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Posts Tagged ‘robots’

You can say, “No sex without a condom”. You can say, “No sex until we’re married”.  But you can’t say, “No sex until you pay me”?…that…really undermines what consent means.  –  Katherine Sears

Bad Girls

I guess it runs in the family:

A judge found a[n Ohio] woman guilty of felony theft charges..[for] swindling an elderly war veteran out of tens of thousands of dollars before his death earlier this year.  Latasha Wisniewski, 38, used the false promise of romance to gain the trust of Charles Bauer, an 89-year-old Korean War veteran and widower, then looted much of his life’s savings in a matter of months to purchase botox injections, breast implants and butt implants…Wisniewski and her boyfriend, Daniel Scholz, are also charged with additional felony charges of misuse of credit cards in a separate case…Wisniewski’s conviction was based in part on the testimony of her aunt, 39-year-old Lisa Dotson…[who] was a home health aide charged in a separate case that accused her [of] stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from elderly and disabled clients.  She pleaded guilty to charges in both cases in August and agreed to [snitch on] Wisniewski…

Check Your Premises 

How about “women who were forced to work as cashiers were watched over by security guards so that they didn’t escape”?

South American women who were forced to work as prostitutes were watched over by security guards so that they didn’t escape.  [Cops sexually fantasized that] the 22 women were available 24 hours a day…The[y]…apparently…[worked for] two months [before]…new women would be introduced…

The word for a security guard posted to keep potentially-unruly, possibly-drunk customers in line is “bouncer”.  Bouncers in sex work establishments (such as strip clubs & brothels) are there to protect the workers, not to keep them from “escaping”.

The More the Better

Anything that helps demystify sex work is a good thing:

…attorney…Katherine Sears…began working as a prostitute three years ago, at…a…Nevada…brothel…By speaking about her experience, Sears hopes to educate people on a taboo topic…her husband John…isn’t bothered by her part-time job…Katherine…works in the brothel for three weeks before coming home to Iowa for a week…“You’re really less likely to get an STD from a prostitute than you are from the general public,” Sears said.  In the past year, she has taken time off to focus on her law practice and her 4-month-old son.  But it hasn’t stopped her from trying to break down misconceptions around prostitution…and…is so passionate about the decriminalization of prostitution, she is willing to take prostitution cases on pro bono…

Thou Shalt Not

Crypto-moralism is back in the news again lately:

…Regular consumption of soft drinks — both sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened — was associated with a greater risk of all causes of death, according to research…in JAMA Internal Medicine.  Participants who drank two or more glasses of soft drinks per day had a higher risk of mortality than those who consumed less than one glass per month…two or more glasses of artificially sweetened soft drinks a day was positively associated with deaths from circulatory diseases.  For sugar-sweetened soft drinks, one or more glasses a day were associated with deaths from digestive diseases…researchers cautioned that elevated soft-drink consumption may be a marker for an overall unhealthy lifestyle.  “In our study, high soft drinks consumers had a higher body mass index (BMI) and were also more likely to be current tobacco smokers,” said the study’s chief researcher, Neil Murphy…

Given that 100% of humans die, it’s not possible for anything to lead to “a greater risk of all causes of death”.  Also, this is your reminder that “sugary” is a ’70s-era dysphemism for “sweet”, appearing at roughly the same time as “natural” became an advertising buzzword; note that while the article writer mostly used more objective language, the headline writer couldn’t resist the pejorative term.

Monsters 

This was the 17th murder of a trans person this year; the majority were black trans women:

…Bailey Reeves…A [17-year-old trans woman]…was shot and killed in Baltimore over Labor Day weekend…the…body was found by a 16-year-old who said they heard three gunshots and a girl screaming “My friend! Someone help my friend! Call 911!”…the victim was transported to a hospital where she died…

A Tale That Grew in the Telling (#699)

Canadians join Americans in filling kids’ heads with anti-sex propaganda:

An Ontario school board is reviewing a new curriculum that would [indoctrinate] Grade 7 and 8 students [in anti-]sex [worker propaganda]…TK Pritchard [dreamed up] the [propaganda, which includes the usual lies about how]…the average “age of entrance” to trafficking is between 12 and 14…[boyfriends are] “Romeo pimps”…love and trust of [anyone who isn’t an “authority” is bad, etc]…”Waterloo region is a hotbed for human trafficking,” said Pritchard [while stroking himself]…”a lot of curriculums [sic]…use [propaganda] from the States…our curriculum is made with Canadian [lies which are exactly the same]…Police say they [wish] more trafficking [were] happening [so they could use it as an]…intimidation tactic…[like US cops do]…

Checklist (#852) 

Though that word doesn’t appear in this story, ask yourself why a racist airline employee was interrogating passengers about a fantasized international criminal conspiracy:

…an Alaska Airlines employee [intentionally set off an alarm and] yelled “evacuate” at [Newark]…airport on Labor Day…sen[ding] 200 panicked people fleeing amid fears of a mass shooting attack…the…employee…[claimed] she believed two male passengers were acting suspiciously…Han Han Xue…was waiting…to board his delayed…flight home to San Francisco….[when] the…employee…[pushed] him from behind…then approached Chunyi Luo, a…student standing near him.  “Are you scared? Are you nervous?” Luo said she asked him.  Luo…said he told her he was feeling nervous because the flight was late…but she stood “too close” to him so he stepped a few feet away.  Then she began asking Xue questions.  She asked if he knew Luo (the two were strangers) and what his itinerary was.  She then asked, “Why are you acting suspiciously?”  Xue said he struggled to know how to respond as the questions…became more bizarre.  “How much are they paying you?…Did they give you a visa?  Did they give your family a visa?  Do you make a lot of money?  Do you work on Wall Street?  Are you on an American visa?”…Xue..a [Canadian] citizen [who] works as a product designer at Lyft…said…he felt like he was being racially targeted and harassed, so he…join[ed] the passengers boarding the flight, hoping she’d bother someone else.  But she followed him, saying, “I’m onto you guys. The cops are already called”…[she then] yelled, “Evacuate, evacuate!” and pressed an emergency alarm…Xue ran with the crowd to another gate and…Luo [did too because he] believed there was a shooter…

The employee didn’t dream up these rude, prying questions herself; they’re the type of questions the mandated “training program” urges employees to harass brown people with in order to “fight sex trafficking”.

Pyrrhic Victory (#964)

The fascist establishment thinks nobody should have any privacy, even in their own thoughts:

A new frontier in lie detection is now emerging…projects are using AI to combine multiple sources of evidence into a single measure for deception.  Machine learning is accelerating deception research by spotting previously unseen patterns in reams of data…The algorithms behind such tools are designed to improve continuously over time, and may ultimately end up basing their determinations of guilt and innocence on factors that even the humans who have programmed them don’t understand.  These tests are being trialled in job interviews, at border crossings and in police inter[rogations]…the frontline for much of the new government-funded lie detection technology has been the borders of the US and Europe…the Avatar unit has a microphone, an infra-red eye-tracking camera and an Xbox Kinect sensor to measure body movement…[the system displays a creep cartoon “agent” to distract and unsettle subjects and] uses an algorithm to combine all of these types of data…to send a verdict to a human border guard within 45 seconds, who can either wave the traveller through or pull them aside for additional screening…

On the Simultaneous Having and Eating of Cake (#965) 

Will porn companies be the next to face the music for exploiting sex workers?

…nearly two dozen young women say that they responded to Craigslist ads seeking models and were then tricked into performing in internet pornography…producers behind a website called Girls Do Porn…were seeking women to make so-called amateur porn…Respondents…were directed to innocuous websites, with pictures of clothed women, that asked for their contact information and photographs.  Instead of being offered modeling jobs…they were offered roughly $5,000 to make pornography…[that] producers [claimed]…would be distributed only on DVD outside of the United States and would never be published online…[instead] the videos [were published] online, on Girls Do Porn…[and] also distributed to major sites, like Pornhub.  Shortly after the videos were posted, the women’s names and identifying information popped up on a [now-defunct] site called PornWikileaks, which [doxxes] people who have done porn…The women are seeking $22 million in damages…[and] their videos removed from the website…

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Any drug can be used responsibly.  –  Andre Picard

The Crumbling Dam

Prohibitionists hate harm reduction because prohibition is based in harm magnification:

The Alberta government has appointed a panel to study supervised drug-consumption sites.  Panel members have been told to not to consider the merits of the facilities, only how they affect neighbouring residents and businesses…this political exercise…is about vilifying one type of drug user…Because the reality is there are already a lot of supervised consumption sites in Alberta and every province and territory – places where clients can be served their poison of choice unadulterated, in relatively safe quantities and not be judged or jailed.  We call these places bars.  What they really are are supervised alcohol-consumption sites: a place people can consume a safe supply of a drug in social surroundings and where if they overdose (i.e. get too drunk), there are friends and bar staff around to help…The assumptions we have that injected drugs are dangerous and bad, while liquid drugs ingested in clean glasses are innocuous and safe, are false.  The best way to minimize the harm caused by drugs is to legalize them, to ensure the supply is safe…

The Proper Study (#572)

Every proper study of any kind of sex work shoots prohibitionist lies down in flames:

…[prohibitionists claim] that porn fuels misogynistic attitudes and sexual violence.  If this were the case, you would think that people who consumed a lot of porn would hold particularly negative views towards women.  So we decided to study a group of men whom we’ve dubbed “porn superfans” – those who are so enthusiastic about porn that they’ll attend the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas…The 294 expo attendees we surveyed…actually expressed more progressive attitudes towards gender equality on two of the questions.  For two others, they indicated just as progressive – or, said another way, just as sexist – attitudes as the general population…

Guinea Pigs (#726) 

In case you had forgotten that banks are actively looking for whores to rat out to the pigs:

The first episode of Forensic Finance discusses human trafficking, with more than 40 million people [pretended by prohibitionists] to be victims…It’s up to [the fascist establishment to feed this hysteria by destroying the lives of sex workers]…and one solution is to analyze bank data…

The rest is mostly a lot of misogynistic, agency-negating bullshit such as “many people who are trafficked might not know they’re victims”.

