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Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

The narrative that law enforcement loves to go after sites like this is that they’re saving us, that they’re rescuing us.  They’re only rescuing us from being able to pay our bills.  –  Me, in a KING 5 interview

One thing that sex worker activists quickly learn when dealing with the media is that reporters and/or producers can take a long or moderately-long interview and chop it away to virtually nothing; the topic has come up in discussion quite often among Seattle activists recently due to the media exposure surrounding the recent raids.  All in all, I’ve been relatively lucky the past few years; even when an hour-long interview is reduced to a few sentences, they’ve generally chosen quotes that reflect well upon me (such as today’s epigram).  The one major exception I can think of was the interview I gave to the Baltimore ABC station in the summer of ’14; I was asked for my opinions on decriminalization, and had no idea the reporter would do a feature in which she adopted the sleazy prohibitionist strategy of defining the Swedish model as “decriminalization”, then editing me to make it seem as though I supported that vile, misogynistic tyranny.

Anyhow, on Wednesday I gave a short interview to a reporter from the Daily Beast; the first part was by email and I was rather pleased with my own answer, so I thought it might be interesting to share it with you, then show how little of it was printed to fit.  The reporter’s question was:

Writing a story about Marco Rubio, who as Florida House speaker [in 2006] proposed that whistleblower status “should be afforded to everyone who reports prostitution, even if they are involved in the act. As an incentive for reporting the illegal activities, whistleblowers should also receive half the proceeds from any forfeiture actions brought in this case.”  Wanted to see what you thought about this proposal…

And this was my complete answer:

As I began saying in public appearances two years ago, the “War on Whores” is the new “War on Drugs”.  It serves exactly the same functions as the War on Drugs:  as an all-purpose excuse for mass surveillance, mass incarceration, aggressive policing, asset forfeiture, social controls, universal criminality, etc.  And like the Drug War, useful idiots can be counted on to support it “for the children”.  Take a look at nearly any law purported to fight “sex trafficking” (which has become nothing more than a dysphemism for sex work) and you’ll find that it’s essentially a drug war law with new terminology…the ridiculously-long sentences, the harsh corollary penalties, the brainwashing of “victims” under the guise of “rehabilitation”, the surveillance measures, the artificial sense of urgency (“it’s a growing problem!”), the disproportionate enforcement vs. minorities & the poor, and ESPECIALLY the asset seizure*.  So it doesn’t surprise me that an ambitious politician in Florida (one of the three states – the other two being Arizona & Washington – which has come up with the most terrifying & profoundly stupid anti-whore laws of the past few years) came up with yet another asinine & tyrannical proposal to infringe upon the rights of individuals to own & control their own bodies & lives; Florida has, after all, been at the forefront of such efforts (previously in “Drug War” guise) since at least the ‘80s.

One more thing:  as with powder cocaine vs crack, politicians make sure that THEIR version of a vice isn’t the one targeted as much as OTHER people’s versions; mistresses, sugar babies & so-called “high class” escorts like me aren’t the ones being targeted by these anti-whore campaigns because politicians employ us & don’t wish to be hoist with their own petards.  Instead, the extramarital sex favored by poor & working-class men, such as street workers, massage parlors & Backpage girls, are the ones which are demonized and subjected to horrific “sting” operations.

*Elizabeth Nolan Brown has also written about this:
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/justice-for-victims-of-sex-trafficking-war-on-crime-118512
http://reason.com/blog/2015/08/28/asset-forfeiture-for-sex-workers
https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/in-the-news-577/#excuse
https://reason.com/blog/2015/10/17/sex-traffickers-in-blue

Marco RubioIn our phone conversation later that afternoon we covered several more points, the most important of which was first brought up by Mistress Matisse:  given that asset forfeiture doesn’t require a criminal conviction, what’s to stop disgruntled boyfriends and estranged husbands from accusing their exes of prostitution so they can bankrupt them and steal half of their possessions?  For that matter, what’s to stop jealous neighbors from doing the same?  As I’ve pointed out many times, “evidence of prostitution” is whatever the cops say it is; this insane law would literally be an excuse to rob anyone blind.  Given that the single quote which made it into the final story was “It would incentivize false claims,” I reckon the reporter wasn’t really listening to the rest of what I said; he seems to have been much more interested in criticizing one particular stupid, evil idea from one particular power-mad politician than in analyzing the greater fabric of universal criminality of which Rubio’s proposal is an intrinsic part.  And since that kind of narrow, partisan focus is not at all unusual among journalists, it should be obvious why activists need to be careful of what we say to them.

