Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Maryland’

I can’t breathe.  –  Emily Weinman

I’m not sure what’s funnier in this video, the dog who sounds like he’s auditioning for Pagliacchi or the woman trying to reason with him.  In any case, the results are hilarious.  The video was provided by Emma Evans and the links above it by Brooke MagnantiWalter OlsonEddie J CunninghamKevin WilsonThaddeus RussellJillian Keenan, and Lenore Skenazy, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

It’s tyranny at its finest.  –  Rakem Balogun

Regular readers may recall that I love Rube Goldberg machines, and here’s a doozy called to my attention by Mike Siegel.  The links above it were provided by Dave KruegerNun YaClarissaPopehatScott GreenfieldWalter Olson, and Tim Cushing, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

FOSTA’s real purpose is making it easier to file lawsuits against online companies, while politicians pat themselves on the back.  –  Ron Wyden

A Procrustean Bed (#502)

A documentary glorifies the prohibitionist shitshow that is New York’s “sex trafficking court”:

…Judge Toko Serita…presides over Queens’s Human Trafficking Intervention Court…where she processes women who have been arrested on charges of prostitution…The women…are offered a choice:  Instead of [being given constitutional due process]…they can [submit to]…a set number of [brainwashing] sessions.  If, in six months, they have not been arrested again, the charges are dropped and the case is sealed…about 80 percent of the women take the [brainwashing] option…[less] than victims, Serita sees them first and foremost as…[objects to be processed.  Filmmaker Stephanie] Wang-Breal…says…in the film’s notes: “Who am I to say she doesn’t have agency, who am I to say what she should be doing with her life?” [and yet she glorifies this grotesque denial of women’s agency anyway]…

Nobody involved in producing this mess stopped to question the court’s assumption that human beings are mere objects to be “processed”.  You know, like in a food processor.

All Shapes and Sizes (#521)

This procedure has come a long way in only three years:

Doctors in the US have performed the world’s first complete penis and scrotum transplant on a former soldier who had his genitals blown off after stepping on a hidden bomb while on tour in the Middle East.  The 14-hour operation performed last month at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, was the most complex and extensive penis transplant ever attempted…The young [man]…received an entire penis, scrotum (without testicles), and partial abdominal wall from a deceased donor…It took a team of nine plastic surgeons and two urology surgeons…The surgery took place on March 26 and nearly a month on doctors seem confident of its success but will continue to monitor the patient’s recovery…

Shame, Shame (#649)

My friend Mark Bennett takes down Texas’ overbroad and mindlessly-draconian “revenge porn” law:

Mark Bennett, the Texas Tornado, took another law down for violating the First Amendment.  This time, it was…the so-called “revenge porn” law.  In Ex parte Jones, the 12th District Court of Appeals…held that the statute was facially unconstitutional.  As has been argued from the day Mary Anne Franks began her efforts to create a criminal revenge porn statute, it clearly implicated the First Amendment’s prohibition against laws infringing on free expression, to which she merely screamed her denials and did her best to deflect by creating a fantasy interpretation of the First Amendment…The State argues…relying upon Franks’ and Danielle Citron’s “legal” arguments…that [such images fall] within a new concept of obscenity, “contextually obscene”.  Except there is no such category outside of their imaginations, nor can anything be found obscene except by a jury…the court noted that the law failed to make any effort to narrow its prohibitions, which was a fundamental tenet of the Franks approach to criminalizing revenge porn lest anyone get away with it…

The Peril 

The hypocrisy of politicians sometimes defies belief:

Jack Johnson…became the first black heavyweight boxing champion after defeating Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia, in 1908.  Two years later, he defended his title against boxer James J. “Jim” Jeffries, who…was referred to as the “great white hope” by racist…fans who wanted him to…take back the heavyweight crown for whites…Jeffries lost the fight…[but] what racism could not do to Johnson in the boxing ring, it found other ways to accomplish.  Johnson was convicted in 1913 of violating the Mann Act…the Justice Department…argued that Johnson’s relationship with a white woman was a “crime against nature”…criminalization of sex work in the US is rooted in racism, and modern campaigns do little to mask that lineage…The “white slavery” campaign of the early 1900’s…led directly to the enactment of the federal Mann Act, (a.k.a. the White Slave Traffic Act), in 1910.  “[O]nce prohibition of sex work was in place,” writer Maggie McNeill has noted, “it was enforced disproportionately against poor people and ethnic minorities, especially black people, just as all prohibitionist laws are.”  As Andrew Glass wrote for Politico, the first person prosecuted under the Mann Act…was Jack Johnson…That Donald Trump should look to a pardon for Johnson in the same month he signed…FOSTA…into law, is bitterly ironic…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#666) 

Lewis & her friends are naive fools; what they’re asking for is legalization & protectionism, and they’re not going to like it if they get it:

New Zealand sex workers are furious that foreign prostitutes who come on temporary visas can advertise their services here despite it being illegal for them to work.  High profile escort Lisa Lewis is one of several who have taken their complaints to Immigration New Zealand…calling for a harsher stance against migrant sex workers…She wants INZ to shift its focus from just deporting migrant sex workers to punish [advertising venues] that profit from helping the promotion of these illegal sex workers.  Lewis said the increase in number of foreign prostitutes coming over has hit local sex workers in the pocket…

Permanent Record

Note that other states have similar (if less broad) laws, and that the tendency toward such penalties is increasing:

Currently in both Maryland and Tennessee, a criminal past — or even just being accused of a crime — often stands between people and a job.  This is because many occupational licensing laws prevent ex-offenders from being able to obtain a license for the jobs they seek…these restrictions aren’t targeted at people whose criminal history relates to their desired career; instead, they can serve as blanket bans for those hoping to enter hundreds of professions including plumbing, cosmetology and interior design.  By prohibiting wide swaths of people from licensure, these boards aren’t protecting health and safety — they’re just making it more likely these individuals will remain unemployed and unable to support themselves or their families…in some cases, people need only to be accused of a crime — not even convicted of it — for the board to deny them a license.  Many of these bans are also permanent…In one instance in Tennessee…a woman convicted for prostitution over a decade ago learned she couldn’t become a radiation therapist…

I’m going to start using this heading for the many cases of people who lose their jobs due to a history of sex work; they currently appear under the overbroad “First They Came for the Hookers…”

All-Purpose Excuse (#794)

In this confused mess, a lawyer complains that anti-immigrant actions “hurt efforts to stop human trafficking”, even though “human trafficking” is a dysphemism used to demonize immigration:

If Trump truly cared about victims of human trafficking, he would put an end to his ongoing assault on immigrants.  Statistics on the number of victims of human trafficking are notoriously unreliable because of widespread [ov]erreporting…Since Trump assumed the presidency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has used the fight against human trafficking as justification for its crackdown on undocumented immigrants.  ICE arrests have surged by more than 40 percent…[which] has aggravated the fear of coming forward among undocumented victims of human trafficking, undermining the U.S. government’s own efforts to tackle the problem…

In other words, “Trump’s crackdown on migration is interfering with existing attempts to prevent migration”.

Disaster

Here’s another article about FOSTA, which despite many good points expended so much effort in licking prohibitionist arseholes it nearly made me vomit.  Since there are plenty of good articles which denounce censorship and promote human rights without sucking the dick of power, there’s not a lot of reason to bother with this one; however, if you feel compelled you’ll see this “journalist” ceding ground to prohibitionists and otherwise making ignorant, unhelpful statements all over the place.  It starts in the lede, which proclaims that FOSTA was “a rare moment of bipartisan agreement”, a deeply stupid statements which ignores that the two main US parties have never disagreed on prohibition as a principle at any point in the past century, and that literally every single anti-sex work bill of the past two decades has had nearly-unanimous bipartisan support.  The article misstates the case against Backpage, repeats prohibitionist lies, characterizes third parties as “pimps & traffickers”, downplays the breadth of opposition to internet censorship with phrases like “some argue”, and even claims that “FOSTA was pitched with a very specific (and noble) goal in mind”; apparently author Kate Knibbs believes that censorship, denial of human rights, and negating the agency and consent of half a million women are “noble”.  I certainly don’t.

