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Posts Tagged ‘Monsters’

The issue with filters starts with the fact that their purpose is to block content.  –  Michael Stabile

They Just Don’t Get It

Pittsburgh-area cops are among the most aggressively ignorant and pompously stupid in the US on the topic of sex work:

Prostitution rings are becoming more sophisticated, and that’s creating new challenges for police…Greensburg police investigators say the internet has [magically transformed into] a vast sea of sex for sale [complete with ships and tentacled hentai monsters]…[unusually stupid pig] Robert Stafford [oinked that]…the sites used to advertise such services…“always seem to be the same website…there always seems to be a drug habit involved”…when [sex workers] are [locked] up [often after being raped by cops], there is a genuine effort to save them from the street and in reality from themselves…

So many dysphemisms, so much bullshit.  “Sophisticated prostitution rings” is the most popular cop excuse for raping sex workers, a practice that Pennsylvania aggressively defends.  As for the bizarre cop fantasy that there is only one ad website, this is the first I’ve heard of it; usually the claim is exactly the opposite, that there are dozens or even hundreds in every city.

Judd Not, Lest Ye Be Judded

I’m always glad to see this wannabe savior get egg on her face:

Ashley…Judd’s…anti-trafficking activism [ignorantly and intentionally]…conflate[s] sex trafficking and sex work.  Judd also serves on the advisory council of Demand Abolition…[after a series of ugly anti-sex worker tweets last week] Judd’s social media was quickly inundated with criticism, causing Judd to double down on her anti-sex work platform…writing…I believe body invasion is indeed inherently harmful…Buying sex…commodifies…girls and women’s orfices [sic]”…Unsurprisingly, real-life sex workers took issue with Judd’s numerous…assertions…@BrookeBrou was a vocal participant in the thread, tweeting, “You are harming people with your ignorant ideas about what sex work actually is”…Brou…explained that, “I find [Ashley Judd’s] posts rendering a SW to her orifices incredibly disgusting…What is apparent is that Ashley Judd is not only misguided, but also simple-minded…it looks like Ashley lacks the cognitive ability to fully grasp the complexity of…SW voices and experiences”…

That weird sci-fi “body invasion” nonsense was invented by Gloria Steinem; this isn’t the first time Judd has incompetently parroted it.

Backwards Into the Future (June Updates)

A strip club defeats part of a stupid “sin density” law:

In New Jersey, clubs and restaurants that do not have licenses to sell alcoholic beverages may nevertheless allow customers to bring beer or wine to consume on the premises.  But they [we]re not allowed to tell customers about that option…until…a federal judge ruled that a state ban on advertising BYOB policies violates the First Amendment…Stiletto, a strip club in Atlantic City…[has no] liquor license…[because] strip clubs that feature total nudity are not allowed to have [one]…New Jersey offered no [defense to the club’s suit other]…than boilerplate about “protect[ing] the health, safety, and welfare of the people…through the promotion of temperance.”  It did not explain how letting people know they can bring their own beer and wine is more likely to promote intemperance than advertising the sale of alcoholic beverages, as businesses with liquor licenses routinely do…

Scapegoats (#15) 

Six and a half years after I first heard the tale, and 15 years after it is supposed to have happened, the story of the “prostitute” orangutan named Pony gets enough detail to tip my opinion from “probably not true” to “probably at least partly true”.  This version of the story actually has the name of a Danish conservationist, Lone Droscher-Nielsen, who cared for Pony after she was rescued from a village near a palm-oil plantation in Indonesia; the story talks about a “brothel” but other details seem to indicate that she was the pet of the whole village, and that the men who paid to fuck her appear to have viewed the experience as a novelty.  It’s in The Sun, which is not exactly known for journalistic rigor; however, there are pictures of the ape and quotes from the conservationists explaining the rehabilitation process.  My guess?  Basically true but embellished to increase luridness.

Monsters 

This could also be filed under “Torture Chamber”, but I suspect she was targeted for being trans:

A transgender woman who died [after being caged by] Immigration and Customs Enforcement…was likely physically abused [by screws]…and died after several days of severe, untreated dehydration.  Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez…died on May 25…[from] “severe complications of dehydration superimposed upon HIV infection”…the…autopsy…also found evidence of physical abuse, with “deep bruising” on her hands and abdomen, evidence of blunt-force trauma “indicative of blows, and/or kicks, and possible strikes with blunt object”…as well as extensive hemorrhaging on [her]…wrists, which…[a]re “typical of handcuff injuries”…

If Men Were Angels 

Most rapes by clergymen are much more subtle:

A former pastor…kidnapped three women and [raped] two…Thomas Bruce…had a history of going on social media rants against “gun-free zones”…[he] posed as a customer of a Catholic Supply store in [Missouri]…When he saw that there were two female employees and one female customer in the store, Bruce…forced the three women to go with him into a back room at gunpoint…he ordered them to strip and “perform…sexual acts on him”…One of the women, Jamie Schmidt refused to give in to his demands, and Bruce…killed her with a shot to the head.  This prompted the other two women to begin complying with his requests, and Bruce eventually fled…

Grow the Hell Up! (#644)

Sometimes “sex trafficking” bullshit is too much for even politicians to pretend to believe. The Dallas Morning News printed this “editorial”:

A [pig leader masturbated while fantasizing that]…a person trapped into “the life”…is left with little hope and no sense of what it means to trust another person, experience joy, or even know friendship.  It is gratifying then to know that this week the Dallas Police Department will…unveil…a new strategy…to [persecute peaceful adults using the excuse of]…human sex trafficking…On November 28, the department is relaunching its vice unit, which was disbanded last year amid an internal investigation…a new philosophy…will [lock up sex workers and call that]…serving the victims…those who [are labeled] trafficked will face prosecution [anyway]…[blah blah] those who traffic in the sale of human flesh…

While on the same day, the same paper printed this:

…The Dallas Police Department’s beleaguered vice unit will soon be back in action after a year off the streets.  But the…details were a little murky to some members of the [city] council’s Public Safety & Criminal Justice Committee…members…wanted to know how the department’s new approach differed from the unit’s previous iteration — and why the vice unit was disbanded in the first place…Police Chief U. Renee Hall in November 2017 disbanded the vice unit amid what she called “serious issues”.  Since then, she has given few specific details about what those issues were [except vague statements about]…policy violations, accounting discrepancies…and a general lack of accountability.  But [the names of cops]…accused of violations [are still being hidden and there have been no]…criminal charges…The [old vice pigs]…will not be returning to the unit…council members said police officials were still too vague in their descriptions of both the problems and the [supposed] solutions…

Whore Madonnas (#734) 

An interview with a pregnant sex worker:

Sex work is arguably the single most stigmatized profession in the world.  Add pregnancy and motherhood…and that stigma increases one-hundred fold.  Last year, when Summer Sebastian announced that she would be working at the Bunny Ranch…throughout her pregnancy, it made for international headlines.  [Maxine] Holloway hasn’t even given birth yet and she’s already been harassed online by people saying that she’s harming her future child.  I visited Holloway at her home in Oakland, California to talk about pregnancy fetishes, mommy role-play, and the stigma of doing sex work while pregnant…

Opting Out (#822) 

UK politicians have been forced to delay their ridiculous censorship scheme again:

For the past year and a half, the UK government has been promising…a nationwide age verification system that would require would-be porn consumers to demonstrate their adulthood before accessing adult content…A few years ago, the country attempted to block adult sites at the ISP level, requiring users to opt in to access adult content…[of course the censorship software] ended up blocking far more than just porn.  The Digital Economy Act…puts the onus on [websites], who must comply with the policy or risk getting banned by major payment processors.  Yet…the age verification system’s rollout — which was initially scheduled for this past spring — was postponed yet again, as [politicians] continued to grapple with the [impossibility] of creating a system that [censors content for people under 18] without [blocking]…other sex-related content…Since the dawn of the internet, tech companies have promised [censorious] parents an easy way to [maintain] their children’s [ignorance about sex]…while allowing them to freely browse the [rest] of the internet…however, these porn blockers aren’t nearly as…effective as advertised, largely because figuring out what is and is not pornography is rarely a simple matter.  Apple’s recently launched…parental controls…produced results that were inconsistent at best…innocent items like a search for a dulce de leche recipe wound up blocked, as did numerous sex education sites.  Teen Vogue’s entire site wound up blocked, as did sites offering assistance to queer youth…

Disaster (#865)

Even the perennially-obtuse Rolling Stone recognizes that FOSTA has galvanized sex worker activism:

…It wasn’t until the passage of the so-called Online Trafficking bill SESTA-FOSTA last spring that many workers began to [participate in activism]…not just to oppose the bill but also to support sex work decriminalization efforts more broadly…Christa Daring, the executive director of [SWOP-USA, says]…“SESTA-FOSTA didn’t make prostitution any more illegal than it was before, but it…really threw into stark contrast the amount of criminalization that people were facing”…“Now you have coalitions rising of people who care about criminal justice and racial justice and immigration issues all working together,” says [activist Lola] Balcon…“I’ve never seen sex workers begin organizing in the way they did following SESTA-FOSTA,” says activist Siouxsie Q. “Enough was enough”…

End Demand (#872)

At least one journalist at the Graun appears to get it:

…Under the guise of “anti-trafficking” efforts, police practices in northern California and a new federal law have broadly affected adult sex workers both online and in the streets.  The result…is…increased violence and suffering for the very women whom lawmakers [pretend] they are rescuing.  There have been two such anti-“human trafficking” sting operations in Sacramento this year, most recently in August, in which [sows role-play sex workers]…16 men were arrested for soliciting…police also arrested 25 women for “loitering with intent to commit prostitution” or “disorderly conduct”…[spokespigs] insisted the women’s arrests were separate from the stings, even though some happened on the same day and location…But Alix Lutnick, a researcher with RTI International…said that there is growing recognition that john stings don’t actually help victims…The crackdown, in a state that pre[t]en[d]s [to be] a progressive leader in social justice and women’s rights, has come at a time in which sex work is being aggressively criminalized across the US…Democrats in California have spearheaded the [persecution]…Kamala Harris, a rising star in the party, fought for the shutdown of Backpage.com…when she was the state’s top prosecutor…For one woman caught up in the [recent] arrests, police cited as evidence that she was wearing a “lace bralette”, “shorts” and “flip flops” and was carrying four “unused condoms”.  Despite the “trafficking” label, the stings have led to no trafficking charges.  [A] Sacramento [spokespig admitted]…the stings were [really] about punishing “males who were trying to pick up prostitutes”…

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Vanesa was murdered; the state is complicit.  –  protest chant in Paris

Subtle Pimping

Every damned internet company has profited from sex workers without even giving us credit:

…the porn and adult entertainment industries, and the women whose work built them, were one of the earliest to provide real-time credit card verification, establishing a precedent for models of e-commerce other industries would adopt later on.  Sex workers…essentially created, adopted, and inspired many of the technologies later co-opted by tech corporations and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs long before they reached the mainstream, and continue to do so.  However, [they]…rarely receive proper credit for their contributions…

Finding What Isn’t There

I can tell you why these cases aren’t being pushed, Susan, but it’s going to make you sad:

After [cheerleading for] local [cop] efforts to [persecute people using the excuse of] human trafficking, a [prohibitionist] is questioning why recent prostitution cases are seemingly sitting idle in the district attorney’s office…Susan Peters, executive director of [“rescue” profiteer] UnBound…[says] McLennan County Sheriff’s Office detectives have made about 330…arrests of alleged sex buyers since March 2015, but records show prosecutors have not taken action on [almost] any…many of the recent arrests stem from a December 2017 raid in which sheriff’s deputies [stole] video [from] surveillance systems in two massage parlors that [cops fantasize] women [were] forced to work at…Although it is unclear if video evidence in the massage parlor cases will be admissible in court, a total of 18 men have been arrested on prostitution charges since authorities started trying to identify [them]…

Counterfeit Comfort (#40) 

It’s good to see so many challenges to these medieval laws:

Janice M. Bellucci, executive director of the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws…plans to file suit against Calimesa, California, challenging its Halloween ordinance  [which]…forbids registrants…from decorating their home with Halloween decorations; mandates they leave all exterior or decorative lighting off from 4 to 11:59 p.m. [on Halloween]; and forbids them from answering the door to trick-or-treaters.  In August, Bellucci sent letters to five California cities, including Calimesa, urging them to repeal their Halloween restrictions by Sept. 28 or face litigation.  So far, Temecula has repealed its ordinance, and Lancaster is taking steps to do the same…The state of Missouri has a rule similar to the one that Bellucci fought in Simi Valley, requiring registrants on Halloween to post a sign at their home stating, “No candy or treats at this residence”…The California…Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, mandates that registrants who are on parole must remain indoors from 5 to 10 p.m. during which time they can open the door only to respond to law enforcement.  They must turn off all exterior lights, and…homeless parolees are required to spend the curfew hours in [jail]…New York…requires that the roughly 3,000 parolees convicted of sex crimes remain indoors at home on Halloween…until 6 the next morning…[and] are not allowed to have…candy in their possession…

Signs (#783) 

California mandates indoctrinating hotel workers into being anti-whore snitches:

Two new California laws will require workers in certain industries to go through [indoctrination in] human trafficking [fantasies]…The laws are scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, with training to be complete by 2020 for hotel and motel workers and by 2021 for transit workers…

Pyrrhic Victory (#810)

Surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of the Stasi:

The next time you drive past one of those road signs with a digital readout showing how fast you’re going…it may…be capturing your license plate data…the Drug Enforcement Administration will be expanding the footprint of its nationwide surveillance network with the purchase of “multiple” trailer-mounted speed displays “to be retrofitted as mobile LPR [License Plate Reader] platforms”…the DEA has hired a small machine shop in California, and another in Virginia, to conceal the readers within the signs…primarily along the southwest border region, and the country’s northeast and southeast corridors…

Disaster (#832)

Please, prohibitionists, force more deep-pocketed giants like Facebook to fight your evil:

A Texas woman, claiming that she was raped, beaten and sex trafficked at the age of 15 by a pimp who posed as a Facebook “friend,” has filed suit against the social network, alleging its executives knew minors were being lured into the sex trade on their platform…

Texas especially loves the “Facebook pimps” myth.

