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Posts Tagged ‘prisons’

When “decriminalisation” was formulated we were smoking indoors.  –  Cheryl Overs

Think of the Children! (Updates Galore)

In some parts of the Anglosphere, male teachers who do sex work can manage to keep their jobs:

…Gordon Parsons will still be allowed to teach at Queensland’s Ipswich State High despite allegedly making graphic sexual videos with his porn star girlfriend…Luci Power…Parsons was moved from Corinda State High last year after the Education Department discovered his extra-curricular activities…[and] now teaches under the name of James Parsons after allegedly agreeing to remove any sexual content he was involved in.  But…he…was reportedly spotted [by a deeply hypocritical parent while] at[tending] the Brisbane Sexpo with [his porn star girlfriend. Luci Power]…who was [making a paid appearance] at the exhibition…the [shockingly two-faced slimeball] wrote…a [poison pen] letter…to the school [to try to get Parsons fired despite the fact that he was at the same event]…

Apparently, hypocrisy rays are far less dangerous than sex rays.

So Close and Yet So Far

This could’ve been a decent article about why Filipino sex workers are afraid of cops and refuse to participate in their witch hunts and morality plays.  But instead the reporter insists on smearing them with the agency-denying prohibitionist slur “protituted women”; uncritically labels a prison with the authoritarian euphemism “safe house”; claims prohibitionists really want to help sex workers; and even used the insulting phrase “so-called ‘clients'”.  Not worth wasting your time on.

The Widening Gyre (#697) 

The NY Times is still pretending “Pizzagate” is about cranks, when actually it was a natural & predictable outgrowth of the “sex trafficking” hysteria they’ve aggressively promoted for two decades:

Four minutes into a video that was posted on Instagram last month, Justin Bieber leaned into the camera and adjusted the front of his black knit beanie…someone had posted a comment asking Mr. Bieber to touch his hat if he had been a victim of a child-trafficking ring known as PizzaGate…there [i]s no evidence…Bieber [saw] that message.  But…[fetishists] quickly uploaded hundreds of videos online analyzing…Bieber’s [casual] action.  The videos were translated into Spanish, Portuguese and other languages, amassing millions of views.  Fans then left thousands of comments on…Bieber’s social media posts asking him if he was safe.  Within days…the hashtag #savebieber started trending.  Four years ago…the [fantasy] that Hillary Clinton and Democratic elites were running a child sex-trafficking ring out of a Washington pizzeria spread across the internet, illustrating [the damage done by the] crackpot idea [called “sex trafficking”] with no truth to it [which was irresponsibly spread by mainstream] media — and how dangerous it could be…Facebook, Twitter and YouTube managed to largely [censor] PizzaGate.  But now, just months before the next presidential election, the conspiracy theory is making a comeback on these platforms — and on new ones such as [the Chinese-developed] TikTok — underlining the limits of their efforts to [censor] speech online…PizzaGate no longer focuses on…Clinton…its new targets…includ[e]…Bieber, Bill Gates, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey and Chrissy Teigen…

I Swear To God (#712)

US courts are happy to allow US censorship of non-Americans:

Foreign groups that receive American funding to fight HIV and AIDS must still pledge to oppose sex work…[even though] a similar requirement for U.S. nonprofits was struck down as unconstitutional in 2013…U.S. groups whose international affiliates must still abide by the rule sought to have it overturned, too, arguing that compelling anti-prostitution speech from these foreign affiliates was attributed to the American groups and therefore violated their First Amendment rights.  But in a 5-3 decision, the Court [said]…”plaintiffs…[get what’s coming to them for] affiliating] with [dirty] foreign[ers]”…

To Molest and Rape (#835)

Imagine how many others like him are still free:

Four decades after he started sneaking into homes, tying up victims, raping women and murdering couples, [typical and representative cop] Joseph DeAngelo pleaded guilty…to 26 charges, admitting…he was the sadistic Golden State Killer…He only stopped…when he got old and was no longer spry enough to overpower victims…he was responsible for more than 60 rapes…in…[all], but the statute of limitations expired on those crimes…

Legal Is as Legal Does (#995) 

Cheryl Overs on the erosion of the line between legalization and decriminalization in Australia:

…the Australian state of Victoria…is about decriminalise sex work after thirty years of disastrous legalisation…so I…[tried] to identify exactly which “ordinary business regulations” should apply to a decriminalised sex industry here.  Big mistake…In 2020 the regulatory framework of a wealthy country like Australia requires every business and service provider to apply for a dizzying number of permits and permissions; to pay various fees and taxes; to register their names in various places and to comply with a web of regulations including allowing access to authorities to inspect and enforce those regulations.  No one gets out this.  Some combination of these rules apply whether you are a large engineering plant or a self employed hairdresser working from home…most require the legal name of a “natural person”…When “decriminalisation” was formulated…we could walk into banks and open an account in whatever name we wanted…There were always regulations and records and cross checking of course, but analogue data collection and retention was expensive and limited…So I’m quite thrown by discovering that history has narrowed the gap between “legalisation” and “decriminalisation” in this way.  As Maggie McNeill says, “what we’re seeing here is less a sex-work-specific issue and more just government’s ever-expanding intrusion into all people’s lives and private affairs.  But that’s cold comfort to those who are targeted first as tyrants expand their reach”…

Quiet Genocide (#1002)

