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Posts Tagged ‘Dangerous Speech’

I don’t know where the justice is.  –  Roger Byard, on prosecuting a mother for an infant’s unexplained death

Blunt Instrument

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

Los Angeles prosecutors said…they hope a civil lawsuit will [bankrupt] two San Fernando Valley massage parlors they accused [without evidence] of being fronts for…human trafficking rings.  City Attorney Mike Feuer said his office filed the lawsuit against the…owners…[and] the landlord of the strip malls where both are located.  Prosecutors are seeking a permanent injunction against the spas, as well as financial [loot]…the city attorney’s office accused Xiaoxi Ding and Hongshan Wang of running a “sophisticated prostitution ring at both locations”…

Targeting landlords with “pimping” charges is a typical prosecutor trick to avoid having to prove anything, and  “Sophisticated prostitution rings” is the most popular cop excuse for raping sex workers.

Original Sin

Why bother with the hard work of getting a degree and doing peer-reviewed research when you can just PRAY and Jesus will magically make you a “sex trafficking expert”?

Beth Grate…started learning [fantasies] about human trafficking when a family visited her…church…She went on to found and head…a chapter of the Michigan Abolitionist Project….She attended and spoke at programs about human trafficking…and…[st]alked [sex workers in] neighborhoods…She is working toward earning certification as a human trafficking international subject matter expert, a new program that is being developed [by unnamed parties]…Victims of trafficking are usually Americans with ages ranging from one to 70 years old…“I believe in Jesus Christ. I was sitting with the Lord and I said, ‘Why can’t I find my niche? God put in the idea I wasn’t supposed to have a narrow niche, but a broad spectrum ministry…People don’t think it’s happening here…it’s [fantasized] in every county of Michigan…Traffickers can live in your neighborhood”…

Property of the State 

Do not EVER talk to the pigs.  Just shut the fuck up except to demand your lawyer:

When Addeline Brindle woke up on March 29, 2018…her 3-month-old baby, Tre’Velle…[was dead] in the bed beside her…Mansfield, Ohio, police…[interrogated the traumatized 19-year-old at] the hospital…and she [foolishly] told them that she had used cocaine two days before…six months later…she was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, endangering children, and possession of cocaine…Her attorney, John Boyd, pushed for probation…[but] Judge Brent Robinson [grunted]…“[Oink oink] drugs [are bad]…and [I am] going to [make you] suffer”…But…medical experts who reviewed the baby’s autopsy report…said…it was unclear whether his death stemmed from his sleeping situation, or from an undiagnosed medical condition…the prosecutor and judge used Tre’Velle’s death to send a message about [defying the police state]…In the past…many…deaths were attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, a catch-all diagnosis…But in recent decades, thanks to [expansion of the carceral state]…forensic pathologists have shifted away from SIDS and toward [blaming the mother]…

Innocence Never Had (#602)

People are so unwilling to let go of the “pimps & hos” myth and the “enslaved children” wanking fantasy, that even when they question a few of the elements they can’t let go of the rest:

In 2017, nearly 25,000 runaways reported to NCMEC and nearly 3,600 were likely victims of sex trafficking.  Of those, 88 percent came from the social services system…The most common reasons for [kids to be abducted by the State]…were neglect (62 percent) and drug abuse by one or both parents (36 percent). [But so-called] drug abuse can be as simple as failing a single voluntary drug test.  Neglect can mean as little as missing homeschooling paperwork, or even  letting a child eat sweets before dinner…Once the child is in the system, it can be exceedingly difficult for the parents to get their child back…Pimps are…skilled at developing dependency in their victims…Their main targets are children aged 12-14…“When law enforcement takes these kids back home, many times these kids walk right back out the door on their own and right back into the clutches of these offenders,” said [NCMEC bureaucrat Robert] Lowery…himself [a former pig]…

It absolutely true that most underage sex workers [not “sex trafficked children”] come from the “foster care” system, and that the system is a police-state abomination which destroys lives without adequate reason.  But they average 16-17, not 13; only a very small number [about 10%] have “pimps”; they run away again because the foster homes are very often more intolerable than street living, not because of ninja “pimps” with magical mind-control powers; and NCMEC is a dangerous anti-sex organization which hides its agenda behind “protecting children”.  Its claims about “likely victims” are pure nonsense with absolutely no basis in statistics; in fact, they even contradict NCMEC’s own published statistics.  But I guess none of that matters when there’s money to be made, a police state to enlarge and exciting fantasies of 13-year-old “sex slaves” to be wanked to.

