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Posts Tagged ‘Opting Out’

The state may not use a butcher knife on a problem that requires a scalpel to fix.  –  Judge John T. Nixon

Where Are the Victims?

It’s always a “gang”, even when it clearly isn’t:

Hu Shuangyan…was part of a[n imaginary] gang that [rented] flats [to sex workers] in Kent, Essex and London…[she and her parter Zhang Dongning] tricked estate agents by posing as employees of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei…[she] was also convicted of money laundering…

A couple is not a “gang”, and if there wasn’t a stupid law against renting rooms to people engaged in a legal trade, there would have been no need for them to lie.

The More the Better 

“Mommy whores” are good, but “gramma whores” are even better:

…grandmother-of-seven Abby Roberts is…working six days a week selling sex to make ends meet.  With disabled husband Sorren unable to work, the 58 year old spends eight hours a day…[working] via…webcam…[and] also shoots six adult movies a month…”As an average I work about eight hours a day.  Some people call me a workaholic but I just love it actually,” she says…that’s the way it has been for 18 years because when I fell in love with my husband I knew he had a very heavy disability”…She and Sorren…were regular swingers before he suffered a heart attack and was told he couldn’t have sex again…

If Men Were Angels

“Youth pastors” are as bad as cops:

A youth pastor at a Colorado Springs church has been arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child…Stephen Michael Houlihan…[of] Fellowship of the Rockies church, was booked June 8 on charges of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, internet luring of a child, and obscenity…

Censor Chic (#894)

Google is now so big it isn’t even accountable to its own shareholders:

A shareholder resolution aimed at halting Google’s  efforts to bring a censored version of its search engine to China has failed.  Shareholders tabled a resolution to demand Google put the brakes on its controversial search engine efforts in China.  The program, internally dubbed “Dragonfly”, is…a censorship-friendly search engine with the capability to hide results at the behest of Beijing…Google chief Sundar Pichai…describ[es] China as an “important” market…

Whereas just not being evil (as Google used to claim in its motto) is not so important.

The End of the Beginning (#915) 

Maybe we’re about to witness the beginning of the end of these evil laws:

The Supreme Court of Alaska ruled on Friday that Alaska’s sex offender registration statute violated the due process rights of out of state offenders by requiring them to register as sex offenders without allowing them to be heard.  The court…concluded that the statute…was overbroad and violated due process because it did not provide them an opportunity to demonstrate they were no[t]…a threat to the public.  The court elected not to invalidate the ASORA but rather to allow…the individual who brought the case…to file a civil action in the state’s superior court in an attempt to prove that he no longer poses a risk…

Uncommon Sense (#916)

Because whores are morons whose lives and businesses must be micromanaged by governments:

A flurry of recent media reports have suggested the Prostitutes Protection Act (herafter ProstSchG) had failed to achieve its stated goals and would not sufficiently protect people engaged in prostitution.  Voice4Sexworkers…firmly rejects that notion:  The ProstSchG is well on its way to achieve all of the federal government’s desired goals and effects…Germany’s Basic Law…which grants the inviolability of one’s home…no longer applies to sex workers.  Occupational freedom…is being undermined through the registration procedures…It was clear from the outset that the law would be particularly problematic for people from countries where prostitution is illegal, such as Bulgaria or Romania.  If they register as sex workers in Germany, they risk receiving mail in their countries of origin, despite the promised option to have any related mail delivered to a different mailing address…Tax offices flout this provision knowingly and deliberately, and in doing so, they greatly endanger the lives of sex workers in their countries of origin…The entire construct of the ProstSchG is intended to deter people from entering prostitution and render sex work impossible in most places…

Opting Out (#926) 

Any non-politician would have given this up as a bad idea by now:

The government is under pressure to delay its controversial online pornography age verification scheme for a third time [from July 15th to October 15th], or risk “nefarious” companies “using this opportunity to harvest and manipulate user data”…the Digital Policy Alliance…[ex]plains that…unless the scheme is delayed there will be “less protection for public data”…

Here’s more detail on that from the Open Rights Group:

New age restrictions on pornography…are a “privacy timebomb”…[because in typical government fashion] the data protection in place to protect consumers is “vague, imprecise and largely a ‘tick box’ exercise”…The UK government claims the new measures are necessary in order to prevent children and young adults from accessing adult content online…[even though] the new rules are unlikely to prevent tech-savvy children from reaching restricted websites…

Watershed (#934)

It took prohibitionists two months to freak out over an article saying everyone has human rights:

Teen Vogue tweeted an article titled, “Why Sex Work Is Real Work,” and many clutched their pearls at the audacity of talking to teens about sex work…sex therapist Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng[‘s]…central argument was that sex workers provide services that help people meet and understand their sexual needs in the same way that her sex counseling does…[prohibitionist] talking heads quickly posted their disdain:  “Why is a teen magazine promoting prostitution to their 13-year-old readers?”  Others falsely equated sex work with sex trafficking…One commenter pointed out that Teen Vogue is a part of Condé Nast in [a bizarre stretch] to falsely equate discussing sex work with pedophilia…Of course, Dr. Mofokeng’s article defends nothing other than the safe exchange of sexual services between consenting adults…Furthermore, scandalized reactions to teens learning about sex work are out of touch with reality.  About 40% of high school teens report to be sexually active, making conversations about sexual health and women’s issues crucially relevant in teens’ lives…

Dangerous Speech (#942)

Another deep dive into the facts of the persecution of Backpage:

…In the years before their arrest, Lacey and Larkin had successfully beat back charges like these in court.  They took refuge not only in the First Amendment but also in Section 230…Congress’ great gift to the internet….[which] wouldn’t exist without it.  After all, you can’t build or sustain a giant network if you’re getting sued every time a user says or does something objectionable…Lacey and Larkin…won case after case, with the support of Big Tech and civil libertarians alike.  But by the time the Feds descended on Paradise Valley that morning in the spring of 2018…the tech industry…had thrown them under the bus.  Their top lieutenant had flipped.  And Congress had used them as an excuse to finally accomplish what it had been trying to do for more than 20 years—tear a hole in Section 230…Silicon Valley had better hope they win.  United States v. Lacey is a dangerous case, with potential consequences far beyond the freedom of two aging antiauthoritarians…

There’s a lot of good info here, but watch for the writer’s bias; she seems to be a crypto-prohibitionist and it’s visible in a few places (such as calling Lacey & Larkin “digital pimps”).  That’s hardly unusual for Wired, which seems unable to publish an article about sex work that lacks major issues.

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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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I find it interesting that everyone who left the massage parlor, within a matter of miles, committed a traffic infraction.  –  Eric Schwartzreich

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be enterprising women working to get some of it:

The “gold rush” in Crucitas, in northern Costa Rica…has also attracted sex workers to the area to offer their services [so naturally the pigs are trying to spread anti-whore propaganda and defining them as a “problem”]…

Blunt Instrument 

It’s great to see Asian sex workers fighting back against racist harassment by cops:

Dozens of sex workers and their allies gathered just outside police barricades…with cardboard signs that read “Solidarity with massage workers” and “Rights not raids.”  Steps away, in the basement auditorium of the Flushing Library, local City Councilmember Peter Koo was co-hosting a packed community meeting with the NYPD intended to [spread propaganda] about [sex work]…protesters said they hoped to dispel misinformation about…human trafficking in…massage establishments, and honor the life of 36-year-old Yang Song, an immigrant massage worker who fell to her death [while trying to escape] an NYPD Vice Unit raid in 2017…while…Koo [tried to whip up hysteria against sex work]…advocates warned that this conflation of massage work with human trafficking…is inaccurate, racist and dangerous…“Not only has policing never been the answer, it actively harms all of those people that we serve,” said Aya Tasaki of Womankind…Events like Koo’s “recruit the public to be accomplices in racially targeted state violence under the benevolent delusion of rescue,” added Kate Z., a former massage worker and organizer with the newly formed grassroots coalition Red Canary Song…Nina Luo, of the DecrimNY campaign, confronted Koo about [Yang] Song…“You know that Song was killed by NYPD and here you are today advocating for more policing,” she shouted…

Monsters 

Reporter quotes bigot who talks about a murdered woman as though she were a disease:

A transgender woman was shot and killed [last] Saturday morning near the D.C. line in Prince George’s County [Maryland]…The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Ashanti Carmon…One resident who said she heard the shots fired and later saw the victim’s body said police seem to be unable to stop the transgender prostitution…in the area.  “They park on our side streets…and…have sex with people,” said Akiaba Steward, who added that she believes the prostitution issue will only get worse now with the warmer weather…

The Missing Word 

I’m unsure why the modern term was eschewed here in favor of its 20th century counterpart:

…Alisa Mitrova, 21, was originally wrongly diagnosed with chickenpox when she collapsed unconscious on a gruelling seven-month catwalk assignment.  This follows the case of…Vlada Dzyuba who died 18 months ago after she became seriously ill with “acute meningitis compounded by anorexia” during a three month assignment on tiny pay in China…Like 14-year-old Vlada and reportedly many Russian models in China, Miss Mitrova had no medical insurance when she was struck down…Concern has been expressed in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus over young women – some of school age – lured to work in China as models or in “seedy clubs”…critics have warned of such cases being the “tip of an iceberg” of a “white slave trade” with girls and women from poor families in the former USSR being exploited…

To Molest and Rape

Yet another typical and representative cop:

A small-town Pennsylvania police chief and his friend…[repeatedly raped] a child over a seven year period starting when [s]he…was 4 years old…Brent Getz, the 27-year-old Chief of the Weissport Police Department, and friend Gregory Wagner…were arrested [on March 26th]…the investigation “began in May 2012 when the victim, then 12-years-old, reported to a substitute teacher that Gregory Wagner”…had [raped] her…[nothing productive was done until] “2015, [when] the case was reassigned and police prepared a criminal complaint…[which] was dismissed by the Magisterial District Judge due to a paperwork error…[and] never refiled.”  But then, in August 2018, “[cops finally remembered]…the case and asked the victim to come back in for an interview.  At this time, the victim also disclosed that Brent Getz…had [raped] her too”…

Elephant in the Parlor (#724) 

In other news, bear shits in woods:

An Arizona [politician]…resigned this week [after an ethics investigation discovered he paid]…two boys under the age of 15 for sex in the 1980s.  David Stringer…was arrested in 1983…and…accepted a plea deal [for]…five years of supervised probation.  The case was expunged by a Baltimore judge in 1990…Stringer resigned from his position in the state legislature…after he refused to cooperate with [the]…investigation…

Moloch (#742)

Literally scaring a teen to death for normal behavior is “just doing their jobs”:

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the city of Naperville…filed by the family of…[a] High School student who [was driven to] suicide…The judge ruled school and police officials were doing their jobs when they [literally scared Corey Walgren to death by threatening him with lifetime damnation on the “sex offender” registry for consensensual sex with his girlfriend]…the 16-year-old junior slipped out of the school and jumped from the top of a downtown Naperville municipal parking deck…the [judge denied that pervert administrators] Stephen Madden and James Konrad and [pervert pig] Brett Heun…[inflicted] “extreme, intolerable and excessive emotional and psychological distress” and [broke] the law by interrogating Walgren without first notifying his parents, Douglas and Maureen Walgren…[Judge Andrea Wood claimed that the] reckless and alarming accusations against the teen…“were…ordinary police interrogation tactics”…

Is this enough blood yet?  Can we stop now?

Good News, Bad News (#857)

Australia’s Northern Territory is moving toward decriminalization, and prohibitionists aren’t happy:

It’s long been an open secret, tucked away in the alleyways of the tropical Northern Territory capital…Now, the veil has been lifted on the illicit industry, with the NT Government releasing a new discussion paper which reveals the extent of the illegal sexual activities operating in plain sight within the Darwin CBD…a 2015 crackdown saw NT Police and Australian Border Protection Force officers raid 19 parlours across Darwin and Palmerston and…three people were deported…While prostitution itself is not against the law…brothels…are…The discussion paper…has been pegged as a move towards the eventual decriminalisation of the industry, a shift which has long been welcomed by industry advocates…

Fever Dream (#901)

Mathematical illiteracy is no bar to becoming a cop:

People wanting to buy and sell sex online are going after [other consenting adults who want to sell or buy sex]…The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says…The average age range of buyers…is between 18 and 80…

Do they not teach the concept of an “average” in fourth grade anymore?

An Avalanche of Bullshit

The way an individual or agency treats sex workers is a good indication of how they feel about people in general:

11 people [have been] freed from jail following revelations that [a cop]…falsified narcotics arrests…the…bogus…arrests aren’t the only instances of misconduct in the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, the same agency that spearheaded the Orchids of Asia Day Spa bust…Since 2000…Martin County…has spent more than $1.33 million settling lawsuits…[over cop violence, murders and lies]…Snyder and his deputies have portrayed themselves as rescuers of trafficked women…But the[ir pretended] concern…is at odds with [their] own troubling treatment of women…[including slurs against] female employee[s]…and…illegal [surveillance]…Sandipkumar Patel was arrested…and [publicly shamed]…after [pigs] claimed that he patronized one of the massage parlors that were raided…Patel…[is] su[ing] the sheriff…an attorney for one Orchids of Asia defendant filed a motion arguing that video the Sheriff’s Office…recorded inside the massage parlor is “violative of the accused’s privacy rights” and therefore should be inadmissible in court.  Another attorney filed a motion to suppress the video [because]…a court order did not grant the Sheriff’s Office authority to record video…

Opting Out (#923) 

Any non-politician would have given this up as a bad idea by now:

The [UK] government’s much heralded porn “block” has been delayed once again.  Under the [censorship] plans, people will have to verify their age to access UK commercial pornographic websites…the [government] said a [new] date has not been set for the roll-out…Jim Killock from the Open Rights Group says the delays are due to serious concerns about privacy and data collection.  “When they consulted about the shape of age verification last summer they were surprised to find that…everyone who [isn’t a politician understood that]…this was a privacy disaster…


You Were Warned

European politicians are just as invested in demolishing the internet as US ones:

…Europe is imposing a “link tax” online that will fundamentally change the relationships between media, search engines, and social platforms…[politicians are pretending the cash & control grab is about] “copyright protection”…In the U.S., meanwhile, the assault on Section 230…continues…Were [it not for this law]…a small handful of bad actors could topple every social community and app we know…[yet] the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals….dismissed an Airbnb and Homeway challenge to a Santa Monica law that would hold those companies legally liable if users listed Santa Monica rental properties…

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You’re giving all your data to the pornographic equivalent of Mark Zuckerberg.  –  Jim Killock

Above the Law 

If only there were a concise word for “sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman”:

Rep. Brian Ellis has resigned, effective immediately…Pennsylvania state House Republicans stripped Ellis of his Consumer Affairs Commitee chairmanship in January after allegations that he sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman…[who] was drugged while having a drink and was sexually assaulted at Ellis’s home…more than three years ago…

I’m gratified to see that nearly every commenter is as disgusted as I am with KDKA’s avoidance of the word “rape”.  But Ellis isn’t our only rapist government actor this week:

…Wisconsin probation-parole agent [Reynaldo Rosalez, who]…sexually assault[ed] a…10 year…old [girl]…pleaded no contest…to…sexual assault of a child…on July 12, 2018…the victim…said “she was scared to tell him to stop because she has heard people who drink alcohol can become violent,” and he had been drinking…after the…assault, she “hid in the bathroom,” before Rosalez sexually assaulted her a second time…the next day, she told her mother what happened “because if she didn’t tell the truth, this could keep happening and nobody would know”…

Blunt Instrument

Massage parlors are popular targets of “anti-trafficking” pogroms because they’re low-hanging fruit:

[Pigs raided] Ace Spa, Golden Spa and Sun Spa…[and] the Prosecuting Attorney’s office [claimed without the slightet scrap of evidence that it was about]…sex trafficking…in…Honolulu.  Two women were [molested and caged]…But, less than 24 hours…[later] all three businesses had their open sign lit up and front doors wide open [because they are businesses with bills to that don’t go away when pigs attack while prohibitionists wank]…Kathryn Xian, the executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery [vomited out a lot of disgusting, racist filth which reporters eagerly lapped up as though they were dogs]…

Bad Girls (#540) 

Caty Simon on overlapping prohibitions:

…Street-based sex workers, in particular, are commonly viewed as one-stop vice shops by their clients…we’re pressured to not only procure drugs for our clients, but also to babysit drug culture naive middle-class men on their benders…in 2015, sex worker Alix Tichelman was arrested and convicted for manslaughter for the overdose death of her sugar daddy, Google exec Forrest Hayes…The way in which this young sex worker was portrayed as a heartless killer is an example of how drug-induced homicide laws perpetuate the madonna/whore complex…drug-using women…are either innocent white damsels led astray and murdered by the shadowy men who initiate us into drug use, or conversely…we are the amoral, seductive temptresses who lead upstanding men to their deaths…Global trends in laws around sex work…keep us isolated and working alone…Similarly, drug-induced homicide laws which promise a murder charge if you happen to hand your friend a bag they then OD on also encourage drug users to use alone, even though doing so is itself the most dangerous risk factor for overdose.  These legal frameworks…encourage drug users, sex workers, and. most relevantly, drug-using sex workers, to die alone rather than form communities in which we protect each other…

Between the Ears (#719) 

Why do men want to put stupid gadgets on their dicks?

…the “Cock Cam” from UK company Julz…[is] “the world’s first cock ring with a camera,” available now for $160…the camera in Julz’s “stretchy yet tight” wearable ring records up to 90 minutes of 1080p, H.264 video in MP4 format.  It features night vision, too, as well as a rechargeable lithium battery…there’s Wi-Fi to worry about in this thing too, complete with a companion app that lets users view their videos or share them with a partner…the Cock Cam is one of a growing field of internet-connected sex toys, and perhaps the most concerning one yet given that we aren’t just talking about remote controls or usage statistics, but video…Julz [claims] your videos are never transmitted to the cloud, but are instead stored locally on your phone…[however] the company is currently working to update the app to allow for FaceTime-style live streaming…

Yes, ladies, soon we may not just have to endure static dick pics, but also unwelcome wanking videos.

The Widening Gyre (#800)

Fact:  3-year-old suspiciously vanishes. Conclusion: sex trafficking!

It’s been almost 12 years since [3-year-old] Madeleine McCann…vanished from her British family’s vacation villa in…Portugal…Gerry and Kate McCann…faced suspicion and intense media scrutiny after their daughter first went missing in May 2007…The couple later won a libel suit against a Portuguese detective who wrote a book claiming the McCanns were involved…A new 8-part Netflix docuseries, The Disappearance of Madeleine McCann…advances the [fantas]y that Madeleine was abducted and…sold into a trafficking ring…[because] Madeleine’s body was never found and there is scant evidence pointing elsewhere…

Abducted?  Sure.  But when a three-year-old is abducted from a fancy resort, the most likely motive is ransom, not “sex slavery”.  A far more likely possibility is that something went wrong and the child was killed.

Elephant in the Parlor (#831)

It’s dangerous to be a woman who knows the sexual secrets of powerful men:

…prosecutors have opened an investigation into the possible poisoning death of a Moroccan model who was a key witness in the trial against ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi over his infamous “bunga bunga” parties.  Imane Fadil…died March 1 at a Milan-area hospital, where she had been treated since Jan. 29 for exhibiting “symptoms of poisoning”…Berlusconi was initially convicted of charges that he paid for sex with an underage woman…[but] was ultimately acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015…Fadil had testified against Berlusconi during the initial trial, and then with two other women had sought civil damages in a spinoff investigation over allegations that Berlusconi paid witnesses for their silence…by January, the Milan court had thrown out their claims altogether.  Two weeks later, Fadil was hospitalized…

All-Purpose Excuse (#857)

Trumpists and anti-Trumpists continue to fight for control of the “sex trafficking” narrative:

To justify his border wall, Mr. Trump is fond is [repeating] the [common prohibitonist trope] of sex trafficking victims brought over the southern border.  “Women are tied up, they’re bound, duct tape put around their faces,” he said — a garish but apparently imaginary scenario that people who [profit from] trafficking [hysteria invented and frequently use in their prpaganda]…“The administration appears to view trafficking as a convenient tool to justify its border policies, rather than as a [convenient tool to expand the police state and enrich NGOs like ours]” said [fetishist] Martina Vandenberg…Beginning late last year, applicants for visas were put on notice that they may be subject to deportation proceedings in immigration court if their bids for humanitarian visas are denied.  That was a shift from earlier practice under which applicants were exempt from summons to immigration court, a policy designed to incentivize [people to declare themselves] victims [so as] to [inflate the “victim” numbers]…In [furtherance] of [increased violence against sex workers]…Mr. Trump sheds crocodile tears…

Legislators Gone Wild (#879) 

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

[Politician] Joe Hardy said he plans to introduce a bill that would ban licensed brothels in Nevada…Hardy said [a lot of misogynistic, infantilizing nonsense claiming that brothel workers]…“are…being abused.  In some cases, raped”…[he also bizarrely referred to attempting to police individuals’ sex lives as being] “…grown up”…“The bill is based on falsehoods,” former sex worker [and brothel researcher] Christina Parreira said…

Given that fewer than 1% of Nevada sex workers operate from the brothels, this is absolutely nothing more than political showboating.

Opting Out (#893) 

The UK’s long-deferred surveillance/censorship scheme is finally about to begin:

The government will next week confirm the launch date for…UK-wide [censorship of]…online [content] as privacy campaigners continue to raise concerns about how websites and age verification companies will use the data they collect.  The plan for implementing the long-delayed age block, which has been beset by [the problems intrinsic to all censorship schemes]…is expected to be announced alongside the government’s other proposals for tackling online content [politicians dislike]…although it could be several months before the system is fully up and running.  The age block will require commercial pornography sites to show that they are taking sufficient steps to verify their users are over 18, such as by uploading a passport or driving licence or by visiting a newsagent to buy a pass only available to adults…Jim Killock, the executive director of the Open Rights Group, said he remained concerned about the [inevitability] of a major data leak as a result of people handing over their personal identification…[about] sexual preference[s]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#898)

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

…through its Vigilant Solutions contract…ICE has access not only to 5 billion records gathered by private businesses, but also to 1.5 billion data points contributed by over 80 local law enforcement agencies from more than a dozen states…these…arrangements may violate ICE [claimed] privacy policies and state and local data-sharing laws—particularly in cases where the data originates from sanctuary cities…Automated license plate readers…are…mounted on overpasses, bridges, road signs, public vehicles, or on private property such as malls or parking lots.  They can record thousands of license plates per minute and capture the location coordinates, date, and time along with each photo for long-term aggregation and storage.  The data they accumulate can be used to create a detailed picture of where a car has been over time…

Backwards into the Future (#902) 

I wonder how long it will be before the US abandons “re-education” for sex workers and clients?

When Chinese legislators recommended the abolition of “education” detention centres where prostitutes and clients can be held without charge for two years, activists hoped the facilities’ days were numbered.  They will have to wait longer…police have unilateral power to detain sex workers and their clients for up to two years in “shelter and education” centres…[which] have little to do with education…testimonies of ex-detainees collected by [human rights group] Asia Catalyst…revealed the harsh…conditions in the centres…includ[ing]…forced labour…and the obligation to pay for subsistence and forced medical examinations at prohibitive prices…“it is just a way of extorting money on behalf of the state and the police,” one of the women told the group…

So, basically the same as the US.

The Course of a Disease (#911)

Like anti-vaxxers who not only neglect their own health, but actively spread contagion:

France and Sweden have launched a new common strategy for combatting…[consensual] sex…which specifically calls on other countries to [infanti]lise the [sellers] of sex…The strategy is a response to [women’s economic freedom and increasing recognition of individual rights]…that every [police state] has a duty to combat…

Rough Trade (#914) 

Imagine this actually going to trial in the US:

A sex worker…yelled, pushed and stabbed a client with her thumbs after he ignored her attempts to withdraw consent…Norman Ariate Alonzo denies being told to stop, [claiming the idiotic “she wanted to be barebacked by a stranger” defense]…Alonzo​…faces a charge of rape…[because] the woman noticed the condom had fallen off and she asked Alonzo to stop so she could retrieve another.  Instead, he continued to [rape her until she]…jabbed her thumbs into Alonzo’s throat and hit him across the face.  She ran out of the room, told her manager and waited in the bathroom until police arrived…

Condoms don’t “fall off” during active penetration unless they break or the man goes soft (unless he has a micropenis); they can, however, be stealthily pulled off by the kind of guy who thinks “she wanted it” is a believable defense for rape.

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

They Just Don’t Get It

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

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

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

Judd Not, Lest Ye Be Judded

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

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

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

Backwards Into the Future (June Updates)

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

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

Scapegoats (#15) 

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

Monsters 

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

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

If Men Were Angels 

Most rapes by clergymen are much more subtle:

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

Grow the Hell Up! (#644)

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

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

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

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

Whore Madonnas (#734) 

An interview with a pregnant sex worker:

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

Opting Out (#822) 

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

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

Disaster (#865)

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

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

End Demand (#872)

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

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

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There is a difference between what a decision maker must do, and what such a person may do.  –  Donal O’Donnell

No Other Option

I’ve often discussed disabled clients, but sex work can also be a boon for disabled workers:

For disabled people who are unable to secure benefits because their condition or symptoms fall out of the scope of federal care, the financial strain can be unbearable…without documentation of disability, workers can be fired from their jobs for issues arising from their disability.  Others are forced to hide the disabling symptoms of their conditions in order to stay employed.  And those who are able to obtain government assistance may find it doesn’t stretch far enough to allow a disabled person to live comfortably without additional income.  Sex work is sometimes the only option to make the exorbitant amount of money medical bills and other living expenses require with relative speed, without waiting for reimbursement or approval.  Medical assistance, food stamps, and other government benefits can be maintained while bringing in cash under the table.  Sex work can also be a way for disabled people to work out of their own homes if necessary, or only when they are able…both legal and illegal forms of sex work have been affected by FOSTA and SESTA, and sex workers have been endangered as a result…the most marginalized sex workers, including disabled sex workers, are [especially harmed]…FOSTA and SESTA makes clients nervous about prosecution…and the shrinking client pool could be driving down service prices and forcing providers to offer services they otherwise would not…

Business As Usual

It’s the same everywhere our work is even partially criminalized:

Sex workers in Ukraine are increasingly using online networks to protect each other…[from] abusive clients or police and share tips on the warning signs to look out for…Sex work[ers]…are vulnerable to abuse, sexual assault and blackmail by police…of women detained by police – 90 percent of the time by the anti-trafficking department – more than 40 percent reported sexual assault and 60 percent said officials extorted money from them…

To Molest and Rape 

What is it with Alabama politicians and underage girls?

Police are investigating Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin for…[molesting and raping] underage girls during drug-fueled parties he hosted for fellow [pigs]…in the early nineties.  [Mary Elizabeth Cross]…alleged that Entrekin had sex with her four times in the late summer of 1992, when he was 29 and she was 15…In Alabama, the age of consent is 16…Cross…says that she did not attempt to refuse Entrekin’s advances, but that she also personally watched him rape another underage girl who repeatedly said no…Entrekin gained a degree of national notoriety in March, when AL.com exposed that over the past three years he personally kept more than $750,000 in public funds allocated to feed inmates in the county jail he oversees.  In September, Entrekin purchased a $740,000 beach house…

One Born Every Minute (#775) 

Another sleazy scam artist raping aspiring sex workers:

A person claiming to be a director with the adult studio Wasteland, and possibly other sites, has been approaching potential models in an attempt to set up auditions.  He uses the profile Ayman Kad, but may use other names as well.  He is not related in any way to Wasteland…[which] was alerted to the potential scam by a model after Kad approached her on Facebook…We do not know if the scammer is using more than one account, or approaching models on other social media sites, or from other adult companies…always confirm the identity of any unknown director or other solicitor by calling or emailing the company they claim to represent…If you are unable to reach the company…Free Speech Coalition…can help confirm…

Whore Madonnas (#809) 

Stress, such as that resulting from evil fucks trying to deport sick children, tends to aggravate chronic health conditions:

…a nine-year-old Irish-born boy with a severe form of sickle cell disease [has died after losing]…an appeal over deportation orders made for him and his Nigerian mother…The Supreme Court last March dismissed their appeal…but signalled a fresh application to revoke could be brought and also stressed the Minister for Justice could decline to deport on humanitarian grounds.  While the fresh application was being prepared, the child became very ill…and was taken to hospital, where he died [on July 9th]…

Opting Out (#810)

Fascism in action:

MindGeek own almost 90 per cent of the popular tube sites such as Pornhub, RedTube and YouPorn, and now they stand to increase their huge market share even further by offering age verification services to smaller sites.  The software they have created, AgeID, identifies users by credit card, passport or driving license details…[this] could lead to a database of user information vulnerable to a breach…[including] people’s private sexual preferences…The privacy policy for AgeID states, “we also may use these technologies to collect information about your online activities over time and across third-party websites or other online services”…It’s also very interesting – and not at all surprising – to see that MindGeek made AgeID to monopolize on the new age verification law, but…have [also] created their own VPN…[which] will allow…users…to bypass the age verification controls by avoiding being detected as a UK viewer…

The Widening Gyre (#849) 

The lady doth protest too much, methinks:

Model Chloe Ayling has revealed she wants to make a Netflix movie about her kidnapping ordeal because “everyone assumed I was lying”.  The 20-year-old appeared on This Morning…to discuss her terrifying ordeal and the release of her new book…She added that she wanted to tell her story through her book and a possible film because people thought she was lying about the kidnapping…

Disaster (#852)

Delays in cases like this always benefit the government:

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon today ordered a two-day extension of time for the Justice Department to file its opposition to Woodhull Freedom Foundation’s motion for a preliminary injunction over FOSTA …“defendants shall file their opposition to the motion for preliminary injunction by 6 p.m. on July 12, 2018, and…plaintiffs shall file their reply in support of the motion by 6 p.m. on July 17, 2018,” Leon wrote…Leon will hear the motion for preliminary injunction on Thursday, July 19, at 4 p.m…Justice Department attorneys, as defendants in the suit, will respond to challenges waged by Woodhull Freedom Foundation, the Human Rights Watch, the Internet Archive and two individuals, Alex Andrews and Eric Koszyk…

The Monsters Are Due (#855) 

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs.  Note that similar fake “child abduction” videos are being used to foment hysteria in the US.

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Well-adjusted people realize that words have different meanings in different contexts.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Mary Magdalene 

No, it isn’t “orthodoxy” that Mary Magdalene was a whore; quite the opposite, in fact:

A new film about Mary Magdalene sets out to refute the commonly held assumption that she was a prostitute redeemed by Christ…A new film, though, flips the script to show Mary in a new light – as an independent free-thinker who…deserves to be considered as an apostle in her own right…This is deeply contentious territory that flies in the face of the commonly accepted orthodoxy that Mary of Magdala was a prostitute…It is a notion that has been perpetuated for centuries – partly thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber, who had Mary sing about the “many men” she’s “had” in Jesus Christ Superstar…Put all the evidence together and it is easy to conclude that Mary has been the victim of 1,400 years’ worth of character assassination…

Critic Neil Smith’s madonna-whore complex is on full display here; portraying Mary as an “independent free-thinker” is supportive of the idea she was a harlot.  Before the advent of the currently-fashionable “victim” nonsense, we were always seen as independent, uppity women who won’t mind our “place”; in fact, that’s exactly why patriarchal religions dislike us.  But then, I guess we couldn’t expect much from a mind that thinks it makes sense to blame Jesus Christ Superstar (recorded October 1970) for a 1400-year-old tradition.

The Truth About “The Truth About…”

Another of those nonexistent false sexual assault accusations:

Thomas Mowbray didn’t even know Eboni Sanders.  They both lived [in Pittsburgh, PA] in the same…building…In early February 2016, they ran into each other in the laundry room.  Mr. Mowbray claims Ms. Sanders came on to him and that he declined…Twelve days after that, Pittsburgh police charged Mr. Mowbray with indecent assault after Ms. Sanders claimed that he had groped her…The charges marked the beginning of a nightmarish two years in the criminal justice system for Mr. Mowbray…and his girlfriend, Patrese Thompson …Over that time, Pittsburgh police filed six criminal cases against Mr. Mowbray and two against Ms. Thompson — all based on shocking allegations made by Ms. Sanders of gun-toting assailants, assaults, threatening letters and phone calls, stalking, contract killings and knife-wielding attacks…Mowbray spent more than six months in jail.  But on Feb. 22, the last of the cases was withdrawn by…prosecutors.  Police had finally [accepted] what the couple had long insisted — that Ms. Sanders was lying.  Now she is the one facing criminal charges.  “For two years of our lives, this woman has been using the criminal justice system to terrorize us,” Ms. Thompson said…

Too Close To Home

Everyone harmed by prostitution laws needs to keep suing over them:

Three men arrested in a 2016 prostitution sting in Bellevue are suing King County and Bellevue police for defamation, [explaining that] officials exaggerated their crimes to satisfy a private foundation that provided a grant for the [pogrom]…Keith Emmanuel, Richard Homchick, and Charles Peters…were only charged with second-degree promoting prostitution during the sweep…However, during press conferences and other public appearances, Bellevue Chief Steve Mylett, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, and former sheriff John Urquhart made statements that made it seem like the three men had engaged in crimes like rape and human trafficking…Those statements were made, the suit alleges, to satisfy Demand Abolition…[billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt’s] foundation that had given the county a grant to [harass sex workers] and [persecute clients].  Demand Abolition gave the prosecutor’s office a $50,000 grant in 2014…and has continued to give grants each year since.  “Defendants have deliberately conflated that prostitution charge with human trafficking and sex slavery as part of a concerted plan to secure private funding by generating publicity and manipulating media coverage of the arrests,” the suit [states]…To keep the grant, the prosecutor’s office had to meet performance targets…increasing the arrests of [men] by 50 percent…

Full of Themselves (#614)

California produces the most horrifying and racist anti-massage-parlor propaganda, hands down:

Doug Bennett, the founder of Magdalene Hope, a [prohibitionist group]…and his [gang] of [busybodies]…[literally spy on Asian-owned massage businesses,] spending their evenings watching the parlors, [stalking] masseuses after they leave and gathering evidence to pass on to the…[cops]…Massage parlors have been [dysphemized as] “modern-day brothels” and “prostitution rings.”  They are [fantasized] by [“trafficking” fetishists] to be storefronts for a complex network of human traffickers shuffling victims throughout the region, multiple [conspiracy theorists, pigs, white supremacists]…and [other tinfoil-hat wearers] said on and off the record…

Naturally, the California Massage Therapy Council is quoted.  Don’t miss the part about how Bennett and his cronies pray together before literally stalking women late at night, and be sure to click on that link in the first line for a look at one of “Magdalene Hope’s” hilariously-bad propaganda ads.

The Widening Gyre (#663)

What hysteria about “crime” in Italy would be complete without bringing in the Mafia?  This lurid, self-righteous mess should serve as a warning to clients to be careful which “journalists” they talk to; this unethical, pompous fantasist fully admits that the only reason she didn’t out a man she interviewed, despite her promise that she wouldn’t, was that he had a wife and children.  Yet she clearly sees herself as moral while the women who honestly sell sex and keep their clients’ confidences are “degraded victims” and the clients who enable them to earn a living are “rapists” who “keep this lurid business of sex slavery alive”.

Opting Out (#700)

“At least one person noted that the UK was at risk of looking like idiots”:

Twitter and other social media companies have so far refused to engage with the government’s plans to introduce age checks to limit underage access to online pornography…Lord Erroll…who chairs the Digital Policy Alliance (DPA)…admitted the ultimate sanction intended for sites that fail to implement AV is unlikely to be applied to Twitter.  Unlike Instagram and Facebook, Twitter has no rules against the posting of sexually explicit material and hosts many accounts that promote publishers and stars of pornography.  “The challenge with that is if you block Twitter, people will just say this is an overreaction, it’s mad, and it would not go down well in public,” Erroll said…

For Those Who Think Legalization is a Good Idea (#737)

India’s pigheaded resistance to decriminalization continues:

On February 28…the Union cabinet approved the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018…[it] falls into the familiar trap of trying to use criminal law to solve a social problem.  The IPC already criminalises trafficking…The new Bill introduces 15 new offences on top of this, and introduces numerous…ambigu[ous]…clauses…[which] unfairly target…marginalised actors and rely…heavily on criminalisation…It only creates further confusion by introducing existing offences in the new packaging of “aggravated offences”, adding more layers of bureaucracy and complicating enforcement…The Bill…relies on the raid, rescue and rehabilitation model, which…is nothing but victim detention, resulting in the complete loss of liberty for an adult woman.  The rehabilitation process disregards the wishes and choices of the “rescued” person, especially sex workers.  Such a paternalistic approach…ignores the agency of adult women to determine what is good for them…

Torture Chamber (#770) 

The state wants us to call these subhuman monsters “correctional officers”:

Jailhouse video reveals California sheriff’s deputies watching and sometimes laughing as a schizophrenic man who had been strapped naked to a chair for 46 hours writhes on the floor of his cell, loses consciousness and eventually dies…the county [was forced to pay Andrew] Holland’s family $5 million for his death, which a medical examiner determined was caused by a pulmonary embolism…[directly caused by] the [inhumane] restraint chair…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#811)

What terrible “crimes” these “gangsters” are accused of:  not paying licenses.  Assisting migrants.  Illegally subdividing a building.  Doing their employees’ laundry.  The fiends!

A triad-controlled prostitution racket that brought sex workers from Europe, Asia and mainland China into Hong Kong has been broken up in one of the city’s biggest anti-vice crackdowns with the arrest of 75 people…the syndicate had turned 72 subdivided flats into one-woman brothels…four vice establishments and unlicensed massage centres in the same district were also controlled by the gang…the syndicate had its own laundry centre…and supplied towels to sex workers…police arrested 14 men and 61 women…

Overdue

“Fainting-couch feminism” is a brilliant coinage:

…[Massachusetts politician] Michelle DuBois…has been calling for the removal of a statehouse sign that reads “General Hooker Entrance” (so inscribed because it stands opposite a statue of [US Civil War] General Hooker), which she described as an affront to “women’s dignity”…If that isn’t the ultimate in futile, fainting-couch feminism, I’m not sure what is…attitudes like hers—which treat women as excessively fragile beings, and which posit that female “dignity” is diminished by even so slight an association with sex work as walking under a door that says “hooker”—just props up old-fashioned and patriarchal ideas about sex and gender…

Cops and Robbers (#813)

As I surmised, this sleazy attempt to hurt sex workers’ income is bankrolled by billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt:

[Pigs trying to harm sex workers] are using cyber-based “patrols” to [harass potential clients]…[in] Los Angeles…Working in partnership with Demand Abolition, a [vanity project] focused on eradicating [sex workers]…sheriff’s deputies post ads to make contact with would-be buyers.  Once phone contact is made, detectives identify themselves as members of the [vice squad]…advise the caller that solicitation is a crime and offer referrals to sex addiction treatment.  Investigators also use electronic “bots” to send [propaganda] text messages to buyers…During the first month of operations this year, nearly 1,900 conversations took place with potential sex buyers which prompted more than 30,000 text warnings designed to disrupt [sex workers’ business]…

Guinea Pigs (#818) 

Every New Orleanian knows that cockroaches can’t stand sunlight:

[After] The Verge reported the existence of a six-year predictive policing collaboration between the New Orleans Police Department and Palantir Technologies…which…was unknown to the public and key members of the city council prior to publication…outgoing…Mayor Mitch Landrieu…[said] his office would not renew its pro bono contract with Palantir, which has been extended three times since 2012…The mayor did not respond to repeated requests for comment from…media since news of the partnership broke.  There is also potential legal fallout from the revelation…[which was not included in] discovery evidence [for a number of criminal trials]…

The Mote and the Beam (#818)

When an incredibly bad law skates through a legislature, follow the money:

FOSTA…offer[s] a powerful incentive for online platforms to police the speech of users and advertisers.  A perceived violation of a state’s anti-trafficking laws could lead to authorities seeking civil or criminal penalties, or a barrage of lawsuits.  So, why are movie studios involved at all in this debate?  Hollywood is lobbying for laws that will force online intermediaries to shut down user speech.  That’s what they’ve been seeking since practically the beginning of the Internet…For legacy software and entertainment companies, breaking down [Section 230] is another road to a controlled, filtered Internet—one that looks a lot like cable television.  Without safe harbors, the Internet will be a poorer place—less free for new ideas and new business models.  That suits some of the gatekeepers of the pre-Internet era just fine…An Internet that’s policed by “copyright bots” is what major film studios and record have advocated for more than a decade now…

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