There are still some in the West who insist China isn’t trying to exterminate the Uighurs:

The Chinese government is taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uighurs and other minorities…even as it encourages some of the country’s Han majority to have more children…an AP investigation based on government statistics, state documents and interviews with…ex-detainees…[demonstrate that China] is [carrying out] what some experts are calling…“demographic genocide”.  The state regularly subjects minority women to pregnancy checks, and forces intrauterine devices, sterilization and even abortion on hundreds of thousands…The…measures are backed by mass detention both as a threat and as a punishment for failure to comply.  Having too many children is a major [excuse Beijing uses] to [condemn people to concentration] camps…with the parents of three or more ripped away from their families unless they can pay huge fines.  Police raid homes…[to] search for hidden children…

Loose Cannons (#1005)

Apparently, Florida prosecutors don’t know when to stop digging:

Judges from the 4th District Court of Appeal heard arguments…on whether they should allow [illegal] surveillance video captured by [masturbating pigs]…to be…the evidence in the prostitution case against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others.  The controversial “sneak and peek” warrants [were illegally used by] Jupiter police to install hidden cameras that recorded all activities at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa…similar warrants and tactics were also used at spas in Martin and Indian River counties…[after cops lied, spouting] human trafficking [sex fantasies to judges]…there [was of course] no…human trafficking…[several] judge[s]…suppressed the videos…[but the state] argued…that the videos should be allowed…because [sex]…

Social Distancing (#1034)

A “No shit, Sherlock” headline from the ever-confused Vice:

In Spain, sex work employs an estimated 100,000 women and…like many other countries…legalis[ation includes a host of ridiculous laws which essentially trat sex orkers as tolrated criminals who must]…pay taxes, but aren’t recognised as employees.  When the country went into lockdown in March, sex work was not considered an essential service, and [was] therefore banned…after initially leaving sex workers completely in the lurch, on the 21st of April the Spanish government announced emergency measures [pre]tended to help [the minuscule number of] women forced into sex work…To qualify, workers had to [pretend] they were victims of exploitation by [lying to] social services, or [have an arrest record]…It’s a policy that excludes [the great majority of sex workers]…

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I can’t breathe.  –  Cornelius Fredericks

I recently re-listened to the Cosmos soundtrack, and was reminded of how much I like this piece by blues guitarist Roy Buchanan.  The links above it were provided by Cop Crisis, Stephen Lemons, Angela Keaton, Popehat, Elizabeth N. Brown, and Brooke Magnanti, in that order.

From the Archives

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Sex workers are not a thought experiment.  –  Kai Cheng

Monsters

Violence against trans people is getting mainstream attention:

The NYPD drone circling over the protest outside the Brooklyn Museum [on June 14th] must have only picked up a sea of white.  That’s the color protestors were asked to wear to rally and march silently in the wake of the deaths of Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah MiltonTony McDade, and countless other Black trans victims of police brutality and civilian violence.  The event featured speakers from the Okra Project, the Marsha P. Johnson InstituteFor the GworlsGLITS, and Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, as well as the family and loved ones of Layleen Polanco…Many of the people gathered had their own stories of police brutality to tell, but that didn’t stop them from showing up for the Black trans community…

Nothing To Be Proud Of

More queer sex workers are remembering that Pride commemorates a riot:

Sex work gave me a livelihood and autonomy…and…sex workers taught me resilience and self-worth.  Queer “community,” with its endless callouts and purity politics, has never come close to doing that…Maybe you came here expecting a congenial, well-reasoned article patiently defending the virtues of sex work as a profession and politely asking for solidarity.  This isn’t that article.  That article has already been written, several times, by several different authors.  That article should have changed all of your minds already about the fact that sex workers are human beings who deserve basic human rights, but apparently it didn’t, so here we are.  Still criminalized, still stigmatized, still by and large ignored by mainstream “LGBT community,” despite the fact that transfeminine sex workers such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera are the reason that we have Pride in the first place.  People love the idea that sex workers need saving.  A lot of money, power, and attention goes into that idea – not to sex workers, but to our would-be saviors…In order to [really help], though, anti-sex work activists and police would have to actually care about sex workers’ actual lives, as opposed to their self-image as Real Life Heroes™ rescuing us from evil human traffickers…

Do Not Tolerate Domestic Violence

Government as domestic abuser is a very useful metaphor:

For ages the Democratic Party and its allies have been actively manipulating leftwardly-inclined Americans away from issues which might inconvenience the powerful — issues like economic justice, anti-imperialism, slashing the military budget, ending government surveillance and police militarization, and actually getting money out of politics…The powerful do not care if you have an abortion. They do not care how many bullets your gun can hold, they do not care if two guys get married or what gender pronouns you use, and they do not care if everyone is a racist or if no one is.  They care about maintaining and expanding their ability to exert control over other people…But…[now] people aren’t just out protesting racism, they’re calling for the complete dismantling of the entire police state…And the nice guy abusers are falling all over themselves to manipulate them back into their cage…Liberal narrative managers manipulated the people into understanding that they are only allowed to care about issues like sexism, LGBT rights, and racism.  The people responded by saying “Okay, well then we demand that you dismantle the entire police state because it is racist.”  Through all the confusion and fog of a lifetime of ingesting establishment propaganda, the people have still managed to find one solid strand of “no” that they know the nice guy abuser can’t actually forbid them from holding onto…

Quiet Genocide

Mainstream Western media are still largely ignoring China’s atrocities in Xinjiang:

…Formally an autonomous region of China, [Xinjiang] is today practically the largest internment camp in the world…Xi [Jinping] instructed the cadres of the Communist Party of China to “show absolutely no mercy” to its Uighur Muslim population.  The regime that now decries any allusion to the genesis of the coronavirus as bigoted then proceeded to describe Islam as a “virus”.  And its prescription for the eradication of this pathogen…was the swift “hospitalisation” of Muslims in indoctrination camps…up to 20 prisoners are packed into every cell.  Heads shaved, hands and feet bound at all times, they are permanently watched by cameras.  Their day begins at 6am and ends after midnight.  Their meals consist of gruel — except on Friday, the holiest day of the week for Muslims, when they are served pork, forbidden by Islam — and they are granted two minutes a day to relieve themselves in a communal bucket.  The remaining hours are devoted to the performance of rituals intended to purge them of their religious and ethnic identity.  They must master Mandarin, the language of their overlords; soak themselves in party propaganda; atone for who they are by confessing to their existence as a crime; and endlessly chant slogans pledging subservience to Han supremacy: I love China! Thank you, Communist Party! I love Xi Jinping!…Inmates are made to sit on chairs embedded with metal spikes, starved, and suspended from ceilings and flogged with electric truncheons; their fingernails are prised with pliers, their skin is pierced with needles, and their bodies are pumped with mysterious medicine.  “Good” behaviour cannot bring relief from this ordeal because it is impossible for the captives to know what defines “good” behaviour…All that stands between the inmates and the torture chamber is the mood of the prison guards…There is no emancipation even in death from the humiliations…in addition to destroying and disfiguring Muslim places of worship, [China] also razes their graves

Silver Lining

My answer to the titular question: “I certainly hope not”:

…the anti-trafficking community has been largely silent on the blossoming conversation on police brutality…While some organizations have put out blanket statements about Black Lives Matter and racism, these…have not addressed the field’s entrenchment with law enforcement, or the use of anti-trafficking to re-brand abusive police forces/tactics and expand the police statecan a field that relies on carceral penalties and approaches even be saved from its pro-police roots?  The history of the anti-trafficking field has revolved around the decision to take social justice problems and apply a criminal justice answer…This decision to…center…law enforcement and criminal justice-based interventions was concretized through legislation which incentivized joint approaches between service providers and law enforcement and primarily defined success as convictions…

Social Distancing (#1031)

The Japanese are much more sensible about sex than Americans:

…nightclubs across Japan are trying to come to terms with in the age of COVID-19, as they roll out a raft of anti-infection measures to shed their newfound notoriety as hotbeds for virus clusters.  The industry [was ready]…for the full lifting [last] Friday of Tokyo’s business closure requests, which…pave[d] the way for host clubs and hostess bars…to officially reopen for the first time in months.  In reality, a number of nightclubs had already resumed business to protect the livelihoods of employees.  But…many parlors [are now] taking a stab at the new safety guidelines issued by the government on how to coexist with the pandemic…

The Cop Myth (#1049)

A Reason interview with Reason alumnus Radley Balko:

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American policing is a thick blue tumor strangling the life from our communities.  –  A  Cab

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw a man painting his house”?

A San Francisco woman who questioned a man writing “Black Lives Matter” on his own home has apologised for…[trying to get him beaten, abducted or murdered by] calling the police on him…In the video, shot by James Juanillo on his phone, [Lisa] Alexander is seen asking Mr Juanillo, who is Filipino, whether he lives in the house, saying that he is defacing private property as he uses chalk to write words on his wall…[luckily for] Juanillo…the [cop who came]…recogni[zed him and declined to brutalize him]…

Monsters (#949)

In which yelling “stop faking!” is described as “trying to wake her”:

New footage outside the Rikers Island [solitary confinement] cell…where transgender woman Layleen…Polanco died last June reveals that guards tried to wake her for approximately an hour and a half before calling for…medical care that could have saved her life…after an epileptic seizure…

Fallen Idol (#976)

I suspect this isn’t going to end well:

Ginger Banks…who co-starred in the 2018 Evil Angel documentary-style feature Cam Girls, has filed a police report for “sexual battery” with the West Hollywood Police Department against company owner and director John Stagliano for an incident while they were shooting a scene for that project in February 2018…Banks [also] posted a series of videos on social media describing her frustration with “the lack of accountability” she felt the adult industry dispensed to powerful stakeholders like Stagliano…Banks [said] that the recent decision to file charges now stems from a realization that what had happened to her and her co-star, cam model Jenny Blighe, was indeed a reportable offense under California law…

Choke Point (#1013) 

More fascism in action; don’t say sex workers didn’t warn you:

Covid Bail Out NYC, a group raising funds to get people out of jails during the…pandemic, has a list of hundreds of people waiting to be bailed out.  But because of constant security freezes and transfer limits imposed by PayPal and its mobile payment service Venmo, the group is only able to bail out around five people— $20,000 worth of cash bail—per week…In response to the pandemic, several grassroots bail out organizations popped up, using community outreach, social media, and payment processing platforms like PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App to raise funds quickly.  The crisis became even more urgent during the Black Lives Matter protests, as police a[bduc]ted and [cag]ed thousands of [citizens exercising their First Amendment rights] across the U.S…the…process starts to break down because of payment platform’s transfer limits…PayPal…users can transfer up to $60,000 a week, but may be limited to $10,000 in a single transaction …But unusual activity—like a mutual aid fund going viral on Twitter and having its account flooded with donations, for example—could trip PayPal’s fraud monitoring service.  Those holds can stay…for weeks…[while] PayPal [continues to collect interest on the balance]…

Social Distancing (#1042)

At their core, the Netherlands are still prohibitionist:

…Like other freelancers [Jeanet] applied for emergency government funding but…has not…received a penny,  [so she] works illegally as an escort…from home, usually with clients she has known for a long time. “I do not take too many customers, for safety reasons,” she says. But, even with the infectious disease spreading, there are still plenty of customers who are willing to pay for her services…Sex workers in the Netherlands have been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic…[because] the government has [declared them “nonessential“, so many must]…work…illegally…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1048)

Oh look, Microsoft also wants to have its cake and eat it too:

Microsoft CEO Brad Smith declared during an online Washington Post event…that his company “will not sell facial-recognition technology to police departments in the United States until we have a national law in place…that will [allow us to pretend we aren’t evil for developing] this technology.”  This follows Amazon’s announcement…that it is implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of the company’s …facial recognition platform…These moves follow IBM CEO Arvind Krishna’s letter to Congress announcing that his company is getting out the facial recognition business…The digital rights group Fight for the Future has issued a statement calling Amazon and Microsoft’s moves “essentially a public relations stunt.”  The companies’ researchers will “spend the next year ‘improving’ the accuracy of their facial recognition algorithms, making it even more effective as an Orwellian surveillance tool…The reality is that facial recognition technology is too dangerous to be used at all…Congress should act immediately to ban facial recognition for all surveillance purposes”…

The Cop Myth (#1048)

Will you believe that there’s no such thing as a good cop if a cop tells you so?

I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard.  We all were…It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of.  It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt…Under the guise of public safety, I personally ruined people’s lives but in so doing, made the public no safer…so did the family members and close friends of mine who also bore the badge alongside me.  But enough is enough.  The reforms aren’t working. Incrementalism isn’t happening.  Unarmed Black, indigenous, and people of color are being killed by cops in the streets and the police are savagely attacking the people protesting these murders…

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It’s not just that the police want to arrest somebody…they want to mete out punishment.  –  Michael German

Moloch 

Every school district in the country needs to rid itself of evil thugs who stalk and attack students:

Portland Public Schools will no longer have [cops stalking students in] its nine high schools, nor will the other two school districts inside Portland city limits…Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero…said the district…intends to increase spending on social workers, counselors and culturally specific supports for students…[a politician] announced she plans to introduce a resolution to…bar [uniformed pigs] from…school sporting events and other occasions…

In addition to brutalizing small children for childish behavior and terrorizing them for ordinary play, school pigs also frequently rape teenagers and even little girls.  They are a menace and should be abolished.

Rooted in Racism (#883)

Europeans would rather believe outlandish fantasies about ninja pimps than simply admit black women have adult agency:

Almost 1,000 Nigerian refugees [magically] disappeared from Dutch [concentration camps] last year, and [bureaucrats] are [fantasizing] many of them have been trafficked…The disappearances coincide with…the Netherlands…[trying to] sen[d them] back to Nigeria or Italy, [but the Dutch won’t admit their racism and so prefer to bloviate nonsense about]…Nigerian drugs and prostitution gangs…gain[ing] a foothold in Europe…”The women absolutely don’t want to go back to Italy,” one [camp] worker is quoted as saying….Warner ten Kate, who [uses the] human trafficking [narrative to] prosecut[e black people, pretends]…he is particularly concerned about the pregnant women, whose babies may be victims of illegal adoptions…

Out of Control (#944)

Fortunately, most “incels” are more of a danger to themselves than to others:

A southwest Virginia man who blew off his hand in an… explosives accident has been charged in federal court after [cops] say they found evidence he was making a bomb and wanted to target “hot cheerleaders” because of his sexual frustrations…Cole Carini of Richlands showed up at a hospital…with one hand blown off, fingers blown off his second and other shrapnel wounds.  He [claimed]…he’d been in a lawnmower accident.  But [cops] searched his property, and found explosives materials, rusty nails, pipes…pieces of flesh…[and] parts of a scorched letter that referenced tension “as he now approached the stage of hot cheerleaders” and “I will not be afraid of the consequences no matter what I will be heroic I will make a statement like Elliott Rodgers [sic]”…

Quiet Genocide

Like the US, China tortures people until they plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit just to escape the cage:

In the Chinese government’s vast network of re-education camps in Xinjiang province, the daily horror of internment [i]s infused with monotony and boredom.  [Prisoners a]re forced to endure countless hours of indoctrination and language classes, perched on small stools.  In some facilities, they ha[ve] to watch TV propaganda broadcasts praising President Xi Jinping for hours on end.  The slightest infraction, such as a whispered conversation, was met with swift and harsh punishment.  But among the many months spent locked up, some former detainees report that one day was different: The day when they were forced to pick one or several infractions from a list they were handed.  In essence, the [prisoners] had to retroactively choose the crimes for which they had been imprisoned…without being told why they had been detained in the first place.  After picking a crime from the list came a sham trial, in which the detainees had no legal representation and were convicted without evidence or due process of any kind…

Across the Pond (#1013)

Redbridge has a long history of harassing sex workers, but this kind of infantilization is a new low:

Loxford Service Station asked…for permission to sell alcohol 24 hours a day, with the condition that night-time sales would only be through a third-party delivery service…[but busybodies claimed the presence of booze] would [magically] contribute to crime in the area…[one politician masturbated furiously while bleating “sex trafficking” fantasies and the deeply stupid statement that]…“The availability of alcohol on Ilford Lane would…allow…”punters”‘, sex workers and their pimps access to alcohol”…

To Molest and Rape (#1014)

Rapists are attracted to police work for obvious reasons:

A Fontana [California cop was rewarded with a]…paid [vacation]…for…raping a 16-year-old girl four years ago…Nicholas Shawn Stark…drugged [the girl in order to rape her]…when [he] was 24 years old, before [he joined the cops, but they cannot]…fire [him] due to [pig protection] laws [of the kind that have precipitated the current national crisis]…

The Cop Myth (#1045)

Cops are responsible for more violence than any other social group in the US:

The “thin blue line” flag is the…centerpiece in a world of merchandise and policing philosophy, all built around the idea that the police are an embattled tribe of warriors, maligned and reviled by a nation that fails to appreciate their unique importance.  The blue line is a reminder that much of the policing community sees itself as separate from the rest of society — and…this well-armed population, imbued with the power to deprive citizens of life and liberty, does not take kindly to those who challenge its authority…“What we’re talking about here is a worldview that says that police are the only force capable of holding society together,” [said] Alex Vitale, a professor of sociology…and author of The End of Policing…The view turns on the notion that “without the constant threat of violent coercive intervention, society will unravel into a war of all against all”…Seen through this lens, “authoritarian solutions are not just necessary, they’re almost preferable.”  In the wake of [George] Floyd’s [murder]…the country is now witnessing what years of militarized conditioning, training, and culture have wrought:  a nationwide protest movement running up against a nationwide police riot…

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I can’t breathe.  –  George Floyd

Last week Jesse Walker tweeted this video and…see for yourself.  The links above it were provided by Mama Tush, Popehat, Zuri Davis, Mike Siegel, Jesse again, and Stephen Lemons, in that order.

From the Archives

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The government has adopted a win-at-all-costs approach and [an attitude] that the ends justify the means.  –  Michael Piccarreta

Elephant in the Parlor

Politician takes bribes, hires whores.  Yawn.

…federal [documents]…suggest…a years-long trail of bribery between City Councilmember Jose Huizar and a Chinese development firm with a megaproject slated for downtown Los Angeles…[real estate broker] George Chiang…started a real estate consulting company in 2014…that directed money, consulting fees, casino chips, flights on private jets, luxury hotel stays, prostitutes and escort services between developers…[politicians] and [bureaucrats]…in exchange for approval of an 80,000-square foot commercial project and other downtown developments…

Dangerous Speech (#958)

The government keeps demonstrating that it doesn’t really care that its war on thought is wholly and incontrovertibly unconstitutional:

fiery motion to dismiss filed in the Lacey/Larkin case on May 1…accuses the U.S. Department of Justice of “outrageous government misconduct,” claiming federal pettifoggers and government agents repeatedly trampled upon the defendants’ attorney-client privileges…despite repeated warnings from defense counsel…and two [court] orders…the government continued to question former Backpage CEO and owner Carl Ferrer concerning confidential legal advice that was subject to joint defense and representation agreements with other defendants…the government grilled Ferrer repeatedly through “seven successive interviews” over the course of 13 months, beginning the day of his plea deal…In doing so…the government engaged in “outrageous” and “unconstitutional” misconduct.  Prosecutors “willfully invaded” Lacey and Larkin’s attorney-client privileges in order to “gain a tactical advantage in the case,” thereby violating the defendants’ Fifth Amendment right to due process of law and their Sixth Amendment right to counsel…Barring outright dismissal, the motion asks for an evidentiary hearing to determine the extent of the harm done to the defendants and possible sanctions against the government, such as the exclusion of Ferrer as a witness, the suppression of other evidence, or the disqualification of the entire prosecution team…

Negative Secondary Effects (#974)

The human cost of a prohibitionist crusade:

In March 2019 my life was turned upside down…by feminist groups who said I needed saving…Becoming a dancer at Sheffield’s Spearmint Rhino was the best thing I’d ever done.  It gave me the confidence I desperately lacked…[but then] Not Buying It sent private [dicks] into our club to buy lap dances and secretly film the women dancing.  They did this to “prove” to Sheffield Council that Spearmint Rhino was in breach of its own code of conduct and should have its licence revoked.  They filmed women naked and without their consent, and this was only the beginning…it traumatised the women …[and] hurt their families, their friends and their children…the ensuing campaign to close our club left me extremely anxious and scared to go to work…I was paranoid that every person who came into the club was another undercover investigator trying to take my job away.  I was always on edge, watching people, checking buttons for cameras, looking in people’s ears to see if they were wearing earpieces.  I was hyper-aware of customers who used their mobile phones and frightened that they were secretly recording me.  It was torture.  Work went from being the place I felt safest to a place I felt judged and under attack…

Business As Usual (#1001)

Every so often one of these sadly-typical stories gets more media attention:

Agents with…DHS…in Arizona have been “fighting” human trafficking by sending federal immigration agents to [rape women they claim to be]…victims…[then] seizing their assets, and telling the press it was these women who were the real predators.  Federal agents [raped] at least 17…”Asian females” working in massage parlors around Mohave County, Arizona, over a five-month period in 2018…the years-long operation yielded three misdemeanor charges…[the] scenario…is far from an isolated incidentnational and mainstream media have been discovering and disapproving of “Operation Asian Touch.”  This is great—so long as nobody mistakes what happened in Mohave County for an atypical investigation.  If you track initial claims about massage parlor-based human trafficking through to their actual conclusions, you’ll almost always find law enforcement simply targeting sex workers, small-business owners, immigrants, and the people who patronize them with harassment, assault, arrest, property seizure, prosecution, detainment, and deportation. And the “victims” they allegedly set out to save frequently wind up facing criminal charges.  There are only two roles women can play in this Homeland Security-led charade: helpless sex slave or conniving human trafficker.  (Both types…are invited to stroke ICE agent penises)…

I Spy (#1006)

But please, tell me more about “wings” and “blue states” and “democracy”:

The U.S. Senate comfortably approved a 2-1/2-year extension of parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)…by 80-16, far more than the 60 votes needed for passage.  The measure must be approved…by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the White House for President Donald Trump to veto or sign into law…

Like Houses (#1031)

All they were waiting for was a strong enough excuse:

In India, the COVID-19 crisis is turning out to be the perfect excuse for the government to consolidate its pre-pandemic surveillance ambitions.  Since May 4, as restrictions began to ease, the government has mandated the installation of its contact-tracing smartphone app for anyone who works…or uses public transport.  Failing to do so is criminal…Unsurprisingly, digital rights and civil society organizations are pushing back on the new di[ktat]…

Reawakening

A high-profile example of the quiet rebellion that’s already started everywhere in the US:

Alameda County [bureaucrats] backed down in their conflict with Elon Musk, reversing their shutdown order and granting provisional approval for Tesla’s Fremont, California plant to reopen.  Musk had already reopened the plant for business in defiance of the lockdown order, tweeting …”If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me“…Musk’s civil disobedience against the COVID lockdown regime is a high-profile instance of a wider trend…

Social Distancing (#1036)

At its core, Australia is still prohibitionist:

…as Australia eases itself out of COVID-19 restrictions…in [a] three-stage framework…strip clubs and brothels were specifically listed “to remain closed” even in stage three…other businesses with…skin-to-skin contact – like waxing, massages, tattoos, bathhouses and saunas – are allowed to open in stage three.  Scarlet Alliance CEO Jules Kim [said]…”We hoped this…outbreak wouldn’t be used as an excuse to turn back…gains made in sex worker legislation, but it’s hard to see this as anything but discrimination, considering similar businesses are allowed”…federal [bureaucrats] recommended brothels and strip club venues should stay shut [indefinitely]…sole operator sex workers…are banned after being classed as “non-essential”

Meanwhile, over in New Zealand:

The national lift to COVID-19 alert level 2 means it’s business as usual for many Kiwis, including sex workers…The New Zealand Prostitute’s Collective (NZPC) released guidelines for sex workers on their website…with a checklist of hygiene practices and safety measures workers, brothels and massage parlours should be implementing…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

No human is truly free while governments claim the “right” to lock people in filthy, disease-ridden cages:

In the vast majority of the world’s overcrowded and underfunded prisons…physical distancing is simply not an option.  In situations where close confinement, shared facilities and spaces and poor hygiene are commonplace…prison[ers]…are living in constant fear of the ticking COVID-19 time bomb…UNAIDS, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the World Health Organization and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are calling on leaders to make detention a last resort, to close drug rehabilitation detention centres and to decriminalize sex work, same-sex sexual relations and drug use.  They are urging countries to release the people who can be released…The Government of Ethiopia…has released more than 30,000 prisoners and has heightened sanitation measures.  Indonesia is releasing more than 50,000…Iran is releasing 40% of its total prison population, 100,000 people, while Chile is set to release around 50,000 people…

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[Therapists’] preconceptions about sex work…do more damage rather than help.  –  Teela Sanders

Follow the Leader

Costumed hooligans regularly abduct and torture people in ways that would be charged as crimes for anyone else:

…Dallas police [arrested]…Esmeralda Lira…and Jose Balderas…[and] charged [them] with child endangerment after…someone [claimed]…that Lira had three children tied up at the home with no food…[cops] found two children asleep in a bedroom…[and] the third…locked [in a] shed…the 6-year-old boy [was] standing alone inside the pitch-black shed.  His hands were tied behind his back with shoelaces…The child [said] that Lira, his grandmother, tied him him up in the shed [overnight] when he is bad…the boy…[said] Lira bathed [him] outside by spraying him with water…[and gave him] a plastic bag when he needed to relieve himself…

Compare this treatment with that in “Torture Chamber” below, in the same state.

