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Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

You can’t change your life [after a prostitution arrest], because you got people who just want to ride around and randomly take people to jail for nothing.  –  Erika Elias

Think of the Children! 

“Concerned parents” is a euphemism for “busybodies”:

A [gang] of [busybodies pretend] their quality of life is being affected after [one of them] discovered a business selling adult services was operating in their street…The owner of the house, Nigel Sanders, said…”I have a girlfriend who is a professional dominatrix, she comes to visit me in Exeter and on some occasions she may have found it convenient to see someone for services in…the [house]”…[one of the busybodies] said it made her feel uncomfortable that [people were having consensual sex close to where the products of other consensual sex acts were living]…

Lack of Evidence

As long as these laws exist, all women are vulnerable to persecution by cops:

Erika Elias…was waiting for a ride outside a Columbus, Georgia, trailer-park last month when a local [cop]…spotted her.  Because Elias had been been picked up for prostitution nearby previously, and the neighborhood is one where cops regularly make prostitution arrests…Ryan Vardman…arrested [her] for “loitering for the purposes of prostitution” and [she] now faces nearly two months in county jail…The criteria for this crime is entirely subjective: does a cop think you look like someone selling sex?…sleazebag-cop-michael-e-moore

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

“…Toledo [cop]…Michael E. Moore, Sr…was indicted by a…grand jury on two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of compelling prostitution…[after he] paid for sex with a girl, who was at the time between 13 and 14…”

A War for Peace

Femen’s main purpose seems to be the generation of irony from hypocrisy:

The founder of the Canadian chapter of…FEMEN…Kseniya Chernyshova was arrested in midtown Manhattan on Nov. 11…[for] “sexual intercourse in exchange for $300”…The Ukrainian-born Chernyshova…has been trying to [stop other] women [from making money the same way she does]…

Surplus Women 

Why can’t reporters write about the murders of sex workers without lurid bullshit?

It has been 10 years since a suspected serial killer prowling the streets of Atlantic City claimed Molly Dilts, 20, and three other women, Kim Raffo, 35, Barbara Breidor, 42, and Tracy Ann Roberts, 23.  The women, whose lives had unraveled under the weight of drug addiction, worked as prostitutes in the shadow of the resort’s neon-lit casinos.  Over five weeks, the killer took them one by one, dumping their bodies in a brackish, trash-strewn drainage canal…The killings spawned lurid headlines around the nation for months…Before drugs took hold of their lives, the four…were mothers and daughters…

A man who implies that sex workers can’t be “mothers and daughters”, and who apparently views women as only having worth in our relationships to others, has the nerve to call similar reporting on the same subject “lurid”.

The Widening Gyre

It’s fascinating to see fetishists convincing themselves their fantasies are real:

New details are emerging about the kidnapping of Northern California mom Sherri Papini, who was able to provide basic descriptions of the two Spanish-speaking women she says abducted her. Authorities say the motive for the kidnapping is still unknown, but one private investigator says there are signs that sex trafficking could be involved.

Another caption below this piece claims Papini was “branded”, which as longtime readers know is total bullshit.  This smells to me like a troubled woman looking for attention by faking her own “sex trafficking” abduction.  The “Spanish-speaking women” seem kin to the imaginary dark-skinned men usually featured in such hoaxes.

Train Wreck

It looks like Kenyan articles about sex workers can be just as weirdly stupid as Nigerian ones:

The increasing number of commercial sex workers touting for business at the Central Business District in Nakuru during the day is scaring away potential investors and customers…the Nakuru Business Association [pretends]…that the twilight girls some who are under age, strategically position themselves outside business premises disrupting human traffic to shops…The commercial sex workers are now considered as a big hindrance to normal operation of business in the city…

So now “disrupting human traffic” is a bad thing?  Please tell this to the “end demand” people.

Checklist

Fetishist admits her “information” is bullshit, yet teaches it anyway:

Sex trafficking in the United States is a “hidden epidemic”…an [opportunist]…told Longview [Texas patsies]…during a workshop.  “No one is an expert in this yet,” said Traffick911 Director of Programs Lindsey Speed…”as soon as we learn the way pimps do their business, they change it up”…Speed [fantasized about]…sex trafficking and how people can spot signs of potential victims…Speed offered up [nonsense] statistics about the industry…

Traffick911 is a coalition of Christian groups best known for claiming that their imaginary bogeymen can be chased away by saying prayers over highways.

Unintentional Hilarity Pokemon GO squirtle

Quite possibly the stupidest prohibitionist argument of the year:

Pokemon Go is a game in which you capture little monsters inside balls and trade them for candy or use them to fight other Pokemon to gain points…But, as with prostitution, when you look more closely at Pokemon Go, you see a nastier side.  In the game, I lure and drug beautiful little wild animals in their natural environment to calm them for capture, then bombard them with ever stronger Pokeballs in which I eventually confine them…I put Pokemon in my collection, inspect their vital statistics and, if it suits me, sell them to an authority figure (the Professor, a wise old white man) in return for candy.  Or I may keep them, send them to battle others and get them hurt in the process.  Like a pimp lures and (sometimes literally) captures a woman in prostitution and then rents her out to men to control and enjoy…

Yes, she’s actually comparing living adult women to imaginary cartoon monsters and apparently implying that “pimps” have magical entrapment abilities.  Also, some clients refer to seeing sex workers as “The Hobby”, not “The Game”. But prohibitionists never let actual facts contaminate their bizarre, sex-hating beliefs.