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Sex workers are not able to negotiate…for their rights, or for access to the justice system when their livelihood is a crime.  –  Elizabeth Edwards

Bad Girls 

Men: pay your whores!  Ladies: get the money up front!

Sex workers in…southern Nigeria…have been attacking their customers for failing to pay…Sex workers in Asaba had been increasing their charges and said that they had warned the men.  The men in question claimed that they did not know about the new charges…“They agreed to pay us 8,000 nairas each and…the following morning they were giving us 4,000 nairas as against our bargain and we decided to attack them and beat them mercilessly”…Anabel Onweh said…police…found that the men had been left with their clothes torn and had been forced to drink toilet water…

Lying Down With Dogs

What wonderful company the US is in!

…The police operation that resulted in her arrest was codenamed Model Girl.  An unimaginative choice, but perhaps an indication of whom the police considered their main target…Pamela…was…convicted of working as a prostitute.  She is serving her 18-month sentence at a rehabilitation centre for trafficking victims…on the outskirts of Tirana…There have been several attempts to decriminalise prostitution in Albania but all of them have failed.  Politicians claim public opinion would not support such a change

Thinking With the Wrong Head Null We Need To Talk

Given the activities depicted in the pics, I sincerely doubt they were intended for a woman:

A popular Christian family vlogger has released a video with his wife to explain the X-rated selfies he’s been sending to a woman he met online.  Austin Null and his wife Britt (along with the nonconsensual help of their two young children) make rambling videos about their “adventures” in daily life…like grocery shopping and going to church…They have over 350k subscribers on YouTube.  But their latest video, posted December 30th and titled “WE NEED TO TALK”, takes a decidedly more somber tone.  In it, Austin explains that he’s been having an online affair for the past five months, an admission no doubt tied to the very NSFW nude selfies he’s been sending her that have surfaced online…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling

Fetishists claims that “black holes” are vacuuming up girls in India at a frightening rate; can the sci-fi movie version be far behind?

A girl is reported missing every eight minutes in India.  Approximately 16 million girl children are believed to have been trafficked into the sex trade…In fact, profits from human trafficking have more than tripled over the past 10 years…the lure of becoming a trafficker is the potential of colossal earnings in a context of impunity…the steady rise in the trafficking of girls bears evidence that [prohibitionist laws are]…more cursory than effectual…Missing…[makes grafitti that is claimed to] draw attention to the plight of such girls…that…continue to go missing into the black holes of the bestial underbelly of the society…

Beneath the purple prose are some pretty flagrantly-false claims: a wild guess is not a “fact”, decades in prison for imaginary of exaggerated offenses is nothing like “impunity”, there is zero evidence for a “rise” in anything, laws used to harass sex workers are branded as too weak…either the author is a shameless liar, or she’s absolutely barking mad.

Gingerbread House

“Re-parenting” and “restructuring their normal”.  In other words, “re-education”.

Rejuvenating Women, an Omaha [prohibitionist] organization, wants to purchase a group home and use it to restore the lives of former prostitutes, but it needs [other people’s money]…Last year, Rejuvenating Women ran a restoration home in south Omaha for seven months.  The organization had six visitors, and during that time their rent doubled and they had to close…the group needs a place to help rebuild the lives of women rescued from prostitution, with some 2,000 estimated victims in the state…”A lot of these girls haven’t been parented”…program coordinator McKenzie Motl said…”what we are going to do is re-parenting, restructuring their normal”…It starts with [re-]educating the public that prostitution is sexual slavery.  “They are sold to up to 20 men a day, up to 20 men,” [Julie] Shrader said. “Sold for sex over and over and over”…

“2000 victims”.  In Nebraska.  I picture Shrader moaning that last quote while restructuring herself with a Hitachi.

