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Posts Tagged ‘California’

Sex workers…have the most deeply honed knowledge and practice of ethical principles…of any profession.  –  Pamela Gawler-Wright

So Close and Yet So Far

I support sex workers, just not those dirty whores“:

…Nikeisah Newton…started a food delivery service named Meals 4 Heels catering for [sic] strippers, bouncers and dominatrixes in need of a home-cooked supper late at night…in Portland [Oregon]…”I have so many friends who are bouncers and dominatrixes, sex workers and dancers.  Sex work is stigmatised and looked down upon and demonised”…

Apparently, it’s OK to ignore escorts while pretending that bouncers are sex workers (which they obviously aren’t).  And lest you feel inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt by assuming she only caters to strip clubs, I must point out that dommes don’t work in them.

Paint By Numbers

Have you noticed we don’t see as many dumb “anti-trafficking” stunts as we used to?

The [Los Angeles] Angels [baseball]…team held their annual event to [disseminate harmful propaganda] about…sex [workers]…First baseman …Albert Pujols and his wife Deidre kicked off [sic] their third annual “Strike Out Slavery”…evening…to bring [cops and rescue industry promoters] together [with gullible] people…The Pujols’ [sic] are hoping to eventually expand the “Strike Out” program to all 30 Major League stadiums…

Maybe they’re trying to head off “sex trafficking” fetishists extending the “Super Bowl sex trafficking” idiocy to the World Series.

Rotting Fruit

When moral panic and yellow journalism intersect, the result is lurid fantasy without limit:

A woman who said she was repeatedly raped by Jeffrey Epstein desperately tried to swim through shark-infested waters to escape his clutches…Sarah Ransome said she was so determined to escape Little St. James…she was willing to gamble her life in the Caribbean waters…Ransome [said she] jump[ed] on a quad bike to flee…but…was spotted on surveillance cameras…and was quickly stopped by…staff…Ransome went on to become one of the key accusers who helped expose Epstein’s depravity…eventually settling [a lawsuit] with [him] in 2018 over her accusations that he kept her as a sex slave…

The way that thoughts about swimming became “desperately tried to swim through shark-infested waters to escape his clutches” is a good example of how actual events are inflated into torture porn.

Doubling Down

Another explosion of mathematically-imbecilic prohibitionist vomit from “One Hand” Kristof:

…the problem isn’t one tycoon but many tens of thousands of men [including Kristof] who pay for sex with underage girls across the country.  And society as a whole reacts with the same indifference that the authorities showed in the Epstein scandal…If we want to channel our outrage at the Epstein case in a productive way, we could: A) ramp up prosecution of [sex workers’ friends, family and support networks]; B) p[er]secute [clients so as to throttle sex workers’ income]; C) [infantilize sex workers by defining them as “victims” no matter what they say about their own lives]; and D) [dump more money into violent policing and]…predator[y “rescue” organization]s…some 40 million people are effectively locked into modern forms of slavery, according to the Global Slavery Index…In the United States, no one knows exactly how many children are sold for sex, but estimates have run [up to]…100,000 in any given year…

I reckon Kristof feels it’s been long enough since his enabling of a massive “rescue” scam was exposed to safely begin profiting from “sex trafficking” hysteria again.  If you’re unable to recognize just how absurd Kristof’s claims are, please click on the embedded links, especially that last one.

All-Purpose Excuse (#608)

If the government has its way, phone privacy will soon be gone completely:

…Israeli cybersecurity company Cellebrite is courting new scrutiny after signing on to a new agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help the organization hack more phones…Cellebrite’s equipment…is able to bypass security settings and access data on locked smartphones…the agreement is worth between $30 and $35 million, a huge step from the previous $2.2 million contract between the two entities…border agents have, without warrants, been searching the phones of travelers — including U.S. citizens —through U.S. borders, something that …violates the constitution…U.S. Customs and Border Protection searched more than 30,000 devices in 2017…

The Real World

Anti-whore stigma also harms sex workers who want to become therapists:

Sex work and therapy, or transitioning from one to the other, appears to be a well-trodden path…It’s not hard to understand why.  The professions have transferable skills – active listening, empathy – and since the cost of therapy training runs so high (around £20,000, often more) with very few funding options available, sex work is one option for those who would otherwise find themselves financially excluded.  While barring sex workers from therapy training is not usually explicit in policy, social stigma and institutionalised discrimination are still felt hard by those attempting to break into the field…

