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Posts Tagged ‘Bread and Circuses’

This…goes way beyond anything that is legal.  –  Jacinta González

Bread and Circuses

The US anti-whore jihad is so out of control it’s attacking random foreign websites:

A Brighton[, England]-based ad agency[‘s] website was [stolen] by US Homeland Security.  The agency stopped receiving external emails and turned to its IT support company Ingenious for an answer.  They discovered that anyone trying to visit the company website – designate.com – met a landing page with America[n pigs’ and spooks’ virtual pissing symbols all over it.  The pigs]…seized control of the website by changing the dot-com’s DNS records, allowing them to redirect traffic to their landing page as well as snaffle emails.  The ad agency received n[either] warning [nor]…explanation…And the…[pigs held the site for] ransom until [they] signed a form [waiving any possible claim for damages]…Jason Triandafyllou, director at Designate, finally got hold of a sp[ook] at Homeland Security [who admitted]  the site had been s[tolen] as part of [the US crusade against sex work]…Triandafyllou…[said] it was hard to quantify the damage done….[by their] website [being offline and their company libeled by porcine accusations for]…10 days…”Our SEO has also been floored – we’ll have to build up our rankings from scratch”…

I warned y’all long ago that because much of the internet backbone is on US soil, this would start to happen.

To Molest and Rape

All vice squads are breeding grounds for rape:

Four Glynn County [Georgia cops] have been indicted on multiple [administrative] charges [after] a drug task force [was disbanded for corruption, drug dealing and rape of women the cops had threatened into becoming snitches]…Chief John Powell and [vice pigs] David Hassler, David Matthew Haney and Brian Scott are facing a variety of charges stemming from [crimes they committed while members of the]…Glynn-Brunswick Narcotics [gang]…Powell…has been [rewarded with a paid vacation for cooking up the scheme]…Hassler [ignored the others’ crimes] and…perjur[ed himself]…Haney…and…Scott [enabled yet another pig]…James Cassada…[to rape] and provid[e drugs] to…[women] he had control over [by threatening them with prison]…

These unconstitutional multi-jurisdictional “task forces” encourage cops to commit even more crimes than usual because they can play games with “jurisdiction”, thereby completely escaping consequences for actions that even spineless judges admit were criminal.

Utter Cluelessness

They’re not even trying any more:

Foreign-born trafficking victims in Metro Detroit can now find sanctuary through an assistance program…focused on helping victims return to a normal life…[by giving an individual] a maximum of $6,000, a family…$7,500…The majority…are in sex trafficking in the restaurant and foodservice industry, traveling sales crews, domestic work, hospitality and housekeeping services…[Meanwhile] police touted 46 arrests [of women in] its ongoing human trafficking…crusade.  The crimes were committed [by police] in hotels and multi-unit apartment complexes…”See something, say something”…

So they think a one-time grant of $7500 for an entire family will replace a job, and that foreign folks will trust an organization bragging about police literally hunting down women trying to survive, while quoting a slogan intended to encourage snitching on undocumented migrants?  I guess we can’t expect logic or consistency from people who think that restaurant or housekeeping work constitutes “sex trafficking”.

Unsafe for Human Consumption

Cops think everyone is as stupid as they are:

Police in central Texas…believe [people are so stupid they’ll buy that] methamphetamine in Blanco County may be contaminated with the coronavirus and…the Johnson City Police Department…[will] “test…” [it for them]…

This isn’t the first time Texas cops have tried to use hysteria to trick people into turning themselves in to have their lives destroyed, but I can’t find where I filed the previous case.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#907)

Usually they at least try to pretend the “public health” rhetoric isn’t just crypto-moralism:

Pastor Adrienne Greene of Harrison, Ohio…[claimed] the devil… “repackages and sells the same forbidden sex-practices God spoke about to Moses:  homosexuality, incest, human trafficking and predatory abuses toward children and beasts.”  Ohio is one of the states currently attempting to pass copycat legislation drafted by well-funded religious lobbies declaring a made-up “public health crisis” around “pornography”…The Ohio effort is spearheaded by…a 26-year-old fundamentalist Christian [politician] who graduated from Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University…

The Widening Gyre (#941)

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter.  What makes these especially funny is that there has never been a single case of an adult woman abducted by so-called “sex traffickers” from any public place, much less a crowded subway platform.  Any normal adult woman reading this thread (linked above; this time I saw the actual thread rather than just a screenshot) would recognize it as nothing more than a clumsy pass of the “big spender” variety, such as any reasonably attractive woman has endured many times.  But she’s 100% POSITIVE HE WAS A HUMAN TRAFFICKER!  And naturally the thread attracted the usual collection of sycophants and “The same thing happened to me!” twits.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1008) 

Too bad nobody listened to me when I wanted this banned in 2012:

Clearview AI…is facing legal threats from Facebook, Google, and Twitter [for stealing data from them], as well as [toothless] calls for regulation and scrutiny in the US.  But…it has already shared or sold its technology to thousands of organizations around the world.  In its quest to create a[n irreversibly-widespread] global biometric identification system…Clearview has [sold its surveillance software to]…ICE…New York…Macy’s…FBI…CBP…Interpol, and hundreds of local [cop shops]…providing access not just to organizations, but to individuals within those organizations…with [absolutely] no oversight or awareness from their own management.  Clearview’s software…has been used by [individuals] in more than 2,200 [cop shops, spook groups]…and companies across 27 countries…at every level of American society and…around the world.  The…[dangerous] technology was specifically] intended as a tool [to establish a] police [state]…in North America…but…has also been aggressively [working to destroy privacy] in industries such as law, retail, banking, and gaming and pushing into international markets in Europe, South America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East…

Checklist (#1014)

Hey nurses, how does it feel to be infantilized by misogynistic racists?

