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Posts Tagged ‘New York’

Last week Alex Andrews of SWOP Behind Bars asked me to spread the word about this serial predator, or more specifically the effort to bring him down.  If you have information and would like to talk to the lawyer she describes below, please Twitter DM SWOP Behind Bars, the New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance or the Best Practices Policy Project or see the lawyer’s contact info below.  If you’re not on Twitter, I can forward your email to Alex.  I’ve also attached all the info on this monster people have shared on Twitter; his email address and physical address are here, and a few of the many phone numbers he’s used here.  As you can see, there would be more than enough had he not cunningly chosen to target a group cops consider subhuman.

Joey the Player has been a predator in the sex worker community for many years; barely a month goes by without a horror story of his assaulting an unknowing provider.  Just last week there was an incident in Las Vegas.  And of course since sex workers were kicked off the internet in the FOSTA debacle, its been really hard to continue to warn each other about dangerous and abusive clients.  And because of criminalization – we can’t go report these horrific assaults to police because they would probably put a target on us, rape us themselves or do some kind of harmful cop shit that would make our lives harder than they are.  Well, there is a good chance that Joey’s time is up; last week a brave NYC City sex worker made contact with an attorney at the Sher Tremonte law firm who has stepped forward to our request to negotiate immunity agreements for any sex worker who was willing to report the violence against her.  But that wasn’t all; this lawyer is ruthless and he wants to see Joey locked up in prison for the rest of his life.  The New Jersey Red Umbrella Alliance has been working on a strategy for a long time and SWOP Behind Bars wants to support their efforts, especially since most of his crimes have taken place in New Jersey and NYC.  If you have been victimized by this sleaze or have information and would like to talk (pro bono) to the lawyers, please contact Noam (nbiale@shertremonte.com) or Anna (aestevao@shertremonte.com) or call 212-202-2600.

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News editors run sex trafficking hoaxes as fact…and…suggest there is an epidemic of paid child rape in America.  –  Rory Fleming

Forward and Backward (#581)

Rebranding “prostitution-free zones” as “human trafficking-free zones” doesn’t make them more constitutional:

Temple Terrace became the most recent government in the Tampa Bay area to declare itself a human TraffickingFree Zone.  It’s part of a [propaganda campaign] by an [“end demand”] organization…The cities of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, New Port Richey and Dade City have [jumped] on to the [bandwagon], as has Pasco County…After the [magical] proclamation…the organization [indoctrinated] all city employees in how to [snitch on]…sex [workers]…The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, headquartered in Tampa, was founded about three years ago as a Christian nonprofit…In addition to its TraffickingFree Zones campaign, the institute runs a [private prison] in Central Florida for…[underage male] sex [workers]…

The More the Better (#585)

Prudes like to pretend sex work isn’t part of the entertainment field:

When Stormy Daniels announced her first gig as a stand-up comic in March, [prudish, envious] comedians recoiled…but in fact she’s one of dozens of current and former such stand-ups, and they’re part of a long tradition…The plots of many ancient Greek and Roman comedies revolved around prostitution (like Menander’s Sikyonioi and Terence’s Hecyra), and American comics performed in burlesque and vaudeville shows in the early part of the 20th century.  The comedians Margaret Cho and Roseanne Barr have been open about their sex-work pasts.  Aaron Berg…a former stripper and current stand-up, pointed to “a very strong history between burlesque and comedic timing”…Both universal and taboo, inherently ridiculous and emotionally fraught, sex is a staple of stand-up routines…Wendi Starling…a sex worker and comic, starts one of her bits, “I’m a terrible girlfriend but a great employee.”  Kaytlin Bailey…a former sex worker, current stand-up and communications director for Decriminalize Sex Work, said that sex workers and comedians occupy a similar role:  “You’re allowed to do things that normal citizens cannot.  You’re like a celebrated rule breaker.”  Even so, many sex workers told me that like Daniels, when they first entered comedy clubs, they weren’t particularly welcome…

Beside Kaytlin, I personally know two other sex workers who do stand-up.

Cops and Robbers (#712)

Funny, I don’t remember where in the Gospels Jesus told people to attack harlots:

On 2nd June…AGAP (LGBT Rwanda) was forcibly removed from its office which it has shared with a church in Gisenyi…since 2013…a [mob]…attacked the group in their office, throwing stones and shouting that LGBT sex workers must leave the neighbourhood “in the name of the gospel“.  The [mob] destroyed equipment and other belongings in the office, including equipment for HIV testing.  AGAP is now without premises in Gisenyi, and…LGBT people and sex workers no longer have access to local services…AGAP has called on the local legal authorities to take action…

Welcome To Our World (#789)

The state owns women’s bodies and controls what we can do with them.  Feminism!

The proposal to legalize surrogacy in New York [h]as [predictably encountered opposition from rich, powerful white women] including Gloria Steinem…[as in sex work, prohibitionists don’t like]…poor women [to have the option of earning]…the sizable payments it can bring [without having to be rich women’s maids or labor in sweatshops to make their clothes]…The bill [thus]…remains stalled in the Assembly, where several prominent female [politicians] have expressed [their desire to control all other women]…

Whither Canada? (#871)

Liberals not only lied about repealing the law; they’re actively defending it:

The judge who will decide if [Canada’s] new prostitution laws violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms must weigh [prohibitionist fantasies]…with…individual rights…[a prosecutor bizarrely claimed]…Michael Carnegie…said…”children exposed to [sex rays are magically]…harmed [if]…sexual services [exist anywhere in the world]”…Tiffany Harvey and Hamad Anwar[‘s]…lawyers say the law puts sex workers at risk by forcing them to do their work underground, therefore violating the workers’ charter right to security of the person…[to satisfy] the [prohibitionist fantasy] that sex work is inherently exploitative and harmful…Carnegie said…”it’s necessary to deprive people of their rights to protect the [fantasies and sadfeelz of prudes and control freaks]”…

