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Posts Tagged ‘California’

The whole idea of shelter homes is steeped in morality, not rights.  –  Satyawati from Bhumika

Legal Is as Legal Does

What “legalized and heavily regulated” actually looks like in practice:

According to the Greek sex work legislation adopted in 1999, sex work is legal but heavily regulated.  Only sex work that occurs in state-licensed brothels is legal.  Street-based sex work and sex work that occurs in hotels is illegal. Municipalities are allowed to determine the number of licensed brothels.  Brothels are not allowed within 200 meters of public buildings, i.e. schools, churches, kindergartens, playgrounds, health clinics, hospitals, sport centers, libraries, squares and nursing homes.  This means it is impossible to have a state-licensed brothel in any Greek city…sex workers are not allowed to be married.  They…are only allowed to work for 3 years and require a number of legal and medical documents to work legally…[including] a chest X-Ray…mandatory medical testing for STIs every 15 days…prohibits sex workers from working together.  The use of an apartment…requires the consent of all the residents and the owners of the rest of the apartments…[and] the assistant staff of brothels should be older than 50 and should have mandatory medical testing…

Torture Chamber

Just in case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

A California prison psychologist has filed a lawsuit against the state alleging she was threatened and demoted after she reported mistreatment of gay and transgender inmates at a correctional facility in Vacaville…Lori Jespersen [reports that a screw] locked her in a confinement area with dangerous criminals after she filed complaints on behalf of transgender inmates…The lawsuit describes a number of incidents…includ[ing]…[screws] prevented transgender inmates from attending a therapy group and insulted them…[screws] compelled transgender inmates to strip in the open and denied them privacy screens…[screws] “outted” a transgender inmate by disclosing personal information about her on Facebook…In both cases [where she was locked in with violent criminals] she was “unsupervised, alone and without access to a safety alarm”…

Traffic Circle

Criticism of “anti-trafficking” propaganda from inside the “anti-trafficking” ranks:

At all levels of anti-trafficking work, the collection and analysis of data…continues to be underemphasised…in comparison to the use of emotionally-charged rhetoric and hyperbole…A substantial and ever growing body of research has convincingly demonstrated that the evidence base is lacking…Interventions continue to be designed and funded largely based upon donor policy agendas—and the outsized supply of anti-trafficking organisations that are ready to pursue them—rather than results-based decision-making on what works…the same strategies will be continued indefinitely regardless of the outcomes produced…Evaluators and the organisations who hire them are participants in what can be described as an economy of bad faith.  There’s an unspoken agreement that no serious concerns will be raised about the interventions examined, and in return, the evaluator will be kept on the roster for future assignments…What is particularly disturbing is the efforts made to cover up the knowledge gap by vastly overstating what has actually been achieved…with organisations even claiming that their beneficiaries have been “liberated from slavery”…

License to Rape (#562) 

“Charges dropped” is about as close as the state will come to admitting cops have license to rape anyone they please:

Charnesia Corley was a 21-year-old college student with no criminal record when two cops from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office stopped her in June 2015 for running a red light…[cops] threw her to the ground, pushed her partially underneath her own car, and yanked Corley’s pants down to her ankles.  For the next 11 minutes, dash cam video of the incident shows, she was held down…while…[cops] repeatedly probed her vagina [with their fingers]…No drugs were found…Sam Cammack, an attorney representing Corley in a multi-million-dollar civil rights lawsuit against the county, [recognizes that] the search [constituted] “rape by cop…they sexually assaulted her…You can’t pull someone over, think you might find something, and do that to them.”  The full dash-cam video…confirm[s] Corley’s [account.  Cops] William Strong and Ronaldine Pierre…were indicted in June 2016 by a Harris County grand jury on charges of official oppression, but those charges were dropped last week…Cammack…hopes…to force the county to reopen the case with a new prosecutor…he does not believe that a second grand jury has the authority to overrule a grand jury that lawfully charged the two [rapists, who]…are still employed by the department…

Permanent Record

If you think they’ll keep this limited to sex crimes, you’re a fool:

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that will remove the statutes of limitation for sexual abuse crimes…That will allow for the prosecution of those crimes [long after evidence or witnesses who might exonerate the accused are gone]…

Schadenfreude (#725)

There’s now more than one outfit cashing in on “sex trafficking” tours in Houston:

Elijah Rising, a [profiteer group] dedicated to [cashing in on]sex trafficking [hysteria] in Houston, is [spreading ridiculous propaganda about] the sex trade with its Awareness Van Tours…During the tour, a volunteer for the group points out all the places where sex trafficking happens in Houston, including strip clubs, massage parlors and nondescript apartments…Houston is a massive hub for the North American sex trade, with more than 300,000 Texas victims alone – 80,000 of those being underage…one of the main reasons…is…I-10, which spans the entire United States and frequently serves as a pipeline for smugglers in the illegal sex trade…

From grotesque mathematical illiteracy to sociological absurdity, this story packs a lot into a few lines.