The War Goes On (#867) 

The government has announced its new post-Backpage bogeymen:

…U.S. [pigs and spooks from] the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice are looking into whether [they can use “sex trafficking” fantasies to loot and destroy] three websites that make money off of escort ads and user-generated prostitution reviews …Rubmaps.ch…EroticMonkey.ch…and…Eros.com…[have] ties to David Azzato, a Swiss businessman convicted in France in 2011 for running a network of escort sites…the three sites in question were among those that most benefited from Backpage’s removal…while Azzato has denied any current connection to the sites…the [government apparently plans to make him the fall guy]…

I’ve been saying that Rubmaps would be the next prohibitionist bogeyman for over a year and a half now, and Eros’ US call center was raided by the feds two years ago and they’ve been frantically trying to cover their collective arse ever since.  As for Erotic Monkey, it appears to have started as a scraper site, stealing ads from other sites in order to trick escorts into paying for more ads; it also features reviews, mostly apparently falsified, and appears to be owned by the current owner of Eros (whether that’s Azzato or someone else).  My advice?  It’s time to move to Slixa, Tryst and Have We Met?

Business As Usual (#905)

Ohio moves to punish sex workers for outing rapist cops:

A three-day [pig deception scheme persecuted] 104 people [for desiring consensual sex with other adults]…“Here’s the message: [let cops rape you like good girls and we’ll leave you alone],” said Dave Yost, the attorney general.  The [vengeance] effort focused on [the Columbus] Ohio area]…“In ten minutes, I can [rape] a victim, go on the internet, [download copies of her ad as “evidence”] and then [get away with it],” said [vice pig] Mark Rapp…43 women[‘s lives were ruined before forcing them into a state “re-education” scheme]…

Think of the Children! (#967)

Funny how the rescue industry isn’t afraid to take “sex ray”-contaminated money:

No university or charity or scientific society has been more closely associated in the public eye with Jeffrey Epstein than Harvard University, which received approximately $9 million from him over the years.  And no organization has seemingly been more adamant that it had nothing to explain, nothing to review, nothing to refund — even after Epstein later became the nation’s most notorious sexual predator…After refusing to comment for months on its past associations with Epstein and the money it collected as a result, Harvard released a letter from its president…stating that the school had opened a review into the matter…two sets of Epstein funds, totaling $186,000, were still being put to use through the school’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and that it would be redirecting those funds “to organizations that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault”…

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[We’re] stuck with one narrative that hasn’t changed since Jack the Ripper’s victims were found.  –  Phoenix Calida

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Funny how many cops who are willing to pay prefer underage girls:

…a [typical and representative] New Market [Tennessee cop]…is back in jail…Joseph Ray Miller…tried to solicit an underage girl for sex on more than one occasion….[he] was…initially arrested…on May 3…[for talking to a disguised cop he apparently thought could arrange for him] to engage in sexual activity with a female under the age of 13…

Watershed

CosmopolitanGlamourTeen Vogue and now Allure…it’s so heartening to see so many women’s fashion & beauty magazines recognizing that they owe their very existence to whores, and speaking up:

…The physical demands of being a [sex] worker also mean taking care of yourself in new ways that may not be intuitive.  From icing bruised knees to carrying pepper spray, sex workers’ meticulous methods of self-care [are] further evidence that sex work is, in fact, work…For many researchers, it’s difficult to ethically study criminalized groups, a phenomenon that only serves to further marginalize sex workers…According to Phoenix Calida…patronizing assumptions…are harmful to folks in the industry who want their health concerns taken seriously.  Oftentimes, that means lying about their occupation during doctor’s visits.  “I did make the mistake of telling one of my doctors about [sex work],” she tells Allure. “I almost had child services called on me.”  The challenge of finding quality healthcare can also take a mental toll on sex workers…“It might be difficult to find a therapist, a counselor, or a medical professional who’s going to treat you seriously and respectfully”…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…people traveling to California who[m cops pretend] smell like weed and are carrying large sums of cash…[are] regularly [being robbed by cops] at Fort Lauderdale International Airport…the Sheriff’s Office has [robbed]…19 individuals since 2016, all under [similar] circumstances…only three [of their victims]…were arrested for drug possession the same day they were stopped.  None have been charged with a drug-trafficking crime…the Broward County Sheriff’s Office has [stolen] $189,678 in this fashion…

