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Posts Tagged ‘propaganda’

Police killing is not the work of vigilant warriors defending society…and sometimes going too far: it is the…petty tyranny of a taxpayer-funded bureaucratic lobby group.  –  Lyman Stone

The Proper Study (#652)

Another study proves what sex workers have been saying all along:

In a new study just published in The Journal of Sex Research…men…said paid sex offered them a space where they could overcome their insecurities and low self-esteem and sidestep their awkwardness in approaching women…paid sex allowed for a shared understanding of what was (and was not) going to follow sex.  Both the man paying for sex and the sex worker understood the nature of the transaction…with a sex worker, men said they did not worry about being sexually inexperienced…Some men indicated that through paid sex they actually could learn new sexual skills that they might use with other women in other circumstances…Paid sex was also described as giving some men a non-threatening context where they felt safe to engage in sex despite their sexual concerns, including the fear of being unable to have an erection…The findings further expand [academic] ideas of what it is that men are really buying when they pay for sex and suggests [amateurs]…underestimate the amount of emotional labor that goes into sex work…

I Spy (#958)

A politician claims that spying isn’t actually spying:

A secretive unit of the Maine State Police…gather[s] information about groups and organizations even when they are not suspected of crimes, including people who are participating in protests…Michael Sauschuck, the [chief pig] commissioner of…Maine…testified at a…legislative hearing about…a federal whistleblower lawsuit filed by a state trooper…[who] was retaliated against after reporting that the intelligence unit illegally used surveillance tools to monitor innocent citizens…Sauschuck refused to directly respond to the allegations in the lawsuit…but…acknowledged under questioning that the center does [spy] on citizens, including groups that organize public protests…[yet still claimed]  “We’re not spying on people”…the Maine State Police might be using powerful new technologies to scan your face and intercept your cellphone signals, and don’t have to tell the public because of an unusual provision in state law…the center…also…participated in the “See Something, Say Something” campaign, which involves [ratting out people they spy on]…to federal agencies [based on flimsy suspicions and]…racial profiling…

The Missing Word (#981)

If only there were a concise word for smuggling humans to sell them:

…Paul Petersen plead guilty to the offense of Conspiracy to Smuggle Illegal Aliens for Commercial Advantage and Private Financial Gain…Petersen…orchestrated the travel of several pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the Western District of Arkansas…to arrange adoption of their children by families living in the United States…[even though that’s illegal under a] 1983 [compact between] the United States…and…the…RMI…

The Monsters Are Due (#1040)

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

After a chaotic saga unfolded…centering around two missing teenage girls and a [Milwaukee house fantasized to be] a sex trafficking hub…police said…there is no indication the girls were ever there — or that the house was used for such activity.  The girls, ages 13 and 15, were found by one of their mothers more than three miles away…[but before that] three people [were] shot — including two 14-year-olds — plus…a house [was] set on fire twice and an unknown number of [people were] hurt by the tear gas and rubber bullets police fired into a scattered crowd…

Whimsical Notions (#1051)

Since the “trafficked slaves” myth isn’t getting results any more, the government is now claiming sex workers are actually spies:

Trafficked women in Bahrain, some working as prostitutes, are seeking to collect sensitive intelligence from U.S. sailors that they can later sell, according to [NCIS spook]…Joe Minucci…in [an indoctrination video]…“they sell that information, and that’s how they make more money in order to get themselves out of the [lucrative job] they’re in,” he said…

Bread and Circuses (#1051)

FOSTA just keeps splashing egg all over the feds’ stupid, violent faces:

For years leading up to the passage of FOSTA, we were told that Congress had to pass the law…because so many women were “at risk” due to trafficking….[on] Backpage…of course, the actual stats that were provided turned out to be fake and Backpage was seized before the law was even passed.  The charges against the founders did not include sex trafficking charges…with all of the moral panic around the need to pass FOSTA,…the DOJ had not used the law a single time to go after any “sex trafficking” site.  Instead, as we predicted, the law was being used in nuisance lawsuits…Finally…the DOJ made use of FOSTA in shutting down a website and arresting its operator…the DOJ conveniently mashes together sex work and sex trafficking, because that’s the kind of thing law enforcement likes to do…[so] plenty of…sex workers, who previously had relied on Backpage to remain safe and now relied on Martono’s sites, are again put in danger.  The Hacking/Hustling collective…put out a press release calling out what a stupid, counterproductive move this is…