If Men Were Angels (#914) 

“Pastors” are almost as bad as cops:

[The] pastor of a Southern Baptist church in…Harris County [Texas] faces charges of molesting a teenage relative, sometimes multiple times a day, over the course of two years…Stephen Bratton, who resigned from Grace Family Baptist Church [after he was accused, molested the relative]…from 2013 to 2015…Bratton’s…wife…[filed for] an emergency protection order…Bratton recently testified in support of failed House Bill 896 that would have abolished abortions in Texas and opened up the possibility that prosecutors could charge a woman who undergoes the procedure with criminal homicide…more than 700 people — mostly children — ha[ve] been victimized by hundreds of Southern Baptist church leaders since 1998…

To Molest and Rape (#926)

When a boss cop rapes, the victim is often underage:

Former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain has been arrested on two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile and a count of sexual battery…if convicted, Strain would face a mandatory life sentence…there are…four victims…and the times of the crimes spanned from 1975 to 2004, when Strain was sheriff…one of the victims was under the age of 12 and at least one was related to the ex-Sheriff…It’s unclear if any of [the] charges are related to Mark Finn…[whom] Strain began sexually abusing…more than 40 years ago, when Strain was a teenager and Finn was just 6-years-old…

Safe Position (#928)

Even my jaded self is impressed with the speed this is happening in New York:

A…candidate for district attorney…plans to single-handedly make the borough of Queens the first major metropolitan area in the country where sex work would, effectively, not be a crime.  If Tiffany Cabán wins…and actually puts her plan in place…it would mark one of the biggest successes for the [US] sex work decriminalization movement [so far]…Queens…[is] home to nearly 2.4 million people, roughly the population of Houston…[and is] one of the most heavily policed parts of New York…when it comes to sex work arrests.  The [DA’s] office has the power to decline to prosecute people that the police arrest for specific crimes — similar to how former Brooklyn district attorney Ken Thompson declined to prosecute possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2014…Cabán said that if she’s elected, “on day one it comes from being part of a memo to our district attorneys saying you will not prosecute sex workers, customers, and you will not prosecute under the promoting prostitution charges”…

Loose Cannons (#946)

“Sex trafficking” hysteria’s impending collapse has been helped along by the excesses of Florida “authorities”:

Bruce Colton, the chief elected prosecutor of Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie Counties in Florida…aggressively pursued a…sex offender prosecution against Kaitlyn Hunt for dating a slightly younger girl while both attended high school together…earlier in his career…he…argued that…he should be able to prosecute kids as young as 15 as adults without any judicial hearing…Colton also personally decided that trafficking was central to the spas and massage parlors tied to the Kraft case, despite the lack of evidence for this.  But he does not need the evidence—or even a false confession—when he has RICO…Lixia Zhu, one of the massage parlor owners, currently faces 30 years on a RICO plea deal…[she] was coerced into signing…

The article then goes on to attack “sex trafficking” hysteria in general.  The times, they are a-changing.

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Something is broken in our society when millions feel the need to self-medicate in this way.

Two weeks ago I featured “Popcorn”, and now here’s another instrumental favorite from my chidhood: “Telstar” by The Tornados.  Obviously it was no longer being played on pop stations, but it could still be heard often enough in various contexts for me to become familiar with it sometime in the late ’60s or early ’70s.  The links above it were provided by Scott Greenfield, Jesse Walker, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Carol Fenton, Jesse Walker again, and Clarissa, in that order.

From the Archives

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I usually assign 1984 to my students; now we will be living it.  –  a teacher in Lockport, NY

Dysphemisms Galore 

If this headline had been written by a normal adult sane person, it would be something like “Border Controls Expose Migrant Women to Exploitation”.  But because “sex trafficking” hysteria has not yet imploded, this interview about the difficulties encountered by migrant sex workers under repressive criminalization regimes such as China and Middle-Eastern countries (bribes, rape by cops, deportation, etc) is capped with a ridiculous headline about “sex slavery” despite the fact that the interviewee clearly discusses three-month contracts, visiting home, girls going back once they know how to game the system without middlemen, etc, with nary a “slave” in sight.

If Men Were Angels 

You mean he wasn’t a “youth pastor”?

Bobby J. Blackburn, pastor of the Elevate Church in Prestonsburg, [Kentucky] was arrested…and charged with using an electronic communication system to get a minor to commit a sex act…Blackburn also owns a local Giovanni’s pizza place, which plays Christian music and puts Bible verses on receipts…Blackburn’s business employs the girls, one of whom showed [cops] the sexual messages from Blackburn…[who] also…threaten[ed] to fire a third girl if she didn’t take the blame for sending the messages…

Where Are the Protests? (#596)

The US is too busy forcing African “authorities” to keep their people from migrating to bother policing its own food supply chains:

…The world’s chocolate companies have missed deadlines to uproot child labor from their cocoa supply chains in 2005, 2008 and 2010.  Next year, they face another target date and…they…will miss that, too…the odds are substantial that a chocolate bar bought in the United States is the product of child labor.  About two-thirds of the world’s cocoa supply comes from West Africa where…more than 2 million children [a]re engaged in dangerous labor in cocoa-growing regions.  When asked this spring, representatives of some of the biggest and best-known brands — Hershey, Mars and Nestlé — could not guarantee that any of their chocolates were produced without child labor…Mars…can trace only 24 percent of its cocoa…Hershey…less than half; Nestlé can trace 49 percent of its global cocoa supply to farms…Other companies…such as Mondelez and [white bourgeois American woman favorite] Godiva…likewise would not guarantee that any of their products were free of child labor…

Naturally, American women are only concerned about how other women have sex; they don’t actually want to know where the candy they stuff into their faces comes from.  Besides, imaginary enslaved white girls take precedence over real enslaved black boys, dontchaknow.

