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Posts Tagged ‘Iceland’

With the advent of FOSTA, all the rats who’ve feasted on sex workers’ dollars for years are deserting the sinking ship and leaving us to drown.  I don’t just mean the ad sites who have closed; several of the companies who’ve been happy to host adult sites for years suddenly threw their customers to the wolves last week without warning, and you can be sure more will follow suit (or be forced to follow suit when their site is stolen by jackbooted thugs as Backpage was on Friday).  So when I saw that Missy Mariposa had set up a new offshore hosting company specifically for sex workers, I asked her for a short introduction for those who might need her services.

I decided to set up Red Umbrella Hosting because I am sick of the very people who utilize our services trying to criminalize our existence.  I wanted workers to have a place to turn where they could feel safe and remain anonymous.  With Red Umbrella, sex workers can secure hosting and web design assistance without having to tie this life to their real identity or without having to worry if they were evading a ToS policy and at risk of being shut down.  I keep no user data, and I have a very liberal ToS.  Red Umbrella is my attempt for us to feel like we have a little bit of control over our careers and lives again.  Right now it’s just hosting, and a free blacklist (opening this week in conjunction with another site – you heard it here first) but I’m hoping to expand it to include Cloud Storage in the not so distant future.  I wish I could drop everything and invest unlimited funds in this and build an internet sex work utopia, but I think for one person that’s an impossible undertaking.

I chose to locate the dedicated server in Iceland primarily for three reasons – strict data privacy laws, no MLAT with the United States, and a proven record of protecting privacy.  It is true that they run the Nordic model when it comes to sex work, however they are also open about the fact their laws aren’t enforced due to a lack of funding and being short staffed.  Between 2009-2013 Icelandic courts only heard 20 cases related to sex work; I also could not find any evidence of them interfering with a sex worker’s internet presence.  In the end, I went with the country that I felt had an overall better track record with internet privacy and security, the country I thought would be the least likely to turn over data to the US without a warrant (as the CLOUD act allows them to attempt).  And as I keep no personal information, I am hoping that this type of situation is never even an issue for my users.

My long term goal is to help as many people as I can.  I am one person leasing a dedicated server, not a large company with a farm (maybe that’s where this is heading though, and I hear Iceland is beautiful), but thanks to a number of generous donations (including two very large ones from clients), my prices are very low for providers:  Managed WordPress: $200/year, paid annually, semi-annually, or quarterly via cryptocurrency or gift card; Domain Hosting $300/year (same terms), and Premium Hosting for $800/year (same terms).  Websites are too important not to have; most of our clients book us because of our marketing material, websites being a big part of that.  If sex workers lose their storefronts and safety tools, two things are going to happen.  Number one, the predators will come out to play and in full force; the guys on the blacklists are going to know they’re gone and go right back to the very things that landed them there in the first place.  Number two, sex work is going to be pushed right back onto the streets and hotel bars by women who will no longer want to see internet clientele and would rather take the risks freelancing.  I can’t idly sit around, doing nothing while people lose the ability to feed their families in the safest way possible.

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The…big problem is dealing with middle class saviours trying to save me from my job.  –  Sarah from Bristol

Advice for Clients

Ignore step two, because you’ll almost certainly be breaking some law. But the rest of this is pretty good:

So you’ve decided to spend time with an escort, but now what?  Your first call can be nerve-wracking, and you don’t want to creep the woman out!  Start with Step 1 below to learn how to make things easier on yourself, and on your potential date…

Hey prohibitionists: we’re winning, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

Jezebel 

The owner has since taken down all the pirated porn and apologized:

Bellesa.co is essentially a piracy curator.  This site subsists…off of pirated videos.  Those videos have been uploaded to other piracy-based tube sites, and then a person or persons at Bellesa.co curates them into the single biggest piracy site focused entirely on female-centric videos.  This site is absolutely no more ethical than The Pirate Bay or any number of piracy sites designed to exploit producers and performers for financial gain…it…puts ZERO DOLLARS into the pockets of female producers or performers…

Rooted in Racism

Hmmm, I wonder why they accused this particular restaurateur?

A few weeks ago, RÚV (The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service)  reported on the Chinese restaurant Sjanghæ in Akureyri, claiming its owner, a Chinese born woman, was suspected of human trafficking…RÚV [accused] the owner…of paying her Chinese staff a monthly salary of 30.000 kr ($285)…[when actually] the staff’s monthly salary was 465 thousand krónas ($4355), which is well over the Icelandic minimum wage of 300 thousand ($2810)…the restaurant has been closed since RÚV’s report, as no customers have wanted to show up…[Jóhannes Sigurðarson, Sjanghæ’s lawyer] believes the restaurant will open again, although it’s unclear when exactly.  He and the owner will be determining shortly whether or not to press charges…

Trafficking, Trafficking Everywhere!

