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Posts Tagged ‘Mississippi’

Police are a substantial cause of death…for lots of people. – Frank Edwards

The Cop Myth

1/3 of all Americans killed by strangers are murdered by cops:

…[an average of 3.25] Americans are killed by police every day…of all the homicide victims in the United States, police kill an estimated six percent…But the actual numbers are likely higher…government data is woefully inadequate, so the best available datasets have been created by journalist-driven public programs…In a [new] study…in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of sociologists and criminal justice researchers…determined that police violence is one of the leading causes of death of young men in the United States.  Overall, it’s estimated that the mortality rate is about 1.8 per 100,000 for men between the ages of 25 and 29.  This ranks police…as the sixth leading cause of death for young men, placing it behind…suicide and “accidents” — a category that includes drug overdoses and car accident deaths…

Stalkers in Blue

With modern surveillance and data processing, no woman is safe from sexually-aggressive cops:

…Scott Martin of the Ringgold [Georgia] Police Department [was fired]…for…a pattern of stalking, sexual advances, and abuse of authority…Martin…found [one victim] on Facebook…and repeatedly [messaged her to] suggest…that she sleep with his wife….Martin [stalked] the second victim, a college instructor, through her Linkedin page.  He…[even] sat in her class about gender and sexuality…she tried to avoid him.  The third victim [was a]…bank [teller whom]…he [messaged] on Snapchat…request[ing nudes and sending her a dick pic]…He eventually married one of her former coworkers and added her as a friend on their joint Facebook account…[then] continued to ask for sexual favors…The fourth victim…said Martin continuously followed her at [her city job] and…repeatedly…questioned her intentions when he saw her at the grocery store or gas station…Martin was supposed to be one of her points of official contact if she [was] ever [sexually harassed] at work…[before] Martin…[became a cop he tried teaching but]…was fired…[for sexting] a female student.  At another job…he rep[ea]tedly made…sexual remark[s] toward a…female co[worker]…

Banishment (#882)

Threatening landlords to get them to evict sex workers is a popular pig trick:

Billings…[Montana pigs], prosecutors and [prohibitionists promoted “pimp” propaganda to politicians to push]…the passage of two new laws [persecuting]…property owners who are collecting rent from…businesses [the pigs want punished]…In California, the Sacramento City Council has proposed some form of [persecution of] massage parlor landlords…In New York City, [pigs]…have [done the same] to [get around the necessity of] prov[ing anything]…Polaris Project, a national [prohibitionist profiteer gang]…has also called for greater [persecution] of…property owners…

On Tape

Where did Trump get these exaggerated ideas about how “sex trafficking victims” are treated?  IT’S A MYSTERY!  “Sandy Middleton…[of] the Center for Violence Prevention [in Mississippi]..said…’These girls are starved, beaten, raped, chained to trees and locked in trunks’“…

End Demand (#939)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will say anything to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

Mar Brettmann…of the Seattle-based Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking, which [among other obscenities spreads lurid propaganda about sex workers]…to hotels—share[s her disgusting sexual fantasies about sex workers as though they were facts, because she knows most people are too gullible to as for evidence of any kind, such as names, links to police reports or even the places these lurid tales are supposed to have occurred]…BEST is one of the [profiteers making a killing from the] American Hotel & Lodging Association’s No Room for Trafficking campaign…[others] include ECPAT-USA…and Polaris…In addition, some [ambulance-chasers]…have filed lawsuits against hotel owners and operators

Top Cop (#944)

One can never have too many attacks on this power-hungry sociopath:

…support for the Nordic Model fits with Harris’s self-branding as a “progressive prosecutor” who offers a “smart on crime” third way between the excessively carceral conservatives and social justice-minded but squishy liberals.  It’s a schtick she’s carried over into her bid for Democrats’ 2020 presidential nod, after perfecting it during years as attorney general of California and district attorney of San Francisco…During [the] last…Democratic presidential debate, fellow candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard grilled Harris about her sordid record as top cop in California.  Harris “kept people in prison beyond their sentences to use them as cheap labor”…and “put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations”, Gabbard said…All Harris offered in response was an insistence that she is “proud” of her record and, later, an ad hominem attack on Gabbard.  Meanwhile, Harris’s press secretary tweeted that Gabbard was supported by Russia…

Dangerous Speech (#950)

This excerpt from Reason‘s video “The War on Backpage is a War on Sex Workers” (click on subtitle link for complete video) discusses a subject long-time readers may remember:

Pyrrhic Victory (#955)

As I keep saying, it’s already far too late to stop this tyranny:

…if [you]’ve ever gotten a Michigan driver’s license or a state ID card…the State Police has [your] mug shot.  The…database may even contain [your] Facebook profile photo or another social media image…There are only about 8 million adults in Michigan, but there are nearly 50 million facial images in the MSP’s Statewide Network of Agency Photos (SNAP), with 2.7 million photos added to the database last year alone.  Though the MSP didn’t start using facial recognition technology until 2001, the Secretary of State’s Office has been giving State Police all its digital photos — without notice to motorists — since 1998…[and the] 2020 budget…gives [cops] more than half a million dollars to enhance the facial recognition search functions of the growing database…

Between the Lines (#960)

This is what the FBI meant by “re-evaluating” Operation Cross Country: changing its name and quadrupling its length and cost:

