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Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

Apparently after reading the introduction to an Econ 101 textbook, many…believe the best way to eliminate the supply of sex trafficking victims is to end the demand for paid sex.  –  Eric Sprankle

The Course of a Disease (#344)

Indian sex workers often use Durga Puja as an occasion to protest tyranny:

A street graffiti dedicated to the life and struggle of the sex workers was unveiled by a Durga Puja organiser in…Kolkata…The graffiti, painted on a 300 [foot] stretch of road [near Sonagachi]…tells the tale of hardships and the circumstances that force a woman…into the flesh trade…soil from a brothel is an essential ingredient for the making of a Durga idol…”We are really happy that such a theme has been taken up by the puja committee depicting our lives and struggles,” Santana Das of Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee said…

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

Remember, this isn’t “human trafficking”, but consensual sex is:

…one foster family’s initially successful attempt to win full custody of [a child abducted by ICE pigs]…reveals what could happen to some of the infants, children and teens taken from their families at the border…this year.  The “zero-tolerance” crackdown ended in June, but hundreds of children remain in detention, shelters or foster care and U.S. officials [have arbitrarily declared that] more than 200 are not eligible for reunification or release.  Federal officials [claim] they are reuniting families…but an Associated Press investigation…identified holes in the system that allow state court judges to grant custody of migrant children to American families — without notifying their parents.  And today, with hundreds of those mothers and fathers deported thousands of miles away, the risk has grown exponentially…

Also note: this policy did not originate with Trump; it’s been going on under every president since the ’80s.

Torture Chamber (#421) 

Cops can be fired for consensual sex, but not for torturing people to death:

A former [screw] is set to lose his job as a cop after it was revealed he was hired despite locking a mentally ill prisoner in a scalding hot shower until he died.  Roland Clarke only resigned…two years after he forced Darren Rainey into the shower…in 2012…Clarke was never charged with a crime and…[almost immediately] began working as a [pig] for the Miami Gardens Police Department…Now, thanks to a new report from the Miami New Times, the city…is trying to get [rid of]…Clarke, who has racked up a number of violations…[for being] “distasteful”…[including] repeatedly visiting a woman…at her home while…on duty…

In the US, a pig can be as dangerously violent and psychopathic as he wants, as long as he does it tastefully.  For another violent uniformed psychopath from Miami, see “To Molest and Rape” below.

Traffic Jam (#534)

Schools are rewarded for “finding” what the government wants found:

Social media is increasingly being exploited to contact, recruit and sell children for sex, according to a study by The University of Toledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute.  The study, which was [commissioned] by the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission, [spins tales about] how traffickers quickly target and connect with vulnerable children on the Internet through social media…Through a series of 16 in-depth interviews…with…[cops], judges, [rescue profiteers, prohibitionists], and [corrupt academics]…the [fantasies] outline…how [authoritarians fantasize about people having sex with teens]…The [so-called] experts…identities are not being released…

WTF? Interviewing 16 anonymous pigs, prohibitionists and profiteers about their masturbatory fantasies about sex workers is not anything remotely like a “study”.  But the government doesn’t care as long as the “researchers” come to the correct conclusions, and Ohio is one of the states whose “educational institutions” are sufficiently corrupt for the task (others include Pennsylvania and Arizona).

Finding What Isn’t There (#559)

Michigan has decided to increase its “sex trafficking” numbers by inventing imaginary “victims”:

One hundred and twenty-three missing Michigan minors were [supposedly] found during a one-day “sex trafficking operation”…[but actually] only three of the minors are even suspected of having been involved in prostitution…What’s more, all but four of the “missing children” were not actually missing.  In the remaining [119] cases, minors were listed in a police database as missing but had since been found or returned home on their own…Many were (homeschooled)…Some were runaways…Nothing in the U.S. Marshals report on the operation makes mention of any arrested kidnappers, “traffickers”, or other adults involved in endangering or exploiting any of the missing minors that were identified…

The Punitive Mindset (#600) 

If there’s anything narrower and meaner than the mind of a prison official, I’m not sure what it might be:

A new policy has put Pennsylvania prisoners’ communications under intense surveillance in the [pretense] of stopping contraband drugs [which are in reality smuggled in by screws for a price]…all incoming mail would be sent to a private company in Florida, Smart Communications, for scanning into a searchable database.  Prisoners would then receive photocopies of the incoming mail—and the originals would be shredded.  The DOC has also banned prisoners from receiving books from vendors…Instead, prisoners will have the option of paying for ebooks via [substandard] tablets that cost over $147 each…the Amistad Law Project…said the new policy will most likely result in self-censorship…and…has effectively ended mailed communication between lawyers and their clients because they cannot guarantee confidentiality…

The Puritan Recrudescence

Government thinks it can make any statement true simply by declaring it in a law:

…when I dug…into SF 2554, what I found wasn’t a law which links porn to human trafficking, but an embedded assumption that the two are fundamentally linked…being introduced into an existing state law by…changes to statutory language…the bill…adds “possession of pornographic work involving minors” and “harmful materials; dissemination and display to minors prohibited” to a list of crimes which the Minnesota government requires specified governmental and nongovernmental agencies to report on…In other words, what this law does to “link” pornography to human trafficking simply is to declare such a link exists

Unsurprisingly, the law was written by a religious anti-porn group.

To Molest and Rape 

Do I really need to say, “Don’t date one, either”?