Imaginary Evils (#348)

A deep look at the Maoist cult whose members were at first called “slaves” by the media:

When Aravindan Balakrishnan was growing up, in Kerala…his mother often warned him not to curse people when he was angry…she believed that her eldest son possessed occult powers, and nicknamed him Black Tongue; later, as an adult, Balakrishnan would boast that he could set people aflame by looking at them.  He was a good student, and won a British Council scholarship…to study at the London School of Economics…By 1967, Balakrishnan had suspended his studies at the university and joined the Communist Party of England.  He…later…persuaded a small group of people—including Chanda Pattni, a classmate from Tanzania, whom he later married—to follow him.  Together, they founded their own party, the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought…Eventually, they moved in to a communal house in Clapham, South London…Balakrishnan enforced control by encouraging rivalries among the women and keeping them financially dependent.  He warned them that if they strayed, an invisible machine would punish them.  He called it JACKIE, an acronym of Jehovah, Allah, Christ, Krishna, and the Immortal Easwaran—the last of these being a scholar and spiritual teacher from Kerala.  If any of the women tried to flee, Balakrishnan said, JACKIE would zap them with lasers.  If they had disloyal thoughts, JACKIE would make the household appliances go haywire…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#574)

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

Dozens of teachers gathered in [California]…to learn about how to [indoctrinate]…students in fifth to eleventh grades [in “sex trafficking” propaganda].  Tiffany Lavoie, a [fetishist, lied that]…”The average age of a victim of human trafficking in the United States is eleven to fourteen years old.  Some studies say fifteen…my mom trafficked me from the age of three until I was 13″…Lavoie said her goal is not to scare kids about strangers…

Bullshit; that’s exactly her goal.  And more importantly, to scare their parents & “authorities” so she can keep making money off of this moral panic.

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now (#693)

Liz Brown has discovered a rather revolting pattern in US vice cops’ recent behavior:

One disturbing new trend I’ve noticed of late is undercover cops posing not just as vanilla sex-buyers or women looking to get cash for sex but as prostitution clients with unusual kinks or women demanding payment in things like cheeseburgers.  Then, after a sex worker or would-be client is arrested by undercover officers, the police—and the media segments that parrot them—are sure to highlight the more…mockable and attention-grabbing…elements of the bust…In [one] case, they set up a sting wherein sex workers advertising online were asked to oblige an undercover cop’s fetish request, which involved gummy worms in some way.  But the gummy-worm fetish part has no bearing on whether the elements of the crime of prostitution are satisfied, so it’s hard to see why [cops] would include it but for their own amusement or to ensure that the sting would be irresistible to the press afterward (or both)…

The Widening Gyre (#694)

I’m glad this happened; it isn’t until moral panics start disrupting the lives of the well-connected that they finally end:

A man who said he was investigating a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring out of a pizza place fired an [“assault rifle”] inside the Washington, D.C., restaurant on Sunday…Edgar Maddison Welch…was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon…the pizza place has been hammered by thousands of threats and bizarre, unsubstantiated tales about child sex trafficking online for weeks…two women, who declined to give their names, [were found] banging on the patio…in late November.  The women were looking for the alleged tunnels used to traffic children.  “All of this is an underground tunnel that…transport them back and forth so they can can do these rituals,” said one of them. “They are putting a lot of curses and spells over the city”…

The tie-in to the Satanic Panic makes it even better.

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All I asked for was sliced cheese.  –  Ricky Berry

Unfortunately, the US media (including social media) are still obsessed with Donald Trump, so it was pretty slim pickings for links this week; let it never be said I don’t go the extra mile for my readers, though.  The video was provided by Jacob Sullum, and the links above it by Tim Cushing (“surprise” and “understand”), Scott Greenfield (“robot”, “politicians” and “surgery”), Cathy Reisenwitz (“identity”), and  Tushy Galore (“retrained”).