To Molest and Rape

Good riddance to bad rubbish:

A [typical and representative] Jackson [Mississippi cop who] repeatedly [raped] a 15-year-old in the back of his patrol car committed suicide shortly after news broke about the abuse…James Hollins.[tricked the girl into thinking he was her friend and then demanded sex. In typical pig fashion, he did not kill himself in a dignified and private manner, but instead shot himself in his car with a gun stolen from another cop]…on I-220 [on the afternoon of May 27th, resulting in a massive rush-hour traffic jam as cops closed] both lanes of the interstate…for over two hours [while unsuccessfully trying to figure out how to pin the shooting on someone else. Hollins raped the girl]…several times a week over…six month[s and made]…several sexually explicit videos of the [assaults]…The teen’s mother caught on…and…reported it to the police chief…[who gave Hollins a paid vacation]…

Saving Them From Themselves (#775)

“Attack[ing] the autonomy and self-ownership of all young people” is exactly what this was intended to do:

Maryland’s highest court will soon decide whether a 16-year-old girl, “S.K.,” can face child pornography charges for taking a video of herself performing…consensual oral sex on an unidentified male [and sending it to] two close friends and [a snitch]…who [ratted her out to the pigs]…S.K.’s attorney, Public Defender Claudia Cortese, [naively] argued that the statute in question was not intended to punish minors…”the prosecutor [lied that] the state was not ‘trying to [send a message but]…is just trying to help her” [by sexually traumatizing her and branding her mentally ill for normal teen behavior]…

Dangerous Speech (#917)

I wish I could be more optimistic, but the government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

Four national non-profits dedicated to protecting civil liberties and personal freedom…have lodged…amicus briefs with the federal court in Phoenix in support of a recent motion to dismiss by defendants in the Backpage case…the DKT Liberty Project, the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation — joined forces in one brief, asking the court to grant the motion to dismiss.  Meanwhile the ACLU of Arizona submitted its own amicus curiae, focusing on the First Amendment implications of the prosecution…At the heart of the case is the government’s assumption that the ads in Backpage’s adult section for putatively legal services…were actually selling illicit sex.  But as the motion to dismiss and the amicus briefs point out, that is not an assumption that the First Amendment allows prosecutors to make…the First Amendment, and…the…charges under the Travel Act, require a specific knowledge and intent to promote the specific illegal act in question…And yet, prosecutors are not claiming that the defendants ever saw the…50 ads…which the government says it can connect to illegal acts.  Obviously, Lacey and Larkin were not engaged in the mundane task of reviewing ads for publication.  And most of the 50 ads the government cites were published after the two men sold their interest in the company in 2015…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#929)

Is there anything fetishists won’t try to link to “sex trafficking”?

…the U.S. Department of Justice is now subpoenaing records related to the Floridian entrepreneur and small-time Republican donor Li “Cindy” Yang…her husband and parents, several former members of her staff, her colleague on the National Committee of Asian American Republicans, and several other Chinese Americans…Yang—who built up and then sold a spa and massage chain in South Florida—had in recent years launched G.Y. U.S. Investments, an endeavor that helped Chinese business owners navigate U.S. regulations and make contacts, investments, and operational inroads here.  As part of this consulting business, Yang sometimes offered clients access to events at Trump’s private club in Palm Beach and to other Republican parties.  Prosecutors say some of these events were ticketed fundraisers…and non-citizens are prevented from donating to U.S. political campaigns…people are already spinning wild tales about what we supposedly know about Yang—that she funneled money from China to Trump, and that she earned her money from human trafficking…