Before a Miami-Dade [SWAT pig] was [arrested for] molesting a young girl, he was [given a pass by] his own department…[for] beat[ing] and abus[ing] his…lovers…two…women [reported that] Braulio Gonzalez [was] exceedingly jealous and pointed weapons at them, threatening their lives…he choked [one of them] and head-butted her so hard it broke her nose…[he] threw a bottle of whiskey at [anot]her and broke her arm.  A third woman also complained…about his…abuse…and [the department ruled he] had not followed proper procedure [in abusing her]…in [the latest totally]…related case…Gonzalez [was charged] with armed kidnapping and lewd and lascivious molestation of a child…[after] a young girl told a psychologist that Gonzalez fondled her repeatedly when she was between 8 and 10 years old…pointed a gun at her head and threatened to kill a relative unless she [submitted]…His domestic [violence was] well-known within the department…

The Widening Gyre (#703)

I really hope abusers keep using “sex trafficking” to justify their abuse:

…21-year-old…Whitney Harris made the long flight to India to meet 20-year-old Pulkit Monga, a man she’d connected with online two years prior.  “I left to India to meet my friend and to get away from my abusive mother and grandmother who have mentally and emotionally abused me all my life,” Harris [said]…The family…first had a Christian minister in the city of Amritsar “intercept” her and then came to collect her themselves 10 days later…Harris’ mother Destiny and father Brett met Monga’s hospitable parents who took them to holy sites and restaurants — all while “slandering” [their hosts] behind their backs…Harris agreed to buy a return plane ticket to assuage their concerns, but before she was able to book it, “her mother allegedly sent a letter to the local Indian police claiming that Pulkit was a rapist, had drugged their daughter and was a sex trafficker”…After Harris and the Mongas were interrogated by police, the young woman’s family conspired with people from the local Christian church to get her to the airport and out of the country…Harris refused to see her parents upon arrival back home in Alabama — and is working to reunite with Monga as soon as she can…

Pyrrhic Victory (#849)

Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free.  But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them.”

…the Law Enforcement Data Service, a new super-database for [UK] police…would combine the current Police National Computer…and the Police National Database (PND)…with others at a later date.  It would include sensitive information on victims and on people unrelated to or cleared of wrongdoing.  The UK government has accepted that large amounts of data on the super-database would have nothing to do with crime, and intends to open up access to other organisations, such as the UK Border Force…the actions of the Home Office…have been repeatedly ruled unlawful in various cases regarding unlawful retention of surveillance or biometric data…the proposed database…contents would never expire or be removed – and the police have admitted that various types of data it has no legal right to hold will be transferred to the new database too…

Dangerous Speech

The government keeps making up new rules in its war on thought:

Federal prosecutors in the Backpage case appear to be employing a strangulation strategy:  Swipe the defendants’ money, then go after their lawyers…federal prosecutors…[tried] to disqualify a team of First Amendment lawyers from…Davis Wright Tremaine…[while] a federal judge in California has yet to rule on motions in which the defendants have challenged the asset seizures…on First Amendment grounds…Davis Wright’s First Amendment duo of Robert Corn-Revere and Jim Grant have successfully defended Backpage and its former owners from criminal and civil claims arising from adult advertising that appeared on the website.  Invoking both the First Amendment and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996…Davis Wright has rebuffed criminal indictments, overturned adverse rulings on appeal, and nullified laws in three states, in cases involving allegations that Backpage promoted prostitution…and/or sex trafficking…Lacey and Larkin sold their interests in Backpage to CEO Carl Ferrer in 2015, but Davis Wright continued to represent Backpage and all three men.  Six days after seizing Backpage, the government revealed that it had secretly flipped Ferrer…Davis Wright has since withdrawn from representing Ferrer and Backpage…government attorneys argued that Davis Wright can no longer continue to represent [Lacey & Larkin]…because to do so would violate Arizona’s rules of professional conduct for lawyers, which forbid attorneys from representing clients whose interests are adverse to a former client…But defense lawyers pointed out that Ferrer had waived all attorney-client privilege in his deal with the government, and additionally, that he’d previously signed three joint defense agreements with Lacey and Larkin, allowing Davis Wright to remain as counsel if Ferrer withdrew from the pact…[in another example of misconduct] the government supplied the defense with 10.5 million documents in “an unusual format”…requir[ing] the use of special software that could result in up to $800,000 in costs, not including the hours that attorneys will have to devote to making sense of the information…

Though the judge seemed cowed by prosecutors, he nonetheless ruled against the attempt to disqualify the attorneys not on constitutional rounds, but rather on the grounds that prosecutors willfully ignored Ferrer’s waiver of privilege.

Traffic Circle (#876)

It’s wonderful that so many academic allies are debunking the hysteria:

…a billboard…in Two Harbors, Minnesota [became] the latest example of the ad nauseam awareness campaigns…that perpetuate the moral panic surrounding sex trafficking by conflating it with sex work.  The billboard warns “johns” to “end the demand” because “we’re someone’s children” and includes a police lineup photo of a chef, physician, a snowmobiler, a flannel-clad “every man,” and a college graduate, which could be used as an album cover for a Village People cover band.  Given that the billboard also features an ominous photo of two people in hoodies sitting with their backs turned, it left many wondering what it’s trying to communicate…maybe passing motorists will get the general gist that northern Minnesotans need to end the demand for sex trafficking because trafficking affects “someone’s children”…The Lake County Sex Trafficking Task Force celebrated the billboard’s unveiling, stating that the installation was the “fulfillment of a 4-5 year dream.”  Not to piss on anyone’s parade, but a billboard, in Two Harbors, was not only someone’s dream, but took 4 to 5 years to fulfill?  I guess if you dream to reach the stars, you’ll at least land 20 feet above Highway 61…

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Readers whose sexuality is primarily vanilla may be unfamiliar with the kink term “topping from the bottom”, but it isn’t difficult to explain.  A “top” is the dominant or active partner in a scene and “topping” is acting as a top (ie dominating, putting the other in bondage, inflicting pain, etc); a “bottom” is the submissive or receptive partner and “bottoming” is the act of being tied up, having pain inflicted, etc.  “Topping from the bottom” is when the bottom keeps trying to run the scene, sometimes by sabotaging the top’s efforts (such as by fucking up a task on purpose so as to draw down punishment) and sometimes by volunteering what they want to do in faux-submissive language (“Let me please you by…” etc).  Now, obviously an ethical kink interaction is a mutual one in which both partners get their needs met, but the place for that is in the negotiation before the scene; if things during the scene become too intense or otherwise go south, the partners usually have a prearranged “safeword” which acts as a panic button.  For a bottom to “safe out” or express their needs and desires before or after a scene (eg “next time I’d like such-and-such”) is not topping from the bottom; the term is reserved for those who say they want to let go of control, but in actuality refuse to.  Sometimes it’s a subtle behavior and sometimes an overt one, but it’s always annoying, and I find it’s much more common in male bottoms.  Maybe that’s because guys are less able to control their sexual impulses, and maybe it’s because they’re used to making sexual demands of women and can’t let that go even when their sexuality is masochistic or “submissive”.  But whatever the reason, I know it’s not just me because I’ve heard many complaints from dommes about such behaviors, and every freaking week I see guys on Twitter with “slave” or “sissy” or “submissive” or whatever in their handles attempting to “correct” or argue with me or even with clearly-declared professional dominatrices.  Another (and IMHO even more egregious) form of this is the behavior Matisse calls “bottoming at” someone; this is when a self-declared bottom violates a top’s boundaries by enacting “submissive” behavior toward her without any kind of prior negotiation or consent (Matisse has told the story of a complete stranger who once came up to her in a very public place, got on his knees and started loudly addressing her as “Mistress”; needless to say she was mortified).

