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Posts Tagged ‘lawheads’

When something goes wrong, we never call [the cops]…we know they will arrest us.  –  Maria, a Romanian sex worker in London

Check Your Premises

Florida cops claim to be “helping” marginalized women by brutalizing them and giving them criminal records which will make them forever ineligible for on-the-books jobs:

Seven women have been arrested in a prostitution operation along US 19 in Pasco County…Many of the women have been arrested before for the same crime…Captain Chris Beaman…said prostitutes lead dangerous lives, sometimes targeted by serial killers or human traffickers…Beaman said business owners are afraid of becoming victims of crimes themselves…

The article goes on to say that some business owners are “elated” at the pogrom, which is exactly why we now live in a police state.

Across the Pond

Is anyone really surprised by the fact that young migrant women bear the brunt of police harassment under a system which declares them infantile “victims”?

…Between 2010 and 2014, the number of young women [18 to 25] the police arrested in London for prostitution-related crime nearly trebled…The increase contrasts with steep falls in the number of arrests of men and across all the other ages for crimes related to prostitution…Laura Watson, from the English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP), calls the rise in arrests of young women “horrifying…The police use public concern for young people’s wellbeing to justify targeting and ‘saving’ young people from working as sex workers by arresting them…No alternatives are given, just criminalization”…treating young prostitutes as victims does more harm than good…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

When will lawheads learn that whores cannot be made to vanish by proclamation?

Thailand’s…sex industry is under fire, with the tourism minister [fantasizing she can] rid the country of its ubiquitous brothels and a spate of police raids in recent weeks…Those who work in the industry say curbs on commercial sex services would hurt a flagging economy…Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul played down the role of the sex industry in drawing visitors…”We want Thailand to be about quality tourism. We want the sex industry gone,” she said…

Would somebody from Las Vegas care to school the minister on the likely outcome of her Disneyfication fantasy?

If It Were Legal (#27)

Let’s hope this myth is dead, or at least nearly so, by the next election:

As thousands prepare to descend on Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, a coalition is helping spread the word about a crime that often accompanies large gatherings…Experts say trafficking tends to spike around large-scale events…”It’s definitely a concern,” Hugh OrganMoe the bartender, associate executive director at Covenant House PA, said…”But it’s not anything like the Super Bowl.”  The Super Bowl is the top human trafficking event in the United States, Organ said…

Of course, other people whose names don’t sound like something Bart Simpson would ask Moe the Bartender to page are saying similar things about Republicans:

…The top strip clubs in Cleveland, Ohio, are all preparing for the inevitable influx of horny, cash-flinging Republican out-of-towners who will drop by during next week’s GOP convention…A huge gathering of drunk, lustful Republicans—much like drunk, lustful Democrats, or drunk, lustful registered independents, or drunk, lustful Green Party members—is sure to be great for business…Jeff Kallam, general manager at the Crazy Horse Cleveland strip club…insists…“Republicans love strippers, so we’re just hoping to make some money”…

Traffic Jam (#29)

“Pimp” classification schemes are some of the most painfully stupid tropes of this whole panic:

…The Empower Youth Program…[has] identified five “disguises” that a person looking to exploit someone may take on to gain trust.
1 – Pretender — Someone who pretends to be something s/he is not, such as a boyfriend, a big sister, a father, etc.
2 – Provider — Someone who offers to take care of an individual’s needs, such as for clothes, food, a place to live, etc or their wants, like cool cell phones, purses, parties, etc.
3 – Promiser — Someone who promises access to great things, like an amazing job, a glamorous lifestyle, travel, etc.
4 – Protector — Someone who uses physical power or intimidation to protect (but also control) an individual.
5 – Punisher — Someone who uses violence and threats to control an individual. When the previous disguises have been exhausted, an exploitative person often becomes a Punisher to maintain control…

King of the Hill

If interstate highways are so dangerous, why aren’t prohibitionists calling for them to be banned?

