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Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’

Curfew and quarantine enforcement inevitably mean new opportunities for police overreach, profiling, and violence.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Above the Law 

Even rent-a-cops feel entitled to rape sex workers:

A hospital security guard has been jailed for 14 years for the rape and violent assault of two sex workers…one of the victims was forced to jump naked from a window to get away from Noel McKeon…as he tried to stab her. The attacks, on June 18, 2016 and on February 2, 2018, both took place after McKeon contacted the two women [for outcall]…

Monsters

What a sick, sorry waste:

Timothy Blancher, 20, Alunte Davis, 21, and Paris Cameron, 20, all attended a party with a 19-year-old man they met at a gas station in Detroit.  Hours after he left the group, Devon Robinson, 19, burst into the house wearing a masked and…gunn[ed] the three…down…Jurors found Robinson guilty Tuesday of the May 25, 2019, murders…committed…to cover up…that he had engaged in sex…with the three victims…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#802) 

Predictable in the current Neo-Victorian climate:

Playboy has announced that it’s closing down its flagship magazine for the rest of 2020.  It seems unlikely, given the wording of the announcement and the state of print magazine-making, that it will ever return.  It’s not a surprise, exactly — its circulation and advertising drooped long ago, accelerating as the nudie pictures for which it was celebrated became available everywhere for free…

The Widening Gyre (#866)

This won’t end until it starts inconveniencing the wealthy & well-connected:

…Oprah Winfrey’s name…trend[ed on Twitter after]…a series of tweets…alleged that the celebrity’s Florida home had been raided by police, who were “digging up the tunnels” there in connection with an alleged sex trafficking ring.  (…Oprah has no home in Florida)…the tweets put forth theories:  some noting the friendship Oprah enjoyed with Harvey Weinstein, others suggesting the novel coronavirus epidemic was somehow engineered to shift the spotlight away from the arrest of celebrities involved in the alleged ring…includ[ing] Tom Hanks and Justin Trudeau…

Wise Investment (#920)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

From January through March [of last year], at least four men responded to online ads f[rom a pervert cop fantasy role-playing as] a [sex worker] named “Brittany” who…asked each of the four men to meet [him] at a hotel, but first to stop at a gas station before to buy [him] a treat such as a candy bar or a can of pop…Cases against them were dismissed, first by a district court, and then by a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals…[because] the [prosecutor] charged the[m]…with…soliciting prostitution….[which] has to come in a “public place”…cops and…prosectors…didn’t prove any of these men was in [public] when they texted [the masturbating cop.  Though]…the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office [vomited a lot of disgusting nonsense about]…human-trafficking…[all over the court, it still]…rul[ed that]…there’s no evidence indicating [the cop was fantasizing he] was underage, or a victim of trafficking, [while msturbating, and] the…language on gross misdemeanor solicitation is plain, and applies only to “public” acts…

You Were Warned

A reminder of what the government is trying to take away from you:

It’s almost hard to believe now, but there was time when Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of “participatory media” were widely heralded as great gifts to public perception and global democracy.  For going on nearly half a decade now, the tone on tech companies and social media has shifted to one of suspicion, hostility, grievance, and moral panic.  But as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world and as many governments continue to mishandle things, people are starting to remember why the platforms we love to hate are important after all…Social media have also been providing news from early outbreak zones across the globe, as users widely disseminate stories from foreign news outlets, statements from foreign leaders, and first-hand accounts from residents of affected areas abroad.  These snapshots helped give Americans a better sense of the scope of the threat posed by COVID-19 at a time when the messages coming from official channels were conflicting and confusing…

Social Distancing

As always, sex workers demonstrate our adaptability:

Portland will not go without its strippers, even during a…pandemic.  Lucky Devil Lounge is bringing its dancers to your door with a new food delivery service it’s calling—wait for it—”Boober Eats”.  “I originally did it at first as a joke,” says club owner Shon Boulden, “and it got 150 shares on Facebook—like nothing we’ve ever had before.  So I was like, ‘Well shit, why don’t we just try to do this?'”  Lucky Devil has a full food menu and non-alcoholic drinks, like ginger beer and Red Bull, available for delivery.  The process is similar to many the home drop-off systems that have sprung up overnight as a way for restaurants and breweries to continue operating…Simply peruse the menu online, give the business a call and place your order….[but] instead of being greeted a harried driver in jeans and a hoodie, your meal is hand-delivered by two dancers.  “They’ll wear pasties and booty shorts, drop off the food, dance for a second and then we’ll move along,” Boulden says.  “We’ll still stay a reasonable distance back.  They have Lysol as well”…the strippers will also pose for photos…