The reason I’ve explained all this is because of the recent mess involving the “Shitty Media Men” list, an attempt to create something like the DNS (“Do Not See”) lists used by sex workers, only for amateurs.  Unfortunately, because amateurs do not understand the need for discretion as pros do, and because the circulation of the list included female reporters, the list went public and its originator was outed within twelve hours despite the instructions “Please never name an accuser, and please never share this document with a man” clearly appearing at the top.  Even then, the damage might’ve been limited to some argumentation and finger-pointing which would’ve died down and sank into the greater “Me Too” pool within a few weeks if not for the antics of one of the men on the list, a writer named Stephen Elliott who attempted to defend himself in an essay thus:

My entry reads: “Rape accusations, sexual harassment, coercion, unsolicited invitations to his apartment…”  I was shocked to find myself accused of rape.  I don’t like intercourse, I don’t like penetrating people with objects, and I don’t like receiving oral sex.  My entire sexuality is wrapped up in BDSM.  Cross-dressing, bondage, masochism.  I’m always the bottom.  I’ve been in long romantic relationships with women without ever seeing them naked…I’ve never had sex with anyone who works in media.  I am not seeking to come out about my sexuality as a means of creating a diversion…I’ve always been open about my sexuality, and I have even written entire books on the topic

I don’t know Elliott, and I’ve never met him, but a number of sex workers I follow on Twitter have, and apparently he’s infamous among American professional dommes for…well, shitty sexual behavior (including bottoming at them).  But even had I not heard any of these stories, I’d still be inclined to point out that his “I can’t possibly have sexually harassed women because I’m a bottom” holds about as much water as the average colander.  As I described in the first paragraph, “submissive” men are quite capable of being creepy, pushy and even threatening, especially for vanilla women who don’t understand the dynamic; Elliott writes “I am not seeking to…creat[e] a diversion,” but that’s exactly what he’s trying to do.  Like so many bad male bottoms, he’s trying to get his way by being manipulative and then retreating behind “but I’m a slaaaaaaave!” when called on it.  But Mr. Too-Submissive-To-Be-a-Creep wasn’t content to just whine about how he’s a victim; he decided to weaponize that victimhood:

Stephen Elliott…is suing Moira Donegan, the creator of the Shitty Media Men List for libel and emotional distress…and is seeking at least $1.5 million in damages…According to the suit, Elliott also intends to sue other women who contributed to the Google spreadsheet (who he names as “Jane Does”), which briefly circulated last October and contained the names of over of 70 men who were anonymously accused of sexual misconduct, ranging from rape to harassment…Elliott intends to subpeona the Google metadata for the list in order to obtain this information…Elliott has acquired attorney Andrew Miltenberg…who has made a name for himself defending men accused of sexual assault…Elliott’s suit is the only legal action to have taken place in the aftermath of the controversial spreadsheet…

The New York Times story on the suit adds the telling detail that “Mr. Elliott is asking the court to order that the defendants ‘issue a written retraction to each and every person to whom they originally published the false and defamatory statements’,” a demand which only makes sense when one notes its resemblance to punishwork that a teacher might inflict on a misbehaving student (or a domme on a sub in a school role-play), a pointless and repetitive task intended to accomplish nothing but humiliation.  Elliott’s every action, from the tales I’ve heard of his behavior in person to his article to this lawsuit, looks like part of a strategy to cloak sexual demands behind a veneer of submission, weakness or victimhood.  It’s like a real-world version of topping from the bottom, and what he’s trying to accomplish is nothing less than scaring amateur women out of warning each other about shitty men like him.

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[Politicians] who insisted they were [censoring escort ads] to save women’s lives…have only served to put more women in potentially mortal danger.  –  Mike Masnick

Bad Girls 

This wasn’t a very wise thing to do, but cops being humiliated is always funny:

To the rest of the world, Ali Sheppard is a [pig], but to prostitute Taquanna Lawton, he was just “a trick”…Lawton…was arraigned for stealing the cop’s Jeep and gun when he ran off to an ATM so he could pay for her services…[she said] she and Sheppard may have done business before…Lawton is charged with grand larceny…Her attorney Paul Giovanniello said Lawton has mental health and substance abuse issues and the full story of what happened between her and Sheppard has not been told…Sheppard has been suspended without pay for 30 days and is facing disciplinary charges

The More the Better

Anything that helps demystify sex work is a good thing:

…Lia Holmgren…[is an] intimacy coach [who]…thinks a little power play can benefit a relationship.  “Once you open your mind to [BDSM], you will open your mind to other things in the relationship”…In her Chelsea office, she charges clients up to $500 for 90-minute intimacy counseling sessions.  There, she helps couples open the lines of communication about having submissive or dominant roles in the bedroom…to improve their sex lives and bring them closer…Before she started counseling couples two years ago…[she] was a professional dominatrix…Her résumé also includes stripping and organizing sex parties, as well as…vanilla…work in real estate…

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false sexual assault accusations:

Several high school girls…claimed a male student sexually assaulted them because they “just don’t like him”…neither [the school nor the state] punished the young women at all.  Now the boy’s parents, Michael J. and Alicia Flood, are suing the parents of the five girls and the Seneca Valley School District in Pennsylvania over their son’s treatment…One of the girls decided…in October 2017 “she would do anything to get [the boy] expelled” so she accused him of sexually assaulting her at the pool [where he worked as a lifeguard the previous summer].  A friend of [hers] who worked at the pool, Megan Villegas, claimed she was present during the assault…the boy was charged with indecent assault and…agreed to a consent decree that allowed him to avoid admitting guilt and required him to stay out of trouble for six months while on probation…in March 2018, a friend of the first accuser, identified only as C.S., claimed the boy entered her house without her permission and sexually assaulted her.  Two more friends, identified as E.S. and H.R., backed up her claim.  In April, the accused student was charged with another indecent assault, criminal trespass, and simple assault.  He was expelled and arrested and identified as a threat to his community. He spent nine days in a juvenile detention center and then placed on house arrest…In May, three of the girls admitted they lied, but it took until August 30 for Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger to dismiss the second accusation, and until September 10 to close the charges related to the first accusation…

The Widening Gyre (#663)

The deeply-racist “Nigerian sex slaves” wanking fantasy has crossed the Alps:

Hundreds of Nigerian women have been trafficked into Paris as sex workers, lured by the promise of a new life only to find themselves in a cycle of abuse and exploitation…The women are physically branded with scars that identify them back in Nigeria as cursed women…there’[s] been a nearly 600-percent increase in potential sex trafficking victims arriving in Europe through Italy since 2014 and 80% of them were Nigerian…police [fantasize] that most of the women who work at the Bois de Vincennes are slaves…[prohibitionists claim] the women who walk these streets are [magically] getting younger and that their apparent freedom is a [magical] illusion…[because] they have [magically] lost their identity…

Given all the childish claims of magic (zombie “sex slaves” who grow ever-younger while cloaked with spells of illusion), this one could’ve just as well been filed under “Mumbo Jumbo“.  These fantasies appear to have been invented to shore up a campaign to deport as many Nigerians as possible using claims of a “prostitution ring”, “money laundering” and the “Nigerian mafia”.

Stalkers in Blue

Interesting buried detail: she’s a cop herself.  Birds of a feather

A former Woodland [police]woman who accused [another cop] of abusing his police power to stalk, threaten and improperly investigate her has settled her lawsuit against him for $275,000…Jody Wattier…lost custody of her children, aged 9 and 10, and had to rebuild her life because officer Brad Gillaspie orchestrated a campaign of intimidation and slander against her while she was divorcing her husband, who was Gillaspie’s friend…Woodland…[Washington]’s insurer will pay the settlement…An investigation…recommended charges of malicious mischief and telephone harassment against Wattier, but the city prosecutor declined to file them…Wattier, who has remarried and lives in Tacoma while working in the state Attorney General’s office, was a [cop] herself in North Plains, Oregon.  She said she resigned from the department in June 2015 after talking to her chief about how the investigations into her had complicated her job…the Woodland police department knew Gillaspie was a problem…[he had] a history of inappropriate…behavior…such as…taking a juvenile female’s phone into his office and viewing her private, sexually explicit photographs.  Afterwards, [other cops] began locking up cell phones so Gillaspie couldn’t access them…

Checklist (#852) 

It looks like that mind-bogglingly absurd claim that 4% of the world’s population per decade magically vanish without anyone noticing wasn’t just a typo or a one-time idiocy.  Liz Brown snapped this pic of an ad from “Airline Ambassadors” in an inflight magazine, and there it is again:  68,000 per day, which comes to the “almost 500,000 per week” claimed in Forbes back in June.  Even for “sex trafficking” profiteers, this claim goes beyond the ridiculous to the completely unhinged; are these people really unable to multiply at a 9-year-old’s level, or do they simply know that the average American is too stupid to perform the calculation and/or too intellectually lazy to bother?  After all, this is the same organization which begs for funds using that dopey “air hostesses vs. pimps” story which the press repeated endlessly without bothering to check the news archives (which show no “sex trafficker” apprehended at SFO in 2011).  Note also that whoever darkened the hand with Photoshop to achieve a subtly racist effect left the thumb white.

Legislators Gone Wild (#868) 

Still believe that Nevada politicians are pro-sex work?

In an article published…[by] Reuters…Lyons County Sheriff Al McNeil charged that Dennis Hof…was implicated in “immigration violations” regarding some of the prostitutes working at Hof’s brothels, and even claimed that an investigation conducted by his office in concert with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) found “indications of possible human trafficking” among the sex workers…There’s just one problem: It’s McNeil and his office whose job it is to vet all of the women wishing to work in brothels, to make sure that they are citizens or lawful permanent residents with green cards, and after doing their due diligence in vetting the women, to issue licenses to them to work in the brothels…

Naturally, the lying douchebags at Morality in Media used this as an excuse to attack decriminalization, moronically claiming that Hof is a proponent of it despite the obvious fact that he absolutely is not, and in fact vomits out “sex trafficking” propaganda at every opportunity so as to argue against decriminalization on the grounds that whores are too stupid and incompetent to be allowed to work outside of brothels.

Disaster (#869)

I’ve never seen anything galvanize public support for sex workers like FOSTA has:

Before FOSTA became law, plenty of experts in the space tried to warn everyone that a bill that was frequently promoted as being necessary to help “save the lives” of vulnerable women…would actually put more lives at risk.  And we’ve already had…evidence to support that this prediction was entirely accurate.  Various law enforcement officials have been complaining that it’s now more difficult to catch sex traffickers.  And, now the Associated Press has a big article looking at the impact of FOSTA and it’s not pretty.  The closing down of various online forums for sex workers has driven more sex workers into the street, where their lives are at significantly higher risk…

Disaster (#876)

Good news about the FOSTA challenge:

…attorneys for the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, and other Plaintiffs appealed the ruling…dismissing the FOSTA case for lack of standing. Joining in the appeal are The Internet Archive, Human Rights Watch, Jesse Maley, and Eric Koszyk.  The case will now be considered by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeal…Ricci Levy, President…of…Woodhull [said]…“This law is a clear First Amendment violation…We’re in this for the long haul and you can count on us to continue to fight illogical and unconstitutional laws, like FOSTA, which hamper our mission and restrict free expression.”  The District Court never reached the constitutional issues, instead deciding that the Plaintiffs were not sufficiently impacted by the law in order to justify a legal challenge.  However, each Plaintiff demonstrated how its activities were affected once the law went into effect…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#876) 