The Cop Myth (#1052)

Even political conservatives are beginning to recognize the danger of police violence:

[Cops murder] about 1,700 Americans every year.  In other words, police killings have made up about one out of every twelve violent deaths of Americans between 2010 and 2018…including American military deaths in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere during that window.  Indeed, more Americans died at the hands of [cops] during that period (about 14,400) than died while on active military duty (about 9,400).  Police violence in America is…disproportionate to the actual threats facing [cops]…historically, police unionization has led directly to increases in police killings, but no change in crime…When incompetent DMV workers are not fired, when abusive teachers are reshuffled around schools, when bureaucrats use administrative gimmicks to thwart the electorate’s desire to rein in excessive spending, we conservatives are quick to (correctly!) identify the pernicious work of public-sector unions.  Whereas all workers should have some say in their employment conditions, such as via unionization, public-sector workers already get a say in their employment conditions without a union: they get to vote on who their boss is!  Public sector unions give the bureaucrats double the “votes” of the rest of us…The difference is that, unlike other public sector unions, police unions have military-grade equipment they can use to violently crush protests against their abuses, and they are legally immune from most consequences.  They’re teachers’ unions, but with tanks and endless get-out-of-jail-free cards…

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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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He fed the police and didn’t charge them nothing.  –  Odessa Riley

Rube Goldberg machines are even more awesome when constructed in an ordinary yard, as in this video contributed by Phoenix Calida; the links above it were provided by Cathy Reisenwitz, Kevin Wilson, Missy Mariposa (x2), Mark Bennett, and Mike Siegel, in that order.

From the Archives

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When I was younger, I made it a point never to say “I told you so” even when I had, because it struck me as annoying and arrogant even when it was justified.  Well, those days are gone.  I’ve been warning people about what I see coming, and largely being ignored (when I’m not being dismissed as paranoid or overly cynical), for decades now, so maybe if I rub some noses in it when events prove me right in spades, a few more will start fucking listening.  Take the current protests, for example; regular readers know I’ve been writing about police brutality for a very long time, and I’m certainly not alone in recognizing policing as a dangerous societal malady.  But even many soi-disant “leftists” who claim to be against police violence haven’t been against policing itself, and have long comforted themselves with fantasies about “reform”; many of them now seem to be waking up to the recognition that the only “reform” that will work is defunding, disarming, downsizing and eventually abolishing them.  Furthermore, these same people have blathered nonsense about gun control for years, foolishly concerning themselves with rare acts of violence by private citizens instead of recognizing the need for citizens (especially minorities) to be armed against the depredations of government actors; I notice they’ve been a lot quieter for the past week, and some have even started talking about the Second Amendment they until recently idiotically criticized as an anachronism.  And then there are the protests themselves; I’ve been predicting since at least early April that the first riots would occur on May 1st (I was off by one day; it was April 30th) and would become a major crisis by the end of May.  Obviously, the current riots are mostly about cop violence, but if you really think anger at government declaring them “nonessential”, stealing their livelihoods and “locking them down” like prisoners aren’t contributing factors, I have nothing to say to you.  Also:  if the whole idiotic “lockdown” scheme was really necessary to control the spread of the virus, why isn’t anybody panicking & shaming the protesters gathering in vastly larger crowds than their “leaders” declared acceptable?  I think that’s enough; you get the picture, and if I keep listing examples I’m just going to get more insufferable than I already am.  But Cassandra is done being polite, and isn’t ever going to let y’all forget that she warned y’all about that fucking horse.

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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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I’ve been following Maya Morena, an undocumented migrant sex worker and tireless activist, since she became more prominent a year or so ago; I’ve wanted to publish a guest column from her for a while now, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to offer her this space to describe yet another effort by prohibitionists to silence us.