From the Archives

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I don’t trust the value system of somebody else…because my life isn’t their life.  –  Nadia Yasmeen

One Size Fits All

Finally, a US court finds something it isn’t willing to call “trafficking”:

…[Milwaukee] prosecutors charged [Kevin] Long…with child trafficking because he admitted that he paid a 16-year-old Milwaukee boy to lick or kiss his feet, and offered to pay that boy’s 17-year-old friend to do the same.  That boy said he wasn’t interested…[so] Long apologized…took the 17-year-old to the mall and bought him shoes…In his home, police found materials referencing foot fetish websites and a journal of Long’s prior encounters…Long’s attorney, Ray Dall’Osto…[argued] there was no [vanilla] sexual touching, no exposure or even discussion of genitals…Dall’Osto mounted a full-on constitutional attack on the child trafficking law, calling it vague and overbroad…Long wound up pleading guilty to reduced charges…pandering and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a child, all misdemeanors…Judge Jeffrey Wagner…stayed Long’s registration as a sex offender until after [a forthcoming] review…

It Looks Good On Paper

If you’re inclined to view this as a positive development, read more carefully; it’s justified by, and would reinforce, the dogma that sex workers are pathetic victims who need to be treated as wards of the state.  It’s also another weapon prosecutors can use to coerce sex workers into “cooperating” with police to betray their clients and other sex workers, and note the “escort registration” provision:

It’s illegal to publish official post-arrest photographs of people accused of prostitution, under an Alabama law that went into effect Aug. 1…press advocates say it’s probably unconstitutional…[sponsor] Jack Williams…has been pushing for years for changes to the state’s prostitution laws, arguing that prostitutes themselves are in most cases victims of human trafficking…Williams’ bill, the Alabama Human Trafficking Safe Harbor Act, allows people arrested for prostitution to be held for 72 hours, with a hearing to assess their financial situation, mental health and other issues within 48 hours — with an eye toward [forcing] the alleged prostitute…through a…diversion program…The law also requires “escort services of companionship” to register with the Alabama secretary of state’s office…[which threatened] to report [unregistered escorts to the pigs]…

Where Are the Protests? 

Only “A few critics call it a form of human trafficking.”  Because there’s no sex and the traffickers are government actors and clergymen:

Percida Ramos was losing her son to heroin…[A lying pig told her about] Kensington, where ministers run resort-like, anti-addiction estates where the…demons are chased from young people’s brains as they ride horses, swim in blue pools, and play day and night on basketball courts…Her son would even have a job within five months, she was promised…All Ramos…had to do was get [her son] to Philadelphia and wire $150 to an address on North Front Street…What [Kelvin Aldarondo] found was far different from what he and his mother were promised…a grim, three-story building under the El with around 20 other men sleeping on bunk beds in four bedrooms and sharing three bathrooms…Since the late 1990s, pastors, police, and mayors in Puerto Rico have been sending hundreds of heroin addicts, many of them HIV-positive, to Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and other cities.  The officials work with mainland ministers, some of whom travel from Philadelphia to the island to recruit addicts, offering drug treatment based on abstinence and prayer.  [The practice is known as Air Bridge]…and…[it] has increased the numbers of homeless and HIV-positive people in the city, torn apart families, and confounded advocates…

A Whore in Church 

Tits & Sass presents a nice look at the religious beliefs of sex workers:

Many people think of whores as being as far from God as possible.  We are seen as “fallen women,” people whose moral deficiency has put them at odds with God.  When God, morality, and religion are discussed in tandem with sex work, these conversations often promote religious dogma which serves to justify the marginalization of sex workers. Sex workers are rarely heard from on their own relationships with religion or spirituality, even though we have roots in religious and spiritual life as far back as Biblical times…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

SWOP’s annual fundraiser is going on right now!  Many of you have asked me how you can support sex worker rights; well, this is an excellent way, and your donations are tax-deductible!  So please don’t hesitate; donate today!swop-fundraiser

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

Brave hero cops save The Children!TM from the menace of desperately-needy people, both in Ohio: “…Crystal D. Hotlosz…told [a lying pig] she would provide a sex act for $60 and nachos…She was arrested, and charged for solicitation and criminal tools…” and in Florida: “Eight homeless prostitutes, one homeless 68-year-old pimp and a hooker with an address were among those arrested in the most recent prostitution sting…[a lying pig] hunting for streetwalkers asked some of the women if they were cops and even encouraged one of the suspects to grab his genitals…”  Judging by her language, sleazebag “reporter” Lyda Longa thinks she’s clever; I wonder how she’d feel if a pig came to her place of work and tricked her into doing something so he could arrest her?  N.B: in Ohio, “criminal tools” means condoms and/or a cell phone.

Banishment

Because laws are more important than people:

In Florida, a wheelchair-bound man with end-stage Alzheimer’s must move out of the hospice where he’s dying, because he is a registered sex offender and the hospice is too close to a preschool…Jack Ehrhart…was convicted of a sex offense about 30 years ago, when he was a doctor.  Several patients accused him of touching them sexually during their gynecological exams—with a nurse present.  He now faces arrest unless he gets…out of the Heartland Hospice…Ehrhart’s wife is arguing that the residency restrictions apply only to people who have deliberately chosen to live where they live…her husband’s condition means he not only had no say in where he’s living, he has no idea where he is now.  Still, Heartland is trying to ship him out, but having a hard time, because it can’t find other hospices that will take him.  Meanwhile, Ehrhart’s attorney is trying to get him off the sex offender registry, arguing that Florida allows some former offenders to be removed from the list after being on it 25 years…

What kind of warped mind thinks this is OK?