Meanwhile, in porn:

Free Speech Coalition…called for a voluntary shutdown of all adult entertainment productions in the United States and Canada through Tuesday, March 31…”we ask that producers cancel all shoots through March 31, and recommend that performers immediately stop filming with partners who are not a part of their household”…

The Public Eye (#1022)

Prohibitionist whining is becoming increasingly desperate:

The MTA [was paid to] display…a series of advertisements promoting a “Sex Workers Pop-up” exhibit…[prohibitionists moronically labeled the text-only ads]…“sexually oriented” [even though they merely advertised an art exhibit]…and [bloviated a lot of their usual puritanical idiocy about how consensual sex is]…inherently harmful.  The pastel pink promotions, up since early March on subway lines across the five boroughs, was bankrolled by George Soros’ Open Society Foundation and invites commuters to a West Village “exhibit dedicated to the global sex worker movement”…

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Companies…that made bad bets on the internet…[are] using…the political process to harm the competitors who built the products people actually want.  –  Mike Masnick

Anatomy of a Boondoggle

While some other states are trying to stop cops from raping sex workers, Florida is still paying them to do so:

A..[lying cop]…with the Pembroke Pines [Florida cop shop] used department-issued funds to get [access to women so he could] sexual[ly assault masseuses]…at three massage parlors…the [rapist] arrested] four women, ages 48 to 58, who are from Shanghai, China.  The women…didn’t have…[state permission to touch other humans and] are facing prostitution charges…

Welcome To Our World

People’s lives are just stakes in a game to these sociopaths:

Hillsborough County, Florida [cops pretended to be]…homeowners seeking handymen on social media to do jobs that required licensure.  These unsuspecting handymen would be lured to one of five homes, where [pigs] filmed them performing or agreeing to perform prohibited tasks like painting or installing recess lighting…118 [people in all were victimized by the badge-carrying] con men…Leslie Sammis, a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa…[said] “The real con men that are trying to trick homeowners are usually too experienced to get caught up in one of these types of sting operations.  So the stings tend to catch someone that crosses the line in an unsophisticated way”…[pigs] will hire a handyman on the pretext of performing work that doesn’t need a license, and then during the course of the job ask them to do something that does, like unhooking a toilet or laying some tiles…the [pigs] are [literally] creating a crime that probably wouldn’t occur otherwise…Cops and regulators have conducted similar [violent scams] in New York and California

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false rape accusations:

Prosecutors in California are dropping all charges against a surgeon and his girlfriend who were [wrongly] accused of drugging and raping a number of women…Grant W. Robicheaux…and Cerissa Riley were charged in 2018 with kidnapping, rape by use of drugs, and other crimes…prosecutors [fantasized that] the couple…[would] meet…women in restaurants and bars, spik[e] their drinks, tak[e] them to Robicheaux’s apartment, and sexually assaulting them.  Prosecutors [pretended] they had more than 1,000 videos of…women being sexually abused. But…Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, who was elected after the case was filed, said there were no such videos.  “There is not a single piece of evidence or video or photo that shows an…incapacitated woman being sexually assaulted,” Spitzer said…”Not one”…Spitzer…criticized his predecessor, Tony Rackauckas, for filing the case…[but the] judge [is afraid to drop it because of]…politics…[and] Rackauckas voiced concern that his successor’s decision would [make his false prosecution look bad]…and claimed that…the…case [should be tried in]…the [court of] public [opinion instead of a real court]…

To Molest and Rape

Just another typical and representative cop predating on vulnerable women:

A [typical and representative] El Paso [cop got off with] a [mere] decade of probation [after brutally raping] a woman he met wh[en she reported]…a domestic violence incident.  William Ollie Alexander…will [at least] have to register as a sex offender for life….on…March 10, 2018…he met [the victim after taking her]…domestic violence [report]…and hours later…took her to a dark area…and [raped] her…

The Mote and the Beam (#777)

