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Posts Tagged ‘language’

This is political prosecution with no evidence.  –  Cliff Yi

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality

A review of what looks like a decent book on the reality of sex work in China:

…sex is for sale everywhere in China and deeply embedded in the culture, allowing migrant women to earn a living in large cities and provide companionship to men left alone by unfavourable demographics…Eileen Yuk-ha Tsang explores these aspects of China’s sex industry and more in her new book China’s Commercial Sexscapes. She takes an in-depth look at prostitution in Dongguan…one of China’s sex industry hotspots…Tsang, an associate professor in the department of social and behavioural sciences at the City University of Hong Kong, worked at a bar for several months to gain the trust of sex workers, and her sources eventually open up with stories which are vivid with humanity…Tsang details how sex workers from rural areas see their lives in big cities as modern and sophisticated, and they take pride in being able to support their families living in other provinces such as Sichuan, Guangdong, and Hunan…many find sex work preferable to their former jobs in factories, where they would work 30 days a month, 12 hours a day, in mind-numbing and harsh environments for around 1,600 yuan a month.  In the sex industry, they can earn from five to 50 times that amount, working perhaps three or four days a week.  Tsang also discusses the foreign men who hire Chinese sex workers.  [Unsurprisingly], more than a few end up marrying the women and move them to their home countries…

The Missing Word

They’re bending over backwards to avoid that word:

Maricopa County Assessor Paul D. Petersen has been indicted in an adoption fraud scheme…in addition to being County Assessor for Maricopa County, Petersen is also an adoption lawyer…none of the women who gave birth did anything illegal, and none of the families that adopted children are accused of any crimes…Petersen and [his accomplice Lynwood] Jennet facilitated travel for pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to come to Arizona for the purpose of giving a child up for adoption…Petersen [has been charged] with 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of a child, and communications fraud…Authorities say they were first alerted to the scheme by concerned hospital workers who called a human trafficking tip line…

Bread and Circuses 

So will Newsweek next tell us that some politicians want a $15 minimum hourly “rental” fee, or that some big company has “rented” a new CEO?

A website that allowed…folks to review, rent and…message…escorts has been [stolen] by federal authorities.  Now, those who frequent[ed] IndependentGirls.com [will] look elsewhere…The website…wasn’t just geared for those wishing to buy, rent or even casually view women, but it was also a way for escort agencies to advertise themselves and their clients…

“Buy women”.  Yes, this is an actual supposed adult who apparently believes that it’s possible to purchase slaves on an ordinary review board.  And a supposedly-serious news outlet actually printed that.

If It Were Legal (#560)

While stigma and criminalization exist, this will keep happening:

The account details of the 250 thousand users of Dutch website Hookers.nl…we[re hacked and the]…hacker…is offering [the data] for sale…The website is popular among [both] clients [and] sex workers…The leaked data includes email addresses, user names, IP addresses and passwords.  The passwords are encrypted, but the email addresses are legible…[and some government] names are in the email address used to open an account.  The hacker is offering to sell the data for 300 dollars to any individual who wishes to purchase it…

Dutch Threat (#578)

Dutch authorities keep pretending their ever-narrower bottleneck is intended to help sex workers:

The [Dutch] government is taking extra measures to fight…the sex industry.  Sex workers will soon be required to have a permit to do their job, and the minimum age for sex work will be raised from 18 to 21…the government wants to bring “uniformity” to the rules around sex work in the Netherlands.  Currently…the minimum age varies per municipality, with some maintaining a minimum age of 18 and other 21…The articles that criminalize human trafficking and exploitation in prostitution will be expanded to include the persons “involved” with sex workers who get “financial benefit”.  It will make it illegal to [be a roommate, partner, landlord, etc] of a sex worker that doesn’t have a permit…People within the sex industry have warned that the[se stupid laws] will lead to sex workers going underground and working illegally [as such laws invariably do]…

The Cop Myth

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. How many more don’t admit it?