Nurses today are [indoctrinated in]…human trafficking [hysteria, but now that hysteria hs expanded to include]…trafficked [nurses]…Patricia M. Speck…of…the University of Alabama…[fantasizes that] an industry of suppliers…seek to meet the demand by bringing in immigrant skilled nurses [who are not white and therefore too stupid to think of migrating to the US] from impoverished countries, like the Philippines…in…[search of] economic opportunity…[Prohibitionist Emily] Dunlap [panted]…“Now…they’re under control of the person that brought them over”…

To Molest and Rape (#1016)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to rape children:

A [typical and representative] Poplar Bluff [Misouri cop who was paid to terrorize]…school[children]…is facing multiple charges, including child [sex trafficking]…Brandon Hopper…was [also] charged with…possession of child pornography.  [His porn supplier] Amber Longhibler…was also arrested…[and] charged with sexual trafficking of a child, promoting child pornography and…possession of child pornography…pornography [found] on his phone…included a video of an adult male and a four-year-old girl, and a video of an adult male and a 10-year-old girl…

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This is political prosecution with no evidence.  –  Cliff Yi

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality

A review of what looks like a decent book on the reality of sex work in China:

…sex is for sale everywhere in China and deeply embedded in the culture, allowing migrant women to earn a living in large cities and provide companionship to men left alone by unfavourable demographics…Eileen Yuk-ha Tsang explores these aspects of China’s sex industry and more in her new book China’s Commercial Sexscapes. She takes an in-depth look at prostitution in Dongguan…one of China’s sex industry hotspots…Tsang, an associate professor in the department of social and behavioural sciences at the City University of Hong Kong, worked at a bar for several months to gain the trust of sex workers, and her sources eventually open up with stories which are vivid with humanity…Tsang details how sex workers from rural areas see their lives in big cities as modern and sophisticated, and they take pride in being able to support their families living in other provinces such as Sichuan, Guangdong, and Hunan…many find sex work preferable to their former jobs in factories, where they would work 30 days a month, 12 hours a day, in mind-numbing and harsh environments for around 1,600 yuan a month.  In the sex industry, they can earn from five to 50 times that amount, working perhaps three or four days a week.  Tsang also discusses the foreign men who hire Chinese sex workers.  [Unsurprisingly], more than a few end up marrying the women and move them to their home countries…

The Missing Word

They’re bending over backwards to avoid that word:

Maricopa County Assessor Paul D. Petersen has been indicted in an adoption fraud scheme…in addition to being County Assessor for Maricopa County, Petersen is also an adoption lawyer…none of the women who gave birth did anything illegal, and none of the families that adopted children are accused of any crimes…Petersen and [his accomplice Lynwood] Jennet facilitated travel for pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to come to Arizona for the purpose of giving a child up for adoption…Petersen [has been charged] with 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of a child, and communications fraud…Authorities say they were first alerted to the scheme by concerned hospital workers who called a human trafficking tip line…

Bread and Circuses 

So will Newsweek next tell us that some politicians want a $15 minimum hourly “rental” fee, or that some big company has “rented” a new CEO?

A website that allowed…folks to review, rent and…message…escorts has been [stolen] by federal authorities.  Now, those who frequent[ed] IndependentGirls.com [will] look elsewhere…The website…wasn’t just geared for those wishing to buy, rent or even casually view women, but it was also a way for escort agencies to advertise themselves and their clients…

“Buy women”.  Yes, this is an actual supposed adult who apparently believes that it’s possible to purchase slaves on an ordinary review board.  And a supposedly-serious news outlet actually printed that.

If It Were Legal (#560)

While stigma and criminalization exist, this will keep happening:

The account details of the 250 thousand users of Dutch website Hookers.nl…we[re hacked and the]…hacker…is offering [the data] for sale…The website is popular among [both] clients [and] sex workers…The leaked data includes email addresses, user names, IP addresses and passwords.  The passwords are encrypted, but the email addresses are legible…[and some government] names are in the email address used to open an account.  The hacker is offering to sell the data for 300 dollars to any individual who wishes to purchase it…

Dutch Threat (#578)

Dutch authorities keep pretending their ever-narrower bottleneck is intended to help sex workers:

The [Dutch] government is taking extra measures to fight…the sex industry.  Sex workers will soon be required to have a permit to do their job, and the minimum age for sex work will be raised from 18 to 21…the government wants to bring “uniformity” to the rules around sex work in the Netherlands.  Currently…the minimum age varies per municipality, with some maintaining a minimum age of 18 and other 21…The articles that criminalize human trafficking and exploitation in prostitution will be expanded to include the persons “involved” with sex workers who get “financial benefit”.  It will make it illegal to [be a roommate, partner, landlord, etc] of a sex worker that doesn’t have a permit…People within the sex industry have warned that the[se stupid laws] will lead to sex workers going underground and working illegally [as such laws invariably do]…

The Cop Myth

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

…In the nineteen-nineties, researchers found that forty-one per cent of male [cops]…admitted that, in the previous year, they’d been physically aggressive toward their spouses, and nearly ten per cent acknowledged choking, strangling, or using—or threatening to use—a knife or a gun.  But there are…no [more recent] empirical studies…[due to] reluctance to fund a study that will bring attention to [the violence intrinsic in policing]…the factors that lead to abuse at home—coercion, authoritarianism, a sense of entitlement to violence—are also present in [public cop behavior]…It should not be surprising that domestic abuse appears to predict excessive use of force—a link that scholars have suggested should [but won’t] alter the way that departments respond to both kinds of aggression.  The Citizens Police Data Project, in Chicago, analyzed the records of Chicago cops between 2000 and 2016 and found that [cops who commit]…domestic abuse received fifty per cent more complaints than their colleagues for using excessive force…one in five [cops actually] arrested for domestic violence…had also been the subject of a federal lawsuit for violating people’s civil rights…

Cooties (#816)

AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies are going global:

At the end of September, Airbnb unveiled a new special portal through which [pigs] can [demand private] information about users…The company [snivelled that] the portal will provide [pigs] with a dedicated channel they can use to [root through things that really are none of their business]…short-term rental properties such as those offered via Airbnb…have [long been the subject of cop masturbatory fantasies about]…human trafficking and prostitution…in…so-called “pop-up brothels”…[blah blah]…pimps and gangs…[blah blah] law enforcement agencies…

Even before one reads the article, the word “illicit” is a red flag for puritanical authoritarianism.