The internet makes commercial sex largely invisible, but northeast Wisconsinites need only pull up a map and draw a line down Interstate 41 to see where much of it happens.  The corridor of cities along I-41 — Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton and Green Bay — is not only convenient for those working the sex trade, but is another form of control for a pimp, since women and girls who don’t feel familiar with their surroundings are less likely to flee.  “It’s a major thoroughfare,” said Carl Waterstreet, a [moron with a penchant for stating the obvious]…

Torture Chamber

Calling a prison an “immigration centre” doesn’t make it any less of a prison:

The Home Office is refusing to reveal if any female detainees have been sexually assaulted or raped inside Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre…A member of staff reportedly told a newspaper that “disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests” of people involved with Yarl’s Wood such as Serco, the private company that runs the facility…

Schadenfreude (#434) 

Super-ally Anne Elizabeth Moore has published a new book, collecting her comic-strip-format exposes of the deep connection between the rescue and garment industries:

…The through line of Threadbare is that, due to a combination of US trade policies with developing nations…and cultural restrictions on women working outside the home, the garment industry is the only legal job available to the majority of women in the world.  But…when there are no other legal job opportunities…women will do what they can to get by…So, where the garment trade exists, there is generally a healthy sex trade as well, and it’s often tolerated or legal until the US steps in and criminalizes it, often as a rider in trade deals.  These are presented as “anti-trafficking” measures…the garment industry supports the arrests of, and finances the supposed rehabilitation of, women who leave the garment trade, forcing them to return to these low-paying, high-risk jobs that more often than not include a likelihood of sexual exploitation…

Little Boxes (#504) whore in denial

Sex workers who pretend they aren’t are almost as bad as prohibitionists:

There’s been plenty written about the Power of Human Touch…That’s the concept of the professional cuddling company Snuggle Buddies…Professional cuddling is not meant to be sexual.  It’s a point [Lisa] VanArsdale can’t emphasize enough, though she seems aware of the fact that clients may not fully understand, even when respecting the rules…The Snuggle Buddies website addresses these rules plainly in the contract its clients must agree to electronically.  Clothes are required, sexual requests are forbidden, and anyone who doesn’t abide by the cuddling contract—even with rogue questions asked via email—is blacklisted…Strip clubs and prostitutes offer the fulfillment of more promiscuous desires, anyway…

Every sex worker has some kinds of physical contact she won’t allow; having an especially long and/or strict list doesn’t magically make you into a non-whore.

What a Week! (#648)

It’s a “shock”, except to people who habitually go through life with their heads outside of their own rectal cavities:

Dr Emily Cooper…carried out dozens of interviews…which she said “smashed” her preconceived ideas about massage parlours…and how they affect people’s lives…“They evoke feelings of safety and security via their often 24-hour presence, they are distractions from the mundane hours of work, they contribute economically via the use of taxi services and other amenities for clients and sex workers, and finally, a role that is never reported, the sex workers are also neighbours and friends who ‘put the bins out like everybody else’”…

Guinea Pigs (#650) 

If you think that American whores don’t have to worry about prohibitionist nuns as our Irish sisters have to, think again:

Through a $100,000 matching grant the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph has helped the Exchange Initiative and two developers create TraffickCam, an app that helps [cops hunt down sex workers like animals]…TraffickCam allows anyone with a smartphone to help [expand universal surveillance] by uploading photos of hotel rooms when they travel…Sex [workers sometimes] post photos of [themselves] in hotel rooms in their online advertisements.  [Cops] can use these…to find [sex workers to arrest]…

Traffic in Nonsense (#651)

NPR is a hotbed of empty-headed prohibitionism, so it was only a matter of time before they lauded “Truckers Against Trafficking”:

…”Trafficking happens everywhere,” [Kylla] Lanier says. “It’s happening in homes, in conference centers, at schools, casinos, truck stops, hotels, motels, everywhere.  You know, it’s an everywhere problem, but truckers happen to be everywhere.”  And these days TAT stickers, wallet cards and posters — showing a phone number for a sex trafficking hotline — are becoming ubiquitous in the trucking industry.  TAT [indoctrinates] drivers to try to spot sullen, hopeless-looking children, teens and young adults.  Perhaps they’re wearing revealing clothing, or maybe have tattoos like bar codes or men’s names that might indicate ownership…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#653) 

Pro-censorship loon wants parents to panic about “artificial necrophilia”. I am not making this up:

…Internet pornography is a real problem for the 66 million American parents with children under 18.  Parents don’t have to believe that such material is a direct cause of sexual violence to be driven a little crazy by it.  It’s bad enough that it’s giving our sons and daughters some very creepy ideas about how they’re supposed to look and act…Two bills passed by Congress to restrict minors’ access to pornography over the past two decades were struck down by the Supreme Court because they infringed on adults’ First Amendment rights…In addition to making pornography hard to contain, the internet is making it weirder and weirder…The fetish that’s trending right now…is necrophilia — “artificial snuff films”…I…don’t want my preteens watching actors having sex with corpses, even fake corpses, before they’ve begun to date…

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An adult who chooses to engage in sexual activity, whether for recreation, procreation or in exchange for something of value, makes a private, individual choice that should not be subject to criminal sanctions.  –  Jeanne LoCicero and Udi Ofer

Something Rotten in Sweden

The 5th installment of the Tits and Sass series “Big Mother is Watching You” profiles notable American proponents of “end demand” and the Swedish model, namely  Rachel Durchslag, Tom DartBeth Klein, Shirley Franklin, Yasmin Vafa and  Dominique Roe-Sepowitz.

