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Posts Tagged ‘New Hampshire’

It’s not money laundering when it’s the government.  –  Scott Shackford

A Broker in Pillage

Government is just a word for the things we choose to do together:

In order to get back any of the money that the New Hampshire State Police took from him, Edward Phipps has agreed to let federal prosecutors keep most of it, even though he has not been charged with any crimes.  The cops [stole] the cash during a traffic stop in 2016…[after pulling] the driver over for tailgating and for going one whole mile per hour over the speed limit.  A search turned up a bag full of $46,000 cash in the trunk.  Police then brought in a drug-sniffing dog, which came up empty…As part of the settlement, Phipps not only agrees to give up everything but $7,000 (which will probably have to go to his legal fees).  He agrees never to request that the money to be returned, and he furthermore agrees never to attempt to assert any claim that the government did not have “probable cause” to make him forfeit the money…New Hampshire reformed its civil asset forfeiture laws in 2016 to require a criminal conviction before police or prosecutors could force people to forfeit money or property.  Unfortunately, the state’s reform did not close a loophole that lets local police partner with the feds in a program called Equitable Sharing…The state police can’t seize Phipps’ money on their own.  So they went to the feds to arrange the forfeiture, and then the Equitable Sharing program lets the Justice Department funnel the funds right back to local law enforcement…

Innocence Never Had

Reporter vomits dysphemisms all over a young woman making the best of a bad situation:

Fourteen-year-old Lilian…passes for an innocent girl at first sight.  But a close interaction with her reveals a dark side, apparently a offshoot of a thick skin she as developed in her trade.  Lilian…boasts that she has made a name in sex work…and…has no regrets…[because] her guardians do not support her…

If having a “thick skin” means not being a sentimental idiot, I’m glad I have one.

Bait and Switch (#636)

Why bother looking for actual sex-trafficking victims when cops can just pretend to be them and reap the same rewards?

An Arizona court ruling says it doesn’t violate a defendant’s constitutional rights for a [cop] to [lie about being] a minor during a child prostitution [entrapment scheme]…[the] unanimous ruling…says the law barring a defense based on a [pi’s fantasy role-play] of being a minor is constitutional because it is “rationally related to a legitimate government purpose”…Buren Jarrett Burgess appealed his…convictions stemming from a…[scheme] in which two 27-year-old undercover [sows claimed they were]…16-year-old prostitutes.  Burgess argued that the [women] appeared to be [the] adults [they actually are]…Burgess was arrested in 2014 and the child prostitution crime has since then been changed to “child sex trafficking”…

In other words, a female cop who is obviously an adult can later claim she told a victim she was underage and that’s good enough to convict someone.

To Molest and Rape 

Prosecutors claim they let a child-rapist cop off the hook to “protect” his victim:

Prosecutors gave a plea deal to a[n]…El Paso County [Colorado] Sheriff’s deputy who created a pornographic image involving a young boy and offered to share it on a child porn message board on the Dark Web…Donald Fair…will avoid prison time because of the plea deal [though] he must register as a sex offender and has 10 years to life of sex offender intensive supervised probation…District Attorney George Brauchler is pleased with the deal because [we can’t have members of the ruling class locked in cages like the peons]…“A young innocent child is not further traumatized by testifying and being cross-examined during a trial”…

Funny how nobody worries about traumatizing kids when the rapist isn’t a cop.  Also note we aren’t told the victim’s age; I guess that would anger people even more because it’s probably below 5.

Across the Pond (#757)

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

…Redbridge Council has introduced £100 fines for those caught soliciting sex workers.  The move is a bid to [harass and persecute sex workers]…in Ilford Lane…Extra night police patrols throughout the weekend…[increased] lighting, gating alleyways and installing CCTV are other measures put in place to make Ilford Lane a more “hostile environment for [the peasants].”  Cllr Jas Athwal, leader of the [prohibitionists], said…”We want to…create a ‘ring of steel’ around the borough to [harass] our residents and make Redbridge a [more authoritarian] place to live.”  The fines will start being issues from the end of August…

This is one of the places where cops claim they can “build communication with sex workers” via stealing their income by harassing their clients.

The Mote and the Beam (#786)

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

…Sex trafficking has become so rampant on this mile and a half stretch that county officials…asked a court to declare it off limits, filing a civil lawsuit that prohibits by name more than 80 pimps, prostitutes and customers from doing business on the infamous “Bissonnet Track”.  The sex trafficking is so open that it’s listed on international websites as Houston’s unofficial red light district.  “For years people in this area have complained about the large number of people buying and selling sex and committing other crimes on or around the Track,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner, who jointly announced the nuisance lawsuit with the county attorney and the city police chief…

“Sex trafficking” has become nothing more than a dysphemism for “sex work”.