Prohibitionists are desperate to make New Zealand look bad:

A report, released by University of Auckland researcher Natalie Thorburn, claims child sex trafficking is prevalent in New Zealand and children as young as 12 were being exploited for money and drugs…Counsellor Tania Blomfield [claimed] that she knew of a child as young as nine being forced into the sex trade by her mother…Blomfield [fantasizes] child sex trafficking is “a growth industry, sadly.  I think it’s getting worse and worse because we are not dealing with it”.  However National Coordinator for the Prostitutes’ Collective Catherine Healy says sex trafficking is a catch all phrase that does not fully describe the situation…”Let’s not conflate it with sex work and say ‘oh they’ve been trafficked into sex work’ when actually they’re being abused by family members”…

The Prudish Giant

Though this is about coerced labor, Wal-mart is notoriously anti-sex and IJM is one of the sleaziest of the rescue industry groups; I suspect this will soon turn to whore persecution:

International Justice Mission…announced support from the Walmart Foundation to address human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, in the Thai fishing industry…there has not yet been a comprehensive study documenting the prevalence of forced labor and exploitation of fishermen on Thai fishing vessels.  With funding from the Walmart Foundation, IJM commissioned Issara Institute to conduct groundbreaking research in Thailand documenting the prevalence of forced labor…

Law of the Instrument (#560)

It’s not the number of “human trafficking victims” that’s increased, but the number of “human trafficking” charges:

The numbers of victims of human trafficking in Ireland has almost doubled in four years, with 94 [claimed] to have been children…The majority of…persons [labeled by “authorities” as “trafficked”] between 2012-2016 were women, with most subject to sexual exploitation…The authors of the report, however, [fantasize] that the true scale of trafficking could be much higher…

Remember, Ireland charges people with “human trafficking” for crimes ranging from undocumented immigration to rape.

An Example To the West (#582) 

Not so long ago, most US brothels were owned by sex workers:

…Dennis Hof…is offering the 540 women who work in his brothels the chance to buy shares.  He first wants to see if they would help buy the famous Chicken Ranch, which is for sale in Nye County.  “I want to give the girls the opportunity to not only invest in it and be shareholders but also have input in the management style…we want a $25,000 minimum investment.  The purchase price is $4.5 million”…Barb Brents, a UNLV sociology professor who researches the adult industry in Nevada, said some brothels in other countries share ownership with sex workers.  But to do it in Nevada would be a sweeping change…There are still some hurdles for Hof’s plan.  The biggest might be the background checks for brothel investors…

Check Your Premises (#773) 

Though “debating” prohibitionists is a bad idea, attacking their statements is a good one:

…Sarah…accused [politician] Thangam [Debbonaire] of “prejudice and hatred” towards sex workers and questioned whether the MP had met many…”Client criminalisation leads to sex workers having less time to suss out potential clients…because the client is keen to give the worker less info about himself, and to move the interaction into more private spaces where he is less in danger of being arrested…when the criminalisation of kerb-crawling was introduced in Scotland in 2008…violence against street sex workers went up by 50 per cent in just the first six months…sex workers are arrested all the time for brothel-keeping offences, which can mean sharing a workspace with other sex workers for safety.  Of course, having a criminal record relating to prostitution would make it almost impossible for me to ever leave sex work.  When the police raid premises they take everybody’s money – all the money I had earned that day, and probably my phone too – no receipt, no way of getting it back…

Lower Education (#773)

Anti-sex crusaders love their pseudoscience:

…Journalist Emily Yoffe dove into the “neurobiology of trauma”  nonsense last week as part of her series of articles at The Atlantic on campus rape.  This phrase has appeared in federal legislation, state legislation, Department of Education guidance to colleges, and campus sexual assault proceedings.  It is used to explain why victims of sexual assault might not resist or even say no at all; why their memories of the incident might be spotty; and why changes to their stories over time are normal.  Under this theory, hormones and other neurotransmitters go mad and can cause temporary brain damage; memories of an assault are stored perfectly somewhere in the brain but are “fragmented” at first, so it might take victims time to piece together the true story of what happened…But…these claims…fly in the face of almost all recent research on memory and trauma…We have been here before.  In the 1980s, the idea that childhood sexual abuse caused…repressed memories grew quite popular…

The Mote and the Beam (#774)

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

Since the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate in August, tech companies and advocacy groups have…called it “disastrous for free speech online,” asking its members to call their representatives in Congress.  Meanwhile, supporters of the bill have emerged from unlikely quarters — including tech giant Oracle and Hollywood studio 21st Century Fox — and are using the legislation as an opportunity to take shots at Google…