A monthlong FBI-led [pogrom] to…arrest sex [workers] and [infantilize them]…has resulted in [hundreds] of arrests [of adult sex workers] and…[103 underage sex workers]…The [rebranded] Operation Independence Day…[involved] more than 400 [gangs of violent thugs]…67 [other people were arrested and charged with vague “sex trafficking” crimes.  Beside the rebranding]…FBI field offices had a longer time window to plan and execute [pogroms] as part of the national initiative, with the goal being to [circumvent sex workers’ increased security measures by dragging the raids out long enough that marginalized workers become desperate]…

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[Government regulation of] encryption…[is] great, if your ideal gardening tool is a flamethrower.  –  Violet Blue

Under Every Bed

Some places are so small, they need to claim the whole COUNTY as a “sex trafficking hub”:

[Prohibitionist MacKrea “Cuckoo” Larue claims] Ohio is a hot spot for human trafficking because of its advanced [?] highway system, the fact that 60% of the U.S. population lives within an eight- to 10-hour drive…and the location of four international airports here…[prohibitionists pretend they “found”] nearly 50 online ads related to sex trafficking of minors in Tuscarawas County during a three-month period in the winter of 2015…23 were from Dover and 11 were up and down the I-77 corridor [because 44 is “nearly 50”, I guess]…“The biggest feeder for this is child pornography”…

Others do the same while claiming to be talking about just a town:

Clinton [Mississippi pigs oinked, bloviated and shared masturbatory fantasies about Hinds County’s] first-ever [prostitution sting to be relabeled a] human trafficking operation….The I-20 corridor is a thoroughfare for traffickers as they travel the country…

Naturally, both blame interstate highways as the cause.

Checklist (#704)

Apparently, Canadian “authorities” think their target audience is too stupid to read static posters, so they made a moving one:

A…video [ad displaying anti-sexwork propaganda]…could soon show up in your social media feed, now that a [commercial]…displayed at [Canadian] rest area locations is [loose]…The 14-second video was [released in] July…and…was created by a…[prohibitionist gang]…called Courage for Freedom.  The group [spreads the usual propaganda trying to convince the gullible]…”that [there] are criminal[s] actively working to recruit and isolate young people”…[the group believes that] “It doesn’t matter [who sex workers] are — to [us], they’re a commodity to make money.  [We] will go after anybody that [we] think [we] can coerce and manipulate to make money”…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#778) 

Sex dolls have existed for over a century, but nobody cared until our current global Neo-Victorian Era:

A petition calling for a ban on importing life-size sex dolls into South Korea has gathered nearly a quarter million signatures…passing a threshold that requires the president’s office to respond to the matter.  While sex dolls are not illegal in South Korea, government customs agencies had blocked their import under a law that restricts materials that “corrupt public morals.”  However, the Seoul High Court said in January that sex dolls were for personal use and should be treated differently than pornography, which is heavily restricted under South Korean law.  That decision was upheld by the supreme court in June.  The ruling has sparked a backlash [from puritanical busybodies]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#781)

More idiocy from megalomaniacs who think they control the laws of nature:

US Attorney General Barr [bloviated] that Big Tech “can and must” [somehow magically] put backdoors into encryption [but make them only accessible to the government]…likening the hard facts of computer science to a set of [political] beliefs…The AG’s remarks were reminiscent of former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s unforgettable line regarding encryption backdoors, that “the laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia”…under the Australian laws [which resulted from that delusional attitude], companies can be compelled to install malware on their users’ devices…[censor] messages…[or even spy on] the end-user…as a result [Australian companies were forced]…to build data centers [outside Australia in order to avoid]…the creation of “systemic weaknesses” in their products…

Cops and Robbers (#813)

Since billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt’s loathesome “bots” aren’t scaring clients away, the pigs now pretend they were a major factor in “stings” so as to make them seem scarier:

More than 500 people [including many sex workers] were arrested in a national [pogrom]…the so-called “National Johns Suppression Initiative”…was conducted in 11 states by 26 [gangs of thugs]…six [of the gangs] used fake internet ads that linked to AI bots…[but most arrests were from the typical] street-level…stings [that victimize black and Hispanic people disproportionately]…eight [of the victims] were charged with [talking to an adult pig using them for non-consensual age play] and 18 [were] charged with trafficking [whatever that means.  The arrestees]…includ[ed] three minors [in the entire country]…The AI bot, [paid for by a deranged billionaire]…interacts with [peaceful individuals by deceiving them]…and eventually [bombarding their phones with unwanted BDSM sex fantasies]…The bot [sent such porn to] over 1,100 people in Cook County alone…

Turn of Tide

Though I despise the vague, pejorative term “trafficking” because it means whatever cops, prosecutors, politicians and profiteers want it to mean, the official narrative is backfiring.  Prohibitionists have been so successful in attaching the term “trafficking” to sex work conducted by abused people, women with addiction issues and other marginalized folks, and so victorious in convincing the Great Unwashed that there is a dark-skinned “pimp” hiding behind every survival sex worker no matter what the women say about their lives and experiences, that their own rhetoric is now being used to attack the way that the state persecutes sex workers.  Take this story in GQ, for example; though some variation on the word “traffick” (“trafficker”, “trafficking”, “trafficked”, etc) appears no fewer than 35 times in this relatively-short article (as many as six times a paragraph, which would’ve earned them no better than a “C” in my composition class because such repetition is both boring and annoying), and the authors obediently parrot “international trafficking ring” wanking fantasies as “facts” while simultaneously admitting that there’s no proof for any of it, the central argument isn’t much different from that made by countless sex worker activists: caging sex workers helps nobody but those who profit from the carceral system.  And when the relentless logic of their own mythology leads “trafficking” True Believers to support decriminalization, the days of the moral panic (if not the machinery of injustice it was used to build) are numbered.