What the Hell Were You Thinking? (#335)

The UK version of an app which first premiered in Ireland over two years ago:

Matt Haworth…developed the [National Ugly Mugs] app based on the charity’s body of knowledge and feedback from sex workers themselves.  Spreading alerts as quickly as possible is a vital part of the app’s offering…The app checks incoming numbers with its database of rogue punters, and also features a kind of panic button, which workers can press if they feel unsafe…The button can be used to report bad clients, call the police, or log that the worker felt unsafe so NUM can check in with them later to offer services and support.  The app has been tested in Manchester to a positive response, and is currently undergoing a bigger pilot in London…

Subtle Pimping (#401)

If there are so many “sex trafficking victims”, why do they need to keep making up stories about it?

…Chris Bohjalian’s new novel The Guest Room…tackles the white-hot topic of human sex trafficking.  Bohjalian dissects this gruesome global epidemic in a story that starts with a bachelor party…Bohjalian takes us back to Armenia…to tell…how girls…are tricked and forced into becoming sex slaves.  It is a subject getting worldwide attention and this novel will help bring it to the surface…

Some novelists are even declared “sex trafficking experts” on the basis of their BDSM fantasies.

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

A…youth pastor in Anson [Texas] is…out of a job after police say he had an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl in his youth group…Callan Rice…was…fired by Bethel Assembly…after he was caught meeting privately with the girl…Rice had sexual contact with the girl and has confessed to the crime…

Monsters (#442) Joseph Scott Pemberton

U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was sentenced to six to twelve years in Philippine prison for killing Jennifer Laude, a trans Filipina sex worker, in October 2014.  His sentence was downgraded from the usual 20 to 40 years for homicide…in part because Laude failed to disclose to Pemberton that she was trans…Trans sex workers in Olongapo keep their status secret from service members as a matter of course…The mayor’s office has convened a task force to prevent violent incidents involving trans women and U.S. military service members from occurring in the future, which encourages trans sex workers to disclose their trans status early on.  But, because disclosing would inevitably lose them clients, there’s little sign of meaningful change to the conditions that led to Laude’s death…

Sex Work is Work (#446)

Margaret Corvid  writes on “What a Sex Worker Can Teach You About Working for Yourself“, her main points being “Under-promise and (sometimes) over-deliver“; “You’re the boss! You can fire a shitty client“; “Your time and emotional labor are worth money“; “Get your money first“; and “You’re not a robot.

Amnesty At Last

“…let’s hope some politicians (even in the deeply prohibitionist US) begin to recognize that the wind is shifting, and decide to stand with Amnesty and sex workers as we look toward the future and away from the fear of consensual sex“:

A representative is hoping to pass a bill that would legalize prostitution in New Hampshire for consenting adults…Elizabeth Edwards…said her bill was influenced by an Amnesty International study that supports worldwide [decriminalization] for sex workers…according to House Majority Leader Dick Hinch, strong efforts will be made to be sure the bill doesn’t pass because “society is just not ready for that…We’re going to put a full court press in from the leadership standpoint to make sure that (the bill) doesn’t have a lot of daylight to it,” Hinch said.  [Prohibitionists pretend] legalizing sex work would spread disease, increase violence and encourage sexual predators…

Choke Point (#593) 

Half a dozen credit card networks discriminate in keeping “bad lists” that prohibit the selling of adult-oriented materials, psychic services and paraphernalia such as bongs and hookahs, according to a class-action suit filed..by convenience store operator Abu Maisa [which] alleges that Google, Intuit, Square, Stripe, Flint Mobile and PayPal each incorporate a “bad list” that sets boundaries of what the operator can and can’t sell.  Abu Maisa…has been so handcuffed on the types of products it sells, it can’t even offer Penthouse magazine…for fear…its accounts would be shut…the suit…[notes] that the practice is contrary to California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act [which states that]…all persons are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments, including both private and public entities…

Bait and Switch (#597)

Until Gay, Inc is ready to throw its full weight behind decriminalization, this will keep happening:

…the Polk County Sheriff’s Department…arrested a total of 95 suspects, including sex workers, their clients, and others…Of the 50 charged with prostitution 4 were specifically identified as “a transgender,” “a transvestite,” or “transsexual”.  In addition to outing the trans status of these individuals, the news release repeatedly misgendered the individuals and published their birth names on the Sheriff’s website.  Despite not having been convicted of a crime, many of these suspect’s places of work, previous legal history and whether they were on public assistance and how much were reported…This kind of shameful, irresponsible policing and reporting is not new in Polk County…The Sheriff seems to take tremendous pride in criminalizing people’s way of survival and publicly degrading them…Unfortunately, Polk County is not alone in using these reprehensible and dangerous tactics…In Illinois, for example, the Cook County Sheriff Office was called out in 2012 for outing transgender women online and listing them as “johns” after their arrests for solicitation, apparently based on the fact that their ID listed them as male…

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COME GET UR BITE.  –  “Officer” Keith Bush

Not quite a video, but in video format; this is the Philip K. Dick story “Impostor” adapted as a radio play.  And if you like that one, here are five more.  They were provided by Jesse Walker, who also gave us “Carmilla”; the other links were contributed by Cathy Reisenwitz (“protect”), Tushy Galore (“KKK”), Nun Ya  (“Christmas” and “18”), and Wendy Lyon (“limited”).

From the Archives

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I can’t breathe.  –  Barbara Dawson

Christmas videos?  What are those?  Well, at least I have one of a novel protest, courtesy of Clarissa.  The links above it were provided by Elizabeth N. BrownNun YaEdward SnowdenTushy GaloreFranklin Harris, Nun Ya again, Walter Olson, and Popehat, in that order.

From the Archives

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[Prostitution law] is not about rationality or science or evidence.  It is just about ideology.  –  John Lowman

License to Rape

Cops don’t like it when non-cops poach on what they consider their territory:

Raul Antonio Ramos…could [be imprisoned]…for 50 years to life if he is convicted of [various rape-related felonies after]…he allegedly contacted [a sex worker]…in Anaheim…once inside [her room] he claimed to be a [cop], showed her his security-guard badge and threatened her with arrest if she did not have sex with him…He went on to forcibly rape the woman, using a GoPro video camera to record the entire incident…When Ramos tried to…orally [rape her]…she grabbed his keys and camera and ran out of the hotel room and down the street to a Joe’s Italian Ice shop to report the rape…Joseph Christoph Moore…of Anaheim, is [also] facing charges of  impersonating a cop and fondling two women in separate late November incidents…Moore approached a woman…whipped out a badge…told her to get against a wall, fondled her breasts and buttocks while “searching” her, pulled a handgun out of his waistband and warned her he would shoot her if she screamed.  In the second incident, he is accused of pressing a badge against a woman’s driver-side window, telling her she had expired tags…ordered her against a wall for a pat down and fondled her buttocks and inner thighs several times…Moore…could get life in prison if he is convicted…

Legal Is as Legal Does

Remember, sex work was re-legalized in Taiwan four years ago after ten years of US-style criminalization imposed due to pressure from Washington; however, it’s only “legal” in certain districts, of which none have been designated.  The result:

Authorities…cracked a prostitution ring operating in the Taipei area…officials probed possible links to international human traffickers in China and East Europe…18 people were arrested, including the two suspected leaders — 78-year-old Cheng Tsung-te (程崇德) and a 55-year-old woman surnamed Ku (顧)…Police officials [fantasized that] Cheng is…the “patriarch” of Taiwan’s underground sex trade with decades of insider experience…officials said that some of the alleged call girls were migrant workers from Southeast Asia who were under contract to work as home caregivers, but had run away…

They fled their “contracts” as caregivers to become sex workers, but it’s the latter which is supposedly “exploitative”.

