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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’

I’m always happy when journalists investigate the wild fantasies promoted by politicians, cops, and “rescue” profiteers via the mainstream media.  First of all, they have much better investigational tools and resources than I do, plus paid time to do the job; second, they have a far larger platform, and can thus inform many more people of the truth even if their coverage of the topic trails mine by years; and third, given the central role played by the news media in disseminating the lies and propagating the hysteria, it is the moral responsibility of ethical journalists to at least attempt to counteract the massive damage done by their unethical, incompetent and lazy brethren.  So I was very pleased indeed to see Michael Hobbes (whom I’ve corresponded with before) publish in Huffington Post (which for a while was as happy as any other site to spread anti-sex tall tales) a thorough debunking of that “brave hero cops rescue dozens of ‘sex trafficked children’ in Georgia” masturbatory fantasy from a couple of weeks ago.  So much information is intentionally omitted from the “official” press releases in such stories that I’m often forced to surmise the real meaning of semantically-opaque terms like “rescued”; I’m gratified to see that the details Hobbes uncovered are close to my educated guesses:

…“U.S. Marshals Find 39 Missing Children in Georgia”…proclaimed the government’s official press release.  Federal agents and local law enforcement, it said, had rescued 26 children, “safely located” 13 more and arrested nine perpetrators, some of whom were charged with sex trafficking.  The facts of the operation weren’t clear (what does “safely located” mean, exactly?), but it didn’t stop media outlets from taking up the story…the vast majority…were little more than rewritten versions of the U.S. Marshals Service’s press release.  Within hours, social media users continued the game of telephone. “39 kids were just recovered from traffickers in Georgia,” Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing student group Turning Point USA, wrote in a tweet…More than 150,000 people shared a single-sentence tweet from someone named King Randall, I: “How is finding 39 missing children in a double wide trailer here in Georgia NOT the biggest news story in America?”  Well, to answer a one-sentence question with a one-sentence answer, 39 kids being rescued from a trailer in Georgia is not the biggest news story in America because 39 kids were not rescued from a trailer in Georgia… 

…“This was not a designated anti-trafficking operation,” [said] Darby Kirby, a U.S. Marshals Service inspector…the…effort…was a collaboration between state and federal authorities to locate 78 “critically missing” children…they…found all but 13…39 were “recovered,” meaning they were removed from whatever situation they were in — which could be anything from living on the streets to crashing on a friend’s couch to staying with a parent who didn’t have custody rights.  The other 26 cases were closed without the child being “recovered”…[which] could [either] mean that another agency…found them — or that they had been home all along…authorities said they suspected [emphasis Maggie’s] that 15…were [so-called] victims of trafficking (meaning [only that] they were engaging in commercial sex) but confirmed only six cases…The operation netted only one new charge of sex trafficking…Of the seven men and two women arrested, three were charged with probation violations, one was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and two were accused of violating custody arrangements.  One…was arrested on a warrant for a previous sex trafficking charge, and two more were arrested on warrants for sex crimes in other states…agents did not rescue a large number of children from a single location — or even a single jurisdiction…only two…were recovered together.  The other kids were found individually across 15 Georgia counties and six other states:  South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Florida, Kentucky and Michigan.  The operation took place over two weeks, not one night…the agency did not conduct any raids…

…It’s also worth noting that the operation was also set up to arrest [legal minors], not just rescue [children]…two…were [arested as] suspects in homicide cases, and one was a person of interest in another…11…had…“some kind of gang affiliation”…seven warrants [in all] were issued for underage offenders…54 of the 78…had been in foster care before they went missing…most…were…runaways…

There’s a lot more, but I think you get the picture.  Between some reporters waking up, some outlets at last letting skeptical journalists publish stories like this, and some (like the New York Times) being forced to recant their own propaganda for fear of being associated with QAnon, I think it’s safe to say we’ve at last entered the period of skeptical journalism that always precedes the collapse of a moral panic.

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Zoiks!  –  Norville Rogers

One of this week’s deaths was Joe Ruby, who with his partner Ken Spears created Scooby Doo, Where Are You? during their time at Hanna-Barbera.  Years later, they started their own studion, which produced this cartoon I was very fond of (though I did often make fun of the fact that, due to broadcast standards & practices in 1980, Thundarr never killed anything with his “fabulous Sun Sword”).  The links above the video were provided by Grace, Mike Siegel, Yasmin Nair, Jesse Walker, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Anarras Ansible, in that order.

From the Archives

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This is not a game…This is our…livelihood.  –  Cris Sardina

Counterfeit Comfort 

This steaming turd is even more worthless than is typical of NPR’s bluenosed imitation of “journalism”, starting with the headline:  the “sex offender” registry wasn’t “designed to protect” anyone; it was and is intended to inflict unconstitutional and extrajudicial punishment on an arbitrarily-defined group of people after the end of their sentences.  Even if the registry were limited to the sort of violent criminals the story luridly cherry-picks in order to uphold its false premise, it would still make no sense; there is no registry for murderers, those who permanently maimed their victims, and many other criminals far more dangerous than the majority of those condemned to permanent pariah status for such heinous “crimes” as public urination, taking selfies, or having consensual sex before the Sacred Moment of Shazam.  If, as the story postulates, there is a problem with these people taking back their lives from illegal state control, maybe the solution is to stop condemning so goddamned many people  –  a disproportionate number of whom are poor and black, and 25% of whom were first “registered” when they were under 18  –  to unpersonhood in the first goddamned place, often by evil scams such as those described in the item below.

