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Posts Tagged ‘Backpage’

The police…should…sow trust among the community rather than alienate some…whose actions should not be considered a crime to begin with.  –  Udi Ofer

Saving Them From Themselves

Prosecutors have the magical ability to transform a “child” into an adult, but only for the purpose of wantonly destroying innocent lives:

Austin Yabandith, a 17-year-old from Superior, Wisconsin [was charged with sexual assault of a child, sexual exploitation, and possession of child pornography]…after [a school cop found nude] photos of Austin’s 15-year-old girlfriend on his cell phone—as well as a video of the couple having sex…the age of consent in Wisconsin is 18, which means Austin is…under-age, just like the girlfriend he is accused of exploiting.  But Wisconsin’s sex offender laws [allow]…17-year-olds [to] be charged as adults—even though the law considers them to be children and incapable of consenting to sex…In many U.S. jurisdictions, the law permits consensual relationships [between] underage teens if the [elder] is no more than four years older than the [younger]…Wisconsin is one of a handful of states with no Romeo and Juliet exception…even though it’s perfectly normal for teens to form…relationships with other teens, fall in love, and [have] sex…

And how did the cop “discover” the photos?  By intimidating the boy into “allowing” him to search the phone.

Above the Law  rapist-politician-richard-keenan

He once said, “Dedicating my life to Jesus has changed my life.”

…Richard Keenan, who served as mayor of Hubbard [Ohio] in 2010 and 2011, was indicted [for] eight counts of rape and 12 counts of attempted rape and gross sexual imposition…Keenan pleaded not guilty…but prosecutors said he admitted to sexually assaulting the girl over a three-year period, beginning when she was 4 years old…Keenan confessed…to his wife, a pastor, a social worker and his brother- and sister-in-law…[after] the child told Keenan’s wife about the abuse and she confronted him…he blamed the child for initiating the sex acts and described her as a “willing participant”…

The Shape of the Spoon

The reason why people view sex work as an “unacceptable” risk for women, while simultaneously encouraging us to become cops, join the military, etc:

…Ashley Thomas…the lead author of a recently published study…note that legal norms needn’t follow inaccurate beliefs about risks.  “The fact that many people irrationally fear air travel does not result in air travel being criminalized…Parents are not arrested for bringing their children with them on airplanes.  In contrast, parents are arrested and prosecuted for allowing their children to wait in cars, play in parks, or walk through their neighborhoods without an adult”…The researchers…created a series of surveys asking participants to rate the danger to children left alone in…specific circumstances…The reasons for the parent’s absence were varied randomly…“A mother’s unintentional absence was seen as safer for the child than a mother’s intentional absence for any reason, and a mother’s work-related absence was seen as more dangerous than an unintentional absence, but less dangerous than if the mother left to pursue an illicit sexual affair,” they write.  The same was true for fathers, except that respondents rated leaving for work as posing no greater danger than leaving unintentionally.  Moral disapproval informed beliefs about risks…“People…think that leaving children alone is…immoral and therefore dangerous.  That is, people overestimate the actual danger to children who are left alone by their parents, in order to better support or justify their moral condemnation of parents who do so”…

Pyrrhic Victory

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

Under a new set of rules, the FBI would have the authority to secretly use malware to hack into thousands or hundreds of thousands of computers that belong to innocent third parties and even crime victims…The new plan…is known formally as amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the proposal would allow the government to hack a million computers or more with a single warrant.  If Congress doesn’t pass legislation blocking this proposal, the new rules go into effect on December 1…The government [pretends] it needs this power to investigate a network of devices infected with malware…what’s known as a “botnet”.  But the…amendments…are woefully short on protections for the [privacy]…of innocent Americans…

Micromanagement

I really hate being right all the fucking time:

Over the last decade, collecting DNA from people who are not charged with — or even suspected of — any particular crime has become an increasingly routine practice for police in smaller cities…in Florida…Connecticut, Pennsylvania and North Carolina…While the largest cities typically operate public labs and feed DNA samples into the FBI’s national database, [small] cities…have assembled databases of their own…in partnership with private labs that offer such fast, cheap testing that police can afford to amass DNA even to investigate minor crimes…some…have quietly begun [coercing] people to turn over DNA…during traffic stops…or…chance encounters with police…Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania…pays for the testing…with…money [stolen from citizens]…Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement must have a reasonable suspicion that a person is involved in a crime before requiring a search or seizure.  But the notion of collecting DNA [by coerced “consent”] is still so new that the ground rules remain uncertain.  Who can give such consent and what must they be told about what they’re consenting to?  Who decides how long to keep these samples and what can be done with them?…Automated “Rapid DNA” machines allow police to analyze DNA right at the station in a mere 90 minutes…but…police departments’ private databases…are subject to no state or federal regulation or oversight…

Delightful Conversation 

The stupidity defense:

A man who ran an escort agency…was cleared of any wrongdoing.  Prosecutors proved Candy Girls offered sexual services…The…[various defendants all were found] guilty…[except for] Karl Jackson…[who] left school at 15 with no qualifications and always looked up to his older brother, Leon, who [owned the agency]…When interviewed by police in 2014, he said he ran a “companionship service” and never suspected the girls had sex with clients.  When asked what this involved, he said: “A companion who’s going to sit there and do everything your girlfriend did do, just watch telly and maybe clean your house, I don’t know”…

Wise Investment (#428)

A better monument to the victims would be eradicating the horrible laws that made their murders possible:

After years in the making, a sex worker memorial in Vancouver’s West End [was] unveiled…Friday.  The monument will honour the sex workers who once were part of a flourishing community before being expelled from the area…after a July 1984 Supreme Court injunction by Justice Allan McEachern…During the 1970s and ’80s, the West End was home to a tightly knit, diverse community of sex workers, she says, who kept the area pimp-free…The City of Vancouver has put $28,000 into funding the monument — the same amount it raised in fines against sex workers and consumers during enforcement of its 1982 bylaw…The memorial’s location, at Jervis and Pendrell Streets, marks a convergence of the old sex worker strolls.  It also is in front of St Paul’s Anglican Church, which often offered refuge…

Down Under (#518)

In the US, the government would’ve “helped” by prosecuting her:

A [New Zealand] sex worker’s five-year restraining order has been reinstated after years of harassment from a client that was obsessed with her.  After first paying for her services in 2012, the man began a systematic campaign of harassment when his advances were spurned…The man…would wait for her outside work and hired a private detective…to track down her identity…When she filed for a restraining order, the client went out of his way to protract a course of legal action that was used to “play” with the woman…The man, known in court papers as NR or Mr N, and woman, known as MR, have permanent name suppression and were referred to in court documents as R and M respectively.  The recently-released decision stated that M is allowed to file further evidence, seek reinstatement of indemnity costs and her restraining order for a period of five years has been reinstated…R’s appeals…have been dismissed and he must pay M’s costs…