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

…the narrative being pushed about internet companies and Section 230 was…manufactured…by Hollywood and other old legacy companies jealous of the success of new internet companies…the NY Times has a detailed article on…how a broad coalition of big, old, legacy companies are conspiring to punish Google and Facebook by convincing the media and politicians that Section 230…is bad.  The headline lists three companies: IBM, Marriott, and Disney…Disney and its powerful trade association have fought to stop the law’s spread abroad.  Marriott has asked Congress to amend the law.  IBM has a plan to [castrate] it…Disney, of course, is a stand-in for the MPAA and all of the big Hollywood movie studios…while Disney led the copyright lobbying charge in the 80s and 90s, the company leading the way against the internet…has been Fox.  But…Disney recently bought Fox…Marriott…has been screaming bloody murder about Airbnb for years, because it can’t stand having competition that actually offers better service…IBM…and Oracle…[don’t] rely on Section 230, since they don’t run consumer facing internet services…

Traffic Jam (#877)

The ethically-bankrupt Dominique “Body Fluids” Sepowitz has invented another idiotic “study” designed to find exactly what its funders wanted found:

More than two-thirds of sex [workers labeled by prohibitionists as] trafficking victims in a Hawaii study reported being homeless…[deranged fantasist] Khara Jabola-Carolus [was] co-author of the study [along with her crony Dominique “Body Fluids” Sepowitz]…The [so-called] study [was actually] a…survey [of questionnaires filled out by] 363…clients of state service agencies…[the designation as] sex trafficking victims [was imposed by Carolus and Sepowitz without the consent of the clients…

In 2018, Jabolus cried to cops when Sepowitz claimed she had received a mysterious text message about a supposed plot against Carolus’ job; she claimed the rumor constituted a “threat of physical violence”.  This is the level of fantasy and wild exaggeration that passes for truth in “Cuckoo Clock” McCain’s crowd.  In case you’re wondering why this drama is centered around tiny Hawaii, it’s because there is some support for decriminalization in the state legislature and the prohibitionists want that crushed.

Guinea Pigs (#881) 

Summer Stephan has for years touted her personal animus against whores as “concern”:

[Politicians] in San Diego…are [still persecuting adults for seeking consensual sex, now with] a new mobile app [intended to trick] the public [into ratting their neighbors out to the pigs]…District Attorney Summer Stephan [and other “sex trafficking” fetishists shared their fantasies of]…traffickers…lur[ing]…victims and…[brave hero cops.  Magic]al technology is playing a growing role in the ability of traffickers to…control their victims…Humans Against Trafficking…release[d]…a free mobile app, called Radlee, designed to [frame ordinary events as]…suspicious…the app will allow…parents…to [spy on sex workers online and rat them out to the pigs]…Roger Martin, the group’s CEO…[says “Women are much too stupid to place escort ads themselves, so] there must be some trafficker that’s flipping through profiles on Instagram and based on what he reads or sees, deciding whether or not to [traffick them]”…Martin’s organization…last year received a $100,000 grant from San Diego County…

A Moral Cancer (#978)

Buried lede: “The increase in absolute risk is so small that it is unlikely to be relevant for the individual“:

If you’ve been swayed by recent reports that red and processed meat isn’t harmful to your health, [crypto-moralists want you to ignore the facts and listen to their claims of a]…significant risk of death from any cause tied to eating two servings of processed meat or unprocessed red meat each week…One serving…equaled two slices of bacon, two small sausages or one hot dog…[or] 4 ounces of red meat…The new findings [were designed to contradict]…a…meta-analysis [show]ing there’s no need to reduce your red and processed meat intake for good health…

Crypto-moralists will claim that anything that brings pleasure is “unhealthy”, because it isn’t really about health; it’s about puritanism.  Since puritans believe pleasure is bad, they’re always looking for ways to pretend their primitive ideas about “sin” have some basis in reality.

Subtle Pimping (#979)

Cops watch racist “virtual reality” porn and call it “training”:

Last year, students from Cal Poly created a VR massage parlor [fantasy] to [entert]ain cops [with the misogynistic myth that] many [women] are forced into prostitution…In Houston, Texas, most…vice [pigs]…have spent time [masturbating to] Trapped, a [porn] that [lets them fantasy roleplay] 14-year-old Lisa…More than 2,500 [cops]…have [masturbated to this BDSM fantasy] at [pig] conventions…Billy Joe Cain, CEO of…the VR [porn] company behind Trapped…[also] licenses his…profit[able fantasy game] to high schools and middle schools as a[n indoctrination into anti-sex dogma]…