To Molest and Rape (#794)

New York pigs are still harassing the young woman who was raped by two of their cronies:

The woman who was…raped by two NYPD detectives while handcuffed in the back of a police van in Brooklyn last year was called a “stupid bitch” by a person attempting to serve subpoena papers from a lawyer for one of the cops.  “THIS ISNT HARASSMENT?!” Anna Chambers wrote on Twitter [last] Wednesday night, along with a video of the man…“There’s your subpoena right there,” the man says on the video. “What are you afraid of[, Anna]?  This isn’t Russia.  I’m not the KGB.”  The man was attempting to hand Chambers a subpoena for photos…show[ing] her mangled wrists following the [brutal] rape by Richard Hall and Eddie Martins.  Chambers repeatedly tells the man to leave.  “[I’m from the sheriff’s office,] I could do whatever I want,” the person says before calling her a “stupid bitch.”  Martins’ lawyer Mark Bederow said he sent the server, but…condemned [his] behavior…

To Molest and Rape (#851) 

It’s rare that politicians’ tendency toward “monkey see, monkey do” actually works for good:

[Politicians] introduced a bill…to prohibit federal [pigs, spooks and g-men] from [raping] people in custody, aiming to close a legal loophole that has let them avoid [rape] convictions by [absurdly] claiming sex with [prisoners] was consensual.  The proposed legislation would direct additional federal funding to local law enforcement agencies in states that close this loophole…Jackie Speier…and…Barbara Comstock…noted that they were “spurred to introduce the bill” following [the rape of]…Anna Chambers…by two New York City detectives…in their police van…

It’s also rare that a “bipartisan” bill actually curtails police power rather than expanding it.

Legislators Gone Wild (#854) 

The anti-whore brigade couldn’t get the people to support them, so politicians overruled the people:

…Dennis Hof has lost the license to his Love Ranch Brothel.  The brothel’s license, liquor license, and the female worker’s cards were all surrendered to the Sheriff’s Office, and the property is currently closed…”It’s more political shenanigans, and it’s at the expense of the people here at the brothel,” said Sonja Bandolik, Love ranch madam…”There’s three federal lawsuits against them.  They’re trying to do a little payback, and what they’re doing is hurting the people that work here.”  County commissioners [claim] they denied renewal permits because the brothel’s application was incomplete.  Commissioner Dan Schinhofen says Hof has racked up a number of violations over the past few years, like having signs in the public right of way and not getting inspections after moving portable buildings…

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I put [Nazi flyers] on anybody’s vehicle no matter what their race.  –  Andrew Angel

Here’s another favorite from the ’70s; note that the protagonist would have done well to heed my admonition, “Never call the cops for any reason whatsoever”.  The links above the video were provided by Brooke MagnantiMyles Jackman,   Kevin MarksAmy AlkonNun Ya, and Radley Balko (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a group of women less “oppressed” than sex workers.  –  Sharanya Gopinathan

Saving Them From Themselves

Pigs shouldn’t be “investigating” sexting at all, but at least this is a start:

The Nashua, New Hampshire, police received word in May that 10 or 20 students at Bishop Guertin High School had been snapping and swapping sexts.  But then, rather than arresting these kids for making child porn, or threatening to register them as sex offenders, the police did something outrageously reasonable.  They opted not to charge any of them…

Worse Than I Thought

Virginia passes law to indefinitely detain the associates & loved ones of sex workers:

…the law…adds four offenses…to the list of crimes in which [innocent people accused of crimes] can be denied bail…[including] Receiving money from the earnings of a prostitute…[politician] Michael Mullin…was the chief patron of the bill.  He’s a prosecutor…[who says] he has seen people make bond, then post bail for sex workers and take them out of town…

Rough Trade (#345) 

Not as bad as calling rape “theft of services”, but bad enough:

Sex workers in Spain have protested the acquittal of three men accused of raping a sex worker.  24 hours after being arrested, the three men accused of rape had been released…The men denied the rape “because the woman is a prostitute”…The woman told the court she already knew the men, and that they gave her a strong tranquilizer which left her in an incapacitated state.  She underwent medical tests the next day which confirmed that an assault had taken place.  The judge released the men with charges of sexual abuse, but not rape, which means lesser punishment…

To Molest and Rape 

A typical hero cop, bravely protecting and serving:

A Texas sheriff’s deputy…sexually assaulted a 4-year-old girl and threatened the child’s undocumented mother with deportation if she reported the abuse…Jose Nunez…is a [screw in San Antonio]…the victim’s mother took her daughter to a local fire station for help.  He was charged with super aggravated sexual assault of a child, a class one felony that carries a minimum 25-year sentence…the girl and her mother are relatives of the [rapist]…

Taking the child to a fire station rather than a pigpen was an absolutely brilliant move on the mother’s part.

