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Posts Tagged ‘Between the Lines’

This is how the United States of America, the mightiest and richest nation there is or ever has been, treats incarcerated people.  –  Ken White

Torture Chamber 

Ken White on the inhuman abominations that the US calls “correction”:

Jeffrey Epstein’s name and face are everywhere following his death…Americans who believe in their justice system assert that it is obvious that he was murdered, and that jailers could not possibly be so incompetent, cruel, or indifferent as to let such a high-profile prisoner commit suicide.  Here, to help you evaluate that claim, are 32 short stories about in-custody deaths or near-deaths in America…

Regular readers know these stories are nauseating, but you really need to read them all. Every last one.

Uncommon Sense (#435)

The correct term is “tippelzone”, not “sex booth” or some other snickering adolescent coinage:

The mayor of [Berlin]…is proposing “Verichtungsboxen”…at Tempelhof Airport.  His proposal for the establishment of the sex booths…came as part of a discussion about street prostitution in his district and how to improve the safety of Berlin’s sex workers…

Across the Pond (#757)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

More than 200 letters have been delivered to residents [near a stroll] in…Nottingham…to [intimidate] residents…in[to informing on their neighbors]…the…letters were hand delivered to [make the]…int[imidation feal more real]…Since 2004, Nottinghamshire Police’s Prostitution Task Force has been working to find ways of [pretending that harassing and stigmatizing] sex workers [is] get[ting] the[m] help…whilst gradually removing the[ir income.  The cops bizarrely imagine harassing people and choking off their income will]…break down the barrier between sex workers and the police…

Soap Opera (#809)

Magical stickers, secret-squirrel codes…this is like a bad episode of Get Smart!

An Iowa newspaper employee recently {claimed to have] helped save a[n unnamed] woman trapped in a sex trafficking ring…after she flagged the delivery driver down on the side of the road…a 25-year-old East Dubuque Woman was arrested and charged with pimping….[a Cedar Rapids, Iowa] Bar…[posted a] sign in the woman’s restroom [reading]…”are you in an uncomfortable situation, do you need our help?”…[and] lists a code word drink…that customers can order to alert the bartender they’re in need of help… Teresa Davidson…of Chains Interrupted [wants] more …stickers that read “Are you safe” in bathrooms across the state….The organization is also working to [indoctrinate] convenience store employees…

Pyrrhic Victory (#931)

As I’ve repeatedly stated, it is far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…Beijing has gone to [great lengths to] identify and control Uighurs…Within Kashgar…residents must line up to…swipe [ID cards] at each checkpoint….[and] expose their faces to [omnipresent]…facial recognition…[cops] need neither probable cause nor a warrant to detain Uighurs and check their phones for the surveillance software that they’re legally required to install….”re-education” camp[s imprison]…hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Muslims…[now] Ecuador is using a “national emergency response and video surveillance system built entirely by Chinese companies and financed by Chinese state loans”…As this technology improves and gets cheaper, it will likely become affordable to every two-bit dictator on Earth…

Disaster (#935)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Verizon is set to sell the social network Tumblr to Automattic Inc, the owner of online publishing tool WordPress.  A source familiar with the deal puts the price-tag…below $10 million…Tumblr…was…considered a major player in the social media space.[when it]…was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, before moving under Verizon’s umbrella through the carrier’s acquisition of Yahoo in 2017.  [But] Verizon…[intentionally destroyed the network by ill-considered censorship]…last year.  Automattic’s Chief Executive Matt Mullenweg told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to maintain the ban [so as to use the dying site as a tax write-off]…

Where Are the Victims? (#945)

Despite their pious posturing to the contrary, this is exactly the outcome prohibitionists wanted:

Fianna Fáil has called for an anti-prostitution law to be reviewed, because of the consequences it has on sex workers who live together.  The main opposition party has suggested that it would be open to considering decriminalising sex workers who live together.  The majority of Irish political parties want the government to review and possibly scrap a law which punishes sex workers who live together under a harsher “brothel keeping” offence which was brought in two yeas ago…It follows a high profile case earlier this summer where two migrant sex workers were both jailed for nine months after they were prosecuted for brothel keeping.  One of the women was pregnant when she was jailed…Sex worker advocates had warned at the time that most of the people who were being prosecuted for brothel-keeping were independent sex workers…B[u]t…Fianna Fáil had voted down the amendment…now…it wants the law to be reviewed, after…the “[wholly]…intended consequences” [became public]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#956)

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

Amazon Web Services…has rolled out more terrifying features for its cloud-based facial recognition system—including, it claims, the ability to detect fear…Emotion recognition is a facial analysis technique that…works by training a machine learning system to look for certain features on a detected face which indicate emotional content…Amazon has updated the range of detectable emotions for Rekognition’s face analysis to include “fear,” adding to a list of seven other emotional states: “Happy”, “Sad”, “Angry”, “Surprised”, “Disgusted”, “Calm”, and “Confused”…the efficacy of emotion recognition is in dispute…[but used by] government agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement…and Customs and Border Patrol…

Between the Lines (#962)

Liz Brown tries to assess the damage from the rebranded “Operation Cross Country” pogroms:

…The FBI no longer reports the number of adult sex workers whom these initiatives claim as collateral…However, local news and law enforcement agencies often do..in Alabama, 49 “sex workers and their facilitators” were arrested around the Birmingham area…[and] 14 [in Homewood]……Northern Ohio [arrested nine] women…Pennsylvania [two]…Mississippi [five]…In South Carolina [five]…In…Florida [three]…In the San Diego area, six…Louisiana…25…in Shreveport…and…seven…in Baton Rouge…Police have portrayed the 4-year-old [abducted from one of their victims] as being rescued from “human traffickers”…

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Police are a substantial cause of death…for lots of people. – Frank Edwards

The Cop Myth

1/3 of all Americans killed by strangers are murdered by cops:

…[an average of 3.25] Americans are killed by police every day…of all the homicide victims in the United States, police kill an estimated six percent…But the actual numbers are likely higher…government data is woefully inadequate, so the best available datasets have been created by journalist-driven public programs…In a [new] study…in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of sociologists and criminal justice researchers…determined that police violence is one of the leading causes of death of young men in the United States.  Overall, it’s estimated that the mortality rate is about 1.8 per 100,000 for men between the ages of 25 and 29.  This ranks police…as the sixth leading cause of death for young men, placing it behind…suicide and “accidents” — a category that includes drug overdoses and car accident deaths…