…In the nineteen-nineties, researchers found that forty-one per cent of male [cops]…admitted that, in the previous year, they’d been physically aggressive toward their spouses, and nearly ten per cent acknowledged choking, strangling, or using—or threatening to use—a knife or a gun.  But there are…no [more recent] empirical studies…[due to] reluctance to fund a study that will bring attention to [the violence intrinsic in policing]…the factors that lead to abuse at home—coercion, authoritarianism, a sense of entitlement to violence—are also present in [public cop behavior]…It should not be surprising that domestic abuse appears to predict excessive use of force—a link that scholars have suggested should [but won’t] alter the way that departments respond to both kinds of aggression.  The Citizens Police Data Project, in Chicago, analyzed the records of Chicago cops between 2000 and 2016 and found that [cops who commit]…domestic abuse received fifty per cent more complaints than their colleagues for using excessive force…one in five [cops actually] arrested for domestic violence…had also been the subject of a federal lawsuit for violating people’s civil rights…

Cooties (#816)

AirBnB “sex trafficking” fantasies are going global:

At the end of September, Airbnb unveiled a new special portal through which [pigs] can [demand private] information about users…The company [snivelled that] the portal will provide [pigs] with a dedicated channel they can use to [root through things that really are none of their business]…short-term rental properties such as those offered via Airbnb…have [long been the subject of cop masturbatory fantasies about]…human trafficking and prostitution…in…so-called “pop-up brothels”…[blah blah]…pimps and gangs…[blah blah] law enforcement agencies…

Even before one reads the article, the word “illicit” is a red flag for puritanical authoritarianism.

Torture Chamber (#950)

Just locking hundreds of women in secret dungeons and denyng them lawyers; nothing to see here:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement moved more than 700 women, some of whom have critical medical conditions, out of a Texas detention center in September without giving their lawyers any way of finding them…Starting on Sept. 20, the women being held at the Karnes County Residential Center were sent to other centers around the country so that the facility could be used to detain families.  More than two weeks later, their lawyers from the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) have no idea where the majority of these women are being held, and they can’t find any updated information in ICE’s online detainee tracking system…

A Procrustean Bed (#958) 

These programs to warp women’s minds and indoctrinate them in anti-sex dogma are very popular in Ohio:

A [so-called] diversion program for [sex workers] is spreading to cities around the country. The model has roots in Columbus, Ohio, where a judge decided to [force] women [in]to…[“conversion therapy”] instead of jail…Judge Paul Herbert…[like most modern authoritarians, infantilizes sex workers] as victims of human trafficking…At the start, CATCH was one of only a few such programs in the country.  There are now seven of these [re-education programs]…in Ohio alone…[victims of this system are] subject to drug testing and must show up in court every week for two years [making both normal life and square jobs impossible.  It’s no wonder that fewer]…than 1 in 4 of the women [forced into the scheme] make it to [the end]…

Loose Cannons (#967)

I’m pleased to see yet another big article on the Robert Kraft raids recognizing what a huge scam the whole thing was:

On July 6, 2018, a health inspector named Karen Herzog visited a massage parlor in South Florida for a routine inspection.  She noticed that the spa worker, a young Asian woman, was “dressed provocatively,” spoke “little English,” and appeared “nervous.”  Herzog also noted suitcases, clothes, a fridge full of food, and condoms, all of which, according to the [racist indocrination] she had received, could be signs of human trafficking.  She reported her findings to the Martin County sheriff’s office…[which] launched a…[snoop campaign] into what [they thought they could sell to the media]…as a large-scale prostitution ring engaged in human trafficking…

The “sex trafficking” hysteria is finally dying; unfortunately, the laws it spawned will continue to be used to destroy thousands of lives and eviscerate the internet.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#971) 

Is there anything the government won’t call “sex trafficking”?

…the U.S. attorney’s office of San Diego charged the owners and one employee of the adult website Girls Do Porn with four counts of sex trafficking…[in] August…another case against the company—a class-action lawsuit representing 22 Jane Does—went to trial after years of hearings, discovery, and strategic delays from the defendants.  The trial was initially planned for February…but delayed for six months when the company’s owner, New Zealand native Michael Pratt, filed for bankruptcy.  “As soon as I bankrupt the business,” Pratt wrote in texts later submitted as evidence, “they are fucked”…The company…conned the plaintiffs and several hundred other young, low-income girls into porn by making false promises that their scenes would not go online.  They claimed the tapes would sell only to private collectors abroad…

This is clearly criminal fraud, but it doesn’t help anyone for the government to roll it into the inflated “sex trafficking” numbers it uses to justify police violence, grotesque violations of civil liberties, and mass censorship.