My Body, My Choice (#319)

A rare decision in favor of self-ownership:

The 69-pound woman has battled anorexia for the majority of her life…after spending nearly two years in a New Jersey psychiatric hospital, the 29-year-old woman with a bone density of a 92-year-old told a court that she refused to eat any food, and wished to enter palliative care instead…A Superior Court judge ruled…that she cannot be fed against her will…and…has the mental capacity to choose not to accept nutrition.  The state…argued the woman is mentally ill due to depression, and that by approving the withdrawal of force-feeding the court would essentially be allowing her passive suicide…Palliative care would simply provide drugs to numb her pain and ease her…death…Her treating psychiatrist, Joshua Braun, said force feeding A.G. would be “cruel and torturous at this point,” because restraining her could cause her delicate bones to break…

Backwards Into the Future (#323)

Note that this kind of abuse is also typical in the US:

Namibian authorities stand accused of failing to meet multiple obligations under the Convention Against Torture…in relation to addressing severe abuse suffered by Namibian sex workers at the hands of authorities and the community…a group of local and international NGOs working with sex workers detailed an extensive list of cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of sex workers in Namibia…One of the recommendations contained in the report is to decriminalise sex work in Namibia in order to effectively deal with the abuse and to establish legal procedures to investigate allegations of torture and provide victims with redress…criminalisation…has given free rein to police officers, health workers and clients and the community at large to abuse sex workers in a multitude of ways, without fear of consequences…

Gingerbread House (#542)

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

Straight Street Revolution Ministries…plan to build housing for women who are fleeing sex trafficking on 50 acres of land…in southeast Hall County [Georgia]…But opponents have made it clear they don’t want it in their rural community…residents [pretend]…crime and safety concerns, fearing the place could draw a bad element…

Yes folks, sex rays are also magnetic and can draw “bad elements”.

Fallen Idol (#612)

It’s been nearly a year since James Deen…was first accused of assault.  In the days after the first allegation…porn studios began to cut ties with Deen…But, a year later, it’s clear that while Deen’s career might have taken a slight hit, it isn’t going anywhere.  “Very little has changed in James’ life over the last year,” said Howard Bragman, Deen’s spokesperson.  “He is not subject to any cases either criminal or civil and he is continuing the same work he did before”…analysis of adult film releases, as well as industry interviews, show this isn’t just the boasting of a publicist trying to make his client look good…

Virtual Unreality vr-headset

Unless the VR unit deposits $400 into my bank account before the show starts, I’m not remotely interested:

…the firm WankzVR premiered FemalePOV, its new virtual reality porn series filmed from a woman’s viewpoint — meaning, headset wearers occupy the perspective of a female porn performer or, in gamer speak, avatar…WankzVR…found was that women…who either used their product or frequented Reddit VR threads…did not want to see the gentle, less explicit content that they are so often said to desire.  These ladies wanted something in-between the hardcore gonzo cliché of porn for men and the gauzy soft-focus cliché of porn for women…in VR porn for men, male performers are often instructed to keep their hands out of the frame and let their female co-stars do all the work…because male viewers typically report that seeing their avatar’s hands interacting in the scene takes them out of the illusion of being in the film…however, WankzVR found that female viewers expressed that they were disturbed to see their avatar just lying there, relatively motionless…it…looks a bit too much like sexual assault…

To Molest and Rape (#687) 

For every assault a rapist cop is caught in, you can be sure there are others yet undetected:

…[Rapist cop Marcellus White] was rebooked…Nov. 21…on 16 new counts…five new rape charges as well as two counts of sexual battery, two counts of oral sexual battery, two counts of molestation of a juvenile, two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile and one count each of simple kidnapping, false imprisonment and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number…

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I want people to realize…how truly common sexual abuses of power by police are.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

You’ve probably noticed that though cops rape women on a regular basis, and always have since the first warlord called himself a “king” and recruited brutal thugs to enforce his whims with violence, the number of reports of such incidents has absolutely soared this year.  Beside the usual “To Molest and Rape” feature (formerly “Above the Law“) and other related features such as “License To Rape” (rapists pretending to be cops and cops raping under the guise of “searching” or the like), “Droit du Seigneur” (cops pimping and otherwise sexually exploiting women), and “If Men Were Angels” (religious & other non-cop “authorities” coercing women into sex), we’ve had several other special features like “Morality Lessons”, “The Public Moralsand a previous extra edition of “To Molest and Rape” back in June…all chock full of cops raping people.  And if you’ll look at my Links columns, you’ll note that “rapist cop of the week” is not an exaggeration; in a few weeks I’m going to count them up for my year-end column, and I expect the number to be well over 100.  So it didn’t surprise me in the least when Liz Brown reported that

