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Posts Tagged ‘Iowa’

Whores are pretty relatable when it comes down to it.  –  Andrea Werhun

Here We Go Again

Some things never change:

…in 1913…the San Francisco Bulletin began publishing a series of remarkable essays from a woman using the pen name Alice Smith.  Not yet 30, she’d been working in brothels since she was a teenager, and her first-person account of sex work in California sent shockwaves through the state.  By the time her “A Voice from the Underworld” series ended, the Bulletin had received over 4,000 letters to the editor, many from women in similar situations…[before she started sex work] Alice…worked from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m…Her first [client] paid her $10; she had been making $6 per week as a washerwoman…The Bulletin [later] admitted that it wrote the stories using a ghostwriter, understandable given Alice’s supposed lack of education…[at best] “Alice” was…an amalgamation of stories from several women…[at worst] the Bulletin made the whole thing up, not uncommon for tabloids…

Guest Columnist:  Andrea Werhun

Another peek at Andrea and her book, Modern Whore:

…The overall mission of Modern Whore is to de-stigmatize sex work and make it relatable to civilians.  It’s also to give sex workers visibility and representation, to make sex workers feel a little less alone, a little less isolated and a little less ashamed.  There’s nothing wrong with pleasuring people for money.  It’s a pretty good gig when everyone’s happy and safe and everything is consensual…Hollywood depictions of sex workers enforce stereotypes.  When sex workers are not consulted in the development of those characters, when it’s men creating a fantasy world of how they think sex workers talk to each other, they’re not doing anyone a service.  They’re feeding their own fantasies…

Legislators Gone Wild (#930) 

Nevada politicians accomplish by royal decree what they couldn’t accomplish legally:

Unable to apply for federal loans or state unemployment, Nevada’s sex workers are unemployed with no financial recourse after brothels and strip clubs [were forcibly] shut down [by royal decree] to…clos[e]…all [businesses politicians deem] non-essential…including bars…strip clubs, and…brothels.  The move leaves thousands of workers without any source of income [in hopes of forcing them into poverty and later wage-slavery]…there [a]re 12,000 registered strippers in [Las Vegas] alone…

Unfortunately, Nevada’s “legal” prostitutes have their government names on an official dirty whore list, so they can’t simply lie to get relief as “illegal” sex workers can.

Dutch Threat (#981)

Another painfully-stupid Dutch sex work law:

Dutch sex workers will be…required to stop working and take a break every four hours, even in the middle of a job…[under] new rules following a hard rise in repetitive injury complaints…[due to] Amsterdam and other cities…reduc[ing] their numbers of window brothels…[so] women…[need to] work…extra shifts to meet demand…There are…questions about how the new regulations should be policed.  A recent “mystery shopper” scheme for brothels had no shortage of volunteers but was scrapped after undercover officials were exposed…

Only Dutch bureaucrats could figure out a way to make a good idea like paid breaks for brothel workers into an idiotic exercise in clock-watching monitored by cops.

Fair-Weather Friends (#1009)

The only atypical thing about this is that they’ve been charged:

Yet more Columbus, Ohio, vice cops have been arrested on federal criminal charges…Steven G. Rosser and Whitney R. Lancaster have been charged with conspiring to violate others’ civil rights and conspiring to commit wire fraud…both officers were involved in [the bullshit arrest]…of…Stormy Daniels…in July 2018…That incident is not part of the new federal indictment.  But the duo’s current troubles also stem, in part, from strip club antics and…wrongful arrest…Rosser got in a fight with a patron at Nick’s Cabaret in 2015…had the man “seized and searched without probable cause…and [locked his victim in a cage]…for…five days before the charges against him were ultimately dismissed”…In another incident, this one in April 2018, Rosser, Lancaster, and some of their [accomplices]…stopped and searched the owner of the Dollhouse strip club without probable cause…

Social Distancing (#1025)

Even in a crisis, politicians have to advertise their hate for sex workers:

The federal application for COVID-19-related disaster relief for small businesses…explicitly disqualifies any sex worker or sex oriented business who may derive income from “presenting live performances of a prurient sexual nature” or “through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of a prurient sexual nature”…the USSBA asks potential applicants for economic relief to first check if they do not belong to one of the disqualifying categories, which include “engaging in any illegal activity (as defined by Federal guidelines),” being a deadbeat parent with delinquent child support obligations, legal gambling, lobbying or having a conflict of interest by being a member of Congress or a government entity.  The longest exclusion…[is] deliberately worded to target the largest segment of sex workers and sex-related businesses possible…

If your stage name isn’t clearly tied to your government name and your taxes are filed as a “consultant” or other neutral term, I advise you to lie.  You need this as much as anyone else, and your taxes are paying for it.  Unfortunately, my company is “Maggie McNeill, LLC”, which is pretty obvious to any government stooge with access to Google, but that may not be true for other sex workers reading this.  Fuck these sociopaths for trying to exclude us; take what you need.

Property of the State (#1026) 

This is what happens when you give politicians power to close down businesses:

As more states move to temporarily ban surgical abortions using COVID-19 as an excuse, federal judges have begun to block them.  In three separate rulings [last week], federal judges told state leaders that categorizing abortion as a non-essential medical procedure…was not OK.  The rulings came in response to lawsuits filed after [politicians] in Ohio, Texas, and [Alabama] started declaring that temporary surgical abortion bans were necessary…Iowa, Mississippi, and Oklahoma have seen similar orders…Groups are already suing over the bans in Oklahoma and Iowa

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I can’t breathe.  –  Jorge Torres Jr.

This video of a little drama queen kitten went viral last week, but this was the only one I found which could be embedded.  The links above it were provided by Mirriam Seddiq, Mama Tush, Furrygirl, Cop Crisis, Scott Greenfield, Alex Andrews, and Amy Alkon, in that order.

From the Archives

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[Cops] can blow up your house, throw you out on the streets and say, “See you later. Deal with it.”  –  Leo Lech

Regular readers know that I love unusual song covers; Matt Welch recently pointed me to this surprisingly powerful acoustic German-language cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint in Black” by the late Czech star Karel Gott.  I also recently discovered a Twitter account named Cop Crisis, which provided three of the links above the video (“sirree”, “oinks” and “understand”); the others were contributed by Tim Cushing (“says”), Mark Draughn (“safer”), and Jacob Sullum (“smell”).

From the Archives

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I understand that…people…think…”this protects my kids”, but what they should be thinking…is “Does this protect my rights?”  –  Mark Yuracheck

Surplus Women

Your government wants this to happen more often:

…[Jamel Alexander]…stomp[ed] a woman to death and le[ft] her body outside an apartment complex in Everett [Washington]…Alexander admitted…that he paid the woman for sex, but [claimed] when he left she was “alive and well”…[cops found] a van near the scene that contained women’s clothing, drops of blood and signs of a struggle. They also found a sports beanie…[which] Alexander [was wearing in]…apartment complex surveillance video…

Torture Chamber 

Your government refers to this as “correction”:

A…[prisoner of the st]ate [of Connecticut had a heart attack due to]…being [repeatedly] pepper sprayed and [lock]ed in five-point restraints by [screws.  He]…had rigor mortis in his jaw and upper body by the time [screws bothered to take his corpse]…to Yale-New Haven Hospital…Carl Robert Talbot…struggled with serious mental illness all his life and had been jailed for breach of peace and trespassing…[screws attacked him for] refusing to leave the…shower area.  First they]…pepper spray[ed him three times, then locked him in restraints so he couldn’t breathe and dumped him in solitary confinement to die]…

Down Under (#410)

In the US, his victims would have no recourse:

A Canberra brothel operator…told prospective sex workers they had to perform sex acts with him to prove they could do the job…Bradley Lester Grey, 54, allegedly told the nine women they needed to complete “training” as they were new to the industry and needed to know what clients expected.  Grey went on trial in the ACT Supreme Court…on 16 counts of rape, 10 charges of committing acts of indecency, and one of attempted rape.  He has pleaded not guilty…

Cooties (#827)

UK cops keep desperately trying to draw others into their “sex slave” fantasies:

…police in Bristol have urged anyone who is renting out part or all of their home using sites like Airbnb should make themselves aware of the signs that modern slavery or sexual exploitation could be taking place within their properties…the organised crime bosses who have traditionally run brothels have…realised that they are far less likely to be caught if they can rent a property for a week at a time and set up “pop-up brothels” in someone else’s home…

Counterfeit Comfort (#878)

It’s good to see so many challenges to these medieval laws:

A group of [people condemned to the] sex offender…[registry] in Georgia is suing the Butts County Sheriff’s office for [trespassing and vandalism.  Last year]…Sheriff Gary Long directed deputies to place “Warning! No Trick-or-Treat at this address!!” signs in the front yards of over 200 [people without their permission]…from Oct. 24-Nov. 2.  The sheriff’s office plans to use the same tactic again this year, and three [of the victims] have filed suit…“The law allows the sheriff to put a list of [the] sex offender…[registry] at his office, at the courthouse, on the internet,” [said] the lead attorney for the petitioners, Mark Yurachek…“It does not allow him to go door-to-door telling people you have a sex offender living next door to you…They’re coming onto their property [without permission] and putting the signs on there”…Long [bloviated] that regardless of the Judge’s ruling…he would do [whatever he felt like doing]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#944) 

They actually admit that part of the point is to normalize constant surveillance:

…the technology company Bark…offer[s] schools free, automated, 24-hour-a-day surveillance of what students…writ[e] in their school emails, shared documents and chat messages, and sending alerts to school officials any time the [algorithm] flag[s forbidden thoughts]…Before his school used Bark, [one] principal said, school officials would not know [every single detail of]…a student[‘s life]…unless one of their friends [tattled]…Bark and similar tech companies are now monitoring the emails and documents of millions of American students…[and it] doesn’t turn off when the school day is over: anything students type in official school email accounts, chats or documents is monitored 24 hours a day…Tech companies are also working with schools to monitor students’ web searches…internet usage…and…public social media accounts…Privacy experts [explain that] pervasive monitoring…hurt[s] children, and may be particularly dangerous for [those with trust issues]…but…proponents…[claim] monitoring in school [years] helps train students for constant surveillance after they graduate…

Believe Them (#952)

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time“:

At least 25 Illinois prison employees participated in online conversations that mocked, demeaned or disclosed personal and medical information about transgender inmates…in two private Facebook groups, each with more than 4,000 members.  The degrading posts were written by [screws of all pay grades and euphemistic titles]…from across the state.  Members…outed LGBT+ inmates and openly discussed private information about them…Many posts reference a then-incarcerated transgender woman, Strawberry Hampton, who was transferred to a women’s facility…The comments emerged amid a series of lawsuits…including a class-action claim brought by six transgender women…[including] Hampton…[for persistent and pervasive] abuse and mistreatment…

Between the Ears (#966)

Any internet-connected device can be used to spy on you:

…to my horror, a female voice that I don’t recognize starts talking to my 18-month-old son.  He looks around the room and then at the ceiling, wondering who’s there…The voice is laughing…she says we have a nice house and encourages the nanny to respond.  She does not.  The voice even jokes that she hopes we don’t change our password…After about five minutes…the voice starts to get agitated at the nanny’s lack of response and then snaps, in a very threatening voice: “I’m [magically] coming [through the camera] for the baby if you don’t answer me, bitch!”…We unplug the cameras and change all passwords…Still helpless, I started doing the only thing I could [think of] do[ing]…I typed “Nest + camera + hacked” and found out that this happens frequently.  Parent after parent relayed stories similar to mine — threatening to steal a baby is shockingly common — and some much worse, such as playing pornography over the microphone to a 3-year-old…

To Molest and Rape (#966)

Cops show you what they are every day; why don’t you believe them?