Bait and Switch (#849)

Cops don’t care how many lives they destroy with their sick fantasies:

Since 2015, nearly 300 men in…Washington State have been arrested [by male cops fantasy-role playing online as young teen girls] in…a…[scam revoltingly labeled] Operation Net Nanny…[as is typical in such scams, many] are 25 or younger [and seeking consensual sex with age-peers, though cops manipulate them so as to be able to argue that they committed] …attempted rape of a child…even though no actual children were involved.  The emails and texts offering sex are written [one-handed] by [pervert cops]…The “girls” in the photos are [clearly] not 13.  They are [adult sows]…At least five of the men [entrapped by this evil sex game] have committed suicide…most of the [victims] have no felony record…and 92 percent have no history of violent crime.  They are nonetheless sentenced, on average, to more than six years in prison with no chance of parole…[then condemned to] the…sex-offender registry for at least 10 years — and often for life…The[se victims] can wind up serving more time than men who are convicted of sexually assaulting and raping actual children…

Make sure you read down to the part about how these ugly scams are enabled in part by “sex trafficking” profiteers “Operation Underground Railroad”, best known for their cowboy raids victimizing brown people in the developing world.

Finding What Isn’t There (#880)

The easiest way to increase “sex trafficking” numbers is to invent imaginary “victims”:

…“Operation Not Forgotten” [is what Georgia cops melodramatically called a scam in which they arrested]…26 [legal minors, mostly teen runaways] and…found [13 kids who were with parents other than those assigned custody by courts.  Spokespigs oinked out fantasies about]…potential victims of sex trafficking…

Nine adults were arrested during the raids, mostly for probation violations, custody order violations, or merely continuing to exist while condemned to the “sex offender” registry.  Despite the claims of “authorities” that this was a “sex trafficking bust”, only one person was charged under Georgia’s incredibly-broad “sex trafficking” law.

The Widening Gyre (#961)

Words cannot express the extent of my delight at seeing the arch-mythmonger Polaris forced to debunk some of the hysteria it has disseminated (and profited handsomely from) for most of this century.  In the past few years, local cop shops have often been forced to deny stupid rumors that they aren’t in control of which are clogging their phone lines, but this is the first time I’ve seen Polaris put in this position, and the schadenfreude is so sweet.  Incidentally, the reason I took a screenshot of this press release rather than linking it is that Polaris counts clicks on their site as “sex trafficking reports”, and they even block the Internet Archive from archiving their pages so as to force those wanting to disseminate the information to cick directly on their site, thus unwittingly giving them ammo for their campaign of lies.

Paint By Numbers (#973)

Have you noticed dumb “anti-trafficking” stunts are now mostly ads for sports?

Renée Brinkerhoff…started Project 356…to…“use [auto rally] racing as a platform to do something about child trafficking worldwide”…[after] she saw a man on an airport bus viewing a…[porn] image of a young child on his phone…Ms. Brinkerhoff…also “participated in [anti-whore stings]”…She once spent two weeks in Southeast Asia working with…Exodus Road, a…profit[able anti-sex work] organization…that [provides opprtunities for weathy white entertainers to play cowboy using brown people in developing countries as unwlling props]

Working From Home (#1045)

So much for the idea that celebrities cosplaying as sex workers would fight stigma:

Bella Thorne…[is a] former Disney star [who] made $1 million…during her first 24 hours on OnlyFans…[by] engaging in fraudulent behavior…[thus] triggering OnlyFans policy changes that harm sex workers…Thorne had charged $200 for nudes that she failed to deliver, and which reportedly led to numerous refund requests…[as a result] OnlyFans introduced…policy change[s] that…add[ed] a 30-day wait period for payouts and restrict[ed] pay-per-view prices to $50.  The company [claim]s the policy change wasn’t based on a single user, but many saw it as a response to the [huge number of] chargebacks…Thorne…[issued a mealy-mouthed “apology” in which she claimed her scam was somehow well-intended]…

The Implosion Begins

Evangelical churches get what they deserve for embracing “sex trafficking” mythology:

Some Christian leaders, including a couple of prominent conservative evangelicals, have denounced…QAnon…and…its…growing support among…evangelical churchgoers and other mostly conservative communities…Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler Jr…compared QAnon…to the early church heresy of Gnosticism …“Christians don’t have secret beliefs we hide from the world”…Tyler Huckabee, senior editor at Relevant Magazine…that QAnon’s claims are “farfetched”…and fueled by “confirmation bias”…Author and pastor Joe Carter denounced QAnon in a column…label[ing] QAnon a “political cult” and “satanic movement…QAnon…often traffics in lies, which Jesus says are associated with Satan”…

For evangelicals to refer to dealing in lies as “Satanic” when they have embraced that strategy in their attacks on science, human sexuality, and sexual minorities for over four decades is pretty fucking rich.  And for evangelicals to call others’ beliefs “farfetched” is laugh-out-loud funny.

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Prohibitions don’t eliminate things. They drive them underground.  –  Jeffrey Miron

Welcome To Our World

You mean laws can’t stop consensual business transactions? Who would have thought?

…underground gyms appear to be popping up everywhere, from LA to New Jersey…Governments can legislate all they want, but prohibiting stuff with eager buyers and sellers is super hard…and…When markets get pushed underground, quality control tends to go down. In the case of drugs, this means potentially finding rat poison in your weed.  When it comes to gyms in the COVID-19 era, it means potentially creating fitness environments that are even more likely to spread the virus than if they were legal and regulated…

Give Them an Inch…

European anti-migration policies grow steadily more horrible:

At least 1,072 migrants were sailed to the edge of Greece’s water territory on inflatable life rafts and abandoned by Greek authorities…[one of the victims reported] that on July 26, she and 22 others including babies were taken by masked Greek officials from a detention centre on…Rhodes while it was dark outside….they were left on a “rudderless, motorless life raft” and were later rescued by the Turkish Coast Guard…abandon[ing] migrants at sea is illegal under international law…François Crépeau, former United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants [called the act]…”a human rights and humanitarian disaster”…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do (#933)

I love it when they feed on their own:

…[Florida cop] Stephen Utter…was arrested this month for trying to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex…Utter was made immediately aware of the [fictional] girl’s age before he began to sexually groom…a cop [fantasy roleplaying] an actual child…Utter sent explicit messages detailing the sexual acts he wished to perform…Once he’d incriminated himself enough, police moved in to arrest him…

Saving Them From Themselves (#987)

