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Posts Tagged ‘hysteria’

Those who engage in sex work are our constituents.  –  Brianne Nadeau

Surplus Women

The only way pigs want to “make sure you’re safe” is by locking you in a cell:

Detroit Police Chief James Craig said they are looking for a potential serial killer and rapist that is operating on the city’s east side…the investigation…started several months ago…on March 19…Nancy Harrison…was [found naked and cops tried to pass it off as]…a drug overdose…[even though] she [had] suffered blunt force trauma…The body of the second victim, Travesene Ellis, was found on May 24…[then on June 5th] a woman’s decomposed naked body was found inside a vacant [house.  Cops]…believe…the suspect is targeting women in their early 50s and luring them to vacant dwellings…all three victims are believed to be sex workers…Police are asking sex workers to come forward with any information.  “We’re not here to arrest you, we’re going to make sure you’re safe,” he [lied]…

King of the Hill

There is exactly one highway which runs from Halifax, Nova Scotia to the mainland:

[Cops and “rescue” profiteers fantasize that] human traffickers are moving…[passive, doll-like] young girls — from Nova Scotia…to Montreal and Toronto, but it’s difficult to analyze the pattern in those stories as there is no [actual] data…on [the imaginary phenomenon]…the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking (CCEHT)…is working on a study of the “high-incident” human trafficking corridor…between Halifax and Toronto…One stop on the road…is the town of Truro, N.S. (population 12,261), where the staff at the Colchester Sexual Assault Centre have started to [brainwash women into thinking they]…have been sexually trafficked…[prohibitionist] Margaret Mauger said…”Truro has become…a hub for human trafficking”…She said most [women] don’t think of [their jobs]…as sexual trafficking, so she tries to [convince them otherwise]…

Buried Truth 

Accurate headline: “Man Loses Job After Refusing to Pay His Tab While Drunk”:

A Catholic school principal from Louisiana has resigned from his job after he was arrested at a Washington D.C. strip club…Michael Comeau…principal at Holy Family School near Baton Rouge, refused to pay his bill at Archibald’s Gentlemen’s Club…[while] blocking a roadway outside and refusing to move.  He was…arrested…[for] public intoxication and possession of an open container…

Pyrrhic Victory (#683)

When they smash down your door in the middle of the night, murder your dogs, terrorize your family and embroil you in a decade-long court battle which will utterly bankrupt you because some computer decided you look like somebody who supposedly broke some law, don’t say I didn’t warn you:

The FBI cops to the fact that its database of mugshots…has about 36 million entries…But that’s the tip of the iceberg.  Gretta Goodwin…[of] the Government Accountability Office (GAO), told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee…that the FBI can scan about 640 million pictures, including not just mugshots but driver’s licenses and passport photos…the FBI has “strict policies” governing the use of such technology, [claimed] a spokesman for an agency that is exceedingly well-known for what the American Civil Liberties Union calls an “unchecked abuse of authority“…Kimberly Del Greco, a [boss spook]…at the FBI, said…facial recognition…is used only when there is an active FBI investigation or an assessment, which can [basically mean whatever they want it to mean]…

Remember, the FBI classes all sex workers as “criminals” and defines our ads as “probable cause for sex trafficking investigation”.

Out of Control (#767)

When the sexual need to control others is frustrated, some really weird behavior can result:

Boise Police…arrested Jonathan Parker — a lobbyist and former Idaho Republican Party chairman…on a felony first-degree stalking charge…on or between May 16 and May 30, Parker “did knowingly and maliciously engage” in conduct that “seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed (his [estranged] wife) Kelly Parker”…[his] conduct included “repeatedly hiding in bushes, masturbating, disguising himself with a wig” at or near her apartment complex…

An Example to the West (#776) 

The areas Americans dismiss as the “third world” are far ahead of the US in sex worker rights:

Casa Roja…is…the new centre for Ammar – the Argentina’s Women’s Sex Workers’ Union…Dramatic inflation (which reached nearly 50% last year), combined with a reduction in subsidies…have sent the cost of basic foodstuffs, electricity and water spiralling.  A third of the population are living in poverty…almost 50% of women are either unemployed or working informally without labour protection or a security net, and cuts to public sector jobs have been most pernicious in feminised occupations…To try to improve conditions for sex workers, Ammar opened the doors of the Casa Roja on 2 June, International [Whores’] Day.  The centre will offer health and mental health services and a place to drink coffee as winter draws in…“There will also be legal assistance…in the face of increasingly punitive policing in the area…Ammar has been one of the most successful sex workers’ organisations in the world.  Across Argentina it has integrated itself into the mainstream labour movement, decriminalised sex work in some provinces, and provided peer-to-peer support for more than 20 years…[by contrast] feminists in the UK have been slow to embrace sex workers as sisters in the struggle against gender and economic injustice.  A small number of groups have stood shoulder to shoulder with sex workers, but the story has largely been one of violence and exclusion…

Amnesty At Last (#831)

Grosso has consistently pursued this course for four years now:

A bill that would decriminalize sex work in Washington D.C. will be reintroduced at the D.C. Council…this time with four councilmembers in support…Councilmembers David Grosso and Robert White…are now joined by…Anita Bonds and…Brianne Nadeau…last term, the original bill was sent to the Judiciary Committee, where it never got a hearing…Grosso modeled the bill after efforts in New Zealand…The legislation comes at a time when sex work-related charges have more than doubled…[from] 228 [in 2017]…to…551 [in 2018]…