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#774) 

Return of the Killer Sex Robots:

Sex robots plagued with coding errors could be prone to violent behaviours including strangling, a [doll collector] has [fantasized.  A person who expects to be taken seriously despite calling himself] Brick Dollbanger fears violent repercussions if robotics are not regulated properly.  He believes a simple “coding error” could turn AI girlfriends against their owners [and magically give them souls]…”It scares me to death, it’s a machine and it’s always going to be a machine…If you’ve watched [The Terminator]…I honestly believe synthetics are going to look very similar…It’s not going to be something you can hit with a pipe and it’s going to fall apart…it’s going to be very strong, and it won’t get tired, it won’t stop unless it runs out of an energy supply…

Crying for Nanny (#842)

This is good news; hysteria never stops until it starts harming the wealthy & well-connected:

[Ambulance-chasing shysters are using “sex trafficking” hysteria as a weapon in an attempt to rob] four Atlanta-area hotels [based on the pretense that they] knew sex trafficking was taking place [because they did not actively persecute sex workers and others who might fit the absurdly-broad]…indicator of sex trafficking [propaganda pushed by prohibitionists]…Jonathan Tonge and Pat McDonough…represent four [women who now claim to be]…trafficking victims…

The hotel industry is really going to regret having collaborated with fanatics rather than fighting “sex trafficking” hysteria.

Bad Girls (#923) 

Note how an accomplished adult man is portrayed as a passive victim when sex & drugs are involved:

A prostitute linked to the suspected overdose deaths of three men…including [Andrea Zamperoni] an Italian chef at a popular restaurant…has been arrested on drug charges…Angelina Barini [admitted to providing the chef drugs and later claimed that her pimp gave the chef some kind of fentanyl-based concoction she called “liquid ecstasy”.  After Zamperoni predictably ODed]…her pimp, who hasn’t been identified, would not let her call the police and discussed whether to cut up the body…

Obviously, trying to cover up an overdose by CHOPPING UP A FUCKING BODY is an act of epic stupidity, and if this “pimp” exists, why has he neither been arrested nor named?  Ask yourself:  if drugs were not illegal, would successful men buy unidentifiable and possibly toxic swill from people they don’t know?  And if drug-taking companions weren’t charged under monstrous “felony murder” statutes, wouldn’t people be much more likely to summon help in case of overdose?

Repeat Offenders (#934)

Even when it isn’t garment-related, “rescuers” invariably want to push sex workers into some kind of traditional feminine menial labor:

…76…former sex workers [in Haiti]…have just completed a two (2) year training based on disciplines such as cosmetology, sewing, baking and cooking…This program of social reintegration…was initiated…by Fanm Kore Fanmi Professional Center, Fanm Kore Fanm Association in partnership with Operation Underground Railroad…

The inevitable religious connection is at the very end there; “Operation Underground Railroad” has strong ties to the Mormon Church.

Dangerous Speech (#948)

Why let facts get in the way of a witch hunt?

[Prohibitionists’] claims [against Backpage] have always been bogus. Now, thanks to memos obtained by Reason, we have proof that prosecutors understood this all along…six years before Backpage leaders were indicted on federal criminal charges, prosecutors had already begun building a “child sex trafficking” case against the company.  But this case was hampered by the fact that Backpage kept trying to help stop sex trafficking…”Unlike virtually every other website that is used for prostitution…Backpage is remarkably responsive to law enforcement requests and often takes proactive steps to assist in investigations,” wrote Catherine Crisham and Aravind Swaminathan, both assistant U.S. attorneys for the Western District of Washington, in the April 3 memo to Jenny Durkan, now mayor of Seattle and then head federal prosecutor for the district.  [The FBI] told prosecutors that “on many occasions,” Backpage staff proactively sent him “advertisements that appear to contain pictures of juveniles” and that the company was “very cooperative at removing these advertisements at law enforcement’s request”…[the memos] would wind up being accidently sent by federal prosecutors to Backpage defense lawyers last year.  But both would be ruled off-limits for defense use, placed under seal, and only subject to public courtroom discussion…after prosecutors tried to sanction defendants for a few paragraphs from the memos appearing in a June Wired article

Unsafe for Human Consumption (#954)

Clownish cops continue to pratfall over fentanyl hysteria; clownish reporters swallow it whole:

…[a hysterical] Harrisburg [Pennsylvania cop suffered a panic attack due to cop disinformation about fentanyl after picking up]…a package [discarded by a fleeing vehicle.  A spokespig claimed]…he was stricken with the classic overdose symptoms [and then described the classic symptoms of a panic attack, not an opioid overdose]…the first [backup pig] to arrive on the scene immediately administered a dose of the opioid antidote Narcan [which of course had no effect because he wasn’t overdosing, but]…EMTs [were able to calm him down with] a second dose, which [acted as a placebo to calm his hysteria]…

Buried lede: “…merely touching fentanyl is…not enough exposure to produce a life-threatening overdose”, but the reporter is so afraid of debunking pig dogma he had to insert qualifiers.