A False Dichotomy 

They “see it as a business transaction” because that’s exactly what it is:

…in recent interviews conducted to understand what is driving [migrants] into the hands of human traffickers, it is clear that those involved see the risk they are taking as a business transaction, not a crime.  Malick Traore of Mali…said…“It is even more risky to live in misery in my own home country with a family always having tears in their eyes from hungers…the traffickers…do not call the migrant from their homes, or force them to cross the sea.  It is just an agreement between shipman and client”…Mariam Camara…is a widow with two daughters…[she said] “the criminal is Malian government but not the traffickers.”  Hamidou Thierro…says:  “I do not see those traffickers as criminals, because they are helping the poor migrants who are sacrificing their life to get into Europe to help back their families and plan better life for their children.  The traffickers are not human life protection agent but normal transporter as air plane or train”…

Lawheads just can’t get that normal people don’t really give a shit about their bullshit regulations.

Gorged With Meaning

Just about everything you need to know about this craptastic mixture of the obvious, the pearl-clutching and the dead wrong is that the author interviews the sociopathic narcissist Meghan Murphy instead of one of the many sex workers who write on the subject (such as, oh, ME for example), and approvingly quotes her as saying that raping a sex worker is no big deal.  That, and the fact that it’s named “The New Prostitution Economy” because it pretends that young women trading sex to older men for resources is some kind of new thing.

Follow Your Bliss 

Again, don’t think this is unique to Oakland:

When Leneka Pendergrass’ seventeen-year-old daughter…escaped…a pimp…Pendergrass turned to an organization that had previously helped.  She called Patrick Mims…of the Sexually Exploited Minors program at Bay Area Women Against Rape…the lead East Bay nonprofit organization in the state’s Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force…BAWAR works closely with Oakland police…to [indoctrinate] them about child sex trafficking.  And BAWAR employees…accompany Oakland cops on their anti-[sex worker] sting operations…Pendergrass…and Mims frequently texted the first few nights after she and her daughter escaped…Then…less than a week [later]…Mims came to her apartment and they had sex…[this continued for six weeks, then] Mims suddenly stopped responding to her calls and texts…[and] her daughter’s case was no longer a priority for BAWAR.  She felt Mims abused his position of power.  Feelings of confusion and remorse grew intense, she said.  She worried that her access to OPD and the DA was being curtailed, too…Pendergrass also wrote a letter to the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, an umbrella organization of rape-crisis centers like BAWAR…nothing ever came of her letter, or the police report…BAWAR…appears to never have acknowledged what happened…Jacqueline Montero

The Public Eye 

It’s always heartening to see a sex worker run for office, especially when she wins:

…Jacqueline Montero…worked as a prostitute for years to feed her children.  Now, after a decade of activism for women’s rights in the Dominican Republic, she hopes to put her life experience to work following her election to the Chamber of Deputies as part of an opposition coalition…The 46-year-old wants to focus on improving opportunities for women, a significant challenge in a country where about 35 percent of households are led by single mothers in poverty…She plans to introduce legislation that would prohibit discrimination against…LGBT, sex workers, people with AIDS and the elderly.  The walls of her office are adorned with diplomas and posters from international conferences dealing with sex work…Activists say the significance of her election transcends her relatively minor legislative position because she will be a powerful voice for largely unrepresented people…

Cops and Condoms (#313)

Remember Bill Gates’ $100,000 grant to develop “the next generation of condom”?  Well, the first results are in:

…After weeding through 953 applications, the foundation awarded grants to 26 applicants.  Among them was Richard Chartoff, a polymer scientist at Oregon State University, who developed an idea for ultra-thin condoms made from polyurethane elastic polymers that respond to body heat and conform to the penis’s shape…the HEX condom, developed by luxury sex toy company LELO…[features a] “hexagonal net design [which] effectively holds together the condom,” [founder Filip] Sedic explains, “so we were able to make the majority of the condom’s surface very thin without forfeiting strength”…the hexagonal design gripped his penis without squeezing it.  My husband’s sensations were less dulled than usual, too, since it was the thinnest traditionally shaped condom we used…myONE Perfect Fit from ONE Condoms will bring 56 different sizes to the market, allowing men to use a kit…to measure their penis length and width to determine the best size for them…

Devil’s Advocate

This guy seems like a real scumbag…so why isn’t Thailand asking for Norway to extradite him for prosecution there? Do you really want a precedent that people can be prosecuted in one jurisdiction for things they did in another jurisdiction where their actions weren’t illegal?

