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Posts Tagged ‘Elephant in the Parlor’

The government has adopted a win-at-all-costs approach and [an attitude] that the ends justify the means.  –  Michael Piccarreta

Elephant in the Parlor

Politician takes bribes, hires whores.  Yawn.

…federal [documents]…suggest…a years-long trail of bribery between City Councilmember Jose Huizar and a Chinese development firm with a megaproject slated for downtown Los Angeles…[real estate broker] George Chiang…started a real estate consulting company in 2014…that directed money, consulting fees, casino chips, flights on private jets, luxury hotel stays, prostitutes and escort services between developers…[politicians] and [bureaucrats]…in exchange for approval of an 80,000-square foot commercial project and other downtown developments…

Dangerous Speech (#958)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1…accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client privileges…despite repeated warnings from defense counsel…and two [court] orders…the government continued to question former Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer concerning confidential legal advice that was subject to joint defense and representation agreements with other defendants…the government grilled Ferrer repeatedly through “seven successive interviews” over the course of 13 months, beginning the day of his plea deal…In doing so…the government engaged in “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” misconduct.  Prosecutors “willfully invaded” Lacey and Larkin’s attorney-client privileges in order to “gain a tactical advantage in the case,” thereby violating the defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel…Barring outright dismissal, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the harm done to the defendants and possible sanctions against the government, such as the exclusion of Ferrer as a witness, the suppression of other evidence, or the disqualification of the entire prosecution team…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

The human cost of a prohibitionist crusade:

In March 2019 my life was turned upside down…by feminist groups who said I needed saving…Becoming a dancer at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino was the best thing I’d ever done.  It gave me the confidence I desperately lacked…[but then] Not Buying It sent private [dicks] into our club to buy lap dances and secretly film the women dancing.  They did this to “prove” to Sheffield Council that Spearmint Rhino was in breach of its own code of conduct and should have its licence revoked.  They filmed women naked and without their consent, and this was only the beginning…it traumatised the women …[and] hurt their families, their friends and their children…the ensuing campaign to close our club left me extremely anxious and scared to go to work…I was paranoid that every person who came into the club was another undercover investigator trying to take my job away.  I was always on edge, watching people, checking buttons for cameras, looking in people’s ears to see if they were wearing earpieces.  I was hyper-aware of customers who used their mobile phones and frightened that they were secretly recording me.  It was torture.  Work went from being the place I felt safest to a place I felt judged and under attack…

Business As Usual (#1001)

Every so often one of these sadly-typical stories gets more media attention:

Agents with…DHS…in Arizona have been “fighting” human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to [rape women they claim to be]…victims…[then] seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.  Federal agents [raped] at least 17…”Asian females” working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018…the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges…[the] scenario…is far from an isolated incidentnational and mainstream media have been discovering and disapproving of “Operation Asian Touch.”  This is great—so long as nobody mistakes what happened in Mohave County for an atypical investigation.  If you track initial claims about massage parlor-based human trafficking through to their actual conclusions, you’ll almost always find law enforcement simply targeting sex workers, small-business owners, immigrants, and the people who patronize them with harassment, assault, arrest, property seizure, prosecution, detainment, and deportation. And the “victims” they allegedly set out to save frequently wind up facing criminal charges.  There are only two roles women can play in this Homeland Security-led charade: helpless sex slave or conniving human trafficker.  (Both types…are invited to stroke ICE agent penises)…

I Spy (#1006)

But please, tell me more about “wings” and “blue states” and “democracy”:

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.  The measure must be approved…by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law…

Like Houses (#1031)

All they were waiting for was a strong enough excuse:

In India, the COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect excuse for the government to consolidate its pre-pandemic surveillance ambitions.  Since May 4, as restrictions began to ease, the government has mandated the installation of its contact-tracing smartphone app for anyone who works…or uses public transport.  Failing to do so is criminal…Unsurprisingly, digital rights and civil society organizations are pushing back on the new di[ktat]…

Reawakening

A high-profile example of the quiet rebellion that’s already started everywhere in the US:

Alameda County [bureaucrats] backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.  Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting …”If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me“…Musk’s civil disobedience against the COVID lockdown regime is a high-profile instance of a wider trend…

Social Distancing (#1036)

At its core, Australia is still prohibitionist:

…as Australia eases itself out of COVID-19 restrictions…in [a] three-stage framework…strip clubs and brothels were specifically listed “to remain closed” even in stage three…other businesses with…skin-to-skin contact – like waxing, massages, tattoos, bathhouses and saunas – are allowed to open in stage three.  Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim [said]…”We hoped this…outbreak wouldn’t be used as an excuse to turn back…gains made in sex worker legislation, but it’s hard to see this as anything but discrimination, considering similar businesses are allowed”…federal [bureaucrats] recommended brothels and strip club venues should stay shut [indefinitely]…sole operator sex workers…are banned after being classed as “non-essential”

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand:

The national lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 means it’s business as usual for many Kiwis, including sex workers…The New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective (NZPC) released guidelines for sex workers on their website…with a checklist of hygiene practices and safety measures workers, brothels and massage parlours should be implementing…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

No human is truly free while governments claim the “right” to lock people in filthy, disease-ridden cages:

In the vast majority of the world’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons…physical distancing is simply not an option.  In situations where close confinement, shared facilities and spaces and poor hygiene are commonplace…prison[ers]…are living in constant fear of the ticking COVID-19 time bomb…UNAIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are calling on leaders to make detention a last resort, to close drug rehabilitation detention centres and to decriminalize sex work, same-sex sexual relations and drug use.  They are urging countries to release the people who can be released…The Government of Ethiopia…has released more than 30,000 prisoners and has heightened sanitation measures.  Indonesia is releasing more than 50,000…Iran is releasing 40% of its total prison population, 100,000 people, while Chile is set to release around 50,000 people…

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If [TV] producers were courageous, they would’ve done a show about undercover vice cops…raping and extorting sex workers.  –  Ron Kim

Elephant in the Parlor

The notion that a politician would be “shocked” by the existence of sex workers is absurd even for the UK press:

[Politician] Dave Craker was approached by [a] sex worker while [politicking]…earlier this year [and used the supposed incident to argue for more harassment of them.  He pretended to be]…shocked [because it was] 10.30am on a Saturday [and he apparently thinks Englishmen shouldn’t have sexual urges at that time]…

Torture Chamber

Just in case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

An 8-year-old girl was stripped naked and [molested by Virginia screws using the excuse of a] search…after she was [coerced by being told that] refusal would result in not being allowed to see her father…The girl was accompanied by her father’s girlfriend, who is not her legal guardian.  If they refused to [submit to the pretextual molestation], they could have been banned from the prison…Daniel Macallair…of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice [said]…“this is an act of child abuse”…[a spokespig thinks everthing is excused by claiming] the [screw] who approved the search didn’t have that authority…

To Molest and Rape

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

A [cop who] rap[ed] two women and sexually assault[ed] a third…told one of his victims he liked when she fought back…Anthony Westerman…[of] Baltimore…lured one woman to his home after meeting her at a bar by telling her he planned to call her an Uber [because she had passed out drunk]…but instead…he raped [her]…Another…victim…was [foolishly] drinking at Westerman’s home…when she fell asleep in his spare bedroom…Westerman later woke her up and raped her…

Do I really need to say “don’t get drunk with one either”?

Dark Corners (#702)

Funny how nail techs are only “trafficked” in the UK, but not the US:

A police raid on five nail bars in Southwark [arrested] 24 [migrant women, who were labelled] victims of human trafficking and…14 [other] people [who were labelled “traffickers”.  Those who were labeled “victims”]…were taken to a nearby [detainment] centre where they [are being held for deportation, while the others were put in regular jail]…

Keep in mind that despite many huge and expensive raids, the UK has never found more than a single-digit number of cases of genuine exploitation; these are actually just immigration raids cloaked under the pretense of “rescue”.

Shift in the Wind (#764)

Support for decriminalization is becoming the norm among economists:

…When sex work is decriminalized, violence against women declines…pro[hibitionists now tend to support]…the so-called Nordic model [which infantilizes or even institutionalizes]…sex workers…[and] prosecut[es their friends, family members, employees,] managers and customers…[has absolutely no] support from sex workers, who [explain] that it complicates their screening procedures for customers and drives sex work underground.  This jibes with economic theory, which suggests that the costs of any limitation on the market fall on those with the fewest options, whether buyers or sellers…research confirms just how powerful this effect can be.  Economists studied Craigslist…[and found its] expansion…into a market “led to a 10% to 17% reduction in female homicides.”  To be clear, that figure is not homicides among sex workers…but…all women in the area…A 2014 study of…decriminalization of indoor sex work in Rhode Island…found…a 30% drop in rapes.  This isn’t mere correlation:  Both the Rhode Island and Craigslist studies use several methods designed to identify causation…

Against Their Will (#799)

The awful Law & Order: SVU once again uses sex workers to spread copaganda:

It’s been two years since…Yang Song fell four stories to her death from an apartment window [while fleeing] a police raid on [her workplace] in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens…Just before her fatal fall, a [pig] attempted to arrest her [for consensual] sex…Recently, an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit pla[giariz]ed…[the] scen[ario while insulting the victim’s memory to spread]…anti-trafficking rescue [fantasies.  In the Hollywood version]…one woman…attempts to flee by climbing out of a window to a fire escape..and…is saved by [a prosecutor instead of being raped and caged as she wold be in real life]…the show feeds us a white savior fantasy version of the very real [persecution of] Asian-run spas that offer sexual services…across the country.  The same savior narrative fuels the real-life raids and busts, in which Asian migrant massage workers are [pretend]ed to be victims of some massive sex-trafficking ring in need of rescue…

If you’re keeping track, they’ve previously done this to Belle Knox and Suzy Favor Hamilton.