Torture Chamber (#950)

Just locking hundreds of women in secret dungeons and denyng them lawyers; nothing to see here:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement moved more than 700 women, some of whom have critical medical conditions, out of a Texas detention center in September without giving their lawyers any way of finding them…Starting on Sept. 20, the women being held at the Karnes County Residential Center were sent to other centers around the country so that the facility could be used to detain families.  More than two weeks later, their lawyers from the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) have no idea where the majority of these women are being held, and they can’t find any updated information in ICE’s online detainee tracking system…

A Procrustean Bed (#958) 

These programs to warp women’s minds and indoctrinate them in anti-sex dogma are very popular in Ohio:

A [so-called] diversion program for [sex workers] is spreading to cities around the country. The model has roots in Columbus, Ohio, where a judge decided to [force] women [in]to…[“conversion therapy”] instead of jail…Judge Paul Herbert…[like most modern authoritarians, infantilizes sex workers] as victims of human trafficking…At the start, CATCH was one of only a few such programs in the country.  There are now seven of these [re-education programs]…in Ohio alone…[victims of this system are] subject to drug testing and must show up in court every week for two years [making both normal life and square jobs impossible.  It’s no wonder that fewer]…than 1 in 4 of the women [forced into the scheme] make it to [the end]…

Loose Cannons (#967)

I’m pleased to see yet another big article on the Robert Kraft raids recognizing what a huge scam the whole thing was:

On July 6, 2018, a health inspector named Karen Herzog visited a massage parlor in South Florida for a routine inspection.  She noticed that the spa worker, a young Asian woman, was “dressed provocatively,” spoke “little English,” and appeared “nervous.”  Herzog also noted suitcases, clothes, a fridge full of food, and condoms, all of which, according to the [racist indocrination] she had received, could be signs of human trafficking.  She reported her findings to the Martin County sheriff’s office…[which] launched a…[snoop campaign] into what [they thought they could sell to the media]…as a large-scale prostitution ring engaged in human trafficking…

The “sex trafficking” hysteria is finally dying; unfortunately, the laws it spawned will continue to be used to destroy thousands of lives and eviscerate the internet.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#971) 

Is there anything the government won’t call “sex trafficking”?

…the U.S. attorney’s office of San Diego charged the owners and one employee of the adult website Girls Do Porn with four counts of sex trafficking…[in] August…another case against the company—a class-action lawsuit representing 22 Jane Does—went to trial after years of hearings, discovery, and strategic delays from the defendants.  The trial was initially planned for February…but delayed for six months when the company’s owner, New Zealand native Michael Pratt, filed for bankruptcy.  “As soon as I bankrupt the business,” Pratt wrote in texts later submitted as evidence, “they are fucked”…The company…conned the plaintiffs and several hundred other young, low-income girls into porn by making false promises that their scenes would not go online.  They claimed the tapes would sell only to private collectors abroad…

This is clearly criminal fraud, but it doesn’t help anyone for the government to roll it into the inflated “sex trafficking” numbers it uses to justify police violence, grotesque violations of civil liberties, and mass censorship.

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People…[recognize] outrageous abuse of authority, but they often don’t question the authority itself.  –  Scott Shackford

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

But, but, but…BUYING WOMEN!!!

The head of the London [Ontario] police department’s human trafficking unit faces three professional misconduct charges for allegedly ordering the release a fellow [pig] swept up in a prostitution sting and then trying to cover up his tracks.  Sgt. Michael Hay…directed the unconditional release of a [cop]…who had been arrested during a [scheme to persecute] men [seeking consensual] sex…

Change a Few Words

What other group is stopped from entering the US for acts that aren’t crimes in their country?

…Sam Znaimer is a Vancouver, Canada-based venture capitalist who has been investing in everything from tech to telecommunications for more than 30 years.  Recently, he put more than $100,000 into legal American cannabis companies.  In May, when he attempted to drive across the border, he was flagged for [harassment] and [interrogate] for four hours.  “To my shock and horror, I was told that I was deemed to be inadmissible to the United States because I was assisting and abetting in the illicit trafficking of drugs,” Znaimer said…American immigration attorney Len Saunders said he’s seen at least a dozen cases like Znaimer’s at the Blaine land crossing as well as airports in Vancouver and Edmonton over the past few months.  In the prior 15 years that he’s practiced law on the border, he’d never seen one…In June, Canada became only the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.  It’s also home to one of the only securities exchanges on the planet where people can buy stock in American pot companies…

Lack of Evidence (#344) 

When will amateurs learn that the War on Whores affects them as well?

…the Hollywood [Florida] Police Department raided  an adult store called the Pleasure Emporium…an undercover couple went to the store, purchased tickets for an adult video room, and found gay men allegedly performing sex acts either on themselves or with each other.  It wasn’t prostitution, but the cops decided it violated the statutes against lascivious acts and exposure of sexual organs…arrests followed, and…the men became victims of what the Miami New Times has rightly called a smear campaign.  Local outlets such as WPLG and The Miami Herald posted the men’s names and mugshots.  Abbie Cuellar, a lawyer representing one of the men, tells the New Times that her client lost his job as a result…

Bread and Circuses 

This pearl-clutching mess about feds’ attack on a fairly ordinary incall escort business is so larded with dysphemisms and lurid nonsense, there’s little point in quoting anything else:

Human merchandise hawked…littered with pictures of women…performing submissive positions…solicit women for prostitution…sophisticated prostitution and human trafficking network…pricy haunts…pimps and madams…virtual sex carnival…reel in johns….broken English…prostitution network…with that female…sex-trafficking matchmaker…prostitution proceeds…staggering number of condoms…sex house to sex house…Bashir and her cohorts…illicit sex operations…steady stream of men…

This bluenosed reporter apparently believes this kind of ridiculous language make her sound clever rather than like an intern at the Daily Mail incapable of doing the most basic research; three minutes on any escort’s site (mine included) would have led her to understand that a double means two girls, not “likely meaning having sex more than once”.  Of the victims of this witch hunt, Susan Bashir, Jineok Kim, and Kyung Song plead guilty; Yoon Kim and his wife Taehee Kim are still fighting the charges.