Rough Trade (#934)

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

Nikki Cox…thought…she [would not be believed by] police…after she was sexually assaulted by a client, who booked with the name Alex, in February last year.  But Alex was on [May 28th] handed a partly suspended sentence of 15-months in jail — of which he must serve two months — for one count of aggravated sexual assault, to which he pleaded guilty in April…Nikki has told her story…because she felt the chance of her assault being taken seriously enough to result in an arrest, let alone in a successful prosecution, was microscopic…

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Women…are being undermined by a system that should be supporting them.  –  Joan Phillips

Surplus Women

Two women were murdered, but this reporter thinks the real story is the neighbors’ sadfeelz about how they made their living:

Over the past [two] years, two women were murdered in [DeKalb County, Georgia]…one…in 2017…[and] the…second…a few months ago…[but sociopathic] neighbors…[are more concerned with] solicitation [on a local stroll than the deaths of two human beings]…They said they see it in early mornings when school kids are waiting for the bus…A [WSB-TV] photographer also rode along with DeKalb County police to…listen…to [copaganda about] human trafficking…

Note that this is the same copsucking TV station which we saw demonizing people’s religion a few days ago.

Yellow Fever

Modern media companies like The Guardian are willing to discard whatever credibility they once enjoyed:

…[the] vastly profitable and largely unregulated [sex industry] has…become infested with criminality, turning Spain into a global hub for human trafficking and sexual slavery…the scale of the problem…is staggering…the [new prohibitionist] Spanish government [claims] that up to 90% of women working in prostitution could be victims of trafficking…[Spanish cops claim to have] rescued 5,695 people from slavery but acknowledge that thousands more remain under the control of…gangs operating with impunity…

Shame, Shame

Most journalists abandoned most of their ethics long ago:

Last June, Florida Today decided to…scrap its traditional gallery of mug shots…an increasing number of editors…have recognized that the American style of crime reporting— picking sensational cases with the most odious details, printing mug shots and full names, and not providing contextual information on crime and statistics in stories —needs a long-overdue overhaul.  Still, on the internet, the salacious news story and the quest for “hits” too often subsumes  conscientious reporting.  Despite the fact that most prisoners will be released, permanent digital punishment in the form of salacious reporting or mug shots hinders reentry…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#627)

It’s so good to see more widespread recognition of this:

…Dr Joan Phillips said while there was a lot of [hoohah about “sex trafficking”] in the Caribbean…it seem[s] to be [simply] a matter of people moving for…work…She argued that too often, Caribbean countries were made to feel that “something needs to be done” about [what the US calls] human trafficking and that it needs to be done now…“we in the Caribbean…are being pushed to look at something that we are not sure…is happening but because of the political and economic influence of US foreign policy we need to do something or we will lose funding”… she argued…that…[US bureaucrats and politicians do] not take into consideration the willing movement of people to work in various settings including nightclubs…“The…issue with the sex [trafficking] paradigm is that poor women are becoming poorer and…the systems that have been put in place [to supposedly help them] are lip service…we need to look at…the ideology about trafficking in a totally different way…Caribbean governments have to…deci[de]…whether they accept the foreign policy of the US and talk about this sexual trafficking and put all this law in place and not focus on…the bigger issues…poverty, vulnerability, lack of education, the need for support for children, unemployment and so on”…

To Molest and Rape

Anything to avoid the word “rape”:

A Richmond [Virginia cop] has been indicted by a…grand jury…Michael Bryson…has been charged with a misdemeanor count of…sexually abusing the victim against their will by force, threat, intimidation, or ruse…

Election Day (#840) 

This is beginning to look like the beginning of the end of the War on Drugs:

A referendum in Denver to decriminalize psilocybin, or “magic mushrooms”, appears to have passed by a narrow margin…But the activists who worked to get the issue on the ballot say their fight was the beginning of a larger movement…Cindy Sovine, a political consultant who worked on the initiative [said]…”Whether you’re using this plant for a medical reason, or a spiritual reason, or a recreational reason, you should not be going to jail or losing your children for it”…

Dangerous Speech

The government’s entire case against Backpage is based on lies and wanking fantasies:

The Arizona Republic recently…claim[ed]  prosecutors had revealed “new evidence”, which demonstrated that Michael Lacey, a former owner of the now defunct classified ad website Backpage.com, was aware of and complicit in sex trafficking taking place on the site.  This so-called evidence consisted of internal Backpage emails from 2012…where Lacey and others discuss how to respond to an inquiry from…Nicholas Kristof, a notorious prig, who, in preparation for an opinion piece, had asked Backpage to comment on the case of a 13 year-old girl alleged…[by disgraced racist prosecutor Lauren Hersh to have been] advertised on Backpage…The…quote from [Lacey’s] email…reads…”We do how many million ads, and he picks out one, tells us by the end of the day and wants our total response by a.m.?  Of course there are kids who get through the system.  As there are in bars.  This makes pursuit of solution…more critical rather than scoring political points”.  Given…that Backpage regularly cooperated with law enforcement in order to catch perpetrators who were misusing the site, only a latter-day Inspector Javert would look at such an email and assume that it established guilt.  It would be far easier to draw the opposite conclusion, that the email’s author does not want underage individuals accessing Backpage…

Welcome To Our World (#888)

Do you really need more evidence of the link between anti-sex work and anti-abortion campaigns?

Phalla was a surrogate paid to carry [a] baby for a couple in China.  Now, due to [totalitarian] measures enacted by Cambodian authorities late last year…Phalla is among dozens of women forced to raise [someone else’s] child…If she doesn’t, she faces up to 20 years in prison for human trafficking…Phalla had a caesarean birth in August [while pigs lurked and watched]…Three months later, she and her newborn were released on bail, on the strict condition that she did not give the child away and [was forced] to raise the child until she turned 18…Phalla must present herself — baby in hand — to a local police office once a month.  She cannot change her address without the investigating judge’s permission, and failing to meet these bail conditions could result in her arrest…

Forced parenthood.  Registered “sex offender” type treatment.  “Human trafficking” as a catch-all.  Get it yet?

See No Evil (#889)

Another prosecution for drawings of fictional characters:

The former commander of the 49th Medical Support Squadron at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico will face a civilian trial later…over accusations of possessing [what prosecutors call] virtual child pornography, and will also be court-martialed in August.  Lt. Col. Keith Vollenweider…[is said to have] knowingly possessed “visual depictions, such as drawings, cartoons and virtual images, that depict minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct”…

Note that people have been similarly charged for possessing Japanese manga books because the characters appear “child-like” by Western aesthetic standards.

Property of the State (#895) 

Critics of governmental abuses need to stop using neutral words like “taken” and call these crimes what they are:

Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services…has a practice of obtaining blank [child abduction] orders pre-signed by judges.  Social workers then fill out the documents with the necessary information after they’ve been signed by a judge and then use them to [abduct] children from parents who[m somebody decided to accuse of something]…no judge actually reviews these orders, or the evidence used to justify separating a family, before signing them.  This…galling abuse of…basic civil liberties…only came to an end after an investigative report by WDRB…spotlighted the practice…

Pyrrhic Victory (#912) 

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

San Francisco…is…on track to be the first municipality in the United States to [officially] ban use of facial recognition technology by the city government…the bill also requires all other types of surveillance technologies—like automatic license plate readers, predictive policing software, and cell phone surveillance towers—to only be adopted by city agencies following a public notice and vote by the Board of Supervisors.  The bill also requires [bureaucratic] policies for how surveillance technologies will [supposedly] be used by the city government…A similar proposal to ban the use of facial recognition across the bay in Oakland…will be debated later this month…There was [already] some pushback from [copsuckers and badge-lickers, especially those who]…give [cops access to] their private surveillance camera[s]

A Broker in Pillage (#918)

Nobody will be safe until this odious, contemptible practice is recognized as unconstitutional:

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed three bills into law…that significantly limit police’s ability to [steal] property…11 other states…have passed laws requiring convictions before forfeitures in some or all cases…Three states have abolished civil forfeiture altogether.  In Hawaii, a bill banning civil forfeiture is currently awaiting the governor’s signature…the new Michigan laws…still…[allow people to] be pressured by [cops] to sign away their property [under threat]…

Negative Secondary Effects (#933)

A lot of people are growing sick of the oppression of sex workers:

Hundreds of people have signed a petition backing workers at a strip club weeks after calls were made for its licence to be revoked.  [Prohibitionists who paid men to secretly film dancers without their consent claim their snitches] saw dancers performing sex acts at Spearmint Rhino in Sheffield…An open letter with the petition backing the workers at the club said: “We believe sex work should not be stigmatised as uniquely or especially oppressive to women in the context of widespread misogyny and male violence against women.  Sex work is legal, and advocating to take away women’s choice to do safe, legal work is anti-feminist and anti-worker”…

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The government has…tried to financially strangle these defendants at every turn.  –  Ariel Neuman

Droit du Seigneur

Hey, King County; maybe you should consult Matthew 7:3 for your “sex trafficking” policy:

Mark L. Norton, the superintendent of transit security…for King County Metro, was arrested…for allegedly “coercing a female to engage in commercial sex acts in King and Snohomish Counties.”  Norton…allegedly “groomed” the victim for five years while [she] was a babysitter for Norton’s children, using “emotional and psychological coercion [to] convince [her] to participate in prostitution for his benefit…the suspect operated as a pimp and pressured the victim to engage in prostitution on numerous occasions…and kept [her fees]”…ironically, King County Metro’s buses were recently covered with anti-trafficking signs as part of a [propaganda] campaign…by the…County…

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (#335)

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

…Google could be putting [Irish sex workers] at risk by blocking key functions on an app used to warn of dangerous clients.  The tech giant decided…to include limits on call logs and SMS permission access on apps in the Google Play store…[this could cripple] an Android app called Ugly Mugs, which…has been using advanced access features since 2013…[to] screen…incoming calls and text messages to sex workers and alert…them if [the initiating] number…is in the app’s database…

He Said, She Said (#624)

A psychiatrist who has sex with patients is a fool.  A male psychiatrist who draws vulnerable female patients into kink relationships is a dangerous fool:

…psychiatrist…Keith Ablow…[is facing malpractice lawsuits from three female patients who say he] abused his position while treating them for acute depression…the…therapist…encouraged women to trust and rely on him, then coaxed them into [BDSM] sexual activities, often during treatment sessions for which they were charged…three women who worked for Ablow [also] agreed to file affidavits, included in the lawsuits…that Ablow sexually harassed them, too.  One former staffer, Amy Dixon, said she had sex with Ablow during which he would regularly hit her and that he told her he wanted a “master/slave relationship”…In all three cases, the women…relocated from other states, at Ablow’s request, to be closer to his Newburyport [Massachusetts] office where he…treat[ed them] for depression…[with] Ketamine…in conjunction with talk therapy…

Ablow, who was a consultant for Fox News for years, has been mentioned in this blog before.

To Molest and Rape

When a cop rapes kids, there’s usually at least some chance of a conviction: “…[cops from] the Cascade County [Montana] Sheriff’s Office and agents from Homeland Security [quietly] arrested [rapist pig] Virgil Wolfe on 80 counts of sexual abuse of children…

False Target (#873)

Using “gayness tests” to deport refugees spreads to the UK:

A [67-year-old] man faces deportation to Malaysia, where homosexuality is illegal, after the Home Office [claimed] it did not believe he was gay – suggesting it was suspicious that [a 67-year-old migrant] did not have a boyfriend.  Yew Fook Sam…will be persecuted and imprisoned for his sexuality if he is deported to Malaysia, where homosexual acts are punishable under federal and sometimes sharia law.  He fears he will be forced to undergo gay conversion therapy should he be returned to the country, where the opposition leader last year blamed gay people for causing earthquakes and a lesbian couple were caned publicly for having sex in a car…

Dangerous Speech (#880)

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

…federal prosecutors are arguing that they’re entitled to all money made by Backpage, even proceeds derived from unquestionably legal ads, and that decades worth of earnings made by former Backpage leaders before the website even existed are also tainted…their lawyers [state in a recent filng that] “Virtually all of the Defendants’ assets have been seized, virtually all of the money in their attorneys’ trust accounts designated to fund the defense has been been seized or is effectively frozen,” and defense lawyers “may expose themselves to criminal liability if they use those funds to pay fees” from the case…the Cato Institute, DKT Liberty Project, and the Reason Foundation…filed a brief in support of the defendants on this matter…”The government has shut down a major internet site and confiscated millions of dollars of assets and proceeds not only from that site, but also from defendants’ numerous other publishing venues—ventures completely unrelated to the alleged criminality of the site and indisputably protected by the First Amendment…The history of government efforts to suppress and censor disfavored speakers, particularly speakers who offer sexually explicit materials, is long [and has]…involved tactics…designed to bankrupt speakers by forcing them to litigate on multiple fronts to prove that their speech is protected by the First Amendment”…

Dutch Threat (#885) 

Dutch authorities are now pretending their attempts to Disnify De Wallen are really intended to help sex workers:

…the De Wallen neighborhood…could soon face [forcible gentific]ation as local government officials strive to implement a new policy, set to increase the number of sex-work permits beyond De Wallen in an attempt to p[ush] sex workers…elsewhere…the Netherlands has been increasingly [aggressive] in [selling its Disnification efforts as] combating human trafficking…the…government…shut down many coffee shops and 112 sex-worker windows…pushing many sex workers towards illegal work or abroad to Brussels…[due to increased harassment] it’s often no longer in the interest of many independent workers to be registered under Amsterdam’s Municipal Ordinance…because sex workers [are rightly concerned] that their…work might be [criminalized or they might be branded “victims” against their will]…sex workers are increasingly demanding…the ability to book clients online and work [legally]  from home…

Traffic in Nonsense (#896)

The “sex trafficking” propaganda from these fetishists is some of the most blatantly derived from sexual fantasy in the entire rescue industry:

A national group is trying to get people not to…[listen to] sex workers, but to [instead label] them as…victims of human trafficking [no matter what they say about their own lives].  The group Truckers Against Trafficking [indoctrinates] truck drivers–and others–[in] how to [project their fantasies about] modern day slavery [on other people without their consent]…Ohio has been [trying to convince people that it’s] a hotbed of human trafficking in recent years…

A Broker in Pillage (#896)

SCOTUS demolishes a major pillar of government extortion schemes:

States are bound by the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against excessive fines and fees when they seek to [steal]…assets from individuals charged or convicted of a crime, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously…It’s a decision that hands a major victory to critics of civil asset forfeiture, and it opens another avenue to legal challenges against that widely…abused…practice by which states and local governments can seize carscashhomes, and pretty much anything else…[under the pretense that it was] used to commit a crime…Timbs v. Indiana, involved the seizure of a $42,000 Land Rover…from Tyson Timbs…During oral arguments in November, Indiana’s solicitor general got boxed into a corner by Justice Stephen Breyer, who managed to twist the government’s lawyer into arguing that Indiana should be allowed to seize vehicles for as small an offense as driving 5 mph over the speed limit, which literally elicited laughter in the courtroom…

The Crumbling Dam (#901)

The law is the law and if more people die, tough shit“:

…The U.S. Department of Justice took aim…at the movement to open a supervised consumption site in Philadelphia…[with] a civil lawsuit…against Philadelphia-based nonprofit Safehouse, asking the the U.S. District Court to rule that safe injection sites violate federal law…Ronda B. Goldfein, vice president of Safehouse…said the federal government is using the “crack house” statute in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986…[which] was [supposedly] intended to prevent businesses from profiting off drug consumption…

The Widening Gyre (#911)

I’m really happy to see Uber hoist on its own “sex trafficking” petard:

On February 19 2019, a woman shared a [fantasy of the type common in moral panics]…that a phony Uber driver in Tampa had nearly successfully abducted her for the purposes of sex trafficking…Within 48 hours, the post had been shared more than half a million times…[because of] its similarities to long-circulating urban legends involving nearly identical scenarios at locations [such] as Target, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart…police were able to verify that she did indeed get in the wrong car, but [pretended] they were perplexed as to how Hurley concluded that the mix-up was due to “sex trafficking” [despite the fact that they have themselves been spreading scare stories about “sex trafficking” for a decade now]…the car entered by Hurley was in fact a legitimate Uber driver, not an Uber impersonator.  The [hysteric] called for an Uber at the airport and appeared to have entered one of the several other Ubers not there for her…[her claim that] she “later found out” that the Uber driver was “a sex traffic worker”…[even though] police said [no]thing like that at all [is typical of the way “sex trafficking” propaganda tales are boosted by false claims of official verification]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#913) 

The fascists don’t want their surveillance powers limited by mere civil rights:

Microsoft is pushing back on a bill sponsored by a…group of Washington state [politicians] that would ban local and state governments from using facial recognition until certain conditions are met…Microsoft has endorsed a [much weaker]…bill…[with largely cosmetic] facial-recognition rules…Shankar Narayan, director of the technology and liberty project of the ACLU’s Washington chapter, says requiring public notice of face recognition won’t check its use, and he warns that authorities [will] use the “emergency” exception as a loophole. “Microsoft’s bill has us heading to a world where face surveillance is ubiquitous and the norm,” Narayan says…

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The first thing that [repressive regimes] try to do is control the communications network.  –  Margaret Atwood

As veteran journalist A.J. Liebling once observed, “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”  So when media conglomerates started buying up all the presses in the 1980s, censorious politicians were probably very happy: when 90% of the media in a country is owned by only five mega-corporations who are all part of the fascist establishment, it’s very easy to control the message.  No wonder they were so disappointed when the internet derailed that concentration process by making literally anybody with time and a high-school level of technical savvy into a publisher.  By 1996 perceptive control freaks were already trying to strangle the infant internet in its cradle via the Communications Decency Act, only to be thwarted when a few politicians with a particle of actual decency managed to smuggle Section 230 into what was intended to be a massive censorship law, and courts struck down all of its censorship provisions within a year.  Naturally, the Puritans never abandoned their sick dream of censoring the internet, and in just a few years they had created “sex trafficking” hysteria, a resurrection of the moribund Satanic Panic using parts recycled from the “white slavery” hysteria of a century before; the synthetic moral panic caught on, and less than 20 years later the busybodies and thought-controllers had what they wanted:  a means of bringing the most powerful tool for the dissemination of information ever created completely under government control.  Where bogeyman tales of devil worshipers and “terrorists” had failed, kinky fantasies of millions of 13-year-old “sex slaves” chained to radiators and raped by literally every single adult male in the US finally succeeded:  the useful idiots gave politicians the power to “protect” them from nonexistent bogeymen by destroying the laws which restrained government censorship, and handing control of the internet to cops, politicians and a few powerful corporate members of the fascist oligarchy.

Every totalitarian movement needs a bogeyman, and since the few escort service owners and small-time pimps the inquisitors were able to lock in cages were insufficient to sustain the required level of mindless hysteria, Backpage was chosen for that role after Craigslist took a dive.  Unfortunately for legions of busybodies, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin were veteran newsmen of the old-time free speech variety, who insisted on defeating every single attempt to destroy them.  So naturally, the government simply changed the rules (egregiously violating the Constitution in the process) to make it impossible for them to win again, and hedged its bets by literally stealing everything they owned, setting a trial so far in the future anything that was missed in the raid would be used up, and even trying to deprive their victims of legal counsel.  But they’re not going down silently; Frontpage Confidential, the inheritor of Lacey & Larkin’s journalistic legacy, has been covering their fight, and last week Tom Finkel (formerly one of the duo’s top editors) delivered this broadside; he tells me they will soon publish an essay from Lacey himself, which I’ve been privileged to see a preliminary draft of.  Stay tuned, because no matter how this goes we need to remember that some things are worth fighting for, even against implacable and obscenely-powerful enemies who will do anything to win.