Torture Chamber (#656)

Despite current posturing by Democrats, abuse of migrants has been a bipartisan policy for quite a while:

…[young people] at an immigration detention facility…were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells…They were included in a federal civil rights lawsuit with a half-dozen sworn statements from Latino youths held for months or years at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center [in Virginia.  Boys]…as young as 14 said the guards there stripped them of their clothes and strapped them to chairs with bags placed over their heads…The incidents described in the lawsuit occurred from 2015 to 2018, during both the Obama and Trump administrations.  Many…were sent there after U.S. immigration authorities accused them of belonging to violent gangs…But a top manager at the Shenandoah center said during a recent congressional hearing that the [young people] did not appear to be gang members and were suffering from mental health issues resulting from trauma that happened in their home countries — problems the detention facility is [totally un]equipped to treat…Virginia ranks among the worst states in the nation for wait times in federal immigration courts, with an average of 806 days before a ruling…

An Example To the West (#715)

In India, mainstream feminists support sex worker rights and prohibitionists are a crank minority who can be individually called out:

The women and child development minister of Karnataka, Jayamala, has instructed her department’s officials to henceforth refer to all sex workers as “damanitra mahila”…the Kannada term for “oppressed women”…The strides sex workers have managed to make over the last twenty years…are by no means an easy feat.  Sex workers have made truly remarkable achievements, like collectivising and organising under the uniquely dangerous circumstances they live and work in, thanks to a tangle of Victorian laws, carrying out their work with agency and ingenuity while protecting themselves from goondas [hired thugs], police, and misguided do-gooders.  They have also played a crucial role in implementing a roster of remarkable socio-political and legal changes for themselves in the face of shocking persecution, all in just two decades.  These are simply not  achievements a singularly oppressed group of people could pull off.  And now that these strides have indeed been made, and continue to be made, where do we get off calling these women, of all women, oppressed?…This pushes back [their] struggle for the rights of sex workers by decades; for dignity and rights rather than pity and victimhood…

Dutch Threat (#789) 

Dutch authorities’ attempts to Disnify De Wallen are failing:

Amsterdam has not succeeded in its efforts to clean up the city’s red light district…The old city centre still contains a “monoculture” of tourist shops and low-value cafes and bars…nor have officials been able to [find any of the] human trafficking and forced prostitution [prohibitionists fantasize about]…Project 1012 had two main ambitions; to replace cannabis cafes and souvenir shops with restaurants and galleries and to [persecute]…sex [workers] by closing brothels and stepping up [harassment]…Nevertheless, the “desired economic upswing” has not happened.  Officials may have closed 48 coffeeshops but they have been replaced by waffle shops and mini supermarkets.  And the combination of rising property prices and tourism has created a great deal of unhappiness among locals and local businesses…the closure of more than 100 brothel windows and [harassment of] brothel owners have not led to [the discovery of fantasized]…human trafficking…

Checklist (#812) 

Just in case you didn’t think you were spied on enough in airports:

This week…about 500,000 people globally – 75% them women and children – will be abducted or lured into a life of prostitution and/or slave labor.  And perhaps as many as 300,000 of them will be transported this month to their new, horrible living and working conditions aboard a commercial airliner.  That’s why the world’s airlines have launched a global awareness and industry-wide training program called #EyesOpen…aim[ed at indoctrinating] flight attendants, gate agents and other airline personnel [in anti-whore propaganda]…

So Forbes is not only claiming that half a million people a week (ie 26 million per year, or 4% of the entire world’s population every decade) magically vanish without anyone noticing, but also that 300,000 is 60% of 2 million (500,000/week x 4).  And people trust this magazine to give them financial advice?

Disaster (#832)

FOSTA is so blatantly unconstitutional this is bound to win; I just hope it’s quick:

Two human rights organizations, a digital library, an activist for sex workers, and a certified massage therapist have filed a lawsuit asking a federal court to block enforcement of FOSTA, the new federal law that silences online speech by forcing speakers to self-censor and requiring platforms to censor their users.  The plaintiffs are represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Davis, Wright Tremaine LLP, Walters Law Group, and Daphne Keller.  In Woodhull Freedom Foundation et al. v. United States, the plaintiffs argue that FOSTA is unconstitutional, muzzling online speech that protects and advocates for sex workers and forces well-established, general interest community forums offline for fear of criminal charges and heavy civil liability for things their users might share…plaintiff[s include] the Woodhull Freedom Foundation…Human Rights Watch…and…The Internet Archive…

License to Rape (#836)

“When the bad guys at Rikers are the guards”, meaning “always”:

…about 50 of the 800 women [caged] at [Rikers Island] at any one time are being sexually victimized by staff — which puts [it] among the top-12 worst jails in the country.  Rikers’ reputation as a brutally Darwinian, scandal-ridden “torture island”, where people who can’t afford bail spend months — and occasionally years — awaiting trial, has been well documented….Although it’s part of the same story of corruption and violence, sexual assault and harassment at Rikers’ women’s facility has received relatively little attention…

Comfort Zone (#844)

Sometimes they don’t even bother with the “sex trafficking” excuse any more:

Police detained 35 foreign nationals suspected of prostitution during a raid at a hotel and bar in central Trinidad…ten men and 25 women, were held…while police suspect they were all engaged in prostitution, they could not charge them for that offence as no one was caught in the act.  Instead, the foreigners, who are from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Guyana, Grenada and Jamaica, were charged for various immigration offences including overstaying their time and entering the country illegally…

All-Purpose Excuse (#846)

Trump’s saying stuff like this will hasten the collapse of “sex trafficking” hysteria:

…President Trump [claimed] that the media is enabling human trafficking at the southern border during a speech to a small business group in Washington.  “They are helping these smugglers and these traffickers like nobody would believe”…he said, citing no real evidence.  He also [claimed] that human traffickers are using children as “a ticket to getting into the country” and as “passports”.  As is often the case with Trump’s statements, it’s unclear exactly what he meant or how these alleged human traffickers are supposed to be using these kids.  Regardless, it’s the latest in a long line of dubious attempts to tie social and political controversies to human trafficking using weak or non-existent evidence.  [Father]land Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen echoed the president’s hysteria…saying, “We do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are in fact a family”…

Legislators Gone Wild (#847) 

Ron Weitzer debunking prohibitionist bullshit:

…legal prostitution is not a crazy, fringe idea.  In fact, the American public is much more sympathetic to the idea of it than is commonly believed.  Recent national polls show…support for legalizing prostitution increased from 38 percent in 2012 to 44 percent in 2015 and 49 percent in 2016.  And legalization bills have been recently introduced in Hawaii, New Hampshire and Washington, D.C.  Anti-prostitution activists claim that legalizing prostitution will increase sex trafficking.  This notion defies all logic.  Organized crime thrives where an activity is criminalized and clandestine, not where goods and services are lawfully exchanged.  The history of alcohol and drug prohibition offers overwhelming proof of this…UNLV…research shows that brothel workers are generally satisfied with their working conditions, do not consider themselves victims, rarely experience altercations with customers, have freedom to choose the kinds of services they provide and are working in healthy conditions…

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Sex work is first and foremost a livelihood strategy.  –  Borislav Gerasimov

Moloch 

How many kids need to be sacrificed to this obscenity before it’s enough?

New Hampshire’s state Supreme Court has upheld a young man’s harsh sentence—which includes lifetime registry on the sex offender list—for propositioning a 15-year-old girl over the internet.  The man, Bailey Serpa, was 18 at the time.  According to New Hampshire law, Serpa would have been guilty of a mere misdemeanor had the two actually had sex. But online solicitation of a minor is considered a felony.  Serpa appealed the sentence on grounds that it was “unconstitutional and grossly disproportional”…Teens expressing sexual interest in each other isn’t weird or abnormal, and it certainly shouldn’t be a crime…

Broken Record

Top this one, “sex trafficking event” hysterics:

Lynne Barletta is the founder of Catch the Wave of Hope, a[n]…organization designed to [spread] human trafficking [hysteria].  She says during the summer, traffickers are at beaches, in malls – anywhere children could be unsupervised…13-year-old girls and 11-year-old boys are the prime target.  The recruiters are the same age…[Fetishists fantasize that] modeling or a summer job is the most popular technique…

Believe it or not, we’ve seen this one before, but both Google and WordPress searches are so poor and non-Boolean that I can’t find the previous claim. I think it was quite early in the blog’s history, prior to 2012, but I might be wrong.

The Widening Gyre 

Observation: homeless camp in woods. Conclusion: sex trafficking!

A homeless veterans advocacy group stumbled upon an abandoned campsite on the night of Tuesday, May 29…Dani Ward, a volunteer, [said]…she thinks it’s a child trafficking camp.  She pointed out children’s clothing, toys, luggage and strollers.  Ward [breathlessly fantasized] that straps tied to trees were used as restraints.  Also described was an underground bunker where they [fantasize] children may have been kept.  [Reporters] toured the site…and noticed structures in the camp were tied together using similar straps that they described as restraints.  The area…where they claim the children may have been kept could also have been used as shelter to get out of the heat or place to sleep…

When you’ve lost local news reporters, your moral panic is dying.

An Example To the West (#343) 

Thai sex worker activists are made of awesome:

Sting operations staged to crack down on human trafficking in the sex industry violate human rights, and lead to stigmatisation and discrimination against women who are working as sex workers of their own volition…Empower Foundation…said that in order to rescue 10 victims of enforced or underage sex workers, on average some 100 innocent women are also arrested. These women suffer distress from violation of their human rights and dignity. The women’s rights group urged the authorities to decriminalise prostitution…as a legal career in order to give them protection and welfare as per labour law, which will also be a sustainable solution to suppress human trafficking in the sex industry…Thanta Laovilawanyakul, Empower Foundation coordinator, said…“Many of them face the charge of adultery and are publicly exposed for working in the sex industry. Even the victims of human trafficking are mistreated…they are detained in an improper detention area for a long period and they are unable to contact their family”…

Property of the State 

Condemning a young man to frequent, horrific seizures is “standing up for a child’s welfare”:

Georgia recognizes cannabis as a treatment for epilepsy and notionally lets certified patients possess up to 20 fluid ounces of “low THC oil”…that contains a…substantial amount of cannabidiol (CBD), the ingredient that reduces seizures.  That privilege is mainly theoretical, however, since there is no legal way to produce or obtain cannabis extract in Georgia.  Given that glaring defect in the state’s medical marijuana law, it is easy to understand why Matthew and Suzeanna Brill let their 15-year-old son, David, smoke cannabis in a desperate attempt to control his epileptic seizures…David was having several seizures a day…and the drugs he was prescribed for his epilepsy did not work.  But after he started smoking marijuana in February, he went more than two months without a seizure…David’s doctors knew why he was suddenly doing so much better, and they did not object.  But his therapist ratted out the Brills, which led to a visit by Twiggs County sheriff’s deputies, who demanded that David stop taking his medicine…The Brills were charged with reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, and Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services took David away.  He has been living in a group home for a month now, away from his parents, his medicine, and the dog that is trained to detect imminent seizures.  His parents are fighting to get him back, a process they say may take as long as a year.  They are trying to raise money to cover their legal expenses on GoFundMe…Twiggs County Sheriff Darren Mitchum defended his department’s handling of the case…[with] “somebody’s got to stand up for the child’s welfare”…

Where Are the Protests? (#578)

Before swallowing this, I suggest you compare it to the “nail parlor slavery” myth, which it resembles even to the point (see title link) of claims of “sex slaves” hidden in the back:

…a shocking investigation reveals that many of the 20,000 hand car washes operating in this country are criminally exploiting workers.  They are typically staffed by immigrants from Eastern Europe who have been trafficked into this country on the promise of paid work – but without immigration papers they find themselves trapped in debt to their new bosses.  Often unable to speak English they are forced to work up to 11 hours a day for as little as £1 an hour, with even those pitiful wages docked to cover the cost of accommodation.  Those who try to quit are threatened with violence and deportation.  The exploitation extends even to putting their health at risk, with ruthless bosses providing little or nothing in the way of safety equipment or protective clothing despite the strong detergents used by many washes.  Latest figures show that about a 10th of the police operations tackling slavery in Britain involve car washes – double the figure of a year before…

Something Rotten in Sweden (#628)

Cops busting kids’ lemonade stands isn’t news any more, but they usually have the law behind them:

Everybody was having a good time on Memorial Day until somebody called the cops on the children selling lemonade to neighbors across the street from a park in Denver…police wasted no time in shutting the lemonade stand down for operating without a permit, putting a good scare into the kids, including the 6-year-old who took off running and the 4-year-old who started crying.  Jennifer Knowles, mother of the two boys, later learned there is no law or policy requiring kids to obtain a license to set up a temporary stand for neighbors…she encouraged her children to set up a lemonade stand…to teach them business and entrepreneurial skills…But if the kids learned anything, it is to not trust police…

Lack of Evidence (#659)

Just in case you thought this particular insanity was over:

…police charged people with both prostitution and possessing an instrument of crime in 100 cases last year in Allegheny County [Pennsylvania].  In 15 of the cases, condoms were an alleged instrument of crime.  In 14 others, police seized condoms as evidence.  In…the remaining cases, people faced instrument-of-crime charges for allegedly using cellphones to set up meetings…Authorit[arians think this is OK because]…filing condom-related charges or using condoms as evidence gives police and judges more leverage to win guilty pleas in prostitution cases and allows [pigs] to [arrest] sex workers…By filing an additional instrument-of-crime charge, a suspect is immediately processed and their fingerprints and photos are stored in a [pig] database.  It ensures police will be aware of their prior criminal history if they [are arrested] elsewhere…

Banishment (#779) 

This Orwellian tyranny is part of how governments are getting around the push to reduce prison populations:

In early September 2015, guards fanned out across Texas…to round up about 200 men, rousing some from bed as early as 3 a.m. and demanding they stuff whatever they wanted to keep into black Hefty bags…The state calls them “sexually violent predators,” men required not only to publicly register their whereabouts but also to participate in a court-ordered monitoring and treatment program meant to cure them of “behavior abnormalities”…most were living in boarding homes and halfway houses…[they] were frisked, loaded onto vans and prison buses and driven hundreds of miles to Littlefield, a remote, sparsely populated corner of the Texas Panhandle, where guards shuffled them into…a prison that had been empty for six years…the men [were forced to] surrender…their IDs, Social Security cards, birth certificates and credit cards, along with cash…Guards dug through the Hefty bags, tossing out all sorts of personal items now considered contraband…But officials at the detention center were adamant:  This wasn’t a prison.  They [demanded] the men…call their [cells] “rooms,” not prison cells…the new inmates couldn’t come and go.  It wasn’t clear when their sentences would end, if ever.  Two and a half years…[later] only five men have been released — four of them to medical facilities where they later died.  State officials claim Texas’ new civil commitment program is designed to rehabilitate the men….[by] stash[ing] them in a for-profit prison…far away from the support services they’ll need if there’s any hope of transitioning back into society — the supposed goal of the facility…

The Cop Myth

Alex Vitale on the development of modern policing:

The first modern police force—the London Metropolitan Police—was established by Sir Robert Peel in 1829.  He developed his ideas about law and order, Alex S. Vitale writes in his book The End of Policing, when he was “managing the British colonial occupation of Ireland and seeking new forms of social control … in the face of growing insurrections, riots, and political uprisings.”  The “Peace Preservation Force” was meant to serve as a less expensive alternative to the British army…Appointed home secretary in 1822…Peel would run the London Metropolitan Police along the same lines…Boston adopted the London model in 1838, and New York established a formal police force in 1844…But well before then, cities in the southern United States, such as New Orleans, Savannah, and Charleston, “had paid full-time officers”…charged with preventing slave revolts…The motto “to protect and to serve”—adopted by the Los Angeles Police Department in 1955 and later used by others around the country—has been a highly effective public relations tool for the police, as it obscures the main function of their work, which since its inception has been to act in an adversarial manner toward the wider community…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#784)

Never underestimate the human capacity to obsess about things that don’t exist:

There’s “no evidence that having sex with robots is healthy,” The Washington Post wants you to know.  Similar headlines grace the pages of USA TodayThe VergeCNBC…and many other outlets, sometimes with an added dose of alarmism (“Sex robots could empower pedophiles and sex offenders“) or millennialism (“There’s literally no research proving sex robots are good for society“).  These headlines are all true, more or less, but they omit an important fact: There’s also “literally no research” showing…sex robots unhealthy…There’s just no evidence about sex robots period, because at present they don’t really exist.  The authors of a new article in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health—the study behind all those headlines—admit as much…

Sex Workers Against Trafficking (#812)

The world’s largest “anti-trafficking” organization recognizes that sex workers are the best guardians against actual coercion in our industry:

In February 2018 the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW) published our new report, Sex Workers Organising for Change: Self-representation, community mobilisation and working conditions.  The report documents how organising has enabled sex workers to deal with the on-going stigma and discrimination they face from society and the authorities, and to prevent and address the violence, coercion, and exploitation occurring in the sex industry…At least one sex worker organisation in each country took part: Stella and Butterfly (Canada), Brigada Callejera (Mexico), Hetaira and Genera (Spain), SWEAT and Sisonke (South Africa), SANGRAM and VAMP (India), Empower (Thailand) and New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (New Zealand).  These countries were chosen because they represent different world regions and cultures, span both the global north and global south, and are considered as both countries of origin and destination for migration and trafficking…

Perquisites (#840)

Are amateurs really so sheltered that this sort of thing shocks them?

Just a week before the World Cup starts, Mexico’s national team is embroiled in scandal…El Tri held a farewell party in Mexico City…the…day the team claimed victory over Scotland…where players were joined by “30 VIP escorts”…Mexican officials won’t sanction players because it took place on their day off…

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The moral of this story is don’t call the cops.  –  Janus Cassandra

Another video demonstrating the awesomeness of what segregationists decry as “cultural appropriation”, provided by Emma Evans.  The links above it were contributed by Franklin HarrisJesse Walker (x2), Brooke MagnantiMarc Randazza, and Scott Greenfield (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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The fact that [a politician] doesn’t believe that there’s such a thing as a voluntary sex worker means she doesn’t live in reality.
–  Genevieve Jones-Wright

Politicians like to represent themselves as “leaders”, but in reality they’re usually followers.  Any politician who wants to win support must, by necessity, espouse beliefs popular enough with the electorate to actually get elected; he must therefore follow ideas that have already gained support rather than proposing new ones.  In other words, though politicians like to imagine themselves as rainmakers, they are really barometers.  That’s one of the reasons the very few US politicians to come out in favor of sex worker rights over the past few decades have either failed to win office or else were forced to abandon their principles for the sake of political expediency.  So it’s both exciting and telling to see so many politicians now supporting decriminalization or at least opposing increased criminalization; when Amnesty International came out in favor of decrim I declared that we had passed the watershed moment in the war for our rights, and obviously a number of politicians must agree with me because they’ve realized that, while sex worker rights may still not be a popular position, it’s at least a safe one for a reform-minded candidate to adopt.