In 2017, Carroll, Iowa [cop] Jacob Smith [was]…force[d to resign] after [he molested several]…teenaged girls.  The Carroll Times Herald, published by the local Burns family since 1929, [published the news as they were supposed to], including a comment by Smith’s ex-wife accusing the [typical and representative] cop of being a “pedophile” and revealing that Smith’s previous employer, another Iowa police department, had [also] fired him for [molesting]…a teen girl.  Despite the fact that everything the Herald reported was true, Smith (who admitted [molesting teenage girls] “wasn’t right” and “looks like shit”) was still able to launch a ruinous libel suit in retaliation, thanks to Iowa’s failure to enact anti-SLAPP laws to prevent this kind of conduct.  The judge found [in favor of] the Herald…but they still ended up $140,000 in debt for the portion of the legal fees not covered by their insurer.  Now, the paper is on the brink of bankruptcy, and begging for money on Gofundme

Dangerous Speech (#968)

…history’s being rewritten to claim FOSTA took Backpage down, despite that not being the order in which things happened.  The biggest issue, though, is that taking down these sites makes it harder to fight sex trafficking — and the feds know it…Reason‘s Elizabeth Nolan Brown…discuss[es] documents she recently obtained in which federal investigators repeatedly acknowledge that Backpage helped them do their job, and wasn’t run by a bunch of criminals…”

Quiet Genocide

Just in case you weren’t horrified enough by China’s “re-education” camps for Uighurs:

[A Uighur woman who escaped China] explained:  “They came to my house at night, put a black sack on my head and brought me to a place that looked like a jail…my husband and children [had alreadyescaped]…to Kazakhstan…I…was ordered to teach Chinese to follow detainees”…Singing of propaganda songs and reciting slogans such as “I love China”, “Thank you to the Communist Party”…and “I love Xi Jingping” are mandatory…Anyone who didn’t follow the rules was punished…Ms Sauytbay…was beaten and deprived of food for two days after she was hugged by a woman who asked her for help…[cops routinely subject] pretty girls…to…gang rape….Ms Sauytbay…saw [other torture victims]…covered in blood and with fingernails removed…

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Let me out. It’s fucking dark in here.  –  the late Shay Bradley

There just aren’t many good Halloween videos any more, so I’m always happy when someone (in this case Kate D’Adamo) provides one.  The links above it were contributed by Franklin Harris, Grace, Tushy Galore, Mike Siegel, Tim Cushing, and Jesse Walker, in that order.

From the Archives

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I’ve always been dedicated to the idea of this as the time of year for spooky fun.  So every year I collect all the spooky, creepy or scary links and other content from the previous year into one place just before Halloween.  If you’ve come to my blog in the past year, or don’t remember previous editions, they are “Trick or Treat”, “More Trick or Treat“, “Tricks and Treats“, “This Trick’s a Treat”, “Tricky Treats“, and “A Trickle of Treats” (because I also love wordplay).  Horror, death or Halloween-themed columns of the past year include “Eros and Thanatos“, “Not Your Costume?“, “Its Own Reward“, “Frozen Smoke“, “The Science of Sin“, and the short story “Wheels“; there are creepy or spooky-fun videos in Links #433, #435, #445, and #447; and here’s a collection of spooky or Halloweeny links:

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You can say, “No sex without a condom”. You can say, “No sex until we’re married”.  But you can’t say, “No sex until you pay me”?…that…really undermines what consent means.  –  Katherine Sears

Bad Girls

I guess it runs in the family:

A judge found a[n Ohio] woman guilty of felony theft charges..[for] swindling an elderly war veteran out of tens of thousands of dollars before his death earlier this year.  Latasha Wisniewski, 38, used the false promise of romance to gain the trust of Charles Bauer, an 89-year-old Korean War veteran and widower, then looted much of his life’s savings in a matter of months to purchase botox injections, breast implants and butt implants…Wisniewski and her boyfriend, Daniel Scholz, are also charged with additional felony charges of misuse of credit cards in a separate case…Wisniewski’s conviction was based in part on the testimony of her aunt, 39-year-old Lisa Dotson…[who] was a home health aide charged in a separate case that accused her [of] stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly and disabled clients.  She pleaded guilty to charges in both cases in August and agreed to [snitch on] Wisniewski…

Check Your Premises 

How about “women who were forced to work as cashiers were watched over by security guards so that they didn’t escape”?

South American women who were forced to work as prostitutes were watched over by security guards so that they didn’t escape.  [Cops sexually fantasized that] the 22 women were available 24 hours a day…The[y]…apparently…[worked for] two months [before]…new women would be introduced…

The word for a security guard posted to keep potentially-unruly, possibly-drunk customers in line is “bouncer”.  Bouncers in sex work establishments (such as strip clubs & brothels) are there to protect the workers, not to keep them from “escaping”.

The More the Better

Anything that helps demystify sex work is a good thing:

…attorney…Katherine Sears…began working as a prostitute three years ago, at…a…Nevada…brothel…By speaking about her experience, Sears hopes to educate people on a taboo topic…her husband John…isn’t bothered by her part-time job…Katherine…works in the brothel for three weeks before coming home to Iowa for a week…“You’re really less likely to get an STD from a prostitute than you are from the general public,” Sears said.  In the past year, she has taken time off to focus on her law practice and her 4-month-old son.  But it hasn’t stopped her from trying to break down misconceptions around prostitution…and…is so passionate about the decriminalization of prostitution, she is willing to take prostitution cases on pro bono…

Thou Shalt Not

Crypto-moralism is back in the news again lately:

…Regular consumption of soft drinks — both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened — was associated with a greater risk of all causes of death, according to research…in JAMA Internal Medicine.  Participants who drank two or more glasses of soft drinks per day had a higher risk of mortality than those who consumed less than one glass per month…two or more glasses of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day was positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases.  For sugar-sweetened soft drinks, one or more glasses a day were associated with deaths from digestive diseases…researchers cautioned that elevated soft-drink consumption may be a marker for an overall unhealthy lifestyle.  “In our study, high soft drinks consumers had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were also more likely to be current tobacco smokers,” said the study’s chief researcher, Neil Murphy…

Given that 100% of humans die, it’s not possible for anything to lead to “a greater risk of all causes of death”.  Also, this is your reminder that “sugary” is a ’70s-era dysphemism for “sweet”, appearing at roughly the same time as “natural” became an advertising buzzword; note that while the article writer mostly used more objective language, the headline writer couldn’t resist the pejorative term.

Monsters 

This was the 17th murder of a trans person this year; the majority were black trans women:

…Bailey Reeves…A [17-year-old trans woman]…was shot and killed in Baltimore over Labor Day weekend…the…body was found by a 16-year-old who said they heard three gunshots and a girl screaming “My friend! Someone help my friend! Call 911!”…the victim was transported to a hospital where she died…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#699)

Canadians join Americans in filling kids’ heads with anti-sex propaganda:

An Ontario school board is reviewing a new curriculum that would [indoctrinate] Grade 7 and 8 students [in anti-]sex [worker propaganda]…TK Pritchard [dreamed up] the [propaganda, which includes the usual lies about how]…the average “age of entrance” to trafficking is between 12 and 14…[boyfriends are] “Romeo pimps”…love and trust of [anyone who isn’t an “authority” is bad, etc]…”Waterloo region is a hotbed for human trafficking,” said Pritchard [while stroking himself]…”a lot of curriculums [sic]…use [propaganda] from the States…our curriculum is made with Canadian [lies which are exactly the same]…Police say they [wish] more trafficking [were] happening [so they could use it as an]…intimidation tactic…[like US cops do]…