Stalkers in Blue

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

…Scott Martin of the Ringgold [Georgia] Police Department [was fired]…for…a pattern of stalking, sexual advances, and abuse of authority…Martin…found [one victim] on Facebook…and repeatedly [messaged her to] suggest…that she sleep with his wife….Martin [stalked] the second victim, a college instructor, through her Linkedin page.  He…[even] sat in her class about gender and sexuality…she tried to avoid him.  The third victim [was a]…bank [teller whom]…he [messaged] on Snapchat…request[ing nudes and sending her a dick pic]…He eventually married one of her former coworkers and added her as a friend on their joint Facebook account…[then] continued to ask for sexual favors…The fourth victim…said Martin continuously followed her at [her city job] and…repeatedly…questioned her intentions when he saw her at the grocery store or gas station…Martin was supposed to be one of her points of official contact if she [was] ever [sexually harassed] at work…[before] Martin…[became a cop he tried teaching but]…was fired…[for sexting] a female student.  At another job…he rep[ea]tedly made…sexual remark[s] toward a…female co[worker]…

Banishment (#882)

Threatening landlords to get them to evict sex workers is a popular pig trick:

Billings…[Montana pigs], prosecutors and [prohibitionists promoted “pimp” propaganda to politicians to push]…the passage of two new laws [persecuting]…property owners who are collecting rent from…businesses [the pigs want punished]…In California, the Sacramento City Council has proposed some form of [persecution of] massage parlor landlords…In New York City, [pigs]…have [done the same] to [get around the necessity of] prov[ing anything]…Polaris Project, a national [prohibitionist profiteer gang]…has also called for greater [persecution] of…property owners…

On Tape

Where did Trump get these exaggerated ideas about how “sex trafficking victims” are treated?  IT’S A MYSTERY!  “Sandy Middleton…[of] the Center for Violence Prevention [in Mississippi]..said…’These girls are starved, beaten, raped, chained to trees and locked in trunks’“…

End Demand (#939)

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

Mar Brettmann…of the Seattle-based Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking, which [among other obscenities spreads lurid propaganda about sex workers]…to hotels—share[s her disgusting sexual fantasies about sex workers as though they were facts, because she knows most people are too gullible to as for evidence of any kind, such as names, links to police reports or even the places these lurid tales are supposed to have occurred]…BEST is one of the [profiteers making a killing from the] American Hotel & Lodging Association’s No Room for Trafficking campaign…[others] include ECPAT-USA…and Polaris…In addition, some [ambulance-chasers]…have filed lawsuits against hotel owners and operators

Top Cop (#944)

One can never have too many attacks on this power-hungry sociopath:

…support for the Nordic Model fits with Harris’s self-branding as a “progressive prosecutor” who offers a “smart on crime” third way between the excessively carceral conservatives and social justice-minded but squishy liberals.  It’s a schtick she’s carried over into her bid for Democrats’ 2020 presidential nod, after perfecting it during years as attorney general of California and district attorney of San Francisco…During [the] last…Democratic presidential debate, fellow candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard grilled Harris about her sordid record as top cop in California.  Harris “kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor”…and “put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations”, Gabbard said…All Harris offered in response was an insistence that she is “proud” of her record and, later, an ad hominem attack on Gabbard.  Meanwhile, Harris’s press secretary tweeted that Gabbard was supported by Russia…

Dangerous Speech (#950)

This excerpt from Reason‘s video “The War on Backpage is a War on Sex Workers” (click on subtitle link for complete video) discusses a subject long-time readers may remember:

Pyrrhic Victory (#955)

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

…if [you]’ve ever gotten a Michigan driver’s license or a state ID card…the State Police has [your] mug shot.  The…database may even contain [your] Facebook profile photo or another social media image…There are only about 8 million adults in Michigan, but there are nearly 50 million facial images in the MSP’s Statewide Network of Agency Photos (SNAP), with 2.7 million photos added to the database last year alone.  Though the MSP didn’t start using facial recognition technology until 2001, the Secretary of State’s Office has been giving State Police all its digital photos — without notice to motorists — since 1998…[and the] 2020 budget…gives [cops] more than half a million dollars to enhance the facial recognition search functions of the growing database…

Between the Lines (#960)

This is what the FBI meant by “re-evaluating” Operation Cross Country: changing its name and quadrupling its length and cost:

A monthlong FBI-led [pogrom] to…arrest sex [workers] and [infantilize them]…has resulted in [hundreds] of arrests [of adult sex workers] and…[103 underage sex workers]…The [rebranded] Operation Independence Day…[involved] more than 400 [gangs of violent thugs]…67 [other people were arrested and charged with vague “sex trafficking” crimes.  Beside the rebranding]…FBI field offices had a longer time window to plan and execute [pogroms] as part of the national initiative, with the goal being to [circumvent sex workers’ increased security measures by dragging the raids out long enough that marginalized workers become desperate]…

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If we’re going to protect the most marginalized workers, we have to give them the same rights as everyone else.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Buried Truth

A rare female example of the McNeill Rule:

A Christian school kindergarten teacher in the Chicago suburbs is facing charges related to sexual assault and child pornography…Shannon Griffin is the wife of the pastor of Jordan Baptist Church…She…“sent nude pictures and videos of herself to and requested nude pictures from [two young students]…and…also…molest[ed one of the students] start[ing] in 2013 and continu[ing] until earlier this year…Griffin [was known] for being really strict when it came to dress code violations.  “She would…tell…us how to dress…how to be modest, and be Christian women”…said [one student]…Parent…Mike Mollo…found out when his son showed him naked videos and pictures of Griffin…

Broken Record (#659) 

Small cities trying to cash in on “sex trafficking” hysteria need to recycle their propaganda:

Water Follies brings thousands of people to the Tri-Cities, and that means…sex trafficking.  “[Imaginary sex slaves I fantasize about said]…that during…boat races they would have to service a lot more customers,” [panted] Tricia MacFarlan…of Mirror Ministries…MacFarlan [vomited out a lot of tired, thoroughly-debunked nonsense about]…an increase in sex trafficking during large events, and [inanimate, doll-like “slaves”]…being advertised…Mirror Ministries [capitalizes on the hysteria in all the typical ways, including propaganda sessions for the very stupid, sharing sex fantasies about]…runaway children…[handing out] soaps that have a [phone number for people too stupid to remember the numbers “nine one one”, and planting “sex trafficking” porn] in [hotel] rooms…

Between the Lines (#843)

Last year the FBI was bragging about the “success” of its annual pogroms.  But now:

The FBI launched [Operation Cross Country] over a decade ago to [unconstitutionally funnel federal funds into persecuting peaceful individuals using state laws]…but…now the Bureau is evaluating its effectiveness…1374 individual[s have been accused of]…traffick[ing]…since Operation Cross Country began in 2007….[roughly] 1000 [underage sex workers] have been [arresed and caged, while many thousands of adult sex workers have been brutalized and outed, while their children are abucted by the state and their lives are destroyed.  But sex workers have become warier of the usual stupid pig tricks are screening more effectively, with the result that]…arrests [have] dropp[ed] nearly 50 percent [in the past three years]…they are trying to re-evaluate the [scheme] to see what improvements could be made [to trap innocent people more effectively]…

Business As Usual (#905)

Columbus is still pretending it’s going to “do something” about its rapist vice pig problem:

Columbus Police is [talking about the possibility of slapping]…five [pigs on their wrists] over the [politically-motivated] 2018 arrest of…Stormy Daniels.  Interim [Swineherd] Tom Quinlan announced the [so-called] charges…[yet is keeping the names of the accused pigs secret]…each of the [pigs] will receive a hearing [with other pigs and bureaucrats], after which Quinlan will make a recommendation for [wrist-slapping].  Based on that recommendation, [an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat] will make the ultimate decision about suspensions, demotions or terminations…

Lack of Evidence (#915)

A small victory for sex workers in California:

…California Governor Gavin Newsom…sign[ed] legislation that would increase protections for people working in the commercial sex trade…Senate Bill 233…protects sex workers from arrest on prostitution- and drug-related charges if they come forward as victims of [certain specific crimes]…It also bans the use of condoms as evidence of sex work, a police practice sex workers have long said compromises their health and safety

On the one hand, a law is better than a non-binding “policy” which can be changed at a whim.  But I’m still extremely skeptical of the “immunity” portion of this law, which could easily be circumvented by charging the sex worker with “sex trafficking” rather than simple prostitution using any of the myriad excuses available to cops.  I really hope I’m wrong.

False Target (#917)

The predictable result of European countries denying queer people asylum:

A [lesbian] who was unlawfully deported from the UK has described how she was gang-raped and has lived in perpetual fear since being sent back to Uganda six years ago.  The British government was ordered by the High Court…to help the 26-year-old return to the UK on the grounds that its decision to reject her asylum claim was unlawful.  The landmark ruling could open the door to thousands of similar challenges.  The [woman]…also [got]…pregnant and ha[d] a child, who is now four months old, as a result of the sexual assault…she…arrived in the UK in 2011 and claimed asylum on the basis that she was a lesbian and would be at risk of persecution in Uganda.  But this was refused…because the Home Office [pretended] she was [was not queer]…the Home Office has decided to appeal the decision [so as to]…sen[d her] back to Uganda [to be raped] again…

I Saw My Brain (#940)

The Robert Kraft pogrom seems to have attracted the media’s attention to the psychopathic Grady Judd:

Sheriff Grady Judd [pretends his anti-whore pogroms are intended]…“to rescue victims of human trafficking”…Yet…only three people out of the 154 arrested [in May]…were considered possible victims of human trafficking…and…[they] were charged with unspecific crimes [anyhow]…their mugshots were displayed on a banner during the sheriff’s press conference and subsequently published online by local newspapers…Judd insisted that many of the women arrested were victims of human trafficking [even though his own department said otherwise]…Operations that purport to target human trafficking but yield mass arrests for prostitution-related offenses are commonplace in Florida…

Rough Trade (#942)

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

A man who raped two European women who were working as prostitutes in Ireland has been jailed for 20 years after the judge described the crimes as a “vicious and shocking”…Justice Tara Burns said that Gheorghe Goidan…had…clearly targeted them because he thought they would not be believed.  “He clearly thought they were mere dirt to rob and steal from [because Irish law defines them as moral imbeciles]”…the judge said…

Pyrrhic Victory (#957)

More on Amazon’s fascist collaboration with cops to end privacy forever:

Amazon’s [self-surveillance] company Ring has enlisted local police departments around the country to advertise its surveillance cameras in exchange for free Ring products and a “portal” that allows police to [demand] footage from these cameras, a secret agreement obtained [via public records request]…requires police to “keep the terms of this program confidential”…A signed memorandum…between Ring and the police department of Lakeland, Florida…show that Ring is using local police as a de facto advertising firm.  Police are contractually required to “[Frighten] the Lakeland community with [threats and propaganda] to encourage adoption of the platform/app”…Ring [gave] 15…surveillance cameras to the Lakeland Police Department, and…for every Lakeland resident that downloads [the] Neighbors [self-surveillance app]…the Lakeland Police Department gets…[a] $10 [coupon for buying more]…Ring cameras”…[at the full] $130 [retail price]…

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What we’re seeing is not so much a war on trafficking as a full-on frontal assault against…sex workers.  –  John Blaylock

Buried Truth 

Yet another perfect example of the McNeill Rule:

Norman Goldwasser, by day, is an Orthodox Jewish therapist at Horizon Psychological Services who compares homosexuality to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and misleads clients by claiming that their sexual orientation can be changed with his special brand of quack therapy, which is rejected by every respected medical and mental health association.  By night…he solicits sexual partners on Manhunt, a gay dating App, using the profile “Hotnhairy72”…Goldwasser also had a profile on Bear Nation by the same name…

Moving Pictures 

Another “sex trafficking” hysteria film for future generations to mock:

Doing Money aired tonight on BBC Two as the drama, based on real life events, explored the horrors of sex trafficking happening in the UK…Central character Ana (played by Anca Dumitra) was abducted off of a London street before being taken to Ireland where she was used a sex slave. The first ten minutes of the film saw Ana resisting her captors when they forced a “customer” on her…The story of Ana is based on the lived experiences of a woman who was held as a sex slave for 10 months and trafficked around both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

This is “based on real life events” like Roger Corman’s Vincent Price vehicles of the early ’60s were “based on” Poe stories.

Perquisites (#556)

Should we tell them most adult businesses bill under different names and business-classification codes to avoid bullshit like this?  Naaaaah.

