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Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

Their job was not to take my report; their job was to convince me that I was not raped.  –  Jennifer Welch

Life Imitates Artifice

Gee, I wonder where they got this idea?

…three are charged in a human trafficking case after a 16-year-old girl was found in a U-Haul truck in Ohio…a missing person report…[was filed on] Apr. 20…The next day, Cincinnati police…found [her]…she was taken by Michael Nason, Tiffany Cheek and Carl Hickman…Cheek is accused of luring the girl from her home “under false pretenses of being her guardian.”  Nason [raped her]…in the back of the truck…

Besides the obvious imitation of the linked fantasy, I must point out that the time scale – one day – is consisent with other true incidents of abduction…unlike the fantasies of girls “enslaved” by “traffickers” for months or years at a time.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I love it when they feed on their own:

A New Jersey [cop] was accused of attempting to lure and sexually assault a 15-year-old girl…Peter Tuchol, Jr…engaged in online conversations with [other pervert cops role-playing]…as a 15-year-old girl…Police executed a search warrant on Tuchol’s home and seized controlled dangerous substances, specifically anabolic steroids…

If they’re going to start arresting cops for steroid use, there are going to be a LOT of cops in prison.

Little Tin Gods

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

In January, an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle argued that the sheriff’s office should be eliminated throughout California.  “No office is less accountable or more reliable in producing scandal,” wrote the author, Joe Mathews.  Although police chiefs can be fired by mayors or city councils, sheriffs cannot..the incumbent usually has an advantage in elections, regardless of his performance…Though sheriffs have arguably become less important with the rise of city police departments, many of their offices have still grown larger, hiring more people every year…Because most sheriffs derive their authority from state constitutions, eliminating the office requires an amendment that, in most cases, must be approved by voters…[in 2000] Connecticut…voters agreed to pass a constitutional amendment to eliminate the position of sheriff…

Gorged With Meaning (#410) 

How things have changed since Belle Knox was mercilessly harassed:

The whispers wound their way through the hallways of Bear Creek High School in Stockton, Calif.  They said a senior at the school was working in adult entertainment…the Bruin Voice, the [school’s] award-winning…newspaper, whose motto is, “The Voice shall not be silenced!”…knew what to do — a profile of the girl…[who is] 18…editor…Bailey Kirkeby…felt comfortable approaching the target of the rumors because both participated in speech and debate.  The subject agreed to cooperate, even asking that her name be used…The profile…[was] set to be published in the May 3 issue of the newspaper…[and] charts the student’s path into…porn…Now, however…school administrators…are threatening to dismiss the newspaper’s faculty adviser, who was recently named educator of the year by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists, if she doesn’t submit the article to them for [censorship]…The students are pushing back…and…the faculty adviser, Kathi Duffel, has remained resolute in her refusal to [submit]…the story [for censorship]…“This young woman has quite a story to tell…and we have every right to report it”…

Business As Usual

Buried deep in this story about presidential wannabe Pete Buttigieg’s covering up for violent pigs is the following:

…Two police sources independently recounted to TYT a story of…[cops] murdering a prostitute many years ago and burying her body in nearby Michigan…Other stories, which TYT could not immediately confirm, included rape of sex workers and homeless women, drug dealing, planting evidence, coverups, and more.  One story involved a cop accused of [orally raping] a sex worker…at gunpoint, who was allowed to resign rather than face an investigation…virtually all [sources] reported witnessing or hearing of behavior worse than the [“racist language” and other non-violent] problems Buttigieg cited in his book…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#695) 

You mean physical behavior have stronger effects than pictures?  What a shock!

New research casts doubts on the claim that pornography undermines men’s sexual satisfaction by promoting a preference for porn-like sex.  The findings, which appear in the journal Personal Relationships, provide some preliminary evidence that pornography could in some instances bolster sexual satisfaction by promoting sexual variety…There was no evidence that the desire for porn-like sex was related to reduced sexual satisfaction — but there was a relationship found between increased masturbation and reduced sexual satisfaction…“It’s possible that porn use causes an increase in masturbation, which then causes sexual dissatisfaction. But it is also possible that sexual dissatisfaction causes solitary masturbation, which then results in people seeking out pornography,” [said study author Dan] Miller…Despite the findings of reduced sexual satisfaction among those who frequently watch pornography, most men don’t feel that is has caused significant problems in their lives…

Morality Lessons (#720)

Remember this the next time politicians tell you that the point of anti-porn laws is to “protect children”:

The Department of Justice has been dismissing child pornography cases in order to not reveal information about the software…used as the basis for the charges…the private entities who developed these tools won’t submit them for independent inspection or hand over hardly any information about how they work, their error rates, or other critical information.  As a result, potentially innocent people are being smeared as pedophiles and prosecuted as child porn collectors, while potentially guilty people are going free so these companies can protect “trade secrets”.  The situation suggests some of the many problems that can arise around public-private partnerships in catching criminals and the secretive digital surveillance software that it entails (software that’s being employed for far more than catching child predators)…

Your regular reminder that the term for “public-private partnerships in catching criminals” is “fascism”.

Shift in the Wind (#733)

It’s weird how moral panics can even ensnare people with decent brains.  Angela Keaton pointed out that this article, which reads like an explosion in a Froot Loop factory, was written by a guy who is usually quite sensible and pro-civil liberties; I’m not even going to bother quoting it or playing “Count the Idiocies” because virtually every single sentence contains some lie, myth, wild exaggeration, prohibitionist wanking fantasy or just plain lunacy.  Read it if you like, but if you don’t want your jaw to drop so hard it may become dislodged from your skull, you might want to put a bandage around it like Marley’s ghost.