The Widening Gyre (#882)

Snopes quotes a giant lie while debunking one tiny subsidiary one:

Human trafficking affects millions of people worldwide, but it’s also the frequent subject of viral scarelore…One such story went viral in October 2018 and again in late July 2019 when social media users shared a meme stating that human traffickers were leaving zip ties…on homes, mailboxes, and cars, of potential female victims to either mark them as targets or distract and abduct them for sex-trafficking purposes when the women try to remove the ties.  The hoax initially centered on San Angelo, Texas…but police there quickly debunked it…

Yes, the once-useful Snopes quoted both fascist scaremonger Polaris and the propaganda-spreading cops as credible sources even though both play a large part in creating the moral panic from which the scarelore springs.

The Course of a Disease (#927)

“Rehabilitation” = “re-education”, AKA “reprogramming” (ie psychological torture):

A[n Israeli] government plan to rehabilitate sex workers has yet to be implemented as most of the funding for the program has not been disbursed…The [scheme]…mandated the establishment of [prisons] and [brainwashing] programs for prostitutes, the expansion of…medical [prison] facilities and the drawing up of [propaganda]…Its approval came shortly after the Knesset passed a law penalizing the solicitation of prostitution…The purpose of the plan [is] to [force] sex workers [into low-paid menial “women’s work”]…

To Molest and Rape (#949)

Just another typical, representative cop:

A Florida state trooper has been arrested for [raping a 14-year-old]…in the back of his car parked in a public gas station…Riley Marcus Schwarz…was busted after the girl’s parents found her journal detailing the numerous times [she was raped by the pig]…Schwarz admitted to [raping] the girl “six to eight times”…and [amazingly]…was immediately fired by the Florida Highway Patrol…

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I don’t know where the justice is.  –  Roger Byard, on prosecuting a mother for an infant’s unexplained death

Blunt Instrument

The government’s latest sleazy trick: attacking with civil suits rather than criminal charges, because the burden of proof is reversed:

Los Angeles prosecutors said…they hope a civil lawsuit will [bankrupt] two San Fernando Valley massage parlors they accused [without evidence] of being fronts for…human trafficking rings.  City Attorney Mike Feuer said his office filed the lawsuit against the…owners…[and] the landlord of the strip malls where both are located.  Prosecutors are seeking a permanent injunction against the spas, as well as financial [loot]…the city attorney’s office accused Xiaoxi Ding and Hongshan Wang of running a “sophisticated prostitution ring at both locations”…

Targeting landlords with “pimping” charges is a typical prosecutor trick to avoid having to prove anything, and  “Sophisticated prostitution rings” is the most popular cop excuse for raping sex workers.

Original Sin

Why bother with the hard work of getting a degree and doing peer-reviewed research when you can just PRAY and Jesus will magically make you a “sex trafficking expert”?

Beth Grate…started learning [fantasies] about human trafficking when a family visited her…church…She went on to found and head…a chapter of the Michigan Abolitionist Project….She attended and spoke at programs about human trafficking…and…[st]alked [sex workers in] neighborhoods…She is working toward earning certification as a human trafficking international subject matter expert, a new program that is being developed [by unnamed parties]…Victims of trafficking are usually Americans with ages ranging from one to 70 years old…“I believe in Jesus Christ. I was sitting with the Lord and I said, ‘Why can’t I find my niche? God put in the idea I wasn’t supposed to have a narrow niche, but a broad spectrum ministry…People don’t think it’s happening here…it’s [fantasized] in every county of Michigan…Traffickers can live in your neighborhood”…

Property of the State 

Do not EVER talk to the pigs.  Just shut the fuck up except to demand your lawyer:

When Addeline Brindle woke up on March 29, 2018…her 3-month-old baby, Tre’Velle…[was dead] in the bed beside her…Mansfield, Ohio, police…[interrogated the traumatized 19-year-old at] the hospital…and she [foolishly] told them that she had used cocaine two days before…six months later…she was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, endangering children, and possession of cocaine…Her attorney, John Boyd, pushed for probation…[but] Judge Brent Robinson [grunted]…“[Oink oink] drugs [are bad]…and [I am] going to [make you] suffer”…But…medical experts who reviewed the baby’s autopsy report…said…it was unclear whether his death stemmed from his sleeping situation, or from an undiagnosed medical condition…the prosecutor and judge used Tre’Velle’s death to send a message about [defying the police state]…In the past…many…deaths were attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, a catch-all diagnosis…But in recent decades, thanks to [expansion of the carceral state]…forensic pathologists have shifted away from SIDS and toward [blaming the mother]…

Innocence Never Had (#602)

People are so unwilling to let go of the “pimps & hos” myth and the “enslaved children” wanking fantasy, that even when they question a few of the elements they can’t let go of the rest:

In 2017, nearly 25,000 runaways reported to NCMEC and nearly 3,600 were likely victims of sex trafficking.  Of those, 88 percent came from the social services system…The most common reasons for [kids to be abducted by the State]…were neglect (62 percent) and drug abuse by one or both parents (36 percent). [But so-called] drug abuse can be as simple as failing a single voluntary drug test.  Neglect can mean as little as missing homeschooling paperwork, or even  letting a child eat sweets before dinner…Once the child is in the system, it can be exceedingly difficult for the parents to get their child back…Pimps are…skilled at developing dependency in their victims…Their main targets are children aged 12-14…“When law enforcement takes these kids back home, many times these kids walk right back out the door on their own and right back into the clutches of these offenders,” said [NCMEC bureaucrat Robert] Lowery…himself [a former pig]…

It absolutely true that most underage sex workers [not “sex trafficked children”] come from the “foster care” system, and that the system is a police-state abomination which destroys lives without adequate reason.  But they average 16-17, not 13; only a very small number [about 10%] have “pimps”; they run away again because the foster homes are very often more intolerable than street living, not because of ninja “pimps” with magical mind-control powers; and NCMEC is a dangerous anti-sex organization which hides its agenda behind “protecting children”.  Its claims about “likely victims” are pure nonsense with absolutely no basis in statistics; in fact, they even contradict NCMEC’s own published statistics.  But I guess none of that matters when there’s money to be made, a police state to enlarge and exciting fantasies of 13-year-old “sex slaves” to be wanked to.

To Molest and Rape

Good riddance to bad rubbish:

A [typical and representative] Jackson [Mississippi cop who] repeatedly [raped] a 15-year-old in the back of his patrol car committed suicide shortly after news broke about the abuse…James Hollins.[tricked the girl into thinking he was her friend and then demanded sex. In typical pig fashion, he did not kill himself in a dignified and private manner, but instead shot himself in his car with a gun stolen from another cop]…on I-220 [on the afternoon of May 27th, resulting in a massive rush-hour traffic jam as cops closed] both lanes of the interstate…for over two hours [while unsuccessfully trying to figure out how to pin the shooting on someone else. Hollins raped the girl]…several times a week over…six month[s and made]…several sexually explicit videos of the [assaults]…The teen’s mother caught on…and…reported it to the police chief…[who gave Hollins a paid vacation]…

Saving Them From Themselves (#775)

“Attack[ing] the autonomy and self-ownership of all young people” is exactly what this was intended to do:

Maryland’s highest court will soon decide whether a 16-year-old girl, “S.K.,” can face child pornography charges for taking a video of herself performing…consensual oral sex on an unidentified male [and sending it to] two close friends and [a snitch]…who [ratted her out to the pigs]…S.K.’s attorney, Public Defender Claudia Cortese, [naively] argued that the statute in question was not intended to punish minors…”the prosecutor [lied that] the state was not ‘trying to [send a message but]…is just trying to help her” [by sexually traumatizing her and branding her mentally ill for normal teen behavior]…

Dangerous Speech (#917)

I wish I could be more optimistic, but the government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

Four national non-profits dedicated to protecting civil liberties and personal freedom…have lodged…amicus briefs with the federal court in Phoenix in support of a recent motion to dismiss by defendants in the Backpage case…the DKT Liberty Project, the Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation — joined forces in one brief, asking the court to grant the motion to dismiss.  Meanwhile the ACLU of Arizona submitted its own amicus curiae, focusing on the First Amendment implications of the prosecution…At the heart of the case is the government’s assumption that the ads in Backpage’s adult section for putatively legal services…were actually selling illicit sex.  But as the motion to dismiss and the amicus briefs point out, that is not an assumption that the First Amendment allows prosecutors to make…the First Amendment, and…the…charges under the Travel Act, require a specific knowledge and intent to promote the specific illegal act in question…And yet, prosecutors are not claiming that the defendants ever saw the…50 ads…which the government says it can connect to illegal acts.  Obviously, Lacey and Larkin were not engaged in the mundane task of reviewing ads for publication.  And most of the 50 ads the government cites were published after the two men sold their interest in the company in 2015…

An Avalanche of Bullshit (#929)

Is there anything fetishists won’t try to link to “sex trafficking”?

…the U.S. Department of Justice is now subpoenaing records related to the Floridian entrepreneur and small-time Republican donor Li “Cindy” Yang…her husband and parents, several former members of her staff, her colleague on the National Committee of Asian American Republicans, and several other Chinese Americans…Yang—who built up and then sold a spa and massage chain in South Florida—had in recent years launched G.Y. U.S. Investments, an endeavor that helped Chinese business owners navigate U.S. regulations and make contacts, investments, and operational inroads here.  As part of this consulting business, Yang sometimes offered clients access to events at Trump’s private club in Palm Beach and to other Republican parties.  Prosecutors say some of these events were ticketed fundraisers…and non-citizens are prevented from donating to U.S. political campaigns…people are already spinning wild tales about what we supposedly know about Yang—that she funneled money from China to Trump, and that she earned her money from human trafficking…

Rough Trade (#934)

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

Nikki Cox…thought…she [would not be believed by] police…after she was sexually assaulted by a client, who booked with the name Alex, in February last year.  But Alex was on [May 28th] handed a partly suspended sentence of 15-months in jail — of which he must serve two months — for one count of aggravated sexual assault, to which he pleaded guilty in April…Nikki has told her story…because she felt the chance of her assault being taken seriously enough to result in an arrest, let alone in a successful prosecution, was microscopic…

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I’ll kill your fucking dog.  –  Doug McLeod

Regular readers know that I’m a fan of instrumental pop and electronica, but you may not realize how long I’ve been a fan.  So here’s one song I loved as a child; note that this is the original Gershon Kingsley version from Music To Moog By (1969), not the shorter 1972 Hot Butter cover version which became a worldwide hit.  The links above the video were provided by Popehat (x2), Tushy Galore, Mike Siegel, Dave Krueger, and Jillian Keenan, in that order.