On March 10, 2020 I had the pleasure of attending the Sex Workers’ Pop-Up with some friends.  Sex workers and undocumented immigrants are subject to constant epistemic injustice, so something so simple as basic human respect from outsiders is rare.  We were trusted to represent ourselves and not be symbols for someone else’s white savior project.  I was excited by how many people showed up to support, knowing I would be looking at my friends’ faces on the gallery walls, and their artwork and stories would be showcased. The event itself mostly consisted of a panel of sex workers and people who identify as sex trafficking victims (or both). Personally, I didn’t think the event was radical enough and I’m hopeful that new platforms will spring up in the future.  But the hatred and exclusion that we were met with by a highly organized network of organizations was unbelievable, and considering that the exhibit was closed ahead of schedule due to COVID-19, the SWERFs who fought so hard for weeks to get it shut down have gotten their wish in the end.

On March 2, 2020 “New Yorkers for the Equality Model”, a coalition of organizations fighting for Swedish-style criminalization, created a letter with their partners.  I had protested the very formation of that group a few months earlier, and started http://www.equalitymodel.com to educate the public on what they were doing; in response, they filed a bogus DMCA takedown against it (as they have done many times against female content creators) and had a whole section of the site taken down.  I ended up paying $550 trying to file a counterclaim to protect my information from them, but didn’t have funds to keep fighting.  Various SWERFs such as Rachel Moran, and Julie Bindel (who don’t even live in New York) have been demanding that the MTA and Outfront Media take down our (paid-for) posters for the events we were hosting.  This is very on-brand for Bindel, who has argued that giving sex workers hand sanitizers and medical advice on how to reduce potential disease is a “waste of time” since it would “encourage” sex workers to stay working longer (as though people were doing sex work for the sole reason that someone gave them hand sanitizer).  The letter itself – hosted on their website and promoted through mainstream media – claims that there’s an evil conspiracy by George Soros to target children through the ads and get them to become sex slaves.  The letter makes the claim that “The term ‘sex work’ is a euphemism for prostitution, coined in the 1980s by people with financial interests in the sex trade, whose goal was to mainstream and normalize the systems of prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation.”  The “people with financial interests” referred to are sex workers, because “sex work” encompasses everything from stripping, to webcamming, to dominatrix work – not only prostitution, and not all illegal; the term was actually coined by Carol Leigh, a sex worker and activist.  The letter goes on to dehumanize sex workers by comparing us to drugs, cigarettes, guns, and organs harvesting, then makes veiled threats against sex workers by stating that we are still criminalized in New York in an attempt to get the ads censored by New York state.  Many of the organizations who penned the letter worked hard to create the Human Trafficking Intervention Courts which still incarcerate and deport sex workers, despite their repeated claims that they wouldn’t.

The organizations who make up “New Yorkers for the Equality Model” are deeply racist, but try to obscure this is by exploiting a few migrants as tokens via the “Trafficking Visa“, which has only been given to 6780 people over the past 11 years despite having an annual cap of 5,000 (it is one of the only visas that never meets its cap).  And even it is very weak help; it only gives an immigrant the right to work in the US for 4 years.  This is best the  US and “anti-trafficking” groups have to give to people they label victims.  The US spends millions every year on “human trafficking”, most of which goes toward police and border control efforts; the prohibitionist organizations are “law and order” types, and only “help” migrants – exploited or otherwise – who are willing to help them put others behind bars.  These tokens are therefore not good representatives of sex workers or marginalized groups.  They represent oppressive institutions that exclude and criminalize undocumented immigrants from services; they are an exceedingly small minority which promotes criminalization of other minorities; and when they work for the state or “anti-trafficking” organizations, they often consider themselves “legal immigrants” and thus superior to sex workers and “illegal” immigrants.  Even the kids who have been separated from their parents, molested by guards at the border, and sold through adoption are not considered worthy of assistance; they are “criminals” just like me, who was a child migrant and a DACA kid.  It does hurt that the people who work hard to erase marginalized people get to claim they’re “saving” us to a gullible public.