A 34-year-old Swedish businessman based in Oslo is facing trial in Norway accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl in Thailand for several years – including making her pregnant…the girl…is from a poor family and had started working as a prostitute straight after finishing school…at the age of 14 she gave birth to the baby…DNA records have shown that the man is the child’s biological father…Police launched their investigation after he was arrested for…drugs two years ago.  During a search of his home in Oslo officers found indecent images…and 51 movies showing children being sexually abused.  They also found pictures of the Thai girl…

Guinea Pigs 

This is one of those potpourris of hysteria that could fit into any of several headings, but I think the most important one is yet another surveillance tool for hunting down sex workers:

…Tim Wedge, a Forensics Science professor…in Defiance, Ohio…[created] FAGIN, Facial Analysis to Gain Information Now, a basic crude prototype…[which] is designed to take…pictures of missing children, run it through the facial analysis software by comparing them to pictures in ads for people being sold for sex online, and produce a report whenever there’s a match…Wedge says FAGIN has the possibility of rescuing a shocking amount of victims…800,000 children are reported missing each year.  One in five of them are sex trafficking victims…

Can this “science professor” even do math?  Because the reporter sure can’t.  But more importantly: the same program could also compare pics from ads to, say, a driver’s license database, thus giving cops an escort’s legal name and address.

Aloha, Oy!

Hawaii was the last state to criminalize prostitution, and now it’s become the last state to fully rebrand it as “sex trafficking”:

Hawaii has become the last state in the nation to explicitly ban sex trafficking.  Gov. David Ige signed the bill…[which] makes [acts that were already illegal illegal again], expands the statewide witness protection program to include sex trafficking and provides victims access to criminal injury compensation.  “It’s a historic day for Hawaii.  Now, from sea to sea, the United States can say it [criminalized some crimes twice],” said Kris Coffield…[a “sex trafficking” profiteer]…

What Were You All Waiting For? (#622) 

Is the ACLU finally beginning to do the right thing, at long last?

In honor of International [Whores’] Day, activists marched on Atlantic City on June 3 to call for the decriminalization of sex work…This is a goal the American Civil Liberties Union…strongly supports.  Since 1975, the ACLU has believed that prostitution…should be decriminalized…It’s time to stop sweeping consenting adult sex workers into the criminal justice system.  We need models that protect their rights, their health and their safety…Amnesty International adopted a policy advocating the decriminalization of adult consensual sex work in its efforts to prevent human rights violations.  Amnesty isn’t alone.  They joined the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, Human Rights Watch, the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women, the Global Network of Sex Work Projects and many other…groups in calling for the decriminalization of sex work to stem the abuse, discrimination and violence that too frequently plague the lives of sex workers…

King of the Hill (#623) The Keep

One of the more amusing tropes of this moral panic: labeling a particular street a “hotbed” of sex work or “trafficking”:

For more than three decades now, the corner of Cypress Avenue and Starr Street has been known as one of the old-school New York prostitution hotbeds.  Even as gentrification of the area rapidly progresses, prostitution as a symptom of the “bad old times” continues…Unbeknownst to the owners at the time of the opening, [a bar named] The Keep became somewhat of a local epicenter for…“Operation Losing Proposition,” the goal of which is to lock up johns as they solicit sex from undercover [sows who use]…the bathrooms at The Keep [without permission] to change into their [costumes]…Eli B. Silverman explains that the initiative was designed by CEU attorneys who researched the law that allows for [asset seizure]…In this case, johns’ cars could be seized…the operation has been yielding incredible [profits]…and [Silverman pretends] prostitution has been greatly reduced…the operation has been consistently dubbed a success, but 26 years later, one has to wonder whether the number of arrested johns is the correct indicator of success, or whether the operation opened a bottomless well of meaningless arrests…

To Molest and Rape (#651)

No, you fucking filthy liar, it’s not “unique” and you fucking know it:

Alameda County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ray Kelly, a former sex crimes investigator who serves as the agency’s spokesman, said several members of his department were investigated but a review showed none had done anything illegal or against policy. Kelly would not say if the deputies had sex with [Celeste Guap]…“This case is unique, and it’s not a good example of the relationships between sex crimes victims and police officers,” he said…

