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Posts Tagged ‘Down Under’

Our government has this idea of “we have to find this common enemy to fight”…right now, sex workers [are] that villain.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Good Fantasy, Bad Reality

But Georgia’s only too happy to lock up adult sex workers:

…Michael Wysolovski coerced a North Carolina teenager into sex and held her against her will for more than a year inside a dog cage in his Georgia home…he pleaded guilty to first-degree cruelty to children and interstate interference with custody…[and] won’t spend any time in prison…the terms of his plea deal gave him credit for the time he spent behind bars awaiting bail. He will spend the remaining nine years on probation and must register as a sex offender…the girl [was discovered] in a state of malnutrition with ringworm and back pain caused by being caged for so long…she reached out to a…person on [an online] forum, who in turn informed the FBI…When they first met, the girl told Wysolovski she was unhappy at home, so he convinced her to come live with him when she turned 16…[they] agreed to a “consensual non-consensual” sexual relationship…[but Wysolovski eventually disregarded her] boundaries and safe words…because…the relationship…resided in a gray area of consent…a trial by jury might not have yielded a guilty verdict on the rape charge…[so] the victim’s family didn’t want the case to go to trial because they didn’t want her to have her story picked apart on the stand.

Down Under

Prohibitionists keep insisting that decriminalization doesn’t work:

The Sex Worker Advisory Group, or SWAG, is a unique collaboration between the New Zealand Police, the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective (NZPC), and groups like Rape Crisis to help sex workers better access support services after sexual assault…[though] sexual assault isn’t common in the industry…there is still stigma around sex work in New Zealand.  When many people’s attitude is…“Aren’t you getting sexually assaulted in a daily basis?”, finding non-judgmental support can be incredibly difficult…Both the Prostitution Reform Act and SWAG offer a new paradigm for police-sex worker relations that stands in stark contrast to the hostile relationship seen in the rest of the world.  In the UK, “Police forces are failing sex workers who come to them as victims of crime”. In the United States, sex workers are often the victims of sexual assault by the police.  And in Norway…the police have evicted and deported workers who have reported rape to them.  These patterns repeat themselves in other countries where the sex industry remains fully or partially criminal…

Rooted in Racism

Mistreatment of sex workers is deeply rooted in racism all over the world:

Our conversations about sex work in Australia are deeply racialised, with roots in a number of anti-Asian tropes…cultural stereotypes of Asian women as “passive” has primed white Australia to swallow the portrayal of Asian sex workers as always already exploited.  This generates a default suspicion that has been used to justify intense over-policing of Asian migrant sex workers and their lack of access to safe and legal long-term labour migration pathways, all under the banner of “anti-trafficking”.  It’s also contributed to the construction of the popular image into which a collective xenophobic contempt for for sex work and sex workers is currently distilled: “illegal Asian brothels”.  This image normalises and perpetuates state violence against migrant sex workers…accompanied by grotesque, sensational media reporting, and the resulting deportation of migrant sex workers on minor breaches…

Above the Law

Obviously this fireman has been hanging around too many cops:

A fire captain in Arizona accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl while “extremely intoxicated” claims he mistook the girl’s genitals for the mouth of an adul…Michael William Palmatier…[also blamed his behavior on] a prescription muscle relaxer…Palmatier…[claims to] recall…going into a bedroom during the party…and starting to [perform oral sex on]…the victim…a…colleague then told Palmatier that the victim was 8 years old, prompting him to repeatedly curse before crying and apologizing…but insisted that he thought he was kissing an adult’s mouth rather than the girl’s genitals…

Train Wreck (#544)

The “Abuja Environmental Protection Board” is the Orwellian name of a Nigerian vice gang empowered to do basically anything it likes to terrorize sex workers:

…Activists ha[ve] called on the [government]…to desist from the persistent public humiliation, assault, sexual harassment of women in Abuja in the name of [harassing]…sex workers in the city or face legal action…a statement signed by 36 civil society groups…condemned the recent raids and arrest of over 100 women at a night club in Abuja…on two different occasions within one week – April 17 and 26.  The raids were carried out by…the Joint Task [Gang], which [includes]…the…Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB)…many of the arrested women “were severally assaulted and sexually harassed, with some raped, leaving injuries in the vaginas of some of them…many were psychologically traumatised by the experience…[the raids] targeted and violated young women in the club…No attempts were made to question the club proprietors or arrest the male guests…[but] several female guests in or around the nightclub were also arrested and harassed…young women were brutally dragged out by male officers who beat them, and some women were stripped naked”…

Gingerbread House (#693)

It’s satisfying when the mask of concern for “trafficking victims” slips:

…the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland is seeking to open a [jail] for teenage…sex…[workers]…but the…plan…is facing opposition on multiple fronts.  Claire’s House, named after [some politician’s] mother…plans to [lock] up…12 teenage sex [worker]…at a [time]…advocates…say the church’s opposition to contraception and abortion could harm [their] victims.  Meanwhile, neighbors of the [jail] worry that traffickers will bring crime, drugs and guns to their community…

Disaster (#879)

Good news about the FOSTA challenge:

…The important thing to remember about this appeal is that the question before the appeals court isn’t really about the constitutionality of FOSTA itself.  What’s being appealed is the case having been dismissed for lack of standing by the plaintiffs.  The district court never directly ruled on the constitutionality of the law; it only ruled that these plaintiffs had no right to complain about it…the…court [claimed] these plaintiffs weren’t being hurt, or likely to be hurt, by FOSTA, and so it dismissed their case…All the DOJ…has to do to defend FOSTA is say…”These people…will not be hurt by FOSTA, so keep this case dismissed”…but that’s exactly what the amicus brief by the twenty-one state attorney generals does not do…their brief instead reads as a bright flashing neon sign warning the court that there is plenty of reason for them to be worried.  Because…[it] reads as a paean to everything FOSTA is going to let the states do, including to people just like the plaintiffs…