Torture Chamber (#852)

The “concerns” and crocodile tears of these kids’ jailers remind me of prohibitionists who say they want to “rescue” sex workers by locking us in cages:

In shelters from Kansas to New York, hundreds of migrant children have been roused in the middle of the night…and loaded onto buses with backpacks and snacks for a cross-country journey to their new [prison]:  a barren tent city on a sprawling patch of desert in West Texas.  Until now, most undocumented children being held by federal immigration authorities had been housed in private foster homes or shelters, sleeping two or three to a room.  They received formal schooling and regular visits with legal representatives assigned to their…cases.  But in the rows of sand-colored tents in Tornillo, Tex., children in groups of 20, separated by gender, sleep lined up in bunks.  There is no school…Access to legal services is limited.  These midnight voyages are playing out across the country, as the federal government struggles to find [cages] for more than 13,000 [imprisoned] migrant children — the largest population ever — whose numbers have increased more than fivefold since last year.  The average length of time…in custody has nearly doubled over the same period, from 34 days to 59…

Prisoners, especially those government wants to dehumanize, are often shipped off in the middle of the night like this to facilities in the middle of deserts, so as to confuse and disorient them and make escape more difficult.

Monsters (#866) 

No, it’s almost wholly to blame. As we warned it would be.

Vanesa Campos…was shot and killed as thieves tried to rob her client, who survived….her…death…is proof of the growing dangers [sex workers] face since [the French] Parliament [imposed the Swedish model]…clients now demand to have sex in out of the way places, where the police are unlikely to be patrolling.  “Girls are now forced to hide and promise their clients that the police won’t find them,” said Giovanna Rincon, a former sex worker and transgender activist who leads the organization Acceptess-Transgenres.  “Today, they work in places where we, the old guard working at the Bois de Boulogne, would never have set foot”…

The Widening Gyre (#874) 

I love that Christian religious nuts, who started the “sex trafficking” hysteria in the first place, are now being accused of being “traffickers” themselves:

Two West Texas girls are [spreading hysteria] after what they described as a scary encounter at a Walmart in San Angelo…The students say they were approached by strangers inside the store late at night and invited to a Bible study…”They asked us if we were Christians and if we read the Bible, things like that…She started telling us Jesus was the sun and Moses was the moon, just things that didn’t sound right to us.”  One of the girls Googled some of the [statements] as the conversation continued, and [naturally] she [believed]…”… the first article that came up [which] said ‘Korean sex trafficking college campuses’.”…The girls say they went and found a store manager to tell them [that people were talking to them]…and a Walmart employee escorted them to their vehicles so they could…leave [without the danger of others talking to them]…There have been cases in other cities where members of the “God the Mother” church have been [fantasized to be] sex traffickers while trying to recruit members…

All-Purpose Excuse (#876)

Whores are not only the new drugs; we’re also the new “terrorism”:

Ann…Wagner’s little-heralded [recycling and expansion of the PATRIOT Act], known as the Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act, quietly passed the House [last] Wednesday—sailing through without much attention as the Brett Kavanaugh hearing occupied the media and public [atten]tion.  The bill, HR 6729, passed by a 297-124 vote, with 202 Republicans voting in favor and only 29 against.  Democrats who voted were split equally 95-95…

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Social morality cannot be used to violate the fundamental rights of even a single individual.  –  Dipak Misra

Maggie in the Media 

Peeping Toms

While the US increases interference into private lives, India goes the other way:

India’s Supreme Court…struck down a colonial-era law that made gay sex punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a landmark victory for gay rights that one judge said would “pave the way for a better future.”  The 1861 law, a relic of Victorian England that hung on long after the end of British colonialism, was a weapon used to discriminate against India’s gay community, the judges ruled in a unanimous decision…the court said sexual orientation was a “biological phenomenon” and that discrimination on that basis violated fundamental rights…

Banishment

I’m sure you feel safer now:

Olivia Munn’s new film, The Predator, is making headlines not just because of its premiere but because Twentieth Century Fox pulled a scene from the film after it was revealed that director Shane Black had cast a registered sex offender to play a small part.  Munn [complained] to the…studio and has now [bragged] about it on social media…Steven Wilder Striegel…pleaded guilty in 2010 to allegations that he attempted to lure a 14 year-old girl into a sexual relationship via the internet…Munn wrote…”excerpts from the arrest affidavit are beyond disturbing and completely contradict Wilder’s version of how he was convicted”…

Try not to throw up when you read all the bootlicking statements about how everything pigs and prosecutors say is unquestionable holy truth.

Monsters 

This brings the toll to 19 so far this year:

Vontashia Bell, an 18-year-old transgender woman was fatally shot multiple times in Shreveport, Louisiana, on August 30…Later that day, Dejanay Stanton’s body was found in an alley on Chicago’s South Side…Like Bell, Stanton had been shot to death…In Philadelphia, police are looking for the person or persons behind the murder of Shantee Tucker, a 30-year-old trans woman who was found shot in the back [on August 29th]…With their deaths, there have now been 19 known killings of transgender or nonbinary people this year, with 13 of them being black

Whither Canada? (#813)

A new challenge is only necessary because Liberals lied about repealing the law:

Across Canada, sex workers are still regularly being charged with crimes because of their profession.  Their clients, too, are being targeted by police…Canada’s new laws…have only made things worse…Bill C-36, came into effect in 2014 under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, and it was opposed by all opposition parties at the time, including Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, who contended that the legislation was unconstitutional and failed to comply with th[e] Supreme Court ruling [which decriminalized sex work].  During the 2015 federal election campaign, Trudeau vowed to undo or fix various criminal justice reforms brought in by his predecessor, painting the Tories’ tough-on-crime agenda as heartless and damaging…But now—three years after the Liberals won a majority government, four years after C-36 came into force, five years after the Supreme Court ruled that Canada’s long-standing prostitution laws were unconstitutional…any plans for reform appear to have stalled…After years of patience with the Liberals, sex workers are beginning to speak out again…A constitutional challenge to the Harper-era laws is facing a Charter challenge in a London, Ont. courtroom, which promises to extend into years of further legal wrangling.  The Pivot Legal Society, an intervenor in the Bedford case…[is] considering another challenge…

Pyrrhic Victory (#854)

The problem with facial recognition isn’t that it’s inaccurate, which would give victims a way to fight it legally.  The problem is that it won’t stay inaccurate for much longer:

Sixteen states let the FBI use face recognition technology to compare the faces of suspected criminals to their driver’s license and ID photos…at least 26 states allow [in-state pigs] to run or request [such] searches…Roughly 50 percent of American adults have their photos searched this way — meaning that 117 million adults are included in law enforcement face recognition networks…But critics question the…[use of] software which is known for problems with accuracy — especially in…people of color…At a time when artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly [sold to the deeply stupid] as a tool to keep us safe, experts are beginning to sound the alarm…for privacy…Clare Garvie, an associate with the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law [points out that] other police investigative tools — such as wiretaps and fingerprints — are heavily regulated, requiring a judge to issue a warrant for use.  But only a handful of state laws touch on face recognition…Garvie compares the presence of police video cameras enabled with face recognition technology on every corner to the act of a [pig rooting] through a protest demanding to see identification of everyone…face recognition cameras do the same thing — while capturing faces and identifying people remotely and in secret…

Full of Themselves (#860)

Let’s hope this attempt to harass Asian massage parlors out of business harms licensed masseuses even more:

Coralville and Iowa City joined the growing number of local city governments in passing ordinances that target…massage parlors since the Iowa Legislature gave cities the ability to regulate requirements last year.  [Prohibitionists pretend] human trafficking in massage parlors is an issue in Iowa City…

As long as politicians can successfully draw lines between adult businesses and others, they will continue to.