Nearly 1,000 U.S. police officers lost their badges over sexual misconduct between 2009 and 2014, according to a new analysis from the Associated Press—which calls this number “unquestionably an undercount.”  And around one-third of these incidents involved children or teenagers under 18-years-old, the news agency found.  Since the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics [intentionally] doesn’t keep track, AP turned to state-by-state police decertification records.  Forty-one states returned data on officers whose licenses were revoked for sexual assault or other forms of sexual misconduct.  But among these, some “reported no officers removed for sexual misdeeds even though cases were identified via news stories or court records.”  And California and New York—states with some of the largest law-enforcement agencies in America—were among the nine states (plus the District of Columbia) that either didn’t respond or did not revoke the licenses of officers fired for sex offenses…

“Unquestionably an undercount” is a gross understatement; 1000 in 6 years is only about 3/week, and given that for most of that period about two/week on average have been reported widely enough for me to catch them, the number has to be several times that high…and remember, it only includes the ones who were caught and fired, not the much larger number who either totally got away with it or were protected from consequences by the cop establishment.  As Liz mentions later, “A Bowling Green State University analysis of officer-arrest data from 2005 and 2011 found sex-related cases were the third-most prevalent.  A Cato Institute study of 2009 and 2010 data found sexual misconduct was the second most-common complaint against cops, behind excessive force…”  She then goes on to mention Jacksonville, Florida cop Michael Eugene Williams’ arrest for child porn after a 16-year history of complaints which somehow never resulted in his being prosecuted or even fired until November of 2010, and this:

Milwaukee [cop] Dominique Heaggan-Brown…is accused of sexually assaulting an incapacitated man, taking naked photos of people without their consent, and trying to pay for sex.  Heaggan-Brown also made headlines over the summer after fatally shooting…Sylville Smith as the man fled from a traffic stop, sparking protests around the city.  Heaggan-Brown has been suspended from the Milwaukee Police Department…

The sickness of our society is spotlighted by the fact that Heaggan-Brown was fired for the sex charges but not for shooting a man in the back, similar to the way that so-called “sex offenders” are turned into pariahs but people convicted of murder and mayhem are not, no matter how horrifying their crimes.  I’ve also noticed that rapist cops are raping more males lately, or else they’re being reported more; in addition to Heaggan-Brown there was this one:

A Salem [Massachusetts cop] who is the husband of the city’s police chief was [arrested]…after…[raping] a man in a station closet…Brian Butler was arraigned on charges of rape and indecent assault and battery…[after he raped] an intoxicated man who had been taken into protective [sic] custody in the early morning hours of Oct. 31…

And this one:

A Gwinnett County [Georgia] sheriff’s deputy resigned after he was arrested…on aggravated child molestation and sodomy charges…Michael Lomax is accused of engaging in a sex act with a 13-year-old he met on Grindr…Thirteen-year-olds can’t consent, even if they seek you out on Grindr…It’s…refreshing to note that the sheriff…didn’t try and equivocate on behalf of his deputy.  Part of the reason may be that Gwinnett County has seen a surprising number of its deputies – six, counting Lomax – arrested in the past five years.  Of the six, four were jailers accused of [raping] inmates…Duone Clark, who was charged with [raping] a transgender inmate, was sent to prison in 2014…

And this one, which is highly unusual:

[in] Michigan…a man who served time at…Parnall [prison] claims that a baby-mad female prison counselor with whom he fathered a child used him as “a virtual sex slave, demanding sexual gratification at her whim”…Steven Moerman, was imprisoned on drug charges and receiving counseling for undisclosed mental-health issues.  Now out on parole, he’s suing the Michigan Department of Corrections, prison officials, and Gov. Rick Snyder over what he claims was repeated rape by prison counselor Susan Lee Clingerman…whom he says was undergoing fertility treatments in order to conceive a child with him…Moerman claims prison officials knew what was happening or should have known because another prison counselor acted as a lookout for Clingerman—who was banned from prison property in September 2014 and fired the following January…Clingerman claims she was having a consensual sexual relationship with Moerman, who fathered the child she gave birth to in April 2015…but…prisoners cannot legally consent to sex with prison employees because of the inherent power imbalance.  Thus, any prison guard, counselor, or other employee who has sex with a prisoner, no matter how theoretically willing that prisoner is, opens themselves up to liability for sexual assault.  Clingerman has already…[plead] guilty to a felony charge of misconduct in office as part of a deal that allowed her to stay off the sex-offender registry…

I wish there were some sort of pithy conclusion I could close with, but there isn’t; as long as violent, unaccountable thugs are given virtually limitless power over others to “enforce” moronic dictates against consensual behavior handed down by megalomaniac sociopaths with too much time on their hands, this will never stop or even be reduced in even the most minimal fashion.