This Means War (#830) 

Megalomaniacal US rulers believe they have the right to disrupt the lives of millions all over the world:

Before New Zealand Cracker – a classifieds website used by sex workers – was shut down by the FBI, Wellington woman Sarah (not her real name) says she received at least five enquiries from clients each day.  Now, she is lucky to receive two a week through other advertising platforms.  “It has totally ruined our lives”…the FBI seiz[ure of]…Backpage.com…[has produced] a global and profound disruption of the sex work industry, including in countries like New Zealand, where prostitution is legal.  New Zealand Cracker was one of the many subsidiary sites Backpage.com hosted around the world.  For more than a decade it was at the heart of New Zealand’s sex work industry – offering businesses and sex workers a cheap, effective way of connecting with clients.  Its closure has, without warning, taken livelihoods away, leaving workers without the resources to operate their businesses or, in some cases, survive…

Read Full Post »

The major purpose of [FOSTA] is to…punish anyone who…engages in sex work.  –  Steven Thrasher

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

A Toledo [cop] was issued a summons…during a prostitution sting at a Columbus area hotel…Mack Collins…was not arrested…

Gullible’s Travels

I reckon the panic industry’s been too busy with Trump, guns, opiates and “sex trafficking” to come up with as many dumb “teen fad” panics as they used to:

…educators are warning about a “condom challenge” being spread online by YouTube videos and social media…The challenge involves  snorting an unwrapped condom up one nostril, then pulling the condom from the throat out the mouth…Snorting a condom up your nose not only poses a choking hazard but also puts you at risk for allergic reactions and infections…women [who] accidentally swallow…condoms [can] developing ailments ranging from pneumonia to appendicitis…The condom snorting challenge may eclipse the most recent viral video fad among teenagers, which involved eating brightly colored Tide Pods

Yeah, I’m sure this is going to be so much more popular than video games.

Bogeymen

Five years in prison for talking to someone online:

A Brockton man who recruited women online for prostitution, including an undercover police officer, was sentenced to five years in state prison for human trafficking…Shakwaan Simpkins…had “used a website with the express purpose of recruiting a woman to engage in prostitution,” District Attorney Marian Ryan said…

That’s all he did: talked to a pig on the internet.  Five years in a cage, at a cost to the taxpayers higher than if he were sent to Harvard.  I’m sure the good puritans of Massachusetts feel safer now that this evil texter is locked up.

Censor Chic

Corporations are becoming the favored tool of censors:

Earlier this month, the European Commission published a new [diktat] demanding that internet companies remove…content flagged to them in less than an hour — or face legislation forcing them to do so….Google and other big tech companies still publish transparency reports, but they now seems to serve a different purpose:  to convince authorities in Europe and elsewhere that the internet giant is serious about [censorship on bureaucratic demand]…The more takedowns it can show, the better…Expect additional “transparency” designed to underline Google’s own [internally-generated censorship]…the…report does not yet include a full accounting for YouTube…But Google has hinted it will soon produce a dedicated report for the video sharing site.  When and if it does, it promises to show not thousands but millions of annual takedowns, many for copyright violations, but also many for breaking “community rules”…The pace of private sector censorship is astounding — and it’s growing exponentially…

All-Purpose Excuse (#718)

Fans of the Democratic party need to remember their team did half the work of creating this lunacy:

Roseanne Barr was under attack this weekend for supporting President Trump’s efforts to end human trafficking.  CNN and other MSM media outlets claimed Barr’s tweet supporting the President’s efforts relied on a conspiracy theory while dismissing President Trump’s efforts. Roseanne was right.  Our analysis shows that arrests for human trafficking were up 150% in 2017 and are on track to be up nearly 500% in 2018 over 2016 numbers…

Actually, she’s not right; click on the title for Elizabeth Nolan Brown’s analysis of these bogus numbers, which come from the tinfoil-hat “Pizzagate” crowd of which Barr is a member.  However, I must point out that given the vague definition of “human trafficking”, it’s easy for any executive to increase “human trafficking” arrests by simply ordering cops and prosecutors to charge basically everyone they arrest in prostitution, immigration or immigrant-labor stings with “human trafficking”.  Given Trump’s ICE pogroms, I’m surprised it has only gone up by 500%.