Despite the hilarity of the hysteria, at least politicians correctly classified the dolls as “arcade games”:

The Houston City Council voted to change city rules [to] effectively ban the use of sex [dolls] in shops…The owner of Kinky Dolls sex robot shop in Toronto announced weeks ago that he would open a second shop in Houston…[In response, politicians] hastily changed [a] city ordinance [to prohibit] customers…touch[ing] a [doll] inside a store…[the] ordinance deal[s] with “arcade” games, which in this case, the [dolls were] classified as.  The ordinance does not stop the sale of the [dolls], it just stops the use of them for [masturbation] in [retail stores.  Council member Greg Travis lied that]…”We’re not legislating morality”…

The Widening Gyre (#878)

The more cops are forced to deny “sex trafficking” scary tales, the harder it will be for them to spread such tales themselves:

[Hysteria over] women’s encounters with [people they fantasize are involved in] sex trafficking and kidnapping [has] surged on social media and have left some students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln feeling unsafe…John Backer said the University Police has received multiple calls from people concerned about the [fantasy].  “Sex traffickers gain the trust of their victims, it usually doesn’t happen spontaneously”…Polaris, a [prohibitionist group] that strives to [profit from the moral panic over] human trafficking, [fantasizes] that traffickers often target women by promising a high-paying job, a loving relationship or new and exciting opportunities…

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As most of y’all can probably guess, I have not been watching the Kavanaugh hearings on TV, because even if I did watch other TV news (which I don’t, and haven’t since I first started reading the newspaper around age 12, recognizing even then that it was entertainment and not news) I would certainly not watch this ridiculous circus designed to further the popular “red-blue” myth in the minds of the hoi-polloi.  I also have the word “Kavanaugh” muted on Twitter, but of course that doesn’t block tweets which don’t directly reference him.  So I was able to see and comment on this very interesting observation by Phoenix Calida:

So you know Rachel Mitchell, the woman who is going to question Dr. Christine Ford?  She’s a prosecutor with the special victims unit.  From Maricopa county.  You know, the place where sheriff Joe Arpaio worked?…The one who bragged about running concentration camps where guards tortured inmates?  And then he was held in Contempt of court for racial profiling and pardoned by Trump?…And remember when Sheriff Joe refused to investigate rape cases?  And cases where children were being sexually abused by adults?  All Bc the victims were Latinas?  That’s where this woman earned her credentials as a sex crimes prosecutor.  Rachel Mitchell is about to question Dr. Ford, an alleged rape victim.  And Mitchell earned her “credentials” working with cops who wouldn’t even investigate rape cases in their county.  How do y’all see this really turning out?

Maricopa County is, of course, a cesspool of political corruption, especially where sex work is concerned.  And Arpaio was a big Trump supporter, so one of his gang turning up in Washington to help Trump is not really a surprise.  But Phoenix’s tweets got me thinking, so I wrote this after quoting hers:

You remember Arpaio, right?  The guy who arrested newspapermen Lacey & Larkin for exposing his corruption?  The same Lacey & Larkin who were persecuted as owners of Backpage, partly thanks to the efforts of Cindy McCain, whom they exposed as a drug addict who robbed her own charity?  The same Cindy McCain, widow of John McCain, warmonger politician from AZ (where Maricopa County is) who has relentlessly demonized Backpage (owned by the men who exposed her crimes) for years?  Arizona is also the site of ASU, home of Dominique Roe-Sepowitz (who says sex work is bad because “body fluids” cause brain damage), who is paid big bucks by the McCain Institute and government cronies to do bogus “studies” designed to “prove” that “sex trafficking” was rampant on Backpage?  Funny how all of this shit begins to fit together when you follow the money and the trail of vendettas, alliances & favors, isn’t it?

And in case you hadn’t noticed, while this big show of “us vs them” was going on, Congress almost-unanimously passed the biggest war-advancing military spending bill in history, and the House passed a bill which expands the PATRIOT Act using “sex trafficking” as an excuse with solid support from both of these supposedly-deadly-enemy parties.  But please keep watching the fireworks and pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

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GOP leaders put “Fight Human Trafficking” in the title to conceal the bill’s true purpose: to give the government more power to unconstitutionally spy on law-abiding Americans without a warrant.  –  Justin Amash

They Still Don’t Get It

It’s fascinating to watch fanatics parroting nonsense they clearly neither understand nor believe:

When police arrested seven women for engaging in prostitution…they [asked them a bunch of silly questions drawn from prohibitionist fantasy] and let [them]…leave on their own recognizance…the men arrested…were booked at the…Jail in Auburn, their faces and names publicized by police…Police Chief Brian O’Malley [bloviated]…“We’re going after the sex traffickers”…“Obviously, if people stopped buying people, people wouldn’t sell people,” Assistant District Attorney Nathan Walsh said [while masturbating]…His office…has [supposedly] shifted its view over recent years to see sex workers as victims…the crime of engaging in prostitution isn’t punishable by jail time…[but] if someone has been convicted of that crime within a two-year period…jail time is possible…And if a woman were charged with that crime as a first offense and were to violate conditions of her bail, she could be charged with a crime that includes jail time…

So sex workers are victims, but they can be arrested. But they can’t be taken to jail because it isn’t a crime, but if they’re convicted of being victims twice or violating conditions of bail that they pay to be released on their own recognizance from not-jail, they can go to jail.  Got that?

Dysphemisms Galore 

In normal adult language, she ran a low-rent escort service and foolishly neglected to check IDs of applicants:

…Shyniquah Lightner, 26, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty…to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor…[she] operated a prostitution ring in Philadelphia, and…recruited females to work as prostitutes in this illegal business, and then created Internet advertisements in which she marketed various females as available for purchase for purposes of prostitution…Two of the females Lightner recruited and advertised were minors under 18 years of age…Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross [bloviated that] “A child predator has been brought to justice”…

I quoted as much of this idiocy as I could stomach (giving 17-year-olds a job now qualifies as being a “child predator”), but you can see a lot more at the link if you haven’t eaten recently and want to risk vomiting.