Whither Canada? (#799)

Given that Canada’s version of the Swedish model bans carrying sex work ads, it will be interesting to see if they go after the billboard company:

High above Portage Avenue near Aubrey Street [in Winnipeg]…stands a billboard with large yellow lettering on a black backdrop, advertising the services of “Sensational Serena,” an escort licensed with the City of Winnipeg…police say they have never before seen an escort or sex worker advertise their services in such an open and public fashion.  Sgt. Rick McDougall…[of] the Winnipeg [vice squad incorrectly]…said…there’s no law against [sex work] advertising…

Negative Secondary Effects (#836)

UK feminists’ latest attack on women’s financial security: releasing revenge porn of women who disagree with them:

In Sheffield and Manchester, men hired by the [soi-disant “Women’s Equality Party”] covertly filmed nude and semi-nude dancers in legal strip clubs. In their self-appointed mission to “save” dancers, the WEP continues to put women’s livelihoods at risk, while ignoring the explicit wishes of the women involved…Filming people…without explicit and direct consent and in clear violation of their right to privacy, is not just immoral — it is unlawful. Sharing…”revenge porn” of naked women, obtained with the explicit aim to undermine and harm them, constitutes harassment and misuse of private information under UK law. We demand that the WEP and its collaborators destroy immediately all footage obtained illegally inside clubs and apologise to the dancers…[who] have made it clear that they don’t need rescuing. They need a dignified workplace where they can earn a living to support themselves and their families…

Lack of Evidence (#838)

Discrimination against sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

Landlords in Nairobi…are [impotently] threatening to smoke out single women from their apartments…[due to a perceived increase in incall] sex work…Even though some landlords have succeeded, most of have been outwitted by shrewd women who [defeat the discrimination]…by bringing male companions to pose as husbands during their house-hunting missions…but…[misogynistic clients don’t like to see escorts being comfortable, and cheapskates]…are…complaining that all the beautiful women have quit the streets…

To Molest and Rape (#885) 

Know why cops don’t like to investigate rapes?  Professional courtesy:

Unbeknownst to [a rape victim], while [creepy cop Lukasz] Skorzewski was assigned to her case, he was under investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau for kissing and groping a rape victim whose case he was assigned to investigate…a high percentage [of rape cases in Queens are] closed due to an alleged lack of participation from the accuser or because the rape was unfounded…meaning a false report or complaint that does not fit the definition of a penal law crime…[Queens’ rate] is significantly higher than that of any other borough…NYPD…data show…24.6 percent of rape cases were closed due to an alleged lack of participation from the accuser.  Though some accusers may choose not to go forward with an investigation, the department has used the…“Uncooperative Complainant” classification to close cases even when victims want to pursue their case…a high rate of rape victims not cooperating with the NYPD indicates there may be problems with…the treatment of victims by investigators.  In Manhattan, the police closed nearly 40 percent of all rapes by indicating victims…no longer wished to participate…

Business As Usual (#905) 

Sex workers harmed by cop behavior need to keep suing until every department is buried in lawsuits:

Six women have filed a lawsuit against two Columbus [vice cops]…Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster, [report]ing malicious prosecution and abuse of process in violation of the fourth and fourteenth amendments.  The women…were targeted for arrest by Lancaster and Rosser after the general manager of Kahoots fired a bouncer who was [acting as a snitch]…Rosser approached the owner(s) of Kahoots and threatened that if…[the snitch] was not rehired by Kahoots [and given free reign to spy on women]…Rosser would “file a bunch of tickets”…the club eventually rehired the bouncer…[after] a number of [retaliatory] charges were filed against…the women…

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[Under FOSTA] smaller platforms…face the real risk that a single lawsuit could put them out of business.  –  The Center for Democracy and Technology

The Scarlet Letter

Compare to “With the faggots out of the way, hopefully we can focus on helping their child victims”:

[Milwaukee politician Russell] Stamper introduced an ordinance that would raise the minimum fine for those caught soliciting a [sow role-playing a] prostitute from $500 to $2,500.  The maximum, regulated by state statute, would stay at $5,000.  The measure was unanimously approved…The name of the fine has also been changed…to put more shame on those arrested.  It used to simply be a “loitering-soliciting” charge; now it includes the word “prostitute”.  ..The city [also] hopes to use [a fascist] media [collaboration] to publicly shame those convicted.  “With the johns out of the way, hopefully we can focus on helping these women,” said Stamper…

Surplus Women

A classic case of NHI:

After years of local activists taking to the streets about the 51 Black women and girls murdered, the Chicago Police Department and the FBI…finally launched a review…the Murder Accountability Project…said the unsolved killings…“have characteristics of serial murder…It…stretches credulity to imagine that these 51 women were killed by 51 separate men”…[cops claim] DNA collected from 21 victims did not match to same person.  But…because the women, some who were sex workers, had multiple sex partners, the DNA may be mixed, harder to decipher and match.  It’s not a secret that…because almost all of these women were Black and from impoverished areas…police haven’t cared…

Gullible’s Travels

Americans will believe basically any scaremongering about teenagers:

Teens are daring each other to eat plastic packaging, cardboard boxes and fruit peels — and posting videos of themselves doing it to Snapchat — in a bizarre new social media trend called “shell on”.  While not as dangerous as the potentially fatal “Tide Pod challenge”…doctors still advise against eating anything that isn’t food…physician Max Plitt [bloviated]…“[blah blah blah] cancers”…[reporters asked] a [high school] sophomore [about it and repeated what he said as though it constituted evidence]…

Under Review

Another complete shitshow involving a sleazy review board owner:

When Broward [County Florida cops raided the home of]…a 60-year-old escort website owner…they say they found a memory card of child pornography and evidence he paid…for sex with underage girls…Neil Greenberg…[hired] a 17-year-old girl living in a group home…[and] an employee of the home [found out]…the…[girl] told [cops] she met Greenberg two years ago through her sister, who advertised on Greenberg’s escort website, independentgirls.com…