Unchristian Nation (#838)

Government thugs continue their crusade against Christian charity:

…Scott Warren, on trial for providing humanitarian aid to two migrants…faces a possible 20-year prison sentence for two counts of harboring undocumented immigrants and one count of conspiracy…his alleged crimes amount to nothing more than basic human kindness.  On January 14, 2018…two Central American migrants—Kristian Perez-Villanueva and Jose Arnaldo Sacaria-Goday—arrived unexpectedly at “the Barn,” a building in Ajo, Arizona, used by No More Deaths and other aid groups…the migrants…were suffering from blisters, dehydration, and exhaustion…[so] Warren…arranged a check-up by a doctor, who advised that the two migrants stay off their feet.  Warren allowed the men to remain in the Barn for the next three days…Nate Walters, the [prosecutor, characterizes]…humanitarian aid…[as] a nefarious plot “to shield illegal aliens from [thugs who would have murdered or caged them] for several days”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#857) 

Putting young people into a facial recognition database will help the government to analyze how people’s faces change over time, so nobody can ever escape surveillance:

Western New York’s Lockport City School District…[has begun] a wasteful and dangerous experiment…the district’s eight public schools began testing a system called Aegis, which includes facial recognition technology, that could eventually be used to track and map student movements…in 2015, in the wake of Sandy Hook and other high-profile school shootings, our district was approached by Tony Olivo, a [soi-disant] security consultant, who [made a sales pitch he sold to paranoid officials as]…a free threat assessment of our schools…he encouraged the school district to purchase and install…[Aegis, and received a] $95,450 annual…[commission from its makers] for five years…the…district held only one public meeting to discuss the purchase…on a Wednesday afternoon in mid-August 2016, when most parents were away or at work…the system…[has] the capacity to go back and create a map of the movements and associations of any student or teacher the district might choose.  It can tell them who has been seen with whom, where and how often.  District officials pledge that they would never deploy the software in that way, but…what matters is not what those in charge promise but what an intrusive technology has the capacity to do…Thanks to the efforts of the New York Civil Liberties Union, state officials have finally begun to ask the kinds of questions they should have asked before the project was approved…[but] the school district is forging ahead with its testing and its plans to make the cameras fully operational when school starts up again in the fall…

Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs (#885)

Why are politicians so enamored of violent Disnification campaigns that virtually never work?

A Bangkok red light district is set to be remodelled – in the style of the…region of England known as the Cotswolds.  The Rattanakosin Island area…has been…for decades…[an] area [where sex workers] cater to local Thai men rather than…foreigners in the country’s tourist hotspots.  But…military [dictator] Prayut Chan-o-cha now wants to [Disnify] the…district [by painting things]…yellow [and blanketing the area with mass surveillance to facilitate police violence.  Bureaucrats fantasize they can force sex workers into menial labor that earns about 1/10 as much]…

Lack of Evidence (#900) 

Most of these “settlements” are just dodges that force cops to find a different excuse for harassing women:

The NYPD is changing the [excuses] it [uses when wielding] the loitering law [as a weapon against citizens] after it was sued for illegally profiling and arresting women, transgender people and others on prostitution charges that were based largely on looks…The Legal Aid Society sued the department on behalf of people who[m cops] had arrested…[under the evidence-free claim] they were working as prostitutes.  One cop admitted in a deposition that he would look for “Adam’s apples” when…[hunting victims] to detain…Under the settlement, the NYPD is amending the Patrol Guide to [force cops to use a different excuse other than]…gender, gender identity, clothing and location to enforce the loitering law.  The change also requires [cops] to provide more [elaborate excuses]…for why they detained someone…Loitering arrests will also be audited by the NYPD’s Legal Bureau [after the victim has sat in a filthy, dangerous jail for a few months. Legal Aid Society chief Tina]…Luongo called on the state Legislature to repeal the loitering law…

Where Are the Victims? (#906)

This is exactly the outcome prohibitionists wanted:

Two women who were [working together for safety]…in Newbridge, [Ireland] have been [sentenced to] jail…for nine months…Adrina Podaru…and Ana Tomascu…were [peacefully minding their own business]…when [they were attacked by state-employed thugs] on November 18, 2018…following [a report from a snitch]…the women admitted that they were [legally] working as prostitutes, [which is not against the law.  Luckily it was early so]…no significant money was [ar]ound [for the pigs to steal]…Ms Podaru is currently expecting a child with her partner…but Judge Desmond Zaidan…sentenced the pair to nine months in prison…Ms Podaru has lodged an appeal and has been released on bail…

It might be better for my mental health if I actually believed there was a Hell to punish evil people who cage pregnant women for peacefully supporting themselves because they broke a moronic, arbitrary rule imposed by sociopaths who have never actually done the work.  But since I know there isn’t, I’ll just have to deal with it.

The Course of a Disease (#932)

In which perennial drunk, incompetent liar, sloppy fabulist and serial lawsuit-abuser Julie Bindel shares her fantasies of what sex is like:

Julie Bindel, the [plagiar]ist and author of the book The Pimping of Prostitution [recently the subject of a libel suit which Bindel lost]…appeared before the Scottish Parliament’s cross-party group on commercial sexual exploitation this week, and [fantasized] that “decriminalising sex work means decriminalising violence against women and children”…Bindel [also fantasized that in] sex work… “women are…vessels for men to masturbate into”…

Disaster (#941)

Facebook’s policies make harassing and exploiting women easy:

…Omid…has…claimed responsibility for shutting down hundreds of Instagram accounts by reporting performers for violating the company’s [censorship rules]…driven by a moralistic anti-porn agenda…[one of his victims, Bella] Bathory…[heard] about a…social media management company that purported to have the ability to restore shuttered Instagram accounts...she agreed to pay…the $450 they quoted her…Within hours of the agency telling her that her account was about to be restored, it was.  Then, when Bathory declined to follow through with payment, the…account…once again disappeared…an…Instagram…spokesperson said that there is no evidence that a single entity was behind the restoration or deletion of her account…[but] the agency that Bathory contacted…provided purported evidence via screenshot…If the agency’s allegations are true, it shows how a third party can profit handsomely from Instagram’s opaque and convoluted moderation policies.  And if [not]…it shows how a shadow economy can thrive on desperation.  Either way, it’s sex workers who suffer…

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The[se] cops were nothing but video voyeurs.  –  John Wesley Hall

Where Are the Victims?

In which renting rooms to people in a legal trade is pretended to be a “crime”:

Angus Binnie took out…leases o[n] flats in Dundee…then advertised them for short term rental on various websites – and charged itinerant prostitutes massive fees of up to £600 a week…He said he took no part in the administration of the sex workers and therefore had no control over them or their finances…

While that’s a high rate, the women weren’t forced to take it.  Most decent hotels charge more than £600 a week, ask lots of nosy questions and spy on guests; are they to be criminally charged and slurred by the media as “raking it in” as well?  And naturally the reporter couldn’t be bothered to interview any sex workers, who would’ve pointed out that it’s the government’s own busybody “regulations” that enable such jacked-up rates by making “legitimate” landlords afraid to rent to sex workers.

So Close and Yet So Far

The New York Times has been prohibitionist for so long, it can’t write an article about decriminalization without filling it with errors, lies and stupid anti-sex tropes.  While the article starts with some solid facts and good quotes from activists like my friend Kaytlin Bailey and a pro-decrim politician, it then goes on to equate decriminalization with legalization and the Swedish model (as prohibitionists so often do); prominently quotes prohibitionist propaganda under the pretense that supporters of a powerful, violent police state deserve “equal time” with supporters of human rights; and repeats outright lies about sex work, decriminalization and the Swedish model.  In Professor McNeill’s journalism class, this might squeak by with a D minus.

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake

Given the success of strippers’ lawsuits against clubs, this was inevitable:

Two former sex workers filed a class-action lawsuit…against Sheri’s Ranch in Pahrump, claiming that the brothel should have treated them and other women as employees instead of independent contractors…The plaintiffs…also claim that Sheri’s Ranch is violating the federal Fair Labor Standards Act by taking 50 percent of the workers’ tips…[they are also charged for] expenses, including the cost of meals, daily rent at the houses and the cost of a mandatory weekly medical exam, among other things…Many former brothel workers…complain that deducting the cost of rent and meals from their pay causes them to quickly end up in debt…As evidence of the brothel’s control over sex workers [one of the federal tests for whether a worker is an employee] the lawsuit cites a requirement by Sheri’s Ranch that the women remain locked down on the property for one to three weeks at a time, unable to leave the premises…

Sheri’s is also notorious for taking away women’s laptop computers and personal medications, dispensing the meds at dose times as though it were a hospital.

Guinea Pigs (#634) 

Don’t feel left out, amateurs; they’ll get around to you next:

…a Chinese programmer based in Germany [claims to have] created an elaborate facial recognition system to identify performers in adult films…he claims…the system…can now successfully recognize the faces of nearly 100,000 adult performers…[by] cross-check[ing] porn performers’ images…with those of women on…social media platforms…the system was developed specifically so [loser dudes] could identify whether their female partners were performing in these films…

The anonymous busybody soon recanted:

An anonymous programmer based in Germany…says he’s…deleted the project and all its data, but that’s not an act of altruism.  Such a project would have violated European…GDPR privacy law [which] prevents this kind of situation…just collecting the data is illegal if the women didn’t consent…Women in the US have some protections too…California has strong privacy legislation that would block this type of data collection…

Is Angela Chen honestly so hopelessly naive that she believes these laws magically “protect” anyone?  People who invest hundreds of hours in inventing systems to doxx sex workers don’t give a shit what the “law” says; furthermore, in the US, it’s the government which has built gigantic databases of sex workers’ private information (yes, even in that magic wonderland of “privacy protection” which Google and Facebook call home).

An Example to the West (#699)

More than five years after filing suit against this bad law, Mexico City’s whores may finally win:

…Mexico City…[politicians]…voted 38-0, with eight abstentions, in favor of a bill to remove a line in the civic culture law which said prostitutes and their clients can be fined or arrested if neighbors complained…the new law recognize[s] that people had the right to engage in sex work…exploitation and trafficking by crime gangs…subjected to sex trafficking…Trafficking in Persons Report [blah blah blah]…

I’m sure the prohibitionists are not going to be happy that their artificial moral panic is starting to be used to justify the exact opposite of what they intended it to accomplish, further criminalization and persecution of sex workers.

Soap Opera (#746) 

I wonder where Theresa Flores will get a real job once “sex trafficking” hysteria collapses?

…Bars of [magical anti-pimp] soap with red stickers that list information and the national human trafficking hotline phone number…aimed at [imaginary] adolescents [too stupid to remember the numbers 9-1-1], will be distributed to every hotel and motel in New Jersey on June 15.  The Church and Community Abolition Network has joined the SOAP Project, or Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution, and together are working to get information to the [imaginary] teens enslaved as sex workers.  They have chosen to target hotels because [that gives them the best publicity]…One of the sessions will be held in Wayne, where SOAP was launched 10 years ago by [fabulist and opportunistic profiteer] Theresa Flores…

Amsterdam (#812)

I’ve been trying to figure out why the Dutch government has been pretending it wants to protect sex workers from gawking tourists:

Walking tours of the Red Light District in Amsterdam are set to cease come January 1, 2020.  According to the translated official statement from the Dutch government, “Tours along the prostitution windows cause a lot of bustle in the Red Light District and are not respectful towards sex workers”…The Prostitution Information Center (PIC) doesn’t agree and hopes to stave off the attempt to shut down their community-led walking tours…Founded in 1994 by Mariska Majoor, a former sex worker, the organization’s mission is to inform the public about the realities of the industry and the concerns of its workers…For over a decade, the PIC has organized educational walking tours in which former sex workers lead small groups around the Red Light District.  They once hosted around 22,000 visitors annually but attendance has reduced in recent years due to steep competition from commercial tour companies.  Unlike other tours of the Red Light District, the PIC experience is an informative and heartfelt tour rooted in respect for sex workers and the community…

European governments love silencing sex workers by pretending to be “concerned” for our welfare.

Spotlight (#847)

Violet Blue on the real purpose of Asstoon’s fascist organ, Thorn:

Silicon Valley’s biggest companies have partnered with a single organization to fight sex [work] — one that maintains a data collection pipeline, is partnered with Palantir, and helps [cops] profile and track sex workers without their consent…Thorn (“digital defenders of children”)…[uses] dubious [methods]…Of Thorn’s 31…partners, 27 target adults and vow to abolish consensual sex work under the banner of saving children from sex trafficking…Thorn’s…product…Spotlight scrapes [escort ad] websites and forums [and hands all the data it collects to the pigs]…Spotlight is terrifying and practically purpose-made for abuse.  And Thorn supported FOSTA…Thorn and its partners like Polaris Project are working closely with companies like Palantir to nonconsensually track sex workers and everyone they come in contact with…”Civil liberties lawyers are seeking a case to challenge the constitutionality of Palantir’s use,” Bloomberg wrote, “but prosecutors and immigration agents have been careful not to cite the software in evidentiary documents.”  Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project told Bloomberg, “Palantir lives on that secrecy.”  And so, by extension, do Thorn and Polaris Project…

The article also discusses the increasing damage from FOSTA and also Prostasia’s plans to act as a watchdog of Thorn, Polaris and others of their ilk.  It’s well worth reading in its entirety.

Guinea Pigs (#919) 

Keep licking those boots, local media; legal expert analysis is downplayed as “critics say”:

…[clear] misuse of a “sneak-and-peek” arrest warrant may end up clearing [Robert] Kraft…of two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution.  The warrants have been around since the 1970s but became an increasingly popular [end-run around the 4th amendment due to courts completely abdicating their duty to protect civil rights] following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  They allow [cops] to do [unconstitutional] searches without notifying the occupant of a home, business or other private space [while courts pretend not to see]…“It’s completely uncalled for,” said John Wesley Hall, former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers…”the[se] cops were nothing but video voyeurs.  They have no justification…This was an abuse of prosecutorial power and an abuse of police power.”  At least two Palm Beach County judges have concurred…

O, Canada! (#934)

Canadian cops now want to get the public to help them spy on sex workers, as US cops do:

A new national…toll-free phone line, launched…by [a prohibitionist group calling itself] the Canadian Centre to End Human Trafficking, [claims to] offers support to…victims…[but in reality] the information collected through the hotline w[ill] be shared [with cops] and used…for raids that may lead to arrests and possible deportations…“We are concerned the hotline will become a tip line for law enforcement,” said Elene Lam of Toronto-based Butterfly…Jenny Duffy of Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project said human trafficking and sex work have been so widely conflated that sex workers and racialized groups are already targeted by law enforcement agencies under the guise of anti-trafficking initiatives.  “This hotline encourages the public to now surveil the movements of this group and report them…putting them in further harm, and further hindering workers from accessing key public services”…

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So much of the anti-prostitution laws that are being pushed is a combination of the conservative fetish for going after people for doing “sex stuff”, and the liberal instinct to “help” a group of people that they can’t be bothered to understand.  –  Kaytlin Bailey

Held Together With Lies

John Stossel interviews Liz Brown, Kaytlin Bailey and Maya Morena on “sex trafficking” hysteria:

Yellow Fever

Fox News never had much credibility to begin with, so I guess they felt there was nothing to lose by airing this fantasy:

Every year more than 40 million people are forced into the world of human trafficking across the globe and it’s someone’s son or daughter* that is trapped in this modern-day slavery…everyday Americans…are the most common victims of human trafficking…[it] is…everywhere…dark, insidious criminal world…shocking…[prohibitionist nobody ever heard of claims] “I’ve worked with over a thousand survivors of trafficking”…[professional survivor tells tale about] dark world of sex work…[another professional survivor claims she was] trapped in this dark underworld for nearly four years…FBI…in plain sight [blah blah “if you see something, say something”]…

*As opposed to what, people who appeared by spontaneous generation?  One must also wonder how reporters think “sex trafficking” can be “in plain sight” when they also invariably and repeatedly insist that it’s a “dark underworld”.

Guinea Pigs (#543) 

Don’t be fooled by talk of “criminal marketplaces”, “weapons”, “scams” and the like; what they’re actually targeting are ordinary escort sites:

…From 2014 to 2017, Lincoln Laboratory contributed to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Memex program…Today, more than 30 agencies worldwide are using Memex software to conduct [surveillance]…One of the biggest users…is the…Manhattan [vice squad]…With the introduction of Memex, prostitution arrests…increased…Now, Memex tools are enabling [pigs] to quickly enhance [ordinary] cases and build sex trafficking [fantasies] from…little [evidence]…these tools…have been used to…[conjure imaginary] victims from data in a [typical] online prostitution advertisement…

With Friends Like These… (#558)

Please, David Rosen, become a prohibitionist; if your attempts to hurt us are as incompetent as your attempts to “help”, they’ll be great pro-decrim arguments.  Rosen quotes prohibitionist lie-factory Fondation Scelles; calls the Swedish Model “decriminalization”; trots out Pretty Woman; damns us with faint support like “sex work…is not always trafficking“; lauds “safe harbor” laws that allow cops to lock up underage sex workers indefinitely under the guise of “protecting” them; and peppers his essay with totally-wrong, “rescue”-friendly wanking fantasies like “sex work is a story of abuse, underpay and harassment – including rape“, and “while there has been a reported increase in independent or ‘freelance’ sex workers, commercial sex is often mediated by a pimp or a sex gang“.  A “reported increase”?  If you’re fancy yourself an ally, you might want to do some research before putting your hand in your pants while quoting racist propaganda about “pimps” and “gangs”.  And stop putting scare quotes around words like “gentlemen” and “freelance”, which is a trick employed by people like Donna Hughes to cast doubt on what sex workers say about our own lives.  The man is, in short, a dangerous imbecile and needs to be recognized as such.

Send In the Clowns 

Dare I hope for a return of “creepy clown” hysteria?

[Cops] in Clarksville [Tennessee] have located a man dressed as a clown who prompted a police alert…[after] children [warped by a steady diet of “stranger danger” scare stories] reportedly thought he was trying to use candy to lure them into a moving vehicle…police said they located the man and he was “an older man who dresses up once a year on his birthday as a clown and hands out candy”…

Nice While It Lasted (#726)

Once due process was abolished for whores and street people, it was easy to extend the precedent to the middle class:

The boss of a popular ice cream firm faces restrictions on his business after a judge [fantasized] that he could commit slavery offences.  Salvatore “Sam” Lopresti…will not be able to employ staff or deal with wages at Lopresti Ice Cream, in Bristol.  The measures are part of a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order (STRO) that was imposed last week…Lopresti, and another family member, Robert Lopresti, had previously been charged with requiring a person to perform forced labour…However, charges against both men were dropped.  Salvatore’s charges were dropped as he was ruled unfit to stand trial due to his dementia…District judge Lynne Matthews…said: “I am [a seer with power to see the future so I am] sure…you will commit a human trafficking or slavery offence…it is necessary for me to make this order because…[what] if you committed that type of offence”…

Welcome To Our World (#758)

Rape victims are increasingly treated like criminals:

Louisiana district attorneys oppose a bill that would prohibit prosecutors from putting sexual assault and domestic violence victims in jail in order to compel them to testify in criminal cases…“This tool is very, very necessary for us to use on rare occasions,” [lied] Charles Ballay…head of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association…[even though] JP Morrell…[of] New Orleans…sponsored the bill…because…New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro was [regularly using this “rare tool”]…

Yeah, it’s “rare”So very rareVanishingly rare.  Basically never happens, except in “isolated incidents“.  Which we know are scarcer than hen’s teeth.  Because prosecutors say so, and they wouldn’t lie.

Full of Themselves (#888) 

As I predicted over a year ago, it looks like Rubmaps is becoming the new prohibitionist bogeyman to replace Backpage:

…more than 30 massage parlors in Colorado Springs are little more than a front for an illegal sex industry…KRDO…found that there are 36 massage parlors in the city that have recent reviews specifically outlining explicit sexual acts that can be purchased inside.  That’s more than there are licensed brothels in the entire state of Nevada…Those reviews are publicly available on seedy websites like RubMaps and CityXGuide.  Those sites — like now-defunct Backpage…offer a way for customers, known as Johns, to find locations where they can purchase sexual acts…”They’re selling sex,” [bloviated vice pig] Mark Comte, who [had his hand in his pants while panting about] “young girls wearing barely anything”…

I wonder if these “reporters” realize how skeevy, racist and pathetic their harassment of Asian women (they actually confronted workers in person, accused them of crimes, and spied on them) sounds to people with moral compasses?  Or how ridiculous their use of words like “seedy” and “illegal” sound?  Or defining “john”, which only cops and reporters use to describe clients, as though it were an industry term?  Or pretending that review sites are a new thing?  Or…

Secret Squirrel (#895)

How to totally destroy your relationship with your teen offspring:

A 15-year-old boy in Alaska [says]…his parents set up security cameras in his bedroom and bathroom to make sure he doesn’t masturbate.  The anonymous teen took to Reddit’s legal advice section to ask for help…[writing] “I’m 15 and think I should be allowed to touch my own body.  This is embarrassing and destroys my privacy, please help…My dad barged in without knocking and started screaming at me…He and my mom then sat me down and told me I’m not allowed to touch myself.”  The teen said his parents are against sexual activities before marriage.  He wasn’t even allowed to participate in his school’s sex education classes – leaving him to only learn “some things’ on the internet”…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#897)

Partly because of their legalized status, strippers are spearheading the movement for sex worker labor rights:

Stripping is legal sex work in America, but states and counties [claim] the right to regulate strip clubs…But even as they legislate dancers’ movements and clothing down to fractions of an inch, [politicians] tend to ignore the fact that those same workers’ rights are being roundly disregarded…strippers are typically classified as independent contractors rather than employees.  This means they should be able to come and go as they please, charge whatever they choose to charge and dress as they see fit.  Instead, many dancers describe being assigned shifts, told what to charge and held accountable for keeping certain hours.  Such regulations should qualify them as employees of the club rather than independent contractors paying for the privilege of working there.  But strippers are frequently denied the legal protection afforded W-2 employees, including payroll taxes, health care and workers’ rights protections…

It’s good to see Playboy beginning to recognize its long-ignored duty to support sex workers.

Opting Out (#926) 

Another fashion magazine comes out (mostly) on the side of sex workers:

The new [UK]…porn ban…[won’t only] apply to the major porn providers like YouPorn etc.  It will also affect small scale sex workers, who use specialist sites or their own personal websites to advertise their work…it could impact…escorts, webcam models, fetish models, and dominatrixes…88 percent of whom are women…and…the porn ban isn’t the only obstacle that could jeopardise sex workers’ safety.  MPs in the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prostitution…are pushing to criminalise and ban the online advertising of sex work — meaning sites like Adultwork could be blocked completely…

Loose Cannons

An unbelievable number of useful idiots took to Twitter to complain about this:

Robert K. Kraft all but defeated two charges of solicitation of prostitution when a Florida county judge…threw out…evidence [illegally] obtained in [illegal] surveillance videos…Kraft…[sensibly] refused to accept a plea deal…[requiring] a fine and [slave labor] to resolve the two misdemeanor charges because the deal would have required him to [pretend] that the prosecutors [were telling the truth]…Mr. Kraft’s decision to [exercise his constitutional right to a jury trial]…turned what normally would be a routine [railroading for acts that shouldn’t even be illegal] into a highly public [exposure of the sleazy tactics employed by] the police and prosecutors in Palm Beach County…[who used the popular racist fad excuse of] sex trafficking [to raid and pillage] a chain of massage parlors in Florida…Kraft’s lawyer [pointed out, correctly]…that police had [lied to obtain a warrant to] hid[e] surveillance cameras inside the spa…Judge Leonard Hanser…agreed…

As you can see, a number of edits were necessary to correct the New York Times‘ eager copsucking.  And the “woke” twits on Twitter?  Apparently they are happy to let cops use the Constitution as toilet paper, make non-consensual porn videos of migrant workers and hundreds of their customers, then sexual assault those same migrant workers before robbing them, locking them in cages and threatening them with deportation, in order to humiliate one “old white man”.

Top Cop (#936)

Even some mainstream journalists are seeing though this power-hungry sociopath’s lies:

…We were…told last month that Harris “regrets” the truancy laws she helped pass…to criminalize parents if their kids miss school…she [now claims to]…regret…that some parents were arrested under the law, saying this “was not the intention.”  Yet prosecution of parents was the express purpose of these laws.  These arrests were no more an unintended consequence than arrests for breaking laws against burglary or sexual assault…Harris explicitly…lied…in an interview with Jake Tapper…on CNN…[claiming]…”not one parent was sent to jail” because of her initiative…[when] Tapper [correctly stated] “people were thrown into jail under that law”…Harris [replied] “Not by me”…of course they weren’t literally put in jail by Harris, who was attorney general of California…and not an arresting officer…no common understanding of “no one was sent to jail” means People…weren’t personally put [in jail] by the attorney general.  Again, we see Harris trying to rewrite her record and history…

Upon seeing the interview, Donald Trump commented “I never separated a migrant family!”  Barack Obama added, “I never drone-murdered anyone!” and the ghost of Harry Truman materialized and moaned, “I never bombed Hiroshima!”

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Their job was not to take my report; their job was to convince me that I was not raped.  –  Jennifer Welch

Life Imitates Artifice

Gee, I wonder where they got this idea?

…three are charged in a human trafficking case after a 16-year-old girl was found in a U-Haul truck in Ohio…a missing person report…[was filed on] Apr. 20…The next day, Cincinnati police…found [her]…she was taken by Michael Nason, Tiffany Cheek and Carl Hickman…Cheek is accused of luring the girl from her home “under false pretenses of being her guardian.”  Nason [raped her]…in the back of the truck…

Besides the obvious imitation of the linked fantasy, I must point out that the time scale – one day – is consisent with other true incidents of abduction…unlike the fantasies of girls “enslaved” by “traffickers” for months or years at a time.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I love it when they feed on their own:

A New Jersey [cop] was accused of attempting to lure and sexually assault a 15-year-old girl…Peter Tuchol, Jr…engaged in online conversations with [other pervert cops role-playing]…as a 15-year-old girl…Police executed a search warrant on Tuchol’s home and seized controlled dangerous substances, specifically anabolic steroids…

If they’re going to start arresting cops for steroid use, there are going to be a LOT of cops in prison.

Little Tin Gods

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

In January, an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle argued that the sheriff’s office should be eliminated throughout California.  “No office is less accountable or more reliable in producing scandal,” wrote the author, Joe Mathews.  Although police chiefs can be fired by mayors or city councils, sheriffs cannot..the incumbent usually has an advantage in elections, regardless of his performance…Though sheriffs have arguably become less important with the rise of city police departments, many of their offices have still grown larger, hiring more people every year…Because most sheriffs derive their authority from state constitutions, eliminating the office requires an amendment that, in most cases, must be approved by voters…[in 2000] Connecticut…voters agreed to pass a constitutional amendment to eliminate the position of sheriff…

Gorged With Meaning (#410) 

How things have changed since Belle Knox was mercilessly harassed:

The whispers wound their way through the hallways of Bear Creek High School in Stockton, Calif.  They said a senior at the school was working in adult entertainment…the Bruin Voice, the [school’s] award-winning…newspaper, whose motto is, “The Voice shall not be silenced!”…knew what to do — a profile of the girl…[who is] 18…editor…Bailey Kirkeby…felt comfortable approaching the target of the rumors because both participated in speech and debate.  The subject agreed to cooperate, even asking that her name be used…The profile…[was] set to be published in the May 3 issue of the newspaper…[and] charts the student’s path into…porn…Now, however…school administrators…are threatening to dismiss the newspaper’s faculty adviser, who was recently named educator of the year by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists, if she doesn’t submit the article to them for [censorship]…The students are pushing back…and…the faculty adviser, Kathi Duffel, has remained resolute in her refusal to [submit]…the story [for censorship]…“This young woman has quite a story to tell…and we have every right to report it”…

Business As Usual

Buried deep in this story about presidential wannabe Pete Buttigieg’s covering up for violent pigs is the following:

…Two police sources independently recounted to TYT a story of…[cops] murdering a prostitute many years ago and burying her body in nearby Michigan…Other stories, which TYT could not immediately confirm, included rape of sex workers and homeless women, drug dealing, planting evidence, coverups, and more.  One story involved a cop accused of [orally raping] a sex worker…at gunpoint, who was allowed to resign rather than face an investigation…virtually all [sources] reported witnessing or hearing of behavior worse than the [“racist language” and other non-violent] problems Buttigieg cited in his book…

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#695) 

You mean physical behavior have stronger effects than pictures?  What a shock!

New research casts doubts on the claim that pornography undermines men’s sexual satisfaction by promoting a preference for porn-like sex.  The findings, which appear in the journal Personal Relationships, provide some preliminary evidence that pornography could in some instances bolster sexual satisfaction by promoting sexual variety…There was no evidence that the desire for porn-like sex was related to reduced sexual satisfaction — but there was a relationship found between increased masturbation and reduced sexual satisfaction…“It’s possible that porn use causes an increase in masturbation, which then causes sexual dissatisfaction. But it is also possible that sexual dissatisfaction causes solitary masturbation, which then results in people seeking out pornography,” [said study author Dan] Miller…Despite the findings of reduced sexual satisfaction among those who frequently watch pornography, most men don’t feel that is has caused significant problems in their lives…

Morality Lessons (#720)

Remember this the next time politicians tell you that the point of anti-porn laws is to “protect children”:

The Department of Justice has been dismissing child pornography cases in order to not reveal information about the software…used as the basis for the charges…the private entities who developed these tools won’t submit them for independent inspection or hand over hardly any information about how they work, their error rates, or other critical information.  As a result, potentially innocent people are being smeared as pedophiles and prosecuted as child porn collectors, while potentially guilty people are going free so these companies can protect “trade secrets”.  The situation suggests some of the many problems that can arise around public-private partnerships in catching criminals and the secretive digital surveillance software that it entails (software that’s being employed for far more than catching child predators)…

Your regular reminder that the term for “public-private partnerships in catching criminals” is “fascism”.

Shift in the Wind (#733)

It’s weird how moral panics can even ensnare people with decent brains.  Angela Keaton pointed out that this article, which reads like an explosion in a Froot Loop factory, was written by a guy who is usually quite sensible and pro-civil liberties; I’m not even going to bother quoting it or playing “Count the Idiocies” because virtually every single sentence contains some lie, myth, wild exaggeration, prohibitionist wanking fantasy or just plain lunacy.  Read it if you like, but if you don’t want your jaw to drop so hard it may become dislodged from your skull, you might want to put a bandage around it like Marley’s ghost.

Whither Canada? (#799)

Given that Canada’s version of the Swedish model bans carrying sex work ads, it will be interesting to see if they go after the billboard company:

High above Portage Avenue near Aubrey Street [in Winnipeg]…stands a billboard with large yellow lettering on a black backdrop, advertising the services of “Sensational Serena,” an escort licensed with the City of Winnipeg…police say they have never before seen an escort or sex worker advertise their services in such an open and public fashion.  Sgt. Rick McDougall…[of] the Winnipeg [vice squad incorrectly]…said…there’s no law against [sex work] advertising…

Negative Secondary Effects (#836)

UK feminists’ latest attack on women’s financial security: releasing revenge porn of women who disagree with them:

In Sheffield and Manchester, men hired by the [soi-disant “Women’s Equality Party”] covertly filmed nude and semi-nude dancers in legal strip clubs. In their self-appointed mission to “save” dancers, the WEP continues to put women’s livelihoods at risk, while ignoring the explicit wishes of the women involved…Filming people…without explicit and direct consent and in clear violation of their right to privacy, is not just immoral — it is unlawful. Sharing…”revenge porn” of naked women, obtained with the explicit aim to undermine and harm them, constitutes harassment and misuse of private information under UK law. We demand that the WEP and its collaborators destroy immediately all footage obtained illegally inside clubs and apologise to the dancers…[who] have made it clear that they don’t need rescuing. They need a dignified workplace where they can earn a living to support themselves and their families…

Lack of Evidence (#838)

Discrimination against sex workers invariably affects other women as well:

Landlords in Nairobi…are [impotently] threatening to smoke out single women from their apartments…[due to a perceived increase in incall] sex work…Even though some landlords have succeeded, most of have been outwitted by shrewd women who [defeat the discrimination]…by bringing male companions to pose as husbands during their house-hunting missions…but…[misogynistic clients don’t like to see escorts being comfortable, and cheapskates]…are…complaining that all the beautiful women have quit the streets…

To Molest and Rape (#885) 

Know why cops don’t like to investigate rapes?  Professional courtesy:

Unbeknownst to [a rape victim], while [creepy cop Lukasz] Skorzewski was assigned to her case, he was under investigation by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau for kissing and groping a rape victim whose case he was assigned to investigate…a high percentage [of rape cases in Queens are] closed due to an alleged lack of participation from the accuser or because the rape was unfounded…meaning a false report or complaint that does not fit the definition of a penal law crime…[Queens’ rate] is significantly higher than that of any other borough…NYPD…data show…24.6 percent of rape cases were closed due to an alleged lack of participation from the accuser.  Though some accusers may choose not to go forward with an investigation, the department has used the…“Uncooperative Complainant” classification to close cases even when victims want to pursue their case…a high rate of rape victims not cooperating with the NYPD indicates there may be problems with…the treatment of victims by investigators.  In Manhattan, the police closed nearly 40 percent of all rapes by indicating victims…no longer wished to participate…

Business As Usual (#905) 

Sex workers harmed by cop behavior need to keep suing until every department is buried in lawsuits:

Six women have filed a lawsuit against two Columbus [vice cops]…Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster, [report]ing malicious prosecution and abuse of process in violation of the fourth and fourteenth amendments.  The women…were targeted for arrest by Lancaster and Rosser after the general manager of Kahoots fired a bouncer who was [acting as a snitch]…Rosser approached the owner(s) of Kahoots and threatened that if…[the snitch] was not rehired by Kahoots [and given free reign to spy on women]…Rosser would “file a bunch of tickets”…the club eventually rehired the bouncer…[after] a number of [retaliatory] charges were filed against…the women…

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