Business As Usual (#868) 

Rapists and murders say they want to “regain public trust” by not raping and murdering as much for the next few weeks:

Columbus Division of Police is temporarily suspending routine vice operations in part to regain public trust in light of two high-profile [abuses of power by] vice [cops] in the last 45 days.  The vice [pen], which includes about 20 [pigs], will spend the next 28 days providing command staff with information on how [raids] are conducted, Deputy Chief Tim Becker said…On July 11, vice [cops] arrested adult film actress Stormy Daniels and two other women following Daniels’ performance at the Sirens strip club…City Attorney Zach Klein…said he would no longer prosecute cases involving inappropriate touching by dancers.  Becker also issued a memo…barring vice and narcotics [pigs] from [rooting] into strip clubs without a specific complaint and permission from Becker or Chief Kim Jacobs…On Aug. 23, [disguised pig] Andrew Mitchell…[murdered] 23-year-old Donna Castleberry while he was [trying to rape her]…Mitchell…had a citizen complaint filed against him less than a week before the [murder]…During the 28-day vice review, only the “most critical” vice cases will be investigated, Becker said…

What, pray tell, constitutes a “vital” intrusion of armed thugs into people’s consensual acts?  Because that’s exactly what “vice” policing is.

The Widening Gyre (#870) 

Cops are trying to regain control of the runaway moral panic by releasing even more hysterical exaggeration than the Facebook loons:

You may have seen the Facebook posts…A young woman fears being followed by “strange” men, in the store or the parking lot…she believes that she was being followed as part of an attempt to kidnap her for a human trafficking sex ring.  However, local authorities say, the posts are reinforcing a common misconception:  real life bogeymen waiting in parking lots, snatching young women off the street and forcing them to have sex with others.  Unfortunately, the truth is far worse: a human trafficker can be anyone you know…And victims of human trafficking can be anyone — human trafficking victims look just like you or me, a child or an adult…

Hide under your bed!  Trust no one!  Don’t form personal relationships!  “Sex traffickers” are EVERYWHERE!!!!!!

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You can’t provide consent freely if you’re…not free.  –  William Ramirez

Rough Trade 

Reporter helps cops add insult to injury by infantilizing a rape victim:

Bellevue police have arrested two men in connection with the rape and robbery of a Chinese woman — believed to be a victim of human trafficking…on July 19…Police say the suspects know these types of incidents aren’t usually reported due to the victim’s fear of being arrested or deported.  These suspects are believed to have committed several similar robberies in the greater Seattle area and Bellevue…

The cops claim they won’t arrest victims who report, but it would be foolish for a sex worker to take the risk.  And even if they don’t arrest her, they’ll deny her agency and use her to advance their anti-whore narrative by calling her a “sex trafficking victim”.

Lack of Evidence 

Persecution of sex workers and lack of rights for women in general are part of the same ugly scheme:

A friend of mine lived alone in downtown Cairo…One day in 2012, her neighbors saw her heading to the apartment with her boyfriend and two friends, a man and a woman.  Once they were inside, the neighbors started banging on the door, calling her a prostitute and threatening to call the police to arrest them for prostitution…My friend told them that she and her partner were married, through an urfi or unregistered marriage, and the guests were just friends.  Things settled down only after she promised that she would move out of the apartment within days.  Many women have been raised in familial contexts where their mobility and sexuality are restricted…These restrictions have driven many of us to move out of our family homes out of a desire to experience life for ourselves, and enter the expanding ranks of the mustaqellat, or independent women, those who live neither in the home of their families nor husbands.  If we thought that by leaving our family homes we could escape respectability politics, we learn very quickly that this is not the case.  When women live alone, they are perceived as…abnormal subjects, because we are not living with our families, the source of a woman’s identification and social value…a woman trying to live beyond the traditional frameworks of social relationships…is constantly surveilled, and the primary authority over her body moves from the family and its neighborhood to the larger community…

Above the Law  

They always make these cases sound like the bureaucrat was doing his victims a favor:

A…Pennsylvania district attorney who tipped off female drug dealers and gave them lenient treatment in exchange for sex was sentenced to eight years of probation…Bill Higgins…pleaded guilty in May in a deal with prosecutors that guaranteed him no jail time and no additional felony counts.  He was officially disbarred earlier this month…Judge Thomas Ling ordered him to perform over 1,100 hours of community service and pay fines of nearly $10,000…Attorney General Josh Shapiro charged Higgins in April, calling his behavior a betrayal of the community…

Yeah, “The Community” was the victim and not the women he coerced sex from because they were engaged in peaceful, consensual transactions.  It’s enough to make one vomit.

First They Came for the Hookers…

Y’all didn’t stand up for professional whores, and now they’re coming for you dabblers:

A British Airways flight attendant has been suspended after putting a video of herself sniffing her tights and unbuttoning her shirt online…While it is unknown whether the flight attendant sold the tights or shoes, there is a growing trend for cabin crew selling their used garments online…

Monsters 

Another trans sex worker murdered, this time in Paris:

On the night of August 16-17, we received several messages and calls…reporting the murder of Vanessa Campos…[by] 7 to 8 men…This…would probably be a gang of men who regularly assault sex workers and their clients to rob them.  This band phenomenon targeting sex workers is currently developing throughout the Ile de France region.  Those who try to organize for self-defense…are then attacked separately…The murders of trans women sex workers are not rare…we regularly try to alert public opinion and the authorities to this violence.  Unfortunately as always, we find ourselves alone…

Torture Chamber 

The State wants us to call this a “correctional institution” and the torturers “correctional officers”:

…about 100 people…poured into an Ocala meeting hall…to…Talk about brutal abuse, corruption and inhumane treatment behind the walls of one of Florida’s most notorious prisons, Lowell Correctional Institution for women.  For the first time, former inmates and their families were given a voice, and many of them had a lot to say to investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice about how rape [and] assault…by [screws] has become routine…The community meeting was set up by DOJ investigators who wanted to [see if there’s a way to cover up]…civil rights abuses and other unlawful conduct at the prison [which]…the…Florida Department of Corrections has ignored, covered up or dismissed…Laura Cowall, an attorney with the Justice Department, emphasized that the inquiry is not a criminal investigation but rather one that may result in a [useless] report…That prompted one family member to question whether the investigation will produce any substantive changes since it will not hold officers and staff responsible for inmates who have been beaten, raped or died…“They are scared to talk. How can you guarantee their safety?”…shouted one family member.  Cowall [vomited up bullshit] that retaliation would not be tolerated by the Department of Justice [because obviously they’ll be there 24 hours a day and can read the minds of screws with their magic federal powers]…

Don’t Call It Trafficking 

It’s never called “trafficking” when the government or a crony does it:

The shock of last year’s category five hurricane was just a precursor to the radical overhaul of Puerto Rico’s overburdened prison system…Nestled away in [a] 200-page [austerity plan] was a policy to offshore around a third of Puerto Rico’s prison population – 3,200 inmates – to private facilities thousands of miles away within the US…The government insists it will be voluntary…“This is government sponsored human trafficking”…said William Ramirez, executive director of the Puerto Rico American Civil Liberties Union.  “Even if you say it’s consensual, the reality is that you can’t provide consent freely if you’re…not free”…