But despite the Sex Worker Pop-Up’s short duration, it did give me a glimpse of how many sex workers allies there are, and how much they desire to listen to and support us.  I met more sex workers in that one place then I have anywhere else except for the internet, and was able to connect with radical activists, content creators, professionals, and even male sex workers that our sciety prefers to pretend don’t exist.  We even spoke about creating other, future events to educate the public, even though we know we’ll have to fight those who want to silence and harm us to do so.

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Governmental mechanisms to frame policy based on lies are not uncommon.  –  Laura Agustín

The Naked Anthropologist

Dr. Laura Agustín on “sex trafficking” snake oil:

Swindle, chicanery, skullduggery, con.  There’s no one perfect word to describe how trafficking came to be hailed as one of the great problems of our time.  Excess in rhetoric has known no bounds, with campaigners saying theirs is the new civil-rights movement and claiming there are more people in slavery today than at any time in human history, amongst other hyperbole.  And there was me thinking it was about folks wanting to leave home to see if things might be better elsewhere…I was asking reasonable questions about a social phenomenon and refused to be fobbed off with explanations that made no sense.  My trajectory as a thinker happened to coincide with a piece of governmental legerdemain that switched the topic of conversation from human mobility and migration to organized crime, like peas in a shell game…

Shame, Shame (#649)

Gee, who could’ve anticipated draconian “revenge porn” laws would be used this way (except all the free speech activists who have opposed them for years)?

Bethany Austin did nothing society would reasonably call wrong.  She received, without asking, sexually explicit images that her fiancé’s paramour sent to a shared cloud account.  She quietly called off the engagement…[and] her former fiancé [responded by] spread[ing] a hurtful and untrue rumor that he had ended the relationship because Ms. Austin was crazy and refused to cook and clean for him.  To clear her good name, Ms. Austin wrote a letter to her friends and family explaining what really happened.  She attached some of the images as proof.  Now the ex‐​fiancé and his paramour are using Illinois’s “revenge porn” law to punish her for speaking, and the state is happily obliging…The trial court found the law unconstitutional, but the Illinois Supreme Court reversed.  Cato, joined by DKT Liberty Project, has filed an amicus brief supporting Ms. Austin’s petition to the U.S. Supreme Court…

I Spy (#1001)

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

Google will use its mammoth collection of mobile location data to [spy on] people across the globe [to see whether they are obeying] government [orders] to remain at home [until politicians deign to let them out again]…or are venturing out to [live their lives]…Google will provide county-level percentages that are updated every few days, but summarized in a way that the company [claims] will not reveal any individual’s travels [until politicians demand such information…

A Moral Cancer (#1002)

Crypto-moralists always pretend their lust to ban things is about “health” or “safety”:

With the economy tanking and families locked together because of stay-at-home orders…domestic violence rates appear to be soaring.  This requires an urgent response:  States should immediately order the closures of liquor stores.  They can reopen when [politicians declare that] home isolation is no longer needed…

Like Houses (#1025)

And guess who gets to declare that an “emergency” exists?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom thinks that [the] right [to self-defense]…is…”nonessential”…a…decision…which allowed Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva to unilaterally ban the sale of firearms and ammunition…Villanueva…[was forced to] rescind…his ban…[in the face of a lawsuit and]…new federal guidelines.  New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy…[and] Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf [made similar defeated attempts]…their reluctance to respect [Constitutional rights does]…not bode well for civil liberties at a time when many people seem to think that fighting the pandemic trumps all other concerns…Cornell law professor Michael Dorf argued…Congress should suspend the writ of habeas corpus…[so] people [can be indefinitely] detained by the government…[and a recent poll showed] sizable majorities of [useful idiots]…favored confining people to their homes, [caging] sick people…government takeovers of businesses, [enslavement] of health care workers…and even criminalizing [speech that the government disapproves of]…

Like Houses (#1027)

Oh Maggie, you’re paranoid; this is about keeping people SAFE!