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[Government regulation of] encryption…[is] great, if your ideal gardening tool is a flamethrower.  –  Violet Blue

Under Every Bed

Some places are so small, they need to claim the whole COUNTY as a “sex trafficking hub”:

[Prohibitionist MacKrea “Cuckoo” Larue claims] Ohio is a hot spot for human trafficking because of its advanced [?] highway system, the fact that 60% of the U.S. population lives within an eight- to 10-hour drive…and the location of four international airports here…[prohibitionists pretend they “found”] nearly 50 online ads related to sex trafficking of minors in Tuscarawas County during a three-month period in the winter of 2015…23 were from Dover and 11 were up and down the I-77 corridor [because 44 is “nearly 50”, I guess]…“The biggest feeder for this is child pornography”…

Others do the same while claiming to be talking about just a town:

Clinton [Mississippi pigs oinked, bloviated and shared masturbatory fantasies about Hinds County’s] first-ever [prostitution sting to be relabeled a] human trafficking operation….The I-20 corridor is a thoroughfare for traffickers as they travel the country…

Naturally, both blame interstate highways as the cause.

Checklist (#704)

Apparently, Canadian “authorities” think their target audience is too stupid to read static posters, so they made a moving one:

A…video [ad displaying anti-sexwork propaganda]…could soon show up in your social media feed, now that a [commercial]…displayed at [Canadian] rest area locations is [loose]…The 14-second video was [released in] July…and…was created by a…[prohibitionist gang]…called Courage for Freedom.  The group [spreads the usual propaganda trying to convince the gullible]…”that [there] are criminal[s] actively working to recruit and isolate young people”…[the group believes that] “It doesn’t matter [who sex workers] are — to [us], they’re a commodity to make money.  [We] will go after anybody that [we] think [we] can coerce and manipulate to make money”…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#778) 

Sex dolls have existed for over a century, but nobody cared until our current global Neo-Victorian Era:

A petition calling for a ban on importing life-size sex dolls into South Korea has gathered nearly a quarter million signatures…passing a threshold that requires the president’s office to respond to the matter.  While sex dolls are not illegal in South Korea, government customs agencies had blocked their import under a law that restricts materials that “corrupt public morals.”  However, the Seoul High Court said in January that sex dolls were for personal use and should be treated differently than pornography, which is heavily restricted under South Korean law.  That decision was upheld by the supreme court in June.  The ruling has sparked a backlash [from puritanical busybodies]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#781)

More idiocy from megalomaniacs who think they control the laws of nature:

US Attorney General Barr [bloviated] that Big Tech “can and must” [somehow magically] put backdoors into encryption [but make them only accessible to the government]…likening the hard facts of computer science to a set of [political] beliefs…The AG’s remarks were reminiscent of former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s unforgettable line regarding encryption backdoors, that “the laws of mathematics are very commendable, but the only law that applies in Australia is the law of Australia”…under the Australian laws [which resulted from that delusional attitude], companies can be compelled to install malware on their users’ devices…[censor] messages…[or even spy on] the end-user…as a result [Australian companies were forced]…to build data centers [outside Australia in order to avoid]…the creation of “systemic weaknesses” in their products…

Cops and Robbers (#813)

Since billionaire sociopath Swanee Hunt’s loathesome “bots” aren’t scaring clients away, the pigs now pretend they were a major factor in “stings” so as to make them seem scarier:

More than 500 people [including many sex workers] were arrested in a national [pogrom]…the so-called “National Johns Suppression Initiative”…was conducted in 11 states by 26 [gangs of thugs]…six [of the gangs] used fake internet ads that linked to AI bots…[but most arrests were from the typical] street-level…stings [that victimize black and Hispanic people disproportionately]…eight [of the victims] were charged with [talking to an adult pig using them for non-consensual age play] and 18 [were] charged with trafficking [whatever that means.  The arrestees]…includ[ed] three minors [in the entire country]…The AI bot, [paid for by a deranged billionaire]…interacts with [peaceful individuals by deceiving them]…and eventually [bombarding their phones with unwanted BDSM sex fantasies]…The bot [sent such porn to] over 1,100 people in Cook County alone…

Turn of Tide

Though I despise the vague, pejorative term “trafficking” because it means whatever cops, prosecutors, politicians and profiteers want it to mean, the official narrative is backfiring.  Prohibitionists have been so successful in attaching the term “trafficking” to sex work conducted by abused people, women with addiction issues and other marginalized folks, and so victorious in convincing the Great Unwashed that there is a dark-skinned “pimp” hiding behind every survival sex worker no matter what the women say about their lives and experiences, that their own rhetoric is now being used to attack the way that the state persecutes sex workers.  Take this story in GQ, for example; though some variation on the word “traffick” (“trafficker”, “trafficking”, “trafficked”, etc) appears no fewer than 35 times in this relatively-short article (as many as six times a paragraph, which would’ve earned them no better than a “C” in my composition class because such repetition is both boring and annoying), and the authors obediently parrot “international trafficking ring” wanking fantasies as “facts” while simultaneously admitting that there’s no proof for any of it, the central argument isn’t much different from that made by countless sex worker activists: caging sex workers helps nobody but those who profit from the carceral system.  And when the relentless logic of their own mythology leads “trafficking” True Believers to support decriminalization, the days of the moral panic (if not the machinery of injustice it was used to build) are numbered.