Business As Usual

That this dude is being prosecuted now for the officially-sanctioned rape of a sex worker six years ago means he pissed off somebody well above his pay grade:

A…Fort Myers [Florida cop]…was arrested…on charges of soliciting prostitution, official misconduct and perjury related to a massage parlor sting that happened more than six years ago…Jay Rodriguez…[raped] a sex…[worker after deceiving her with official permission to do so] on March 14, 2013…[As he had been trained to do,] Rodriguez [then] “authored a falsified account of his actions during the operation…to affect [sic] the arrests of two women at the massage parlor”…Additionally, Rodriguez is accused of committing perjury when he was interviewed during an internal affairs investigation in January and said he had never [raped any women] while on duty…

Given that Florida is one of three states (along with Pennsylvania and Indiana) which routinely and aggressively defend cops’ “right” to rape women in order to destroy their lives, Rodriguez must’ve somehow crossed someone very important.

A Moral Cancer (#618) 

Authoritarian idiots respond to deaths from a black market product by dramatically expanding the black market:

The Trump administration said…it plans to ban the sale of non-tobacco-flavored electronic cigarettes [in response to several deaths from] vaping [black-market THC cartridges]…“The Trump Administration is making it clear that we intend to clear the market of flavored e-cigarettes [due to deaths from existing federal prohibition tof cannabis,” bloviated bureaucrat]…Alex Azar…The American Vaping Association said it was disappointed in the president’s decision to take direction from “anti-vaping activists,” such as [totalitarian fascist]…Michael Bloomberg…

Where Are the Protests? (#693) 

Another church running a fake “shelter” scam to exploit marginalized people:

A dozen leaders of a California-based [church] have been indicted by a federal grand jury, accused of forced labor of mostly homeless people…Imperial Valley Ministries leaders recruited [victims] by promising food and shelter, and instead forced them to beg for money for nine hours a day, six days a week and to give up their welfare benefits “for the financial benefit of the church leaders”…The ministry operates nondenominational churches and group homes in the United States and Mexico…church leaders kept victims inside [buildings] with deadbolt locks only they had keys to and confiscated IDs such as driver’s licenses, immigration papers and passports to prevent victims from escaping…Victims said they were isolated and closely watched…They were threatened with punishment for violating…rules, and…were told their children would be taken away from them if they left…Victims were refused basic and necessary medical attention…[such as] a diabetic who was refused insulin and even the food needed to control blood sugar levels…

End Demand (#962)

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

The King County Council is considering requiring [indoctrination] for Uber and Lyft drivers on [anti-sex worker propaganda]…“Because [sex workers] often [prefer not to deal with Seattle’s horrendous downtown parking situation]…they…[prefer to use] rideshare and taxi services in order to get around,” said Mar Brettmann, executive director of BEST – Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking.  Brettmann has [profited handsomely from mandated indoctrination]…for…hotel [employees]…and…saw a dramatic jump in the number of people who were [ratting sex workers out to the pigs rather than minding their own business like decent citizens…

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#968)

Clownish cops pratfall over fentanyl hysteria, despite debunking by doctors:

On August 9, 2017, [a gang of Pittsburgh cops raided Anthony]…Lozito’s residence…[Because they rushed in like a pack of mindless animals, they overturned] a table…[hurling what cops called] large amounts of [fentanyl into the]…air…[18 pigs panicked like little girls so they] were sent to Mercy [Hospital] for [doctors to tell them that fentanyl is not an aerosol so their “symptoms” were those of a panic attack, not opioid exposure]…

Checklist (#971) 

Airlines:  are you sure you want to keep accepting liability for your employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you keep feeding them?