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Everything cool gets co-opted, and whores have always been the coolest people in the room.  –  Jacq the Stripper

Life Imitates Artifice

It was inevitable that a real pimp would eventually ape prohibitionist wanking fantasies:

A convicted [armed robber] from Detroit faces new charges for allegedly running a prostitution ring that required the prostitutes — one underage — to brand themselves with his name.  Tory Michael Anderson was [also] charged…[with] possession…of child pornography….one [woman] had his first name…tattooed on her neck while  a second…had [it]…on her forehead.  A third woman, only 17, had [it]…tattooed on the side of her face…

The origin of the “branding” myth is the common and very old practice of people getting the names of romantic partners tattooed on their bodies; since prohibitionists deny that most actual pimps really are a kind of partner, they had to characterize this practice as somehow different, leading to the embellishment that the “brand” is tattooed on the face, lip, eyelid, etc.  Presumably this dude heard the tales and assumed that’s how he should behave to be a “real pimp”.

They Still Don’t Get It

I wonder if they realize what they’re admitting here?

The Stanislaus County [California] Sheriff’s Office conducted a sting Sept. 20 that resulted in the arrest of 12 men and several [women the pigs labeled] potential human trafficking victims.  Although the sheriff’s office called it a human trafficking sting in their press release, [spokespig] Joshua Clayton said that the operation was better described as a prostitution sting…[because the terms] prostitution and human trafficking…are…used interchangeably…Paul Durenberger, deputy district attorney for Sacramento County, [fantasized] that…human trafficking could not exist without prostitution and vice versa…

Watershed

We’re way past the watershed now:

Since the passage of FOSTA…conversations about sex workers’ rights and decriminalization have entered into mainstream consciousness…Sex work is becoming more than just acceptable—the rising popularity of sex worker-inspired fashion, aesthetics, and philosophy among millennial women, including those who aren’t sex workers themselves, is sparking a complex dialogue…Like “lesbian chic” in the ’90s, some non-sex working millennial women are adopting sex work as an edgy aesthetic, because being a sex worker—or rather, looking like one—is cool…

For Love

One of Dan Savage’s readers demonstrates why it’s a bad idea to quit sex work for “love”:

…A few months in, I…made the amateur mistake of moving him from customer to boyfriend.  Things went well for a bit but he progressively got less generous. (This is common, I’ve since heard.)  Six months after we met he bought me a car and considered any financial obligations to me “complete”.  We had a discussion about how I was going to get a “regular” job and be in a monogamous relationship with him.  The only problem was, no regular job was enough to support my family.  I struggled and hinted that I needed some help, but he [gave none, so]…I reached out to a former client and he happily started paying me for regular visits again…My boyfriend found out…and insisted I “dump” [my good client]…And I was so dumb and in love that I did…until my older kid needed braces and my younger kid needed glasses and my bills were out of control…[while] my boyfriend was making six figures…After months of going back and forth, he dumped me for good and took back his car…

A Moral Cancer (#583)

Nutritionists aren’t “scientists”, because nutritionism is pseudoscience:

[Busybody bureaucrats] for years have urged Americans to limit consumption of red meat and processed meats because of [crypto-moralism]…but…an international collaboration of researchers produced a series of analyses concluding that the advice…is not…scientific…If there are health benefits from eating less beef and pork, they are…so faint that they can be discerned only when looking at large populations…and are not sufficient to tell individuals to change their meat-eating habits…Already they have been met with fierce criticism by [nutritionists]…

That last line is equivalent to saying that a report in an astronomical journal was “met with fierce criticism by astrologers”.

Full of Themselves (#831)

Alabama’s “licensed massage therapists” want to be as pompous as California’s:

Massage therapies are a common front for human trafficking, but in Alabama the Massage Therapy Board is very active in fighting back.  “We are probably one of the very few states out of the fifty that have the authority to go and inspect an establishment…So we are pretty much the lead in the nation when it comes to dealing with these kinds of complaints.”  Those fighting traffickers know the best way to stop the process is to take away their means of carrying out their practice…Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office came up with a new law that is designed to fight traffickers…“It’s not too far akin to [sic] what we see in the fortitude [sic] side for criminal cases,” he said…

Presumably, “asset fortitude” is something like the “poignant” smell of marijuana.

Disaster (#873)

The predictable result of non-binding “policies” that leave oppressive laws in place:

Seattle police…this summer returned to routinely arresting and booking sex workers on Aurora Avenue in North Seattle.  While the city has publicly and p[ompous]ly pursued the “demand” side of the sex trade — [except for Asian sex workers, whom they have continued to persecute using racist “sex trafficking” tropes] — the City Attorney’s Office and the Seattle Police Department since 2012 have mostly shied away from [formally] booking [native-born] sex workers themselves, [forc]ing them instead [in]to [useless “diversion” programs that make bourgeois white Seattlites feel good]…But in the face of a sharp spike in the amount of street-based sex work [due to clownish government interference in sex workers’ advertising venues]…and [the discontinuance of payoffs from Swanee Hunt’s “Demand Abolition” scam]…the Seattle Police Department began [persecuting street workers again despite repeated assurances from “officials” that they wouldn’t]…Since July, SPD has made about 120 arrests via sting operations, said [boss pig Mike] Edwards…

The rest is the usual “crime” and “doing something” bullshit and propaganda about the worse-than-useless LEAD “conversion therapy” program.