My First Million (#568)

I hit the 5 million pageview mark just a little after 4:00 UTC last Tuesday, September 13th (a little after 9 PM Monday evening here in Seattle).  Thanks to all the readers who made it happen!
5000000

What Were You All Waiting For? (#654) 

Let’s hope other ACLU chapters start following New Jersey’s lead:

…The Newark Police Department’s 13 arrests on charges related to prostitution over the weekend raise concerns yet again about Newark’s embrace of failed and destructive “Broken Windows” policing strategies.  Using our criminal justice system to harass, arrest and incarcerate consenting adults who agree to exchange sex for money is a poor use of the NPD’s limited resources.  These arrests harm public health by stigmatizing sex workers and making their lives more difficult and dangerous.  These crackdowns harm public safety by stoking fear of police among sex workers…We urge the City to explore harm reduction…and to reject failed approaches of criminalization…Sex work should not be criminalized…

Of Course It Is

Because obviously, the prosecutor couldn’t simply exercise his discretion and decline to press charges:

[Celeste Guap]…remained jailed in Florida…but was offered a plea deal that could hasten her return to California…the assistant state attorney in Martin County, David Lustgarten, said Monday that he is charging Guap with misdemeanor battery.  “The evidence did not lead me to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a felony was committed,” he said.  Lustgarten said he offered a plea bargain to the young woman…

She was allowed to plead “no contest” to the reduced charge, and returned to California on Wednesday while her attorney belched out “sex trafficking” rhetoric.

Mote and the Beam (#672) 

Alas, the victory was short-lived:  “The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to block subpoenas issued to Backpage.com by a Senate committee that is investigating its alleged role in facilitating child sex trafficking…

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Almost none of [the “sex trafficking” narrative] is true—and the little that is technically true is so lacking in context that it’s utterly misleading.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Anatomy of a Boondoggle 

Just another example of “authorities” paying men to rape whores:

Police raided two flats used as brothels…in Nicosia [Cyprus], arresting a woman from China and detaining another female sex worker [pretended] to be a victim of human trafficking.  A civilian associate of the police visited the brothel and used marked bills to buy sexual services…After [raping the women] the man signalled the police by sending them an SMS message…Police located the two marked bills and [stole] 347 condoms, four of which had been used, along with four mobile phones, sex toys, a computer, and the amount of €345 in cash…

Something Rotten in Sweden

It’s good to see that even reporters who credulously parrot cop anti-whore propaganda now feel compelled to at least mention Amnesty’s findings:

…It can be difficult for police to build cases against traffickers when their primary witnesses — victims — are too afraid to talk [and] don’t trust police [who]…still conduct stings against sex workers…To create more trust among potential victims and curb the demand for commercial sex, sting operations should focus more on catching johns and pimps, [fetishist cop Mark Keller] said…He also suggested changing state law to the so-called Nordic model, which makes it legal for people to prostitute themselves but illegal to pimp, traffick or purchase sex…The model could help [cops] gain the trust of sex trafficking victims…Keller said.  However, it was recently scrutinized in a report by…Amnesty International…which found it subjected sex workers to increased police scrutiny, evictions and other penalties…

The Eye of the Beholder (June Updates)

Given that there is no possibility of a child, what exactly is the rationale behind this prosecution, other than “The ‘authorities’ find this skeevy” or “The law is the law”?

A mother and daughter are facing incest charges in…Oklahoma after authorities learned they were legally married earlier this year.  It is unclear what motivated Patricia Ann Spann, 43, and her daughter, Misty Velvet Dawn Spann, 25, to wed…Investigators also found Patricia Spann married her son in 2008.  He filed for an annulment 15 months later, citing “incest”…Police discovered the marriages late last month during a child welfare check-up.  Patricia Spann told investigators she had lost custody of her biological children as a young mother and only came into contact with her daughter two years ago…the couple believed the union was legal, since she was not listed as the biological mother on her daughter’s birth certificate.  Each woman faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic weiners-weiner

Maybe if we keep repeating this enough, it will eventually sink into the thick public skull:

…Despite popular headlines and self-promoting TV doctors’ proclamations to the contrary, sex addiction isn’t real…There is no doubt that some people have trouble regulating their sexual thoughts, desires, and behaviors.  But addiction has a real meaning and a real clinical definition…When addicts…are shown pictures of their drug of choice there is a clear and uniform response in their P300 brain waves…However, when UCLA researchers studied the response to viewing sexually explicit images in people who self-defined as being unable to regulate their porn viewing, the results showed no similar response…In fact, they found the only thing correlated with brain wave activity was sexual desire such that the higher their self-reported sexual desire, the more brain wave activity they showed.  The authors concluded that there was no evidence to say that even problem sexual regulation fit the definition of addiction as defined by brain response and that these people simply had high sex drives…

Divided We Fall (#13)

Why does Gay, Inc never speak up for sex worker rights until it’s too late?

Indonesian police are taking aim at Grindr and other gay social networking apps following the arrest of three men accused of running a “gay prostitution ring” [advertising] underaged boys for sex.  The arrests come amid an unprecedented uproar about homosexuality in the country, where it has never been a major political issue before this year.  Members of the legislature announced…they would…ban “gay propaganda” online.  The country’s Constitutional Court is likewise currently in the middle of hearings on a petition to [criminalize]…all sex outside of marriage…Police have told local media they have identified 148 victims of the network, though only 27 of them are [supposedly younger than 18]…“More than a few gay communities have been growing and targeting kids as victims,” said Asruron Ni’am Sholeh, chair of the Child Protection Commission…

“Targeting kids”…hmm, where have we heard that accusation before?  But back when the moral retards were just warring on female sex workers, the big GLBT organizations couldn’t be bothered to notice.