Signs (#734) 

“Linked with trafficking”.  Pigs just love to make their fantasies sound “scientific”:

The Modesto [California] Police Department…joined with…[a prohibitionist profiteer group called] Without Permission to produce a video that [claims a nonexistent] rise in high school-age victims and…goes over some…red flags…They have an older boyfriend…bruises or other injuries…Tattoos or branding…linked with trafficking are bar codes, dollar signs, horseshoes and the word “Daddy”.  A change in wardrobe toward sensual, seductive clothing also is worth noting, the [perverts fantasized]…In the video, [a pig oinks] about the importance of parents [spying on]…their children’s social media accounts and Internet history…

Against Their Will (#751) 

How different the same story sounds when stripped of euphemisms:

Twelve sex workers escaped from Ujjwala House in Hyderabad India, where they had been detained for months following a raid on their workplaces…It is not the first time this has happened, with local residents reporting a few women detained in the shelter fled several years ago.  There are widespread, longstanding reports of abuses and complaints relating to the shelter and many like it in Hyderabad.  Amongst the myriad of concerns is the way in which the “shelters” are described as a service to support individuals.  However, those kept in the facilitates are referred to as “inmates” and detained against their will…

Cooties (#756) 

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

Prostitutes working in [Jersey] are turning short-term accommodation lets into “pop up brothels”…organised-crime gangs, book the accommodation for short periods to avoid detection.  Border authorities have witnessed women they [fantasize] are involved in the sex trade travelling into the Island with [fantasized] “male chaperones, pimps or alpha females (female pimps)”, [cops fantasize].  Detective Chief Inspector Lee Turner…[fantasized] that…a ‘significant proportion’ were being forced into the sex trade by mainly eastern European organised-crime gangs working out of the UK…

“Pop-up brothel” is UK copese for “AirBnB incall”.  But “alpha female” is just the latest in absurd terms made up by prohibitionists to sound sinister; presumably “alpha females” go hand-in-hand with “gorilla pimps“.

Safe Targets (#763) 

Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever:

…a…Brazilian woman…was robbed at knifepoint by five men…in Enfield in the early hours of June 24th.  When the victim called the police, she said their focus seemed to be more on her activities as a sex worker than the attack itself.  After returning from a recent trip to Spain, she was detained at Gatwick airport for several hours and later given a letter…demanding that she leave the UK…Campaigners for sex workers’ rights say that by focusing on the prosecution and deportation of the worker rather than the attack against her, police were discouraging other women from coming to them for help…

In the US, roughly 60% of sex worker arrests result from some crime being committed against the sex worker, attracting the attention of the cops.

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And I need you more than want you,
And I want you for all time.  –  Jimmy Webb

Glenn Campbell died this week; in memorial, I’d like to present this video of my favorite of his songs, the haunting and enigmatic “Wichita Lineman”.  The links above it were provided by Patrick Nonwhite (“fascism”), Radley Balko (“serve” and “peasants”), Jesse Walker (“78”), Mike Siegel (“hypnosis”), and Walter Olson  (“permanent”).

From the Archives

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In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.  –  Allan Gatt

Rooted in Racism 

Sometimes “trafficking” just means “bringing in brown people“:

Defend Europe, an anti-immigrant group that attempts to disrupt humanitarian search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean Sea, recently chartered a boat that was stopped in a Cyprus port, where several members were arrested for forging documents and engaging in potential human trafficking…members were stopped in and deported from a sea port in the self-declared Turkish state of Northern Cyprus…after spending two days in detention for document forgery and potential human trafficking of 20 Sri Lankan nationals who were aboard the C-Star, the campaign’s ship…Refugee Rights Association advocate Faika Pasha…[said] some of the Sri Lankans on board reported having paid a trafficker to be taken to Italy and confirmed that five Sri Lankans remained in Cyprus to claim asylum…

