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Posts Tagged ‘FBI’

These sites, these actors, these directors, these writers cannot keep using us, our bodies, and our stories to line their pockets while simultaneously refusing to support us and our needs.  –  Adrie Rose

Sex Work is Work

This could potentially be useful in winning the support of bureaucrats:

…gaining allies within governments remains a challenge…despite calls for decriminalisation by a number of international human rights organisations…and several United Nations agencies.  One of the biggest difficulties has been the…conflation of sex work with trafficking, which is linked to the belief that sex work is inherently immoral.  This [ignorant] view of sex work has shaped national policies for decades, pushing the industry outside the formal labour market and the scope of national labour laws and international standards.  However…the International Labour Organization (ILO) released a study on Unacceptable Forms of Work (UFW)…[which] contains twelve dimensions of unacceptability…unacceptability in sex work manifests where these twelve dimensions occur, but the work itself is not treated as inherently unacceptable.  Used well, this framework could be a way for sex worker rights advocates to argue for the inclusion of sex work under national labour law systems…

Pyrrhic Victory (#615)

All too often, evil arrives cloaked in the mantle of expediency:

[China’s] major tech city, Shenzhen…recently debuted a new system which allows people over the age of 60 to register for free subway rides, using their face as their ticket.  This…is also being experimented with in other cities including Jinan, Shanghai and Nanjing…[he excuse is] to speed up passengers moving through the barriers to get to platforms, as well as prevent fraud…

Under Every Bed (#734)

So much for the claimed “increase in sex trafficking in Montana”:

The FBI has cut in half the time its human trafficking agent in Montana will spend on [persecuting sex workers.  “Rescue” profiteer]…Penny Ronning…called the change “a blow” to anti-[sex worker] efforts in Montana…the decision…comes as the state brings on board two new [pigs] dedicated full-time to [harassing Asian massage businesses]…

Cooties (#797) 

Belgian cops have sadfeelz that AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies aren’t popular on their side of the Channel:

Sex workers in Bruges are renting rooms through…Airbnb for work, in what local authorities say is the start of a rising trend to “keep an eye on”…landowners who notice or suspect their properties are being used for sex work are encouraged to report them.  Failing to do so could put them at risk of being prosecuted for pimping…

Fallen Idol (#911)

This was a wise move on Stagliano’s part:

…Evil Angel [has] published its docu-porn Consent, which was originally slated to co-star James Deen, who has been accused of abuse by multiple women…following the numerous allegations against Deen, the company decided to stop working with him, but earlier this year, owner John Stagliano…[said] Evil Angel was welcoming Deen back…in a film…featur[ing] explicit sex alongside documentary-style footage exploring women’s agency within rough porn scenes.  Deen was cast after a woman performer asked to work with him for the film…[but] when the film finally hit the company’s site on Monday, there was no James Deen to be found…Evil Angel filmed a scene between Deen and Casey Calvert, the performer who requested to work with him, as well as an interview with Lily LaBeau, one of Deen’s accusers…Ultimately, all that footage was left on the cutting room floor.  (The film does, however, feature two other male performers who have been accused of on-set boundary violations)…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#922)

Seattle sex workers are pushing back on the narrative that destroying Asian masseuse’s livelihood constitutes “help”:

Last month, dozens of community members gathered…at Seattle City Hall to discuss consequences of the large-scale police raids on 11…”Asian” massage parlors back in February.  The months-long sting operation resulted in the “rescue” of 26 Chinese-speaking women…According to Elene Lam…this kind of rescue narrative misconstrues the nuanced realities of the sex industry…Lam is an expert at the Toronto-based organization Butterfly, a support and advocacy group for Asian and migrant sex workers. The event…called Rescue Hurts, was organized by API Chaya and other local advocacy initiatives to correct misinformation around sex work and to propose alternative solutions that do not rely on state or police intervention…

You Were Warned

This decision is necessary to prevent a cascade of predatory lawsuits that would make the tobacco & breast implant lawsuits look reasonable and moderate in comparison:

A San Francisco Superior Court judge has tentatively sided with tech company Salesforce in a civil lawsuit brought by 90 women who claim they were sexually exploited.  The suit is the first of its kind since…FOSTA…As a large business-to-business software company, Salesforce counted Backpage among its clients. [Ambulance-chasers]…allege that Backpage…enabled them to be trafficked for sex.  But Backpage [and its assets were] seized by the U.S. government last year, making [a lawsuit against it unprofitable]…hence, lawyers got to work targeting Salesforce…lawyers…led [their clints] astray, big time, while marking a new low in attempts to assign legal liability to internet companies for their users’ actions and words…[because] under a large body of legal precedent, Salesforce would be unequivocally shielded by Section 230 in this case…