The Widening Gyre (#882)

Snopes quotes a giant lie while debunking one tiny subsidiary one:

Human trafficking affects millions of people worldwide, but it’s also the frequent subject of viral scarelore…One such story went viral in October 2018 and again in late July 2019 when social media users shared a meme stating that human traffickers were leaving zip ties…on homes, mailboxes, and cars, of potential female victims to either mark them as targets or distract and abduct them for sex-trafficking purposes when the women try to remove the ties.  The hoax initially centered on San Angelo, Texas…but police there quickly debunked it…

Yes, the once-useful Snopes quoted both fascist scaremonger Polaris and the propaganda-spreading cops as credible sources even though both play a large part in creating the moral panic from which the scarelore springs.

The Course of a Disease (#927)

“Rehabilitation” = “re-education”, AKA “reprogramming” (ie psychological torture):

A[n Israeli] government plan to rehabilitate sex workers has yet to be implemented as most of the funding for the program has not been disbursed…The [scheme]…mandated the establishment of [prisons] and [brainwashing] programs for prostitutes, the expansion of…medical [prison] facilities and the drawing up of [propaganda]…Its approval came shortly after the Knesset passed a law penalizing the solicitation of prostitution…The purpose of the plan [is] to [force] sex workers [into low-paid menial “women’s work”]…

To Molest and Rape (#949)

Just another typical, representative cop:

A Florida state trooper has been arrested for [raping a 14-year-old]…in the back of his car parked in a public gas station…Riley Marcus Schwarz…was busted after the girl’s parents found her journal detailing the numerous times [she was raped by the pig]…Schwarz admitted to [raping] the girl “six to eight times”…and [amazingly]…was immediately fired by the Florida Highway Patrol…

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Some days are grumpier than others.

Beloved comedian Tim Conway died last week, but I decided to hold off reporting it until this week so I could share a video from The Carol Burnett Show (provided by Franklin Harris) in which Conway demonstrates one of his favorite pastimes, ad-libbing bits so funny they made Harvey Korman piss himself on live television.  The links above the video were contributed by Amy Alkon, Tim Cushing, Glenn Kessler, Jillian Keenan, Radley Balko, and Clarissa, in that order.

From the Archives

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You’re on my property with a gun in your hand, threatening to shoot me, because I’m picking up trash.  –  unnamed cop victim

When Angela Keaton and I were quite stoned one night while she was visiting two weeks ago, she played this video for me and I instantly recognized the guy as the one who did the minor-key “Kiss the Girl” which sounds like the soundtrack to a lesbian bondage scene.  In this one, the key shift actually completely changes the perceived meaning of the song (play it and see if you think I’m wrong).  The links above it were provided by Popehat, Mike Siegel, Radley Balko, Mike Chase, Lauren Chief Elk, and Mark Bennett, in that order.

From the Archives

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Harris’s contempt for sex workers lies at the heart of her hypocrisy.  –  Stephen Lemons

Feminine Pragmatism 

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

Mongolia’s mining boom started in the early 2000s and mining now accounts for around 20 per cent of Mongolia’s gross domestic product.  The growth…has created a spike in internal migration to mining areas – most notably Ömnögovi…The coal route from the Tavan Tolgoi coal deposit to the Chinese border is synonymous with sex work fuelled by the mining industry…In contrast to the stigma…in the city…the border area [i]s accepting and open…four or five women travel to the border area with a driver and rent a ger (a traditional round felted tent) to stay…If [truck] drivers don’t have cash, they pay in fuel: 40 or 50 litres of diesel for one act, 100 litres for one hour.  The women then resell the fuel when they can…Ulaanbaatar…is [by contrast] a harsh environment for women working in the trade…sex [workers] in…sauna[s] in the capital…[are beaten by] police and customers…ultra-nationalists target sex workers on the street and shave their heads to disgrace them…

Despite the obligatory “sex trafficking” disinformation and nonsense sprinkled throughout, the article is not a bad look at sex work in a part of the world few Westerners know anything about.

See No Evil (#25)

Are the Japanese the only people left on Earth who can tell fantasy from reality?