Policing for Profit (#590) 

Let’s hope this provides a powerful precedent to take down similar robbery gangs all over the US:

…in April 2016, Arlene Harjo let her 38-year-old son borrow her two-year-old Nissan Versa…the next morning Harjo learned that Albuquerque police had arrested him for driving while intoxicated…[and stolen] Harjo’s car, which the city planned to keep…U.S. District Judge James Browning…said…”The City of Albuquerque has an unconstitutional institutional incentive to prosecute forfeiture cases…because, in practice, the forfeiture program sets its own budget and can spend, without meaningful oversight, all of the excess funds it raises from previous years…[this] violates procedural due process, because owners have to prove that their cars are not subject to civil forfeiture”…Albuquerque [steals] more than 1,000 cars a year, generating more than $1 million in revenue, based on crimes such as DWI [and] patronizing prostitutes…Half the time, as in Harjo’s case, the car does not belong to the offender.  Cars nevertheless are automatically forfeited if the owner does not request an administrative hearing (and pay a $50 fee) within 10 days.  Before Harjo’s hearing, as part of its customary “settlement negotiations,” the city offered to sell her car back to her for $4,000, provided she agreed to have the vehicle booted [and therefore completely useless to her] for 18 months…Several months later, after Harjo filed a lawsuit with help from the Institute for Justice, the city dropped its forfeiture complaint. It turned out that Harjo’s car was not subject to forfeiture because it had been seized outside the boundaries of Albuquerque.  Meanwhile, the car had been damaged while sitting in a city lot for eight months, during which Harjo had to make payments on a vehicle she could no longer use…

New Mexico isn’t the only state which literally robs people in this fashion.

Censor Chic (#827)

Corporations are becoming the favored tool of censors around the world:

Google is reportedly planning to relaunch its search engine in China, complete with censored results to meet the demands of the Chinese government…According to internal documents provided to The Intercept by a whistleblower, Google has been developing a censored version of its search engine under the codename “Dragonfly”…[which] will reportedly “blacklist [forbidden] queries” and filter out all websites blocked by China’s web censors (including Wikipedia and BBC News)…The whistleblower…said they…were “against large companies and governments collaborating in the oppression of their people…what is done in China will become a template for many other nations”…Google previously offered a censored version of its search engine in China between 2006 and 2010, before pulling out of the country after facing criticism in the US

Rooted in Racism (#846) 

They want to make “different last names” a thing so as to cover up racial profiling:

The Home Office posted a tweet on [August 1st] advising family members with different surnames to bring birth or adoption certificates to the airport to help them pass through passport control more quickly.  The image accompanying the tweet read:  “Families with different surnames may be asked questions to establish their relationship”…In a follow-up tweet, the Home Office clarified its position: “We have a [scheme] to [maximize inconvenience in order]…to [further security theater]…and [increase surveillance to a many people as possible]…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#848)

Cops busting kids’ lemonade stands is no longer news, but adults calling the cops on kids is part of an ugly pattern we keep seeing of late:

Kid sets up a lemonade stand outside his home, which happens to be next door to the Saratoga County Fair in Ballston Spa, New York.  Vendors at the fair call state health officials to complain.  State health officials show up, determine the kid doesn’t have a permit, and shut him down…while we’re told that permitting and licensing programs are all about public safety, they are frequently used as bludgeons to keep competitors out of the marketplace…officials initially apologized after they realized they were just shutting down some kid’s stand, not somebody trying to undercut the vendors inside the fair.  But…officials [also]…said the boy would have to get a $30 temporary food permit, which…comes with all sorts of rules.  Politicians are now falling all over themselves to get publicity for [pretending to] support…the boy [while leaving the authoritarian system which enables such harassment unquestioned]…

Torture Chamber (#852) 

Despite current posturing by Democrats, abuse of migrants has been a bipartisan policy for quite a while:

A youth worker at a Southwest Key [migrant prison] in Mesa, Arizona, has been charged with molesting eight teenage boys in his care…Levian D. Pacheco…perform[e] oral sex on two boys and attempt[ed] to force one of them to anally penetrate him, as well as inappropriately touching other boys…Pacheco is HIV-positive and…some of [his victims] have undergone HIV testing.  The abuse…occurred over nearly a one-year period, from August 29, 2016, until July 24, 2017.  The boys were between 15 and 17 years of age and had all crossed the border as unaccompanied minors and were [captured and caged]…A worker [named Fernando Negrete] at another Southwest Key facility in Arizona was arrested and charged this week with sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in his care…

Is this reporter asleep at her keyboard, or did she actually intend to refer to molestation of abducted teenage boys as “caring for unaccompanied minors” and to say of two molesters that caged victims were “in his care”?  Here’s more on the second molester: “Fernando Negrete..touched the girl’s breasts and crotch over her clothes, and kissed her on multiple occasions…

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[Loitering laws are] a way of harassing people and discriminating when you don’t like the way they look.  –  Amy Paulin

One Size Fits All

Calling rape “sex trafficking” is a good way to inflate numbers:

…the man who raped 13-year-old Laura Skelly has not been arrested or charged…when Laura…ran away…from their Fort Lauderdale, Fl., home, the local police didn’t respond to Mary Skelly’s initial plea for help…Laura finally turned up on her mother’s doorstep 10 days later, with a flower tattoo, bruised, beaten and raped…Although Mary provided the Fort Lauderdale police department with the name, date of birth, address, and even the Instagram account of the 22-year-old man who trafficked her daughter…no one…followed up…This doesn’t surprise John Rode, a…private [dick]…who searches for missing and runaway children in south Florida…“Human trafficking is not only…young girls coming out of containers…Girl runs away from home.  A few days later someone takes her in, gets her on drugs, and she’s held against her will.  Now she’s a victim of human trafficking”…

Just Call Me Nobody

Sometimes the ignorance of pigs is utterly mind-boggling:

[Sow] Debra Stiles of the Longview [Texas Pig] Department [fantasized]…”We have girls selling themselves for $10…on websites and social media…I haven’t had one say they are STD free.  They can’t go get the medical help they need…”

Truth:  Streetwalkers have STI rates half those in promiscuous amateurs (such as cops), and escorts have much lower rates than that.  And it’s amateurs who run around saying they’re “disease free”, because it’s a given among sex workers due to our far higher standards.  But even if that weren’t true, is there anyone at all who is such an ignoramus as to believe that literally every member of any group is infected with STIs?