Japanese Prostitution (#930)

This is still a hit-button issue in Japan:

…Miki Dezaki…ma[d]e a documentary…[asking] why…a small but vocal group of politically influential conservatives still fervently dispute [sic] internationally accepted accounts of Japan’s…sexual enslavement of tens of thousands of Korean women and others in military brothels during World War II.  He explored in detail the conservatives’ case that the so-called comfort women were in fact paid prostitutes…Dezaki…concluded that the conservatives were “revisionists,” and used terms like “racism” and “sexism” to characterize some of their claims.  Now, five of them are suing him for defamation…[the] official 1993 Japanese government apology to the comfort women….has been a festering wound for…[nationalists] including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who have insisted that the Korean women were not sex slaves because there is no proof that they were physically forced…

The Notorious Badge (#934)

Twitter welcomes fake sex workers while working to silence real ones:

Hustlers…has been mired in controversy since the early production phase.  The living inspiration for the lead role…is reportedly considering suing the production company for misrepresenting her…and using her life story without compensation …Jennifer Lopez and fiance Alex Rodriguez have been accused of going to strip clubs for “research” and paying dancers a pittance for their time…Show Palace, the club…where much of Hustlers was filmed, has attracted criticism for closing its doors for a week of filming, giving dancers and staff little notice and no back pay…But the most ridiculous, bordering on the outright absurd, aspect of the film…was the marketing campaign…#TweetYourHustle….Women across the country began chiming in with stories of their…“hustles”…but there was no evidence of…sex workers.  There were no pictures of strip clubs or dressing rooms, no pictures of porn production sets, no pictures of in-call hotel rooms or AirBnB’s from escorts.  There was nothing from the community that put Hustlers on the map…

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We’re not going to sit around and wait to be prosecuted before we fight this law.  –  Skye Wheeler

Real People 

Even shitty and somewhat exploitative sex work doesn’t really resemble prohibitionist fantasies:

Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss’ poignant documentary Lovemobil observes the Nigerian Rita and the Bulgarian Milena as they perform sex work in caravans (trailers) along a German country road.  The young women have escaped difficult economic circumstances in their home countries and are looking to earn money; they feel obligated to send Euros back to their families…they work for Uschi, a tough older woman who keeps them in line and advises them about pricing their services, but also appears to care for them, even as she chides Rita for trying to cheat her out of payments…Lovemobil deliberately keeps the sex acts off camera to focus on the larger issues of globalization, feminism and economic inequality that are part of this fascinating subculture of sex work…

Where Are the Victims?

Note the bizarre, stilted language used to describe a very ordinary-sounding escort service:

Jessica Nesbitt [of Chicago was]…charged with [various pompously-named]…prostitution [“crimes”]…for…own[ing] and operat[ing] a company called Kink Extraordinaires, which employed several individuals who engaged in prostitution…Nesbitt advertised prostitution services on multiple websites…and…also emailed her clients invitations to paid sex and fetish parties…In addition to activity in Chicago, Nesbitt arranged for herself and her employees to perform acts of prostitution in California, Washington, D.C., Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin…

Dirty Laundry (#452)

At least this judge gave the stolen money to someone other than Ruhama:

Money [stolen] by Laois gardai from [two sex workers was]…donated to two local charities by the court…the two [sensibly fled] and have not returned…Judge Catherine Staines directed that €3,410 got to the Laois Domestic Abuse Service, and around €1300 go to the Garda Youth Diversion Projects…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical, representative cop:

A Miami-Dade [screw]…has been charged with raping a woman he was supposed to be supervising while she was on house arrest.  Yulian Gonzalez…paid regular visits to the alleged victim’s home during the course of his work as a case manager…Gonzalez threatened to issue a violation of her house arrest and send her back to jail if she did not [submit to rape]…Gonzalez rented a room at the Nexx Motel…and drove the woman there in his [pigmobile]…so as not to set off any alarms, Gonzalez tampered with the woman’s ankle monitor…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#754) 

I love seeing prohibitionists hoist with their own petard:

report compiled by the Department of Justice has revealed that the [Swedish model]…in Northern Ireland is not fit for purpose…“This report…shows that there has not been a decrease in demand for sex work since the introduction of client criminalisation…in 2015,” [said] Kate McGrew…”Instead, we have seen an increase in sex trafficking by 26%…In the north, it led to massive increase in advertising (on one site alone over 1700 new ads) and demand (in one jurisdiction by 134%) and a 200% increase threatening behaviour in clients.  In the south, it led to an increase in violent crime against sex workers by 92%“…

Once the government started defining all third parties as “sex traffickers” and then passed a law whose natural consequence would be increased reliance on such parties, naturally “sex trafficking” by their definition increased.  And since prohibitionists pretended the intent of their anti-whore law was to “fight sex trafficking”, they now have no choice but to admit the law was a “failure”.  Oops.