Checklist (#852) 

Though that word doesn’t appear in this story, ask yourself why a racist airline employee was interrogating passengers about a fantasized international criminal conspiracy:

…an Alaska Airlines employee [intentionally set off an alarm and] yelled “evacuate” at [Newark]…airport on Labor Day…sen[ding] 200 panicked people fleeing amid fears of a mass shooting attack…the…employee…[claimed] she believed two male passengers were acting suspiciously…Han Han Xue…was waiting…to board his delayed…flight home to San Francisco….[when] the…employee…[pushed] him from behind…then approached Chunyi Luo, a…student standing near him.  “Are you scared? Are you nervous?” Luo said she asked him.  Luo…said he told her he was feeling nervous because the flight was late…but she stood “too close” to him so he stepped a few feet away.  Then she began asking Xue questions.  She asked if he knew Luo (the two were strangers) and what his itinerary was.  She then asked, “Why are you acting suspiciously?”  Xue said he struggled to know how to respond as the questions…became more bizarre.  “How much are they paying you?…Did they give you a visa?  Did they give your family a visa?  Do you make a lot of money?  Do you work on Wall Street?  Are you on an American visa?”…Xue..a [Canadian] citizen [who] works as a product designer at Lyft…said…he felt like he was being racially targeted and harassed, so he…join[ed] the passengers boarding the flight, hoping she’d bother someone else.  But she followed him, saying, “I’m onto you guys. The cops are already called”…[she then] yelled, “Evacuate, evacuate!” and pressed an emergency alarm…Xue ran with the crowd to another gate and…Luo [did too because he] believed there was a shooter…

The employee didn’t dream up these rude, prying questions herself; they’re the type of questions the mandated “training program” urges employees to harass brown people with in order to “fight sex trafficking”.

Pyrrhic Victory (#964)

The fascist establishment thinks nobody should have any privacy, even in their own thoughts:

A new frontier in lie detection is now emerging…projects are using AI to combine multiple sources of evidence into a single measure for deception.  Machine learning is accelerating deception research by spotting previously unseen patterns in reams of data…The algorithms behind such tools are designed to improve continuously over time, and may ultimately end up basing their determinations of guilt and innocence on factors that even the humans who have programmed them don’t understand.  These tests are being trialled in job interviews, at border crossings and in police inter[rogations]…the frontline for much of the new government-funded lie detection technology has been the borders of the US and Europe…the Avatar unit has a microphone, an infra-red eye-tracking camera and an Xbox Kinect sensor to measure body movement…[the system displays a creep cartoon “agent” to distract and unsettle subjects and] uses an algorithm to combine all of these types of data…to send a verdict to a human border guard within 45 seconds, who can either wave the traveller through or pull them aside for additional screening…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#965) 

Will porn companies be the next to face the music for exploiting sex workers?

…nearly two dozen young women say that they responded to Craigslist ads seeking models and were then tricked into performing in internet pornography…producers behind a website called Girls Do Porn…were seeking women to make so-called amateur porn…Respondents…were directed to innocuous websites, with pictures of clothed women, that asked for their contact information and photographs.  Instead of being offered modeling jobs…they were offered roughly $5,000 to make pornography…[that] producers [claimed]…would be distributed only on DVD outside of the United States and would never be published online…[instead] the videos [were published] online, on Girls Do Porn…[and] also distributed to major sites, like Pornhub.  Shortly after the videos were posted, the women’s names and identifying information popped up on a [now-defunct] site called PornWikileaks, which [doxxes] people who have done porn…The women are seeking $22 million in damages…[and] their videos removed from the website…

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This is how the United States of America, the mightiest and richest nation there is or ever has been, treats incarcerated people.  –  Ken White

Torture Chamber 

Ken White on the inhuman abominations that the US calls “correction”:

Jeffrey Epstein’s name and face are everywhere following his death…Americans who believe in their justice system assert that it is obvious that he was murdered, and that jailers could not possibly be so incompetent, cruel, or indifferent as to let such a high-profile prisoner commit suicide.  Here, to help you evaluate that claim, are 32 short stories about in-custody deaths or near-deaths in America…

Regular readers know these stories are nauseating, but you really need to read them all. Every last one.