From the Archives

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Kraft’s…case punctured some of the overheated rhetoric surrounding coerced sex work.  –  Matt Ford

Rough Trade 

A rare case where a rapist of sex workers is actually convicted:

A San Francisco jury…found a man guilty of several felonies in connection with the sexual assault of two female sex workers more than five years ago in the city’s Mission District…Edwin Rodriguez [was found]…guilty of multiple counts of forcible rape as well as aggravated kidnapping, assault and criminal threats.  Rodriguez now faces multiple life sentences…

Unclean Situation (#330)

These are also some of the nuns behind Ruhama:

A religious order which ran some of the Magdalene laundries, but has refused to pay into the redress scheme for survivors, is to sell its retreat centre in north Dublin.  The Religious Sisters of Charity announced it will sell the €3m Stella Maris Retreat Centre in Howth…A spokesman for the Department of Justice said no contributions have been made by any of the four religious congregations involved in respect of the implementation of the Magdalen Restorative Justice Ex-Gratia Scheme…[which has paid] a total of €27.8m…so far to 732 applicants…

Catastrophic Consequences (#576)

This sleazy tactic started in Canada, then spread to the UK:

[In the UK] “anti-trafficking”…raids [are] known officially as “welfare visits”…[cops pretend] that “the welfare and safety of the women…is…the number one priority”…[but in truth] “prostitute cautions“…are…handed out at high rates, and the…Proceeds of Crime Act not only allows them to [steal] sex workers’ earnings, it actively making it easier for them by reversing the burden of proof…the [stolen] cash is given to the Home Office, which then [gives it right back] to the police force without regulating how it’s spent.  The official line is that [cops] have no incentive to raid, but the truth is that the police force does stand to profit…

BDSM (#583)

A “cult”.  Because mentioning their sex practices wasn’t quite lurid enough:

Torsten Weiss…[the owner of a] medieval fetish shop in Hachenburg, Germany…was found dead with crossbow bolts protruding from his neck and skull…[in] a…B&B in Passau…By his side was 33-year-old Kerstin Enders who had succumbed to similar fatal injuries.  On the floor in front of them in a pool of blood was 30-year-old Farina Caspari, suspected of honoring Weiss’s…command to first kill him and Enders, and then take her own life…Weiss and Enders left wills at their sides…”Investigators suspect they were all members of a kind of sex circle with a focus on the Middle Ages,” according to RTL news…[at] Caspari[‘s]…house [cops]…found two more female victims.  One, identified only as Gertrud C., was her lover…friends of the four female victims interviewed by police say the women had all been under Weiss’s hypnotic control.  They reportedly engaged in extreme sexual acts, often involving BDSM, under his direction.  But what police don’t yet know is what led the fivesome to their deaths rather than just continuing their fantastical life…The two women found dead in [Caspari’s] apartment have no obvious wounds or signs of violence. Toxicology reports will show if they were poisoned…

Other than what I’ve quoted above, most of the rest is lurid speculation by cops and the neighbors, friends, and family members of the victims, mostly of the same level of popular ignorance as the myth that a person can be “hypnotized” to do things against their will.

To Molest and Rape 

Just 1500 isolated incidents:

Nearly 1,500 accusations of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment, [rape, sexual assault] and child [molestation], have been made against [cops] in England and Wales over six years…Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that 1,491 complaints were filed against [various kinds of cops]…across 33 forces in England and Wales between 2012 and 2017, or 2018 in the case of the Metropolitan Police in London, which took a year to respond…Of these cases, 371 were upheld, resulting in the sacking or resignation of 197 [rapists]…Ten police forces [refused to] provide data…

Girls, Girls, Girls! (#679)

Clubs need to learn that the bad old days of exploiting dancers are over:

A federal jury has awarded five black dancers more than $3 million in their discrimination lawsuit against Danny’s strip club…Danny’s Downtown Cabaret…limit[ed] the number of shifts black dancers could work, and subject[ed] them to racially offensive epithets…”Danny’s also forced the dancers to work at a related club, Black Diamonds, even though they were subject to arrest there because they were not licensed to work at that club,” according to the EEOC.  “The pay and working conditions at Black Diamonds were inferior to those at Danny’s, and there was less security there.  The dancers who refused to work at Black Diamonds were fined and sent home, and not allowed to work at Danny’s”…

Profound Ignorance (#800) 

Scott Cunningham has finally set the record straight on the history of decriminalization in Rhode Island:

…In 1980, the Rhode Island General Assembly legalized indoor sex work.  The surviving members of that assembly have [pretended] that legalizing indoor sex work happened accidentally while trying to strengthen laws prohibiting street prostitution…the police and local prosecutors [eventually forgot]…as indoor sex workers were arrested and prosecuted regularly…throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s.  Then in 2003, a Rhode Island District Court judge reminded everyone what the law said…For six years the state was running a “natural experiment” that would teach us more about decriminalized indoor sex work than we’d ever known in history…what we found surprised us and everyone else…Rhode Island rapes and sexually transmitted infections both substantially declined…several other articles in economics have found similar effects but in other countries and cities…in light of these studies, organizations such as the World Health Organization and the ACLU have begun calling for reconsideration of our commercial sex laws…

Unfortunately, he’s still making silly claims like “everyone was surprised” (no, prohibitionists feigned surprise; it has been known since at least the 1920s that criminalization of a market always increases violence and health issues).  But at least he’s admitting that Rhode Island was neither a “mistake” nor a merely six-year phenomenon, and I’ve noticed his studies have been getting much better.  We may make a good ally out of him yet.