In typical tone-deaf LA Times fashion, the reporter concludes a story about people abusing women under the guise of “rescuing” them from their choices by praising someone who abuses women under the guise of “rescuing” them from their choices:

…[Sylvia] Vigil…has been preaching to the girls she [condescendingly dehumanizes] as “twilight treasures” since 1982…when she founded the Oakland branch of Victory Outreach…On [a] recent visit to International Boulevard, Vigil shook her head as she watched [a] young woman enter [a client’s] car, said a prayer, then brought her van’s engine to life and hit the gas…As the man in the Cutlass attempted to drive away, Vigil pulled her van in front of his car, blocking him in.  A colleague from the ministry who sat in Vigil’s van held up a Victory Outreach business card and shouted “not tonight” at the man…

Naturally, Vigil didn’t offer to pay the girl for the client she scared away, so the girl probably didn’t eat that night. But I’m sure the knowledge that she had been “saved” from dirty, filthy sex assuaged her hunger.

The End of the Beginning (#653)

Another in an anti-registry series from Vox:

When I first became a public defender, I believed the worst punishment that my clients would face would be time in jail.  Since then, I’ve learned that incarceration is not the…worst…punishment the criminal justice system can impose.  The registration requirements imposed on those convicted of sex offenses are unfairly harsh and punitive…I had always assumed that sex offender registration was limited to those who committed the most egregious and dangerous offenses.  I had also trusted that the Supreme Court was right when, in 2003, it stated that sex offender registration laws are not punishments but merely administrative requirements to protect public safety.  But I realize now that many of my clients would choose…anything to avoid being labeled a sex offender for life…because our current…laws apply an…inhumane one-size-fits-all approach that does not prevent future sex crimes and in fact makes us all less safe…The registration process appears designed to make people fail.  The rules are so complicated that few non-attorneys can keep up with them…

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We’re obligated to provide the same level of service, the same billing the same everything, for every patient we encounter.  –  Mike McLaughlin

We know that the US government can produce powerful, effective propaganda; we’ve certainly seen it in the “sex trafficking” hysteria.  But a lot more of it is ludicrously bad; take a look at this video contributed by Tim Cushing, the intention of which seems to be convincing Americans to maintain psychotic levels of paranoia when traveling abroad.  Tim also provided “more” and “proof”, and the other links above the video are from Franklin Harris (“RIP”), Cathy Reisenwitz (“robot”), Nun Ya (“laws”), Jillian Keenan (“snacks”), and Scott Greenfield (“TSA”).

From the Archives

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Too bad I can’t eat too many without lowering blood pressure too much.

I’m very fond of short videos that put an unusual “spin” on a familiar subject; this week’s example was contributed by Tim Cushing.  The links above it were provided by Radley Balko (“paradise”), Amy Alkon (“children”), Nun Ya (“laws”), and Popehat (“policies”).

From the Archives

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You are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.  –  Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Do As I Say, Not As I Do Tony Sellers

Usually, if I miss an item while it’s current and only hear about it months later, I’ll leave it alone.  But since this has been such a banner year for sexual misbehavior by cops, I want to feature every one I can find.  So when Tits & Sass featured this roundup of such items recently, I just couldn’t leave the one item I had missed behind:  “[After being entrapped in a sting Houston cop] Tony James Sellers…was charged with prostitution.  He was [given a paid vacation while officials bloviated about ‘ending demand’ and sex rays]…

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Once again, actual figures disprove the hysteria:

A new Department of Justice study shows that the crime parents obsess about the most—the abduction and murder of a child by stranger—is less likely than ever…in…2011…105…occurred, but only 8% ended in murder.  In 1997, by contrast, 40% did.  Today, children kidnapped by a stranger have a 92% chance of making it home…thanks to cell phones, GPSing and security cameras.  So what of the other big fears of our age, like the fear of children being abducted by strangers they meet on the internet?  The study found only one victim of such a crime.  Okay, well how about all the sex trafficking?  The study found that 16-18 girls were kidnapped for that purpose…Well, are kids at least being stolen by pedophile rings?  The DOJ found zero cases of this happening.  How about stolen by Satanists?  Zero again.  What’s more, the report also found that the victim profile most of us have in our heads—young moppets on their way to school—does not match with reality…The most common victims are girls aged 12 to 17, with sexual assault being the biggest motive…

Saving Them From Themselves

Once in a while an insanely-broad law is defeated:

The Minnesota Court of Appeals just struck down a key part of the state’s law concerning sexual communication with minors…[which]  criminalized conduct that falls far short of solicitation.  For example, the court noted, “a music video producer [who] creates a video with sexually explicit depictions or lyrics” could be found guilty under the law if he or she uploads the video to YouTube and someone under age 16 sees it.  So too could the producer of a film depicting sexual content or the writer of young-adult fiction that includes a sex scene…any communication with a child “relating to or describing sexual conduct,” even without trying to solicit them for real-world activity, is also a felony if it is done with “the intent to arouse”…”distributing any material, language, or communication, including a photographic or video image, that relates to or describes sexual conduct to a child or someone the person reasonably believes is a child” is a felony…

Note that the last provision criminalizes sex education.

