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Justice is what…feminists want from others, not what they do to others.  –  Scott Greenfield

Imaginary Victims 

Concern for “child sex trafficking victims” vanishes when there are no adult whores to oppress:

The Ohio Supreme Court…upheld the murder conviction of a [young] woman whose forced prostitution as a teenager was cited as a factor leading to her involvement in the fatal shooting of her pimp during a robbery…that prosecutors [claim] Alexis Martin helped plan…she…was 15 at the time of the slaying…[of] Angelo Kerney…and his brother.  The girls were having sex with the victims to distract them when the robbers entered a house and the victims were shot…Martin is not accused of firing a gun.  The juvenile court judge should have determined that Martin was covered by a 2012 Ohio law that protects children whose crimes are related to their status as trafficking victims…Had the judge determined that the so-called Safe Harbor law applied, a court-appointed guardian for the teen could have been named…

As I’ve pointed out many times, “safe harbor” laws only protect “perfect victims”, not real ones.

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark 

Did anyone not know this already?

Men have better sex with women who are emotionally unstable…and women prefer men who are less agreeable but pay attention to detail, according to the German survey of a thousand people…Julia Velten and her colleagues interviewed each volunteer about their sex lives, personality and sexual function…

False Target (#42)

Though most of this is just typical racist anti-migrant bullshit, one part reveals a deeper sickness:

An 18-year-old Afghan native seeking asylum in Austria may have had his application denied because he didn’t act gay enough…Homosexuality is against the law in Afghanistan and many other Muslim-majority countries…But…an Austrian official…[wrote] “The way you walk, act or dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual…You appear to be capable of a level of aggression which would not be expected among homosexuals”…He had said he became aware of his sexuality when he was 12 years old, but the official found that was “rather early” and so not likely, particularly in a society such as Afghanistan “where there is no public sexual stimulation through fashion and advertisement”

The idea that all queer people “act gay” (even if they come from a place where doing so might be fatal) is bad enough, but the notion that young people are asexual tabulae rasae until they are “sexualized” by society is much worse; this dehumanizing dogma is the foundation for “conversion therapy” and “john schools”, because if sexuality is learned one who fails to conform to enforced norms can be “re-educated”.

Monsters 

Given the very large queer population of West Hollywood, the attackers were probably looking for someone to beat up:

Gay porn star and comedian Wesley Woods has opened up about a brutal…assault he and his best friend endured on 8 August when out walking in West Hollywood….in a video posted on his Twitter account….where scars on his face are visible…

Lower Education

This is what feminists call “equality”:

When…feminist superstar Judith Butler’s disgraceful and flagrantly hypocritical letter defending her sister superstar, NYU prof Avital Ronell…was sent around for signatures, threatening NYU with the wrath of scholars if Ronell wasn’t exonerated, the university had already found Ronell responsible…one of the university’s brightest academic lights had sexually harassed a gay male student under her care.  This wasn’t one of the faux Title IX cases of post-hoc regret, but the real deal.  Ronell was grad student Nimrod Reitman’s doctoral adviser…And…she turned him into her boy toy upon the implicit threat of destroying his career.  And it continued throughout his graduate studies, as proven by Ronell’s emails…Yet, these scholars sought to coerce a university into silence…to conceal Ronell’s conduct…”Diane Davis, chair of the department of rhetoric at the University of Texas-Austin…said she and her colleagues were particularly disturbed that…Reitman was using Title IX, a feminist tool, to take down a feminist“…Forget the jargonized rhetoric about power dynamics and oppression.  To these feminist scholars, Title IX is just a bludgeon to beat men into submission, and they fought to protect one of their own from facing the consequences of her sexual abuse.  And largely succeeded…

If Men Were Angels 

Isn’t it strange how sex workers are blamed for sexual abuse of kids when cops & clergy are the worst offenders?

Willow Creek Community Church [in Illinois] agreed to pay more than $3 million to settle lawsuits over the sexual abuse of two developmentally disabled boys by a church volunteer…The second and largest of the settlements, for $1.75 million, was made in February, before the Chicago Tribune revealed [supposedly] unrelated claims that the evangelical megachurch’s founder, the Rev. Bill Hybels, engaged in inappropriate conduct with women, eventually leading to his early retirement and, this month, the resignation of the church’s two leading pastors and its entire board of elders.  The influential…church also agreed last year to pay $1.5 million to another victim of former volunteer Robert Sobczak Jr…[who] is serving a 7-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2014 to sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy with special needs at the church and an older boy who was not connected to Willow Creek.  In 2013, Sobczak pleaded guilty to sexually abusing another disabled boy, around age 9, at the church…

The Widening Gyre (#716) 

These silly stories have been common on Facebook for some time, but now I’m starting to see them on Twitter; this one popped up in my timeline last week, and naturally my mockery of it attracted a number of “You can’t prove it isn’t true!” idiots.  They’re beautiful examples of The Law of the Instrument: “It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”  And if you’re a not-very-bright young woman who’s been told that “sex traffickers” are lurking behind every bush waiting to abduct you, naturally you start to see everything in your environment, up to and including litter, as a “sign of sex trafficking”.  I’m not sure how much more ridiculous this hysteria will get before it implodes, but I don’t think we’ll have to wait very long to find out.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#811)

Under a “legalization” regime, sex workers are still persecuted using idiotic and arbitrary nonsense like “illegally subdividing a building”:

Hong Kong police arrested scores of suspected sex workers after launching new anti-vice raids in a residential building where nearly 100 prostitutes…were [arrested] in a [raid] earlier this year…the 80 [new] arrests…at the 15-storey King Hing Building…were…on suspicion of breaching their conditions of stay…Inspector Timothy Cheung Chun-long said…“Investigations showed criminals arranged sex workers to work in subdivided flats in the building”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#824)

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

Back in March, as it investigated a spate of armed robberies across Portland, Maine, the FBI made an astonishing, unprecedented  request of Google…to find all users of its services who’d been within the vicinity of at least two of nine of those robberies…the request covered a total space of 45 hectares and could’ve included anyone with an Android or iPhone using Google’s tools…The FBI then  demanded a lot of personal information on affected users, including their full names and addresses…Google account activity…[and] all affected users’ historical locations…Google didn’t provide the information…[but] the FBI’s remarkable attempt…[should] worry all who…[realize that] Google continue[s] to track people even when they turned location features off…the FBI believe they have a right to that location data too…