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#830)

Even Reuters is starting to listen to what sex workers have to say about “rescue”:

Sex workers in Thailand are rejecting the “raid and rescue” model used by authorities to crack down on…sex workers…[by labeling them] victims of trafficking.  Many of the women arrested are then [forced] to learn [menial] skills like sewing and baking.  “People say we should stop doing what we do, and sew or bake cookies instead – but why are only those jobs considered appropriate?” said Mai Chanta, who has been a sex worker for about eight years.  “This is what we choose to do, and we feel a sense of pride and satisfaction that we are just like other workers”…

That Old Black Magic (#884)

Click on the subtitle for the truth about Nigerian juju (not “voodoo”) rituals:

Spanish Police have busted a network of Nigerian voodoo sex traffickers who use illegal migration routes to smuggle young girls into Europe…the sex slaves are being groomed in Benin City, Edo state by mafia-style gangs promising them a better life in Spain…They were submitted to voodoo rituals threatening terrible consequences to them and their families if they disobeyed the organisation, police [fantasized, groaning and making furtive movements in their pants while describing how]…parts of their bodies were smothered in animal blood before they were threatened with death or infertility if they failed to obey the traffickers…

Pyrrhic Victory (#899)

Welcome to the future:

A UK pedestrian was arrested and fined £90 ($115 US) after attempting to cover his face while passing a controversial facial recognition camera van on an East London street.  The notorious London police vans scan the faces of passers-by and compare them to a database of wanted criminals.  One man wasn’t having any of it, and was seen covering his face with his hat and jacket before London police stopped him and [forcibly] took his picture anyway…The ticketing comes in the wake of another similar incident in February, in which another man refused to be scanned by one of the facial recognition vans and was also fined £90…the technology is terribly inaccurate – wrongly matching over 2,000 people to criminal…[at] the Champions League Final in Cardiff in 2017

First They Came for the Hookers… (#903) 

Most “prostitution” cases come apart like wet toilet paper if actually taken to trial:

A former Foxy Lady dancer…was found not guilty…of offering sex for money.  Lindsay Hoffmann…one of three dancers arrested at the club on Dec. 11, was cleared after a trial…lasting less than an hour…[a cop claimed] Hoffmann told him…he could get “anything” he wanted for $300 in the downstairs VIP room…But Judge Melissa DuBose said “anything” could have been anything…

End Demand (#910)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will use any story about petty crime to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

…According to Mar Brettmann…“We know that 300-to-500 kids are prostituted at any given time in King County.”  Brettmann is executive director of B.E.S.T. – Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking – in Seattle…[which profits by indoctrinating] businesses and employees in King County to [harass] sex [workers], especially in hotels and motels…

In other words, she claims that there are about twice as many “teen sex slaves” in Seattle as adult escorts, a number so absurd prominent Seattle sex workers have actually been asked by cops where all those supposed “sex slaves” are hiding, because they sure can’t find them.

Loose Cannons (#938)

Another good anti-prohibition article at New Republic:

…The…charges against Kraft came as part of a sweeping, dramatic raid on Asian massage parlors across Florida…prosecutors [pretended]…they had smashed a international sex-trafficking ring…the narrative changed just as the public’s attention turned elsewhere…law enforcement agencies…often use [the claim] to describe and justify crackdowns on consensual sex work…prosecutors regularly use the threat of additional charges and a prolonged trial to induce defendants to accept a guilty plea…This warps the criminal justice system, such that…between 90 and 95 percent of federal and state cases are now resolved through plea deals instead of a trial with one’s peers…

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The careers of…politicians ultimately benefited from the war on…female sexuality.  –  Sascha Cohen

It Looks Good On Paper

What these “safe harbor” laws actually do is empower the cops to indefinitely detain underage sex workers in “protective custody”, i.e. jail:  “A minor engaged in prostitution should be considered a victim and not face criminal charges, a [Mississippi] bill says…House Bill 571 also allows the [young woman] to be taken into protective custody…

Policing for Profit

But they’re rescuing “sex slaves”!

Five [Florida cop gangs profited handsomely from what they claim were]…investigations into prostitution and possible sex-trafficking operations inside massage parlors and day spas in their jurisdictions.  Martin County Sheriff’s Office and Jupiter Police Dept. worked together, and collectively [stole] a property in Stuart, two properties in Hobe Sound, six vehicles, including luxury cars like a Lexus and Mercedes-Benz, and more than $500,000 in cash.  Indian River County Sheriff’s Office [stole] $22,000 in cash, a 2018 Toyota Corolla and…more than $110,000 in bank accounts.  Vero Beach Police…[stole more than] $30,000 in bank accounts and an undisclosed amount of cash.  Sebastian Police…[stole] almost $5,500 in cash, laptops, cellphones, a credit card machine, and a plastic bag of finger condoms…

Paint By Numbers

We haven’t seen any dumb “anti-trafficking” stunts for a while, but Captain Save-a-ho here is going to “fight” our work by walking around:

A U.S. Army veteran plans to walk [from Chicago] to Springfield next week to raise awareness and funds to help [himself using the hysteria over]…human trafficking.  Jordan Mitchell…plans to make the 189-mile march with a ruck sack weighing up to 100 pounds.  “Walking with weight on your back is…symbolic of the problem of human trafficking.  These girls carry the weight of a million different problems every day.”  Mitchell [infantilizes Korean sex workers by fantasizing them as] preteen girls engaged in sex trafficking…When he returned to the United States, he said he talked to other…[racists] about [exploiting those women for his own profit]…

To Molest and Rape

Rapist cops are typical and representative of all cops:

Robert M. Collins…retired [from his cop job]…shortly after he was arrested…[for raping] four women…from August 2013 to December 2014…Collins is the second area [cop]…facing [rape] charges…Mark Icker…was arrested Dec. 20…after [orally raping] a woman…[in] a secluded park…within two weeks of his arrest, detectives charged Icker with additional allegations by two other women

This is your regular reminder that Pennsylvania is one of several states (the others being Florida & Indiana) which actively defends cops who rape sex workers prior to arresting them; these two rapists apparently forgot they needed to join the sacred Vice Gang to get that protection, and went about raping women without the pretense of “investigation”.

Broken Record (#691) 

Politicians demand magical posters to “fight” a repeatedly-debunked “problem”:

South Carolina law requires posting of human trafficking [propaganda] posters in hotels, bars and airports.  But with Columbia hosting first- and second-round games of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this weekend, the posters are on display for the first time ever in Colonial Life Arena.  “There’s always an increase in online solicitation around large sports events, which lands a lot of people in trafficking,” [fantasized prohibitionist] Alexis Williams Scurry [despite mountains of proof that this is a lie]…

I Saw My Brain (#773)

Your regular reminder that Grady Judd is an utterly loathsome excuse for a human:

The Polk County Sheriff’s Department in Florida is touting…a three-day sting in which cops arrested 26 registered sex offenders for…failing to register their vehicles with the government….sex offenders in Florida are required to provide the government with up-to-date information regarding their name, age, sex, height, weight, tattoos, hair color, address, email address, telephone number, social media accounts, employment information, and vehicle information.  It’s…easy for [someone]…to forget to constantly re-supply [demanded] information…it’s absurd to suggest that these un-registered cars posed some kind of danger to the community.  And yet The Miami Herald happily entertained this fantasy…and…printed the mugshots of all the offenders, listed their names, and provided not only the reason for their re-arrests but information on their initial arrests…most of these people were in their 20s, or teens themselves, when they were first convicted…J.S….was convicted…in 2005, and…is currently 25—meaning that at the time of the alleged crime, J.S. would have been about 12 himself…C.C., who is currently 39, was convicted in 1998 of lewd conduct toward a person under the age of 16.  This man would have been about 18 in 1998…

In the original article, Judd uses the moralist shibboleth “hold accountable”, which means something like “persecute using a moralistic excuse”.  Pay close attention to who uses the phrase and how.

Stalkers in Blue

With modern surveillance and data processing, no woman is safe from sexually-aggressive cops:

A [cop] in Cleveland was charged…with using…a police database to find information about [and photos of] two women, and to send social media messages to about 2,300 women over the course of eight months.  The charges against…Michael Rybarczyk…stemmed from an earlier investigation in which he was charged…with soliciting prostitution…

Turn of Tide

Want more proof that we’re past the watershed?  Consider this article, which even though it’s mostly the usual “sex trafficking” propaganda, also contains this passage:

One expert says that…sex trafficking studies feature “some of the worst research you will ever find in science literature…It is really hard to determine what is hyperbole and wild estimates and what is more reasonable and accurate,” says Rachael Lovell, a senior research associate at Case Western University’s Begun Center for Violence Prevention…

Also look for Melissa Farley basically admitting that she and cops just arbitrarily declare women “victims” as it suits them: “…some women might switch back and forth between being trafficked and being a prostitute.

The Last Shall Be First (#904)

Anti-trans bigots keep sexually assaulting trans people in public toilets:

An assistant principal at a West Virginia high school will not have his employment contract renewed after [he]…follow[ed] a transgender student into the bathroom and [told] him “you freak me out”…Lee Livengood…attempted to [force] 15-year-old student Michael Critchfield…to…[piss in front of him while he watched]…Livengood repeatedly yelled at [Critchfield]…saying, “Why are you in here? You shouldn’t be in here”…The decision not to renew his contract by the education board was reportedly unanimous…

Business As Usual (#905)

Prohibitionist group laments the shutdown of a gang of rapists:

The Columbus Vice Unit shutdown [due to rape, harassment and other gross abuses of power] has impacted local [fascist groups]…Local Outreach Volunteers…worked closely with the vice unit to [harass sex workers]…during prostitution busts.  Now that [the rapists can no longer roam about raping and robbing women]…they will have to search the “working girls” out on their own [if they want to continue interfering with their lives]…

Lack of Evidence (#907)

Persecution of sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

…when young, single women began to venture into America’s new urban establishments in large numbers, their presence in public was challenged…coalitions of police departments, city councils, business groups, and evangelical reformers were responsible for criminalizing women who socialized without a chaperone.  They warned of a “life of vice” in disease-ridden brothels, where “fallen girls” were “beaten by their so-called lovers or keepers, and often drunk or sick.”  This anti-prostitution rhetoric, couched in language of protection…was used to justify police surveillance of women…establishments posted signs that read…“no unescorted ladies will be served”…In the 1950s, politicians and the press orchestrated a campaign against “b-girls”…[who] in earlier decades…had been [portrayed] as potential victims of “white slavery,” but by the 1940s they were cast as the villains, out to fleece and extract money from innocent men…such women—whose sexuality was dangerous because it was too adjacent to prostitution—faced police harassment, arrest without bail, mandatory venereal disease testing, and even quarantine…