The United Nations has proposed an international initiative…to tighten…restrictions and prohibition of…child pornography…However…child pornography…”is defined…as ‘any representation of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities…includ[ing]…visual material such as photographs, movies, drawings and cartoons…including when…such material represents…non-existing children”…

Blunt Instrument

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

One South Carolina [politician] is working to shut down massage parlors…Mandy Powers Norrell proposed legislation that could close those places for good.  “It will give labor, licensing, and regulation the authority to close them down and prosecute any [women] found there,” [she bloviated]…

Policing for Profit

Cops will never stop doing this as long as the state keeps giving them pretexts:

…In case after case, [motorists were robbed by cops claiming]…the cash was found near drugs.  Yet few…ever were arrested.   They were caught in one of the most aggressive [robbery] operations in [South Carolina, where the]…police…[stole] nearly $50,000 from…motorists over a two-year period…$135 for every person living in Nichols.  That’s six times more per resident than any other police department in the state…

An Example To the West (#636)

Ugandan sex workers demand their rights:

Human and women rights activists have appealed to Members of Parliament not to criminalise prostitution as they debate and pass the pending Sexual Offences Bill of 2015…”These arrests are mostly carried out to solicit bribes from sex workers and harass them.  Few of them get to trial.  The provision, is therefore, unnecessary since it is unenforceable,” [said] Macklean Mary Kyomya…of Alliance of Women Advocating for Change…activists brandished placards reading…”outlaw poverty not prostitution…rights not rescue…my body, my business”…

Secret Squirrel (#686)

Conditioning squares to accept intrusive monitoring of every aspect of their lives:

Devices worn on employees’ bodies are an increasingly valuable source of workforce health intelligence for employers and insurance companies.  It’s fueling a boom in the use of wrist-borne health and fitness monitors such as those made by Fitbit, Garmin and Apple…the information is not covered by federal rules that protect health records from disclosure.  And when it’s combined with data such as credit scores, employees are giving up more insights about themselves than they realize…In general, employees in such programs [“voluntarily”] sign up for digital health monitoring.  They are lured by cash, reduced premiums, or reimbursements for co-payments and deductibles…Fitbit is moving aggressively to sign up companies.  It added a call service that [nag]…workers…via text messages and phone calls…whose data shows they are falling short of their [assigned “fitness goals”]…

You amateurs really think being spied on like this is OK?  No wonder fantasies of whores “enslaved” by exploitative bosses who spy on their every move are so popular; it’s just amateurs projecting their work conditions onto us.

Pyrrhic Victory (#697)

The dystopian future of Minority Report has arrived:

The use of PredPol—a predictive policing software…is far more widespread than previously reported…PredPol claims to use an algorithm to predict crime in specific 500-foot by 500-foot sections of a city, so that police can…surveil specific areas more heavily…PredPol [has] contract[s or] negotiation[s]…with…South Jordan, UT; Mountain View, CA; Atlanta, GA; Haverhill, GA; Palo Alto, CA; Modesto, CA; Merced, CA; Livermore, CA; Tacoma, WA; and the University of California, Berkeley…Los Angeles, Elgin [CA], Oakland [CA], Richmond [CA]…Milpitas [CA]…Santa Cruz, CA; Morgan Hill, CA, Fairfield, CA, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno, CA; Campbell, CA; Salinas, CA; Alhambra, CA; Lansing, MI; Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Columbia, SC…Manhattan, KS…Little Rock, AK; Kent, England; Reading, PA; “and many more”…Predpol explicitly encourage[s] police departments to dedicate their resources towards petty crime…Shahid Buttar, the Director of Grassroots Advocacy for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)…[explains] it’s impossible to expect unbiased results from predictive policing technology, because the data it analyzes is structurally biased.  Predictive policing is “driven by…data that itself reflects longstanding and pervasive bias…If you overpolice certain communities, and only detect crime within those communities, and then try to provide a heat map of predictions, any AI will predict that crimes will occur in the places that they’ve happened before”…

The Spiral of Absurdity (#743) 

“Sex trafficking” fetishists are still masturbating to the fantasy that emojis are part of some mysterious pimp “code”:

Bay Area prosecutors were trying to prove that a man arrested during a prostitution sting was guilty of pimping charges, and among the [supposed] evidence was a series of Instagram DMs he’d allegedly sent to a woman…with high heels and money bag emoji placed at the end…[a hired gun claiming to be] an expert…in sex trafficking…[fantasized under oath that] the high heels and bags of money supported the interpretation that the defendant was accused of sex trafficking, essentially translating to “wear your high heels to come make some money.”  Another message from the defendant included the crown emoji, which was said to signify that the “pimp is the king”.  Ultimately, the ruling didn’t hinge on the interpretation of emoji, but [that didn’t stop prosecutors from trying to destroy lives based on the masturbatory fantasies of people who’ve never done sex work in their lives]…

Uncommon Sense (#745)

Yet another registration regime fails miserably, as we keep telling y’all:

Only 76 of the reportedly 200,000 women (0.038%) who work as prostitutes in Germany have registered for state services [and of course politicians can’t understand why]…sex workers [can] register for state-run health insurance, pensions and unemployment benefits…[but the price after a new and paternalistic] law was enacted…in 2017 [is] regist[ration with pigs, mandatory “counseling”, prying into their private lives by social workers and compulsory] regular health [inspections]…most prostitutes…register under some different professional category in order to continue working anonymously…

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#848)

Never underestimate the human capacity to obsess about things that don’t exist:

…sex robots are rapidly becoming a part of…national [fantasies] about the future of sex and relationships….a number of companies are currently developing [human-shaped sex toys]…with a few already on the market…A 2017 survey suggested almost half of Americans think that having sex with robots will become a common practice within 50 years [the same fraction who think Donald Trump is intelligent and genetically-modified foods are dangerous].  As a [pompous windbag]…I’m interested in the legal and policy questions that sex robots pose…How will [masturbating] with a sex [doll]] affect the human [soul]?  Would sex with a child[-shaped toaster] be ethical?…

These articles are so deeply stupid, I just can’t take them at all seriously any more.  Despite the claims in the title, “sex robots” are not here, and never will be in the form envisioned by both fetishists and prohibitionists.  And the dolls (that’s all they are, silicone dolls) which people insist on incorrectly calling “robots” are inanimate objects which raise no more “ethical issues” than a Baby Alive or a tablet computer.