Under a motion passed by the city council in Laredo, Texas…residents…face a fine of up to $1,000 for not wearing some form of covering on their nose and mouth [until politicians declare] the coronavirus outbreak [over]…all residents over the age of 5 are required to have their nose and mouth covered when entering public buildings, using public transportation and when pumping gas…residents will also be required to adhere to a daily curfew or possibly face a fine or jail time…the curfew…lasts from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m…and may only leave for…work…[if they have a permission slip] from their employer…

It’s not about expanding the police state at all!

…New York [cops] arrested three people in Brooklyn…after they allegedly “failed to maintain social distancing”…despite [politicians] promising that those disregarding the lockdown would face fines at most…the individuals [were]…charged with obstructing governmental administration, unlawful assembly, and disorderly conduct…one…woman…[was mobbed by pigs] wearing no masks…[who] pepper-sprayed [her and her boyfriend]…she…was…then [locked in a filthy cage]…with two dozen other women for the next 36 hours.  Only women who already had masks when they were arrested were allowed to keep them…The woman was…[fired] because [her employer]…fears she was exposed to the virus while in [the disgusting, unsanitary cage]…

Government officials can be trusted not to take it too far!

Louisville residents [accused of]…contact with coronavirus patients [whom cops also accuse of] refus[ing] to isolate themselves are being [forced] to wear ankle [monitor] bracelets…there are [four] known cases so far…

Social Distancing (#1028)

American anti-sex work attitudes have slowly caught on in Japan:

Advocates for bar hostesses and [other] sex workers have urged the government to reconsider its exclusion of them from compensation for parents unable to work because of school closures, noting they are among the most vulnerable members of society.  A support group for such workers submitted…a letter asking the government not to discriminate by occupation and to protect the lives of all families as the coronavirus takes its toll on the Japanese economy…

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As I pointed out in “Silver Lining“,

…COVID panic has pushed “sex trafficking” hysteria off of the internet’s “front page”, so to speak…the last round of “sex trafficking” hysteria ended in the UK because of the First World War, and in the US because of the Great Depression; it wouldn’t be at all surprising or unprecedented for this one to be killed by a pandemic…

I’m not the only one who’s noticed; prohibitionists certainly have as well, and I’ll bet their donations are rapidly drying up as both bourgeois pearl-clutchers and governments alike find themselves without money to spend on supporting sociopaths who have made careers out of vomiting out ugly BDSM sexual fantasies and devising new excuses for cops to use in hunting, raping and deporting sex workers and destroying the lives of our clients, associates, friends and families.  Expressed another way, both the panic and the governmental mismanagement of it are killing a number of industries, and it looks as though the rescue industry may well be one of them (especially since it has never produced anything of value).  As a result, the “sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit, and attempting to tie their parasitic business model in to pandemic hysteria in order to leech resources away from truly vital disaster-relief efforts.  The most horrifying example I’ve seen is from Georgia:

…as the coronavirus continues its spread across America and beyond…pedophiles are working 24/7 to take advantage of these dark times as more children than ever are on the internet…whereas there has been a reduction in the illicit massage business due to closures…“We…are…seeing an increase in the use of social media as part of the grooming process,” [lied] Bob Rodgers…of Street Grace…The activity he’s seeing around Atlanta…shows a steady stream of people reaching out and making inquiries with the intent of purchasing sex with children.  In other places like North Carolina, he’s actually seen an uptick…Deborah J. Richardson…of the International Human Trafficking Institute in Atlanta…[fantasizes]…“that labor trafficking is emerging” [in a bust economy]…

This “institute’s” motto expressed in plain English is, “Replace facts with propaganda, spy on your neighbors and snitch on them to the cops“.  But Atlanta isn’t the only US city infested by anti-sex bigots; the unhinged fantasies of those in New York are openly anti-Semitic, claiming an art exhibit was “really” an international “pimp” conspiracy promoting “child rape” and financed by George Soros.  It’s going to be really interesting to see how much crazier the ranting of these deranged scam artists is going to get as their funds dry up, and if we’re fortunate their increasingly-bizarre claims will be the last we ever hear from them.