Finding What Isn’t There

Note how dysphemisms and weasel-words are used to conjure a story out of nothing but rumors, exaggerations and hysteria:

More than 1,000 women and girls have been apparent victims of sex trafficking in illicit cantinas in the United States that largely operate beyond the reach of law enforcement, the anti-[sex work] group Polaris [fantasized]…Half of the…cases…arose in Houston, Texas, a city near the Mexican border with a large Latino population…Cantinas…may disguise the cost of commercial sex in very high drink prices, and women are forced to flirt and drink with patrons…hotlines run by Polaris got reports of 201 cases of sex and labor trafficking, involving 1,300 potential victims at cantinas and bars in 20 U.S. states from 2007 to 2016.  More than half the victims were underage…At one illicit cantina in Houston, some victims were forced to have sex as often as 50 times a day, it said.  The cantina owner, convicted of sex trafficking, conspiracy and other charges, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this year…Cases can be hard to investigate and prosecute because traffickers and owners may hide their ownership of cantinas or liquor licenses, and because victims are too scared to testify in court, afraid that traffickers will retaliate by hurting their families…

“Apparent” victims, meaning reports from busybodies that added up to nothing.  Reports of “force” that don’t hold up because there isn’t any, which Polaris then insists are real except that the “victims” won’t admit it.  Impossibly-high claims of clients per day such as we haven’t seen in a couple of years now, using a high-profile racism-based railroading case as “evidence”, and moving the entire city of Houston hundreds of miles south to bolster their fantasy.  This is absurd even by Polaris’ standards.

Too Close To Home

Serious question: How do we nominate Liz Brown for a Pulitzer?

…On January 7, Washington officials [claimed]…women [had been] lured from South Korea under false pretenses and “held against their will” at local brothels.  [They crowed about seizing] a website where deviant men promoted and reviewed these enslaved women…King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg [said]…”The systematic importation of vulnerable young women for sexual abuse, exploitation, and criminal profiteering has been going on for years and it came to a stop this week…This is what human trafficking looks like.”  But as more information about the case has become available, Satterberg’s narrative starts to break down.  The reality—as evidenced by police reports, court documents, online records, and statements from those involved—is…a story of immigration, economics, the pull of companionship and connection, the structures and dynamism that drive black markets, and a criminal-justice system all too eager to declare women victims of the choices they make…

The piece is long, thorough and damning. I strongly urge you to read the whole thing, even if you need to do so in three sittings (it’s broken into three parts).  The “sex trafficking” narrative has been slowly crumbling, and in this important article Liz has handily taken a sledgehammer to a very prominent outcropping of it.

The Mote and the Beam (#613) 

Another victory against a political witch hunt:

The Supreme Court temporarily blocked a congressional subpoena that seeks information on how Backpage.com screens for possible sex trafficking in classifieds advertising.  The order…came hours after Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer asked the high court to intervene, saying the case threatens the First Amendment rights of online publishers…the…stay means that Backpage need not comply…until further action from the Supreme Court…The Senate panel has tried for nearly a year to make Backpage produce certain documents as part of its [persecution of sex work advertisements] over the internet.  After the website refused to comply, the Senate voted 96-0 in March to hold the website in contempt…

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-james-robinson

Go on, keep giving male cops power over women; what could possibly go wrong?

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations arrested Riverdale [cop] James Robinson Jr…[for] raping a woman he was transporting to jail…Robinson stopped the car next to an empty building near a Custom tire shop…as soon as the woman was released from jail she…asked the shop for footage from its security cameras…

One Born Every Minute (#644)

Interesting that this article doesn’t mention the anti-Backpage mob:

In a 2014 opinion in a case involving a woman who was drugged, raped, and filmed by men she met through the website ModelMayhem.com…the Ninth Circuit wrote that the CDA was not “an all purpose get-out-of-jail-free card for businesses that publish user content on the internet.”  The court found that Model Mayhem…could be sued for failure to warn as the site was aware of the model’s rapists because they were the subject of a criminal investigation for doing the same thing to other Model Mayhem users…the court found that Section 230 did not protect the website when it failed to do anything about the rapists it knew were prowling its site…a…Match.com case is very similar.  [Wade] Ridley, the suit claimed, had attacked other women using Match.com and the company had done nothing to warn love-seeking online daters about the possibility of attack.  The Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of some claims, but it found that the logic supporting the court’s Model Mayhem ruling applied here, too…

Of Course It Is

A step in the right direction, at least:

…Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley [announced] criminal charges against seven [cops]…O’Malley [also] said she found evidence of [rapist cops]…in Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Joaquin counties, all outside her jurisdiction.  She said she has  contacted her counterparts there to pursue criminal action…The most serious Alameda County charges — felony oral copulation with a minor — will be filed against Oakland [cop] Giovanni LoVerde and Contra Costa Sheriff’s deputy Ricardo Perez…Oakland [cop] Brian Bunton also faces a felony charge of obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor charge of engaging in prostitution.  Three other Oakland [cops] will be charged with crimes…Terryl Smith…LeRoy Johnson…and…Warit Uttapa…Dan C. Black of the Livermore Police Department…faces [four] misdemeanor charges…O’Malley said it’s likely that formal charges against the officers will not be filed until Guap, the case’s primary witness, returns to California…“If the [City of Richmond] does not pay for her to come back, we will pay for her airfare,” O’Malley said…

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Adults with critical thinking abilities realize they aren’t entitled to treat other people like characters in a dream sequence.  –  Anonymous

Deadbeats

I can’t emphasize this enough: Don’t try to get freebies from sex workers.  Seriously.

If you’re trying to date or hook up with someone you know from their work in escorting or porn, without paying them, your chances of success are close to zero…It may come as a shock to hear this.  You may feel like sexual attraction is only part of the connection you have with this worker, and that paying would deny the authenticity of that.  Or maybe you think that you are a really good (looking) person and only creepy or unattractive people pay.  Maybe both you and the sex worker are queer and/or have similar politics.  You know sex workers and are down with decriminalization.  There are many reasons you may feel you are exceptional.  You are operating under a basic misunderstanding of who we are and what we are doing…

Lack of Evidence

In which China aspires to be more like the US:

…Condoms have come to play a central role in police activity around sex work. …[cops] stop sex workers on the street, open their bags, and search for condoms; they burst into rooms to look for condoms in wastebaskets, beds, and quilts; and they even remove the trousers of clients in order to find condoms.  Police raid rooms rented by sex workers, as well as bars and massage parlors…Unsurprisingly, the danger of detention for carrying condoms discourages sex workers from using them…

Moloch

Don’t say I didn’t tell you before:

My piece in today’s New York Post will probably surprise folks who think the sex offender registry is filled with middle-aged men arrested for luring kids into white vans with the promise of puppies…But in fact, the most common age that people are charged with a sex offense is 14…because people tend to have sex with people around their own age…And much under-age sex is illegal…Of course, recognizing that young people experiment would require politicians and law enforcement to also recognize that people can do dumb things, even sexual things, and not be irredeemable monsters. Right now, that’s not a big political talking point.  So instead, over one fourth of the people we label “sex offenders” get that name when they themselves are juveniles.  Considering the registry has over 800,000 people on it, we’re talking about more than 200,000 people who get put on the list while they are in middle school or high school…

Above the Law  

Judge orders jury to find an “authority” not guilty of rape.  What a surprise!