Change a Few Words

This hasn’t any more chance of passing than that sex work decrim bill in New Hampshire, but it’s a sign of how much things are shifting:

Senator Cory Booker…introduced legislation that ends federal marijuana prohibition…The Marijuana Justice Act would…Remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act…Cut federal funding for state law enforcement and prison construction if a state disproportionately arrests and/or incarcerates low-income individuals and/or people of color for marijuana offenses…Prevent deportations of individuals for marijuana offenses…Provide for a process of expungement [and resentencing] for marijuana offenses at the federal level…

Shift in the Wind

Pro-decriminalization essays in newspapers are no longer a rarity:

…this Swedish model strips women of agency and autonomy and regards men as morally superior to women because they remain culpable for their decisions, whereas women are not…People who cry crocodile tears over prostitution and claim that it demeans sex workers seem to ignore the countless office workers, electricians, plumbers, janitors and garbage collectors who…work…out of sheer necessity to provide for their families. How is their job any less demeaning than sex work and, more pertinently, why is sex work demeaning in the first place?…the people making these accusations are ashamed of their own bodily functions…Pathology is not determined by what some find offensive…sex workers are the only women who are honest about female sexuality and about the real standing relationship between men and women at any time in history…

Lower Education

Funny how the mantra of “Believe women!” goes out the window when a woman says something contrary to feminist dogma:

…Zoe Katz, the captain of USC’s women’s tennis team, is accusing the university of not only ignoring her protestations that her boyfriend Matt Boermeester didn’t assault her, but threatening her for speaking up.  Boermeester, a redshirt junior kicker, was suspended from USC in February after a neighbor [claimed to have seen] the football player…assault Katz a month earlier.  That claim was repeated to a coach and then to the university Title IX office…The following “six-month”…inquiry took the form of “repeated interrogations” plagued by “agendas, intimidation and falsehoods,” Katz wrote in a two-page statement…The allegations closely resemble those made in a lawsuit against Colorado State University–Pueblo by athlete Grant Neal, who was found responsible for rape after his girlfriend, an athletics staffer, said their sex was consensual…

All Wet

When a “study” claims only an impossibly-tiny fraction of men pay for sex, you can safely dismiss it as pure garbage:

…University of Minnesota researchers for the first time have studied the demand for commercial sex in Minnesota and who the typical client is.  A 121-page report…uses a national study to estimate that 26,000 Minnesota men — 1 percent of the state’s men — may have purchased sex in the past year, while 380,000 men — 14 percent — have done so at least once…Researchers, who combed through court records and media reports and interviewed more than 150 experts statewide, found that most sex buyers in Minnesota seek quick and anonymous sex with young-looking girls or women…

Yes, these idiots are claiming that the average sex worker subsists on three clients per year (and that’s not even counting all the “trafficked children”).  But then, what can one expect from a “study” that doesn’t bother to interview the people being studied, but instead just records the wanking fantasies of cops & other prohibitionists?

Signs

COSWAC mocks the absurdity of “signs of sex trafficking” in hotels:

…according to a checklist provided to hotel employees by the Department of Homeland Security, I displayed at least three “general indicators” of human trafficking…Few or no personal items when checking in…The same person reserving multiple rooms…“Do Not Disturb” sign used constantly.  Oh, and the fellow activist who paid for my hotel room?  They hosted get-togethers in their suite throughout the weekend…another red flag: “Constant flow of men into a room at all hours”…several…are so vague or subjective that…[they] could lead to invasions of privacy and false accusations…

Original Sin (#713) 

The Pope continues to recklessly promote “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Human trafficking is “brutal, savage and criminal,” Pope Francis said…“I want to call everyone to make a commitment to seeing that this perverse plague, a modern form of slavery, is effectively countered”…After reciting the Angelus with thousands of people gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis asked them to join him in praying a “Hail Mary” so that Jesus’ mother would “support the victims of trafficking and convert the hearts of traffickers”…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#722)

As the hysteria collapses, you’re going to see this happening much more often:

Cambodia’s premier Hun Sen…ordered a Christian [rescue industry group]…to be shut down, after it featured in a recent CNN report that…featured three girls who were [supposedly] rescued from the sex trade by Agape International Missions (AIM)…American pastor Don Brewster [has repeatedly refused to accept studies that show only a small number of Cambodian sex workers are now minors, and] was quoted [to that effect on CNN]…Hun Sen and [others pointed out that]…an early version of CNN’s online report…described the girls as Cambodian, when in fact they either spoke Vietnamese or Khmer with a thick Vietnamese accent.  CNN later removed the word Cambodian from their headline…

The Mote and the Beam (#728)

The censors who want the internet destroyed are at it again:

…the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017…would amend the Communications Decency Act in order to hold websites liable for “publishing information designed to facilitate sex trafficking.”  It was introduced…by Sen. Rob Portman…and…sponsored by a bipartisan group of 19 senators…The Internet Association, which represents Silicon Valley giants like Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, said…that the act would unfairly make companies responsible for what third parties publish on their sites…Sen. Ron Wyden…[said] “Section 230…is…the legal basis for all of social media and it has been vital to the expansion of affordable internet access throughout the country…This proposal takes a wrecking ball to that foundation without so much as a committee hearing.  It is yet another example of the technical ignorance of Congress threatening the jobs, lives and economic opportunities of millions of Americans.”

Total Eclipse of the Brain 

I have a strong feeling that this will be the nadir of the “gypsy whore” myth:

Cheyenne police say the solar eclipse passing over Wyoming on August 21 could be a hotbed for sex trafficking…Sgt. Tim Meyrick [fantasized that] “In this region, a pimp will make approximately $1,000/day per girl”…[while] Kevin Malatesta [masturbated while drooling] “…prostitution…has a much darker side to it”…

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The cops are the villains of this story, not the heroes.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Torture Chamber 

It’s unusual to see them actually use the word “rape” in this context:

A deputy jailer at Hardin County [Kentucky] jail has been arrested after…inmate Amanda Chambers [reported] that Deputy Stephen Renfrow provided her with tobacco dip in exchange for sex…He was arrested on Friday and is facing charges for rape, promoting contraband, and official misconduct…

If it was a true “exchange” as the story suggests, why did Chambers report him, and why the charge of rape?  It seems more likely he raped her and then gave her the tobacco in an attempt to bribe her into silence.

Case Study

Is it sexist of me to wonder why men seem to be pearl-clutching even more than women these days?

There are two brothels operating…[in an apartment building]…each containing several “sex workers”.  They advertise their services openly on websites.  Clients pick a woman from a menu of hundreds and make a phone call to get directions…A garda familiar with the case confirms there are several brothels operating out of apartment complexes in the area, as well as “pop-up” brothels in the local hotel.  He says there is little that can be done unless they witness cash been handed over…Street prostitution still exists but the vast majority of prostitution is now advertised on the internet.  Ruth Breslin of Ruhama, an organisation [that persecutes sex workers]…estimates there are no more than 70 prostitutes working on the streets in Dublin…“Women are moved around an awful lot in the indoor trade because the market is all about new girls. Buyers are often not interested in going back to the same woman,” Breslin says…

Scare quotes for a job title.  Advertising being described as “open” as though there were another way for it to be effective.  Can you imagine a site featuring ads for physicians or lawyers being described as a “menu”?  Ruhama interviewed instead of sex workers.  Women described as passive objects who “are moved” rather than being able to move themselves. And it goes on from there…

Moving Pictures 

Salon’s definition of “everyone” excludes all people who actually know anything about sex work, or have critical thinking skills and access to Google:

“It’s all a lie. It’s all a big lie.”  That’s how director Josie Swantek Heitz, her face stunned and expressionless as she leans against a wall, informs director/cinematographer Dave Adams that they have been hoodwinked.  This discovery occurs moments into the intro of their film The Wrong Light…[first intended to be a fakumentary] about trafficked girls in the stateless Hill Tribe communities that border Northern Thailand.  After this initial confusion…we are suddenly plunged headlong into the world of Mickey Choothesa and COSA (Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia), a [rescue profiteering] organization…A half hour in, the film flips to include an intricately woven fiction that fooled everyone, including both filmmakers, the producers, a slew of international donors, a parade of interns, and even foreign correspondent Adam Ramsey…It is as though the [fantasy] of witnessing pretty girls being trafficked…[turns moralists on so much that they]…open…their…wallets without further investigation…

Readers with long memories will remember that I debunked COSA in this blog five and a half years ago.