The Real World

Anti-whore stigma even harms sex workers who are therapists:

Some years ago…I sought mental health support.  I noticed that during the initial assessment the therapist increased my risk score when I told him what I did for a living.  I am a trained therapist, so I understood the…form…When I asked him why he had increased my risk factor, he said, “Because you’re an escort.”  I said, “But you haven’t asked me how I work, where I work, with whom I work.  That doesn’t make sense”…He looked at me with a vacant glaze…[and] said, “Okay, well, it’s sex work, so I still have to increase the risk score.”  This is stigma against sex work, or “whorephobia” in action, and it is the opposite of what is needed to support sex workers effectively.  Sex-work stigma…has been identified as the leading cause of mental health problems for sex workers…

Skin To Skin (#958)

Another step forward for disabled Australians:

People with disabilities can use [Australian] disability insurance scheme funds to access specialised sex worker services, the federal court has ruled…unanimously in a favour of a woman who lives with multiple sclerosis and sought to include the services in her NDIS plan.  Despite the agency’s [claim] that it “does not fund participation in sexual activity”, the federal court said the NDIS Act “does not expressly exclude such activities…nor has any exclusion been made under the NDIS rules…there is no implied exclusion of such activities either, and indeed in our opinion the better view is that they are intended to be included”…the NDIS minister, Stuart Robert, [had bloviated that] funding…sexual therapy services was not in line with community expectations…

The Monsters Are Due (#969)

The ugliest part of a peak moral panic: lynch mobs:

A sheriff’s deputy in North Carolina is facing criminal charges after…he led a[n]…armed [mob of non-cops] to the wrong home in a search for a missing girl [because only cops are allowed to attack wrong houses with armed mobs]…Jordan Kita[‘s mob trespassed at] the home of Dameon Shepard, a [black high school] senior…the all-white [mob] tried unsuccessfully to force its way into the…home…Kita was looking for Lekayda Kempisty, a 15-year-old girl who[se present whereabouts he didn’t know]…She was [not actually missing but]…Kita…was searching for someone named Josiah who used to live next door…There was believed to be some sort of familial relationship between Kita and…Lekayda…

Though the word isn’t used here, we all know what “missing girl” means, don’t we?

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#998) 

Puritans especially hate people enjoying themselves while their “leaders” have sent them to their rooms:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter US attorney general William Barr on April 30, calling on the Trump administration to “confront the ongoing harms wrought by the pornography industry”, especially as use of porn sites has spiked during the coronavirus pandemic

Pyrrhic Victory (#1007) 

Still think this djinni can be stuffed back into its bottle?

…in the coronavirus era, when everyone is advised to wear a mask, exposed faces are increasingly rare.  That’s breaking facial recognition systems everywhere, from iPhones to public surveillance…[but a] company [named] Rank One…[has] released a new form of facial recognition called periocular recognition, which can supposedly identify individuals by just their eyes and eyebrows…and is specifically meant for masked individuals.  Rank One says it will ship the technology to all of its active customers for free.  It’s difficult to pinpoint how many companies and government organizations in the United States use Rank One…[because] its technology is resold by companies with connections to [cop shops] and [spook houses]…like DataWorks Plus and Secure Planet…

Uncharted Seas (#1018)

Too bad politicians can’t recognize that criminalization of consensual acts is always harmful:

…a new [Utah] law decriminalizing polygamy among consenting adults [has] take[n] effect…plural marriages are now considered an infraction…less than some traffic tickets…Deidre Henderson, the bill’s sponsor, has said she hopes it will make victims of abuse and fraud less afraid to come forward in the future…[by] remov[ing] the fear for otherwise law-abiding residents that they could be jailed and their children taken from them because of their religious practices.  And she notes that there are still penalties under the new law for polygamy in conjunction with crimes such as fraud, abuse, domestic violence and human smuggling…

Reawakening

Expect a lot more of these before this is over:

The longer COVID-19 lockdowns last, Texas Supreme Court Justice James Blacklock suggested last week, the more legally vulnerable they may be.  “As more becomes known about the threat and about the less restrictive, more targeted ways to respond to it…continued burdens on constitutional liberties may not survive judicial scrutiny.”  Lockdown resisters are testing that hypothesis in state courts, arguing that the public health emergencies governors cited when they ordered businesses to close and told people to stay at home no longer exist.  An Illinois lawsuit made that case based on a statute that limits the length of a governor’s emergency declarations—an argument that last month persuaded a judge to issue a temporary restraining order.  A New Hampshire lawsuit filed this week claims new circumstances have eliminated the statutory rationale for that state’s lockdown…In Michigan…a…barber who defied Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s business closure order will get a chance to challenge the state’s claim that he poses “an imminent danger to public health”…[even though] he was taking precautions such as wearing a mask…and sanitizing his tools with ultraviolet light…

Torture Chamber (#1038)

From the same monsters who think it’s reasonable to lock people in cages for not “socially distancing”:

Prison food is notoriously bad, even in the best of times.  This isn’t the best of times, especially in the 40-plus Texas prisons where people are locked in their cells all the time [under the excuse] of coronavirus.  Their food now arrives at odd hours in paper bags, cold, mushy and without a hint of green…except…for…[the] mystery meat…the milk comes in powdered form [not reconstituted] and…even though it doesn’t look like food you or your dog would want to eat, prisoners and their families say they’re not getting enough of it…A [screw mouthpiece]…denied [everything despite photos]…every time [a prisoner] tests positive for coronavirus, the entire prison goes on lockdown for at least two weeks and…[prisoners are] banned from buying food from the commissary because prison brass are treating the lockdowns like a punishment…[since] early May, thousands…[have] only had sporadic access to phones, mail and showers…a former [Texas] prison official [described the so-called]…johnny sacks…[with the statement] “They’re shitty”…

