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Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

I can’t breathe! I’m gonna die, help!  –  Stephen Dolceamore

The great Diana Rigg died late last week, and though I could’ve moved things around I preferred to honor her with a video as well.  UK readers may not ever have seen the “chessboard” intro, which came before the main credits in the US for the 1966 season, the first one shown in the US.  The links above the video were provided by Franklin Harris, Zuri Davis, Elizabeth N. Brown, Scott Greenfield, Cop Crisis, and Robby Soave, in that order.

From the Archives

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Zoiks!  –  Norville Rogers

One of this week’s deaths was Joe Ruby, who with his partner Ken Spears created Scooby Doo, Where Are You? during their time at Hanna-Barbera.  Years later, they started their own studion, which produced this cartoon I was very fond of (though I did often make fun of the fact that, due to broadcast standards & practices in 1980, Thundarr never killed anything with his “fabulous Sun Sword”).  The links above the video were provided by Grace, Mike Siegel, Yasmin Nair, Jesse Walker, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Anarras Ansible, in that order.

From the Archives

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I could have gotten shot in my face.  –  Sincere Goodman

If I’d play music more often while I worked, I probably wouldn’t have as many weird songs pop into my head, but then I couldn’t inflict them on y’all.  The links above the video were provided by Jesse Walker, Amy Alkon, Rick Horowitz, Thaddeus Russell, and Cop Crisis (x2), in that order.

From the Archives

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The broad language in the law leaves a lot of room for lawyers to treat FOSTA like a get-rich-quick-off-Big-Tech scheme.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

The Lesser of Two Evils

Those who are surprised by this haven’t read much Church history:

Pope Francis assisted a group of transgender prostitutes who were struggling financially amid the coronavirus pandemic in Italy…They reached out to the pope through Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, who is responsible for charitable work done in the name of pope…It does not appear that the leader of the Catholic Church was signaling any changes in Catholic teaching on gender and sex

Why do some “journalists” feel compelled to virtue-signal by putting an ordinary word like “customers” in scare quotes?

The Proper Study (#968)

Men who respect women more also realize we don’t owe them free sex.  Gee, what a shock:

…Using an online survey of 519 clients of sexual services, we examine whether male client attitudes toward gender role equality are related to the main methods customers used to access prostitution services (i.e., through print or online media vs. in-person contact).  We found…all clients had more egalitarian attitudes toward women’s roles than the U.S. male population in the General Social Survey (GSS)…These findings point to need to rethink how masculinity and gender role attitudes affect patterns of male demand for paid sex..

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#995)

Just in case you failed to grasp the extent of Morality in Media’s depravity:

…[Morality in Media], a religiously inspired lobby that is behind the language of the scientifically discredited, multi-state “porn is a public health crisis” campaign…deliberately rebranded as NCOSE a few years ago to deceive the mainstream media…[and] are [now] trying to pressure [McDonald’s] to send a letter to all their employees “to make them aware of the exploitation and harms of the pornography industry.”  This latest attempt by NCOSE to flood the mainstream with their fringe messages (e.g., they consider Sport Illustrated as full-on “pornography” and repeatedly try to get supermarkets to hide it from their customers) was prompted by an offer by adult company IsMyGirl to “beat any platform’s percentage for new model sign-ups”…The absurd goal of this latest morality intervention by NCOSE is to demand a multibillion company help them spread fringe religious propaganda to minimum wage employees.  The message: a Victorian warning that safe, at-home sex work is a fate worse than starvation…

Torture Chamber (#999)

When a headline asks a question, the answer is almost always “no”:

…the Department of Justice [has] released a report about sexual violence in New Jersey’s women’s prison…that concluded…the risk of sexual harm was so high that it reached constitutional proportions and violated inmates’ Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment…The United States is witnessing an explosion in prison rape reports by women…[from Alabama]…Missouri…OregonConnecticutVermontFloridaCaliforniaKansasPennsylvania…[and many others].  Incarcerated women are 30 times more likely to be raped than free women.  Even though women account for less than 10 percent of inmates, their reports account for three quarters of assaults, and almost three-quarters of staff are men…Seventeen years after the law’s passage, it may be time to acknowledge that the Prison Rape Elimination Act isn’t protecting incarcerated women, most likely because it was never designed to…

Crying for Nanny (#1002)

We fucking told y’all so, over and over and over:

Companies anticipated that FOSTA would be used more broadly than its proponents claimed…Craigslist is now the target of one of the first FOSTA-based civil lawsuit efforts, with plaintiffs in California and Washington state…Both cases…rely on a “radical theory of liability,” wrote University of Notre Dame Law Professor Alex Yelderman…The suits do not claim Craigslist had specific knowledge…[but] simply claims that [because fetishists had for years claimed] Craigslist [was a “hub” of]…”human sex trafficking”…it…was thus responsible for any [actual exploitation] that happened…Another case…targets Mailchimp, an email automation and marketing service.  Anyone can sign up for an account and use Mailchimp tools to create and send mass emails…lawyers…[claim] that by letting YesBackpage use its software, Mailchimp was complicit in, and thus financially liable for, any crimes brokered through YesBackpage’s user-generated content…in January the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted [Eric] Koszyk and [Alex] Andrews standing to continue the [Woodhull/EFF backed] challenge.  Hopefully, they can fight their way to a decision that will undermine FOSTA before FOSTA further undermines free speech on the web…

All-Purpose Excuse (#1035)

With their anti-whore schtick failing, the rescue industry is desperate to find new things they can call “sex trafficking”:

…when I heard that “Mia,” as the Land O’Lakes Native American maiden was known, had been taken off the butter box…it was the stereotype some saw that bothered me.  North Dakota state Rep. Ruth Buffalo…for instance, [bloviated]…that the…image…went “hand-in-hand with…sex trafficking…by depicting Native women as sex objects”…How did Mia go from being a demure Native American woman on a lakeshore to a sex object tied to the trafficking of native women?…Mia was originally created for Land O’Lakes packaging in 1928…In 1954, my father, Patrick DesJarlait, redesigned the image again…[he] had been interested in art since boyhood, when he drew images related to his Ojibwe culture…he…[w]as one of the first modernists in American Indian fine art…

Social Distancing (#1036)

Another country which, like the US and France, shamefully neglects women:

…It is now a month since India went into total lockdown on 26 March to contain the spread of Covid-19.  With no clients, [sex workers’] savings have dwindled…As…economic activity [declared “non-essential” by politicians] has ground to a halt, the lockdown has hit millions of people working in the informal sector…As part of the government’s relief scheme for the poor, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has announced a financial package that will deposit 500 rupees (£5.30) monthly into the bank accounts of 200 million people.  But those working in…the sex industry…are [specifically ex]cluded…

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Almost all of the messages we get about trafficking are slanted toward imaginary victims.  –  Sabra Boyd

Droit du Seigneur

Though pimps are not common, a disproportionate number of the ones who do exist are cops:

Two [cops in Trinidad & Tobago] have been arrested in connection with trafficking in persons and other gang-related activities [after they were caught pimping]…a Venezuelan [refugee]

Thought Experiment

The hysteria has grown so bad, what was just a fantasy scenario in 2011 is now literal:

Two children were a[bducted from the parents]…by police…[because their parents were] working in barber-shops in London…100 [cops, spooks and bureaucrats raided the shops]…arrest[ing an unspecified number of people using the euphemism]…safeguarding…The [cops’] victims [will now be processed for possible deportation]…

I’m Sure You Feel Safer Now

…that a brave hero cop tried to murder a man for seeking consensual sex:

A Spotsylvania [Virginia cop attempted to murder] a man…during a prostitution sting…[when a crowd of disguised thugs forced their way] into the room [behind him he tried to escape so one of them shot him]…he underwent surgery and is listed in critical condition.  The [thug] who [attempted to murder] the man…was [rewarded with a paid vacation]…

Bad Fantasy, Good Reality (#626)

Usually, cops reserve their sick masturbatory fantasies about sex work for Asian women:

“[I like to fantasize about] girls getting waterboarded, eating their own feces, being brutally raped,” [admits] Detective Dave Davies [of] the Durham [Ontario vice gang]…”The [b]est [fantasies] are [about]…the young ones that have never had sex before and they lose their virginity to some John, or they end up getting pregnant.  Those are real scenarios that [I masturbate to]”…

To Molest and Rape

If only there was a concise term for “used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex”:

The Oregon State Bar has rejected the application of a [typical and representative cop] to become a lawyer after its investigators found that he had used his police position to exploit vulnerable women for sex…The Board of Bar Examiners determined that Neil Halttunen had not shown that he “is currently of good character” and…Halttunen, [in a display of the typical cop sense of entitlement that drove his career as a serial rapist]…has appealed the decision to the Oregon Supreme Court…Halttunen [w]as a…[serial rapist] who…used his badge to [rape]…at least nine women…court filing include accounts from [his victims, whom] Halttunen met through routine police calls [and then stalked in order to rape them]…Halttunen…[raped so many women] he “has consistently claimed difficulty remembering all of [them]”…[but it was] in excess of 30…

Theatrics (#761)

This is at least the fifth iteration we’ve seen of this same inane stunt:

Covenant House today launched a new campaign called Shoppable Girls…with a goal to [profit from hysteria]…about sex trafficking…The hope is Ontarians will be encouraged to [send prohibitionists money] and ultimately [support more state violence against people who have consensual sex]…[blah blah Shahada, blah blah] signs of luring and grooming…[blah blah] billion-dollar industry…[blah blah] social media..[blah blah] 13…[blah blah] $280,000 per year…[per] victim…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

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

US [prohibitionists fantasize] that the availability of sex [dolls] with [voice chips] poses a growing psychological and moral threat to individuals and society.  They [claim that “moral threats” are somehow a subject]…scientists [can analyze]…Christine Hendren of Duke University [moaned that combination Baby Alive/Talky Tina dolls]…”create…rape”…[and vomited out violent authoritarian fantasies about how people troubled by paraphilias]…”should be treated by just stamping them out”…Dr Hendren was speaking…at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science…Kathleen Richardson…wants [sex doll] marketing outlawed…

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Kathleen Richardson and her one-pearlclutcher “Campaign Against Toasters”, but she’s sti lurking around, desperately trying to get anyone – including anti-sex “science” conventions – to listen to her weird sexual fantasies.

The Mote and the Beam (#900)

If a “study” sounds benign to you, click on the subtitle above:

[Politician] Josh Hawley announced…he has introduced a bill that would [supposedly] document human trafficking in the U.S.  The bill would reform the [TVPA]…reauthorization…of 2005…[to] mandate…a…[“study”] of…”commercial sex acts”…[which] Hawley [demonized as]…”an epidemic”…[his toady] Nanette Ward [then croaked the usual fantasies about]…”fastest growing and second largest criminal enterprise in the world…Victims…in every corner of our community…children…being sold by their parents…Everyone who is on social media [is at risk]“…

It may help you to see the big picture if I remind you that Hawley is one of the loudest proponents of government censorship and control of the internet, and of repealing Section 230.

Joey the Player

A rare case of “authorities” actually charging a serial rapist of sex workers:

A New Jersey man [named Jose Torres] who [for years] lured commercial sex workers to travel from out of state [so he could rape them was]…charged by complaint with two counts of coercion and enticement…From May 2015 to October 2019, Torres persuaded, induced and enticed commercial sex workers to travel from various out of state locations, including Canada and New York…with promises of large payments.  When the commercial sex workers a[rrived]…Torres [would] assault…and rap[e] them.  Torres never paid the sex workers.  The coercion and enticement charges each carries a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment and a potential $250,000 fine…

If you wish to add your testimony against this violent creep, please do not contact prosecutors directly; instead contact lead attorney for the complainants, Noam Biale, at (212-202-2600, direct 212-300-2445) or nbiale@shertremonte.com; he will be able to protect your identity from prosecutors.

Pyrrhic Victory (#992) 

Why I keep telling you local laws banning surveillance technology are feel-good bullshit:

California’s largest police departments have been collecting millions of images of drivers’ license plates and sharing them with entities around the country…in violation of state law…230 police and sheriff’s departments in the state currently use automated license plate readers…and…most of the data collected is on innocent people…The Los Angeles Police Department, for example, has collected more than 320 million images over the last several years.  Only 400,000 of those generated…matches to cars of interest, but the remaining 99.9 percent of the images, which can be used to track peoples’ movement across the city, stay stored in a department database for more than five years…The LAPD then adds other sensitive information to that database, sometimes tagging the photos with criminal records, names, addresses, and dates of birth

Watershed (#1011)

Headed toward the end of the hysteria, albeit 3 or 4 years late:

…For years…experts have pointed out that the reality of sex trafficking bears little resemblance to the sensationalized version depicted in public-awareness campaigns.  Shoppers are not being snatched from grocery store parking lots.  Victims…seldom exhibit any of the “warning signs” that would make their abuse visible to members of the public.  Despite the persistent myth that human trafficking “could happen to anyone,” most victims are undocumented, homeless, in foster care or otherwise marginalized…as warning posters have appeared in nearly every airport…the U.S. has [not] had a single confirmed case of a child being trafficked by strangers via airplane…Most minor kidnappings…are carried out by parents as part of custody disputes…[and] strangers are the perpetrator in only 10% of [child sexual abuse] cases…[NCMEC admits] that fewer than 1% of calls to…[its “hotline”] were reports of “stranger danger” abductions…“You can’t know the signs of trafficking by looking at someone you don’t know,” said a senior staff member at one of America’s major anti-trafficking organizations who asked…not to [be] name[d] out of fear of losing her job…[however] she [also] said the sensationalized messaging was necessary to [get people to support the police state]…

This is the sort of essay I originally envisioned we’d be seeing in 2016-17; unfortunately it took much longer because governments have been pushing it much harder than I anticipated to achieve their goals of internet censorship and migration control.  But prophecy is not an exact science, so I’m glad I wasn’t further off the mark.

To Molest and Rape (#1014)

Even rapist cops usually wait until their victims are thirteen or so:

[Typical and representative] Harris County [cop] Jack Hagee…[repeated]ly sexually abus[ed] a child for eight years…[starting when she] was 5-years-old…Hagee started [orally raping] the 5-year-old girl…in 1989 at their Harris County home…[and vaginaly raping] her about three times a week by the time she started kindergarten…he…stopped having sex with her at the age of 13, because…she began menstruating…the first person [s]he…[told] was her aunt who…[is mrried to] Hagee’s brother…[the] brother…[then] confronted Hagee over the phone and told him he was not welcome at their home…

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Any gun-rights advocate or pro-choice voter understands that making something illegal doesn’t make it go away, only more dangerous.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

…Mbalaminwe Mwimanzi was watching sports at a friend’s apartment on the evening of January 15, 2019…[when pigs] stormed the apartment with a warrant allowing them to search [the location but not the people] for drugs…[cops] searched Mwimanzi three separate times [anyhow]…[when the first two pigs] found no[thing]…Joshua Wilson, who is being sued by Mwimanzi and the ACLU-DC…[forced] Mwimanzi, who was still handcuffed, to spread his legs…[so he could grope] Mwimanzi’s backside and…[violate his] anus…the[n]…he…fondled [Mwimanzi’s testicles]…Mwimanzi told [the other cops] that Wilson had sexually assaulted him….[and] asked to be taken to a hospital as he was experiencing pain…ACLU-DC has already filed three previous lawsuits over similar [sexual assaults]…

Paint By Numbers

Silly “awareness raising” stunts by crowds of idiots are mostly a thing of the past; now they’re usually marketing gimmicks:

The Greater Dallas Restaurant Association’s 24Hour Dallas initiative introduced an anti-human trafficking program…[which purports to] give…businesses a way to help trafficked persons…“realize they are not free [because they’re very stupid and restaurateurs who have never done sex work know more about their lives than they do] and give them steps to take to escape their captors”…[magic] signs will be placed in public restrooms…on the sex…trafficking superhighway

This is the first time I’ve seen the ludicrous “sex trafficking superhighway” term for I-20 outside of Alabama.

Choke Point (#665) 

Fascism in action:

Following the US government’s assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, PayPal has delayed and blocked numerous small donations to The Grayzone that mentioned this website’s news coverage of Iran.  At the same time…Facebook has censored a The Grayzone video reporting on the US government’s escalation against Iran and its ally Hezbollah.  In 2010, PayPal froze donations to WikiLeaks…Now independent journalism websites…are suffering from blockages imposed by PayPal that appear directly linked to Washington’s aggressive actions in the Middle East…

A Moral Cancer (#972)

Anti-vaping lunacy is quickly reaching “sex trafficking” levels of disinformation:

This is not simply wrong, it’s unbelievably wrong…For starters, the death rate of jumping out of airplanes without parachutes is 100 percent (the odd Vesna Vulović story notwithstanding).  For vaping, not so much…even New Jersey’s official site for anti-vaping propaganda admits that there is only a single confirmed case of a Garden State vaper—out of what must be hundreds of thousands if not millions of users—dying from illness related to electronic cigarettes…also…neither of the vaping devices pictured…are the sort that use the black-market THC cartridges that have been most plausibly linked to most serious illnesses, let alone deaths.  But when you’re dealing with propaganda, it’s best not to get too lost in the weeds (perhaps especially when the propaganda is somehow related to weed)…

See also “Unsafe for Human Consumption” for more unbelievably-exaggerated lies about drugs.

Rotting Fruit (#973)

An account of Epstein’s crimes that doesn’t devolve into torture porn:

A lawsuit filed…by the…U.S. Virgin Islands alleges that…Jeffrey Epstein sexually trafficked hundreds of young women and girls on his private island as recently as 2018 by using a web of shell companies to carry out and conceal his crimes…The allegations…shed new light on the tactics Epstein used to hide his illicit activities.  Epstein…brought girls as young as 11 to his private island, known as Little St. James, and maintained a database to track their availability and movements…Most of the companies were created in 2011 and 2012, soon after Epstein registered as a sex offender in the Virgin Islands following his 2008 guilty plea…[in return for] a…non-prosecution agreement from then-U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta…[which] shelved a federal sex trafficking indictment that could have put Epstein away for life…The lawsuit…is the first…to allege that Epstein continued to commit crimes after 2005…

Little Boxes (#975)

SCOTUS leaves the conflict between the 7th and 10th Circuits unresolved:

The U.S. Supreme Court…will not consider an appeal by three women who were arrested for exposing their breasts at a New Hampshire beach more than three years ago.  The women — who are now part of a global campaign called Free the Nipple — were arrested in 2016…Heidi Lilley, Kia Sinclair and Ginger Pierro argued in their appeal that the local ordinance that resulted in their arrests and convictions violates their 14th Amendment rights because it applies to women but not men.  The New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld their convictions…ruling that…laws that…criminalize…women but not men [for the same actions somehow don’t discriminate on the basis of gender, because tits]…

Shift in the Wind (#983)

A pro-decrim article by a former sex worker in a conservative-leaning newspaper:

…Time and money spent hunting grown-ups for doing consensual adult things with each other could be used to test rape kits, investigate reports of sexual violence and provide emergency support to victims.  But politicians…throughout the country are trying to increase raids on massage parlors, increase surveillance at hotels and make men like Robert Kraft register as a sex offenders…cracking down on consensual adults in the sex industry won’t make any of us safer…prohibition…creates black markets where career criminals thrive…

I Spy (#1000)

Anyone who doubts that politicians are deranged megalomaniacs should be following this:

Attorney General William P. Barr declared…that a [single] shooting [incident outweighs the privacy interests of every single Apple customer because]…terrorism, and he asked Apple…to [break encryption it developed to be unbreakable so the government can snoop in]…two phones used by the gunman…Barr…call[ed] on Apple and other technology companies to find a solution [to the laws of mathematics.  Spooks pretend]…they need access to [Mohammed Saeed] Alshamrani’s phones to see messages from encrypted apps like Signal or WhatsApp [because he is Muslim]…

With Friends Like These… (#1003)

So helping!  Many respectful!

…Louis Theroux[‘s] documentary, Selling Sex, [exploited three sex workers named] Caroline, Victoria and Ashleigh…Ashleigh and [her best friend] Georgina…published an open letter to the show’s creators and the BBC, describing their disappointment and mistreatment…[by] Theroux and his collaborators…[who] set out to tell a certain narrative on sex work[ers as]…victim[s]…Theroux[‘s]…faux-naive narration…constantly referred to unspecified people finding sex work unsavoury and “unhealthy”..[though] no evidence of this was presented in the programme…Theroux…ask[ed] every woman he interviewed about the…“damage” [he assumed caused them to begin sex work]…There was…no mention of the closure of Backpage…which forced thousands of sex workers further into the fringes…Selling Sex felt lazy and uncontentious, challenging its subjects rather than its viewers…

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I didn’t feel like she was really there to help me.  –  sex worker A.G, of a court-ordered “counselor”

King of the Hill

After a long slump, “King of the Hill” claims are again increasing:

…Portland…is a hub for sex trafficking….[with] the notorious ranking of coming second for the greatest number of children…in forced prostitution of all U.S. cities…One of the reasons it is a hot spot is…[that] strip clubs, live sex acts and swingers’ clubs are legal in Portland.  These businesses are often also places where traffickers lure workers into forced prostitution…Portland’s location at the intersection of major interstate freeways I-5 and I-84 puts it at the center of trafficking routes between Seattle, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Moreover, the city’s proximity to shipping waterways and the Canadian border provides access to domestic and international traffickers.  The demand from buyers is unfathomably high…around 300 advertisements are posted online every day for prostitution-related acts…total[ing] $60 million a year…

Most of this is just the usual snake oil intended to shame businesses into paying to subject their employees to bogus “sex trafficking” indoctrination from profiteers like BEST, but I find the “We’re the second worst!” pissing contest (with its attendant “causes” and pompous phraseology like “prostitution-related acts”) to be much more amusing.

Property of the State 

The writer of this article appears to understand very little about politics, or else she’d recognize trolling when she sees it:

…South Carolina [politician]…Mia McLeod pre-filed…a…bill…demand[ing] that anti-choice [politicians]…compensate [women] for acting as…gestational surrogate[s] for the state…which…cannot itself physically conceive or carry a child…The compensation…includes reasonable living, legal, medical, psychological, and psychiatric expenses…claim[ing] the fetus as a…tax…deduction…[guaranteed] public assistance…until the child is 18…all medical expenses associated with [any] disability…all costs associated with health, dental, and vision insurance until the child turns 18…and…a college savings plan…

Logically, McLeod is correct; if the state demands a woman produce subjects against her will, it should be responsible for the upkeep of that human property.  But politics is not logical, and politicians who want abortion banned (especially at the absurdly-early stages currently fashionable in these anti-abortion laws) are not acting in good faith.  These laws have nothing to do with “protecting children” and everything to do with controlling women, just like laws against sex work, toplessness, etc; therefore logical responses to them are pointless.  Furthermore, there’s nothing “groundbreaking” about this; similar trolling-bills regulating men’s ejaculation, etc have been introduced in other anti-choice states.  Nor will it “force a conversation” any more than those other bills, because no conversation is possible between those who believe human rights are inalienable and those who view them as an impediment to state ownership of people.  It’s a good troll, to be sure, but a troll is all it is, and all it can be until self-ownership is Constitutionally recognized as the foundation of all human rights.

Legal Is as Legal Does (#582)

Sex work under ‘legalisation’ is still…conceived of as a crime for which the law makes allowances“:

…charges were withdrawn against two women…facing conviction for “a tenant permitting premises to be used as a brothel”…Laura Watson, English Collective of Prostitutes…commented…“Ms O and Ms R were working in a flat together for safety and supporting their families. Both women are migrant and we believe that racism was involved in why they were targeted”…Niki Adams from Legal Action for Women…commented…“We are also disgusted that the [prosecutors] tried to extort money from women offering them a caution on the condition that they “write over the money seized on their arrest.”  Taking money from sex workers under duress is tantamount to pimping”…

The Widening Gyre (#792) 

Though better-disguised than usual, this is just the “Facebook pimps” myth again:

…the Roma…are easy pickings for traffickers who post adverts on Facebook promising a bright future for those prepared to travel.  Many have succumbed to the temptation.  A lot of young people have gone to the UK to work for a better life…the line between economic migration and exploitation is ill-defined: some who travel are aware of the risks but prepared to take a chance, others think they are off to start a better life only to end up in modern slavery

In the minds of white saviors, all people from economically-distressed countries are childlike naifs incapable of making calculated risks or violating racist laws on their own, so anyone who helps them further their plans is an exploitative “trafficker” and any work they do to survive is “modern slavery”.  One might ask how the Roma, who have migrated to the British Isles for centuries, managed to do it before anybody ever heard of either Facebook or “human trafficking”.

Cooties (#816)

Two years ago, AirBnB said it would “invest in new technology” to discriminate against sex workers:

Airbnb now owns an AI technology that allows them to discriminate against people in certain categories, specifically including sex workers, based on unrelated social media posts and other online data…it stigmatizes sex work and “involvement in pornography” by grouping them with drug use, membership in hate groups…and “narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy”…the stigmatizing language…spelled out in the patent…seems to confirm sex workers’ reports that they have been discriminated against by the company not because of their behavior as guests, but merely because of their careers…

A Procrustean Bed (#834)

At last, a little skepticism from “journalists” about the prohibitionist shitshow that is New York’s “sex trafficking court”:

…as courts [which classify all sex workers as “victims” and sentence them to indoctrination disguised as “counseling”]…proliferate nationwide, New York’s…have [been repeatedly]…critici[zed for the past] six years [by actual experts on the subject]…a growing group of people engaged in prostitution…have complained that the counseling sessions amount to little more than unproductive conversations with [busybody] strangers…the idea…is [at last] facing skepticism…[from ignoramuses who refused to consult actual experts years ago]…

Prohibitionists are so dedicated to denying sex workers’ agency that they prefer ridiculous multi-word constructions like “people engaged in prostitution” to the simple and honest “sex worker”, and keep pretending that any non-prohibitionist ever thought arresting and attempting to brainwash adult women for the “crime” of consensual sex was a good idea in the first place.

Pyrrhic Victory (#841)

Why wasn’t it “a step too far” when they started doing it three years ago?

One of the most senior policing figures in Wales has [criticized] the use of facial recognition technology at the country’s biggest football derby [last] weekend…Arfon Jones…the North Wales police and crime commissioner…accused the South Wales force of being engaged in a “fishing expedition…When facial recognition…was first used in the Champions League final…there were…thousands…of false positives”…the Football Supporters’ Association Wales said…“Fans coming out for…football…will be treated like they’re in a police line-up”…Big Brother Watch has called for an immediate ban on facial recognition surveillance in the UK…

Checklist (#953)

The scheme to cut sex workers off from the healthcare system is adding intrusive surveillance measures:

There’s a growing push [to force] doctors, paramedics and other health-care professionals to [report sex workers to the cops]…In 2018, Congress passed legislation that created a federally sponsored [indoctrination]…program..[to] tr[ick them into defining sex workers as]…victims…and re[port them by way of new]…diagnostic codes

The Cop Myth (#996)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. Some don’t stop with mere beating:

A Newark [New Jersey cop who murdered]…his estranged wife…and [attempted to murder] her boyfriend…has [finally] been indicted on murder and attempted murder charges…John Formisano…was indicted…on Dec. 30…[for the murder of] Christie Solaro-Formisano…on July 11…Formisano…was [wearing his magical clown costume and] used his [department-issued] revolver to [murder] his [victim as]…she attempted to flee…The…two children were inside the home…but were uninjured…

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We might as well go down fighting.  –  unnamed Hong Kong protester

License to Rape

Police states define the bodies of all citizens as “crime scenes” which can be violated by “authorities” at will:

Australia[n cops’]…obsession with stamping out drug use at outdoor festivals has produced a twentyfold increase in strip searches over the course of a decade.  They have increased by nearly 50 percent in the last four years.  And…nearly two-thirds of the 5,400 strip searches performed by New South Wales police from 2017 to 2018 found absolutely nothing.  In the past three years, more than 600 people under 18 were subjected to police strip searches.  Three of them were 12 years old.  Seven were 13…The New York Times and The Guardian both report that festivals in New South Wales are now thick with police and their dogs sniffing around for…reasons to look inside young people’s underwear…

Surplus Women (#702)

One of this wannabe cop’s victims was only described as a “teen hooker” by the New York Daily News:

Khalil Wheeler-Weaver…is accused of murdering three women and attempting to kill a fourth…he…targeted young black women who [did] sex work…[because he figured] no one would notice if they disappeared…His attorneys contend [his] victims [were at fault because they were whores]…and [because he]…“doesn’t look like someone who would’ve done something like this”…Wheeler-Weaver…handcuffed [his fourth victim] and covered her mouth with duct tape before raping her…and almost strangling her to death…but…she convinced Wheeler-Weaver to take her back to the motel, where she had left her cellphone, then locked him out of the room while she dialed 911….[cops] who responded to the call were more interested in figuring out if she was a prostitute…so…months would pass before Wheeler-Weaver was arrested…[and while the cops fucked around] he [murdered another woman named Sarah] Butler…[whose] family…called the police [when she didn’t come home.  Of course the cops fucked around again, so]…Butler’s parents, sister and friends had taken matters into their own hands, logging into the 20-year-old’s social media accounts to see whom she had been talking with before she disappeared…[they] created a fake profile…to lure Wheeler-Weaver into a…[trap.  After he was finally arrested, cops found] Wheeler-Weaver had conducted a slew of disturbing online searches…including “How to make homemade poisons to kill humans” and “What chemical could you put on a rag and hold to someone’s face to make them go to sleep immediately”…Wheeler-Weaver, who had been working as a grocery store security guard, hoped to become a police officer [so he could rape and murder women with impunity]…

Guinea Pigs (#712) 

This toiletful of myths, lies, dehumanization, agency denial, eager and sloppy copsucking and bootlicking, wildly-exaggerated numbers, masturbatory fantasies, fascist cheerleading and other assorted sociopathy is so vile, I can’t even be bothered to make it tolerable by my usual editing.  The important facts are: it’s about a company named “Deliverfund” whose owners are “a group of former CIA, NSA, special forces, and [other assorted pigs and spooks] who collaborate with [vice cops] to bust sex [workers] in the U.S.” (yes, it’s so bad I even had to edit a measly pull-quote).  The rest is just the usual misogynistic, self-aggrandizing male BDSM fantasies about illiterate, passive, doll-like women so stupid we can’t even book a hotel room or put up a shitty ad, and the magical ninja pimps who control us completely.  The writer is so innumerate he can’t see how claims like “a pimp spends 6 to 12 months ‘grooming’ each victim into the trade” are impossible to reconcile with claimed numbers of “victims” (or even basic common sense); so illiterate he thinks the word “gruesome” is an appropriate description of sex work; and so oblivious to red flags that he cannot recognize that “DeliverFund also provided intel to assist the takedown of Backpage…[then] moved its headquarters into the former Backpage office in Dallas” is barely one moral step above putting human heads on a wall as hunting trophies.

Under Review (#733)

The European press, partying like it’s 1999 and nobody’s heard of escort reviews:

This newsroom looked into a number of websites advertising European escorts, and on one particular site, over 1,207 entries were registered in Malta…one can even specify a locality…Escort profiles include pictures and a description of each girl…Some escort websites also allow users to leave a review of the escort, explaining their experience and services with the girls.  The reviews varied from very happy clients who left five-star reviews, to others who shamed and degraded certain escorts…some…comments…were extremely explicit and…many included internet sex slang and abbreviations of services particular escorts did or did not provide…

It must be a slow news month in Malta.

Stalkers in Blue

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

Hundreds of [cops] and [cop shop] staff have ill[egally] accessed police databases for their own ends including checking the criminal records of partners…237 of…[them were] disciplined for accessing the highly-sensitive police national computer or other IT systems in the past two years [but] just half of the 45 forces responded to [reporters’] requests, which suggests as many as 500 officers have [been caught] misus[ing] databases that contain confidential personal information on millions of people [and an unknown but much-larger number have done it without getting caught]…

Banishment (#936)

This story started out in the “Procrustean Bed” tag, but is now a better fit here:

In August 2018, the mayor of Houston…announced…they would sue [sex workers]…Bissonnet Street…has been [so overpoliced it has had]…3,800 reports of [so-called] crime in the area from the beginning of 2016 through August of 2018, and a quarter of them were for prostitution…The county filed a civil lawsuit against 50 alleged sex workers, 23 alleged [clients], and 13 alleged pimps…to ban these 86 people from engaging in a wide array of “prostitution-related activities”…[including taking a] bus…walk[ing]…down the street…[or] using their cellphones in the [“prostitution-free”] zone.  If they are caught breaking these [draconian and arbitrary] rules, they could face fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 and up to 30 days in [a cage]…a year later, the injunction is on hold…What the county called an “unprecedented step” was another way of saying that the model was [unconstitutional]…the suit…publicly named all 86 defendants along with their known addresses before a judge ordered the names sealed in May…[thus] putting already vulnerable women and their families in grave danger…nuisance abatement laws, which the county is basing the lawsuit on, are not supposed to target individual people; they’re meant to discipline businesses that flout laws, like bars that routinely serve underage patrons…Only one other place in the U.S. has tried [a similar scheme]…Milwaukee banned 75 sex workers from…three neighborhoods…in 2002.  [It] was…a failure…

Future stories about “prostitution-free zones”, formerly filed in “Forward and Backward“, will now appear here.

I Spy (#958)

Everything cops and other “justice” officials tell you is a lie:

For years, the New York Police Department illegally maintained a database containing the fingerprints of thousands of [juveniles] charged as…delinquents — in direct violation of state law mandating that police destroy these records after turning them over to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services.  When lawyers representing some of those youths discovered the violation [in 2015], the police department dragged its feet, at first denying but eventually admitting that it was retaining prints it was supposed to have destroyed…the police department [now claims] that the database ha[s] been destroyed [just like they claimed the records were before]…The department has made no public admission of wrongdoing, nor has it notified the thousands of people it impacted, although it [claims to have] changed its fingerprint retention practices following Legal Aid’s probing…

All-Purpose Excuse (#973)

It’s rare these days for a US court to uphold the Constitution against the government:

In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled…that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional.  The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the…ACLU…EFF…and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion…[ACLU attorney] Esha Bhandari [said]…“By putting an end to the government’s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that…we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel”…“Travelers…now can cross the international border without fear that the government will…ransack the extraordinarily sensitive information we all carry in our electronic devices,” said Sophia Cope, EFF Senior Staff Attorney…Border [thugs] must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler’s device…

Dangerous Speech (#974)

The FBI intentionally destroyed exculpatory evidence in the Backpage case:

An October 25 evidentiary hearing…offered additional proof of the government’s bad faith in its prosecution of…the erstwhile owners of…Backpage…Witnesses…testified that when the federal government seized Backpage…the FBI failed to take proper steps to preserve the website as evidence…the defense has [repeatedly] informed the prosecution that it needs access to the databases…in the same condition as when they were seized…Tami Loehrs, a digital forensics expert…testified…that…she…tried using the forensic software that the FBI [claims] it employed to create mirror images of the servers:  FTK Imager…but…FTK Imager “is not validated to image FreeBSD” [the operating system Backpage used, so]…the process was unsuccessful…[also, Backpage’s] servers were “equipped with self-encrypting drives”…if the server’s hard drives remained in the server’s chassis…the information would “automatically decrypt.”  However, if you remove the drives from the chassis, “you’ve just scrambled all the data”…[yet the FBI claims it somehow] mirror-imaged an encrypted file [with software that couldn’t image it even if]…decrypted…

Quiet Genocide

Unlike Americans, Hong Kongers know tyranny when they see it:

…Hong Kong’s government, backed by mainland China, has responded to [protests] with all the finesse of a control freak who has lost control.  It seems to have decided that the best way to reestablish control is to crack down even more.  Meanwhile, about half of Hong Kongers say that, on a scale of zero to 10, they would rate their trust in the police at zero.  Before this current wave of protest, in June, just 6.5 percent picked zero on the same poll…This is our last chance, [protesters say] very matter-of-factly.  If we stand down, nothing will stand between us and mainland China…They talk…about Xinjiang, and what China ha[s] done to the Uighur minority…China may have wanted to make an example out of the region, but the lesson Hong Kongers took was in the other direction—resist with all your might, because if you lose once, there will be a catastrophe for your people, and the world will ignore it…

The Cop Myth (#981)

41% of cops admit to beating their wives. How many more don’t admit it?

A six-month investigation of California’s Criminal Cops by a statewide coalition of news organizations found [cops] who…commit…[domestic] violen[ce]…routinely plead down to nonviolent misdemeanors for disturbing the peace or vandalism or unreasonable noise.  And those softer charges…allow abusive [pigs] to keep their guns — and keep [inflicting violence on whoever they like without consequences]…reporters uncovered the cases of more than 80 [cops]…who[se violence was so egregious they] were [actually] convicted in connection with a domestic-abuse charge in the past decade.  And that’s just a fraction of what’s out there because the state’s records on criminal conduct among police are too flawed to illustrate the true scope of the problem…

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The science behind marijuana consumption turning your tongue green is about as sound as the science behind the earth being flat or that lying makes your nose grow.  –  Erik Altieri

This animation from 1929 is meant to be a simulation of the evolution of simple life forms; it was called to my attention by The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society.  The links above it were all contributed by the very active Cop Crisis account, with the exceptions of “horror” (Radley Balko), “trick or treat” (Phoenix Calida), and “headline” (Lucy Steigerwald).

From the Archives

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This is home,
always open, always there
waiting for me past any curfew.  –  Karen Head

Whenever I go out to Sunset, we try to spend at least one evening watching a movie stoned.  And we’ve found the best movies to watch stoned are those with a lot of music and simple plots.  Well, when I went out a couple of weeks ago this was our flick; it’s one of Grace’s favorites and if you have a good ear for musical style you may recognize the composer of the song in this trailer (who happens to be my favorite songwriter).  The links above it were provided by Clarissa, Kevin Wilson, Walter Olson, Jesse Walker, Popehat, and Radley Balko, in that order.

From the Archives

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