Little Boxes (#792)

A federal court finally recognizes what should’ve been obvious years ago:

Fort Collins, Colorado, decided not to continue its challenge to a federal court’s decision that a ban on going topless in the city amounts to unconstitutional discrimination…The city decided not to appeal the decision…after [wast]ing hundreds of thousands of [public] dollars on the legal battle already…[this] effectively legalizes [female toplessness] in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit court…Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming…

Given that the 7th Circuit ruled exactly the opposite two years ago (see subtitle link), a SCOTUS showdown is now inevitable.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

This is much worse than the typical government propaganda such as “DARE”:

…the FBI is launching its #StopSextortion [propaganda] campaign to [convince parents] and schools [that teenage sexting is a]…growing problem [called] sextortion…[affecting] kids…as young as seven or eight…The [FBI wants parents to believe that peer “sexting” is actually the product of an adult] extortionist [who] finds children and teens on social media [to]…convince…to send a naked photo—and…the[n]…telling the child that he will send the photo to friends and family or post online…the extortionist continues to threaten while escalating demands, which can include…sex acts…

The FBI is intentionally representing a rare crime as the norm so as to give the federal government power over teen sexting.  If you thought FOSTA and the drug war were great, you’re going to love the “war on sextortion”.

Disaster (#935)

News about the FOSTA challenge:

Human Rights Watch and four other plaintiffs…present[ed] arguments on September 20 against the dismissal of their challenge to a…law that imposes criminal liability for online speech about sex work…FOSTA…’s language is [so] broad and vague, it could prevent sex workers and others from writing about sex work and posting about critically important health and safety issues, and it would restrict organisations like Human Rights Watch from effectively reporting on and advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work…FOSTA has [already] endangered [sex workers because]…websites that made it easier for sex workers to screen clients and to sell sex in safer locations have stopped sex workers from posting.  The co-plaintiffs in the case with Human Rights Watch are the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the Internet Archive, and individuals Alex Andrews and Eric Koszyk.  The lower court [incorrectly] dismissed the case [a year ago]…without addressing the substantive claims, on the [pretense] that plaintiffs faced no imminent risk of prosecution…[but] in cases involving free expression, the appropriate lens is whether speech will be unconstitutionally burdened or chilled…

A Moral Cancer (#972)

Authoritarian idiots respond to deaths from a black market product by dramatically expanding the black market:

Walmart said…that it would stop selling e-cigarettes at its stores in the United States, dealing a new blow to the vaping industry as [hysteria] mount[s] over the health risks of [black market] products [which have nothing to do with the banned e-cigarettes]…The decision…comes amid a [dumpster fire full] of new [moral panic] about the potential health risks of [black market THC cartridges] that has [inspired prohibitionists to]…increas[e the danger by banning completely different currently-legal] products…

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We…help…people…learn to integrate their sexuality into their whole self, rather than separating it from the rest of their life.  –  David Ley

Part of the Picture (#23)

Dr. David Ley vs. the childish belief that pictures of sex are magic:

Max Bennet…[of] Stripchat…and Dr David Ley…teamed up to give the customers of the camming website help on sexual struggles and shame…Max [said]…“Nearly 40% of our users experience a deep connection with the models, or are able to access a fantasy that may not be available in reality.  By bringing doctors like Dr David Ley on to speak with users, it alleviates some of that shame and conflict, and offers them a way to integrate this…with their relationships”…Dr David [has] discovered that…“many users worry…that it is infidelity and could negatively affect their relationships…Sexual shame is the real enemy to intimacy, and that’s what these sessions are trying to address”…

Scrambled Eggs (#311)

Oh look, another man says women shouldn’t be compensated for services men can’t perform because we’re too stupid to make decisions about our own bodies:

Proponents of a proposed law allowing women to be paid to donate their eggs for research [point out that]…research subjects in other fields can get paid…men can get paid for donating sperm….[and] it’s legal for women to be paid for eggs to assist couples undertaking fertility treatments.  But it’s illegal for researchers to compensate women for their eggs…[politician] Autumn Burke…[revived] this idea…[after] Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill by former [politician] Susan Bonilla…in 2013, [bloviat]ing [misogynistically and self-righteously]…“Not everything in life is for sale, nor should it be“…Burke’s bill, Assembly Bill 922, passed the Assembly without a single “no” vote in May…so it’s likely to pass the Senate handily.  Gov. Gavin Newsom thus may be the only person standing in the way of its becoming law…[Like sex work,] this…would [give] California women, especially low-income women who may [welcome]…the compensation, [a way to make money that isn’t dependent on subjugation to men, so] he should kill it…

Though he hastens to distance himself from them, this writer’s arguments were mostly formulated by an anti-abortion group which opposes the bill for predictable reasons.