To Molest and Rape

Another typical & representative cop:

A…northern Minnesota [cop] is accused of sexually assaulting a teenager [of unidentified gender] on more than 10 occasions.  Joshua Demmerly…raped [the teen]…more than 10 times between 2017 and 2019.  He’s also been charged with kidnapping [via false arrest]…in front of several witnesses…Demmerly claimed to be in love with the victim, and…sent photos of himself with a gun to his head, threatening suicide if the victim didn’t spend time with him.  He also [stalked] them…On one occasion, the victim said they’d woken up naked in [Demmerly’s] house and unable to recall what happened the night before…

Across the Pond (#758)

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

South Wales Police said sex workers who “refuse to engage” with support services in Swansea could face [police violence]…Swansea Women’s Aid…said it was “very concerned”…that…the “stringent enforcement”…could stop women from engaging with the [cop-infested] SWAN project…which aims to [harass] women [doing] sex work…

Original Sin (#803)

Sometimes they don’t even bother to hide the religious foundation of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

On the morning of April 6, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City became…a site of pr[opaganda]…that connected the Stations of the Cross to the [masturbatory fantasy] of sex trafficking…“The cross is a metaphor for sex trafficking,” said the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser…Stations of the Cross for Sex Trafficking Survivors followed seven stations, abbreviated from the usual 14, across three of the city’s boroughs…Attendees visited a shelter…for homeless youth, a strip club, a…[stroll in] the Bronx…a human trafficking intervention court in Queens, John F. Kennedy International Airport and a hotel in Brooklyn [featured in a propaganda film]…Jim Klein, [a] New York…Vice [pig, masturbated surreptitiously while telling the fantasy]…that his team has found 12-year-old girls…forced to have sex 25 to 30 times a day…

Disaster

It’s just going to keep getting worse:

…As of this week, Reddit is no longer allowing “ads for adult-oriented products and services,” nor will it allow any advertising to appear on subreddits that it deems “Not Safe for Work” (NSFW)…This is not just about blocking really explicit images or possibly illegal conduct but everything related to sex and sexuality…As platforms strive to keep up with an array of new tech regulations — from America’s ban on ads that facilitate prostitution under FOSTA to new “privacy”and “hate speech” laws in the European Union, a British ban on showing porn without checking viewers’ ages, and more—anything that might get above a PG rating is being quickly wiped clean from the internet…

Pyrrhic Victory (#860)

Tyranny always starts with despised minorities, but it never stops with them:

The Chinese government…[is] using a vast, secret system of advanced facial recognition technology to track and control the Uighurs…the…technology, which is integrated into China’s rapidly expanding networks of surveillance cameras, looks exclusively for Uighurs based on their appearance and keeps records of their comings and goings for search and review…Chinese authorities already maintain a vast surveillance netincluding tracking people’s DNA, in the western region of Xinjiang, which many Uighurs call home.  But…police are now using facial recognition technology to target Uighurs in wealthy eastern cities like Hangzhou and Wenzhou and across the coastal province of Fujian…

Rooted in Racism (#883)

Could this racist attempt to deter black migrants be any more transparent?

The UK government is backing a…[propaganda] campaign urging Nigerian women and girls to [stay in their native country] instead of “risking a life of modern slavery” [by migrating to] Britain.  Posters are to be placed in schools, churches and marketplaces in an attempt to reduce [migration by black people]…The Not for Sale campaign is supported by…Nigerian [rulers concerned about their shrinking number of subjects]…

Full of Themselves (#886)

Puritanical language is an intrinsic part of any story about cops raiding massage parlors:

…the [Honolulu] Prosecutor’s Office…is…target[ing massage parlors without the usual “sex trafficking” pretense]…criminal activity…illegal businesses…made arrests…illegal businesses…busted 22 of them over the past 3 three [sic] years…15 people were arrested for prostitution…But nearly double that number were arrested for racketeering, which [makes prosecutors feel as though their penises are bigger]…

When “sex trafficking” is not used as an excuse, you can bet we’ll be told over and over again how people consensually touching each other without state licenses is a menace to society that must be stopped by police violence.

The Prudish Giant (#899)

People sometimes ask why I’m not on Facebook:

…Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate [Facebook]’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as a bargaining chip, while publicly proclaiming to be protecting that data…In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users.  In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps…For example, Facebook gave Amazon extended access to user data because it was spending money on Facebook advertising and partnering with the social network on the launch of its Fire smartphone.  In another case, Facebook discussed cutting off access to user data for a messaging app that had grown too popular and was viewed as a competitor…All the while, Facebook was formulating a strategy to publicly frame these moves as a way of protecting user privacy…

Top Cop (#919)

I’m pleased to see how many reporters see through Harris’ rhetoric to her sociopathic evil:

Kamala…Harris’ fundraising from Hollywood interests is nothing new…[she] raised more than $1.1 million from PACs and individuals in the television and movie production and distribution industry from 2009-16 for her campaigns…Harris’ top five donors have included Warner Media Group, 21st Century Fox, and Venable LLP, a lobbying firm that works for Time Warner.  Harris’ strong support from Hollywood follows her history of working to help the entertainment industry…fight…websites like YouTube that allow users to upload and link to content…Harris played a key role in advancing…SESTA…a Hollywoodbacked bill poked a hole in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act…SESTA [is] a step towards creating the filtered internet that the MPAA and RIAA have been pushing for for years, including…SOPA…a Hollywood-backed copyright enforcement bill that was withdrawn over censorship concerns following a massive internet blackout protest in 2012…“It’s easy to see the similarities between what Hollywood has been campaigning for in SESTA and what they’ve been campaigning for in the copyright space, which is ultimately an internet that is less interactive, more one-directional and more filtered,” [said] Elliot Harmon…[of] the Electronic Frontier Foundation…

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I would have done the same if I had found a kilo of crack cocaine.