Traffic Circle

“One almost has to admire the chutzpah of officials in Two Harbors, Minnesota (population 3745), who…claim that ‘hunting season…is a key time for traffickers and pimps because it draws…large groups of men into the Northland‘.”

Something new might catch your eye on Highway 61 outside of Two Harbors, a “Dear John” billboard designed to stop local sex trafficking by addressing the demand.  The Lake County Sex Trafficking Task Force is behind the sign…[which will] be up for six months, reminding everyone who drives by, including snowmobilers [of the silly fantasy prohibitionists are masturbating to all over the US]…

Though this item more properly belongs in “Under Every Bed” or “Broken Record“, the quote which introduces the item above is from the original “Traffic Circle” five years ago.  Same tiny town, same TV station making the report, same grandiose and economically-impossible claims from self-important “officials” and fanatics.  Five years later.

All-Purpose Excuse

Whores are not only the new drugs; we’re also the new “terrorism”:

A new bill that borrows language from the PATRIOT Act promises to nab human traffickers using the same surveillance techniques that law introduced to catch terrorists…The PATRIOT Act’s spying provisions…proved attractive to law enforcement far beyond their intended scope.  Now, legislators like Rep. Ann Wagner…hope we won’t notice if they feed us the same liberty-poisoning bologna with a new excuse…Wagner’s bill (H.R. 6729)—the deceptively named the “Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act” of 2018—is the latest in a long line of assaults on civil liberties disguised as attacks on the biggest crime panic of the decade, sex trafficking.  Wagner alone brought us the SAVE Act in 2015 and FOSTA in 2018, both of which take aim at online anonymity, web publishing, social media, sex workers, and free speech under the guise of saving children from “modern slavery”…H.R. 6729 would allow financial institutions, federal regulatory bodies, nonprofit organizations, and law enforcement to share customer bank records between them without running afoul of rules regarding consumer privacy and without opening themselves up to lawsuits…and…need not demonstrate that the “sharing was made on a good faith basis”…[this] could go a long way toward not just shuttering individual sex worker bank accounts but facilitating money-laundering charges against any website that…enables communication that connects sex workers and clients…

Down Under (#524)

In the US, the government would’ve “helped” by prosecuting her:

A [New Zealand] man has been ordered to pay a sex worker an extra $300 and hand over the phone he used to record his sexual experience with the woman…the pair met at a Hamilton motel on June 20, via a website which outlined conditions including the banning of video recordings.  Coitus interruptus came when the woman noticed the man’s phone semi-concealed in a jacket and pointed directly at them.  The man denied filming but the woman grabbed the phone, refused to give it back and called the police.  The man admitted he wanted to watch the recording later because he “could not afford to keep paying all the time”…

Uncommon Sense (#844)

Juno Mac calls for supposedly pro-labor politicians and activists to support sex workers:

…sex work is a form of labour; and we deserve labour rights…even after decriminalisation…we will still face a lack of legal aid funding, weak union powers, and austerity policies that reduce our power to turn down exploitative work…Sex workers want to stand with other workers to challenge these injustices and improve the conditions for all workers.  But we require the basic framework of a legally recognised workplace, and recognition from the Labour movement that we are indeed workers…

Disaster (#857)

As I predicted, the judge denied the injunction; he also dismissed the whole case using the bullshit excuse of “lack of standing”:

…a federal court sided with the government and dismissed Woodhull Freedom Foundation et al. v. United States.  The court did not reach the merits of any of the constitutional issues, but instead found that none of the plaintiffs had standing to challenge the law’s legality.  We’re disappointed and believe the decision is wrong.  For example, the court failed to apply the standing principles that are usually applied in First Amendment cases in which the plaintiffs’ speech is chilled.  The plaintiffs are considering their options for their next steps…

Across the Pond (#862)

Redbridge has a history of harassing sex workers while belching up stupid “crime” rhetoric:

Prostitutes will no longer be allowed to operate anywhere in Redbridge after [the council invented] complaints of noise and condoms left on the street…The new order gives…[cops] the power to hand out on-the-spot fines to disrupt prostitution and soliciting…the council [wants to steal income from sex workers while simultaneously proclaiming them to be] victims.  Cllr Jas Athwal, council leader, said…“By creating a borough-wide zone, a ring of steel, it also means we will deter people seeking sex services from entering Redbridge in the first place”…

I’m sorry if you shot a drink out of your nose when you read a petty politician referring to petty fines as a “ring of steel”.

Dirty Amateurs (#868) 

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

…congenital syphilis, which is passed down from an infected mother to her fetus, has more than doubled since 2013 to hit a 20-year high…Louisiana has the highest rate per capita, with 59 cases reported last year, while California has the highest rates overall, with 281 cases reported in 2017, followed by Texas’s 176…unlike chlamydia and gonorrhea, which are also seeing sharp rises in incidences, syphilis is not rising because of antibiotic resistance; it’s cured by penicillin…But syphilis isn’t [being tested for by] some doctors treating women of reproductive age…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#868) 

At least this dude doesn’t incorrectly call his amusement-device arcades “brothels”:

…”Elijah Rising, a Houston-based [prohibitionist] group…has started a petition on Change.org to ‘Keep Robot Brothels Out Of Houston’“…The owner of KinkySdollS disputes the characterization of his stores as brothels (he says they are more like rent-to-own franchises) and it remains to be seen if in fact Houston, a city famously for relatively light regulation of business, can in fact ban the business under existing laws.  (We might also add that…these dolls are [not] anything close to robots).  There is [also] no reason to believe that increased access to pornography increases sexual crime, a belief that underpins Elijah Rising’s position…In fact, there’s a wealth of evidence supporting the idea that the proliferation of porn over the past few decades is one of the reasons that sexual assaults are declining.  And…recent crackdowns on prostitution, done in the name of ending “sex trafficking,” are…pushing more women onto the streets, a generally less safe situation for all involved…