If It Were Legal (#874)

If not for stigma, he could simply have hired a domme:

…Rutledge Deas IV, known as Rory, posted an add on job app UrbanSitter claiming he needed a carer to look after his disabled 18 year-old brother…Cory…But…”Cory” was actually Rory, with the unsuspecting babysitter caring for him 10 times…The carer grew suspicious a[fter] Deas…[became erect when she changed his diaper]…the man who hired her refused to meet, and instead paid her through Apple Pay or…Venmo.  The woman looked up Deas’ publicly-visible payment history on Venmo, and saw a profile with the name Rory Deas featuring a photo of the man she knew as Cory.  She reported the…deception to UrbanSitter, who closed Deas’s account down.  The woman also called police…Deas is believed to have hired at least three other carers…Orleans Parish…charged [Deas] with 10 counts of human trafficking and sexual battery…

“Human trafficking”.  Still wonder why those claimed numbers are so huge?

Torture Chamber (#966) 

Just another state-funded rape camp in Florida; nothing to see here:

For years, male [screws] at…Coleman Federal [cage stack]…sexually harassed and [raped helpless women]…[and] were [intentionally] shielded from any consequences…Fourteen women, ranging in age from 30 to 56…have banded together to sue the United States…over the abuse…seven of the women are still [locked in cages like animals]…women [a]re coerced and threatened…[by screws] to submit [to rape].  The [rapist screws]…would at times display computer screens showing the women the exact location of their families, a pointed [threat] that their relatives could be [raped or murdered] if the women didn’t cooperate.  Some of the women had minor children.  In some cases, [screws thought they could still show up whenever they wanted to rape]…the women after they had [been released from the cages]…[at least] seven [screws belonged to the rapist gang]…some of [whom] had been [supposedly] investigated for sexual abuse in the past, with nothing coming of it…At least one victim…was [forced] to begin birth control to avoid the possibility of becoming pregnant [due to repeated rape]…One reason the women didn’t come forward until now was a prison policy calling for anyone who complained to be sent to the county jail…[under pretense of] maintain[ing] the women’s safety…[but in actuality] as punishment since a county jail is far more restrictive than a federal [rape & torture] camp…

Crying for Nanny (#968)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A western Washington woman who [pretend]s she was forced into a [BDSM fantasy] world of sex trafficking at age 12 is now suing area hotels and Craigslist for being complicit in the crimes.  [She fanasizes] pimps would advertise her on Craigslist under “erotic” or “adult” services categories, drawing in two to 20 men a day to rape her…[blah blah, “signs of trafficking“, blah blah Motel 6, blah blah Mar Brettman snake oil]…

As usual, the claims are sufficiently in the past for all evidence to be gone.  But if this woman had actually done any kind of sex work, she’d know what an absurd claim “20 clients per day” is.

Welcome to the Future (#971)

Do I really need to tell y’all that “don’t talk to cops except to demand your lawyer” also includes written statements?

SCAN (Scientific Content Analysis) is a lie-detecting method invented by Avinoam Sapir, a former Israeli spook turned polygraph examiner that involves picking out small textual details from writing samples to determine when someone is lying…SCAN has no empirical support, and is so outlandish that it has hardly been studied by third parties at all.  However, each time it was studied, it was found to perform no better than chance…Despite this, SCAN is widely deployed in the US and abroad…by police departments and spies…[because it pretends to confirm cops’] “belief…that they can tell when someone is lying to them with a high degree of accuracy”…SCAN has all the hallmarks of a junk-science scam, including claims by the inventor that he has secret and/or nonspecific studies to prove his product’s efficacy, and a website filled with anonymous testimonials…

To Molest and Rape (#987) 

Hey, female cops; how’s that collaboration with the police state working out?

…[Philadelphia pig trainer] Carl Holmes…[groomed] Patricia Diaz…[so when she] confid[ed] her fears [about being sexually harassed by her boss and other swine] Holmes [molested]…and groped her…tell[ing]…her…no one would believe “some little bitch”…In the 15 years [since] Holmes grew more powerful, rising to the rank of chief inspector, while also [sexual]ly assaulting two other female cops…His [blatant] crimes were well known to officials in the Philadelphia Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, and City Hall…But in October, District Attorney Larry Krasner [finally] charged Holmes with sexual assault and related offenses…Holmes’ conduct…[went previously unstopped due to] systemic [properties] that [intentionally] shielded him and other top police officials…even as Holmes cost taxpayers more than $1.3 million in lawsuit settlements…

The system isn’t “flawed”; it’s doing exactly what it was designed to do: let politicians and their henchmen get away with whatever they want while destroying the lives of those they choose as victims.

Quiet Genocide (#989)

Just in case you doubted this was about total genocide:

…Chinese scientists are trying to find a way to use a DNA sample to create an image of a person’s face…to…build…a tool that could be used [in]…racial profiling and other state discrimination against Uighurs…In the long term…it may even be possible for the…government to feed images produced from a DNA sample into [its] mass surveillance and facial recognition systems…at least two Chinese scientists working…on the technology have received funding from [racist] institutions in Europe.  International scientific journals have published their findings without examining the…ethical questions raised by [forcibly] collecting such samples in Xinjiang…scientists and human rights activists say the Chinese government is exploiting the [naivety] of the international scientific community to harness research into the human genome for [totalitarian] purposes.  Already, China is exploring using facial recognition technology to sort people by ethnicity…[and] how to use DNA to tell if a person is a Uighur…The Chinese government is building… “technologies used for hunting people,” said [Dr] Mark Munsterhjelm…who tracks Chinese interest in the technology…the Chinese police…have already gathered millions of DNA samples in Xinjiang

The Monsters Are Due (#996)

We’re getting very close to implosion:

Nazario Garcia was gunned down…in his white work van…in the parking lot of a…[Memphis, Tennessee] Goodwill store…he…was parked…when Favian and Miguel Effinger showed up…[and murdered] Garcia “without provocation”…He tried to get away but lost control…and crashed into a shopping cart, ending up on the curb.  Before the shooting…the brothers’ mother, Gjuandell Effinger, sent a video on social media — [fantasizing] the occupant of a white van with the same tag number as Garcia had tried to abduct her from the parking lot of a nearby Walmart…Effinger’s Facebook page shows post after post she shared from other users [fantasiz]ing about white vans being used for sex trafficking…[and other fantasies] about abducted children and women…Miguel and Favian are charged with first degree murder.  Their mother is charged with solicitation of first degree murder…

“Shit just got real”, all right.  Of course, it didn’t need to end in murder to be more “real” than these silly BDSM sex fantasies.

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Why are you trying to avoid talking about Jeffrey Epstein?

What would you have me say?  Perhaps you missed “Overripe“, in which I wrote…

…when a powerful, wealthy, well-connected person is accused of a crime (especially a complex one), the result is invariably dueling volcanos of accusation & defense vomiting megatons of obfuscation into the atmosphere.  Moreover, when the crime “just happens” to fit into a moral panic in full eruption, the result is a firestorm that makes it very difficult to separate truth, lies, prevarications, opportunism, excuse-making, police-statery, and outright bullshit from one another…

Epstein, like many men, was attracted to women younger than the law allowed him to have.  And unlike most men, he had the means to get what he wanted and no moral compunctions against it.  Do you want my thoughts on why the government suddenly revisited the case a decade after it was over, even though Liz Brown’s analysis (synopsized and linked in the above-referenced column) covered it better than I could?  Perhaps you want me to explain the obvious, why a well-connected billionaire who hobnobbed with at least two US presidents and who-knows-how-many other powerful people, got a slap on the wrist for crimes a poor man would’ve been crucified for?  It’s possible you might want me to titillate you with pointless and lurid speculation about whether Bill Clinton or Donald Trump or whoever shared in Epstein’s predilections, in which case I would point you to my “Elephant in the Parlor” tag, tell you that I don’t write porn, and remind you that even if I did I wouldn’t do it for free.  Or maybe you’re asking me to virtue-signal about age of consent laws and infantilize young women, pretending that they are equivalent to six-year-olds because they haven’t yet reached Magic 18 and shouted “Shazam!”?  If so, you’re definitely barking up the wrong tree.  Of course, you could be asking for my speculation on whether Epstein really killed himself or was “suicided”; if that’s it I would observe that while his “friends” had both the means and the motivation to silence him, he also had extremely good reason to spare himself the ordeal and show-trial to come, and the US prison system has a long history of letting people die in cages, sometimes at the hands of sadistic cretins and sometimes by monumental incompetence.  At the end of the day, the one person who could’ve answered all of these questions is dead, and everyone else who could answer any of them is highly motivated to keep his mouth shut.  So even if you’re just dying to know the answers, I’m afraid you’re going to have to learn to live with disappointment.