Bread and Circuses 

Just a reminder:  I owned an escort service like this one, only smaller:

…Brandon Martin and Tameko Lindo [were arrested] for money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with their ownership and operation of Flawless Escorts, a nationwide [escort service]…Flawless Escorts’ website [was also seized]…U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman [clutched his pearls and spouted a lot of ludicrous dysphemisms about an ordinary business]…HSI [stooge] Angel M. Melendez said:  “In just under four years, these defendants are alleged to have secured more than three thousand hotel bookings”…

In other words, an average of about two a day.  Don’t these idiots realize how stupid they sound?

Choke Point (#593) 

Decriminalization is just the beginning:

A Wellington brothel owner is furious at banks who will not let her open a business account.  Prostitution was decriminalised 15 years ago but that has not put an end to…discrimination…by the banking industry…”We…approached every bank in New Zealand and no one would take it…We’ve got no criminal record, we don’t have a debt to our name … it’s just crazy.”  Another sex worker, who did not want to be named, said she had a similar experience…when trying to open a business account…”They said they didn’t deem it a real occupation”…banks…are not allowed to discriminate against individuals due to occupation, [but] can decline to give credit or products to certain industries…

Part of the Picture (#665)

This article on how men & women respond to porn contains the following important point:

Sometimes people will call porn a “superstimulus” and it is definitely not.  It does not do anything outside of what the body and brain can already generate by itself.  Dopamine increases when you’re watching porn, but only in areas of the brain where it traditionally increases with other types of rewards as well.  Dopamine does spike with cocaine and it does happen with porn, but it happens with a million other things we don’t consider addictive.  There’s nothing that special about it.  It’s just our brain doing its reward thing…For something to be considered an addiction, it has to meet a lot of different criteria, and if it doesn’t meet all of them then it can’t be called an addiction…For instance, if someone has a problem with methamphetamines and you show them a picture of someone using them…their brain…[has] a higher reactivity.  That does not exist for porn.  We tested that in people who thought they were addicted to porn and found that they had a lower response, if anything…

Negative Secondary Effects

Welcome to our world, tattoo artists:

When Ted Legendre purchased a nearly 30-year-old tattoo parlor in LaPlace [Louisiana] a couple years ago, he had no idea he was buying a business that St. John the Baptist Parish would eventually consider legally akin to a sex shop or strip club.  But when the council changed the parish’s zoning rules last year, that’s exactly what happened.  So when Legendre tried to move Tattoos Unlimited…to a more visible spot in a strip mall…he couldn’t get approval to open — even though the parish had given him a green light to renovate the space…The St. John Planning and Zoning Department denied Legendre a permit because any business classified as an “adult use” is not allowed to operate within 1,000 feet of a day care facility…or…numerous other types of buildings in the parish, including churches, community centers or even residences…the new law…effectively ban[s] any “adult use” businesses on the east bank of the parish…

What the story doesn’t say:  95% of the population of St. John Parish lives on the east bank, and the only ways to the west bank are ferries or driving roughly 20 miles to the nearest bridge, then the same distance back on a winding two-lane highway.  Bet you can guess the excuse (hint: see subtitle).

Profit from Panic (#701) 

The infantilization of sex workers is growing ever more absurd:

…victims of human trafficking have to learn skills many people take for granted, including how to eat right…the average age of a child sold for sex is 13 years old…End Slavery is a group that helps rehabilitate and give life skills to survivors of human trafficking…In Tennessee there are around 100 minors trafficked every month…one issue that keeps them from living fulfilling lives is understanding what consists of a proper diet…

The subtitle-linked article claimed “survivors” don’t know how to tie their shoes.

Checklist (#783)

The real purpose of this scheme is to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system:

According to a 2014 survey of about 100 survivors of sex trafficking, 88 percent said that while they were being trafficked they had contact with a health care provider, typically someone in an emergency department…a growing number of hospitals and health care systems…are putting [surveillance] programs in place.  They want to [indoctrinate] staff to [interfere in sex workers lives and report them to the pigs]…nearly 300 staff members at Huntington Hospital and a family clinic have received [indoctrination] in how to spot [sex workers] and [snitch on] them…

Lack of Evidence (#792) 

If sex work weren’t illegal laws like this would be easily overturned:

An ordinance passed last month by Chicago’s City Council outlawing “prostitution-related loitering” will lead to more arrests of unsuspecting women and transgender people of color, activists said, and is unlikely to stem demand for prostitution.  The ordinance, which passed by unanimous voice vote, allows police to order a person they [claim] is “loitering for the purpose of prostitution” to leave the area for at least eight hours.  If they return, they could face fines ranging from $50 to $500 and up to six months in jail…Responding to [demands] from [prohibitionists]…the final version of the ordinance [cl]aimed to more harshly punish men who buy sex…In a written statement, [bill sponsor Jason] Ervin said…“I…want to punish people for…standing on a public sidewalk”…“It is…our…goal to arrest street prostitutes,” Tina Skahill, general counsel for the Chicago Police Department, told the committee…

Under Every Bed (#844)

The confused babble spouted by “officials” in low-population states is truly stupefying:

Robert Leslie, senior deputy attorney general…[for] West Virginia…[bloviated that “sex trafficking”]…involves children…as young as 6…”it’s such an underground economy that we don’t really know exactly how big it is”…Berkeley County…Sheriff Curtis Keller…said…”These pimps or johns, whatever you want to call them, get these women addicted and then, they starting using them as a means of making money…They can even move these women around at will, so it definitely falls in the category of human trafficking,…We get calls about women jumping out of cars or just trying to take off from other people, and to me, that’s a form of what human trafficking includes,” he said [while furtively masturbating behind he podium]…

“Human trafficking” includes women jumping out of cars, says the sheriff, who appears to be confused about different meanings of the word “traffic”.