To Molest and Rape (#890)

Prince George’s County, Maryland is known for rapist cops; this may give you some inkling why:

…Ian G Lucas from the Prince George’s County Police Department and an unnamed [cop] from…Washington DC…[repeatedly] target[ed] transgender [sex workers] and threaten to to [cage] them…unless they [sucked the pig’s dicks]…One woman went to DC’s FOX station with her story, providing…video proof…Multiple women [then] testified in front a grand jury…after being granted immunity.  But…both police forces and the federal prosecutor…shrugged their shoulders…Lucas was [rewarded for the rapes with a paid vacation and given a plea bargain for “solicitation of a prostitute” which wil]…be withdrawn after six months [when] he completes 48 hours of community service.  The charges w[ill] be dismissed [and he will be immunized from further prosecution] and…not be required to register as a sex offender…

All-Purpose Excuse (#923)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

The Trump administration abruptly delayed a $13.5 million grant to house human trafficking victims just five days after saying that “non-citizens” could be served by the program.  The program’s funds, which were approved two years ago by multiple federal agencies, are now in limbo with no indication when money will be distributed…The grants were to be dispersed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, in collaboration with the Department of Justice and Health and Human Services…On September 4, the funding announcement was updated to “allow recipients [of the funds] to serve non-citizens,” including lawful permanent residents and foreign national victims…Five days later, the grant solicitation was cancelled…DOJ has…asked for the funds back from HUD and…will now run the program itself…

Negative Secondary Effects (#933)

UK judge says only “good” women should be protected by anti-“revenge porn” laws:

Nine strip club performers in the United Kingdom are fighting to stop the publication of an undercover video shot by Not Buying It, a self-described “feminist” anti-sex work organization.  The performers argue that the footage, shot by hired [ex-pigs]…“could infringe their human right to…priva[cy]”…Already, this seems to be proving true…A judge ruled that, against the performers’ wishes, their names will be revealed in court records.  These women…will…be outed as sex workers…because a feminist organization is ostensibly concerned, as the Guardian puts it, “about the exploitation of women.”  Guess it’s OK when self-described feminists are the ones doing the exploiting…

Safe Targets (#953)

Please tell us more about how legalization “protects” sex workers:

A [Singaporean mired in gambling debts named]…Tan Shi Feng…targetted [a] sex worker [for robbery by impersonating a cop], believing that the victim would not report to the police as she…provided [what the state idiotically labels] illegal sexual services…Tan [and two confederates tricked their way into their victim’s flat]…by pretending [Tan was] a genuine customer…They [stole]…$15,000 in cash and an Apple iPhone worth $600 from [her]…

No, he didn’t “cheat” her; he robbed her.  Armed robbery, to be precise, backed up by the threat of state violence.

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We’re not going to sit around and wait to be prosecuted before we fight this law.  –  Skye Wheeler

Real People 

Even shitty and somewhat exploitative sex work doesn’t really resemble prohibitionist fantasies:

Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss’ poignant documentary Lovemobil observes the Nigerian Rita and the Bulgarian Milena as they perform sex work in caravans (trailers) along a German country road.  The young women have escaped difficult economic circumstances in their home countries and are looking to earn money; they feel obligated to send Euros back to their families…they work for Uschi, a tough older woman who keeps them in line and advises them about pricing their services, but also appears to care for them, even as she chides Rita for trying to cheat her out of payments…Lovemobil deliberately keeps the sex acts off camera to focus on the larger issues of globalization, feminism and economic inequality that are part of this fascinating subculture of sex work…

Where Are the Victims?