Last week Scott Greenfield made a reference to this song, which reminded me of how much I like it, so I decided to share it with you.  The links above it were provided by Mike Siegel, Amy Alkon, Furrygirl, Mistress Matisse, Emma Evans, and Jillian Keenan, in that order.

From the Archives

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The way we are dealing with trafficking cases is not effective.
– Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez

Legal Is As Legal Does (#7)

Hamilton politicians should talk to those in Auckland & Christchurch:

Hamilton City Council is trying to renew a bylaw that may be illegal – a ban on street prostitution that threatens a $20,000 fine.  The Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) is dead against it, and even the council admits it’s on shaky legal ground…But…the ban is illegal [because it] recriminalises sex workers…Two attempts by Manukau City Council to ban street prostitution in 2007 and 2012 failed.  The Hamilton Mayor admits that exposes his council to legal risk…

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

Alabama’s prison…inmates are housed in unconstitutional conditions…the Department of Justice has…threatened to hit Alabama with a federal lawsuit if the state doesn’t begin to correct the violations within 49 days.  The report…lays out in unsparing detail a culture of violence across the state’s 13 prisons for men, which house roughly 16,000 inmates in dangerously understaffed prisons that are also among the nation’s most overcrowded.  During a single week…one inmate bled to death after being stabbed repeatedly as two others stood guard…Another stabbed inmate had to be evacuated by helicopter, and a prisoner…was attacked with a sock filled with metal locks…Rapes happen day and night in all corners of the prisons…more than 600…from late 2016 through April 2018…[and] the report…”did not identify a single incident in which…staff…intervened”…The prison system documented 24 prisoner homicides between January 2015 and June 2018, but the Justice Department said that…was an undercount…[because] the state [often] classifies violent deaths as arising from natural causes…

To Molest and Rape

Yet another typical and representative cop:

A Newport News [cop] was arrested…[for] rape and [anal rape] of…a girl [under 18]…the department [first] received a report on June 6, 2018 [but took their sweet time arresting their buddy, using the excuse that]…it had happened significantly prior to when the report was made…

The Enlightenment Police (#785)

Five times a day, Guilbault makes obeisance toward the capitol and chants, “the Law is the Law”:

…Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault told reporters at the Quebec National Assembly that it is the job of the police to enforce the law, and the province’s proposed ban on wearing religious symbols in some public service jobs would be no different.  “The law is the law,” Ms. Guilbault [chanted]…“People can [call the cops on others who have not hurt them]…The law is the law.”  She later clarified that she is confident officials will [mindlessly] obey the law…[even though] several Montreal-area municipalities and school boards say they would not enforce a ban on religiously symbolic garments such as the turban, kippa, hijab and crucifix from being worn by people in positions of authority, including teachers and [pigs]…the law…contain[s] no punitive measures…[but In]justice Minister Sonia LeBel said if a school board or city refuses to enforce the law, the province could obtain a court injunction to force compliance…“I’m very confident…there will be no civil disobedience,” she [lied.  Premier François] Legault later told reporters…“We shouldn’t be talking about [the gun in the room]. Quebeckers know there are means to [violently] force respect for the law”…Most of the people who would be affected are Muslim teachers who wear headscarves…

It’s cute how Canadian politicians like to dance around the inherent tyranny of laws against consensual behavior.

To Molest and Rape (#845) 

Dante would’ve placed this monster in Ptolomea:

Kenneth Collard…pleaded guilty to [rape]…and is expected to be sentenced to [a mere] five years in prison…Collard was staying at the home of an[other cop]…when he entered the [his host’s daughter’s] bedroom and [rap]ed her in the middle of the night…

Where Are the Protests? (#848)

I suggest you compare this to the “nail parlor slavery” myth:

Police have been alerted to 930 reports of [imagined] modern-day slavery at hand car washes, thanks to a new smartphone app devised by the Church of England (C of E) and the Catholic Church…Customers concerned by working conditions at a hand car wash have been urged to download the Safe Car Wash app and complete a survey which includes key indicators of modern slavery…[such as] evidence of staff living on site…

Rooted in Racism (#867)

But they want to “rescue” them!

Sex workers in the UK are being illegally targeted for deportations and subjected to harassment and attacks because of a Brexit-inspired culture of discrimination against foreigners…A dossier compiled by the…English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) includes examples of women being targeted by police for arrest and deportation despite having the right to remain in Britain, and police dismissing reports of violence against women…Niki Adams…said…“Migrant sex workers from EU countries like Romania, Albania and Poland do have the right to work in the UK but they have been picked up and deported…The police were doing things like confiscating a woman’s travel documents or passport and saying, ‘We will only give this back to you if you produce a one-way ticket to Romania’”…

The Widening Gyre (#901)

Cops don’t like it when non-cops falsely accuse innocent people of “crimes” that didn’t happen:

Santana Adams of Milton, West Virginia, has been charged with falsely accusing a man of trying to kidnap her 5-year-old daughter at the mall.  On April [Fool’s Day], Adams told the police that a stranger at the Old Navy store in Barboursville “grabbed the child by the hair and attempted to pull her away.”  The girl then “dropped to the floor with the male still pulling her”…The woman told police she pulled out a gun and the man quickly left the scene…the accused man, Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, was thrown in jail…But the case against him quickly began to unravel…By Tuesday, Zayan was released…By Thursday night…the prosecutor dismissed all charges….[after] surveillance video [showed] the two shoppers calmly leaving the store at slightly different times, going in opposite directions…By Friday afternoon the tables had completely turned and Adams found herself facing charges for accusing Zayan of a crime that did not happen.  Possible penalties are a $500 fine and sixth months in jail…

Safe Position (#919)

Even my jaded self is impressed with the speed this is happenng in New York:

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez voiced his support for the decriminalization of sex work on April 4 during a wide-ranging discussion with elected officials, advocates, and members of Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn (LID).  The “decriminal­izing queerness” event, which was hosted by LID and primarily focused on sex work but also touched upon marijuana legalization, housing rights, and other issues facing marginalized groups, additionally featured Brooklyn State Senators Julia Salazar and Zellnor Myrie as well as advocates who have experience as sex workers…Gonzalez’s clear support for decriminalization comes just weeks after he unveiled his Justice 2020 plan geared towards reducing incarceration…

Business As Usual (#921)

Every so often the feds decide to make an example of an especially-horrible cop:

A Franklin County grand jury indicted [typical and representative] Columbus…vice [pig] Andrew Mitchell…in the [murder] of Donna Castleberry…Mitchell had been attempting to [rape] Castleberry when she [resisted, so]…he shot her multiple times.  Mark Collins, Mitchell’s defense attorney [tried to defame the dead victim and claims]…Mitchell was acting in self-defense [when he murdered an unarmed woman half his size]…

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What message are we sending [young women]…to roll over when your picture gets exposed without your…consent?  –  Lauren Miranda

Under Every Bed

‘I was deeply troubled to learn that my home town of Sheboygan could be the hub of sex trafficking in this state’…said Sara Neumann, a junior…at Lakeland University“.  It’s true, Sara!  Why, the rate of “sex trafficking” in Sheboygan, with under 50,000 people, is comparable to that of a European country with over 42 million!

…the Eastern European country of Ukraine and Sheboygan…are…both…major hubs for human trafficking.  So as part of the Open World Program, a delegation of young professionals from Ukraine are in Sheboygan this week to exchange ideas on how to deal with the human trafficking issue…

Above the Law (#443) 

They spent five years trying to exonerate him, then finally gave him a slap on the wrist:

A [typical and representative] Birmingham [cop] arrested more than four years ago…[after] he sexually abused a child and raped an adult woman has been sentenced to [a mere] six months in the Shelby County Jail.  Joshua Herbinger…[made a plea bargain to dismiss]…other child sex abuse charges…He is required to register as a sex offender and avoid contact with the victims and their families…

Compare this sentence with the one in “To Molest and Rape” below.

Happy Endings

Possibly the best explainer about Asian massage parlors I’ve ever seen.  It was written by a guy who dated a spa owner for years, and is written in clear, concise English without a lot of the jargon so many activists seem addicted to.  I’m not going to attempt to quote from it because you need to read it all, except for this bit from the conclusion:

…These smart, enterprising women need your help to combat this vicious slander.  Upvote this answer.  Share it…send…links to this Quora answer to media outlets.  If enough of them see it, perhaps they’ll at least publicly question the human trafficking allegations…

Checklist (#562)

Another whore-snitching app:

A Flushing, NY woman has been arrested and charged with prostitution [for doing her job] after police…[targeted her workplace because a useful idiot snitched] through the STOPit phone app…[which makes it easy for squealers]…to [squeal] in real time with [pigs who record all their details despite claims the snitch is anonymous]…

Think of the Children! (#619) 

Another young woman fired for having a private sex life:

Lauren Miranda was…told in January that a male student had a topless selfie of the 25-year-old math teacher…so…she was…fired…she took steps to sue the South Country [New York] School District…for $3 million, claiming gender discrimination…The photo was taken in 2016…[for] another teacher…whom she was dating at the time…she…is not sure how it got into the hands of the student…who…was [apparently not] disciplined…New York state law allows women to appear topless in public…

To Molest and Rape

It’s rare to see the phrase “rapist cop” outside of my oeuvre:

[Rapist cop] Robert A. Sundberg III was sentenced…to 10 to 15 years in state prison for raping and abusing his ex-girlfriend, a[nother cop]…Sundberg’s ex-girlfriend said that instead of upholding his sworn oath…Sundberg [instead acted like a cop]…to manipulate and abuse her physically and emotionally…She described him as “remorseless” and a “predator”…Sundberg was behind a false emergency call that led to her being…[wrongly] arrest[ed] for drunk driving…Sundberg…was [not] officially fired [until he was sentenced]…

The fact that his victim was another pig rather than just a little girl may have something to do with his getting an appropriate sentence.

Backwards into the Future (#763)

This is quite a change in less than two years:

[South African] President Cyril Ramaphosa told dozens of women and civil organisations that the government is looking into decriminalising sex work…His comments were greeted by loud cheers from women activists and members of nongovernmental organisations against gender-based violence…

Negative Secondary Effects (#859)

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

Ypsilanti [Michigan] is in the process of relegating gun retailers and ranges to often undesirable locations in the city alongside strip clubs, massage parlors and pornography shops…Current zoning laws allow for gun retailers and ranges to operate in the same commercial districts as general stores and recreation businesses…

The Course of a Disease (#869)

Israeli prohibitionists are trying to criminalize all sex work:

Lap dancing should be regarded as a form of [prostitution]…and those who own properties where they are conducted will be prosecuted as pimps, the [Israeli] State Attorney…[laying the ground for future criminalization of all forms of] stripping…the decision speaks of a “slippery slope” in which stripping…leads to sex work in back rooms – which is [now] illegal…

Business As Usual (#905)

Every vice gang in the country needs to be shut down:

The police chief of Glynn County, Georgia, says the department’s narc…[gang]…has been dissolved [because]…one of its detectives [named James Cassada] was using drugs and [raping snitches]…also…[cop] David Hassler [lied]…during the investigation and [cop] John Simpson had an ongoing friendship with a convicted drug manufacturer…

Micromanagement (#912)

They’re not only giving cops people’s info, but trying to convince their victims it’s a good thing:

FamilyTreeDNA is finally being upfront with users about its intentions for their DNA samples. This is due to its founder deciding — without consulting his customers — that they’re all as willing as he is to convert your DNA samples into public goods.  “Bennett Greenspan, the firm’s founder, said he had decided he had a moral obligation to help solve old murders and rapes”…FamilyTreeDNA [claims]…it’s finally going to seek consent from its customers, but only after having abused their trust once…While some DNA companies like 23andMe are insisting on at least a subpoena before handing over access…other companies are…specifically targeting law enforcement agencies with ads promising to help them work through their cold case files…it’s never going to be complete consent, no matter how FamilyTreeDNA shapes the argument…[because] as Elizabeth Joh points out at Slate…”[W]hen you volunteer your DNA sample, you’re volunteering your genetic family tree, without having asked your parents, siblings, cousins, and distant cousins…You can’t give the police lawful consent to search your third cousin’s house, even if your third cousin (who you may never have met) is suspected of having been involved in a serious crime.  Why are we allowing a distant relative to grant police permission to your DNA?”…

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (#917)

Destroying sex workers’ safety, one “improvement” at a time:

One million pounds…was given to Sacro to fund a “safety app for women involved in prostitution”…Sacro run a [program]…called Another Way, aiming at [pushing] women out of prostitution…in complete contrast to what is actually demanded by…sex worker[s]…the Home Office [is] frustrated that data around sex workers is so tightly protected amongst our allies…apps are regularly used as methods to gather data, and that installing an app can give it access to our locations, contacts, and even use of our camera.  This is deeply worrying when the app will be being built and run by…people who seek to see us eradicated…[prohibitionists will] get access to our personal data and an overarching ability to track us, and see who we communicate with…

Guinea Pigs (#919) 

Cops thought they had a big trophy when they arrested a billionaire for consensual sex:

Police used a fake bomb threat to clear out a Florida spa and install cameras…Robert…Kraft’s attorneys wrote in a…motion to suppress the video footage that Jupiter Police Department (JPD) officers…used “allusions to human trafficking” to secure the warrant.  “This ruse concealed the execution of the Warrant from the Spa, its employees, and its customers, none of whom received notice of the issuance of the Warrant or the placement of hidden video cameras on Spa premises,” Jack Goldberger…wrote…The filing also took issue with the inspections of the spa conducted by Florida Department of Health [copsucker] Karen Herzog, whose reports have been included in other warrants issued…as part of the [pogrom] that led to more than 300 arrests…“Herzog [claimed]…female employees were living there”…[yet] only…noted was that there were “some tables showing wear and tear.”  Two photos of the inside of a refrigerator…showed bottled water and ranch dressing…“[the pig who requested the warrant] made his reckless leap over to human trafficking based on supposed ‘evidence’ consisting of…a refrigerator stocked with food, two beds, and clothing‐all of which may be routinely observed at any number of places of employment, including law offices, for reasons having nothing to do with human trafficking,” Goldberger wrote…

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I met Elsi Dawson at my Vancouver screening a few weeks ago, and when our conversation turned to new advertising venues she offered to do a guest column on the new site Tryst, which I have recently started an ad on myself.  I really like the way the site looks and operates, and I’m really hoping it catches on well enough that we can all start to abandon platforms which regularly invent new ways to annoy or actively hurt us while offering no customer service.

It’s been well-established that FOSTA/SESTA has shuttered, or at least, stunted many advertising platforms that are based out of the US.  While that nightmare has been felt most acutely by American sex workers, especially those in marginalized positions, the ripple effects have hurt sex workers in Canada as well.  The puritan moral panic that sought to end all sex-slavery has succeeded—if their goal was to cut the legs out from under independent sex workers and drive human trafficking underground.  Bravo.

Backpage went down, but the supply didn’t.  In Canada, the overflow moved to the next nearest website, Leolist – similar in function, but with better aesthetics and a much higher price tag.  Initially it seemed much more sex worker friendly, with the ability to verify yourself, bump your ad, purchase upgrades with premium features and navigate on a mobile platform.  But the longer you stay on Leolist, the more you notice that, even though it’s your credit card attached to the account, you’re not the client, you’re the product.  And, with all the people hustling on Backpage now looking for somewhere else to grind, Leolist found themselves running a monopoly.  A few years ago, an ad cost about $2 US, would go to the first page, scroll off onto subsequent pages until it expired thirty days later on page 16 or so.  Or, one could pay another $2 US to bring it back to the top of the list again at any time, multiple times a day.  A heavy volume day would probably be four or five bumps, and one could expect nearly a thousand views on their ad from that.  But post-FOSTA/SESTA, ads which used to be on Page 1 for an hour on a busy day, now barely last 30 minutes.  The result is a sex worker either not getting as much “primetime” ad exposure, or bumping more frequently to make up the difference.  After a small struggle (and a change of bank vendor) the prices changed to Euros, with a promise to keep the rates comparable.  In a move that surprised exactly no one, they did not.  Every few months for the past year, their rates have been climbing.  Not content with being at the top of the pile or having the most local traffic, Leolist gradually increased the cost of an ad, the cost of a bump, the cost of premium features.  Was it a move to try to starve out the scam artists and the fake ads?  Maybe, but we’ll never know because Leolist doesn’t have any interest in answering to their advertisers.  They don’t take comment or feedback, and even their Twitter is locked (after they directed people to contact them there).  The result is a frustrated group of independent sex workers who are watching their overhead costs tick up like the start of a rollercoaster, while their ads get less visibility and fewer bites.