Signs (#912) 

The imposition of creepy fascist surveillance on hotel guests is growing worse:

Hampton Inn’s General Manager Jennifer Decker organized [a propaganda session in Manassas, Virginia]…“If one case comes to light on a property, it could have serious risks to the business…You could be held liable [under FOSTA & similar laws]”…[sow] Robyn Hyatt [vomited all kinds of widely-debunked propagnda at]…the group.  “One trafficker with three victims [and a] customer every 15 minutes can make $2.19 million in one year…Trafficking is…everywhere…Virginia…[is] a hotbed…we have…lots of hotels, FedEx Field, National Harbor, the 95-corridor…during the January Super Bowl in Atlanta, there were over 150 arrests for suspected human trafficking”…[another sow vomited out racist propaganda about]…gangs…The [sows] shared a typical [masturbatory fantasy, not dissimilar to those from old marijuana scare films]…a young woman…might be approached by a trafficker in a mall.  He flatters her, buys her presents…then one day she wakes up from a drug-induced state; she’s been raped.  He has taken photographs. He forces her to do things under the threat of distributing the photographs.  [excited, the cops masturbate and encourage others to do the same while denying the agency of non-sows]…

Worse Than I Thought (#914)

Voters voted to restore people’s voting rights after prison; politicians want to exclude sex workers:

Sex workers who’ve been convicted of prostitution three times…wouldn’t be eligible to have their voting rights automatically restored, under a [Florida] proposal aimed at ca[strat]ing…a constitutional amendment approved in November.  The…amendment…granted “automatic” restoration of voting rights to felons “who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation.”  The amendment excluded people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”  But state and local…officials…want to [undermine that to the greatest extent possible, so they want to exclude whores and businesspeople who made the error of]…locating an adult entertainment store within 2,500 feet of a school…

 

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If you aren’t already familiar with “Ode to Billie Joe”, the song I featured in yesterday’s column, do yourself a favor and listen to it before continuing to read this one.  For over fifty years, listeners have speculated just what it was that the narrator and Billie Joe threw off of the Tallahatchie Bridge, and Bobbie Gentry – a woman almost as enigmatic as the song that made her famous, who abruptly stopped performing at the height of her fame forty years ago and has barely been heard of since – has steadfastly refused to explain it, or even to comment on the disappointing “solution” used by screenwriter Herman Raucher in the 1976 movie inspired by the song.  Given that she is approaching 80 and is more reclusive than ever, it seems likely she will take the secret to her grave, just as her character in the song apparently did; rather than share her grief with others, the narrator “spen[t] a lot of time pickin’ flowers up on Choctaw Ridge/And drop them into the muddy water off the Tallahatchie Bridge.”  As a young teen, the general consensus among the girls in my circle was that the object thrown into the water was a self-aborted fetus which had resulted from the narrator’s relationship with Billie Joe, and that the overly-sensitive boy had killed himself in a fit of inappropriate guilt, possibly due to being seen by the “nice young preacher, Brother Taylor”.  And while a number of other possibilities have been proposed, and good arguments could be made for some of them, it’s the one from my adolescence that inspired this essay upon my re-listening to the song last week.

Not everyone wants to “shout her abortion” as the activists urge; some prefer not to talk about it, and some may feel shame, sorrow or some more complex mix of emotions and prefer not to discuss the subject at all.  Similarly, while sex workers like me are almost belligerently open about it and others are only out with close friends, still others prefer not to admit their history of sex work to anyone.  Some LGBT people are “out and proud”, some more quietly queer, and some still deeply closeted.  The same range of coping strategies (if that’s even the right phrase) can be seen in relation to kinks or fetishes; mental health issues; a history of rape or sexual abuse; drug use; a criminal record; family issues; and nearly anything else for which guilt or shame, appropriate or not, can be heaped upon an individual by society, family members, or even one’s own psyche.  And while it’s certainly true that repressed shame can lead to all sorts of harmful outcomes (like jumping off of bridges or letting one’s life be consumed by bottled-up grief or anger), and that talking about taboo subjects certainly helps to normalize them, not everyone has the psychological mechanisms or social tools required to “shout” her abortion, discuss her whoredom on television, march in pride parades or display family skeletons in the front yard.  Some people have the psychic anatomy necessary to be honest about subjects that were or still are considered shameful, and some don’t; some may feel comfortable displaying some skeletons and not others (for example, being open about queerness but not about sex work).  And the only person who is qualified to make decisions about which laundry to air and which to pack away in the cedar chest is its owner.  While I would like it if more sex workers were “out”, I have no right to pass judgment on anyone who isn’t; their lives are theirs to live, not mine, and they are the ones who will reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of their decisions.  And the exact same thing is true of every other such secret.  To drag someone’s secrets into the open against their will is an act of psychic violence which could potentially trigger physical violence in some circumstances, which is why outing, “doxxing”, and tattling are condemned by all ethical adults.  Minding one’s own business is a virtue, locked closets should be respected, and sometimes silence really is golden.

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