Eternal Vigilance (#732)

Puritans are still upset about the fact that some women are comfortable paying our rent (and other expenses) with sex:

…Renting rooms for sexual favours is seen as a growing menace by [busybodies], and a byproduct of a housing crisis where young people are unable to find somewhere to live without spending exorbitant sums.  The [so-called] problem has become particularly marked in university towns, where young women are targeted by rogue landlords.  But while then justice secretary David Lidington last year said such offers may breach the Sexual Offences Act, there is frustration that more is not being done.  “Since last year, there has not been a single arrest, let alone a conviction, let alone anybody actually going to jail for it,” says [politician] Peter Kyle…[who] has consistently called for landlords who offer accommodation in exchange for sex to be prosecuted [for upsetting Kyle’s delicate fee-fees]…

Backwards into the Future (#778) 

Note that the headline blames the girls rather than the busybodies who want them unemployed:

The Global Fund is pulling out of a controversial partnership with Heineken but not for the reason most cited by critics.  [Crypto-moralists]  had been blasting…the Global Fund…for backing a partnership with Heineken to “fight infectious diseases in Africa.”  Some activists said it was [better for people to die of malaria than]…to align with a product that can be detrimental to people’s health…The Global Fund  shrugged off that criticism for weeks.  The plan was for Heineken to use its extensive logistics and communications expertise to help the Fund deliver medical supplies.  Now the Fund says it’s suspending the deal not out of concern for the people who drink too much Heineken but…because of “the company’s use of female beer promoters in ways that expose them to sexual exploitation and health risks”…for more than a decade [anti-sex groups have moaned about]…the exploitation of “beer girls” in Southeast Asia, including women working to boost sales of Heineken in bars in Cambodia.  Also known as “promotion girls,” these (primarily young) women encourage male customers to order a particular brand of beer.  The women earn relatively low wages, often survive off tips and…[often] moonlight as sex workers…

Cooties (#811)

Cops trying to draw others into their “sex slave” fantasies are a more dangerous version of time-wasters who call whores to masturbate to the sound of our voices:

Human traffickers [are fantasized to] be putting up sex workers in Cumbrian bed-and-breakfast businesses before moving them on to pop-up brothels…[cops pretend] that “a significant” proportion of illegal moving of people nationally is being carried out under the guise of tourism…[cops] urged business bosses and the public to [spy on their fellow citizens]…Detective Superintendent Lesley Hanson said…”We [masturbate to the fantasy] that pop-up brothels are set up across the county and there are victims forced into prostitution”…

To Molest and Rape (#814) 

Seeing this one power being taken from cops is a small victory, but a victory nonetheless:

Maryland is among 35 states that lack laws prohibiting police from [raping] those they arrest…New York’s legislature recently voted to change its law…Brooke Lierman…wants to make the same change in Maryland.  Her bill to do that has passed the House.  She told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee…that she was moved to push for the change after reading reports about women who were raped while in police custody [and the rapists get away with it by claiming it was consensual]…

Disaster

Now they notice.  Good going, Gay, Inc!

…More people should care about sex workers’ rights.  But if you think none of this applies to you because you’re not queer or into kink or sex work, think again: the US Congress wants to further regulate sex by way of the internet, and most people’s modern sex lives interact with the internet.  Craigslist shut down its entire personal section because of the overreaching congressional desire to control sex work.  And there’s no reason Congress couldn’t similarly intimidate Tinder or Grindr to remove you or shut down entirely as it has Craigslist…the real sex panic is not due to feminism run amok, but due to the patriarchal, homophobic, transantagonistic, theocratic desire of the US Congress to control sex workers – and, by extension, to smother the sexual desires of any of us who don’t want to conform to their puritanical ways.