Safe Position 

I’ll be watching this race with interest:

…public defender Daron Morris…is challenging [incumbent prosecutor Dan] Satterberg on…the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office[‘s persecution of]…sex work…Morris is supported by the Sex Workers Outreach Project of Seattle…[and] supports decriminalizing prostitution…Satterberg…said he…support[s harassing]…sex workers…through violence and coercion…Morris has also criticized the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for accepting grant money from an anti-prostitution group called Demand Abolition.  He said the group was allowed too much influence over county policy, requiring certain statements to the press…

Fair-Weather Friends

Oh, what a surprise:

…a whistleblower…inside the Columbus Police Department…[revealed that] the arrest of Stormy Daniels…[was] pre-planned days before she ever arrived in town…the…whistleblower…contacted the [Fayette] Advocate with numerous emails between several high-ranking Columbus police detectives and vice [cops].  Inside the emails are news clippings discussing Daniels’ planned appearance in Columbus, pictures of Daniels with President Donald Trump, videos of her dancing, and even a map to the club where she would be performing, all sent days before she would pull into town…The bulk of the emails…are from the…account of Detective Shana Keckley…one of the lead-arresting [pigs] the night that the “sting” operation went down…“The emails definitely show that the police lied about it being a prostitution and human trafficking mission,” the whistleblower said…

While I’m pleased at the tipoff, I must point out that this whisteblower is still a cop, and perfectly happy to participate in using consensual “crimes” to destroying the lives of non-famous people who aren’t politically useful.

Pyrrhic Victory (#857) 

When a headline asks a question, the answer is almost always “no”:

In many parts of the world, [frogs] are…beginning to accept the use of facial recognition technology to [boil them]…the Lockport City School District in New York plans to [install such a surveillance system]…In light of the [school] shooting…[hysteria of] recent years, parents…might vote to allow it…[but] schools [will certainly]…track students across the campus, profile them, and…collect and store the data…then trade them with the government…the New York Civil Liberties Union has asked the state’s education department to ban the technology from schools, saying it would “have a chilling effect on school climate…Lockport…views students as potential criminals who must have their faces scanned wherever they go,” said Stefanie Coyle, Education Counsel and John Curr III, Director, NYCLU.  The two…further pointed out that [when] the databases linked up to the system include those used for immigration enforcement, it could make [sensible] parents of immigrant students afraid to send their children to school…

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This month I’ve had an unusual number of guest columns, but then this has been a most unusual month.  Just Saturday I received an email from one of my contacts, containing a description of Michael Lacey’s arrest; since it says everything that I think needs to be said, I’ve only edited it slightly to redact information that could identify my contact’s source.

I got some of the backstory of Lacey’s arrest from a former editor at one of his papers, who was getting ready to travel to Phoenix for a wedding reception for Lacey (apparently he had just gotten married) when the news broke that he’d been arrested.  The Feds did a full on tactical arrest:  kicked in his door,  came in guns out,  and even forced his elderly mother-in-law who was there at the time to get down on the floor.  Given that Lacey has no criminal background of any kind (let alone a violent one), it is very questionable why they didn’t use the common sense approach used with white collar suspects and just call his lawyer and direct him to surrender at the Federal courthouse.  Unless of course you are striving for maximum political theater.  My contact says after the reception Lacey and wife were going to leave for Spain on their honeymoon, and suspects his imminent trip abroad may have been their excuse for overkill on the arrest, though Larkin had also flown abroad at the time the indictment was handed down and was turned around by police in Scotland.  The crux of the new case against Lacey and Larkin seems to be that the Feds succeeding in intimidating Carl Ferrer, the former CEO of Backpage, and they got him to flip on them.  Given this, Lacey’s only hope would seem to be mounting a major first amendment constitutional challenge the likes of which we haven’t seen since the Larry Flynt case.

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I hate these website confiscation notices.  The agencies involved always plaster their logos all over the damned thing, like they’re so proud of how they wrecked someone’s business, like a bunch of dogs pissing all over to mark their territory.  It makes me sick.  –  Mark Draughn

So it’s finally happened; after seven and a half years of illegal persecution, the federal government finally wiped its fat, disgusting arse with the last remaining shreds of the Constitution and seized Backpage on a number of trumped-up charges, meaning the usual no-evidence-needed “money laundering” and “conspiracy” to ensure they can still loot the corpse of the victim even after repeated attempts on ridiculous “sex trafficking” charges fell flat.  Judges have repeatedly and consistently sided with Backpage in every challenge

…for the simple reason that the government’s demands are blatantly unconstitutional.  But the evil don’t stop being evil merely because they’re wrong; faced with repeated defeats in their attempts to take legal action against the company, government prohibitionists decided to simply take illegal actions instead, ranging from Tom Dart’s threats against credit card companies to Senate “hearings” of the same sort previously held to intimidate moviemakers, comic book publishers and the music industry.  Then in October [2016], California attorney general Kamala Harris upped the ante by committing the blatantly criminal act of arresting the CEO and both owners of Backpage and filing charges against them that she absolutely knew were illegal for her to file.  Naturally, a judge slapped her down, and she replied by filing even more ridiculous charges, shitting all over the dying protection against double jeopardy in her quest to be a hero to fanatics.  Exhausted and facing the prospect of an infinite succession of similar nuisance charges from criminal tyrants the courts seem unwilling to charge or even rein in, Backpage finally followed in Craigslist’s footsteps and censored its adult ads

