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Posts Tagged ‘Catholicism’

The biggest problem with democracy is, of course, that being oppressed by violent thugs enforcing bad, evil laws invented by self-serving sociopaths who win popularity contests isn’t really a lot different from being oppressed by violent thugs enforcing bad, evil laws invented by self-serving sociopaths who are descended from other self-serving sociopaths who were on the winning side of some war centuries ago.  Without a solid constitution guaranteeing individual rights against a government whose powers are strictly enumerated, how the oppressor class justifies its tyranny is of little consequence to anyone who doesn’t have a say in the proceedings.  After all, “democratic” American institutions approved of the claimed ownership of human beings until mid-19th century; the violent oppression of racial and ethnic minorities until the mid-20th century; the violent oppression of most sexual minorities until the beginning of the 21st century; and the violent oppression of some sexual minorities (not to mention the de facto violent oppression of some minority groups and the de jure oppression of others) to the present day.  As a member of one of those groups, I can assure you that it’s cold comfort to know that the rapist thugs trying to destroy my life employ excuses made up by many power-mad busybodies rather than by a few power-mad busybodies, or that those busybodies were supposedly picked by “the people” than by a god or gods.

At one time, one’s religion was almost entirely determined by where one was born; Greeks followed the Greek religion, Egyptians the Egyptian religion, Chinese the Chinese religion, etc.  Most people simply followed the religion they were born into, and the few who questioned it were, in general, either banished or violently murdered.  But as humans started moving around more and even mixing with people who were born in different places, they became more tolerant of foreign religions; to be sure, there were still plenty of jihads, witch hunts, inquisitions and the like, but in the truly great cities a number of different religions might coexist with little friction.  And in the modern world, most developed areas are home to people of at least several different religions, and many choose to have no religion at all.  But while religion has thus developed to be less intrinsically tied to circumstances of birth than it was for most of human history, its twin sister nationality has barely developed at all.  It was very easy for me to renounce Catholicism; I didn’t have to move or lose my friends or property, and the only social consequence was some disapproval from a few members of my family.  And while it’s certainly true that renouncing religion is a lot harder than that in some places (for example, in some parts of the Muslim world), renouncing nationality is universally difficult (and sometimes virtually impossible).  Renouncing Americanism would require me to lose my home, my friends, and many of my assets; I’d have to get used to different ways, possibly even learn a new language, and could look forward to being seen as an outsider in my new land for the rest of my life.

It doesn’t have to be this way; some political thinkers have proposed that government, which we conceive of as rigidly connected to a physical territory, could be as borderless as religion has largely become.  People could choose a government as they can now choose a religion; they would be subject to that government’s laws and taxes (and reap whatever benefits it offered) just as they now are subject to the restrictions and tithes (and reap whatever benefits) of their chosen religion.  No doubt most would stay with their nationality of birth, just as most people stick with their native religion; there would probably be large areas where most people belonged to one nationality or another, just as the majority of Brazilians are Catholic, the majority of Iraqis are Muslim and the majority of Indians Hindu.  But nobody would be forced to uproot and lose everything merely to change government, and being stateless or anarchist would be no more difficult than being agnostic or atheist currently is in the Western world.  If you want a different model of how this would work, consider insurance companies; nobody thinks it’s weird or threatening that their friends or neighbors pay premiums (taxes) to a different organization and have different benefits and limitations (laws) than they do.  Want a nanny state that takes most of your income and has lots of laws but provides all kind of benefits?  You can have that.  You want a police state where armed goons watch you through cameras and then leap into action to “protect” you at the touch of a panic button?  I’m sure some government will offer that.  A theocracy?  Sure, but your neighbors can still sin like crazy if they contract with a secular government.  And naturally, some would choose no government at all.

Obviously there are a LOT of problems and complications with this idea; for example, mineral rights have long been divorced from the property under which they lie, but what about common resources like air and water?  Treaties would need to be worked out for that.  Roads and other civil engineering projects could be free to the citizens of the government or governments which built them, while others paid a toll (toll tags could parse this automatically).  Violent crimes would probably be handled by the victim’s government, subject to whatever treaties & reciprocal agreements it had with the offender’s; violent crimes committed by anarchists would automatically be handled entirely by the government of the victim, thus providing an incentive for everyone to contract with some government, if only for legal protection in case a citizen of a “presumption of guilt” state decided to point at them.  Governments could still require residence in a certain place if they wanted, just as certain cults do, and every government would maintain some capital territory in which its power was absolute (just like companies, universities, etc have their own campus rules and security forces).  But in general, people would be free to choose the government that was right for them, and within a few centuries people would consider our current “You must obey us or die because you are within this set of imaginary lines” system as barbaric and monstrous as we consider forced religious conversion.

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Every year on her feast day, I honor St. Mary Magdalene; even though the Church does not officially recognize her as the patron of whores, she certainly is in the public imagination.  And if beliefs have power, that recognition of sacred whoredom in the minds of millions has far more metaphysical and philosophical weight than any official Church designation.

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It’s…a surveillance-first, ask-permission-later system.  –  Jake Laperruque

The More the Better 

There are a lot of things I dislike about this article written by a brothel owner in New Zealand, not the least of which is the writer’s use of the term “ethical pimp” to mean “ordinary madam” (the term “pimp” is hopelessly contaminated by racism and copaganda; it cannot be “reclaimed”).  But everything that helps to demystify sex work is good, even if its style grates on my nerves.