A Broker in Pillage (#904)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

The Institute for Justice filed a class-action lawsuit in Illinois state court alleging that Chicago’s impound program violates residents’ guarantee of due process, as well as protections against excessive fines and unreasonable seizures, under both the Illinois and U.S. constitutions…A Reason investigation published last year described how Chicago’s punitive impound program soaks people in fines and fees and deprives them indefinitely of their transportation, whether or not they actually committed an offense, in an effort to reduce its massive annual budget deficits.  It also operates independently from the state’s courts, meaning that even in cases where a defendant beats a criminal charge and/or a civil asset forfeiture case, they can still be found liable for thousands of dollars in fines and storage fees, and have their cars held until they pay or relinquish them to the city…

Disaster (#922)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Verizon is seeking a buyer for Tumblr, the blogging platform it [intentionally destroyed by ill-considered censorship] in 201[8]…Pornhub VP Corey Price claimed…that his company is “extremely interested” in buying Tumblr and…“restoring it to its former glory with NSFW content”…Price is referring to…Tumblr[‘s deeply-stupid]…step of banning porn on its platformresult[ing] in harsh criticism…and a steep decline in web traffic…Pornhub [has] sought to attract those users that Tumblr drove away…

The Course of a Disease (#925)

How do you think they “stopped” these guys?  By spying on “known prostitutes” and harassing anyone who visited them, just like in Sweden:

Gardaí said that it carried out [harassment] operations in DMR North, DMR East, DMR South Central, Wexford, Louth and Kildare.  A total of 36 individuals were stopped and [interrogated after being seen visiting known sex workers]…A number of files are now being prepared for forwarding to the Director of Public Prosecutions.  The DPP will then decide if any criminal proceedings should be initiated.  Gardaí said that the operation reinforces their “commitment to target [sex workers and harass them to death]”…

Torture Chamber (#928) 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

On March 25, 2019, Christopher Caldwell…[was made] nearly immobile, shackled to a bucket at Limestone [Cage Stack] in Alabama.  His pant legs were taped up, and his belly, feet and hands were shackled.  Caldwell’s handcuffs were shackled to his belly, preventing him from moving his hands above his waist.  Caldwell had just been transferred…from [another prison]…and had already undergone extensive [initiation tortures]:  several body cavity searches, metal detectors and drug dogs…[then screws locked] him in a [cage], shackled and taped him…[and] told [him that] his restraints would not be removed until he “shat six times” in the bucket…he…was bound to the bucket in a [cage] without running water for five days.  His pleas for help were either ignored by guards, or met with mace threats.  Another confined individual subjected to the “shitting in a bucket” [torture], Daniel Bolden…said that his memories of eating like a dog (due to constrained hands) are etched into his mind.  Unable to shower, he was forced to lie near and in his own feces and urine…a mother whose son is currently confined at [the same prison]…reported…that she’s been extorted by [screws who]…“stabbed my son…then…call[ed me and]…said things would get worse for him if I didn’t send money”…

Broken Record (#932)

You mean they just made it up?  Say it ain’t so!

[For the last decade, pigs, spooks and politicians] have promoted the [myth] that a rise in sex trafficking rates is correlated with large sporting events.  [Despite repeated debunking] this narrative [is intentionally spread by prohibitionists]…every year around the Super Bowl…Yet [people who actually can do math and understand the difference between their anuses and holes in the ground]…say that there is…[absolutely no] evidence to support the idea that events like the Super Bowl or the Kentucky Derby are correlated with a rise in sex trafficking rates…even…Polaris…the there’s…no…data to suggest [such] spikes…Such [propaganda campaigns]…put sex workers at increased risk of arrest during anti-sex [worker pogroms justified by these myths about]…large sporting events, says Kristen DiAngelo…of SWOP Sacramento…

Loose Cannons

A judge slaps down pigs & prosecutors for a change:

Florida police failed to exhaust [legal] options and to protect the privacy of non-suspects when secretly recording surveillance video inside Martin County massage parlors.  That’s the verdict of Florida Judge Kathleen Roberts…”at no time was any effort made to stop the monitoring or recording at any point to protect the innocent person who happened to enter an area covered by a camera”…Kraft and other men charged with solicitation have been challenging the use of “sneak and peak” warrants…Workers at these businesses are also suing over the surveillance, as are customers of the spas who simply received regular massage services…State prosecutors [predictably] intend to appeal the ruling…

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These people watch their neighbors through the window and then complain about what they see?  –  Sem Meier

Public Service Announcement 

When will politicians learn that in the Puritanical States of America, pictures are considered worse than actual sex?

Cross Coburn, who served as an openly gay councilman in a small Texas city…was ousted in a recall election…nine months after he was told that City Hall had received an anonymous package of nude photos that Mr. Coburn had sent in private messages on a dating app.  Those photos were later sent to the local news media, after which supporters of a petition to remove him questioned whether he fit the “moral standards” of the city…

Picket-fence gays who threw sex workers and other LGBT “undesirables” under the bus to show bigots they were “just like them” have no business complaining when the bigots take them at their word.

South of the Border

Under all the weird feminist/MRA claptrap in this dumpsterrific article, its main coherent point is the “No shit, Sherlock” observation that prohibition results in border businesses which provide the prohibited product or service:

For more than a century, the US–Mexico border has been associated with the search for cheap, easy vice by Americans…by the mid–20th century, communities from Nuevo Laredo to Tijuana had become hubs for sex tourism, drawing tens of thousands of men across the border into specially designated neighborhoods like Zona Norte in Tijuana…The sex industry in Tijuana is a multimillion-dollar enterprise that employs thousands [an is]…a major driver of the city’s economy…

The Truth About “The Truth About…” 

Another of those nonexistent false assault accusations:

Cristopher “CJ” Precopia very nearly spent the rest of his life in prison after being accused of assault by his ex-girlfriend.  The woman, who despite obviously reporting a false crime has still not been named or charged, claimed Precopia broke into her house and attacked her with a box cutter, slashing an “X” into her chest…The 21-year-old Williamson County, TX, man [said]…he was confused when he was arrested on September 22, 2017…[because] he couldn’t remember when he last spoke to the woman, whom he had dated years earlier in high school…His parents paid his $150,000 bond plus thousands more in legal fees to clear his name.  The accuser said the attack happened on September 20, 2017 around 7:20 p.m., but Precopia’s mother, Erin, knew her son was…with his [her that night] at a…hotel…about 65 miles away from where the alleged attack happened…She had taken a selfie with her son that night and posted it to Facebook.  The photo was time-stamped and geo-located, proving Precopia was nowhere near the woman the night of the alleged attack…It [still] took nine months for the charges against Precopia to be dropped.  His accuser [later] told police she made the accusation because the two had a difficult relationship years ago in high school…

Finding What Isn’t There (#778)

Because the numbers simply don’t support the myth, prohibitionists now claim they don’t need proof:

[Because] the FBI…report…on the number of human trafficking cases in the U.S. [doesn’t support the hysteria, a prohibitionist claims] the crime continues to be vastly under-reported…[fetishist] Amy Farrell of Northeastern University…[imagines] thousands…of cases…compared with the…official count of about 600 [accusations]…simpl[e] prostitution [cases make up the vast majority of the]…more than 36,000 arrests in “prostitution and commercial vice” cases.  When federal authorities [are forced to prove these cases actually constitute genuine]…human trafficking, the numbers aren’t very high…

Down Under (#876)

Swedish model regimes would’ve targeted the victim for surveillance:

A sex worker outed online by an angry wife and labelled a “diseased town bicycle” says she has not spoken to her daughter in two-and-a-half years since being exposed.  Margaret Herewini-Te Huna [outed]…Danna Burton as a sex worker, after finding out her [estranged] husband had been seeing her…Burton cried, took shaky breaths, and had to pause several times as she described how the offending had ruined her relationship with her family…She has…not spoken to…her daughters since April 2016, except via email. “[One of them] is under the false belief that I’m in trouble and in need of help and rehabilitation”…Judge Peter Hobbs…sentenced [Herewini-Te Huna] to 150 hours of community work and ordered an emotional harm reparation payment of $500…

Uncommon Sense (#877)

How countries with healthy ideas about sex react to moral panic:

Several residents who live in [a] brothel’s vicinity recently wrote a letter to the city officials [of Arbon, Switzerland], c…lai[m]ing…sights and sounds emanat[e] from the facility, and asking authorities to shut it down…But municipal officials responded that the brothel will be allowed to operate because of the valuable service it provides.  “This establishment has a right to exist, as it fulfills the social need of the population,” authorities wrote in a letter to the complainants.  They added that the disturbances have a “neighborly character” and are accidental rather than intentional…

The Widening Gyre (#879)

It’s lovely to see cops with egg all over their faces for imagining ordinary things as “sex trafficking”:

The city of Brighton, England, went into a panic…when a [“sex trafficking” fetishist imagined] a…child abduction at the shopping center [after seeing]…a man squatting down to talk to a little girl in a pink coat…”Police had scrambled helicopters, searched cars…and carried out door-to-door enquiries…CCTV images of a man leading a child by the hand in the street was later on released by Sussex Police…some seven hours after the alert was first raised…A man contacted them…as a result of news and social media coverage to say that the image…was of him and his three-year-old daughter…

Disaster (#881) 

Fascism in action:

…I can’t think of a better way to put it than Gizmodo does:  “Facebook has been exposed as utter garbage yet again.”  A new investigation from The New York Times reveals how the company responded to controversies over Russian influence and user-data privacy with “an aggressive lobbying campaign” against rivals and critics…Facebook hired Definers Public Affairs to spread George Soros conspiracy theories, tarnish protesters’ credibility, and defame critics as anti-Semitic….[it] chose to support FOSTA (and its Senate counterpart, SESTA)…as a political tactic to tar opponents and cozy up to Congressional critics…And so Facebook stood athwart “Big Tech” and with the right side of the establishment power-grubbing consensus, as Twitter, Google, and other major tech companies and digital platforms opposed the bills for the sham and harbinger of internet destruction  that they were…

To Molest and Rape (#882) 

Prince George’s County, Maryland is known for both rapist cops and anti-whore tyranny:

Multiple police officers from Prince George’s County and Washington, DC – are under investigation for…[raping] sex workers.  A transgender sex worker…said that the officers are using their authority to coerce the sex workers…[under threat of] arrest…[the rapists] have not been publicly identified, nor have they been formally charged with any crimes, but the departments involved have confirmed the officers are under investigation…[one] video shows a…[cop] in a marked Prince George’s county police cruiser.  Other images show a man wearing only a DC police polo shirt and naked below the waist.  Multiple sources have [identified]…the man [as] a DC police lieutenant…

Besides the rapist in the subtitle-linked item, there’s also this one.  And the county’s high-profile stings, asinine propaganda and efforts to make sex workers homeless have made it notorious in the past few years.

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

They Still Don’t Get It

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

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

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

Dysphemisms Galore 

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

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

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

Traffic Circle

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

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

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

All-Purpose Excuse

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

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

Down Under (#524)

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

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

Uncommon Sense (#844)

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

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

Disaster (#857)

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

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

Across the Pond (#862)

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

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

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

Dirty Amateurs (#868) 

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

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

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#868) 

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

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

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Bindel is concerned with men treating women’s bodies like a workplace, when it is the state that treats us like property.  –  Ella Whelan

First They Came for the Hookers…

Stripping is no different from prostitution; say nothing when they attack the latter, expect them to come for the former:

…Tel Aviv…strippers…protest[ed] a new bill…that would put stripping on a legal par with prostitution…it would ban the possession of a location where prostitution or stripping occurs, as well as ban advertising and lobbying for stripping, which are not currently prohibited…

Watershed

Despite some dysphemisms, one of the best feminist arguments for decriminalization I’ve ever seen:

…Decriminalisation isn’t about what moral stance we take on prostitution itself.  It is about women being free to make choices about their own bodies.  It is the same as the argument for abortion rights…Some argue that it is a myth that women choose to go into prostitution, that women are unable to make an independent decision to become a prostitute because they are oppressed by men.  Sex workers are portrayed as victims of oppression, childlike in their need for protection…The criminalisation of sex work suggests women can’t be allowed to have control over their own bodies, that we can’t be trusted with that freedom – because all we’ll do is allow men to abuse us…Illiberal abortion laws prevent us from making our own choices about when to have children.  Consent classes and sex education seek to train us how and when to have sex.  Public-health policy demands that we live a certain way while pregnant. In every aspect of women’s lives, the state tries to act as our protector, withholding our freedom.  The decriminalisation of sex work is about insisting that a woman’s body should not be controlled by the state or the courts…

Torture Chamber

What our government calls a “correctional facility”:

In 2013, David O’Quin, a 39-year-old schizophrenic artist, was tied to a chair at the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison for the better part of two weeks.  His restraints contributed to the formation of blood clots in his legs, which dislodged and stuck in his lungs, killing him.  The O’Quin family has already settled with the Sheriff’s Office, which operates the lockup.  The city-parish owns the facility, and…agreed last week to settle with the O’Quins for another $50,000…Metro Council members say they’re aware of problems at the jail but made no commitment at the April 25 meeting to a path forward…”the biggest blight in Baton Rouge is the East Baton Rouge prison,” said Gary Meise of Together Baton Rouge…

Down Under (#421) 

This is the kind of outcome I’d expect in Australia or New Zealand, not prohibitionist New York:

A former stripper received…a six-figure inheritance from a former client and friend…Veronica Beckham…met the former HBO executive, Micky Liu, back in July 2014 at the Atlantic City Scores strip club…Beckham…described the relationship they had as an “everlasting friendship” in court documents…Liu, who suffered from diabetes and heart disease related to [obesity]…died less than a year later…Despite knowing each other for such a brief time, Liu obviously felt the same way about their relationship – as he named Beckham the beneficiary of his retirement accounts and a life-insurance policy worth a combined $223,000…Micky’s sister, May Liu, challenged the inheritance…suggesting that “Beckham, as a professional exotic dancer, was adept at applying and using coercion and manipulation upon men…[she] preyed upon Micky Liu’s vulnerability by exerting influence over him in the form of moral coercion”…the courts ruled that Beckham was entitled to the money – and only former girlfriends of Micky could sue for the funds…

Now now, Ms. Liu; don’t you now we’re all “victims” now, not seductresses?

Election Day (#689) 

Marijuana prohibition will soon be a thing of the past:

For the last year and a half, Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, has been blocking implementation of a 2016 ballot initiative that legalized marijuana for recreational use…[but] state legislators [finally] showed their patience with LaPage’s objections had been exhausted,  overriding his veto of a bill aimed at creating a system to license and regulate commercial production and distribution of cannabis.  The vote was 109 to 39 in the House and 28 to 6 in the Senate, well in excess of the two-thirds required…

Perquisites (#708) 

Attractive women have been used to market sports for generations, but before the currently-fashionable anti-whore crusade those women were compensated instead of being, well, “trafficked”:

When the Washington Redskins took their cheerleading squad to Costa Rica in 2013 for a calendar photo shoot, the first cause for concern among the cheerleaders came when Redskins officials collected their passports upon arrival at the resort, depriving them of their official identification…some of the cheerleaders said they were required to be topless, though the photographs used for the calendar would not show nudity.  Others wore nothing but body paint…A contingent of sponsors and FedExField suite holders — all men — were granted up-close access to the photo shoots.  One evening, at the end of a 14-hour day that included posing and dance practices, the squad’s director told nine of the 36 cheerleaders that their work was not done…Some of the male sponsors had picked them to be personal escorts at a nightclub…Their participation did not involve sex, the cheerleaders said, but they felt as if the arrangement amounted to “pimping us out”…

A Mound of Filth (#751)

MGM join other anti-human rights groups in supporting “Cuckoo Clock” McCain:

As part of its contribution to the campaign to fight [consensual adult sexuality]…MGM Resorts International…awarded $250,000 to the McCain Institute for International Leadership at [prohibitionist shithole] Arizona State University.  The [anti-sex] think tank [funds bogus “studies” to support censorship and pogroms]…MGM Resorts is also an active participant in the Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force, a collaboration led by…Las Vegas [cops]…to coordinate anti-[sex worker] strategies…and [spread propaganda] about [sex work]…

Disaster

Capricious Lusts (#836)

Why do people have such trouble with this?  Sex workers can help a decent man cope with frustrations that can erode his judgment; we can’t defuse angry, violent men who believe they’re “owed” sex, because they think that they “shouldn’t have to” pay for it:

…sex worker Emma Evans…said, “[an incel] is not going to be helped by seeing a sex worker, because it’s not about lack of sex.  It’s about…entitlement…and…rage”…A recent post on an incel forum, for example, explains that the reason “incels aren’t getting laid is because women with a sexual market value equal to theirs” will artificially “inflate” their value by wearing makeup and revealing clothing in order to “fuck with men above their league”…The…post…[fantasizes] women [should] be [forced by a totalitarian government]…to have sex with men of “equal” market value…[and] single mothers and those with more than nine sexual partners, “should be forced by the state to date and have sex with these incels”…they generally have a negative view of sex workers, according to Evans.  “They hate sex workers because we charge for sex, and of course that’s anathema to them”…Before going on a shooting spree in Isla Vista in 2014, Elliot Rodger touched on this idea in his 141-page-long manifesto titled “My Twisted Mind”.  Hiring a sex worker, Rodger posited, would “temporarily [feel] good for the moment, but afterward it makes one feel like a pathetic loser for having to hire a girl when other men get the experience for free”…

The saddest part about this, of course, is the delusion that some men get sex for “free”; wise men know that “free” sex is the most expensive kind.