If Men Were Angels 

“Youth pastors” are nearly as bad as cops:

Citing more than two years of secret bathroom recordings of juvenile victims, federal prosecutors argue that a former Medford [Oregon] youth pastor should be sentenced as a “repeat and dangerous sex offender”.  Prosecutors are seeking…more than 15 years…for Donald Courtney Biggs…who’s been held in the Jackson County Jail since early 2015…Biggs…groomed victims by giving them gifts…and singled out victims for activities outside of church…Investigators have recovered 166 illicit videos recorded without victims’ knowledge, about 80 more than previously reported.  They had been recorded in secret during overnight youth trips that included summer camps and spring break outings, as well as taken at Biggs’ home and at the church…

Business As Usual

Cop murders sex worker for resisting his attempt to rape her:

[Andrew Mitchell, an Ohio cop with 30 years of complaints and reprimands for excessive force, murdered] 23-year-old [sex worker] Donna Castleberry [by shooting her 8] times [at point-blank range after she]…stabbed [him in the hand.  The plainclothes cop, who had parked his unmarked car so close to the wall that the passenger door could not be opened, had apparently forced the un-handcuffed Castleberry into the front seat of his car]…[Though Mitchell claims he] was investigating complaints related to prostitution in the neighborhood [he was probably specifically looking for Castleberry since a warrant had been issued on her the day before for failing to appear in court on a soliciting charge]…

Thanks to Donna’s mother and best friend for the details pointing to the cop’s motives, which of course the cops di not release to the bootlicking local media.  What actually happened is clear: Mitchell, a cop with a long history of brutality, sought Donna out on purpose to rape her, knowing she had a warrant.  He forced her into the front seat of his car without handcuffing her, and when she tried to stop him from raping her, he emptied nearly the whole clip into her 100-pound body at point-blank range.

If Men Were Angels (#586)

The victim can’t get damages in civil court because her rapist worked for the beneficent government:

A…Houston doctor convicted of sexually assaulting a patient while she was tethered to machines…won’t serve any prison time and will instead serve 10 years’ probation…Dr. Shafeeq Sheikh…acknowledged at trial that he had sexual contact with the woman during the night shift at Ben Taub hospital in 2013 but [like most rapists pretended] it was consensual…[even though] the woman was weak, sore and medicated following several acute asthma episodes.  The victim…tried to summon a nurse with the call button, but witnesses testified it had been unplugged…Sheikh has lost his medical license and must register as a sex offender…

The Widening Gyre (#698)

Hysteria like this is a predictable outgrowth of the “sex trafficking” hysteria politicians, cops & media have aggressively promoted for the past 14 years:

Voodoo Doughnut found itself mired in an online conspiracy theory alleging the famous Portland doughnut franchise is involved in child sex trafficking.  It started when a man identified as Michael Whalen appeared on a YouTube show on Aug. 4, claiming he saw signs of child trafficking [like those “authorities” are always telling people to watch for] during a party he attended at Voodoo owner Tres Shannon’s…house…[like those “authorities”] Whalen offered no…evidence to support his claims, but told the show’s host, Nathan Stolpman, that he had spoken to authorities…Portland police…say no such reports exist…While the original interview appears to have been removed from YouTube, Stolpman has since posted several other videos…that appear to add actor Macaulay Culkin and nearby rock club Dante’s to the list of alleged conspirators…

Pyrrhic Victory (#844)

It may already be far too late to put this evil djinni back in its bottle:

Should the government be able to track your every move when you walk down the street, join a protest, or enter your psychiatrist’s building?  Facial recognition technology may make that a reality for Australians.  Parliament should refuse to expand its use until the government can demonstrate it won’t be used to violate human rights or turn us all into criminal suspects.  [A new] bill would create a nationwide database of people’s physical characteristics and identities, linking facial images and data from states and territories and integrating them with a facial recognition system….[which] would initially enable centralised access to passport, visa, citizenship, and driver license images…government agencies and some private companies would then be allowed to submit images to verify someone’s identity….[or] identify an unknown person…the proposal is too broad, enables using facial recognition for purposes far beyond fighting serious crime, and leaves significant details to departmental discretion or future interpretation.  The lack of safeguards combined with the centralisation of a massive amount of information raises the potential for abuse and ever-expanding mission creep…

Damned Lies

Glenn Kessler located the bogus numbers behind this painfully-dumb claim:

In a self-congratulatory video posted on July 20 by the Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, Wagner, the key sponsor of FOSTA, made a claim that caught our attention: “We have shut down nearly 90 percent of the online sex trafficking business and ads”…When asked for evidence, Wagner’s office sent a chart that tracked all sex-related advertising, saying that it showed weekly global ad volume dropped 87 percent from January to April.  The chart was generated through a [government surveillance] system called Memex…The biggest drop in ads came after the shutdown of Backpage…a[nother] drop…took place after the laws achieved final passage in Congress on March 21, prompting sex-oriented websites such as CityVibe and the Erotic Review to begin to shut down in the United States…Okay, but what happened after April?  Wagner’s staff refused to share the data, so we asked…[Memex’s managers] Uncharted Software…it turns out that after that initial drop, advertising for the sex trade appears to have rebounded, such as on new websites that mimic Backpage with names like “Bedpage”.  Worldwide ads had a daily average of about 105,000 when FOSTA-SESTA passed on March 21 and had dropped 28 percent by the time Backpage was closed on April 5.  It then plunged another 75 percent and reached a low of 19,456 on April 17, for a total decline of about 82 percent.  But on the day the Judiciary Committee posted the video, sex-trade ads were back at about 50 percent of the daily volume before the law had passed; as of Aug. 11, they were at almost 75 percent…Wagner…celebrated a decline of “sex-trafficking business and ads” but as we noted, the metric she is using is advertising for all sex work.  The actual impact on “sex trafficking” is unknown…

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It’s kind of like the universe conspired for this to happen.  –  Aidan Hill

License to Rape

Prohibition turns the body of every citizen into a “crime scene”, which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

Tameika Lovell was retrieving luggage at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport when Customs and Border Protection officers detained her for a…search….[after] a short Jamaica vacation.  Lovell, who is black, had been stopped before, but this time a CBP supervisor began asking questions she hadn’t heard previously.  “Don’t you think you’re spending too much money traveling?”…Inside a secure room…a female CBP officer searched Lovell’s belongings, presumably for illegal drugs, and asked if she was using a tampon or sanitary pad…Lovell replied “no” and complied when told to remove her shoes, lift her arms and spread her legs…the officer squeezed Lovell’s breasts, and, “placed her right hand into [Lovell’s] pants ‘forcibly’ inserting four gloved fingers into plaintiff’s vagina” before parting Lovell’s buttocks “for viewing”…Her case is one of at least 11 since 2011 examined by the Center for Public Integrity…The women who’ve brought these lawsuits, including two minor girls, say CBP…subjected them to indignities — such as strip searches while menstruating and prohibited genital probing — despite finding no contraband.  Four women further allege they were handcuffed and transported to hospitals where, against their will, one underwent a pelvic exam and X-rays.  In one of the cases, the woman…was intravenously drugged at the hospital…