Devil’s Advocate (#832) 

Your periodic reminder that a child-shaped toaster is still a toaster:

Florida has banned childlike sex dolls…[anti-sex politician] Lauren Book, who introduced the bill, [also created a bill to put sex workers and clients on a public registry.  She fantasized that]…“Just as viewing child pornography [magically] lowers the inhibitions of child predators [via invisible sex rays emitted from the images], so do these childlike sex dolls”…opponents of the measure [correctly] argued that the dolls deter pedophilia by preventing child predators from acting out on their impulses with real children…

The worst part of these laws isn’t the ban itself, but rather the institutionalization of the dangerous and unscientific dogma that human beings are tabulae rasae who can be “perverted” by external stimuli and thereby “re-educated” via such brainwashing schemes as “john schools” and “gay conversion therapy”.

Pyrrhic Victory (#857) 

{Insert Ben Franklin quote about liberty and safety}:

The…Brazosport [Texas] Independent School District…hired a company called Social Sentinel to monitor public posts from all users, including adults, on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.  The company’s algorithms flagged [a woman’s comical] tweet [about her cats] as a potential threat…Among the other “threats” flagged by Social Sentinel [were]…tweets about the movie “Shooter,” the “shooting clinic” put on by…a…university…basketball team, and someone apparently pleased their credit score was “shooting up”…America’s schools…are hastily erecting a massive digital surveillance infrastructure…with [total and intentional dis]regard for either its effectiveness or its impact on civil liberties…Florida offers a glimpse of where it all may head: [politicians] there are pushing for a state database that would [make the childhood nightmare of a “permanent record” reality by] combin[ing] individuals’ educational, criminal justice, and social-service records with their social media data, then [handing] it all [to the pigs]…Gary Margolis, the CEO of Social Sentinel…claims “thousands” of K-12 schools in 30 states are using its [police-state boosting] service…[another company name] Securly…offer[s] “sentiment analysis” of students’ social media posts…[via] an “emotionally intelligent” app [like Facebook censorship algorithms] that sends parents weekly reports and automated push notifications detailing their children’s internet searches and browsing histories…

Censor Chic (#904)

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

Three days before the most sensitive political anniversary on the Chinese calendar, Twitter suspended the accounts of Chinese political commentators in what it [pretended] was an accident…it…affected more than 100 users…[including] human rights lawyers, activists, college students and nationalists, who use workarounds to get access to Twitter, which is banned in China…The accounts began rapidly disappearing just days before the 30th anniversary of the crackdown on a student-led pro-democracy demonstration in Tiananmen Square…In a statement, Twitter [claimed] that as a part of its routine efforts to stop spam and inauthentic behavior, it had [conveniently] gone after a number of legitimate Chinese-language accounts [at exactly the best time to demonstrate to the Chinese government that it could be counted on to censor as ordered if it were allowed to operate in the country]…

Safe Position (#928)

Ordinarily, I don’t even bother to call attention to prohibitionist screeds unless there’s something interesting about them; what’s interesting about this one is the absolute reek of desperation wafting from it.  Prohibitionists are terrified at the speed with which decriminalization has become a safe position for politicians to take, especially in New York, but because they’re disgusting authoritarians the best way they can think of to make a lame attempt at forcing back the tide is to get two fucking prosecutors (notice how much prohibitionists love them?) to vomit out all the usual prohibitionist lies.  Blah blah “pimps”, blah blah “violence and exploitation”, blah blah “male power”, blah blah “PTSD”, blah blah “Swedish model” dicksuckery, and of course “we must remember that money cannot buy consent“.  Their stupid lies and bullshit claims about women’s helplessness aren’t working any more, and they know it.  Hey, prohibitionists:  we’re winning.  And if the best you can do is to pull out two police-state operatives, some professional “survivors” and a clutch of old hags mouthing weird fantasies about “orifices”, you’d better get used to the idea.

Top Cop (#938)

Even if you already despise this power-hungry sociopath, Liz Brown’s deep dive will give you more to hate:

Kamala Harris is a cop.  The phrase, which the candidate’s critics use frequently, is meant to conjure more than just Harris’ history as a hard-nosed San Francisco prosecutor.  It’s colloquial.  To label someone a cop in this way…implies the person is a bully, a bootlicker, a professional tattler—the sort of person who shuts down un-authorized lemonade stands run by kids.  A cop, in this context, is someone who will always defer to authority and the status quo, someone who is unaccountable and not to be trusted.  Calling someone a cop invokes the worst sorts of police overreach, a legalistic authoritarianism that exists for its own sake…

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The[se] cops were nothing but video voyeurs.  –  John Wesley Hall

Where Are the Victims?

In which renting rooms to people in a legal trade is pretended to be a “crime”:

Angus Binnie took out…leases o[n] flats in Dundee…then advertised them for short term rental on various websites – and charged itinerant prostitutes massive fees of up to £600 a week…He said he took no part in the administration of the sex workers and therefore had no control over them or their finances…

While that’s a high rate, the women weren’t forced to take it.  Most decent hotels charge more than £600 a week, ask lots of nosy questions and spy on guests; are they to be criminally charged and slurred by the media as “raking it in” as well?  And naturally the reporter couldn’t be bothered to interview any sex workers, who would’ve pointed out that it’s the government’s own busybody “regulations” that enable such jacked-up rates by making “legitimate” landlords afraid to rent to sex workers.