Laura Lee, Sex Work Stigma, and the Limits of #MeToo (#863)

Brooke Magnanti on the re-opening of Laura Lee’s case:

…you probably know the outlines of Laura Lee’s story by now.  How the vivacious and outspoken campaigner for rights was (in her words) abused by a man who interviewed her, then she reported him, then she died.  How he has gone to great lengths to cover up his misdeeds since. Including demanding apologies out of Senators and journalists, simply for sharing what I wrote.  How he leans on Twitter to disappear my tweets…How he does anything but face justice.  This week, a mote of light shone through a chink in the brick wall of denial.  Gardaí have reopened their investigation into Laura’s accusations.  This includes interviewing witnesses who saw Laura and Olaf on the night in question, who offered information to the police before but whose evidence was never followed up…We see a pattern in all of this:  that an assent, or an apology, or public acceptance wrung out under the threat of legal proceedings says very much about the man who tries to bend women to his will, and very little about the women — for it is only women — he has tried to silence.  How he systematically uses their fear of humiliation and harassment to get a superficial approximation of what he wants…

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People…[recognize] outrageous abuse of authority, but they often don’t question the authority itself.  –  Scott Shackford

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

But, but, but…BUYING WOMEN!!!

The head of the London [Ontario] police department’s human trafficking unit faces three professional misconduct charges for allegedly ordering the release a fellow [pig] swept up in a prostitution sting and then trying to cover up his tracks.  Sgt. Michael Hay…directed the unconditional release of a [cop]…who had been arrested during a [scheme to persecute] men [seeking consensual] sex…

Change a Few Words

What other group is stopped from entering the US for acts that aren’t crimes in their country?

…Sam Znaimer is a Vancouver, Canada-based venture capitalist who has been investing in everything from tech to telecommunications for more than 30 years.  Recently, he put more than $100,000 into legal American cannabis companies.  In May, when he attempted to drive across the border, he was flagged for [harassment] and [interrogate] for four hours.  “To my shock and horror, I was told that I was deemed to be inadmissible to the United States because I was assisting and abetting in the illicit trafficking of drugs,” Znaimer said…American immigration attorney Len Saunders said he’s seen at least a dozen cases like Znaimer’s at the Blaine land crossing as well as airports in Vancouver and Edmonton over the past few months.  In the prior 15 years that he’s practiced law on the border, he’d never seen one…In June, Canada became only the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.  It’s also home to one of the only securities exchanges on the planet where people can buy stock in American pot companies…

Lack of Evidence (#344) 

When will amateurs learn that the War on Whores affects them as well?

…the Hollywood [Florida] Police Department raided  an adult store called the Pleasure Emporium…an undercover couple went to the store, purchased tickets for an adult video room, and found gay men allegedly performing sex acts either on themselves or with each other.  It wasn’t prostitution, but the cops decided it violated the statutes against lascivious acts and exposure of sexual organs…arrests followed, and…the men became victims of what the Miami New Times has rightly called a smear campaign.  Local outlets such as WPLG and The Miami Herald posted the men’s names and mugshots.  Abbie Cuellar, a lawyer representing one of the men, tells the New Times that her client lost his job as a result…

Bread and Circuses 

This pearl-clutching mess about feds’ attack on a fairly ordinary incall escort business is so larded with dysphemisms and lurid nonsense, there’s little point in quoting anything else:

Human merchandise hawked…littered with pictures of women…performing submissive positions…solicit women for prostitution…sophisticated prostitution and human trafficking network…pricy haunts…pimps and madams…virtual sex carnival…reel in johns….broken English…prostitution network…with that female…sex-trafficking matchmaker…prostitution proceeds…staggering number of condoms…sex house to sex house…Bashir and her cohorts…illicit sex operations…steady stream of men…

This bluenosed reporter apparently believes this kind of ridiculous language make her sound clever rather than like an intern at the Daily Mail incapable of doing the most basic research; three minutes on any escort’s site (mine included) would have led her to understand that a double means two girls, not “likely meaning having sex more than once”.  Of the victims of this witch hunt, Susan Bashir, Jineok Kim, and Kyung Song plead guilty; Yoon Kim and his wife Taehee Kim are still fighting the charges.

Policing for Profit (#590) 

Let’s hope this provides a powerful precedent to take down similar robbery gangs all over the US:

…in April 2016, Arlene Harjo let her 38-year-old son borrow her two-year-old Nissan Versa…the next morning Harjo learned that Albuquerque police had arrested him for driving while intoxicated…[and stolen] Harjo’s car, which the city planned to keep…U.S. District Judge James Browning…said…”The City of Albuquerque has an unconstitutional institutional incentive to prosecute forfeiture cases…because, in practice, the forfeiture program sets its own budget and can spend, without meaningful oversight, all of the excess funds it raises from previous years…[this] violates procedural due process, because owners have to prove that their cars are not subject to civil forfeiture”…Albuquerque [steals] more than 1,000 cars a year, generating more than $1 million in revenue, based on crimes such as DWI [and] patronizing prostitutes…Half the time, as in Harjo’s case, the car does not belong to the offender.  Cars nevertheless are automatically forfeited if the owner does not request an administrative hearing (and pay a $50 fee) within 10 days.  Before Harjo’s hearing, as part of its customary “settlement negotiations,” the city offered to sell her car back to her for $4,000, provided she agreed to have the vehicle booted [and therefore completely useless to her] for 18 months…Several months later, after Harjo filed a lawsuit with help from the Institute for Justice, the city dropped its forfeiture complaint. It turned out that Harjo’s car was not subject to forfeiture because it had been seized outside the boundaries of Albuquerque.  Meanwhile, the car had been damaged while sitting in a city lot for eight months, during which Harjo had to make payments on a vehicle she could no longer use…

New Mexico isn’t the only state which literally robs people in this fashion.