Monsters 

The only positive point here is that local politicians condemned the hatred:

A middle school in Achille, Oklahoma is closed following violent threats by parents on social media against Maddie, a 12-year-old transgender [girl] who…used the girls’ bathroom.  Maddie had been using the staff bathroom at her old school but used the girls’ bathroom at the new school because she wasn’t sure where the staff bathroom was.  She was then accused of peeping under a bathroom stall…[and] the threats began on a private parents’ Facebook group for the school.  The parents called Maddie “it” and “thing”, suggested that her genitalia be mutilated to make her female (“a good sharp knife will do the job real quick”).  One said it was “hunting season on them kind” and said there was “no bag limit”…

Deafening Silence (#427)

A fascinating look at male actor/sex workers in 19th century China:

…the theater was a venue of culture but also an erotic space.  Patrons in particular focused their obsessions on the actors – almost always male – who played the dàn, or lead female role in the performance…There existed an implicit understanding of the theater, and its performers, as sex workers.  It was even assumed in [rape] cases…[where] attackers [got lower sentences for raping sex workers]…Following the fall of the Qing Dynasty, modernizers in the government of the new Republic of China and in the city of Beijing began to issue regulations which they hoped would curtail the brothels and theaters…[but] despite…efforts…to destroy the culture of male prostitution in Beijing, the trade continued into the mid-20th century when even more puritanical…politicians in the post-1949 era would employ drastic measures which pushed most prostitution – male and female – deep into the shadows for the next few decades…

The Public Eye (#439) 

Sex workers who are also performing artists are valuable ambassadors for us:

…Kate McGrew hopes her new stage show will make audiences think, by highlighting the dangers of our new prostitution laws.  The reality TV star, who made her name in the RTE show Connected…plans to hammer home the message in…her new production Hookers Do It Standing Up…“It has serious points, but lots of punchlines, humour, and musings on the experiences and struggles of sex workers, and how bad laws and attitudes affect us”…Under her stage name Lady Grew, the singer, actor and dancer is now taking her campaign to the stage in Dublin Fringe Festival…

Little Boxes (#579)

Being forced by a corporation to have undesired sexual contact with strangers is “team building”, but choosing to have sexual contact with strangers who desire it is a “crime”:

We’ve launched the world’s first “Cuddle a Co-worker” event to provide a unique alternative to the standard team building exercises you’ll normally find…the event lasts an entire working day and involves co-workers cuddling in a “relaxation tent” designed to reduce stress and encourage team bonding…skin on skin contact…promotes Oxytocin and Serotonin release.  Oxytocin has physical and psychological effects on the brain, including influencing social behaviour and emotion, whilst Serotonin is the hormone which allows humans to feel happiness…co-workers will be required to cuddle each other in a variety of different positions and will need to switch partners every two hours – so that you have a chance to bond with everyone…there will also be a group cuddling session, as well as a conflict resolution cuddle session…


Real People (#710)

Here’s a look at the stories of three residents of Casa Xochiquetzal, Mexico City’s home for retired sex workers.  The tales are by turns beautiful and sad, and it would do them an injustice to even attempt to synopsize them here; please read them and remember that these are the women prohibitionists want to demonize as criminals or infantilize as permanent victims.

Pyrrhic Victory (#781)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

The U.S. government is trying to force Facebook…to break the encryption in its popular Messenger app so [pigs and spooks can eavesdrop on private]…conversations…resurrecting the issue of whether companies can be compelled to alter their products to enable surveillance…The previously unreported case in a federal court in California is proceeding under seal, so no filings are publicly available, but…three [whistleblowers reported] that Facebook is contesting the…demand.  The…government [is trying] to hold Facebook in contempt of court for refusing to carry out the surveillance request…If the government prevails…it could…force companies to rewrite other popular encrypted services such as Signal and Facebook’s billion-user WhatsApp…

The Lion and the Ox (#796)

“Sex trafficking” means whatever “authorities” want it to mean:

…a federal judge in Manhattan ruled that former film executive Harvey Weinstein can be sued under a federal sex-trafficking law by an actress who claims he coerced her to have sex in exchange for a movie role that never materialized…Police have not charged Harvey Weinstein with sex trafficking.  But the judge’s ruling means that the civil suit, brought by British actress Kadian Noble, can proceed…Weinstein’s lawyers said they would appeal the decision…

Pyrrhic Victory (#810)

Welfare recipients are another guinea pig for invasive surveillance methods:

Officials with the Department of Human Assistance, or DHA, in Sacramento, California, have been using license plate readers since 2016 to investigate welfare fraud…DHA violated California state laws dictating that any entity using a license plate database must institute a privacy-and-usage policy that includes regular audits and record keeping…The DHA was using a feature of the license plate reader that collects data about every single vehicle in a particular location, regardless of whether the vehicle belonged to a welfare recipient…and…19 agencies that have been sharing such data with the DHA, including police departments in Texas and Iowa…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#825) 

Texas is replacing Washington and Arizona as the most active producer of “sex trafficking” idiocy:

…Houston…is a known hub for sex trafficking…said Dennis Mark…[of] Redeemed Ministries…As efforts to criminalize prostitution in the city increase, the underground industry is spreading to surrounding areas…he said.  Debi Tengler…[of] Arrow Child and Family Ministries, [which runs a private prison] in Spring, [ludicrously bloviated] “The tighter you squeeze the tube, the more toothpaste squeezes out”…Texas…has the second most of any state…“We…hit…the streets and go…after the prostitutes…and…also online tactics,” [oinked a filthy pig]…Police are also cracking down on brothels disguised as businesses…such as massage parlors and hotels…A December 2016 University of Texas [fantasy claimed]…there were…79,000…juvenile sex trafficking victims [in Texas]…

Disaster (#850)

I’ve never seen anything galvanize public support for sex workers like FOSTA has:

SESTA-FOSTA…received bipartisan support [like most truly awful police-state expansions]…Since the law was passed, there has been a swell of protests, political actions and new forms of grassroots organizing among the American sex worker rights community…Perhaps the highest profile efforts to repeal SESTA-FOSTA emerged on June 28th, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a lawsuit against the federal government…on the grounds of First and Fifth Amendment violations…

There’s more in this article, which also mentions Salazar’s candidacy (see below).

Safe Position (#851)

If the Democratic Party were run by people who care about human rights, this would be its official position:

Julia Salazar, a candidate for the New York state Senate, is doing what [only a minuscule number of] Democratic politicians have done before:  taking sex workers’ rights seriously.  The 27-year-old democratic socialist, who is shaping her policy by consulting the sex work community, is one of the first candidates to…support those workers, including by proposing concrete steps toward decriminalization…Salazar, who is challenging eight-term incumbent Democratic state Sen. Martin Dilan, has centered her campaign around affordable housing and other policy positions championed by the insurgent left.  But her plan to defend sex workers’ rights has energized a community that has been understandably skeptical of electoral politics.  One hundred sex workers and their allies have signed up to attend a canvassing event in the Brooklyn district for Salazar’s campaign on Sunday, ahead of the September 13 primary.  This follows an event earlier this month, when upward of 120 sex workers and activists hosted a pizza party for Salazar…[whose] platform outlines steps toward decriminalization that include an end to raids on massage parlors; working with district attorneys to stop charging sex workers with crimes; and creating a network of optional social services to address workers’ needs, such as housing, child care, syringe access, and…repealing the exemption for sex workers under New York’s rape shield law…

The Widening Gyre (#864) 

Here’s another entry in the “sex trafficking” scare story invasion of Twitter; this one’s even funnier than usual to me because it’s from Baton Rouge, roughly 50 miles from where I grew up, a city so cheap and dead it wasn’t even worth keeping an escort service ad posted in the phone book there.  And the mentioned towns are the kind of hick places where the opening of a new auto parts store is the highlight of the season’s social calendar.  One wonders if Kylie and her legion of dumbass retweeters think these “perfume samples” are actually phials of the fabled pimp mind-control philter which will enable them to instantly enslave any hapless girl who whiffs them.