…Judge Keenan Johnson directed the jury to return a verdict of not guilty of coercion after ruling that the prosecution had not established that complainant had been intimidated.  He stressed that he was making no determination on the truthfulness of either the accused, Andrew Gilmartin…or the complainant Martha Rooney…[who] alleged that the defendant [demanded] oral sex in return for her not being prosecuted for fraud…Gilmartin…was charged with intimidating Ms Rooney with a view to compelling her to do an act which she had a lawful right to abstain from doing…

Broken Record boat race

The “big events” that supposedly attract “sex trafficking” grow ever sillier:

As revelers gather for the Tri-City Water Follies this week…A church-based nonprofit is teaming with Tri-City hoteliers to train staff to recognize and report human trafficking rings that bring minors to town…during special events.  The Stop Under Age Domestic Sex Trafficking Project or SUDS is a five-year effort by Mirror Ministries… “Boat race weekend is our largest weekend. Every hotel is packed,” said Tricia MacFarlan, executive director…

Gingerbread House

Remember, “safe house” is a euphemism for “prison”.  These girls are not allowed to “transition” out until their keepers declare they are:

Freedom Place…[confines] minor girls who had been [arrested for doing sex work]…With Texas reporting the second highest sex trafficking rate in the United States and Houston considered one of its largest hubs…According to [prohibitionist propaganda] nearly all prostitution is involuntary and, legally in Texas, is considered to be the result of coercion for minors…

Calling a prison “Freedom Place” is about as Orwellian a touch as one could imagine.

Dirty Laundry

People need to be frequently reminded of what Ruhama actually is:

The Magdalene Laundries might have closed, but sex workers are not safe from Irish Sisters at all.  The nuns simply regrouped, renamed themselves and are still harming prostitutes…Ruhama does not offer any actual help to sex workers who need help.  Rescue organisations and anti-prostitution NGO’s rarely do,they mostly make money by “raising awareness”, abusing prostitutes, receiving money from governments and providing “education” to health professionals and policy makers.  But it seems they haven’t killed any babies.  Yet.  So, you know, that’s something…

The Prudish Giant (#414)

Note that this was accomplished via the usual whorearchical line-drawing:

…Patreon has been hard at work on behalf of its adult content creators, trying to win back what they lost.  And on July 12, Patreon sent an email to users announcing a PayPal about-face: “We were able to convince PayPal, or more specifically their subsidiary Braintree, that Adult Content creators on Patreon are not a serious risk.  Our content policy, and the nature of subscription payments, means that Adult Content creators on Patreon are less risky than most creators making adult content.”  Patreon’s adult creators, both PayPal and Patreon believe, will generate few chargebacks or fraud allegations, making the financial hazards to the payment processor negligible…

Worse Than I Thought (#433)

I’m honestly surprised this has taken so long to catch on.  Note how closely it resembles “sex trafficking” propaganda tactics:

A Texas GOP lawmaker has teamed up with an anti-choice organization to raise awareness about the supposed prevalence of forced or coerced abortion, which critics say is “wildly divorced from reality”…Molly White…[wants cops to intervene]…when [someone claims] a pregnant person is being forced to terminate a pregnancy…Allan Parker, the president of The Justice Foundation, a “Christian faith-based organization” that represents clients in lawsuits related to conservative political causes…alleges that the majority of those who have abortions may be forced or coerced…“I would would say coerced or forced abortion range from 25 percent to 60 percent”…This statistic is found in a 2004 study about abortion and traumatic stress that was co-authored by David Reardon, Vincent Rue, and Priscilla Coleman, all of whom are among the handful of doctors and scientists whose research is often promoted by anti-choice activists…Other research suggests far fewer pregnant people are coerced into having an abortion.  Less than 2 percent of women surveyed in 1987 and 2004 reported that a partner or parent wanting them to abort was the most important reason they sought the abortion, according to a report by the Guttmacher Institute

Full of Themselves (#533) 

I wonder if any of them recognize how pathetic their denials sound to us?

…KT Coates, president of the International Pole Sports Federation…wants to see pole sport included in the Olympics, although she admits that is probably a long way off.  It isn’t yet recognised by SportAccord, the umbrella body for sports federations, but Coates says that is “only around the corner”…There are rules aimed at moving pole sport away from its strip-club shadows – costumes can’t be too skimpy, and there are no sexualised moves (no gyrating, hair flicking or grinding).  “If someone got on stage and did that, the whole crowd would be in shock,” says Coates.  “We’re not embarrassed of our history, it’s just that [pole sport] is a polar opposite.”  Are there competitors here who work in strip clubs?  “No. I don’t know a single one.  These are athletes.  You are not going to get someone who does exotic dance doing the world sports championships – it just does not overlap.  We have the same apparatus, but it’s not the same thing”…

Crying for Nanny (#570)

Pro-censorship morons are still trying to destroy the entire internet:

In the last year, Backpage won two significant victories in battles stemming from adult ads on its online classifieds service.  Now, the losing parties both hope the Supreme Court will review the decisions.  In one case, lawyers for a group of [soi-disant] teen sex-trafficking victims recently took the first step toward asking the Supreme Court to revive a lawsuit accusing Backpage of facilitating crime through the design of its online classifieds site…A second battle involving Backpage that could reach the Supreme Court involves Sheriff Thomas Dart of Cook County, Illinois. Last November, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order prohibiting him from attempting to influence credit card companies to stop working with Backpage…

The Mote and the Beam (#613) 

The answer to the titular question: “Because it doesn’t actually exist as such”.

…a cancer…is metastasizing across the country:  Violent pimps and sex traffickers use online services like Backpage to exploit and profit off of unwilling victims.  To avoid detection, those creating the listings often use code words or phrases.  “New to town,” for example, is typically code for listing a teenager.  According to a recent U.S. Senate subcommittee report, Backpage enables this sort of behavior rather than preventing it.  While Backpage’s terms of of use and guidelines claim that they do not allow for bartering of sex or sexual services, let alone those of children, the committee charges that Backpage does little to prevent it…the subcommittee has subpoenaed the head of the website, Carl Ferrer.  Ferrer has refused to submit to the subpoena, arguing that Backpage is protected under the First Amendment…

This is plenty enough to give you the tone of this exercise in virulent anti-whore yellow journalism.