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Why shouldn’t a man want sex?  Why shouldn’t a man want intimacy?…Why do we view that as being abusive or predatory?  –  Antonia Murphy

Mythbusters

Six years ago I mocked UK cops for demanding censorship of nude art based on Greek mythology, but now the galleries are doing it themselves:

Manchester Art Gallery has…remov[ed] John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs…from its walls.  Postcards of the painting will be removed from sale in the shop.  The painting was…replaced with a notice explaining that a temporary space had been left “to prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks”.  Members of the public have stuck Post-it notes around the notice giving their reaction…Clare Gannaway, the gallery’s curator of contemporary art, [gave her opinion even though the painting is Pre-Rapealite and not contemporary]…The removal itself is [censorship presented as] an artistic act and will feature in a solo show by the artist Sonia Boyce which opens in March…Gannaway [pretended] the removal was not about censorship [despite bloviating a lot of nonsense about “objectification” and the evil “male gaze”]…

Yes, this means that modern people are officially more prudish than Victorians. 

First They Came for the Hookers… (#349)

For those who still pretend government is different from organized crime:

A Harris County judge has ordered the closing of a Houston strip club after [cops raided it] more than 30 [times, alleging] crimes including prostitution…over the past four years.  Judge Fredericka Phillips granted a request from the city to have Fantasy Plaza, a club [which does not pay the required bribes to Houston police], closed…

That’s not just a snarky interposition of my own, by the way; click on the title link.  Houston actually has a program that allows strip clubs to openly pay off cops not to be raided, and Fantasy Plaza is one of the clubs suing the city in federal court to shut the scheme down. But yeah, I’m sure those 30 raids were for serious “crimes”.

Down Under (#410)

New Zealand is moving toward the day when disclaimers like this will no longer be necessary:

Antonia Murphy is…the madam of Whangarei’s The Bach, an enterprise she’s taking pains to describe as an ethical brothel.  “If you start by saying it’s a ­brothel, in my experience people immediately start relating it to violence and gangs and drugs,” Murphy says…This means treating her workers with respect – providing them with condoms, briefing them on their legal rights, paying them at least $150 an hour – and there’s free childcare on site.  “New Zealand seems way ahead of the curve in terms of decriminalisation and yet [because of stigma] much of the sex industry is still bogged down in sort of shady working practices…It’s still not socially accepted and there is still a lot of judgment”…

Whither Canada? (#439)

This challenge is only necessary because the Liberals lied about repealing the law:

Canada’s prostitution laws are being put to the legal test in a London, Ont. courtroom where two people are charged with advertising sexual services, profiting from the sex trade and producing a person to offer sexual services.  The first defence expert witness called in the case, academic Chris Atchison, testified that the new law, often referred to as Bill C-36, makes it less safe for people in the sex trade to do their jobs…Hamad Anwar and Tiffany Harvey…face more than two dozen [prohibition]-related charges each…[after] a bust made by London police at an escort service in November 2015…

Schadenfreude (#561) 

I wonder how much profit they made on survival sex workers’ backs with this scam?

Dozens of [survival sex workers were kick out of a shelter the day after the Super Bowl]…a long-term residential facility…called Breaking Free…typically require[s women to submit to indoctrination]…to stay there but for the 10 days leading to the Super Bowl, Breaking Free [staged a publicity stunt in which they provided] emergency shelter.  The NFL Super Bowl Host Committee, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Catholic Benedictine Sisters and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet, among other organizations, footed the bill to help Breaking Free buy beds, food and emergency provisions…”What a heartbreak to tell the women they can’t spend the night here” said Terry Forliti, Breaking Free’s executive director…”My fear is they fall back into the life, when we have tried so hard to offer an exit strategy”…

“Exit strategy” my high-priced arse.  Breaking Free is well known as a money-hungry profiteer group more concerned with milking the unfortunate than helping them; three years ago its own employees reported it to its funding agencies for “misuse of funds, property, and services and…staff misconduct”…

That Old Black Magic (#714)

The descent of “sex trafficking” hysteria into self-parody continues unabated:

The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) said it has engaged some local witchdoctors in Benin, Edo as ambassadors in fighting human trafficking in [Nigeria]…The Director General of NAPTIP, Ms Julie Okah-Donli…said investigations revealed that some local witch doctors were involved or used in the [migration] of persons to Europe.  “When we gathered these witchdoctors recently to [indoctrinate] them [with anti-migration propaganda European countries are paying us to disseminate], they were shocked”…

O, Canada! (#733)

Canadian prohibitionists are trying desperately to whip up “sex trafficking” hysteria there to US levels:

If you ask most Canadians, they’d say…this isn’t the kind of place where men and women entrap teenagers, then move them from city to city, buying and selling them as modern-day sex slaves…But Canada is exactly that kind of place….[prohibitionists fantasize] there are thousands of them…The average age at which exploitation begins is 13; the average age of rescue, if a girl is rescued at all, is 17…[prohibitionist] Shae Invidiata…[fantasizes] “One girl in Canada can make a pimp $300,000 a year”…[hysteria has] gotten to the point where, last February, the Edmonton Police Service changed the name of its Vice unit…to the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Unit [so they could cash in]…The youngest victim they’ve rescued so far was 13…

It’s rare that a propaganda piece is so idiotic that it contradicts itself within a couple of paragraphs; how can the average and youngest “victim” both be 13?