(Have a question of your own?  Please consult this page to see if I’ve answered it in a previous column, and if not just click here to ask me via email.)

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We’re not trying to argue the morality of this. We’re trying to argue the reality of this.  –  Nicole Emma

Feminine Pragmatism 

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

Lao workers, many of them young and some still in their teens, have poured in growing numbers this year into neighboring Thailand, braving exploitation and unsafe work conditions in search of employment to help support families back home…nine Lao migrants [were] killed on Aug. 18 in a head-on collision while traveling to a border town to renew the tourist visas on which they had entered Thailand…an official…said…“They won’t [tell us their personal business [so]…we can’t stop them”…Many of those looking for work in Thailand voice concerns over family poverty as their reason for leaving home…Many young Laotians [are forced by arbitrary laws to] enter Thailand with the help of middle-men to work illegally…the…head of the anti-trafficking unit of the Thai-based Labor Rights Promotion Network…[said] “This is one of the loopholes in Thailand’s laws, and this is a problem [because we would rather force them to stay in Laos and die in poverty]”…

What kind of authoritarian mind thinks that “people killed in tragic accident while trying to comply with arbitrary government rules” is a less important point than where they were from or what they did for a living?

The New Victorianism

It’s about time Playboy started covering this topic more aggressively:

…Moral panic…and purity politics…interfere with our right to sexual safety, pleasure and free expression…civil policy-making has been supplanted by partisan uproar and triggered panic.  Sex is at the center of every one of these…sex…has become the enemy…Panic rejects nuance, debate and disagreement in favor of party lines and swift action.  Panic has resulted in the rise of cancel culture and the dismissal of due process…rational thinking has…been cast aside…In a sex panic, it becomes imprudent to question the extent to which sex-based discrimination exists.  It becomes dangerous to suggest that all sexual violations, and all experiences of sexual violence, are not equivalent.  As a consequence, we learn to shut up and sit down lest we face public condemnation and risk being attacked…moral panic is more about social control than ethical guidelines for how we should get along with one another…attempts to regulate morality only heighten panic by promoting, for example, sex-trafficking laws that ignore racist immigration policies and degrade sex workers as second-class citizens…Awkward sexual encounters continue to be conflated with the worst of accusations.  And then: If he’s accused, he must have done it…

Elephant in the Parlor

Too bad more politicians don’t hire the marginalized women cops are most likely to persecute:

West Virginia [politician] Mike Maroney has been charged with soliciting a prostitute…Maroney exchanged text messages to discuss prices and set up meetings with a woman who [was arrested]…Police [then snooped in her phone and started charging people for texting her]…

Micromanagement

The modern Fuhrer wants serial numbers tattooed on every cell of every prisoner of his concentration camps:

The Trump administration wants [the border Gestapo]…to collect DNA samples from undocumented immigrants in its [cages]…according to a draft policy…CBP officials would spend more than 20,000 additional work hours on such a policy in its first year of implementation.  Hundreds of thousands of individuals could have their DNA collected each year if the draft regulation, proposed by the Department of Justice, is fully implemented…

Choke Point (#593) 

We fucking told you so:

While sex-related businesses…have long faced draconian restrictions from banks, we’re living in a time when their position is more precarious than ever…If this continues, it will disproportionately impact small sex-focused businesses…further marginalize sex workers, and decrease access to positive information about sexual health…“To see [this] spreading to educators and activists is alarming,” said Lorrae Jo Bradbury, founder of Slutty Girl Problems, a sex-positive blog…these incidents have ramped up dramatically since…FOSTA…passed in the Senate…[creating] a more repressive era of the internet, one in which websites such as Tumblr have banned adult content, Patreon is kicking off adult performers, and financial institutions are clamping down on businesses even remotely connected to sex…

Safe Position

When this is happenening in Utah, you know we’re past the watershed:

The best way of protecting sex workers is to decriminalize their industry and allow them to come out of the shadows, a Salt Lake City nonprofit told Utah [politicians]…Nicole Emma…of the Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)…told members of the state’s Criminal Code Evaluation Task Force…[that] if these penalties were removed, sex workers could communicate more openly about their industry, check client backgrounds more easily and blacklist bad actors…

The Monsters Are Due (#867) 

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

The recent spate of mob attacks in Uttar Pradesh has caught the state police on the back foot.  Incidents of hapless people…being brutally beaten up on suspicion of being child lifters are surfacing with alarming frequency…UP director general of police…OP Singh said…“A total of 46 incidents were reported in which one person was killed and 29 injured”…In…Ghaziabad, a middle-aged woman was…thrashed by a mob…[when] she went with her grandson for shopping…people have been attacked simply for being seen with a child…two siblings — Ramautar and Raju — were thrashed mercilessly…when…taking their nephew Ravi to a hospital for treatment…Ramautar [died and]…Raju [is] still battling for his life in the hospital…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical (#886)

The pigs are starting their annual fearmongering early this year:

[Cops] in Massachusetts want to [spread yet another stupid panic]…about…ecstasy [pills]…in the shape of “SpongeBob SquarePants” cartoon characters…The National Institute on Drug Abuse…warns that MDMA use can “promote trust and closeness,” potentially encouraging unsafe sexual behavior…“Parents, guardians, and caretakers should be on the lookout for these as school starts and Halloween is fast approaching,” [pigs oinked]…

Yeah, because people are going to hand free samples of a drug that costs $100 a gram to anonymous brats.  And you’ve gotta love that the only “warning” these drug warriors can come up with is that stupid amateurs taking MDMA might do the same kind of stupid shit they do when sober.

Pyrrhic Victory (#960)

The more we discover about Amazon’s fascist collaboration with cops, the worse it sounds:

[Amazon’s] doorbell-camera company Ring has quietly forged [fascist] partnerships with more than 400 police forces across the United States, granting them access to homeowners’ camera footage…The number of police deals, which has not previously been reported, will likely fuel [belated] questions about privacy, surveillance and the expanding reach of [fascist surveillance]…The rapid growth of the program, which launched last spring, surprised [insufficiently-cynical] civil-liberties advocates…

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It seems odd … to make…integrity of…intimate body cavities dependent on who it is that does the…penetrating.  –  Judge John Z. Lee

Where Are the Protests? 

A lot of editing was needed here:

…Portland Police [are]…merging [the] human trafficking [gang]…with its [vice gang.  Prohibitionists]…are concerned the consolidation will result in [fewer pigs raping and persecuting sex workers, but in reality the point is to have more cops harassing women and fewer investigating actual labor exploitation]…

Pride Goeth

We don’t see many good articles about “Straight Pride” events, but the ones we do see are hilarious:

Netflix has threatened the organisers of Boston’s Straight Pride with legal action after they listed the streaming platform as a “prospective corporate sponsor” for their anti-LGBT+ event.  Netflix sent a cease-and-desist order to Super Happy Fun America, the group organising the parade, which has several ties with…white nationalist organisations…Super Happy Fun America were ordered to “immediately” remove the Netflix logo from all materials associated with the event, with the threat of further legal action if this is not done within 24 hours…The parade organisers hit back at Netflix on their website in a post entitled “Netflix hates the straight” which accuses Netflix’s legal team of being staffed by “gay supremacists”…Super Happy Fun America previously tried to use Brad Pitt as their movement’s “mascot,” but were forced to stop following a complaint from Pitt’s representatives…

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

Screenshots of a private group chat…show several [screws] at a Florida prison making [vile] remarks about an inmate beating days before a video of that [beating]…was uploaded to YouTube…by inmates using a [hidden] cell phone…the sister of the [beaten] inmate…and a Florida [politician] who interviewed the inmate in person…have [reported that] officials at the institution [are lying]…about what transpired and attempting to cover up the [flagrant] abuse…Otis Miller [is now locked up in a different stack of cages]…The video [clearly] show[s a gang of screws]…punching [Miller] in the head…[even though] he…is [only] five feet tall and weighs 140 pounds…the [screws clearly took] pride in the damage they had inflicted on [a helpless human being, oinking out such pleasantries as]…“That [inmate] looks like beetle juice [sic]”…“I want more lol”…[and] “Fuck him”…Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch responded with [the usual denials and bullshit]…

That Old Black Magic (#442)

Remember that witchcraft charges were once a popular way to persecute sex workers:

Two residents of the city of Gudermes were [arrested by cops in] Chechnya…for practicing…witchcraft…persecution of medicine men and psychics began in Chechnya six years ago, but in recent years has intensified…The detained women may be facing criminal prosecution…Sorcery and magic contradict Islamic dogma…but…the current campaign…is less connected with religious motives, and to a greater extent with comparatively stronger police control…believes Mikhail Roshchin…of…the Russian Academy of Sciences…

Other modern “wars on witchcraft” are taking place in IndonesiaSaudi Arabia (including online censorship), and to a lesser extent the UK (subtitle link).