Note the bizarre, stilted language used to describe a very ordinary-sounding escort service:

Jessica Nesbitt [of Chicago was]…charged with [various pompously-named]…prostitution [“crimes”]…for…own[ing] and operat[ing] a company called Kink Extraordinaires, which employed several individuals who engaged in prostitution…Nesbitt advertised prostitution services on multiple websites…and…also emailed her clients invitations to paid sex and fetish parties…In addition to activity in Chicago, Nesbitt arranged for herself and her employees to perform acts of prostitution in California, Washington, D.C., Florida, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin…

Dirty Laundry (#452)

At least this judge gave the stolen money to someone other than Ruhama:

Money [stolen] by Laois gardai from [two sex workers was]…donated to two local charities by the court…the two [sensibly fled] and have not returned…Judge Catherine Staines directed that €3,410 got to the Laois Domestic Abuse Service, and around €1300 go to the Garda Youth Diversion Projects…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical, representative cop:

A Miami-Dade [screw]…has been charged with raping a woman he was supposed to be supervising while she was on house arrest.  Yulian Gonzalez…paid regular visits to the alleged victim’s home during the course of his work as a case manager…Gonzalez threatened to issue a violation of her house arrest and send her back to jail if she did not [submit to rape]…Gonzalez rented a room at the Nexx Motel…and drove the woman there in his [pigmobile]…so as not to set off any alarms, Gonzalez tampered with the woman’s ankle monitor…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#754) 

I love seeing prohibitionists hoist with their own petard:

report compiled by the Department of Justice has revealed that the [Swedish model]…in Northern Ireland is not fit for purpose…“This report…shows that there has not been a decrease in demand for sex work since the introduction of client criminalisation…in 2015,” [said] Kate McGrew…”Instead, we have seen an increase in sex trafficking by 26%…In the north, it led to massive increase in advertising (on one site alone over 1700 new ads) and demand (in one jurisdiction by 134%) and a 200% increase threatening behaviour in clients.  In the south, it led to an increase in violent crime against sex workers by 92%“…

Once the government started defining all third parties as “sex traffickers” and then passed a law whose natural consequence would be increased reliance on such parties, naturally “sex trafficking” by their definition increased.  And since prohibitionists pretended the intent of their anti-whore law was to “fight sex trafficking”, they now have no choice but to admit the law was a “failure”.  Oops.

Little Boxes (#792)

A federal court finally recognizes what should’ve been obvious years ago:

Fort Collins, Colorado, decided not to continue its challenge to a federal court’s decision that a ban on going topless in the city amounts to unconstitutional discrimination…The city decided not to appeal the decision…after [wast]ing hundreds of thousands of [public] dollars on the legal battle already…[this] effectively legalizes [female toplessness] in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit court…Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming…

Given that the 7th Circuit ruled exactly the opposite two years ago (see subtitle link), a SCOTUS showdown is now inevitable.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

This is much worse than the typical government propaganda such as “DARE”:

…the FBI is launching its #StopSextortion [propaganda] campaign to [convince parents] and schools [that teenage sexting is a]…growing problem [called] sextortion…[affecting] kids…as young as seven or eight…The [FBI wants parents to believe that peer “sexting” is actually the product of an adult] extortionist [who] finds children and teens on social media [to]…convince…to send a naked photo—and…the[n]…telling the child that he will send the photo to friends and family or post online…the extortionist continues to threaten while escalating demands, which can include…sex acts…

The FBI is intentionally representing a rare crime as the norm so as to give the federal government power over teen sexting.  If you thought FOSTA and the drug war were great, you’re going to love the “war on sextortion”.

Disaster (#935)

News about the FOSTA challenge:

Human Rights Watch and four other plaintiffs…present[ed] arguments on September 20 against the dismissal of their challenge to a…law that imposes criminal liability for online speech about sex work…FOSTA…’s language is [so] broad and vague, it could prevent sex workers and others from writing about sex work and posting about critically important health and safety issues, and it would restrict organisations like Human Rights Watch from effectively reporting on and advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work…FOSTA has [already] endangered [sex workers because]…websites that made it easier for sex workers to screen clients and to sell sex in safer locations have stopped sex workers from posting.  The co-plaintiffs in the case with Human Rights Watch are the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the Internet Archive, and individuals Alex Andrews and Eric Koszyk.  The lower court [incorrectly] dismissed the case [a year ago]…without addressing the substantive claims, on the [pretense] that plaintiffs faced no imminent risk of prosecution…[but] in cases involving free expression, the appropriate lens is whether speech will be unconstitutionally burdened or chilled…

A Moral Cancer (#972)

Authoritarian idiots respond to deaths from a black market product by dramatically expanding the black market:

Walmart said…that it would stop selling e-cigarettes at its stores in the United States, dealing a new blow to the vaping industry as [hysteria] mount[s] over the health risks of [black market] products [which have nothing to do with the banned e-cigarettes]…The decision…comes amid a [dumpster fire full] of new [moral panic] about the potential health risks of [black market THC cartridges] that has [inspired prohibitionists to]…increas[e the danger by banning completely different currently-legal] products…

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The time has come to reject the canard of marijuana emanating from nearly every vehicle subject to a traffic stop.  –  Judge April Newbauer

Just a few hours after my last Links column posted, we learned of the death of Ric Ocasek (formerly of The Cars); this was my favorite of their videos, and one of my favorites of their songs.  The links above it were provided by Tim Cushing, Jillian Keenan, Scott Greenfield, Dave Krueger, Popehat, and Tim Cushing again, in that order.