Across the Pond (#985)

Redbridge has a long history of harassing sex workers while belching up stupid “crime” rhetoric:

…a [gang] of 17 [highly aggressive pigs]…will be [harassing people with]…evening and late-night patrols, seven days a week.  Redbridge Council…set up [the gang with] a £320,000 funding pot…[to harass homeless people, buskers,] street s[ell]ers…drinkers and [sex workers]…the [gang] will also [spy on people in] Ilford Lane [using the favorite cop wanking fantasy of]…pop-up brothels…Mark Glazer, chairman of Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch, described the amount being [thrown away] on the [gang] as “ludicrous” and said resources should to be directed elsewhere…”They have been trying to sort out prostitution in Ilford Lane for years and [sending] police [to harass people] will not help”…

Crying for Nanny (#998)

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria:

A new lawsuit seeking $100 million in damages for two [soi-disant] victims claims the owners of nearly two dozen Collier County [Florida] hotels and motels are responsible for sex trafficking on their premises …Sharon Hanlon, an a[mbulance-chasing shyster, filed]…this lawsuit [to profit from hysteria as allowed by FOSTA]…Linda Oberhaus, [a rescue industry profiteer, claims]…“These are the hotels that are allowing human trafficking to exist”…The [ambulance-chasers] said as their [greed] in[creases], they expect to add more hotels and motels to the lawsuit…

Choke Point (#1006) 

Fascism in action, badly covered by a yellow journalist:

…If you want to PayPal or Venmo some cash to someone without any hitches, do not put the word Iran in the memo field…Jewish Currents…tweeted that nine payments to its staff and contributors had been held up by PayPal because the transaction descriptions included the term Iran in reference to a piece that the magazine published…PayPal, along with its subsidiary Venmo, uses a system that automatically flags keywords in the payment memo field that could indicate a violation…So if, say, you try to send a friend money for “drinks at Cuba Libre”, you’ll quickly learn how dense PayPal’s system can be when it comes to context clues…this leaves out a good number of illicit activities that the payment service could be facilitating…I sent my editor dozens of 1 cent transactions with different memo descriptions…PayPal…has a…laissez-faire stance toward weapons, drugs, human and animal trafficking, prostitution, and hate groups…

Not only is this moron spreading fake information based on an idiotic experiment (even PayPal computers know that a 1¢ transaction to a male Slate editor with the memo “blowjob” – yep, he went there – is not a genuine sex work transaction); his puritanical pea brain also considers sex work as in the same category as “Car bomb”, “Kidnapping”, “Nazis”, and “KKK”.  Let’s hope he tries the experiment I suggested to him (sending several hundred bucks to a female friend with “blowjob” in the memo) so his account gets shut down.

To Molest and Rape (#1012)

Give aggressive thugs power over teen girls; what could possibly go wrong?

A [typical and representative] Cottage Grove [Minnesota cop] assigned to [terrorize students at] Park High School has been charged with [molesting] seven female students and soliciting one…multiple times for nude photos.  Adam G. Pelton…[managed to rack up this score in only a year ending on] Oct. 4, 2019…Students [reported] that Pelton repeatedly [groped them under cover of non-consensual] hug[ging]…during which he would [grope] their buttocks…Most of these [attacks] occurred in Pelton’s private school office, which lacked video surveillance [because cop]…

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I can’t breathe.  –  David Glen Ward

The name of Caroll Spinney, who died earlier this month, may not be familiar, but I’m sure you’ll know the names of two characters he played for almost half a century:  Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch.  So I can’t think of a better way to observe Christmas and honor Spinney than to feature this video of Oscar sharing his feelings about the holiday.  The links above it were provided by Mama Tush (“faking” & “strangles”); Radley Balko (“explain”); Anarras Ansible (“treatment”); Mike Siegel (“Kampala”); and Cop Crisis (“execution” & “umbrella”).