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The name “Banned Books Week” is far too narrow to encompass everything we should be talking about, and a week is far too limited a time to be talking about it.  –  “The Censor-Moron

As I’ve written several times over the past few years, top-down censorship had become very rare in the US; alas, in just the past year since the last Banned Books Week, it has returned with a vengeance.  The passage of FOSTA, a law which both authorizes direct federal censorship of the internet (by creating a new category of banned speech) and exerts a powerful chilling effect (by an unconstitutionally vague description of what might be included in that category), is the worst example, but it is by no means the only one.  Congress has also conducted an inquisition of Facebook and Twitter over paranoid fantasies and the idiotically-named non-category “fake news”, with several of the inquisitors hinting at the possibility of direct censorship (or as they prefer to call it. “regulation”); the EU has also threatened to censor the social media giants using the excuse of “hate speech”.  In the UK, a member of Parliament actually wants to ban any online discussion that the police cannot eavesdrop on, and in the US cops are demanding the power both to prosecute those who criticize them and to suppress books about police violence; in some prisons, the one area of society completely under police control, “drugs” are being used as an excuse to ban books entirely in favor of expensive e-book readers (that the state gets a cut of, natch) with a very limited library:

Pennsylvania’s Department of Corrections is planning to ban free book donations to inmates by mail, claiming that this is a “primary avenue for drugs” to enter prisons.  But the move coincides with a renewed push to get prisoners buying into a pricey prison eBook system…the Prisoners Lit Project and others…said that Pennsylvania prisons’ libraries are underfunded and often inaccessible and [vowed to] challenge…the new policy…The tablet devices hawked by the DOC are bulky and low-end, with tiny low-definition color displays not intended for reading at length, rudimentary hardware and translucent materials to prevent them being used to hide contraband.  They cost $147 plus tax, about three times the price of the only extant consumer device, the $50 Amazon Fire, with similar specifications.  There is no repair service: any problems with the device and you have to buy a new one.  Then prisoners must pay a minimum of $3 each per eBook from the same state-contracted vendor, which offers a list of only 8,500 titles…other states are embarking on similar plans, and they’re likely to meet stiff court challenges…

If this all wasn’t bad enough, consider the UK, which wants to subject people to police violence for the “crime” of wrongthink:

…The latest Orwellian invitation to rat out offensive speakers was issued by the South Yorkshire Police…[who]…took to Twitter to remind people…”In addition to reporting hate crime, please report non-crime hate incidents…like offensive or insulting comments, online, in person or in writing.”  It is chilling that cops, whose only business should be fighting crime, now want to hear about non-crime.  Anyone who has even a sliver of respect for the ideal of liberty, for the right of people to go about their lives without being watched or narked on, should be seriously concerned that cops would want to hear about non-criminal behavior, otherwise known as everyday behavior…This is Stasi territory.  Coppers asking citizens to file reports on things they have read or overheard really should have disappeared from Europe with the fall of the Berlin Wall.  Yet here it still is, this GDR-style instruction to eavesdrop and squeal, though now it’s happening on the other side of the old Iron Curtain…

Though lily-livered fools have been demanding they be “protected” from ideas they don’t like for several years now, it’s terrifying how quickly this terrible idea has moved from the lunatic fringe to the mainstream, and how eagerly jackbooted thugs have seized upon it as yet another way to control the thoughts of the entire population via threats of violence.

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Women are always in need of things and these nowadays men, they like to get but they don’t like to give.  –  Shauna Chyn

Rough Trade 

He has a sex addiction and has been going through a 12-step program“.  For serial rape.

Thomas Walter Oliver [was] convicted…[for] raping or sexually attacking 11 women and teenage girls over a nine-year span….and…sentenced…to 30 years in prison.  Oliver was acquaintances or friends with many of his victims.  He met one on the dating site Tinder.  Another was a neighbor.  He met another at a music festival.  Three were working in the sex industry.  Six were younger than 18…

Lack of Evidence 

A pretty typical level of “evidence” for allegations of prostitution:

This decision…by the Sixth Circuit Appeals Court starts as so many qualified immunity cases do…”On May 22, 2014, [Brittany] Harris, along with her mother, father and older sister, went out for dinner…their minivan was stopped by [cops using the pretext of]…an obstructed license plate“…Brittany asked to go to the restroom after she and her family had spent more than an hour being detained by six squad cars…She was accompanied by [a sow called] Kimberly Klare, who…”secured Harris’s hands behind her back…placed her hands under Harris’s brassiere and pinched the girl’s breasts, causing bruising…Klare told her that…a previous suspect at that location had ‘stuffed needles in her bra’ and because…'[y]ou have the look of a junkie whore’.  But Klare found no drugs…or other contraband…[cops] also noticed that Harris’s father had…’tools, like screwdrivers and wrenches’…[in the vehicle, and that this somehow constituted ‘evidence’] that Harris’s mother was engaged in drug activity“…

Feminine Pragmatism 

Misogynists and cheapskates hate it when women encourage younger women to know their worth:

Shauna Chyn said she doesn’t understand why people are in their feelings about the content of her new single, “Suicidal”…[in which she]…encourages women to “collect” monetary advances…before getting intimate with a man…Chyn said she is tired of hearing women lament that when relationships end, they are left with nothing but memories.  “As women, we go through a lot with these men, and den nuff time dem just get up and leave. If a man a go leave, yuh must can have something to show for it.  Make dem spoil yuh before you give dem yuh thing,” she added.  She added that she is aware her message will not be met with open arms, but said she could[n’t] care less as her concern is to get women to see their worth and not be fooled…she…then made it clear that she has no issues with prostitutes.  She said as far as she is concerned, they are earning an honest bread.  “Dem nah rob and kill people, dem a hustle dem own just like anybody else…dem have kids and bills to take care of like anybody else”…

Surplus Women 

Yet another rapist/murderer cop.  But go on, tell me how we’re supposed to trust their “help”:

…Juan David Ortiz is a nine-year veteran of U.S. Customs and Border Protection…[who is] facing at least four murder convictions after…his fifth would-be victim escaped and [found a state trooper]…all of the women targeted by Ortiz worked as prostitutes [and the fifth woman knew two of the others, which caused her to become suspicious]…After being interrogated, Ortiz confessed to the four-known murders…[plus] aggravated assault and kidnapping…Two of Ortiz’s admitted victims were discovered alongside Interstate 35 in a rural, northwestern patch of Webb County [near Laredo, Texas]…the third and fourth victims were discovered…[last] Saturday…The investigation…began after Melissa Ramirez…was found dead on September 4 near an intersection…[then on September 13th] Claudine Anne Luera was found fatally wounded near that same intersection…

Aggressive Ignorance (#403)

Another “sex trafficking study” reaches the stunning conclusion that hotels tend to cluster along highways:

Sex [workers whom cops prey upon to charge with “trafficking” are most often arrested in]…poor and urban neighborhoods near highways and cheap motels, according to researchers at Texas State University …[prohibitionists] Deborah Mletzko, Lucia Summers and Ashley N. Arnio found Austin, Texas’ “hottest cluster” of sex trafficking [arrests] in the north end of the city, where a major interstate highway intersects two other major roads and is adjacent to a [stroll]…Not clear, however, is the [work’s] connection to poverty…

This one also contains the shocking revelation that poor people tend to rent cheaper hotels, yet the “researchers” can’t understand why poor people work.  I am not making this up; read it yourself.

Don’t Take My Word For It (#541)

Anything a reporter wants to increase hysteria about is perpetually “on the rise”:

The significantly understudied practice of female sex tourism…can be…exploitative [and] abusive…but far too often, it goes unaddressed…Wealthy, predominantly white Western women travel—primarily to once-colonized nations in the Caribbean, Central America, and Africa—to visit male prostitutes, often much younger in age…more than half a million women engaged in sex-based travel between 1980 and 2005…Even without direct cash exchange, varying forms of “payment”—clothing, meals, shelter, gifts—reveal the relationship is a glorified business transaction…

When prudes clutch their pearls over the pragmatic sexual arrangements made by young women, it’s just tiresome.  But when they do it over the same kind of arrangements made by young men, it’s hilarious.

Comfort Zone (#769)

Given the scare quotes, it seems at least some UK reporters are no longer buying the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative:

Ten Romanian women [claimed by police] to have been trafficked for sex work have been “rescued” in raids across Glasgow and Edinburgh…[cops] found no suspects at [another] flat but [arrested] three young women [pretended] to be victims of trafficking…

Whatever They Need To Say (#826)

Gentrification is one of the most common motivations for persecution of all kinds of sex workers:

New York…[dancers are concerned] that the number of strip clubs in town could contract from about 20 to less than eight if the city starts enforcing a ruling made last year…After a years-long court battle, a Manhattan judge ruled last year that strip clubs can no long­er operate under the so-called 60-40 rule, which allowed the[m]…in otherwise restricted zones as long as 60 percent of the club was used for “non-adult” entertainment, such as a restaurant…That has left some clubs scrambling to expand to new locations not [currently] in residential areas [until the city capriciously rezones the new areas as well]…

Normally, my edits are to condense meandering prose or eliminate euphemisms and prevarication; this time they’re mostly to remove puerile tee-hee-hee terms like “jiggle joints”.

Disaster (#844)

Morons cheer when a highway is destroyed, then get upset when the traffic goes into side streets:

Prostitution is taking-off along Aurora Avenue [in Seattle] again…and [busybodies] are demanding [a final solution] to…the spike in [what they absurdly call] sex trafficking…since online [advertising] services like backpage.com got shut down…Neighbors call it a scourge.  Prostitutes are [working to make a living during normal work hours]…and business owners said they are feeling the brunt…One suggestion was to do more to penalize motel operators who [book rooms to paying customers]…Police said one of the big challenges is building cases against…pimps…who [don’t actually exist]…In July, a diversion program also [claimed] to steer prostitutes off the streets and get them long-term help [yet didn’t offer to pay their bills]…

It’s because stupid people have been taught to believe that productive work is “criminal activity” controlled by shadowy “pimps” which can be magically eradicated by thuggish threats, authoritarian “penalties”, and moralistic “help”, that this happened in the first place; when politicians shut down inexpensive and accessible advertising, only a complete imbecile could fail to understand that the sex workers who used that advertising will now have to advertise in another way, such as by walking the streets.

The Prudish Giant (#853)

It usually starts with sex workers, but it never stops with us:

In June, China banned and excised videos of sound effects while  claiming to cleanse its internet of pornography. YouTube had already demonetized the genre in a sex panic; now PayPal is banning people for life and holding individuals’ funds…ASMR community websites are now warning all creators to avoid PayPal…Capitalizing on entrenched and easily exploitable anti-sex policies by internet giant payment processors and a new internet sex panic ushered in by FOSTA, 8chan trolls have started a campaign to mass-report attractive women who make ASMR videos…ASMR…[is] a genre of videos where the creator makes sound effects in a variety of scenarios that are geared toward evoking a sense-memory of tingling sensations from the back of the head.  If anyone ever played with your hair and you felt a funny but calming shiver, you get the idea.  The performance artists in these videos do things to create sounds like playing with hair, brushing microphones with makeup brushes, chewing ice and lots of other things…It may sound weird, but it’s quite popular — especially with people combating anxiety and insomnia…

False Target (#864)

Austria doubles down on using gay stereotypes to deport refugees:

Austria has rejected the asylum claim of an Afghan national who claims to be fleeing persecution for being homosexual after not being able to find any gay pornography on his mobile phone…The…reject[ion]…letter [stated]…“It is extremely unlikely that you are in actual communication with other men with no photos (resulting from chats) on your mobile phone…There should be interest here…in pornographic material of homosexuals, at least from favourited sites on the Internet”…The case comes after two other…asylum seekers were rejected by the BFA, including an Iraqi who was rejected because the agency found him too “girlish” in his behaviour and an 18-year-old Afghan who was rejected for not acting gay enough in his clothing or mannerisms…Austria has…focused on increasing deportations of failed asylum seekers with figures released in June revealing a 36 percent increase in deportations compared to 2017…

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