From the Archives

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Sex workers…have the most deeply honed knowledge and practice of ethical principles…of any profession.  –  Pamela Gawler-Wright

So Close and Yet So Far

I support sex workers, just not those dirty whores“:

…Nikeisah Newton…started a food delivery service named Meals 4 Heels catering for [sic] strippers, bouncers and dominatrixes in need of a home-cooked supper late at night…in Portland [Oregon]…”I have so many friends who are bouncers and dominatrixes, sex workers and dancers.  Sex work is stigmatised and looked down upon and demonised”…

Apparently, it’s OK to ignore escorts while pretending that bouncers are sex workers (which they obviously aren’t).  And lest you feel inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt by assuming she only caters to strip clubs, I must point out that dommes don’t work in them.

Paint By Numbers

Have you noticed we don’t see as many dumb “anti-trafficking” stunts as we used to?

The [Los Angeles] Angels [baseball]…team held their annual event to [disseminate harmful propaganda] about…sex [workers]…First baseman …Albert Pujols and his wife Deidre kicked off [sic] their third annual “Strike Out Slavery”…evening…to bring [cops and rescue industry promoters] together [with gullible] people…The Pujols’ [sic] are hoping to eventually expand the “Strike Out” program to all 30 Major League stadiums…

Maybe they’re trying to head off “sex trafficking” fetishists extending the “Super Bowl sex trafficking” idiocy to the World Series.

Rotting Fruit

When moral panic and yellow journalism intersect, the result is lurid fantasy without limit:

A woman who said she was repeatedly raped by Jeffrey Epstein desperately tried to swim through shark-infested waters to escape his clutches…Sarah Ransome said she was so determined to escape Little St. James…she was willing to gamble her life in the Caribbean waters…Ransome [said she] jump[ed] on a quad bike to flee…but…was spotted on surveillance cameras…and was quickly stopped by…staff…Ransome went on to become one of the key accusers who helped expose Epstein’s depravity…eventually settling [a lawsuit] with [him] in 2018 over her accusations that he kept her as a sex slave…

The way that thoughts about swimming became “desperately tried to swim through shark-infested waters to escape his clutches” is a good example of how actual events are inflated into torture porn.

Doubling Down

Another explosion of mathematically-imbecilic prohibitionist vomit from “One Hand” Kristof:

…the problem isn’t one tycoon but many tens of thousands of men [including Kristof] who pay for sex with underage girls across the country.  And society as a whole reacts with the same indifference that the authorities showed in the Epstein scandal…If we want to channel our outrage at the Epstein case in a productive way, we could: A) ramp up prosecution of [sex workers’ friends, family and support networks]; B) p[er]secute [clients so as to throttle sex workers’ income]; C) [infantilize sex workers by defining them as “victims” no matter what they say about their own lives]; and D) [dump more money into violent policing and]…predator[y “rescue” organization]s…some 40 million people are effectively locked into modern forms of slavery, according to the Global Slavery Index…In the United States, no one knows exactly how many children are sold for sex, but estimates have run [up to]…100,000 in any given year…

I reckon Kristof feels it’s been long enough since his enabling of a massive “rescue” scam was exposed to safely begin profiting from “sex trafficking” hysteria again.  If you’re unable to recognize just how absurd Kristof’s claims are, please click on the embedded links, especially that last one.