Theatrics (#549)

People who can’t admit their kinks unknowingly display them to the world:

The group ‘Yet She Rise’ hopes people will see their human trafficking displays this weekend in [Chicago’s] Wicker Park and feel uncomfortable…there is a box with two child actors inside it, tape over their mouths and wrists.  “In a box, you know, roped and tied, with tape across their mouth, just to show how [sexy], and how [arousing], this situation is,” sa[livate]d Lamar Flowers, who’s with the organization…

This is at least the fourth iteration we’ve seen of this same inane stunt.

The Widening Gyre (#663)

Italy sends its navy to stop brown people from coming into the country; everyone pretends it isn’t racist:

Italy’s prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni…announced…that the Italian navy would be patrolling with Libyan ships just off the Libyan coastline…to curb human trafficking and [turn] migrants back…to Libya…Italy has already threatened to stop allowing boats carrying rescued migrants to dock in Italian ports…Most of the migrants are from African countries, and many try to travel on to France…However, the border is being policed by French officials.  Migrants who are caught are sent back to Italy.  Austria has announced that it too will close its border with Italy if the number of migrants starts to rise…The interior ministry has…announced that it will reinforce repatriation programs…

“Repatriation” is the currently-fashionable euphemism for “deportation”.

Power Play (#701)

The only part of this I disagree strongly with is Petro’s conciliatory statement that “There are lots of good reasons to root for Kamala Harris”:

…Like racism, homophobia, transphobia, and all the rest, casual whorephobia and anti-sex work sentiment and views — even among so-called progressives — is endemic…The latest and most vivid example of this is the growing popularity of superstar Democrat Kamala Harris…[who] has been called a “liberal hero” and a “rising star” in the party…There are lots of good reasons to root for Kamala Harris…But the fact that Harris was an active force behind a campaign that endangered the lives of sex workers makes it understandably difficult for people with experiences in the sex trades to throw her our support…

No, there are no good reasons to root for Harris; she’s a corrupt, self-serving, two-faced demagogue who, in addition to her anti-whore campaigns, participated in political cover-ups and actively campaigned against prison reform because, she claims, California needs the slave labor prisoners are forced to do.  She is a vile, loathsome monster even by the standards of politicians, and that’s saying something.

Devil’s Advocate (#723) 

Your periodic reminder that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

A surge in the number of seizures of child-like sex dolls by border officers has led investigators to identify dozens of previously unknown suspected paedophiles.  The…dolls…are a “relatively new phenomenon” in the UK and should be criminalised, said Hazel Stewart [a sex cop]…those who order them can be prosecuted under a specific charge of importing an indecent or obscene article…[but] it is not illegal to own a child sex doll…Stewart said: “I think it’s got to be through the full range of this criminality, from manufacturer to sale, to import, to possess – the full range.  And we need to make sure it’s future-proofed in case there is the introduction of…sex robots”…

I’m sure you guessed this would merge with the sex robot hysteria.

The War Goes On (#731) 

Prohibitionists just don’t realize how obvious their masturbation to the “pimp” fantasy is, bless their little hearts:

For pimps and prostitutes, gift cards have become a currency to pay for sex ads on Backpage.com, anti-prostitution activists say…Credit card companies [were illegally threatened into cutting off] business with the website two years ago.  People could still buy Backpage ads, but it became more difficult:  They had to mail in checks or use complicated digital currencies like bitcoin.  But now, Backpage has begun accepting gift cards from major retailers…that means a pimp could walk into any local grocery store and pick up a convenient, untraceable way to pay the site to post ads selling women…[prohibitionists publicly masturbate to the fantasy that] Backpage’s new payment system will make it easier to sell vulnerable girls online…

What’s also fascinating is the number of anti-sex women who insist that other women are far too stupid to do anything as simple as pay for an online service by themselves, without an all-powerful male doing it for them.

Too Close To Home (#760)

Liz Brown on the warped thought patterns of Seattle prosecutor Val Richey:

In Seattle, sex must be a “leisure activity” for both parties or it’s nonconsensual, according to…Val Richey—a senior deputy prosecuting attorney for King County…”What you have is someone paying this person essentially to turn a ‘no’ into a ‘yes,'” Richey [said]…”these women, as a leisure activity, are not looking to have sex with 10 guys in a day. They’re doing it for the money.”  By that logic, anyone who wouldn’t perform their job without remuneration is a victim of labor trafficking!  But Richey is “adamant”…that what Korean sex workers…”were doing could not be called consensual because they were being paid”…

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It defies logic to say a teenager can be guilty of sexually exploiting herself.  –  Jacob Sullum

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

Future historians will view exhibits like this as our century’s answer to Malleus Maleficarum:

The True Stories Project, an exhibition that aims to [stoke panic and increase]…trafficking [hysteria] has begun at the Patan Museum…The exhibition seeks to [spread the myth that]…sex trafficking has become the fastest growing business in organised crime and the third largest criminal enterprise in the world…A [masturbatory fantasy used]…by organisers reveals [the sick fantasies these fetishists wank to]…“According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), more than 100,000 children are sold for sex in the United States each year.  They range in age from nine years to 19; the average age of child sex workers in Oakland, California is 12 years”…

The Pro-Rape Coalition 

This dude’s clutching his pearls so hard, he’s starting to turn blue:

At a conservative Christian college not long ago, a campus minister told me that every single young man he works with…is addicted to pornography…This is…a social…crisis that is destroying something vital and precious…We are conducting a radical experiment that has never before in history been tried, because it has never been possible.  What happens to individuals and societies when images — moving images — of the most bizarre and violent sex acts imaginable can be instantly accessed by anyone, anywhere, at any time?…Think about what the ubiquity of porn does to the prospect of finding life partners who are capable of loving [a person who watches videos]…we have to rescue those of our children who have been ensnared by it.  This British general practitioner is treating teenage girls under the age of consent for incontinence.  They cannot keep from soiling themselves because the muscles in their rectums have been stretched out from anal sex…

Another person who doesn’t know how muscles work.  Seriously, dude, I’d be more discreet about sharing my masturbatory fantasies if I were you.

Absolute Corruption

Still more victims of the Satanic panic released from prison:

A pair of inmates wrongfully imprisoned for over 22 years on murder convictions [report that] the Louisville Police Department fabricated evidence and a story about a Satanic ritual killing to convict them.  Jeffrey Clark and Garr Hardin were released…in August 2016 after DNA evidence exonerated them for the killing of 19-year-old Sue Warford…on April 5, 1992…Louisville Police Detective Mark Handy “immediately focused the investigation on [them] and developed the [fantasy]…that they had murdered the victim in a Satanic ritual killing”…when they refused to confess to Warford’s killing, [Handy claimed they had done so]…Another investigator “conspired with Clark’s estranged girlfriend…to manufacture an inculpatory statement…because he had witnessed her sexually abusing her son and reported the abuse”…the…Police…also falsely asserted a bloodstained handkerchief found in his home had been used to clean up animal sacrifices, despite having no DNA evidence to support the claim…

To Molest and Rape 

In the looking-glass world inhabited by people who believe in the virtue of cops, sexual coercion magically becomes “bribery”:

As a part of a plea deal, a…Honolulu [cop] accused in a corruption scandal pleaded guilty in federal court…Maulia LaBarre…promised a prostitute via text messages that another [cop] would not testify against her if she had sex with him…

Of Course It Is

I hope none of you find these even remotely surprising:

While Kamala Harris was bringing trumped-up child-exploitation charges against a classifieds website, a cadre of California cops was actually paying, pimping, and passing around an underage girl for sex and getting away with it.  A damning new report explains the extent that the Oakland Police Department (OPD) was involved with…Celeste Guap, and also details OPD leadership’s myriad attempts to make the scandal disappear.  Throughout the investigation of the cops, Guap, now 19, was treated like a suspect.  One investigator even called Guap a “whore”.  Others accused her of lying and later misrepresented her statements to their bosses…

Saving Them From Themselves (#678)

And people wonder why I’m critical of “child porn” laws:

…Marion County [Iowa] Attorney Ed Bull, who last year threatened to prosecute a teenager for…tak[ing] pictures of herself in her underwear, has promised not to bring charges.  In exchange, the ACLU has withdrawn the lawsuit it filed on behalf of the girl’s parents…If Bull truly believes that threatening a girl with prison and lifelong registration as a sex offender over a couple of risqué selfies has anything to do with justice, he is demonstrably unqualified for his job…[he] told the girl she could avoid prosecution only if she participated in “a pretrial diversion program wherein she must discuss why her conduct was wrong, sign a statement of admission as to her alleged conduct, listen to how she could potentially have to register as a sex offender for life, and give up her laptop and cell phone for an unspecified period of time”…Bull [claims he] was trying to teach the girl an important lesson about “the life-altering consequences that could arise from being labeled as a sex offender.”  Since he was the one threatening to label her as a sex offender, this exercise was rather like burning down a kid’s house to teach him the danger of playing with matches…