A white North Carolina man says Frontier Airlines staff falsely accused him of sex trafficking his 12-year-old adopted son, who is black…Peter DelVecchia is suing the airline and several workers…DelVecchia and his son were flying to Las Vegas in March when he was hit [on the head] by a crew member who accused him of trafficking the boy, who was [forcibly] moved to another seat…workers denied the boy’s requests to return to his seat, refusing to believe they were family…one worker also [molested the boy]…DelVecchia’s suing for discrimination and false imprisonment…

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Whenever I go out to Sunset, we try to spend at least one evening watching a movie stoned.  And we’ve found the best movies to watch stoned are those with a lot of music and simple plots.  Well, when I went out a couple of weeks ago this was our flick; it’s one of Grace’s favorites and if you have a good ear for musical style you may recognize the composer of the song in this trailer (who happens to be my favorite songwriter).  The links above it were provided by Clarissa, Kevin Wilson, Walter Olson, Jesse Walker, Popehat, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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You can say, “No sex without a condom”. You can say, “No sex until we’re married”.  But you can’t say, “No sex until you pay me”?…that…really undermines what consent means.  –  Katherine Sears

Bad Girls

I guess it runs in the family:

A judge found a[n Ohio] woman guilty of felony theft charges..[for] swindling an elderly war veteran out of tens of thousands of dollars before his death earlier this year.  Latasha Wisniewski, 38, used the false promise of romance to gain the trust of Charles Bauer, an 89-year-old Korean War veteran and widower, then looted much of his life’s savings in a matter of months to purchase botox injections, breast implants and butt implants…Wisniewski and her boyfriend, Daniel Scholz, are also charged with additional felony charges of misuse of credit cards in a separate case…Wisniewski’s conviction was based in part on the testimony of her aunt, 39-year-old Lisa Dotson…[who] was a home health aide charged in a separate case that accused her [of] stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly and disabled clients.  She pleaded guilty to charges in both cases in August and agreed to [snitch on] Wisniewski…

Check Your Premises 

How about “women who were forced to work as cashiers were watched over by security guards so that they didn’t escape”?

South American women who were forced to work as prostitutes were watched over by security guards so that they didn’t escape.  [Cops sexually fantasized that] the 22 women were available 24 hours a day…The[y]…apparently…[worked for] two months [before]…new women would be introduced…

The word for a security guard posted to keep potentially-unruly, possibly-drunk customers in line is “bouncer”.  Bouncers in sex work establishments (such as strip clubs & brothels) are there to protect the workers, not to keep them from “escaping”.

The More the Better

Anything that helps demystify sex work is a good thing:

…attorney…Katherine Sears…began working as a prostitute three years ago, at…a…Nevada…brothel…By speaking about her experience, Sears hopes to educate people on a taboo topic…her husband John…isn’t bothered by her part-time job…Katherine…works in the brothel for three weeks before coming home to Iowa for a week…“You’re really less likely to get an STD from a prostitute than you are from the general public,” Sears said.  In the past year, she has taken time off to focus on her law practice and her 4-month-old son.  But it hasn’t stopped her from trying to break down misconceptions around prostitution…and…is so passionate about the decriminalization of prostitution, she is willing to take prostitution cases on pro bono…

Thou Shalt Not

Crypto-moralism is back in the news again lately:

…Regular consumption of soft drinks — both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened — was associated with a greater risk of all causes of death, according to research…in JAMA Internal Medicine.  Participants who drank two or more glasses of soft drinks per day had a higher risk of mortality than those who consumed less than one glass per month…two or more glasses of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day was positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases.  For sugar-sweetened soft drinks, one or more glasses a day were associated with deaths from digestive diseases…researchers cautioned that elevated soft-drink consumption may be a marker for an overall unhealthy lifestyle.  “In our study, high soft drinks consumers had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were also more likely to be current tobacco smokers,” said the study’s chief researcher, Neil Murphy…

Given that 100% of humans die, it’s not possible for anything to lead to “a greater risk of all causes of death”.  Also, this is your reminder that “sugary” is a ’70s-era dysphemism for “sweet”, appearing at roughly the same time as “natural” became an advertising buzzword; note that while the article writer mostly used more objective language, the headline writer couldn’t resist the pejorative term.