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It’s largely assumed that human trafficking is both widespread and underreported…these assumptions are unsubstantiated by research.  –  Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Check Your Premises

Very often, “child sex trafficking” is copese for “a young sex worker gave her slightly-younger friend a ride”:

A 22-year-old former [Wisconsin]…woman previously accused of child sex-trafficking has been convicted on a lesser charge.  Jalessa K. Hill…was sentenced…to 30 days in jail with work release and three years probation for soliciting prostitutes.  A charge of marijuana possession was dismissed…Judge Karen Seifert also ordered Hill to not have or use alcohol, drugs or paraphernalia, to pay $518 and to [endure] any [brainwashing] deemed necessary…Hill and Lana L. Morgan, who was 17 at the time, went…to meet with a [lying pig pretending to be a client]…

The Clueless Leading the Hysterical plain-old-non-cannabis-candy

Neither intelligence nor logic nor the ability to do basic research are prerequisites for either public office or local news media:

On [Halloween] the Bureau County, Illinois, sheriff’s office issued a press release describing “an incident following Trick or Treat” in which “parents came forward with suspicious looking candy marked as Crunch Choco Bar,” the wrapper of which “has small pictures of cannabis leaves on it.”  According to Bureau County Sheriff James Reed, “the substance was field tested and was positive for containing cannabis”…the picture accompanying Reed’s press release shows Japanese candy bars sold under the brand name Iroha Kaede, which is a kind of maple tree…Those…are actually small pictures of maple leaves.  If the candy bar really did come up “positive for containing cannabis” in a field test, that just shows how unreliable such tests are

Besides the fact, obvious to anyone who’s ever seen a maple tree (or the Canadian flag), that those designs are indeed maple leaves and not cannabis leaves (which don’t look much like maple leaves except to the extremely stupid or the nearly-blind), I can assure you as a regular consumer of cannabis candy that absolutely nobody who isn’t absolutely howling mad would give it to kids; that shit is incredibly expensive, like $3.50 to $5 apiece for candies of the size these would appear to be.  Another tip for those who’ve never had the legal stuff in their hands: the dosage of THC is helpfully marked right there on the package, with no “field test” necessary.

Broken Record 

Sparsely-populated states come up with the most ludicrous concepts for supposed “gypsy whore” magnets:

One of South Dakota’s largest economic drivers also serves as one of the most vulnerable seasons for victims of sex trafficking.  Hunting season…is one of two major tourist attractions in South Dakota, the other being the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, said Leasa MacFarling, a volunteer with the South Dakota West River Human Trafficking Task Force.  These events also serve as attractions for traffickers…MacFarling has been traveling around Pierre distributing fliers and lip balms with the warning signs of a traffic victim and the number to the National Human Trafficking Hotline…

As idiotic as this is, it’s not a new fantasy; I first reported it from Minnesota three years ago tomorrow in “Traffic Circle“.

The End of the Beginning (#325)

Yes, these people are actually arguing for indefinite imprisonment without trial or sentence:

Growing numbers of sex offenders are still being confined in Minnesota’s controversial treatment program even after courts approved their release…Across the state, anxious communities are rushing to pass extraordinary rules aimed at banning sex offenders from moving in, with far-reaching ordinances that would effectively bar them from any residential neighborhood.  More than 40 localities have adopted such bans…the city of Dayton…passed one of the most restrictive measures yet, barring offenders from living near churches, pumpkin patches and apple orchards…The backlash is confounding state officials, who are running out of places to house sex offenders even as they face mounting court pressure to release more of them…Some measures are so sweeping that the towns have become effectively off-limits to offenders…The rush to craft such ordinances intensified late last year, after U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank issued a ruling, now under appeal, that the state can no longer confine offenders indefinitely without a clear path toward release…

Policing for Profit 

San Diego has become one of the most corrupt pocket police states in the US:

James Slatic, a California medical marijuana business owner, found out…one day in January…the San Diego police had frozen all of their bank accounts: $55,258 from Slatic’s personal checking and savings account; $34,175 from his wife Annette’s account; and a combined $11,260 from the savings accounts of their two teenage daughters, Penny and Lily…the San Diego District Attorney’s Office hasn’t charged them with any [crimes]…the Institute for Justice…filed a motion in California district court seeking the [money’s] return…five days before his family’s accounts were frozen…around 30 San Diego [cops] and DEA agents raided Slatic’s medical marijuana business, Med-West Distribution, and seized nearly $325,000 in cash from a safe…his 35 employees…lost their jobs and benefits without notice…there was no probable cause to raid Med-West…[but] San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and the city have been particularly aggressive in policing medical marijuana businesses…

Traffic Circle

When a program on staunchly-prohibitionist NPR, in Georgia of all places, begins to question the “sex trafficking” narrative, it’s clear that its days are numbered:

…Georgia voters are facing a question about how to address what some believe is a serious and growing problem in the state and beyond: child sex trafficking.  If approved, Georgia will establish a permanent fund…based on research and statistics…distorted by extreme emotions this issue raises for many people…An early step in the plan was to…levy a $5000 or greater…fee…on strip clubs, based on a disputed link between adult entertainment venues and trafficking crimes…The Safe Harbor Amendment, on the ballot now, will create a permanent fund from this fee…state Sen. Renee Unterman…[pretends that] the number of child exploitation investigations opened by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation last year [is]…4,000…However, the GBI [said]…those…cases aren’t all proven instances of trafficking…it found evidence of human trafficking was primarily anecdotal…Lawyers for Atlanta’s strip clubs argue they don’t contribute to the trafficking of children and shouldn’t have to pay for it…they’re waiting to see if the amendment passes before making a decision on not to sue…social scientists also argue that the real origins of this problem are social factors like poverty, difficult home lives and a lack of safe housing…the narrow focus on fighting child sex trafficking [pulls] resources from a social safety net that might otherwise protect children and families…

Rescued To Death

The extent to which every “authority” in this story repeatedly denies the agency and competence of adult women is quite extraordinary; it’s like reading something from the 17th century:

Gardai [fantasize] four young…Romanian women who were arrested in Galway over the weekend, were trafficked into Ireland by a criminal gang…The four…women, aged 21, 22, 23 and 30…[explained that] they were acting alone to raise money for their impoverished families in Romania…they accepted full responsibility for operating a brothel…Det. [Willie] Byrne…[refused to believe that women are intellectually capable of setting up an escort business themselves.  He called his victims, from whom he and the other pigs stole €5,000] “little girls” and…[told the court about his masturbatory fantasy that] “they are under the control of Dublin or Belfast-based pimps…They wouldn’t have the ‘wherewithal’ to organise that themselves”…[the judge accepted this fantasy and pretended] the girls were being used by others not before the court…[yet still] convicted and fined each of them €200 [in addition to the money already stolen by the pigs, yet still pretended he wanted to]…help them…

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

A Minnesota pastor admitted to taking…photos of children that he then turned into sexually explicit images…William Helker…served as a youth pastor at All Saints Lutheran Church…took photos of children at his church and then edited them in Photoshop, including placing their heads into adult pornography, to create hundreds of new images…

Another Fine Mess

Self-important English “authorities” prefer to believe that a drop in the number of streetwalkers is due to their magical “diversion” program, instead of recognizing that the women are simply working from online ads:

Police are using powers of discretion in Bristol to introduce a partial decriminalisation of prostitution and kerb crawling…Street sex workers and kerb crawlers are being handed conditional discharges which encourage them to go on a course or seek help rather than face immediate arrest.  The “tiered system” has seen arrests for kerb crawling drop from 322 in 2011 to 10 in 2015, and has helped reduce the number of street sex workers to 150 – the lowest since 1995…

Meanwhile, in the real world, “john schools” have never been shown to have any effect at all, and “exit programs” are generally nothing but lists of phone numbers for social programs.

Welcome To Our World (#512)

Sweden is so liberal, so pro-social, so just and kind!

Fifty-five percent of Stockholmers want to ban begging…It is a marked change since last year’s Stockholm survey…when 32 percent said they supported a begging ban…more and more calls for a ban are heard at a top-tier political level, despite the ruling Social Democrat-Green government…ruling out a general national ban…Another poll carried out nationally…in May indicated that 50 percent of [all] Swedes believe begging should be outlawed…

Not Good Enough (#565) 

I’m glad to see this dangerous placebo is flopping on the market:

…the US Food and Drug Administration finally issued new guidance for companies that want to develop drugs to bolster female libidos.  But the details suggest the agency has belatedly learned some hard-fought lessons following complaints that the controversial Addyi pill did not warrant approval last year.  The…draft guidance…points to certain steps that Sprout Pharmaceuticals did not follow as part of its…marketing application to the FDA.  The drug…was approved despite debate over its safety and effectiveness…Sprout won approval for Addyi, which has been a poor seller, after an unusual campaign that accused the FDA of bias

To Molest and Rape rapist-cop-marcellus-white

Rapist cops don’t only attack women:

A…New Orleans [cop] was arrested…[on] Sept. 23…[after] he raped a teenage male relative…earlier this year…Marcellus White…[lured] the boy into his bedroom, [pushed] him onto a bed and [performed] oral sex…against the boy’s wishes…the 15-year-old boy and his mother have moved to Mississippi, unable to bear living in New Orleans in the wake of the sexual assault…in March or early April of this year when the boy was 14…police investigators obtained from the boy’s mother a June 20 email exchange with White, in which the [rapist cop] pleads for forgiveness while also asking that the mother drop her demand that White “step down from all positions” that give him access to minor children…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#647) 

Moralistic control freaks clutch their pearls about something that doesn’t exist and never actually will as they envision it, because it was on a crappy sci-fi TV show:

…Westworld’s human guests aren’t obligated to uphold any sense of morality.  The upsell for the park involves reversion to primal urges.  In Crichton’s pessimistic view, the breakdown of normal society leads immediately to sex and violence…robots…[can be] raped…because consent, as a concept, doesn’t apply…But…research suggests that the real victims of Westworld’s barbaric sexual culture would be human…Kate Darling, Ph.D…at MIT Media Lab…says…either sex robots would continue to serve as a healthy outlet for our unhealthy urges or they would whet peoples’ appetites for unsavory sexual fare.  Both options have their own troubling implications, but the latter is more immediately problematic.  Patrick Lin, Ph.D…at California Polytechnic University, fears that sexbots might make us less human…A Westworld-like scenario presents a slippery slope similar to the one posed by or violent films or video games, perhaps even more troubling because sex robots are so “visceral” and “immersive” that they blur the line between virtual and physical reality…Sex robots — at least the sophisticated, highly anthropomorphic kind — haven’t been around long enough for us to tell if they’ll affect our sexual interactions with each other…

They “haven’t been around long enough”? WTF?  They don’t even exist!  Methinks writer Yasmin Tayag has been watching too much television if she thinks otherwise.  And both of these “scientists” are nothing but puritans in disguise if they believe that sex drives are “created” by machines.  This is the kind of crypto-moralism used to justify censorship and criminalize consensual behaviors of all kinds.

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coulrophobia [kool-ruh-FOH-bee-uh] noun – an abnormal fear of clowns.

Unless you’ve been off the internet for the past month, you can’t have missed that the perennial clown panic is much bigger this year.  I featured links to stories in Links #322, #323 and #324, and I could’ve put some in the next two editions had I not already been saving up for this column.  There have been so many, in fact, that I decided that they should have their own feature, and in the process of writing this I realized that this panic has much more in common with “sex trafficking” hysteria than the mere fact that they’re both phantasms whose only root in reality is that real people sometimes consciously imitate the unreal characters in the myth.

For the past three years, I’ve noticed news articles describing sightings of menacing phantom clowns every September and October.  In September of 2013 there was a panic which started in Northhampton, England and spread to  Haslingden in November; in October of 2014 the hysteria appeared in Bakersfield, California and spread to other nearby cities before leaping a third of the way around the world to northern France.  I say “phantom” because in each case, the reports could not be corroborated and the horrifying harlequins left no physical evidence which investigators could find.  Of course, teenage boys and young men imitated the original reports, but they were mere copycats and the panics have usually started far from the hoaxers’ haunts.  But while previous panics have usually been limited to a fairly small geographical area and have been relatively short-lived, this one started earlier than usual (late August), has already endured for over a month and has spread far beyond its origin in the Carolinas.  Reports from Georgia were deliberate hoaxes, as were reports from Huntsville and Decatur, Alabama (where cops blamed the threats on Juggalos); the latter were especially ridiculous because in our hair-trigger, afraid-of-one’s-own-shadow country they resulted in actual  “lockdowns” at high schools and warnings at Auburn University.  That last-linked article contains a number of links to articles about the hysteria in Alabama, where it seems to have reached epidemic proportions; this article contains still more (including self-important cops referring to dumb teenage pranks as “terrorism”).  In contrast, the panic in Maryland was fairly tame, and though Georgia was not even on the same order of magnitude as Alabama, it did inspire an 11-year-old girl to bring a knife to school to “protect herself and her family” from the fearsome funnymen (naturally, she was criminally charged with “possession of a weapon on school grounds”, because THE CHILDREN!TM).  Then last week, sightings (some of them apparently hoaxes) were reported in Virginia, Florida and Colorado; the district attorney of Weld County, Colorado, apparently unburdened with even the slightest capacity for self-examination, claimed that “Impersonating a clown for nefarious purposes…is a felony and could carry with it a jail sentence of up to 18 months.”

In preparing to write this article, I dug around a bit and discovered that there were a number of similar panics before the first one I recorded in 2013: this very thorough article mentions Chicago, October 2008; Madison, Wisconsin in June 2000; and several areas around the US in 1990 and 1991.  Wikipedia’s article “Evil Clowns” also mentions Phoenix, Arizona in 1985 and Honduras in 1995.  But apparently the first big clown panic began in Boston in May of 1981, then spread to other cities in Massachusetts, to other cities in New England and Pennsylvania by June and eventually as far as Kansas City, Nebraska and Colorado.  And though many have speculated that the modern “scary clown” motif owes its origin to Stephen King’s novel It, that hardly seems likely given that it was first published in 1986, five years after the New England clown panic (if anything, Maine resident King was probably inspired by the then-recent panic rather than vice-versa).  No, I think it much more likely that these phantom clowns are kin to grey aliens, Sasquatch, Nessie, witches, faeries, demons, nymphs, satyrs and all the other mysterious beings with which humans have reported encounters since primeval times, yet are never captured and vanish without a trace whenever a concerted effort is made to discover them.

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I spent my life playing in pee.  –  David Wartinger

I must admit to having a soft spot for trivia geekery such as that displayed in this week’s video, provided by Kevin Wilson.  The links above it were contributed by  Scott Greenfield (“faking”), Tim Cushing (“sorry” and “ever”), Nun Ya (“protect” and “love”), Tushy Galore (“instead”), and Jason Kuznicki (“stones”).

From the Archives

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