Above the Law James Greene

A pretty typical case in all points:

…M’Leah…Hassan’s attorney Elton Richey claims former Shreveport [Louisiana cop] James Greene raped Hassan in his office in February after she came to the department to report harassing and threatening phone calls by a former boyfriend…The city of Shreveport and SPD are also accused of being negligent in its hiring, training and supervision of Greene…[who] was arrested and charged with abuse of office Feb. 13 and was fired from SPD Feb. 24…”They didn’t actually charge him with sexual assault,” Richey said. “I can’t…imagine the thinking that’s going on there.”  And now, 10 months later, the Caddo Parish District Attorney hasn’t brought the case to trial.  Richey said court dates are being pushed off and rescheduled…

Above the Law (#334)

You may recall that local “authorities” only wanted to charge the rapists with “accepting bribes”:

Two South Florida strippers claim in court that…Broward County [cops raped]…and threatened them after finishing their shift at a popular gentleman’s club…shortly after 4 a.m. on May 24, 2012…the City knew that [Franklin] Hartley and [Thomas] Merenda posed a threat to women, but still kept them on duty…

Traffic Circle

Pro-decriminalization articles are becoming much more common:

…the “rescue industry”…profits off the stigma of sex workers and…[collaborates with] the police, courts, and elected officials.  An instance of this is the ongoing pursuit of sex workers and clients who utilize…BackPage…By shutting down the websites that allow sex workers to manage their own business with a degree of autonomy, it would close a major revenue stream and give way to a return for those who victimize sex workers, the ranks of which have decreased with the rise of the internet…The [Providence] mayor’s call for more BackPage sting operations is especially disingenuous because, by painting all those who utilize the website as human trafficking victims or human traffickers, it creates no gradation or allowance for variety and exercise of constitutionally-protected rights…This type of state violence towards honest workers would be unacceptable in any other industry yet, because sexuality is involved in the equation, all existing norms of decency and respectability are ejected in the name of sensationalism…prohibition…forces sex workers to support the status quo of dissuading co-workers who want to work by any means necessary…After a sex worker is handed over to the rescue industry, they oftentimes find themselves forced into low-wage menial labor and subjected to puritanical ethics that prevent them from private access to the internet, sexual activity outside of marriage, and contact with former associates…

Harm Magnification (#427)

These articles are even more common in Canada:

Prostitution was dominating the headlines in the late 1970s when John Lowman was working on his PhD thesis.  Police raids of nightclubs in Vancouver and massage parlours in Toronto had pushed prostitutes onto the streets and Lowman thought he could use the crackdown on prostitution in his thesis on the impact of police behaviour on crime patterns…Over the decades…Lowman (now a Simon Fraser University criminologist)…found out what happened to prostitutes on the street and described the dangers they face [in] government reports and academic journals.  And he was flabbergasted by the callous indifference among top policy-makers as the number of deaths began to mount…Lowman is edging into retirement, and is still troubled by the abject failure of public policy to protect street prostitutes.  Policy-makers now have the benefit of more than 30 years of research-based evidence from across the country on violence against prostitutes as well as a Supreme Court of Canada ruling that focused on the barriers to safety that were created by the law.  But the provisions of the Criminal Code still compromise the safety of prostitutes…

Not an Addiction (#443)

an unnamed 28-year-old man from Siberia is suing…because he became “addicted” to Fallout 4…he planned to play the game a few nights each week but ended up on a three-week binge that resulted in the loss of his job.  He claims he was so addicted that he couldn’t even make time to eat or sleep.  Oh, and his wife left him.  Now, he is seeking around $7,000…for emotional distress…[saying] that if he knew the game could become so addictive, he…either wouldn’t have bought it or would have saved it until he was on vacation…the case is largely being viewed as a test in Russia as there haven’t been any like it before…such claims aren’t new.  In 2010, Craig Smallwood from Hawaii sued [the] Lineage II maker…after logging more than 20,000 hours in the game…Amazingly enough, Smallwood won his case…

Subtle Pimping (#503) Assassin's Creed image

Positive portrayals of sex workers are becoming more common in video games:

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s new Jack The Ripper expansion is a compelling if rough-edged remix of the base game that cleverly works in one of history’s most famous killers.  It pulls off another trick, too, going to extraordinary lengths to engender empathy for a group of people who don’t get much of it in video games: prostitutes…

An Example to the West (#544)

In Nicaragua, sex workers have been trained as peer educators in legal matters.  In Mozambique, it’s health matters:

In 2011, [Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)] began distributing condoms and giving lectures about HIV treatment in [Southeast Africa]…So that no person working in the sex industry on the route between Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi has to stop [HIV] treatment when moving to other cities for work, MSF created the Corridor Project, which provides medicine along the way…the project also includes education and awareness training, especially for sex workers…“But we still had a hard time reaching out to sex workers, who were afraid to face our team, due to the severe discrimination that they often suffer here.  We needed someone who was able to create a link between sex workers and Doctors Without Borders [MSF],” says [Humberto] Jassitene [of MSF].  The Peer Educator program…is made up of women who are sex workers at night but double as health workers for MSF during the day…

Checklist (#562)

Everyone’s hurrying to cash in on “sex trafficking” hysteria before the bubble collapses:

…Apps aimed at fighting human trafficking…are emerging as social entrepreneurs attempt to use technology to battle what they see as the forces of evil.  A group of government agencies and private foundations calling themselves Partnership for Freedom has set up a competition with the not-so-catchy name “Rethink Supply Chains” challenge.  What is grabbing attention is $500,000 in prize money that will be awarded for the best technology solutions to combat the use of slave labor…LaborVoices, a Sunnyvale, California-based venture, is entering the challenge with an app that allows workers to [snitch] simply and anonymously using a voice activated smartphone app…Made in a Free World, for example, created the Slavery Footprint app that generates estimates of an individual’s reliance on slave labor from data on trafficked human…the…challenge will pick as many as five finalists next month and award them $20,000 each to build a prototype.  The winner will be announced in April.

Quite Possibly the Most Uptight Nerd Ever (#563)

So a reporter from Vice contacted a couple of escorts who use the German hooker app, Peppr, and interviewed them.  There are no surprises here, but you may find it interesting.

Seizing Power (#597)

Hey Breitbart:  swallowing the government’s “sex trafficking” propaganda makes you its stooges:

…Dart claimed that his effort was part of a crackdown on criminal sex traffickers who “prey on the weak and vulnerable.”  He argued that the use of credit cards in the “violent” sex industry “implies an undeserved credibility and sense of normalcy” to illegal transactions and increases the demand for “women and girls” who are often supplied through “coercion and violence”.  But the announcement outraged so-called “sex workers” across the globe, who said they were losing a convenient way to get paid…

Yes, they actually said “so-called ‘sex workers'”.

Innocence Never Had (#598)

Do these people really imagine that one basket full of ham and bog rolls will convince women to give up their jobs?

A group of volunteers spent their Saturday morning spreading Christmas cheer in Lake Charles [Louisiana]…”We are going to the areas that there is a lot of sex trafficking,” said Shawn Cardin…Founder of “I Am Loved”…[which harasses]…women in the sex trade industry…”We try to love everybody for Christmas,” said Cardin.  They came armed with food like frozen turkeys or ham and fresh fruits.  They also had house baskets filled with simple toiletries…”But more than anything we encourage and uplift these people”…

Also note that for the most part, “sex trafficking” has become nothing more than an especially-ugly dysphemism for sex work.

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[Some] are not quite sure whether this is a hoax or not.  –  Zachary Whyte

I’m rather sad that there aren’t many good Christmas videos any more, but at least Amy Winfrey brightened my week with this new muffin film.  The links above it were contributed by Tushy Galore (“axolotl”), Grace (“pigs” and “West”), Tim Worstall (“headline”), Tim Cushing (“problem” and “truth”), Radley Balko  (“Shakespeare”), Rick Horowitz (“laws”), Mike Siegel (“Florida”), and Clarissa  (“government”).

From the Archives

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[Under universal criminality] the cop becomes a law unto himself, with the ability to criminalize or wholly dehumanize any individual at will.
–  Steve MartinotJason Foster

License to Rape

Cops raping sex workers is so ubiquitous, non-cop rapists often pose as cops to facilitate the crime:

A [Maine] mechanic who pretended to be an undercover [cop] to [rape] prostitutes…will spend more than eight years in prison…Jason Foster was…also sentenced to seven years of suspended prison time…Foster claimed he was just a paying prostitution customer…[he] must also register for life as a sex offender.