Here are a few more of those in that “any of us” category:

…Another website taken offline was Pounced.org, a dating site for “furries” – or devotees of anthropomorphic animal characters who like to dress in costumes…“with limited resources and a small volunteer staff, our risk for operating the site has now significantly increased…if someone posts an ad looking to exchange sex…and we don’t catch it, is that facilitating prostitution?”…Microsoft…issued a change to its terms of service which will ban “offensive language”…from its services, including Skype…YourDominatrix.com ended all US listings, with a note saying it was “due to a recent bill passed by Congress”…the escort forums on “Hung Angels” shut down…VerifyHim, a site devoted to helping sex workers stay safe by screening their clients, also removed its discussion forums…On Twitter, sex workers…were passing around safety tips and “self-censoring” advice for the new era, while others were converting to secure email accounts and offshore internet hosting sites…

Morality Lessons (#826) 

Looks like at least one dangerous censor-moron is on his way out:

New revelations about the man who authored trendy anti-porn and digital censorship legislation has killed its chances in…Rhode Island…and may doom it…in the 17 other states with similar proposals…Chris Sevier…sometimes called [his brainchild] the “Elizabeth Smart Law”…[but] Smart recently demanded that Sevier stop using her name…It’s a bad legal month all around for Sevier, who had sued in federal court for the right to marry his laptop…A federal judge in Utah threw out the case…The whole fiasco isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of how a lot of state officials approach the lawmaking process.  At minimum, you’d think someone…would put a smidge of effort into finding out basic background about the people whose whims they’re attempting to enable into law…

Read Full Post »

[Censorship] filter deactivation…would be a frightening form of thought-based surveillance.  –  Camille Fischer

Worse Than I Thought

It’s nice to have the Mouse on the side of right for a change:

Florida lawmakers made headlines last month with a proposal to let people sexually exploited in hotel rooms sue the hotel where the abuse took place.  The bill would have imposed $50,000 to $100,000 in fines on defendants who lose, in addition to any money awarded to the victim…But…the bill’s sponsor yanked the legislation from current consideration…Disney and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association were reportedly lobbying against the bill behind the scenes…the outcome here is undoubtedly a good one.  Allowing the victims of sex trafficking to sue hotels…does nothing to prevent exploitation…or to punish those responsible for it.  It creates enormous incentives for fraud…It creates a new imperative for hotel staff to harass innocent customers and invade their privacy.  It ensures that sex workers will face more arrests…we don’t allow the families of people murdered in hotels to file such suits…And it paves the way for more third parties to be held legally liable for the actions of criminals…

Japanese Prostitution (#601) 

The Japanese government still denies it did this:

Documents and video footage have been found showing massacres of Korean comfort women by the Japanese military shortly before the end of World War II…the city of Seoul and the Seoul National University (SNU) Human Rights Center made public for the first time footage of the aftermath of a massacre of Korean comfort women…This footage flatly contradicts the Japanese government’s denial of the forced mobilization and massacre of the comfort women.  The footage shows a Chinese soldier, apparently on a burial detail, looking at naked corpses and then removing the socks off one of them.  Smoke is rising from one corner of the frame…“It’s blurred out in the version for public release, but the original footage shows corpses missing heads and other body parts, allowing us to infer the cruelty of the events in question,” the research team said…

Bottleneck (#638)

Welcome to our world, ridesharing companies:

This local CBS report from the Windy City asks the worrying question of whether or not traffic congestion is getting worse in their city and if ride-hailing services might be to blame…If a new cab company opened up, purchased a thousand new cars, painted them up and put them on the road, you’d have a thousand new cars hanging around downtown, clustering near common pick-up areas and just cruising.  That would increase traffic.  But Uber drivers use their own vehicles which were already on the road before they started driving for the company.  And they don’t wait around by hotels or train stations.  They pick a central location and park, waiting for the app to offer them a rider…cruising around would waste gas and cut into their bottom line… We rarely heard any of these “traffic congestion” complaints before except for some occasional griping, but look what other items popped up, all in the space of a couple of weeks…if someone wanted to do some digging I’d wager the National Taxi Worker Alliance and state level lobbyist groups like the Virginia Taxicab Association would be good places to start…

Finding What Isn’t There (#778)

The actual number of people arrested (not tried or convicted) for “human trafficking” in Louisiana during this period: 16.

New numbers recently released by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services showed an overall 50 percent increase in human trafficking in the state from 2016 to 2017.  For victims under 18, there was a 77 percent reported jump.  According to the report, there were 681 human trafficking victims in the state in 2017.  Of those victims, over half (356) were under 18.  DCFS…gets the numbers from agencies across the state and more agencies are now reporting, so it is worth noting that’s a possible cause for the increase…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#795) 

Are there still people who believe the French are sexually liberal?

A group of French lawmakers wants a fine of at least 90 euros ($110) for people caught making sexist catcalls as President Emmanuel Macron’s government prepares a sweeping new law targeting sexual [behavior]…proposals…included a fine for “comments, behavior or pressure of a sexist or sexual character” that [cops decide to label] degrading, humiliating, intimidating, hostile or offensive.  Details of how it would be enforced are unclear…

Stalkers in Blue 

I have no doubt that had her kids been absent, this would’ve turned into a rape:

…Patricia Wilson…says [a Tennessee state] trooper, Isaiah Lloyd, pulled her over for not wearing a seat belt in August last year, according to a lawsuit…Lloyd asked her to get out of her car and lift up her camisole and shirt, then felt around her waistline…put his hands in her underwear and touched her buttock and pubic area.  Lloyd ticketed Wilson for not wearing a seat belt — a…violation the DA’s office later dismissed — and she continued on to work…Three hours later, Lloyd pulled her over again, as Wilson’s children — 3 and 8 years old — were in the vehicle.  “We have to stop meeting like this,” Lloyd allegedly said.  He also said he would not give her a ticket for having tinted windows and asked her where she was going…

Not So Easy

New Orleans club owners cover their arses by throwing dancers under the bus:

The Louisiana Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control has released details of the consent orders reached with nine French Quarter strip clubs after January raids…mandatory [indoctrination] will include twice-yearly sessions…[of sex] trafficking [propaganda even though]…ATC officials have acknowledged there were no human trafficking-related arrests in their raids…The clubs must also begin using “mystery shoppers” to check in on the businesses once a month…to see if any illegal activity is taking place…[surveillance] cameras must also be installed in all public areas, VIP rooms, private rooms and stages.  Recordings from these cameras must be kept for 30 days and “made available to ATC immediately upon request”…the business[es are required] to fire employees or independent contractors [cops decide to accuse of] prostitution or drug sales…Hustler Barely Legal Club and Hunk Oasis, both owned by the same ownership group…are [also] required to [search] the bags of employees, dancers and entertainers at the start of their shift.  They are also required to hire additional [thugs] to “regularly patrol the floor and VIP areas”…

Morality Lessons (#811) 

Moral panic + censorship = profit:

More than 15 state legislatures are considering the “Human Trafficking Prevention Act” (HTPA)…a…[censorship] bill…[which] would…threaten your free speech and privacy in [an]…attempt to block and tax online pornography.  EFF opposed versions of this bill in over a dozen states last year, and the bill failed in all of them.  Now HTPA is back…Device manufacturers would be forced to install “obscenity filters” on cell phones, tablets, computers, and any other Internet-connected devices.  [The censorship software] could only be removed if consumers pay a $20 fee…allow[ing] the government to intrude into consumers’ private lives and restrict their control over their own devices…HTPA…has been introduced in…Hawaii…Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, New Jersey…New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee…Virginia, West Virginia…and Wyoming…the bill has died in committees in Mississippi and Virginia…[and] senators in New Mexico…pulled back the bill days after EFF raised the alarm…