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Crises lead to a permanently bigger state with many more powers and responsibilities and the taxes to pay for them.

The Maze of Consent

Consent is neither as simple nor as static as puritans pretend:

The AVN Adult Entertainment Expo represents one key node in a global network of adult-oriented entertainment expos that attract fans and industry personnel…Every January the…largely LA-based adult entertainment industry relocates to Las Vegas for about a week, bringing with it performers, producers, directors and videographers.  The porn community is in town for business-to-business events, to shoot porn, celebrate industry achievements at the AVN Awards…A “mix of physical, social and institutional boundaries and formal and informal rules of engagement” prevails within…Attendees…must sign a “code of conduct”.  Signage…reminds patrons of the AVN’s policy of zero tolerance of anyone found and/or reported to have engaged in assault, non-consensual physical contact, violations of privacy, and verbal or physical harassment.  While this code isn’t perfect, our research found it…help[s] keep non-consensual contact to a minimum and empower the performers to negotiate their own boundaries…

Not for Any Reason Whatsoever

Do I really have to add, “Not because you saw your neighbors outdoors”?

A [cop shop] has had a surge in calls from people reporting their neighbours for “going out for a second run”.  Government lockdown rules allow [subjects] to leave their [cells] to take one form of exercise a day…In the coming days, police will be given the powers to fine anyone [accused of controlling their own lives.  One pig oinked]…”We are getting calls from [bootlicking snitches] who say ‘I think my neighbour is going out on a second run – I want you to come and arrest them’…We have had dozens and dozens of these calls”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#865) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are absolutely losing their shit because people aren’t listening to their wanking fantasies during the pandemic:

…the 79,000 victims in Texas born and raised in America are not protected against COVID-19, nor are their clients…spread of the virus will be curbed by prosecution of sex traffickers…[who] snag some 200,000 young people born and raised in the U.S…Traffickers lure vulnerable youth at bus stops, outside schoolyards…and even within foster homes…

The Dallas Morning News is so filled with scribbling from these compulsive masturbators, it’s an embarrassment to the entire state of Texas.

O, Canada! (#943)

Prohibitionists want Ontario to be more like the US:

On March 6, the Ontario government announced an investment of $307 million over five years in an alleged strategy to “combat human trafficking and end sexual exploitation”…The unprecedented scale of the financial investment…coincides with some of the most comprehensive budget cuts and privatization of services in Ontario…To receive funding, approved agencies must maintain practice and policy that aligns with the Ford government’s blatant anti-sex work position, which is based on biased and false information about sex workers and their trade…such as the rampant and false claims that 13 is the average age of entry into sex work, or that the majority of sex workers do not “choose” to participate in sex work.  These myths not only promote disempowering stereotypes…but [also] embolden police and other institutions to criminalize sex workers and…contribute to moral panic…

Panopticon (#1010)

Fascists scheme to make the horrifying UK surveillance network even worse:

Police are creating the UK’s first database of homes with doorbell cameras and CCTVs to help [increase the surveillance network]…Wiltshire Police are asking residents with the devices to register them with police so that they can be [accessed even if owners deny permission]…The scheme is backed by [politicians] in Swindon where it is being initially launched.  “This isn’t about surveillance”…[lied politician] Rahul Tarar…

Watershed (#1011)

We’re likely to start seeing more articles like this as “sex trafficking” hysteria dies:

When consensual sex work is considered a form of violence, it’s hard to look ahead at the possibilities of decriminalization…when most of the space is used wrangling an ideological debate about whether sex work is inherently demeaning, any discussion of how decrim would take shape gets lost in the crossfire.  But as Vermont recently followed New York and became the second state…to introduce legislation to remove criminal penalties, the reality of a decriminalized future is inching closer…more than half of the population supports decrim…[but] what would [that]…look like in the United States?…

Like Houses (#1025)

Once the state takes a power for itself, it never surrenders that power voluntarily:

In just a few weeks a virus a ten-thousandth of a millimetre in diameter has transformed Western democracies.  States have [forcibly] shut down businesses and sealed people indoors.  They have promised trillions of dollars to keep the economy on life support.  If South Korea and Singapore are a guide, medical and electronic privacy are about to be cast aside.  It is the most dramatic extension of state power since the second world war.  One taboo after another has been broken.  Not just in the threat of fines or prison for ordinary people doing ordinary things, but also in the size and scope of the government’s role in the economy…history suggests that after crises the state does not give up all the ground it has taken.  Today that has implications not just for the economy, but also for the surveillance of individuals…

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Fuck the patriarchy — but not for free!  –  protest sign in Berlin

If It Were Legal

Do prosecutors think scoring points trumps five women’s harassment lawsuit?

LA Direct agency owner Derek Hay has made arrangements to travel to Los Angeles to face criminal pandering charges in California, stemming from accusations made during [a] recent…case involv[ing] five of his former models petitioning against him and his agency before the California Labor Commission…Charlotte Cross, Shay Evans, Sofi Ryan, Andi Rye and Hadley Viscara…[are suing] Hay and two other individuals [for sexual assault, but apparently]…California [prosecutors think the fact that he paid]…Viscara…and…Ryan [for sex in]…2017 [is somehow more important]…

Follow the Leader

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

PJ Starr’s chilling documentary “No Human Involved” recounts the 2009 [murder] of Marcia Powell by…Arizona [screws]…and condemns the criminalization of prostitution…the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office…[did] not…prosecute [the screws who intentionally and maliciously locked] Powell outside in a human cage for several hours without water as temperatures soared to 107 degrees…[a lying pig] who had already arrested Powell twice before for [prostitution]…entrapp[ed] a…schizophrenic woman…[and terrible laws were used to] turn…what would normally be a…misdemeanor…into a…felony…In the film, retired [Arizona] Deputy Warden Carl Toersbijns reviews Powell’s…file…and observes its tone of “retaliation” and “pettiness” toward the woman.  Powell was written up for things like drinking coffee out of the wrong cup and…shackled…every time she got out of her cell…[the torture escalated until screws respnded to suicidal ideation by locking her in the cage where she was found four hours later, covered in her own shit with a body temperature of 108o]…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#724) 

Given that dancers win every one of these suits, the old strip club business model is a dead duck:

…a judge at an employment tribunal ruled that dancers in a London strip clubs Browns and Horns have worker status.  Until now, dancers were misclassified as “independent contractors” [despite being treated as employees], which means they had no access to even the most basic rights at work.  The new ruling now opens the door for dancers to claim workers’ rights such as paid annual leave, a guaranteed pay for all hours worked, the right to take maternity or sick leave without the risk of termination, protection against workplace harassment and the right to organise through a trade union…

Full of Themselves (#787)

‘Happy endings’ have apparently become a matter of national security“:

The FBI has launched an investigation into how applicants with phony or questionable credentials were able to get Massachusetts massage therapist licenses…[the FBI is claiming jurisdiction over a minor state regulatory issue using the excuse of] sex trafficking…the state Board…approved the applications of candidates who reported getting their training at Axiom Healthcare Academy in New Jersey, after the school closed in 2014…Axiom’s founder pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges he sold fake transcripts and phony graduation certificates to [sex workers to get around government busybodies]…

The War on Whores

Here’s a nice review of The War on Whores on an Australian radio program; it starts at the 9:00 mark and is about eleven minutes long, and you can also download it as an MP3.  The reviewer called it a “must-watch”, and said some very complimentary things about this blog as well.

Out of Control (#946)

What is wrong with doctors who do this?