One of the few exceptions to my initial statement is Elizabeth Edwards of New Hampshire; only a few months after Amnesty announced its policy, and before any other politician had even commented on it, she introduced a bill to decriminalize prostitution in New Hampshire.  And while the Good Old Boys network has choked the bill so far, Edwards has vociferously defended sex worker rights on Twitter and even attended a Whores’ Day rally last Saturday.  If there were more politicians like her and David Grosso of Washington DC, I might not be so cynical about the profession.  But even though the others who have popped up in the past few months may not have been as bold, the fact that there are so many of them is heartening.  Genevieve Jones-Wright failed to unseat the machine-backed Summer Stephan as District Attorney for San Diego, but the fact that she dared to run specifically against Stephan’s vile prohibitionism speaks volumes.  Perhaps Daron Morris (like Jones-Wright a public defender) may have better luck defeating Seattle’s disgusting prosecutor Dan Satterburg:

Morris criticized Satterberg for accepting $140,000 worth of grant money from Demand Abolition, an anti-prostitution organization that advocates for more prosecutions of men who purchase sex.  As former  Stranger staff writer Sydney Brownstone reported in March, Satterberg’s office wrote in its grant application that it would seek to increase arrest of sex buyers by 50 percent…Morris…believes Demand Abolition’s approach ignores the input of sex workers.  “Saying to a woman, ‘I’m deciding that you can never be free. I’m deciding that you can never be un-coerced in sex work,’ that’s just not the right approach,” he said…

Suraj Patel, running in New York for the US Congress, has strong words about FOSTA:

Earlier this year, Congress passed a deeply irresponsible and dangerous bill known as SESTA/FOSTA, which…has rolled back internet freedoms and inflicted deep damage on already-marginalized communities, putting lives at risk while setting the fight against trafficking back decades.  Sloppy legislating is nothing new from lawmakers who don’t listen to the communities that their policies impact, but SESTA/FOSTA is an especially terrible law that has been sharply condemned by anti-trafficking organizations, civil rights groups, and even the federal anti-trafficking prosecutors who would have to enforce it…SESTA/FOSTA has actually put sex workers in danger; some are already reporting that pimps are capitalizing on their new vulnerability  now that websites like Backpage have shuttered…This bill is only the continuation of our country’s policies profiting off the mass incarceration of already vulnerable people…

And in Washington, DC, David Grosso has forced other politicians to actually talk about decrim:

…In October 2017, David Grosso, an at-large D.C. council member,  drafted a decriminalization measure …[which] would make the District of Columbia the first municipality in the United States to decriminalize  prostitution…discussion surrounding Grosso’s legislation has grown.  Recently, candidates responded to a questionnaire from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (GLAA)…which included a question about the measure.  D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser…seeking re-election, refused to provide a definitive answer about her position…Bowser’s Democratic-primary opponents—James Butler and Earnest Johnson—were split…Butler opposes the legislation, while Johnson supports it…Martin Moulton, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for…mayor…not only supports decriminalization efforts but believes in expunging the records of non-violent sex workers and customers…Ed Lazare…a candidate for D.C. Council Chair, also responded in support of Grosso’s legislation…several other candidates, including…council member Anita Bonds…support…Grosso’s decriminalization effort…

Obviously, these are just a very few reasonable voices in a vast mob of witch-hunters, but the fact that there are any at all – and that the mainstream media is not mocking or ignoring them – marks a vast change from the political landscape of only three years ago.  We still have a very long and tough road ahead, but at least now it’s tending generally downhill.