Uncommon Sense (#435)

The correct term is “tippelzone”, not “sex booth” or some other snickering adolescent coinage:

The mayor of [Berlin]…is proposing “Verichtungsboxen”…at Tempelhof Airport.  His proposal for the establishment of the sex booths…came as part of a discussion about street prostitution in his district and how to improve the safety of Berlin’s sex workers…

Across the Pond (#757)

UK cops are increasingly using the jolly, kumbaya word “team” to mean “vice squad”:

More than 200 letters have been delivered to residents [near a stroll] in…Nottingham…to [intimidate] residents…in[to informing on their neighbors]…the…letters were hand delivered to [make the]…int[imidation feal more real]…Since 2004, Nottinghamshire Police’s Prostitution Task Force has been working to find ways of [pretending that harassing and stigmatizing] sex workers [is] get[ting] the[m] help…whilst gradually removing the[ir income.  The cops bizarrely imagine harassing people and choking off their income will]…break down the barrier between sex workers and the police…

Soap Opera (#809)

Magical stickers, secret-squirrel codes…this is like a bad episode of Get Smart!

An Iowa newspaper employee recently {claimed to have] helped save a[n unnamed] woman trapped in a sex trafficking ring…after she flagged the delivery driver down on the side of the road…a 25-year-old East Dubuque Woman was arrested and charged with pimping….[a Cedar Rapids, Iowa] Bar…[posted a] sign in the woman’s restroom [reading]…”are you in an uncomfortable situation, do you need our help?”…[and] lists a code word drink…that customers can order to alert the bartender they’re in need of help… Teresa Davidson…of Chains Interrupted [wants] more …stickers that read “Are you safe” in bathrooms across the state….The organization is also working to [indoctrinate] convenience store employees…

Pyrrhic Victory (#931)

As I’ve repeatedly stated, it is far too late to put this evil djinni back into its bottle:

…Beijing has gone to [great lengths to] identify and control Uighurs…Within Kashgar…residents must line up to…swipe [ID cards] at each checkpoint….[and] expose their faces to [omnipresent]…facial recognition…[cops] need neither probable cause nor a warrant to detain Uighurs and check their phones for the surveillance software that they’re legally required to install….”re-education” camp[s imprison]…hundreds of thousands, or even millions of Muslims…[now] Ecuador is using a “national emergency response and video surveillance system built entirely by Chinese companies and financed by Chinese state loans”…As this technology improves and gets cheaper, it will likely become affordable to every two-bit dictator on Earth…

Disaster (#935)

The sweet smell of schadenfreude:

Verizon is set to sell the social network Tumblr to Automattic Inc, the owner of online publishing tool WordPress.  A source familiar with the deal puts the price-tag…below $10 million…Tumblr…was…considered a major player in the social media space.[when it]…was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, before moving under Verizon’s umbrella through the carrier’s acquisition of Yahoo in 2017.  [But] Verizon…[intentionally destroyed the network by ill-considered censorship]…last year.  Automattic’s Chief Executive Matt Mullenweg told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to maintain the ban [so as to use the dying site as a tax write-off]…

Where Are the Victims? (#945)

Despite their pious posturing to the contrary, this is exactly the outcome prohibitionists wanted:

Fianna Fáil has called for an anti-prostitution law to be reviewed, because of the consequences it has on sex workers who live together.  The main opposition party has suggested that it would be open to considering decriminalising sex workers who live together.  The majority of Irish political parties want the government to review and possibly scrap a law which punishes sex workers who live together under a harsher “brothel keeping” offence which was brought in two yeas ago…It follows a high profile case earlier this summer where two migrant sex workers were both jailed for nine months after they were prosecuted for brothel keeping.  One of the women was pregnant when she was jailed…Sex worker advocates had warned at the time that most of the people who were being prosecuted for brothel-keeping were independent sex workers…B[u]t…Fianna Fáil had voted down the amendment…now…it wants the law to be reviewed, after…the “[wholly]…intended consequences” [became public]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#956)

More on Amazon’s campaign to end privacy forever:

Amazon Web Services…has rolled out more terrifying features for its cloud-based facial recognition system—including, it claims, the ability to detect fear…Emotion recognition is a facial analysis technique that…works by training a machine learning system to look for certain features on a detected face which indicate emotional content…Amazon has updated the range of detectable emotions for Rekognition’s face analysis to include “fear,” adding to a list of seven other emotional states: “Happy”, “Sad”, “Angry”, “Surprised”, “Disgusted”, “Calm”, and “Confused”…the efficacy of emotion recognition is in dispute…[but used by] government agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement…and Customs and Border Patrol…

Between the Lines (#962)

Liz Brown tries to assess the damage from the rebranded “Operation Cross Country” pogroms:

…The FBI no longer reports the number of adult sex workers whom these initiatives claim as collateral…However, local news and law enforcement agencies often do..in Alabama, 49 “sex workers and their facilitators” were arrested around the Birmingham area…[and] 14 [in Homewood]……Northern Ohio [arrested nine] women…Pennsylvania [two]…Mississippi [five]…In South Carolina [five]…In…Florida [three]…In the San Diego area, six…Louisiana…25…in Shreveport…and…seven…in Baton Rouge…Police have portrayed the 4-year-old [abducted from one of their victims] as being rescued from “human traffickers”…

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Some creatures…survive by migrating vast and hazardous distances…more recent discoveries hint at a different migratory mode: through time.  –  Daniel Ackerman

This brilliant re-imagining of The Simpsons intro as a Russian art film was provided by Furrygirl, and the links above it by Dave Krueger, Jesse Walker, Franklin Harris, Tushy Galore, Clarissa, and Scott Shackford, in that order.

From the Archives

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If you’ve been following me for a while, you may have noticed I don’t actually tour the way many escorts do; I just don’t like traveling to strange cities and sitting around in hotels hoping for business.  So unless you’re willing to spring for a long enough session to justify a special trip (at least as long as round-trip travel time, which basically means an overnight for much of the US), you would generally have to wait until you’re coming to Seattle or I’m coming to your city.  Well, in a few weeks there will be a situation kind of midway between “special trip” and “I’ll happen to be there”; I’m giving a presentation at Minnesota State in Mankato on April 29th (4 PM in the Ostrander Auditorium in the Centennial Student Union), then speaking at the Libertarian Party of Illinois convention on May 4th (Parke Regency Hotel in Bloomington).  That means that from April 30th to May 3rd I’ll be in the area between those two points with a rental car, so if you’re in Minneapolis, Chicago, or some place between, I’d be willing to see you if you book a dinner date on the 30th, 1st or 2nd.  If you’re in Chicagoland, I’ll have shorter apointments available on the 3rd.  Obviously I’m not going to bounce around like a pinball, but if you’re flexible and have the means & desire we can talk about a visit.  Don’t wait, though; I’ll be building my schedule as I get appointments, and as the schedule fills in I’ll have less flexibility.  Better still:  I’m willing to give you a special price if you’re willing to pay in advance.  And if you’re in Washington DC or southern Florida, keep your eyes peeled for similar specials in the next few months!  Of course, you don’t have to wait; I’m willing to make special travel deals for anyone who supports my documentary, and if you’re interested I’m just an email away.

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