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Justice is what…feminists want from others, not what they do to others.  –  Scott Greenfield

Imaginary Victims 

Concern for “child sex trafficking victims” vanishes when there are no adult whores to oppress:

The Ohio Supreme Court…upheld the murder conviction of a [young] woman whose forced prostitution as a teenager was cited as a factor leading to her involvement in the fatal shooting of her pimp during a robbery…that prosecutors [claim] Alexis Martin helped plan…she…was 15 at the time of the slaying…[of] Angelo Kerney…and his brother.  The girls were having sex with the victims to distract them when the robbers entered a house and the victims were shot…Martin is not accused of firing a gun.  The juvenile court judge should have determined that Martin was covered by a 2012 Ohio law that protects children whose crimes are related to their status as trafficking victims…Had the judge determined that the so-called Safe Harbor law applied, a court-appointed guardian for the teen could have been named…

As I’ve pointed out many times, “safe harbor” laws only protect “perfect victims”, not real ones.

Hark, Hark, the Dogs Do Bark 

Did anyone not know this already?

Men have better sex with women who are emotionally unstable…and women prefer men who are less agreeable but pay attention to detail, according to the German survey of a thousand people…Julia Velten and her colleagues interviewed each volunteer about their sex lives, personality and sexual function…

False Target (#42)

Though most of this is just typical racist anti-migrant bullshit, one part reveals a deeper sickness:

An 18-year-old Afghan native seeking asylum in Austria may have had his application denied because he didn’t act gay enough…Homosexuality is against the law in Afghanistan and many other Muslim-majority countries…But…an Austrian official…[wrote] “The way you walk, act or dress does not show even in the slightest that you could be homosexual…You appear to be capable of a level of aggression which would not be expected among homosexuals”…He had said he became aware of his sexuality when he was 12 years old, but the official found that was “rather early” and so not likely, particularly in a society such as Afghanistan “where there is no public sexual stimulation through fashion and advertisement”

The idea that all queer people “act gay” (even if they come from a place where doing so might be fatal) is bad enough, but the notion that young people are asexual tabulae rasae until they are “sexualized” by society is much worse; this dehumanizing dogma is the foundation for “conversion therapy” and “john schools”, because if sexuality is learned one who fails to conform to enforced norms can be “re-educated”.

Monsters 

Given the very large queer population of West Hollywood, the attackers were probably looking for someone to beat up:

Gay porn star and comedian Wesley Woods has opened up about a brutal…assault he and his best friend endured on 8 August when out walking in West Hollywood….in a video posted on his Twitter account….where scars on his face are visible…

Lower Education

This is what feminists call “equality”:

When…feminist superstar Judith Butler’s disgraceful and flagrantly hypocritical letter defending her sister superstar, NYU prof Avital Ronell…was sent around for signatures, threatening NYU with the wrath of scholars if Ronell wasn’t exonerated, the university had already found Ronell responsible…one of the university’s brightest academic lights had sexually harassed a gay male student under her care.  This wasn’t one of the faux Title IX cases of post-hoc regret, but the real deal.  Ronell was grad student Nimrod Reitman’s doctoral adviser…And…she turned him into her boy toy upon the implicit threat of destroying his career.  And it continued throughout his graduate studies, as proven by Ronell’s emails…Yet, these scholars sought to coerce a university into silence…to conceal Ronell’s conduct…”Diane Davis, chair of the department of rhetoric at the University of Texas-Austin…said she and her colleagues were particularly disturbed that…Reitman was using Title IX, a feminist tool, to take down a feminist“…Forget the jargonized rhetoric about power dynamics and oppression.  To these feminist scholars, Title IX is just a bludgeon to beat men into submission, and they fought to protect one of their own from facing the consequences of her sexual abuse.  And largely succeeded…

If Men Were Angels 

Isn’t it strange how sex workers are blamed for sexual abuse of kids when cops & clergy are the worst offenders?

Willow Creek Community Church [in Illinois] agreed to pay more than $3 million to settle lawsuits over the sexual abuse of two developmentally disabled boys by a church volunteer…The second and largest of the settlements, for $1.75 million, was made in February, before the Chicago Tribune revealed [supposedly] unrelated claims that the evangelical megachurch’s founder, the Rev. Bill Hybels, engaged in inappropriate conduct with women, eventually leading to his early retirement and, this month, the resignation of the church’s two leading pastors and its entire board of elders.  The influential…church also agreed last year to pay $1.5 million to another victim of former volunteer Robert Sobczak Jr…[who] is serving a 7-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2014 to sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy with special needs at the church and an older boy who was not connected to Willow Creek.  In 2013, Sobczak pleaded guilty to sexually abusing another disabled boy, around age 9, at the church…

The Widening Gyre (#716) 

These silly stories have been common on Facebook for some time, but now I’m starting to see them on Twitter; this one popped up in my timeline last week, and naturally my mockery of it attracted a number of “You can’t prove it isn’t true!” idiots.  They’re beautiful examples of The Law of the Instrument: “It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”  And if you’re a not-very-bright young woman who’s been told that “sex traffickers” are lurking behind every bush waiting to abduct you, naturally you start to see everything in your environment, up to and including litter, as a “sign of sex trafficking”.  I’m not sure how much more ridiculous this hysteria will get before it implodes, but I don’t think we’ll have to wait very long to find out.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#811)

Under a “legalization” regime, sex workers are still persecuted using idiotic and arbitrary nonsense like “illegally subdividing a building”:

Hong Kong police arrested scores of suspected sex workers after launching new anti-vice raids in a residential building where nearly 100 prostitutes…were [arrested] in a [raid] earlier this year…the 80 [new] arrests…at the 15-storey King Hing Building…were…on suspicion of breaching their conditions of stay…Inspector Timothy Cheung Chun-long said…“Investigations showed criminals arranged sex workers to work in subdivided flats in the building”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#824)

When it comes to mass surveillance, fascism beats communism hands down:

Back in March, as it investigated a spate of armed robberies across Portland, Maine, the FBI made an astonishing, unprecedented  request of Google…to find all users of its services who’d been within the vicinity of at least two of nine of those robberies…the request covered a total space of 45 hectares and could’ve included anyone with an Android or iPhone using Google’s tools…The FBI then  demanded a lot of personal information on affected users, including their full names and addresses…Google account activity…[and] all affected users’ historical locations…Google didn’t provide the information…[but] the FBI’s remarkable attempt…[should] worry all who…[realize that] Google continue[s] to track people even when they turned location features off…the FBI believe they have a right to that location data too…