Torture Chamber 

Our government refers to this as “correction”:

A [prisoner of the state of] Florida…with a history of epilepsy says he was beaten and thrown in solitary confinement for seven months after he involuntarily bit a [screw]…while having a seizure…Dean Higgins…suffered a grand mal seizure last September…[and] while the guards tried to restrain Higgins—an improper way to handle someone having a seizure—he bit one of the[m] on the arm…he was then beaten and…[locked] in…a tiny cell….[where] raw sewage would seep in…at times a number of inches deep…in addition to having epilepsy, Higgins is also on the autism spectrum…

Pyrrhic Victory (#922)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

…In early July, the FBI posted a solicitation notice for a “Social Media Alerting Subscription,” which would “acquire the services of a company to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests through a means of online sources.”  The request singles out Twitter, Facebook, Instagram “and other social media platforms” for snooping.  Essentially, the FBI is looking for companies to build a tool to comb through…social media posts and pinpoint possible threats ahead of time.  Think of it like a meme-illiterate Facebook-stalking precog from Minority Report…this system could empower the Red Flag law ideas that have since gained prominence.  This kind of “proactive identification” could allow [cops] to target and even disenfranchise social media users whose posts may have been [intentionally or not] misinterpreted…

You Were Warned

Yes, I’m going to say “I told you so”, because I’ve been telling you so for nine years now:

FOSTA [turned] the internet…into a more exclusionary place almost overnightInternet companies became significantly more restrictive in their treatment of sexual speech…The law also threw important harm reduction activities into a legal gray area…Congress failed to listen to the people it was removing from the internet, and put them in more danger as a result…The entire history of censorship shows that it magnifies existing imbalances in society, sometimes intentionally…there are many, many stories of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter taking down important work to document human rights violations under their anti-extremism policies.  Politicians…routinely treat Section 230 as a handout to tech companies — or a “gift,” as Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently put it…Let’s not forget that Facebook and other big internet companies actively lobbied for FOSTA, a law that made it considerably more difficult for a startup ever to unseat Facebook…Section 230 isn’t a gift to big internet companies.  It’s a gift to rural LGBTQ teenagers who depend every day on the safety of their online communities.  It’s a gift to activists around the world using the internet to document human rights abuses.  It’s a gift to women who rely on dating apps to meet people more safely

Think of the Children! (#936)

Obviously this sex-ray contaminated money would have “sexualized” their patients!

Mount Sinai Health System said on Friday that it will make a charitable contribution equivalent to the money it received from…Jeffrey Epstein.  The money will go to an organization focused on p[ersecu]ting [sex workers]…and toward the health system’s own program Sexual Assault and Violence intervention program, which provides immediate treatment and counseling to sexual assault survivors.  The hospital did not say how much money was donated by the disgraced financier…

Loose Cannons (#949)

If this is happening to this rich, prominent man, with access to the best lawyers…what happens to the rest of us?

One of the women arrested in the [Robert Kraft massage parlor] case…pleaded no contest…to misdemeanor charges, leaving only one of the women arrested yet to take a plea in the case.  Qing Hua Zhang…pleaded no contest to engaging in prostitution and use of a structure or conveyance for prostitution.  The most serious charge — racketeering — was dropped…

Yellow Fever (#956) 

Another hodgepodge of idiotic lies, myths, wild exaggerations, wanking fantasies and long-debunked propaganda was shoveled into a column by Business Insider and represented as “journalism”; apparently they’re tying to go in the clickbait direction taken by The Hill.  This one uses the term “trafficking” no fewer than 21 times in a not-very-long article and presents a misogynistic weltanschauung in which women can be either passive “victims” or malevolent “perpetrators” but never anything else, making the Shazam-style leap without passing through any of the complex human behavior between due to “weaponization” and “normalization” by powerful, Svengali-like men.  A by-no-means-exhaustive list of dysphemisms from this trash includes “offenders”, “ring”, “traffickers”, “cult”, “slaves”, “lifestyle”, “abusers”, “groomed”, and my favorite, “sexual pyramid scheme”.  If you want an article on this topic written by an actual adult who understands concepts like “facts” and “agency”, here you go.