Under Armour Inc. employees received an email earlier this year that upended a longstanding company practice: They could no longer charge visits to strip clubs on their corporate cards.  Over the years, executives and employees of the sports-apparel company, including Chairman and Chief Executive Kevin Plank, went with athletes or co-workers to strip clubs after some corporate and sporting events, and the company often paid for the visits of many attendees…Strip-club visits were symptomatic of practices women at Under Armour found demeaning…

Rough Trade (#682) 

This headline and lede are stigmatizing bullshit:

India’s Supreme Court has ruled that sex-workers have a right to refuse their services and seek redress when [raped]…The ruling came as the court overturned a 2009 Delhi High Court judgment that acquitted four people accused in a 1997 gang rape case.  The four defendants were previously freed on the grounds the victim was “a woman of bad character who indulged in prostitution”.  The Supreme Court restored the trial court’s conviction in the case and ordered that the four people accused must surrender within four weeks to serve the rest of their 10-year sentence…They also said if there was evidence to show that the victim was “habituated to sexual intercourse”, it cannot be inferred that the victim is of “loose moral character”.  The…ruling [also] reverses a 2016 Supreme Court ruling which said that a sex worker cannot file a case alleging rape if their customers refused to pay…

Indian sex workers already had the right to refuse services; what this judgment does is eliminates the “But she was a whore!” defense for rape, which is not at all the same thing.

Signs (#775)

Motel 6 gets some comeuppance for its eager copsucking:

Motel 6 has agreed to pay $7.6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by a Latino civil rights organization after the motel chain systematically shared guest information with [ICE]…The company will compensate Motel 6 guests who were questioned by ICE or [subjected to] deportation proceedings…[the] practice…le[d] to the arrest of at least 20 undocumented guests in Phoenix…It’s unclear how many…may be eligible for compensation…but…they may be numerous…

There is a similar lawsuit pending in Washington state.

Between the Lines (#788)

Here’s the first propaganda from this year’s “Operation Cross-Country” pogroms:

A human trafficking and prostitution sting in [Houston]…netted 75 arrests…[only 32 were men, 11 of which [cops decided to charge as] pimps…28 were woman [and the other 15 apparently were asexual organisms of some kind]…Sheriff Rand Henderson [bragged] he was “so proud” of [destroying people’s lives for desiring consensual sex or doing honest work for a living]…Henderson [fantasized that]…prostitution has evolved into human trafficking with most of the sex workers being trafficked individuals…

Bread and Circuses (#800) 

The time for men’s magazines to come on board as active supporters of sex worker rights is long overdueHustler‘s December issue contains this very supportive article which quotes Missy Mariposa, Liara Roux, Jessica Raven and Arabelle Raphael, mostly on FOSTA/SESTA but also on decriminalization, the War on Whores and sex worker rights in general.

To Molest and Rape (#830) 

Rapists argue that their rape isn’t rape because they should be held to a “different standard” than decent human beings:

…An…immigration detention center is trying to avoid responsibility for sexual violence within its walls by arguing that the detainee “consented” to sexual abuse.  E.D., an asylum-seeker and domestic violence survivor from Honduras, was sexually assaulted by an employee while she was detained with her 3-year-old child at the Berks Family Residential Center in Pennsylvania. At the time…E.D. was 19 years old…her assailant coerced and threatened her, including with possible deportation, while the defendants stood by and made jokes.  Although the employee pled guilty to criminal institutional sexual assault under Pennsylvania law, the defendants contend that they should not be liable for any constitutional violations.  Their argument rests in part on their [pretense] that the sexual abuse was “consensual” and that they should be held to a different standard because…Berks…is an immigration [prison]…rather than a jail or prison [for citizens]…there were 1,448 [incidents of rape or other] sexual abuse [reported to] ICE between 2012 and March 2018.  In 2017 alone, there were 237 [incidents of rape or other] sexual abuse in immigration [prisons]…

Legislators Gone Wild (#879) 

Prohibitionists trot out the Marxist “false consciousness” excuse when people won’t support their bans:

Groups looking to [ban] prostitution in Nevada [refuse to stop trying to impose their will on]…Lyon County voters [who] reject[ed]…an advisory question to rescind the county’s brothel ordinance.  [Prohibitionist] Brenda Sandquist…said…“The people of Lyon County — this is their normal. It’s that mentality – it’s normal that those brothels are there.  To have them removed could be a little scary…They believe the lie of the brothel myth.  That’s all they know…They just have to become more aware”…

And just for good measure, they got rid of their anti-brothel sheriff, too.

The Widening Gyre (#879)

Cop denials of “sex trafficking” scary tales would be more effective if unaccompanied by recitation of the usual myths:

[Cops] and [other prohibitionists fantasize]…that children and teens in Michigan are sold for sex, but it doesn’t happen the way many think.  The most common myth…is…spread on social media.  Someone [fantasizes about other shoppers]…in a store and goes online…to [share the fantasy.  But cops find this inconvenient to dissemination of their pro-surveillance, pro-censorship myth that prepubescent]…Children are more likely to be targeted inside their own homes…”It’s someone who has [magically teleported] into your house, on your couch or in your kids bedroom via their smart device,” [fantasized sow Jolene] Hardesty…the most common age range for sex trafficking victims is 13- to 16-years-old…[cops also fantasize that criminal cartels have a]…recruitment process [which] spread from social media into schools…[yet] YWCA Jessica Glynn…said…Most of the cases she’s seen involve one victim and one suspect, not a chain of victims…She said the Hollywood portrayal of sex trafficking also makes it difficult to prosecute [sex workers and their associates as] traffickers…

R.I.P. Dennis Hof

Too bad we can’t elect more dead politicians:  “Dennis Hof defeated Democratic educator Lesia Romanov on Tuesday in the race for Nevada’s 36th Assembly District…County officials will appoint a Republican to take his place in the seat…”  As regular readers know, I’m no Hof fan; furthermore, they’re going to negate the benefits of electing a corpse by putting a living windbag in his place.  But wouldn’t it be great if dead politicians were forced to be seated & finish their terms?  All of their votes would automatically count as “no”, and their salaries would go to paying any government debts.  It would be like those towns who elect dogs and cats as mayors.

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If you suspect you are going to become the subject of a Title IX investigation, the optimal strategy may very well be to file the first complaint.  –  Robby Soave

Where Are the Victims?

An escort service driver is convicted of “sex trafficking”:

A [judge ignored the conditions of a plea bargain to]…re-sentence…[a man who] pleaded guilty to a violation of the Mann Act…Judge Robert Pitman…[sentenced] Emmanuel Emil Bailey…[to] 84-months in [a cage and]…3-years on supervised release…[pigs called] an escort service ad and [fraudulently booked a session]…at a Waco [Texas] motel and when she arrived…[they] arrested her. [and her driver, Bailey]…

Lower Education

Why, how could anyone have predicted this?