From the Archives

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The investigator cannot just tread through the bloody crime scene in street shoes and pick up the murder weapon with an ungloved hand.  –  Tami Loehrs

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#699)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

…Edina [Minnesota] Rotary member Renee Harberts [recited the “sex traffickin” Shahada]…and [then publicly described her disgusting sexual fantasies about]…kids as young as five…[prohibitionists fantasize]…one in seven kids are sexually abused and later in life they’re more likely to fall victim to sex trafficking.  93% of adult sex trafficking victims were sexually abused in their elementary years and never tell anyone about it….Harberts and a few members convinced the rest of the rotary to…raise…$10,000 to [indoctrinate] 3rd graders in Edina schools [in ’80s-era “Stranger Danger” propaganda, updated with a modern version of 19th century “white slavery” propaganda]…The group invited a panel of three experts to [publicly fantasie] about human trafficking…”We know that 0.02% of trafficking victims find freedom,” [moaned] Carla Marroquin of Protect Me Project [with her hand in her pants]…“The recidivism rate is between nine and eleven times that they will go back to the life of human trafficking”…

Bottleneck (#746) 

Yet another example of why sex worker licensing is a terrible idea:

…in Senegal…sex workers must register with police, attend mandatory monthly sexual health screenings, test negative for STIs and carry a valid ID card confirming their health status…But…sex work is still criminalized…for those who are unregistered, which effectively creates a two-tiered system…sex workers face enormous social stigma and discrimination…the…[estimated] level of registration [is extremely high at] 20% [which is twice the highest fraction recorded anywhere else in the world, probably because of the high rate of HIV in Senegalese sex workers]…the registration law was first introduced in 1969 — inherited from French colonial legislation that stuck around even after Senegal declared independence…Women who are registered live in fear that family members will discover their identification cards, or…see their name on a registration database …”When you are registered, you are registered for life,” said [Professor Cheikh Tidiane] Ndour [of the Ministry of Health]…”Even if you stop pursuing this profession, your great-grandchildren can find your name somewhere, and that is a problem”…If registered sex workers miss their monthly appointments they can face up to six months in jail…[and of course] registered sex workers [are] more likely than unregistered…to experience [rape, robbery, extortion and other] violence at the hands of [cops]…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a picture of a Nerf gun”?

[Cops] in…Phoenix, Arizona, [interrogated] a teenager and his parents and searched their home and the kid’s school after the teen posted to a group chat a jokey message…[about] going to school the next day posted alongside a photo of a Nerf gun…one of the…chat participants narced on the exchange and set the wheels of officialdom in motion…As red flag laws and other reporting systems proliferate around the country, we’re likely to see even more incidents in which cops…are [summoned] into innocuous situations by people who refuse to ask simple questions or to believe that we’re living in a remarkably safe age…in the Phoenix incident, school officials proactively assured parents that the incident was “not a credible threat”…but…Justine and Nathan Myers were similar victims…after 16-year-old Nathan documented a shooting outing with his mother on Snapchat….somebody contacted Colorado’s Safe2Tell, a[n]…anonymous…[snitch line]…Nathan was banned from school until public outrage forced officials to reverse their decision…

Disaster (#931)

I’m sure you amateurs are happy to be censored “for THE CHILDREN™!”:

…Twitch suspended a streamer named Quqco for wearing a cosplay of Street Fighter heroine Chun-Li on stream, deeming her outfit “sexually suggestive”…[even though it] was not…streamer Bridgett Devoue was given a three-day suspension for [unexplained]…“sexually suggestive content or activities”…Overwatch streamer Fareeha got hit with a warning (and a 90-day probationary period) after wearing a sports bra and baggy shorts at the gym…Saruei [got]…a warning for drawing “nudes,” despite the fact that her characters…are clothed…

Pyrrhic Victory (#937) 

As long as cops suffer no consequences for disobedience, laws like this are mere political grandstanding:

San Francisco has already banned the use of facial recognition tech by local [cops].  Oakland did the same thing a couple of months later.  Pretty soon, it’s not going to matter where you are in California.  If you’re a law enforcement agency, facial recognition tech is off-limits…for three years…The bill…also targets other biometric surveillance methods…It forbids direct use by California law enforcement agencies, as well as prevents them from asking agencies outside the state (including federal agencies) from deploying this tech on their behalf.  It also blocks state agencies from using cameras (body, dash, stationary) that utilize this tech.  If this bill is signed into law, California will become the first state [with such a] ban…

You may have noticed that laws claiming to restrict government powers never carry a criminal penalty, despite the fact that every law intended to control subjects of the government always do.  Also note that unlike laws intended to control the people, this has a conveniently-short sunset clause so the legislature needn’t do anything to quietly get rid of it once the frogs get used to the new temperature of their water.