Gingerbread House

Stories about hooker jails are absolutely crammed with appalling euphemisms:

[More] victims of human trafficking [than exist in the United States] are expected to be [arrested] from [ordinary sex work] in Fresno alone this year.  But…a $45,000 donation from Granville Homes will be used to help “Breaking The Chains” build a new [prison] facility…[for] 25 victims of [the police]…It will provide a [place to lock them up out of public view so cops can pressure them to provide fake “evidence”]…to help [convict people as] gangs or pimps…District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp [moaned with her hand in her pants, fantasizing]…”It happens in schools.  People are taken from malls.  There are all different types of ways [magic ninja] traffickers get these girls,” [panted] Smittcamp…

The Missing Word

We certainly can’t use that word for people who were given control over their victims by the government:

A Crawfordville, Florida couple preparing for Armageddon faces multiple serious charges after two females escaped the couple’s farm and [said] they were prevented from leaving and were physically and sexually abused for years…[by] Mirko…and Regina Ceska…The females…The females…were [given] “custodial responsibility” of the Ceskas [by the government, and were forced to begin]…working each day at 5:30 a.m…The females reported they were not allowed to go anywhere, couldn’t have friends, couldn’t have cell phones, nor talk to people in public places”…If they didn’t smile, they would face a variety of punishments ranging from verbal abuse, beatings or being deprived of food….”Detectives noted marks and bruises on the female’s back and arm.”  Both females also described times that Mirko Ceska would force sex acts upon them…”with the support of Regina Ceska”…Mirko Ceska screamed at the females

I wonder what biological sex the victims were?

Rescued To Death

I’m sure they don’t mind having their lives destroyed so bourgeois Englishwomen can feel good:

The Modern Slavery Act…helps cover up serious forced labour issues…while making [busybodies]…feel better…Article 54…assigns British companies the responsibility to clean up their global supply chains…[and they shove] this responsibility [of on] local factory managers in Sri Lanka…[who intrusively] monitor their [mostly-female] workforce…for fear of losing their contracts…[many of these] women…engage…in part-time sex work to [supplement their meager pay, as working-class women have done since at least Roman times]…But local managers fear…it would be [fantasized] by Western [busybodies to be] exploitation and threaten their contracts…one factory manager [said]:  “If we do not fire part-time sex workers, our factories can get blacklisted, and our orders will be cancelled”…

Guinea Pigs (#690) 

Apply a label like “prostitute” or “gang member” and civil rights go out the window:

An NYPD database labels over 18,000 people in New York City as active gang members.  Three…are 13 years old, and more than 400 others are under 18…nearly 88 percent are Black or [Hispanic].  If your name is entered into the database, you have no way of knowing about it and no way of contesting it…Across the country, people have been calling for significant reform of, or even an end to, gang databases and gang policing measures…The Chicago Police Department database is [an order of magnitude larger than New York’s], containing the names of an estimated 128,000 adults and at least 33,000…people 17 and younger…includ[ing] hundreds listed as dead or having no known gang affiliation…two men listed as 132 years old and several 118-year-olds…alleged gang affiliation [is] treated as a factor in immigration proceedings, bail decisions and sentencing, and treatment when in jail or prison. The NYPD [pretends] that it does not share information with other agencies but [that is well-known to be a lie]…

Guess who built California’s version of this?  Palantir.  And I’ll bet they had a hand in New York’s, too.

Against Their Will (#795) 

This looks like a huge victory against the powerful Indian rescue industry:

The Bombay High Court has said that an adult [arrested under the pretense of] rescue…under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act cannot be sent to a [prison]…against her wish…The order will set a precedent…for all the women who are in [“rescue” prisons] against their wish…Advocate Satyavrat Joshi argued…that the Constitution provides every citizen a right to move freely through the territory of India and also the right to choose a vocation…

Dirty Laundry (#845)

The “Good Shepherd Sisters” were one of the two orders behind Ireland’s horrific Magdalene laundries, now doing business as the anti-sex work gang Ruhama:

…In “hubs” of human trafficking such as Detroit, faith-based groups such Sisters of the Good Shepherd have [capitalized on the hysteria] by [pretending to] offer…services to [sex workers], including counseling, housing, career training, prevention programs and even [indoctrin]ating the community [in propaganda] about human trafficking…

Finding What Isn’t There (#870)

Trying to manufacture data to “prove” a problem exists when existing data says it doesn’t is not science:

Britain is aiming to [exaggerate] the true scale of modern slavery and [invent] more trafficking networks [out of individuals] through the creation of a 10 million pound ($12.5 million) research center involving [hired guns, prohibitionists and rescue profiteers]…The initiative will [invent] research and boost [fascist] collaboration in Britain and abroad between various sectors…[and] law enforcement…[prohibitionists masturbate to the fantasy that] Britain is home to…136,000 slaves…a figure [dreamed up by rescue profiteers Walk Free Foundation]…whose accuracy has been [widely debunked] by academics and activists…

Disaster (#902)

Is there anyone outside government and prohibition profiteer groups who fails to recognize what a disaster FOSTA is?