The University of Cincinnati suspended a female student for allegedly engaging in nonconsensual sex with a male student who claimed he was too drunk at the time to approve the encounter.  The fact that this case involves a male accuser (“John Doe”) and a female aggressor (“Jane Roe”) makes it unusual among Title IX complaints…But the female student’s lawsuit against Cincinnati…reveals…Roe had previously filed a sexual misconduct complaint against one of Doe’s friends.  Roe’s lawsuit…suggests that Doe filed the complaint against Roe as a kind of revenge for getting his friend in trouble…Here’s an alternative theory: Doe woke up, realized they had engaged in sexual activity while they were both drunk, and feared that she would file a complaint against him, as she had done to his friend.  Panic-stricken, he felt he had no choice but to beat her to the punch…[because] Title IX administrators often appear biased in favor of the initial complainant, and presume the other party is the wrongdoer…

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

Police are investigating the former Modesto [California] youth pastor who is accused of sexual acts with teenage girls who attended his churches in California and Arizona…Les Hughey…was a youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Modesto in the 1970s.  Women recently came forward to accuse Hughey of coercing them into having sex when they were teenagers and he was a young married man…

Moving Pictures 

About the same level of reality as the other Rambo movies, really:

Sylvester Stallone…is returning for a [Rambo] sequel that’s scheduled to begin shooting September 1st.  In this installment, our hero is living in Arizona and burdened with PTSD.  He is forced to come out of mass killing retirement when his friend’s granddaughter goes missing in Mexico, which leads him to battle a vicious crime lord and his sex trafficking ring…

To Molest and Rape 

Too bad all rapist cops don’t make it this easy:

A Brooklyn jail guard who’s on trial for forcing inmates to pleasure his huge, stinky, hooked penis also bragged that his nickname was “caballo” — “horse” in Spanish…Eugenio Perez crowed about his 12-inch tool before abusing the women…The feds…corroborated the stories of [his] five [victims]…by confirming their description of his massive, putrid member.  The FBI got a search warrant to take photos of the distinctive phallus…which [were] show[n] to jurors…

Skin To Skin (#702)

All challenges to anti-sex laws end this way, until the day they don’t:

A lawsuit seeking to legalize prostitution in Utah got shot down by a federal magistrate judge…The case was brought by Russell Greer, a 25-year-old Utah resident who sought to open a brothel in Salt Lake City.  State authorities initially granted Greer a license for the establishment, then revoked it.  Greer sued, claiming his constitutional rights were being violated by Utah’s criminalization of prostitution…

Presumption of Guilt (#703)

Another step toward total financial surveillance:

Australia’s Liberal Party government has announced that it will soon be illegal to purchase anything over $10,000 AU ($7,500 US) with cash. The government says it’s, “encouraging the transition to a digital society,” and cracking down on tax evasion. But…anyone with their eyes open can see where this is going…

The Missing Word (#735)

The magic word isn’t completely missing herein, but look at where it isn’t used:

Thousands of migrants from Haiti and the Dominican Republic seeking a better life in more prosperous Chile are at high risk of labour exploitation and trafficking as migration to the South American nation soars…At least 100,000 migrants arrived in Chile last year from Haiti, the poorest nation in the Americas…Chilean authorities charged five people with smuggling dozens of Haitians into the country with false promises of jobs and work visas…Wadner Maignan [of] the Jesuit Service for Migrants…says Haitian men often end up working on construction sites and in factories where they are victims of labour exploitation and abuse…Chile [recently] tightened its rules on migration for Haitians and other nationals, citing a need to stem rising illegal immigration…

Between the Lines (#741)

Federal & fed-assisted vice pogroms now claim to be based on a “model”:

…a lengthy and significant investigation involving International Human Trafficking suspects operating in and throughout the Midwest…focused on the use of Internet based websites such as Backpage and City Vibe, which offered erotic massage and escort services of Asian females.  The ads were determined to serve as covers for prostitution services offered in dozens of U.S cities…Federal and local law enforcement choreograph[ed] the simultaneous service of multiple search warrants…The “Omaha Model” was advanced to all branches participating in the effort as the template for success…The communal efforts were successful in identifying and arresting fifteen Asian females…

Torture Chamber (#798) 

Trump thinks there isn’t enough rape in prisons:

The Trump administration…rolled back rules that allowed transgender inmates to use facilities that match their gender identity, including cell blocks and bathrooms, thereby reversing course on an Obama administration effort to protect transgender prisoners from sexual abuse and assault.  The Bureau of Prisons now “will use biological sex” to make initial determinations in the type of housing transgender inmates are assigned…The policy…gives federal officials…more leeway to place transgender women in cells alongside men…[leaving them] vulnerable to violence and rape…

Original Sin (#803)

Sometimes they don’t even bother to hide the evangelicalism of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Victory Outreach…Pentecostal church is…trying to bring sex workers and sexually exploited youth in off the streets.  Their main tool is prayer.  But in a city where police and prosecutors have tried to turn the tide of sex trafficking for more than a decade, can appeals to God really make a difference?…Ebony Salazar is driving down International Boulevard in Oakland…“We’re looking for girls that are out there, selling their bodies,” she explains…Salazar jumps out of the car.  The young women walk away, and a man drives up close next to them, swearing.  Salazar says he’s probably their pimp, and she calls after them:  “Jesus loves you!”…

Because interfering with poor women trying to make a living is a show of “love”.

Whore Madonnas (#808) 

More from Juniper Fitzgerald:

…mothers working within the sex industry are often heavily stigmatized.  As a mother to a precocious four-year-old, and a former sex worker, I know this stigma all too well.  Even though I command a certain degree of social capital…I nevertheless experience the stigma of my former work more often than most might think.  Even after earning my PhD, countless lawyers advised me that my former sex work would likely result in me losing full custody after my child’s father and I split…My experience is not an anomaly…

To Molest and Rape (#827) 

This is the first time I’ve been pleased about politicians’ tendency toward “monkey see, monkey do”:

A new Kansas law makes it a crime for police to [rape] people they [arrest or] pull over for traffic violations…the new law [was] passed in a bundled bill…[after] multiple [women spoke out against rapist cop]…Roger Golubski…[who] had a long history of coercing sex from women in Kansas City’s black community by threatening to arrest them or their relatives if they didn’t comply…

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Predicating [the] entire argument on [sex workers] being victims…[is] increasing victimization.  –  Kate D’Adamo

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

The claim that “child sex trafficking” makes more money than pharmaceuticals, food, tourism, insurance, electronics & others is so absurd it defies sanity:

Texas has ranked number two in the nation, behind California, in reported trafficking cases…Lisa…with Harvest House [has the fucking nerve to pretend she needs anonymity as sex workers do because of the criminalization she promotes]…Lisa [tells masturbatory fantasies about “pimps” abducting girls off the street] and [fantasizes]…“In seven years…You’re so diseased that they don’t need you anymore.  The life expectancy of a trafficked victim is seven to ten years…Child sex trafficking…is the number two money maker in the entire world”…

Girls, Girls, Girls!