…but that did no good.  The War on Whores in general, and on Backpage in particular, is just the latest chapter in the government’s vile “public morality” circus, and once Backpage was chosen to be the big bogeyman the “authorities” had to make a grand spectacle of taking it down, complete with raids on the homes of the company’s founders and the arrest of Michael Lacey, whom the Arizona political establishment has been trying to destroy for years (try not to vomit when you read “Cuckoo Clock” McCain’s sanctimonious braying in that article).  In order to increase the melodrama and drag out their victims’ torture, officials intentionally staged the raid on Friday afternoon, then lied about the time they would release a statement so as to push it past the weekend; all the “authorities” would say is that their Star Chamber Court had charged Lacey with 93 counts of something, but didn’t think it was necessary to tell their victim, his attorney or the public what any of those somethings are until yesterday.  When they did, it was just the usual “money laundering”, “conspiracy” and “travel act” nonsense (same as Rentboy), and not one single “sex trafficking” charge.  In the meantime, sex workers all over the world who relied on Backpage are scrambling to find new advertising venues at a time when many of those venues are closing due to the blatantly-unconstitutional and tyrannous FOSTA, yet the bloated corpse of what was once the nation’s greatest civil rights organization hasn’t said a single word on the subject; apparently ACLU is much too busy helping middle-class white men to force bigots to cater their ostentatious displays of conspicuous consumption to bother even making a statement about the most extensive and shameless act of civil rights abrogation since the USA-PATRIOT Act.  And if those who claim it’s their mission to protect people from civil rights violations won’t help us, we’re going to need other allies ASAP.

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Democrats have been using internet sex panics to score political victories since the days of MySpace.  –  A.V. Flox

Rough Trade 

Please be careful out there, ladies:

[Los Angeles] detectives are searching for a serial rapist they say preys on prostitutes.  The suspect [pretends he want to]…pay…but…ends up kidnapping the women, raping them and then dumping them from his vehicle.  The man has struck at least 12 times since January 2014…victims have ranged from 15 to 46 years old…Despite the fact the man’s description has varied, and wildly, police [claim to] believe the one man is responsible for the attacks…

The Swedish Pimpocracy

If you’re raped in Sweden, claim the rapist offered to pay you; THAT, they’ll punish him for:

A Swedish court has acquitted five men accused of [gang] raping a woman and being complicit in her rape in Stockholm suburb Fittja in 2016…Video evidence from CCTV and images from the stairwell where the rape is alleged to have taken place were…used in the trial, as well as witness accounts.  The three men accused of rape acknowledged that they had sex with the woman, but insisted that it was voluntary.  And while it “was been established the woman had injuries after the incident in the form of skin discoloration and scrapes, the origin of or reason for them could not be established” the court’s summary of the trial states…

Profound Ignorance 

Even when economists produce research that supports sex worker rights, it’s riddled with dumb statements:

…Research published in the Review of Economic Studies  found that when prostitution was decriminalised in Rhode Island, sexual violence fell by 30 per cent and female gonorrhoea incidence decreased by more than 40 per cent.  The findings were based on an examination of the impact of a six-year prostitution decriminalisation policy in the state, from 2003 to 2009…Previous research shows that 23 per cent of female sex workers report they have had gonorrhoea, compared to 4.7 per cent for women who have never been paid for sex…the decline in sexual violence was due to a number of factors relating to the decriminalisation of prostitution.  When sex work is legal, prostitution firms are more likely to invest in locks, security cameras and security personnel to reduce the opportunity of premeditated client violence…Decriminalisation also reduces violence by increasing sex workers’ willingness to cooperate with police and reducing opportunities for police corruption.  Currently only 34 per cent of prostitutes who are victims of violence by clients report it to the police…

Manisha Shah is Scott Cunningham’s research partner for the previous version of this study, so seeing the usual Cunningham mistakes isn’t surprising.  Rhode Island decriminalized for almost 30 years, not 6.  Comparing the STI rates of street sex workers (it isn’t nearly 23% lifetime rate in the population of all sex workers) to that of all women – many of whom are in long-term monogamous marriages – produces meaningless results (sexually active amateurs have much higher STI rates than sex workers).  A minority of sex workers work for “firms” of any size (most are independent or work in small associations).  The majority of violence against sex workers is committed by cops, not clients, which is an important reason violence decreases under decrim, but this study ignores it.  And so on, and so on…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

And now there are people who want to reverse the burden of proof in rape cases, which would make escaping this kind of false accusation impossible:

A student has described going through “mental torture” after a rape case against him was thrown out in court because police had [intentionally hidden] more than 40,000 messages from his accuser.  Liam Allan, 22, faced up to ten years in jail charged with six counts of rape and six counts of sexual assault against a young woman over a 14-month period that began when he was 19…Mr Allan claimed it was consensual and [the accuser] was acting maliciously because he refused to see her after he returned to university…The messages showed how she had continually messaged Mr Allan for “casual sex”, said how much she enjoyed it and discussed fantasies of violent sex and rape…The life-changing discovery was made at the 11th hour when a new prosecutor, Jerry Hayes, took over the case one day before the trial began and ordered police to hand over records — including a computer disk that contained 40,000 messages…[police had previously] denied [requests for the messages, claiming] there was nothing of interest in them…detectives had previously told [the prosecutor that] the sexual messages were “too personal” to share…

Banishment

Like all truly oppressive laws, this one is bipartisan:

Oregon is about to enact one of the country’s most draconian, carceral, and unnecessary “public safety” measures.  Beginning on January 1, 2018, certain sex crimes committed in the state will come with a presumptive sentence of life in prison, without the possibility of parole or release…[This] will apply to those convicted of first-degree rape, sodomy, or unlawful sexual penetration if they have a prior conviction …for any of these crimes…[or] similar charges…The measure was introduced by Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and Sen. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer) in April 2017.  It was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Kate Brown in August.  An analysis of the proposed fiscal impact of the legislation found it “could impose significant increases in public defense costs,” estimating cost increases of around $800,000 to $1,350,000 per year…