…police…stings are [claimed] to fight sex trafficking, but…simply instigate…arrests for prostitution.  It’s a racket…Would Americans be in favor of spending these astronomical sums to fight sex work that is completely unrelated to sex trafficking?…they should at least…not be tricked into believing sex trafficking is happening all around them…FOSTA-SESTA has made sex work more dangerous, the internet less useful, and we are throwing money out the proverbial window in our zeal to fight a scourge that isn’t nearly as widespread as we are led to believe.  We need elected officials brave enough to say a mistake has been made.

Guinea Pigs (#936)

Just a reminder that this privacy-destroying abomination started as a means of spying on sex workers:

The Palantir user guide shows that police can start with almost no information about a [victim] and instantly know extremely intimate details about their lives…they can use automatic license plate reader data to find out where they’ve been, and when they’ve been there…[they] can also find a person’s email address, phone numbers, current and previous addresses, bank accounts, social security number(s), business relationships, family relationships, and license information like height, weight, and eye color…The software can map out a person’s family members and business associates of a suspect, and theoretically, find the above information about them, too…

Pyrrhic Victory (#944)

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

…Thousands of facial-recognition requests, internal documents and emails over the past five years…reveal that [pigs and spooks] have turned state Department of Motor Vehicles databases into the bedrock of an unprecedented surveillance infrastructure…Neither Congress nor state legislatures have authorized the development of such a system, and growing numbers of [politicians] are [publicly] criticizing the technology [to win support from voters while doing absolutely nothing to stop it]…Since 2011, the FBI has logged more than 390,000 facial-recognition searches of federal and local databases, including state DMV databases…The records…detailed the regular use of facial recognition to track down suspects in low-level crimes…with nothing more formal than an email from a federal agent to a local contact…

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Kraft’s…case punctured some of the overheated rhetoric surrounding coerced sex work.  –  Matt Ford

Rough Trade 

A rare case where a rapist of sex workers is actually convicted:

A San Francisco jury…found a man guilty of several felonies in connection with the sexual assault of two female sex workers more than five years ago in the city’s Mission District…Edwin Rodriguez [was found]…guilty of multiple counts of forcible rape as well as aggravated kidnapping, assault and criminal threats.  Rodriguez now faces multiple life sentences…

Unclean Situation (#330)

These are also some of the nuns behind Ruhama:

A religious order which ran some of the Magdalene laundries, but has refused to pay into the redress scheme for survivors, is to sell its retreat centre in north Dublin.  The Religious Sisters of Charity announced it will sell the €3m Stella Maris Retreat Centre in Howth…A spokesman for the Department of Justice said no contributions have been made by any of the four religious congregations involved in respect of the implementation of the Magdalen Restorative Justice Ex-Gratia Scheme…[which has paid] a total of €27.8m…so far to 732 applicants…

Catastrophic Consequences (#576)

This sleazy tactic started in Canada, then spread to the UK:

[In the UK] “anti-trafficking”…raids [are] known officially as “welfare visits”…[cops pretend] that “the welfare and safety of the women…is…the number one priority”…[but in truth] “prostitute cautions“…are…handed out at high rates, and the…Proceeds of Crime Act not only allows them to [steal] sex workers’ earnings, it actively making it easier for them by reversing the burden of proof…the [stolen] cash is given to the Home Office, which then [gives it right back] to the police force without regulating how it’s spent.  The official line is that [cops] have no incentive to raid, but the truth is that the police force does stand to profit…

BDSM (#583)

A “cult”.  Because mentioning their sex practices wasn’t quite lurid enough:

Torsten Weiss…[the owner of a] medieval fetish shop in Hachenburg, Germany…was found dead with crossbow bolts protruding from his neck and skull…[in] a…B&B in Passau…By his side was 33-year-old Kerstin Enders who had succumbed to similar fatal injuries.  On the floor in front of them in a pool of blood was 30-year-old Farina Caspari, suspected of honoring Weiss’s…command to first kill him and Enders, and then take her own life…Weiss and Enders left wills at their sides…”Investigators suspect they were all members of a kind of sex circle with a focus on the Middle Ages,” according to RTL news…[at] Caspari[‘s]…house [cops]…found two more female victims.  One, identified only as Gertrud C., was her lover…friends of the four female victims interviewed by police say the women had all been under Weiss’s hypnotic control.  They reportedly engaged in extreme sexual acts, often involving BDSM, under his direction.  But what police don’t yet know is what led the fivesome to their deaths rather than just continuing their fantastical life…The two women found dead in [Caspari’s] apartment have no obvious wounds or signs of violence. Toxicology reports will show if they were poisoned…

Other than what I’ve quoted above, most of the rest is lurid speculation by cops and the neighbors, friends, and family members of the victims, mostly of the same level of popular ignorance as the myth that a person can be “hypnotized” to do things against their will.