Censor Chic (#827)

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

Google is reportedly planning to relaunch its search engine in China, complete with censored results to meet the demands of the Chinese government…According to internal documents provided to The Intercept by a whistleblower, Google has been developing a censored version of its search engine under the codename “Dragonfly”…[which] will reportedly “blacklist [forbidden] queries” and filter out all websites blocked by China’s web censors (including Wikipedia and BBC News)…The whistleblower…said they…were “against large companies and governments collaborating in the oppression of their people…what is done in China will become a template for many other nations”…Google previously offered a censored version of its search engine in China between 2006 and 2010, before pulling out of the country after facing criticism in the US

Rooted in Racism (#846) 

They want to make “different last names” a thing so as to cover up racial profiling:

The Home Office posted a tweet on [August 1st] advising family members with different surnames to bring birth or adoption certificates to the airport to help them pass through passport control more quickly.  The image accompanying the tweet read:  “Families with different surnames may be asked questions to establish their relationship”…In a follow-up tweet, the Home Office clarified its position: “We have a [scheme] to [maximize inconvenience in order]…to [further security theater]…and [increase surveillance to a many people as possible]…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#848)

Cops busting kids’ lemonade stands is no longer news, but adults calling the cops on kids is part of an ugly pattern we keep seeing of late:

Kid sets up a lemonade stand outside his home, which happens to be next door to the Saratoga County Fair in Ballston Spa, New York.  Vendors at the fair call state health officials to complain.  State health officials show up, determine the kid doesn’t have a permit, and shut him down…while we’re told that permitting and licensing programs are all about public safety, they are frequently used as bludgeons to keep competitors out of the marketplace…officials initially apologized after they realized they were just shutting down some kid’s stand, not somebody trying to undercut the vendors inside the fair.  But…officials [also]…said the boy would have to get a $30 temporary food permit, which…comes with all sorts of rules.  Politicians are now falling all over themselves to get publicity for [pretending to] support…the boy [while leaving the authoritarian system which enables such harassment unquestioned]…

Torture Chamber (#852) 

Despite current posturing by Democrats, abuse of migrants has been a bipartisan policy for quite a while:

A youth worker at a Southwest Key [migrant prison] in Mesa, Arizona, has been charged with molesting eight teenage boys in his care…Levian D. Pacheco…perform[e] oral sex on two boys and attempt[ed] to force one of them to anally penetrate him, as well as inappropriately touching other boys…Pacheco is HIV-positive and…some of [his victims] have undergone HIV testing.  The abuse…occurred over nearly a one-year period, from August 29, 2016, until July 24, 2017.  The boys were between 15 and 17 years of age and had all crossed the border as unaccompanied minors and were [captured and caged]…A worker [named Fernando Negrete] at another Southwest Key facility in Arizona was arrested and charged this week with sexually abusing a 14-year-old girl in his care…

Is this reporter asleep at her keyboard, or did she actually intend to refer to molestation of abducted teenage boys as “caring for unaccompanied minors” and to say of two molesters that caged victims were “in his care”?  Here’s more on the second molester: “Fernando Negrete..touched the girl’s breasts and crotch over her clothes, and kissed her on multiple occasions…

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Removing all references to sex trafficking will hurt our ability to grab reporters’ attention.  –  Sydney Asbury of “Demand Abolition”

The Cold, Grey Light of Dawn 

It’s been a long time since I’ve used this heading, but an even longer time since we’ve seen anything like this:

…lifelong civil rights attorney Larry Krasner was elected in a landslide…to become the new district attorney of Philadelphia…and…He’s doing something I’ve never quite seen before in present-day politics…keeping his word…In his first week on the job, he fired 31 prosecutors…because they weren’t committed to the changes he intended to make…Next, Krasner…release[d] a list of 29 [bad cops]…that…had lied…filed false reports, used excessive force, driven drunk, and burgled…but nothing is as essential and revolutionary as the internal five-page guiding document of new policies that Krasner sent to his staff…The first sentence says it all:  “These policies are an effort to end mass incarcerations and bring balance back to sentencing”…Krasner immediately instructs prosecutors to stop prosecuting marijuana possession regardless of the weight…[and] to stop charging …with any paraphernalia crimes…to stop charging sex workers that have fewer than three convictions with any crime and drop all current cases against sex workers who also fit that description.  All sex workers with three or more convictions are to be referred to Dawn Court…a…diversion…program created in 2010…Krasner instructed prosecutors to stop the wide-ranging practice of beginning plea deals with the highest possible sentencing and instead, begin those plea deals at the bottom end of the available range…Krasner instructed his prosecutors to now add up and justify the exact costs of every single person sentenced to a crime in Philadelphia…Stating that it costs between $42,000 and $60,000 per year to incarcerate a person, he reminded the prosecutors that the…annual cost of incarceration…is…more per year than the beginning salary of teachers, police officers, firefighters, social workers, addiction counselors, and even prosecutors in his office…

Pyrrhic Victory

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

In at least four investigations last year…Raleigh [North Carolina] police used search warrants to demand Google accounts not of specific suspects, but from any mobile devices that veered too close to the scene of a crime…These warrants often prevent the technology giant for months from disclosing information about the searches not just to potential suspects, but to any users swept up in the search…[“authorities” pretend] the practice is a natural evolution of criminal investigative techniques.  They [lie] that, by seeking search warrants, they’re carefully balancing civil rights with public safety [because most of the public is too stupid to know about the horrible “third-party doctrine”].  Defense attorneys and privacy advocates…are…[concerned about] how law enforcement turns to Google’s massive cache of user data, especially without a clear target in mind.  And they’re concerned about the potential to snag innocent users, many of whom might not know just how closely the company tracks their every move…

Under Duress 

The New York Times finally discovers what marginalized people have always known:

An investigation by The New York Times has found that on more than 25 occasions since January 2015, judges or prosecutors determined that a key aspect of a New York City [cop’s] testimony was…untrue…[they lie] about the whereabouts of guns…They…barge…into apartments and conduct…searches, only to testify otherwise later… they…give…firsthand accounts of crimes or arrests that they did not in fact witness…No detail, seemingly, is too minor to embellish…In many instances, the motive for lying was…to skirt constitutional restrictions against unreasonable searches and stops.  In other cases, the falsehoods appear aimed at convicting people…with trumped-up evidence…