 

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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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Elizabeth Nolan Brown is the queen of whore allies.  For the past several years she has relentlessly pursued every item she can find about sex work and the “sex trafficking” hysteria that authoritarians are using to persecute us, drilling down to the truth and splattering the propaganda that most mainstream journalists eagerly swallow whole while making “nom nom nom” noises.  But every so often she writes something huge, like her exposé of the facts behind the 2016 takedown of Seattle’s The Review Board.  And this week she released another such piece:  a thorough look at what I recently called “Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin[‘s]…long, strange trip from student antiwar activists to props in the government’s manufactured ‘sex trafficking’ hysteria.”  The article is what this piece in Politico could’ve been had the reporter been more interested in getting at the truth than in demonstrating how much of the dick of power he could get down without gagging.  It deserves to be read in its entirety, but here are a few excerpts to tease it:

…Lacey and Larkin, ages 69 and 70, respectively, are confined by court order to Maricopa County and stuck wearing homing devices under their pant legs to ensure it…Their confinement will last through 2020, when their trial is scheduled.  Their bank accounts have already been seized. “Everything has been brutal,” says Larkin.  Both men argue that the case against them is politically motivated and that current stalling on the state’s part is designed to force a plea.  But “they’re going to have to win this in court,” says Lacey, “and we don’t think they can.  And our lawyers don’t think they can.”  Officially, Larkin, Lacey, and several of their former colleagues were accused of money laundering, conspiracy, and violating the Travel Act, which says local crimes become federal business when they cross state lines.  But in the court of public opinion, you’ll hear that they were complicit in facilitating underage prostitution as the founders and former owners of the now-shuttered classified ad website Backpage…

…Neither Lacey nor Larkin is accused of directly participating in any sexual exchange or of having knowledge about any particular crimes advanced through the platform.  In fact, law enforcement sources have over the years consistently applauded Backpage for its help making cases against predators and locating runaway teens.  The story of their arrest, then, is better understood as one of near-religious fervor, government greed, and political retribution, in which an escalating panic over commercial sex coincided with a booming online publishing platform.  “We didn’t go looking for this fight,” says Lacey, whose knuckles are tattooed with the words HOLD FAST.  “But we didn’t back away from it either”…

…Neither Lacey nor Larkin expected serious trouble.  New Times “had personals from day one,” says Larkin. “We’ve had adult advertising from 1970.”  Initially, the relationship between Backpage and law enforcement agents was cordial and cooperative.  Ads that directly indicated underage or forced prostitution were blocked and reported to NCMEC and law enforcement, as were posts deemed suspicious or likely to contain images of someone under 21, the legal threshold for missing children.  Backpage lawyers gave tutorials at national police conferences on how to work with Backpage records staff for investigative purposes, and management met with NCMEC monthly.  CEO Carl Ferrer also testified in sexual exploitation cases, and Backpage staff were described by authorities as quick and cooperative in responding to records subpoenas—around 100 per month by 2011.  Statements from a wide array of officials highlight the site’s value to investigators in solving cases, often noting how much more helpful it was than other web forums…

…”This is the biggest speech battle in America right now,” Lacey adds.  “The First Amendment isn’t about protecting the rights of the McLaughlin Group to speak their mind on television.  This is specifically what the fuck it’s about.  Unpopular speech.  Dangerous speech.  Speech that threatens the norm.  Not only do we have that right, our readers have that right.  The [Backpage] posters have that right…We spent 40 years doing journalism, groundbreaking journalism, and they want to take all that away,” he says—because “they don’t like who exercised their constitutional rights to use our advertising platform”…

What are you waiting for?  Go read it already!

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