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I liked [escorting].  It was very empowering.  I had control over my life and I had options.  –  Jerene Dildine

A Tale That Grew in the Telling 

Meet Christine Dolan, a “trafficking” fetishist so delusional she expects us to believe that the wildly-inflated “slavery” estimates are too low by at least an order of magnitude:

…The numbers are increasing instead of decreasing…President Trump confidently noted the number of slaves globally as 27 million…That number was inaccurate when it was anecdotally concocted years ago by Kevin Bales…It is a bogus number.  With mass migrations, internet generated trafficking, and sophisticated terrorist networks financially fueled by human trafficking, that number was exponentially higher when concocted, and more so, today…The heartbreaking truth of the human trafficking sex trade is that women and girls are repeatedly raped, and get pregnant multiple times.  [A US State Department RFP] creates a loophole that could permit multiple serial abortions to be paid for with U.S. funds.  This is a perverse result that benefits pimps and traffickers by returning their “productive assets” to them for further pimping…the…RFP as currently written could create a giant Fund that supports the aggressive “pro-sex work” stance of many organizations and governments around the world…[it] would permit an organization that promotes prostitution…to receive funds as long as they don’t use USG money to promote prostitution and its decriminalization, legalization, and unionization.  This would position a pro-prostitution organization to build its stature and influence by rescuing children from sex trafficking while simultaneously using that influence to promote older child and adult prostitution as a legitimate form of labor…

For that number to be “exponentially higher”, literally 5% or more of the world’s population would need to be “slaves”.  Methinks Dolan needs to put down her Hitachi and pick up her calculator before submitting another such absurd  masturbatory fantasy for publication.

Rooted in Racism

It’s interesting to see an article which could be synopsized as “OMG an invasion of foreign whores!” nevertheless admit that sex work is work:

Refugees and illegal immigrants are increasingly engaged in prostitution in Finland.  While the exact extent of the shadow market remains to be estimated, this phenomenon is getting increasingly popular, as selling sex has proven to be a real way of earning money…about 70 percent of all workers in the sex market are foreigners, but recently asylum seekers and illegal immigrants have joined their ranks…migrants in Finland often have two alternatives, to seek employment in the shadow economy for a measly pay of several euros per hour or go into prostitution, which is paid much more generously…

Wise Investment 

Every outed sex worker or client should sue the person or institution who did it:

A Denver district court jury awarded a former escort $1.7 million in damages…after concluding that one of her clients, a high end Denver attorney, was guilty of outrageous conduct and invading the woman’s privacy by “outing” her to her family, friends and colleagues…In November of 2013, she was contacted…by Sean Saxon, a Denver attorney who specialized in drug and medical device litigation…within a short time it turned romantic…But…Saxon…became angry and violent at times, and would threaten to expose her…Dildine broke off the relationship and asked Saxon to leave her alone…he refused, continuing to stalk her and threaten her with exposure.  Eventually, Saxon followed through on his threats, sending a letter to Dildine’s mother and father, brother and other relatives describing her life as a prostitute, including revealing sexual photos of her, and online reviews of her sexual services.  He sent the same packet to her classmates and teacher at a Denver aesthetician school she attended, describing her as “a mid- level prostitute. I have attached her escort profile, some of her twitter posts, and some of the on- line reviews she has received for her activities,” wrote Saxon. “I should warn you that much of it is rather pathetically pornographic”…

They Still Don’t Get It

Stenographer parrots clueless cop’s weird & ignorant masturbatory fantasies:

…According to Madera [California] Police Sgt. Daniel Foss, the department has been dealing with the sex industry on the Internet, and is facing the challenges Internet-driven prostitution poses.  “It’s made it more difficult for the fact prostitutes used to be contained in one area fairly well,” Foss said, “and if they went outside that area. [sic] it was immediately obvious to everybody.  Now they’re everywhere”…These women, Foss said, operate by an “in-call/out-call” system.  In an out-call solicitation, the girl, usually delivered by her pimp, will come to the client; in an in-call solicitation, the client makes the order, and goes to the girl.  It’s common during an in-call visit, according to Foss, for the pimp to wait outside for the client to finish…on the Internet…victims of sex trafficking are able to be hidden by their pimps.  They are also able to advertise them as adults…

You can hear the fapping as Foss fantasizes that every sex worker has a “pimp” lurking about; the thought clearly excites him almost as much as his delusion that in the past, whores were “obvious to everybody” if we wandered out of the ghettos he imagines we were confined to.