Send In the Clowns 

It’s too bad the “creepy clown” panic doesn’t have the juice to derail “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Last summer…a 12-year-old boy from Montgomery, Ohio, was…arrested at his middle school and suspended for the comments he made on an Instagram page for “scary clowns”.  Now, that boy’s parents are suing his school, the arresting [cop], and the county prosecutor…John and Catherine Wood’s son…C.W…visited Clown.Clann—one of many Instagram pages dedicated to the viral hoax and its fandom—and wrote “DUMB FUCKS COME TO SYCAMORE YOU WON’T”…He was cuffed during a test and arrested in front of his peers by the…[cops] the next day…the Hamilton County Prosectors Office is still pursuing charges against him.  After an initial “inducing panic” charge was dropped, they decided to go after him for harassment and causing public alarm.  The lawsuit…is aiming to get all his charges dropped and seeks damages for “emotional distress”…

Maggie in the Media (#733)

Dr. David Ley interviewed me for his “No More Sex Shame” series.  I apologize for the distortion & slight muffling of my voice, which probably resulted from a balky internet connection on my end.

Welcome To Our World (#746)

Another crime victim caged to force her participation in the state’s morality play:

The…prosecutor’s website [claims] that the Honolulu Family Justice Center is a safe haven, a domestic violence shelter that “will help victims break away from their abusers, regain their self-esteem…and make new lives for themselves.”  What the website doesn’t mention is that victims can’t bring their children…they also must turn over their cellphones and laptops, and they will be turned away unless they promise to testify against their abusers.  While Honolulu’s prosecutor-run “shelter” with extreme strings attached is unusual, its prosecution-first, victim-second approach to domestic violence cases isn’t…domestic violence victims who turn to law enforcement for help can be punished if they later decide that a criminal justice response isn’t in their best interest…At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Family Justice Center, prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro…boasted that his office “did a lot of things to help victims of domestic violence, even when the victims did not know what’s good for them”…[in 2011] he had a woman arrested at her graduation party to guarantee her testimony against an ex-boyfriend who’d allegedly abused her.  Kaneshiro’s stop-at-nothing approach is part of his office’s “no-drop” policy for domestic violence cases…

Just a reminder: “no drop” policies were originally dreamed up & pushed by useful idiot “feminists”.

Across the Pond (#757)

UK cops keep pretending they want to “help” the women they stalk and harass:

…Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green joined [cops] in an operation to curb nuisance behaviour in the city’s Rosary Road.  Sergeant Mark Shepherd…said the police action [is]…“an ongoing operation targeting sex workers, aggressive street begging, and anti-social street drinking…Our approach is to try and divert them away from this lifestyle…We need to understand why these girls are there and then…get them off the streets…[but] if [they don’t want us meddling in their lives]…they are arrested”…

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Usually, when I devote a whole column to picking on a news article, it’s because said article is so hilariously bad or deeply disturbing (or both) that I can’t bear to limit myself to a quick jab of the knife in a news column, and instead prefer to lovingly vivisect it until the entire virtual room is spattered in blood.  But this is, alas, not one of those cases; the article’s author, Sonja Sharp, clearly believes herself an ally of sex workers, or is at least open-minded to the idea that sex workers deserve human rights, yet she can’t quite bring herself to shake off her childlike trust in government and her belief that cops are the “good guys”.  So what we get is an article that is generally supportive of sex worker rights, yet fails to properly place the blame for our oppression on the prohibitionists; instead, it adopts a kind of mealy-mouthed “moderation”, pretending that there is a legitimate “debate” to be had between those who say humans own ourselves and have unalienable rights, and those who pretend that individuals are owned by the State, which has the “right” to use violence to “protect” us from choices with which our owners disapprove.  There’s very little point in quoting the good parts, so I’m just going to concentrate on pointing out the bad ones.