All-Purpose Excuse (#608)

If the government has its way, phone privacy will soon be gone completely:

…Israeli cybersecurity company Cellebrite is courting new scrutiny after signing on to a new agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to help the organization hack more phones…Cellebrite’s equipment…is able to bypass security settings and access data on locked smartphones…the agreement is worth between $30 and $35 million, a huge step from the previous $2.2 million contract between the two entities…border agents have, without warrants, been searching the phones of travelers — including U.S. citizens —through U.S. borders, something that …violates the constitution…U.S. Customs and Border Protection searched more than 30,000 devices in 2017…

The Real World

Anti-whore stigma also harms sex workers who want to become therapists:

Sex work and therapy, or transitioning from one to the other, appears to be a well-trodden path…It’s not hard to understand why.  The professions have transferable skills – active listening, empathy – and since the cost of therapy training runs so high (around £20,000, often more) with very few funding options available, sex work is one option for those who would otherwise find themselves financially excluded.  While barring sex workers from therapy training is not usually explicit in policy, social stigma and institutionalised discrimination are still felt hard by those attempting to break into the field…

The War Goes On (#867) 

The government has announced its new post-Backpage bogeymen:

…U.S. [pigs and spooks from] the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice are looking into whether [they can use “sex trafficking” fantasies to loot and destroy] three websites that make money off of escort ads and user-generated prostitution reviews …Rubmaps.ch…EroticMonkey.ch…and…Eros.com…[have] ties to David Azzato, a Swiss businessman convicted in France in 2011 for running a network of escort sites…the three sites in question were among those that most benefited from Backpage’s removal…while Azzato has denied any current connection to the sites…the [government apparently plans to make him the fall guy]…

I’ve been saying that Rubmaps would be the next prohibitionist bogeyman for over a year and a half now, and Eros’ US call center was raided by the feds two years ago and they’ve been frantically trying to cover their collective arse ever since.  As for Erotic Monkey, it appears to have started as a scraper site, stealing ads from other sites in order to trick escorts into paying for more ads; it also features reviews, mostly apparently falsified, and appears to be owned by the current owner of Eros (whether that’s Azzato or someone else).  My advice?  It’s time to move to Slixa, Tryst and Have We Met?

Business As Usual (#905)

Ohio moves to punish sex workers for outing rapist cops:

A three-day [pig deception scheme persecuted] 104 people [for desiring consensual sex with other adults]…“Here’s the message: [let cops rape you like good girls and we’ll leave you alone],” said Dave Yost, the attorney general.  The [vengeance] effort focused on [the Columbus] Ohio area]…“In ten minutes, I can [rape] a victim, go on the internet, [download copies of her ad as “evidence”] and then [get away with it],” said [vice pig] Mark Rapp…43 women[‘s lives were ruined before forcing them into a state “re-education” scheme]…

Think of the Children! (#967)

Funny how the rescue industry isn’t afraid to take “sex ray”-contaminated money:

No university or charity or scientific society has been more closely associated in the public eye with Jeffrey Epstein than Harvard University, which received approximately $9 million from him over the years.  And no organization has seemingly been more adamant that it had nothing to explain, nothing to review, nothing to refund — even after Epstein later became the nation’s most notorious sexual predator…After refusing to comment for months on its past associations with Epstein and the money it collected as a result, Harvard released a letter from its president…stating that the school had opened a review into the matter…two sets of Epstein funds, totaling $186,000, were still being put to use through the school’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and that it would be redirecting those funds “to organizations that support victims of human trafficking and sexual assault”…

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For years, Washington, Arizona and Texas were the most consistently-outlandish sources of “sex trafficking” nonsense; other states of course produced their share, but whenever one encountered a truly bat-shit crazy pronouncement about numbers, supposed “pimp” methods or the like, it was a safe bet it came from one of those three states.  More recently, Florida has striven to win the same reputation in “sex trafficking” lunacy as it already has in individual behavioral lunacy, but in the past year Alabama appears to be trying to make up for lost time with some truly ludicrous claims.  Almost exactly a year ago, fetishists at the University of Alabama claimed that in 2017 cops had…

…recovered more than 600 human trafficking victims stuck in the sex industry…more than half of them were minors, and that’s only about 10 percent of the victims actually out there, [sic] Stats show there are thousands more still suffering in Alabama…

These mysterious “stats” appear again in a recent article from Alabama Public Radio, along with a lot of other whoppers and statements that are moronic even by “sex trafficking” standards.  Here’s a curated selection:

Selling people for sex or underpaid labor is considered a $150 billion business worldwide.

That figure seems to come from the personal spank-bank of “sex trafficking” profiteer Siddharth Kara, who correctly points out that it’s “more than Nike, Google, and Starbucks combined”.  The far lower claim of $13 billion was debunked four years ago by Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post‘s fact-checker, who called it “a fantasy, unconnected to any real data“, but since then we’ve seen Kara’s $150 billion fantasy popping up in tragedy porn, copaganda, rescue industry sales pitches, ambulance-chaser come-ons, politicians’ power grabs, a shockingly-bad Atlantic article, and – as you had probably guessed – previous tall tales from Alabama.

