.  You know, just like cops routinely arrest people for things they “believe to be” drugs which turn out to be things like tea leaves, cotton candy, donut glaze, and even bird poop.

To Molest and Rape (#984)

Cops show you what they are every day; why don’t you believe them?

A [typical and representative] Livingston Parish [Louisiana cop] and his wife, a…school teacher, have been arrested and accused of child rape and the production of child pornography…photos…show the two suspects nude with an unclothed child [an actual child, under 13]…Dennis…and Cynthia Perkins…were arrested Wednesday, Oct. 23…Dennis Perkins…[who] was [a member of] the…SWAT [gang] is also charged with obstruction of justice after…[he] toss[ed] his cell phone into a river [when his fellow pigs arrived to arrest him]…

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I understand that…people…think…”this protects my kids”, but what they should be thinking…is “Does this protect my rights?”  –  Mark Yuracheck

Surplus Women

Your government wants this to happen more often:

…[Jamel Alexander]…stomp[ed] a woman to death and le[ft] her body outside an apartment complex in Everett [Washington]…Alexander admitted…that he paid the woman for sex, but [claimed] when he left she was “alive and well”…[cops found] a van near the scene that contained women’s clothing, drops of blood and signs of a struggle. They also found a sports beanie…[which] Alexander [was wearing in]…apartment complex surveillance video…

Torture Chamber 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

A…[prisoner of the st]ate [of Connecticut had a heart attack due to]…being [repeatedly] pepper sprayed and [lock]ed in five-point restraints by [screws.  He]…had rigor mortis in his jaw and upper body by the time [screws bothered to take his corpse]…to Yale-New Haven Hospital…Carl Robert Talbot…struggled with serious mental illness all his life and had been jailed for breach of peace and trespassing…[screws attacked him for] refusing to leave the…shower area.  First they]…pepper spray[ed him three times, then locked him in restraints so he couldn’t breathe and dumped him in solitary confinement to die]…

Down Under (#410)

In the US, his victims would have no recourse:

A Canberra brothel operator…told prospective sex workers they had to perform sex acts with him to prove they could do the job…Bradley Lester Grey, 54, allegedly told the nine women they needed to complete “training” as they were new to the industry and needed to know what clients expected.  Grey went on trial in the ACT Supreme Court…on 16 counts of rape, 10 charges of committing acts of indecency, and one of attempted rape.  He has pleaded not guilty…

Cooties (#827)

UK cops keep desperately trying to draw others into their “sex slave” fantasies:

…police in Bristol have urged anyone who is renting out part or all of their home using sites like Airbnb should make themselves aware of the signs that modern slavery or sexual exploitation could be taking place within their properties…the organised crime bosses who have traditionally run brothels have…realised that they are far less likely to be caught if they can rent a property for a week at a time and set up “pop-up brothels” in someone else’s home…

Counterfeit Comfort (#878)

It’s good to see so many challenges to these medieval laws:

A group of [people condemned to the] sex offender…[registry] in Georgia is suing the Butts County Sheriff’s office for [trespssing and vandalism.  Last year]…Sheriff Gary Long directed deputies to place “Warning! No Trick-or-Treat at this address!!” signs in the front yards of over 200 [people without their permission]…from Oct. 24-Nov. 2.  The sheriff’s office plans to use the same tactic again this year, and three [of the victims] have filed suit…“The law allows the sheriff to put a list of [the] sex offender…[registry] at his office, at the courthouse, on the internet,” [said] the lead attorney for the petitioners, Mark Yurachek…“It does not allow him to go door-to-door telling people you have a sex offender living next door to you…They’re coming onto their property [without permission] and putting the signs on there”…Long [bloviated] that regardless of the Judge’s ruling…he would do [whatever he felt like doing]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#944) 

They actually admit that part of the point is to normalize constant surveillance:

…the technology company Bark…offer[s] schools free, automated, 24-hour-a-day surveillance of what students…writ[e] in their school emails, shared documents and chat messages, and sending alerts to school officials any time the [algorithm] flag[s forbidden thoughts]…Before his school used Bark, [one] principal said, school officials would not know [every single detail of]…a student[‘s life]…unless one of their friends [tattled]…Bark and similar tech companies are now monitoring the emails and documents of millions of American students…[and it] doesn’t turn off when the school day is over: anything students type in official school email accounts, chats or documents is monitored 24 hours a day…Tech companies are also working with schools to monitor students’ web searches…internet usage…and…public social media accounts…Privacy experts [explain that] pervasive monitoring…hurt[s] children, and may be particularly dangerous for [those with trust issues]…but…proponents…[claim] monitoring in school [years] helps train students for constant surveillance after they graduate…

Believe Them (#952)

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time“:

At least 25 Illinois prison employees participated in online conversations that mocked, demeaned or disclosed personal and medical information about transgender inmates…in two private Facebook groups, each with more than 4,000 members.  The degrading posts were written by [screws of all pay grades and euphemistic titles]…from across the state.  Members…outed LGBT+ inmates and openly discussed private information about them…Many posts reference a then-incarcerated transgender woman, Strawberry Hampton, who was transferred to a women’s facility…The comments emerged amid a series of lawsuits…including a class-action claim brought by six transgender women…[including] Hampton…[for persistent and pervasive] abuse and mistreatment…

Between the Ears (#966)

Any internet-connected device can be used to spy on you:

…to my horror, a female voice that I don’t recognize starts talking to my 18-month-old son.  He looks around the room and then at the ceiling, wondering who’s there…The voice is laughing…she says we have a nice house and encourages the nanny to respond.  She does not.  The voice even jokes that she hopes we don’t change our password…After about five minutes…the voice starts to get agitated at the nanny’s lack of response and then snaps, in a very threatening voice: “I’m [magically] coming [through the camera] for the baby if you don’t answer me, bitch!”…We unplug the cameras and change all passwords…Still helpless, I started doing the only thing I could [think of] do[ing]…I typed “Nest + camera + hacked” and found out that this happens frequently.  Parent after parent relayed stories similar to mine — threatening to steal a baby is shockingly common — and some much worse, such as playing pornography over the microphone to a 3-year-old…

To Molest and Rape (#966)

Cops show you what they are every day; why don’t you believe them?

In 2017, Carroll, Iowa [cop] Jacob Smith [was]…force[d to resign] after [he molested several]…teenaged girls.  The Carroll Times Herald, published by the local Burns family since 1929, [published the news as they were supposed to], including a comment by Smith’s ex-wife accusing the [typical and representative] cop of being a “pedophile” and revealing that Smith’s previous employer, another Iowa police department, had [also] fired him for [molesting]…a teen girl.  Despite the fact that everything the Herald reported was true, Smith (who admitted [molesting teenage girls] “wasn’t right” and “looks like shit”) was still able to launch a ruinous libel suit in retaliation, thanks to Iowa’s failure to enact anti-SLAPP laws to prevent this kind of conduct.  The judge found [in favor of] the Herald…but they still ended up $140,000 in debt for the portion of the legal fees not covered by their insurer.  Now, the paper is on the brink of bankruptcy, and begging for money on Gofundme

Dangerous Speech (#968)

…history’s being rewritten to claim FOSTA took Backpage down, despite that not being the order in which things happened.  The biggest issue, though, is that taking down these sites makes it harder to fight sex trafficking — and the feds know it…Reason‘s Elizabeth Nolan Brown…discuss[es] documents she recently obtained in which federal investigators repeatedly acknowledge that Backpage helped them do their job, and wasn’t run by a bunch of criminals…”

Quiet Genocide

Just in case you weren’t horrified enough by China’s “re-education” camps for Uighurs:

[A Uighur woman who escaped China] explained:  “They came to my house at night, put a black sack on my head and brought me to a place that looked like a jail…my husband and children [had alreadyescaped]…to Kazakhstan…I…was ordered to teach Chinese to follow detainees”…Singing of propaganda songs and reciting slogans such as “I love China”, “Thank you to the Communist Party”…and “I love Xi Jingping” are mandatory…Anyone who didn’t follow the rules was punished…Ms Sauytbay…was beaten and deprived of food for two days after she was hugged by a woman who asked her for help…[cops routinely subject] pretty girls…to…gang rape….Ms Sauytbay…saw [other torture victims]…covered in blood and with fingernails removed…

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Safer Alternatives

Maggie, where are you advertising these days?