Georgia pigs are especially enthusiastic about destroying young people’s lives for the terrible “crime” of looking at pictures:

On the second day of virtual classes for Henry County schools, the county’s police department [issued a threat to] students…“If you stream pornography in an online class…the…Sheriff’s Office will find you and charge you with life-[destroying] charges…[including] child pornography [and] child molestation [?]…and [you will be condemned] to [the]…sex offender [registry]”…

I Spy (#1014)

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

A newly released document shows the U.S. Secret Service went through a…social media surveillance company to purchase the location information on American’s movements, no warrant necessary.  Babel Street is a shadowy organization that offers a product called Locate X that…gather[s supposedly] anonymized location data from a host of popular apps that users have unwittingly installed on their phones…U.S. Customs and Border Protection ha[s] a contract to use Locate X and…the Secret Service ha[s] used…it…[since at least] September 28, 2017…

Guinea Pigs (#1018) 

Courtesy of Tryst, here’s Maya Morena on the gang of malignant sociopaths called Deliverfund:

DeliverFund is a…private intelligence agency that provides data to [cops]…they combine counterterrorism (War on Terror), anti-drug, anti-immigrant, and anti-poverty tactics to target the sex industry…[and] track sex workers online…[one of their collaborators is] ShadowDragon, which…[scrapes] escort sites [to] collect data [from] sex worker’s advertisements to [give it to cops, usin the excuse that]…”they’re all secretly controlled by traffickers”…To them we aren’t really people who need to work, to pay bills and live, we are examples of human trafficking…

The Implosion Begins

The Democrats won’t admit that they are just as responsible for this as the GOP:

QAnon [follower] Alpalus Slyman pushed his Honda Odyssey past 110 mph while his five children screamed in the back…and [cops]…pursued him…[he prayed to] Donald Trump…on a livestream [and shouted]… “QAnon, help me!”…Slyman appears to have been convinced …that the police were coming to abduct [his children]…after he accused [one daughter] and his wife…of being agents of the [“sex trafficking”] cabal that QAnon believers say controls the world…he…told his children, who ranged from 8 months to 13 years old…that a video of Hillary Clinton and aide Huma Abedin eating childrens’ brains was discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop…the chase only ended when Slyman crashed into a [copmobile]…then drove his minivan into a tree…His five children were unharmed…a group of QAnon believers are now actively encouraging parents estranged from their children to steal those children back from child protective services…

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We put incredibly onerous restrictions on them that are…des[igned] to…make them fail.  –  Daniel Lambright

Counterfeit Comfort (#52) 

New York increases “indefinite imprisonment” to “death sentence”:

On March 4, Hector Rodriguez was sent to Rikers Island because he failed to log his address with state’s sex offender registry — even though he had been homeless for years.  Rodriguez died June 21 on his jail bed, while struggling to breathe during a severe asthma attack…he was 60 years old and had contracted COVID-19 in April…Rodriguez was convicted of raping a woman…in 1979, when he was a teenager.  He spent 23 years in prison and has been on the Sex Offender Registry since his release…“He died in a jail where he was put because he didn’t tell someone he was homeless? What kind of society does that?” asked Vincent Schiraldi, who served as probation commissioner during the Giuliani administration…

Sex Rays

Where “bad vibes” is used to mean “sex rays”:

At the posh 75 Main in Southampton [New York], owner Zach Erdem…[publicly] chopped up and torched Table 1 — the favorite of onetime regular Jeffrey Epstein, and occasionally, Harvey Weinstein…“I’m sick of the bad energy of this table,…Every time I see it I think of that sicko.”  The bustling brunch crowd left their tables to gawk at the bonfire in progress, whooping and chanting, “Burn, Epstein, burn!” as Erdem hacked at the cursed table and burned it into oblivion.  Renee Downing, a Miami native who summers in the Hamptons, toasted the roasting. “I think this sends a strong statement”…

Said statement being, “I figured out a way to turn last year’s news into an ad for my overpriced hipster restaurant, because if Gwyneth Paltrow can profit from a bunch of superstitious snobs with far more money than cognitive development, so can I.”

The Immunity Syndrome (#666)

The result of “abstinence only sex education”:

Plastic wrap.  Plastic bags.  These are some of the workarounds teens use to protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, pediatrician Dr. Laura Grubb, a specialist in adolescent medicine…published…in the journal Pediatrics…Grubb said…”I’ve heard so many teens tell me that they don’t need contraception or they don’t need condoms because they don’t plan on being sexually active.  And then a couple weeks later they’re back in the office and we’re running a pregnancy test or we’re testing for sexually transmitted infections.”   Recent rates of sexually transmitted infections, or STIs, have been skyrocketing among teens and young adults, at the same time that the number of teen pregnancies and births has declined…Adolescents and young adults account for more than 50% of new STI diagnoses, despite being only about 25% of the sexually active population…they [also] account for 1 in 5 of all new HIV…diagnoses in the United States…

The Last Shall Be First (#768)

Politicians’ potty obsession goes federal:

A copy of the new rule that will allow homeless shelters to refuse transgender people has been leaked to the media, and it contains instructions on how to spot transgender women to target them for discrimination…the Obama-era Equal Access Rule…required homeless shelters that receive HUD funding to house transgender people with the gender they identify as.  The rollback…allows single-gender homeless shelters to decide if they want a housing policy based on sex assigned at birth or gender identity, effectively allowing shelters…to determine who is transgender…the rule [says]…a shelter…may use “factors such as height, the presence…of facial hair, the presence of an Adam’s apple, and other physical characteristics”…if a homeless person appears…transgender…the shelter is allowed to ask them for proof of “biological sex”…[but stops short of allowing] shelters [to] forc[e] suspected transgender people to strip in front of them…

Checklist (#972) 

Airlines:  are you sure you want to keep accepting liability for employees racially profiling passengers due to the government propaganda you keep feeding them?