An Ohio plastic surgeon used sedatives…to drug and rape multiple women…[since] at least 2013…Manish Raj Gupta…faces [a raft of] federal charges…[including] sex trafficking…The FBI began investigating Gupta…[last year] after a woman who worked as a “high-end escort” reported that Gupta had [raped]…her in September 2016…In the morning, KB drove to the home of a client who is an anesthesiologist, and asked him to administer a drug test…[which] showed she had a tranquilizer in her system…[she wisely] did not report the incident to police…[but] did…[add him to] two [bad date] websites…[several other sex workers had] report[ed him starting in] March 2013…Gupta’s employees at his practice, Artisan Cosmetic Surgery, began to get suspicious of him when [one of his victims]…called the office “stating that Gupta had drugged her, raped her and video-recorded her,” describing him, his phone and his car in accurate detail…

I notice that NBC News felt no compelling need to put “plastic surgeon” or other non-sexwork job titles in scare quotes.

Uncommon Sense (#948)

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

…the Prostituiertenschutzgesetz…which came into force 1 July 2017…require[s sex workers] to register with a local authority and undergo mandatory [indocrination sessions] and [violations pretended to be for] health…the law does [nothing] to improve working conditions and it fails to integrate sex work into existing labour law…The ProstSchG is…a bureaucratic nightmare for sex workers…if they comply [so most simply do]…not register…the realities of sex workers in [Germany] could s[till] get worse under…Swedish [criminalization], called for by [prohibitionist politicians]

End Demand (#972)

Mar Brettmann is a sleazy opportunist who will say anything to sell her anti-whore snake oil:

The Port of Seattle is implementing new [indoctrination]…for its 2,000 employees to [encourage] them [to] sp[y on citizens passing through]…the region’s air and sea…ports…The [propaganda was purchased from]…the [highly]…profit[able] group Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking…The [propaganda]…is specifically designed [to encourage racists and naifs to summon] law enforcement…[to inflict] violence, threats…and other manipulation…[on brown] people…generating [huge] financial sums [for both propagandists and cops themselves, the latter via the procedure called “asset forfeiture”.  The propaganda includes thoroughly-debunked fantasies such as the widely-touted by completely fabricated tale of how]…in 2017, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant…[supposedly] rescue[d] an underage teenager traveling from Seattle to San Francisco who’d become a trafficking victim…

The story was touted in 2017, but supposedly happened in 2011.  And “while the news that year is full of stories about a man arrested at the San Francisco International Airport for wearing baggy pants…none mention a human trafficker apprehended at a Bay Area airport that year…SFPD…web archives turn up similarly scant results…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#1014)

Americans disapprove of teaching kids about sex, but they’re all for filling their heads with stupid anti-sex propaganda:

Twenty-four states plus Washington D.C. mandate statewide comprehensive sex ed, but Washington state is not one of them.  In fact…40% of school districts in Washington don’t teach sex ed at all…[but] a…bill [mandating it may]…pass…this year.  Republicans…don’t like the legislation because they don’t want their children to learn about sex and consent…so they tried to kill it by adding an obscene 232 amendments…this display ultimately failed, and…[politicians] ultimately withdrew the most salacious amendments…[including one] which would force teachers to reference the “risk” of pornography in any discussion of [the topic]…[another] would…”exclude…any curricula that directs students to resources that discuss BDSM, bloodplay, inserting vegetables into the anus, or similar sexual behavior”…[another] tr[ies]…to prohibit…[one specific] book…and [still another]…”prohibits a teacher or other instructor from…demonstrating how to apply a condom…using…items such as sex toys, fruits, or vegetables”…

I sometimes wonder why politicians in general are so obsessed with plants, especially fruits and vegetables.  And in this case I’m specifically wondering how many of these proposed amendments are from the preaching pig.

Pyrrhic Victory (#1020)

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

Wolfcom, a company that makes technology for police, is pitching body cameras with live facial recognition to [cop shops] across the United States…Axon, the largest manufacturer of body cameras in the United States, declared last year that it would not put the invasive technology in its hardware, citing “serious ethical concerns.”  NEC, which sells live facial recognition elsewhere in the world, has also not sold it to U.S. [cops.  But] Wolfcom claims to have sold body cameras to at least 1,500 [cop shops], universities, and [spook] organizations across the country.  It has been developing live facial recognition for the Halo, Wolfcom’s newest body camera model…

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