Monsters 

This was the 17th murder of a trans person this year; the majority were black trans women:

…Bailey Reeves…A [17-year-old trans woman]…was shot and killed in Baltimore over Labor Day weekend…the…body was found by a 16-year-old who said they heard three gunshots and a girl screaming “My friend! Someone help my friend! Call 911!”…the victim was transported to a hospital where she died…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#699)

Canadians join Americans in filling kids’ heads with anti-sex propaganda:

An Ontario school board is reviewing a new curriculum that would [indoctrinate] Grade 7 and 8 students [in anti-]sex [worker propaganda]…TK Pritchard [dreamed up] the [propaganda, which includes the usual lies about how]…the average “age of entrance” to trafficking is between 12 and 14…[boyfriends are] “Romeo pimps”…love and trust of [anyone who isn’t an “authority” is bad, etc]…”Waterloo region is a hotbed for human trafficking,” said Pritchard [while stroking himself]…”a lot of curriculums [sic]…use [propaganda] from the States…our curriculum is made with Canadian [lies which are exactly the same]…Police say they [wish] more trafficking [were] happening [so they could use it as an]…intimidation tactic…[like US cops do]…

Checklist (#852) 

Though that word doesn’t appear in this story, ask yourself why a racist airline employee was interrogating passengers about a fantasized international criminal conspiracy:

…an Alaska Airlines employee [intentionally set off an alarm and] yelled “evacuate” at [Newark]…airport on Labor Day…sen[ding] 200 panicked people fleeing amid fears of a mass shooting attack…the…employee…[claimed] she believed two male passengers were acting suspiciously…Han Han Xue…was waiting…to board his delayed…flight home to San Francisco….[when] the…employee…[pushed] him from behind…then approached Chunyi Luo, a…student standing near him.  “Are you scared? Are you nervous?” Luo said she asked him.  Luo…said he told her he was feeling nervous because the flight was late…but she stood “too close” to him so he stepped a few feet away.  Then she began asking Xue questions.  She asked if he knew Luo (the two were strangers) and what his itinerary was.  She then asked, “Why are you acting suspiciously?”  Xue said he struggled to know how to respond as the questions…became more bizarre.  “How much are they paying you?…Did they give you a visa?  Did they give your family a visa?  Do you make a lot of money?  Do you work on Wall Street?  Are you on an American visa?”…Xue..a [Canadian] citizen [who] works as a product designer at Lyft…said…he felt like he was being racially targeted and harassed, so he…join[ed] the passengers boarding the flight, hoping she’d bother someone else.  But she followed him, saying, “I’m onto you guys. The cops are already called”…[she then] yelled, “Evacuate, evacuate!” and pressed an emergency alarm…Xue ran with the crowd to another gate and…Luo [did too because he] believed there was a shooter…

The employee didn’t dream up these rude, prying questions herself; they’re the type of questions the mandated “training program” urges employees to harass brown people with in order to “fight sex trafficking”.

Pyrrhic Victory (#964)

The fascist establishment thinks nobody should have any privacy, even in their own thoughts:

A new frontier in lie detection is now emerging…projects are using AI to combine multiple sources of evidence into a single measure for deception.  Machine learning is accelerating deception research by spotting previously unseen patterns in reams of data…The algorithms behind such tools are designed to improve continuously over time, and may ultimately end up basing their determinations of guilt and innocence on factors that even the humans who have programmed them don’t understand.  These tests are being trialled in job interviews, at border crossings and in police inter[rogations]…the frontline for much of the new government-funded lie detection technology has been the borders of the US and Europe…the Avatar unit has a microphone, an infra-red eye-tracking camera and an Xbox Kinect sensor to measure body movement…[the system displays a creep cartoon “agent” to distract and unsettle subjects and] uses an algorithm to combine all of these types of data…to send a verdict to a human border guard within 45 seconds, who can either wave the traveller through or pull them aside for additional screening…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#965) 

Will porn companies be the next to face the music for exploiting sex workers?

…nearly two dozen young women say that they responded to Craigslist ads seeking models and were then tricked into performing in internet pornography…producers behind a website called Girls Do Porn…were seeking women to make so-called amateur porn…Respondents…were directed to innocuous websites, with pictures of clothed women, that asked for their contact information and photographs.  Instead of being offered modeling jobs…they were offered roughly $5,000 to make pornography…[that] producers [claimed]…would be distributed only on DVD outside of the United States and would never be published online…[instead] the videos [were published] online, on Girls Do Porn…[and] also distributed to major sites, like Pornhub.  Shortly after the videos were posted, the women’s names and identifying information popped up on a [now-defunct] site called PornWikileaks, which [doxxes] people who have done porn…The women are seeking $22 million in damages…[and] their videos removed from the website…

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Is everyone insane?