An Example To the West (#626) 

More on EMPOWER’s sex work museum:

…This Is Us tells the history and lives of sex workers in Thailand.  Inside the museum, which displays in one room, visitors can find a dance platform with a metal pole, a minibar, a karaoke machine, a bath tub, condoms, sex toys, a boxing ring and more — all with the stories of how the prostitution industry in Thailand has evolved over the years.  From brothels out of the Ayutthaya period to go-go bars, coyote bars, aab ob nuad (bath houses) and more, this museum collects and displays ideas rather than merely “old stuff”, as the foundation’s director puts it…

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three yahoosAs regular readers know, every so often I find an article that’s so totally ridiculous, infuriating, idiotic and/or just plain wrong that I feel compelled to vivisect it rather than just performing my usual drive-by mocking in a news column.  Well, it’s that time again; this one’s especially worthy of scorn because the author, Brian Lambert, is a pompous ignoramus who (like so many yellow journalists) mistakes his own cluelessness for some sort of…I don’t know, hipness maybe?  In any case, he or his editor put the crowning touch on this steaming pile of stupid by giving it the most ironic headline I’ve seen so far this year, “Tracking online predators…and revealing the utter cluelessness of most parents“.  To reward that great moment in arse-backwardness, I’ve borrowed the operative phrase for the title of this column.  And to properly set the tone, I’m reprinting this photo of three self-important yahoos which opens the original.

A person has distinctly mixed feelings after a conversation with the unit in Washington County tasked with tracking on­line sexual predators.  On the one hand, the sheer numbers — and the appalling details — of what is routinely going on in Minnesota (and most other states) makes you want to lock the doors and take a long hot detergent shower.  It’s that bad and that creepy.  On the other hand…the unit…is now playing a more sophisticated game of tracking and identifying predators who troll social media for underage victims, as well as “recovering” kids swept up by such criminals.

Well, Lambert’s right about one thing; the appalling details of what’s routinely going on in police departments and DA’s offices across the US really does make you want to lock the doors and take a long hot detergent shower.  The reality of “authorities” using public funds to sit around making up increasingly-lurid masturbatory fantasies, repeating them to slackjawed soi-disant journalists for dissemination to a credulous public, and then using them to justify a campaign of entrapment against peaceful adults engaged in consensual activity, is enough to make anyone with a more highly-developed moral sense than the average cop feel dirty and threatened.  Unfortunately, Brian the Bewildered attaches the badness and creepiness to the victims of this pogrom rather than its perpetrators, and joins in the wanking fantasy of nubile young girls in sexual peril.  He also buys the self-aggrandizing cop lie that deceiving people in order to destroy their lives for wanting to have consensual sex is some sort of “sophisticated” technique.  There are indeed predators trolling social media for victims, but they are paid to do it by the state.

Tipped by a Kevin Giles story in the Strib, I made the run to Stillwater to talk with [County attorney Pete] Orput and his team of three…The key character in Giles’ story was Backpage.com, the long-­notorious “personals” website…[which] remains far and away the primary site for predatory trolling…But…at least Backpage.com — its sleazy profit-­delivering ads withstanding — cooperates with law enforcement when some agency…identifies contact between an adult and a child.  Something you can’t say about dozens of other social media venues.

Oooh, I’m so impressed with your reportorial adroitness, Clark Kent!  You were “tipped” by a story in the mass media, and sought out a “scoop” by running to officials and obediently parroting everything they told you!  And you know what?  You’re right again, Clarkie Boy; Backpage is indeed the primary site cops use to predatorily troll for victims!  But your adoration of authority figures apparently excludes Strunk & White, else you’d know what “sentence fragment” means.

Before this Washington County unit existed, there was a conspicuous absence of anyone in local law enforcement focusing on culling through the thousands of Backpage.com ads or the literally dozens of apps serving essentially the same deviant clientele.  For all the shock and horror respectable citizens express at stories of creeps luring (primarily) young girls into sex, it turns out that the will to apply regular, sustained taxpayer resources to monitoring, collating and reporting on­line activity simply wasn’t there…

NO!  Say it isn’t so, Brian!  You mean until this moral panic started, politicians weren’t willing to waste money paying pervert cops to troll the internet all day, pretending to be teenage girls so they can engage in sexy talk with strangers?  There was really nobody willing to spend public funds on the vital work of defining adult women as “children” and adult men with very ordinary sex drives as “deviants” and “predators”?  And “respectable” citizens weren’t begging to have their communications spied on and recorded by “authorities” for the specific purpose of trying to pin imaginary “crimes” on them?  WHAT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO?  WON’T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!!??!?!

…[Imran] Ali…[is] “pleased with the cooperation we’ve received…People clearly understand the scope of the problem”…what begins to gnaw at you most is how poorly informed parents are…

No, what “gnaws at me” (even more than Lambert’s inane, cliche-ridden writing) is the way collaboration with the pigs is euphemized as “cooperation”, buying into propaganda is cast as “understanding”, and refusal to participate in a moral panic is defined as being “poorly informed”.  Remember, part of the reason the First Amendment is the first one is that the press’s job is supposed to be encouraging skepticism of the pronouncements of government blowhards.

…predators have used sites as innocuous as Words with Friends to meet and connect with victims…kids from…normal home environments are…at risk…the predator seeking to befriend them is there in their hands, on their phones, most of their waking hours.  “Parents are absolutely clueless about…how easily predators can interact with their children,” [Siv] Yurichuk says…

Make note, dear readers; you have just seen the “Facebook pimps” myth surpassed in its sheer absurdity and blatant fearmongering.  I’m using comedy to lampoon this police-state cheerleading, but these people’s motives are no joke: they want nothing less than universal surveillance and the power to censor the internet, and they’re willing to use parental paranoia to get it.

…The Washington County trio’s prime directive is to identify contact between predators and children and assist work to recover the child from the situation.  Apprehension of the perps is police work, and one of the unit’s prominent law enforcement liaisons, thanks to his 20 years’ experience in the realm, is Sgt. Grant Snyder…

Actually, their directive is to trick adults into interacting with cops pretending to be teenagers (not “children”), as one of them admits below; on the rare occasion when they manage to get their filthy hands on an actual teen, “recover” means “arrest”.  Note the usual bootlicking use of the pig dysphemism “perp” to mean “person we’re accusing of something”.  And when discussing cops, “experience” actually means “immersion in cop culture”.

…Snyder…frequently plays the role of on­line bait, posing as say a 15-year­-old girl…

And wanking furiously while doing it.