The phrase “what I want from you” is one you hear a lot from survivors of human trafficking. It’s like a code that means you’re about to enter “the life.”  That’s code too, for the world of commercial sex.

“Sex trafficking” fetishists often use the word “code”.  However, as Inigo Montoya would observe…

Human trafficking isn’t limited just to women. Both men and boys are abused, as well as members of Alabama’s LGBTQ community.  “Most of our kids identify as bisexual.  And, that’s because they’ve been sold to this person or that person, males and females.  So, they don’t know what their gender is,” said Lynn Caffery, Executive Director of the shelter Safe Harbor Youth in Huntsville…

This is so deeply stupid and so incredibly bigoted that I can’t be entirely sure, but it seems to me that Caffery is confusing bisexuality with being transgender, pretending that gender confusion is the result of bisexual experiences, and claiming that bisexuality is caused by “sex trafficking”, all at the same time.  Of course, it could be something even stupider and uglier, but I’m going to go with my initial interpretation for now.

Cybercrime analysts in Birmingham study sex traffickers when they advertise on the internet in Alabama.  This data can track sex workers who live in Alabama, and those who travel into the state like a caravan.

A gypsy whore caravan, obviously!

“So, if I can find five girls who are in Atlanta on Monday, and Birmingham on Tuesday, and Chattanooga on Wednesday, that’s something we would consider a strong indicator of trafficking,” said Gary Warner…of the UAB Computer Forensics Research Lab in Birmingham…

Because as any good “anti-trafficker” will tell you, women are much too stupid to drive, make other travel arrangements or book hotels, therefore a woman’s visiting multiple cities I could easily drive between in an afternoon is “a strong indicator of trafficking”.  But our unbelievably-credulous “journalist” has saved the most shockingly-dumb claims for the end:

Christiam Lim…[of] The University of Alabama’s College of Social Work [seems to have forgotten the number he quoted last year, or at least hopes we will.  He now claims]…nearly 1,200 victims [instead of 600, and added]…“Clearly whatever we recovering [sic] is a smaller percentage of what’s happening”…some [sexual fantasies] put the real figure at 10 times higher…closer to 12,000, just in Alabama in 2017…the College of Social Work found another number that could give an even clearer picture of trafficking in Alabama.  It’s based on when traffickers come out in the open and advertise on the internet.  Two years ago, the college counted those ads and the total was 641,000, just in Alabama, just in 2017…

Obviously, anyone with greater cognitive ability than the average barnyard fowl could understand that because any given business might post hundreds or even thousands of ads across all platforms in a year, the number of ads has no direct correlation with the number of businesses (nor is there any dependable way to derive the latter figure from the former even if it were accurate, and I sincerely doubt it is).  However, it’s much more exciting to pretend that roughly 13% of the state’s population consists of “sex slaves”; I only wish such incredible idiocy were confined to Alabama.

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Good grief, reporters, please learn the difference between “size” and “length”.

Asteroid 2000 QW7 is set to pass Earth on September 14 according to research from Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).  Asteroid 2000 QW7 is rather large, estimated to be 290 and 650 meters…making it the size of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world…Luckily, Asteroid 2000 QW7 is keeping its distance, only coming within 0.03564 astronomical units of Earth, which is approximately 3.3 million miles…

Burj Khalifa is very narrow in comparison to its height; an asteroid is not.  And while Burj Khalifa is mostly empty space, an asteroid is solid rock and/or metal.  Burj Khalifa masses a mere half a million tons; the asteroid mentioned in this story has a (very approximate) mass of 340 million tons.  In other words, O deeply scientifically-illiterate reporter, 2000 QW7 is not “the size of Burj Khalifa”; it is in fact well over 600 times its size.  For those who need a more concrete visualization:  The statement “2000 QW7 is the size of Burj Khalifa” is not-dissimilar in accuracy to the statement “A 2019 Honda Accord is the size of the bag of sugar in my cupboard.”

And yet I wonder how these same people can believe in 100,000 “sex trafficked children” being raped dozens of times a day.

Addendum, for those who care about such things:  I approximated the asteroid as a chondrite spheroid 600 m in diameter, small enough to be solid (unlike some small chondrite moons, which appear to have sizeable internal cavities); I approximated its density as 3 grams/cc.  I asked my astronomer friend Mike Siegel to check my numbers, and he came up with very similar ones (though he felt the official estimate of Burj Khalifa’s mass to be a bit high).

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