Here’s a new video from the only presidential candidate any moral person can really support, courtesy of Brooke Magnanti.  The links above it were provided by Tushy Galore (“time” and “Shazam”), Radley Balko (“serving”), Mike Siegel (“shocked” and “algorithms”), and Carol Fenton (“crises”).

From the Archives

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We…help…people…learn to integrate their sexuality into their whole self, rather than separating it from the rest of their life.  –  David Ley

Part of the Picture (#23)

Dr. David Ley vs. the childish belief that pictures of sex are magic:

Max Bennet…[of] Stripchat…and Dr David Ley…teamed up to give the customers of the camming website help on sexual struggles and shame…Max [said]…“Nearly 40% of our users experience a deep connection with the models, or are able to access a fantasy that may not be available in reality.  By bringing doctors like Dr David Ley on to speak with users, it alleviates some of that shame and conflict, and offers them a way to integrate this…with their relationships”…Dr David [has] discovered that…“many users worry…that it is infidelity and could negatively affect their relationships…Sexual shame is the real enemy to intimacy, and that’s what these sessions are trying to address”…

Scrambled Eggs (#311)

Oh look, another man says women shouldn’t be compensated for services men can’t perform because we’re too stupid to make decisions about our own bodies:

Proponents of a proposed law allowing women to be paid to donate their eggs for research [point out that]…research subjects in other fields can get paid…men can get paid for donating sperm….[and] it’s legal for women to be paid for eggs to assist couples undertaking fertility treatments.  But it’s illegal for researchers to compensate women for their eggs…[politician] Autumn Burke…[revived] this idea…[after] Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill by former [politician] Susan Bonilla…in 2013, [bloviat]ing [misogynistically and self-righteously]…“Not everything in life is for sale, nor should it be“…Burke’s bill, Assembly Bill 922, passed the Assembly without a single “no” vote in May…so it’s likely to pass the Senate handily.  Gov. Gavin Newsom thus may be the only person standing in the way of its becoming law…[Like sex work,] this…would [give] California women, especially low-income women who may [welcome]…the compensation, [a way to make money that isn’t dependent on subjugation to men, so] he should kill it…

Though he hastens to distance himself from them, this writer’s arguments were mostly formulated by an anti-abortion group which opposes the bill for predictable reasons.

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [prisoner of the state of] Florida…with a history of epilepsy says he was beaten and thrown in solitary confinement for seven months after he involuntarily bit a [screw]…while having a seizure…Dean Higgins…suffered a grand mal seizure last September…[and] while the guards tried to restrain Higgins—an improper way to handle someone having a seizure—he bit one of the[m] on the arm…he was then beaten and…[locked] in…a tiny cell….[where] raw sewage would seep in…at times a number of inches deep…in addition to having epilepsy, Higgins is also on the autism spectrum…

Pyrrhic Victory (#922)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

…In early July, the FBI posted a solicitation notice for a “Social Media Alerting Subscription,” which would “acquire the services of a company to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests through a means of online sources.”  The request singles out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram “and other social media platforms” for snooping.  Essentially, the FBI is looking for companies to build a tool to comb through…social media posts and pinpoint possible threats ahead of time.  Think of it like a meme-illiterate Facebook-stalking precog from Minority Report…this system could empower the Red Flag law ideas that have since gained prominence.  This kind of “proactive identification” could allow [cops] to target and even disenfranchise social media users whose posts may have been [intentionally or not] misinterpreted…

You Were Warned

Yes, I’m going to say “I told you so”, because I’ve been telling you so for nine years now:

FOSTA [turned] the internet…into a more exclusionary place almost overnightInternet companies became significantly more restrictive in their treatment of sexual speech…The law also threw important harm reduction activities into a legal gray area…Congress failed to listen to the people it was removing from the internet, and put them in more danger as a result…The entire history of censorship shows that it magnifies existing imbalances in society, sometimes intentionally…there are many, many stories of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter taking down important work to document human rights violations under their anti-extremism policies.  Politicians…routinely treat Section 230 as a handout to tech companies — or a “gift,” as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently put it…Let’s not forget that Facebook and other big internet companies actively lobbied for FOSTA, a law that made it considerably more difficult for a startup ever to unseat Facebook…Section 230 isn’t a gift to big internet companies.  It’s a gift to rural LGBTQ teenagers who depend every day on the safety of their online communities.  It’s a gift to activists around the world using the internet to document human rights abuses.  It’s a gift to women who rely on dating apps to meet people more safely

Think of the Children! (#936)

Obviously this sex-ray contaminated money would have “sexualized” their patients!