[New York City] bartenders are now competing with the strippers…[by] wearing provocative clothing and doing a little shake…they’re distracting patrons from the actual strippers on stage who are much more athletic, more trained and who are doing the job which they were hired to do.  Furthermore, as people who rely on patrons spending money on them, men giving it to the bartenders, who are already being paid and tipped for their service, is taking money out of their pockets…the bartenders are often lighter skinned women who are either racially ambiguous and not Black.  Colorism has affected virtually every other industry, it only makes sense it would show up in the adult entertainment world as well…

So Close and Yet So Far

If you want to write an article supporting sex workers, is it so hard to fucking talk to one of us first so you don’t write stupid garbage?

Laws that prohibit prostitution should be declared unconstitutional…In 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a Texas law that made it a crime for consenting adults to engage in private, consensual…sexual activity…Lawrence recognized the importance of sexual activity as an essential part of liberty and explicitly rejected Texas’ argument that it could make a moral judgment that homosexual activity was wrong…This same reasoning explains why laws that prohibit prostitution are unconstitutional.  They, too, restrict what consenting adults do in their bedrooms…For some people, purchasing sex is their only way to engage in sexual activity…If prostitution were legal, it could be regulated.  There could be required health check-ups, protecting health for sellers and buyers.  Trafficking is an enormous problem…Other countries’ experience shows legalization is preferable…There are mandatory inspections…

If this dimwit had bothered to actually do some research he would’ve learned that NOBODY who has actually studied the issue wants legalization, which is just a form of criminalization that creates a two-tiered system because over 90% of sex workers refuse to be monitored like criminals, subjected to insulting “inspections” while amateurs run around spreading STIs, etc.

Uncharted Seas

Though it’s good to see more talk of legalizing polygamy, it’s sad that people are so conformist they feel they need to justify it with “feminism” instead of simply respecting people’s right to make their own choices:

…I am suggesting that polygyny — when a man has multiple wives — might be the answer as long as we see it through a feminist slant…We’re always hearing about a lack of marriageable men…the lack…isn’t just about well-employed college-educated men; it’s that…there may be fewer [“egalitarian”] men around than there are women wanting those kind of men…There are more than a few upsides to a polygamous arrangement that women enter into freely and willingly because it suits their needs…

Skin To Skin

There can never be too many articles on sex workers for the disabled:

…”people with disabilities…feel…really lonely and alienated, as though their sexuality doesn’t get to exist,” said Heather Jarvis of the Safe Harbour Outreach Project…some sex workers refuse to take clients with disabilities, because they…are afraid they’ll inadvertently hurt the client…[but in general] sex workers…mak[e a big difference] in the lives of clients with disabilities…a lot of it is non-judgmental communication…and…plain old companionship…

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

It’s never called “trafficking” when the government or a crony does it:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma is suing to stop the state’s courts from sending people to “an unpaid labor camp disguised as a rehabilitation center.”  The suit accuses the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Program (DARP) of federal labor violations and human trafficking…Participants…were told the program would be focused on counseling and addiction recovery.  “Instead, these plaintiffs were forced into a human trafficking scheme and remained under threat of prison sentences if they did not…provid[e] hundreds or thousands of hours of unpaid labor to…private corporations, doing such work as welding, plastic product manufacturing, and chicken processing”…any pay they earned from the companies went to DARP…they were fed one bologna sandwich and a Little Debbie cake for lunch and were often expected to make do on that for their entire 12-hour shift of manual labor; and that they were forced to sleep in bedbug-invested barracks and fed chicken from the plant that was unfit to sell…

New Excuse

Sometimes the War on Whores is the War on Drugs rather than its successor:

In Louisiana [last] week, the FBI helped arrest—and publicly ridicule—57 men who responded to fake (adult) prostitution ads.  Meanwhile in North Carolina, DHS has pitched in to help round-up people with small amounts of marijuana or cocaine on them.  Local media described the DHS efforts as a “human trafficking case.”  But the only offenses any suspects were arrested for were drug possession, driving with a revoked license, and parole violations—all state-level offenses, and mostly misdemeanors…no human-trafficking arrests, no children were found, and no victims of sex trafficking were rescued…

End Demand (#574)

It’s good to see articles critical of the “john school” scam appearing in trade publications:

…According to [Tennessee Assistant District Attorney Tammy] Meade, sex workers are women who lack control — women who are exploited by men — rather than women who make an informed, conscious choice to engage in the sex industry…John school is painted as a win-win for men and women alike…However…these programs, along with the narratives of victimization they perpetuate…harm women far more than they help.  The premise of john school and cracking down on “demand” is still driven by the idea that sex work needs to be policed in the first place, which creates barriers to safety and exacerbates stigma…and…there is no evidence to suggest that john schools actually decrease trafficking or prostitution.  Meanwhile, the classes fail to provide concrete resources — such as housing or access to childcare — and alternative job opportunities for the women they are [pre]tended to help…

Soap Opera (#628) 

The idea that Fresno, California, which isn’t on the way to anything else, could possibly be a “major hub” for any kind of business is so utterly stupid one wonders how even cops can believe it:

…Women and children are bought and sold every day in Fresno – online, in street corners, while at school.  They are raped, branded and beaten…Human trafficking casts a shadow on the central San Joaquin Valley, with thousands of victims both female and male, young and old, rich and poor, white, black, Hispanic, Asian.  It’s an industry that thrives on targeting your children.  And…it’s getting worse…High poverty and runaway rates contribute to the problem, as does Fresno’s central location between human trafficking hubs in the Bay Area, Southern California and Las Vegas…

Man, I can practically hear this guy’s fapping to his nasty fantasy; it’s really quite disgusting.