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Backpage and small sex-work ad sites were the test case. Censoring the rest of the internet is the goal.  –  Elizabeth Nolan Brown

License to Rape

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

…the American Civil Liberties Union [filed suit against] two southern Minnesota sheriff’s deputies [who sexually assaulted] a woman on the side of the road in below-freezing temperatures [using the excuse of a “search”], ignoring her pleas to be taken to the hospital or police station and searched the “the right way”.  During the 2018 incident, Kelli Jo Torres…asked the [rapists] to stop trying to reach into her vagina 25 times…[while] the[y]…kept her outside without a coat in 9 degree weather, along an interstate on-ramp, for a half-hour before [finally] taking her to a hospital to [justify the assault]…

Since Sheriff Evan Verbrugge prefers to hide the identity of rapists, he gets his picture here until and unless someone can provide me with a picture of rapists Dallas Hamm and Shelley Douty.

The Widening Gyre (#923)

Fact:  woman thinks stranger “looks sad”.  Conclusion: sex trafficking!

At 7:40 p.m. April 30, a woman…returned to her apartment [in Cleveland] after being out of state for the past month.  In her apartment’s parking lot, she noticed two cars that were unfamiliar.  She [harassed] the cars’ drivers…and was not satisfied [that they didn’t simply tell her to fuck off]…The woman then [peeked] through a window into an[other person’s] apartment…and saw a female who appeared to be sad.  [Fantasiz]ing that what she had witnessed may have something to do with human trafficking, the woman called police…After [cops] knock[ed] on the unit’s door to try to [harass, rape, rob, abduct or murder]…the female…[the occupants wisely] denied [them] entry…

Do I really need to say, “don’t call the fucking pigs on a stranger because you thought they looked sad“?

Micromanagement (#969)

It only starts with people the state wants you to hate and distrust:

The Trump administration has started forcibly collecting DNA samples from immigrants in detention and sending that information to an FBI criminal database called the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) for permanent storage…The Supreme Court approved this gross invasion of individual privacy in Maryland v. King (2013), ruling 5–4 that the law did not violate constitutional protections against illegal searches and seizures because the original arrest had required probable cause…[but] the vast majority of [immigrants] are detained not because they have committed serious crimes with actual victims but because a harsh Clinton-era enforcement law vastly increased detentions for nonviolent immigration-related offenses…the Justice Department…insist[s] that even if immigration detainees have committed no crimes at the time they are booked, having a permanent DNA record makes it easier to track them if they do so…later.  By this logic…DNA testing could be forced on all American citizens.  Anyone, after all, could commit a crime at some point in the future…

Pyrrhic Victory (#1030)

I’m sure you feel safer now:

Clearview AI…said it is ending its relationships with…entities and private companies [that do not claim the “right” to inflict violence upon people they dislike] amid…several potential class action lawsuits…[including one] which argues Clearview violated an Illinois statute regarding the use of biometric data for commercial purposes…Despite public assurances from Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That that its software was meant for law enforcement, internal documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News showed numerous private companies had used the service including Macy’s, Walmart, Bank of America, and Target…

So they’re now promising to only sell their Super Snooper to violent racist gangs whose entire purpose is to destroy the lives of as many people as possible.  That’s obviously much better.

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#1033) 

Another censorship attempt from the same old authoritarian playbook:

Taking a page from their crusades against Craigslist and Backpage, [prohibitionists] are calling for credit card companies to stop doing business with porn websites…[by] throw[ing] around phrases like sex trafficking and child abuse while p[retend]ing their request [i]s a common-sense plea to stop exploitation…The[y claim]…it is impossible to “judge or verify consent” in online porn content…[which] is “not only factually wrong but also intentionally misleading”…When Craigslist and later Backpage were the moral panic’s big targets…Illinois sheriff Tom Dart [demanded] companies to stop doing business with these websites—even though government officials and [other prohibitionists] had earlier [forc]ed Craigslist and Backpage to accept credit card payments because they thought it would make [surveill]ing customers easier.  Dart went so far as to threaten credit card companies that did business with Backpage, prompting Visa and Mastercard to temporarily suspend their services. (This was later ruled unconstitutional)…

Social Distancing (#1034)

Sex workers must help each other, because few others will:

The…pandemic has closed down Poland’s strip clubs and massage parlours, leaving many sex workers struggling to make ends meet but also inspiring solidarity via an online fundraising campaign.  Similar ventures have also appeared elsewhere in the West…

Torture Chamber (#1037)

Your regular reminder that rapist screws are not confined to the US:

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)…have learned that a[n unnamed rapist screw in]…Nova [Scotia]…was arrested and charged with [several rape-related crimes, yet they’re still trying to hide his identity]…The…women [who] reported the abuse to authorities…were ignored, transferred and [humiliated by being forced] to apologize [to the rapist]…by their very nature, prisons are violent and oppressive institutions…[which] make those held inside incredibly vulnerable to [rape and other sexual] abuse [such as]…routine strip searches [by screws]…

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

The Lesser of Two Evils

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

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

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

The Proper Study (#968)

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

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

The Pro-Rape Coalition (#995)

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

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

Torture Chamber (#999)

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

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

Crying for Nanny (#1002)

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

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

All-Purpose Excuse (#1035)

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

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

Social Distancing (#1036)

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

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

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