Mount Sinai Health System said on Friday that it will make a charitable contribution equivalent to the money it received from…Jeffrey Epstein.  The money will go to an organization focused on p[ersecu]ting [sex workers]…and toward the health system’s own program Sexual Assault and Violence intervention program, which provides immediate treatment and counseling to sexual assault survivors.  The hospital did not say how much money was donated by the disgraced financier…

Loose Cannons (#949)

If this is happening to this rich, prominent man, with access to the best lawyers…what happens to the rest of us?

One of the women arrested in the [Robert Kraft massage parlor] case…pleaded no contest…to misdemeanor charges, leaving only one of the women arrested yet to take a plea in the case.  Qing Hua Zhang…pleaded no contest to engaging in prostitution and use of a structure or conveyance for prostitution.  The most serious charge — racketeering — was dropped…

Yellow Fever (#956) 

Another hodgepodge of idiotic lies, myths, wild exaggerations, wanking fantasies and long-debunked propaganda was shoveled into a column by Business Insider and represented as “journalism”; apparently they’re tying to go in the clickbait direction taken by The Hill.  This one uses the term “trafficking” no fewer than 21 times in a not-very-long article and presents a misogynistic weltanschauung in which women can be either passive “victims” or malevolent “perpetrators” but never anything else, making the Shazam-style leap without passing through any of the complex human behavior between due to “weaponization” and “normalization” by powerful, Svengali-like men.  A by-no-means-exhaustive list of dysphemisms from this trash includes “offenders”, “ring”, “traffickers”, “cult”, “slaves”, “lifestyle”, “abusers”, “groomed”, and my favorite, “sexual pyramid scheme”.  If you want an article on this topic written by an actual adult who understands concepts like “facts” and “agency”, here you go.

Across the Pond (#964)

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

Police are [raid]ing residential properties believed to be used for sex work…to [spy on] what is happening behind closed doors…potential [targets are determined by snitching]…from local residents…[chief swine] Paul Whitehouse [oinked that intimidating people and violating their privacy is a means of]…”gaining their trust and confidence…We [don’t find enough women to harass on the street anymore]…so now we can pick [on] the off-street work[ers]…We do not want to criminalise the females.  We are looking at [pinning] criminality on a[ny available] third party”…

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Governments who employ [the Swedish] model know exactly what they’re doing and the harm they cause to [sex] workers.  –  Molly Davis

Scientific Detachment

The death of a rather unusual archivist:

Ralph Whittington [who died on August 6 at age 74] worked at the Library of Congress for 36 years…but he was better known for amassing one of the world’s largest collections of pornography…his collection was…a serious academic undertaking…Everything was catalogued and cross-referenced.  Boxes were carefully labeled with the name of a porn star or a thumbnail description…Whittington spent more than $100,000 on his collection and often accepted donations from heirs…In 1999, Mr. Whittington sold most of his materials to the Museum of Sex, a professionally curated institution in New York.  Before three 16-foot trucks hauled away almost 10,000 items in 848 boxes, his house was packed from floor to ceiling…

Damned If You Don’t

Picket-fence queers claim cops aren’t our enemies:

Police have arrested 26 men for cruising for sex in Washington D.C.’s Meridian Hill Park over the past 12 months…[disguised] cops entrapped the men by soliciting sex acts…Police…[call] the [deceptions] investigations…[and claim they] were prompted by public complaints…But…[in reality] the men arrested were propositioned by [disguised, lying cops]…posing as willing participants in a consensual encounter between adults…

A Procrustean Bed (#600)

Finally, some public skepticism about “diversion courts”:

…hundreds of [arrested] sex workers in Sacramento each year [are coerced under threat into]…a court-administered diversion program [but only if they first plead guilty to whatever bullshit the cops make up.  It should come as no surprise that]…RESET court…originated [from] a cop-founded nonprofit…Diversion courts…have…proliferated around the country…But…there is growing scholarly skepticism about whether…[they] are really as “woke” as their supporters claim….the Sex Workers Project of the Urban Justice Center broadly criticized these programs for a lack of accountability and a surplus of inconsistency.  Sacramento’s RESET court comes up 19 times in the paper…these programs still treat sex workers like criminals, even while telling the public they’re all victims…RESET enrollees must submit to HIV testing; attend health and wellness classes, group and individual counseling and trauma-based therapy; and make at least three monthly court appearances, where Judge Rockwell offers cookies…For completing the program, the women get expunged records…and Starbucks gift cards…

Yes, the “reward” for completing the program is a “free” cup of coffee.