Bogeymen

Read this ludicrous exercise in pearl-clutching, then the item under the same heading two items down:

…illicit prostitution businesses are thriving in a surprising place: the legitimate corporate world.  And, we’ve found that the inequities of that world…contribute to that sex trade…we interviewed 44 pimps…in Chicago…fewer than half…fit the pop culture stereotype of a pimp.  The other half did not: a full third had four-year college degrees, primarily in business administration…and most…were white.  In addition to their pimping work, nearly half worked in legitimate companies, not in massage parlors or erotica businesses…these illegal businesses grew directly from the misogynistic culture of the legitimate ones that housed them.  Some became pimps after learning of demand for paid sex through informal bantering about sexual conquests over lunch or beers with the bros.  Half of the pimps started out as customers of sex workers, and several arranged “entertainment” for business clients as part of their job…

Huffington Post needs to exercise more diligence on its contributors; these two fantasists [44 interviews of self-proclaimed “pimps” in one city is not anything like a representative sample] have been recycling this same bogeyman tale on the strength of their supposed academic credentials for years.

Trafficking, Trafficking Everywhere! (#314)

The only sex workers exploited in New Zealand are those who were intentionally excluded from decriminalization in order to appease prohibitionists:

Migrant prostitutes working illegally on temporary visas are “terrified” they will be deported if they report exploitative pimps and abusive clients…In the past year, 136 migrants suspected of coming here to carry out sex work were denied entry into New Zealand…Sex work is the only occupation migrants on temporary visas are not legally allowed to take up…However, migrants who have entered the country on temporary work, visitor, holiday or international student visas and work as prostitutes are being forced to carry out sexual acts without protection and often work 12-hour shifts, seven days a week…They would not speak to police because they would be deported…

Bogeymen (#317)

I’m glad to see Bruckert has expanded her study into a book:

“The sex industry, like mainstream businesses, rarely depends exclusively on clients and workers to operate efficiently and safely,” professor Chris Bruckert [said]…”Contrary to prevailing stereotypes that portray third parties [like pimps] as inherently abusive and controlling, these workers fulfill important roles and provide vital services.”  Bruckert and her team of researchers conducted interviews with 75 pimps — or “third-party” workers, as she prefers to call them — as well as 52 sex workers for her new book Getting Past ‘the Pimp’: Management in the Sex Industry…Bruckert said little research has been conducted on the role of pimps in the industry, adding that many people’s opinions are based on stereotypes…Most of the third-party workers Bruckert’s team spoke to were women — both surprising and understandable, she said, since the industry is female-dominated and the line between sex work and management is thin…

Torture Chamber

The PREA is just feel-good nonsense as long as screws have absolute power over their victims:

…the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA)…frequently fails to either address or eliminate sexual abuse.  In jails and prisons across the country, incarcerated people are subject to sexual harassment, abuse and assault, frequently at the hands of staff.  If they report these assaults, they risk retaliation, including greater violence…”Prisons are the worst distillation of toxic masculinity,” said Alan Mills [of the Uptown People’s Law Center (UPLC)]…”It’s all about inflicting punishment on people.  It’s about the use of force in order to force compliance to an arbitrary set of rules.  It’s about dehumanizing people.  It’s not surprising that this translates to harassment and abuse”…

Business As Usual

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

Sex workers in South Africa will be arrested at least four times and will spend an average of 40 hours in custody if they are charged…one third of sex worker arrests never make it to a police station or courthouse‚ instead often ending in sex workers being abused by police or forced to pay bribes.  These were just some of the findings of The Policing of Sex Work In South Africa survey compiled by NGO’s Sonke Gender Justice and the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT)…Advocacy officer at Sonke Donna Evans said that the most shocking thing to emerge from the report was the extreme levels of violence at the hands of police that were reported by sex workers.  “They were extremely disturbing and included incidents of torture‚ assault‚ rape and even permanent disability‚” Evans said…

Original Sin (#762) 

I guess this makes sense coming from a man who imagines condoms to be weapons of mass destruction:

Pope Francis asked forgiveness…for all Christians who buy sex from women, saying men who frequent prostitutes are criminals with a “sick mentality” who think that women exist to be exploited.  “This isn’t making love.  This is torturing a woman.  Let’s not confuse the terms,” Francis insisted…

The Puritan Recrudescence (#795)

At least Wyoming had the sense to vote this nonsense down:

A Wyoming bill that would have recognized porn as a “public health crisis” failed in the 2018 session of the state Legislature…HJ1 was typical of various “public health crisis” bills that have made their way across the nation.  Wyoming’s bill, introduced by…Lars O. Lone, would have made official language stating porn increases the demand for sex trafficking, impacts brain development and functioning, diminishes the interest of young men in getting married and creates infidelity, among other [evidence-free] statements.  Another porn bill…sponsored by Lone, failed to win support, as well.  HB 127 would have ordered the installation of porn blocking software on all computers sold in the state to prevent the viewing of “obscene” material as defined by the state Attorney General’s office…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#811) 

SAVE THE TOASTERS!!!!

French activists are campaigning to shut down a new “sex doll brothel” on the grounds that it degrades women—and silicone.  Or something…Xdolls is registered as a gaming center, which makes sense if you consider doll-sex a form of escapist make-believe or wish-fullfilment akin to playing Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto.  But Paris Council communists and other activists argue that Xdolls amounts to a brothel, which are illegal in France.  Nicolas Bonnet Oulaldj, head of the Paris council’s communist group…compared the business to “prostitution” and the owner to “a pimp.”  Sounds like someone just started watching Westworld.  The rhetoric only gets more extreme from there.  Lorraine Questiaux, spokesperson for the anti-sex work organization Mouvement du Nid…[said] “It’s a place…where you rape a woman”…You can’t rape a non-sentient silicone doll any more than you can rape a vibrator or a Fleshlight…but apparently not even lifeless dolls are immune to…rescue attempts…

I’m so glad Tracy Clark-Flory is writing again; I’ve missed her good sense.

Disaster

The fallout will continue until there’s some legal action against this horrific law:

…SESTA’s passage by the U.S. Senate has had an immediate chilling effect on those working in the adult industry…stories of a fallout are being heard, with adult performers finding their content being flagged and blocked…escort site [Cityvibe]…suddenly becoming “not available,” Craigslist shutting down its “personals” sections and Reddit closing down some of its communities, among other tales.  SESTA…targets scores of adult sites that consensual sex workers use to advertise their work.  And now, before SESTA reaches President Trump’s desk for his guaranteed signature, those sites are scrambling to prevent themselves from being charged under sex trafficking laws.  “It’s not surprising that we’re seeing an immediate chilling effect on protected speech,” industry attorney Lawrence Walters [said]…”This was predicted as the likely impact of the bill, as online intermediaries over-censor content in the attempt to mitigate their own risks.  The damage to the First Amendment appears palpable”…

Too Close To Home (#823)

It’s great to see a spotlight on this ugly scheme to sell human lives to a sociopathic billionaire:

There is no mention in [propaganda about Seattle’s high-profile sex work stings] of the fact that [prosecutor Val] Richey’s work was handsomely supported by Demand Abolition, a nonprofit group whose stated mission is to end demand for sex work by going after buyers, or that the cost of some of his travels around the country has been defrayed by the same group.  Nor is there any mention of the fact that Demand Abolition, in exchange for providing approximately $191,667 in funding to the King County prosecutor’s office over four years, asked Seattle-area law enforcement to carry out regular arrests and prosecutions of buyers…As part of signed agreements for the funding, Richey and other law enforcement officials in King County were required to frame the activities of sex buyers and men involved with The Review Board as sex trafficking…even though there was no evidence of trafficking…and…none of the men arrested…were charged with trafficking — only with promoting prostitution…

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American police are…obsessed with enforcing exactly which body parts can be massaged and by whom.  –  Elizabeth N. Brown

Where Are the Victims?

There was no evidence…[of] threat…or any form of…coercion…

Hong Chin, 45, his former partner Li Wei Gao, 44, and lover Ting Li Lu, 47, [brought sex workers] to the UK from China, Hong Kong and Korea…Chin was given a prison term of four years by Judge Philip Katz…[who bloviated a lot of inane nonsense about “bosses” and “conveyor belts” before admitting that] there was no evidence Chin had made women work by threat of forceful use of violence, or any form of physical coercion, but [denied that women are adults capable of choice by adding]: “It seems to me this was a sustained, cynical and organised exploitation of women”…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Just in case you think being a “legal” sex worker protects you from the lies of cops and prudes:

A [ratout] call…chronicled blood splatter, vomit, and undeterminable stains on nearly every surface of a downtown strip club.  The dance poles were filthy with bodily fluids, as were the beds in the secluded VIP rooms upstairs.  The women there had caught warts, scabies, and microbugs…Minneapolis inspectors uncovered soiled pillows and comforters…and…A [single] used condom…inspectors…harvested samples of semen stains from 11 out of 17 businesses.  But rather than crack down, they sought to understand what was happening with the city’s flesh merchants…[a bureaucrat] asked…the University of Minnesota to assist…[under] the [false] impression [that the “research” was not disguised] government surveillance [driven by] the moral preoccupation of [prudes]…social workers could be the city’s [spies in] the clubs…

Strip clubs have tons of problems, including (sometimes) floor goo.  But these derive from the shadowy legal zone in which politicians and cops force them to operate, not vice-versa.

To Molest and Rape 

This week’s rapist cop is a good example of the McNeill Rule:

A retired NYPD [cop]…who was part of a sex crimes unit…[was] arraigned…on more than 80 counts of child sexual abuse… Nicholas McAteer…molested two family members who are not his children for nearly a decade…his victims were 12 and 13 when the abuse began…The…assaults…took place in McAteer’s home while his wife was sleeping and in his unmarked NYPD patrol car, while he worked for a sex crimes unit in Manhattan and its…Bureau [to get cops off when they commit crimes]…

Full of Themselves (#650)

What is it about massage parlors that brings the puritans out of the woodwork?

Every week, headlines from across the country announce undercover operations, often months long, dedicated to catching and punishing people for offering erotic massages.  And the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are increasingly involved…”Happy endings” have apparently become a matter of national security…In Suffolk County, New York, police just raided an Asian spa based on the neighbors’ suspicions…Colorado cops spent a year investigating Yoshiko Therapy after seeing an ad for the place on Backpage…Phoenix police spent five months investigating a middle-aged woman under suspicion of offering sensual massages from her home…In…Oswego [Illinois], a “long term investigation” into one local spa led to…[arrest] of two middle-aged Chinese women…In San Francisco, city prosecutors have been suing massage parlors out of business if workers there are arrested on prostitution charges.  Landlords of the buildings where they operate are also be sued and fined…Hemet [California] recently went fishing for evidence of prostitution or human trafficking at the city’s massage parlors.  Finding instead small businesses operating exactly as advertised, code-compliance cops issued 44 violations for things like inadequate signage…Rockford, Illinois, found no evidence of human trafficking or prostitution at two local massage parlors but shuttered them anyway…for operating without a…license…A six-week operation in Fresno, California…targeted [a] strip-mall spa…sending undercover cops there multiple times…

The Prudish Giant (#659)

Once Patreon caved to PayPal the first time, this was  inevitable:

Adult content creators are worried they won’t have a safe, viable income source in Patreon anymore…[after] the site…made its [so-called] community guidelines on adult content more strict…the platform is [now] casting too wide of a net about what’s considered “pornographic”…it’s currently very difficult for adult content creators to get paid online, and Patreon has in recent years emerged as one of the main sources of revenue for many…many of them have spent years building up a fanbase of people who support them financially—if they’re kicked off the platform…their livelihoods will be at risk.  A spokesperson for Patreon [lied]…that porn was never officially allowed on Patreon…

Every online giant builds itself on the backs of sex workers, then throws us under the bus in the name of “respectability” once it gets established.