…The minority of parents who are aware of the peril is far out­numbered by those with only a vague comprehension.  And even savvier parents are ill-equipped to keep up with the constantly expanding…social media network.  Some…prefer to “trust” their children to know better and use good judgment…

Once again, note the emotionally-manipulative language which is the hallmark of the yellow journalist.  People who buy into hysteria are described as a “savvy” elite; those who live in reality are described as having a “vague comprehension” of the imaginary hordes of bogeymen.  But Lambert is rather sloppy, even by hack standards; putting “trust” in scare quotes is insultingly amateurish.  As a propagandist, he’s strictly fourth-rate; unfortunately, many other promoters of anti-sex, anti-internet hysteria are a lot better at it, and the rest of this article discusses efforts to expand the panic still more.  The media, however, are already saturated with propaganda about imaginary sexual threats to “children”; the level of skepticism about “sex trafficking” has already begun to rise, and with any luck maybe the 30-year-old “sex predator” panic may start to go with it.  To borrow Lambert’s last line, “It can’t happen too soon.”

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I am a retired madam who used to post often on a well-known review board; I knew quite a few escorts fairly well, and some even worked with me while visiting my city.  But when persecution of sex workers increased, my nerves were shot and I retired; that was five years ago.  I thought I had enough to retire on, but a few months ago I lost a lot of money in bad investments, and now I find myself needing a source of income again.  Although I am no longer interested  in taking on the all-consuming responsibility of an agency, I would be very interested in becoming a booker/screener for another agency or for a number of independents.  I have tons of experience, intuition, and good judgement, plus actual empathy for the women I worked with.  Do you have any suggestions on where and how I could get established in this business?

gatekeeperI’ve met several ladies who work as bookers & screeners, and some of them do quite well.  Personally, I wouldn’t approach an agency; instead, I would look for independents who would be willing to pay you a fee for every completed gig.  After you get a few happy customers, I think more will come looking for you; it’s the first few that are going to be the hardest.  Do you still have a presence on any escort advertising/review boards?  If you do, you could contact the owners or moderators and ask if they’d mind if you advertised your services there.  You could also call or email the ladies you know, and pitch it to them; you might even advertise on Twitter.  It’s even possible you might get some business advertising on Backpage, and Aphrodite knows many of the ladies who advertise there could use an experienced assistant; however, as we all know that site is crawling with cops, and I’m afraid you might be setting yourself up to be targeted by predatory “detectives” looking for a big “sex trafficking” bust to add to their resumes.  It may take you a little while to get this rolling, but once you do I think you’ll not only have a very decent income, but also help a lot of our younger sisters to stay safe.

(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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No one has said…that we want prostitutes to have a good time while we also try to stamp out prostitution.  –  an “expert adviser” to Norway

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

Elizabeth Nolan Brown has become a force to be reckoned with:

Every year some 1,000 new children are trafficked for sex in Ohio, while an additional 3,000 remain “at risk” of being trafficked, according to U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty [of] Ohio…[who claimed the figure] came from a report commissioned by the Ohio Attorney General’s office.  The only such report comes from 2010…At the root is an FBI-led operation that took place in Toledo and its surrounding county between 2005 and 2009, called “Operation Innocence Lost”…Toledo…[is] a city with a decaying economy and one of the highest crime rates in the region…number one in Ohio, and 49th in the entire United States.  In the course of Operation Innocence Lost…60 [young people were labeled] “minor victims of sex trafficking.”  Forty-five—an average of 15 per year—came from Lucas County.  It’s this number from which the committee extrapolated for all of Ohio.  Using Lucas County population data, the researchers arrive at the conclusion that 15 per 24,965 Ohio girls ages 12 through 17—or 0.06 percent—are “successfully recruited into the sex trade from Ohio each year.”  With 337,961 Ohio girls in this age group overall, that 0.06 percent rate yields an estimate of… 202 per year…[another] study claims that every minor…knew an average of 5 more underage minors “that were not known to law enforcement, but who were engaging in the sex trade”…[so they multiplied the “estimate” by 5]…

It gets worse from there; the article is well worth reading in its entirety.

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

Dude argues that censorship is OK because Donald Trump is running for president. I am not making this up:

It is time to ban pornography…We find it perfectly acceptable that smut, no matter how [much I personally dislike it], should be widely available…“Ban” strikes us as a nasty word…But are bans really so terrifying and impossible?  We are not averse to banning something when we think it is really wrong.  We are happy to “ban” murder, rape and even certain types of speech (try yelling “Fire!” in a theater)…Gail Dines…has found [exactly what she wanted to find]…Happily, the left appears ready to take up the censor’s task…pornography…serves as an instruction manual for the subjection of women…the rise of Donald Trump provides evidence of pornography’s social harm…If you cringe at Trump’s sneering misogyny, then join me in calling for a ban on the thing that made his crude appeal possible…

Droit du Seigneur 

The people prohibitionists want to “rescue” us:

A “disabled” ex-cop with ties to the mob has been accused of…running dozens of prostitution Web sites…Michael Rizzi…who retired in 2000 on a disability pension…[owned] nearly 60…Web sites…Between 2012 and 2016, the operation processed more than $2 million in credit-card transactions…Rizzi’s wife, Jill, is the daughter of Gambino family muscle Richard Juliano…

Notice it’s never called “sex trafficking” when cops are involved:

A “prostitution ring” in  Kentucky’s capitol city may have shared a lot more than proximity with powerful state officials. The operation, allegedly run by former Franklin County constable Thomas Banta, is accused of servicing a roster of local legislators and police officers…He’s charged with five felonies, including promoting prostitution, kidnapping, and impersonating a peace officer…The case does contain a few red-flag details, such as a claim by one woman that, under Banta’s direction, she had appointments with 15 to 20 clients per day, twice a week, and was once offered $500 to have sex with a dog…one claims she was in eighth grade when Banta first started paying her to have sex with him and others.  Interestingly, none of the Ketucky media that have reported on the story have been throwing around terms like “sex trafficking,” despite the possible link to at least one underage woman.  I guess it’s only sex trafficking when former government officials aren’t involved.