Choke Point (#603) 

I’m skeptical that they wouldn’t hand-wave a sex exemption into this even if it were broader:

A recent ruling by the California Supreme Court is causing a stir among adult business owners…[and sex workers] who have been discriminated against by the global banking system…but misunderstandings may motivate merchants down a legal dead-end…“The ruling was very narrow,” [said] Larry Walters of FirstAmendment.com…“and limited to whether standing to sue can be established by alleging an intent to use the online services, as opposed to actually entering into a contract for services…The court specifically did not rule on whether a plaintiff can sue for discrimination under California law on the basis of occupation”…For adult merchants hoping that litigation over “equality of access to services” based on this announcement might solve…having their banking services revoked…this ruling provides no clear foothold…

Micromanagement (#731)

I’d really like to be wrong once in a while:

New York City detectives questioning a [12-year-old] boy facing a felony charge last year offered him a McDonald’s soda.  When the boy left, they took the straw and tested it for his DNA…[which] was entered into the city’s genetic database.  To have it removed, the [boy’s] family had to petition a court and file an appeal, a process that took more than a year…The city’s DNA database…now has 82,473 genetic profiles, becoming a…potent tool for [the police state]…that operates with [essentially no]…oversight…A growing number of [pig farms] throughout the country…have amassed genetic databases that operate by their own rules, outside of state and federal guidelines…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#754) 

Will porn companies be the next to face the music for exploiting sex workers?

Mia Khalifa…was…[only] modestly compensated for a brief career that catapulted her into worldwide stardom…[as] the most-searched adult-film star on the planet…[but] she [only] received about $12,000 for about a dozen shoots over three months before she left the industry in early 2015, and never a “penny again”…on Pornhub…she is ranked No. 2 among actor searches…but she does not get any residuals from that site or any others…[in] adult film…there are two options with wildly different compensation paths.  One is the traditional production studio that pays actors as contractors…that is what Khalifa did…another is an independent model that provides a bigger cut and options for residuals…sites such as Pornhub have monetized the infinite loop of the Internet by uploading a stream of videos of actors long after some of them, like Khalifa, have left the business — creating a scenario where adult-film scenes will follow the actors and perhaps outlive them…Three of the top 10 actresses on the site now are either retired or inactive in the business, an industry veteran said, and have little recourse to claim compensation or remove their videos if they are shut out from the revenue…

If Men Were Angels (#864)

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

Paxton Singer…is the youth minister at the Harvest Bible Chapel in Aurora, Illinois.  The church’s bylaws say that…homosexuality and bisexuality are sexual sins…[but] Singer has been making inappropriate advances toward an unnamed 16-year-old boy…Singer also worked at a separate Harvest Bible Chapel campus in Rolling Meadows, Illinois…[w]here…[he] behaved inappropriately toward three other male teens…

Shift in the Wind (#933)

Pro-decrim articles are even common on conservative sites these days:

In a recent National Review story, Madeleine Kearns…claims [decriminalization] “would make a grave problem worse.”  The premise…relies largely on fear tactics, sprinkled with stories of women who have had bad experiences in the sex industry…But she fails to address how keeping prostitution illegal will help solve any of the problems she targets in her story.  Kearns’ solution is [the Swedish model]…but this policy has failed to work in the various countries where it’s been tried and only perpetuates the problems she illustrates…

Torture Chamber (#950)

I hope they get every last cent they’re asking for, plus punitive damages as well:

…taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages from parents who[se]…children were [abused] while in government custody…dozens of families…separated at the border as part of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy…are now preparing to sue the federal government, including several who[se]…young children were sexually, physically or emotionally abused in federally funded foster care.  With more than 3,000 migrant children [abducted] from their parents at the border in recent years, many lawsuits are expected, potentially totaling in the billions…[they] are represented by grassroots immigration clinics and nonprofit groups, along with some of the country’s most powerful law firms…

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