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Sexual predation by police officers happens far more often than people in the business are willing to admit.  –  Norm Stamper

Above the Law  

Note what this “official’s” last job was:

Khristen Sellers needed a home…So when Four-County Community Services – a local housing agency – offered her an opportunity to move into a white panelled, three-bedroom trailer home on the outskirts of town, she readily accepted.  That’s when the trouble started…She had applied for the federally subsidised Housing Choice Voucher Program…Section 8…the agency’s inspector, a former North Carolina state [cop] named Eric Pender, came to the property with a clipboard in hand…Pender asked her if she “gives head” or if she’d ever been paid for sex, implying that his signature on the inspection was the only thing standing between her and a place to live…it was the first in a string of incidents…”He would never sign.  Each time he came, it was like, ‘You owe me before I sign this paper.  And you gotta make a decision’…”

R.I.P. Petite Jasmine 

A documentary on the Swedish state’s complicity in the murder of Petite Jasmine:

On July 11, 2013, Eva-Marree, aka 27-year-old Jasmine Petite, was killed by the father of her two…children in the Swedish social services offices.  This…was the culmination of a nightmare that began three years earlier, after the young woman, having left her partner for repeated domestic violence…Eva-Marree was deprived of her daughter and her son, then 1 and 2 years old, without discussion or preliminary investigation, the social services in attributing sole custody to their father, a man they had themselves recognized as violent.  After…finally [obtaining] a right of visit with her children…she was murdered during the first appointment fixed with the [father] and their son…this is the story of a woman…deprived of her children [and ultimately her life]…so that a puritanical and repressive society could sleep soundly…

With Folded Hands (#584)

Margaret Atwood on the asininity of women giving away autonomy for “safety”:

…women are human beings, with the full range of saintly and demonic behaviours this entails, including criminal ones.  They’re not angels, incapable of wrongdoing.  If they were, we wouldn’t need a legal system.  Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions.  If they were, we’re back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote.  There are powerful groups in North America pushing this agenda, but they are not usually considered feminists…in order to have civil and human rights for women there have to be civil and human rights, period, including the right to fundamental justice, just as for women to have the vote, there has to be a vote.  Do Good Feminists believe that only women should have such rights?  Surely not.  That would be to flip the coin on the old state of affairs in which only men had such rights…

The Rape Question (#630) 

Why do people not get that an informal contract without a lawyer witness would offer no protection?

…a Dutch tech company…called LegalThings is developing an app called LegalFlings that allows potential partners to essentially sign a legally binding document that enumerates which sexual acts they consent to…there are obviously NUMEROUS flaws with the practicality of this app.  At any point during sex, someone can change their mind.  You can’t just anally penetrate someone who is scared or screaming in pain just because they said “yeah we can try that” prior to sex.  Consent doesn’t work that way…

Scrupleless in Seattle

Cops are on the same intellectual level as monkeys; that’s why they ape each other’s “sting” tactics:

The Phoenix Police Department…announced…their completion of a recent vice operation [which they pretended was aimed at]…human trafficking…86 [people’s lives were damaged by pervert cops who]…opened a [fake] massage parlor and arrested patrons…

Elephant in the Parlor (#705)  

Politician pays whore for discretion.  Yawn.

A lawyer for President Donald Trump arranged a $130,000 payment to…former adult-film star [Stephanie Clifford] a month before the 2016 election as part of an agreement that precluded her from publicly discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the matter…

License to Rape (#706)

US prisons are hotbeds of rape in every form:

In an effort to avoid newly-installed surveillance cameras in search areas, Rikers Island [screws] take female visitors to nearby bathrooms to strip-search them, according to several women and a new report by the Jails Action Coalition.  Five women have now filed notices of claim (which signal an intention to sue the city) with the city’s comptroller…[after screws] sexually abused them…[under the excuse of] body cavity and strip searches.  In the wake of the allegations, the city placed surveillance cameras in the Rikers Island search area in late 2016.  But the cameras didn’t stop the abuse…[even though] Department of Correction policy expressly prohibits strip searches or body cavity searches of visitors to city jails…

A Woman’s Point of View (#791) 

At least they’re talking about it:

State Rep. Elizabeth Edwards…co-sponsored…a bill to establish a committee to study decriminalizing sex work, something adamantly opposed by Gov. Chris Sununu, Republican leadership in the Legislature and [cops]…”There are those in the Legislature who want to explore legalizing prostitution.  I am 100 percent against it, and would veto the bill if it reaches my desk,” he said.  On Jan. 9, the House snubbed that warning and with little debate passed the bill in a bipartisan 177-134 vote…

To Molest and Rape (#797) 

It’s good to see this problem finally getting attention outside of libertarian and sex worker circles:

…as someone who has studied police sexual violence for more than a decade…[the recent rape of a teenager by NYPD cops] didn’t surprise me.  In fact, it is representative of national patterns of sexual violence by officers during traffic stops and handling of minor offenses, drug arrests and police interactions with teenagers.  Research on “police sexual misconduct” — a term used to describe actions from sexual harassment and extortion to forcible rape by officers — overwhelmingly concludes that it is a systemic problem…The vast majority of incidents…involve motorists, young people in job-shadowing programs, students, victims of violence and informants…half of arrests for sexual misconduct were for incidents involving minors….sexual misconduct is the second-most-frequently reported form of police misconduct, after excessive force…

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