Pyrrhic Victory (#673)

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

…Section 702 [of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)] is set to expire on December 31.  The draft reauthorization…would extend it through 2025…[the] bill…would “allow the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other agencies to search through emails, text messages, and phone calls for information about people in the U.S. without a probable cause warrant from a judge”…in eight…domestic offense categories, including “human trafficking”—a crime U.S. law-enforcement has broadened to include sexual exchange between consenting adults and any aid to undocumented immigrants—and sexting between teens…

Send In the Clowns 

This year’s clown panic was extremely disappointing:

A [South Carolina] man reported seeing a clown with a knife…[on a] road…around 1 a.m….two [cops] responded…[but] were unable to locate anyone dressed as a clown…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#714) 

Say what you like about Playboy; it’s always been in the front on social issues:

Playboy responded to backlash against its first transgender Playmate with a series of tweets comparing recent social media reactions to reader letters about its first black Playmate in 1965…Ines Rau…[became] the first openly transgender person to be named a Playmate.  The move drew criticism from some users on social media…most notably, former porn star and Playboy cover model Jenna Jameson.  “I have a problem with it just like I have a problem with a transgender competing against biological women in sports,”she tweetedPlayboy responded to the backlash with a series of powerful tweets…Caroline Cossey, the first openly transgender woman to appear between the covers of Playboy…[noted] that Hefner’s decision to feature her helped change cultural perceptions of trans people in the 1980s…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#724) 

Once again:  woman-shaped toasters have no “moral code”.  They are objects without minds, rights or feelings:

The sex robot phenomenon looks set to sweep the nation, with prostitutes fearing they will soon be out of work.  Hyper-realistic bots will even be able to fake orgasms and have fully-blown conversations, inventors [fantasize]…Sergi Santos…claims his…[robot] Samantha will be able to tell if [masturbators] are naughty or nice…Santos has claimed that her arousal level will be directly affected by how nice a person is…based on their previous conversations and sessions…

The only prostitutes who “fear they will soon be out of work” from these overgrown Talky Tinas are either very stupid or suffering from some sort of anxiety disorder.

Too Close To Home (#742)

Ugly regurgitated sexual fantasies from a sexual predator with the Washington State Rape Department:

Carlos Rodriguez…pursues [adults for private sexual acts using the excuse of]…juvenile sex trafficking…Since August 2015, Rodriguez and his two detectives have conducted eight undercover sting operations…and [arrested] 22 [underage sex workers they labeled as]…victims…”People order girls like they order pizza,” he [panted while fingering himself furtively]…”it’s everywhere…It could be right next door…Somebody is being abused right now…I can [take] some heroin…Ecstasy or pills, methamphetamine, and…once [the trip is over], it’s gone.  It’s used up.  When [I masturbate to thoughts of] a child, that’s a reusable commodity.  I can [fantasize about] that over and over, and I still have it…So, when [I] think about it [while masturbating, I]…don’t have to worry about [any] other [fantasy material]…”

The Mote and the Beam (#777)

Some companies are willing to destroy the internet to secure a temporary business advantage:

…Manus Cooney…Chairman of the Board of NCMEC…basically lists every…big Hollywood/legacy copyright player as a [lobbying] client.  Viacom, Time Warner, the Authors Guild, Comcast (owners of NBC Universal), the Copyright Alliance, the Music First Coalition (an RIAA front group), Random House, Reed Elsevier, SoundExchange (an RIAA spinoff), Songwriters Guild of America, and others…Hollywood really wants SESTA to pass for a variety of reasons, nearly all of them focused on its weird visceral hatred of one company:  Google…the Sony Pictures hack a few years back revealed the existence of Project Goliath — in which the various Hollywood studios colluded to try to support doing anything to harm Google.  The key part of the Project Goliath strategy was to convince…state Attorneys’ General to target Google for basically anything bad found on the internet…including counterfeit pharmaceuticals, sex trafficking and, of course, copyright infringement…That flopped, in large part because of CDA 230, which protects sites from the actions of third parties.  Now, along comes SESTA, whose entire point is to punch a giant hole in CDA 230, such that if a site is used to “facilitate” trafficking, the site suddenly loses its immunity.  Another key point in SESTA: saying that claims brought by states Attorneys General are no longer immune from action under CDA 230. Hmmmmmm…

The Widening Gyre (#785) 

Watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control is deeply gratifying:

Several posts about a human trafficking ring in Tulsa are making rounds on Facebook, but Tulsa Police say the rumors are untrue.  One of those posts got more than 2,500 shares…One of the posts even says police confirmed it.  Police say this is untrue…Some of the posts also talk about people approaching children, asking them to get into their vehicles.  While this may have happened, Sgt. Todd Evans says it doesn’t amount to child sex trafficking…

Cooties (#786) 

Understand what this actually is:  a cop non-consensually using sex workers as props in a public recitation of his BDSM masturbation fantasy:

Men who [hire] sex workers in pop-brothels operated by [imaginary] crime gangs are committing rape, Cornwall’s most senior police officer has [fantasized]…The [fantasy of a] sex den epidemic in Cornwall first [became popilar among cops]…in July 2016, and…[cops exploit sex workers in theses fantasies by slandering them as] not technically consenting…

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Would a husband and wife be kicked out [of a hotel] for having sex?  –  Lisa Lewis

Rough Trade 

Luckily, Leeds is slightly more enlightened about sex work than much of the UK:

A man dragged a sex worker into bushes after she refused his request for business…The…woman broke free and flagged down a vehicle…It is being treated as an attempted serious sex attack, police said.  Patrols have been stepped up in the area…The man is described as white, aged 20 to 25, of skinny build and about 5ft 11in tall.  He had ginger stubble on his face…

Bad Girls 

At least this report doesn’t pretend these robbers were real sex workers:

A gang of six women, accused of luring men online with paid sex and massage services, and later assaulting and robbing them of cash…have each been sentenced to one year in jail.  The [Dubai] Court of First Instance was told that the six women, all Nigerians…would initiate a chat on messaging app Tango while using pictures of beautiful women and then invite the men over for massage or lure them with paid sex.  The court found them guilty of forcible theft charges and ordered them to be deported after serving their jail term…

Good Fantasy, Bad Reality 

Is this reporter really so stupid he can’t understand the difference between consensual BDSM and nonconsensual police violence?

