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Posts Tagged ‘propaganda’

Give up hope — we’ll find you, too!  –  Je Suis Maidan

Bad Girls 

Translation: some robbers employ female accomplices who pose as sex workers to attract victims:

Hundreds of thousands of UK ­tourists travel to Sunny Beach resort in Bulgaria, where pints are as cheap as 80p…But the flocks of drunk Brits are attracting criminals, the Foreign Office said.  It added: “Tourists are targeted by thieves and pickpockets in Sunny Beach.  There has been an increase in burglaries from hotel rooms.”  Prostitution is not illegal in Bulgaria…but it is believed [by cops] to be linked to the criminal underworld…”We’ve received numerous reports of muggings and assaults of British nationals by prostitutes and their minders…Tourists have been victims of overcharging in strip clubs [and] threatened with violence if they don’t pay”…

This scam has existed for as long as there have been cities; the Romans referred to such women as gallinae (“hens”).  To report this as “news” is like pretending the existence of pickpockets and panhandlers is.  Also:  Try buying something at any business in the US or UK and refusing to pay, and let’s see if you aren’t threatened with violence.  The fact that the thugs you’ll be threatened with in those places are more likely to wear costumes doesn’t change the fact that you’re being threatened with violence.

The Course of a Disease (#8)

A watered-down disease culture, but a disease culture nonetheless:

…[Israeli] lawmakers [who happen to have vaginas]…announced they would present legislation punishing the clients of prostitutes…as the Justice Ministry wrapped up a year-long evaluation of the issue…The issue in recent months earned overwhelming support in the Knesset, with 71 lawmakers from both the coalition and opposition lending their support…Justice Ministry Director-General Emi Palmor ruled out leveling fines against those who paid for sex, saying it was not legally viable.  However, Palmor said she was “very, very much in favor” of instituting gradual criminal penalties against those who pay for sex, beginning with a warning and building up to court-ordered “John school” attendance, and other criminal punishments…Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked…will then decide whether to pursue legislation that would both punish clients and set up [re-education] programs for the sex workers…

The Immunity Syndrome (#321)

The last “super gonorrhea” scare turned out to be bogus, and I strongly suspect this one is as well:

…the World Health Association is now warning of an globally spreading gonorrhoea superbug which is resistant to all antibiotics…Thus far there have been only three identified cases of people with a strain resistant to all antibiotics, so it’s far from too late for us to stop this becoming a pandemic, or for you to protect yourself…

Observation: three cases of a dangerous disease.  Conclusion: “globally spreading” pandemic!  Everybody panic!

Pimping the Pimp (#446) 

With her exaggerated claims, naked opportunism, and ludicrous misuse of terminology, this woman reminds me very much of Annie Lobert of “Liars for Jesus”:

Elle Snow laces up her combat boots, prepared once again, to go to war with “The Game”…says Snow…”The [sex] traffickers like to move their victims frequently so they can’t get to know anyone and it’s harder for law enforcement to track them”…Snow…says she was 19 when she was first approached by an older man [named David Bernard Anderson] who…[coerced her into prostitution]…Anderson was one of many men and women following a set of carefully laid-out rules and guidelines for how to force women into prostitution.  “What happened to me was called ‘The Game,’ this monstrous beast that is this world of sex trafficking…These guys have a complete structure, they have books, they have documentaries, they have podcasts”…Now Snow spends many of her days monitoring sex ads on online classified sites, looking for trends …”I’m looking for tattoos because traffickers like to brand their victims”…

Yes, Snow is intentionally conflating the street term “The Game” (which, like “john”, is used far more often among cops and prohibitionists than among streetwalkers, and virtually never by other sex workers) with “Game”, the pickup artist system.  Anyone who’s ever researched the latter knows that it has nothing to do with pimping, but Snow doesn’t let that stop her any more than she lets the demonstrated falsity of that tattoo nonsense stop her from claiming that.  Neither CNN nor her intended marks will bother to do any research, because they’re eager to hear more masturbatory fantasies they can pretend are about fighting evil rather than appealing to their prurient interests.

Guinea Pigs (#634) 

New surveillance weapons are usually used against sex workers first, but it never stops with us:

In late June, someone launched a website called Je Suis Maidan, identifying people captured in photographs from Moscow’s June 12 anti-corruption protest.  On July 7, the website also started identifying demonstrators who attended protests that day in regions throughout the country.  Je Suis Maidan relies on the controversial app “FindFace,” which makes it possible to find a random person’s social-media page on Vkontakte [Russian Facebook] with a photograph of that person.  Using images that appeared in the news media (including a gigapixel photograph published by the pro-Kremlin tabloid Life.ru), the website finds people through FindFace, listing their real names and Vkontakte pages…

The War Goes On (#705) 

Politicians will keep persecuting Backpage until they find a new website to demonize:

Five members of Congress who [ride anti-whore hobbyhorses]…called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a criminal investigation of Backpage.com after a trove of documents revealed that the website hired a company in the Philippines to lure advertisers and customers…The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations…[claimed] in January that Backpage was removing offensive terms from its sex ads but allowing the ads, some with [imagined] child-trafficking content, to remain posted…

Some of the five named politicians are the same ones working to gut Section 230, thereby destroying the internet as we know it.

Business As Usual (#738) 

Even though there’s nothing here which wasn’t already covered in earlier articles on the topic (including mine), its appearance in a mainstream and controversy-averse publication like Glamour is an extremely promising sign:

There’s a heated debate going on right now in Alaska between the police department and sex workers’ rights advocates over a bill that would make it illegal for [cops] to [rape or molest] sex workers before arresting them.  If Alaska passes this bill, they’ll become the first state to outlaw any sexual contact between police and the people they’re [trying to entrap]…Advocates…[point out] that police catching sex workers in the act by engaging with them sexually is a human rights violation, and Amnesty International has made an official statement…that…“Such conduct is an abuse of authority and…amounts to rape and/or entrapment”…

Across the Pond (#744)

Here’s that vile use of “safer neighborhood team” to mean “vice squad” again:

After a [supposed] spike in complaints…[cops] are launching the new campaign which they hope will stop the sex trade in Redbridge…Sgt Matt Taylor…was quick to [hide the persecution behind the faddish claim]…that his detectives are targeting the pimps and criminals which organise and use the prostitutes, and not the girls themselves…“We want to [force] them…out of prostitution”…Sgt Taylor said police [pretend] the gangs are “organised”…Insp Lee Canter, the head of Redbridge Safer Neighbourhoods, commented: “I would like to send a strong message out to those who intend to use the services of sex workers as we will seek to prosecute you and if convicted your picture may be published in the local papers”…

Total Eclipse of the Brain 

Though it’s too early in the implosion to tell for sure, we may have a winner in the “stupidest gypsy whore magnet” competition:

The eyes of the world will be on Hopkinsville [Kentucky] next month when a total solar eclipse brings tens of thousands of people to the small city.  But law enforcement and activists are warning everyone of sex trafficking, a dangerous threat they hope does not become a reality…[profiteer] Amy Leenerts [claims]…“yes, it will definitely happen…it’s a human trafficking ring.  And we expect that to probably end up in Hopkinsville”…The FBI is looking into the credibility of human trafficking threats during the eclipse.  Meanwhile, the Christian County Sheriff Department is wasting no time preparing for the worst…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#755)

One way to tell a moral scold’s head is inextricably embedded in his own rectal cavity:  he claims supposed disastrous effects of whatever-it-is that are the exact opposite of those claimed by other moral scolds:

The Salvation Army has condemned…sex robots, warning that the technology could increase demand for people trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation…rather than decrease demand for real sex workers…Kathryn Taylor, of the Salvation Army’s anti-[whore]…unit said…”In the same way that pornography normalises certain behaviours, the availability of sexbots could normalise a distorted power dynamic which devalues the other person involved when transferred to human interactions.  This could encourage increased objectification of women and children and a lack of respect for their fellow human beings”…Prof Noel Sharkey…said compliant and uncomplaining sexbots could encourage objectification, abuse, rape and paedophilia…

You know, kind of like Agatha Christie novels and TV cop shows increase real crimes.  It’s funny how prudes expect everyone to believe that human beings are only volitionless tabulae rasae when sex is involved.

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Usually, when I devote a whole column to picking on a news article, it’s because said article is so hilariously bad or deeply disturbing (or both) that I can’t bear to limit myself to a quick jab of the knife in a news column, and instead prefer to lovingly vivisect it until the entire virtual room is spattered in blood.  But this is, alas, not one of those cases; the article’s author, Sonja Sharp, clearly believes herself an ally of sex workers, or is at least open-minded to the idea that sex workers deserve human rights, yet she can’t quite bring herself to shake off her childlike trust in government and her belief that cops are the “good guys”.  So what we get is an article that is generally supportive of sex worker rights, yet fails to properly place the blame for our oppression on the prohibitionists; instead, it adopts a kind of mealy-mouthed “moderation”, pretending that there is a legitimate “debate” to be had between those who say humans own ourselves and have unalienable rights, and those who pretend that individuals are owned by the State, which has the “right” to use violence to “protect” us from choices with which our owners disapprove.  There’s very little point in quoting the good parts, so I’m just going to concentrate on pointing out the bad ones.

[When] Police Commissioner James O’Neill and the city’s First Lady Chirlane McCray…[announced] the NYPD would bolster the size of its vice squad in order to stamp out sex trafficking…the hope on part of some advocates was that sex workers might see relief from the pressure traditionally brought to bear by police…

I have no idea who these “advocates” Sharp refers to are, but none of them are sex worker rights activists; we know better than to harbor naive beliefs that doubling the size of a police unit could in any way signal “relief” for those the unit is specifically intended to oppress.

…a growing number of law enforcement agencies…are forming their own anti-trafficking units—often using grants from the feds—and deploying similarly gallant rhetoric despite limited evidence their arrests do much to stop exploitation…But alternatives are time-consuming and remain opaque to most law enforcement agencies, which have been deputized to fight human trafficking in part because it’s widely understood to be synonymous with illegal sex work…Modernizing their approach is still a work in progress, to say the least…

Because the writer can’t bring herself to question the institution of policing, she buys into the claim that cops are interested in “stopping exploitation”; she imagines that the idea of just leaving people alone instead of persecuting them for private, consensual activities is “opaque” to cops, rather than recognizing “sex trafficking” as a boondoggle intended to disguise the ugly persecution of sexual behavior under a mask of “helping”.  The idea that cops’ behavior needs to be “modernized” is the most asinine of all; what they’re doing now IS the modern approach, by definition, since it’s less than 20 years old.  What we really need is a return to the approach which predominated throughout most of human history: recognizing that sex work is normal and not a government matter, and leaving it the fuck alone.

…Jean Bruggeman, executive director of the national anti-trafficking organization Freedom Network USA [says] “I think in their zeal to help [cops] are doing some very wrongheaded things,” including mass arrests of sex workers and John stings using fake Backpage ads…

More exoneration of cops, pretending their abusive behavior (including surveillance, rape, robbery, brutality, destruction of homes and lives and even driving people to suicide) is motivated by a “zeal to help”.  You know, like terrorists blow up innocent people in their “zeal to help” them get to Heaven.

…In what appears to be a more concerted approach than that of the NYPD, LA Sheriff’s detectives bring an outreach worker with them whenever they approach sex workers…always offering them diversion first, before an arrest is made…”if they flat-out refuse, we book them, and then they’re sent to the appropriate court,” where they are then [forced into] a system of mandatory services…It seems like progressive approach, one most people—even those who think sex work should be legal—might be able to get behind…

Yeah, it’s “progressive” all right, considering that the Progressive movement spawned the concept of Prohibition in the first place.  To pretend that people who want to suppress consensual sex are actually trying to “help” anyone but themselves is disingenuous in the extreme, yet Sharp just can’t see that attacking peaceful people and then forcing them at gunpoint to accept the government’s idea of “help” is evil even if implemented exactly as planned, both in theory and in practice.

…demand reduction…is hotly contested among advocates and experts.  While less explicitly harmful than arresting sex workers, opponents say it does little to rout traffickers, while those who endorse it argue arresting Johns makes sexual exploitation less attractive as a business…

Aaaaaaaand I’m gonna stop right there before I am seized with the urge to disembowel Sharp along with her crappy article.  No, “end demand” isn’t “hotly contested” among anyone who actually gives a shit about human rights, nor is it less harmful than arresting sex workers (indeed, in the US it always includes arresting sex workers despite the rhetoric).  There is no legitimate “debate” over whether people own their own bodies, nor whether they have the right to consensual sex with other adult partners; pretending that there is such a “debate” is nothing more than catering to evil control freaks and sucking the dick of power.  The pretense that cops are some kind of sweet, well-intentioned social justice squad, and that it isn’t their fault the laws are bad, is so incredibly nauseating it boggles the mind.  Stories like this, written by sheltered little girls barely out of their parents’ houses, are vile apologies for evil policies that enable uniformed rapists and soft-peddle operations intended to destroy lives, enable armed robbery of citizens and increase the real “modern slavery”, mass incarceration.

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Police, perplexingly, think that [stings are] a trust-building exercise.  –  Alison Clancey

Check Your Premises

Young women are passive, doll-like “children” without will or volition until a prosecutor points his magical finger at them, transforming them instantly into evil adult “pimps”:

Two days after turning eighteen, a California woteen [sic] was sentenced to 13 years in prison for human trafficking of younger girls.  Jelinajane Bedrijo Almario…was tried as an adult…Detective Richard Pontecorvo…[fantasized while masturbating that] “These people are great at locating kids with low self-esteem…these pimps are ruining these kids’ lives at an early age”…

“Woteen”?  I’m guessing he started with “teen” and then meant to change it to “woman” so as to create an apparent age gap & thereby demonize Almario more thoroughly.  Oops!

Broken Record 

Small cities come up with the most ludicrous concepts for supposed “gypsy whore” magnets:

Tourism and hospitality industry leaders will be meeting with the [Grand Rapids, Michigan] chapter of Women at Risk International (WAR)…to [spread propaganda about]…human trafficking…Michigan is one of the leading states for human trafficking…Between 100,000 and 300,000 underage girls are sold for sex in the United States every year…And, when there are…major events like ArtPrize…cases often soar.  The conference will [subject] tourism and hospitality professionals to [propaganda claiming consensual sex]…is bad for business [and encouraging them to rat out their guests to the pigs]…

Paint By Numbers (#551)

Fanatics are running out of stupid “sex trafficking awareness” stunts, so they’re recycling old ones:

A group of three recent University of Texas graduates are…cycling their way from Seattle to San Diego, to raise awareness of the sex trafficking crisis in our own neighborhoods.  Sara Belmer, Savannah Lovelace, and Grace Pfeffer are the…members of Pedal the Pacific.  They refer to themselves as “hilariously un-athletic girls” who are [spreading tired decades-old fantasies]…about the very real [masturbatory fantasy] of human trafficking…

To Molest and Rape 

Some cops prefer to rape by proxy:

…Maria Joseph [reported]…that Ville Platte [Louisiana] Marshall Deputy Arthur Phillips forced her to have sex with another man…Joseph [was asked to go for a ride]…with Phillips [and agreed] because she “assumed it was a date”…Phillips brought Joseph to his apartment, and then “called a couple of friends…‘Chris’ and ‘Ike,’ to come over and visit.”  After asking his friends if they had any money, Phillips then proceeded to “[demand Joseph]…touch Chris”…after “she told the men she didn’t do prostitution,” Phillips “proceeded to physically push Joseph onto Chris…[then] told her to give Chris oral sex and to do it for daddy”…later…he…[forced her] to have sex with [another man named] Joe while [he] watched”…

Do I really need to say “don’t go on a date with a cop, either”?  Why are people so naive?

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#646)

It’s fascinating how much energy these fetishists expend on something that doesn’t exist:

…In a report on the growing market in sex robots, the Foundation for Responsible Robotics [fantasized that] rapidly advancing technologies have already led to the creation of “android love dolls” [even though they actually haven’t]…robots raise complex issues that should be considered by policymakers and the public, the report said…including whether use of such devices should be encouraged in sexual therapy clinics, for sex offenders, or for people with disabilities…Noel Sharkey…said it was difficult to predict how far or fast the market would grow…[but pearl-clutchers pretend] that allowing people to live out their darkest fantasies with robots would have a pernicious effect on societal norms…

O, Canada! (#683)

Another chapter in this grotesque campaign to intimidate sex workers:

Sex-worker advocates are calling on police in British Columbia to stop participating in a…[scam] that sees [cops] pose as prospective clients and arrange dates in efforts to [intimidate] sex workers [into leaving the trade]…They…show up at the agreed-upon location…to [try to browbeat] the sex worker [into agreeing with their pretense that] she is working under coercion…advocates…call the operation deceptive, and say it erodes the already precarious relationship between law enforcement and the sex-work community…sex workers who have been targeted in these operations have described the events as frightening and traumatic…

Traffic Circle (#702)

Some cops just can’t stick with the “all whores are victims” program:

Escambia County [Florida pigs] have arrested 17 people in a two-day prostitution sting…Col. Robert Quinata [oinked that] operations such as this don’t stop prostitution in the county, but serve as a reminder to other offenders that police are aware [that human beings have sex]…he said…Escambia County doesn’t have a sex trafficking problem…as they don’t often find prostitutes working against their will…ECSO periodically uses undercover operations to target sex workers…and will continue to do so…to send a message…

Checklist (#732)

Clearly, critical thinking skills are not a prerequisite for passing nursing school:

…As president of the Emergency Nurses Association, I am calling for nationally consistent policies and clear protocols for identifying victims of human trafficking, and mandatory training of all emergency department personnel.  Those who work in healthcare, particularly in emergency departments, often encounter human trafficking victims.  Yet [we have no actual proof of that claim]…Florida and Michigan now require human trafficking training as part of their healthcare licensing processes…There are physical clues, like certain scars, markings or tattoos like the barcode I [claim to have seen, yet have no proof of]…their captors exert…[magical mind] control over victims…

Remember, there has only been ONE actual case of a barcode tattoo, in Spain in 2012, and that one was a case of life imitating art. Yet this woman claims to have actually seen one, and produces no proof.  This is exactly as credible as an Elvis sighting.

Full of Themselves (#746)

Massage parlor licensing is widely touted as a way to “fight prostitution”, despite not actually working:

A new Indiana law could [magically] bring an end to [sex work]…Massage therapists must now get a license…This October, seven central Indiana businesses were raided after [cops tricked] women [into] performing sexual acts…The Indiana attorney general’s office said the incidence of human trafficking tips quadrupled over the past two years…Not just anyone can get a license — you must be at least 18; go through 500 hours of training from an accredited school and pass a criminal background check, and exam…

The Widening Gyre (#749) 

I am so enjoying watching “sex trafficking” hysteria spin out of control of the “authorities”:

The Dubuque [Iowa] Police Department is scrambling to correct a story about an alleged abduction that got warped after it circulated through social media…on Saturday, June 24, a woman and her 8-year-old daughter were at Kennedy Mall when [the woman claims] an unknown female [of indeterminate species] began conversing with the girl, offering to buy her a gift of her choice in the store…The mother [says she] took the girl away from the unknown female and left the area…the…story was posted on social media where it was embellished and widely spread…

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Anti-prostitution crusaders behave as if we were at war over a symbol rather than discussing possible and partial solutions.  –  Laura Agustín

Check Your Premises 

Yeah, I’m sure they answered the pigs’ fake ads and said, “Hi, I’m interested in buying sex from a potential trafficking victim”.  That sounds totally legit:  “The FBI and police in St. Louis County…[claim] that [14] men contacted undercover officers….[and] were interested in paying for sex from potential trafficking victims…

First They Came for the Hookers…

Just in case you think owning a “legal” sex work business protects you:

A brother and sister were sentenced…to two years in federal prison for their schemes to promote prostitution at 10 Portland-area strip clubs and adult video stores.  Kandace Desmarias…and her brother, Gilbert “Mace” Desmarais…also were convicted of conspiring to evade paying more than $728,000 in federal income taxes by concealing $2.6 million in income from the clubs’ strip shows and prostitution.  The ringleader of the operation, their stepfather Lawrence G. Owen, 75, was sentenced in April  to two years and six months in prison…

“Ringleader”?  Seriously?  Are owners of non-sex related businesses called “ringleaders” when convicted of tax evasion?

Life Imitates Artifice (#139) 

It took four years, but eventually an Islamic theocracy followed Russia’s lead in using “sex trafficking” hysteria as Anti-American propaganda, exactly as I predicted:

[Bahram Qassemi of the foreign ministry of] Iran said…“The root causes of human trafficking lie in unilateral, interventionist and aggressive policies as well as the wars of attrition, terrorism and ethnic cleansing in which the military and security forces of America and some of its allies are involved…the U.S. government…cannot shirk its responsibility for that by playing blame games and leveling unfounded and false accusations against other countries”…

Business As Usual 

Given that cops raping sex workers is both typical and tolerated by police departments, my guess is that this dude pissed off somebody well above his pay grade:

An NYPD cop working undercover prostitution stings in Manhattan…[raped] six women…All of the[m]…illegal immigrants…[Michael] Golden would pay between $40 and $300 for the sex acts, prosecutors said.  Then, a field team made up of fellow officers would burst in and…arrest [his victim]…Under the rules, undercover cops can strip down to their underwear, but they aren’t allowed to engage in any sex acts with the sting targets…

The Hooker Vote (#615) 

Yet another Dennis Hof PR scam, because reporters are stupid enough to keep giving him free publicity:

Licensed prostitutes in Nevada…are organizing against legislation they say will devastate them, other prostitutes across the nation and their families…dubbing itself “Hookers for Health Care,” this group plans to go “on a political offensive…to stop the Republican effort.”  At the helm is Alice Little…who works…at Dennis Hof’s Sagebrush Ranch brothel…About a hundred women working in Hof’s seven brothels have already signed up to be involved with this new movement…

Are these reporters complete dolts? Are they unable to see that a real “movement” would involve prostitutes who didn’t work for Hof as well?  Are they oblivious to Hof’s unimaginative naming convention (cf “Hookers for Hillary”, “Tarts for Trump”, “Pimpin’ for Paul”)?  Why do these imbeciles keep providing free advertising for this dangerously self-centered jackass, who’s happy to get in bed with prohibitionists against sex workers who aren’t forced to give half of their income to him?

To Molest and Rape

“Forced into a sexual relationship” may be the most convoluted way of saying “raped” I’ve yet seen:

…Melissa Granados sued the Otero County [New Mexico] Sheriff’s Department…Joshua R. Sides and others…Granados [reported] that after Sides and four other [cops] entered her home without a warrant and arrested her as she got out of the shower, naked except for a towel, co-defendant sheriff’s Officer John Emory joked with Sides and others that it was “hard to handcuff her … those tits are distracting me”…The five [thugs from] the Otero County Narcotics Enforcement Unit entered her home “claiming they had an arrest warrant for plaintiff, however never produced any valid warrant to enter her home”…later…Sides told her she had 24 hours to accept his offer to work as an informant.  Granados…refused…[then] Sides [coerced] her…in[to] a sexual relationship…She arrived home one day to find him already inside, though he had no key…he…hit her and knocked her…unconscious…

The Widening Gyre (#692) 

I love watching “authorities” get caught up in their own manufactured moral panic:

A SERIAL conwoman who cost [Ireland] €350,000 in armed garda protection by posing as a child sex trafficking victim is facing up to 10 years in jail after pulling a similar scam in Australia.  Samantha Azzopardi…who is now 28…[is] accused of obtaining €13,500 worth of services from the state and charities by pretending to be a 13-year-old Sydney foster child…named Harper Hart…court documents…cite…her “extensive history of providing false documentation, obtaining passports in false names and assuming identities of other persons” in Queensland, Western Australia, Ireland and Canada…

The Widening Gyre (#697)

Those who don’t remember the height of the Satanic Panic may be surprised by this level of lunacy:

Alex Jones…interviewed Robert David Steele, a man whose Wikipedia page lists him as “an American activist and former Central Intelligence Agency clandestine services case officer.”  Steele laid out a strange theory that suggested NASA not only has secretly sent humans to Mars without anyone knowing about it but that…“There is a colony on Mars that is populated by children who were kidnapped and sent into space…once they get to Mars, they have no alternative but to be slaves on the Mars colony…Pedophilia does not stop with sodomizing children…It goes straight into terrorizing them to adrenalize their blood and then murdering them.  It also includes murdering them so that they can have their bone marrow harvested as well as body parts”…

Checklist (#713) 

Just in case you didn’t think you were spied on enough in airports:

…the House’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill…would require new mandatory training for all “ticket counter agents, gate agents, and other air carrier workers whose jobs require regular interaction with passengers” on “recognizing and responding to potential human trafficking victims”…federal agents have already been training flight attendants and other airline personnel on how to “detect” human traffickers or trafficking victims on their planes…There is no evidence these efforts have actually yielded any trafficking busts—which shouldn’t surprise anyone not immersed in some Taken-style fantasy…A heightened sensitivity to anything out-of-the-ordinary—which in the United States can still mean interracial families or a child traveling with two fathers—means a propensity to profile passengers based on stereotypes…Airline Ambassadors International, which often works with government officials on sex-trafficking awareness training, suggests that “children and young women traveling alone” should be considered suspect, as should people who say they are adults but have “adolescent features”…

Interview:  Laura Agustín

Another interview with Dr. Agustín about The Three-Headed Dog:

Why should acknowledgement of structural inequalities mean victimising those less equal?  I’ve never understood that.  Unequal in terms of money and power does not mean unequal in agency, connections, street-smarts or guts…The focus on inequality leads logically to self-positioning as a helper – the Rescue Industry.  And if helpers believe everyone must want to be in their original homes, it leads to deportation…

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Rarely on this side of the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea are we blessed with propaganda so divorced from the surly bonds of reality that it sails upward, ever upward, into the realm of surrealism.
–  C.J. Ciaramella

The past few weeks have been rather dry in the interesting link department; I reckon it’s because the clowns performing on the national stage are even more buffoonish than usual, and their pratfalls are taking attention away from murderous cops, the weird behavior of Floridians and the like.  But there was a sudden upswing in sex work stories last week, so we’ll see where this goes.  The video is just here to make Grace smile (it was her birthday last Wednesday); she also provided the first link, and the others above the video are from Popehat (“Gygax”),  Tushy Galore (“NONE”), Eddie J Cunningham (“ill”), Radley Balko (“together”), and Wendy Lyon (“functions”).

From the Archives

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[It’s traumatic for escorts to end up] face to face with a [cop] who wants to know your name and question you and detain you until he can establish that you’re not a victim of whatever exploitation that he’s imagining you’re a victim of.  –  Sandra Wesley

Dirty Amateurs

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

…a recent study on unprotected sex…had some sobering results: Of the 1000 Americans surveyed, 65.5 percent said they had unprotected sex—and 29.1 percent of those people said they had unprotected sex every single time…68.4 percent never ask their partners if they’ve been tested before [barebacking] with them…many [supposed adults]…said they were daunted by the idea of asking a partner to fetch one in the heat of the moment…One friend told me she was too insecure to ask for anything when she first started having sex…”I couldn’t imagine messing it up by asking them to wear a condom because then they might not think I was sexy or cool anymore”…

To me, the first part – in which the author actually admits she planned to have sex with a penniless liar she didn’t know who didn’t even have a bed of his own, much less any cash to give her – reads like a dispatch from an alien world.

Whorearchy

Though this article is mostly about the word “hooker” itself, it contains this choice example of whorearchy from an empty-headed little twit in Nevada:

“I call myself a legal courtesan,” says Allissa…She works at Sheri’s Ranch…in Pahrump, Nevada…A “hooker,” she says, is “someone that’s being managed by a pimp [just like Allissa is], is on the street, is making money any way they can.”  By contrast, she says, she’s a [pimped] professional.  “Everything we do is legal…Condoms are mandatory [and pimp-enforced].  We have strict rules [set by pimps] to abide by.  And we also pay taxes”…

So in Allissa’s tiny mind, a “courtesan” is a hooker whose pimp has a LICENSE, so it’s different.  One wonders what she thinks (and I use the term loosely) about independents like me.  Another highlights of the article: vile excuse for a human being Dennis Hof, who claims to be a libertarian, praising Donald Trump.

Skin To Skin

Not a bad article on the benefits of sex work for the disabled:

People with disabilities still face social stigma and isolation when it comes to intimacy…EASE Canada founder Dave Symington [said] “It’s the hidden disabilities that seem to be more troubling in society…People…really struggle with mental health issues”…Symington has heard again and again how interacting with a sex worker…completely changes their capability for creating and maintaining intimate relationships…Some countries have already taken the step toward covering sex work for those with disabilities.  People in the Netherlands…can use their disability benefits however they like, including purchasing sex…

Policing for Profit

Cops have almost completely abandoned the pretense that this is about anything other than profit:

…South Carolina police agencies raked in $4.3 million through federal forfeitures in the 2015 budget year, and slightly more the year before that.  Every year in Spartanburg County, the Sheriff’s Office organizes a week-long [shakedown racket] on Interstates 26 and 85 involving multiple local and federal agencies.  They call it “Rolling Thunder”…[this year the thugs] pulled over 1,110 motorists — the majority of whom were black or Hispanic — mostly for infractions such as making improper lane changes or following too closely…[and] searched 158 vehicles, including large tour buses…[they stole over] $139,320 in cash…State laws typically set a higher burden than the federal government for seizing assets…But police can still tap into the federal forfeiture rules…Less than 4 miles of I-95 runs through the small…town [of Ridgeland, but]…that little stretch of interstate has been a [porcine] cash machine.  Ridgeland’s population is only about 5,000, “if you count the prison”…but police there have [stolen] more than $6 million…since 2002…

Whither Canada?

Articles like this are much more common in the Canadian press:

…For 13 years, we at SWAN…have been supporting migrant and immigrant women who do sex work in Metro Vancouver…Despite the preponderance of ads advertising sexual services of 20-somethings, the average age of the women we support is 40.  Over the past few years, there has been a war against online classified-ad websites such as Backpage that carry sex workers’ ads.  While this war started in the United States, it has crept across the border to Canada…But one perspective is consistently missing: that of the sex worker exercising agency and using the Internet as a safety tool…The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act introduced in 2014 criminalized third-party advertisers like Backpage, although few charges have been laid to date.  Shortly after the law came into force, many websites imposed stricter posting criteria for adult-oriented ads, banning the use of sexual terminology.  This prevents sex workers from clearly communicating in their ads what services they provide…The ban on advertising violates sex workers’ rights to personal security and freedom of expression.  Canada does not need legislation that inhibits communication between sex workers and their clients and impedes sex workers from working independently indoors…

New Excuse

Even mainstream websites are beginning to recognize that the War on Whores is the new War on Drugs:

…U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions told a gathering of more than 1,500 federal, state, and local [pigs]…that he was…”mak[ing] the fight against child exploitation and human trafficking a top priority”…Sessions warned of the dangers of…encrypted-communication platforms, social-networking sites, and “the so-called Darknet.”  These, he declared, are the tools of such “depraved people” as “child pornographers, sextortionists, and human traffickers”…Even the aggressively neutral Politico couldn’t avoid making drug war comparisons, describing the video as “hearkening back to the D.A.R.E era” with its “hyperbolic language”…The idea that every American child is just one smartphone app away from being snatched into sex slavery is absurd…But it does make a nice narrative if you want to wage war on pesky encrypted technologies that thwart [cops]…or to get everyone from flight attendants to truck drivers telling federal agents about anyone “suspicious”…

The Mote and the Beam (#510)

It just keeps getting worse:

So far this year, federal lawmakers have introduced more than 30 bills related to “sex trafficking,” which many in government now define to mean all prostitution…following the familiar pattern of the drug war, these measures mostly focus on giving federal law enforcement more “tools” to find, prosecute, and punish people for [consensual] actions…One…would expand state and local government authority “to seek wiretap warrants in sexual exploitation and prostitution cases” (emphasis mine) and mandate the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute of Justice conduct a “study on the long-term physical and psychological effects of the commercial sex trade”…law enforcement across the land…[would be required to] target prostitution customers [under the pretense that purchasing sex]…”is a form of gender-based violence,” opening the way for possible hate-crime enhancements for anyone who tries to pay for sex…

Little Boxes (#576)

I’m not a lawyer, but I doubt saying “there is no constitutional right to” whatever you’re trying to ban in the text of a law banning it actually carries any legal weight:

[The] Ocean City…[Maryland] Town Council…prohibited women appearing topless on the beach during an emergency session…The newly refined ordinance states “there is no constitutional right for an individual to appear in public…in a state of nudity”.  The…unanimously passed…ordinance took effect immediately, clarifying that anyone showing “the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering,” would be…subject to a fine of up to $1,000.  Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan said the emergency ordinance was a response to “hundreds of calls and emails from residents and visitors, expressing their concerns over this issue…Each year, thousands of families visit our beach to relax in an atmosphere free of this type of activity”…A town spokesperson [imagined] that the ordinance would have no bearing on breastfeeding…

I’m not sure what’s stupider, the idea that there could ever be such a thing as a visible-tit emergency, or the one that a gland specifically activated during motherhood is somehow anti-family.  See also clauses purporting to prevent a law from ever being amended, repealed or judicially reviewed; politicians are totally losing their minds over sex.

Teacher’s Pet

Remember how I said that, for a celebrity sex worker like me, mentoring young sex worker groupies was much too dangerous because it could open me up to “sex trafficking” charges?

Schwesta Ewa, a Polish-born musician whose [legal] name is Ewa Müller, allegedly “compelled” four fans, aged 17 to 19, to [do sex work]…between November 2015 and September 2016…Prosecutors [claim] Müller did not tell tax authorities about profits she made from the fans, and that she forced them into the work through violence.  Müller…worked as a prostitute before she was famous.  Her lyrics often tell stories about life in the sex trade, including being attacked by clients…Müller opened a bar in Frankfurt, but complained in January 2016 that police had raided it…

Pimps Ahoy 

Another rescue industry character claiming to have been a “sex trafficker”.  It’s an exhaustingly-long masturbatory fantasy for the “sex trafficking” set, full of “pimps”, misstated laws, “gangs”, 30 inhuman clients a night, Pretty Woman idiocy, etc, etc, leading up to this: “Mary knew that deep inside she and her girls were suffering and lost.  Amid the stream of [extremely high income]…the women battled drug addictions, alcoholism and ever-creeping levels of self-loathing and emptiness“…until a new friend “offered to study the Bible with Mary” and Jesus saved her.  Does anyone who isn’t already a Christian actually believe this pap?

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#692)

Anybody who thinks this machine “moves like a real human” really needs to hire a pro immediately:

…The Service Droid (now a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo) started life as a personal project by Arlan Robotics…the company claim to have created…an incredibly realistic droid that when assembled looks, smells, feels and moves like a real human…

Lying Down With Dogs (#708)

More on the maltreatment of sex workers in another large police state:

During the celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg in May 2003, the police raided brothels…[and] booked fake appointments with sex workers…They…drove the street-based sex workers 200 km away from the center and left them there….[as] part of…operations to “clean” the city for the celebration.  Raids against sex workers are carried out on a daily basis in Russia.  On the eve of some important events…the police intensify raids…The Russian ‘foreign agent’ law, introduced in 2012, puts [the sex worker rights group] Silver Rose under the constant threat of prohibition.  The law authorises the Ministry of Justice to register independent groups as “foreign agents” without their consent…if the ministry regards the organisations as engaged in “political activity”…NGOs [so designated] are sometimes raided by state officials…

Broken Record (#742) 

Prohibitionists’ lies are never more blatant than when they claim to be quoting sex workers, but say the exact opposite of the truth:

There seems to be no hard evidence that Montreal’s Grand Prix is more of a prostitution-and-human-trafficking hotbed than other big events…an anti-prostitution group [claims] anecdotal evidence indicates demand for paid sex soars with the influx of Formula One fans…[prohibitionist] Diane Matte [lies]…“We also know from women we meet…that during…any…big sports event…women are solicited more, they are told [by imaginary pimps] to work longer hours to answer the needs of men who buy sex”…[but] Chez Stella, which runs a drop-in centre and medical clinic for sex workers, has launched a social-media campaign to denounce Grand Prix “disinformation campaigns” by governments and prostitution [prohib]itionists…Police…place fake ads on online classified sites…That makes clients reluctant to negotiate details before meeting…Afraid of police, some workers don’t provide services during the Grand Prix, “so they’re desperate for money the rest of the month and may take on clients they wouldn’t otherwise take on; they might deviate from normal safety measures and face more violence”…[Sandra] Wesley [of Chez Stella] said…“those men are at the race track during the day.  At night, they’re at parties with lots of women willing to have sex for free.  So where would they be seeing all these sex workers?”…

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Whorephobia is part of…the assumption that some people’s lives are worth more than others.  –  Anne Sexton

Rough Trade 

I have zero faith in the magical protective powers of “restraining orders”, nor do I believe this thug was actually innocent of rape:

A man has been found guilty of assaulting a sex worker in Gloucester.  Georgian Huzdup…kicked and punched the female victim…[who] was helped by two men who came to her aid during the attack in the early hours of 13 August last year.  Huzdup…was issued with a two-year restraining order after serving five months in prison on remand…he was found guilty of assault but not guilty of a count of rape…

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 

Remember, cops: raping whores is OK; it’s paying us fairly that isn’t:

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation started investigating…Donald Bonds…after learning…he had paid to have sex on two occasions…He was booked into jail but released on a $10,000 bond.  Bonds is currently suspended without pay…

Note that for major, dangerous crimes like consensual sex, cops are suspended without pay; for minor indiscretions like aggravated rape or gunning kids down in the street, they’re suspended with pay.

Watershed

We’re seeing ever-more columns like this from women who identify as feminists:

Women who are not in the business of commodified sex are drip-fed the idea that sex workers are not “like us”.  They are dismissed as “skanks” or “trash”.  Often they are treated condescendingly as victims without agency…rarely are we encouraged to respect them.  Sex workers are seen as the ultimate “other”.  They are a blank canvas for our fantasies and our fears.  Their voices are silenced and their histories erased or rewritten…

Subtle Pimping (#330)

It was inevitable that somebody would come up with an anti-whore video featuring a fake game:

Beacon of the Freed proudly launches its “Buying Sex is not a Game” campaign, intended to raise awareness among the general public and visiting tourists of the often-invisible, but devastating, consequences of sexual exploitation…This [asinine] video, filmed in the style of a popular television program…will…be circulated through Facebook, YouTube and various partners…Beacon of the Freed [pretends it] is not taking a stance in the debate on prostitution…[yet wildly exaggerates the prevalence of coercion in sex work to scare clients away, thus robbing sex workers of income]…

“Sexual exploitation” is a popular prohibitionist dysphemism for “sex work”.

Opting Out (#441)

May has been pushing internet censorship since she was home secretary:

A lot of people have trashed through the sheer incompetence and audacity of trying to “regulate” the Internet by “eliminating safe spaces”, as PM May advocates…Glyn Moody has highlighted how it will destroy the British software industry.  Caleb Chen writes about a new government-controlled Internet in the UK…Cory Doctorow has completely torn apart the nonsense of “regulating the internet” over at Boing Boing; he notes that not only wouldn’t it work, but the cost of trying is prohibitive, essentially requiring sending Britain back to steam power days…Theresa May is…pushing a package that introduces censorship of pornography on the Internet, and is justifying it as absolutely necessary to fight terrorism.  She is even doing this with a straight face, apparently serious…

Traffic in Nonsense (#595)

Another state requires anti-whore indoctrination for licensing:  “[Kansas] unanimously approved Senate Bill 40 to…require…applicants for a commercial driver’s license to receive training in identifying and responding to potential incidents of human trafficking…

Amateur Night

Kudos to Dan Savage for giving this advice to a heavily scarred, sexually traumatized young man:

Hire a sex worker.  It’ll allow you to separate your anxieties about finding a romance and companionship from your anxieties about being sexually inexperienced.  A kind, indulgent, competent sex worker can relieve you of your virginity and help restore—or instill—confidence in your dick’s ability to get and stay hard in the presence of another human being.  Be totally honest…about your inexperience and your concerns.  If you get the sense during negotiations—which should be brief and to-the-point—that the woman you’re talking to is impatient or uncaring, thank her for her time and start over.  There are kind, caring, compassionate sex workers out there…

Utter Cluelessness

Future cultural historians will wonder why “sex trafficking” hysterics were so obsessed with pizza:

“It’s just as easy as ordering a pizza, to order a person.”  These haunting words, spoken by a [pig seeking more power]…encapsulate a fragment of [the colossal dishonesty of government and gullibility of people who swallow ots propaganda]…human trafficking has become one of the fastest growing businesses of organized crime in the world…approximately 100,000 American citizens may be victims of trafficking within the United States.  It’s happening in our backyard: Ohio ranks number five in the nation for the most human trafficking cases…

This imbecile literally strings together as many stupid “sex trafficking” tropes as he can in one place, then labels this regurgitated nonsense “haunting”.

The Immunity Syndrome (#666)

Partisanism is like a form of self-lobotomy, and Trump’s brand of it is like ice-pick self-lobotomy:

Donald Trump has appointed another foe of evidence-based health information to the Department of Health and Human Services. Valerie Huber, a longtime leader of abstinence-only education advocacy groups, will be the chief of staff to the assistant secretary of health…Research from Case Western Reserve University found that the programs Huber ran in [Ohio] contained “false and misleading information” about abortion, contraceptives, and sexually transmitted infections, in addition to perpetuating “destructive, inaccurate gender stereotypes” and presenting “religious convictions as scientific fact.”  One curriculum said that teenagers who have sex before marriage should “be prepared to die”…

Pimps Ahoy 

Small rescue industry profiteers learn the value of slave labor from their larger mentors:

[Houston “rescue” profiteer] A 2nd Cup…received [a] donation of $100,000, a financial boost that will help launch a coffee and culinary work program for human trafficking survivors…The Reliant Gives donation will go toward a new holistic program that provides important skills for survivors, from resume writing and interview techniques to customer service and financial training, as well as barista, roasting, and culinary skills to help rebuild their lives through [menial] employment…

Cooties (#721)

Despite the popularity of this fantasy with UK cops, not one has ever been found:

A campaign has been launched to highlight the growing problem of women being used as sex slaves within “pop-up brothels” around Yorkshire…these brothels can be used to house women against their will, with many suffering abuse in the most inhumane conditions…They are often privately rented flats or houses, but budget hotels or holiday properties are also sometimes used…

Though it’s hard to recognize through the layers of cop masturbatory fantasy, what they’re actually talking about is ordinary sex workers using AirBnB rentals.

Broken Record (#743) 

It’s fascinating to watch the way prohibitionists contort facts so as to support their fantasies:

…Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine became the latest in a long line of public officials to declare that large public events bring…a spike in human trafficking…a claim that researchers have [repeatedly disproven]…Despite the spike in reported incidents through the hotline…there was no significant increase in human trafficking arrests in…Ohio last year…the number of [people labeled as] victims…actually dropped…But [prohibitionists claim that doesn’t mean anything because]…the vast majority of human trafficking [is magically] undetect[able]…they [fantasize about] human trafficking rings that [somehow can never be found]…

Hard Numbers (#744)

Can y’all send a delegation to talk to the ABA?  Pretty please?

The Law Society of South Australia has voiced its support for a bill to decriminalise sex work in the state…Leah Marrone of the Law Society…told the select committee that compromise was not appropriate for this particular bill…“It has to be full decriminalisation to achieve the objects of what it is set out for,” Ms Marrone said…“Decriminalisation will improve the health, protection and safety of workers in this industry who deserve it, and it is the principal means by which their safety and their workplace rights can be assured,” said David Caruso, the president of the Law Society of SA…

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