And then there are the review boards.  In Western Canada, we have the archaic and wholly unwieldy Pacific Escort Review Board (PERB.cc) run on vBulletin (you know it’s bad when even academia has left the format behind).  On any given day, the old guard of “perberts” post degrading and vulgar comments about providers, their bodies and a scale-ten judgment of their services.  Hobbyists take nit-picky circle-jerk punches at “girls with boyfriends” and “girls who have cellulite” and “girls who think they have golden pussies.”  They routinely marvel at how providers could even dare to ask them for a deposit.  They jostle to outdo one another on their conquests and oscillate between “I think I’m going to quit this hobby” and “I can’t wait until the market pulls the prices back down and these girls get a good idea of what they’re actually worth.”  A month of all the ad posting you can eat (but only two ads a day, and posting a selfie counts as an ad, by the way) runs $113.  There are a litany of rules spread across eight different threads, with vague wording and a system of infractions, points, expirations, perbatory and permanent deletion.  A provider is allowed to comment on their own review, but not anyone else’s, and only while they’re “in red” (a bassackwards term that means “paid up” to them and no one else in the English-speaking world).  Necroposting (replying to an old thread to bring it back into discussion) is an infraction, and so is reposting (starting a new thread on a topic that has already been discussed but may have long since gone quiet).  It’s a minefield and a distraction from the day-to-day operations of running an independent sex work business.  Oh, and Leolist has exclusive rights to advertise on PERB – a cute little bromance that keeps client traffic swirling around the same toilet bowl.

Suddenly, a ray of hope appears.  Tryst.link arrives on the scene to balm our wounds and bring sanity to online marketing.  The superhero geniuses that brought us Switter (the Sex Worker Twitter, get it?!) when FOSTA/SESTA scared the other Twitter into shadow banning everyone with a visible nipple, have branched into making an advertising platform and it’s like a breath of fresh air.  Their team, Assembly Four, has put together a platform that works for the sex worker.  Do you want to set your weekly availability?  Sure. Wanna promo a tour? Here’s a drop-down menu for that.  Do you have different rates for different session types and lengths?  Go ahead and list them in as much or as little detail as you’d like.  Tryst, like Switter, has been built while avoiding the use of US companies, and prioritizing the privacy of the workers who reside on their platforms.  They ask for minimal personal information from clients (the basic username, email, and password) upon sign up.  Provider verification for Tryst is also quite standard and based on a handful of factors such as social media presence, other verified accounts, and verification photos.  They don’t ask for or require any civilian forms of ID for verification, and any information sent to them is treated with extreme sensitivity.  Tryst is rapidly gaining user profiles in Asia, Australia + NZ, Canada, Europe and – you guessed it – the United States of America.  As their traffic has increased (by 15.6x since November), they have encouraged feedback from providers and clients alike.  Since their launch, they’ve added features to better advertise genders, ethnicity, and transgender disclosure options at the suggestion of their members.  Their mission is not to be “your elite [cis white conventionally attractive woman in her mid-twenties] companion website” but to offer affordable and effective advertising with a sleek, contemporary, and user-friendly interface to sex workers at all price points and in all specializations.  This year, Tryst plans to implement a range of other features to further help workers of all demographics thrive in a post FOSTA/SESTA world.  For the first time, possibly ever, the way we advertise online is within our own control.  Solutions which cater to the needs of sex workers and still bring in clients are finally within reach.

What this development says to me is that whores are collaborating, investing in our communities, and coming back stronger than ever.  FOSTA/SESTA is devastating and terrifying, particularly for US providers, but It’s going to take more than a short-sighted and thinly-veiled prohibition/censorship bill to break us apart.  We’ve got a revolution on our hands, honey, and we’re not going anywhere.  This may be the world’s oldest profession, but we’re also gunning for the title of boldest as well.

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I find it interesting that everyone who left the massage parlor, within a matter of miles, committed a traffic infraction.  –  Eric Schwartzreich

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be enterprising women working to get some of it:

The “gold rush” in Crucitas, in northern Costa Rica…has also attracted sex workers to the area to offer their services [so naturally the pigs are trying to spread anti-whore propaganda and defining them as a “problem”]…

Blunt Instrument 

It’s great to see Asian sex workers fighting back against racist harassment by cops:

Dozens of sex workers and their allies gathered just outside police barricades…with cardboard signs that read “Solidarity with massage workers” and “Rights not raids.”  Steps away, in the basement auditorium of the Flushing Library, local City Councilmember Peter Koo was co-hosting a packed community meeting with the NYPD intended to [spread propaganda] about [sex work]…protesters said they hoped to dispel misinformation about…human trafficking in…massage establishments, and honor the life of 36-year-old Yang Song, an immigrant massage worker who fell to her death [while trying to escape] an NYPD Vice Unit raid in 2017…while…Koo [tried to whip up hysteria against sex work]…advocates warned that this conflation of massage work with human trafficking…is inaccurate, racist and dangerous…“Not only has policing never been the answer, it actively harms all of those people that we serve,” said Aya Tasaki of Womankind…Events like Koo’s “recruit the public to be accomplices in racially targeted state violence under the benevolent delusion of rescue,” added Kate Z., a former massage worker and organizer with the newly formed grassroots coalition Red Canary Song…Nina Luo, of the DecrimNY campaign, confronted Koo about [Yang] Song…“You know that Song was killed by NYPD and here you are today advocating for more policing,” she shouted…

Monsters 

Reporter quotes bigot who talks about a murdered woman as though she were a disease:

A transgender woman was shot and killed [last] Saturday morning near the D.C. line in Prince George’s County [Maryland]…The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Ashanti Carmon…One resident who said she heard the shots fired and later saw the victim’s body said police seem to be unable to stop the transgender prostitution…in the area.  “They park on our side streets…and…have sex with people,” said Akiaba Steward, who added that she believes the prostitution issue will only get worse now with the warmer weather…

The Missing Word 

I’m unsure why the modern term was eschewed here in favor of its 20th century counterpart:

…Alisa Mitrova, 21, was originally wrongly diagnosed with chickenpox when she collapsed unconscious on a gruelling seven-month catwalk assignment.  This follows the case of…Vlada Dzyuba who died 18 months ago after she became seriously ill with “acute meningitis compounded by anorexia” during a three month assignment on tiny pay in China…Like 14-year-old Vlada and reportedly many Russian models in China, Miss Mitrova had no medical insurance when she was struck down…Concern has been expressed in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus over young women – some of school age – lured to work in China as models or in “seedy clubs”…critics have warned of such cases being the “tip of an iceberg” of a “white slave trade” with girls and women from poor families in the former USSR being exploited…

To Molest and Rape

Yet another typical and representative cop:

A small-town Pennsylvania police chief and his friend…[repeatedly raped] a child over a seven year period starting when [s]he…was 4 years old…Brent Getz, the 27-year-old Chief of the Weissport Police Department, and friend Gregory Wagner…were arrested [on March 26th]…the investigation “began in May 2012 when the victim, then 12-years-old, reported to a substitute teacher that Gregory Wagner”…had [raped] her…[nothing productive was done until] “2015, [when] the case was reassigned and police prepared a criminal complaint…[which] was dismissed by the Magisterial District Judge due to a paperwork error…[and] never refiled.”  But then, in August 2018, “[cops finally remembered]…the case and asked the victim to come back in for an interview.  At this time, the victim also disclosed that Brent Getz…had [raped] her too”…

Elephant in the Parlor (#724) 

In other news, bear shits in woods:

An Arizona [politician]…resigned this week [after an ethics investigation discovered he paid]…two boys under the age of 15 for sex in the 1980s.  David Stringer…was arrested in 1983…and…accepted a plea deal [for]…five years of supervised probation.  The case was expunged by a Baltimore judge in 1990…Stringer resigned from his position in the state legislature…after he refused to cooperate with [the]…investigation…

Moloch (#742)

Literally scaring a teen to death for normal behavior is “just doing their jobs”:

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Naperville…filed by the family of…[a] High School student who [was driven to] suicide…The judge ruled school and police officials were doing their jobs when they [literally scared Corey Walgren to death by threatening him with lifetime damnation on the “sex offender” registry for consensensual sex with his girlfriend]…the 16-year-old junior slipped out of the school and jumped from the top of a downtown Naperville municipal parking deck…the [judge denied that pervert administrators] Stephen Madden and James Konrad and [pervert pig] Brett Heun…[inflicted] “extreme, intolerable and excessive emotional and psychological distress” and [broke] the law by interrogating Walgren without first notifying his parents, Douglas and Maureen Walgren…[Judge Andrea Wood claimed that the] reckless and alarming accusations against the teen…“were…ordinary police interrogation tactics”…

Is this enough blood yet?  Can we stop now?

Good News, Bad News (#857)

Australia’s Northern Territory is moving toward decriminalization, and prohibitionists aren’t happy:

It’s long been an open secret, tucked away in the alleyways of the tropical Northern Territory capital…Now, the veil has been lifted on the illicit industry, with the NT Government releasing a new discussion paper which reveals the extent of the illegal sexual activities operating in plain sight within the Darwin CBD…a 2015 crackdown saw NT Police and Australian Border Protection Force officers raid 19 parlours across Darwin and Palmerston and…three people were deported…While prostitution itself is not against the law…brothels…are…The discussion paper…has been pegged as a move towards the eventual decriminalisation of the industry, a shift which has long been welcomed by industry advocates…

Fever Dream (#901)

Mathematical illiteracy is no bar to becoming a cop:

People wanting to buy and sell sex online are going after [other consenting adults who want to sell or buy sex]…The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says…The average age range of buyers…is between 18 and 80…

Do they not teach the concept of an “average” in fourth grade anymore?

An Avalanche of Bullshit

The way an individual or agency treats sex workers is a good indication of how they feel about people in general:

11 people [have been] freed from jail following revelations that [a cop]…falsified narcotics arrests…the…bogus…arrests aren’t the only instances of misconduct in the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the same agency that spearheaded the Orchids of Asia Day Spa bust…Since 2000…Martin County…has spent more than $1.33 million settling lawsuits…[over cop violence, murders and lies]…Snyder and his deputies have portrayed themselves as rescuers of trafficked women…But the[ir pretended] concern…is at odds with [their] own troubling treatment of women…[including slurs against] female employee[s]…and…illegal [surveillance]…Sandipkumar Patel was arrested…and [publicly shamed]…after [pigs] claimed that he patronized one of the massage parlors that were raided…Patel…[is] su[ing] the sheriff…an attorney for one Orchids of Asia defendant filed a motion arguing that video the Sheriff’s Office…recorded inside the massage parlor is “violative of the accused’s privacy rights” and therefore should be inadmissible in court.  Another attorney filed a motion to suppress the video [because]…a court order did not grant the Sheriff’s Office authority to record video…

Opting Out (#923) 

Any non-politician would have given this up as a bad idea by now:

The [UK] government’s much heralded porn “block” has been delayed once again.  Under the [censorship] plans, people will have to verify their age to access UK commercial pornographic websites…the [government] said a [new] date has not been set for the roll-out…Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group says the delays are due to serious concerns about privacy and data collection.  “When they consulted about the shape of age verification last summer they were surprised to find that…everyone who [isn’t a politician understood that]…this was a privacy disaster…


You Were Warned

European politicians are just as invested in demolishing the internet as US ones:

…Europe is imposing a “link tax” online that will fundamentally change the relationships between media, search engines, and social platforms…[politicians are pretending the cash & control grab is about] “copyright protection”…In the U.S., meanwhile, the assault on Section 230…continues…Were [it not for this law]…a small handful of bad actors could topple every social community and app we know…[yet] the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals….dismissed an Airbnb and Homeway challenge to a Santa Monica law that would hold those companies legally liable if users listed Santa Monica rental properties…

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