Negative Secondary Effects (#937)

Politicians are gradually coming to realize that their constituency includes sex workers and clients:

A strip club will stay open despite [prohibitionist efforts to put scores of women out of work]…Sheffield council’s licensing committee met for eight hours to discuss whether Spearmint Rhino should have its sexual entertainment licence renewed.  [Industrial spies] employed by [misogynistic censors] had [filmed] dancers [against their consent in an attempt to shame the committee into wrongfully revoking the license, but]…dancers from the club…campaigned to save [it]…

Law of the Instrument (#954)

If his victims hadn’t been sex workers, would “authorities” have let him rack up three before bothering to act?

Ed Buck, who has been subject to protests and calls for prosecution in the overdose deaths of two men at his West Hollywood home, was arrested [last week] in connection with a third overdose…the Los Angeles district attorney’s office [seems to have finally realized]…that Buck is “a violent, dangerous sexual predator”…[who] personally administered “dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims”…Activists have been calling for Buck’s arrest…for the deaths of Gemmel Moore…and Timothy Dean…both black gay men were found in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment less than two years apart…[due to] methamphetamine overdoses…Buck…has now been charged with operating a drug house and providing meth to a…who overdosed last week…but survived…

Business As Usual (#956)

Even by nauseatingly-low local news standards, the sound of bootlicking in this is deafening:

Several months after Columbus police disbanded its vice [gang, badge-lickers] in a south Columbus neighborhood [whine] they feel it every day.  “When you have the prostitutes, it just breeds the drugs, all kinds of stuff. There are children seeing that it’s ok and it’s not ok,” said [pompous busybody Ima Copsucker]…a block watch coordinator [who] spends hours every day [minding other people’s business]…She was hoping…[her beloved pigs] could help [root out] the human trafficking problem in the area…Columbus [pigs oink that what they absurdly call]…the human trafficking problem…has gotten worse since the vice [herd] has been disbanded…

What’s that you say, Ima? “There are all these black people out in public since they ended Jim Crow.  Something needs to be done to keep them in their place, preferably with violence.”  Yep, that’s what I thought you said.

Dangerous Speech (#968)

The government keeps trying to hide information in the Backpage case:

…prosecutors sought to continue stonewalling defense counsel on access to data on more than 100 servers that once kept…Backpage…in operation…But U.S. District Court Judge Susan Brnovich denied the government’s request that she reject a defense motion to examine the material on those servers in the same condition as when the government seized the website on April 6, 2018.  Instead, Brnovich scheduled a day-long evidentiary hearing for October 3, during which [pigs] and expert witnesses are expected to testify…As explained in the defense’s motion to compel evidence, the 106 servers seized by the government contained historical data about Backpage’s ads that can refute the feds’ allegations, show that Backpage’s moderation efforts “blocked or removed approximately one million ads per month,” and reveal extensive cooperation with [cops] and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)…In fact…Backpage referred so many ads to NCMEC  that the government-backed non-profit complained about the number of referrals, since [most] of those ads were later found not to involve minors…

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As I briefly mentioned on Friday, last week’s travels did not go well; every single flight went from wide open when I scheduled it to tight by the time I checked in 24 hours in advance, to nigh-impossible by the time I arrived at the airport.  On Tuesday, my flight from Minneapolis was delayed for just long enough to cause me to miss my connection to St. Louis by minutes, then the next flight was delayed by hours (and it was a rough landing too).  Then on Thursday both I and an air hostess were booted off of our flight to Chicago, and there were no other flights that day which weren’t horribly overbooked, so I had to do another one-way car rental and invited the lady to ride with me (which actually turned into a fun little adventure as we quickly made friends during the drive).  Then driving back from Bloomington to O’Hare on Sunday I got a brief scare; I was cruising along with the traffic coming into Chicago (fairly heavy but not slow) in the left lane when I heard a crash behind me; a glance in the rear-view mirror revealed that the driver of the car immediately behind me (maybe 30 meters back) had lost control, crossed the shoulder and crashed into the concrete guardrail.  My guess is that he was both texting and going too fast, glanced up and realized he was about to rear-end me, and then lost control while trying to swerve and brake; I shudder to think what would’ve happened had he not glanced up in time to wreck only his own car and not my rental as well.  It certainly didn’t do my nerves any good; I had been watching the flight loads grow increasingly worse for the previous several days, and none of the backup flights looked any better.  But apparently Aphrodite interceded with Hermes on my behalf, and four people ahead of me must have missed their connections or something because I got onto my flight at literally the last minute (as in, the gate agent walked me down the jetway herself and closed the door behind us, and I had barely time to get settled in and take my meds before the captain announced we were about to depart).