So Close and Yet So Far

The New York Times has been prohibitionist for so long, it can’t write an article about decriminalization without filling it with errors, lies and stupid anti-sex tropes.  While the article starts with some solid facts and good quotes from activists like my friend Kaytlin Bailey and a pro-decrim politician, it then goes on to equate decriminalization with legalization and the Swedish model (as prohibitionists so often do); prominently quotes prohibitionist propaganda under the pretense that supporters of a powerful, violent police state deserve “equal time” with supporters of human rights; and repeats outright lies about sex work, decriminalization and the Swedish model.  In Professor McNeill’s journalism class, this might squeak by with a D minus.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake

Given the success of strippers’ lawsuits against clubs, this was inevitable:

Two former sex workers filed a class-action lawsuit…against Sheri’s Ranch in Pahrump, claiming that the brothel should have treated them and other women as employees instead of independent contractors…The plaintiffs…also claim that Sheri’s Ranch is violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by taking 50 percent of the workers’ tips…[they are also charged for] expenses, including the cost of meals, daily rent at the houses and the cost of a mandatory weekly medical exam, among other things…Many former brothel workers…complain that deducting the cost of rent and meals from their pay causes them to quickly end up in debt…As evidence of the brothel’s control over sex workers [one of the federal tests for whether a worker is an employee] the lawsuit cites a requirement by Sheri’s Ranch that the women remain locked down on the property for one to three weeks at a time, unable to leave the premises…

Sheri’s is also notorious for taking away women’s laptop computers and personal medications, dispensing the meds at dose times as though it were a hospital.

Guinea Pigs (#634) 

Don’t feel left out, amateurs; they’ll get around to you next:

…a Chinese programmer based in Germany [claims to have] created an elaborate facial recognition system to identify performers in adult films…he claims…the system…can now successfully recognize the faces of nearly 100,000 adult performers…[by] cross-check[ing] porn performers’ images…with those of women on…social media platforms…the system was developed specifically so [loser dudes] could identify whether their female partners were performing in these films…

The anonymous busybody soon recanted:

An anonymous programmer based in Germany…says he’s…deleted the project and all its data, but that’s not an act of altruism.  Such a project would have violated European…GDPR privacy law [which] prevents this kind of situation…just collecting the data is illegal if the women didn’t consent…Women in the US have some protections too…California has strong privacy legislation that would block this type of data collection…

Is Angela Chen honestly so hopelessly naive that she believes these laws magically “protect” anyone?  People who invest hundreds of hours in inventing systems to doxx sex workers don’t give a shit what the “law” says; furthermore, in the US, it’s the government which has built gigantic databases of sex workers’ private information (yes, even in that magic wonderland of “privacy protection” which Google and Facebook call home).

An Example to the West (#699)

More than five years after filing suit against this bad law, Mexico City’s whores may finally win:

…Mexico City…[politicians]…voted 38-0, with eight abstentions, in favor of a bill to remove a line in the civic culture law which said prostitutes and their clients can be fined or arrested if neighbors complained…the new law recognize[s] that people had the right to engage in sex work…exploitation and trafficking by crime gangs…subjected to sex trafficking…Trafficking in Persons Report [blah blah blah]…

I’m sure the prohibitionists are not going to be happy that their artificial moral panic is starting to be used to justify the exact opposite of what they intended it to accomplish, further criminalization and persecution of sex workers.

Soap Opera (#746) 

I wonder where Theresa Flores will get a real job once “sex trafficking” hysteria collapses?

…Bars of [magical anti-pimp] soap with red stickers that list information and the national human trafficking hotline phone number…aimed at [imaginary] adolescents [too stupid to remember the numbers 9-1-1], will be distributed to every hotel and motel in New Jersey on June 15.  The Church and Community Abolition Network has joined the SOAP Project, or Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution, and together are working to get information to the [imaginary] teens enslaved as sex workers.  They have chosen to target hotels because [that gives them the best publicity]…One of the sessions will be held in Wayne, where SOAP was launched 10 years ago by [fabulist and opportunistic profiteer] Theresa Flores…

Amsterdam (#812)

I’ve been trying to figure out why the Dutch government has been pretending it wants to protect sex workers from gawking tourists:

Walking tours of the Red Light District in Amsterdam are set to cease come January 1, 2020.  According to the translated official statement from the Dutch government, “Tours along the prostitution windows cause a lot of bustle in the Red Light District and are not respectful towards sex workers”…The Prostitution Information Center (PIC) doesn’t agree and hopes to stave off the attempt to shut down their community-led walking tours…Founded in 1994 by Mariska Majoor, a former sex worker, the organization’s mission is to inform the public about the realities of the industry and the concerns of its workers…For over a decade, the PIC has organized educational walking tours in which former sex workers lead small groups around the Red Light District.  They once hosted around 22,000 visitors annually but attendance has reduced in recent years due to steep competition from commercial tour companies.  Unlike other tours of the Red Light District, the PIC experience is an informative and heartfelt tour rooted in respect for sex workers and the community…

European governments love silencing sex workers by pretending to be “concerned” for our welfare.