Shame, Shame 

Once in a while a judge treats a sex worker as a human being:

Being a sex worker does not disqualify you from having a private life, a judge has said, as he granted an injunction to an escort who has been harassed online.  The woman, known as GYH, has been caused considerable distress by online publications about her sex life, physical and mental health…These include allegations that she has HIV/AIDS, which…are untrue.  GYH brought proceedings in London against “persons unknown” as, despite extensive efforts, it has proved impossible to trace any individual who has posted the material…the abuse began in December 2015 after she received a text message from someone claiming to be a student who wished to meet her socially but not pay for her services.  When GYH declined, the conversation deteriorated into abuse.  She also received anonymous phone calls with further abuse.  Posts on a series of websites made allegations that she had spread sexually transmitted diseases, was anorexic and mentally ill…They use both her work name and legal name and also include specific and identifiable information about her and pictures…

Choke Point 

An important article, despite the dumb & tone-deaf jab at libertarians in the end note:

…though it may come as a surprise to a few queers under the umbrella, the masters of political-ascent-via-internet-sex-panic are our political darlings, the Democrats…and they’re still doing it.  Take Kamala Harris.  One of her biggest achievements while she was Attorney General of California came at the expense of sex workers…Harris is a senator now, and we still don’t know how many cops are implicated in the sexual exploitation of a minor…sex worker…this is not the only account of victimization at the hands of police (in case you were wondering why some queers really don’t want police at Pride.  Hey, did you know that transwomen arrested during prostitution stings tend to be misgendered as pimps and johns and charged with human trafficking?  Helps pad the numbers!)…“Real name” policies that have terrorized the trans community?  We can thank Richard Blumenthal…for those…And…all the “adult content” guidelines on him, too…Payment processors and financial institutions getting squeamish about adult content?  Barack Obama was already president when he green-lit the FDIC on the operation to discourage legal businesses  extralegally, but the Cook County sheriff…sure took it to a whole new level

Bread and Circuses 

The time for Playboy to come on board as an active supporter of sex worker rights is long overdue:

…The…campaign [against sex workers] has shut down online advertising venues that sex workers depend on to acquire and screen their clients.  The FBI, the DOJ and Homeland Security launched the raids and closures of websites like Rentboy, Redbook and Backpage…The latest casualty appears to be the Eros Guide—its call center headquarters were raided in Youngstown, North Carolina in early November…These website crackdowns appear to be mere dress rehearsals for a wide-reaching, bipartisan piece of legislation now moving through Congress.  The Senate bill, Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, and the House companion version, Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, both have feel-good titles, but activists argue that these proposed policy changes would have worrisome implications for free speech, and would actually worsen conditions for anyone in the sex trade…

To Molest and Rape 

If this were really a consensual “relationship” as they want us to think, why did the woman report him?

A Portland [cop]…pleaded guilty to first-degree official misconduct and was sentenced to a year and a half of probation with required community service for having sex on duty with a woman he [supposedly] met responding to a neighborhood noise disturbance call…Christian Robert Berge…[also] agreed to resign from the Portland Police…and surrender his police certification…Multnomah County Chief Deputy District Attorney Don Rees didn’t describe the offense during the brief court hearing…The alleged sexual relationship lasted from mid-August 2015 through this past May…The woman reported the behavior to police recently…

Lack of Evidence (#716) 

Pink News seems to think that if he really were a sex worker, this would be OK:

A gay German national was forced onto a flight to Japan after being refused entry into Australia.  As PrEP tablets and sex toys were found in his luggage, Border Force agents accused the man of coming into the country to engage in sex work…Michael (not his real name) had reportedly been living in Australia for more than two years when he took a week-long trip to Japan after his tourist visa expired…[he] hoped to apply for a partner visa with his boyfriend, Andrew (also not his real name)…Andrew alleged that his boyfriend was profiled by agents for appearing “visibly gay”.  Officials asked him to open his suitcase, where they found PrEP tablets and sex toys.  It is not illegal to bring either of these into Australia for personal use.  Despite this fact, guards…confiscated them and even went through Michael’s phone.  They found text messages on the phone which they have since used as proof that Michael was planning to engage in paid sex work…

The Widening Gyre (#718) 

Teenage sweethearts run away together; fetishists immediately start spinning “sex trafficking” fantasies:

Sex trafficking experts say they believe two missing Humble High School teens, a 14 year old and a 15 year old, may have been lured away from home by sex traffickers…[they were] found safe [on December 19th but] police aren’t releasing any other details.  Ame Carr…[and] Alexander Irizarry-Avila…were in a relationship.  Carr did not leave a note but Irizarry did…“telling [his mother] he’d check in once a week, telling her he’s OK…he said ‘Don’t call the police because it would make it that much harder for me to come home’”…

Business As Usual (#733) 

Michigan cops can no longer get away with openly raping sex workers; now they have to pretend they didn’t, as they do in the other 49 states:

Michigan law will no longer shield police from prosecution for prostitution-related offenses committed while on duty…Michigan was believed to be the last state in the country to give police [explicit] immunity for [raping] prostitutes [before arresting them]…

Rooted in Racism (#795) 

No, this didn’t “veer…close to racial profiling”; it was clear and deliberate racial profiling within government-approved guidelines:

…Brian and Renee Smith…were questioned on arrival at the airport in Phoenix, suspected of being human traffickers for traveling with [their] 16-year-old Asian…adopted daughter, Georgiana…During a flight from Florida to their home in Arizona on December 20, father and Georgiana were seated together, mom and the family’s three other children were not in the same row.  This [inspired]…the Southwest Airlines flight attendant to [have sexual fantasies about] the white man and [young] Asian [woman].  All flight attendants in America are required to receive training in spotting human traffickers under a law passed in 2016…to the Smith family, the experience was humiliating and worrisome, veering close to racial profiling…because Georgiana [is] not Caucasian…

Kudos to Forbes contributor Christina Negroni for recognizing that the “air hostess stops sex trafficking” story floating around for the past few years is bogus.

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