Watershed

Not just a feminist, but an “anti-trafficking” activist:

Many of those working in America’s spas and massage parlors are Asian immigrants…and…many…police departments routinely conduct raids on spas and massage parlors.  These raids, purported to curb human trafficking, have resulted in the arrests of many Asian immigrants…Some of these immigrants reside in the spa in which they work.  When the spa is shut down, they can be rendered both jobless and homeless.  For those who are the sole income provider for their families, they and their families are left destitute…they are…swept up and arrested indiscriminately and they become deportable, regardless of whether or not they are documented immigrants.  The charge…is “unauthorized practice of a profession”…a felony…In the era of travel bans and Trump’s crackdown…even some supporters of immigrants are latching onto the “good immigrant” vs. “bad immigrant” narrative in an effort to save the so-called good immigrants…mass arrest is not the answer…

As the pogroms continue over the next few years, keep essays like this, appearing in mainstream media, in mind.  We are winning, and this will eventually all be a bad memory just as anti-gay pogroms mostly are now.

Amnesty At Last

Playboy needs to do a lot more articles like this:

…in August 2015, Amnesty International…announced it would join the effort to decriminalize sex work.  In May 2016, the group released its official policy paper on the issue.  The 17-page document states that continuing to treat sex work as a crime infringes on the human rights of consenting adults…Patricia Schulz, a United Nations gender-equality expert…lays out the cost of ignoring those recommendations.  “When prostitution is criminalized, sex workers risk being abused…They risk being [raped by] police workers.  If they’re brought to detention, they might be raped by other inmates…There’s a whole series of violations of their rights arising from the situation.”  This insight comes after years of hearing from sex workers in many countries, studying the issue and, she says, “traveling a long way” from her initial view on the matter…

Big Sister (#631)

Is Iceland just going to recycle this story every spring?

The number of prostitutes in Iceland has increased substantially recently, according to Inspector Snorri Birgisson, at the Reykjavík…Police Department.  That is evident…from websites where escort services are advertised…The number of registrations at one website has increased five-fold in a year and a half.  Snorri believes there is a strong connection between the increased influx of tourists in the country and prostitution.  This, he said, is the dark side of tourism, which must be discussed.  He stated that the women involved in prostitution now come from other countries than before…

To Molest and Rape 

Though the story doesn’t say it because he’s a cop, this would mean his victim was no more than seven when he first raped her:

[Detroit cop] Thomas Pedersen…pleaded guilty to four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct…[and] sentenced to 42 months to 15 years in prison.  He will have to register as a sex offender when he is released and will be under life-time electronic monitoring…Pedersen…[admitted to raping] a girl younger than 13 for nearly six years…

Hard Numbers (#662) 

Why yes, I do get tired of saying “I told you so.”  Thanks for asking!

…the Olympic Games was a highly anticipated business opportunity in Brazil…Yet many of the sex workers who anxiously awaited the boon from foreign clientele found that it did not materialise.  Only a few benefited financially from the event, while [prohibitionists]…urged authorities to crack down on “sex tourism”.  [One brothel’s]…manager…said…”it is an illusion that FIFA or the Olympics are good for business.  This is a myth.  Some of the biggest [sex-related] businesses in Ipanema went bankrupt during the games.  And now it is worse”…Instead, what surfaced was a heightened security presence in the street, provided in part by Centro Presente – a quasi-public police force, partially funded by the local commercial and business association…

The Crumbling Dam (#709)

“Freed…said…’I don’t want to see heroin-injection sites’,” is this whole thing in a nutshell:

An initiative to ban safe-injection sites in King County [Washington] was announced Thursday.  The proposed initiative requires signatures from 47,443 valid county voters to qualify for the November ballot, said its chief sponsor…Joshua Freed…Freed…said…“I don’t want to see heroin-injection sites”…He said he’d prefer [cops to harass doctors who]…prescrib[e] opiates…The initiative would ban public consumption of heroin and all federal Schedule I drugs except marijuana…[another supporter of the ban is politician Mark] Miloscia…an outspoken opponent of safe-injection sites…[who] unsuccessfully propos[ed] a bill in the Legislature to ban them.  He also wrote a letter urging the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene and stop the sites.  Miloscia…[is also] an opponent of marijuana legalization and an advocate of tighter restrictions on alcohol…[he believes] we should “stigmatize people who get hooked on drugs to get into treatment”…He argued that hard-drug users need to face the threat of criminal sanctions to be steered into treatment…

Dutch Threat (#727)

I’d love to be wrong once in a while:

My Red Light was supposed to be a brothel run by sex workers.  Well, that failed…There’s an entire board of so called “experts” in a “Council of Supervision” who have the real power and control over this brothel.  These people include…a former public prosecutor…But no sex workers…because they didn’t get through the “screening”…The working conditions are the same, since they do exactly the same thing as other brothel operators.  There is absolutely nothing new about this…The rental conditions are mostly either the same or much worse than with other brothels…

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If you have medical questions don’t get second-hand information…from a ghost.  –  Dr. Jen Guntner

Yes, I’m actually subjecting you to an old episode of Family Feud, not only because it has the cast of the old Batman TV show on it, but because one of them is Vincent Price (who honestly doesn’t have a big enough part to make me happy).  If this annoys you, blame Franklin Harris.  And you can blame the links above it on Jesse Walker (“Dracula”), Eddie J Cunningham (“never”), Scott Greenfield (“state”),  Korhomme (“ghost”), and Clarissa (“safe”).

From the Archives

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How could I be happy in a country that is so…puritanical when it comes to sexuality?  –  Gabriela Leite

Neither Addiction Nor Epidemic

The defense of choice for non-violent sex offenders, plus “autism”:

A longtime conservative activist will spend up to two years in prison after he admitted to collecting hundreds of sexually explicit images of children — but defense attorneys blamed his autism and depression.  Christian Hine, of Fort Mill, S.C…was arrested…after FBI agents raided his home and seized his electronic devices, where investigators found more than 700 images…[which] had been shared thousands of times for more than a decade.  Hine’s attorneys…said his autism disorder had left him unable to communicate well or socialize normally with others.  They said that caused him to become addicted to pornography, which then led him to search for images of children instead of adults…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now 

that Dallas cops brutalized & caged two old women and stole over half a million dollars from them because they gave “happy ending” massages:

Two North Texas women were arrested…over allegations that they operated a brothel at the Dallas Doll House massage parlor…the North Texas Trafficking Taskforce arrested the women on federal charges…Connie Su Moser, 63…is the owner of the parlor…Kum Shugars, 67, [is] a manager…[cops stole] about $420,000 from Moser’s home, $70,000 in her bank accounts and her 2015 Lexus…

The Public Eye Robert Sepulveda Jr

Another sex worker on a TV reality show:

The formula behind Logo’s Finding Prince Charming certainly seemed stale, until…several LGBTQ news outlets reported that the bachelor at the center of the show’s romantic competition may allegedly have been a sex worker in the past …Unicorn Booty and Next posted pictures of Robert Sepulveda Jr.’s former Rentboy.com profile, along with pictures of his penis…from…Str8UpGayPorn.com.  Next  described Sepulveda’s former work…as a “sordid past”…[then a few paragraphs later piously declared that] “Sex work — porn or prostitution — is nothing to be ashamed of”…

King of the Hill

Mostly just a lot of prohibitionist posturing, but contains Chicago’s first claim to one of the top “sex trafficking hub” spots: “Chicago ranks third in the country for the highest levels of human trafficking

Under Every Bed

Make sure you swallow your drink before reading this:

Sex trafficking is happening in Iowa, and not just in the state’s biggest cities…In any given month, there are nearly 900 sex workers in Iowa…[soi-disant] experts gave the audience…warning signs for people who come into a hospital or other health care facility and may be trafficking victims

Public Service Announcement (#330)

It’s almost like he wants to get caught:

…While his wife, Huma Abedin, travels the country campaigning for Hillary Clinton…disgraced ex-congressman [Anthony Weiner] has been sexting with a busty brunette out West — and even sent her a…crotch shot with his toddler son in the picture…shortly after 3 a.m. on July 31, 2015…the cringe-inducing image…shows a bulge in his white, Jockey-brand boxer briefs and his son cuddled up to his left, wrapped in a light-green blanket…Moments after forwarding the photo, Weiner freaked out over the possibility he had accidentally posted it publicly — just as he did during the infamous episode that forced him to resign from Congress in 2011…

Paint By Numbers

Do whatever it was you were going to do anyway, but declare that you’re doing it to “fight sex trafficking”; stupid people will believe you and give you money:

…We are excited to offer you a curated selection of vintage wedding gowns…Proceeds from all sales go to support Adorned in Grace’s mission of fighting sex trafficking through awareness, aftercare, and prevention…“I have never stopped being captured by the beautiful idea of taking a wedding dress and turning it into something that incredibly blesses someone who is vulnerable and hurting. Everyone deserves to be held up like a bride, beautiful and valuable. Sex trafficking takes that away and the ability to restore that with dresses is powerful.” – Kate Wilkins, founding volunteer of AIG…

Uncommon Sense (#345)

Kudos to the IWW for supporting sex workers in Iceland:

There is no sex worker-led organisation or service provider for sex workers in Iceland.  Stígamót…is the only organisation that provides services to sex workers.  However, they consider all sex workers as victims of violence.  Loi…contacted IWW- Iceland (Industrial Workers of the World) asking if they would be interested in…organising sex workers in Iceland…On the 30 of July IWW organised a meeting for sex workers, their supporters and decriminalisation activists…

Shame, Shame Amy Sharp

I really admire this lady’s chutzpah:

…Amy Sharp…escaped from [a jail in Sydney]…just after 3pm on [August 26th]…The police statement…was accompanied by [a typical humiliating mugshot which was] shared to Sydney’s 7 News Facebook page.  Almost immediately, Sharp commented on the post from her personal profile with a more flattering image of herself and a simple request.  “can you use this photo, please and thank you 😇  Yours Truly, Amy Sharp xx”…She was later [re-]arrested…[and] despite Sharp’s polite request, 7 News Sydney [proved itself a handmaiden to the police state by using] her mugshots in a follow-up post

Oh, and the “crime” for which she was arrested in the first place?  An “outstanding warrant”.

Hard Numbers (#624)

Signing a pledge that condemns what you do, as a condition for protecting the health of your community, goes against everything we know about H.I.V. prevention and sex work…Any action or policy that reinforces stigma around sex work not only contributes to bad health outcomes, but perpetuates bad laws and stigmas against “bad sex.”  This is consistent with our experiences in Brazil, the experiences of sex workers globally, scientific research and international recommendations.  This is why Davida…fought the anti-prostitution pledge alongside the Brazilian National AIDS Program in partnership with dozens of sex worker rights and AIDS organizations in 2005…the country turned down $40 million for H.I.V. prevention…Sex workers need to be protagonists of these programs, not just receivers of them…

Dysphemisms Galore (#633) 

There’s something especially nasty about reporters gloating over popular stars’ sex worker siblings:

The sister of pop star Mariah Carey has been arrested on prostitution charges in upstate New York…Alison Carey was arrested [in a sting] at a hotel…she identified herself as the performer’s sister when she was arrested and…an Internet search of the two women appeared to confirmed the claim…[they] have been estranged “for years.”  Police described Carey as a transient and said she advertised her services online…

Obviously that wasn’t enough, so the cops insinuated that there were rumors that Carey had some kind of STI.

To Molest and Rape 

Amy Lange thinks a cop groping a woman is “shocking”.  She’s obviously what I’d call “sheltered”:

Shocking allegations against a member of the Dearborn Police Department.  In May it was alleged a [cop] groped a woman during a traffic stop…Justin Smith, 36, was charged with a felony, criminal sexual conduct…The court file is [of course] currently suppressed at the request of the prosecutor…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now (#667) 

Canada really is trying to be more like the US.  But at least in Canada, the protests are a bit louder:

Experts in privacy and civil rights are raising questions about a police news conference that identified 27 men caught in a Cape Breton prostitution sting, saying the move amounted to unnecessary “public shaming”…provincial court Judge Brian Williston [naturally] rejected a legal challenge from one of the accused…[Abby] Deshman [of the CCLU] said that line of reasoning doesn’t recognize the impact of holding a news conference to draw attention to the accused…”Absent some risk to public safety, just putting people’s names out there who haven’t been convicted of any crime yet really has an enormous impact on these individuals’ lives and livelihood”…Deshman said the damage to reputations can’t be repaired if charges are later withdrawn or not guilty verdicts are recorded…

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Tracy’s community…turned away from her in an inane focus on protecting the look of the gates rather than the garden that thrives beyond them.  –  Maya Yonika

Couples David & Jenni Heckendorf

A disabled Australian couple gets help from a sex worker:

…a…fall had long-lasting consequences on Jenni’s health generally and on our sex lives.  Her prolonged and mostly unsuccessful recovery resulted in Jen having further reduced mobility in and out of bed.  It meant we had to take extreme care not to touch or bump her foot…We tried different toys and different positions without joy.  Two years after the fall we were at a point where we had to make a decision to either give up on enjoying sex or to investigate the possibility of allowing a third person into our bed…we arranged for sex worker, Joanne, to begin working with us.  With each visit we had to remind ourselves that she wasn’t there to make “love” to us.  Rather, in the same way that our support staff ensure that we remain in good physical health – by showering, feeding, and dressing us – Joanne helps us to maintain good sexual health…we successfully approached the ACT government to extend the funding of our disability care support to cover these conjugal support services.  In December 2015, the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) agreed that, in our situation, a modest allowance for conjugal support service would be reasonable and necessary…

Lack of Evidence

It appears to me that the cops have no actual evidence:

A North Augusta [South Carolina] woman has been arrested on multiple charges of Prostitution.  Kristen Perry…was arrested [April 6th and]…is facing 21 charges of Sex/Prostitution 1st Offense.  She is accused of placing ads on Backpage.com between December 2015 and February 2016 offering sex for money…The ads contained sexually suggestive photos and language…The ads were accompanied by a phone number confirmed to belong to Perry…The IP address from which the ads were posted was traced back to her residence…

A good lawyer should be able to beat this easily; if anyone knows her please ask her to call me (email me for the number).  I definitely want to help her if possible.  Arresting escorts based solely on ads is an extremely dangerous precedent that cannot be allowed to stand.