The Mote and the Beam (#818)

Monkey see, monkey do:

The [UK] National Crime Agency (NCA) claims Google and Facebook are “making profits” from sex trafficking…Ministers are reportedly considering new laws to make internet giants liable when human traffickers use their sites to “pimp” their victims to potential clients…New US laws are set to overturn more than 20 years of blanket immunity for sites.  It will make firms liable if they “knowingly assist, support or facilitate” content that leads to trafficking…

Maybe someone should tell the UK media that these laws aren’t even passed, much less “set” to do anything.

Read Full Post »

I’m glad that Sessions is attorney general.  –  Chuck Grassley

As those of you who remember my very old story “Greek God” may have guessed, I dearly loved The Muppet Show and bought the three seasons of it that were released before Disney decided to do what it did to several other series, namely not release the last two seasons.  This video, from the unreleased fifth season, features a very young Debbie Harry, whom I had a huge crush on at the time this first aired.  The links above it were provided by Mike SiegelTim CushingElizabeth N. BrownAdjective GirlDavid Ley, and Jesse Walker, in that order.

From the Archives

Read Full Post »

People say [sex work] is…easy money…those are people who have never done sex work.  –  Christa Daring

Watershed

Slowly but surely, public opinion is turning in our favor:

…Baltimore’s observation of the International Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers on Dec. 17…was organized by Sex Workers Outreach Project, or SWOP, and held in a small room in Impact Hub on North Avenue, just a few short blocks from “the stroll” on Charles Street…the Baltimore Police Department routinely refuse[s] to investigate sexual assaults and often harasse[s] victims of sexual assault, and that in cases of sexual assault or violence against sex workers, [cops] often [try] “to coerce sexual favors from them in exchange for avoiding arrest”…

Opting Out (#401)

This will continue until people recognize that “filtering” is a euphemism for “censorship”:

In school districts across the country…censorship takes place invisibly, through the use of internet filtering programs that block certain categories of websites — or even websites that mention specific words — when students use school computers to access the internet.  Although primarily designed to prevent access to pornography, the deeply flawed software, and school districts’ widespread embrace of it, has a significant impact on classroom teaching.  In Rhode Island…in 2013, the ACLU found that, whether by design or just due to the inevitably clumsy nature of such filtering, teachers and their students were blocked from viewing such varied and innocuous websites as those for PBS Kids and National Stop Bullying Day, a video clip of the Nutcracker ballet, and a website on climate change, among many others.  One science teacher expressed frustration that a lesson plan of his was ruined when students couldn’t search for information about “polyvinyl alcohol” on their computers because the term contained the blocked word “alcohol.”  Four years later…school districts continue to block sites that prevent students from researching all sorts of topical subjects.  Some districts took the censorship to ridiculous extremes — using their filtering software to block sites designated as “political,” “news,” and even “dictionary”…

Original Sin (#445)

The entire “sex trafficking” myth is rooted in the anti-sex dogma of Protestant Christianity:

…The rhetoric of evangelical anti-trafficking activists…is sensationalist…it works to incite fear, prurient interest, and a sense of moral righteousness…In the last two decades, the fight against [sex work] has become something of an evangelical mission.  One now finds fundraising walks prayer weekendsBible studiesself-help books and even praise songs devoted to [it]…the crusades’ rhetoric…is grounded in…conservative Protestant sexual morality.  A traditional script of sexual and gender roles is foundational to anti-trafficking activism.  Girls are rehabilitated so that they can occupy their [approved] positions…as married women and mothers.  This is ultimately what anti-trafficking activists mean by freedom, Yvonne Sherman argues in Other Dreams of Freedom: Religion, Sex, and Human Trafficking…conservative Protestants have argued that marriage alone is the appropriate sexual relationship, divinely ordained…As such, sexual relations outside of marriage are imagined as bondage…Conservative Protestant women have a long history of fashioning themselves as guardians of the moral order, more specifically of marriage and the familya strategy they have employed to legitimate their political and social campaigns, from suffrage and temperance to abortion and same-sex marriage debates…

Moving Pictures 

I wonder how many of these Reefer Madness-style fakumentaries there will be before the hysteria ends?