Across the Pond (#964)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

Police are [raid]ing residential properties believed to be used for sex work…to [spy on] what is happening behind closed doors…potential [targets are determined by snitching]…from local residents…[chief swine] Paul Whitehouse [oinked that intimidating people and violating their privacy is a means of]…”gaining their trust and confidence…We [don’t find enough women to harass on the street anymore]…so now we can pick [on] the off-street work[ers]…We do not want to criminalise the females.  We are looking at [pinning] criminality on a[ny available] third party”…

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This is how the United States of America, the mightiest and richest nation there is or ever has been, treats incarcerated people.  –  Ken White

Torture Chamber 

Ken White on the inhuman abominations that the US calls “correction”:

Jeffrey Epstein’s name and face are everywhere following his death…Americans who believe in their justice system assert that it is obvious that he was murdered, and that jailers could not possibly be so incompetent, cruel, or indifferent as to let such a high-profile prisoner commit suicide.  Here, to help you evaluate that claim, are 32 short stories about in-custody deaths or near-deaths in America…

Regular readers know these stories are nauseating, but you really need to read them all. Every last one.

Uncommon Sense (#435)

The correct term is “tippelzone”, not “sex booth” or some other snickering adolescent coinage:

The mayor of [Berlin]…is proposing “Verichtungsboxen”…at Tempelhof Airport.  His proposal for the establishment of the sex booths…came as part of a discussion about street prostitution in his district and how to improve the safety of Berlin’s sex workers…

Across the Pond (#757)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

More than 200 letters have been delivered to residents [near a stroll] in…Nottingham…to [intimidate] residents…in[to informing on their neighbors]…the…letters were hand delivered to [make the]…int[imidation feal more real]…Since 2004, Nottinghamshire Police’s Prostitution Task Force has been working to find ways of [pretending that harassing and stigmatizing] sex workers [is] get[ting] the[m] help…whilst gradually removing the[ir income.  The cops bizarrely imagine harassing people and choking off their income will]…break down the barrier between sex workers and the police…

Soap Opera (#809)

Magical stickers, secret-squirrel codes…this is like a bad episode of Get Smart!

An Iowa newspaper employee recently {claimed to have] helped save a[n unnamed] woman trapped in a sex trafficking ring…after she flagged the delivery driver down on the side of the road…a 25-year-old East Dubuque Woman was arrested and charged with pimping….[a Cedar Rapids, Iowa] Bar…[posted a] sign in the woman’s restroom [reading]…”are you in an uncomfortable situation, do you need our help?”…[and] lists a code word drink…that customers can order to alert the bartender they’re in need of help… Teresa Davidson…of Chains Interrupted [wants] more …stickers that read “Are you safe” in bathrooms across the state….The organization is also working to [indoctrinate] convenience store employees…

Pyrrhic Victory (#931)

As I’ve repeatedly stated, it is far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…Beijing has gone to [great lengths to] identify and control Uighurs…Within Kashgar…residents must line up to…swipe [ID cards] at each checkpoint….[and] expose their faces to [omnipresent]…facial recognition…[cops] need neither probable cause nor a warrant to detain Uighurs and check their phones for the surveillance software that they’re legally required to install….”re-education” camp[s imprison]…hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Muslims…[now] Ecuador is using a “national emergency response and video surveillance system built entirely by Chinese companies and financed by Chinese state loans”…As this technology improves and gets cheaper, it will likely become affordable to every two-bit dictator on Earth…

Disaster (#935)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Verizon is set to sell the social network Tumblr to Automattic Inc, the owner of online publishing tool WordPress.  A source familiar with the deal puts the price-tag…below $10 million…Tumblr…was…considered a major player in the social media space.[when it]…was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, before moving under Verizon’s umbrella through the carrier’s acquisition of Yahoo in 2017.  [But] Verizon…[intentionally destroyed the network by ill-considered censorship]…last year.  Automattic’s Chief Executive Matt Mullenweg told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to maintain the ban [so as to use the dying site as a tax write-off]…

Where Are the Victims? (#945)

Despite their pious posturing to the contrary, this is exactly the outcome prohibitionists wanted:

Fianna Fáil has called for an anti-prostitution law to be reviewed, because of the consequences it has on sex workers who live together.  The main opposition party has suggested that it would be open to considering decriminalising sex workers who live together.  The majority of Irish political parties want the government to review and possibly scrap a law which punishes sex workers who live together under a harsher “brothel keeping” offence which was brought in two yeas ago…It follows a high profile case earlier this summer where two migrant sex workers were both jailed for nine months after they were prosecuted for brothel keeping.  One of the women was pregnant when she was jailed…Sex worker advocates had warned at the time that most of the people who were being prosecuted for brothel-keeping were independent sex workers…B[u]t…Fianna Fáil had voted down the amendment…now…it wants the law to be reviewed, after…the “[wholly]…intended consequences” [became public]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#956)