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic (#684) 

This is the worst crime I’ve ever seen “sex addiction” used as a defense for:

A…son of a priest blamed a porn overload for him raping and killing a California scientist who vanished from a conference in Crete…Giannis Paraskakis, who confessed to the murder of 59-year-old Suzanne Eaton, [claimed]…watching too much hardcore porn led him to murder…Paraskakis…encountered Eaton on June 2 and…rammed into her twice with his car…he [then] stuffed an unconscious Eaton in the trunk of his vehicle…drove to a remote World War II bunker near Xamoudochori…raped her and left her for dead…Eaton — a molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute in Dresden, Germany — was reported missing by colleagues after she missed several sessions at an Orthodox Academy of Crete conference.  Her [remains were] recovered from inside the bunker July 8 with “many broken ribs and face bones as well as multiple injuries to both hands”…cause of death was ruled asphyxiation…

License to Rape (#836)

US court rules mass sexual assault is legal as long as other wannabe rapists are allowed to watch and learn:

Early one March morning inside an Illinois prison, a tactical unit armed with batons and shields stormed two women’s housing units to round up about 200 handcuffed inmates and march them to a gymnasium…[where] they stood facing the wall for more than an hour…until the guards started taking groups of four to 10 into the adjoining bathroom and beauty shop.  There, they were ordered to strip.  Standing shoulder to shoulder, women on their periods were asked to remove their tampons and pads…They were ordered to lift their breasts and hair, to cough and squat, and then, finally, to bend over and spread open their vaginal and anal cavities…male guards [stared at] the naked prisoners…[throughout] the humiliating mass strip search…[which was pretended to be] a training exercise for incoming cadets. Now, after eight years of litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit has ruled in a divided 2-1 opinion that the entire 2011 episode was legal…

Change a Few Words (#868)

Another good example of why “legalized” sex work is a bad idea:

[Violent thugs] in Southern California have conducted a massive drug bust that includes 14.9 tons of illegally-grown marijuana in one area…[the thugs also stole] 37 guns, multiple dogs and a honey oil lab at the properties in the Perris area, about 70 miles east of Los Angeles…[pigs raided] 48 [private properties]…and have…[locked] 27 [human beings in cages for farming]…

Oh noes, they grew plants without asking “Mother may I?” first!  WHAT MONSTERS!

Welcome To Our World (#888)

Not an attempt to control women’s bodies, no sirree:

Phnom Penh Municipal Court…charged three women with human trafficking in connection to a surrogacy business after they were arrested and deported from Vietnam…two of them are still pregnant…

Pyrrhic Victory (#915)

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

On [July 18th], Amazon’s [fascist surveillance] partnership with the Orlando Police Department [supposedly] ended, and…city officials [claim] it didn’t work…[because] the city’s technology infrastructure simply wasn’t advanced enough and didn’t have the bandwidth to support the artificial intelligence software on more than one camera at a time…Amazon proposed to outfit the city with more advanced surveillance cameras…since the cameras already installed downtown weren’t proving to be compatible with Rekognition, but the city [suppos]edly declined.  This failure rather neatly illustrates a reality standing in the way of a [fascist] panopticon:  extremely normal technical problems.  If Amazon wants to market a surveillance product to local governments, it will have to deal with the fact that many municipal computer systems run outdated software, that police departments’ cameras aren’t all high-definition, and not all the equipment is neatly networked with a…reliable internet connection.  Amazon appears to be having better luck looking to civilian customers to help it break into the police surveillance market…[by] hand[ing] out free or discounted Ring systems to residents, which allows police to…access footage directly from the…doorbell cameras using Ring’s Neighbors app…cities as big as Dallas, Philadelphia, Birmingham, Phoenix, and Oklahoma City all have joined Ring’s police program, according to a new map from…Fight for the Future…The map also lists smaller cities that have contracts, like Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Maywood, New Jersey…

Elephant in the Parlor (#926) 

Pederast politicians are nearly as common as those who hire adult women:

A businessman who [w]as a key witness in…Robert Mueller’s investigation now faces a charge of child sex trafficking in addition to transporting child pornography…Lebanese-American businessman George Nader…transport[ed] a 14-year-old boy from Europe to Washington, D.C. [for sexual purposes] in February 2000…Nader…[w]as [a] liaison between Kirill Dmitriev, a Russian banker close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and members of President Donald Trump’s transition team.  Nader also served as an adviser to the United Arab Emirates…Nader was convicted in the Czech Republic…of 10 cases of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a one-year prison term in 2003….[and] also pleaded guilty to a charge of transporting child-pornography images in Virginia in 1991.  The current investigation…began last year when images depicting child pornography and bestiality were found on his phone after it was [seized] under a search warrant connected to the Mueller probe…

Overripe

More from Liz Brown on the Epstein case:

R. Kelly. Jeffrey Epstein. Keith Raniere.  For more than a decade, each of these men escaped largely unscathed as allegations of sexual misconduct — sometimes involving minors — piled up…the recent prosecution of all three on federal sex crime charges…represent all-too-rare instances of “sex trafficking” cases that seem to involve real predatory behavior.  It’s a nice change.  In recent years, sex trafficking charges have largely been lobbed against sex workers and those who work with them.  In both the media and the halls of justice these days, the terms “sex trafficking” and “human trafficking” are often used interchangeably with “prostitution”…“Human trafficking operations” are all too frequently just rebranded stings…The Mann Act is a favorite for federal prosecutors wanting to butt into prostitution stings when there are no minors or evidence of coercion.  That’s because the law prevents driving another person — technically it’s gender neutral, but in practice these cases almost always involve a female sex worker — across state lines for prostitution purposes…In its annual Operation Cross Country, the FBI often ratchets up federal arrest numbers by conducting stings in cities like Kansas City, where driving from one part of the city to another means crossing from Kansas into Missouri…

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Prisons act as though decades of labor law violations entitle them to exploit people in perpetuity.  –  Jacqueline Stevens

Harm Reduction

Guys, sex workers are both safer and cheaper in the long run:

…a Florida man held his wife’s lover at gunpoint and cut off the man’s penis before fleeing with the flailing appendage…Alex Bonilla was arrested hours later…Bonilla broke into his neighbor’s home…tied the neighbor up and mutilated his genitals with scissors…then took the severed penis and fled across the street to his own house…Bonilla caught his wife and the victim having sex in May…

I’m sure that from now on, whenever he wants to have sex, this dude will think of how much money he saved getting “free” amateur sex.

Elephant in the Parlor 

In other news, bear shits in woods:

Jason Miller, the former communications chief for the Trump campaign and transition team, said he hired numerous prostitutes and visited “hand job” massage parlors as recently as a few months ago…Miller made the [incredibly mundane statement] while testifying…in connection to his lawsuit against the digital media company Gizmodo …The suit accuses Gizmodo of defaming Miller with a story citing an allegation he slipped an “abortion pill” to a Florida strip[per] he impregnated….Miller denies the allegation…

Smoke and Mirrors

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

Two teenagers have been [arrested] by police [at] a property that was involved in the “sex industry” [in]…Bedfordshire…five [adults] were [also] arrested for suspected human trafficking offences…They have been released on…bail…[except for one] man [charged with]…drug…[possession]…and [the]…teenagers [held without bail under pretense of]…safeguarding…Det Insp Katie Dounias [vomited up a lot of Swedish poison about]…exploitation and human misery…

Naked Truth (#314)

Sex workers all over the world are demanding their rights:

On Saturday, July 13, 2019, a dozen prostitutes gathered before the Court of First Instance of Tetouan [Morocco] to protest against the Chief Commissioner of the city of Martil, Abdelouahab Tahiri…[who] launched a [series of pogroms] against the brothels and against the prostitutes who work in the city…The King’s Prosecutor was quick to [suppress] this demonstration, ordering the arrest of prostitutes and opening an investigation into the origin of the protests, in particular the involvement of drug barons and pimps…

Note that in Morocco, as in the US, prohibitionists pretend women can’t possibly be intelligent enough to demand our rights; whatever women do must be planned and organized by “pimps”.