Spotlight (#847)

Violet Blue on the real purpose of Asstoon’s fascist organ, Thorn:

Silicon Valley’s biggest companies have partnered with a single organization to fight sex [work] — one that maintains a data collection pipeline, is partnered with Palantir, and helps [cops] profile and track sex workers without their consent…Thorn (“digital defenders of children”)…[uses] dubious [methods]…Of Thorn’s 31…partners, 27 target adults and vow to abolish consensual sex work under the banner of saving children from sex trafficking…Thorn’s…product…Spotlight scrapes [escort ad] websites and forums [and hands all the data it collects to the pigs]…Spotlight is terrifying and practically purpose-made for abuse.  And Thorn supported FOSTA…Thorn and its partners like Polaris Project are working closely with companies like Palantir to nonconsensually track sex workers and everyone they come in contact with…”Civil liberties lawyers are seeking a case to challenge the constitutionality of Palantir’s use,” Bloomberg wrote, “but prosecutors and immigration agents have been careful not to cite the software in evidentiary documents.”  Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project told Bloomberg, “Palantir lives on that secrecy.”  And so, by extension, do Thorn and Polaris Project…

The article also discusses the increasing damage from FOSTA and also Prostasia’s plans to act as a watchdog of Thorn, Polaris and others of their ilk.  It’s well worth reading in its entirety.

Guinea Pigs (#919) 

Keep licking those boots, local media; legal expert analysis is downplayed as “critics say”:

…[clear] misuse of a “sneak-and-peek” arrest warrant may end up clearing [Robert] Kraft…of two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution.  The warrants have been around since the 1970s but became an increasingly popular [end-run around the 4th amendment due to courts completely abdicating their duty to protect civil rights] following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  They allow [cops] to do [unconstitutional] searches without notifying the occupant of a home, business or other private space [while courts pretend not to see]…“It’s completely uncalled for,” said John Wesley Hall, former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers…”the[se] cops were nothing but video voyeurs.  They have no justification…This was an abuse of prosecutorial power and an abuse of police power.”  At least two Palm Beach County judges have concurred…

O, Canada! (#934)

Canadian cops now want to get the public to help them spy on sex workers, as US cops do:

A new national…toll-free phone line, launched…by [a prohibitionist group calling itself] the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, [claims to] offers support to…victims…[but in reality] the information collected through the hotline w[ill] be shared [with cops] and used…for raids that may lead to arrests and possible deportations…“We are concerned the hotline will become a tip line for law enforcement,” said Elene Lam of Toronto-based Butterfly…Jenny Duffy of Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project said human trafficking and sex work have been so widely conflated that sex workers and racialized groups are already targeted by law enforcement agencies under the guise of anti-trafficking initiatives.  “This hotline encourages the public to now surveil the movements of this group and report them…putting them in further harm, and further hindering workers from accessing key public services”…

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I’ll kill your fucking dog.  –  Doug McLeod

Regular readers know that I’m a fan of instrumental pop and electronica, but you may not realize how long I’ve been a fan.  So here’s one song I loved as a child; note that this is the original Gershon Kingsley version from Music To Moog By (1969), not the shorter 1972 Hot Butter cover version which became a worldwide hit.  The links above the video were provided by Popehat (x2), Tushy Galore, Mike Siegel, Dave Krueger, and Jillian Keenan, in that order.

From the Archives

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When we eventually win our rights back we will, in a strange way, have our oppressors to thank for it.  –  “Cornered Animals

Contrary to popular American belief, no French government since the Revolution has been friendly to sex workers who catered to the middle and working classes, and after the Second World War mere oppression escalated into outright hostility; eventually, however, the French cops’ and politicians’ attacks on sex workers grew so incessantly violent that 44 years ago today they protested by occupying the Church of St. Nizier in Lyon.  The occupation lasted only a week before the cops dispersed it with their usual methods, tear gas and horrific beatings, but the seed had been planted and sex worker rights organizations popped up in many countries; these groups won many victories in their first 30 years, until prohibitionists started to counterattack with lies, propaganda and huge amounts of money.  Since its beginning in 2004, the synthetic “sex trafficking” hysteria (a recycling of the deeply-racist late 19th & early 20th century “white slavery” hysteria which resulted in the imposition of many awful laws in the British Empire and full criminalization in the US) has undermined sex worker rights in much of the world and spawned an immense, expensive and vicious War on Whores in the United States, following in the footsteps of the equally-ruinous War on Drugs which has eroded civil liberties, turned the police into an occupying army and destroyed the lives of millions.