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

Amazon Web Services…has rolled out more terrifying features for its cloud-based facial recognition system—including, it claims, the ability to detect fear…Emotion recognition is a facial analysis technique that…works by training a machine learning system to look for certain features on a detected face which indicate emotional content…Amazon has updated the range of detectable emotions for Rekognition’s face analysis to include “fear,” adding to a list of seven other emotional states: “Happy”, “Sad”, “Angry”, “Surprised”, “Disgusted”, “Calm”, and “Confused”…the efficacy of emotion recognition is in dispute…[but used by] government agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement…and Customs and Border Patrol…

Between the Lines (#962)

Liz Brown tries to assess the damage from the rebranded “Operation Cross Country” pogroms:

…The FBI no longer reports the number of adult sex workers whom these initiatives claim as collateral…However, local news and law enforcement agencies often do..in Alabama, 49 “sex workers and their facilitators” were arrested around the Birmingham area…[and] 14 [in Homewood]……Northern Ohio [arrested nine] women…Pennsylvania [two]…Mississippi [five]…In South Carolina [five]…In…Florida [three]…In the San Diego area, six…Louisiana…25…in Shreveport…and…seven…in Baton Rouge…Police have portrayed the 4-year-old [abducted from one of their victims] as being rescued from “human traffickers”…

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Police are a substantial cause of death…for lots of people. – Frank Edwards

The Cop Myth

1/3 of all Americans killed by strangers are murdered by cops:

…[an average of 3.25] Americans are killed by police every day…of all the homicide victims in the United States, police kill an estimated six percent…But the actual numbers are likely higher…government data is woefully inadequate, so the best available datasets have been created by journalist-driven public programs…In a [new] study…in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of sociologists and criminal justice researchers…determined that police violence is one of the leading causes of death of young men in the United States.  Overall, it’s estimated that the mortality rate is about 1.8 per 100,000 for men between the ages of 25 and 29.  This ranks police…as the sixth leading cause of death for young men, placing it behind…suicide and “accidents” — a category that includes drug overdoses and car accident deaths…

Stalkers in Blue

With modern surveillance and data processing, no woman is safe from sexually-aggressive cops:

…Scott Martin of the Ringgold [Georgia] Police Department [was fired]…for…a pattern of stalking, sexual advances, and abuse of authority…Martin…found [one victim] on Facebook…and repeatedly [messaged her to] suggest…that she sleep with his wife….Martin [stalked] the second victim, a college instructor, through her Linkedin page.  He…[even] sat in her class about gender and sexuality…she tried to avoid him.  The third victim [was a]…bank [teller whom]…he [messaged] on Snapchat…request[ing nudes and sending her a dick pic]…He eventually married one of her former coworkers and added her as a friend on their joint Facebook account…[then] continued to ask for sexual favors…The fourth victim…said Martin continuously followed her at [her city job] and…repeatedly…questioned her intentions when he saw her at the grocery store or gas station…Martin was supposed to be one of her points of official contact if she [was] ever [sexually harassed] at work…[before] Martin…[became a cop he tried teaching but]…was fired…[for sexting] a female student.  At another job…he rep[ea]tedly made…sexual remark[s] toward a…female co[worker]…

Banishment (#882)

Threatening landlords to get them to evict sex workers is a popular pig trick:

Billings…[Montana pigs], prosecutors and [prohibitionists promoted “pimp” propaganda to politicians to push]…the passage of two new laws [persecuting]…property owners who are collecting rent from…businesses [the pigs want punished]…In California, the Sacramento City Council has proposed some form of [persecution of] massage parlor landlords…In New York City, [pigs]…have [done the same] to [get around the necessity of] prov[ing anything]…Polaris Project, a national [prohibitionist profiteer gang]…has also called for greater [persecution] of…property owners…

On Tape

Where did Trump get these exaggerated ideas about how “sex trafficking victims” are treated?  IT’S A MYSTERY!  “Sandy Middleton…[of] the Center for Violence Prevention [in Mississippi]..said…’These girls are starved, beaten, raped, chained to trees and locked in trunks’“…

End Demand (#939)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will say anything to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