But while the travels were difficult, the events were great!  My Minnesota State event on Monday had the largest attendance yet, and my St. Louis crowd was very enthusiastic and not much smaller; I got to meet Dr. Eric Sprankle and spend some time with my friends Kendra Holliday and David Wraith in St. Louis, and then made some new friends at the Libertarian party convention in Bloomington.  My talk was very well-received, and the audience questions at all three events were top-notch and thoughtful.  On Saturday evening I got sort of roped into being the auctioneer for a fundraising auction, but even though I’ve never been an auctioneer before I am a fast learner and it was a lot of fun (and two of the items were my own books!)  So in the end I would call the week a definite success; I just hope Hermes is done playing tricks on me now!  If you’d like to help make future events like the Minnesota State & Sex Positive St. Louis screenings possible (eg SWOP Behind Bars in Florida in June, and Woodhull conference in August), or to soothe my frazzled nerves from my travel misadventures, please donate to my fundraiser!  And don’t forget that even though GoFundMe won’t let me list the rewards for donations on their own page, those rewards definitely do exist and we’ll be starting to send them out in just a few weeks!

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It’s not often that I miss doing a (proper) column, but it does happen from time to time.  This week, I had a lot of traveling to do – to Minnesota State in Mankato (by way of Dallas and Minneapolis), then to St. Louis (by way of Chicago), then back to Chicago, then to Bloomington today.  And though I managed to make all of my appointments, it was not easy because apparently Hermes is not happy with me and has played tricks with my travel almost every day since Saturday.  So I’m writing this just a few hours before post time, and I’m too damned tired and have to get up too early to actually manage anything more than a quick note to let y’all know I’m fine, to share a pretty picture taken in Minneapolis airport too damned early last Tuesday morning, to promise that I’ll tell y’all all about the week on this coming Tuesday, and to ask that y’all reward my efforts and make more such efforts possible by donating to my fundraiser.

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Diary #461

Flying standby has its advantages, such as being able to change arrangements or make new ones at a moment’s notice, and often getting first class without having to pay first-class prices.  But one of its bad points is that one can get booted off of a flight which looked fine the day before, and then one needs to scramble to figure out how to avoid getting stranded in some airport with no immediate way to get t one’s destination.  All of my arrangements for this week of travel were easy-peasy and as of this writing still look very clear, with one exception:  I could not figure out how to get to Minneapolis.  Every combination I looked at was booked up, and though it wasn’t as bad as my return from San Francisco two weeks ago, it was bad enough to make me very nervous indeed.  Finally I decided to ask for Ghost Rider’s help, and though the plan he came up with did indeed work (I wrote this last night in a hotel room in Minneapolis), it required going without sleep Saturday so I could make it to the airport in time for a 5:40 AM flight to Dallas.  Steerage seats are apparently designed to be as uncomfortable as possible, and since they don’t recline any longer there’s not really a way for a princess like me to sleep any better than she could on a whole crateful of peas.  I didn’t think I was going to make it onto the Dallas to Minneapolis flight, and in fact when the wonderful, beautiful gate agent called my name to tell me that I had indeed made it, I was working out the logistics of flying into Sioux Falls, South Dakota and then getting a one-way car rental to Minneapolis to pick up the rental I had already paid for to get to Mankato!  But that wasn’t necessary, and today I’ll be presenting The War on Whores at Minnesota State at 4 PM in the Ostrander Auditorium in the Centennial Student Union.  Then on Wednesday evening at 7 pm I’ll be presenting the film for Sex Positive St. Louis in the Brown Hall Auditorium at Washington University in St. Louis.  Both of these FREE screenings were sponsored by my respective hosts and made possible by the fundraiser y’all have been so generous about supporting!  Then on Saturday I’ll be speaking at the Libertarian Party of Illinois convention at the Parke Regency hotel in Bloomington, Illinois (not far from Chicago), and returning home on Sunday afternoon.  Watch this space for more screenings, such as Tampa, Orlando & Miami in June, the Woodhull Sexual Freedom summit in the DC area in August, and then a sponsored screening for Reason (also in DC) probably in September.  And with any luck those flights will be much less hassle to arrange.

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