Then early last year, the prohibitionists achieved what they thought would be a definitive victory:  they persuaded and bribed the mob of moral imbeciles we call the US Congress to nigh-unanimously pass a blatantly-unconstitutional censorship law called FOSTA-SESTA intended to bankrupt, harm and kill sex workers and turn the entire internet into a walled garden controlled by the fascist coalition of Washington politicians, Hollywood media companies and a few hand-picked internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon.  But as I noted just a few weeks after the law’s passage, it has had the opposite of its creators’ desired effect:  rather than silencing sex workers, it has frightened the quiet majority of our profession (including the less-criminalized branches like strippers) into raising their voices in support of the minority who have always been vocal.  Rather than convincing the public that our violent suppression was some kind of good, it has instead galvanized public support to a level never before seen in the US, and media outlets which actively supported the hysteria for over a decade are now publishing debunkings of prohibitionist propaganda and editorials in favor of decriminalization.  Rather than being seen as a holy tool of salvation for imaginary “sex slaves”, FOSTA-SESTA is being widely questioned, ridiculed and even attacked by reporters, commentators and even comedians.  And perhaps most tellingly, politicians who up until recently coudn’t even be bothered to accept that sex workers have basic civil rights are now actively calling for decriminalization.  As I wrote last year, “the tyrants have…inflicted so much brutal violence that even the sheep are fighting back alongside bitches like me who have never submitted obediently to the control of our self-appointed masters.”  And it’s about fucking time; maybe even Gay, Inc will eventually pull its swollen head out of its collective rectum and support us as it should have all along.  It will be neither an easy fight nor a quick one, but neither was the struggle for LGBT rights and look how far that’s come.  I don’t know if I’ll be around to see the end of that struggle which began in France over 40 years ago, but many of you reading this will.  And I’m perfectly satisfied with that.

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The justification that [cops need to be allowed to rape sex workers because] “it’s hard to prosecute otherwise” is like the justification that waterboarding is necessary to obtain confessions.  –  Tom Kelley

Anatomy of a Boondoggle

As I’ve told you for a decade, cops raping sex workers is so accepted in Pennsylvania the state actively defends cops who do it:

…A [recent] investigation into…prostitution [entrapment] stings in south-central Pennsylvania has found several recent cases that raise questions about whether [cops] needed to go as far as they did to make an arrest and successfully prove the crime beyond a reasonable doubt…On several occasions, [pigs] took off all, or most, of their clothes.  In one case, a woman masturbated a [lying pig] for “several minutes” before [the rest of the herd busted in to terrorize her]…Prostitution is one of the lowest-level offenses in the crimes code.  Several of these cases ended with someone being sentenced to probation or ordered to pay fines and court costs…The Pennsylvania Superior Court [declared that] someone [did not] need…to actually have sex to be found guilty of prostitution in 1980…

The Scarlet Letter

Why do these puritans insist on pretending that the literally prehistoric practice of shaming constitute a “modern” approach to intentionally harming people for wanting consensual sex?  This article on Alabama’s new bill to legalize client shaming interviews a soi-disant “trafficking expert” who salivates and makes furtive movements in his pants pockets while vomiting out nonsense about how the sex trade magically disobes every known law of economics and sociology, how one of the most powerful human motivators is somehow “skyrocketing”, how he should be the person who defines what constitutes “free speech”, and how 1/12 of the US population now consists of “sex slaves”.  Pay especial note to his fascination with the claim that over a third of those “sex slaves” are boys.

Storyville (#51)

Just as Louis XV supplied New Orleans with women by deporting whores, so George III did for Australia:

When the Lady Juliana arrived in Sydney in the winter of 1790, it was 11 months since the ship departed England.  Hundreds of colonists gathered to greet the ship they believed was bringing them desperately needed supplies for the near-starving colony…But…instead of food and livestock, the ship had carried more than 200 women…While the arrival of the Lady Juliana did little to alleviate the starvation crisis in the colony, the ship did bring long-awaited letters from loved ones and news from England…Every man on-board…indulged in a sexual relationship with a convict woman, so — not surprisingly — most of the women either arrived in Sydney pregnant or gave birth at sea…

To Molest and Rape 

The government calls this “border protection”:

A Border Patrol agent has been arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault and three counts of aggravated assault…Steven Charles Holmes [raped a woman]…he [stalked via] a dating app…After checking into Holmes’ past, the Tucson Police Department said, “The investigation uncovered multiple victims with similar reports occurring from Jan. 2012 to Jan. 2019″…

Watershed (#836)

When the stuffy Boston Globe publishes an article like this, you know things are changing:

Prostitution in America has been thoroughly and purposefully conflated with trafficking, leading to a prohibition of many kinds of sex work in most parts of the country.  These laws are based on a false morality which claims that all sex work is, by definition, coerced, and that no…woman…can consent to sell sex for money…There’s a solution to this…backed by scientific research and data, and one that’s already in place in other countries.  The best way to fight human trafficking is to decriminalize all sex work.  [The claim that] all sex work is trafficking…became popular in the late 19th century…and…began as a racist backlash against nonwhites and immigrants, marked by campaigns against “white slavery”…Politicians still use trafficking to score cheap points with both liberal voters — who see sex work as misogynist, coercive, and oppressive — and conservative voters — who see it as sinful…

The Widening Gyre (#869)

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter.  What makes these especially funny is that there has never been a single case of an adult woman abducted by so-called “sex traffickers” from any public place, much less a crowded shopping mall.  But get a load of the number of number of retweets and faves, for a tweet from an account with 343 followers who apparently dabbles in sex work.

Disaster (#925)

Given that lingerie companies have always profited from sex workers while refusing to stand with us, I’m sure you can understand why I’m gloating over this:

A number of swimwear and lingerie brands have spoken out against a new policy on Instagram which is causing them to have lower engagement and, consequently, to lose money…Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) [announced]…that they would be working to reduce “the spread of posts that are inappropriate but do not go against Instagram’s community guidelines”.  It went on to explain that “sexually suggestive posts” would be limited in the explore and hashtag sections of the app, but that it would still appear in your feed if you follow the account.  This means that accounts which post images deemed “sexually suggestive” will be less visible to accounts that don’t follow them – and they are therefore less likely to be discovered by new customers, which is how a lot of smaller swimwear and lingerie brands grow their audience and sales…

Rooted in Racism (#931)

White people’s latest racist trick: trying to scare African people out of migrating:

Forty-one [cops]…in Sierra Leone have received [indoctrination] on how to [label ordinary behavior]…human trafficking.  The [propaganda claims that]…thousands of young girls and boys are trafficked into sexual slavery or forced labor in Sierra Leone…[even though] there has been no conviction of trafficking in persons in the country.  This is in part because officials [were]…not [yet] sufficiently trained in [how to call just about any behavior] human trafficking [for purposes of]…prosecut[ion]…The [indoctrination] is…funded by the US Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Note that buried lede way down in the last sentence.  Talk about following the money…

Yellow Fever (#937)

Spain’s new prohibitionist government, like its cronies, just makes shit up as it goes:

[Spanish anti-migrant spooks] have arrested 12 people [using the excuse of]…human trafficking…[they also arrested eight sex workers.  Pigs then oinked a lot of moralistic pap about]…illegal sexual activities, [negating the sex workers’ agency and misgendering transwomen]…All of them were advertised…in…a…thousand advertisements…ringleaders…deceived with the promise of a job…

Reporters using words like “ringleaders” and “illicit” or “illegal” sex always reminds me of this.

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A child is three times as likely to be hit by lightning than to be kidnapped…by a stranger.  –  Lenore Skenazy

Monsters 

This timing is very suspicious; will cops care?

Transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker, who was at the center of a viral video where she was beaten near an apartment complex, was found fatally shot in east Dallas [on May 18th]…Edward Thomas was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in the [previous] case…

To Molest and Rape 

Just two typical, representative cops:

Two [Alabama cops] were arrested…at Empire, a Birmingham night club…[after] Markeith Williams and…Jonathan Hill [raped]…an employee in a bathroom…Both were [rewarded with a vacation]…

Permanent Record

Politicians who want to undermine important legal safeguards like statutes of limitations always use especially-awful crimes to get useful idiots on their side:

…A new bill from state Rep. Brett Hillyer…would let people subjected to sexual misconduct by doctors at land grant universities between 1978-2000 sue those universities.  [Dr. Richard] Strauss worked at Ohio State from the mid-1970s into the 1990s.  He killed himself in 2005.  More than 150 men claim Strauss sexually assaulted them while they were students and athletes at Ohio State.  Nearly 50 are part of a lawsuit against the school that is headed for mediation…Ohio State’s lawyers asked a federal judge to dismiss the case in part because the abuse fell outside the statute of limitations.  Hillyer’s bill would remove that limitation for civil claims…

I Saw My Brain (#785)

Yet another pogrom in the pocket police-state that is Polk County, Florida:

A massive [entrapment scheme] in Polk County ended with 154 [human beings brutalized and humiliated by the minions of chief psychopath] Grady Judd…[almost half of those arrested were sex workers]…

This will continue until the majority of those arrested fight back with lawsuits, as they’re doing not far away in Palm Beach County.

Eternal Vigilance (#827)

Rent paid for with sex is not “free”; it has been paid with sex:

…sordid homeowner[s]…are demanding romps, threesomes, S&M, naked photos and a “girlfriend ­experience” in exchange for free rooms from those who cannot ­afford to pay.  And the vile exploitation of potential tenants is still going on despite it being outlawed in January…[puritans trying to stop feminine pragmatism] found ­dozens of sex for rent ads…on…Craigslist…

The level of hysteria this simple arrangement provokes in judgy puritans is hilarious.

License to Rape (#886)

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

…on March 30, 2017…Holly Curry…had all six of her kids — ages 5, 4, 2 (twins) and 10 months (also twins!) in her 10-seater van…Curry parked in front of…a…cafe…[for] less than 10 minutes [and when she emerged she found] two [cops lurking to harass her]…the next day…a [bureaucrat]…from the [infamous] Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services came to the Curry home…with a sheriff’s deputy…[and no] warrant…[the pig and the bureaucrat threatened her]…with an emergency custody order [to abduct] all her kids…Curry [folded and]…the [bureaucrat molested]…each child, male and female, [stripping them] down to the genitals (removing the diapers of the two youngest)…a few weeks later, the [bureaucrat]…told Curry she viewed her decision to get muffins as…a one-time mistake in judgment.  The forced entry, the threat of taking the kids and the strip searches…were not viewed as mistakes at all…

Legislators Gone Wild (#909) 

All prohibitionists have emotional problems, but Guinasso seems to be an unhinged obsessive:

…a creepy Reno lawyer named Jason Guinasso [has] been on an 18-month religious crusade to shut down the brothels…For a year and half now Guinasso has been trying to force Lyon County to give him the full names and addresses of every legal sex worker in the county’s four brothels…District Attorney Steve Rye denied Guinasso’s request…but…In a letter dated February 1, 2019, Guinasso [threatened to sue the county so he can get the information and thereby shame h workers]…All the Nevada Legislature needs to do is amend the current public record statute to explicitly declare that the work card applications for commercial sex workers in Nevada’s legal brothels are confidential, just like gaming employees.  That would put an immediate end to Guinasso’s crusade…and…remove a “gray area” in law that could potentially result in a court overruling District Attorney Rye…

Disaster (#912)

Does anyone other than local news fail to recognize what a disaster FOSTA is?

Stupor Bowl (#918)

Virtually the only people who still profess to believe this nonsense are cops and politicians:

A $1 million campaign will be launched this week to combat prostitution and human trafficking during the Super Bowl in Miami…State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said her office is looking to develop a “rapid intervention response team” to attack what [politicians keep pretending is] a persistent problem for major sporting events [despite plentiful evidence to the contrary]…“Our concern is that a lot of predators will bring other dancers and their victims that work in strip clubs. We have seen that with other major destinations”…the [fascist] effort…which also will involve [surveillance and profiling of customers of] the ride-share services Uber and Lyft, taxi companies and the hotel and restaurant industries…

To Molest and Rape (#939) 

Cops don’t “act as” sex predators; they are sex predators:

…Police Scotland’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) has [finally decided to admit] that [cops] are [routinely] abusing their position to carry out “predatory sexual behaviour”.  The ACU said it had received 22 [complaints about] sexual misconduct [in the first quarter of this] year…and…[is] monitoring 13 serious organised crime groups (SOCGs) amid fears they could be attempting to corrupt [already-corrupt cops]…Scottish Greens justice spokesman John Finnie…said he intended to raise the issue of sexual misconduct in the Scottish Parliament next week…

The fairy tale that cops need to be corrupted by “organized crime groups” in order to become rapists would be almost charmingly naive if it weren’t so dangerous to women.

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Kraft’s…case punctured some of the overheated rhetoric surrounding coerced sex work.  –  Matt Ford

Rough Trade 

A rare case where a rapist of sex workers is actually convicted:

A San Francisco jury…found a man guilty of several felonies in connection with the sexual assault of two female sex workers more than five years ago in the city’s Mission District…Edwin Rodriguez [was found]…guilty of multiple counts of forcible rape as well as aggravated kidnapping, assault and criminal threats.  Rodriguez now faces multiple life sentences…

Unclean Situation (#330)

These are also some of the nuns behind Ruhama:

A religious order which ran some of the Magdalene laundries, but has refused to pay into the redress scheme for survivors, is to sell its retreat centre in north Dublin.  The Religious Sisters of Charity announced it will sell the €3m Stella Maris Retreat Centre in Howth…A spokesman for the Department of Justice said no contributions have been made by any of the four religious congregations involved in respect of the implementation of the Magdalen Restorative Justice Ex-Gratia Scheme…[which has paid] a total of €27.8m…so far to 732 applicants…

Catastrophic Consequences (#576)

This sleazy tactic started in Canada, then spread to the UK:

[In the UK] “anti-trafficking”…raids [are] known officially as “welfare visits”…[cops pretend] that “the welfare and safety of the women…is…the number one priority”…[but in truth] “prostitute cautions“…are…handed out at high rates, and the…Proceeds of Crime Act not only allows them to [steal] sex workers’ earnings, it actively making it easier for them by reversing the burden of proof…the [stolen] cash is given to the Home Office, which then [gives it right back] to the police force without regulating how it’s spent.  The official line is that [cops] have no incentive to raid, but the truth is that the police force does stand to profit…

BDSM (#583)

A “cult”.  Because mentioning their sex practices wasn’t quite lurid enough:

Torsten Weiss…[the owner of a] medieval fetish shop in Hachenburg, Germany…was found dead with crossbow bolts protruding from his neck and skull…[in] a…B&B in Passau…By his side was 33-year-old Kerstin Enders who had succumbed to similar fatal injuries.  On the floor in front of them in a pool of blood was 30-year-old Farina Caspari, suspected of honoring Weiss’s…command to first kill him and Enders, and then take her own life…Weiss and Enders left wills at their sides…”Investigators suspect they were all members of a kind of sex circle with a focus on the Middle Ages,” according to RTL news…[at] Caspari[‘s]…house [cops]…found two more female victims.  One, identified only as Gertrud C., was her lover…friends of the four female victims interviewed by police say the women had all been under Weiss’s hypnotic control.  They reportedly engaged in extreme sexual acts, often involving BDSM, under his direction.  But what police don’t yet know is what led the fivesome to their deaths rather than just continuing their fantastical life…The two women found dead in [Caspari’s] apartment have no obvious wounds or signs of violence. Toxicology reports will show if they were poisoned…

Other than what I’ve quoted above, most of the rest is lurid speculation by cops and the neighbors, friends, and family members of the victims, mostly of the same level of popular ignorance as the myth that a person can be “hypnotized” to do things against their will.

To Molest and Rape 

Just 1500 isolated incidents:

Nearly 1,500 accusations of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, [rape, sexual assault] and child [molestation], have been made against [cops] in England and Wales over six years…Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that 1,491 complaints were filed against [various kinds of cops]…across 33 forces in England and Wales between 2012 and 2017, or 2018 in the case of the Metropolitan Police in London, which took a year to respond…Of these cases, 371 were upheld, resulting in the sacking or resignation of 197 [rapists]…Ten police forces [refused to] provide data…

Girls, Girls, Girls! (#679)

Clubs need to learn that the bad old days of exploiting dancers are over:

A federal jury has awarded five black dancers more than $3 million in their discrimination lawsuit against Danny’s strip club…Danny’s Downtown Cabaret…limit[ed] the number of shifts black dancers could work, and subject[ed] them to racially offensive epithets…”Danny’s also forced the dancers to work at a related club, Black Diamonds, even though they were subject to arrest there because they were not licensed to work at that club,” according to the EEOC.  “The pay and working conditions at Black Diamonds were inferior to those at Danny’s, and there was less security there.  The dancers who refused to work at Black Diamonds were fined and sent home, and not allowed to work at Danny’s”…

Profound Ignorance (#800) 

Scott Cunningham has finally set the record straight on the history of decriminalization in Rhode Island:

…In 1980, the Rhode Island General Assembly legalized indoor sex work.  The surviving members of that assembly have [pretended] that legalizing indoor sex work happened accidentally while trying to strengthen laws prohibiting street prostitution…the police and local prosecutors [eventually forgot]…as indoor sex workers were arrested and prosecuted regularly…throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Then in 2003, a Rhode Island District Court judge reminded everyone what the law said…For six years the state was running a “natural experiment” that would teach us more about decriminalized indoor sex work than we’d ever known in history…what we found surprised us and everyone else…Rhode Island rapes and sexually transmitted infections both substantially declined…several other articles in economics have found similar effects but in other countries and cities…in light of these studies, organizations such as the World Health Organization and the ACLU have begun calling for reconsideration of our commercial sex laws…

Unfortunately, he’s still making silly claims like “everyone was surprised” (no, prohibitionists feigned surprise; it has been known since at least the 1920s that criminalization of a market always increases violence and health issues).  But at least he’s admitting that Rhode Island was neither a “mistake” nor a merely six-year phenomenon, and I’ve noticed his studies have been getting much better.  We may make a good ally out of him yet.

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#830)

Even Reuters is starting to listen to what sex workers have to say about “rescue”:

Sex workers in Thailand are rejecting the “raid and rescue” model used by authorities to crack down on…sex workers…[by labeling them] victims of trafficking.  Many of the women arrested are then [forced] to learn [menial] skills like sewing and baking.  “People say we should stop doing what we do, and sew or bake cookies instead – but why are only those jobs considered appropriate?” said Mai Chanta, who has been a sex worker for about eight years.  “This is what we choose to do, and we feel a sense of pride and satisfaction that we are just like other workers”…

That Old Black Magic (#884)

Click on the subtitle for the truth about Nigerian juju (not “voodoo”) rituals:

Spanish Police have busted a network of Nigerian voodoo sex traffickers who use illegal migration routes to smuggle young girls into Europe…the sex slaves are being groomed in Benin City, Edo state by mafia-style gangs promising them a better life in Spain…They were submitted to voodoo rituals threatening terrible consequences to them and their families if they disobeyed the organisation, police [fantasized, groaning and making furtive movements in their pants while describing how]…parts of their bodies were smothered in animal blood before they were threatened with death or infertility if they failed to obey the traffickers…

Pyrrhic Victory (#899)

Welcome to the future:

A UK pedestrian was arrested and fined £90 ($115 US) after attempting to cover his face while passing a controversial facial recognition camera van on an East London street.  The notorious London police vans scan the faces of passers-by and compare them to a database of wanted criminals.  One man wasn’t having any of it, and was seen covering his face with his hat and jacket before London police stopped him and [forcibly] took his picture anyway…The ticketing comes in the wake of another similar incident in February, in which another man refused to be scanned by one of the facial recognition vans and was also fined £90…the technology is terribly inaccurate – wrongly matching over 2,000 people to criminal…[at] the Champions League Final in Cardiff in 2017

First They Came for the Hookers… (#903) 

Most “prostitution” cases come apart like wet toilet paper if actually taken to trial:

A former Foxy Lady dancer…was found not guilty…of offering sex for money.  Lindsay Hoffmann…one of three dancers arrested at the club on Dec. 11, was cleared after a trial…lasting less than an hour…[a cop claimed] Hoffmann told him…he could get “anything” he wanted for $300 in the downstairs VIP room…But Judge Melissa DuBose said “anything” could have been anything…

End Demand (#910)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will use any story about petty crime to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

…According to Mar Brettmann…“We know that 300-to-500 kids are prostituted at any given time in King County.”  Brettmann is executive director of B.E.S.T. – Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking – in Seattle…[which profits by indoctrinating] businesses and employees in King County to [harass] sex [workers], especially in hotels and motels…

In other words, she claims that there are about twice as many “teen sex slaves” in Seattle as adult escorts, a number so absurd prominent Seattle sex workers have actually been asked by cops where all those supposed “sex slaves” are hiding, because they sure can’t find them.

Loose Cannons (#938)

Another good anti-prohibition article at New Republic:

…The…charges against Kraft came as part of a sweeping, dramatic raid on Asian massage parlors across Florida…prosecutors [pretended]…they had smashed a international sex-trafficking ring…the narrative changed just as the public’s attention turned elsewhere…law enforcement agencies…often use [the claim] to describe and justify crackdowns on consensual sex work…prosecutors regularly use the threat of additional charges and a prolonged trial to induce defendants to accept a guilty plea…This warps the criminal justice system, such that…between 90 and 95 percent of federal and state cases are now resolved through plea deals instead of a trial with one’s peers…

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