Universal Criminality

The only flaw in this otherwise-excellent essay is that the author buys into the “pimp” myth:

…around 70% of all prisoners in the US are convicted of victimless crimes…the person charged with a crime has harmed no one.  Some might say they harm themselves, but each individual would have to be involved in any discussion of whether that were true or not.  Regardless, they are thrown in prison…those convicted of victimless crimes are themselves the victims…of the victimless crime law system.  The mythology of imprisonment is that all those in prison are violent offenders, “bad guys” who need to be taken off the streets for the safety and security of the average person.  If 70% of all prisoners are there for victimless crimes, then this is worse than a myth.  It is a malicious lie…

The Widening Gyre

“Sex trafficking terrorists”.  Because one moral panic at a time isn’t enough any more.

There are terrorists in the United States who actively seek victims for their sex trafficking businesses.  According to Shared Hope International, this enterprise is booming.  The market for human beings is profitable…Sex traffickers target children as young as 11 years old.  Moreover, younger boys and girls are also subject to these predators…over 100,000 children…are bought, sold, and rented every year…It is, in fact, considered “a form of modern-day slavery…The terrorists in the U.S. are not only those the media discusses daily, but they are also the sex traffickers who are active in their pursuit of victims.  These terrorists are pimps and they are not always strangers…

Shifting the Blame (#33)

Long-time readers may recall that I said this almost four years ago:

Disgraced former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke…stymied the FBI’s investigation into the Gilgo Beach serial-killings for years…Burke…refused to keep the feds in the loop on the unsolved murders of eight women, a man and a toddler on or near the beach…because he learned he was in the FBI’s cross hairs for assaulting Christopher Loeb…a handcuffed suspect who swiped items from his vehicle— including pornography and sex toys…[Burke] then tried to cover up the assault…Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini announced that the FBI would now play a major role in the Gilgo Beach cold case…

That Old Black Magic

No sillier than the anti-sex propaganda favored by Western charlatans:

A “spiritualist” in Ghana named Mallam Ya Wadudu asserts that tattoos can cause “homosexuality and prostitution”…he said, “The snakes, lions, scorpions, frogs and other animal symbols they put on themselves all have spiritual meanings.  Those who put the symbols on their bodies have to be delivered from the influence of the spirits in the symbols.”  He firmly believes tattooing such symbols onto your body will lead to demonic possession…side effects may include homosexuality, alcoholism, or prostitution…

Drawing Lines

The mental gymnastics on display here would be truly Olympian if they weren’t so wholly clownish:

…Whether or not Sugar dating resembles “prostitution,” this tired argument is outdated and hardly applicable in the modern world.  Not only does it neglect the nuance and idiosyncrasies that exist in the world of Sugar dating, but it also assumes that, in the general population, only two types of intimate relationships exist: ones that include money and ones that do not…the phenomenon of the Girlfriend-Experience (GFE) is an example of the growing similarity and fusion between sexual and marriage markets.  To an onlooker, a GFE in action appears identical to any other dating scenario, but with the added certainty that…sex will be included somewhere in the evening’s antics.  And the woman will be compensated…the [sugar baby]…is more than a sex object – and her Sugar Daddy is more than an ATM.  To call Sugar dating prostitution is to reduce the individuals involved to one-dimensional stereotypes, when life is much more complicated and interesting than that…

Do you think we ought to tell “Sara-Kate” that GFE is a prostitution term?

Saving Them From Themselves (#428) 

Consensual crime laws enable predators, part umpteen:

Police Detective David Edward Abbott, a member of the Northern Virginia-Washington D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, committed suicide…before law enforcement could arrest him on suspicion of sexually abusing minors.  Abbott…was the detective [who]…sought a warrant to take [a] 17-year-old male…to the hospital, inject him with a drug that would give him an erection, photograph his genitals, and compare the photo with existing pictures of his genitals the police had confiscated from his 15-year-old girlfriend’s phone.  The teen was eventually sentenced to one year of probation…Abbott sued the teen’s lawyer for defamation.  The lawyer, Jessica Foster, remarked to the media that the warrant to take pornographic pictures of her client–to be used as evidence that he was guilty of creating child pornography–was “crazy”…Abbott said the comments caused him severe emotional distress; he claimed he was threatened and called a pedophile…Abbott…had inappropriate contact with two young boys, ages 11 and 13…