The anarchist John Jay College professor who tweeted “it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops” …[has] a…personal profile on FetLife [that]…proclaims “I need a domme” to choke, waterboard and smother him…Despite his love of being restrained, the 29-year-old adjunct economics professor has consistently expressed his hatred for law enforcement, government and imprisonment…

I also hate cops, government and prisons, and I’m turned on by being restrained.  Big deal.  Playing with dark stuff is a major part of kink.

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

A 14-year-old Houston teenager may be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life after he was charged with having sex with his 12-year-old girlfriend.  The seventh grader…has been charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child.  His girlfriend is in the sixth grade…Texas law has the “Romeo and Juliet” exception…But that law only applies if both sexual partners are at least 14…Jackie Stewart Gravois, an attorney with the Harris County Public Defender’s Office, [claimed]…judges don’t usually make juveniles register as sex offenders in cases like this…But Ira Ellman, a professor at the UC–Berkeley School of Law…[said] it’s not unusual to see 14-year-olds…[condemned to] life on the sex offender registry…the Bureau of Justice Statistics…found that the age with the highest number of people arrested for a sex offense is 14

Legal Is as Legal Does (#44) 

This is disgusting, but note that bigoted hotel staff in the US could have ratted her out to the pigs:

High-profile escort Lisa Lewis has taken to social media to voice her concerns about being rejected from a Napier [New Zealand] motel because she’s a sex worker…Lewis…was told she wasn’t welcome back at the Quality Inn Napier after spending…a…night there…[but not] working…she phoned the following day to enquire if there were any better rooms for her next stay…”Obviously not everyone admits to it so we can’t just assume but if we do know we don’t take the booking.  It’s hotel policy”…[she was told]…

Follow Your Bliss (#50)

Korean censors are enabled by the Nuri Cops, volunteers who selflessly devote their spare time to watching internet porn so others can’t:

South Korea…is weighing whether to block access to Tumblr if the social media platform doesn’t [censor] sexually explicit content…Tumblr rejected the…request to [censor porn all over the world because it]…is regulated only by U.S. law…The Korea Communications Standards Commission said it sent Tumblr more than 22,000 requests from January to June to delete posts that were linked to “illegal content”…during the same period Twitter received 1,771, Instagram 12 and Facebook 5…

Monsters 

Anti-trans laws, religion and “feminism” are the theory, and this is the practice:

Three suspects have been arrested for the monstrous murder of a transgender teenager.  Ally Steinfeld, 17, became the 21st transgender person to be killed in the US this year.  The body of the teenager, who was from Texas County, Missouri, was found near a mobile home belonging to Briana Calderas, 24.  Calderas has been arrested with Isis Schauer and Andrew Vrba, both 18.  Vrba…told police that he repeatedly stabbed Ally, gouging out her eyes and genitals.  Calderas and Schauer then…helped him to wrap Ally’s body, take it outside and set it on fire…they put the bones in a garbage bag and hid it in a chicken coop near Vrba’s home…

To Molest and Rape 

There’s nothing “stunning” about cops raping women; as regular readers know, it happens dozens of times a year in the US alone:

A Brooklyn teen [reported that] two NYPD detectives raped her after taking her into custody on a drug charge…The 18-year-old victim’s stunning accusations are now the subject of two investigations by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office and the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau…No arrests have been made, but the two detectives and their supervisor have been stripped of their guns and shields and forced on desk duty…Edward Martins and Richard Hall…found the woman and two friends, both men, sitting in a car…The [rapists] handcuffed the teen after finding marijuana and the anxiety drug Klonopin in a bag next to her and drove her away…to a secluded spot…where…both cops [orally raped her and] one…raped her [vaginally]…they…then [kicked] her out of the minivan…and drove off…her parents…rushed her to…hospital for an exam.  Doctors there found signs of sexual assault and called police…Martins and Hall [lied] that the sex was consensual…

Because every woman wants to blow & fuck random cops who arrest her.

The End of the Beginning (#703)

Another setback for due process:

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case challenging the constitutionality of Minnesota’s [indefinite imprisonment of]…sex offenders…The Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP), which [imprisons] about 720 [people]…has been the target of repeated legal challenges for its practice of confining [people] indefinitely [without any due process] after they have already completed their prison terms…

The Mote and the Beam (#777) 

Bad laws disproportionately harm small businesses, just as they disproportionately harm poor and marginalized individuals:

…Sen. Richard Blumenthal…one of the loudest champions…of SESTA…thinks of [internet startups] as unimportant outliers and would prefer that the new law put them out of business…Google will survive SESTA…Large Internet companies may have the legal budgets to survive the massive increase in litigation and liability that SESTA would bring.  They probably also have the budgets to implement a mix of automated filters and staff censors to comply with the law.  Small startups are a different story…But ultimately, the biggest casualty of SESTA won’t be Google or startups; it will be the people pushed offline…SESTA’s supporters [pretend]…it would be easy for web platforms of all sizes to implement automated filtering technologies…But it’s impossible to do that with anywhere near 100% accuracy.  Given the extreme penalties for under-filtering, platforms would err in the opposite direction…As EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn put it, “Again and again, when platforms clamp down on their users’ speech, marginalized voices are the first to disappear”…

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The trade union movement has to decide whether it’s going to back workers…or…police.  –  Laura Watson

Monsters 

The Swedish model protects sex workers!

Last year, France passed [the Swedish model, under the pretense of]…protecting sex workers from prosecution, but…[as sex worker activists predicted] it is simply driving them further underground and exposing them to far more danger.  Transsexual prostitutes who work in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne…are disproportionately affected…

Prudesville 

A new twist in Everett, WA’s absurd “bikini barista” melodrama:

Bikini baristas…are suing [Everett] over its ban on serving “quick service” food and drinks with bare shoulders, midriffs, or upper thighs…a group of seven baristas and one coffee stand owner filed a federal lawsuit alleging a violation of their rights to free expression, privacy, due process, and equal protection…Everett isn’t claiming that the regulations serve any food safety or public health purposes…the point of the dress code is to prevent…baristas from giving customers a peep show for extra cash…Employee violations can lead to fines for business owners, along with a requirement to register for a special license (which the city can deny)…if the owners are judged to have “facilitated” the “lewd conduct,” they can be slapped with a $5,000 fine and a year in jail.  Essentially, Everett has created a crime similar to promoting prostitution—but for facilitating skimpy clothing…

Law of the Instrument (#560)

Picture what you’d think of as “sex trafficking”, then compare it to this:

A St. Louis man who was employed at a high school is facing child pornography and sex trafficking charges after police said he exchanged illicit texts with a 15-year-old male student at the school.  Michael A. West…told the [young man] he could get him an opportunity to make money for performing sexual acts…

Cases are this are why even some not-completely-stupid people believe that “sex trafficking” is increasing; “sex trafficking” charges certainly are.