The Prudish Giant

The original article of this title referred to Google, but Facebook long ago surpassed it in prudishness by at least an order or magnitude:

…The spaces in which we interact online are largely controlled today by corporations…these unelected “sovereigns of cyberspace” operate without accountability, and often with little respect to our hard-won freedoms.  On today’s Internet, those making the rules aren’t elected officials but technocrats — mostly male and mostly American.  And those making day-to-day decisions about what we can and cannot see aren’t judges with years of training but low-wage workers at outsourcing firms in places like the Philippines…Facebook…has created its own set of “community standards” that are intended to be globally applicable…Under Facebook’s rules, sexual content is banned, as is most nudity (though exceptions exist for works of famous art, photos of mothers breastfeeding and post-mastectomy images).  Shirtless photos of women are forbidden, while shirtless photos of men are fine…The human body is not inherently sexual, nor are all depictions of sexual acts pornography.  By lumping together porn with all other sexual content — and lumping sexual content with nudity — Facebook is setting a new standard, one that is far more restrictive than our Constitution, and one that treats women’s bodies as shameful…

Above the Law  

Since I have a new subtitle for rapist cops, I’m now going to use this one for other kinds of officials:

An Iowa Department of Transportation driving instructor forced a customer to view sexually explicit photos and videos of himself during an exam and then threatened her to keep quiet…John Wayne Alexander…is charged with felonious misconduct…and harassment…The 60-year-old abruptly retired from the DOT in March amid a disciplinary investigation…A…woman seeking to have her license reinstated told police that Alexander instructed her to pull into [a] parking lot…saying he wanted to smoke a cigarette…then gave [her] his phone…and said that he needed her to delete several photos, which showed him “in various forms of self-pleasure and undress”…Fearing for her safety and license status, the woman says she deleted the images as told.  She gave the phone back to Alexander, who then forced her to watch a video of himself masturbating and using a sex toy…

Guinea Pigs 

Don’t be fooled by this article’s appearance in Forbes; if you look closely you’ll realize it’s a “guest post”, which is to say a sponsored article like paid ads in newspapers made to look like actual articles.  One telling sign of that?  Forbes now blocks users with adblockers, yet I have no trouble accessing this because it is an ad, just presented as news.  Anyhow, much of this is the usual mixture of incredibly bad numerical charlatanry (such as the painfully stupid claim that fewer than 0.6% of the male population somehow manages to support the entire 0.3% of the female population which are full-time sex workers) and intensely moronic “solutions” such as magical apps that “children” can activate for “rescue” if they’re suddenly “trafficked” by “pimps” jumping out of bushes at them.  But if you can last that long without your eyes rolling entirely out of your head, look at all the calls for mass surveillance in this.  Yikes.

Fever Dream (#541)

I don’t give a damn what the cops’ victims did for a living; it’s the article’s language that’s horrifying:

…the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) [arrested] 32 people…in Knoxville…Human traffickers all around us [sic].  If you’re buying or selling, you are part of the $150 billion business — and part of the crime…Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch calls human trafficking the “scourge on society” and [masturbates while claiming] his department is committed to doing all that’s necessary to protect victims…

Despite all the “trafficking” talk, the sex workers were arrested and charged with the clients and all charges are ordinary prostitution-related ones.

Crying for Nanny (#570)

A long, revolting exercise in bootlicking intended to raise support for an idiotic lawsuit which every sane person understands cannot win:

…every lawsuit filed by…[an] underage [prostitute] against Backpage has been dismissed because of a law called the Communications Decency Act of 1996.  The law protects [websites]…from being held legally responsible for what users post…“If someone publishes a faulty motorcycle [ad on Backpage.com], the buyer of that motorcycle shouldn’t be able to sue Backpage merely for posting the ad, that doesn’t make sense,” said ABC News’ senior legal correspondent Sunny Hostin…Backpage [said]…”making online service providers responsible for millions of posts by third-party users…[would] inevitably [result in] highly restrictive censorship or the total banning of certain categories of online content so that online service providers are not in constant anxiety about potential liability for the one ad that slipped through their moderation systems”…

Of course, censorship is exactly what prohibitionists want.  Don’t read this unless you have a strong stomach for graphic depictions of cop worship & bootlicking.

Saving Them From Themselves (#597)

I hope he wins and establishes a precedent:

The investigation of a “sexting” case involving a…teenager, and the desire by prosecutors and police to repeatedly obtain photos of his genitalia, sparked a national uproar in the summer of 2014.  Authorities backed down from their second search warrant for explicit photos, and the teen was placed on probation.  The case took a further turn last December when the detective, David E. Abbott Jr., was accused of molesting two young boys and killed himself as police moved to arrest him…The teenager, Trey Sims, 19, filed a federal civil rights suit…against both Abbott’s estate and Claiborne Richardson II, the…[district] attorney who [colluded with] Abbott to [manufacture “child” porn by photographing]…Sims’ genitalia…Sims was then charged with manufacturing and distributing child pornography, but the girl was not…Richardson and Abbott only charged Sims because he is male, a violation of his equal protection rights…

Turning Point

Emily Bazelon pisses the prohibitionists off even more by promoting Amnesty International’s pro-decriminalization platform:

On Wednesday night, Amnesty International released its long-awaited policy…calling on governments around the world to “decriminalize consensual sex work.”  Amnesty also wants countries to “include sex workers in the development of laws that affect their lives and safety”…Amnesty’s researchers spoke to 54 people in Norway, including police officers, prosecutors, academics, social science providers and 30 sex workers, including three victims of trafficking…Amnesty’s basic finding is that Norway’s laws punish people who sell sex — not through arrest but in a variety of other ways.  One researcher told Amnesty that police forces in Oslo “often use terms like they are going to ‘crush’ or ‘choke’ the [prostitution] market, and unsettle, pressure and stress the people in the market”…

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Society creates a massive demand for sex work, then stigmatizes the people who take jobs in the field.  –  Mark Shrayber

Whore Madonnas Finley Fawn

Another woman’s child abducted by the state because of her work:

Finley Fawn…brought eight character witnesses and a mountain of paperwork to her initial custody hearing to prove [that she is not abusive but] courts have sided with her ex-husband in [claiming] that Fawn has allowed her son too much awareness of her job…Fawn…is…a cam model…Before hearing any witnesses, and with only Fawn’s Twitter introduced into evidence, the woman presiding over the case reportedly said that anything more than her ex’s testimony was superfluous.  Before Fawn even had a chance to speak…the judge…made up her mind…getting her child back on the same terms as before — joint custody — would cost more than $100,000…that Fawn doesn’t have…Fawn isn’t alone…Take the case of Tanaha Koontz, whose children were taken away from her and given to her ex despite numerous instances of domestic violence, two arrests, and a kidnapping…

Tanaha is a friend, and wrote one of my first guest columns on this subject.

All in the Family

Some sex workers’ mothers really do love unconditionally:

…My mother emailed me to say she had discovered that I was doing sex work…she…didn’t yell at me, or talk over me, or dictate to me what I should or shouldn’t be doing.  She listened.  She…never told me to quit.  She never told me I had made a bad decision.  She never asked me how I could be a feminist and a sex worker.  She made space for me and my experiences, and she gave me advice or sympathy when I asked.  So I found myself reaching out to her more often, grateful for her analysis and her wit.  Now, I consider her one of my closest friends…

Life Imitates Artifice

Wannabe “pimp” calls radio show & regurgitates popular “pimp” myths, probably while wanking; ignoramuses swallow every particle of the vomit:

…a former pimp talks about his victims and the sex trade…He doesn’t want to share his name, but he will share his [masturbatory fantasy].  He [fantasizes about being] a former pimp.  A sex trafficker who spent nearly a dozen years convincing young women in Massachusetts to sell their bodies and give him the money…He [imagines finding] victims at tanning salons, gyms, bars, and nightclubs…He [fantasizes] that…he had 16 girls working for him…and they’d turn trick after trick…Now, years later [he masturbates] as he thinks about [it]…Parents, he says, hold the key to protecting young girls from men like him.  “Fathers…have to show their daughters that I’m the man you want to find in life. I’m the man you want to marry.”