A Black social worker is suing American Airlines…[after] airline employees [accused] her of kidnapping a white toddler whom she was accompanying during a flight last fall.  Shannon Murphy, a social worker with Riverside County, California…was pulled off a plane in October and airline employees [temporarily abducted] the…toddler [she was bringing] back from a court-mandated two-week visit with his father in Arkansas.  While [she] was waiting for the second leg of a flight [at] Dallas-Fort Worth [a racist passenger]…told a flight attendant that they [fantasized] Murphy [was] holding a kidnap victim…Airline employees [forced] Murphy…[off] the plane…and took the child from her…she had paperwork…including her work ID, the child’s birth certificate, and a signed copy of the court order for the trip…but the…[employees preferred to be melodramatic instead of simply looking at the documents on the damned plane]…after about 40 minutes, during which the flight was delayed at the gate, she was let back on…

Dutch Threat (#1017)

The idea of just letting sex workers see clients in private, away from cops, bureaucrats and tourists, never occurs to the Dutch:

the Netherlands[‘ biased and punitive] lockdown measures…[plunged] legal…sex workers…into deep financial trouble and…emboldened [NIMBY]…residents…to [demand]…the [government throttle]…the…tourism [on which the inner city economy depends]…Sex workers [point out that, as is typical in places steeped in puritanism,] their industry has been unfairly singled out as the root of the problem…Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema [is using]…the pandemic [to push her scheme to confine]…sex workers…[in] a “prostitution hotel”…outside the [direct sight of busybodies]…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#1056) 

This is the second time we’ve seen fetishists trying to shore up their collapsing fantasy by pretending that “sex traffickers” discarded their “slaves” during the pandemic:

Thousands of Nigerian women forced into prostitution were left to starve by sex traffickers during the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy…[racist Europeans fantasize that] more than 80% of the tens of thousands of Nigerian women who arrived in Italy from Libya in recent years were victims of highly organised sex trafficking gangs.  The [fetishists claim that] women are forced into prostitution to pay off debts of up to €40,000 (£36,000) and controlled through violence and fear of juju” black magic rituals they are made to undergo before their journey to Europe…during the prolonged and strict three-month Covid-19 lockdown introduced by the Italian government, trafficking gangs abandoned women and their children, who were unable to leave their homes or work and were left without food or money to pay the rent.  Given the illegal status of their jobs, they had no recourse to financial assistance or unemployment benefits…

Anyone with at least one foot in reality could comprehend that sex workers are in financial trouble for the same reason as many other people, but that would require admitting that sex work is work.

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It’s disheartening to see Twitter side with the police against researchers, journalists, and the public.  –  Emma Best

Pathologization

The abuses committed by the “therapeutic state” are rarely so blatant:

A 16-year-old boy [locked in] a Los Angeles County [cage stack] developed enlarged breasts after he was [forced to take] estrogen [against his will to make him docile]…a move that baffled doctors who said the [so-called] treatment defied medical logic…The teen…was [claimed to have “]oppositional defiant disorder[“, a label invented to medicalize teens’ natural resentment of being treated like children]…Medical records…show that the teen’s testosterone levels were “slightly high” when the doctor [assigned to control] him prescribed daily doses of estrogen…After taking approximately 13 daily doses of the hormone, the teen was diagnosed with gynecomastia…James McGough, a professor of clinical psychiatry at UCLA…[said]“You won’t find a reference anywhere that supports the use of estrogen for ODD”…The doctor who prescribed the estrogen, Danny Wang, [is being sued along with the county by the young man, who]…will require surgery to treat the [malformity]…Wang prescribed a daily regimen of 2 milligrams of estrogen…without the parents’ consent…

2 mg of estrogen is roughly 4x the typical amount taken for hormone replacement by post-menopausal women.

Lying Down With Dogs (#412)

What other country does this sound like?

In mid-June, Tunisian Islamic political party El-Karama launched an initiative to ban all forms of sex work in the country and penalise sex workers…[using the moronic excuse of] “the dignity of…woman”… “Political parties [used to] shun sex work issues. It’s a taboo subject,” says Souhaila Bensaid, founder of the Tunisian Association for Positive Prevention (ATP+) for sexual and reproductive health. But increased animosity against sex workers over the past decade has turned into “a moralistic crusade,” according to Bensaid, leaving women in increasingly precarious situations with little to no protection…

Censor Chic (#882)

Corporations are becoming the favored tool of censors around the world:

Twitter has banned the account of the collective that published almost 270 gigabytes of leaked documents from police departments all over the country…Emma Best, the founder of Distributed Denial of Secrets…said that Twitter had taken down the official account of the DDoSecrets collective, which is made of activists, journalists, and technologists…when a Twitter user now clicks on a link that leads to the DDoSecrets’ site, it’s redirected to a warning that labels it as “unsafe”…“it’s disheartening to see Twitter side with the police against researchers, journalists, and the public”…[said] Best…

Forward and Backward (#894)

A prohibitionist attempt to destroy the Leeds red light district has been defeated:

The University of Huddersfield…[was] tasked…with investigating how effective the [Leeds] Managed Approach (MA) was, amid [attempts by] some [politicians to]…abandon…[it] altogether…the review concluded: “The MA was found to be more effective at reducing the impact of problems associated with on-street sex working than any other approach or model.  There are currently no alternative models or approaches that promise to be more effective and which fit within existing UK law on sex working”…[unfortunately NIMBY] residents [have] stag[ed] regular protests…[using the usual hackneyed claims of] littering and soliciting creeping into residential areas

The Cop Myth (#1004)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. Some don’t stop with beating:

[A] Dover [New Hampshire cop named Ronald Letendre beat his wife] Sarah [so severely he broke four of her ribs, then had her arrested] and charged her with domestic violence [on him]…the…husband…is a[lso]…a…former MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter…[since] the incident…The…police are…con[tinuing to harass]…Sarah…stopp[ing] her vehicle [and trying to brutalize and re-arrest her on bullshit charges]…Fortunately [s]he…was [able to escape] and…ha[s] not yet [been tracked down by]…police…

The Mote and the Beam (#1016)

Hawley has a long history of spouting self-aggrandizing lies about sex workers:

When Missouri police raided several Springfield massage parlors in 2017, as…Josh Hawley…tells it, it was a righteous rescue mission led by a promising young attorney general who would later go on to become a rising Republican star in the U.S. Senate…While this tale nicely reinforces Hawley’s long-standing preoccupations with public morality  and Chinese hegemonythe evidence doesn’t back up his version of events.  The real story is one about police and prosecutor overreach at the expense of potentially vulnerable immigrants, followed by grandstanding and falsehoods from a senator intent on rewriting his own history.  Three years after the initial raids, Missouri has [only] managed to elicit six guilty pleas to misdemeanor offenses against the state’s massage licensing law…Hawley’s…raids…[were] largely based on…the fact that they all advertised on the now-seized classified ad site Backpage

Safe Position (#1042)

Under the current zeitgeist, Swedish model pushers are being increasingly seen as the copsuckers they are:

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz [lied during] her campaign [by] promis[ing] to end the criminalization of sex work…[in reality she is pursuing a Swedish criminalization strategy…Amnesty International found in a study published in 2016, that [this] Model violate[s] the rights of sex workers by creating an atmosphere of fear built upon surveillance, evictions, and deportations…

Quiet Genocide (#1054)

Are Western media finally going to stop tiptoeing around calling this what it is?

Two recent disturbing events may finally awaken the world to the scale and horror of the atrocities being committed against the Uighurs…One is an authoritative report documenting the systematic sterilization of Uighur women.  The other was the seizure by U.S. Customs…of 13 tons of products made from human hair…forcibly removed from Uighurs imprisoned in concentration camps.  Both…evoke chilling parallels to past atrocities elsewhere, forced sterilization of minorities, disabled, and Indigenous people, and the image of the glass display of mountains of hair preserved at Auschwitz.  The Genocide Convention, to which China is a signatory, defines genocide as specific acts against members of a group with the intent to destroy that group in whole or in part.  These acts  include (a) killing; (b) causing serious bodily or mental harm; (c) deliberately inflicting conditions of life to bring about the group’s physical destruction; (d) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; and (e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.  Any one of these…constitutes genocide.  The overwhelming evidence [is that] Chin[a’s]…campaign [against]…the Uighur people…meets [all] of the[m]…Over a million…Uighurs are…subjected to electrocution, waterboarding, repeated beatingsstress positions, and injections of unknown substances…The repeated government orders to “break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections, and break their origins”…demonstrate a clear intent to eradicate the Uighur people as a whole…

Disqualified

Twitter accidentally admitted what everyone already knew:

[Last week]s hack of a large number of prominent Twitter accounts — which led to the company’s disabling of…verified…accounts for part of the day — also resulted in the unexpected confirmation of the practice known by users as “shadowbanning,” and by Twitter as “blacklisting”…the secret re-categorization of certain Twitter accounts, without the knowledge of the affected user or their followers, so that they do not show up in searches, predictive auto-complete fields or trending topics.  Even though…companies like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have in the past denied knowing what “shadowbanning” meant, large numbers of sex workers…are verifiably victims of this…practice…a…Motherboard article…[showed] a screencapture from Twitter’s back-end reveal[ing] some accounts labeled under “Trends Blacklist” and “Search Blacklist”…[reporter Samantha] Cole explained…“A Twitter spokesperson told Motherboard on the phone that these blacklists are the same ones it explained in 2018 (though it didn’t use the term ‘blacklist’ at the time and has not used that word publicly)”…

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Tracking protestors…and calling it “news” is still surveillance.
–  Andrew Ferguson

I Spy (#691) 

Twitter joins the fascists who claim surveillance isn’t surveillance:

…[fascist surveillance company] Dataminr [collaborated with cops to] digitally monitor the protests that swept the country following the killing of George Floyd, tipping off police to social media posts with the latest whereabouts and actions of demonstrators…The monitoring [proves the dishonesty of] claims from both Twitter and Dataminr that neither company would engage in or facilitate domestic surveillance…Twitter, up until recently a longtime investor in Dataminr alongside the CIA, provides the company with full access to a content stream known as the “firehose”…a…privilege…that lets Dataminr…scan every public tweet as soon as its author hits send.  Both companies denied that the [surveillance] meets the definition of surveillance…But…Dataminr relayed tweets and other social media content about the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests directly to police, apparently across the country…despite current terms of service that explicitly bar software developers “from tracking, alerting, or monitoring sensitive events (such as protests, rallies, or community organizing meetings)” via Twitter…

The Widening Gyre (#869)

Observation: overpriced furniture.  Conclusion: “sex trafficking”!

A new [masturbatory fantasy] surrounding products advertised by the home goods and furniture seller Wayfair now joins previous [masturbatory fantasies] like Pizzagate regarding worldwide pedophilic sex trafficking…The Wayfair [fantasy]…began with a[n idiot’s] post to the Conspiracy subreddit…”Is it possible Wayfair involved in Human trafficking with their WFX Utility collection? Or are these just extremely overpriced cabinets? (Note the names of the cabinets) this [gives] me [tingles below] my stomach if it’s true”…[naturally the fantasist] described themselves as “involved in a local organization that helps victims of human trafficking”…

Clearly, Wayfair was envious of all the “sex traffickers” at Ikea, and so decided to get into the business itself.

The Puritan Recrudescence (#892)

It’s sad that in the 21st century we’re still debunking claims that pictures have magic powers:

A new study by a neuroscientist from the Kinsey Institute found no scientific basis to the persistent myth, peddled by religiously inspired War On Porn crusaders and #NoFap semen-retention cultists, claiming that watching porn can cause erectile disfunction in men…[Dr] David J. Ley…explained [that] the lack of correlation between exposure to porn and erectile dysfunction suggests that “rather than getting distracted by pornography use, we can best support men struggling with erections by attending to personal motivational and behavioral factors”…

The Course of a Disease (#925)

Sex workers already gave their views before this tyranny was inflicted on them:

Sex workers and other “stakeholders” involved in or associated with the sale of sex are to be asked for their views on a review of Ireland’s prostitution law [years after their views were ignored to enact the law in the first place]…the act [cl]aimed to decriminalise prostitutes…[bu]t has been widely criticised by the Sex Workers Alliance of Ireland…[because] it actually puts prostitutes at greater risk…The 2017 Act specifically provided for a review…after a period of 3 years…[and SWAI]…said the forthcoming review “will show the current law is a failed experiment”…

The Course of a Disease (#961)

Israel’s plan to force sex workers into low-paid menial “women’s work”:

A law criminalizing the procuring of sex services went into effect…over the objections of some government offices and welfare groups, who [fantasize that the law will magically result in] thousands of newly out-of-work prostitutes [even though that never happens anyplace prostitution is criminalized].  The [Swedish model was] approved a year and a half ago by the Knesset…[but] de[layed until] mid-2020 to give the state time to form re[-education camps]…for sex workers…to [force them into sweatshops and other menial work]…Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn said…“Women are [the] property [of the state and only politicians and bureaucrats may decide how they may use] their bodies”…

The Crumbling Dam (#1018)

Cato & ACLU join forces to stop deranged prohibitionists from killing people:

…Safehouse wants to provide a supervised injection site (SIS) for compulsive opioid users…[but] the federal government is trying to block Safehouse by invoking a 1980s crack‐​house law that makes it a crime to provide a place to take illicit drugs, even without compensation.  Safehouse won the first round when a federal district court ruled that the Department of Justice couldn’t stretch the crack‐​house statute to cover Safehouse’s lifesaving SIS.  Now on appeal to the Third Circuit, Cato, joined by the ACLU and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, has filed a brief supporting Safehouse…the federal government is largely responsible for the current overdose crisis…Because of the “iron law of prohibition”…during alcohol Prohibition, beer and wine essentially disappeared and were replaced by hard spirits.  For the same reasons, drug traffickers prefer high‐​potency opioids like fentanyl even when the users are not demanding it…

To Molest and Rape (#1052)

Notice how often rapist cops’ victims are underage?

A[n Ohio cop got]…a 12-year-old girl drunk and expos[ed] himself to her during a Father’s Day party at his house.  Roy E. Stephens…was [only] charged with indecent exposure and providing alcohol to a minor, which [means]…placing Stephens on the sex offender registry will be up to the discretion of the judge, so there is a chance he will avoid that [because cop]…Stephens gave the…girl between three and five alcoholic beverages throughout the night, and at one point encouraged her to chug one of the drinks down fast so it would “mess [her] up faster”…so he could have his way with her…She…felt the effects of the alcohol, but was luckily still coherent enough to prevent the encounter from escalating.  It is not entirely clear how she was able to get out of the situation, or how well Stephens was known by the girl and her family…

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Criticising China is the new blasphemy.  –  Nick Cohen

Above the Law

Yet another sociopath with a title:

[UK politician] Charlie Elphicke chased a woman around his kitchen and chanted “I’m a naughty Tory” after sexually assaulting her, a court has heard.  Elphicke talked to the woman about bondage then…groped her breast and tried to kiss her…while his wife Natalie Elphicke was away in 2007…Elphicke [also] sexually assaulted a parliamentary worker in her twenties several years later after he became MP for Dover, telling her: “Oh I’m naughty sometimes aren’t I? I can be so badly behaved but I can’t help it.”  Both women rejected his advances, with the [second] describing a “disgusting slobbery mess” when Elphicke tried to kiss her before groping her.  In a separate incident some time later, Elphicke rubbed his hand up her leg towards her groin…

Watershed (#899)

I’m glad Gloria “Body Invasion” Steinem lived long enough to see the magazine she founded publishing pro-sex worker rights articles:

The U.S. Supreme Court…upheld a Bush-era law requiring overseas affiliates of U.S. organizations to adopt an organization-wide policy explicitly opposing prostitution in order to receive federal anti-HIV/AIDS funds…Serra Sippel…of the Center for Health and Gender Equity…[said] “The [anti-prostitution loyalty oath] hurts public health outcomes and it has always been bad policy”…“The Supreme Court upheld the U.S. government’s quest to impose its harmful ideological agenda on U.S. organizations and restrict their right to free speech,” said Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations…According to CHANGE…“publicly opposing sex work while also providing social and health services to sex workers…is hypocritical”…

Against Their Will (#955) 

The Indian rescue industry is being undone by its own pretense that it wants to “help” its victims:

Holding up the fundamental rights of an adult, [an Indian] court ordered the release of four sex workers [abducted by cops under the pretense of] rescue…The women had argued for their right to free mobility and expressed desire to get back to their hometowns…advocate…Rajesh Katore…submitted a Bombay High Court…ruling…[in support.  Natur]ally, the cops had opposed the application filed by the women, [claim]ing that they needed to [keep them locked in a cage to]…conduct an investigation…

Quiet Genocide (#1023)

How China tries to keep the genocide quiet:

Once, blasphemy was damning the faithful’s gods and sacred books.  Now, criticism of the world’s largest dictatorship has become sacrilegious.  You shouldn’t be surprised.  As some of us tried to say in the 1990s and 2000s, the gap between the sacred and the profane was never as wide as religious sentimentalists and liberal multiculturalists believed…Authoritarian politics and authoritarian religion are just two sides of the same debased coin…One of the great crimes of the 21st century is being committed in front of our eyes…if a western country were to display one-tenth, one-hundredth or one-thousandth of the brutality that China is inflicting on Muslims, the global left would be burning with outrage…But the main reasons why Muslims suffer in silence is that the Muslim-majority countries that raged against Rushdie, Jyllands-Posten and Charlie Hebdo have decided to stay silent.  They use the idea of Muslim solidarity only when it suits them…Iran, Egypt, Syria and dozens of other countries that could not tolerate a magical realist novel can live with the mass sterilisation of Muslim women.  They will give concentration camps a conniving wink of approval, but draw the line at cartoons in a Danish newspaper…China is now a more active and influential voice at the United Nations because so many countries are benefiting from billions of dollars in Chinese investments through its “Belt and Road” infrastructure programme.  As…Australia found…when it asked for an international inquiry into the origins of Covid-19, those who blaspheme against China face cyber-attacks and sanctions.  Better to take the rewards and avoid the punishments…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#1027) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit because people aren’t listening to their wanking fantasies during the pandemic:

[Public disinterest in] human trafficking [propaganda] is…alarming [the rescue industry.  In San Antonio, Texas, fetishist]…Chuck Paul [fantasized that] the ability for traffickers to sell a person…was diminished following the COVID-19 outbreak and traffickers began ditching people they had trafficked onto the street…[but] once the state’s restrictions were lifted, traffickers started looking to “re-supply their stock of slaves…There’s a huge population of young people right now that are stuck at home, they haven’t been going to school…the traffickers are working hard on social media to target whichever child they can.”  Paul [made furtive movements in his pants while spouting fantasies that being a teenager]…is…a…sign…of trafficking…[another is] if you’re in a hotel or motel and [a] person walks right past the front desk because they are [already] checked in…[or] has…tattoos…

So according to Paul, it’s “suspicious” if a person doesn’t stay in their hotel room the entire time between checkin and checkout.  What drugs is he on?

Pyrrhic Victory (#1045)

Canada pretends to care about privacy, but has plenty of other snooping tools:

Clearview AI has advised Canadian privacy protection authorities that, in response to their joint investigation, it will cease offering its facial recognition services in Canada.  This…includes the indefinite suspension of Clearview AI’s contract with the RCMP, which was its last remaining client in Canada…The authorities still plan to issue findings in this matter given the importance of the issue for the privacy rights of Canadians.  An ongoing issue…is the deletion of the personal information of Canadians that Clearview has already collected as well as the cessation of Clearview’s collection of Canadians’ personal information…

Social Distancing (#1055)

“Enlightened” Europe has treated sex workers shamefully during the pandemic:

News that clubs and brothels could reopen in the Netherlands from the start of July took everyone by surprise — including sex workers.  Club owners were warned that the industry would remain in lockdown [using the excuse] of the pandemic until September, months after all other sectors had already reopened.  But the reality is that many sex workers felt forced to work privately and illegally just to survive.  Now, as the industry starts to reopen across Europe, they worry about their earnings and whether they can stay safe…most European governments…paid a percentage of [many] workers’ wages while they were furloughed.  But sex workers rarely qualify…In Germany, the sector remains closed under a government ruling [even though]…most German businesses have now reopened, including gyms, bars and hairdressers…In Britain, the industry remains [officially] shut down…and many…women…have not started working again because they are terrified of contracting the virus and passing it on to their families…

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Sex workers tend to find [“feminist”] attitudes offensive, paternalistic and…detrimental to their rights.  –  Gabriele Koch

Japanese Prostitution

If Koch was really “surprised” by any of this, she isn’t much of an anthropologist:

Gabriele Koch’s new book Healing Labor: Japanese Sex Work in the Gendered Economy…is…a menagerie of “sex for sale” stories from one of the largest markets in the world.  An assistant professor of anthropology at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, Koch spent almost two years on ethnographic fieldwork, exploring how Japanese sex work is woven into a culture and economy that frequently puts women at a disadvantage.  Along the way, Koch says, she had to be open to surprises.  “I soon realized that the kinds of [unscientific fantasies and bigoted misconceptions] I had as an American about what sex work is, who’s involved and how (the women) think about their work didn’t really fit what I was hearing or seeing,…One surprise was how the sex industry is more or less accepted as socially necessary in Japan…But despite this…sex workers still face a lot of stigma.  Both in Japan and in the United States, people often think of the sex industry as somehow different from the rest of society.  But it’s an ordinary industry made up of ordinary people”…

Warning: the (male) reviewer insists on editorializing about how sex work is “sexist”, “problematic” and accompanied by “attendant ills”, despite Koch’s apparent rejection of these bigoted tropes.

Rotting Fruit

I wonder how long it’ll be before she conveniently “commits suicide”?

British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, an ex-girlfriend of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, is facing charges in the US…includ[ing] enticing a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and two counts of perjury.  She was…arrested in New Hampshire and…has denied any involvement in or knowledge of Epstein’s alleged sexual misconduct…

Moving Pictures

Apparently “sex trafficking” fetishists think all films about coercive sexual interactions must promote their specific fantasy narrative:

Netflix said…it will continue to stream the Polish film 365 Days [despite demands it be censored]…including by [a] British [pop star who apparently thinks it will undermine the sales of her own book about being raped]…the film…based on a bestselling Polish book trilogy by Blanka Lipinska…follows a woman…who is imprisoned by a Sicilian mafia boss…who gives his hostage a year to fall in love with him…

Stalkers in Blue

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

[Cop] Heather McWilliam was sexually harassed for years by her supervisors, including a sexual assault…part of a culture of sexual harassment that exists throughout the Toronto Police…However, the…[judge merely]…ordered…$85,000 as compensation…and…yearly…training…[on] dealing with sexual harassment…

Ordering cops receive more “training” is a popular way for judges to pretend they’re doing something while preserving the status quo.

Topping from the Bottom

Every amateur “sex scandal” makes me even more glad I’m a professional:

A case against the creator of the “Shitty Media Men” list can move forward, per a federal judge’s ruling…in a lawsuit brought by…writer and director Stephen Elliott, best known [to sex workers for being a creep]…The issue at stake this round was whether Elliott is a public figure.  If so, the standard for proving defamation is higher, and the chances for [list creator Moira] Donegan’s motion to dismiss would have been much greater.  [The judge] ruled that Elliott is not a public figure for purposes of this case…Next up: figuring out what Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act has to say about all this…Donegan argues that Section 230 applies here because she, as the creator of the list, is the provider of an “interactive computer service” and should not be held legally liable for potentially defamatory shitty-men allegations made by others…

Social Distancing (#1025)

So many “enlightened” countries still believe that disease is caused by “sin”:

Several dozen prostitutes…staged a protest in Berlin…against…restrictions…[that] are preventing them from making a living…sex work has been banned since mid-March [using the excuse]…of the coronavirus…[despite the fact that] “Hairdressers, massage parlours, beauty salons… fitness studios, tattoo shops, saunas, restaurants and hotels have been allowed to reopen”…[in Germany and] brothels have been allowed to reopen in neighbouring countries such as Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands…

Social Distancing (#1050)

Compare with Germany’s disdain for sex workers’ livelihoods:

With performers wearing facemasks as well as bikinis, Bangkok’s red-light districts reopened on [July 1st]…after more than three months of shutdown…Bars, karaoke venues and massage parlours were in the latest category of businesses allowed to reopen…It meant a return to work for some of the hundreds of thousands of people in the nightlife industry who have been struggling to survive…But Thailand’s economy is forecast to sink further than any other in Southeast Asia with the number of foreign tourists expected to drop 80% this year…

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It’s not just that the police want to arrest somebody…they want to mete out punishment.  –  Michael German

Moloch 

Every school district in the country needs to rid itself of evil thugs who stalk and attack students:

Portland Public Schools will no longer have [cops stalking students in] its nine high schools, nor will the other two school districts inside Portland city limits…Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero…said the district…intends to increase spending on social workers, counselors and culturally specific supports for students…[a politician] announced she plans to introduce a resolution to…bar [uniformed pigs] from…school sporting events and other occasions…

In addition to brutalizing small children for childish behavior and terrorizing them for ordinary play, school pigs also frequently rape teenagers and even little girls.  They are a menace and should be abolished.

Rooted in Racism (#883)

Europeans would rather believe outlandish fantasies about ninja pimps than simply admit black women have adult agency:

Almost 1,000 Nigerian refugees [magically] disappeared from Dutch [concentration camps] last year, and [bureaucrats] are [fantasizing] many of them have been trafficked…The disappearances coincide with…the Netherlands…[trying to] sen[d them] back to Nigeria or Italy, [but the Dutch won’t admit their racism and so prefer to bloviate nonsense about]…Nigerian drugs and prostitution gangs…gain[ing] a foothold in Europe…”The women absolutely don’t want to go back to Italy,” one [camp] worker is quoted as saying….Warner ten Kate, who [uses the] human trafficking [narrative to] prosecut[e black people, pretends]…he is particularly concerned about the pregnant women, whose babies may be victims of illegal adoptions…

Out of Control (#944)

Fortunately, most “incels” are more of a danger to themselves than to others:

A southwest Virginia man who blew off his hand in an… explosives accident has been charged in federal court after [cops] say they found evidence he was making a bomb and wanted to target “hot cheerleaders” because of his sexual frustrations…Cole Carini of Richlands showed up at a hospital…with one hand blown off, fingers blown off his second and other shrapnel wounds.  He [claimed]…he’d been in a lawnmower accident.  But [cops] searched his property, and found explosives materials, rusty nails, pipes…pieces of flesh…[and] parts of a scorched letter that referenced tension “as he now approached the stage of hot cheerleaders” and “I will not be afraid of the consequences no matter what I will be heroic I will make a statement like Elliott Rodgers [sic]”…

Quiet Genocide

Like the US, China tortures people until they plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit just to escape the cage:

In the Chinese government’s vast network of re-education camps in Xinjiang province, the daily horror of internment [i]s infused with monotony and boredom.  [Prisoners a]re forced to endure countless hours of indoctrination and language classes, perched on small stools.  In some facilities, they ha[ve] to watch TV propaganda broadcasts praising President Xi Jinping for hours on end.  The slightest infraction, such as a whispered conversation, was met with swift and harsh punishment.  But among the many months spent locked up, some former detainees report that one day was different: The day when they were forced to pick one or several infractions from a list they were handed.  In essence, the [prisoners] had to retroactively choose the crimes for which they had been imprisoned…without being told why they had been detained in the first place.  After picking a crime from the list came a sham trial, in which the detainees had no legal representation and were convicted without evidence or due process of any kind…

Across the Pond (#1013)

Redbridge has a long history of harassing sex workers, but this kind of infantilization is a new low:

Loxford Service Station asked…for permission to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, with the condition that night-time sales would only be through a third-party delivery service…[but busybodies claimed the presence of booze] would [magically] contribute to crime in the area…[one politician masturbated furiously while bleating “sex trafficking” fantasies and the deeply stupid statement that]…“The availability of alcohol on Ilford Lane would…allow…”punters”‘, sex workers and their pimps access to alcohol”…

To Molest and Rape (#1014)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

A Fontana [California cop was rewarded with a]…paid [vacation]…for…raping a 16-year-old girl four years ago…Nicholas Shawn Stark…drugged [the girl in order to rape her]…when [he] was 24 years old, before [he joined the cops, but they cannot]…fire [him] due to [pig protection] laws [of the kind that have precipitated the current national crisis]…

The Cop Myth (#1045)

Cops are responsible for more violence than any other social group in the US:

The “thin blue line” flag is the…centerpiece in a world of merchandise and policing philosophy, all built around the idea that the police are an embattled tribe of warriors, maligned and reviled by a nation that fails to appreciate their unique importance.  The blue line is a reminder that much of the policing community sees itself as separate from the rest of society — and…this well-armed population, imbued with the power to deprive citizens of life and liberty, does not take kindly to those who challenge its authority…“What we’re talking about here is a worldview that says that police are the only force capable of holding society together,” [said] Alex Vitale, a professor of sociology…and author of The End of Policing…The view turns on the notion that “without the constant threat of violent coercive intervention, society will unravel into a war of all against all”…Seen through this lens, “authoritarian solutions are not just necessary, they’re almost preferable.”  In the wake of [George] Floyd’s [murder]…the country is now witnessing what years of militarized conditioning, training, and culture have wrought:  a nationwide protest movement running up against a nationwide police riot…

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