A Procrustean Bed (#651)

The idea that sex workers might be neither criminals nor victims is too much for the tiny, narrow minds of politicians:

…RISE Court, which stands for Resiliency Is Strength and Empowerment…participa[nts] are expected to make their first appearances before San Diego Superior Court Judge Carolyn Caietti…“A lot of kids have this horrible, nightmarish existence, and it’s going to take a lot [of punitive state action] to get them back so they’re going to feel [docile & obedient]” said Robert Trentacosta, presiding judge for the Juvenile Court…The special court is the county’s latest weapon against human trafficking…The court is modeled after a mental health court already in operation…as well as got input [sic] from [prohibitionists]…Trentacosta [masturbated furtively while fantasizing that]…“girls…are so fearful of their pimp [we have to brainwash them]”…[imprisonment] doesn’t necessarily [end] once they turn 18 [and could be indefinite]…

Too Close To Home (#701) 

Seattle’s rapist-in-chief has gone from slandering his victims as mentally ill to actually suing them:

King County Sheriff John Urquhart has filed a defamation lawsuit after a former deputy came forward with [a report] that Urquhart sexually assaulted him in 2014 outside of a Renton restaurant.  Brian Barnes…[reported that] Urquhart touched his crotch outside of the Yankee Grill after the two met for dinner…[local media claimed] Barnes [has]…a long history of…filing complaints and grievances against his superiors…Urquhart…[whose job is to terrorize the citizenry, un-ironically bloviated that] “Barnes has been terrorizing people…he doesn’t like for far too long.  It’s time for Barnes to be held responsible for his actions”…

Capricious Lusts (#720)

Another study shows what’s already been shown over & over again:

A new paper in the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy by Bisschop, Kastoryano, and van der Klaauw looks at the opening and closing of…tippelzones…in 25 Dutch cities.  “Our empirical results show that opening a tippelzone reduces sexual abuse and rape…by a 30–40 percent reduction in the first two years after opening the tippelzone”…Cunningham and Shah studied decriminalization of indoor prostitution in Rhode Island and found very similar results…In addition a working paper by Riccardo Ciacci and María Micaela Sviatschi studies prostitution in New York and also finds that prostitution significantly reduces sex crimes such as rape…

Between the Lines (#784)

It’s mildly amusing to watch a self-declared “sex trafficking expert” fail to comprehend that the reason the conviction rate for “pimps” is so low is that the FBI & cops are mostly just making up lies about sex workers and our friends, associates and partners:

In the latest nationwide human trafficking sting known as Operation Cross Country, the Federal Bureau of Investigation [labeled] 120 [people as] child sex traffickers and [arrested or abducted] 84 [legal minors]…behind the headlines, the reality is much different than what the public is led to believe….[people] arrested [as] human traffickers are rarely convicted for these crimes.  Charges are often dropped [for lack of evidence] or offenders accept plea bargains…one [so-called]…rescue…victim…was placed in a juvenile detention center, where she was sodomized by two inmates with a toothpaste tube.  She was later held in detention as a material witness until she gave her testimony at trial.  Therapy was not provided because “she didn’t avail herself”…Stories of arrests are quickly shared with the media, leading [self-professed “experts”]…to…be[lieve]…in…a…human trafficking scourge…

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SESTA…is an invitation to drive an awful lot of important speech from the Internet.  –  Cathy Gellis

If It Were Legal

The only reason this was necessary was because of idiotic laws against sex businesses:

…Helena Berkyova, 29, pretended customers were paying for gourmet food including king crab soup and soufflé when she charged them for [escort] services.  She set up sham catering firm Fine Dining Catering Services to conceal the illegal operation…Berkyova pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manage or assist in the management of brothels, keeping a brothel for prostitution, and money laundering…Berkyova [was s sex worker]…before moving up to management…She admitted managing the brothels between January 2013 and October 2015, raking in around £350,000 from paying customers…

Only a twit who’s never owned or run a business would think £350,000 (about $460,000) over a three-year period constitutes “raking it in”.

So Close and Yet So Far

When anyone not a sex worker uses the term “decriminalization”, read carefully:

…it is easy [for very stupid people who know nothing about economics and black markets] to assume that decriminalizing prostitution will embolden sex traffickers and increase victimization…Research I conducted for my book…shows that decriminalization of sex work is an evidenced-based approach to combating sex trafficking…Decriminalizing sex work does not make prostitution legal; it just empowers victims to come forward…I’ve gone to “the track” in the District, where women are sold for sex on the street…

“Decriminalizing sex work does not make prostitution legal” is total bullshit; of course it does, it just doesn’t make it legalized (i.e., subjected to a repressive regulatory regime or bound in so many special laws it might as well still be illegal).  Note also the agency-negating phrase, “women are sold for sex”, which no sex worker advocate would use.  I smell a supporter of the Swedish model, which is often dishonestly represented as decriminalization by its proponents due to the false claim that it “decriminalizes” sex workers (which it actually doesn’t).

Under Every Bed (#350)

I just can’t help laughing every time “authorities” pretend that North Dakota is a “sex trafficking hub”:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp [vomited out a lot of stupid anti-sex propaganda]…at [a] panel hosted by the University of North Dakota Law School…Thomasine Heitkamp, a social work professor at UND and Sen. Heitkamp’s sister, recently completed a study on domestic, dating and sexual violence in the Bakken oil fields.  She said the amount of concerns heard about sex trafficking during the study was stunning…Sen. Heitkamp said legislators need to take on Backpage.com, and other sites [she fantasizes as being] known for sex trafficking and called the Communications Decency Act a “barrier”…

A politician calls a law intended to protect people from government tyranny a “barrier”.  Yes, it is, and we need many more such barriers.  Also, what the fuck does “the amount of concerns heard about sex trafficking” actually mean?

If Men Were Angels 

I wonder what fraction of his rhetoric is directed toward “perverts”?