[When] Police Commissioner James O’Neill and the city’s First Lady Chirlane McCray…[announced] the NYPD would bolster the size of its vice squad in order to stamp out sex trafficking…the hope on part of some advocates was that sex workers might see relief from the pressure traditionally brought to bear by police…

I have no idea who these “advocates” Sharp refers to are, but none of them are sex worker rights activists; we know better than to harbor naive beliefs that doubling the size of a police unit could in any way signal “relief” for those the unit is specifically intended to oppress.

…a growing number of law enforcement agencies…are forming their own anti-trafficking units—often using grants from the feds—and deploying similarly gallant rhetoric despite limited evidence their arrests do much to stop exploitation…But alternatives are time-consuming and remain opaque to most law enforcement agencies, which have been deputized to fight human trafficking in part because it’s widely understood to be synonymous with illegal sex work…Modernizing their approach is still a work in progress, to say the least…

Because the writer can’t bring herself to question the institution of policing, she buys into the claim that cops are interested in “stopping exploitation”; she imagines that the idea of just leaving people alone instead of persecuting them for private, consensual activities is “opaque” to cops, rather than recognizing “sex trafficking” as a boondoggle intended to disguise the ugly persecution of sexual behavior under a mask of “helping”.  The idea that cops’ behavior needs to be “modernized” is the most asinine of all; what they’re doing now IS the modern approach, by definition, since it’s less than 20 years old.  What we really need is a return to the approach which predominated throughout most of human history: recognizing that sex work is normal and not a government matter, and leaving it the fuck alone.

…Jean Bruggeman, executive director of the national anti-trafficking organization Freedom Network USA [says] “I think in their zeal to help [cops] are doing some very wrongheaded things,” including mass arrests of sex workers and John stings using fake Backpage ads…

More exoneration of cops, pretending their abusive behavior (including surveillance, rape, robbery, brutality, destruction of homes and lives and even driving people to suicide) is motivated by a “zeal to help”.  You know, like terrorists blow up innocent people in their “zeal to help” them get to Heaven.

…In what appears to be a more concerted approach than that of the NYPD, LA Sheriff’s detectives bring an outreach worker with them whenever they approach sex workers…always offering them diversion first, before an arrest is made…”if they flat-out refuse, we book them, and then they’re sent to the appropriate court,” where they are then [forced into] a system of mandatory services…It seems like progressive approach, one most people—even those who think sex work should be legal—might be able to get behind…

Yeah, it’s “progressive” all right, considering that the Progressive movement spawned the concept of Prohibition in the first place.  To pretend that people who want to suppress consensual sex are actually trying to “help” anyone but themselves is disingenuous in the extreme, yet Sharp just can’t see that attacking peaceful people and then forcing them at gunpoint to accept the government’s idea of “help” is evil even if implemented exactly as planned, both in theory and in practice.

…demand reduction…is hotly contested among advocates and experts.  While less explicitly harmful than arresting sex workers, opponents say it does little to rout traffickers, while those who endorse it argue arresting Johns makes sexual exploitation less attractive as a business…

Aaaaaaaand I’m gonna stop right there before I am seized with the urge to disembowel Sharp along with her crappy article.  No, “end demand” isn’t “hotly contested” among anyone who actually gives a shit about human rights, nor is it less harmful than arresting sex workers (indeed, in the US it always includes arresting sex workers despite the rhetoric).  There is no legitimate “debate” over whether people own their own bodies, nor whether they have the right to consensual sex with other adult partners; pretending that there is such a “debate” is nothing more than catering to evil control freaks and sucking the dick of power.  The pretense that cops are some kind of sweet, well-intentioned social justice squad, and that it isn’t their fault the laws are bad, is so incredibly nauseating it boggles the mind.  Stories like this, written by sheltered little girls barely out of their parents’ houses, are vile apologies for evil policies that enable uniformed rapists and soft-peddle operations intended to destroy lives, enable armed robbery of citizens and increase the real “modern slavery”, mass incarceration.

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Ik kan niet ademen.  –  Jerry Afriyie

When this posts I’ll be on the first leg of my trip to Ireland, so it seems appropriate to share one of my favorite Vangelis compositions, the haunting and beautiful “Irlande”.  The links above it were provided by Tim Cushing (“pigs”, “sirree” and “dogs”), Kevin Wilson (“serve”), Marijke Vonk (“brutalized”), Radley Balko (“bald”), and Nun Ya (“guess”).

From the Archives

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