Social Autoimmune Disorder (#594)

Add Dayton, Ohio to the cities mailing blatantly-unconstitutional “Dear John” letters to the registered addresses of vehicles passing through certain neighborhoods:

So far this year, the Dayton police Vice Unit has mailed 18 [threat letters] to the owners of vehicles that were spotted in areas [police claim to be] known for high levels of prostitution.  The letters are supposed to [scare] people [by claiming that wanting sex]…is a “serious offense” that carries potential…deadly disease and other sexually transmitted infections…[often] the recipients are spouses or business owners whose vehicles were in the possession of [others] when [cops decided to stick their noses into others’ business]…

To Molest and Rape 

The US government claims it takes reports of cops raping women seriously…as long as they’re not US cops:

…two U.S. students…were raped by Carabinieri policemen who [took] them home in a patrol car from a nightclub…three patrol cars went to a nightclub to investigate a fight.  Two cars left after calm was restored, but the third remained.  The women…told authorities that the [cops] drove them to their apartment building and raped them…witnesses…confirm[ed] they saw the women enter the patrol car…

Uncommon Sense (#669)

The IWW was the first major union to support sex workers rights, but it won’t be the last:

The GMB and ASLEF have come out in support of the full decriminalisation of sex work in Britain, the first major unions to do so…The unions, which have a combined membership of over 600,000, are calling for the UK to adopt full decriminalisation, similar to the approach adopted by New Zealand, which since 2003 has provided sex workers with legal protections…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#687) 

“Sex robot” hysteria gets ever sillier:

A cybersecurity scientist has issued a bizarre warning that sex robots could one day rise up and kill their owners if hackers can get inside their heads…cybersecurity lecturer Dr. Nick Patterson [fantasized] that the lifelike dolls could end up going all “Terminator” on us…hackers could breach the realistic robots’ inner defenses and catch their owners with their pants down…

Does this idea seem familiar to regular readers?

The Widening Gyre (#735)

They finally realized they could expand the panic by adding male “sex slaves”:

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation [formerly “Morality in Media”], Washington College, and The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking held a historic press conference…to kick off the first ever symposium on the sexual exploitation harming boys and men.  The government, NGOs, and society at large have overlooked male victims of sexual exploitation, the organizations [pandered]…Haley Halverson…of…the [NCSE fantasized]…that [the] estimated range of male trafficking victims hovers in the hundreds of thousands”…

The NCSE is a fundamentalist Christian anti-porn organization which is also behind the recent tactic of getting conservative states to declare porn a “public health crisis”.

Comfort Zone (#769)

Sometimes the attempt to hide migration control behind the “sex trafficking” narrative is especially apparent:

…”It had been more than 10 years since Gari, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala…had seen his younger brother.  So he was surprised earlier this year when he received a call from a federal government agency telling him his teen brother had emigrated alone from the Central American country to the Arizona-Mexico border…the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services…asked Gari to take legal guardianship of his brother….officials [lied]…that it wouldn’t jeopardize his own safety….[but] Gari…was arrested…by federal immigration agents who had used his little brother as bait“…immigration attorney Yazmin Rodriguez…knows at least three other similar cases…ICE [pretends] using children fleeing violence as bait “[is] part of a broader mission to disrupt human trafficking”…

The Mote and the Beam (#773)

The odious Nick Kristof finds it “baffling and perplexing” that internet companies don’t want the internet destroyed by sociopathic politicians on a witch hunt:

Sex traffickers in America have…a…crucial (if secret) ally: Google…organizations it funds have for years been quietly helping Backpage.com, the odious website where most American [passive, vegetable] victims of human trafficking are sold, to battle lawsuits from [ambulance-chasers fantasizing that] children [are] sold there for sex.  Now Google is using its enormous lobbying power in Washington to try to kill bipartisan legislation that would [enable profiteers to sue]…websites that [they claim] promote sex trafficking [or virtually any other federal crime]…as Backpage fights off prosecutors and worries about the legislation, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, Google has emerged as its behind-the-scenes champion…

What I find “baffling and perplexing” is that so few people recognize “One-hand” Kristof’s BDSM masturbatory fantasies about underage girls for what they are.

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Organically Grown

I’m an aspiring writer who started up a blog under a pen name, but I’d like to have people actually read what I write and ideally get published and paid later on.  Since I’m neither writing under my own name nor telling anyone I know about my writing, this has made the latter quite difficult.  I figured the best source of wisdom on how to achieve anything with my webpage is by contacting some of my favorite writers today, including you; may I pick your brain about how to get myself attention?

I’m afraid I’m not going to be very much help, because I have absolutely no idea how to go about building a popular blog.  Yes, I know my blog is very popular (approaching six million pageviews) and I’m very glad it is, but it just sort of got there on its own.  I mean, certainly the quality of the writing helped, as did the fact that I’m willing to tackle topics most others aren’t, as did my high public profile and popular Twitter feed, as did the fact that I’m easy on the eyes.  But I didn’t actually do anything technical that was calculated to increase my visibility, and in fact I intentionally ignored a lot of the advice given me by well-meaning people (such as the suggestion I give my essays verbose, boring, overly-descriptive, “keyword”-laden titles of the sort search engines like, instead of catchy, interesting ones that I like).  I don’t know anything about SEO and have no interest in learning; I don’t study guides about how to make my site more visible to Google; and I don’t sully my site with clickbait.  And yet, my readers found me anyhow, though it took two years for me to really hit my stride.  So the only advice I’m really qualified to give you is, try to create the best blog you can, with good writing, attractive layout and eye-catching pictures, and to do it with a level of consistency bordering on the obsessive.  I have no idea whether that will work for you, but it certainly did for me.

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

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