To Molest and Rape 

Just 1500 isolated incidents:

Nearly 1,500 accusations of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, [rape, sexual assault] and child [molestation], have been made against [cops] in England and Wales over six years…Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that 1,491 complaints were filed against [various kinds of cops]…across 33 forces in England and Wales between 2012 and 2017, or 2018 in the case of the Metropolitan Police in London, which took a year to respond…Of these cases, 371 were upheld, resulting in the sacking or resignation of 197 [rapists]…Ten police forces [refused to] provide data…

Girls, Girls, Girls! (#679)

Clubs need to learn that the bad old days of exploiting dancers are over:

A federal jury has awarded five black dancers more than $3 million in their discrimination lawsuit against Danny’s strip club…Danny’s Downtown Cabaret…limit[ed] the number of shifts black dancers could work, and subject[ed] them to racially offensive epithets…”Danny’s also forced the dancers to work at a related club, Black Diamonds, even though they were subject to arrest there because they were not licensed to work at that club,” according to the EEOC.  “The pay and working conditions at Black Diamonds were inferior to those at Danny’s, and there was less security there.  The dancers who refused to work at Black Diamonds were fined and sent home, and not allowed to work at Danny’s”…

Profound Ignorance (#800) 

Scott Cunningham has finally set the record straight on the history of decriminalization in Rhode Island:

…In 1980, the Rhode Island General Assembly legalized indoor sex work.  The surviving members of that assembly have [pretended] that legalizing indoor sex work happened accidentally while trying to strengthen laws prohibiting street prostitution…the police and local prosecutors [eventually forgot]…as indoor sex workers were arrested and prosecuted regularly…throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Then in 2003, a Rhode Island District Court judge reminded everyone what the law said…For six years the state was running a “natural experiment” that would teach us more about decriminalized indoor sex work than we’d ever known in history…what we found surprised us and everyone else…Rhode Island rapes and sexually transmitted infections both substantially declined…several other articles in economics have found similar effects but in other countries and cities…in light of these studies, organizations such as the World Health Organization and the ACLU have begun calling for reconsideration of our commercial sex laws…

Unfortunately, he’s still making silly claims like “everyone was surprised” (no, prohibitionists feigned surprise; it has been known since at least the 1920s that criminalization of a market always increases violence and health issues).  But at least he’s admitting that Rhode Island was neither a “mistake” nor a merely six-year phenomenon, and I’ve noticed his studies have been getting much better.  We may make a good ally out of him yet.

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#830)

Even Reuters is starting to listen to what sex workers have to say about “rescue”:

Sex workers in Thailand are rejecting the “raid and rescue” model used by authorities to crack down on…sex workers…[by labeling them] victims of trafficking.  Many of the women arrested are then [forced] to learn [menial] skills like sewing and baking.  “People say we should stop doing what we do, and sew or bake cookies instead – but why are only those jobs considered appropriate?” said Mai Chanta, who has been a sex worker for about eight years.  “This is what we choose to do, and we feel a sense of pride and satisfaction that we are just like other workers”…

That Old Black Magic (#884)

Click on the subtitle for the truth about Nigerian juju (not “voodoo”) rituals:

Spanish Police have busted a network of Nigerian voodoo sex traffickers who use illegal migration routes to smuggle young girls into Europe…the sex slaves are being groomed in Benin City, Edo state by mafia-style gangs promising them a better life in Spain…They were submitted to voodoo rituals threatening terrible consequences to them and their families if they disobeyed the organisation, police [fantasized, groaning and making furtive movements in their pants while describing how]…parts of their bodies were smothered in animal blood before they were threatened with death or infertility if they failed to obey the traffickers…

Pyrrhic Victory (#899)

Welcome to the future:

A UK pedestrian was arrested and fined £90 ($115 US) after attempting to cover his face while passing a controversial facial recognition camera van on an East London street.  The notorious London police vans scan the faces of passers-by and compare them to a database of wanted criminals.  One man wasn’t having any of it, and was seen covering his face with his hat and jacket before London police stopped him and [forcibly] took his picture anyway…The ticketing comes in the wake of another similar incident in February, in which another man refused to be scanned by one of the facial recognition vans and was also fined £90…the technology is terribly inaccurate – wrongly matching over 2,000 people to criminal…[at] the Champions League Final in Cardiff in 2017

First They Came for the Hookers… (#903) 

Most “prostitution” cases come apart like wet toilet paper if actually taken to trial:

A former Foxy Lady dancer…was found not guilty…of offering sex for money.  Lindsay Hoffmann…one of three dancers arrested at the club on Dec. 11, was cleared after a trial…lasting less than an hour…[a cop claimed] Hoffmann told him…he could get “anything” he wanted for $300 in the downstairs VIP room…But Judge Melissa DuBose said “anything” could have been anything…

End Demand (#910)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will use any story about petty crime to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

…According to Mar Brettmann…“We know that 300-to-500 kids are prostituted at any given time in King County.”  Brettmann is executive director of B.E.S.T. – Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking – in Seattle…[which profits by indoctrinating] businesses and employees in King County to [harass] sex [workers], especially in hotels and motels…

In other words, she claims that there are about twice as many “teen sex slaves” in Seattle as adult escorts, a number so absurd prominent Seattle sex workers have actually been asked by cops where all those supposed “sex slaves” are hiding, because they sure can’t find them.