First They Came for the Hookers… (#752) 

Sorry, but I have no sympathy for someone who leaves a job inflicting violence consensually for one where she can inflict it non-consensually:

A New Jersey sheriff’s officer has lost her job because she previously appeared in bondage films as a dominatrix…Kristen Hyman…was [supposedly] terminated for lying about her prior work on her application, [but]…she would not have made it into the academy had she been honest about her past.  The sheriff’s office characterized Hyman’s activities, which took place roughly from 2010 through 2012, as conduct unbecoming for a public employee…

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#756)

This might be the first of these apps to actually consult sex workers:

A new app…is dubbing itself the Airbnb of sex work…“Gfendr”…developed in Montreal, has attracted 700 users since its launch [three] weeks ago…[it] allows sex workers to list their services and rate clients.  In turn, clients can search for sex workers based on their preferences and chat with their chosen service provider about location and price ahead of time.  Sex workers can flag difficult or dangerous clients, helping others avoid unsafe situations in the future.  Vancouver sex-worker advocacy group PACE said the founders of the app reached out to them and other groups across the country ahead of the launch and asked for feedback…Co-developer Melissa Desrochers says she and her partner have built the app without funding. Once there are more users, sex workers will be able to pay to promote their services in search results…[but since] current laws…say buying sex and helping advertise are illegal…the police might use the app to gather information on sex workers and clients…Gfendr only requires a phone number or email to register, and Desrocher assures that this and all other identifying information is encrypted by an outside company, so even she doesn’t have access to it…

Decentralization (#764)

Good grief, another titcoin?

Leah Callon-Butler wants to revolutionise the sex and adult industries using cryptocurrency.  Alongside her four co-founders she’s helping develop a new cryptocurrency called Intimate which will operate as a digital payment option for adult or sexual products, services or offerings…

Signs (#766) 

Yet another reason never to call the fucking cops:

When Jodi Gaylord answers…911 calls at the emergency dispatch center in Vancouver [Washington], details can raise red flags.  She asks herself, “Could this be a sex trafficking situation?”…Gaylord was just one dispatcher in four groups who…were [indoctrin]ated on the subject by [prohibitionists]…

IOW, that call you make to rat out your neighbor could end with a SWAT team smashing down your door and murdering your dog because some dumbass with no critical thinking skills imagines you “raised a red flag”.

Signs (#771)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

A bipartisan group of Minnesota lawmakers announced Monday, Jan. 29 they would introduce legislation during the coming 2018 session designed to help prevent sex trafficking in Minnesota through education…“There are people who are trained to manipulate you, to coerce you, to persuade you they’re your boyfriend…This is the curriculum we hope to have schools teach and will warn girls against”…

Cops and Robbers (#794)

These were first used in Seattle, but monkey-cop see, monkey-cop do.  Especially when both gangs of monkeys are on the same billionaire sociopath’s payroll:

Technology has opened a new door for the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and Sheriff Tom Dart says it’s not clear yet what they’ll do with it.  It’s software that can respond by text to people who are looking on-line to pay for sex…In a roughly 30-day period that just wrapped up, 2,500 people engaged with the bots.  Around 65 percent of them stayed with the text exchange until they agreed on a price.  Then, the would-be sex buyers got a…sort of a “scared straight” message meant to deter any future endeavors…

And judging by the amount of work I and my friends have had in Seattle since summer, no, they don’t deter business.  But I’m sure you’d already guessed that; cops don’t like to crow about surveillance tricks (such as Stingrays) that actually work.

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To make policy that truly benefits sex workers we must separate myths from facts.  –  Lynzi Armstrong

Down Under

Another good, basic article on the success of the New Zealand model:

Myths abound regarding New Zealand’s model, including unsubstantiated claims that the sex industry has expanded, with pimps emboldened in the wake of the new law, and that sex trafficking is rife…Decriminalisation in New Zealand differs from legalised regimes, such as that in Germany, since it focuses on empowering sex workers themselves, rather than the state, to have greater control over their work…[a government-mandated] study…by researchers from the University of Otago’s School of Medicine, highlighted many benefits: more than 60 per cent of the 772 sex workers who participated reported feeling more able to refuse to see certain clients, and 95 per cent said they felt they had rights after decriminalisation…[it] supports sex worker’s safety strategies, enabling street workers to take their time in initial conversations with clients…and…clients can provide information to police when sex workers are assaulted…there is neither evidence that trafficking into sex work is a problem in New Zealand, nor is there evidence that the size of the sex industry has increased…research suggests that decriminalisation has had little impact on the sex worker population at all, apart to provide it with protection…the academic evidence that has been gathered so far clearly supports the New Zealand decriminalisation model as an ideal starting point…

Saving Them From Themselves

No law caging people for consensual behavior is “well intended”:

Teens who text each other explicit images could be subject to 15 years in federal prison under a new bill that just passed the House of Representatives.  Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee…ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, has called the measure “deadly and counterproductive…While the bill is well intended, it is overbroad in scope…[and increases] the unfair and unjust mandatory minimum sentencing that contributes to…mass incarceration”…[bill sponsor] Mike Johnson [idiotically claims that]…the measure would [never] be used [by prosecutors] in ways he didn’t intend it to be used [and quoted the Bible to claim he’s acting as God’s agent]…

Smoke and Mirrors

Another of those cases whose reported details don’t add up:

A 19-year-old Toronto woman is facing human trafficking-related charges after allegedly coercing a 39-year-old woman to work in the sex trade.  Police say the older woman met the teen in the Hamilton area in 2016 and was allegedly recruited into working as a paid escort so she could make money to repay a debt she owed to the 19-year-old.  They allege the 19-year-old took photographs of the woman in various stages of undress, and posted advertisements on…backpage.com…

Train Wreck 

I’m fascinated by the bizarre & stilted language used in African news articles about sex workers:

The rusty, broken down coaches, disused rail wagons and the unkempt grass at the National Railway of Zimbabwe Harare locomotive yard have become a haven for concubines, street urchins [and] drug abusers…destitute…hooker goddesses from around Mbare…are…using the “sleepers” as their permanent place of residence…women dressed in skimpy outfits laugh hysterically and make obscene gestures, hoping to attract men passing by…Street urchins…claim than hookers…are invading their home, turning it into a “brothel”.  “Prostitutes are disturbing our peace here.  Sometimes we discover used condoms in our apartments,” complained one…The sex workers, however, accused the street kids of being naughty as they often disturb the former when they entertain their clients…Trymore Sanduri…said…“We have heard worrying cases of men being robbed and beaten up by these hookers”…[busybodies] urged…authorities to remove the locomotives and the police to restore order…

Hard Numbers (#321)

Another try at decriminalization in South Australia:

State Parliament could vote on decriminalising sex work within months after an Upper House committee recommended South Australia become the second state to do so…The seven-member committee received 87 written submissions and went on interstate brothel tours after it was formed in 2015…the majority of the committee agreed it should be passed with no amendments…

Naturally, authoritarians on the committee want violence inflected on people seeking consensual sex, and vomited out evil nonsense about “sending messages”.

Japanese Prostitution (#327)

Japan’s descent into American-style anti-whore rhetoric is highly distressing:

Fifty people were rescued from human traffickers in Japan in 2016, with Japanese nationals making up half of the victims, a government report [claimed]…13 were aged 17 or younger…Many of the Japanese victims were forced into prostitution through online dating sites.  Foreign nationals were largely forced to work as hostesses or prostitutes…

Signs

Ever notice that the supposed experiences of self-declared “survivors” are always years or decades in the past & thus very difficult to disprove?

A woman who [profits from] training [cops in “sex trafficking” dogma]…is now facing a new battle, because a federal grant is about to expire.  “Bruising, and abuse, and things of that nature — you don’t always get to see that”…said Shanna Parker…a survivor of human trafficking…The crime is hidden so well even [self-declared] experts [paradoxically] say they’ve missed signs before getting training…[one sign is] a young person…getting their hair and nails done…Parker…[did] not [ever] discuss [her supposed experiences] until almost 20 years after she [claims to have been] rescued…

Across the Pond (#653)

Though gullible reporters believe cop lies about “helping” sex workers, the truth is that this policy of harassment has dramatically (and predictably) decreased sex workers’ willingness to report crimes against them:

[In Hackney the] vice patrol…[is euphemized as the] safer neighbourhood team…[they stalk known sex workers] and pull over the van to [scare clients away], asking them to leave the area and handing leaflets with details of organisations that can help with addictions…[the cops pretend they’re trying to] build up a rapport to get information about…people who have attacked them [but in actuality they treat them like vermin to be removed from the area via]…dispersal orders…

Send In the Clowns 

“A psychiatric evaluation was done on the scene”, in other words by cops, who believe their little tin talismans magically grant them expertise in all fields of study:

…motorists in California…spotted a creepy clown standing along Highway 101, [carrying what appeared to be]…a bloody machete…deputies from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene with guns drawn to find…61-year-old Larry Allen Tovey holding out his thumb like a hitchhiker…He was then handcuffed, questioned and released.  “The guy wasn’t charged because we didn’t have a victim that was threatened by him with the machete,” the department wrote on Facebook, adding that the “blood” on the knife was just cotton with red dye.  Since a machete is technically a tool and not classified as a weapon, it’s not a crime to carry one in public ― unless it’s being used in a threatening manner…Although a psychiatric evaluation was done on the scene, Tovey did not meet the guidelines for commitment.  He also didn’t meet the requirements for arrest on a charge of disturbing the peace…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#710)

San Diego ramps up its anti-whore pogroms:

Thirteen sex buyers were arrested in a [sting]…conducted by more than 75 [filthy pigs] from various agencies across San Diego County.  “Operation Big Bad John” was spearheaded by the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF)…[Pigs] also [stole] more than 17 grams of methamphetamine and several ecstasy pills…

75 evil men playing soldier, down to the moronic and childish “operation” name, to destroy the lives of 13 peaceful men seeking consensual sex.  But hey, San Diego, I’m sure y’all think this was a wise use of funds, right?

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The police…should…sow trust among the community rather than alienate some…whose actions should not be considered a crime to begin with.  –  Udi Ofer

Saving Them From Themselves

Prosecutors have the magical ability to transform a “child” into an adult, but only for the purpose of wantonly destroying innocent lives:

Austin Yabandith, a 17-year-old from Superior, Wisconsin [was charged with sexual assault of a child, sexual exploitation, and possession of child pornography]…after [a school cop found nude] photos of Austin’s 15-year-old girlfriend on his cell phone—as well as a video of the couple having sex…the age of consent in Wisconsin is 18, which means Austin is…under-age, just like the girlfriend he is accused of exploiting.  But Wisconsin’s sex offender laws [allow]…17-year-olds [to] be charged as adults—even though the law considers them to be children and incapable of consenting to sex…In many U.S. jurisdictions, the law permits consensual relationships [between]  underage teens if the [elder] is no more than four years older than the [younger]…Wisconsin is one of a handful of states with no Romeo and Juliet exception…even though it’s perfectly normal for teens to form…relationships with other teens, fall in love, and [have] sex…

And how did the cop “discover” the photos?  By intimidating the boy into “allowing” him to search the phone.

Above the Law  rapist-politician-richard-keenan

He once said, “Dedicating my life to Jesus has changed my life.”

…Richard Keenan, who served as mayor of Hubbard [Ohio] in 2010 and 2011, was indicted [for] eight counts of rape and 12 counts of attempted rape and gross sexual imposition…Keenan pleaded not guilty…but prosecutors said he admitted to sexually assaulting the girl over a three-year period, beginning when she was 4 years old…Keenan confessed…to his wife, a pastor, a social worker and his brother- and sister-in-law…[after] the child told Keenan’s wife about the abuse and she confronted him…he blamed the child for initiating the sex acts and described her as a “willing participant”…

The Shape of the Spoon

The reason why people view sex work as an “unacceptable” risk for women, while simultaneously encouraging us to become cops, join the military, etc:

…Ashley Thomas…the lead author of a recently published study…note that legal norms needn’t follow inaccurate beliefs about risks.  “The fact that many people irrationally fear air travel does not result in air travel being criminalized…Parents are not arrested for bringing their children with them on airplanes.  In contrast, parents are arrested and prosecuted for allowing their children to wait in cars, play in parks, or walk through their neighborhoods without an adult”…The researchers…created a series of surveys asking participants to rate the danger to children left alone in…specific circumstances…The reasons for the parent’s absence were varied randomly…“A mother’s unintentional absence was seen as safer for the child than a mother’s intentional absence for any reason, and a mother’s work-related absence was seen as more dangerous than an unintentional absence, but less dangerous than if the mother left to pursue an illicit sexual affair,” they write.  The same was true for fathers, except that respondents rated leaving for work as posing no greater danger than leaving unintentionally.  Moral disapproval informed beliefs about risks…“People…think that leaving children alone is…immoral and therefore dangerous.  That is, people overestimate the actual danger to children who are left alone by their parents, in order to better support or justify their moral condemnation of parents who do so”…

Pyrrhic Victory

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

Under a new set of rules, the FBI would have the authority to secretly use malware to hack into thousands or hundreds of thousands of computers that belong to innocent third parties and even crime victims…The new plan…is known formally as amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the proposal would allow the government to hack a million computers or more with a single warrant.  If Congress doesn’t pass legislation blocking this proposal, the new rules go into effect on December 1…The government [pretends] it needs this power to investigate a network of devices infected with malware…what’s known as a “botnet”.  But the…amendments…are woefully short on protections for the [privacy]…of innocent Americans…

Micromanagement

I really hate being right all the fucking time:

Over the last decade, collecting DNA from people who are not charged with — or even suspected of — any particular crime has become an increasingly routine practice for police in smaller cities…in Florida…Connecticut, Pennsylvania and North Carolina…While the largest cities typically operate public labs and feed DNA samples into the FBI’s national database, [small] cities…have assembled databases of their own…in partnership with private labs that offer such fast, cheap testing that police can afford to amass DNA even to investigate minor crimes…some…have quietly begun [coercing] people to turn over DNA…during traffic stops…or…chance encounters with police…Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania…pays for the testing…with…money [stolen from citizens]…Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement must have a reasonable suspicion that a person is involved in a crime before requiring a search or seizure.  But the notion of collecting DNA [by coerced “consent”] is still so new that the ground rules remain uncertain.  Who can give such consent and what must they be told about what they’re consenting to?  Who decides how long to keep these samples and what can be done with them?…Automated “Rapid DNA” machines allow police to analyze DNA right at the station in a mere 90 minutes…but…police departments’ private databases…are subject to no state or federal regulation or oversight…

Delightful Conversation 

The stupidity defense:

A man who ran an escort agency…was cleared of any wrongdoing.  Prosecutors proved Candy Girls offered sexual services…The…[various defendants all were found] guilty…[except for] Karl Jackson…[who] left school at 15 with no qualifications and always looked up to his older brother, Leon, who [owned the agency]…When interviewed by police in 2014, he said he ran a “companionship service” and never suspected the girls had sex with clients.  When asked what this involved, he said: “A companion who’s going to sit there and do everything your girlfriend did do, just watch telly and maybe clean your house, I don’t know”…

Wise Investment (#428)

A better monument to the victims would be eradicating the horrible laws that made their murders possible:

After years in the making, a sex worker memorial in Vancouver’s West End [was] unveiled…Friday.  The monument will honour the sex workers who once were part of a flourishing community before being expelled from the area…after a July 1984 Supreme Court injunction by Justice Allan McEachern…During the 1970s and ’80s, the West End was home to a tightly knit, diverse community of sex workers, she says, who kept the area pimp-free…The City of Vancouver has put $28,000 into funding the monument — the same amount it raised in fines against sex workers and consumers during enforcement of its 1982 bylaw…The memorial’s location, at Jervis and Pendrell Streets, marks a convergence of the old sex worker strolls.  It also is in front of St Paul’s Anglican Church, which often offered refuge…

Down Under (#518)

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

A [New Zealand] sex worker’s five-year restraining order has been reinstated after years of harassment from a client that was obsessed with her.  After first paying for her services in 2012, the man began a systematic campaign of harassment when his advances were spurned…The man…would wait for her outside work and hired a private detective…to track down her identity…When she filed for a restraining order, the client went out of his way to protract a course of legal action that was used to “play” with the woman…The man, known in court papers as NR or Mr N, and woman, known as MR, have permanent name suppression and were referred to in court documents as R and M respectively.  The recently-released decision stated that M is allowed to file further evidence, seek reinstatement of indemnity costs and her restraining order for a period of five years has been reinstated…R’s appeals…have been dismissed and he must pay M’s costs…

My First Million (#568)

I hit the 5 million pageview mark just a little after 4:00 UTC last Tuesday, September 13th (a little after 9 PM Monday evening here in Seattle).  Thanks to all the readers who made it happen!
5000000

What Were You All Waiting For? (#654) 

Let’s hope other ACLU chapters start following New Jersey’s lead:

…The Newark Police Department’s 13 arrests on charges related to prostitution over the weekend raise concerns yet again about Newark’s embrace of failed and destructive “Broken Windows” policing strategies.  Using our criminal justice system to harass, arrest and incarcerate consenting adults who agree to exchange sex for money is a poor use of the NPD’s limited resources.  These arrests harm public health by stigmatizing sex workers and making their lives more difficult and dangerous.  These crackdowns harm public safety by stoking fear of police among sex workers…We urge the City to explore harm reduction…and to reject failed approaches of criminalization…Sex work should not be criminalized…

Of Course It Is

Because obviously, the prosecutor couldn’t simply exercise his discretion and decline to press charges:

[Celeste Guap]…remained jailed in Florida…but was offered a plea deal that could hasten her return to California…the assistant state attorney in Martin County, David Lustgarten, said Monday that he is charging Guap with misdemeanor battery.  “The evidence did not lead me to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a felony was committed,” he said.  Lustgarten said he offered a plea bargain to the young woman…

She was allowed to plead “no contest” to the reduced charge, and returned to California on Wednesday while her attorney belched out “sex trafficking” rhetoric.

Mote and the Beam (#672) 

Alas, the victory was short-lived:  “The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to block subpoenas issued to Backpage.com by a Senate committee that is investigating its alleged role in facilitating child sex trafficking…

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