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

A…youth pastor who worked at a megachurch owned by his parents got just three years in jail…for sexually abusing a teen girl.  Jordan Baird…[got] his light sentence [via plea bargain even though]…she wasn’t even his only victim…”There were other underage girls and young adults, two of whom spoke at the sentencing hearing.  Last year, Baird was convicted for sexually abusing Morgan Harding who was also 16 at the time…Baird was sentenced to eight months in prison in that case and was forced to register as a sex offender“…

Yellow Fever (#509) 

This hodgepodge of idiotic lies, myths, wild exaggerations, wanking fantasies and long-debunked propaganda was shoveled into a column by Business Insider and presented as “surprising facts and statistics”.  You’ll recognize most of it, but my favorite is the claim that “In 2015, five out of 10 of Homeland Security’s ‘most wanted’ sex traffickers were from Tenancingo…There were estimates that one in 10 people from Tenancingo were involved in trafficking.”  In truth, the actual number of “traffickers” was two, and the actual number of “victims” 26; the operation ended in 2011, four years before the claims that “1 in 10” people were involved (the actual population of the town is about 10,000).  When I point out that this article appeared in the same publication only 5 days earlier, you may understand why this appears under this particular heading.

If It Were Legal (#656)

So much for any hope this myth would be dead by the next election:

In one year, Democrats will choose their choice for president, right here in Milwaukee.  But big events like political conventions come with a dark side…as tens of thousands of people plan to descend on the city [like locusts]…Emmy Myers of Lacey’s Hope Project [vomited]…“We want people to know that these victims that may be at the DNC or any other large gathering are going to look like normal people [even though they’re really subhuman whores]”…“Paid sex is forced sex. You are paying to rape someone” [she fantasized, moaning with her hand in her pants]…

Don’t worry, Republicans; if the past is any indication, your convention will also be the subject of similar prohibitionist masturbatory fantasies.

Schadenfreude (#668) 

“Education” here means confinement in the notorious Prey Speu prison, which you can learn more about at the subtitle link: “[Cambodian] police rounded up prostitutes who solicit on the streets and under the trees around the historic site of Wat Phnom…A total of 49 prostitutes, 37 women and 12 men/ladyboys were sent for education…

Pyrrhic Victory (#888) 

Another step toward the end of privacy, everywhere:

…Like the iris or fingerprint, our unique cardiac signature can be used as a way to [identify] us…Crucially, it can be done from a distance…Other long-range biometric techniques include gait analysis…But…cardiac signature…remains constant and cannot be altered or disguised…A new device, developed for the Pentagon…can identify people without seeing their face[s]: instead it detects their unique cardiac signature with an infrared laser…it [currently] works at 200 meters…[but] longer distances could be possible with a better laser…the new device, called Jetson, uses a technique known as laser vibrometry to detect the surface movement caused by the heartbeat.  This works though typical clothing like a shirt and a jacket (though not thicker clothing such as a winter coat)…

Business As Usual (#905)

Columbus wants to give every pig the opportunity to rape women rather than limiting it to one rape gang:

Four months after disbanding the Columbus police vice [gang], Interim Chief Thomas Quinlan is bringing…it back in a new format [designed to distract the attention of the gullible]…The [gang] will…rotate [cops] in and out to [supposedly] prevent [them] from becoming too comfortable with each other…the [gang] will have specific directives and…supervisors [just like all the other cops who go arounf robbing, raping ad murdering people]…Former [gang member] Andrew Mitchell is currently under federal indictment [for raping] at least two women [and murdering]…Donna Castleberry [when she resisted his attempt to rape her]…

Don’t Call It Trafficking (#934) 

It’s good to see the fascist establishment hoist with its own petard:

…a senior executive in the nation’s second-largest private prison company went to [ICE] with a desperate plea: to pick up their multimillion-dollar legal bills.  Over the last five years, a series of people formerly held in GEO Group’s private immigration [prisons] have sued the company over [their enslavement while]…detaine[d]…[those] who refuse [are locked in] solitary confinement.  Half a dozen suits are challenging the [enslavement]…and seeking damages for detainees from GEO and CoreCivic, another private prison company…[because] the [schemes] break a landmark law against human trafficking

To Molest and Rape (#939)

Your regular reminder that rapist cops are not limited to the US:

A [Merseyside cop] who stopped women [using the pretext of] speeding and then used official records to target them for [rape] has been [given a slap on the wrist].  Ben Murphy…would give women smaller penalties, such as for not wearing a seatbelt even when they were, to gain their trust.  He [then stalked his] victims on social media, before using police records to contact them…He targeted at least [ten women before being] reported to an MP by a nurse…he [targe]ted in November 2017, triggering a police investigation…Murphy was jailed for [a mere] two years and four months…

Believe Them (#952)

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time“:

An unofficial commemorative coin has been circulating among Border Patrol agents at the U.S./Mexico border, mocking the task of caring for migrant children and other duties that have fallen to agents as families cross into the U.S.  On the front, the coin declares “KEEP THE CARAVANS COMING” under…a caricature of the “caravan” from last fall, which started in Honduras and attracted thousands of people as it moved north…The coin’s reverse side features the Border Patrol logo and three illustrations: a Border Patrol agent bottle-feeding an infant; an agent fingerprinting a teen boy wearing a backwards baseball cap; and a U.S. Border Patrol van…

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

Feminine Pragmatism 

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

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

Blunt Instrument 

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

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

Monsters 

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

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

The Missing Word 

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

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

To Molest and Rape

Yet another typical and representative cop:

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

Elephant in the Parlor (#724) 

In other news, bear shits in woods:

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

Moloch (#742)

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

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

Is this enough blood yet?  Can we stop now?

Good News, Bad News (#857)

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

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

Fever Dream (#901)

Mathematical illiteracy is no bar to becoming a cop:

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

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

An Avalanche of Bullshit

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

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

Opting Out (#923) 

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

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


You Were Warned

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

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

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I’m not sure what’s scarier, the idea of putting people permanently on a public list, or aggressively incentivizing hotels to pry into the sex lives of their guests.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

The More the Better

It’s so very important for celebrities to be “out” if they did sex work in their youth:

Janet Mock, the writer, television presenter, and activist, grew up in Honolulu…she fell into the protective company of a glamorous cadre of transgender friends and mentors; her seventh-grade hula teacher was a māhū, a native Hawaiian term, Mock explains, for people who live outside of the gender binary…”Merchant Street…was…where the girls worked…I first went there when I was, like, fifteen, when I was able to go out at nighttime.  At first I came with…all these puritanical views…about what it meant to use your body, your only asset, in a world that’s not taking care of you…And so I knew that, by doing this sixty-dollar hand job, I would be able to have two months of hormones.  And so I remember making the decision to get in that car and, at fifteen years old, to do this, and to continue to do this…for, like, the next two years of my life.  And that was my way into sex work…

Business As Usual

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

Sex work is legal[ized] in the Dominican Republic.  But despite this, sex workers are still vulnerable to abuse—particularly at the hands of [cops], who know they can torture…sex work[ers] with impunity…A new report…by Amnesty International…“If They Can Have Her, Why Can’t We?” features interviews from 46 trans and cisgender women sex workers, all of whom report suffering horrific violence at the hands of [cops]…“At least 10 out of the 24 cisgender women interviewed for this research described having been raped by police officials, often at gunpoint…Most of the transgender women had been subjected to…violent actions by the police that could amount to torture or other ill-treatment, typically focused on their gender-identity or expression”…

Now They Notice

It’s about goddamned time:

…LGBTI activists worldwide resolved to address the stigmatisation of sex workers, including in the LGBTI movement…and [to] oppose…all forms of criminalisation and legal oppression of sex workers – an historic first for…the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.  “By approving this resolution, our global LGBTI family is saying…that addressing violence, criminalisation and human rights violations against LGBTI and all sex workers must be a priority for our movement”, said outgoing ILGA co-Secretaries General Ruth Baldacchino and Helen Kennedy…this global LGBTI network representing more than 1,500 organisations from each region of the world join a growing number of human rights, health and anti-trafficking organisations demanding governments recognise sex work as work, and protect sex workers’ labour and human rights…

A False Dichotomy (#652)

Even in Australia, spineless “journalists” prefer to print prohibitionist pap than to consult experts:

Air Asia…decided to use “Get off in Thailand” as a campaign slogan, but considering the abundance of sexual tourism in the country, you’d think the…airline might have put a bit more thought into the reaction such a tagline would attract [from puritans].  Posted around the city of Brisbane, Australia the “Get off in Thailand” campaign promoting the airline’s direct route to Bangkok has not gone over well [with puritans].  Collective Shout, a [prohibitionist organization best known for its] campaign…against [pictures of]…women, [screeched] that the campaign was promoting sex tourism in Thailand…

“Collective Shout” has a long and infamous history of campaigning against lucrative jobs for women, including such tame & innocuous forms of sex work as bikini modeling.

The Course of a Disease (#778)

Remember that Irish prohibitionists celebrated this increase in violence vs sex workers:

Crime against sex workers has almost doubled in the two years since…Ireland adopted the “Nordic Model” on March 27 2017…[despite the warnings of] sex worker organisations [that exactly this would happen]…Statistics from UglyMugs.ie…[demon]st[r]ate that since the law came into force, the number of incidents of abuse and crime…has greatly increased…The number of sex workers using UglyMugs.ie has remained steady at between 6,000 and 7,000 per year.  The number of incidents reported from 2015-2017 was 4,278.  Since the law change, from 2017-2019, incidents rose to 10,076…crime has increased 90% whereas violent crime specifically has increased 92%…

Disaster (#885)

We did warn you dilettantes that this wouldn’t stop with actual sex workers:

Targeted online advertising by the Hump! Film Festival has been kneecapped by FOSTA/SESTA, according to festival founder Dan Savage…“Hump is largely dependent on targeted Facebook ads for ticket sales, and thanks to Facebook’s overreaction to…SESTA/FOSTA …it will not accept ads for the festival any longer, despite the fact that the ads themselves are G-rated and are only targeted at adults”…Savage notes that “Facebook no longer allows ads for, quote-unquote, adult content…as a result…we can no longer advertise on Facebook and Instagram, which Facebook also owns”…the festival’s Facebook business account was [also] “shuttered”…Savage urged listeners to follow Hump! on their social media channels and to subscribe to the festival’s official newsletter to stay up-to-date…

Elephant in the Parlor (#894)

I’ve been saying I distrusted Avenatti since the beginning:

Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti has been arrested and charged with federal wire fraud and bank fraud in California as well as four counts of extortion in New York…Avenatti tried to extort more than $20 million from Nike…[and] embezzled a client’s money to, in part, pay off expenses for his coffee business, Global Baristas US LLC, which operated Tully’s Coffee stores…Avenatti purchased the coffee stores in 2013 with actor Patrick Dempsey, who sued Avenatti that same year to break their business partnership…prosecutors in California also accused the lawyer of defrauding a bank with phony tax returns to obtain millions of dollars in loans…

The Course of a Disease (#896)

Looks like the Spanish case of the Swedish rot may be especially virulent:

Finnish websites used by sex workers to advertise and share information with each other have been closed down following a judicial warrant by Spanish police…Sihteeriopisto (Secretary College) and the international counterpart, sexworknet, were launched in Finland but…maintenance was moved overseas when the sale of sexual services was outlawed in Finland in 2003…A sex worker in Spain said:  “The…website had [a] forum, where sex workers were sharing warnings about bad clients, robbery…There are of course other websites, but none of them has a forum.  We lost the platform…where we could communicate and support each other”…These closures follow closures of similar websites in other countries, including in the USA following FOSTA-SESTA…

You may have noticed that the cops always go for the best boards, noted for civility and sex worker forums.  This is not accidental.

Lack of Evidence (#900)

All prostitution “stings” are entrapment; that’s the whole point of them:

Dee Curry…an outspoken advocate for transgender rights in the District of Columbia for many years…said she…was arrested on Feb. 8…as part of a D.C. police “sting” operation…she considers the police tactics used to arrest her as a form of entrapment…and…a misuse of police resources…her arrest involved a…[vice pig] who posed as an Uber driver and…[offered] her…a ride…then…said…[he] wanted a blowjob for $30 and [specifically wanted to] park [next to]…a school …“I said no you’re not, not with me…And that’s when the police came”…Curry [is a former]…sex work[er who retired] after a previous arrest in 2011 in which she said she was similarly entrapped…[but] found not guilty…when the [lying pig] gave the signal, three or four police cars with flashing lights and sirens rushed to the scene, with at least two [pigs] in each of the [swinemobiles]…to arrest her…[instead of dealing with actual] crime…

Yes, cops are actually trying to press prostitution charges against a 64-year-old woman for walking down the street.  I’m sure you feel safer now.

Worse Than I Thought (#914)

A rare victory for sex workers against the state:

Florida [politicians] have for now ditched plans to create a registry of prostitution clients…after sex workers and activists showed up at the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee to protest and give testimony…A version of the legislation passed the committee without the solicitation registry included…It [still] requires that cleaning and reception-desk staff at hotels and motels be trained on spotting the “signs” of trafficking—a list of absurd and ordinary behavior that includes not wanting cleaning service—and creates new regulatory liabilities on hospitality businesses…Heather Fitzenhagen…author of the failed solicitation registry idea [was unhappy, and vomited out some lawheaded bigotry]…”a prostitute…is committing a crime…It is not my intent to work with them going forward”…

An Avalanche of Bullshit

This could potentially be very good for us:

Lawyers for…Robert Kraft…want the 77-year-old’s solicitation of prostitution case to be tried by a jury instead of a judge…Kraft…was charged [after a massive massage-parlor pogrom] along with…about 300 men…in total…Kraft rejected a plea deal in which…he…and his fellow defendants [would be forced to pretend]…they would be found guilty if their case went to trial, [pay] a $5,000 fine, [perform] 100 hours of community service…attend…a [brainwashing] class [much like the dangerous “gay conversion therapy” which has been banned in a number of states]…and be tested for sexually transmitted diseases…

A jury trial will allow the lawyers to present expert witnesses and debunking of the “sex trafficking” hysteria which drove the raids; it will allow them to dig into the money trail and present that in open court; it will provide ammunition for the lawyers of the other victims of this raid, and other raids like it; and it may inspire other men to fight.  As I’ve been saying for the past decade, if everyone charged in a “prostitution sting” would fight the charges by demanding a trial, the machine would grind to a halt and the carceral system would be forced to change its tactics.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#922)

Even “legal” sex workers were harmed by FOSTA:

…HB 1756…strives to improve working conditions for strippers in Washington by implementing mandatory trainings, establishing an adult entertainer advisory committee, putting panic buttons in VIP rooms, and making a blacklist for abusive patrons…Savannah Sly, a sex worker and community organizer with Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) Seattle, believes the organizing started after FOSTA/SESTA…[and the government destruction of]…Backpage…sent shockwaves throughout the sex worker community…”There are displaced sex workers and clients who are looking for a place to connect,” Sly told the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee…[w]hen…internet spaces for sex work…disappeared…it forced [many] sex work[ers] offline and back onto the streets…former [escort] clients, without the spaces they used to frequent, are making their way into strip clubs…

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You’re giving all your data to the pornographic equivalent of Mark Zuckerberg.  –  Jim Killock

Above the Law 

If only there were a concise word for “sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman”:

Rep. Brian Ellis has resigned, effective immediately…Pennsylvania state House Republicans stripped Ellis of his Consumer Affairs Commitee chairmanship in January after allegations that he sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman…[who] was drugged while having a drink and was sexually assaulted at Ellis’s home…more than three years ago…

I’m gratified to see that nearly every commenter is as disgusted as I am with KDKA’s avoidance of the word “rape”.  But Ellis isn’t our only rapist government actor this week:

…Wisconsin probation-parole agent [Reynaldo Rosalez, who]…sexually assault[ed] a…10 year…old [girl]…pleaded no contest…to…sexual assault of a child…on July 12, 2018…the victim…said “she was scared to tell him to stop because she has heard people who drink alcohol can become violent,” and he had been drinking…after the…assault, she “hid in the bathroom,” before Rosalez sexually assaulted her a second time…the next day, she told her mother what happened “because if she didn’t tell the truth, this could keep happening and nobody would know”…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

[Pigs raided] Ace Spa, Golden Spa and Sun Spa…[and] the Prosecuting Attorney’s office [claimed without the slightet scrap of evidence that it was about]…sex trafficking…in…Honolulu.  Two women were [molested and caged]…But, less than 24 hours…[later] all three businesses had their open sign lit up and front doors wide open [because they are businesses with bills to that don’t go away when pigs attack while prohibitionists wank]…Kathryn Xian, the executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery [vomited out a lot of disgusting, racist filth which reporters eagerly lapped up as though they were dogs]…

Bad Girls (#540) 

Caty Simon on overlapping prohibitions:

…Street-based sex workers, in particular, are commonly viewed as one-stop vice shops by their clients…we’re pressured to not only procure drugs for our clients, but also to babysit drug culture naive middle-class men on their benders…in 2015, sex worker Alix Tichelman was arrested and convicted for manslaughter for the overdose death of her sugar daddy, Google exec Forrest Hayes…The way in which this young sex worker was portrayed as a heartless killer is an example of how drug-induced homicide laws perpetuate the madonna/whore complex…drug-using women…are either innocent white damsels led astray and murdered by the shadowy men who initiate us into drug use, or conversely…we are the amoral, seductive temptresses who lead upstanding men to their deaths…Global trends in laws around sex work…keep us isolated and working alone…Similarly, drug-induced homicide laws which promise a murder charge if you happen to hand your friend a bag they then OD on also encourage drug users to use alone, even though doing so is itself the most dangerous risk factor for overdose.  These legal frameworks…encourage drug users, sex workers, and. most relevantly, drug-using sex workers, to die alone rather than form communities in which we protect each other…

Between the Ears (#719) 

Why do men want to put stupid gadgets on their dicks?

…the “Cock Cam” from UK company Julz…[is] “the world’s first cock ring with a camera,” available now for $160…the camera in Julz’s “stretchy yet tight” wearable ring records up to 90 minutes of 1080p, H.264 video in MP4 format.  It features night vision, too, as well as a rechargeable lithium battery…there’s Wi-Fi to worry about in this thing too, complete with a companion app that lets users view their videos or share them with a partner…the Cock Cam is one of a growing field of internet-connected sex toys, and perhaps the most concerning one yet given that we aren’t just talking about remote controls or usage statistics, but video…Julz [claims] your videos are never transmitted to the cloud, but are instead stored locally on your phone…[however] the company is currently working to update the app to allow for FaceTime-style live streaming…

Yes, ladies, soon we may not just have to endure static dick pics, but also unwelcome wanking videos.

The Widening Gyre (#800)

Fact:  3-year-old suspiciously vanishes. Conclusion: sex trafficking!

It’s been almost 12 years since [3-year-old] Madeleine McCann…vanished from her British family’s vacation villa in…Portugal…Gerry and Kate McCann…faced suspicion and intense media scrutiny after their daughter first went missing in May 2007…The couple later won a libel suit against a Portuguese detective who wrote a book claiming the McCanns were involved…A new 8-part Netflix docuseries, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann…advances the [fantas]y that Madeleine was abducted and…sold into a trafficking ring…[because] Madeleine’s body was never found and there is scant evidence pointing elsewhere…

Abducted?  Sure.  But when a three-year-old is abducted from a fancy resort, the most likely motive is ransom, not “sex slavery”.  A far more likely possibility is that something went wrong and the child was killed.

Elephant in the Parlor (#831)

It’s dangerous to be a woman who knows the sexual secrets of powerful men:

…prosecutors have opened an investigation into the possible poisoning death of a Moroccan model who was a key witness in the trial against ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi over his infamous “bunga bunga” parties.  Imane Fadil…died March 1 at a Milan-area hospital, where she had been treated since Jan. 29 for exhibiting “symptoms of poisoning”…Berlusconi was initially convicted of charges that he paid for sex with an underage woman…[but] was ultimately acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015…Fadil had testified against Berlusconi during the initial trial, and then with two other women had sought civil damages in a spinoff investigation over allegations that Berlusconi paid witnesses for their silence…by January, the Milan court had thrown out their claims altogether.  Two weeks later, Fadil was hospitalized…

All-Purpose Excuse (#857)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

To justify his border wall, Mr. Trump is fond is [repeating] the [common prohibitonist trope] of sex trafficking victims brought over the southern border.  “Women are tied up, they’re bound, duct tape put around their faces,” he said — a garish but apparently imaginary scenario that people who [profit from] trafficking [hysteria invented and frequently use in their propaganda]…“The administration appears to view trafficking as a convenient tool to justify its border policies, rather than as a [convenient tool to expand the police state and enrich NGOs like ours]” said [fetishist] Martina Vandenberg…Beginning late last year, applicants for visas were put on notice that they may be subject to deportation proceedings in immigration court if their bids for humanitarian visas are denied.  That was a shift from earlier practice under which applicants were exempt from summons to immigration court, a policy designed to incentivize [people to declare themselves] victims [so as] to [inflate the “victim” numbers]…In [furtherance] of [increased violence against sex workers]…Mr. Trump sheds crocodile tears…

Legislators Gone Wild (#879) 

The anti-whore brigade couldn’t get the people to support them, so politicians want to overrule the people:

[Politician] Joe Hardy said he plans to introduce a bill that would ban licensed brothels in Nevada…Hardy said [a lot of misogynistic, infantilizing nonsense claiming that brothel workers]…“are…being abused.  In some cases, raped”…[he also bizarrely referred to attempting to police individuals’ sex lives as being] “…grown up”…“The bill is based on falsehoods,” former sex worker [and brothel researcher] Christina Parreira said…

Given that fewer than 1% of Nevada sex workers operate from the brothels, this is absolutely nothing more than political showboating.

Opting Out (#893) 

The UK’s long-deferred surveillance/censorship scheme is finally about to begin:

The government will next week confirm the launch date for…UK-wide [censorship of]…online [content] as privacy campaigners continue to raise concerns about how websites and age verification companies will use the data they collect.  The plan for implementing the long-delayed age block, which has been beset by [the problems intrinsic to all censorship schemes]…is expected to be announced alongside the government’s other proposals for tackling online content [politicians dislike]…although it could be several months before the system is fully up and running.  The age block will require commercial pornography sites to show that they are taking sufficient steps to verify their users are over 18, such as by uploading a passport or driving licence or by visiting a newsagent to buy a pass only available to adults…Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said he remained concerned about the [inevitability] of a major data leak as a result of people handing over their personal identification…[about] sexual preference[s]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#898)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

…through its Vigilant Solutions contract…ICE has access not only to 5 billion records gathered by private businesses, but also to 1.5 billion data points contributed by over 80 local law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen states…these…arrangements may violate ICE [claimed] privacy policies and state and local data-sharing laws—particularly in cases where the data originates from sanctuary cities…Automated license plate readers…are…mounted on overpasses, bridges, road signs, public vehicles, or on private property such as malls or parking lots.  They can record thousands of license plates per minute and capture the location coordinates, date, and time along with each photo for long-term aggregation and storage.  The data they accumulate can be used to create a detailed picture of where a car has been over time…

Backwards into the Future (#902) 

I wonder how long it will be before the US abandons “re-education” for sex workers and clients?

When Chinese legislators recommended the abolition of “education” detention centres where prostitutes and clients can be held without charge for two years, activists hoped the facilities’ days were numbered.  They will have to wait longer…police have unilateral power to detain sex workers and their clients for up to two years in “shelter and education” centres…[which] have little to do with education…testimonies of ex-detainees collected by [human rights group] Asia Catalyst…revealed the harsh…conditions in the centres…includ[ing]…forced labour…and the obligation to pay for subsistence and forced medical examinations at prohibitive prices…“it is just a way of extorting money on behalf of the state and the police,” one of the women told the group…

So, basically the same as the US.

The Course of a Disease (#911)

Like anti-vaxxers who not only neglect their own health, but actively spread contagion:

France and Sweden have launched a new common strategy for combatting…[consensual] sex…which specifically calls on other countries to [infanti]lise the [sellers] of sex…The strategy is a response to [women’s economic freedom and increasing recognition of individual rights]…that every [police state] has a duty to combat…

Rough Trade (#914) 

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

A sex worker…yelled, pushed and stabbed a client with her thumbs after he ignored her attempts to withdraw consent…Norman Ariate Alonzo denies being told to stop, [claiming the idiotic “she wanted to be barebacked by a stranger” defense]…Alonzo​…faces a charge of rape…[because] the woman noticed the condom had fallen off and she asked Alonzo to stop so she could retrieve another.  Instead, he continued to [rape her until she]…jabbed her thumbs into Alonzo’s throat and hit him across the face.  She ran out of the room, told her manager and waited in the bathroom until police arrived…

Condoms don’t “fall off” during active penetration unless they break or the man goes soft (unless he has a micropenis); they can, however, be stealthily pulled off by the kind of guy who thinks “she wanted it” is a believable defense for rape.

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Perhaps being a victim of privacy invasion will help Jeff Bezos realize the evils of what his company is enabling.  –  Glenn Greenwald

Rough Trade 

Despite this being an insultingly-low sentence, it’s doubtful he’d be convicted at all in the US:

A man has been sentenced to a suspended jail term after he raped a Canberra sex worker during an appointment…Aaron John Miller…and the woman agreed…[on a 2-hour] session…[with] various extra services…The woman explicitly said she would not permit a particular activity.  However, during the appointment Miller went outside the bounds of their agreement…Police identified him through his credit card and when interviewed he said he had engaged in the offensive conduct because he got carried away [while drunk]…

Theatrics (#765) 

Fake “sex trafficking” ads dreamed up by prohibitionists demonstrate the depravity of their lurid masturbatory fantasies about our lives and work.  Here’s one a reader recently captured in Atlanta airport.  Note that the white girl in the fake “ad” appears to be about 11, and that the hand of the “client” is dark-skinned.  “Sex trafficking” mythology is rooted in racism, and racism still permeates the sick minds of those obsessed with it.

Little Boxes (#792)

Court rules that a law which allows cops to arrest women but not men “does not discriminate based on gender”:

…the New Hampshire Supreme Court…upheld the convictions of three women who were arrested for going topless on a beach in 2016.  In the 3-to-2 ruling, the court decided that a city ordinance in Laconia, N.H., that bars women [but not men] from exposing their nipples did not discriminate based on gender…

The Course of a Disease (#799)

While the US medical establishment obediently parrots “sex trafficking” hysteria, European medical groups are increasingly following the lead of Médecins du Monde, The Lancet and UNAIDS:

[UK] nurses are calling for prostitution to be decriminalised.  They argue sex workers are more likely to access health care such as regular STI checks.  And they would be able to report violent clients to police without fear of arrest…Bristol nurse Lou Cahill has ensured it will be debated at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference in May.  Her motion seeks to decriminalise the trade…[and] the union will demand a law change if the motion is passed…

Worse Than I Thought (#819)

You just can’t keep an out-of-control prohibitionist down:

…Lauren Book’s human trafficking bill had [an idiotic] idea: allow [opportunists] to sue [whichever] hotels [had the deepest pockets by claiming they once had sex there]…[Obviously] the powerful hotel lobby [had no choice but] to kill [something that would’ve allowed unscrupulous lawyers to treat them as ATMs, but]…Book…is back with a new version of the bill…[which] does not include allowing [opportunistic nuisance lawsuits]…but…does require hotels [to indocrinate] their employees [in misogynistic surveillance techniques]…and…Creates a registry of [people who have consensual sex or are related in any way to sex workers]…

The War Goes On (#867) 

I hope you amateurs are enjoying the changes to the internet your silence helped to create:

…As the use of online dating sites continues to increase, so will opportunities for unsuspecting people to be tricked into dangerous situations by human traffickers.  But the companies that own and operate these sites can do something about it.  We are gathering signatures to petition the Match Group, owners of the popular dating sites, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid, Match, and more, to implement [surveillance] features to help keep [magical ninja pimps] off of their platform…sex traffickers have long learned it’s [sic] benefits for tricking young people into sexual exploitation…

Yes, Polaris (with pigs in tow, as usual) is now coming after your dating apps and websites.  Because though it usually starts with us, it never stops with us.

Vendetta (#868)

Another pogrom to enable a sociopathic billionaire’s twisted psychodrama:

A nationwide [entrapment pogrom] intended to curb [consensual] sex…by targeting [peaceful] people trying to [arrange consensual] sex netted more than 390 arrests since last month, 38 of them in Cook County.  The [bizarrely-named] National Johns Suppression Initiative, the 17th [pogrom] of its kind since 2011, spanned 14 states and ran from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3…[pigs] placed [fake] ads on “more than a dozen…websites [people use to arrange consensual sex with other adults]”…and…led to at least 372 [peaceful men] arrested nationwide, including 21 charged with soliciting a [cop pretending to be an adult woman engaged in ageplay]…another 23 people arrested during the sting are also facing human trafficking charges [for being associates of sex workers.  At least] thirty-five [sex workers] were [also arrested]…

Elephant in the Parlor (#872) 

As long as transactional sex is criminalized and stigmatized, it will be used as a weapon against women:

Since August 17, [Maria] Butina has been [cag]ed at the Alexandria Detention Center…she spent her 30th birthday in solitary confinement, in…a seven-by-ten-foot room with a steel door, cement bed, and two narrow windows, each three inches wide.  She has been allowed outside for a total of 45 minutes.  On December 13, Butina pleaded guilty to conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of the Russian Federation.  She faces a possible five-year sentence in federal prison…But…The government’s case against Butina is extremely flimsy and appears to have been driven largely by a desire for publicity.  In fact, federal prosecutors were forced to retract the most attention-grabbing allegation in the case—that Butina used sex to gain access and influence…Despite the lack of evidence…prosecutors—abetted by an uncritical media willing to buy into the idea of a Russian agent infiltrating conservative political circles—were intent on getting a win…

If Men Were Angels (#897) 

The problem isn’t Catholicism, Christianity or even religion; it’s teaching kids to blindly submit to authority:

Debbie Vasquez…was 14…when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger [Texas]…It was the first of many assaults that…destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant…In June 2008, she paid her way to Indianapolis, where she and others asked leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention and its 47,000 churches to track sexual predators and take action against congregations that harbored or concealed abusers…Southern Baptist leaders rejected nearly every proposed reform.  The abusers haven’t stopped.  They’ve hurt hundreds more…In the decade since Vasquez’s appeal…more than 250 people who worked or volunteered in Southern Baptist churches have been charged with sex crimes…since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct…They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches…Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions.  About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending…More than 100 are registered sex offenders.  Some still work in Southern Baptist churches today…

Pyrrhic Victory (#903) 

While Amazon keeps supporting the fascist surveillance state, Bezos demands his privacy be exempt:

…Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos…published emails in which the [National] Enquirer’s parent company explicitly threatened to publish intimate photographs of Bezos and his mistress…unless Bezos agreed to a series of demands involving silence about the company’s conduct.  In a perfect world, none of the sexually salacious material the Enquirer was threatening to release would be incriminating or embarrassing to Bezos: it involves consensual sex between adults that is the business of nobody other than those involved and their spouses.  But that’s not the world in which we live…The prospect of naked selfies of Bezos would obviously generate intense media coverage and all sorts of adolescent giggling and sanctimonious judgments…The…Enquirer  was…actively devoted to Donald Trump’s election…while Bezos, as the owner of the steadfastly anti-Trump Washington Post, is viewed by Trump as a political enemy…the NSA, FBI [and] other agencies…have a long…history of [such spying], which is why…Democratic adoration for those agencies, and the recent bipartisan further empowerment of them, was so disturbing…one of the stories we were able to report using the Snowden documents…is an active NSA program to collect…browsing records of porn site and sex chats, of people regarded by the U.S. Government as radical…in order to use their online sex habits to destroy their reputations.  This is what and who the NSA, CIA and FBI are…[which is] deeply ironic…because Amazon…is a critical partner for the U.S. Government in building an ever-more invasive…surveillance state.  Indeed, one of the largest components of Amazon’s business, and thus one of the most important sources of Bezos’ vast wealth and power, is working with the Pentagon and the NSA to empower the U.S. Government with more potent and more sophisticated weapons, including surveillance weapons…

Top Cop

Kamala Harris is now telling her brainwashed fans that she was a “progressive” prosecutor:

The 1990s were among the most punishing decades in the recent  history of American justice.  Zealous prosecutors competed to put the most people behind bars, and politicians were eager to pass new laws to extend sentences.  In San Francisco, Terence Hallinan was one of the only prosecutors in America bucking the trend.  A legendary civil rights activist, defense attorney…and…outspoken advocate for marijuana legalization, Hallinan rode a wave of discontent…to become San Francisco district attorney in 1995.  He swiftly fired senior prosecutors…and called drug use a victimless crime…Yet Hallinan…was expelled in 2003 after just two terms in office, despite San Francisco’s notorious liberal bent.  An up-and-coming young career prosecutor named Kamala Harris…carefully cultivated a base of support among [cops]…wealthy donors, and [other authoritarians]…Far from the “smart on crime” mantra she touted in her successful bid to become California’s attorney general…Harris’s first campaign reflected familiar tactics in an era of booming mass incarceration…

Pyrrhic Victory (#912) 

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

San Francisco’s government does not own an all-seeing network of surveillance cameras that watch people as they go about their daily business.  However…if officialdom wants to find out what people have been up to, it has access to thousands upon thousands of surveillance cameras that record exactly that.  In many cases, private residents and businesses installed these cameras themselves and offered access to [the pigs]…the modern surveillance state…is largely driven by good intentions, private fears, and innovative entrepreneurs vying for government contracts.  A map and dataset of 2,753 cameras owned by private and public operators in San Francisco was published last week by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)….”The District Attorney refused to reveal the locations of an additional 510 cameras,” notes EFF…A small number…are official government surveillance cameras…a few are [repurposed] red-light cameras…Two hundred and forty-nine of the cameras are maintained by the Union Square Business Improvement District (USBID)…But the vast majority—2,406 never-blinking lenses—[we]re…installed by private businesses, individuals, and associations…

Stupor Bowl (#912)

Virtually the only people who still profess to believe this nonsense are cops and politicians:

…[prohibitionist propaganda claimed] Atlanta was supposed to be a bastion of sex during Super Bowl week, with both…sex work…and sex trafficking…on the rise.  Yet sex workers say that [as is typical for sex mega sports events] neither seemed to be occurring at higher levels than usual in Atlanta.  The lack of sex trafficking wasn’t surprising:  The claim that sex trafficking increases during the Super Bowl is a manytimesbusted myth.  But I wondered why sex workers weren’t raking in the cash.  According to them, the sex trafficking stings, particularly an FBI anti-trafficking operation in beginning on Jan. 23, were partly to blame…

Only partly; I can assure younger sex workers that the Super Bowl and similar events have never been good for business, for reasons that should be obvious.

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