Held Together With Lies (#858)

We haven’t seen this concentration of ludicrous claims in a couple of years now:

[The rescue industry] is the business of stealing freedom for profit.  [Sex workers labeled against their will as] victims of trafficking are deprived of their basic human rights, dehumanized, brutalized and objectified [by police]…Human trafficking business is [fantasized] to generate $100 billion annually, more than Apple, Starbucks, Microsoft, and Nike combined…there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking globally…we [masturbate furiously while fantasizing] that there are countless victims, some only young teens…in our own communities…Sex trafficking data is scarce and has many gaps, due to [our making it up as we go]…

As usual, ridiculous numbers are slung about in self-contradictory fashion, mis-citing sources (the 40.3 million fantasy is from the NGO “Walk Free Foundation”, not the ILO as claimed) and claiming knowledge while admitting there is none.  So naturally I had to correct the wording a bit.

Top Cop

Another example of the odiousness of the police-state operative Hillary fans have anointed as their savior:

It’s the hypocrisy, stupid.  That’s what pundits from The Nation to the Washington Post fail to grasp about the onetime romance between former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and California Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris.  Harris’s apologists would have people believe that discussion of the relationship, which occurred two decades ago when Brown held the powerful post of Speaker of the California Assembly and Harris was a lowly deputy district attorney in California’s Alameda County, is sexist, racist, or both.  Viewed in light of Harris’s ongoing war on sex workers, however, her advantageous liaison with Brown indicates that she has no problem applying different rules to herself than she does to others…Maggie McNeill [said]…“I have absolutely nothing against the fact that she used her sexuality to get by in the world…What I do have a problem with, is that having gained that power, she used it to attack other women for doing the same thing”…

Disaster (#909)

The successors of Tumblr:

…with Tumblr’s strict adult-content ban…kinky bloggers fled the site–searching for, and trying to build, new communities.  One of the fastest growing of these sites is relative newcomer newTumbl, which has gained about 40,000 blogs since it launched on December 31.  True to its name, the site closely resembles Tumblr–at least the NSFW parts that are now banned…MojoFire, a site created by members of the BDSM community but aspiring to host all types of content, has not yet launched.  Yet others were already in the works before the Tumblr porn ban and have seen a large influx of refugee bloggers.  For instance, Pillowfort–another site meant for a broad community–has been straining with the arrival of former Tumblr users, forcing it to limit new sign-ups…MakeLoveNotPorn…[has] provided a hub for user-generated “social sex” videos since 2009…

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Bounty-hunters can buy information about where we are, in real time…and come after us.  You don’t need to be a replicant to be scared of the consequences.  –  Thomas Rid

A Broker in Pillage

Government is just a word for the things we choose to do together:

Chicago…regularly pulls residents into a nexus of ticket-related debt and car seizures that is stunning in its scope.  In 2017 alone, Chicago booted more than 67,000 vehicles for unpaid tickets.  In about a third of those cases, the driver couldn’t afford to remove the boot, and the vehicle was later towed to a city impound lot…[and] sold off, with the owners receiving none of the sale proceeds…the city and its towing contractor pocketed millions of dollars, while residents were left with ticket debt…there have been nearly 50,000 of these sales since 2011…the vast majority…from low-income and minority communities…The city…[calls] those who owe ticket money…“scofflaws”…conflating the inability to pay debts with criminal activity…workers or contractors sometimes [illegally] issu[e]…multiple tickets on the same day…[and] just two or three outstanding tickets will prompt the city’s revenue workers to boot a car.  Owners have just 24 hours to pay $100 to remove a boot…if the window’s missed, the car’s towed, and the owner [is also assessed]…a $150 towing fee…cars can [then] be sold in as little as three weeks, but not before drivers rack up [daily] storage and other fees…

Buried Truth 

Not quite an example of the McNeill Rule, but close:

Donnie Romero, a Baptist pastor in Texas who has a history of making…anti-LGBT…[remarks], told his congregation last week that he would be resigning from his post…Though Romero did not provide details to his congregants…[another preacher] Steven Anderson…weighed in on his “grievous sins” in a [YouTube] video…“The major sin involved was being with prostitutes, and then there were also marijuana and gambling”…Romero, who has called gays “scum of the earth,” also came under immense scrutiny in 2016 after he said he was praying that victims of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando who were injured would not survive “so that they don’t get any more opportunity to go out and hurt little children”…

Sex Rays

The puritanism just keeps increasing:

Organizers of the Consumer Electronics Show…in Las Vegas selected a sex toy called Osé as one of a handful of honorees in its robotics and drones Innovation Awards program.  But two weeks later, they disqualified the device and banned its exhibition at the event — because it’s an adult product…Osé…(formerly called Vela) is a sex toy developed in partnership with an engineering professor at Oregon State University that uses “biometric mimicry” for hands-free vaginal and clitoral stimulation…It’s unclear why the CTA made the Osé an honoree in the first place, before backtracking on its decision…The trade show gave a sex toy a similar award three years ago, and other companies have exhibited sex toys and adult products at the show over the years…

Bottleneck (#414)

Canberra is infested with prohibitionists, many of them in the police.  Articles like this one typically spout similar “rescue” and “sex trafficking” nonsense; the rebuttal from actual experts is way down at the end:

…Jules Kim from the national sex worker’s union, The Scarlet Alliance, doubted that human sex trafficking was as widespread in Canberra and Australia as police claimed…a 2017 federal government inquiry…found no sex workers were tricked into the job out of the 14 sex-work-related trafficking convictions nationally since 2004…despite this, there [i]s “a continued focus on framing issues” in the sex industry, particularly those involving South-East Asia migrants, as trafficking…”police raids…ha[ve] been proven to create worse conditions for sex workers, resulting in…barriers to accessing police in the event of a crime“…Ms Kim said the “illegal brothels” police referred to were often situations where more than one worker was working from a premises in order to share costs — which is illegal in some states and territories, including the ACT…


The Last Shall Be First (#785)

Anti-trans bigots often claim transwomen will sexually assault ciswomen in public toilets:

Two North Carolina women…were charged with second-degree kidnapping and sexually battery of a transgender woman in a ladies room of a Raleigh bar…the…victim had just entered the women’s restroom at the popular Milk Bar when Amber Harrell…and Jessica Fowler…followed her in and locked the door….[then] verbally and sexually assaulted her…Both women are also accused of exposing their breasts and genitals to the victim, who eventually escaped the bathroom.  The two…then followed her to the bar and continued the abuse, a bartender testified to police…

It’s not coincidental that this happened in a state where politicians openly encourage such bigotry.

To Molest and Rape (#842) 

Another pig uses a traumatized woman’s fear as leverage:

In one of the first releases of records under a new [California] law that [removes the previously-existing laws which allowed]…police [departments to hide] misconduct, documents show the Burlingame Police Department fired a [rapist cop] last year after…he [pressured] a woman [for sex by claiming he would interfere] with [her] DUI [case] if she would [not]…David W. Granucci…was later found to have made similar proposals to two other women, one [of] who[m submitted to letting]…him [rape her]…Granucci…obtained her phone number and address and went to her house the…day [after she was arrested] and made the [threat]…She rejected Granucci’s advances and reported him to police.  Granucci was [miraculously] fired [probably because Bay Area police departments are covering their arses due to the Celeste Guap affair]…

Pyrrhic Victory (#864)

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

Whereas it’s common knowledge that [pigs] can track phones with [stingrays or] a warrant to service providers…at least one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries, ranging from car salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters…this spying capability is also being resold to others on the black market…mobile networks and the data they generate are…open to surveillance by [cops], stalkers, and [other] criminals, and comes as media and [informed citizens] are paying more attention than ever to how location and other sensitive data is collected and sold

The Pygmalion Fallacy (#879) 

Truly dedicated prohibitionists never let the fact that a thing doesn’t actually exist stop them from banning it:

…Bryan [Texas]…put…the definition of a sex robot into the city [zoning] ordinance….[so] any [sex doll arcade]…would be required to be located only in the area of the city that’s zoned for adult-type businesses.  The move comes mostly as a precaution after someone tried to open a similar type of business in Houston…

Censor Chic (#894)

Corporations are becoming the favored tool of censors around the world:

Li Chengzhi had a lot to learn when he first got a job as a professional censor…Now, after training, he knows what to look for — and what to block.  He spends his hours scanning online content on behalf of Chinese media companies looking for anything that will provoke the government’s wrath.  He knows how to spot code words that obliquely refer to Chinese leaders and scandals, or the memes that touch on subjects the Chinese government doesn’t want people to read about.  Mr. Li, who [has been well-brainwashed, believes]…his job…“helps cleanse the online environment”…For Chinese companies, staying on the safe side of government censors is a matter of life and death.  Adding to the burden, the authorities demand that companies censor themselves, spurring them to hire thousands of people to police content.  That in turn has created a growing and lucrative new industry: censorship factories…

Imaginary Victims (#896)

Naturally, he had to show how big his dick is by delaying her release for seven months:

Cyntoia Brown…is due to be released on Aug. 7…She has [been kept locked in a cage] since she was 16…Gov. Bill Haslam…granted Brown a…commutation to parole…for 10 years…Brown will be required to participate in regular counseling sessions and to perform at least 50 hours of community service, including working with at-risk youth.  She also will be required to get a job [with a murder conviction on her record].  Her Aug. 7 release marks 15 years since the date of her crime.  Brown’s attorneys said 15 years is a typical sentence for a second-degree murder conviction…

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