Laura Lee, Sex Work Stigma, and the Limits of #MeToo (#863)

Brooke Magnanti on the re-opening of Laura Lee’s case:

…you probably know the outlines of Laura Lee’s story by now.  How the vivacious and outspoken campaigner for rights was (in her words) abused by a man who interviewed her, then she reported him, then she died.  How he has gone to great lengths to cover up his misdeeds since. Including demanding apologies out of Senators and journalists, simply for sharing what I wrote.  How he leans on Twitter to disappear my tweets…How he does anything but face justice.  This week, a mote of light shone through a chink in the brick wall of denial.  Gardaí have reopened their investigation into Laura’s accusations.  This includes interviewing witnesses who saw Laura and Olaf on the night in question, who offered information to the police before but whose evidence was never followed up…We see a pattern in all of this:  that an assent, or an apology, or public acceptance wrung out under the threat of legal proceedings says very much about the man who tries to bend women to his will, and very little about the women — for it is only women — he has tried to silence.  How he systematically uses their fear of humiliation and harassment to get a superficial approximation of what he wants…

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If America had a civil death penalty, putting people on sex registries would be it.  –  Guy Hamilton Smith

Elephant in the Parlor 

The idea that politicians paying for sex is “unprofessional” tells me these people are living in a fantasy world:

…Westminster’s first code of conduct…introduced after a sex harassment scandal in parliament, ban MPs from paying for sex while…engaged in any activity connected with their role as an MP, whether in the UK or abroad…The new complaints and grievance policy states: “Although it might not be illegal to pay for sex, in line with best practice it is considered unprofessional, inappropriate and a breach of the behaviour code”…

A Broker in Pillage

Watch for the definition of “unexplained” to expand dramatically over the next decade or two:

Criminals who can’t explain how they got their money will be [robbed] under a national scheme that allows the government to sweep up their assets.  A Senate committee unanimously recommended the “unexplained wealth” legislation be passed…despite concerns being raised by the Law Council and Civil Liberties Australia.  The legislation will force people convicted of crimes to prove that their wealth was derived from legitimate sources, rather than the onus being on prosecutors to establish that it came from the proceeds of crime…Banks will be forced to hand over any information they have on the unexplained wealth of a convicted client.  The Police Federation has been lobbying for the…scheme for more than a decade…

Election Day (#332)

How many political scandals must Davis embroil herself in to get her name in the news again?

Kristin Davis, also known as the “Manhattan Madam”, will testify before a grand jury in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation…Davis [previously] met with Mueller’s team…It is not clear what the focus of that interview was or how Davis may fit into the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential coordination between Trump associates and the Russian government.  But investigators have been very interested in Roger Stone, with whom Davis has a close personal relationship and has worked for in the past…

Everything Old is New Again

This absurd Victorian language is even funnier because it’s meant to be dead serious:

…It’s not a profession.  It’s not about the sex, and there’s certainly no erotic aspects about these encounters.  It’s purely a financial interaction, business deals that involve blood, sweat, tears and semen…women wait…for dark to descend.  Then the hunters begin to approach…Slowly they cruise by, headlights blinding the women as they search for their prey.  The hunters feel a sense of control as they strip the victims of their dignity, their humanity…

I was also tickled to see a link to this previous article about the “dangerous cycle of prostitution”, which is presumably a used Harley bought with whoring money.  After that one I wrote, “As far as I can make out, this dude’s pearl-clutching tone is dead serious.  Do you amateurs really believe this kind of shit?”

To Molest and Rape 

Would any non-cop have gotten only probation for this?

Madison County [Alabama cop] Roland Campos pleaded guilty to a [molesting a young girl]…and was sentenced to a year’s probation.  Campos…must also [register as a] Sex Offender…the judge suspended the jail term and ordered Campos to serve a year’s probation…Campos was arrested in August 2017 after a middle school student…told a school official Campos had sexually abused her…

Monsters (#730) 

The US only prosecutes people for sex worker “propaganda”, which is obviously completely different:

The first minor has been found guilty of Russia’s anti-gay “propaganda” laws.  Maxim Neverov was found guilty of “propaganda of homosexuality among minors” despite being only 16-years-old himself.  The teenager from Biysk was fined 50,000 rubles on 7 August for publishing photos on social network site Vkontakte [Russian Facebook]…the teenager was not allowed to consult a lawyer.  This led him to refuse to testify…

Banishment (#798)

Another good essay by Guy Hamilton Smith on the torture the US hides under the euphemism “registration”:

…Recently, a major court decision lambasted registries as ineffective at promoting public safety, while noting that they rendered those on them “moral lepers” who are forced to reside at the margins of society on the sole basis of a conviction.  Another decision, currently on appeal in the…10th Circuit…called registries cruel and unusual punishments in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution — an almost unheard-of legal conclusion for American courts to reach outside of death penalty litigation…in my view, it is the right one.  I know, because of the nearly million people on America’s sex offense registries, I am one of them.  In describing his experiences with solitary confinement — a practice widely regarded as torture — Nelson Mandela concluded that there is nothing more dehumanizing than isolation from human connection…Being labeled a sex offender, you carry your solitary with you, in your heart, and in your mind…The indelible electronic mark you carry threatens to turn your own thoughts against you, unless and until you can find a way outside of the prison your own mind begins to construct for you.  Until then, you die slowly, suffocating in shame.  I have written more fully about my story and experiences elsewhere, but I have spent the last eleven years living on America’s sex registry.  More than simply punishment, in my opinion, it is most fairly characterized as torture…

Laura Lee, Sex Work Stigma, and the Limits of #MeToo

Looks like Olaf isn’t going to be able to hush this up as he wanted to:

Gardaí have reopened an investigation into a complaint made by [the late] Laura Lee…friends of Ms Lee have been contacted by officers reopening an investigation into an alleged sexual assault.  Ms Lee, a law graduate, had made a statement to gardaí in Dublin about the…incident last November.  [Accused rapist Olaf Tyaransen] has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.  The garda investigation was closed when Ms Lee died of undisclosed causes this year at the age of 44 but gardaí are now in the process of taking statements again…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#858)

Indian sex workers’ fight against a terrible new “anti-trafficking” bill is drawing international attention:

…“No one has forced me to do this…it pays better than being a maid or factory worker,” said Sanjana Murali…“But with this law, if the police raid a kotha [brothel], I will be taken into police custody and sent to a rehabilitation clinic.  What about my freedom to choose?…If the state thinks I should be ‘rescued’ and trained to sew clothes or make papar (papadams) to survive, it is wrong.  That kind of work will never pay enough”…When MP Shashi Tharoor raised this point in parliament, he was assured by minister for women Maneka Gandhi that the bill would not target voluntary sex workers.  “That’s just her word,” said Dr Smarajit Jana of the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee…“Why isn’t there a single sentence in the bill stating that?  All the bill does is empower the police to harass sex workers and disempower the women themselves.”  Jana said…that most…sex workers…are…the “heads” of their extended families.  Their income pays for food, rent, a relative’s illness, and the school fees of their children, and those of their siblings…“When you put them into a rehabilitation clinic, who is going to look after their children?”…the bill is based on paternalistic assumptions about rescuing sex workers…no…organisation was consulted in the drafting of the bill, even though sex workers are well organised…

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