As I wrote a few months ago, I plan to soon eliminate formal escort advertising; I have a comfortable number of regular clients and I get a lot of business from Twitter, this blog, my videos and books, etc.  But I haven’t quite reached that point yet, and I dropped Eros a few months ago because the flood of idiocy from both Eros management and unschooled would-be clients had become just too much for me to deal with.  Plus there’s this passage in their “Advertiser agreement”:

…Advertiser fully and knowingly expressly consents to the Company’s receipt and handling of…Business Data…notwithstanding when or under what agreement it was provided to the Company…Company has Advertiser’s express permission (without any additional consent) to use and maintain the Business Data however it sees fit, and provide any or all of it to any law enforcement authority, or in response to subpoena or other administrative, regulatory, or legal process or obligation including, without limitation, to a third party…the Company will not be responsible or liable in any way to the Advertiser for [this]…

Which, given what seems increasingly clear about both the company’s relationship to swine and recent US government statements about Eros, feels far beyond the ordinary indemnification boilerplate; accordingly, I’m advising all escorts who can afford to risk a temporary drop in business to desert Eros immediately if not sooner.  I think those of us who are financially-stable enough to lead the way to currently-less-frequented sites such as Slixa, Tryst and Have We Met? are ethically bound to do so now, before the government intentionally destroys Eros and leaves tens of millions of our sisters worldwide stranded as they were when Backpage was destroyed.  I myself am advertising on Slixa and Tryst, and plan to add Have We Met? soon.  As the number of us advertising on those sites increases, more clients will follow us there, so that when the inevitable disaster happens those sites will be popular enough with the gents to provide a comfortable income for those fleeing from the doomed Eros.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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These sites, these actors, these directors, these writers cannot keep using us, our bodies, and our stories to line their pockets while simultaneously refusing to support us and our needs.  –  Adrie Rose

Sex Work is Work

This could potentially be useful in winning the support of bureaucrats:

…gaining allies within governments remains a challenge…despite calls for decriminalisation by a number of international human rights organisations…and several United Nations agencies.  One of the biggest difficulties has been the…conflation of sex work with trafficking, which is linked to the belief that sex work is inherently immoral.  This [ignorant] view of sex work has shaped national policies for decades, pushing the industry outside the formal labour market and the scope of national labour laws and international standards.  However…the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a study on Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW)…[which] contains twelve dimensions of unacceptability…unacceptability in sex work manifests where these twelve dimensions occur, but the work itself is not treated as inherently unacceptable.  Used well, this framework could be a way for sex worker rights advocates to argue for the inclusion of sex work under national labour law systems…

Pyrrhic Victory (#615)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

[China’s] major tech city, Shenzhen…recently debuted a new system which allows people over the age of 60 to register for free subway rides, using their face as their ticket.  This…is also being experimented with in other cities including Jinan, Shanghai and Nanjing…[he excuse is] to speed up passengers moving through the barriers to get to platforms, as well as prevent fraud…

Under Every Bed (#734)

So much for the claimed “increase in sex trafficking in Montana”:

The FBI has cut in half the time its human trafficking agent in Montana will spend on [persecuting sex workers.  “Rescue” profiteer]…Penny Ronning…called the change “a blow” to anti-[sex worker] efforts in Montana…the decision…comes as the state brings on board two new [pigs] dedicated full-time to [harassing Asian massage businesses]…

Cooties (#797) 

Belgian cops have sadfeelz that AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies aren’t popular on their side of the Channel:

Sex workers in Bruges are renting rooms through…Airbnb for work, in what local authorities say is the start of a rising trend to “keep an eye on”…landowners who notice or suspect their properties are being used for sex work are encouraged to report them.  Failing to do so could put them at risk of being prosecuted for pimping…

Fallen Idol (#911)

This was a wise move on Stagliano’s part:

…Evil Angel [has] published its docu-porn Consent, which was originally slated to co-star James Deen, who has been accused of abuse by multiple women…following the numerous allegations against Deen, the company decided to stop working with him, but earlier this year, owner John Stagliano…[said] Evil Angel was welcoming Deen back…in a film…featur[ing] explicit sex alongside documentary-style footage exploring women’s agency within rough porn scenes.  Deen was cast after a woman performer asked to work with him for the film…[but] when the film finally hit the company’s site on Monday, there was no James Deen to be found…Evil Angel filmed a scene between Deen and Casey Calvert, the performer who requested to work with him, as well as an interview with Lily LaBeau, one of Deen’s accusers…Ultimately, all that footage was left on the cutting room floor.  (The film does, however, feature two other male performers who have been accused of on-set boundary violations)…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#922)

Seattle sex workers are pushing back on the narrative that destroying Asian masseuses’ livelihood constitutes “help”:

Last month, dozens of community members gathered…at Seattle City Hall to discuss consequences of the large-scale police raids on 11…”Asian” massage parlors back in February.  The months-long sting operation resulted in the “rescue” of 26 Chinese-speaking women…According to Elene Lam…this kind of rescue narrative misconstrues the nuanced realities of the sex industry…Lam is an expert at the Toronto-based organization Butterfly, a support and advocacy group for Asian and migrant sex workers. The event…called Rescue Hurts, was organized by API Chaya and other local advocacy initiatives to correct misinformation around sex work and to propose alternative solutions that do not rely on state or police intervention…

You Were Warned

This decision is necessary to prevent a cascade of predatory lawsuits that would make the tobacco & breast implant lawsuits look reasonable and moderate in comparison:

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has tentatively sided with tech company Salesforce in a civil lawsuit brought by 90 women who claim they were sexually exploited.  The suit is the first of its kind since…FOSTA…As a large business-to-business software company, Salesforce counted Backpage among its clients. [Ambulance-chasers]…allege that Backpage…enabled them to be trafficked for sex.  But Backpage [and its assets were] seized by the U.S. government last year, making [a lawsuit against it unprofitable]…hence, lawyers got to work targeting Salesforce…lawyers…led [their clints] astray, big time, while marking a new low in attempts to assign legal liability to internet companies for their users’ actions and words…[because] under a large body of legal precedent, Salesforce would be unequivocally shielded by Section 230 in this case…

Japanese Prostitution (#930)

This is still a hot-button issue in Japan:

…Miki Dezaki…ma[d]e a documentary…[asking] why…a small but vocal group of politically influential conservatives still fervently dispute [sic] internationally accepted accounts of Japan’s…sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women and others in military brothels during World War II.  He explored in detail the conservatives’ case that the so-called comfort women were in fact paid prostitutes…Dezaki…concluded that the conservatives were “revisionists,” and used terms like “racism” and “sexism” to characterize some of their claims.  Now, five of them are suing him for defamation…[the] official 1993 Japanese government apology to the comfort women….has been a festering wound for…[nationalists] including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who have insisted that the Korean women were not sex slaves because there is no proof that they were physically forced…

The Notorious Badge (#934)

Twitter welcomes fake sex workers while working to silence real ones:

Hustlers…has been mired in controversy since the early production phase.  The living inspiration for the lead role…is reportedly considering suing the production company for misrepresenting her…and using her life story without compensation …Jennifer Lopez and fiance Alex Rodriguez have been accused of going to strip clubs for “research” and paying dancers a pittance for their time…Show Palace, the club…where much of Hustlers was filmed, has attracted criticism for closing its doors for a week of filming, giving dancers and staff little notice and no back pay…But the most ridiculous, bordering on the outright absurd, aspect of the film…was the marketing campaign…#TweetYourHustle….Women across the country began chiming in with stories of their…“hustles”…but there was no evidence of…sex workers.  There were no pictures of strip clubs or dressing rooms, no pictures of porn production sets, no pictures of in-call hotel rooms or AirBnB’s from escorts.  There was nothing from the community that put Hustlers on the map…

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