…72-year-old Garry Evans, pastor of Baptist Temple in Rushville [Indiana], is accused of molesting several girls in his congregation…a three-year-old girl reported…that Evans lured her into his office with the promise of candy, then pulled his pants down and made her touch his genitals.  He then told her not to tell anyone what happened.  After the investigation into Evans’ behavior began…another mother brought her five- and seven-year-old daughters to police.  Both girls told investigators that Evans had forced his hands down their pants when they were alone with him in his office…

Harm Magnification (#612)

Naturally, because it’s politicians’ job to cause harm, not reduce it:

The Lawrence County Board of Commissioners Tuesday morning opted to discontinue its contract with Indiana Recovery Alliance to operate a needle exchange program…the program is free to the county…but…[the county] prosecutor [vomited out evil crap about how] she could not support a program that facilitates…the illegal use of drugs…[two politicians] remained silent…[one of them, Rodney] Fish [suggested drug users]…”pray and…turn from their wicked ways”…[the other evil fuckhead, Dustin] Gabhart [vomited out]…“I don’t like the get-out-of-jail card for paraphernalia.  To me, those…make us a sanctuary…for addicts”…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#649)

I always feel dirty when prohibitionists salivate over their masturbatory fantasies in public:

A [rogue’s gallery] of state and local lawmakers in San Diego…[fantasized publicly about] young military men and…sex trafficking in California…[they fantasized that] eight thousand to 11,000 victims are trafficked in San Diego County every year, an $810 million business, according to a [bogus] 2016 study…[politician Juan] Vargas [masturbated openly to the fantasy that] gangs have moved from selling drugs to selling people…[while politician Xavier] Becerra [drooled while saying]…prosecutors must struggle to over[throw] internet privacy laws that make extremely difficult to prosecute [consenting adults for private sexual behavior]…[he also sexually fantasized in public about] girls who are 12 or 13 years old.  Maggy Krell…a…prosecutor…[cackled about] going after…hotels and motels [to enrich the state using the excuse of “sex trafficking”]…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#695)

Pearl-clutching is both funnier and sadder when a young man does it:

If not for its debaucherous reputation, you might not blink an eye passing the Fuji Building.  From the outside, it looks no different to the skyscrapers that surround it…But inside tells a different story:  Eighteen floors of “one woman brothels”…Signs on the doors read “welcome”, or “wait” in various languages… Strange anime cartoons accompany the messages…“The Fuji Building may be full of prostitutes, but so long as each individual flat can be shown to be a separate unit from all the rest — that it has its own water connection, electricity meter and no one else can access it — it is above board”…the scourge of human trafficking [is] “bubbling beneath the surface of the Hong Kong sex scene”…who’s really in charge?…Terrifying stuff.

Buildings are terrifying! Or is it young women? Sex? Anime cartoons?

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#714)

Indonesia is trying to criminalize all sex outside of marriage:

…Indonesia…is in the midst of a two-year crack down on sexuality and gender rights; last week, police arrested 58 people in a raid on a “gay sauna” in Jakarta, some of whom now face 10 years in prison.  Human rights defenders protecting the community have been threatened, attacked, slandered and threatened with death.  Sex worker rights defenders say their night-time profession multiplies the threats they receive as activists…Sex work regulations in Yogyakarta are vague.  “Flattery,” “seduction with words, gestures, signs” or other indications that one plans to “carry out indecent acts” are all criminal.  The regulations say sex work will “reduce a person’s honor” and conflict with Indonesian values…Workers who speak up for one another during the day are often the ones targeted by police at night…

Cooties (#766) 

Despite the popularity of this masturbatory fantasy with UK cops, not one has ever been found:

MPs investigating the sex trade…launched [an inquiry] into organised crime gangs using temporary addresses to sexually exploit women…Police issued warnings to holiday let owners…that their properties were at risk of being used as pop-up brothels.  The cross-party group will [attempt to shore up a narrative so cops can harass and persecute]…vulnerable women.  [Politician] Gavin Shuker…said…“It is vital that we uncover how these criminals operate – and how we stop them”…

I know it’s hard to tell through the layers of “sex slave” fantasy and women’s agency negation, but what they’re actually talking about are rentals used by touring escorts and those who don’t want to risk “pimping” charges by splitting the cost of a long-term rental with friends.

The Mote and the Beam (#771)

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

Harris County has filed a lawsuit against [a] Motel 6 [location, claiming]…the motel is a nuisance and has failed to abate criminal activity…The lawsuit said, “Officers have made numerous arrests for prostitution at this location as well as arrests for possession of illegal drugs, weapons, and violent crime.”  The lawsuit [demands]…Motel 6 maintain surveillance video, install and maintain electronic gates, prohibit cash only customers and hourly rates for stay…

The Widening Gyre (#778) 

Lenore Skenazy compares “sex trafficking” moral panic to an older form of bigotry-spawned hysteria:

…Facebook posts about fiends snatching innocent children are eerily reminiscent of an older, more pernicious scare:  a corrosive lie called the “blood libel,” in which Jews during medieval times were said to be killing Christian children and using their blood to make matzah…medieval scholar Emily Rose…describes the most famous blood libel of all:  the 1475 abduction and murder of a young Italian boy, Simon of Trent.  A Jew was accused of killing him for his blood.  It was not the first such story, but this one spread like wildfire thanks to a brand new social medium: print.  Posters and poems disseminated the allegations…Across the continent, people started claiming that a Christian child had been murdered by a Jew in their town, too.  “Most of these kids didn’t even exist,” Rose says, “and if they did exist, they weren’t killed.”  But that didn’t stop the stories from catching on.  And the people repeating them were no longer just plain peasants in a two-bit town…Today’s panicked moms probably don’t see themselves playing a role that goes back centuries.  But the only thing new is the medium they’re using to spread fear.

The Mote and the Beam (#780)

Just in case you think it’s only sex workers who will be harmed by SESTA:

…”ICE has recently re-defined the crime of human trafficking to include assistance, like housing and employment, that adults provide to juveniles who come to the United States without their parents.  In many cases, the adults being investigated and charged are close relatives of the minors who are supposedly being trafficked“…SESTA is drafted with language that…[allows] the government, both federal and state…to come after the platforms hosting any and all speech related to the assistance of immigrants, if any and all assistance can be considered trafficking.  The scope of what they could target is enormous: tweets warning about plain-clothed ICE agents at courthousessearch engine results for articles indicating whether evacuation centers will be checking immigration status, online ads for DACA enrollment assistance, or even discussion about sanctuary cities…If SESTA passes, platforms will either have to presumptively censor all such online speech, or risk prosecution by any government or state entity…

Between the Lines (#784)

“Operation Cross Country” is well-known for reinforcing the “sex trafficking” narrative by omitting figures for adult sex workers arrested, charging male sex workers as “pimps”, and listing arrested 16- and 17-year-old sex workers as “rescued children”.  But their most vile trick is abducting sex workers’ children, then claiming they were “rescued” or, even worse, “recovered”:  “An 18-month-old child was recovered in Baton Rouge and the child’s mother was arrested amid an FBI-led sex trafficking sweep that recovered 84 children and netted 120 trafficking suspects nationwide“…The word “recovered” refers to someone getting back something that rightfully belongs to them; for cops to use it about someone’s child is a blatant statement that the State views all children as its property.

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