Gridshock is a feature-length investigative documentary that exposes the sex trafficking industry in Iowa.  It will explore the insidious network of sexual enslavement that is flourishing in our communities RIGHT NOW…in our neighborhoods IN EVERY SINGLE IOWA COUNTY…all around us is a thinly veiled market trading in sexually enslaved human beings, mostly women and children.  In two online clicks, you can purchase – for sex against their will – an infant, child, or adolescent; a woman or man; in any county in Iowa…

It’s good to see this scam flopping.  Maybe people are starting to understand that no, you can’t “buy a slave with two online clicks”, not in Iowa nor anywhere else in the world.

Guinea Pigs (#530) 

Hypocrisy, thy name is Washington:

Washington’s attorney general is suing Motel 6, saying the budget hotel disclosed the personal information of thousands of guests to federal immigration authorities in violation of state law…Bob Ferguson said…Motel 6’s “actions are disturbing and they are unlawful.”  He said the motel divulged to Immigration and Customs Enforcement the names, dates of birth, license plate numbers and room numbers of more than 9,000 guests at six locations throughout the state…

Remember, this is the state which regularly enters into corrupt fascist deals with prohibitionists and pressures businesses to snitch to the pigs about their employees’ private sexual activities.

To Molest and Rape 

Cop uses typical cop deception tactics to lure teen girls he can molest:

A U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of posing online as a [teen] boy to share nude photos and sexually explicit messages with teen girls now faces a federal sex crime charge.  Micah Mardo…was arrested…at a northwest Washington state Border Patrol station after…a complaint to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children was forwarded to a Bellingham-based FBI agent…the [snitch] reported Mardo’s wife had discovered child pornography and…”emails to minors with pornographic photos, conversations between her husband and a coworker…where her husband described sexual fantasies about his own minor daughter and her friends”…[Mardo also pressured girls for nude photos, sent obscene images of himself and shared sexually explicit messages]…

A Woman’s Point of View (#706) 

While one of the sponsors of the New Hampshire decriminalization bill has made comments that reek of the Swedish rot, I had a pleasant exchange with one of the other sponsors on Twitter the other day.  When I asked her to clarify her stand on the Swedish model, this was her encouraging response:

As I told her at the time, I’ve had enough politicians as clients to understand that sausage-making can be a nasty process.  But its good to see that this lady has laudable goals, even if they’re later undermined by other legislators.

Like Houses

As usual, I’m sure useful idiots will be cheering this expansion of censorship:

Social media platforms doing business in Germany can look forward to a year filled with fines of up to €50m.  Germany’s hate speech law went into effect on January 1st, providing the country with a new revenue stream it can tap into for the rest of whatever…The law gives social media platforms 24 hours to remove “obviously illegal” content.  This, of course, raises the question about how obvious “obviously illegal” content needs to be…Presumably, the government gets to decide how “obvious” the illegality is and how often it gets to collect millions of euros…Not only are service providers fined…EMPLOYEES of these companies can be directly fined as well…A regime with an interest in censorship and curtailing criticism has already pushed out a carbon-copy of Germany’s law.  This gives Russia the opportunity to push companies into performing censorship on its behalf, with Germany to point at when critics start questioning [its] actions…

Cops and Robbers (#794) 

More pompous, misogynistic men taking it upon themselves to “disrupt” women’s income:

…Over 74,000 attempts to purchase sex have been disrupted…[by] men…in Portland, San Diego, Boston, Foster City, Oakland, Fort Worth, Dallas, Detroit, Kansas City and Los Angeles…[the program has] enthusiastic support from [pigs, prohibitionists and politicians]…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »