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Posts Tagged ‘politicians’

You don’t forfeit your constitutional rights when you try to board an airplane.  –  Dan Alban

Feminine Pragmatism 

Wherever there are men making money, there will be women working to get some of it, despite the efforts of “saviors” to stop them:

When Peru’s military launched a major crackdown on illegal gold mining…last February, [cops arrested] dozens of women and girls, [proclaiming their interruption of the women’s]…flow of [cash was a “rescue”]…But…a year later…the…mines [have simply moved] deeper into the jungle – and the brothels and bars have followed [despite prohibitionist hand-wringing]…Regional governor Luis Hidalgo [parrots]…“human trafficking” [rhetoric, pretending]…Women…are [too stupid to understand]…sex [work]…and [fantasizing they would prefer shitty, low-paid work]…as cleaners…in restaurants and bars [to the lucative sex work they actually migrate for]…

To Molest and Rape

Now that some rapist cops are being prosecuted, they’re taking measures to silence their victims:

Days [after Jorden] Simms…[was] violently raped [by an Arizona cop]…with the last name French [after he arrested] her [on a bogus drug charge.  Then at the jail, she was raped by]…a [sow] with an unknown object [under the pretext of a “search”]…Simms reported [both rapes]…and both were supposedly investigated by…forensics nurses…after the…examination and rape kit, police claim a medical professional told them to go to another hospital because they lacked a piece of equipment…[but on the way] a [pig and a screw threw her out of a moving pigmobile, leaving her brain dead.  Pigs claim she magically escaped her handcuffs]…open[ed] a door which was supposedly unable to be opened by the back seat occupants [and leapt to her death]…the results of the rape kit have yet to be made public despite the exam taking place three weeks ago…

Choke Point (#847) 

PayPal is now actively seeking to rat sex workers out to the pigs:

PayPal Holdings Inc will [conspire] with a leading U.S. anti-[sex] group in an effort to identify…money transactions [related to sex work]…Banks and other financial institutions are under [fascist] pressure to stop [sex workers] from [having access to banking services] and…anti-[sex worker] group…Polaris…will be creating a financial [surveillance] unit, with donated support and experts from [Paypal]…The scheme will identify “those who profit off of [consensual sex]…and [rat them out to the pigs],” [bragged] Sara Crowe…of Polaris…[fascist] groups have pushed for greater collaboration between governments, companies and non-profits to tighten the noose on [adults who have consensual sex]…

Panopticon (#897)

Old-fashioned Stasi-type surveillance isn’t dead yet:

A surveillance vendor that works with U.S. government agencies, such as the FBI, DEA, and ICE, is marketing spying capabilities to local police departments, including cameras that are hidden inside a tombstone, a baby car seat, and a vacuum cleaner…the offerings from Special Services Group…[affiliated with] Vigilant……[also] offer[s]…surreptitious recording devices…like an alarm clock/radio that can be inserted into [victims’] hotel rooms and faux utility boxes that can be placed in non-conspicuous areas (provided no one notices the absence of conduit running to/from the mock box)…in addition to a variety of super-small cameras that can be mounted damn near anywhere…

You Were Warned

We told you so, over and over and over again:

…former Vice President Joe Biden called for [the law that makes the open internet possible], Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, to be “revoked, immediately”…Biden said…“It should be revoked because [I and other politicians want total control of all public media]”…This wasn’t the first time [the career authoritarian] criticized the immensely important internet law. In previous interviews with outlets like CNN, Biden has said that “we should be considering taking away [freedom of speech on the internet],” but has never ventured as far as saying that it should be completely “revoked”…

Pyrrhic Victory (#956) 

Not concerned yet?  You should be:

The U.S. military is…develop[ing] facial recognition technology that reads the pattern of heat being emitted by faces in order to…work in the dark and across long distances…“Sensors should be demonstrable in environments such as targets seen through automotive windshield glass, targets that are backlit, and targets that are obscured due to light weather (e.g., fog),” the Department of Defense indicated…The device should be able to operate from a distance of 10 to 500 meters…

Opting Out (#982) 

Fascist profiteers sue to force censorship on everyone so they can profit from it:

Four age verification companies [filed suit]…challenging the Culture Secretary’s decision to shelve the scheme to impose age checks on all porn sites viewed in the UK…the companies are…also claiming damages…in the region of £3 million, for losses sustained developing age verification technology…[with which they intended to profit from the censorship] scheme…implementation was repeatedly delayed throughout 2019…The Government has said it aims to publish draft legislation this year, but it could take two to three years before the regulator is up and running…

A Broker in Pillage (#993)

Burying government in lawsuits is the only way to slow its depredations:

A retired railroad worker from [Pennsylvania] and his daughter in Massachusetts have sued two federal agencies and an agent in federal court…[because] they…[stole] his life savings of $82,373 at Pittsburgh International Airport this summer and won’t give it back.  Terry Rolin…and Rebecca Brown…[filed] suit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Transportation Security Administration…with the [help of the] Institute for Justice…[which is] seeking class-action status for others whose money has been [stolen in the same way]…Institute of Justice lawyers [have prevailed in]…similar [cases] in Houston and Cleveland…In August, Mr. Rolin entrusted Ms. Brown with…his and his parents’ [life] savings, so she could deposit it into a new joint bank account for him in Massachusetts.  Mr. Rolin said his parents lived through the Depression and kept their money hidden at home instead of in banks and he did the same.  But when he moved out of the family home and into an apartment he…became uncomfortable with having so much cash on hand, so he decided to put it into an account [only to have armed state thugs steal it at gunpoint]…

Watershed (#994)

The fashion & beauty industries owe their very existence to whores, and are finally admitting it:

Heaux Cosmetics is a new line of “sex-proof” makeup…designed specifically for sex workers.  “A lot of makeups claim they’re long-wearing, and you might be able to get through a cocktail with them, but not a blow job or a hot shower,” [said] the 29-year-old creator Lydia Dupra…The collection of roughly 25 products includes lipstick, eyeliner and eye shadow with cheeky names such as “In the Will,” “Offshore Account” and “Dubai,” and they’re made to be smear-resistant…Dupra says…“I told the laboratory, ‘No, I literally don’t want it to come off.”  (She suggests an oil-based makeup remover and “being patient” if you do indeed want to wash it off)…Dupra has already received nearly a thousand online orders, and she hopes to open a Los Angeles store in the next year. But her real ambition is…“I want there to be more businesses run by sex workers for sex workers so we keep the money in the community”…

To Molest and Rape (#1002)

Another specimen of the garbage the state pays to violate teenagers:

A [typical and representative school cop] in Michigan’s southwestern Upper Peninsula has been charged in the sexual assault of a 16-year-old boy…Brian Helfert [raped]…the boy…[on] Nov. 10…at Helfert’s home…[beside] work[ing] as a school [gestapo, he also had access to vulnerable teens as]…a…juvenile crime investigator…

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

License to Rape

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

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

Paint By Numbers

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

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

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

Choke Point (#665) 

Fascism in action:

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

A Moral Cancer (#972)

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

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

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

Rotting Fruit (#973)

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

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

Little Boxes (#975)

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

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

Shift in the Wind (#983)

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

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

I Spy (#1000)

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

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

With Friends Like These… (#1003)

So helping!  Many respectful!

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

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Moral panics are a natural, if unfortunate, byproduct of the tribal instincts of the great ape called homo sapiens.  They tend to last roughly a generation from start to finish (sometimes, mercifully, a little shorter) and can cause tremendous damage to individuals’ lives and society in general before they’re over.  Clever sociopaths have always found ways to profit from these periodic waves of hysteria; for example, evil opportunists would often hurl accusations of witchcraft at widows whose land they wanted to steal.  But the first major moral panic of the internet era (the Satanic Panic was already moribund by the time AOL began its first major marketing campaign) has created a market for profiting from hysterical propaganda on a scale never before seen in human history.  It’s impossible to even guess how large what Laura Agustín dubbed the “rescue industry” has grown, but when its connections to the garment industry are considered, it’s probably safe to say that it’s comparable in size to its own imaginary claims about “sex trafficking”.  In 2011 the propagandists declared January “National Human Trafficking Awareness Month”, probably due to the increasing popularity of the myth that the Super Bowl, which is held in the first few days of February, is a huge driver of “sex trafficking”, with huge cargoes of “sex slaves” trucked into every host city, unimpeded by the usual logistics of transportation and lodging.  Cops and other police-state organs have taken advantage of the hype as an excuse to present their pogroms and “stings” as “sex trafficking operations”, and as a result every January now produces an avalanche of idiotic propaganda (absurdly referred to as “education” or “raising awareness”) that is shockingly stupid even by the very low standards of “sex trafficking” propaganda.  Take this incredible mass of lies from KAKE in Wichita, Kansas:

…“Back Page [sic] needed to be shut down,” [oinked vice pig] Brent Huhman…“they were exploiting…women”…It was considered a hotbed for human trafficking, which can lead to missing people.  The site’s creators would defend the user-posted advertisements…they were not responsible for [under section 230 of the CDA]…However, [federal propaganda claimed] it…pushed moderators to approve [questionable]…ads [despite ample evidence to the contrary]…

The rest is the usual hodgepodge of local “news” copsucking, yellow journalism, parent-scaring, bogus math, BDSM sexual fantasies, surveillance cheerleading and more.  This article from KDRV in Medford, Oregon is every bit as moronic:

Oregon police report that they encounter 3-5 victims of human trafficking per week; 80% of these victims are women, 50% are children.  “People don’t realize that sex trafficking with children is a silent epidemic in the United States,” said Kirsten Arreguin…of Redemption Ridge…“Portland is the second largest city for forced child prostitution in the United States right after Las Vegas”…Traffickers spend considerable time in areas where children congregate such as parks, malls, youth shelters and on social media in order to carefully lure their victims into sex slavery…

It is a sign of the incredible mathematical illiteracy rampant in the US that nobody questions a “report” which begins with “statistics” that add up to 130% (children cannot be women and vice versa, so the categories cannot overlap).  And the prohibitionist sexual fantasy of “pimps” hanging out at every playground is so sick that one has to wonder how anyone higher on the evolutionary scale than a cop could possibly take it seriously, until one considers that these are the same mouth-breathers who claim there are more “sex trafficking” cases in Oregon alone than in the entire United States (“…jail intelligence suggests approximately 595 minors and 1,191 adults are currently victims of sex trafficking currently in the Portland metro area…“); presumably “jail intelligence” is Copese for “tall tales told by prisoners trying to get on cops’ good sides”, because there aren’t even 500 full-service sex workers in Portland, much less “child sex slaves” (this fantasy claims about 1 “sex slave” per 400 adult men in the area).  Support for sex worker rights is growing all the time, and even some of the usual suspects are beginning to recognize prohibition for what it is.  But cops, politicians and profiteers are going to continue publicly masturbating while riding the gravy train until it finally runs off the rails for good.

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

King of the Hill

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

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

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

Property of the State 

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

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

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

Legal Is as Legal Does (#582)

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

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

The Widening Gyre (#792) 

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

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

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

Cooties (#816)

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

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

A Procrustean Bed (#834)

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

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

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

Pyrrhic Victory (#841)

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

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

Checklist (#953)

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

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

The Cop Myth (#996)

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

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

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For the past two and a half years, Friday columns have generally been light and low-effort for me; many of them are just expanded versions of tweet threads that I felt deserved a more permanent treatment.  Well, last week someone retweeted some of my content from 18 months ago, and I realized it should have that treatment as part of my intermittent series of columns on language.  I’ve written about this in a number of places (two of which I’ve linked below), but never quite this clearly or succinctly.  And so without further ado:

There are 4 separate meanings of “libertarian”:

1) one who opposes authoritarianism
2) a member of a broad movement advocating reduced governmental power
3) a US political party (capitalized)
4) a pejorative used by some “progressives” to mean “anyone I disagree with”

So if you’re in that first category, which many people are, you may be correctly described under (1) while not fitting into (2) or (3).  And (4) is impossible to control, but also no more meaningful than “traitor”, “infidel” or “doodyhead”.  I’m certainly a member of (1); as an anarchist I’m tolerated by (2); I have generally friendly relations with (3); and (4) is meaningless because membership in it is controlled by the whims of the very silly.

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.  –  Desmond Tutu

2019 will be remembered as the year it became fashionable for opportunistic prohibitionists to pretend to be concerned about the harm done to sex workers by the policies of criminalization they have supported for the past two decades.  While the deranged puritans who deny our agency, share their disgusting sexual fantasies about us in public and intentionally send thugs to deceive, rape and cage us (while pretending they want to “rescue” us from the bogeymen who reside only in their fevered imaginations) are just as awful as ever and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future, those who merely jumped on the “sex trafficking” bandwagon to sell something or gain power are now pretending to have been “neutral” before, but sympathetic now because they finally bothered to look at the mountains of data we’ve been showing them since the turn of the century, or something.  But because these sociopaths wouldn’t know a moral compass if one were driven into their faces with an impact wrench, their attempts to sound sympathetic are pathetic at best and deeply insulting at worst.

Power-mad shitbag Elizabeth Warren, for example, has signed on to support a “study of the impact of FOSTA” while simultaneously scheming (again) to steal sex workers’ money and shut us out of the banking system.  But while her duplicity is disguised well enough to fool the insufficiently-cynical, this recent effort by the staunchly-prohibitionist New York Times is embarrassingly transparent.  The newspaper which launched “sex trafficking” hysteria 16 years ago this month with a fantasy called “The Girls Next Door”, and which has since then functioned as one of the primary organs spreading “sex trafficking” hysteria with lies, masturbatory fantasies from Nick Kristof, and copsucking propaganda, now wants us to believe that it gives a shit about us.  And yet, it isn’t even trying to remove prohibitionist fecal matter from its lips before speaking up.  It starts in the lede by referring to censorship as “holding tech platforms accountable” and then refers to sex workers’ ads & online activism as “sex-trafficking schemes” and “the ills of the internet”.  It then goes on to argue that censorship is mostly a good thing as long as the government precedes that censorship with years of propaganda demonizing & dehumanizing its intended targets, and describes FOSTA-enabled censorship as “mostly positive” (“the results are not all positive” is semantically equivalent to “the results are mostly positive”).  And that’s just in the first two paragraphs; a little further along sex work is dysphemized as “the bartering of children and adults” and a law specifically designed to censor the internet and opposed by every human rights and speech group in the country is said to have been “hailed as a way to catch up to…reality”.

The most astonishing part of all this?  The Times’ writers are so clueless they really think this milquetoast admission of the harms of FOSTA is enough to erase a generation of cheerleading for tyranny.  It will be interesting to see how they, and myriad others of their ilk, try to avoid being “held accountable” for their incredibly irresponsible actions as sex worker rights follows the footsteps of LGBT rights into the mainstream of US political discussion.

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The eternal flame that is Ring’s dumpster fire of an existence continues to burn.  –  Tim Cushing

Rough Trade

Cops wait a year to arrest a dangerous, violent serial rapist.  Guess why?

Stephen Bradley Ewing was charged on Dec. 17 with two counts of sexual assault and one count of [trying to strangle his victim]…from [rapes]…on June 15 and Aug. 1 of this year…The August offence occurred the same day Ewing was arrested by Nanaimo RCMP…and charged with three counts of [raping sex workers]…between March and October of 2018…

Follow Your Bliss

A “national leader in the field of sex offender management”:

A…forensic psychologist and national leader in the field of sex offender management has surrendered to St. Louis [cops] on warrants for child sex crimes in two Missouri counties…Kurt M. Bumby…is accused of molesting two children in incidents in [two different Missouri] counties, the oldest of those charges stretching back to 1988…

Business As Usual

More cops raping sex workers (excuse me, “rescuing trafficking victims”):

…a two-year federal sex-trafficking [boondoggle] started to unravel last week…[because spooks were caught raping women] at massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City [Arizona in the process of trying to frame ordinary massage parlors as part of]…an alleged sex trafficking network…The [spooks raped women] at each location…but never to completion…the [scheme] led to the arrests of seven people…[but] charges against two of the[m] were dismissed because th[e rapists refuse] to testify [on 5th Amendment grounds.  Meanwhile, a lawsuit from]…one of the women arrested…is seeking disclosure of the full names of the [rapists] and all reports they prepared…more felony cases against [the feds’ victims]…could be dismissed soon…

“It’s not rape because I didn’t jizz” is certainly a novel defense.

Broken Record (#748) 

As the hysteria collapses, some “sex trafficking” opportunists will turn to producing “studies” to “find” what is already known:

As the Formula 1…Grand Prix Race approaches each year in Austin…newly published research suggests that…there is not…an…uptick in crimes — sex trafficking or otherwise…in weeks before and after the race….property crimes, violent crimes, and sex-related offenses…[don’t] increase…Earlier this year, COTA and the track owners lost at least $20 million in state reimbursement funds for missing the deadline to submit a…plan [to prevent something that doesn’t exist]…

Torture Chamber (#898)

Imprisonment doesn’t magically become “care” when the prisoner is under 18:

The White House sought…to embed immigration enforcement agents within the U.S. refugee agency that cares for…migrant [minors who were separated from their parents]…to…target the[ir relatives] for deportation…officials…rejected the attempt…[but] agreed to allow [ICE spooks]…to collect fingerprints and other biometric information from adults seeking to claim migrant [minors] at government shelters.  If those adults are deemed ineligible to take custody of children, ICE could then use their information to target them for arrest and deportation…Congress…made clear [after this was done last year, resulting in the arrest of more than 170 relatives] that it does not want those who come forward as potential sponsors of [caged] minors…to be frightened away by possible deportation…[Trump’s henchmen] acknowledge the arrangement will instill fear among migrant parents, but they say it will deter families from having their children cross into the United States illegally…

There is nothing sociopathic politicians (pardon the redundancy) love more than “sending messages” with other people’s lives.

I Spy (#904)

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

Your smartphone can broadcast your exact location thousands of times per day, through hundreds of apps, instantaneously to dozens of different companies.  Each of those companies has the power to follow individual mobile phones wherever they go, in near-real time.  That’s not a glitch in the system.  It is the system.  If the government ordered Americans to continuously provide such precise, real-time information about themselves, there would be a revolt…Yet…we’ve reached a tacit consensus to hand this data over voluntarily, even though we don’t really know who’s getting it or what they’re doing with it…

Backwards into the Future (#923) 

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

China’s extrajudicial detention of sex workers or their customers, known as “custody and education”, is set to be abolished, in what experts called a long-overdue move.  The detention system has been used to [persecute sex workers]…since the 1980s.  Sex workers and their clients could be detained for up to two years without trial in centres overseen by the police.  More than 300,000 people were detained in custody and education (C&E) between 1987 and 2000…mainland media have reported a steady decrease in detentions in recent years, resulting in the closures of some detention facilities…

If you’re wondering whether to believe that China really intends to give up “re-education” schemes, see “Quiet Genocide” below.

Train Wreck (#935)

The “Abuja Environmental Protection Board” is a Nigerian vice gang long empowered to do basically anything it likes to terrorize sex workers:

A…high court in Abuja has condemned the arrest of women…by [cops and spooks]…She also ruled that sex work is not a crime…The…police, the army, ministry of the federal capital territory (FCT), and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) were…ordered…to pay N1.6 million [$4415 US]…to the affected women.  [The suit was filed after the perpetrators]…arrested over 100 women at…a night club in Abuja…[raping or] sexually assaulting [many of them] them…[or forcing them to] bribe their way to freedom…

Safe Position (#966)

Just another lying politician who wants to police others’ private lives:

…presidential hopeful Andrew Yang said…”we should consider decriminalizing sex work on the part of the seller,” as this would be “helpful in combating human trafficking.”  [The term for what] Yang is talking about…is…the…[Swedish model, not decriminalization, but] lately, a coalition of old-school moral crusaders…has taken to co-opting the language of the sex worker rights movement to push their anti-sex work agenda.  This means many of them say they are for prostitution “decriminalization” while still pushing to keep prostitution between consenting adults as a crime.  They get away with this linguistic malpractice by saying that they would decriminalize the act of offering paid sex as long as it is still illegal to purchase such services.  Obviously, this is not decriminalization within any normal meaning of the word.  Yang’s preferred model would still mean devoting law enforcement resources to catching people attempting to pay for sex—and that would mean monitoring and conducting stings on sex workers…

Quiet Genocide

Pyrrhic Victory (#979)

So progress!  Much Seattle!

At the direction of Mayor Jenny Durkan, [Seattle]’s Human Services Department is studying the possibility of mandatory biometric screening of homeless shelter and service clients, using fingerprints or other biometric markers to track the city’s homeless population…Durkan [mouthpiece] Kamaria Hightower [bloviates] that…a “digital ID” would create “efficiencies” that improve on the scan cards currently used [because] homeless…people…often lose their IDs and other documents when the city sweeps their encampment and [steals] or throws away their stuff, a policy that has accelerated under Durkan…

Torture Chamber (#997)

Just in case you thought screws restricted their petty sadism to the prisoners:

Four women [visiting loved ones] at [a cage stack in Virginia were] told…they had to consent to a strip search immediately after [screws claimed] dogs [“alerted”]…or they would lose all visitation rights…the women…were on or near their period at the time and believe the dogs may have confused that with the smell of drugs.  A [bureaucrat bloviated]…“It is not…policy to permanently ban anyone solely based on their compliance or non-compliance with a strip search”…Each of the women [was tricked into] sign[ing] a consent form believing that to refuse the strip search would mean a permanent ban from the prison.  All were taken to a bathroom and [violated by screws]…Most…also had their cars searched…

Panopticon (#999)

The “security” system that isn’t:

The log-in credentials for 3,672 Ring camera owners were compromised…exposing log-in emails, passwords, time zones, and the names people give to specific Ring cameras…such as “bedroom” or “front door”…Ring says this leak of personal data isn’t its fault.  The company claims there’s been no breach…it’s kind of hard to take Ring’s word for it.  The company has been doing nothing but putting out PR fires ever since its law enforcement partnerships came to light…Ring took no interest in this…until after the security researcher who discovered the compromised credentials discussed his findings on Reddit…Ring [was]…quick to blame users for the commandeering of their cameras by a forum full of shitbirds, but the company does almost nothing to ensure users are protected from malicious activity…

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