Worse Than I Thought (#536)

And you can bet they’re going to get help from civil liberties groups:

Following a First Amendment victory against meddling Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart…Backpage.com is now taking on the federal government.  On December 11, the company filed a civil action against U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, claiming that the…SAVE…Act…is unconstitutionally vague, overbroad, and infringes on First Amendment rights.  The…Act added “advertising” a victim of sexual exploitation to the list of thing that can trigger a sex-trafficking charge, meaning that user-generated ad platforms such as Backpage and Craigslist could find themselves facing the same charges as someone who forces someone else into prostitution—regardless of whether the platform knew anything about the ad.  It also stipulated a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence (up to life imprisonment)…A wide swath of free-speech and civil-liberties advocates opposed the SAVE Act…[warning]  that [its] reach wouldn’t just extend to Backpage but also social media such as Facebook and Twitter, online dating websites, and apps such as Tinder and Grindr…

Bait and Switch (#545)

If you’ll look back at what I’ve previously reported on Grady Judd, I’m sure you can guess what kind of tactics were used to entrap these people so Judd could destroy their lives for his self-aggrandizement:

A five-day human trafficking undercover operation in Polk County netted 95 arrests…The suspects range in age from 15 to 68 years old…Detectives filed 21 felony charges and 111 misdemeanor charges…“We’ve seen firsthand the negative social costs of how prostitution hurts families, children, and communities.  And more often than not, there is a high correlation between other crimes and prostitution,” Polk Sheriff Grady Judd [vomited onto reporters]. “There is also a direct nexus between prostitution and human trafficking, and we are committed to identifying victims of human trafficking and getting them into [brainwashing] programs and out of lives of crime.”

Good Fantasy, Bad Reality (#578)

Because the government can’t find imaginary “sex slave rings”, it creates criminals in order to uphold its narrative:

…FBI agents…devised an undercover operation targeting…individuals…pursuing [an extreme BDSM]…fantasy…four individuals were…willing to pay thousands of dollars for a sex slave…The four…were indicted on human trafficking charges between December 2013 and May 2014.  They all pled guilty, and in September 2015, an Arizona federal judge sentenced them to prison terms ranging from seven to nine years…[Agent Ryan] Blay said…“We didn’t want to wait until there were actual victims.”

It’s a sign of how badly US “justice” has deteriorated that the agent sees nothing wrong with that chilling final statement.

Between the Lines

Here’s a firsthand account of what it’s like to be targeted by an “Operation Cross-Country” sting (video courtesy of Tara Burns):

Fallen Idol

A porn studio has published a performers’ bill of rights in the aftermath of the sexual assault allegations against porn actor James Deen, which have driven the adult industry to reexamine some of the on-set concerns surrounding the issue of performer consent…Angie and Colin Rowntree, long-time adult film veterans who operate sssh.com (a porn for women site) and Wasteland.com (a BDSM site), instituted their studio’s first formalized “On-set Policies And Best Practices” document…Sssh and Wasteland said they are taking their current principles and making them crystal clear for all parties.  According to Angie Rowntree, the document, which is now publicly available on their site, “is going to be an ongoing process” and will evolve as new potential concerns pop up…

Seizing Power (#593)

NPR has parroted government “sex trafficking” propaganda for years, but writing about this issue without mentioning Dart’s smackdown by a federal court is a remarkably revealing display of the organization’s total disregard for the truth:

Across the country, law enforcement is cracking down on sex trafficking of minors by going after online escort ads.  Five years ago, Craigslist was pressured to shut down its adult-services forum.  The new target is Backpage.com — Visa and MasterCard stopped processing transactions with Backpage this summer.  Some in the sex industry are getting around that by using the virtual currency bitcoin.  That’s the latest adaptation by an industry used to getting creative to avoid detection…Cook County Illinois Sheriff Tom Dart called a news conference to announce a victory this summer…Backpage…is fighting back.  It’s suing Sheriff Dart and making its ads free…

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