Loose Cannons (#938)

Another good anti-prohibition article at New Republic:

…The…charges against Kraft came as part of a sweeping, dramatic raid on Asian massage parlors across Florida…prosecutors [pretended]…they had smashed a international sex-trafficking ring…the narrative changed just as the public’s attention turned elsewhere…law enforcement agencies…often use [the claim] to describe and justify crackdowns on consensual sex work…prosecutors regularly use the threat of additional charges and a prolonged trial to induce defendants to accept a guilty plea…This warps the criminal justice system, such that…between 90 and 95 percent of federal and state cases are now resolved through plea deals instead of a trial with one’s peers…

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Readers who follow me on Twitter may have noticed that I had very little to say about the news that Notre Dame de Paris was heavily damaged by fire this week.  I equally ignored those lamenting the loss of an architectural masterpiece, those using the tragedy as an excuse to pontificate about the many sins of the Catholic Church, those failing to comprehend why there was no anguish when recent and unsophisticated buildings used as churches burned down, and those complaining that the destruction of other medieval architectural gems not located in the exact center of one of the greatest cities of the West was not publicized by Western media.  In fact, the only comment I made on it was to tweet that this article in The Onion was the only one I had seen that approximated my feelings on the matter.  Though I agree that the building is gorgeous and understand the sense of loss, and I find rejoicing in the destruction of an artwork to be an act of incredibly bad taste, I also understand what many others are choosing to ignore: that no matter what is done to restore the cathedral, it will eventually burn down again or succumb to some other disaster.  And the same is true of the Eiffel Tower, the Tower of London, the Empire State Building, the Sydney Opera House, the Taj Mahal, St. Basil’s and every other building in the world.  Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, only one is still standing and it, too, will eventually crumble, as will every building in every city on Earth.  In Oklahoma, my ranch was situated on the top of what was a mountain a hundred million years ago, and the very shape of the continents has changed dramatically in that time.  Similarly, people wring their hands and moan lugubriously about the extinction of animal species, despite the fact that a species is nothing more than a temporary configuration of genes; it is as permanent as a sand dune, albeit on a much longer time scale, and we can no more “save” a species than we could freeze the column of smoke from a burning cathedral into some interesting or beautiful shape.  As I remind my readers every November 1st, all things must pass, and although we may lament those which happen to pass in the flickering moment we exist upon the Earth, they are no more or less mortal than those which have already passed before we were here to see them, or those which will pass in the uncountable eons after we ourselves are gone.

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Registries deter the good guys without having much effect on the bad ones.  –  Alexandra Levy

We Told You So

Oh, what a surprise:

A…couple’s agency obtained a $1.5 million federal grant to [harass sex workers]…in Toronto…[but] the…project appears to be a sham…[La Passerelle I.D.E. used the names] of 26 Toronto women…[who] work in marketing, public relations, consulting and government…[as supposed sex workers]…in danger…La Passerelle is [also]…in hot water over misusing thousands of dollars of sports and concert tickets…The lawyer for La Passerelle, Peter Downard, [claims] the anti-prostitution program…will help young, immigrant francophone women escape from “informal prostitution,” which he describes as [actually getting something of value for their time instead of giving it to useless men for free]…

Ad Absurdum

Age of consent laws were always intended to criminalize teen sex:

The age…[of] consent…is set at the state level in the US…In states such as Montana, and Kansas, anyone over the age of 16 can engage in sex with whomever they choose…while…a 16-year-old high-school junior who has sex with someone in the year below them is…committing statutory rape…in states such as MassachusettsIllinois and California, two minors who engage in sex…might land one of them on the sex offenders’ registry for life…statutory-rape law can be a powerful tool in the hands of parents who want to prevent their teenagers from dating people they don’t like or from dating at all…this means the law disproportionally affects queer and interracial couples…Age-of-consent law as we know it today is a late 19th-century invention…In 1981…the…Supreme Court…held that “because their chastity was considered particularly precious, young women were felt to be uniquely in need of the state’s protection”.  Then the 1990s brought a push to shore up age-of-consent law in order to prevent teen pregnancy…age-of-consent law has always been…primarily focused on preventing consensual teenage sex…

AoC laws became popular as a way for parents to have revenge on young men who got their daughters pregnant, thus ruining their chances for an advantageous marriage.  All that modern crap about “child protection” is just rationalization to cover up the ugly, dehumanizing truth that despite the phrase “statutory rape”, AoC laws are more closely related to vandalism laws than they are to rape laws.

Cardboard Cutouts

Dutch sex workers are being threatened by Swedish plague carriers:

A [prohibitionist] petition is to be handed into the Dutch parliament demanding [the Swedish model]…”I am [worth]less” is the name of the social media-led campaign…[based in] Christian and feminist [dogma]…the group have posted Instagram photos showing [idiots with printed signs]…bearing [inane mottoes like]…I’m [worth]less…[and] “what if it was your sister?”…

A Load of Farley (#571)

Farley’s evil bigotry is finally coming back to bite her:

Florida lawmakers are rapidly advancing a bill they say will tackle human trafficking that would [condemn]…sex worker…[clients] to…a public registry.  But…the measure…relies on the work of [Melissa Farley] an…anti-sex work clinical psychologist who has referred to women sex workers as “house n****rs” [sic] and ”receptacles” and equates consensual sex with a sex worker with “rape”…other psychologists have described her work as “questionable”, “unqualified”, “inflammatory” and “demeaning propaganda”.  In 2010, Farley appeared as a key witness in a prostitution hearing in Ontario. The judge, Justice Susan Himel, dismissed Farley’s testimony [as]…”problematic”…[and] “inflammatory”…Several academics, writers and organizers wrote a scathing commentary on one of Farley’s reports in 2008, citing its biases and ignorance “of even the most basic legal principles”….Farley…initially denied using the racist slur, but when HuffPost sent her the archived link to the 2009 article, Farley said she was comparing “the structural similarities between prostitution and slavery”…

To Molest and Rape

This week’s typical and representative cop:

A Dartmouth [Massachusetts cop]..is facing…charges…[after raping] two children…Shawn Souza was arrested by state police…following a report from the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and an investigation by the DA’s special victims unit…

Stalkers in Blue

She was “found dead” after a cop stalked her. Just a koinkydink:

A Denver [cop] will [get] a 10-day [vacat]ion and a fine for leaving work early to go to a strip club and then using a police database to look up a dancer, who was later found dead.  It is the second time in less than a year that…Shederick Dobbin has [received a light slap on the wrist] for abusing his access to the database…Dobbin was not a suspect in the [stripper’s death even though]…he [stalked]…her…and…two of [her] friends…Dobbin…previously [was rewarded with a] four day…[vacation] for [stalk]ing…the girlfriend of a man [accused] of assaulting a city employee…Denver [cops stalking women via computer]…became a focal point for the city’s Office of the Independent Monitor in 2016…

Imaginary Evils (#833)

It’s almost like feds use high-stigma accusations to force guilty pleas to lesser charges:

Allison Mack…pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering and one count of racketeering conspiracy, for threatening to release secret photos of two women if they didn’t engage in “acts of love” with [cult leader Keith] Raniere.  Mack was…arrested along with NXIVM co-founder Raniere in what federal authorities widely described as a sex trafficking case…another example of the FBI using its new favorite buzzword (and desperately trying to rack up actual prosecutions for the same) even when the charges were a huge stretch…There a lot to criticize NXIVM for…and evidence that Raniere is guilty of a host of ethical and legal transgressions…Just not for sex trafficking

Original Sin (#913) 

Nobody wants to admit that forced celibacy exacerbates these issues:

Indian authorities…charged a bishop with repeatedly raping a nun in…Kerala, the first case of its kind in the country and a development that comes just weeks after Pope Francis acknowledged a continuing problem with sexual abuse of nuns in the Catholic Church…Bishop Franco Mulakkal had been charged with raping a nun nine times over a two-year period starting in 2014…The charge sheet includes statements from 83 witnesses, including a cardinal, three bishops, 11 priests and 25 nuns…Nuns have tried for years to call attention to sexual exploitation in the Catholic Church.  They have recently stepped forward to accuse clerics of abuse in India and Italy, as well as in African and Latin American countries.  But they have also struggled to move the conversation forward among church leaders…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#926)

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are desperately trying to turn the recent racist Florida pogroms into a huge international conspiracy:

…Yujing Zhang…was charged with illegally “entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds” and with lying to a federal agent…But as of now, any links between Zhang and Li “Cindy” Yang are…circumstantial at best…Despite dramatic insinuations, there’s been no evidence that Yang was actually “selling access” to the president (or other political figures) in any meaningful way…Her consulting company, GY US Investments, arranged tours, visits, and attendance at an array of political offices, business conferences, and political, networking, and cultural events for Chinese and Chinese-American entrepreneurs…Until recently, she ran a chain of massage businesses…one of those businesses she closed in 2013.  It was opened under a new name by a woman with no apparent ties to Yang and, earlier this year, the site of a Homeland Security–assisted prostitution sting that netted…Trump supporter…Robert Kraft on misdemeanor solicitation charges…And yet some people are quickly weaving a new narrative of shady “influence” with her as some sort of centerpiece…congressional Democrats called on the FBI to investigate Yang, even though no one has produced any evidence she’s doing anything illegal…

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The rescue industry is a deeply misogynistic enterprise which…polices the behaviour of women under the guise of saving us.  –  Eleanor Janega

Real People 

The more sex workers come out like this, the better for everyone:

The people that make the porn that a lot of us watch are sick of you pretending that you’re better than them.  Michele James especially is sick of it.  “We are cast out into the shadows…if I could bring a person who didn’t do sex work on set for a day, for them to see what we actually go through, they would realize it’s a job too and we deserve respect, the same as CEOs, and everybody else who goes to work 9-5.”  James…sees part of her responsibility to the industry she loves is helping to destigmatize the performers who make it…she is passionate about her industry; and she gives exactly zero fucks what you think about that…

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

A…High School student in the Florida Keys is facing 15 years in prison and life as a registered sex offender for continuing to date his 15-year-old girlfriend after he turned 18 in December…numerous people, including the girl’s parents, his parents and two sheriff’s office deputies, [warned] Tucker [that the shamans of the booga-booga gods would be angry he was violating the Shazam magic, but] the two continued to see each other…[and] the girl’s mother [decided to destroy her] relationship [with her daughter by ratting them out to] the…school [pig]…cops [then eavesdropped on a private conversation and congratulated themselves for destroying a young man’s life]…

The Crumbling Dam (#739) 

Seattle’s vocal harm magnification community is still going strong:

[Shilo] Jama has spent his career advocating for drug users.  With his work at the [People’s Harm Reduction Alliance], he runs syringe distribution sites, including a drop-in site in the U District…They have a nurse practitioner on site who prescribes medications like Suboxone, which helps with withdrawal symptoms…Over the years, Jama has helped countless people who use drugs, but his efforts aren’t exactly appreciated by everyone.  In December, flyers featuring a photograph of his face started popping up in the University District and elsewhere in North Seattle…The flyer accuses Jama (who legally changed his last name from Murphy a few years ago to honor the family that raised him) of “enabling and encouraging harmful behavior that has caused many deaths”…The flyer claims that Jama, his organization, and the U District needle distribution site are a danger to the public, but according to public health experts, harm reduction projects like Jama’s do reduce overdose deaths and other public health issues…The flyer also says that the Seattle Police Department and the Seattle City Council are “almost powerless” to prosecute Jama and lists a phone number for the FBI’s Seattle office, encouraging people to call and report him…Jama…suspects [the source] was members of Safe Seattle, an organization that, among other issues, advocates against safe injection sites…

The Notorious Badge (#760)

This does a good job of synopsizing my discomfort with The Deuce:

The Deuce uses its promise to reveal the behind-closed-doors happenings of sex work to argue relentlessly for the regulation and oversight of the industry…it is nervous about the way it represents sex work, anxious to inform but not to titillate.  In pinpointing…sex-work…as a “secret,” however, and then exposing it through a surveillance-cum-safety structure, the show satisfies an intellectual craving for knowledge that echoes the pleasures of pornography…[it] takes care to pat viewers on the back, framing their pleasure as different from that of the porn viewer.  Through gridline-marked shots of pornography in the making, for example, The Deuce allows viewers to indulge in pornographic voyeurism under the guise of cautionary surveillance.  At the same time, it frames their viewing position as a sanctimonious one…

“Regulation and oversight” = “legalization”, which only politicians and cops want.  Sex workers, human rights groups, medical groups and academics who have studied our work all recognize decriminalization, not “regulation” by outsiders, as the best model for everyone.

Checklist (#811)

Despite some pandering to “sex trafficking” beliefs, this isn’t a bad article about “signs of sex trafficking” indocrination:

…every year…ahead of the Super Bowl…anti-prostitution [crusaders]…campaign [to indocrinate]…everyone from hospitality employees to Uber drivers…in…anti-[sex worker propaganda such as the claim that]…as many as 40.3 million people were “in modern slavery in 2016”, up more than 5 million compared to five years ago.  And in 2014, the 35.8 figure rose by 6 million people in just a year…the…figures are so alluringly extreme [because profiteers]…are often under pressure from poli[tician]s into producing overestimated figures…crusades of this nature are not…concerned with accuracy, as appearing to be leading the charge against [consensual sex]…hotel chains like Marriott have been reported as looking out for women travelling alone and sexually provocative clothing as signs of…sex…[work, which makes it clear that] consenting adult sex workers [are]…being targeted…

Unfortunately, Lyft may not be a safe alternative to Uber for much longer:

…we are working to help raise awareness and taking action to prevent human trafficking.  Through partnerships with [prohibitionist] organizations like…Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking (BEST), we are [indoctrinating] drivers…on how to spot [escorts] and [rat them out to the pigs]…

Original Sin (#824) 

A new statement from a man who says men who seek consensual sex with women are “criminals with a sick mentality”:

Pope Francis has admitted that clerics have sexually abused nuns, and in one case they were kept as sex slaves…his predecessor, Pope Benedict, was forced to shut down an entire congregation of nuns who were being abused by priests.  It is thought to be the first time that Pope Francis has acknowledged the sexual abuse of nuns by the clergy.  He said the Church was attempting to address the problem but said it was “still going on”…

Rooted in Racism (#854)

More European government humanitarianism to “fight human trafficking”:

…[it has been] two years since Italy, backed by the EU, did a deal to spend tens of millions of euros funding the Libyan coastguard, which intercepts boats heading for Italy and returns refugees and migrants to a war zone…detainees in nine different detention centres…use hidden phones to reveal what’s going on at huge risk to themselves.  EU [politicians] continue to promote the idea that arrivals in Europe  and deaths at sea are dropping.  But…thousands of men, women, and children…speak of going days without food and of drinking toilet water to survive.  Some have stopped speaking, forgotten their families, sit crouched in a corner and wet themselves from trauma…Couples are separated – some of the roughly 640 detained children are held with their mothers, though those over 14 are kept in adult cells…infected detainees are locked with others in a dark room and have been repeatedly left without tuberculosis medication…In October, a 28-year-old Somali set himself on fire…after saying he saw no other way out.  In early January dozens of refugees and migrants, brought by the coastguard to the Libyan port city of Khoms, were forced back to smugglers by Libyan [cops]…[and] now risk torture if they can’t raise an the $5,000 ransom that has already been demanded…

Feminine Pragmatism (#891) 

One day, reporters will get that “People Work To Make Money” is not news:

Increasing numbers of public sector workers are [making the pragmatic decision] to [do] sex work due to austerity measures and welfare cuts…a leading campaigning group…says more women in public sector roles are doing sex work to top up their income due to employers making no allowances for the fact they have children…the organisation, the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), [has] release[d] a new report comparing sex work with other jobs commonly done by women.  The report found sex workers earn significantly more per hour than women working in the other jobs – including those in public sector positions such as nurses and midwives.  Women cited higher wages as their primary reason for entering the sex industry…

Case Study (#892) 

One day, reporters will get that “people sublet flats” is not news:

A special constable and his Hungarian wife have been jailed for [rent]ing [flats to] women from Hungary [in] a Chelsea apartment block [nicknam]ed “10 Floors of Whores”.  Karl Ring and Ivett Szuda…[arranged sex workers’ travel on] the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air to fly women into London from Budapest as they made more than £600,000 [over several years] from [subletting flats]…Szuda…[will be locked in a cage] for six and a half years, while Ring…[will be] locked up for four years…the couple [charged sex workers 50% of their fees, a fairly typical rate for brothels]…Judge Robin Johnson [bloviated a lot of pompous, moralistic nonsense about “exploitation”, ignoring the fact that] the sex workers were happy with the arrangement…

Feminine Pragmatism (#896) 

The villains here aren’t imaginary “trafficking rings”; they’re the fucking politicians who force desperate people to deal with criminals to have a chance to escape hell:

Traffickers are targeting desperate young women in Venezuela by flying them to the Costas to [do lucrative, flexible work]…at least 208,000 have fled the crisis-hit country in the hope of a better life in Spain.  Nearly all of those have travelled on official three month tourists visas which are readily available as Venezuela was once a Spanish colony.  However, a flight costs £1,000 which is a fortune in a land where a cup of coffee costs a month’s wages thanks to hyperinflation of 80,000 per cent…This is when the heartless trafficking gangs of Caracas are stepping in and [giving people a chance to escape despite politicians’ efforts to keep them trapped in Venezuela]…SICAR Cat, a religious organisation that pro[fits from hysteria over]…sex trafficking, [pretends these women are ignorant children who don’t know what sex work is, and calls their jobs]…modern day slavery…Venezuela’s economic mix of unemployment, poverty and inflation has created the perfect conditions for [mass emigration] to flourish…

These stories sure sound stupid when the hype is replaced by objective language, don’t they?

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#905)

Indian sex workers are chipping away at the prohibitionists’ agency-negating lies:

…four organisations…have released a report which states that close to 77% women voluntarily return to sex work after their rescue into shelter homes…the National Network for Sex Workers Association (NNSWA) and UMKO, Saheli – HIV/RAIDS Karyakarta Sangh, SANGRAM and Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP), have released a report “Raided – How Anti-Trafficking Strategies Increase Sex Workers’ Vulnerability to Exploitative Practices”…79% of the women documented in the study returned to sex work – “escaping” their rescue from shelter homes, while almost 11% of the women continued to live in these homes…Kusum, President [of the] All India Network of Sex Workers explained the “horrific” condition of shelter homes and why women want to escape it…“There is no food to eat, and when there is food it is insect infested which makes people sick.  No health care to take care of inhabitants…and even if that was provided the stigma that exists towards HIV persons within these homes is bad enough to kill someone well before their time”…the report contests the…present understanding that most women in the flesh trade are trafficked women ‘pushed into prostitution’…These homes manifest an environment of isolation and deprive the women of identity and income…

The Indian media is so thoroughly brainwashed by prohibitionists that even in an article citing statistics debunking prohibitionist mythology, the reporter feels compelled to put the word “escape” (from a literal prison) in scare quotes, and also scare-quotes the word “horrific” (used to describe conditions any decent person would agree are horrific), while omitting scare quotes from the word “rescue” when used to mean “arrest”.  He also uses “live in” to mean “remain imprisoned in”, and “present understanding” to mean “popular myth”.  It’s going to be a long, uphill battle.

Pyrrhic Victory (#906) 

Please, masters, don’t use this tool we made you in exactly the way it was designed to be used“:

Amazon unveiled new proposed guidelines…for any national legislation regulating facial recognition technology…civil rights groups and privacy advocates…criticized Amazon’s Rekognition contracts with law enforcement agencies, [absurdly concentrating on the] point…that the technology has misidentified people of color [rather than recognizing that high accuracy is even worse for privacy]…Amazon…responded [with the lie that]…”In the two-plus years we’ve been offering Amazon Rekognition, we have not received a single report of misuse by law enforcement”…The proposals from Amazon focus mainly on ensuring that law enforcement uses the technology [to surveil citizens more] effectively and without [being less able to identify] minorities.  “New technology should not be banned or condemned because of its potential misuse,” Amazon said in [typical tech-geek morally imbecilic fashion]…”Instead, the…[overlords] should be [free to do whatever they like]…and…that the[ir ability to oppress the citizens with the] technology…is continuously enhanced.”  Amazon said any national legislation should ensure facial recognition technology [is profitable for]…Amazon…and…governments [alike]…

A Woman’s Point of View (#912) 

Kaytlin Bailey responds to drama some want to whip up against “Decriminalize Sex Work”:

We are disappointed in [Emily Shugerman’s] editorial choice to focus on Rob Kampia in your February 3rd, 2019 [Daily Beast] article titled, “Rob Kampia Weed Activist With #MeToo Past, Is Now Pushing Sex Work Reform”.  By focusing on Rob’s past instead of our efforts to decriminalize sex work, you reduced a rich and vibrant movement to one man’s conduct.  You have also diminished the contributions of the women on our team, who have devoted decades to this cause in order to center the only man among our directors.  You minimized our accomplishments and our mission by publishing a piece that misrepresents not only our organization but the entire sex worker rights movement…whose voices are historically absent from all media reporting.  Yet, you wrote about Rob…To call our life’s work a “vanity project”…is an insult and a willful misrepresentation of who we are, what we’ve accomplished, and what we’re trying to do.  To suggest that allowing Rob Kampia to use his extensive network of donors and political resources to further our work is a betrayal of the sex worker rights movement is to minimize the diversity and breadth of this work, and to minimize the need for change.  We can focus on Rob, or we can talk about the immense harms of criminalization…

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