Where Are the Victims?

There weren’t any actual victims, but we just have to cage people, because SEEWEEUSS UFFENSE!

Chunjie Wang…of…Dublin…organised four brothels…for seven months..[in] 2011…Judge Melanie Greally noted the case did not involve the trafficking or exploitation of prostitutes…but…said the seriousness of the offence meant a custodial sentence was unavoidable and sentenced Wang to 18 months imprisonment…

It Looks Good On Paper

Adult sex trafficking victims who get caught working as prostitutes could receive immunity from prostitution under a new Nebraska law…Nebraska already provides legal immunity to juvenile sex trafficking victims…”  Except that as I’ve explained many times, these laws are nothing but Potemkin villages, empty legal husks designed to please the ignorant while actually sparing virtually nobody from the injustice system:

…Wisconsin…advocacy groups…want to pass what is known as “safe harbor” legislation, which prohibits prosecuting individuals under 18 for prostitution…Republican legislators who fear it will hinder law enforcement’s ability to intervene and help trafficking victims…Minors can complete a program or other requirements in exchange for a dismissal of the charge, or they can admit to charges but assert they were being trafficked at the time…Proponents believe that by refusing to prosecute minors, law enforcement will be able to establish trust and gain access to information that will allow them to more successfully prosecute traffickers…Custody may also be necessary to ensure the child does not return to his or her trafficker…

Translation of that last part: “Authorities” want to be able to lock up minors indefinitely and subject them to coercive interrogation tactics in order to prosecute others in their place.

Big Sister

The Swedish model is based in xenophobia, and it shows in rhetoric designed to rationalize its failure:

Ever greater numbers of tourists in Iceland…are feeding into the market for prostitution…Snorri Birgisson of the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police [pretends] “It is usually foreigners visiting Iceland for a short time”…It is [fantasized] that prostitutes who come to Iceland are “managed” by somebody and transported from country to country…

The Last Shall Be First 

One battle in the bathroom wars has just ended.  Or maybe a truce has been hammered out for the time being.  The U.S. 4th Circuit Court has ruled in favor of a female-to-male trans student who was banned from using his school’s boys bathroom…the…Court, whose rulings also cover North Carolina (site of a contentious new law covering similar issues)…has ordered the lower court to hear his discrimination lawsuit…Go here to read recent Reason musings on North Carolina’s new bathroom law…I’m willing to bet the farm that even within a few years, if not sooner, we will all look back on the absolute panic evinced over the issue of unisex bathrooms and wonder just what the fuck we were all smoking…

Above the Law  

Roanoke [Virginia cop Francisco Alberto Duarte] is awaiting trial on a felony count of forcible sodomy“, and in Louisiana, “A Calcasieu Parish sheriff’s deputy has been fired [and criminally charged] after he was accused of inappropriately touching a woman…Cody Onxley…called the woman and went to her house under false pretenses.

Broken Record

Farm machinery causes “sex trafficking”!

…[cops] have also found victims at this year’s National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville and expect to find others at the Kentucky Derby…traffickers…stay mobile, moving victims from city to city to major sporting and entertainment events…truckers are getting the word out through the national campaign Truckers Against Trafficking, with an event this weekend at the Kentucky Exposition Center…the truckers…are in a position to spot victims at convenience stores and truck stops, popular spots for traffickers…

Under Every Bed

It’s weirdly fascinating to watch small cities insist that they’re just as infested with bogeymen and imaginary victims as cities with much larger populations:

…slavery…still exists.  Even in Spokane.  The reasons for this, [prohibitionists pretend], include Washington having an international border and a large seaport [and] many diverse immigrant communities…Because of the I-90 corridor, Spokane gets a lot of traffic and homeless in the area…former madam Cheryl Larson [lied that]…one girl could make $10,000 in a weekend during Bloomsday…

Note the racism, interstate highway nonsense and outlandish claims about income.  That article ends with an appeal for amateur surveillance, as does this one:

…[Cops] in Springfield say the western Massachusetts city is beginning to see a noticeable rise in human trafficking…Jamie Bruno spoke before the Springfield Violence Prevention Task Force…to [pretend] that human trafficking has become a problem in the city and is expanding…Bruno says it’s pivotal that parents are aware of what their children are doing with friends…

Business As Usual

I smell a rat.  What probably happened here is that some cop raped a sex worker in a particularly violent and/or loathsome way and they’re trying to paper it over with a “policy”:

…Cleveland Police have been told to temporarily stop making prostitution arrests…[because] the Department is suddenly developing a new policy.  The memo says, “All prostitution (sex for money) related Vice enforcement shall cease immediately…Advise your Detectives under no circumstances shall they have a suspected prostitute get into a vehicle with them or have any physical contact with…Police…We are formulating a policy that will cover procedures for these types of details”…

Remember, the actual policies don’t make a difference because even when raping whores is expressly forbidden, cops just do it anyway and then claim they didn’t.

All-Purpose Excuse

It’s especially good for money grabs:

Nine hundred police officers have taken part in a raid on one of Germany’s biggest brothels in Berlin, making six arrests over alleged human trafficking and tax fraud.  The operation follows months of investigation into the Artemis brothel…[whose] managers are accused of evading some €17.5m (£14m; $19.7m) in social security payments since 2006.  Prosecutors allege that staff at Artemis were forced to pretend to be self-employed to avoid the payments…

In case you’re bad at math, that’s 150 cops per arrest, ten times the number NOPD used to arrest me.

The Face of Trafficking

What a large-scale, organized forced prostitution scheme actually looks like:

In a case involving 75 female victims, Syrian women who were promised well-paid jobs in restaurants and hotels in Lebanon were locked up upon arrival in two hotels north of Beirut and forced into prostitution.  Some of the women reported being forced to have sex with up to 20 clients a day, and those that refused to work as prostitutes were repeatedly raped and tortured until they submitted…On March 27, Lebanese security forces raided the hotels, detaining eight guards and setting the women free from the Chez Maurice and Silver Hotel in Maamelteine.  The three-story Chez Maurice had the look of a prison, with bars on the balconies and windows, and a whip lying visible on one of the guards’ tables.  The health ministry has also sealed a clinic belonging to gynecologist Riad al-Alam, who authorities say performed abortions for the trafficked women who got pregnant.  The women have said they were not allowed to leave the clinic except to have an abortion…

Remember, fetishists pretend this sort of thing is common worldwide, even where there isn’t social chaos precipitated by war.

Size Matters (#619)

An excellent essay on the Tracy Elise case:

…Five years ago, Tracy was…the [focus] of a six-month long undercover prostitution investigation of what was then known as the Tantric Temple of Phoenix Arizona.  [Cops] fully armed with riot gear and machine guns, raided the space and arrested Elise along with several other women…Tracy was thrown into jail without trial for the following two years, her bail set at a million dollars…Tracy’s case is inexorably woven into some of the most pressing and cutthroat social biases of our day when it come to sex and relationship.  These biases hold us so powerfully within their grip that if one so much appears to cross the line, we’re perfectly content to quietly dismiss a woman like Tracy while she faces a potentially lifelong jail sentence…the…need to belong innately necessitates an “other”… that thing that separates “me” from “them”…as news of the Phoenix raids came to light, the bulk of western Tantrics, in order to uphold their personal ideals and image, turned away from Tracy and her case.  A woman who calls herself a “Tantric master” even spoke out against Tracy on a major news channel in her effort to “protect Tantra’s name”…

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It’s a perfect night for mystery and horror.  The air itself is filled with monsters.   –  Mary Shelley (Elsa Lanchester) in Bride of Frankenstein

another vintage Halloween cardLast year I celebrated the Halloween season with a collection of horror-themed links, both to columns on my blog and to articles off of it.  If you missed that one, you definitely ought to take a look at it; this is just an update, rounding up things I’ve featured since last October 28th.  First and foremost, of course, are last year’s columns for the holiday itself, “Halloween 2013” and “The Dance of Death“.  Despite its name, “Buried But Not Dead” isn’t really on the subject, but “Total Perspective Vortex” and “Cleansing Fire” are (at least a bit).  And I think “The Pit” definitely qualifies.  Last October’s harlotography was on the serial killer Aileen Wuornos (certainly an appropriate seasonal topic), and I featured either scary or creepy-fun videos in Links #171, #172, #173#174#176#183#206 and #212.  Earlier this year on May Eve I shared some less-known horror books, poems and videos; also, my own stories “The Other Side“, “Invasion” and this month’s “The Company of Strangers” are all solidly in the horror genre.  Finally, here’s a list of creepy, spooky, horror or monster-related links from the past year:

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