As our wanker switches from a pimp fantasy to an incest fantasy, fade to black.

Check Your Premises

Cops are so disconnected from reality that they think stalking, raiding and arresting sex workers and their clients will “build a positive relationship” with us:

…Calgary [cops charged]…27 people…[a spokesman vomited that] the goal was to reduce illegal activity and connect with sex trade workers to “build a positive relationship and provide any resources they may need to assist them in leaving the sex trade”…The charges were related to…communicating with any person for the purpose of obtaining sexual services, along with seven summonses for traffic-related offences.  Nineteen warrants for unrelated criminal code charges were also executed…

The Last Shall Be First 

More of this, please:

Public officials of a conservative enclave in Dallas almost unanimously repudiated an anti-transgender “bathroom” ordinance in a local battle that may help turn the corner on the discussion in Texas…Mayor Jim…Pruitt’s measure would have forced transgender individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender on their birth certificate.  Businesses and individuals who didn’t comply faced fines of up to $500.  Pruitt launched the proposal in response to Target’s…policy of allowing people to use the bathroom and changing facilities they believe is appropriate for them.  But he ultimately couldn’t find a single colleague to second his motion for a vote, despite using all the best scare tactics…

An Example To the West

Leaders from sex-work led organizations came together…in Kampala to pave way for a stronger and sustainable network for all Ugandan…sex workers’ organizations.  The sex work fraternity is one of the fast growing civil rights movement in Uganda…many coalitions have come up but breakdown after a short period of action…this time they are ready to disregard  all the past differences and create a solid network to make sure the sex workers voices are heard out there…

Down Under (#40)

This sounds good until one gets down to the “end demand” poison:

Street-based sex work in St Kilda is here to stay, say local police, and heavy-handed enforcement is of no use to anyone.  In 2012, St Kilda’s constabulary boasted of a plan to drive prostitution off the streets within four years, using a policy of banning notices, patrols and undercover stings.  But street-based sex work, which is illegal in Victoria, endures.  And St Kilda police Senior Sergeant Mark Denton said that wasn’t likely to change…So instead of going after the workers, policing is now focused on the client side.  Police have the power to issue banning notices stopping someone from visiting an area for 72 hours if they have a reasonable suspicious that person was attempting to solicit a sex worker…

Dutch Threat 

A prohibitionist’s notion of “helping” sex workers:

PROUD, the [Dutch] association of sex workers…sent an urgent letter to the Minister of Justice and the Mayor of Amsterdam on a serious matter…the family of [a trafficking] victim was informed of her work in prostitution without her knowledge…[after] explicitly [stating] that her family [should under] no circumstances be informed of her career…she worked voluntarily in prostitution, but was exploited by an employer. The victim is currently considering withdrawing her complaint as a result of these events…This case should be a reason to ask serious questions to the responsible people and services on their methods and motives…

An Example to the West (#316) RedTraSex in Honduras

In the US, we’re barely even tolerated, much less listened to:

Honduran sex workers have offered a proposal for reforming the country’s treatment of their profession that they hope will lead to them “being treated as human beings by police officers, health employees and society in general,” [said] Regina Barahona…of…RedTraSex…The text takes a human rights perspective on sex work, focusing on health, security and justice for those who work in the field…Barahona insisted that much of the violence sex workers currently face comes from police officers, not clients…

Broken Record (#318)

Politicians just can’t stop beating this dead horse:

Kentucky’s attorney general is warning Derby-goers to be proactive in the fight against human trafficking…Andy Beshear [fantasized that]…individuals use large sporting events, such as the Kentucky Derby, to traffic children and adults for sex…Beshear urged Louisville businesses and derby-goers to [spy on customers]…Beshear said signs of possible signs of human trafficking include [all the usual bullshit]…

Bait and Switch

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

A new sex-trafficking law in Georgia clarifies that undercover cops totally count as minors for purposes of handing out 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentences…House Bill (HB) 770 says that it shall be no defense to charges of sex trafficking of a minor that no such minor actually existed…an undercover cop posing as a pretty 17-year-old girl could friend a young man on Facebook (a tactic cops frequently use in these kind of stings), start chatting with him, and mention that she needs to make money and isn’t averse to porn or prostitution but needs help getting started.  If the mark offers to help in any way, even just offering a ride or an introduction to someone else who could help her, he will be eligible to receive a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to 20 years, plus a $100,000 fine.  Prosecutors can invoke asset forfeiture to take even more from him, and add another “human trafficking” arrest to their press releases…many of the men cops target with these kinds of stings are only in their late teens or early 20s themselves…One 2014 study by the anti-trafficking organization Shared Hope International found that 50-60 percent of police efforts aimed at stopping “child sex trafficking”…involved no actual victims or minors at all…If there are really as many minor sex-trafficking victims out there as advocates, cops, and politicians would have us believe, how can they justify spending half of their time and money pretending to be victims rather than saving them?…

A Procrustean Bed (#600)

Politician’s brains are so tiny and narrow, thy can only conceive of humans existing in two states, like light switches:

The California Senate…passed legislation that would remove mandatory minimum jail sentences for repeat prostitution offenses.  Under current state law, a second conviction guarantees at least 45 days in jail, which increases to a minimum 90-day sentence for a third offense and beyond.  The court can also restrict an individual’s driving privileges for up to six months if the act occurs within 1,000 feet of a private residence…Bill Monning…said the current “tough-on-crime” approach does not deter prostitution and merely discourages victims of human trafficking and those who engage in sex work as a means of survival from participating in diversion and drug treatment programs…It comes amid a renewed interest in human trafficking this legislative session, as lawmakers debate whether prostitutes are criminals or victims…

Crying for Nanny (#623)

How many more such decisions will it take before judges start fining these lawyers for filing nuisance lawsuits?

In a victory for Backpage, a federal appellate court…rejected [soi-disant] sex-trafficking victims’ request to reconsider a decision dismissing their lawsuit…The move leaves in place an earlier ruling, which said the teens could not proceed with their case due to the federal Communications Decency Act.  That law says that companies offering interactive online platforms are immune from liability for activity by their users…

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