The Schizoid State

So he’s a “pimp” because male, but a “child” because 17, and his same-age “victim” is obviously helpless because she’s female and therefore a moral imbecile even though they’re the same age.  Got all that?

A [Las Vegas] High School dropout is now an accused pimp…The 17-year-old is accused of running a prostitution ring…with two accomplices.  The victims — girls ages 15, 16 and 17 — were delivered to houses and hotels to sell sex for $100 or $200…The teen’s identity is not being revealed because his case is currently being handled in juvenile court…[but] Judge Frank Sullivan…[decided]…to charge the teen as an adult…[because] the district attorney’s office [said] the case is as serious as it gets…[despite] the teen’s history of…psychiatric and drug abuse issues…if convicted [he] could face life in prison…

Having sex is “as serious as it gets”.  Much worse than, say, murder, torture or kidnapping.

Standard Operating Procedure

It’s funny to me that most people are so naive they don’t realize this stuff is totally par for the course:

Three high-ranking officers in the NYPD acted as “cops on call” for two deep-pocketed de Blasio donors — as long as their “elves” plied them with gifts and bankrolled a highflying lifestyle that included hookers, free hotels and expensive meals.  Deputy Chief Michael Harrington, Deputy Inspector James Grant and Sgt. David Villanueva were arrested…in a far-reaching bribery scandal that has also snared longtime correction officers union leader Norman Seabrook…the cops acted as a “private police force” in exchange for gifts, bribes and perks worth more than $100,000…

The sex worker connection is described in more detail here:

A high-ranking NYPD official and another cop had sex with a prostitute…dressed as a flight attendant on…[a] 2014 excursion to Las Vegas…on a private plane…paid for by Jona Rechnitz, a real-estate investor being investigated by the FBI for allegedly providing gifts to police in exchange for favors…one of the officers [was] Deputy Inspector James Grant…Michael Milici, the other cop, is on modified duty…

Backwards Into the Future (#137)

These are the people prohibitionists think should be in charge of “protecting” sex workers:

Once, when I was meeting with a sex workers’ group in a brothel in Kenya, the women there got a call that one of their members had been found, dumped near a river with deep cuts on her face, hands, and thighs.  The woman had been [arrested] the night before…Her fellow sex workers had gone to the police station to bail her out but couldn’t find her.  When they picked her up…they learned she had been gang raped by the police, who then left her in the woods where she was accosted by street boys, who raped and beat her again.  The sex workers attempted to report the incident but were threatened with arrests of their own…

Shame, Shame

After a brief lull, politicians are once again trying to impose even more broad and mindlessly-draconian “revenge porn” laws on unsuspecting internet users:

The…ACLU…and [other free speech groups urged]…Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to veto a new measure meant to deal with “revenge porn” and “sextortion”…”unlike the laws of virtually every other state on this subject,” the Rhode Island measure does “not require a photo’s dissemination to cause harm to any person or even be intended to cause harm in order to violate the law”…The new legislation, passed earlier this month, prohibits posting sexually explicit photos without the subject’s [direct] permission…The legislation also bans “sextortion”…Rhode Island already criminalizes extortion.  But…the new “sextortion” charge…could…be added to regular extortion and/or revenge porn charges to give prosecutors an extra carceral edge…

Amazingly, the governor actually vetoed the law for its blatant unconstitutionality.