Mar Brettmann…of the Seattle-based Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking, which [among other obscenities spreads lurid propaganda about sex workers]…to hotels—share[s her disgusting sexual fantasies about sex workers as though they were facts, because she knows most people are too gullible to as for evidence of any kind, such as names, links to police reports or even the places these lurid tales are supposed to have occurred]…BEST is one of the [profiteers making a killing from the] American Hotel & Lodging Association’s No Room for Trafficking campaign…[others] include ECPAT-USA…and Polaris…In addition, some [ambulance-chasers]…have filed lawsuits against hotel owners and operators

Top Cop (#944)

One can never have too many attacks on this power-hungry sociopath:

…support for the Nordic Model fits with Harris’s self-branding as a “progressive prosecutor” who offers a “smart on crime” third way between the excessively carceral conservatives and social justice-minded but squishy liberals.  It’s a schtick she’s carried over into her bid for Democrats’ 2020 presidential nod, after perfecting it during years as attorney general of California and district attorney of San Francisco…During [the] last…Democratic presidential debate, fellow candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard grilled Harris about her sordid record as top cop in California.  Harris “kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor”…and “put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations”, Gabbard said…All Harris offered in response was an insistence that she is “proud” of her record and, later, an ad hominem attack on Gabbard.  Meanwhile, Harris’s press secretary tweeted that Gabbard was supported by Russia…

Dangerous Speech (#950)

This excerpt from Reason‘s video “The War on Backpage is a War on Sex Workers” (click on subtitle link for complete video) discusses a subject long-time readers may remember:

Pyrrhic Victory (#955)

As I keep saying, it’s already far too late to stop this tyranny:

…if [you]’ve ever gotten a Michigan driver’s license or a state ID card…the State Police has [your] mug shot.  The…database may even contain [your] Facebook profile photo or another social media image…There are only about 8 million adults in Michigan, but there are nearly 50 million facial images in the MSP’s Statewide Network of Agency Photos (SNAP), with 2.7 million photos added to the database last year alone.  Though the MSP didn’t start using facial recognition technology until 2001, the Secretary of State’s Office has been giving State Police all its digital photos — without notice to motorists — since 1998…[and the] 2020 budget…gives [cops] more than half a million dollars to enhance the facial recognition search functions of the growing database…

Between the Lines (#960)

This is what the FBI meant by “re-evaluating” Operation Cross Country: changing its name and quadrupling its length and cost:

A monthlong FBI-led [pogrom] to…arrest sex [workers] and [infantilize them]…has resulted in [hundreds] of arrests [of adult sex workers] and…[103 underage sex workers]…The [rebranded] Operation Independence Day…[involved] more than 400 [gangs of violent thugs]…67 [other people were arrested and charged with vague “sex trafficking” crimes.  Beside the rebranding]…FBI field offices had a longer time window to plan and execute [pogroms] as part of the national initiative, with the goal being to [circumvent sex workers’ increased security measures by dragging the raids out long enough that marginalized workers become desperate]…

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If we’re going to protect the most marginalized workers, we have to give them the same rights as everyone else.  –  Kristen DiAngelo

Buried Truth

A rare female example of the McNeill Rule:

A Christian school kindergarten teacher in the Chicago suburbs is facing charges related to sexual assault and child pornography…Shannon Griffin is the wife of the pastor of Jordan Baptist Church…She…“sent nude pictures and videos of herself to and requested nude pictures from [two young students]…and…also…molest[ed one of the students] start[ing] in 2013 and continu[ing] until earlier this year…Griffin [was known] for being really strict when it came to dress code violations.  “She would…tell…us how to dress…how to be modest, and be Christian women”…said [one student]…Parent…Mike Mollo…found out when his son showed him naked videos and pictures of Griffin…

Broken Record (#659) 

Small cities trying to cash in on “sex trafficking” hysteria need to recycle their propaganda:

Water Follies brings thousands of people to the Tri-Cities, and that means…sex trafficking.  “[Imaginary sex slaves I fantasize about said]…that during…boat races they would have to service a lot more customers,” [panted] Tricia MacFarlan…of Mirror Ministries…MacFarlan [vomited out a lot of tired, thoroughly-debunked nonsense about]…an increase in sex trafficking during large events, and [inanimate, doll-like “slaves”]…being advertised…Mirror Ministries [capitalizes on the hysteria in all the typical ways, including propaganda sessions for the very stupid, sharing sex fantasies about]…runaway children…[handing out] soaps that have a [phone number for people too stupid to remember the numbers “nine one one”, and planting “sex trafficking” porn] in [hotel] rooms…

Between the Lines (#843)

Last year the FBI was bragging about the “success” of its annual pogroms.  But now:

The FBI launched [Operation Cross Country] over a decade ago to [unconstitutionally funnel federal funds into persecuting peaceful individuals using state laws]…but…now the Bureau is evaluating its effectiveness…1374 individual[s have been accused of]…traffick[ing]…since Operation Cross Country began in 2007….[roughly] 1000 [underage sex workers] have been [arresed and caged, while many thousands of adult sex workers have been brutalized and outed, while their children are abucted by the state and their lives are destroyed.  But sex workers have become warier of the usual stupid pig tricks are screening more effectively, with the result that]…arrests [have] dropp[ed] nearly 50 percent [in the past three years]…they are trying to re-evaluate the [scheme] to see what improvements could be made [to trap innocent people more effectively]…

Business As Usual (#905)

Columbus is still pretending it’s going to “do something” about its rapist vice pig problem:

Columbus Police is [talking about the possibility of slapping]…five [pigs on their wrists] over the [politically-motivated] 2018 arrest of…Stormy Daniels.  Interim [Swineherd] Tom Quinlan announced the [so-called] charges…[yet is keeping the names of the accused pigs secret]…each of the [pigs] will receive a hearing [with other pigs and bureaucrats], after which Quinlan will make a recommendation for [wrist-slapping].  Based on that recommendation, [an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat] will make the ultimate decision about suspensions, demotions or terminations…

Lack of Evidence (#915)

A small victory for sex workers in California:

…California Governor Gavin Newsom…sign[ed] legislation that would increase protections for people working in the commercial sex trade…Senate Bill 233…protects sex workers from arrest on prostitution- and drug-related charges if they come forward as victims of [certain specific crimes]…It also bans the use of condoms as evidence of sex work, a police practice sex workers have long said compromises their health and safety

On the one hand, a law is better than a non-binding “policy” which can be changed at a whim.  But I’m still extremely skeptical of the “immunity” portion of this law, which could easily be circumvented by charging the sex worker with “sex trafficking” rather than simple prostitution using any of the myriad excuses available to cops.  I really hope I’m wrong.

False Target (#917)

The predictable result of European countries denying queer people asylum:

A [lesbian] who was unlawfully deported from the UK has described how she was gang-raped and has lived in perpetual fear since being sent back to Uganda six years ago.  The British government was ordered by the High Court…to help the 26-year-old return to the UK on the grounds that its decision to reject her asylum claim was unlawful.  The landmark ruling could open the door to thousands of similar challenges.  The [woman]…also [got]…pregnant and ha[d] a child, who is now four months old, as a result of the sexual assault…she…arrived in the UK in 2011 and claimed asylum on the basis that she was a lesbian and would be at risk of persecution in Uganda.  But this was refused…because the Home Office [pretended] she was [was not queer]…the Home Office has decided to appeal the decision [so as to]…sen[d her] back to Uganda [to be raped] again…

I Saw My Brain (#940)

The Robert Kraft pogrom seems to have attracted the media’s attention to the psychopathic Grady Judd:

Sheriff Grady Judd [pretends his anti-whore pogroms are intended]…“to rescue victims of human trafficking”…Yet…only three people out of the 154 arrested [in May]…were considered possible victims of human trafficking…and…[they] were charged with unspecific crimes [anyhow]…their mugshots were displayed on a banner during the sheriff’s press conference and subsequently published online by local newspapers…Judd insisted that many of the women arrested were victims of human trafficking [even though his own department said otherwise]…Operations that purport to target human trafficking but yield mass arrests for prostitution-related offenses are commonplace in Florida…

Rough Trade (#942)

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

A man who raped two European women who were working as prostitutes in Ireland has been jailed for 20 years after the judge described the crimes as a “vicious and shocking”…Justice Tara Burns said that Gheorghe Goidan…had…clearly targeted them because he thought they would not be believed.  “He clearly thought they were mere dirt to rob and steal from [because Irish law defines them as moral imbeciles]”…the judge said…

Pyrrhic Victory (#957)

More on Amazon’s fascist collaboration with cops to end privacy forever:

Amazon’s [self-surveillance] company Ring has enlisted local police departments around the country to advertise its surveillance cameras in exchange for free Ring products and a “portal” that allows police to [demand] footage from these cameras, a secret agreement obtained [via public records request]…requires police to “keep the terms of this program confidential”…A signed memorandum…between Ring and the police department of Lakeland, Florida…show that Ring is using local police as a de facto advertising firm.  Police are contractually required to “[Frighten] the Lakeland community with [threats and propaganda] to encourage adoption of the platform/app”…Ring [gave] 15…surveillance cameras to the Lakeland Police Department, and…for every Lakeland resident that downloads [the] Neighbors [self-surveillance app]…the Lakeland Police Department gets…[a] $10 [coupon for buying more]…Ring cameras”…[at the full] $130 [retail price]…

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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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