Blood on the Sand

This looks like another case in which everyone involved is awful:

A woman and her attorneys have been charged with secretly videotaping her having sex with a former CEO of Waffle House, and using the recording to try to extort millions of dollars from him…Mye Brindle, John Butters and David Cohen were indicted…in…Atlanta…Butters and Cohen tried to force [Joe] Rogers to pay millions of dollars to prevent the recording from being released…a…spokesman for Brindle’s attorneys…said the indictment sends a “chilling message” to victims of sexual abuse and those seeking help to attain justice…Brindle filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Rogers in 2012…[accusing] Rogers of forcing her to perform sex acts with him to keep her job despite her protests for nearly 10 years.  Rogers has acknowledged having consensual sexual encounters with Brindle, but has accused her of making false statements against him.  Court findings showed the covertly recorded video didn’t imply that Rogers forced the woman to do anything she didn’t want to…

Nice While It Lasted

The SCOTUS has more or less just demolished what little was left of the Fourth Amendment.  The following is a quote from Justice Sotomayor’s scathing dissent, which would’ve been the quote of the week except for its length:

…Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language:  This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants—even if you are doing nothing wrong…If the officer discovers a warrant for a fine you forgot to pay, courts will now excuse his illegal stop and will admit into evidence anything he happens to find by searching you after arresting you on the warrant…Although many Americans have been stopped for speeding or jaywalking, few may realize how degrading a stop can be when the officer is looking for more…this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time.  It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights…

Broken Record (#559) 

Irish iterations of the “gypsy whore” myth are the silliest and most hilarious ones:

Irish fans partying in French cities during Euro 2016 have been met by an army of sex workers brought from Eastern Europe and Africa for the month-long football tournament.  Football fans…have reported being propositioned…by women who have been forced to travel to France by criminal gangs determined to cash in on the tournament…Aside from health concerns, fans have also been warned of blackmail attempts by some sex trade workers, who have been ordered by pimps to secretly take photos and videos of their clients…[which are] then sold on to criminal gangs which specialise in blackmail and extortion…

Monsters (#566) 

You may remember that this was the case in which the cops claimed they didn’t know if it was hate-motivated:

A Kansas City man has been charged in the death of a transgender woman he intentionally ran over several times and left to die…Witnesses told the police that…they saw Tamara Dominguez got into a truck with 29-year-old Luis Sanchez.  But she soon exited the vehicle and slammed the door before walking away.  That’s when Sanchez reportedly gunned the engine and repeatedly ran over Dominguez, who died from injuries sustained in the attack…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#584)

San Diego has slowly grown into a major hotbed of “sex trafficking” hysteria, but it’s still surprising that none of these “authorities” is able to recognize this ludicrous masturbatory fantasy for what it is:

A federal report on sex trafficking in San Diego has revealed a vast underground industry worth more than $800m annually…Sex trafficking…involves some 110 gangs just in San Diego County, dubbed one of 13 hot spots for child sex trafficking in the US…“The study will provide a lot of new information to those seeking to end modern slavery,” said John Picarelli…between 3,000 and 8,000 victims enter the clutches of the sex-trafficking industry every year…The average age to begin selling sex is 15, and 50% of women arrested for prostitution have at some point been forced into it, the study found…pimps were typically earning around $670,000 a year…

To Molest and Rape

Sometimes they feed on their own:

A parking enforcement officer has accused three Toronto police officers of raping her vaginally, orally, and possibly anally…Leslie Nyznik…Joshua Cabero…and Sameer Kara…pleaded not guilty to sexual assault…The complainant told police she knew the three officers and was invited out for a “rookie night” by Kara in January 16, 2015…[after drinking a while] they went back to [a] hotel room…[where] she felt very drunk and laid down…she was immobilized and unable to speak.  She…remembers Nyznik inserting his penis into her mouth and that one of the men took her jeans off.  She recalled being penetrated vaginally…and that the two men may have switched places…When she woke up…Kara was asleep beside her and she grabbed her clothes and went home, where she vomited and passed out in her bathroom.  The following day, she had a rape kit examination at Scarborough Grace Hospital, during which a nurse found evidence of anal penetration…she didn’t remember being anally penetrated, but recalled one of the officers asking “should I fuck her in the ass?”…

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(She was) Just the sweetest lady.

A lot of my readers enjoy flattering me about the ease with which I take down idiots who try to challenge me on the internet, and needless to say I enjoy it, too, especially when the jokes are as funny as this video shared by Ablative Meatshield.  The links above the video were provided by Nun Ya (“happens”), Dave Meyer Lindenberg (“state”), Tim Cushing (“seizure” and “innocence”), Radley Balko  (“sociopathic”), and Charles Hill (“backward”).

From the Archives

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Faith prefers the absurd to the plausible.  –  Mason Cooley

Walt Disney & Disneyland sketchesI will never understand the compelling human desire to believe in fantasy.  As anyone who has read this blog for any length of time is well aware, I love fantasy and science fiction; my favorite books, stories, movies, TV shows and other entertainments fall into those genres or closely-related ones, and most of my own writing is firmly ensconced in the realm of the fantastic.  But that’s entertainment, not life; as those who know me in person can tell you, I’m deeply pragmatic and firmly grounded in reality.  The idea of expending more than a token portion of resources on fancies is completely incomprehensible to me; I have never understood the appeal of window shopping, and I have often been heard to snort derisively at asinine platitudes about “following your dreams”.  Yes, some people are wealthy enough to build themselves amusement parks, and others fortunate enough to be able to pursue something more or less resembling their ideal lives.  But for most people, efforts to ignore reality are doomed to failure.

Fantasies which only involve things (such as building one’s “dream house” or writing a bestseller) may be unattainable, but when they are they’re still generally harmless to others.  Unfortunately, many individual blueprints for Utopia demand that other individuals conform to the dreamer’s moronic fantasies about “proper” human behavior, and while those are always doomed to disappointment, they have considerable potential to wreck the lives of others.  If the person suffering such a delusion has money, political power or social influence he can wreak havoc on anyone who gets in the way of his impossible program of social engineering, and even those who don’t have access to such resources are dangerous when they share the mad fantasies of those who do.

One such fantasy, popular for roughly the last century and a half, is the idea that prostitution can (and should) be “abolished”; people who adhere to this particular pipe dream always pretend to some sort of moral high ground, generally involving a deity or deities and/or some apotheosized principle of “equality” or “purity” or “intimacy” or other Utopian vacuity.  What their actual motives might be they usually won’t say, though it’s easy enough to guess.  Sometimes, as in the case of the “sex robot” nonsense I’ve mocked so often, the desire is rooted in the rather sad desire of socially-awkward men to be free of what they see as the “burden” of having to give money (or anything else) to women in order to get sex:

If internet porn leaves you cold, and you can’t manage the hassle of finding a real, live, woman to have sex with, a Japanese company has an attractive offer for you…Tenga has introduced a virtual reality bodysuit that simulates sexual intercourse, and takes partners out of the equation…The Illusion VR bodysuit comes equipped with a Tenga masturbation device that stimulates the penis, and with grope-able fake breasts.  The suit sends “impulses all over the wearer’s body to make it feel like another human being is touching them”…The device was created for use with Illusion’s Oculus game “Sexy Beach,” which lets players customize female avatars and have sex with them in virtual reality, while being stimulated to orgasm in actual reality.  The suit costs $400 and is already sold out…the technology might also be used “for intimate cyber meet-ups with those you may or may not know personally,” and even threaten the livelihoods of sex workers down the line…

Yeah, no.  Just in case the video isn’t enough to convince you, please let me assure you that until virtual reality reaches the Star Trek holodeck level, only men who are basically satisfied with a blow-up doll are going to find this toy a replacement for real live whores, despite the fact that the device’s price tag would buy only a single hour with me.

Whether you sympathize with, feel sorry for, or giggle at such goofy schemes to eliminate harlots, I think we can all agree that they’re harmless.  Even if you think fixating on such a device is “unhealthy” (an analysis with which I would disagree, but that’s a discussion for another day), surely you must admit that it’s only unhealthy to the user and nobody else.  Unfortunately, there are many other people whose fantasy of a whore-free world is not satisfied by merely removing themselves from the equation; these sociopaths will not be satisfied until the last whore is dead of starvation or confined in a sweatshop, and the last man who might even think about purchasing her services is locked in a cage.  Obviously, this warped idea is even less moored to reality than that of “virtual sex”, because instead of trying to satisfy men’s needs with robots, its proponents want to terrorize people into celibacy:

France is to make it illegal to pay for sex after MPs finally approved new legislation…following more than two years of rows and opposition by senators…There would be a €1,500 (£1,200) fine for a first offence, rising to €3,750 for a second, which would also be put on the person’s criminal record.  The offender would be forced to attend [brainwashing sessions]…the final vote was delayed after several hearings owing to sharp divisions between the lower parliamentary chamber and the senate…Socialist MP Maud Olivier…said the aim was to “reduce [prostitution]…and to change mentalities”…

If you don’t find the find the concept of a law designed to “change mentalities” (via forced propaganda sessions packed with lies) about a basic human activity to be utterly horrifying, you’ve probably been watching or reading about too many fictional dystopias.  Unless humans eventually abandon physical bodies altogether, there will never be a world in which people don’t trade what they have for what they want, and that means there will always be people willing to pay for the fulfillment of their sexual fantasies.  But if I do cling to one unrealistic dream, it’s that the human race eventually arrives at a point where nobody has the power to use violence to force their own evil sex fantasies on everyone else.

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